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Underworld Ascendant Update #23: Pre-Alpha Prototype coming this week

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Underworld Ascendant Update #23: Pre-Alpha Prototype coming this week

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 26 April 2016, 13:07:38

Tags: Chris Siegel; OtherSide Entertainment; Underworld Ascendant

The next version of the Underworld Ascendant prototype is due to be released later this week. OtherSide are calling it a "Pre-Alpha Prototype" (it's unclear how that relates to the "Pre-Alpha" of the $75 Kickstarter tier), and it'll be the first playable release to include proper graphics. Yesterday's update has the details:

It's true. You learn much going back and refining what you have already done. Over the past several weeks, we've been working hard to bring the Improvisation Engine's player-driven gameplay into a level crafted in game's new "Authored Look."

Our current "Pre-Alpha Prototype" also includes:
  • Both spells and swordplay are available.
  • Objects in the world are reacting to fire, air, earth, and plant spells, allowing for fun experimentation.
  • New collectables, loot, and runes are hidden throughout the map, often in randomized places. (Some are deviously hard to get to, but we have faith in your abilities.)
Since last month's screenshots showing of the game's new "Authored Look," we've made the space a bit darker and moodier and also added areas that are reminiscent of a classic 10x10 corridor dungeon crawl to show the contrast between an open space and a more intimate area. The shader has been tweaked, the reflectivity map has been updated, and much more.

It's still an early work-in-progress, but it's starting to feel real and you can begin to get a sense of the physical rules that govern the world around you.

For backers who have Prototype Access, you'll soon be able to play the Pre-Alpha Prototype yourself. Expect an email when the build is up on Steam later this week.

If you don't have access yet, you can still purchase it as an Add-On on our website here.​

The update also explains what's coming up next for Ascendant:

Going forward, the team will be making everything more robust: The spell and mana system, a more complete combat system, UI, and, of course, The Stygian Abyss itself. There's also a lot ahead with our bestiary and races, how they act, where the live in the world, and more.

One of the biggest tests upcoming is our Quest system, which will include both procedural quests and more conventional 'story' missions. The former will build out systems pioneered back in Ultima Underworld and System Shock, reacting to your solutions to problems and presenting challenges reflective of your choices.

Also, while we've concentrated on the spell system and laying the groundwork on combat, there's one more elusive skillset that we haven't talked too much about... Something particularly near and dear to Tim and I's heart.

Yep... Stealth.

We won't be doing a 1:1 version of Looking Glass' Thief: The Dark Project, but will provide stealth skills that let you short-circuit encounters through avoidance, escape, and trickery. For a thief, the success or failure of a melee encounter is often determined by how it begins. Preparation is hugely important. Stealth skills often call for careful preparation to take advantage of specific circumstances, requiring you to plan ahead in order to make your abilities count.

Of course, AI is a big part of making stealth gameplay work. Tim has already created the basic groundwork of the system, which is following pretty closely the original Thief model: speed matters, light matters, and sound is also important. Many baseline beasties might react like the guards in Thief, but you never know if some of the other fantastic creatures in this world will be fooled by your skulking ways.
There's going to be a video of the Pre-Alpha Prototype in action at IGN this week, as well as a set of interviews with the developers. OtherSide aren't very good at this marketing stuff, but it looks they're trying to get the hang of it.

There are 4 comments on Underworld Ascendant Update #23: Pre-Alpha Prototype coming this week

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