Mars War Logs
Mars War Logs Review
The recently released Mars War Logs has been reviewed by Fluent and he wasn't too thrilled with what he found.
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Neverwinter Nights: Bob McCabe Interview
Lucky Day met with former Bioware employee Bob McCabe to talk about Neverwinter Nights.
» Read the article
Poll WatchDo you Kickstart?
Yes, I've supported a bunch!
Yes, but only 1 or 2.
I'm waiting for the right project.
No! No finished product, no money!
No - but only because of my tight budget.
Wednesday - May 08, 2013
Project Eternity - Post-funding Update #52
Project Eternity has a new post-funding update that shows concept art, and gives information on the monk class.
Monks in Eternity are different than you might expect. There are no restrictions on armor and weapons – you could wear plate and use a sword, if you wanted to, and the talent system is flexible enough so you could build a great monk that specialized in that gear. But at the core of this class is a little rule about how monks take damage. You see, when a monk gets hit, only part of the damage is inflicted on him or her immediately. The rest is redirected to a Wound, which is an effect that causes damage over time (called a DoT effect) to the monk. That slowly-ticking Wound would only seem to be delaying the inevitable result except for one thing: the monk can get rid of that Wound by using special attacks.
The monk gets all kinds of cool special attacks that do extra effects beyond simply damage and, as a side effect, also eliminate his Wounds. Some of their special attacks include:
- Torment’s Reach - this ability increases the range of melee attacks by 200% for a short duration. Enemies between the monk and his or her target are also attacked. Costs 1 Wound to activate.
- Turning Wheel - if the monk suffers from a DoT effect (including Wounds ticking down), he or she adds a proportional fire bonus to his or her melee damage. This is a passive ability which works automatically whenever the monk has any DoT effect.
- Clarity of Agony - when used, this ability cuts the duration of hostile status effects in half. It lasts for a brief amount of time, halving both incoming effects and ones that are currently on the monk. Costs 2 Wounds.
Each of these attacks makes monks stronger in battle, and many also consume their Wounds, hopefully before those Wounds have done the damage the monks were originally supposed to take.
Concept artist Kaz Aruga has been developing the look of some of Project Eternity's various cultures. So far, he's created concepts for people from the Dyrwood, the Vailian Republics, the Aedyr Empire, and the Valley of Ixamitl. We hope you like the range we've come up with. Let us know what you think!
Information aboutProject Eternity
Release: In development
Information aboutFallout 3
Platform: PC, Xbox 360, PS3
Dragon Age 3 - Details Coming at E3 2013
BioWare has plans to reveal more information about Dragon Age III: Inquisition at the upcoming E3 2013. Think of this as the usual announcement of an announcement nonsense that seems to be all the rage lately.
Mike Laidlaw states via Twitter that, "I was unclear! Yes, there will be some DAIII at E3. Not just "stuff." DAIII stuff."
Information aboutDragon Age 3
Release: In development
Van Helsing - Steam Release Date
Neocore Games announces that The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing will be released on May 22 exclusively on the PC on Steam.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is a real-time Action RPG filled with fierce and demonic battles, memorable characters, and a refreshingly unique story loosely based on Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula.
Set in a gothic-noir universe resembling a fantastical 19th century Europe filled with monsters, magic, and weird technology, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing will follow the son of the famed hunter, known in-game as Van Helsing, in a tale wrought with wry humor and snappy dialogue. Van Helsing, a larger-than-life hero possessing a dark yet romantic charm, will follow his path to the dismal land of Borgovia where former supernatural foes have enlisted his help to defeat a new scourge terrorizing the ravaged city.
Information aboutVan Helsing
SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - Update #12, JAF Team Expansion and Modding Details
Full Control has another update for Jagged Alliance: Flashback. This time the update deals with modding, and new team members.
Chris Camfield is joining the Flashback Team
We are super happy to be able to welcome Chris Camfield to the Jagged Alliance: Flashback team.
Chris has worked on the implementation and design of several Jagged Alliance titles and ended up as lead designer on Jagged Alliance 3 that sadly was never released.
He will be joining the team as an advisor while keeping his day job at XMG Studios. Chris’ role will be to help us on essential pieces of implementation knowledge.
WHY were things implemented in a certain way in JA2. Not only HOW. The how could be deducted by most programmers by looking at the open sources.
Understanding the core mechanisms and how they were designed to fit together is essential knowledge to hitting the right balance once we add factions, better AI and other potential improvements/changes to the mechanics.
Establishment of Modding Advisory Team
In addition we are announcing having established a modding advisory and co-design team.
Currently this team includes R@S, creator of the Blue Sun Mod for 7.62 - High Calibre and DepressivesBrot from the 1.13-Crew.
We are also in contact with additional high profile modders to expand the advisory team even more.
Their role will be to work with us to identify essential modding hooks, directory structure definitions, design the templates for modding files and some proof of concept tests.
Having these great modders on board gives us the ability to not fumble the ball on mod support, and will make it easier for everyone to later potentially port their existing mods.
Details on Modding Support
Modding is a wonderful thing and has kept Jagged Alliance 2 alive for many many years. It is also something that takes time to implement right.
If we do not hit some of the higher stretch goals, then we can still support basic modding and hope for adding more options down the road.
Together with the modding advisory team we will prioritize the modding capabilities, that we from initial feedback have grouped into 3 areas.
1) Tweaking of configurations
For example being able to go into xml files to turn on/off line of sight via a boolean, or change the base movement cost per terrain.
2) Adding additional content
Having the ability to add a new mercenary, a new weapon or that “used condom” that you’ve always thought missing as a trash item.
3) Adding additional features
Coding new functionality like wind direction having influence on accuracy while shooting or alternatively altering existing calculations for damage models.
Exactly what is going to be moddable is something that is decided upon during detailed design and ongoing through development with the help of the modding-community.
Information aboutJagged Alliance: Flashback
Release: In development
Ghost of a Tale - Interview @ IndieGameMag
IndieGameMag has a new interview on Ghost of a Tale. We posted another interview earlier also. Both offer new information so be sure to read both.
If you search for the name “Lionel Gallat” on IMDB, you’ll find the name attached to a number of animated feature films: animation director for The Lorax, animation director for Despicable Me, supervising animator for Shark Tale, and the list goes on.
But more recently, Gallat has stepped away from animated feature films, and started developing a video game…on his own. The game is called Ghost of a Tale, and with one look at a screenshot it is easy to see that Gallat’s artistic skills have easily transitioned into the video game. Ghost of a Tale looks beautiful.
“As an animation director I was responsible for the animation of entire movies, leading 60+ [person] teams,” Gallat explained to IGM. “I was longing to go back to the nitty-gritty of creation; writing, modeling, painting, rigging, programming and… playing. I’ve already been in a position where I mostly tell people what they should do (and it’s probable [that] one day I’ll go back to that position) but today I’m having a lot of fun doing things myself for a change!”
Gallat, who is in the middle of promoting the funding campaign for his debut title Ghost of a Tale, chatted with IGM for a bit about his experience transitioning from Hollywood to the game development scene, his woes with Kickstarter, and why Ghost of a Tale deserves your support.
IGM – What inspired you to start working on a game, and move out of the animation industry?
Gallat - It was a good time for me to do so. I’ve always loved games and I’ve always enjoyed writing stories, creating models and animating them. But I also love programming (I’ve written tools used in production in several studios). So it wasn’t really that far-fetched for me to put the two together.
As an artist who programs I can get lost in a coherent game world and get to look everywhere I want, and interact with things that I created. In a nutshell it’s a lot of fun. I feel like a kid again, when I was programming moving sprites (an achievement!) in Microsoft Basic. It’s a huge amount of work obviously, but so rewarding.
IGM – So if the game isn’t fully funded…is that it? Would Ghost of a Tale cease to exist?
Gallat - Yes, probably. Several people have asked me that same question recently. I’ve been working on Ghost of a Tale full-time for more than a year (that includes changing engines), funding everything from my own pocket. So if I can’t remain financially independent and get a modest budget to pay for a handful of collaborators I’ll have to pull the plug at some point. Although let me tell you in all honesty it would hurt like hell, since I love this project with all my soul; I’ve poured so much time, energy and love into it.
If the campaign isn’t successful I would still try to keep working on the project for as long as I could afford it. But at some point my savings will eventually run out. I’m not complaining though; it’s the risk I took so I’m the only one responsible.
I also have to be lucid on the fact that if there aren’t enough backers maybe it means that there simply aren’t enough people interested in a game like Ghost of a Tale. That’s what frightens me most.
Eador: Master of the Broken World - Review @ Softpedia
Softpedia has a review after the rocky release of Eador: Master of the Broken World.
Eador – Masters of the Broken World has serviceable graphics, considering the genre and the indie development team, and the strategic map has managed to get all the fantasy cliches right.I would have liked a little more attention paid to the tactical battles and the way information is offered to the player.
The game also offers multiplayer for those who have the patience required to play a turn-based game with another human and feel that the A.I. is no longer posing a challenge.Those who plan to buy the game should also be aware that some players have reported game breaking bugs, although I have not found any during my time with the strategy title.
Eador – Masters of the Broken World is the kind of game I can see myself playing for 20 hours or more, honing my tactical skills, deciding which hero best suits my needs and the perfect composition for the army. But the interface issues and the somewhat repetitive gameplay mean that I might be forced to abandon it much sooner to focus on more polished experiences in the same genre.
Information aboutEador: Master of the Broken World
Rampant Games - A Knock At The Door
Jay Barnson has a new blog post on imagination, and how leaving blanks for the player to fill in might actually help storytelling.
I’ve written many times about the inherent conflict between narrative and gameplay. We have to sacrifice the principles of (linear) narrative for the sake of good gameplay, or sacrifice gameplay (often locking out interaction completely to tell stories in cutscenes) for the sake of providing solid narrative. The two don’t work well together, and in an interactive medium – like real-life experiences – good narrative often comes from reorganizing and editing of events after the fact.
But that’s linear storytelling. As Chris Crawford once pointed out in a talk I attended many years ago, it’s quite possible to assemble a story from a series of vignettes or one-sentence events that combine to modify the context. In other words, complex stories can be formed of simple atoms (his example was the sentence, “He kissed her.”) that can be endlessly reused. At the time, Crawford’s efforts were focused more on having the computer tell the story interactively with the player.
But might we find ourselves able to construct more powerful narratives if we let the designer and the player take care of the creative heavy lifting? Let the designer imply connections, let the player form and breathe life to those connections, and let the computer just do it’s thing to provide the tools and mechanics to facilitate this?
Don’t worry – I’m not getting all artsy-fartsy and experimental for the next installment of Frayed Knights. I’m just kinda circling around a handful of concepts for how to think about non-linear storytelling. On a budget. After all, if a closed door is more frightening than anything else in the world, isn’t it a waste of time and money for indies to create what might lurk behind it? Well, yes, but for the fact that this focus makes opening the door the single most important thing a player wants to do when that unexpected knock (or pounding) is heard. We just need better ideas of letting the player’s imagination fill in what might be lacking on the screen or in the dialog.
Information aboutRampant Games
Gaming-Enthusiast - The Force Is Strong With EA
Well with the news that EA has exclusive rights to all StarWars games, we have a new editioral article from Gaming-Enthusiast defending EA.
After EA acquired the rights for the Star Wars franchise last night I’ve seen a lot of negative feedback from ‘non-EA’ supporters who don’t realise the studios that EA actually own. I can be somewhat cynical when it comes to EA, but I can’t help to be excited by them taking the rights from Disney to produce Star Wars titles for core gamers in the future.
It seems that gamers have seen the dreaded EA label, and forgot about the studios that EA own. The likes of Bioware, DICE, Criterion, and Visceral Games. As a massive fan of Star Wars, and a gamer, I can’t help but get excited for the possibilities to come from the Star Wars gaming rights being in EA’s hands.
I was surprised to find that not many people knew that The Knights of the Old Republic series is already being made under EA, by Mass Effect developers Bioware since 2003. Surely Battlefront being in the hands of DICE and being developed on their Frostbite engine, can only prove to be a positive thing, right?
There are possibilities for EA to take the Star Wars gaming franchise forward, Need for Speed developer Criterion taking the handles of a pod racing title, maybe even another Rogue Squadron game developed with Most Wanted’s Chameleon engine? Dante’s Inferno developer, Visceral Games to unleash the force in the form of a Jedi hacks and slash title. – These are just a few ideas I’ve thrown together, no doubt EA have already started planning their strategy with they’re studios.
EA have a bit reputation with gamers, they can’t afford to make the same mistakes with unfinished (seemingly untested) Star Wars titles being released. Star Wars is a very sensitive subject, and EA could suffer if they don’t get things just right.
As you can see I’m excited by EA taking the reins since Disney closed down Lucas Arts – who haven’t exactly produced the greatest of Star Wars titles in recent the years, in my eyes. Hell! Look at that god awful Kinect game. Hopefully, EA will bring a fresh new approach to some titles, while revitalising some previous titles that have falling off the track, as well as bringing back some titles – like Rogue Squadron – back to the fans.
I’ve thought of other developers that could possibly take over, Ubisoft, Activision, etc. In my opinion EA are the perfect choice with the developers they have in their portfolio. So I ask you, with their assets, are EA really that bad for our beloved Star Wars?
Tuesday - May 07, 2013
RPGWatch - We have moved
Ghost of a Tale - Interview @ Venturebeat
The Ghost of a Tale campaign at Indiegogo has still 2 weeks to go (the duration was increased recently with one week) and is currently at 27K€ out of a requested 45K€.
In the meantime an article style interview showed up at Venturebeat with developer Lionel Gallat.
“All those influences, just being able to put some cute animals … into a situation where they have to really face danger, but also find empathy in the player, so that the player can care a little bit about the characters and understand, even though they don’t look human,” he said. “That’s what I’m trying to do. To be able to show that even though they don’t look at all like us, we can really understand [them].”
“I’m just trying to do something that’s charming, sympathetic, but I’m not shying away from violence or danger or stuff like that,” he added.
Eschalon - Book I & II on Sale @ GOG
Information aboutEschalon: Book I
George Ziets - Interview @ RPGCodex
RPGCodex interviewed game designer and writer George Ziets about the games he worked in in the past, the games he is working on currently (Project Eternity, Torment Tides of Numenera), Baldur's Gate 3 and more.
How would you describe the 'Ziets approach' to game design? Which designers and writers have influenced you the most over the years?What’s unique about the medium of games is its interactivity. A game is really a shared narrative between the developer and the player, and the more we can do to make the player an equal partner in that exchange, the better.
So my goal as a designer is to make the player feel like the most important character in the game… and to give the player as many ways as possible to customize their experience. Examples: Let the player decide who their character is and was – avoid imposing an identity upon the character if you can. Provide multiple ways to solve every problem, make sure the player is aware of their options, and provide clear consequences for the player’s choice. When important events happen in the story or world, they should result from the player’s actions, or they should play out differently because of the player’s choices. Anticipate what cool thing the player would want to do in any given situation, and try to find ways of letting them do it. Make your villains threaten things that are important to the player - not just to NPCs. And never impose words or actions upon the player in a cutscene (or anywhere else).
Another important goal is to think of all elements of the game as part of a coherent whole. No element – gameplay, story, art – is more important than any other. They all need to work together to create a unified experience. Ideally, we should approach every game with a high-level idea of what kind of experience we want to craft and then make sure that the story, mechanics, and art style all reinforce that big idea.
This perspective can be difficult to keep in mind at mid- to large-sized studios, where disciplines have become increasingly specialized, with one person doing nothing but combat design, another doing nothing but writing and story, another focused entirely on items, etc. This is one of the reasons I favor the older system of designers as generalists, which tends to encourage us to look at the whole experience, rather than one specific part.
Finally, I always prefer to put the player into a situation where they don’t know the rules. I’m not referring to game mechanics (which should always be clear and understandable), but to the story and the world. If you can drop the player into an unfamiliar situation that isn’t quite like anything they’ve seen or experienced before, they’re going to be more attentive and engaged, leading to a more memorable experience. Everyone likes a mystery – the key is to use plenty of unanswered questions about the setting, the story, and the characters to drive the player through the game.
Influences are tough. I’ve ingested such a mixed-up cocktail of games, books, movies, and TV over the past 30+ years that it’s difficult to pick out the ones that have had the greatest effect on me as a designer.
Certainly the team at Obsidian – Chris Avellone, Josh Sawyer, etc. – has had a significant impact because we share a lot of the same sensibilities and because I’ve worked with those guys longer than anyone else. The Infinity Engine games, in general, had a strong influence. Also the early to middle Ultima games from my childhood, so I’d include early Richard Garriott and Origin Systems as another influence. Sid Meier too – especially the open-ended structure of his original Pirates game, where the player could even determine when the game ended. As a storyteller / world builder, influences include Greek mythology, real-world history, psychology, and current events, Japanese animation (especially Miyazaki, but others too), the Fighting Fantasy novels of the 80s, Tad Williams, George R. R. Martin, David Brin, Steven Erikson, Gene Wolfe, and probably many authors that I’m forgetting. And it’s difficult to ignore the influence of D&D, since it played such a big part in my early creative work.
Matt Chatt - Neal Halford Interview part 2
Matt Barton continues his interview with Neal Halford discussing the development of Betrayal at Krondor and his time ad Dynamix.
Neal Halford is also Kickstarting his book The Thief of Dreams, which he wants to turn in a game once it is finished.
Information aboutArmchair Empire
Ars Technica - The Lesson Learned From 369 Hours of Mass Effect
Ars Technica has a four page editiorial on the entire series after having played through the entirety of Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, and Mass Effect 3 over the course of nearly 400 hours.
That's nine 40-hour work weeks of time spent in the Mass Effect universe, according to the combined reports of Steam, Origin, and my creaky old Xbox 360. Eighty-six hours went into the original Mass Effect (three playthroughs), 189 hours into Mass Effect 2 (six playthroughs), and 94 hours into Mass Effect 3 (three playthroughs).
Commander Shepard and his crew—sometimes her crew, but we'll get to that—have done plenty of galaxy saving under my control. They fought aliens, robots, clones, politicians, and reporters. They stood united against enemies vast and unknowably timeless. They have, in the words of James T. Kirk, "been through death and life together."
They're my friends.
OK, they're not really my friends; claiming to be buddies with imaginary characters is a little too geeky even for me. The Mass Effect series is not without its flaws, and some are truly Reaper-sized. But it has gripped me like nothing else in the history of video games, and video games and I go back a pretty long way.
But take heart, as Shepard himself says near the end of the series. Even if Shepard must be a hollow man for the sake of the player, the ease with which the player can fill his shoes means that Bioware made the correct set of design decisions.
I didn't feel quite so maudlin about the series until the Citadel DLC came out, but now, it's like I know all these aliens. They're real, hanging out in the back of my head. We are Commander Shepard, and the crew members of the Normandy are our friends. Garrus. Tali. Liara. Thane. EDI. Joker. Jack. Wrex. Grunt. All the rest.
The ending of the series is this: Commander Shepard, surrounded by his team, ready to board the Normandy and set sail back out onto the ocean of night. That's where they'll always be.
Shepard's squadmates are right: we've had a good ride.
Information aboutMass Effect 3
R.A. Salvatore - Neverwinter & 38 Studios
R.A. Salvatore gave an interview on GameReactor TV. In the interview he was asked about Neverwinter, and 38 Studios.
Best-selling author R.A. Salvatore talks about his most recent books set in the Forgotten Realms, their ties with Neverwinter, and the unfortunate demise of 38 Studios.
We caught up with Salvatore at the PAX East Neverwinter party, with the author sitting down in a comfy armchair with guests and journalist gathering in a circle to hear what he had to say. We sat back for a while, but finally stepped in and asked if we could steal away R.A. for ten minutes for an interview. With the crowd dispersed a number of issues were covered - including how it came to be that his latest series of books set in the Forgotten Realms are tied in with the MMORPG from Cryptic Studios.
"We'd really like your books to set the stage for the game, and I said "what does that mean?". And basically what it meant was you know, new game, they want a different look so basically blowing up a city... (laughs) So I finally get to destroy a city in the Forgotten Realms count me in."
"Curt Schilling gets beat up a lot, but he did something real magical with the people he brought together. He handselected that team and he brought in some of the best people ever and I give him a lot of credit for trying. He put himself, he put his own money on the line - I give him a lot of credit for that so no regrets from me. It is what it is, I'm sorry people got hurt, you know I got hurt, my sons got hurt, but as that fades the good parts come to the forefront."
Speaking on former 38 Studios colleagues and friends, Salvatore had the following to say:
"A lot of them seem to be landing on their feet with good companies or their own companies, so you know... It's journey right, everything we do here is a journey if you live your whole life think you just have to get to the goal you're not living your life you're just trying to get somewhere. You think you're going to some magic fairy land when you get to that goal. It's the journey, it's not the ending - the ending is death, dude."
"The IP is going to come up for sale. I hope somebody buys it. I hope they contact me and want me to come back and do some work with it. I think it's awesome, and I'm not just saying that cause I wrote it. The parts I wrote - great - but the work the team did... the love they poured into that expanding this hundreds and hundreds of pages in the wiki - just amazing stuff was coming out of that team."
VtM: Bloodlines - Unofficial Patch v8.6 Released
Wesp has released his unofficial patch v8.6 update for Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. Some of those tweaks are as follows:
+Restored Confession turnstile, King's Way animation and six decals.
+Restored discipline crosshair, tutorial graphic and some particles.
+Restored Dominate Command instead of Trance, thanks to EntenSchreck.
+Restored embrace and discipline hud particles, thanks EntenSchreck.
+Improved Presence dialogue options and raised haven bum cash to $10.
+Improved getting new discipline and keeping the .38 in the tutorial.
+Added new idle animations, some with whispers, thanks EntenSchreck.
+Added Humanity losses and gains to SM blueblood and tutorial guard.
+Made Pearl of Dubai Charisma powerup again and fixed Mercurio money.
+Removed Toreador and Ventrue stats bonuses and improved library map.
Returned Steyr AUG Sabbats to Hallowbrook and Zulo fire sensitivity.
Moved possible Gimble's entrance block and fixed minor text details.
Made Beckett invincible at the pier and updated walkthrough issues.
Corrected XP and restored log for unravelling Knox and Bertram plan.
Fixed Phil and Vandal dialogues and raised Well Educated penalties.
Fixed Romero moving strange if you block him and minor text issues.
Information aboutVtM: Bloodlines
Forbes - Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Forbes reviews and unboxes the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. For the record it's not the PC game, but the table top version.
Call it the Pathfinder Cinematic Roleplaying System and borrow heavily from some of the marvelous indie d20 games on the market (as well as from other modern gaming systems which place more emphasis on character, roleplaying, and tough moral choices rather than combat.)
Fortunately, the adventures and system is also compatible with myriad d20 variants, so it’s no problem integrating the adventures and setting with games like Microlite20 (which has its own Pathfinder version) or Legend or any other d20-based system.
Meanwhile, for anyone who enjoys a solid book in hand with lots of other products to choose from, the Beginner Box is a great entry point. Moving on from there to the other Paizo books is simple enough, and there’s simply no denying that the artwork and production value in all of these products is top-notch—a great way to have the books themselves help deepen player immersion in the game world.
Borderlands 2 - Krieg DLC Next Week
Information aboutBorderlands 2
SP/MP: Single + MP
Shadow of the Eternals - Crowdfunding Campaign
Precursor Games announces the launch of a crowdfunding campaign for Shadow of the Eternals. It's a episodic action/adventure game using CryENGINE. The Shadow of the Eternals website is home to the fundraising. The goal is to raise $1.5 million so they can release the first episode for PC and WiiU in Q3 of next year.
Precursor Games today unveils its debut project Shadow of the Eternals. Developed by the creators of the critically acclaimed Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, Shadow of the Eternals is an episodic action/adventure game that is likely to gain the attention of gamers everywhere.
Featuring an ensemble cast, Shadow of the Eternals will span over 2500 years of human history. Players will question their own perception of reality as they progress through this mind-altering psychological horror. The Pilot Episode is slated for release Q3 2014 on the Nintendo Wii U and PC.
The emerging studio is taking crowdfunding to the next level by giving the community the ability to contribute content to the game. Precursor Games has also revealed a campaign video and rewards tier system to go with their 1.5 million dollar goal, including pre-orders and exclusive merchandise.
“Precursor Games intends to leave no stone unturned in order to create an unparalleled experience for gamers”, said Paul Caporicci, CEO of Precursor Games. “We have a talented team, incredible technology with CryENGINE and a new business model where we directly integrate the fan base into the development process, allowing for new possibilities and game direction. We are very excited to see where this new direction leads.”
Information aboutShadow of the Eternals
Release: In development
Chasm - Kickstarted and Demo Available
The Kickstarter for Chasm shows the project from Discord Games has surpassed its $150K funding goal with several days remaining in the campaign. There is a playable demo so the game can be sampled also.
PLAY THE DEMO AND PLEDGE NOW! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d...
Chasm is a 2D Platformer Action-RPG currently in development for Windows, Mac, & Linux. Taking equal inspiration from hack 'n slash dungeon crawlers (procedurally generated dungeons, loot drops, etc) and Metroidvania-style platformers, the game aims to immerse you in its 2D fantasy world full of exciting treasure, deadly enemies, and abundant secrets.
GameBanshee - Project Eternity Social Round-up
GameBanshee has posted a newsbit on Project Eternity that's been made available by devs through social networks and their official forums. Visit the link for more information as there is allot of it.
Wood elves make up almost half of the population of Aedyr and orlans are also found near savannah folk, north of Readceras (which is north of the Dyrwood).
Even the elves and orlans in Eír Glanfath migrated to the area within the past two thousand years; they don't have any apparent connection to the original residents and builders of the ancient structures.
Ethnicity and culture are separate characteristics in the game. Individual meadow folk can be from the Vailian Republics just as coastal aumaua can be from Aedyr. The common-name descriptions of ethnicities don't restrict where they can be from. Literally every ethnicity in our race document has a bit-by-bit description of what physical characteristics they have, including facial features, skin tones, hair colors (and textures), eye colors (and shapes), etc. E.g., only savannah folk, pale elves, and boreal dwarves have epicanthic folds. Of those, only boreal dwarves have them consistently.
Just as a point of reference, we've seen the use of Gaelic names for places and people, and now are told that the old English/Norse languages are being referenced, does this indicate a clash of cultures at some point? Or have the two arisen in unison and merged beyond the telling apart?
It's less a clash of cultures and more of the intermingling of them. Places settled by Aedyrans in the Dyrwood tend to have Eld Aedyran or regular Aedyran (i.e. plain English) names. The common names for some creatures are Glanfathan but others are Eld Aedyran or (rarely) Vailian. The cultures borrow terms from each other, too. The title of duc (ducs bels and ducs panits) is used in the Vailian Republics for the sovereign ruler of a city-state, but the Dyrwoodans borrowed it when they rebelled against the Aedyran Empire. Admeth Hadret was originally an erl palatine (palatine/palatinate also being borrowed from the Vailians), but he styled himself as a duc of the "free palatinate" during the rebellion.
At first it seemed the different cultures would be more in a high/late Middle period. From your recent answers, it seems that pretty much all the big human factions are actually in what would be a modern, colonial period. 1. So PE is more of a Renaissance/early modern world than a High/Late Medieval one? 2. Is there still some place for knights (vassal system...), Gothic Architecture, Medieval weaponery and other typical Middle Ages characteristics?
The Dyrwood is in the equivalent of a Renaissance/early modern tech level, but even Europe’s own Renaissances didn’t abandon earlier architecture and technology. Swords and armor were used alongside firearms for centuries (as they are in the Dyrwood, where firearms are still uncommon).
Rural communities in the Dyrwood tend to have Romanesque/Norman architecture, with Renaissance features (e.g. domes, symmetrical façades) found in large urban centers. Previous colonial cultures also tried to settle in the Dyrwood and their ruins tend to be more traditionally “Medieval”. In the village concept we released, the buildings are vaguely Romanesque with a few Renaissance features, but they are built adjacent to much older, rougher remnants of a castle and bridges from centuries ago.
Hi Josh.You said that Aedyr are white humans and elves with green and blue eyes. But they are from very hot, tropical regions of the world. Wouldnt people living in a climate like that develop a darker skin and darker eyes?
If they had been there for more than a few thousand years, yes. Most people living in Aedyr are Thyrtan humans, "meadow folk". Their ethnic group is not native to Aedyr, but comes from the far north (like the Sceltrfolc elves). They migrated south over thousands of years. Their nickname, "meadow folk", is seemingly a misnomer but is still used because of their origin.
Similarly, the Grand Empire of Vailia (from which the Vailian Republics sprang) was farther south in the southern hemisphere, but the Calbandra people originally lived near the equator for many millennia (hence their name -- Calbandra = warm ring).
Additionally, no one really got why their name meant "warm ring" for a long time because the Vailians pioneered cartography and theories of the world's shape. To most others, Calbandra are "ocean folk".
Can you tell us where the spelling of Direwood (Deerwood) comes from?
"Dyrwood" (DEER-wood) is the Eld Aedyran name for the forest north and west of the Bael River. The letter y in Eld Aedyran is pronounced /i/.
Can you tell me anything about the clothing and architectural styles of the cultures in Project Eternity? How do you deal with situations where the climate/environment is quite different from that of the real cultures that were the inspiration?
Kaz is working on the clothing right now. It's interesting, because we have combinations of people and styles that aren't usually seen together (e.g. Vailians are essentially black Renaissance Italians) and I think Kaz is doing a good job of making each culture feel distinctive. We've already developed the Dyrwoodan and Vailian styles, and now Kaz is revisiting the Aedyrans to reflect their home climate more.
In Earth's history, Spanish and Portuguese explorers/conquistadors were often overdressed for the hot climates they found themselves in. Aedyrans have the opposite problem when they visit the Dyrwood. Their home climate is very hot and humid, so they are relatively underdressed for the Mediterranean/temperate climates of the Dyrwood.
For Dyrwoodan architecture, Rob and Polina are looking at Renaissance European architecture and also some of the colonial-era South American architecture. Because the Dyrwood is heavily colonized (and very recently), many of the urban buildings look much newer than they might in a traditional Medieval fantasy setting.
The Glanfathan architecture is much more fantastic. We can create shapes and structures that would not be possible/appropriate when using strictly Renaissance-era technology alone.
The PE world map was one of the first things shown for the game. How much has it evolved since then? Will we see an updated version in the near future?
It has changed somewhat, mostly how the rivers flow, but a few other details here and there. We haven't revised it in a while, but we will eventually release an updated version.
Information aboutProject Eternity
Release: In development
Monday - May 06, 2013
EA - Exclusive Deal to Develop 'Core' Star Wars Video Games
Gamasutra reports that EA has signed an agreement to develop and publish Star Wars games. This could mean....something.
The publisher announced today it has landed an exclusive multi-year agreement to develop and publish games based on Lucasfilms' Star Wars universe.
EA said the it will create and publish Star Wars games for a "core gaming audience" across multiple (undisclosed) platforms and genres. Disney, which has its own internal stable of game developers -- and owns the Star Wars property -- will retain rights to publish certain games on mobile, social, tablet and online.
The EA studios creating those "core" Star Wars games are Battlefield developer DICE, Dead Space developer Visceral Games and BioWare, which has plenty of spacefaring experience with Mass Effect, Star Wars: The Old Republic and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
All of the games will be powered by DICE's high-powered Frostbite 3 engine, the same engine that powers Battlefield 3.
Mars - Review Roundup #3
Here is a new mixed bag of reviews for Mars War Logs.
I have really enjoyed playing this game , the different control aspect and the gripping story line have made it a real joy to play and get addicted to. To get a good grasp of the game I was planning on doing the odd side quest while working through the main story. But in the end I was so gripped that I went through a lot of the side quests while I was going through the story line.
While only the combat stands out as a true high-point,is at least an ambitious attempt at a budget RPG, in a much less overused setting than most. Silly Technomancers aside, it has all the pieces and ideas it needs to be something special – just not the writing chops or the raw resources needed to flesh them out to the level of the games it draws obvious inspiration from. The result is hard to recommend, with few diamonds to be found in the Martian rough. If you're willing to settle for occasional agate or topaz though, there are just enough sparkles here and there.
Indie Game Insider, 6.8
For all my nuances with the game, I think Mars: War Logs’ most redeeming feature lies in its aesthetics. The animations, graphics, and overall visual style look and feel great for a game with low production values, a testament to Spiders’ artistic skill. At a glance, it would be easy to mistake this title for a AAA game. While the lip synching animations could use some definite work, the game as a whole has a visual polish to it the developers should be proud of.
Kaboom Shark, 3.5/5
Mars: War Logs is a classic case of a game whose ambitions overreached its budget. The game has more cut corner than an OCD kid’s sandwich, ranging from spotty voice acting, underdeveloped gameplay features, and rushed story progression, all of which constantly remind you of the unfulfilled dreams of a dev team that simply didn’t have the time and money to make their lofty vision a reality.
But you know what? I was captivated nonetheless. A truly charming game, Mars: War Logs is so unabashedly confident in its goals and brimming with genuine effort that it’s easy to overlook its stumbles and focus on what it does well, namely its fleshed out world, endearing characters and fluid combat. It’s a completely playable and enjoyable game, one that I fervently recommend to anyone interested in the premise and which I hope will see its rich setting continually explored in future games. It may be rough around the edges, but bite through that crust and you’ll find a warm, gooey center within that will suck you in like one of Mars’ tornadoes.
Transistor - Podcast Interview @ Video Game Sophistry
Video Game Sophistry has a new audio interview with Supergiant's creative director Greg Kasavin on Transistor.
This week on VGS!
We discuss the recent departures from E3, Batman isn't Batman and a HUGE feature on all of the new GTA V info. We have EVERYTHING! Fact speculation,. Fever Dreams! If it's GTA related we got it.
FEATURE INTERVIEW: Starts at 25:54
Greg Kasavin from SuperGiant Games, the maker of the Indie hit "Bastion" have a new game! We find out all about it.
Adventure Maximus! - A New Kid Friendly Table Top Game
Eden Studios sent news for their recently started kickstarter. It's a card based Role Playing Game for players 8 years-of-age and up. It looks like a good way to get kids interested in RPG's.
Eden Studios has been known for publishing award winning and fan favorite RPGs for over 15 years. Today we embark on a new project to bring in new players to the world of role playing games. It's time for a role playing game adults & kids can both enjoy. Make a character in under 2 minutes. Start playing out of the box.
That project is entitled Adventure Maximus!
Adventure MAXIMUS! is a card based, introductory Role Playing Game for players 8 years-of-age and up. Players can take on roles from eight different races. Working together as a famous "Adventure Company" based in the fantastic, post-apocalyptic world of Ex-Machina they can become heroes of legend.
Adventure MAXIMUS! follows the classic role playing game format consisting of someone who runs the adventure (who we call a Maximus Master) and 2 or more players who interact with the adventure. Inexperienced Maximus Masters will find using our Adventure Creation System helpful when making their first adventure. Also, the role of Maximus Master can be taken over by a player in mid adventure so that everyone gets a chance to play!
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - Update #11, Competition Winners and More
It's time for another update for the Jagged Alliance: Flashback. The update this time shows the winners for the hamster meme.
It’s weekend and and we’re slowly but surely closing in on $150,000. We have received quite a few meme submissions and we’re so happy with them that we have found it hard to pick just one winner.Therefore we have chosen to pick 3 winners in total :)
The winners will receive the $125 reward and we’ll post the meme on various social sites to promote our campaign and make people laugh.
Congratulations to the winners ifsim, GermanMG and Lachlan, and thanks for all your submissions :) We’ll definitely be hosting 1-2 more competitions before the end of the Kickstarter Campaign.
Additional pledges and changes to Collector’s box
A few people have been mentioning that’s they’d like to both have mercenary quote/ enemy response and a collector’s edition we decided to add a Tier to give them the option to do so.
New pledge Tier:
$220 Aim for the eyes Tier: Yeah, that should do the trick so you get: All previous rewards + You get to choose to either write an enemy response or a mercenary one-liner. (ONLY THIS TIER) Limited (30)
New Collector’s Box content
We’re adding a paper map to the mix as well as upgrading the paper map to a cloth map in the $500 tier.
We’ll also be adding a Jagged Alliance: Flashback credit card holder to the the tier.
We’re looking forward to a new and exciting week with loads of comments, good suggestions and quality feedback. More detailed updates on the way and we are brewing up some big news to share with the press.
Information aboutJagged Alliance: Flashback
Release: In development
Neverwinter - Whispering Caverns Trailer
Perfect World and Cryptic released a two-minute trailer showcasing the Whispering Caverns.
Far below the city of Neverwinter are passages leading through the Underdark to the Whispering Caverns, an underground labyrinth of forgotten tunnels. The dark elves have returned here to reclaim their stronghold, evil dwarves work deep mines, and the illithid plot to unleash an ancient evil. Conquering the Whispering Caverns zone will be no easy adventure...
Release: In development