Spam Spam Spam Humbug 28 - Ultima Online

Spam Spam Spam Humbug chats with members of the Ultima Online team.

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Intro: Creation Theme, from the Ultima Online soundtrack.

Podcast Topics: This week, as a way of belatedly marking the 18th anniversary of Ultima Online (which actually happened back in September), Spam Spam Spam Humbug is pleased to welcome members of the Ultima Online development team from Broadsword Online Games.

The Past: Who's Who & Stories
Introductions from each member of the group from Broadsword, including how long they've been with Ultima Online. They also share favourite or funny stories from their time working on the game.

The Present: Time of Legends and Steam
We discuss the fact that Ultima Online is undergoing something of a renaissance at the moment; the pace of work being done on it, and the amount of new content being added, seems significantly higher now that Broadsword has taken over as developer. The Time of Legends expansion was released earlier this month, of course, introducing the Valley of Eodon as a setting within Ultima Online. And we ask what led to the decision to include this piece of Ultima history in the game? Why Savage Empire?

As well, Ultima Online was Greenlit on Steam some time ago; we ask briefly if there been any progress on bringing the game to Valve's storefront?

The Future: New Players & New Content
Then, the discussion turns toward the fact that we all want Ultima Online to keep on going for many more years, which this depends as much on bringing in new players as on keeping current players engaged.

  • Have new players been coming to the game already?

Is anything being done, from an artistic/graphics standpoint, to bring in new players?

  • Is the push to bring new artwork to the game — which was touted in recent years — still on?

Is anything being done, from a technical standpoint, to bring in new players?

  • Ultima Online has two game clients, of course, the Classic and Enhanced clients. Has there been discussion about streamlining things down to a single, unified client?
  • The progress on (and enhancement of) UO.com under Broadsword's stewardship has been amazing. Given the recent improvements there, and considering the limitations of Facebook as a community portal, will we be seeing more community features added to the site, similar to what it boasted in the early years of the game (including forums)?

Looking even further ahead, what other areas from classic Ultima lore might we see added to the game? Will we see continents such as the Serpent Isle realized in Ultima Online?

Outtro: Stones, from the Ultima Online soundtrack.