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RPGWatch

2016-02-01

Game of the Year Awards 2015 - Most Promising RPG

Like every year, you also got to vote for Most Promising RPG of 2016. Check out the details to find out what games we and our visitors think are most promising.
» Continue reading the article...

RPGWatch

2016-01-28

Game of the Year Awards 2015 - Best RPG

The RPGWatch team and our visitors have cast their votes for the best RPG of 2015. Check out the details to find out what games made it to the top three.
» Read the article

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Recently Released

Feb: XCOM 2
Feb: Sorcery!
Feb: Aveyond 4
Feb: Tales of Symphonia
Jan: Crashlands

Expected Releases

Feb: PoE: The White March 2
Feb: Acaratus
Feb: Balrum
Feb: Disgaea
Mar: Dishonored 2

Wednesday - February 10, 2016

Divinity: Original Sin II - Here is Bobby!

by Hiddenx, 19:42

Swen introduces Borislav "Bobby" Slavov - Larian's new music director:

Music to your Ears 

Last year we lost Kirill Pokrovsky, a brilliant composer and dear friend. While Kirill will be a part of every game we make, the time has come to pass the mantle to another musical genius. Since our ambitions for the music in Divinity:Original Sin 2 are very high, it took a while but today we're happy to report that we found the perfect fit for the job.

Today, we would proudly like to introduce you to Borislav “Bobby” Slavov!

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Edit by Gorath: Borislav has been an active part of the RPGWatch community for a whole decade. Congratulations to Borislav and Larian Studios for a cooperation which looks like a perfect fit.

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Edge Of Eternity - NPC System

by Myrthos, 14:00

An update for Edge of Eternity shows the new (under development) NPC system in action.

We are working on a intent system for the NPCs that will create realistic behaviors and interact with the environment. It’s an huge thing to create but it’s very important to us. We think it’s important for the journey of our characters and for our players to see how the world lives and that means NPC with credible willpower.

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Edge Of Eternity

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

Details

Epocylipse: The Afterfall - Formally Announced

by Myrthos, 13:53

Razor Edge Games, who are developing the post apocalyptic RPG Epocylipse: The Afterfall, have decided to start the media campaign for their game.

Calling all RPG Gamers: Epocylipse the AfterFall has Arrived

Phoenix, Arizona - February 12, 2016 - It's time to customize your own role playing adventure in a huge open world, non-linear, procedurally generated game. Razor Edge Games introduces Epocylipse the AfterFall, a brand new role playing experience that breaks away from the "kill everything you see mentality" that has now become expected for digital RPG style games. Get ready for a more realistic approach to gaming in an exciting post-apocalyptic environment.

Epocylipse the AfterFall features detailed artificial intelligence, jaw dropping graphics, cinematic camera angles, along with a 100+ hours of gameplay and thousands of locations to discover. Combine this with a totally customizable game rule set, character aging, skill based gameplay and everyone is able to uniquely experience the game and make it their own. These are just some of the features in this dangerous but believable post-apocalyptic world rife with feral humans, mutated insects, toxic plants, where getting your character killed really matters.

Razor Edge Games founder, Mike Weiser, disenchanted with where modern role playing games were going, designed the first tabletop version of the Epocylipse game. In his own words he says, "Early in 2006 I decided to start to write a game that I could play solo or with friends, but also have an unending campaign that would allow me to play on even if they couldn't join me for specific play sessions. I wanted to design an RPG I always wanted to play, one that allowed me to experience the same feeling I had while playing a traditional table top game but without the need for a game master." Epocylipse the AfterFall is a true tabletop game come to life.

Developed by an international group of experienced game designers, cinematic executives and a host of passionate contributors, this game brings forth a new vision of what an RPG experience should be all about. Come discover the old world and explore the new one in Epocylipse the AfterFall.

For more information or any questions about the game please go to http://razoredgegames.com/. For the latest updates on game progress and for access to breathtaking new content, visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Epocylipseafterfall/

Epocylipse

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

Details

XCOM 2 - Review Roundup

by Myrthos, 13:01

Here are a bunch of reviews for XCOM 2.

GamesRadar, 4.5/5

Foibles aside, XCOM 2 is still a wonderfully engrossing strategy game that can very easily leave you spellbound throughout 2016 and beyond. The myriad of tactical options at your disposal - from new soldier classes to the various weapon upgrades - is delicately balanced against the ever-changing extraterrestrial monstrosities. You'll constantly discover new, better ways of honing your craft, and XCOM 2 will happily meet your challenge in kind.

Gamespot, 9

Every once in a while, however, XCOM 2's difficulty surpasses challenging, and becomes unfair. For the most part, enemies abide by the same restrictions we do. But sometimes, they shoot through walls and dodge point-blank shotgun bursts. The cards are already stacked against us in most campaigns, and part of the fun is overcoming those odds--but when the enemy AI ignores the rules, the game loses its appeal. Furthermore, XCOM suffers from certain technical glitches: the action halted during action-camera sequences, and in certain cases, I felt as if the game was overwhelmed. My soldiers' reaction shots didn't trigger when they should have, and enemies' attacks happened all at once, or weren't shown at all.

Eurogamer, Essential

Everywhere you look, you see the same kind of micro-surgical thinking. The game is always keen to see you moving promptly, acting before it's too late. The aliens are always up to something and there's always a big, red, doomsday-styled counter ticking away at the top of the screen. Why? Many of us, I expect, were guilty of holding off on assaulting the alien base in Enemy Unknown until we'd finished a few extra research projects, or kitted out our squad in just the way we liked. Despite being repeatedly told how urgently the planet required us to complete that mission, we did a bit of grinding first. It was all-out war, but did we really feel the pressure?

Gameinformer, 9.5

Rock Paper Shotgun, Recommended

PCGamer, 9.4

ShackNews, 8

IGN, 9.3

Polygon, 9

VG24/7,

Internation Business Times, 5/5

The Escapist, 4.5/5

GameTrailers

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XCOM 2

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

Details

BioWare - The Great Bioware Exodus

by Silver, 08:51

@Equityarcade, Matthew Loffhagen examines the exodus of Biowares creative talent and what it means for Bioware and the rpg industry at large.

In addition to losing many of its key staff members (including the company's founders, who departed shortly after the release of Mass Effect 3 in 2012), the studio has also announced the cancellation of several new projects in recent years, including Shadow Realms, a game which was intended to see release last year but which was ultimately canned.

All of this upheaval has led many speculators to wonder how much of the original company's creative spark remains intact.

The Canadian developer, known primarily for a long legacy of immersive choose-your-own-adventure style roleplaying games, was sold to Electronic Arts in 2007. Gamers noted that future titles from the studio were far more visually impressive, but lacked much of the depth that BioWare had previously been known for.

[...]

With so many key members of the BioWare team leaving for greener pastures, though, the studio's future is uncertain. As EA replace more key staff members, the original creative spark that made BioWare games unique becomes further diluted, as BioWare assimilates further into the EA brand.

Meanwhile, with so many veteran RPG makers moving to work on new projects with different companies, fans of the classics may be pleased to see more games emulating BioWare's storytelling style. Chris Wynn, for example, having left the Mass Effect franchise behind, has already found a place for himself working with Daybreak to produce H1-Z1, a zombie MMO. Similarly, Casey Hudson, the creator of the Mass Effect franchise, has joined the team working on Microsoft's HoloLens peripheral.

While the future of what's left of the BioWare company is anything but certain, it's likely that the next few years will see a variety of high quality games and technologies appearing from various corners of the gaming industry, as artists and writers who honed their creative skills at the legendary developer move on to grace other companies with their talents.

BioWare

Details

Firewatch - Released

by Hiddenx, 00:14

The mystery first person adventure Firewatch has been released:

Firewatch is a single-player first-person mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness.

The year is 1989. You are a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor Delilah is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio—your only contact with the world you've left behind. But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the forest, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

A Note: Firewatch is a video game about adults having adult conversations about adult things. If you plan on playing with a younger gamer, that might be good to know going in.

Includes

  • A stunningly beautiful wilderness environment that expands as you explore.
  • A tailor-made story: the choices you make shape the narrative and build relationships.
  • An edge-of-your-seat mystery.
  • Secrets and discoveries to be made over every hill.

Featuring

  • Living, breathing characters brought to life by Cissy Jones (The Walking Dead: Season 1) and Rich Sommer (Mad Men)
  • A spectacular wilderness environment by Olly Moss (Illustrator) and Jane Ng (The Cave, Brutal Legend)
  • A thrilling story and script by Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin (The Walking Dead: Season 1, Poker Night at the Inventory)
  • A stirring original soundtrack by Chris Remo (Gone Home)
  • Fluid first-person animation by James Benson (Ori & The Blind Forest)
  • Gameplay scripting and design work by Patrick Ewing (Twitter) and Nels Anderson (Mark of the Ninja)
  • Programming by Will Armstrong (Bioshock II), Ben Burbank (Costume Quest 2, Space Base DF-9), and Paolo Surricchio (Deadpool, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare)

General News

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

Details

Tuesday - February 09, 2016

Beamdog - David Gaider joins as Creative Director

by Silver, 23:59

Game Informer reports the former Bioware writer has been signed on as Creative Director. Baldurs Gate 3 confirmed?

In January, David Gaider surprised Dragon Age fans by announcing his departure from BioWare. Today, we know that he hasn't gone far.

Gaider announced that he has joined Beamdog as creative director. The company has released updated PC and mobile versions of both Balder's Gate games. Gaider was a writer on Baldur's Gate II.

A note on Beamdog's website details his new role:

We're very pleased to welcome David Gaider to the company as our new creative director. Originally we advertised for the position of senior writer, but when David contacted Trent about the position, we upgraded the role.

David is well known for his design and writing work on Baldur's Gate 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age: Origins. He brings 17 years of experience to our little team and we couldn't be happier to work with him. David will lead the writing team and direct new creative endeavors for the company.

Welcome, David!

With any luck, this might be the first part of an announcement Baldur's Gate fans have been waiting for since the second entry was released in 2000. In 2012, Beamdog producer Phillip Daigle indicated that if the Enhanced Editions performed well that there might be hope for a third game.

Beamdog

Details

7 Mages - On Greenlight

by Hiddenx, 14:06

Mobile devices are bringing back the old dungeon crawler subgenre. The dungeon crawler 7 Mages is now on Steam Greenlight:

The Story
Assume the role of a mage charged with protecting a village of poor peasants from raids by rogue mages intent on stealing their crops. Pushed to the limit, the peasants pool their last resources and set off to town to hire mages to protect their village. They find you, and your first task is to assemble a company of six other mages to help the poor villagers.

Game Style
Seven Mages is a grid-based dungeon crawler with a unique turn-based system of combat that allows you to split up your comrades to make the battles more tactical. The mages you control employ various types of powers, including elemental magic, magical maneuvers and unique musical magic.

Environments
Besides the crypts at the beginning, players also experience many other environments: they emerge to the surface of the town and into the surrounding forests; they sail on boats, wade through swamps and struggle across frozen mountain peaks. And there will be much more: dragon guts, sea bottom level, Storm city... every level has its own graphic environment. Each environment has unique enemies with different kinds of behavior that tactically change a battles.

Combats
Combats in Seven Mages are turn-based. In other words, while movement is free (i.e. in real time) when you are not engaged in battle, the game stops when a clash breaks out and the system switches to a turn-based regime. Here you can do one of six moves: perform magical maneuver with cold weapon, cast elemental spell, play magical song, reequip (or drink potion), move any party member, or defend.

Magical Maneuvers
A battle mage can use magic to force the weapon to do things that are against the laws of nature. There is a maneuver that sends your sword far ahead of you to cut an enemy there and then return to your hand. With spear or halberd there is a different maneuver that can extend the weapon (to more than twice its length), hit an enemy that’s two squares away and pull them closer to you (where you can finish them off). Ranged weapons on the other hand can shoot several projectiles at once, and with magic, one arrow can hit more than one enemy even if they’re not standing in a line.

Elemental Magic

To perform maneuvers or musical magic, you need an item (a weapon or an instrument). The difference between these two types of magic and elemental magic is that the latter does not need any item to cast. Besides the ever-popular fireball that all mages simply must have in their arsenal, there is also a spell that can set the ground around the mage on fire or a spell that calls thunderstorms on remote squares. There are also spells that can show you the strengths and weaknesses of an enemy, give you a hint if you’re stuck on a puzzle or show you a map of unknown territory. And there’s also the option to summon a party member.

Magical Songs
Seven Mages also introduce a heretofore unseen method of spellcasting in fantasy games. Instead of weapons, players hold a military drum, a horn or a fiery violin and play a magical song on them. Everyone within earshot feels the effects of the spell and becomes a stronger fighter; their arms and legs come alive with more speed or seas part in front of them. The same tune can be played by several heroes in the party at once, and as the music gets richer, the spell becomes stronger.

Early Access

The game was originally developed for mobile devices (iOS and Android) and it will hit App Store and Google Play on March 15. Once we get the green light, we will put the same version on Steam in Early Access, and then we will start working on further adjustments of the game for more advanced PC hardware. It means that the Early Access version will be already polished and fully playable. The only difference between Early Access and the full game will be prettier graphics of the PC version, as well as some minor adjustments in texts (we will remove all the 'taps' and 'swipes', etc.). Of course we will reflect any relevant user feedback.

In points

  • 14 unique environments
  • 28 types of enemies with different fight styles
  • 60 spells
  • Heavily tactical turn-based combat
  • Unique and previously unseen musical magic
  • New puzzles and twists in each level
  • Retro feeling in high-end graphics
  • Dozens hours of gameplay

    More info in: 7mages.net

 

7 Mages

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

Details

General News - Amazon Releases Free Game Engine

by Myrthos, 13:27

Amazon is making a free game development engine available, based on Crytek's CryEngine, which is named Lumberyard. Not only is it free, the source coude is also freely available. Integration with Twitch are already available and an integration with Oculus is coming.

Amazon makes money off the engine as it is closely integrated with Amazon Web Services, which is not free. That said, it is apparently possible for developers to integrate their own server.

Given that the engine uses AWS it is probably suited best for MMO type games.

General News

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

Details

Wanderer - Development Update

by Myrthos, 13:03

Two weeks ago a new development update for Wanderer was made available.

90% of the work I've been doing over the past two months is on the story front. I've spent 100's of hours at this point writing and rewriting the flow of the narrative, becoming familiar and comfortable with the characters, and fleshing out the history and backstory of the world, and I'm very happy with the result and where the story has wound up going!

It's definitely been an incredibly intense experience thus far, as to stay on schedule we really need to be out of pre-production by the 1st of February, which means all the foundations need to be laid so I can switch gears and focus fully on producing visual assets and animations full time. I absolutely would not be comfortable moving forward on the foundation of a story that I didn't think was coming together like I wanted, so to put it lightly I've been feeling the pressure. Now that I can see the light at the end of tunnel I can feel the load lighten a little bit and it's definitely a relief! :)

At this point, there's not a whole lot I can reveal about the details of the story, because I intend a large part of the game to be going into the experience somewhat blind, much like Rook himself, and experiencing and learning things first hand rather than through exposition. However, I would like to officially reveal something we haven't talked much about yet, which is that Wanderer will feature a second playable character with her own separate story line! Meet VALE Special Investigator Akira Saionji.....

Wanderer

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

Details

Moon Hunters - On Steam This Month

by Myrthos, 12:50

Moon Hunters is coming to Steam on the 25th of February.

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The good news is that the game is only 5 weeks (ed: since the 20th of January) away (for PC on Steam -- Mac and Linux to follow shortly after.. then certification begins on the PS4 version). The even more good news is that everything looks like it's pretty much on track!

It might feel long to you if you've been waiting for a while, but to us it seems like it's looming tomorrow and there's an infinite amount of little improvements we want to make...! We're trying not to panic...!

Moon Hunters

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

Details

Project Resurgence - Funded

by Myrthos, 12:45

Project Resurgence has been funded. With 39 hours to go, the counter is at $168K with a goal of $160K.

The next stretch goal is at $173K and is named 'Accessibility'.

Project Resurgence

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

Details

General News - GameTrailers has Closed

by Myrthos, 12:26

After 13 years, GameTrailers has now been shut down and everybody at GT has been laid off. I'm sure many of you have used GameTrailers in those 13 years and although there are many other outlets to use, they were one of the very first with game videos on the internet.

General News

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

Details

Darkest Dungeon - Interview @ Gamasutra

by Myrthos, 12:13

Gamasutra talked with Darkest Dungeon's producer and design director Tyler Sigman and creative director Chris Bourassa about their development process.

How much time have you spent working on the game so far?

Sigman: Chris and I did a lot of prepro via concept meetings and brainstorming sessions, so by the time we kicked off development, we at least had a pretty good idea of what we were trying to do. But we formally began development in April 2013. We Kickstarted in February 2014, Early Access’d in February 2015, and hit full release on January 19, 2016. We originally were aiming for about 18 months of development, but this being videogames, things have a way of stretching out!

Bourassa:  We spent a good year or so meeting up outside of our day jobs and talking through the design and structure of the game.  I still have those old sketchbooks - they’re packed full of screen layouts, fresh ideas, false starts, and breakthrough ‘eureka’ moments!

 

What was the toughest part about developing an Early Access game?

Sigman: It’s like a white knuckle rollercoaster ride. We’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of success, but we’ve had some tough moments, too. Developing in Early Access is like working while naked in a transparent cube suspended above Times Square. Your lows and highs are there for everyone to see. But that’s kind of the point, and DD is a stronger game for having gone through it. I remain extremely bullish on both Kickstarter and Early Access. But my advice is to make sure to swallow your Dramamine before taking the plunge.  Community management and live game support are things that take extra skillsets and resources beyond what is already hard enough: making a good game.

Darkest Dungeon

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

Details

Kingdom Come - Preview @ Segment Next

by Myrthos, 12:07

Segment Next chimes in with a preview of the alpha version of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, like with the below comments about combat (note that the article contains spoilers):

Kingdom Come: Deliverance was yet again staying true to its historical accuracy, and the nomadic Cumans of the latter stages of the medieval era seem to be centric to this catastrophe, and likely an integral part of the main plot of the game.

Inside lay dead bodies and a heavily wounded soldier, whose companion requested aid for his dying friend so that his final hours may be less painful.

In the hope of helping this man, I set to head back to Samopesh, but my attention was diverted by a military camp that trained medieval sword fencing. At the expense of a few coins, I was given a thorough lesson by a trainer on how to duel with a sword.

This was the core melee combat of Kingdom Come: Deliverance. It certainly swayed away from conventional mindless hack-and-slash fun we’re accustomed to seeing, and introduced a more tactical form of battle that was fairly sophisticated to learn and even more difficult to master.

The intensity of the combat came not from the blows (I was using a wooden training sword after all), but from the complexity of the task itself.

With intricacies such as timing your blocks and perfectly attacking unguarded parts of your foe either through wide slashes or powerful jabs, the sword fighting was admittedly overwhelming.

In my second playthrough I dedicated myself to become villainous, using every NPC as a practice dummy. I was a little underwhelmed how the normal guards failed to test my novice skills the way the trainer did, dying from a few amateurish jabs I executed without much thought.

I never truly met anyone equipped with a knight’s armor who would push me to the limits, but almost all the combat scenarios felt uncomfortably different from the exhaustive training where I learned the basics of fencing.

The melee combat certainly had overall potential, but the consistency of its application is questionable.

Kingdom Come

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

Details

CivCraft - Alpha Update

by Myrthos, 12:04

The early alpha version of CivCraft, which is only available to backers, has been updated and a next version is eminent.

We would first like to thank you for your suggestions and bug reports for us to improve CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria. We hope you all liked it, and since the release we already made some progress.One week have passed since the Pre-Alpha, and we’ve been working around the clock on the major issues with the earlier version. 

First thing we did was to address the biggest issue of all; the massive slow frame rate and CPU cost for running CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria. After a week of coding and optimizations, we’ve doubled the frame rate and speed of the game. In fact, we’ve optimized CivCraft more than expected and decided to add SSAO, Filmic Tonemapping, Normal bump corrections, color corrections, light adaptation, and many other technical words that just makes Ellaria look cool and beautiful!  

In the past week, We’ve also managed to complete our day/night cycle, as well as the weather system. The next version will include this feature, as well as a better environmentally sound.

We’re planning to publish a next version with more areas to explore and with forest life, as well as more things to do in your city. However, we’re planning to publish a version just with the optimization, just as soon as we'll build automatic updates and registration system, so that you’ll receive updates instead of a big installation file, as well as the items or CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria version you backed.

In the meanwhile, we’re also working on the city life, and have opened a vote section here.

CivCraft

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

Details

The Digital Antiquarian - The Road to Ultima V

by Silver, 06:35

@The Digital Antiquarian, Jimmy Maher explores the development of Ultima V. In this article we learn about the internal squabbles, business deals and relocation of Origin.

The most dangerous of these conflicts was the great sibling squabble over just where Origin Systems should be located. Back at the end of 1983, you may remember, Robert had been able to convince Richard to move the company from their parents' garage in Houston, Texas, up to New Hampshire, where his wife Marcy had found a fine position of her own working for Bell Labs. The deal was that they would remain there for at least three years. Robert, who had spent the months before the move commuting cross-country in his private plane, hoped that during the three years something might change: Marcy might get a transfer, or Richard might decide he actually liked New England and wanted to stay there. Well, at the end of 1986 the three years were up, and neither of those things had happened.

[...]

Thus Richard and company, reunited again with Bueche, found themselves a minimalist office in Austin in early 1987, fifteen desks ranged along a single long hallway. And Richard himself, now becoming a very wealthy young man indeed thanks to the huge success of Ultima III and IV, started work on Britannia Manor, a custom-built house-cum-castle worthy of Lord British; it came complete with secret passageways, a cave, a wine cellar, and a stellar observatory. It was pretty clear he wasn't planning to go anywhere else anytime soon.

Jimmy also examined the specifics of the business deal between Origin and EA and how it went sour.

The origin of Origin's EA problem dated back to August of 1985, about a month before the release of Ultima IV. By this point distribution was starting to become a real issue for a little publisher like Origin, as the few really big publishers, small enough in number to count on one hand, were taking advantage of their size and clout to squeeze the little guys off of store shelves. Knowing he had a hugely anticipated game on his hands with Ultima IV, one that with the proper care and handling should easily exceed the considerable-in-its-own-right success of Ultima III, Robert also knew he needed excellent distribution to realize its potential. He therefore turned to EA, one of the biggest of the big boys of the industry.

...

.dat

Details

Game Informer - Long Live Single Player

by Silver, 06:19

Remember when the death of single player was predicted? Game Informer has an article on trend driven development cycles.

At 2011's European Game Developers Conference, industry veteran Mark Cerny rattled gamers' cages when he told a room full of journalists he believes "the traditional single-player game experience will be gone in three years. Right now you sit in your living room and you're playing a game by yourself - we call it the sp mission or the single-player campaign. In a world with Facebook, I just don't think that's going to last."

Cerny's prediction placed single-player gaming's death at the end of 2014. These comments were said at a time when a good majority of developers were going out of their way to include multiplayer components into games. Even the strongest of the narrative driven adventure series (like BioShock, Singularity, Batman: Arkham, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Uncharted) invested significant development resources into multiplayer integration.

[...]

Not everyone was bearish on single player at the time. Bethesda Softworks largely ignored the industry’s trends and instead focused on making quality single-player experiences like the internally developed The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – an adventure players can sink hundreds of hours into – and Arkane Studios’ Dishonored, an exceptional stealth adventure. Both games, which only offered single-player content, were critically acclaimed and sold well.

Game Informer

Details

Monday - February 08, 2016

Dark Souls III - The Lord of Cinder

by Myrthos, 22:17

In a new Dark Souls III cinematic trailer introduces us to the Lord of Cinder in the kingdom of Lothric, which does contain spoilers.

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Dark Souls III

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

Details

General News - The Best RPGs of 2016

by Myrthos, 22:10

I know you like your lists, so here is another one at The Escapist. I can uderstand looking forward to RPGs but The Escapist lists already the 9 best RPGs of this year that are yet to be released. The list holds Final Fantasy XV, Persona 5, Fire Emblem Fate, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, The Technomancer, Mass Effect Andromeda, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Horizon Zero Dawn and Dark Souls III.

General News

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

Details

General News - RPGs love Space

by Hiddenx, 19:29

The RPG Scrollbars at Rock Paper Shotgun: Richard Cobbet about the fun of exploration:

The RPG Scrollbars: To Distant Shores

I’m on the road at the moment – not literally, that would make typing very dangerous – so unsurprisingly I’ve been pondering travel. Also regretting taking too long to see The Martian, and again being stunned by what Americans consider chocolate. But I can’t think of even a tenuous connection between those and RPGs, so travel it is – and in particular, the rare joy that comes of not simply going somewhere new, but feeling that sense of distance behind you and a whole new horizon lying ahead.

[...]

General News

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

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General News - Why are RPGs so hard to classify?

by Hiddenx, 19:16

Another entry in Felipe Pepe's excellent blog at Gamasutra:

Why RPGs are so hard to classify and evolve?

Computer RPGs are weird.

Even thought I play & love them since childhood, even though I'm editing a book on CRPGs, even though I've been posting on the RPG Codex for NINE YEARS (Oh god, send help), I can't easily answer one of the hardest questions ever - be it for devs, critics or fans: "define RPG".

So I've decided to sit down and rant a bit on why it's so hard to define this genre, and also why it's a genre that sometimes end restricting its games. Some of it will be obvious, but I hope to offer some decent insights. I even recruited Batman for this.

Buckle up, this will be LOOOOOOONG.

General News

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

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Age of Decadence - Video Review @ Matt Chat

by Myrthos, 12:51

Matt Burton plays Age of Decadence and tries to provide a balanced view on the games pros and cons in about three quarters of an hour.

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Age of Decadence

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

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Mr. Donovan - Action RPG in Pre-Alpha

by Myrthos, 12:42

Mr. Donovan is an action RPG that is in a pre-alpha phase and is looking to get on Steam's Early Access by the end of the year, but first needs to be greenlighted for that.

A problem occurred with the dark energy drive during hyperlight travel, sending Mr. Donovan's ship spiraling toward an alien planet. Donovan is well equipped to handle himself on a strange planet by using his ship's energy to power his space suit and weapons.  The crash landing caused the ship to malfunction leaving Donovan vulnerable to danger.  One of the many challenges involved is keeping the ship safe from the planet's creatures and attacks.  Not only must Mr. Donovan protect his ship, but he must also repair it in order to escape.  If the ship is lost, Donovan will lose the energy needed to power his suit and weapon capabilities.  Donovan must solve puzzles quickly in order to mine for resources necessary to repair the ship.  Some of the resources are very rare and powerful.  Once Donovan has obtained the necessary abilities he can locate the rare resources more easily. With good strategy and clever use of abilities the resources become abundant.   

The planet is lush and full of hidden areas, each holding a wealth of secrets. As he spends more time on the planet, Donovan must uncover those secrets in order to succeed. While facing the ever-changing challenges in his new world, defense is his best offense, so he must choose his abilities wisely. For extra help during perilous times, Donovan befriends pets that assist him in numerous ways.  Gaining the resources to repair his ship is not easy, but Mr. Donovan is no stranger to difficult situations.  Mr. Donovan is up for the challenge.  Are you?

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Thanks Couch.

General News

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

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Dragon Age 2 - Why Some Fans Did Not Like It

by Myrthos, 12:36

Couch spotted an article on Gamasutra where the author tries to investigate why Dragon Age 2 left some fans so cold.

Gamers are notoriously whiny about even small faults, but the utterly enflamed tower of hatred the game inspired in some quarters is something that could only come from a more primal revulsion, and I suggest that it emerges from Hawke being an NPC come to life.

It’s disempowering to stand in the shoes of someone who can’t bend the world to their whim in a videogame. It disrupts the power fantasy if you find yourself cast adrift in a relentless storm instead of causing it

It’s a less common path taken in RPGs and one that the fan base built up by Origins was unprepared for. But it is not without a certain measure of precedent. Another controversial second entry in an RPG series, Knights of the Old Republic II, does something similar with your character’s relationship to her mentor Kreia. One of the most common complaints I heard, regardless of one’s status as a “hardcore” or “casual” gamer, one’s political affiliation, or age, was that Kreia’s manipulations throughout the story mean your character’s choices don’t matter.

A similar charge is often leveled at Dragon Age II, though it’s complicated there. There are places in Dragon Age II where, narratively, choice should’ve mattered--like choosing the Mages or Templars at the end of the game; that was reduced to something that was functionally cosmetic. You get the same boss fights with basically the same ending. But the complaints go beyond that. Hawke, some seem to think, should’ve had the power to dispel all the plagues of Kirkwall, fix and heal everything that was broken, and conjure perfect endings for everyone.

Dragon Age 2

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

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After Reset - Development Update and Patch

by Myrthos, 12:23

A new patch for After Reset has been made available of which the change log can be found in this Kickstarter update. The following shows some notes to go with this patch:

1. One of the most important features/changes we did for the patch was the unification/standardization of the game fonts and an interface revision for the non-scalable variant. Now GUI (main menu, char creation, in-game GUI, etc.) looks the same way on any resolution. Fonts and GUI styles and sizes are the same and are a bit larger than Fallout Tactics HD now. I also filled the gap in GUI design by creating and embedding missing icons for all paces of character creation.

Feel free to check character creation process in the current build and share your feedback. What you can see now there matches 90% of the prologue’s final release.

2. As you can see now we also fixed the amount of skills activation so that it matches the SACPIC mechanics The basic number of manual activation per day for skills is equal to 3 at 1st level and it raises +1 each 4 levels (4, 8, 12, 16, 20). So despite almost any of your successful in-game actions brings your character some XP, you should be prudent about using your skills. Some areas (like the Gyes bunker) do not allow you to rest and replenish your skills the classic way. However, there are drugs (Vixin) and other consumables (such as coffee) that can replenish this resource.

3. Carrying Capacity and Encumbrance mechanics we added determines how many weight and space character has for armor, weapons, equipment and other stuff to carry. Encumbrance indicates the effect that the weight of gear that a character is carrying has on his movement rate.

There are 4 levels of encumbrance:
- None - The character can run and walk at full speed.
- Light - The character cannot run, but can walk at full speed.
- Heavy - The character cannot run, the character walks at 50% normal speed.
- Overloaded - The character cannot move.

The amount of weight corresponding to threshold between levels of encumbrance is dependent on strength. The table is repeated on our Advanced Player’s Guide relevant page.

4. We’ve also made some important strides in container mechanics. That mechanics should include lootable containers system, dropping system and quantity selection system. Though, as it happens, we encountered a bunch of decent bugs today (right after the update release). Thus I had to edit the news and exclude “container mechanics added” from today’s report as well as to switch off ability to loot containers for tests. With that, you can still check dropping loot from your inventory and creation of loot piles under your character’s feet. As far as I can see quantity UI works as well.

You can check these parts of related mechanics embedded by throwing items from your inventory. When you conduct throwing items, it should check if there is a “trash pile” container around you. If there is no such PC drop container, than it should create one. If the container already exists near to you, that it should work with it. All items you drop should move into a “trash pile” container.

Based on that the rodmap for the next update is updated: - it will take about a week to revise all containers-inventory mechanics (just from coding/architecture point of view) to mark everything related with inventory/apparel/loot/containers as “completed”; - than it will take 3 days for the Quest system; - and the rest time we’ll devote to Dialogues mechanics embedding.

There is also some information about their side project, the graphic novel The Fall of Gyes and what they mean with sci-fi settings for grown ups (including an explanation of how the brain changes over time)

After Reset

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

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Ghost of a Tale - Development Update

by Myrthos, 12:15

The development of Ghost of a Tale to reach an early access release on Steam is moving onwards as the latest development update for the game shows.

Welcome to this new Ghost of a Tale development update! It should come as no surprise that hard work continues, more intense as ever; Cyrille and Paul are toiling away on their task list and we still have to implement quite a few things before we’re ready to start beta testing. I mean we do test constantly of course, but this time it should be with people who never actually touched the game before.

Here’s a picture of Tilo exploring the sewers. Ooh lookie, he found the Red Ranger’s hood (the Red Ranger is a folklore character in the game’s world)!

Jeremiah also has a lot of work ahead of him to compose all the tracks needed  for the pre-release. But he’s as fast as he’s good, so I’m not worried. Instead I’m excited to be the first one to discover his work!

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve done a huge amount of work in animation, 2D art and coding. I’m currently squashing A LOT of bugs which is actually pretty nice because that means hopefully you won’t find them in the game (no, you’ll find completely new ones! ).

I’ve also started implementing in-game tutorials. As you know it’s a tricky task to trigger them only at the right moment and location. I personally hate it as a player when a tutorial message interrupts the game just to tell me something I’ve already figured out. So that shouldn’t happen in GoaT!

Ghost of a Tale

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

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Sunday - February 07, 2016

Nebula: Sole Survivor - Now on KS

by Aubrielle, 17:02

Daveyd just gave us a heads up about a new isometric sci-fi action RPG on Kickstarter - Nebula: Sole Survivor.  Its ambience is dark and almost diablo-like.

Thanks, Daveyd!

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Help create the next great Sci-Fi exploration-focused role-playing game with Nebula: Sole Survivor. It’s the story of engineers and astronauts on a deadly moon of Jupiter called Europa. Discover new creatures and weapons as you fight off levels of the “Infection,” to get off of the moon that was once going to become a second Earth for human life. Learn the layout and solve puzzles as you fight your way to an escape through the underground base, CICADA, fighting off anything that comes your way. Become the survivor and experience the fear of Europa’s creatures down every turn. Join the fight!

More.

Kickstarter

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Sorcery! - Review @ Softpedia

by Hiddenx, 13:34

Softpedia is praising the PC adaption of Steve Jackson's Sorcery! (part 1&2):

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! Review

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! loves to surprise players and to thwart their expectations about fantasy worlds, creating tension by making sure that the player is always looking for that out-of-place detail or conversation line that will help him decide how to best solve a situation.

The world and its core quest are familiar but also surprising; the combat is simple but offers genuinely great moments, and the spell system is powerful without giving the player a way to avoid the most important challenges.

Sorcery! never gets bogged down in complexity and knows how to use language to enhance the immersion of the player and his desire to know more about the universe he is trying to save.

The experience was created by Inkle and the first and the second books have launched on February 2 on the PC and the Mac, with both of them already out on iOS and Android-powered mobile devices, where a third chapter is also available.

A fourth book, the final one in the series, is expected to launch at the same time on all platforms later in the year and at that point a complete pack featuring all of them might be also revealed.

[...]

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Score: Excellent

Sorcery!

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

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Project Resurgence - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 11:20

In Project Resurgence Kickstarter update #12 the dialog system gets explained:

Dialogue System

Kelly here! Exploration is one of the key gameplay pillars of Project Resurgence, and by that we mean exploring characters (their personalities, motivations, and backgrounds) through conversation just as much as moving through the environments of Lumen. And in true roleplaying fashion, we find the most compelling aspect of character interactions in being faced with difficult decisions that truly make you consider the motivations and potential consequences of your actions. We intend for these moral decisions to be various shades of grey instead of an oversimplified black and white dichotomy. The concepts of “good and evil” are almost never so clear cut in reality, and so too will we delve the murky complicated areas in between. We want our story to be told like a novel, gripping and engrossing, where every choice you make matters; casting ripples into the future that will continue to affect your personal story and the fate of Lumen itself across all five episodes. The game is not segregated into story and mechanics, since the way you build your character and how you play directly change the story.

So, let’s start talking specifics. Persuasion is an art, and we offer 3 variations: reason (Persuade + INT), intimidate (Persuade + STR), and charm (Persuade + CLT). Appeal to a character’s sense, fear, or desire to get your way. Occasionally we will have extra options show up too, such as “bribe” (Persuade + cash) or “bluff” (Deception + CLT).

Obviously, not all of these will be equally effective for every character and situation. A thug might be more likely to be bribed than charmed, but a scientist might be more persuaded by reason over intimidation.

We also want options to change based on your interactions with characters. For example, if you interact with a character that you previously roughed up, it might take a lot less for you to intimidate them. A character might stick to their guns if you try to persuade them, but if you helped them out on a previous quest they might be more responsive to your suggestions. A character that you abandoned to die probably won’t be charmed by you...unless you can bluff your way around the situation. [...]

Project Resurgence

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

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Demon's Souls - VG24/7 Retrospective

by Aubrielle, 00:57

Seven years later, Demon's Souls is still sticking with some people and affecting the way they play games.  VG24/7 has a retrospective.

Demon’s Souls is seven years old today; it first launched on February 5 2009. A spiritual successor to the King’s Field series, the brutally punishing RPG spoke to a very specific kind of Japanese gamer: those who’d grown up playing baffling, badly-translated (or unlocalised!) western RPGs. It was the sort of situation that gave rise to the great Wizardry schism; the humour of the parody RPG was lost in translation, and the series has a long, po-faced legacy in Japan that seems bizarre to those involved with the original seed.

Nothing ever feels as awe-inspiring, as challenging, as enigmatic, as surprising, as different or as beautifully satisfying as that first run through the terrifying and beautiful Demon’s Souls. In the early days of RPGs traveling west to east, fans would gather on bulletin boards to share tips and advice on how to unpack pages of incomprehensible text and leverage unfamiliar, unexplained gameplay systems. To recreate this feeling, From Software implemented its now famous asynchronous notes system, emulating the collaborative problem solving and regular trolling of those early RPG fans.

The way Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls and Bloodborne refuse to explain themselves to you, peppered as they are with items of dubious use, mysterious references and esoteric synergies, gives you a shadow of the experience of what it was like for Japanese RPG fans before local developers took up the now ubiquitous systems of levelling, inventory, customisation – whatever it is that makes an RPG, as passed down to us by Gary Gygax.

More.

Demon's Souls

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PS3
Release: Released

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Castle Torgeath - Steam Early Access

by Aubrielle, 00:53

An indie dungeon crawler called Castle Torgeath: Descent Into Darkness emerged on Steam Early Access late last month.  Featured on Chalgyr, Castle Torgeath combines real-time 1st person dungeon crawling with survival mechanics.

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It was just another sunny afternoon when you come across a notice board looking for adventurers to help on a quest of exploration and discovery of old castle ruins. Offering a hefty lump sum and an extra cut of anything of worth found, you set off to join the expedition team. At the ripe character level of “1” equipped with nothing more than the clothes on your back, a torch, and a sword, you walk into the castle ruins. There’s a cave-in leaving you trapped in the dark. Torches only last for so long and the expedition team is nowhere in sight. What was that sound? You’re not alone down here and it looks like Castle Torgeath really is going to be a Descent into Darkness to find your way out.

Castle Torgeath is a throwback dungeon crawler that is designed to kill you, the player (I mean who else right?), in multiple and unfriendly ways. Being bitten, stabbed, impaled horizontally or vertically will all be real worries as the only thing that will truly keep you alive down here is your sense of direction and reaction speeds. With all of the external elements that can kill you though, it’s the internal one that matters the most. If your stamina depletes itself then you can quite literally and instantly die from hunger. This is no slow process but neither will it catch you unaware as your stomach makes more than enough noise to draw your attention to feeding yourself and possibly half the other beings down here. Down in this dungeon however food is limited and if you run around willy nilly then death will always be around the corner in more than one way.

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Castle Torgeath

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Platform: PC
Release: In development

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Steam - Lunar New Year Sale Live

by Aubrielle, 00:42

Steam's Lunar New Year Sale is up, and thousands of titles are discounted.  Fallout 4, Witcher 3, Fairy Fencer F, Rebel Galaxy, and most of Crusader Kings II can be gotten on the cheap.

Source.

Source: Steam

Steam

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