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Drakensang: The Dark Eye - All News

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Box Art

Wednesday - August 10, 2011

Drakensang: TDE - German Platinum Edition?

by Dhruin, 10:03

Alrik writes in to say he spotted a reference to a Platinum Edition of Drakensang. Presumably it will contain DraSa/TRoT/Phileasson's Secret but the link doesn't reveal much - although the expected date is the 12th, so we might find out soon.

Thursday - July 14, 2011

Drakensang: TDE - Complete Saga Edition for NA in Sept?

by Dhruin, 00:09

It looks like the US will get a "Complete Saga Edition" for Drakensang, Drakensang: The River of Time and Phileasson's Secret, possibly in September. Here's the post from a dtp rep on their forums:

ValuSoft will publish a Complete Saga edition including The Dark Eye, River of Time and Phileasson’s Secret in the USA. The release is planned for the 20th September of 2011. As far as i know, they are still deciding whether to publish it online only or also as boxed product, they have rights for both.

Thanks, Alrik!

Wednesday - December 01, 2010

Drakensang: TDE - Ergo's Fixpack Mod v1.8

by Dhruin, 21:49

Ergonpandilus posted the final version of his Drakensang "Fixpack" mod a few days back.  Here are the changes and you can read all about it on our forums:

Changelog
v1.80 Final
- New icons for my items by Zalpha
- Added The Witch Hat (*5)
- Fixed some issues with install.bat
- Changed hit zones to follow P&P rules (*11)

Friday - July 24, 2009

Drakensang - Wakthrough @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 23:11

GameBanshee has released their walkthrough of Drakensang, offering their usual pictorial breakdown of each location and quest in the game.

Wednesday - June 10, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ VGBlogger

by Magerette, 19:55

The Watch's Mike Anderson (txa1265) has another review up at VGBlogger, this one a positive and detailed look at Drakensang.

Here's an excerpt regarding character customization:

I have heard people complain that you cannot customize your lip color and eyebrow thickness in Drakensang as you can in games like Oblivion. My advice to those who feel that way is to go pick up a copy of Fashion Designer and leave the role-playing games to the role-players. To me character customization is about choosing the characteristics of the character you will be portraying in the context of the game, abstracted to some level. The appropriate level of abstraction depends on the focus of the game - in some games (such as Gothic) you get no choices at all, you simply start off and develop as you go; in others (such as Sacred) you choose from preset characters without ability to alter any characteristics; still others allow you large amounts of appearance options but fewer choices about your character’s stats. Drakensang allows you some minimal changes to the appearance of your character, and in my mind it was appropriate for the game type.

The real job of character customization and development is much deeper than merely setting up the appearance of an avatar, and itself forces you to make choices that will have far reaching effects through the game...

Monday - June 08, 2009

RPGWatch Feature: Two Drakensang Reviews

by Dhruin, 12:24

We have two full Drakensang reviews online today, from Gorath and Corwin with some additional comments from other editors.  Both articles ultimately form similar opinions, although Gorath played the German version and therefore experienced the original text and voiceovers.  Here's an except from Gorath's view:

Drakensang takes place on the continent Aventuria; a nice and friendly mix between a carefully designed medieval and a fairy tale world - the grass is greener and the flowers are more colorful than in other contemporary RPGs. All the cliché fantasy races are at home in Aventuria. So far so unspectacular. Thank god there's more behind it. Radon Labs breaks the cliché with a couple of slightly weird characters and consequently light-hearted dialogs, written in mildly old fashioned language. The comedy elements aren't overdone though - they'll put a smile on your face every once in a while and give the atmosphere more personality.

As you can see, that's quite a contrast to the dark and serious RPGs out there. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the story - one of the PR hooks was the involvement of four original The Dark Eye authors. Sounds great – but couldn't they have come up with something more sophisticated than “The ancient evil wants to take over the world. You must stop him, oh chosen one!” ? Not terribly creative. Both the writing and the subplots are generally well made and keep the player interested, though, and this solid execution lifts Drakensang's story and writing above the average.

Read the full article here.

Here's a sample from Corwin's view:

Once an NPC becomes available to join your party you can exercise complete control over their development and deployment. Character development was, for me, one of the highlights of the game.  In most rpg’s I’ve played over a great many years, a key aim was to reach a new level through the garnering of experience so your character could improve their skills and/or attributes. In the TDE system, you can upgrade or learn new skills, spells, whatever, at any time if you have sufficient experience points available. Need to boost your sword skill, or increase your strength, or agility? You can do it on the fly with each and every character as a need arises. It’s a marvellously flexible system and I loved it.

...and read this one all here.

Thursday - June 04, 2009

Drakensang - New Hotfix 1.11 (German)

by Gorath, 07:18

dtp and Radon Labs released hotfix 1.11 for the German Drakensang: The Dark Eye. It fixes loot problems and walking speed issues.

Saturday - May 30, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ ComputerGames.ro

by Dhruin, 01:14

75/100 is the score for Drakensang in a review at ComputerGames.ro:

Drakensang is interesting and can keep you glued to your seat, but its replay value isn’t quite as high as it could have been and the sometimes overzealous difficulty can be a turn-off for newcomers. There aren’t too many reasons for a second playthrough, especially since the game is quite long, but not necessarily because it offers huge amounts of content, but due to the various design elements that artificially increase the play time (the movement speed of the heroes, for instance).

Source: Blues News

Monday - April 13, 2009

Drakensang - Ergo's Fixpack Mod v1.5

by Dhruin, 00:09

Ergonpandilus has released v1.5 of his Drakensang Fixpack mod.  Here are the latest changes:

v1.5
- Much darker dungeons
- Advantages and disadvantages of fullmages totally changed *9)
- Same for party member mages too (Jost and Gwendala)
- Lower starting values for magic talents. Still same as before if specialized.
- Bandage and Golmoon Tea are now 2.5x more expensive.
- Weapon balsam charges increased to 50
- Whetstone DP increased to +2
- Minor bugfixing and sql script cleaning

A sameple screen of the dungeon darkness and a link to the file can be found in this thread on our forums.

Thursday - April 09, 2009

Drakensang - Ergopad's FixPack v1.4

by Dhruin, 00:45

I can't remember if we've mentioned this before but GameBanshee member Ergopad has updated his FixPack for the English version of Drakensang.  The pack contains localisation fixes, balance tweaks and other changes.  Here's the latest log:

v1.4
- Lot of localization fixes related to special ability descriptions
- Major changes to special abilities' XP costs *7)
- Offensive- and Defensive Combat abilities bonuses lowered (+1,+2 and +4).
- Master Parry texts fixed and ED cost reduced to 10 (from 15)
- Master Throw will have proper learn price, different requirements and will also cause a wound
- Power Throw will now stun and ignore armor. *8) Was just weaker version of Master Throw.
- Miscellaneous small fixes related to Special abilities
- Changed monsters' Sweep Attacks to be dodged only (no parry)
- Added PA(and DV) penalty to some monster special attacks
- Removed XP gain penalty, due the new balance changes and feedback from users

v1.31 (hotfix)
- Fixed items not showing in stores
- Removed test script

Note that starting a new game is required for some of these to take effect.

Wednesday - April 08, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ Eurogamer

by Woges, 19:12

Kieron Gillian reviews Drakensang on Eurogamer. A review score of 7/10 means he likes it a lot apparently.

Drakensang is a fine RPG which looks better than it is, due to the relative dearth of similar games on the PC in recent times. As far as reasonable-budget party-based RPGs go, it's detailed enough to fill the months until we see whether Dragon Age is going to live up to BioWare's legacy. And if Dragon Age fails, RPG fans will have no shame in returning to Drakensang's rock-solid, dependable arms of holding. I like it a lot.

Monday - April 06, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ GameSNAFU

by Dhruin, 23:03

Also at GameSNAFU is a review of Drakensang.  It seems a little old-school for the reviewer who feels the standard dead-reload mechanism is harsh.  Camera and other "polish" issues are mentioned for a score of 3/5:

Once you leave the initial quest hub village you are introduced to the games combat system starting with its simple woodland critters. Combat takes place in real time but it is governed by a transparent turn based system. This is obvious when you see all your characters performing actions in unison with noticeable gaps between attacks. At any time players can press the space bar to pause combat and issue individual orders to your party members. This allows you to fine tune your battles and make tactical decisions. The system works very well and the only real downside is that combat looks and feels a bit boring. While this is beneficial to those that want more time to make choices without constantly pausing, more action oriented players will feel underwhelmed.

Drakensang - Review @ Boomtown

by Magerette, 17:57

Boomtown is next to post a review of Radon Lab's cRPG, Drakensang:The Dark Eye, giving it an overall score of 8/10 and calling it " A genuine slow burner that gets more enjoyable the longer you play it:"

Virtual life in Aventuria kicks off at a fairly gentle pace, with a succession of easy quests accompanied by appropriate tutorials that introduce various aspects of the game without overwhelming you with information. The interface, party dynamic, character progression and combat mechanics are all showcased in this way, and thanks to some interesting quest text it's a relatively quick and painless journey upon the game's learning curve. In terms of the types of quest available, there's nothing here that breaks the mould - collection, courier, escort, and kill quests are all in evidence, but again thanks to the writing most of them feel like they are in keeping with the spirit of the game, rather than some arbitrary chore.

Conclusion:

...unless you're the type who is impressed by graphics or sound, Drakensang isn't likely to win you over immediately with its charms, as it requires an investment of a few hours play before things really start to get interesting, both in terms of the enemies you will face and the development of the main story. But for my money, it's time well spent, as it succeeds more often than not in recapturing the spirit of some of the more highly regarded CRPG titles of the earlier part of the decade.

Source: Blues News

Saturday - April 04, 2009

Drakensang - Reviews @ Digital Spy, Bit-tech, VGR

by Dhruin, 12:43

A trio of Drakensang reviews via GameBanshee - all of them with mediocre outlooks.  Here's a list:

An example from Bit-tech:

The party-based combat system is more akin to an RTS than an RPG though. You can select any one of your party members to use a specific spell or you can group your forces however you want, focusing or dividing attacks however you want. Combat is pretty slow, to the point of almost being truly boring, with enemies and allies taking ages to go through the right motions. Indeed, many people that watched the combat remarked on its mundane pace.

In the early stages of the game we felt the combat also lacked tactical depth too. Few of the spells intermingle with one another such as debuffs, bleed effects or spells that make an enemy susceptible to a particular type of magic. Instead, you're left with the feeling that it’s a case of ‘cast spell x for x amount of damage’ or case ‘spell y for x amount of damage’ but with a different animation. This simplistic nature, coupled with the slow pace and way battles are spattered with inane auto-responses that your characters say as you issue a command, makes the whole process pretty dull.

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - April 02, 2009

Drakensang - Reviews @ GamePyre, GameSpot

by Dhruin, 12:29

GamePyre has a very positive review of Drakensang, although unfortunately, the article has a number of factual errors such as being based on D&D and having a multiplayer mode.  The score is 87% and here's a snip:

If you are a fan of RPGs, then Drakensang is a game that you must try; it even has a multiplayer mode where you can join your friends in completing quests and solving problems. It is a very detailed game so you should allow for some adjustment time and I would strongly suggest that you make multiple saves and that you save often. I know I've found a good game when I keep making excuses so I can play it. If I ever end up with enough free time, Drakensang is going to be one of those games that I will play over and over again. I like my basher a lot, but I think I can make an even better archer. As for you, you might like mages or alchemists or even necromancers; the possibilities are nearly endless in this game for if you like RPGs, you will find a character that you can call your own in this game.

Over to GameSpot who find the game good but not great, with too many finicky stats.  The score is 7/10 and here's a grab:

Drakensang's story and setting have been compiled from so many fantasy novels, movies, and games that Drakensang will initially cause deja vu. You play a stereotypical hero who starts off as a nobody, yet soon becomes a legendary adventurer as the fulfillment of--yep, you guessed it--a prophecy. Everything here seems to have been randomly pulled out of the grab bag of RPG cliches. Gruff but lovable dwarves, hippie elves who just want to be left alone, mysterious messages from old friends, rampaging goblin hordes, and forgetful mages who are mirror images of Gandalf make up the cast of characters in the medieval fantasy land of Aventuria. As with timeless RPGs such as Baldur's Gate, you manage an entire party of up to four adventurers. Quests are many and feature myriad goals that run the gamut from keep-busy jobs such as killing a white wolf and tracking down a stolen diadem to cleaning out a crypt of the undead and solving riddling rhymes. Just about the only touch of originality comes from the main plotline's focus on dragons, which at one time ruled the world before a scaly civil war.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - April 01, 2009

Drakensang - Wins Deutscher Computerspielepreis, Collects Phat Loot!

by Gorath, 00:51

The Deutscher Computerspielepreis is a new award created by the industry, backed by the German government and parlament, and supported by the Bavarian government. The country was represented by the secretary of culture, Bernd Neumann, the Free State of Bavaria by governor Horst Seehofer.

Everybody who knows how critical games are seen in Germany can estimate the political and social importance such an award has.

Drakensang: The Dark Eye won the main award, Best German Game. The award comes with a €150,000 purse.

 

Congratulations to publisher dtp and developer Radon Labs!

Monday - March 30, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ Play.tm

by Dhruin, 22:17

UK site Play.tm has a review of Drakensang, with a score of 82%.  Most of the piece describes the mechanics, so here's the summary:

Drakensang is very nearly brilliant and the perfect game for those who miss party-based RPGs; which are seemingly becoming quite rare compared to the deluge of first-person RPGs a la Fallout 3 and Oblivion. It has its flaws, the controls are far from perfect and it is a little complex at least initially. But I found Drakensang very refreshing in its complexity. It doesn't patronise the gamer, but it still allows for a less experienced RPG player to enjoy the game. If you want to avoid some of the complexity, simply use a pre-made character and avoid the crafting system and you will enjoy the experience. If you want to be very hands-on, you can do that too and start a character from scratch. Drakensang offers around 40-50 hours of gameplay depending on how many side quests you tackle, meaning there's plenty to be getting on with, and with a well written storyline and surprisingly good visuals, it really is a noteworthy all round package.

Friday - March 27, 2009

Drakensang - First Impressions @ RPS

by Dhruin, 23:42

With the late UK release of Drakensang, the crew at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have only just been able to sample the early levels of the game:

Yes, it’s a fantasy role-playing game. Which everyone knows, means push-up bras. Drakensang is comfortable with its existence as a FRPG. It never tries to be anything else.

But no, it’s not going to be one of those slightly-strained “Oh, God, this is so immature/sexist/whatever” sort of pieces of eye-rolling. It’s just making clear everyone understands that this isn’t a progressive smart forward-looking RPG. This is an RPG which embraces the conventions of the genre with every part of its body and soul. Its read the Dragonlance books. It cried when Flint died. It cares deeply about that Spoiler. In the five hours I’ve played, I’ve faced death itself in the form of giant rats. Repeatedly. I’ve taken a break from pursuing escaping assassins through a maze to break open every barrel I pass to collect individual pints of beer and even skin some rats. I’ve been in four taverns.

Is this a problem for you? Drakensang totally isn’t for you.

Me? I’m a big ol’ geek. I enjoyed it a lot.

Wednesday - March 25, 2009

Drakensang - UK Release Date PR

by Dhruin, 21:15

GameBanshee received a press release from Eidos, confirming this Friday the 27th as the release date for Drakensang in the UK:

Eidos Interactive unveils Drakensang: The Dark Eye – an epic RPG for PC due out 27th March 2009

Wednesday 25th March/... Eidos Interactive can confirm today that Drakensang: The Dark Eye, published by DTP Entertainment and distributed by Eidos Interactive in the UK, will be released nationwide on 27th March 2009. Already a smash hit in Germany, where Drakensang: The Dark Eye (which translates as ‘Dragon song’) is a beautifully crafted, single player role-playing game (RPG) which offers a huge and engrossing campaign plus an intuitive combat system set within the mythical medieval world of Aventuria.

Source: GameBanshee

Saturday - March 21, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ Strategy Informer

by Magerette, 17:31

Strategy Informer posts their review for Radon Labs' rpg, Drakensang:The Dark Eye, scoring it 8/10:

...You start off with your character on the way to meet a friend, and then all of a sudden you’re fulfilling one of those pesky destinies you’ve been trying so hard to avoid all your life. Don’t you just hate it when that happens? Still, one could argue it’s a time-proven formula. Along the way you meet up with several NPC’s who can become ‘followers’ of yours, and who you can recruit up to 3 to form a party with you. These followers are a diverse range of races, skills and characteristics, in order to allow you to specialise your character more fully without worrying about the fact that you can’t use magic, or a bow. Most characters also have their own side story that surrounds them, and being the unfortunate soul who asked them to join you, you’ll most likely end up having to deal with their problems.

Conclusion:

If you were to summon Drakensang into one word, it would be ‘good’. Unfortunately, that’s all it is, whilst the story is well thought out and executed, there’s nothing new or exciting. Combat isn’t particularly ground-breaking either. All in all, it takes several hallmark traditions, makes it their own, and re-creates them well, but doesn’t do much that’s new. Hardcore fans of the series will enjoy this game, people who like the old school RPG’s will also enjoy this game. Heck, even people who just like a good story, or fancy some offline action for a change will find this game enjoyable. Just don’t expect it to do anything different.

Source: Blues News

Friday - March 20, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ GameZone

by Dhruin, 11:28

A new review for Drakensang is online at GameZone.  The reviewer seems keen to point out he likes online RPGs but still awards 8/10 in the end:

Now this is a pretty big game; I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the twists the storyline does take. For all its cliches the game manages to get some things by you that you simply won't see coming. This is why the game is worth picking up. Many of you RPG purists will spot lots of things that look and seem familiar, but at the end of the day, the game will sate your appetite for all things swords and sorcery. If there is one thing that may be viewed as a problem, it is that you can become embroiled in other side quests, some of which are long and tough, losing sight of the game's overall objective. I thought this was a players' prerogative type of thing, but there are some gamers who want to be led around by their nose while adventuring only to stray from the path temporarily. Not here, you can really get off the path to he point where it may be hours and hours (possibly days, depending on how much you play) before you get your ship steered in the right direction. Again, player preference, but still needs to be noted.

Source: Blues News

Monday - March 16, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 21:25

Brother None pens GameBanshee's official Drakensang review, which spans an extensive five pages.  The story, pacing, ease of combat and shallow companions all come in for criticism, although the quest design and general level of polish result in a score of 8.2/10.  Here's a snip:

Dialogue and quest design actually improves as you go along, with the dwarf mines containing some of the best quests of the game. A variety of resolutions and testing of player skill for quests remains fairly constant, but does peak in certain short parts later on, and you'll suddenly find your social skills are pretty damned useful. Heck, for two major invasions into enemy strongholds later in the game, the game actually encourages you to try and sneak in unnoticed rather than go in swords swinging.

This approach of keeping design at the same level throughout is really refreshing, and makes it worthwhile to play the game through to the end. However, the game does feel a little on the long side. Some sequences are a bit too familiar later on, making you wonder if a more focused, slightly less sprawling approach to length would not have been better. Particularly, a lot of time is filled by walking, as discussed, which is an absolute disaster, and much of the rest of the time is filled in combat, which is nearly as bad, but more on that below.

The review is included with their newly-launched Drakensang sub-site, with an equipment database and ruleset details.

Thursday - March 12, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ Cheatcc

by Dhruin, 20:56

A favourable review of Drakensang is online at Cheatcc, with a score of 3.7/5.  Here's a snippet:

In an RPG, it's all about the gameplay. The story doesn't make or break the game, but a good story is always coveted. Sometimes a weak story can be overcome by good character development, with good dialogue and voice acting. Dark Eye's presentation is very good, certainly worth more than the thirty-dollar price tag. The story is good… it's not great, but the characters more than make up for it. There is a discernable difference when compared to recent Japanese-produced RPGs. The focus is entirely on the single-player experience. The characters are less exuberant and cocky, and they're not anime. However, they are still standard RPG characters. As cliché as they may be, there's a sharp vein of humor that runs through the presentation, letting us know the developers are aware of having to include these traditional characters to remain true to the genre. Dark Eye is not a comedy, and when things get intense, the mood gets very dark. Adhering to the proven, manic RPG formula, the developers work their magic within this framework. They did not attempt to reinvent the wheel in terms of gameplay, but they've rust-proofed and lubricated it so that it rolls along just fine.

Thanks, Grandor Dragon!

Tuesday - March 10, 2009

Drakensang - Now Steam-y

by Dhruin, 12:36

Nikus writes that Radon Labs' Drakensang is now available on Steam for those in the appropriate locations.  That doesn't include Australia, so I can't link to the page - here's their newsbit, though.

Tuesday - March 03, 2009

Drakensang - GamersGate: Manual Available for Download

by Gorath, 21:39

The missing Drakensang manual is now available on GamersGate. It's a 52 page pdf, and if it's based on the German manual it's actually quite useful. Check your GG accounts.

Thanks, Bladeheart

Drakensang - Wins BIU Sales Award

by Gorath, 02:00

dtp sent out a PR that they have won a BIU Sales Award for Drakensang: The Dark Eye. BIU Sales Awards are given to games selling at least 100k units on one platform on the German market in the first twelve months after release. dtp's / Radon Labs' RPG needed only 6 months to pass this hurdle.

Successful RPGs are good for our genre. And it's even better if the game is party based and comes out for PC first. ;)

Congratulations to Hamburg and Berlin!

Drakensang - Review @ PC Gameplay

by Gorath, 01:47

The latest PC Gameplay issue also reviews Drakensang. Their conclusion:

85%

Pro:

  • decent story
  • very strong atmosphere
  • tactical combat
  • good graphics

Contra

  • starts slowly
  • dialog system
  • moderate use of voice actors

"Drakensang is a not to be missed partybased RPG and the perfect game to pass the time waiting for Dragon Age."

Thanks, EDV!

Sunday - March 01, 2009

Drakensang - New Forum @ RPGWatch

by Dhruin, 21:39

We've added a fledgling Drakensang forum to our boards, so if you've picked up Radon Labs' game and want to talk about it or ask questions, head on over...

Saturday - February 28, 2009

Drakensang - Preview @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 22:40

A hands-on preview of Drakensang (yes, preview - remember the English version isn't out in Euroland) is up at Eurogamer.  It sounds like they they played through the demo portion and describe it as the "Volvo" of RPGs:

The first few lines of my notes aren't particularly promising: "Dragons. War. Dwarves, Elves, etc. Dwarves = angry, Elves = nancies. First nipple (male) approximately 28 seconds in."

The complexities are a little more subtle than that, but you see where I'm going. A dragon-like race is returning to Aventuria, bringing the usual cadre of miscreants along with it, and at some point it'll be up to you to stop it. When you've played as many fantasy RPGs as we have, it's not the most inspiring story. Happily, Drakensang does distinguish itself in other ways.

Thursday - February 26, 2009

Drakensang - Conspiracy at Ferdok Browser Game

by Dhruin, 20:46

A free browser game to promote Drakensang has been released.  Here's the word on Conspiracy at Ferdock from the official site:

Can’t wait for the Drakensang release?  Get a taste for Ferdok now! The Dark Eye browser game “Drakensang: Conspiracy at Ferdok” is now ready to be played (For Free) in English at http://www.tde-games.com

A little story spoiler? An unbelievable series of murders is rocking nocturnal Ferdok. Influential trader Ulwine Neisbeck fears attacks on warehouses and ships. By her order, you are looking for the culprits.  This story takes place before Drakensang the game and thus gives you a pre-emptive look into the world of Aventuria. 

Enjoy your trip, traveller

You'll need to register to play.

Drakensang - Review @ GamesRadar

by Magerette, 16:24

GamesRadar posts an extremely short review of Radon Labs' cRPG, Drakensang:The Dark Eye, giving it a 7/10:

After playing so many D&D variants, it’s easy to forget what a beast its game systems really are. We just found ourselves typing something about what a complex, very, very German RPG Drakensang is, but, really, it’s not. What it reminded us of most was our first time playing The Witcher. Both feature worlds that seem generic until you dive in a bit deeper, both open with a couple of chapters so boring that they could replace diamond as the drilling industry’s tool of choice, and both improve right about the time you’re ready to uninstall.

In the case of Drakensang, it’s not the big dramatic moments that make the difference, so much as a lot of the smaller details coming together. You finally start getting fights that demand more than just having everyone steam in, swords clanking. The fiddly, frustrating character development system never stops being fiddly, but you start to realise the benefit of the extra control – especially with a full party.

 

Tuesday - February 24, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ IGN

by Dhruin, 10:13

IGN has posted a three-page review of Drakensang - the first major English site to do so.  The execution is generally praised, although the reviewer found some aspects generic and the pause-based combat underwhelming:

Yes, it's unfortunate that the basic ideas are somewhat generic but the real disappointment is that they're used in a generic way. A scholarly wizard who accidentally causes a catastrophe because he's too focused on his studies? Yep, that's here. How about an overconfident rogue who constantly has to talk himself out of complicated situations with women and legal authorities? That's here too. When he's finally arrested for the one crime that he didn't commit, it's like, okay, I get it.

On the plus side, the story itself is well written, much more so than is usually the case with translated games. The situations are believable and handled in a way that engages your interest and encourages your sympathy. Whether you're simply offering a job to an old friend's servant or trying to soothe the anger of a vengeful and tortured elven spirit, there's a lot of emotional weight behind the quests and missions. You won't find quite as much freedom of choice as you would in, say Oblivion or Fable, but you do get a few chances here and there to pick sides or attitudes in a certain encounter.

Thanks, Avantenor!

Drakensang - Now on GamersGate

by Dhruin, 10:09

Surfing around for a digital version of Drakensang, I found GamersGate had just added it to their catalogue.  The price is $29.95 and the download is 3840Mb.

As an aside, it might be worth noting that GG recently moved to a client-free model, so that should make it easier.

Monday - February 23, 2009

Drakensang - Shipping in NA

by Dhruin, 20:13

THQ's ValuSoft doesn't seem to be in a hurry to send out a shipping PR for Drakensang, so Elkston writes in to do it for them - he tells us his copy just arrived via UPS.  From our forums, it seems stock is patchy so don't be surprised if you can't find it in-store.

Saturday - February 21, 2009

Drakensang - Character Archetype Update @ Official Site

by Corwin, 04:28

There's been an update to the character archetype section at the official Drakensang website. This time it covers 3 different types of mages; the Battlemage, the Healer and the Charlatan. They're all included under the one heading, so just read down the description.

Wednesday - February 18, 2009

Drakensang - Review @ Games Examiner

by Dhruin, 21:21

The first English web review of Drakensang we know of is up at Game Examiner, with a score of 82%:

While Drakensang might not be the most beautiful RPG you've ever seen, the graphics suffice, and it has much more depth than its low price tag of $29.99 suggests. While I normally cringe at the thought of voice acting in a lower-budget game, the voice overs in Drakensang are actually well done. And, while the writing isn't going to win any awards, it's as good or better than most RPGs.

Drakensang also has a way of really pulling you into the adventure and giving you a sense of story. As you approach the inn, you'll overhear an amazon woman arguing with the inn keeper, and on your way to investigating the mystery of the dark forest, you'll come across two bandits carrying a chest and arguing about which of them should carry the chest next. These small details really breath some life into an old school RPG.

Thanks, Avantenor!

Thursday - February 05, 2009

Drakensang - Updates @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 22:06

With the Drakensang English release almost upon us, the official site has four more monsters as well as the Tulamid Elementalist and Grimmtooth Castle.

Thursday - January 29, 2009

Drakensang - Update @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 20:11

More new materials at the English Drakensang site:

Just the name of the Dwarfen city in the Anvil Mountains evokes powerful images for many brave adventurer. Murolosh – ancient stone halls, weapons forged by the finest Dwarf masters, magnificent Dwarfen revelries. Very few Elfs and humans have even set foot there… Why? Head to our "Game" section to learn more.

Troll culture

The normally unarmed Trolls belong to one of the oldest cultures of Aventuria and can grow to be up to 13 feet tall. They normally use improvised clubs when angered and can make an adventurer’s life more than a little difficult.

Mystical Djinns

Djinns are elemental beings that either manifest themselves or are summoned to the human world. A Djinn’s upper body is often human in appearance, ending in the Djinn’s element. It takes great magical powers to summon a Djinn.

As usual, no direct links to the updates because of the silly Flash.  

Wednesday - January 28, 2009

Drakensang - Preview @ IGN

by Magerette, 17:27

IGN posts their impressions of the preview build of Radon Lab's single-player RPG, Drakensang:The Dark Eye and they're mostly positive. Here's a bit on character creation:

After the stylized opening cinematic, players are free to choose from a wide range of character archetypes, from sneaking thieves to bold warriors to know-it-alls from the local wizard college. Within most of the archetypes, you'll even be able to pick from one of three specializations. A spellcasting archetype then might skew more towards combat or healing magic, or might even represent a dropout from the program who can use minor magic but also benefits from increased social and combat skills. Race is its own archetype, so if you're interested in playing as an elf or a dwarf, your career options are limited to the three specializations for that given class.

If you're particularly brave, you can opt for "expert" character creation where you're allowed to rebalance your character using a point system. Given the wealth of skills, proficiencies, feats and abilities, it's probably best to stick with one of the starting templates as it stands. After a few hours of play, you'll have a better idea of how different character types function in the Drakensang world and will know how to tune your character appropriately. Characters with high Courage, for instance, will have a better resistance to mental attacks and sorcery and obtain a higher level of Astral Energy for casting spells.

Saturday - January 24, 2009

Drakensang - Preview @ GameZone

by Dhruin, 22:27

GameZone serves up a brief hands-on look at a preview build of the NA release for Drakensang:

The pause button will also be your best friend. Hitting the space bar allows the player to halt the game, change weapons, pick strategies, perhaps cast a spell, and so on. If you are equipped with a ranged weapon and the enemies get within melee range – depending on the melee weapon you have in your inventory – switching might not be a bad idea. Many of the opponents you face, even early on, are very social in nature – meaning that if you target one, you might get several. That puts this game on the tactical level very quickly. Don’t look for a way to dumb down the difficulty. In the build received, the game had one difficulty setting and that means you had best be on your toes from the start. Take baby steps into this world, explore and don’t try to tackle too much until you get better gear and have had a chance to level up a bit – this bit of advice should serve the newcomer to a game like this well.

 

Source: Blues News

Drakensang - Contest @ GamersHell

by Magerette, 17:21

GamersHell is having a Drakensang contest for their forum members. First prize is a copy of Drakensang:The Dark Eye and a G9 laser gaming mouse. Second prize is a copy of the game. The contest ends February 6 and requires forum membership and a post in this thread. Since THQ is sponsoring it, and they are the NA publishers. I'm assuming this may be an English language version of the game, but details are not given.

Thursday - January 22, 2009

Drakensang - Update @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 21:00

A new update at the English Drakensang site titled 'Tulamid elementalists on the march':

Summoning elemental servants is a specialism of the Tulamid elementalist. Trained at the “Pentagram Academy of Rashdul”, they are masters of the six Aventurian elements: fire, water, ore, air, humus and ice. At the academy, they learn to command the elements and summon powerful fiery companions from the elemental planes.

Find out about the “Tulamid Elementalist” and the two specializations “the Metamage” and “the Alchemist”.

Ever heard of Grimmtooth Castle? This ancient fortress is built on the mountain of the same name on the west coast of Aventuria. The land is currently full of rumors about recent events at the mighty castle.

As usual, we can't link directly because of the silly Flash, so head to the official site and choose the 'Game' menu.

Monday - January 19, 2009

Drakensang - Characters @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 21:10

The English Drakensang site has been updated with new characters - Auralia, Forgrim, Rhulana and one monster - the skeleton:

Our todays characters will accompany your travels through the world of Drakensang, each with their very own skills:

There is Auralia, the “Crazy” Alchemist who will be a great advisor whenever you need to expand your brewing skills. Forgrim, the 153 year old dwarfen bodyguard and mercenary who comes with an axe and a crossbow and is always around when there is a battle or a big can of Ferdoker beer to be found. And Rhulana, the Amazon from Kurkum, who lives for discipline, obedience and her unflinching faith in the goddess Rondra, what makes her a valuable ally in your quest to come!

As well as new companions, the website now also includes the grim skeleton. This slow-moving and less than intelligent foe, can nevertheless strike fear into the heart of many brave adventurers.

Saturday - January 17, 2009

Drakensang - Previews @ GameSpy, Games Radar

by Dhruin, 06:19

A pair of new Drakensang previews are available just as it looks like the NA might have been pinned down to February 18th.  Here's a snip from GameSpy:

Indeed, if there's one outstanding attribute to Aventuria, it's just how "ordinary" the place is. The Dark Eye is a very low-enchantment fantasy universe in which magic of any type is fairly unusual. Player spellcasters will not be lugging around spellbooks filled with 174 different incantations. Instead players will have a few different categories of spell available that a real medieval citizen might need -- strength of body, for example, or healing or a light source. Indeed, the biggest "bang" in a spellcaster's arsenal will come from a small group of direct-damage spells based on things like fire and thunder that are far less showy than most fantasy world's smallest fireball spells. Magical items are similarly rare. Most "upgrades" comes from finding better-quality but otherwise ordinary equipment. Adding actual magical effects to items will have to be done through the game's crafting systems and will often come as the result of long and difficult questing.

Much like the universe it's based in, the gameplay of Drakensang also feels like a return to an earlier era. Min/maxers who love getting deep into numbers will appreciate The Dark Eye's old-school stat-intensive role-playing system. Characters have eight attributes that are combined together whenever a skill is used, and experience points can be pumped into either improving basic attributes or focused on improving a specific skill. The kicker is that with so many combos, depending on how a player wants to develop a particular character, points spent in a particular attribute might not help every skill, while points spent in a skill are more immediately useful but aren't as economical as attribute increases.

...and from Games Radar:

Combat is very simple at first, but quickly becomes a juggling act of managing each party member, casting spells, using special moves, and repositioning member in danger of being killed. While the pace of combat is somewhat slow, following a distinct round-based structure, it still can become hectic due to the requirements of managing multiple characters and abilities and dealing with surprisingly lethal enemies early into the game. While the powerful foes seemed too strong initially (we got our ass kicked by a couple of wild boars), the dynamic ensures that the combat was not boring by being too easy. After applying a bit more care and thought, those terrifying boars became nice pelts for selling later.

Managing your party outside of combat is still complex: if a character sustains wounds, which are separate from straight health damage, you’ve got to bandage them up. Classes are not bound by a narrow range of weapons, so swapping from a club to a sword to a bow and arrow can happen between every battle if it suits you. Interacting with NPCs is equally complex and flexible: you’re often given three or more nuanced response options, and depending on what you say can have dramatically different outcomes.

Source: Blues News

Tuesday - December 23, 2008

Drakensang - Preview @ Hooked Gamers

by Magerette, 14:58

Hooked Gamers has a preview up for those of us yet to get our hands on Radon Labs' rpg, Drakensang:The Dark Eye. It's unclear whether the author has actually played the demo or a review copy of the game, but the article goes over the title's pen and paper background, style and general gameplay elements:

If you've never played "The Dark Eye" p-n-p, or the earlier Arkania series, trust me, character creation will be a treat. Besides the usual Strength, Intelligence, etc., positive traits, you also have several negative traits to factor in: superstition, acrophobia, claustrophobia, avarice, etc. Then there's several score of skills to flesh out, as well as scores of spells to select for your spell-casting quiver. And lets not forget the potion making details for the alchemy-inclined amongst us! Radon will lay out about 50 archetypes (for those that want to just jump in and get the show on the road!), but you will be able to mix and match your own concoction to your heart's content.

 

Thursday - December 18, 2008

Drakensang - 5 Reasons to Try the Demo @ PC World

by Dhruin, 20:58

Matt Peckham (yes, the guy who doesn't like D&D) has kicked up 5 Reasons to Try the Drakensang Demo at PC World.  Here's #1:

Character can spend experience points on-the-fly. They're actually called "adventure points" here, and while they're still manually distributed to improve stats and abilities, you can spend them instantly, no waiting for arbitrary level-up-dings. Levels are still here as a derivative of overall experience points, but merely to cap your spending in a given area.

Speaking of Drakensang, the official site has the latest round of updates, with the Burglar added to the Archetypes section.

Friday - December 12, 2008

Drakensang - Demo PR

by Dhruin, 21:37

dtp sent us an official PR for the Drakensang demo release.  Since we've already announced the demo, here's an excerpt from the release that explains the demo contents and sticks with the vague Q1 release date:

Hamburg, December 12th, 2008 – Make your trial trip to Aventuria: Today, dtp entertainment releases a free demo version of the English language version of the highly anticipated RPG Drakensang – The Dark Eye.

The demo, which is available for download at www.drakensang.com, offers first insights into the Drakensang story and gameplay. Visit Aventuria, explore the beautiful medieval scenery which will remind you of travelling through Central Europe. Take on the first quests of the game, fight the first battles and explore villages full of beautiful framework houses, dark woods and dungeons.

Three different characters are available in the demo version: Play either as Dwarf Mercenary, Andergastian Battle Mage or Silvan Elf Ranger. The full game will offer more than 25 characters.

When playing the demo version, gamers will receive special bonus items which enable them to explore the huge diversity of the game even in their first hours of playing. Other features, such as magics, special attacks or the expert mode are reserved to Drakensang’s full version.

The Dark Eye: Drakensang was originally published in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in August of 2008 and saw a shining debut in the top 1 ranking for several weeks in row.  The game recently was awarded “Best German RPG 2008” at the German Developer Awards. Internationally, The Darke Eye: Drakensang will be released in several languages in quarter one, 2009.

Thursday - December 11, 2008

Drakensang - English Demo Available

by Magerette, 18:21

I don't know if any of our Drakensang afficianados are already aware of any of these links, but for those who haven't run across the opportunity, Radon Labs has made an English demo available for their party-based single-player rpg at Computergames.ro, Atomic Gamer, and GamersHell. The DL is about 500mb.

Source: Blues News

Friday - December 05, 2008

Drakensang - Wins German Developer Award

by Dhruin, 22:01

dtp sent out this press release announcing Drakensang the winner of Best RPG in the 2008 German Developer Awards.  I'm not sure what the competition was like but it sounds promising for those of us waiting for the English version:

The Dark Eye: Drakensang Takes Home “Best RPG 2008” at German Developer Awards

 

Hamburg/Essen, Germany, December 05th, 2008 – Wednesday, The Dark Eye: Drakensang was awarded “Best RPG 2008” at the German Developer Awards hosted in Essen.

Not only did The Dark Eye: Drakensang take home “Best German RPG 2008”, it was also awarded  “Best Story” and “Best In-game Soundtrack”.  Both Radon Labs and dtp Entertainment were very honoured with the accolades presented on the evening.  

The Dark Eye: Drakensang was originally published in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in August of 2008 and saw a shining debut in the top 3 rankings.  Internationally, The Darke Eye: Drakensang will be released in several languages in quarter one, 2009.

Building on the foundation of The Dark Eye (TDE) pen & paper role playing game, The Dark Eye: Drakensang brings a new dimension to the classic PnP RPG that so many Europeans have loved to played for over twenty five years.

The Dark Eye: Drakensang’s story was written by the  original TDE authors, which ensures The Dark Eye: Drakensang authenticity within the TDE universe.

RPG players that are not familiar with TDE will be immersed in a medieval world that has a distinct Central Europe feel. Visit bustling cities, hunt down dangerous monsters in dark and mysterious woods, discover hidden treasures in long forgotten castles and climb the bergs of Kosh; where the Drakensang takes place.

Radon Labs breathes life into the world of Aventuria with modern computer technology. Stunning 3D graphics, tactical turn-based combat, classic RPG gameplay along with an in depth story that will keep you in suspense throughout.

Thursday - December 04, 2008

Drakensang - Anvil Dwarf, Lea Elf and Monsters

by Dhruin, 23:13

The Drakensang site has been updated with two new archetypes (Anvil Dwarf and Lea Elf) and new monsters (hit the Game menu and then select on the left).

Thursday - November 27, 2008

Drakensang - English Site Updates

by Dhruin, 22:13

After a looooooong time between updates on the English side of the official Drakensang site, profiles on the Amazon and two main characters Dranor & Kladdis have been added.

Thanks, Avantenor!

Monday - November 03, 2008

Drakensang - patch 1.02 & high-res texture pack released

by Garrett, 22:16

Radon Labs has released patch 1.02 for Drakensang. The 70MB Download improves the merchandise interface and also fixes a few issues regarding graphics, gameplay, logic, controls and balance. Check the official site for download links & mirrors.

Also, there's a huge 1.7GB File available, which improves the texture quality with high-res graphics. Unftly, there's no mirror yet, so you have to be patient when you want to download it...

Source: Gamestar

Sunday - October 19, 2008

Drakensang - Interview @ Bit-tech

by Dhruin, 11:58

Bit-tech has an interview on Drakensang with Boris Arendt from developer Radon Labs and Class Wolter from German publisher DTP.  The conversation comes from an Eidos press event to promote the upcoming European English version, which is news to me - either I'm getting old or Radon (and dtp and Eidos - and THQ come to think of it) could do with better press releases.  No surprises from the article itself and here's a sample:

bt: You don’t tend to see so many fantasy RPGs any more. BioWare for example did Baldur’s Gate but since then it has done Mass Effect and KOTOR and gone very sci-fi. Do you think the RPG market is moving on and leaving fantasy behind?

CW: No, no. For us, we think it’s an opportunity as there’s still a big demand for classic fantasy games. Gamers have been in love with these types of games for a long time and they are still in love with them. BioWare has moved elsewhere, but there’s still a demand for fantasy RPGs and we see that in the sales figures and comments.

BA: There’s a demand for linear, story-led RPGs too. The problem with the open-world RPG approach that BioWare has been toying with is that you can’t really tell as dense or as good a story as you have to spread the content very thinly if you have a large world.

Most of the time you have this feeling, or at least I do when I play these games, that there’s not enough diversity in the environments. We can use our game to explore all manner of different areas, cultures, quests, side-stories and that’s something you can’t do as well if you have just one big, giant sandbox because the game starts to look like a patchwork or have huge areas of emptiness. I had this with Fallout 3, for example. I liked it and I was very excited about it but I was sometimes wandering around going ‘Hello? Is anyone there?’ and the next quest-giver was miles and miles away. It was a lot of grind and meaningless combat to get over to there a lot of the time.

I think the open, sandbox RPG style will work someday when the budget is big enough and you can properly fill the space you have. Right now that isn’t going to happen with this financial situation though. So, I think sticking to this linear and story-led concept is a better path for us and something that gamers can appreciate.

Wednesday - October 15, 2008

Drakensang - Signed by THQ for NA

by Dhruin, 21:29

Radon Labs has finally signed up with THQ to bring Drakensang to English audiences, according to Worthplaying:

THQ has signed Drakensang: The Dark Eye, developed by Radon Labs, bringing back epic party-based RPG gameplay in a breathtakingly detailed world, based on one of the world’s biggest pen & paper franchises.

The Dark Eye Drakensang is a new party-based RPG game that uses advanced 3D technology and epic vistas to bring the truly realized TDE fantasy world to life. Drakensang, developed by the original TDE authors, will take gamer’s on a journey centuries back in time and dive into the mystical world of Aventuria, that previously only existed in the minds of avid TDE players. Now, thanks to the stunning vistas and tactical turn-based fights displayed in a real time environment, TDE gamers will finally be able to visually experience the landscapes, edifices, heroes, and creatures of the TDE universe.

The Dark Eye Drakensang is set in a unique, medieval world where sinister forces are at work in the city of Ferdok in Aventuria. Summoned by a letter from an old friend, gamers will start off their adventure investigating a series of strange ritual murders. Only after gathering trusted, skilled companions can player’s battle to solve the sinister conspiracy threatening to change the world of Aventuria. The game features a talent-based dialogue system that will allow gamers to threaten, persuade and charm their way through a a universe full of unique characters, creatures and locations.

Key Features:

    * party-based single-player RPG
    * extensive terrain
    * talent-based dialogue system
    * strategic real-time combat
    * faithful adaptation of an epic fantasy universe
    * varied, flexible magic system
    * Nebula 3 Engine
    * full Shader 2.0 and 3.0 support
    * realistic physics
    * living artificial intelligence
    * hitzone-based combat system
    * motion-captured animations

Already avaialble in Europe, The Dark Eye Drakensang will be available on Windows PC in early 2009. 

Tuesday - August 26, 2008

Drakensang - RATCON 2008: Add-On, Sequel Confirmed, Patches Announced

by Gorath, 13:09

The RATCON 2008 panel discussion about Drakensang proved to be quite fruitful. Drakensang's sales numbers are so convincing that both an add-on and a sequel are in the pipeline. Radon Labs is still in negotiations about the details. Work on DraSa 2 will be started when the add-on has shipped.

Radon Labs plans to release several patches for Drakensang this year. The focus will be on further polishing and new content. NPC behaviour (especially reaction to pickpocketing), balancing, item placement, combat AI, enemy aggression, difficulty levels, more diverse traps, more NPCs, more monster types, better item descriptions, faster loot collection, etc. are on the list. They'll evaluate the whole thing and put as much as possible into patches. 

Another interesting revelation was that Radon Labs has the exclusive license for party RPGs in the TDE universe. Which has obvious consequences for the action-RPG The Games Company announced at the GC.

My summary was based on detailed reports in the dtp forum and the Ulisses Spiele forum. 

Drakensang - Also for PS3 ?

by Gorath, 11:34

We´ve overlooked this rumor a couple of months ago. onpsx.de quotes from Radon Labs' managing director André Blechschmidt's talk at this year's Quo Vadis developer conference. Here's the German quote:

"Wie André Blechschmidt, Geschäftsführer des Drakensang-Entwicklers Radon Labs, auf der diesjährigen deutschen Entwicklerkonferenz „Quo Vadis“ bekanntgab, plane das Studio, die hauseigene Nebula-Engine in unbestimmter Zeit auch auf XBox360 und Playstation 3 zu portieren. Eigenständige Titel für die genannten Konsolen sind zwar noch nicht in Planung oder gar Entwicklung, doch ist es laut Blechschmidt sicher, dass auch das auf der Nebula-Engine basierende Drankensang in der Folge für die beiden Konsolen erscheinen wird. Wie lange nach dem PC-Release das sein wird, ist jedoch noch nicht zu sagen."

Summary:
- Nebula will be ported to XBox360 and PS3 in the future.
- It´s "certain" that Drakensang will be released on both consoles. Drakensang uses the Nebula engine.
- It's still undecided when this will happen.

Let me repeat, it's a rumor. No confirmation, no second source. 

Drakensang - Article Flood 6

by Gorath, 11:12

And more German reviews & stuff:

  • DemoNews 84%, "very good"
  • Telepolis no rating; negative; "On detours through Aventuria" (headline). Surprisingly the related print review (c't) was very positive.
  • GameCity.ch 84%, bronze award
  • Fritz Radio no rating; positive
  • ComputerBild Spiele see Flood 1; "C"; "a decent game"; although their weird test table reveals that the game got a "B" but was downgraded because it doesn´t run on their year 2006 newbie PC. :/
  • dtp forum Tool: DrakenSpeed 1.0; running speed slider
  • Lingener Tagespost 6/6; the text sounds like a 5/6
  • eXp.de 86%, "a truly wonderful RPG", "It´s not perfect. It has rough edges."

Tuesday - August 19, 2008

Drakensang - Patch 1.01 Released

by Gorath, 21:11

Ragon told us dtp and Radon Labs released the first patch for their already surprisingly polished RPG Drakensang. A download link and detailed notes can be found in the official forum.

The patch includes a little bit of everything. It adds comfort functions (camera speed slider, screenshot key, windowed mode, select-whole-party key, cycle-through-quickbars keys, improved quest handling logic, improved command queue editing), changes a couple of map or party related things (two new exit portals on certain maps, dynamic light outside of dungeons through spells or torches, more flexibility combining shoulder armour with other armour) and fixes ca. two dozen issues (technical bugs, collision problems, balancing issues).

Drakensang - Demo Impressions @ RPS

by Dhruin, 13:38

Don't take this too seriously...not realising the Drakensang demo is only German, Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Jim Rossignol downloaded the demo but decided to push ahead with some humorous impressions anyway:

Playing a text-heavy RPG, however, is rather different. The logic and mechanics of an RPG as generic as this are not hard to master, but knowing what else you’re supposed to be doing, or how to do it, is rather impossible. I talk to people, guess which of the three dialogue options accepts the quests (it’s the top one, natch) and then off I go. I’ve talked to a jester and a sexy lady, and they told me to go do something, probably. They’d previously they’d had an argument with a soldier, but I have no idea what it is about. (Obviously.)

Monday - August 18, 2008

Drakensang - Panel Discussion at RATCON 2008

by Gorath, 21:12

A panel discussion about Drakensang will be held at the upcoming RATCON in Dortmund, Germany on Aug 23rd. Creative director Bernd Beyreuther, lead game designer Fabian Rudzinski  (both Radon Labs), Stefan Blanck (Chromatrix) and Mark Wachholz, story and  dialog author for Drakensang, will participate. The topic:

AFTER Drakensang is BEFORE Drakensang.

 

Drakensang - Stefan Blanck on Browser Games and Gothic 4

by Gorath, 21:02

Fan site World of Drakensang posted an interesting interview with Dr Stefan Blanck, managing director of Chromatrix, the license holder for The Dark Eye computer games.
Dr Blanck talks about his past as producer for the Realms of Arkania games, the 15 TDE cell phone games and their upcoming re-release as improved browser games, the new Drakensang browser games (first one free, the 2nd costs 3.99€), his involvement in Drakensang and finally his new job as game designer for Spellbound's Gothic 4.

Drakensang - Article Flood 5

by Gorath, 20:26

The Drakensang article stream is drying up. This will probably be the last collection for a couple of weeks. Everything in German.

  • Gamona plus video review 85%; "[...] authentic DSA in pure form."
  • GameCaptain 85%; "[...] the fantasy highlight of the year"
  • Olnigg His 154th RPG satire is funny as always, although he isn´t as critical as usually. "As an adventurehack'n'slay it deserves the rating 'masterly' and a clear purchase recommendation, but as a classic RPG it´s a disappointing partial-failure."Apart from that he mentions the same pros and cons as all the other reviews.
  • Mega-Gaming.de 84%; no link -> Warning: HTML-virus according to Avira AntiVir!
  • GameSports Broadcasting B+; a very detailed review; "challenging and demanding fights in the later game"
  • GameRadio "rating: good" (two reviewers)
  • Game7 a very positive "recommended purchase", their 2nd highest score
  • Der Westen review part3; no score; negative; frustrating combat balancing

Thursday - August 14, 2008

Drakensang - Demo Impressions @ Gamebanshee

by Magerette, 22:20

Gamebanshee's Thomas Beekers (Brother None) has played the demo of Radon Labs crpg, Drakensang:The Dark Eye and gives his impressions of what's revealed therein in a GB feature article.

Here's a short snip on combat:

 Combat has a real nostalgic feel to it. It is similar to the Infinity Engine's real-time with pause (RTwP) system. You give commands, your party carries them out, and you can pause to change or give additional commands. Once you’ve queued up whatever special moves and spells you want to use, you simply sit back and watch as the battle unfolds before you. Combat happens at a leisurely, easy pace which makes it feel pretty relaxed, though I should note this is partially because the demo doesn't contain a lot of challenging combat.

However, while healing and mana restoration is fairly quick (a lot faster than in the pen and paper version of DSA), there are certain nasty after-effects of combat that will stick around, such as being “wounded”, which will cripple the character until he's properly tended to. I can't really tell from the demo, but I believe the intention of that system is to get the player to approach combat with care and tactics. 

Tuesday - August 12, 2008

Drakensang - Article Flood 4

by Gorath, 23:27

Seems the first wave is over. Here are the last couple of articles. This time not everything in German!

Saturday - August 09, 2008

Drakensang - Article Flood 3

by Gorath, 01:15

As always everything in German.

  • TV Movie 3/3 (print)
  • Der Westen part 2; see Flood 1 
  • Krawall 81% The most balanced test so far. The article calls Drakensang a blind buy for fans of classic RPGs. Players who prefer modern RPGs should try the demo.
  • gamaXX 85% = espace.ch no rating (?)
  • Cynamite.de 8/10 (print excerpt -> Games Aktuell)
  • Gamefox complete walkthrough
  • PC Games walkthrough part 1
  • PC Games Hardware FSAA for nVidia cards (ATI see Flood 1)
  • GameRadio (live) = GameFeature (archive) review in today's show

Drakensang - First Patch Confirmed

by Gorath, 00:43

dtp / Anaconda CM Betty announced in the official forum that dtp and Radon Labs are working on a patch. ETA and content tba.

An older thread quotes a tech support email hinting at a patch coming late August.

Thursday - August 07, 2008

Drakensang - Review Flood 2

by Gorath, 20:41

The next bunch of reviews mixes things up a little bit more. Everything's in German.

  • Stern.de article based on 3 interviews (mainstream press, similar to Newsweek)
  • Select 8.5/10; pdf download
  • Daddelnews rating: "good"; "the best texts since PS:T"
  • Eurogamer.de 7/10 good buuuttt...
  • GamesTM 8.5/10 (print; the article about Game PR and the retro piece on the Eye of the Beholder Trilogy are very interesting)
  • OnlineWelten 74%; rather negative; "not intense enough" (transscr.)
  • gBase.ch 8.5/10
  • 4Players 73%; very critical; (but 10% more than expected ;) )
  • Golem.de no rating; very positive; video & HD-video 
  • AreaGames 80%; hardcore TDE perspective
  • Vitivi.tv video review in coop with AreaGames
  • Ulisses-Spiele forum savegame editor; saves are in SQLite format!

Drakensang - International Release in Q1/09

by Gorath, 19:52

dtp also mentioned the international release date in a PR about Drakensang's chart success. No need to repeat yesterday's news. Here's just the relevant piece:

Drakensang: The Dark Eye has been published in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on August 1st, 2008. Internationally, Drakensang will be released in Q1 2009 in several languages.

Wednesday - August 06, 2008

Drakensang - Takes the Charts by Storm

by Gorath, 13:20

Publisher dtp sent out a PR celebrating Drakensang: The Dark Eye's phenomenal start. Even though Radon Labs' party based RPG has only been released last Friday, two days were enough to clearly dominate the official Media Control charts. The first three places are:

  1. Drakensang: The Dark Eye standard retail version
  2. Drakensang: The Dark Eye Limited Collector's Edition
  3. Drakensang: The Dark Eye steel book edition

Tuesday - August 05, 2008

Drakensang: The Dark Eye - Review Flood

by Gorath, 14:49

The first batch of Drakensang reviews are online, many of them in mainstream publications. Some additional material has also been integrated into the list. All articles and videos are in German.

Monday - August 04, 2008

Drakensang - German Demo

by Dhruin, 12:49

With Drakensang released late last week in the German market, a German demo is now available.  You can get the modest 490Mb file from the official site or the mirror at Gameswelt.de.

Thanks to Avantenor on the forums.  Anyone think I can learn German by the time it downloads?

Sunday - July 27, 2008

Drakensang - First Magazine Scores

by Dhruin, 21:58

Word from Fridi is that the first two (German) print magazine scores for Dragensang are out.  Apparently Gamestar awarded 85% and PC Games, 81%.  According to Fridi, the articles call the game a "classic RPG" and "charming", with a good story, relatively few bugs and 80 hours gameplay.

Discussion can be found at the Gamestar and Anaconda forums.

Saturday - July 19, 2008

Drakensang - Translation of Gone Gold Announcement

by Corwin, 20:39

Peter De Jong has kindly sent us a translation into English of the announcement that Drakensang has gone Gold:

It’s time: The German version of the RPG “Das schwarze Auge: Drakensang” (Drakensang: The Dark Eye) has reached its Gold status after several years of producing and the discs are now being pressed.

Next to that Publisher dtp entertainment is comfirming August 1 2008 as the release date for Gemany, Austria and Switzerland. Exactly on the release date both the standard and the limited collector’s edition will be on the store shelves.


Website: www.drakensang.de

The standard edition, which will kost 49,99 euro (USD 79, AUD 82, GBP 40) will also contain the DSA rule book 4.0 as PDF.

 

Buyers of the limited collector’s edition (59,99 euro, USD 95, AUD 98, GBP 48) will receive a complete fan package: The high quality book cover, having the look of a dragon’s skin, will contain the game and several extras, and the exclusive DSA tin miniature “Lindwumtöter” (tapeworm killer), which no DSA-fan can do without and isn’t available anywhere else. Furthermore, the noble book-box contains the epic original game soundtrack by Dynamedion and the DSA audio book (on seperate discs), which will guide your leap into the Drakensang world perfectly. The fourth edition of the original DSA rule book and a leather map of the Aventurien world will make the introduction into the world of pen and paper complete, even for beginners.


Only 10.000 copies of the limited collector’s edition will be available.


Dtp entertainment AG have done their very best in creating a high-quality and authentic setting for DSA:D. As mentioned before, many of the featured characters in DSA:D will be voice acted. Some of these will be known from the voice doubling of Hollywood movies. One of those is Torsten Michaelis, who normally dubs the voiced of Wesley Sniped and Martin Lawrence in their movies.

 

Apart form him, Charles Rettinghaus, who is known for his dubbing of LeVar Burton in the German versions of the Star Trek movies, will make an appearance. Dietmar Wunder, the German dubbing voice of Daniel Craig (James Bond) and Adam Sandler, will be part of the Drakensang crew.

Fans of Gothic rock and medieval music also see their needs met. In DSA:D the voices of six of the most famous medieval musicians can be heard, amoung those Martina Sofie Nöth (Amber), Brandan Pötschokat, lead singer of the band Cultus Ferox, „Teufel“ (devil), lead singer of the band Tanzwut (dancing fury) and musicians from Saltatio Mortis.

In producing DSA:D dtp entertainment and developer Radon Labs are realizing exactly that game, RPG fans have been waiting for a long time. Drakensang is the first RPG system in twelve years, that makes it to a PC game.


DSA is Germany’s leading Pen and paper RPG system. The story to Drakensang was developed in coaction with DSA P&P writers, through which authenticity is guaranteed. Connoisseurs of the DSA world will feel right at home and will miss out on nothing. Thanks to the most modern technologies , the world of Aventurien is revived on the PC in breath-taking 3D graphics and a keen eye for authentic detail.

Dtp entertainment will publish DSA:D on August 1 2008.

Once again, thanks Peter for doing this.

Addendum:
A little clarification to address the discussion in the comment thread: The prices and details above are only valid for the German version. Whoever signs Drakensang for other territories will make his own decisions regarding pricing and bonus content.
At 49,99 EUR Drakensang sells for the standard retail price point for full price games in the German market. No surprise here. The Collector's Edition on the other hand is a real bargain. You'll get a lot of gimmicks for only 10 bucks more. We have seen other publishers charge twice this amount for half the content.

Friday - July 18, 2008

Drakensang - Has Gone Gold

by Corwin, 16:57

Regular news and forum contributor Alrik Fassbauer writes in to inform us that the long awaited rpg Drakensang-The Dark Eye has officially gone GOLD. Here's two links to the information, though they are in German. If anyone can offer a translation, we'll post it:

Forum link1

Forum link 2

Thanks Alrik

 UPDATE: Thanks to Peter De Jong, here's a translation for the second link.

The system requirements for the upcoming RPG Das schwarze Auge: Drakensang (Drakensang: The Dark Eye) have been set. In order to play DSA:D smoothly on the PC, your system will have to meet the following requirements:

Minimal system requirements:
Operating system: Windows(r) XP with Service Pack 2 or Vista
Processor: Pentium(r) 4 CPU 2,4 GHz or equal CPU
RAM: 1024 MB for Windows(r) XP, 1536 MB for Vista, 2048 MB for Vista 64
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT with 256 MB RAM or equal graphics card
Optical drive: DVD-ROM
Sound card: DirectX(r) 9c compatible sound card
Free disc space: 6 GB

Recommended system requirements:
Operating system: Windows(r) XP with Service Pack 2 or Vista
Processor: Intel(r) Core™ 2 Duo E8200, 2,6 GHz or equal
CPU RAM: 2048 MB for Windows(r) XP, 2560 MB for Vista
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 or equal graphics card
Optical drive: DVD-ROM
Sound card: DirectX(r) 9c compatible sound card
Free disc space: 6 GB

Saturday - July 12, 2008

Drakensang - Update

by Woges, 01:25

 Ragon der Magier mails some new info for Drakensang.

- Drakensang probably gone gold
(source: http://www.spieletipps.de/artikel/1712/1/ - German Interview w/ Bernd Beyreuther, July 11 )
- RL already working on an AddOn (release date & more yet in the dark)
(source: see above)
- successor to Drakensang (explicitly distincted from the AddOn!) also being in the works, possibly with Coop Multiplayer
(source: http://www.alveran.org/index.php?id=10#newsID2769, German TDE Community site, RL executive response to an inquiry about MP feature from one of their users - rating: i´d still say rather rumor )
- system requirements leaked
(source: http://www.4players.de/4players.php/...rakensang.html , later backed by a press release on http://www.gamefacts.eu/index.php?se...ails&newsid=93

Minimale Systemvoraussetzungen:
Betriebssystem: Windows® XP mit Service Pack 2 oder Vista
Prozessor: Pentium® 4 CPU 2,4 GHz oder vergleichbare CPU
RAM: 1024 MB für Windows® XP, 1536 MB für Vista, 2048 MB für Vista 64
Grafikkarte: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 GT mit 256 MB RAM oder vergleichbar
Optisches Laufwerk: DVD-ROM
Soundkarte: DirectX® 9c kompatible Soundkarte
Freier Festplattenspeicher: 6 GB

Empfohlene Systemvoraussetzungen:
Betriebssystem: Windows® XP mit Service Pack 2 oder Vista
Prozessor: Intel® Core™ 2 Duo E8200, 2,6 GHz oder vergleichbare CPU
RAM: 2048 MB für Windows® XP, 2560 MB für Vista
Grafikkarte: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 oder vergleichbar
Optisches Laufwerk: DVD-ROM
Soundkarte: DirectX® 9c kompatible Soundkarte
Freier Festplattenspeicher: 6 GB )

Thanks also to Alrik for sending in a similar tip.

Tuesday - July 08, 2008

Drakensang - Character Classes @ PCGames.de

by Magerette, 22:08

The online site for German gaming mag PCGames.de has posted a series of screenshots showing the available character classes in  Radon Labs rpg in development, Drakensang:The Dark Eye.

The information is in German, but forum member ulixes has kindly provided a bit of translation and explanation in his thread here in the RPG forum.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, ulixes. 

Friday - June 13, 2008

Drakensang - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 22:28

I suspect this gallery of 22 Drakensang screens at Worthplaying isn't entirely new but it does give us English readers something to look at while they figure out a release date.

Friday - May 23, 2008

Drakensang - Archetype and Wallpaper

by Dhruin, 11:43

The German version of the Drakensang official site (can we update the English side guys?) has a piece on some sort of warrior archetype and three new wallpapers are also on offer.

Thanks, Alrik! 

Tuesday - May 20, 2008

Drakensang - Become a Beta Tester!

by Gorath, 23:31

dtp & Radon Labs are seeking beta testers for their upcoming party-based RPG Drakensang. Head over to the official site, fill out the questionnaire  and you might become one of the 100 lucky gamers allowed into the closed beta.

Although the PR doesn´t say anything about it I assume only Germans can apply. 

Wednesday - May 14, 2008

Drakensang - RPC Trailer

by Dhruin, 23:19

Drakensang.de has a Drakensang trailer from the recent Roleplaying Convention in Germany (51Mb).  I haven't seen it but I assume it's in German.

Thanks, Alrik!

Friday - May 09, 2008

Drakensang - Collector's Edition Update

by Gorath, 21:38

The official PR on the German CE has arrived. dtp / Anaconda nailed that one. They´re showing other publishers what can be done for a mere 10 EUR more.

The Drakensang: The Dark Eye CE (see pic on Amazon.de)  includes:

  • Dragon Skin style box
  • Drakensang game DVD
  • Sound Track by Dynamedion on CD
  • Audio book "The Charlatan" (transl.) on another CD
  • Exclusive tin miniature "Lindwormkiller" (Post in the comments thread if you have a better translation. ;) )
  • 4th Edition official The Dark Eye rules, to give a taste of the pen & paper RPG
  • Leather map of Aventuria
  • Not listed but shown on the pic: A certficate "No. nnnn of 10.000"
Quite an impressive list!

Source: dtp/Anaconda

Thursday - May 08, 2008

Drakensang - Limited Edition

by Woges, 19:49

The hawk like vigilance of Alrik Fassbauer has spotted the Limited Edition of Drakensang at Amazon.de.

 

Tuesday - April 22, 2008

Drakensang - Revamped Website & Art @ GamersHell

by Magerette, 19:15

GamersHell has posted a link to a revamped German language website for the Anaconda and Radon Labs RPG, Drakensang:The Dark Eye, as well as some new screens in their gallery.  (Nice boar-riding image.)

I was unable to find an English language version link yet, but drakensang.info is still there, though not updated.

Wednesday - April 02, 2008

Drakensang - Playable at German RPC

by Dhruin, 03:41

Alrik writes that Drakensang will join Sacred 2 in being available to play at the upcoming German Roleplaying Convention in Munster in late April.

Nice to see progress on this title and hopefully we'll get some previews or feedback from the event.

Saturday - March 08, 2008

Drakensang - Screens & Trailer

by Dhruin, 09:24

Avantenor writes that Drakensang.info has a set of screens that includes 10 we've seen recently, along with a dozen new ones.  In addition, they have a hefty 100Mb video with commentary in German but might still be worth a look for the in-game footage.

Thanks also to Alrik for a similar submission. 

Wednesday - March 05, 2008

Drakensang - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 21:21

Last newsbit from Worthplaying - this time it's 10 screens from Drakensang, all with a dusk or night setting to presumably show off the lighting and shadows.

Thursday - February 07, 2008

Drakensang - New Trailer Available

by Corwin, 01:12

Roi Danton sends word of a new trailer just released for this game being available at Gametrailers.com. Here's the link

Monday - February 04, 2008

Drakensang - Screenshots @ GamersHell

by Magerette, 18:22

GamersHell has updated their gallery of screenshots for Radon Lab's and Anaconda's cRPG, Drakensang: The Dark Eye. They also have the two previously released trailers from RPC and GC2007 available for download if anyone wants another look.

In related news, Radon Labs has updated their site, including the Drakensang page - although there isn't much to see beyond a summary and some screens.

Friday - February 01, 2008

Drakensang - German Preview in GameStar Magazine

by Dhruin, 11:39

Alrik writes that German mag Gamestar has a major cover-article preview of Drakensang in the latest issue.  Their site offers thumbnails of the magazine pages but not in a readable form, but hopefully some of German readers will grab the magazine and fill us in. 

Sunday - December 30, 2007

Drakensang - German Interview with Guido Henkel

by Dhruin, 21:35

PC Games.de has a German interview with the legendary Guido Henkel on the upcoming Drakensang from Radon Labs.  For those that don't recall, Guido co-founded Attic (the original Realms of Arkania trilogy) and was an erstwhile producer on Planescape: Torment.  Guido has no direct development relationship with the game but talks about the history of the franchise and how Radon Labs contacted him two years ago to discuss Drakensang and seek feedback.

Thanks, Deutsche Weisswurst.

Thursday - December 20, 2007

Drakensang - Update Interview @ RPG Vault

by Magerette, 18:40

RPG Vault has posted an interview with Project Director Bernd Beyreuther of Radon Labs  on the latest status of  thier upcoming cRPG, Drakensang:The Dark Eye. There are some nice screenshots included in the piece and a lot of information on the shape the game has taken:

Jonric: What are the key features and elements of the combat system that differentiate it and make it more tactical than what we find in many other RPGs?

Bernd Beyreuther:
The most important feature in combat is to being able to pause it at any time. This will allow you to give your orders wisely, change weapons, sip potions or cast spells. There is never any time pressure on the player; he has enough to think about his tactics, and adjust them if necessary.

Players who are more into action have the option to let the combat run. They will be impressed by aspects like the detailed spell and special attack system.

Since you can pile up orders, tactical players can program detailed combat strategies, then watch and see how they work out. It is not about quick, fast clicking or good reactions; it is about winning a fight because of good preparation and knowing your skills.

Jonric: How significant will the story element be, and what are you doing to make this part of Drakensang stand out?

Bernd Beyreuther:
Drakenang's story is one of its key elements. This game is no rush-through action hack and slay. The story has been the cornerstone since the start of the whole development process; you can even describe the game as story-driven.

Players will experience an epic story with unique characters. There were six original The Dark Eye authors who created the Drakensang story, dialogues and more than 80 unique characters that, of course, also got unique looks. In-game cutscenes support the story, which develops very intensely when you talk to other characters. We had a very special eye for all these characters that the player can take into his party. We are convinced they will easily find a way into the player's heart.

Jonric: How significant will the dialogues and other interactions with characters be within the overall gameplay?

Bernd Beyreuther:
Dialogues are definitely another key element of Drakensang and its gameplay. They are mandatory for solving quests; we could even say they are the story's motor.

We expanded the classical multiple choice dialogue system to make it more dynamic. Dialogue skills like beguiling or convincing will mean conversations never run the same. It is important for the player to get immersed into the story, to engage in dialogues; otherwise, he won't be able to complete various quests, or even get them.

Jonric: Did the pen and paper property provide much source material related to the design and look of the locations and environments in the gameworld?

Bernd Beyreuther:
We have more than seven million The Dark Eye pen and paper players in Germany, all of whom carry a certain image of Aventuria in their hearts. It is a tabletop universe, so there aren't huge numbers of illustrations; the campaign world is made up by you, in your own mind. We felt it to be our task not to destroy or break these players' illusions when doing our PC game. 3D graphics and today's techniques allow us to give Aventuria a face, a look, a graphical feeling for the very first time. So, we very carefully planned what to do.

The title is expected to finish in Q1 2008, and here's the latest on international distribution:

Jonric: What is your current status with respect to distribution in other markets, such as North America, of course?

Bernd Beyreuther:
We may be able to tell more in just a matter of weeks. Drakensang's publisher, dtp, is currently in the midst of working on internationalization. So, we may be able to present release dates for most territories before very long.

Sunday - December 09, 2007

Drakensang - Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 21:22

CRPG.ru dropped us a line to say they have a batch of Drakensang screens on offer, mostly comprised of interface shots and one Christmas pic.

Saturday - November 17, 2007

Drakensang - Preview @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 09:19

Radon Labs' Drakensang has been previewed at GameBanshee based on experiences from the Leipzig GC a few months back:

This game has a budget of 2.5 million euros, which is a joke compared to the 20+ million dollar budgets you can see for RPGs like Oblivion. And it shows in graphics, which are aeons behind Oblivion or Mass Effect. But, in this previewer's opinion, shiny graphics are less important than the developer's approach to said graphics. In DSA's case, the world is quite well-crafted and looks quite good from a bird's eye view. The developers are paying a lot of attention to world design (including transferring a real-life fort 1:1 to the game) and from the demoed areas I saw it does show in the final product. Don't expect AAA-title graphics, but expect a well-designed world nonetheless.

Gameplay-wise the combat looks like the standard RTwP fare, with little innovations or detractions. I'm not a big fan of RTwP myself, but if you've enjoyed it in BioWare's products it looks well-executed enough here to be just as enjoyable, with a party to manage with spells and talents offering a bevy of tactical options.

Friday - November 09, 2007

Drakensang - German Version Delayed

by Dhruin, 22:57

Drakensang.info notes that an Anaconda press release for a contest reveals Drakensang has been pushed from Q1 to Q2 2008.  Since an English date has never been set, this only directly affects the German release. 

Friday - November 02, 2007

Drakensang - New Official Web Page

by Magerette, 15:59

dtp-Anaconda  has issued a press release regarding the launch of a new look at the  website  for their upcoming RPG, Drakensang:The Dark Eye:

dtp-ANACONDA Press Release, 2nd November, 2007
Drakensang – The Dark Eye: Launch of new home page
Hamburg, 2nd November, 2007 – You will now see the
brand new, shiny home page for the forthcoming new Das Schwarze Auge PC game, Drakensang, at:
www.drakensang.de. RPG players and those who want to immerse themselves in the RPG gaming world can now obtain detailed information on the game, including screenshots, trailers and much more.


Drakensang brings back epic party-based RPG gameplay
in a breathtakingly detailed world, based on one of the
world’s biggest pen & paper franchises. With incredible eye for detail, the world of Aventuria comes alive on the PC in state-of-the-art 3D graphics that bring to life the epic vistas and stunning variety of this one-of-a-kind fantasy world.

Drakensang: The Dark Eye is the first PC adaptation of
Germany’s most popular and long-standing pen &
paper RPG franchise in 10 years. In the last twenty years
a thriving community of millions has grown, as the
fantasy universe of Aventuria has been expanded in books, board and computer games.
Press is already excited about the game:

German Games magazine “Gamestar” said (issue 08/2007): “RPG players are able to look forward to Drakensang as an atmospheric and magnificent adventure with classical virtues. Drakensang is right now a boon and blessing for the whole genre." “A game with a story conceived by The Dark Eye writers in a world created by The Dark Eye designers is going to be extraordinary”, said PC Powerplay (issue 07/2007).

All the best from Hamburg...

Monday - September 10, 2007

Drakensang - Preview @ GamerNode

by Dhruin, 23:23

GamerNode has kicked up a preview of Drakensang based on a trip to the recent Leipzig GC.  The author is Thomas Beekers, who is known for his work at NMA.  Here is a sample:

From the announcement onwards, this game has been marketed as "Baldur's Gate in 3D." The developers have made it clear that this game is not a sequel to the classic series, but another take at the DSA world in a cRPG setting. Fair enough, but the question becomes "how good is their take?"

The tentative answer is "not bad." The game employs the 4th edition DSA ruleset and, after decades of refining, the DSA system is widely known for being well-balanced, intuitive and expansive. The game does not fully exploit this expansiveness, cutting a few skills, but even so it retains an excellent system of combat, magic and miscellaneous skills like smithing and alchemy to exploit.

Thanks, Dark Savant!

Friday - August 31, 2007

Drakensang - Media @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 00:01

Avantenor wrote in to tell us about new Drakensang screens, concept art and a trailer from the GC at Drakensang.info.

Friday - August 10, 2007

Drakensang - Dev Diary #12 @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 13:50

Drakensang dev diary number 12 at Drakensang.info sees technical director André Weißflog writing about the camera system.

Thursday - August 09, 2007

Drakensang - Community Interview and GC News

by Gorath, 23:48

Drakensang.info posted their translation of the latest community Q&A with the Drakensang devs.

1. In what extend can the Archetypes be customized during the character generation process ?

The generation at the beginning of the game is split between a standard and an expert mode, to allow non-TDE player to begin directly, and give TDE players the chance to adjust their character statistics.
The adjustments are expected to be within the range of the (start-)adventure points that one can use to increase talents and spells, and to purchase tokens and special skills. So in the expert mode the already distributed points of the Archetypes can be re-distributed again.

The same site also posted 3 new screenshots.

Publisher dtp / Anaconda announced today that they will show a playable version of Drakensang at the Games Convention.

Tuesday - August 07, 2007

Drakensang - More Animations

by Dhruin, 00:00

Two more Drakensang animation videos are available courtesy of Drakensang.info.  These two show an orc and a goblin.

Thursday - August 02, 2007

Drakensang - Animation Video

by Dhruin, 00:41

Drakensang.info let us know they have a new animation video showing a male elf.

Friday - July 27, 2007

Drakensang - Dev Diary #11 @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 23:54

The latest Drakensang dev diary sees Dennis Reichell discussing the implementation of The Dark Eye 4 ruleset:

A short review: At the end of 2001 the [Ed.: German] 4th Edition of the Pen&Paper Roleplaying Game "The Dark Eye" was released. It came in the shape of 4 boxes each containing two more or less thick volumes and creating partly radical changes and very detailed rules compared to the previous sets. A three-tier system of basic, optional and expert rules enabled every TDE-player group to compile their own individual catalogue of rules.

This TDE rule set is the foundation for Drakensang. The team around Lead Programmer Nicolai Pogoczelski stood before a hard-to-survey mountain of (separate) rules that had to be sifted through and checked on playability and feasibility of implementation. Thus one prerequisite for the programers was to have very good knowledge about the rules, preferably from real use on the game table.

Wednesday - July 18, 2007

Drakensang - Gamestar Summary @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 02:42

Drakensang.info has a summary of a preview in the German mag Gamestar that provides some good information.  Here's a sample:

- The game takes place in an area 80 miles around Ferdok, in the Middenrealms county called the Kosh. Dragons are devastating the hinterlands of Ferdok. You start your career in the small village Avestreu (german name). You will also travel to a large dwarven city and a cyclops city

- Character creation: You can choose your character from 11 Archetypes, 8 of them having 3 sub-classes. That makes 27 different character types overall. Archetype in that case means an unchangeable combination of race, class and cultural background. You can choose the gender, but can't change the look of your character (figure, head, hair, skin color, etc.). For your character's talents you will have some customization options, but you are not allowed to generate your own character from scratch (ed: perhaps a good decision, because character generation in TDE 4 is quite a complicated thing that needs a hell lot of time, a lot more complicated than AD&D)

Friday - July 13, 2007

Drakensang - Dev Diary #10 @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 22:58

In amongst the E3 articles occasionally the real work still turns.  Drakensang.info has a tenth dev diary titled Genesis of a Character, with developer "B.C." writing about the creation of character art.

Thursday - July 05, 2007

Drakensang - New QA Manager

by Dhruin, 01:04

Alrik writes than Radon Labs has hired a QA manager (Michael Backhaus, ex- Sunflowers [Paraworld, Anno 1701]) for Drakensang - hopefully good news for the final product quality.

Friday - May 25, 2007

Drakensang - Dev Diary #9 @ Drakensang.info

by Corwin, 12:10

The latest Drakensang developer's diary, dealing with combat this time, has been posted for your reading pleasure. Here's part of the introduction.

Today’s dev diary is about the development of the combat system in Drakensang. As always, the designers have certain demands on what the combat system should look like. In addition we, the coders, incorporate our own ideas in that process.
Image
Please note that selection markers and lifebars are not final yet.

A couple of features were essential for us:

    * Both technical and cinematic combat scenes
    * Round-based TDE rule set
    * The least text as possible during combat
    * Full control of a four-headed party
    * Player can pause at any time

You can find the entire article right Here.

Thanks Avantenor. 

Friday - May 11, 2007

Drakensang - Dev Diary #8 @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 13:47

Fansite Drakensang.info let us know they have a new Drakensang diary up, although this time the piece has been written by a member of The Dark Eye community who was chosen to work as an intern at Radon Labs to assist with rule research:

Since last month I work with Fabian and Beril on the game design. To my surprise, I was accepted as an intern at Radon Labs after I have applied on the job advert which Fabian posted in the ANACONDA forum. Obviously, for me as an enthusiastic pen-and-paper player it is an awesome opportunity to attend the genesis of Drakensang.

I’d like to tell you about my first impression of Drakensang from the sight of a TDE player.

Saturday - April 28, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Dev Diary #7 @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 00:57

Thanks to Avantenor for letting us know the latest Drakensang dev diary is up at Drakensang.info, with programmer Arne Schnurr writing about his job working with the GUI.

In other news, German site 4Players.de has two new screens on offer.

 

Thursday - April 26, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - RPC 2007 Trailer & More [updated]

by Gorath, 00:19

[update: Englisch interview transscript] 

dtp / Anaconda Games made the Drakensang trailer from the RPC 2007 available. Drakensang - The Dark Eye is a classic party based RPG based upon Germany´s most successfull P&P RPG The Dark Eye. The 6 minute long video shows in-game footage and a remarkably enthusiastic interview with Radon Labs co-founder and creative director Bernd Beyreuther. Unfortunately the whole thing is only in German.

Furthermore the fan site DSA - Drakensang posted an article about the Drakensang presentation at the RPC, a transscript of the video interview and scans of a flyer. An English translation can be found on Drakensang.info .

Friday - April 13, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Dev Diary #6 Now Available

by Corwin, 12:42

The latest in the series of Developer Diaries for one of the most eagerly awaited new games has now been posted and deals with the Tatzelwurm. Here's a brief introduction:

The tatzelwurm was one of the first creatures that appeared in public on several images and in a video, and we received very mixed feedback on it. One facet of the discussion was the allegation that we didn’t stick close enough to the original pen and paper game – and that’s true. In the long history of TDE, many things got revised, as did the tatzelwurm, which looks different throughout various official publications.

You can read all of it by following this link.

Thanks Avantenor 

Friday - March 30, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Dev Diary #5 Now Available

by Corwin, 13:58

The latest Developer Diary is now up the fan site Drakensang.info , and it's all about game design. It's quite short, so head on over and take a look. You'll find it right here.

Saturday - March 17, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Dev Diary #4 @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 00:13

Drakensang.info has their fourth dev diary with Radon Labs' Nico Pogoczelsk writing about creating the game map:

What does a coder actually do as a games developer? This is exactly what I’d like to tell you, on the basis of the development of the overview map. As the Lead Programmer, this task was very tricky for me, which is why I decided to write my first article for the dev diary about the map.

Recently the little son of our secretary Borislava visited us. After she guided him through several departments at Radon Labs, they finally came in the coder’s room.

„What do these guys do?“ – “They get paid for playing games.”

Indeed, it’s quite difficult to briefly explain what a coder does in the development of a computer game. Maybe an example will help to make it understandable. The first version of the game design document on the creation of the overview map contained the following [...]

Wednesday - March 14, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Staff Change & Animation Video

by Dhruin, 21:11

Radon Labs' Project Leader Jan Lechner is leaving Drakensang: The Dark Eye for personal reasons and will be replaced by designer Fabian Rudzinkis.  Those who know German can read about it in this thread on the official forums.

In other news, a video animation of a dwarf has been released.  Grab the original full-screen video here (direct link - note that the page will be blank until it loads, or right-click the link to save it) - or from fansite Drakensang.info (6Mb).

Saturday - March 03, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Dev Diary #3

by Dhruin, 06:31

A third Drakensang dev diary is available at Drakensang.info with Radon Labs' Bernd Beyreuther continuing to write about their passion for Aventuria and the first steps in this development:

Of course, we played the Realms Of Arkania computer games back in the nineties and we loved them. At the time when Shadows Over Riva hit the shelves we made our first steps as developers. Some time later, when it was clear that we were settled in the gaming business, the dream grew to create a TDE game at a later point in time.

Thanks, Avantenor!

Saturday - February 17, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Dev Diary #2

by Dhruin, 03:02

Avantenor dropped us a line to point out the second Drakensang dev diary at Drakensang.info . Penned by Radon Labs' Bernd Beyreuther, this entry talks about their first contact with The Dark Eye:

Hi there! Today I’d like to tell you how we came in contact with The Dark Eye in the first place, and what fascinates us so much about Aventuria. Back in the days, when Germany was still split into two halves, we didn’t know The Dark Eye. To be honest, we hadn’t ever heard of role playing games before, but at that time we were already enthusiastic board-game players.

What was the first thing my good old mate Floh and I did right after the reunification? We spent all our savings on computers, software and equipment. In addition to the AMIGA, a memory card, several Competition Pro joysticks and the arcade shooter “Xenon 2 Megablast”, we also bought a bunch of old issues of games magazines.

Friday - February 02, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Dev Diary #1

by Dhruin, 20:40

Fansite Drakensang.info has the first part of an ongoing official dev diary, with this particular entry talking about the development team:

I start off with the master mind behind Drakensang and our whole company: Bernd Beyreuther. The entire project began with him and his dream of a new The Dark Eye computer game. With the creation of his own company Radon Labs he placed the fundaments to make his dream come true. As Creative Director, he makes sure we keep true to this vision and he is the one that sharpens the team’s awareness of the spirit of The Dark Eye universe.

A German version of the diary can also be found at Drakensang-Welten.

Thanks Avantenor and Alrik!

Wednesday - January 17, 2007

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Delayed to 2008

by Dhruin, 22:00

dtp/Anaconda sent us their latest release list, which shows Drakensang has slipped a little from Q4 2007 to Q1 2008.

Thanks to Avantenor for a similar submission.

Thursday - December 21, 2006

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Video @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 13:19

Drakensang.info dropped us a line to say they have a short Drakensang: The Dark Eye animation video courtesy of Radon Labs and dtp.

Wednesday - November 08, 2006

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Interview @ RPG Codex

by Dhruin, 20:14

RPG Codex has a great interview with Jan Lechner and Bernd Beyreuther from Radon Labs on Drakensang.  Here's an interesting question and response:

You've also mentioned that you feel that a "purely turn-based system only addresses a minority of today's RPG audience". Even though I agree with you 100%, unfortunately, here is a simple question: why? Do you feel that the era of turn-based RPGs is over and no TB game, no matter how successful it is, can bring it back? Or do you feel that a TB game simply can not be successful these days, at least not the way a Baldur's Gate-like game can?

Bernd Beyreuther: That is a good and very interesting question. I don’t think that a round-based RPG can not be a success, quite the opposite, I played “Advance Wars” obsessively for several weeks on my DS not long ago. I do believe that you can still make turn-based games that reach the masses. In fact, we are working on several concepts in this direction, especially with the new portable systems in mind.

It is another question, whether an RPG that aims to captivate and entertain – which needs to have cinematic, dramatic, emotional aspects in addition to the rules and combat system – is well served by interruptions. I believe that the intellectual, pondering chess-like style of a TB game does not mix well with atmospheric elements, story and emotion, as it breaks the player’s immersion.

Jan Lechner: One problem of the question is the assumption that real-time systems are an evolutionary advance over turn-based systems. I think that is wrong. That the one came after the other – chronologically speaking – is a result of technical developments and not advances in gameplay concepts.

Similar discussions are prevalent about 2D and 3D and I regard them as similarly nonsensical. Just because we have certain technical possibilities today, doesn’t mean that we have to use them at any cost. But if a concept works best as part of a certain system, it should be done regardless of what’s currently en vogue.

The idea of “bringing TB games back” is already thinking in the wrong categories, I feel. Every game has its own, unique demand and the question shouldn’t be what the contemporary method is, but what delivers the best result, the best game.

Sunday - November 05, 2006

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - English Translation of Interview with Jan Lechner

by Corwin, 03:05

An English translation of an excellent interview with Jan Lechner, Project Manager of Drakensang-The Dark Eye is now available. Here's an interesting piece:

04. Is the pool of characters which is able to join your fellowship always the same, or will it change from game to game? Will you be able to solo the game?

JL: You can invite a variety of different characters to your party. Not only can the player choose between many different characters when the game is played multiple times, but he can also modify the party’s character combination throughout the entire game. The player will be able to invite and discharge members of the fellowship at any time. Every character has their own conditions for joining the party, though. For example, an experienced warrior might not be in the mood to help an inexperienced hero.



You’ll be able to solo the game. That won’t be an easy challenge at all, but basically it will be possible. The game won’t force the player to form a party; it’s only an option that the player will be able to dismiss.

You'll find it all here.

Thursday - October 26, 2006

Drakensang - The Dark Eye - Forum Highlights @ Drakensang.info

by Dhruin, 15:36

Drakensang.info let us know they have an English summary of a recent German Community Q&A on Anaconda's forums that sheds a little more light on Drakensang.

Friday - September 29, 2006

Drakensang: Screens @ Strategy Informer

by Dhruin, 22:42
Strategy Informer has four new screens from Radon Labs' Drakensang: The Dark Eye.

Wednesday - September 27, 2006

Drakensang: Interview @ GGMania

by Dhruin, 13:30
GameGuru Mania has interviewed Bernd Beyreuther from Radon Labs about Drakensang: The Dark Eye. Here's a snip:
GGMania: Will there be friendly NPCs, and what kinds of roles will they play?

Bernd Beyreuther: Whole cities and villages filled with friendly NPCs await the player - a considerable part of the game will have you act peacefully and solve matters diplomatically. Dialogues will be the key - and they will change dynamically according to the characters' skills, their attitudes and social standing. Based on the player's attributes, special options will be open to him. For example, a beautiful elf might have an easier time getting the city guard to do her bidding than a scruffy dwarf. The dwarf on the other hand is more adept at finding the right words when talking to fellow dwarves - where an elf would have a very hard time. On the other hand, we don't want to force the player to plough through page after page of text in order to be able to follow the plot. We want to put an emphasis on short and vibrant dialogues. Of course, all NPCs will play their part in the story. With the NPCs it's our goal to make them all memorable and their own funny, weird, loveable or despicable ways.

Monday - September 25, 2006

Drakensang: Interview @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 22:28
Bernd Beyreuther, creative director for Drakensang, has been interviewed at CRPG.ru about their 'Dark Eye' project:
Crpg.ru: Will the characters have some social skills like diplomacy or the like? Is it important for you to allow for the diplomatic playstyle? That is, using social skills like bluff and persuasion to avoid combat?

Bernd: We're using big parts of the P&P system, which offers numerous non-combat skills. Crafting skills, alchemy, science, trade and dialogue skills will guarantee that fighting will only be one of many ways for your characters to gain experience and advance. While combat will definitely be a central element of Drakensang, players also have tons of dialogue options and many opportunities to use their non-combat skills to solve puzzles and develop their characters.

Our biggest challenge in this regard lies in adapting the complexities of the pen & paper game to a modern computer game - without torturing players with row upon row of numbers and figures.

Wednesday - September 13, 2006

Drakensang Soundtrack from Dynamedion

by Dhruin, 12:36
The press release says it all...<blockquote><em><b>Drakensang soundtrack coming from Dynamedion</b><br><br>Hamburg, Germany: September 12, 2006 a  Drakensang, the new PC RPG set in the a SThe Dark Eyea ? universe, will feature a first-class soundtrack: German publisher ANACONDA and Dynamedion, who boast an impressive track record of soundtracks for AAA titles, have signed an agreement to cooperate on the epic party-based role-playing game. Work on the Drakensang soundtrack will begin in September and continue well into the next year.<br><br>a SIt is supremely important to us to capture the unique a SThe Dark Eyea ? atmosphere in the soundtrack as well a  we are aware of the huge role music plays in establishing a gamea "!s atmosphere. The old a SRealms of Arkaniaa ? PC games, which were set in the same universe, are renowned for their soundtrack, and we want gamers to get the same high quality in Drakensang. We are very happy to have been chosen for this task of capturing the special flair of this RPG brand and translating it into sound,a ? says Pierre Langer, Dynamediona "!s Managing Director.<br><br>Drakensang is the first PC RPG set in the world of a SThe Dark Eyea ? in over 10 years and is in development at Radon Labs in Berlin, under license from Chromatrix GmbH and in cooperation with the official authors and artists from the pen&paper game. This faithful adaptation of the fantastic RPG world will give players and their avatars the chance to get to know Aventuria first-hand. ANACONDA will release Drakensang: The Dark Eye in the 4th quarter of 2007.

Wednesday - August 30, 2006

Drakensang: Media @ dsa-game.de

by Dhruin, 04:32
DSA-game.de also sent us a note about some new Draskensang material: a concept art for a "Tatzelwurm" (a small dragon we're unsure of the exact translation for) and a GC trailer.

We're told the Tatzelwurm in the trailer is shown incorrectly and will not spit fire.

Monday - August 28, 2006

Drakensang presentation @ RatCon 2006

by Gorath, 14:42
Smeangol.com posted a bunch of videos shot at the RatCon Fantasy & SciFi convention in mid August. The videos have a surprisingly high quality despite compression to only ~81 MB for ~22 minutes.
German DSA / The Dark Eye fans should definitely download them. Our international readers should avoid the video labeled "Story".

A brief summary:
- The big city shown in the video will be in the game as shown on the illustration.
- Castles, cities and villages will be built realistically. They will "make sense".
- All DSA weapons will be in the game. The page shown is only an excerpt. - Character studies were shown and a few necessary modifications to pure DSA explained.

Wednesday - July 12, 2006

Drakensang: Interview @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:14
Drakensang The Dark Eye Project Director, Bernd Beyreuther, speaks to RPG Vault's Jonric about the game. Here's the first question:
Jonric: Before we get into Drakensang, how would you summarize the Dark Eye universe? What is distinctive about it, and what makes it suitable as the basis for a computer RPG?

Bernd Beyreuther: The Dark Eye is the biggest pen and paper RPG system in Germany and has been in existence for more than 20 years now. The world of The Dark Eye - called Aventuria - is based on classic low fantasy, including elves, orces, dwarves etc. Its setting also bears some resemblance to the historic European Middle Ages. Aventuria is a living, breathing world. Pen and paper players can subscribe to its own newspaper, which reports on all the latest news from this parallel world. New campaigns and quests are part of this ever-evolving storyline, so players are closely connected to everything that happens.

Drakensang puts this extensively developed world to great use, as it provides both a set of rules that is well balanced and tested thoroughly, as well as a vast and rich reservoir from which to draw. The bestiary alone holds hundreds of detailed monsters, the history of Aventuria provides a mythology that goes back thousands of years, and there is a very lively sphere of deities battling the nameless spawn of nether hell dimensions...

Of course, players who are not into The Dark Eye yet will also enjoy Drakensang as a classic PC role-playing game set in a breathtaking world that will feel familiar almost immediately. We sometimes like to describe its unique feel as "European fantasy from its source".

Thursday - June 15, 2006

Drakensang Official Site Now Open

by Kalia, 01:05
The official site for Drakensang has opened with forum links and screenshot databases. You can see it for yourself here in both German and English.

Source: Blue's News

Tuesday - June 06, 2006

RPGDot Feature: Drakensang: The Dark Eye Interview

by Dhruin, 09:54
Radon Labs is taking cRPG players back to Das Schwarze Auge - what will it be like? We had the chance to send over some questions on this party-based cRPG based on 'The Dark Eye' license:
RPGDot: Can you summarize Drakensang and the gameplay it will offer?

Bernd Beyreuther: The most telling description of DSA: DRAKENSANG might be something like Baldur's Gate in 3D, but based on The Dark Eye, Germany's biggest RPG system. This means: classic party-based RPG, no irritating button mashing, but tactical, pausable combat, a skill-based dynamic dialogue system, unique characters and an epic story as a primary element. All this set against the backdrop of a classic low fantasy world with elves, dwarfs, orcs - definitely no spaceships and time travel, but an almost historical and very deep medieval world.
Head here to read it all.

Information about

Drakensang: The Dark Eye

Developer: Radon Labs

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Combat: Pausable Real-time
Play-time: Over 60 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced

Regions & platforms
Germany
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2008-08-01
· Publisher: dtp

North America
· Drakensang: The Dark Eye
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2009-02-01
· Publisher: THQ

Europe
· Drakensang: The Dark Eye
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2009-03-26
· Publisher: Eidos Interactive