The History of Looking Glass


Jimmy Maher (the “Digital Antiquarian”) has an outstanding article up on the origin (no pun intended) of Looking Glass Studios, née Blue Sky Productions.

This piece, the first of several about Looking Glass, outlines how Paul Neurath organized what became Blue Sky, how Ultima Underworld was conceived and built, and how the connection to Origin was both difficult and liberating… and how vital Warren Spector’s enthusiasm and creative/productive focus were to successfully delivering UU.

And if you read closely, you’ll see hints of Underworld Ascendant in there, too.

Don’t forget to read the comments as well!


Thanks for the link Flatfingers; as you say great article…about as close to time-travel as we’re going to get. There were games there I’d forgotten I’d forgotten about.

Also very instructive. ‘Embodiment’ as a term trumps all the others we’ve heard the last few years, not least because it gets the particular ‘and’ the abstract.

I was wondering when Doug Church (and even Chris Green) were going to get more of an airing…they deserve morepublicity than they’ve had. Every now and again someone suggests that Doug Church had more of a pivotal role than otherwise suspected…I think they’re right. I kind of proto- Seamus Blackley minus the loop-the-loops.

Good article. Also nice that the romanticism of ‘the early days’ is (mostly) reined-in, with the industry lapping-up that stuff now that it’s out of nappies.

I wonder if it was that ‘everyone doing a little bit of everything’ carry-over to the modern era that was partly UA’s undoing? (I doubt it, but still, you cant help but wondering…)

I also agree with the comment section point about factions etc and their importance. How we miss them, and what they enabled.


I knew I liked Warren Spector, but I didn’t know that he saved Underworld!
He gained way more than an eighth that day.