Posted by: seanmalstrom | June 2, 2017

Ultima Ascension behind-the-scenes during development

Yes, Shroud of the Avatar is terrible. It is being made by old industry veterans and newbies, much heart but no cutting edge skill.

It should be noted that Shroud of the Avatar is not an Ultima game. Shroud of the Avatar is a sequel to Ultima Online. Shroud of the Avatar is a MMORPG, not a single player game. Speaking of single player Ultima…


Hey, it is Ultima 9. It is the Ultima that no one wants to talk about, so we are going to talk about it.

During a thread about how bad Shroud of the Avatar is, there was a former intern that spoke about the making of Ultima 9:

I was only there for a summer 19 years ago, so it’s a bit fuzzy. Also, I was only 19 and it was my first experience in the industry proper, so probably a lot of stuff happened that I didn’t fully understand in context, or was shielded from.

Off the top of my head…

EA thinking they could “just add multiplayer” like it was a toggle in the code they never thought to switch on

Marketing ordering bullshots be made and the artists putting shadows in after they announced the game wouldn’t support shadows

Head of marketing firing the competent marketing guy, because the incompetent marketing guy was his smoking buddy

Seeing screenshots of the game when it was a real-time 3D isometric game with an angle similar to Ultima 8

Having an exit interview with the poor HR person trying to fix company morale with movie tickets, and informing them that it would only upset them because they had no time to see movies because of the constant crunch

EA marketing demanding they have a “Final Fantasy 7” within a year

Producer Ed Del Castillo being fired for saying that was impossible

Lead designer being mad at me because Lord British liked my idea in a design meeting better than his


Other life experiences during that summer…

Lord British’s “When Hell Freezes Over” themed birthday/4th of July party, where he shaved 66 tons of ices to cover his property in snow

Lord British paying for my first (and last) lapdance as an attempted straight person

Carrying Lord British’s eBay purchases to his car, such as the 80 lb. cement shoes from an old diving suit

Lord British going on a trip to the Antarctic, and getting a mysterious disease on his layover in South America, resulting in lots of Mayo Clinic visits

Occasional lunches with friends from the Crusader team at Digital Anvil, who were very bitter and sometimes wondered if I was a spy for Origin?

Trying pho for the first time


I wonder if this ‘disease’ from his ‘layover’ in South America is perhaps connected to his ‘Ethical Hedonism’ treatise he put out before the game came out.

Lord British paying for lapdances…. hahahhahahahahaha

This is hilarious. It is also why I always hate EA and ‘The Game Industry’.

Above: Fuck you EA!!!



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