The Download is already available on my project site on Aiera. (BB Codex Link)

Comparison screenshots, which illustrates some of the changes that have been made, will be available here within the next week.


Features:
=========
* More than 150 new designed Textures (Terrain, Foliage, LB Castle, Walls), most of them in higher resolutions than the original ones.
* More than 15.000 objects added (Flowers, Grass and other plants, Butterflies, most of them around yew) to the original release from 1999.
* Contains the latest version of U9BB.EXE (supports more than one fogless overworlds, those overworlds will be implemented in future releases)

NOTES:
From now on U9BB.exe can be created by using U9PatcherEXE.exe (separate installer), please look into U9BB-readme.txt for details.
Terrain textures are not completely finished yet, please excuse the disburbing effects because of missing transistions.

Quick Install instructions:
===========================
* Unzip the Release into your Ultima IX install directory (where u9.exe is located, otherwise the Installer will not work)
* Now you have a new directory within your Ultima IX install directory, named BB, with a Subdir named BB2011R3, further the Installer called BB2011R3.cmd

* To the next please run BB2011R3.cmd
* At the first start the Installer creates a Backup of the original files in the BACKUP Subdir of the BB2011R3 directory.
* Enter 1 for installing the BB2011R3 (Enter 2 for restoring the previous installation)
* Now please start a new the game using U9BB.EXE (fogless overworld) or standard U9.EXE (overworld with distance fogging).
* BB2011R3 will further work every early savegames from the earth map or stonegate.

Firstknight

While doing some trigger-related research I had to find out, that there was quite some content within the earth map hidden by the developers.
So I've created a copy of the earth map, where all this content is visible and useable now, and integrated the map into the main game after that.

Now this special map can be acccessed by entering "Castle Prison" after speaking with Lord British at the Beginning of the game.
The Back Teleporter now leads to this Earth Map, from there you can return to the front of LB Castle or try out one of the following:

o Teleporters to positions all over Britannia (Best to use with my "Freedom Mod" preinstalled, so that you can walk back to Britain then)
o Teleporters, which changes the complete armor set you wear
o Collect all the Armor and Weapons, which had become visible now
o Bake your own Bread within Avatar's House

The download is available on my project site on Aiera.

(Check out the first four screenshots on the Mini-Mods screenshots page as well as the #25 Awesome Screen)

 

Quick Install instructions:
===========================

Just as for "Beautiful Britannia" I use a simple batch file as Installer, so it will be working on any system,
starting from Windows 98 up to Windows 7, and on x32 and x64 systems.

* Unzip the Release into your Ultima IX install directory (where u9.exe is located, otherwise the Installer will not work)
* Now you have a new directory within your Ultima IX install directory, named BB, with a Subdir named BBMini01, further the Installer called BBMini01.cmd

* To the next please run BBMini01.cmd
* At the first start the Installer creates a Backup of the original files in the BACKUP Subdir of the BBMini01 directory.
* Enter 1 for installing the BBMini01 (Enter 2 for restoring the previous installation)
* The Mod works not only with new games but also with every existing savegame!

 

Firstknight

Finally I can present the first impressions of the new "Britain House" Textures reworked by Viriathus.

Here are two screens (#24), which shows clear improvements in comparison to existing textures, especially when looking at them from close to.

 

The new textures will be included in the upcoming "Beautiful Britannia 2012 R1", which is scheduled for Q2/2012. Means, that two Releases are planned for 2012, which will still have a strong focus on retexturing.

 

Larger content upgrades (cove for example) will take some time are therefore not to be expected before 2013. However, my work on this cove upgrade has already started, and fresh screens of early development builds can be awaited even with in this year.

 

Firstknight

 

 

With help of my Friends Iceblade and Hawkwind I'm finally able to provide U9BB.EXE as a patch to U9.EXE 1.19f.

Future release of U9BB.EXE will be provided in the same way.

 

Install Instructions:
=====================

Simply unzip the package into your Ultima IX install directory so that U9PatcherEXE.exe is located within the same directory as U9.EXE then.
Now start U9PatcherEXE.exe (provided by Hawkwind from Team Forogttenworld), which will update your existing U9.EXE in the progress.

After that start U9.EXE...

...and believe!  

The modified EXE works with any savegame of every version of Ultima IX or Beautiful Britannia.

 

More site updates with the latest news related to Beautiful Britannia 2012 coming soon...

Firstknight

Just a few minor updates today.

 

We are glad to welcome Asmon to the Forgotten World team.  He will be joining the Forgotten World Design Team as well as helping me add new books into the game.  In addition, he will be one of our world builders when the FW world builder is ready.  Also, I have made a few updates to the FW project page.  The main change was a note regarding the size of FW, which currently is planned to be greater than 4 times the size of Ultima IX's surface map, which is allow for greater town separation and more islands.

 

In other news, I will admit that little progress has been made in the past week or so on decoding UIX's triggers and properties.  Even so, work is progressing on a map saving function for our World Builder, which involves actually rebuilding the map files from scratch rather than just editing the original files.  So this will indeed be a big step toward a complete World Builder once all of the bugs have been ironed out.

 

On the design side, plenty of progress is being made currently and many details from dungeons to towns to overall plot are becoming more fully developed.

 

I also recently played through Ultima IX, and I now have a better idea of why certain bugs are occurring, so when I have some time I will start to work on that part.  First up, though, is finishing up my bug fixes for other issues such as music transitions for Minoc and Valoria and one or two other bugs I've been working on.  Hopefully, I will have it completed soon.

 

- Iceblade

 

Hey Friends,

 

I present you another screenshot (#23):  I have compiled all four of my programs into a single executable for the team to use in research and some minor development.  It contains the previously presented Books, Highway, and Activity Editors.  In addition, I have created a simple triggers editor.  While that last tool doesn't currently show us what the parameters for each trigger command mean, it does make adding, expanding, and editing of triggers significantly easier.

 

Easy enough in fact, that I plan to over the course of the next month create a new patch for Ultima IX.  So stay tuned.

 

- Iceblade

Hello friends,

 

I have some good news.  Hawkwind is now back and work is starting again on our World Builder tool, which is very significant news since the last version of the Editor was back in 2009.

 

Unfortunately, there is some bad news too.  I am entering the busiest semester of my academic career in a week or so, which means my time for U9 research and tool development will become negligible until December.  Even so, I will still be posting some tidbits of news and overall managing the website during that time.

 

What is Not So Ugly are the property and trigger types.  A lot of progress has been made to identify what each type does as well as what its parameters mean.  In addition, much of this information has been carefully organized into our internal wiki for easy reference and expansion, which makes tool development and later world building that much easier.  This is significant as the game world is as much defined by object properties and triggers as it is an object's associated usecode.  For example, a lever's usecode may tell it to pivot the "stick" and send an On signal, but it is the trigger that defines what that On signal does.

 

Until next time.

- Iceblade

Because myself and Iceblade will be working together on some difficult background tasks within the next series of months (related to decoding and creating tools, with a clear focus to the Conversation System of UIX), I have finally decided to release the current build of BB as

Beautiful Britannia 2011 R2

First, as ever, let me THANK WTFDragon for hosting the demo!

I'm using a simple batch file as Installer, so it will be working on any system, starting from Windows 98 up to Windows 7, and on x32 and x64 systems.

Features:
=========
* More than 100 new designed Textures (Terrain, Foliage, LB Castle, Walls), most of them in higher resolutions than the original ones.
* More than 15.000 objects added (Flowers, Grass and other plants, Butterflies, most of them around yew) to the original release from 1999.
* Contains the latest version of U9BB.EXE (supports more than one fogless overworlds, those overworlds will be implemented in future releases)

NOTES:
Terrain textures are not completely finished yet, please excuse the disburbing effects because of missing transistions.
BB2011R1 Hotfix 1 is included.


Quick Install instructions:
===========================
* Unzip the Release into your Ultima IX install directory (where u9.exe is located, otherwise the Installer will not work)
* Now you have a new directory within your Ultima IX install directory, named BB, with a Subdir named BB2011R2, further the Installer called BB2011R2.cmd

* To the next please run BB2011R2.cmd
* At the first start the Installer creates a Backup of the original files in the BACKUP Subdir of the BB2011R2 directory.
* Enter 1 for installing the BB2011R2 (Enter 2 for restoring the previous installation)
* Now please start a new the game using U9BB.EXE (fogless overworld) or standard U9.EXE (overworld with distance fogging).
* BB2011R2 will further work every early savegames from the earth map or stonegate.

If you want to send comments, I recommend posting a reply to the entry on Ultima Aiera, I will stop by there frequently and will also answer questions.

 

With this effort I hope to bring in new possibilities for both projects (FW and BB). In my opinion it's most important now, that the great work done by Iceblade within the last months (related to triggers and NPC activities) could be used in later releases, but the behaviour is quite complex and not implementable easily without having powerful and easy-to-use tools around. Having those will boost the creation process and help to provide more high quality releases in less time in the end.

Thanks for your interest.

- First Knight

Because of some serious troubles I had lately to find enough time for BB (and this will not change so soon), I have to delay the next release of "Beautiful Britannía" for about 3 to 6 month!

And why not simply releasing the current content then ?
Because about 40% of the terrain textures still unfinished, which ends in a mix of old and new terrain textures atm.

As soon as I'm able to made some noteworthy progress with this next release, I will tell it both here and on my project page on Ultima:Aiera.

So. thanks for your patience, and please don't forget to look onto the page from time to time, Iceblade makes some good progress with creating Tools for "Forgotten World" lately, as the good reader can find out here easily.

Firstknight

Well hello Dragons and Dragonettes, Travelers and Community Members, Players and Modders;

 

This week, I present to you not just one...

or two...

or even five...

but seven awesome screenshots.  All of them of the now functionally complete Activity Editor. (#22)

 

Though it will be some time before it is released, it is no less complete.  All that remains now are a few minor features, some clarifications on a few parameter descriptors, and some polish to clean up minor bugs.  As of right now, the editor can edit any activity sequence, add new sequences, and essentially establish full schedules for any unique NPC with limited game map alteration.

 

In addition, I would like to officially welcome two new composers to the Forgotten World team:  Michal Ratkowski and Arthur Varkvasov.  Both of whom are professional composers and their websites can be found on our team page.  With the addition of these members to the team, we have added a new content page that will house the music that we plan to add to the World of Ultima IX.  Right now there are two songs available:

 

Ruins of the Hold by Michal Ratkowski

Stones Town Theme by Arthur Varkvasov

 

While the location for the first song is obvious, we have not yet determined a fitting place for the second, so we are posing a new poll question to answer just that.  As you can see from the first option, we plan to actually give the town of Cove its proper dues.  In fact, you will be able to visit this location soon after entering Britannia.

 

One note about Arthur Varkvasov, he will not currently be able to compose further music for Forgotten World at this time, but he plans to return at a later date.

 

In other news (yes there is more), I would like to officially thank Ewan Munro for providing Forgotten World with 12 books from his canceled Dawn of Virtue Ultima IV remake.  Included in these wonderful books is a treatise on Healing by the Shadow of Light.  So thanks to both of you for these books.  Which reminds me, we have yet to receive any other books from the community.  Of course, you may submit at any time during Forgotten World's development and there is no limit on how many books we will accept.

 

Finally, we are announcing a new goal for Forgotten World.  In addition to adding new models, we plan to finish what the UIX animators had started:  full facial animations for all of Ultima IX's talking NPCs.  A feature that was seen a few times, but probably completely forgotten amongst the myriad of bugs that players experienced early on.   

 

So that is all for now, enjoy the music folks.

- Iceblade

I was reading some of the inaccuracies (the ones from Hacki's site) the other day, and I noticed a mention regarding the lack of lockpicks in Ultima IX).   Well, I think I can definitely confirm that it wasn't for lack of trying.  It must have been cut pretty late in development.  There are two objects in Ultima IX named lockpick.  They are small and look a lot like a bent spatula (of course I'm zoomed in pretty far).  Though I suppose, everybody already guessed that lockpicking was just a cut feature.  Hey a key ring object is here as well. 

 

Still, the lockpick was planned, and hey if we get to the point where new dialog can be added, then a simple lockpicking system would certainly be put on the list of features to add.

 

Another interesting thing I've noticed recently, several NPCs have pieces of their schedules already coded. Only they lack a few important things like a bed to sleep in and hours to do certain tasks.  Oh speaking of schedules, it looks like setting a time of day for a task, sequence or event should be super easy.  So creating schedules for NPCs should be really easy once we can add new objects to the game world using a select and drop method.  In fact, this part is so simple, it was easiest part of my Activity editor to code for.  Unfortunately, many other aspects of the editor remain to be completed, so no screenshots yet.   At least the hardest parts are done.

 

- Iceblade

The Britannian Highway Administration is now open for business.

 

The editor for the highway database for Ultima IX is now complete.  Editing this file is a key component to NPC scripting and schedules.

 

It contains an ID/coordinate database of the waypoint objects used in the game for engine to know where to teleport the Avatar, NPCs, objects, etc. and for NPCs to know where their "marks" are for movement during events or schedules.  So in a sense, any waypoint or target location we add to the map has to be "registered" in this file to be used by the engine.  I observed this issue back when I fixed Mariah and Jaana's post shrine cleansing scripts.   Until I added their teleport targets to the highway file (by hex editing), they wouldn't teleport to their places.

 

In addition, this file contains highway segments with each segment being a route of waypoints with seemingly no restriction on the number of waypoints in a path.  A waypoint can be repeated multiple times within a route, so an NPC could be made to pace back and forth between two waypoints or to play fetch.

 

Anyway, for those curious, I've posted a screenshot. (Awesome/Featured Screenshot #21)  Obviously, the tool usefulness is limited by the functionality of other tools, but my rapid progress so far probably means a complete scheduling editor will be ready in a week or so.

 

In other news, I have received several applicants for composer (in only 12 hours), so no more applicants.  I will be making my final decision regarding the new composer in a few days.

 

Also we have yet to receive any beta testers for the books editor.  For that matter, nobody has submitted any books for Ultima IX. Hopefully that is a good sign that people are at work on short stories rather than short summaries.

 

Our other programmers are also hard at work, but more news on that at a later date.  Reverse Engineering is continuing at a steady pace, and several more critical files have been heavily decoded allowing for continued progress with our tools.  There are still, however, many trigger commands and a number of object properties left unknown or unclear, but progress is being made.

 

I've updated the team page, and several of you might notice an open position for 3D modeler.  Let me clarify that.  At present, we do not have a tool to import models into the game.  Also, we do not have a clear idea on what the requirements will be or the kinds of limitations that will be placed on the models.  We hope to have several of these issues dealt with in a matter of months.  We will keep you guys posted.

 

If you are a 3D modeler and are very interested in joining up and staying for long haul (5 years max - we hope FW will be nearly finished by then), you can help with upgrading the graphics in the game.  At present, there are a number of objects that could use upgraded or even redone textures.  If you require the models themselves, I'm sure we can create an exporter tool from our Mesh Viewer's code in a relatively short period of time.

 

- Iceblade

I know the screenshots have been a little limited of late especially from the Forgotten World side, so I took a screengrab of the books editor that I'm working on (posted in the Awesome Screens section (#20)).  It is nearly complete only lacking one or two minor features and a few cosmetic changes.  Once those have been completed, I will require a few people for some beta testing, so I'm currently taking volunteers from the community.  The main reason for the outside beta test is to get some feedback from the community regarding the editor since I will be releasing it to the public in a few weeks or less.

 

While on the whole, this editor's usefulness is limited given the simple format of the books.flx file, the task has provided me with valuable insight into Python GUI programming.  As a result, other editors (mainly a scheduling editor) will be developed with a much faster pace.

 

On the subject of books, there are no limits on the number of books/recipes/etc you can submit.  If you have a submission or wish to beta test, you can contact us via the usual channels list on the Team and Contact page.

 

Also, it looks like we have a need for musical composer, so if you are interested, please send a sample to the team email and we will get back you pretty quickly.  I've already got a list of areas that need musical accompaniment.

 

That is all for now, but expect some additional news in the coming week or so.

- Iceblade

Hail to thee travelers,

 

The Librarians of the Britannia seek new additions for their shelves.  Over the next several months, we will be taking submissions for novels, songs, tales, self-help, and daily living texts to add to the available list of books for various locations around Britannia.  Already, work is starting to fill out the list with books from Ultima 6 and 7, but more tomes are needed.

 

It is up to you how far you wish to develop the book.  It can be a lengthy short story (though we would prefer if you kept it below 10 double-space pages), plot summary, excerpt from a daily living, occupational or self-help text, or a full guide of recipes.  If your recipes or crafting ideas are worth-while they made be added as a scriptable event in-game similar to the bread-making feature.  If you want to write a fictional tale (either full length or a plot summary), we do ask that you write something original rather than summarize the plot of a real novel.  

 

The kinds of text that we are looking for are the following: (note:  * - indicates that we have a need for these kinds of books, ** - means that we need a lot of books of this kind)

 

Fiction (mainly short story length rather than plot summary)

* Adventure tales (stories that occurred in Britannia involving an adventurer but with some possible exaggeration)

* Nonfictional (within the Ultima Universe) narratives or histories

Daily living/self-help

* Recipe books or guides

Fauna

Flora

** Geographical (either history of a location or descriptive)

* Magic-related (regarding alchemy, wands, spells, mages, etc.)

War (ie books on weapons and fighting)

** Ships and Sea-navigation

* Study of literature (books on analyzing or writing literature)

* Music or theater related (plays, dance styles, lyrics; just no actual sheet music)

** Monks (texts regarding monks, namely those from Empath Abbey)

** Governmental archives (Court of Justice, records of deeds, minutes from meetings of the Great Council or any other council from the various towns, etc.)

Occupational

 

So if you submit something, then as long as it fits and doesn't contradict Ultima lore, it will be added to the book list.  And when you make a submission, please include the name you want displayed for the book's author, the kind of book it is, and approximately when it was written in relation to the games (pre-U5, post-SI, etc.). 

This Hotfix removes two NPC Types (Stone Demon and Generic Brute, 16 entities in total) from Britannia overworld to avoid annoying screen shakes, which occurs especially when using higher view distances.

It's available for download on my project page on Ultima:Aiera.

Firstknight

Hello folks,

 

I know news has been rather scarce of late, especially with regard to Forgotten World and patching.  RL and other projects (namely for a particular sibling franchise of Ultima *cough*) have kept me occupied the path half-year.

 

My time away, however, has been involved in the area of programming (Python and Java), so I will be returning into the stream of things with fresh experience, skills and ideas for tool development.  For those interested in my other project, visit the site for Wing Commander Fleet Assault.

 

It will still be a few weeks before progress is running at full steam, and even then it will be involved in tool development.  After that, though, work will begin in earnest on fixing more bugs.  So with music and Jaana/Mariah fixed, what bugs or features would the people like handled next, which coincidentally  is the topic of our next poll.  If there is a bug you want fixed next that isn't listed, let us know.

 

Our previous poll asked about Ocean Travel with a Boat.  Looks like an almost even split between Raven driving and manually and a near equal number being unable to sail due to crashes.  Well, taking these numbers into account, the tentative plan is to keep ocean travel as is.  Unfortunately, we may be unable to transition the player and ship to a new map if they attempt to do so manually then via dialog with Raven. However, we do plan on leaving goodies on small peripheral islands for those with an explorer's itch.

 

- Iceblade, out.

First, I have to tell you, that Viriathus, while still very motivated to create textures for UIX, has to take on some serious "real life" tasks, and therefore will discontinue his work for at least the next 3 months.

Because of this situation, I decided to rework LB Castle in a more simply way on my own (mostly recoloring), so that got it done for the next BB release in september. Further I made a good progress with the terrain textures including transistions lately (about 50% of them are done now) as well as with foliage (grass, tree leaves, flowers, about 60% are finished here).

And, Hawkwind from the sister project "Forgotten World" was able to create a list of textures used by the 3D models, which will help me in creating texture upgrades from now on, because I don't have to search for the texture codes first. Now that's how a joint venture works!

I've posted four screens (#19) to give an impression how the actual build looks like.

Firstknight

In my restless effort to create more realistic textures I get some really good results with these new flowers and plants, which are shown it the latest "Awesome screen" (#18).

Further I've created a second grass texture for better variety. I plan to rework not only the original, but also previously released plant textures in this way, as long as the quality looks to be improvable.

On the other side, the terrain transistions are very work intensive, so I had to move the approximate release date to September 2011.

Viriathus still works on the LB castle tetxures, which shows to be a diffcult task. The textures are not exactly positioned on the 3D model, and further scaled differently, which makes it quite difficult to make them seamless.

Firstknight

Now I've finished one of the most difficult tasks so far, and created a new set of water textures.

I have to mention that the texture edges could be seenable, especially when nearby and under certain view angles, but this was also the case with the original texture set. The reason is, that the textures of this set are changed and rotated very often within the animation sequence. However, I tried to find a good compromise, and the whole effect is definitly an improvement, especially when seen in movement.

Further I've reworked the grass texture, it now has more contrast, and looks better, when seen from the distance.

The latest two "Awesome screens" (#17) gives an impression, how this all looks like.

Viriathus makes a good progress on the LB castle tetxures, so expect some fresh screens here soon.

Firstknight

I very happy to present the first work of Viriathus, our new texture artist, who supports us from now on by providing high quality textures for Beautiful Britannia.

Look at latest "Awesome screen" (#16), the new designed wall really proves the quality of his work.

I had some difficult times creating this latest terrain textures, and it comes not without some style change, but:

Finally I was able to create a new base texture set for "rocky mountains", necessary transistions will follow soon.

The lastest "Awesome screen(#15) shows a nice comparison. I have to note, that this scenery will look definitly better, when decorated with rocks and other objects in the final version.

Firstknight

This "awesome screen" (#14) of the latest build of Beautiful Britannia shows not only the new texture transitions, but also a newly-designed blue flower, which is both detailed and ‘less aggressively bright’. I plan to rework all flowers on this basis.

 

Firstknight

It looks like that I'm still able to provide regular updates:

Currently I'm working on highres terrain textures, and made some progress lately.

 

This early screen (#13) of the next release shows the new grass and sand terrain textures (complete with transitions) in comparison to the original ones.

 

Further I will rework those textures from the R1 release for R2, which needs lower brightness settings. More screens related to this will be provided here within the next weeks.

 

Firstknight

I've updated the Beautiful Britannia Screenshots section with the latest screens from Beautiful Britannia 2011 R1 combined with U9BB.EXE. (Any screenshot page under Beautiful Britannia)

 

The next update will take a while longer (looks like to be within May or June), because I'm currently working on some very time consuming tasks.

Please be patient, I promise that the result will be worth the wait.

Finally, after many many hours of intensive research for more than one year, I can present Beautiful Britannia in a new, completely fogless experience, on any system up to Windows 7!

I found out, how to modify the EXE file to use a particular "blue ambient mode", which is used for Map.40 (Ambrosia) by default, now for map.9 (Britannia overworld). While Ambrosia now has the standard "black dungeon theme", Britannia gets maybe the most important improvement possible!

 

The latest "Awesome screen" (#12) really shows the effect, when playing "Beautiful Britannia 2011 R1" using the following "Super HQ" settings for options.ini:

[Performance]
FarClippingPlaneDistance=14000
MiddleClippingPlaneDistance=10000
Use16BitTextures=1
MaxObjCullSize=4
CullStartDist=3000
UseCompressedTextures=0
HiResSky=1
DeadPoolLifeTime=6000
DeadPoolSize=3200
MaxMeshesPerFrame=1000
MeshCacheDeadTime=1500
MeshCacheMemorySize=256000000
MaxInstancesPerFrame=2000
UseTerrainDetailLevels=0
[Lighting]
LightQuality=3
[Game]
LODScale=8.0

My system (Intel Core i5 3,33 Ghz, ATI Raedon HD 5670, Windows 7 Pro) can render this scenery in 25+ FPS, even with 4xSSAA and 8xAF activated (which both are recommended, if your Hareware supports them)!

 

The package containing the modified EXE file (named U9BB.EXE) is available for download on the Beautiful Britannia project site on Ultima:Aiera.

Simply unzip the package into your Ultima IX install directory so that U9BB.EXE is located within the same directory as U9.EXE then. After that start U9BB.EXE...

...and believe!  

The new EXE works with any savegame of every version of Ultima IX or Beautiful Britannia.

 

Regardless of whether you playing Beautiful Britannia or original Ultima IX, get this dowload now, it's simply MUST HAVE!

 

I've added a new section to the Beautiful Britannia screens page, showing the development history from 2005 up to the current release 2011 R1. (See the Beautiful History Through the Years screenshots page)

 

This gallery shows the significantly improved quality of the latest release 2011 R1 in comparison to prior releases as well as some unreleased builds and (not to forget) original Ultima IX. 

For a quick overview, please take a look at the latest "Awesome screen". (Awesome Screen #11)

 

Greetings

Firstknight