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 GOG.com 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.

Continue reading “An Upgrade 10 Years in the Making…”

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).

My Legitimate Excuse

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.

U3 Upgrade Maintenance

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.

Alas! An Update!

Well, I’ve unfortunately been getting swallowed up by loads of work and unpaid overtime. Not ideal. It has certainly been keeping me busy enough to delay the next release of the U3 Upgrade, but here it is, release 2.3! Mostly maintenance updates in this one, though.

In other news, I have added a U3 Tech Page to the site. It’s kind of bare right now, but I hope to add data file formats and such to this page for your reference sometime in the not-so-distant future. For now anyway, I have posted the source code for two of the utilities I’ve supplied with U3.