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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

Dead State
Box Art

Poll Watch

The Best Bard's Tale Game?
The Bard's Tale (1985)
25%

The Bard's Tale II
19.44%

The Bard's Tale III
22.22%

The Bard's Tale (2004)
33.33%

Vote

Wednesday - January 28, 2015

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.

loading...

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: Released

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

RPGWatch - Sunless Sea Preview

by Couchpotato, 06:26

Soulbane delves into the unforgiving Sunless Sea, the dread-inducing Steampunk roguelike coming February 2. So lets thank both Soulbane, and Aubrielle for her editing.

Sunless Sea is the second game by indie developer Failbetter Games. Being a small team, Failbetter became known when they released their first title – Fallen London – in 2009, a browser-based choose your own adventure game set in a unique alternative Victorian Gothic steampunk world. After the award-winning first title, Failbetter went on to capitalize on their success and launched a Kickstarter campaign for Sunless Sea in 2013, which was funded quickly. Sunless Sea strives to retain Failbetter’s strengths (namely, their high quality writing, unusual and intriguing setting, and some of the choose your own adventure style) while adding in exploration, combat, some rogue-like mechanics, and roleplaying elements with more depth than previously seen. The game entered Early Access in July 2014, and just recently we’ve been provided the release date of February 2 this year.

Sunless Sea

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

Details

The Witcher 2 - In Need of Linux Fixing

by Couchpotato, 06:22

Softpedia has news about patching the Linux version of Witcher 2.

Linus Torvalds is not known to interfere with other projects than the Linux kernel and it must be something really special to get him involved. Well, it looks like the Linux port of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings proved to be interesting enough.

There has been quite a debate around The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings and the fact that it wasn't really a port. A special kind of wrapper was used to make the Windows version of the game run on Linux systems, similar with Wine. As you can imagine, the performance on Linux systems took a hit and users felt betrayed because they thought that they would get a native port.

The game was a mess right after launch and it has problems running on many systems. It didn't even work on AMD video cards. A few patches were released since then and some improvements were made. Even the AMD guys pitched in and made some fixes in their drivers. From the looks of it, the Linux kernel was also responsible for some of the problems and that's something quite important for Linus Torvalds.


The Witcher 2

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

Details

The CRPG Book Project - More Website Updates

by Couchpotato, 05:31

Felipe Pepe latest update on his CRPG Book Project has news the review Index is online. Don't forget to send in any reviews if you promised to help out with the book.

Here I’ll be posting some of the finished reviews, so they can be easily read in a computer, linked, commented and archived. I’ll start slowly, but hope to have all reviews hosted here in the future.

He also talks about how 12,000 CRPG Fans Can’t Be Wrong.

Today marks one month (and two days – I’m late!) since the release of the 100-page preview!

I’m happy to share that than 12,000 people downloaded the preview.

I’ll take that as an indicator that there’s some interest for this book! People seem to enjoy the reviews and articles while ignoring the spelling errors (or send corrections by e-mail – thanks!), and a lot of good feedback came in as well. I’ll use them to make the book as good as I can.

My only disappointment is how hard it has been to get some media coverage. In the past month, even with the release of the preview, proving how this isn’t just a crazy idea, we only had one newspost about the project, on Kotaku Brasil. I honestly expected to be easier to promote a free project with names like Chris Avellone, Scorpia and Ian Frazier on board, but that was not the case… can’t imagine how hard it must be then for those with commercial projects.

The CRPG Book Project

Details

After Reset - Peachy Update Posted

by Couchpotato, 05:24

Mr.Nixon posted a new post-funding update for After Reset with another huge wall of text about the games development. I found the information important.

FIRST AND FOREMOST: SENDING STEAM KEYS

I know a lot of backers are still waiting on keys, so I’m going to include a status update in every news post until it’s done. By the time of writing this article, 900 of 7200 keys still need to be sent. By the end of this month we should have sent all of them.

We will use the keys for media portals, gamer’s sites, journalists, and You-tube reviewers that should be available 5-7 days before we go to the SEA release.

OPEN SEA RELEASE

We still need to program the inner interface so we can take fair screenshots before the final approval by Steam. If everything goes fine, you’ll be able to proudly link After Reset RPG on Steam to your friends and colleagues in early March of 2015.

THE STORY OVERVIEW

To prepare the game for SEA I needed to finalize the whole game story concept, and taking into account whether or not we reach our funding goals, or exceed them. Here is brief (but spoiler free) overview of the full game story.

Every chapter of the game represents each stage of the big story and it is connected to the sets of regions that are relevant to that chapter. That doesn’t mean every chapter will have and equal amount of game playtime.

In example: the final version of the Prologue should have about two hours of gameplay. It is quite close to the idea that was initially put into Fallout 1, but financial restrictions ending up cutting most of it out, and limited it to just walking through a cave and killing several rats. At the beginning of Fallout 1’s birthday, the creators wanted to give the player the ability to play around in the Vault 13 itself. Therefore the After Reset RPG's Prologue represents only small piece of main story game play time.

If things don’t work out for our funding goals, I’ll rely on my savings and concentrate on the main story. However, there will be many opportunities for random encounters and side quests that can easily be added once we have the game mechanics and gameplay finished. How much or how little gets added will depend on our funding.

In final version the life and event sequences of the chapters should go even without player interaction. That implies you can be caught by story in the Great Desert with a new sequence in it even if you dropped the main storyline earlier.

After Reset

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

Details

Dungeons Of Aledorn - Great Pirate Ship

by Couchpotato, 05:19

The next website update for Dungeons Of Aledorn gives everyone a look at the Great Pirate Ship,. Now here is a sample image so make sure to visit the link for more.

Greetings to all fans of dungeons, fantasy and our game Dungeons of Aledorn. Beginning today in exactly one month we began a campaign on Kickstarter and so we decided to show you another part of our game graphics. Last time we showed you how a pirates port city Condra will look like. Today we continue in this vein and introduce you to the main pirate ship. Enjoy the screens and do not be afraid to ask anything of us. Likewise, we welcome any feedback.

Dungeons Of Aledorn

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

Details

Lords of Xulima - Two More Reviews

by Couchpotato, 05:14

Here are two more reviews for Lords of Xulima that I found on the weekend.

Gamebanshee - No Score

I don't want to make this sound like an insult, but LOX is an okay game.  It's a budget title that isn't trying to do anything too out of the box, and it mostly hits its marks.  LOX is definitely a grindy game, but as long as you enjoy building up a party and fighting monsters -- and you don't require much in the way of quests or story to encourage you along -- then it can give you dozens of hours of entertainment.  LOX is worth a flier at its price.

Hey Poor Player - 3/5

Ultimately, Lords of Xulima leans perhaps too hard into emulating classic cRPGs. Most of it is well-designed, but at a $20 price point, it’s obviously going to lack the polish of a game like Divinity: Original Sin. It’s not an unenjoyable game by any stretch; it is, however, an incredible niche experience.

Lords of Xulima

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

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Serpent in the Staglands - Skills & Spells

by Couchpotato, 05:11

Whalenought Studios posted a new update on Steam with information on the
Skills & Spells for Serpent in the Staglands.
The game keeps getting interesting.

A good CRPG lives or dies by its combat system, and ours revolves around the strengths of realtime with pause: strategy, planning, and controlling the chaos. A good tactic for playing might be:

  • Pre-buff to infinity
  • Activate items like horns to summon aid or lay down traps
  • Make your 3 active skills compliment one another or your team
  • Casters hold their spells - play the right spell when combat starts as the beginning can be perilous
  • Control the battlefield with utility combat skills and spells
  • Micromanage as needed

Our classless-based character system outfits players with over 100 skills, spells and aptitude to build their own 5 characters out of. Create powerful casters, whip users that are made for wizard hunting, arrow and bolt machinegunners, elixir throwers that corrode groups with unblockable damage, or morph into a wolf and maul your enemies.

Or any combination you can think of, though tactical usefulness may vary. We think highly enough of you to figure out good tactics!

Serpent in the Staglands

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

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Age of Wonders 3 - Return of PBEM Multiplayer

by Couchpotato, 05:07

Triumph Studios latest blog update brings information the developer is adding back PBEM Multiplayer to Age of Wonders III after it was cut before the game launched.

So wast is PBEM Multiplayer? Read on to find out.

As game developers who have grown beyond the uncomplicated days of playing games all days in the garage, we know all too well that nagging partners, unruly kids and life in general can get in the way of prolonged multiplayer sessions.  PBEM games are an excellent solution for this.

However in the old Age of Wonders games the PBEM feature wasn’t always as smooth. The large amount of different email services and email attachment limits caused some trouble, which luckily Dave Sp1ce helped address with his excellent Age of Wonders Email Wrapper.   With Triumph setting up its own multiplayer account server, and bandwidth costs dropping year by year,  we thought we could take the concept of PBEM into the 21st century. We investigated a server relay system, where turns aren’t sent to other players as saved game email attachments, but are instead stored on a central server.

The advantages of Server Based PBEM are:

  • Quick setup and easy management of multiple simultaneous sessions.
  • Better gameflow, you can easily see which player holds the game and you get live updates when games are ready.
  • Turn Timers with an auto end, so people can’t sit on their turn for too long.
  • No email server incompatibilities, bounces on large attachments, etc.
  • You don’t need to share email addresses with strangers.
  • And potential for additional (currently unimplemented) features such as central messaging, user kicking, ladders, first come first serve out of order turn options to speed games up.

Age of Wonders 3

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

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Dex - New Year’s News Update

by Couchpotato, 05:04

Developer Dreadlocks posted a new update for Dex a few days back with information on the games development that they call New Year’s Dex News. So here a short sample.

Development

As indicated above, we are pretty much finalizing the game. The December update was the last major update without the main storyline and with the game being feature-incomplete. We are now pulling out all the stops in order to drive to the finish line. The process may seem like total chaos, but in fact it is highly organized (actually, it’s somewhere in the middle). Needless to say, we are now putting everything we’ve been working on into the game. Everything that was half-finished or partially-finished, but we decided not to include in the public build, we are now polishing and finishing.

Which means:

  • We have finished the preproduction of all the cutscenes, and Bogna is now elaborating and polishing all of them, moving them from concept sketch into fully fleshed out cutscenes, while respecting the art direction set in the rest of the game. This is something we’re all looking forward to seeing; it’s gonna be a blast!
  • Axel is now finishing all the dialogues and scripts for the main storyline. We have over half of the story complete now, with an estimate to have all the remaining dialogues done by the end of January. Since we did quite a lot of preproduction on this (numerous internal docs, including all the biographies and backstories for the most important characters and corporations), the job is going quite smoothly!
  • Our programmers are now focusing on the hacking/AR/cyberspace functionality. It is still in process and under development, but we can already confirm that after several prototypes and iterations, it works and it’s fun and enjoyable!
  • Our two new animators, Kristyna and Veronika, are now finishing all the remaining animations. It is still going to take a good couple of weeks, but we can confidently say we’re moving toward finalization, as we know what remains to be done and the process and workflow are already well established.
  • Prokop, our lead artist, has done the remaining portraits and sprites for the NPCs in the main storyline (over a dozen NPCs, in addition to the ones from the side quests you might have met in the earlier releases) and now starts to finalize all the storyline locations. Although we have all of them in concept art, and most of them in color, it is still over twenty full locations, so it’s going to be month of work or more. The good news is that he can now concentrate on this task only, as the animations and cutscenes have been delegated to our new hires).

We plan to have a Beta release—a feature-complete build including the main storyline—by late February or early March.

Dex

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

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GamesIndustry.biz - All Games Will Be Kickstarted

by Couchpotato, 04:59

GamesIndustry.biz is hosting a new article where developer Kitfox's Tanya X makes a case for why all games will be Kickstarted, and shares a few charts to show why.

The year is 2020. Kickstarter is now the standard funding model for video games. From indie darlings to the next Call of Duty, practically every game is crowdfunded. Japanese megacorps and a few daring rogues play outside the system, but a crowdfunding campaign is assumed to cap off pre-production, generally launched in conjunction with the game's announcement. The last three headliner announcement videos at Sony's E3 press conference all had crowdfunding campaigns attached, from a Brazilian newcomer's humble $30,000 Kickstarter up to Naughty Dog's ask of $200,000, hosted on their website.

I'm not exaggerating. In the next five years, either:

A) Kickstarter changes its terms, due to greed or legal sanctions

OR

B) Crowdfunding becomes a part of the majority of games developed, including AAA.

Whether it's a new IP, a sequel, or a spin-off, crowdfunding your game when it has a sweet announcement trailer just makes sense. Even if you don't need the money. Especially if you don't need the money. The point isn't to fund the game anyway - it's to start building your brand. In an increasingly crowded space, filled with people who don't click on advertisements, crowdfunding is the obvious choice.

GamesIndustry.biz

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Icewind Dale: EE - Review @ Cheatmasters

by Couchpotato, 04:56

Cheatmasters has another review this week this time for the Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition, and they give the game a final score of 8.5/10. Not bad here is why.

Coming up with all of those details here, it’s safe to say that the game has been faithful enough since it hasn’t been watered down for the most part (except for Story Mode difficulty). As for how its gameplay comes off in this day and age, it’s part history lesson, part test, and part potential epiphany. This is where most of the role-playing games we’ve seen in recent years have come from, especially those from Bioware. From the combat with tactical pausing to the dialogue system used for talking with NPCs, this game shows where it all came from.

Icewind Dale: EE

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

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Daggerfall - New Tools For Unity

by Couchpotato, 04:51

Rock, Paper, Shotgun published an interesting article this weekend about some new tool that allow you to port Daggerfall to the Unity Engine. Here is a video of the tools.

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Looks and sounds exciting here is a desription of Daggerfall Tools for Unity.

Daggerfall Tools for Unity is a code asset which acts as a bridge between Daggerfall’s binary data files and Unity3D. It consists of a mature API for opening and converting almost all of Daggerfall’s content files – plus a set of editor windows, example classes, and prefabs for quickly converting Daggerfall’s environments into fully functional Unity scenes.

The underlying API, called DaggerfallConnect, is a battle-tested C# library that has been under development since 2009. This library is already used by content exploring tools with thousands of downloads and has been retooled specifically for use inside Unity. Full source code is included for everything related to Daggerfall.

Accompanying the API is a suite of components and editor windows to interface between Daggerfall’s files and Unity. You can import any mesh, block layout, city, building interior, or dungeon with a single click. There are dozens of options to control how content is imported into Unity, using either the editor or directly from code.

Everything you can import with the editor can also be imported fully procedurally at run-time, allowing you to build vast worlds out of Daggerfall’s content and extend however you like with Unity’s broad feature-set.

Daggerfall

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

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Shroud of the Avatar - Update of the Avatar #109

by Couchpotato, 04:47

Well It's time for the next weekly update for Shroud of the Avatar from Portalarium. It contains the usual adverting, and new items to buy. Here is the list of topics.

Here’s what we have for you in this week’s edition of Update of the Avatar:

  • SotA at PAX South
  • Banks in Release 14
  • Changes to Store Credit Conversions
  • First Glimpse of Novia Overworld
  • SotA in Game Informer Magazine
  • MMORPG.COM – Release 14: Strong Start to a New Year
  • Shack News: CES Interview with Starr Long
  • GDC Next – Crowd Sharing: Crowd Sourcing + Crowd Funding
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • New Britannia Theater Troupe: Live Double Feature
  • Last Chance Exclusives: The Axe and Wood & Plaster Homes
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Upcoming Events

Shroud of the Avatar

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

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Alphadia Genesis - Review & Game Contest

by Couchpotato, 04:44

Chalgyr's Game Room has the next review for Alphadia Genesis this week.

Alphadia Genesis is an enjoyable JRPG that does not stand out in any particular way, but does just enough things well enough to make it easy to recommend as long as you are not opposed to JRPs. Those who do not fancy grinding turn-based combat, simple visuals or the feeling of 'been there and done that' might not get as much out of the game. However, with over a dozen hours of gameplay, solid combat and charming characters, Alphadia Genesis deserves a look for JRPG fans.

The site is also offering a free copy of the game in a new contest.

The rules are simple.

Email us at Nick@Chalgyr.com and you are entered. Want additional entries? Simply like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. Each of these is worth one extra entry. Already following us on one or both platforms? Just let me know that in the email.

Want a fourth and final chance? Have a friend enter. Anyone who refers a friend who has also entered gets one additional entry each.

That's all there is to it. It is as easy as sending one email, but if you want to get a few more entries - help us to expand our readership a little and also keep yourself tuned into our social channels. This allows you to stay up-to-date with our latest reviews, previews and news announcements.

The contest will close at 9pm, EST time next Friday 1/30/15.

Alphadia Genesis

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

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Celestian Tales - Movie & Screenshots Update

by Couchpotato, 04:39

Ekuator Games latest post-funding update for Celestian Tales: Old North has information on the progress of the opening movie, and shares a few in-game screenshots.

WIP Opening Movie and In-Game Screenshots

Hope you all had a great holiday! We've started working again on the project since two weeks ago. Here's a couple of things that has happened since then:

Animated Opening Movie

We've been busy applying colour blocks and shadings onto the hundreds of frames of the animations. They don't look too good when seen raw without the background and additional effects applied, though. We'll show some of them so you can get a glimpse of what we're actually busy doing.

Environments and Events

We've put in all events that are currently possible to be made. The rest will need to wait until their corresponding scenes are finished, and that means putting in the environment assets. Currently we're doing the most difficult parts -- the large cities. While villages can resemble one another to some extent, each city is pretty unique in geography and style. Therefore, we can only reuse a small amount of assets in creating them.

Celestian Tales

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

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Viking Conquest - Review @ Cheatmasters

by Couchpotato, 04:23

Cheatmasters Avoiderdragon published the first review for Mount & Blade: Warband – Viking Conquest that I found in the last two months, and they gave the DLC a 7/10.

If its predecessors are any indication, it may be worth waiting for this DLC to get fixed with patches, especially if you’re really into Vikings and all that axe-swinging and plundering action. Fans of Mount & Blade who are already playing with mods may be apprehensive about spending money for this DLC, but the breadth and flavor are what should give them enough reason to decide in getting this.

Mount & Blade: Warband

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

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