UPDATE: Aelita, the Abyss, and More!

Sam Luangkhot

Hey Everyone,

It’s springtime in The Stygian Abyss!

To celebrate the new season, we have a host of new updates to share for Underworld Ascendant, including the new Key Art we have featured below!

PCGamer Interview with Paul & Warren at SXSW

Many thanks to everyone who attended or tuned into our PC Gamer exclusive panel at SXSW, where OtherSide’s Paul Neurath and Warren Spector were interviewed by Editor-in-Chief Evan Lahti about what players can look forward to when exploring the Abyss.

If you missed it, you can watch the full panel in its entirety right here.

If you haven’t already, also make sure to subscribe to the official Underworld Ascendant YouTube channel for all the latest trailers, news, and updates by clicking here.

Narrative Cast Spotlight: Cabirus & Aelita

The clip shown during the SXSW panel provided a spotlight of some of the game’s major narrative cast, such as your enigmatic advisor Cabirus and roguish ally Aelita.

As a treat to our newsletter and forum fans, you can watch the clip here.

The video begins with the first in-game footage of Cabirus, who, as you know, is voiced by fan-favorite Stephen Russell (Thief: The Dark Project Fallout 4, Dishonored 2).

You then get to hear the first in-game dialogue by Aelita, who is voiced by the incredible Fryda Wolff (Mass Effect: Andromeda, XCOM 2, Fallout 4).


Fun Fact: Fryda provided VO for an early demo of Underworld Ascendant, as a rogue character who later grew into Aelita.

To pull a few lines from her character description, Aelita is: “A charismatic anti-heroine and dynamic adventurer. Larger than life; death-defyingly clever.”

When not away on adventures, Aelita acts an intermediary between the player and the game’s three conflicting Factions. She advises you on how to survive the Abyss and how to navigate the intricacies of dealing with the Factions.  Because the Abyss is such a deadly environment, Aelita is regularly surprised that the player is still alive.  She’s also been known to make the occasional savvy trade.  As an exclusive treat for our followers, we’re sharing concept art of her character, which was created by character artist Pete (BioShock Infinite) Anderson.

As an exclusive treat for our followers, we’re sharing concept art of her character, which was created by character artist Pete (BioShock Infinite) Anderson.

We’re big fans of both Stephen and Fryda’s work on the game and can’t wait to share more on their characters soon.

New In-Game Screens

We’re also debuting a new batch of screens, including a look at a few new environments and some dark, claustrophobic spaces in Underworld Ascendant that fans requested to see.

The first level of Underworld Ascendant may be especially notable for longtime fans of the series because it’s a modern follow-up to the first level of Ultima Underworld®.

As you may know, that level was designed by Paul and introduced players to The Stygian Abyss, and, according to many, the Immersive Sim genre. There are more than a few notable landmarks that fans will enjoy, as well as that game’s signature moldy cheese and other questionable food items.

It’s also our “un-training level” where we try to break players from assumptions they might’ve brought in from other games and how to teach them to teach themselves within the deep immersive sim environment.

You’ll see and hear more about it in future updates… and in the upcoming Backer Alpha.

Introducing: Dev Diaries

Last week, in honor of Ultima Underworld®‘s 26th Anniversary on March 21st, we posted the first dev diary of an ongoing series we’ve been working on with our publisher, 505 Games. For those of you who have been out of touch with our progress since 2015, or could use a refresher, these videos are behind-the-scenes shots at what it’s like working on Underworld Ascendant and what we’re trying to accomplish.

Don’t forget to share these with your friends and other fans who are just hearing about the game! We have more of these in the works, so let us know if there’s anything you’re interested in seeing!

You can watch the first of the Dev Diaries here on YouTube.

A Particularly Revealing Bug

As you know, we like to post regular progress reports on our forums and peeks at fun bugs and the like on our social accounts.

We recently posted the following clip showing a physics bug affecting an in-game rope, which it got people’s attention… for reasons different than originally intended.

In the clip, you can hear a snippet of previously-unrevealed in-game audio that and our forums and Twitter quickly started lighting up with comments like, “phenomenal,” “some real Thief vibes coming through,” and “the atmosphere here is haunting!”

To give credit where it’s due, that’s the stellar work of our audio director Jim Bonney (BioShock Infinite, Mafia III, Perception). Our director and writer Joe Fielder recently mentioned on our forums, “Jim’s a phenomenal talent and one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked with. It’s amazingly fun to collaborate with him and I’m really confident that he and the rest of our audio team are going to make the game sound great.”

That clip also gave a peek at our current progress on refining darkness and light in The Stygian Abyss, which we’ll have more to share about soon.

The Final Developer Roundtable

Thanks to those who made it to our last, but not least, Developer Roundtable last month. You can read the recap and discussion on our forums here, or watch the archive on YouTube.

If there’s a question we missed or you’re curious about what our stage of development is like, let us know on our forums.

Fresh Insider Blog!

Esports stadium with a victory screen and lots of confetti raining down upon the competitors as the winning team is awarded
We have a new insider blog available, written by Senior Designer Chris Siegel!

You can read the blog post here on our site.

The password is available here on our Kickstarter: (backers only!)

 

What’s Next? PAX East!

While we won’t have a public demo at PAX East, we’ll be demoing Underworld Ascendant behind closed doors for press and influencers, and giving them a chance to play the games themselves.

Expect new articles, screenshots and maybe even some new footage afterwards…

Best,

The Team at OtherSide

In Other News…

In case you missed it:
* What makes Thief so special? Paul Neurath talks with Ars Technica about his personal history behind Thief and how the stealth system was designed

* How prepared are you for re-entering the Abyss? Check out our weekly polls and test your knowledge before we launch this year!

* 0451: A Statement of Design Intent by Campster

* We were featured in Edge UK this month! You can pick up your own copy here.

* Retro Gamer covers the history of Looking Glass