The Underworld Ascendant team on the Improvisation Engine and sandbox gameplay

The Underworld Ascendant team on the Improvisation Engine and sandbox gameplay

The Underworld Ascendant team want to share their thoughts on design for the classic reboot.

Warren Spector (creative advisor), Tim Stellmach (lead designer) and Chris Siegel (senior producer) take time out to explain how they want Underworld Ascension to be about multiple choices in a sandbox-like world. In the video they cite a few examples from the gameplay and show how they want players to be able to take different approaches to overcoming obstacles and challenges.

“With Underworld Ascendant, our aim is to take sandbox play to a whole new level.  To offer players greater freedom of choice, and more open-ended ways to come up with their own clever solutions to challenges. Making this all happen is the Improvisation Engine, which provides an array of sophisticated technologies for unleashing player creativity.

“In Underworld Ascendant, instead of the designers scripting a set solution path for a player, the Improvisation Engine puts the problem solving in the player’s hands.

“Our designers lay out an encounter; setting up the monsters, traps, the physical layout, and the like.  Then the world simulation is turned on.  A set of fairly complex interactions and dynamics take place of their own accord.  The player comes into this dynamic mix, and can permeate this situation in whole range of ways, some of which the designers may have never imagined.”

The design approach sounds excellent so let’s hope they manage to pull it off. The Kickstarter has 16 days to go and it should make the target of $600.000 without a problem.

Related:  Ultima Underworld revisited with Underworld Ascension


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