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Ultima VI Nuvie Interview at The Ultima Codex

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Ultima VI Nuvie Interview at The Ultima Codex

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Sun 22 July 2012, 10:16:16

Tags: NUVIE; Ultima VI: The False Prophet

The Ultima Codex offers a brief interview with Eric Fry, the developer behind Ultima VI Nuvie, a re-writing of the Ultima VI engine "using the original game data" and including some new features such as fullscreen support. Have a snip:

Ultima VI’s original interface was somewhat clunky to say the least. What are some of your least favourite aspects of the original?

Funnily enough I actually liked the old keyboard interface. I didn’t like the key system though. I thought it should have automatically found the corresponding key in your inventory and opened the chest or door for you. This was one of the first enhancements that went into Nuvie. I think the thing that really got me with the original was the rest system. I always wanted a rest until sunrise option. Another thing that I thought spoiled the game for me was the spam cheat. I couldn’t help myself. I always spammed up items. It was just too tempting. Obviously it’s great now while developing Nuvie. I probably use it 5 to 10 times a day.

Being a 20 year old game, is there any aspects of the original code you’ve found particularly difficult to decipher, or are particularly arcane today?

As I mentioned before, most of the original game logic is hard coded in the game.exe file. This included weapon/armour stats and all the monster/npc worktypes and object usecode. This greatly increased the amount of effort required to reverse engineer the original logic. I had to disassemble the original game.exe and go through the assembler code line by line looking for the original game logic. I’ve never seen the original Turbo-C code, but I can imagine it was a bit of a mess. There are massive switch statements in the game which were quite convoluted to trace though! The magic system for example runs out of a giant switch statement with 80+ cases.

Savage Empire and Martian Dreams, I can’t wait to see them being supported. Are there many differences under the hood between those games and Ultima VI?

Martian Dreams and Savage Empire have a few differences when compared to Ultima VI. They use a new font system and have some new conversation operations. They do seem to be more similar to each other than to Ultima VI. I think the main thing is they are a lot smaller in scope. Hopefully once Ultima VI support is done we will be able to implement Martian Dreams and Savage Empire quite quickly. I think having them freely available through GoG.com will also help in gathering support for their development in Nuvie.​

For the full interview, click here.

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