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Tuesday - June 23, 2015
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Picture Watch

Elder Scrolls IV: Knights of the Nine
Box Art

Poll Watch

Did The Witcher 3 Live Up to the Hype?
Absolutely
58.16%

For the most part
23.47%

Really don't know
10.2%

Maybe a bit
2.04%

No Way
6.12%

Vote

Tuesday - June 23, 2015

Torment: Tides of Numenera - Process, Fettles & Lore

by Myrthos, 17:16

The Kickstarter page for Torment: Tides of Numenera has an update providing the same information as in the previous newsbit for the additional free stuf when you back The Bard's Tale IV kickstarter and provides information on the production process:

Kevin here, with a brief production update. Progress has been good, and we continue to gain momentum. Thus far, our writers have written, and our designers implemented, over 400K words across more than 200 NPCs and interactions. More than half of those conversations and scripted interactions have already been reviewed/revised at least twice.

Meanwhile, about 1/3 of the Crises are at least partially implemented. We’re now focusing on the first two of them in our efforts to polish the overall system. The various elements of our Crisis UI are undergoing their 2nd (or 3rd) iteration, and we’re to the point where testing out the fledgling Crises are more enjoyable than academic. All features are mostly functional and the variety across playthroughs helps keep it interesting.We’ve also been experimenting with, and developing, many AI types, and are happy with the smart variety we’re seeing emerge in different enemy types.

And information about Fettles:

I want to talk to you about fettles.

"What the hell is a fettle that's not even a word."

Right. See, that's exactly what I said when Kevin suggested 'fettle' as our term for lingering conditions and effects. But yeah, it's totally a word, one perfectly suited to the linguistical atmosphere we're shooting for in Torment.

Fettles are conditions that affect player characters in and out of combat. Some examples that will be immediately familiar to RPG players are things like Poisoned, Bleeding, Slowed, or Hasted. Any condition that has effects beyond the immediate probably qualifies as a fettle. (You may be familiar with the term "status effect." A fettle is the same thing.)

And finally a bit more on the lore:

About fifty kilometers to the northeast of Sagus Cliffs and its lurking parasite, the Bloom, a pair of mountain ranges marks the beginning of the strangeness of the Verxulian Waste. Between the two parallel chains of peaks lies a long, dry pass. The length of the pass from end to end is a mere 150 kilometers, but it represents millions of years in time to a sojourner who passes through.

Despite its antiquity, it remains frozen in time. Its sere ground and rocky walls are dry, utterly and perpetually devoid of native life. Rain-laden storms swerve away from the pass, spilling no moisture. Clouds part around it, as if breaking on an invisible barrier. Even the roaming nanite disaster called the Iron Wind gives the valley a wide berth. Nothing grows here, and the small streams that tumble down its steep mountainsides soon slow to a trickle and then perish utterly. No animal makes its home in this land, and none ever stay for longer than a few days should they mistakenly enter. Most humans, mutants, and visitants who travel through the valley make the best time they can, except for those who choose to prolong their stays, and some (notably a faction called the Memorialists) make this a permanent home – seemingly immune to the life-scouring effects of the Valley. A few alkaline fountains bubble water up from unknown aquifers under the valley floor, providing nourishment that is barely potable and occasionally hallucinogenic.

Torment: Tides of Numenera

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

Details

The Bard's Tale IV - More Free Games

by Myrthos, 17:00

You can now get even more free games by backing The Bard's Tale IV kickstarter no later than June 26. Here is the press info:

The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Promotion Brings FREE Ultima Underworld Games, Bonus Rewards to Backers

Newport Beach, CA - Backers of The Bard's Tale IV have even more to look forward to! inXile Entertainment announced today that as part of the new inXile Loyalty Rewards promotion, all returning Torment: Tides of Numenera or Wasteland 2 backers who also back The Bard's Tale IV no later than June 26th, 12:00 AM PST, will receive a selection of exclusive gifts as additional thanks for their generous support.

Any returning backer will receive a choice of special bonus rewards valued at up to $15. These bonuses include Digital Novella Compilations, Digital Soundtracks, Digital Concept Art Books, and more!

Additionally, all returning The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter backers at the $33 reward tier and above will receive both Ultima Underworld 1 & 2 FREE with their pledges, redeemable on GOG.com at the conclusion of The Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign. This special offer comes thanks to a partnership with Otherside Entertainment, which launched its own dungeon crawler Kickstarter campaign, Underworld Ascendant, to great success and acclaim in early 2015.

Both inXile Loyalty Rewards promotion offers run to 12:00 AM PST on June 26th, 2015, and are retroactive for previous backers. Full details can be found at this page: http://thebardstalerpg.tumblr.com/inxile-loyalty-rewards

This bonus offer comes in addition to other free extras previously offered, including the recently announced re-release of The Bard's Tale I-III Trilogy for all backers $20 and above, regardless of whether they backed previous inXile games.

The Bard's Tale IV campaign is currently fully funded thanks to nearly 30,000 backers, and is headed towards unlocking its stretch goals. Featuring an expanded companion system, crafting system, a dungeon created by legendary RPG designer Monte Cook, and more to come, inXile hopes to make The Bard's Tale IV a truly epic sized experience.

"Once again the RPG fans have come through and supported our efforts to bring our unique style of RPG to the market." said CEO Brian Fargo. "We are honored by their trust and support. Our games would not exist without our fans and for that we thank them."

More details can be found here.

Bard's Tale IV

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

Details

The Technomancer - Pre-Alpha Gameplay

by Myrthos, 14:51

Farflame noticed that at E3 a pre-alpha gameplay video was shown for The Technomancer.

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Technomancer

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

Details

Wasteland 2 - Brian Fargo Interview

by Myrthos, 12:57

Brian Fargo is queried by GamerCrate about the console version of Wasteland 2 and Kickstarter.

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Wasteland 2

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

Details

Rampant Games - The Most Influential Game

by Myrthos, 12:55

Jay brings us an old article about Wizardry, the most influential game he never played. He played something of the game in the meantime and updated the article with some new insights, but the article is actually about the game he had in his mind at the time.

I ended up with one “playable” game that in a proud creator’s blinded vision might vaguely resemble Wizardry. It was a party-based game. It allowed you to create characters,which meant accepting random stat rolls, picking a class, and giving the stat-block a name. You’d travel through a randomly generated maze in search of an “orb” – a very original goal I came up with all by myself. The upper-left corner would display basically one room’s worth of walls and doors, and you could turn and move in pseudo-3D. I had maybe a dozen different monsters that would attack, with a little six-note musical fanfare that would play when combat began and ended. I started out by making the dungeon ten levels deep (with 10 x 10 rooms), but ran into memory issues and had to scale it back down to six. I don’t believe the goal of the game – the “orb” – was ever actually possible to find, but some friends and I had some fun playing my little game together one weekend.

Rampant Games

Details

Original Sin EE - Previews

by Myrthos, 12:49

Gamespot have a video in which Swen and Farhang are interviewed while playing Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition.

The Koalition checked out the game as well.

In the original game, skill progression took a dive after level 12/13. Rebalancing has taken place, keeping players engaged instead of things somewhat stalling until late game. A few other updates, a couple subtle and one not so much, will make things a bit easier and also show that the community has been heard. Previously, turn order was a bit convoluted but now it’ll be on the top of the HUD. You can also examine enemies weaknesses and strengths if your character’s intelligence is high enough. Additionally, dual wielding had been requested many times and is now coming in the enhanced editions. All one-handed weapons will be dual wield eligible.

On top of all this, two new unique characters are added to the campaign and the game will now be fully voiced. Originally, only scarce points of dialogue had accompanying audio. Now, over 88,000 lines have been added to add value to the role-playing experience. The writing for the game was already a strong point and some solid voice acting will be bringing the clever banter right on home.

Original Sin EE

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

Details

Eitr - Preview @ Destructoid

by Myrthos, 12:43

Destructoid checked out Eitr at E3 and came up with this:

Eitr is pretty sweet, though. I wrote about it last year because it's a beautiful 2D Souls-like, and since then its been picked up by Devolver and heading to PS4.

There was a big skeleton boss at the end. I almost killed him, but ultimately Kenny had to do it. I kept running out of room to sidestep a homing attack. Otherwise, there's a parry you can't cancel (and can choose to attack after doing, it's not automatic), a bunch of moves you can cancel, a shield ram (or dual wielding), regular and charged attacks, special abilities (adding lightning makes subsequent attacks do more damage).

One Souls-like bit is that there is no experience. You collect Favors, which you can keep, unused, but lose if you die. These give stats bonuses. Otherwise, you can be safe and put them towards your level. There's also a fair bit of random generation, including items and a Test Your Luck-esque death penalty (which will eventually start to buff you on repeated deaths.) 

Lots of cool stuff here. I look forward to trudging the spindly shield maiden through rats and skeletons next year.

And a video with talking heads and some gameplay.

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Eitr

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

Details

Sword Coast Legends - Previews and Interview

by Myrthos, 12:38

In case you haven't seen enough E3 previews of Sword Coast Legends, here are a few more.

Gameinformer

The concept of Sword Coast Legends always intrigued me, but I really wasn't sure how the sandbox-style build-your-own-adventure would play out in reality. Today at E3 I had some hands-on time with the game, and I really enjoyed it. A team of four of us took on the Dungeon Master (Also handled by another player, controlling a swarm of spiders, a host of traps, a massive boss, and other surprises) and crawled through a quickly hand-crafted dungeon complete with all the staples you'd expect from a real-deal Dungeons & Dragons campaign.

RPGFan

The developers talked a great deal about balancing the DM side of things as I placed a near endless supply of spider eggs and traps in a room, and this seems to be the make or break part of SCL for me. At this current stage, it seemed way too easy for me to completely overwhelm the party and end their pathetic existence (though a "cheat" kept at least one party member alive at all times for purposes of the demo build). I could directly target party members to make sure the healer stayed on the ground at all times, continue to swarm them with more and more enemies and traps, and even spawn some hard-hitting beasties directly behind them so long as they were out of a fairly small threat range. It was all good fun on my end, but I can imagine this being an utter nightmare for the heroes.

Destructoid

Schwalk had probably done this demo 492 times at this point, but instead of seeming tired and frustrated, he saw an opportunity to make our adventure particularly bizarre. He showed us how ridiculously intuitive the creation system is before we actually started playing. He first chose an empty, pre-generated town. Since he wanted us to do a quest, he chose to create a questgiver with just a couple of clicks. Though we were skipping through in the interest of time, he showed us that you could customize their backstory, race, clothing, and appearance. Then he went through a menu, deciding how the quest would be triggered.

And an interview by MMORPG.com with Dan Tudge.

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Sword Coast Legends

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

Details

Bedlam - Previews and Interview

by Myrthos, 12:31

Here is a collection of previews for the post-apocalyptic Bedlam.

RPGFan

Skyshine's Bedlam is one of those appealing mashups of genres and flavors you see more and more often on the E3 show floor. Imagine FTL, Borderlands, Mad Max, The Banner Saga, Oregon Trail, and your typical roguelike combined and you have something akin to Bedlam. Your task is to travel from the city of Bysantine to the mythical utopia of Aztec City, taking your immense tank, or Dozer, across a wasteland full of mutants, cyborgs, mauraders, and wandering eccentrics who may be friend, foe, or something else entirely. That wasteland, known as Bedlam, may be your final resting place if the choices you make lead to ruin and despair.

GameRevolution

I didn’t get to experience all of Skyshine’s Bedlam’s offerings, such as using the Dozer’s weapon in battle or other circumstances. However, it appears to be rich with unique experiences for each play through. And don’t worry about that whole not being able to save deal because the game is geared towards single-sitting play sessions. How much time that takes is unclear, though knowing me, it’ll be days with how long it takes me to make a choice in these kinds of games. Maybe you’re better at this whole gaming thing.

Gamespot

It's very reminiscent of 2012's popular game FTL: Faster Than Light, and the developer does not shy away from the comparisons. Bedlam brings you into places that threaten to destroy your entire caravan. It forces you to make decisions necessary for survival, but that might end in ruin. The game lives on the player's drive to explore just a little bit further, even if that additional push might spell disaster. In the short demo that I was able to play, within ten minutes I was forced to search further, sacrifice more crew members, and risk more in order to have enough gasoline to continue to move.

And an interview at AV Club

AVC: If you had tried to make this game 15 or 20 years ago, what would you have had to do differently?

SG: Absolutely nothing. We are actually making this game as if it was 15 or 20 years ago. We’re trying to make an ’80s game, like this is all Judge Dredd, Heavy Metal magazine, Mad Max: Road Warrior. You know, the new one’s out. It’s totally awesome, but Road Warrior, that’s the stuff that we grew up on as kids. Me and John Mueller, our artist, it’s what we love. Post-apocalyptic anything. Mad Max is just insane, so we want to capture that feel. This is the game we would have made when we were 15 years old, with all the stuff we wanted to see when we were 15.

So, yeah, I want to see mutant dinosaurs and robots and cyborg zombies, and I want to see stuff blowing up all over the place, and I want my mutant puke monster to melt guys with their vomit. It’s fun stuff. We don’t want to hold anything back. We want the apocalypse to be fun. We want to be colorful. You don’t want to be oppressed. You want to get in there and be like, “Yeah, this is the apocalypse I want. I’m awesome. I’m bad-ass.” That was Mad Max. “I’ve got my car, I’ve got my dog, I’ve got my shotgun.” That’s a fun apocalypse, and we want to capture the same thing.

 

Bedlam

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

General News - 8 Gamer Archetypes

by Myrthos, 12:17

Gamasutra has a blog where 8 gamer archetypes are described that are needed for break-testing your game.

  • The Arse. This is the player who likes to hurt others, the very opposite of me. Very conflict oriented. If it’s possible to attack the Arse will attack. If it’s possible to mess with other players the Arse will mess with them. The Arse will go for the weaker player, going for the maximum hurt rather than trying to beat on the leader. Yeah, nice guy.
  • The Coward. Turtler galore. This is the guy who won’t attack even if the enemy’s is sleeping with his pants down and his head up his butt. The Coward doesn’t care. It’s obviously a trap; too risky. The Coward will just huddle in his corner building his defenses, not risking anything, anytime (I’ve had designs where the Coward would win, resoundingly – bad game design).
  • The Builder. This is pretty much me. The guy who’ll tech Every. Single. Time. This is the guy who’ll build the resource engine on the expense of everything else. Which works great against the Coward but less so against the Arse. Which is fine, since we’re pitting extremes against each other. And in the instances where the Builder wins over the Arse we know that the building strategy works a lot better than the messing strategy. Time to rebalance.
  • Shorty. Mr. short-sighted is short-sighted, always going for the easiest gain in any situation. Strategy? Who needs it. If it’s there and it’s cheap, grab it!
  • Mr. Plan. The plan is pretty hard to play. This is the player I have the most trouble with, being rather tactical and short sighted myself. When I play a Mr. Plan I set out a set of objectives at the start of the playtest and write them down. Then I check every action against those objectives. If they don’t take Mr. Plan closer to his objectives I don’t do them, no matter how tempting.
  • The Grudge. Grudge is a grudge player. This is the player who starts out as another type and, once provoked, will relentlessly go for revenge. Effectively Grudge is a Coward/Builder/Mr. Plan or Short who in mid game turns into an Arse against one other, specific player. If the Grudge wins, or if the object of the Grudge’s hate loses badly then the game needs some checks and balances.
  • The Specialist. The Specialist focuses on a single aspect of the game to the exclusion of all else. It can be combat, it can be massing gold, it can be VP racing. Whichever it is, if there’s a way to break the game with it the Specialist will do it.
  • Random Rick. Random Rick plays randomly. Take a look at all the actions available and roll a die. That’s it. Random play. If Random Rick wins your deep strategy game then there’s some major flaw you haven’t seen. Works best with simpler games. Note that Random Rick can be a way to test for age dependency in a game. If Random Rick can win then the game is better suited to be played by small kids.

General News

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

Details

E3 - The 10 Best Games You Probably Missed

by Myrthos, 12:14

Here is another '10 Best Games' list. This time it is about the games you might have missed at E3, although we gave the RPGs on the list some attention. The list consists of:

  • Unravel
  • Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition
  • Until Dawn
  • The Banner Saga 2
  • Chasm
  • Relativity
  • Transformers: Devastation
  • For Honor
  • Sword Coast Legends

 

E3

Details

Master of Orion - Preview @ theEscapist

by Hiddenx, 07:48

John Keefer (theEscapist) about the Master of Orion remake:

Master of Orion was a 4X strategy game before the term even existed. Created by Microprose in 1993, it gained great reviews and a large following, prompting two sequels and framework for the future of the strategy genre.

So when Wargaming.net acquired the rights to the game in an auction of Atari assets in 2013, fans of the series were a bit confused, given the nature of the World of Tanks developer's current stable of games.

"There was fierce competition," said Wargaming CEO Victor Kislyi, "It was expensive, but we got it. And we wouldn't have made the bid if we didn't have clear goals for it. We wanted a nostalgic feel to it. We wanted to bring back the legend."

NGD Studios in Argentina will be developing the game, but Kislyi said that many members from the original team, including the art director and music composer, are back to bring the game's vision to the present. "We are asking them that knowing what they know now, would they have done things any differently."

(...)

Trailer:

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E3

Details

Sword Coast Legends - Preview @ theEscapist

by Hiddenx, 07:43

John Keefer takes a look at Sword Coast Legends:

(...)
Neverwinter Nights
can attribute its longevity to players wanting to create their own campaigns, but this version appears so much easier to use. We got to watch as one of the developers from n-Space used the tools to create and customize a town, rural and forest settings, and of course a dungeon. Templates can be created, everything is drag and drop, and just about everything can be customized.

In the brief scenario that was set up for us, we learned that an associate has gone missing. The developer, who was actually playing the dungeon master, created a contact in town, chose the race, class and name of the contact, and was able to create triggers that could begin or end quests. He also created a potion vendor in town, giving that vendor a cart for a bit of ambiance, and creating the inventory that the vendor would carry.

He then opened a new forest tile set complete with a rundown shack. Our quest would take us to this location, where cultists would be waiting for our party. He set up a trigger zone outside the shack that would start the attack once a party entered the zone. He also dragged and dropped the location of where the attackers would come from, the type of attacker and even any special attacks or spells the attacker would have. Inside the shack, we would find the body of our contact, which was also customized to end a quest and begin a new one. The body was also created to be examined, so we could see how he was killed.
(...)

 

Sword Coast Legends

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

Details

Monday - June 22, 2015

Serpent in the Staglands - Review @ RageQuit

by Hiddenx, 21:30

The Greek site RageQuit has reviewed Serpent in the Staglands (Google Translation) - some snippets:

The Serpent in the Staglands places us in the fantasy world of Vol borrowed several elements from Transylvania Middle Ages. We take the role of a god named Necholai, who decides to take mortal form and participate in the celebrations of mortals for moonlit festival. But when it comes time to return to the world of the gods, an insurmountable wall magic prevents the passage through the portal he had created. Our ally is the Erlein, the priest of the temple (dedicated to us please!) Where we are, and also the only one who knows our real existence. After our evacuation and proposes some loyal allies leaves us with our mortal form on a trip to Staglands for the discovery of truth. As a simple trader and a fragile body, stranger among strangers, we begin an adventure with no return ...

(...)

Initially it will create a special impression lack log and quest book that recorded information and quests. Instead we have available at any time a journal in which you can make notes. The game leaves us completely alone. He takes us by the hand to show us who NPC gave us the quest, we should go and what we must do. You will find notes, maps with directions, hidden messages ... from there but the search and finding the next step is purely our own case. The journal (or even better a piece of paper and a pencil!) Will become our second nature. It may sound unreal perhaps even "primitive" - ​​especially for the younger players, but personally loved this particular mechanism.

The "deficiencies" does not end here. In the Serpent in the Staglands there is neither map (okay laddie gamer who melt in your computer with the Witcher and Dragon Age, you can stop here reading this article). In the areas we move the party we simply can not do a rudimentary zoom while moving from one area to another is through the world map by click on the numbered square that desire. Naturally these numbered squares do not know what because the corresponding map has names and suggestions. The information we acquire are and our unique compass: Corem learn that the city is in the south but not to what the map is square. Then we find a treasure map with a huge X bit further north from Corem. We estimate about falling and begin exploring. The feel of a real open game world was never, ever as unique as here.

(...)

The game is huge and requires full dedication and use of information that we discover. Every new place we visit which has something to offer: a new enemy, an original object, a special NPC to hire our team. There is no right or wrong way to play the Serpent in the Staglands. Even the "special" building a character will never bring us to a dead end since there are more than one solutions to address situations and obstacles. Can we pull enemies into the city to help us battle the guards (with the risk of dying forever unlucky various NPCs ... death is permanent in the world of Vol!), Kill characters that appear to us suspects discovering strange notes on their corpses to place traps, play gambling winning money, take part in competitions between guilds ... the Serpent in the Staglands offers a wonderful and free world to move and act! I can write tens of hours or more small details I discovered the game during my involvement with it. To mention enemies brought very smart diving into holes to occur later in other, neighboring or strange prostitutes I met in a brothel and asked to pay for their freedom in return offer the exceptional rogue-like abilities? Every corner of the Serpent in the Staglands hides secrets you discover and difficult decisions that need will receive. For every decision, however there is the implication ... do not forget it ever!

(...)

Final Score: 90/100

Good:

  • Huge, magical and truly open world.
  • Long duration.
  • Excellent rule system in the development of the characters, the magic and combat.
  • Real hardcore old school RPG ...

Bad:

  • ... That automatically means that younger players should stay away!
  • Several bugs (thankfully corrected very soon).

 

 

Serpent in the Staglands

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

Details

Witcher 3 - More DLCs

by Aries100, 20:31

From the Witcher's Facebook site comes news that there will be 2 new DLCs released for this game this week:

Two new FREE DLCs coming out later this week are:
- new quest - "Contract: Skellige's Most Wanted",
- Skellige Armor Set.
Last week's missing DLCs will be also released with this upcoming pack.

You can discuss this on the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt forums here.

Witcher 3

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

Details

Rampant Games - Solving the Brute Force Problem

by Gorath, 14:52

In a new old blog post Rampant Coyote brought one of his most successful entries up-to-date. He talks about cleaning out dungeons with a brute force approach instead of searching for creative solutions. Part of the problem is player expectation, another part game design which does not enable (or reward) alternative solutions.

A quote from the new half:

First and foremost, the game design has to have an open-ended approach to meeting goals. A lot of modern design is built around the idea of scripted, cinematic experiences — to the point where we even have “quick-time events” where the player really just mashes buttons to keep the movie rolling. This is the exact opposite of what we’re talking about here: We want the player to be clever, not to let him watch how clever the designers were. The idea has to be “The player meets an objective” rather than “the player completes activity X, Y, and Z.” While the following suggestions suggest concrete ways of meeting this design goal, they’ll be useless unless they feed into the overarching vision. While a lot of it is pretty scripted (at least in the early version that I played – and it sounds like this is a big part of the reason it’s been so slow reaching completion), Iron Tower’s Age of Decadence has really taken this perspective across the board.(And before anyone says anything… yes, mea culpa. Frayed Knights is not designed this way, although it has some elements of this. But I’ve got a bunch of ideas for what I’d like to do after the series is done that do take this approach).

Rampant Games

Details

Shenmue 3 - Reddit AMA With Yu Suzuki

by Gorath, 14:39

Mr Suzuki posted some interesting infos in his Reddit AMA. Here's a brief excerpt:

wonkah666
When creating Shenmue 3, will you use any assets at all from 1 & 2? Or do you have to start all over from scratch because SEGA still owns the first two games? 

Yu_Suzuki
The assets from 1 & 2 will get a lot of use.

GuppyBerkley
Love your work! You are a pioneer in this industry! As for my question:
How much game elements/features will we be missing in the game if the campaign doesn't reach the $5 million mark?

Yu_Suzuki
I will say this: if we reach the $5 mil mark, one of the things I really want to do with Shenmue 3 will become a reality. At $10 million, it will truly have the features of an open world.

 The Shenmue 3 Kickstarter is currently at 3.5M$ with 25 days to go.

Shenmue 3

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

Details

Fallout 4 - On Frame Rate And Mod Support [Update]

by Gorath, 14:32

Digital Spy talked to Todd Howard about Fallout 4 at the E3. Here's what he said about frame rate and resolution:

"It is 1080p on everything," he said, before confirming that it would run at 30fps and not 60fps.

On everything ?!

Regarding mod support:

"But, you know, it will come out on PC first. So early 2016, the creation mod for the PC, and then we're going to make that work on the Xbox One, and then we're going to do the PS4 version."

Unless Sony shoots mod support down. They have the last word.

Update:
Bethesda confirmed what most members suspected in the comments

Bethesda Softworks @Bethblog 
Fallout 4 is 1080p & 30fps on Xbox One and PS4. Resolution and FPS are not limited in any way on the PC.

Fallout 4

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

Details

Black Geyser - Early Gameplay Video

by Myrthos, 12:55

The website of Black Geyser has recently been updated with amongst others a video showing some gameplay in the current state of development.

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Black Geyser

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

Details

Earthlock - Developer Update

by Myrthos, 12:50

Missed this one before, but almost a month ago there was another development update for Earhlock: Festival of Magic, which provides a progress report of various topics.

Team expansion
In the last month we have gotten a new team member, Øyvind Mathisen, who is helping out with sound implementation. Now Jory and Øyvind will make sure we will get the proper sound effects into the game. 

We have almost completed the process of hiring a much needed new environment artist as well. 

Character design and production
We are also preparing the first bulk of 3d characters to be produced by Original Force. We will elaborate on this as we get the results back, but in the mean time here is a sample of one of many NPC character designs.

Combat design
Thomas has been going over all the combat mechanics, stats and abilities and is making great progress. 

Overworld and level design
Fredrik and Bendik have completed blocking out the entire game now. All the scenes are in and getting filled with props and content. There is still a lot to do, but we have a very good feel with the scope of the game.

Story and Comic Book
Magnus has been sparring with the team, and is tweaking the story so it is becoming even better. He is starting preproduction on the story for the next game; Earthlock: The Final Memory.

Emerson has also completed the comic book now. We are super pleased with the results and look forward to sharing that with our backers who opted in for that.

We feel really happy about progress but we are still not quite ready to invite any external people to play test yet. We will let you know as soon as we are ready.

Earthlock

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

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Pantheon - New Race Revealed

by Myrthos, 12:44

A couple of days ago a new race has been made public for Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen, named Dark Myr of Syronai's Rest.

"The Myr hail from the planet Issul. The race was born at a time when Issul’s oceans were dying. Wars between ancient leviathans had erupted beneath the waves, in battles so fierce even kingdoms on land were destroyed. But the gods of Issul did not stop the calamity - they fought each other instead of giving aid. At last, one humble goddess named Syronai begged the spirit of Issul for answers. Manifesting herself in the depths, Issul gave Syronai a sacred gift: power to bring forth a single, new creation. With this gift Syronai fashioned the Myr, a race with kingly hearts and furious might. The Myr struck against the leviathans with abandon, breaking them from war and driving the terrors back into their abysses. With the oceans freed, the gods came together to bless and rule over the Myr. Songs beneath the sea declared that the Myr carried "the heartbeat of Issul herself" and the race flourished under a unified pantheon. Yet of all the gods, Syronai remained their first love.

Pantheon

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

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Original Sin EE - Porting Done Right

by Myrthos, 12:28

HardcoreGamer feels that the way Larian Studios is porting Divinity Original Sin to the console is how it should be done.

Overall, despite the learning curve and arguable setbacks their uncompromising console port entails, Larian Studios has done a great job so far bringing a classical PC-style RPG to the console. In fact, after my time with the game, I would say I almost prefer playing with a controller. Sure, some things get longer to navigate to but when it works, it works well. Many controls are still up in the air too, so some problem controls may not be set in stone just yet. Touting much more content and a new ending, Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition is looking great and better in nearly all ways than the original. I look forward to sinking just as much time, if not more, into it as I did with the old version when Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition comes out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC/Mac/Linux later this year.

Original Sin EE

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

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Acaratus - Medieval Steampunk Alpha Trailer

by Arhu, 09:36

A new trailer for tactical turn-based CRPG Acaratus was published earlier this month, showing alpha footage from the game.

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Acaratus is (..) set in a medieval steampunk world where you build your own mecha units (aka battle suits).

You customize them to your play style by adding attachments and building a deck of ability cards. Then explore the vast randomized world map and fight it out on gridbased battles! It's a mashup between Heroes of Might and Magic and Hearthstone

Features 

  • Deep tactical turn-based gameplay with medieval mechs
  • Explore a vast randomized map with random encounters and surprises
  • Construct your battle suits with modular attachments.
  • Find collectable cards that fit your play style.
  • Fight it out against other players in the battle arenas

The game is going to hit Steam Early Access in February, 2016.

Website: www.acaratus.com

 

Thanks Couch.

Acaratus

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

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Niche Gamer - A Brief History of the European CRPG

by Arhu, 08:49

There's a fairly comprehensive article on Niche Gamer dealing with the history of European style CRPGs examing why they appeared in the first place and how they relate to their American and Japanese style siblings.

Two excerpts:

European CRPGs are, as anyone who has played any within the past 15 years can tell, markedly different than their American-made counterparts. This difference is seen most strongly in the combat and world navigation systems, which are often very hard to grasp or lack the kind of feedback and ease-of-use that most gamers have been taught to expect. Lacking instantaneous fast travel options, quest markers, and having melee attacks that are often difficult to pull off without hours of practice, many mistake them as having been poorly designed. In reality, they are merely emulating the style of CRPG that existed in the 1980s. A style that, unlike America, Europe did not abandon.

(..)

Though Gothic didn’t outsell Morrowind, it did manage to create a strong interest for more of the games in the states. Enough of an interest for several European-based publishers to take a risk and begin sending their games stateside. Thanks to Gothic’s success, and the European CRPG renaissance it kicked off, several of the most beloved CRPGs of the 2000s were made by developers who were not from North America or Japan.

Niche Gamer

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Dark Souls III - E3 Interview & Preview

by Hiddenx, 07:38

Interview at Polygon:

The Souls games have about as picky an audience as they come. How can Dark Souls 3, the franchise's next installment which was announced at E3 2015, satisfy the divided fans of the first two titles? Also, is archery going to be terrible again? We talked with Bandai-Namco's Michael Chang and Nicholas O'Leary to find out.

and a preview by DaveControl:

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Thanks Couch for the link.

Dark Souls III

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

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Sunday - June 21, 2015

Hero-U - Supplemental Kickstarter Ends Successfully

by Hiddenx, 22:51

The second Hero-U Kickstarter has succeeded, too:

Hero-U Funded Again – Thank You!

Lori, I, and our entire development team would like to thank everyone who contributed to and shared either of our Hero-U Kickstarter campaigns. Your pledges will give us a solid base for improving and finishing the game. Our total funding between the two Kickstarter campaigns, PayPal donations, and Humble Bundle pre-orders will be slightly under $500,000 (about $450,000 after subtracting fees).

If you pledged to the 2015 campaign, your credit card should have been billed for the amount of your pledge. If you received notice that there is a problem with your payment, please work with Kickstarter and your credit card company to resolve the issue quickly. We were very proud of the backers of our 2012 campaign in that almost everyone honored their pledges – honor and honesty are prized attributes for Heroes!

Chris Fong and I are working with BackerKit to make sure all of you will receive all the rewards we promised. We have a complicated campaign in that we’re combining pledges made in two Kickstarter campaigns, PayPal donations, and Humble Bundle pre-orders. The folks at BackerKit have been very responsive and assure us they will help us make everything correct.

A Stronger Team Thanks to You

Thanks to the successful Kickstarter, we’ve been able to upgrade Aaron Martin (3D environment artist) and Al Eufrasio (animator) to full-time status. We may add an additional animator later if needed.

We are also happy to announce that Judy Feng will be joining the development staff as a part-time contract programmer. Judy is a skilled and experienced programmer who will be helping us out while also working another full-time job. The extra development power will make sure we can do a good job with the custom sections of the game such as the Poobah card game.

Hero-U

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

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Pillars of Eternity - Review#3 @ RPG Codex

by Hiddenx, 20:54

The Codex seems to be facinated by Pillars of Eternity. After Darth Roxor and Decado a third one is now released. This time Vault Dweller and Grunker analyze the game:

It’s a better Baldur’s Gate, with more depth and role-playing that goes beyond playing dress up. Still, it’s Baldur’s Gate, not Torment, Fallout, or even Mask of the Betrayer. Presented with the first and possibly the last Great Opportunity to do something memorable, Obsidian did what they’ve always done – played it safe and went after the BG fans, long abandoned by Bioware.
(...)

Pillars of Eternity stays true to the spirit of Baldur’s Gate, which is a nice way of saying that it’s a combat heavy game with crappy combat but pretty backgrounds. I’m happy to report that the backgrounds are spectacular and the combat is every bit as crappy as you remember.
(...)

The system's "flatness" is also its greatest weakness, however. The version of D&D that Sawyer is trying to emulate here is its 4th Edition. This system compromised on the fundamental difference in feel between classes to instead use uniformity and universal rules to provide balance instead: while some builds were better than others, all builds were useful. In contrast, earlier editions of D&D have classes which are so underpowered compared to others that comparisons are meaningless. In many ways, PoE completely succeeds in the objective to shed itself of this problem, but it comes at a price: you consistently feel that the changes you make to the characters are fairly miniscule. A huge part of this is thanks to the universality of the abilities the character system bestows upon you. Because most of your abilities continue to be relevant throughout the game, you are rarely that excited to gain new abilities and spells. You might be exited to get access to a new level of Cipher spells for example, since some of these are certainly a step up in power compared to your earlier abilities, but you have no reason to care when you gain further Cipher spells from that same level. Since the Mass Charm that worked so well for you in the last 20 encounters will work equally as well in the next 20, switching tactics is, for the vast majority of encounters, reduced to a matter of style. In dire cases, even gaining access to high levels of spells will yield no excitement, as you sometimes completely disregard newly learned abilities in favor of spamming that Level 2 AoE immobilize you’ve grown so fond of. In other words: you could switch from the aforementioned Mass Charm to a damaging AoE spell and knockdown... but why would you want to?
(...)

Pillars of Eternity

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

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XCOM 2 - Impressions @ RPG Site

by Hiddenx, 18:42

Alex Donaldson (RPG Site) likes XCOM 2 and considers it as Strategy RPG:

Rebel Yell: XCOM 2 Impressions

It only took a few minutes from XCOM 2's announcment before somebody uttered the fateful words in the RPG Site staff channels: "Should we cover it?" For me, the answer was immediately yes - I always felt our decision to skip coverage of the original XCOM reboot was a mistake - and now we can right that.

But why? Well - when you actually look at it, XCOM's turn-based, grid-driven gameplay featuring permanent death, statistics, hidden dice rolls and skill trees at the forefront isn't that dissimilar to the greats of the Strategy RPG genre - and so here we are.

What a time to start coverage, too - XCOM 2 looks more than a little brilliant.
(...)

Most of the improvements in XCOM 2 appear to be evolution rather than revolution - the game looks and moves slicker, while small touches - such as what appears to be a lot more mission-relevant dynamic dialogue from squad members each recorded with the appropriate geographical accent for that character - make the game feel that much deeper.

As alarms blare, I catch a glimpse of a few new elements for this release. Panicked, the human guards unleash a dangerous new snake-like alien beast to help combat the team - and later, I see that same enemy taken down with the sword, a new and appropriately improvised weapon for the more budget-constrained XCOM soldiers.
(...)

We also didn't get to see any of the mission preparation, some of where XCOM's larger RPG elements come in to play - but even with those facts noted, it was hard not to be impressed by XCOM's E3 demo. Where the previous game and its expansion played it relatively safe by recreating beloved elements from the classic, XCOM 2 seems to take the best of the series and twist it in an interesting new direction that leaves me excited to see more of what's new and different.

Seemingly slicker, smarter and cooler, XCOM 2 seems to be pressing all the right buttons. We'll be able to find out if it does so as well as its predecessor when it lands on PC - and PC only - come November. XCOM 2 is coming for PC this November.

 

XCOM 2

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

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Matt Chat - Richard Bartle Interview #1

by Hiddenx, 18:21

This time Matt Barton interviews Richard Bartle the co-creator of MUD (=Multi-User Dungeon) - the grandfather of all MMOs:

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Matt Chat

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Enchanted Cave 2 - Rogue-like released for PC/Mac

by Arhu, 13:01

The Enchanted Cave 2, sequel to a popular roguelike flash game from 2010 by developer Dustin Auxier, has recently been released for PC  & Mac.

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The Enchanted Cave 2 is an RPG with heavy roguelike elements featuring a randomly generated 100-floor dungeon of monsters and treasure. During a run you'll find both normal treasure and special items called artifacts, with the difference being normal treasures last for that run only, while artifacts and other stat increases, exp, and gold you keep permanently to use on future runs when you successfully escape. The paid versions differ from the flash with 20 more floors + extended story, 4 playable characters, a new game+ feature, longer and higher quality music, higher resolution, and of course more npcs, items and monsters.

Features

  • Randomly-generated floors of loot, monsters, and minibosses
  • Secret areas hidden in the walls of the cave with loot + plot details
  • A thriving town of tourists and eager explorers to talk to and trade equipment
  • Over 300 items, equipment, spells, and crafting ingredients
  • A soundtrack by the legendary Grant Kirkhope

 

Reviews

Review @ RPGFan, 81%

The Enchanted Cave 2 is absolutely worth a look. It's a huge step forward from its fun but flawed predecessor and features a ton of new features, abilities, skills and more to keep you playing.

Review @ TouchArcade, 4.5

The Enchanted Cave 2 is one of those games that pulled me in to the point that I lost track of time, unable to resist taking just one more dive into the cave. It's impressive that it manages to be a relatively gentle example of a dungeon crawler while still having enough teeth to keep from becoming a grind.

Review @ Hardcoredroid

Overall, Enchanted Cave 2 offers loads of loot, dungeon strategies, and the tensions of a roguelike, without the punishing forced replaying found in many roguelike games.

 

The game's free version is available as a flash game on Kongregate. The premium version includes playable characters to choose from, more NPCs, items, monsters, spells, longer music, fullscreen support and is available for PC and Mac on Steam, as well as for Android and iOS. 

Enchanted Cave 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC, Mac
Release: Released

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Find of the Day - Broederbund: What makes a good game?

by Hiddenx, 11:17

Brenda Romero tweeted the Author's Guidelines by Brøderbund Software from 1984:

What makes a good game?

It's no secret what makes a game stand out as a winner.

Here are some of the key elements we consider when adding a new game to our line:

  1. The game should have increasing levels of difficulty.
  2. There should be plateaus for the player to reach, each with a qualitative difference, new elements brought into the play, new 'twists' and challenges.
  3. When a player suffers a defeat, it should be due to his own actions. Never escalate the difficulty simply by programming in random events a person can't respond to.
  4. The game should project a"personality". A good way to do this is to work with identifiable objects rather than abstract shapes.
  5. The game should maintain a consistent point of view. Events and displays should add to the sense of reality, not confuse it.
  6. The game should make full use of the specific computer's technical capabilities - sound color and graphics.
  7. Most important of all, the game should be original, unlike anything else on the market.

RPGWatch

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