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July 19th, 2007, 04:06
While turn-based CRPG fans fall into depair at the lack of releases, the handheld market might be the place to go. Mike Anderson looks at D&D Tactics for the PSP and speaks to senior producer Lawrence Liberty in a short interview:
Of course the obvious feature prominent in the game is tactical turn-based combat. This is where the bulk of the game is spent - you can explore the terrain freely, but as soon as you encounter enemies you switch to a turn-based system in which you might be caught flat-footed or gain an attack of opportunity or other things that can only happen in a D&D game. Combat rounds begin with calculating initiative and then move right into each player getting turns to move, use items or engage in combat. You have the ability to create several different types of characters - from the standard Warrior and Mage to the oft-overlooked Psion and Psychic Warrior, obviously imbued with the neglected Psionics skills.
Those who read The Whole Game in My Hand may have already seen this article but if not, it's worth a look - especially if you've avoided handhelds in the past.
Read it all here.
More information.

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July 19th, 2007, 04:06
It's funny / sad that TB games are available for handhelds but not the PC (at least, not new commercial titles).

Not that I have a problem with handhelds, but I'd rather keep my gaming to one platform for simplicity.

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July 19th, 2007, 04:20
Me too, but don't forget, Cleve has promised to release Grimoire this year, and it's a TB game!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 19th, 2007, 04:42
Apropos of D&D.

Also, no offense, but that article has a bit of spotty writing
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July 19th, 2007, 05:11
Looks good. What is all this talk of multiplayer and downloads? That can happen on a console? I'm old and can't handle this new fangle-dangled technology. Any word anywhere about this going on pc?
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July 19th, 2007, 14:28
I asked (about the possibility of a PC version) and the presumptive answer is 'no', but they are waiting for the developer to confirm.

As for some of the dodgy writing, two things I hate about non-hands on previews are (a) how dependent you are on the developer and publisher and (b) the extent to which you are guessing.

I have played entirely too many PSP games (over 80 PSP reviews at GamerDad and more games I've not reviewed) and the overwhelming majority have issues related to controls, camera angles and load times, and most of the RPG's in specific are great ideas on paper that come off weak in reality. I can't help but have that color my opinions going into this, and with some of the concerns I have heard voiced about the game previously that turned into 'soft opinions' in my preview.

On downloads and multiplayer, the PSP has fully integrated WiFi with two modes - a PSP-to-PSP wireless connection that is called 'Ad Hoc Mode' and works pretty much within ~30 feet. Then there is 'Infrastructure Mode' which is Internet WiFi - heck, the PSP has a Web browser after all! Most games feature Ad Hoc multiplayer features, but some have Infrastructure mode.

Infrastructure mode would allow true 'Team Corwin' style multiplayer, since the PSP also supports headset communications in-game. Unfortunately it is much harder to implement - but in a turn-based game it is just sad that it didn't make the cut.

Downloads would have allowed you to create new dungeon maps and share them over the internet. The PSP has a memory stick for storage (comes with 32MB but since 1GB sticks sell for ~$20 now most people have at least that much) and can hold game patches and so on. For example, a 3rd person shooter Killzone Liberation recently sent out a whole new single player mission set and also implemented Infrastructure multiplayer via web-download patches. It is quite nice.

And Roqua, all modern consoles are internet ready - my kids have a Wii and it is on our wireless LAN and can download stuff as needed.

— Mike
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July 19th, 2007, 17:45
If you're in the UK and want a hands on preview, Atari are holding a 'first to play' event on 27/28th July:

http://forums.eu.atari.com/showthread.php?t=62777
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July 19th, 2007, 17:56
That is cool for those of you in the UK! I'll be grabbing this when it releases on July 31st (I never assume a review copy unless told explicitly), and am very much looking forward to that.

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July 19th, 2007, 21:45
Well, it's too bad the outlook for a pc version seems slim to none, but I wish therm success—maybe they'll make enough $$$ to want to move to the upscale, larger-than-a-wallet sized machines later on.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; July 19th, 2007 at 21:45. Reason: forgot the smilie
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July 19th, 2007, 22:48
Looks good and I'm buying it the day it comes out (or thereabouts). I'm hoping, in terms of gameplay, of something like a ToEE-lite.
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July 25th, 2007, 14:16
Well, apparently the release has been pushed back … again. It was supposed to be July 31st but is now supposed to be the 14th of August. Ah well …

— Mike
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August 3rd, 2007, 18:29
Interesting interview at Pocketgamer UK:

Do you feel confident you've succeeded in achieving what you presumably set out to do?

I think the team at Kuju have done a remarkable job in capturing the feel of the pen and paper game, perhaps better than any previous CRPG implementation of D&D. The fact that it is on a handheld makes the achievement all the more remarkable.

The game had initially been slated for a 2006 Christmas release. What has caused the delay and what has the team been focusing on since?

The main reason this happened is that the scope of the title was not fully appreciated until it was too late. This is a deep 40- to 60-hour RPG. Stabilizing the multiplayer game proved to be the most difficult and time-consuming aspect of the production effort, and perfecting that component has been the focus of our development effort for the past six months.
… only a couple of weeks more now …

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August 3rd, 2007, 21:02
Not having played on a hand held, I may be displaying a slew of ignorance here, but isn't playing a 40 to 60 hour game—multiplayer no less—a bit uncomfortable, like to the point of carpal tunnel syndrome? Obviously you aren't playing 40 hours at a stretch, but to get through that long a game has got to call for some pretty long sessions. I can't imagine punching the little buttons on my cell phone for over twenty minutes at a time, for instance…I'm impressed that people are able to have this kind of dedication, not to mention coordination.

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August 3rd, 2007, 21:56
The thing about playing 40+ hour games on the PSP (or DS) is posture. You are inherently looking down and have your hands in unnatural positions. The*good* thing is the complete ease of taking breaks. I find it much easier to regulate my sessions on handhelds than on the PC.

And there have been plenty of 40+ hour games on the handhelds, some up to 100+!

— Mike
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August 5th, 2007, 21:33
Doctors will be pleased to get new customers.
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August 5th, 2007, 23:38
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
Me too, but don't forget, Cleve has promised to release Grimoire this year, and it's a TB game!!
But is it really, really, really coming out, or is it really, really, really coming out… Maybe?
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