It started innocuously enough; Mythic Entertainment’s creative director, Paul Barnett, tweeted a picture of some Ultima Forever maps arranged on a table:
More Ultima forever cloth maps twitter.com/thatbarnettblo…
— thatbarnettbloke (@thatbarnettblok) October 24, 2012
What was interesting about the maps, however, is that they were signed, autographed by…I would assume the Ultima Forever development team.
A day later, the franchise producer for Ultima at Mythic, Jeff Skalski, tweeted this:
— Jeff Skalski (@Jeff_Skalski) October 25, 2012
A few hours later, Ben “Bandit LOAF” Lesnick chimed in:
Night on the town with Joe Garrity. We fancy. twitter.com/banditloaf/sta…
In a room full of Ultima fans. This happens to me a lot.
There was even a bit of an exchange between LOAF and Skalski, which ended with this note from LOAF that also features just a hint of a tease of a screenshot of what is almost surely Ultima Forever running on an iPad:
The night apparently ended well enough:
Ultima fans, an EA marketing woman, the guy who ran the focus group and I just closed down a bar in Bethesda.
And in the morning, Ben revealed just what all those signed maps were (evidently) for:
Signed Ultima Forever maps! twitter.com/banditloaf/sta…
So, to re-cap, it looks like Mythic Entertainment invited a bunch of people — not just in-house testers, but Ultima and Origin Systems fans in and around the Fairfax area — to visit their studio and test Ultima Forever on iPad. Testers were subsequently given signed Ultima Forever maps for their trouble, and then taken out to celebrate.
Sounds like a pretty fun evening!