We all well know that Ultima Online is a partly 2-D game; the game world is made up of a largely flat graphics, even as the character and mob models are 3-D and animated. But what if it could step through a magic portal and become a fully 3-D world, where the character is detached from that near-isometric view and the camera can follow along behind? That’s just what players have attempted to engineer with the Iris2 client, a project that drew original UO creator Raph Koster out to talk about how he wanted to see this happen for real back in the day.
“I actually wanted Origin to do this for real; instead, there was a series of [Ultima Online 2] attempts,” he wrote. “When a 3-D client finally did come along, it wasn’t at all like this. Of course, it totally exposed all the tricks we used in 2-D, like the roof line or the fact that mountains weren’t actually very high. On the other hand, if this had been done during the EverQuest era, pre-WoW and maintained since in the days since, with stuff like tile-based housebuilding, I suspect it could have stayed competitive for a while.”
Want to see what Ultima Online looks like as a 3-D game? Prepare yourself for a lot of weirdness after the break!