Start a New Game

One of the new features coming in U3 patch 3.3 is the addition of a “Start a New Game” option. This option is added directly to the in-game main menu, and will reset your party, register, and all saved progress on the sosaria map (which included monsters, ships, moon state, and whirlpool location).

The reason why this is even a thing in Ultima’s 2 and 3 is that these early 1980’s games were designed to save your game state to “player” floppy disks. When you wanted to start a new game, you simply used a clean player disk.

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Bug found in U3 Upgrade 3.2

Well looks like there’s a nasty bug in patch 3.2. It turns out that the invalid action and invalid command sound effects both fail to clean up after themselves which could result in the game crashing.  The way I’ve been able to trigger it was to use an alt-command (like Alt-X) when entering an “other” command, or backspacing beyond the start of the command prompt.

I already have a fix checked in and it’ll be released in 3.3.

U3 Upgrade v3.2 – Sound Effects!

One of the most common requests I’ve received over the years has been for improved PC-speaker sound effects. I’ve now published Release 3.2 which contains this update. You can also check out the release notes or read more about the technical details of how it works.

For transparency, I started this project shortly after releasing v3.1 and had a working and tested driver, but hadn’t yet integrated it with the game. I had to put some extra crunch time in at work shortly after, and of course by the time I had the availability again my focus was elsewhere, thus the 2+ year gap. But I’ve had some renewed interest recently in getting this going again and wanted to get this wrapped up. I have a few ideas of other improvements to make, so I’m hoping I can put some time into them.

U3 Upgrade v3.1

I started work on this a few years ago after v3.0 was released, but for a few reasons, not the least of which was a job change and moving cross-country, I never followed through to make sure others could use it. Well thanks to some prompting from a user I finally gave the U3 Upgrade some much-needed attention. Version 3.1 is out!

This release adds a few gameplay fixes to the game and addresses a few issues/concerns folks had with version 3.0.

Read the patch notes…

An Upgrade 10 Years in the Making…

Grey Taphouse (VGA)

Well sort-of. I had worked on v3.0 off-and-on for the past 10 years, approaching it on four separate occasions. But the commitment to actually finish and release it would not have been possible without a certain key event a few months back – a hard drive failure. And on this hard drive of course was all of the unreleased work I had done on the Exodus Project. Of course that sounds counter-intuitive, but it did ultimately lead to a finished product. But before that happened, I made three other attempts to start work on the project.

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U3 Upgrade v3.0

I see the moons!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.

Lo, an update!

Hmm, what's this??!

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).