Mars War Logs
Mars War Logs Review
The recently released Mars War Logs has been reviewed by Fluent and he wasn't too thrilled with what he found.
» Continue reading the article...
Neverwinter Nights: Bob McCabe Interview
Lucky Day met with former Bioware employee Bob McCabe to talk about Neverwinter Nights.
» Read the article
Poll WatchDo you Kickstart?
Yes, I've supported a bunch!
Yes, but only 1 or 2.
I'm waiting for the right project.
No! No finished product, no money!
No - but only because of my tight budget.
KoA: Reckoning - Rhode Island Wants to Sell Kingdoms of Amalur and Copernicus by Dr. A
Raphael Sbarge - AKA Kaidan Alenko Talks Mass Effect 4 by Maylander
Deathfire - Why have bind-on-equip items in a single-player RPG? by DArtagnan
Original Sin Fundraiser - We Need Your Input by Maylander
Neverwinter Nights - Postmortem by Myrthos
Forum WatchAnti-Depressant Medications by SpoonFULL
Tera - an action MMO worth playing? Maybe... by Fluent
Has the world put too much emphasis in gender for ones identity? by JemyM
Metro: Last Light - Video Preview by FretRider
Recommended jRPGs thread (and other japanese PC games) by wolfing
Saturday - May 11, 2013
Gamasutra - Should Games Have Stories?
Gamasutra has a new article written by industry veteran Soren Johnson. He questions whether video games should have stories, and explores various examples. So what do you think is story important or not?
Stories and games have always had an uneasy marriage. From the beginning, designers have written stories into their games, giving the player a fixed beginning, a narrative path to follow, and a preset ending. At the same time, many players flocked to games because of their lack of narrative structure; a game experience is a chance to create a story, not to submit oneself to a designer's unpublished novel.
At the root of this problem is an almost theological dilemma - can a game designer tell a story if the player's choices actually matter? If the most important element of a game is its interactivity, then every static plot point a designer crams into the experience takes away from the centrality of the player. Put another way, if a game has a spoiler, is it really still a game?
To be clear, with the exception of a few abstract game like Tetris, almost all games benefit from story elements - an interesting setting, a distinctive tone, memorable characters, engaging dialogue, dramatic conflict, and so on. The best games have characters and settings that rival those of any other media - consider GLaDOS from Portal or Rapture from BioShock.
However, the actual narrative of a game - meaning the series of events which determines the plot - is the hardest element to reconcile with the essential interactivity of games. For this reason, narrative cannot be handled as it is with books or movies, in which the story is the core element that everything else must support.
Information aboutBorderlands 2
SP/MP: Single + MP
Diablo 3 - Possible Lawsuit Against Blizzard
Diablo 3 after it's latest patch caused literal hell as several individuals found an exploit that enables them to dupe gold. Well some gamers are toying with the possibility to file a lawsuit over this.
Lawsuit Threat From Players
One player from this thread, which is now one of the hottest post from Diablo 3 forum, explained how the community can file a lawsuit charge against Blizzard. Just to give you a gist about the complaint, the player believes gamers will have a strong-case against Blizzard if they’ll file a lawsuit because D3 is concentrated with items, and these items have their own gold value which corresponds to real money. Since there was a dupe exploit, it also mean the company can be charged for negligence of not coding the game properly, letting its system hacked so other people can steal money’ out from gamers’ pockets.
For those unaware, this is not the first time Blizzard was threatened by a lawsuit charge. A few weeks when Diablo 3 debuted last May, players from South Korea and other countries from Europe have voiced out their concern and filed a formal lawsuit complaint of not being able to play the game because of Blizzard’s laggy servers. This forced the company to fix the situation or suffer the consequence of paying each players that will return the game due to this issue.
Gravity of the Problem
As for the problem itself, another player has voiced out his concern that by not rolling back the server (which was the original solution anticipated by the community), Blizzard is creating a huge mistake as there are a lot of hackers who managed to transfer these dupe golds into dummy accounts, some have even bought several hundreds of gems from the AH, then resell them again to make the gold appear ‘clean’ making it very difficult for Blizzard admins to spot the culprit.
Information aboutDiablo 3
SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - Update #14, New Add-ons, New Tiers and a Team Video
Well we have another update for Jagged Alliance: Flashback. At least this time we get more info, and a video.
Overall Changes to Tiers
The dog tag with a special unlock gift is moved from the $1000 Tier to the $250 Tier and the Signed collectible 9 inch tall game character figurine is move from the $5000 Tier to the $1000 Tier.
For the $200 tier we will add the option of having choices to pick from for the appearance (Gender, Hair style, Clothes) + They will all have a special vanity item that sets them apart (e.g. a special hat, colored belt/jacket/item) to set them apart from others.
To even things out a little we've also added the $42 reward to the $65 Tier.
Since it’s impossible to change the tiers someone have pledged to, we ask everyone to use the reward spreadsheet, which will also be updated after the update is out. There’s a link to the spreadsheet on the Kickstarter frontpage. We’ll also improve the add-on section.
Beta Access $20 (From $25-$65)
Alpha Access $40 (From $25-$220)
Paper map $7 (For $65, $100, $125)
Dog tag with Special Mercenary unlock $30 (From $100-$220)
Simply add the amount for the add-on to your current pledge tier and we’ll sort it out though surveys once the project is funded.
$15 Support your Fellow Man Tier: You’re doing the right thing, so you get: The Jagged Alliance Classics Pack (Also included in the $5 Tier and up) + Official digital sound track (ONLY THIS TIER) + Get half price off the game once released
$42 Ahh You’re That Guy Tier: I thought I recognized you, therefore you get: All previous rewards + Get your name in the NPC name pool and write a simple short response. Every time you start a new game the names will be re-shuffled, so you have a chance to encounter your own NPC in the game.
$62 You’re on my List Tier: That’s why you’re in the game: All previous rewards + Get your name in the Enemy name pool. Every time you start a new game the names will be re-shuffled, so you have a chance to encounter yourself on the battlefield. (If you go for the $85, $220 or $400 Tier, your response will be connected to the enemy name)
$8000: You’re the Boss Tier: And that’s why you’re rewarded with: All previous rewards + Become a base commander, get your own base and help co-design both the base itself and the commander + co-write the dialogue/responses. Limited (1)
NEW All DIGITAL TIERS
$650 It’s Time to Party Tier: So get your guns out and lets go, you get: All previous DIGITAL REWARDS + Become a Bartender (Help co-design the bartender and the name of the bar + co-write 3 responses) Limited (3)
$650 Running low on Fuel Tier: Maybe you should find a gas station then, you get: All previous DIGITAL REWARDS + Become a Gas Station Manager (Help co-design the gas station manager and the name of the gas station + co-write 3 responses) Limited (3)
FRIDAY UNIQUE TIER
$850 ICE CREAM *Ring Ring* Tier: Get your money out and treat the kids to an ice cream, for that we reward you with: All previous rewards + You’ll have your very own Ice Cream shop in the game and have the Shop NPC named after you and you get to choose the name of the shop. (Co-write 5 responses of your choice) Limited (1)
Information aboutJagged Alliance: Flashback
Release: In development
Neverwinter - Keeping it Simple, Keeping it Fun
This time a new preview of Neverwinter comes from Games.on.net. The preview this time is more positive, but still states some negatives of the game.
Let’s face it, if you’re thinking about playing Neverwinter, then you’re in one of two boats. Either you’re a complete MMO tragic and pretty much jump at the chance to dip your toes in yet another virtual world, or you’re a bit of a DND fanboy, secretly harboring fantasies about shooting magic missiles and shouting “Huzzah!” while you adjust your wizard hat. The good news is that both boats won’t be disappointed to dock at this port — Neverwinter is a remarkably polished and well-designed playground. Very little has been promised, in terms of majestic sandbox elements or siegeable guild halls, and so as a result, you don’t feel gazumped once you realize that these are the same old quests, you’re the same old warrior and that red dude over there probably wants to skewer you with his long sword.
For a game that almost came out of nowhere with very little fanfare, I’m very pleasantly surprised with Neverwinter. It does little to overhaul or revolutionize the MMO roadtrain, but where it excels is within its challenging and strategic combat system, that encourages players to mix up their parties and reduces the traditional disadvantage of healing or tank characters. The addition of the Foundry makes this title almost mandatory for gamers who enjoy customising and building their own experiences, and offers it in a manner that is very polished, user friendly and accessible. Sure, the quests aren’t much and the road to endgame is about as non-linear as Call of Duty, but who cares?
Maybe MMO developers need to stop promising the world when they can only offer a city, and instead focus on making what they have just plain, good old fun for everyone.
Release: In development
Friday - May 10, 2013
Expeditions: Conquistador - Release Date
Logic Artists sends word on their kickstartrer page that the launch of Expeditions: Conquistador is Imminent.
Hello again backers and welcome to one of the very last project updates for Expeditions: Conquistador. The long awaited and speculated release is finally at hand, and we are very eager to deliver our release build to you all, but first, the update news:
The full version of the game Expeditions: Conquistador, this very Kickstarter project is on the last leg of its amazing journey! But some of you may not know that we did a fair bit more than we promised for this game in our original goals here on KS, so you are in for an even grander gaming experience than you might be expecting!
For starters we achieved our first two stretch goals, even though we didn’t reach the stretch pledge numbers. So every time a player promotes one of their expedition members they can select from 30+ passive abilities to boost the unit in combat. Our second stretch goal also was reached, we created greater variations in character models, and further boosted the quality of the character animations as well.
We also implemented two concepts that came out of KS Backer suggestions: the Player Fortress-- which you as the player can capture and improve, and the detailed camping system which also includes ‘tinkering’ a skill in which the unit can build equipment or research expeditionary improvements.
We also implemented something that we really wanted to do as well, a Multi-player skirmish mode. And while we got some negative feedback for it, if you enjoy the game, and enjoy the combat, you will most likely also enjoy the PvP. It is available in two modes oldschool Hot-seat (taking turns on the same computer, like back in the days before the internet), and TCP/IP which will allow you to play with a friend on a different computer, whether you are on Windows, Mac, or Linux system.
It has been a long and exciting road, we want to thank you for being such helpful and supportive backers, it is with your shared thoughts and feedback that we’ve been able to complete this project. Expeditions: Conquistador is something we are very proud of and we hope you enjoy it.
Expeditions: Conquistador will be available on all of the distribution channels we asked you to choose from earlier in the project, that includes GoG, Desura, and GamersGate but we are also pleased to announce that leaving Steam Greenlight and partnering with bitComposer has got us now on Steam as well. While hints have been made to that end throughout various discussionary forums around the web (including here), we wanted to wait until we had the SDK in our hands before we started getting too excited. The good news is that our preliminary work with it has taken quite nicely to our code and we’re ready to announce a release date.
But before that, Steam is decidedly not DRM-free and that may not matter to some of you but it does matter to others, so we are offering a Steam key to each of you our backers who pledged 15 dollars and up on top of the GoG, Desura, or GamersGate option you selected in the Backers Survey. If you would like a Steam key simply private message us using your kickstarter account with tagline ‘Steam ID’, send us your actual steamID in that message, and we will send a key directly to the Steam account you message to us once the keys are generated. This should prevent any of you who want a Steam version but don’t want to publicly lose your anti-DRM street cred. here on Kickstarter from being found out-- if that type of thing is of particular importance to you. To be double clear, you will be getting a DRM-free key to one of these three sites: GoG, Desura, and GamersGate, and if you want a Steam key write to us, we will send you one of those as well.
Back to more news, bitComposer is doing more than just putting us on Steam, they have also offered to help with regionalizing and distribution in Russia (and perhaps Germany if all goes well), this is terrific news for us all as we don’t have the manpower or resources ourselves to do a proper Russian or German translation. We also have provided a tool for users to play with their own translations if they want to (some people requested this feature), the readme file explaining the process is included in the game build.
The long awaited release date: May 30, 2013 (Which is before the end of Q2 by a whole month!). Once the game is up on the various distribution sites we will be able to generate the redeem codes for each of you based on the platform you chose already in the survey.
Information aboutExpeditions: Conquistador
Release: In development
GameBanshee - Hands-On Preview of Van Helsing
GameBanshee has posted a preview of the soon to be released The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing.
The interface for Van Helsing is about what you would expect for an action role-playing game. The camera gives you an isometric view of your surroundings, and the left mouse button does the bulk of the work, allowing you to move, attack, and pick up loot. You can also use the right mouse button for a secondary skill, press the Q key to quaff a healing potion (all of the healing potions are the same, so a single key is enough), press the R key to switch between melee and ranged attacks, and press the shift key to attack without moving.
What you do in Van Helsing, for the most part, is kill stuff. During the early part of the campaign, you encounter bandits, werewolves, mechanical men (who look a lot like British redcoats), harpies, and more. You also talk to people to pick up quests and purchase equipment, which sometimes requires you to make decisions. For example, at the end of one quest, I had to make a choice about killing or freeing a werewolf. I decided to let him go, and later I got a reward because of it. I also saw some places where I had to choose what to do with quest items, where different actions give different rewards.
So far I'd say that The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing looks pretty good. I liked the theme of the game, with fighting evil creatures in dark caves and forests, and I also enjoyed the rapport between Van Helsing and Katarina, who have amusing conversations with each other. I didn't see much of the main storyline (you receive a plea for help from somebody in Borgova, but I was still on my way there when the preview build ended), and so your ultimate goal in the game is still a mystery, but I'm optimistic that it will be fun and surprising based on the writing samples I've seen so far. Look for Van Helsing to be released at the end of this month
Information aboutVan Helsing
SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - Update #13, JA Intro Video and Community Efforts
Full Control is back with the next update for Jagged Alliance: Flashback. The game is half funded with 13 days left.
The community is hard at work and have several competitions and initiatives going to promote our campaign.
The success of the campaign will be determined by getting more backers. So every community driven effort counts. We are very happy about every little push you give.
BIG thanks from here!!!!
You can join the new steam group created by the community, in order to get a shot at receiving free steam key for the game once the game has been released, the more people in the group the more keys to give away!
Bear’s Pit initiatives
"Write a Merc One-Liner and Win a $220 Pledge", sponsored by galf and open to all JA:F backers (and only backers). All you need to participate is a bit of inspiration and a screenshot of your pledge sent to gdalf's inbox. If you already pledged more than $220 you can always gift the goodie bag to a friend. Let's not make gdalf feel like his effort and money went unappreciated, ok?
The "BIG BAD BEAR meme thread (with an occasional hamster snack)" creativity contest that we're running in order to provide social network memes for those who need to plug the game (or just have a laugh). Even FC tried their hand at this http://imgur.com/yJi4X3e
Information aboutJagged Alliance: Flashback
Release: In development
BioWare - Dragon Age Qunari Symbol Creation
BioWare programmer Owen Borstad has a new post on the official BioWare blog to explain how he created a Qunari logo/symbol from the Dragon Age series.
I spent a ridiculous amount of time playing with sizes, trying to figure out how big I wanted it, at what size to print it out, etc. I made a smaller version as a prototype, which looked decent even if I didn’t finish it (I don’t have a picture of this; it was destroyed in one of my trips to and from work). After making the prototype, I discovered I had it backwards (inside out), as I didn’t want my numbers to show when I finished making it, so I fixed that up, then re-exported and re-imported.
I finally decided how big to make it so as to fit on the wall, and saved out a PDF of the exploded structure (see PDF). I printed it on 11×17 Cardstock Ledger paper, and started cutting it out. I had to score the thing backwards to what the PDF said to do to keep the lines and numbers on the “inside” of the structure.
After gluing the back all together with thinly spread white glue and cutting/scoring every piece, I finally started assembling it. It turned out that gluing the “boxes” and then gluing to the back was the easiest way to put it together, and so I eventually finished gluing to the back, then worked on “zipping” the model together.
After a total of about 30 hours, I finally finished it, and cut a circular hole in the back by which to hang it, re-enforced the hole, and stuck it on the wall with a pushpin. And that’s how I came to be the prince of… oh, wrong story, anyway, that’s how I made the giant logo! I might do another one if I feel like it, or go do something completely different for my next project.
Nexus Mod Network - Robin Scott On Hosting Mods
Edge has a new article on the founder of the Nexus Mod sites Robin Scott.
Scott got into the game website business when he was 15, and had built and sold two networks by the time the Nexus was rebranded in 2007. He is now 26. In the eyes of Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs, he is his company’s fifth employee, alongside four programmers: two for the site and two for Nexus Mod Manager, an increasingly invaluable tool for all but the most hardcore modder.
“But I don’t really see myself as an employee,” he says. “I reply to all the private messages and emails because I want to keep the site going. As soon it becomes a pain, or I stop enjoying games, I think there might be an issue, but it’s not. I’ve got three monitors in front of me. I’ve got shares running down the left-hand side of my monitor, because I do quite a lot of the share market. A lot of people say that I must be doing pretty well. And the Nexus does do pretty well, but the money it does pretty well with just goes right back into hiring more people and buying more servers.”
Scott blogs regularly about the trials and tribulations of running such a bandwidth-hungry monster without totally selling out. Things have certainly improved since the days when the sites would regularly crash, keeping him up in the dead of night restarting MySQL. Nowadays, bedtime is just after 2am, taking him past US peak time, and breakfast is at around 10:30am, after which he gets right back into the routine. He starts by checking emails and private messages, most concerned with site registration delays and the like, and three hours later he talks to the programmers.
“They’ll show me what they’ve been doing, and I’ll try to show them what I think it should look like. I’m working on a few new designs for the Nexus sites right now. Every once in a while I’ll dabble in the code, but it’s so far above me now that I can’t just bring up a PHP file and start editing away. It just looks like Japanese to me,” he admits.
“Steam Workshop’s been great for a lot of things, but if you look at the Valve games, they’re making games like Dota 2 that they’ll give away for free, then they’re making so much money on those microtransactions. The one thing I do buy is the subscriptions to the tournaments; that’s brilliant, I really love that idea. But if you look at TF2 and Dota 2, it’s not the modding you and I know. It’s not the modding Nexus does. It’s a completely controlled, exclusive-to-Steam modding where they get to choose the mods that go on their service based on how well they think it will sell.
“If you say to mod authors that they can start making money out of their mods, are they going to be inclined to share their secrets, the stuff that they found that makes modding easier? That makes it great? Or are they going to hold on to it, because [that] means fewer people are doing what they’re doing? The general dilemma we’ve got with modding at the moment, with what Valve are trying to do, is that people are now competing financially with other people and are going to be a lot less helpful.”
Information aboutGeneral News
Release: In development
Elder Scrolls Online - We’re not making Skyrim 2
Edge has an interview with Elder Scrolls Online’s game director Matt Firor.
The last few years haven’t been kind to traditional MMOGs. What, in your mind, is the key to bucking that trend?
The biggest single thing you can do to ensure your MMOG is successful is take your time and do it right. You only have one chance to launch, [so] you’ve got to make sure that you have a full range of features for a full range of people. I like to think of it more as we’re making a world that we want people to live in. Yes, there’s a game there, but there’s a lot of games in the game. We want to make sure there’s just a ton of stuff for you to do.
There will be players whose first Elder Scrolls game was Skyrim and whose expectations have been set by that game. How do you communicate the ways in which you’re different?
Well, we exist in the same universe. We’re making an Elder Scrolls game, but we’re not making Skyrim 2. So I think the Skyrim guys had that same problem when they went from Oblivion to Skyrim: “Your last thing was Oblivion, how could you possibly top that?” We’re not trying to ‘top’ Skyrim. [It’s] a fantastic game – if you wanted to play Skyrim, go play Skyrim, right?
What is your relationship with the Elder Scrolls community? Could it be improved?
I think that the reaction that we had when we announced the game was more about having heard game developers say things about games for a long time and then [not seeing] what they were talking about. A lot of the mixed reaction that we got was [aimed] in that direction. It wasn’t necessarily about Elder Scrolls. There was some of that, but mostly it was, ‘Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard of [action-based] combat systems, we’ve heard that. We get into the game and it’s the same old thing.’ We want people to get in and play. We’re not going to sit them down and give them a presentation, they’re just going to sit down and play it.
Was the decision to add a firstperson mode based on public demand?
Yes and no. We always knew it was something players were going to want. We couldn’t actually do it – and we’re still in the process of doing it – because when you have other players seeing your character from a different distance from where you’re seeing it, a lot of systems have to be designed. We needed to make sure we had the thirdperson working first, not just because it was your camera, but because it’s how everyone else sees you in the world. But we’ve known for a long time that we were going to do it.
Information aboutElder Scrolls Online
Release: In development
Morrowind - Morrowind Rebirth Overhaul Mod 2.2
Modder trancemaster has released a new version of his Morrowind Rebirth mod for Morrowind. Those interested can download the mod from here.
And here is the complete changelog for this latest version of Morrowind Rebirth:
* Rebalanced the lengths’ (again) of the spears. The reach of the spears should differ depending on the length of the spear (in-game mesh size), something which I didn’t take into account the last time.
* Dren Plantation fixes. A tree were floating, an overhang were clipping through the wall and a lamp pole and its lantern hung in mid air.
* Golam Urellas’s and Fairne’s shacks’ had the wrong script attached to the doors, making it impossible to enter either of them.
* The door Chun-Ook (The big ship in Ebonheart) had the wrong teleport marker (took you to the Ashlands).
* Changed “Jhamondile Dremon’s home” to “Jhamondile Dremon’s House”, also fixed some floaters inside.
* Somehow I managed to remove the travel-markers for the Slave Market in Suran, all fixed now.
* Moved the travel-marker outside Vivec, it displayed “Ascadian Isles” instead of “Vivec”.
* “Scourge”, a Daedric Battle Axe were restored. Enchantment/Model was missing.
* Llaala Girendal & Rleno Medan, Ald-ruhn Temple had no assigned head meshes.
* Jhamondile Dremon, a imperial In Caldera were incorrectly set as a trader.
* Fixed a typo which made it super-expensive to use the MG travel-service.
* Several fixes and improvements to the Imperial Legion Barracks, Caldera.
* The Black Goblet in Suran had the wrong script attached to the doors.
* Reduced the cost for elemental shields (nerf from previous change).
* Tarvyn Faren, a dumner at Vivec Entrance had duplicate records.
* Corrected a missplaced door on top of Lighthouse in Ebonheart.
* Removed Skooma bottles and Nordic Mead from Shenk’s Shovel.
* Silver Katana was changed from Two-Handed to One-Handed.
* Fixed the ground at the entrance of the “Eight Plates”.
* Added ownership to all lanterns in Caldera/Pelagiad.
* Dwemer weapons are no longer refered as “Dwarven”.
* Removed some script fixes (not needed due to MPP).
* Fixed a typo in “Drunk Dumner”, to “Drunk Dunmer”.
* “Templar Shield” to “Imperial Templar Shield”.
* Fixed a floating doorframe in Shenk’s Shovel.
* Anti-cloned the Buoyant Armigers’, Ghostgate.
* Removed 2 missplaced doors, Ald-ruhn Temple.
* A major overhaul for Ebonheart. The inner courtyard have been redesign along with better visuals for the main plaza.
* Better sorting for some misc items. Example: Wooden items have “Wooden” prefix, “Wooden Bowl”, Silverware items have “Silverware” prefix, “Silverware Knife” etc.
* A minor overhaul for Balmora. Removed a massive amount of rocks around Balmora to make it more fps friendly.
* A minor overhaul for Seyda Neen. Mainly landscape improvements.
* Anti-cloned Imperial Guards (most of them anyway).
* Better name-prefixes for potions.
Platform: PC, Xbox
The Witcher 2 - REDKit Released
CD Projekt RED has finally relesed the REDkit Mod tool. The mod tools are available for free on its official website. At this point in time you need a password and username just to download the mod tools.
Projekt RED announces the launch of REDkit, the ultimate set of tools for crafting non-linear role-playing adventures. Available for free via http://thewitcher.com/redkit, REDkit is based on the development tools used to create CD Projekt RED's award-winning game, The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings.
Information aboutThe Witcher 2
Thursday - May 09, 2013
Van Helsing - Livestream Tonight at 9:00 EST
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing launches on Steam on May 22, 2013, and GamingNexus has a two hour gameplay session of the game live on Twich.tv. Keep in my mind were I live it's still May 9th for at least 8 more hrs.
Beginning at 9:00 EST tonight, we’ll be streaming a two hour gameplay session of the game live on Twich.tv. I am going to build a new character, from scratch and give you some insight on the first couple hours of the game. We’ll be fielding questions in the chat section of the feed as well and will do our best to answer them. Come check it out tonight!
Information aboutVan Helsing
SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Ghost of a Tale - Interview @ Rock Paper Shotgun
RPS: Let’s talk in a bit more detail about the game. What sort of game is it going to be, and what can we expect from it?
Gallat: You play as a little mouse. This mouse gets to an island and this island is populated by undead rats. Something has happened on the island that is not normal. You came to the island for a reason, though, and you have a quest, which is to get to the tower of Periclave, which is the name of the island itself. That’s the underlying struggle. When you get to the island you start to discover what had happened there, and why it happened. I think it will not be too much of a spoiler if I say you are going to meet a ghost. You are going to help him, somehow. It’s really about exploration, about discovering things, and it is not at all focused on combat. In the alpha trailer there is a moment where you get some kind of a weapon and start whacking at the rats, and that was fun to do, but it does not reflect the gameplay that I have in mind. It is about stealth. The mouse is not powerful at all, and it is engaged in a very dangerous adventure, it is perilous, and so it is really a game about exploiting this fact, not about fighting through enemies that are twice your size.
RPS: Can you talk about those gameplay mechanic ideas at all?Gallat: Well there will be puzzles in the sense that you need to find your way through the island. There will be some mechanics and mechanisms which involve discovering things that are not of use at first sight, but when you look, really look, you find out their purpose. There is also going to be a good deal of stealth, and avoiding of confronting enemies directly, because that is not going to work. Indirect methods of confronting enemies will be important. We will have quests and objectives of course, but I think of it more like an adventure than like a Dark Souls or something.
Frayed Knights 2 - Going Social?
In a new blog Jay Barnson shares his ideas on how Frayed Kinghts 2 can be made more social, withou it turning into a social game.
Sometimes, with a single-player CRPG (especially for a guy like me, who often doesn’t finish a game until a year or more after it’s “current”), it’s a pretty lonely experience. Not that I usually mind – I gravitate towards these kinds of games because there are times I really just want to enjoy an adventure all by myself. Unless I am stumped or stuck and looking for a solution, I tend to ignore any community of players out there. But other times, I really like to hunt down a forum or something and see what other people are saying about the game, especially if it leads me to better understand the game or the possibilities for enjoyment. That’s something I’d like to foster, but it’s really hard to do in a little indie game. If you assume that only 1% of the players are predisposed to take that kind of initiative and contribute to the discussion, that’s not a lot of people.
It’d be nice if the game itself made it easy. And, to be honest, it’d probably help sales if the game made it easy for players to broadcast to their social networks that they are playing the game and doing exciting stuff. However, I grew pretty disgusted by all the Facebook & Twitter messages from certain games announcing the discovery of a certain flower or rock in a game I don’t give a crap about. That’s “doing it wrong,” in my opinion. Decent idea, poor implementation, maybe. Bombarding friends with stuff like that isn’t a good idea.
I especially don’t want the experience ruined by having out-of-game notifications pop up while playing, inviting you to broadcast something or to visit a website or any crap like that. Then again, these days, certain people seem to enjoy nothing more than posting status updates everywhere they go and with everything that happens to them in the real world, so maybe that’s not so bad. I really don’t know.
From my perspective, I feel like when I’m playing a CRPG, I want to be sucked into the game completely, so that the outside world disappears for a couple of hours. That includes little real-world reminders popping up or out-of-game achievement announcements or any of that crap. That’s my ideal player experience. Maybe not all players are like that. But I think that later, when a player is finished for the night, or has a minute during a lunch break at work, or is waiting to pick up your kids from dance practice, or after the game is completed but for fond memories, the game world can still there, with a network of other players to share it with.
Information aboutFrayed Knights 2
Release: In development
Driftmoon - Interview @ Greenlit Gaming
Greenlit Gaming interviewed Anne and Ville Mönkkönen the creeators of Driftmoon.
Something I didn’t expect from Driftmoon was to enjoy it in a manner similar to a really good book. I found the characters to be quirky and the dialogue charming! What made you decide to create a game with such an emphasis on its written elements?
Anne: Thanks! Wonderful to hear you’ve found similarities between Driftmoon and a good book. One of the benefits of working together has been the fact that we’re usually not short on ideas when we get the chance to toss them around together. That means we had a lot of stories to tell. Both of us also enjoy reading good books (when possible), and playing story-heavy games, so it felt natural for the first game we did together to put an emphasis on the adventure, and the story.
Ville: To me the most important part of a roleplaying game is the story and the characters, so that’s where we’ve put most of our development time into. We had a lot of fun writing all the dialogue, I’m definitely going to miss that. First one of us would write a rough draft, then each of us would go through it taking turns revising the dialogue, and playing with the kids.
The story in Driftmoon isn’t your typical “dark and scary tale” often seen in games nowadays. In fact, it’s often quite the opposite! What kind of reaction do you hope players get from the story?
Anne: I’d really like Driftmoon to be a feel-good game, a game that would leave you smiling, so it’s always awesome to hear playing Driftmoon’s managed to brighten up someone’s day. I know that’s what I’m hoping for the most. Calling Driftmoon the cure for depression might be a tiny exaggeration, but that would be a pretty remarkable achievement for a psychologist, don’t you think?
Ville: My favorite feedback is: “Playing your game is like being wrapped in a warm blanket with a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter night.”
Legends of Eisenwald - Post-Funding Update #35, Beta News
Last week an update came available for Legends of Eisenwald that informed us that patch 0.85 is out and tha the first stage of beta has been concluded, with these being the highlights of that patch:
- French translation added;
- Quest journal significantly expanded - quests are marked on the mini map and tabs for all, completed and not completed quests are shown correctly;
- Personal items are displayed in the info window of a character;
- Added calculations of payment for mercenaries and units without castle support;
- The cost of hiring depends on the relationship to buildings owners;
- Skills are displayed in the info window of a character;
- Added icons of a character’s hiring status (mercenary units, followers, regular units with castle support have no icons).
They also could use more votes to get greenlighted on Steam.
Information aboutLegends of Eisenwald
Release: In development
Dungeons & Dragons - Warner Bros. To Make D&D Movie
According to Flixist Warner Bros. is going to make a new film series about the fantasy role-playing tabletop game, Dungeons & Dragons. This is not the first time a D&D movie was made for the big screen.
Warner Bros. is set to develop a feature film franchise revolving around the fantasy role-playing tabletop game, Dungeons & Dragons. And before you ask, yes there was a previous Dungeons & Dragons that was made back in 2000 starring various actors such as Marlon Wayans, Jeremy Irons, and Thora Birch. Let’s just that it is a very, very bad movie.
Regardless, it seems that Warner Bros. is set on restarting the film franchise with a script from screenwriter David Leslie Johnson (Wrath of the Titans). Producing the film will be Roy Lee (Oldboy, How to Train Your Dragon) and Courtney Solomon who produced and directed the original Dungeons & Dragons. Also jumping on board is Allan Zeman who served as the executive producer of Dungeons & Dragons will be the executive producer for this as well. I believe there is a trend developing here and it isn’t a good one.
Hopefully Warner Bros. knows what they are getting into.
Information aboutDungeons & Dragons
Shroud of the Avatar - Request for New Tier Titles
It seems Lord British wants your help renaming the tier titles for new and old backers.
Greetings and Salutations!
Lord British has a request to make of you, his Royal Subjects. We are in the process of defining the new titles for new tiers and would like your input! Our current thoughts are to add the prefix Royal to many of the Kickstarter only titles, making the basic title available to any new pre-launch pledges. We would like to know what you think of that!
And then, there are a few titles that just didn’t seem to work with the Royal Prefix, like Lord (and have been left blank in the chart below). So we would like some feedback as to what titles should be given to new backers for those tiers.
We are also open to considering new names for the existing tiers. For example, during the Kickstarter campaign, some players suggested that “Lord of the Manor” be changed to “Archduke”. So if you have any suggestions for alternate titles, now is the time to share your feedback!
Please leave your feedback in the comments, or preferably on the forums in the following thread: Community Feedback Request for New Tier Titles.
Information aboutShroud of the Avatar
SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Eador: Master of the Broken World - Patch 1.0.6 Released
Snowbird Games continue their bug-fixing for Eador: Masters of the Broken World. The update can be downloaded using the game's auto-update utility. Here is the list of changes.
— ‘Endless siege’ bug.
— Berserk barbarian animation caused the game to crash.
— Selected building is not correctly highlighted in the city screen.
— Effects bug of ‘A portal to Chaos’ event.
— Battle starts before some of the dialogues are over.
— Capitals generating on neutral terrain types.
— AI controlled hero doesn’t attack the castle’s garrison while it’s under siege.
— Delays in selection, giving orders and showing tooltip for units.
— Problem with necromancy skill and hero information display after the battle.
— Inability to sell an item in some cases.
— Bug that caused heroes to receive new skills and parameters earlier than intended.
— Attack of the enemy castle with no units in the garrison.
— Bug with provinces capturing where defenders could become guards in some cases.
— Karma transfer from the shard map to the astral.
— Killing a skeleton during a battle could cause the game to crash.
- Added information display of other players’ spent points.
- Updated prices for units, spells and items.
- Improved chat.
Information aboutEador: Master of the Broken World
Neverwinter - Full of Disappointment, Lacking in Everything Else
Well this time we have a small preview of NeverWinter from GameSkinny. The writer is not happy with the game and writes why.
Everything in Neverwinter feels empty and useless.
The truth is that the game feels hollow. A fun combat system can't make up for a lack of depth, nor can it make up for a game-and-business model that aims to squeeze as much from the player as possible. Cryptic deserves no praise in this release.
I've played around 60 to 70 hours of the game since open beta began, and I'm still not clear why the standard copper, silver, and gold currency is included in the game at all. While there are certainly several items you can purchase from NPCs with gold, often you can get those same items with Astral Diamonds.
Astral Diamonds are, in practice, the game's primary currency. You use them to exchange for Zen (cash shop currency), buy and sell things on the auction house, and some items can only be bought with Astral Diamonds. Identification scrolls are one example that is completely baffling. Aren't they common enough to just keep to gold currency? Why should I spent my hard-earned diamonds on identification scrolls, when every other supply can be purchased with gold?
The above is not to say that the Astral Diamond currency isn't common, but you need such massive amounts for anything worthwhile that I just feel like I'm being ripped off in-game.
I got 600k for purchasing a founder's pack, but that 600k's worth is undeniably low in-game. It costs 300k to 600k on the auction house to buy a bag. A bag! And let me tell you, those people selling bags on the AH didn't get them from playing the game, they got them from the cash shop. How is this good, non-predatory game design?
It's hard not to feel like Cryptic and Perfect World Entertainment are taking us all for a ride. Their reputations in this field speak for themselves, and sadly Neverwinter has not proven to be the exception to the rule. The PvP is fun, but it's not fun enough to justify the mess that is the rest of the game. There is simply no excuse for the game's lack of depth, distinct void of challenge, or currency clusterbang.
The game had and has a lot of potential, but as it is now Neverwinter is not worth playing or investing even a few hours of time into. Five days in, I already found myself regretting the purchase of the Guardian of Neverwinter pack. This is not worthy of being related to Dungeons and Dragons, even the bastard child that is 4th Edition. If this is where the MMORPG genre is going, I think I may have to take a hiatus.
Release: In development
SW: TOR - Revenue "More Than Doubled" Since Going Free-to-play
EA and Bioware annnouced that Star Wars: The Old Republic has more than doubled it's income since going F2P. Polygon has all the details.
Monthly average revenue for, BioWare's massively multiplayer online role-playing game, has more than doubled and subscriptions have increased since adopting the free-to-play model last year, Electronic Arts president of labels Frank Gibeau revealed in an earning's call today.
EA announced that the MMO would adopt a free-to-play model last July, and the transition took place in November 2012. Since then, Gibeau said the game has grown significantly.
"Since it was induced in November, we've added more than 1.7 million new players on the free model to the service," Gibeau said. "And the number of subscriptions has stabilized at just under half a million.
"The really interesting thing that's happening inside the service right now is monthly average revenue for the game has more than doubled since we introduced the free-to-play option. And as we look forward, we're going to continually invest in new content for the service and for players every six weeks or so."
Information aboutSW: TOR
Hellraid - Dead Island Meets Oblivion
Techland's new game Hellraid looks to recapture the magic of '90s PC gaming. To showcase their ambitions Techland has released a small trailer. Eurogamer has a small article with more information also.
Bethesda Softworks - E3 Schedule Detailed
Bethesda Softworks announced their schedule at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2013.
Bethesda will be showcasing their recently announced projects The Evil Within and Wolfenstein: The New Order, as well as The Elder Scrolls Online. However only Wolfenstein: The New Order and The Elder Scrolls Online will be playable at Bethesda's booth.
The presentation and playing the games at the booth should take an average of 2 hours.
For those attending E3 the booth number and hourly booth appointment time are as follow:
Bethesda Softworks Booth Number: 523, South Hall
Hourly Booth Appointment Times:
Tuesday, June 11:
12:00pm; 1:00pm; 2:00pm; 3:00pm; 4:00pm & 5:00pm
Wednesday, June 12:
10:00am; 11:00pm; 12:00pm; 1:00pm; 2:00pm; 3:00pm; 4:00pm & 5:00pm
Thursday, June 13:
10:00am; 11:00pm; 12:00pm; 1:00pm; 2:00pm; 3:00pm & 4:00pm
Information aboutBethesda Softworks
Obsidian Entertainment - Hoping To Work With EA/BioWare On Star Wars
RockPaperShotgun has a new article on Obsidian, and how they still want to work on another StarWars RPG.
We now live in a world where The Sims: Star Wars or Need for Speed: Tosche Station could become things. I’m not saying it’s likely (though the former would not shock me in the slightest), but Star Wars is under new management, so who knows? For now, all we can say for sure is that BioWare, DICE, and Visceral are actively adding their own chapters to the space opera, but we won’t see results from those initial efforts until at least mid-2014 – and much later, in all likelihood.
You’ll remember, however, that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II developer Obsidian also has a rather ambitious idea floating around, and – last we heard – it was about to lay it before the greatest Sith Lord of them all: Mickey Mouse. So then, what happened there? And where does Obsidian’s new Star Wars RPG end up now that EA’s pulling the strings? I got in touch with Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart to find out.
First up, Disney. Turns out, the developer never actually ventured into the hallowed halls of the House of Mouse. The reason? Things were simply too unstable at the time.
“As for Disney, we didn’t end up talking with them directly, since we were waiting to see what might happen with the license as a whole,” Urquhart explained to RPS.
Now, however, all the pieces have fallen into place, and Urquhart’s ready to see if there’s room for Obsidian in EA’s master plan.
“We are certainly going to try,” he said. “We would love to work on another Star Wars game, and if it was possible for us to hook up with BioWare and EA to do so, that would be pretty amazing.”
Information aboutObsidian Entertainment
Original Sin - Post-Funding Update #39, Scripting
In this post-funding Kickstarter update for Original Sin more information on scripting is presented.
In this moving pictures part of the update, Bert, our resident script guru, explains how it is possible to implement "generic behaviours" that affect all npcs in the game world, and thus increase the amount of reactions they have. He gives a bunch of examples of what you can do with Osiris, the scripting language used in Divinity: Original Sin, just to get you thinking of all the things you could be doing with it.
In other words - characters in Divinity: Original Sin react.
There is also information on Paypal closing soon:
Paypal pledging is still possible but will finish this weekend, meaning that in practice it'll stay open until monday morning GMT+1. Right now the counter is at $57.596,60.
We will add the total number of backers via paypal to calculate the size of the lair beneath the phantom forest, and at that time we'll also take stock of the amount of Facebook likes to calculate the amount of Bellegar encounters Divinity:Original Sin will feature.
And more information on precessing the pledges: and rewards
We've answered quite a lot of private messages and mails about how pledges are going to be managed, and in an effort to save our fingers a bit, here's an overview of how we envision things will work:
- All backers (Kickstarter+Paypal) will receive an account at The Larian Vault
- Your account will contain an overview of your rewards
- If we need information from you to send you your rewards, you'll be able to fill it in there
- You will be able to add extra add-ons to your reward tier via The Larian Vault too. Not all add-ons will be available, but there will be quite a few. You'll also be able to upgrade your reward.
Information aboutOriginal Sin
SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development