2001-11-07: A Word from Stellerex

A Word from Stellerex

Nov 7 2001 12:01PM

This was originally posted to Development at[1]

Posted by Joshua Rowan on the Ultima mailing list 10/31/01, reprinted with permission:

“This latest Press Release from Electronic Arts prompted me to head back to Stellerex's Comments from the Team from September 5, 2001. Remember, the one where he kept saying that he was providing us hints of things to come if we just looked closely enough? Well, I'm happy to say that his code has finally been broken. It was so obvious, yet also so elusive. What was the code? Simple - The first letter of each sentence pulled out to create 3 separate phrases, as follows:
And best of all ----

First of all, hat’s off to Joshua Rowan concerning the hidden message in my last comments from the team. I thought it would be a fun way to tell people what the dev team is up to these days. I’m glad someone managed to figure it out. And to answer the next obvious question, no there are no hidden messages in this CFT. It gets dull doing the same thing twice.

But now that the cat’s out of the bag, I thought I’d take a few minutes to try to clarify the specifics for you. We’ve been working on a new addition to UO for the past couple of months, and it’s getting ready to go into QA pretty soon. So what’s in it for you, you ask? Well, let me tell you:

First of all, this new addition will contain both the 3D and the 2D clients. I know a lot of you have been concerned that we’re going to abandon one or the other. Nope. Sorry. Not going to happen. There are plenty of players who enjoy each client, so we’re continuing to support both, full steam.

Secondly, we are indeed going to provide access to Ilshenar for both clients. This new CD will contain the Ilshenar map, and it will be accessible to everyone who purchases the CD once it hits the shelves. We know it’s something players have been asking for since Third Dawn shipped, so it was an absolute ‘must’ on our feature list.

Third, you’ve all heard by now that we have an arrangement with Todd MacFarlane for monster concept art. We’ve collaborated with him to come up with a herd of new creatures, which will be released through the ongoing content team over the next 8-10 months. Some of the monsters will be shown in sneak previews in gaming magazines when the game launches, and we’re trying hard to make each monster different and interesting. And yes, this new CD will provide all of these monsters in both 3D and 2D formats. And while we were at it, we went ahead and made 2D versions of many of the monsters that have been released since T2A that are currently shown with placeholder art. You won’t see any more Orange horses standing in for Ki-rins or pea-soup green Ostards acting as stunt doubles for Ridgebacks. Even creatures like ghosts and demons will now have their very own 2D representations, rather than being hued versions of something else.

Not enough for you? Well, how about MP3 support? We thought it was about time we dusted off all of those old MIDI music files and remixed them as high quality audio files instead. And while we were at it, the thought came to mind that we could arrange it so that if you want your own MP3 files to be playing during combat, wandering through town, or wherever, why not provide that as a feature as well?

The end result is that we’re trying to send a message, and the message is important enough that it’s worth repeating: We’re committed to supporting both the 2D and the 3D clients going forward. They’re both doing very well now, and showing no signs of slowing down at all.

Stellerex Senior Producer Ultima Online