UPDATE: Backer Beta, New Narrative, The Old Underworld, & More
With November quickly approaching, it’s time to highlight some aspects you can look forward to seeing in Underworld Ascendant!
Starting with, of course:
BACKER BETA NOW AVAILABLE
Our Backer Beta build is now available for Journeyman level backers and above! ($35+)
Please log into your BackerKit to access the Steam key under the Digital Downloads page. This is currently available for only Windows; we will update our Mac and Linux backers when a build is available!
Note that unlocking the Beta access on Steam does NOT mean you are locked into downloading Underworld Ascendant on Steam for your final digital download when the game launches. We are still in talks with GOG about a DRM-free release.
If you had access to the Backer Alpha/Pre-Alpha build, you do NOT need a new Steam key. The Underworld Ascendant app should update on Steam to the Backer Beta Build.
For more information on what’s in the build, what you can expect, and a feedback form, check out our site here.
THE BACKBONE OF THE ABYSS: THE SURVIVORS
Over the last several months, our narrative team (writer/director Joe Fielder and writer Crispin Boyer) have been working with OtherSide Austin studio head Warren Spector to further refine and finalize Underworld Ascendant’s story.
- Several new roles have been added, as we’ve expanded the population of characters within the Saurian town of Marcaul to include mediators to the Factions and more.
- The player’s nemesis Typhon is no longer a slumbering primordial nightmare, but is now an active taunting threat, full of menace and… wow, yeah, he’s actually really damn scary.
- The game now includes VO support for Memora, which are captured memories from major characters detailing important events and secrets of The Stygian Abyss. These are found as quest items in main quests and also hidden in dark and often difficult to access areas that only the clever and capable can find.
- Final recordings took place several weeks ago! Those have since been processed, implemented within the game, and delivered to our Localization team for translation.
- We are currently bearing down on locking down all in-game text, including bits of series lore and lizardman graffiti hidden throughout the lower levels of The Stygian Abyss.
Last, but not least, we’re proud to announce our phenomenal voice cast, which includes such talents as:
- STEPHEN RUSSELL – Stephen is well-known to longtime Looking Glass fans from his role as Garrett in Thief: The Dark Project and Thief II: The Metal Age. He’s had many other memorable roles since then, such as Nick Valentine and Codsworth in Fallout 4, Corvo in Dishonored 2, and more. In Underworld Ascendant, Stephen plays Cabirus, a ghost from the series’ past who acts as your enigmatic advisor.
- IMARI WILLIAMS – A voice performer with such game credits as World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and XCOM II, Imari plays Typhon, the ‘Father of Monsters,’ who was imprisoned by Zeus beneath The Stygian Abyss and the player must stop from breaking free. Imari was chosen for the role from dozens of auditions because of his incredible timing and thunderous, bone-rattling performance.
- FRYDA WOLFF – A voice talent known for her work in the Mass Effect series, World of Warcaft, XCOM 2, and more, Fryda plays Aelita, the charmingly-opportunistic Outcast who runs The Midnight Forum, a key location in Marcaul where the player chooses contracts from the Factions, trades equipment, and more.
- DAVE FENNOY – Perhaps best known to game fans for his stellar work as lead character Lee Everett in Telltale’s The Walking Dead Season 1, Dave plays Resherak, the keeper of the Memoreum, a vast repository of survival knowledge in Marcaul where the player trades their discoveries in exchange for memories of great heroes of the past.
- KERI TOMBAZIAN – A performer with credits ranging from Grand Theft Auto V to Batman: Under The Red Hood, Keri plays the two important roles in Underworld Ascendant: Saurian Mediator Haprukala AND the Expedition Faction Leader, Executor Rubric.
- LIAM O’BRIEN – A talent known for his work in Critical Role, World of Warcraft, Pillars of Eternity II, and the Mordor series, Liam helped bring to life many of our Saurian and Chthonian characters and also plays a role… we’re not discussing quite yet.
- TERRI BROSIUS – A well-known name to fans of Looking Glass games, Terri plays SHODAN in the popular System Shock series and contributed to Thief: The Dark Project, Thief: The Metal Age, Terra Nova: Strike Force Centauri, and Dishonored 2. She plays the role of the Deep Elf Faction Leader in Underworld Ascendant.
Our voice cast also includes the talents of SARAH ELMALEH (Gone Home, Final Fantasy XV) NEAL KAPLAN (BioShock Infinite, StarCraft II), and FRED TATASCIORE (Mass Effect, World of Warcraft) whose roles we’re also not revealing quite at this time.
We can’t wait for you to hear them all in-game!
UPDATES & VARIATIONS IN THE ABYSS
We’ve mentioned in previous updates that we’ve been expanding the variety of enemies and potential allies you can encounter in the Abyss, and who better to start with than our favorite Skeletons?
Our Tier 1 and Tier 2 Skeletons can now equip a couple of different weapons, which should give you pause when assessing any encounter with them. Make sure you’re aware of their range and the risks of engagement, especially if a Skeleton seems to look slightly different…
Additionally, notice how the armor and design of an enemy may give you a hint about how they’ll interact with a stranger. Take, for example, the Chthonians…
(Please note that these are 3D renders of the characters T-posing! This is not how they will appear in the final game.)
As we near Beta, we’ve been making substantial updates to the game from its Alpha-state to really breathe life into it. With these new enemy variations, new level passes, systems improvement and revisions based on Backer Alpha and external playtest feedback, we continue to draw closer to our vision of The Stygian Abyss.
For example, here’s a sneak peek at some UI revisions to come:
We’re also very excited to share an update about some of our physical Kickstarter rewards! We’re aiming to ship these so our domestic (USA) backers receive their physical goods as close to our November 15th launch date as possible. Please note that international backers may receive their goods later due to customs and shipping timeframes.
LEGENDARY HERO backers and above ($150+) will receive their physical boxed copies featuring this exclusive box art by Denis Loubet, the original artist for the Ultima Underworld® box art.
(Note that the Underworld Ascendant watermark will not be a part of the final presentation. That is a placeholder!)
As a little thank you to some of our highest backers and our publisher, 505 Games, we just shipped out some signed 8×10” posters! More potentially on the way…
Remember to make sure your shipping address is updated on your BackerKit!
If your address needs to be updated, please email us as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org .
INSIDER BLOG: Combat with Carl
This month’s Insider Blog is about how the combat system is tuned and crafted based on enemy types, written by one of our Designers, Carl Ahlund! This post is available for Explorer level backers and above ($50+).
EXTERNAL PLAYTESTING & OFFICIAL DISCORD
As a reminder, we are still looking for external playtesters! Join us on Discord to sign up for an exclusive playtesting opportunity and stay updated on a daily basis on our progress.
Please note that all screened playtesters must be able to communicate with us via Discord or our OtherSide forums and that this opportunity is Windows only. If you have any questions about the signups or potential conflicts of interest, you may email us at email@example.com .
The OtherSide Team
In Other News…
Our fellow Kickstarter-passion-project, BARD’s TALE IV: BARROWS DEEP, is out now! InXile Entertainment brings Bard’s Tale’s latest installment to Steam, and we couldn’t be more excited!
If you’re looking for a fantastic RPG that stays true to its roots with a fresh format, witty narrative and fun combat, look no further than PATHFINGER: KINGMAKER. Huge congratulations to the team at Owlcat Games!