What is Underlight?
Underlight is one of the most intense and in-depth role-playing games that has ever existed on the internet. If you enjoy "hardcore role-playing" then this is one of the best games available for you to play. Many of our regulars come from a MUSH or MUD game background and are perfectly content to role-play with or without graphics.
How did Underlight come to be and why are there so many names for it?
Originally, Underlight was released on MPlayer in 1998 and was operated and maintained by Lyra Studios. At the time it was one of the most cutting-edge and graphically advanced MMORPGs on the internet. The player-base was large and there were always things to get involved with. Over time many things both inside and outside the game evolved: the average level of role-playing improved as the player-base became more experienced, many notable players became Game Masters at the request of Lyra Studios, and the game mechanics slowly became outdated. As players left the game and new players were difficult to convince when they compared UL to much more graphically pleasing games, Lyra Studios determined it was no longer profitable to run Underlight and shut down the servers in February, 2006. They gave notice at that time that the players would have to wait 1-2 years for the new top-of-the-line, 3D server they were building. In the meantime the players were left to disperse and find other outlets for their creativity. When Lyra determined that the feasibility of developing the 3D client for Underlight: Reclamation was not what they had hoped they sold the rights to some former players who attempted to continue development. In the meantime, however, the rights to the old, outdated, version were sold to another set of former players who set out developing Underlight: Shades of Truth.
Unfortunately, the 3D Reclamation version was never completed but the Shades of Truth version launched almost two years after Underlight was shut down on October 12, 2007. Since then two other versions on the same game servers with accompanying story-lines have been launched. They are known as Shades of Truth v.1 and v.2, v.3 also known as Dawn of Chaos.
In October 2009, only three of the original Game Masters are still working with the Shades of Truth incarnations. So far, around 15-20 players have rotated through the Game Master ranks and donated thousands of volunteer hours to develop story-lines, write code, teach, support role-plays, etc.
As of January 2014, the current version of Underlight was referred to as Underlight: Clash of Dreams. Recently, in June 2015, they have dropped the subtitle Clash of Dreams and are now just referred to as Underlight once more.