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.
» Continue reading the article...
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.
Van Helsing - Review Roundup by Couchpotato
Elder Scrolls Online - On Cyrodiil and World PvP by Voqar
GOG - Wizardry VI-VIII Available On GOG by Couchpotato
Feargus Urquhart - Future Of The Industry and Obsidian at KRI 2013 by Sacred_Path
GameInformer - Do All Video Games Need To Appeal To Everyone? by ChienAboyeur
Friday - May 24, 2013
Ghost of a Tale - Interview @ Polygon
Polygon has created an article-style interview with Ghost of a Tale developer Lionel Gallat.
Gallat cites Disney's animated films starring talking animals as a major source of inspiration, naming the Winnie the Pooh franchise and Robin Hood specifically. He is also a fan of the Redwall books and The Secret of Nimh, both of which are stories of small mice overcoming hardships in fantastical worlds. Gallat loves these types of stories because they firmly belong to the imaginary world but still contain nuggets of realness to them.
"At no point during [them] do you wonder, 'Okay, is this a real world?' It's different," he said. "It's like a translation of things that we know. For me it's a mixture between something you can believe in, in terms of credibility, like the world, the water, the rocks, the architecture. But it's transposed through these fantasy characters and that makes it more fun, more interesting."
Gameplay in Ghost of a Tale is based on exploration and encourages players to discover what makes the world tick on their own.
"You are thrown into an adventure and you don't really know much about where you are and what you're trying to do," Gallat explained. "I'm not playing the trope of the amnesiac character, but you will have little nuggets of info at some points so you have a sense of what's happening and what your goal is."
Gallat added he wants to keep the interface as simple as possible, and will not add directional arrows on screen or include fetch quests that involve hunting down and talking to people. There may be a "little bit" of melee combat in the finished game, but Gallat is playing up the stealth aspect and wants to encourage players to find their own ways around obstacles.
Information aboutGhost of a Tale
Release: In development
Van Helsing - Update Released on Steam
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing received it's first update on Steam. You know the drill already Steam should automatically update the game.
Major changes include:
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing v1.0.01
- The multiplayer game still has some issues. Please use it with a character created for the multiplayer only because data loss may occur sometimes.
- The Blood Rabbit is a lot stronger now.
- The monsters in the Sewers around the Secret Lair are weaker now.
- The final wave of attackers in the Siege of the Secret Lair has been reduced in numbers.
- The price of some epic items has been modified.
- The shooting range of the Dreadknechts has been decreased
- Fixed an issue at "Online character" saving.
- A lot of crash/disconnect issues have been fixed.
- The ping column has been removed from the game list.
- Fixed an issue with the audio volumes.
- Fixed an issue with Veteran Domovoys AI.
- Fixed an issue with the scrollbar in the Ink Gate window.
- The final boss will talk your head off - like he should do.
- The outro movie is played when the final boss has collapsed - not when he gets the killing blow.
- You could only select from the first 10 skills you've learned even though there are 11 active skills. This has been fixed.
- Fixed crash on the Artifact Forge window.
- Fixed an issue with conversations in different resolutions.
- Localisation issues have been fixed in the German, Spanish, Hungarian and Portuguese language versions.
- Cloak appears properly on Van Helsing when the equipped item is changed.
- The area of the bridge detonation cutscene has been adjusted (it could be avoided)
- Fixed a bug with the customize button. (It didn't save your settings if you used online character.)
- 2560x1080 and 6052x1200 resolutions are supported.
GameInformer - Do All Video Games Need To Appeal To Everyone?
GameInformer has a new article that ponders "Do All Video Games Need To Appeal To Everyone?"
I recently dabbled in Dark Souls for the first time. I watched my wife play a considerable amount of Demon’s Souls, and I sat near former news editor Jim Reilly, who was obsessed with the Souls games. I know a fair amount about both titles, but had never earnestly tried to tackle either game until recently.
After playing Dark Souls, I understand why the games are appealing. The quiet, foreboding atmosphere and high difficulty make the world of Dark Souls an absorbing and scary place to be. It offers a different type of survival horror atmosphere where you are cautious and concerned for your well-being, and every move requires a moment of thought, down to the most innocuous swing of the sword. It’s an intense experience.
It was also an experience I didn’t particularly enjoy. The frequent deaths and unforgiving ammunition boundaries (I had used up all of my arrows by my third of about eight tries at tackling the game’s first boss) means you have to be careful with how you approach every obstacle.
Every enemy is a careful decision of resources and combat skill, making it a frustrating game that generally isn’t the experience I am looking for when I sit down to play. After beating the first boss and exploring the first area, I put the game down in favor of a more forgiving medieval open-world fantasy creature beater-upper, Dragon’s Dogma.
Dark Souls isn’t for me, or at least it wasn’t the game I wanted to play at the time when I decided to give it a go, but I love that it exists for the gamer who wants that grueling experience.
GOG - Wizardry VI-VIII Available On GOG
GOG just sent out a press release announcing the last three chapters of the Wizardry series are now avaible on their service .
The cult classic RPG series Wizardry finally arrives on GOG.com
DRM-FREE DIGITAL DISTRIBUTOR RELEASES THE BEST GAMES OF THE WIZARDRY SERIES: WIZARDRY VI: BANE OF THE COSMIC FORGE, WIZARDRY VII: CRUSADERS OF THE DARK SAVANT, AND WIZARDRY 8
(23 May 2013) -- Gather your party and prepare for some dungeon crawling! GOG.com, the DRM-free home to the immortal classics for PC and Mac, has delivered another all-time great in its catalog: it's time for some Wizardry! The last three entries to the genre-defining classic RPG series are available now at GOG.com.
Wizardry, set in a world boldly mixing fantasy and Sci-Fi themes, has gathered quite a cult following of loyal fans along the years. Celebrated for creating one of the most complex storylines in RPG history and equally praised for its unmistakable sense of humor, the series is still perceived as one of the most influential creations in the history of RPG games. Wizardry games have appeared on many "all-time best" lists and have received numerous distinctions, such as RPG of the Year (Wizardry VII, Wizardry 8; Computer Gaming World), Best Role Playing Game of 1991 (Wizardry VI; Power Play), Top Ten Best PC Games of 2001 (Wizardry 8; GameSpot). With one of the more intricate class systems in the history of the genre, over 700 (yes, SEVEN HUNDRED!) hours of gameplay, and an import feature, allowing players to finish the entire trilogy with the same six-character party they started out with, the Dark Savant Trilogy follows up on the promise of an epic adventure. Wizardry 8, the last entry to this celebrated series, is also a proof that a smooth transition to the next generation of games is possible. A thoroughly modern makeover of its 2D predecessors, that took 9 years to finish, the game has performed an uncanny feat of updating its architecture into 3D, without losing any of its character.
With releases of Wizardry VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge, Wizardry VII: Crusaders of the Dark Savant, and Wizardry 8, this summer might turn out to be an all-indoor season for cRPG lovers old and new. Wizardry VI + VII (including the original DOS version, and the Wizardry Gold edition of the title) will be available on GOG.com for only $5.99 and Wizardry 8 for $9.99 from Thursday, May 23 2013, 6:00 AM EDT!
Project Eternity - Social Round-up #2
Gamebanshee has more info on Project Eternity gathered from various social websites. Here is a little snip as it would be impossible to post eveything.
So, Project Eternity will have a unified inventory for all party members, as opposed to the Infinity Engine games' per-character inventory. That doesn't bother me so much, but what's your opinion of per-character inventories? You don't like them?
In a game where one player controls all party members, I don't think it adds anything to the game to split gear up across 6 screens. There's no mental challenge to the process of organizing items across the screens. It's just busywork.
If each companion has different encumbrance thresholds, it's not as simple as just splitting the inventory..There's also a roleplaying factor involved.
"This is my strong fighter, he carries the heavy stuff. This is my mage, he carries all the scrolls."
You could accomplish the same thing by color-coding a single grid to represent what parts are carried by what character. In practice, people playing IE games just drag items onto any available slot until a limit is hit, then drag it to someone else.
What limits will be imposed upon inventory? Weight? Size of items? Slot size? Will we see weak elf stuffed with 100 full plates of feather weight? Or party of barbarians and paladins with inventroy filled with 100 slots of beans?
In the current design, party Stash size (withdrawals only available at rest locations) is unlimited. Worn Equipment is slot-based and is the same for all characters (barring abilities or talents that do things like increase available weapon sets). The one area we haven't decided on in terms of capacity is the shared Pack, which is gear that is not actively worn but available for access outside of combat. However it is defined, it will always be displayed as a unified UI for the player so they aren't flipping between characters for what is, practically-speaking, a shared inventory.
Information aboutProject Eternity
Release: In development
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - Update #28, and 29
Full Control has added even more updates fo Jagged Alliance: Flashback. This time it's good news as the kickstarter campaign ended successfully at $368,614. I said it would take a miracle for this to happen in the last 24hrs, and it did.
WE MADE IT
You guys truly are awesome :D WE MADE IT without having to rob a bank or Thomas making a last minute dash for Gold. We're so grateful and we just can't wait to get started on this incredible game.
We had a lot of fun doing the Reddit and live "countdown" for the initial goal and we hope you enjoyed it too. We'll be doing updates during the development phase...dev videos and possible also live Q&A sessions (we felt really relaxed in that setup)
As mentioned before, we'll setup a Slacker Backer initiative on our minisite, (www.jaggedallianceflashback.com) which will run for at least 2-3 months, so both new and current backer will have a chance to make a push for additional Stretch Goals. And yes, we know, the page definitely needs some more love. But we just couldn't give it over the last weeks. But we will in the very near future. But yes, the most important thing is: Stretch Goals can still be reached.
Flugente joins the Modding-Crew
Sometimes weird things happen. And after the campaign is over, believe us, we have some weird stories to tell about stuff that happened here and there. Quite some funny anecdotes so to speak. However we’d like to reveal one of these little things today. It’s a little story about communication and how it can go wrong, yet end successful. It’s the story of Flugente, one of the modders who work on v1.13 these days. Actually that guy really did some amazing work and put more features into the modification than we could list here.
So our mission was clear: Convince him to join our modding-team. We contacted him, talked about what we plan and how we want to achieve this with his and the others help. And he was like “yeah, sure, I’m interested”. We wrote some private messages over at the Bear’s Pit. And everything looked fine.
Everything fine then? Sure. But not this time. Somehow both parties talked at cross-purposes. While Flugente thought he already joined, we thought he didn’t confirm that. And then silence came around the corner. Yesterday we were told that he wondered why he was never mentioned in the updates. We were like “Huh? Sh*t, we messed something up here!”. So we contacted him right away. And here we are. Proud to announce a last-day-joined Modder for the Modding-Team who already joined before without us recognizing it. Sorry for that Flugente! And welcome on board!
Grim Dawn - Alpha Review @ INCGAMERS
INCGAMERS is the lastest website to review the Alpha of Grim Dawn.
As Grim Dawn is using a modified Titan Quest engine there are still some remnants of its game mechanics lurking under the hood. At the moment some skills need to be tapped on the action bar then targeted on the ground, which makes casting quite tricky. This mechanic is apparently going to be changed to a simple click with the skill going off where the mouse pointer is. It’s more of an issue with the Demolitionist and Occultist classes at the moment, but hopefully it will change pretty soon.
Crate obviously want their players to feel like they have some real control of the game and it’s fantastic to see the ability to rotate the camera 360 degrees. That may sound like a simple feature but it does add that little something extra to the experience. No complaints as far as the game art is concerned either; it perfectly captures the dark atmosphere of Cairn, and being able to zoom quite far out means more of the play area is visible, allowing you to soak it all up.
Information aboutGrim Dawn
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
BioWare - Will Be At PAX Australia
Well if you live in Australia this little bit of news from Bioware might be interesting.
G’Day! I’m very pleased to announce that BioWare will be attending the very first PAX Australia in Melbourne from July 19 to July 21. BioWare has been part of both PAX Prime and PAX East for years, and we are thrilled to now be able to come to Australia and meet our fans there.
Come out to PAX Australia for your chance to meet Cameron Lee (Producer), Patrick Weekes (Senior Writer), Karin Weekes (Lead Editor), and “Evil” Chris Priestly (Community Event planner) as they hold their first-ever-in-Australia panel “BioWare Goes Down Under” Friday July 19 from 4:30-5:30 in the Dropbear Theatre.
We’re still finalizing other activities for our visit and want to hear from local Melbournians… Melburnians… Melbournites…. BioWare fans about where we should go and what we should see. We want to see the sights and meet our fans during our stay, so any suggestions for gatherings, parties or ways we can talk with you are very welcome! Email us your ideas to email@example.com or contact me through Twitter at @BioEvilChris and visit the BioWare Facebook Page for updates on our Australian trip.
We hope to see you mad blokes and ace sheilas for a fair dinkum chin wag when we come down under for PAX Australia! (Ok, ok – I promise no more Canadian guy trying to use Australian slang. No worries.)
Van Helsing - Review @ Softpedia
As promised from the last gameplay post Softpedia has posted their review of The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.
I'm a huge RPG fan, but when it comes to hack and slash games, I'm a bit picky. I was profoundly disappointed by Diablo III, though I greatly enjoyed the previous installments in the series.
Fortunately, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing restored my faith in the ARPG genre and proved once again that small studios like Neocore can create amazing games even if they do not get too much exposure.
There are some things that still need to be ironed out by developers, but, overall, I can guarantee that every RPG fan will enjoy Van Helsing's adventure in Borgovia. And for the price you have to pay, it would be a mistake to miss such a game.
I sincerely believe The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing is one of the best RPG titles released this year and I can't wait for the second installment in the series, which is expected to arrive in about six months.
- Immersive steampunk setting
- Deep character development and customization
- Brilliant voice acting
- Refreshing gameplay
- Art work and music perfectly fit the dark gothic environment
- Broken multiplayer
- No monster respawn in single player
- Limited replayability
Elder Scrolls Online - Reveals New Wamasu Enemy
ZeniMax Online is continuing its promotional campaign for The Elder Scrolls Online by revealing a new enemy called the wamasu.
The wamasu prowls the swamps of Black Marsh in The Elder Scrolls Online. Read our Creating ESO article to find out more about this dangerous enemy
Information aboutElder Scrolls Online
Release: In development
CD Projekt RED - Interview @ CapsuleComputers
CapsuleComputers has an interview with CD Projekt RED’s Konrad Tomaszkiewicz.
CC: First of all, thank you for taking the time to speak to us. I’m very keen to learn more about the latest Witcher title and I’m sure that’s a curiosity shared by many of our readers. So to kick things off, what can you tell us about Projekt RED’s early days?
KT: Boy, did we have fun back in the early days. I mean, we actually have more fun now, but reminiscing about the “old days”… Well, it seems everything had this special glow back then. RED studio came into being in 2002 and began working on the first Witcher installment a year later. Back then, The Witcher 1 was the biggest-budget Polish game ever and, in a way, we were pioneering development on such a large scale in our country. We went big right off the bat – we cooperated with the Academy Award nominee and BAFTA winner Tomasz Bagiński, comic book writer Przemysław Truściński and, most importantly, Andrzej Sapkowski – the author of the Witcher book series.
Don’t get me wrong – we had a fairly good idea how to go about making a game, but many things were new to us, especially the scope of what we wanted to do. We decided our first game would be an RPG, and a complex one at that, set in a grim universe, which isn’t necessarily the easiest thing to pull off. Still, we were doing what we loved, which is what gave us the fuel to keep going. After all, we were developing a game that we’d like to play ourselves. Eventually, The Witcher turned out to be a critical success, winning over 100 awards, as well as the hearts of RPG fans around the world.
CC: What games of old have inspired Projekt RED’s work?
KT: Definitely RPGs – we’ve got a full spectrum of role-playing fans here at RED. Whether it’s DOS-era dungeon crawlers, custom LARPs (including Witcher-themed ones), pen-and-paper games or Japanese RPGs on consoles no one has even heard of – I bet there’s someone at CD Project RED that has played them, mastered them and continues to play them to this day. We draw inspiration from all of these every day – singling out one or two titles that inspired us is just impossible.
CC: How important has the response from fans been in the development of Wild Hunt?
KT: Very. Something we always have in the back of our minds is why we’re actually making these games and who we’re making them for. How could we not listen to our players? We have a very active and supportive community, and the forums are full of great ideas, feedback and general chatter on do’s and don’ts from the gamers’ perspective. For example – Geralt himself has been and undoubtedly will continue to be one of our most discussed topics. We’ve been approached countless times about modifying his appearance: hair in ponytails or loose, cut long or short, with a beard or without – it’s all been subject to player scrutiny and we love every bit of it. We’ve also benefited a ton from gamers commenting on the games’ interface, quests and much more. Fans are our best focus-testers and that’s why we love them so much!
CC: Has there been talk of a fourth game? Or will this be the last in the series?
KT: I’d rather not dodge this question with a typical “yes, everything’s possible,” but that’s exactly the case – one of the fun things about making games is that nothing’s written in stone. Still, currently we’re only focusing on The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and Cyberpunk 2077, so let’s leave talk about what the future might bring for another occasion.
Information aboutCD Projekt RED
Dark Gates - A Turn-Based RPG Dungeon Crawler
IndieGameHQ has brought to my attention a new indie RPG called Dark Gates. It's worth a look at least. You might be interested.
In Dark Gates you lead your team of 6 heroes into a dungeon where they will fight their way through numerous monsters and traps in order to destroy Dark Gates and an evil mage, the master of the dungeon. The main feature of the game is the dungeon itself. There is no predefined layout and every time you play, the map is always different. The dungeon randomly generates itself as you play. In your quest you will find monsters, magical items, trap, puzzles and treasures. Glory awaits the one who destroys Dark Gates and the evil mage.
20+ heroes to choose from
20 Monster types
Over 10 spells to use
Earn gold and experience to upgrade your heroes
Random Labirynth every time
Find mirrors to locate Dark Gates
Classic tabletop game experience
Turn based combat
Information aboutIndie RPGs
Release: In development
Thursday - May 23, 2013
Project Uncanny Valley - A New Indie RPG
Doctor Psitronix a new member of the watch, but in his own words a long time lurker brings news of his own RPG product. It's called Project Uncanny Valley. I'll bring more news on the project once I get more information.
First a little about me.
I am a long time lurker for years. I have decided to join finally for two reasons.
1. The resent success of the Kickstarter projects, TTON and DD:OS come to mind. Has convinced e that the Decline in gaming is trending down,finally.
2. My involvement with the project I will describe below.
I have got to know a number of you by your posts over the years and I hope you approve with what I will write here. (DArtagnan shhhh)
I am here to introduce on the Watch and the Codex(I'm there too) the following Indie Project.
- Graphical Mud-Like
- Simulation First, Game second
- No teh Epic Quest(*unless you make one or fall into one)
- Living World(What part of Simulation do you not get)
- C&C where even the gods may move in mysterious ways to thwart your royal ascension
- You wont know the difference between Npcs and Pcs unless you ask
- Insane amount of characterization(200 classes at last count)
- ROLE-PLAY vs ROLL-PLAY
- THIS IS EARLY ALPHA
- More to come
This project consists of me and my friend who is lead programer and who I will simply call Ken, he is a bit shy,but the proverbial eccentric genius. Seriously 180 IQ.
Below is a series of questions to help introduce this project,he is answering,his exact words, and I add some clarification if needed.
I am trying to gauge interest and I humbly ask for feedback.
Information aboutIndie RPGs
Release: In development
Fallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes - Now Avaiable on Digital Distribution
Stardock announces the release of Fallen Enchantress – Legendary Heroes is now available via digital distribution for $39.99 for newcomers to the series, or $19.99 for those who already own Fallen Enchantress.
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes begins right where Fallen Enchantress left off. Your fame has spread far and wide bringing forth champions who will aid your cause in restoring civilization to the land.
Two New Factions.
The Objectivist Capitarians and the Industrious Urxen have been added.
Champions are no longer placed randomly on the map but instead are earned through fame that your civilization generates through its deeds.
New Leveling System.
Your sovereign and your champions now evolve through a skill tree that visually allows you to pre-plan what kind of hero you want him or her to be.
New Tactical Battle Maps.
Battles are now much more intense with far more special skills available and initiative being far more important. New combat mechanics - such as swarming increase the strategic options.
The Legendary Heroes did not reach our lands alone. Their ancient enemies have arrived with them - including the nightmarish liches and their skeletal minions, banshees and the dreaded Garagoxi seek dominion over Elemental itself.
New spells like "Wall of Fire" and "Raise Horde" add new options and new dangers to battle.
New Quests, Items, and Equipment.
All of the factions will encounter new quests, gain access to new weapons, armor and equipment and discover many new treasures as they explore the world.
A new gigantic sized map delivers epic sized games.
Updated Graphics Engine.
The graphics engine delivers stunningly new visuals while improving performance on older machines.
Updated User Interface.
Information aboutFallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes
SP/MP: Single + MP
Van Helsing - Now Avaiable On the PC
Neocore Games announces that The Incredible Adventures Of Van Helsing has officially launched on PC exclusively on Steam. The game is available for $13.49 due to being 10% off on Steam till May 29th.
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.
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - Update #26, and 27
Full Control released two more quick updates for Jagged Alliance: Flashback. The total sofar is $323,852 pledged of $350,000 goal. The project mangaged to get a huge boost, but still needs more money with just 23 hours left
Backers and fans, let us tell you something. The last ~29 days have been quite an amazing journey. And we’re already looking back, getting a bit sentimental. Thomas even had a tear in his eyes this morning (srsly). It feels as it was just yesterday that we pressed the green “launch the damned thing” button on Kickstarter. Without knowing what would come, what to expect, what to fear.
It’s has been a great learning experience from our side and we’ve been challenged in more ways than we could imagine. And at the same time it has been a fantastic journey that seems to have united us with a large part of the community to dare dream the dream of another great Jagged Alliance game.
We are now approaching 6000 people who share the same dream. So we wanted to take this opportunity to make a recap of what has happened the last ~29 days.
- The most important thing is that people from all over the world have already put more than $307,000 (at the time of writing this) into Jagged Alliance: Flashback already. Again we want to tank you (pun intended, as always) for all your support.
- We recently released a Diorama of the game which everyone can download to get a feel for the art direction we’d like to see in Flashback. Thanks for the massive feedback you gave us on that one. See update #20 for more info
- From the start of the Kickstarter we realised that we needed to be a lot clearer and more specific in certain areas, we were in pre-production (and still are) and wanted feedback from all the fans. But the following two weeks we spent on clarifying major parts of the story, combat and strategic elements of the game, which was overall well received by the backers. See the following updates for more info: Update #1, Update #2, Update #4, Update #5 and Update #9.
During the Kickstarter we’ve been trying to reach out the press for coverage in various areas and also social media like Reddit and YouTube. We even did a Reddit IAMA . We managed to get some coverage here and there, but not at the level we anticipated, which is why we’d like to thank you guys for your help with pushing them to do those interviews and spreading the word among friends, family and on multiple forums! And Thanks to all those journalists who had the time to send us some questions!
Slacker Backer initiative
When we reach our goal (Yeah we’ll get there!!) we want to open up for a slacker backer initiative like they have on Project Eternity. The initiative will run to a certain date and all funds will go towards stretch goals. We plan to make this available to both Paypal and Credit Card backers.
The Paypal tally is almost $ 8,000 which means we’re already ⅓ of the way to the first stretch goal when we reach our initial goal.
We right now have no end date, and we are unsure what it will be. As long as we are in pre-production and even early production we can still add more sectors and story that fits with the sector. So we will announce the end date sometime after summer to give appropriate warning.
This also means that we will continue adding stretch goals as we reach the initial ones.
Bear Pit Interviews
Shanga and his fellow bears have been busy and cooked together questions for Chris Camfield, Ian Currie and our CEO Thomas Lund. All of the interviews were ready yesterday, so we think you should go check them out :D
$650 Doctor Y No Q Tier: Phew, we’re glad you’re here, you’re rewarded with:
All previous DIGITAL REWARDS + Become a Doctor (Help co-design the Doctor and the name of the clinic co-write 3 responses) Limited (3)
$850 Bubba Croc Tier: *Snap Snap* it’s a Trap, you get: All previous rewards + Become the croc “farmer” in the game and help decide his name and the name of the croc farm. (Co-write 5 responses of your choice) Limited (1)
Neverwinter - Caterday Survivor’s Pack For Exploit Survivors
Neverwinter’s beta was taken offline due to hackers exploiting, and cheating with the economy. Perfect World promised to release a care package to try to make up for the losses and hardship. It looks like they delivered.
When we opened the doors of the Neverwinter Open Beta on April 30, we expected there to be all kinds of responses, from positive feedback and fun player stories to bug reports and constructive feedback…We’ve counted on these responses to make the game even better as we get closer and closer to our live launch.
What we did not expect, and should have, is how amazingly supportive and helpful our community would be during the brief snags that we might hit along the way. We are sincerely overwhelmed by all of the positive comments and feedback that we’ve received from you over the past few weeks, and would like to express our deepest thanks for your ongoing support and willingness to help us make Neverwinter one of the best free-to-play MMORPGs around.
Case in point: this past weekend, the Neverwinter community helped us to identify a major exploit involving the Auction House and Astral Diamond Exchange, which we promptly addressed through a number of corrective actions, including permanent bans on exploitative accounts and a necessary rollback to the time before the exploit was initiated. We realize the frustration that the rollback and related downtime may have caused and are deeply sorry for this inconvenience. We’re also overwhelmed by your positive support and patience during the downtime, as well as your assistance in identifying the issue and helping us to develop and implement a solution as quickly as possible.
Release: In development
Diablo 3 - Game Statistics
To celebrate its anniversary Blizzard rounded up a whole bunch of statistics, and put them all into this neat little infographic.
14.5 million unique gamers have played Diablo III since launch, with 2.1 million logging in every day on average. Of the 67.1 million characters created, just 9% are using hardcore mode. Each of those characters kill an average of 49,595 monsters.
The three Battle.net regions are remarkably evenly represented in the global population, with 22.2 million players from the Americas, 22.1 from Europe, and 22.9 from Asia.
Information aboutDiablo 3
SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Fallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes - Review Roundup #1
Fallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes has been officially released today and alrready there are a few reviews for the game.
rtsguru - 8/10
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is a solid 4x game with a huge range of customisation for replayability. A turn-based 4x strategy game set in a fantasy universe with RPG elements. The game offers a solid foundation to get lost in, however feeling occasionally cliche the universe can feel bland at times. A great improvement over its predecessor.
everydaygamers - 9/10
Simply put, you will be enchanted by the game. The more I played, the more I discovered, and the more it kept me coming back for more. I can’t say that I’ve been this enamored by a fantasy strategy game since Heroes Of Might and Magic III. There is a scenario-based campaign to fill the role of a story campaign. If that’s not to your liking, you can simply customize a map, number of opponents and embark on a new adventure each time you restart. Regardless of faction and setting, the game allows you to customize all of your units, their appearances and their equipment. Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes is wildly addicting and offers just enough variety to fuel the ‘one more turn’ golem inside you. I went through a phase of not finishing campaigns by just restarting on new maps, with new factions and seeing what the game would throw at me. It’s that depth and variety that kept me from being satiated and shows me that my time in the world of Elemental is far from over.
I am very excited by what Legendary Heroes has done, and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead in the post-release patches and updates. If you like a little fantasy role-playing in your empire builder, then look no further than Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes. You can purchase Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes on Steam or directly from Stardock. Don’t forget that the game is $39.99 and contains all of the content found in the original Fallen Enchantress. If you have already purchased Fallen Enchantress, you can get all of the content from Legendary Heroes at the discounted price of $19.99. For either price, Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes will enchant you into hours of ‘just one more turn’. It gets a 9 out of 10.
thunderboltgames - 5/10
Legendary Heroes doesn’t leave the greatest first impression. Its graphics make the game look like an HD port of something released last generation. Its story drops out once the game starts, leaving you stranded, without direction as to what you’re expected to do next. There is a scenario to play through, but it does little to add any sort of entertaining narrative.
At first glance the lack of direction appears to be a weakness, but in actuality Legendary Heroes requires you to assist it, to give it the direction it needs. The game thrives on customized scenarios just as much as it wants you to create your own unique army. To get the most out of the game it’s best to play around with the settings to make your own world.
You can choose a sovereign or build your own. Name him, or her. Name their kingdom. Decide what clothes they wear and what sigil is emblazoned on their banner. Give them a backstory. But that’s only the start of it. The experience of Legendary Heroes is highly user defined. It’s a sandbox for you to build your empire, for you to explore, and it’s up to you in regards to the how.
Information aboutFallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes
SP/MP: Single + MP
Feargus Urquhart - Future Of The Industry and Obsidian at KRI 2013
Feargus Urquhart gave an interesting perspective at a Russian game developer conference called KRI 2013. The topics covered the future of the mid-sized developers, and also on Obsidian's specific strategy for the future.
Thanks go to Gamebanshee for translating and posting the story.
Given that the talk is rather long and there's quite a lot of Russian in there, a language a sizable portion of our reader is likely unfamiliar with, I'll try to summarize the salient points of Feargus' speech:
AAA is growing bigger in terms of budgets and team sizes, making this a much less relevant prospect for developers of Obsidian's size, and also making big-budget titles less innovative (because publishers want to be assured their significant investments will wield some profit)
In the future mid-sized developers will have to look at alternatives, and he points out a few of these:
- making parts of games (again, linking back to the swelling team sizes, that make it more difficult to handle everything in-house)
- making free-to-play titles (which he compares to TV, while AAA is akin to movies) and smartphone/tablet titles
- funding game projects with Kickstarter
Feargus also explains that games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout: New Vegas are actually exceptions to the trend of bloated budgets and teams he explained earlier, and are actually relatively cheap to develop, certainly cheaper than what people believe
Feargus then goes on to point out the strategy Obsidian is adopting to tackle future challenges:
First of all, the company won't devote any further resources in developing their own engine, Onyx (which powered Dungeon Siege III and the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth, and which was also used as the tech backbone for the ill-fated Aliens: Crucible), and will instead license third-party tech like CryEngine 3 and Unity.
However the tools that have been developed for Onyx, like Obsidian's proprietary dialogue tool, will continue to be used and integrated with the third-party technology Obsidian will employIterating on tools and having them be as efficient as possible is something he stresses Obsidian is putting a lot of focus on, echoing the thoughts of Todd Howard from whom he's borrowed the expression "ninjas and tools"
Obsidian is going to make an effort to get games in a playable state earlier in the development cycle for the future, something he acknowledges has been difficult for the company in the past due to the sprawling nature of their games.
In general, the company is going back to their roots and look more into PC and tablets in the future. Feargus acknowledges that there's not exactly a wealth of deep RPGs on tablets, but sees it as an opportunity, as they can take the genre in that space.
Feargus was also gracious enough to elaborate further on his thoughts on the AAA marketplace for us, and whether Obsidian will stop looking into it altogether:
Information aboutObsidian Entertainment
Path of Exile - Interview @ Games.On.Net
Games.On.Net has an interview with Grinding Gear Games Chris Wilson about Path of Exile.
GON: Chris, you’ve been in open beta for a little while now, since January in fact — can you tell us a little bit about how everything’s progressing?
GON: So what is your peak concurrent player count?
Chris: We’ve hit 70,000 in the first week of release. We’re very pleased with that. There was an awful lot of stuff combining at the same time with the game being very new and a lot of people talking about it which caused us to really strain the servers, but thankfully it’s dropped a bit to a more maintainable rate at the moment.
GON: Have you identified any issues in the beta that you’ll need to address going forward before launch?
Chris: We have found a lot of things based on player feedback and our own analytics that we can improve. There are various systems that we’ve been working on with the players to find better solutions to. For example loot allocation in the game, a lot of players would like it to be a bit more forgiving and less free-for-all, so we’ve been looking into a variety of options which will hopefully launch by the end of the month.
Information aboutPath of Exile
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Wednesday - May 22, 2013
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - Update #24, and 25
Full control released two updates today for Jagged Alliance: Flashback. The kickstarter is close to the end and still needs at least $70,000 with 47 hours left.
Again we want to thank you for all this support, for your trust and your help. Thank you so much, this already has been an amazing journey. We love you. Honestly.
So this is the first day we’re going for a second update. Why? Just because. And Javier already posted this on the Bear’s Pit. But we want you to know his thoughts as well, as he is one of our leading heads behind the scenes.
Assets and Modding
Hello everybody! People keep asking about budget things and how much money we can spend on this and that. So let me give you a small insight on the Art-Department. One of the challenges we face with whatever budget we have to make Jagged Alliance Flashback is of course what we make with the time and money we get. If you ever worked with 3D graphics you know its a time intensive affair. And sometimes not always a loved affair. To bring in the love again we need to have an art pipeline that is efficient and reduces wasted time. Cause wasted time is money thrown out of the window. And honestly: Who the hell does that?
New Tier Bundles
$2700 Two Please Tier: You sure drive a hard bargain, therefore you get: All previous rewards ($2500 not included) + The $1200 and $1800 bundled up (ONLY THIS TIER) Limited (3)
$3600 Lead and Conquer Tier: You’re quite the multitasker huh, you get: All previous rewards + The $1800 and the $2500 bundled up (ONLY THIS TIER) Limited (1)
Radio in JAF
Kaboom! As you may know, there’ll be an in-game radio in Jagged Alliance: Flashback. This means that here and there you’ll find radios to listen to and probably also be able to carry one with you for the road. Crank up the volume and go for it. To make this part a bit more interesting we’d like to add different music from the 1980’s era and include channels, each with their very own music style which people can choose from (in terms of modding we think we’re going the Grand Theft Auto way to allow people adding their own music, however that’s not yet clear).
While we won’t have Elliot, the idiot, in the game (which is for obvious reasons) you may have noticed that one of our backers already pledged to become the voice of the local radio. The radio host will occasionally be able to comment on the current situations happening in San Christobal. These are triggered either by the player succeeding or failing specific missions and can even be used to hint at troop movements across the island. Elliot might be gone and the faces change, but rest assured we’ll try hard to re-produce the same tongue-in-cheek situations and dialogue from JA2 in Flashback.
Diorama Commentary Video
We released a diorama commentary video to go along with the this morning's press release, so you should get a chance to see it in the update as well.
Diablo 3 - Stay Awhile and Listen
NewGamerNation has an article about Diablo 3, and the topic is about the failure of it's story.
With its most famous legacy usurped, now may be a good time to assess Diablo III on a different criterion. I am not an expert on Action RPGs, and I’ve only played a few hours of Diablo II, so I don’t feel qualified to ruminate on the loot distribution and auction house. What I can talk about is the story and characters. Any RPG, even one where the conflict is literally as simple as ‘good versus evil,’ requires an engaging story and characters to be truly successful. Believable motives, interesting dialogue, and memorable villains are the hallmarks of a successful RPG. Of course, it’s nice to have these components in any game, but in a genre that boasts game features like Alpha Protocol‘s dynamic dialogue system or Mass Effect‘s famous characters, any RPG worth its salt needs to put in a strong showing.
This is where Diablo III disappoints the most. Sure, the loot is uninspired and the auction house is a painfully naked attempt for Blizzard to wring yet more profit out of a game that has already sold over twelve million copies, but what really hurts is that such a phenomenally successful game could have such mediocre writing. Players starting up this hugely-anticipated chapter in the series expected either a bare but serviceable story, like in the previous installments, or a dynamic world with genuinely fascinating characters. What they got was a mess with a lot of characters, lore, and words, but nothing that was fresh or sensible.
Sloppiness and blandness are the hallmarks of Diablo III‘s story, and yet there is a bright side. When I am listening to a podcast or have an hour to kill, I might still play a bit of the game, because its visuals, sound design, and action are so addictive and satisfying. It’s just a shame the writing can’t match their standard.
Information aboutDiablo 3
SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Dungeon of Elements - Merges Tile Matching with RPG Dungeon Crawling
IndieGameInsider has an articele about a new indie game some of you might be interested in. The game is called Dungeon of Elements, and merges puzzles with rpg dungeon crawling.
Dungeon of Elements, the upcoming game from Frogdice Games, is a title that combines the casual puzzle gameplay of tile matching with the more hardcore elements of a dungeon crawler to create a hybrid game inviting to gamers of all calibers.
In the game, players take on the role of an alchemist on the hunt for rare elements. In the quest to obtain these precious resources, players will battle in 45 different levels while obtaining new gear and items along the way. In the lab, players conduct experiments to create new armor and items.
The studio’s goal is create games that merge casual gameplay with core genres in an effort to appeal to every type of gamer.
Grim Dawn - Preview @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Rock, Paper, Shotgun played the alpha version of Grim Dawn, and has posted a preveiw of the game.
This is alpha code, and just the first third of the game, but it’s enough to sate my need to finally play the thing. And gosh, that title’s appropriate. It is, mostly in the right way, grim. Dark, gloomy, and mercilessly tough, it’s the game I’m certain so many furious Diablo fans wanted D3 to be when they found out that had planned to feature colours. There seem to be two central pillars here: traditional, and difficult.
Which is a mighty good thing, I should add.
It’s extremely dark and bleak environments at first can look a little primitive, but you quickly realise the detail comes with study. Much has been done to the old Titan Quest engine, not least freeing the camera to rotate on the X axis, and you don’t need frills when it’s serious business. So you really already know what to expect: A Tetris inventory attached to a character sheet of square slots, basic stats embellished by a sprawling choice of skills, and hundreds and hundreds of monsters to left and right click all over.
Information aboutGrim Dawn
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Guido Henkel - Interview @ The Nerd Cave
The Nerd Cave has a new interview with Guido Henkel. The interview covers Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny, Neverwinter Nights, Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, and Deathfire.
Can you talk a little bit about some of the gaming projects you have worked on in the past? Most notably Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny and Neverwinter Nights.
I’ve started writing computer games on the Apple II in the very early 80s and had my first game published in 1983 or so. I was a huge fan of text adventure games in those days and the first few years I focused on that genre. However, I was attracted by role-playing games a lot and eventually let role-playing influences flow into these text adventure games. “Drachen von Laas,” for example, a game that was published in Germany only, already had a full blown phased combat system, even though the game itself was still a text adventure game.
Eventually I made the switch to full role-playing games (RPG) and “Spirit of Adventure” was the first hard core RPG I wrote, together with my friend and business partner Hans-Jürgen Brändle, at the time. The success of that game opened the door for us to obtain the license for “Das Schwarze Auge,” a famous German pen&paper role-playing game. We began developing games in that universe, which were subsequently released as the “Realms of Arkania” trilogy.
After the third game in the series I left Attic Entertainment Software, the company that I had co-founded, and moved to the US where I worked for Interplay Productions for a while. During my tenure there I worked on “Fallout II,” and “Planescape: Torment”, and also helped start up the “Neverwinter Nights” project, among others.
All in all, I’ve been in the games industry for just about 30 years now, pretty much since its infancy, really, when computer games were still sold in Zip-lock bags.
What role did you play in the development of these particular titles?
“Blade of Destiny” was developed by a very small team. Attic was still pretty much a start-up company at that time. As a result everyone had to multi-task as much as possible, and we tapped into everyone’s full abilities. In my case that meant that I was working on the game as a designer, a programmer, and a producer, and later on also as the publicist and business developer when we began to reach out, looking for partners to release the game internationally. I was wearing every hat imaginable on that project — as well as all the other “Realms of Arkania” games. It was my job at Attic, in a sense, to be the Jack-of-all-Trades.
As for “Neverwinter Nights,” I was Interplay’s internal producer for the game during its start-up phase. As such I was part of various brainstorming sessions where the foundation for the game was laid, and where technical questions and obstacles were tackled. Apart from the look of the game and the technical design of the block-based level design of the game, we did research on the game system itself, as the AD&D 3.0 rule set was just about to be released, and we wanted to see if we should or should not use it for “Neverwinter Nights.”
I was working hand in hand with Trent Oster on this, who was the producer for the game at Bioware. He was really the driving force behind the project while I was there only to lend my experience to the discussions. I left Interplay a few months after “Neverwinter Nights” really went into development, so my contributions to the game happened really just at the beginning.
Mass Effect - The Need for Strong Female Characters
IGN has a new 19 minute video in their Up at Noon series about Mass Effect and the need for strong female Characters.
FemShep -- Jennifer Hale -- swings by Up at Noon to talk about the franchise, and we make some Pokemon/Star Trek jokes.
Information aboutMass Effect
SP/MP: Single + MP
Platform: PC, Xbox 360