Situation Report

I’ve now listened to #SSSH 33.1. And here’s my response:

Thanks for all the nice things you had to say about my project (especially about the music). I’d just like to clear up a few things. U3.5 is an unofficial epilogue to U3 and prelude to U4. However you do not play the Stranger or the Avatar. You play a new character known as the Envoy. It’s not called Ultima for two reasons; 1) legal, 2) some people feel that calling it an Ultima is a bit presumptuous. It calls back as far as Ultima I and foreshadows events up to the end of Serpent Isle. Inevitably one or two things were missed in the summary. Here’s the status of the project:

The ZXodus][Engine that underpins the project has had a major overhaul as a result of me reading Jason Gregory’s “Game Engine Architecture”. The code is in the best shape it’s ever been in.

Things that are complete:
* Plot
* NPC list
* Tile graphics (2D top down and 3D dungeon)
* Music (engine and 11 tracks)
* Maps (world, settlement, encounter)
* Display systems (top down, dungeon, mini-map, cut-scene)
* World navigation (overview and mini-map)
* High-def character generation graphics
* Mechanics (classes, combat, magic, etc.)
* LOS algorithm
* LZ77/LZSS decompression
* Load/Save parties
* Pseudo-random number generation
* Feelies (manual, reference card, box art, trinket design, etc.)
* Console (keyboard in/text out)
* Character generation gypsy dialog
* Virtue/anti-virtue card graphics
* 3D dungeon engine
* Monster scaler (for dungeons)
* Player reference card
* Weapons and armor list
* Wizard and priest spells
* Moon phases.

Things that are close to completion:
* Character generator
* The four dungeons
* The sound effects
* The scripting engine

Supported platforms:
Yes, it’s written for the ZX Spectrum, but there is a ZX Spectrum emulator available for almost any machine you care to name, including (as mentioned in the podcast) the Nintendo DS, which gets its own U6-themed U3.5 skin for the ZXDS emulator (which uses the touch screen as a keyboard).

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