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Wednesday - May 25, 2016
Tuesday - May 24, 2016
Monday - May 23, 2016
Sunday - May 22, 2016
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Picture Watch

BioShock
Box Art

Poll Watch

How well funded do you prefer your games to be?
Mega Bucks AAA+
13.79%

Noticeably well funded
31.03%

Fairly well funded
48.28%

Limited
3.45%

Struggling
1.72%

Cheap and cheerful
1.72%

Vote

Recently Released

May: Planar Conquest
May: Shoppe Keep
May: Knights of Aira
May: Overfall
May: Salt and Sanctuary

Wednesday - May 25, 2016

GOG - Torchlight 2 Released

by Silver, 12:01

GOG now has Torchlight 2 in its catalogue and its at a 50% discount. The original Torchlight is also on sale for a 75% discount. The discounts last until May 29, 2:59 PM UTC.

The loot, the loot, the loot is on fire!

Torchlight II, the ridiculously addictive sequel to the beloved steampunk action/RPG, is available now for Windows, Mac, and Linux, DRM-free on GOG.com with a 50% launch discount.
The good thing about monsters is that no matter how many times you wipe them out, they just keep coming back! And it is exactly this kind of dogged persistence that makes it all the more satisfying when you get to slice them, dice them, or blow them up to temporary extinction in new and exciting ways. Getting geared up with awesome loot and exploring unknown places infested with secrets is also a nice bonus.

GOG

Details

InXile Entertainment - Brian Fargo Interview

by Silver, 06:44

@Existential Gamer they interview Brian Fargo of InXile and talk about his history, InXiles games and their reception.

EG: Do you deal well with criticism? How do (the oftentimes heated) online discussions of these treasured franchises and genres affect you?

BF: I like to think I'm pretty self-aware when it comes to the faults of my games. I'll admit that I can get frustrated if a criticism was incorrect or missed the point due to a misunderstanding of particular events, but I do try to keep my cool. I love having Early Access because I can receive that criticism early on, a point at which I can actually do something about the feedback. The most difficult part about dealing with the older franchises is that we often end up competing with the memory of players' experiences rather than the actual gameplay itself. This happens mostly because people played some of these old games at a certain special time in their life.

EG: Torment: Tides of Numenera seems like a hugely ambitious project, one that aims to redefine what a CRPG can be. As it enters open beta, what would you say to a player going in without having played the original Torment? What about a hardcore fan?

BF: I would want anyone new or old to prepare for a literary experience as they begin playing Torment: Tides of Numenera. The quality of its writing and the bizarre universe it established were what made Planescape: Torment wonderful. These are the focus of this game as well. It is not a game that works if your mindset is to rush towards victory.

[...]

EG: In our interview with him, Vince D. Weller of Age of Decadence mentioned inXile as the most interesting studio out there. Who are you most excited to see pave the future for RPG's?

BF: I've always been excited to see how small Indies like Vince push the envelope of what makes an RPG. As companies acquire overhead it becomes more difficult to take risks and therein lies the opportunity for the small guy to shine.

InXile Entertainment

Details

BattleTech - Update #27 - Rewards Update

by Aubrielle, 06:36

In their latest update, Harebrained Schemes gives us some more details on how backer rewards are coming for BattleTech.

Hey All! This is Brian, Ops Director here at Harebrained Schemes. I’ve taken on the task of manufacturing the Noble House Heraldry Sets and MechWarrior Flight Jackets but, before we get to that, here’s a quick update on how things are going with the game as well as a few other things of note.

  • Game Development: Mike asked me to let you all know that game production continues on schedule - the engineering team is currently heads-down and focused on building out all the core systems that make combat possible - essentially taking the game from a rough, bare-bones prototype to a fully-fledged, scalable Combat Game. Meanwhile, the design team is making maps and thinking ahead to plan out a lot of the game’s campaign and mercenary career “simulation” aspects, and the art team is busy making lots of terrain features, animations, effects - I’ve even spied a few classic BattleTech vehicles starting to roll out of the art factory here...
  • Novellas: Mike Stackpole has had consultations with all the Backers that will appear in the novellas and we’re hoping to be able to deliver the first in the series with Backers in the next couple months.
  • Our next Dev Q&A will be on June 8 at 2pm PDT on Hyper RPG’s Twitch channel. If you can’t watch live, you can watch them any time if you subscribe to HyperRPG or check them out when they’re posted on the Hyper RPG Youtube channel. Q&As from March and April and May are available now so you can watch them. 
  • BattleTech Forum: There continues to be some great conversation about the game and with the Devs over in our Forum. Here’s a thread about Vehicles included in the game.
  • Death From Above: Our mercenary team, led by the Lord Commander (our own Mitch Gitelman) continues to play on the battlefield with our custom 3D printed ’Mechs every Friday at 6pm PDT on Hyper RPG. You can read more in this Forum post about how the game intersects with BattleTech lore from Aristocra and catch up on previous episodes on Hyper RPG’s Youtube channel.

Now, on to the main topic of the post...

HERALDRY SETS & FLIGHT JACKETS

We’re really pleased with how all these items came out - everyone here at the office has been trying to swipe the pre-production samples, especially the hats and the jackets. It might be a bit warm when you get your jackets (here in the U.S. at least), but go ahead and show them off at GenCon and PAX West -- we’ll understand. :)

More.

Source: Harebrained Schemes

BattleTech

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

Details

Ultima Online - Ultima Online Wars Announcement

by Silver, 03:32

There is a new development in the realm of Ultima with the announcement of Ultima Online Wars set for June 24th. Head to the link to see the release announcement trailer.

We're extremely excited to reveal our release announcement trailer today! The beautiful, and chaotic world of Ultima Online Wars (UOW) offers so much to do and explore. We can't wait to see players experiencing everything to be discovered in UOW.

In other news the UO Wars Launcher has been officially completed and, once UOW has been released on June 24th, will even offer the ability to directly connect to the game itself through the launcher. As of this post onward you can download the UOW client and any updates with the launcher here: http://www.uowars.com/client/Ultima%20Online%20Wars%20Launcher%20Installer.exe

Mirror: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2HPUyuJnu3cMDROc3ZvSmtzeGM/view?usp=sharing

We have even included our own version of Sallos with the launcher installation as well. Hope to see you all on June 24th!

Ultima Online

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

Details

RPG Codex - Interview with Feargus Urquhart

by Silver, 02:46

RPG Codex's Jedi Master Radek interviewed Obsidians Feargus Urquhart at Digital Dragons.

Jedi Master Radek: If you ever get a chance to develop a game in the World of Darkness setting, what qualities should this potential game possess? What should a great World of Darkness game be like?

Feargus Urquhart: Gotcha! That's... that's a lot of... so, what's interesting about World of Darkness is, we were talking to, we were talking to White Wolf, geez, in 2007? 2008? Well, maybe 2006, 2007. I was... we were talking about doing a World of Darkness game and so I think a World of Darkness game can be done in lots of different ways. But I think like, Bloodlines is a great example of one way, and I think that, that one way if we were ever to make a World of Darkness game, I would want to, I think Bloodlines is a good direction. I think that the other direction, what we had been talking back then, is because we were working on Neverwinter Nights 2 and we thought wouldn't be it cool to take Neverwinter Nights 2 and do a World of Darkness version of Neverwinter Nights. I mean not Dungeons and Dragons, but you know, and then it would not only would it give people, we could make that story and character-based RPG, but what we could also do is then give everybody the tools to go build their own World of Darkness, which is you know, ehm, the Storyteller. The Storyteller? [short pause] I forgot what's the name of the RPG system. I can't believe I just blanked on it. The RPG system is very much about telling stories, not so much about stats. And so if we could create that thing, where people could now create their own worlds and run their own little servers and everything. I thought that would be, that would be a really cool way to make a World of Darkness game.

[...]

JMR: One of Obsidian's canceled project we know the least about is Dwarfs.

FU: [enthusiastically] Mmm hmm, mmm hmm?

JMR: Could you tell us something more about it...

FU: Right.

JMR: ...and if we'll ever get a chance to see those Brian Menze concepts...

FU: [laughs]

JMR: ...Kevin Saunders praised so much?

FU: [laughs] Yeah, I don't, so, so, you know. If there is... I would love to share those concepts, and I should ask at some point, I should ask to see if, if Disney would be okay. I have a feeling they would say no, and that's not because they're bad people, but I think that that would be, but I should ask, and so...but particularly, you know, working with a company like Disney, we always, we have to ask to share things. But I will try to share stuff about the game, you know. It was, so it was a third person, it had a party of the dwarfs... so it was you as the prince and then you had dwarfs, and it was third person so you were kinda running, and it had this kind of interesting where as you...you had a conversation system as you were moving with your companions, so it was running from place to place. I can press A, B or, or I could talk with my companions, but I didn't have to stop and talk to them. You could have bigger conversations outside that, but I thought that was interesting. I thought the fight system was pretty cool. From the standpoint of it... it sorta was this fight system which it had these kind of concentric rings of like...and things could be in the different rings, and so it felt really good to do it. It was... we were really proud of like the vertical slice we ended up doing. It had... it was very sort of streamed in open world. So there was no... you just went from place to place and you did stuff there and you did stuff there and that was on a very early version of Unreal 3. And it just had all these qualities, the art was fun, the prince, it felt like, it felt like, I don't want to say a youthful fable. But it just... it was, it had more like... it was just more cartoony but, it was just more fun and like, youthful. And it was too bad that one didn't move forward. I think we... there's still people at Obsidian today that are, that still ask me about doing it. You know and I'm like, particularly now with the announcement stuff from Disney. Yeah, it's too bad that that one didn't keep on going.

JMR: Did it go past the vertical slice, or not much more?

FU: We were at vertical slice, so basically it was at vertical slice where it was canceled.

RPG Codex

Details

Witcher 3 - On Iorveth's Cut Content

by Silver, 01:13

At wccftech they explain how the new expansion Blood and Wine for Witcher 3 will tie up loose ends by being the whole games finale. Also CDPR’s Philipp Webber explained why Iorveth's content was cut from the main game. Iorveth featured prominently in the Witcher 2.

As we already heard in the past months, the game was apparently going to be even more massive, with some story quests focused on the Wild Hunt getting cut for a variety of reasons. Content related to one of the more popular characters of the second entry of the series, the Scoia'tael Iorveth, has also been cut, and a few hours ago a member of the team commented on the matter.

In a post on the official The Witcher forums, CDPR's Philipp Webber has commented on the Iorveth focused content that was cut from the game. Apparently, this chunk of the story was a big part of it and it was not possible to recreate it in another quest once the decision to cut it was made.

I'd like to give some clarification for this discussion. Like our writers already mentioned a few months ago, Iorveth used to be part of the game. However, as time and development went on, this chunk of the story had to be cut for multiple reasons, but it was quite a big part of the game. At this time, it was simply not possible to "just" create another quest that would replace it and we had to finish and polish the rest of the game. It's perfectly natural that parts of the game are cut in development, and in this case it unfortunately hit a part that Iorveth had a big role in.
And yes, of course you can come up with many ways and ideas how to still cram him in there somehow, but that's not our way. If we do something like that, we do it right and we do the character justice. It's not easy to make decisions like that, so I hope you can respect that.

As The Witcher 3 is going to be Geralt's final adventure, the game was probably the last chance for players to see Iorveth again. While the decision made by the team is definitely understandable, it's still disappointing for those who chose the Iorveth story path in The Witcher 2 and have come to love the Scoia'tael and their cause.

Witcher 3

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

Details

I Am Setsuna - E3 Trailer

by Silver, 00:23

I Am Setsuna is now available for preorder on Steam and will release July 20th. Also check out the new trailer from E3.

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In a land of sorrow and bitter cold a tale of sacrifice will be told.
Experience the timeless story of I Am Setsuna.

I Am Setsuna

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

Details

Tuesday - May 24, 2016

RPGWatch Feature - Siege of Dragonspear Review

by Myrthos, 22:34

Forgottenlor tried out Baldur's Gate: Siege of Dragonspear to see if it lived up to his expectations and what the all the controversies were about in this review for RPGWatch.

While the game offers you a good number of companions of all classes and alignments, how it's done is pretty interesting. Three of the four most resilient melee characters are only available close to halfway through the game. You get Misc and Corwin at the beginning as fighters, but Corwin is an archer, and you lose out on most of her potential if she gets stuck in close combat. On the other hand there is no shortage of priests early on. The result was that I played very differently than in most of my playthroughs of Baldur's Gate, and relied heavily on the web and entangle spells during the first half of the game.

While leveling up in Baldur's Gate was always infrequent (making it a big deal when it did happen), in Siege of Dragonspear leveling up occurs even more rarely. I'm sure this is to try make a smooth transition from Baldur's Gate I to Siege of Dragonspear to Baldur's Gate 2 possible. Personally it didn't bother me, but then again I didn't import a character, and started off at level 6, and probably advanced faster than a I would have with an imported character. Mostly though, I think characters between levels 6 and 9 represent the best balanced and most interesting levels of 2nd edition Dungeons and Dragons. Spell casters have enough spells to let them use a variety of tactics, but haven't completely left fighter types behind in terms of power. I think this contributes to making the battles throughout most of Siege of Dragonspear interesting, but I can see how it could bother some players.

Siege of Dragonspear

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

Details

Bounty Train - Developer Videos

by Myrthos, 22:24

Three more developer videos for Bounty Train are available now, featuring more information about gun shops, vehicle upgrades and the hospital.

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Bounty Train: Lucrative and risky deals at the saloon
Dev-videos explain new features step by step
 
the West will become even wilder: with today's update saloons and shops will be open for business in Daedalic Entertainment's and Coribe Games' Railroad Simulation. In Saloons, you can cut lucrative but risky deals with outlaws. And mastering these deals require the right equipment from gunshops or pharmacies.
 
Also, engines and cars are now even more customizable. More cargo space or armor plates? No problem! After all, every engine driver should be prepared for the new random encounters which can be their very own boon or complication...
 
There are several more extensive updates planned until the final release in summer 2016.

Bounty Train

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Blood & Wine Launch Trailer

by Myrthos, 22:16

A launch trailer for the launch next week of The Witcher 3 Blood and Wine, named Final Quest, has been made available.

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Witcher 3

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

Details

Vampyr - New Screenshots

by Myrthos, 22:12

Three, not so high-res, screenshots have been made available for DontNod's Vampyr.

 

VAMPYR IMAGES REVEAL THE PROTAGONIST'S DUALITY: CAN YOU BE BOTH SAVIOUR AND MONSTER?
Vampyr, the new action-RPG from acclaimed game-development studio DontNod, releases new images today depicting the duality of the central character. Set in London, 1918, Vampyr promises to offer a unique and deeply immersive experience, and a strong and engaging narrative steeped in vampire mythology. 

In Vampyr, players take control of Dr. Jonathan Reid, a newly formed vampire who is torn between the Hippocratic Oath he swore as a doctor, and the bloodthirsty need to kill due to the monster within. While London suffers from the Spanish Flu pandemic, your first reflex as a doctor would be to help and heal people... but it will be impossible for you to ignore your inner, violent, nature of Vampyr - first and foremost, you are a lethal predator. 

As a Vampyr, you have to accept your need to sacrifice people to survive. Feeding on people will be the basis of your character progression, as it will allow you to learn supernatural Vampyr powers and talents that will be useful in persuasion, locomotion, survivability, and combat. So the dilemma that's offered to you isn't "should I kill people?"" but more "who will I kill"? And this decision won't be without consequences. Killing one person will create a rippling effect on London's ecosystem and you will have to live with both the repercussions and their death on your conscience. Decide to feed on a renowned doctor from the city hospital, and progressively see the health condition of the patients drop. 

Every life saved and every life taken by Reid will have deadly ramifications to London and the people around it. When Vampyr releases in 2017, players will be asked: how far are you ready to go? 

Vampyr

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

Details

Knights of Aira - Released

by Hiddenx, 19:37

The indie strategy RPG Knights of Aira has been released for the PC:

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Lead your army to victory! Command noble knights, sneaky rogues, clever mages, deadly beasts, and more as you fight back the dark sorcerers of the Red Sun.

Delve into the deepest dungeons, ancient forests, war-torn plains, and fiery volcanoes. Featuring gorgeous pixel art for a truly old-school feel!

Knights of Aira is a tactical tbs (turn based strategy) game set in a high-fantasy world, inspired by retro gaming and popular turn-based strategy games. It was originally created as an Android application but recently updated for its launch on PC!

  • Strategic combat
  • Challenging mechanics reward thoughtful playing and punish rash decisions
  • A compelling story line with memorable characters and epic combat
  • Includes two full campaigns: The Company of Sir Oswell and Grushnakh's Goblins!
  • Beautiful retro pixel graphics by Oryx Design Lab

And more!

THE COMPANY OF SIR OSWELL

Discover the dark secrets that lurk beneath the seemingly-peaceful world of Aira. Befriend humans and beasts alike on your quest to save the world from impending doom!

  • Twelve exciting scenarios lead you through Sir Oswell's quest to stop a diabolical plot.

GRUSHNAK'S GOBLINS

Join the goblin warlord Grushnak on a lighthearted quest to raze a village to the ground. Along the way, you'll meet talking trees, pit beasts, angry mobs, and crazy old ladies.

  • Challenging levels
  • Nine all-new scenarios
Go on epic quests and use careful strategy and tactics to liberate castles and crush your enemies. Awesome dungeons, immense environments, and incredible adversaries await you in this unique RPG experience.

Like Fire Emblem, Civilization, Advance Wars, Total War, Heroes of Might and Magic, or Age of Empires? You'll love Knights of Aira!

Knights of Aira

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

Details

Krai Mira - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 19:13

Only 24 hours to go in the Krai Mira Kickstarter campaign:

Last 2 days!

Last 2 days left for our campaign and we are very thankful for your support!

Right now we are working hard with load/save scripts and same time setting up forum. We hope that we will manage to launch forum in few days after our Kickstarter campaign finish.

We are very happy that we reached few goals. This money will help us to implement new features faster. And as a Big Thanks for you all we decided that after release, we will try hard even if it takes longer, to implement more features from the campaign goals as updates for the game! Of course for free:) 

Also we are planning to place PayPal donation option on our webpage for people who use PayPal. More details will be provided on our web page. 

Thank you!

Krai Mira

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

Details

Morrowind - Why Modders Won't Let it Go

by Aubrielle, 15:16

PC Gamer takes a look at why Morrowind continues to have a hold on us after all these years, and why we just can't let go of it.

Thanks, Couch.

For millions of players, Morrowind was their introduction to the world of The Elder Scrolls, but even Elder Scrolls veterans who cut their teeth on Arena and Daggerfall left Morrowind with an impression that lasted. For some of those players, Morrowind made such an impression that they never wanted to leave at all. Those fans have spent the past years painstakingly updating Morrowind, brick by brick, texture by texture, into Bethesda’s more modern engines.

Even returning to Morrowind 14 years later, it’s easy to see why. Morrowind's island setting of Vvardenfell offsets a few standard fantasy clichés—a villain who lairs in a wasteland of volcanic ash and dwarven ruins full of monsters—but also more visionary ideas. There's a prison inside a moon floating over a city built on a lake, a transport network of giant fleas controlled by riders who directly manipulate their steeds' nervous systems, and a settlement where most of the buildings are the hollowed-out shells of gigantic dead creatures. Vvardenfell is a memorable place, more outlandish than anything seen in the Elder Scrolls games that preceded or followed it.

Morrowind was also the first Elder Scrolls game to come with a Creation Kit, a gift from Bethesda that gave players the opportunity to alter that world and make it their own. The best mods tended to leave the setting be and instead tinker with the clunky RPG mechanics it was filtered through, changing the way leveling works and the rate skills improve and so on.

...

The Skywind team are doing impressive work on making Morrowind look and sound better, while also helping it become a little less frustrating to play thanks to Skyrim's mechanical improvements, all to allow the Morrowind we built up inside our heads as we first played it to live again. To some degree, though, no matter which game's variety of combat and leveling are applied to it, no matter which level of fidelity it's polished to, that version that will always live inside our imaginations.

More.

Source: PC Gamer

Morrowind

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

Details

Dishonored 2 - Exaggerated Art Direction

by Silver, 06:38

GameInformer has an exclusive interview with Sébastien Mitton in a video interview about Dishonored 2's art direction.

...we wanted to share the direct thoughts from Dishonored 2's art director Sébastien Mitton in this video interview. Mitton was also the art director on the first game, and he's proud of his team for their effort bringing what he sees as the pillars of the Dishonored universe to the new frontier of a city called Karnaca. While visiting Arkane Studios in Lyon, France, for our cover story on Dishonored 2, we spoke with Mitton about what makes Karnaca so special, whether or not designer Viktor Antonov is involved with this game, and why he doesn't want the game's art to just be labeled as "steampunk."

Dishonored 2

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

Details

Kingdom Come - Delayed Until 2017

by Aubrielle, 05:36

Everyone's most anticipated realistic medieval RPG, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, has been delayed until 2017, according to a Warhorse Studios source.

We’ve recently talked with a Warhorse spokesperson and got confirmation that Kingdom Come: Deliverance won’t be launched this year. An official announcement regarding the definitive release date can be expected between E3 and Gamescom, given that a Community Manager said on April 17 that it won’t be much longer until there’s an official release date.

More.

Kingdom Come

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

Details

Gamasutra - The Passage of Time in RPGs

by Silver, 05:28

Gamasutra has an interesting blog on the passage of time in rpgs and how it can feature in an rpg.

RPGs pride themselves on having deep immersive gameplay. Usually this is driven by epic narrative and story/character arcs. But have you noticed time doesn't actually pass in Dragon Age, Skyrim, Final Fantasy, or Darkest Dungeon?

  • No one ages.
  • No townsfolk age and die of natural causes.
  • No NPC family grows by having a baby.
  • No NPC child ever grows up to adulthood.
  • No towns fade away due to declining population; Or villages grow into bustling cities.
  • The king/queen/council never lose power - unless directly due to player activity or scripted events.
  • Quest lines, usually involving some life & death problem, just sit in stasis until the player feels good and ready to solve it. Be it today, or a figurative 10 years from now!

If my three-year-old wants a cup of juice, she won't wait the time it takes to write this sentence, yet the proverbial inn keeper with giant rats in the basement will happily wait an eternity for you to get around to his problem.

[...]

3. Quests and Due Dates

Quests in Archmage Rises go in a different direction than the trend of "mash the talk button at anyone with an exclamation mark". In our world, NPCs have problems, generated by the simulation based on their life situation, personality, and goals. They need help resolving their problem.

If you have a problem, do you give it to some random stranger that looks good in armor? Probably not. You welcome help from those you trust. So in Archmage Rises the primary source of quests are relationships (there are other sources).

If you ask a friend to help you move, they say yes, but never show up, how does that affect the relationship? I can tell you from personal experience. Before I started dating my wife I did exactly that, and 18 years later she still whips it out in a fight: "Oh Ya?! Well you never helped me move when I was in university!"

Source: Gamasutra

Gamasutra

Details

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD - Job System Critique

by Silver, 04:45

Gamasutra has an interesting blog on Final Fantasy X2's job system and what it did right.

FFX-2 only has 3 character but it does the exact same thing. Instead of letting the player switch up which characters they were using it let them switch up what jobs those characters had.

job switch

Instead of "We need a healer, switch in Yuna" it is "We need a healer, switch Rikku's job to White Mage".

FFX-2 has ~20 jobs (depending on what you count as a job and what version of the game you are playing) and by having a lot of options available the game can push each option further apart mechanically and into their own special little niche. More jobs, more niches. And because of the mid fight adaptability that comes from letting them change jobs each job can be balanced based on situation usefulness and not on general viability.

In FFX everyone basically had their own job but they all existed on the same "Sphere Grid" and so were technically all able to learn all abilities. This makes each character much more adaptable (in an a-la cart sense) but it also means that every job has to share a basic mechanical vocabulary. Things like "Items" and "Attack" are things everyone needs to do becuase Lulu could, in theory, have a really strong attack even though her role in the party is that of a Black mage. So even if a character has a shitty attack that is basically pointless it still has to be there taking up space on the UI.

The job adaptability in FFX-2 though means we can drop things like basic attacks off of jobs like White/Black Mages. In FFX-2 if you are a mage and you want to "Attack" you have to change job which you easily can at any time. "Attack" on the various mage jobs is basically wasted UI space because of how weak those classes are physically.

Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD

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

Details

Fallout 4 - Cascadia Mod Announced

by Silver, 04:31

There is a large mod for Fallout 4 that has been in the works for the past six months called Fallout Cascadia which is looking at opening up Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately the mod is still several years away from release but is already looking quite ambitious.

Fallout Cascadia Information: Cascadia is an upcoming new world-space mod for Fallout 4 set in a retro-futuristic post-apocalyptic version of Seattle and the surrounding areas. Users will start a new adventure entirely separate from the main game. The scale of this project is a land area that is just a bit smaller than Fallout 3, but more quests and locations than Fallout 4's Far Harbor DLC. We currently have approximately 18 members working on this project to the bring the Pacific Northwest to the world of Fallout. Work on this mod began six months ago, and has intensified with the release of the Creation Kit. Inside the mod, players will find new quests that challenge them mentally and morally, locations that tell a story, and factions that are vying for control. Please consider following us on any and all our outlets, as we have much more to share as the project matures, and the release date begins to comes closer.

[...]

Any special requirements to run?

Our plan is to make this mod run on any machine that runs Fallout 4, without any additional script extenders, or additional mods to make run. However are currently considering adding a requirement to own the DLC to run our mod. The resources contained in the DLC could greatly enhance the quality and the speed of the creation of our project. More details will come later.

Do I have to start a new save?

Yes. Our adventure is completely separate from the main game. It begins before the intro movie and character creation even start. You will not be able to travel between the Pacific Northwest and the Commonwealth. This is a design choice (but if you really want to, a simple mod will likely make it possible).

What can you tell me about the plot?

Its pretty cool. Sorry, no spoilers from me. Nice try though.

What is the setting?

This mod takes place several decades after the events of Fallout 3/NV/4. The city of Seattle is the main hub of the game. Many locations of the game focus around the city proper, including certain fair grounds, public markets, and other famous locations. The game will also include other locations to the west and south including Mercer Island, Redmond, Bellevue, forested areas and airports. The project make an effort to make the world a believable and alive one.

Fallout 4

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

Details

StarCrawlers - Early Evaluation

by Silver, 02:31

@Vox Ludicus they have an early evaluation of StarCrawlers which the writer has broken up into categories - Visuals, Audio, Gameplay and Story.

----GAMEPLAY---
...

Combat is turn based, your team of crawlers against the enemies. Enemies are shown on screen as sprites, and your team is represented only by the health bars at the bottom of the screen and on top via the initiative tracker. Initiative is determined using a system called Time Units. Each action costs a certain amount of time units, and this dictates where your action places you during a fight. When a character or enemy reaches 0 Time Units they can take an action. For example, if your basic attack is 150 time units, then when you use it you drop to place 150 on the chart. If an enemy currently has 100 Time Units, you go after they do, but if your action only cost 55 time units then you would go again BEFORE the enemy could act. Its fairly easy to figure out once you get the hang of it. My hacker is fast enough with light armor, for example, that I frequently get two or three turns before an enemy gets to go with her, or anyone else on my team for that matter. You need to pay attention to your weapons and armor and what effect they have on your Time Units in battle, as heavier armor can inflict a penalty to your speed, basically making every action cost more, while light armor can do the opposite. Heavier weapons do more damage, but also cost more in Time. It's a balancing act. Also your special attacks cost Time Units as well.

[...]

----AUDIO---

The sound work in this game is serviceable. The music is frequently overshadowed in combat by the sound effects, which are again solid but nothing noteworthy. There is no voice work or voice acting at this time, so no comment really there. Truthfully, I barely notice the sound most of the time unless I am in the main station. The music that plays there is dreary, and monotone, and I suppose it's meant to be that way, to give you a feeling of being out on a lone space station in the middle of space. Combat music though does have a more frantic feel, but again can frequently get overshadowed by the booms and zaps of your special attacks and guns.

During exploration, when you can hear the music in the dungeons, its really quite nice.

StarCrawlers

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

Details

Monday - May 23, 2016

A House of Many Doors - New Release Trailer

by Myrthos, 22:49

Here is the new trailer for the upcoming relelase of A House of Many Doors.

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A House of Many Doors

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

Details

Matt Chatt #341 - Stellaris Review

by Hiddenx, 20:32

Matt checked out the space strategy game Stellaris:

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Non-RPG General News

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

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InSomnia - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 20:21

Learn more about the rifles of InSomnia in this Kickstarter:

Time For Some Rifles!

Hello everyone! For today's update, we'll be talking about a very handy type of weapon that will help you survive the dangers in Object 6. What do you do when shotguns and SMG are not good enough for the task at hand? That’s right, for those cases you pick up a rifle!

Rifles are powerful weapons that are particularly useful against armored targets. Average armor can be penetrated without any additional effort while heavy armored foes can only be damaged if you target the weak spots - such as joints. As expected, rifles are great at trying to hit something that is not right on top of your face. Their fire rate is low, take a while to reload, and are not ideal when you're on the move.

And now let’s take a more detailed look at one specific rifle model:

MT-4 Linear Rifle

The MT-4 Linear Rifle is a powerful six-shooter that can penetrate a standard army protective vest from a 70m distance. A very reliable and accurate weapon based on the structure of heavy rifles of used in the Last War. This model is a simpler version (although still very deadly) that was downgraded a bit as there was no need to fight heavy armored SORG golems anymore after Object 6 left the dying planet of the Nomahs.

[...]

InSomnia

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

Details

Arx Fatalis - Arx: End of Sun Mod released

by Hiddenx, 20:11

Arx: End of Sun - a standalone Doom 3 mod - is a prequel for Arx Fatalis:

Arx - End Of Sun is a new free and fan made game that is based on the first person dungeon RPG: Arx Fatalis developed by Arkane Studios. In our game world you will play out the events ( with a liberal dose of poetic licence ) that precede the original story of Arx Fatalis. You will no longer require a copy of Doom3 to play Arx - End Of Sun. We are now running on a custom version of the engine code and we use no assets from any commercial titles in our game.

Arx Fatalis

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

Details

Tyranny - Interview @ GameWatcher

by Hiddenx, 20:05

GameWatcher has interviewed Game Director Brian Heins about Tyranny:

We talk to Brian Heins about Obsidian's new world where the bad guys are in charge

I fell in love with Pillars of Eternity last year despite having no nostalgia for Baldur’s Gate or its Infinity Engine successors. The excellent RPG took the depth and complexity of those old RPGs, sanded off the rough edges, and built a brand new world with compelling history, excellent quests, and exquisite combat.

So when it was announced that Obsidian was working on a new title built on the same ideas, I was more than a little excited. Titled Tyranny, the new game dispenses with the epic quest to stop an evil overlord from enslaving humanity. The bad guy has already won, the emperor is already ruling, and you play as one of his most important lieutenants. I got the chance to sit down with the game’s director, Brian Heins, and ask about the upcoming adventure.

GameWatcher: The basic pitch is that this is a world in which the bad guys have already won. How does the player factor into that?

Brian Heins:
Your role is what we call a Fatebinder. It’s a role that exists in Kyros’ empire to help resolve the disputes that can arise from the various factions that make up the groups within the empire. So Kyros, the overlord, has several lieutenants that are called Archons, and each of those is in charge of different aspects of the empire. Some are governors of districts, others are generals of armies, and some are in charge of magical guilds or elements of the bureaucracy that keep the wheels of empire turning. Each of these different Archons have different agendas and personal goals they want to try and fulfill and often those come into conflict.

One of the Archons, the oldest and what some believe is the most powerful of the Archons, is your boss, Tunon, who is responsible for judging all of the other disputes between the Archons. Tunon created the Fatebinders to basically resolve the disputes that arise between the different armies and magic guilds and things that are all controlled by Kyros. So your job is basically to handle these disputes and make sure that they don’t become larger problems, and to enforce Kyros’ law in the world.

GameWatcher: How does the main character’s role in this ostensibly evil faction affect the player’s options for behaving in the way they want?

Brian Heins: So basically, within the rules of Kyros’ law, each of the Archons and then the player themselves have a great deal of autonomy. As long as you are upholding Kyros’ will, you have a lot of leeway in what choices you make. So just because you’re serving in an evil empire doesn’t mean you necessarily have to make evil choices. They’re definitely available and they can be a lot of fun to make, but players who want to try to have more of a moral stance can take it. It’s not always going to be the easiest path to take because you’re surrounded by awful people who want awful things, so they’re definitely going to try and lead you astray and make things easier for you to take the difficult path.

[...]

Tyranny

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

Details

Non-RPG General News - Thief 1 HD Mod

by Silver, 10:58

An HD mod for Thief: The Dark Project and Thief Gold has been released.

Thief 1 HD Mod v1.2 is out!

This is the full Installer Setup of version 1.2 - Now also for Thief: The Dark Project version! - New water arrow FX, new gas arrow FX, new smoke FX, new water FX, new explosion FX, new blood FX, new Zombie models...

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Non-RPG General News

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

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Dark Souls III - Beating Bosses With Dance Pads

by Aubrielle, 05:23

Just when you thought you'd seen it all, some incredibly talented person managed to beat a boss on Dark Souls III...using a dance pad.

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Beating Dark Souls games using unconventional tools is a popular sport on the internet. Folk have beaten early instalments of the series using drum and guitar controllers in the past, while the rest of us swear in admiration. Now YouTuber Rudeism has taken up the challenge in Dark Souls 3: he's decided to beat the game using dance pads, because why not.

The boss battle embedded below is the game's first, Ludex Gundyr, and according to the creator it "only took nearly 30 attempts". At that rate, I'd hate to guess how many attempts some of the game' later bosses will require. Given the feats we've seen achieved in the past, though, it's inevitable someone will do it eventually.

Source.

Source: PC Gamer

Dark Souls III

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

Details

Diablo 3 - Fourth Anniversary; Then and Now

by Aubrielle, 05:18

Has it been four years already?  Blizzard is celebrating Diablo III's fourth anniversary this week and muses aloud about how the game has changed in that time.

A post on the Battle.net website alerts us to the fact that Diablo III is celebrating its fourth anniversary this week, while a subsequent post provides a quick look at how the item comparison mechanics have evolved over that course of time, given the release of the Reaper of Souls expansion pack and the game's transition to consoles. An excerpt from the latter:

Patch 2.0.1 launched just prior to the release of Reaper of Souls, introducing many new systems to the game in preparation for the expansion. One change was replacing the Life and Protection stats with new and better-defined stats.

Enter Healing and Toughness. Toughness was intended to be an overall calculation of your Effective Health Pool, or EHP. This is a simplified summary of your hero’s survivability based on stats like maximum Life, Armor, Resistances, Dodge, and other types of damage reduction. Similarly, healing was meant to be an average of how quickly you could regain health. This first pass got the basic messages across, but some of the more variable stats (like Life Per Kill) caused confusing inflations and muddled the information given to the player. So in Patch 2.1.2, we made another change.

“Healing” was replaced with “Recovery,” and the name was changed to not only better encompass its purpose, but to clearly highlight that change had occurred. The new stat estimated how much Toughness you would expect to recover in an average encounter, and we changed the weighting of certain healing stats to provide a more accurate picture.

In our current iteration, these stat summaries provide enough information to be useful to the average player and helps shine a light on how each stat contributes to your character’s overall power. This feature was so useful that we received a lot of community requests for a similar overview of follower equipment. In Patch 2.4.0, we fulfilled this request!

Source.

Source: GameBanshee

Diablo 3

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

Details

Opinion - Sidequests and Other Distractions

by Aubrielle, 05:13

GameBanshee links to a couple of interesting op-eds on quests, distractions, and how the author believes meaning is changing in RPG's.

This recent and lengthy editorial points to the way in which quest design and execution have been handled in virtually every CRPG since the 1990s, in particular how dozens of even hundreds of side quests have caused us to neglect many games' main quests.  The article suggests that this has led to an "erosion" of meaning to the primary quests in general, and while I tend to agree, I don't think there's a great alternative without the narrative being structured around a series of progressive quests toward one end goal, therefore limiting player choice.  In any event, I've left you with a handful of paragraphs below:

This juggling of quests and side-quests is, I guess, part of the form of CRPGs, set in stone by the time Baldur’s Gate came along (1998) but present in games quite a bit earlier: you see similar plot/task juggling in, for example, the first-person CRPG Betrayal at Krondor (1993), just on a smaller scale. This “start task, get distracted by other task, end up with a shopping list of stuff” model seems natural to videogames – perhaps because, in giving us a to-do list, the form naturally dovetails with the player’s instinct to tidy up game worlds.

Still, I think videogame “quests” could benefit from quest models from other media: literature, for example. Quests in videogames – particularly RPGs – are promising opportunities for expression, empathy and the creation of meaning: key moments in the role-playing interface between game and player. Yet often they’re repetitious, predictable and by-the-numbers – and even when they’re not, the meaty quests brimming with character are often undercut by popping off to kill 10 spider rats.

...

In the original Baldur’s Gate journal, quests were not represented: instead players were given a list of date-stamped entries which filled out as their adventure progressed. Their story was told linearly, as a series of diary entries.

I find it interesting that you can see the development of quests and task structures in CRPGs through their evolving interfaces. I also find it interesting that while the BG developers started by keeping track of actions in a journal – a throwback to the storytelling focus of D&D – and kept it as a vestigial interface feature in the sequel, it’s ultimately a forgotten feature which has been expunged from the RPG genre. CRPGs, at least those built on Baldur’s Gate‘s foundations, do not lend themselves to organic storytelling as much as they do to “I completed this goal, I completed that goal, now I need to go do this goal.”

But just because these games don’t seem to be as narratively flexible as their pen and paper counterparts doesn’t mean that the notion of “quests” (as a personally significant journey) has no value. On the contrary, I think that if used correctly quests can breathe life into an RPG experience and provide much-needed context and personal stakes.

...

Another example of a game with meaningful quests is the much-praised Planescape: Torment. This game, building on the Baldur’s Gate formula, has the quest system we recognise from CRPGs, but the main quest is a quest in every sense. The player character, we discover, is an immortal who sometimes loses his memory when he “dies”; as such, he has lived an unknown number of past “lives”, each one ended by a sudden bout of amnesia brought on by the trauma of death. Some of these past incarnations, we discover, were kind; others were brutal. The player begins a quest to discover who they are, how they became this way and why this all happened, and on the way discovers what remains of their past incarnations; the game’s tagline and central question is “What can change the nature of a man?”

This harmonises with the conventions of the CRPG genre, since most RPGs ask the question “Who are you?”, and let the player’s choices and actions determine the answer. This is especially complicated and juicy in a game where “Who are you?” can also be read as “Who were you? Are you the same person as your past selves? Is it even possible for a person to change?” This quest is not as tightly designed as ME2‘s crew missions – it lasts at least 30 hours, not 30 minutes – but it is a game-long quest which really is a quest in the traditional sense. It’s ultimately about the most fundamental aspects of the protagonist’s identity. As such, the main quest enriches and adds context to all of the minor choices and character-driven moments in the game. The player is playing a game about a man seeking his identity while asking questions about the nature of identity, and play is accomplished by defining this character’s identity through choice and action while also thinking about those same questions of identity. It’s an unusually thoughtful discussion of roleplaying since one could argue the protagonist achieves personhood after his amnesia by roleplaying the person he wants to become: the questions “Who should I be? How do I get there?” are implicitly asked by both player and character, even if the protagonist never asks them aloud.

And, for what it's worth, the blog is also sporting an older article that analyzes why role-playing games are so combat-focused. Food for thought, both of them.

Source.

Source: GameBanshee

General News

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

Details

Total War: Warhammer - PC Gamer Review

by Aubrielle, 05:07

PC Gamer reviews Total War: Warhammer and gives it an impressive 86.

Dwarfs line the walls of the Everpeak, weapons ready. They fire bolt and lead at the incoming Orcs, but to the Giant lummoxing forward at the head of the green horde it may as well be a light smither of rain. The Giant crashes into the gates, stumbles back and crashes into them again. It bursts through to be faced by massed units of Longbeards, fearless Dwarf veterans, who mob the Giant like dogs harassing an elephant.

They win, because in the rock, paper, scissors of Total War: Warhammer the Longbeards' immunity to psychological effects makes them good at fighting fear-causing Giants. Slayers would be even better as they have the Anti-Large trait as well as Unbreakable, but this is a game where paper can beat scissors so long as there's enough of it.

Moldy Old World

Until now Total War has recreated historical eras, and so the tactics have been based on simplified versions of real-world tactics, whether deployed by Rome or Napoleon. Cavalry flank and race ahead to attack missile units before they get too many shots off; spears defend and resist cavalry charges; missile units pour volleys into dense infantry units as they slowly advance. Here, things are more complicated.

The Warhammer World is a fantasy setting, one loosely based on Renaissance Europe but with the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, H. P. Lovecraft and Fritz Leiber funnelled into it through industrial pipes while copies of 2000 AD and heavy metal album covers are scattered on top. It's a mish-mash of everything someone at Games Workshop ever thought was cool, and it's both familiar and really weird.

More.

Source: PC Gamer

Total War: Warhammer

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

Details

Sunday - May 22, 2016

Graywalkers - April-May Update

by Hiddenx, 18:23

Here's the newest Kickstarter update for the Graywalkers: Purgatory RPG:

April-May Update

Greetings Graywalkers! We have a lot to share with you today as usual. Though our updates are only every other month, we try and make sure that they are long and full of content and news. This month though, we will be sharing 2 updates. We've figured that while we are working on the game, we can give you more information about the other aspects of the game, particularly the role-playing aspect of it. That will be in the update next week. In the meantime, this update will focus on the development itself.

So here we go with what we have in store for this update:

NEWS UPDATE

  • Steam Store Page – we are currently preparing our Steam Store page and will be posting information to that soon. We're just working out the final paperwork needed and preparing the new content we will be sharing on it. We’re slowly putting together everything we need to move forward and this is one of them.
  • Fund Raising – as we go into the next stage, we are now again trying to raise funds via investors. The reason we are trying to raise funds is primarily for 2 reasons: to get more resources to speed up development since we’re behind schedule, and to prepare for costs of marketing and distribution. We are currently talking to several investors but these things normally always take time. If any of you know anybody who might be interested to invest, feel free to contact me at russelltomas@dreamlordsdigital.com and we will share more information about it.
      
  • Pre-Orders - When we release the new website, we will start taking pre-orders from those who would be interested. Obviously you guys don't have to do that anymore but you may know some friends or family who might want to order soon. In the meantime, while that isn't up yet, people can still back us up via PayPal.
  • Regular Monthly Updates - I've decided to start doing regular monthly updates starting this month. Those updates may be shorter than the ones we normally make but at least it will be more regular now. We've been noticing some people are getting antsy so the regular communication should ease up some fears that we are not around. 
  • Casual Connect Indie Prize – Graywalkers Purgatory has been shortlisted for the IndiePrize in Casual Connect this 2016. The event will be from May 17-May 19, 2016. IndiePrize is a competition joined by game companies from all over the world, most of which is from Asia. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but we’re still happy to have been a part of it. We’ll be joining the next ones in the various other Casual Connects in the US and other places. I think as we get closer to the game being done, the bigger our chances.

ALPHA

We are still working on the Alpha but we’re getting close. We really just want to make it good so we’re trying not to rush it too much. As we already said before, quality over speed. One thing is guaranteed, once it is ready, you guys will be the first to know...and those who have Alpha Access, will be the first to try it out. Thank you for your patience. Don't worry, we guarantee it is all worth it in the end. 

GUI

We’ve shown you some of the combat GUI in the past. Today we want to share with you a few of the character UI screens. Like always, it’s a work in progress so feel free to let us know any feedback, comments or suggestions. UI was one of the areas people commented about the most

[...]

Graywalkers

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

Details

Shroud of the Avatar - Capital City of Brittany

by Hiddenx, 18:10

Couch spotted a walkthrough of Shroud of the Avatar's Capital City of Brittany:

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Take a guided tour with Level Designer Esteben Zaldivar, as he walks you through Brittany, the Capital of Novia, in Lord British's epic game, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.

Shroud of the Avatar

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

Details

Dark Souls - The Evolution of the Level Design

by Hiddenx, 18:04

Super Bunnyhop analyzes the evolution of the Dark Souls level design - don't watch the video if you still want to play the Dark Souls series (SPOLER ALERT):

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Thanks Couch!

Dark Souls

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

Details

Dishonored 2 - No dumbing down

by Hiddenx, 17:56

Couch spotted this Gameinformer interview with the creative director of Arkane Studios - Harvey Smith. Fortunately he likes challenging games:

Why Harvey Smith Refuses To 'Dumb Down' Dishonored 2

It's a nebulous genre, but Arkane Studios and Dishonored 2's creative director Harvey Smith have an undying passion for "immersive first-person" games. With our June cover story detailing Dishonored 2, we break down what's exciting about the sequel's gameplay, and while visiting the studio we spoke to Smith about the game's place within the evolving genre.

[...]

Video interview:

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Dishonored 2

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

Details