Although it will eventually move to other platforms, Ultima Forever is being developed for iPad first, says lead designer Kate Flack.

"All these tablet devices, there's something very personal about picking up the game, and touching the screen to make things happen in the game," said Flack.

The game will take advantage of the iPad's built-in virtual keyboard for in-game chat, however a virtual joystick or buttons won't be an option.

"I don't like them," she said.

The game, a reboot-of-sorts of Ultima IV, was announced by Bioware earlier this month.

"Our version of it is set 21 years after the events of Ultima 4," Flack clarified.

"Ultima 5, 6, 7, 8 haven't happened yet. Lord British is among the stars; he's no longer there. Lady British has now taken the throne and we've found that one Avatar isn't going to do it this time round, we need multiple Avatars and multiple people coming to try and repair the land."

The game promises the trappings of modern day RPGs, but will preserve what made the original series so great, she said.

“We specifically dug out all of the original manuals and all of the old design documents, and all of the interviews we could get our hands on, talking about Ultima IV and why it was created the way it was."

"We've been very dedicated to asking ‘What was Origin trying to achieve, and what's the parallel in our time?’"

A beta sign-up for the free-to-play online RPG is open now.