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.
Raphael Sbarge - AKA Kaidan Alenko Talks Mass Effect 4 by RedSocialKnight
Guido Henkel - Interview @ The Nerd Cave by Zerotown
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - Update #24, and 25 by Siran
Van Helsing - Gameplay Video @ Softpedia by Couchpotato
Diablo 3 - Stay Awhile and Listen by TheMadGamer
Monday - May 13, 2013
Diablo 3 - Bug Profits Donated to Charity
Blizzard announces that all profits made by Diablo 3 players who exploited the gold-multiplying bug will be donated to charity.
So, What Happened?
Shortly after we released patch 1.0.8 in the Americas on Tuesday, players discovered a bug that allowed gold to be duplicated via the real-money Auction House. The bug was the result of a coding error that was exposed when we increased the gold stack size from 1 million to 10 million. This resulted in an overflow on cancelled auctions that yielded a greater amount of gold in return. Only a relatively small number of players had the billions of gold necessary to exploit the bug, and only 415 of those players chose to use this exploit for personal gain.
So, What's Next?
Many people bought and sold items and gold on the Auction House on Tuesday. We're making sure that all legitimate transactions go through. This means that if your account was not involved in the exploit, you will get to keep your items and gold, as well as any money you received from sales on the real-money Auction House. We'll also be donating all proceeds from auctions conducted by the suspended or banned players—including all of THEIR sale proceeds that we intercepted as well as our transaction fee—to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
Information aboutDiablo 3
SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
NWN2 - Baldur's Gate: Reloaded Mod
Baldur's Gate: Reloaded is a fan-made tribute and remake of the original Baldur's Gate using the Neverwinter Nights 2 engine.
The project started in November of 2006 and has slowly progressed since then towards completion. Our team size has varied throughout the course of development from as many as 5 members to as little as 1 member.
The planned release date is June 1, 2013. Both expansion packs to Neverwinter Nights 2, Mask of the Betrayer and Storm of Zehir, are required to play.
Contact Drew Rechner (http://www.facebook.com/drew.rechner) for any questions, comments, or concerns.
* This not-for-profit project is in no way affiliated with Bioware or any applicable parties and is a fan tribute to a great RPG experience. Basically, we love Bioware and Baldur's Gate and want to pay tribute to a great developer and a great game!
SP/MP: Single + MP
Sunday - May 12, 2013
Cube World - A Voxel-based Exploration RPG
This new game was brought to my attention in our news box. It's called Cube World, and looks like Minecraft fused with an RPG.
Extended Cube World FAQ
Q: When will Cube World be released?
A: I'm currently tuning and fixing everything but I don't know how long it will take and can't estimate a release date.
Q: How many people are working on this game?
A: I started this as a small hobby project in June 2011. Since May 2012 we are a team of two developers.
Q: Can I help with programming, graphics, sound, music etc?
A: Thanks, but I want to do everything by myself.
Q: Which platforms are supported?
A: Currently just Windows PC. Mac support is planned in the future.
Q: Which games inspired you?
- Minecraft: Endless random world made up of blocks
- Zelda, Secret of Mana, Landstalker, Monster Hunter and more: Style, gameplay, overall feel
- Diablo, World of Warcraft: RPG elements
- And many more
Q: Which features do you still want to add?
- Player customization: I'm planning to add player customization whith different faces, hair styles etc.
- Classes: I'm planning to add a mage class next and more classes in the future
- Different playable races
- Quests: A variety of different quests
- Items: Different weapons, armor and other items
- Building: Different blueprints and materials
- Weapon/Armor upgrading system
- Different pets
Q: Is there multiplayer support?
A: Yes, you can do everything in the game cooperatively with friends. I can't say anything about maximum players per server because it still needs to be optimized and tested.
Q: Will you add mining/building/crafting?
- I'm not planning to add mining or digging.
- House building is supported.
- I will probably add a crafting system that allows you to craft weapons and armor from loot dropped by monsters.
Q: How do you create this game?
A: I've programmed everything with C++ and DirectX (OpenGL for the first version). For the voxel sprites, I created my own voxel editor.
Q: Will the final game still be called "Cube World"?
A: Probably not. It's currently just the project name. I'll have to come up with a new name soon.
Q: Will it be free?
M&M: Heroes VI - Shades of Darkness Review @ Softpedia
Softpedia has a review of M&M: Heroes VI - Shades of Darkness. Word of warning it's not positive. I can't blame though after the release the game became unplayable again.
The game was billed as a standalone expansion and was supposed to be easily downloadable via the much lauded Uplay service from Ubisoft.
As soon as the new content was launched, players who bought it started complaining that they could not access it at all or that it was only playable in its most basic form, with no sound and no cutscenes.
The team behind Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness announced that all problems would be dealt with quickly but, at the moment, there still are significant issues with the game despite the fact that one patch was launched.
It’s hard to recommend a video game that fails to perform its most basic functions, from a company that is willing to take players' without giving them a quick and simple way of running the purchased product.
If we ignore the launch problems, which might be solved at some point in the future, Might & Magic: Heroes VI – Shades of Darkness fails to deliver any sort of important innovation for the series and delivers a rather bland, over-developed campaign and tactical battles that are spectacular at times but rarely capture the magic of the series.
Heroes of Might & Magic fans should pick up and replay the second and third games in the series and their expansions to get their dose of turn-based tactics and strategy.
Information aboutM&M: Heroes VI
SP/MP: Single + MP
Delver's Drop - Roguelike Zelda
Shacknews has a small preview article on the funded ARPG kickstarter Delver's Drop.
What if a Zelda game went on forever? Pixelscopic, the studio behind the indie game Delver's Drop, conceived of a classical action RPG in the vein of the Zelda series mixed with elements from roguelikes. The result is a promising project that, even in its unfinished state, blends familiarity with longevity.
The "drop" in the title references the progression between stages, as your hero travels ever-deeper into the dungeon by dropping through pits in the floor after solving puzzles or battling enemies. Indie studio Pixelscopic showed off the "Endless Drop" mode at PAX East. The studio is working on defined dungeons with exact level layouts, but Endless Drop randomly mixes levels. The feedback was mixed.
Pixelscopic hosted a successful Kickstarter campaign for the game in February and early March, just before it showed the game at PAX East. It ended up doubling its goal of $75,000, shocking the team.
"We set the goal based on what we needed for the base game, but we also thought it would be the upper reaches of reality," Utter said. "You know, we're an unknown studio, none of us have worked on blockbuster AAA titles. So we didn't have a lot of the things in our favor that a lot of the Kickstarter successes have. I thought we could get to 75 [thousand] but I thought it would be a grind."
Now that it's funded, Pixelscopic is being careful not to rest on their laurels. They mentioned that they don't want to go dark until release, so they're keeping active through their Steam Greenlight and the official site and forums. Most recently, it announced monthly streams of the game to be showing on Twitch leading up to the release.
Delver's Drop is aiming for a full release in October on PC, Mac and Linux, with plans for mobile and Ouya in February 2014.
Jagged Alliance: Flashback - Update #15, World Economy
It's time for yet again another update for Jagged Alliance: Flashback. This time it's all about the Economy of the game. Sounds interesting.
At the core of the economy we will go with a single currency similar to JA2 - moneh!
Discussion in the team about different options with multiple currencies all turned out to make the game way too complicated and not that much fun at all. Why? Easy one: That’d add a lot of unneeded micromanagement and players would spend way too much time with doing math on how to change this amount of that currency to another one to gain maximum profit. And to be honest: We’re making a game, not a geo-financial simulator.
So we will stay close to what Jagged Alliance 2 did, where you gain perpetual income from controlling sectors, solving missions, selling items and so on. And you will need that cash because your mercenaries need to be paid, militia needs to be trained and your base needs to be fortified. And with that system we are also going to balance the cashflow: Costs of fighting a war versus income gained from your sectors. But we’re also thinking about having some sectors which will cost the player money.
On this tropical island of San Christobal income sources are
- Taxes from controlled villages and towns
- Controlling sectors with production facilities like factories, banana plantations, opium poppy fields, brothels, ice cream trucks etc. These replace the “mines” from JA2
- One-time revenue from missions, intercepting drug traffickers, selling weapons, used condoms and so on
We have the idea of letting faction loyalty have an influence on incomes. If you are in bad standing with the drug lords, then running a drug producing facility will give you lower income as workers will be nervous all the time for retribution. Being good friends with local population will give you a little higher tax from towns as people will like you and work a little harder, therefore generating more money.
Control over a sector is exerted by you starting to train militia and/or fortifying it. The heavier controlled, the more control and the higher upkeep. Although training militia and fortifying the sector won’t be cheap.
Money is also spent on your mercenaries. Similar to JA2 you will hire mercenaries for a given period of time and you have to renew their contracts. Bringing in mercenaries loyal to other factions is possible, but might cost you a little extra. And some mercenaries simply will refuse to join you as long as you a rooting for the opposing faction.
An idea up for discussion:
- We are thinking about making some sectors a money-sink. For example a military base or a hospital. Because these things can become quite expensive in terms of maintenance.
- You can lose control of some sectors if your faction loyalty shifts.
- Roads and otherwise “empty” sectors cannot be controlled by anyone and thus cost no upkeep.
So nothing revolutionary here besides the faction loyalty being an influence. Your decisions about who to support will also be a decision about the money in your wallet.
Lords of the Fallen - To Be Shown at E3
Electronics Entertainment Expo is almost upon us . That means we'll soon be getting new information about RPG's. One RPG will be Lords of the Fallen. It's the new RPG from Tomek Gop.
E3 approaching great strides (less than a month), so more and more often we hear announcements regarding what developers will show at the party. This time it was the turn for CI Games, creators of the popular series of Sniper: Ghost Warrior.
CI Games at E3 2013 will show you a new game Tomek Gop (creator of "The Witcher"), which is, of course, on the next RPG-genes, as well as the presentation of hands-on action packed games sci-fi FPS, Alien Rage, known so far under the title Alien Fear.
Neverwinter - Video Preview @ GameTrailers
Game Trailers has a four minute video preview of Neverwinter.
What should you expect from the new free-to-play Dungeons and Dragons MMO? We raided the Neverwinter beta to find out what sort of beast this is.
Release: In development
Saturday - May 11, 2013
Kotaku - Memorable Pre-Rendered Backgrounds
Kotaku has a new article on the most memorable pre-rendered backgrounds in games. Now he lists a few RPG's, but doesn't mention any Infinity Engine or Fallout titles.
Pre-rendered graphics weren't only used in complex cinematic cutscenes back in the day when a game's own 3D engine couldn't do the job. Developers also used them as in-game backgrounds to bypass graphical limitations. And some of the games had really well-made, atmospheric pre-rendered backgrounds.
Squaresoft and Capcom preferred these a lot in their PS1 games in the late 90s, but it wasn't just them. With minor differences—some games had a combat screen in full 3D, for instance—other developers also took advantage of this method.
And it had a good run, until video game engines started to become much more powerful and were able to handle camera angle changes and real-time rendering.
Gamasutra - Ignore The Debate On Story Just Make Better Ones
I posted a similar article from Gamasutra earlier, but this time the director of UC Santa Cruz's Center for Games Michael Mateas has a different message. It's quite simple ignore the debate and just make better stories. RPG developers should take notes.
The End of the Debate
He spent time recounting the debates academics and designers have -- on whether games should have stories at all -- with a certain wry humor borne of the fact that he clearly finds the debate tiring, and a distraction from actually doing work.
"We all know that there's this often-discussed fundamental tension between gameplay and story. That story seems the opposite of what games are supposed to do. These quite heated religious battles have haunted the game design community for decades -- around if and whether games should have stories in them," Mateas said.
"Yet against this grim background we're seeing a Renaissance of work in interactive storytelling," Mateas said. "We've seen creators create a lot of interactive stories that work, in the sense that people are playing them."
He took a very broad view of what work is being done (Among other games, he alluded to The Walking Dead, Cart Life, Howling Dogs, and Spec Ops: The Line.)
"Indie and mainstream games are happily and visibly exploring many solutions to interactive storytelling," Rather than continue the debate, look at a game, he said, and evaluate it: "is it functioning as an interesting aesthetic object? Yes, it is! Let's move on."
It's Important to Take What Works
Mateas argued that you must put that debate to the side and accept that "maybe there's this bigger space of playable experiences -- things that you can play with, that afford play, that aren't strictly games, and there's a bigger space outside of that that are interactive experiences."
There's a good reason for this: Even if you argue these narratives aren't strictly games themselves, the "tropes and techniques are being brought into the inner circle of games."
"Wherever boundaries blur you have people wanting to defend the boundaries," he noted. "I'm saying, 'Let it blur!' This is how interesting innovation happens."
This is how you reconcile the "grim philosophical debate" with the "lots of interesting work people are doing."
The problem, he suggested, is that many designers have been trying to come up with One True Definition of what an interactive story is -- "a single definition of what is story, and the magic approach and theoretical framework that would allow us to interactivize that story," Mateas said. "The debate around storytelling has stalled because frankly I don't think this theory exists. There is no such thing as 'what is story and how do you solve it,'" which he described as "a very engineering mindset."
Rather, he said, "What people who are working in interactive story are doing is to turn to specific historically grounded storytelling traditions" that come from other media, and are rich enough to build on.
Strategy Informer - Knights of Pen & Paper Preview
Knights of Pen and Paper takes you into a tongue in cheek RPG fantasy world, in the true dungeon & dragon’s fashion. What’s great about this game is more of the narrative presentation than anything else - essentially you as the player play a bunch of players playing an RPG. The table where you guys are set up acts as your ‘avatar’, and moves around the world as you do, and there’s even a dungeon master narrating as you go along, whilst your other ‘player’ fires out random comments, both in and out of character. It’s all very meta and amusing, and it leads to an unusually rewarding game.
You get to control both the players and the Dungeon Master – the players choose where they go, and what quests the want to go on, but using the Dungeon Master you also get to customise the quests you go on, and the number of monsters you fight in each encounter. The more monsters you choose, the more bonuses you get but the harder it is. All of your players have abilities depending on their class, and who you have actually doing the role-playing. At the beginning of a new game, you can only afford two characters, but as you earn in-game currency you can buy up to three more (for a total of five) any time you want, and you can customise each slot to try out different party configurations.
The only other thing that could really make Knights of Pen and Paper better at this point would be some kind of multiplayer mechanic, in keeping with the Dungeons and Dragons theme. Would be a bit of a challenge mind you – it’s not like you can all control an individual character and do your own thing with it, the lovably simplistic design means that options for what you can do are actually pretty limited. One thing we will say though, and this is more of a comment on the changing face of the industry than Knights specifically – with the rise of mobile and tablet gaming, I can’t help but feel games like Knights of Pen & Paper are starting to feel... out of place, on the PC. At the end of the day, Knights of Pen & Paper started out in the mobile space and is porting over – which is fine, there’s nothing wrong with that, but I personally can’t help but feel that I wouldn’t really play games like this on the PC anymore. FTL is another game that I feel the same about, which is PC-only at the moment. Great game, with compelling design, but it’s not something I’d want to sit at my PC and play. Again it’s nothing major, but this is a trend that’s starting to shift who plays games on what.
Knights of Pen & Paper is a simple, fun yet smart game, and there’s no reason that its success on the mobile platforms can’t translate to the PC. The only real question is how they handle the inflated pricing that PC games usually get, even ports of mobile games, and whether there’s enough content to justify it... but now that they do have a PC version, they can easily add in more stuff that current mobile platforms just can’t handle, so either way good times should be ahead. Not that it’s within our remit, but it is worth mentioning that for those of you who already own the mobile version, they’re working on a way to get you to be able to upgrade to the +1 version for free, so hang tight. Knights of Pen & Paper +1 Edition will be rolling a D6 onto PC, Mac and Linux in Q2 2013.
Information aboutStrategy Informer
BioWare - Why Mass Effect Only Had Humanoid Squadmates
OXM has an interview with Bioware, and asked why every character in MassEffect is Humanoid. Simple answer time and money.
"In Mass Effect 3 we had a moment where the player took on the role of Joker during the Normandy assault," Everman recalled.
"Similarly, we'd planned on having the player take on the role of a Quarian scientist before Tali's loyalty quest, and a colonist on Horizon during the Collector attack. It was a bit controversial to not be Shepard, and we thought it better to put the development energy into other places."
"Yeah, we always start with some fairly radical ideas when we're putting together a level or gameplay sequence," Gamble elaborated. "For many of these, what you see in the end product is a result of constant iteration and transformation of these ideas.
"In certain circumstances, we like to explore some of these ideas more in DLC. The car chase mission, in Lair of the Shadow Brokers, was something new that we'd wanted to try for some time, and found a perfect venue for it in that DLC."
BioWare once gave serious thought to adding a non-humanoid squadmate, but eventually decided that the effort involved would detract from the rest of the game. "We knew some races would figure prominently in the storyline," Hudson explained. "So they had to function like the human characters, be able to carry a gun, etc. But we also wanted a sense of "other aliens" around the periphery - species that may eventually play a major role but are really there to suggest that there's an exotic universe out there.
"For Mass Effect we developed a set of additional aliens, that would mainly be featured in the Citadel. Each developed a bit of a following, so over the series we found ways to make them play more important roles."
"All party members needed to use a humanoid skeleton," Everman added. "If we'd ever tried to use a non-humanoid, the cost would have been huge. Instead, we took all the development effort that we could have put towards an odd squad mate and made a larger, more polished game."
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)
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
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
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.”
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