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Heroes of a Broken Land

2014-11-25

Heroes of a Broken Land Review

Forgottenlor takes us to Heroes of a Broken Land, and shows us what it's like to be a demigod in this retro dungeon crawler.
» Continue reading the article...

Wave Of Darkness

2014-11-14

Wave Of Darkness Interview

A sequel to Legends of Dawn? It's called Wave of Darkness, and Couch has gone into the darkness to bring you all the dark details from the developer.
» Read the article

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Picture Watch

Age of Decadence
Box Art

Poll Watch

Do You Still Play NWN Mods?
NWN Mods
12%

NWN 2 Mods
10.67%

Both NWN 1+2 Mods
13.33%

Never Played Any Mods
29.33%

Used to But Not Now
34.67%

Vote

Expected Releases

Nov: Raven's Cry
Dec: Bloom
Dec: Dead State
Dec: Lost Spirits of Kael
Dec: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Tuesday - November 25, 2014

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth - New Expansion Planned

by Killias2, 19:19

According to the official website, a new expansion is being planned for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, the recently launched remake of 2011's action roguelike The Binding of Isaac.

Details:

once the holidays end, the nicalis gang will be jumping back into the abyss and digging into the very large design doc i have ready for em. i have big plans for this expansion, i hope to add a very huge chunk of gameplay in the form of a new game mode that will almost double the amount of things you can do, im very proud of this new design.

aside from this new game mode the expansion will feature a ton more enemies, bosses, new areas, endings and a new playable character as well as a slew of new unique items to play with…

However, for this expansion, the development team is asking for creative input from fans, especially regarding item ideas:

the biggest change for me when it comes to how im designing the expansion is this time im asking the vast and creative isaac community for ideas. 

this week ill be asking for item ideas, i will be cherry picking the top 10 items from this list and implementing them into the expansion.. so be sure to make them good.

If you're interested, read through the listed guidelines and post your suggestion(s) here.

Binding of Isaac: Rebirth

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: Unknown
Release: Released

Details

GamesIndustry.biz - Girls Making Games

by Aries100, 18:55

Rachel Weber from gamesindustry.biz has penned an article in which she describes how 10 year old girls learn how to make video games.   Here's how she begins her piece:

It's not standard practice for me to feel jealous of ten year olds, but hearing about Girls Make Games over the summer certainly made me feel something close to it. The scheme gives girls who love games the chance to actually make them, as well as meeting developers and like-minded peers.

Here's a quote on what this camp has meant to some of the girls: 

Shabir tells me about another girl, a reluctant soccer player at a super sporty school. "She comes in, she's super shy, she's looking at the ground the whole time, does not make eye contact with anyone, not even her teammates. Over the course of three weeks, by week two, she had started talking. By week three she was raising her hand to answer and when she got the answer right she would do a little dance," says Shabir, her voice light with pride. "Her mom still emails us and she brings her to every event that we have here because it's impacted her personality so heavily. She's gotten better at soccer because she got better at making games. "

The industry seems to be encouraging this:

The industry itself has been supportive of the scheme, with Riot Games in LA, Bioware in Austin, Popcap in Seattle, and Double Fine all opening their doors so the girls can take field trips to real studios. Shabir would also like to see companies follow models set out by the tech industry and incentivize their staff for volunteering.

GamesIndustry.biz

Details

Dark Souls II - Scholar of the First Sin Announced

by Killias2, 17:21

Bandai Namco has announced that Dark Souls II will be coming to the PS4 and XBox One as "Dark Souls II: Scholar of the First Sin," and that new features and elements added for this release will be coming to other platforms in the form of a free patch. While the PS4 and XBox One releases will contain the Lost Crowns DLC released earlier this year, the DLC will not be part of the free upgrade for other platforms.

New features coming to all platforms:

  • Additional NPCs added for an enhanced story experience. 
  • Parameter adjustments for improved game balance.
  • Augmented item descriptions. 
  • Improved online matchmaking functionality.

New features for the PS4/XBox One/PCs:

  • Additional upgrades to graphics, sound, performance.
  • Increase in maximum online players in single session (6 total).

However, it is unclear if the graphical and online improvements will be coming to DX9 PCs, or if they are only for DX11 PCs.  When asked, Bandai Namco suggested more information will be available soon.  In any case, the graphical enhancements may allow the game's visuals to be more inline with pre-release expectations, which included more ambitious lighting effects.

Dark Souls II

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

Details

Shroud of the Avatar - Released on Early Access

by Aubrielle, 07:52

Shroud of the Avatar has finally come to Steam Early Access, for those of you who can't wait to stride waist-deep into the treacherous Pre-Alpha sea.  Thanks, Benetar.

Shroud of the Avatar is currently in pre-Alpha. This game still needs a LOT of work, it will be under construction for some time, and data wipes will happen periodically.
Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is a new type of third person fantasy RPG that combines a single player narrative with a sandbox MMO. It is being created by a team that includes: Richard "Lord British" Garriott the creator of the Ultima series, Starr Long the original Director of Ultima Online, and Tracy Hickman the author of the beloved Dragonlance Novels and Dungeons & Dragons modules.
We estimate reaching a Beta version with all features and content sometime in the middle of 2015. All features and plans listed here are subject to change. We may modify, add or remove features as we see fit during the development process.

Website for more information: www.shroudoftheavatar.com

More information.

Shroud of the Avatar

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

Details

Dragon Age: Inquisition - The Problem With Roleplaying Games

by Redsocialknight, 05:51

It's another half-hearted review of the new Dragon Age ("I quite like Dragon Age: Inquisition" he waffles) from Erik Kain writing at Forbes, but he uses this one to talk about his problems with looting and crafting in modern games in general. He gripes:

The only thing that’s really dragged the game down for me is the necessity of picking herbs and looting bags. This isn’t terrible at first, but it becomes enormously tedious after a while, simply because it’s such a big part of how you spend your time in this game.

Looting bags strikes me as pretty archaic in modern video games [...] There’s nothing good about picking up yet another basic weapon that’s not worth anything and is leagues worse than the gear you already have. [...] It’s so often less about playing a role and more about all the other stuff. 

“RPG elements” can just be code for “gamification of video games.”

"Gamification of games" is a little tail-swallow-y for me, but let's go with it for a second.

Gamification is often used in educational applications. Take some piece of work—say learning about biology or math—and have “leveling” and rewards and such for achieving certain things. [...] My daughter’s math homework is partly done online and finishing a unit rewards her with little sticker icons. When grades aren’t enough, XP will do the trick.

Gamification is inspired by video games but it’s come full circle and is used to create feedback loops in video games and genres that traditionally didn’t have “RPG elements.” Think of the leveling in Call of Duty multiplayer. It creates an addictive reward cycle as you rank up that’s not present in older shooters....

Anyway, his main point is that harvesting all that elfroot over and over is boring, which is certainly true.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

Details

Fallout: NV - Fallout: Lonestar is Avellone-approved

by Redsocialknight, 05:49

I think New Vegas is enough of a favorite around here that a big new mod counts as news -- especially when it's one that Christopher Avellone has given his seal of approval. Hereisthecity reports:

Christopher Means set out to initially create a mod for the game that was just going to be a single town in his native Texas.

When Means attended GDC in Austin he met Chris Avellone, one of the designers for Fallout: New Vegas, and pitched his mod idea to the developer. Avellone was taken by the idea and convinced Means to broaden the project's scope, and even helped him recruit more Fallout community members to work on the mod.

Now the mod is looking more like a fully-fledged game project...

Most amazingly of all, this is an indie game project that does not appear to be asking for your money ahead of time.

Fallout: NV

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

Details

Bioshock Infinite - Irrational Games Possibly not Dead After All?

by Redsocialknight, 05:23

Hey, maybe we get another Bioshock game! Or, maybe not. PC Gamer has the vague report below:

Reports of the demise of Irrational Games [developers of Bioshock] were apparently an exaggeration, as the studio has posted job listings for two positions, one of them being a senior programmer familiar with Unreal Engine 3 and 4. [...]

There is of course no indication as to what Irrational's next project will be, but the fact that there will be one at all is interesting in and of itself because of Levine's apparent farewell to the studio in February. "I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it," he said at the time.

Clearly, wild speculation is in order.

Source: PC Gamer

Bioshock Infinite

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Historical
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Massive Chalice - Preview at Rock Paper Shotgun

by Killias2, 00:12

Following yesterday's sad news from Double Fine, we have a new preview of Massive Chalice from Rock Paper Shotgun:

Score one for diversity in games: the realm has just been saved by a nearsighted, asthmatic, drunk lady. Marginalised wheezing pissheads rejoice! (Though do keep an inhaler and bucket close to hand.) Massive Chalice combines XCOM’s turn-based permadeath squad combat with Crusader Kings’ management of bloodlines across multiple generations, inducting heroes into a ruthless breeding program intended to foster a roster of noble characters with superior physiques. But, well, you have to work with what you’ve got and what I’ve got is a malformed, shuffling host of genetic wreckage. For the first time in games, I am among my people.

While RPS laments some of the randomization elements, they seem positive overall:

Perhaps it’s more aesthetic than mechanic, that sense of ages passing, sweeping beloved heroes into the dusty annals. When Alyx’s beleaguered liver finally packs in, she becomes nothing but a red skull icon, flying across the timeline at the top of the screen and into the past, further and further. I dearly wish the game offered some way to salute her – a statue, or one of those blue plaques. She wasn’t the toughest or the fastest. She wasn’t a sure shot or a braveheart. But she still stepped up and did her bit: truer heroism games have rarely seen.

And, by god, could she drink. You have to raise a glass to that.

Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun

Massive Chalice

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

Details

Monday - November 24, 2014

The Shadow Sun - Now On Android

by Myrthos, 23:22

The Shadow Sun is now also available on Android, just in case you want to play it and don't want to do it on an iOS device.

THE SHADOW SUN AVAILABLE NOW ON ANDROID DEVICES

Download the Game On Google Play and the App Store Featuring a New Camera System Bringing Players Deep into the Action

Burnaby, Canada- November 24, 2014- Ossian Studios Inc., founded by former BioWare producer and developer of top-quality role-playing games (RPGs), announced today that The Shadow Sun is available now on Android devices. With polished gameplay and a new camera system, The Shadow Sun offers a deep, single-player role-playing experience with more than 10 hours of gameplay through a gripping, dark fantasy story and intense visceral combat against the many wicked creatures of Shar.

"We listened to our players and made tweaks to the gameplay and camera in The Shadow Sun to bring a truly great adventure to Android devices," said Alan Miranda, CEO of Ossian Studios. "It's a great coincidence that my friends and past colleagues at BioWare have just launched Dragon Age Inquisition at the same time, and The Shadow Sun is a deep mobile action RPG, that will scratch that itch as RPG fans wait to head home to play the next masterpiece in BioWare's incredible franchise. Much of my development knowledge stems from the time that I spent working with Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, the founders of the studio and true masters of the genre."

Taking place in the vast and cursed city of Shar, The Shadow Sun brings the ultimate western action RPG to Android devices. Surrounded by desolate deserts, players will explore the ancient city held within the grip of a mysterious plague. With more than 10 hours of gameplay, fans will journey through 70 unique areas and uncover 200 different items, ancient treasures, and hidden secrets to help them prepare for combat against deadly enemies across the city. Gamers can customize their character, adopt a faithful dog, and ally with companions who will join you in this epic adventure with multiple quest solving options and more than 30 attacks, spells, and skills to choose from. Rendered in full 3D graphics using the Unity engine, The Shadow Sun offers a deep, single-player role-playing experience unseen in the mobile gaming space.

The Shadow Sun

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

Details

Aranyus - Canceled

by Myrthos, 23:16

The Kickstarter for Aranyus has been canceled three days ago, because it was not going to make it with these few words:

Thank you very much. I will continue the work on this game and maybe I will make another campaign somewhere in January. Thank you all.

Thanks black rune.

Aranyus

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

Details

General News - Game Locations To Visit

by Myrthos, 23:11

And now for something completely different, here's ..... A site that has an image where they have tried to map actual locations on Earth to locations in games.

Not that news worthy perhaps, but It is kinda fun.

General News

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

Details

Beamdog - Reddit AMA

by Myrthos, 23:02

Thirteen Beamdog employees participated in a Reddit AMA about their EE games. That is what the title says, for me it was TLDR, but did not that Baldur's Gate III: EE is not being made at the moment as they did not yet reach an agreement with WotC.

Thanks Archangel.

Beamdog

Details

Dragon Age: Inquisition - From Dark Fantasy to High Fantasy

by Aries100, 22:58

Cimeas from Kotaku has written an opinion piece on how he feels that Bioware has turned the Dragon Age into a high fantasy in Dragon Age: Inquisition.   He argues that the the
lore in the Dragon Age universe clearly states:

...there would be no humans in Dragon Age of ethnicities which were not present in Europe in larger numbers in the late mediaeval age. As a "POC" myself, I found that to be perfectly reasonable- a game set in 4th century Africa probably shouldn't have white people in it either!In Dragon Age: Inquisition, this entire idea has been completely and absolutely removed. There are now people of all ethnicities in Thedas. As I said, I am not white myself, but this feels out of place. What's more, Bioware, unable to retcon everything about its lore, painstakingly built over the past decade, has decreed that everyone with a skin colour darker than tan (that is to say, Arab/Persian looking, Native American looking, East Asian looking, South Asian looking, Indian looking, and African looking) all have heritage from the one tiny nation in Thedas that is not light-white (Rivain), thus shoehorning all the 'POC' into one little country.

A quote from his conclusion about the world in Dragon Age: Inquistion:

A world made by developers who didn't have a backbone to stand up for what they had created, and capitulated to bizarre internet pressure to build a happy-dappy paradise where good people are good, bad people are bad, and any 'grey' moral conflict can be sorted with a quick check to which faction you signed up to. 

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

Details

Spellforce 3 - To be Developed by New Studio

by Myrthos, 22:57

Nordic Games has opened a new studio in Munich to work on Spellforce 3 as we learn from  this press release.

Nordic Games re-ignites the SpellForce series with the third installment SpellForce 3.

From its Munich base, Grimlore Games boasts a team of experienced developers who will focus on Spellforce 3. Founded by Nordic Games, Grimlore Games comprises of experienced developers, graphic artists and designers who have worked on titles including The Settlers 2, Knights and Merchants, Cultures and - of course - SpellForce 2.

The rich talent pool in Munich was a key factor in deciding the new studio’s location. Many young and highly skilled developers gather in Munich who, in the coming months and years, will complement the core team at Grimlore Games. The studio will focus on PC games for core gamers, specifically the role-playing and real-time strategy genres.

Team members from Grimlore Games already presented the scope, its quality and ambition in the form of an early prototype to industry press at Gamescom in August 2014.

The team is also looking for talented developers keen to join and share their exciting future, details of which can be found on the website http://www.grimloregames.com.

For Nordic Games, establishing an in-house studio in Europe is a significant step, one which demonstrates its ambition to continue further expansion of its content-creation and portfolio handling activities. Grimlore Games joins the family of Nordic Games’ studios and provides the development resources needed to support the Group’s diverse catalogue of gaming IP.

Thanks JohnnyBravo.

Spellforce 3

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

Details

The Diviner - Steady Progress and Screenshots

by Myrthos, 22:50

The Diviner, a text based single player role-paying game, which was succesfully funded on Kickstarter last year, had an update earlier this month on the progress and some screenshots.

Hey everybody - we have some new screen-shots from the game, as well as a longer update. As you are all aware, we've been pushing back the release date for The Diviner. I wanted to take some time to explain to you why we have fallen behind our schedule. These are not excuses and we see these issues as places where we can learn to improve.

The short story is that all we need to do to finish the game is write and edit the decisions and dialogue for a couple acts of the game. While that doesn't seem like much, our team has shrunk, and it is a massive undertaking

Thanks M00n1ight.

Kickstarter

Details

Dex - Post-Funding Update #28

by Myrthos, 22:44

In the update for Dex of last week provides information on the new build that is scheduled to be available in the middle of December and offers some screens.

The update will include quests related mainly to high society, corporations, and the tension between the low life and high tech. Images can say more than words, so we’ll keep the post brief this time. Below, you can find a selection of new artwork done by our lead artist, Prokop Smetana. These are the new locations, interiors, and NPCs you will be able to see and meet once the update is finished and released.

Dex

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

Details

Banner Saga - Available on Android

by Aries100, 22:37

From RPGFan comes news that this tactical RPG is now available for Android. 

Multiple-award-winning tactical RPG The Banner Saga is now available for purchase from the Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore on Android.The game takes place in a land called Ragnarok, as you take charge of a group of Norse warriors in this brooding story. The plot is riddled with choices that will attract RPG fans and interactive game fans alike. The decisions you make will affect you in terms of where you go and in other ways that aren't quite so obvious.

 

2Moons

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Sunday - November 23, 2014

Soldak Entertainment - Sale

by Myrthos, 15:46

For the next couple of weeks all Soldak games can be bought with a 50% discount from the Soldak site.

Soldak Entertainment

Details

Dead State - Beta Patch #5

by Myrthos, 15:44

The final Pre-Release Patch for Dead State has been released. Following the link you can find a complete changelog.

his is it - the final patch to Dead State's Early Access Beta! Patch #5 is bursting at the seams with features and fixes, including many requested or suggested by YOU, the Dead State community. Now, while we’re giving you lots to chew on today, we want to remind you that this isn’t the final game - endings are being reserved for the final release, and there will still be many improvements coming before the final launch. In other words, there's still plenty to look forward to! With our upcoming release in mind, we’ll be updating the Known Issues post later today, so make sure to check there first before reporting bugs; that will help keep the forums and boards laser-focused on tracking brand new issues. Thanks so much for all your assistance, you guys are awesome!

Thanks Arahael.

Dead State

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-apoc
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Sim Heroes - Goes Beta

by Myrthos, 15:40

We have been informed that Sim Heroes, which is labeled as a RPG Management sim, is about to be released. The game was succesfully funded on Kickstarter last year and Rock Paper Shotgun have written a small piece for the game two months ago, which contains the information I do not need to repeat... OK, well only this small part from the RPS article:

The story goes that you’re exiled to an island and must start a settlement, placing down a tent and expanding from there. Place down a second tent and you’ll attract (unseen) villagers, who can be set to forage and hunt for food or chop down trees. Place a Wayrest and you’ll attract heroes, who can be formed into parties, their equipment managed, and then sent off for adventures at nearby caves, dungeons and the like. They do the fighting out of sight, but when they return – assuming they survive – you can paw over their combat logs, see what they encountered and how far they reached, and then make tweaks before their next adventure.

This then creates a compelling loop: your adventures unlock new building types, which allow you to expand your little village, gather more resources and upgrade your buildings, and the increase of fame brought by success will attract more and more powerful heroes to your settlement.

Indie RPGs

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

Details

VtM: Bloodlines - Project Vaulderie Canceled

by Myrthos, 15:34

The creators of Project Vaulderie, a remake of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines in the Unity engine with multiplayer support, have received a cease and decist letter from CCP Games and have now canceled the project.

As of now, you may be wondering why we haven’t been sharing any updates on the behalf of the project as of late. We are aware that all of you wait patiently for our news as always.
 
We’re very sad to report that we received a Cease & Desist e-mail from CCP Games, asking us to cease game development, remove any materials that might contain Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines, names, locations or related elements from the sites we control, and cease any further use of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines property, and in a disappointment shared among our team we are complying with that request. All of this invalidates our effort and the meaning of the entire project: as a remake of Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines cannot be a remake without its original contents.
 
Over the course, you have fought with us and been patient. You have trusted us when we were silent and listened when we spoke. Many of you have done what you could to help us. And for that we would like to thank you. You’re a wonderful group of fans and have been very supportive. It goes without saying that your interest was far greater than our team would have even anticipated.
We have been deeply honored by the support we have received from you all and we believe that the best relationship we can have with you is that of honesty and transparency.
 
Along with your support, we’ve received a lot of sympathies from former developers on Bloodlines and former White Wolf employees along the way. Our contact told us that the copyrights were with Activision, Inc., so we pursued there instead, with a pitch being prepared for the company to discuss what we were going to do with the property. This contact we knew from CCP has since left the company.
 
We made it quite clear that this is a fan re-imagining of the game. We simply want to do this to keep the game, the story, and the world it lives in, alive and re-imagined for a new generation. Both the game and the idea behind the project was made sorely with out of passion.
 
Since support of the game dropped long ago, ever since the fall of Troika Games, Inc., and it’s almost impossible to play without patches or bug fixes, sponsored by the community, and there is so much left that could be finished that hasn’t been touched. We want to see this game thrive, in a time and industry where games with deep lore and storylines like Bloodlines simply are hard to come by. Project Vaulderie would help revive interest in a game that was forgotten with time, and I believe all parties could have benefit from its creation.
 
But that will not be the case anymore, and it’s clear that there won’t be any newer titles created under the Vampire the Masquerade brand, as this project was the only hope for Bloodlines to reborn from the ashes they were left to cease.
 
We are avidly seeking a resolute course to continue working on a future game, but we cannot at this time discuss this publicly and with that I urge you to please be patient and hopeful that we will find a way.

Thanks M00nlight!

VtM: Bloodlines

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

Details

Video Gamer - Changing Review Policy

by Aries100, 11:25

Tom Orry has written an editorial announcing changes in their review policy.
The reason is this: 

There's also an increasing likelihood that the game we review will have changed by the time it's in your hands on 'Day One'. It now seems more likely than not that a game will receive a patch between the time the disc is printed and it goes on sale. We need to account for this in our reviews. 

Tom Orry announces that the changes in review policy will be these:

We will only award a game a score if we've been able to test all aspects to our satisfaction, offline and online.
We will award a game a score based on the experience at the time. Review conditions will be stated in the coverage.
Review text and scores may be updated once we've tested the game in consumer conditions, with the game released and online servers populated with real players.
Review text and scores may be updated if a title receives significant and game-changing updates post release. This does not include DLC unless offered for free to all.
If review text or score is changed the original text and score will be archived on the page.

.dat

Details

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Impressions @ Giant Bomb

by Aries100, 11:18

Patrick Klepek at Giant Bombs has written about his impressions for this game.
Here's a quote about his impressions:

It only took a few minutes to get up to speed. It's entirely possible series fans are upset how action-friendly BioWare's made Inquisition, but it also means just about anyone can understand the basics by the time the first combat sequence is over....... Even though Inquisition represents the third game in the Dragon Age series, it's not the conclusion of a trilogy. There's dangling threads from the previous games, but everything hasn't been building to this event. It's simply another chapter, and one that invites newcomers as much as it rewards veterans.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

Details

Double Fine Studios - Project Cancelled - Layoffs

by Aries100, 09:54

A yet undisclosed project fell through so that the developer had to let 12 people go from the company. A quote from Tim Schafer:

"One of our unannounced projects was unexpectedly cancelled by its publisher, forcing us to reduce our staff by 12 people," Double Fine founder Tim Schafer said in a statement to GameSpot. "Our remaining projects -- Broken Age, Massive Chalice, and Grim Fandango Remastered, were unaffected." Double Fine did not disclose the nature of the project or the publisher who canceled it.

.dat

Details

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Impressions @ Inc Gamers

by Aries100, 09:46

Tim McDonald from Inc Gamers has written a piece about his first impressions playing Dragon Age: Inquisition.  A quote in Bioware has marketed this game: 

But BioWare have been making all the right noises about Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’ll have a tactical camera, they say; it’s being designed primarily for PC, they say. Considering the ludicrous Kickstarter and post-Kickstarter success of several other tactical CRPGs (Project Eternity/Pillars of EternityDivinity: Original SinWasteland 2,Torment: Tides of Numenera…) it’s not entirely impossible that EA has actually taken notice of this and said “oh, go on then, make a proper CRPG.”

A quote on the options when starting the game:

Graphics aside, there are a number of other options. There are subtitles for both ambient dialogue and full conversations, and there are separate options for text and speech language (although in my version the only available language is English, so that’s kinda superfluous to me). There’s even a Friendly Fire option for that full Dragon Age: Originsexperience, but as it’s turned off by default, I’m not touching it. While I miss having to very carefully aim my abilities, if Dragon Age: Inquisition wasn’t designed around friendly fire then I suspect turning it on would make me very sad, very quickly.

A quote on the tactical camera:

I fucking hate the tactical camera. It is incredibly, absurdly, stupendously useless. The tactical combat itself might be fine - it's got auto-pauses, and I can select skills and click on enemies, and I can even see which other characters I've assigned to attacking that enemy and what skill they're going to use. That's pretty great. I still can't shake off the MMO feeling for some reason, and I've still got worries that the game was designed to be played in the third-person view and the tactical combat was slapped on afterwards, but there's clearly been at least some thought given to battling in this way.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

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Polygon - Games are better without damsels to save

by Aries100, 09:33

Claire Hosking has written an opinion piece for Polygon.  It it, she argues that game
don't need to have damsels in distress to save. And that they are better this way.

The starting point for Claire Hosking is this:

Anita Sarkeesian's Feminist Frequency series has amazing influence for someone who's simply doing what so many have done before - making videos about about their opinions on books, TV, film and video games.... Anthony Burch, Joss Whedon and Tim Schafer - have listened and encouraged their followers to take note, while Saints Row creative Director Steve Jaros has said, "I actually think [Tropes vs. Women creator Anita Sarkeesian's] right in this case" when a video was critical of an aspect of the game.

Claire Hoskings argues that when a female character has to e.g. rescued by the player she becomes just a thing to fetch. She does so with a quote from Anita Sarkeesian's Tropes in Video Games, part 1: 

...[damseling is] a plot device in which a female character is placed in a perilous situation from which she cannot escape on her own and must be rescued by a male character, usually providing a core incentive or motivation for the protagonist’s quest. In video games this is most often accomplished via kidnapping but it can also take the form of petrification or demon possession for example."
Claire Hosking uses two examples from current videogames on how to avoid this:
Games like Bioshock or Gone Home use audio logs and environmental narrative to flesh out characters you’re searching for; they’re games about entering their world and understanding their life. It’s an interesting game design question — there are many, many reasons why a character might be interesting to find or deliberately trying to keep something from you. Every one of them says more about the character than just someone being taken away and locked up.
And finally, she writes that:

While they are damsels, they exist for others and no longer have their own initiative or interactions......It also frequently portrays love as transactional — save girl, get kiss — rather than something that springs from spending time with a person and getting to know them. None of this makes for good writing. The fact damseling happens overwhelmingly to female characters has a particular meaning in a society that has historically restricted women’s freedoms and denied them equal autonomy with men. 

.dat

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