URR 0.8.1 released! Download it here.


  • Asking people about their civilization’s laws on trade no longer sometimes causes a crash when they mention black markets.
  • Asking someone to list the civilizations their homeland trades with no longer causes a crash if there is only one civilization they trade with, and that civilization they rarely trade with anyway.
  • One of the potential name generator archetypes no longer sometimes produces very curious names that don’t seem to match the NPC’s sex.
  • Fixed an issue with greetings sometimes causing a crash.
  • Fixed an issue with compliments sometimes causing a crash.
  • Fixed an issue with the numpad enter key sometimes working the same way as the normal enter key and sometimes not; these are now both always usable in all contexts where one is.
  • Fixed an issue with the large introductory image on the left-hand side of the main menu causing the game to crash in extremely rare generations of the “volcano” picture archetype.
  • Making a greeting or similar to someone from your own civilization should no longer result in a crash, as now NPCs recognise that they are friendly with their own civ.
  • Isolationist civs no longer have docks in cities or towns, thereby fixing a bug where entering towns in “isolationist” civs often did not generate correctly because of the walls surrounding the town and trying, incorrectly, to figure out what to do about the local dock, AND also at the same time isolationist cities and towns are now more thematically appropriate.
  • Fixed a strange and highly amusing bug in which, if you left another grid within the middle 20×20 tiles or so, and then travelled into a castle, the game would register you as being in the courtyard in the middle of that castle (even if you’d never set foot there) and thus entirely prevent you from ever leaving. This no longer happens, and so the case of the mysterious whirlpool castle courtyard, dragging in all around it and committing them to a lifetime within a small vegetable garden, is thus closed.
  • Fixed a rare crash bug where using a dock would sometimes not be able to generate a complete sentence to describe your voyage because there were not enough interesting people on your ship to talk about.
  • You can now leave the “Select a Civ” page (either by pressing Esc or closing the game) and it will no longer cause that save file to behave strangely or cause a crash when you later load it up again.
  • In incredibly rare circumstances an NPC who is for some reason not in the map will no longer cause the crash as the game tries to draw them at negative coordinates; instead it now teleports them into the level in an appropriate location.
  • URR now automatically chooses the largest appropriate font size for your screen when you start the game. It used to do this but the function fell out of use in libtcod; it has now been fixed.
  • Prison cell doors no longer cause a crash when you look at them.
  • A small number of NPCs who are unsure how they feel about the leadership of their nation no longer cause the game to crash when you ask them a question related to this topic.
  • Asking important NPCs about their grandparents no longer causes the game to crash.
  • Up and down stairs in a Mint no longer both go to the same place, presumably as a result of some kind of bizarre space-time vortex.
  • Chairs actually now always have descriptions again when you look at them.
  • Pressing Enter or numpad enter on the “Policies” screen no longer causes the game to crash.
  • Some of the in-game graphics, such as religious altars and fountains, now all generate correctly without a strange visual error in the shading which sometimes appeared.
  • Flags now shade correctly again whether you are viewing them in the encyclopedia, the loading screen, or on a flagpole.
  • Make some changes to the guidebook to appropriately scope for any potential future releases.
  • Fixed a bug where lakes were generating very strangely; this was a result of updating to Python 3 and the different way it handles division.
  • Fixed some Unsettling Weirdness involving sight ranges, time of day, and processing times for moving around the map.
  • Asking about whether the coast is nearby can no longer sometimes cause a crash under very particular circumstances.
  • The helmets worn by soldiers are now properly named by the game, and thus no longer cause a crash when you try to look at a soldier and the game cannot figure out what it should call the hard metallic thing on top of their head.
  • The “page up” and “page down” keys for scrolling up or down in conversations did not always work on some keyboard layouts where those are on the same keys as “3” and “9”; this has now been fixed.
  • People no longer very rarely disappear when you save and then load in the same building.
  • Corrected some strange colouring on both religious districts and water caused by the transition to the newest libtcod version.
  • A “0” no longer appears when moving through cities and noting the costs of entering districts if the currency in question has no lesser denomination (like pence to pounds, cents to dollars, etc). Related to this, the costs of some districts (if currencies are implemented!) were inaccurate for some reason, and this has been resolved as well.
  • Related to the above, the game no longer shows district prices for all cities – only for those with the appropriate policy (“Planned Economy”).
  • The scrollbar in conversations no longer behaves in some very eccentric ways (as a result, I now discover, of updating to Python 3) when you move it up and down during a conversation, or ask questions / get answers of a particular length.
  • Updated the loading screen when selecting a world to give a more accurate appraisal of the player’s knowledge of the world, and other important elements.
  • Fixed a crash bug in world generation where trying to assign things like turbans or tattoos or scarification to cultures would extremely rarely result in the game not being able to complete the process due to a lack of viable civs (there are quite a few requirements for this).
  • Fixed a problem with some shops now correctly spawning in marketplaces in cities even though the required policies for those shops were there.
  • Monasteries, settlements and fortresses should no longer spawn on lakes, and in doing so completely destroy the generation algorithm supposed to function when the player first explores that map tile.
  • However, in case towns do, the game now produces a small lake instead and places the town around the rest of the lake. This is actually quite nice!
  • Corrected a whole bunch of minor typos and mistakes and out of date information – although a full second pass of the speech generation system to remove the rare cases of strange grammar or punctuation in there will have to wait for another day.
  • Exporting data no longer causes a crash when you are indoors and now once again correctly exports indoor layouts of buildings (I have no idea when this stopped working, but it works again now).
  • The inventory system has been updated and changed because of… reasons. Mysterious reasons which in no way hint to any future intentions, at all.
  • Asking a torturer about their job will no longer cause a crash, but may well elicit a snarky response instead.
  • PageUp and PageDown when you are looking at yourself and your alliances no longer cause you to exit the window.
  • Fixed an issue with terrain rarely not generating correctly and causing a crash in polar areas, particularly towns on a coastline – this was another bug introduced by the transition from Python 2 -> Python 3 and the slightly different way it handles strings.
  • Fixed another scrollbar issue caused by the same thing as the one above.
  • Resolved another conversation issue where asking about trade, and getting a particular response for a nation with a particular trade setup, would cause a crash.
  • Using “>” and “<” to go up or down stairs should now work on keyboards which are not using a UK / US / Aus layout, e.g. French or German keyboards. Particular thanks to HexDecimal for helping with this tricky problem. I have also added the “Enter” key (and numpad enter!) as a valid staircase input regardless of keyboard layout and whether you’re on an up or down stair (so pressing Enter will take you up or down whatever staircase you are stood on at the time).

As well as the above though, I have actually added several new things for 0.8.1! Specifically:

  • The world outside your home civilization (and any colonies it has) now begin shrouded and are uncovered as you move. This gives a much stronger sense of discovery, exploration, etc. Moving on higher land also reveals a larger area than moving on lower land, and you can see mountains and volcanoes and the like at a distance even if you can’t make out the intervening terrain.
  • The encyclopedia now gives you a lot more information as you explore, such as what’s in various districts, what you’ve found, and so forth. In turn it only now lists information you have about cities and towns and fortresses and what they contain assuming you have made those discoveries yourself or you are looking at your starting civ / city. Towns and cities and so forth therefore now only appear in the encyclopedia once you have found at least one tile of them, and you get a little message when this happens telling you that they have been added to your guidebook.
  • Similar to the above, a “civilization” is added once you first encounter its territory, and a “religion” is added once you first talk to someone who believes in that religion or approach its religious building. Policies only become apparent in the encyclopedia when you see physical evidence of them (e.g. walls around a town in an isolationist civ) or you ask someone for the information. Some things currently have no good way to “discover” them, e.g. who the leader of a nation is, so those appear more easily once you come into contact with the civilization per se. This will be updated in the future if new versions appear.
  • Given all the above there is a certain logic to not letting the player choose a civilization – since the choose-a-nation screen allows you to get a “sneak peek” at all the civs in the game – but for the time being I have left it in. Given that you cannot select your racial background, sex, and so forth, I am tempted to also make it so that you cannot select your starting civ (it’s just like real life!): but for now you can.

I am very confident this new ^ stuff has not introduced any bugs, since it does not intersect with any existing systems at all beyond just the world map and the encyclopedia, and no system is dependent on it – …but if you fancy giving it a test I wouldn’t object :). This was all stuff I wanted in 0.8 but my desire to get the game out rather than putting in every last thing I had planned took priority (and I think rightly so), but with another month and a bit it has been satisfying to work these elements back into the game world.

Finally, I must acknowledge a tiny handful of bugs I have been unable to reproduce. One issue with using fast-travel around a city leading to a crash; one issue with a crash in a slum when following an NPC around; and one issue with an empty castle which didn’t seem to contain anyone; are unfortunately not addressed because I simply cannot find the issues in question. Similarly a bug with slightly asymmetrical vision cones for different directions the player might be facing has, also, proven incredibly elusive; I understand the cause but I have been simply unable to find the right mathematics with which to fix it. However, given how extremely rare these are (only one person reported each) and given that I might have fixed the problems anyway via resolving some of the above bugs (and the vision cone issue is very minor), means that I think now is the right time to go ahead with releasing 0.8.1. Nevertheless, please do report crash bugs or any other bugs (aside from weird language when talking to people) if you still find them in the new version, and I will be sure to keep an eye out for them as well.



  • Thanks for all your work in squashing these bugs, and for adding the new features. I haven’t had a chance to try the new version yet but am looking forward to it.

  • Incredible work. Unfortunately i found a kind of bug when I have a conversation with someone and ask for ‘Whats plants are local to your area?’. The game closes

    • Thanks Felipe! That’s a shame, haven’t seen that one before, but thank you so much for letting me know. I shall look into it!

  • Wow, a lot of fixes and very interesting new features!
    Thanks, this has been the best birthday present! πŸ˜€

  • I still haven’t played the new version yet and you’re already releasing updates! Ha!

    I can’t wait to write something up for you, as a bit of a review.

    Did you manage to get blinking eyes in dialogue yet? πŸ˜›

    • Aw, thank you! That would be awesome! There might even be a 0.8.2 coming but we’ll see whether there are enough further fixes to merit another small release :). Haha, no blinking eyes yet but don’t give up hope…

    • Hi Matt! This actually seems to be a known issue in libtcod, although I haven’t encountered it before. I’m looking into possible solutions for a 0.8.2 release.

      EDIT: Matt, can you do me a favour? Do key inputs buffer for you using the ARROW keys, or the NUMPAD keys to move, or BOTH? Thanks!

      • As far as I can tell, it will buffer keys both with numpad and arrow keys. One thing I have noticed though is that the processing of the movement keys is much quicker with arrows than with the numpad (if I keep my finger on the key, the character moves at least 2 times quicker with arrows than with numpad).
        This is happening on Linux + wine, it could be different in Windows.

        • Thanks Matt, that’s a really big help. I’m looking into it at the moment! The issue seems to be that numpad keys yield two inputs whereas arrow keys just yield one, and that’s both slowing things down and leading to buffering; though strangely I find arrow keys do far less. I find arrow keys only buffer me one or two tiles even after being held a long while, whereas numpad keys buffer me potentially dozens. Strange – thanks again for the info!

  • Hello Mark,

    Once I wrote you about a keyboard error, I have one in Spanish and in version 0.8 I couldn’t go down the stairs because the “>” symbol (I have to press “shift” + “<") didn't work. Now in URR 0.8.1 I can do it, so thanks :).
    However, it is a bit difficult because I can't go down unless I hold down the "shift" key for two or three seconds and finally hit the "<" key. It is as if the "shift" key did not have good sensitivity, for that reason I have tried it in other applications to rule out that my keyboard could be wrong. Anyway, now I can play πŸ™‚

    As you may have imagined, I have developed a strange obsession for stairs, ha ha ha. I go up and down, up and down … and by the way I noticed that, if the building is inhabited by slaves or servants, when I go up and down many times everyone concentrates on the stairs (maybe my mania was contagious :P) and nobody can neither walk nor go up nor go down. I have four saved games in those circumstances (three firsts played in Spanish configuration and last in English one), if you wish I can send you my games.

    Thank you very much for your effort along years and for give us such a magnificient present.

    • Hi Frankvill, thank you so much for following up on this one! That’s very odd. Can you quickly go up/down by pressing “Enter”? I added that as an alternative way to traverse stairs after you told me about this issue. That’s really weird that there’s a “shift lag”… I’ll look into that. That’s also really interesting that people crowd around stairs when you use them, I haven’t a clue what’s going on there but I will investigate. Thanks so much for letting me know all this! πŸ™‚

      • Great! I didn’t know I could use “Enter”, that works fine. Now it is easier than before.

        On the people clustering around the stairs: I decided to investigate it better, so I created a new world (the fifth). I could see that this error does not occur in small houses with one or two servants / slaves, but in larger buildings with many of them.
        During this time I stood still (pressing the “5” key several times) observing a ladder that the servants constantly used to come and go. I went up only once and walked through the upper area, and when I returned I already found the servants stuck and accumulating because one of them occupied the staircase and refused to use it (the others were either waiting quietly or looking for a route to access).
        Earlier I had been wrong to believe that it was necessary to use the stairs multiple times to reproduce the error, I misunderstood. It is enough to use them once or twice to reproduce the error, as long as they are well traveled by people.

        • Huh, that’s interesting, thank you Frankvill! I had added it to the bug list (as “using stairs many times causes error”) but I hadn’t yet got around to addressing it, so this definitely helps (I have now corrected the bug entry). How weird. I will investigate.

          (And thank you again for taking the time to look into it, I *really* appreciate it!)

  • I hope you don’t mind… I posted this release on the #advertise-releases channel of the Roguelikes Discord server. Here’s the URL: https://discord.gg/9pmFGKx

    You’ve been working on this for many, many years and through health challenges and writing of books and graduating from and working at universities in the UK, Canada, Australia, and possibly more that I don’t know about… I think you deserve as much recognition as you can get for the amazing job you’ve done on URR over all these years, and for what you’ll do in the future.

      • Excellent! Then you’ll be happy to note that I posted the release of 0.8.2b there as well πŸ™‚

        I cannot find my … er, I guess I do have an email address registered for this domain. Inserted it here. It might have been one I inserted on the spur of the moment for the last post, though (edit: yes; it was created then) and, although I might have my prior email for former URR sites (all the way back to the ultimarationregum.co.uk, but I don’t know where to look because I can’t remember those sites. aha… there’s a ualberta.ca link, but is that you or another Mark Johnson? The link’s no longer valid, either way.

        I found two email addresses created for ultimaratioregum.co.uk in July of 2017. Odd.
        Is the Facebook site still live?

        • Well thank you!

          Which UAlberta link are you looking at? One on this site, or the old site? (Fixing the WordPress issues on the old site is something I hope to do in the next few months, even if all it does is just restore the site as an archive, or direct people to this site, or whatever).

          And where are you finding those emails? There’s a mark@ one and another one, I don’t remember what the other one is off-hand (I think it was just an address for signing up to stuff?). Yes, the FB site is! It’s at https://www.facebook.com/UltimaRatioRegumRoguelike. And my new email can be reached using the “Contact” function here :).

          • The emails to which I referred were addresses I’d used for myself when commenting on the co.uk site. That’s all.

            I didn’t know there was more than one ualberta.ca link, so I am pretty certain it wasn’t one on markrjohnsongames.com, unless that one’s the same! πŸ™‚

            Thanks again for your wonderful work, which seemed like it would go on forever but, with the new releases, is very exciting and fun to play. The different in-game places the player character can find itself are diverse and surprising, and often not unlike real life, where I seem to be ignored by most by default! The detailed ANSI graphics of everything (when viewed) are fun and add a lot of flavor (and texture, and color, etc.) to the game!

            FWIW, I’ll try to add comments to the latest blog entry from now on, so newer updates don’t get buried in old threads… πŸ™‚

          • Jesse, thank you for the kind words! I’m so glad you like it. And haha, yes, the comments system does tell me when an older post gains a new comment but I do also seem to miss those from time to time, although I am not quite sure why. It is either my incompetence, or WordPress behaving strangely, and so I naturally choose to blame the latter.

  • Having the outside world shrouded is such a good idea for this game! It really adds motivation for the player to go and explore. Looking forward to future releases as always!

    • Thanks DL – I agree! I think it’s a really positive inclusion. And a future release is coming in just a few days…!

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