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Ultima V: Lazarus Post Mortem

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Posted 20 October 2006 - 09:28 AM

RPG Watch has posted a post mortem interview with the lead designer of Ultima V: Lazarus, a fan made total conversion modification for Dungeon Siege which revisits Origin's original Ultima V. The interview touches on the difficulties involved with mod making, and offers a look at specific design decisions in UV: L's creation.

RPGWatch: The path of joining the Oppression was considerably expanded in Lazarus in comparison to what the avatar was able to do in the original game. How did this come into play and was there any disagreement among team members to allow such a drastic change within the game?

Team Lazarus: Fortunately no, there was never any real argument on this matter. Trying to make the two sides of the conflict feel more real and more active in the world was one of the founding goals of the project, so any team member who disagreed with those goals wouldn’t have been too happy with us. It’s something we were fortunately all on the same page for.

RPGWatch: What was the general consensus on the world building aspect of towns/dungeons and how closely they should be modeled after the original U5 town/dungeon maps? Were there re-designs happening throughout the project for minor adjustments?

Team Lazarus: One of the first things we did in designing this game was to plot out exactly how many new NPCs we wanted to add, and a large part of that decision-making process was a semi-realistic look at what economic needs were not being met in certain parts of the kingdom. For instance, we wouldn’t place a tailor (a profession which didn’t exist in the original U5) in a town immediately next to another town with one, etc. After we’d worked out what new NPCs and shops we wanted, and after we’d established a scale for the entire world (i.e. how long we wanted it to talk to walk from point A to point B in real time), it was just a matter of fitting all the necessary shops and enough houses to hold all the NPCs in a realistic manner, into a given chunk of land. That, combined with trying to hold onto some aspects of the original town layouts, and finally simple aesthetics, resulted in the Lazarus map as you see it today.
The full interview can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
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