Hey folks, looks like it's been just over a year since my last update.
First off, I've moved the project source code from Sourceforge to Bitbucket. I had been considering this move for a while what with all of Bitbucket's great features and Sourceforge's ceaseless and often deceitful ads, but recent events with Sourceforge have pretty much forced the issue. First was Sourceforge's hijacking of popular opensource projects and bundling them with malware. And second is the ongoing and disasterous storage fault. I have some SVN projects there (including an experimental map viewer and wannabe Ultima game engine) that I still cannot access. I'm sure their engineers are working tirelessly and thanklessly to restore everything, but I just can't rationalize staying with them any longer. This of course left both Bitbucket and Github as potential new repo services. While the latter is certainly the more popular, I preferred the former for their free usage of private repos (whereas Github wants you to pay) as well as support for Mercurial in addition to Git.
Next, I've added some new downloads to the site for Ultima IV. While the U4 Upgrade and xu4 are both excellent, I was never quite satisfied with how the MIDI music sounded. I once (long ago) modified the MIDI music, did some minor resequencing, and chose a set of alternate instruments for each of the songs. It was personal preference, so I never quite released it, but I figured it's about time I hosted them here for others' consumption in case folks were interested. The U4 Alternate Music package works with BOTH the U4 Upgrade and xu4. The music for all the upgrade projects can also be downloaded as MIDI's or MP3's from the download page.
And last, I started work on one of the most popularly requested features: improving the quality and speed of the sound effects. I have an initial sound driver that works pretty well in Ultima III, but I'm currently optimizing for some performance edge cases. Once I have that straightened out I'll publish another release.
That's all the news I have for today!