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Thursday - January 29, 2015
Wednesday - January 28, 2015
Tuesday - January 27, 2015
Monday - January 26, 2015
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Sunless Sea

2015-01-26

Sunless Sea Preview

Soulbane delves into the unforgiving Sunless Sea, the dread-inducing Steampunk roguelike coming February 6.
» Continue reading the article...

Rain of Reflections

2015-01-25

Rain of Reflections Short Q&A

We had the chance to interview Lionbite Games to try, and get more information on their new Cyberpunk RPG game Rain of Reflections.
» Read the article

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Picture Watch

Chaos Chronicles
Box Art

Poll Watch

The Best Bard's Tale Game?
The Bard's Tale (1985)
24.24%

The Bard's Tale II
21.21%

The Bard's Tale III
24.24%

The Bard's Tale (2004)
30.3%

Vote

Thursday - January 29, 2015

Guild Wars 2 - Interview @ PC Gamer

by Couchpotato, 04:17

If you're intrusted in reading a new interview with two founders of ArenaNet then head on over to PC Gamer, where they talk about the latest Guild Wars 2 expansion.

PC Gamer: Are you pleased with the reaction to the announcement?

Mike O'Brien: Definitely. We just had a fan gathering last night and got to hang out with a lot of Guild Wars players. Honestly, players are thrilled with what they saw yesterday. It's such a pleasure to hang out with them right now.

PCG: This expansion is unusual in that the lead-up has been almost two years in the making. Do you think it's going to be hard to balance the needs of players who've played all Living World episodes, returning players who have maybe only completed the main story, and any new players coming to the game for the first time? A lot has happened.

Mike: Well definitely a lot's happened. One great thing about Living World: Season Two is that anyone can play Living World: Season Two. Even down the road people can play Season Two. Certainly, right now, I recommend that anybody who's excited about Heart of Thorns should get into the game and play episode eight. Episode eight weaves right into the story of Heart of Thorns. Anybody who wants to set up for themselves what the story of Heart of Thorns is, play it now.

Guild Wars 2

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

Details

Citizens of Earth - Chasing Earthbound is Hard

by Couchpotato, 04:13

HardcoreGamers's Thomas Ella has published an opinion piece where he talks about how Citizens of Earth proved that chasing Earthbound is harder than it looks.

It’s not that it’s a bad game; I read our review and I find little to disagree with. The game is filled to the brim with funny dialogue and offers a pretty fantastic take on modern Americana. It also streamlines many of the less appealing aspects of RPGs; I feel no compulsion to grind – if anything, I feel like I’m over-leveled. Recruiting more citizens to my party is more often satisfying than not, even if I see no reason to change over from the first three I recruited. Everything Citizens of Earth does is “pretty good,” and it would absolutely win an “Earthbound Spirit Award” if we had one, but something’s missing.

I want more games to try to be EarthboundCitizens of Earth is appeals to people exactly like me, acting as a sort of Earthbound highlight reel. For the most part, it succeeds. Its wiggling, hallucinogenic battle backdrops send me straight back to my childhood. Its pun-filled dialogue makes me snort with laughter and snap screenshots for later. Its outrageous character design never fails to make me smile. But there’s more to Earthbound than hitting cops with a yo-yo. Your mom isn’t just there to embarrass you – she’s always ready to send you her love by wire and keep the homesickness at bay. There’s a lot of admiration for Earthbound in Citizens of Earth, but there’s just not enough heart.

Citizens of Earth

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

Details

Wednesday - January 28, 2015

StarCrawlers - Beta Access Has Started

by Couchpotato, 10:53

Juggernaut Games announces on the kickstarter page for StarCrawlers that Beta Access has now started for certain backers, and give details on whats included.

We released the first Beta build with a wave of SendOwls on Jan. 24th. We’ll be using SendOwl to provide routine updates moving forward, so keep an eye out for them. We’re zeroing in on a Steam Early Access date too. 

Builds will also be sent to Humble Bundle to update the widget. We will discontinue use of the dashboard on our site - no more login required to grab the latest build. Thanks so much to our current beta testers for the bug reports and feedback you've been providing! It's an invaluable resource for the team and has really helped us to weed out and eliminate issues.

Please note: the latest build of the Beta will always be the same whether you are accessing it through SendOwl, Humble Bundle, or Steam. The only difference is how you choose to get your hands on it! Please make sure your email address is up to date to ensure you receive your SendOwl updates. Contact us at elena@juggernaut-games.com for any changes.

StarCrawlers

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

Details

DA:Inquisition - In Praise Of Long Games

by Couchpotato, 05:22

Frobes has a new article from Contributor Dave Thier who praises DA:Inquisition for its huge open world, and game length. I agree with him but what about all of you?

The game has been criticized for being too long, but I think that the length is exactly what makes this game so successful. Dragon Age is a silly game in a lot of ways. The villain is basically a stick figure with an angry face painted on it. Neither the world nor the characters are as engaging as other recent fantasy epics like Skyrim or Divinity: Original Sin, or Bioware’s other major franchise, Mass Effect. The combat is fine, mostly, but far from exceptional. It does what it needs to do in a workmanlike and competent fashion. But it’s this sprawling, unmanageable structure that gives it the feeling of completeness, lulling you into that rare spot where you actually feel like you can live in a different world. You come to know the characters not like you would your closest friends, but like you would your co-workers: the intimacy that comes with just sort of being there, all the time.

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

Details

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Small News Roundup

by Couchpotato, 05:17

Here is another small news roundup from today for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Up first I have a new YouTube video with more gameplay that was releasd today.

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New Witcher: Wild Hunt gameplay video featuring segments from the game prologue and Skellige islands.

Next I have a new interview from PC Gamer with Level Designer Miles Tost.

PC Gamer: From your perspective, what needs to be done before you sell The Witcher 3?

Miles Tost, Level Designer: There are some small hiccups here and there that still need to be addressed to make for a thoroughly smooth experience. One of the bigger things we’re aware of is the horse, which is probably our main thing that we are working on. Actually, the cool thing about that is that this is one of the main complains of the people, and not, for example, the story. People are not saying, “Alright, the story sucks.” They’re saying the horse controls could be better, which, for us, that’s something that’s perfectly manageable to fix within the time that we have. Like, revamping the entire story or something? That would not be really possible.

Another thing is, of course, the performance hiccups you can see time to time. Those are basically—they’re no-brainers, essentially, right. They need to go. And that’s something we should also very well be able to deal with until launch.

And thanks  to Thrasher I have another article from PC Gamer about DLC.

CD Projekt Red announced in November plans to release 16 pieces of DLC for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt at no charge. Nothing too big—horse armor (seriously), alternate beards and hairstyles, that sort of thing—but according to co-founder and CEO Marcin Iwiński, enough to make a "statement" against the trend toward high-priced, low-content DLC.

Witcher 3

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

Details

Dragonís Dogma Online - New Free-to-play Game

by Couchpotato, 05:10

Those of us wanting a PC release of Dragon Dogma are out of luck as Capcom has announced a new Online Free-to-play version instead for console & pc players.

Dragon’s Dogma Online is similar to previous entries terms of combat. Clinging attacks remain present. Players will battle against big enemies in dramatic battles, and monsters can become enraged, leading to fiercer attacks.

As for jobs, those currently confirmed in the game include the Fighter, Hunter, Priest, and Shield Sage. Players will be able to change their jobs whenever they like, as well as the jobs of their pawns.

Character creation has seen an upgrade. The number of sections and parts you can edit has been considerably increased. Crafting mechanics are also present. Pawns can make things like consumables, weapons, armor. Pawns can also work together to shorten crafting time and increase overall build quality.

The game is open-world, and that open-world will be expanded little-by-little via large-scale updates launched seasonally. Bigger missions where up to eight players can participate are implied to be coming in one of these updates. Time-exclusive quests are also planned.

Found on Gematsu.

General News

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

Details

Spiderweb Games - New Avadon Game

by Couchpotato, 05:06

Once again Kordanor has provided me with an update from the latest newsletter from Spiderweb Games with information Avadon III will be the next game to get released.

In this newsletter is a small section called "what is next":

"We're about to start porting Avernum 2 to iPad. Then, when that is done, we will begin to complete the Avadon trilogy. If you are looking for something fun to play on the iPad in the meantime, Avernum: Escape From the Pit HD is a lot of fun"

So next in line is Avadon 3

Spiderweb Games

Details

Armello - Early Access Review @ RPS

by Couchpotato, 05:01

Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Marsh Davies published an early review of Armello based off the latest Early Access version on Steam this month. Here is a short sample.

I expect the devs have been thinking about this game for quite a bit longer than I have and could come up with a long list of reasons why things are the way they are. All the same, there is definitely something throttling the potential of Armello to be a good deal more dynamic and exciting than it is, even if I’ve failed to pinpoint that flaw. But if the devs’ design chops are on par with their artistic and musical talents, six months should be time enough to find it.

Armello

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

Details

InSomnia - Post-Funding Update # 25

by Couchpotato, 04:58

The next post-funding update for InSomnia was posted last week with information on the games development,, and more details on weapon modifications.

Finally for today, I would like to apologize for not answering all of your emails or Kickstarter messages for far too long. Today, we answered all the messages that we got so far, and if you failed to get an answer from us, please feel free to contact us via Kickstarter or by email: samasta.ikar@gmail.com We will certainly respond to you. However, please be patient, as you can imagine we’re getting a huge amount of questions from our community and since we cannot afford to hire a team of professional community managers and we are spending all of our time and money to keep the promise that we gave to you during our Kickstarter campaign: to ship the game with a storyline containing 15-20 hours of gameplay by the end of 2015 – beginning of 2016. We’re aiming to keep our promise without delays.

InSomnia

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

Details

Mass Effect 4 - More Game Rumors

by Couchpotato, 04:55

Onlysp has more game rumors this week for the next Mass Effect game. They claim the game will be at E3 2015, and the release date will be sometime in 2016.

We know that a new Mass Effect is in development, and just a few months ago we were shown some glimpses of concept art from the game, but until now we haven’t really heard much about the game itself. According to Shinboi, that’ll change at E3 this year.

This isn’t exactly all the unexpected, however, considering we reported in May 2014 that the game was about halfway through its development stage. This, may or may not have changed since that time as game development is a constantly changing process, but all signs are pointing towards an E3 2015 reveal. Normally we’d say this is a no brainer, but with many supposed big E3 reveals coming and going over the last couple years, you never really know for sure anymore. Fallout 4 anyone?

With the release of Dragon Age: Inquisition out of the way, there’s now reportedly over 200 people working on the next Mass Effect and the game has entered full production stages.

As for a release date, it would seem that Bioware is aiming for a 2016 release. I would imagine though that the game is still far from completion, and will probably release around the same time Dragon Age: Inquisition did in 2014, which would be late in the year.

BioWare

Details

The Memory of Eldurim - Weekly Dev Streams

by Couchpotato, 04:50

LiminalGames has two more Weekly Dev Streams to go along with the updates on Steam. Now I usually post the updates on Steam, but miss the videos so here you go.

The first video is from January 10th about Camping and Questing

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The second video is from January 17th about the games future.

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The Memory of Eldurim

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

Details

Starpoint Gemini 2 - Postmortem @ Gamasutra

by Couchpotato, 04:44

Mario Mihokovic the  CEO of Little Green Men Games posted a new Postmortem article on Gamasutra about his studios latest game called Starpoint Gemini 2 .

To be completely honest, our past six years of making games are the best years of my life. I have never done something so creative and something so liberating. Along the way we came in contact with such awesome people that share the same passion. It really changed our perspective on the gaming world, and gamers themselves.

On a business side of the job, it is far harder than we anticipated. Criteria for today's industry is incredibly high, competition is intense, and the required funds for development are very high. But we are still learning, and if Starpoint Gemini 1 achieved 40% of our original goal, then Starpoint Gemini 2 took it to about 70%, and we're still on it improving it daily.

My dream, our dream, is to fight for a chance to make one title in such a way that no compromise is neccessary. Just one chance to make 100% of the vision we have in our heads. Today, after years of intense cooperation with tens of thousands of players, that vision is pretty much in line with that of many space game players. Our next task is to improve the current game, and make it so good that it becomes our ticket to embark on that next mission. SPG1 was exploring what Earth has to offer. SPG2 took us to visit the planets of solar system. Now it is time to look at the stars once again and travel to, as captain J. T. Kirk once said: "third star to the left..."

Starpoint Gemini 2

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Tales of Aravorn - Review @ Chalgyr's

by Couchpotato, 04:36

Nick of Chalgyr's Game Room published a new review for Tales of Aravorn. He gave the game a 7.25/10 because it meets its goals, and provides fun for the player.

Tales of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf does a nice job of blending two genres I enjoy a great deal and coming out of it with an entertaining game. The characters really help to elevate the story and the combat and RPG elements make this a more entertaining experience for those who want more from their games than to just read a bunch of text and click some options now and then along the way. This is the sort of hybrid game that could encourage people to give visual novels more of a chance than they might otherwise be included to do. Seasons Of The Wolf will not be for everyone due to its somewhat slow pace and lack of AAA production values, but should resonate with gamers who enjoy a good tale and strategic combat.

Tales of Aravorn

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

Details

Blackguards 2 - Video Guide #1

by Couchpotato, 04:28

Daedalic Entertainment released the first of four new video guides for Blackguards 2 today. The new videos will show whats new in the game, and give some useful tips.

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Blackguards 2

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

Details

Kingdom Come: Deliverance - New Screenshots

by Couchpotato, 04:25

The Facebook page for Kingdom Come: Deliverance has some new screenshots.

Probably the best screenshots from the Early Alpha we have seen so far! Thanks to tzzsmk for making them!

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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

Details

Worlds of Magic - New Diplomacy Update

by Couchpotato, 04:21

Wastelands Interactive released a new build of Worlds of Magic on Steam.

New (2463:2464) build is up and this is the first build where we are wrapping the AI together to provide you best experience.

In this particular one, we have focused on DIPLOMACY, so we would really appreciate your feedback regarding this part. How do you feel the AI behaves and responses for your actions and offers.

Please share the bugs and share your thoughts, especially in that matter.

Full changelog can be found here.

Worlds of Magic

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

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - Update 6 Guide

by Couchpotato, 04:18

A new post on the Elder Scrolls Online webpage has a guide for the games next update which will add what the developers call the new Justice System.

Justice is coming to Tamriel. In Update 6, your character can participate in a variety of criminal activities, from thievery to murder. But will the rewards be worth the risk? Can you manage to commit your crimes without being caught, or will you face harsh penalties at the hands of the guards?

 

Elder Scrolls Online

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

Details

Tuesday - January 27, 2015

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Wins Award for Portrayal of LGBT characters

by Aries100, 22:07

Bioware's Dragon Age: Inquisition has won yet another award. The game won GLAAD's Special Recognition Award for its portrayal of LGBT characters:

GLAAD cites Dragon Age: Inquisition's "many complex and unique LGBT characters prominently integrated throughout the game" as the reason for its inclusion in the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, according to a statement released yesterday.
The Special Recognition Award is reserved for "outstanding media projects for which there is not a competitive category." Video games do not have their own category in GLAAD's annual awards. 

GLAAD is a media advocacy organization.


Thanks to k1rage at the Bioware DAI forums for finding this.

 

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

Details

Shadowrun: Hong Kong - More Updates

by Couchpotato, 07:52

Harebrained Schemes posted two more updates for Shadowrun: Hong Kong this week.

 What does a Game Producer do anyway?

We had a rockin' weekend, didn't we? Lots of great discussion on the board, lots of cool new people joined the project (welcome y'all!), and we're getting close to hitting our Revamped Matrix goal!

Per your request, here's another peek behind the scenes at the folks making your game. We enjoy sharing our process with you and appreciate your interest in how HBS makes games. 

And of course the more important update is about the Matrix stretch goal.

The Matrix Unlocked

Now that we’ve hit our funding goal for the Revamped Matrix, we thought you’d like to hear a bit more about what we’re planning. As we said, our goal is to evolve the gameplay along with the look & feel of the Matrix in Shadowrun: Hong Kong. Overall, we want the decker’s gameplay to feel like dangerous legwork, investigation, and hacking. One of the ways we hope to achieve this is with increased opportunities for risk & reward. The more chances you take outside the scope of achieving your core objectives, the more potential benefit to you… and the greater chance of being discovered. Combat will still be a factor, but it won’t be your entire Matrix experience.

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

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

Details

Kingdom Come - Story Details @ OnlySP

by Couchpotato, 06:46

Along with the details about sieges this week OnlySP has also posted information about how the different acts in Kingdom Come: Deliverance will work together.

Each act of Czech developer Warhorse Studios’ upcoming Kingdom Come: Deliverance will have a complete storyline as well as an overarching narrative, according to head of communications Jiří Rýdl.

The medieval, open-world RPG is planned to release in three acts, following the journey of a young blacksmith in a land ravaged by war.

Speaking about the interactions between the acts, Rýdl said:

"The acts are a little bit like Harry Potter. There is a story running through each one that resolves itself, but some questions remain unanswered and the story continues. The best way to experience Kingdom Come: Deliverance is to play all three acts from the beginning, but you don’t have to. There will be new locations, new quests and new NPCs in every time, so there is plenty of stuff to do. We’re estimating that it will take players 20-30 hours of gameplay to complete an act."

Kingdom Come promises to be “a true, hardcore RPG”, and has raised over $2.2m from more than 44,000 backers. Moving on to talk about the implications of success for the franchise, Rýdl stated that it’s not all about the money, but giving players what they want, saying:

"The financial aspect is always important, not just because of the income, but because it’s a measurement of interest. If no one is buying or playing Act I, then what would be the reason to work on Act II? But we definitely hope for the best."

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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

Details

Pillars of Eternity - Video Interview @ The Know

by Couchpotato, 06:42

Josh Sawyer, the Project Director of Pillars of Eternity did a new ten minute video interview at Pax South 2014 this week with a YouTube channel called The Know.

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Pillars of Eternity

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Preview @ Digitally Downloaded

by Couchpotato, 06:37

Matt Sainsbury of Digitally Downloaded notified me of a new preview for Witcher 3, and writes he tried to do the preview differently than others sites this week.

The media was recently afforded the opportunity to sit down for a couple of hours to experience the opening sequence in The Witcher 3 ahead of its February release. We were ushered into a room, given controllers and set down to play through the opening tutorial and visit the game's first tiny hamlet to complete a few missions and side quests.

At the end of the time I looked around, and everyone else had made far more progress through the story than I had. It wasn't because I found the game difficult, though it's clearly going to be able to offer a sharp challenge to experienced players. It wasn't because I was too busy soaking in the atmosphere, though to be sure the environments were gorgeous and demanded more than a few slow pans of the camera.

Witcher 3

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

Details

Legends of Eisenwald - Balance in a Tactical RPG

by Couchpotato, 06:33

Aterdux Entertainment's posted another development update this week for Legends of Eisenwald that has information how the developer balances their Tactical RPG.

Recently players asked us how many man-hours we spent working on the game balance. The question seemed interesting and we tried our best to work out an estimate. In the end, it’s pretty hard to even find a close approximate. All members of our small team work on multiple tasks and it’s pretty difficult to pinpoint the hours spent in any one thing. Problems are solved as they appear and at other times we work on our specific tasks. As an approximate we could say that, Dmitry Goncharov, who had to deal primarily with balancing, spent anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 hours working on it. Though it is wise to note that Dmitry didn’t think that was accurate at all! He didn’t even try to name a number and simply explained the way it works.

Legends of Eisenwald

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

Details

Chris Avellone - New Interview @ XP4T

by Couchpotato, 06:28

Chris Avellone did a new five page interview this week on XP4T.

As the Creative Director of Obsidian Entertainment, Chris Avellone is one of the most well known and respected writers in the games industry, responsible for such classic CRPGs as Planescape: Torment, Knights of the Old Republic 2, Fallout: New Vegas, and Alpha Protocol. We were honored when he agreed to answer some questions for us, but how to make the most of this opportunity? Why not enlist another games writer to interrogate interview Mr. Avellone .

We reached out to Jonas Wæver, Creative Director of the small Danish indie game studio Logic Artists, who wrote the script for the CRPG Expeditions: Conquistador. It transpired that Jonas is a big fan of Chris’s work, and he sent us some questions to relay to Mr. Avellone. A lot of questions. Too many questions, frankly.

Obsidian Entertainment

Details

DA:Inquisition - Tavern Songs Giveaway

by Couchpotato, 06:24

Bioware is allowing anyone to download the tavern songs from Dragon Age: Inquisition for free on the games website until February 9, 2015. I actually enjoyed some of them.

Even an Inquisitor needs some downtime for relaxing once in a while. If you've indulged in the opportunity at Skyhold's tavern to enjoy a break from the demons and Venatori, chances are you've heard some of the bard's lovely songs. Although bards do perform to entertain travelers, they also serve a greater purpose: to carry the tales of triumph and tragedy across the land.

We've received many inquiries from our fans asking where they can get these songs, and we're thrilled that you're enjoying them as much as we do. As our way of saying thank you for being the awesome community that you are, we're excited to announce that for the next two weeks, you can download these songs from a desktop computer free of charge!

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

Details

Avernum 2: Crystal Souls - Review @ Dealspwn

by Couchpotato, 06:20

Dealspwn has the next review this week for Avernum 2: Crystal Souls, and the reviewer gave the game a final score of 8/10. Here is a short sample why he did.

The Short Version: Avernum 2: Crystal Souls is an enormous, expansive and peerlessly written RPG that succeeds both on the strength of its world and its innovative campaign structure. So long as you're willing to read and exercise a little imagination, that is. Spiderweb have refined their winning formula over the last two decades and the result is pure roleplaying quality.

Avernum 2: Crystal Souls

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

Details

Underworld Ascendant - New Interview

by Couchpotato, 06:15

Forum member Xian sent me a link to new interview with Paul Neurath on GameWatchers where he talks about his studio's upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

GameWatcher: Was the intention always to run a Kickstarter campaign for Underworld Ascendant? Was that your planned model from day one?

Paul Neurath: Well last Fall we as a team talked about how we could bring this project to the fans. I did have a chance to talk to Richard Garriott, Chris Roberts, Brian Fargo, other people who have used the system very successfully. This is all kind of new to me, so I had to learn what it was all about. We ended up making the decision to take this to Kickstarter because we felt that as an indie studio we wanted to see our vision through, take some creative risks like we did with the original game. I think that’s a big part of being a game designer, not just making prettier graphics and more of the same content. I hope there’s a lot of gamers out there who appreciate some innovation and risk-taking, and also want to be involved in all that. Rarely do fans get to feel part of that process.

There’s an unknown of course, we don’t know exactly how things will turn out, but that’s no different from any other project I’ve worked on over the years. You need some space to be creative and to experiment, and Kickstarter is a larger part of reaching out to fans and inviting them into that process. Sometimes it’s messy and unpredictable, but it can be a lot of fun. Previously there’s always been a wall between us and the fans, but now we can distribute early builds, ask for feedback, ask what they want in the game. That’s great. It’s better for us to have the fans right there from the start.

Underworld Ascendant

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

Details

Raven's Cry - Release Date Pushed Back

by Couchpotato, 06:10

Well all the information from the developer about A January 26th release for Raven's Cry was wrong once again.. The delay was announced yesterday on Steam.

We need a few (this time really only 4) days more to implement some features wanted by the community.

We also got a new update about the games DRM.

We decided to change the (if you still want to call it like this) DRM of the Raven's Cry Steam version.Each game will receive a Serial Key and with this key you optional register the game. And activation or any other action is not required.

And if you still feel down here are a few new gameplay videos. Before I end the news-bit thank you Joxer, and Gabriel for the information and links.

Raven's Cry

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

Details

Mage's Initiation - Polar Vortex 2015 Update

by Couchpotato, 06:03

Himalaya Studios finally posted a new post-funding update for Mage's Initiation that has information on the progress of the game. Hopefully they don't fall behind again.

Polar Vortex 2015

Greetings, mages, magesses, and familiars! We hope that the Fire Mages have been putting in overtime for you if you’re in the northern hemisphere. Between some major illnesses and housing troubles among team members that transpired over the last few months, this update has been incredibly delayed and we’re sorry about that. However, you’ll be pleased to find out we’re quite on track with the game!

General Progress Report

There's nothing scientific about these figures. They're our best estimates on where we currently stand in the grand game development scheme. Nevertheless, when one knows that the light at the end of a tunnel is rapidly approaching, one finds it far easier to gauge how close said light really is. So while these figures contain not a shred of scientific analysis (not even from a magical measurement spell) it's safe to say they are accurate guesstimates:

Writing & Design: 99%

Background Artwork & Animations: 95% 

Character Animations: 93% 

Music: 80% 

Sound Effects: 15% 

Voices: 0% 

Adventure Game Programming: 90% 

Combat System Programming: 95% 

RPG/Stats/Equipment Programming: 85% 

And for the RPG fans who are so hardcore, they need stats about stat-raising game, here are the latest AGS engine assets being used.

AGS Game Engine Assets & Stats  

Total sprites: 17203 / 30000

Sprite folders: 789  

Total views: 745  

Total GUIs: 68  

Inventory Items: 300 / 300 (our custom inventory system is dynamic, we have over 300 items)

Characters: 194 

Dialog topics: 402 / 500 

(Yes, some of these figures went backwards from our last update. This is due to us deleting unused assets and/or the streamlining process of refining certain scenes and removing any wordy or clunky sections that didn't work well to convey the story.)

At this rate, we will be aiming for a May or June beta sans voice acting!

Mage's Initiation

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

Details

Guild Wars 2 - Heart of Thorns Wrap-Up

by Couchpotato, 05:58

Dealspwn's Carl Phillips has rounded up all the details of the new expansion for Guild Wars 2 called Heart of Thorn. It was announced two days ago at Pax South 2014.

For fans of Guild Wars 2, last weekend was kind of a big deal. You see, it has been nearly two and a half years since the MMO sequel released, and despite some hiccups along the way it’s quite clear that their lateral approach to pretty much every genre convention has helped keep it enjoyable, eventful and, most importantly, relevant. It’s all in our colossal review from 2012. Since then, it has been one of the more regularly updated MMOs out there thanks to consistent content updates alongside the Living Story – the second season having demonstrated to its peers how to deliver an involving and interesting narrative.

That’s not too bad for an MMO that doesn’t have a subscription to keep the coffers full, but it was certainly time for something new to be thrown into the virtual world of Tyria. The rumour and speculation mill has been running rampant for weeks, with fellow writers theorising on what Heart of Thorns would be. The popular theory was an Expansion Pack, but because ArenaNet are not known for doing things traditionally it was clear that it wouldn’t be that simple. A new level cap? A new class? A new level of loot grind to chase after, thus leaving the old content in the dust?

As the reveal at PAX East showed, ArenaNet laugh in the face of linear thinking and once again provided a lateral approach to expansions with Heart of Thorns.

Guild Wars 2

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

Details

Transistor - Neoseeker's Game of the Year

by Couchpotato, 05:49

Transistor has earned another Game of the Year award this time from Neoseeker.

In the past few weeks Lydia Sung and I have highlighted the ten nominees that Neoseeker's editorial team decided on for our Game of the Year award for 2014. Each spotlight felt like opening a door into who we are and what we believe in as critics in the video game industry. The nomination process itself is, and you might be surprised by this, a grueling and exhausting endeavor. Yet after the nominees are decided, a sense of serenity takes over. This is perfect. It really could not be any different.

Then we do the process all over with just ten nominees. Recently Lydia and I took to a voice call and recorded our deliberations as we ranked each of our nominees from ten up to number one. One game, having survived a gauntlet of direct comparisons to 2014's best and most amazing games, comes through at the end. One game that we feel best represents Neoseeker and ourselves. This is our example of what games should be -- need to be -- in 2014 and beyond.

That game is Transistor

Lydia's written already on why Transistor belongs here and I certainly can't match that in another paragraph. All that needs to be said is that Transistor is a stunningly beautiful game, no matter which direction you look at it. There's purpose in every design decision, intent in every dotted "i".  What is the Transistor? It's in the asking and answering of this question where Lydia and I fell in love with Supergiant Games' second title. With the way it grabbed onto us, there's really no letting go.

Transistor

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

Details

Serpent in the Staglands - Audio Interview

by Couchpotato, 05:46

Another update this week on Steam has information from the games developer Whalenought Studios about a new audio interview with Fragments of Silicon.

Adam Dayton had us as a guests on his podcast, and had fun talking about some previous work, designing Serpent in the Staglands, the lost art of crpgs in modern games and finding power armor in Fallout.

Really nice guys, check it out!

Available on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/fragments-of-silicon/id747215884?mt=2

And web player here (we start ~8:30 mark):

http://t.co/DuQp3QoiLh

Serpent in the Staglands

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

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - Hardcore Fans Are Angry

by Couchpotato, 05:42

Shane Scarbrough of the Skyrim Fansite is the next person to write about the changes for Elder Scrolls Online this month, and he points out why fans are angry. 

Final Thoughts

After the Skyrim Fansite published an earlier article touching on some of this post’s themes (“The Elder Scrolls Online Will Be Free To Play: Fans Are Freaking Out“), I was asked by a few readers what my personal feelings were regarding the change…

So here you go:

  • Like many others, I was surprised at the announcement. I knew (or thought I knew) ZOS’s position regarding their P2P business model. During the last year in fact, I found myself put in the position of having to defend the reasons for a subscription-based model in this very blog. Early on, our readers wanted ESO to be free to play, and most likely still do today.
  • Personally, I like ESO the way it is now, and don’t mind paying the subscription fee. I feel the P2P model helped fill the Community with mature gamers, and provided an environment for ZOS to stop the bots and spammers that once plagued the game shortly after release.
  • Even though I’d prefer that the business model didn’t change (purely selfish reasons), I appreciate the fact that sub fees are a huge barrier to console gamers and others. I also appreciate that ZOS needs to make money. Lots of money. I don’t begrudge ZOS their profits. B2P may help bring in thousands of new players, and may be just what is needed to keep the game I love going strong now and into the future.
  • Changing from P2P to B2P may not be as dire as a lot of my fellow hardcore gamers think. B2P may actually be a welcome success — bringing in good gamers (both PC and console) who under the old sub model wouldn’t or couldn’t play. Having to actually buy a copy of the game (and DLC) may provide the barrier needed to keep the botters, spammers, and trolls out of the game.
  • As long as ZOS doesn’t transition The Elder Scrolls Online to “play to win,” I truly believe the Community and the game itself will be just fine. I sympathize with the anger of my fellow hardcore players, but I believe we need to keep calm and game on. Change is coming, and change may bring danger. True enough, but change may also bring opportunity, and we should never forget that.

That’s my two septims, but how do you feel about this issue?

Elder Scrolls Online

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

Details

Monday - January 26, 2015

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Massive Hype Roundup

by Couchpotato, 17:25

Yes you read the title right as I lost track of the amount of articles, and other media related news-bits over the last year.  So if you have time here is a new roundup.

So to get started here is a list of links to a bunch of new previews.

  1. PCWorld
  2. Rock,Paper, Shotgun
  3. GameTrailers
  4. Destructoid
  5. GameSpot
  6. IGN
  7. Stevivor
  8. Eurogamer
  9. GameInformer
  10. VG247
  11. Gamereactor
  12. Hardcore Gamer
  13. OnlySP

Next DSO Gaming has three new gameplay videos to watch.

YouTube’s ‘GohaMedia’ has shared three videos from the latest build of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, showing off 15 minutes of new gameplay footage. Our guess is that this is the gameplay footage CD Projekt RED promised to share today, therefore go ahead and enjoy the videos while you still can!

Lets not forget two more interviews I found this week.

  1. Connecte Digital World
  2. Hardcore Gamer

And to complete the roundup here is more screenshots.

Witcher 3

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

Details