FRUA & DUNGEON CRAFT Community Forums

General Category => UA Polls => Topic started by: hans on October 19, 2013, 11:07:40 AM

Title: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 19, 2013, 11:07:40 AM
Please, feel free to leave comments, like: if you play UA, but only rarely, how rarely is "rarely"...?
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on October 19, 2013, 12:29:20 PM
I just started to play again FRUA :D and it looks so good to play it again. JG4 Fortress of Badabaskor, Neverwinter nights, abandoned Castle Greyhawk, The Bell and the Staff..., hm will have to decide then to DC. I hope there will be something new there too :) hope i will make something soon at last, green guys are still waiting for me :).
Hm just some music to get it started again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83hoUxrflNk

Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 19, 2013, 02:20:49 PM
I still play from time to time when I'm in the mood for some gold-box goodness.  Hacked modules don't scare me, so I definitely picked that answer. 
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Wisel the Raiser on October 19, 2013, 05:12:32 PM
Never played UA. Only played some POD and some BR:  CTDD.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Vix on October 19, 2013, 05:47:51 PM
Unfortunately, I have not played UA in a while.

It is still loaded on my computer. The last mod i played was the last mod you released before the current one, hans.  lol
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: KTG on October 19, 2013, 08:51:30 PM
I voted that I still play (hacked or not hacked doesn't matter to me).  I am, however, taking what I consider a short break away from UA, but only long enough to play another game or two.  I'll still be playing UA for the foreseeable future.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: PetrusOctavianus on October 20, 2013, 02:35:12 AM
I use UA to play any modules, hacked or not, playing them in roughly chronological order.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: bravedogbfg on October 20, 2013, 07:30:20 AM
Not right now.  I think i played about 10-15 of the better reviewed modules.  When a new one is released I will give it a try
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on October 20, 2013, 07:48:00 AM
I am trying to :) NWN atm, still haven't started it but almost, have to get my characters ready (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=593921677312276&set=vb.120163518021430&type=2&theater) :)
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Olivier Leroux on October 20, 2013, 08:30:56 AM
I voted for I play UA with UAShell to apply "hacked" mods, because I no longer play UA sounds so final. But in truth I play it very rarely nowadays, if at all. The only incentive I have to play it is when something new and comparatively short is released, like your last superhero design. At that time I was away from home and had only access to my netbook which is better suited for less demanding games like UA, so I downloaded your design, started playing it for 10 minutes or so and had fun, and then I decided I would save it until my return trip, to pass the time on the train. But then for some reason I read a book instead and let the netbook rest in my backpack during the ride. And back home I got distracted by my new PC and my huge indie, classic and AAA game collection, playing through Psychonauts, Driftmoon and Jade Empire and forgetting all about UA again ...

So in short, I'm still interested in playing UA and especially your designs, but it isn't my top priority with all those other entertainment options I'm overwhelmed with nowadays. I hardly ever think "I want nothing more badly than to play UA right now", I always need to tell myself to sit down and play it, in order for it to work (and if I do, I can enjoy it again, but I'm not automatically drawn to it anymore.)

I guess, apart from all the alternatives I have, my waning interest in UA might also have to do with the decreasing activity in the community. Not to say it isn't active, it's quite stable and there are quite a few good people here who are still involved, but not as many as there used to be. I miss hearing from Keith, Ray and Darius more often, and I'm still sad about Merle vanishing again. It's kind of tricky, because I can understand everyone's reasons for not being as active anymore and of course I myself don't show much involvement either, but most of the times my enthusiam for UA was inspired by the activity and accomplishments of others; seeing regular previews and releases, being needed as a playtester or challenged by contests with several participants, that sort of thing ... Secretly, I'm still hoping GOG (or some other DRM-free digital download service) will some day manage to free the old D&D games from licensing limbo and make them available again, so that we might get a new influx of players and designers and people enthusiastic enough about UA's possibilities to light my own fire again.  ;)

As to hacked vs. default, I still prefer heavily hacked and visually unique designs. I wouldn't say "never", but these days I'd hardly ever touch a vanilla design, unless it had a very original or humorous premise, few (random) combats and a greater focus on story-telling. (I'm more lenient with French vanilla, but hacked ones are still preferable.)
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 21, 2013, 07:31:51 AM
Part of the issue with people moving on, I think, has a lot to do with the fact that you can only do so much with UA.  And, by that, I don't mean engine limitation...I just mean there's only so many times that the same kind of engine is going to be enjoyed before you start to feel burned out on it.  I've been there.  Usually, I can go away for a while and then come back renewed.  Others can't do that. 

You can dress it up in new clothes all you like (sci-fi, superhero, etc), but underneath it's still UA.

I know this has nothing to do with the amount of things you can do with UA because I feel this way (as do others) about other engines as well.  You can do more with NWN and NWN2 than you can in UA, but games in those engines get old after a while too.  RPG Maker has a lot of flexibility, but it's engine wears thin rather quick.  DC is a newer version of UA, but I imagine people would get tired of it too.  As human beings, we look for "something different" from time-to time, and sometimes we don't come back.  It's just a fact of life.

On the plus side, though, as long as there is a community I have no doubt we will find new people who will come and go.  That's sort of how it works.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 21, 2013, 01:49:03 PM
I miss hearing from Keith, Ray and Darius more often, and I'm still sad about Merle vanishing again.
 

I was starting to feel the same way 'bout you.   ;) 
If we count you, it seems like we're losing about everybody who's worked on the UA Serial Mod Project.  (I wonder when's the next installment...)   :P

I am concerned about GoldBoxFan.  It seems like one day he was quite active and the next day he was suddenly gone.  I sent him a PM, but have not gotten a response.  I pray that he's okay. 

Naturally, I understand that UA can get a bit stale, --and that it is easily blown away by the many charms of so many newer games.  My biggest disappointment, however, would be if there are never any more mods written by you, Olivier, a FRUAuthor of such promise. 
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: PetrusOctavianus on October 22, 2013, 07:25:09 AM
Sometimes I feel that I'm the only one who's playing those old unsexy unhacked modules...

But then I was late to the party, so to speak. When I first heard of FRUA it was unavailable or at least hard to get my paws on, then came the Golden Age of PC Gaming when there was enough good, new games to chose from. So for me FRUA has actually only been a real alternative in more recent times, now that I've played all (except Matrix Cubes) of the Gold Box games.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Ray on October 22, 2013, 09:18:43 AM
I am concerned about GoldBoxFan.  It seems like one day he was quite active and the next day he was suddenly gone.  I sent him a PM, but have not gotten a response.  I pray that he's okay. 

I agree.  I also feel this way about Darius.  He's been quiet for so long, also, and I don't believe there was ever a message of "farewell for now," or anything like that.


This is such a melancholy topic.  I always get sad when it comes back around...

For my part, I'm still around.  I just finished up the last session of the P&P campaign I started back in 1999.  The characters were in the high 20s, level-wise, and it was blowing my mind trying to keep up with all the variables for each session.  For the forseeable future, we'll be playing much less intensive sessions, and that will (hopefully) free up some time for me to do something other than stuff my mind full of epic-level monster stats...

There are so many things, though, that have gotten back-logged over the last few years of raising my daughter (she's THREE now--How did THAT happen?) and keeping up with my D&D campaign.  FRUA is definitely one of them, from playing Nol Drek's new designs to designing a few projects that seemed like SUCH a good idea five years ago... But it is a bit discouraging to think that there are so few people out there still playing the games that take so long to make.  I used to be able to sit down for eight hours a day and crank out a design in a weekend, but these days time is so much more precious.  It would take a couple weeks to do the same thing, and it's really difficult to devote all my free time for such a long period when the audience has dwindled so much.

On the other hand, I've just realized that designing for the UA group that remains is kind of like planning an adventure for my tabletop group--It's like devoting a bunch of time to a small group of close friends that I've known for YEARS.  So, with that in mind, I would never say that it couldn't happen.  Maybe sometime in early to mid-2014?

Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 22, 2013, 01:50:39 PM
Maybe sometime in early to mid-2014?
 

That would be a treat!   :) 

BTW, Ray, I recall that you had a P&P adventure published in Dungeon Magazine (and for all I know, maybe more since), did you ever convert your own adventure for UA?
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on October 22, 2013, 02:03:07 PM
Wow cool now that would be interesting to see. For me at least i was thinking today how to play all games here i like (that includes Rays games mostly and other good ones too), and how much time will i need for that. Lately also i was thinking about FRUA and tabletop (on roll20.net actualy). I have to admit that FRUA/DC have a really important part in my RPG thinking now. I think i need at least few years to play all games here :). Have anyone played everything btw? :D
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 22, 2013, 02:26:54 PM
Sometimes I feel that I'm the only one who's playing those old unsexy unhacked modules...

You're not the only one who blows the dust off of the old unhacked vanilla modules once in a while.  They can be fun...or terrible.  Depends on who wrote them and how much effort they put into them.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Olivier Leroux on October 22, 2013, 03:02:53 PM
I was starting to feel the same way 'bout you.   ;) 
If we count you, it seems like we're losing about everybody who's worked on the UA Serial Mod Project.  (I wonder when's the next installment...)   :P

I am concerned about GoldBoxFan.  It seems like one day he was quite active and the next day he was suddenly gone.  I sent him a PM, but have not gotten a response.  I pray that he's okay. 

Naturally, I understand that UA can get a bit stale, --and that it is easily blown away by the many charms of so many newer games.  My biggest disappointment, however, would be if there are never any more mods written by you, Olivier, a FRUAuthor of such promise.

I'm very flattered by your kind words, hans.   :o

And that would be a disappointment for me, too, with all those projects I started back in the days. But I was never really good at persevering, there was always a point when I thought "I don't really care about this anymore" and "why waste my time on this silly thing?" and "what's the point if I don't even like it myself?". As I believe I've said before, the only times I ever got something done for UA or DC was when there was a deadline and others were expecting me to complete what I started. All three modules I released were created for a themed challenge and their stories were all kind of fragmentary (and in truth just an excuse for me to play around with sound and graphics  :angel:).

Although I hadn't initially planned it, the encouragement I got from you and Ben J made me think about a sequel to A Tale of Two Cities a few times and one time I actually started working on it, but then I discovered that I had a strong dislike for some parts of the first game and I didn't want anything new to be tainted by its flaws ...  ::) (Well that, and also that I was aiming to high again; it's much more sensible to start small and humble, but it's no use if I don't like small and humble.  :P )

Anyway, never say never.  ;)


I think i need at least few years to play all games here :). Have anyone played everything btw? :D

 I've played through (almost) everything I listed in the Hall of Fame (http://ua.reonis.com/index.php?topic=321.0), but that's only a fraction of all the available designs (mostly the "hacked" faction  ;) ).

That reminds me. One of these days I should probably update the sticky with the new releases ...


For my part, I'm still around.

Hey, Ray, good to hear from you! I hope your little family is doing fine. :)
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Ray on October 22, 2013, 04:23:41 PM
BTW, Ray, I recall that you had a P&P adventure published in Dungeon Magazine (and for all I know, maybe more since), did you ever convert your own adventure for UA?

I haven't, but it HAS occurred to me.  More as the years go by, and it feels less like MY adventure, and more like just another module I found in a Dungeon Magazine...   ;)

I think it would be fairly simple to convert, actually.  It's a fairly straightforward adventure... 


Hey, Ray, good to hear from you! I hope your little family is doing fine. :)

No complaints!  Hope you and yours are doing well, too, Olivier!   :D

Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 22, 2013, 07:32:30 PM
And that would be a disappointment for me, too, with all those projects I started back in the days. But I was never really good at persevering, there was always a point when I thought "I don't really care about this anymore" and "why waste my time on this silly thing?" and "what's the point if I don't even like it myself?". As I believe I've said before, the only times I ever got something done for UA or DC was when there was a deadline and others were expecting me to complete what I started.

I'm going to be long-winded with my advice...just a forewarning:

This is a common trap.  I don't know an artist in any form who doesn't believe what he or she is putting out is complete garbage while they're working on it (in my experience, people who think what they're working on is the best thing ever usually are only doing mediocre work at best).  You will nag yourself with doubts and second-guess whether it's any good.  You will get frustrated and give up.  You will hate it.  It will be the worst thing ever seen in civilization ever, or so you will convince yourself.  Who would like such a mess?

But, don't let the negative thinking end the project for you.  Keep pushing.  Keep going.  In the end, you will be glad you did. 

So many of my own modules almost didn't see the light of day because of self-doubt.  I had my head stuck in "AT1: Dark Alliances" for two years.  I rewrote the beginning fifteen times.  I scrapped whole sections of it.  And I gave up more than once.  But, the important step in the process was that I put myself back into it, even if I had to force myself to do so.  Some people will tell you not to force yourself, but I find that my best work comes out when I make myself do something (and it sounds like you're the same, since you perform when there's a deadline).

This belief has followed me through everything I've done.  UA modules.  NWN building.  My current project.  You name it.  I gave up on all of them, took a few days or a week off, and then made myself go back and came out better for it in the end.  So, my advice is: Listen to the voice inside, give in and quit when it tells you...so that you can go back to what you were doing a week later without it bugging you anymore.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Nol Drek on October 22, 2013, 08:31:40 PM
On the other hand, I've just realized that designing for the UA group that remains is kind of like planning an adventure for my tabletop group--It's like devoting a bunch of time to a small group of close friends that I've known for YEARS.

You have hit the nail on the proverbial head.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 23, 2013, 11:20:16 AM
Part of the issue with people moving on, I think, has a lot to do with the fact that you can only do so much with UA.  And, by that, I don't mean engine limitation...I just mean there's only so many times that the same kind of engine is going to be enjoyed before you start to feel burned out on it...
 

Along these lines, it might be helpful to stop and think about how SSI continued to produce successful GoldBox games after introducing the engine with Pool of Radiance.  We can note what SSI did to keep their engine fresh, perhaps as lessons for UA designers.

Subsequent GoldBoxes had new stories, with fresh ideas, of a general high quality.  (UA's "Heirs to Skull Krag" has received much criticism for not matching that quality.)

Subsequent GoldBoxes had new art, usually of improved quality. 

They all introduced (at least some) new monsters (one of the first things their ads would boast, after giving a teaser of the new storyline) and new items and new spells.

With exceptions, they introduced new music

Some took us to new milieus: Krynn and the world of Buck Rogers.

Of course, none of the GoldBoxes were ever so antiquated as UA is now.  Still, they re-used their engine for a (relatively) long while, bringing enough freshness to each new release that they are all still replayed by fans, today. 
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 25, 2013, 08:40:22 PM
To complement the above thoughts, it may also be instructive to consider what strengths UA may boast beyond those found in the GoldBoxes. 

The GoldBoxes were team efforts, whereas most UA mods are the creations of indivdual authors.  For UA, this strength is maximized as individual authors find their "voice."  A "voice" unique to one author is demonstrated in the stories they tell and how they tell them.  In telling a story, even if it is not original to the mod author, there are many choices to be made, from details and emphasis in text (even how much text), to what art to use where.  The more these choices reflect an individual author's tastes, the more they have their own recognizable "voice."   

It is not unusual for UAers to have favorite mod authors on the basis of this strength.  My personal favorite mod author is Steve Gustafson, due to his prevalent wit and whimsy.  I wish he was still active, writing more mods for me to play. 

Another strength UA may boast is the creative freedom it gives its authors.  The GoldBoxes were limited to a particular style.  The writers and artists adhered to certain rules, guided by the expectations of their audience, as well as those of TSR.  UA has no such creative shackles, leaving its authors free to indulge their own tastes, and free to experiment (even wildly experiment). 

Gore, sexuality, taboo subjects, foul language, religion, politics, and more, that you would never see in a GoldBox game, can already be found in certain existing mods.  Authors can be deliberately offensive, taking their own chances on possibly alienating their audience. 

Moreover, authors may stray from the straight, epic adventure styles of the GoldBoxes to fashion comedies, love stories, mysteries, horror stories, metaphors, etc., of any mixture, and of any length.

So, while the basic GoldBox engine elements of UA may grow stale, there is still much room to add freshness to any new mod.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 26, 2013, 08:58:32 AM
The problem with that is that I rarely see UA modules that can hit the same heights as the original Goldbox games.   There is a glut of modules that were written by authors who came, chucked out a module in three days and then disappeared from the community forever.  Truly great modules are few and far between...and most of us have played those already. 

There's also only so much that we can change about UA.  Hacks only take us so far.  The Goldbox games introduced things we have a hard time replicating (moon phases, monsters who have special effects when they die, reinforcements called during battles for either side, weather effects, spaceship combat, etc).  SSI was able to manipulate the code to do truly original things that we can't.

A lot of these things can be done (and more) in DC.  But, there are folks who refuse to even look at it, which is a shame.  Here's two recent screenshots of something Manikus is working on.  You tell me if it's not the successor to UA.  There are more people generating buzz about DC than UA at the moment.  (It can do more, it works in Windows, it has better screen resolutions, unlimited events, etc).




Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Vix on October 26, 2013, 05:46:38 PM
If I weren't so busy with personal life, a bi-weekly D&D campaign I run, a monthly Star Wars campaign I play in, a Marvel Super Hero game I occasionally run (was weekly, now bi-monthly), Marvel Avengers Alliance and Terraria ... I would probably spend some time with DC.

I still long for a turn-based tactical system where terrain, lighting, and other non-character obstacles are included.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on October 27, 2013, 04:06:03 AM
I am just happy that i am able to work again with DC though i wish i could have a tabletop campaign too. But above all i wish i could make my own works real and playable. For now i guess i still need lots of preparations and learning and playing FRUA to be able to do something really serious and good. For now i hope to make something good for DC, meaning to finish a design and that i can say i am proud of it. Anyway i have been working last few days with DC/FRUA and i am still sorting my things and preparing to do that mod i hope i will be able to do something, though i have some questions like how can i have a random teleport, or random event ect but i guess i should start with basic tutorials. Hm well here is a song just to help with all that
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZwhzf8NC4o
http://german.about.com/library/blmus_nena99luftbE.htm
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 28, 2013, 08:17:02 PM
The problem with that is that I rarely see UA modules that can hit the same heights as the original Goldbox games.   There is a glut of modules that were written by authors who came, chucked out a module in three days and then disappeared from the community forever.  Truly great modules are few and far between...and most of us have played those already...
 

I believe your points, there, really support the underlying contention of my last couple of posts. 

We longtime players of UA may be keenly aware of its engine's limitations.  Therefore, when play begins to feel tiresome and repetitious, we may ascribe that malaise to the engine, itself, rather than to fault the mods.  Yet, the basic GoldBox is engine is arguably one of most popular ever created (certainly of its era).  The GoldBoxes are classics, and are still being replayed, and discovered by new fans, today.  (Perhaps, then, it's not actually ironic that Manikus' conversion of POR for DC is garnering such interest and anticipation.) 

If we conclude that UA's engine itself is a plus, and not a minus in attracting players, then we must acknowledge problems elsewhere.  Apart from the question of ease of use and modern compatibilities, the bottom line is:  Do players find our mods worth playing...?   

Naturally, new authors should have fun with UA, and be able to make what they like, but if they want to create something that others will want to play, then there are logically some strategies to consider, and some sage advice we UA graybeards may offer. 

One piece of advice too often ignored by newbie authors is:  Get playtesters

I pointed out some things, a few posts back, that SSI regularly did to keep their successive GoldBox releases fresh and interesting. 

I wish both DC and Iceblink every success.  But it will ultimately come down to the same thing for them, of course, will players find the games made with their engines worth playing? 

So, restating my contention in paraphrase:  "The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars construction kit, but in ourselves."

Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on October 29, 2013, 03:38:38 AM
Hm that is true but kit is also important if it can do good things. Anyway i think it is not so easy to make a good module and yeah creativity is needed :).
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 29, 2013, 06:43:36 AM
If we conclude that UA's engine itself is a plus, and not a minus in attracting players, then we must acknowledge problems elsewhere.  Apart from the question of ease of use and modern compatibilities, the bottom line is:  Do players find our mods worth playing...?   

People who enjoy those kinds of games and who have a huge interest in making their own will always find our mods worth playing.  I have no doubt that there will be new people who discover the wonders of UA each year.  But, I've noticed a few trends.

The first is players who are only interested in playing classic D&D modules.  I see them on CRPG forums everywhere I go.  While that sets up Ray Dyer quite nicely, these people don't usually explore anything else the community has to offer.  While I understand the nostalgic appeal of those classic modules, I feel these players are missing out by not dipping their toes into the remaining module pool. (And, I assume that you know that this is not a criticism of Ray's work in any way).

The second is people who want to build their own modules.  We get new blood once in a while.  They play a couple of the top-rated modules and really like them.  But then, they start to feel overwhelmed by how good they are and believe they could never create something as good.  They don't realize that those modules likely aren't the first modules made by those authors and that we all went through the painful learning curve a long time ago.  They aren't willing to invest the time it takes to learn and give up...or talk endlessly about the grand module they will someday make if only they ever get around to it.  In the meantime, they lose interest in playing other modules and fade away.

The third is people who love the gold-box games.  They want to continue that enjoyment, so they come and play a few modules.  But, if they are unlucky enough to pick from the low-grade modules a few times in a row, this quickly destroys their enthusiasm.  I remember when I first found the community back in 199X (don't remember the exact year) and I couldn't wait to play some other modules after having built some of my own for friends.  So, I downloaded and started going through them.  Boy, was I ever disappointed.  I picked some real "winners" to start with.  It was only my love of UA and the community that kept me around.  So, I can imagine what happens when someone finds UA, doesn't join the forums and just starts downloading modules randomly, only to find something sub-par made back in days of yore.  Or, they download a hacked module without realizing that they need UAShell, so everything is wonky.

So, no...the fault isn't with us...

It's hard to say that fault lies anywhere, actually.

Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Olivier Leroux on October 29, 2013, 06:54:14 AM
Or maybe the fault is with the various license owners who prevent UA from being legally available again and therefor open to a wider audience (including all categories of players mentioned above and several others) ... :P

Additionally, and probably more so though, I think the issue is just related to the times, to UA's old age, the comparatively old age of most of its supporters who might have less free time nowadays than they did back in the days.

Also, I'm guessing, a supposed majority's reluctance to try anything unofficial and custom-made (or "amateurish" in their book). Personally I love UA for the fact that there's a wide variety of designs available including the experimental and unusual (which I think is UA's strong point), but let's face it, they're catering to a niche taste. Even among the people who don't mind UA's old age I bet there are many who are only looking for the familiar Goldbox style and have little interest in designs that differ too much from it (and like Ben said, the truly great Goldbox style designs are only few and far between).
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 29, 2013, 08:39:13 AM
Or maybe the fault is with the various license owners who prevent UA from being legally available again and therefor open to a wider audience (including all categories of players mentioned above and several others) ... :P

Which is why DC is a good choice for those looking to continue creating games in the UA style.  It's an untamed frontier right now.  There are probably only a handful of DC modules made at this point.  Even if an author did nothing more than update their own UA modules to DC, they would probably find an audience eager to play them.  Just saying.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 29, 2013, 02:54:42 PM
The third is people who love the gold-box games.  They want to continue that enjoyment, so they come and play a few modules.  But, if they are unlucky enough to pick from the low-grade modules a few times in a row, this quickly destroys their enthusiasm...
 

With this type of seeker in mind, perhaps it might be a worthwhile effort to create a list (perhaps a top ten) of the best GoldBox-style mods in our libraries, which could then be made a sticky.  Evaluations might rely on reviews, and maybe other forum inputs, from discussion threads to Polls.  A capsule synopsis, or short review comments could accompany the listings, giving prospective players a little more information on which to find their cup of tea. 
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on October 29, 2013, 03:22:08 PM
That actualy is a good idea, Top 10 and maybe few good for starting with FRUA. Anyway lately i hate can't factor with FRUA/DC, wish i know things and how to do them.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 29, 2013, 07:52:13 PM
With this type of seeker in mind, perhaps it might be a worthwhile effort to create a list (perhaps a top ten) of the best GoldBox-style mods in our libraries, which could then be made a sticky.  Evaluations might rely on reviews, and maybe other forum inputs, from discussion threads to Polls.  A capsule synopsis, or short review comments could accompany the listings, giving prospective players a little more information on which to find their cup of tea.

As I mentioned in this description, these might be people who aren't reading or joining the forums.  So, they may not be looking at lists of any kind.  They might just be downloading six modules at random, playing them, and deciding that if they're terrible...it must be true for all of them.

I'm not sure who is maintaining the FTP, but they could maybe create a directory near the top that's called "Hall of Fame Modules," or something and the community could vote which modules would appear there (I assume they would also appear in the usual place as well).

Another thing we could do (and this would be quite the task) is start rewriting or fixing some old modules.  If module authors have abandoned their work for 15+ years, I seriously doubt they'll care if someone fixes them...or maybe even embellishes them a little.  Of course, I can see the value of preserving history too...
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Nol Drek on October 30, 2013, 12:12:12 AM
I'm not sure who is maintaining the FTP, but they could maybe create a directory near the top that's called "Hall of Fame Modules," or something and the community could vote which modules would appear there (I assume they would also appear in the usual place as well).

This reminded me of Mycroft's Module List, which compiled reviews and used a ranking on a scale of 1-10. It was maintained by John Viveiros until 12/31/98. The module list on frua.rosedragon.org is much more complete and up to date, but no longer gives modules rankings.

I thought it would be a shame if Mycroft's Module List was lost forever. It took some digging around, but I found it here:

http://web.archive.org/web/19991007161348/http://pages.prodigy.net/jjv4/

http://web.archive.org/web/19990428125912/http://pages.prodigy.net/jjv4/mycrofth.htm

I imagine this might be a place to start for "UA Hall of Fame Modules", at least ones that are more than 15 years old.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Donnie Ewald on October 30, 2013, 03:51:58 AM
I continue to maintain http://frua.rosedragon.org/ and the FTP site. Should such a list of Hall of Fame modules be provided, I'm willing to build out the web page and have it hosted there too.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on October 30, 2013, 04:48:41 AM
Well that is interesting list, thanks for posting it
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 30, 2013, 06:56:03 AM
I continue to maintain http://frua.rosedragon.org/ (http://frua.rosedragon.org/) and the FTP site. Should such a list of Hall of Fame modules be provided, I'm willing to build out the web page and have it hosted there too.

That would be awesome.  And probably a step in the right direction.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 30, 2013, 02:31:48 PM
...I imagine this might be a place to start for "UA Hall of Fame Modules", at least ones that are more than 15 years old.
 

As proposed, the purpose of this particular list would be to recommend what our community considers the best of the best mods done in the GoldBox style (for fans of the GoldBoxes whose initial interest in UA will be to continue a similar gameplay experience.)  Part of the job in comprising such a list would then be to sort out which well-reviewed mods are truly GoldBox in nature. 

One of the best received mods ever has been The Sect by Ben Jockisch.  And while it is truly epic, it is much more humorous than any of the GoldBoxes.  For that reason, its inclusion in such a list would be a matter for debate. 

I had Ben Sanderfer's AT1: Dark Alliances at the top spot in My Top Ten Favorite Mods list (http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/uanews/uanl35/pp_topten.htm), and it is undeniably a terrific mod that very much in the GoldBox style.  However, it does not conclude like the GoldBoxes, since it the story was to be continued in AT2.  I can't see this as reason to deny it a place on such a list, but it would surely require an asterix, or note of explanation. 

So, pros and cons of the various candidates for such a list would need to be weighed, somehow, among our group.  Naturally, Mycroft's Module List can provide some valuable assistance.  Thanks, Nol!   :)   
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: PetrusOctavianus on October 30, 2013, 03:16:00 PM
I haven't played enough FRUA modules to get an overview of which are the best modules, but so far I'd recommend the following for someone who wants good modules in the Gold Box style:

Paladin 1: The Restoration of Gundahab and Paladin 2: The League by Rhys Hess
City of Gold by Craig Schaefer
Quest for the Diamond Blade by Morgan1522
Magic of the Savage Frontier by Dominus Aurorae
Night of the Basilisk by Ben Sanderfer

Ben's early modules (Road to Armageddon, Marauder of Triangle Bay, Shadows in the Sky) are also good Gold Box style modules, but need to be updated so Guided Tour events work, and there were some balance issues. See my reviews for more details.



Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: PetrusOctavianus on October 30, 2013, 03:25:23 PM
Another thing we could do (and this would be quite the task) is start rewriting or fixing some old modules.  If module authors have abandoned their work for 15+ years, I seriously doubt they'll care if someone fixes them...or maybe even embellishes them a little.  Of course, I can see the value of preserving history too...

Well, they don't need to be overwritten.
I've edited some old Age of Wonders 2 maps myself, and posted the map as a new file.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Olivier Leroux on October 31, 2013, 05:18:30 AM
Another thing we could do (and this would be quite the task) is start rewriting or fixing some old modules.  If module authors have abandoned their work for 15+ years, I seriously doubt they'll care if someone fixes them...or maybe even embellishes them a little.  Of course, I can see the value of preserving history too...

I've done that in the past for three old designs I found worthwhile, and I believe we also had a short discussion on how to do it back then, which resulted in the Patch folder you can find at the Magic Mirror, meaning I left the original designs untouched but provided "patch" files that would override the originals when copied in the game's folder. That seemed like the most ethical or respectful choice back then, but of course it's not very user-friendly with regard to people who don't know anything about UA and its community and just download random files, since the patch folder is a bit hidden.

As a sidenote, I have good memories of that patching experience because I really liked the designs I fixed, and to my (and their) surprise, I actually managed to track down two of the three authors even though they had nothing to do with UA anymore, and they were very flattered and IIRC even gave their permission to update their old designs (although I still went with the patch idea).
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 31, 2013, 07:08:06 AM
I've done that in the past for three old designs I found worthwhile, and I believe we also had a short discussion on how to do it back then, which resulted in the Patch folder you can find at the Magic Mirror, meaning I left the original designs untouched but provided "patch" files that would override the originals when copied in the game's folder. That seemed like the most ethical or respectful choice back then, but of course it's not very user-friendly with regard to people who don't know anything about UA and its community and just download random files, since the patch folder is a bit hidden.

As a sidenote, I have good memories of that patching experience because I really liked the designs I fixed, and to my (and their) surprise, I actually managed to track down two of the three authors even though they had nothing to do with UA anymore, and they were very flattered and IIRC even gave their permission to update their old designs (although I still went with the patch idea).

It might have been better to upload them as full modules with a slightly different name, then; because, even as a long time member of the community, I didn't know about the patches and never would have sought them out.  I'm probably not the only one.  However, if there had been an actual module upload (with a slight name change indicating it was an updated version), I might have noticed.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: PetrusOctavianus on October 31, 2013, 09:55:12 AM
I've done that in the past for three old designs I found worthwhile, and I believe we also had a short discussion on how to do it back then, which resulted in the Patch folder you can find at the Magic Mirror, meaning I left the original designs untouched but provided "patch" files that would override the originals when copied in the game's folder. That seemed like the most ethical or respectful choice back then, but of course it's not very user-friendly with regard to people who don't know anything about UA and its community and just download random files, since the patch folder is a bit hidden.

As a sidenote, I have good memories of that patching experience because I really liked the designs I fixed, and to my (and their) surprise, I actually managed to track down two of the three authors even though they had nothing to do with UA anymore, and they were very flattered and IIRC even gave their permission to update their old designs (although I still went with the patch idea).

It might have been better to upload them as full modules with a slightly different name, then; because, even as a long time member of the community, I didn't know about the patches and never would have sought them out.  I'm probably not the only one.  However, if there had been an actual module upload (with a slight name change indicating it was an updated version), I might have noticed.

Same here.
I can't even find a link to the "Magic Mirror".
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Donnie Ewald on October 31, 2013, 06:16:10 PM
The full archive:
http://frua.rosedragon.org/

A mirror of above's files:
http://frua.reonis.com/dir.htm
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 31, 2013, 07:23:44 PM
It might have been better to upload them as full modules with a slightly different name, then; because, even as a long time member of the community, I didn't know about the patches and never would have sought them out.  I'm probably not the only one.  However, if there had been an actual module upload (with a slight name change indicating it was an updated version), I might have noticed.
 

If we should ever go that route, I suggest that the patched or otherwise altered mods be separated into their own directory for non-author updates.  Whether the original author approved the update or not, this would help limit confusion, most clearly identifying which mods have been thus changed.   

And, naturally, if an original author should ever return and complain, asking that the update be removed, we should respect their wishes.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: steve_mcdee on October 31, 2013, 07:46:54 PM
I would definitely have both The Sect and AT-1 on the list. In my view, despite its humour, the Sect is sufficiently goldbox-style to warrant inclusion on the list. Even if it were considered only borderline goldbox-style, in light of its quality and popularity, I think it should be included.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on October 31, 2013, 09:56:58 PM
If we should ever go that route, I suggest that the patched or otherwise altered mods be separated into their own directory for non-author updates.  Whether the original author approved the update or not, this would help limit confusion, most clearly identifying which mods have been thus changed.   

And, naturally, if an original author should ever return and complain, asking that the update be removed, we should respect their wishes.

I'm just throwing suggestions around.  No modules have to be altered at all.

However, if it was done, I think a directory called "Non-Author Updates" would be very confusing.  Wouldn't a simpler name, like "Updated Modules" be a little easier to understand?
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on October 31, 2013, 11:15:22 PM
However, if it was done, I think a directory called "Non-Author Updates" would be very confusing.  Wouldn't a simpler name, like "Updated Modules" be a little easier to understand?
 

That could let in confusion, too, due to the fact that there have already been a number of mods which have been updated by their own authors, beyond simple bugfixes (The Guild: Special Edition by John Rudy perhaps being the most obvious example). 

It may be that a longer named directory wouldn't work.  I didn't think about that.

The two goals I would wish to see in dealing (still hypothetically) with non-author updated mods is that they would be kept separated from traditionally authored, original mods, and that there would be a clear designation of their special nature. 
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Olivier Leroux on November 01, 2013, 05:15:28 AM
even as a long time member of the community, I didn't know about the patches and never would have sought them out.  I'm probably not the only one.  However, if there had been an actual module upload (with a slight name change indicating it was an updated version), I might have noticed.

Hm, I would have thought you were a participant in the discussion and that in the past you were always more on the side of not changing anything without permission, but I couldn't find any proof of that, so I was probably wrong, and anyway, that was back in 2005, when we were all 8 years younger ...  :D

It seems I created a poll (http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ua/conversations/messages/29474) on the mailing list and only 8 people voted, but they were all in favor of the patching system (http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ua/conversations/messages/29614). (some more links regarding the discussion (http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ua/search/messages?query=bug-fixing) that I found)

I also updated the reviews of the three modules in question with a notice about the patches back then, but of course that wouldn't help anyone randomly downloading designs from the Magic Mirror either.

In any case the patch folder is hidden here (http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/patches/), and it includes the main directory for patches provided by design authors and another folder for 3rd party patches (http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/patches/3rdparty/) (which is where my patches are located).

I agree that it's not an ideal solution, but at that time it seemed to be the best compromise, and it was done in accordance with the poll results (http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ua/conversations/messages/29908). I guess 8 years is a long enough time to reevaluate this bug-fixing policy, especially considering that it didn't catch on and that apparantly hardly anyone even knew about it ...
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on November 01, 2013, 05:08:08 PM
If we should ever go that route, I suggest that the patched or otherwise altered mods be separated into their own directory for non-author updates... 
 

Ah.  Looking back, I see that I should have been more explicit in that comment.  I should have specified "sub-directory."  My thinking was it would (still speaking hypothetically) be a sub-directory of the "modules" folder.  Browsers would then understand that these were mods, and would be given notice that they had been changed by someone other than the author.  I still didn't consider any limitations on length, tho.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on November 01, 2013, 05:19:19 PM
I agree that it's not an ideal solution, but at that time it seemed to be the best compromise, and it was done in accordance with the poll results (http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ua/conversations/messages/29908).
 

I still prefer the patch method, myself, even tho I added my 2-bits to this latest hypothetical discussion of full, non-author updated mods. 

It just seems rather more morally ambiguous for someone other than the original author to UL a changed mod that is still mostly the work of that original author.  A patch, on the other hand, being incomplete -- containing only those files which have been changed, seems a more courteous approach.

Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on November 01, 2013, 07:06:49 PM
It just seems rather more morally ambiguous for someone other than the original author to UL a changed mod that is still mostly the work of that original author.  A patch, on the other hand, being incomplete -- containing only those files which have been changed, seems a more courteous approach.

I can't see the difference between this and taking someone's written adventure (an AD&D module, Dungeon Magazine module, etc) and providing your own spin.  No one seems to blink an eye if we remake "Temple of Elemental Evil" fifteen times, but if we touch an old module that someone who was never a real member of the community chucked together back in 1994, that's somehow perceived as a bad thing?

I'm just saying...
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Nol Drek on November 01, 2013, 07:55:34 PM
I can't see the difference between this and taking someone's written adventure (an AD&D module, Dungeon Magazine module, etc) and providing your own spin.  No one seems to blink an eye if we remake "Temple of Elemental Evil" fifteen times, but if we touch an old module that someone who was never a real member of the community chucked together back in 1994, that's somehow perceived as a bad thing?

Is there someone who is interested in remaking old modules that were hastily thrown together twenty years ago, or is this discussion hypothetical?

My own opinion is that is you want to remake a randomly chosen old module such as this:

Quote
legendry.zip * Legendry -- Prelude to Glory * 348 Kb * Dennis Alexander * 04.0 (01) * ? * Prosperous * Y/Y * Hacked * 8/40 * 3/16/97 * lankhmar@concentric.net * 'A short, silly module'

It should be fine for you to upload your own version named "legen_v2.zip".

If the author is still around, happens to notice, and comes here to make a comment (good or bad) about it - that would be a positive thing for the community.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on November 01, 2013, 08:47:21 PM
I can't see the difference between this and taking someone's written adventure (an AD&D module, Dungeon Magazine module, etc) and providing your own spin.  No one seems to blink an eye if we remake "Temple of Elemental Evil" fifteen times, but if we touch an old module that someone who was never a real member of the community chucked together back in 1994, that's somehow perceived as a bad thing?
 

Admittedly, much of what we consider courteous behavior serves no real purpose other than making a social gesture meant to demonstrate respect or deference for others.  That such gestures are often tied only to tradition and subjective mores, rather than actual services rendered, is evident from the fact that cultural notions of courteous behavior can differ greatly. 

The difference between using patches vs full, non-author updated mods may, likewise, make no difference other than to perceptions. 

Yet, let me elaborate on why I believe there would be an important difference made to perceptions:  A patch, by its very nature, acknowledges the primacy of the original author's work.  It cannot (except in extreme cases) be used and played on its own, but only in conjunction, in a complementary role, to the original work.  Because the patch would not exist without the original work, and because it is complementary, it more likely carries the perception of being complimentary, as well.  It implies that the original work had true merit, despite any deficiencies the patch is meant to fix or improve. 

And, the greater the changes to a mod, the greater would be the impact to this perception.  A patch which made major changes or addtions would be less likely to be seen as eclipsing the original work than would an altered full mod with those same changes.  It would be less likely to be seen as a rip-off or theft. 

As a mod author, myself, I would rather see patches for my work appear than altered versions in the form of full mods, particularly if there are substantive changes.  I would rather that my work not be confused with the work of another, which would seem more likely in the case of an altered full mod. 

Pushing the possibilities to extremes, if someday another author, enamored with some of my characters (unlikely, but it could happen), decided to add sub-quests and extra dungeons to one of my mods, I would much, much rather that they would release their additions as a patch.  Surely, in that extreme case, a divide in levels of courtesy between the two paths can be clearly perceived.         
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: ProphetSword on November 01, 2013, 09:20:19 PM
I think Nol is right.  This is all purely hypothetical, and we have differing opinions.  I'm sure some compromise could be made if such an task was ever undertaken by someone in the community. 

We should probably get back to the subject at hand...which is how we can:

a) draw more people to the community,
b) get them to actively engage in the community,
c) get them to stick around more than a week or so.

Again, I think it's going to get harder each year, barring some great miracle (like GOG selling copies of UA on the cheap).
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Nol Drek on November 02, 2013, 02:20:17 AM
I can only think of one example where this has been done in the past.

Game06 - Journey to the Rock by Ray Dyer
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/g/game06.txt

Game06 - Journey to the Rock Special Edition by Ray Dyer with updated Artwork by Vixenkitty
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/g/game06se.txt

In this case, I don't think any feathers were ruffled or noses were put out of joint. Our community is small enough that we can usually cooperate, unless an author objects to someone tampering with their work.

The standard upload text from has a *COPYRIGHT/PERMISSIONS* sections which spells out the following:

*COPYRIGHT/PERMISSIONS*

Other UA authors [MAY/MAY NOT] update this module in regard to fixing
SPELLING ERRORS/GRAMMAR/BUGS.

Other UA authors [MAY/MAY NOT] update this module with NEW ARTWORK/
NEW HACKS.

Other UA authors [MAY/MAY NOT] use this module as a base to design
their own modules.

Other UA authors [MAY/MAY NOT] use the artwork and hacks in this
module.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on November 02, 2013, 02:39:22 AM
I was thinking to do some conversions of old modules to DC and changing things :), i guess i was thinking to change some FRUA modules too later the way i feel it would be more interesting to me to play them. I was looking mostly to those modules with permission to change them. But most of the modules are done nicely and i am not sure how i would go with that changing, probably will just add to the story, so i guess that would be just continuing the work on it. I think every module should be allowed to be continued/changed as much as needed, and possibly with a comment on the update and notice about new author. I was also thinking about importing some levels from FRUA to DC and things like that. I am not sure if it is really ok and what is the best way to do it though. I guess it is but would love to have some rules about it too :) 
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Olivier Leroux on November 02, 2013, 09:47:47 AM
I can't see the difference between this and taking someone's written adventure (an AD&D module, Dungeon Magazine module, etc) and providing your own spin.  No one seems to blink an eye if we remake "Temple of Elemental Evil" fifteen times, but if we touch an old module that someone who was never a real member of the community chucked together back in 1994, that's somehow perceived as a bad thing?

I'm just saying...

I think there is a significant difference between adapting someone else's work and offering your very own interpretation of it on the one hand, and just modifying it to fix it or suit your tastes on the other. Creating a TOEE design from scratch is different than messing with someone else's TOEE design, even though in both cases the story is not original. (Not to mention that the AD&D modules were specifically created for the purpose of dungeon masters adapting them.)

But that's just another hypothethical objection; actually I think I wouldn't really mind blurring the lines there, provided the new version pays hommage to the original author and doesn't hide the fact that it's based on the work of someone else. And part of me really wants to provoke long gone members into coming back, like Nol said.  ;D

Anyway, I think all of these problems might be easier to solve by giving the Magic Mirror a more user-friendly face or at least enhancing and updating the old Module Listing to something more comfortable and clear. What I mean is that right now, new users coming across The Magic Mirror might not find it particularly inviting. If they're smart they will find out where to download designs, but they will be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of designs and their alphabetic listing. If there was something more akin to the Hall of Fame list here on the forums, sorted or sortable by genre categories and such, and possibly with links to reviews and articles, presented in a graphically attractive way, that might not only help to invite more players, but also provide an opportunity to connect old modules with new patches or remakes, just by offering a short notice and the according links to the Magic Mirror archive, so that visitors don't need to browse the archive for patches themselves.

Personally I like the Magic Mirror as it is, but you have to admit that it's better suited for a group of initiated old-timers than clueless newbies to UA, and more functional than attractive. Of course, this is just as hypothethical as the other discussion because it would require a lot of time and effort that I'm not sure anyone of us is quite willing to invest at the moment. (I could imagine lending a hand now and then, but I wouldn't want to commit to such a huge undertaking right now.)
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on November 02, 2013, 10:40:28 AM
I like FRUA archive as it is now too, but i think it needs an option for new players. That means instructions on installing most recent versions and i guess recommending few good modules to play. I have not played much but I probably would go with AT1: Dark Alliances and maybe 2nd part. I think this module is everything FRUA module should be: interesting, with nice graphic and well i guess something like POR and other goldbox games are. So few games like that to recommend to people that are starting that could take their 1st lv characters to any other good one that probably Hall of Fame should recommend, but i think we already have that thread with really good games.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Vix on November 02, 2013, 10:38:22 PM
I can only think of one example where this has been done in the past.

Game06 - Journey to the Rock by Ray Dyer
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/g/game06.txt

Game06 - Journey to the Rock Special Edition by Ray Dyer with updated Artwork by Vixenkitty
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/g/game06se.txt

In this case, I don't think any feathers were ruffled or noses were put out of joint. Our community is small enough that we can usually cooperate, unless an author objects to someone tampering with their work.

In this case, I explicitly sought and gained permission from Ray to do the update. But, then Ray is an active member of the community.

Had I wanted to update some other mod and could not locate the original author, I still may have done so. But, I would also have abided by the copyright rules you showed, assuming they had that document.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on February 01, 2014, 09:56:48 AM
Well, those results weren't so bad. 

Considering that getting even 20 members to participate in a Poll is better than average.   

I'm sure that if all our members were to have participated, the percentages would've changed, drastically, but I'm still heartened that the first choice did so well.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: GoldBoxFan on June 06, 2015, 12:18:49 AM
I would have had to say "I no longer play UA" due to the fact I've been away 18-20 months. Not that I didn't try to get back, or let you know I was moving. I got two attempts that failed before my satellite subscription ran out. When I got to my new place I spent two months trying to get my computer to work with Wi-Fi. Even bought a modem and a router. I finally decided the computer gods wanted me to take a vacation. So I did. Haven't played anything for 16 months or so.

I've had bad luck trying to get back on. When I tried to log on 6 months ago I was locked out for being away to long. While I was pondering what to do next it started snowing and snowing and snowing. When winter ended it took me two moths to remember to try again. Then my computer decides it doesn't want to open any web pages.

I do feel really bad I never got a message through. After modding from 2004 to 2014 I did need the rest though.

A hall of fame for unhacked mods would be good for newbies. A HOF for hacked modules likely to be played unhacked might not be.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Milos Gulan on June 06, 2015, 04:21:23 AM
Oh well I am playing a bit less too, but my decision is to stay and work harder on this :D because I wan't to learn things and improve. Thanks to Manikus I have learned a lot about 3d art, hoping to learn more about mod designing. Maybe after summer will have to go to Belgrade but probably will have computer there. But now will try to play and learn as much as possible.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Sailent on August 25, 2015, 07:22:43 AM
Having played all Goldbox Games found on the Wizworks CD, I recently stumbled over the FRUA re-release by GOG. For the near future I'll plan to take on some classic conversions like Ray Dyer's 'The Realm'-Campaign and some Ravenloft Modules.
Right now I've made it through 'Skeletons' and 2/3 of 'Keep at the Borderlands'.

Beyond 'The Realm' I'm looking forward to Spelljammer-, Oriental- and Ravenloft Action.
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: hans on August 25, 2015, 10:04:15 AM
Having played all Goldbox Games found on the Wizworks CD, I recently stumbled over the FRUA re-release by GOG. For the near future I'll plan to take on some classic conversions like Ray Dyer's 'The Realm'-Campaign and some Ravenloft Modules.
Right now I've made it through 'Skeletons' and 2/3 of 'Keep at the Borderlands'.

Beyond 'The Realm' I'm looking forward to Spelljammer-, Oriental- and Ravenloft Action.
 

Welcome, welcome, Sailent!   :wave:

Our authors love feedback, and our players appreciate recommendations, so a Review or even a mini-Review of any mods you play will always be received here with gratitude.   :)   
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Olivier Leroux on August 25, 2015, 10:55:30 AM
Beyond 'The Realm' I'm looking forward to Spelljammer-, Oriental- and Ravenloft Action.

Don't get your hopes up about Spelljammer - I think I just put that in the header so I could group "The Armageddon War" with the Planescape designs. It might be the only design I know of that has some Spelljammer elements in it, and only to a minor extent, among other stuff. Oriental Adventures we have quite a few and very good ones at that, but they're all rather short and more story- than combat-oriented. In any case, I think you won't be disappointed with the Ravenloft action.  :)
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Nol Drek on August 25, 2015, 12:02:34 PM
Beyond 'The Realm' I'm looking forward to Spelljammer-, Oriental- and Ravenloft Action.

There's this two part Oriental Adventures module by Darius:
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/o/oa-td1.txt
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/o/oa-td2.txt

This short Oriental Adventures module by hans has amazing graphics:
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/demos/fnw.txt

For Ravenloft, you couldn't ask for a design better than this classic one by Dika Wolf:
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/h/hunted.txt

And Darius shows up again with these three Ravenloft adventures:
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/r/ra1.txt
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/r/ra2.txt
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/modules/r/ra3.txt
Title: Re: Are you playing UA or not? (Please participate)
Post by: Sailent on September 15, 2015, 11:13:58 AM
Thanks for the warm welcome!  :D

In time I might post a review on various Realm modules.

So far, my heroes have braved the following Realm modules: 'Skeletons', 'The Keep at the Borderlands', 'The Lost City', 'The Lost Tower of Castanamir', 'Horror on the Hill', 'The Ghost Tower of Inverness' and 'Ravenloft'.

I really appreciate Ray Dyers' personal style and writing. You did a great job, man!
Right now, my favourite adventure is 'The Lost City'. Nothing beats a good ole dungeon crawl plus a big surprise at 'the end'...

Ravenloft is also beautifully done and captures the Demiplane of Dread's gothic atmosphere right away.

I guess my party was a bit too powerful for that module, though. My plan was like looking for secrets and not taking the main entrance. Good thinking, but not the expected approach! Therefore I played the module practically backwards: I went straight to the crypts and stayed down there. Because you know, these stairs gave me a hard time. I found lots of dead guys, lots of undead, a shadow demon, the villain, his coffin, various secret passages, the hoard, a coven of witches, a place to rest, the villain, a damsel in distress, another 'damsel' in distress, an illusion of the villain (he was already slain) and at the very last: the Holy Symbol of Ravenkind. Then I ran off to the chasm and the game was over... . A great game, though. Next time, I'll play it with a slightly less experienced party and do it the intended/logical way.

At the moment, I'm fighting my way through to Iggwilv's Hideout. Just after that annoying minotaur maze, yet another nasty corrupted save game incident made it necessary to restart the whole game.

By the way, is it possible to avoid that automatic damage event in the centaur's vale? 50 or more points of dmg is quite a blow. I had to use every single healing spell, several charges of a staff of healing and a few potions to get my party through.