2010-12-27 Quick Patch update
Just a quick update, I've managed to fix the music bug in Minoc where the negative theme keeps playing right after you the cleanse the shrine but before you leave the area of Minoc. Valoria, however, wasn't fixable using the same method, but it isn't very difficult to leave the bounds of that music area. The quickest way to clear out Valoria's negative theme after cleansing the shrine is to re-enter the Demon's Lair that is next to the shrine.
I've already updated both U9Patch1.19f-Fix1 and U9Patch1.19G patches with the updated triggers.flx file. As before, the U9Patch1.19f-Fix1 patch is compatible with all savegames and the U9Patch1.19G is not compatible with any older savegames (though the older savegames will function, Jaana and Mariah bugs will still be there). If you installed the first release of 1.19G, then you can install this patch over it and your post-U9Patch1.19G savegames will be compatible.
That is all for now. More news coming this Friday.
2010-12-24 A Britannian Christmas
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays all,
The Awesome Screen this week is just an appetizer for something even more awesome. In the image, you can see Mariah actually standing on the balcony of her house. This shot was actually taken just after cleansing of the Shrine of Honesty because she doesn't appear there before the shrine cleansing. Yes my friends, we have successfully added triggers into the map that allow Jaana and Mariah to appear after (and only after) shrine cleansing.
Even more good news, we can state with confidence that NPC schedules can be created using the present Ultima IX engine. Our understanding of the highway.dat is growing, and we will soon be making our first attempts at NPC programmed movement. Now I will tell you that NPC schedules will not be added in any of our patches, but they will be included in releases of our main project Forgotten World.
Now for the main course. We present to you a very special Christmas gift. A patch that allows both Jaana and Mariah to appear in their respective towns in the middle of the game. I think I can honestly say that this patch is by far the most significant fan-made patch or mod for Ultima IX to date, and we are far from done. Due to the significance of this patch, we have increased the letter.
This patch requires Ultima IX to be patched to version 1.19f, and it includes the music fix previously released. This patch should be compatible with the Beautiful Britannia demos as well, though some objects added by the demos might be missing. Note that you must start the game from the beginning.
- Forgotten World Team
2010-12-20 Delayed Awesome
Sorry for the delay this week friends, but the wait is well worth it.
First, I present to you in this week's awesome screen: the Avatar after traveling by conversation with Raven at the Trinsic docks on a new map (a copy of map 9).
Now why is this awesome; Raven travel is a highly complex scripted event that involves many objects and triggers that must be at least partially understood to attempt even a simple map change like this. So what this screenshot actually shows is that we know enough now to have Raven take us to other maps, which greatly expands the available space to build Britannia.
In fact, due to the high degree of similarities amongst all of the docks, we can easily create a dock on a new map and have Raven take the Avatar to this map using one of the old destinations. Unfortunately, as you can see from the screenshot, there remains a few key bugs with the transition, but I'm confident that these can be corrected for with a little effort.
Now I have even more awesome news to report, Rorschach, a software engineer who is familar with C, C++ and other languages, has just joined the team. He is already looking at our current editor code and development will soon move forward. In addition, his experience and knowledge will be of great assistance in our efforts to improve OS and graphical compatibility of the engine through dll patches.
2010-12-10 Mesh Viewer
Ah December, what a wonderful month. Welcome again friends.
I have finishnd my last exam, so I have plenty of time available over the next few weeks, so stay tuned every Friday for special goodies.
Now for this week's Awesome screen, I present an screenshot of the current incarnation of our Mesh Viewer. As any interested programmers should note, much of the ground work for our primary editor is completed except for the editing of file information. We have made great strides in the best few months in defining many of the remaining unknowns of the map files, so the task of finishing the editor is largely implementation rather than map file decoding.
So we still very much need a C++ programmer. Also, we have a need for a texture artist.
Well, not much else to report at the moment, but check back next week for another awesome screen.
2010-12-03 Another Week, Another Screen
This past Wednesday saw another demo release of Beautiful Britannia and its actually be exactly 365 days since the previous demo - I see a trend forming here. If you haven't gotten it yet, check out our downloads page for a link to the file. I've added some additional screens from the demo to the BB screenshots page for your perusal. Speaking of screenshots, yes in last week's awesome screen that tower was new to Britain. Expect more additions like this in future Beautiful Britannia releases. (See the 52nd thru 58th screenshots in the BB-archive)
So now in keeping with trends, we have another awesome screen to show you. It is actually an old screen released internally a few years back that I think really showcases the potential of importing new textures into the game.
Now in other news, we have another new member to our team: Mario Brito (HCl) from the Wing Commander community. He is going to help us with dll patching of the game.
And in final news, the winner of the poll was the addition of Mariah and Jaana in their respective towns after the shrine cleansing, which we are well on our way to accomplishing if you've been following the Awesome Screens. Runners up are the failed slaying of the demons in Valoria and the Moonglow Catacomb lift bug. So with that, I shall end the current poll.
For our next poll, we would like to know how much you travel by boat in Ultima IX?
- Only if Raven's driving.
- I love sailing the ship around Britannia's ocean...uh sea...lake?
- Everytime I drive, the game crashes.
2010-12-02 Beautiful Britannia Demo 2010 released!
The demo is already available for Download on the project section of Beautiful Britannia on Ultima:Aiera:
Features of this release:
- Fully playable version of Ultima IX Ascension
- Main continent upgrade: 30% finished (Yew area upgrade: 90% finished)
- Several new highres textures
Necessary settings for options.ini to use the new textures:
2010-11-29 Beautiful Britannia Demo 2010 Preannouncement
I'm very happy to say, that I'm able to provide a new Beautiful Britannia Demo within December 2010 for Download on my project page on Ultima:Aiera.
This version will contain the latest additions to Britannia overworld as well as some highres textures, just as shown in the newest screens.
But that's not all.
Because I was able to combine most of my work with the original map lately, this demo will be a FULLY PLAYABLE version of Ultima IX.
I will post an entry here, as soon as the download is available.
2010-11-26 Being thankful for extra Screenshots
Hail, well met, and Happy Thanksgiving,
I would like to welcome to the team Chris Hopkins who created the parody Ultima IV Pt. 2. He will be our Pascal Coder for our secondary tools, and from what I've seen of the parody, I feel confident that we will see some great new features to our toolkit.
Now onto this week's Awesome Screen. Firstknight's Beautiful Britannia work has yielded some interesting additions in more than just the flora. Take a look at the screenshot for Britain and let me know (via the comments at Aiera) what you think is different.
Work on the Patches project has been a little slow of late due to real life. Fortunately, the semester ends on December 3, so expect a lot of awesome during the weeks before Christmas.
2010-11-19 Jaana in Moonglow
Hail and well met,
Unfortunately, this past week has been fairly busy and next week will be worse, but I've got something pretty awesome to show you guys. First, I'll refer back to the first Awesome screen I released. You will notice that Jaana is actually standing in the court of Yew as a result of a proximity trigger going off. This serves more as a proof of concept that we can make these kinds of changes rather then a solution to the Jaana problem. Actually, I must admit, it was fairly easy to do. Jaana had an empty teleport "activity sequence" (a series of activity commands that do different things like teleport, patrol, loiter) labeled "To Yew," which I filled with a teleport target ID. Next I had to have it activated, so I used Vasagralem's trigger sequence and changed the activity sequence reference in the trigger to point toward Jaana's "To Yew" sequence.
Now I'll point you to Awesome screen #3, where Jaana is now standing in Moonglow. What is significant about this is that I actually placed new objects into the game world, gave them the correct properties and flags to function, and created a completely new trigger sequence to call Jaana's activity sequence. So now whenever I approach Mariah's house, a trigger gets called to activate Jaana's "To Yew" teleport activity sequence, which takes her to the teleport target I placed at Mariah's house. Another aspect in this image that you should note is that Jaana is sitting. She actually did this automatically, and in fact, we found that at times she would go inside the house and sit on a bench there. We know that this occurred because this activity sequence we used also included an "activate activity sequence" command that pointed back to Jaana's "Loiter" activity sequence (a simple, one command sequence). So apparently, loitering is a very comprehensive activity, which is great as this just makes our job easier.
I suppose you might be wondering why I was working on getting Jaana to Moonglow. Well unlike Jaana, Mariah doesn't have any empty activity sequences I could use, and we currently don't have the tools to add new activity sequences or commands. Also, the court at Yew is very packed in and the high concentration of additional triggers makes testing rather difficult - and there was a lot of testing needed to get this working properly. Luckily, it shouldn't take me long to take what I did at Mariah's and repeat it for the Court of Yew. I will admit here that Jaana will be reincorporated and ready to go within a few weeks (depending on how busy I'll be). Mariah, however, will slow down a new patch drastically unless of course a Delphi/Pascal coder joins the team.
That is all for this week. Be sure to return in a week to see more Awesome.
2010-11-12 Screens and Beautiful Yew
Hello again ye ole friends and yonder new followers,
As you may have noticed, the site has received some more updates. I've switched our image viewer to Admiror Gallery 2.0 for its additional functionality and customizable appearance settings.
Speaking of improved graphics, I would like to present this week's Awesome Screen "Trees of Yew", which can be seen on the Releases and Media page. If you'll compare that screenshot with those in the screenshot archive you will notice a rather marked improvement in the graphical quality. I would like you to take special note of the amazing improvement in the leaves of the trees. I have to admit that I was totally astounded by the look of Yew in this screenshot. And we aren't even using custom made resources; if we were to recruit a dedicated texture artist, the improvement to the overall visuals would no doubt blow you away.
Oh, if you haven't yet, check out Awesome Screen #1, I think you will notice something rather interesting in the court of Yew.
In addition to screenshots, I would like to announce the official return of Project Beautiful Britannia under the Forgotten World roof. I will let FirstKnight comment further:
A warm welcome to everyone, who is interested in our projects. I am very happy to say that I found a new way back to my old home here on this site. My humble self and Iceblade have joined forces again to explore the possibilities of enhancing Ultima IX, while keeping our own projects in mind.
Within the next year we both will focus on common things (decoding stuff, game fixes) to provide a solid base for our greater enhancements. So, even if there will not be so much "visible" progress within a certain amount of time, please be patient, the speed will increase drastically, when we will have both the knowledge and the tools available.
I further recommend, that you check out the project sections for the BEAUTIFUL BRITANNIA series and FORGOTTEN WORLD regularly, simply because new developments can easily influence the overall project goals. For now, the first major goal for me is not only to help both projects to improve, but also to finish the first release of BEAUTIFUL BRITANNIA within the next 5 years.
Not to forget, I cannot thank WTFDragon enough for supporting our projects for all those years. For his Aiera site, I will leave the project sections separated (because they have quite different goals), but I will provide any common content under the FORGOTTEN WORLD section (texture packages for example), only full demos and releases of BEAUTIFUL BRITANNIA and its sequels will be provided under their own section then. I hope, that this solution is not too confusing, but regarding to the replies on Aiera there is a different fanbase for both projects, and this choice will provide simply the right downloads for the right people then.
Finally, I will promise to everyone reading this, that I will FINISH the whole BEAUTIFUL BRITANNIA series (consisting of 3 Parts) as well as supporting Iceblade as much as possible to reach his goals with FORGOTTEN WORLD. All I want to request from the readers here is to be VERY, VERY PATIENT, the results will be worth the wait.
A new set of screenshots for Beautiful Britannia is also available on its own screenshot page. In those screenshots, you can view more of the wonderful retextured scenery. (See Screenshots 40 thru 51 in the BB Archive)
In addition, I found some screenshots from our old website, which I've posted for your perusal. Most of these were placed into our Archived (Now Legacy) Screenshots page, but there were a few interesting editor screenshots that I posted on the Releases and Media page. (See the Editor Screenshots page) I also posted in the Editor Gallery a screenshot view of the nonfixed objects on the lowest level of Hythloth. (13th Editor Screenshot)
Just to add, in addition to a C++ programmer, we also have a need for a Delphi/FreePascal coder. Well that is all for now. Be sure to return in one week for more Awesome.
- Iceblade and FirstKnight
2010-11-05 Trick or Treat PostMortem
If you are having difficulty getting the Deathly Hallows map to load or you are can't your Ultima IX CD, fear not. Thanks to Dagur Dragon, you can view a near complete run through of the map. Enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxjK0ReryyE
On another note, please vote in our poll for our next Ultima IX bug fix. I will be keeping the poll open until the end of November.
Oh and one last thing, I am starting a new feature at the site where I post an interesting screenshot every Friday for at least the next few months. I made a quick one today. It's nothing special. ;) The screenshot is the first one on the Releases and Media page.
2010-10-30 Trick or Treat
Happy Halloween my friends,
It is so nice to eat... I mean meet you. Hey wait, where are you going? I've got presents just for you. Ah that brought you back.
I've got some good news to report. First, Hawkwind has been in a position of late to assist us with decoding work, but he is currently unable to do any programming work on the editor or other tools meaning we still really need a new programmer. In addition, FirstKnight has returned to assist the Forgotten World team in finishing the task of decoding the remaining files and developing a final patch for the original Ultima IX that will act as a base for both of our projects. I'll let Firstknight describe this new partnership in his own words: "I'm honored that Iceblade and I have found a new form of cooperation, which will lead to better improvements for both projects in the future. Also, new Project Information about the progress of Beautiful Britannia will be available soon directly here on the Forgotten World Homepage." So in future, this website will house and present news and releases for both projects Forgotten World and Beautiful Britannia.
In addition, we have the ability to import and improve textures inside the game, so we currently have a need for a texture designer. The textures we need are 15 and 16 bit bitmaps, so the resolution improvement is not significant on paper, but the effect in-game on objects and terrain has proven to be drastic.
In other news, I fixed the poll feature, so you can now vote on which Ultima IX bug you want finished most in the next month. Also, I will be updating the screenshots section with new software sometime this week.
So I expect, you want your gift huh, okay here it is: I present the first holiday themed map for Forgotten World that I call "Forgotten Hallows Rise 2010." I've made some "changes" to the Avatar's house map. To get access it, extract the following zip into your Ultima IX directory, make the change in your options.ini to use the gamestate.ini (instructions provided in the readme) and start the game up. The gamestate.ini file will immediately place you on the Avatar map. Unfortunately, due to conflicts with the starting state of the savegame0, you cannot access the changes by starting the game over from the journal. Note, you should probably reduce your FarClippingPlaneDistance=3000 and MiddleClippingPlaneDistance=2500 to improve performance. Oh and the disappearing objects is intentional.
More of these holiday maps will be released from time to time to show off what we can do inside Ultima IX. Enjoy the treat....or is it a trick.... Mwuahahaha
2010-10-25 Exciting Times for Ultima
Hello Forgotten World followers and Ultima IX fans,
These are indeed exciting times for the Ultima community with recent updates by Exult and Pentagram, the continued progress by the Titans of Ether on Redemption, and the full release of the Ultima VI project; not to mention the other numerous developments in Ultima in recent weeks. Certainly, our own contribution yesterday adds to this mighty list.
Due to a recent burst of efforts by the team, we have started a steady progress toward understanding the nature of Ultima IX's triggers (a very important aspect in Ultima IX) and how they are implemented inside the game. In fact, our current methods and tools for analysis of triggers and other aspects of the game's files have proven to be massively effective in our decoding process.
Still there is one area of our toolkit that could use improvement and that is our World Editor. As can be seen in the recent new Magincia screenshot, the core of the editor is there, but there remains some performance issues, missing features (like editing of some of each object's parameters and the ability to add new objects to the gameworld), and reincorporation of fixed object rendering (which is a well known format). Unfortunately, our primary programmer remains effectively inactive due to nonfatal health issues. We therefore have a major hole in our development team and encourage anybody with some fundamental c++ skills and an interest in Ultima to join our team. The team is easy going, we are very considerate of real life issues that come up from time to time, and there are no deadlines put on any member (well except myself maybe). Just believe me, when I say you will most definitely not regret joining.
Oh about the poll, I know it doesn't work. It wasn't configured properly at the start, and I do not have the access permissions to fix it presently. Anyway, if there is an Ultima IX bug you would like to see taken care of then you can comment at the news post at Ultima Aiera or at our forum at the Titans of Ether.
2010-10-24 Ultima IX Patch 1.19f.01
Hello Ultima Fans,
I had done some updating of the website to more specifically indicate Forgotten World's Goals and Plans. Two notably additions I'd like to point out: the Ultima IX Patches project for the patching of Ultima IX without making any story or plot changes, and a Downloads page containing links to download the Ultima IX patches as well as our own releases, which is being graciously hosted by Withstand the Fury Dragon at Ultima Aiera.
Speaking of releases, you can now download our first Ultima IX patch, which fixes the music bugs in Minoc, Valoria, and Skara Brae. A readme is provided with further details and notes. The one caveat to this music fix is that unfortunately the music does not change immediately upon cleansing a shrine, so you have to clear out the music by leaving the vicinity of the town or flushing the music (note this second option is less reliable). We will correct this minor issue in a later patch.
Now, we would like to know which bug you would like to see fixed next. So vote in our poll to the right (currently you have to click results and then use the drop-down box to access the next poll). The bugs we are looking into next are located in Valoria (Demons not being slain bug and the bug with the signal flare), Minoc (the confrontation with Blackthorn), and Moonglow (the Moonglow Elevator Bug and disappearance of Mariah). If we can get Mariah working properly, Jaana will also be corrected.
I will be updating the Screenshots page as well over the next few days. I did add a couple of screenshots. First, some of you might know how hard it is actually make a decent map of New Magincia in-game (taking aerial pictures of the island), in fact, it is essentially impossible to get a good picture and a composite just looks terrible. Well I decided to go ahead and make a map of the island using our very own editor. The map is currently uploaded to our screenshots page (sans labels). (11th Editor Screenshot) There is another screenshot that I uploaded that is actually one I took years ago. I found it rather amusing and kind of apt given breakthrough we've made toward decoding Ultima IX. The caption reads "I fought U9, and I won (2006)." (16th Legacy Screenshot)
Well, that is the end of this update, if you have any comments or questions feel free to discuss them at our forum or in the comment section for this update at Ultima Aiera.
- Iceblade, Maker of Maps and Fixer of Triggers
2010-10-22 Valoria Victory
Hello fellow Ultima fans,
Today is a great day. Not only have I figured out significant parts of music triggers and perhaps some or most all triggers in-general, I have fixed the first of many bugs that FW will fix.
I am right now, in Valoria listening to the Valoria Positive Music theme...yes you read right. I have fixed the first Ultima IX bug since the release of patch 1.19. Being expecting a bare bones patch in the coming day or so that will fix the music bugs in Valoria and Minoc and possibly Skara Brae. And yes this bug fix will work with all your current savegames (just you might need to leave the area of the music for the trigger to reload).
- Iceblade, Ultima IX bug cruncher
2010-10-17 New Recruits
Hello Forgotten World followers,
The Forgotten World team and I would like to welcome two new members to our team: Burton Radons and Ainlor. Burton Radons who regularly contributes to the Codex of Editable Wisdom will assisting us in decoding Ultima 9 files and cataloging and publishing all of the information we have discovered thus far. Ainlor will also be assisting in decoding Ultima 9 files along with other tasks including testing of tools, fixes, and release.
In other news, I have developed a new method for decoding the primary NPC file (npc.flx) that will rapidly increase our decoding time of this file.
2010-10-01 Call Out for Help
Sorry to say little has happened in the past several months. Currently our team is down to two members and one of them has nasty RL issues that prevent him from spending much time on FW.
I haven't had much time to put forth on decoding files after running into some annoying brick walls that refuse to break down. I am making a call out for individuals with some programming knowledge in hexcode, assembler, and/or C++ (or have the time and interest to learn as you go). A fair amount of the Ultima IX has been decoded with some annoying holes in certain files, yet many other aspects remain murky or completely unknown especially with regard to triggers. We also have a need to develop a few additional tools, which means those with some developed java knowledge are also welcome.
If you are interested in joining the team, contact us at [ forgottenworld2 at yahoo.com ] or send me (Sir Iceblade) a private message at our forum:
Project Lead, FW Designer, U9 Decoder
2010-01-04 Thanks for your interest
I'm very sorry to say this, but I have to leave "Team Forgotten World" again, and this time it will be definitly.
Several important "Real Life" Events forces me to do this, I have to accept the fact, that my "real life situation" simply not allows to work on such a fantastic project as "Forgotten World" will be.
But I will slowly continue working on "Beautiful Britannia", which is only a simple upgrade to UIX, without story changes and other major improvements, as "Forgotten World" will provide.
And when the time comes, where I will get to an playable product, I will simply provide "Beautiful Britannia" for Download on "Ultima: Aiera", but this will not happen within the next 5 years.
And because of the very limited time I will have for creating "Beautiful Britannia", there will be no new screens or other information on it for a long, long time.
I only can hope that you can understand my situation.
Please continue to support "Team Forgotten World" in their effort to create the "true" UIX.