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Sunday - August 23, 2015
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Picture Watch

Shadows: Heretic Kingdoms
Box Art

Poll Watch

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Expected Releases

Sep: Skyshine's BEDLAM
Sep: Van Helsing: Final Cut
Sep: Sword Coast Legends
Sep: Soma
Sep: Arakion

Sunday - August 23, 2015

CivCraft - Espionage Pack

by Myrthos, 23:20

As we are nearing the stretch goal for the Espionage pack in the CivCraft Kickstarter, which will be available to those who pledged up to that stretch goal, more information about it is made available.

In your built tavern, you can recruit heroes. Some heroes are warriors, Mages or Rangers, while others are skilled in the art of stealth. These heroes are proficient in the arts of alchemy, charisma, stealth or intelligence.

Depending on their skills, you can assign a hero to one of the following tasks

  • Espionage (intelligence, charisma)
  • Incite revolutions, persuade a leader or bribe a general (charisma, intelligence)
  • Sabotage (alchemy, stealth)
  • Assassination (stealth, alchemy)
Once a spy has been assigned to a task, he/she will travel to the designated target and try to perform your orders as best as possible. There could be many outcomes depending on your orders, the rival kingdom's awareness, counter espionage and your spy's skills.
Any hero can be sent on an espionage mission, but you should only send a skilled hero, since a failed mission could mean an execution, a hostage to rescue or even a declaration of war.

Some animate can be found by following the above link.

CivCraft

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

Details

Sword Coast Legends - Head Start

by Hiddenx, 08:21

All who pre-ordered one of the of the Limited Edition Collector’s or Campaign Collector’s packs can play Sword Coast Legends before the official release date on September 29th:

ORLANDO, Fla. — August 21, 2015 — Independent developers, n-Space and Digital Extremes, announced today that their upcoming Sword Coast Legends™, a party-based RPG set in the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) Forgotten Realms universe from Wizards of the Coast, will offer Head Start Access for PC, Mac and Linux players. Starting September 11th, players can try Sword Coast Legends™, prior to the game’s release on September 29th.

Head Start will have three planned sessions, he adds. The first is scheduled for the weekend of September 11th through 13th and will be available only to members of the Design Council – those that pre-ordered one of the Limited Edition Collector’s or Campaign Collector’s packs. The second will run September 18th through 20th, and will be open to all pre-order customers. These first two sessions will focus on the Dungeon Master modes of Campaign Creation and Dungeon Crawl. In order to avoid spoilers, the Story Campaign will not be available at this time. The third session will run September 24th through the game’s release on September 29th and will once again feature the Dungeon Master modes for all pre-order customers while Design Council members will also have access to the Story Campaign. PC, Mac and Linux cross-platform play will be supported.

In each of these sessions, players will mingle with n-Space, Digital Extremes and Wizards of the Coast team members. To be included in the Head Start program, players must have linked their game purchase to an account on SwordCoast.com. Access details will be sent to the associated email account starting the week of September 11th.

“The Sword Coast Legends team welcomes your feedback! Feel free to share your experiences via your favorite forums, blogs and social media channels.”

Sword Coast Legends

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

Details

General News - Games for Readers

by Myrthos, 01:57

At The Wertzone, you can find a list of games and for each of these games, a list of writers. If you like these writers you probably like the game as well. The RPG level is high in this list.

Anachronox
Ion Storm - 2001 - Available from gog.com 

Humour in video games can be a hard thing to get right, with many more failures than successes. One of the more interesting successes is Anachronox, a 2001 roleplaying game set in the distant future. Humanity has colonised (alongside various alien races) Anachronox, a floating city made up of rotating sections inside a huge sphere of alien origin. The sphere enables FTL transit across many worlds. Your character, down-on-his-luck private investigator Sly Boots, is drawn into a mystery that starts off small in scale but eventually becomes huge in scope, taking in the fate of the galaxy, alternate realities and a mind-bending number of plot twists.

The humour is absurdly brilliant, taking in everything from satire on detective and SF cliches to riffing off superhero stories and governmental philosophies. It also has some of the craziest ideas to appear in an SF video game, taking in a miniaturised planet that joins your team as a party-member (to the disquiet of everyone you later meet - "Is that a planet floating behind you?") and a fantastically-developed sequence which pays tribute to silent movies by not involving any dialogue at all.

The game has not aged well graphically, but if you can look beyond the surface, one of the richest and most imaginative games in the roleplaying pantheon awaits.

See alsoStar Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and the Mass Effect trilogy draw more than a little inspiration from this game, but are much more po-faced; Gearbox's Borderlands series also employs a nice line in humour (but not as good as this).

Play if you like: Douglas Adams, Harry Harrison, Terry Pratchett.

 

General News

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

Details

Saturday - August 22, 2015

The Mandate - Boarding Video with Commentary

by Myrthos, 13:18

In the article we had yesterday there was a video with boarding combat. They have made a new video availabe, this time with comments from the developers. In addition in their latest Kickstarter update there is also some Gamescom info from their public booth.

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The Mandate

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

Details

Mooncrest - What's Next?

by Myrthos, 13:12

A new update has appeared for the recently canceled Kickstarter campaign of Mooncrest. In this update they talk about the work that has been done to prepare better for their next Kickstarter campaign.

It’s been about a week or so since we cancelled our Kickstarter campaign. While we’ve been a bit quiet on the public side of things, we’ve been continuing to work toward our next Kickstarter campaign. It took us a bit of time to decompress and focus on things going forward. Mooncrest is totally self funded and contrary to popular belief we don’t have someone waiting in the wings with a fat wad of cash burning a hole in their pocket ready to invest in our game (if you are that person, let’s talk!).

Truthfully, we didn’t give a lot of thought to what steps we were going to take if the Kickstarter failed so we’re trying to sort everything out. Rest assured, we aren’t giving up, we are just determining our best course of action at this point. I know there are quite a few emails and comments where people are waiting for a response from us. We’ll be getting to all of them over the weekend. Sorry for the delays and we appreciate your patience.

On the development side, we are working on concepting out the Paladin Temple which will serve as a base of operations for players and where the adventure will begin. Here’s a few pieces from one of our concept artists, Raph Lomotan. We’ll be moving back to a regular update schedule next week and we’ll have a Q&A on Raph and his artwork then, so don’t miss it.

The update features some images and animated gif's showing combat.

Thanks Christoph.

Mooncrest

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

Details

CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Thirteen)

by Arhu, 11:36

1988 was coming to a close and the CRPG Addict introduced GOTY awards for the previous years. He also tracked back to the very first (surviving) CRPG, The Dungeon aka PEDIT5 from 1975.

Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom (1988)

The nature of the inventory puzzles makes the game extremely linear. It has virtually no replayability. If you don't spend hours and hours grinding, it's too hard (especially at the latter stages), and if you do spend hours and hours grinding, it's too long. (..) A challenge is good, but this game ends up being repetitive torture. (..)

This gives us a final rating of 37, equivalent to the first Wizardry. While this game improves upon NPCs, equipment, and a couple other areas, it lacks the first game's brisk gameplay, and many of V's "innovations" annoy rather than impress. I didn't deliberately engineer the rating to come out equal to I, but I think it says something accurate that in seven years, Sir-Tech was unable to fundamentally improve on the experience that they first offered in the CRPG Bronze Age.

  1. Game 67: Wizardry V: Heart of the Maelstrom (1988)
  2. Home for the Holidays
  3. All I Want for Christmas is Two Front Ranks
  4. Fa-La-La
  5. Oh, Come All Ye Faithless
  6. It's Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Torture
  7. Sub-Contracting
  8. Wizardry V
  9. Won!*
  10. Final Rating

The Dungeon / PEDIT5 (1975)

Here I am, nearly two years after starting this blog, doing what I should have done in the beginning: playing the first CRPG, regardless of platform. (..)

I'm actually quite impressed. I would have forgiven the first CRPG for being really basic and dumb: perhaps a text-only game in which you managed some basic attributes against some random encounters. (..) Instead, we get a fairly large dungeon, a solid set of attributes, challenging random encounters, 8 spells, monsters with resistances based on type, and graphics that the DOS platform won't surpass until Ultima III. (..) Obviously, I don't recommend playing it now, except as an archaeological exercise; any roguelike will give you a similar challenge with a better gameplay experience.

  1. Editorial: The Earliest CRPGs
  2. Game 68: The Dungeon / PEDIT5 (1975)

The Game of Dungeons / dnd (1975)

The title screen calls the game The Game of Dungeons, but the file name was just dnd, and this is what has stuck in history and legend. (..) This may be the first CRPG developed openly as a game, without having to hide under fake file names on the PLATO mainframe. (..) It would be cool, but I suspect impossible, to win this one. (..) I definitely recommend that every true CRPG lover sign up for a Cyber1 account and play a few rounds.

  1. Game 69: The Game of Dungeons / dnd (1975)

BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception (1988)

Gameplay. I almost wish I could give a negative score on this one. The game is completely linear, non-replayable, too easy, too short, and it ends with the worst puzzle inclusion I've ever seen in a CRPG: a completely rote, bang-your-head-against-the-wall slog through a twisty maze, involving no intelligence and no tactics. (..)

As it is, I give it a final rating of 37. The scores add up to 39, but I'm using my "bonus" category to take away two points for having such a dumb ending and for essentially betraying its name through some staggeringly awful gameplay decisions. It started out with such promise, too.

  1. Game 70: BattleTech: The Crescent Hawk's Inception (1988)
  2. Graduation Was Ruined
  3. Won.
  4. Final Rating

Editorial: 1988/1989 and GOTY

Starting with 1988, CRPG Addict named Games of the Year and did so retroactively, so here's his top games from the early years.

  • 1981: Wizardry
  • 1982: Telengard
  • 1983: Exodus: Ultima III
  • 1984: n/a
  • 1985: Ultima IV
  • 1986: Starflight and Might & Magic I
  • 1987: NetHack
  • 1988: Pool of Radiance
  1. 1988/1989

CRPG Addict

Details

TechRaptor - Playing Roles: On Tactical RPGs @ TechRaptor

by Hiddenx, 07:52

Another episode of Playing Roles by Robert Grosso - On Tactical RPGs:

Some genres of role-playing games tend to be very self-explanatory in what we call them. In the West, we are used to seeing Action-RPGs and Dungeon Crawls mingle with real-time role-playing games or open-world titles. One genre that is curiously absent from the conversation of role-playing games, and on the radar for most players, is the tactical role-playing game, or TRPG.

TRPGs can arguably have their origins traced to the game Chess, where you need to use tactics to overwhelm your opponents in a combat situation. TRPGs are less exploration-heavy, more combat oriented, complete with statistics and level ups, equipment and abilities that need to be taken into account to maximize your effectiveness in battle. Through this, TRPGs tend to satisfy a singular niche—games with storytelling and tactical combat being the emphasis over exploration. [...]

 

TechRaptor

Details

ChemCaper: Petticles in Peril - A CRPG to learn Chemistry @ Gamasutra

by Hiddenx, 07:35

I want to go back to school - the current generation of students can learn with CRPGs:

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ChemCaper - Petticles in Peril is an upcoming role playing game from ACE EdVenture Studio, produced in collaboration with Artoncode (a development team based in Jakarta, Indonesia). Said to be the world's first educational game based on Cambridge University's IGCSE Chemistry syllabus, topics such as elements in the periodic table, compounds, types of bonding, and even laboratory apparatuses are lifted directly from the textbooks and re-purposed as story or game elements in ChemCaper.

Concepts of covalent, ionic and metallic bonding are encountered and learned through gameplay. The Active Time Battle System will see kids battling various foes with the help of their faithful Petticles, creatures formed by chemical bonding. Learning comes full circle with each Petticle demonstrating unique traits representing real life particles.

Additionally, students will learn how to separate compounds, refine fluids, and sieve through precious metals in various mini games which will introduce students to the kinds of Chemistry apparatus used in laboratories. [...]

Gamasutra

Details

Underworld - Definitive Editon Engine Update

by Myrthos, 02:00

After some time a new update has appeared for Swords and Sorcery: Underworld Definitive Edition. The update is about combat in the new engine that was made.

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First of all, there are portraits. These are visible throughout the game but in combat there are a couple things to take note of.

  • They are layed out in their actual combat positions. There are three rows of two, which represents their actual position in combat. Therefore the first two are most exposed.
  • Characters (and monsters) are grayed out when out of melee range. (It does NOT mean they are inactive, nor does the highlighting indicate which character/monster is up). This allows for many things, including tactical positionning options. These include: join or leave melee, order everyone forward or to retreat, or move to the front. there is also the protect option (given the character carries a shield) which allows him or her to set themselves alongside or in front of a companion and physically “share their armor”. They effectively change position in the roster. Monsters can have similar behavior.

The combat log now appears in real time in the top left corner. This allows for much quicker combat since there is no longer a need for a pause to allow players to follow friendly and enemy actions.

Visual effect for spells.

All options appear in the bottom row and can be clicked or activated with their keyboard shortcuts (those appear on the left when hovered). Several actions are unlocked later with the earning of new levels. Naturally, spell casters are rewarded with new spells.

  • Ambidextria allows Knights and Rogues to use two 1H weapons.
  • Stun allows the rogue to immobilize a foe for some time (how many rounds depends on an accuracy and luck versus the monster’s endurance and luck check).
  • Burst allows the archer to shoot three arrows simultaneously (with damage per shot reduced by 25%).
  • Later, Barrage allows the archer to shoot all visible targets (up to 10) with a 50% damage score.
  • Berserk allows the Knight to hit all enemies in melee with a loss of 50% of his/her own life bar.
  • Bleed allows the Rogue to inflict cumulative damage over time, but you’ll need a high level for this one.
  • Powerhouse allows the Knight to replace 1H weapons with 2H weapons. Meaning potentially two 2H if he/she chooses to not carry a shield.

To make this work better, I redesigned both the monster and item database. Monsters now have the same attributes as characters. Some attributes like endurance, spirit, intelligence and luck are used in different checks, allowing for much more variety of resistances and weaknesses. This info can be collected with a spell called Read Mind that’ll help you figure out how to defeat the tougher enemies in later stages of the game.

Another example is the Rogue no longer systematically leaves stealth mode after an attack. An accuracy and luck versus intelligence and luck check determines whether he/she remains unseen or is spotted by the target. If the target is killed by an assassination, the Rogue will remain unseen no matter what.

Weapons now have a penetration and minimum strength score. I added this mainly to accomodate the Archer. The Archer’s damage now exclusively depends on his/her accuracy and luck (to a lesser extent of course), regardless of strength. But to use a more powerful weapon, the Archer will have to match the weapon’s minimum strength. Penetration is deducted from the target’s armor score before determining final damage. While this helps balance the Archer’s contribution to the group, it works the same for melee weapons (whose damage scores are determined by strength.) But bows tend to have higher penetration scores than swords or daggers.

To further accomodate this system, I changed the way weapons work as well. They no longer add to the character’s damage score but multiply it (+0.20*Base Melee, +5.5*Base Ranged…). The weakest ranged weapon (sling) adds 20% to base ranged damage (the accuracy score). The most powerful melee and ranged weapons exceed 10*. Scores of armor and special items have attribute bonuses and many can be enchanted later in the game.

Underworld

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

Details

Friday - August 21, 2015

RPGWatch Feature - The Mandate Gamescom Preview

by Myrthos, 22:27

One of the interesting games I wanted to check out at Gamescom was The Mandate. A game that tries to combine various gameplay elements into one game. Here is what I learned.

The character creation is not accomplished by making some selections in a UI but they take you through a 'choose your own adventure' mini-game in which you are presented with a bunch of situations and where you have to make a choice. At the end of the mini-game your character's attributes will be generated, but there are also some long term effects. If you are fine with bombarding civilians in order to get something to start the game with, that is not something a faction like the Black Eagles or Romanovs would like, so you probably would align more with the rebels, the pirates or the Arkwrights. Also, if you help someone in the mini game, that character is likely to be your allie later on in the game. If you however don't help that character he or she is likely to be your enemy later on.

The Mandate

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

Details

Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Update #5

by Hiddenx, 20:33

New stretch goals for Exoplanet: First Contact are announced in Kickstarter update #5:

In the last days we have been getting a lot of questions from you, our backers, and some media representatives about the stretch goals. We decided to release them as soon as we reached the 25% funding mark. A small spike of backers is now bringing us close to the 30% of the initial goal! Our heartfelt thanks for the new backers and those who decided to upgrade their pledges. The time has come and here are our Stretch Goals for Exoplanet: First Contact Kickstarter campaign!

  • $50,000 Origins
  • $60,000 Your ship is your home, your crew is your family
  • $80,000 Random Encounters

[...]

Exoplanet: First Contact

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

Details

Kyn - Review @ TechRaptor

by Hiddenx, 19:46

Luigi Savinelli (TechRaptor) has reviewed Kyn:

Kyn Review – Into the Lands of Vikings


Kyn is an action RPG developed by Tangrin games. The studio is made by only 2 people who developed the art, code, level design and pretty much everything else with some help from contractors. This viking themed isometrc RPG is surprisingly enjoyable considering so few people worked on it and despite the fact it’s not free from flaws.

The story of Kyn starts with Bram and Alrik, two young Magni warrior apprentices that just completed their final trials to become mystical champions. At their return to the village of Vinborg, they find out that the Aeshir, usually peaceful forest creatures, suddenly became aggressive and started to attack human settlements. This introduction is pretty classic, but it leads later to interesting developments and a fairly deep storyline that will delve into the nature itself of the world. Nothing unforgettable and frankly the writing could use some improvements, but the story and the lore is well crafted enough to keep the player interested.

The game unfolds following a mission based advancement. At the end of every mission, you come back to the town, which changes with the proceeding of the game, so you can talk to the questgivers, shop for new items and reorganize your warriors’ specs. There’s a crafting system in the game, although it’s not a very complex one. Just talk to the blacksmith in town after you’ve unlocked it, and he’ll tell you the recipes he has available at the moment. If you have all the required reagents to build an item, you can give them to it to craft that weapon or armor. There’s a reagent vendor nearby that sells all the materials available in the game, but they can get pretty costly to buy the rarest ones so it’s advised to use it only if you miss a few reagents. Picking up the materials during the missions is the best course of action.

[...]

Rating: 7/10

Summary : Kyn is not a flawless game but is an interesting take on the topic of isometric RPGs. Worth taking a look at it.

 

Kyn

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

Details

Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Review @ HardcoreGamer

by Hiddenx, 19:30

Bradley Storm (HardcoreGamer) has reviewed Shadowrun: Hong Kong:

In this day and age of gaming, it’s rare to find a developer that consistently releases not just good titles, but fantastic ones. When Harebrained Schemes first came onto the scene back in 2013, fans weren’t sure what the brand new studio (comprised of industry veterans, mind you) were going to do with the beloved tabletop roleplaying game Shadowrun. After all, the series has had a spotty past in the world of gaming, spawning both great games (like the SNES/Genesis entry) and just mediocre ones (like the multiplayer-centric Shadowrun for Xbox 360 and Windows).

Needless to say, audiences were worried about Shadowrun Returns. Of course, that anxiety disappeared the moment the game released and then became but a fleeting memory when the even more wonderful Dragonfall expansion launched last year. Here we are now in 2015 with Hong Kong, the third Shadowrun in three years. That’s a lot of Shadowrun, right? Seeing as annual franchises often go to the well once too often, Hong Kong — despite Harebrained’s now impressive resume — comes with trepidation of its own: do we really need another Shadowrun game already?

[...]

Closing Comments:

We’ve said it practically with each new Shadowrun Harebrained Schemes puts out, and we’ll say it again for Hong Kong: this is the most definitive, comprehensive and polished version of Shadowrun on the market. It builds on the past games in subtle but smart ways, fixing what was broken, and not touching what wasn’t. As a result, players are left with a magical cRPG that gives them so many options. Whether it’s the dialogue and story, combat, exploration, or the amount of loadout options, this is about as close as folks are going to get to a tabletop experience. The best part is, you don’t have to be a Shadowrun fan to love it. If you are, though, there’s just that much more to get lost in here. This is a game that transcends its name and should be spoken of in the same breath as the genre’s best. In years to come people will be comparing the new cRPGs to Hong Kong, because it’s easily a benchmark for what developers in the RPG arena should be looking at when designing their games.

Score: 4.5/5

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

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

Details

Ghost of a Tale - Dress a Mouse

by Myrthos, 14:54

Seith has provided an update for Ghost of a Tale, about the clothes that make the mouse.

Since the inventory is now functional I recently I did a final pass on the dynamic props system. And I’m quite happy with its versatility. Basically Tilo can find a lot of wearable items that give him various resistances and boosts. Those items can be equipped on his ears, head, face, chest, waist, etc…

For example here you can see him dressed as a famous pirate (I won’t spoil it too much since it’s related to a specific quest).

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And when wearing a complete costume set Tilo receives a further skill bonus. These costume items can be found all over the place (well actually some of them are quite hard to get) and are often related to the game’s folklore figures or even past Dwindling Heights prisoners.

The interesting thing is the NPCs will react differently depending on how Tilo is dressed (reflected in the dialogs). The possibilities of mix-and-match are also super nice; you can really create different (and rather unique) looks for Tilo.

He also mentions that he is planning to go to Early Access at the end of November.

Ghost of a Tale

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

Details

Temple of the Abyssal Winds - Chapter 3 Released

by Myrthos, 14:40

Chapter 3 of The Temple of the Abyssal Winds, named: Expedition into the Temple, has been released.

Continue your adventure into the classic-style role-playing game of Temple of the Abyssal Winds. Chapter 3: Expedition into the Temple is available for purchase now: on Windows, visit the website to purchase chapter 3, and on iPad, purchase chapter 3 as an in-app purchase.

If you are new to Temple of the Abyssal Winds, chapter 1 is free to download and play for both platforms. Start there, and then move through chapters 2 and 3, with chapter 4 through 6 scheduled for release in 2015. Merry Prankster Games invites you into the world of Temple of the Abyssal Winds!

You can find more information, or download Temple of the Abyssal Winds for Windows, on the website:

Temple of the Abyssal Winds

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

Details

Aldorlea Games - A Timely Intervention Released

by Myrthos, 14:36

Aldorlea Games have released a new JRPG, named A Timely Intervention.

"A Timely Intervention" is an innovative role-playing game by the makers of "The Tale of a Common Man".
It features spectacular battle visuals, polished gameplay mechanisms, an intricate storyline and a cast of colourful characters.
 
For the first part of the game, play as 2 separate parties, as the story goes back and forth between them. Each party has its own hopes and goals; when they meet can those be reconciled as they join forces? And how can they know what their choices will bring? Delve into a brand new world full of characters, secrets and possibilities. 
For more information check the game's website.

Aldorlea Games

Details

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Myrthos, 12:55

About three quarters of those who voted in our latest poll, are excited at some level with the development of Original Sin 2.

in 2013 RPGWatch ran it's own campaign in which we raised $10K for the devlopement of Original Sin and handed out a lot of goodies to those who participated, courtesy of Larian Studios. Our new poll is about whether or not you think we should do this again for Original Sin 2.

RPGWatch

Details

CRPG Addict - Building a CRPG Glossary

by Arhu, 10:52

Stumbled upon this while compiling the review roundups. CRPG Addict identified various CRPG phenomena for which he suggested there ought to be terms and asked his audience for help. Commenter Giauz et al. came up with a bunch of names for these situations I bet most of us have experienced themselves before:

  • Slight of Dice
    The rhythm that you fall into while repeated re-rolling attributes during character creation, causing you to accidentally blow past the perfect set of statistics. And/or the combination of horror and rage you feel when this happens.
  • Prolonged Prototyping or Roll-playing or Stat Eugenics
    The act of growing so obsessed with character creation that you never actually play the game. 
  • Non-Player-Person (NPP) Limbo
    After you've taken a break from your game for a week or two, the uncomfortable period in which you don't want to continue with the old character but it seems too soon to create a new character. 
  • Ten-Clicks Rick
    Rapidly pressing buttons to escape from a conversation you've already experienced, only to click (or hit "A") one too many times and end up asking the same question again. 
  • So Clo-RESET
    The moment, around the 2/3 point of the game, that you start to feel like you haven't been playing optimally, and that you should probably restart and do it right this time. 
  • The Prestige Corollary
    Related, the perverse desire to hit "New Game" when you've already invested 120 hours in your existing one. 
  • Role-play the Fool
    The rationalizations that you go through while repeatedly extending your allowable game time. (At the start: "I'm only playing for four hours, tops. Then I need to study." After four hours: "Two more hours. I don't have that much material." After two more hours: "All right. I'll just finish this quest and I'm hitting the books." After another hour: "It's more important that I'm relaxed for the test than it is to have a head full of useless knowledge anyway." After three more hours: "Playing games is pretty much as relaxing as sleep is.") 
  • Omni-Club President
    The tortuous backstory that you invent for your character to justify joining the thieves' guild, the fighters' guild, the mages' guild, the paladins' circle, the temple, and the assassins' guild all in the same game.
  • Reaper's Stopwatch
    The high positive correlation between likelihood of death and the number of minutes since your last save. 
  • Immaculate Screen Junk
    Character portrait and icon options that someone obviously took a great deal of time to create and yet it's impossible to imagine anyone using them.
  • Gandalf's Weed Madness alternatively Richard British
    The urge to perform CRPG-related activities in real life. (Thanks to Oblivion and Skyrim, I can't pass a field of wildflowers without wanting to stop my car and grab my Swiss Army Knife.) 
  • Macguffin Withdrawal
    The vexing feeling that somewhere--maybe back in the Dwarven ruin you explored six hours ago--you missed a chest. 
  • Schultz Detour
    Undertaking a three-hour journey back to a previously-explored dungeon because a walkthrough informed you of a missed area that will give you 160 more gold pieces and 28 more experience points.
  • Queptoventure
    Feeling the need to explore every corner of a new location, such as visiting a friend's house or going to a store, looking for hidden Easter eggs and treasures. Along the way, seeing the "Employees Only" and barricades as either later plots or level boundaries.
  • Unlearned fencelessness
    Accidentally forgetting that a two foot tall barrier won't actually stop you.
  • Premature Expiration
    The intense loss of excitement that comes after the first death.
  • The 'Next' Temptation
    The desire to save your life before having a conversation so you can safely say the wrong thing, just to see what happens. (Related, the Sands of Time had that in the final cut scene *grin*).

Sounds familiar? I'm sure there are more.

CRPG Addict

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CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Twelve)

by Arhu, 09:42

Two well-known classics this time around in the hands of the CRPG Addict: Ultima V and Wasteland.

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (1988)

The back story of the game is compelling and well-narrated, and the world itself is full of interesting terrain, cities, towns, keeps, lighthouses, dungeons, and other places to explore. Origin's manuals continue to top the competition in their history and description of the land and its people. It's one of the few games of any era in which the entire world--rather than just discrete pieces of it--is explorable from the outset. (..)

I confess that my final rating of 69 is a bit of a surprise. This makes Ultima V the highest-rated game in my blog so far, beating Pool of Radiance by 4 points and its predecessor by 14 points. Truth be told, I think I enjoyed Pool of Radiance slightly more, but the difference isn't notable enough to revise the GIMLET, and I might have mentally ranked Ultima V higher if I didn't have to take such a long time-out in August. I might also have mentally ranked it higher if it had a better ending--I almost want to subtract points for that. Why do I keep helping Lord British if he's just going to boot me out of Britannia the moment he's done with me?

  1. Game 63: Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny (1988)
  2. Starting Out
  3. Into the Underworld
  4. Towns and Their Folk
  5. You Don't Know What We Can See
  6. World Tour
  7. Raid on Blackthorn's
  8. Finishing Up on the Surface
  9. Violence
  10. Shards, Shadowlords, and the Underworld
  11. Ars Arcanum
  12. Not Bumping
  13. Things I Discovered While Replaying
  14. Won!
  15. Final Rating

Visions of the Aftermath: The Boomtown (1988)

The game is not a CRPG; its inclusion here is another MobyGames errata. It is, nonetheless, mildly interesting, and I can see how things like the health meter and the inventory could confuse someone as to its CRPG creds. (..)

So, having won at least one scenario, I'm giving it a ranking of 26 and moving on.

  1. Game 64: Visions of the Aftermath: The Boomtown (1988)

Wasteland (1988)

It is the first game that I have played since starting this blog that I felt was truly "replayable," in that different party a skill choices would result in a fundamentally different game. (..) It is legitimately difficult to determine what skills to choose, but awfully fun to watch them develop through use and additional training. (..)

This gives us a final score of 53. It ties with Ultima IV, Starflight, and Omega for my fifth-highest rated game so far. But I maintain that the two Might & Magics, Ultima V, and Pool of Radiance are better games. You can find pitchforks and torches at your local Home Depot.

  1. Game 65: Wasteland (1988)
  2. Dry Bones Can Harm No One
  3. I Will Show You Fear in a Handful of Dust
  4. Breeding Lilacs out of the Dead Land
  5. Restless Nights in One-Night Cheap Hotels
  6. A Heap of Broken Images, Where the Sun Beats
  7. Prison and Place and Reverberation
  8. We Who Were Living Are Now Dying
  9. Won!
  10. Final Rating

Wizard Wars (1988)

Overall gameplay is methodical, mostly linear, non-replayable, and easy--but at least reasonably fast-paced. (..)

That gives us a final score of 24, lower than all but a few games, most of which I didn't finish. I would have finished this one. Maybe I felt I needed an easy win before another Wizardry title.

  1. Game 66: Wizard Wars (1988)
  2. Walking Through
  3. Need "Defeat Copyright Protection" Spell
  4. Someone Else Won!

 

Explanation of the the final score: The GIMLET.

CRPG Addict

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Overfall - New Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 07:56

Pera Games has launched an interesting new Kickstarter: Overfall.

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Overfall

A fantasy roleplaying game of rough diplomacy and tough action. Explore, negotiate, and fight your way across the high seas!

Sail the seas. Turn the tide. Save the world.

Explore the shifting seas of a strange realm. Fend off starvation. Fight terrible foes…or befriend them. Recruit lost souls and learn their histories. Recover lost artifacts and rediscover lost knowledge. Take part in stories of the absurd and the tragic, the magical and the mundane - intimate, epic, and never the same twice.

Ready to embark?

Core-Features:

  • A huge, dynamic world to explore, ruled by a number of races in constant conflict - it’s up to you to help or betray them
  • Challenging and addictive turn-based combat - careful strategy and cunning skill combinations are the key to victory against your foes!
  • Permanent hero death, procedural world generation, and high replay inspired by classic roguelikes
  • Interactive story encounters where the choices you make and the allies you recruit ensure no two journeys are quite the same
  • Unlock new classes, weapons, trinkets and skills as you progress in the game
  • Beautiful hand-drawn art of of 9 player characters, 36 combat companions, 80+ enemies, 80+ NPCs, and 100+ locations

[...]

Kickstarter

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Darkest Dungeon - The Perils of Early Access

by Silver, 01:32

Over at the Jimquisition site Jim Sterling outlines the problems people are having with the Darkest Dungeon and how early access has contributed to this problem. From the editorial below.

Over time, the game did what Early Access games are supposed to do - it updated regularly. Unfortunately, things seem to have gone terribly awry, with many vocal players believing the game has only gotten worse with each subsequent update.

As Red Hook Studios continues to overhaul the game and rebalance its systems, the general consensus seems to be that they're just breaking it.

 

 

Darkest Dungeon

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

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General News - RPG Maker Mega Sale at Bundle Stars

by Icefire, 00:28

Been wanting to give RPG Maker a Whirl? Or just looking for games made with it? Then head on over to Bundle Stars RPG Maker Mega Sale!  According to the promo, "there are endless possibilities with over 90 individual deals right now, and even more arriving tomorrow."  What will you create??

General News

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

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Might & Magic - In Humble Bundles Weekly bundle package.

by Icefire, 00:19

For those wanting to try, or for those who missed the bundle earlier this year, Humble Bundles Weekly Bundle is the Might & Magic series. What you get depends on how much coin you give. A single dollar nets you Heroes of Might & Magic II & IV, Might & Magic 6, Might & Magic Heroes Online starter pack, & BETA access to M&M Heroes VII!! Paying more than $8.00 (as of this writing) also gets you HOMM V, the Hammers Of Fate DLC, & Tribes of The East. M&M Heroes VI, Dark Messiah of M&M,M&M Clash of Heroes I Am The Boss DLC, & The first HOMM.  Boosting your donation to $10 will get you M&M X Legacy, plus  the Falcon & The Unicorn DLC, HOMM 3 HD Edition, M&M Heroes VI Shades Of Darkness, and M&M Duel Of CHampions Starter Pack. It's a great deal, so head on over to Humble Bundle to snag it.

Might & Magic

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Thursday - August 20, 2015

RPGWatch Feature - Victor Vran: Motorhead Gamescom Interview

by Myrthos, 23:41

I didn't get to see anything in action for the new Victor Vran: Motörhead Through the Ages add-on, so it ended up to be an interview only, in which we talked a bit about Victor Vran and about the Motorhead add-on.

At the time, they started talking about the soundtrack and licensing certain songs to use them in the game and during that talk they really, really started to like the game and asked Haemimont Games if it wouldn't be something that could be built upon to make it bigger.
What Haemimont didn't want to do, is put the Motörhead thing on just something as they didn't want to look bad to the fans and they also don't want to mess up their own brand, Victor Vran. So out of licensing the songs it became an entire big expansion to Victor Vran, that will have a big long story line with three very huge levels/worlds that will feel very different. Several dungeons. New weapons, New monsters, and new special attacks

Victor Vran: Motorhead

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

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Gamescom - The Technomancer, The White March and Kingdom Come @ RPG Codex

by Myrthos, 23:12

I've learned that Bubbles and JarlFrank from RPGCodex have visited a total of 31 games on Gamescom. That is two and a half time more than I've visited, so I really get the massive amount of work it is to create articles for all those games.

As it was done last year, they have several articles about Gamescom and each article covers multiple games. In this first one The Technomancer, Pillars of Eternity: The White March and Kingdom Come: deliverance are covered.

Although I have not penned down what I have to tell about Kingdom Come: Deliverance I will give away that I can relate to this part about combat:

At the end, he talked a bit about the game's combat system, the most important gameplay element of Kingdom Come. He called it "the most authentic depiction of European Martial Arts today." I pondered this for a bit, and thought it sounded pretty cool. He invited us all to have a hands-on in the booth next door, and then started handing out four-packs of Kingdom Come-branded Kickstarter beer to everybody in attendance (full disclosure: I hate beer). As soon as the other attendants had received their beers, they skedaddled out of the booth, never to be seen again. In the end, it was up to the Codex to humour the poor presenter and to take our places in the combat presentation. To make a long and repetitive story short; it turns out that the most authentic depiction of European Martial Arts today boils down to looking at a large reticule in the middle of your screen and using your gamepad (or, alternatively, swishing your mouse around the screen) to activate directional combos. Top right, bottom left, top, might be “blind”, while middle left, bottom right, center stab might be “cripple”. That's how they fought in the Middle Ages. After a while, I decided to leave the combat arena and explore the game a bit further.

Gamescom

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Steam - Your target audience doesn't exist

by Hiddenx, 19:19

Sergey Galyonkin has written another interesting article for his 'SteamSpy' series:

Your target audience doesn’t exist

Why you shouldn’t talk about “MOBA audience”, “core gamers”, “female gamers” and instead think smaller.

[...]

What about “usual” games?

And here is the interesting thing — there is a market and audience for smaller games, otherwise Steam wouldn’t exist. Many people are trying many new games. They don’t spend hundreds of hours in one title, they’re, you know, your average gamers, you used to hear about a lot.

But there is a catch:

There aren’t many of them.

Classic “core gamers” — the ones that play most major hits or jump from indie game to indie game — are relatively rare when compared to overall gaming audience.

In fact, 1% of Steam gamers own 33% of all copies of games on Steam. 20% of Steam gamers own 88% of games. That’s even more than Pareto principle suggests.

So, to be a member of the “1% group” of Steam gamers you have to own 107 games or more. That’s not much considering how Steam is selling games at discount prices and how easy it is to obtain games in bundles.

We’re talking about 1.3M PC gamers that could fall into definition of “core gamer that buys several games per year”. And that’s including discounted games as well.

Of course we could extend it to, I don’t know, “softcore gamers” — the 20% that own 88% games. To be included you’d have to own 4 (FOUR) games or more on Steam — not exactly a huge number, right?

Let me repeat it once more, because it’s really important.

Various studies suggest that there are 700–800 million of PC gamers. It’s probably true, but it doesn’t mean much for your game. Because if you’re developing a downloadable game for Steam you’re not even fighting for 135M of its active users,

you’re fighting for the attention of 1.3 million gamers
that are actually buying lots of games.

The 1% group.

[...]

Steam

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GOG - Forgotten Realms: The Archives

by Arhu, 19:15

The Forgotten Realms comes to GOG in three nifty packages, featuring thirteen classic AD&D games, including a bunch from SSI's Gold Box series.

Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection One

The Forgotten Realms world of Dungeons & Dragons has been home to many a hero and imagination since its publication, producing adventures and stories to be retold and enjoyed for years to come. The Forgotten Realms Archive - Collection One allows you to journey through one such set of adventures: the Eye of the Beholder trilogy, a set of first-person, real-time role-playing games.

  • Eye of the Beholder
  • Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon
  • Eye of the Beholder III: Assault on Myth Drannor

Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection Two

The Forgotten Realm Archives - Collection Two brings a healthy mix of “Gold Box” and nostalgia goodness to your PC, along with a combination of adventure builders, turn-based and real-time role-playing gameplay. Composed of RPG classics that premiered the Forgotten Realms to video gamers, The Forgotten Realm Archives - Collection Two contains the following titles:

  • Pool of Radiance
  • Curse of the Azure Bonds
  • Secret of the Silver Blades
  • Pools of Darkness
  • Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures 
  • Gateway to the Savage Frontier
  • Treasures of the Savage Frontier 
  • Hillsfar

Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection Three

The Forgotten Realms Archives - Collection Three marks the conclusion of the Archives compilation and a change in development from Strategic Simulations Inc. to Dreamforge Intertainment. As SSI’s swan song to the Forgotten Realms universe, these titles celebrate the elements of the AD&D video games that you know and love - vast dungeons and beautiful locations to explore, a wide variety of monsters to slay, quests to complete, adventurers to assemble and worlds to be saved. These titles were a worthy conclusion to one of role-play gaming’s most defining series and will be a fine addition your games collection.

  • Dungeon Hack
  • Menzoberranzan

Spotted by wolfsrain. Thanks!

GOG

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One Way Heroics - Plus: Expansion released

by Arhu, 14:33

IndieGames reports that an expansion to the ever side-scrolling roguelike One Way Heroics  was released earlier this week on Steam in the form of downloadable content, called One Way Heroics Plus.

One Way Heroics Plus

One Way Heroics is a cross between a JRPG and a roguelike, the result of developer Smoking WOLF's desire to make a sidescrolling RPG. It came out in February of last year and proved to be one of the most unique indie games of 2014. Now One Way Heroics has an expansion, One Way Heroics Plus, that adds tons of new content and some new mechanics.

For those unfamiliar with the base game, One Way Heroics takes place in a setting where darkness is slowly eating every world in every dimension and the player must stay ahead of the darkness until they can find and defeat the villain. It's story light, with a focus on procedurally generated worlds and the risks of trying to get new and better loot, maintain the loot the player already has, and juggle getting more experience with surviving. Many of its menus and systems scream JRPG, but it's grid-based and every step or action taken uses up a turn. Every couple of turns, the darkness advances from left to right, scrolling the world with it. If the player gets caught by the darkness, they lose. If they run out of HP, they lose.

One Way Heroics Plus adds new content in the form of three new character classes to choose from, more items, more skills, more NPC types, and new tilesets.

Here are some reviews for the base game, since we didn't report about it before:

  • RPG Fan: 83%
  • "One Way Heroics is a hidden gem. The gimmick truly works here and adds a dimension not otherwise available in roguelikes or any other game, really."
  • Critically Sane: 4/5
    "For the price, $3.50 full price, this is a great little game to pass the time. (..) the daily dimensions offers limitless replayability."
  • USGamer: 3/5
    "While ugly and unforgiving, One Way Heroics is nonetheless an enjoyable, addictive and innovative take on the crowded roguelike genre."
  • RPG Site: 8/10
    "It may not look that pretty, and the world doesn't seem all that well put-together no matter how it's generated, but for a game offering this amount of quality and only costs under $2 to purchase, that's a strong enough reason to give the game a try."
  • RPGamer.com: 3.5/5
    "+ Easy to pick up and play, + Optional challenges increase replayability, - Small. Could benefit from more everything, - Lackluster localization"
  • Steam user reviews: Overwhelmingly positive

The base game is 75% off at Steam this week for less than 1$, the expansion is 10% off for about 5 bucks.

One Way Heroics

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

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