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What is it?

The Cheats As computers evolve, we risk losing classic games from the not-so-distant past. One of these, Ultima 7, an RPG from the early 1990's, still has a huge following, and many consider it to be one of the most immersive games ever produced. Exult is a project to recreate Ultima 7 for modern operating systems, using the game's original plot, data, and graphics files.


News

16 May 2014

State of Exult or why there is still no new version

It's been 3 1/2 years since the release candidate and almost a decade since our last full release. Duke Nukem Forever was released since then. Imagine that.
So why is there still no new release of Exult?
After the 1.2 release Exult went into experimental mode, mostly making it easier and more stable to mod the original games via Exult Studio. Along with that many lingering issues, missing features and unknown data files from the original got implemented. In turn that broke other things in Exult and for a long time, Exult was just too unstable to be released. When development slowed down we fixed a lot of stuff and released 1.4.9rc1 - making it a release candidate on purpose. It generated enough interest for people to play Exult again and send us their bug reports and there were a lot. Some even game breaking and when the disappearing objects bug was discovered it proved we were correct in not labeling the release a full release. Since that bug has been squished the 1.4.9rc1 is no longer linked to on our site to prevent people using that and run into that severe bug.
And now we seem to be in a situation that everytime we think Exult could be ready for a new release, some new bug is discovered that prevents us from releasing.

This time the big bad bug is a flaw in which we handle game eggs (see Bug #1875 ). Mostly you will not notice that something is wrong until you reach to the abandoned outpost in SI and get slaughtered by the misbehaving fire shooter/energy barrier trap room (see Bug #1848 - savegame included) or when you notice that the anti magic rain in BG never stops until you restart Exult or whatever (see Bug #1865).
Whenever this is fixed you can expect another round of bug reports coming in about all the things now broken...
(not to mention countless other stuff, including some bug in the way we handle midi music, some BG intro things etc...)

Whenever - because development of Exult is currently not really existing, it hasn't for a while and doesn't look like it is picking up soon. There have been small bursts of bug fixing, mostly by Marzo, Willem and Malignant Manor but these are getting fewer and fewer.
Exult is now almost 16 years old and a lot of the developers have been with it since then. Lives and interests change and it's hard to keep interested in something like Exult that at times is easier to break than to fix.

So, is Exult dead? No, but it's not teeming with life and as has been written before, without new developers Exult might never leave this state.
Don't mistake this for a farewell, we just want to be frank about these things.

18 November 2013

Disappearing objects fixed but still no new version.

Dr. Code has fixed the disappearing objects and the resulting crashes quite some time ago (August 2012) and at the time it seemed we could fast forward to a new release. Unfortunately some other crashes were uncovered and Marzo went on a bug squishing rampage last year. After that very productive outburst our development almost completely stopped apart from some bug fixes.

On the plus side this means that the current snapshots are much more stable than the last rc1 release, not to mention the ancient 1.2 version that should never be used again. For that reason we no longer link to our old releases on our download page.
However there is still no new release and thus the ancient Exult 1.2 version is unfortunately still widely regarded as the stable version, especially in Linux repositories.

29 November 2011

After over a decade you can buy the Ultima 7 games again.

As of today Good old Games offers "Ultima 7: The Complete Edition" for $5.99. If you don't already own it - go grab these gems now.
Fortunately the complete edition means that it's both games, The Black Gate and Serpent Isle, with their addons, The Forge of Virtue and The Silver Seed.

News about Exult are rather slow these days but Marzo has accepted the quest to take on the disappearing objects.

11 February 2011

What we've been up to since the rc1 release and why there is no final version yet.

Let's start off with the the bad news:
We have a bug that causes random objects in the games to disappear forever. When this happens Exult tends to crash badly. Unfortunately this bug is unpredictable and we have no sure way of reproducing and thus fixing it. We have some ideas of what is happening but no fix yet. This is a real show stopper and unless we fix it we can't release another release candidate or a final version. If you encounter this bug (disappearing objects, random crashes, especially in combat) best you can do is revert to an earlier savegame.

The good news is that we welcome a new member to our team, Malignant Manor, a long time user of Exult.
He took on many bugs and improved many other things:

  • command line option for portable use of Exult and Exult Studio for Windows
  • fixed many NPC schedules (baking, serving food, eating food, ...)
  • fixed talking to NPCs through locked doors (important for the Fawn trial)
  • added a new combat option to make handling of charmed party members more realistic (and thus harder) and also fixed normal charmed behavior in some places
  • added many options to the game menu that you could only change through editing the cfg file
  • fixed some Silver Seed stairs teleporters
  • possible to have separate settings for fullscreen and windowed mode
  • fixed various things for new games created with Exult Studio
  • and many other things...

We also put all our various audio files (digital music pack and the SFX packs) into an all-in-one package. You can download a zip file for manual installation or an installer for either Windows or Mac OS X. You don't need to download this if you already downloaded the audio packs individually before. And if you still prefer to download the smaller, individual packs, these are also still available.
Head to our download page to grab it.

21 October 2010

Exult 1.4.9rc1 has been released!
It took us over six years, but with DNF seemingly getting ready to be released after all, we had to do something. To prepare for a full release, we have created a first Release Candidate, available on our download page. Please play with it and tell us of any problem you encounter using the forum or bug tracker.

If you have followed the news this list is likely already familiar to you, but we did a lot with Exult in the years since 1.2:

  • Compatible with the stricter permissions of Windows Vista and Windows 7
  • Rewrite of the Graphics system to allow switching to full screen on modern systems
  • Better integration into Mac OS X with default location for the supported games
  • Smooth scrolling (disabled by default, though)
  • Aspect correction is now supported
  • More data from the original has been decoded and thus improved gameplay and combat
  • In-game Notebook with support for automatic notes (notes created by usecode)
  • Integrated Pentagram's audio system which means support for real Roland MT-32 device, Roland MT-32 emulation and FluidSynth
  • Removed dependency of the audio system on SDL_Mixer
  • New shapes for the paperdolls
  • Tons of bugfixes

There have been many changes to Exult Studio and our support for mods as well:

  • Multi-map support for new games
  • Moved hard-coded information to datafiles
  • Increased limits on resource sizes (shapes, frames, etc)
  • Greatly improved compiler tools to ease new game development
  • Tons of work on our map editor Exult Studio and the ability to develop new games and mods

Worth mentioning is that our team member Marzo has developed two mods, which can be downloaded separately:

  • Keyring for BG which adds a large quest to obtain a SI-style keyring, as well as a lot of other enhancements such as meditating in the shrines and viewing the Codex
  • SIfixes for SI which corrects many mistakes in the game, for example you can now cure Cantra when you play with this mod


 
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Last modified: 2014-05-16