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Thread: Underworld Ascendant Pre-Alpha Prototype Footage

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004

    Underworld Ascendant Pre-Alpha Prototype Footage

    Last edited by Infinitron; 28th Apr 2016 at 20:15.

  2. #2
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    Also check out the longer, 9-minute clip.

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    I like some of the systems...yet, the art direction is somewhat cartoonish.

  4. #4
    I remember seeing the original Ultima Underworld game and marveling at how realistic (for the time) the game world seemed. The art direction for this one really does lend itself to that vision as Nate Wells implies was his goal. I like that it will project from that original style instead of being a complete re-imagining. The mood set by the lighting in this early demo is amazing.

  5. #5
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    While at first I wasn't greatly enamoured with the new "authored look" based on some recent stills that they shared on their newsletter, seeing it motion with the lighting and other systems makes it much more appealing. I also love the skeleton's animations including the exaggerated sword swings. I just hope that the devs don't go too far down the playful cartoonish side.

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2005
    I'm pretty sure those animations are placeholders as they look godawful. I'm not really sold on their "authored look" either. In this day and age it seems generic as fuck considering every other game has the same look (Bioshock/Dishonored/WoW/Star Wars ToR/every Moba, etc...). If they truly wanted to be original they would have gone for a photorealistic look.

  7. #7
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Jesus, the wooden doors in that video. Looks like they were meant to be viewed from much further away, like in an isometric engine. In fact the whole look reminds me of Dungeon Keeper's first-person mode.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manwe View Post
    If they truly wanted to be original they would have gone for a photorealistic look.
    Because nothing says originality like photorealism.
    Last edited by ZylonBane; 30th Apr 2016 at 14:08.

  8. #8
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, it's a very rough work in progress. It's not called a pre-alpha prototype for nothing.

  9. #9
    Classical Master 2008
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Civitas Quinque Ecclesiae HU
    The doors are very accurate depictions of moulded plastic pieces imitating wood in miniature gaming. Here is one from Dwarven Forge:

    You can see virtually the same texture. Whether you want that kind of thing in a game or not is another question.

    As for the pre-alpha... it is a pre-alpha. Anyone who has made a fan mission knows how rough things can look until right before the end. This game doesn't even have many of its subsystems in place - combat, AI senses, much of the environmental interaction thing - if you watch Fen's video, you can see even climbing stairs is a problem. So yeah, rough.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    Stylization, in order to create a unique visual signature, is one thing...yet, it is a mistake to place a phony plasticky coating on objects...Wood has to feel like wood. Steel needs to feel like steel...If it doesn't, the player is subconsciously reminded of that, which creates a break in immersion. This choice runs philosophically contrary to the other simulated systems presented in the demo.

    That being said, I understand this is in pre-alpha...and that is precisely the time to provide constructive feedback for the benefit of the project.

  11. #11
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Yeah, I don't want to feel like I'm running around inside a D&D Lego set. That's the thing about miniature design... it's intended to be viewed small, not filling your field of vision.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    Because nothing says originality like photorealism.
    When every other game on the market looks cartoony, yes it does. That's what originality means: standing out from the crowd, going against the trend.

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I have to confess that I don't play MOBAs and MMOs, so my knowledge is a bit limited in that regard, but as far as first person games are concerned, photorealism is basically the go-to solution, apart from a few exceptions like Borderlands, Dishonored and XIII.

    Not to mention that some games eschew photorealism by necessity, as it's not all that easy or sensible to make a photorealistic game that is isometric, top down or a sidescroller. Really the only genres it makes sense is either first person or over the shoulder third person.
    Last edited by Starker; 2nd May 2016 at 16:13.

  14. #14
    I think a stylized look that resembled hand-painted miniatures could be neat, but that this footage just looks like first-person Torchlight.

  15. #15
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    That's the strangest thing. I was minutes away from posting the same example (with Bastion and a number of other Indie games made with Unity), which is probably a telling sign.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Why Bastion? You may like or dislike that game's look, but it's a very unique look and entirely different from "other indie games made with Unity", or from the alpha footage we've got.

  17. #17
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Australia
    And Torchlight's style was ok at the time as well. It wasn't a criticism, just a comment that the authored look is not that much different than a number of other games that I've seen made with Unity (my point wasn't that all games made with Unity look this way).

  18. #18
    Torchlight's style is great...for an isometric action RPG. It's not really a world I want to explore and interact with in first person, though.

  19. #19
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    Perhaps a better parallel would be Dungeon Defenders. It has a similar styalised look that works with the cartoon violence. It's a bit jarring to see similarities in what I hope will be a game aiming to be a bit more mature.

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Don't worry, it's not going to be a cartoony game. It will look much more gritty in the final version with shaders and whatnot. The door looks plasticky right now, because it doesn't have wear and tear on it.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004

  22. #22
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    1) The plastic coating that this dungeon is double-dipped in, looks especially bad on the colossal statue (triple-dip!).
    2) The Disney-esque look is out of place philosophically for an immersive simulation involving deeper systems.
    3) Combat feels awkward and cumbersome.
    4) Skeletons wouldn't make sounds like that...further contributing to the non-serious nature of the experience.
    5) When armed, the character's sword waves around in front of their face when walking forward...Feels unnatural and annoying.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Just a reminder that this is not a product about to be shipped. Animations, polishing up the game mechanics, shaders, sfx -- it all takes time and nobody is going to waste it on a prototype. Also, it actually looks better when you're in the game and not watching it on a compressed video over the internet.

  24. #24
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2009
    Location: The Spiraling Sea
    I am perfectly aware of the circumstances...

    Quote Originally Posted by Vae View Post
    I understand this is in pre-alpha...and that is precisely the time to provide constructive feedback for the benefit of the project.

  25. #25
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Vae View Post
    2) The Disney-esque look is out of place philosophically for an immersive simulation involving deeper systems.
    Don't say dumb things.

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