Game of the Year Awards 2015 - Most Promising RPG
Like every year, you also got to vote for Most Promising RPG of 2016. Check out the details to find out what games we and our visitors think are most promising.
» Continue reading the article...
Game of the Year Awards 2015 - Best RPG
The RPGWatch team and our visitors have cast their votes for the best RPG of 2015. Check out the details to find out what games made it to the top three.
» Read the article
I don't do resolutions
I had them, but failed already
I'm still going strong with mine
I'm still thinking about it
Divinity: Original Sin II - Here is Bobby!
Swen introduces Borislav "Bobby" Slavov - Larian's new music director:
Music to your Ears
Last year we lost Kirill Pokrovsky, a brilliant composer and dear friend. While Kirill will be a part of every game we make, the time has come to pass the mantle to another musical genius. Since our ambitions for the music in Divinity:Original Sin 2 are very high, it took a while but today we're happy to report that we found the perfect fit for the job.
Today, we would proudly like to introduce you to Borislav “Bobby” Slavov!loading...
Edit by Gorath: Borislav has been an active part of the RPGWatch community for a whole decade. Congratulations to Borislav and Larian Studios for a cooperation which looks like a perfect fit.
Divinity: Original Sin IISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Thursday - February 11, 2016
Expeditions: Viking - Interview @ Tech Raptor
Tech Raptor has talked to Jonas Wæver, the creative director of Logic Artists, about this game. Here's a quote about honour -among other things:
TechRaptor: Can we have an example or two of some new traits or opinions party members can hold in Expeditions: Viking? The way they intermingled in Conquistador was really cool.
Jonas: The most important trait is each character's attitude towards the concept of honour. Honour was a huge underpinning in Norse society, and whether a character is considered to be honourable or shifty (a nithing!) very often governs how they respond to your decisions. Another very important set of traits is whether the character is superstitious or skeptical, which determines how they perceive religion, folklore, and magic. A skeptical character may be less affected by seemingly supernatural occurrences, while a superstitious character would buy into that sort of thing much more.
Expeditions: VikingSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Siege of DragonspearSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Van Helsing: Final Cut - State on GOG
The state of Van Helsing: Final Cut on GOG and Xbox is being explained in this article on the Neocore site.
You know, we’ve been cautiously optimistic about the schedule of the release of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut on GOG.com, while patching the Xbox One version, but by now it should be clear to you that we have complications (concerning weird science).
And it’s only fair that you guys request The Official™ Answer regarding these things, as it is something you clearly crave, judging by the comments.
But fundamentally, there’s nothing new to tell. We’re still working as hard as we can, like a little steampunk factory. Pun maybe intended, as we have years of experience with Steam so far, but we’re quite new to Microsoft’s Xbox platform with its certification process and to the GOG Galaxy client. Remember, we’re still a growing company, testing is slower than expected, unexpected problems are more unexpected than expected, but still, we firmly believe from week to week that we can finish all the work the next day.
- Yes, we’re working on the Xbox One patch. Achievements will be fixed, that wasn’t the hard part. You’ll get that sweet Gamerscore and hundertprozent, rest assured. But the update will include fixes in multiplayer mode, and that takes time, and we can’t release these fixes separately, as it would require to go through two certification processes, and that would mean more delays. We don’t want that, do we?
- Yes, we’re working on bringing Final Cut to GOG.com, but there are still a few bumps on the road, the game must work perfectly with the GOG Galaxy client, and that takes also time. (If you have the trilogy on GOG, you’re eligible for a free Steam copy of Final Cut in the meantime, we can offer you this much. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org)
- And yes, indeed we’re working on other things as well, but that doesn’t interfere much with said things, our sub-teams are divided smartly and are focusing on single tasks.
Van Helsing: Final CutSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Grim DawnSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Sketch TalesSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Dungeon Rift - Local Co-op
The local co-op mode for Dungeonrift is now life in the Early Access of the game.
It has been a long work, but second DungeonRift Early Access update is live! We’re happy to finally release local co-op mode (we’ve played it ourselves and really liked the way it plays) as well as fixes for lots of issues we (and our dear players) found since last build. Next update will be more content-wise and we hope it will take WAY less time for us to develop.
We will rebuild our Demo in nearest future for it to make more precise impression of our game.Patch notes:
- Local co-op mode implemented!
- You can join as a second player in “Start Game” menu with the desirable controller;
- Alternative skins for second player’s characters (more skins and skin selection to come in later updates);
- Dead players are revived by opening chest on next level (chest-loot is lost this way);
- 3 new environments with 6 new awesome music tracks;
- Option to switch camera zoom to “toggle mode” (thanks to TheTycoon for the advice);
- Option to disable timer ticking for those who was enraged by it;
- Some control-based glitches have been fixed (thanks to Rachelle for the report);
- Engine upgraded to Unity 5.3 (expect some perfomance boost!);
- Tons of optimizations and little bug fixes for better game experience.
Steam GamesSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
InSomniaSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Victor Vran - Review @ Warpzoned
Warpzoned reviewed Victor Vran and gave it 6 out of 7 lifebars.
The Van Helsing-inspired demon hunter is voiced by the same actor who voices The Witcher. His gruff, monotone delivery works well in this type of role. This does make it hard to get enthusiastic about some of his lines, but that’s the tradeoff for a famous voice. The voice acting in the game is enjoyable overall, with a wide variety of texture and delivery. The actors were fun to listen to and gave more life to the dialogue.
The writing for Victor Vran left something to be desired. The story was fairly generic. In fact, if you have played The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 2 recently, you will find that the story is just about the same. It might be that an original story could not be afforded after paying for good visuals, audio, actors, and unique leveling mechanics. It doesn’t detract from this game being fun to play, but was sad to generally have to ignore the story so as not to feel frustrated by how uninspired it was.
Overall, Victor Vran is worth the time investment. If you like games similar to Diablo, Torchlight, Titan Quest, and Sacred, then you will have a great time playing Victor Vran.
Victor VranSP/MP: Single + MP
Wednesday - February 10, 2016
Darkest Dungeon - Review @ Gamesided
Gamesided reviewed Darkest Dungeon and they say that it's an early GotY contender:
Darkest Dungeon Review - Madness, Our Old Friend
The fickle nature of Steam’s Early Access program overshadows the excellence of some of the titles to grace the service. Games development takes its time to get right, even if parts of a finished product are ready for public consumption. Darkest Dungeon is the best example of the process producing excellence, mixing the goal of a completed project with the responsive evolution, in part, by the way of public criticism. It has helped independent developer Red Hook Studios mold an amazing amalgamation of gothic sensibilities with the deconstruction and demonstration of what it truly means to be a warring “hero.”
There’s something that the Darkest Dungeon taps into that isn’t quite replicated. It has a simple art and animation style that projects like a comic infused with gothic sensibilities. It plays like a D&D dungeon-crawling campaign with added house rules to expand upon the base game. It sells itself as a ghost story, hanging onto a narrative drip as you become immersed in a low fantasy horrific world. You feel like a kid who’s stumbled upon the most terrifying choose-your-own-adventure pop-up book but can’t pry away.
Released fewer than three weeks into the new year, Darkest Dungeon has already solidified itself as an early Game of the Year contender.
Edge Of Eternity - NPC System
An update for Edge of Eternity shows the new (under development) NPC system in action.
We are working on a intent system for the NPCs that will create realistic behaviors and interact with the environment. It’s an huge thing to create but it’s very important to us. We think it’s important for the journey of our characters and for our players to see how the world lives and that means NPC with credible willpower.
Edge Of EternitySP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Epocylipse: The Afterfall - Formally Announced
Razor Edge Games, who are developing the post apocalyptic RPG Epocylipse: The Afterfall, have decided to start the media campaign for their game.
Calling all RPG Gamers: Epocylipse the AfterFall has Arrived
Phoenix, Arizona - February 12, 2016 - It's time to customize your own role playing adventure in a huge open world, non-linear, procedurally generated game. Razor Edge Games introduces Epocylipse the AfterFall, a brand new role playing experience that breaks away from the "kill everything you see mentality" that has now become expected for digital RPG style games. Get ready for a more realistic approach to gaming in an exciting post-apocalyptic environment.
Epocylipse the AfterFall features detailed artificial intelligence, jaw dropping graphics, cinematic camera angles, along with a 100+ hours of gameplay and thousands of locations to discover. Combine this with a totally customizable game rule set, character aging, skill based gameplay and everyone is able to uniquely experience the game and make it their own. These are just some of the features in this dangerous but believable post-apocalyptic world rife with feral humans, mutated insects, toxic plants, where getting your character killed really matters.
Razor Edge Games founder, Mike Weiser, disenchanted with where modern role playing games were going, designed the first tabletop version of the Epocylipse game. In his own words he says, "Early in 2006 I decided to start to write a game that I could play solo or with friends, but also have an unending campaign that would allow me to play on even if they couldn't join me for specific play sessions. I wanted to design an RPG I always wanted to play, one that allowed me to experience the same feeling I had while playing a traditional table top game but without the need for a game master." Epocylipse the AfterFall is a true tabletop game come to life.
Developed by an international group of experienced game designers, cinematic executives and a host of passionate contributors, this game brings forth a new vision of what an RPG experience should be all about. Come discover the old world and explore the new one in Epocylipse the AfterFall.
For more information or any questions about the game please go to http://razoredgegames.com/. For the latest updates on game progress and for access to breathtaking new content, visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Epocylipseafterfall/
Release: In development
XCOM 2 - Review Roundup
Here are a bunch of reviews for XCOM 2.
Foibles aside, XCOM 2 is still a wonderfully engrossing strategy game that can very easily leave you spellbound throughout 2016 and beyond. The myriad of tactical options at your disposal - from new soldier classes to the various weapon upgrades - is delicately balanced against the ever-changing extraterrestrial monstrosities. You'll constantly discover new, better ways of honing your craft, and XCOM 2 will happily meet your challenge in kind.
Every once in a while, however, XCOM 2's difficulty surpasses challenging, and becomes unfair. For the most part, enemies abide by the same restrictions we do. But sometimes, they shoot through walls and dodge point-blank shotgun bursts. The cards are already stacked against us in most campaigns, and part of the fun is overcoming those odds--but when the enemy AI ignores the rules, the game loses its appeal. Furthermore, XCOM suffers from certain technical glitches: the action halted during action-camera sequences, and in certain cases, I felt as if the game was overwhelmed. My soldiers' reaction shots didn't trigger when they should have, and enemies' attacks happened all at once, or weren't shown at all.
Everywhere you look, you see the same kind of micro-surgical thinking. The game is always keen to see you moving promptly, acting before it's too late. The aliens are always up to something and there's always a big, red, doomsday-styled counter ticking away at the top of the screen. Why? Many of us, I expect, were guilty of holding off on assaulting the alien base in Enemy Unknown until we'd finished a few extra research projects, or kitted out our squad in just the way we liked. Despite being repeatedly told how urgently the planet required us to complete that mission, we did a bit of grinding first. It was all-out war, but did we really feel the pressure?
Rock Paper Shotgun, Recommended
The Escapist, 4.5/5
XCOM 2SP/MP: Single + MP
BioWare - The Great Bioware Exodus
@Equityarcade, Matthew Loffhagen examines the exodus of Biowares creative talent and what it means for Bioware and the rpg industry at large.
In addition to losing many of its key staff members (including the company's founders, who departed shortly after the release of Mass Effect 3 in 2012), the studio has also announced the cancellation of several new projects in recent years, including Shadow Realms, a game which was intended to see release last year but which was ultimately canned.
All of this upheaval has led many speculators to wonder how much of the original company's creative spark remains intact.
The Canadian developer, known primarily for a long legacy of immersive choose-your-own-adventure style roleplaying games, was sold to Electronic Arts in 2007. Gamers noted that future titles from the studio were far more visually impressive, but lacked much of the depth that BioWare had previously been known for.
With so many key members of the BioWare team leaving for greener pastures, though, the studio's future is uncertain. As EA replace more key staff members, the original creative spark that made BioWare games unique becomes further diluted, as BioWare assimilates further into the EA brand.
Meanwhile, with so many veteran RPG makers moving to work on new projects with different companies, fans of the classics may be pleased to see more games emulating BioWare's storytelling style. Chris Wynn, for example, having left the Mass Effect franchise behind, has already found a place for himself working with Daybreak to produce H1-Z1, a zombie MMO. Similarly, Casey Hudson, the creator of the Mass Effect franchise, has joined the team working on Microsoft's HoloLens peripheral.
While the future of what's left of the BioWare company is anything but certain, it's likely that the next few years will see a variety of high quality games and technologies appearing from various corners of the gaming industry, as artists and writers who honed their creative skills at the legendary developer move on to grace other companies with their talents.
Firewatch - Released
The mystery first person adventure Firewatch has been released:
Firewatch is a single-player first-person mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness.
The year is 1989. You are a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor Delilah is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio—your only contact with the world you've left behind. But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the forest, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.
A Note: Firewatch is a video game about adults having adult conversations about adult things. If you plan on playing with a younger gamer, that might be good to know going in.
- A stunningly beautiful wilderness environment that expands as you explore.
- A tailor-made story: the choices you make shape the narrative and build relationships.
- An edge-of-your-seat mystery.
- Secrets and discoveries to be made over every hill.
- Living, breathing characters brought to life by Cissy Jones (The Walking Dead: Season 1) and Rich Sommer (Mad Men)
- A spectacular wilderness environment by Olly Moss (Illustrator) and Jane Ng (The Cave, Brutal Legend)
- A thrilling story and script by Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin (The Walking Dead: Season 1, Poker Night at the Inventory)
- A stirring original soundtrack by Chris Remo (Gone Home)
- Fluid first-person animation by James Benson (Ori & The Blind Forest)
- Gameplay scripting and design work by Patrick Ewing (Twitter) and Nels Anderson (Mark of the Ninja)
- Programming by Will Armstrong (Bioshock II), Ben Burbank (Costume Quest 2, Space Base DF-9), and Paolo Surricchio (Deadpool, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare)
Tuesday - February 09, 2016
Beamdog - David Gaider joins as Creative Director
Game Informer reports the former Bioware writer has been signed on as Creative Director. Baldurs Gate 3 confirmed?
In January, David Gaider surprised Dragon Age fans by announcing his departure from BioWare. Today, we know that he hasn't gone far.
Gaider announced that he has joined Beamdog as creative director. The company has released updated PC and mobile versions of both Balder's Gate games. Gaider was a writer on Baldur's Gate II.
A note on Beamdog's website details his new role:
We're very pleased to welcome David Gaider to the company as our new creative director. Originally we advertised for the position of senior writer, but when David contacted Trent about the position, we upgraded the role.
David is well known for his design and writing work on Baldur's Gate 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age: Origins. He brings 17 years of experience to our little team and we couldn't be happier to work with him. David will lead the writing team and direct new creative endeavors for the company.
With any luck, this might be the first part of an announcement Baldur's Gate fans have been waiting for since the second entry was released in 2000. In 2012, Beamdog producer Phillip Daigle indicated that if the Enhanced Editions performed well that there might be hope for a third game.
7 Mages - On Greenlight
Mobile devices are bringing back the old dungeon crawler subgenre. The dungeon crawler 7 Mages is now on Steam Greenlight:
Assume the role of a mage charged with protecting a village of poor peasants from raids by rogue mages intent on stealing their crops. Pushed to the limit, the peasants pool their last resources and set off to town to hire mages to protect their village. They find you, and your first task is to assemble a company of six other mages to help the poor villagers.
Seven Mages is a grid-based dungeon crawler with a unique turn-based system of combat that allows you to split up your comrades to make the battles more tactical. The mages you control employ various types of powers, including elemental magic, magical maneuvers and unique musical magic.
Besides the crypts at the beginning, players also experience many other environments: they emerge to the surface of the town and into the surrounding forests; they sail on boats, wade through swamps and struggle across frozen mountain peaks. And there will be much more: dragon guts, sea bottom level, Storm city... every level has its own graphic environment. Each environment has unique enemies with different kinds of behavior that tactically change a battles.
Combats in Seven Mages are turn-based. In other words, while movement is free (i.e. in real time) when you are not engaged in battle, the game stops when a clash breaks out and the system switches to a turn-based regime. Here you can do one of six moves: perform magical maneuver with cold weapon, cast elemental spell, play magical song, reequip (or drink potion), move any party member, or defend.
A battle mage can use magic to force the weapon to do things that are against the laws of nature. There is a maneuver that sends your sword far ahead of you to cut an enemy there and then return to your hand. With spear or halberd there is a different maneuver that can extend the weapon (to more than twice its length), hit an enemy that’s two squares away and pull them closer to you (where you can finish them off). Ranged weapons on the other hand can shoot several projectiles at once, and with magic, one arrow can hit more than one enemy even if they’re not standing in a line.
To perform maneuvers or musical magic, you need an item (a weapon or an instrument). The difference between these two types of magic and elemental magic is that the latter does not need any item to cast. Besides the ever-popular fireball that all mages simply must have in their arsenal, there is also a spell that can set the ground around the mage on fire or a spell that calls thunderstorms on remote squares. There are also spells that can show you the strengths and weaknesses of an enemy, give you a hint if you’re stuck on a puzzle or show you a map of unknown territory. And there’s also the option to summon a party member.
Seven Mages also introduce a heretofore unseen method of spellcasting in fantasy games. Instead of weapons, players hold a military drum, a horn or a fiery violin and play a magical song on them. Everyone within earshot feels the effects of the spell and becomes a stronger fighter; their arms and legs come alive with more speed or seas part in front of them. The same tune can be played by several heroes in the party at once, and as the music gets richer, the spell becomes stronger.
The game was originally developed for mobile devices (iOS and Android) and it will hit App Store and Google Play on March 15. Once we get the green light, we will put the same version on Steam in Early Access, and then we will start working on further adjustments of the game for more advanced PC hardware. It means that the Early Access version will be already polished and fully playable. The only difference between Early Access and the full game will be prettier graphics of the PC version, as well as some minor adjustments in texts (we will remove all the 'taps' and 'swipes', etc.). Of course we will reflect any relevant user feedback.
- 14 unique environments
- 28 types of enemies with different fight styles
- 60 spells
- Heavily tactical turn-based combat
- Unique and previously unseen musical magic
- New puzzles and twists in each level
- Retro feeling in high-end graphics
- Dozens hours of gameplay
More info in: 7mages.net
7 MagesSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Release: In development
General News - Amazon Releases Free Game Engine
Amazon is making a free game development engine available, based on Crytek's CryEngine, which is named Lumberyard. Not only is it free, the source coude is also freely available. Integration with Twitch are already available and an integration with Oculus is coming.
Amazon makes money off the engine as it is closely integrated with Amazon Web Services, which is not free. That said, it is apparently possible for developers to integrate their own server.
Given that the engine uses AWS it is probably suited best for MMO type games.
Wanderer - Development Update
Two weeks ago a new development update for Wanderer was made available.
90% of the work I've been doing over the past two months is on the story front. I've spent 100's of hours at this point writing and rewriting the flow of the narrative, becoming familiar and comfortable with the characters, and fleshing out the history and backstory of the world, and I'm very happy with the result and where the story has wound up going!
It's definitely been an incredibly intense experience thus far, as to stay on schedule we really need to be out of pre-production by the 1st of February, which means all the foundations need to be laid so I can switch gears and focus fully on producing visual assets and animations full time. I absolutely would not be comfortable moving forward on the foundation of a story that I didn't think was coming together like I wanted, so to put it lightly I've been feeling the pressure. Now that I can see the light at the end of tunnel I can feel the load lighten a little bit and it's definitely a relief! :)
At this point, there's not a whole lot I can reveal about the details of the story, because I intend a large part of the game to be going into the experience somewhat blind, much like Rook himself, and experiencing and learning things first hand rather than through exposition. However, I would like to officially reveal something we haven't talked much about yet, which is that Wanderer will feature a second playable character with her own separate story line! Meet VALE Special Investigator Akira Saionji.....
Release: In development
Moon Hunters - On Steam This Month
Moon Hunters is coming to Steam on the 25th of February.
The good news is that the game is only 5 weeks (ed: since the 20th of January) away (for PC on Steam -- Mac and Linux to follow shortly after.. then certification begins on the PS4 version). The even more good news is that everything looks like it's pretty much on track!
It might feel long to you if you've been waiting for a while, but to us it seems like it's looming tomorrow and there's an infinite amount of little improvements we want to make...! We're trying not to panic...!
Moon HuntersSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Project ResurgenceSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
General News - GameTrailers has Closed
After 13 years, GameTrailers has now been shut down and everybody at GT has been laid off. I'm sure many of you have used GameTrailers in those 13 years and although there are many other outlets to use, they were one of the very first with game videos on the internet.
Darkest Dungeon - Interview @ Gamasutra
Gamasutra talked with Darkest Dungeon's producer and design director Tyler Sigman and creative director Chris Bourassa about their development process.
How much time have you spent working on the game so far?
Sigman: Chris and I did a lot of prepro via concept meetings and brainstorming sessions, so by the time we kicked off development, we at least had a pretty good idea of what we were trying to do. But we formally began development in April 2013. We Kickstarted in February 2014, Early Access’d in February 2015, and hit full release on January 19, 2016. We originally were aiming for about 18 months of development, but this being videogames, things have a way of stretching out!
Bourassa: We spent a good year or so meeting up outside of our day jobs and talking through the design and structure of the game. I still have those old sketchbooks - they’re packed full of screen layouts, fresh ideas, false starts, and breakthrough ‘eureka’ moments!
What was the toughest part about developing an Early Access game?
Sigman: It’s like a white knuckle rollercoaster ride. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of success, but we’ve had some tough moments, too. Developing in Early Access is like working while naked in a transparent cube suspended above Times Square. Your lows and highs are there for everyone to see. But that’s kind of the point, and DD is a stronger game for having gone through it. I remain extremely bullish on both Kickstarter and Early Access. But my advice is to make sure to swallow your Dramamine before taking the plunge. Community management and live game support are things that take extra skillsets and resources beyond what is already hard enough: making a good game.
Kingdom Come - Preview @ Segment Next
Segment Next chimes in with a preview of the alpha version of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, like with the below comments about combat (note that the article contains spoilers):
Kingdom Come: Deliverance was yet again staying true to its historical accuracy, and the nomadic Cumans of the latter stages of the medieval era seem to be centric to this catastrophe, and likely an integral part of the main plot of the game.
Inside lay dead bodies and a heavily wounded soldier, whose companion requested aid for his dying friend so that his final hours may be less painful.
In the hope of helping this man, I set to head back to Samopesh, but my attention was diverted by a military camp that trained medieval sword fencing. At the expense of a few coins, I was given a thorough lesson by a trainer on how to duel with a sword.
This was the core melee combat of Kingdom Come: Deliverance. It certainly swayed away from conventional mindless hack-and-slash fun we’re accustomed to seeing, and introduced a more tactical form of battle that was fairly sophisticated to learn and even more difficult to master.
The intensity of the combat came not from the blows (I was using a wooden training sword after all), but from the complexity of the task itself.
With intricacies such as timing your blocks and perfectly attacking unguarded parts of your foe either through wide slashes or powerful jabs, the sword fighting was admittedly overwhelming.
In my second playthrough I dedicated myself to become villainous, using every NPC as a practice dummy. I was a little underwhelmed how the normal guards failed to test my novice skills the way the trainer did, dying from a few amateurish jabs I executed without much thought.
I never truly met anyone equipped with a knight’s armor who would push me to the limits, but almost all the combat scenarios felt uncomfortably different from the exhaustive training where I learned the basics of fencing.
The melee combat certainly had overall potential, but the consistency of its application is questionable.
Kingdom ComeSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
CivCraft - Alpha Update
The early alpha version of CivCraft, which is only available to backers, has been updated and a next version is eminent.
We would first like to thank you for your suggestions and bug reports for us to improve CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria. We hope you all liked it, and since the release we already made some progress.One week have passed since the Pre-Alpha, and we’ve been working around the clock on the major issues with the earlier version.
First thing we did was to address the biggest issue of all; the massive slow frame rate and CPU cost for running CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria. After a week of coding and optimizations, we’ve doubled the frame rate and speed of the game. In fact, we’ve optimized CivCraft more than expected and decided to add SSAO, Filmic Tonemapping, Normal bump corrections, color corrections, light adaptation, and many other technical words that just makes Ellaria look cool and beautiful!
In the past week, We’ve also managed to complete our day/night cycle, as well as the weather system. The next version will include this feature, as well as a better environmentally sound.
We’re planning to publish a next version with more areas to explore and with forest life, as well as more things to do in your city. However, we’re planning to publish a version just with the optimization, just as soon as we'll build automatic updates and registration system, so that you’ll receive updates instead of a big installation file, as well as the items or CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria version you backed.
In the meanwhile, we’re also working on the city life, and have opened a vote section here.
CivCraftSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
The Digital Antiquarian - The Road to Ultima V
@The Digital Antiquarian, Jimmy Maher explores the development of Ultima V. In this article we learn about the internal squabbles, business deals and relocation of Origin.
The most dangerous of these conflicts was the great sibling squabble over just where Origin Systems should be located. Back at the end of 1983, you may remember, Robert had been able to convince Richard to move the company from their parents' garage in Houston, Texas, up to New Hampshire, where his wife Marcy had found a fine position of her own working for Bell Labs. The deal was that they would remain there for at least three years. Robert, who had spent the months before the move commuting cross-country in his private plane, hoped that during the three years something might change: Marcy might get a transfer, or Richard might decide he actually liked New England and wanted to stay there. Well, at the end of 1986 the three years were up, and neither of those things had happened.
Thus Richard and company, reunited again with Bueche, found themselves a minimalist office in Austin in early 1987, fifteen desks ranged along a single long hallway. And Richard himself, now becoming a very wealthy young man indeed thanks to the huge success of Ultima III and IV, started work on Britannia Manor, a custom-built house-cum-castle worthy of Lord British; it came complete with secret passageways, a cave, a wine cellar, and a stellar observatory. It was pretty clear he wasn't planning to go anywhere else anytime soon.
Jimmy also examined the specifics of the business deal between Origin and EA and how it went sour.
The origin of Origin's EA problem dated back to August of 1985, about a month before the release of Ultima IV. By this point distribution was starting to become a real issue for a little publisher like Origin, as the few really big publishers, small enough in number to count on one hand, were taking advantage of their size and clout to squeeze the little guys off of store shelves. Knowing he had a hugely anticipated game on his hands with Ultima IV, one that with the proper care and handling should easily exceed the considerable-in-its-own-right success of Ultima III, Robert also knew he needed excellent distribution to realize its potential. He therefore turned to EA, one of the biggest of the big boys of the industry.
Game Informer - Long Live Single Player
Remember when the death of single player was predicted? Game Informer has an article on trend driven development cycles.
At 2011's European Game Developers Conference, industry veteran Mark Cerny rattled gamers' cages when he told a room full of journalists he believes "the traditional single-player game experience will be gone in three years. Right now you sit in your living room and you're playing a game by yourself - we call it the sp mission or the single-player campaign. In a world with Facebook, I just don't think that's going to last."
Cerny's prediction placed single-player gaming's death at the end of 2014. These comments were said at a time when a good majority of developers were going out of their way to include multiplayer components into games. Even the strongest of the narrative driven adventure series (like BioShock, Singularity, Batman: Arkham, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Uncharted) invested significant development resources into multiplayer integration.
Not everyone was bearish on single player at the time. Bethesda Softworks largely ignored the industry’s trends and instead focused on making quality single-player experiences like the internally developed The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – an adventure players can sink hundreds of hours into – and Arkane Studios’ Dishonored, an exceptional stealth adventure. Both games, which only offered single-player content, were critically acclaimed and sold well.
Monday - February 08, 2016
Dark Souls IIISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
General News - The Best RPGs of 2016
I know you like your lists, so here is another one at The Escapist. I can uderstand looking forward to RPGs but The Escapist lists already the 9 best RPGs of this year that are yet to be released. The list holds Final Fantasy XV, Persona 5, Fire Emblem Fate, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, The Technomancer, Mass Effect Andromeda, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Horizon Zero Dawn and Dark Souls III.
General News - RPGs love Space
The RPG Scrollbars at Rock Paper Shotgun: Richard Cobbet about the fun of exploration:
The RPG Scrollbars: To Distant Shores
I’m on the road at the moment – not literally, that would make typing very dangerous – so unsurprisingly I’ve been pondering travel. Also regretting taking too long to see The Martian, and again being stunned by what Americans consider chocolate. But I can’t think of even a tenuous connection between those and RPGs, so travel it is – and in particular, the rare joy that comes of not simply going somewhere new, but feeling that sense of distance behind you and a whole new horizon lying ahead.
General News - Why are RPGs so hard to classify?
Another entry in Felipe Pepe's excellent blog at Gamasutra:
Why RPGs are so hard to classify and evolve?
Computer RPGs are weird.
Even thought I play & love them since childhood, even though I'm editing a book on CRPGs, even though I've been posting on the RPG Codex for NINE YEARS (Oh god, send help), I can't easily answer one of the hardest questions ever - be it for devs, critics or fans: "define RPG".
So I've decided to sit down and rant a bit on why it's so hard to define this genre, and also why it's a genre that sometimes end restricting its games. Some of it will be obvious, but I hope to offer some decent insights. I even recruited Batman for this.
Buckle up, this will be LOOOOOOONG.
Age of DecadenceSP/MP: Single-player