RPG General News - All News
Friday - February 27, 2015
Mother 4 - New Gameplay Trailer
Mother 4 follows the journey of three kids and the leader of a biker gang. With dark rumors of "Modern Men" running wild, these unassuming heroes set out to uncover the truth, no matter how dangerous. From bustling urban streets to secret volcano bases, all kinds of oddball thugs and impossible monsters stand in their way... but everything should be okay if they don't forget to write home.
Monday - February 16, 2015
Jennell Jaquays - Old Bard's Tale IV Project
Veteran RPG designer Jennell Jaquays posted on Facebook what happened to the original Bard's Tale IV Project that EA canceled many years ago.
The attached script is my last plot outline for Bards Tale IV, based on art assets that were already completed or near completion for the game.
25 years ago, Electronic Arts was working on a sequel to Bard.s Tale III. As the owners of the license, they were able to call it ... well ... Bards's Tale IV. The version of the game that Interplay was making ended up having to be called Dragon Wars. Dragon Wars did something important to games that Bard's Tale IV did not: It was completed and shipped.
I was one of the last designers who worked on the game. The original story apparently came from Steve Englehart (primarily know for his work in comics), with later development by David Arneson (aka the Father of Roleplaying), and Elizabeth Langosy, a writer whose previous background involved working in games in the Zork series.
I was contracting to EA at the time on another RPG title and was pulled over to work on Bards Tale IV during one of my visits to work in house. I became the last designer on the game, in the role of script doctor and continuity editor to try and bring all the other contributor's work together, streamline it and write a final concluding scenario setting.
BT4 had changed the core direction and play of the Bards Tale series from a game about a party of unique characters created by the player to a scripted story line involving only pre-created characters (the sort of thing that's great for novel tie-ins).
While I worked on the project, it changed producers and lost it's tech lead.
My attempts to salvage and tighten ended up being pointless. The game's data engine was buggy. The graphics were already dated-looking and over complicated (three separate 2D graphic presentations, a first person point of view for for exploring, a side view or shadow box format for resolving encounters, and an isomorphic view for exploring the city. Each view required that characters be redrawn and re-animated (using EA's D-Paint software). And the project was over budget.
While I was working on script revisions, the producers made the decision to put it down. EA's Bard's Tale IV was put to rest.
The policy decision that EA made about contractors had a profound impact on the rest of my career. They would no longer work with independent contractors who didn't bring a full production team to make games. I didn't have those resources. EA had been my primary source of income for over a year. I chose to turn away from computer game design and focus on illustration and never worked for EA again (though five years later, I would be back working in the computer game industry at id Software)
Wednesday - February 11, 2015
XP4T - Games Improved by Fan Patches
Take, for example, Daggerfall, the second in Bethesda’s magnificent Elder Scrolls series. Released in August 1996 after two years’ development, Daggerfall employed Bethesda’s own XnGine, one of the first truly 3D game engines, to let us roam around the Hammerfell and High Rock provinces of Tamriel.
His second game is the Gothic series, and the community patches.
Gothic 3 Enhanced Edition, as it’s known with the CP installed, is an almost night-and-day experience compared to the vanilla game. It’s an example of fan patching that not only repairs the flaws in the base game, but actually improves the entire thing by a whole new order of magnitude.
And his third game is of course Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines.
No discussion of fan patching would be complete without a mention of Troika Games’ legendary Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines, which since its 2004 release has had ten years of continuous development by the community. The Unofficial Patch 9.0 from 2014 is, cumulatively, older than my kids, and has been around almost as long as I’ve been married. (It’s probably had more work put into it than my marriage has too, but hey ho).
Friday - February 06, 2015
Digital Extremes & n-Space - Making A New RPG
This little announcement caught me by surprise today, and it's good news. Seems two developers called Digital Extremes & n-Space will be releasing a new RPG this year.
What has me excited about the game well read if for yourself.
N-SPACE AND DIGITAL EXTREMES ANNOUNCE NEW GAME PARTNERSHIP; COLLABORATE ON UNANNOUNCED RPG
ORLANDO, Fla. (February 5, 2015) — Combining over 40 years of game production experience, fellow independent developers n-Space and Digital Extremes announced today a partnership that merges their unique talents and experience to release an exciting new RPG set within a world-renowned fantasy franchise. This collaboration is an indicator of the recent shift in the industry toward direct-to-consumer publishing by independent developers and is a significant milestone for both studios.
With growth in digital distribution, better access to affordable technology, disappearing barriers to global reach, and the socialization of the internet, the traditional publisher/developer model is no longer the only option to bring AAA games to market. Smart, quick-iterating development teams are redefining the rules and solidifying their futures by creating games they’re passionate about while also building direct relationships with their players. This partnership embodies this new approach.
“Even with our 20-year history of successful work-for-hire projects, we have never been more proud,” said Dan O’Leary, Co-founder and CEO, n-Space. “We are working on one of the best IPs in the world with a talented, passionate team that will help redefine the future of n‑Space. Our friends at Digital Extremes are the perfect partner in this, having travelled a similar path through the industry. Leveraging their expertise in self-publishing allows us to focus on delivering an amazing RPG to gamers later this year.”
In a show of total commitment to the unannounced RPG, n-Space has recruited top industry talent, including the director of Dragon Age™: Origins and key contributors from the Neverwinter Nights© and Baldur’s Gate© RPG series. The n-Space team has nearly two years of self-funded development invested into this title, their first independent game project. Utilizing both their vast experience creating high-profile game franchises and veteran creative talent with success in nearly every game genre, n-Space is driven to realize this new development initiative and is firmly committed to delivering an innovative and entertaining RPG in 2015.
Over its 21 years, Digital Extremes’ history boasts a portfolio that includes co-creation of Epic Games’ blockbuster Unreal® franchise, work on the BioShock® series, development of The Darkness II and now, the incredibly successful and consistently top 10 Steam game, Warframe®.
”Our contribution to n-Space’s game is simple and straightforward. We’re a developer that can successfully develop, self-publish and support an international hit. We proved as much with Warframe and its 14,000,000 players. We learned many valuable lessons along the way and now have the means and talent to help another independent developer achieve a level of success not possible with conventional publisher relationships. And so that’s what we’re doing,” said James Schmalz, CEO, Digital Extremes. “To support n-Space on this unannounced title — and if you’re a fan of RPGs, you’re going to flip when you see it — is a real privilege. Our company spent 20 years making games for other people. We stepped into the wild with Warframe and earned our success. Now we get to help others take those same steps.”
n-Space’s RPG is scheduled to be announced on February 12, 2015. More details to be revealed then.
Thursday - February 05, 2015
RPGWatch - Best RPGs of the í80s Results
Well it's time for the results of the poll you guys helped make on XP4T last month.
So, as so often happens when you get a bunch of old-skool gamers talking together about their favorite games, our initial opinion poll on the Best RPGs of the 1980s was inspired by a ‘disagreement’ here at XP4T HQ. But before too much blood was spilled, we decided to settle it like adults (BOOOOOOOORING!) and put together an opinion poll, so that YOU, our knowledgeable, handsome, witty readers could settle the question of which RPGs made in the 1980s were the best. Of course, now that the results are in, some people here are a bit sore (literally), and can’t believe that, for example, Battletech: The Crescent Hawk’s Inception didn’t make it into to the Top 5, but only managed the Top 10. Which is, you know honorable enough *ducks a wild punch*.
Opinion polls are by their very nature fickle beasts. We here at XP4T lay no claim to having created the ultimate list of ’80s RPGs, including every possible game ever made in that period. But nor will we boast of having created a poll that panders to every single fanboy and fangirl out there. We simply wanted to hear what you think, and hear you we did! Around 1,000 of you voted for up to 5 games from the whole list (including the fabulous forumites at rpgwatch.com), from December 2014 until just now, so a very big thank you for making this possible.
Now comes the next part as the site needs your help with a poll for the 1990's so suggest your games here, or on the XP4T website & get ready to vote again.
That’s right ladies and germs, we’re putting together another poll here at XP4T! This time we’re gonna do it right, and ask YOU, our esteemed readers for your input. Below is a list that we’ve wacked together of potential candidates to be the Best PC RPG’s of the 1990’s, but before we open the poll, we just want to make sure that we didn’t miss any. All you need to do is write your suggestions below in the comments section. If the game that you’ve suggested was in fact published in the 1990’s and had a PC release, and is of course a role playing game, then we’ll verify it and add it to the list.
Wednesday - February 04, 2015
Rebecca Heineman - Dragon Wars 2 Kickstarter?
HiddenX sent a link the Twitter acoount of Rebecca Heineman who writes she is doing a kickstarter for Dragon Wars 2. Here is the information from HiddenX.
That's a surprise for me:
Rebecca Heineman wants to go to Kickstarter with Dragon Wars 2
and I thought she wanted to work with Fargo on Bard's Tale 4.
Elite Wing - Philosophy of an RPG
Tuesday - February 03, 2015
Elite Wing - The New Golden Age of PC RPGs
Chris Potter shared his opinion in a new article on a site called Elite Wing about how we are entering a new Golden Age of the PC RPG. I agree but what the rest of you?
With the rise of crowd funding websites like Kickstarter, developers are able to connect with the fans directly and because of services such as GOG and Steam, they have an online medium to sell their games to a wider audience. These factors are allowing the old school RPGs of yesterday to become more common for PC gamers to acquire. Even the AAA community is recognizing the importance of the RPG genre and allowing a company like CD Projekt Red to take risks with their products. We are even seeing the emergence of old gems such as System Shock 2 and Deus Ex being offered on GOG and being provided the support to have them run on today’s PC hardware.
My friends, it is a glorious day to be a lover of PC RPGs. A renaissance is in our midst and we must take this opportunity to support the developers who are making this possible. 2015 is looking to be a fantastic year of RPGs with CD Projekt Red’s Witcher 3 coming in May, Obsidian Entertainment’s Pillars of Eternity to come this year, and InExile’s Torment: Tides of Numenera, the spiritual successor to Planescape: Torment, is supposed to be released this year. There will be many other RPGs to come for PC and my fellow gamers, rejoice! The new golden age of the PC RPG is here; let us hope it is here to stay.
Sunday - February 01, 2015
Himeko Sutori - A New Tactical JRPG
The developer of a new Tactical JRPG game called Himeko Sutori has opened a thread on our site. This is my first time hearing of this game, and can't find a website.
Himeko Sutori is a tactical JRPG putting the player in control of an army of over 100 unique named units that you can customize, equip, and level-up as you uncover the schemes and betrayals that have thrown the kingdom into civil war. Himeko Sutori will also come with all the assets and code needed for players to build their own campaigns using the Unreal Development Kit.
The game plays out in two general modes: exploration and combat. In exploration mode you'll be able to wander through city and countryside, talk to NPCs, get quests, buy equipment, hire and promote soldiers, and discover new places. The events in exploration mode can thrust you into combat mode, where you and your AI opponent will take turns moving your armies squad by squad across the battlefield, positioning them for the best tactical advantage.
In combat, each of your individual and unique characters will use his or her special abilities automatically to heal allies, pick off weak enemies, or deal out massive damage to enemy commanders. As you build your squads, you will have to make strategic decisions: Do you make a squad of all archers in order to maximize your ranged damage? Or do you mix in knights and clerics to make the squad more rugged in close combat?
You can also watch four development videos on YouTube.
This week I finally show you combat! You can now attack the enemy and the enemy will fight back. I basically have a functioning game now: Exploration and story mode, transitions into battle mode, and back into exploration and story mode. There's a lot more for me to add, but I think I have almost enough to show off for a Kickstarter campaign. What are your thoughts?
And just FYI, the ugly black lines that you see along the buildings are an artifact from how I built my lightmaps. My lighting was built to "preview quality" just so I could get this video out. In the future I just have to rebuild them at production quality and that should get rid of the problem.
Saturday - January 31, 2015
RPGSite - Upcoming RPGs of 2015
Zack Reese of RPGSite has complied a list of every RPG getting released in 2015. The list includes every game platform, and has information about each game.
After building a list of 100 games that would be arriving in 2014, the general consensus was that last year was going to be a pretty packed year what with the games already announced and those that had not yet been mentioned. Aside from some delays and unclear release dates that never came to pass, we still ended up getting a pretty good selection of titles to enjoy.
Well, forget all of that for right now, because this year, we are going to double that. That's right - I have 200 games on this list that I'm going to tell you a little about.
Now, the vast majority of these are dyed-in-the-wool RPGs, but there are a few visual novels and adventure games strewn about, but those are meant to appeal towards the broader audience that we have started tailoring our content towards since last year. Rest assured, though - there are only a few of those exceptions.
There are also a fair number of Steam Early Access titles, but considering they label themselves as alpha or beta currently, we're looking at proper releases for the year. Some of these games are seeing ports to a different platform this year, but those are again also small in number.
I hope you enjoy taking a look at what has basically been an eye-opening experience for me in discovering these new titles and hopefully just as interesting for yourself. I'll make sure to post links to the sequential postings as will publish a new article every day this week. All release dates are obviously subject to change.
Friday - January 30, 2015
Dragon's Dogma Online - First Trailer Released
Capcom Online Games released the first trailer for Dragon's Dogma Online, In-case you missed the announcement you can read the information here.
Wednesday - January 28, 2015
Dragonís Dogma Online - New Free-to-play Game
Those of us wanting a PC release of Dragon Dogma are out of luck as Capcom has announced a new Online Free-to-play version instead for console & pc players.
Dragon’s Dogma Online is similar to previous entries terms of combat. Clinging attacks remain present. Players will battle against big enemies in dramatic battles, and monsters can become enraged, leading to fiercer attacks.
As for jobs, those currently confirmed in the game include the Fighter, Hunter, Priest, and Shield Sage. Players will be able to change their jobs whenever they like, as well as the jobs of their pawns.
Character creation has seen an upgrade. The number of sections and parts you can edit has been considerably increased. Crafting mechanics are also present. Pawns can make things like consumables, weapons, armor. Pawns can also work together to shorten crafting time and increase overall build quality.
The game is open-world, and that open-world will be expanded little-by-little via large-scale updates launched seasonally. Bigger missions where up to eight players can participate are implied to be coming in one of these updates. Time-exclusive quests are also planned.
Found on Gematsu.
Tuesday - January 20, 2015
Hardcore Gamer - Multiple Endings a Good Thing?
Alex Carlson of Hardcore Gamer posted a new editorial article where he talks about Multiple Endings in games, and asks if they are a good thing. So what do you all think?
So are multiple endings a good or bad thing? That’s a tough call. Sure, you can get a greater power of choice or be pushed to improve your skills, but you can also spend hours getting an alternate ending that might not be worth the effort (or in extreme cases, be meaningless). Using multiple endings can be very risky for developers; the endings need to be worth the extra effort for people to actually care about them. They can’t be in a game just for the sake of being there; no one would play them otherwise.
Monday - January 19, 2015
Amber Throne - A Turn-based RPG
Amber Throne is a turn-based PC RPG with a painted theme, and has no official webpage yet, but the developer seems to update his twitter account every week
Amber Throne is a turn-based PC RPG with a painted theme, taking place in a desert-world with an ancient castle looming far above.
You can also view a few screenshots on its Imgur page.
Thursday - January 15, 2015
Bastion - Late Review @ Steam First
Kevin Gibson of Steam First posted a late review for Bastion this week. I have never played the game yet so I can't make a comment. What about all of you?
Bastion is a rare gem surrounded by a cluster of common unattractive rocks, and I was lucky enough to trip over it. This game has been out for five years and I was not aware of its existence until recently. If you weren’t lucky enough to trip over Bastion, at least you stumbled upon this review.
Bastion is the first game brought to life by Supergiant Games, a small independent studio consisting of seven members. Even though this was their first game, it won multiple awards and they have sold over 2 million copies. I’m sure a major factor to the game’s success is the cheap price tag, and combined with Steam sells, you can easily pick up this gem for under 10 dollars. Now that we got the fluff out of the way, let’s dive into the calamity-stricken city of Caelondia as the infamous Kid.
Wednesday - January 14, 2015
XP4T - Camelot Unchained Interview
Mark Jacobs of City State Entertainment.
Camelot Unchained is an upcoming subscription-based, RvR-focused MMORPG being developed by City State Entertainment. We wrote about it a few weeks ago here. We had the chance to touch base with the creator, Mark Jacobs who was kind enough to answer a few of our questions.
Monday - January 12, 2015
Digitally Downloaded -Overlooked Games of 2014
Digitally Downloaded has a new list of of ten games from 2014 that were overlooked.
Before we get fully into the new year, I thought we'd take one last look at the year that was. Specifically, games that came and went in 2014 with barely a ripple. Oh sure, these games were released, reviewed, and some people bought them, but as the year wore on these games were all but forgotten. People stopped talking about them on social media, there were no "looking back" articles, and they rarely featured in the end of year awards nominations.
Some of the games include Paper Sorcerer, Bound By Flame, and a few more.
MMO-Play - Does Story Matter Anymore in MMOs?
Jeff Francis of MMO-Play wonders if story matter anymore in MMO games, and posted a new article with his opinion. Now do you all agree with him, or is he wrong?
There are quite a few features of mmorpg games that appeal to me, such as an interesting combat system, how quests are designed, and systems such as companions and player housing. However, there is one aspect of online games that really pulls at my imagination and drags me into the game's world: the story and lore behind the game. Game developers usually go to great lengths to craft a suitable backdrop on which to paint the action and ethos of the game, but the majority of players seem to ignore this facet of the game. Does story matter anymore in mmos?
Saturday - January 10, 2015
New Poll - Best RPG's of the 80's
Alright everyone I got a little surprise for you all today as the Staff of a website called XP4T wants your help in deciding, "What are the Best RPG's of the 80's?"
After the poll ends the site will create a video based on the results, and will have more polls to come. You can also debate among yourselves, and suggest more games.
So what are you waiting for go vote, and have your voice heard.
Welcome back to the days of yore! Some of us have very fond memories of the early days of PC based RPGs, whereas some of you may not even have been born. Regardless, maybe there are one or two jewels below that you’re unaware of, but yet again maybe you know them all and thus will have a very hard time choosing only 5!
Based on YOUR votes, we’ll be slapping an AWESOME video together. Don’t see a game that you think should be on the list? No problem. Just write the name of the game below in the comments, and if it’s an 80’s PC based role playing game, we’ll add it to the list.
So, without further ado, here are the nominees for XP4T’s Best RPGs of the 80’s, with a brief description of each game below the poll for your convenience.
Friday - January 09, 2015
Technobabylon - A Cyberpunk Adventure Game
Technobabylon is a Cyberpunk adventure game from a developer called Wadjet Eye Games. Now it's not an RPG game but we many members who play adventure games.
Technobabylon takes place in a dystopian cyberpunk future where genetic engineering is the norm, the addictive Trance has replaced almost any need for human interaction, and an omnipresent AI named Central powers the city. Its all-seeing CEL police force keeps tabs on everyone... including three people who are about to meet their maker.
Wednesday - January 07, 2015
Capsule Computers - Cyberpunk Games in 2015
Capsule Computers posted a new article about the rise of Cyberpunk Games in 2015.
“Cyberpunk is what happens when you have a society that has the technology level of Star Trek… and is led by the likes of Gordon Gekko”
The above is a simple definition of generic cyberpunk settings by a friend of mine. It’s short. It’s sweet. It’s full of references to pop culture. What’s not to love?
Continuing on from this succinct explanation, one could easily suggest that the ‘high-tech, low-life’ dystopia of Cyberpunk is closer to reality than fiction. Consider that last year we marvelled at the scientific brilliance of the human race as the European Space Agency landed a spacecraft on a meteor passing Earth. All the while, however, Europe (and a lot of the world) was undergoing some of the toughest austerity measures since the last century. Many once prosperous nations are now dealing with high unemployment and poverty. It’s quite be easy to see the present ‘topia’ as more ‘dys’ and less ‘u’, with life becoming tough for many around the world.
As we are now, things are becoming pretty damn cyberpunk…
Now chummer, if you’re like me, you’re probably going to need a little practice to survive in this new world of murderous megacorps, novahot hackers, and cybered-up street samurai. To help with that, here’s a short list of some computer simulations you can check out to get better acquainted with the new ways of the world. True to cyberpunk form, all these games are ‘bleeding edge’ tech (early access) and without the official backing of a megacorp (indie). They all have their own merits which make them worthy of your notice, if not your hard earned cash at the current moment. So grab your trench coat and mirrorshades as I show you life on the streets…
Dontnod - Hiring For New RPG or ARPG
Farflame sent me a link with information about another french developer called Dontnod is making a new RPG, or ARPG. Their last game was called Remember Me.
According to a recent post on the developers website that directs to a French Jobs site, it says Dontnod is looking for a Game / Level designer with strong experience in it. Leaving us a hint that a new action role playing game is in the works.
Tuesday - January 06, 2015
Brian Reynolds - Shooter/RPG Dream Games
Bluesnews has info on Brian Reynolds Alpha Centauri Shooter & other RPG games.
A thread on Ken Levine's Facebook page discusses the uncertainty surrounding some game properties, as the Irrational Games boss says that he doesn't actually know who owns the rights to System Shock, the old-school action/RPG that inspired the BioShock series, though he confirms that Take-Two owns the rights to BioShock (thanks Jivaro).
The thread includes some interesting participation from other developers, as George Broussard suggests Kickstarting another "spiritual successor" to System Shock using the Unity engine, and there are also posts from Brian Reynolds. Reynolds says the System Shock rights sound as convoluted as the Alpha Centauri rights, and his follow-up explanation reveals his desire to be able to create a shooter based on the 4X strategy series he helped design at Firaxis.
I for one would instantly buy any of those games if they ever got made.
Monday - January 05, 2015
GamersFTW - Does Star Wars Need a New RPG?
Andy Leavy of GamersFTW posted a new article were he talks about whether we need another Star Wars RPG. Well I agree with him, and I wont change my mind.
With Star Wars: Force Awakens coming closer with every passing minute and with it breathing new life into the Star Wars Series with a new trilogy and at least one spin-off movie, it can be said that Star Wars is back and looking to make an impact, and with this return to glory I must ask, is a new Star Wars RPG needed? I would say yes.
So what about the rest of you? Share your opinion in the comment section.
Wednesday - December 31, 2014
XP4T - Most Anticipated Games of 2015
Senior Editor Jeremiah Costello of XP4T sent me a link to his site where they posted a new article, and video about the Most Anticipated Games of 2015.
Saturday - December 27, 2014
PC World - Top 10 Games of the Year
Jhwisner sent us a link for PC World's annual Top 10 Games of the Year article.
Their stand outs include the following rpgs
#9 Dragon Age: Iquisition
#8 Dark Souls 2
#7 Legend of Grimrock 2
#3 Divinity Original Sin
#1 Wasteland 2
Honorable Mention: Shadowrun Returns Dragonfall, Elite Dangerous.
Gamemoir - Dragon Age Games I Wish Existed
Dragon Age: Black Flag
Say what you will about the problems of the Assassin’s Creed series, but Edward Kenway’s Caribbean adventure was one of the better ones and I for one would be quite happy to sail the Waking Sea and the Amaranthine Ocean as Isabela. In Inquisition, we’re told she returns to her life of piracy, becoming a sort of admiral or pirate queen. Black Flag’s exploration of colonies and plantations, naval confrontations, and ship upgrade system would all work in Thedas. Perhaps she could find a treasure that sets her on her way to finding something truly remarkable about the origins of Thedas – who knows, but I’d definitely be keen on seeing her ship take on Qunari dreadnought or ransacking a coastal town.
The game could have two protagonists, and expand further on the Assassin’s Creed template by allowing you to also play as Zevran or one of the other Antivan crows. Waiting to make a hit in Val Royeaux or Denerim – like the first game in the series which, for its repetitive nature, was the one most firmly focused on the actual act of killing important people.
Total War: Thedas
As Emperor of Orlais, you want to cement your country’s reputation as a superpower and thus, turn your gaze to a Ferelden invasion or a conquest of the Free Marches’ cities. As the Qunari, you seek to expand your faith across the face of the world and forever end the Tevinter Imperium’s meddling in Seheron. Perhaps you can turn Antiva into a global power or ally against a Blight. Medieval II featured Crusades and Jihads, which are similar to the Exalted Marches of the Chantry, an organisation which can be easily modelled on the Papal College of Cardinals. There were Inquisitors in the game too, albeit, serving a very different purpose. Battles are one of the key aspects of the Total War series, and magic would have to be implemented in a meaningful way that didn’t imbalance the game.
For more focus, the game could narrow in on a specific conflict, the Orlesian Civil War for instance, but I would hope for a range of playable factions with unique units and buildings.
Game Watcher - Game of the Year 2014
A new site called Game Watcher that used to be Strategy Informer has posted their picks for Game of the Year from the sites various team members.
2014 has been a hell of a year for games. The new consoles finally gave the bigger publishers an excuse to up their graphics settings. E3 showed us what great games we’ll be playing in 2016. The term “bug testing stage” was replaced by “we’ll patch it later, what’s the worst that could happen?”. The fight of Sexism Vs Ethics In Videogame Journalism continued unabated. And the question of “oh, so you cover more than just strategy games?” was finally put to rest as Strategy Informer rose from the ashes as Game Watcher. Truly 2014 was a memorable year, far better than that miserable 2013, which was so forgettable we forgot to do a Game of the Year feature for it. Ahem.
Anyway, this year with so many good games to choose from five of our writers - Adam Standing, Nick Horth, Simon Priest, editor Jamie Davey and myself Chris Capel - will name their own personal Games of the Year followed by what they’ll be catching up on in the Holiday break. We’ll then finish off with the Honourable Mentions, at which point you’ll be able to catch a breath from all the awesome before the massive shock to the system that is our official GameWatcher Game of the Year 2014. Let’s get on with it shall we?
Thursday - December 25, 2014
Idea Factory - New JRPGs on Steam
It look like JRPGs are selling well on Steam as Idea Factory International will be launching four new titles in the foreseeable future. Here are the details.
Before I forget the information comes from a site called Hardcore Gamer.
Although one isn’t even out yet and one was just released months ago, Idea Factory International has today announced that Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1, Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth2: Sisters Generation and Fairy Fencer F will be available for download on Steam exclusively for the PC. Please stay tuned for details for each title’s release date and system requirements!
Gamereactor - 25 Days of Indie Games Calendar
Gamereactor posted an in-depth look at a bunch of indie games for the last 25 days for X-mas. Each game on the calendar has previews, interviews, and other goodies.
Every day in the lead up to Christmas Eve, we'll take a look at an indie game, find out more about it, and look ahead towards 2015. We'll sum up our coverage and touch base with the developer in question, and hopefully shed some light on a few interesting games. Expect us to cover some well known and established names, as well as some you may not have heard of yet. We'll update this page as each calender entry gets published, so keep it bookmarked and check back every day and open the door to a new indie title.
Here are the ones that might interest various members of our site.
Monday - November 24, 2014
General News - Game Locations To Visit
And now for something completely different, here's ..... A site that has an image where they have tried to map actual locations on Earth to locations in games.
Not that news worthy perhaps, but It is kinda fun.
Wednesday - November 12, 2014
ExaGear RPG - A PC Android Emulator
Vadim Gimpelson notified me of his new PC Emulator for Android decices.
ExaGear RPG is an emulator for Android which allows you to run PC games on Android devices. ExaGear RPG is the version of ExaGear Mobile with customization of controls for RPG games. NOTE that no games are included in this application and this application does not work without your own PC game files!
Current controls are customized and adapted for:
• Fallout 1, 2 (controls ‘Ferrum’ are recommended)
• Might and Magic VI, VII, VIII (controls ‘Magnesium’ are recommended)
The list of tested and adapted games will increase.
For more details visit http://eltechs.com/product/exagear-mobile/
King of Dragon Pass - New Retrospective
Hardcore Gaming 101 has posted a new article with a look back at King of Dragon Pass.
King of Dragon Pass is a forgotten gem that might finally get recognition it deserves due to its mobile port. While the game is not perfect, its strong writing (clan creation and heroquests feature possibly the best mythological stylization in the history of video games), beautiful artwork and addictive gameplay make up for its flaws. It's also a very ambitious project and a game unlike any other - and that alone makes it worth playing.
Monday - November 10, 2014
Chicks Dig Gaming - Book about Women & Games
Tomorrow the 11th of November the book 'Chicks Dig Gaming' will be available, This is a sister book to the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords and other publications from Mad Norwegian Press.
In Chicks Dig Gaming, editors Jennifer Brozek (Apocalypse Ink Productions), Robert Smith (Who is the Doctor) and Lars Pearson (editor-in-chief, the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig series) bring together essays by nearly three dozen female writers to get their views on why they love gaming and the games they play.
Authors such as Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland…, Indistinguishable from Magic) examines Super Mario Bros. through the lens of Samsara, the Wheel of Birth and Rebirth; Seanan McGuire (the October Daye series) details how gaming taught her math; G. Willow Wilson (Alif the Unseen) revels in World of Warcraft; and Rosemary Jones (Forgotten Realms) celebrates world traveler Nellie Bly and the board game she inspired. Also featured are some exclusive interviews with Paizo CEO Lisa Stevens and Dragonlance author Margaret Weis.
Editor Jennifer Brozek describes best what this book is about:
Despite the progress made in gender equality in various gaming arenas conventions, online gaming organizations, gaming podcasts and shows, and with professional authors, game designers, and artists - there is still an element that believes "girls don't game" and that "women don't belong in gaming." With this collection of non-fiction essays from both game lovers and industry professionals, I wanted to show the diversity of the women in gaming and the women who love all kinds of games.
We received a review copy, but I did not get far enough to actually cast a verdict, but I enjoyed what I read up to now.
Six Ages - New Developer Blog Post
Fewer than 20% of our survey participants said that Glorantha was not important. And we could certainly use a different setting. As I said, a non-historical setting is extremely convenient. While we tried to make King of Dragon Pass a realistic Bronze/Iron Age game, we didn’t have to worry about someone complaining that infant mortality was unrealistically low or that Sir Ethilrist didn’t start armoring his steeds until 1440.
One friend pointed out that fantasy settings give you lots of benefits in the market, but creating a good one (especially with any sort of coherent mythology) is a lot of work. Why not license one?
Which is basically what we did. We get a world with a history of conflicts and a rich mythology, both features well-suited for creating a story game. The fact that Glorantha is also a well-regarded setting, explored by games such as RuneQuest, Dragon Pass, HeroQuest, and 13th Age was a plus.
Saturday - November 08, 2014
Rebel Galaxy - From Torchlight & Blizzard Devs
In March they left Runic, launched themselves into the black of space and never looked back.Their new company is called Double Damage Games, and the result of their work - now ready to show to the public for the first time - is called Rebel Galaxy.
A quote on how they see the game:
Baldree and Schaefer insist that what makes Rebel Galaxy different from the games they've made in the past is the way the story will unfold, and how players will have the opportunity to create and play a role. "The funny thing is," Baldree said, "we did all these action role-playing games in the past, but Rebel Galaxy is more of a role-playing game than any of them were. You can have conversations with people and the things you say have consequences that matter.
Sunday - November 02, 2014
SH: Crimes & Punishments - Now Available
This game was released on Sept 30th. Here's a quote about what this game does differently than the others:
Unlike the previous Sherlock Holmes investigations, you won't merely be following the great detective as he conducts his enquiries; in "Crimes & Punishments" you actually play Sherlock Holmes and carry out your own investigations; several in fact, because in this game you won't just have to solve one, but eight high-profile, gripping and varied cases. Murders, disappearances, spectacular thefts and sensational cases will sometimes take you to the realms of the fantastic in this stunning game of investigation in the fine tradition of the Conan Doyle novels.
Crimes & Punishments marks the most important stage in the Sherlock Holmes series. The decision by Frogwares studios to switch from the in-house engine to the Epic Unreal Engine 3 enables a much richer, more immersive and detailed rendering of both the environments and characters. But the change of game engine has not only improved the graphics; new investigation techniques have been developed and the game can now offer 14 game mechanics.
Dreamfall Chapters - Book One Available
Since October 21st this game has been available to those of us who love adventure
Dreamfall Chapters - Book One is available now in the Steam Store, the Humble Store and on GOG for $29.99. The Special Edition is also available for $34.99. The series will continue with Books Two through Five and will be released throughout 2015. Book One is also scheduled for release on PlayStation 4 in early 2015.
You can view the full press release here. Here's a quote about the story:
In game, players will explore fantastic locations and mature themes through the eyes of familiar faces, determining the course of their journeys through their choices and actions, and living with the surprising and sometimes devastating consequences. Every decision made within the game will have a significant impact on the way the story plays out. The game's innovative social system gives players the option to see what decisions their friends made, before they make and share their own.
Wednesday - October 29, 2014
Six Ages - The Saga Begins Update
Fifteen years ago, A Sharp’s first game went on sale. King of Dragon Pass was a unique blend of interactive storytelling and resource management, set in the mythical world of Glorantha.
In fifteen years, there has never been another game like it. King of Dragon Pass had its own influences, and has influenced other games. But nothing else interwove stories of politics, culture, and individuals, and tied them together with a living world of magic.
We are now working on a successor, with the working title Six Ages.
Over the years, lots of people asked for a sequel of some sort. The obvious follow-up would be a game that was just King of Dragon Pass with new scenes. I know that some players would be pleased with that, but that never felt like enough. If I’m going to work on something for over a year, the project needs to have at least some novel twist. (It doesn’t have to be as groundbreaking as King of Dragon Pass, which I believe was the first storytelling strategy game!) Over the years I toyed with some ideas, but nothing seemed like it would work. Finally, a few months ago, I had an inspiration.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell you much. Partly that’s because development is still in the early stages. Mostly it’s because Six Ages is an ambitious project, and won’t be released for well over a year. A lot can change in development. And right now, there’s nothing interesting to show anyway.
But I can say that the game will consist of meaningful story choices tied together by the economic challenges facing a small community. It will be set in Glorantha and draw from its rich cultures and mythology. And it’s intended to be highly replayable.
Tuesday - October 28, 2014
Six Ages - Sequel to King of Dragon Pass
The developer of King of Dragon Pass posted information about a game called Six Ages that will be a spiritual successor in name only. He will post more details this week.
As Unique as the Original
Six Ages is the spiritual successor to King of Dragon Pass. It will be a storytelling game set in the magical world of Glorantha, retaining King of Dragon Pass’s distinctive blend of roleplaying, resource management, and decisions with long-term consequences.
The game is now in development. We have ambitious plans and a small team, so we don’t expect to release anything before 2016.
Saturday - October 18, 2014
3030 Deathwar - 2D Top-Down Space RPG
I received news from developer Crunchy Leaf Games about their new 2D Top-Down Space RPG called 3030 Deathwar. Here is the usual video to help preview the game.
3030 Deathwar is a Top-Down 2D Space RPG
Similar to games like Escape Velocity Nova and Elite/Privateer, the game features Open World exploration, boarding stations and derelicts, many diverse NPCs, tons of missions and an exciting plot! The new version adds higher resolution, massive balance and gameplay changes, a smoother tutorial and many other improvements! You play John Falcon, a rogueish space adventurer, down on his luck, who gets involved in uncovering a huge conspiracy that will determine the future of mankind.
Record of Agarest War Zero - Android Release
If any of you play games on your Android phones it seems Record of Agarest War Zero is also being ported, and will be released on October 19th. Here are the details.
"Record of Agarest War Zero" will be available on Sunday October 19th on Android!
We hope you can rendezvous with us
HyperDevbox in collaboration with Idea Factory proudly announces that the massively popular tactical role-playing game (RPG), Record of Agarest War Zero, will be available on Sunday October 19th on Android.
"We are extremely excited to bring yet another premium full video console game to mobile devices," says HyperDevbox founder and CEO Carlo Perconti. "After our successful launch of Spectral Souls, Generation of Chaos, Blazing Souls Accelate, and Record of Agarest War for Android users worldwide, we are confident that Record of Agarest War Zero, prequel of Record of Agarest War, will satisfy the thirst of J-RPG fans at home or on the go.”
We hope you can rendezvous with us on Sunday October 19th at 8pm EST(5pm PST) for the release of Record of Agarest War Zero on Android!
Based in Tokyo and founded in 2005 by Carlo Perconti, HyperDevbox is a multi-platform developer and publisher, mainly focused on bringing fun, high-quality and technically advanced games to Smartphones and tablets.
For more information, visit the HyperDevbox web site: www.hyperdevbox.com
About Idea Factory:
Located in Tokyo and founded in 1994, Idea Factory has developed and published many well-received RPGS and innovative visual novel games. Some of their more popular titles include, Hyperdimension Neptunia, Agarest War, the Hakuoki series, Fairy Fencer F and Sorcery Saga. Idea Factory is part of the Idea Factory Group, which comprises Idea Factory, Compile Heart, Design Factory and Idea Factory International.
Wednesday - October 15, 2014
Deep Dungeons of Doom - Released on Steam
Bossa Studios sent over a press release about their new Dungeon Crawler game Deep Dungeons of Doom is now available for purchase on Steam.
Deep Dungeons of Doom is pretty rad and now on Steam
London Dungeon, October 14, 2014 - Bossa Studios invites you into the Deep Dungeons of Doom, available now on Steam! Developed in partnership with MiniBoss Studios in Brazil, Deep Dungeons of Doom is an old-school 8-bit adventure that is sure to reignite glorious gaming memories of dungeon days gone by.
Deceptively simple to play yet devilishly difficult to master, this Rogue-like Dungeon Crawler is not for the faint-hearted. Step into the boots of the Crusader, robes of the Witch or hood of the Mercenary and take on multitudes of monsters that will require all of your cunning, skills and tactics to defeat! The reward for your endeavours? The Deepest Dungeon of Doom. Never before has evil existed on such a massive scale!
With animation from Glauber Kotaki (Rogue Legacy) and art by Pedro Medeiros & Amora Bettany (Towerfall) Deep Dungeons of Doom also features the kind of retro soundtrack that will have you gaming like it's 1985! Cassettes may not be available (sadly) but you can download the whole thing right here: http://bossastudios.bandcamp.com/album/deep-dungeons-of-doom-original-soundtrack
Deep Dungeon of Doom is available now on Steam, priced £3.99/$4.99/€4.99:http://store.steampowered.com/app/325090/
Previously available as a free-to-play mobile game, Deep Dungeons of Doom will soon re-launch as a newly re-balanced premium app on iOS and Android devices, removing all in-app purchases, priced £2.99/$4.99/€4.49. Owners of the original iOS version will be able to download the new game for free!
Saturday - October 11, 2014
Unity Engine - Up For Sale?
CNet has news the popular Unity Engine that is used in vast amount of indie games, and kickstarters is up for sale. Is this good, or bad news what do you all think?
Unity is part of a growing trend in the technology industry, aimed at making it easier to create code. The company doesn't just let game developers make programs easier and faster. It also offers developers a way to produce apps for many different platforms without a lot of extra hassle. That's key since many mobile game makers are made up of small companies with just a handful of employees and limited resources.
Game industry executives say it's probably too soon for developers to worry about Unity's future. But if a sale happens, it will spur debate about where Unity is headed and whether it can remain the most popular engine for making mobile games.
Tuesday - October 07, 2014
Omnis: The Erias Line - A New RPG Maker Game
Developer Stephen Elder sent me news about his new RPG Maker game called Omnis: The Erias Line. I know many of you frown on these games, but give it a chance.
He sent over a demo link, and a trailer to share with eveyone.
Orphan and Skyler have arrived in Verdamm after a decade of travel, looking for a place to settle. But they find it to be far from the utopia they were expecting. Before they have a chance to escape they are forcefully recruited into the 'Operatives' - a covert network of mercenaries and desperate killers born from the city's savage depression.
Their first assignment sets them on a path that will pit them, and their bond, against events that are spiraling out of control.
To survive they must fight for lesser evils and for each other, all while enduring the sinister fascination of a strange, omnipresent entity - an entity obsessed with testing the limits of their love and proving that it can be utterly broken...
Gabriel Knight Remake - Pre-launch Celebrations
Pinkerton Road announces a few Pre-launch Celebrations for the Gabriel Knight Remake in a new pre release. Here's the the information if you're curious.
PRE-LAUNCH CELEBRATIONS FOR GABRIEL KNIGHT: SINS OF THE FATHERS® 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION KICK-OFF AS 10 DAYS OF GABRIEL KNIGHT COUNTDOWN BEGINS
New Screenshots, Videos, and More to Be Released, Plus an Upcoming Reddit AMA with Jane Jensen on Oct. 9th
Mount Joy, Penn. – October 6th, 2014 – Fans eagerly awaiting the release of classic adventure game remake Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers® 20th Anniversary Edition have yet another reason to celebrate as the countdown to launch in 10 days kicks off with new screens, movies, free downloads, and other ongoing activities, which will be available every day until launch via the game's official website - www.GabrielKnight20th.com. In addition to checking the website to discover new goodies each day, enthusiasts can also enjoy exclusive one-on-one time with gaming legends Jane Jensen and Robert Holmes via a Reddit AMA this Thursday, October 9th, at 2 PM Eastern/11 AM Pacific/6 PM GMT.
Starting the 10 Days Countdown with a bang, publisher Pinkerton Road and developer Phoenix Online Studios have released new screenshots of the Ritter’s ancestral German home, Schloss Ritter. The new scenes have been updated from the original Sins of the Fathers to more closely match the castle as seen in the sequel, Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within®, where the castle featured as a central location.
Fans are invited to check Pinkerton Road and Phoenix Online Studios' social channels every day for new surprises which will be released as part of the 10 Days countdown, as well as www.GabrielKnight20th.com. They can also catch up on current activities here:
Rediscover the Adventure Webseries: A four-part webseries about the adventure and storytelling genre, featuring leading adventure game designers and industry experts: www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL81fkQFV9OUluiUr2cbfQV4ZV6VzyNrL1
Poster Tagline Contest: Submit a tagline for three Gabriel Knight posters; winners will receive a copy of the original Gabriel Knight box copy, signed by Jane Jensen! postudios.tumblr.com/search/gabriel+knight+contest
The Gabriel Knight Blog Series: A look at the story, gameplay, features, history and more of Gabriel Knight: www.postudios.com/blog/?cat=43
Pre-orders for the game are still available at Steam, GOG.com, the Phoenix Online Store and other online retailers for $16.99 and the pre-order exclusive of the official, remastered soundtrack.
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers® 20th Anniversary Edition will retail for $19.99 when it launches for PC and Mac on October 15, 2014.
Monday - October 06, 2014
Sproggiwood - A Turn-Based Roguelike
I received news about the following game that may not be for everyone. The game is called Sproggiwood, and is being developed by a studio called Freehold Games.
Sproggiwood is a story-driven, turn-based roguelike set in a world of mischief and wonder. One moment, you’re a simple farmer from the peaceful island of Clog -- the next, you’re lured through a mysterious portal by a talking sheep. Now you’re the prisoner of Sproggi, a mischievous forest spirit who enlists your help civilizing his realm. Work with Sproggi to grow your civilization, plunder procedural dungeons, and unlock six unique classes. Each time you dive into a dungeon, level up a new character and combine skill powers to produce an utterly original adventure. But there’s a twist than even Sproggi doesn’t know: a rival civilization is on the rise to greatness. Will you choose to befriend these curious mushroom people and stand together, or will you crush them and claim Sproggiwood for your own?
Sunday - October 05, 2014
Hardcore Games - 12 Best PC RPGs of All Time
Hardcore Games posted a new article where they list the twelve best PC RPGs of all time. Now remember the games are their picks, and not yours.
I love console RPGs. Some of my favorite games of all time are console RPGS. Without console RPGs, the gaming landscape would be a much, much worse place.
Now that we have that disclaimer out of the way, can we all take a moment to acknowledge that there is no genre (outside of perhaps the FPS) that the PC does better than the RPG?
From the outset, PC RPG developers have aimed to create and foster a genre that made no concessions for even the theoretical limitations of its fanbase. Instead, they have aimed to create experiences of such impossible depth, that you may still be falling into one that was made well before you were even born.
Usually trying to narrow down the best of such a genre would be a task best handled with the assistance of a bottle of whiskey, but in this instance I gladly welcome, and even eagerly anticipate, all dissension regarding the selections found below. After all, if you have in mind a game that could possibly stand shoulder to shoulder with these titans of gaming that I have not considered or heard of, then please, please do not hesitate to share it in the comments below.
Oh, and if you’re wondering why there are some games on this list that originally appeared on console, the answer is as it always has been; The PC did it better.
Wednesday - October 01, 2014
General News - New Week Long Sales
Here is a roundup of a few games on sale this week.
Saturday - September 27, 2014
Sacred Tears - High Quality Doujin JRPG
I was sent a press release with information for a new JRPG game game called The Sacred Tears TRUE from Nyu Media, and AlphaNuts. Here in the information, and new video.
THE SACRED TEARS TRUE DEBUTS ON STEAM TODAY!
English language debut of the high quality doujin JRPG with innovative gameplay and a ton of heart!
Nyu Media is delighted to announce that the doujin JRPG The Sacred Tears TRUE made its English language debut today on Steam for PC (Windows), priced only $9.99.
THE CITY ADVENTURE IS HERE!
The Sacred Tears TRUE is a doujin RPG that blends the best of the JRPG genre with innovative and fun game elements, plus high quality art and music in one honest-to-goodness gem of a game.
Seil and his childhood friend Seana are neophyte thieves in the Thieves Guild of Genoseed City. By day they work at their private investigation agency, “Millionaire”; by night they undertake missions across the city on behalf of the Thieves Guild. Sacred Tears TRUE is the story of these young thieves and their pursuit of dreams and adventure.
Sacred Tears TRUE brings both traditional JRPG elements and fresh and unique features such as a deceptively simple but deep card battle system, redistributable skill points, graphics by Takashi KONNO (Shichinin no Bukiya), and music by Hiroyuki Ojima (Accel World, When They Cry anime) and Shimotsuki Haruka (Atelier Iris, Ace Attorney Orchestral Performance)
Each of the 48 chapters in Sacred Tears TRUE comprises of a single mission or case. Each chapter is a standalone episode, but as the game progresses, the world and characters are further explored and the main dramatic story arc plays out.
- Quite simply one of the best ever doujin RPG and a must-have for any JRPG fan!
- Fresh and engaging characters, stories, and drama – from comedy to romance to political intrigue.
- Traditional and new JRPG features, including a unique card battle system, redistributable skill points, and multiway system!
- Outstanding replay value: 24 main story chapters and 24 side chapters!
- Chapter (5–30 mins each) format for easy play!
- A treasure trove of beautiful, high quality character art by Takashi KONNO!
- An exceptional original soundtrack by Ojima Hiroyuki & Shimotsuki Haruka!
Sacred Tears TRUE releases for the PC (Windows) priced $9.99 on Steam on September 25th, followed by the Humble Store, GamersGate, Desura and other leading digital distributors from the following week.
The Sacred Tears TRUE homepage: http://SacredTearsTRUE.com
Opening movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCAuVK_LgJU
Battle gameplay sample: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W_fvKLgkCZM
Thursday - September 25, 2014
RPGWatch - Leonard Bedner Interview
I had the chance to ask a few questions of Leonard Bedner who goes by the name of Challseus in the Neverwinter mod community. So if you have time to spare give a read.
Couchpotato: Can you talk about how Atari handled the whole process for paid mods when you worked at Ossian Studios? I recall Darkness over Daggerford, and Mysteries of Westgate both had problems.
Leonard Bedner: I joined Ossian Studios at the tail end of development for Darkness over Daggerford, so I wasn't privy to many of the details surrounding Atari's abrupt cancellation of Bioware's Premium Module initiative. But the rug was seemingly pulled from under our feet with nothing we could really do about it. At that time, about a year's worth of work had already been done on the game, so it made sense to continue work on it and release it to NWVault for free. Looking back, I believe that helped Ossian, because we gained more fans than we would have if we had sold it via the Premium Module program.
As for the pain that was the development of Mysteries of Westgate, I was there from start to finish, and I remember it quite well. Shortly after DoD was released in late 2006, I took some time to myself to release "Cry The Beloved" a few months later in October. After that, I had a month to myself to recuperate, then I began receiving the design documents for what would become MoW. For me at least, development started in earnest in late November/early December.
Now, throughout 2007, things went pretty well. Then towards the end of the summer, I was CC'd on a bunch of different emails discussing this server side authentication solution Atari wanted. I didn't think much of it, because hey, it was a digital download only game. I got that.
I don't remember the exact date, but around late August/early September, I was done with my main development. I was then tasked with creating the cutscenes in game that would become part of the intro movie that Alan would later put together. From my perspective, the release of the game was imminent. Then, it began...
For whatever reason, excuse after excuse began to come from Atari over what was going on with the server side auth check. One day, it's "We're not sure how we're going to implement it", then, it's, "We've hired a contractor to write the net code, should only be another few weeks", and after a few weeks, it's "We had to bring a more experienced person on board, sorry, going to take longer".
From my perspective, it just seemed like we were a lower priority to them, and since the company was obviously in disarray, no one was thinking about us. I mean, this went on forever. Think about it. I finish development in late 2007, and it doesn't come out until 2009? During that time, not one, but two expansions came out from Obsidian!
Dealspwn - Drew Karpyshyn Interview
Dealspwn has started a new article series about interactive narratives in games, and their first interview is with Drew Karpyshyn. He talks about KOTOR and Mass Effect.
Back when I first started thinking about this whole Interactive Narratives idea, the first certainty would be that Knights of the Old Republic would be my starting point. It stands as arguably the best game that BioWare have ever made, is a game I attempt to play through at least once every 12-18 months, and back at the 2004 Game Developers Choice Awards it won three major prizes: Game of the Year, Excellence in Writing, and Best Original Character (take that, meatbags).
I think we can all agree that it's pretty damn good.
Naturally, therefore, my first port of call was Drew Karpyshyn, lead writer on KOTOR and the first two titles for the also-critically-acclaimed space opera that followed as BioWare sought to create a universe that was all their own in Mass Effect. After a spot of email swapping, difficulties in aligning schedules, holidays that fell at inopportune times on both sides, we finally managed to get a little exchange going, and I fired over a number of questions to him about how he got into the business of writing interactive fiction, and his experience working with such a massive IP as Star Wars, before comparing that to building something from scratch with Mass Effect.
Wednesday - September 24, 2014
Magicmaker - A 2D Sidescrolling RPG-Platformer
Magicmaker, the ultimate spellcrafting/wizard-security-guard adventure, is now available on Steam, GOG, and Shiny Loot for only $9.99!
Magicmaker is powered by an amazing Spellcrafting system that can make nearly anything. Have you ever wanted to shoot poisonous lightning lasers? Throw freezing fireballs? Build turrets that fire waves of miniature suns? Or summon hordes of adorable jelly minions? How about firing lasers that shoot exploding black holes that suck out your enemies' life force?
Because you can totally do all of that in Magicmaker.
Magicmaker is a 2D sidescrolling rpg-platformer with a spellcrafting system that can make nearly anything. With 2,193,360 different combinations, you can be the wizard you've always wanted to be!
Magicmaker also has randomly generated levels, lots of customization options, and a robecrafting system similar to the spellcrafting for passive abilities.
You're a young wizard with no job, a huge rent payment due, and a certificate from 3-week cheesemaking course. But the World of Magic has all kinds of opportunities for magic-users! Just brave the perilous journey to the legendary WIZARD TEMP AGENCY down the street and take whatever career the Job Placement Spell picks for you.
And it thinks you'd make a great Security Guard!
That's right! Now you're a wizard security guard for Dörwall Community College, the preeminent wizarding school of the Greater Dörwall Metropolitan Area. Go on adventures, protect the students, do your co-worker's jobs for them. Maybe save the world, but only once you're off work.
Please look forward to Magicmaker, and to your ultimate spellcrafting/wizard-security-guard adventure!
Friday - September 12, 2014
General News - New Game Sales
Here are a few more game sales this week I decided to share. So up first we have a new Kalypso Humble Bundle with the usual pay what you want with added extras.
Kalypso is back to bundle again! It was almost one year ago when Kalypso Media came to bundle town on a mission to share their unique brand of strategy games with the masses. We missed them dearly and are elated to bundle with them again and share more of their catalog with you. Pay $1 or more for Grand Ages Rome - Gold Edition, Imperium Romanum - Gold Edition, Airline Tycoon 2 and Disciples III: Gold Edition. Beat the average price to also get Tank Operations: European Campaign, Patrician III and Patrician IV. Pay $9 or more to get everything plus Omerta: City of Gangsters and Port Royale 3.
The Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning: Collection is 75% off for $9.99 till September 15th.
The minds of New York Times bestselling author R.A. Salvatore, Spawn creator Todd McFarlane, and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion lead designer Ken Rolston have combined to create Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, a new role-playing game set in a world worth saving. Build the character you've always wanted and continuously evolve it to your style of play with the revolutionary Destiny system. Choose your path and battle through a master-crafted universe featuring some of the most intense, responsive, and customizable RPG combat ever.
And once again two versions of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are 75%off on Steam.
The next chapter in the highly anticipated Elder Scrolls saga arrives from the makers of the 2006 and 2008 Games of the Year, Bethesda Game Studios. Skyrim reimagines and revolutionizes the open-world fantasy epic, bringing to life a complete virtual world open for you to explore any way you choose.
Den of Geek - Big Name RPGs & MMO Route
Den of Geek's writer Laura Hardgrave has a new article that asks the question why do big name RPGS always need to go the MMO route? Here is a short sample.
An unfortunate fate tends to follow the RPGs we love. Game developers often see their big, successful franchises as opportunities to balloon them into massive multiplayer online games that could go on for years. This might be World of Warcraft disease (and honestly, it must sound so enticing to follow in that phenomenon's footsteps), or it might be a simple desire to let fans romp around for years in a setting that constantly generates revenue, but it keeps happening. Cool RPGs are cool, but do the MMORPGs based on those franchises suffer?
Let’s write a quick list of the most recent candidates—Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, and finally—The Elder Scrolls Online, Zenimax Online Studio's MMO take on Bethesda's award-winning fantasy RPG franchise.
The statistics tend to agree: lots of people love Star Wars, Final Fantasy, and The Elder Scrolls. So obviously, the MMORPGs based on these licenses are pretty popular. Despite a rocky start, FFXIV (especially, this one -- boy, oh boy, have they turned this one around) and SWTOR seem to be holding their own among their set franchise audiences, but ESO? That’s another story altogether.
Cheat Code Central - Is Metacritic Important?
Metacritic is important to those who like to see numbers next to whatever is being reviewed, but it also can be helpful for gaining insight on the opinions of both critics and amateurs on a given game, movie or TV show; which can help towards an informed decision before committing to one.
It’s interesting to see two sets of scores for a given piece of media, but you’ll need to know when to personally draw the line on taking reviews from that website seriously, especially since some of the user comments can be absolutely unhelpful. Word of advice would be to not take Metacritic scores entirely seriously, and to not use it as a prime source.
So after reading the article do you agree with the writer?
Wednesday - September 10, 2014
GamerHubTV - Various Video Interviews
GamerHubTV has a bunch of new video interview posted in the last two days. So instead of posting them all separately it's easier to just put them in one news-bit.
So enjoy as all the news today is tiring me out.
Yager developer Jan Eric Lauble discusses co-op gameplay and new zombie bosses in this exclusive Unreal Engine 4 gameplay interview from the Deep Silver booth at Gamescom 2014.
Gearbox and 2K Australia discuss what's new with Borderlands The Pre Sequel in this exclusive gameplay preview interview from Gamescom 2014 in Cologne.
Ubisoft developer Erwan Le Breton discusses what's new in the long-running Might & Magic Heroes 7 game in this exclusive gameplay preview from Gamescom 2014
ArenaNet developer Devon Charver discusses the latest content for NCSoft and ArenaNet MMO Guild Wars 2 and how eSports is evolving with this game in this exclusive gameplay interview from Gamescom 2014.
MMORPG.com - PAX Prime 2014 Awards
MMORPG posted their award list for PAX Prime 2014, and what will matter to most of us on this site are the games that won. Here they are straight from the site.
Most Anticipated: Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor
Just when you thought you’ve had enough of the Lord of the Rings games, Warner comes along and produces something completely different. Shadows of Mordor offers a very new take on the Tolkien legend and brings in a new character, new story elements and a much more adult theme on the world. This game is harsh, evil, and deep. You are not just jumping on shields and shooting orcs in Mordor, it is a much darker affair than that. We saw the game at a demo on Thursday before the show began and then watched as thousands lined up to play it on the show floor. This action RPG breathes new life into the series and players will be rewarded with a much needed fresh take on Middle-earth.
Best RPG: Pillars of Eternity
Throwback games seem to be all the rage lately and Pillars of Eternity takes a classic look back at the days of the CRPG's past. If you were a fan of games like Baldur’s Gate or Icewind Dale you are going to love Pillars of Eternity. After a strong kickstarter campaign we now got to see a solid playable build on the show floor. Fans who got in early have been waiting in anticipation for this beautifully rendered world to come to their computers. No, it's not really the Infinity Engine, but it's as close as you can come with more than a few modern touches to make PoE a world all its own.
Best Indie RPG Darkest Dungeon
Once you pass the huge booths and big publishers at PAX you get to the Indie Game section. At both PAX East and PAX Prime this section of the floor was mobbed with people. Darkest Dungeon remains a beacon in the indie game movement with a small team and amazing artwork. The strong gameplay and deep story in this title make it an RPG to watch for next year's releases. Adding even more feature for PAX Prime the team showed off new classes, new abilities, and the town section of the game where players can try to relax from the horrors they witness when dungeon crawling.
Tuesday - September 09, 2014
Mark Morgan - Interview @ Timespace
Timespace has a new interview with the man behind the music of many RPGs Mark Morgan who talks about synthogy, spectrasonics, and surfing.
You went to the Berklee School of Music to continue your piano training and to learn composition but left after a few months. What did you do next?
After being in school for a minute I had this intense desire to play out more. I spent a couple of years playing in clubs and doing sessions, which then led to me spending most of the ‘80s on the road playing with different bands. In 1986 after touring with them I was asked to become a member of the Starship which I did till they disbanded in 1990...
Your music has very much an experimental and minimal approach – what instigated this style?
I’ve always been drawn to art with a minimalist aesthetic. Even as a kid I found myself on an emotional level being inspired by incomplex styles and experimental ideas. Besides the music I studied and listened to growing up I do think that architecture played a big part in forming that minimal approach.
The music for the video game Wasteland 2 was one of the most recent projects you worked on, how would you describe the finished soundtrack?
It’s very ambient and in some cases almost noise-based but also has a sort of a trance element. To capture the dark bleak atmosphere of the game the emotion was derived using sound and texture as opposed to traditional methods. Even the action music has that cold vibe but they do slam as well.
What other projects have you been working on recently?
I’m working on two games, another InXile project “Torment: Tides of Numenera” and “Stasis‘ from South African-based indie company The Brotherhood. I have also been doing some programming on a TV mini series ‘Under The Dome” with composer Snuffy Walden.
Sunday - September 07, 2014
Richard Garriott - Dragoncon 2014 Interview
Richard Garriott & Star Long where interviewed in a new video on at Dragoncon 2014, and talked about both their old and new games.
During Dragoncon, Richard Garriott & Starr Long invited me upstairs to talk about both their old and new games, as well as space poop, the death of game consoles, low-fi graphics and the morality police. Details within!
Friday - August 29, 2014
Twinfinite - Recent PC JRPG Trend
Mike Geib has a new article on Twinfinite about the latest trend with JRPG gamesfinally being released on the PC in the west again. I hope the trend continues.
Though some of you hate JRPG's some of us do not.
This quote comes from Manga: the Complete Guide by Jason Thompson (a great reference if you’re a fan); its context is a brief discussion on manga (Japanese comics) based on video games. The book itself was published in 2007, and its claim was quite true at the time. Japanese PC games, largely consisting of visual novels and a few RPGs, have never had a place in the U.S.
And now? What a time to be alive! Thanks to a number of factors this is no longer true and some great gems from the East are finally making it to the West. Given the history, however, can we expect this trend to continue?
Of course, we’re not just talking about the visual novels and dating sims that the Japanese are so fond of playing. Though they too are rising in popularity, their niche will always be relatively small. On the other hand, there are more than a few RPGs that hit Japanese PCs almost a decade ago that are only now making it to Western desktops.
Sunday - August 24, 2014
Entertainment Fuse - The 4v1 Co-op Trend
Entertainment Fuse has a new article about the new 4v1 Co-op trend in multiplayer gaming in the next couple of months. Bioware has joined it with Shadow Realms.
Will this new trend last? Well, it will depend on the success of the first wave of games attempting it. There’s a lot of hype right now around Evolve specifically and a lot of positive coverage about it coming out of industry events. If this game hits like people are expecting it to you can bet that we’ll see a lot more developers to take a shot at it. Hell, I bet there’s plenty of games going into development right now to capitalize on this trend.
Saturday - August 23, 2014
Jennifer Hale - Interview @ Nerdist
Jennifer Hale did a new interview on the Nerdist, and talks about how science influenced her on Mass Effect, and more games that I wont list.
Nerdist: Some of the recent games you’ve been in, especially Mass Effect and BioShock Infinite, seem to be on the more science side of science fiction. Does an enthusiasm for science draw you towards these roles?
Jennifer Hale: I’ve always loved science, but the truth is that I’m lucky to have the work that I do and I’m happy to have it. I seem to be suited for those roles. I used to read a lot as a kid. I had no friends, I hung out with my dog and I read all the time, so you can guess how popular I was. I used to always ask a million questions. My dad is a microbiologist and my mom was an academic, so I was raised around a lot of academics.
But I love science because I love the possibility of what can be.
N: Does that sense of wonder help you get behind games in the realm of possibility like Mass Effect?
JH: I like all that science because it just raises the level. In Bioshock [Infinite] I used to get caught up in listening to Ken [Levine] talking about the quantum physics aspects of the whole thing—I could have done that all day. I don’t know a tenth of what he knows but I could still listen and ask questions all day. I think the thing that resonates the most is the thing that is unnamable and unquantifiable, which is when people walk up to me or any of us on the team and say, “This changed my life.” That to me is the measure of success right there.
Friday - August 22, 2014
Heroes of Steel - A New Classic RPG
The Trese Brothers sent me an e-mail about their new game called Heroes of Steel. They desribe the game as a classic RPG with a mix of exploration, and turn-based combat.
The game is avaiable on Steam for $11.99.
Heroes of Steel is a tactical turn-based RPG in which you lead a group of four unique characters, each with their own talents, special powers, and abilities on their quest through the world of Steel. Engage in tactical combat with the ferocious, devious, and magical enemies who threaten humanity's last settlements. You must decide how to develop each character’s individual strategy in order to build a powerful and dynamic team capable of triumphing over the impossible odds. As you traverse the sprawling world of Steel, your party will face a myriad of challenges, battles, extensive mazes and fearsome enemies of all varieties.
Tuesday - August 19, 2014
Seven Dragon Saga - TSI's New RPG Game?
Thanks to the RPG Codex I have news about TSI's new RPG called Seven Dragon Saga.
So, the Tactical Simulations Interactive countdown we reported about last week expired today. In its place, came...another countdown, this time 15 days long. Perhaps realizing that was a bit silly, the TSI folks quickly altered the countdown's website. There's still a countdown, but now something of the nature of the game that will be announced has been revealed there - a reference to something called Seven Dragon Saga. What is Seven Dragon Saga, you ask? Evidently, a pen-and-paper roleplaying game developed by the people behind TSI, an additional SSI veteran by the name of Keith Brors, and a non-SSI vet named Gil Colgate. The latter two also work for MMO developer Cryptic Studios, so I guess this is more of a hobby for them. But don't take my word for it, check out the game's website.
A blog post by David Shelley explains:
"Seven Dragon Saga (SDS) is an unpublished paper and pencil fantasy RPG, which and I my friends have been developing for many years. I may a convert it to a single player computer game in the near future, so I thought I would talk about some of the choices we made and the reasoning behind them. I’m hoping the insight into our processes may help others who want to tweak their favorite system or even create their own.
My friends and I are all designers and engineers in the computer game industry, so we approached things from a technical perspective. The system is designed to model many of the cool effects seen in anime and wuxia (foreign martial arts) films. So the feeling is over-the-top fun, but still balanced to provide challenge and interest."
An additional post explains the system's design philosophy:
"SDS falls squarely in the simulation category of RPGs, meaning that we have detailed rules covering most aspects of play. Considering our background as computer game designers and engineers, I suppose it isn’t surprising we came down on that side. We find narrative games, where rules are simpler and adjudicated by the GM at play time are fun, but they favor those who can talk best, or manipulate the GM best. Several of our core players are deliberative and structured rules help them get the best out of their characters.
Of course, we have to fight the temptation to create a new algorithm, or create rules which only a computer would keep track of. In a computer version we can have plenty of conditionals, and take into account more variables, but it drains the fun from tabletop play.
We once allowed players to build their attacks from a lot of components (armor piercing x2, extra damage, extra target, etc.), but the min-maxers stopped play to evaluate every situation, and the casual players stuck to the one technique they could remember working. Slow play, big advantage to the min-maxer. Now we allow a single Stunt to modify attacks during the turn. It adds a bit of color and flexibility, without confusing things. And in a computer version we can automate the selection process and give the player just a few attack styles for a given situation."
You can view all of the system's rules and details on the website, including a brief overview of the campaign setting. Now, how all of this weirdness will come together in the form of a nostalgic Gold Box-like CRPG? That remains to be seen.
Wednesday - August 13, 2014
Sierra Studios - Revived From the Dead
Adventure game loves rejoice as defunct developer Sierra has been reborn, and has plans to resurrect King’s Quest . Here is the press release.
The Epic Return of King’s Quest and Geometry Wars 3 : Dimensions
Headline the List of New, Fan-Favorite Titles Planned to Launch Under the Sierra Brand
Köln, Germany – August 12, 2014 – With a renowned history that’s served as the origin for many nostalgic video game characters, worlds and experiences, Sierra™ continues on today in a return to form that fans of great games will love. A part of Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard (Nasdaq: ATVI), Sierra ’s focus is on indie studios developing innovative, edgy and graphically unique games, including new IPs and contemporary reimaginings of beloved Sierra classics. Headlining Sierra ’s slate of indie games is an all-new King’s Quest™ experience in 2015, and a new G eometry Wars ™ game planned to launch this holiday season. Additionally, the Sierra team is well underway exploring other indie projects to potentially launch later this year, and in 2015 and beyond.
In development by the beloved and quirky studio The Odd Gentlemen (The Misadventures of PB Winterbottom), King’s Quest is a fully reimagined version of the fan-favorite Sierra game fit for both the old and new generation of King’s Quest players. Huge fans of the original King’s Quest series, The Odd Gentlemen are crafting a charming new adventure with an awe-inspiring art style, engaging puzzles, and a wondrous interactive narrative brimming with humor. In the new story, King Graham – revered as the greatest adventurer to ever live – shares his life’s adventures with his curious granddaughter, Gwendolyn. It is through these tales that Gwendolyn discovers the true greatness of her grandfather. King’s Quest is expected to make its heralded return in 2015.
Today’s news about the future of Sierra was met with excitement from its original founder, Ken Williams. “We’re very proud of what we created all those years ago with Sierra Online, and today’s news about carrying Sierra forward as an indie-specific brand is very encouraging,” said Williams. “We look forward to seeing Sierra ’s independent spirit live on, and are especially excited to see what The Odd Gentlemen will do with King’s Quest.”
Sierra began in 1979 with a single 8-bit Apple II microcomputer, and founders Roberta and Ken Williams’ love for storytelling and new technology that drove a revolution in the adventure game genre, and forever changed the industry. Today, a new wave of independent artists and entrepreneurs are using the same inventive attitude and latest tech to create amazing gaming experiences, and that’s where Sierra comes into play. With the popularity of digital platforms like Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and Steam, the new Sierra will cater to the unique needs of each indie studio, ranging from aiding in game development and first party relations, to PR, marketing and digital/retail distribution. Sierra will help foster today’s talent to create amazing video games as it has so many times before.
“ Sierra ’s goal is to find and work with talented indie developers working on their own amazing projects, or passionate about working on great Sierra IP, and leverage our expertise to aid them in bring these fun and exciting experiences to gamers with the level of visibility and awareness they deserve,” said Bob Loya, Sr. Director of External Development. “In addition to Lucid Games and The Odd Gentlemen, we’re in talks with a large number of other indie devs, and can’t wait to share more details with fans in the near future.”
The first title set to launch under Sierra is Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions from the team at Lucid Games. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is an exciting new evolution of the fast-paced, frenetic Geometry Wars gameplay fans love, and will introduce full 3D action and both cooperative and competitive multiplayer for the first time in the franchise. In addition to a full single-player campaign with 50 unique challenges and over 10 battle modes – five of which are brand new to the series – Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions features dynamic and persistent progression, offering players a consistently new experience each time they play. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is planned to launch later this year.
“Thanks to Sierra , we’re planning to release Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions on more platforms than ever before,” said Pete Wallace, Studio Head, Lucid Games. “We’re thrilled to work with the indie team at Sierra to bring the next generation of Geo Wars gameplay to our passionate and loyal fans, and look forward to seeing you all online!”
For the latest information on Sierra , including additional details on King’s Quest and Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions, be sure to check out the official Sierra website at www.sierra.com.
Tuesday - August 12, 2014
Memory Leak - Warren Spector Interview
Memory Leak interviewed Warren Spector this week to talk about his new teaching career, and his views on the game industry of today. Here is a short sample.
The open structure of the levels in Deus Ex is still very unique. What was the level design process like for that game? What did the development team find challenging about creating those spaces?
Creating levels for Deus Ex was a bit more complex than other games I’ve worked on, for sure. Instead of just planning a single path through a level, the designers had to conceive of several. We had to make sure there were combat and stealth-oriented paths as well as ones that allowed significant character interaction. It was almost as if each level was actually three levels! And beyond that, designers had to take into account, as much as possible, how players might exploit our simulation to come up with paths we never even intended. It was a lot of work most developers don’t have to worry about.
How has the game publishing business changed since you started developing games? What do you wish modern game publishers would do differently?
You don’t have time for me to answer this! Everything’s changed since I started developing games! At this point, no one knows what business models or distribution methods will work. It’s a frontier out there – a wilderness. If I knew what was going to work I’d probably just do it!
If you only had one paragraph to advise a young person just starting a career in game development, what would you tell them?
Learn to write some code. (In other words, do as I say, not as I do!) You don’t have to be great, just reasonably knowledgeable. Games are software and it’s crazy not to acknowledge that, no matter what your discipline might be.
Sunday - August 10, 2014
Xsolla - The Declining Retail Market
The Xsolla Blog has another interesting article this week about the declining retail market, and why digital is superior. Here is a small sample of the post.
Wrapping this post up we can tie all the advantages to one major concept: Giving the developer control over how their game is sold. While you are still dealing with a storefront like Steam, you have far greater control over your game compared to the retail space.
There is no worry about a store putting your game on the back aisle or maintaining inventory when it’s all handled digitally. This has also made it a lot easier for developers to sell games on their own sites which weren’t possible or viable five+ years ago.
Digital stores are far more open to games that aren’t aimed at the mainstream. Titles like Hotline Miami or Binding of Isaac would not have been accepted in retail stores due to their strong content but were welcomed on Steam.
The rise of the digital market has been one of the biggest shifts in the Game Industry. And Stardock is correct about how it is taking over the retail market. It will be interesting to see just how far things go by the end of the decade and what capacity the retail market will be at that point.
Saturday - August 09, 2014
TSI - New Studio Founded by SSI Alumni
Tactical Simulations Interactive or TSI for short is a new RPG developer funded by a few veterans from SSI. They sent over a new press release with more information.
Introducing TSI – Tactical Simulations Interactive
New independent video games studio formed by SSI alumni, aiming to bring back the “Gold Box” RPG experience for a new generation
August 8, 2014 - Los Angeles, USA /… Tactical Simulations Interactive (TSI), a new independent video games studio with old school RPG sensibilities, has been established by Strategic Simulations Inc. veterans Paul Murray and David Shelley, and company President David Klein.
Drawing on their experience at SSI, the team at TSI aims to provide the next step in meaningful player experiences in the same way that SSI's ‘Gold Box’ titles did during the 1980s and 1990s.
David Shelley takes on the role of Producer/Lead Designer, while Paul Murray serves as Technical Designer at TSI. The team was integral to the international success of Strategic Simulations Inc.’s genre-defining RPGs, such as Curse of the Azure Bonds, Pool of Radiance, and Wizard's Crown.
David Shelley, Producer/Lead Designer, TSI said:
“Tactical Simulations Interactive is a return to providing the player full control of their party, with a focus on creating immersive and unforgettable story experiences, exciting exploration, meaningful social/political choices, and robust tactical combat.”
The Gold Box series of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons RPGs were produced by SSI between 1988 and 1993 using the same game engine, provided a quality game experience that was “true to tabletop” and allowed players to create, customize and control a full party with tactical combat. They earned the Gold Box moniker because of the gold boxes that they came packaged in, with the series also acting as a precursor to RPG classics like Baldur's Gate, Icewind Dale, Planescape Torment and Neverwinter Nights.
Tactical Simulations Interactive will reveal more details about its debut title in the near future. To keep updated, visit:
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/TSIGames
Friday - August 08, 2014
Spellcrafter - A New Turn-Based Tactical RPG
Developer Jujubee S.A. sent out a press release for their game called Spellcrafter. It's now available on Steam Early Access with a 20% discount.
Here is a new video and a short description of the game.
Magic is not an art or religion. Magic is a craft.
Experience an amazing and unforgettable adventure set in a dark fantasy universe!
Spellcrafter will be an RPG game with deep tactical turn-based combat and a unique spell casting system. Explore the magical world, collect gold, interact with NPCs, take quests and make moral choices! Recruit heroes, assemble and summon powerful troops and send them into battle!
The unique feature of Spellcrafter will be the spell casting system. The game will recognize the sign you draw on the screen and will automatically choose the appropriate spell from the spellbook. If you won't remember the correct sign you will be able to consult the spellbook, but beware! Reaching for the spellbook will take additional time and the quicker you cast your spell, the more powerful it will be!
Saturday - August 02, 2014
Aliens, Trolls and Dragons - About Sci-fi, Fantasy and VR
It is a game
which is set to mix fantasy with sci-fi in an intriguing third-person action title, with full support for the Oculus Rift VR head-mounted display (HMD).
A quote about where the idea from this game came from:
VRFocus: Aliens, Trolls & Dragons has an intriguing premise, where did the idea come from?
Jakub Kisiel: The idea of putting a cosmonaut armed with modern weapons against medieval warriors (and monsters!) is not really new. Since I can remember, every once in a while I ran to books and films about it. Hard to be a God by Strugatsky brothers, Disney's The Spaceman and King Arthur, Outlander, even Avatar - they all tell about clash between sci-fi and medieval/fantasy. Aliens, Trolls & Dragons is heavily inspired by all those stories.
A quote on why he decided too blend VR support and a thirdperson shooter:
VRFocus: Why did you decide to mix VR support with a third-person shooter? Jakub Kisiel: I added VR cameras to my TPP controller prototype, just from curiosity. The result was surprisingly fun to play. Everyone else was making VR FPP demo's, so I though, why not, I'll just make a short game in TPP. The short answer would be: I'm mixing TPP with VR because it's fun for me. Also, the key part of being an indie developer is freedom to try new things.
Thursday - July 31, 2014
Agarest: Generations of War 2 - Status Update
Developer Ghostlight posted a new udate for the port of Agarest: Generations of War 2. If your not famaimiar with the series the game is a tactical role-playing game.
Currently most of the work on this one has been on the technical side of things as our programmers have been busily rewriting and replacing the original PlayStation® 3 libraries ready for the PC version – no small task! Until this process is complete we’re not able to fully run the game on PC, so as you might expect I haven’t managed to get my teeth into this one much yet - but I can’t wait! I have, however, been spending quite a bit of time working on a new control method for the PC version. Adapting the controls hasn’t proved too troublesome a task, aside from the battle system which still needs a little more thought given to it. As you may be aware, Agarest 2 has a different, much faster paced battle system compared to the first two games in the series and it’s proving a bit harder to nail down a mouse & keyboard replacement for the battle wheel. There’s still plenty of time to work on improving the system though, and we’ll hopefully have it sorted as we go into early testing - I’ll be looking forward to feedback on the control system from our Beta testers.
Wind Child Black - A New JRPG Game
Save a young girl from an ancient sorceress!-A gypsy farm girl, looking for her lost sister.
-An eager young soldier, looking for the approval of his father.
-A noble pirate, looking for justice for his people.
-A hyperactive beast girl, looking for the key to her past.
-A lovelorn immortal, looking for the answers to her abandonment.
Five souls, brought together in a simple rescue mission, to find and save one lone girl, find themselves pulled into something so much bigger than they had anticipated, so much larger than they know. Why are they opposed at every turn by an ancient sorceress? Why are they stalked by a vengeance-minded killer? How are the four greatest heroes in all of history connected? And is anyone who they say they are? Or who they believe they are?
As they explore a land founded by heroes and haunted by its tragic past, they will come to learn that they are more connected then they had believed.
Once they were strangers. Circumstances made them companions. The journey will make them friends. Destiny will make them heroes.
Wednesday - July 30, 2014
Polygon - The Days of Owning Games Are Over
Ben Kuchera shared an opinion article on Polygon about how the days of owning games are coming to an end due to progress, and how your children won't care.
We may complain about this in the comments, but the reality of the situation is that this is the future we've built. We support this new age of limited ownership, of products that exist at the pleasure of the publishers and developers. We spend money on games and services, we prop up the minimum viable products that we like and support their ongoing development. We talk about convenience when we buy digitally, and we worry about things like pre-loading so we can play the moment the game is out, but we're ultimately discussing impermanence.
The stacks of NES games that I can still put in my system to play, the PlayStation One games that still work on my first-generation PlayStation 2, these are all relics for a time that has passed. We're not buying anymore, and EA is showing us the next step towards our rented future. This future comes with benefits, and we may save some money, but let's also understand what we're giving up, and why.
This is the way forward; the way of the future. Your kids won't mind that they don't own their games, they won't know any other reality. The rest of us will worry about what it all means, as we pay for the next piece of content that will blow away like sand the moment the Xbox Two is released, or will fade from memory as we hook up our PlayStation Fives.
RPGamer - The Modern JRPG: Shark or Panda?
RPGamer is back to talk about the extinction of JRPGs in a new podcast.
We tackle the notion of evolution within a game genre via a pair of related metaphors about rare animals. Whether or not JRPGs have to change in the face of "extinction" is left up in the air.
Tuesday - July 29, 2014
Crowntakers - A New Turn-Based SRPG
Kalypso's digital-only label Kasedo Games announced a new turn-based strategy RPG called Crowntaker. Here is the video of the announcement.
In an ever-changing world, heroes are the only constants. In our new turn-based strategy RPG Crowntakers you’ll face a land troubled by misdeed; where the king’s abduction has thrown a once peaceful land into turmoil. Being the chosen one elected by the king himself through one of your dreams, you embark on an adventurous journey to free him from the hands of the evil duke and go down in history as the kingdom’s greatest hero.
Crowntakers combines turn-based strategy with RPG elements and takes you at the behest of the crown into a medieval fantasy world full of challenging encounters and epic adventures. With its randomly generated world, Crowntakers offers a varied gaming experience every time you set out to fight evil. As a hero on a mission, you’ll embark on challenging quests, gather vital resources and finally banish evil from the world.
Encounter more than eight diverse and procedural environments ranging from mountain passes to shadowy castles. Hire nine individual mercenaries with unique class skills like the archer, wizard, scout and others to tale on bandits, wildlife and malevolent knights on a hexagonal battlefield.
Crowntakers is to be released in the last quarter of 2014 for Windows PC, Mac, SteamOS; as well as for iOS and Android tablets.
Mass Effect IV - 10 New Things We Learned
If you want to read another list of information about the next Mass Effect game then head on over to whatculture for a new list they posted this week.
Forgetting the disappointing ending of the third game, playing through the Mass Effect trilogy in its entirety is one of the best, most absorbing video game experiences out there. With greatness comes equally great expectations though, and the hugely anticipated Mass Effect 4 has a tremendous amount to live up to.
EA and BioWare have been very tight-lipped about Mass Effect 4, with only speculation and the occasional dropped hint to go by, until now. San Diego Comic-Con International is the largest convention of its kind in the world, and it often features some big video game announcements among its various talks and panels.
BioWare held their very own panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, and it was primarily used as a platform to discuss the next Mass Effect game. While a huge amount of new details weren’t discussed, some interesting titbits were revealed, and certain things that have until now only been hinted at were confirmed.
This list looks at ten new things we learned about the next Mass Effect game through the BioWare panel. From protagonist details to the general direction of the new title, the future of the Mass Effect series is now just that little bit clearer.
Majestic Nights - 1980's Season One on Steam
Majestic Nights is an episodic role-playing-thriller set in an alternate 1980s where all conspiracy theories, past and present are True.
It's the bright and brash 1980s... a world crammed with hidden intrigue and sinister plots, government cover-ups and alien sightings, CIA experiments and a truth that definitely is out there... a world which needs a fast-talking loose cannon right about now...
With fast, light mechanics, the game has been developed to engross players in a shadowy world of conspiracy with an over-the-top 1980s aesthetic. Players will use wits, stealth and sometimes even a little force to investigate, explore, and acquire ever more clues for their big string-covered wall of conspiracies.
Season One of Majestic Nights takes place over six chapters, which work as a complete story or as standalone experiences. ‘Chapter Zero', a prologue to the series, will be made available for free. Each subsequent chapter of the core series will carry a small price, or players can purchase a season pass.
PS. Don't shoot the messenger, its just news.
Monday - July 28, 2014
Indie Gala - Store Sale + Monday Bundle
The Indie Gala has a new monday bundle with two indie "RPGs" for $1.69 each.
Quest Run is a short simple J-RPG to be enjoyed for what it is. Mixed reviews but too simplistic for most.
Also a few more non-RPG's for sale both in the store and in the bundles.
Friday - July 25, 2014
RPGamer - The First Law of JRPGs
Since JRPGs are not well liked on the site I thought I would post a new article from RPGamer called, "The First Law of JRPGs". So read on my fellow watchers.
I'm no scientist, but I know the first law of thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but is actually transformed from one form to another. Over the last generation of consoles, I often heard people proclaim that JRPGs were dead. That statement always gave me pause, because I was still enjoying a good number of Japanese RPGs. If I was still playing these games, they couldn't be dead, right? I could have just dismissed those people as wrong and moved on, but instead I decided to dig deeper to determine where this sentiment was coming from. What I found was that while the JRPG was still very much alive, for some people it had changed into something they were no longer familiar with.
From the days of the NES and SNES, Squaresoft was a heavy hitter in the JRPG arena. If you say the name Final Fantasy, Chrono Trigger, or Secret of Mana, most people know what you're referring to. If you were a Sega fan, you likely knew of Shining Force, Lunar, or Phantasy Star. These early days of console RPGs were very formative for many RPGamers. Those who came to love JRPGs during the PS1 or PS2 era were met with more Final Fantasy games, but also series like Persona, Suikoden, Kingdom Hearts, and Wild Arms. These games are just a few of those that highlight nearly two decades of fantastic JRPGs.
Thursday - July 24, 2014
Epiphany Games - Majestic Nights: Season One
Epiphany Games sent out a new press release for their episodic RPG game called Majestic Nights: Season One. Here is a short teaser, and more infomation.
Epiphany Games announces Majestic Nights: Season One
On this day 40 years ago, the Apollo 11 was making its way back down to Earth, shortly to land in the Pacific Ocean… or so They say...
Sydney, 23rd July 2014 – Epiphany Games announces the debut season of its RPG series Majestic Nights, an episodic role-playing-thriller set in an alternate 1980s where all conspiracy theories, past and present, are True.
You play as Cardholder: an intelligence operative who may or may not have been present at or even responsible for many of the biggest conspiracy events in history; and Cal, a humble Private Investigator whose own past is shrouded in secrets unknown even to herself.
“What people don’t understand about the moon landing is that all the conspiracy theorists are totally correct,” said Morgan Lean, CEO of Epiphany Games. “People walk around knowing all the facts and yet not seeing the Truth. So if the only way to package the actual reality of the situation is as entertainment, then it’s our responsibility to do exactly that!”
With fast, light mechanics, the game has been developed to engross players in a shadowy world of conspiracy with an over-the-top 1980s aesthetic. Players will use wits, stealth and sometimes even a little force to investigate, explore, and acquire ever more clues for their big string-covered wall of conspiracies.
“We wanted to create a game which was simple to play and just let people dive into the story,” said Sam Jensen, Lead Designer. “The story and the world are the forefront of this game – they’re the star of the show and we want everything the game does to support that.”
Season One of Majestic Nights takes place over six chapters, which work as a complete story or as standalone experiences. ‘Chapter Zero – Sunset After Dark’, a prologue to the series, will be made available for free. Each subsequent chapter of the core series will be paid, and season passes will also be available.
Check out the Steam page, listen to a sample track from the soundtrack or view the official web site for more information.
Wednesday - July 16, 2014
Shack News - How DLC Lost Its Way
Shack News is hosting a new opinion article on the topic of DLC, and why it has lost its way. Here is a brief sample of the article to get you interested.
Downloadable content was a concept so full of promise. Those of us who remember the early days of DLC can recall the high-minded ideals of the proposition. Play more of the games you like and stave off unnecessary sequels in the process! It sounded like a win-win for gamers and publishers alike. Years later, as the concept has slowly become standard practice, DLC announcements are generally met with a shrug. Why don't we care anymore?
Empyrios - A New Tactical SRPG
Developer Creoterra has annouced their new tactical strategy RPG game called Empyrio. As usual here here is a short decription of the game.
Empyrios is our upcoming tactical strategy RPG set in a fantasy world that we have lovingly crafted. The core focus is on combat between two squads, which takes place on a hex grid in turn based fashion. There are over 50 uniquely designed environments full of obstacles and varying terrain, each requiring a completely different strategy to defeat your enemies.
Monday - July 14, 2014
Aliens, Trolls & Dragons - A New Action/Adventure Game
Kobold a small developer from Warsaw, Poland Sent news of their new game called Aliens, Trolls and Dragons. While not an RPG some of you might be interested.
Aliens, Trolls and Dragons is a Third Person Perspective, Action/Adventure game with native Oculus Rift support (and also on standard monitors). It will be released as a single player experience on PC and Mac in a form of episodes. The first one is expected to ship this Fall. Aliens, Trolls and Dragons will be heavily story driven. It’s essentially a clash between science fiction and fantasy. You will have a chance to test advanced technology and weapons against warriors and monsters living on a planet, that strikingly resembles what we know from fantasy stories. Story: It is the near future. Thanks to rapid progress in the field of spacecraft propulsion, we were able to reach distant planets and discover intelligent life. The aliens very much resemble us, their civilization is comparable to our medieval times. A manned mission is sent to the planet, but the lander crashes because of unknown reasons. The wreck is looted and the crew is captured and taken by the locals. You are the chief security officer of the landing party and your job is to fix all this mess.
They also have a new thirteen minute video preview.
Friday - July 11, 2014
Grim Fandango - Update For Various Platforms
As many of us here are into adventure games and probably also likes Grim Fandago, I found that I should mention this. On Twitter yesterday, Double Fine confirmed this:
Reap your heart out! We're pleased to announce Grim Fandango will also be available on PC, Mac, and Linux alongside PlayStation 4 and Vita!
The rise of the "console" exclusive is one of the stranger video game marketing terms in 2014. Microsoft and Sony don't consider the PC to be a competing platform, so the companies often announce games as a "console" exclusive, even if it's coming to other platforms--i.e. PC, Mac, Linux--at roughly the same time
Quest For Infamy - Now Available for Purchase
Quest For Infamy is a role-playing adventure game where you assume the identity of Mr. Roehm - a scoundrel who is on the run from his latest scrape. When he is stuck in the Valley of Krasna for a bit, he decides to take on some work to pass the time. He finds himself in the middle of Kingdom in tubulence - as he becomes embroiled in a power struggle between several ambitious residents of the Valley.
Make yourself some money to move on with, and try and avoid controversy as you bide your time before you can leave the valley. Defend yourself from monsters and brutes who would do you harm! Build a reputation for yourself - and you just might find yourself not avoiding trouble, but on a quest for infamy!
Wednesday - July 09, 2014
Hand of Fate - A Collectible Card ARPG
Hand of Fate, an Action RPG, Collectible Card Game Hybrid Available on Steam Early Access
BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND - July 8, 2014 - Defiant Development sees days of gaming in the cards for action RPG and collectible card game fans, as the Kickstarter-funded title Hand of Fate is now available on Steam Early Access. The finished game will be coming to PS4 in Q4 2014 and PS Vita in Q1 2015.
In Hand of Fate, players collect equipment, items, artifacts and enemies as in-game collectible cards in a card based RPG; then play their deck, bringing to video game life a beautiful 3D world in which gamers make difficult decisions. Sometimes their choices have unexpected consequences and players must crush their foes utilizing a third person action-adventure combat system. The more bosses a player defeats, the more cards they obtain.
Players must tread with caution as Hand of Fate incorporates rogue-like elements. If a gamer dies before defeating a level’s boss the player must start from the beginning of that stage in their next play through. Each subsequent play through is unique as levels are procedurally generated via luck of the dealer’s draw.
Inspired by tarot cards and fantasy games, Defiant Development seamlessly blends tabletop card gaming with their favorite videogame genres.
“Hand of Fate combines the furious fast-paced action of button mashers with fantasy and role-playing elements that anyone who has ever picked up a 20 sided die will recognize,” Morgan Jaffit, Director, Defiant Development, explains. “Anyone who falls in the cross section of PC gamer and board or card game enthusiast will have more fun playing Hand of Fate than a Game of Thrones fan reading the manuscripts of the two unreleased books.”
The Early Access build of Hand of Fate is now available for PC, Mac and Linux on Steam at a discounted price of $25 USD, with the final release planned for Q4.
Monday - July 07, 2014
Matt Chatt - Robert Sirotek Interview #5
Matt Burton continues his interviews with Robert Sirotek in this final episode of the series talking about Stones of Arnhem, Wizardry 8 and the legalities involving Sir-Tech.
Wednesday - July 02, 2014
Quest For Infamy - New Podcast & AMA
For those of you waiting to play Quest For Infamy after it has been delayed I found a new podcast on Just Press Start with Co-Producers Steven Alexander & Shawn Mills.
The developers will also be hosting a new Reddit AMA.
Tuesday - July 01, 2014
Return To The Underworld - A Paul Neurath RPG
Paul Neurath the Founder and CEO of OtherSide Entertainment announces his new RPG called Underworld Ascension in this new press release.
RETURN TO THE UNDERWORLD
Games Pioneer Paul Neurath Forms OtherSide Entertainment and Announces its First Game, UNDERWORLD ASCENSIONTM
July 1st, 2014 – Boston, USA – OtherSide Entertainment, a new independent games studio, today announced its formation. Fronted by game pioneer Paul Neurath, OtherSide Entertainment revealed that its first title, Underworld Ascension™, will mark the return of the groundbreaking and long fallow Underworld franchise.
Paul Neurath, Founder and CEO of OtherSide Entertainment, is renowned for his creative direction spanning three decades, notably leading the development of such classic franchises as Thief™, System Shock™ and the acclaimed Ultima™ Underworld.
Underworld Ascension marks both the series and Paul Neurath’s return to his RPG roots, with OtherSide Entertainment aiming to innovate and revitalize the fantasy genre in the same way that its predecessor did in 1992. “With Underworld Ascension,” said Neurath, “we are excited to be bringing back the Underworld franchise, making it more vital than ever before.”
The original Underworlds transformed the traditional dungeon crawl into a truly immersive experience. Players felt as if they were actually walking through the great underworld halls; and encountering a living community of underworld dwellers.
Ultima Underworld inspired a generation, and its influence is still seen today in titles as diverse as Deus Ex™, The Elder Scrolls™, and BioShock™.
OtherSide Entertainment will reveal more details on Underworld Ascension in the months to come. To keep updated, visit our website at www.othersideentertainment.com.
Monday - June 30, 2014
Matt Chatt - Robert Sirotek Interview #4
In this installment Matt Barton talks with Robert Sirotek about Douglas Bradley's Bane of the Cosmic Forge, Ian Currie's Jagged Alliance, and how Hollywood screwed up the games industry. We also chat about why Sir-Tech left the industry in the face of massive consolidations.
Sunday - June 29, 2014
Sherlock Holmes - Crimes and Punishment E3 Trailer
As many of us here are adventure fans also, I'll post this E3 trailer from the new Sherlock Holmes games being developed by Frogwares. Here's a quote about the game:
Each of the six investigations in Crimes & Punishments is packed full of suspects who you will be able to identify using the clues gathered at the crime scenes or from the information gleaned during your interrogations. However, although every case may generate a number of potential suspects, you'll still have to determine the real perpetrator of the crime by an astute deduction of the chain of events based on all the evidence you have collected during your investigation.
Thursday - June 26, 2014
Spellcaster - Recently Announced Game on Greenlight
Never saw this one before, but Spellcaster a turn-based tactical RPG game from Jujubee is awaiting your vote on Steam Greenlight!
Spellcrafter, the recently-announced turn-based tactical RPG game from Jujubee got submitted to Steam Greenlight and is awaiting your vote to get onto Steam! If you want to play this awesome game on your PC (Windows/Linux) or Mac, help the Jujubee Team make it happen and cast your vote now:
Experience an amazing and unforgettable adventure set in a dark fantasy universe!
Spellcrafter will be an RPG game with deep tactical turn-based combat and a unique spell casting system. Explore the magical world, collect gold, interact with NPCs, take quests and make moral choices! Recruit heroes, assemble and summon powerful troops and send them into battle!
The unique feature of Spellcrafter will be the spell casting system. The game will recognize the sign you draw on the screen and will automatically choose the appropriate spell from the spellbook. If you won’t remember the correct sign you will be able to consult the spellbook, but beware! Reaching for the spellbook will take additional time and the quicker you cast your spell, the more powerful it will be!
The game will be divided into 3 acts. Each of them will tell a part from a compelling and magical story about the nature of reality, power and morality. You will be able to choose from three races and play as human, control necromancer forces or fight for the elves. Each act will feature 3 levels with a different setting.
Spellcrafter will be released as a Premium Game (no IAPs, no F2P mechanics). Coming to PC (Windows/Linux) and Mac in Q3 2014!
Here is a trailer of the game.
Tuesday - June 24, 2014
The Division - Claims to be an RPG
Dualshockers brings news that The Division, which as far as I know is a shooter, is claimed to be that, but also a RPG according to the devs.
Reading through the article shows little evidence of that, but I guess we have brought you news on games that weren't much of a RPG either. I thought I just share this with you and leave the game alone after that.
Monday - June 23, 2014
Matt Chatt - Robert Sirotek Interview # 3
Matt Barton has posted the third part of his video interview with Robert Sirotek the co-founder of Sir-Tech. This time they both talk about Wizardry 1-5.
Robert Sirotek, co-founder of Sir-Tech, returns this week to give us the
behind-the-scenes stories of the first five Wizardries. How did the
collaboration between Andrew Greenberg and Robert Woodhead work out? How
did Brenda Brathwaite work her way up from hot line operator to game
designer? And what was up with the insane difficulty of Wizardry 4?
Thursday - June 19, 2014
Quest For Infamy - New Release Date
Phoenix Online Studios announced today that Quest For Infamy has been delayed to July 10th. Here is the information provided on the games website.
Quest For Infamy Release Date
The release of Quest for Infamy, the Quest For glory inspired Adventure-RPG, has been moved to July 10th. So what does this mean to you, the gamer? It means Quest For Infamy will ship with an extra dose of enhancements, polish 20% more squashed bugs!Then you can finally return to the glory days of role-playing and adventure with this humor-filled fantasy epic, styled in the vein of classic PC RPGs, where you play the charming villain.
Blending turn-based combat and spellcasting with puzzle solving and adventure, players can choose from three character classes, brigand , rogue, or sorcerer, each with unique storylines and adventuresA spiritual heir to yesteryear's heroic quests, adventurers are invited to explore a world of hand-drawn wonder, as they wind their way through trap-infested dungeons, battle slavering beasts with swords or custom-made spells, and steal entire towns worth of treasure from unsuspecting townsfolk. Being bad has never felt so good!The nostalgic throwback will be available on PC & Mac at launch on July 10th, with Linux and mobile releases to follow, on GOG.com, Steam, the Phoenix Online Store and other online retailers.
Wednesday - June 18, 2014
Heroine's Quest - New Patch & Patreon
Crystal Shard has two new posst on Indiedb. The first post is about a new patch for
Heroine's Quest. Here are some of the details of the patch.
Heroine's Quest v1.2.1 is now available for download. This is an updated version based on feedback and bug reports. Unfortunately, due to engine limitations, saved games from v1.1 are not compatible with this version. However, the hqrecord.dat file which contains your records can be copied over.
For over a decade, Crystal Shard has created freeware adventure games (e.g. A Tale of Two Kingdoms), action puzzle games (such as SubTerra) and most famously the adventure RPG Heroine's Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok. These games are completely free; they are a labor of love that we enjoy sharing with the world, and to us they're literally priceless.
Since the release of HQ:THoR, many people have said that they would happily donate money to support us in creating more quality games like this. Therefore, I've started this Patreon campaign for our fans. This is a system that allows you to help the creators you love (such as us!) by donating a small amount of money per month; you'll be a Patron of the Arts. It's up to you how much, and you can cancel at any time; this is to support us in creating more quality computer games. In return, we will give nice rewards to our patrons, such as monthly online design sessions, beta access, or even your own cameo in a future game.
Source: RPG Codex
Matt Chat - Robert Sirotek Interview #2
Matt Barton has posted the second part of his video interview with Robert Sirotek.
In part 2, Robert talks about Wizardy's creation, evolution, and
reception. We also chat about copy protection (and the benefits of
piracy!) and Richard "Lord British" Garriott. Who influenced whom?
Tuesday - June 10, 2014
Humble Weekly Bundle - German Edition
This week's Humble Bundle German Edition includes among others the critically acclaimed indie games Tiny & Big, Beatbuddy and Giana Sisters + add-on. There are a couple of RPGs too: The medieval life simulation The Guild 2 Collection can be considered an RPG, and ironically both Spellbound's Gothic 4 Arcania and Piranha Bytes' Gothic clone Risen can be found in the middle tier for ca. 3.84$.
Only two days left. Even if you already have the games, head over to the Humble Bundle site to watch the funny trailer.
Dragon Warrior IV - Review @ Press Start
Press Start to Begin has reviewed the more than two decades old game Dragon Warrior IV. Here is a snippet on the story.
Good lord was this good. The first four chapters had their own small stories, all of them tied together with the main overarching plot in really fun ways. It gave the player a unique understanding of what was going on, as they saw small pieces of everything. Kidnapped children. The disappearance of everyone in a castle. The death of an alchemist. The theft of a gold bracelet. When it all came together, everything made perfect sense. It all focused on the return of evil and the quest to stop it.
Every other Dragon Warrior game is linear, with the hero clearly having a goal in mind. This game does not follow an exact linear progression thanks to the chapters. Imagine it. In the first chapter, Ragnar is trying to find missing children. In the second chapter, Alena quests around her father’s kingdom, trading a golden bracelet for a “kidnapped princess” and ultimately ended up fighting in a tournament to save a princess from marrying a monster. Chapter 3 had Taloon questing for the most powerful sword in the land, turning out to be the Zenithian Sword. Chapter 4 had Maya and Meena questing to avenge the murder of their father, one of the greatest alchemists of the world. And Chapter 5… well.. that’s when it all comes together.
Matt Chatt - Robert Sirotek Interview
Matt Barton interviewed Robert Sirotek to talk about the origins of Sir-Tech.
In this episode, I begin my interview with Robert Sirotek, one of the co-founders of Sir-Tech. In this first installment, we chat about how Robert got his start and the origins of Sir-Tech. There's a castle involved!
Wednesday - June 04, 2014
One Tap Quest - Play a RPG in Seconds
Rock Paper Shotgun takes a look at One Tap Quest, in which you only have to click once and see the game finish in less than 45 seconds. Apparently it is a RPG and the RPS editor got hooked on it.
One Tap Quest really is played in seconds. You click once, your ant man scuttles into action, and anywhere between five and 45 seconds later, the deed is done. As your character progresses through the area, he slays monsters, levels up,and – if you aim him well – comes into contact with all sorts of handy pixelated items. Swords and shields give you an insta-level, blue scrolls teleport you back a bit, and beer splits you into a party of three. Those sorts of things.
The goal, then, is to become sufficiently powerful to make it past various tiers of monsters. The game randomizes them to a degree, but they’re basically in sequential order. So sure, you might be able to make it all the way to the castle by sneakily skirting the level’s edges, but a dragon or what I believe to be either a minotaur or an evil loaf of bread will slaughter you with ease upon arrival. Leaping backwards is often beneficial, as it lets you take out more monsters and gain more experience.
Tuesday - June 03, 2014
General News - Hoarding RPGs
Andrew Barker at RPGFan penned an article on how he used to complete every game he had in the past, but now finds his backlog rising, which will probably ring true for many of you.
He also goes somewhat into the reasons behind this.
Why is this? Cost is definitely a factor. Computer games, especially on Steam, can often be bought in large numbers for very little cost during sales – not to mention those Humble Bundles! Many of these purchases will be spur of the moment, and actual interest in playing a particular title may wane. Console games are typically more expensive, so less frequently bought, and I know I want to feel my money was "well spent."
Perhaps it's the nature of hoarding games and building a library on virtual platforms that is the biggest contributor. I've been slowly making my way through my Steam games, but with daily deals and seasonal sales, there's always something new to buy. For those of us who were playing games in the 90s, the Pokémon collecting mentality likely bleeds over into other areas of our lives.
For me personally, I'm down to only around 30 games left in my backlog to beat. But that's after a couple of years of focus on what I already own, and buying less than I used to. Among the rest of the RPGFan staff, we have a couple who are fairly on top of their RPG backlogs, though others have 50% or more of their RPGs still to beat. Again, the completion rate among console games is consistently higher than on Steam.
Saturday - May 31, 2014
Tales Of Aravorn - A New RPG Game
Tales Of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf is the next game from Winter Wolves Games. The developer has two other games called Planet Stronghold & Loren the Amazon Princess.
Welcome back to Aravorn!
In this role-playing game, set in the same fantasy world as the award-winning Loren the Amazon princess, you'll play as Shea or Althea, twins from the far-away village Ninim. In just the course of one year, you will experience many storylines and sidequests; situations and events where your own choices influence the very end of the game.
The twins' tale starts on a day like many others, when one of the siblings finds a young wolf and decides to take it with him/her. Thus begins the long journey which will take the siblings from the ice-shrouded Ninim to the desert-wrapped city of Dingirra to the storm-shrouded port of Shacklesplit. Explore the-corruption riddled halls of Dingirra, and contest with the crimelords who claim it as their own domain. Sail the high seas, battle mighty pirates, and discover their hidden treasures!
Thursday - May 29, 2014
Ghostlight - Bringing Elminage Gothic to PC
I found news on a website called Gaming Enthusiast that Pubisher Ghostlight will be releasing a new Japanese dungeon crawler called Elminage Gothic on Steam.
Ghostlight have recently announced that they will be bringing the classic Japanese dungeon crawler, Elminage Gothic, to PC. Elminage Gothic, originally known as Elminage Gothic: Ulm Zakir to Yami no Gishik, is the 4th entry in Starfish SD’s popular Elminage series of dungeon crawlers, originally released in Japan for PSP in 2012 and on 3DS in 2013.
Not only will this release mark the first time the Elminage series has been brought to PC but this will also be the first western release for Elminage Gothic. As neither the PSP version nor the 3DS remake have been localised before.
Some may remember the original Elminage game, which Ghostlight released in Europe last year on PSP. The game is currently available on PSN but the boxed release was a highly exclusive offering, with one of the smallest, if notthe smallest, PSP print runs ever. Only 300 very special limited edition physical copies were ever manufactured!
For those of you who enjoyed it, Elminage Gothic offers the same classic old school dungeon crawling experience but adds a darker, more gothic twist to the game’s theme and art style. It features multiple character classes, hundreds of stunningly designed monsters, creatures and demons, well over 80 hours of gameplay and it even goes right down to including the traditional “THAC0” system.
Ghostlight have said that they’re aiming at a late summer release and that the team are still in the early stages of the translation and conversion process so the content of these screenshots may be subject to change over the coming weeks. Ghostlight are working closely with the team at Starfish SD to offer increased resolution of the original artwork as well as a host of additions for the Steam release including mouse and keyboard support and of course Steam Trading Cards.
Monday - May 26, 2014
Acaratus - A New Episodic Turn-based RPG
Acaratu is a new episodic turn-based RPG from indie Swedish developer Nodbrim Interactive. They released a new video, and describe the game as the follwing.
Acaratus is an online episodic turnbased tactical rpg set in a medevil steampunk world. The game combines fast paced tactical gameplay with customizable mechs and a CCG element to make the battle more intense!
So as you see it's an online game so you have been warned.
Monday - May 19, 2014
Stasis Labs - Games Re-Imagined as Isometric
The developers of the funded game Stasis have created a few screenshots of what a few released games might have looked as 2D isometric RPGs.
The games include Bioshock, Bioshock Infinite, Assaassin's Creed 4, Crusader: No Remorse, and Blade Runner. Just visit the following link for the images.
Saturday - May 17, 2014
Groupees - Eschalon: Book 1&2 Bundle
Thanks to Gorath we have a new link for a new bundle on Groupees where you can purchase Eschalon: Book 1&2. They also mention our review of Book II.
Wednesday - May 14, 2014
Sidewalk Atlas - Won't You Be My NPC
We were sent in a link for a new RPG music song from Sidewalk Atlas. I know I usually don't post about music , but give a listen it's not that bad.
An original song for those who have loved and lost... a close video game character ;) Free download at http://sidewalkatlas.com/npc
This is just a demo, but if people like it we might record it for our 2nd album (which we're currently recording). For now it's just nice to share it with other people that might be missing their favorite video game characters. *sigh*
Tuesday - May 06, 2014
Bravada - Scheduled for Release
Bravada is a game from the indie developer Interbellum that is scheduled for release on the 14th of May. It is a turn-based party RPG in which you play a young dwarf without a beard. He is brave though and dreams about adventures and heroic deeds. One day he actually goes on a long and dangerous journey in search of his much desired beard. During the game you control a group of units each with their own specialities and features. Units can get levels and transform into other forms by your choice.
Some additional information is avilable in this short article on RPS from last year.
Moving as a one, you control your squad’s formation and direction. They then attack in an order based on speed, with a togglable pop-up showing who will go when. Standard level ups, class choices and equipment are present, but take on a new light in the wake of other mechanics. Do you want a range character with less damage, allowing it to support from the middle of the pack? Or do you need a tank, that can be put out as a scout and absorb some hits? Normal peasants can pick a role when they reach certain milestones, while the main character gets to increase his stats.
What’s really interesting is the ankh system that gifts the ability to clone of one of your party whenever another dies. This is just one of many items that keep the game fresh as you progress. It may sound a little dull, but it’s faster paced than you might imagine. You’re always progressing forward, but moving characters around your formation is vital. Letting the pace get ahead of you is a fatal mistake too – this is not a walk in the park and misusing items or poorly managing health will lead to death.
Monday - May 05, 2014
Matt Chat - Interview with Chuck "Chuckles" Bueche
Matt Barton interviews Chuck Bueche about his earliest games for the Apple II and Richard Garriott whom he has known since highschool.
OnlySP - How Do You Add Immersion In Games?
OnlySP writer Nathan Hughes has posted an article where he writes about his views on how to add immersion to games, and uses RPG games as one example.
Recently, I’ve found myself dipping back into some of my favourite RPG games. I was surprised to find myself going back to the genre so soon after logging a lot of hours into Dark Souls 2, but getting “immersed” into a world is something I constantly find myself doing. When you’re stressed out with life, work or whatever, breaking away from reality is something I support because you’re focusing your frustration and stress into playing a game. Games can serve to be almost therapeutic and the level of immersion they provide can certainly help you unwind or focus your energy. But most of all, immersion serves as an impactful addition that can deliver a thrilling experience like no other. Let’s discuss.
Tuesday - April 22, 2014
Matt Chatt - Brenda Romero Interview #5
Seems Matt isn't done interviewing Brenda Romero as he released the fifth part today were they talk about teaching, and learning with video games.
In this episode, Brenda talks about using videogames and board games to teach kids about history. Then she talks about how crazy it is that hardly any of us--including pro game developers!--knows anything about the people who actually made our favorite games. Thankfully, there's always Matt Chat
Wednesday - April 16, 2014
Agarest: Generations of War - Steam Top Seller
Ghostlight sent out another a press release for Agarest: Generations of War Zero with news the game is selling well on on Steam. They also remind everyone you can now pre-order the game at a cheaper price.
Ghostlight set to release Agarest: Generations Of War Zero, prequel to Steam #1 Top Seller!
BRAINTREE, UK – 15/04/2014
Following hot on the heels of the #1 Steam top selling SRPG Agarest: Generations Of War, Ghostlight are proud to announce its much anticipated prequel, Agarest: Generations Of War Zero! Available for pre-purchase now, the prequel will be released on Steam this coming Thursday, bringing an enticing blend of in-depth strategy and epic multi-generational storytelling to PC!
Anyone pre-purchasing the game will receive a healthy 20% discount meaning the game will be just $15.99 down from $19.99.
Here are just some of the exciting new features in Agarest: Generations of War Zero:
- Numerous graphical improvements - including the addition of stunningly animated character portraits
- Vacation Days - improve the bonds with your party and unlock bonus items, costumes and locations
- New Races – a variety of new races are now available for your partyEnhanced Towns – with more interactivity and additional areas to explore
- Card Skill System - customise the main character’s battle style and skills
- Extra Mode – a new hard difficulty unlocked by players who have cleared the first game, also allowing access to the world map, items and all characters from the original game.
And that’s not all. There are also new PC exclusive features such as cloud saving, a full revamp of how DLC is managed within existing saves, plus the ability to decide which direction the controls are to be offset.
To mark the release of Agarest: Generations of War Zero Ghostlight have also slashed the price of the original Agarest: Generations of War from $19.99 to just $14.99.
Friday - April 04, 2014
Agarest: Generations of War Zero - Pre-Orders
Ghostlight sent our a press release with information you can now pre-order Agarest: Generations of War Zero, Here are the details.
Ghostlight opens pre-orders for Agarest: Generations of War Zero on PC and announce early bird discount and release date.
BRAINTREE, UK – 03/04/2014 - Ghostlight have today announced that Agarest: Generations of War Zero, the prequel to Compile Heart & Idea Factory’s best selling JRPG Agarest: Generations of War will be released on the 17th April priced at just $19.99. In addition, Ghostlight have also stated that pre-orders for the game will go live on Steam later today.
According to Ghostlight, anyone who pre-orders Agarest: Generations of War Zero will receive a 20% discount, dropping the price to a bargain $15.99.
Like its predecessor, Agarest: Generations of War Zero brings its mixture of in depth strategy and epic multi generational storytelling from console to PC.
Those who enjoyed the first game in the series will be pleased to know that some great new features have been added to Agarest Zero.
The new Vacation Days allow you to get to know your party members better and unlock bonus items and locations by visiting various places in the towns. Not only that but as you build your relationship with the rest of your party you will unlock new costumes for them to wear.
In addition some of you may have noticed that the original conversations in Agarest: Generations of War were a little static. Not any more as the Motion Portrait system brings them to life with subtle animations which really help to immerse you in the games world.
With various other changes such as improved graphics and a brand new card system to allow you to customise your starting character this is an upgrade you won’t want to miss.
With so many improvements Laughing Jackal couldn’t help themselves and also brought new PC improvements such as cloud saving (which has also been added to Agarest very recently), the ability to decide which direction you wish the controls to be offset in and a big request that we met was a revamping of the DLC menu. Agarest: Generations of War Zero now gives you more control over how the DLC is managed. You can now pick and choose how it is added to your existing saves.
More on Agarest: Generations of War Zero:
In a time long forgotten, the gods of darkness and light fought in a savage battle across generations, ravaging the land they had created. A deadlock ensued leaving the Scarred Mountains to divide the continent between the sworn enemies.
With wounds running so deep, the balance could not last forever and soon the darkness would arise to face its foe once again. In this most pivotal installment of our epic tale, we take you back to that most ancient of battles revealing the story of events preceding Agarest: Generations of War...
...While patrolling the mountains, Sieghart, a young officer loyal to the armies of light, meets a strange girl. This chance meeting will change the world...
- Watch the story unfold as you battle hordes of creatures in more than 80hrs of compelling turn-based combat.
- Utilise the tactical new Card Skill System to shape the combat style of your uniquely created hero.
- Featuring stunning new and beautifully animated character portraits, displaying a variety of emotions.
- The innovative Soul Breed System returns! Choose your bride to determine the strengths and fate of the world’s next heroic generation of warriors.
Wednesday - April 02, 2014
Unsacred - A New Sacred ARPG
Thanks to Avantenor for sending the the following news, and I'm sure many of you will be excited. It seems former Sacred devlopers from Ascaron are making a new ARPG.
The game is called Unsacred and the developers are raising money on Papal, and the games website. Unfortunately that is all the information I have has all the news sites with information are in German.
Welcome to unsacred (working title).
We are pleased that you, from wherever you come from, you have found us. We are the ones who eventually made SACRED. Those who have registered significantly our concerns to SACRED 2 and did not want to hear - or could. That is past. Not always glorious, not always honorable. But the vision is never died. And in the years that have passed since then, we have a never lost sight of: a common idea. We call unsacred (working title) and it will be the game that we want to make and will make. For this we need your help. Live the dream with us, help us to let him become a reality. It may be that many of the sounds that we tell you about here, for one or the other almost fantastic. But to be honest: When we have taken SACRED attack, the voices sounded very similar. Prepare yourself your own to figure it out and come back. You will find at this point constant updates.
At this point, imagine our team members in the course of our project and tell you a little of what their responsibilities are in unsacred (working title). Our current development team is a mix of "old warriors" and new faces, which are connected by a common goal. Friends, companions, faithful fans of the first hour. We cover the entire development history of SACRED rich and thereby to the early beginnings of ARMALION, the game (the older ones among you will remember), from which then eventually became SACRED. From this age eg Franz Stradal, Marc Oberhäuser, Ralph Roder and Norbert Becker is one of the party. Peter Hann, whose graphics capabilities many of you are still likely to know from Sacred 2, is also included with. As consultants, we are old SACRED greats like Michael Bhatty to the side that will ensure that our new universe which is what you want as a player and fans and what we dream of for years. Everything will be fine!
So if anyone here is fluent in German, and can translate better than Goggle. It would help us all allot. I hope the game will at least be better than the new Sacred III.
Tuesday - April 01, 2014
Shadowrun Online - Available on Early Access
Cliffhanger Productions sent a new press release with information their game Shadowrun Online is now on Steam Early Access. I don't know if any of you are interested though.
So read the news-bit or not it's your choice.
Shadowrun Online Available Now on Steam Early Access
March 31, 2014 – There is blood on the streets of Boston, Megacorporations are at each others' throats, a dark secret has been unveiled, and a dragon has awoken. It's a great time to run the shadows...if you manage to survive.
Shadowrun Online launches today on Steam Early Access with a prequel to the upcoming campaign. This early prequel offers players an introduction to the combat of Shadowrun Online through PvP and four missions. New content and features will be added regularly with opportunities for players to directly influence development.
Set in a dystopian 2075, when man meets magic and melds with machinery, you and your friends will take on the riskiest jobs to face the most treacherous enemies. Live your life on the edge, fight corporations and gangs, and stay alive in the most dangerous job of all; Shadowrunner.
Based on one of the world's most successful pen-and-paper RPGs, Shadowrun Online is a turn-based MMO with class-free character-creation, magic, hacking, combat galore, and numerous unique features, including a world-campaign that evolves based on the collective actions of the players.
Sunday - March 23, 2014
General News - Grid Cartographer 2
You may remember me mentioning a small program that allows gamers to make maps for RPG games called Grid Cartographer. The developer David Walters sent news that version 2 is now available.
Here are the changes from version one.
Grid Cartographer 2 is an RPG map making tool
It's the perfect companion for table-top roleplaying dungeon design or for mapping classic games like Wizardry, Might & Magic, Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master. Why not download the free edition using the links above and give it a try?
The main new features in v2 are:
* Completely rewritten user interface with tabbed toolbars and a scrolling palette of brush types. The interface was built with touch screen in mind so the Android version will be practically identical.
* Improved custom tiles support. I've replaced the old tileset system with one that uses individual images. This is much more user friendly and also convenient in that it allows for individual tiles graphics to be updated and removed more easily.
* You can also make use of a simple two layer system to draw custom tiles as both ground and feature items.
* Added support for diagonal walls which will aid mapping games like System Shock.
* Finally I've added an option to automatically add matching pairs of stairs or ladders on the floor above or below where you place one. This makes it much easier to track the entry points into a new floor.
A new license costs $12 with an upgrade of $5 for existing customers and a special offer (until the end of April) where owners of both the Android and desktop versions can get a v2 key for free.
Friday - March 21, 2014
General News - Stop Being Scared!
In a speech at GDC2014 BioWare Montreal's gameplay designer Manveer Heir had a talk about "Misogyny, Racism and Homophobia: Where Do Video Games Stand?" and received a standing ovation for it. In his talk he wants the indstry to demolish the many stereotypes that exist in video games and accept "a social responsibility to mankind".
One of his statements is: it's "very cynical" to assume the audience isn't capable of embracing a gay hero or heroine, or "more exclusive women protagonists in games that aren't glorified sex objects and actually have personalities beyond supporting the men in the game".
More to be found on this topic at the summary of it that Eurogamer made.
Thursday - March 13, 2014
Shards Online - A new Sandbox MMO RPG
I received a new press release about a new MMO RPG called Shards Online. It's being developed a by a new studio called Citadel Studios. Here are the details.
AAA Online Game Veterans Form New Indie Studio
Citadel Studios Brings 40+ Years of Development Experience to New Sandbox RPG Codenamed “Shards”
WASHINGTON, March 11, 2014 – A veteran team of online gaming experts today announced the formation of Citadel Studios, a new independent video game development company focusing on multiplayer role-playing games for PC. For the past six months, Citadel has been heads down working on their first project, codenamed “Shards,” and is ready to give the world a sneak peek. With Shards, Citadel is taking inspiration from their previous work on the grandaddy of RPGs, Ultima Online - they’re creating a truly next-generation online game that will enable players to customize their experience, and change the face of player collaboration forever.
Learn more about Shards and the Citadel team:
● View the official teaser: http://shardsonline.com
● Check out the studio: http://citadelstudios.net
Citadel was founded by game industry veterans Derek Brinkmann, Chris Ondrus and Tim Cotten, whose collective credits range from RPG classics like the Elder Scrolls series, Ultima Online, Dark Age of Camelot and Warhammer Online, to AAA titles in the NASCAR and Madden franchises. Derek, Chris and Tim have seen online games evolve from their earliest days through the introduction of free-to-play, mobile, MOBAs and other modern multiplayer genres. With a full understanding of the genre’s history and modern development, Citadel’s goal is to create something like nothing else on the market.
“We left our soul-crushing, corporate jobs to make the games we’d actually play,” said Derek Brinkmann, founder and CEO of Citadel Studios. “As we started our first project and experimented with concepts, we discovered ways we could share our passion for creating living worlds with gamers themselves. Ultimately the community will dictate what Shards becomes, because we’re not just providing a game but also a platform for players to express their creativity.”
Based on their own personal passion for the genre, Citadel is ignoring the modern online gaming imperative to squeeze every last cent from every player. Set in a richly-imagined universe with deep lore and environments ranging from the familiar to the surprising, Shards will give players more power than ever before, without constantly asking them to take out their wallets.
About Citadel Studios, Inc.
Citadel Studios is an independent online game developer located in Washington D.C. Founded in July 2013, the studio is made up of some of the top RPG developers in the industry, collectively drawing from 40+ years of experience on titles such as Ultima Online, Warhammer Online, The Elder Scrolls and Dark Age of Camelot. Inspired by classic online games and armed with modern AAA prowess, the team is working on an online sandbox RPG, codenamed Shards. By empowering communities to customize their experiences, Citadel aims to take the multiplayer genre out of the “sandbox” and into the playground. To learn more, visit http://citadelstudios.net.
Sunday - March 02, 2014
Heroes of Might & Magic III - Retrospective
The official webpage for Might & Magic has a retrospective for Heroes of Might & Magic III. I know we have fans of the game so enjoy a look back at the games development.
The Tale of Heroes of Might & Magic III
The video game industry is a relatively small and tight-knit community, and most of the opportunities for the games I’ve developed came to me through someone I had previously known. Heroes of Might and Magic III was no exception.
I first met Jon Van Caneghem, the founder of New World Computing and chief designer of most of its games, in 1994. We were both speakers on a panel about “The Art and Craft of Game Design” at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Jon was familiar with some of the games I had worked on in the past, such as Disney’s “DuckTales” and Harlan Ellison’s “I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream”, and suggested that we should work together sometime.
That opportunity came three years later when New World Computing contacted me about becoming director for a new sequel in the Heroes of Might & Magic franchise. It was an exciting proposition but also a somewhat daunting one – Heroes of Might & Magic II, which was released the previous year, had just been named the sixth-best PC game of all time by PC Gamer magazine. What could I possibly do for an encore?
That is precisely the question I was asked by Trip Hawkins, president of The 3DO Company, which had recently purchased New World Computing. Trip made it the habit of personally interviewing every key employee joining the 3DO family (in my case, it was a phone interview, since I lived in the Los Angeles area, where New World was located, whereas The 3DO Company was based in the San Francisco area), and he wanted to know what I brought to the party.
Monday - February 24, 2014
Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction - Will the RPG Exist?
3DRealms and Interceptor Entertainment are working on Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, which is said to be an action RPG. Then again it might never be realized as Gearbox has filed a lawsuit against 3D Realms to stop it from being made, or to become part of the benefits. The game's site AllOutOfGum was apparently featuring a counter that counted back to the 25th of February, but at the moment there is no counter anymore. Here is the article from Joystick with more details:
Gearbox Software filed a lawsuit against 3D Realms (3DR) and Interceptor Entertainment, accusing the studios of unauthorized use of the Duke Nukem property and alleging violation of trademarks held by Gearbox. The lawsuit points to 3D Realms' recent reveal of Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, which features a teaser site with a timer counting down to February 25.
"Apparently, after selling its Duke Nukem IP rights to Gearbox in 2010, 3DR sought to privately convince others that the sale never happened," the complaint reads. "The result is the unauthorized development effort that reportedly exists between 3DR and Interceptor."
Among the documents filed in the suit is a breach statement issued by Gearbox stating that 3D Realms infringed on Gearbox's intellectual property in addition to a statement signed by 3D Realms CEO Scott Miller and Duke Nukem co-creator George Broussard that acknowledged the infringement. In a statement filed to Joystiq, Gearbox Software said, "As the filing shows, 3DR's wrongdoing is both admitted and unfortunate for everyone who cares about Duke Nukem."
3D Realms filed a lawsuit against Gearbox in June 2013 for alleged unpaid royalties for Duke Nukem Forever, and later issued a public apology and withdrawal of the lawsuit in September 2013. Gearbox took over the development of the game in September 2010 in addition to acquiring the rights to the brand from 3D Realms.
Saturday - February 08, 2014
RPGSite - Upcoming RPGs of 2014
If your interested in finding out about most of the RPGs coming out in 2014 visit RPGSite. They have a five page list sorted alphabetically, and list all platforms.
Whether you're into Western RPGs, Japanese RPGs, dungeon crawlers, hack-and-slash, beat 'em ups, tactical, strategy, or whatever else you can think of, this year will have a wide assortment of games to indulge yourself with in each of these categories.
We are planning a whole week of articles in order to evenly divide out this list of 100 - yes, 100 - RPGs.
I tried to find and post every single RPG that I could find that has either been confirmed for 2014, is seeking a full rleease in 2014 (in regards to games currently on services like Steam's Early Access or in an alpha or beta state), or slated to appear later this year.
The dates listed are their earliest confirmed dates, either being for Europe or North America. Note that we will be going through these titles in alphabetical order, and all release dates are obviously subject to change.
Friday - February 07, 2014
Dreamlands - A Book By Screeg
No something we normally report about, but our forum member Screeg has published his first novel! Very indirectly, it's the result of his failed attempt to get a Lovecraft CRPG off the ground, since that led to him having a collection of short stories, which led to his novel Dreamlands.
Isaac Sloan, the dissolute scion of a once wealthy family, is nearing the end of his credit when he receives an urgent summons from his estranged uncle. In Arkham, he will learn of the dying man's double life, and of long forgotten enemies newly roused.
Join Isaac Sloan as he parts the veil separating the pedestrian world of early twentieth century New England from an uncharted land of riddles and horrors. In that mysterious realm called the Dreamlands, he will become enmeshed in a struggle against the servants of an incomprehensible entity.
Matt Barton - What are Your Favorite Roguelikes?
Matt Barton has a new article on his webpage asking about your favorite Roguelikes.
I’ve been having a lot of fun playing all manner of Roguelikes as I gather footage for my interview with Glenn Wichman. I knew there were lots of them, but I’m frankly stunned at the productivity of the roguelike community. Most of us have probably heard of the major roguelikes–ADOM, Angbad, Crawl, ToME, Larn, and, of course, NetHack, but that’s just scratching the surface. Roguebasin lists over 800 in 25 subcategories!
Thursday - February 06, 2014
ReRoll - A New Open World Survival RPG
ReRoll is a new open-world survival RPG being developed by a studio called PIXYUL. According to the website they are veterans from Ubisoft Montreal and Electronic Arts.
To keep it short they need your money to make their game a reality. Here is the announcement video, and a few game details.
THE SHIT JUST HIT THE FAN
The world, society, order, everything is going down the drain and fast. Flashing your credit card at your groceries cashier will not get you food.
To survive, you will have to develop skills that you did not need prior to this melt down.
Before being able to hunt, capture or grow your own food, you’ll have to scavenge or steal what’s around. That means constantly looking over your shoulder while doing those rounds. Because, the last thing you want is to be on the receiving end of somebody arrow or bullet. Worst, being chased by those weird mutants that are just getting more aggressive as days goes by.
Tuesday - February 04, 2014
RPGamer - Best of 2013
RPGamer have made their list of the best RPG's in 2013 known. There is a total of 19 categories and somewhat console oriented. The best RPG is Fire Emblem.
After reading this all I can say is: Where the hell is ours?!?
Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction - A New ARPG?
Yes you read the title correct it looks like we might be getting a new Duke Nukem ARPG. The developer seems to be Interceptor Entertainment who developed Rise of the Triad.
PC Gamer has more information on the game.
A teaser website for a new Duke Nukem game has appeared at alloutofgum.com, referencing one of The King's cheesiest and well-known one-liners. A countdown clock indicates that more information will be revealed on February 25, though just a little bit of online snooping has already uncovered some details.
The website first went live with a secret message written in an alien language, which has since been decoded. It references an alien species named the Kyrr, which appear to be the canon fodder this time around. It also revealed the name of the game, Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction, and that it will release on PC and PlayStation 4. It will be built in the Unreal engine. The most curious bit of information is that Mass Destruction will be a top-down action role-playing game, with experience point and tech trees.
I'll update the story later this month.
Matt Chat - Glenn Wichmann Interview
Matt Barton posted the second part of his interview with Glenn Wichman.
In my second installment with Mr. Glenn Wichman, we talk about Rogue's development, commercial release, and then his subsequent releases including Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, Toxic Ravine, and Mombasa.
Thursday - January 30, 2014
Matt Barton - Crowdfunding Video
Matt Barton has a video about his new crowdfunding project.
For five years now, I've been providing folks like you with in-depth historical retrospectives and interviews with industry legends and pioneers. Many of you have supported my efforts by donating with Paypal. However, now there's a better way--Patreon!
Patreon is essentially a Kickstarter-like system, but instead of a one-time payment, you pay a small amount per episode or release. You only pay when I release a new episode, and you can set a monthly cap to ensure you don't go over your budget.
Like Kickstarter, Patreon supports all manner of goals and rewards, so you'll get more stuff depending on how much you give.
As always, thanks for your time and support, and please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions about my Patreon page.
Yoshinori Kitase - Interview @ EDGE
EDGE interviews Final Fantasy Director Yoshinori Kitase on defining JRPGs.
Over the past decade, many of Square Enix’s best-known designers have left the company – and none more high profile than Hironobu Sakaguchi. He joined Square in 1983 as a part-time designer, going on to become its director of planning and development, and ultimately its US president. Yoshinori Kitase, one of Sakaguchi’s protégées, is among the few remaining staff from the glory days when the company established and expanded the Japanese RPG blueprint. He’s worked on titles such as Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII and Square’s high-profile collaboration with Disney, Kingdom Hearts. Today, he pilots the Final Fantasy brand – Sakaguchi’s creation and a series that has sold more than 100 million units to date. It’s one of the most senior creative positions in games, but holding it was never Kitase’s goal.
Kitase has been at the frontline of industry change. “In the beginning, the atmosphere was one of a small university arts or technology club. Today, it’s a market with Hollywood-scale productions. When I first joined Square, the view of games from wider society was one of a niche subculture; it was underground and impenetrable.”
Kitase’s interest in making games more approachable stems from what he saw at this time. “My father would complain that he had no idea what was going on when I played RPGs at home after school,” he says. “This made me want to make games something that those watching the screen next to the player could also find interesting. That’s one of the reasons I’ve pushed 3D CG graphics and voice acting.”
While Kitase feels that there is still a great deal of work for him to do in helping games to become truly mainstream, he is less interested in his own legacy than that of those who follow: “I would like nothing more than for the next generation to aim to produce famous creators like Kurosawa or Spielberg – people who leave their mark on entertainment history.”
Monday - January 27, 2014
Matt Chat - Glenn Wichmann Interview
Matt Barton talks to Glenn Wichman, one of the creators of Rogue, the game that started the roguelike genre.
Sunday - January 26, 2014
Mark Morgan - Interviews
Mark Morgan the composer for the music of Wasteland 2, Fallout, and Planescape: Torment was interviewed by two sites this week.
The first interview is from PC Gamer.
Mark Morgan may not be as "instantly recognizable" as composers like Jeremy Soule, Jack Wall or Jesper Kyd, to name just a few, but to a certain subset of gamer nerd-dom he's easily the equal of any of them. He has more than a dozen titles to his credit in a career that began in 1995 with Dark Seed II, but there are three in particular--Fallout, Fallout 2 and Planescape: Torment--that established him as one of the most unique and memorable talents in the business.
The second interview is from Game Informer.
Mark Morgan's ethereal, electronic music-influenced game scores have helped convey the emotion in such games as Fallout: New Vegas, Planescape: Torment, and Need for Speed: Shift. He's currently working on Brian Fargo's much-anticipated Wasteland 2. We spoke to Morgan about his background, influences, and composition style.
Saturday - January 25, 2014
Windforge - A 2D Building Block RPG
Snowed In Studios has sent out a new press release for their RPG game Windforge.
WINDFORGE COMING TO STEAM MARCH 11 AFTER SUCCESSFUL KICKSTARTER
Ottawa, ON –Snowed In Studios is pleased to announce that WindForge is available for sale as a pre-release at www.windforgegame.com and will be launched on March 11, 2014, on the Steam Store.
WindForge received the green light from the Steam Community on January 7, 2014.
The game has been partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign, which ran from November 6 to December 6, 2013, and was successful thanks to the backers who got behind the title to contribute just over $50,000 to complete the game.
This financial contribution allowed Snowed In Studios, who offer work-for-hire game development services, to continue production and bring their first original title to market as planned.
'We had a difficult choice to make, to keep working on the game with the help of the WindForge community or to shorten production and launch the game in the fall. Running the campaign takes time and resources and we were not sure what was the right thing to do, given the statistics on how many Kickstarters fail,' says Jean-Sylvain Sormany, the president of Snowed in Studios. 'We literally did not know if we made the right decision or not until the very last minute. We met our goal with only 62 seconds on the clock, so it was pretty tight!'
The pre-release version of the game, which was made available to backers in December, is now available for sale on the studio’s website: http://windforgegame.snowedin.ca
WindForge is an RPG that allows players to build their own airships and explore the hostile skies. It mixes 2D-shooter action with the freedom to create and explore.
Agarest: Generations of War Zero - PC Release
Ghostlight announces the PC release of Agarest: Generations of War Zero.
PC release for Agarest: Generations of War Zero
BRAINTREE, UK – 23/01/2014
Ghostlight have today announced that following on from their successful PC release of Agarest: Generations of War on Steam last year, they will be bringing the game’s prequel, Agarest: Generations of War Zero to PC via Steam in the first quarter of 2014. As with the first game in the series, the PC port will be handled by developer, Laughing Jackal, whose Vita title OMG HD Zombies is expected to be released on Steam next month.
For the PC version of Agarest: Generations of War Zero, Laughing Jackal will be adding full mouse and keyboard support, maintaining full gamepad support, adding Steam achievements, taking advantage of the higher resolutions that PCs can offer and making a number of other user interface changes to ensure that PC gamers receive the best gaming experience possible.
Ghostlight have also provided a trailer for the PlayStation 3 version of this title.
In addition to this news Ghostlight have also revealed on their blog that they are currently in the process of signing two new Japanese titles to bring to PC.
Ghost Control Inc - A Turn-Based Strategy Game
Application Systems sent out a press release for a their game called Ghost Control Inc.
GhostControl Inc. - ghostly strategy game - shipping. Needs Greenlight support. Manual and demo available.
Application Systems announces the launch of GhostControl Inc. for Mac/PC/Linux. Manual and demo of the game are completed as well.
The Steam Greenlight campaign is looking for more votes here:
The demo can be downloaded here:
Also available from that link is the latest game update to version 1.0.7
and the "Guide to ghost hunting in the 21st Century" as a PDF. It
helps explains how to avoid the most popular disasters in a 32 page nutshell.
The game is available directly from us and on ESD platforms like the
Windows Store, Desura, Gamers Gate, Indiegamestand, macgamestore
right now. All current buying choices can be found here:http://www.application-systems.co.uk/ghostcontrolinc/buy.html
About GhostControl Inc.
Manage a team of ghosthunters and free London from paranormal terror
in turn-based battles. Develop your own strategy and build your business well.
Let's be honest - a ghost in your house can be a real pest. For
centuries we have accepted hauntings as unexplained phenomena which
we can do little to stop. Side affects of living in a haunted home
can include sleepless nights, headaches, smog everywhere and in some
cases even physical damage in the house.
Enough is enough, with your help we intend to put an end to these
paranormal pests. Build, manage and develop your own team of talented
With the income from your team's work you can equip them with some
amazing gadgets, but manage your budget with care not everything is
as useful as it may appear. Hunt your customers ghosts down -
property damage should be kept to a minimum. Take on the ghosts,
follow the map, take in the lovely sites and stunning landmarks.
Friday - January 24, 2014
SpiderDuck - The Year of Turn-Based Strategy
SpiderDuck has a new article about turn-based strategy games.
Gaming has trends that seem to change each year whether that be the Year of the Bow (well, couple years as some of those games ended up getting pushed) to a year full of rogue-likes or rogue-lites...honestly, who the hell comes up with these terms? These trends come to us from both mainstream big budget releases and small independent studios. Looking at the games that have been announced this year, I noticed a trend of turn-based strategy games that are both high profile and from the relatively unknown. A lot of these titles are available now whether it's early-access or a full release. I've put together this list of the ones that I've had the opportunity to check out.
Tuesday - January 21, 2014
Frogwares - Call of Cthulhu Adventure Game
I know this newspost is about an adventure game, but since many os us here likes adventure games. And some of us like the Call of Cthulhu universe, I find this newsworthy here.
Frogwares, the company behind the Sherlock Adventure games, announced yesterday
that the company
Together with Focus Home Interactive, we are happy to announce the development of Call of Cthulhu - the new video game based on the pen-and-paper role-playing game featuring H.P. Lovecraft mythology. Recognized as a true classic, Call of Cthulhu continues to delight players after almost 30 years since its release. We are aiming to continue this tradition and to present our very own contribution to Lovecraftian heritage with a video game.
You can view the announcements here along with some screenshots of the game.
Sunday - January 19, 2014
Matt Barton - Whatís wrong with Matt Chat?
Mat Barton has a new post on his blog asking what is wrong with his show.
Since my last post, I’ve been thinking more and more about what I’ve been doing “wrong” with Matt Chat, at least in terms of building an audience. Many folks have pointed out, and I think correctly, that with the caliber of guests I have on the show–and I’ve been maintaining that for years now–the show should be doing much better. There are countless guys out there doing simple reviews and let’s play type videos who are simply obliterating my views and subscriber lists.
Friday - January 17, 2014
General News - Kickstarter & Early Access
Everyday I come across a few articles about Kickstarter and Early Access. Seems every one has an opinion so instead of posting multiple news-bits consider this a roundup.
Venturebeat - "How Early Access and Kickstarter are a double win for developers"
So can Early Access and Kickstarter become the ultimate co-op experience? Kickstarter won’t be fading away anytime soon. It still offers a number of unique options that prospective developers can use to manage expectations via tiered donations and rewards, enabling them to get a head start on funding without sharing anything playable. Then, when they do have something they believe is good enough to share, Early Access might be another avenue they may choose to explore as an additional tool in aiding development — if they make the cut to be included on Steam, that is. Early Access could also change in other ways in much the same way as Steam has over the years, offering more options for developers and gamers in the future
GeekenStein - "Why Buying Into an Alpha is a Bad Thing"
When a game is in alpha it is still a long way from being finished, yet people will still pay $30 for it. We are encouraging bad business practices by developers and publishers, making it less of an issue if a game is unfinished. So if you really love a title and want to help with its development, then by all means buy into the alpha if the price isn’t too ridiculous, but don’t buy an alpha if you are even slightly unsure about it.
Gamasutra - "Now we own you: Another caution for crowdfunded content"
If we as content creators are to accept a world of alternative funding models and direct relationships with our players, readers, the consumers of whatever it is we create, we also have to accept the eventuality that someday it will be we, the small purveyors, who are responsible to their high expectations, for better and worse. Who will become the receptacle for the chronic disappointment we associate with a fanbase always very aware of what it is spending.
It's terrifying -- but solvable, surely. We'll learn new rules, new expectations, and new norms for how to create, communicate, deliver, adapt. Change is complicated, but there's no growth without it.
Digitally Downloaded - Mobile RPGs Editorial
Digitally Downloaded has notified me of a new article on their site that talks about mobile RPGs, and why they won't become the default platforrm for RPG development.
The major studios will almost certainly never adopt a "mobile first" strategy for RPG development. The genre is notoriously expensive to work with as it requires lengthy development cycles, high production values, and lengthy narratives that require an order of magnitude more work around level design, voice acting and art than your standard 4-hour FPS.
The genre is one that is nearly tailor-designed for the premium $60 price point because it's impossible to get away with cutting corners in the development process and fool consumers. They expect an exchange of $60 for a deep, varied quest of 50 hours in length or longer. Just look at what happened to Dragon Age II when EA and BioWare tried to get away with a short development cycle on it.
Given that no major studio would be crazy enough to release an iOS game at $60, consoles and the PC will remain the first platform for major studio RPGs into the future. The iOS ports, should they ever come, will only be after the developer has sold as many $60 copies as possible. It seems inevitable that premium RPGs will start to land on iOS, and we've seen this delayed release model work before; XCOM enjoyed a second lease of life for $20 on iOS after a solid run at $60 on console and PC. But mobile will never be the lead platform for "blockbuster" RPGs.
Wednesday - January 15, 2014
Alexander M. Freed - Game Narrative Editorial
Viewpoint Characters in Video Games
On a basic level, we can break down point of view “characters” (who aren’t always characters, as we’ll get to) in video games into three large, messy categories: total ciphers, fully defined characters, and player-influenced characters.
Empathy and Sympathy
Knowing how much players care about and empathize with different types of viewpoint characters, we can consider what this means for how players relate to non-player characters.
So how can we apply this knowledge when designing game stories? Consider what characters and character relationships are most important to your game, and how that affects your viewpoint character (and vice-versa). If you want the core of your story to be the developing relationship between your viewpoint character and a non-player character, your easiest approach will likely be with a fully defined protagonist… but easiest isn’t always best, and other approaches are possible and rewarding if you’re mindful of the challenges. If your story is largely about the emotional struggle and development of a non-player character, it’s very likely you don’t want a player-influenced viewpoint character–again, unless you’re very sure of what you’re doing and confident you can meet the challenges.
Tuesday - January 14, 2014
Strategy Informer - The Year of the RPG
Strategy Informer is the latest site to call 2014 The Year of the RPG, and gives a few examples of the RPGs to be released next year.
As a huge RPG fan (it’s now my favourite genre thanks to Call of Duty blandifying the FPS) I was highly disappointed by the turn-out in 2013. As console development costs sky-rocketed and release dates slipped only a handful of notable RPGs turned up. If we’re ignoring MMOs and Point-n-click Action RPGs (which we are in this whole article) there was only really Shadowrun Returns, Dragon’s Crown, Ni No Kuni and Tales of Xillia, apart from a few notable remakes like Persona 4 and Baldur’s Gate II and smaller titles like Van Helsing or Mars: War Logs. Thanks to slippages however 2014 is now absolutely bursting at the seams with quality RPGs. Shall we have a look? Hold on to your wizard stick.
Games.on.Net - Unfinished Games
Games.on.Net talks about the dishonest practise of unfinished games, and why developers must do better in 2014.
Over the past year, a host of titles released in such poor states that some of their stench even crossed platforms. Battlefield 4 launched broken across every single console, and at most, barely serviceable on its host platform. SimCity was unplayable for weeks after its launch, with eight months worth of patches required for the title to be feature complete. The War Z blatantly lied to consumers about its state, abusing Steam’s light-handed approach to the content of their store, but not before fleecing thousands from unsuspecting patrons. Hell, they’re still at it, even after a name change. But what’s more painful than the act of simply being dishonest is how carte blanche developers feel about dropping faulty product on their trusting audiences.
Sunday - January 12, 2014
Mass Effect 4 - Editorial @ GamingBolt
GamingBolt has a new article with their opinion on what direction Bioware needs to take for Mass Effect 4.
What has made Mass Effect aficionados particularly garrulous in recent times is the announcement of the new mass Effect game. Of course the game would see the departure of our beloved Commander Shepard and yes, that can’t really be helped. But what everyone is fervently hoping is that Bioware reincarnate Mass Effect 4 in the way they did the first game of the series. Of course the developers showed shrewdness over the years with every subsequent title in the series but concurrently, they forgot what was that had made Mass Effect such a good game.
Bioware has a lot to learn yet and simply put, they only need look around a bit. One of the most important reasons for the success of the Mass Effect series was its characters, a number of which had been with Shepard through thick and thin and it’ll be justice undone if Bioware deprives Mass Effect followers of embarking on a new journey minus all the characters they have always come to associate with the series.
Falcomís Ys Series - Editorial @ 2DX
2DX has a new article with information on Falcom’s ARPG underdog Ys games. Now before I get why post about this some of the games are on the PC.
So, what is Ys about?
Ys takes place in a fantasy version of our world. Each game (except Ys Origin) stars red-headed amnesiac adventurer Adol Christin. He’s the Link of the Ys games since, well, he swings a sword, attracts the attention of distressed maidens, and says little about the fantastic events around him. Yes, he’s a mute protagonist, but Adol surrounds himself with characters with plenty to say as he ventures from one mysterious continent to the next. Stories are usually basic fantasy fare — ancient evils awaken all over the place and Adol happens to be the chosen one to stop it — but they’re earnest and executed well enough to be charming.
Gameplay offers frantic, fast-paced arcadey action combined with the RPG genre’s stat, equipment and ability progression. You’ll find magic, armor, and hit points next to the action genre’s usual cache of moves like jumping, evading, and dashing at breakneck speed. Ys games are challenging affairs with brutal boss fights and amazing synth-rock-orchestrated soundtracks by composers Ryo Yonemitsu, Mieko Ishikawa, Yuzo Koshiro (of Streets of Rage, ActRaiser and Etrian Odyssey) and Falcom’s famed sound team, the JDK Band.
Seriously. Famed! Like Final Fantasy and Zelda, the Ys games have enjoyed entire CD collections and arranged albums dedicated to their wonderful music. In fact, the music is what got me into the series.
Okay! In honor of the latest Ys game, Memories of Celceta, here’s a chronological rundown of the games in the series so far, a brief history lesson for each title, how you can get your hands on them and how much you can expect to plunk down to enjoy them.
RPG Slayer - 2014 is The Year of the RPG
A site called RPG Slayer has a new article with ten reasons 2014 is the year of the RPG.
In what may be the first article of its type to be published in 2014, this top ten list seeks to argue one simple truth: 2014 is the year of the RPG. It isn’t a difficult argument to make, but it’s an important one to keep on the forefront of our minds as the months roll by. After all, the role-playing game offers a unique escape into the unknown–a deep sense of emotional investment that is largely absent in other genres.
Some would say an RPG is made (or unmade) on the integrity of its story and characters. This is just the beginning of what may be considered a rough definition of the genre.
Much of the media would be quick to label the Legend of Zelda series as role-playing games, but we have to be careful in drawing the line between fully fledged RPGs and games that simply feature elements of the genre. Titles like Zelda, and more recently, Destiny, would fall into the latter category.
Why should we even waste time in throwing up walls between genres? To my mind, such an act would serve to prevent the dilution of elements that must remain intact in order to amount to something greater than their parts. One of these elements in growth–pure, unadulterated growth of one or more characters as directed by the player. This is usually accomplished through the allocation of skill points, either in the accumulation of abilities or the distribution of stat points. Skill points, then, are usually obtained through some sort of leveling mechanic: grinding monsters, completing quests, crafting items, etc.
We could, with some confidence, define RPGs as story-heavy games that allow the character to grow, become better and impact the world in the sense that it reacts to and is shaped by the choices made. The following RPGs are arranged in no particular order.
Thursday - January 09, 2014
Worldsfactory - Best RPGs For 2014
Worldsfactory has a new article about the best upcoming RPGs of 2014, and calls next year a golden age for gamers.
For the gaming industry, 2013 was an exciting year with the release of next-gen consoles and a slew of ground-breaking new titles. Looking ahead at what we can expect from 2014, it appears safe to predict this next year will go on record as one of the best year’s in history for the RPG genre. From Kickstarter kings to long awaited, highly anticipated sequels, we’ve taken an in-depth look to bring you this lineup of Western (North America and/or Europe) releases in 2014. Due to the sheer volume of games slated for this year, we couldn’t include them all or risk publishing a small novel rather than a feature article.
Therefore, we picked those upcoming RPGs that right now seem more promising to us. We listed them below in alphabetical order, highlighting their sub-genres and why they’re generating unique interest. At any rate, this will be a Golden Age for RPG fans.
Tuesday - January 07, 2014
Matt Chat - Dink Smallwood Interview
interview with Seth Robinson. This time he talks about his Indie RPG Dink Smallwood.
In the third and final installment of my interview with LORD designer Seth Able Robinson, we chat about Dink Smallwood. Then we talk about Seth's other projects, which include Funeral Quest, Novashell, Tanked, and Teenage Lawnmower. We also talk about the game dev biz and how to break into it.
*Note*: The footage from Dink Smallwood in this video makes it look choppier than it is during actual gameplay. It's actually much smoother.
Saturday - January 04, 2014
The Matt Chat Blog - My CRPG History
One of the favorite things I like to ask my guests on Matt Chat is about their gaming history. What games did you play that sealed your fate as a lifelong gamer? I could talk about that for awhile, actually–because some designers admit to (really) not liking games very much anymore. My guess is that they’re into it mostly for the technical challenge of making them or the economic challenge of selling them. But anyway, on to my own CRPG History!
Tuesday - December 31, 2013
RPGamer - RPGs By The Numbers
RPGamer has a new article with data on all RPGs released in 2013 on every platform.
It's amazing how much context plain raw numbers can provide. Above all of the speculative conjecture that can be provided by "analysts" and "industry insiders," the only data we really have to indicate how good or bad a year has been is historical data. For the unaware, I work for the Canadian government in statistical analysis and labour market development. Numbers are my bread and butter, when I'm not writing for this RPG haven. To that end, I wanted to take this opportunity to detail 2013 in numbers alone.
As with last year's feature, the intent of this article is to examine trends. The game list that was compiled sought to record every RPG release of the year, but there is always a chance that one or two were lost in the cracks. It's more important that the overall movement of the datasets are examined. As with any review of data, white noise is always present when you examine information at a granular level; the impact of overall trends is more important than each singular game recorded. That said, if you wish to examine the dataset you can click HERE.
There were some pretty visible trends this year. We've seen roughly 250 RPGs released throughout the world, with at least 114 only being released to Japanese markets. Sadly, that means that Western audiences have missed out on 45.6% — almost half — of the RPGs released this year. Some of those games are bound to be localized at a later date, but this is a fairly clear indication by the market that the West isn't nearly as lucrative. Perhaps, the West might even be seen as a niche marketplace for the genre.
Matt Chat - Seth Robinson Interview
interview with Seth Robinson.
Seth returns this week to talk about his epic BBS door game, Legend of the Red Dragon. We then chat about his take on Tradewars, another door game called Planets. We end with a discussion of LORD II, an ambitious sequel that failed to make the impact of the original.
Monday - December 30, 2013
NYTimes - Exploring Meaningful Violence
The NY Times has a new article about violence in video games. Nothing new really but the writer has a valid point.
“Boring” isn’t usually the first word that comes to mind when one thinks about violence. And yet that’s exactly how I felt about so much of the shooting, maiming and torturing in the video games of 2013. As I nodded off amid my 40th gunfight in the first-person shooter BioShock Infinite, I had to ask: Am I desensitized to video game violence, or is there something more going on here?
Last year, I wrote that I’d like to see more games embrace the concept of specific, personal violence. So many games dehumanize enemies, letting us cleave through hordes of bandits and aliens while feeling nothing for any of them. The moment we put a name and a face to a character, violence against him or her becomes specific and personal.
This year, I’ve found myself more interested in how video games are violent than why they are. What makes the violence in one game more meaningful than it is in another? BioShock Infinite and The Last of Us, two of of the most talked-about action games of 2013, tell stories of a man and a young woman fighting through dangerous territory, killing dozens of nameless bad guys. So why am I bored by combat in BioShock Infinite but exhilarated by The Last of Us?
Sunday - December 29, 2013
Telltale Games - Industry Ignores Story
Telltale Games Co-Founder & CEO Dan Connors thinks the rest industry ignores story. You can watch him express his opinion in this new video on Bloomberg TV.
Telltale Inc. Dan Connors discusses his company’s releases for 2014, the future of gaming and how it became a $20B business with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.”
Saturday - December 28, 2013
ModDB - Best Indie Games & Mods of 2013
The ModDB awards for best indie game, and best mod of 2013 was annouced today.
Thursday - December 26, 2013
Giant Bomb - Carpenter's Best Games for 2013
Giant Bomb asked John Carpenter about his six favourite video games this year.
These are some of his answers:
1. ASSASSIN'S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG - Classic ASSASSIN'S CREED gameplay, awesome world, fabulous game.
2. FAR CRY 3 - Magnificent open world adventure
3. THE LAST OF US - Great characters make this a classic
You can read the rest of the story here.
Tuesday - December 24, 2013
Forbes - The Best RPGs of 2014
Forbes brings us their list of the best RPGs that are awaiting us in the new year or year after that. It's a big list, here are a few, which are on it.
The Witcher 3 - Geralt of Rivia’s final chapter, the third in CDP RED’s Witcher series is the fist to take an open-world approach to gameplay. The game itself promises upwards of 100 hours for all content, some three-dozen different possible endings (or end-states for the world at least) and an overhauled combat system.
Dark Souls II - Still perhaps my most-anticipated game of 2014, the sequel to FromSoftware’s magnificent Dark Souls is landing in March. From what little I’ve played the game stays very true to its predecessor, though we won’t really know for sure until we’ve had time to really sink ourselves into the dark world and brutal combat of the game.
Destiny - While it may not be an RPG in the strictest sense, Bungie’s “shared-world shooter” has many trappings of an RPG. The game looks like a lot of fun, either way, and is one of the games pushing multiplayer in a whole new direction, away from “massive” and toward something more intimate.
South Park: The Stick of Truth - Unless it’s delayed forever, someday we’ll get our hands on the first real South Park RPG. Written by the show’s creators and developed by the old-hands at Obsidian, this should be, if nothing else, the funniest RPG to hit shelves next year.
Monday - December 23, 2013
Happy Holidays - The RPGWatch Staff
The entire RPGWatch Staff wishes you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
Matt Chat - Seth Robinson Interview
interviews Seth Robinson the developer of Indie RPG Dink Smallwood.
This episode features Seth Robinson, the developer of Legend of the Red Dragon (a BBS Door game) and Dink Smallwood, a satirical CRPG.
Saturday - December 21, 2013
Obstructed Views - Top 5 ARPG Combat Systems
A site called Obstructed Views takes a look at what they think is the top 5 RPG combat systems. With all the turn based talk going on lately consider this a counter argument.
Action RPGs have become more and more popular over the years. It’s gotten to the point where most RPGs released are action orientated. However many of them ignore the action aspect in favour of a more stat driven experience. Today I’ll cover my personal top 5 action orientated combat systems released in an RPG.
Monday - December 09, 2013
Telltale Games - VGX 2013 Announcements
Telltale Games annouced two new game series at the VGX 2013 show. Keep in mind these are adventure games not RPGs.
Game Of Thrones
Telltale Games has announced it’s developing a new game series based on Game Of Thrones. The new series is coming in 2014 and according to Telltale Games, this game series will be made in conjunction with HBO and will be based on the television series.
Tales from the Borderlands
Gearbox and Telltale Games announce a new game called Tales from the Borderlands. Tales from the Borderlands is an episodic game series and as its title suggests, it will be based on Gearbox’s Borderlands franchise. The first episode will be released in 2014.
Thaks goto DSO Gaming for the news.
Friday - December 06, 2013
EDGE - Tabletop RPGs & Game Design
EDGE has posted a new article about tabletop RPGs, and what they can teach us about videogame design.
When I was but a lad, my true love was tabletop roleplaying games. Although I was into computer games, TRPGs were the ones that really opened the door in my mind marked ‘Imagination’ and left it open. Whole universes came to life in my head, and it was TRPGs that made me want to be a game designer.
Fifteen-year-old me spent a lot of time rolling dice and drawing maps. He liked to play with possibilities, to invent and make games. Like many bright kids, he became adept at cramming in order to get past school exams, but spent the rest of his time daydreaming. He even got into trouble when, upon finishing an English exam with time to spare, his teacher caught him writing character sheet notes on the back of his test paper.
Forty-year-old me looks back on those years with fondness, and also an enormous sense of fortune. Although I later separated from tabletop gaming, I owe it a phenomenal debt. Why? Well, because making TRPGs and other kinds of ‘trad’ games taught me why designing games involves more than a healthy imagination.
Wednesday - December 04, 2013
Warcry - Richard Garriott Interviews
Richard Garriott was interviewed by a site called Warcry. You can find the links with a brief description of each interview below.
Interview Part 1: How Shroud of the Avatar Gives History to Player-Made Items
Lord British discusses SotA's release date, combat system, business model, and how player-made items can have real history.
Interview Part 2: World of Warcraft Model of MMOs Overdone
Lord British offered his thoughts on the progression of gaming as a storytelling medium, the death of the theme park MMO, and the future of virtual reality gaming.
Interview Part 3: Seeking Greatness in a Game Designer
Seeking his insight for my own design aspirations, Garriott and I discussed the importance of meaning in games and what he thinks will be the most important qualities in the great game designers of tomorrow.
Tuesday - December 03, 2013
Matt Chat - Guido Henkel on Realms of Arkania
Matt Barton continues his interview with Guido Henkel talking about Realms Of Arkania.
In this episode, the great Guido Henkel returns to talk about his greatest achievements: Realms of Arkania I and II. We also chat about his books, the art of writing good game manuals, and more.
Thursday - November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving - Enjoy the Food
Just a quick announcement wishing all our American forum members, and guests a Happy Thanksgiving. Just go easy on the deserts as I gain a few pounds myself this time a year.
Wednesday - November 27, 2013
Richard Garriott - Video Interview
The Spoony Experiment continues their interview with Richard Garriott, but talks about his art gallery, and akalabeth pictures instead of Shroud of the Avatar.
Monday - November 25, 2013
Matt Chat - Guido Henkel's Early Days
In this episode, Guido talks about his early days, focusing on the difference between the German and UK and US computer game scenes. How are German gamers different? Watch this video to find out! We also chat about Guido's first games, Ooze and Hellowoon.
Monday - November 18, 2013
Wasteland - Review @ LGR
Before Fallout, there was Wasteland from Interplay in 1988. And it exploded cRPG gamers' minds like a blood sausage with its post-apocalyptic awesomeness!
Saturday - November 16, 2013
BitComposer - Humble Weekly Sale
In case you missed this sale in the pricewatch thread BitComposer is offering six games in this new Humble Weekly Sale.
Pay what you want for Jagged Alliance: Classics DRM-free for Windows. Galaxy on Fire 2: Full HD, Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers and Thunder Wolves are available on Steam for $1 or more. If you pay $6 or more, you’ll also receive Expeditions: Conquistador and Jagged Alliance: Crossfire too! All games are available on Windows via Steam with select games also available on Mac and Linux.
Friday - November 15, 2013
Matt Chat - Albion Retrospective Video
Matt Barton takes a look back at Albion the classic CRPG from Blue Byte in this new Mat Chat video. I have to admit I almost forgot about this game.
This week's episode is a retrospective of "Albion," a 1995/6 CRPG from Blue Byte. Originally intended for the Amiga AGA platform, Albion is a forward-thinking RPG classic, with turn-based combat, an epic sci-fi storyline, and adventure-game style puzzles.
Friday - November 08, 2013
RPG Circus - Chris Avellone Podcast
RPG Circus has new podcast with Chris Avellone. Thanks SER for submitting the news.
Welcome to Season 5 Episode 21of RPG Circus
- Interview with Chris Avellone
- Traveller for New Players
Friday - October 25, 2013
FMV Magazine - Warren Spector Interview
FMV Magazine is the next site this week to interview video game veteran Warren Spector about his past, and the state of the current industry.
During your career, you’ve developed some genuinely iconic games. Which of your titles would you say you’re most proud of, and why?
Which of my babies do I love the most? The easy answer is I’m hugely proud of Deus Ex. The fact that it’s still relevant and playable today – 13 years after its release – is amazing to me. I still get fan mail about it. And I’d have to be blind and disingenuous not to see the influence the game has had on the medium in the years since. I had a great team on that project and we changed the world a little. That’s pride-worthy, I think.
After that, it’d probably be the first Disney Epic Mickey game, simply because we changed the way a lot of people thought about Mickey Mouse AND we reintroduced Oswald the Lucky Rabbit to the world. It wasn’t movies or cartoons or merchandising or a theme park attraction that did all that. It was a game. Our game. Again, that’s worth being proud of, I think.
Is it gratifying when you see modern games that have clearly been influenced by your own work?
You bet. I’ve always said there are a lot of ways to define success – sales… revenue… influence. I’ve always been into that last one. When I first started thinking about Deus Ex, one of my goals was to shame my peers into making more ambitious, more genuinely interactive games than many were making at the time. Yes, I was – probably still am – that arrogant! I didn’t even talk to the team about that little goal. The fact that you’re even asking the question says we did change things, at least a little.
What’s the most flattering thing anyone’s said about any of your creations?
I’ve had lots of people tell me Deus Ex is the best game they’ve ever played. That’s always nice to hear! It’s even nicer to hear from developers who say they started their company because of DX… or that they changed the way they thought about and made games as a result of DX. I love that.
When you were working on the likes of Deus Ex, System Shock and the Thief series, did you always set out with the intention to create something genuinely groundbreaking from the beginning?
Yep. My motto is “fail gloriously.” Why even bother trying to succeed at something mediocre or well understood? Every project has to do at least one thing no one in the world has ever seen or done in a game before. It’s one of my rules.
What are your favourite elements and moments from those titles?
I loved seeing people “paralyzed by choice” in the early moments of DX. I’d watch them play and, when they hit the first obvious choice point, they’d just stop – some even pushed the keyboard away. No game had ever given them a real choice before, I guess! I also love watching people playing a game and solving a problem in a way I’ve never seen anyone try before. When players can craft their own solutions to problems, well, that’s gaming at its all-too-rare best. I’ve seen that happen on every game I’ve worked on, because they’re all designed to allow that to happen. That’s their reason for being.
Monday - October 21, 2013
XCOM: Enemy Unknown & Xenonauts - Editorial @ NewStatesman
The NewStatesman has a new article that takes a look at XCOM: Enemy Unknown & Xenonauts , and asks is a dumbed-down game any less fun?
For years there has been debate amongst video game fans about dumbing down, about streamlining games, cutting out features, making them easier to play and less challenging. Players lament the over-simplification of titles like Mass Effect 3, or Skyrim, but the debate is usually hypothetical because we only know about games that exist. There is no complicated version of Skyrim for comparison, ditto for the Mass Effect series. We can only conjecture on what might have happened had Bethesda used the Morrowind systems in Skyrim or if Bioware opted to perfect the cumbersome inventory systems of the original Mass Effect rather than ripping them out.
However, one instance where we can examine this subject outside of hypotheticals has come to light with the emergence of two X-COM games. XCOM: Enemy Unknown, produced by Firaxis, which shares the name and the legal ownership of the IP with the original series, and Xenonauts, an indie title produced by Goldhawk Interactive which is dubbed a re-imagining. Both games have appeared at roughly the same time after substantial development periods: Xenonauts has been in production since 2009, and work on the new XCOM: Enemy Unknown (now hyphen-free) began in 2008.
Tuesday - October 15, 2013
Jagged Alliance 2 - Retrospective @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer reinstalls Jagged Alliance 2 and gives their opinion on how the game has hold up after all these years.
Like other excellent TRPGs (Fallout, Dragon Age) JA2 isn’t afraid to make freedom (including the freedom to fail) a key trait of its combat system. Almost all the fighting you’ll do is unscripted. Heroics arise from planning, improvisation and a little luck. The fact that an automatic weapon can accidentally fire more rounds than you intended—as an interaction between the gun and your character—is such a sweet, surprising nuance.
The other side of that coin, of course, are the grueling, random situations you stumble into: turning a blind corner can reveal an SMG-wielding enemy ready to instantly send your top commando.But that fear of lost characters feels meaningfully frustrating to me. When my recon guy, Marty McFly, died in a swamp, I had a 10-minute debate with myself over whether to revert to my last save game. If a game’s goal is to stimulate emotion, JA2 succeeds.
Monday - October 14, 2013
Polygon - Richard Garriott Interview
Polygon has posted a new interview with Richard Garriott where he talks about ways to create a healthy game development industry.
During a panel at New York Comic Con this afternoon, Garriott spoke about his history as a game developer, and expanded on what he saw as the important distinctions between the game industry in Austin and what he's noticed during his time in New York so far.
Austin quickly became a hub for game development, according to Garriott, because it's naturally a city that people in the art and technology fields flock to. But it's been suffering in recent years because it never developed the best educational institutions to bring the next generation of game developers into the industry. More importantly, Garriott explained, there isn't a lot of money for game development in Austin, because few game publishers and developers actually have their corporate headquarters in town. Instead, they tend to be located in California, and maintain satellite offices in Austin.
"Everyone in Austin is on the binge-and-purge cycle of the industry," said Garriott, noting that when companies have to make personnel cuts, they tend to lay people off at the satellite offices first.
Sunday - October 06, 2013
The Koalition - AAA and Indie RPGs Podcast
The Koalition has a new RPG Podcast asking,"What’s the Difference Between AAA and Indie RPGs?".
This week we welcome an old friend (and Guild Wars 2 guild master) Xeridian Darkmoon. Xeridian is in charge of an upcoming content production brand known as E1337cm. This week as our main discussion we posed the question What is the difference between AAA and Indie RPGs? Indie RPGs are far more creative these days, where-as AAA RPGs are continuously trying to reinvent themselves to stay relevant.
Also on this show we boast about our rightful prediction on Project Destati, the South Park Stick of Truth release date, and the news of Warhammer Online coming to an end. There's our usual Final Fantasy talk as Square Enix announces that FFX/FFX-2 HD will be released this Winter. And I also spoke on some stuff I personally experienced at the Eurogamer Expo.
Monday - September 30, 2013
Night Dive Studios - Paul Neurath Interview
What do you think about Kickstarter and other alternate methods of funding games? Do you think that if Looking Glass had access to that kind of alternative back in the 90s that the company may have survived?
Perhaps so. We relied on venture funding to grow the studio, and it turned out that LookingGlass was not a great fit for the venture model. This was heading into the heyday of the first dotcom bubble where venture guys were looking at 20x and higher potential returns. We are simply not on that trajectory. Even today it is difficult to see where venture fits well with traditional AAA PC or console game development.
Crowd funding does seem to be working for fans of classic games, with a relatively modest but dedicated audience willing to fund some of these titles on order of $1M to $4M, and in a few cases substantially more.
We've heard that recently you've been working mostly on mobile games. What direction do you see mobile games going in? How do you think mobile games can innovate? What do you feel is unique about that platform?
Another topic for its own interview. But in brief, mobile and tablets are where much of the innovation in gaming is happening today. The costs are dramatically lower than in console, and you don’t need a publisher or retail to reach the audience. Also millions of new folks are being introduced to gaming on their mobile devices, so you have fresh expectations from an audience who in some ways are more open to trying whatever might be fun.
Thursday - September 26, 2013
Hellraid - Interactive Movie Prequel
Techland has released a new interactive movie prequel for it's FPS/RPG Hellraid called Edyn's Escape.
Edyn's Escape is an interactive movie prequel to the events in Hellraid, a video game by Techland.
When brother Edyn woke up his monastery was overrun by hellish creatures. Now he must find a weapon and get to safety before monsters kill him. Help Edyn in his escape and get your award at the end of the story.
Wednesday - September 25, 2013
RPG Worlds - Depth Vs Practicality
VGU has a new article about Depth Vs Practicality in modern RPGs.
There has always been one thing that has bothered me about RPGs. This is a genre based around the size and scope of a world, full of wonderfully written characters to spend upwards of 100+ hours with sometimes. As the name denotes you play a role, you fill a space in that world that is pre-defined and as such needs to be polished to a high standard. These universes are filled with history and context to sink your teeth into. Given all of this there is still one problem though, a single nagging issue I have always had since I first played Phantasy Star 2 on a Best of Sega compilation for my PC years and years ago. Why isn't there more of it?
Sunday - September 22, 2013
Deus Ex: The Fall - Console & PC Port?
Portable Gaming Region nas news that the andriod version of Deus Ex: The Fall release is close. They also have news that Square is thinking about console & PC Ports of the game.
Wright revealed that Deus Ex: The Fall “has always been planned for Android,” and given how “there is a lot of interest in playing Deus Ex: The Fall on other platforms,” Square Enix and N-Fusion are “considering many options.” Though hinting at console and PC ports of the critically acclaimed game, Wright quickly added that the development team is still completely focused on smartphone and tablet version of the said mobile title.
Thursday - September 19, 2013
RPGamer - Teabagging Nostalgia
RPGamer has a new article about remakes, reboots, and nostalgia.
There's no doubt in my mind that the RPG landscape is going through a period of transition. Since the early PC days, RPGamers have purchased the latest platforms and reaped the benefits of continually supporting their favorite long-running franchises. It's been good, but there are now fewer active series to speak of and the platforms themselves have changed in such a drastic way that many traditional RPGamers no longer feel the need to adopt. It's hard to say whether this can simply be attributed to the industry itself changing or video game publishers altering their business strategy, but one thing is clear: what few nostalgic series rear their heads in today's modern landscape are far too often marginalized in spite of their lineage.
It's a bit hard on the heart. Many of us have grown up alongside our favorite RPG franchises, and to see them now dip into mediocrity with mobile, browser, and free-to-play MMO releases can be difficult to watch. That's not to say that I feel every entry in every RPG franchise deserves a AAA release, but now what we are usually given is a subpar and lazy title with only vague ties to its namesake. You only have to look as far as the GREE network to see a few of the worst cash-ins on RPG nostalgia available.
Grid Cartographer - Android Version Available
Grid Cartographer the program that allows you to make maps to go along with your RPG games now has a new android version for mobile users.
Grid Cartographer Touch is a map making tool for role-playing games.
The perfect companion for classic RPGs like Wizardry, Might & Magic, Eye of the Beholder, Captive, Lands of Lore and Dungeon Master.
Grid Cartographer Touch improves upon paper maps with a number of useful features such as unlimited map area and floors stored in one convenient file, undo / redo, clipboard functions, support for custom tiles and a notes feature.
The advanced editing features such as the quick move tool and area stroke and fill make blocking out maps incredibly easy. Then detail using the many icons included (or import your own) and simply export the map to an image file for printing or sharing online!
Traditional Role Playing?
It's a great tool for traditional pen and paper role playing games. Dungeon Masters can make maps with it to be revealed to the party at key moments, or the party could use it themselves as a tool for mapping out a dungeon as they explore. You could even role-play an actual cartographer!
Grid Cartographer Touch supports exporting maps as XML or Binary data. It's fully documented in an easy to read reference manual. Check out this Flash demo game (with full source code) for a real-world example of using an exported map. All files are fully compatible between desktop and mobile versions.
Thursday - September 12, 2013
GMG - Deus Ex Pack & Thief Pack
As part of Green Man Gamings huge sale going on right now you can pick up two bundles that might be of interest to our forum members.
First up we have the Deus Ex Pack for $11.23.
This pack includes:
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - The Missing Link
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Explosive Mission
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Tactical Enhancement
Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition
Deus Ex: Invisible War
Next they have the Thief Pack for $5.74.
This pack includes:
Thief: Gold Edition
Thief II: The Metal Age
Thief: Deadly Shadows
Just remember Steam is required to play most of these games. Origin is not required this time.
Tuesday - September 10, 2013
Dungeon Keeper 2 - Retrospective @ EDGE
EDGE has a new retrospective Dungeon Keeper 2.
The sound of digging pervades Dungeon Keeper 2. Bullfrog’s 1999 realtime strategy game involves the construction and operation of a dungeon and its associated labyrinth in a gloomy, underground world. There are always chambers to be excavated, minerals to be mined and exploratory tunnels to be dug in order to expand your area of play. The imps, tiny magical creatures who comprise your basic workforce, are continually scraping and picking away at the ground somewhere, carrying out your orders.
It’s a pleasantly double-edged sound – industrious, but also subversive. You’re eating away at the world around you, undermining, corroding, tunnelling like a colony of termites. And if your imps run out of orders and stop working – you’ll see them sit against the wall and light up cigarettes – you might still hear digging. That would be the sound of one of your rival keepers chipping away at the rock in your direction, heading inexorably towards you.
Building and undermining at the same time – that’s the centre of the appeal of Dungeon Keeper 2. The player must design and construct a detailed and multi-functional underground world to perform a number of tasks, but also revel in destruction, murder, torture and slavery. Indeed, those are the tasks. This is a dungeon, after all. In other hands, DK2 could have been a recipe for dreary sadism. But Bullfrog put together a world that was all about beautiful, rich, detailed, absorbing, funny sadism.
Thursday - September 05, 2013
Racketboy - Chris Avellone Podcast
Racketboy has a new podcast with Chris Avellone talking about the various RPG's he has worked on.
Chris Avellone is a veteran developer who over the past twenty years has created an impressive oeuvre of intelligent, groundbreaking, and much-loved RPGs. In this interview he graciously sat down with Dave and John to talk about his role and influence in many of these past projects (including the monumental Planescape Torment and Fallout series), his current work with several high profile Kickstarter projects (Wasteland 2, Project Eternity, and Torment: Tides of Numenara), and his thoughts on how the industry has changed over the years.
Wednesday - September 04, 2013
The Koalition - Top 5 Action RPGs of this Generation
The Koalition writer David Jagneaux has written a new article about what he thinks is this generations best ARPG's. Remember this is his opinion not fact so take it easy on him.
To be clear, this list is in regards to isometric-styled hack-and-slash action RPGs. If you've ever played a Diablo game or anything like that, then you have a pretty good idea. There are lots of games and franchises in this genre, but it also seems to be one of the most under-represented each and every gaming generation. Releases are few and far between, but each successive title seems to always garner praise and success. One of the most iconic franchises in all of gaming - Diablo - basically started the entire subgenre and it's still going strong to this day. With Diablo III finally set to release on consoles soon, I thought this was a good time to take a look back at all of the best the action RPG genre has to offer this generation.
Monday - September 02, 2013
Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan indiegogo Campaign
Kiro'o Games started an indiegogo campaign for Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan. They're asking for 75k€. At this time they're still building momentum.
Their crowdfunding pitch:
Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan - The 1st African Fantasy Action RPG
Kiro'o Games from Cameroon sends word they're working on Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan. According to their PR it's the first African fantasy action-RPG ever.
I've posted a screenshot trailer below. Please visit our forum for masses of pics and some infos.
Warcraft Film - Based on Prince Arthas
Remember the Warcraft movie? Well BlizzPlanet has news the title is going to called Conflagration, and be about Prince Arthas. So what do you think does this sound good, or is it another movie flop in the making?
Rumors have circulated for a few weeks the plot for the Warcraft film is based on Khadgar and Medivh — rumor ignited by Bleeding Cool on July 31. That sets the story during the First War as depicted in the first Warcraft game titled Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (1994). Players kill Medivh in mission # 8 of the Human campaign as seen in our single-player guide.
Friday - August 30, 2013
Forbes - Dungeons & Dragons Video Games
Forbes Contributor Erik Kain has a new article were he writes about three Dungeons & Dragons video games that need to be made.
Dungeons & Dragons has two massively multiplayer online roleplaying games, an upcoming mobile game, and a huge back catalog of old-school computer roleplaying games and brawlers.
But MMORPGs don’t scratch the roleplaying itch for many gamers, or at least not always in the same way that single-player games do.
Wizards of the Coast should capitalize on the D&D brand’s long tradition of single-player RPGs, especially now that technology and video game innovation could lead to some of the best D&D video games ever.
Here are three games that the D&D license should take advantage of.
Monday - August 26, 2013
Record of Agarest War - PC Release Date
Ghostlight announces on a new blog post that Record of Agarest War for the PC is nearing release.
Lastly, I have some Agarest news for you all. Thanks to the hard work of the guys at Laughing Jackal along with our intrepid band of beta testers, we are now fast approaching our first Agarest: Generation of War PC master candidate.
We’ve been busy squashing the last few remaining bugs as well as integrating the DLC, so this means that while we’re not quite there yet, we’re not too far off being able to announce a release date.
Friday - August 23, 2013
Amplitude Studios - Dungeon of the Endless
Dungeon of the Endless is a rogue-like tower-defense game in which the player and team must protect the generator on their crashed ship while exploring an ever-expanding dungeon, all while facing waves of monsters and special events as they try to find their way out.
Tuesday - August 20, 2013
Matt Chat - Bill Volk on Return to Zork
Matt Chat is back again with another video interview talking to Bill Volk. While not an RPG the games he made are classics that deserve to be talked about.
In this part of the interview, Bill and I chat about the glorious days of The Manhole, Return to Zork, Aegis, Ports of Call, and much more. Bill shares some great stories about the early days of Amiga and Mac, plus offers his views on the future of the adventure game.
Josh Sawyer - Game Design Video
Josh Sawyer updated his YouTube channel with a new video talking about importance of real-world knowledge for game design.
Monday - August 19, 2013
Game Informer - The Best BioWare Characters
Game Informer has a new opinion article about the Best BioWare Characters.
With our Dragon Age: Inquisition coverage in full swing, the time is ripe to celebrate the best BioWare characters. BioWare has provided us with many extraordinary party members over the years that making a list was no easy task. After debating internally and with my fellow staff members, it was decided that certain characters simply had to make the cut. Cast members are memorable for different reasons, whether we love them for their sarcasm, development, or merely because they're different from the standard video game archetype. For this list, I have some of the obvious choices and some neglected standouts.
Thursday - August 15, 2013
Telltale - Debuts New Trailer for Fables
If you were a fan of The Walking Dead then you should enjoy this new trailer for their next project called Fables: The Wolf Among Us.
Developer Telltale Games is bringing Fables to you -- but can you handle the big bad detective?
Wednesday - August 14, 2013
Amplitude Studios - Dungeon of the Endless
Amplitude Studios has posted a teaser video for their upcoming GamesCom debut of Dungeon of the Endless. It seems to be a Sci-Fi ARPG from the teaser.
Tuesday - August 13, 2013
Deus Ex: The Fall - Android Release Next Month
Eidos Montreal has revealed that the Android version of the Deus Ex: The Fall mobile game will be hitting the Google Play Store next month, priced at $6.99.
Additionally, we’re also very excited to confirm that the Android version of Deus Ex: The Fall will be available in September.
Monday - August 12, 2013
Ultima Forever: The Quest for the Avatar - Now Available
Ultima Forever: The Quest for the Avatar is out now on iOS. The free-to-play adventure takes place 20 years after the original Quest of the Avatar.
Experience the biggest co-op, action RPG on mobile, available now on the App Store for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch! http://smarturl.it/ohbzmb
Play the first major Ultima release in nearly 16 years! Lady British has summoned a new generation of Heroes like you to help save the world of Britannia from the Black Weep, an insidious plague that's infecting the land and corrupting her inhabitants. Britannia needs you, will you heed her call?
SAVE THE WORLD OF BRITANNIA
+ Form parties with up to three friends and explore dungeons
+ Defeat enemies in fast-paced, co-op action combat and earn epic loot
+ Enjoy hundreds of hours of quests and immersive storylines
+ Personalize your adventure with special abilities, epic gear, and cosmetic items
+ Choose your actions wisely, as every choice may have a later impact
+ Meet players from all over the world
Do you have what it takes to become the Avatar? Download Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar today!
Saturday - August 10, 2013
Mass Effect 4 - Why Isnít Commander Shepard Coming Back ?
Unigamesity is back again with another article about Bioware this time asking,"Why Isn’t Commander Shepard Coming Back?"
It has been confirmed that Mass Effect 4 will have a completely new focus, since Commander Shepard’s destiny has been fulfilled and there’s nothing much to go on about. There are mainly two reasons that won’t allow the hero of Mass Effect to return in upcoming games, at least not as a main character.
The first explanation is related to the protagonist’s storyline and its conclusion in the third game. The events of Mass Effect 3, where the Normandy’s Commander manages to become a legend responsible for saving the entire galaxy from extinction, established a closure for Shepard’s story – his physical death was a cruel, yet logical ending for a dignifying character like this one. Despite the negative reception of Shepard’s death, which was perceived as an utterly disappointment by the fans, BioWare’s solution was not dramatic or severe in my opinion.
Escaping death once again wouldn’t be any surprise for Commander Shepard but under the circumstances it would be more than astonishing, it would be ridiculous and completely fictional. This faith was inevitable and the most realistic one considering the sacrifices required to enable the catalyst. But this is not the only reason why BioWare isn’t bringing Shepard back in the fourth game.
Tuesday - August 06, 2013
The Phoenix Project - Interview @ Incgamers
Incgamers has an interview with the members of the The Phoenix Project. It's a group of volunteers from the City of Heroes community. They are developing a new superhero MMORPG that could become the spiritual successor to CoH.
When City of Heroes shut down, the community was left in limbo and disappointed with the way NCSoft handled it. What are your thoughts on that now? It’s been quite a few months since this happened.
Cameron: City of Heroes was and still is their property so it was their legal right to do whatever they wanted with it. The reason we are doing what we are doing is because when they pulled it off the market there was a huge hole there. So we’re seeking to fill that space so the community that now wants to dwell in that now-empty niche will have place to go back to.
How do you think the community is taking it as far as wanting to see a new project is concerned? Do you think people are really sticking around and wanting to see the Phoenix Project happen?
Cameron: Generally speaking, yes. We are seeing a lot of people who have tried other things and keep coming back to see what we’re doing, saying they are really lookingforward to something that will fill that void in their lives.
Jim: You hit the nail on the head. You have to look at the whole thing that we are dealing with here; the stages of death, grief and acceptance. We’ve moved pretty far through that process as a community. I think everyone has finally accepted it. However, there is the gap of what is still needed and everyone’s going to find a game they want to play to fill the meantime. Yes, we do have quite a community that keeps checking back, there’s still enthusiasm and you know, I think we’re all pretty grateful for that.
Monday - August 05, 2013
VGS Radio - Phil Fish vs Casey Hudson
VGS has a new audio podcast about hate on the internet especially against Phil Fish and Casey Hudson.
This week on VGS we discuss and compare the blowout between Phil Fish and the world of gaming. Does the vitriol spewed at Casey Hudson of Bioware compare at all to the circumstances faced towards Fish?
If so, then why does so much of the gaming community flock to Fish’s defense but crucify Hudson, despite his non-combative nature? The Retake Movement was decimated in the press but one indie developer starts to cry and all of the sudden there’s a huge public outcry for more sensitivity and civility from media outlets. Where do you stand? Contribute!
Video above also includes an examination of comments made by Ubisoft’s CEO and why it’s terrible. Below is this week’s entire show- we go hands on with Batman: Arkham Origins.
Sunday - August 04, 2013
The Humble Deep Silver Bundle - German Versions Uncut!
Schnittberichte.com (English site: movie-censorship.com), the world's leading site for news and cut reports on censored movies, games and comics, confirms the rumors about the Humble Deep Silver Bundle. All included games are uncut, and even the critical games Saints Row: The Third + DLC and Dead Island + add-on can be activated from a German IP without problems!
Saturday - August 03, 2013
Xseed - To Release More JRPG's On The PC
Xseed has told Siliconera that they are planning to release more JRPG's on the PC. So if you enjoyed playing the Ys series this is good news.
In recent years, Xseed have begun to publish games on PC, starting out with Falcom’s Ys games. In a recent interview with the publisher’s Executive Vice-President Ken Berry, Siliconera asked about how those games have done and further PC support.
“They have done great on Steam, and hopefully that introduced a lot of new people to the Ys series so that they will want to check out the latest offering on PS Vita when it comes out later this year,” Berry replied. “They’ve surpassed our expectations, and we are definitely looking to bring more titles to PC.”
Berry replied, “We are absolutely interested in bringing more titles, especially JRPGs, to PC. We are doing what we can to make it happen, so hopefully we will have an announcement within the next month or so.”
Friday - August 02, 2013
The Humble Bundle - 1C Company Sale
The Humble Bundle has another deal for you if your interested in any select 1C Company games. I would grab it just for the King’s Bounty games if you haven't played them yet.
Pay what you want to get King’s Bounty: The Legend, King’s Bounty: Armored Princess, Men of War, and Men of War: Red Tide! Pay over the average and also get King’s Bounty: Crossworlds and Men of War: Assault Squad - Game of the Year Edition! All the games are available for Windows via Steam with select titles also available on Mac and DRM-free.
You can also choose how you want to distribute your money: to 1C Company, and/or two non-profit charities, the Child’s Play Charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. And if you love this bundle, a tip to Humble Bundle would be greatly appreciated!
Wednesday - July 31, 2013
The Humble Bundle - Deep Silver Sale
The latest Humble Bundle is offering most of Deep Silver games at a cheap price. The games that might interest most are Sacred 2 and Risen 2.
The Humble Deep Silver Bundle
Support vital charities. Choose how you want to divide your purchase: between Deep Silver, the American Red Cross, or the Child’s Play Charity. And if you’re liking this promotion, a tip to the Humble Bundle is greatly appreciated!
*Note: This bundle is Windows-only and provides Steam keys only.
Pay what you want. All these unbelievable titles and soundtracks on their own would cost about $190, but we’re letting you name your price! Only $1 is needed to get Steam* keys. Beat the average to also get Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition and Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package. Pay $25 or more and you’ll additionally receive a key for Dead Island: Riptide.
Six wild games and a bunch of DLC. Pay what you want and get the urban warfare open-world adventure Saints Row: The Third; the prequel open-world action-adventure game Saints Row 2; the swashbuckling fantasy action RPG Risen 2: Dark Waters; and the hack-and-slash RPG Sacred 2: Gold Edition. Pay over the average and receive the survival horror RPG Dead Island: Game of the Year Edition and Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package, which includes a bunch of DLC. And if you pay $25 or more, you’ll get the sequel to Dead Island, Dead Island: Riptide.
Fire it up on Steam for Windows. Buying the Humble Deep Silver Bundle gets you the games for Windows, through Steam (system requirements here). For your listening delight, you also get a collection of DRM-free soundtracks in lossless (FLAC) and MP3 formats!
Thanks SpoonFULL for spotting this.
Saturday - July 27, 2013
ShinyLoot - Nordic Games Sale
ShinyLoot has sent news of their Nordic Games Sale. You can find a few gems in the package if your interested.
1. Gothic Complete (Gothic 1-3) for $6.25
2. SpellForce 2 for $3.75
3. Silent Storm Gold for $2.50
4. Dungeon Lords MMXII for $3.75
5. ArcaniA: Gothic 4 $5.00
6. ArcaniA - Fall of Setarrif $3.75
Space Hulk - Release Date and Pre-Orders
Space Hulk is now ready for pre-orders on Steam and will be released on August 15th.
The legendary Space Hulk returns to Windows PC and Mac in this epic turn based strategy game. Set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, an intriguing story of legendary battles and heroic actions unfolds. Play as a small squad of fearless Space Marine Terminators who attempt to reclaim their honor by mounting an assault on a derelict space hulk infested by hordes of vicious tyranid Genestealers.
Take control of the Adeptus Astartes of the Blood Angel chapter and guide them towards glory, while battling fierce Xenos and uncovering ancient relics in the infested confines of the massive Space Hulk named “Sin of Damnation”.
The game is a 3D digital turn based strategy game that recreates the classic claustrophobic board game experience in both singleplayer and multiplayer.
- The first Space Hulk computer game in 17 years! Available on multiple platforms.
- Set in the hugely popular Warhammer 40,000 universe! Official license of the legendary boardgame from Games Workshop.
- Turn-based tactical strategy game! Based on the popular and iconic board game mechanics.
- Blood Angel Terminators! Fight the ferocious Genestealers with heroes of the mighty Blood Angels.
- Fearsome Genestealers with challenging AI! Meet unforgiving hordes of Genestealers!
- Thematic 3D environment! Experience the dark labyrinth of a Space Hulk as never before..
- Single player campaign based on the "Sin of Damnation" space hulk! Take on the Sin of Damnation campaign, which includes 3 brand new prequel missions and the 12 missions from the classic board game.
- Multiplayer head-to-head recreating the board game experience against a friend! Get in the hot seat and battle it out with a friend.
Credit goes to SpoonFULL for the story. Thanks.
Monday - July 22, 2013
GenGame - The Trouble With MMO's
Bre Melvin has wrote an article on GenGame that MMO's need to escape the bounds of pre-established conventions.
Too often have I been tempted by the allure of a cinematic trailer for a game, and this is especially true for fantasy MMORPGs since these trailers are essentially high-end eye-candy. But let’s face it, while they’re fun for everyone and especially rewarding for pre-exisiting fans of the game, they are unrepresentative of the gameplay (or even the cutscenes in many cases), since these cinematics feel more like movies than dungeon crawlers.
For me personally, the problem is that when I see these cinematics without any knowledge of the gameplay, I start to imagine what type of game I’d like these trailers to represent solely based on the presented visuals, and these types games more often than not simply do not exist. The end conclusion is that when these MMOs are finally released, despite my interest in their aesthetics, I have no interest in the actual games. However, it’s rare that these desired aesthetics ever crop up anywhere beyond the MMORPG sphere. There is a big a glaring reason for this, and it’s one the game industry as a whole needs to move beyond.
The trouble begins with our definition of MMOs and MMORPGs.
Wednesday - July 17, 2013
The Roguelike - A Design Analysis
GatherYourParty is the latest site to take a crack at explaining roguelike games. Maybe they can explain why my blood pressure goes up playing them also.
The roguelike is a genre that has been gaining momentum and popularity, or so it appears to the bystander. The indie scene is being flooded with games that announce themselves as roguelikes, roguelike-likes or the newest word-salad: rogue-lites.
When talking about the roguelike genre I will be thinking of the classical view, the Berlin Interpretation. This is not to say that I am a purist and will try to force the Berlin Interpretation to the single last item on the list, however; roguelikes as a genre have a discoverable design-philosophy behind them, an irreducibly complex core, which makes them what they are for a reason.
Tuesday - July 16, 2013
Infinity Blade: Dungeons - Canceled
Softpedia has news that the tablet RPG Infinity Blade: Dungeons has been canceled.
Infinity Blade and its sequel delighted plenty of mobile gamers and Epic had big plans with the new Infinity Blade: Dungeons, which was supposed to be made by its newly founded Impossible Studios.
Sadly, with the developer's closure, it seems that Dungeons has also been canceled, as Chair Entertainment Creative Director Donald Mustard has confirmed the news in the latest Epic Games podcast.
While Dungeons will probably never see the light of day, Chair still has plans for the Infinity Blade universe, so fans shouldn't worry about not seeing a new experience in the future.
As of yet, however, it's unclear what projects Chair has in development.
Final Fantasy VII - Do We Need A Remake
Gamersector has a new editorial called, "Evaluating the Need for a Final Fantasy VII Remake".
Earlier this month, Final Fantasy VII, the beloved Square title released in 1997, saw its release on Steam. By this point, all of Final Fantasy fandom can agree on one thing: we aren't getting a PS3 remake of the original PlayStation smash hit. And yet, despite Square's persistence in denying its loyal fans any gratification in this realm, consumer demand for a full HD remake is high. Perhaps, with the release of next-gen platforms on the horizon, Square will consider revisiting this idea. But should they?
For those of you unaware of just how this demand was sparked, here's a brief history. In 2005, around the same time the compilation of Final Fantasy VII (hereafter referred to as the Compilation) was incepted, Square unveiled a tech demo at E3, mistakenly using the opening sequence from FFVII to demonstrate the PS3's technical prowess. Since then, speculation has arisen that a VII remake was intended as part of the Compilation, and outcry for a remake continues to this day.
Friday - July 12, 2013
Deus Ex: The Fall - Review Roundup
Deus Ex: The Fall was released a day early and the positive opinions seem to outnumber the negative ones. Here are the reviews.
IGN - 8.2/10
Frustrating combat aside, it’s almost astounding how successful The Fall is at distilling the core Deus Ex experience onto a mobile device. The mysterious and well-told story, steady stream of powerful new augments, and impressive game world all combined to create a mobile experience I didn’t want to put down after I started.
GameReactor - 7/10
As it stands, we do want to see more, play more. But it'll take a few more runs to see if the combat system clicks. Those used to action titles in this ilk on the format may have an easier time of it. This is an impressive title for a format that continues to surprise us. Deus Ex fans shouldn't feel that they're being short-changed. One thing it does trump Human Revolution though, hands-down? None of those damn boss fights.
Eurogamer - 5/10
On paper, this is just the kind of iOS tie-in fans often ask for: it's faithful to the source material, filled with familiar systems and details, and it's even made a decent attempt at matching the graphical style of the main game. It's Deus Ex in cross-section, but although so many of the right pieces are in place, the energy and skill that usually brings the whole thing to life is missing. Regardless of whether you believe Deus Ex's basic genome should have adapted a little more for its new platform in the first place, there's no debating the fact that any sequel will require some serious augmentation.
GamesBeat - 82/100
I’m shocked. The Fall works. Bringing an experience as complicated as Deus Ex’s to a touchscreen should have been a mess, but I was easily sneaking, hacking, and headshotting my way through the short campaign. I don’t know if I’m ready to call myself a mobile gaming convert, but this is definitely one of the deeper experiences I’ve had on an iOS platform.
Computer and Videogames - 6/10
There's about five hours of game here, or three if you don't pursue the numerous optional missions on offer. For us, the best thing about this spin-off is returning to Human Revolution's universe. It's one of our favourite game worlds, and the high production values and beautiful environment design in The Fall are as good as anything in the main game. So good, in fact, that we wonder if - and hope that - Square Enix will release it as PC/console DLC.
Tuesday - July 09, 2013
Deus Ex: The Fall - Release Date Announced
For those looking forward to Deus Ex: The Fall , and don't have a distaste for mobile games the release date is July 11. Here is the press release.
Deus Ex: The Fall coming to iOS this Thursday
London, 8th July 2013 - Square Enix is happy to announce that Deus Ex: The Fall, the winner of seven “Best Mobile/iOS Game” awards at E3 2013*, will be coming to iOS devices this Thursday, 11th July.
Deus Ex: The Fall will be available for $6.99/£4.99/5.99€ from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, or at www.AppStore.com.
Developed by Square Enix’s Mobile division in Europe, in collaboration with the original Deus Ex: Human Revolution® team at Eidos-Montréal and N-Fusion, Deus Ex: The Fall is a full story driven action-RPG and the first Deus Ex in the series to be developed for and released on mobile and tablet devices.
Deus Ex: The Fall will be compatible with iPad 2 and above, iPhone 4S and above, and iPod Touch 5 and above.
*Deus Ex: The Fall was awarded “Best Mobile/iOS Game” of E3 2013 by IGN, Gaming Trend, Game Chronicles, Pop.com.br, Technology Tell, Gamesource.it and Game World Navigator.
Friday - July 05, 2013
PCGamer - How I Game: Brian Fargo
PCGamer has a small interview with Brain Fargo as part of it's "How I Game "series of interviews with developers.
What’s on your desk?
I keep my desk pretty clean which means it has a simple configuration of my monitor, keyboard and mouse along with any pesky bills I have to pay.
What are you playing right now?
I tend to bounce around a couple of games at one time and currently I’m about halfway through Metro: Last Light which has done a fantastic job setting a mood. And then when I want my brain to hurt I jump back to an Indie puzzler game called Swapper.
Why do you game?
How can anyone not game? The absolute most fun entertainment experiences of my life have been when I was wrapped up into a great game. It’s intellectually challenging and highly entertaining and I enjoy it from an admiration level of how the game was put together technically or design wise.
Thursday - July 04, 2013
Mark Kern - Have MMOs Become Too Easy?
According to a former Blizzard dev Mark Kern Warcraft kiiled the MMO genre , or to put it simply,"Have MMOs Become Too Easy?"
Have you noticed the creeping casualness that permeates all MMOs these days? When is the last time you died in a starter zone? What happened to 40 person raids that have dwindled to 5? Do you feel any sense of achievement in the race to end game, or is the end game the only achievement?
It all started with the drive to make MMOs, which in the EQ and Ultima days were a niche and hard core game, more accessible. Accessibility was the mantra when I was leading the World of Warcraft team. We labored over the user interface for the game, going through many iterations, to find one that would be easy and intuitive for players new to the genre. We created a massive number of quests to lead the player through the world, making sure that they never had to think about what to do next.
Wednesday - July 03, 2013
Hellraid - Interview @ Gamingbolt
Gamingbolt has a interview with Game Producer Marcin Kruczkiewicz about Hellraid.
Ravi Sinha: Hellraid has been described as a “spiritual successor to Hexen and Witchaven”. How far did those games inspire it, whether in tone or content? Will you be going back to the roots of the series when it was still associated with id Software, or will there be a bent to experiment more?
Marcin Kruczkiewicz: It’s important to mention that we didn’t called Hellraid like this – gamers did. Most of the people in our team played those titles and others such as Heretic or the first Quake in the past and those titles shaped them as gamers. Now when people call our game a spiritual successor of these classics we feel privileged but also obliged because we know that it won’t be easy to meet those expectations.
In Hellraid we’re trying to achieve a similar level of fun and challenge which those classics had but we want to do this with modern gameplay mechanics like for example a strong emphasis on co-operation and competition between team members.
Ravi Sinha: The game has been described as a mix of the “best aspects of Dead Island and The Elder Scrolls”. Which one of those influenced the combat most?
Marcin Kruczkiewicz: Hellraid grew from an internal weapon mod for Dead Island so it’s natural that we used some basic gameplay and fighting mechanics from that game but we advanced them significantly and added new ones like blocking to them. We want combat in Hellraid to be realistic (with the exception of magic of course) but at the same time enjoyable and impressive.
Ravi Sinha: Will the game emphasize the standard array of blocks, parries, hacking and slashing seen in The Elder Scrolls, or will there be a more strategic bent of combat? In terms of gore, will there be decapitations, gibs or limbs flying all over the place?
Marcin Kruczkiewicz: It’s hard to compare it to any other game because of its complex nature and we wouldn’t want to oversimplify. Hopefully gamers will see this for themselves very soon. They will also find our game very mature in terms of violence with a lot of blood and flying limbs. We have no doubtsthat Hellraid will be rated PEGI 18/Mature.
Ravi Sinha: What is the level of importance given the campaign versus the amount of time and resources spent on the “Game Master” mode and randomly generated content? How far does this influence the replay value when it comes to “hundreds of hours of unique content” versus “hundreds of hours of slight modified content here and there”?
Marcin Kruczkiewicz: We’re not revealing any details about our story yet. What we can say right now is that our main campaign can be experienced both in single-player and co-op. We want players to be able to replay the story with different heroes from our set of four character classes as well as play it again with a more advanced hero. We also strongly focuson competing with friends for points and rewards in co-op and we’re building the replay value of the game mostly around this type of gameplay.
Tuesday - July 02, 2013
American McGee - Interviews Brian Fargo
American McGee interviews inXile CEO, and Interplay founder Brian Fargo on his blog website.
AJM: You’ve had a long and amazing career in the industry, made awesome games, built companies and managed great teams. Can you give me your “Top 2″ lessons learned – and a little detail on the mistakes or trials that lead to understanding those lessons?
BF: It is difficult to boil my thoughts on building teams and games into THE top 2 lessons but I will take a stab at two very important ones for sure. I find that people spend a lot of time designing a game but not much time designing the company itself and ultimately it is great people that make the games and having the proper dynamic in a team or company is paramount. I get plenty of credit for my role in these games but we all know that these larger products are always about a team of people pitching in ideas and talent, no one person can take credit for it all. Every game I have worked on has become bigger than any one human can do so that leaves it to me to make sure I create the right environment for this kind of magic to flourish. The personalities and talents and morale of the group all need to work if you want to make something special. My mistake in this regard was to spend too many hours trying to get an individual to buy off on the vision when it just wasn’t going to happen. It’s important to get that dynamic in place as soon as possible and protect it fiercely.
And I guess the second part of building a great game is to make sure everyone clearly understands the goals and sensibilities you are trying to achieve. This part is along the same lines as the point above except is more product focused and makes it so that the healthy group you have established can soar. When everyone on the team understands the sensibilities it gives more energy to the production and it allows for more of the team to contribute towards it. And defining things in a set of ideals allows for maximum creativity without getting too attached to a narrow set of ideas. Most often I have seen games go sideways because of a contractually tight payment structure that doesn’t allow for enough of a constant tinkering or if there isn’t enough time in the back end of development for the iteration. I really don’t have a true feel of a game until it is well along and playable and only then can I start to address pacing, balance, sign posting, satisfying effects, areas of boredom and excitement etc.
Thursday - June 27, 2013
Brian Fargo - The Golden Era of CRPG's
Brian Fargo gave an interview with polygamia about the future of RPG's and other topics.
You were one of the first developers taking the story and setting seriously, and trying to make games looked more like movies.
I think when we were all young, we had a certain envy about the way films could touch so many people and have such mass awareness. But I was more influenced by good storytelling in general, whether it came from a movie or a book and it all starts with clever writing. I was a huge movie fan when I was a kid, and I reads hundreds of books and thousands of comics. I'm very fortunate to be in a creative business making my own mark.
Why do you like post-apocalyptic setting so much?
I'm not sure why I have always been drawn to it, but it seems like most of my favorite comics, books and movies all had some kind of end of world type apocalypse take place. I remember reading "Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth" as a kid and my absolute favorite movies as a kid were "The Planet of the Apes" and "The Omega Man". And of course later I became a HUGE fan of the Mad Max/Road Warrior series. In fact I spent quite a few times with the director George Miller and got very close at several times to make a game based on his series. With books I loved "Swan Song" by Robert McCammon and of course "The Stand" from Stephen King. I think the post-apocalyptic universes seem more plausible for the most part over straight up sci-fi, which makes it approachable as a subject.
In the mid-90 Interplay was home for biggest RPG franchises - Stonekeep, Baldur's Gate, Planescape Torment, Fallout. Do you think it was a golden age for the computer RPGs?
I think you are about to see the golden age of RPGs come rushing back in the next few years, with what I'm seeing from Obsidian, CD Projekt and of course what we are working on. But most certainly there was a purity to the development of RPGs in the 90's in which we were very attuned to our players. You could not make nearly the money on a game back then as you can today, and the budgets were a fraction of today's big spends. The risk factors changed greatly as we left the 90's and the pressure ramped up and created a lot of craziness. But I honestly see that purity and being in sync with the RPG players coming back full circle -- in fact it is even stronger than ever.
How important is Kickstarter for the industry? Is it just a chance to revitalise some genres and series, or it's something more?
I have always believed that the concept of crowd funding is so much bigger than just us and these few games that we are doing. It really is about putting the power and profits into the creator's hands such that we can control our destinies and help others. Already you can see the effects of how the development community has come together in terms of promoting competitive games, sharing technology and even giving money to one another, this is not something you would normally see. The power of us sticking together will allow us to get some control back that has been lost. In addition you are seeing games get made like ours or Obsidian's for example that would have never existed if not for crowd funding and that is a major item in itself.
What would you tell to your critics, saying that it's been a long time since you've created decent game, and that your fundraisers succeeded only because of the sentiments?
Well certainly my experience with the publishers has not been very fruitful but I do my best when I am in control of my development. In fact I think the best creative work that is done in almost any entertainment industry is when someone has the power to make those critical sensibility decisions without needs for committees. But that said, our Bard's Tale game is one of the highest user rated games on Google Play on Android and I feel quite good about the creativity and content we delivered on that. This wasn't a game for core gamers, though, and I know some weren't expecting that. I set out to make a light RPG parody and for that we accomplished the goal superbly. So now with Wasteland and Torment we have a goal of bringing back classic RPG gameplay and that is the sensibility we will deliver on, plus we have our secret weapon of the crowd. Every aspect of development is being vetted by the audience so there will not be some big surprise or disappointment at launch. The vision of the game and the first playable have been shared with hundreds of thousands of people and we are in sync.
Tuesday - June 25, 2013
Rezzed 2013 - Is Storytelling in Games Getting Any Better?
This is the follow up to yesterdays video from Rezzed 2013 but this time the topic of discussion deals with storytelling in games.
Streamed live on Jun 23, 2013
John Walker hosts Dean Hall, Chris Avellone, Ragnar Tornquist, Ed Stern and Will Porter in a round table discussion.
Monday - June 24, 2013
GetLoaded - Pick Two Bethesda Games for $15
GetLoaded has there new 72 hour bundle sale. You can pick any two listed Bethesda games for $15, except for Dishonored as the keys are sold out.
Dishonoured has now sold out but the rest of the bundle is available. If you specifically want Dishonoured, check back Monday afternoon (UK time) when we should have more stock!
Bethesda means different things to different people. Is it a city in Maryland? A healing pool in Jerusalem? A video game publisher? To us at Get Games, Bethesda means a fresh haul of digital awesomeness for our Get Loaded offer. A golden loot chest of sci-fi shooters, steampunk stealth and fantasy adventure. So, fine patrons, how would you like two Bethesda games for $15?
Rezzed 2013 - Development Roundtable Discussion
Eurogamer has a 50-minute video from this weekend's Rezzed event featuring a roundtable discussion between Obsidian Entertainment's Chris Avellone, Funcom's Ragnar Tornquist, and other PC game designers.
Streamed live on Jun 22, 2013
John Walker hosts Chris Delay, Paul Taylor, Chris Avellone and Ragnar Tornquist in a round table discussion.
Friday - June 21, 2013
General News - Video Interview with Kickstarted developers
Yesterday The Krautfunding Show took place in which several developers with ongoing and ended Kickstarter games were interviewed, like developers from the RPG Kickstarters Unrest, Frozen State, Days of Dawn and Soul Saga! and from GhostControl Inc., Nelly Cootalot, Son of Nor, Wings and H-Hour: World's Elite.
It is a 3 hour video and I haven't watched it, so I don't know if it is any good.
Thursday - June 20, 2013
True PC Gaming - Defining Roguelike Games
True PC Gaming has an interesting new editorial that breaks down the definition of a roguelie. So if your curious give it a look as he gives a few good examples to try out.
In the early to mid 1970s, Dungeons & Dragons was gaining in popularity. It was just a matter of time before someone tried applying that same formula to the fledgling realm of computer games. Stats and tables could be stored and referenced much faster, and random number generators can do a lot more than dice alone. These early adventure games had random loot, monsters, player stats, experience point systems and there were even some with wireframe first person perspectives. It was in 1980 when many of these elements were combined in the right proportions to create a game that would define a genre.
Rogue is a tactical turn based dungeon crawler with RPG elements. You must guide your hero down the Dungeons of Doom to retrieve the Amulet of Yendor. Each level is randomly generated and death is permanent. This gave Rogue an incredible amount of replayability. You start each game without ever knowing what you will encounter, or even if you would make it. This meant an almost infinite amount of gameplay and it all fit on a single floppy disk. Some players began making changes to the weapons, loot tables and probability formulas to create variations of the game. Eventually these changes became entirely new games built from the Rogue code, they were referred to as Roguelikes. Today there are still Roguelikes being made as well as games inspired by the genre. Let's take a closer look at some of the elements of a Roguelike.
One concept that seems to be uniquely Roguelike is Perma-Death. There are functions written into the games where exiting the game automatically saves, and loading a saved game also deletes it. This means that when (not if) you die in a Roguelike you cannot reload or go back to your last checkpoint. The only option is to create a new character and try again. For many who have never played these types of games, this seems to be a major negative of the genre. Video games have a long history where Game Over means insert another quarter, use one of your continues or reload last save. For this reason, Roguelikes have developed a reputation of being punishingly difficult for the player. However, to many fans of the genre this is one of the most important features. You can't get through a level by simple trial and error, you actually have to think very carefully about the actions you wish to take. Every decision made in the game becomes permanent, no do overs. Can your level 27 Dwarf Berserker take on a room of 5 Death Knights? Maybe, but do you really want to take that risk?
Anytime the player dies in a Roguelike it is because of a decision they made. Many newer players will find themselves in a no-win scenario and proclaim that the game has unfairly punished them. Such as having their last torch burn out at a deep level of the dungeon and not being able find their way around, when they inadvertently stumble blindly into a nest of trolls. The more experienced player will plan ahead and take various precautions to avoid finding themselves in this situation, such as bringing spare torches or learning spells of light. Within the genre, players have coined the term YASD which stands for Yet Another Stupid Death. This refers to a time when the player goes against their better judgment and dies as a result. These are the very obvious mistakes, and yet everyone makes them. Recently I was playing Angband and was making my way to the surface world.
Tuesday - June 18, 2013
Fallout 4 - Shown Behind Closed Doors At E3 2013?
According to Bubblews Fallout 4 was shown to a select group behind closed doors. The site has has not revealed its source so take everything you are about to read with a grain of salt.
Fallout 4 has (apparently) been absent from E3 this year. However, behind closed doors, Bethesda gave details and a 37 second trailer for the upcoming Fallout 4. Pete Hines of Bethesda is keeping tight lipped about the 45 minute presentation, but it seems there was a leaker inside who was willing to give this information.
-Fallout 4 has been in development since January 2011 by a small team, as the majority were working on Skyrim.
- As of February 2013, the team working on Fallout 4 is the size of the team which was working on Skyrim. This is due to Skyrim development ending.
-As it stands now, Fallout 4 will release on Xbox One, PS4, PC, Xbox 360 and PS3. However, this is still subject to change.
-The actual announcement for Fallout 4 will come BEFORE E3 2014, but will NOT launch in 2014.
-The expected launch is in October 2015.
-The game is (as of June 2013) 55% complete, consequently, voice actors will be hired towards the end of 2014
-There is no planned multi-player, but there is a possibility of Co-Op locally.
-The game will take place in Somerville, Cambridge, Arlington (and surrounding areas). The main setting is in a Post-Apocalyptic Boston. However, this area will not be immediately accessible.
-The story is not clear, however, Vaults exist.
-The 37 second trailor starts starts with a half-broken phone sparking. The scene pulls out slowly with the stereotypical music you would hear. Slowly you work out the scene is pulling out of a belltower. As it pulls further out, you see a destroyed town around. This is Boston. Suddenly, you hear the bell chime loudly, and the screen changes black instantly. The words of Ron Pearlman are heard "War... War never changes...". The logo for Fallout 4 appears with the 5 platforms above listed.
Sunday - June 16, 2013
Video Game Reviews - The Ten-Point Scale And Inflated Scores
Forbes has a new editorial discussing game reviews, and inflated scores.
There’s a perception out there among many gamers that video game review scores are inflated or biased. Why do so many games get scored between 7 and 10 on a 10-point scale? What happened to the rest of the numbers?
And why do some games—especially ultra-hyped AAA franchises—get such high numbers?
There’s a few things going on here, I think. First of all, the 10-point scale is deceptive.
Wednesday - June 12, 2013
Xenoblade Sequel - E3 2013: Nintendo Direct Trailer
I know most scoff at JRPG's but I had to share this one. Nintendo revealed that a sequel to Xenoblade is going to be released.
Also before I forget it's for the Wii U. I can hear the outrage already.
Giant robots and an open-world RPG? The makers of Xenoblade know a good thing when they have it.
Monday - June 10, 2013
The PA Report - Ditch Steam and Buy Direct
Penny Arcade has a new penny report article, and the title speaks for itself. It's called "Want to support your favorite developers? Ditch Steam and buy direct."
The amount of money Steam charges as a commission isn’t public information, but I’ve been told by multiple sources that most digital distribution platforms take around 30 percent off commission for selling the game. That still gives the developer or publisher the lion’s share of the sale, and the massive amount of publicity that Steam can help give games is certainly worth the price being asked, but if you know you’re going to buy a game, why not give the developer more of your money?
If you see a developer selling a game directly, give some thought to buying it that way, as long as you feel comfortable. Many Humble Store links give you a redeemable Steam key for your purchase anyway. We’re going to make a better effort to link directly to Humble Store links and the official pages of developers to encourage this practice.
Again, buying from Steam, or your favorite platform, is perfectly fine. Supporting games in any way is a good thing. But if you have the option, buy direct from the people making the game. The difference can be substantial, and it helps them make more games in the future, and it’s likely the cost to you is exactly the same. The difference can mean an extra 20 to 25 percent of the cash going directly to those that made the game, and that's a great thing.
Remember this next time a small Indie RPG gets released.
Sunday - June 09, 2013
Deus Ex: The Fall - Augmenting Mobile
Shacknews has a small preview of the mobile game Deus Ex: The Fall.
The game utilizes a dual thumbstick format common in adaptations of console-style games like this. There are other touch commands, however: players can also tap the screen to sprint to a wall for cover, or walk up to characters to interact for a bit more fluid experience. Combat is similar: tap an enemy to fire or sneak up behind them to take them down. An interface appears on either side of the screen, allowing a simple tap to access inventory to swap out weapons or augments, and update messages.
N-Fusion certainly captured the look of Human Revolution, with some areas looking on par with the console game on the iPad mini used for the demo. It definitely had the right futuristic feel of the universe, and solid voice acting added to immersion. It was rather simple to get around guards and avoid some confrontations, and others playing the demo were able to play through areas differently than I did. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to try the hacking or explore too much because of a couple lockups and some unresponsive controls, but the game seems to be accomplishing its goal of delivering a Deus Ex experience.
Dugas said Eidos Montreal sees The Fall as the first chapter in a new storyline in the Deus Ex universe for mobile. He didn't rule out the possibility of bringing the title to other platforms, but he qualified it saying "we'll have to see how successful this is."
The game will cost $6.99 for iOS when it launches this summer. It is also confirmed for Android, but no release window was revealed.
Hellraid - New E3 2013 Trailer
It looks like we'll be slaying an awful lot of undead and demonic creatures in Techland's Hellraid. Here is their E3 video trailer.
Hellraid developer Techland has released an E3 trailer for its fantasy battler, showing off several brutal creatures and abominations, as well as swordplay, magic and a ton of violence. Also, it's not Dead Island crossed with Skyrim, apparently.
Camelot Unchained - Interview @ IncGamers
IncGamers has an interview with MMORPG Design Veteran Mark Jacobs about Camelot Unchained.
IG: How have you found the whole Kickstarter process and what are your thoughts on the self-funding model, do you see the industry now moving in a new direction when it comes to publishing and funding?
MJ: Crowd-sourcing will not change the entire industry’s funding process, but rather, it will offer a viable alternative to the current publisher-centric model. This, I hope, will force the few major publishers that remain in the traditional spaces (PC and console) to moderate some of their positions in regards to IP ownership, payment models, etc. It may also be quite helpful when it comes to getting new development teams and young developers opportunities to get funding for their projects, which would not have been available to them otherwise.
IG: It also seems as if you want to introduce a touch of randomness and chaos into the proceedings too (critical attack hits and failures have been mentioned.) How does this fit into your overall philosophy for Camelot Unchained?
MJ: Absolutely! Critical attack hits and failures were a staple of the old pen and paper games that were one of the main influences on the development of computer RPGs. I can’t tell you how many games I’ve played where I was saved by a lucky hit or the occasional “divine intervention” role, and how incredibly good that felt when it happened. Now, I know in a RvR-based game, it will not be fun when you are on the wrong side of it, but OTOH, it will feel great when you benefit from it. I think the addition of randomness will make Camelot Unchained seem more like a magical world, not just a game.
IG: Based on the above it seems you’re hoping to entice the more experienced, maybe older MMO/RPG player. Do you think intentionally daunting games are making a minor comeback? Titles like Dark Souls have found great success despite a reputation for being unashamedly ‘difficult.’
MJ: Absolutely Part Deux! I know I’m not the only guy in the world who thinks modern MMORPGs are too damn easy and dumbed down in order to draw in the more casual market. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, but I’m not looking to try to create a game to appeal to that crowd. Instead, I’m looking to create one that appeals to the gamer who wants to take risks, is willing to lose some nights, and is in it for the long haul.
Saturday - June 08, 2013
Lords of the Fallen - Main Character Revealed
Lords of the Fallen has a render out showing the main character in the game, Harkyn. It’s below along with some information. He appears to be the typical bald marine with a beard in a fantasy setting.
Players will be able to develop Harkyn according to their play style, and customize their character using many abilities across three skill trees.
Players will uncover and learn new secrets and abilities as their character is “the only one capable of ending the long battle of the Fallen God believers and those that have abandoned him long time ago.”
“Harkyn is not your ordinary hero. Our team is committed to creating a distinct character and a gameplay experience unique to every player, as well as a deep, secretive history that players will be rewarded for upon discovering. We’re excited to show LORDS of the FALLEN, our main character, Harkyn, and the advanced combat mechanics for the first time at E3 next week,” said Tomasz Gop, executive producer.
Deus Ex: The Fall - New info and Trailer
Eurogamer has new details and a trailer for Deus Ex: The Fall. I know many of you are disappointed but give it a chance.
When asked why Eidos Montreal opted for the iOS route, producer James Wright told the site “Primarily the reason was that we really wanted to expand the Deus Ex universe, and have the experience not just for the core gamers, but to let other types of gamers have that experience as well.
“It is a true Deus Ex experience – it does contain action, stealth, hacking, social interaction, choice in gameplay and consequence. It’s a game very much that our fanbase and our core gamers will still enjoy, despite the platform.”
Thursday - June 06, 2013
Deus Ex: The Fall - A Spin-off for iPad And iPhone
Well surprise I guess. Deus Ex: The Fall will be a spin-off for iPad And iPhone instead of consoles and pc. I'm disappointed but it's still worth a look.
Deus Ex: The Fall - Coming soon on mobile and tablet devices.
We are back in 2027 -- a golden era for science, technology and human augmentation, but also a time of great social divide and global conspiracy. Ben Saxon, a former British SAS Mercenary who underwent physical augmentation, is desperate for the truth behind the drug conspiracy. Betrayed by his private military employers, the Tyrants, not only is his own life at risk, but for all augmented humans, time is running out.
MCV also has a response from Square Enix Europe's Marketing Director Jon Brooke.
"This isn't about tablets vs next gen," he said. "We're a big publisher, so you know we'll be showing next gen gaming at E3 next week.
"We're as serious about next gen as we are about tablet gaming."
"As a publisher, we believe all platforms present opportunities and if you create the right content, we believe we can have success.
"It's not just about next gen for us: it's about PC gaming, tablets, browsers. Wherever there is an audience, it's about creating great content that's suited to their needs."
Brooke added that mobile users have been fed too many "watered down and light versions" of cosnole games, promising that Deus Ex: The Fall will be a true HD experience like Human Revolution.
"I don't think many companies understand what you can do with these platforms," he said.
"We're trying to showcase what the platform can do by building a game from the ground up."
Grid Cartographer - Tool For Drawing RPG Maps
If your like me you probably use to make maps for old school RPG's just to find your way through a tough dungeon. There is a new program called Grid Cartographer that can help you do it digitally now.
Grid Cartographer is a helpful companion program designed to assist you in playing classic grid based RPG series like Wizardry and Might & Magic.
It improves upon hand drawn paper maps with a number of useful features such as: unlimited map area and floors stored in one convenient place and unlimited notes per tile (pro only).
Grid Cartographer is available in two flavours. The free version provides a good taste. If you like it, why not upgrade to the pro version to experience the full range of features.
Wednesday - June 05, 2013
Warhammer Quest - Review @ Softpedia
Warhammer Quest is about acquiring treasure by fighting hordes of enemies in semi-randomly generated dungeons. Those who did not have the chance to play the board game or have never read anything about it will have a hard time understanding the mechanics.
Warhammer Quest will be loved or hated, but it will certainly not go unnoticed. It can offer around 20-25 hours of gameplay, which is a bit unusual for such a cheap iOS game ($4.99/€4.49).
Overall, I believe there’s room for improvement when it comes to making Warhammer Quest more accessible to newcomers, but veterans and fans of turn-based strategy games will find it mind-blowing
- Randomly generated dungeons and encounters;
- "Events" system adds to immersion, though it can be frustrating for some;
- It offers more than 20 hours of gameplay;
- Pretty accurate adaptation of the classic tabletop game.
- Lack of tooltips;
- No in-depth explanations for game's rules and mechanics may confuse Warhammer Quest newcomers.
Final score: 8.5 / 10
VGS Radio - Interview With Drew Karpyshyn
Video Game Sophistry has a new audio interview with former Bioware Writer Drew Karpyshyn who talks about KOTOR, and writing in gaming.
This week on VGS, Shaggy Dave gives you all of the insider information on the new Xbox One and our feature interview!
Former Bioware Writer Drew Karpyshyn joins the show to discuss writing in the video game industry, what’s next for Star Wars: The Old Republic and how they came up with the concept of Revan in Knights of the Old Republic.
Tuesday - June 04, 2013
General News - Tropes vs Women
Anita Sarkeesian brings us part two of tropes vs women in video games in which she explores how the damsel in distress is handled in video games.
This is the second in a series of three videos exploring the Damsel in Distress trope in video games. In this installment we look at “dark and edgy” side of the trope in more modern games and how the plot device is often used in conjunction with graphic depictions of violence against women. Over the past decade we’ve seen developers try to spice up the old Damsel in Distress cliche by combining it with other tropes involving victimized women including the disposable woman, the mercy killing and the woman in the refrigerator.
Anita Sarkeesian states amongst others that it is "both possible, and even necessary, to simultaneously enjoy a piece of media while also being critical of its more problematic or pernicious aspects." Jenn Frank at medium.com agrees with this assessment as it describes how she feels about horror cinema, a genre she loves, while still being a feminist.
This video is the second in Sarkeesian’s “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” series. In it, Sarkeesian underscores a power imbalance drawn along gender lines, an imbalance that is romanticized, not only in cinema and literature and video games, but glorified even in our own everyday, heteronormative relationships.
And while there isn’t anything wrong with rescuing a disempowered romantic interest, nothing wrong with being prompted to revenge by a wife’s untimely death, at some point these themes become so pervasive that it’s worthwhile to investigate what exactly they may signify and why they recur as archetypically as they do. Sarkeesian’s videos seek to illuminate a dangerous cultural pattern. When men and women are barraged with a narrative arc wherein the man is “the rescuer”—and, make no mistake, chick lit relies on this trope too—it reinforces a normative power dynamic that, in practice, can be devastatingly unhealthy.
And in a blog on Gamasutra, JJ Wang does not comment on Sarkeesian's video directly(but certainly does so indirectly), yet does feel that the tropes used are a form of bad writing.
Women also serve as a very convenient symbol for purity, innocence, and completion. Bad guys kidnapping the protagonist's girlfriend can very lazily be dramatically defended as "the main character's world being ruined." It makes dramatic sense. But it's also become a very thoughtless way to piece together a story. The issue isn't that this metaphor isn't "deep" enough. The issue is that this way of thinking is so entrenched within our society that it doesn't require much cognitive effort to see this metaphor. As a result, we don't learn much about our own humanity from this type of dramatic sequencing. Doesn't that go against the point of fiction art? To continue to evolve and challenge our understanding of humanity?
See, whether the damsel in distress trope is sexist or not is immaterial to the dramatic problem of this cliche. The fictionist problem of this trope is that this cliche is now a very easy go-to template for a story. What worries me is that the prevalence of it in video games either symbolizes a lack of respect for the craft of fiction or that our writers are doing the minimum to get their paycheck. Those are not productive ways to treat an artform.
Please don't come away from this thinking that I'm advocating condemnation of all escapism. It has it's place. But, like all facets of fiction, there are more than one way to write escapism. The principle is that overused cliches and tropes aren't bad because they are escapist but they are bad because they are mindless. There is nothing written in stone that says escapism has to conform to certain methods of writing.
Personally I think Sarkeesian is right and we could use a much improved depiction of women in video games, which probably will be an utopia as most game designers are male.
ShinyLoot - Laxius Force RPG Series Sale
ShinyLoot is currently having a sale on the Laxius Force series from Aldorlea Games. The games are currently 50 - 67% off for the next 10 hours.
Here are the links. Enjoy.
LaxiusForce - $4.99
The story of Random and Sarah who find themselves engulfed in a war against the Order, a dangerous organization wishing to take control of the world.Meet Brussian, Wendala, Marion and their many friends as they join the adventure for the only purpose of defending Adretana, a town that happens to be the next target of the Order's plans.Laxius Force is an epic, addicting RPG at the crossroads of games like Baldur's Gate and the old Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest. If any of those are among your favorite games, then you should definitely give a try to Laxius Force.A new gaming experience is at hand!
Laxius Force 2 - $7.50
In this new adventure you will find dozens of hours of gameplay, more than 20 characters, countless monsters, items and quests as you follow the road of Half-Goddess Luciana and her many friends.
More will be revealed about the Grand Commendanter and his Order servants. Fans of the original game will be pleased to know that they can export their savefile from Laxius Force I to Laxius Force II, keeping their characters, equipment and so on. An amazing tale of love, passion, tragedy and fantasy is finally at hand.
Laxius Force 3 - $7.50
The absolutely stunning finale of the trilogy!Random is finally going to meet the Grand Commendanter! What will be the outcome? Will the Laxius Force or the Order win the war?Take control of Random, Sarah, Luciana, Coryool, Wendala, Xander, Brussian and many, many more characters, and find out!
Deus Ex: The Fall - Teased with E3 Appearance?
Eidos Montreal has tweeted a cryptic message that a new Deus Ex game will be annnouced at E3 2013. It's short and to the point. I will post more information when it's avaiable.
: Are YOU ready for The Fall?” Guess we'll be seeing a new Deus Ex at E3 then!
This doesn't surprise me because I remember Square Enix registered a few Deus Ex: The Fall domains. It was never really clear for what those domain registrations were for.
Monday - June 03, 2013
Matt Barton - Interview Richard Garriott
Matt Barton has a two part video interview with Richard "Lord British" Garriott.
Here is the first part.
And here is the followup video.
Warhammer Quest - TBS For iPhone and iPad
Games Workshop and Rodeo Games have a new Warhammer game that just came out for iOS. Warhammer Quest for iOS is aiming to bring back the basic ideas of dungeon crawling and RPG elements.
Dungeon Adventures in the Warhammer World!
Lead your group of brave adventurers through the perilous dungeons of the Warhammer world in the search for wealth and glory!
Based on the classic board game, Warhammer Quest is an addictive mix of role-playing and strategy. Level up your party of heroes. Loot weapons, armour and mysterious artefacts from fallen enemies. Crush orcs, goblins, trolls and more ferocious enemies!
Sunday - June 02, 2013
Warcraft - Movie is Being Made
After much debate and revision the Warcraft movie was finally given the okay to begin filming. Production will begin in first quarter 2014.
Late in January of this year, Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) was announced as director of the long-in-development film based on Blizzard’s game world seen in titles like World of Warcraft. Unsurprisingly, news on further developments has been slow in coming as Jones and the films producers craft a plan for the film. At the time Jones was announced, a late 2013 shoot was theorized, with hopes for a 2015 release.
That 2015 release may still be in the cards, but today producer Charles Roven told us that Warcraft is currently planned to shoot in early 2014. “First quarter 2014 we’re going to shoot that movie,” Roven told Germain while discussing Legendary’s plans. “We’re moving forward; obviously Legendary is making that film and I’m having a great time with Duncan.”
We’re still in the dark with respect to knowing how Jones will bring the environment of the Warcraft series to the big screen, and if the early 2014 schedule holds it will likely be Comic Con, at the earliest, before we get any real idea of the team’s plan.
Pokemon: Generations - An Indie Freeware 3D Action/Adventure/RPG
Don't laugh I know a few here have played Pokemon games in Nintendo handheld devices. So without any more rambling I bring you Pokemon: Generations.
Pokémon: Generations is a 3D Action/Adventure/RPG heavily inspired by both the Pokemon Anime & the Pokemon Video Games. The game will contain both single and multiplayer aspects, along with a story bridging the gap between RBY & GSC.
Pokémon © 2002-2013 Pokémon. © 1995-2013 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc. TM, ®, the Pokémon logo and Pokémon character names are trademarks of Nintendo.
No copyright or trademark infringement is intended in using said source material in Pokémon Generations. All aesthetic assets are 100% hand-crafted by Xatoku Productions. *Sound assets have been ripped from bought Nintendo IPs. The goal of Pokémon Generations is to explore the world of Pokémon in a non-profitable, PG, respectful way.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown - OS Port Preview and Interview
Those with an iPad here is some recent coverage of the upcoming iOS port of XCOM: Enemy Unknown. It was developed by Firaxis, and ported to iOS with the help of 2K China.
Joystiq has the interview.
The project can be traced back to the time when Firaxis was finishing up its work on XCOM: Enemy Unknown for PC and consoles. 2K China presented a version of the game running on iOS, and from there Firaxis would work with them on the portable incarnation due this summer. It features the full functionality seen on other platforms, thanks to the Unreal foundation that has played nice with iOS since late 2010.
"Without Unreal, it certainly wouldn't have been possible," Solomon says.
In Solomon's eyes, a lot of the potential success for XCOM: Enemy Unknown has to do with its genre. "It's difficult to translate some games over to mobile devices," Solomon says. "It makes me laugh that we're one of the oldest genres, but we are by far best-suited for the platforms emerging. Gaming, like many things, is cyclical and good mechanics are good mechanics."
Shacknews has the preview.
Starting up the game on the European continent, it really does appear that the overall gameplay is intact. The basic game controls transition very naturally from the console and PC experience to the iOS environment. Moving and dashing involve either tapping a finger on a desired location and tapping to accept the move or tracing a finger to a specific area and double tapping. Completing most basic actions is similarly intuitive. You use the assault rifle on nearby aliens, for example, by tapping on the "aim" button and then tapping "fire" to accept the move.
Certain game controls feel more interactive. Using a grenade is a great example of how the port takes advantage of the iOS gestures. After tapping to select a grenade, drag your finger to create a blue laser-like trail in the direction of an alien enemy, and tap to accept and turn them back into space matter. There wasn't enough time to get to an area with climbable platforms, but Shacknews was informed that swiping two fingers up or down allows you to climb or descend.
Saturday - June 01, 2013
Crayon Chronicles - A Crayon Inspired RPG
Outer Grid Games now offers digital distribution of Crayon Chronicles, a roguelike turn-based RPG featuring hand-scrawled graphics. It's a good game for the family, or just to get kids interested in RPG's.
Crayon Chronicles has a relatively short (2-4 hours per play-through) but action-packed RPG experience that randomly generates the level layouts each time you play.
You are encouraged to play through the game more than once thanks to the random nature of the environment layouts, but also because we keep track of the interesting facts about each play-through (in our newfangled "Heroic Hallitorium") so you can compare your adventures to each other as well as to the adventures of your friends.
The Shadow Sun - New Info, Screenshots and Summer 2013 Release Date
Ossian Games the same studio that released Neverwinter Nights 2 Mysteries of Westgate, and Darkness over Daggerford brings news for their iOS RPG The Shadow Sun. If the game sells well we might also see a pc version.
Enter a world that has felt an alien touch upon its sun. An ever-increasing shadow that creeps across the sun’s brilliant face, with consequences that are only now becoming horrifically apparent. The city of Shar, once capital of a mighty empire that covered the continent, still remains the most powerful of the city-states of the ancient South. With its huge defensive stone walls that have withstood attacks for over a thousand years, its lofty towers and elaborately-constructed domes capped in gold, and massive ziggurat temple at its center upon which godly sacrifices are performed, the metropolis stands as an oasis amidst the hot desert of the Singing Sands. Yet all is not well in the Golden City, for a plague has come to Shar. A plague so deadly the Sharians name it Aya’s Wrath - a curse from their god.
The Shadow Sun is a dark, heroic fantasy RPG that combines the classic adventure of Dungeons & Dragons, the fear of otherworldly horrors of H.P. Lovecraft, and the grim sword and sorcery of Conan the Barbarian. Rendered in full 3D graphics using the Unity engine, the game offers a deep, single-player role-playing experience with a gripping story, important player choices, dynamic NPC dialogues, and multiple ways of solving quests. Do battle against the strange creatures native to Shar and unspeakable horrors not of this world in real-time, visceral combat like The Witcher 2, using a dozen different weapon types, special melee attacks, powerful magical spells, and deadly traps.
Designed and developed by Ossian Studios as an original game for the mobile platform, The Shadow Sun brings together everything the team has learned from working on the triple-A RPG franchises of Neverwinter Nights and The Witcher, with the ultimate goal of creating a top-quality PC/console RPG experience on iOS.
- A premium, full 3D Western RPG with a story filled with complex characters, intrigue, danger, and shocking surprises.
- A 10-15 hour adventure where you delve into the decadent imperial city of Shar and the exotic desert lands around it, as the Golden City languishes in the grip of a plague and simmers in defiance against the kingdoms of the North.
- Gorgeous graphics using the Unity engine, including normal/specular mapping and dynamic lighting on the characters, as well as anti-aliasing and bloom.
- Create your own male or female character and customize them with different appearances and over a dozen types of armour.
- Choose from among 30 skills to suit your play style and grow those abilities exactly how you want as the game progresses.
- Ally with one of four companions to adventure alongside you, each with their own personality, abilities, and romance options, and gain their approval or disapproval on your actions.
- A useful journal and detailed codex help you keep track of quests and the people, places, and things you encounter.
- Explore over 70 finely crafted areas and uncover 200+ unique items, hidden secrets, and ancient treasures.
- A striking and compelling orchestral music score by long-time Ossian composer, David John.
- Includes Apple Game Center support.
- A universal app for iPhone (3GS and up), iPod touch (3rd gen and up), and iPad (1st gen and up), with Retina display support. Graphics will scale with device.
Coming Summer 2013
Friday - May 31, 2013
Lords of the Fallen - Q&A at RPC 2013
If you happen to be in Europe check out the Role Play Convention in Cologne, Germany on June 1 and 2.
CI Games will take part in a Q&A and panel discussion where more Lords of the Fallen details will be revealed. That will be the last chance to learn about the game before it gets its first gameplay reveal at this year's E3.
They also revealed a new piece of artwork.
WARSAW, POLAND, May 28th 2013 CI Games, a fast growing developer and international publisher of interactive entertainment, will reveal more information about its upcoming LORDS of the FALLEN fantasy action/role-playing game (RPG) during a panel discussion and Q&A session at the upcoming Role Play Convention in Cologne, Germany on June 1-2.
Tomasz Gop, the Executive Producer of LORDS of the FALLEN is looking forward to having more details about the game shared at the conference as members of the development team shed some light on some of the game¹s features. One of the key features that they are excited to discuss is the gameplay balancing and difficulty levels in the game. ³A challenge in games can be measured with the difference between randomness and skill. Our goal is to make a game that rewards players for doing what it takes to cross that gap. A game where learning skills and ultimately mastering them is the basis of fun and entertainment,² said Tomasz Gop, Executive Producer at CI Games.
LORDS of the FALLEN is a complex action-RPG featuring an advanced combat system together with an uncommon and interesting approach towards gameplay difficulty. Taking on a mission to defeat the Lords who command a Fallen Gods¹ army, players will experience one of the most epic and unique fantasy universes in the action-RPG genre. Only proficient use of a huge arsenal of powerful weaponry and methodical planning of one¹s actions will let players emerge victorious in the cruel world of LORDS of the FALLEN, where no mistakes are forgiven.
The Role Play Convention is the last occasion to learn more about LORDS of the FALLEN before a playable version of game will be official unveilled and presented live at the Electronic Entertainment (E3) Expo in Los Angeles, California at the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 11-13, 2013.
Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space - Now On GamersGate
Digital Eel has released Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space on GamersGate with special limited time pricing.
Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space is a hybrid roguelike game of space exploration, adventure and starship combat set within a peculiar as-yet-unvisited region of the galaxy known as the Purple Void. Each time you play the game, a new and different “instant space opera” is generated at random; from locations of stars and nebulae to plot-twisting quest events, nothing stays the same.
But unlike other games of its kind that go on for dozens of hours, Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space plays to its conclusion in less than thirty minutes – it’s the perfect lunch break game! Features also include a fully animated star map, a unique turn-based movement system, real-time starship battles, award-winning music and sound, and a robust battle simulator. Weird Worlds also has built-in support for community-created mods that can change anything and everything in the game!
Thursday - May 30, 2013
Chris Avellone - Time Limits in Games
Critical Path a website dedicated to conducting short interviews with various gaming developers has a new video interview with Chris Avellone. He discusses time limits in games. You can watch it here.
From a gamemaster/game designer perspective, the idea of time limits is appealing. It creates pressure, and it creates an urgency for the player that's hard to beat.
In Fallout 1, the skill system and the plot was built around the design that you only had a certain number of days to find the water chip for your vault and then defeat the mutant army or game over. If you don't recall that, then chances are you played it with the patch that removed that design element, as the mutant-hunting-your-Vault-down-time-limit was patched out of the game in 1.1 because of the outcry.
So I love time limits. In Fallout 1, it was appropriate because:
- It reinforced the urgency and pressure of saving your Vault.
- It reinforced the brutal nature of the world you were in.
- It made time-usage skills more risky for players to use. Sure, Doctor was helpful, but you had to be careful because it could consume a lot of time if used repeatedly.
Players reacted negatively because:
- The time limit was unforgiving.
- It prevented them from exploring areas at their leisure, which undermined the non-linearity of the game suddenly you didn't want to go everywhere and explore everything, because the clock was ticking.
- It couldn't be reset/extended beyond the time limit except in a few places in the game, and only a finite number of times.
Wednesday - May 29, 2013
Hellraid - Internal Q&A
What is Hellraid?
We’re calling Hellraid a first-person co-op slasher. We invented this genre to capture the idea behind our game which blends elements of classic hack & slash titles with a more advanced combat system based on timing and precision, RPG’s, shooters and multiplayer games into one unique experience seen in very immersive, first-person perspective.
Will gamers experience Hellraid only in co-op? What is the main difference between playing solo and in co-op?
Hellraid can be experienced both in single-player and in co-operation. While playing solo you explore the world, complete quests, gather loot and develop your character. In co-operation tension rises when you struggle to achieve mission goals while competing with your friends for points granted for each kill, team-plays and automatically generated challenges throughout the game.
What does the gameplay in Hellraid look like?
In Hellraid you travel between levels using a web of magic portals. Each level can be played an unlimited number of times to complete the story campaign, side quests and to defeat forces of evil with friends while competing for experience, points, rewards and places on leaderboards. During the game players can use a variety of melee, ranged and magical weapons. Combat is expanded with a set of unique active skills for each character class which gives the team additional tactical capabilities while searching for treasure, completing objectives, avoiding deadly traps, fighting the hordes of enemies and boss battles.
Will gamers be able to develop their characters, or customize the weapons and armor?
Each of the four character classes available in Hellraid (Warrior, Mage, Paladin and Rogue) will have their own skill tree that can be developed during the game. Along with that players can customize their weapons using an advanced crafting system or change their combat capabilities and appearance with armor that can be bought in shops, traded between the players or found during the game.
Who or what is Game Master?
Game Master is a complex system inspired by pen and paper role-playing games that makes each play through of Hellraid a different, completely new experience. In co-operation mode, Game Master carefully selects competitive challenges for players and awards the best ones at the end of each level. It changes where and how you and your friends complete quests, placement, numbers and types of enemies you encounter as well as deploying treasure chests and loot.
Will Game Master work in single-player as well?
Yes, Game Master will alter the experience in single-player the same way it does in co-op but without the competitive challenges which are unique for playing with your friends.
How long is Hellraid and when it will be released?
Thanks to Game Master and the varied experiences that it provides, Hellraid will give players hundreds of hours of pure fun. The game will be released in 2013 for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
For more information about the game visit http://www.hellraid.com
RPC - German "Role-Play Convention" June 1-2
Alrik sends word that the German "Role-Play Convention" called RPC is about ready to start.
Role Play Convention (RPC)
A new trade fair event on the road to success.
The RPC is a young and innovative trade show format spanning the whole range of the fantastic genre. All genres (fantasy, science fiction, mystery, etc.) are represented over their whole range of applications (from board games to console games up to even LARP events) integrated into a new, holistic presentation concept:The RPC is not a typical trade show with bright white lighting and tall white partioning walls. Instead, it plunges the guests into a fantasy world created by harmonious lighting setup, decorated playgrounds, walking acts and live events like live performed music acts
The RPC is for playing!
In addition to the stand and playing areas of the exhibitors, free available areas invite the guests to stay a while and play. The community idea (from gamers for gamers) is clearly emphasized here. The previous installations of the RPC clearly showed the great potential of including all the different branches and genres of the gaming world in one event. No other event has had so many computer gamers experiencing live action battles with padded weapons or live role-playing gamers in full costumes enthusiastically watching online tournaments for games like Warcraft III. The cross selling potential presented on the RPC brings a high number of new prospective customers in contact with the exhibitors and helps intensifying contacts to fans and existing customers.
Aside from casual gamers, the RPC explicitely adresses those gamers that consider gaming their major leisure time pursuit. The fandom represented by those guests treats authors, artists and games developers like stars and provides closer ties to the prod ucts and companies. Numerous tournaments and challenges as well as workshops and presentations run during the RPC, creating plenty of opportunities for these groups to connect and exchange with developers, companies and fellow gamers.The RPC additionally supports non-profit projects with free available presentation areas. As an exhibitor on the RPC you have the opportunity to present yourself to a broad and versatile, yet gaming-eager audience.* Exhibitors from all branches of the fantastic genre (Fantasy, Science-Fiction, Mystery)
RPC 2013 – Facts and figures
* Distinct event character and versatile frame program
* Location Koelnmesse – an internationally renowned trade show center
* Tremendous cross selling potential
* Product sales on site
* Large gaming and event areas
* RPC-Fantasy Award – the new gaming and media award
* Leading partners in media and a strong media coverage
Tuesday - May 28, 2013
Player-Driven Stories - How Do We Get There?
The GDC Vault released a video with Bioshock 2 designer and Dishonored consultant Kent Hudson. Give credit to Gamasutra for finding the video.
In this free video, courtesy of the GDC Vault, Hudson offers a spoiler-filled talk on how Red Dead Redemption, Morrowind, Deus Ex, Passage, and Portal employ various story-telling devices to allow the player to contribute to the narrative.
Session Name: Player-Driven Stories: How Do We Get There?
Speaker(s): Kent Hudson
Company Name(s): then LucasArts, now independent
Track / Format: Game Design
Scrolls - Beta Release Date Announced and Launch Trailer
If anyone remembers a game called Scrolls being developed by the same people who made Minecraft. Well Notch and team finally released a gameplay trailer, and announced the date of the open beta is June 3rd. Also after seeing the video the game looks more like a SRPG.
Scrolls is the latest game from Mojang - creators of Minecraft.
You use the power of creatures, spells, and ancient machines to gain the edge in battle, deploying your forces by using scrolls: some rare, some common, some brutal, some tactical.
Over time you'll develop a unique army and the skills to manipulate it. Eventually, you'll face off against other players, proving your might on the battlefield.
Dust: An Elysian Tail - A Gorgeous Sidescroller ARPG
A game called Dust: An Elysian Tail caught my attention recently. I came across the game on Steam. The game can also be bought for $13.50. Give it a look it a look, and see if you will like it or not
Immerse yourself in a gorgeous hand-painted world on a search for your true identity. As the mysterious warrior, Dust, your action-packed journey will take you from peaceful glades to snowy mountaintops and beyond. At your disposal is the mythical Blade of Ahrah, capable of turning its wielder into an unstoppable force of nature, and the blade's diminutive guardian, Fidget. Battle dozens of enemies at once with an easy-to-learn, difficult-to-master combat system, take on a variety of quests from friendly villagers, discover ancient secrets and powerful upgrades hidden throughout the massive, open world, and uncover the story of an ancient civilization on the brink of extinction as you fight to uncover your own past.
Monday - May 27, 2013
Fallout 4 - Will Bethesda Announce It At E3?
Gamingbolt has a small article about Fallout 4, and asks the queation will Bethesda announce it at E3.
A few weeks back, Bethesda stated that they will be creating more vibes in 2013 compared to what they did in 2012. So far they have announced some solid games like The Evil Within and Wolfenstein: The New Order. But both of these games are published by Bethesda. They can’t create vibes by simply publishing games which indirectly means that their game studio is up to something and if rumors are to be believed it is Fallout 4.
There is a lot of data to back up this Fallout 4 claim. Last year Bethesda opened up a job listing for a next generation Console Programmer. The post wants the candidate to have an expertise in creating optimized games for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 as well as knowledge of DX 11. Now this may indicate that they might be simply hiring for The Evil Within or the new Wolfenstein but we have another report from earlier this year which makes things a bit interesting.
Sunday - May 26, 2013
Thief vs. Deus Ex - Practical Game Analysis with Doug and Warren
Deus Ex designer Warren Spector and Thief designer Doug Church grill each other on stage at GDC 2002, The topics talk about first-person games, and stealth game design decisions.
Courtesy of the GDC Vault, this free 60-minute panel sees Spector reply to topics such as the expression of narrative from minute-to-minute in Deus Ex, while Church explains such ideas as stretching the "edge of tension" between being safe and being spotted in Thief.
To watch the full Warren and Doug show, click here.
Session Name: Practical Game Analysis with Doug and Warren
Speaker(s): Warren Spector, Doug Church
Company Name(s): Ion Storm, Looking Glass Studios
Track / Format: Design
Overview:Warren Spector and Dough Church have worked together and separately on games for more than 10 years. Although they often have worked on projects with similar goals, the do not always agree on what methods are appropriate to reach them.
Similarly, although their interests overlap on issues of design, player behavior and effective tools for players and developers, there are notable areas of difference in their ideas and approaches.
In this session, they discuss these and other issues, often agreeing, but at times politely disagreeing about what should come next for games, as a medium of entertainment for players, as a medium of expression for developers, and as a medium of profit for publishers.
Friday - May 24, 2013
GameInformer - Do All Video Games Need To Appeal To Everyone?
GameInformer has a new article that ponders "Do All Video Games Need To Appeal To Everyone?"
I recently dabbled in Dark Souls for the first time. I watched my wife play a considerable amount of Demon’s Souls, and I sat near former news editor Jim Reilly, who was obsessed with the Souls games. I know a fair amount about both titles, but had never earnestly tried to tackle either game until recently.
After playing Dark Souls, I understand why the games are appealing. The quiet, foreboding atmosphere and high difficulty make the world of Dark Souls an absorbing and scary place to be. It offers a different type of survival horror atmosphere where you are cautious and concerned for your well-being, and every move requires a moment of thought, down to the most innocuous swing of the sword. It’s an intense experience.
It was also an experience I didn’t particularly enjoy. The frequent deaths and unforgiving ammunition boundaries (I had used up all of my arrows by my third of about eight tries at tackling the game’s first boss) means you have to be careful with how you approach every obstacle.
Every enemy is a careful decision of resources and combat skill, making it a frustrating game that generally isn’t the experience I am looking for when I sit down to play. After beating the first boss and exploring the first area, I put the game down in favor of a more forgiving medieval open-world fantasy creature beater-upper, Dragon’s Dogma.
Dark Souls isn’t for me, or at least it wasn’t the game I wanted to play at the time when I decided to give it a go, but I love that it exists for the gamer who wants that grueling experience.
Wednesday - May 22, 2013
Dungeon of Elements - Merges Tile Matching with RPG Dungeon Crawling
IndieGameInsider has an articele about a new indie game some of you might be interested in. The game is called Dungeon of Elements, and merges puzzles with rpg dungeon crawling.
Dungeon of Elements, the upcoming game from Frogdice Games, is a title that combines the casual puzzle gameplay of tile matching with the more hardcore elements of a dungeon crawler to create a hybrid game inviting to gamers of all calibers.
In the game, players take on the role of an alchemist on the hunt for rare elements. In the quest to obtain these precious resources, players will battle in 45 different levels while obtaining new gear and items along the way. In the lab, players conduct experiments to create new armor and items.
The studio’s goal is create games that merge casual gameplay with core genres in an effort to appeal to every type of gamer.
Guido Henkel - Interview @ The Nerd Cave
The Nerd Cave has a new interview with Guido Henkel. The interview covers Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny, Neverwinter Nights, Fallout 2, Planescape: Torment, and Deathfire.
Can you talk a little bit about some of the gaming projects you have worked on in the past? Most notably Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny and Neverwinter Nights.
I’ve started writing computer games on the Apple II in the very early 80s and had my first game published in 1983 or so. I was a huge fan of text adventure games in those days and the first few years I focused on that genre. However, I was attracted by role-playing games a lot and eventually let role-playing influences flow into these text adventure games. “Drachen von Laas,” for example, a game that was published in Germany only, already had a full blown phased combat system, even though the game itself was still a text adventure game.
Eventually I made the switch to full role-playing games (RPG) and “Spirit of Adventure” was the first hard core RPG I wrote, together with my friend and business partner Hans-Jürgen Brändle, at the time. The success of that game opened the door for us to obtain the license for “Das Schwarze Auge,” a famous German pen&paper role-playing game. We began developing games in that universe, which were subsequently released as the “Realms of Arkania” trilogy.
After the third game in the series I left Attic Entertainment Software, the company that I had co-founded, and moved to the US where I worked for Interplay Productions for a while. During my tenure there I worked on “Fallout II,” and “Planescape: Torment”, and also helped start up the “Neverwinter Nights” project, among others.
All in all, I’ve been in the games industry for just about 30 years now, pretty much since its infancy, really, when computer games were still sold in Zip-lock bags.
What role did you play in the development of these particular titles?
“Blade of Destiny” was developed by a very small team. Attic was still pretty much a start-up company at that time. As a result everyone had to multi-task as much as possible, and we tapped into everyone’s full abilities. In my case that meant that I was working on the game as a designer, a programmer, and a producer, and later on also as the publicist and business developer when we began to reach out, looking for partners to release the game internationally. I was wearing every hat imaginable on that project — as well as all the other “Realms of Arkania” games. It was my job at Attic, in a sense, to be the Jack-of-all-Trades.
As for “Neverwinter Nights,” I was Interplay’s internal producer for the game during its start-up phase. As such I was part of various brainstorming sessions where the foundation for the game was laid, and where technical questions and obstacles were tackled. Apart from the look of the game and the technical design of the block-based level design of the game, we did research on the game system itself, as the AD&D 3.0 rule set was just about to be released, and we wanted to see if we should or should not use it for “Neverwinter Nights.”
I was working hand in hand with Trent Oster on this, who was the producer for the game at Bioware. He was really the driving force behind the project while I was there only to lend my experience to the discussions. I left Interplay a few months after “Neverwinter Nights” really went into development, so my contributions to the game happened really just at the beginning.
Dark Triad: Conspiracy - Development Update
Dark Triad: Conspiracy has a new development update found on their cancelled Kickstarter. The update shows renders of the noble district, offers a list of the non-combat skills, and annouces the company is changing their name from Autoloot Games to Azurite Games.
Also we want to share with you the ultimate list of non-combat skills that will be available unless we need to include one or a couple more due to gameplay needs later. Miguel A.L.M. has been working on it and we are quite happy and sure this will cover most game situations we can think of. The list was bigger but we decided to disregard those ones that weren’t meaningful enough. It must also be taken into account that we can only spent a full year after the next Kickstarter relaunch to complete the game due to budget constraints, so we needed to focus only on the strictly necessary ones to add enough content and at the same time to have full control of the possible outcomes. This will serve us to prepare all the quests, dialogues and game situations so you can complete them in different ways.
Tuesday - May 21, 2013
Planescape: Torment - Reinstall @ PCGAMER
PCGAMER has a retrospective article about the original Planescape: Torment.
Reinstall invites you to join us in revisiting classics of PC gaming days gone by. This week, Richard Cobbett delves into the questions of human nature while beating up monsters in Planescape: Torment.
Most RPGs give you a quest. Torment gives you a question: “What can change the nature of a man?” It’s not a riddle. It’s not a puzzle. It’s simply the first hint that you’re about to embark on the smartest, most philosophical quest of your life.
What can change the nature of a man? As I said at the start, there’s no wrong answer. Still, nothing sums up the breadth and wonder of Planescape than this, a short monologue given by The Nameless One to an angry specter:
“If there is anything I have learned in my travels across the Planes, it is that many things may change the nature of a man. Whether regret, or love, or revenge or fear—whatever you believe can change the nature of a man, can. I’ve seen belief move cities, make men stave off death, and turn an evil hag’s heart half-circle. Belief damned a woman, whose heart clung to the hope that another loved her when he did not. Once, it made a man seek immortality and achieve it. And it has made a posturing spirit think it is something more than a part of me…”
There’s no replacement for serious, smart storytelling —between Fallout in ’97, Fallout 2 in ’98, Planescape in ’99, and Icewind Dale in ’00, Black Isle produced some of the best RPGs of the era. My only regret is that I can’t get the kind of targeted amnesia that would let me experience this game all over again for the first time. Torment or not, I suspect it’d be worth it.