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Expected Releases

Sep: Van Helsing: Final Cut
Sep: Sword Coast Legends
Sep: Skyshine's BEDLAM
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Thursday - August 20, 2015

CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Eleven)

by Arhu, 10:17

This roundup starts off with the first entry in SSI's popular and mostly AD&D based Gold Box series, an engine that was used for no less than fourteen games over four different series (plus three standalones): Pool of Radiance (Forgotten Realms), Savage Frontier (Forgotten Realms), Dragon Lance and Buck Rogers.

Pool of Radiance (1988)

You don't need to read to the end to get to the important news: Pool of Radiance is the best game I've played since starting this blog. I knew it would be from the second or third day. The variety of encounters is rivaled only by Might & Magic, and the tactical combat system is unparalleled. I loved it. (..)

The final score of 65 puts Pool of Radiance at the top of the heap, 5 points above its next-nearest competitor (the first Might & Magic). We won't be away from the Gold Box series long: Curse of the Azure Bonds comes up in less than 20 games. I remember it even less than Pool of Radiance--I'm not sure if I ever finished it as a youth--so I really look forward to it.

  1. Game 57: Pool of Radiance (1988)
  2. The Story Begins
  3. First Expedition
  4. Heroes!
  5. Combat
  6. Clearing the City
  7. Holy and Unholy
  8. The Great Outdoors
  9. Cleaning Up for the Show
  10. Won!
  11. Final Rating

Questron II (1988)

The only real option you have when creating your character is the name. Leveling occurs at fixed intervals and in response to progress on the quest, not slaying monsters or building experience. You have no choices when leveling. (..)

The final score of 26 almost seems too high. I think I might revisit my system soon to allow for a "discretionary" category where I can add and subtract points based on particularly well-done (or hated) features.

  1. Game 58: Questron II (1988)
  2. 2
  3. Massacre
  4. Won!
  5. Final Rating

Scavengers of the Mutant World (1988)

I can't deny that it's fairly original--this might be the first post-apocalyptic CRPG (I don't know if Wasteland from the same year is before or after). The state of the land and your quest is fairly clear (..)

This brings the final score to 26, the same as Questron II, which was bad for different reasons.

  1. Game 59: Scavengers of the Mutant World (1988)
  2. Flying Fish and Laser Vision
  3. Still Scavenging

Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic (1988)

The sum of the individual scores is 38, but we have to talk about some adjustments before we go. First, we're going to deduct a point for the final "battle." That and BattleTech vie for the stupidest endgames I've ever experienced, and I docked BattleTech a point for it, so it would only be fair to do it here. Second, there's the writing. I've rarely encountered such distractingly bad writing in a game. It couldn't have been any worse if Malcolm Trandle had sent a message to the federation that "all your base are belong to us." (..)

In any event, I'm lowering the final score of the game to 36 based on these two factors. I forgive you if you think I've been a little hard on the game. It does have its charm, as a rare science-fiction CRPG and one that at least attempts something original.

  1. Game 60: Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic
  2. Reboot: Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic
  3. Foreign Soil
  4. Magic?
  5. Careful What You Wish For
  6. Slogging
  7. Won!
  8. Final Rating

Star Command (1988)

[Star Command] appears largely overlooked in the history of CRPGs. (..) I felt that [it] was a fairly good game, especially in the opening stages. Although the plot veered into nonsense towards the end, it held together better than Sentinel Worlds. (..)

That gives us a final score of 44, which outperforms every game I've played since Wasteland. That feels right. It was an interesting game with innovative ideas and good moments, and it motivated me to play to the end, even if the overall package is a bit flawed. It didn't really stand out in any one category, but neither did it completely fail in any one category.

  1. Game 61: Star Command (1988)
  2. Making the Galaxy Safe for Democracy
  3. Reboot: Star Command
  4. May Day
  5. Disease and Danger Wrapped in Darkness and Silence
  6. Upgrading
  7. Won!
  8. Final Rating

Times of Lore (1988)

I'm not so stubborn as to keep playing such an unrewarding game just because I don't want it to beat me (although I admit it is a bit galling). (..) Like Wizard Warz, another difficult-to-maneuver game with a tiny window, this game feels like it simply wasn't meant to be played with a PC keyboard. 

Final Score: 18. Almost the exact same score as the aforementioned Wizard Warz, to which this game felt very similar.

  1. Game 62: Times of Lore (1988)
  2. A Chore
  3. A Quick Rating

 

Explanation of the the final score: The GIMLET.

Update: The walk through Sentinel Worlds I: Future Magic was rebooted later on, so I updated the quote and links accordingly.

CRPG Addict

Details

Satellite Reign - Launch Trailer

by Hiddenx, 08:34

Satellite Reign will be released on August 28 - here's the lauch trailer:

loading...

Greetings Agents,

As some of you may already be aware, Satellite Reign is now less than two weeks from leaving Early Access, taking it into full release. Creating this title has been an amazing, unforgettable experience for us, and we owe it all to our backers. Watching the release date draw nearer is both exciting and nerve-racking, but we’re optimistic that people will enjoy what we’ve created.

We’d now like to present to you the Satellite Reign Launch Trailer!

Satellite Reign

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

Details

Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 08:11

Shadowrun: Hongkong will be released today. If you are a backer follow the instructions in Kickstarter update #37 to claim the game on Steam or GOG.

Shadowrun: Hong Kong

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

Details

Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Update #4

by Hiddenx, 07:47

The Kickstarter Exoplanet: First Contact has reached 11k of the 45k goal:

10k reached! A sandbox FPS,RTS,RPG game - all the things we want to do in a fantasy world!

Our campaign seems to take the marathon tempo, so we are working hard to increase our publicity, contacting lots of sites and other game-related media as well. We have some good content prepared for upcoming Kickstarter updates. Expect more detailed lore and game design articles to be released soon, as well as some info about our team and also fun stories from the history of Exoplanet's development!

This is followed by a shoutout for Civcraft - they have reached their Kickstarter goal already:

CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria, a Sandbox FPS, RTS, RPG game.

Yes, you got it right! These developers mix all the genres together and it looks pretty cool to us! Check it out! To be honest, we wanted to do many of these things while playing fantasy RPG's, Skyrim or first two Witchers for example: to add a little bit more strategy and sandbox to the standard RPG soup. But we couldn't. We really wanted to build a kindom, become a ruler, a person of true importance, and to influence these game's worlds on many levels. Not only by killing monsters in dungeons but by building a town, raising a faction.

CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria seems to offer all these dreams in one package. This project's campaign has already achieved it's basic funding on Kickstarter and is aiming for some great stretch goals. They need your support right now!

Exoplanet: First Contact

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

Details

Steam - Risen Franchise Pack in Midweek Madness

by Hiddenx, 07:31

The complete Risen franchise is 80% off in a midweek madness Steam deal.

Steam

Details

Wednesday - August 19, 2015

RPGWatch Feature - The Dwarves Gamescom First Look

by Myrthos, 23:04

The Dwarves was one of those games I checked out at Gamesom that actually weren't in development that long. This makes that much about the game is still undecided, which makes the validity of statements made in this article depend on how things will work out in the future.

King Art Games, the developers of games such as The Book of Unwritten Tales and Battle Worlds: Kronos, had information leaked a while ago about the development of their new game. A game of which the first line of code was written in March, this year. To make sure the expectations of the game would be in line with what the game would be, they decided to go public and announced The Dwarves.

The Dwarves is based on the first book, in the series of five Dwarves books, German author Markus Heitz has written. They try to follow the book as good as they can as there are quite a number of fans that are watching what they do to see if it matches the books and their vision of it. That is why extra attention is given to areas and characters from the books that are also used in the game.

The Dwarves

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

Details

Final Fantasy Type-0 HD - Mixed Reviews on Steam

by Hiddenx, 20:03

On day after the release Final Fantasy Type-0 HD got mixed user-reviews on Steam. The gameplay is often praised but many critisize the quality of the PC-port.


Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

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

Details

Forgotten Forces - Introduction to a new Dungeon Crawler

by Hiddenx, 19:29

Kordanor found a video that shows some gameplay footage of the upcoming Dungeon Crawler Forgotten Forces:

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This is an early preview of Forgotten Forces, a gridbased dungeoncrawler with 3D pixelart, a magic crafting system, focus on battles, character progression and story, including NPC interaction. The game is being developed for PC, Mac, Linux and Mobiles.
To find out more about Forgotten Forces and stay updated, give us a like on Facebook on http://facebook.com/forgottenforces

Indie RPGs

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

Details

RoA: Blade of Destiny HD - Free DLC 'With Blade and Brilliance'

by Hiddenx, 19:00

Kordanor spotted this new free DLC for RoA: Blade of Destiny HD:

Free DLC "With Blade and Brilliance"

Celebrating the two year anniversary of Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny, Crafty Studios is proud to present an eventful blend of extra content - new classes, new spells and new events, along with various updates and additions - all packaged up in the free DLC “With Blade and Brilliance”.

Features:
  • Additional classes: “Juggler” and “Skald”
  • Extended magic: “Destructibo “, “Fury Blood”, Ball Magic for mages, Extended Spell descriptions and complete revision of magical items
  • Additional NPC: Gerbald from Riva
  • Additional events: “Days of the Nameless”, “Tula of Skerdu”, “Asleif the Bald” and “Rotten timberwork” in the Mine of Prem
  • Additional items: Thorwal trousers, leather trousers, linen shirt, leather shirt, belt, silver ring, golden ring, silver tiara, golden tiara, feather hat, throwing dagger
  • Atmospheric images for many dialogues enhance the game experience
  • See Forum for the full list of additions: http://steamcommunity.com/app/237550/discussions/0/530649887218772370/

 

RoA: Blade of Destiny HD

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

Details

CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Ten)

by Arhu, 08:27

Kicking off the tenth batch of reviews by CRPG Addict with one of the meatier CRPGs from 1988:

Might & Magic II: Gates to Another World (1988)

Quests. The Might & Magic series continues to shine here. It remains the only series in this era with a strong selection of side quests as well as a compelling, multi-stage main quest. The main quest was slow to reveal itself, just like in the first game, but it was one of the more interesting main quests of the CRPGs I've played, and it fit well with the game's back story. (..)

The final score is 58. That's two points lower than I ranked Might & Magic I. If you want to howl in protest, believe me, I understand. From a purely objective standpoint, it seems like II should be better than I--if only for the graphics alone! But, to be perfectly honest, I enjoyed the first game a little bit more. I think the quests had a little more depth, the game was better balanced, and the plot was more original back then. It's still the second-highest ranked game in my blog, though, and I did have a lot of fun playing it.

  1. Game 53: Might & Magic II: Gates to Another World (1988)
  2. Packed with Stuff
  3. An Urban Tour
  4. Anatomy of Combat
  5. Touring the Countryside
  6. Castles and Quests
  7. Castles and Quests, Part II
  8. The Land Explored
  9. Mazes and Monsters
  10. On the Main Quest
  11. Stuck in a Bog
  12. Magic
  13. Won!
  14. Final Rating

Moraff's Revenge (1988)

In short, Moraff's Revenge is a single-character, permanent-death dungeon crawl with limited tactics and almost no story, but with some decent programming innovations.

  1. Game 54: Moraff's Revenge (1988)

Omega (1988)

Omega allows a fascinating type of character creation in which you can "play yourself," answering questions about your own lifestyle and attributes to generate your character. Naturally, there is a temptation to lie during this process (warning: the game notes the most outrageous ones), but it's still exceedingly clever, and the most original system this side of Ultima IV. (..)

The final score of 53 ties it with Starflight and Ultima IV in third place of all the games I've reviewed so far. Only the time factor keeps me from launching into a new game with different guild choices. (..) I'm sure I haven't even scratched the surface of what's possible in this game, especially as regards the religious system.

  1. Game 55: Omega (1988)
  2. Rich Game World
  3. Succumbed to Cheating
  4. Everything is a Reference
  5. Low Expectations, High Satisfaction
  6. Sort-of Won!
  7. Final Rating

Paladin (1988)

The game would be more interesting if the quest were unified under some kind of general theme. Fractured as they are, playable in just about any order, some of them not particularly chivalrous, the game doesn't have a very good overall game world (..)

The final score of 21 puts it on the lower tier of games, but of course I'm rating it as a CRPG, not as a strategy game, which is closer to its correct category.

  1. Game 56: Paladin (1988)
  2. Two Quests Down (with Final Rating)

 

Explanation of the the final rating: The GIMLET.

CRPG Addict

Details

InSomnia - Camping, Shelter and Transportation System

by Hiddenx, 08:26

In Kickstarter update #36 we learn about camping, shelter and the transportation system of InSomnia:

Let's camp together

Camping is something you can do almost always and everywhere: during your global map adventures, while exploring specific locations etc. You will have a separate button in UI for this purpose:

Building a camp gives you an opportunity to craft items, manage inventory of your character and NPCs, have some food and water (yes, you will have to do that to survive), heal your wounds and rest to reduce the overall level of exhaustion. 

Note that you won't be able to camp while being in combat mode or in company of any hostile creatures sniffing nearby. Some missions you might take won't give you an opportunity to rest until you finish, along with certain locations which are generally considered to be too dangerous to stay there for too long.

You should also remember that camping in abandoned corners of the station will likely get your party an unwanted company.  

Your shelter

Each lost soul should have a place to call its own and you are not an exception. Your shelter is located on the territory of one of the station's military bases. Basically this location will offer you the same advantages as any other camp you build throughout the game. However the amount of features you'll be able to make a use of here is going to be slightly... bigger:

Here you will also find a special locker for everything you are too in love with to throw out, all your loyal companions you ever had in your party, a few merchants to suit your medical and technical needs etc. And of course what home it would be without workbenches of all sorts? You will definitely like this place.

Delivery terminals and instant transportation system

Station is a gigantic space ship so you can't always count on being around your shelter. This is when delivery terminals come to the rescue. This special tech can be found all over the place being connected with the help of complicated system of shafts.

By using these terminals you will be able to exchange items with the locker from your shelter. It will take some in-game time and you should be ready to wait even more if you find yourself too far from home.

To access the terminals you will need special cards which are rare. Also do not expect that all existing terminals will be perfectly functional  - some of them will require extensive repair and other manipulations before you can actually use them.

You will be able to travel using a similar transportation system yourself:

loading...

Thanks for reading this update and until next time!

 

InSomnia

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

Details

Fig - a new funding platform for games

by Silver, 01:06

Justin Bailey the former Double Fine COO has started a new crowdfunding platform focused on games. This platform called Fig also allows equity crowdfunding; from the article below.

Fig is built from its very foundations to offer maximum value to developers, pledgers and investors, rather than relying on an architecture built to serve cat cafes, smart watches and YouTube channels equally.

Urquhart, Fargo, and Schafer have also pledged to use Fig to fund future titles from their studios Obsidian Entertainment, inXile Entertainment and Double Fine Productions.

If you want to check out Fig head here.

 

Fig

Details

Tuesday - August 18, 2015

RPGWatch Feature - Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor Gamescom Preview

by Myrthos, 22:02

With a very long game title, Warhammer 40.000: Inquisitor - Martyr, Neocore announced before Gamescom that they would bring us an action-RPG in the Warhammer 40K universe, with a playable part of the game to show for it. So, I visited them at Gamescom, played the game and listened to what they had to say, resulting in amongst others:

Inquisitor has two game modes, a story mode that is narratively driven and single player only and the inquisitorial campaign, an open world sandbox persistent mode, in which you have your own ship and all the freedom you to do what you want to do, but actually also has its own storyline based on the decisions of individual players.

The missions in the inquisitorial campaign are randomly generated, so you never get to see the same mission twice. There is just one sector, which has sub-sectors, but a sector in Warhammer 40K has hundreds of star systems and thousands of planets, so it is big enough to potentially last for a long time. These sub-sectors will gradually be made available to the players over time. The levels of your opponents in these sub-sectors do not progress in relation to your level, so at the start of a new sub-sector many of the enemies will be too strong for you and you need to level up first in order to progress into that new sub-sector. In the inquisitorial campaign you are given an Inquisitor fortress, a safe haven, where you can store your loot. It gives you resources and it also has your followers that you can level up over time. There can also be other people playing the game, but there is no direct PvP action between inquisitors. Instead you can attack each other's fortresses. The winning party can take the loot from the losing party.

Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor

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

Details

Bloom - Development Update

by Myrthos, 13:27

In a new development update for Bloom: Memories we are informed about the status with animations, tools and the design.

Since development of a game like this takes so much time, we tend to think a lot about where things are headed. Originally (before even this kickstarter) Bloom was going to be a hack and slash game. But, along the way, bit by bit, that design goal was chipped away as we wanted to inject more and more meaning into the game. We always wanted players to have the option to rampage through the game if they want, but also wanted to create a deeper experience for those interested. 

The last few months has seen even more of that evolution as we rethought the place of creatures in the game. Sure, there will still be aggressive creatures...but we have rethought the need to have the majority of them that way. Instead, we want creatures to behave more naturally (and instantly attacking the player for no reason doesn't really seem to fit).

It is no secret that one of the big goals we have had for a while is to create an emotion (and needs / wants) system that will steer that behaviour. We will be talking about that more later, but basically it frees up the design of the world to emphasis exploration not only in the world...but also the creatures around the player (what they want, why they are reacting the way they do, and what that means about the world / place they are found). 

This also lets us emphasize the "enemy" robots a lot more. Design wise, it will let us go wild boosting the strength of patrols and create a larger sense of danger (along with the high and low type of game-play it naturally creates as you explore). 

Anyhow, now that the revamped engine is almost back to where we were before and we have most of the world / creatures done (with animations!), the next step is going to be tackling some of these deeper systems and bringing everything together. You all know by now it has never been about making "a_game" ....we want to make something new. Expect things to get a bit more interesting :)

Bloom

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

Details

Masquerada - Gameplay Trailer

by Myrthos, 13:20

Witching Hour have released a gameplay trailer of Masquerada: Songs and Shadows and invite you to visit them at PAX.

Come to PAX Prime - Booth 6708 - and play the new alpha demo of Masquerada, the isometric RPG that promises to be a tour de force of pauseable tactical combat and narrative intrigue!

In the Venetian-inspired fantasy city of Ombre, masks unearthed from the ancient world give destructive magical powers to an elite few. As civil war rages between the elitist Masquerada and the working-class Contadani, fey creatures start to spread mysteriously throughout the city, paving the way to a darker conspiracy...

A gripping narrative, fully voiced by the likes of Matthew Mercer (Fire Emblem: Awakening), Jennifer Hale (Mass Effect series), Dave Fennoy (The Walking Dead) and more incredible talents, awaits those who delve into the troubled hearts of the Masquerada and the politics which burden them so.

Masquerada: Songs and Shadows is intended for release on PC, Mac and consoles (TBC) in spring 2016.

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Masquerada

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

Details

CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Nine)

by Arhu, 08:41

It's 1988 and what else is there to do besides playing CRPGs? Rhetorical question, of course, so here's another part of CRPG Addict's ventures into the past.


The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate (1988)

Leveling is unrewarding. You're expected to bring in characters from The Bard's Tale II who are already at around Level 30-40, and if you don't have them, there's a starter dungeon to get you there. At that point, you have all your abilities and spells and there's nowhere else to develop except to add a few more hit points and spell points to your pool. (..) [Gameplay is] linear, repetitive, non-replayable, too difficult at the beginning and too easy after that, and far, far too long. (..)

Final Rating: 33. This puts it 3 points lower than II and 4 points lower than I, keeping with my belief that the series got worse as it progressed. The developments the story and dimensions was offset by repetitiveness and boredom.

  1. Game 47: The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate (1988)
  2. Just What I Needed
  3. More Complaints, Mostly
  4. Brief Break
  5. Don't Make Me Do This. Please.
  6. The Age of Aggression is Just About Done
  7. Swan Song

Demon's Winter (1988)

The world of Ymros itself is nothing special: a standard high fantasy realm populated with interchangeable towns and temples. The back story of an imprisoned demon seeking to wreak havoc on the land is also nothing new. (..) Nonetheless, it's done well, the game is one of the only ones from this era (or indeed any era) to measurably change the game world as the plot moves forward. (..)

Anyway, final score of 5 on gameplay for a final rating of 45. This is reasonably high; my median right now is 34.5. The game is strong on story but weak in logistics. I do recommend it, and if I didn't seem to enjoy it more while I was playing, it's probably because unrelated life stuff was creeping into the tone of my postings.

  1. Game 48: Demon's Winter (1988)
  2. Miscellaneous Stuff in Bulleted Form
  3. A Slight Thaw
  4. Exploration
  5. The Main Quest At Last
  6. A Plot Twist You Won't Believe
  7. Won!
  8. Final Rating

Evets: The Ultimate Adventure (1988)

The economy is (..) quite good for a roguelike. There are many things to spend money on, including equipment, identification of found equipment, healing, resurrection, and changing classes, and you never feel like you have too much money (..)

Final Rating: 27. Not too bad for a shareware rogulike title. Please chime in if you know more about the game than I do.

  1. Game 49: Evets: The Ultimate Adventure (1988)
  2. A Surprising Second Posting
  3. Enod

War in Middle Earth (1988, Non-CRPG)

I've decided that the game doesn't meet the criteria I outlined at the beginning of the posting because combat is not based on attributes. The only thing it has going for it is an inventory--you find potions and weapons and such along the route--which isn't enough.

  1. Game 50: War in Middle Earth (1988)

Journey: the Quest Begins (1988, Non-CRPG)

This isn't even remotely a CRPG, so I have no idea why I played it as long as I did. The writing was good and the story decent and the puzzles were interesting, but a good game gives you more options for solving them and is less obnoxious about ensuring that an extra spell cast in the first five minutes keeps you from winning in the last five.

  1. Game 51: Journey: the Quest Begins (1988)
  2. The Quest Ends

MAG: A Dungeon Adventuring Game (1988)

I really have to hand it to Mike Teixeira. This would be a great game to introduce players to the concept of roguelikes without being as punishingly difficult as Rogue or as complicated as NetHack. (..)

The final rating of 26 puts it slightly higher than Rogue but not extremely high. It would be tough for most roguelikes to achieve a particularly high score on my GIMLET scale because they often lack elements of CRPGs, like NPCs and stores. (NetHack is an exception, obviously, as are some modern roguelikes.)

  1. Game 52: MAG: A Dungeon Adventuring Game (1988)

 

Explanation of the the final rating: The GIMLET.

CRPG Addict

Details

Runic Games - New game 'Hob' announced

by Hiddenx, 07:21

Runic Games's new game has been announced: it is called Hob:

Runic Games Announces 'Hob'

We are excited to announce our new title “Hob”, an original IP for PC and console.

Hob is set on a beautiful and dangerous unknown world, with buzzing life above and the whirrs of mysterious machinery below. The more players delve into the world’s design, the more they uncover a planet in peril. Players must learn to survive, understand their true purpose through acquiring skills, and ultimately transform the nature of the world itself.

Hob is presented without text or dialogue. Narrative is revealed as players explore and interact with their mysterious planet, and the strange life forms that inhabit it. Hob features smooth controller gameplay, multi-layered puzzles, and striking visuals

The official Hob website, hobgame.com, is live today with screenshots, concept art, and the first teaser trailer. Gaming news outlet Polygon has the exclusive first interview with President Marsh Lefler, CEO Max Schaefer, Level Designers Patrick Blank and Rick Lesley, and Concept Artist Kyle Cornelius.

Go hands-on with Hob during PAX Prime in Seattle, August 28 through August 31. Come see us and try the game at booth #6602 – see the map below. We also have a very special Official Pinny Arcade pin! Find us at PAX and collect our limited edition Sprite pin on your pinquest.

Runic Games

Details

RPGWatch - Windows 10 is not compatible with SafeDisc and SecuRom games

by Hiddenx, 06:57

Rock, Paper, Shotgun and other sources are reporting that Windows 10 cannot run games with DRM methods like SafeDisc and SecuRom:

This is a quote from a Rocket Beans TV interview at Gamescom 2015 with Microsoft’s Boris Schneider-Johne:

Everything that ran in Windows 7 should also run in Windows 10. There are just two silly exceptions: antivirus software and stuff that’s deeply embedded into the system needs updating – but the developers are on it already – and then there are old games on CD-Rom that have DRM. This DRM stuff is also deeply embedded in your system, and that’s where Windows 10 says “sorry, we cannot allow that, because that would be a possible loophole for computer viruses.” That’s why there are a couple of games from 2003-2008 with Securom, etc. that simply don’t run without a no-CD patch or some such. We can just not support that if it’s a possible danger for our users. There are a couple of patches from developers already, and there is stuff like GOG where you’ll find versions of those games that work.

Non-RPG General News

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

Details

Monday - August 17, 2015

Underworld Ascendant - Breaking Free of Fantasy Tropes

by Myrthos, 23:32

The devs of the Ultima Underworld remake, Underworld Ascendant, updated the site with an editorial on fantasy tropes.

As we've mentioned in our previous update, the team at OtherSide has been feverishly working on our latest demo. While we'd love to give you peeks at all the recent progress, we'd rather hold off for a bit and until it's ready for the full reveal.

In the meantime, we thought we'd share further details on how we're approaching Underworld Ascendant's world building and story.

Part of the challenge in tackling the fantasy genre is there are a few high watermarks that are extremely influential, and a bevy of well-worn tropes. That leads to questions such as, how do you present races like dwarves in new and interesting ways?

I find a good way to start this process is figuring out interesting creative challenges. If you can come up with an idea that you find so compelling that it requires your absolute best work to pull off, then it'll motivate you to give it your all throughout the long, sometimes exhaustive, development cycle. The thinking is also, if you're engaged, your audience will hopefully be as well.

Another key part of the process is research. The old maxim of "write what you know" is spot-on but incomplete, since it leaves out the part where you can actually learn new information.

One of the things I learned from working on Irrational's BioShock series is that research is absolutely essential to good world-building. It's also incredibly fun. By digging through primary historical sources, you get a real sense of how people spoke, thought, went through their daily lives, and more. You pick up little details that make a world feel real, which then in turn helps make the fantastical elements of your setting seem more believable.

We also learn that the $900K stretch goal has been unlocked.

Thanks Christoph.

Underworld Ascendant

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

Details

Exoplanet: First Contact - Kickstarter Update #3

by Myrthos, 23:24

Here is the third Kickstarter update for Exoplanet: First Contact about the discovery of K'Tharsis and Jackpot Town.

Three hundred years before Mister Sharp set foot on the surface of this dangerous planet, no one knew or cared much about the remote double star system named in charts, Tharsis-831. It was situated deep in the poorly explored territory, which will be named Rogue Worlds a couple of hundred years later, after the devastating Human-Orha war. For most of the space travelers Tharsis-831 was just an ordinary binary white and red dwarf star system, the type that rarely gives birth to any life on its planets and contains enough valuable resources to risk one’s neck exploring it. The system was neglected and avoided by prospectors, merchants and even outlaws on the run because it was situated too far from contemporary trade paths and too close to the Orha autocracy space, to the home space of the race that was always overprotective when it comes to trespassing their borders, even potential threats. In short – this system was an ass-end of the galaxy and would have stayed like that if not for the laziness of one very irresponsible smuggler captain. Ironically, the first town on the planet was named in his honor, if being connected to this particular town that way could do any honor at all.

Exoplanet: First Contact

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

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CivCraft - AMA and Stealth

by Myrthos, 23:17

The Kickstarter for Civcraft has seen two new updates. The first is about the Reddit Ask Me Anything of yesterday, which covered something about their name:

Although we covered many questions and remarks, the AMA became incoherent when a community claiming for CivCraft's name started "trolling" us. We don't think there's any point in fueling that discussion, except for clarifying the fact that we're not trying to use the name CivCraft for anything other than a cool name, and that we've been around for the same time as any other community or mod, and even have a WIPO Trademark on our name. We're not trying to pick a fight and hope that they will move on.

And on nicer news, there is an update on how stealth in the game works.

Whenever you are in a dangerous area, you may enter a "Sneak mode" and try to evade your enemies. The sneak mode is affected by your skills, so the higher perception your enemies will have, the harder it will be to sneak past them.

Stealth is not a simple thing to master, as you will have to use your surroundings with great care. To successfully pass through entire armies towards your target, you will have to consider the following:

  • What you wear will greatly affect your stealth
  • Moving while in stealth mode will make noise
  • Moving in the shadows or darkness will boost your evasion
  • Hiding behind obstacles and foliage will hide you from most enemies
  • Some creatures has a keen sense of smell
But that's not all you can do, as a true stealth master will go where his enemies will never expect!

Another cool feature we've been working on is the ability to climb walls and obstacles. Depending on your climbing skill, a master of evasion will scale through walls, evade guards, open the gate and let an entire army pass through.

 

CivCraft

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

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RPGWatch Feature - ELEX Gamescom First Look

by Myrthos, 22:59

Piranha Bytes has a new game in the works, based on a new IP, named ELEX. Given the history of Piranha Bytes, I was obviously interested and scheduled a meeting with them to find out more. Unfortunately there was not a hands-off demo , but there were some videos and I wrote a summary of what was told.

The story behind ELEX is that it takes place on a planet similar to Earth. At some point in time a big meteor crashed into de planet, wiping out most of its civilization with only a few groups surviving. With this meteor a new substance came to the planet, called Elex.
This substance integrated with everything on the planet, flora and fauna, and it mutated things as well, but can also be used to create powerful weapons and tools.
Furthermore it can be consumed as a drug, which will give the consumer very magical powers, but will also degenerate them in the process, making them lose all of their human feelings and emotions and leaving them without any empathy for others.
The biggest part of the game will be about choosing between using Elex and gaining absolute power while becoming dehumanized or not using it and keeping your humanity.

ELEX

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development

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Witcher 3 - Free Game+ DLC released

by Hiddenx, 18:27

Play it again Geralt - the Game+ DLC has been released.

Witcher 3

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

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Seven - Announced

by Hiddenx, 17:23

The Witcher devs strike again - a new isometric Thief RPG - Seven - has been announced today:

Seven is a Thief-inspired, 3D isometric RPG, in which you take on a role of a lone traveller. You’re going to explore a nonlinear, sandbox world - Empire of Vetrall.
Classic isometric gameplay is going to be redefined with parkour climbing system that gives you the ability of free-traversing obstacles on any height horizontally and vertically.
Quest line set in a „beyond post-apocalyptic” environment is created by minds behind The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. You can expect branching choices with moral consequences.

Title:
Seven

Developer & Publisher:
IMGN.PRO and Fool’s Theory

Platforms:
PC

Genre:
RPG

Setting:
Post-apocalyptic

Website:

http://www.seven-game.com

Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/seven7game

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/seven_game

THE PLOT
In Seven you’ll play a role of a lone traveler roaming the world of Empire of Vetrall, who’s
constantly facing it's cruelty and confronting it's dual nature. The Apocalypse that took place many centuries ago didn't wiped out all. Humanity or what's left of it, has slowly recovered, but the shape and condition of this new world is far from what it used to be. In this new reality Dark Ages are constantly interwinding with the ancient advanced technology. And in doesn't make it any easier for those who were lucky or unlucky enough to survive.

GAMEPLAY
Seven is a Thief-inspired, 3D isometric RPG in which players will get a chance to freely explore the sandbox world of Vetrall Empire. Set in a 'beyond post-apocalyptic' environment the title will redefine the isometric RPG genre. The classic gameplay is totally reinvented by the protagonist’s ability of free-traversing obstacles on any height, both horizontally and vertically, thanks to his parkour skills.

MAIN FEATURES

  • Thief-inspired, 3D isometric RPG.
  • Set in a grim, dangerous, post-apocalyptic environment.
  • Nonlinear story build around dual game world being a mix of Dark Ages and ultra-advanced
  • technology.
  • Parkour climbing system completely re-defining the genre.
  • From the former CD Projekt RED developers – the creators of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
  • High quality graphics powered by Unreal Engine 4.

ABOUT IMGN.PRO
IMGN.PRO is a Polish, independent development studio and company offering wide scope of services in gaming industry. It consists of the team, which has more than 7 years of experience in the field of business consulting, licensing and distribution services.
http://www.imgn.pro

ABOUT FOOL’S THEORY
Established in 2015 and consisting of AAA veterans who decided to take a break from huge productions and find refuge in the mountains of southern Poland. In the past they’ve contributed their skills to critical and commercial successes of games such as: The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Ancient Space, Hard West, Kholat and many more smaller indie titles.
http://www.foolstheory.com

Seven

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

Details

Geneforge - A Fluent Giveaway

by Fluent, 14:36

Hey folks! Laughing

I am giving away a free copy of the Geneforge Saga on Steam. It's a Steam Gift, so feel free to use it yourself or pass it along to a friend! All you have to do to enter is post in the sign-up thread on my Steam Group. That's it! The contest will run for 7 days and a winner will be picked next Monday. 

Good luck to all who enter!

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To enter, just post in this thread - http://steamcommunity.com/groups/FluentsRPGWorld/discussions/0/530649887213451153/

Good luck!!

Geneforge

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

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CRPG Addict - Review Roundup (Part Eight)

by Arhu, 12:24

Wrapping up PC/DOS CRPGs from 1987, including several games that were apparently misclassified, here's part eight of our review roundup. In the meantime CRPG Addict decided that he's going to play CRPGs released for other personal computer systems as well, so we'll revisit the earlier years at some point.

 

Phantasie III: The Wrath of Nikademus (1987)

Battle tactics redeem some of the bad elements of the game. Since you can only rest and heal in towns, you have to take care in every encounter, especially in dungeons. (..) Carefully planning battles is the only way to win, and with its multiple attack, defense, and spell options, the game gives you a lot of planning to do. (..)

The final score of 39 matches the original Phantasie exactly. Although III suffers from being a retread, its tactical combat system, which I probably didn't spend enough time on, makes up those lost points. I'm not sad that there isn't a Phantasie IV*, and that SSI would soon move on to cooler things.

  1. Game 39: Phantasie III: The Wrath of Nikademus (1987)
  2. A Hard Start
  3. Over the Hump
  4. Overdose
  5. Nikademus Wins
  6. Final Rating

Pirates! (1987)

The gameplay is really the best element of Pirates! It is completely non-linear, allowing you to do whatever you want whenever you want. Much of the fun in the game comes from strategizing next actions, since time is so precious. (..) Pirates! allows for considerable role-playing, and in that role-playing comes enormous replayability.

The final score of 48 seems awfully low given how much I enjoyed the game, but of course I'm ranking it as a CRPG rather than a strategy game or simulator. For its real category, I would invent another kind of GIMLET scale.

  1. Pirates! (1987)
  2. The Career of Captain Gatomalo, Part 1
  3. The Career of Captain Gatomalo, Part 2
  4. Final Rating

The Seven Spirits of Ra (1987)

I can't really see this as a CRPG. I have to stop accepting MobyGames's word for such things. There appears to be no attributes, character development, or leveling, and combat is all action-based. It is, at best, an "adventure game."

  1. The Seven Spirits of Ra (1987)

Sorcerian (1987)

The game world is undistinguished fantasy fare. It combines so many themes from literature, mythology, and fairy tales, it really doesn't seem to know what it's about. (..)

The final score of 28 seems about right. I liked it marginally more than Mission: Mainframe, but not enough to keep playing when there was no way to "win."

  1. Game 42: Sorcerian (1987)
  2. Sorcerian: Three More Quests, Final Rating

Star Saga: One - Beyond the Boundary (1987)

The game is a weird, possibly unique, hybrid of computer and board game. It originally came in a three-pound box with several floppy disks and a dense package of character booklets, instructions, tokens, a game map, and 888 passages of text. (..) This is fundamentally not a computer game. (..) The long text entries are very well-written and interesting, but I don't have any sense that I'm really playing anything.

  1. Game 43: Star Saga: One - Beyond the Boundary (1987)

Wizard Warz (1987)

Wizard Warz is not remotely a CRPG. (..) No character creation, no development except the acquisition of an occasional new spell, no inventory (okay, no player-controlled inventory), action-based combat rather than tactical combat, no NPCs, and so on.

  1. Game 44: Wizard Warz (1987)

The Ancient Land of Ys (1987)

Gameplay is mostly linear, given the limited game world, and there would be no reason to replay it. The boss fights do add a satisfying level of challenge, and the game doesn't overstay its welcome. (..)

The final score of 35 seems about right. I wouldn't have wanted to play it for much longer, and the score would have been much lower without the challenge and tactics of the seven or eight boss fights, but it was an acceptable way to pass a couple of CRPG sessions.

  1. Game 45: The Ancient Land of Ys (1987)
  2. Won! (and Final Rating)

Zeliard (1987)

Gameplay is of the side-scrolling platform variety, and in between slashing at creatures, I have to navigate mazes and jumping puzzles. (..)

The final score of 36 isn't too bad for a game that really isn't a CRPG. But seriously: this is the seventh game in a row whose CRPG creds are a little fishy. Time to cross into 1988 and try one that no one doubts.

  1. Game 46: Zeliard (1987)
  2. Not Enough Dexterity

CRPG Addict

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HeroQuest - Review @ CRPG Addict

by Arhu, 12:05

CRPG Addict played through HeroQuest, an isometric dungeon crawler from 1991 based on the board game with the same name. He was fairly disappointed with the game's CRPG elements:

MobyGames codes [HeroQuest] as both a role-playing game and a strategy game, but it really is neither. There's no character development to qualify it as an RPG, and no actual strategy to qualify it as a strategy game. (..) 

[Gameplay] gets 2 for being non-linear in the approach to its missions and 1 point for some slight replayability with different classes. But it's far, far too easy, and even in the short amount of time I played it, it seemed too long. (..)

The final score is 19. Throughout the past year, we've learned that gamebooks don't work well when translated literally to the computer. Now we learn that the same is true of board games.

  1. Game 198: HeroQuest (1991)

HeroQuest

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

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