New screenshots at GameWatcher


Let me take my stab at speaking for the fan base, as everyone else has. I played every Ultima, and as I think we can all admit, even those with very tight art direction couldn’t be considered photorealistic. As such, I think we are all OK with the game not being photorealistic as well.

But here, I think, is the dissonance: Your team has been primarily focused on developing realistic game interactivity systems; a world simulation. As such, I think a lot of backers have come to expect a certain seriousness from the game. When the art assets have cartoony proportions, like the sword, door, and skeleton, it clashes with what people are expecting. I think the team has a lot of leeway to get creative with the art, but I think going a WoW route with the character design might underserved the effort you have put in elsewhere.


Well said. I hoped for a world simulation when it comes to mechanics and game play, and the appropriate visual style to create that perfect illusion to completely dive into.

You speak my mind. The original art got me excited beyond measure:

Strong colours there, too.

Looking Glass gameplay/mechanics paired with an immersive visual style, there can be no better thing. The substance gamer dreams are made of.

The original concept art and “Looking Glass” are the things that sold me on it and I backed without thinking much.

So, I guess it’s a yes? :-\


That is the same exact level.


Shaddy’s art is good poster art. But it’s also super safe. It is AAA all the way.
Impossible game art. OK not impossible, but that would be a 200 person team to pull off the poster art. You are looking at the art by the guy who did the concept art of Last of Us and Uncharted.
If that was interpreted as anything other than a ‘feeling’ piece, I apologize.


Here are a couple of shots, I’ll take more, but some jamoke broke movement controls so the only way I can get around a build is by jumping. But…since I love you guys, I suffered through it.

So as someone said, the hallway shot from a week or two ago is the same level, and the recreation of the entryway from 2 months ago are all the same assets. If you liked those, then please hold on to your potatoes, that is the goal set.

NOTE: the screenshot of the missing skeleton is a joke, that happened yesterday, i think it’s funny, and kind of looks like a shmoo.


Thanks for the screenshots.

Surely I didn’t expect the game to look like the art, I don’t think anyone did. I interpreted it as a direction, so I actually felt that piece. :wink:

The direction changed though and that leaves some fans with a certain uncertainty.


You mean do I want a (not photoreal but) game based on the original concept pitched and shown in the kickstarter where you asked backers for money? Yeah, that’s exactly what I want - and what I expected when I backed.


Wow, really? It most certainly was interpreted as much more than a “feeling” piece - it’s what sold me on the game! Of course I didn’t expect exact pixel for pixel reproduction of the original concept art, but I hope you’re not suggesting that the new cartoonish art has anywhere near the same “feeling” as that original concept art. If you never intended to make a game anywhere close to the original style, why was it plastered all over the Kickstarter and your site as a way to attract backers? I certainly don’t recall anyone ever saying, “Hey, this is great poster art, but our game characters won’t look anything like this…”

You’re saying it’s AAA art and very safe (if by safe you mean completely badass) - and my disappointment is that I thought I was backing a AAA game. And you basically state here that isn’t what I backed.

Given the response I’m seeing here, (Hey guys, you should have known that the way we pitched the original concept art had nothing to do with the style of our game…), I’m thinking backing this may have been a mistake. I would say more than an apology may be in order - perhaps a way to request a refund for those who are not on board with this significant shift may be in order.


Nice, that last skeleton screenshot is much better.


Agreed, much, much better.

Consider potatos safely held onto. Atmosphere is so important, and so hard to get right. If you were to ask what UU was in a nutshell, I would say darkness and light , in both senses.

Those latest screenshots show, if anything, how important the tweaks are. They also illustrate something else: if you’re going to have that slightly melted art-style, then it must be off-set by a fairly heavy light/dark contrast, and some grittiness to the shaders. In the end its the small things that will count, once the main production values are in place - the bits of moss, old bones, daggers…even the bits of stale old cheese. Those things made the place you believed in first time round.

Also, aA bit of Dante and some hades would work well, he says :smiley:

Nice to have a Virgil or some sort of guide showing you the way by torchlight for a short section…


Skeleton looks way better, maybe it’s the pose. And it’s good to see that there is indeed a source for the blue light. There’s still work to be done, but I’ll wait until I can see it all for myself to comment on that (really looking forward to that prototype update).

As for concept art, I was personally never a fan of the particular pieces posted above. They reminded me of old banner ads for some reason. But, I can see why some people feel misled. I just hope this weird bastard’s still in the game

Nice, that last skeleton screenshot is much better.
I agree. I get a much better feel for the environment from those pictures. Looks good!


You bet your ass he is.

I love that thing.


Glad folks are liking some of Chris’ more recent pics. Can’t wait for you to see it in motion – both in video and the next backer prototype update – later this month. That should give a much better and clearer impression of the direction we’re moving in than static shots.

Again, all of this – screens, concepts, and video – are work-in-progress, but with video and/or getting to play it yourself should paint a fuller picture of the direction than we can explain in words.

Stay tuned! Details pending.


Skull- I’ve replied to you privately.

As for false representation. Concept art is just that. Concept. Games, and film are not formed on the first day, or the first piece of art, or even the first idea. That is just not how it works.
A very public and good example is Star Wars. What we saw was a completely different story than it was originally, if you dig through McQuarrie’s concept art there is a pretty drastic style change from the early stuff to the later concepts. The early concepts were very 1930’s Flash Gordon, and the later you finally started to see where they landed with a ‘used modern’ look.
In the game space Borderlands. That ‘style’ didn’t come in until later. what it looked like before. Can you say, not a hit? That game would have bombed, with Rage coming out at the same time which was an inferior game, but looked 100 times better than those Gearbox screenshots.
We don’t do these things lightly. But the reality is we can’t go up against Ubisoft or Bethesda in the photoreal dept. We can develop a style that is unique to us, and that is what is happening. We are creating a style. Peoples visceral reaction is a good indicator of likes and dislikes. That’s good. Nothing as I continually say, is set in stone. Tweak to the shader, changes to the model, new ideas for lighting exc. But yes, we do believe in the idea of where we are going. Nate’s idea is sound. It’s not there yet, and yes, color scale and shaders are all part of that.


heh…interesting idea. The torch guide.
We have Dore’s artbooks in the office. His divine comedy work is an inspiration. We just haven’t thought about building anything like that yet.


Dore is wonderful…also look at his illustrations for Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner for underground water/ice caverns maybe.

Talking of art, for scenic inspiration you could do a lot worse than take a look at Dutch and Italian Biblical art…it’s telling just how good the spatial lay-out is…Rembrandt in his big set-pieces for instance. And Turner, Canaletto etc. Even the more two-dimensional early Italian artists have interesting perspectives. Something like the fore-shortened architecture of Giotto would work well in claustrophobic underground caverns…

And Breughel the elder etc for surreal horror and townscapes…

Anyhow, enough history of art :wink:


I’m with you on this. I would have preferred a less WoW style art, less blocky, less cartoony. I think they should have used a real-life human skeleton as the model which is plenty disturbing to look at. Also, darkness is really lacking in these shots. Darkness really adds to the feeling of danger and allows for surprise.


We have actually. And im never going to remember his name, but this super disturbing polish surrealist…I keep those for the nightmare areas. when I have more time, ill dig them out. Seriously disturbing pieces.


Yes. This. Combined with some of the other proposed mechanics makes me feel like I backed something completely different. I think most backers wanted UU with modern tech. I know I did.