Development

Beta tile set

betatileset

Here’s the U3.5 beta tileset. Quite similar to the EGA U4 set, but with some U3 (thief and cleric) and U5 (walls, floors, and doors) influences. One thing to remember is that the tiles have 8×1 attributes (only two colors per 8×1 pixel block). The target machine can’t do per-pixel color anyway, but on the plus side this format means the tiles only take up 16K of RAM.

Settlement maps preview

I only have room in the engine for 16 ‘towns’ and Lord British’s Castle uses two of them, so merging the Montors was necessary. My supposition is that the two got smooshed together before being abandoned entirely by the time of U4. Scaling from 64×64 towns to 32×32 towns was bad enough. 128×64 was worse, but I’ve managed to keep the main shops.

Fawn
fawn

Magincia
magincia

Montor
montor

Is there much canon information about what happened between Ultima 3 and 4?

With this question, posed to the UDIC Facebook group, U3.5: Pax Britannia was born. Initially nameless, briefly known as Ultima 3.5 before the registered trademark of Electronic Arts was dropped from the title, and subsequently sub-titled Pax Britannia, this is where it all started:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/UltimaDragons/permalink/10150508826738797/

Well, except for that earlier incarnation as ZXU4 for the Chloe 280SE, but that’s a story for another day.