2001-04-30: Comments from Adrick

Comments from Adrick

Apr 30 2001 8:36PM

This was originally posted to Development at[1]


My last comments were back in November around the time of the UO World Faire, an event I enjoyed very much. It was fun to meet the players and hear what the community had to say about the game and the future from their individual perspectives.

In these Comments, I thought I would take some time to let people know what it is I’ve been doing over the last several months and what I am currently working on.

Right after the Faire, I was given the assignment of managing a new project - localization - from the design side. What a task it was, and we are still working on it! It was a huge learning experience for me, and even to this day the magnitude of what we had to do is mind boggling. Our goal was to make the game accessible to non-English speaking players with as minimal an impact on our current playerbase as possible. This was challenging, because when the game was originally designed it was not done so with the intent that it would be localized. Many things had to be rewritten - some from scratch - to accommodate our supported languages. During this process I learned a ton about how the game works. I was on the project for about 4 months and over its course I made changes to over 500 scripts - the biggest portion were all of the gumps in the game. Things like the house gump, the faction gumps and the guildstone gump had to be rewritten to allow them to be localized. So why localization? I’ve heard that question a lot. The reason we localized UO is to expand our playerbase by bringing UO to people that would not have any interest in playing the game because of the language barrier. The result of this is that as the UO playerbase grows, our resources from the development side will as well. The current team is the largest ever in the history of the game - the prospect of a growing and expanding playerbase is what allows us to do this, and that means better quality content delivered on a more regular basis.

Now that Third Dawn has shipped, the designers have once again been given areas of the code to manage. I‘m very pleased to be working on the faction system, the guild system, and all player/player interactions such as reputation, trade and the party system. All of these areas are of great interest to me, and as we move forward it will be my primary focus both to clean these systems of bugs and exploits and to stabilize them. I am currently working on fully documenting these systems and identifying the bugs that need to be fixed.

I’m particularly excited to be working again on the faction system and building on the initial design that I helped write and code when I first joined the team almost a year ago. I think the faction system can be improved and expanded in many ways. The area I am most concerned about is the amount of blue interference that is occurring in and around the strongholds and in the 8 faction towns, and I am working on several ways to limit this or remove it altogether. In addition to this problem, I'll also be focusing on other bug fixes and balancing issues over the next few weeks. The second area I am responsible for is the guild system, which I think is one of the most important systems in our game. It is a great community builder and organizer, and a way for people to work together towards a common goal. I expect to be spending a lot of time making these two systems work together, as they overlap in many areas and depend a lot on each other. The final area (player/player interactions) is also a challenge. I’ll be responsible for making sure that these interactions are bug and exploit-free (mostly regarding scams), and working to provide the players with a comfortable experience when interacting with other players (at least from a game mechanics standpoint).

Well, that’s it for now - thanks again for your time, and as always feel free to contact me at my email ([email protected])or on the boards with suggestions, ideas and concerns.

Take care,

Pete “Adrick” Warner Designer - Ultima Online