2014-10-30 FW Patch Update
A quick update about the patch. I've found a rather annoying crash issue with one of my changes, so I'll be dealing with that over the next few days. I've also found it difficult finding the time and motivation to play through the game, which has slowed things down as well.
In other news, I'm looking for a texture/2D artist. The primary job I have available is adding talking animations to all of the npcs. The "animation" mechanic is nothing more than a series of facial images in various stages of mouth and eyebrow movement - basically it works like a gif. If interested, contact us via our yahoo email: forgottenworld2
Also, if you are part of the Ultima Dragon's facebook group, please vote in the Ultima IX poor dungeon design poll. I'm interesting in learning which dungeons had serious design flaws that hindered their enjoyment.
2014-10-19 Fixed and Fixes
It has been almost a month and I have some important news to relate. First up, our editor can now alter and add fixed objects. For some clarification, Ultima IX's maps are split into three files: terrain, fixed objects, and nonfixed objects. Terrain obviously deals with height maps, liquids (water and lava mainly), and ground textures. The fixed object file largely contains scenery and buildings; essentially anything that shouldn't be moved (ie fixed) and that doesn't need a property. In fact, nothing in the game can change fixed objects since fixed files aren't included in the savegame. Everything else goes into the nonfixed object file from scripting objects and npcs to items and effects to scenery and other fixed-like objects that must be moved, altered, or deleted. For some time now, we have had the ability to alter nonfixed files using several tools of varying capability, but with the addition of fixed file editing, we can now engage in more significant worldbuilding activities. While adding new objects is still very very rudimentary and the editor lacks terrain functionality, this does open up the possibility of expanding existing dungeons and building brand new underground areas.
As for Beautiful Britannia, I have made significant headway with incorporating much of my earlier patching work. At present, there are 23 fixes and polishes incorporated into the latest internal build of BB. Luckily, most of my fixes didn't require any work on the map files themselves. So I'll be preparing at least one more patch for the vanilla game, it will also give me the ability to properly test the fixes without running into any issues from the major town reconstruction going on in Cove, Minoc, and Moonglow for BB. By the way, if anybody would like to do a little testing with the vanilla version of the patch, just send us an email (see Contacts under Information).
2014-09-26 Back at it
So what has been happening since March. Well, I had a lot of distractions in April and my summer was particularly busy and demotivating. Also much of the past 6 weeks have been spent Banished in a medieval city builder. Of course, I built several Ultima towns including a somewhat limited recreation of U7's Britain increased to a population size of over 200.
Now what progress am I here to report. Well, I did my rewriting/reorganizing of the activity editor back in March and it is effectively finished apart from a bit of polishing and maybe a minor side feature or two.
More recently, I've attempted to do some reverse engineering with the executable and I helped Kirinn a bit with widescreen corrections. We ended up finding a few bytes in the executable (largely by coincidence) that govern the scale of all book GUMPs in the game. Pretty useful; especially for those that find the spellbook overlaps with the toolbar. For more details, check out the comments section below this post at the Codex.
Unfortunately, I've not had much luck in finding other useful bytes; however, I did find out that savegames store snapshots of various on-going in-game processes. These are largely spells, animation, and movement controller processes as well as a few special trigger processes like fade-in. This might prove somewhat useful at some point, but the processes are largely about stuff we don't intend to change. I'll probably do some more executable reverse engineering over the next few months.
On the programming front, I'm slowly advancing the triggers editor; reusing much of my GUI interface and internal code from the activity editor. Unfortunately, filling in the necessary details for 150 trigger commands will be quite time consuming even with the modular code I wrote for the activity editor, so it will be a little while before I'll have more news about this editor.
And finally, I've decided to start work on the types editor. The groundwork for this will help with the trigger editor's target type field (a parameter that selects the trigger target based on Usecode ID) by allowing me to quickly generate a drop-down list via the types database and typename flex file. At this point, I have created the code to read in and write out the types database. Typename is next on my list; followed by an editor for these two files.
That is all for now. Hope to have some news regarding a patch for Beautiful Britannia within a month or so. See you then.
2014-03-19 Site Updates
I've found myself tracking down memory lane (with the aide of the Wayback machine) and I've found a few things that I've sent toward to the Codex. Anyway, I got to going through the old versions and news from our own site and decided to improve the archival viewing. I've gone through all of the old news articles and fixed up the links as well as providing screenshot references to our archived screenshots located under the Legacy (version 1.0 of Forgotten World), BB Archive (screenshots from 2005 to 2011 of Beautiful Britannia), and Editor screenshot pages. I've also categorized all of the news by year and set up each year as a blog for easier viewing.
In addition, I've finally added the first of several status pages to our site, just check under Information. This first status page covers our level of tool development. Under the first tab, which is set to show by default, you can see how far along each tool is holistically. You can also click on each tool to find out how far along each components is coming. The last tab describes the color codes, which you should probably read first.
2014-03-15 Meanwhile in Britannia
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Ultima VIII. That journey that the Avatar took, quite unwillingly, in the sunless realm of Pagan. This journey will see the Avatar follow much darker paths and face his greatest moral quandary: remain on Pagan and allow the Guardian to add more worlds and power to his domain or doom the people of Pagan in the hopes of seeking out and stopping the Guardian.
Meanwhile in the far fairer lands of Britannia. The kingdom continues to recover from the days of the Fellowship and Imbalance. At the present time, we find the Revocanda has scarce seen any breakthroughs and Mariah now adventures to find the missing Moonstones. Join her in the first of a series of books simply titled the Recovery of the Moonstones. Volume 1: The Stone of Compassion
Finding yourself behind already? Don't worry about looking back through the news archive, we post links to all of our released books on the Forgotten World Downloads page.
2014-03-04 Welcome to version 3.0
Welcome Forgotten World and Beautiful Britannia followers to the our new site.
We have finally upgraded Joomla and with it we have made some changes to improve your browsing experience whether it be computer or mobile. We have created an account with Google plus for our screenshots, with an embedded gallery designed for both computer and mobile visitors. In addition, we can have implemented a menu bar across the top of the site with multi-layer drop down submenus. Must of the site structure itself is centered around our two projects and our combined efforts for modding Ultima IX.
With the transition, we have lost our poll feature and at present we will not be implementing a new one. So for the last poll from our 2.0 site, it appears that there is more interest in new special weapons over other minor feature additions; though, there were a few votes for cooking recipes.
No more news at present, but we will have something to show you soon.
2014-01-31 Fan Project Poll
The high number of votes in this past year's poll is astounding and encouraging. Congratulations to Ultima IX: Redemption on the fan project win for this past year. Even though your project is facing certain hurdles, we at Forgotten World have faith that U9R will reach a satisfying release and we eagerly await to play it when it does.
For those who voted for Beautiful Britannia, FirstKnight and the rest of team thank you for your support, and we hope to return on that support with an amazing year for Forgotten World and Beautiful Britannia.
And finally, we would like to thank the Ultima fandom for your continued faith and support in us and the other fan projects. As a token of our appreciation, we are making available one of more major books that we are writing for Forgotten World. You can find the book on the downloads page.
A toast for a wonderful year to come for Forgotten World, Redemption, and the many other projects.
- Iceblade, FirstKnight, and the Forgotten World Team
2014-01-20 The Start of a Promising Year
I have some good news to present as well as some changes to note. Firstly, I would like to welcome Fearyourself to the team. He will be helping us with DLL hacking the game's executable, so that we can do a lot more with the game than is currently possible with just external files. First up is developing a better error logging system so that we can better diagnose some of the more persistent crashes. Then we will move into hacking in a conversation DLL that will allow us to easily write new dialogue. We are not taking in dialogue writers at this time, but I'll let you know when we are. In addition, our previous DLL hacker HCl has returned and will be able to continue assisting us in some ways just perhaps in a more limited fashion due to his own time constraints.
I also have some big(ish) news to report on. Due to the world map being one large file, most every fix I make to the game would have to be duplicated for Beautiful Britannia. So I'm going to merge the patches project into Beautiful Britannia to save on time (and repetitiveness on my part). So don't expect the next patch until Firstknight is ready for his next release, but this should mean that the game world will be significantly improved from a bug perspective. No promises on NPC scheduling for Beautiful Britannia, though. Of course Forgotten World will have NPC schedules on top of new dialogue.
As for the poll, it looks like people generally want more magic in the game, so expect to see it be a useful (but largely optional tool throughout the game), especially within our much improved and larger dungeons - definitely going to be lots of places to explore in these bits.
Now for our next poll, we want to know what sort of additional features you would most like to see in the game. Note that each of these options will require DLL hacking in some fashion. Just a note about the new weapons option on the poll, this is referring to weapons like more kinds of hammers or poison blades. Crossbows will not be added into the game.
Also I added the new pictures of Moonglow to the Beautiful Britannia Screenshots page. Enjoy.
2014-01-12 A New Year
So a new year has dawned and Forgotten World sits with limited progress. As some of you may have seen, FirstKnight released some screens of his progress with Beautiful Britannia. If you haven't seem to yet, you can check it out here: http://ultimacodex.com/2013/12/beautiful-britannia-takes-us-to-moonglow-for-the-new-year/
One of the bigger issues that is impacting the future of Forgotten World (at least when it comes to the U9 story/NPC overall part) is that we do not have an engine coder that can work on creating a DLL hack for the game's usecode. Effectively a DLL Hack is a DLL that you have written that is called by the engine. For more information about DLL hacking, you can read this quick tutorial: http://hcl.solsector.net/exe_dll/dll_patches.txt . If you are a C++ coder who would be interested in assisting us with some DLL hacking, you can contact us at forgottenworld2 (at) yahoo [dot] com.
More news will be coming within the month.