Spam Spam Spam Humbug 49 - Crafting Menus vs. Interactive World Features
The later Ultimas featured robust interactive world systems, which even allowed for objects to be combined to make other objects (e.g. bread). How does this relate to modern crafting systems in RPGs?

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This episode of Spam Spam Spam Humbug is brought to you by our Patreon backers; thank you to everyone who supports Spam Spam Spam Humbug and the Ultima Codex by that means. And, as always, a hearty thank you to our Patreon co-producers: Seth, Johnny, Dominik, Chris, Violation, Adam, Erik, Thorwan, Cody, Pascal, and Neil.

New Patrons & Shout-Outs

No new Patrons this week, but there will be a new bonus for Patrons. Now, for Patrons who pledge $2 or more, we will be releasing the unedited preamble audio, plus any after-rabble that ends up getting recorded. Normally, the 30-90 seconds of preamble that make it into the podcast episodes are just a small fraction of what gets recorded prior to the official start of the podcast episode; now you'll be able to hear what goes on behind the scenes.

New Ultima Dragons

Facebook: Tyler, Cid, Steve, Marcus, Charles, Isaac

UDIC: Patrjck Dragon

Follow-Up from Previous Episode

Pokemon GO - While the game itself is still going strong — it has been downloaded over 50 million times from Google Play, and about 75 million times in total — the good fortune it has brought to Nintendo has begun to fade. For about a week, Nintendo was — thanks to its surging stock price — worth more than Sony. However, after revelations that Nintendo isn't actually raking in a ton of money off of the game — which isn't to say that it isn't making tons of money, but rather is indicative of just how small Nintendo's stake in the game is — the company's stock price has begun to fall again.

Oh, and a PSA: If you're playing Pokemon GO out in the middle of nowhere, please do try and remain mindful of your surroundings, and don't inadvertently blunder your way across a national border. Or nuclear disaster areas, for that matter.

Weeks In Review

WtFD The Elder Scrolls Online (PC), Mage and Minions (Android), Pokemon GO (Android)

Deathblade - Gearing up for Shroud of the Avatar final wipe

Gradilla - Nothing to report

Helgraf Dragon Age: Origins, running a circus-themed murder mystery tabletop game

Linguistic - #AllTheJobInterviews (for which he got the job!), Technobabylon (PC), Torment: Tides of Numenera (PC)

Podcast Topic(s)

The Spam Spam Spam Humbug crew discuss crafting systems, a mainstay of modern CRPGs and MMORPGs, and whether or not these are the same thing as the interactive world features of e.g. Ultima 6 or Ultima 7 (hint: they aren't, and a big part of the reason why is that crafting systems are designed to be easily-repeatable components of the in-game economy, whereas interactivity features are meant to add depth to the game world, and don't necessarily need to be repeat-use-capable).

Content mentioned in the discussion:

  • Corv (project lead for Ultima IX: Redemption) discussing the results of some polls about RPG features that he ran.
  • Mark's comment on the Codex article about said poll results.
  • The Codex's interview with Bill Randolph, and in particular the section of that discussion which focused on the complexities of implementing interactivity features in a 3D game environment.

In Other News

Shroud of the Avatar - This week (well, the week in which we recorded the episode) saw the release of Shroud of the Avatar's Release 32 , which was accompanied by the final wipe. From now on, all player data (and characters) in Shroud of the Avatar is persistent, which means in turn that the land rush to place player homes has begun in the game.

Torment: Tides of Numenera - The beta test was released to all backers, and Linguistic had the chance to check it out.

Backspace - This was a game in development at Obsidian for a while. It was described as “a massive role-playing game featuring guns, time travel, and a nasty alien invasion, all built on Skyrim's engine, with Skyrim's Radiant AI system.”

No Man's Sky - Apparently, the game is not using Joahn Gielis' superformula in its procedural generation tech after all. Also, the PC release of the game has been pushed back an additional three days; it will now release on August 12th (whereas the console version will release on August 9th).

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Ultima VI Gates of Creation by OC ReMix