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Thursday - June 25, 2015
Wednesday - June 24, 2015
Tuesday - June 23, 2015
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Picture Watch

The Broken Hourglass
Box Art

Poll Watch

Did The Witcher 3 Live Up to the Hype?
Absolutely
58.42%

For the most part
22.77%

Really don't know
10.89%

Maybe a bit
1.98%

No Way
5.94%

Vote

Recently Released

Jul: The Amber Throne
Jul: Legends of Eisenwald
Jun: Barony
Jun: Masterplan
Jun: Enchanted Cave 2

Expected Releases

Jul: Antharion
Jul: Interstellaria
Jul: Victor Vran
Jul: Unsung Story
Jul: Kyn

Thursday - June 25, 2015

Bethesda Softworks - Pete Hines Interview

by Myrthos, 17:55

The Telegraph interviewed Bethesda's Vice President of Marketing and PR Pete Hines at E3 and talked about Fallout 4, why there is no Skyrim 2, Dishonored, E3 and other stuff.

“It’s rare to have franchises like the ones we have and to have people joking about “when is Skyrim 2 coming out?” says Hines. “The reason they say that is because generally speaking that’s what you’d be getting with another publisher in charge. They’d be spitting out a Skyrim 2 the year after or two years later. That’s just not how we view it. We’re not the sort of publisher that focusses on 'what’s our 25 titles for 2015'.

"We do smaller stuff, we don’t publish to scale, we try to publish to quality. Make sure everything we do is noteworthy. Our approach to that hasn’t differed. Here and there we might change our approach to how it’s presented but we’ve still stuck to who we are.”

And Bethesda are a publisher that certainly has a certain ‘type’ of game, focussing on adult themes and often oodles of blood. The presentation for Doom at Bethesda’s press conference came under fire somewhat for its relentless brutality. “We make mature games. We make games for grown-ups. Or at least 17 and up,” say Hines. “That is our target audience for sure.

"If you look at what we have… even BattleCry, online free-to-play but visceral, bloody, decapitations, dismemberment. We know who our audience is and we haven’t wavered from that. We make games for an older audience because that’s what our devs know. They make the games they want to play.”

Bethesda Softworks

Details

Underworld Ascendant - Answers from the Abyss #2

by Arhu, 15:30

The website of Ultima Underworld I & II's upcoming sequel, Underworld Ascendant, has been updated with Answers from the Abyss #2, in which some community questions get adressed.

Some excerpts:

"Why abandon PnP-inspired RPG systems in favor of perks?" - CyberP

For Underworld Ascendant we want the focus of the game to be on the world and your interactions with it. Anything that might get in the way of this, anything that might put itself between the player and the experience of living in the Underworld, is something we have to seriously consider before including in the game.

So, how does this relates to perks and character progression? Our preference is not to have players spend a lot of time in a system or UI where they are studying stats and points or worrying about whether to increase strength over dexterity. We'd prefer, instead, to have character progression consist of a smaller number of meaningful decisions, such as choosing a new attack or movement ability, rather than numerous numerical tweaks, as allocating skill points every level.

(..)

"We know creatures in the ecosystem are going to function within it (i.e food needs, survival, and whatnot). Will this affect NPC's in the factions as well? Can I go hunting with Lizardmen?" - SteveC

Yes, NPCs and factions will be positioned in the ecosystem alongside the flora and fauna. This means that NPCs and members of factions will have needs and desires that hinge on accessibility and conditions of the environment: access to food, protection from predators, warmth, and so forth.

Day-to-day routines of NPCs and factions will also be in the game as much as possible, including those that draw from and/or impact the ecosystem. So, yes, lizardmen will be seen hunting and, depending upon your standing with them, they might even allow you to tag along.

 

"Are NPC's/creatures going to have other needs besides food in the ecosystem?" - SteveC

Absolutely. While food may be the strongest need for many creatures, other things will also factor into their behaviors and motivations. For instance, creatures will have a predilection for the kind of environment they want to live in - lava bat want to live in hot areas, preferably with some lava flows. If that environment changes then the creatures will have a desire to migrate to a new location that more suits their needs.

We expect light and darkness to play a real role in creature behaviors as well. To feel safe some creatures or NPCs may be more comfortable in well-lit parts of the Underworld, while others may prefer the darkness in which to hide. Light levels is an atmospheric state which can be readily changed by the player, or even by happenstance, and which will have a big impact on the lives of creatures and NPCs.

Underworld Ascendant

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

Details

Shenmue 3 - Update #13 - Funding and Budget Statement

by Gorath, 13:55

As you can see in the headline there have been already 13 updates to the Shenmue 3 Kickstarter page. The latest one clarifies the project funding to a certain degree.

There have been many questions concerning Shenmue 3’s budget and what outside sources will be added to the money collected through Kickstarter. I apologize for not having been more forthright in this area and would like to take this opportunity to help clarify the situation.  

Ys Net and I have been putting in many long years trying to find a way to bring back a sequel that so many fans have waited so long for. After learning of Kickstarter, I knew it would be possible to get Shenmue 3 started. Wanting to make the best game possible, I also knew that I would have to look to more traditional means to obtain all the funds that would be needed to create the game I had envisioned. [...]

Shenmue 3

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

Details

Fallout: NV - Modding FNV to Make it Look Like Fallout 4

by Myrthos, 12:51

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an article up in which the author attempt to find the mods needed to make Fallout New Vegas look somewhat like Fallout 4. The author presents the article not as a guide, but as a discussion item.

For context, I barely played Fallout: New Vegas upon release because, despite sterling wordsmiths Obsidian handling it, I found Fallout 3’s engine and especially combat too distractingly wonky to deal with. As much as I wanted to I just couldn’t lose myself to the wasteland, because the wasteland looked and felt like Team America recreating Riverdance on some mudflats. Half a decade later, I can avail myself of the many mods aimed at resolving just that, and maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally be able to enjoy a game that half the internet is madly in love with. I’ll think about survival, difficulty and new campaign mods some other time: this is about seeing if I can find a way into to the game Obsidian made.

After many and varied types of fiddling, there were three and a half tools I needed before I could meaningfully get going. The first was Fallout Mod Manager, one of several rival tools for (un)installing and managing legions of FNV add-ons. Even that is split into two different forks, which is where the aforementioned half a tool comes in. The most recent ‘official’ FMM is available here, but you’ll almost certainly need to install the 4GB RAM usage patch on top of that. So I went for this custom build which has that built in already, but is only available via (free) registration for the Lovers Lab forum (a place which I should probably warn you is festooned with assorted nudey mods, so possibly NSFW and all that, although the FMM thread itself is clean).

Fallout: NV

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Marcin Iwinski interview @ GameTrailers

by Myrthos, 12:40

Gametrailers talks with Marcin Iwinski about what he is doing at E3 and what's next for The Witcher 3 (DLCs, Expansions). In the very last minute they ask if Cyberpunk 2077 will be shown at the next E3 and there is no answer on that.

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Witcher 3

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

Details

Pillars of Eternity - Update 2.0

by Myrthos, 12:26

The 99th Kickstarter update for Pillars of Eternity brings us the somewhat belated announcement of The White March, Part 1, consisting of the two new companions and the 2.0 updates (which will be vailable to all).

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Pillars of Eternity

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

Details

PoE: The White March - Preview @ Destructoid

by Hiddenx, 00:58

Good preview of PoE: The White March at Destructoid - a snippet:

In the expansion, the player character and their allies come into contact with the mayor of Stalwart, who seeks their help in dealing with an encroaching force upon their land. A once great fortress has been long abandoned, leaving all its riches untouched. The mayor wishes for the heroes of Caed Nua to travel through the dangerous mountains of Durgan's Battery to retake it. Venturing to the new area of The White March, a snow-covered land with relics to uncover, players will come into contact with several new characters and foes that may help or hinder their quest to retake the mountain.

During our presentation, we got to see just what sort of trouble your group of adventurers can get into. For those wondering, the new content becomes available once you've acquired your own stronghold, and from there, you can engage in the expansion's content at any time. Taking inspiration from Icewind Dale, a classic CRPG title, the developers at Obsidian wanted to include a vastly different setting to go along with the big jump in difficulty.

Along with the higher level cap (raised to level 14) and new weapons and armor, there are two more companions to join your merry party. The first is Zahua, a drug-addicted monk who possesses powerful unarmed melee attacks that can make quick work of foes, and the Devil of Caroc, a construct made of pure copper who uses stealth and agility along with rogue abilities to get the jump on the enemy. Moreover, there's a new system, multi-class talents, allowing characters to spend points on abilities from other classes to develop skills in areas they couldn't previously.

There's a stronger focus on building characters this time around, and it's clear the developers want players to have more freedom than before. To further illustrate this, the scripted story moments (shown in D&D-esque story prompts) now offer far more options than in the original and each one gives a different result.

(...)

Trailer:

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PoE: The White March

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

Details

Wednesday - June 24, 2015

Wizardry 8 - A Samurai, a Valkyrie, and a Bishop walk into a barů

by Hiddenx, 20:51

Rampant Coyote on Wizardry 8:

A samurai, a valkyrie, and a bishop walk into a bar…

That’s either the start of a really lame joke, or a regular play session of one of the definitely non-lame Wizardry games. Although the Valkyries didn’t appear until Wizardry 6. No matter…

Ye Olde Day (and Night) Job gave me Sunday off, so I managed to pour a few hours into playing my new acquisition, Wizardry 8. Yes, all this talk of new RPGs hitting the store shelves, and I’m thrilled about getting my hands on a seven-year-old game (Editorial note: Now it’s been almost as long since this was originally posted. Time flies!).

I am just a few hours into it, but I’m mighty pleased. Why?

#1 – The world and storyline are intriguing. I was never a huge fan of the mega-epic plot-line of the power to create and destroy the entire universe and all that from the previous two games, but I’m not minding it so much here. The game starts you out with a trite imperative (you are the sole survivors of a crashed space ship, and have to survive and save the universe), but the monastery section was focused and felt a little like unfolding a mystery, full of hints and clues to a bigger picture. I love that.

#2 – TACTICS! Holy cow, this game reminds me of how fun turn-based, party-based RPGs can be. Granted, Wizardry 8 probably takes it a little overboard, with party movement and positioning, party formations, and everything. But still, I’m having a great time with it. I got clobbered in a combat on the road to Arnika last night, and found myself considering all the things I could have done differently to have won. Too often, in RPGs these days, it really comes down to having been too unlucky, too slow on the healing-potion button, or not having saved during the middle of the battle often enough. Here, it was a case of me encountering a new monster type and underestimating their capabilities.

#3 – The monastery – the first “dungeon” – was not a run-of-the-mill miniature bunny-slope dungeon. I spent three hours of playtime in there, and dealt with multiple “boss monsters” and lots of exploration. Maybe I’ll get sick of similar dungeons with the same graphics set in the future, and I did play through some of this in the demo, but for now, I enjoyed it. I’m really a dungeon-crawler at heart, I guess.

#4 – I’m also a sucker for first-person perspective RPGs. Chalk it over to being more “immersive” or whatever – I’ve always preferred it. Not that I don’t love other perspectives, too (Ultima VII remains, to this day, my favorite RPG), but I love seeing the world through the eyes of my character(s).

#5 – STATS! Lots of juicy, geeky numbers. This might be a detriment for many players, but I really like the customization opportunities and being able to numerically compare my characters and my improvements as I level. Seriously, I get bugged by RPGs that seem to say, “Don’t worry your pretty little head about these big, scary statistics… just look at the eye-candy and you can see your character get cooler special effects!” Give me crunchy numbers, please. As much as I get into story and roleplaying and all that jazz, I’ve got repressed power-gamer tendencies that need to be exercised. (...)

Wizardry 8

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

Details

Original Sin EE - Playtesters Wanted

by Myrthos, 16:52

The public playtesting of Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition starts at 29th of July. You do need to be present in their office, so it's more for someone close to them, like me, although I'm not going...

We’ve just returned from showing Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition at E3 and you already want more! Apparently it’s not enough to watch gaming celebrities adventure through Rivellon: you want to get in and get your gauntlets dirty. Well, we admire your determination, so we’re delighted to invite whatever brave testers can make it to our HQ in Ghent, Belgium, to grapple with the game. If you can get to Larian Studios, we’d love you to come over and try out new our gameplay modes, rewritten story, and brand new quests!

– We will start public playtesting Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition in our Ghent office on the morning of June 29th, and will carry on until July 10th.

– Interested? Just mail playtesting@larian.com with your name, age (18+ only), email address and previous experience with Divinity: Original Sin for a chance to see the Enhanced Edition before anyone else!

– Players must be available for one full day between June 29th and July 10th.

– Players are required to be in the office for a full day, arriving at 10:00 and leaving at 16:00.

– All testing will take place using console controllers.

We hope to see you soon, Source Hunters!

Original Sin EE

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

Details

Wave of Darkness - On Early Access

by Myrthos, 16:27

Wave of Darkness is now available on Early Access with a 30% discount until the end of the month. In case you have not seen it yet, here is the gameplay trailer:

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Wave of Darkness

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

Details

Fallout 4 - Pip Boy Available Again

by Myrthos, 14:28

You'll be happy to know that the Pip-Boy, we know from the Fallout games, can be bought again. The first supply did not last long, soa new batch is available now in various stores. It also comes with the Fallout 4 game and interacts with your smartphone. So, this is something for our Fallout and gadget lovers out there.

Fallout4_PIPBoy_Edition_Content1

It can be bought for $120 and only on the USA and Canada. For those in Europe who would like to have one, you can't just yet. No word on plans of it being sold anywhere else at this point in time.

Fallout 4

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

Details

The Bard's Tale IV - First Stretch Goal Unlocked

by Myrthos, 14:21

The first stretch goal for The Bard's Tale IV has been unlocked, which means two more companion NPCs are added to the game and enhancing all companions with unique personalities, backstories and the ability to open up additional side content and reactivity.

Also a stretch goal at 1.5 Million dollars is added, which adds three new designers who will design one dungeon each.

First up, we have Sean K Reynolds (the right head), a veteran tabletop game designer who many of you may have heard of. Sean was born in in southern California. A resident of Seattle off and on for the past 18 years, he has designed for TSR, Wizards of the Coast, Paizo, and other publishers, working on tabletop RPGs for D&D, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Birthright, Ravenloft, and Pathfinder.

Next, we have Wolfgang Baur (the left head), who, among other things, is author of the award-winning Kobold Guides to Game Design, and has created dozens of tabletop adventures and sourcebooks including Hoard of the Dragon Queen (with Steve Winter), Dark*Matter (with Monte Cook), Kingdom of the Ghouls, Fortress of the Stone Giants, Herald of the Ivory Labyrinth, and Courts of the Shadow Fey. He also did foundational work on the Planescape and Al-Qadim settings for Dungeons & Dragons, and is the creator and keeper of the flame for the Midgard Campaign Setting and the upcoming Southlands Campaign Setting, and has contributed monsters to both D&D and Pathfinder.

Third, Bruce Cordell (the middle head), an award-winning game designer working at Monte Cook Games, writing for The Strange and Numenera RPGs, both launched via wildly successful Kickstarters. Prior to that, Bruce worked on Dungeons & Dragons over the course of 4 editions as a writer and developer, writing over 100 D&D products, including the Expanded Psionics Handbook, Gates of Firestorm Peak, Return to the Tomb of Horrors, Expedition to Castle Ravenloft, Gamma World, and the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. He is also a novelist, and has penned many books for the Forgotten Realms setting, including the Abolethic trilogy.

Next to that is the information about the InXile loyalty program and the achievements on social media.

Bard's Tale IV

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

Details

Ghost of a Tale - Fire Update

by Myrthos, 14:13

In an update on the Ghost of a Tale site, Seith informs us that he added interaction with fire to the game.

Hello and welcome to a new Ghost of a Tale update! I have recently implemented fire interaction in the game. It’s something I was thinking of for a while but hadn’t come to work on yet.

In this GIF you can see it’s never a good idea to jump into a brazier. I’m pretty sure Tilo would agree with me… 

You’ll also notice that the banner catches fire when Tilo runs close to it. Some objects can be set on fire this way, although not everything in the game is combustible of course.

Anyway as we’ve seen in a previous update there are much safer ways to burn things (usually any open flame will do the trick). No need to set yourself on fire!

But if it comes to this Tilo can put out fire by jumping (or hiding) in a water container (basin, barrel, etc…). Also some items you’ll find in the game offer varying degrees of protection against fire.

Also additional information on performance optimizations related to how a torch comes to live in the game depending on the distance of Tilo to that torch, is provided.

Ghost of a Tale

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

Details

Dragon Slayer - Review @ CRPG Addict

by Arhu, 09:18

The CRPG Addict played through Dragon Slayer, an early dungeon crawler with real-time combat from 1984, with which developer Falcom laid the foundations for the Action RPG genre.

The game does poorly in a GIMLET, mostly because it's not a good example of an RPG. It scores an 11, nothing scoring higher than a 2, and with 0s in "game world" and "NPCs." (If anyone can demonstrate that the game came with a true back story, I'll bump it up a point or two in the former.) But of course a game doesn't have to be good to be influential. Nihon Falcom eventually published a couple dozen titles in the Dragon Slayer line, starting with Xanadu: Dragon Slayer II (1985), which judging by screenshots appears to be an entirely different type of game. 

Dragon Slayer also featured item-based puzzles which later inspired The Legend of Zelda.

Dragon Slayer

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

Details

Dark Souls III - Gameplay Impressions & Expectations

by Hiddenx, 08:02

Dark Souls Lore specialist and well known speculator upon the obscure narrative and philosophical themes found in the series Vaatividya, posts his E3 impressions and explores some of the fan expectations for the third game. Some interesting insights into the Miyazaki presence and additional information not covered so far:

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Thanks Pessimeister!

Dark Souls III

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

Details

Darkest Dungeon - Release Date: Late October

by Hiddenx, 07:15

In the new Roadmap for Darkest Dungeon a release date has been announced:

Coming in July

  • New Hero: The Houndmaster! This rugged ex-constable will wander into the Hamlet, accompanied by his faithful Wolfhound and help restore order to your lawless acreage!
  • Sanitarium overhaul! A significant rework of quirks, diseases, and the Sanitarium is coming! You’ll be able to sculpt your heroes a little more by locking your favourite positive quirks on them – but be warned, doing so is permanent, and cannot be reversed.
  • Diseases will also be separated into their own category, and better integrated into the game game flow.
  • Armor up! Armor icons will upgrade on all heroes.
  • “And more…” Quality of life changes, balance, tuning, gameplay tweaks and other additions are always going into the build!

After the July update, the next stop for us will be the Cove, a completely new dungeon with it’s own bosses, monsters, curios, traps, and obstacles! If things weren’t salty enough, get ready to choke down on the briny waters as your sodden adventurers push ever closer to… The Darkest Dungeon!

Our full 1.0 release is scheduled for late October, this year!

The final dungeon and story content will be added, and you will conclude your quest to restore your family’s estate, or die trying. What can you expect in the Darkest Dungeon? We’re not saying a word…

Thank you all for your support and enthusiasm – we’re working as hard as we can to bring you a fantastic experience!

-The Darkest Dungeon Team

Darkest Dungeon

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

Details

Telepath Tactics - Brass Tacks and Sales Stats #1

by Hiddenx, 07:06

Craig Stern let us take a in depth-look in the finance-books:

I’ve posted a lot about the development of Telepath Tactics: my design philosophy, my month-to-month progress, and so on. Now, a couple of months out from the game’s release, I want to take an in-depth look at Telepath Tactics from a financial standpoint.

Prior to Telepath Tactics’s release, I did not make games full-time. Rather, I had to maintain a day job in order to pay my bills (and to hedge against the possibility that Telepath Tactics might not be commercially successful).

I haven’t made a secret of the fact that I dislike having to compromise like this, nor have I hidden the fact that I very much want to go full-time with game development. Will Telepath Tactics tip the balance of my finances in favor of being able to quit my day job and develop games for a living? That depends entirely upon some cold, hard numbers, which we will now examine!

What did it cost to make?

I began developing the Telepath Tactics engine in April 2009, a little over 6 years ago. I worked on it only occasionally until March 2012, at which point I began regularly devoting 10-20 hours a week to the game on top of my regular full-time employment. For a four-month period during the summer of 2013, I took a sabbatical from my day job and worked on the game for 40 hours per week. Other than that sabbatical, I did not receive pay for any of the time I spent working on the game.

In total, I spent $13,266.25 out of my own pocket to pay for art, tools, and marketing opportunities for Telepath Tactics over the past three years. Of that, $6,034.38 was spent before (and during) its second Kickstarter campaign, all on expenditures to secure the assets and attention needed to crowdfund the game successfully.

The game’s first Kickstarter campaign did not succeed. The second Kickstarter campaign, however, raised $41,259.00, or 275% of its funding goal. After accounting for Amazon’s cut, Kickstarter’s cut, and pledges that didn’t go through, I eventually received $37,161.75. Of that, I was able to spend $29,560.78 on the game before the end of 2013, thereby dramatically reducing the taxes I would owe on the Kickstarter money come April 15, 2014. Still, I ended up owing several thousand dollars more in taxes for 2013 than I did the year before as a direct result of what I’d raised on Kickstarter; these taxes ultimately had to come out of the Kickstarter funds as well.
(...)

Telepath Tactics

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

Details

Tuesday - June 23, 2015

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Myrthos, 22:33

In our last poll you voted that Baldur's Gate is your favourite Bioware franchise. in our next poll we ask you if The Witcher 3 lived up to the hype or not. Vote on the front page or here.

RPGWatch

Details

Wasteland 2 - Name change, Video and Perks

by Myrthos, 22:16

Also the Wasteland 2 Kickstarter gotten an update today, which mentions the same extras you get for pledging enough to The Bard's Tale Kickstarter, but also brings us news on the name change of the Game of the Year Edition to Director's Cut, including an accompanying video.

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In addition this update brings information on the new perks.

Perks, unlike Quirks, are gained as you level up your characters. As you progress in the game you will earn Perk Points, which you can spend on Perks whenever you wish. Perks are per-character bonus you pick, and unlike Quirks, they are always positive stat and gameplay adjustments. Right now, we have it set up so that you gain a new Perk Point every 3 levels, though we're currently playing through the game balancing things out, so the rate you earn Perk Points may change by final release. Perks also have Skill requirements to unlock – for instance, you might need 3 in Toaster Repair, or 7 in Assault Rifles, with more useful or powerful Perks typically at higher Skill requirements.

The update also has news about an upcoming Kickstarter for a Wasteland 2 styled playing card deck and some images from E3.

 

Wasteland 2

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

Details

Deus Ex - History of the Game

by Myrthos, 17:25

Gamasutra looks back to the development of Deus Ex (15 years ago) based on separate conversations with project director Warren Spector, lead programmer and assistant director Chris Norden, composer Alexander Brandon and lead writer Sheldon Pacotti.

Warren Spector: There's no question the development of Deus Ex was a high point for me. The team was like a dysfunctional family at times, but their commitment to the project and our mission was complete. People worked very, very hard to deliver on the promise and potential, that's for sure!

There was a very strong sense that we were doing something special... unique. That kind of opportunity - to make the game of your dreams with no creative interference - comes up very rarely in life, and I think everyone, not just me, knew that and, as a result, really swung for the fences.

Sheldon Pacotti: Deus Ex was total immersion for me.  I lived and breathed Deus Ex for a year, seven days a week, fourteen hours a day. I was just that excited by the potential of the game.  The only comparison I could make is to writing a novel, where you completely lose yourself in a fictional world until it becomes indistinguishable from reality.  

At the time, few people expected video games to represent reality or tell a story you actually believed in, so I was thrilled to find a team that was trying to make that happen.  But I had no idea if fans would "get it."  The most gratifying thing for me is the number of players, continuing up to today, who -- like good players in a paper role-playing game -- have stepped into the fiction and abandoned themselves to it.   A collective hallucination.

Alexander Brandon: Deus Ex is the game I hear the most about. I'm proud of everything I've worked on. Unreal pushed boundaries of level design and fantasy world exploration in the context of an FPS. Unreal Tournament honed multiplayer combat. But Deus Ex blew the doors off genres, and at the time, hardly anyone had done that.

The time that I spent on it was pretty incredible. And I hardly made any revisions to anything I did. I'd certainly change that in hindsight, but at the time what we did just worked.

Chris Norden: At the time, we had no idea what it was or what it would turn into. We really had no idea. We hoped it would be a success, at least critically, and it kinda turned into something...big.

Deus Ex

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

Details

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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