Dex - RPGWatch Review
Aubrielle hits the streets with Dex, the brand new sidescrolling cyberpunk adventure from Dreadlocks.
» Continue reading the article...
Victor Vran Interview
We interviewed Haemimont games about their action RPG Victor Vran.
» Read the article
I can't choose
I don't do franchises
I don't like Bioware
Wednesday - May 13, 2015
Witcher 3 - Insider on the Graphics Downgrade
WhatIfGaming used an inside source to obtain information on the alleged The Witcher 3 graphics downgrade. Please take their article with a grain of salt. Nothing is confirmed. Here's only their intro:
It seems The Witcher 3 graphics controversy never ends, and it is for good reason. Recently it has been quite apparent to a lot of people with footage showing up all over the web of newer PC build gameplay demos supposedly running on ULTRA on the PC (Poland preview event) which pales in comparison to the 2013 gameplay trailer. We contacted our insider who provided us information on The Division downgrade and apparent delay into 2016 months ago – who managed to connect us with someone in the know-how at CD Projekt RED last night to further explain the situation and set the record straight.
Here is simply what they had to say in regards to the whole thing (we advise everyone to take it with a grain of salt, despite having vetted their identity ourselves):
Witcher 3 - Day 1 Patch Improves Performance
CD Projekt Red's community coordinator Marcin Momot posted on his twitter that the day 1 patch will improve performance and frame rate.
Marcin's answers are in bold.
Some PS4 reviews (IGN, Kotaku) mention framerate problems. Any chance for day-one improvements?
Yes. We've already addressed this issue. Framerate will be better once we official launch the game.
Hey Marcin. Congrats on the amazing game. Will the Day One Patch fix some of the bugs and performance drops on the ps4 version?
yes. Framerate and performance have already been improved.
Although Marcin only talks about the PS4 version, it's pretty safe to assume the other platforms have been improved too.
Witcher 3 - Misc. Videos
The two big German print mags uploaded a couple of interesting The Witcher 3 videos. In most cases not German language isn't needed to get an idea what's going on.
- Let's start with Gamestar. They compare the graphics on the PS4 to the PC demo.
- Top 3 things they like
- Flop 3 things The Witcher 3 sucks at.
- Voice over comparison German - English
- The PC Games also has a voice over comparison.
- Geralt's bedtime stories (could be NSFW where you live ;) )
- Day & night cycle - 90 minutes in 90 seconds
Witcher 3 - CD Project Explains Changing Weather in Wild Hunt
In an interview with Game Informer, Kimberly Wallace talks with art producer, Michal Stec on how The Witcher 3's changing weather came to be:
What went into creating the weather and environments for The Witcher 3?
Hundreds if not thousands of hours of browsing through references: paintings, pictures, films, photos - everything, really. I remember this one time, Lucjan (one of the leads) and I were on our way to some party and he suddenly stopped the car, pulled a camera out of the glove box and started taking pictures of the setting sun to use as a reference. We drew a lot on photographs and movies.
A quote on when the weather wil change:
How often will the weather change as you play?All the time - the weather is constantly changing. This is a randomized mechanism; working it out took us quite a while, since it required a lot of testing, checking if how it felt in the game was okay, or if it was too much. The weights given to particular weather conditions change depending on the region - in the swamps of No Man's Land it's practically always foggy and rains a lot, whereas in Skellige you can expect more thunderstorms near the coasts and sunshine up in the mountains.
South ParkSP/MP: Single-player
Ubisoft - No More Releases for PS3 and Xbox 360
Eurogamer brings news that Ubisoft no longer will release games for Xbox 360 and PS3.
Ubisoft will no longer release games for PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, except for its casual rhythm series Just Dance. The company confirmed the move last night during a financial call with investors, and explained that it would focus on the current generation of consoles and PC from here on out.
Witcher 3 - Review @ Ausgamers
Ausgamers has a review for this game. The score is 10/10.
A quote about the story:
It's a story worthy of a place in the more accepted subculture of dark fantasy ruled across media by Game of Thrones. First-timers will easily love this facet but may also be surprised to learn that this series, and the books it's based upon, have been the at the fore of adult and mature storytelling for a long time. Wild Hunt is both at times brutal and sexy, with a juxtaposition of hard-edged steel (or silver), blood and death being met with soft, naked skin; passion, lust and even love.
Ausgamers mentions that one of the things they liked in this game are boats.
RPGWatch - Tortured Hearts Interview
In one of his last interviews for RPGWatch, Couchpotato talks with the developers of the Tortured Hearts NWN mods, and also discusses their commercial game called Tortured Hearts: Or how I saved the Universe. Again.
RPGWatch: How many hours of development time did you put into creating the mods, and did you ever think it wasn't worth it to continue development?
Zoltán: Each mod took about 4000 hours, the second one maybe a bit more. I had some helpers for both and they should be recognized. For Tortured Hearts 1, there was Lenore and about a dozen helpful people who helped me with proofreading. For Tortured Hearts 2 there was a very large contribution to dialog by Jim Grimsley, an American novelist with plenty of books to his credit. It was especially helpful that he knew how to use the Aurora editor so all I had to do was write the scripts for his conversations. He also did quite a bit of proofreading. Other contributors to Tortured Hearts 2 were András Gáspár, a Hungarian sci-fi/fantasy novelist and of course, Lenore again as a proofreader and tester but at that time our relationship turned to friendship and we were already discussing a possible cooperation for a sequel.
On top of this there was the NWN community which shared so many good models and other supplements for all the mods. I did the area creation, scripting and story arrangement.
Tortured HeartsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
General News - Art & Stories of Indie Game Creation
On Kickstarter a project has started that seeks to make a book about art and the stories from independent game creation.
Independent By Design is a deluxe hardback book that chronicles the experiences and vivid design of over twenty of the world's most revered and renowned independent developers.
A beautifully realised, 240+ page tome totalling over 80,000 words, Independent By Design is a collection of bespoke, visually stimulating chapters; each telling the story of a featured development studio.
Each spread combines compelling art with exhaustively researched essays based on extensive interviews, offering a unique take on some of the most interesting and offbeat indie game developers of recent years.
Written by videogame industry veterans Stace Harman and John Robertson, this lavish coffee-table-style book is being created in conjunction with a small team of talented artists to the highest possible standards.
Dungeons Of Aledorn - WebStore Openend
Dungeons Of AledornSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Invisible, Inc - Available Now & Review
There is also a review out of the game at RPS.
Everything’s this sweet. The voice acting, writing, music and art design is all held to the same high standard. You end up looking forward to everything. From starting a mission with no idea of what surrounds you, to discovering the reward at the end, to escaping via the exit teleporter, to hearing the chatter between your team on the world map. It’s all satisfying, surprising, colourful and utterly devoid of friction, letting you lose yourself in the puzzle, yes, but also the evocative imagery the game thrills in. Your agents plotting daring heists, working like a well-oiled machine to rob a vault, and leaving with as much high-tech equipment as they can stagger under.
Or the other side of the coin – your plans coming crashing down around you and your agents abandoning one another, each sprinting around the level, heedless of cameras and sound bugs and just looking for a way out, before one comes face to faceplate with a six foot tall, weaponised security drone.
Invisible, IncSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Tactical RPG
General News - The Essence of RPGs
HiddenX spotted a series of articles on ihobo.com that tries to offer an answer to what the essence of RPGs is.
It comes in three parts:
The Essence of RPGs (1): Children of TSR
Near the beginning of my career as a game designer, one of my first speaking gigs was at an event in London where I was scheduled to appear with Warren Spector. Unfortunately, Warren was attending via webcam and the conference organisers took so long to set him up that my hour presentation on non-linear storytelling in games had to be condensed to ten minutes. By way of apology, Warren and I had a good exchange of emails where we discussed, amongst other things, some of the issues that Deus Ex faced during its troubled development. One thing in particular stuck with me. From the beginning of the design process, it was agreed that Deus Ex was going to be a role-playing game (RPG) – yet the many designers working on the project did not agree what an RPG was.
Outland 17 - About the Modest Goal
Outland 17 has still 8 hours to go and need another $4K to reach it;s $10K goal. In their latest update they respond to why there goal has been so modest and sheir the stretch goals to show what the vision of the developers are for this game.
We've had a lot of people write in since our boost in backers, asking about our Kickstarter goal of $10k. Specifically why it is such a modest amount compared to the goals of most indie developers that put their projects up.
We certainly didn't want to give the impression that we're not ambitious with our project. We had drawn up a complimentary list of stretch goals to expand upon our initial goal and bring further improvements to the game.
We initially didn't post the stretch goals so that we wouldn't appear presumptuous about our expectations with the campaign, but we're sharing it now so backers and newcomers can have more context regarding the $10k base. Hopefully this can give you guys a better understanding of our vision for the project and address the curiosity that some had.
Tuesday - May 12, 2015
Rampant Games - A Tale of Two RPG Reviews
In his blog post A Tale of Two RPG Reviews Jay Barnson explains why he isn't fond of sites which are hiding the reviewer's identity. In the intro he uses the Pillars of Eternity reviews by the Codex and by us as positive examples to illustrate why you want to know the author and his background.
I am still not far enough to really comment, *BUT* I find the difference between two reviews by hardcore, old-school sites pretty intriguing for Pillars of Eternity:
Witcher 3 - Review Roundup # 1
Here's a select list of reviews:
Kickstarter - Available in Germany as of Today!
Starting today Kickstarter is available with all features in Germany. Of course I was curious which projects went online right away. I'll post a collection of Kickstarters which caught my eye for one reason or another. Please don't understand this as a recommendation. Maybe some of these Kickstarters will make you smile - or think "Why haven't I thought of this?".
All pages are multi-language:
- Sky Sharks is a trashy movie with surprisingly good f/x for the intended budget. I think I recognized an actor who played in Das Boot in the opening scene.
- The mother of all cake pans: Der Mutterkuchen. The German humor behind this is hard to translate.
- Das Tal - PvP Sandbox MMO. "Tal" is German for "valley".
- Happy Cheese - "Crazy delicious, vegan, organic, raw, world class gourmet cheese".
- USB ChargeDoubler - double your charging speed!
- STEAMPUNK AMERYLL - A fantasy-steampunk Pen & Paper universe
- TIO - Save the World, Twice a Day: A new analog toothbrush, state of the art and sustainable.
- The Dwarves: The Saga is a cooperative fantasy boardgame based on a bestselling book series.
- Karnivore Koala - the post-eucalyptic board game.
- You want to write like Albert Einstein? You can with the Albert Einstein Font.
- MIITO – the sustainable alternative to the electric kettle.
- Crysis Analogue Edition - The Board Game
Release: In development
Witcher 3 - Preloading and Unlock Time
As several have already commented on our forums The Witcher 3 is now available for preloading from Good Old Games and Steam. The following is the press release for that, which also shows at what time the downloaded game can be unlocked.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is now available for preload on GOG.com and Steam, with the Origin release following on the 14th.
Everyone who pre-orders the highly anticipated, next-generation RPG, can choose to preload the game and be one of the very first to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt when it goes live on May 19th.
At GOG.com, the simplest way to preload the game is through the recently announced GOG Galaxy client. GOG Galaxy is fully integrated into the DRM-free release of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and includes convenient auto-updates, game time tracking and achievements.
The game is also available for preload to gamers who purchased Wild Hunt on Xbox Live, and will be available for PlayStation Network users soon.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be officially released and unlocked on May 19, at 1:00 AM CET (Warsaw time), i.e:
May 18th, 4.00 pm PT (Los Angeles)
May 18th, 7.00 pm ET (New York)
May 19th, 00.00 am BT (London)
May 19th, 2.00 am UT (Moscow)
May 19th, 8.00 am JT (Tokyo).
General News - The Key to Making Paid Mods Work
Lostforever found an article on Shack News discussing in what way paid mods could be made into a working model.
Valve, the studio that gave PC gamers Steam, has always been a company that reveled in testing boundaries. However, the studio’s most recent endeavor, teaming up with Bethesda to allow Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim modders to charge money for their work, was pretty much a colossal failure. The paid mods system was taken down mere days after it was first put up in the wake of severe consumer backlash and Valve even admitted on the Steam website that the plan clearly hadn’t thought through. There’s no denying that the issue of paid mods is controversial, but I’m here to offer a few potential solutions that could make all parties happy. If Valve were ever to try implementing paid mods again, I think it should focus on two different areas: the issue of monetization and the kinds of games it introduces paid mods to.
Fallout 4 - More Rumours
A CG artist who is apparently working on Fallout 4, added the creation of a cinematic trailer on his LinkedIn profile, which is now removed from it, but not before videogamer.com could secure a screenshot.
The artist's CV states that he was hired by California-based Mirada Studios between December 2014-March 2015 to create a "Fallout 4 cinematic trailer", although no further details are provided.
Source: Shack News
Fallout 4SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Grandia II - Coming to Steam in HD
According to Gamespot Grandia II is coming to Steam in a remasterd version.
Grandia II for Steam is being remastered using the game's Dreamcast version, which was published in 2000. In addition to an HD visual upgrade, Grandia II on Steam will have both mouse and keyboard and gamepad support as well as Steam achievements and Trading Cards.
Source: Game Informer
Outland 17 - Squad Ability
A Kickstarter update appeared for Outland 17, which is now halfway its $10K goal with a bit more than a day to go, about the squad abilities in the game.
Abilities play a much different role than just damaging your opponents like weapons do. They are more about tactics, giving you a choice to either manipulate the situation you're set up with or save the ability when it will be more beneficial. Most abilities come with a cool down period between uses, leaving it up to you to decide when would be the best time to deploy them.
Some abilities provide minor bonuses at no cooldown cost while some have a greater cooldown period with devastating effects. In a similar way that we can make all types of weapons, there are many types of abilities we can make. These range from status effects, like giving yourself more armor, to special-attacks, like pushing your enemies away with an explosion!
My favorite part about abilities is the impact they can make on the battle. The properly timed ability can mean the difference between your squad member dying, or the enemy being taken out.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - New on Kickstarter and Funded
A new Kickstarter by Koji Igarashi has launched and has been quickly funded. Currently it is at 1.2 million, where they 'only' asked for 500K. The game they will develop is named Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night with the following short description:
- An exploration-focused, side-scrolling platformer featuring RPG and crafting elements.
- Koji Igarashi, the namesake of "Igavania"-style games, is leading the project, with Michiru Yamane composing the music and Inti Creates leading the development.
- If funded, the game will be developed for XBOX One, Playstation 4, and PC. For the first time on Kickstarter, backers will have the option to receive actual PS4 / XB1 / PC retail discs.
Indie RPGsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Hero-U - New Kickstarter Launched
As announced last week, the new Kickstarter for Hero-U has launched today. At this moment it has already reached a fifth of its $100K goal.
In November of 2012, we raised over $400,000 through Kickstarter toward the development of a top-down "rogue-like game with story" based on a previous project developed by our lead programmer. However, as we started to get feedback from our backers, we realized that the majority of them wanted a game more like Quest for Glory, the award-winning game series that Lori and I developed in the 1990s.
Hero-U has evolved into a much larger and more expensive project. While it is taking much longer than we originally planned, the result will be far more than we originally imagined possible. We think it will be a great game and one you will love playing.
Hero-U is a passion project for Lori and me. We have put two and one-half years of our life into it so far, and we will continue to do whatever it takes to make this a great game. That includes hiring the best programmers, artists, and musicians we can find.
It is unusual for the same project to raise funds on Kickstarter twice, but it is not unusual for a game to need additional funding. We have talked to many adventure game developers, and nearly all of their projects went over budget. They have either absorbed the costs themselves or obtained venture capital.
We chose not to seek outside funding because we want Hero-U to be a game of, by, and for our many heroes. Kickstarter is where we began, and we would like this to be a wholly crowd-funded game.
The pledges include a special $20 pledge for those whoalso backed the first Kickstarter.
Release: In development
Monday - May 11, 2015
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - Worst RPG Moments
In an editorial at RPS, Richard Cobbet looks through what he calls the 25 worst RPG moments. Here's a quote about bandits:
It's one thing to try and mug a passing would-be hero on their way to becoming someone. That's your job. But when you see a team of battle-hardened knights in full-plate, archmages humming with power, clerics bearing the very mantel of your world's deity and a druid still yet to wipe the blood off their lips from their last shapeshift... and your response is to genuinely think you can take them? No. Stay out of the way, and don't waste the time it takes to click on you and turn you into giblets.
Here's a quote about Vampire: The Masquerade:
However! If the world is one where resurrection is easily available, and every store sells magic health potions, this really needs to be factored in. Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption (otherwise known as "The Crap One") still stands out as a triumphant failure here, with the intro showing hero Christof being slowly brought to health, only to find a potion seller a quick stroll from his sickbed. There are always ways to justify why a particular death counts for real, from soul-destroying weapons, to not being able to take the body to a convenient temple, to ‘death' in combat actually being a knockout. Handwaving is fine, but don't defuse the drama with the obvious question "Wait, why can't I cast my Resurrection spell here?"
And a quote about Skyrim:
I still think Skyrim's guards should arrest players for indecent exposure. I miss when RPGs would routinely factor in at least a couple of snarky comments for if you wandered around in your underwear. It was a good test of how responsive the rest of the game was going to be, if the designers had bothered.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Witcher 3 - Sells 1 Million Preorder Copies
Gamepur has news that this game has sold 1 million copies in pre-orders. From the press release issued by CD Project RED:
"We've crossed the one million pre-order milestone and it's all thanks to you guys! We would like to thank all the gamers for their trust and support."
In other news for this game, the review embargo ends tomorrow:
According to report, the revivews for The Witcher 3 will go live TOMORROW (May 12 "Tuesday" at 7AM).
Kingdom Come: DeliveranceSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Battle Brothers - One Week of Early Access
The Battle Brothers website summarizes one week of Early Access on Steam and share their views on the next steps.
We’ll soon start working on our first new feature: The event system.
While traveling the world a lot of unforeseen things can happen and surprise you. These events can occur anytime and anyplace and will force you to make tough decisions outside combat. Just to give you random example of what might be; if there is a Battle Brother with a criminal background in your mercenary company, a passing guard patrol might recognize that character and demand you hand him over as a prisoner or face the consequences. Similarly, individual characters in your group might interact depending on their backgrounds and traits – will the adventurous noble get along with the lazy sluggard beggar?
Events like this will not be entirely random but depend on what happens in the world and which characters are in your company. Their outcomes will be partially randomized for the sake of replayability. The possibilities for creating interesting, challenging and morally ambiguous events are limitless.
Battle BrothersSP/MP: Single-player
Outland 17 - New Trailer
Outland 17 has only 50+ hours to go at Kickstarter at this moment to reach the goal of $10K and is close to 42% of that figure at the moment, so they could use some help. In their latest update they bring us a new video and a new add-on, where you can have your image in the game.
Aloran - Canceled
The Aloran Kickstarter was canceled yesterday as it didn't look like it would be able to reach its goal and frankly because it wasn't a great pitch to start with either.
Me and my wife have been discussing releasing some very early alpha gameplay but we feel it is best that we develop the game so you can sample the combat, story and art as close to the final product as possible. We have developed the game this far over 3 years and the feedback from kickstarter has been great. However we must ask for patience as we develop the demo and we have to cancel this current pitch. Game development even when fully funded is a long process but we really enjoy this work and look forward to developing the playable demo.We plan to come back to Kickstarter in the near future to give back something to the game development community who share our love for Isometric fantasy art as much as we do.
Release: In development