We did see a recent quote that Ultima Forever is going to be ‘pure BioWare’, which may or may not fall in line with what people feel old school CRPGs stood for. What value do you think that BioWare expertise does bring to the table?
As a player, when I fire up a game and see that BioWare logo hit the screen I know I’m about to have an immersive gaming experience with rich story and characters. Now we’re not Dragon Age or Mass Effect, we’re Ultima, and we saw an opportunity to go back to the old school BioWare magic with titles like Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights.
Looking at these games influenced how we present our conversation dialog, writing style, in-game cinematics, and harmonized really well with our virtue concept regarding ethical choice. I think this is a great time for BioWare to disrupt the RPG space in mobile.
The market is showing it’s ready for something beyond just another dungeon crawler and that’s what we plan to deliver with Ultima Forever.
As the game has actually been billed as a reboot of Ultima IV, can you tell us more about the common traits both games share, as well as any big new differences?
Similar landmarks, top down perspective, boats and familiar faces with the exception they may look a few years older as we’ve pushed the timeline 21 years later. These are a just a few of the things we have in common.
We are also leveraging the classic tale of meeting the mystical Gypsy and being pulled from Earth into Britannia. As for differences, the first big one that come to mind is we are no longer just an offline single player game. Now, as you travel through the streets of Moonglow, you’ll cross paths with other fellow adventurers. Perhaps you’ll even get lost in a conversation with a total stranger in the tavern in Britain, or meet a stranger at sea while exploring the world.
Your party companions are no longer NPCs, but instead your friends. The second biggest change would have to be how we’re handling combat. We’ve made major changes here. Turn based has been replaced with something more visceral.
You can now flank and time your attacks to take advantage of your enemy’s moment of weakness. It feels great, yet not overwhelming or overly complicated. It’s fun crushing your foes.