No, I'm not. I'm exhausted, but I'm getting better.
This is going to be a bit more than a Map update. My life has spun up in a few directions and so has Joshua's. I admit, I'm an introvert. I don't do company. The few exceptions are nerds, geeks, duel classes, and gestalts. So when Joshua suddenly became the new curiosity of the neighborhood kids and decided he like the attention, all bets have been off.
This will not spell the end of Father/son Ultima time, but as Josh has found new and interesting ways of having fun and getting into trouble, we've put Ultima on hold for now. One thing Ultima related that has happened with him was one of his birthday presents from me.
(on a stick)
One 3D printed figure from Hero Forge and hand painted by Master-Amature with two thumbs:
I did my best to take the things Josh has described about his idea of the Avatar and make him a fitting mini. I wanted him to keep it, but, as I feared, I had to put it up and out of reach. He was entirely fascinated by it, to the point of getting it out every chance he could to look at it. Which led to him dropping it...repeatedly. So, now it has several chips of paint missing. I'll get around to touching it up eventually.
The ever growing To-Do List.
The U/M Project is progressing. I think I've narrowed down the necessary mods for Minecraft that should made for a well rounded Ultima-ish experience.
I have NPCs with handy dialog trees, shop keepers, pathing routes, and potential schedules!
I have a large variety of blocks, block pieces, and mechanisms.
I have almost finished my first terrain map Ultima Online, down to tweaking the rivers and forests.
I have a few issues though.
First, I haven't settled on a version of Minecraft. The modpacks I have experimented with have most of what I need, but none have all. This is my own issue, but it's been a big hangup as far as finalising a modpack and getting down to business building up Britannia.
Second, Portals. I've worked out a few ways of getting a watery blue portal. Not the best plan, but A plan. The purple nether portals could be used in place of red portals, but I'd really like proper red and blue ones. There are still a few mods I've messed around with that have portals, but I'm having to slowly learn command block code and find ways of applying values to modded objects...it's a pain.
Third, perhaps the most frustrating, Keys and Locked Doors. Minecraft doesn't have them. and the few mods I've found either cover inventories and chests or they cover doors...not both. Seriously, one of the most gorgeous and well thought out key mods out there, with customisable key color combinations and enchanted locks...doesn't have a single door lock. The one mod for keyed entry through doors I have found, DOESN'T WORK ON CHESTS!
I know what you're thinking, why not use both?! Because they don't have a matching version of Minecraft they share with the rest of the necessary mods. See the first issue.
Anyhoo, Those issues could be worked around with more command block work and possibly a bit of scripting through another mod. Yay, more Todos!
Okay, you made it though the Issues! Congrats, now to the good news!
As I mentioned before, the Ultima Online map is nearing completion on the Terrain and is almost ready for a small army of motivated builders to tackle the worldbuilding part in the future. However I do have other news! Feast your eyes on THIS:
Yep, That's the beginnings of U4...and also most of 5. I really didn't realise they were almost copies of one another, but I hardly know them. I'm resisting the urge to do my favorites first (6&7) because I'd like to have them evolve from one another. U4 is very different from UO, so I decided against my idea to mold one from another at the moment. The MMO was a bit removed from the series anyway, so I think it's fair, but I did retain the scale! Where the UO map I made is about 5 x 6.3 km, the series games tend to be square. In keeping with the scale, this one will be about 5km squared.
While I'm pretty sure that sounds like a big map (it ain't small!) I'm pretty sure someone already worked out the multiple scales used in the earlier ultimas simulated a much larger planet. I'm pretty sure that this means I've shrunk it down considerably. But if I keep to it, U6 and up will be much larger than the originals. I'm not saying I think ~25 square kilometers should be canon, just that it's going to be cool to reconstruct these worlds and cities on a consistent scale.
Will it look good? Most of the other Ultima projects in Minecraft look really good, I think this will too.
Will it be accurate? Hell no.
Will we try to be accurate with the cities at least? Yes and/or No.
I won't know what folks are going to want to do. If I have to do it all by myself, yes, the cities will be accurate for simplicity's sake. It would save me the trouble of re designing all of the cities.
But if I had help, we'd vote. Accurate against a redesign that would have the kingdom seem to evolve from one game world to the next, each generation of Britannia building on top of the last.
I think that would be cool too.