Spiders Interview #3
Here is the third part of our new interview with Jehanne Rousseau, CEO and co-founder of Spiders. This time we talk about her studios released games.
» Continue reading the article...
Fluent played Inquisitor and gave his thoughts on the game in a new article.
» Read the article
Deus Ex: Invisible War
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Friday - February 20, 2015
RPGWatch - Jehanne Rousseau Interview
Here is the second part of our new interview with Jehanne Rousseau, CEO and co-founder of Spiders. This time we talk about her writing style, and daily life.
Couchpotato: Can you give all of our members a brief introduction about about yourself, and what your daily job at Spiders is like?
Jehanne Rousseau: Sure, I'm Jehanne Rousseau, CEO and co-founder of Spiders. I began working in the industry in 1998 as 2D artist working on Gameboy games, then I worked for different companies as a game designer. Finally, I became a project manager for Monte Cristo where I met the team that became Spiders and worked on my first released RPG.
Today, as a CEO, my job is mainly to manage the development team and the studio itself, I usually play the creative director on our projects (alas I have to spend some time to do administrative tasks too) and I also often write parts of the scenario and dialogs for our games. I love to see a simple idea becoming a game, and being there with all the team, from the very beginning to the end. Even now, after more than 15 years in the industry it's still magic.
Tides of Numenera - Interview @ Eurogamer
Eurogamer has a new interview for Torment: Tides of Numenera where they they talk with creative lead Colin McComb who says the game might be released in 2015.
Another reason to be excited is inXile, the developer, which already delivered Wasteland 2 - a nostalgic Kickstarted game - to a very high standard. The bulk of that team now works on Torment, a force that numbers around 25-30. That's a hefty workforce for a game like this. The budget has grown too, from $4.1m as of the end of the Kickstarter campaign up to $4.8m now.
There have been a couple of delays to Torment: Tides of Numenera but the end is finally in sight. The good news is it will "definitely" - read: hopefully - be out this year, according to McComb, although it sounds like there's still an awful lot of work to do. The official date is Q4 2015, but that's "probably late 2015" in actuality. There don't appear to be any plans for an Early Access release, but those who backed the game at the appropriate level will get access to an alpha systems test ahead of the game's full launch.
Torment: Tides of NumeneraSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Edge Of Eternity - Preview @ Cliqist
The new campaign on the other hand is quite impressive with a better game summary, a clean and organized breakdown of its features, effective use of its brand new in-game footage and (better) concept art, and of course, a working demo. Even the Kickstarter video, with its evocative music and intriguing game footage, was a vast improvement over the otherwise mediocre display provided by the original campaign’s. The lower funding goal was managed (as explained by Midgar Studio in their FAQs) by the personal investment of the developing team.
You can also read a new update on the games kickstarter page.
Day 4 and this is the second goal you achieved... Edge of Eternity is coming to PS4 and Xbox One! This is quite an important step for us as we really believe our game belongs to next-gen consoles.
Our current demo is already functionnal on this plateforms, we tested it several time in the studio. But its a basic porting of the game and we really want to provide specific version that take advantage of each console potential. We also already talked to Sony and Microsoft both really liked what they saw, and it was really encouraging for us at the time, but they still have huge requirements and checklists before they will approve our release.
Sword Coast Legends - Interview @ MMORPG
Forum member Morrandir brought to my attention a new interview for Sword Coast Legends on MMORPG with Brand Director Nathan Stewart, and President Dan Tudge.
MMORPG.com: How does Sword Coast Legends compare to Neverwinter Nights, as many will likely draw comparisons?
Tudge: Right now a lot of people are talking about how Sword Coast Legends feels reminiscent of Neverwinter Nights (NWN); it's a comparison that is definitely warranted. SCL is a classic Forgotten Realms adventure on the Sword Coast. It features tactical pause and play combat with an isometric camera in real-time 3D environments (vs. pre-rendered backgrounds). However, it's the inclusion of DM mode where comparisons to NWN are probably the strongest. Despite both having DM capability, players will find the DM experience in SCL quite different from NWN, finding instead a system that enables DMs to quickly jump in and immediately start playing in real-time. All told, our inspiration has come from many sources, from a lifetime of playing D&D on the tabletop and to the legacy of so many great RPGs such as Dragon Age: Origins and the Baldur's Gate series – inspiration that will enviably invoke comparisons the more of SCL we show to the world.
MMORPG.com: Why the Forgotten Realms?
Stewart: The Forgotten Realms is the universe that we at Wizards of the Coast are focusing our storytelling in for the foreseeable future. It is our most popular setting and can be found in novels and game materials that have been translated in over a dozen different languages. Forgotten Realms is home to some of our most iconic heroes. As we dive into our annual stories, Forgotten Realms will be the backdrop for those adventures. We know we have a large and diverse fan-base who also enjoy our other settings, but there is still so much to explore in the Forgotten Realms.
MMORPG.com: What have you done developing this game to make it feel like fifth edition as opposed to 3.5, 4.0, or the open 20 systems?
Stewart: As Wizards of the Coast was developing the latest edition we very specifically wanted to take emphasis off the rules and focus on the feel of the game. As part of the playtest and creation of the new edition we looked back at all previous editions and made sure we had clear ideas and descriptions for the most important elements. An example is magic, more specifically let's focus on the fireball spell. It isn't important that the Fireball spell does 8d6 damage or has 150 range in all our games, but is instead important that in each instance it is a mid-level spell that explodes and causes a wider range of damage. In other words, for our partners it's critical they capture the feel of the latest edition of rules, but not necessarily the specific mechanics.
Tudge: In SCL we have adapted the fifth edition tabletop ruleset to better work in a videogame; however, n-Space and Wizards of the Coast have worked very closely to ensure we deliver an experience that feels "true to D&D."
Underworld Ascendant - Tracy Hickman Novel
OtherSide Entertainment posted another kickstarter update this week with news author, Tracy Hickman will be writing a new novel for Underworld Ascendant.
We are thrilled to announce that Tracy Hickman is lined up to write a novel for Underworld Ascendant. Tracy is a best-selling fantasy author, known for the Dragonlance series, the Death Gate Cycle and Apogee of Fear to name a few. He also co-wrote with Richard Garriott, Blade of the Avatar, the book that tells the story behind Shroud of the Avatar.
Tracy’s talents as a fantasy author, together with his deep experience with gaming and close collaboration on Shroud of the Avatar, a world connected to ours, make him ideally suited to write the Underworld Ascendant novel. The novel is going to be set several generations before the game takes place, and tell the story of how a band of Dark Elves from the land of the Shroud of the Avatar passed through a magic portal to make an exodus into the Stygian Abyss. It will tell of their trials in this harsh and dangerous underworld, and of how they carved out a place for themselves.
The game still needs to get funded first, and has 14 days to go.
Underworld AscendantSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Astral Terra - January Dev Update
It looks like Tethys Interactive is still working on Astral Terra. After the failed kickstarter I thought the game was finished. Here is the latest developer update from January.
Greetings fellow gamers, apologies for the delay in updates. We had some very tough family things that we went through recently, and now Amy and I are expecting parents (we’re actually adopting). Anywho, thanks for having patience and understanding and supporting us! While its been slow, I and two other developers work on Astral Terra daily.
The good news is Multiplayer is now functional in a limited capacity. The bad news is we have had a couple developers over the last 6 months come on board very enthusiastically, only to find out later they couldn’t actually do the work they were hired for and then they just disappear – which is a major factor in our recent delays. It’s unfortunate but we are still new at this business and also overly optimistic so I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. Anywho, Terraform tools are now networked we just have a few nasty bugs to sort out before we push the update to you guys. Our new networked method is a bit limiting in some ways as well so while its working, we are trying to make it better before letting you guys try it out. We brought on a new developer last week, Addison, who is also a Unity enthusiast and skilled programmer, in order to speed up the process of getting this update into your guys hands and also getting the Alpha to Steam. Once we get this character and mob syncing issue sorted out we’ll post some new screenshots of the MP in action, as well as some of the new content players can use/buy/craft. Farms now grow, special enemies now spawn at night instead of the day, attacking mobs works more consistently now, new spells have been added and a plethora of other things have been refined or added. Thanks again for your patience, we will have another update for you guys soon!
Astral TerraSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Gamasutra - RPG Game Design Essentials
Gamasutra reposted an article from 2009 with writer John Harris who talks about 20 RPGs that are essential to all RPG designers. He uses a mix of WRPG, and JRPG games.
In the latest in his popular Game Design Essentials series, which has previously spanned subjects from Atari games through 'mysterious games', 'open world games', 'unusual control schemes' and 'difficult games', writer John Harris examines 10 games from the Western computer RPG (CRPG) tradition and 10 from the Japanese console RPG (JRPG) tradition, to figure out what exactly makes them tick, and why you should care.
The Memory of Eldurim - Boss & Magic Update
Liminal Games released the next weekly update for The Memory of Eldurim on Steam that adds a new boss to the game, and makes a few change to the magic system.
Weekly Update 2/18/2015
-New Boss: Arboreal Warden.
-Arboreal Warden area reworked.
-Reworked Ikhor Sickness Mechanic.
-Weapons now affect spell effectiveness.
-Armor now affects Ikhor dispersion rate.
-Fixed various bugs including the door crash.
The tree boss is back. He is still in his first state and we will likely see him get tweaked as time goes on. There are some minor collision issues and we do want to add in a large health bar for all boss fights, as right now he is so large it is tough to see his health.
The changes to Ikhor are going to allow us to get a lot more done in the way of spells. We have already begun work on several additional spells and future updates will bring them your way.
We are going to start work on balancing the game. Nearly every value of damage and health will be addressed.
The Memory of EldurimSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
GamesIndustry.biz - Greg Zeschuk Returns
GamesIndustry.biz has news that Ex- BioWare Dr. Greg Zeschuk is now the new chairman of a mobile focused developer called Biba based in Vancouver, Canada.
Zeschuk is now the chairman of Biba, a Vancouver-based developer making mobile augmented reality apps that work with playground equipment. Today the company announced a partnership with recreational equipment company PlayPower to create a line of Biba-compatible playgrounds.
"Biba's mobile games designed for outdoor play are just a breath of fresh air," Zeschuk said. "PlayPower and Biba are creating a new category, an inventive way to blend our new media habits with the health benefits and joy of active outdoor play. I am inspired by the category as a game designer and father."
Serpent in the Staglands - Beta 2.01 Patch
Sorry about the late post as Whalenought Studios has released two new Beta patches for Serpent in the Staglands this month. Here is information about the latest patch.
Beta 2.01 is up! V-Sync options and Spell hotkeys are some updates to note.
Download instructions in the last email if you missed it, otherwise Windows can just be opened and patched.
Serpent in the StaglandsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Shadowrun: Hong Kong - A Game You Can Trust
A website by the name of Clipping Error published a new article with their opinion about why the Shadowrun Hong Kong is Kickstarter you can trust. Here is a short sample.
Okay, so why is Shadowrun Hong Kong a Kickstarter you can trust? The reason is, Harebrained Schemes have earned our trust. Shadowrun not only created a big fan base for itself, it built up an audience that knows and loves the developer. People trust developers that deliver on their promises, and Harebrained Schemes have done nothing but deliver. In short, you can trust Shadowrun Hong Kong because of the people behind it. I’m not saying Pete Molyneux was untrustworthy, but a lot of people have said that he has a proven track record of failing in projects, but because he’s been around for so long people find it endearing.
Shadowrun: Hong KongSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Worlds of Magic - PC Version Gone Gold
Wastelands Interactive sent out a press release with information the PC version of Worlds of Magic has gone gold, and talks about the PS4 console version.
Worlds of Magic PC Version Gone Gold, PS4 version Announced
Worlds of Magic - a 4X turn-based strategy game from Wastelands Interactive has just reached the Gold Master status on PC platform and developers announced that the game will also be released on PlayStation 4
February 19th, Lodz, Poland - Exactly a month before the planned release date on PC Worlds of Magic – a 4X turn-based strategy game being the true spiritual successor of classic Master of Magic, has reached the Gold Master status on PC. That’s an excellent news for all fans of the game who will finally be able to purchase it’s final version on March 19th this year. But developers don’t forget about gamers owning PlayStation 4 console and confirming that the game will also be released on this platform in Q3 2015.
You can buy the PC version of the game now via Steam Early Access visiting Worlds of Magic product page HERE or you can also support developers directly and buy the game from their store HERE.
Worlds of Magic will be the first 4X game ever released on PS4 console and developers confirm that there will be no changes in content or features comparing this version to the PC one. The PS4 version will be released by a Polish publisher Teyon: http://www.teyon.com
Worlds of MagicSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
SW:TOR - Choose Your Path Trailer
BioWare Austin released a new trailer for SW:TOR called, "Choose Your Path."
Watch the new Choose Your Path gameplay trailer and be the legendary hero or epic villain in your own Star Wars adventure in Star Wars: The Old Republic!
SW:TORSP/MP: Single + MP
RPGWatch - Distant Star Beta Key Giveaway
Well I have a special treat for everyone today as I was given a generous amount of Beta keys to giveaway from the Marketing Manager of Blazing Griffin Scott Boyd.
Now here is a brief description of the game as its not an RPG.
Distant Star: Revenant Fleet is a real-time, space-strategy game for PC, featuring fleet-based combat with persistent ship upgrades in a dynamically generated galaxy.
In Distant Star: Revenant Fleet, you take control of the last remaining ships of a near-destroyed A’kari fleet, and must rebuild your forces as you battle through ancient, galactic battlefields towards a final showdown with the Orthani.
Like RTS? Like roguelike? Like space? This is the game for you!
Distant Star: Revenant Fleet combines fast-paced RTS gameplay with roguelike elements. You can mix and match your small fleet of ships, upgrade their weapons, gain experience, new skills and traverse the galaxy, system by system, experiencing a series of mission types. Each sector in the galaxy and the missions within each system are dynamically generated so each playthrough is a different experience. Story events offer you a range of choices which may affect whether or not you are attacked (or you attack your enemy), are rewarded or the option to upgrade your ships.
So to celebrate just write what you like about the game, and I will randomly select a bunch of winners to announce at a later date. Good luck everyone.
Thursday - February 19, 2015
Underworld Ascendant - Update #13 & #14
OtherSide Entertainment released two more kickstarter updates this week for Underworld Ascendant. The game still isn't funded, and has made $472,668 of the $600,000 goal.
The OtherSide Entertainment team describes player authored experiences and the vision for the Underworld Ascendant improvisation engine.
The kickstarter campaign still has 15 days left to get funded.
Underworld AscendantSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Spiderweb Games - Interview @ Venturebeat
Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Games was interviewed on Venturebeat this week. The focus of the interview is about how he made made 22 games in 22 years. That's a lot of games.
GamesBeat: Is this the infamous basement I’m seeing behind you?
Jeff Vogel: No, no. For the first 18 years, all of our games were written in my basement, but two years ago, we moved into a nicer new home. Now I get a room on the main floor. All my comic books and old video games and Magic [the Gathering] cards are on shelves all around me, just to make me feel comfortable and enfolded.
GamesBeat: What got you started in the business?
Vogel: I’ve always been compelled by games and puzzles. I started out probably by drawing mazes for my parents to solve when I was 5 years old. I was born in 1970, so this is just about the time that computer games were being invented. I remember my dad coming home from a bar and saying, “Hey, Jeff, I saw this cool thing that you might like, it’s called Pong.” As soon as I started playing video games, I was immediately just compelled by them. As soon as I got the chance, I learned to program. I started programming games, I think, when I was 8, 9, [or] 10. It’s always been a compulsion.
Edge Of Eternity - Why Use Kickstarter
Midgar Studio's next update for Edge Of Eternity answers a few questions for backers about why the developer used kickstarter, and how they will be using the funds.
We saw many questions about the financing of the project and about our goals considered by some of you as kind of low compared to other projects.
First thing important is that we are not proposing a project “to be” that will start with the funding. This new EoE project is on for more than a year now. There is still a lot (really a lot) to do to provide you the full game we have in mind, but a lot has been done already too. We developed an internal framework that now allows us to be very efficient and productive and we are also using technologies like Unity that are a real time saver for developers.
Another very important point is that the core team, the 4 of us, is already funded through the investments we got (personnal, family and friends) and previous missions. Midgar Studio exists since 2008 and we worked hard for external customers to build up the budget that allowed us to start Edge of Eternity.
So what is the money for then?
Well, our small team built what we believe are strong basis for Edge of Eternity but of course we need some reinforcement to make it the great game we want.
Our stretch goals are calculated to fulfill specific missions and answer specific needs. They are based on estimated workloads distributed on the dev time of the project.
The first 44k$ are mostly meant to bring more art into the game. We will use them to add talents to our animation and character design team. It will also give us some resources for a part time writer that will work on dialogs, sub-quests and stories and make planet Heryon even more living.
The second goal at 60k$ answers to the 2 to 3 months dedicated development needed to provide you PS4 and Xbox One versions. More coding/programming skills will be added to the team with a new team member specificaly in charge of consoles versions.
The third goal would allow us to spend some game design time on Nekaroo Breeding and would also give us some budget for more time of our new artits and programmer friends.
It is the same for the fourth goal that would give us budget to develop a special craft system and even more art and coding time, as well as writting.
All the upcoming recruits we are mentionning are already around. They know about the project and even give an hand on their spare time from time to time. They are in the starting blocks, fully operationnals.
Finally, the last goal is, as you know, meant to fund our partnership with M. Mitsuda that will propose us around 10 pieces of music including the opening, main theme, character themes, battle themes…
Sword Coast Legends - Dungeon Master Tools
Cheat Code Central has a new article for Sword Coast Legends that asks if we are finally getting the Dungeon Master Game we all Deserve? What do you all think?
Many of us nerds for life have at least experimented with pencil 'n' paper RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons, so it's no surprise that video game designers have been trying to re-create that kind of experience since the dawn of the digital age. It started with the idea of the game designer being the dungeon master (DM), who creates an adventure and leads a player through it. When online gaming became possible, though, developers have been striving to offer players the chance to step in and use game-building tools to become dungeon masters themselves.
Although various games (from various Neverwinter games to the modern Shadowrun RPG) have provided us with limited dungeon master tools, I have yet to find a toolset that allows players to easily create and run a game for friends. Most toolsets have required coding skills or have simply been difficult to learn and clunky to operate.
Enter Sword Coast Legends. This newly-announced game promises not only a full RPG created by veteran developers, it aims to give players the tools they need to actively DM a game without knowing how to code. It's set in the popular D&D Forgotten Realms universe, so there's already a wealth of content and lore for adventure creators to work with. It uses the fifth edition of the D&D ruleset, which was tailor-made for video gaming. Heck, it's even scheduled to come out this year.
If this sounds too good to be true, I don't blame you. I've been through this song and dance before, too. Still, online technology has come a long way since the original Neverwinter Nights, and making a user-friendly set of DM tools is now more of a social and interface issue than a technological challenge. I'm excited to follow the development of Sword Coast Legends, and I hope it does the things it needs to do in order to get dungeon mastering right.
Beamdog - New Blog Updates
Beamdog has some new updates on their blog that may interest a few of you. The first post offers an overview of the new areas for the Enhanced Editions of Baldur's Gate.
When we created new content for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition and Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition, we had to develop new areas for your hero to explore. Creating new content for the Infinity Engine isn’t easy due to its complexity, but it all starts out with some squiggly lines scrawled on a whiteboard.
The second post talks about a new patch for Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.
Beamdog is happy, excited, and proud to announce the upcoming release of the Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Update 1.4. We don’t have a specific release date yet because of the nebulous nature of the update approval process, but we expect the release to happen sometime in the next few weeks. When it does, we’ll post the release notes on the forum and make an announcement here on the Beamblog with the highlights of the update.
What you can expect to see is over 100 improvements and fixes in Update 1.4. Many of them are minor because, let’s face it, the game rocks pretty hard as is. We know how irritating minor glitches can be, though, so we’ve designed the update to address those issues. The release notes will list all the fixes as well as the new features available with the update.
Dead State - Review @ Cliqist
Taylor Woolstenhulme of Cliqist published a new review for Dead State this week. Based on the tone of the review he enjoyed the game, and called it interesting.
If you’re interested in a well-written CRPG, and you’re willing to look past the occasional glitch and somewhat repetitive gameplay, I highly advise you to pick up Dead State. I enjoyed my time with the game, and the developers have released several patches so far to curb the bugs. The next patch is supposed to add in new content alongside the bug squashing, and I’m curious to see what they plan on adding in.
Dead StateSP/MP: Single-player
DA:Inquisition - Beta Patch 5 released
Trasher reminded me today the new Beta Patch 5 for DA:Inquisition was released.
Sign ups for the PC Patch 5 Beta program are now closed. If you have successfully entered the program, please go here. Please note that it may take up to 24 hours for your entitlement to take effect. If you're having trouble accessing the private beta forum, try logging out and logging in again, clearing your cache, and restarting your web browser.
DA:InquisitionSP/MP: Single + MP
Hand of Fate - New Q&A @ Player2.net
Kim Allom the Associate Producer of Defiant Development did a new Q&A with a website called Player2.net, and talked about the developers new game Hands of Fate.
“What do you hope to achieve with this game that will perhaps be unique and help separate it from everything else?”
We feel as though Hand of Fate is something people haven’t seen before because it’s a mash of so many different mechanics. These include deck building, rogue-likeness, board and card game inspiration and action. But we employed some clever design systems that catered for the wider audience e.g. auto fill your deck (for those who aren’t interested in the deck building sides of things).
“Is there an overarching story to Hand of Fate and, if so, was it difficult working that around the roguelike components of the game?”
It was quite challenging coming up with a story line for Hand of Fate. Although important, it it came second to gameplay at the time. In the end we came up with something that made sense and could be implemented given the established game systems. You’re essentially an adventurer who is replaying the memories of a former life and you’re trying to save that life which is currently in limbo.
“Did you find it difficult to acquire the necessary fundraising to complete the game?”
Funding has always been difficult for indies. We’ve been lucky enough to secure contracts (big ones include Ben 10 Slammers and Ski Safari: Adventure Time with Cartoon Network), government support and Kickstarter funding to get us across the line.
“Is there any chance of Hand of Fate existing in a physical form or would any changes required render it too different from their vision?”
For some of our lucky Kickstarter Backers, we promised and designed a bite-sized tabletop version of Hand of Fate using tarot cards that feature game art. Unfortunately this was exclusively for Kickstarter backers.
Hand of FateSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Card-Based RPG
Darkest Dungeon - New Gameplay Stream
Red Hook Studios hosted a new live gameplay stream on Twitch.tv, and as usual most of us missed it. So today they shared the recorded version on the games website.
If you happened to miss the dev stream on Twitch, don’t worry so did I but I got you covered.
Darkest DungeonSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Severed Winds - A 2D Episodic Turn-Based JRPG
I found out about the following game on the Square-Enix Collective website. The game is called Severed Winds, and got enough votes to get help with crowd-funding.
Severed Winds is an episodic JRPG. It is a turn-based RPG that combines the old-school feeling with ideas that are completely new and fresh. One of those ideas is the concept of Episodic storytelling. We aim to deliver a story that will keep you absorbed and evoke an emotional attachment to the world and the characters in a way that will leave a lasting impression well after playing the game. The game will be filled with cliffhangers leaving you eager to play the next episode.
Indie RPGsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
The Banner Saga - Failed Publishing Deal
Digitalspy has information about why Paradox passed on publishing The Banner Saga.
Speaking at its annual Paradox Convention, vice president of acquisition Shams Jorjani revealed the core principles that "define the soul or character of a Paradox game", which include replayability, deep and demanding gameplay, allowing players to tell their own stories through their actions and offering modularity so the base game can be updated in future.
Jorjani pointed to its line of grand strategy games such as Crusader Kings 2 as examples that "perfectly embody" these elements, and said why games such as The Banner Saga, Xenonauts and Pid didn't make the cut.
"These games were essentially filtered out, in part, due to them not matching our pillars," he told attendees including Digital Spy.
"The Banner Saga is a wonderful game, I love it, it's one of the most gorgeous games I've ever seen, but it's not a Paradox game.
"It doesn't have the depth that we were looking for at the time. There's a lot of money to be made in a lot of games, but it's not always our money to make."
The Banner SagaSP/MP: Single + MP
Witcher 3 - New Interview & Game Details
Gamepressure interviewed Adam Badowski, the Managing Director of CD Projekt RED.
How did the development team respond, when during that key phase of the development, a period of another three intensive months was added? Were they relieved, or would they rather already be done with the game?
Honestly, I really enjoy talking about the atmosphere within our studio, and have nothing to hide. Surely, the entire team is working really hard, and with such a large group, despite what you may think, not many people have direct contact with the final version, nor do they have a time to play it. Basically, the team is consumed with fixing bugs, and doesn’t really know about the actual phase of the production. When the delay was announced to the developing team, the first reaction was the fear of letting our fans down. However, the disappointment didn’t come from the fact that we have more months of hard work ahead, as many believed that we would make it in time. Obviously, there were some who were tired, as a delay meant more months to be spent working on the project. Everyone wants to do their best, but with such hard challenges it’s not merely a matter of wishful thinking – it means that even more effort must be put in. What is more, the state of the game is unpredictable, the Witcher 3 is so complicated, that we get surprised on a daily basis. Even presentation to the press has revealed to us several things we have yet to improve.
I also have some new gameplay details from the games forum.
I gathered a new info from this polish Q&A (made by the guys who played the game, without RED's participation) and articles from unrelated websites for the sake of clarification about certain subject matters. Some of it you may already heard about, but I'm sure there will be some new things for you as well.
Neverwinter - Elemental Evil Release Date
If any of you still play the F2P Neverwinter MMO the developer has announced the games next expansion called Elemental Evil will be released on March 17th.
Neverwinter: Elemental Evil Launching March 17
The Forgotten Realms will soon be overrun with the Elemental Evil cults when Neverwinter: Elemental Evil launches for PC on March 17.
Along with the new Paladin playable class and level cap increase, Neverwinter: Elemental Evil’s storyline will see the return of Minsc & Boo – the ranger and miniature giant space hamster from the Baldur’s Gate series. The fan-favorite duo will be assisting players on their journey to discover the true nature of the Elemental Evil cults.
With the largest update to-date, Neverwinter: Elemental Evil brings a new playable class – the Paladin – that increases the playable classes count to eight. Players looking to create Paladins will be able to choose a focus on healing or tanking builds. The new module will also increase the level cap from 60 to 70, which brings a new set of quests, feats and slottable class feature powers.
Neverwinter: Elemental Evil also continues the partnership with Wizards of the Coast as Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment maintain a one-to-one release cadence with the official Dungeons & Dragons storylines. Neverwinter players will journey through new adventures as they fight the newest threat to Protector’s Enclave – the Cults of Elemental Evil – which are also present in the upcoming tabletop adventure release, Princes of the Apocalypse.
Neverwinter is a free-to-play action MMORPG that features fast-paced combat and epic dungeons. Players explore the vast city of Neverwinter and its surrounding countryside, learning the vivid history of the iconic city and battling its many enemies. Neverwinter is currently available on PC and will be launching for Xbox One, available free-to-play with Gold in early 2015.
For more information about Neverwinter , and to play now for free, visit http://www.arcgames.com/en/games/neverwinter
Wednesday - February 18, 2015
Tahira - Kickstarter Launched & Greenlight
When she left, Tahira intended never to return to Avestan. In her mind, she had absolved herself of her father, her title, and any responsibility to the people of the kingdom. However, she never expected to receive a desperate message from her father. A message warning of a vast army using ancient technology to sweep across the land, and crush those in their way. A message begging her to return home.
Now, her father is dead, Avestan lies in ruin, and it falls to Tahira to lead what remains of her people away from this devastation, to find a new home.
A story-driven RPG with a modern take on turn-based tactics gameplay
Tahira is first and foremost a game that tells a story. The combat gameplay is balanced with equally important narrative scenes, in which you'll have the opportunity to engage with the people following Tahira.
The combat itself doesn't rely on the classic 'we all move, then you all move' formula of turn-based tactics games. Instead, unit turn order is determined based on each unit's speed. The player can then further manipulate turn order by jumping one of their units to the front of the turn queue - for a cost.
Tahira has been covered previously in Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun.
• A character-driven story featuring a bitter, drunk merchant and a swaggering mercenary power-couple.
• Rotoscoped character animations, creating a realistic, hand-drawn appearance.
• Hand-painted environments showcasing the bittersweet beauty of a dying world.
• A modern twist on classic turn-based tactics incorporating unit fatigue and a dynamic turn queue.
• Scenarios ranging from scrappy fights between a couple of soldiers to epic sieges where the player must manage multiple fronts.
• Persistent upgrades, allowing you to adapt your forces to suit your style.
• An atmospheric soundtrack composed by Max LL that incorporates the sounds and textures of Central Asia and the Middle East.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
RPGWatch - Elminage Gothic Review
Forgottenlor explores Elminage Gothic, in all its unique and often frustrating wonder.
Have you ever gotten whole walnuts in their shells? Have you ever had to crack them? If you've had that dubious honor, then you've come across that one walnut shell that doesn't want to be cracked. You squeeze with all your might. You shift its position in the nutcracker. Finally the walnut explodes. Shell and nut fly everywhere. The nut inside is excellent, but somehow you wonder if it was worth the effort. Elminage Gothic is that nut. Many won't understand why people would take the trouble to play it, while others will consider the trouble validated by the results.
Elminage GothicSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Sword Coast Legends - New Update Posted
Dan Tudge released a new community update on the forums for Sword Coast Legends.
My name is Dan Tudge and I’m the director of Sword Coast Legends and president of n-Space. We’re all very happy to be finally be sharing SCL with the world and are very thankful that you have chosen to be a part of its creation. We've already seen a lot of questions on the boards here and while there is much we can’t talk about I’m going to do my best to answer what I can.
Grim Dawn - Build 24 & Chapter 4 Update
Crate Entertainment announced this week in a new kickstarter update for Grim Dawn they are ready to release Act 3 Chapter 2, and will release Act 4 this summer.
The release of Build 24 draws near, which will unlock the second chapter of Act 3 and what might have otherwise been the end of the game. However, when we began building Act 3, we found that there was just too much that we wanted to include for one act. Thus, we have expanded Act 3 to include new story content, quests and a faction (the Black Legion) that were not part of the original plan and some content originally planned for Act 3 has been pushed into a new Act 4!
We're still planning to create an expansion after release, so this basically means you're getting a lot more content in the first release for free. Thanks to your generous support and our continued early release sales, what was originally intended to be a 15 hour small-scope ARPG has grown into probably 30+ hours (first-time play-through estimate for average players). The new act will feature an extension of the story, more quests, frozen mountain passes, alpine valleys, a sprawling fort, burning battlegrounds, necropolis, catacombs and the chthonic void!
Some more details are included in the latest Grim Misadventure on our forum.
You can expect Build 24 with Act 3 chapter 2, by the end of February. We plan to release B25 with the updated faction system and other goodies, probably in March or April. The follow big content release, Act 3 chapter 3, will probably release in May and feature faction questing between the Order of Death's Vigil and Kymon's Chosen. Act 4 will begin rolling out in early summer. Despite the announcement of a new act (and there's more to come) we still plan to finish the game before the end of the year.
Grim DawnSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Enderal: Shards Of Order - Mod Interview
Bethesda interviewed Johannes, and Nicolas of the Sure AI team on their Beth Blog.
How many folks are working on Enderal?
Nicolas: Altogether, we’re 14 people on the core team, of which around eight spend a lot of time on the development. Then, there are a lot of external contributors, mainly 3d artists, and, of course, voice actors and a German recording studio, 2day Productions, who help us with the localization.
For fans of Skyrim, what do you think players will appreciate most about Enderal’s world?
Johannes: Enderal has a different feeling, a different “flair” in comparison to Skyrim – which also results in it feeling more like a separate game than a mod. We spent a lot of time on the creation of an interesting world, and in total, I’d say that Enderal´s world is a little bit more “European”, especially when it comes to cities and locations. We draw a lot of inspiration from medieval places and cities in Germany and Europe in general. There’s also something hidden everywhere, be it a quest, an interesting sight or a dungeon – that altogether makes exploring Enderal a lot of fun.
What would you say is radically different about Enderal when compared to Skyrim?
Nicolas: The story and leveling/skilling mechanics. The story, because it puts, in general, more emphasis on “mature” themes — as in politics, philosophy and psychology — and the the leveling system because Enderal has no level scaling and learning-by-doing anymore. Instead, the player has to traditionally gather experience points to level up, which can be done by killing monsters, exploring, completing quests, or being witty in dialogue.
That allowed us to reward the player for a variety of accomplishments, rather than just combat. When leveling up, he (or she) then gets skill, perk, and crafting points which he can use to improve his character. The “perk system” has also been entirely overhauled — to the point that we use a custom menu coded in flash instead of the beautiful “star-menu” – and is now a mixture between a traditional class-system, which still has all the advantages of a sandbox-system.
To sum it up: While fans of Skyrim will also like Enderal, it is different. You could say that it is a traditional RPG mixed with hand-crafted design and a beautiful, open world to explore, tactical and challenging combat, and an emotional, psychological story that differs from the usual.
Edge Of Eternity - Game Funded in Two Days
Edge Of Eternity has managed to get funded in two days, and has made $45,562 of the games $44,000 goal. The campaign has thirty two days left to make more.
We can't believe we already hit our first Stretch Goal. Edge of Eternity is officially coming to PC, Linux and Mac!!
We don't have enough words to express how thankful we are!
It's a small thing but many of you have been asking for the music of our video. That will be our "celebration mini gift" :
Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Campaign Finished
Harebrained Schemes is happy to announce the Kickstarter campaign for Shadowrun: Hong Kong is now over, and the game has managed to make $1,204,726.
We really shook the pillars of heaven, didn't we? You rule. You really do. We are really blessed to be associated with such a wonderful community. Thank you.
Shadowrun: Hong KongSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Witcher 3 - Aims to Be Better Than Skyrim
Well if you feel like reading another article that claims The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be better than Skyrim then head on over to GamesRadar for a new opinion article.
CDP RED has a near-mythical status as an RPG developer for delivering on the kind of promises it’s been making throughout The Witcher 3’s development. In seven years and two games, it’s grown from an unknown game dev arm of a localisation company to a triple-A studio with teams in both Warsaw and Krakow, working on two hugely anticipated titles (Cyberpunk 2077 is still a relative unknown) across three platforms. That wouldn’t have been possible if it didn’t have the talent to deliver its bold claims. Watch out, Dragonborn: Witcher is coming.
Planet Explorers - Build 0.87 Released
There are a lot of things that still need work in the Planet Explorers alpha, but I think going into a0.9, we all knew that we needed to upgrade the combat system dramatically. We started with the animation and went from there. Pretty much all the key animations have been changed, now the player character will have different animations for hit, run, dash, different weapon types (staff, crossbow, dual wield, etc.), and much more. We've also included IK and ragdoll animations to give variety to all the different animation sets. We tried to make it so that the player isn't fighting with the controls. One thing we're making optional is the ability to attack where the player clicks.
On the AI side, we rewrote/modified the entire behavior tree, plus lots of new animations as well. We want the AI to feel smarter, to be able to dodge swords and bullets, to engage the player more naturally instead of always facing the player and throwing different attacks at a percentage rate as before. We also added in IK hit detection so that each hit from the player generates a visual response from the body of the AI.
Finally, we wanted the combat to have more oomph. Players getting hit by large attacks will fly a long way. Players getting hit with a smaller attack will show reaction from the part of the body that's been hit. We're still in the progress of modifying the camera and the UI so that they show a corresponding reaction with each hit, we'll show off these as they come online. With all of that added together, we hope the combat will become a more satisfying experience for everyone.
Planet ExplorersSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development