Ultima 9: Packaging Design and Patch Notes

Ultima 9 had a tumultuous development history, to say the least, and not just because its development process was interrupted in order to get Ultima Online finished and out the door. Engine reworkings, multiple plot rewrites, and changes in project direction happened repeatedly throughout its development, until Richard Garriott finally stepped in and took it upon himself to oversee the game.

But even during its last year of development, it was not immune to drastic changes and revisions, as we can see below in yet another treasure from the Mythic Archives. Here, then, are scans of various documents in which the game’s packaging, patching, and writing are discussed.

In particular, I might draw your attention to the assessment document that discusses some of the things that…could have gone better…with the development of the game’s documentation. A writer was brought in on contract to work on the game’s manual, which of course (per Ultima tradition) was written from an “in game” perspective. The writer was brought in about a year prior to the game being shipped…but this proved to be far too early, and the changes made to the game’s plot and story between that time and its release necessitated multiple rewrites — not mere edits! — of the documentation. As a result, the contractor ended up losing a significant amount of time and money creating material for the game.

At any rate, enjoy! Pull these up and pore over them; see what details you can spot. If you ever wanted a closer look at just how messy the development of Ultima 9 got, there should be something of interest in these images for you.

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