Exclusive Interview with KING Art - Part 2
In the 2nd part of our exclusive interview about The Dwarves KING Art's creative director Jan Theysen gives us detailed infos about the combat system and character development.
» Continue reading the article...
Exclusive Interview with KING Art - Part 1
Earlier this week we paid a visit to KING Art Games' office in Bremen (Germany) to talk about their innovative new fantasy RPG The Dwarves. We came back with an extensive interview packed full of new infos.
» Read the article
Our names in the game
A RPGWatch quest
I don't care
I propose something else
Saturday - October 03, 2015
Antinomy - New Kickstarter
Watcher Farflame spotted this new interesting Kickstarter campaign for the action adventure Antinomy:
Welcome to Antinomy, a unique 19th century Indie open world action-adventure video game bringing the "The Holy Land" to life!
Antinomy is a game set in a fictional Middle Eastern country in the late 19th century, about people from different origins coming together to fight for the same cause, which is justice. They have stood up against the tyranny of those who swore to protect them and who were left unpunished after committing disgraceful crimes against innocent people. The main character, Nathaniel, has the pursuit of justice as his mission, until one day, when he finds out something, that drastically changes his plans...
The message of the game is to promote the importance of underlying themes within the game such as family, friendship, justice and unity, and to show that despite the diversity of the characters' backgrounds, when they put aside their differences, they are able to live in prosperity.
- ~20 square kilometres open world with a vast lethal desert and a variety of other unique areas
- Most of the 800+ buildings in the world are enterable.
- 34 main story missions, 35+ side quests
- 25+ hours main storyline gameplay
- A variety of 19th century weapons including muskets, flintlock pistols and a range of Middle Eastern melee weapons.
- Trading, crafting and a dynamic world economy.
- Political alignments, shifting alliances and diplomacy and conquest
- RPG elements such as player skills and character customisation
- Innovative combat system inspired by V.A.T.S. in Fallout series
- A full body realistic injury system
PS: Kai Rosenkranz is the Soundtrack Composer!
M&M: Heroes VII - Review @ IGN
Watcher henriquejr spotted this review for Might & Magic Heroes VII on IGN:
Might & Magic Heroes 7 Review
It’s not hard to draw parallels between Might and Magic Heroes 7’s protagonist, Ivan Griffin, and its developer, Limbic Entertainment. Much like Griffin, the studio has inherited a domain and wants to play it safe by not discarding traditions or ruining the most well-regarded features. The result is a strange roleplaying-strategy experience that's at once nostalgically enjoyable and somehow unfulfilling. As promised, the spirit of the glory days of the Heroes of Might and Magic series reveals itself here, but it lacks both personality and polish even as the strategic elements provide decent challenges.
To its credit, MMH7 generally gets the broad strokes right. True to the series, this is a turn-based game about sending heroes out to explore a world shrouded in a fog of war, where they find resources, allies, and foes hidden throughout. Finding one of the latter means jumping into strategic battles that superficially resemble Holochess from Star Wars, and where your named heroes dish out damage and protect their minions for the sidelines. That's all here, and there's virtually nothing here that hasn't been seen before aside from a welcome addition in the ability to deal additional damage to enemies by flanking them with multiple soldiers. Caravans also make a comeback in MMH7 (after a disappointing absence in MMH6), allowing the hire and placement of new units in town without the need for them to travel with the hero, keeping the pace of exploration steadily entertaining.
The VerdictThere's very little that's new about Might and Magic Heroes 7, and that's a good thing when it comes to its classic-style tactical roleplaying exploration and combat and menus that make managing resources easy to understand and let heroes explore at a rewarding pace without frequent backtracking. It manages to scratch a very old PC gaming itch, at least between the awful cutscenes and performance problems.
Okay - M&M Heroes 7 is a loyal but buggy sequel that manages to scratch a very old PC gaming itch.
- Classic M&M gameplay
- Intuitive 2D town maps
- Good game modes
- Camera bugs
- Weird, stiff cutscenes
M&M: Heroes VIISP/MP: Single + MP
Friday - October 02, 2015
7,62 Hard Life - Mod for 7,62 High Calibre released on Steam
The mod 7,62 Hard Life for the tactical RPG 7,62 High Calibre has been released on Steam.
The mod is free for all who already own 7,62 High Calibre.
7,62 Hard Life is a fun made enhanced version of the original tactical sim 7,62 High Calibre. Its development started almost immediately after the original game release in 2007. Over 50 people worked on the project in total. We hope you'll enjoy this version, that is available to all owners of the original game on Steam at no extra cost.
Today Hard Life addon contains:
- 25 additional locations, including ones taken from addon 7,62 Reload (which was released in Russia only) and new ones made from scratch;
- around 30 new NPCs;
- more than 100 new story quests, including the possibility to complete the game without joining any side of the conflict, and numerous side quests;
- more than 1000 new items, including 130 new weapons;
- ability to fine tune the gameplay and functionality to your tastes (adjust an amount of enemies, Iron Man mode, hunger and thirst modeling, enhanced transport system, limiting an amount of cash NPC traders have and so on);
- many fixes for the bugs of the original game;
- widescreen adaptation;
- other improvements.
Addon is available in Russian and English languages.
7,62 Hard LifeSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Fallout - Uncovering the true Origins @ Kotaku
Brian Fargo talks about Wasteland and the Fallout series at Kotaku:
Uncovering the Fallout Series' True Origins
The Fallout Anthology is out today, a collection of every game in the greatly loved post-apocalyptic series so far (that's 1997's Fallout, Fallout 2 from 1998, Fallout Tactics from 2001, 2008's Fallout 3, and New Vegas from 2010) that comes in an actual nuke-shaped container, which strikes me as deeply ironic given what the Fallout games have to say about nuclear war. But one crucial game is missing from that collection: Wasteland, a 1988 game for the home computers of the time. Its creator Brian Fargo would go on to make the first two games in the Fallout series with legendary studio Black Isle Studios. (He would also finally make Wasteland 2 in 2014, after a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign. A PS4 and Xbox One version is coming this month.)
Wasteland is the Fallout series' true origins. And not just spiritually: Fallout literally exists because Fargo could not get the rights to the Wasteland name from EA, who originally published it, so he had to come up with something else. As a consequence, perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of Fallout's iconic things, people, places and plotlines originated in Wasteland.
"I think that people have forgotten, or don't know, how much Fallout was actually [the original] Wasteland 2," Fargo tells me. "My charter was like, OK, I can't get the rights to Wasteland 2 from Electronic Arts. I'm never going to pry it from their cold, dead fingers anytime soon. So, what can we do that hits on the open-world nature of it, the sense of a persistent world? Because that's what made Wasteland very revolutionary: this whole concept that you could solve things by using skills and stats on the environment, that you could talk, sneak or shoot your way out of a problem.
"There's a lot of stuff that was literally lifted straight from Wasteland into Fallouts 1 and 2, and even today. I wanted to specifically reference as much as possible without being sued by Electronic Arts. It's like if there was a movie with Han Solo in it before Star Wars." [...]
A House of Many Doors - Kickstarter Ends Successfully
Congratulations for a successful Kickstarter campaign!
-> here's the last update:
WE DID IT. One thousand, one hundred and three thank-yous are in order!
The campaign has come to a glorious, expectations-shattering end. A House of Many Doors has just been funded!
Let's review, shall we?
A House of Many Doors was covered across the PC gaming press, from Rock Paper Shotgun to PC Gamer to Eurogamer.
We reached £12,866 in funding.
That's over 300% of our funding goal.
And most importantly, 1,103 people pledged.
I am outrageously grateful to every single lovely one of you. Actually, I've had so much gratitude recently that I'm running out of ways to express it, so I'm just going to proffer a traditional “Thank you.”
Thank you, all of you.
What next? Well, I'm going to attempt to celebrate, which means I actually stop developing the game for a day! Hopefully this will mean I can interact with humans, consume non-coffee beverages, and experience this thing called “a sun” that people keep talking about.
After that, of course, there's a lot of work still to be done. I'm looking forward to it. (And I'll be providing you with regular updates along the way, of course.)
Let me say it one final time, okay? Thank you.
Now the House will rise from the dark, as terrible as it is vast. And it is infinitely vast.
It awaits you.
A House of Many DoorsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Victor Vran - Two new Reviews
Our Eye spotted two new reviews for the action RPG Victor Vran:
Victor Vran is the Action RPG from developers Haemimont Games. Haemimont have made a name for themselves as strategy specialists with Tropico 3, 4, and 5, as well as other management games too. So this begs the questions: what can a team of strategy specialists bring to make a genre that has very little strategy? And why did they then decide to ignore well established trends for that genre, removing even more strategy from it? Are Haemimont just pulling our chain, like an artist who’s thrown some paint at a canvas and called it abstract, or do they have an actual plan at work here? Are Haemimont the new Monet?
Victor Vran is an excellent entry into the action RPG genre. The focus is definitely on combat, with satisfying weapon abilities and direct keyboard control of Victor coupled with active dodge and jump functions make it feel more engaging than other ARPGs. You're restricted in the amount of stuff you can equip at once, limiting your options to a handful of possibilities so it's a welcoming game to genre newcomers but deep enough for veterans to get a kick out of it.
Hexes, challenges and secrets provide plenty of value for completionists and masochists alike but the main story on normal difficulty never really impedes you so long as you keep your equipment and spells up to date with the various drops. Similarly you'll never really be short of gold, it's a game that wants you to worry about how you're going to smash the next group of enemies, not worry about how you're going to afford a new sword or fit it into your bag.
Co-op play is also an absolute blast but not without its glitches, from invisible characters to quests not completing for one character it made for a little confusion and backtracking but never really got frustrating, even when playing on hard with all the hexes active. Overall it's a game worthy of playing solo or with friends, at turns both light and dark in tone thanks to voice actors from The Stanley Parable and The Witcher basically playing the same roles and even lampooning those, and other games.
At first glance Victor Vran looks like another entry in the Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing series of action RPGs, but in reality it’s a very different kind of animal. While there are similarities when it comes to the faux-Gothic seriousness of the story, the overall look of the game and the reliance on pop-culture references for humour, the way the two games play is very different. Victor Vran is about combat, not about character building. There are no classes, no skill trees or unlockable abilities. All skills are tied to equipment. What the eponymous character wears, wields and equips directly affects the way he functions.
A streamlined action RPG with the emphasis placed firmly on the action.
Victor VranSP/MP: Single + MP
Rite of Life - New Kickstarter
Rite of Life is a new game on Kickstarter. It's a life-sim RPG that features a player-driven open world where you start with a small encampment. Through exploring, battling and gathering resources you can turn your home into a prospering town.
Rite of Life is a life-sim RPG being developed for PC by Rebourne Studios, inspired by games like Harvest Moon, Pokémon, Dark Cloud & Monster Hunter.
Unsung Story - Reddit AMA Finished
The Reddit AMA with Playdek about Unsing Story took place a few days ago, so if you want to find their feedback on things, such as the recent PVP announcement and the reduction of the team, you can head over there and read it for yourself in all detail, including all the unanswered questions.
The focus of the game is neither PvP nor single player. The focus of the game is to be the best tactical RPG possible. Single player narrative against the AI and PvP online are play modes of the game, and therefore neither one is a focus. The tactics, meaning the character stats and attributes as well as skills, work the same no matter which mode you play the game in, and needs to be balanced evenly. Making an internal multi-player mode available first to outside players gets more hands on the tactics system and gives us more feedback to fine tune and balance the system.
Unsung StorySP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Deus Ex: MD - Video Interview @ Forbes
Deus Ex: MDSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor - Preview @ Gamespot
Gamespot joins the ranks of those taking a look at Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor - Martyr.
While Martyr is a traditional isometric action-RPG built from elements seen in Neocore's Van Helsing games, it will also sport alterations to the formula that focus on a more tactical approach.
"Unlike with Van Helsing, we downsized the number of enemies on-screen and introduced a cover system, which is a very new concept in action-RPGs," Juhász said. "It'll require you to consider tactics. Are you going to attack the cover because they're destructible? Are you going to move behind them to flank your enemies? Your enemies might even switch sides and hide behind other cover as well, so we have a new AI that will regulate the behavior of monsters, for instance, like an AI that acts as a leader for smaller groups."
But new mechanics aside, the game would fall flat if it wasn't faithful to its universe's lore and the audience of hardcore Warhammer fans who follow it. Thankfully, many of the devs at Neocore are 40K fans themselves and are collaborating with Warhammer IP owner Games Workshop to create an experience that will appeal to its different audiences.
Warhammer 40K: InquisitorSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Thea: The Awakening - First Impressions @ Nayla Games
Nayla Games made a first impressions video about Thea: The Awakening:
We take a quick look Thea: The Awakening a 4X rogue-like strategy game!
Really enjoyed the role play and story telling in this :)
Find this game on Steam Early Access.
Thea: The AwakeningSP/MP: Single-player
Jotun - Two Reviews
The first reviews for Jotun are coming in - thanks Eye!
Jotun Review: Impressive to Mortals and Gods Alike
Jotun is a hand-drawn action and exploration game developed by Thunder Lotus Games; it’s also one that IGM has been following closely since the Kickstarter campaign in 2014. The premise is a simple one: Thora, a Viking who died ingloriously, is sent to Norse purgatory to prove herself to the gods in order to enter Valhalla. The journey itself is fairly short, but the challenge factor is high, giving Jotun a leg up where it might otherwise feel a bit light on content; with the visuals factored in, Jotun is quite an impressive game.
The story begins with Thora being told that she must defeat a series of jotun (Norse gods) in order to prove herself worthy to enter Valhalla. The player is then dropped in front of Yggdrasil, a giant tree that, in Norse mythology, connects the nine worlds to each other. A network of roots, poisonous mushrooms, and blue healing flowers await the player as they run through to activate three Dis (guardian spirits) in order to gain access to The Void within Yggdrasil, where the journey truly begins. The first enemy faced is Draugr, a guardian of The Barrow Mound; players should enjoy the lower-level challenge he presents while they can, because it only gets more difficult from there on out.
Overall, Jotun is a well-designed game with very few flaws. Thora’s base speed, only increased by a short ability, was an issue, as exploration seemed to drag a bit in certain areas; boss battles were made just that much more difficult because timing is so imperative, and Thora can only go so quickly. Her powerful attack has the same effect, being so slow as to demand precision with use, else the opportunity to strike would pass. Aside from that (and perhaps because of it), Jotun‘s challenge level offers the kind of difficulty not often seen in games, today, as bosses are typically seen as a stepping stone to the end. In Jotun, the boss battles are the point, and that point is made quite soundly.
Hand-drawn/painted art is gorgeous
Soundtrack is divine
Boss battles steal the show
Thora’s speed feels cumbersome
Jotun Has One of the Craziest Boss Battles I’ve Played in a Long Time
Yesterday I played one of Jotun’s boss battles over and over for 6, 7, 8 hours. I died dozens (hundreds?) of times. I should hate it, right? Nope, I loved every agonizing second of it.
Jotun is an action-adventure/exploration game where players control Thora, a warrior woman trying to ascend to Valhalla after she’s died an inglorious death. To gain admission to the Norse mythological afterlife, she has to impress the gods and defeat five Jotun, elemental giants who rule over different realms. I’ve fought two of these big adversaries so far and really enjoyed the steep level of challenge in each encounter. [...]
M&M: Heroes VIISP/MP: Single + MP
Megamagic: Wizards of the Neon Age - Kickstarter Update
Beautifun Games will present their current Kickstarter project Megamagic: Wizards of the Neon Age at the Madrid Games Week:
"Megamagic" is Diablo meets PKMN meets Zelda meets C&C, with 80s vibes all over it!
Hi, our dear backers!
Today Madrid Games Week starts! One of biggest and finest Spanish events on videogames. It's mostly dedicated to AAA studios and so, but there's also room for indie studios. And there we're headed!
We woke up around 5am and took a plane to go from Barcelona to Madrid. We are pretty excited! Here you can see our booth. Do you like it?
We have a playable demo that challenges you to beat a small dungeon with its own boss. We also have a mini-tournament mode where you fight another wizard following very special rules. We have some of our beautiful prints as a prize for the brave ones who beat the demo. And we also have some cool retro props!
We love this kind of events because it's an opportunity to celebrate everything that revolves around being an indie studio. We get some sweet exposure, but also we get to see how people realy interact with Megamagic. And we get to see our dear indie friends from other parts of Spain.
PCInvasion - UK Consumer Rights Act 2015
PCInvasion outlines the broad implications of the UK Consumer Rights Act 2015 for digital video game purchases.
As of today, 1 October 2015, the new UK Consumer Rights Act is in force and applicable to various business-consumer transactions. ‘Digital content' is one such transaction, which, to put it in less soul-less terms, means PC games bought from online stores like Steam, GOG and so on.
Though I've linked to the Act itself up there, that's probably not the best way to digest these changes. Instead, I'd recommend this helpful document, put together by legal firm Purewal & Partners. It lays out what the new UK Act could mean for games sales in a far more straightforward way.
So what does this UK Consumer Rights Act mean for me then?
It says that games must be of "satisfactory quality", "fit for purpose" and "as described". If they don't meet these requirements at the point of sale, the customer is entitled to a repair, replacement or reduction in price (probably in that order).
The Act applies to business-customer transactions where a digital game is bought from a store (Steam, etc), in-game purchases within Free-to-Play games, and even digital ‘Early Access' games.
According to Purewal, the Act "technically" applies in all cases where the customer is located in the UK (no matter where the seller is located). However, they note that it's "likely" that any regulation will focus on UK-based companies, or those with an established UK presence.
Okay, but you mentioned Early Access games. They’re all broken shite, so surely I’m protected if I buy one of those?
Purewal’s opinion is that the same standard will be applied to Early Access games as finished titles, namely: “what would the objective, ordinary person consider reasonable in the circumstances?” They acknowledge it’s “likely” that a lower standard of quality will be applied (in reference to the fact that Early Access titles are, by definition, unfinished), and suggest that the game’s point-of-sale description will be “highly relevant”.
Interestingly, it seems that a general “this game has bugs, lol!” disclaimer won’t be sufficient. But specific issues being brought to customer attention (for example, disclosing that only the first two levels of five are in a completed state) might be considered enough of a warning.
Again, it’s a vague and (legally) untested area.
Right, assuming that a game is deemed in breach of the Act, what does that get me?
Well, for a start remember that you now have a 14 day period during which a digital game can be returned for a refund, no questions asked. This isn't quite as amazing as it sounds, because stores like Steam are allowed to add stipulations like "this stops counting after you've played it for two hours".
Beyond that, though, you will be entitled to "repair or replacement". These have to be provided in "a reasonable time" and at no "significant inconvenience" to the customer. Those adept at spotting patterns will have noticed that this language is also rather subjective.
"A reasonable time" in Purewal's view, will be judged against historic industry standards. "Repair" is almost certainly going to wind up meaning "a patch which fixes things". "Replacement" is easy in cases where a physical disc is damaged, but is a bit less clear when it comes to digital games. It may be a desired game of equivalent value, but, like so much of this brand new Act, this hasn't been put to the test yet.
Deus Ex: MD - Pre-order Program Killed @Wired
Wired brings news on the cancellation of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's pre-order program.
Videogame pre-orders are a mess, which is why it's a welcome surprise to see Square Enix announcing that it's going to discontinue the controversial "Augment Your Preorder" scheme for the upcoming Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
Square Enix cited "a resounding amount of negative feedback" as the reason for canceling the program.
It's become standard operating procedure in the past couple of years for videogame publishers to offer incentives like downloadable content to fans who pre-order their games.
Mankind Divided‘s pre-order scheme was more Byzantine than most, which is saying something. It was tiered, providing increasing amounts of rewards based on the total number of people who pre-ordered the game.
The final tier even offered fans who pre-ordered a chance to play the game four days before the official release date, the "everyone has to clap to bring Tinkerbell to life" of advertising gimmicks.
In place of the old program, all pre-orders and purchases of the Day 1 Edition will now come with all available rewards, and the game will be made playable to everyone at the same time, on the official release date of February 23, 2016.
From the Deus Ex website
Shutting Down Augment Your Pre-Order
At both Square Enix and Eidos-Montréal, we've been listening to everything you've had to say about the Augment Your Pre-Order program. When it was first conceived, we wanted the program to give you more choice about what you received in terms of pre-order incentives - because we've seen in the past that when we choose those packages ourselves, and split them across regions, it has caused frustration. We quickly noticed that this approach created even more frustration than before, resulting in a resounding amount of negative feedback.
We've spent a lot of time reading through all of your comments, working to understand how we can try to make things right for you. After much thought and reflection, we decided to close down the program and make all of the incentive content available to anyone who pre-orders Deus Ex: Mankind Divided or purchases a Day 1 edition of the game. Additionally, the release date will no longer be changed in accordance with pre-order numbers, and everyone will gain access to the game on February 23rd, 2016.
Your feedback and input is of the utmost importance to us-- as it's your loyalty and passion for our franchises that gives us the opportunity to continue providing you with great gaming experiences.
To our faithful fans who've already pre-ordered: we will be taking care of everything necessary to ensure that all of the changes to the program will be automatically applied to your purchase. Meanwhile, we'd like to thank everybody for their feedback - we know this wouldn't have happened with a game that nobody cared about, and we're just focusing now on delivering a game that lives up to your hopes and expectations.
Thanks for your support!
Deus Ex: MDSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Thursday - October 01, 2015
Baldur's Gate - Blathering into the Labyrinths
Lilura ventures onwards in part 6 of her playthrough of Baldur's Gate through the Labyrinth of the Warders, the Labyrinth of Doors and more of Durlag's Tower .
Generic (i.e, non-scripted/hardcoded) monsters respawn at intervals to hinder the party as they backtrack through corridors and chambers in their attempt to solve the puzzles, but respawns can be suppressed by camping a party member in line-of-sight of the spawnpoint. Reloading also refreshes generic spawns and may add to already-existing ones (true of the campaign in general). Resting frequently results in ambushes, but having to defend the camp against a few Ghasts is preferable to hiking all the way back to town, which is annoyingly time-consuming and may result in overworld waylays, anyway.
The gating encounters, the convo with Bayard (see the "cellar" section, below), the type and number of hostile denizens, the fifth circle scroll drops and the tough traps and locks all point to the design of Durlag's Tower catering to parties of maximum level, or not far off. Sure, veterans may start off with a first level party and rapidly gain levels as they go, but for the purposes of my treatment the party will be borderline-maxed, as that's what the design calls for.
In addition to a thief, new players are advised to bring along a bard for their valuable loremastery, enabling them to easily identify magical items instead of relying on the Identify spell, which consumes first circle spell slots that should instead be loaded with Magic Missile, Chromatic Orb and Blindness. (Ninth level casters unleash five missiles inflicting 1d4+1 damage each. That's respectable, and it's also handy for dispersing mirrors and spell disruption. A seventh level+ caster will unleash an orb inflicting 2-16 damage and stunning the enemy for 20 rounds. Nice! I have already espoused the virtues of Blindness in my Arcane Spells section of Blathering Part II.)
Baldur's GateSP/MP: Single + MP
Hyper Light Drifter - September Update
Eye found a new update for Hyper Light Drifter in which some PAX pictures are shown and a development update is given.
After a brief respite from PAX, we picked up where we left off: ironing out the full gameplay loop. We're planning more extended internal play tests now that we're nearing the tail end of content production.
I'll let Teddy, systems wizard and designer extraordinaire on the Heart Machine team, provide insight on this subject:
"Let's be real. Everyone at Heart Machine has gotten pretty good at playing Hyper Light. While that makes us feel pretty bad ass, it makes us terrible judges of how difficult or understandable our own game is to play. The most valuable and painful tool we have in game development is what we call "playtesting" ~ putting the controller into the hands of someone outside the team, and having them play as total rookies with no help or instruction from us.
For the last 6 months, we've been holding a formal full-team playtest every 2 weeks. We usually ask a friend or other developer who hasn't played Hyper Light to come to Alex and Casey's house, where we all gather on the couches and watch them play. It's incredibly useful to watch them play, to see what they understand and what they don't, and how much challenge or frustration the game is giving them. These tests can be very validating, and sometimes painful to watch a player struggle against a part of the game we thought would be relaxing... even see them get frustrated. Ultimately, the point is to catch these issues and bugs, and spot them as early as possible. It's a vital part of the development process... and then we can all have pizza together."
Hyper Light DrifterSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Undertale - Review @ US Gamer
Undertale is NOT an underdog anymore - another raving review on US Gamer:
Undertale PC Review: The Art of Surprise
Toby Fox's subversion of Japanese RPGs is equal parts inventive, touching, and brilliant.
As a reviewer, the most difficult part about communicating Undertale's greatness is the fact that it works best when you're not aware of the many surprises packed within.
On the surface, Undertale appears to be a loving sendup of the Japanese RPG genre, with many cues taken from Nintendo's EarthBound series of RPGs—specifically, Mother 3, a 2006 Game Boy Advance release that never reached our shores and developed a cult following as a result. But, soon after the tutorial dungeon, Undertale reveals itself to be something much greater than a clever homage. While it uses the grammar of a Japanese RPG as its basic framework, Undertale doesn't aspire to be an especially straightforward take on the genre.
Regardless of its indie status, Undertale is one of the best and most inspired RPGs in years. By playing with traditional, turn-based mechanics, creator Toby Fox has crafted an experience with a legitimate surprise around every corner. If you have a PC and ten bucks, you owe it to yourself to play this amazing game.
For the King - Dragon, Pirates and Werewolves
As the For the King Kickstarter has reached 6 digits a vote on the $155K stretch goal is explained. All backers can select if the $155K stretch goal adds dragons, pirates or werewolves.
If backers select the Dragons stretch goal option we will be expanding our existing Dropstone Badlands realm to include a long history of dragons. The Dropstone dragons are solitary creatures and even in their homeland they are still an uncommon encounter. Dragons are not limited to this realm as they have been known to migrate to other environments. They tend to not bother those who give them space but there is no fury like that of an angry Dragon, the most powerful force in all of Fahrul.
If backers select the Pirates stretch goal option we will be creating an entirely new realm with a tropical theme. It will be a water based biome that is littered with islands which require an alternative form of travel to navigate through. With this biome we will include a new type of dungeon, the Pirate Cave! Complete with it’s own unique flavor of traps and treasure!
If backers selected the Werewolves option we will be creating an entirely new realm called the Twisted Hollows themed in a Halloween/Transylvanian aesthetic. At nighttime is when this realms evil underside reveals itself for here lurks the werewolf. If an adventurer encounters this creature in the Hollows and also gets "the bite", that player will then carry the curse of lycanthropy for the rest of the game.
For the KingSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Xenonauts 2 - Could be in Development
At the Goldhawk forums a post is made about Xenonauts 2, which they are thinking about to develop. In th epost an overview is given of what they have been working on, like improving the aliens.
Aliens: We're working on redesigning the aliens from Xenonauts 1 to make them more interesting, both visually and in terms of the core mechanic for each race. We've got some new ideas for all of the races and we've got some concepts done for the updated Sebillian and Caesan designs that look quite a bit more "alien" than before.
We're playing with the idea of making the Caesans a hive consciousness, with weak drones (above) and more threatening officers. The officers get significant bonuses in combat for each nearby drone, and there is a single collective psionic power attack performed each turn. This might lose power as more Caesans are killed, or perhaps it just gets stronger each turn to encourage the player not to turtle when fighting Caesans (or possibly both).
The Sebillians might have their regeneration turned up to eleven to make them more interesting to play against. At the end of each alien turn, all Sebillians will return to full health ... but in exchange, every time they take damage their maximum health falls by, say, 25% of the damage sustained. However, getting a Sebillian down to 0 current health will only temporarily incapacitate them and they will stand up and start fighting again after two or three turns.
To actually kill a Sebillian you need to reduce its maximum health to 0, but units will get significant bonuses when aiming at an incapacitated Sebillian. Getting up close and empting a few rounds into it would finish it off pretty quickly ... but trying to do it at long range is much harder, so it gives these guys a passive semi-resistance against sniper tactics.
Xenonauts 2SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Popup Dungeon - Development Timeline
In an update for Popup Dungeon we learn that the dungeon system rework is done and a timeline is presented for the next period up to alpha.
Because we didn't want you to go another month without an update, and to keep the updates from becoming too long, we’ve gone ahead and split the mega update we had planned into two. In this update, we’ll go over everything that’s left to be done before Alpha. In next month’s update, you’ll get a first look at the much improved tile sets. Although we are media-ready for the Alpha, there is still much programming and design left to be done. Here is a timeline of the remaining work:
For the introduced delay the following reasons are given:
We’d like to reiterate the reasons for why there’s been such a delay on the Alpha. As we continued development, we realized that forcing an early playable demo would’ve taken somewhere between 6-8 months. In many games, this may not be a huge concern; you can create a level or two, perhaps missing a few assets and mechanics, and allow players to experience them as you continue to work. However, because Popup Dungeon is essentially a creation engine, developing enough enemies, characters, abilities, and items to make for a substantial gaming experience would take much longer to do without the tools we’re developing to make their creation so simple. To make matters worse, because they would’ve been created in a different way, it’s very likely that we would’ve had to remake all of the assets in the new systems.
Popup DungeonSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
The Dwarves - Funded! 7 Days for Stretch Goals
With The Dwarves funded King Art have released an update on kickstarter and a gameplay video.
For the last few hundred dollars the suspense was almost too much, but thanks to your help we have reached the Funding Goal! :-D
Thank you so much!
We've got about 8 days left to reach at least one of our Stretch Goals. That should be manageable, don't you think?! From now on the PayPal money counts. It's about $14.500, so it's only $60k to the first stretch goal!
We will have another update Saturday (?) where we will explain the four Stretch Goals in more detail. Basically, it works like this: For every $75k pledged on top of our funding goal, you - the Backers - will be able to choose one of the four possible Stretch Goals which we will then incorporate into the game!
Huge, new in-game video!
In the last 3 weeks we worked hard on making a playable game out of all the separate pieces we had. You can see the result of our efforts in our new Gameplay-Video that shows the first 10 minutes from the start of the game.
Of course, all of this is still "Work-In-Progress". But we integrated hundreds (!) of small things into the game to slowly make "The Dwarves" into a real game ;)
Enjoy the video and please share it!
They are also promoting a Thunderclap so get involved if you want to lend support.
We started a Thunderclap-campaign to hopefully gain more attention for the game and more easily reach our next Stretch Goal. If you sign up for it you give Thunderclap permission to send the displayed message through your Facebook- or Twitter-Account. Because the message will be sent by all participants at the same time, it will have a much greater effect.
We would really appreciate your support!
The DwarvesSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
That Which Sleeps - Progess Report Video
King Dinosaur Games made a video about the strategy game That Which Sleeps showing the current development progress:
That Which Sleeps is a turn based strategy game that lets you take the role of an ancient evil that that must deceive the world about its imminent return. If you're interested in the video please follow us as we will be releasing several gameplay videos in the weeks to come.
That Which SleepsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Home Free - New Kickstarter
Did you ever wanted to be a dog? Then maybe this Home Free Kickstarter is for you:
You are a dog lost in a randomly generated city. Looking for food. Looking for friends. Looking for home.loading...
You are a dog, lost in a sprawling and unfamiliar city. You wander the streets, searching for scraps, for shelter, for a friendly face. Slowly, you overcome some of your fears. You learn where you can snag a meaty bone, where you can sleep warm and safe at night. Strange streets become familiar territory. One by one, the streets become yours. You find friends. Eventually, maybe, home.
Projected Release: Fall 2016 on Mac and PC
- Be a dog in an unexplored city!
- Play as any of over a dozen breeds (plus many more color and marking variations). Maybe even more, depending on stretch goals and rewards!
- Explore a dense, procedurally-generated city unique to your game. Every street, alleyway, building, nook and cranny was generated just for your game. No one has been here before, so you better start marking your territory.
- Player-driven narrative. Shape the story of one dog's survival through your choices and actions. Experience the the world from the perspective a creature who will never quite understand why that world acts the way it does.
- Wrestle, wriggle, and pounce. Home Free features a full range of canine moves to master, whether you're playing with friendly dogs in a local park or escaping the aggressions of territorial dogs in a dark alley.
- Learn the unique rhythms of your city. Which neighborhood has the tastiest garbage just after sunset? What park empties at mid-day so you and your dog friends can have a fun romp when no one's around?
- Decide how to survive. Will you be a bandit, stealing food from unsuspecting humans when you can? A performer, trying to earn treats and sympathy from dog-friendly citizens? Or a scavenger, sticking to the margins and following your nose?
- Dog it up with your friends in real life! Home Free comes bundled with my local multiplayer dog wrasslin' game, Dog Park, included at all backer levels!
Zombasite - The Clans
Learn about the clans of Zombasite in this update:
Heart of Gold
Danger Level: Low
The Heart of Gold clan believe they have found the path to enlightenment through generosity. They are excellent money managers and always have an overabundance of wealth. It isn't the great sums they own that make them feel rich, but rather the giving away of money and helping others. This is the true path to peace and happiness. With the zombie infection ravaging Aleria, their talents and gift are more needed than ever. The Heart of Gold clan is on a mission, and through their work, they plan to restore Aleria to order once more.
Traits: Financial and Generous
Danger Level: High
The fierce fighting naga clan, Fang, would like everyone to think their bravado and deadly warrior skills are their most impressive asset. The truth is that it is almost impossible to unravel the truth about the Fang Clan. They are more than practiced liars; they're impeccable spies besides. Reveling in others' misfortune - especially if they had a hand in it - is all part of their sadistic game. That, and their eternal thirst for power.
Traits: Deceitful and Spies
Danger Level: High
The Demon Spears clan makes up in numbers what it lacks in strength. The swarm-like mini-demon scree like to eat soft tissues, like organs or eyeballs, especially after a successful bloody encounter. Though cowardly in nature, they thrive on chaos and follow it like a blood scent into unpredictable battle tactics. They will make deals and allies, but seldom keep promises. The Demon Spears will happily lie, even for fun.
Traits: Chaotic, Deceitful, and Recruiter
Release: In development
Divinity: Original Sin II - Hands On @ PCGamesN
Fraser Brown (PCGamesN) with some early impressions on Divinity:Original Sin II :
Divinity: Original Sin 2’s Kickstarter, by the time you read this, has just ended. It’s made more than double from pledges than its predecessor and unlocked every stretch goal, making the already extremely ambitious RPG even more expansive.
For a day, as Larian staff ran around organising streams and PvP tournaments, on top of working on the soon-to-be-released Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition and, of course, Original Sin 2 itself, I sat on an absurdly comfortable bean bag and played through the entirety of the sequel’s demo.
It’s good. Damn, is it good.
You may have seen some of the demo on a livestream – Larian’s been keen to show it off – but you probably won’t get to play it. The demo has been tailored for previews, a proof of concept that contains everything that’s ready so far, with quests, characters and locations that probably won’t make it into the finished game.
So it’s a container full of Larian’s big ideas and fascinating features. And I dunked my head right into it and drank in as much as I could.
I fought, over and over again, with one of Larian’s writers, from the Dublin studio, in surprisingly compelling PvP matches where the entire arena was nothing but corpses and blood and toxic goo. I tried to comfort a suicidal cow who had presented herself to a seemingly disinterested dragon for dinner. I murdered a woman to solve her attempted murder. I was racist to a Dwarf.
There’s a lot going on in the demo, clearly. At its core, though, and this I am told will be at the heart of the finished game, is this story of hunted men and women, the game’s protagonists, and the strange powers they have.
Origins count for a lot in Original Sin 2. Who your character was before the game informs how people will interact with them and their pre-existing relationships. Their race and social standing matter just as much. My party of four included two humans, a Dwarf and an Elf, and their experiences differed greatly, with even throwaway conversations taking very different forms depending on which character I used.
Entering the main city, for instance, was a doddle for my upper class human. She was mistrusted because of her use of Source magic, which is illegal and in the process of being eradicated, and her mother was in jail, accused of the attempted murder of the mayor, but the guards still let her pass. The Dwarf, on the other hand, was given a hard time and ultimately was denied access to the city, necessitating a new mission: find a secret way into the city.
Bard's Tale IV - Backer Site is Now Live!
If you are a Bards Tale 4 backer you can register and manage your Kickstarter goodies now - from the Kickstarter page:
Backer Site is Now Live!
As we mentioned in our last update, one of our big tasks after the Kickstarter wrapped up was getting a backer site together so you guys could register, provide us with your information and claim some of your bonus rewards and goodies for your generous support during the Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign. Good news: the backer site is ready for you right now!
Sign Up & Get Your Goodies!
So how do you get your hands on your backer bonus rewards? You will need to create an account on the backer web site, although if you already have a Torment account, you can use that on the Bard's Tale site as well (Ranger Center accounts for Wasteland 2 don't carry over).
When creating your account, please be aware that we link your pledges up based on your email address. For those of you who sign up under one email and used a different email to pledge, or may have changed your email address since pledging, remember that you can visit the Email Addresses page on your account to add any secondary emails. These will get linked to your account along with any rewards and pledges made under them.
Once you've signed up, you will be able to claim any available bonus rewards you qualify for (including the first 48 hour games and the inXile Loyalty Rewards bonus) by clicking the "Bonus" tab near the top of the Rewards page.
For more information on the bonus rewards and promotions available, and how to claim them, please refer to this page.
Please note that while Wasteland 2, The Witcher and The Witcher 2 bonuses are available for applicable backers, unreleased games such as Torment: Tides of Numenera and the emulated and remastered version of The Bard's Tale Classic Trilogy are not ready yet. But, once they are, you won't have to wait until the release of The Bard's Tale IV to get them.
More generally, you can check our Reward Status page for a look at when many of our rewards will be made available to you; this will be kept up to date as we have more information to share.
A Word on Points
Many of you will be familiar with our Torment backer web site, which uses a points system to display pledges. This has not changed for The Bard's Tale IV. When you sign up, your Kickstarter pledge will automatically be converted into XP (inXile Points). We treat this as 1 cent equaling 1 inXile Point, so, for example, a $20 pledge would give you 2,000 XP.
Remastered Trilogy Progress
Some of you who have been following Rebecca Heineman closely will have seen her posting a few screenshots on social media. These versions, as you might recall, will be native ports rather than run in an emulator, and will be based on the Apple IIgs versions of the games, with a few enhancements and improvements.
One in particular Becky has added is a new automap mode which has been brought into all of the games, as well as a redrawn interface. We think it's looking sharp!
Odds and Ends
Finally, we mentioned our official news system near the top of this update. We will be using it to post news and updates in the future, very similar to how we already used social media such as Facebook and Tumblr. This gives us a way to put all our latest news in one spot, though obviously we will continue to use social media and Kickstarter updates too.
Of course, as we move forward with development we will begin posting more information on the game itself. We know many of you are hungry for more, but as we continue to hammer out the game's details in pre-production, remember that it may take a while yet before we can start pulling back the curtain. We will be sure to provide you with news and information as things begin to solidify in the coming weeks and months!Thanks,
Eric Schwarz - Line Producer
Bard's Tale IVSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Release: In development
Wednesday - September 30, 2015
Divinity: Original Sin II - All's Well That Ends Well
Today the Kickstarter campaign for Larian Studios Divinity: Original Sin 2 came to an end and in their most recent Kickstarter update they thank us all for bringing them over the $2 million mark.
After 35 days, 42,713 backers, over 19,000 comments, and a whopping final total of $2,032,434 (plus an estimated $43,000 from Paypal), the Kickstarter campaign for Divinity: Original Sin 2 has come to an end!
All of us at Larian Studios have been truly overwhelmed by the level of support that we have received — not only in terms of pledges, but also feedback and involvement. Right from the beginning, it was our aim to use the campaign as a means to bring our community of fans into the heart of the development process. In every regard, you have exceeded our wildest expectations, and we would like to extend our everlasting gratitude to you all.
And of course, all of the stretch goals have been unlocked! The combined pledges from Kickstarter and Paypal mean that we’ve broken through the $2 million mark, and all of our stretch goals have now been achieved! Get ready for Game Master mode, the Hall of Echoes, Skill Trees and much more!
What's Next?Of course, this is only the end of the beginning — there’s still a game to finish! The updates and community involvement will continue for every step of the way; there’s plenty of stuff that we haven’t even gotten around to showing you yet, and we can’t wait to bring you the latest developments. As for now, everyone across Larian’s four bases in Ghent, St. Petersburg, Dublin and Quebec will be raising a glass (or two, or eight) to celebrate the end of the campaign and to salute the best community of fans that any developer could possibly hope for!