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Tuesday - May 03, 2016
Monday - May 02, 2016
Sunday - May 01, 2016
Saturday - April 30, 2016
Friday - April 29, 2016
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Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander

2016-04-25

Halcyon 6 First Impressions

I fired up Halcyon 6 fully expecting to play half an hour before bed. Needless to say thats not how things panned out and I played until I couldn't play no more.
» Continue reading the article...

Darkest Dungeon

2016-04-20

Darkest Dungeon Review

Forgottenlor had a go at Darkest Dungeon and came back with his views on the game
» Read the article

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Picture Watch

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord
Box Art

Poll Watch

How well funded do you prefer your games to be?
Mega Bucks AAA+
14.55%

Noticeably well funded
32.73%

Fairly well funded
45.45%

Limited
3.64%

Struggling
1.82%

Cheap and cheerful
1.82%

Vote

Recently Released

Apr: Pharaonic
Apr: Hyperdevotion Noire
Apr: The Huntsman
Apr: Megamagic
Apr: Banner Saga 2

Tuesday - May 03, 2016

InSomnia - Garon and Crawler

by Myrthos, 12:48

With more than 20% being funded and 24 days to go an update was provided for Insomnia, showing the Crawler-4, a light armored carrier, and Garon, a heavy armored suit, which you get to use in the final game.

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You can also download the prologue demo, to check it out yourself.

InSomnia

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Steampunk
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Masquerada - Almost There

by Myrthos, 12:42

The Kickstarter campaign for Masquerade: Songs and Shadows has almost reached its GBP 45K goal and with still two days to go, it looks like they will make it.

In case you are still in doubt on whether or not to help fund this game, there are loads of updates available that add more information.

And here is the cinematic trailer (for which the original animatics can be found here).

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Masquerada

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

Details

The Dwarves - Development Update

by Myrthos, 12:28

In a short development update for The Dwarves we are informed of the savegame fix in the Alpha 2 update, which is available now and all the other things they have been busy with in April.

We had a very busy month!

  • We were on two cool gaming conventions: The Rezzed in London and the PAX East in Boston.
  • We did the German voice recordings in Berlin.
  • We’re doing the English voice recordings in London RIGHT NOW.
  • We worked a lot on new combat encounters, new playable characters and cutscenes.
  • We finished the location design and the character design. Woop-woop!
  • We started to work on the gamepad controls.
  • A couple of players tested the game in our office and gave us feedback (three times in the last month!)
  • We talked to manufacturers about things like the Tungdil figurine, the hardcover special edition of the book, the box and many other rewards. We’ll post an update about that stuff later. It’s going to be great!
  • We added more blood & gore (and other effects) to the game; but that’s still work-in-progress.
  • We fixed a ton of bugs and made an update for the Alpha 2.

The Dwarves

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

Details

Kingdom Come - Sword Forging

by Myrthos, 12:23

One of the Kickstarter rewards for Kingdom Come: Deliverance was an actual sword. In below video we are shown how these swords are forged.

Remember the day when our Kickstarter campaign started? We were full of doubts: How would the campaign end? What would gamers say about the idea to develop realistic medieval RPG? Did we offer interesting rewards? We were excited and scared both in the same time.

Today we already know that you are the best backers in the world! Thanks to you we are able to work on a game we have dreamed of for years. To show you how grateful we are, we were sharing news from the game development, we released early Technical Alpha versions and few months ago we invited you to find Reeky in the Beta access. Now it is time to start the work on delivering the physical rewards :-)

We are proud to announce that the production of the swords for Kickstarter backers started! The hand-made swords are being produced by our friends from Wulflund Pagan Shop and Arma Epona smithy located in the beautiful landscape of Central Bohemia. Let’s visit the forge to see for yourself!

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Kingdom Come

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

Details

Mage's Initiation - Alpha and Combat

by Myrthos, 12:18

In a new update for Mage's Initiation more information is provided on the upcoming alpha release and some raised concerns related to combat are addressed.

So, what's the news? Well, we've been working feverishly on prepping the game for its alpha release! And while we had anticipated being able to release said alpha build this month (and have made incredible progress to that end), Himalaya's involvement at GDC set things back just a tad, and we still have some loose ends to tie up before it can be deemed 100% fit for backer consumption. In other words: we're *almost* there, but there are a few trouble-spots remaining that we still need to clear up: stubborn bugs, some textual dialog that needs tweaking, a handful of graphical placeholders in need of updating, and some missing functionality that we'd prefer to get in-place, so that everyone has an optimal game-play experience. Our aim is to get the alpha looking as close as possible to a preliminary beta, prior to release. For the past fortnight, Chris and Daniel have been playing through the game, sequentially, with each class and noting down all the adjustments/fixes to be made and then hitting all of the entries on these very long-lists until they're all checked off. These play-tests are typically day (and nearly) night-long processes, but it's a great feeling to finish each one, knowing that every time, the game is that little bit more refined and closer to completion!

Mage's Initiation

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

Details

Copper Dreams - Kickstarter 12th May

by Silver, 05:27

If you like cyberpunk and classic crpg style mark 12th May into your calendar. Whalenought Studios kickstarter for Copper Dreams was announced on twitter.

Source: Whalenought Studios

Copper Dreams

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

NWN2 - Runescape Mod

by Silver, 02:17

@PC Gamer A group of modders has spent six years rebuilding Runescape in NWN2.

Runescape in NWN2

"I really enjoyed playing private servers on Neverwinter Nights," Aaron explains. "I also loved building my own maps-it was never anything serious, I was just a kid at the time. But at one point, it came into my head that I should rebuild an area of Runescape in Neverwinter Nights." Aaron showed his clan in Runescape his creation, and their positive response spurred him to keep building more and more areas for them to play around in. Six years later and that little hobby has turned into Molior RS, an ambitious recreation of Runescape built by Aaron and a team of four amateur modders.

[...]

Runescape's skill system is probably where Molior RS wrestles with Neverwinter Nights 2 the most, as the games feature drastically different mechanics and character progression. In Neverwinter Nights 2, which uses Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition rules, your character is the product of abilities like strength, wisdom, and dexterity, which further impact various skills, spells, and special feats. Runescape, however, features a much simpler system without class restrictions where players can level up every skill independently just by partaking in specific activities. Right now, Molior RS is on its fourth rendition of the skill system. It's been a massive undertaking only made possible thanks to Triston Barker, the lead programmer for Molior RS, and his ability to dive deeper into the Neverwinter Nights 2 toolkit and reprogram it from the inside out.

Source: PC Gamer

NWN2

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

Details

Hero-U - Interface Survey & Project Status

by Silver, 00:35

In the latest kickstarter update from Hero-U Corey Cole outlines his thoughts on world building, UI and the status of the project. They are seeking feedback for the user interface elements.

User Interface Survey

Store Interface

                                     Hero-U School Store Interface

We've tried multiple variations of the main user interface for Hero-U, and we're still tweaking and refining them. I've put together a short survey of how you play games, and it will be very helpful to us if you and your friends take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WGMC5CW.

We want to know how many of our players use both mouse buttons when playing games, and what expectations you have for the right mouse button. In Quest for Glory, the right button toggled between commands (such as Talk, Look At, or Use) that the left button would use. In our first Hero-U demo, the right button brought up action menus, while the left button. For the second version, I switched that - left button acts, right button gives a description.

[...]

Project Status
Reception Area
                                              Hero-U Reception Area

We are continuing to refine the rest of the user interface, including the look and feel of the inventory, character sheet, and journal. It takes an amazing amount of behind-the-scenes work to make these screens work well with the right appearance and ease of use.

We're in the last couple of months of creating "room content" for the game. This includes all the dialogue, text, interactions, animation, and "adventure game stuff" for Hero-U. This Summer we will refine and expand the combat system and working on "alternate interface puzzles" such as trap disarming. We will also start adding music and sound effects once all of the rooms are otherwise complete.

We plan to have a very long beta test to prevent the kinds of problems we had with several of our Sierra games. We hope to start Beta in late September or early October. As we get closer to the finish line, our ability to estimate the real completion date will improve.

We are delaying shipments of physical goods until the game is complete. It's a very time-consuming process that takes time away from game development. We've sent out digital rewards such as Quest for Glory game keys and high-resolution travel posters and game images. Log on to BackerKit and visit your Hero-U page to get access to your digital add-ons.

Hero-U

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

Details

StarCrawlers - Gameplay @PAX East

by Silver, 00:10

StarCrawlers has recently been demoed at PAX East. In this brief video from Tek Syndicate we see some gameplay while the developer explains stuff. Gameskinny also wrote some impressions based on the PAX East demo.

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StarCrawlers

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

Details

Monday - May 02, 2016

The Long Journey Home - Meet the Crew

by Silver, 23:37

On The Long Journey Home blog they introduce the crew you will be travelling with. Also the game has recently been demoed at PAX East by IGN.

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Meet The Crew: Zoe Creed - The BloggerZoe

Australian student Zoe began writing about her love of space at the age of 16, and now her Zoetrope website and video series boasts one of the most enthusiastic young scientist communities on the internet. With the Daedalus mission being as much about reinvigorating the public's interest in space as testing the jump drive, IASA invited her to be the project's embedded reporter and an official observer on the test flight. After a life dreaming of seeing the stars, she's about to get her wish. Whether she likes it or not.
...

[...]

Meet The Crew: Malcolm Winters - The Pilot
Malcolm Winters

To be exact, a test-pilot, on loan to IASA from the US military. Winters' main responsibility was working with the Daedalus engineering team to help create a reliable, multi-terrain lander capable of surviving 87% of hostile planetary conditions, while still being easy enough for civilian operation. Secretly though, he fears the success of the Daedalus mission as much as its failure. In his eyes, humanity is not yet even half ready for whatever lies out there in the galaxy. Once Pandora's box is open, will we regret not leaving it closed?
...

The Long Journey Home

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Bard's Tale IV - About the Combat System

by Hiddenx, 20:44

Learn something new about the combat system of Bard's Tale IV in Kickstarter update #29:

Glorious Combat

Hello Citizens of Caith. My name is David Rogers, and I'm the Systems Designer on The Bard's Tale IV. I know I don't have to tell any of you that combat is a core pillar of The Bard's Tale. It's where all of our choices about race, class, gear, and party composition combine with our own sense of strategy, leading to either glorious victory or humiliating defeat. Combat design is what I've been primarily focused on, and what I'm here to chat with you about. Before we dive into the real meaty bits, I need to give the obligatory disclaimer that what you're about to see is all a work in progress, and changes may occur between now and the final release of the game.

Combat Basics

One of the great things about designing for a dungeon crawler is your ability to quickly build the game on paper before you build it out digitally. We've put a big emphasis on proving out our designs by playing them out on the tabletop. Similar to playing a game of D&D, we're able to play out the bard's tale on the tabletop and make sure what we're doing is fun, strategic, and ticks all the boxes we're looking for in The Bard's Tale IV. We started from a foundation of classic blobber combat, distilling down the parts that truly compel us. But we also make note of missed opportunities for rich strategic decision-making, and brainstorm how to capitalize on them.

One area we really want to improve on is the kind of decisions the player has to make during combat. It was a common trend in older blobbers that most of your decisions were made out of combat and once you entered combat you did the same actions over and over again. That old chestnut of "attack, attack, attack, defend, defend, fireball" is something we want to disrupt. Gaming has come a long way since the heyday of old school dungeon crawlers and we're dead set on bringing the genre back into the spotlight.

We discussed our 4x4 battlefield grid in a previous Kickstarter update. Accentuating the role that the battlefield plays in combat is one element we're focusing on. To briefly recap, during combat our battlefield is a 4x4 grid where the players' party occupies one half of the grid and the enemies' party occupies the other half. Because we want to show your enemies (and the bloody pulp you beat them into) in all of their glory, their half of the grid exists in 3D space. Your party, in classic blobber fashion, lives on your HUD. [...]

Bard's Tale IV

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

Details

Lovecraft Tales - Demo available

by Hiddenx, 20:26

A demo for the Adventure Lovecraft Tales is now available:

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Lovecraft Tales is independent open world adventure game. First episode (in making) will be inspired by "The Whisperer in Darkness" story. It's been 3 years since beginning, and 1.5 year of hard development. Now, playable demo is finally released!

Download it for free from http://lovecrafttales.com

Thanks Farflame!

Non-RPG General News

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

Details

ELEX - New Information, Screenshots and Artwork @ World of ELEX

by Hiddenx, 20:08

New ELEX-info, screenshots and artwork can be found on the new German fan-site World of ELEX.

ELEX

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development

Details

Torment: Tides of Numenera - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 20:01

Farflame spotted this Kickstarter update for Torment: Tides of Numenera:

Updated Our Journal (55):
Red Novella Now Available, Posters Back in Stock

tl;dr: Production update, Red Novella released, backer posters available

Hello Exiles,

Eric checking in. In our previous update, we told you about how we were targeting an April milestone for getting the game content complete. We're happy to say that we've hit that milestone – this means Torment is now playable start to finish, albeit in a somewhat rough state.

The feedback we've gained from the backer beta has been invaluable in allowing us to improve upon the game in a number of ways. In particular, we've been in the thick of a massive user interface overhaul on both the art and design fronts, cleaning up a lot of the temporary and placeholder stuff that was in when the beta launched. It is shaping up extremely well.

Furthermore, we've been reworking the game's introduction. This is one of the things we got the most comments about during the beta's early stages - how while the strangeness of the world, the visuals and the writing were all engrossing, the pacing and the way information was communicated about the game systems and story felt like they could use a bit of work. The changes we've made should address these points while also moving things along a bit more quickly.

A lot of these polish points are still in the works, and we're also chipping away at our bug lists, balance and systems tweaks both in and out of combat, and adding additional layers of improvements on for animation, visual effects and scene artwork. We're still working towards a more stable and complete build for you to enjoy, but when the next beta update comes, it will be one of the most extensive we've done.

From the Depths: Red

We have some good news on the rewards front today. Those of you who backed Torment at levels that included novellas will be happy to hear we are releasing a new installment in our "From the Depths" series - The Red Hand.

This novella comes courtesy of writer Nathan Long, who crafted several characters and quests for Torment: Tides of Numenera. You will also likely recognize Nathan as the lead writer behind Wasteland 2, not to mention that he has well over a dozen fantasy novels and several TV episodes and films to his name.

The Red Hand is a Ninth World story set in the subterranean city of Haref, which shows how art and passion can inspire great acts of heroism, but can also be twisted into tools of oppression. It follows an artist in love with a revolutionary leader as his art turns her outrage into a powerful symbol of revolt, and then escapes his control.

Applicable Torment backers who got the Red Novella with their rewards can download it right now from their Torment backer account. Just login to your Torment account, check the Rewards page and look for the "Downloads" button on your reward package that contains the novella. And remember that our novellas are still available in digital form as add-ons if you don't already have them. [...]

Torment: Tides of Numenera

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

Details

Matt Chat - Julian Gollop on X-Com

by Silver, 13:10

Matt hosts Julian Gollop in part 2 of his interview which covers topics such as X-Com, Time Lords, Islandia and Nebula. Catch up on part 1 here.

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Matt Chat

Details

Stardew Valley - Post-Launch Content Plans

by Silver, 02:38

Version 1.1 update details and post-launch update plans for Stardew Valley.

Hello everyone!

First, I'd like to thank you all so much for playing Stardew Valley. The game has been more successful than I ever imagined, and I'm very grateful to everyone for granting me this amazing opportunity. I can't say it enough- the community that's formed around this game is incredible... full of kind, talented people who have given Stardew Valley a life of it's own. It's really cool. heart

The last couple of months have been pretty wild for me. I released seven patches... with bug fixes, adjustments, and some new content here and there. In addition, I've been keeping up with interviews, business stuff, social media platforms, and helping people who are having issues with the game. In short, I've been extremely busy.

Toward the end of April the launch buzz had cooled off enough that I could afford to take a short break. It's been nice... I've actually played some other games for the first time in a long while, which was fun (Final Fantasy IX, Factorio, Age Of Empires II) . I feel refreshed, and I'm ready to get back to work!

First, here is a list of what's planned for the future of Stardew Valley:

Version 1.1 - A substantial content update
Co-op Multiplayer
Localizing for non-english regions
Mac/Linux Ports
Console Ports
Merchandise

[...]

There's no official timetable for any of this yet... Mainly I just want to let you all know that multiplayer, porting and localization are actively being worked on.

In the meantime, I'd like to give a little rundown of some things I'm planning for version 1.1:

More late-game content
New farm buildings
New crops
New artisan goods
New advanced farming/producing mechanics
Shane and Emily will be marriage candidates. They will also have more events and dialogue as a result.
More marriage content for all spouses
More events for the non-marriage NPC's
Improvements/Additions to mining and combat
Ability to move buildings and other convenience features
More bug fixes
More secrets
More small, fun touches to the world

(note: anything in this list is subject to change)

Stardew Valley

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

Details

Sunday - May 01, 2016

A House of Many Doors - New Combat System

by Hiddenx, 21:50

A House of Many Doors gets a better combat system:

BIG NEWS:
Major change to combat system, update to alpha build

A couple of months on, I can look back on HOMD's early alpha release with a nice sense of perspective, and all told it actually went very well. There were many reports of instability and poor collision detection, but both of these major bugs were fixed within a week.

One bit of feedback I didn't entirely expect, however, was the trouble that people had with the combat system. It was either much too easy or unfathomably difficult, with no reports of anything in-between. This honestly baffled me for a few days, but then I realized - nobody had much idea what was going on. 

If you have no idea what's going on and then you win, that's too easy. If you have no idea what's going on and then you die, that's too hard.

This could be a UI problem, but I don't think so. It's a design problem. FTL gets away with real-time combat because the player only has 4 characters to manage - but in HOMD, you can have anywhere from 10 to 18 crewmembers! That's simply too much to deal with all at once. And the player in HOMD has no interesting decisions to make - the options are there, but it's simply too chaotic to parse cause-and-effect. (I suppose this is probably a fair representation of real-life combat, but like real-life combat, it just wasn't very fun.) 

There's a rule of strategy gameplay that I strongly believe in - the Sid Meier rule, coined by the Firaxis mastermind himself. "A good game is a series of interesting choices." Sadly, and it pains me to admit it, the old combat system failed this test. 

Luckily, I think I fixed it.

[...]

A House of Many Doors

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

Details

Acaratus - New Patch is coming

by Hiddenx, 21:44

A new patch for Acaratus is coming soon:

May 1, 2016

We are working hard on the patch that is due out today! meanwhile have a look at whats going to be in the patch and what we are working on at the moment,

FLIP COVER

Top image shows our new card that is a bit of a special thing. You can drop it anywhere nere a friendly unit in order to build up a cover that flips up. This can be shot passed by your enemy so they have to destory it or go around it.

Also the level called Sewer is going to be available to play that you can see in the first image

NEW PARTS

This is only one of the new things coming in to the new patch. Lots of helia parts are added and additional booster and so on. 

Last but not least we wanted to share a picture on one of the cage cores we will have in the campaign. Not available in this patch because its still work in progress.

Acaratus

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Steampunk
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Stellar Tactics - Kickstarter cancelled

by Hiddenx, 21:35

Capt. Huggy Face spotted that the Kickstarter for Stellar Tactics has been cancelled:

Thank you!

I've received a lot of great feedback in the last 24 hours along with a ton of support from folks who are looking forward to the game. I'd like to reassure everyone that we are not abandoning the game. I'll keep everyone posted on our progress.

There are many great games on Kickstarter. I'd like to mention a few that I like in particular. Of course, I hope everyone is successful.

Arcadian Atlas - This looks to be a fantastic game and takes me back to one of my favorite games of all time, Final Fantasy Tactics. Check it out!

[...]

Stellar Tactics

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Baldur's Gate: EE - GOG bundles the classic Version

by Hiddenx, 21:12

GOG bundles the classic versions of Baldur's Gate, Baldur's Gate II and Icewindwind Dale with the enhanced editions. They are not available separately anymore:

[...]

On April 29, Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition will be expanded to include the classic versions – each becoming the Definitive Edition Bundle and not available for purchase separately. If you already own the classics on GOG.com, the games currently on your shelf won't be affected.

"We're excited to take our commitment and support to Baldur's Gate and GOG fans to the next level and humbled to work with such great partners. The Definitive Edition Bundle will give every Baldur's Gate fan what they're looking for" – concludes Cameron Tofer, Beamdog COO.In the near future, we're also looking forward to full GOG Galaxy support for achievements in Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition, and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition – as well as in the Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear expansion.

Thanks Drithius!

Baldur's Gate: EE

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

Details

Krai Mira - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 20:59

Krai Mira has reached 50% of the Kickstarter funding goal:

HALF WAY

We reached 50% funding and we are very happy and very thankful to all of you who supporting us!

Krai Mira

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

Details

Archmage Rises - Early Prototype available

by Hiddenx, 11:17

You can check out Archmage Rises now - an early prototype with interesting game mechanics has been released:

Prototype: A New Approach to RPG Adventure Mechanics

[...]

Adventure Mechanics Prototype

I will try to describe the Adventure mechanics concept as clearly as I can:

You have a dungeon.  It is a container for interesting encounters.  How many encounters?  That depends on the size and difficulty of the dungeon. 

Let’s think of an encounter as a card.  A card can be overcome (completed) by interesting choices.  Some cards are simple and require few choices, some are complex and have many choices. 

If an encounter is a card then that means it could come from a source of many cards called a deck.  A deck is for cards that share a similar theme.  What kind of theme? Underground, ruined temple, under water, fire caves, spooky forest, whatever we desire. 

This means that a dungeon can be created by picking a theme deck, shuffling it, then drawing the required number of encounter cards.  The more cards, the longer and more difficult the dungeon.  The less, the easier.

This also means that no two dungeons are ever alike.  If you don’t know what to do in a particular dungeon you can’t call and wake me at home because I don’t know either.

Now the makers of Skyrim tried this approach with Daggerfall.  Unfortunately, they were dealing with 3d geography from a set of templates and it all got very repetitive.  So the lesson here is that if you have to navigate a virtual space, the random shuffle of cards is difficult to pull off unless you have a ton of cards.  And this is precisely what Bethesda has been doing up to Skyrim: making smaller and smaller cards that fit better and better together to not look repetitive.  Because I’m using text instead of 3d modelling, I think I can have more cards than Bethesda.

Now unlike a board game where you really are limited to physical cards, I’m using virtual ones.  Which means a card can have something randomly interesting.  Instead of being attacked by one orc, it can be 1-6 orcs.  Instead of a door of difficulty 5, it can be from 1-10.

I can push this further by adding modifiers to the cards.  If I were to take just three decorators, like say, a bubbling magical fountain, a flower with noxious fumes, and a strangely colored potion, they can be added to any card.  So instead of it being a 10ftx10ft room, it’s now a 10ftx10ft room WITH a flower of noxious fumes.  Without the flower it’s a pretty obvious choice to search the room for loot.  But now, do you risk it?  Will the flower effect you in some adverse way?  You may now see that with 10 base cards and 4 modifiers suddenly we have 40 possible cards.  Granted, finding a noxious flower in 25% of the encounters is pretty boring, but I hope you can see the beauty and possibility of a properly stocked system.

So this is what I need your help doing: testing this theory in practice.  It’s a big one, because if the adventures are boring and suck, then no one will play Archmage Rises beyond the character creation screens.  But if it is engaging and wonderful in the way ROGUE, ADOM, and NETHACK are, then people will play Archmage Rises for the rest of time.  Or at least until the next Blizzard, Bioware, Bethesda, or some other company name starting with B is released. :-)

[...]

Archmage Rises

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

Details

Banner Saga 2 - Review @ Gameplanet

by Hiddenx, 11:07

Gameplanet likes the Banner Saga 2, too:

It’s a bit cheeky of developer Stoic Studios to present The Banner Saga 2 as a sequel, because in reality it’s really more like an episode. There is generally an expectation that a sequel will develop the series in someway, be it mechanically, visually or in gameplay variation. The Banner Saga 2 slightly tweaks a few aspects of the first game, but in almost every way it is a straight continuation of the first.

It picks up exactly where the last game left off, even starting with Chapter 7. To be clear, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just a clarification. Considering how great the first game was, in many ways this is great news.

[...]

“Like father, like son.”

The Banner Saga 2 isn't mechanically distinct from the first game and its story suffers second act syndrome, but it's nonetheless a cracking title that will both satisfy and leave players in desperate need of the trilogy's closing act.

Ups

  • Beautiful art.
  • Fascinating characters.
  • More enemies than the first.

Downs

  • Marginally less captivating story-wise than the first.
  • Fewer tricky moral quandary to navigate.

Score: 8/10

Banner Saga 2

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

Details

Pharaonic - Released

by Hiddenx, 10:59

The challenging 2.5d side-scrolling Action RPG Pharaonic has been released:

In Ancient Egypt, death awaits at every corner

Pharaonic is an unforgiving sidescrolling Action-RPG set in Ancient Egypt. Explore a vast kingdom full of dangers and brutal enemies while you find the truth behind Ahmosis I, the Red Pharaoh.

Only the most audacious warriors will have any chance of success. The Pharaoh's army and countless dangerous creatures will stand in your way.

Original and streamlined combat system

Polish your combat skills to the finest and loot the best gear possible to even have the slightest chance of overcoming this difficult endeavor. Will you opt for lightweight equipment, trusting on your agility to avoid death? Or will you prefer to take the blow and strike back even harder? The decision is entirely yours to make.

Get ready to challenge the gods

Throughout your path you will find help from the Daughters of Ishtar, as well as the oppresed countrymen. Learn new skills and subdue divine powers to overcome your opponents. Drink from your life-water canteen to heal your wounds, and acquire new equipment that will help you avoid death one more day.

It's a tough journey, but the Gods believe in you. Will you be worthy of that honor?

Pharaonic takes the excellent combat design of Dark Souls and adapts it to a faster paced side-scrolling environment. Use your shield to block and parry incoming attacks, manage your stamina and wait for your chance to attack and defeat your enemies. A single mistake can be fatal, so stay on your toes to avoid making any.

Features

  • Explore an Ancient Egypt full of traps and treacherous enemies.
  • Exhaustive, refined and satisfying combat system.
  • Complete character customization, with hundreds of pieces of equipment at your disposal.
  • Face impressive bosses and their minions in epic fights full of tension.
  •  Talk with plenty of colorful characters to fill the blanks in your memory and learn what's happening to the kingdom.
  • Lots of secondary paths to explore, full of treasures and traps.
  • Dozens of weapons and shields with different combat styles.
  • Use the powers of the Gods and cast spells that will help you in your journey.

Pharaonic

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

Details

Saturday - April 30, 2016

Stranger of Sword City - PC Version in June

by Hiddenx, 21:03

The challenging Wizardry-like Dungeon Crawler Stranger of Sword City will be released in June on Steam:

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After your plane flies through a strange rift and crashes, you awake under an unfamiliar sky. This is Sword City, a dark fantasy world that combines magic and technology. Explore, level up, make a perfect team, and slay monsters. But choose your allies carefully if you want to find a way home.

In Stranger of Sword City, you must perfect your DRPG skills and navigate your way through Escario, a place of fantasy races, fierce monsters, and treacherous labyrinths. Explore labyrinths to slay the powerful Lineage Type monsters within and take their Blood Crystals to increase your power. Who you decide to trust, be it the Kingdom, Medell Co., or the Strangers Guild, is entirely up to you. But choose wisely. Your fate depends on it.

Destructoid has reviewed the console version:

[...]

Even with the slow grind, I have no reservations saying Stranger of Sword City is a damn fine dungeon crawler. It's challenging, it's beautiful to look at, and it kept me on my toes throughout the adventure as I walked the fine line between playing it smart and playing it dangerously. If this game can make a believer out of me, imagine what die-hard dungeon crawler fans will think of it.

Score: 8/10 - Great

Stranger of Sword City

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

Details

Hyperdevotion Noire - Released

by Hiddenx, 09:39

Idea Factory International has released another spin-off to the to the Hyperdimension Neptunia series - the tactical RPG Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart:

In this chibi-style* strategy role-playing game you'll amass an army of game-referencing allies, fight on trap-laden maps, and beef up Lily Rank for crazy damage. But look out for status ailments or you might be (literal) tofu! You ain't seen the Neptunia characters like this before!

*”Chibi-style” – Adorable anime characters miniaturized to have charmingly big heads and daintily tiny bodies.

Key Features

  • A 1080p Moe Army Awaits! Lead your loveable and cute moe army into SRPG battle and fight off hordes of enemies in turn-based strategy - now in high definition! You'll have to strategize to dodge laser beams, flaming pits, and more!
  • Link up with the “Lily System” The more often characters are in battle together, the higher their bond becomes. Activating the “Lily Boost” grants special stats and abilities, while “Lily Points” can be used to activate ultra-special moves and even goddess transformations. Don’t be shy to build up those battle relationships and seal it all with a kiss!
  • Check your Status! All kinds of funky things can happen in the heat of battle and characters can be hit with status ailments that are both boon and burden. You can get pixelated, zombie-fied, or even turned into a block of tofu! Some status changes come with their own benefit and cost, so keep this in mind during a fight.
  • Item Customization! You’ll get tons of replay value with so many ways to boost your gear’s stats! The more enemies you defeat, the more items you can get to customize your gear in whatever way you see fit. Let the great experiment begin!
  • Livin’ the Noire Life! Life’s not all about grid-based battles. Sometimes Noire just wants to relax at home, and with the “Sim Noire” mode you’ll be able to do just that! Customize the place by buying furniture and accessories with in-game points, and make Noire feel like the goddess she is – unlocking extra scenes in the process.

RPGSite has reviewed the game and the PC version of it.

Hyperdevotion Noire

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

Details

Healer's Quest - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 09:11

Pablo Coma tells us how the spell upgrades are working in Healer's Quest:

Design Highlight : Spell upgrades

Hi everyone,

We're just about to start the last week before the end of the campaign, and I would like to tell you more about another design topic. Let's talk about the spell upgrade system in Healer's Quest. I believe this is one of the most interesting aspect of the game, so get ready for this! :)

If you played the demo through the end, you probably have an idea of what this is about, but you just had the opportunity to upgrade one or two spells. Spells' skill trees is one of the mechanics which will make the game interesting in the long run by asking you to make meaningful choices when outside of combat and customizing your strategy. 

How does it work?

When your character levels up, you gain one magic star or more depending on your level. You can then access the skill trees and spend these stars to upgrade any available spell.

[...]

 

Healer's Quest

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

Details

Arcadian Atlas - Kickstarter News

by Hiddenx, 09:06

Arcadian Atlas is 55% funded with 8 days to go:

55% Funded and New Press!

We're at 55% funding, and we've got some great new press to share and some other projects up on Kickstarter we're excited for on this Friday.

Oh, and did we mention we're just one achievement away from some video bloopers? Let the good times roll!

The Heart Behind Arcadian Atlas

Want to know what motivates us as we work on Arcadian Atlas? We gave a candid interview to Cliqist.com and Felix Wong did a gorgeous write up about the project and our family ties that inform so much of the game. [...]

Arcadian Atlas

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

Details

Dungeon Rushers - Release Day: May 11

by Hiddenx, 07:30

Dungeon Rushers will be released at May 11:

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About the Game:

Over the course of an epic quest, explore many dungeons and loot their guarded treasures. Build your own team by choosing the best hero combination to overcome traps and monsters lurking in the shadows.

Upgrade the skills of your heroes to make them even more fearsome and place them strategically to achieve victory.

Craft your equipment on your own with components gathered during your journey thanks to an advanced system consisting of six different craftsmen.

Complete dungeons and their bonus challenges to unlock the Heroic difficulty, where only the best can make their way to the treasure!

Build your own dungeon in which you can spread traps and monsters to prevent other adventurers from looting your chest! Hire your « dream team » by exploring a world where dungeons and manors have been abandoned by men in favor of the worst creatures, then attack other players' dungeons to plunder their treasure!

Features:

  • Campaign mode full of humor with various sound and graphic environments
  • Interactive exploration system
  • Revised turn based fights with a hint of nostalgia
  • Advanced team management (equipment, skills upgrade, in-fight position, ...)
  • Wide range of skills to use (scout, heals, dodge, trap deactivation, monsters stalking)   
  • Crafting system featuring many recipes to unlock
  • High replay value with a Heroic difficulty for each dungeon   
  • Online arena system with matchmaking and ranking   
  • Battles among friends, to die against people you love
  • Epic custom-made soundtrack

Dungeon Rushers

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

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Mechanics Explained

by Silver, 00:40

Swen delivers an in-depth explanation of the new mechanics and there is a new kickstarter update #24 for Divinity: Original Sin 2.

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What the PAXers saw:
New combat mechanics, including ultra-powerful Source skills powered by Source Points-- which you can obtain through fair or truly foul means.
Height gameplay, including added damage and range bonuses when attacking from on high (flying Margaret, anyone?).
New surface interactions in which you can Bless and Curse existing surfaces in order to help or hurt your fellow combatants.
A brand new armor system featuring Magical and Physical armor.
mechanics explained pax east 2016

Pick a skill tree: We have a winner!

You guys voted, and the results are in: Divinity: Original Sin 2 will feature a Summoning Master skill tree! These skills will allow you to call to convene help-- mundane and otherworldly-- in battle. 

Here are the results: 

- Summoning Master - 1709 votes 
- Bard - 1285 votes
- Alchemist - 557 votes
- Unarmed Combatant - 433 votes
- Guardian - 413 votes
- Juggernaut - 408 votes
- Trap Master - 197 votes

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Friday - April 29, 2016

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 23:30

Henriquejr spotted some news for Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem:

PATCH 0.1.9: HUGE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENTS, WEATHER SYSTEM, WEAPON TRAILS, DEATH SYSTEM WIP, NEW LOCALIZATION AND MORE !

Hi Backers, it's update time ! Here's the complete changelog :

GENERAL: Huge performance improvements. The performance shouldn’t decrease over time now. 
New: Weather system version 1.0. The sky is now more dynamic, with giant clouds blocking the sun, and rain all over the world of Wolcen.

 Hi Backers, it's update time ! Here's the complete changelog :

GENERAL:Huge performance improvements. The performance shouldn’t decrease over time now. 
New: Weather system version 1.0. The sky is now more dynamic, with giant clouds blocking the sun, and rain all over the world of Wolcen.

New: Dynamic weapon trails! The system is now fully fonctionnal. It will alow use to add nice trail effects to all weapons and skills using sets of particles. Most weapon particles are currently WIP. 
New: Once dead, you can only respawn in Amarth. Enemies will respawn. Every looted items on the ground will disappear.
New: Merchant purchases will now use gold limitation.
New: Active Effect for various magic icons (burn, open wound, movement speed) – Still WIP, some effects are not displaying icons at the moment.
Fixed various crashes involving enemies projectile 

 UI:
Improved: The HUD displaying loot icons is now running in 60 frame per second – Icon struttering is fixed.
Fixed: Waypoints name weren’t displayed on minimap.
Fixed : various bug displaying item details
New : Tooltip for Character Sheet details have been added
Improved: The Book tutorial will not appear out of the tutorial area
Fixed: Missing icons in the Passive Skill tree 

 LOCALIZATION:
Improved: English localization thanks to Squidcake!
New: Spanish localization by ldtime. Thank you ldtime!
New: French localization.
Fixed : A lot of missing strings have been replaced in both English and French. So Wolcen is now in English, Spanish, French, Chinese, German, and soon hungarian! Thanks to our awesome community. You guys you are doing a great job.  The fonts are work in progress. 

 GAMEPLAY:
Improved: Dead impulse is now more realistic. Most enemies doesn’t feel like weighing 20kg anymore.
New weapons to loot !
Improved: Enemies with elemental aura and affinity don’t have a permanent aura anymore – The effect is now active for a limited time, then disappears, and appears again (regular pulse)
Fixed a glitch allowing the player to move fast after a dodge (space bar) Greatly reduced bleed damage inflicted by butchers
Improved: Dialog boxes stay now 15secondes instead of 7.
Fixed: All enemies are now affected by the dead impulse (some of them were just falling on the ground).
Fixed: The player will never be blocked in a non walkable area (fixed – the previous patch was not 100% working) 

 ENVIRONMENT:
Improved: Optimize the polycount of the ferns by approximately 200%
Improved: Ennemies spawning on screen
New Megascans assets with an area reworked.

 CHARACTERS:
Fixed : Capes are now properly saved and loaded  

 ANIMATION: Various fixes for player animations
Ogre default attack modified

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details