New screenshots at GameWatcher


Or worse since you know, we don’t have 100 artists and 4 years.

So authored style:This screen by Will shows what we are going for maybe more than any other screenshot. Here is will holding the clay concept door, and the door in engine.

As for the skeletons what we are aiming for is what a skeleton minature looks like…not a skeleton…if that makes any sense.
Look at these skeletons made by the very talented Otherworld Minatures for example.


I think that’s quite the intent. It’s a reaction against the grim and dreary art of modern fantasy games, which tends to get all the more brown and gray in underground settings. By pushing away from that, they’re able to create something that looks colorful and fun, without being outright cartoony. And yes, I think the proportions are intentionally a bit off like that to eschew realism.

I mostly really like it, although I do think there’s a slightly plastic sheen to many of the textures that I would like to see diminished.


Chris, are you aware that those screenshots have been posted on a bunch of sites across the web and lots of people seem to hate the look of the skeletons?

I don’t think you have to abandon the “authored look” but there’s probably something you could do to improve.


To keep it laconic:
The skeletons are crap / rubbish / skittles.


I’m the opposite. And literally, we have enough realistic looking games nowadays. Please point out any games that have stylized their art in recent years.

The screenshots look great, I am looking forward to playing it!

I wouldn’t call the style whimsical, but I love it.


Reflectivity shaders are rather high.


I know. I said “I hope”, but if you can’t made different models of the skeletons, based on the different races, for me will be ok anyway. ;D

Will showed this screenshot this night on Steam. Seems a good art-style to me. :smiley:


Well, seems like UA is going in the right direction then.


Personally, I’m not feeling it. There’s way too much colour, the colours are poorly-chosen and the proportions look a bit off. It looks very busy and has none of the “grittiness” I always associated with Ultima Underworld.

And as someone who works with fantasy miniatures a lot, I don’t really understand the comparison to miniatures. If I was making a miniature door, I wouldn’t carve it out of plastic or putty, I’d make it out of actual wood so it has a real wood texture.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the fact they’re trying to make something unique and distinctive. It’s too early to start judging the game based on a pair of screenshots.


Wow! A lot of people’s opinions are inversely proportional to my own… The art is magnificent, and makes the Underworld sparkle and look alive. Keep 'em coming, guys!

P.S. When will we see the first trailers?


Those look great, and here is the thing; Personally, I actually really like the handcrafted nature of the modeling, even the skeletons (I like the skeletons) and that clay door is lovely.

The catch is that you make photos of these handcrafted items that exist in the real world, coated in natural lighting, probably the number one element that makes nature so beautiful (praises sun). The screenshots kinda burn retinae a bit (slight exaggeration). This is kind of the issue I’m having with it. It’s not much about the colour, or cartoon look, but the visual excess of colour temperature.

I wouldn’t even argue with the term “realism”, but “natural”. Nature is the definition of beauty, you create a natural looking, handcrafted world and paint it with acid (slight exaggeration). :smiley:

I respect your artistic choices (and the handcrafted look is a good one in my opinion), but the excessive colouring seems to be causing the most of backlash. What about a filtering option, so people opposed to acidic paint could stay calm?


sure all are valid points about the lighting.
there is also still something slightly off with the shader…plastic is the right word for it.
All valid points folks, but it is still a WiP.


What do you mean with “WiP”?


WIP means “work in progress”, and this is where stuff is shown and feedback is given. So we’re having a typical developer/community interaction situation, nothing to feel bitter about on both sides (just a little maybe). :smiley:


Work in Progress.
Yeah, nothing to feel bitter about at all. Everyone has likes or dislikes. There are so many lenses to look at something through–the developer lens, press lens, and fans is another. Each are valid, and each see things differently.


Hi…I played UU a huge amount back in the day, and got fairly obsessed with it (LAPC-1 etc), so was excited to see the come-back, and even moreso with the first few shots, esp the cover-box-art style entrance…but the latest ‘authored’ shots look over-board to me, lacking the required darkness, grittiness, and sense of wormy dank. Ok, so the original pixelation and short draw-distances required much imagination…but no bad thing.

The latest pics look like early LucasArts Monkey Island-meets-garish-fairground to me, almost roller-coaster-ghost-ride caricature. The underworld should be dark, IMO, with small-scale exploration and claustrophobia…perhaps mitigated by large cavernous spaces, but not dominated by them. That said, perhaps they are used in the shots because they make for better publicity and show a wide-range of assets.

Maybe I’m just happy with a few dabs of grass, and some old chewed bones and rats on the floor ;D

And what’s with the Turkish brothel lighting shader?

I realise much will change; but I was hoping for that hemmed-in sense of dark discovery. Shorter draw-distances, ironically, would help. What about that old cheat, underground mist?
To me the game should be fundamentally psychological, not graphical, and certainly not Scooby Do. I actually loved the frame-boxed view of the original, and short draw distances.You never knew what was around the corner. Which is what the game in essence, to me. At least roll the art-work in some dirt and grit down the line, please. Art-deco-moved-sideways-wonky won’t really work for the Underworld IMO.

Otherwise I’m a huge fan, honestly:)

Funny how a couple of screenshots can take the rug out from under you as an admirer…hope to be back onboard soon…


In general I think the screenshots look great. The environment is big and awesome, I like the models in general, and the the colors are good (except that they’re perhaps a bit too…sharp and harsh?).

My biggest concern is, as others have already stated, that the textures all seem too plastic-y or clay-like. Plasticlay. This is a problem I had with the textures in the Bioshock games as well. It can work for certain materials, but when everything has a plasticlay look, it gets a bit weird. In my opinion wood, bone, and metal shouldn’t be plasticlay (especially rough or rusty metal) to name a few. It seems to me the best surfaces for the plasticlay look would be clay, smooth stones and rocks, wax, certain sculpted things made out of materials such as jade and ivory, and things like that.

Still, it’s looking great overall, and I can’t wait to switch from playing the prototype playground to something more like this!


Yeah, the overly reflective/covered in grease look is like the #1 thing to avoid. I’ve only ever seen people comment on it negatively in all different kinds of games. I generally like the style going here but stone should still have grit and that wood door should still look dry and like it’s made of wood and so on. Some of the surfaces in those screenshots look like they belong in a wet grotto rather than a lava cavern.


The palette is brilliant. I’m all for the wacky, ambient, outlandish colour style that is going on here. A lot of people will not like this, nor be immersed by it, but I think it’s great.

That being said, the overall scene here looks extremely average. Everything looks like it’s made of / coated in wax. People saying it looks like 90’s CGI are on the money.

I hope you have something more telling in store for people soon, because ultimately most people will see this “authored look” as a lazy attempt at graphical fidelity that also happens to totally deviate from your originally pitched concept art. I would hate for this to happen, because your direction for palette and art style is great, and if done correctly will add a timeless authenticity to the game. At the moment, however, it’s just circulating the internet and getting your efforts trashed.


Haha yeah it does. Rendered in Lightwave on an Amiga.

That just makes me nostalgic though. I remember watching cutscenes from games in the mid-90s and thinking one day games are going to look as good as that. To me all modern games look good, I stopped caring about graphics years ago.