Underworld Ascendant studio reveals "authored look" art style

Underworld Ascendant

“There’s a ‘reality bug’ going around in TV, film, and games, where fantasy has become inundated by gritty photo-realism,” Nate Wells, the art director at Underworld Ascendant studio OtherSide Entertainment, said in a new update on the game's progress. “With Underworld Ascendant, I want to bring back more whimsy and less brooding.”

To do that, the studio is using what it calls an “authored look” for Underworld Ascendant, which aims to recreate the “fantastical feel” of tabletop gaming with miniatures. “I asked myself, ‘What if the world bore the authorship of a tabletop game?’” Wells said. “Think of the old lead figures and miniature play fields… Everything appears hand-crafted, as if sculpted by an artist, with a genuine sense of levity and naiveté to the art.”

OtherSide released three screens showing off the art style, and while they presumably don't reflect the final state of the game or its visual quality, they are exciting. I like photorealism as much as the next guy, but you don't need to look any further than the original Ultima Underworld for proof that it's not a necessary component of an unforgettable dungeoneering experience.

“This will be an Underworld for the 21st century,” OtherSide Austin Studio Director Warren Spector said. “It's a modern continuation of Looking Glass' design tenets, where players are empowered to tell their own stories.”

Find out more at underworldascendant.com.

Underworld Ascendant

Underworld Ascendant

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.