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Breaking Newsbits

Victor Vran - Win a Steam Key

by Myrthos

Thanks to Tom Ohle of Evolve for providing them, we can give you another set of keys, which this time is for Victor Vran, a game currently in Early Access:

Victor Vran is the isometric action-RPG where your skill is just as essential as your character build and gear. Experience intense combat action: dodge, jump and unleash powerful skills to finish off your enemies! AVAILABLE NOW: Slay demons together in cooperative multiplayer!

Now time for the rules.

  1. New registrations are not eligible to win.
  2. You must have over 30 posts on the Forum.
  3. Just post a comment you are interested in winning the game.

We will randomly pick the winners om Monday, June 1st.

Victor Vran

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Thursday - May 28, 2015

Telepath Tactics - Review @ RPG Codex

by Hiddenx, 00:52

Zetor of the RPG Codex reviews the Craig Stern's Telepath Tactics: A snippet:

The combat system is deceptively simple: every attack automatically hits (with few exceptions, see later under RNG), but positioning matters. Attacks and spells do more damage from the side and a LOT more damage from the back; in addition, ranged attacks do more damage from close range. If the target has a weapon that can retaliate against the attack (e.g. a bow against a ranged character, or a melee weapon against a ranged attacker) and they still have counterattacks remaining this turn, they can turn around and counterattack afterwards, usually for mediocre damage. This sort of positional combat in a turn-based game is actually a pet peeve of mine -- how can a combatant just walk around someone they're actively fighting and strike them in the back for much damage? A trained fighter should be able to keep their guard up and at least make an effort to face their foe (assassins excepted); a turn-based game should try to support this. The best backstab implementation was in the Gold Box games, where each unit could turn to face the first attack against them each turn, and subsequent attacks could backstab them or get a flat to-hit bonus. Ah well, can't fight against the SRPG industry standard!

All special abilities take energy to use (basic attacks and shoving/pulling enemies are free), which only recharges when a character is idle: 1 energy per turn if the character performs non-attack actions such as movement, 5 energy per turn if the character doesn't do anything at all. Considering that everyone starts combat with one-third of their max energy (with melee characters typically having a much lower energy cap than casters), energy management as well as proper use of energy-recharging consumables is a critical decision for most characters. Unfortunately this also makes casters lackluster for most encounters, as they are forced to pass most of their turns to be able to cast their spells when required. Speaking of consumables, they can be used at any time during the character's turn, and using them is a free action. As they can be quite powerful (restore a lot of energy and/or health, give the unit 40% more movement for one turn, give 20% physical damage reduction for a time), rampant Fallout-esque exploitation (hey, let me just go into my inventory and use 30 stimpacks) is kept in check by consumables being somewhat expensive and/or non-trivial to get more of.

In the end, overcoming challenges in a mission is done through a series of risk:reward decisions, and this game has them in spades. In fact, one of its greatest strengths is that there are so many ways to deal with those. You can play it safe or be super-aggressive; you can kill everything that moves or win a map without really fighting any enemies; you can even re-arrange the map to create your own strategy for winning the battle. Some examples that came up during my playthrough:

  • Do I move in tight formation to protect my squishies, even though this exposes me to AOE attacks and getting flanked by ranged enemies?
  • Do I split up my team to deal with enemies attacking from three directions, or do I keep everyone together and try to block off some approaches?
  • Do I send off my fastest units to open treasure chests behind enemy lines, thus possibly exposing them to danger while leaving me with less units to carry out the main objectives? Or do I leave treasure chests alone until I've dealt with the main threats, thus risking their contents getting stolen by an NPC thief?
  • Do I keep out of movement/attack range of potentially dangerous enemies while I get everyone in position (possibly allowing them to get reinforcements), or do I rush to the most important targets ASAP and try to protect my vanguard?
  • Do I move slowly and methodically through the map, destroying all enemy forces for extra gold / experience / item drops at the risk of taking more damage and losing resources, or do I send a flier to beeline for the main objective to avoid getting outmatched?
  • Before engaging the main enemy force, do I constantly reposition my casters in reaction to enemy movement to keep them as safe as possible, or do I try to get them into a moderately safe position in the first turn and then pass their turns to gain 5 energy instead of 1 per turn (and perhaps keeping another unit back to babysit them as needed)?
  • Do I save that suicidal NPC and expose my own units to danger, or do I let them die and possibly miss out on a new party member or even a side mission?
  • Do I burn consumables to burst down an enemy with a dangerous attack, or save them and prepare to take the attack?
  • Do I partially destroy a bridge to create a chokepoint and take the risk of the bridge getting completely destroyed by enemy Crossbowmen as a follow-up?
  • Do I attack from max range with my casters to avoid exposing them to danger, or walk to a 2-tile range from the target (or even melee range with Mind Blast and some point-blank AOE attacks spells) to get more damage out?
  • Do I kill this target by focusing attacks on them, or do I just push them into the water to make them waste their next turn swimming to shore?
  • After gaining the upper hand and having the option of finishing the battle at any time, do I let my lower-level characters pick off the last enemies to gain experience and possibly expose them to unneeded risk?
  • Do I switch to a weaker/cheap weapon to dispatch a near-death enemy, or do I keep using the good stuff in case the character gets attacked and needs to make the counterattack count?
Now keep in mind that some battles are long... and some are VERY long. They are also mentally exhausting -- once I was done with a 2-hour monster of a fight, I was typically not up for playing the next mission immediately. This is definitely a game that's best played in bursts with some time to recharge in between!

Telepath Tactics

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

The Technomancer - New Screenshots

by Myrthos, 00:07

Three new screenshots for the action RPG The Technomancer surfaced today.

 

They show the Technomancer and his companions arriving at Noctis, one of the last strongholds of civilization on Mars. Noctis is one of the many locations you will get to explore during your adventure. A "free city" that isolated itself from the War of Water, which opposes the grand Companies such as Aurora and Abundance, Noctis still holds great dangers: bandits, pillagers, and some dangerous creatures who will put your warrior skills to the test.

The Technomancer

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Wednesday - May 27, 2015

Techradar - Top 100 best free games you should play today

by Hiddenx, 19:47

Techradar's Andrew Williams & Jamie Hinks assembled a cool list of free games. Many classic RPGs, Adventures and Strategy games are included - Happy Gaming!

RPGWatch

Details

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Koji Igarashi interview

by Hexprone, 17:46

This actioner's Kickstarter claims "RPG elements", and designer Igarashi gives a few details in a new interview about what that may mean.

Please tell us about the crafting system. I understand enemies will drop rare materials which you can use to gain different magic and skills?

Igarashi: [...] I wanted a system where you’d be able to learn to use enemy skills and attacks. There are five different kinds of drops, corresponding to different parts of an enemy, like their heads, arms, etc.

Normal crafting materials will be used on quests, or for weapons and armor, but the sparkling rares, if you level them, will become crystals. Those crystals will link with the magi-crystals on Miriam’s body and allow her to use special abilities/skills. I also want the drops to give different stat subeffects: for example, an enemy head drop will raise your magic power, or a drop from an enemy leg/foot will raise your movement speed. ... An enemy might drop something, but it doesn’t have the subeffect you want -- I hope players enjoy that hunt.

bloodstained

Heroine Miriam's body is gradually being taken over by alchemical "stained glass"

On designing the setting:

I wanted Bloodstained to be set in England. It seemed like the kind of place where a demon summoning might have actually happened. I did some investigation into English history to see if there had ever been such an event.

—And did you find anything?

Igarashi: I did. In the 17th century the Laki volcano in Iceland erupted, killing 1/3 of the population in Iceland. Furthermore, the ash and sulphur dioxide from the eruption blanketed Europe ... yet for some reason, despite the fact that 23000 people died in England, there are no such English stories about it. A huge disaster, but no records remain…

The interview was originally in Japanese at game*spark and appears in translation here.

Kickstarter

Details

DA:Inquisition - Jaws of Hakkon Released for PS4, Xbox 360 and PS3

by Aries100, 14:51

GameRanx writes that Jaws of Hakkon has been released for the Xbox 360, the PS3 and and the PS4. A quote:

The latest DLC for Dragon Age: Inquisition, titled Jaws of Hakkon, is now available for PS4, PS3, and Xbox 360, ending the timed exclusivity of the content for PC and Xbox One.

Sony Playstation also released a new trailer - you can watch it here.

If some of you should have forgotten what the Jaws of Hakkon DLC is about, here's a brief reminder:

Discover the fate of the last Inquisitor and the powerful dragon he hunted. Enter an overgrown wilderness filled with Avvar, fiercely independent hunters who settled in the southern mountains of Thedas.

DA:Inquisition

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Outland 17 - Kickstarter Post-Mortem

by Myrthos, 12:17

Grenade Tree Games have written a post-mortem on their Kickstarter adventure for Outland 17, that failed in receiving the neccessary finds for the game. They mention the things that went well and the things that didn't went well. One of those being them unsuccessful in transferring the followers they had on social media into people who actually pledged. The charts show that a total of 13 people coming from RPGWatch pledged.

What Didn’t Work

  • Not Enough Traffic - The most obvious observation: we didn’t have a big enough ball rolling at launch, in terms of both community size and media coverage. We underestimated how many followers and email subscribers would convert into backers. Even getting our friends and family to back or even share the project was like herding cats.
  • Lack of Context For Goal Amount - We didn’t put up our stretch goals so as not to appear presumptuous about the level of success our campaign would have. Our humility was our downfall by not including those goals since it kept people from seeing our entire vision for the game. 

    Covering licensing fees isn’t as “sexy” as saying that their contribution will help get custom animations for the game or bring it to a new platform. End users are more interested in the tactile results they can recognize immediately.

    For example, we had an early stretch goal in the wings for Linux development and had mentioned it in the Kickstarter. This was largely missed as we still had comments saying they would support if it had a Linux release. Had we had our stretch goals been more prominently displayed, we could have had a better motivation for backers to support us to try to reach that goal. 
  • Original Kickstarter Video Had The Wrong Focus - When we launched our Kickstarter we started noticing negative reactions to the video with people watching it and not understanding what the project or the campaign was about. The original one was more about trying to pitch a product and the team as opposed to pitching the game, which is the core of what anyone coming to Kickstarter cared about.

    We even had several people claim we were attacking other developers, which was never the intent of the video. We pulled the game trailer to the front burner, finished it and swapped it out but by then the first impressions had been made. 
  • The Demo Suffered Scope Creep - The demo was originally released with three missions and a handful of abilities players could customize with. By the Kickstarter’s launch, it had tripled to nine missions. We had several calls to action in the demo to go to the Kickstarter but because of the size and scope of the demo, it didn’t have the focus to create an itch for the player that could only be scratched by the Kickstarter.
  • $20 Is Too High - A comment that popped up a couple times toward the end of the campaign was that the base reward to get the game was priced too high at $20.
  • Not Enough Team Info - We didn’t go into detail about each of the team members, which resulted in people not understanding each person’s contributing role.

The development of the game goes on, with another Kickstarter they plan in the future.

Outland 17

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Arakion - Alpha launching next week

by Hiddenx, 07:20

From the Kickstarter page:

The long wait is almost over! Arakion officially moves into alpha next week. I'll post a video update detailing how to get it, how you can help with development post launch and all the other tidbits.

Thanks Drithius!

Arakion

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Unknown
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Witcher 3 - This Week's Free DLC Revealed

by Hexprone, 03:04

CD Projekt Red plans to release sixteen different little free DLC packages every week through the summer. The second of them was announced today. It ain't fancy, but it's free.

  • Contact: Missing Miners - Miners from a small Skellige village are disappearing. Investigate and find out what's happening.
  • Alternative Look for Yennefer - Check out this entirely new look for the mighty sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg.

The first paid expansion, Hearts of Stone, is expected in October.

Source: GameSpot

Witcher 3

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Tuesday - May 26, 2015

RPGWatch - Sword Coast Legends Community Interview

by Myrthos, 23:40

Some of our forum members joined forces earlier this month in preparing questions about Sword Coast Legends. We just got them back answered, so here it is.

Lucky Day: Can PvP be possible? Or friendly fire? Can spell and other scripts be edited? I was also wondering if it's possible to make a standalone server?

Tim: Since adventuring in D&D has always been a cooperative experience, PvP has never been part of our plans. However, friendly fire is very much a factor so powerful AoE spells need to be used carefully and tactically.

I can't yet answer your questions about DM Campaign creation and customization, but I can confirm that you will not be able to create a standalone server.


goblin: Is the RTwP  feature for single player only? If not how will it work in multi-player? Also will your single player characters be available for multi-player?

Tim: Regardless of game mode, pausing is only available with a single player controlling the party. Once additional players have joined, we're currently disabling the pause feature. We are considering allowing a group to unanimously pause in multiplayer if that's what players would like.

Yes, your custom characters will move with you into dungeon crawls or even other player campaigns. This means if you want to run a dungeon with only rogues, you can very much do that.

Sword Coast Legends

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Evoland 2 - Gameplay Trailer

by Myrthos, 23:22

Evoland 2 has been announced last year apparently, but I just noticed it, as over a week ago a press release was sent out (that I missed).

Anyway, if you are into adventure RPGs with a twist, this game might be something. It's predecessor is available on their site and GOG and this game can be pre-ordered DRM free, with a discount of 10%.

Bordeaux, France – 14 May 2015 - French indie developer Shiro Games today provided the first glimpse of Evoland 2, the follow-up to the 2013 indie hit Evoland, with the release of a new gameplay trailer. An RPG adventure on a grand scale, “Evoland 2: A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder” takes players on a truly epic journey through time, and across a variety of classic and contemporary video game styles. Filled with homages,all-new types gameplay, and a graphical style that evolves as you progress, Evoland 2 is an RPG adventure bursting with charm and character and set to release in summer 2015 for PC.

"We are very excited to finally show our fans and new players alike what to expect from Evoland 2,” said Nicolas Cannasse, creator of Evoland. “To see Evoland evolve from a game jam demo to a much beloved indie title was an amazing journey,and now we are finally able to expand on our original vision. We have had incredible fun creating this game and hope players feel the same way as they explore Evoland 2.

Evoland 2 revolves around a hero trying to protect the strange world he lives in, to understand events in different timelines and attempt to alter a grim future for the better. With a strange secret buried within the core of this world, affecting the course of time itself, and such powerful forces at play, can he make a difference or the world’s destiny already set in stone?

Players who pre-order Evoland 2, set for release this summer, through the official Shiro Games website will receive a special 10% discount and a digital art book.

 

ABOUT EVOLAND 2
Evoland 2, A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder is a full-blown RPG adventure with an epic story, deep combat and customisation options, dozens of characters to interact with and varied locations to visit. Typical for the Evoland series, the graphic style evolves through the course of the game, from 8-bit sprites to full 3D battles, and loosens up the new adventure with a wide variety of gameplay sections parodying different genres. Players can expect beat ‘em up battles in the streets, challenging puzzles, pixel-perfect platforming and a tense shoot’em up - plus more.

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Evoland 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Sword Coast Legends - Inon Zur to Compose the Music

by Myrthos, 22:59

Inon Zur, who is repsonsible for the music in Dragon Age: Origins, Icewind Dale II, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Fallout 3 and many other games is to copse the music also for Sword Coast Legends.

ORLANDO, Fla. - May 26, 2015 - Independent developers n-Space and Digital Extremes announced today that Hollywood Music Award-winning and two-time BAFTA nominated composer Inon Zur is composing the original score for the studios’ upcoming Sword Coast Legends™, a party-based PC RPG set in the Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms universe from Wizards of the Coast.  Known for powerful and melodic orchestrations, Zur’s critically acclaimed scores have been heard in some of the most popular and well regarded video games of all time, including Dragon Age: Origins, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal, Icewind Dale II, Fallout 3, EverQuest and many others.

Recorded in Prague, the Czech Republic by The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra, the rich orchestral soundtrack for Sword Coast Legends helps bring the game’s numerous, well-known, and highly varied locations, environments and encounters to life from the raw emotion captured in Luskan Streets, to the uneasy anticipation of the Evermoors, and the heroic main theme.   The official orchestral soundtrack for Sword Coast Legends will be available with the game later this year.

“Throughout his career, Inon’s music has been integral to many of the game industry’s most memorable experiences and has raised the bar on what we expect from a video game score today.  His ability to capture the player’s experience through his music is second to none,” said Dan Tudge, President of n-Space and Director of Sword Coast Legends.  “It’s wonderful to see Inon return to Dungeons & Dragons and the Forgotten Realms setting, where I’m confident our deep story, compelling characters, and rich environments will inspire one of Inon’s most memorable works to date.”

Releasing later this year, Sword Coast Legends offers an all-new way to enjoy the time-tested magic of playing Dungeons & Dragons, with a first-of-its-kind real-time Dungeon Master mode, which allows players to play alongside an active DM, whose primary role is to provide a more robust and enriching roleplaying experience.  Active DMs can dramatically alter adventures, challenge players with random encounters, hide treasures, place traps, take direct control of powerful opponents, reward clever adventurers, and even reduce encounter difficulty on-the-fly.  And, much like the player party, DMs earn experience, are rewarded with power-ups, increase in level, and gain new abilities as the adventure progresses.

For the single player, Sword Coast Legends will offer a lengthy campaign mode featuring a deep and engrossing storyline, a host of potential companions with unique personalities, and quest lines that will lead the player through a variety of well-known locations along the Sword Coast.

Sword Coast Legends

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Grim Dawn - Enter the Sanctums

by Myrthos, 22:54

In the 72nd edition of Grim Misadventures the sanctuaries of two opposing forces in the game are detailed.

Welcome back to Grim Misadventures! Build 26 is now on the horizon and all the pieces of content are steadily falling into place. Act 3: Chapter 3 will take you beyond the northern gates of Homestead and out into the Blood Grove, a once bountiful region now overrun with the Cult of Ch’thon and their vile minions. But there are others out there, fighters pushing back against the corruption. I speak of the Kymon’s Chosen and the Order of Death’s Vigil.

With the release of Build 26, you will be able to enter the sanctuaries of these two opposing factions, depending on the one you side with, and begin your journey as either a Chosen or a Neophyte of the Order. Ulgrim is relying on you to turn these people into valuable allies for the Black Legion. Whichever you choose, they will prove to be a valuable asset in the battles ahead.

The sanctuaries of these factions are located at a ruined fort known as Sorrow’s Bastion. With both groups so close together, tensions run high and casualties are mounting. Before long, there may not be anyone to ally with at all.

Grim Dawn

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Of Orcs and Men - in Bundle Stars Killer Bundle 3

by Icefire, 22:45

Of Orcs & Men is available in Bundle Stars Killer Bundle 3. Also included is Planetary Annihilation, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Call of Pripyat,  Super Motherload, Merchants Of Kaidan, Original Strife:Veterans Edition, Letter Quest:Grimms Journey, Survivalist, Spark Rising, & It Came From Space & Ate Our Brain. All for a $4.99 price tag.

Of Orcs and Men

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Chronicles of the Crystal Wars - Demo Available

by Myrthos, 22:35

The developer of Chronicles of Crystal Wars let us know that a demo of his game can now be downloaded.

The demo has been made with RPG Maker VX Ace and lets you play a young soldier in charge of reviving an old device to save his kingdom from an ancient curse; this quest will make him meet people who will change his life forever.

Although the base gameplay is comparable to the average RPGM game, every visual element in the game has been created on 3DS Max: VN-like backgrounds for cutscenes, 3D modeled parallaxes as maps, all custom battlebacks and more. It also has some magical or steampunk mechas in.

 

The project is also on Steam Greenlight.

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Indie RPGs

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Unknown
Genre: RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Hero-U - Versus Quest for Glory

by Myrthos, 22:24

The Coles compare the Quest for Glory series with Hero-U to come to Quest for Hero-U.

The biggest strengths of our Quest for Glory games were the storytelling and the balance of serious stories with humorous situations and plentiful puns. Our goal is to continue those traditions in Hero-U with new and exciting stories and plenty of fun moments to help make the serious ones more meaningful.

Each Quest for Glory game had its own story - “coming of age” in the first game, experienced adventurer in the second, peace-maker in the third - all part of the greater story of the hero. In the final game, he could even become a King.

In Hero-U, Shawn O’Conner is again a young man with no real experience, but his coming of age has a difference. All we knew about the player’s character in Quest for Glory is that he wants to become a hero. Shawn doesn’t start out wanting to be a hero; he just wants to survive. But Shawn also has a past cloaked in mystery. In Rogue to Redemption, Shawn will discover his heritage as well as create a new destiny.

The Hero-U stories are in layers. World-changing events occur inside and around the school while the player character is trying to get an education. Each game reveals more of these events, and each character is involved in parts of them. What happens to one character, and how the player has that character act, affects the future games.

Hero-U is our spiritual successor to Quest for Glory. We are using modern technology to create even stronger stories, with more meaningful choices. These games are our response to fans who asked for more games like Quest for Glory. Thank you for being part of this new series.

Hero-U

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Adventure-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Witcher 3 - The Wolven Storm Localization Video

by Myrthos, 22:18

A new video for The Witcher 3 has been released, named The Wolven Storm. The video is made to showcase the localization into 15 languages. 7 of them with full voice-overs while 8 offer subtitles.

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Witcher 3

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Technical.ly Brooklyn - What video games owe to tabletop games

by Hiddenx, 19:22

Jon Peterson (author of Playing at the World, A History of Dungeons & Dragons) thinks that computer games owe a lot more to table top role playing and board games than historians have, up to now, given them credit for. Some snippets:

D&D’s computational inspiration

Everyone knows that D&D is about elves, orcs and trolls. Its trappings are the world of fantasy which make it appear distinct from the world of spaceships and the ferment from which cyberpunk would arise.

Peterson thinks this is completely wrong. In fact, he’s building up a case that the creators of D&D, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, and the creators of other, related games, that approached some of the ideas that would come together in D&D, were all intimately involved with sci-fi and computers. That the superficial veneer of orcs is a distraction from the undergirding logic of D&D and many of its brethren in IRL games. That undergirding logic is, in fact: computing.

Many board games and role playing games are heavily computed. That is, random number generators (dice), paired with modifiers used under different situations to increase the realism of games taking place in the imagination. He charted a complex story of games that have used incredibly sophisticated computation (without computers) going all the way back to the 1800s.

Computers and Sci-Fi were meeting up, Peterson says. It was these fans that would create D&D.  “I keep finding more of these encounters,” Peterson said, referring to those between computers and gaming, in forgotten games that tell the story of tabletop gaming’s evolution into games played on computers.

D&D’s influence on video games

He has a set piece argument about ways D&D influenced video games that he’s been making for a while. Here are his four big points. Video games owe a debt to D&D if they show any of the following:

  • Anything with a health bar
  • Anywhere characters change or levels up (it’s what feeds your addiction to games, he says)
  • Anywhere that you explore the world and learn new features of that world as you poke around, where the map has secrets
  • Anywhere the game tells a story

D&D came out in 1974 and it took a while for those influences to show up. Pong popped up in 1972 and arcade games started coming out in the late 70s. They don’t show many of the D&D influences above, but by the late 70s, games started to show evidence of a narrative, maps and character. Now, it’s everywhere. Diablo, Peterson said, might as well be a D&D campaign.

However, just because computers took a while to reach the public, that doesn’t mean that they weren’t influencing gaming before regular people had access to them. In 1970, Flying Buffalo Games innovated by using computers to run the first computer managed Play-By-Mail games, a pre-video game industry that preceded videogames. Computers ran the computations that figured out what happened based on the players’ decisions, which they sent in by mail on forms.

Peterson says that Flying Buffalo first started off as a war games company, but as D&D completely took over fandom, it adapted. In fact, one contribution it offered to the world of roleplaying gamers was randomly generated dungeons. So, for example, one of the parent companies, TSR, had product lines selling people new and different dungeons they could play through. These dungeons quickly circulated throughout the scene, however, and avid gamers quickly learned all their ins and outs.

Flying Buffalo began selling packages generated by computer, where everyone dungeon in every pack was different.

In 1977, at the University of Illinois, computer scientists took a stab at building a graphics based quest on a mainframe, using the PLATO system.

Source: Technical.ly Brooklyn

RPGWatch

Details

Witcher 3 - News Roundup # 2

by Aries100, 16:05

TechRaptor has done an analysis of the Wicther 3:Wild Hunt's opening, calls it brilliant. There will be some spoilers for the opening, so please read this at your own risk. A quote on how Geralt apparently is a father figure: 

Geralt's position as the father figure is most evident here as he scolds her some over leaving the work and discusses the blade work she had done. Given that a lot of the game centers around searching for Ciri as Geralt (and part of it is playing as Ciri), this is a hugely important relationship to set up. Many games have stiff dialogue here, but the down to earth dialogue along with movement during the tutorial manages to capture the feel perfectly and show you how they regard each other.

Worthplaying has written a PS4 review with a score of 9/10. The review is mostly positive, so here's a quote what the reviewer is not satisfied with in the game:

If I had one complaint about the open-world system, it's that there are a number of tiny nagging flaws that make it less enjoyable. The game does have a fast-travel system, you often end up far from a marker and need to hoof it a while to warp to where you want to go. You can speed this up as the game progresses, and when using a boat, you can warp to a fast-travel boat marker at any time. 

From Eurogamer comes news that Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been the biggest launch of 2015, at least so far:

Open-world role-playing game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has scored the biggest UK release of the year so far, smashing Battlefield Hardline's week one sell through by an impressive 53 per cent. Launch week sales were up 608 per cent on its predecessor The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, which came out in 2011, although only for PC and then later on Xbox 360.

Witcher 3

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

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Matt Chat - John Cutter Interview #2

by Hiddenx, 07:27

In Matt Chat #292 Matt Barton talks with John Cutter's about the Cinemaware days. They start with Defender of the Crown and the best computer ever: The Amiga ...

Matt Chat

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Monday - May 25, 2015

Umbra - About the Lore

by Myrthos, 22:54

SolarFall Games brings us another Kickstarter update for Umbra, which currently is $50K away from reaching it's $225K goal. The update is about the lore of the game.

Many of you have asked about the story of the game, so today, we are going to give you some extra details about it. We already gave you a look at Lambach, one of the first bosses you will meet in the game, but let us now take a deeper look into the world of Umbra. 

As we described in our Kickstarter page, Umbra’s story is rich, and an important lore has been created for the story. You will discover a large part of the game’s story thanks to the main quest, but a lot of information will be provided by reading a large amount of books found in the game. Each one will provide information about the universe, and might even lead you on to track a secret place full of treasure! 

For this update, we decided to provide you with an extract of the current rough draft of one of the books that you will be able to read in-game. Once funded, we’ll be able to revisit and expand the drafts we have for the lore of Umbra, polishing the story and improving on the writing. We hope you will enjoy the world we are creating with your help!

Umbra

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Witcher 3 - News Roundup

by Aries100, 21:19

GameRanx brings news that the next two free DLCs for this game will be released on May 27th. A quote:

This DLC includes a new contract for players to take up that is appropriately named "Missing Miners" and sends players on a mission to locate and rescue a group of miners that have gone missing. The second DLC item for this week will be an alternate look for Yennefer, one of the game's primary NPCs. 

VG 24/7 reports that the problem with saving games on Xbox One will be adressed in 
a patch.

According to a post on the official forums, Cd Projekt RED quest designer Philipp Weber said the team is "aware of the issue" and is treating it "very seriously." "We hope to put the fix in a patch as soon as possible," he wrote.

GameTrailers has made a review with a score 9.8/10 for this game.

Shacknews has an editorial about five things to be loved about the The Witcher 3, ranging from Geralt's beard to the Gwent game. A quote then, about bandits fighting in their underwear:

We get that times are tough, but at least put on some pants. The land is full of bandits that love fighting in little more than their skivvies, shoes, and a helmet. This is either an audacious act of intimidation to show that they don't need armor to fight you, or it's a clear sign that there's not much on them worth looting. Either way, naked bandits are abound, and it's up to you to teach them the merits of wearing pants. Then again, there's a scene where Geralt fights wearing just a bath towel, so maybe we shouldn't be so judgmental.

Kotaku's Phil Owen has written an editorial on how the longer he spends time with the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the faster he moves in it:

Once I became absorbed in The Witcher 3's main plot, I started sprinting more and more and now, even with a ways to go, I've irrevocably shifted into fast-and-furious mode. Unfortunately for me, that meant I spent nearly all of my weekend alone in my apartment playing this game, and I'm still not done yet. Hopefully I'm close, or else I'm going to lose tonight and the next couple days to it as well. This is a key reason why I've often harped on game length. It interferes with my life! It's not CD Projekt's fault I am what I am, though. 

Witcher 3

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

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Rampant Games - Ten Computer RPGs You’ve Never Heard Of

by Hiddenx, 19:35

Rampant Coyote shows you ten forgotten/obscure RPG-underdogs:

Even so, a lot of these indie games release with nary a splash, sell little or bupkis, abandon the field, leave the website to be devoured by Asian vultures when the registration lapses, and are remembered by almost none. And… admittedly, these games are not usually the diamonds in the rough their creators probably believed. But in many cases, they weren’t bad, and even if they were, sometimes they contained some interesting seeds of good ideas.

 

Rampant Games

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Witcher 3 - Patch 1.04 Released

by Aries100, 17:26

Marcin Momot from CD Project RED announced today that Patch 1.04 for PC has been released. and is availble for download. A few quotes from the changelog.

-Rebinding of all keys is now available after switching on the ‘Unlock Bindings' option in the Options\Key Bindings submenu.-Corrects an issue in the dialogue system that might have caused dialogue looping in certain scenes.-Fixes an issue with incorrect behavior of Wild Hunt warriors after they were affected by the Axii Sign.-Corrects a bug that caused spontaneous combustion of gas clouds.-1280 x 720 resolution is now properly displayed as a valid resolution option.-Fixes boat stuttering in cutscenes.-Texture rendering quality for the high and ultra presets has been improved.-Further improvements made in NVIDIA Hairworks performance.

You can read the whole changelog here

According to Gameranx

The patch is out now and will automatically download on GOG and Steam.

Source: CD Projekt

Witcher 3

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

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Fallout: NV - 'Dust' Mod

by Hiddenx, 17:22

Christopher Gates(GameRant) made a report about the Fallout: New Vegas mod 'Dust':

With rumors about a potential Fallout 4 reveal flying fast and furious in the lead-up to Bethesda’s first-ever E3 press conference, one mod promises to breathe new life into New Vegas’ aging post-apocalyptic landscape. It’s called DUST Survival Simulator, and it replaces New Vegas’ quest-based structure with a single, seemingly insurmountable goal: just stay alive.

According to naugrim04, DUST’s author, “DUST is a Post-Apocalyptic survival simulator” that “completely overhauls nearly every aspect of the game to better represent an apocalyptic survival-horror atmosphere.” In DUST, supplies are limited, and the environment much harsher. Players will starve to death, or die due to dehydration (“Don’t go to bed thirsty,” naugrim warns. “You will die.”), while food and water are hard to find. Ammo is scare, and combat is incredibly punishing. Don’t worry too much, though: if food becomes too hard to come by, cannibalism is an option.

There is a story in DUST, but players “are not the main character,” and the story will unravel primarily via environmental clues, a la Portal or Left 4 Dead. DUST players can “win” by escaping the desert, but the exit is hidden, and reaching it isn’t easy: naugrim himself can’t finish the game without cheating via the Fallout 4 console. Don’t expect previous New Vegas playthroughs to help, either. Naugrim changed the topography, the NPCs, and some of the graphics. Not everything’s brand new in DUST, but much of it is.

In order to install DUST, players need a copy of Fallout: New Vegas, the game’s three story DLC packs, and a handful of supporting mods. Look for more information at DUST’s official NexusMods page.

Fallout: NV

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Release: Released

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