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Saturday - July 19, 2014
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InSomnia

2014-07-14

InSomnia Community Q&A

As promised here is the community Q&A with Studio Mono about their kickstarter RPG Game InSomnia. I want to give a big thank you to the RPGWatch members who sent me their questions.
» Continue reading the article...

Children of War: Blood and Snow

2014-05-13

Children of War: Blood and Snow Q&A

We had the chance to interview COO/Program Director Ryan Lamb of Shadowforge a few questions about his kickstarter Children of War: Blood and Snow.
» Read the article

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Sunday - July 20, 2014

Kingdom Come - Interview @ Area Autodesk

by Couchpotato, 14:34

Area Autodesk did a new interview with with Warhorse Studios. The interview layout is a little weird but ignore it for more information on the game.

The Area: We are happy and very excited to have the chance to speak with Warhorse Studios, arguably one of the hottest game studios in the Czech Republic. Back in February, Warhorse Studios completed their Kickstarter campaign, where upon asking for £300,000, were instead greeted with a little over $1.8 million USD. Congratulations on such a successful campaign! That said - once you start factoring in all of the actual costs needed to make the scale of game that you have in mind, this money is maybe just enough to cover things like salaries, hardware, software/game engine license, rent, and other general expenses for running a company. Something that you most certainly already know! So, Dan, how and when did Warhorse Studios and "Kingdom Come: Deliverance" become a reality?

Dan Vávra: Warhorse was established about two years ago by myself, Martin Klíma and several veterans from the Czech gaming industry and the reason was simple – there was no chance to work on games that we would like to make in any existing studios. And since we wanted to work on something new and innovative and there was zero chance that we could do it under a big publisher's wings, we started a new company.

The Area: Certainly the history of "Mafia" and subsequent titles are known amongst gamers, but for those who only know you for the first time through "Kingdom Come: Deliverance", can you give a bit of background on yourself?

Dan Vávra:
I am part of the 80's computer generation – people who grew up with the first 8-bit computers, played the first games on the ZX Spectrum and C64 and started to make their own stuff on the Amiga. I started as an artist in Illusion Softworks and after some minor work on its first game “Hidden and Dangerous”, I went on to be the Writer, Designer and Director on “Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven”. I wrote and designed “Mafia II” and worked on some others, sadly unreleased projects.

The Area: As overseer in the production of this game and making sure that all gears are greased, so to speak, what are some of the main tasks you have to take care of?

Dan Vávra: I am the Creative Director, so I have my fingers in most aspects of the game. But my biggest task is of course design and writing.

Our game is so massive, that there is no chance I would be able to write everything myself, so we have seven other writers and lots of scripters ... I work kinda like a show runner on TV – I work with other writers, prepare concepts for the story, review their work, we brainstorm a lot and the I write parts of the story myself.

Information about

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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

Details

Zpocalypse: Survival - Game Updates

by Couchpotato, 14:28

It has been a while since I posted news about the failed kickstarter game Zpocalypse: Survival. The developer Greenbrier Games has posted a few more updates.

The first update talks about the re-launch on Kickstarter.

Ever closer to Alpha and re-launch!

It has been a little while since out last update and in our silence you will find us hard at work on the game getting it ever closer to an alpha state. I have some nice new screenshots to show off in this update around some of the things that we have been working on. I did however, want to mention that while things are still progressing nicely we lost our level designer. We have been working hard to get our new level designer up to speed and our programmer has been hard at work getting the random world generation and free-form base building working. The world randomization is already shaping up really well and the only slowdown is getting all the models and art to start populating the world fully. As a side note, if there are any talented environmental 3d modelers with texturing skills out there we are looking for some extra assistance. 

The second update is about the progress of the Alpha version.

Quick Update

Just wanted to give a quick update as we continue to move forward! I just got in a new screenshot from our level designer as he is working through things. This is a first look at the a new world build. Still a lot we are working on but it is great to see things getting back to normal. Keep in mind this is all with our world generation and is not the static world we had before!

Information about

Zpocalypse: Survival

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

Details

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Next Gen Difference

by Couchpotato, 14:23

Onlysp posted a new article for Dragon Age: Inquisition that compares the graphics to all past games in the series. Of course we all know the Frostbite engine wins.

The Next Gen Difference: Dragon Age: Origins, 2 and Inquisition Compared

We here at OnlySP are incredibly excited for the upcoming onslaught of games coming this October. A lot of those games include sequels that are bridging the gap from PS3/Xbox 360 to PS4/Xbox One. So, we decided that we would take a look at the difference certain details between those games, from the last generation to the current gen.

This is The Next Generation Difference.

For our first Next Gen Difference article, we decided to focus on BioWare’s epic fantasy RPG series Dragon Age. Dragon Age: Origins was released in 2009 for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC while Dragon Age 2 was released in March 2011. The next game will be released on PS4, Xbox One and PC in October of this year. We’re going to take a look at elements of the game and compare them to each other. While some of the differences should be plain to see, it’s always good to focus on the minor details too.


Information about

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

Details

Rampant Games - Ultima IV & Rational Worlds

by Couchpotato, 14:17

The Rampant Coyote took a break from posting news about the Steam release of Frayed Knights to talk about Ultima IV in a new blog post on his website.

Ultima IV and Rational Worlds

I’m gonna take a break for the weekend on the Frayed Knights posts (more next week!), and just refer you to a couple of posts by The Digital Antiquarian about a game that’s very near & dear to my heart, Ultima IV.

First, the origin story – and some conjectures about the real history behind it that go beyond the short & sweet “official” story:

Article: The Road to IV

Article: Ultima IV

Now, as much as I like to wax prosaic about Ultima IV, because it really was a pretty landmark game and IMO still a great game to play, it is still a (relatively) simple game with simple mechanics. Although the interesting thing is that while modern games with complex faction systems may be far more sophisticated, the simple rules and ability to check with Hawkwind to monitor your progress may have actually strengthened the focus of the game and increased the verisimilitude than far more murky but “realistic” systems. Go figure.

But maybe a more significant factor – and reason that the game series is so beloved today – is suggested in the second article. Though violated as often as reinforced, a logic and consistency permeated the Ultima games. This was a part of game design as well as the fictional world-building. At least through the middle of the series, the games were far more simulationist than narrativist. The game ran on consistent rules with very little special-case code. The player acquired and learned to use tools to make progress in the game – from finding an artifact to fly over mountains to using a cannon to shoot a door off its hinges.

The magic system tried to follow that same consistency – it seemed to be created of a combination of elements, which included reagents some games, and runes in Ultima Underworld. Likewise, the virtue system was a combination of a handful of base elements. In Ultima VI and VII, crafting and simple economy were introduced much the same way, with a number of basic procedures allowing the creation of items in the game.

Maybe it was the transparency of these systems – and how they permeated the same game – that made players feel like Origin was living up to its motto, “We create worlds.” And maybe there’s a lesson to be learned by game designers (especially RPG designers) about  the art of world-building.

Information about

Rampant Games

Details

Fallout 3 - Game Developers & Bugs

by Couchpotato, 14:12

Pixelated Shawn Bird shares his opinion about how game developers should fix their games. He uses Fallout 3 as an example, and I agree with him.

Last year during one of the big Steam sales I finally got my hands on Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition for around $5 and I thought I was stealing it. That was until I sat down to play it and found that the game would constantly freeze and I would have to bring up my task manager to shut it down. At first I thought it might be a silly glitch, but then I learned that it was a deep rabbit hole of which there was no return.

I am not a PC gamer because I know my way around installing games and screwing with game files and folders. I only became a PC gamer about five years ago now and it is because of how easy Steam makes it to play games. Sure I had Diablo II and a few others back in the day, but for the most part PC gaming was out of my element and so I stayed away and stuck to consoles. Consoles, you know like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, hardware that could still play Fallout 3 on if I had it for those systems. I actually did own it for both of those systems at different times, but of course traded them in for that lustrous gaming credit to purchase other games.

I have put hundreds of hours into Fallout 3 and even all the DLC for it. I have completed 99% of all the game’s missions. I even collected all the bobbleheads on more than one occasion. So you might be asking “Why rebuy it?” Well I miss it, a lot and now on PC I can livestream it and/or make YouTube videos of me playing it and all the whacky things that happen. Fallout 3 is an amazing game, one of the most popular from last generation. It is the reason we all are clamoring for a Fallout 4, that and surely partially because of this whole debacle. That is what upsets me the most about this whole situation. If it was a game I didn’t care so much for I would just cut my loses and go on my way, but I love Fallout 3! It is even on my top ten list of games from last generation. I really want to play it again and unfortunately, I can’t under these circumstances.

Information about

Fallout 3

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

Details

Elysian Shadows - Kickstarter Announcement

by Couchpotato, 14:06

he Elysian Shadows development team has released more information, and a new video with news about the games upcoming kickstarter in two weeks.

We're back with a gigantic update on Elysian Shadows and our Kickstarter campaign! The team takes you on a wild ride inside the high-stress, sleepless world of full-time indie game development, as they work day and night preparing for the launch of the campaign on August 1st. With almost a full hour of highly polished and sincere commentary from the team fused with unapologetically raw and uncensored footage, this is our most ambitious production to date... We truly wanted to show our fans everything that goes on behind trying to run a startup gamedev company and successfully running a crowdfunding campaign.

The date we've all been eagerly awaiting is rapidly approaching... We're both terrified and excited for it, and we have truly poured our hearts and souls into creating a product and a campaign worthy of your backing. Thank you for the continued love and support we have received from the indie game development community over the years. Let us know what you think of the stretch goals and if you have any input on the campaign. We would love to hear from you!

Information about

Elysian Shadows

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

Details

Torment: Tides of Numenera - New Interview

by Couchpotato, 14:02

A Polish site called Gry-Online shares part of a new interview in English with a few developers from inXile Entertainment about Torment: Tides of Numenera.

One of the most beloved features of Planescape: Torment was the incredible uniqueness amongst found equipment. Almost every single weapon looked differently and had its own story. Is your approach to items in Torment: Tides of Numenera any close to this one?

Kevin Saunders (Project Lead): Items are very important to the Numenera setting – in fact many items are numenera, which are remnants from past worlds. We do plan to give items unique descriptions and they will help you to understand some facets of the world. How unique they will appear visually is still an open question, though certainly the most significant items will stand out.

What about game difficulty? Are you planning to escalate it somehow? If so – what will change at „hard” in comparison to „normal”? And if not – how do you want to reconcile the expectations and needs of hardcore RPG gamers and casual ones?

Kevin Saunders: We do plan to have difficulty settings, but aren’t yet prepared to discuss the details of how we’ll approach this feature. In general, we aren’t targeting super casual players, but we are using best practices for UI design and game design to make the game accessible rather than arcane. The quests, storyline, etc. typically don’t take well to different difficulty levels and we aren’t planning much, if anything, there. Meanwhile, because the Crises are hand-crafted experiences, and fairly few in number, we hope we can be somewhat sophisticated in how we alter them based on difficulty.

Unfortunately, you were unable to acquire the copyrights for Planescape: Torment and the game will be set in a completely different universe. Can we at least expect some easter eggs and references to the Nameless One, Morte and others from the original?

Kevin Saunders: TTON fans will catch glimpses of PS:T but we don’t plan to have direct references.

Even though there is still a lot of work to do, the core of the story is probably already finished. How much time will it take to complete the game? Planescape: Torment provided from 40 to 50 hours of pure gameplay in addition to almost 800 000 words to read. Can we expect similar numbers in Torment: Tides of Numenera?

Kevin Saunders: Yes, the core of the story is finished (though elements of it will be iterated upon through to the end). We don’t want to make guesses as to what the final gameplay length will be, but I expect we’ll be somewhat shorter than PST, though no less dense. In part this is because we won’t have the dungeon crawling sections that PST did. We will definitely have a lot of words, be they dialogue or descriptions. (We’ve written/implemented over 50,000 dialogue words already and we’re not yet in full production.)

Information about

Torment: Tides of Numenera

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

Details

The Red Solstice - Two More Previews

by Couchpotato, 13:57

Here are two more previews of the Early Access version of The Red Solstice.

Trust in Play

Nevertheless, would I suggest buying The Red Solstice? It’s currently in Early Access and I’ve already gotten more use out of it than some of the bigger budget games I’ve played. I’m glad to say The Red Solstice isn’t one of the grayed out titles in my Steam library. The Red Solstice is an entertaining top down strategy game that you can play with a few friends or none at all. I’ve found it both fun playing with random people and friends of mine. The Red Solstice will get you your bang for your buck and it’s not even finished yet!
The Red Solstice is a promising game with enough graphical and gameplay features that will remind you of several classics you may or may not have played. However, due to the framerate and lag issues, the game tends to be somewhat unplayable at certain hours. The Red Solstice starts to feel repetitive, even when playing with others on a regular base, due to the fact that you will always need to scavenge and do quests in the same map. Having only one game mode available only makes the repetitive feel bigger. However, besides all of this, the game can still go in many directions which can ultimately make the game not just fine but great.

Information about

The Red Solstice

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

Details

Cube World - Quest System Preview

by Couchpotato, 13:54

Developer Picroma has released a new video preview of the quest system for Cube World. It has been a while since I posted any news about the game so enjoy.

This video gives a first preview of the new quest system that we're currently working on. It's still work in progress and we're still adding more variations and content

Information about

Cube World

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

Details

Saturday - July 19, 2014

Dead State - Progress Report

by Aries100, 19:21

DoubleBear Productions have updated the game's Kickstarter page with news of the progress they've made since the latest Early Acces update.

Here are some of the progres since the last Early Access Update:

* Our programming team is working on implementing dogs, shelter upgrades, and character perks and traits, as well as the usual bug-fixing;

* Our animator is working through importing a number of new and existing animal, human and undead animations into the build and creating new dialogue gesture animations;

* Our design team is crafting crisis events, adding ever more allies and their corresponding dialogues to the game, and working on new and old levels;

Also, Brian is bringing back Monday Design Updates to the forums.

 

 

Source: RPG Codex

Information about

Dead State

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

Details

Wasteland 2 - Hands On Preview @ RPGFan

by Aries100, 19:11

Robert Steinman from RPGFan has written a preview article based on hands--on time
with the game.
  A quote, then, on, the UI:

Admittedly, the UI is a bit clunky for my taste. I didn't understand that I had to click on a skill on my hotbar before trying to use the computer skills given to one of my party members. I just assumed they would automatically perform the designated task, but W2 is rather old school in asking you to pay attention to the world and how you can interact with it.

A quote about player choices:

I was tasked with repairing repeater units at two different locations. With only enough time to choose one, I had to decide between the aforementioned science center or a highly inhabited area under attack by raiders. Your commanding officer tasks you with making the decision, and this level of player choice could lead to a great deal of replayability.

Information about

Wasteland 2

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

Details

Balrum - Post-Funding Update #39

by Couchpotato, 06:25

It has been a while since Balcony Team posted any new information for Balrum. Though they did post a new kickstarter update about the games progress this week.

The upcoming update!

Hello everyone!

We are making steady progress! The remaining bugs are fixed and the content update is on it's way!

Here is what you can expect from the next beta update:

  • Every skill is redesigned and now the skills have more meaning. Every skill has a detailed tooltip explaining the skill.
  • The unfinished quests are now finished: (spoiler ahead!!) For example: The sick troll quest is now completable by curing the troll (various ways) or by killing it.
  • Building your home has been heavily altered. Now instead of being able to build a house in specific places, the story will reveal a safe place for you where you will be able to build your own home early on in the game. A build button has been added to the main bar.
  • Hundreds of new sound effects are in the game.
  • Lore bits are finally in the world! This means that you can find old letters and documents that the long forgotten inhabitants of Darkwood wrote. We think that reading these texts will help you understand the history of the woods and Balrum.
  • All crafting systems have been redesigned. As we mentioned in our first beta update the crafting systems were really primitive. Now we feel that we have well working and more comfortable crafting systems for you!
  • Now there are recipes/schematics hidden in chests and other places in the world that you can learn from.
  • Translation support is finally complete! All text in the game is now accessible via simple xml files.
  • New AI behaviors are implemented. For example: a mainly ranged enemy will try to use it's ranged abilities more often than it's close combat ones.
  • There are already many mini games/puzzles/secrets in dungeons. Now there are a few of them above ground too. Some of these puzzles are only completable if you read the lore bits and find the information you need to solve them.
  • Special weapon and armor properties. Quite a few weapons now have special on hit effects and give the player various attributes. There are armor sets in the game now. These sets will give the player extra attributes and effects if a certain amount of the set pieces are equipped.
  • Information! There are small helper tooltips where there should be one. These will help you understand how certain mechanics work in the game.
  • Item tooltips now tell you more about the item. For example the tooltip of a potato will inform you about how nutritious it is.
  • Combinable items are now more useful! There is a new combine button on the main bar. This button will bring up the item combine interface. You will be able to create items that do not require a special crafting facility. For example: fire arrows, torches..etc
  • The character panel is redesigned and the quests menu finally has been updated too.

In the upcoming weeks we will send everyone who pledged more than the base game an email regarding their rewards. Some of you have already sent us ideas and descriptions about what you would like your npc,monster or special item..etc, to be like. If you haven't changed your mind you don't have to reply to the new email.

We are working hard on the next update. We hope that we won't need more than a few weeks to release the update!

As always, have a great day and thank you for your continuing support!

Information about

Balrum

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

Details

CD Projekt RED - On Sex & The Witcher Games

by Couchpotato, 06:21

Playstation Lifestyle has a small preview of a new interview with CD Projekt RED about sex, and how the developer, "Makes Mature Games for Mature Players'"

If you’ve played past Witcher games or have read the books it’s based on, then chances are you’ve come across at least one scenario where sex was involved. 

In our exclusive interview with CD Projekt RED, we mentioned to Level Designer Miles Tost that each entry in The Witcher game series contained some level of sexuality in them, which has stirred some controversy. What do they think of sexuality in gaming and how they’re approaching the subject in The Witcher 3?

"We make mature games, for mature players (every Witcher game is for adults only) and sex is, well, a part of adult life. The key thing is not to overdo it, not to sell your game with sex. As long as you remain tactful in what you do, as long as you have a legitimate reason to put sex in your game, I think it’s quite safe to do so."

In the same interview, Tost also mentioned that there’s “no plans” to re-release previous games in The Witcher franchise on PlayStation platforms.

How do you feel about sex in games? Should developers be allowed to put as much  of it as they want in games or should it be used sparingly and not just for shock value?

Information about

CD Projekt RED

Details

Frayed Knights - Dice & Paper Edition

by Couchpotato, 06:17

The Rampant Coyote posted another update on his blog about for Frayed Knights. This time he talks about what inspired the games development.

The Origin of Frayed Knights: Dice and Paper Edition

Long-time readers may be plenty familiar with some of this already. But with the first Frayed Knights game coming out on Steam (hopefully a week from today) and the sequel making progress towards its first fully playable demo, I figured I’d go back over a little bit of the history of the series.

The Frayed Knights series was inspired by a number of sources. I’ll talk about the computer RPG origins in another post,  but the Bard’s Tale, Wizardry, and Ultima series (and some lesser-known games) were of course old-school classics that informed my design and I wanted to emulate some of the feel of playing those games.

But a lot of it was inspired by the source of inspiration for all of those games – dice-and-paper gaming, particularly the first edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons era. The characters making snarky comments as if they were players sitting around the table was a direct effort on my part to capture some of that feeling, mixed with a bit of tongue-in-cheek humor, of  course.

Dice-and-paper gaming is different now. Honestly, I play Pathfinder now rather than 1st edition AD&D because I prefer the new system, and I really caught the vision of the “World of Darkness” series with its emphasis on storytelling. So don’t get me wrong – I’m not going to tell you that 1E was the be-all, end-all of gaming. But it was a different experience back then – one that was partly lost a few years later, and is only now being somewhat re-discovered by computer RPGs. The recent opinion piece at Polygon, “The dice can kill you: Why First Edition AD&D is king,” manages to describe some of that “feel.”

Information about

Frayed Knights

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

Details

Unrest - Interview @ Games In Asia

by Couchpotato, 06:09

Games In Asia had the chance to interview Pyrodactyl Games Arvind Yadav about his past game development, and talk about his new funded kickstarter game Unrest.

One of the rare PC-only developers

In a country where mobile game developers are in the majority, it’s rare to see someone develop for PC. Reason being, for most it doesn’t make commercial sense despite the humungous install-base and new found profitability. Yadav seems to be cut from a different cloth. He doesn’t throw statistics, numbers or jargon around. Rather, his reasons for sticking to the PC as a development platform revolve around personal interest:

"I think part of it is that I always wanted to make games that I would play. When I was growing up the games I played were on PC. I’m a huge fan of the Prince of Persia trilogy, and my brother and I played a lot of Virtua Fighter 2 on PC as well. I never really got into mobile games growing up. People when given the freedom make games that they want to play. I guess if someone grew up playing mobile games, they’d gravitate to that."

What makes a game “Indian”?

While it’s admirable for him to follow his passion, it was odd to see a game from India, steeped in Indian culture. His reasons for making Unrest were, in his words: “To see Indian stories and Indian protagonists in video games, which is super rare”. His goal was to make something holistic and organic that wouldn’t seem like a force-fit by any stretch:

"What I was interested in was modelling social and caste systems in a game. To make a game Indian I can’t take Super Mario and put the guy in a dhoti kurta [traditional Indian clothes]. Or if it plays like a match-3 where the diamonds or whatever are Indianised a bit, it doesn’t make sense, it doesn’t feel Indian. It’s better to consider mechanics, plot and how the game plays to give it the right feel."

Information about

Unrest

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

Details

CivCraft - New Update on Terrain

by Couchpotato, 05:56

Larkon Studio's latest update for CivCraft: Legends Of Ellaria talks about terrain.

CivCraft - Legends Of Ellaria Terrain

Over the past month we’ve been stirring our terrain engine to make it more flexible and versatile than before. You can change it, shape it, build on it and generally do anything you’d do on it with a civilization. Since we polished our RTS camera as well, we actually had to stop ourselves from playing CivCraft too much.

Over the next weeks, we’ll continue to dedicate our time with improving CivCraft, as well as start implementing some of our community remarks and animations.

So, if you want to send us more requests, now is the time

Larkon Studio

Information about

CivCraft

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

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - Should It Go Free-to-Play?

by Couchpotato, 05:51

IGN wonders if The Elder Scrolls Online should go Free-to-Play, and debates the pros & cons of doing so. So what do you all think are they right about the MMO game?

From the moment it was announced the next entry in The Elder Scrolls series would be an MMO, the prospect of the game demanding a subscription fee has been an intensely debated topic. Huge swathes of people proclaimed ESO was dead in the water if it launched requiring a monthly fee, while a smaller subset quietly countered that such a move was needed for the title to succeed. When it eventually was confirmed that, yes, the game would require a monthly subscription, the debate seemed to intensify rather than lessen, and has continued to do so ever since launch in the face of console delays and a mixed reaction to endgame design.

The truth is, I don’t know if ESO will ditch its sub fee. No-one does. Steering toward the issue in a recent interview with creative director Paul Sage I was told “no comment”, so unfortunately I’ve no more official insight than you guys. But as Star Wars: The Old Republic’s first crack at its free-to-play conversion shows us, such a change is far from straightforward. To that end I spoke to Trion Worlds CEO Scott Hartsman and Gameforge CEO Carsten Van Husen - two gentlemen with a wealth of experience in both MMOs and F2P conversions - to find out whether ditching the sub fee really is the right path for The Elder Scrolls Online to take, or if it’s a fallacy that such a move can change the game’s fortunes.

Information about

Elder Scrolls Online

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

Details

Deus Ex HR: Director's Cut - New Impression

by Couchpotato, 05:47

RPGamer played the new Deus Ex HR: Director's Cut, and decide to share their impression of the game in a new article. As usual here is a short sample.

The highlight of this 'cut' of the game for a lot of critics was the redesigned boss fights. In the original, squaring off the game's cyborg mercenary antagonists was a clunky, inorganic process resolvable only with heavy-duty firearms. This version has intoduced an equally clunky and inorganic fix whereby players can sneak into new rooms and activate security measures to take out the enemies for them. Anything would be better than the original, but it and will never compare with the range that the original gave for taking out its evil cyborgs.

Something that does make this game feel like a proper director's cut over a GOTY edition is the inclusion of audio commentary. Designers, writers, artists and animators share their thoughts and anecdotes about production and design of the game as optional voice messages that pop up in certain contexts as well as over the cut scenes. It is rare to get this kind of insight into the process of making game that I wish more developers would find space for.

This version also features a new game plus mode unlocked after a completed playthrough and modifications to the higher difficulty levels. These are fine additions if a replay tickles the gamers fancy, but none come across as massive game changers.

If you haven't had a chance to tackle this episode in the franchise (or are looking for an excuse to replay it), the Directors Cut is a better option than the initial release, if only for the new boss fights, but don't make the Wii U version your first choice for purchasing it when it is also available on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

Information about

Deus Ex HR: Director's Cut

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

CD Projekt RED - How They Conquered Poland

by Couchpotato, 05:43

Polygon posted a new article about how CD Projekt RED conquered Poland in the last decade. Here is a sample from their tour of the developer.

Like so many other companies in Poland, CD Projekt started as a direct result of the collapse of communism. Poles were suddenly left to fend for themselves, and many like Iwinski saw the opportunity to build businesses, something that was denied to ordinary people under communist rule. He calls the years following the 1990 change in government an "incubator of entrepreneurship."

CD Projekt's version of entrepreneurship involved capitalizing on Poland's lax copyright laws and Western games companies' general disinterest in the Polish market. When the copyright laws changed, CD Projekt changed, shifting into licensed localization, distribution and, eventually, game development. But it all started simply as an excuse to play new games before anyone else.

"We had access to new games," Iwinski says. "How silly does that sound as a reason for founding a business? But I think it was quite important. ... We were doing the first localizations in Polish. We did PR and marketing campaigns. In the beginning, the market was quite wild. No retail chains selling games. In the first few years we were just selling to mom-and-pop shops. [Customers] were coming up with a Volkswagen and filling it up with games and selling them in small stores all around Poland."

The success of CDPR's early efforts convinced Iwinski that he wasn't the only one who wanted to play games, and that most Polish people wanted to play them in Polish. CDPR became the first company in Poland working directly with Western companies to localize games in Polish, hiring famous Polish actors to redo the spoken dialogue. Suddenly the world of game development broke wide open. CDPR could offer Western companies something no one else was offering.

Information about

CD Projekt RED

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SW:TOR - Earned $165 Million Last Year

by Couchpotato, 05:35

GamesIndustry has a new interesting article with information that Bioware/EA has made $165 million last year for the F2P Star Wars: The Old Republic MMO.

Bioware's MMO remains strong, World of Warcraft still leading MMOs with subs by a wide margin. Star Wars: The Old Republic remains one of the top five subscription MMOs in the world, according to new research from SuperData.

EA's ambitious MMO, which launched with a subs-only model but eventually integrated freemium options, made $165 million in revenue worldwide last year. That figure is from subscriptions, expansion packs and microtransactions, and it makes Bioware's MMO the fourth biggest in the world in terms of earnings.

As expected, Blizzard's World of Warcraft remains the global leader by a wide margin, with just over $1 billion in revenue. The first game in NCSoft's Lineage series was a distant second with $253 million in revenue - a truly remarkable amount given that it was launched in 1998. Indeed, NCSoft games occupied four of the top ten.

Information about

SW:TOR

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Sci-fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

JA:Flashback - Early Access Review @ Chalgyr

by Couchpotato, 05:25

Chalgyr is back again with a new preview of the Early Access version of Jagged Alliance Flashback on his gaming blog.

Naturally, in the state that Jagged Alliance: Flashback is in as it is an Alpha that is still early on in the development phase (by the way, have you bought it through Steam yet?), the game is a bit rough around the edges. Even being in Early Access, Flashback shows so much promise that I cannot help but be pumped and ready for full release. The core mechanics, the personality, the flair, and the incredibly deep yet simple combat are all there and it is with an eager eye that I wait for more on Jagged Alliance: Flashback. You should too, as it is lining up to be amongst my favorites for the year.

Information about

JA:Flashback

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

Details

Friday - July 18, 2014

Styx: Master Of Shadows - New summer trailer

by The_dagon, 15:44

Our charismatic Master Goblin, Orc's best friend in Cyanide's nice RPG Of Orcs & Men, is showing his deceit talents in a new summer trailer for Styx: Master of Shadows : .

If you missed it, you can also check the 15 minutes commented gameplay trailer here : http://youtu.be/49Vw1cYTOeQ

The game will be available in september.

Information about

Styx: Master Of Shadows

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

Details

Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Now Hiring

by Couchpotato, 05:50

The latest kickstarter update for Kingdom Come: Deliverance brings news the developer is now hiring for a man/woman to help find, and work with a new publisher.

Do you know this man?

In this update we are going to talk about something else then development itself: the black art of selling the game, and why we need your help again.

The outcome of the Kickstarter campaign was a great vindication of our effort and it made possible an option we only dreamed about before: to go directly to market, without a publisher that funds the development. This is a very attractive proposition but there are several things we need to consider. Firstly, there is no such thing as going ‘directly to market’. At the very minimum we will have to deal with Valve, Microsoft and Sony – all of these companies are very nice to deal with, but they still are an intermediary between us and the players. Secondly, publishers do lot of useful things and could allow us to bring the game to more players, for example by providing more localizations or by increasing awareness of the game among the gamers. 

Since the end of the Kickstarter campaign we have been approached by several distributors or publishers, with different offers, some seem very good. As we were pondering these, we came to realize that this may be a skill we are missing: Dan knows a lot about design and what makes games fun, I, hopefully, know something about production and about keeping the development on time, but neither of us is a real salesman. 

So this is where you come in. We are looking for a person that would join our team as a Chief Commercial Officer. This is a fairly senior position and we are looking for somebody who has experience with games business. It can be somebody from a game publisher who wants to come over to the Light Side, it could be somebody from a game developer who is looking for a new challenge, it could be anybody who has skills and experience in doing business with games.

Formal description of this position can be found on our LinkedIn page.

All our backers are people interested in games, many of you work in the industry and even if you don’t, I bet you know somebody who does. If someone’s name flashed across your mind when you were reading the last paragraph, please do us a favor and point them in our direction. Or, if you are interested yourself, of course do not hesitate to get in touch. This position is a tremendous opportunity to join our team and shape our policy toward publishers and distributors from the ground up. We are still small studio, our management structure is very, very flat and you will not be burdened by cumbersome bureaucracy.

Let us know. 

Martin Klíma, Executive Producer

Information about

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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

Details

Sacred 3 - New Fighter Trailer Released

by Couchpotato, 05:45

Deep Silver released a new CGI trailer for Sacred 3, and I can safely say I'm still not interested in the game despite their effort to promote it.

Sacred 3 "Fighter" Trailer Shows Competition

Today Deep Silver released a new CGI trailer for the arcade hack 'n' slash title,  Sacred 3,  available on August 5th for Xbox 360, PlayStation®3 as well as Windows PC. Teamwork is important in Sacred 3, but who doesn’t like fighting for personal glory? 

The latest trailer shows off the competitive, co-op gameplay and the humor that fans of the franchise expect. Gamers will enjoy fighting back the hordes of the evil Emperor Zane while competing with friends to prove who is Ancaria’s greatest champion.

A strong team is necessary to defeat the countless enemies of the evil empire. You’ll need to equip combat arts and weapons spirits that compliment your team and your own unique play style. However, there are powerful enemies that won’t be easily slain. Combine your powers with other champions to cast powerful and devastating co-op combat moves. Once the dust from the battles has settled, the score sheet will reveal which hero will stand as the undisputed champion over his or her peers. This establishes a delicate balance between friendly cooperation and cutthroat competition

Information about

Sacred 3

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

Details

Wasteland 2 - Interview @ Digital Spy

by Couchpotato, 05:42

The Digital Spy has another interview with Brian Fargo to talk about Wasteland 2.

"We're really revisiting what it means for a game to end," Fargo explained. "A lot of games say they have multiple endings, but they all happen at the end. You've done one of those - A, B or C - and that's it.

"Life doesn't work that way. If I go out and commit a crime right now, my ending and my life is probably going to prison right now. 80 years old is not going to happen, it's going to happen on this spot.

"We have endings for this game, we have one at five hours, we have one at ten hours, we have one at 20 hours, we have one at 60 hours, and we have derivatives along the way.

"We think that makes more sense than having an ending that happens at the very end, and that's something I haven't seen before. It's pretty innovative."

With the wide range of branching and large team working on the game, even Fargo doesn't know of every possibility Wasteland 2 offers.

"All these games become far bigger than one person," he said. "I'll never know everything that's in this game – even me, the creator behind it. What I do is set up the sensibilities and the teams.

"We want quests, we want events, this is how many, this is how we want them to roll, this is the morality stuff.

"Then the team, they start to hit their stride, and then it takes off, and it becomes so big. Even us playing our own game, we constantly see things that crack ourselves up that we hadn't seen before."

He added: "The possibilities of two people having the same experience playing this game is almost statistically impossible."

Information about

Wasteland 2

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

Details

Frayed Knights - New & Improved Trailer

by Couchpotato, 05:38

The Rampant Coyote posted on his blog about a new trailer for Frayed Knights.

Frayed Knights: A Slightly New & Improved Trailer

I came to the stark realization the other day that the original trailer for Frayed Knights: The Skull of S’makh-Daon still had the words “Coming Soon” at the end. I figured I’d jump in and just change that particular title and make a quick revision. This was mainly for Steam, but I figured I’d put that everywhere.

I guess that shows how much I know. I don’t upload much to YouTube, so while I was vaguely suspicious that you couldn’t replace an old video with a new one, I wasn’t sure about that. But that’s another story.

But one problem was that I’d had a hard drive crash and an upgrade of Windows from Windows XP to Windows 7 in the interim. Yes, I skipped Vista, and I am skipping Windows 8, just like I skipped Windows ME. So far, that strategy has worked fabulously for me.

The first version I made – even published to YouTube – had a typo, so I revised it yet again. Unless I find something else embarrassingly wrong with it, this will be the trailer that will run for the Steam release (and it’ll probably replace the one I have on the Frayed Knights page, and on the Desura store page as well).

And yes, when we talk about how much stuff goes into being an indie that doesn’t involve making the game, this is one of the many, many, many things we’re talking about. You either take time you don’t have to do it yourself, or you pay with money you don’t have to have someone else do it.

Information about

Frayed Knights

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

Details

After Reset - Kickstarter Successfully Funded

by Couchpotato, 05:33

Mr. Nixon of Black Cloud Studios is happy to announce his kickstarter RPG game After Reset is now funded. He managed to earn $36,626 of $35,000 goal with 34 left.

Congratulations Mr. Nixon.

Good news, everyone!

My dear friends,

Today we’ve crossed the Rubicon in the history of After Reset. We’ve funded and it took us only 10 days to achieve it. And when I say ‘we’ I imply every one of YOU even more than myself, or anyone else Black Cloud Studios. Rephrasing my namesake: “We must always remember that modern gamers represent a great nation today not because of what developers did for gamers but because of what gamers did for themselves and for one another.”

I truly regard After Reset as a proof that any… really any mere gamer, like myself, can take it upon themselves to stop moaning on forums and establish your own serious development team to build the game of their dreams. It won’t be easy. It will probably be much harder than your pervious life. But if you follow your heart, you will find a way.

Once again, congratulations my friends!

He also inclued a short Q&A so be sure to read that also.

Q: Why did you drop our goal from $900k to $35k?

A: We still plan to create the same big and sophisticated RPG as we originally planed, but to make this game real we had to split it up into smaller chapters. With your help we can complete the Prologue and put it into Steam EA, and possibly GOG EA as well. According the statistics, SEA brings 10 times more donations than Kickstarter does. That is the good motivator for us to go for a critical hit in maximizing our efforts now for extra stretch goals and achievements.

 

Information about

After Reset

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

Details

Risen 3: Titan Lords - Demon Hunters Faction

by Couchpotato, 05:26

Deep Silver & Piranha Bytes have released more information a new guild in Risen 3: Titan Lords called the Demon Hunters Faction. As usual here is the press release.

Dark Knights Steeped in Legend: Demon Hunters Faction Detailed in Risen 3: Titan Lords

Larkspur, Calif. – July 17, 2014 – Deep Silver and Piranha Bytes revealed details and a new look at the Demon Hunters in Risen 3: Titan Lords, the upcoming and anticipated role playing game, coming August 12 to PC, the Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PlayStation®3 entertainment system. The Demon Hunters are one of three dynamic factions populating the world of Risen 3. Players will have to choose their allegiance, which will greatly impact the quests, skill sets, armor and overall experience in the open-world role-playing game.

Forsaken by the gods, the perilous world of Risen 3 stands on the brink of ruin, its peoples threatened by a mysterious menace from the darkness. But dark knights are regrouping, driven by ancient convictions and equipped with the best weapons and armor mankind has to offer: the Demon Hunters. At one time a dedicated and privileged cult, this reclusive sect has all but sunk into oblivion over the course of centuries.

Everyday, the decay of their citadel reminds the Demon Hunters of their negligence over the past decades. Eager for battle, now they face the dark menace, ready to revive the past and fight back the shadows with their mighty axes, hammers and swords. The time has come for them to restore the Bay of Iron and the massive citadel to their former glory and strike fear into the hearts of their enemies.

Will you side with the Demon Hunters? Explore this gorgeous handcrafted world, and choose your own fate when Risen 3 launches on PC, PlayStation®3 and Xbox 360 August 12.

Don't forget to check out the image gallery for the new images.

Information about

Risen 3: Titan Lords

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

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - Available on Steam

by Couchpotato, 05:23

Steam is now selling The Elder Scrolls Online, and you can buy it for 50% off.

Now Available on Steam - The Elder Scrolls Online, 50% off!

The Elder Scrolls Online is Now Available on Steam and is 50% off!*

The Elder Scrolls Online is the latest chapter of the award-winning franchise – and will bring the legendary experience online for the first time. Whether you play with your friends or adventure alone, the game’s innovative combat system allows you to focus on action and tactics, not the UI. Use any weapon or armor at any time and customize your abilities to play the way you want as you uncover the mysteries of Tamriel and seek heroic quests on your own terms. Explore the far reaches of Skyrim, the mysterious lands of Morrowind, the sprawling metropolis of Daggerfall and beyond. The choices you make, from the alliance you join to the battles you fight, will shape your destiny and the world of Tamriel.

Information about

Elder Scrolls Online

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

Details

BioWare - Building a Better Romance

by Couchpotato, 05:20

Bioware released a new audio only video today from the GaymerX2 2014 panel.

Building a Better Romance: A discussion of how romances came to be in BioWare games. Why are they done as they are? What purpose do they serve in the overall game? What issues exist, and is there a better way to make them that isn't simply "add additional content?"

Information about

BioWare

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The Banner Saga - Collector’s Edition Announced

by Couchpotato, 05:15

Sold Out Sales & Marketing Limited announce The Banner Saga will finally be getting a physical collector’s edition release. Here is the full press release.

The Banner Saga: The Collector’s Edition announced

Sold Out to bring celebrated indie hit to stores – with content currently unavailable anywhere else

London, UK - 17th July, 2014 - Sold Out Sales & Marketing Limited has today announced the mega indie hit The Banner Saga will be heading to stores on 25th July.

The Viking-themed tactical role playing game – which has won countless awards for its beautiful, atmospheric but brutal gameplay – will be available as a physical release for the first time ever.

This special Collector’s Edition will offer fans a permanent collection of one of this year’s best games and will include the core game along with the Official Soundtrack and the Insane Viking Pack – the latter, originally an exclusive preorder incentive, now unavailable to buy outside of this edition.

Boasting a style inspired by classic animation films of yesteryear, with stunning hand-drawn visuals capturing a merciless Nordic era, The Banner Saga is a single-player turn-based strategy game in which players take charge of a wandering army sent to fight the warlike Dredge.

Weaving a narrative which often demands tough choices which will affect the narrative permanently, it’s a game of strategy and of decisions unlike any other, winning it huge acclaim upon release earlier this year.

“There are some games which demand permanent display – and The Banner Saga is unquestionably one of those,” says James Cato – Sales Director, Sold Out. “This is the definitive version of the game – and the only way those who didn’t pre-order the digital version can experience the additional content. We’ve worked really closely with Stoic to create a pack which does their stunning game justice – we know it’ll go down well with fans new and old alike.”

The announcement of The Banner Saga: The Collector’s Edition is further demonstration of Sold Out’s commitment to bring the very best indie digital releases to retail. The firm – which recently announced a partnership with Team17 Digital Limited to bring its forthcoming digital titles to retail – continues to actively seek new publishing opportunities.

The Banner Saga: The Collector’s Edition will be available on PC on 25th July, priced £19.99.

Information about

The Banner Saga

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Designed As Standalone Game

by Couchpotato, 05:09

Gamerant's Andrew Dyce is back again with another article for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and talks about the game being designed as a "Standalone Game’ For New Players".

Speaking with CD Projekt Red studio head Adam Badowski at E3 2014, he explained that The Witcher 2 didn’t just bring the studio more attention, but lessons as well. Those will have a serious impact on the structure of The Witcher 3‘s campaign, meaning that although the game is closing a trilogy, it won’t be throwing players into the deep end from the start:

“The Witcher 2 starts… maybe it’s too intense? The very first part of [The Witcher 3] is very slow-paced, you don’t need to know the characters. We provide some details about Witchers, about the crucial elements of who ‘The Witcher’ is, what is the meaning of monster-hunting, and then some small portions of the storyline… of course you can expect some epic moments, but you need time to be sucked into the story.”

We previously explained how Game Director Konrad Tomaszkiewicz feels that Geralt of Rivia is as well-established as Batman at this point, making it possible for each game to truly stand as a separate chapter. Despite promising “an epic ending” to the trilogy with Wild Hunt , the developers claim that not only will the game be playable for newcomers, but may be the entry in the series best designed to welcome in the unfamiliar:

“It’s true, actually, we are sure of that. We want newcomers to the series, that’s why we made it in a way that it’s a standalone game. So all newcomers can enjoy this game right from the beginning. Even more, I think it may be be the best game to start with. We want people to enter the game, and we made it quite smooth. There’s no wall of…’pure-blood-ish’ RPGs straight at the beginning.”

“We’ll see in the end how you judge it, but I’m expecting that people will enjoy being a real Witcher, and they will be able to do whatever they want, because this is role-playing. On the other hand, they will know what they want to do because that’s important as well. We don’t want to just throw people somewhere into a huge war.”

Information about

Witcher 3

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

Details

Divinity: Original Sin - Patch 1.0.81 Released

by Couchpotato, 05:04

Larian Studios released another small hotfix patch on Steam for Divinity: Original Sin.

Changelist version 1.0.81

A mini-fix today with a very small change list, and at the same time a big update for those who are busy with the Divinity engine toolkit as we added the source files for the main campaign.

We also added a truckload of new tutorial movies which will teach you how to script.

Game fixes

-Fix for error 117 (during saving with unicode profile/user names)
-Fix for floating camera

Divinity Engine Toolkit changes

-Added "templates folder" with source data for main campaign (Divinity engine toolkit)
-Stability fix in resource manager

Have fun!

Information about

Original Sin

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

Details

Darkwood - Early Access & New Trailer

by Couchpotato, 05:00

Acid Wizard Studios Darkwood is going to be released on Steam Early Access on July 24th. Incase anyone forgot I covered the game on Indiegogo earlier this year.

Here is a new video and a recap of the game.

Darkwood is a game about survival, exploration and fear set in mysterious woods somewhere in the territory of the Soviet Bloc. By blending RPG, roguelike and adventure elements together with a challenging difficulty, Darkwood aims to please players craving for a deep and rewarding experience.

Information about

Indiegogo

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Lords of the Fallen - Preview @ Mercury News

by Couchpotato, 04:54

Mercury News has posted a new preview for Lords of the Fallen, ansd writes the game may satisfy your Dark Souls appetite. Read on to find out why.

Getting into the nitty gritty of things, the combat itself does seem to have a different feel from From Software’s most recent title. Lords of the Fallen battle system plays looser than Dark Souls version. Circling doesn’t feel as tight especially when you’re trying to bait out an adversaries attack.

When it comes to Harkyn, the protagonist has the ability to switch classes based on the gear he dons. Players can switch out through the menu or use a D-pad to switch weapons. He can pull out a staff to toss out magic. He can pull out daggers for quick rogue attacks. Despite the range of abilities, the combat still maintains the intensity where every encounter matters and players who aren’t careful can die easily.

One of the unusual parts about Harkyn’s classes is that the rogue, warrior and cleric each have a certain spell tied to each gear. In the warrior’s case, its spells are very powerful mitigates and can wipe out strong enemies, but Lords of the Fallen balances this out by making the use of such spells spare. It takes a long time to build Harkyn’s mana back up, so players can’t constantly pull off that type of magic like a “Get Out of Jail Free” card. The rogue class has its own magic that’s weaker. The same goes for the cleric. But what’s great is that Lords of the Fallen gives players the opportunity to experiment and try it out.

Information about

Lords of the Fallen

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

Details