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Wednesday - December 24, 2014
Tuesday - December 23, 2014
Monday - December 22, 2014
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Clandestine

2014-12-09

Clandestine - Playthrough Diary

Aubrielle infiltrates Clandestine and brings back valuable intel about the upcoming spy thriller.
» Continue reading the article...

Heroes of a Broken Land

2014-11-25

Heroes of a Broken Land Review

Forgottenlor takes us to Heroes of a Broken Land, and shows us what it's like to be a demigod in this retro dungeon crawler.
» Read the article

Recent articles










Picture Watch

Divine Divinity
Box Art

Poll Watch

Was 2014 A Good Year for RPGs?
It Was a Good Year
61.61%

It Was Just Okay
30.36%

It Was Terrible
8.04%

Vote

Recently Released

Dec: Neo Scavenger
Dec: Final Fantasy XIII-2
Dec: Dungeonmans
Dec: Dead State
Dec: Fight The Dragon

Wednesday - December 24, 2014

Dungeon Kingdom - Post Campaign News

by Couchpotato, 15:52

The developers of Dungeon Kingdom releasd a new Update on Steam with information on the future of the game. I'm glad to see the game is still in development.

We have been very quiet on the official channels for a while. As you will have noticed, we didn't reach our initial goal. We believe this was mainly due to a lack of exposure in mainstream. This meant that we had failed to raise the required amount to work full time on the game and wouldn’t be able to follow our original plan. However, we have found an alternative solution, so not to worry; the game is still on its way!

So, what happens next?

- The perks: most of perks are ready to be sent; we are just waiting to receive the last pieces, and will send everything together.

- We have a partner that will give us a bit more funds, The partner's name will be announced later.

- We are currently focusing on the Desktop version of the game. We are still periodically testing the mobile version of the game, but we will release the mobile version AFTER the desktop version, probably one or two months later. That way, we can release the PC version earlier and then focus on the remaining optimizations for the mobile version.

- Most importantly: We intend to start Early Access in January! We hope you will be able to join us in making Dungeon Kingdom a great game!

So, from all of the Dungeon Kingdom Team, we wish you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015! We hope you will soon be able to spend a great amount of time in the corridors of Dungeon Kingdom: Sign of the Moon… and my little finger is whispering to me that Sign of the Moon is not the only story you'll face in 2015…

Dungeon Kingdom

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

Details

Earthlock - Post-Funding Update # 31

by Couchpotato, 15:48

Snowcastle Games latest post-funding update for Earthlock contains more information about the games development, and talks about the upcoming Beta.

Demo to publishers: We are in talks with several publishers and are hoping to sign a pre-order deal for the game by the end of Q1 2015. If we manage to do this we will get a lot more funds to spend on more content for Episode 1. 

Steam Early Access? We have been considering putting Earthlock on Steam Early Access, and will continue to evaluate this. It does feel like a really good way for us to get alpha and beta feedback on the gameplay. Getting updates automatically distributed and so on. What do you think? 

GDC Planning: We will be going to GDC in San Francisco the first week of March 2015 and will be preparing to show off the game. We hope some of you might also join us at the expo and get your hands on a printed Comic Book.

Earthlock

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

Details

Gamasutra - Top Games of The Year

by Couchpotato, 15:45

Gamasutra posted a six page article with thier top game picks of 2014.

Look past the conflict in 2014, and you'll see an incredible amount of great games for all kinds of tastes.

That widening variance, and the sheer volume of games released these days, is why last year, Gamasutra started running individual staff members' top five favorite games they played during a given year.

I figure that by now, it's a bit disingenuous to pretend to come up with a "definitive" "Best Games 20XX" list when the fact is, there are so many games out there of all kinds that our small staff could never get around to playing all of the worthy titles out there, let alone agree which handful are "The Best." 

That said, our small staff, naturally, played a whole lot of games this year, and we all have strong opinions about the ones we loved.

Gamasutra

Details

Game Informer - Video Games Vanishing History

by Couchpotato, 15:40

Game Informer posted an interesting article about gaming history, and how it's vanishing before our eyes in the last fifteen years.Here is a short sample.

Thanks to the proliferation of blogs, websites, and videos on services like YouTube and Twitch, there is more content on video games being produced than ever before. However, we're also losing a significant portion of the industry's history on a daily basis.

Last weekend, we read the sad news that Ralph Baer, the creator of the Magnavox Odyssey and generally recognized as the "father of video games," had passed away. I had the opportunity to interview him for the May 2009 issue of Game Informer. However, outside of our own archives, loyal readers who save their magazines, or some libraries that (hopefully) keep Game Informer in their stacks, old magazine article are largely inaccessible.

Game Informer does keep digital archives – to a degree. Lots of it is hard to find on servers or, if it's older, on CD-Rs that are probably rapidly decaying. Thankfully, I'm terrible about cleaning out my hard drive, so I was able to find an old Word document containing an early edit that was actually longer than what we ran in print. I posted it on Monday and you can read it here. But that's just luck – it's just as likely that an interview with one of the men who invented games could have be lost forever.

The past 15 years have been tumultuous for the media business, both traditional and online. Just think back to all the once-popular game magazines and websites that are gone: GamePro, 1up.com, GameSpy, Nintendo Power – the list goes on. With each closure, an important part of game history disappears. Online servers are shut down, reducing thousands of interviews, news stories, and game reviews to 404 errors. I'd like to believe the archives of physical issues of old game magazines are preserved, but that's not often a priority when people are losing jobs and figuring out what to do next. In any case, even if a conscientious employee rescues the back issues, they will likely be locked away in someone's garage or basement.

Game Informer

Details

Morrowind - OpenMW 0.34.0 Released

by Couchpotato, 15:37

As usual I haven't followed development the Morrowind Mod OpenMW in the last few months, but it seems the team behind it have released a new version of the mod.

The OpenMW team is proud to announce the release of version 0.34.0! Grab it from our Downloads Page for all operating systems. This release features many bug fixes, improvements to installation and the launcher, and exciting updates to OpenCS. Our “1.0” release remains excitingly close!

Morrowind

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

Details

Planet Explorers - New X-Mas Build Promised

by Couchpotato, 15:34

Pathea Games promises a new update for Planet Explores will be released this week.

We’ve been having lots of meetings regarding the progress of A0.9 this months. So far, the main objectives of a new ai behavior system, a new player movement system, a new ui, the world editor, and their incorporation into multiplayer are all moving forward, albeit at different speeds. The world editor is fairly stable and ready for player testing now, while the rest are still a month away at the earliest. So, we’ve decided to put out an a0.86 build before Christmas with the world editor. Before anyone gets too excited, the game can’t currently read the world editor maps yet (the a0.86 build is still based on the a0.85 branch, not the a0.9 branch), but most of the editing functions are in. We’ll try to put in an early version of the story editor as well if we can get it to work smoothly, no promises though.

Another thing to be included in a0.86 will be the block building system LOD. What this does is to allow block buildings to show up at the farthest terrain setting. We’ll also be testing in the future to see if we can get the resolution of blocks down to .25 meters from the current .5 meters.

Planet Explorers

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

Details

Shroud of the Avatar - Update of the Avatar #104

by Couchpotato, 15:31

It's time for the next weekly update for Shroud of the Avatar from Portalarium.

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

  • Play Release 13 Now and Get Your Grand Tour Yule Hat
  • Vote for Shroud of the Avatar as the Most Anticipated MMO of 2015!
  • $5 for $5 Holiday Bonus
  • SotA Community is Rockin’ It!
  • In-game Community Weekend Events
  • Steam Access Keys Available for All Backers
  • Holiday Specials
  • Last Chance Exclusives: Smelting Tongs and Blue Tile Roof Row Houses
  • How to Cancel Monthly Payment Plans
  • Recruitment Bonus Allocation Expiration
  • This Week In the News
  • Upcoming Events

Shroud of the Avatar

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

Details

Rampant Games - An Imperfect Union

by Couchpotato, 15:28

The Rampant Coyote posted a few updates on his blog this week that may be of interest to some you, but I'm going to pick his latest RPG Design post to talk about.

In the early 90s, there was a pretty clean delineation between “Western” RPGs (wRPGs) and Japanese RPGs (jRPGs). The jRPGs really started taking advantage of solid storytelling technique, and their popularity soared. Meanwhile, for a while, the wRPGs kind of went into a popularity decline, as the storyline of “Hey, dungeon! Beat it!” didn’t compare too well, even though the dungeons were becoming really pretty dang cool and interactive.

We still end to use those distinctions, although the styles of games have probably had more in common for much longer than they were really separate. Unfortunately, some of the wrong lessons were learned (IMO) – both styles of games accrued insufferably long intro sequences before the player is allowed significant interaction (and as much as I praise the Persona games, yeah, they are like that, but hardly the worst offenders), and clicky-actiony interaction masquerading as gameplay (because keeping the player busy leaves them less time to think about how the gameplay sucks, I guess).

It sometimes feels like we kicked the happy medium to the roadside.

Of course, I’m exaggerating, especially when it comes to the slew of cool indie and “big indie” RPGs that have been released lately. While there’s still plenty of room for improvement, there’s at least a sense that they’ve learned the right lessons.

Narrative and gameplay form an imperfect union. Simply put – players play to win the game, not to make better dramatic choices, which spoils the narrative; but forcing those dramatic choices upon the player spoils the interactivity and gameplay. However, those competing forces can be carefully balanced to form something really cool. Maybe it cannot be the best story in the world or represent perfect gameplay, but it can be something greater than the sum of its parts. The two competing elements can enhance the flavor of their counterparts.

Rampant Games

Details

Soul Saga - Beta V2 Released

by Couchpotato, 15:24

It has been a while since I covered Disastercake's funded JRPG game Soul Saga, and now is the time to talks about the game again. The new update is about the Beta.

Hello, friend!

Just a quick update today to let you know that Soul Saga Beta v2 is live! If you pledged for beta access, then you can find it in your Humble Bundle library. If you can't find it, please message Humble Bundle at contact@humblebundle.com. Please make sure to clarify with them that you do not have a purchase number, and that you pledged through Kickstarter.

What's New?

This update addresses all of the critical bugs plus more that were reported in the Disastercake forums from Beta v1. It also contains builds for the PC, Linux, and Mac. You can find the patch notes here.

Thank You!

I'd like to thank all of the awesome beta testers for their excellent and dedicated hard work. Bug testing is hard stuff, and your dedication makes it very clear that you love Soul Saga just as much as I do. I can't wait to do more feedback polling and bug squashing with you!

Soul Saga

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

Details

Neo Scavenger - Available On GOG Now

by Couchpotato, 15:21

Neo Scavenger is now available on GOG for those who don't want to buy a Steam Copy.

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NEO Scavenger, is a game where you must survive in the wasteland long enough to figure out who you are. Each turn, you must decide where to go, how to scavenge for supplies, and how to deal with anything and anyone you encounter. And with each passing minute, the pit in your stomach grows, your dehydration worsens, your muscles tire, and your body temperature drops in the cold autumn air. A mix of sandbox and story play, with random content and character customization ensures each replay is different. The game provides realistic survival simulation, with complex wounds and treatments, illnesses, hunger, thirst, warmth, and carrying capacity. Death is permanent!

Neo Scavenger

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

Details

DA:Inquisition - Removal of Heal @ GamaSutra

by Aries100, 12:59

Christopher Gile at GamaSutra has penned an editorial about the removal of heal spells from this game.  He likes this it seems:

You aren't just traveling though areas leaving nothing but dead bodies in your wake, you are setting up camps and areas of protection for the locals. Personally I like how this changes the game, but I get how others might not like it. It is more punishing of mistakes (that doesn't necessarily mean harder) as you no longer have a sustainable way to erase those mistakes, and beyond the fact that this makes the game feel differently there are is also valid concerns about if this system is balanced correctly/fairly, I mean just because a system COULD be good/better doesn't mean it IS good/better. I quite like it though. I feel like it creates a more interesting battles and makes exploration a bit more exciting. I like how it feels like your mistakes matter now and can't be undone.

Do you agree with Christopher Gile?

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

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

Details

Tuesday - December 23, 2014

Harebrained Schemes - New Kickstarter Update

by Couchpotato, 23:21

Harebrained Schemes posted a new image and some new information in a new update about their new Shadowrun kickstarter that will be launched next month.


Here's a piece of look & feel concept art for our new setting. We'll show how it translates into Shadowrun's isometric gameplay view when our Kickstarter launches in January!

From the look of the image it will be be set in an Asian city this time.

Harebrained Schemes

Details

Chaos Reborn - Patch Update & Single Player

by Killias2, 21:14

According to a recent announcement, a new patch has been released for Chaos Reborn, which implements a single player mode.  Chaos Reborn entered early access earlier this month.  The full patch notes:

New features for our special Christmas 2014 release:

  • Play single player vs AI, or ‘hotseat’ with other human players, or a combination of human and AI
  • New spell - summon a pack of mutant, giant rats
  • Christmas themed graphics - for a limited period only

Other changes:
  • The formula for calculating the attack probabilities of magic attack spells and subversion has been modified so that creatures with higher magic power are more resistant.
  • The power of the subversion spell has been reduced from 10 to 6
  • The power of the triple magic attack spells has been reduced from 4 to 3
  • The attack value of the Gooey Blob has been reduced from 2 to 1
  • The casting boosts for staffs have been altered. The Law and Chaos staffs have a lower boost rating and the armoury, attack and growth staffs have a higher boost rating
  • The spell deck display now shows the number of cards of each alignment left in the deck, as well as the total law and chaos value of the cards

Chaos Reborn

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

Details

Pillars of Eternity - Beta Build 392 Released

by Couchpotato, 13:17

Well it seems Obsidian has released the next Backer Beta Build of Pillars of Eternity. 

Hello, all. Build 392 is now live for the Backer Beta. Currently, we only have the Windows build up on Steam, but we are looking into the Mac build. If we place it up I will update this post.

 Important Changes

  • You will notice quite a few combat balance changes in this build. Be on the lookout and let us know what you think.
  • You will notice many UI polish changes. Some screens may even be entirely new (loot screen, I'm looking at you).
  • Most of the icons are now in the game. There are still a few that are missing, but those should be few and far between.
  • Some final VO is in the game. You will also notice sound sets are in and hooked up.
  • Skill system has changed back to a point-buy system.
  • Talents are now organized during level up.

Important Known Issues

  • It can be difficult to loot bodies sometimes. It can help to try to loot the bodies toward their feet. One workaround is to do a save/load. The body will turn into a loot bag and you will be able to loot it properly.
  • Saving with a modal active will cause the modal to appear to be non-functioning. If you deactivate and reactivate the modal a couple of times it will start working again.
  • Pressing the "Take All" button in the Loot UI, if a lootable body is underneath the "Take All" button, will cause the cursor to get stuck. This can prevent you from opening doors or interacting with objects. To clear this you can do a few things: mouse over a loot container, loot anything, transition, or save/load.
  • The "proof" mods (e.g. Pierce-proof) are not stacking correctly and will have problems after a save/load. Best to avoid those mods for the time being.

Fixed Issues

If an issue has "Needs Verification" after it. It means a fix has been checked in, but QA hasn't checked it yet. These issues are likely fixed, but a few may fail the verification process.

Pillars of Eternity

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

Details

InXile Entertainment - On Kicking It Forward

by Couchpotato, 05:52

Issie Lapowsky of Wired posted a new article about how Brian Fargo got other developers to share part of their profits to other kick starters with Kicking It Forward. 

The KickingItForward movement has grown bigger than Fargo ever imagined. At one point, he says, Kickstarter even began asking creators not to put the KickingItForward logo on their funding pages. “There was a point where people felt like if they didn’t support KickingItForward they wouldn’t get funded, like it’d make them look bad,” he says.

What’s unique about this initiative, unlike so many other types of digital activism which quickly flame out, is that—two years later—KickingItForward is still going strong. Now, Fargo says, at any given time there are around 60 new active projects posted on the site.

Of course, not all of them will get funded, and even if they do, not all of them will turn a profit. But some, like Wasteland 2, will. And if those successful creators can commit to support the community that once gave them a chance, then the impact that Kickstarter can have on individual inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs will multiply.

“Our ability to survive is going to be based on our ability to work with each other,” Fargo says. “This has brought me and my so-called competitors together closer than anything ever before.”

 

InXile Entertainment

Details

Enderal: Shards Of Order - Crafting & Housing

by Couchpotato, 05:48

The SureAI team has released a new video blog for Enderal: Shards Of Order. The video talks about how housing and crafting will work in the Skyrim mod.

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Well met, after a year's time and thanks to both St. One - a German Let's Player who has played Nehrim for what seems like an eternity - and our talented and commited scripter Sam, the time has finally come: The second episode of our devblog just went online!

This time we'll shed some light on the topic of crafting and housing in Enderal, the former with a brand-new, self-coded system that will hopefully provide for a lot of fun.

Before showing you the video, a shameless plea to all those who haven't done it yet: The moddb.com - awards, in which we were nominated for the category "Best Upcoming/Most anticipated", have almost come to an end. If you haven't done so already, we'd greatly appreciate a vote for us!

The feedback for our trailer so far has been a blast, which we totally didn't expect. Thanks again!

Skyrim

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Final Bugs & Extra Dev Time

by Couchpotato, 05:44

An editor named Mansoor on a small site called Nerdacy had the chance to ask a question of CD Projekt RED CEO Marcin Iwinski about the delay The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

Shortly after the announcement of the delay, I emailed CD Projekt RED co-founder and CEO Marcin Iwinski to find out a few intricate details on the matter. Here’s what he had to say when I asked him about the specifics of what they will be addressing with this extra development time:

“We are removing the final bugs and still running optimization in various areas. What it will result in is a smoother and more engaging experience and, yes, the game looking better across all platforms. The content is locked, so no content changes are being made at this point. The scale of the open world in the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is unprecedented, so fear not – there is enough gameplay to keep you playing for weeks.”

When we last spoke with Iwinski, he said the game holds about 120 hours of gameplay, which is equivalent to BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition. That is a lot of gameplay and story.

Witcher 3

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

Details

Meriwether - Post-Funding Update # 50

by Couchpotato, 05:39

Sortasoft has finally released another post-funding update for Meriwether with information on the games development, and talks about the latest Beta version.

We’re in the home stretch! We’ve extended our internal beta a little longer, to add just a bit more polish on the game before we send it out to our beta-level backers. We’ve been focusing on the nitty gritty details, like fixing bugs, correcting typos, and optimizing gameplay performance.

All that stuff makes for interesting work, but there’s not much else to say about it, except that we are plugging away at it. But we do have two notable features that have solidified or changed lately, and we want to share those with you.

Meriwether

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

Details

Daedalic Entertainment - Merry X-Mas Video

by Couchpotato, 05:36

Daedalic Entertainment wishes everyone a happy holidays with a new song video from music composer Mazze Wiesner. It's only four minutes long so give it a watch.

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Christmas is coming and therefore a real Daedalic 2014 Christmas song shouldn't be missing. This year, our Christmas Video is featuring Mazze Wiesner. He’s a great Composer and musician, and we are happy to sing this song together with him.

Daedalic Entertainment

Details

Blackguards 2 - Two More Previews

by Couchpotato, 05:29

Well here are two more previews of Blackguards 2 I found this week.

COG

When it comes down to it, I feel fans of the first game are really going to like the direction this game is going. Even in this early and incomplete state I was putting the game through its paces and was having a good time. I look forward to giving the game a spin when the finishing touches are done and seeing even more improvements.

Chalgyr's Game Room

Blackguards 2 feels like it is leaning a bit more heavily towards the strategy genre than RPG this time around, with an emphasis on accessibility. It is an understandable direction given a good deal of the feedback after the initial game. My early impressions are favorable and I am looking forward to spending more time with Blackguards 2 once it is fully released.

Blackguards 2

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

Details

Dungeons Of Aledorn - More Website Updates

by Couchpotato, 05:25

The Dungeons Of Aledorn website had two new updates this weeks. The first update has infomation on how the developer has struggled with game development.

Greetings friends. Not so long ago, I wrote about how challenging it was compiling the team. Today on this topic I’ll tell you about the people who have forsaken us, and vice versa, also about those who have joined.

The second update gives everyone a X-Mas greeting for the holidays.

Ho, ho, ho to all our faithfull followers. Today we’d like to wish you all a Merry X-mas full of peace and gaming of any kind. Leave behind your daily stress and spend your time by doing stuff that you like the most. We all shall also devote ourselves to our families and closest friends for the next days and will take a few days off from DoA’s development.

Dungeons Of Aledorn

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

Details

Rime Berta - A New Japanese SRPG

by Couchpotato, 05:18

Rime Berta is a new Japanese SRPG from developer NEXTSOFT that has just released on Steam this week. As usual here is a short video to get you interested.

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Command an army of puppets in this Japanese SRPG as you hunt for a relic said to grant any wish. Livia's village is dying, and all that can help them is an ancient relic situated somewhere within a mystical tower.

If you act now you can get a 10% discount for the next few hours.

Steam

Details

GamesIndustry.biz - Broken & Bugged Games

by Couchpotato, 05:13

Well to continue my hatred of all broken and bugged games it seems Rob Fahey of GamesIndustry.biz has posted a new article that talks about both problems.

Given that we could all probably agree that a piece of hardware being faulty is utterly unacceptable, I'm not sure why software seems to get a free pass sometimes. Sure, there are lots of consumers who complain bitterly about buggy games, but by and large games with awful quality control problems tend to get slapped with labels like "flawed but great", or have their enormous faults explained in a review only to see the final score reflect none of those problems. It's not just the media that does this (and for what it's worth, I don't think this is corruption so much as an ill-considered aspect of media culture itself); for every broken game, there are a host of consumers out there ready to defend it to the hilt, for whatever reason.

I raise this problem because, while buggy games have always been with us - often hilariously, especially back in the early days of the PlayStation - the past year or so has seen a spate of high-profile, problematic games being launched, suggesting that even some of the industry's AAA titles are no longer free from truly enormous technical issues. The technical problems that have become increasingly prevalent in recent years are causing genuine damage to the industry; from the botched online launches of games like Driveclub and Battlefield through to the horrendous graphical problems that plague some players of Assassin's Creed Unity, they are giving consumers terrible experiences of what should be high points for the medium, creating a loud and outspoken group of disgruntled players who act to discourage others, and helping to drive a huge wedge between media (who, understandably, want to talk about the experience and context of a game rather than its technical details) and consumers (who consider a failure to address glaring bugs to be a sign of collusion between media and publishers, and a failure on the part of the media to serve their audience).

GamesIndustry.biz

Details

Sorcerer King - Early Access First Impression

by Couchpotato, 05:07

Keith Turner of Space Sector posted a new Early Access First Impression article based on his playtime with Stardock's new game Sorcerer King. Here is a small sample.

Sorcerer King does introduce some interesting restrictions and a bit of resource management, and with further polish could become a solid experience for me. What it needs to overcome is the fact that we are now in an era of fantasy strategy excellence unlike anything I’ve seen in recent years. As a product priced the same as, or more than, other quality completed titles, Sorcerer King has got its work cut out if it wants to stand out and grab my attention.

Sorcerer King

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

Details

Monday - December 22, 2014

DA:Inquisition - RPG Game of the Year @ RPS

by Aries100, 23:20

Adam and Alec at Rock, Paper, Shotgun talk about why they think that Dragon Age: 
Inquisition is the best rpg game of 201
4.   Adam explains that: 

The characters, quests and combat aren't the heart of the game - the world is.There's so much to do that some of the quests, dialogue sequences and locations aren't as solid as others. With this much to see and do, I'm not bothered by the occasionally uneven terrain. There are sequences that I thought were highlights that other people rolled their eyes at, and parts that I greeted with a shrug that other people found touching, amusing or exciting.

Alec has this to say:

And, of course, no-one does RPG characters like BioWare does RPG characters. There are more bores on the team than I'd like, but The Iron Bull's a star, Sera brings both pomposity-pricking and increasing humanity, Dorian is a fine Errol Flynn and Solas is so fascinatingly odd. And refreshingly, reassuringly Welsh. Just don't make me look at his face.Something has been lost as the scope and scale expanded, yes - but what scope and scale.

Do you agree with Adam and Alec?

Thanks to wolfhowwl at the Bioware DAI forum for finding this.

 

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

Details

Balrum - Version 0.89 Released

by Myrthos, 12:33

Version 0.89 of Balrum has been made available, which fixes quite a lot of smaller things and because of those many changes, the save games aren't compatible either. Some of the changes:

-Increased world simulation size (NPCs will be more active with their daily lives)
-New NPC behaviors (for example: the town guards will turn on torches around the villages at sunset)
-Your pet is now smarter and he/she will be more precise while performing your commands
-Added a “Select” button to the pet bar
-Added a reset button to the blacksmithing panel so you can easily restart experimenting
-Added sliders to the GUI making navigating lists way more comfortable
-Added a large number of GUI goodness (fading panels, nicer effects, more precise control)
-When a friendly NPC is in your way (standing in a door for example) you can push him/her so you don't have to wait for them to get out of the way
-More zoom options
-Added a “stackable” property to item tooltips if needed
-Added a faster combat animations toggle button to the options panel
-Added ability to simply press “enter” when the usage is obvious
-The spellbook now reorganizes itself when a savegame is loaded filling the holes that might have been present do to “one cast” spells
-Now you are able to destroy your tent
-New targetless AOE spell effects for certain mobs (be careful where you are standing agains a skeleton warlock)
-While in combat if you point your cursor at your pet you will now see its health and mana
-Added new “gameplay” tab to the options panel 
-Good/Bad deeds are now logged
-Traders now refresh their inventory every other day
-More sleeping NPCs (finally female NPCs go to sleep too)
-Pet agro now grants a small amount of agro towards the player (when the pet was the only combatant, upon dying the enemy did not go after the player)
-Wind now affects berry bushes too
-Not every animal attacks you on sight any more (there are peaceful monsters out there)
-Numerous small map changes
-Added spells with random cooldown times
-Faster startup times
-New internal datatypes for large data
-Lower memory usage
-Overall performance improvements

Balrum

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

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Bloom: Memories - Interview @ Core-RPG

by Couchpotato, 09:45

Forum member m00n1ight notified me of a new interview on Core-RPG with Dani Landers the developer of Bloom:Memories. So lets all thank him for the new interview.

Your project has a long and difficult story and was funded on Kickstarter only on third attempt. What, in your opinion, was the reason for the failure of the first two attempts? And what makes you go on and try again, despite the fact that many novice developers lose their hearts after the first failure?

Well, the first time I went to kickstarter, I had pretty unreasonable goals… no one knew me (I was coming from nowhere)… and just had a handful of concepts for an idea I wanted to do. So, it wasn't a big shock looking back why I failed.

After that, the attempts just weren't far enough along in the build to really show much to anyone. It was still a lot of talk and looking for help to make it a reality. Finding more team members (my first attempt I was alone), getting more concepts and game models done, or just sorting out some story / design.

Eventually I had enough to show and prove to people I could actually do what I was saying I could do.

What makes me keep going and not give up is just confidence in myself. I KNOW have a story to tell, and a world being made, and a game being created. I KNOW I can make something special. So, for me, giving up makes no sense. The issue is more about how I'll get to the end of the road, not IF I'll get there.

Also, failure isn't really the end of doing something creative (or anything in life). Failure is just practice… it teaches us what we did wrong… and our next attempt is even better.

I don't think anyone has ever done anything great without failing. We don't give up trying to walk because we may fall down when we first start. Eventually we get there, it just takes a bit of drive and trust in ourselves.

According to latest studies, the interest in crowdfunding is running down. Kickstarter is flooded by the pot-boilers and cloned projects, so players and journalists is getting pretty tired of searching for some diamonds in the mud. Journalists in particular is paying much less attention to the new projects now. Have you encountered this problem with news blackout during your Kickstarter campaign?

Yup, I was noticing the drop-off of interest / trust in kickstarter when we went there also. Journalists would do "group articles" on a lot larger number of kickstarters… and people seemed more used to seeing it as a place to get the game a bit cheaper or wanting bigger rewards to match major kickstarters they had seen (which wasn't really how it was early on in KS).

But, even with that, I think kickstarter is pretty important to seeing a new wave of games made by people without the resources to make them the traditional way though. For example, thanks to everyone who spread the word and backed us we were able to push ahead with Bloom. Had kickstarter and gamers not been there to help us… it would have just been one less game getting made.

I really feel like journalists, developers, and gamers are all working together for the same common goal… to make even better games and push the medium forward. Something like kickstarter brings those groups together to make something happen that wouldn't have been possible otherwise.

So, overall, I hope journalists and gamers don't get too bored with sites like Kickstarter. Thanks to them stepping in early, new stuff is getting made and they are making a difference.

Bloom

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

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Interview @ XP4T

by Couchpotato, 06:07

PsychoSyd of XP4T had the chance to interview Warhorse Studios, and ask a few questions of a few different employees. Here is a short sample of the interview.

XP4T: How did you come up with the idea of making an open-world RPG set in medieval times? And why not an adventure game or an RTS?

J.R.: There are two guys behind the idea – Martin Klima and Dan Vavra, game developers with strong RPG background. Have you heard about Original War, Vision (not released) or Mafia? Mafia is definitely well known around the world, and Martin is also co-creator of the best-selling pen&paper RPG in Czech Republic named Dragons Lair. You can see now, that the common project had to be an RPG ;-]

XP4T: What are your feelings about the Kickstarter campaign? Did it give you something more, apart from the financial aspect and some kind of morale boost?

J.R.: First of all we have got loud and clear YES from 35k backers on Kickstarter for a project, which was „not appealing enough“ to many publishers. And thanks to them we are still here working on Kingdom Come: Deliverance. Thank you all once again!

XP4T: You call the game a “realistic open world game”. How would you define that “realism”? Does it only pertain to the combat mechanics, or could we consider the game a source of some interesting knowledge about the Middle Ages?

J.R.: We have a special department for research! They read through all the stuff from libraries and chronicles, look up the documentation and pictures and also visit real places from the game to shoot there. Of course the game can’t be completely realistic or you would spend whole time in the forge making hoes ;-] We also cooperate with the best fencers and bow masters in Czech Republic to gain the knowledge about the 15th century combat techniques. They are very helpful!

P4T: How much fantasy will be there in Deliverance? How solid is the factual basis for Deliverance’s story and setting?

J.R.: No fantasy at all, there are no dragons or spells! The main story is based on the historical events described in chronicles and other resources, but life of a smith Henry is of course made up by Dan and team of designers. You don’t find story of poor peasants in chronicles usually. But it doesn’t mean it is not interesting, you can live through very important times of Holy Roman Empire!

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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

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Serpent in the Staglands - New Journals & Patch

by Couchpotato, 06:02

Whalenought Studios latest post-funding update for Serpent in the Staglands gives a look at the games journal, and  goes into detail about the next Beta patch.

JOURNALS

Yesterday we got 2 beautiful hides from a tannery to make the journal covers from and they are fantastic.

We still have a bit of copy for the journal to write as we finish up content for the game, but it should be a wonderful guide and adventuring companion. The digital version will have some specific changes and omissions (medium aside), but will have similar content. We’re receiving the great paper we're printing on, threading, sealing wax and insignia needed for the seal soon as well, and will get some pictures up when we do! The end product will be an authentic leather journal suitable for some bronze age adventuring, with some blank note pages for yourself (for those puzzles that are more easily sketched out than written in the in-game journal).

PATCH 

** Patching system seems to be having some issues, and we'll just send out another email this (hopefully) last time. Will be starting builds shortly for reindeer distribution. **

For those who have beta access, or maybe haven’t played since some of the earlier builds, we encourage you to download the newest patch and take a look. We’ve tackled the majority of the UI functionally, added lots of small polish items, and have finally implemented the prime NPC database, which completely rebalances the combat difficulty. This is what we’ve been using to test later game scenarios and individual enemies, and thought it would be a good time to introduce it into the beta and have you all test what the actual game difficulty was designed to be. I’d go into the details, but it would probably be best just played. If you were quick saving a lot before due to bugs, we’d advise you do so now instead for the amped up difficulty across the board, especially during the early areas you're testing. Wildlife, acolytes, and even chicken goblins can 1-hit-kill an unarmored character if the rng god wills it.

Serpent in the Staglands

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

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Matt Chat - Susan Manley Interview

by Couchpotato, 05:57

Matt Barton's next video interview is with Susan Manley who was an artist, and veteran of SSI, Electronic Arts, and now the COO of a studio called Olde Skuul.

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In this part, Susan tells us about the various game projects at Olde Skuul, how she met Rebecca "BeckyBurger" Heineman, and Wizardry IV. We wrap up with tales of her days as manager of the one of the first game stores in the US. Astrocade, anyone?

Matt Chat

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Blackguards 2 - Preview @ Bag of Games

by Couchpotato, 05:54

A small site by the name of Bag of Games posted a new preview of Blackguards 2.

I would already have recommended the original Blackguards to any RPG fan, or even someone who is a fan of well-made strategy games with little interest in RPGs. It had its issues, and I wasn’t so much a fan of the story (while it rounded itself out nicely, many of the issues just felt like a deus ex machina). However Blackguards 2 looks like it could become a cult classic, if the endgame is as strong as what I’ve played. I didn’t get to play around with the assassin or ogre mercenaries, as they are only available later on, but the prospect of an extended battle, with you controlling so many different classes who all play out different, is fantastic. Both the story and gameplay are strong, and Daedalic have learnt from the original game how to make it a better and clearer game, without removing its strong tabletop RPG feel or complexity. My only complaint is that the game has not been fully balanced, however that is being heavily worked on at the moment, and so the game should be much fairer around release.

Don't forget The RPG Codex also posted a preview last week.

Blackguards 2

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

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The CRPG Book Project - Alpha Release!

by Couchpotato, 05:50

Felipe Pepe has released a 100 page alpha version of his CRPG Book. He also wants to remind everyone who has pledge to help with a review to please send them in.

I’ll keep this one short: The first public release of the book is out, a 100-page preview featuring 36 reviews, many articles, a working bookmark thingie and countless grammar errors and nonsense like calling the preview of a book an alpha build. 

Grab it here: https://www.mediafire.com/?66nybfqbxfn3p2g

And please, share any feedback you might have. I got a thick skin, I can handle it. ;) Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a great 2015 for everyone!

The CRPG Book Project

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Gheldia - Development Update

by Couchpotato, 05:47

It has been awhile since I posted anything about the Zelda inspired game Gheldia, and I have to say it happens to me often as I cover to many games each week.

The first news of interest was a new video from a few months back.

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The second item of interest was about the game getting Greenlit on Steam.

Gheldia has been officially Greenlit on Steam! We are incredibly thrilled about this opportunity and would like to extend a huge thank you to the community for their support. To everyone who stopped by our booths, shared our updates/screenshots, and spread the word – we appreciate it very much! The game’s development has been a long winding road but the vision has always been clear – create an RPG that pays homage to the 16-bit classics with a mix of new ideas. We feel that with each passing week we are marching closer to that goal and can’t wait to share off our latest developments. The next few months will be very exciting!

Gheldia

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

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Kickstarter - The 10 Best Kickstarter Games

by Couchpotato, 05:42

Maximum PC released a top ten list of the best kickstarter games this year.

The Kickstarter scene exploded a few years back, as gamers discovered the crowdfunding platform and began to fund various video game projects. The plethora of games seeking funding ranged from new concepts to sequels that boasted new, unique features or appealed to our sense of nostalgia. Because of Kickstarter, we have seen some amazing games that have raised millions of dollars in funding, such as Star Citizen and Pillars of Eternity. 

Still, other Kickstarter projects raised much more money than their originally stated goals, thanks to an excited gaming community willing to fund them. However, over the past couple of years we’ve seen games that received funding way above their goals, then get cancelled due to not having enough funds (or other reasons).

Clang, a project headed by science fiction author Neal Stephenson, was cancelled two years after its successful Kickstarter campaign, because of financial issues. Double Fine, which had two successful Kickstarter campaigns, has stumbled with financial issues, too. Over the past two years, quite a few projects have fallen to the wayside or not lived up to the ambitions set by the developers.

Despite such examples, successfully funded games have slowly made their way to the community. So, we decided to list 10 Kickstarter games, in no particular order, that we feel are the best so far. However, we narrowed our list to games that have been completed and not being sold through Early Access.

Kickstarter

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Icewind Dale: EE - Review @ Softpedia

by Couchpotato, 05:40

I haven't found that many reviews for the recently launched Icewind Dale: EE. So moving on I was lucky to find one on Softpedia that gave the game an 8/10.

Icewind Dale isn’t a perfect game, but it’s one of the best RPGs of all times. Obviously, the Enhanced Edition is also among the best in the genre, but it only brings minor improvements into the mix.

The problem is that the original Icewind Dale plays the same and looks and feels just like the Enhanced Edition released by Beamdog.

However, if you want the new content added in the Enhanced Edition, like for example several new quests, around 60 new items, more than 30 new class and kit combinations from Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and more than 120 new spells, then by all means you should give it a go.

I’m not going to tell you if it’s worth the price because I have already bought the original Icewind Dale twice, so if you’re keen on trying out an old-school RPG, this Enhanced Edition has everything you need.

Icewind Dale: EE

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

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From Software - My (Unannounced) Visit to Japan

by Couchpotato, 05:37

Piet Crusader of Game Crusaders had a chance to visit the Japanese developer
From Software, and shared his experience in a new article.

In the autumn of 2013 I travelled through Japan for two weeks. I had various cities and temples on my list of places to visit and one very peculiar destination, the FromSoftware studio.

I am a fan of Dark Souls. It is my favourite game. It is a work of art that I have spent hundreds of hours looking at, contemplating, and experiencing. Dark Souls 2 was about four months away from getting released and I wanted to see if I could get a look behind the scenes, play a demo, or find out anything at all about the sequel. I’m not a journalist and, at the time, Game Crusaders didn’t even exist yet. I didn’t make an appointment. I just went there hoping to make it inside.

With the studio hidden in one of Tokyo’s suburbs, it took some effort to find out where I needed to be. The hostel staff did their best to Google-map me in the right direction and with a piece of paper full of notes, train numbers and time tables I jumped on a train.

From Software

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