Indie RPG General News - All News
Friday - May 17, 2013
Ballikin - Alpha 48
A new update has been released for Ballikin, bringing it to alpha level 48. A lengthy list of changes can be found on the download page, but the highlights are these:
* You can now resize the game window.
* Graphics overhaul (increased size slightly, and sprites re-drawn at new size).
* Combat (and other) floating text display.
* Two new items, a Lantern for more light, and a Healing Balm to .. Heal you!
* Mobs now drop a better range of items.
Thursday - April 25, 2013
Anodyne - A Retro Legend of Zelda
I came across another indie RPG, and thought it deserves more attention. Anodyne uses the classic top-down, 2D adventure, most reminiscent of Link’s Awakening.
In Anodyne, you explore and fight your way through nature, urban and abstract themed landscapes and dungeons in the human Young's subconscious, evoked by a GBC/16-bit-era visual style and a moody, dream-like soundtrack.
Heroes of a Broken Land - A Indie Turn-Based RPG
I found another indie gem on wingedpixel. The game is called Heroes of a Broken Land. It's described as a classic style, turn-based RPG under development. If you purchase now you get a discounted price plus access to playable builds under development.
Heroes of a Broken Land is a classic style, turn-based RPG under development. If you purchase now you get a discounted price plus access to playable builds under development.
- Unlimited worlds – a new, procedural world is generated for each game
- A large overworld to explore
- Multiple parties of up to 6 heroes each
- Party based dungeon crawlling in a variety of dungeon types and layouts
- Town management and construction – find and upgrade towns to equip your party with the best equipment
What will be in the Full Version?
Heroes of a Broken Land is still in development, so there’s still a lot of content and features yet to come.
- Lots more unique buildings and places to visit
- Diverse and devious enemies to fight
- Complex quests and dungeons, including secret rooms, nefarious traps and puzzles
- More playable races, each with unique powers and abilities
Tuesday - April 23, 2013
Lost Spirits of Kael - Funding Campaign
The Rablogames website offers a trailer showing off Lost Spirits of Kael. It's an indie ARPG coming to PCs next year. The site also announces their crowd funding campaign is underway. They are asking for funding for the project by selling its work-in-progress soundtrack on Band Camp.
Lost Spirits of Kael is an action-RPG with focus on atmosphere. You play the role of a young painter who has lost his inspiration and tries to get it back in the Forest of Kael. There, he meets a mysterious harpist who covers the forest with magical mist by playing her harp. Lost in this creepy forest covered with graves (but no zombies), he will have to find his way out. But the forest has mystical powers that makes finding one's way nearly impossible, and some of its inhabitants will try to stop him.
Monday - April 15, 2013
Paper Sorcerer - Indie RPG
The game is described as a stylish first-person turn-based RPG with adventure game elements. You can try the game demo off the site to get an impresssion.
Thank you Nameless One for bringing the game to my attention.
Thursday - April 04, 2013
Ballikin - Alpha 47
Alpha 47 of Ballikin has been released and it brings us the following highlights:
- You can now use Blueprints to create Building Cornerstones. At the moment you can only build the Blacksmith Cornerstone.
- The Blacksmith (once the Cornerstone is placed) can be used to Repair your items!
- Armor Durability is now in the game.
- Numerous UI enhancements.
For more detailed info on the build notes See these and more in the Build Notes, on which page you can also find the download link.
Tuesday - March 26, 2013
Arena.xslm - An EXCELent Game
For those who are not bothered by the lack of graphics here is something that might be interesting: A RPG made in Excel. The name of it is Arena.xslm and it has the following features:
- Random enemies: Over 2000 possible enemies with different AI abilities.
- Random items: 39 item modifiers result in over 1000 possible item combinations and attributes.
- An interesting story with 4 different endings depending on how the player has played the game.
- 8 boss encounters, each with their own tactics.
- 4 pre-programmed arenas followed by procedurally generated arenas. Each play-through has its own challenges.
- 31 Spells. There are many different strategies for success.
- 15 Unique items. Unique items have special properties and can only drop from specific enemies.
- 36 Achievements.
- This is all in a Microsoft Excel workbook.
At the very least it shows some impressive Excel skills.
Monday - March 25, 2013
Trial by Magic - Interview with Paul Turbett
Digitally Downloaded have interviewed Australian indie developer Paul Turbett on his plans to do a re-make of the DOS game Trial by Magic and the failure of his most recent game in the App store.
DD: Trial By Magic is a remake of an old DOS game. Firstly, we love DOS RPGs! Secondly, how are you updating the game for the modern audience?
PT: There are three main areas.
First, the controls. I've played the old Trial By Magic in a DOS emulator recently, and the control scheme and UI are hard work for the player. The whole area of Human Machine Interface has advanced a lot in the last 15 years, so how the player interacts with the game needs to be modernised.
Next is the production values. Obviously there have been advances in graphics technology since 1993 (like for example 3D graphics cards!). So instead of sprites, the game will be all 3D models, with modern lighting, particle effects, etc.
Then there are the game systems, like combat and magic. There is still a lot to do here, but the core RPG systems will get an overhaul. The intention is to update the systems to be modern whilst providing a "classic" RPG experience. One thing we are doing that I’m really excited about is switching to a classless system. You character will start off as a “blank slate”, and the character you become will be based on your actions in the game, not an arbitrary choice made before you even start playing.
There are probably other changes, such as an improved and better integrated story, maybe some online features, but those are the main things.
Thursday - March 07, 2013
Indie Games - How Much Does an Indy Developer Make?
I don't know how this translates to Indie RPG developers, but the developer of the indie game Cook, Serve, Delicious created an article showing what he made on developing a PC and iOS game and the problems he had with getting it to sell.
Right away I realized why games don’t get released on a Friday: if you don’t get any buzz by the end of Friday, you’re next shot is Monday. That’s two days that my game was going to be dead in the water, right after launch. How could I have been so dumb?
Actually, I remember why: because I felt like the people who were going to buy the game were the ones reading my blog since March, and the ones who really loved Ore no Ryomi and had played my previous fan games. I felt that was enough to push me to my $2k goal, a goal that while very short from the $8k I spent, would set me on track.
Well, by Sunday I had made about $250. I was panicking already. The audience that I thought was there was significantly smaller than I had imagined. Very few websites picked up on the game on Friday, leaving me with a dead weekend. I told myself that it would be OK with the Mac and iOS release I was going to work on, which I really felt was a more lucrative market, but it still marked the most depressing weekend I’ve ever had involving my indie game pursuits. I felt like a complete failure.
Thursday - February 28, 2013
Balikin - Alpha 45
* Steel and Copper Weapons and Tools.
* Chests randomly spawn in the desert biome, and can hold fat loot. Or phat lewt also.
* Clicking on "X" also shows the names of any nearby mobs (in addition to showing you items on the groun).
* When you discover a waypoint, you now get experience! Huzzah for the traveller!
Tuesday - January 29, 2013
The Dark Triad - Game Editor Video
We mentioned Autoloot's indie turn-based game The Dark Triad a week back and now they have a new video about the game editor used to create the game:
Abel Bascuñana, Level Designer & Writer for The Dark Triad: Akhazal Quest, talks about the game editor, used to create all the maps of the game.
Monday - January 28, 2013
Indie RPGs - 11 Differences Between Telepath Tactics and The Battle for Wesnoth
Craig Stern is giving his views on the eleven differences between Telepath Tactics and The Battle for Wesnoth, which can be viewed as similar games. This is what Craig mentions on why to begin comaring them anyway:
There is an argument to be made that this isn’t even a legitimate question to ask. Even if the games were similar, what would be the harm in having more than one game in a similar style on the same platform? Ask this sort of question of virtually any pair of similar games, and it sounds transparently silly. “We already have a ton of Fire Emblem games. Why do we need Fire Emblem: Awakening?” “We already have the Diablo series. Why do we need Torchlight?” The answer is obvious: variety. For someone who enjoys the core experience of these games, even the relatively small differences between Diablo and Torchlight, or between Fire Emblem: Awakening and its predecessors, are sufficient justification for the new games’ existence.
But let’s set that aside for a moment and talk about Telepath Tactics and The Battle for Wesnoth specifically. I was actually confused when people first started asking what the difference was; it is only a slight exaggeration to say that this is like demanding to know the difference between Risk and Chess! These games are about as different as two games in the same subgenre can be.
Sunday - January 27, 2013
Kenshi - New Features Trailer
Lofi Games has kicked up a new trailer for Kenshi, showing off some new features from the upcoming 0.40 release:
Thursday - January 24, 2013
Telepath Tactics - January Update
Sinister Design has an update on Telepath Tactics covering recent improvements, offering an updated demo to try and a new video:
But enough about that–let’s talk about what’s new in Telepath Tactics. With a second go at Kickstarter on the agenda for mid-to-late March, I’ve been hunkering down and working to improve core aspects of the Telepath Tactics engine.
- Telepath Tactics now supports branching, scripted dialog: which means the game now also supports branching campaigns.
- By far the biggest undertaking this past month has been improving enemy AI in Telepath Tactics. There are already a number of noticeable upgrades–among them:
- AI characters now grab item sacks lying within reach, then continue their turns;
- AI characters now intelligently use items sitting in their inventory;
- AI characters with non-turn-ending attacks now continue moving after attacking; and
- badly injured AI characters now flee in the direction of a friendly healer if they can reach one. [...]
Tuesday - January 22, 2013
Indie RPGs - What Does 'Indie' Mean?
Indiestatik have an editorial about when a game can be tagged as an Indie game. In the end the article cannot really give a concise answer, but does state it is not as simple as 'no publisher is involved'.
Alright then. Let’s start this thing from the top: ‘Indie’ is short for ‘independent’, right? And a game studio can be ‘independent’, i.e. not owned, funded or aided by the money of a publisher. So………..there ya’ go, then! Problem solved! Jeez, why have you guys been struggling with this one for so long? This question’s a cinch! Yup. Without a doubt I have just crafted an ironclad definition that, as a community, we can all agree is 100% accurate:
1. A video game created by a development studio that is ‘independent’ from publishers.
HAHA. Oh man. I even fooled myself for a sec there! I mean, good lord, if only it really was that simple! Well, actually it would seem there’s plenty of people out there who DO think it’s that simple, and are more than willing to cause one hell of a ruckus about it…….when it suits them. For a rather unflattering example, one need only think back to the 11th month of the 32nd year of our lord Notch (known to some as May 2012), when the unholy titan of evil, Electronic Arts, dared unleash a plague of cut price video games upon the fair province of Steam. The name of this abomination? The EA ‘Indie’ bundle.
NEO Scavenger - On Resolution and Fonts
Daniel Fedor writes on his blog about upgrading the resolution of NEO Scavenger, which currently runs at 800x600. It's much more complicated than it sounds and an interesting read if you like data:
Before deciding on a new resolution, I thought it would be helpful to see what most users have. Unfortunately, that's one statistic the in-game NEO Scavenger metrics don't track.
However, one benefit of running one's own storefront, and hosting one's own game, is that I have website logs to turn to. It's not as good as tracking that info from within the game, but it's pretty close. So I opened up Google Analytics to take a look
Hm, that's not as clear-cut as I had hoped. The top 10 resolutions only cover about 57% of all users. Worse still, look at the lower right hand corner. That's right, there are 1336 different screen resolutions used to view bluebottlegames.com!
Monday - January 21, 2013
The Dark Triad: Akhazal Quest - Introduction
The Dark Triad: Akhazal Quest is a turn-based, isometric indie RPG in development by Autoloot. They have just hit Steam's Greenlight and are crowdfunding on their own site with a Kickstarter to come later.
But what is really The Dark Triad: Akhazal Quest?
- A deep history with unexpected twists and many secrets to uncover.
- Brutal and bloody turn-based combats. A brand new system where you define the degree of action & strategy and the speed of battles.
- Choose among 5 different cool classes.
- A brand new skills & specialty system. Customize your own builds.
- Hundreds of quests & side quests, with non-boring intriguing dialogues.
- A vast map for you to enjoy during tens of hours.
- An incredible host of enemies for you to slash & crush.
- Pets and Sacred Guardians to assist you in the heat of the battle.
- Fully detailed characters and environments in 3D.
- Items system with thousands of combinations and unique artifacts.
- More than 5000 achievements.
The Dark Triad: Akhazal Quest is a 3D isometric, turn-based computer RPG game, where we’ve created our own combat and IA system from scratch, and the same goes for the story, as you can see in the sneek-peek game intro video here http://tinyurl.com/baspyau! =)
Our goal in the end is to make a funny, immersive game with a balanced mix of combat & story for all RPG fans to enjoy.
Thursday - January 10, 2013
NEO Scavenger - 2012 Retrospective
We haven't checked in on NEO Scavenger for a while, the indie post-apoc survival RPG form ex-Biowarian Dan Fedor. A few days back Dan wrote a 2012 Retrospective on the game, which seems like a good place to catch up:
With the new combat system launched, I began work on a wounding system that would integrate with the extant player conditions, and offer opportunities for resourcefulness and strategy in dealing with wounds. I would argue that this suite of combat and wounding systems was one of the more important changes to NEO Scavenger so far, as it greatly enhanced the game's uniqueness, depth, and fun factor.
Tuesday - January 08, 2013
Kenshi - Status Report
Another New Year's report, this time for Kenshi:
As I said before, I'm keeping my head down for a while so I can get some serious coding done. So not many updates or forum presence from me, I better give you guys another progress update.
So I'm still working on the big big 0.40 update. In a previous post I talked about the new research, mining, farming and brewing features. Since then, I have added some more stuff.
Certain buildings need power to operate, and this is supplied by your generators. In 0.40 there will be simple generators but in later updates they will consume fuel, which you will either import from other towns or mine it yourself. There will also be an alternative option of building wind turbines instead. This will give you the option of 2 alternative research paths. Wind generators will be less powerful and a less reliable source so you will also need to build batteries to smooth out your supply, but the plus side is you don't have the dependance on fuel supplies.
Generators can break down or be sabotaged, leaving a town more vulnerable to assaults. When I eventually add sneaking to the game, this will give you a good approach for attacking bases.
The AI traders and civilians now actually shop around to buy food and drink in the towns. You can set your own town to be open to traders who will come by and buy stuff.
Also you can buy a building in an existing town now, and open a shop there, or just use it as a safehouse.
When you start a new game now you will have a choice of starting situations. You can start as a retired soldier, who has decent combat skills but is enemies with the Holy Empire, meaning he has to watch his back and protect his teammates.
You can also start with a group of characters and a supply of building materials. This sets you up to start with a base right off the bat, if you prefer the RTS side more. It still won't be easy mind.You can also mod your own in quite easily. Later on I will be adding lots more starting options, like a farming village in the grip of bandits, a slave, a farmer, a group of refugees, fun things like that.
Finally the game will have a proper shadowing system.
And of course, all the new artwork is still coming along, although only the buildings will be in the 0.40 update.
X@COM - "ASCII X-Com Remake" [Update]
X@COM project lead Kyzrati notified us that we've mixed up two games. X@COM is a sci-fi ASCII remake of the original X-COM, while the A Rookie's Tale mod is a feature-complete RPG experience in itself, but has nothing to do with X@COM besides the fact that they run on the same engine.
X@COM is a "fantasy X-Com roguelike", which is a curious idea to my mind but well worth a look:
Ever wanted to play a deep tactical fantasy game based on the great X-COM mechanics? Answer: Yes.
"A Rookie's Tale" is exactly that and much, much more.
Our protagonist, Victor Wade, alien-fighting soldier turned interdimensional traveler, suddenly finds himself in a world guided by magic rather than science. How he got here we've already seen, how he gets back is another story.
Not every story will be the same, though. To call this mod a single mission would be an understatement. Perhaps "epic single mission" or "game-in-a-mission" might be more appropriate. Making full use of the engine's greatly expanded and improved mod support, Rookie's Tale is a highly dynamic experience that shows much more of what the engine can really do--the R7 scenario Cataclysm was an interesting experimental introduction to the new dynamic content system, but barely touched the surface compared to the variety you'll see in this mod.
Victor is not alone, at least not for long. As he explores the world he can recruit party members from the local population (you control them this time around) and take them along on the search for a way home. There are seven standard character classes, each with class-based special abilities, and a host of other unique characters that may come to Victor's aid. On your travels, you'll talk to NPCs, recover artifacts, topple paranoid warlords, stop rampaging ogres, repel goblin invasions, uncover demon-worshipping cults, delve into ancient ruins, open interplanar gates, pilot gnomish inventions, loot treasure troves, face (or run in fear from) liches, demons, and dragons, and a whole lot more. Okay, maybe not all at once, but you'll definitely use magic from among 50+ arcane spells and holy incantations (mostly of the fun and interesting kind, not a bunch of cookie cutter direct damage stuff), along with 25+ special abilities. Under the right circumstances, your allies will even raise levels to gain better stats and more abilities. And be on the lookout for others, friendly or not, who may have made the dimensional jump as well...
The fantasy setting is obviously not original. It's D&D meets X-COM meets my imagination (that last one can be considered the glue--or crazy glue depending on your perspective). This is both intentional and necessary at this point because X@COM is still lacking UI support for providing detailed info about objects/units, so I'm trying to rely on your existing knowledge to help you get into the game, and [maybe] survive. Don't worry, there is plenty of unexpected content of my own design to catch you off guard, but having your traditional RPG hat on while you play won't hurt.
Sunday - January 06, 2013
Ballikin - Alpha 37
Developer Stu Andrews writes of an update to Ballikin:
There's a new Ballikin build up and ready for playing.
The big note items are:
* The world is saved and loaded between play times. Previoiusly it randomly generated each time (although kept your Player History).
* The world now has Rivers! If only there were craftable rafts to sail away.
* When generating terrain (only happens when a new game is created), the regions/biomes are less square, more noisy.
Wednesday - January 02, 2013
Indie RPGs - 50 Most Anticipated Indie Games
IndieStatik has generated a list of 50 indie games they are waiting for with anticipation this year. The search for the term 'RPG' brings up a few RPGs amongst which Barkley 2 and The Banner Saga.
Friday - December 14, 2012
Ballikin - Alpha 35 Released
Ballikin has advanced to Alpha 35: "The interface has been significantly upgraded, further than the last couple of builds".
Saturday - December 08, 2012
Be Mine 6 Indie Bundle - Eschalon and More
Basilisk's home page points out Eschalon: Book 1 is part of the Be Mine 6 indie bundle, which you can grab from $1 minimum. For $5 on, the bonuses include Two Worlds and Dawn of Fantasy along with others.
Thursday - December 06, 2012
Ballikin - Alpha 31 Released
The significant element of this build is that the gui/interface has been dramatically changed so that the major windows are now grouped into a single one.
This makes Ballikin look more like .. well, you know. A game!
Along with that, chests make an appearance (but that's about it for the moment). Some terrain "not" generation logic. And some info labels on the character window.
Wednesday - November 21, 2012
Indie RPGs - 9 Common Mistakes that Indie Game Studios Should Avoid
Gamasutra shares with us Ichiro Lambe's views (an indie developer) on 9 common mistakes that indie developers should avoid.
They are short and compact, so here are all of them:
1. Starting too largeLambe notes, dryly, admitting that he's fallen into some of the same traps with his indie titles: "People see games like World Of Warcraft or Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare… and [believe] they can create an MMO in 9 months." Being overambitious with scoping is a classic indie failing. So why not pick a smaller game?
2. Creating that one perfect gameLambe suggests that when you have a game in your heart that you simply must make, you can sometimes over-reach technically or conceptually, because the idea isn't scoped correctly.
His advice: "Step back and consider all the other games you might create" - but don't necessarily go for a grand slam first.
3. Manufacturing your game just to sellLambe cautioned that after he had success with a Palm Pilot title, he ended up making a large amount of other simple casual titles, and he believes his lack of passion rubbed off and ended up with lackluster results. It's only when you inject a certain amount of passion into the process that you may find a middle ground.
4. Thinking tactically vs. strategicallyA lot of developers think of things tactically and individually - switching between game design, PR, and customer service in a very monolithic fashion. But if you think of your overall developer brand, you might want to do each task in a strategic brand-specific way - maybe by using videos to reply to text-based comments on a Rock Paper Shotgun article, as Dejobaan joyously did.
5. Failing to planIt's easy, as an indie, to muddle along in a variety of inefficient ways. But when you get it together -- as Dejobaan hopes they have with its upcoming Drunken Robot Pornography, where they talked to Steam early and got extensive Steam Workshop integration for item construction into the title -- you'll save yourself a lot of headache down the road.
6. Going it soloAlthough you certainly can go at it alone, you'll have nobody to bounce ideas off of. Even as a small studio, if you don't speak to other small independent game studios, Lambe cautioned: "You're missing out."
It turns out that your fellow indies do actually care about you, and they aren't competitive - they are happy to counsel and help and suggest.
7. Imaginary constraintsLambe joked that many developers think, "'This is how we're supposed to make a game.'
"But let's do something different. There really are no constraints in the game industry, and you shouldn't be afraid of wacky concepts," something Dejobaan often shows with its odd game titles.
8. Ignoring relevant focus areasA lot of developers simply say "I am creating a game to create a game". They don't worry about interfacing with journalists, they don't worry about PR, and as a result, things don't go well.
You can be creative on your own, but do have to think - at least a little bit - about what the outside world will be interested in, Lambe concludes.
9. Falling in love with your workAn important final rule is relatively simple: "Don't fall in love with it so deeply that you are ignorant about its faults."
Lambe gives the example of a game trailer that might have a 10 second animated 3D logo at the beginning, rather than actual gameplay. You can tell the person who made it was delighted by it, but they are, perhaps, lacking perspective. You need to ask your peers, and you need to show the game to the public through development, Lambe concludes. Only through this will you love your work, but not fall in love with it.
Telepath: Tactics - November Update
Sinister Design has kicked up a November update for Telepath: Tactics, offering an overview of the game and a couple of videos. A Kikckstarter will apparently also launch in a week.
Here's the feature list:
- See the world of Telepath RPG as you’ve never seen it before, with gorgeous hand-made pixel art by Lorne Whiting!
- Destroy walls, build bridges and lay explosives, changing the face of the battlefield to your advantage!
- Capture the high ground to get damage and range bonuses for your ranged attacks!
- Shove enemies off of cliffs!
- Fling enemies into environmental hazards like water and lava!
- Inflict nasty status effects like blindness, burning, weakness and stun!
- Control the map to grab randomized item drops before your opponent does!
- Build an army from 22 different classes, each with its own suite of attacks, stats, and elemental strengths and weaknesses!
- Battle with multiple play modes including Last Man Standing, Generals, and Capture the Flag!
- Play 2-6 player matches right on your computer in hotseat multiplayer, or have a long-distance match over the internet!
- Confront aggressive enemy AI that reacts to your moves and doggedly pursues your most vulnerable characters!
- Tired of multiplayer? Play through a Fire Emblem-style single player campaign with all-new characters in a story of war and political intrigue!
- Employ the easy-to-use Telepath Tactics map editor to create and share your own battles; easily mod in new characters, items, attacks, tilesets, destructible objects, and even brand-new single player campaigns!
...and one of the videos:
Monday - October 29, 2012
Kenshi - v0.30 Released
The recent release of v0.30 gives me a reason to post about Kenshi, which we haven't mentioned for quite a while. The patch notes for this release:
Lots of huge internal changes, but it won't seem like much has changed gameplay wise
- Massive code restructure. Put entire physics system on the background thread, slight performance increase and world load times are now just a couple seconds.
- Flophouses added to some towns, you have to pay to use the beds.
- Made a town auto-population function so it will be easy to add new guilds and shops etc
- Fixed the new ghost towns bug (will need a restart/import to fix it if you have this bug)
- Fixed the level editor crash
- Enemy prisoners are now considered non-enemies, so passing squads won't attack them.
- Crash dumps give me a bit more information now, not that you really care.
- Lots of fixes
Friday - October 26, 2012
Underworld Gold - Sale
Charles let us know that Underworld Gold is on sale during the weekend for just $9.95. So this is your chance to get it at a lower price.
Tuesday - October 23, 2012
The Wizard's Lair - Beta Launched
David, the developer of The Wizard's Lair informed us that he just launched the beta version of his game. He is asking half of the final price (3.5 pounds) for the beta, which will give you a free copy of the game when it is released. This is his way to fund the further development. The information on the game is very limited, but here is some:
The beta of "The Wizard's Lair"! is up for sale now with a pre-purchase discount direct from my site - http://www.wizardslair.co.uk/ - for £3.50 or ~$6, and it comes with free updates and a copy of the game when it's finished. It is also pending release on Indievania. The game is an RPG in the spirit of Roguelikes and the Mystery Dungeon series, in which the hero(you) is tasked to descend the Dungeon and defeat the Wizard of Anarkhis, who has stolen the Staff of Chaos and threatens to destroy everything in his wake! It has randomly-generated dungeons, fearsome monsters and a bunch of potions and spell scrolls to use! A short video containing some gameplay can be found here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vF40TbnW3MA
Thursday - October 18, 2012
Telepath: tactics - October Update
Sinister's Design october update for Telepath Tactics is available on their website discussing art, character anaimation, security issues, interface changes and the manual.
The biggest change, however, was in the removal of the individual character “Done” button. Basically, it was vestigial–I had put in mostly because it appears in pretty much every other tactical RPG, and therefore it had to be useful. Right?
As it turns out: no. Unlike most other tactical RPGs (and I include previous Telepath games in that statement), Telepath Tactics lets you swap back and forth between characters as much as you want, revisiting characters you’ve moved previously and moving them again/attacking/rotating/etc. There’s rarely any reason to ever hit “Done,” and thereby permanently foreclose your ability to return to a character later in the turn. It could theoretically be useful for keeping track of the characters you could no longer do anything useful with, but from what I’ve seen of people actually playing the game, mostly all the “Done” button did was massively screw players who clicked on it by accident. So it’s gone–simple as that.
Ballikin - Alpha 28 Update
Stu Andrews sent word about the 28th alpha release of Ballekin, which with respect to the previous report contains the following enhancements:
- Character Levels (ties to what you can harvest/create)
- When you do something (harvest, combat, create) you get XP (yay for Guild Wars 2)
- Item Durability is in (Weapons and Tools so far)
- Blocks show their own durability (actually, it's density for blocks) when being harvested.
- Bad Snails! (they only come out at night)
Saturday - October 13, 2012
R.A.W. - Now Available
Another low-profile release, R.A.W. is now availabe from Steam:
Do you have what it takes to survive the Realms of Ancient War?
Take control of a fearsome Warrior, a powerful Wizard or a Rogue, and plunge into a grand quest full of action!
- The explosive Hack’n’Slash (action/role-playing game) R.A.W takes you, alone or with a friend in co-operative mode, on a fantasy world ruined by an ancient and violent war.
- Level your heroes up, collect more powerful weapons and armor, unlock new and more devastating spells, and exterminate by the dozens at once the hordes of enemies that are standing in your way.
- Thanks to your talent of incarnation, take control of your most powerful opponents to unleash their power and seed destruction among your enemy’s legions!
Friday - September 28, 2012
Flare - Preview @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer has a brief look at Flare, the indie action/RPG:
Fans of action RPGs have been spoiled silly over the last couple of weeks, but if you have any free time between Torchlight II and Borderlands 2 sessions – I mean, you are wasting around eight hours on sleep – you might want to keep an eye on Flare. The 0.16 alpha version of the ambitious open source RPG has just been added to Desura, with number 0.17 expected on the morrow.
Either one will grant you hours of isometric exploration and monster-stabbing, for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. The game is expected to move into beta in 2013, but there’s already a lot of bang for your no bucks, even if Flare is a little rough around the edges.
Monday - September 24, 2012
Telepath: Tactics - September Update
Sinister Design's September Update for Telepath Tactics is up, discussing character animations, a possible delay and the other features implemented:
I’ve made more dramatic changes on the single-player campaign front. In particular, I’ve added a lightweight scripting system to character dialog that will let me (and you!) do all kinds of fun stuff in addition to making characters say things during cut scenes. Move characters around on-screen; rotate them to face whoever they’re addressing; spawn them; remove them from the scene; make them join or leave your team; or even kill them outright. This power is now in your hands!
Sunday - September 23, 2012
Nyrthos - Alpha in October
Remember Nyrthos? The indie, browser-based action/RPG with with lush, 2D backgrounds reminiscent of Divinity? We haven't heard anything for a while but they've released a video announcing they will go Alpha on October 31st.
You can register for the Alpha on their website and, once a slot opens, preordering for $9.99 gets you access if I understand correctly.
Wednesday - September 19, 2012
Humble Bundle 6 - Torchlight and SPAZ Included
The latest Humble Indie Bundle is out, offering RPG fans Torchlight and SPAZ (if you don't mind me stretching the genre) among others. As usual, pay any price you like or pay over the average for a bonus.
Tuesday - September 11, 2012
10 Fantasy Fights - Demo Game Released
Merry Prankster Games writes in with their free "demonstration game" 10 Fantasy Fights, a realtime-with-pause party combat game designed to test out their engine for further projects:
10 Fantasy Fights is a demonstration game by Merry Prankster Games. In 10 Fantasy Fights, you control a party of adventurers though a series of 10 fights designed to exercise all aspects of the SENG game engine. You will rapidly advance from a simple battle of a single inexperienced warrior against lowly minions, all the way to controlling a mighty band of legendary heroes against a near-invincible demon lord.
10 Fantasy Fights is a single player computer role-playing game for computers running Microsoft Windows. 10 Fantasy Fights is evocative of the classic CRPG games of the 90s, but updated to run well on modern computers, using modern technology.
- Pause-able, Real-Time game-play - 10 Fantasy Fights runs in real-time for maximum realism, but allows you to pause the game any time to issue orders to your adventurers.
- Party-Based - In 10 Fantasy Fights you control up to 4 main heroes, and can control additional summoned creatures.
- Custom Game System - 10 Fantasy Fights uses the custom SENG RPG system, which will be familiar to pencil-and-paper RPG players, but updated to work well in a real-time computer environment.
- Character Development - 10 Fantasy Fights features over 80 skills, hundreds of spells, and hundreds of items to customize your heroes to your liking.
- 3D graphics - 10 Fantasy Fights uses a fully 3D graphics engine to provide a detailed, dynamic environment for your adventures.
- Varied Adventure - 10 Fantasy Fights will lead your party through 10 fights with widely varied environments and tactics.
- Free - 10 Fantasy Fights is a demonstration game, and is free for your enjoyment. Please give Feedback on the game so we can improve our games in the future.
Give 10 Fantasy Fights a try! http://www.prankster.com/10ff
Indiefort - Championship "Mix and Create" Bundle
The Indiefort indie bundle is back with their "Championship" offer, which lets you choose the games you want from a selection. Prices range from $3.99 for three game to $8.99 for nine games and a number of RPGs are on offer. Sinister Design sent this in, so I should mention their turn-based, middle-eastern flavoured Telepath RPG: Servants of God:
Hey! Great news: Telepath RPG: Servants of God is now in its first bundle, IndieFort Bundle 3! There are three different ways of mixing and matching the games on offer in this one to essentially create your own bundle, which is pretty awesome. You can get TRPG:SoG, Cardinal Quest, Dark Scavenger, Shepherd Slaughter, and a variety of other indie RPGs at a really steep discount.
Speaking of which: even if you like no other game in the bundle--even if you take the $3.99 option and only select Telepath RPG: Servants of God--you will still get TRPG at a massive 84% discount. (And then you'll have two free games left over.) Everyone on the planet who has been waiting for a price drop to get TRPG (and I understand that there have been a fair few of those), this is about as good as it gets.
Thursday - September 06, 2012
DataJack - Revealed
IndieRPGs.com reveals DataJack, a "2D cyberpunk stealth action / RPG" that sounds quite interesting. Here's the description and head over for a gameplay video and some comments from the developer, Epic Banana Software:
DataJack is an upcoming 2D cyberpunk stealth action / RPG game which has been under development for four years. Set in the year 2030, following the collapse of nation states, the world of DataJack is run by megacorporations who recognize no rule of law beyond sheer military force. The game follows the career of a corporate mercenary who hires out his abilities as assassin, hacker and gunslinger to the highest bidder.
Wednesday - September 05, 2012
R.A.W. - Rogue Trailer
Focus has released a video showing off the Rogue from R.A.W.:
RAW - Realms of Ancient War, the explosive Hack'n'Slash (action/role-playing game) developed by Wizarbox for Xbox LIVE®, PlayStation®Network and PC, today unveiled the Rogue in a new video!
Planned for release on September 19th, RAW introduces, after presenting the Wizard and the Warrior in their own trailers, the 3rd playable hero of the game: the Rogue. Follow her now in this new trailer of RAW, which is entirely dedicated to her frenetic battles!
The Rogue is a polyvalent and cunning young woman, who masters bow and daggers with equal virtuosity. Unlike the Wizard, her versatile skills make her lethal in close combat, yet very capable of safely harassing her opponents at range, where the Warrior would struggle. However, her rather light armor and average constitution do not fare very well in lengthy fights against numerous foes. Therefore, she will use her stealth abilities, traps and other dirty tricks to get rid of isolate enemies, before emerging from the shadows when she sees fit and exterminate the remaining opponents!
Tuesday - August 28, 2012
Underrail - Interview @ RPG Italia
RPG Italia caught up with Dejan from Stygian Software about Underrail:
9 – RPGItalia: Will there be only a main quest or also some side quests? And what kind of interactions can we try in this quests? Stealth? Hacking? Violence? Diplomacy? Please give us an example.
Dejan: There will be plenty of side quests.
Most quest you will be able to solve with violence, if you come prepared and well equipped, but sometimes a different approach can be better.
Here are the examples of what I did in the demo video outside of direct combat complete that area more easily:
- I avoided fighting with sentry bots by using stealth and the ventilation ducts. I could have just killed them, but they are very tough to beat, especially on lower levels. I would need stuff like armor-piercing rounds and EMP grenades, which are rare and expensive.
- I hacked the turrets to kill a good amount of invaders because I had enough skill points in hacking to do so.
- I deflected the initial (unfavorable) confrontation by intimidating the invaders, convincing them that I had backup.
- I could have avoided fighting completely if I managed to persuade one of the captives to tell me where the key card I needed for was.
These are the kind of thing you will be able to do to win encounters that otherwise might be too hard for your particular character build to face head on.
Thursday - August 23, 2012
Underrail - Alpha Demo Released
Stygian Software announces the release of an Alpha Demo for their indie RPG, Underrail. The file runs to 577Mb and here's a reminder on the game:
Underrail is an old school turn-based isometric indie role playing game that focuses on exploration and combat. It's inspired by western RPG classics such as Fallout, Arcanum, Neverwinter Nights and System Shock 2.
This demo showcases a number of starting areas of the game. It should provide for a couple of hours of gameplay.
Monday - August 13, 2012
Telepath: Tactics - August Update
Sinister Design sends in the August Update for their turn-based strategy/RPG. Telepath Tactics:
First and most importantly, Telepath Tactics now supports user-created campaigns! You may recall me mentioning last month that Telepath Tactics will have a single player campaign. Well, why limit it to just one? The game now supports an unlimited number of user-created single player campaigns, each with their own custom characters, battles, enemies, items, attacks, dialog, and even cut scenes.
Sunday - August 12, 2012
Tomes of Mephistopheles - Alpha 10 Video
Kot in Action has kicked up a video of Alpha 10 for Tomes of Mephistopheles to show off the new features in this build.
Sunday - August 05, 2012
Underrail - Title Screen Art
Dejan from Stygian Software writes the playable Underrail demo is "coming along nicely and shouldn’t be long now before it’s out" - but in the meantime, here's a piece of new art for the title screen.
Wednesday - August 01, 2012
Malevolence - Interview @ RPG Codex
RPG Codex caught up with Alex Norton to talk about Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox, which you may remember from its recent Kickstarter campaign:
You claim that MALEVOLENCE is almost entirely procedurally generated -- weapons, items, dungeons, cities, creature stats and even dialogue. Is the procedurally generated content based on the player character's level, on current quest objectives... or something else? How do you balance the game's challenge and how do you implement plot goals in a procedurally generated world? Are all quests going to be procedurally generated as well?
Yes indeed. All quests are generated by the game, and yes, they are somewhat based around the characters level. That being said, the game most certainly does not spoon-feed you. Many modern RPGs make it so that the game levels with the player. MALEVOLENCE does this, too, however it does so in a much more harsh way. At any point, no matter what level you are, you will be able to find things that are much too easy or much too difficult for you. That way, the player can choose their pace of gameplay and follow the path that is right for them.
One thing about procedural generation is that it seems to be in danger of making the game too generic, both in its looks and its gameplay. How do you introduce enough variety in it?
Well the short answer is that in an infinite game, there's always going to be eventual repetition of 3D assets, voices, textures, etc. It's just the nature of it. However, we have a large variety of biomes, environments, buildings, dungeons, etc to keep the player occupied. Think of it like the DIABLO series. They would re-use the same assets, but rearranged in a different order and it had great replayability. Most people assume that we're making an infinite game so that people can play it forever, but that's not actually the case. We're making an infinite game so that people can play it for as long or as short a time as they'd like, rather than have to have it end. There's nothing worse than reaching the end of a game that you love and wanting more!
Wednesday - July 25, 2012
Path of Exile - Open Beta Weekend
Grinding Gears send us the following press release, announcing a public open-beta event for Path of Exile this weekend:
Indie Action RPG Path of Exile Hosts Open Beta Weekend
AUCKLAND, New Zealand – 23 July 2012 – Upcoming Indie Action RPG Path of Exile is opening its doors to everyone for two days with a public test this coming weekend.
Currently in a Closed Beta, Path of Exile has its own dark and highly customizable take on the Action RPG genre. It has been in development for five years by Grinding Gear Games, an independent studio of hardcore RPG fans in New Zealand.
The Path of Exile Beta servers will open for public access at 5pm PDT on Friday, July 27. Public access will end at 11:59pm PDT Sunday night, July 29. A full FAQ about the public weekend is available at www.pathofexile.com/publicweekend/.
The game has added a host of new features and content recently. The latest version adds a challenging Act Two boss fight, weapon swapping, and a new end-game system featuring Maps whose properties, risks and rewards can be modified by players. There is also a new layout for the game’s passive skill tree which features over 1300 skill nodes, allowing highly customized character builds and hybrid classes.
The game is free to play, but does not feature ‘pay-to-win’. A previous public weekend in May attracted 48,000 players.
While the game is currently in a Closed Beta, fans who pre-purchase at least $10 of credit for the game’s ‘ethical microtransactions’ receive a beta key. Over USD$700,000 of credit has been pre-purchased to date, with over 50 fans buying the $1000 ‘Diamond Supporter’ pack.
Grinding Gear Games’ producer Chris Wilson says the news features make this weekend a great opportunity for action RPG fans.
“The Path of Exile community has been growing rapidly and always give us valuable gameplay feedback. We’re particularly looking forward to their feedback on our new end-game content.”
“Two of the most important things in action RPGs are items and the end-game. Almost everything in Path of Exile, including skills, can be itemized, traded and upgraded. We thought it would be cool to design the end-game the same way - as itemised areas that players can trade, modify and build characters around.”
The Open Weekend will also feature special events, such as two hour ladder races and competitions to clear areas first. To take part sign up at www.pathofexile.com.
Key features of ‘Path of Exile’:
- A dark and gritty game world rendered from a fixed 3D perspective
- Unique and extremely customizable skill gem system
- Completely free to download and play, but never ‘pay-to-win’
- A persistent online world capable of supporting hundreds of thousands of players
- Randomly generated levels and items for extreme replayability
- Online ranking and ladders for every game mode
- Visceral combat with dozens of combinable skills
- Battle in PVP tournaments for worldwide recognition
View gameplay footage at www.youtube.com/grindinggear
HD trailers are available from www.pathofexile.com/video
Thursday - July 19, 2012
Tomes of Mephistopheles - New GUI
Kot in Action has kicked up a couple of Tomes of Mephistopheles screens showing the new GUI design.
Wednesday - July 18, 2012
Telepath: Tactics - Single Player Campaign Announced
Sinister Design announces their tactical turn-based MP strategy/RPG Telepath: Tactics will get a single-player campaign. There's also a lengthy ~30 minute video with the news, so take a look:
Since the last update, I had the opportunity to demo Telepath Tactics at Tech Week. The response was pretty much universally positive, with several people returning repeatedly over the course of the two days to keep playing matches.
Since then, I’ve focused on bug fixes and adding in a working campaign mode. Now, I know I said in the last update that a campaign mode was not a top priority, but I’ve gotten enough feedback since then demanding a campaign that I’ve decided it would be silly not to put one in the game. This has meant a few weeks away from coding the multiplayer, instead putting in things like a dialog system, cut scene support, and support for custom named characters. I hate to take so much time away from multiplayer, but it’s hard to argue with the results.
Wednesday - July 04, 2012
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing - Gameplay Trailer
Here's the first proper gameplay trailer for Neocore's hack'n'slasher, Van Helsing:
Friday - June 29, 2012
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land - Free for iOS
Call of Chthulhu: The Wasted Land is currently free for iOS devices - we don't know how long this will last, so get in quick.
Tuesday - June 19, 2012
Telepath: Tactics - June Update
Sinister Design has posted an update for Telepath Tactics, their strategy RPG set in the Telepath gameworld:
Telepath Tactics hotseat mode is pretty close to being feature complete, mechanics-wise. The game now has full support for custom attacks, custom battlefield objects, custom items, and custom tilesets; Last Man Standing and Capture the Flag game types; highly customizable match rules; competent AI opponents; working music and GUI sound effects with independent volume sliders; a clickable mini-map; random item drops; elevation; status effects; environmental hazards; swimming; bridges; object creation and destruction; a full-featured map editor; support for player-created maps; etc.
Sunday - June 17, 2012
Underrail - Alpha Build Gameplay
StygSoft writes in with a new video for their indie CRPG, Underrail. Dejan from StygSoft has posted regular updates on our forums but, if you haven't read those, here's a description from the official site:
The game is set in a distant future, when the life on the Earth’s surface has long since been made impossible and the remnants of humanity now dwell in the Underrail, a vast system of metro station-states that, it seems, are the last bastions of a fading race.
The player takes control of one of the denizens of such a station-state whose life is about to become all that much more interesting and dangerous, as our protagonist is caught amidst the conflicting factions of the Underrail as they secretly but violently struggle for the Humanity’s last gem of hope.
- Great character customization possibilities through stats, skills, feats, items and more that allows for many different play-styles
- Tactical turn based combat that utilizes weapons, energy shields, grenades, psi abilities and more
- Vast underground world to explore: city states, abandoned building complexes, natural caverns, secret areas and more
- Elaborate item crafting system
...and the video:
Thursday - June 14, 2012
Ultima Ratio Regum - 0.0.1 Release Soon
Mark writes in with his "strategy roguelike" Ultima Ratio Regum, which will get a v0.0.1 release on June 30th. You can read the latest update here about climbing, fighting on cliffs and trees but here's a snip from the feature list, since we haven't featured the game before:
Complex AI with their own motivations, loyalties and objectives. Unlike in many RPGs and Roguelikes, enemies will not simply throw themselves upon your sword. They act as ‘players’ too, and have their own motivations – wealth, martial prowess, ideology or anything else, but ultimately self-preservation. They intelligently assess the battle and decide when to attack, whether to rally their comrades, when to flee, which items are worth picking up and using, pass information about your combat strengths and weaknesses to their allies and many other actions besides. Intelligent creatures on your side will need a good reason to fight, while intelligent creatures facing you will not hesitate to back off and regroup if appropriate.
Dozens of factions and species to gather support from. Humans, Dwarves and Elves are looking for allies as ever, they are not the only races you can align yourself with. Many species including Minotaurs, Liches, Titans, and even some of the more diplomatic legions of the Undead can potentially ally with you, aid you, and eventually be converted to your cause, given the right encouragement. There also exist a large number of wild animals and monsters of various strengths that impact upon the growth of empires, and might need to be removed to gain access to particular shrines, resources, etc.
Monday - June 11, 2012
Kraflab - Graphical roguelike goes semi-commercial
getter77 sends word of Kraflab, a graphical roguelike that has added new content and also gone semi-commercial. Some details on the game:
The game is split into floors of a dungeon, which are procedurally generated. There are a few different dungeon generators used, so every now and then you will find a rare/strange layout. When you die in the dungeon your character is finished (permadeath).
All weapons and armor that you find in the dungeon is equipped by your enemies. There is no unexplained system where rats drop plate armor or where diamond daggers are just lying about all over the place unclaimed. Loot also scales up very quickly from level to level and each floor has a unique set. You aren’t going to find that amazing artifact that suddenly makes the game easy, and likewise you are under no pressure to find it in the first place.
Like equipment, there is no creature that appears on two floors. There are also rare creatures that you might never see. No longer will you have to trudge through 5 meaningless rat/goblin/kobold floors to get to the interesting stuff. On the first floors you can expect to find Robotic Snowmen, Dual Wielding Sea Otters, and Crazed Martial Artists. As with gear, the enemies ramp up in difficulty quite quickly.
Skill (meaning skill with melee weapons or dodging etc) is separated from class. The player picks a skill proficiency (e.g. Magic) and then picks a class (e.g. Spacetime Nomad). There is absolutely no exclusivity in any way here, so a melee-elementalist is just as viable as a shield-cultivator. After this, the character can pick traits as they level up to add bonuses, such as faster healing or the ability to set enemies on fire.
Weapons can have abilities and effects attached to them, which automatically activate, and there are special abilities the player gains while leveling up, which correspond to character class. Weapons recharge over time, while player abilities recharge in between dungeon floors.
You can heal yourself up to 50%, but must find certain altars or campsites to fully heal yourself. There is also a system of limb damage in the game. You can heal a wounded leg, but you can’t heal a crippled or dismembered limb without outside aid.
All actions (including walking) increase the player’s fatigue. This acts as some kind of “clock” for the player but it is not overly imposing (if you become too fatigued you will merely pass out from exhaustion). It is nevertheless something that the player must be aware of. Careful play makes it less of a factor. There are two campsites per floor that the player can use to sleep and recover.
The game has an alchemy system as a pseudo-identification system. There are 10 ingredients, which have random alchemical color effects. Experimentation will lead the player to discover ingredients with the same colors and then they can create the corresponding item. Thus you won’t know until you create a ‘Red’ item that it is a fire bomb for instance. Items you find, such as smoke bombs, are always identified. This means you don’t have to spend the first X levels drinking potions of poison to get to the point where you can actually use strategy (as fun as that may be).
The game has 7 gods, which the player can worship with various effects and complications available.
There is actually a rich plot in the game, although it is not directly forced on the player. There are little snippets of information on certain levels to provide some kind of insight into what bosses you can expect to find and why they are your enemy.
The game is tile-based, where the tiles all consist of 8×8 resolution. This is enough to give players an idea of what their looking at, but maintains a lack of detail. You can see what equipment an enemy is wearing just by looking at them, so you won’t be surprised that they are wielding a rare item. The interface is designed so that almost everything you need is always visible to you on the screen. You don’t need to know keys to access the inventory or ability list because they are always visible. The game supports mouse and keyboard controls, including pathing and autoexplore.
There is a global tracker across all playthroughs that measures enemy “knowledge”. When you have killed a lot of enemies, you gain a slim combat bonus against them on future characters. This is at the same time not enough to make a huge difference in the game, but enough to feel like all those lost characters at least contributed something.
Sunday - June 10, 2012
Lips of Suna - Reaches v0.6.0
getter77 sent this one in a whike back and it got lost in the E3 shuffle. Lips of Suna is an indie "tongue-in-cheek" action/RPG that has just seen a major update, moving to the OGRE engine:
Lips of Suna is a tongue-in-cheek action RPG that takes place in the chaotic dungeons of Suna. The five intelligent races of the world descend to the dungeons with their goal to save the world from a conclusive disaster.
In your journey to the depths of the dungeons, you will, among other things, have to fight creatures of different varieties, solve quests, explore new places, and craft custom items. Luckily, you don't need to do all this alone since you can crawl the dungeons with your friends.
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land - Now on Android
Red Wasp Design's Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land has launched on Android:
The final rites of gibbous summoning have been completed and the world counts down to oblivion as the critically acclaimed ‘Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land’ today launches for Android phones and tablets. The game is now available from Google Play (with Amazon’s Android Store to follow) at a price point of $4.99/€3.99/£2.99 or alternatively for only 2 Voorish Signs. The game’s designer Tomas Rawlings remarked, “We’ve had a huge demand from fellow gamers for Cthulhu to spawn onto Android, so we’re really excited to be able to deliver on our promise today.”
The game requires Android OS version 2.3 (aka Gingerbread), OpenGL ES 2.0 plus a touch screen to run. The developers say they have tested the game on a range of devices including HTC, Samsung, Acer and are confident it will work on most touchscreen tablets and phones.
Thanks, Capt. Huggy Face.
Wednesday - May 30, 2012
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing - Teaser Video
VG247 has a teaser trailer for Neocore's action/RPG, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing. There's no gameplay, so don't expect too much.
Saturday - May 26, 2012
Gnoblins - Revealed
Gnoblins is first-person RPG with "roguelike features" that I've not heard of before but is now featured on Rock, Paper, Shotgun. There's a playable Alpha, so give it a go and let us know about it in the comments:
Gnoblins is called Gnoblins and that’s pretty much all I needed to know to convince me that downloading the freely available alpha version might be a very good idea indeed. That it turns out to be a first person RPG, with roguelike features such as random levels, lots of items to equip and mysterious dangers to discover. The Gnoblins themselves are minions, to be added in a future release, that will apparently provide an RTS element to the game and there’s even mention of developing areas of the dungeon for your own use. Dungeon Keeper plus roguelike plus Ultima Underworld? Let’s hope so. It’s tremendously exciting, even if the early version is obviously missing lots of planned features and content. Try the alpha and if your name is Richard Cobbett, click more.
Friday - May 25, 2012
Indie RPGs - Because We May Sale
A number of indies have joined forces for a Because We May Sale, which celebrates portals that allow indies to control their own pricing.
Among the games we follow that are participating, you can get great deals on:
Frayed Knights - $9.95 (normally $24.95)
Telepath: Servants of God - 40% off
Avadon for $5
Dungeons of Dredmor and DLC - 50% off
IndieRPGs.com has a list of all the RPGs in the sale, which inclues others such as Cthulhu Saves the World, Dark Scavenger and more. Sale ends June 1st.
Friday - May 18, 2012
Dungeon Gate - "Never seen gameplay approach"
Lace Mamba sent us the following press release on Dungeon Gate, their recently announced action/RPG:
SHAPE-SHIFT INTO YOUR ENEMIES:
NEW PC RPG DUNGEON GATE OFFERS NEVER-BEFORE SEEN GAMEPLAY APPROACH
Brighton, May 17th, 2012 – There’s no better disguise than looking exactly like your enemy: Dungeon Gate is an upcoming PC fantasy RPG, featuring the possibility of giving its players the opportunity to shape-shift into their enemies and even into any NPC creature to get unique opportunities to win battles and solve the game.
Imagine approaching a horde of mummies, giant scarabs, slimes or any other of the more than 60 foes in this 3D fantasy RPG – and being able to sneak right into the center of the group, because your character looks exactly like your enemy and is even able to use the same special abilities, powers and weapons, as long as your energy allows it. Or even sneaking past them unnoticed, because your character looks like a harmless, cute, little bunny. Shape-shifting into any NPC is the unique and never-before seen gameplay approach Dungeon Gate offers to the gaming community.
Dungeon Gate takes players to the besieged world of Barrilian, which is being devastated by dragon hordes. In a small village, pillaged and left to burn, not one soul was spared except for two babies. One was recovered by the dragons, and the other one by a mysterious mage… 20 years later, a vicious tyrant has taken over the people of Barrilian, forcing them into slavery by using the influence he has over the dragons. By making the people extract precious stones from mines which enhance magical his skills, the citizens are unwillingly witnessing the gain of magical strength in the dictator.
Now it’s up to the player to free Barrilian from the tyrant: They take over the role of Dysan, a young hero. He possesses the exceptional power of being able to drain the DNA of all NPCs he meets and encounters, whatever creature they are. This will not only help him in battles, but also gives him the opportunity to change the way he plays through the story, solves puzzles and overcomes obstacles. So, players can not only use the powers of strong and even stronger enemies, but also shape-shift into a chicken or a rabbit or any other animal if they feel this helps them. All they need to do is to once drain the DNA of a character.
In Dungeon Gate, players don’t select a class for their character, but rather train the skills of the character classes they drained the DNA from and now can shape-shift into. This opens up a huge set of skills, abilities and special powers.
Dungeon Gate, developed by Wild Games Studio (based in Québec, Canada), features a huge open world and a storyline with multiple endings.
Lace Mamba Global plans to publish both digital and retail editions of Dungeon Gate. The retail release is scheduled for September 14th, 2012.
Tuesday - May 15, 2012
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing - Announced
Catching up on some news, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has the announcement of a new game from Neocore (King Arthur) - an action/RPG titled The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, due Q4 2012.
Time of Heroes - Second Campaign Released (iOS)
We've covered Smuttlewerk's Companions and Time of Heroes for iOS before, so they let us know of new developments for their TBS game. A second campaign for Time of Heroes has been released and here are the details:
The Wrath Of The ProphetFeatures:- Seven brand new maps- Two new heroes (Oskar, the iron golem and Runtula, the elven mistress)- Three new units (iron golems, elven drones and elven archeresses)- New achievements- Hours of playtime-----------------------------This chapter concludes the story about the arrival of the northern people in Altland:The servant of the dark god Detexx, the Prophet, has only one wish: to destroy every living being in Altland, especially the insolent humans who dare to defy the power of his insane god. His wrath is inconceivable! His powers terrifying!The player has to lead prince Minos and the alliance of humans, dwarves and elves into gruesome battles against the “Hordes of Nether”!-----------------------------Players who are into turn-based strategy games, will get another round of great battles waiting to be won.The campaign is available through in App purchase for 2,99$/2,39€.For those who are unsure whether to buy the game or not, we designed a free “Time of Heroes – Zero Edition”. The first two maps can be enjoyed for free, the rest has to be purchased as IAP just as in the old version of the game. Once a campaign pack is purchased all ads we put in this version get removed.
Check out the video on Youtube.
Monday - May 14, 2012
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land - Wot I Think @ RPS
Adam Smith from RPS has penned a Wot I Think for Cthulhu: The Wasted Land on PC:
Despite containing the horror of gas attacks, trench warfare, zombies and shoggoths, the story is more camp than creepy, with echoes of Wolfenstein and Hellboy. It’s serviceable enough, if on the short side. I don’t like to mention price but given that there are only nine missions, it’s useful to know that at $4.99 there’s a few hours of entertainment here. It’d be an uncannily lucky fellow who survived the later missions on a first attempt and even if so, the multiple objectives lead to some tough, drawn out defensive knuckling down.
No gasts will be flabbered by The Wasted Land but it’s a stern challenge with a strong set of numbers and rules governing its combat. As is often the case with this sort of turn-based skirmishing, there’s sometimes a puzzle-like precision needed to achieve victory, but in The Wasted Land there’s usually enough leeway for triumph to feel personal and well-earned, which made every minute I spent testing my mettle satisfying at the very least. And that’s in spite of the rough interface, which insists that the mouse button is clicked and then held for the majority of actions leading to the occasional mad slide around the map in an attempt to target a large man with a machine gun.
They also found the Intel AppUp thingy fairly harmless, so have a read if this is on your list.
UnEpic - Steam Campaign
I don't often post on user campaigns and polls but UnEpic's author Fran wrote in and asked for help getting the game on Steam. It's a fantastic platformer/RPG mix, so head over to the Steam forums and consider posting in their thread.
Wednesday - May 09, 2012
Warhorse - Choosing Your Religion
Still no real details about the open-world RPG Warhorse is developing but Dan Vavra's latest blog post titled Choosing Your Religion talks about how they chose CRYEngine 3 for the project:
So here we are at Games Convention in Koln, Germany, knocking on the door of the booths of the likes of Epic, Crytek, Havok and many others, which was totally new for Martin and myself since we had always worked with in-house technology and only had a vague idea about how much it would cost to license an AAA gaming engine. I personally was also unsure if a company like Epic would be willing to deal with an unknown startup like us, but as it turned out this was totally unnecessary. We talked to almost everyone from Epic to the guys from Bitsquid and they were all great. Everyone was very supportive and open to various models of financing. Hell, it almost felt like they wanted to give it to us for free (and in the case of Cryengine and Unreal UDK, for indie developers they are). If I were to decide what we’d buy solely on my feelings, we’d have to buy everything.
Sunday - May 06, 2012
NEO Scavenger - Interview @ The Digital Fix
Ex-BioWare dev and creator of NEO Scavenger, Daniel Fedor, has been interviewed at The Digital Fix, mostly about his background and inspiration. You may recall NEO Scavenger is a post-apoc survival game - well worth a look. Here's a lengthy snip from the interview, which offers a trip down memory lane for some classic games:
You describe yourself as a "huge RPG nerd". Which games have inspired you?
As kids, we played a ton of AD&D. Pretty much all of the campaign settings. We also played quite a bit of Rifts and Shadowrun. Outside of those, we dipped our toes in Car Wars, Traveller, Twilight 2000, Mage: The Ascension, and GURPS, and I bought at least half a dozen RPGs just to enjoy reading the rules and settings.
In the realm of video games, I was big into CRPGs like Fallout, Shadowrun (Sega Genesis), Baldur's Gate, Arcanum, Nethack...man, this could be a long list. Looking over the stuff on my shelf, I think there are definitely some front-runners in the list of direct inspiration.
Rifts is a big one, for sure. I really enjoyed the mix of sci-fi and supernatural horror in a post apocalyptic setting. It went a bit bonkers, true, but the core concept was really cool to me. Arcanum had a similar tech/magic mixture, and offered a cozy paradise for the scavenging type.
GURPS's mechanics were always fascinating to me (and therefore Fallout's). The idea that one chooses a balance of advantages and disadvantages really grew on me later in life, as it forced more interesting role-playing and problem solving. You'll find that direct influence in NEO Scavenger right from the start, when choosing skills and traits.
The GDW games like Traveller and T:2000 were awesome because of their attention to detail and realism. I like my science fiction moderately hard, and most of the tech in NEO Scavenger is meant to be plausibly grounded.
Finally, the way magic is handled in Mage: The Ascension is really attractive to me. That it works in various and mysterious ways, and cannot be fully understood nor explained, is really cool to me. I'm annoyed by games where magic is formulaic to the point where a spell is just a +/- stat and one of the four Greek elements. Old D&D had some cool magic: the kind that was so idiosyncratic and full of contradictions that it felt like a forbidden art. If I can capture the mystery and power of magic like they did, I'll be happy.
There are a ton of other games that inspired NEO Scavenger, which itself is really just a collection of things I like from gaming. The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series, Deus Ex, Civilization, Silent Storm, Nethack...there are just so many games I've been influenced by, it'd be hard to list them all.
Source: RPG Codex
Friday - May 04, 2012
Indie RPGs - News Roundup
I have a number of indie newsbits to catch up on, so I'll collect them here rather than spam them separately.
First, Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land Has Risen is now available from Intel's AppUp thingy for $4.99 - if you try it, let us know how you find Intel's client and, of course, the game.
IndieRPGs.com writes in with reviews of the indie strategy/RPG Styrateg (2.5/5) and turn-based strategy Age of Fear: The Undead King (3.5/5).
Megamat from our friends at RPG France wrote in with a new development called Fraternity Project, an "online" post-apoc 2D "old-school" project. I can't tell you much more but there is a bunch of concept art on offer from the link above and they need more manpower if you are interested.
Von Paulus points out Sovereignty: Crown of Kings, a turn-based fantasy strategy game from The Lordz, described as "Risk meets Master of Magic". Due late 2012 - early 2013.
Lastly the Rampant Coyote has an indie roundup with a bunch of projects we follow but a number of others also.
Thursday - May 03, 2012
Kenshi - Crowdfunding Campaign
Open-world squad-based RPG Kenshi has launched a crowdfunding campaign at IndieGoGo to pay for contractors to help round out the game with additional programming, art and sound. Kenshi has been around for a while and can be purchased as an Alpha, so it will be interesing to see how this effort goes:
- Original take on the RTS-RPG hybrid genre. No "hero" characters with artificially stronger stats than everybody else- Every character and NPC you meet is potentially an equal, and has a name, a life.
- You are not the chosen one. You're not great and powerful. You don't have more 'hitpoints' than everyone else. You are not the center of the universe, and you are not special. Unless you work for it.
- Freeform gameplay in a seamless game world stretching over 400 square kilometers. The game will never seek to limit you or restrict your personal play style.
- Purchase and upgrade your own buildings to use as safe fortified havens when things go bad, or use them to start up a business.
- Start with a mining business and build up your own fortress or outpost
- Research new technology and craft better fortifications and equipment for your teams. They need to be ready when an enemy horde is at the gates.
- Carry your wounded squad mates to safety and get them all home alive.
- Variation and possibilities of gameplay. Be good, be evil, be a business man, be a thief, live in a town, live in the desert, join the army, fight the army, travel alone, travel in hordes, build a fortress, raze a city.
- Dynamic, ever changing world. Support or hinder whoever you wish, or keep to yourself, the world won't stop moving. This is not just a "game", you are living and surviving in a simulated world.
- Absolutely no Level-scaling. The world does not level up along with you, and the shops don't change their inventory to only items matching your level. At the start of the game almost everyone will be stronger than you, and survival will always be a struggle.
- Realistic medical system that affects gameplay. A character with a wounded leg will limp or crawl and slow the party down, wounded arms means you must use your sword one-handed or not at all. Lose an eye and it will affect your field of vision. Blood loss means you can pass out, and the blood will attract predators. Exhaustion affects performance and is increased by equipment weight, weather, blood loss and thirst. Severed limbs will need expensive robotic replacements.
- Intelligent AI that allows for characters to reason and work towards long-term goals and desires. Squads work together and carry their wounded to safety. Characters can be setup to take care of micromanagement for you.
- Aid or oppose the various factions in the world while striving for the strength and wealth necessary to simply survive in the harsh desert.
- Independently developed with no design influences, or alterations dictated by men in gray suits who have never played a game before in their lives.
- Original game world. There are no fantasy-knock-off cliches. No magic.
Wednesday - April 25, 2012
Tomes of Mephistopheles - Development Update
Kot-in-Action has kicked up an update for for their indie first-person dungeon-crawler Tomes of Mephistopheles:
Character Saving, Inventory, Spell Book and Quick Bar in Progress
Just a quick update on what's currently in progress:
Mouse Driven Inventory:
It will start with 25 slots, and items will be stackable. For those who like to keep things organized, you will be able to arrange items any way you like.
Simply a list of spells you have available so that you can place them on the quick bar.
Items and spells can be placed on the quick bar and activated on the fly with keys 0-9, or any other key you've rebound them to. Using up an inventory item will not remove the shortcut from the quick bar, as it will assume you would like to keep the shortcut for when you pick up more of the same item later.
Before choosing, generating, or joining a world, you will be able to create a character or choose an existing one from a list to be loaded upon entering a world. Single player characters and multi-player characters are currently the same, so you can play offline, then join a server later with that same character, retaining the inventory, skills, health, and mana, and saving upon leaving the world.
This update may take time as there are many things involved that all must be implemented at the same time, but I will keep you updated with screenshots of the GUI as development progresses.
And of course, bug fixes are happening as well.
Friday - April 20, 2012
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land - Coming to PC
We've previously covered Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land when it launched for iOS but now it is coming to PC. The release will use yet another client called Intel AppUp, which I've never encountered before. From the developer Red Wasp Design's website:
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land’ Summoned to PC via the Intel AppUp center
Whispers in the darkness today confirmed that the critically acclaimed ‘Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land’ today announced their hit game is coming to PC. The developers, Red Wasp Design, revealed the existence of a Cyclopean pact with the Intel AppUpSM program to spread the insanity onto laptops, Ultrabooks and desktops worldwide. The Intel AppUpSM center is a service that aggregates, curates and distributes validated digital content delivering a fuller, richer experience on the PC.
The game will launch on the AppUpSM center on 5th May 2012 at the RPC Germany international RPG event. The games developers will also be at the event demoing the PC version of the game to fans and fellow gamers. The price point will be confirmed on the release date. AppUpSM is free to install and has lots of games and applications on it for Windows PCs. The PC version of the game runs in widescreen and has been optimised to run on laptops, Ultrabooks™ and desktops including support for Windows 7 touchscreen powered PCs.
For those new to the cult title, the indie game is a turn-based strategy RPG inspired by the works of cult horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. The game was developed in co-operation with Chaosium, the publishers of the cult horror role playing game, Call of Cthulhu. The game features nine 3D levels set in the trenches of World War One. In ‘The Wasted Land’ the player controls a team of up to six investigators charged with uncovering a deadly inhuman conspiracy underlying the clash of empires of the Great War. Barbed wire, mustard gas and machines guns will prove to be the least dangerous thing that the investigators will encounter as they venture out into No-man’s land to solve the mystery of the Wasted Land. As the game progresses, the player can build up the skills, weapons and equipment of the team to suit their playing style. As well as the physical danger, the investigators must guard their sanity against the myriad horrors that threaten to destroy it.
Thanks, JDR13 and Capt. Huggy Face!
Indie RPGs - Roundup: Boot Hill Heroes, Rodina, FTL, Blood Rune
I have a number of indie RPGs in my inbox, so I thought I'd collect them into a roundup.
First off, Experimental Gamer let us know about their Kickstarter for Boot Hill Heroes, a Wild West retro RPG with 1-4 player coop. They are asking for a modest $5000 and seem to have a fair chunk of the game done, needing the money for music, sound and possibly more art:
Take three parts Earthbound, one part Chrono Trigger, add a dash of Final Fantasy VI - then dip the whole thing in spicy Wild West sauce! Boot Hill Heroes is a true retro RPG set in the American Wild West. You'll find all the trappings of a spaghetti western - gunslingers, saloons, Indians, ranches, spittoons, Mexican standoffs, heroism, villainy, and everything in between. Boot Hill Heroes has adventure, drama, and a fair helping of humor. It's just like the classic RPGs you remember from yesteryear but with an inventive new spin!
Jonathon writes in with Rodina, an indie "space exploration RPG inspired by games like Freelancer, The Elder Scrolls series, Deus Ex and System Shock." The video on their site is pretty rudimentary but the planned scope is quite exciting. This one is self-funded because "I'm not comfortable taking money from people unless I can immediately give them something in return".
- Explore Space, Inside and Out
In Rodina, you can explore the world both inside of a ship and outside of one. You will find yourself having dogfights in space, gun battles on a planet surface, defending your ship from boarding parties, and capturing ships belonging to your enemies.
- Huge Seamlesss Procedurally Generated World.
Explore procedurally-generated planets with millions of square kilometers of surface area. Seamlessly travel from a planet's surface to the depths of space, with no loading screens, warp doors, or invisible walls. Investigate asteroids, moons, space stations, and stars.
- Open-Ended, Simulated Gameplay
Rodina will boast a game world simulation which supports player creativity and rewarding feedback. Release toxic gas into the engine room. Fly a false flag in order to trick your opponents into thinking you are their ally. Hack into the ship's computer and delete the source code that fires the weapons, rendering them useless. In Rodina, experimentation and creativity are valued over following a game script written by a desginer.
FTL (Faster Than Light) was actually the first Kickstarter I contributed to - it's probably a stretch to post it at RPGWatch but jhwisner sent it in, so what the heck. This is a "Roguelike Spaceship Simulation" and their Kickstarter was hugely successful, raising $200k from a $10k goal:
What is FTL?
FTL is a spaceship simulation roguelike-like. Its aim is to recreate the atmosphere of running a spaceship exploring the galaxy (like Firefly/Star Trek/BSG etc.)
What is the gameplay like?
The game is split into two major parts: exploration and combat. You explore by making faster-than-light jumps over vast distances in space; arriving at locations containing text-based events that have a variety of choices and outcomes. Your crew will improve with experience, while your ship can be upgraded with advanced weaponry and equipment purchased with collected scrap metal. Fighting enemy ships involves real-time management of crew, power distribution and weapons. Check out the video on the front page to see it in action.
That’s too long, what’s a shorter description?
Blood Rune is inspired by classics such as the SSI Gold Box series and offers first-person exploration and isometric tactical combat:
Blood Rune is a party based role-playing game where the player initially creates one hero, then soon after three more and is joined later by up two companions during the adventure. The role-playing system itself is name-based, where a character's name part determines his or her fate, and the system utilises multiple character classes and skills. There are five spell casting classes and all of which are available from the start, including the Necromancer.
Blood Rune is part played in a first person, step by step exploration environment -which supports indoor and outdoor adventuring - and part played in an isometric 'blow by blow' tactical battle engine that supports large scale fights with dozens of combatants with ease. There are 400+ items in the game so far and 25 item types. Loot is distributed randomly through the game.
The player must worry about hunger and thirst while in the wilderness and light underground. The party must have a quill, sufficient ink and enough parchment for automatic mapping of areas to occur. Wounds inflicted in battle can bleed, so injuries need not kill immediately to be effective. Spells range from creature summons, like Giant Scorpions, to spells of the mind like the Deathbolt, to spells which knock down walls like Shatter, to massive terrain spells like Hostile Waters which flood whole areas and make them very dangerous to any creature that cannot fly.
The story to the game involves forging allegiances amongst vastly different peoples against a rising tide of doom and even time travel as the heroes take on an enemy that will sweep all people aside and end the age.
Development is on going and the expected release date is 2012. The platform for the game is Windows XP upwards through to Windows 7.
Tuesday - April 17, 2012
Conclave - Web-based tabletop RPG Released
10x10 Room sends in their "browser-based cooperative tabletop RPG", Conclave:
Conclave is a cooperative browser-based RPG that you play with your friends. It’s designed to make it as easy as possible for parties of players to have the fun of a tabletop RPG, but without the huge time commitment or the difficulty getting a group of people together. Take turns as you have the chance; the game will move at your collective pace. No Flash means you can play it equally well from your iOS device as your desktop or Android phone.
You can guess that’s it’s tricky to come up with a snappy video that shows off a turn-based game like ours, but we did our best. You can see it, and the game itself, on the front page of our site:
Monday - April 16, 2012
Telepath: Tactics - Announced
Sinister Design has announced a new game, titled Telepath: Tactics.
The new game is called Telepath Tactics. I’ve been listening to all the feedback I received after releasing Telepath RPG: Servants of God, and used it to create a brand new engine that features even deeper and more interesting tactics for pitched battles with friends.
- New graphics. No more looking at the tops of characters’ heads! TT features beautiful pixel art using classic oblique projection.
- Better UI. The user interface is mouse-based now; no need to alternate between mouse and keyboard.
- Click-to-move. The game now features Fire Emblem-style movement; click a character to see all possible destinations, then click a tile to move there.
- Deeper mechanics. There are tons of new mechanics in the game: bridge building, barricades, explosives, elevation effects, status effects, pushing and throwing of other characters and destructible objects, random item drops, environmental hazards, and much more!
- Unit variety. There are 22 unique classes of units in the game, each with its own suite of attacks, stats, and elemental strengths and weaknesses.
- Better AI. The game is meant to be played with friends, but you can play against up to 5 computer opponents if you want. I’ve taken the core heuristics from Telepath RPG: Servants of God and improved them for challenging single player matches that will test your tactical mettle.
- Map editor. The game features an advanced map editor that allows you to create new battlefields whenever you like. The editor features multiple layers, support for custom tiles, and unlimited undo/redo. Save your maps as XML files to share with others, and grab others’ maps to use with your own copy of TT.
Got it? Now, take all of that and add to it the fact that you can play hotseat games with up to 5 other people on any Windows, Mac or Linux computer. (You can also play asynchronously with friends over email, in case your pals aren’t available to swing by for a match.)
Saturday - April 14, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Update #5 and More
There's a new Shadowrun Kickstarter update as they present even more reward tiers (USB "dog tags" look pretty cool) and a World of Shadowrun Primer, for those not familiar with the setting. The pledges are just below $1M, by the way, which gets a second major city in the game.
In other Shadowrun news, Joystiq writes about the setting and playing the PnP rules:
First, the setting. If you've ever played Deus Ex: Human Revolution – or watched Blade Runner, for that matter – you'll know what you're in for with Shadowrun. The big twist is that magic is suddenly a part of everyday life on this version of earth; an earth where cybernetically-enhanced dwarfs, elves, and trolls freely roam. A little silly maybe, but I've always been struck by the power Shadowrun has to unite those who enjoy both fantasy and science fiction – which is sometimes tougher to do than you might think.
As for the system, the first thing I learned about Shadowrun is that it's a terrible idea to get into a fight. For all their nifty weapons, the combat penalties that rapidly accrue from injury can make individual characters quite squishy. I learned this for myself in my first ever run, when I tried to snipe a troll and ended up being murdered for my trouble. As I discovered later, the much smarter move would have been to actually hack the troll's brain – this is a thing that can be done in Shadowrun – and have him walk to the edge of the city where we could finish him in a back alley somewhere.
Wednesday - April 11, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Kickstarter Update #4 - Linux
A new update has been posted to the Shadowrun Kickstarter page, announcing a Linux port if they reach $1M. Since they are currently sitting at $828k with 17 days to go, that seems almost guaranteed:
So here’s the deal: We can now say with confidence that if we hit our $1M stretch goal, we will be able to partner with the right external developer, port Shadowrun Returns to Linux, and deliver it in a reasonable amount of time after the game is released.
We’ll also add it to the $15 reward level (alongside the PC/Mac versions). Now if you’re a Linux-only user, you’ll have to wait for your version, but from what you’ve told us, you’re willing to do that.
Monday - April 09, 2012
Tomes of Mephistopheles - Patch and Gameplay Trailer
Kot-in-Action has new patch notes and a trailer for their first-person dungeon crawler, Tomes of Mephistopheles. The trailer is a high-energy affair with metal music, if that's your thing.
Friday - April 06, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Kickstarter Funded!
Shadowrun Returns has been funded on Kickstarter in 28 hours. The latest dev update promises an OSX version at $425k, which has long been passed ($475k as I write). Here's a snip from the update and head over to watch a "thank you" video from the team:
Wow, that was incredible.
From the bottom of our hearts, we'd like to say THANK YOU to everyone who has backed us so far. If we weren't working our butts off on our new game, we'd be dancing around the Closet (our tiny office) with tears of joy streaming down our faces. Instead, the team is heads-down at their computers, sniffling loudly and wiping their eyes with their shirt-sleeves.
To everyone asking about a Mac version of the game, we've been saying that if we hit the $425,000 level, we'd add it. Linux support is definitely on the table too! (After all, who'd be a better Decker?)
In Jordan's video update below, he talks about things we could add to the game if we hit higher funding milestones. We're working on clarifying those milestones and will have an update for you before the weekend (in Seattle).
IndieFort - Indie Bundle #1
GamersGate has released IndieFort, another one of those indie choose-your-payment bundles. This one starts at a minimum $5.99 but offers a number of RPGs, including Devil Whiskey, which we've recently discussed:
- Kenshi (Alpha)
- Cardinal Quest
- Black Market
- Wanderlust: Rebirth
- Devil Whiskey
- Steel Storm: Burning Retribution
As certain milestones are reached, additional games/bonuses get unlocked, such as Mordor v1.1.
I've been watching Kenshi for a long time, so I might jump in just for that.
Thursday - April 05, 2012
Shadowrun Returns - Kickstarter Campaign
Jordan Weisman, the orginal creator of Shadowrun, has started a Kickstarter campaign for a "graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat" for tablets and PC. His new studio Harebrained Schemes is asking for a modest $400k and they've passed half of that in a few hours, so this looks like a runaway success. Here's a snip and head to their Kickstarter page to read more, watch the (excellent) video and pledge:
Jordan Weisman, the creator of Shadowrun, is back and Shadowrun Returns (for Apple & Android tablets and PCs) is the game that Shadowrun fans have been waiting for a long time. A graphically rich 2D turn-based single player game with deep story interaction, meaningful character development, and highly-contextual tactical combat, Shadowrun Returns is not only going to make some old geeks (like us) very happy but it will introduce new players to a dynamic gaming universe that is beloved around the world.
Created almost 25 years ago, Shadowrun remains one of the most original and cherished role-playing settings. The game world’s origin story mashes-up the dystopian Cyberpunk future of a Blade Runner with the high fantasy creatures and races of a Lords of the Rings in an organic way that produces iconic characters, environments, and situations. [...]
We intend to follow a braided anthology structure for our story. Jordan, his partner Mitch Gitelman and Mike Mulvihill, who led Shadowrun game development at FASA Corp. will craft and structure the meta-story, then supply key information for a group of writers to weave into their own short stories, which we'll then use as the basis for our missions. To ensure an authentic tone, we'll incorporate the storytelling skills of many Shadowrun authors and designers who've been carrying the flame over the last 23 years such as:
- Michael A. Stackpole
- Mike Mulvihill
- Tom Dowd
- Malik Toms
- Mel Odom
- Jason Hardy
- Stephen Kenson
The result should be an overall narrative that is layered, textured, and satisfying.
One of the many innovations in Data East’s Shadowrun Super Nintendo game was a unique conversation engine that opened up new avenues of conversation based upon information you learned through interactions with characters and objects. We intend on taking a similar path with a new twist or two.
Thanks to the dozen or so readers who wrote in!
Monday - April 02, 2012
Devil's Whiskey - Revived on GamersGate
Charles from Classic Games Remade (Underworld) sends word that Devil's Whiskey is now available at GamersGate ($24.95). You may recall the Bard's Tale-inspired game was released by Shifting Suns around a decade back and the rights were sold to Decklins Domain, which then went dark as well.
Monday - March 19, 2012
Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox - Crowdfunded RPG
Zerotown sends word of an indie project seeking crowd-funding from indiegogo called Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox. The game is turn-based with procedural elements - here's their description:
Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox is an indie game development project founded out of Brisbane, Australia and is involving over 30 people from all over the world in places like California, Scotland, Great Britain, New Zealand, and more. The aim is to recreate the amazing turn-based, first person RPGs from the golden age of PC gaming using modern game engine technology.
Rich classics such as the Might & Magic series, Eye of the Beholder and the like have inspired this new title which, when finished will put its players into a literally infinite fantasy world filled with procedurally generated content. The Sword of Ahkranox isn't trying to compete with the larger, professionally developed RPG titles out there, but instead our aim is to fill a large gap that we believe has existed in game technology since the mid-nineties. It is definitely a must-have for all enthusiasts of the quintessential RPG.
The game's procedural engine can generate an infinite number of weapons, items, spells, monsters, dungeons, cities, countryside and even dialogue, allowing the player to explore the game with no end and no reason to stop, and the best part is, it's all persistent. You can go back to any place you've been in this infinite world and it will still be there.
Imagine The Elder Scrolls with an infinite world :)
Tuesday - March 13, 2012
NEO Scavenger - TB, Post-Apoc, Survival Browser Game
Rock, Paper, Shotgun points out an indie, browser-based, turn-based, post-apoc survival game called NEO Scavenger. The game comes from Blue Bottle Games, founded by ex-BioWare dev Daniel Fedor. From RPS:
This could be the most important thing you read today, unless you’re planning to operate dangerous machinery and haven’t peeked at the instructions yet. Actually, forget that, this is still more important. That is providing you’re the sort of handsome individual who enjoys survival sims, hex-based RPGs, post-apocalyptic scavenging and turn-based everything. If you like any of those delicacies, I have just the thing for you. It’s called NEO Scavenger, you can try the demo in your browser here or read on to discover more.
Not much more though because I want you to go and play it for yourself. It’s a game where you have to nourish your body to survive and to find food you’ll have to travel across an overland map, discovering sights and encounters. You’ll dig through the remnants of society to find a pair of shoes and beat mutants to death with your bare hands until you can find a better means of defense. There are recipes to put together and skills that are simple to use but change the experience massively.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Friday - March 09, 2012
Tomes of Mephistopheles - New Video, Screens
Wednesday - March 07, 2012
Tomes of Mephistopheles - Development Update
Kot-in-Action has kicked up an update on Tomes of Mephistopheles:
I know it's been almost a week since the last change has been posted, but it's with good reason. AI have gotten a huge upgrade as far as performance, meaning there can be much more of them. During this upgrade AI bandwidth usage has also gotten a considerable drop due to less requirements for frequency of AI updates. We've added a few new skelly types with some dangerous spells, and group AI spawning requiring you to use a little bit of tactics. AI are considerably harder and more dangerous in groups because they have a variety of ranged attacks and some melee attacks to keep you on your toes. These changes took a little while because of the performance upgrade required, but the time spent was well worth it.
Not just that, but we've also added a little color to the dungeon which helps you see enemies a little sooner, and have fixed a small handful of bugs.
Head over for the full changelog.
The Banner Saga - Interview @ Shacknews
Stoic Studio has been interviewed by Shacknews to discuss The Banner Saga. Creative Director Alex Thomas talks about their goals, the advantages of small teams and reveals a Kickstarter campaign is coming:
"One of the first things anyone who has worked on a game with "real choices" will tell you is that it's expensive," he said. "Just imagine a simple conversation with one branching option. Now you've got to write two outcomes. If it branches again, now you've quadrupled your work and you have to track all those new variables. That's just one conversation."
"Some games deal with this by creating false choices that all loop back to one point, but that's still a ton of content to produce," Thomas said. "Instead of taking the approach of giving the player a choice for every sentence, we thought it would be more meaningful to only present you with a choice when it's important, similar to The Witcher."
Thomas also said that the story of The Banner Saga centers around a "world-changing event," but unlike a lot of other RPGs, players won't be assuming the roles of what Thomas calls "The Only Ones That Can Do Anything."
"The choices you make affect who lives, who dies, and the relationships between the characters. It's not just about saving the world; it's about what happens to the people you care about, and what's worth saving," he said. "What you say in conversation can absolutely affect how often combat occurs or how difficult it is. We'll be talking a lot more about this as we continue to develop the single-player campaign."
Tuesday - March 06, 2012
The Book of Legends - Released by Aldorlea Games
We don't normally cover jRPGs but indie dev Aldorlea Game (Laxius Force) wrote in directly to say they have released a new game titled The Book of Legends and the blurb promises "Choices that affect the game significantly" and "Multiple endings", so here's the announcement:
The Book of Legends" is the latest epic developed by Aldorlea Games (the makers behind Millennium, Dreamscape, Laxius Force, 3 Stars of Destiny, Asguaard etc.).Featuring an immersive story written by Indinera (as well as characters and dialogs developed by him), this game is a huge stand-alone role playing game whose size, depth and figures (number of characters, quests, items, secrets etc.) evocates and sometimes surpasses the likes of "3 Stars of Destiny".
See for yourself:
The game also delivers in terms of features, all carefully designed for a richer gaming experience:
- More than 30 characters to play!
- More than 125 spells to cast!
- More than 60 weapons and 110 pieces of equipment!
- More than 100 different enemies!
- More than 300 areas to explore!
- 50 hours of playtime
- 2 different modes (Casual/RPG)
- Mouse control allowed
- Easy-to-use Quest book and Party Switcher
- Party Splitting
- Choices that affect the game significantly
- Multiple endings
- Exciting story full of twists and witty or hilarious dialogs
- Countless hours of playing, a myriad of side quests and secrets
- Great interaction between characters and even non-playing characters
- Spectacular spells and summoning
- A Colyseum with 2 different tournaments
- Gorgeous characters, graphics and music
- Play as a Princess, or a Thief, or even a Celebrity and defeat extraordinary monsters such as dragons, manticores, demons and ogres! In "The Book of Legends", the word "role playing" takes all its meaning.
Also, as a small bonus for your support, people who purchase "The Book of Legends" will have the opportunity to grab a copy of "Laxius Force" as well at $5 only! Yes, 5 dollars for a second game that may last you well over 50 hours!... don't wait too long though as this offer will most likely just be temporary.
Monday - March 05, 2012
Desktop Dungeons - Free During GDC
The Desktop Dungeons beta is free this week during GDC if you'd like some bite-size roguelike gameplay:
Free for GDC:
Play the Desktop Dungeons Beta free during GDC! Sign up for an account right here and tell your friends/relatives/parole officers. Then if you love the game (we really hope you do) pre-order and continue from where you left-off without missing a beat.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Friday - March 02, 2012
Tomes of Mephistopheles - First Patch and Modding
I'm not sure if this changelog relates to the Tomes of Mephistopheles Alpha we already discussed a week back - if so, head to this new article Kot-in-Action article posted on the possibility of modding for the game:
Tomes of Mephistopheles is in a very early alpha stage. What you see is bare bones from what the final game will be. We are adding features as they are necessary in order to develop a playable, fun game quickly. There are tons of small things we want to implement, but we know there are more important things we need to do in order to make this game represent final game play, and actually be fun for players in it's early stages.
Having said that, I am in no way opposed to implementing such modding features as requested. Although, these features will come long after all the other core features are added, and only if there is very strong support from the community for such features. If I see that people have bought the game, and they like it, but would love to see modding features so they can run a very custom server or design an adventure, then I will be motivated to work on making this possible. Right now, if that is the major selling point for you, and you're going to wait for such features to be implemented, you'll be waiting a very long time, and without your monetary support then it could take even longer due to the simple fact that a day job will suck up all the time I could be spending on development.
We want to make this game as awesome as it can be, but we need your support. Please show us that you want this game to happen. We need major media support, and word of mouth all around. I really appreciate the comments I'm finding, and hope to find more, and hear more suggestions.
Wednesday - February 29, 2012
The Banner Saga - New Trailer
Head over to IndieRPGs.com to watch a new trailer for The Banner Saga, apparently showing some real gameplay (although the UI is disabled / missing).
Tuesday - February 28, 2012
Tomes of Mephistopheles - 2nd Alpha Video
A new video for Tomes of Mephistopeheles has been released, showing off some of the features coming with the Alpha 2 update:
New features that will be coming shortly with the alpha 2 update:
- variety of dungeon rooms and hallways
- icon indicating the way of interaction with objects
- improved AI
- improved gameplay
Full changelog at http://www.daemonforge.org/tom/changelog_full.txt
Friday - February 24, 2012
The Banner Saga - Interviews
Craig Stern from IndieRPGs.com (and Telepath: Servants of God) caught up with Stoic Games to ask a couple of questions about the recently revealed The Banner Saga. Craig also links to another interview at IndieGameMag, so take a look. You'll also get to see a single shot of a battle field with its grid (you hear that screeg?):
First: the game page says “free multiplayer combat coming soon.” Is The Banner Saga going to be a free-to-player multiplayer game? Or is that a reference to something separate? I’m having a hard time reconciling that with the bit about role-playing and making decisions in conversations (which I gather refers to a dialog tree system of some kind, and sort of implies a single player experience).
I’m Alex, Creative Director at Stoic. I’d be happy to answer a few questions for you!
Our first priority has always been to make a real, story-based, single player campaign with The Banner Saga just like you’re saying. As we developed our combat system we felt that we have something really unique and fun and figured why not release it as a standalone? As a result, the game will have a single player and multiplayer component. We’ll release the multiplayer combat for free later this year and release the single-player campaign soon after that. Rest assured, the single player campaign is our primary focus.
Masters of the Broken World - Interview #2 @ GameBanshee
There's a second part to GameBanshee's Masters of the Broken World interview now available:
GB: How many heroes will we be able to build during a typical play-through and how will they ascend in power throughout the game?
Vladimir: The number of heroes on the single shard depends on the size of the map and on the individual playing style. On the tiny shard sometimes hiring a single hero could be enough, on the large one player probably will need to hire all 4 different classes of heroes. The maximum number of heroes on the single shard is 8 and this number could be reached only in rare cases, when the war is going into the trenches.
While progressing in levels, heroes learn new abilities, available for their class. On the level 10 player could choose a second specialization for the hero. For instance, a Warrior could become a Dark Knight if player chooses to add mage specialization as a second class, or he can stay on the same path, becoming Berserk. Each class have it’s own unique name and a set of perks. Another set of even more powerful class-depending perks is available for heroes of 20 lvl.
Thursday - February 23, 2012
Terraria - Development ends, Gaslamp offers services
This is a bit of an unexpected story. First, development has ended on Terraria:
The future of Terraria has been highly debated as of late, not just with the community, but for us as well. The last year has been a crazy ride! When I started on this game, I just had a few ideas of what I thought would make a fun game. I had no idea that it would receive so much attention. I want to thank all of you for supporting us and making this game's success possible.
After a lot of internal debate, we have decided that it is time to move on. My wife and I are due to have another boy soon, and I want to spend some time getting to know him. I also want to spend the time recharging and bettering myself as both a programmer and game designer. I have learned a lot from working on Terraria and plan on using what I've learned, building upon it, and moving forward with another, even better project. However, we are still planning at least one more bug fix for Terraria.
For those that haven't already heard, Finn "Tiy" Brice has moved on to form Chucklefish and is heavily at work on an exciting new game called “Starbound”. It's looking to be a lot of fun, so make sure to check it out if you haven't already!
Thanks again for all your support, and I am very much looking forward to providing you with something much better than Terraria in the future!
...but up pops Gaslamp Games (Dungeons of Dredmor), who offer to take over support:
Masters of the Broken World - Interview @ GameBanshee
This is the first time we've featured Masters of the Broken World, a turn-based strategy RPG from Snowball Studios. GameBanshee has an informative interview and here are a couple of snips. First, a quick bit on the style of game:
As for the second part of the question, we find the concept of MBW is extremely promising. Judge for yourself: the combination of the grand strategy (Civilization, Europa Universalis), turn-based strategy mode (Total War) and tactical battles (King's Bounty, HoMM) and it’s actually working!:) All we need to do with the re-make now is to recreate the original game on the modern 3D-engine and correct the minor gameplay imperfections along the way.
...and on the RPG elements:
GB: We understand that the game will have a heavy dose of role-playing elements. Can you tell us more about the role-playing elements and why RPG fans should be excited for the game?
Vladimir: First of all, let’s define the meaning of role-playing elements. For most games it means that there will be some kind of a role system, characters’ attributes and special abilities, level progressing and weapons with different stats. It is totally OK, but sometimes the real meaning of role-playing is lost behind all these ‘role-playing elements’.
In Masters of the Broken World the role-playing is the way of making decisions and choosing your own style of the interaction with the world. Imagine that in while playing Civilization V or Empire: Total War you’re trying to roleplay Bismarck or Washington – sounds bizarre, isn’t it? It just isn’t really possible because those games are more about the war and conquest rather than about tough political decisions. MBW, on the contrary, is very ego-centric game: it is very important that the player acts as one of the Masters – almighty beings with very strong individual features. As one of them you have the power to choose your own way of ruling the world and that’s what the real role-playing is about, we think.
True RPG fans should be excited about MBW, because it brings the real freedom of choice on the table – that’s something you don’t see every day in the modern videogames.
And yes, we also do have the ‘typical’ role-playing elements like different heroes with different abilities, level progressing, units upgrades and variety of weapons :).
Monday - February 20, 2012
The Banner Saga - Strategy/RPG by ex-BioWare Trio
Not a full RPG but ex-BioWare trio Arnie Jorgensen, Alex Thomas and John Watson (Star Wars: The Old Republic) have formed Stoic Games and their first project is The Banner Saga, "role-playing meets turn-based strategy, wrapped into an adventure mini-series about vikings":
What is the Banner Saga?
Short answer: role-playing meets turn-based strategy, wrapped into an adventure mini-series about vikings.
Travel through stunning landscapes straight out of an animated film as your party escapes what could be the end of everything. Battle painstakingly hand-animated foes in strategic, turn-based combat. Make decisions with real consequences in conversations with people you'll actually care about.
The Banner Saga is a mature game aimed at gamers who appreciate art, story and strategy. Hope you'll join the caravan.
Thanks also to Boughrouck for posting about this on our forums.
Sunday - February 19, 2012
Tomes of Mephistopheles - First Alpha Released
Kot-in-Action has released the first Alpha version of their first-person dungeon crawler, Tomes of Mephistopheles. The patch notes can be found here and you can head to the official site to buy into the Alpha. A short sample from the changelog:
+ removed large open empty areas from dungeon and added several more architecturally stylized areas
+ greatly improved dungeon generation time
+ torches now only allow a gap between them of 2 pillars in most cases
+ added texture blending to dungeon floors
+ player blood now just spurts once, but harder so it's still visible (still not final)
+ added blur effects for damage, overall health condition with heartbeat rhythm and sounds
+ added death effects
+ added Trap Skeletons (watch out for suspicious piles of bones)
+ improved ai spawning pattern to not be completely random
+ ai now bounce on death
+ added sight and idle sounds for skeletons
+ ai now has a buffer space between them and their target where they play a creep anim or a walk anim
Friday - February 17, 2012
Chronicles of a Dark Lord - Episode 1 Released
We don't normally cover jRPGs but Kisareth Studios sent in a bunch of details about Chronicles of a Dark Lord: Episode 1 Tides of Fate, so here's a newsbit. Check out a Youtube trailer or head to IndieCity or Gamersgate to purchase.
Enter a world of shadowy intrigue where stained pasts collide with the present in an explosive confrontation that will define one young man's dark destiny as he attempts to thwart the machinations of a true evil beyond all imagining...
- 15+ hours of Gameplay
- High-Res retro graphics and animations
- Active-time battles (ATB) reminiscent of the classic console RPGs
- Optional quests and bonus dungeons
- Sweeping musical scores featuring the talents of Kevin Macleod, zero-project, and Sketchy Logic
- Decisions you and your party make will affect later events and even whether townspeople live or die and much more!
Thursday - February 16, 2012
Ballikin - Alpha 21 Released
A new Ballikin Alpha has been released, writes game author Stu Andrews:
Build Alpha 21 of Ballikin has been released! You can download it here, http://ballikin.com/download/.
Contained in the 1s and 0s of code include:
- A World Map is available! Finally my expedition can be mapped out .. Or at the very least tracked as I (a white dot) venture across the lands (blocks of flat color).
- A secretive and solitary new mob has been added, the Jotun. Be wery wery quiet. These mighty giant-like creatures will pack a wallop!
- At long last after many thousands of imaginary emails from imaginary fans, the Inventory now sorts by name! And is searchable. Oh happy day.
Pitman - Coffee-break roguelike
Ratking sends in news of their "coffee break" graphical roguelike, Pitman:
Pitman is a 3D RPG for your coffee break, presented in a picturesque board game style. Traditional roguelike gameplay like randomness, high replayability and turn-based strategic roleplaying elements meet innovative level design decisions.
Battle for Wesnoth - v1.10 Review @ TuxArena
We haven't kept an eye on the turn-based strategy indie Battle for Wesnoth for a while but a new major release is out and TuxArena has a review of the changes:
New unit animations are available for the Saurians, part of the Drake faction. Also, new graphics for several terrain tiles were made and new terrain types were introduced. The new graphics include revamped grassland, bridges, as well as several new tiles. These new improvements really make maps and lightning look a lot more appealing to the eye. Slowed units are now tinted light blue.
GemRB - "Open-source implementation of BioWare's Infinity Engine"
And that's why I'm excited to report that someone has created an open-source and cross-platform implementation of the Infinity Engine called GemRB. At its current stage of development, the engine can be used to play through the entire Baldur's Gate saga, all of Icewind Dale, and some of Icewind Dale II and Planescape: Torment on everything from Linux to the iPad to smartphones, as seen on these YouTube videos. But let's not let the real promise be obfuscated by yet another play-through of those classics - GemRB can be used to build an entirely new Infinity Engine-based game.
Tuesday - February 14, 2012
Starfarer - v0.5a Preview Release
A new version of the space-faring game Starfarer (with art from Gaslamp's David Baumgart) has been released and it's a major milestone:
It’s been far too long since the last release, but I’m happy to announce the wait is over! We’ve got a slew of new features for you, including the first iteration of the campaign mode. Here’s a list of the new high-level features in this release:
- Campaign mode – fight your way up in the war-torn Corvus system
- Start out with a single frigate, buy (or capture) more ships to grow your fleet
- Customize your ship’s loadout before battle
- Level up your crew
- Ship weapons and engines can be disabled by damage, adding a new layer of tactics
- Tons of balance changes, UI improvements, AI improvements, and several new ships and weapons
For a full list of the additions and changes in this release, take a look at this thread.
You can download the new version using the buttons below. You’ll have to reinstall the game, but shouldn’t need to enter the activation code again. Thank you all for your support!
Note that you'll need to have preordered to get access.
Friday - February 10, 2012
Indie RPGs - Ballikin - Alpha 20 Released
Ballikin seems to be progressing quickly, with news that Alpha 20 has been released:
The latest build of Ballikin is released here, http://ballikin.com/download.
Build contains such goodness as:
- You can make and wear Copper Armor! Recipes for a Helmet, Chestplate and Boots are available.
- The HUD shows you wielding two weapons (if you are).
- Waypoints! Nah nah nah nah (batman) Waypoints! You can now fast-travel across the face of Serenity.
Wednesday - February 08, 2012
Darklight Dungeon Eternity - Now Available
I’ve played a bit of an early alpha of this game, back when it probably shared a lot more in common with its predecessor than it does now. The new game is a ground-up rewrite of the original engine, and I can attest that even ten months ago it was a lot of fun, and was a bit more interesting than the original game.
And this sucker is BIG. It is FIFTY LEVELS DEEP. Fifty. Levels. This is a serious dungeon crawler! I spend several hours in just the first three or four levels in the early alpha, so said serious crawling will probably not be resolved in a single, Red Bull-fueled weekend. Zoeller says there are over 200 monster types, 120 mage spells, 600+ items, 24 skills, and several unique combat feats.
Source: Rampant Games
Ballikin - Alpha 19 Released
A new Alpha release of Ballikin has been released:
The latest build of Ballikin is up (http://ballikin.com/download/).
- Campfires being placeable,
- Sheep will flee from you if you hit them. Pinkeyes will flee too, when low on health.
- Your weapons have their own Damage and combine if you dual-wield.
- The Item section of the game engine has been completely re-written to allow for (in the future) elements like Item Attributes (Glowing Sword of the Shiny Bat Guano) .. That kind of stuff!
- Your Tools and Weapons now show in-game when you use them! Huzzah!
- And now, at long last .. we present the Flyswat! A weapon that will surely strike fear into the hearts of your enemies.
Tomes of Mephistopheles - Screens and Update
I can't rememember if we've featured Tomes of Mephistopheles before but Matthew sends word of new screens and an update at Digitally Downloaded for this indie first person dungeon crawler.
Saturday - February 04, 2012
Indie RPGs - Ballikin announced
We've receieved news that a new indie game is in the making and it is named Ballikin. The developer states that the game is based on Minecraft, Diablo, Terraria and World of Warcraft.
The graphics of the game are in very 'old skool' 2D and it is currently in an alpha stage, so it is too early too tell if this leads anywhere, but check it out yourself to see if this might be something for you.
Monday - January 30, 2012
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land - Released for iOS
Friday - January 20, 2012
Time of Heroes - Released for iOS
I know we've got a few fans of Smuttlewerk's Companions around, so the release of their latest iOS game Time of Heroes is worth a mention:
Greetings from Germany. The “smuttlewerkers” are happy to announce our second title “Time of Heroes” for Apples iTouch devices (3rd generation onward).
Our game is a 3D turn-based strategy game with great graphics and even better gameplay.
The world of “Altland” is the place the story happens - like in our first game “Companions” - a fantasy world we created, crawling with strange creatures and enemies and allies alike. The “smuttlewerkers” put more than half a years work into it and tried (and hopefully accomplished) to create a unique and fun experience.
Ralph, the co-Founder of smuttlewerk, and myself played a “SEGA Mega Drive II” game back in 1991/2 called “Warsong” (better known as “Langrisser” in Japan). I guess I played through the whole game (which was about 20 maps large) three or four times. We loved the game so much back in the days that we decided to bring a new, heavily altered version to iOS, set in our own universe of “Altland”.
Everyone who played the game thus far was thrilled by the way the game plays, looks and sounds. We’ve included three AI difficulty settings AND three “number of units” difficulty settings, so veterans and newcomers alike may have fun with our game. The combat system is easy to understand, yet challenges the player to use his brain.
On top of that the game has RPG elements. Your heroes level up, they use magic, you find items on the battlefield and you skill your heroes in different ways. Replayability is guaranteed.
Here’s the link to our youTube Trailer (I did the lyrics and sang the song, my partner Ralph made the music):
We thought a “power metal” approach would suit the game just fine.
Friday - January 13, 2012
Where are all the RPGs in the IGF? @ Sinister Design
If you follow indie games you might keep a close eye on the Independent Games Festival...you might also note we rarely have any coverage for it. Why? RPGs are rarely prominent in the IGF (and western ones even less so). Craig Stern from Sinister Design looks at this issue in a (very) lengthy post that examines a number of possible reasons:
This is a big one, so bear with me. By and large, the creators of the most successful IGF entrants picked one or two things that they wanted to do and poured all their efforts into doing those things really, really well. This is generally thought of as a good design approach, but in practice it runs counter to what we generally consider desirable in the RPG sphere. Among RPG developers, open-endedness and player freedom are highly valued. This has its roots in the traditions of the pen-and-paper RPGs that spawned the genre: we want the player to be able to go anywhere, make consequential choices, and play the game in a wide variety of different ways (a.k.a. “role playing”).
This means that your typical RPG features at least half a dozen distinct gameplay systems to suit a variety of different gameplay styles: item collection and management; crafting; dialog; stealth; combat; magic (typically with a number of different sub-specialties); character building (both in terms of creation and point allocation/skill tree navigation); and oftentimes, gambling (simulated with stat rolls, or via a full-fledged card or tile-based mini-games). That is a lot of stuff to have to do and do well; for a solo developer with limited time and budget, depth and polish can easily end up getting sacrificed on the altar of breadth.
Wednesday - January 11, 2012
UnEpic - Review @ TPG
You may recall the platformer/action-RPG-/Castlevania styled game UnEpic was mentioned on our forums some time back. I had a bit of fun with it and True PC Gaming has posted a review:
I recommend this game wholeheartedly if you are simply looking for a time sink or for an RPG to sink your teeth into. I guarantee that UnEpic will suitably draw you in. You might sit down for a short play and rub weary eyes to find that a few hours has gone by. On top of this, UnEpic has what I consider to be a unique comedy factor, the game isn’t afraid to make fun on the genre it’s idealised after. Also, there is some genuinely funny speech between the characters of the game. The game comes on a semi pay what you want basis. The game starts at 6.50€ rising to the highest price of 19.50€. The game is definitely worth well within these two price limits and if that isn’t enough there is also a free demo of the game on the UnEpic website.
Sunday - January 01, 2012
Space Quest II Remake - Now Available
Not an RPG but I'm sure many readers will fondly remember the classic Sierra adventures and enjoyed the King's Quest remakes from Infamous Adventures. Von Paulus points out their Space Quest II remake is now available to download from their site.
Wednesday - December 28, 2011
Flare - v0.15 Released
Michal sends word of the 0.15 release of the indie action/RPG, Flare. Screens, a video and, of course, the version notes are available. The key additions in this verson are mod and translation support as well as some new areas and grass tiles:
- Now using TTF for fonts
- All game data can be overwritten/added via mods
- Translation support for the core engine and mods
- New Grassland tileset
- New questing areas: Frontier and Living Bones
- Redesigned creatures are tougher and more varied
Tuesday - December 27, 2011
Indie RPGs - iOS - Time of Heroes and Call of Cthulhu
Time to catch up on a couple of items.
Smuttlewerk (Companions) sent in this trailer for their new iOS turn-based strategy/RPG, Time of Heroes.
Joystiq has some details on Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land, which launches on iOS on January 30th but is later slated to come to the PC and other devices:
Call of Cthulhu: The Wasted Land is a turn-based strategy RPG based around the works of cult horror writer H.P.Lovecraft. The game is set in the midst of the First World War and pits a team of soldiers and investigators against an insidious cult intent on using the slaughter of the Great War to open the doors to an invasion of eldritch horrors.
Announced in May this year and set to launch initially on iPhone and iPod (both SD and HD versions), Red Wasp Design then later plan to infect other platforms such as iPad, Android, PC and consoles with their World War One themed turn-based strategy horror. The game has been developed in co-operation with Chaosium, the purveyors of the cult horror role playing game based on Lovecraft's work, Call of Cthulhu. The much loved RPG marked it's 30th year of publication in 2011 and continues to grow in scope and reputation.
Monday - December 19, 2011
LamdaRogue - v1.6 Released
Rogue watcher getter77 sends word that LamdaRogue: The Book of Stars has hit v1.6.1. You might remember this is a "story based" rogue that generated a bit of buzz - the new graphics certainly look quite nice, so take a look:
Finally, I'm able to release the next significant update for LambdaRogue: LR 1.6.1 "The Morning Star Conspiracy":
- More Gameplay: Besides a more clever AI, rebalanced magic, and numerous small additions, bug fixes and tweaks, the update introduces a significantly enhanced profession and religion system, with unique powers depending on profession rank.
- New Graphics: Amazing Brasilian artist Cecilia Favo de Mel created an exclusive new tileset, new effect icons, new GUI elements, and new character portraits. Enjoy a breath of fresh visual air blowing through LambdaRogue's dungeons.
- New Questline: Ever wondered why Thanan betrayed the Temple of Enoa? Ever wanted to know what the real story behind the Crystal of Redemption is? And ever asked yourself which role Eris really plays in the ongoing events? The Morning Star Conspiracy has all the answers.Within the next days, the website will be updated with new screenshots, the new quickstart guide, and a complete spoilers file (guidebook) in full-color PDF format -- but the game itself can be enjoyed today!
Towns - Preview @ LazyAssGamer
Oliver sends in these (short) impressions of Towns, an indie "city building RPG" at LazyAssGamer. I'm not clear on the RPG elements, although I'm reminded of Hinterland from Tilted Mill. No quote because the article is so short.
Saturday - December 17, 2011
Team Assault - TBS in Beta
Screeg sends news of an indie turn-based strategy game called Team Assault. This isn't an RPG but, according to screeg, is reminiscent of of Jagged Alliance, hence the post:
Team Assault is all about tactics. How you command your squads in combat is critical to archive victory, in both our singleplayer skirmish and multiplayer games. You are going to have to plan future moves, read your opponent, take the environment in account, exploit the enemy's weaknesses and counter its strengths to gain advantage on the field. A good decision may turn the tide of a battle, while a single mistake can cost the lives of many of your soldiers. A rock-scissor-paper relationships will not be present between squads and equipment, but between tactics. This to never give the pre-built forces bad or good match-ups in choices of customization.
Customization is an important part of the game. It provides variation to the gameplay and allows you to utilize your tactic of choice, whether it is aggressive flanking, lumbering head-on assaults, defensive positioning or sneaking around the back door. You can either create your own favourite company from WWII history or come up with your own ideas of a perfect task force. Customization will be provided by a large arsenal of weapons, armours, equipment, grenades, special trainings and leadership.
Friday - December 09, 2011
Runespell: Overture - Review @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee has reviewed the poker - casual RPG mashup Runespell: Overture, concluding the card-playing is strong but the RPG elements are underdeveloped. A snip:
If there's something to congratulate Runespell for, it's a fairly interesting premise. Though there are a few card-battling games available on PC, not many have attempted to combine them with RPG mechanics. Though Runespell never goes in so deep as to ruin its casual focus, it has more customization and options available than many other mainstream RPGs. There are no stats or leveling, but cards effectively take on the same role and provide you with as many options as any other RPG. This is actually a bit of a strength, as it means that while you can outfit your Changeling hero in any way you see fit, you're never locked into one character build, and you can always trade your cards around to get what you need.
Tuesday - November 29, 2011
Siege of Avalon - Continued Development?
Alrik writes in with an interesting one, pointing out some pages at Blackfly Studios where one of the original developers has continued development on Siege of Avalon, offering patches that update the game and fix issues.
I'm not sure I understand all the circumstances, because SoA is apparently open-source. Still, interesting - I never got around to playing this one, personally.
Saturday - November 26, 2011
FreedroidRPG - 0.15RC1 Released
Well, I'm back from a lengthy business trip and I have a lot to catch up on. I have dozens of emails and I'm sure I'll miss something, so apologies for any overlooked submissions or requests.
As usual, getter77 has been keeping an eye one indie and roguelike projects and sends word FreedroidRPG has hit 0.15RC1. The intro from a long list of improvements:
The FreedroidRPG development team is happy to present FreedroidRPG 0.15. FreedroidRPG 0.15rc1 comes almost exactly one year after 0.14.1, and brings a lot of improvements: more than 1700 changes were made! This release was done by the usual suspects but also our four Google Summer of Code 2011 students, as well as many people who made their first contribution to FreedroidRPG.
Below is a condensed list of the changes that were made for 0.15.
- A new way of commanding your army of take-over droids is available: Multi-Bot Broadcast. Now you can issue one command to all of your droids that are on the same map level, making management of a large number of bots much simpler.
- Loading a saved game saw a dramatic performance increase.
- Armor rules were improved: armor gives you damage reduction. Hit/miss is handled separately.
- The Network Mapper in-game program has been added: It displays all the enemies on the current level on the automap for a short time. Remember, you need to have the automap enabled and turned on (default key TAB) to use the skill!
- Positional audio was implemented: now you can tell where and how far away that pesky droid is!
- The level editor interface was improved, making the process of level creation much simpler and more intuitive: map labels, enemies and their relevant information can be placed, moved around and edited inside the editor and using the mouse, rather through a text file.
- The user interface now properly handles various screen resolutions and aspect ratios (this is still a work-in-progress however).
- Damage is now calculated and applied to NPCs only when the weapon actually lands, greatly improving the feeling of the slower weapons such as the sledgehammer.
Head over for more on the graphics, maps, dialogues and more.
Monday - November 14, 2011
Summoning Wars - v0.5.5 Released
Another indie update courtesy of getter77 as he lets us know Summoning Wars has hit v0.5.5. I can't see a convenient project summary so head over for screens or to grab the latest version. From the latest update:
- improved stability of network gameplay
- Changed number of inventory slots (5 big, 12 medium, 30 small, 5 belt slots)
- Belt provides separate item slots now
- Story / Scripting:
- added new underground part to the tutorial with some more fighting
- provided questlog for the herbalist quest
- User Interface:
- completely reskinned the GUI
- created new layouts for all ingame windows
- new main menu and character selection screen
- new feature: assign alternative right mouse skill (switch with tab)
- replaced most fonts
- added resetting graphics options (can be changed on next start of the game)
- fullscreen and windowed fullscreen are supported now
- dozens of new meshes for trees and bushes
- several new meshes for boxes and barrels
- new meshes for armors
- new terrain texture
- new icon
Monday - November 07, 2011
JADE - 0.2.0 Released
Resident roguelike fan getter77 sends word that JADE - the Java implementation of ADOM - has reached v0.2.0:
After almost three months I'm proud to announce the release of JADE 0.2.0. This release marks a major and very important milestone for JADE in the quest to succeed ADOM.
JADE 0.2.0 is the first JADE release that I dare to call a "real game". It's still pretty limited when comparing it to ADOM content-wise but the rate of advancement is amazing to me (almost 20.000 lines of pure Java code added in 10 weeks, not counting comments and other stuff - I'll post an interesting statistic concerning that, soon). Additionally JADE 0.2.0 sports a number of features that already lift it above and beyond ADOM as those things would be pretty hard to add to ADOM. So here are the highlights of the 0.2.0 release, the detailed list comes next:
- Quests that provide a "winning condition"
- Addition of all the races from ADOM plus three new classes (tinkers, thieves and commoners besides fighters)
- Multi-classing (yeah - very cool once more classes are there)
- A construction and processing system that allows many modifications to the environment (and can be trivially extended once ideas start flowing from the community)
- Many many new interaction means with the environment
- About 100 new base item types as well as more than two dozen new monsters
- Liquids, environmental effects, many new powers and abilities, an animation system, etc. pp.
Monday - October 31, 2011
Indie Forum Roundup
I thought I'd point out a handful of current threads in our Indie RPG forum, for those that don't venture there.
Driftmoon developer Anne has posted a few times in thread, with the latest offering a new screen related to an interesting monster. Driftmoon uses an unusual perspective but the art is very high quality for an indie. Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion developer Tebius talks about their turn-based strategy-RPG for the iPhone here and, although this one goes back a bit, electocrat discusses his "hybrid tactics-roguelike-ultima inspired game" for the iPhone called Mysterious Castle in this thread.
For something a bit different, Shadows of Kalendale is a single-player text RPG and GhanBuriGhan points out a platformer/RPG called Unepic here - much better than it sounds, by the way and worth a look.
Monday - October 24, 2011
Hero Arena - Developer Interview @ LazyAssGamer
LazyAssGamer has an interview with David BR, who is developing the indie action-RPG Hero Arena.
LAG: Well, let’s start from the top, how would you describe Hero Arena, in a single sentence?
David: Hero-Arena is an action/rpg that pits you and friends against waves of enemies or against each other with customized characters
LAG: I looked at the Screens myself, and I have to ask you, did another game inspire you to design those specific models? It all feels very “Fairy Tale-ish”.
David: With Hero-Arena we’re going for a fairly cartoon vibe , obviously big games like World of Warcraft with their hand painted textured inspired us quite a bit but also free to play MMO games like Eden Eternal and Dragon Nest are pretty hefty sources of inspiration as well.
LAG: What do you feel makes Hero-Arena stand out from other Action/Rpgs?
David: With Hero-Arena we’re definitely trying to give it an over the top vibe with some really killer but simple visuals. The biggest catch is that H-A is completely browser based. Meaning at home or at work or wherever you drag your laptop to, you can jump in and play anytime !
Tuesday - October 04, 2011
Old-School RPGs Are New Again @ PCWorld
PCWorld has a piece on "old-school RPGs", looking at indies like Eschalon: Book II, Avadon and Knights of the Chalice through classics like Daggerfall. You're likely to know about most of these but - hey, it's nice to see other sites waking up to the potential:
Let's start with classic computer role-playing games. All the titles discussed here are single-player and turn-based; no 20-man raids or button mashing required. Fans of SSI's "Gold Box" Advanced Dungeons & Dragons games (who doesn't remember taking a long lunch while your wheezing 8088 PC finished processing the actions of the two dozen kobolds attacking you?) will enjoy Knights of the Chalice (about $24, free demo). The game uses a simplified version of the D&D 3.5 rule set. You create a party of four and go forth on an epic quest, where you learn that, in the old-school tradition, encounters don't "scale" to your level. ("Save early, save often" is the only route to success.) The 8-bit-styled graphics look crude and blocky, but colorful and clear just the same; you'll never be uncertain about what's trying to kill you, or which figures are your characters.
Monday - September 12, 2011
Imagined Conversations and Character-Building @ Sinister Design
Also from Craig Stern at Sinister Design comes this piece about developing characters through "pretending to have conversations with them":
The wrong way: outlining characteristics
“Fleshing out” is a good metaphor for the goal of character-building: we start with a skeleton, a character composed of bare bones. Then we add meat.
But this metaphor is a terrible description of the actual process of developing a character. Try this exercise: think about someone who know personally in real life, someone you enjoy or find interesting. Think of four or five adjectives to describe them. Now, think about what it’s like actually being around that person. Think about their views, their mannerisms, verbal tics, the kind of jokes they tell. Those adjectives you picked don’t really convey all of that all that well, do they?
Adjectives are brushes that lay down broad strokes. You can decide some general features of your characters that way, but you still won’t know what your characters are like–what they talk like, what they’re like to interact with, what they think about. Characters sketched out via a top-down approach tend to come off flat and inorganic. Luckily, there’s a better way.
The right way: imaginatively interacting with your character
Now think about that person you picked again. Remember how you actually learned what they were like? Here’s a magic trick: I know. I know how you learned about them because the answer is basically the same for all people, all of the time. People learn about other people by spending time with them and by talking with them. If you want to get to know your characters in a way that goes beyond the superficial, you have to go through this same process.
“But Craig,” you say, “my characters don’t exist. How am I supposed to spend time with them?” That’s easy: use your imagination. Think of a character, then imagine yourself having a conversation with that character. Afterwards, take notes on what they said. Later, if you want to develop a relationship among multiple characters, imagine them talking to each other.
Saturday - September 10, 2011
Kenshi - Preview @ RPS
I can't remember if we've featured Kenshi before, an indie “free-roaming squad based RPG”. Either way, Rock, Paper, Shotgun has collected a trailer and some dev quotes together in an article. Here are a couple of those quotes:
“Be cautious and grow. You don’t have to win all the time, if a character loses a fight, he actually gains more experience from it. After all you never forget a lesson if it involves getting stabbed.”
A brilliant idea. Give me a reason to survive a fight that is going badly rather than making it an excuse to reload. In the words of Samuel Beckett: “Ever tried? Ever failed? No Matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail harder. Fail better”. Yes. If mistakes lead to a failure state, or to a more undesirable place, then freedom becomes the choice of different kinds of success. True freedom shouldn’t simply allow different approaches to a goal but different ways to accept missing a goal.
“You are not the chosen one. You’re not great and powerful. You don’t have more ‘hitpoints’ than everyone else. You are not the center of the universe, and you are not special. Unless you work for it.”
I don’t think this is inherently better than being the chosen one but it’s certainly not as common. I suspect a large part of my excitement about not being the centre of the universe is linked to the fact that it requires a more detailed and simulated universe. Other things must be happening without me nudging them into action. In many games, one of the reasons the player is powerful or important is because nothing can happen without him/her. It’s heroism by default, to hide limitations.
Thursday - August 18, 2011
Cardinal Quest - Demo Released
A demo for Cardinal Quest, the indie Gauntlet-styled game we mentioned recently, is now available.
Wednesday - August 17, 2011
Space Pirates and Zombies - Released, Demo Available
Yes, the name is silly but Space Pirates and Zombies (SPAZ) has much more depth than you'd guess from the title (and the "zombies" are quite a good mechanic). I've spent a (very) little time with it and for those who like indie free-roaming space-traders with RPG elements, this is well worth a look - it's very action-y but also very deep. A demo is available from the official site and you can also pick it up from the developer and most digital vendors, such as Steam, Direct2Drive, GamersGate and Impulse:
As a layer on top of the action and tactics, we have a detailed technology and levelup system akin to what you would expect from an RPG. Learn to build new ships by destroying your enemies. Explore the galaxy to find components, use your hard earned research points to unlock their potential, and then customize every aspect of your new fleet.
Finally, there is the universe in which all this strife and adventure takes place. SPAZ features a persistent randomly generated Galaxy populated with story elements, factions, enemies, missions, items, to provide you with a unique experience each time you play. While you are struggling to survive, uncover the secret of an ever expanding Zombie infestation that spreads by establishing its own real time multi-tiered ecosystem.Key features:
- 33 ships to research, build, outfit and pilot.
- 70 unique components to discover and customize your fleet’s performance.
- Totally physics based combat system.
- Fight Zombie infestations, battling a full zombie ecosystem comprising four stages of un-life.
- Explore a persistent randomly generated galaxy containing hundreds of star systems.
- Freedom to explore the galaxy and take on challenges at your own pace.
- Aid, flee, or exploit the warring factions in each star system.
- The unique event system lets the player change the balance of power in any star system
- Carefully spend your hard earned research points on hundreds of upgrades across 15 categories.
Saturday - August 13, 2011
Cardinal Quest - Now Available
Getter77 writes in to point out Cardinal Quest, a new indie game described thusly:
Cardinal Quest is an arcade-style dungeon-crawler inspired by 1980s classics such as Gauntlet, Red-Box D&D and Golden Axe: Choose your champion and begin your quest to slay the Evil Minotaur!
Three distinct characters await you, each providing their own unique experience:
-The Fierce Fighter - who can stir himself into a berserk frenzy.
-The Stealthy Thief - a mysterious assassin who dispatches his foes from the shadows.
-The Mystical Wizard - able to bend the forces of the elements to his will.
Head over for a video, screens and purchase links (USD$6.99).
Thursday - August 11, 2011
Legend of Grimrock - Uggardian Update
The Grimrock site has art and a modeling video for a creature called the Uggardian.
Saturday - August 06, 2011
Bastion - Steam Preorders
I'm not really across Bastion, an XBLA action/RPG title with a bit of a jRPG aesthetic, but the reviews seem to be phenomenal. It was also written by Greg Kasavin (ex-GameSpot), for what that is worth, and is now available for preorder on Steam.
Friday - August 05, 2011
Desktop Dungeons - Beta Preview @ RPS
Rock, Paper, Shotgun has some impressions from the beta of the re-mastered (paid) release of Desktop Dungeons:
If you were hoping the move to a paid game meant whoopdedoop 3D graphics, you’re outta luck, sunshine. DD remains resolutely 2D and even unanimated, and that’s just how I like it – emphasising that it’s a highly tactical affair whose every move requires patience and forethought. It is to something like Diablo what Chess is to Pictionary. The only extent to which chance comes into it is in what items the game deposits into each dungeon when you first enter them, and even then you’ll often need to weight up pick-ups’ advantages, long-term and short term. This is particularly true of spells, only a couple of which you can hold at any one time. Is instantly turning an enemy into stone better than mildly bullying it with a fireball? No, because you won’t get any experience points for the former. But: yes, because it does give you a 50% experience boost on your next kill, and if your next kill is of a monster of higher level than you, that means mega-points. Or maybe you could just trash both spells, which if you’re a Human warrior will give you a permanent boost to your attack power. Choices, choices, agonising choices. Important choices, every one of them.
Wednesday - August 03, 2011
Companions - v1.2 and Lite Available
Smuttlewerk writes in to say their party-based iPad RPG Companions has been upgraded and they have also released a free "lite" version to try. Here's what they had to say:
We just released the new version of Companions. We have integrated much needed content, like a new save menu and group movement and eliminated many bugs along the way. And for all the gamers out there who want to test the game before buying, we also did a lite version featuring the first campaign map and the tutorial!
We also invested in a native speaker for our english translation, so most speeling/grammar errors are now a thing of the past!
Head to the official site or fire up the App store on your iPad.
Legend of Grimrock - Experience and Classes
Almost Human is pumping out the Grimrock updates with a new post on Experience and Classes. Here is the entire post:
We had a long game design discussion yesterday and one of the things we talked about was the class & xp system. Here are some tidbits:
- There will be no multi-classing; party based games do not really need multi-classing and single classing helps to differentiate the characters better. Single classing also adds more emphasis on character generation (a party with 3 fighters and a mage is very different from a party of 3 mages and a fighter). It also allows us to add new character classes later, for example Druid, without having to worry about how they mix and match with other classes when multi-classing.
- There could be ways to bring in some class features from another class at higher levels. For example, choosing a talent or equipping a certain item could allow a rogue to gain limited access to spells. This could be very cool but first things first, let’s see if we have enough time to implement all this!
- We are implementing three core classes for starters: Fighter, Rogue and Mage. More classes can be added later if needed.
- Fighters gain xp primarily by damaging opponents with melee attacks
- Rogues gain xp primarily by damaging opponents with ranged attacks
- Mages gain xp primarily by casting spells and using magic items
- The whole party gains xp by solving puzzles & finding secrets
- Each class has their unique set of skills. New skills can be learned and existing skill ranks can be improved when leveling up.
Of course anything could still change but we are happy with these basic premises. What do you think?
Sunday - July 31, 2011
Legend of Grimrock - Interview @ RPG France
RPG France let us know they have an interview with Almost Human about Legend of Grimrock (scroll down for English). The conversation covers the basics, including that Grimrock will be sticking to dungeon crawling fundamentals and not covering moral choices and the like:
4) Will the player be able to make choices and will they have consequences?
Most of the player choices are strategic and connected to the character selection and development - which skills to pick at level up and what kind of overall party build are you aiming for. Will your party be magic or melee oriented, for example. However, there are no big moral choices for the player to make in the story.
Saturday - July 30, 2011
Legend of Grimrock - Dungeon Crafting
The Grimrock blog has a new entry on crafting dungeons, along with some nice art to illustrate:
Let’s talk a bit about designing and concepting our tunnels. Before we had fully planned our little project I started thinking what it would look like. At that point I only knew that we were going to do some darkish fantasy dungeon crawling game. All the options were still hanging in the air. Was it going to be some kind of open world game or tunnel runner? Is it in 3rd person or 1st person? What about the movement? Does player play single character or a group?
Thursday - July 28, 2011
Legend of Grimrock - Meet the Prisoners
The Grimrock site has a lore posting that introduces some of the characters you might have in your party - meet Contar Stoneskull, for example:
Contar Stoneskull, a legendary fighter from the North Reaches and a child of the nature, his skill with the sword is only surpassed with his compassion towards the poor and unfortunate. He got his name after a mud golem smashed his war helmet into shards with an earth shattering blow. Maybe the gods were with him that day, or he was just exceptionally lucky (Contar is not a particularly religious man) but he survived that day. He is traveling the lands with his wife who is also an adventurer. Contar has high strength and dexterity ratings but he’s not that suitable for spell-casting classes.
Using Details to Craft a Coherent Game World @ Sinister Design
It's the little things that make all the difference, says Sinister Design, in a new editorial that asks for coherence in the game world:
Consider the time-honored tendency of RPG developers to throw demons and dragons into the same end-game dungeons together. That makes some sense from a design perspective: you’re at the end of the game. End-game encounters should be the most challenging, and demons and dragons are perennially the most powerful monsters in RPG worlds.
But from a narrative perspective, this is actually quite problematic. In cultural and literary tradition, dragons tend to spend their time hoarding material wealth, and demons are notorious for tricking others into signing unfavorable contracts. It would probably occur to a developer who had done his homework that, sooner or later, a demon would trick a dragon into signing away his hoard, leading to an explosion of racial animosity within the antagonist’s ranks.
I want to see RPGs where where hatred between different monsters under the antagonist’s command leads to internecine fighting, or even a segregated dungeon. (A few RPGs–Fallout, Din’s Curse and Planescape Torment, for instance–have attempted something like this.) I want to see RPGs where the differences between different monsters and groups extend beyond elementary combat considerations. In short: I want to see RPGs where enemies feel like they are unique living creatures inhabiting the game world, and not just cannon fodder to pad out the total play time.
Friday - July 22, 2011
Legend of Grimrock - Animating the Tunnel Ogre
Somehow we managed to argue about Grimrock's Tunnel Ogre in the forums, so head over to their site to check out a video on rigging and animating the beast.
7 Fantastical Indies Worth Playing @ Wired
Wired has a list of seven indie RPGs they think are worth playing. Personally, I think they could have done a much better list but the titles include an RPG Maker game, Exit Fate, then Cthulhu Saves the World, Dungeons of Dredmor, Recettear, Dink Smallwood and Battle for Wesnoth.
Wednesday - July 20, 2011
Legend of Grimrock - Tunnel Ogre Concept Art
This one met with quite a bit of interest in our first newsbit for Legend of Grimrock, so head over for a look at concept art for a Tunnel Ogre.
Indie RPGs - Editorials
Rather than post them separately, here are two indie editorials. First, The Geekly News writes in with How to Build a Better Indie Game in Nine Easy Steps. I'm not sure anything is easy about it but here's a snip:
Don’t worry about graphics, but DO pay attention to art style
Many indie games do this right (Braid, Terraria, Revenge of the Titans, Castle Crashers, Frozen Synapse, Lume, etc etc). There’s a ton of great examples where in lieu of big-budget graphics, they’ve opted for 8-bit looks or just a clean, stylized look. This is great for several reasons – it makes your game more recognizable and also makes your game far less hardware-dependant.
Where this might be a negative is if your look strays too far into a design that some might consider childlike or ‘kid-friendly’. Bold, colorful graphics are great, but you might turn off some people who just prefer a more “adult game” look. Regardless of how many people think your game is the best-looking one they’ve ever seen, by making sure your game looks unique, you’re going to guarantee that it will at least stand out, which gives it a far better chance of being remembered by your target audience.
...and The Rampant Coyote comments on the recent trend of dismissing turn-based games and why big companies are missing the point - even if they are "right":
On top of this, players themselves often don’t know what they want. I know I don’t. I’ve found myself sucked into games that I never thought I’d enjoy, and turned off by games that I expected to be favorites. I can express my preferences all day long. Like how I prefer turn-based combat in RPGs. Yep, that’s what I want. But you look at some of my favorite RPGs, and several of the top slots go to games that did not have turn-based combat. Baldur’s Gate 2, Ultima VII, Diablo 2, Ultima Underworld… Apparently I am lying to myself. Or my preference isn’t as strong as I think. Or something.
And even with the best telemetry, marketing research, focus testing, and surveys in the world, it’s really only decent at mapping out the known, not the unknown. Who would have predicted Minecraft‘s success? Certainly not its creator. And our entire industry was blindsided first by casual games, and then by social games. Why? Because they didn’t really understand what their potential customers really wanted. Thus they ceded the exploration of that frontier to independent companies, who in turn ate their lunch.
Thursday - July 14, 2011
Legend of Grimrock - Website, Screens
Sir_Brennus writes in about Legend of Grimrock, a first-person dungeon-crawler being developed for iOS, PC and Mac. I can't see a feature list but head over for a couple of early screens.
Monday - July 11, 2011
Flare - Advances to v0.14
Thursday - July 07, 2011
12 ways to improve TB RPG combat systems @ Sinister Design
Craig Stern follows up his controversial op-ed piece on D&D combat with 12 ways to improve turn-based RPG combat systems. A sample:
(2) Give the player at least six characters. This one is absolutely key, and yet most western RPGs of the past 20 years have missed it. Imagine playing chess with only four pieces–you’d be looking at a game with greatly reduced tactical complexity and far less interesting matches.
Putting more characters under the player’s control pays great dividends in terms of tactics. More characters means that the player can be expected to handle much more involved combat scenarios, and becomes responsible for keeping more characters alive. This naturally gives rise to dilemmas about how to balance multiple objectives with minimal losses, which in turn make combat more interesting.
Jay Barnson also responds to the original article with Roll D20 to Hit:
Now onto the biggest subject: Randomness. Craig’s game doesn’t have randomness in combat resolution. There are many games that do not. They can be a lot of fun.
But for me, a lot of the fun (and skill) in RPGs comes from manipulating the system to get luck on your side. And the chance of failure – no matter how carefully you’ve tried to work the odds – keeps things exciting, and demands risk management. Sure, you may be 90% likely to kill the dragon before it gets the chance to attack again… but what happens if you don’t? Can you survive another onslaught of its fiery breath? Is it better to plan accordingly, sacrifice your chance of a quick kill to reduce your vulnerability?
Wednesday - July 06, 2011
The Battle System I Wish RPGs Would Stop Using @ Sinister Design
Craig Stern from Sinister Design (Telepath RPG: Servants of God) writes a lengthy piece about the shortcomings of D&D as a combat system, particularly for cRPGs. Here's a sample:
Reason 4: Mitigating factors in real-life D&D do not translate to computers
For the most part, D&D gets away with relying so heavily on die rolls because it is a role-playing game run by human beings. Players have the flexibility to improvise tactics during a play session—and, just as importantly, the ability to nag the Dungeon Master to fudge the dice in the name of a fun play experience.
If you are designing a computer game, there is no Dungeon Master to fudge the rules for you. There is only a program that is going to execute every line of code you enter with exacting literalness. You do not have the luxury of designing an arbitrary or unfair combat system. Any factors that are going to tilt combat in the players’ favor have to be coded into the game itself.
Unfortunately, most games that use an D&D-style combat system fail to give the player enough tactical options to manage the risks imposed by a highly randomized combat environment. They adopt the Thac0, the randomized damage and the saving throws, but then fail utterly to give the player more than a small handful of real tactical options. The player’s only friends become superior stats and superior loot.
Monday - June 20, 2011
Driftmoon - Reaches Alpha 5
Toni writes that indie project Driftmoon has reached Alpha 5. There's a video showing the new features and word is the major new features include "Mod Screen featuring one click mod installation, Quest Log, Quest progress dialog and Automatic Updates":
•The One Mod Screen: One click mod installation!
•Display settings screen.
•All petrified people are now grey.
•Quest Log, and quest progress dialog.
•Tripled day length and made torches last a lot longer.
•The inventory now shows how much of a torch has been used.
•Smoother minimap controls.
•You can now choose the distance at which Fizz follows you.
•Automatic Updates: The game will let you know when a new version of Driftmoon is available, and it can be installed with the click of a button.
•Improved tutorial messages, and the ability to close them.
•Fixed the crash, that happened when selling by dragging to shop inventory.
•Ceilings get out of the way when moving close to a building, making it easier to spot doors.
•Convenient mod distribution system: Upload your mod (instructions available in the game), and it's easy for others to start playing it (and comment to you)!
•Fixed bug: Comments to conditions no longer affect script results.
•All the textures and sounds currently in the mainmod folder will remain there from now on, so you can safely use all of them in your mods.
•Daylight cycle and day length can now be set in the mod settings.
Saturday - June 18, 2011
Starfarer - Mod Roundup
It's still very early days for Starfarer but it looks like a healthy mod scene is starting to form, with the official blog highlighting four mods.
Friday - June 10, 2011
Starfarer - 0.34a Released
I’m very happy to announce that the 0.34a release is finally here!
What’s in this release?
- Four new missions and several new ships
- Customizable key bindings
- Official mod support – you can find mods in our forum
- Gameplay and balance changes
- Colorblind mode (edit data/config/settings.json to toggle)
- Assorted bug fixes
- General polish & improvements
Head over for "what's not in this release?".
Thursday - June 09, 2011
Turn-Based vs Real-Time Combat @ CRPG Addict
We probably don't give The CRPG Addict the coverage he deserves for some reason but lostforever gives us a nudge and points out this post on Turn-Based vs Real-Time combat. It's a debate that's gone on for a lng time but here's a snip from the CRPG Addict's view:
Turn-based combat is dead. I know it. I can't even remember the last game that featured it. Pool of Radiance: The Ruins of Myth Drannor, probably, which was boring beyond belief, but not because of the combat. I actually really liked that part. Anyway, here, in these older games, I can still enjoy it.
These are what I see as the relative advantages of turn-based combat.
1. I know exactly what each character and enemy is doing. When a foe casts a spell, I can see what the spell is, and I know how to counter it. I never wonder why I suddenly got paralyzed, or knocked down, or killed.
2. You notice details. In turn based games, when a PC gets an extra attack, you actually notice it, and it makes the battle measurably easier because of it. I can pay close attention to how much damage various weapons are doing. The effects of special attacks are very apparently. Check out my fighter performing a "sweep" in the video below. Notice how satisfying it is to see all the enemies fall, one by one. In a real-time game, you'd blink and miss it.
Wednesday - June 08, 2011
Starfarer - Full Steam Ahead
No, the post title is not a pun about us getting on Steam.
Rather, I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be working on Starfarer full-time from now on.
Last week was the last at my full-time job. For a few weeks before, I’d agonized over the decision to quit. On the one hand, the security of a regular paycheck and working for a great company. On the other, a small glimpse of a possible future for Starfarer afforded by the absolutely incredible reception of the alpha release.
Saturday - June 04, 2011
Companions - iPad RPG Released
Smuttlewerk Interactive sent us news they have recently released their party-based iPad RP, Companions. Here's the note they sent sent along:
we are smuttlewerk interactive, a small germany based indie-studio and just recently released our game Companions.
You control a party of four characters (elf, minotaur, human and dwarf) and fight your way through dungeons filled with dangerous creatures.
Our game is unique in the App Store and by no means a casual game. You actually have to learn how to play best, not just tapping with one finger and let the game play itself.(which can be fun too, of course)
We need all the awareness we can get. It's very hard for us to gain visibility. The both of us are hardcore gamers back from the days of the good ol' C64 and we played our shares of RPG and strategy games. I have been a pen&paper roleplayer since childhood days and probably spent more time reading sourcebooks than schoolbooks. I am sure everyone loving RPG's and owning a iPad should at least know about our game.
Companions has a full campaign, 4 races each with 3 classes, so tons of possible character combinations are possible. We have implemented random drops, unique items, experience gathering and strange and (hopefully) funny creatures, like philosophical pest zombies.
We worked 10 month full-time on our baby and put all our heart and soul into it and I dare say people will feel it.
They sent links to some videos:
Friday - June 03, 2011
Desktop Dungeons "Full Version" Preorder
Many of you will know Desktop Dungeons, the popular coffee-break graphical roguelike. It seems they are developing an improved version with new graphics and more content, which you can now preorder for a discount on the release price:
- No more getting stuck. That’s right. Changes to the random generation code mean that you’re far less likely to be hemmed in by high level monsters right off the bat. Yes, you might still play your way into a dead end, but the game’s a lot fairer now. At first.
- Re-balanced glyphs. No more instant conversions of WEYTWUT or IMAWAL… Wait till you see what we’ve done with PISORF, you’ll love it.
- Gods are, well, still gods. Some of the gods needed attention, although probably not in many of the ways you’d all expect. We’ve re-balanced god boons and are working to make them more fun to mess with. They’re still just as fickle though.
- Unlock via the Kingdom, use via the Inventory! You get to grow your Kingdom the way you want to: Really enjoy the Fighter classes? Upgrade your Adventurers Guild, buy Really Big Swords™ from the Blacksmith, convert them when they’re old and worn out! Oh right, the Inventory lets you convert items now. It’s the only way to get enough space to… Wait. That would be telling.
- SO. MUCH. CONTENT. Sub-dungeons filled with mystery and dangerous scripted sequences! Quests that send you to far off lands! New dungeon types to explore! New monsters to get killed by! There isn’t nearly enough emphasis on how much new stuff there is… MORE EMPHASIS ON NEW STUFF!
Wednesday - June 01, 2011
Darklight Dungeon Eternity - Preview @ Rampant Coyote
Back in April Jesse Zoeller sent me an alpha link to his upcoming old-school style role-playing game, Darklight Dungeon Eternity. While it’s still an early build missing a lot of features (not to mention levels), I thought I’d share a little bit of my experiences about this upcoming title. Just bear in mind that this is based on an alpha still many months from completion, and so a lot can change between this version and the final release.
If you’ve played the first game, Darklight Dungeon, you will know what to expect. Darklight Dungeon: Eternity is a first-person perspective RPG that takes place inside a single, really big dungeon. Hearkening back to the old dungeon crawlers of the 80s and early 90s, the player is restricted to the four cardinal directions of movement. However, the dungeon is rendered with full-fledged 3D technology, including shader effects to make the water surfaces look nice, so it’s not quite like revisiting the past. As in the previous game, the detailing on the wall and floor geometry is a little on the plain and repetitive side. But there are a lot more objects in the dungeons to break up the monotony, so every room is generally unique in some way, making it easier to figure out where you are without necessarily checking out the in-game map.
The game is turn based, but with a time limit on turns. So if you just hang out in a patrolled corridor you will be attacked sooner or later.
Tuesday - May 31, 2011
Six Gun Saga - Nearing Completion
Six Gun Saga stretches our mandate a little but we've covered Vic Davis' games before (Armageddon Empires) and screeg writes that his latest game is now available as a reduced price beta buy-in. A snip from his site:
So Six Gun Saga is nearing completion. It’s been a long and dusty trail. My intent is to do a pre-order/beta buy in type thing starting next week. You can basically buy the game and get download access to what is being called the 1.01 Beta. It’s very playable and content complete as far as the artwork goes. It’s been pretty bug free for me lately but with more monkeys pounding on it, I am hoping to find more things to fix. Once the game is declared released you can use the same serial key and download link to install the final product. That’s the plan. The price will be $11.99 for the pre-order and probably $14.99 for the final game.
What to expect? You can download the manual here in PDF format 1.86 MByte. It’s not the final version and has some typos but it’s pretty close. It will give you an idea whether you might be interested in taking a gamble without a demo. I’m not sure if there will be a demo on release. I’m planning on offering one but games can be over in as short as 10 turns. I’ll probably have to come up with something that is limited to 5 turns just so players can see how the mechanics work.
Friday - May 27, 2011
Dark Scavenger - Announced, Videos
Indie developer Psydra Games games has announced a "RPG that combines strategic turn-based combat with unique point-and-click adventure mechanics" titled Dark Scavenger. Here's the press release, taken from GameBanshee:
Psydra Games is Pleased to Announce Dark Scavenger For PC
Boston, Massachusetts – May 25th 2011 – Dark Scavenger is an RPG that combines strategic turn-based combat with unique point-and-click adventure mechanics.
Players fill the role of a powerful space traveler, guiding the character through hundreds of dramatic scenarios using a dynamic text-based encounter system.
- Forge 100+ unique Weapons from items discovered on your journey.
- Deep, dark fantasy narrative filled with dozens of unique characters!
- Tactical turn-based combat and epic boss battles!
- Experience over six hours of gameplay, encountering beautiful hand-drawn environments and enemies.
- Multiple ways to approach each situation ensures a different experience every playthrough.
About Psydra Games
Psydra Games is a small team of working industry professionals from all over North America who banded together to make awesome games. We’ve combined our experience and passion to update the retro-gameplay feel with modern design philosophies.
The official site is here, offering a couple of gameplay videos. It has a cartoony style and menu-based combat, from a glance.
Monday - May 23, 2011
Indie RPGs - Inaria - Officially Released
The Ultima III-inspired RPG Inaria from Viridian Games is officially released. You can get it here for $4.99.
Go to Viridian Games' website to find out more about the game.
- Classically inspired graphics
- Huge dungeons to exlore
- Tons of different enemies to fight
- RPG mechanics that reward you no matter how you choose to create your character
- A plot of intrigue and deception, where things aren’t as simple as they seem
- Superb retro-styled music courtesy of H. Arnold Jones
Age of Fear - Multiplayer added, sales promo
We've posted on this fantasy turn-based strategy game before, so the folks behind Age of Fear sent us news of a major update that adds multiplayer, as well as a sales promo:
A multi-player feature patch (v1.1.2) has been released today for Age of Fear: The Undead King (http://www.age-of-fear.net).
There is promotion until 6th of June:
* 25% OFF PRICE!
* for any purchase until 6th of June, you will receive TWO licenses instead of one (to share with your friend!).
Age of Fear: The Undead King is a fantasy turn-based strategy. The game features a novel battle system, two campaigns with solid fantasy stories and very flexible multi-player/skirmish mode.
The story takes place in an untamed fantasy land, where three forces: the Human Kingdom, the Greenskins' Horde and the Undead Legion - are fighting for domination and survival.
Age of Fear: The Undead King is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems (serial key is fully interchangeable between versions).
Among other things, core engine has been heavily modified to accommodate multi-player mode and skirmishes:
- Age of Fear now supports battles with Local/HotSeat Players vs. Networked Players (up to 16 remote clients!) vs. AI Players (as well as any mix of those),
- players can design their army from scratch, while AI is capable to intelligently build its own team (or reusing existing player's army),
- moreover, our AI should be able to adjust itself to virtually any tactical situation - please feel free to experiment with it!
- Multi-player and Skirmish mode
- several UI adjustments (i.a.: unit swap in recruitments panel)
- balance adjustments to units (i.a.: Undead King now causes fear, Shaman/Warlock can cure poison)
- major enhancements to AI module (pattern detection, optimized flow)
- extended demo (4th mission)
Friday - May 20, 2011
Indie RPGs - Inaria - Preview @ Rampant Games
The Rampant Coyote has a preview of the Ultima III-inspired indie game, Inaria:
Inaria is an indie role-playing game for Windows that harkens back to the old 8-bit days. The graphics are part of it, but the chiptunes-on-steroids style music is really what kicks it in high gear. I told the author, Anthony Salter (who wrote this great guest post the other day) that it really invokes the old Ultima III vibe for me.
For me, this is a good thing. On the nostalgic side, Ultima III was the CRPG that “blew my mind” and made me fall in love with the genre. While fairly simple by today’s standards, it felt deliciously deep and complex at the time, full of mystery and thing to explore.
I’m quite certain that this comparison is not coincidental. While Inaria is its own game, it’s clear that the author wasn’t trying to hide its sources of inspiration.
Wednesday - May 18, 2011
Starfarer - What's Next?
If you recall Fractal Softworks' Starfarer from a couple of weeks back, there's a new post at the official blog about the next steps for the game. Here's a small snip:
Now that the alpha has been out for a couple of weeks, you might be wondering what new features and changes are coming in the near future.We’re aiming to release the next version, 0.34a, sometime around the end of this month. The main goals of 0.34a are to add some new content, enable the sharing of mods, and apply some polish/fix bugs.
ContentWe’ll be adding a couple of new missions, both to show off some new ships and to even out the difficulty curve. The “medium” difficulty Hornet’s Nest will be re-labeled as hard, with a new, easier mission to take its place. The Onslaught, I’m sad to say, made a sorry showing in the missions that it’s in, due to how it was outfitted – so you can expect to see a mission where it unleashes its full power on you, the unsuspecting player.
Wednesday - May 11, 2011
Crawl Stone Soup - V0.8 Released
Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has reached version 0.8. For those of you who may not know Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is a variant of the Roguelike Linley's Dungeon Crawl. One of Stone Soup's major difference between Linley's is the use of tilesets instead of ASCII graphics.
There have been a quite a few changes to the game. Some of the changes include new gods, monsters, races, spells, a new game mode, items, a host of fixes and many tweaks. Here are a few of the highlights for this update:
* New god: Ashenzari, god of divinations.
* New species: Felids, sentient cats.
* New spells: Malign Gateway, Tornado, Leda's Liquefaction, Summon Dragon, Summon Hydra, Darkness.
* Removed spells: Bone Shards, Tame Beasts, Portal, Alter Self, Extension.
* Split Enchantments into Hexes (harm foes) and Charms (self-buffs).
* Replaced Selective Amnesia spell with scroll and book destruction.
* Improved heavy armour.
* Makhleb and the Shining One are no longer available as starting gods.
* Shortened the Elven Halls.
All of those changes are great, but if you play a summoner like I do from time to time then you'll pleased to know that they have added a summon dragon and hydra spell. I personally can't wait to give those a try provided I can keep my character alive long enough to get those spells.
A big thanks goes out to Sir James for posting about it in our forums.
Sunday - April 24, 2011
Indie RPGs - Timelapse Vertigo
Timelapse Vertigo is an independant game currently being developed. It's set in the distant future where life on the Earth's surface has become unlivable. As a result humanity has been forced underground. They now live in vast metro station-states.
You are one of these denizens and are about to be caught up in a secret conflict between opposed factions of the Underrail while they vie for Humanity's last chance for hope.
- Great character customization possibilities through stats, skills, feats, items and more that allows for many different play-styles
- Challenging dynamic real time combat that utilizes weapons, energy shields, grenades, psi abilities and more
- Vast underground world to explore: city states, abandoned building complexes, natural caverns, secret areas and more.
- Elaborate item crafting system
There is an alpha demo video of the game available. Bear in mind that the footage taken from the game is still a work in progress. Placeholders are being used for character models as well as some icons and effects:
Source: Rampant Games
Friday - April 08, 2011
Indie RPGs - On Reviews
Blatantninja sends in this article at Ars Technica on why (too) rearly reviews on indie games can hurt sales. PR dude extraordinaire Tom Ohle (ex-BioWare, The Witcher, GOG etc) provides the background:
"Especially with smaller, more affordable games up to $10, you're really banking on a lot of players making an impulse purchase; at $50 it's more likely to be a well-thought-out decision," Ohle explained. "If a review is positive, you want people to be able to buy the game right then and there, and if they can't, there's a good chance they could forget about it, and you've lost that sale for the time being or, worse, forever."
Now that being “indie” has gone from being an almost unknown term to something of a badge of honor (with all the annoying pretension that sometimes accompanies it), there have been some accusations – not entirely unjustified – that gamers and reviewers both have a double standard when it comes to indie games, heaping praise on an indie game merely for the virtue of being indie where a mainstream, traditional game would earn little but derision.
On the one hand, I bristle at this. In a sense, it’s like people heaping praise on their kid brother’s efforts at writing a story, simply because “he’s trying.” It indicates greatly reduced expectations. I don’t want to expect less of indie games. In many ways, I shouldn’t have to. ‘Cause there are a lot of places where indie games are breaking new ground, doing what mainstream games are no longer willing to do, and accomplishing some pretty impressive things. And if you want to talk “fun factor” – the pure entertainment value provided for your dollar – my favorite indie games compare favorably to all but the most addictive mainstream games in my library.
But let’s face it: If I truly wanted to erase those distinctions, I wouldn’t be calling them “indie games,” now, would I? Just… games.
Sunday - November 28, 2010
Driftmoon - Reputation
Ville Mönkkönen posts an update concerning the reputation system in Driftmoon. At first he wasn't going to put a reputation system in the game, but decided against that because with it the game there are consequences for your actions.
I don't believe the C&C wil be as grand as in The Witcher, but at least there will be some kind of consequence for the things you do within the game. Here are his reasons for including it and he asks for ideas on how a reputation could affect your character:
Whether choices are interesting or not, they have to mean something to be choices. If the end result is the same, whether you choose to kill the king or not, it’s not a choice at all. That’s one of the reasons RPG’s tend to take more time to make, every choice you give to the player makes everything else a little bit more complex. But every little bit of consequence your actions have makes the world more believable and real.
That’s why I’ve decided that having a reputation system is a good thing. It’s a clear way of saying that whatever you do has a consequence in the world. It’s overly simplified, but I don’t think it has to be that complex. Of course it remains to be decided on what reputation actually does in Driftmoon. Usually in other games I’ve seen it affect relations to certain characters, you might get some quests depending on your reputation. And I think in Baldur’s Gate it affected prices in shops. Please comment if you have any (good or not) ideas on what a reputation could affect in the game.
Monday - November 15, 2010
Ultimate Newcomer - A C64 RPG
Now for something completely different. There is a new verision of Enhanced Newcomer going to be released in the near future. If no one has heard of Newcomer before I don't blame you, neither had I. TheGameSquid brought this game to my attention in the RPGWatch forums. It's a new game on a very old platform, the Commodore 64.
Before you crucify me for announcing an RPG on one of the oldest platforms out there just take a look at what Ultimate Newcomer has to offer:
* 180+ characters you can interact with, each with his/her own portrait graphic
* 10+ people who may join you, to make a team of up to 6 members
* ...or try it on your own, in the extra challenging Solo game mode...
* 50+ different areas to explore, created with 30+ different graphic sets
* 100+ cutscenes/situational graphics in-game, that make you feel like you are there
* 180,000+ words of ingame text, mostly interactive conversations
* No random encounters
* Thousands of puzzles and situations to encounter and solve
* Complex, non-linear gameplay with multiple levels of endings
* Months or weeks of immersive gaming until you "complete" the game...
* ...but there will still be a thousand situations, resolutions and encounters you have not seen yet, and 2 more game modes to complete!
* Animated intro and outro sequences
* Game controls changed for more comfort for emulator users on PC/Mac keyboards
This game is twenty years in the making with a boasted 70 - 280 gaming hours for the first playthrough.
There is more information on the game at Protovision's website and there are a few linked articles over at Newcomer's homepage. The homepage doesn't give a specific release date, but it says they're fixing the last known issues and preparing for Gold Master.
So there you have it. A huge roleplaying experience on a platform almost as old as I am. It's going to be released as Donationware. Basically you can get it for free and can make a donation if you would like. If not then just enjoy the game. There will also be boxed versions of the game available for purchase.
I realize this game will not interest many people, but it at least deserved to be mentioned once.
Thanks again to TheGameSquid.
Tuesday - November 02, 2010
Indie RPGs - Driftmoon Available for Preorder
Driftmoon is now available for preorder. There hasn't been much said about this game, but it has potential from the video clips I've seen. Here is what Driftmoon is all about:
Driftmoon is an adventure-oriented roleplaying game, with focus on storytelling, exploring and quests. In Driftmoon there are always plenty of things to find and people to meet, and instead of killing all of your enemies, you can sometimes talk your way through.
* Filled with personality, wit and goodwill!
* Explore the dungeons, wilderness and villages of Driftmoon, you never know what you might discover!
* You can talk with the people you meet. You may make new friends, you may find quests to solve, or you may encounter a hostile cultist of Ixal.
* Driftmoon comes with the full editor tools used to create the game. We have our own easy scripting language, a great level editor, animation tools, the complete set!
* You can drag things around!
* Memorable and melodic music by the talented Gareth Meek.
Preorder Driftmoon for just €11.99!
The only thing that might turn off some people is the top-down view. Everything else about it looks like it could be a fun little game.
Thursday - November 12, 2009
Driftmoon - Preview and Trailer
Driftmoon is a roleplaying game with a focus on exploration and story. The village of Asrald is plagued by a terrible Curse. At day the villagers are normal, but at night they turn into terrible man-eating monsters! Explore the strange world of Driftmoon in search of your father the baron, and a way to end the Curse.
There are some screenshots and a trailer available at the homepage. It's not scheduled for release until 2010.
Thursday - October 22, 2009
Indie RPGs - Aztaka Reviews & Patch
There are a few reviews out for Aztaka and a patch that updates the game to v1.04. The patch is a minor one that adds support for widescreen resolutions, mouse speed adjustment, and overall stability of the game.
Here are two Aztaka reviews . The first is from Gametunnel giving it a score of 8.3/10 and coming in second in their monthly 'Indie Game Round-Up':
The most striking aspect of Aztaka is the mood and/or atmosphere of the game. Authentic structures, costumes, and artwork are everywhere and have great detail. The trees, statues, waterfalls, and roads are all masterfully rendered in all their hand-drawn beauty.
The game plays like a mix between a side-scrolling platformer and an action-RPG. Huitzillo levels up after gaining enough experience (from killing monsters), and then the player can spend their new skill and attribute point as they see fit. The customization capabilities are pretty deep, and the player can easily create a character that fits their playing style. The combat is mostly clicking to attack and jumping to dodge, so it's pretty much typical in that respect.
The second is from Holy Ramen Empire who had high praise for the game and giving it a score of 9/10. They were quite impressed with the visuals, control scheme and storyline of the game:
The most outstanding thing about Aztaka is the art direction. All of the environments are hand-drawn lush areas which will have you craving more of the stylistic direction. Huitzilo will travel from lush jungles to dark swamps and hidden temples, with each area exquisitely detailed and truly immerses you in the experience.
No attention to detail has been left out in the UI either, with an easy to use and follow system that displays all your stats and information in a clear and concise manner.
Of course, all of this beauty and attention means nothing if the game is hard to control, but Aztaka excels in this area as well. Huitizilo is controlled using your basic movement keys on the keyboard, while you attack with the mouse. This control scheme works very well with the game, as spells are cast via your hummingbird companion with the mouse in a sort of Simon-like mini-game.
Monday - December 18, 2006
Lost Legends: Updated to v0.200
Ghost Wood Games dropped us a line to say their indie action/RPG Lost Legends has hit v0.200:
Lost Legends is a free fast-paced quest-driven fantasy action/RPG.
With over 200,000 downloads of previous versions of Lost Legends, the new version of Lost Legends represents a major and exciting update with many new features, including:
* New first person point of view
* New items and spells
* Monsters can now equip and use items they stole from you
* New player trait system
* New player avatars
* And, much more!
Download it here.