Creating a new game in Ultima's image

Beefcake

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Jul 30, 2015
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How difficult would this be to create a new game based on Ultima Online and the EMU's server files, specifically without Broadsword's IP?
 

sahisahi

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Jan 13, 2016
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Broadsword doesnt care. Anyway you can use open source client such as orion or classicuo. then add custom artwork and all that, but again, dont even bother.Unless you pretend to launch a custom game and distribute their client and artwork on plataforms like steam, who cares.
 
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Djeryv

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Oct 2, 2014
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Moved On...
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Ultima Odyssey
They didn't mention anything about the perceived level of "care" Broadsword has for their IP and stating that Broadsword doesn't care is a huge assumption unless you can point me to an interview with a Broadsword official on how they feel about the emulation community. They did mention, however, that they want to make a game "without" their IP.

So perhaps Beefcake can elaborate to get a more thought out response. Because the very statement of "specifically without Broadsword's IP" makes me assume they plan to market it.
 
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sahisahi

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Jan 13, 2016
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Have you seen Broadsword sue private servers? or even EA back then? because i didnt.
 
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Djeryv

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Oct 2, 2014
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Just because lawsuits were not filed, doesn't mean they don't care. You are making assumptions without evidence. I don't know if they care...just as you don't know that they "don't care". Maybe this link will help you get a feel for Broadsword's thoughts on emulators: https://uo.com/2012/09/10/tickets-for-customer-support/

But again, that is not the subject of this thread. All we know currently is that Beefcake wants to make a Ultima game without Broadsword's IP.
 
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Beefcake

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Jul 30, 2015
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I'm just assuming Broadsword doesn't care about the freeshards which aren't competing for their subscription-base, which are 99% of the freeshards, or charging for freeshard content or selling their IP (or have in some form made money from their IP). We all know nobody here has the money to give up to Broadsword in a lawsuit.

Said, what exactly constitutes Broadsword's IP? Is the storyline: lack of storyline, this amounts to mere justification for Broadsword's multiple available shards and in-game roleplay. Is the art: merely out-dated pixel-art, gump compositions, and 2D-dimensional animations, and textile art consisting of ingame map/world? All the code to reproduce this game is right there, but what exactly would need to be modified and what exactly would need to be recreated to no longer be considered Broadsword's IP?
 

Djeryv

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Oct 2, 2014
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Ultima Odyssey
The entire client is still EA's. They just let Broadsword run the UO line for them. EA didn't give up any IP rights to UO...at least that is what the press releases stated. Any nuances about what belongs to EA or Broadsword in that mix...is something only they know between each other.

So if you don't want to violate copyright and/or trademark law, you would have nothing to do with the client at all.

The server requires MUL files to load for maps, but these can be made from scratch with Centred+ and do not require anything from the client.

What I am not sure about is the MUL file format since I have not seen it anywhere else. Is that proprietary?

ClassicUO (as an example of a freely developed client by independent folks) does not contain UO Client files but it needs them to function...or files "like" them. Which files from the client? I don't know for sure...but the developer would.

To be clear, none of this can be marketed by you. I know you didn't mention anything about making any sort of profit...but I am just throwing it in there.

The things I am mentioning here are not things we need lawyers to spell out in black and white. These are the basics of what you can't do in regards to legality. You can't touch the UO client...it is that simple. You have to recreate all of the files required for something like ClassicUO to function (again, I am using ClassicUO as an example of a non-EA/OSI/Broadsword client...and there is also CrossUO).

So all of those graphics for gumps, tiles, and items belongs to EA (and perhaps some to Broadsword). You can recreate something similar, however.

If you also avoid EA's client, you don't only avoid IP issues but also software piracy issues for unauthorized access to the software.

Many of these issues come down to the world not being able to police the rules they laid out for virtual items. If we own a DVD and rip it to a file and put it on the Plex server...then we are in the wrong. It is just a matter of reading those agreements we accept...you know...the ones we just click OK to get past. We simply do these types of things because so far the world has taught us that there are other things more urgent going on than what is on my Plex server or whether me and 5 friends play a UO shard. So it often comes down to who is on the Internet telling the most people they are doing something "wrong" so they get noticed.

In the 80's, we used to make our own Dungeon Master screens for AD&D and we would Xerox off some pictures from the book and paste them on the cardboard. If you did that now, and posted pictures of it on Facebook, you could get someone bitching about publishing someone else's artwork without permission.
 

Dropgunner

Member
Mar 23, 2019
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Djeryv is totally right with his analysis. A next generation UO is neither called Ultima Online nor uses it any of its assets or code. I am too tired to explain my thinking about that topic but Djeryv and Beefcake are welcome to at least join the Discord Server where I wrote alot of it down
 
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Beefcake

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Jul 30, 2015
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Djeryv is totally right with his analysis. A next generation UO is neither called Ultima Online nor uses it any of its assets or code. I am too tired to explain my thinking about that topic but Djeryv and Beefcake are welcome to at least join the Discord Server where I wrote alot of it down
This would require maximum effort and extensive experience/knowledge of multiple coding languages, not to mention a team of dedicated coders.
I'm certain you're referring to translating C++ into C# for console and other languages for other platform use, which would take years of dedication v.s. the minimalist approach of circumventing copyright and IP. And doing so, a team would be better off just writing a new game entirely with referenced UO concepts.

There's major issues with such as well, particularly with the limitations of network hosting and lag, and I've never lagged in Ultima Online I don't know why. This isn't reasonable to however, because the code is already written just utilizing copyrighted particulars, and those are the particulars in question limiting the full re-sale and scaling productivity of hosting an ultima shard and the owner/owners profiting from their hard work.
This is the issue with a lot of emulation today, not just in Ultima Online, is the customization of any emulation requires hard work and dedication, and the owner/owners get nothing in return. You spend years building an awesome version of a game, through emulation, because you love the game or have nostalgia for the game or whatever, and get nothing in return if not a lawsuit and loss of income and prison and debt or essentially nothing beneficial.
 
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Dropgunner

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Mar 23, 2019
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This would require maximum effort and extensive experience/knowledge of multiple coding languages, not to mention a team of dedicated coders.
I'm certain you're referring to translating C++ into C# for console and other languages for other platform use, which would take years of dedication v.s. the minimalist approach of circumventing copyright and IP. And doing so, a team would be better off just writing a new game entirely with referenced UO concepts.
Before I go into your arguments I want to make clear that commercialization of every community game project leads mostly to the death of these projects (Legends of Aria, Quest of the Avatar)
It is chilling how many millions of code, years of workhours, effort and motivation just vanished because a Shard went down. On the same scale if you check out Github how many projects regarding UO are started, developed and being given up without a community to take on development. With a remake we have total control of having a shared repository and server listing. Even the fact to being able to release it on Steam for free is so immense that this cannot be understated. With that being said developing for UO is like having surgery with bandaid. With control of the code developers of shards can go bonkers. Singleplayer total conversion? No problem https://ultimaodyssey.blogspot.com/p/about-ultima-odyssey.html Hardcore roleplaying engine? Sure https://quintessenceonline.wordpress.com/about/ Ultima Online Battle royale? Why not https://zuluhotel.ca/devblog/battle-royale All this possibilities under one client, userfriendly? Just by finally making the step and starting to let UO die and think about what are his core principles. Why do we need explicitly an extensive experience of multiple languages which is by the way available since we are already more than 20 people now with very broad expertise (also networking :p)

There are major issues with such as well, particularly with the limitations of network hosting and lag, and I've never lagged in Ultima Online I don't know why. This isn't reasonable to, however, because the code is already written just utilizing copyrighted particulars, and those are the particulars in question limiting the full re-sale and scaling productivity of hosting an ultima shard and the owner/owners profiting from their hard work.
This is the issue with a lot of emulation today, not just in Ultima Online, is the customization of any emulation requires hard work and dedication, and the owner/owners get nothing in return. You spend years building an awesome version of a game, through emulation, because you love the game or have nostalgia for the game or whatever, and get nothing in return if not a lawsuit and loss of income and prison and debt or essentially nothing beneficial.
Imagine if Raph Koster, Garriott, and the original developers would have the bandwidth and processing power we have today. In fact but with their same idea in mind how the game is designed in his aesthetics:

1578901206875.png1578901290546.png1578901426416.png 1578901526536.png1578901596371.png1578901667941.png


All of these pictures are made with voxels which look like pixel art: Mostly with MagicaVoxel.
In my opinion, this is the way to go. In theory, neural network algorithms on all the assets, animation and terrain can upscale their resolution, making 3d models out of it, voxelize it and then putting on style transfer to make it look like as hand-drawn as Ultima Online with better graphics and resolution. Every step has already been researched or implemented:


https://www.reddit.com/r/MagicaVoxel/comments/dxkxk5

With this technology, it is not just achievable to use the assets of UO but having much higher accessibility for the community doing assets and animations on your own.
But yes, it is in indeed not the minimalist approach, requires a dedicated medium-sized team of developers, open-source project management and funding. Not just that but a project structure in which future generations of gamers can take the torch and continue. But its not impossible as several projects are exactly doing that. Examples are Voids adrift and to give the best example: Unity Station which is finally breaking the curse of a successor of Spacestation 13 :


And you know what is awesome? I already established good relationships with both development teams and they are more than willing to give us advice and tips so that we don't have to do their mistakes twice.


Guys this community has the brain, manpower and coding experience to achieve this. Yes, not next year or in two or three or even four or five. But beefcake you said it the best: You all spend already more than a decade on a game which you can never get real credit for. The only thing that hinders us is not standing up together and to unite for the next generation of Ultima Online. I called my project MagnUm Opus in short MUO because first, it has the letters U and O in the right order for a hint where the roots are but most importantly, because a Magnum Opus is is a creation that is considered the greatest work of a person's career or to a work of outstanding creativity, skill, profundity, or workmanship.

If anyone got inspired by this you can join our Discord and I also just created a subreddit for MUO which is currently quite empty but will be changed in the future.


.Gentlemen, let us shoot for the stars and even if we crash I promise you it will be a fun hell of a ride. =)
 
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Zavreyon

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Apr 5, 2015
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Imagine if Raph Koster, Garriott, and the original developers would have the bandwidth and processing power we have today.
Can't speak for Raph Koster yet, but in Garriot's case, everything he made with those newer advantages was shit.
 

Dropgunner

Member
Mar 23, 2019
10
7
Can't speak for Raph Koster yet, but in Garriot's case, everything he made with those newer advantages was shit.
Yes fair point and I took Quest for the Avatar specifically as an example why we should not wait for some developers making a game what they think is a true sequel to Ultima Online. I think UO became something different with its Shard community and scripting and the variety of different servers should be taken to account.


I think you misunderstood.. he wants you to make it for him..
I dont really get what you mean by that.
 
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Djeryv

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2014
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Ultima Odyssey
Why would you waste time making a game when people toss money at Jpg ships?
Your level of participation in this thread is truly top notch. It really answers the overall question of: "How difficult would this be to create a new game based on Ultima Online and the EMU's server files, specifically without Broadsword's IP?" Good work!