After 10 years of waiting, I’m happy to announce that the next major release of the Ultima III Upgrade – version 3.0 – is now available for download. This release includes many new features and fixes, the foremost being ability to select between four different video modes:
- VGA 256-color mode new!
- EGA 16-color mode
- CGA Composite 16-color mode new!
- CGA 4-color mode
VGA is, of course, the new highest color mode available. But less well known that Ultima 3 was actually intended to be played in CGA Composite mode, where it looks more like the Apple II version.
In addition to the above, you now can now display the actual moon phases, instead of just the numbers 0-7. Furthermore, the Exodus Project is now fully open source!
Please check out the status page for the full scoop and download it here.
Oh, and none of this would have been possible without a hard drive crash. Ironic right? The back story is forthcoming.
Here’s another image from the same source. It definitely not VGA, it doesn’t look like EGA, and it’s more colors than we’re used to seeing from CGA. But if you look closely, note the mountains… why are they a mix of red and blue? In fact, it looks almost like the Apple II version of Ultima. But it’s not. What is it?
Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve updated anything on this site. (Nearly 10 years, wow!) But I felt it necessary to at least post something that I’ve been working on that might be of interest. There’s a bit of a backstory surrouding the circumstances that generated image above. There’s also even more in the works than just this. More to come soon(tm).
I learned something this week. You would think I should have learned this a long time ago, and whether or not that is true, I re-learned it now. Don’t put in overtime. It’s just not healthy and it’s bad for the morale. That, of course, is easier said than done, and it’s too bad I won’t be able to stick to that commitment.
Oh, and this was that excuse I was telling you about earlier this month. As if my energies aren’t spread thin enough, I have another pet project now. Yippee!
Please ignore me, I’m feeling cynical at the moment.
As for Exodus, I have set a goal for myself, but not a deadline. I expect to begin rearchitecting the U3 Upgrade soon. This new design will be a driver-based model whereby all video and audio functions will be removed from the executable and stored in driver objects. The advantage to making this change is ease of code modifications in the future. Eventually, it will be implemented in all upgrade projects.
Yes, it has been quite a while since I made any updates, and for that I apologize. Lack of updates such as these seem to be the first sign of sites that begin their slow recession into obscurity, only to eventually be annexed in the halls of ancient web history. While that may happen some day in the future, as all good things must reach their own inevitable ends, let’s hope it doesn’t happen anytime soon.
Fortunately, I have a legitimate excuse for my absence. Whether you like it or not is entirely up to you, but rest assured it is legitimate. I just can’t tell you what it is… yet.
Anyway, as for the reason I’m making this update — I have a new release of the U3 Upgrade. This version fixes a mess with the AutoSave override. It seems the overworld map would not restore properly when leaving Ambrosia. That is now fixed.
While this site may appear to be dead every now and then, I can assure you it is not. In addition to my full time job, I’m taking two classes this semester that have turned out to be more demanding than I had expected. Development is progressing, albeit at a snail’s pace. To prove it to you, I have a new version of U2 available which adds some new content that continues my previous work and also fixes a create character bug.
I have another release of the U3 Upgrade available that fixes an AutoSave bug. It also adds a new feature: the ability to reset the Sosaria map if you want to start a new game. Read about it here.
I’ve also included the edited MIDI files from the U5 Upgrade for download.
Done! Read about it here and download it here.
And in other news… I updated the about pagewith some more detail on the purpose of the Exodus Project. And it looks like I might be getting ready to start Phase III of the U3 Upgrade Project fairly soon.
On the newsgroup, Ophidian Dragon reported a bug with the U3 Upgrade – it seems that the game still autosaves your party when a character dies in combat. I will try to have an updated release available for this bug at the earliest opportunity.
I know I’ve been fairly silent for the past month on this page, but as those who read the RGCUD newsgroup are aware, I am working on another upgrade: Ultima V with MIDI music. I am pleased to say that the results have been fairly good. I have it all working with the exception of the endgame.
There were a few on the newsgroup that suggested I write for both the Atari ST version of the music and the C64/Apple II versions. (the latter being my preference) Both versions apparently had the same score, they just played different music at different points. While this at first seemed like a daunting task (even deciphering the first half of the code was somewhat difficult – it was compiler generated), it resulted in a much more robust design for the midi upgrade. The program makes a few key calls into a separate midi driver loaded at run-time. It has made me rethink my approach to U2 and U3 in a way that would allow for easier updates in the future… and possibly allowing me to overcome the shortcomings of midpak.
But anyway, I’m rambling on with info that’s better saved for a readme file. Hopefully this weekend I will throw up a project page for it. And in a few weeks I should have a download available. In the mean time, you can look at this if you want something to drool over. Keep checking back, and so long for now!
Finally, the U2 Upgrade is complete. Release 1.0 is available on the download page. You can read all about it here. If you don’t want all the details, then let me say just this – you can now disable autosave, save on galaxy maps, and save on your vehicle. Oh, and most of the text is lowercase now, too!
I’ve also added two more related packages to the downloads page: Xenerkes Dragon’s Ultimatrix, and Wiltshire and Aradindae Dragon’s U4 VGA/MIDI Upgrade!