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Monday - November 17, 2014
Wednesday - September 24, 2014
Thursday - June 26, 2014
Tuesday - May 27, 2014
Monday - March 10, 2014
Friday - February 21, 2014
Thursday - February 20, 2014
Tuesday - February 11, 2014
Monday - August 12, 2013
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Thursday - January 26, 2012
Monday - January 23, 2012
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Tuesday - November 01, 2011
Monday - October 24, 2011
Wednesday - October 19, 2011
Monday - October 17, 2011
Wednesday - August 31, 2011
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Box Art

Monday - November 17, 2014

RPGWatch - Looking for News Editors

by Myrthos, 21:59

We are back again with the quest for new news posters. Our latest group of candidates turned out to be not very active, so here is your chance to do better.

I'm sure there are some of you who think you can do this, so why not give it a try and contact me via PM.

Before you do, be aware that it does take time to post news. We are looking for people with some stamina who can invest a number of hours per week and continue for a long, long time.

So, if you still think you have what it takes and want to join the glorious ranks of RPGWatch editors, contact me.

Wednesday - September 24, 2014

RPGWatch - Malware Reports

by Myrthos, 00:09

As you must have found out by now, we are flagged by Google to host malware, which could do naughty things with your computer.

This is incorrect, we are not hosting malware. The 'detection' is related to the way things are set up at RPGWatch related to ads. They have been removed for now and we are waiting for Googe to finally finish the review to remove the warning, after which we'll solve the ads issue. I'm sure we'll survie without them for some time :)

Thursday - June 26, 2014

RPGWatch - News Posters Wanted

by Myrthos, 23:49

To enance the RPGWatch team we are looking for additional news posters.

The main requirements for the job are that you should be able to make some time avaialble on a regular basis to search the internet for news and post is here and that you master the English language.

The benefits are just too much to mention, so I won't even start, but I'm sure you know them :)

If you are interested, send me a PM via our forums (yes, you need to be a registered member for that) and I'll get back to you.

Tuesday - May 27, 2014

RPGWatch - HiddenX's New CRPG Analyzer

by Couchpotato, 01:41

HiddenX sent me news about his complete, and updated version of his CRPG Analyzer. Don't forget to thank HiddenX,Wulf, and Arhu for all their hard work.

You can check out his project here.

The CRPG Analyzer: A checklist for computer roleplaying games

One of most discussed questions in computer roleplaying game forums is the question: “What is a CRPG?”

You can find a lot of different answers and opinions about this question all over the net. Some say “This question never gets old” other say “Please, don’t beat this dead horse again”

Because we belong to the former group about one year ago Wulf, Arhu and I started a discussion trying to identify the characterizing defining elements of the CRPG genre. Others joined us and over the course of one year we created a checklist that helps to understand why a game is labeled as a CRPG or not. This article describes our approach to the leading question and presents the results. The easy answer:

A CRPG is a computer game that belongs to the CRPG genre: A class of games that allow you to role-play an in-game character. Leads directly to the following new questions when you try to decide whether a given game belongs to the CRPG genre or not:

  • What are the characterizing elements (=recurring patterns) of computer role-playing?
  • Which of these elements are essential, which are important and which are optional?
  • Which elements distinguish CRPGs from related genres like strategy games, adventure games shooters and simulation games?
  • Are there similarities to pen&paper role-playing games?

After some brainstorming we decided to cluster characterizing CRPG elements in four main categories: Character Development, Exploration, Story and Combat. The consensus is that the main categories Character development, Exploration and Story are essential for the CRPG genre and the main category Combat is common but optional.

Monday - March 10, 2014

RPGWatch - Here's a New Poll

by Myrthos, 23:20

Wow, that Kickstarter poll was running for a long time. Must have been more than a year since we started that, so here is a new one (looks to the right side of the front page).

It is about Original Sin on Early Access and if you are playing it or not.

Friday - February 21, 2014

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2013: Most Promising RPG in 2014

by Myrthos, 12:18

After the announcement of the results for the vote of Best RPG in 2013, we now have the results of the votes for most promising RPG scheduled to be released in 2014. Be surprised, stunned, in acceptance or whatever with the results by heading to them.

Thursday - February 20, 2014

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2013 Awards: Best RPG

by Myrthos, 21:35

You voted for the best RPG in 2013 and despite the fact that quite a few votes were cast for the games on the list that aren't real RPGs, they did not make ik into the top 3.

So, if you are curious to find out who has won, head over to the results for the Best RPG of 2013 as voted by our visitors.

Tuesday - February 11, 2014

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2013 Voting

by Myrthos, 12:08

After a long delay and some discussion on our forums we now offer you the option to vote in our Game of the Year Awards for 2013.

With respect to last year there are a few things that have changed:

  1. Voting is restricted to registered users only.
    This means you need to have an account on our forums and have to be logged in to be able to cast your votes.
    This does mean that we end up with less votes and regular visitors without an account will not be able to vote, but it also means that we will not get loads of votes from fans of a game that have no binding with RPGWatch, skewing the results.
  2. There are no different categories anymore for indie games and non-indie games.
  3. You can now vote for the best 3 games in the two remaining categories: Best RPG of 2013 and Most Anticipated for 2014.

As usual our list of games is for the large part based on the contents of our database. The lists might be incomplete or contain games you think should not be in there. Feel free to discuss that in our forums and in the meantime you can either add that game you feel is missing (by means of the 'other' option) or don't vote for the game you think should not be on that list.

The voting will last until Sunday the 16th of February, 23:59 hours (or any moment after that when I find the time to close it....)

Monday - August 12, 2013

Crusader Kings 2 - A Free Key

by Myrthos, 12:39

Galaad offered us a Steam key for Crusader Kings 2 to give away to our visitors. If you are interested, you only have to reply to this thread.

Sunday - May 19, 2013

Original Sin Fundraiser - We Need Your Input

by Myrthos, 18:10

I've sent out e-mails to everybody who donated $10 or more to our Original Sin fundraiser, to verify if you want to receive the available rewards corresponding to the amount you donated and if needed your address.
Those who have donated less than $25, but at least $10 are eligible for a digital copy of the game as well, because many who have donated more do not want their copy.

At the moment of this writing I am still missing information of 38 individuals!!

If you have donated $10 or more, but did not receive an e-mail, check your spam folder. If that does not show the mail contact me via a PM on our forums.

Tuesday - May 07, 2013

RPGWatch - We have moved

by Myrthos, 18:01

When you read this message you know we have moved to our new server.

So, welcome to our new server. Not much has changed (for now), but we are planning some site updates in the next months.

Tuesday - April 09, 2013

Original Sin Fundraiser - We did it $10K! Get yourself a Copy of the Game

by Myrthos, 23:43

This fundraiser has ended!!

We have reached more than $10,000, which brings us a tower, a NPC, an item, a statue and a jailor (with a bunch of other goodies to give away as well). We have achieved our goals but the fundraiser will stay open until the 10th of May.

So you still have a way to get the game and other stuff for a low prize and help Larian Studios in the process. Besides that you take part in our raffle, in which you have a chance to win one of the many prizes.

The following will be yours, depending on the amount you donate:

The Original Sin of RPGWatch
$25-$39 Digital copy of Original Sin
$40-$49 Digital copy of Original Sin + Signed poster
$50-$69 Digital copy of Original Sin + Digital Soundtrack + Original Sin T-shirt
$70-$99 Digital copy of Original Sin + Digital Soundtrack + Original Sin T-Shirt + Signed poster
$100-$124 Physical version: Original Sin physical copy + printed manual +
soundtrack CD + Artbook + Cloth Map + Digital Soundtrack
$125-$139 Physical version + Digital copy of Original Sin + Digital Soundtrack
$140-$149 Physical version + Digital copy of Original Sin + Digital Soundtrack + Signed poster
$150-$169 Physical version + Digital copy of Original Sin + Digital Soundtrack + Original Sin T-shirt
$170 and more
Physical version + Digital copy of Original Sin + Digital Soundtrack + Original Sin T-Shirt + Signed poster

And you have a chance to win one of the prizes in the raffle.

So help RPGWatch and especially help Larian Studios by throwing some money our way.

The following is the current status:

We currently are at $10,140 (net amount, includes deduction of fees)

  $0:        $2,500
                                                    Item              NPC                                 Tower

  $2,500: $5,000
                                                                                                                 Jailor

  $5,000: $7,500
                                                                                                        Jailor + Statue

  $7,500: $10,000
                                                                                                            More stuff

The status is updated as often as we can, but it is a manual process so bear with us.

Place your donation right here!

Larian Studios was kind enough to offer us some additional rewards, so here is the overview of the rewards available:

For the benefit of all:

Listed in the credits at Divine level.
We get to create an item.
We get to define a NPC.
We get to create a jailor.
We get a statue (or something equal as they are sold out).
In addition there will be a watch tower in the game (like our logo). In the neighborhood a lore book is hidden named "The History of the Watch". The contents of this book is to be defined by us, but needs to be in the spirit of the game. Reading the book will give the player a benefit related to their skills.

 

For even more rewards and details check out the donation page.

And if you really don't want an RPGWatch statue/NPC/item/whatever you can always help our friends at RPGCodex to get one.

Monday - February 04, 2013

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2012: Most Promising indie RPG in 2013

by Myrthos, 12:01

Here is the last of the articles on the game of the year awards, which is on the topic of the most promising Indie RPG. For this award the 2nd to 4th places are very close together and are just a small number of votes apart.

Friday - February 01, 2013

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2012: Most Promising RPG in 2013

by Myrthos, 21:29

Here are the results for Most Promising RPG of 2013. There are two Kickstarters in the top-3 and all three are either a sequel or a prequel.

Thursday - January 31, 2013

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2012 Awards: Best Indie RPG

by Myrthos, 23:58

The votes for the best Indie RPGs released in 2012 have been collected brining us some clear winners. Is your choice at the top as well? Find out in our article.

Wednesday - January 30, 2013

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2012 Awards: Best RPG

by Myrthos, 22:23

It has been a while that you could cast your votes for Best RPG of 2012 (or games that are RPGish), so after taking a long hard look at the results and being busy with stuff in the dreaded real life, I finally found the time to put things together. So here it is, the results of your votes.

Wednesday - January 09, 2013

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2012 Awards

by Myrthos, 13:39

Like previous years we ask you to vote for your game of last year. And as usual we focus on Role Playing Games, although the lists might contain games that are not considered to be role playing games by some or even most. The games you can vote for are made up of games we reported about and thus are in our database, so actually this is the RPGWatch Game from our Database of the Year 2012 Awards, but that title was too long.

That said our database might be flawed. If you feel a game is missing in the contest select 'Other' and enter the name of that game in the edit box.

The last day you can vote is Sunday the 13th of January (CET).

Monday - December 31, 2012

RPGWatch - Happy New Year

by Dhruin, 23:28

It's New Year's morning down here in Australia, so I'd like to wish all of you and your loved ones a wonderful year ahead.

On behalf of the staff of RPGWatch I want to thank you all for visiting us in 2012 and hope you continue to visit during 2013 to read the latest RPG news. Thank you to everyone, from occasional lurker to battle-hardened regular to visting Codexers, for making our forums a lively place.

And finally I want to thank the staff and moderators for their hard work and dedication. Without you, there would not be a RPGWatch to visit.

Happy New Year!

Tuesday - December 04, 2012

RPGWatch - We're Back Again

by Myrthos, 14:15

We're back again as you can see. Someone pointed us to the fact that there are some areas in our software that can be misused by means of SQL injection, so I took some time to resolve the issue.

Sorry for the downtime.

Sunday - November 11, 2012

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 01:07

Yes, I know, the old poll was past it's use-by date long ago. So, a new poll.

Our news is dominated these days with crowdfunding campaigns - be it Kickstarter, Indiegogo or even independent efforts.

Do you see this as a new era, supporting indie and middle-tier developments without the burden of publishers - or do you want a finished product before you spend your hard-earned? Is there yet another perspective?

Hit up the poll and comments.  

Sunday - February 12, 2012

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 09:30

So, if Obsidian tried to crowd-fund an RPG with a new, original IP, what setting would you like them to use? Hit the poll link in the right bar or head to this thread.

Polls only support 10 options, so feel free to add more detail or suggest alternative settings.

Thursday - February 02, 2012

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2011: Most Promising indie RPG in 2012

by Myrthos, 17:57

The last set of results are for the indie RPG that we are looking forward to being released in 2012. The editors could not make up their minds and ranked three games as most promising and our visitors made some different choices.

Here is the game that both the editors and our visitors have in their top 3:

The game is a RPG zompocalaypse. It takes the frequently used zombie theme in a new direction that has not really been done up to this point. While there are a lot of zombie games out there, there are hardly any zombie RPGs with turn-based combat, skills, party members, a shelter to protect and expand upon and most importantly an evolving storyline where your actions influence the game.

Tuesday - January 31, 2012

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2011: Most Promising RPG in 2012

by Myrthos, 12:35

Interested to know what collection of games you and we are looking forward to most in 2012? Then find out how you and we voted. And the following is from the editors number one.

Combat mechanics will see progress too: magic spells and ranged weapons are out, voodoo,  muskets and dirty tricks are in. You can, for example, throw a parrot at an opponent or use voodoo magic to make one enemy attack another.
Other novelties: the first island will be relatively small, to make things easier for new players - after that the game opens up more and more. Storytelling will be more cinematic, companions will used more often.

Thursday - January 26, 2012

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2011 Awards: Best Indie RPG

by Myrthos, 17:14

This is the first year where you could cast a vote specifically for Indie RPGs. If you are curious enough to find out which games received the awards, check out our article.

Here is a snippet from the Gamers' Choice:

It isn't a typical action/RPG but rather a hack'n'slasher that has very carefully stripped away unnecessary elements and substituted some innovative ideas, such as the optional shrines that allow players to choose additional challenges in return for more XP. XP unlocks slots for "tonics" - potions that improve stats or provide other benefits. Instead of the usual inventory management, you only carry two weapons at a time but the loadout can be swapped around and each weapon has five upgrade levels.

Monday - January 23, 2012

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2011 Awards: Best RPG

by Myrthos, 18:27

As usual we try not to be the first in announcing our Game of the Year awards and this year is no different. We now present you the awards for the best RPG in 2011 as voted by the editors and our visitors, which in this case shows we have similar tastes.

Friday - January 06, 2012

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2011 Awards

by Myrthos, 15:36

The contest is closed!!

From today until Tursday the 12th of January you have a chance to vote for your game of the year 2011.

We've changed the voting process a bit. You now have the opportunity to vote twice in each category (first and second places). The categories you can vote in are:

- Best RPG 2011
- Best Indie RPG 2011
- Most promising RPG 2012
- Most promising Indie RPG 2012

This means there are a total of 8 questions.

We have given a number of games in each of the categories, but if you feel we've missed a game, you are free to add it to the list, by selecting 'Other' and entering the name of the game.

This year we have not included DLC and add-ons in the lists (unless they are really big).

Sunday - January 01, 2012

RPGWatch - Happy New Year

by Myrthos, 01:20

At the time of writing this more than half of the world entered the new year and so has the server (and my little location). This brings me to the point where I want to wish all of you and your loved ones a fantastic 2012 and I hope that it brings you everything you wished for.

On behalf of the staff of RPGWatch I want to thank you all for visiting us in 2011 and hope you stay with us during 2012 to read about all the RPGNews. So thank you old time visitors, newbies, lurkers, Codexers and everybody else for making 2011 a year to remember.

And finally I want to thank the staff and moderators for keeping this place together. Without you there would not be a RPGWatch to visit.

Have fun!

Friday - December 23, 2011

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 23:52

As always, it's way past time for a new poll. This time we're asking about your prefered inventory size / philosophy - click the poll link in the right bar or head to this thread.

Tuesday - November 01, 2011

RPGWatch - Five Years Anniversary: Win a Copy of Driftmoon

by Myrthos, 08:54

In this third week of our 5 year anniversary we are again giving away two copies of the yet to be released indie game Driftmoon.

As usual all it takes to participate is to leave a comment to this newsbit.

All good things come to an end, so this is the last giveaway we are having to celebrate our five years of existence.

Update: The contest is closed.

Monday - October 24, 2011

RPGWatch - Five Years Anniversary: Win a Copy of Dungeons of Dredmor

by Myrthos, 12:33

In the second week of celebrating our fifth anniversary we are giving away two copies of the indie game Dungeons of Dredmor.

Like before all it takes to participate is leaving a comment on this newsbit.

Update: The contest is closed.

Wednesday - October 19, 2011

Side Quest: Video Games As Art

by Dhruin, 07:40

It's been a long time since we had a Side Quest editorial piece. Jacob Way, producer on the indie zombie RPG I Shall Remain recently covered offered to write some articles. At some point, we hope Jacob will delve into the design of his game but for this first piece, Jacob looks at the "games as art" debate. A sample:

In my first article, I'm going to revisit an ongoing debate on whether or not video game design can be called an art form. I think those in the RPG realm who seek carefully written stories in their games can quickly say 'yes', but it's important to know why we say yes. I'm going to open up the floor with a quote by Roger Ebert. Immediately, I expect everyone on this website to balk at what he says. But what he said needs to be carefully considered.

“I am prepared to believe that video games can be elegant, subtle, sophisticated, challenging and visually wonderful. But I believe the nature of the medium prevents it from moving beyond craftsmanship to the stature of art. To my knowledge, no one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great dramatists, poets, filmmakers, novelists and composers. That a game can aspire to artistic importance as a visual experience, I accept. But for most gamers, video games represent a loss of those precious hours we have available to make ourselves more cultured, civilized and empathetic.”

Read it here - and thanks to Jake for participating.

Monday - October 17, 2011

RPGWatch - Five Years Anniversary: Win a Copy of Frayed Knights

by Myrthos, 23:07

Update: The contest is closed.

Today marks the fifth anniversary of RPGWatch, which officially started on October 17th 2006. In that year we decided to leave RPGDot and start a new RPG news site, which you are reading right now. Lot's of labor has gone into this site and if it wasn't for our news posters, you our visitors and the others keeping things up and running, this site would not be where it is now.

To thank you for visiting us in these last five years we are running a contest this week and two more in the next two weeks. in each of these contests you can win one of two Indie games. We start with two copies of Frayed Knights, which were given to us by its developer. Thank you Jay!
As usual with our contests, all it requires to participate is to post a comment to this newsbit. Any comment will do.

We hope you will continue to visit us in the next five years as well and enjoy it as much as we are.
Enough talk: Here are the virtual drinks :)

Wednesday - August 31, 2011

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 13:43

It's way past time for a new poll, so here's a simple one to get us back into it. How often do you game? - hit the poll link on the right to vote or comment.

Wednesday - July 13, 2011

IndieWatch - New site available

by Myrthos, 00:14

We've added the IndieWatch site, which can be found at http://indie.rpgwatch.com.

The site is a filter of everything available on RPGWatch. In this case it filters for all indie games that we've covered and are covering.
So in essence it does not contain anything new, we just felt that it might be useful to provide such a service to our visitors.

Saturday - June 18, 2011

RPGWatch - Server Maintenance

by Myrthos, 12:25

Some changes have been made to the DNS settings for RPGWatch, as a result you might encounter some hickups in visiting RPGWatch in the next 48 hours.

Sunday - March 20, 2011

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 09:48

It's well past time for a new poll, so here we go. Skyrim will be a major discussion point as the year goes on, so I thought I'd ask about the best Elder Scrolls game so far.

Is it the depth of Daggerfall, the alien landscape of Morrowind or the polish of Oblivion? They all have their high and low points, so let's see the outcome. Hit the poll on the upper right to go to the thread.

Friday - February 04, 2011

RPGWatch Feature: Most Promising RPG of 2011

by Dhruin, 12:56

After the Best and Worst RPG our visitors and editors also voted for the Most Promising RPG of 2011 during January. Check out the details to find out what game you - and we - think is most promising.

Wednesday - February 02, 2011

RPGWatch Feature: Worst RPG of 2010

by Dhruin, 00:11

Our visitors and editors have voted for the worst RPG of 2010 during January. You may anticipate this result - but you know you want to look. Check out the details to find out what game has won, or should we say lost?

Friday - January 28, 2011

RPGWatch Feature: Best RPG of 2010

by Dhruin, 09:45

Well, here we are at our annual Game of the Year awards.  Our editors and many of our visitors have voted for the best RPG of 2010 over the last few days and we've tabulated the results. Head here to find out what game has won - and look for Worst RPG and Most Anticipated next week.

Monday - January 10, 2011

RPGWatch - Game of the Year 2010 Voting

by Myrthos, 23:24

It's time to vote in our Game of the Year Award for 2010. You have the opportunity to vote for the first, second and third best RPG in three successive questions. In addition you can also vote for the worst RPG of 2010 and the game to be released in 2011 you anticipate most.

Our definition of a game that was released in 2010 is that it had to be released in either or both the US and UK.

Cast your vote on this page, which will be available until Sunday the 16th of January.

Update: It is no longer possible to vote.

Saturday - January 08, 2011

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 00:45

Yeah...I let that last poll languish for a while, didn't I?  With only a couple of days before BioWare's free upgrade to the Dragon Age 2 Signature Edition expires, I thought we'd look at your attitude.  Have you preordered to get the upgrade, would like to but just haven't seen enough information about the changes to Dragon Age 2 or perhaps you hate this whole DLC enticement system?  Hit the link on the top right to vote in the poll thread.

Wednesday - January 05, 2011

RPGWatch - Donations 2011

by Myrthos, 22:02

It's great to have a brand new year. Unfortunately a new year also adds new costs, so after a year I'm back again to point your attention to our donations page.

You have been very generous in 2010, which allowed us to keep ads to a minimum. I hope we will again be able to cover the operational cost for 2011 from the ads and the donations.

Thanks for your help!

Saturday - January 01, 2011

RPGWatch - Happy New Year

by Myrthos, 02:06

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a fantastic New Year and I hope it will bring you and all your loved ones everything you ever wanted.

Thank you for being with us in 2010, I hope you will continue to visit us in 2011. Especially as this year marks the 5th anniversary of RPGWatch which we will celebrate later this year.
My thanks especially goes to the staff and moderators of RPGWatch who make this site such a special place and without who this endeavor would be impossible.

I hope you have lots of gaming fun in 2011!! 

 

Friday - November 05, 2010

RPGWatch - We Have Moved

by Myrthos, 00:01

The move to the new server has been completed. Welcome!

Both RPGWatch and the forums should be working again. Enjoy!

Monday - October 04, 2010

RPGWatch Feature: A Long And Disappointing Summer

by Dhruin, 10:40

It's been a long time since we've had one of our Side Quest editorials but VoxClamant steps up with some frustration over recent releases and a rant about industry trends - but optimism about the near future:

And don't even get me going about DLCs.  Bioware is a company that to me is on a pedestal no other company in the industry can match.  I enjoy and respect them immensely.  Yet this summer, they showed me a different side of them that has me deeply bothered.  A company that arguably is the finest RPG developer on the planet decided that 2010 was the year of the DLC ripoff.  Look at the DLCs for Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age.  With one exception, they ranged from overpriced to absolutely valueless.  For $5 to $10 (USD) you typically got an hour of shallow fluff.

Read it all here.

Thursday - July 22, 2010

RPGWatch - Forums Hacked - Solved

by Dhruin, 22:14

We have solved the hack to our forums and reverted back to a 1 day older version of the forums database, so probably several messages are lost now. More information can be found on our forums.

Saturday - April 17, 2010

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 23:06

Let's finally get a new poll up.

With Mass Effect 2 just behind us and Alpha Protocol a mere month or so away, I thought we'd look at the best shooter/RPGs. Feel free to add others in the comments or argue a genre definition.

On a personal note, I'm surprised this isn't a better represented genre - and why has noone tried to improve on Deus Ex?

Have at it, by clicking "vote" on the right-hand side.

Wednesday - February 10, 2010

RPGWatch Feature: Most Anticipated for 2010 Results

by Dhruin, 07:46

You've seen the winners of our Best RPG poll, now it's time for the results of the Most Anticipated RPG for 2010.  Can you guess what won?  Head here to see how your fellow readers voted, as well as our Editors.

Monday - February 08, 2010

RPGWatch Feature: Best RPG of 2009 Results

by Dhruin, 09:49

The votes are in and everything has been tabulated!  Head here to find the results of your vote for the Best RPG of 2009, as well as the choices from the RPGWatch team.

We bring you the Most Anticipated results in the next day or two.

Sunday - January 31, 2010

RPGWatch - Donations part 3

by Myrthos, 22:07

The links to the donation option have been enabled again in the donations page. As mentioned before the current donations cover the operational costs for 2010 and because of that we decided to close the option to donate a while ago. However several people requested to enable it again, which is what we have done now.

In the donations page you will see a new limit to give you an idea that RPGWatch is nowhere near making a profit. However even if we receive no other donations we remain grateful for the donations already made and like to stress that RPGWatch will continue to be here for you.

Wednesday - January 20, 2010

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 23:02

It's way past time for a new poll.

Just before we close out the Combat, Death and Reloading poll, it's interesting to note nearly 60% of respondents reload regularly (or even habitually) to optimise the result.  I'd suggest this is at odds with the vast majority that prefer traditional death-and-reload systems (according to a past poll) because of the consequences.

Anyway, as a bit of fun while we wait for the Game of the Year results, let's do a Most Disappointing Game of 2009 poll (thanks Joxer). For consistency, I've based this on the GotY choices but I'm limited to 10 options by the forum software, so a couple of outliers had to go.

Usual disclaimers apply: the choices are RPG-ish games we cover with at least one English first release in 2009.  Hit the poll thread from the link on the upper right.

Tuesday - January 19, 2010

RPGWatch - 2009 Game of the Year Voting

by Dhruin, 21:38

It's time to vote in our Game of the Year Award for 2009!  In addition, you'll get the chance to nominate your most anticipated release of 2010.

Head to this page to cast your vote, which will be open for the next 10 days.

Sunday - January 10, 2010

RPGWatch - Donations part 2

by Myrthos, 22:21

When we put the donations page up less than 1 week ago, we hoped to break even later this year. However in less than a week all operational costs related to running this site in 2010 have been covered. We actually received more than the 750 Euros hoped for:  we exceeded the sum by one Euro and on top of that there is also the advertising income, budgeted at 135 Euros.

This money is not wasted and will be put to good use: to cover additional costs. We will move to a new server in the second half of 2010 (contract obligations force us to make the move at that time). The current server had a hard disk crash twice and extra money is needed to have the two servers running in parallel for a month or so to be able to move the site to the new server.

If for whatever reason we have more income from ads and donations in 2010 than currently estimated, we will invest it in RPGWatch. If there are no additional costs to pay for, the extra money will be used to pay for the bills in 2011. We have no intention at all to make a profit based on your donations.

Thanks to all of you who showed their support, it has been an amazing week.

 

Tuesday - January 05, 2010

RPGWatch - Donations

by Myrthos, 20:30

As you might know RPGWatch is a site made by volunteers who invest their time and money into bringing you as much RPG information as possible and provide a place to discuss RPGs (and whatever else you like to discuss).

Our ads income are minimal and the operating costs for RPGWatch are not getting any less so we decided to open up a donations page where we ask you our visitors for a voluntary contribution. The link to this page can be found at the top of every page (a bit below the ads banner). On that page we give some more background information and the option to donate if you like. Alternatively you can also click this link to reach that page.

Update by Arhu: If the link at the top doesn't show up for you, try shift-reloading the site. One of the style sheets has changed.

Thursday - December 31, 2009

RPGWatch - Happy New Year

by Myrthos, 23:16

For some it is too early and for some it is already old news, but over here we just entered the new year, so a great Happy New Year to all of you. Thank you for staying with us and I hope 2010 will bring you a lot of gaming fun.

Friday - October 30, 2009

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 22:50

Time for a new poll.  This time we're asking about death and reloading habits in combat - hit the "Vote" link under the poll on the right to participate and comment in that thread.

 

Sunday - October 18, 2009

RPGWatch - Three Years and Counting

by Myrthos, 20:40

This weekend RPGWatch turned 3. On October 17th 2006 the site went live and marked the start of a new adventure, bringing us to where we are now.

We are doing very well for a niche site as we are. We have a few million page views a month a continuously rising number of visitors and the feedback we are getting is increasing as well.

In the last week or so the team discussed the future of RPGWatch and decided that we want to keep our focus on RPG's and drop the support for online games. As a result we have ended our activities related to MMOWatch and, although the site is still active it will not be updated anymore. We will have to see if we will remove the link to the site all together or just leave it as it is now.

Another thing we discussed is the fact that we need more staff. It would help if we get some assistance in posting news and in creating articles for RPGWatch to make the site even better. An official announcement will follow, but if you feel you can contribute just message us by clicking on the 'Submit news' link at the top of the page.

We have other plans for the site but it is too soon to talk about them as we don't know if and when they can be realized. As you might know we are all volunteers and most of us have a full-time job besides keeping RPGWatch running, so the realization of the new features might take a while, but we hope that some of them will be realized before we turn four.

We want to thank all of you for visiting us so frequently and for your involvement on our forums. Without you our efforts would be meaningless and RPGWatch would be nothing. We hope we can continue to attract your attention and that (in the not too far future) we can enhance the site to make it an even better experience for you.

Friday - September 18, 2009

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 14:02

Well, it's way past time for a new poll.

BioWare has positioned Dragon Age as a spiritual successor to Baldur's Gate but it's been a long time since they've made that style of game. In the meantime, the game has gone from PC only to a simultaneous multiplatform release and we've seen a controversial marketing campaign featuring Marilyn Manson.

Obviously technology has changed and it isn't based on D&D but do you expect Dragon Age to live up to the claim?  Hit the link on the right to vote.

Monday - June 08, 2009

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 12:45

So, E3 has come and gone and although previews will continue to flow for at least the next two months, most of the new media is out and the main sites have presented their big articles.

There really weren't any surprises and we didn't see Fallout: New Vegas, Risen, Diablo III, Two Worlds: Temptation or a bunch of others. Some of the smaller games might yet get a few previews down the track.

Still, from the small group we did see - what grabbed you the most?  Hit the poll on the right.

Wednesday - March 04, 2009

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 11:12

The old poll was so old it had cobwebs.  The result was clear - most respondents like traditional death systems and obviously don't see any need for change.

This new poll suggestion comes from Kostaz, who wants to know about our favourite RPG developers.  Hit the link on the right!

Monday - January 12, 2009

RPGWatch 2008 Game of the Year - Most Promising RPG

by Myrthos, 12:06

As part of our Game of the Year election you also got to answer the question of the RPG that is a must have for you in 2009. This time the Editors' Choice is different from the choice of our visitors. Read it all here.

The most promising MMORPGs can be found on our sister site MMOWatch.

Friday - January 09, 2009

RPGWatch 2008 Game of the Year - Best RPG

by Myrthos, 10:15

The last two weeks of the year you have been able to vote for what you think was the best RPG in 2008. I'm sure those that have voted have been waiting for the results, so here they are.

We also added the choice we as editors made for the best RPG in 2008, which shows a remarkable resemblance of the top 3 games, with one exception.

If you also like to know what the best MMORPG of 2008 was then you can check that out on our MMOWatch site.

Sunday - January 04, 2009

RPGWatch - 2008 Game of the Year closed

by Myrthos, 11:51

The Game of the Year contests are now closed, we are processing the results and will get back to you in the next days with the results.

As far as prizes are concerned: RPGWatch puts forward some of the games that fell on their doorsteps and remained to be unopened. They are actually 2007 releases and they are European versions, but we'll ship anywhere :)

  • Medal of Honor: Airborne
  • Lost planet: Extreme Condition
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Stranglehold

And 1C makes 2 downloads available from their collection of games, including King's Bounty.

King's Bounty

Wednesday - December 31, 2008

RPGWatch - Falling for the Evil Ads Empire?

by Myrthos, 15:14

As you might have noticed we are running an ad at the top of our page. And this for the site that was running without any ads for all this time. So what is happening? Are we selling our souls????

No not really. This is an experiment. Good Old Games approached us with a deal; Everybody who registers with GOG through the banner link we have at the top of our pages is marked as coming from RPGWatch. We then get a percentage of every game that is purchased from GOG by that user.
This deal doesn't apply to already registered users, it is only valid for new users.

We never said that we wouldn't be running any ads (we have one from 1C in the Game of the Year newsbit). What we do believe in that IF we are running ads it has to be about games, we have to be in control of the ads (so no funky flash ads that try to install stuff on your PC), no pop-ups and the front page is not going to be postered with ads. So this is why we have this single banner from Good Old Games.

We can cope with the cost of running this server without the ads, but if we want to keep on growing cost might be rising as well, so this is why this experiment is running for the next 3 months. If it is a success, we consider if we continue this. If not then we have to consider where we want to go with this site. It will definitely not mean the end of RPGWatch either way, so no worries.

RPGWatch - Happy New Year

by Myrthos, 14:45

For some the new year has already started, for some it is still some hours away. So I might be early and I might be late, but I want to wish you all an awesome 2009. May it bring you and your loved ones all the joy you can handle and all the gaming fun you need.

I also want to use this opportuity to thank you all for staying with us this year and making RPGWatch bigger and better. We are now at an average of about 1.6 million page hits a month, which is twice the amount we had a year ago. So thank you for visiting us and making it all worth the effort we put into making this possible.

So have a lot of fun, hug the ones you love and don't love and hopefully we will see you again in 2009!

Wednesday - December 17, 2008

RPGWatch 2008 Game of the Year

by Dhruin, 05:52

We've resurrected an old tradition with a formal RPGWatch Game of the Year poll!  Use the links below to vote for the best RPG and MMORPG of 2008 and most anticipated of 2009.  All the options are drawn from our database and represent the titles released in English in 2008 from our coverage.

Follow these links to cast your votes:

If you leave your email address in the space provided at the end of the vote, we'll enter you into a random draw for prizes.  We promise your details will only be used for the purpose of  the contest.

Voting runs until December 31st - have at it!

We can announce the first prizes. RPGWatch puts forward some of the games that fell on their doorsteps and remained to be unopened. They are actually 2007 releases and they are European versions, but we'll ship anywhere :)

  • Medal of Honor: Airborne
  • Lost planet: Extreme Condition
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Stranglehold

And 1C makes 2 downloads available from their collection of games, including King's Bounty.

King's Bounty

Thursday - November 20, 2008

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 00:06

Time for a new poll.

What death system do you prefer? Do you like NWN2's "Everyone's a medic" system (see below) or did Baldur's Gate's "Traditional permanent death" system get it right in the first place? Lucky Day has put together a list of death systems that have been used for us to consider.  We have limited space for the poll options, so you'll need this list to interpret the choices names.

  • Traditional permanent death - player must load a previous save
  • Hardcore mode - permanent death, player must restart the game
  • Miraculous resurrection - player returned to start point
  • Japanese miracle - returned to previous check point (player may only save at these points)
  • Waiting for a miracle - player can wait for the heat to clear before respawning at the place they died
  • Everyone's a medic - permanent death only when last party member is dead (playable party or NPC)
  • Casper system - player can only interact as a ghost until restored to the land of the living
  • Hybrid/Cocktail - low levels character are too weak and its too expensive to rez (effectively making it perma death at level 1) or high level, where taking the next step in the evolution of your character comes at a cost (effectively God Mode)

You can have any of these with various penalties such as wait times, stat adjustments, permanent injury or experience or level drops, player must walk back to start to continue and so on.

Make your vote on the right and feel free to add comments on your own experiences, preferences or ideas for a better way to handle death.

Sunday - September 07, 2008

RPGWatch - Sites Off-line

by Myrthos, 23:09

The RPGWatch sites (RPGWatch, MMOWatch and The Locus Inn) have been unavailable in the last hours. This was caused by a server harddisk failure. We managed to repair it but we might need to go off-line for a second time to make some permanent repairs later on. We'll do our best to keep the site up and running as much as possible though.

Wednesday - August 27, 2008

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 12:05

Way past time for a new poll.  Our last question asked about replaying games and it seems a good chunk of us don't have the time - or the inclination - to replay all but a handful of classics.

A little over 4% replay new games straight away and just under 10% get around to replaying most of them eventually.  32% see their way clear to replay a really great game, while 34% only ever replay some chosen classics and nearly 20% rarely replay.

That makes something over 80% of players that don't expect to replay most of their games, for whatever reason.  It's interesting to contrast that against RPG design characteristics, where replayability is highly regarded.

Bartacus sent in the next poll, which asks about purchasing influences.

Monday - August 11, 2008

The Locus Inn - Moved to the Watch Network

by Myrthos, 22:59

The Locus Inn that was previously still hosted on the RPGDot network is moved to the RPGWatch network. The site is my own private site and I have been running it since 2000. It started as a place where I could store the stuff I had about one of the best games I ever played: Planescape:Torment.
This was followed by information about the Icewind Dale games and Baldur's Gate 2.

After that I became interested in Divinity for which I had several contacts with the developers and had the opportunity to play versions of the games even before a beta version was available. This was followed by Beyond Divinity, for which I was the co-writer in writing the best strategy guide in existence of that game :-)

Now with the PR machine of Divinity 2 starting to spread the news, I found it was time to make the move to the Watch network.

Unfortunately, due to some funky ads Jolt showed on the sites at the RPGDot network, they were tagged as suspicious and containing malware. This was strictly because of those ads and not because of the contents on those site. As we don't have any ads here, that problem won't exist, so I requested Google to remove the warning on it.

Wednesday - June 18, 2008

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 12:26

Time for a new poll.

I think we've established that Planescape: Torment easily has the best end game.  A whopping 47% chose PS:T, easily trouncing Gothic on just under 14%.  Fallout was next (11.65%), then BG: ToB way back on 6.77%, then Vampire: Bloodlines just behind on 5.6% and The Witcher on 4.5%.

This time, we're asking about replaying games.  Do you start a replay as soon as you've finished a new game for the first time or are replays reserved for those elite classics?  Hit the link on the right to go to the poll topic on the forums.

Tuesday - May 27, 2008

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 14:07

So, Baldur's Gate is our favourite series, collecting 29.52% of the vote and comfortably ahead of second place Fallout, with 20.13%.  Some way behind in third place is Ultima with 13.97% and then we have Gothic (10.81%), NWN (10.58%).

Trailing well behind we have Might & Magic, Elder Scrolls, Realms of Arkania and the AD&D Gold Box series.

The next poll asks "Which cRPG has your favorite endgame?"

The endgame includes the actual ending as well as the gameplay immediately leading up to it, so please consider both elements when voting - hit the link on the right to head to the forum poll.

Thanks to the thread in General RPG and everyone who participated for the selections and Prime Junta for the reminder. 

Tuesday - April 08, 2008

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 14:23

In our last poll, we asked about RPG elements.  This is always a difficult one, because - as many readers quite rightly point out - it's often hard to separate what makes a game enjoyable.

At any rate, NPC interaction squeaked into first place with 32%, while character development was just behind at 31%.  Exploration scored highly with 23% and then questing (6%), combat (5%) and puzzles (a little over 1%).

It's interesting to compare these results with the actual time spent on different elements in the average game - particularly with combat. Do we really prefer NPC interaction that much more - or does it mean the average RPG just doesn't have compelling combat?

This time, following on from a recent newsbit that inspired a few comments, we're asking about your favourite series.  Bear in mind the polls only support 10 options so some just had to miss out.  Over to you...

 

Tuesday - March 04, 2008

RPGWatch Side Quest - Time Out or Burn Out?

by Dhruin, 11:19

Magerette writes her first solo Side Quest from a personal perspective. I'm sure this happens to all of us from time to time. You've been anticipating this game. You've read all about it, downloaded the patches - even checked the mods. If only you could get as excited about about actually playing it...

I’ve recently had this happen with a game that deserves better, the Mask of the Betrayer expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2. In fact, this article was intended to be a review. Unfortunately, I had to abandon that idea, as I can’t make myself play and finish the game. I’ve had this game since day one of its release, and I can’t say how many times I’ve started it up only to shut it down again and set it aside for ‘some other time’.

I’d like to think someday things will be just right and I’ll be ready to plunge right into it, but realistically I’m starting to think that may never happen. Am I taking a time out, or am I burned out on this game for some reason? That’s the question I’m asking in this sidequest.

Read it all here.

Wednesday - February 20, 2008

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 23:29

Wow, it's way past time to kick up a new poll.

The last one asked Was 2007 a good year for RPGs? and most of our readers were positive - 38% said it was a great year while the biggest response - 41% - said it was "OK". A bit over 15% weren't very happy while 5% characterised 2007 as "terrible".

Pulling that together, 20% were unhappy and 80% were at least partly satisfied.

This time around we're asking about your favourite RPG element - hit the poll on the right for some explanation and to cast your vote.

Edit:  Looks like the hamster running the voting link fell off his wheel, so until our hamster wrangler/technical guru looks into that, you'll have to find your way to the Polls forum to vote.

Wednesday - January 23, 2008

RPGWatch Side Quest - Game Feel

by Dhruin, 12:06

In our latest Side Quest, Josh "Moxie" Sprague delves into the "feel" of a game and how it comes together from the design choices:

This isn't to say that turn-based or active RPGs fall cleanly along these lines. Compare Eschalon: Book I to Final Fantasy VII. Both are turn-based, but the combat of each has a much different feel. In Eschalon, my avatar swings his sword or casts a spell as quickly as I click on an enemy. The game allows me to consider my turn as long as I want, but as soon as I make a decision, it's ready. If I make my decisions quickly, the game feels much like an action game, but with some added control. In a game like Final Fantasy VII, the player gives orders to his characters, but must wait as the turns execute. The battle here becomes more of a stageplay where they player is a director offering input.

Read it all here.

Tuesday - January 08, 2008

RPGWatch Side Quest - Manipulation and Perversion

by Dhruin, 11:25

It's nearly time to kick off some formal content for 2008 but it's been a while since we've had a Side Quest discussion piece, so we'll ease into the year with some conversation. Corwin raises the interesting subject of developer manipulation in RPGs - but then adds an oddball theory into the mix, so it  might be fun to see where this goes:

What brought all these thoughts rushing through my head this morning was the ending for Act 1 of The Witcher. I feel manipulated. The Reverend is an obnoxious, arrogant, offensive, hypocrite. He's also old, ugly, male and has a loud, grating voice. There's not much more the developers could have done to make me dislike him either directly, or indirectly.

Read it all here. Don't forget to add your comments; very minor spoilers for The Witcher might apply.

Tuesday - January 01, 2008

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 00:24

It's a hot, sunny New Year's morning down here - depending on your timezone, some of you may be gearing up for big celebrations or winding down, nursing a sore head.

While we dig out the abacus and work on the RPG of the Year results, we'll switch to an interim poll on the quality of 2007 as an RPG gaming year before tackling some meatier subjects down the track.  We'll post results on the last poll in due course.

Happy New Year! 

Monday - December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

by Dhruin, 23:27

So, I'm about to jump in the car and perform the annual mandatory balancing act between different sets of relatives, so time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and happy holiday.

Many thanks to all our readers, to the team for their awesome work and all the people who contribute, send links or just participate in the forums!

Sunday - December 23, 2007

RPGWatch - RPG of the Year Poll

by Dhruin, 07:38

Time to move on to our RPG of the Year poll.

First, Eschalon: Book 1 was the winner of our Indie RPG of the Year poll, taking the honours in a landslide victory with 77% of the vote.  Congratulations to Basilisk Games and I think many of us look forward eagerly to see what Book 2 holds in store.

Soldak's Depths of Peril came second and Spiderweb's Geneforge 4 was third.  I think it's worth noting the comments that this was a landmark year for indies, all around.

 

So, voting for the RPG of the Year is open, based on a field selected by our editorial team.  Go to it!

Tuesday - December 18, 2007

RPGWatch - Indie RPG of the Year Poll

by Dhruin, 12:16

Time for a new poll and being that time of the year - you guessed it - we're going to do a couple of "Game of the Year" polls.

First, our last question asked if you would play an RPG that restricted you to the opposite gender. While we expected a lop-sided result, I was a little surprised to see that nearly 10% of respondents won't play the opposite gender. There you go.

So, next we're going to tackle the Indie RPG of the Year - have at it on the right and don't forget to comment after you've voted.

Sunday - December 16, 2007

RPGWatch - Server Move Completed

by Myrthos, 23:10

The server move we initiated this weekend has been completed. Everything should be working as always again.... I hope :)

Sunday - December 02, 2007

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 08:17

Wow, I lost track of time and didn't realise the last poll have been up so long.

So, the previous results floated a couple of points one way and the other but around 80% of our respondents prefer a physical boxed copy, while 20% like the immediacy of digital downloads.

For this next poll, we're following up on a recent forum conversation on avatars, gender and sexism with a simple question: will you play games that force the opposite gender on you (ie, males playing as females and vice versa).  Hit the poll on the lower right and don't hesitate to comment in the poll thread. 

Wednesday - October 03, 2007

RPGWatch - New Poll

by Dhruin, 10:38

It's way past time for a new poll.

The last one asked about your impressions of Fallout 3, with 12% saying it looks fantastic, around 25% thinking it looks good but they have some concerns, while 33% aren't impressed so far and 18% hate it.  Breaking that up, around 37% are generally positive while some 51% are negative.  4% couldn't decide and 6% don't like Fallout, so it looks like interest in the franchise is very high.

Our next poll is a simple one: all things being equal, so would you prefer a digital download or a boxed copy?  I've deliberately kept it to two options so you can argue the details such as price, DRM and declining game manuals in the poll comments.

Saturday - September 01, 2007

RPGWatch - Down time

by Myrthos, 12:00

For a couple of hours today the home pages of the sites RPGWatch and MMOWatch showed an empty page. As you can see we are back again. There were no real problems, but I really should not make changes to the site after midnight anymore I suppose :-)

Thursday - August 30, 2007

RPGWatch - New Poll and Site Update

by Dhruin, 02:22

It seems a large chunk of our readership has an interest in Bioshock with some 40% of respondents to our poll  saying they would be playing the PC version asap.  Add the slower adopters and Xbox 360 numbers and around 65% - 70% intend to play the game at some point.

21% had no interest, including a small but significant 13% who don't think we should coverthe title at all.  Also interesting is that despite the growth of the "next gen" console market, we can probably infer our readership remains decidely PC-centric with only 3.11% playing Bioshock on Xbox 360 immediately (and around 5% including late adopters).

Our next poll is on Fallout 3.  You've seen it presented at E3 and GC...what is your opinion so far based on the information revealed to date?  Head to the right to vote and comment.

------- 

In other RPGWatch news, we want to improve our screenshot collection so we're calling for submissions from the community - head to this thread for more info and thanks in advance for any help.

Sunday - August 19, 2007

RPGWatch - New Poll and Site Update

by Dhruin, 10:01

We've kicked up a new poll, so go over and vote (and comment) on the right.  Yes, the topic is the game de jour but beyond measuring interest in Bioshock, it might give a bit of a feel for how many of our readers are moving to consoles (at least for some of their gaming) and perhaps whether some readers hate seeing RPG-lite games on the site.

For the previous poll, most respondents (about 73%) knew that our 1st-year anniversary is fast approaching - how time flies.  We had grand plans when we started RPGWatch and we haven't had the time to follow through on all of them but I think the site is coming along nicely, so far.

If you haven't noticed, we recently added searchable database access (hit the Games link at the top) where you can search by title, developers and publishers.  It will take some time to fill all the gaps but the data is pretty comprehensive for the last 18 months.

The Leipzig GC is a week away and we should have some cool features out of that.  Looking beyond, we'll be calling for additional staff (including MMOWatch) and (quality) articles from interested readers -- if you'd like to help out, please send me a PM or watch for more details.

Thursday - May 03, 2007

RPGWatch Feature: The Whole Game in My Hand #4

by Dhruin, 00:32

What's going on in the RPG world for portable gaming systems? Join Mike Anderson as he continues his monthly quest to keep you informed on the hits and misses of RPG's on the GBA, DS and PSP.  This latest monster guide to recent happenings in the portable RPG market has so much content, I'll let it speak for itself:

Another month has come and gone ... and then another, and now we actually have a few interesting handheld RPG's to look at. I will continue to include a full review at the end of some articles (last month I did Final Fantasy III DS), but will move more to including mini-reviews in-line for other games I've been reviewing so that you can get a better picture of multiple games rather than just short snippets and one monster review. So as a result you will get several mid-sized reviews, in fact in this edition you get several small opinions, three medium sized reviews, one large review and a full review feature. This month's featured review is Mazes of Fate for the GBA, which is an attempt by a small independent developer to bring us back to the exciting first person RPG styles of the Wizardry and Ultima games. This isn't the best game I'll talk about in some detail this month but Mazes of Fate is bound to be much more appealing to people typically enamored of western-style computer RPG's ... and it is just really cool.

Read it all here.

Saturday - February 24, 2007

RPGWatch - The Whole Game in My Hand #3

by Dhruin, 10:47

What's going on in the RPG world for portable gaming systems? Can you get a decent role-playing experience on the go? Mike Anderson catches us up on the latest RPG's on the GBA, DS and PSP, including a full review of Final Fantasy III on the DS. Here's a snip:

As I mentioned before, Final Fantasy III is a port of a classic game - one that was never released in the US. The first two games were released, and then nothing for a while until the game called Final Fantasy VI in Japan got a release as Final Fantasy III in North America. Confusion continued as later releases and compilations for the Playstation fixed some of the numerology but not others. Being late to the party myself, I find myself confused whenever the subject comes up, and asking fans of the series only makes it worse since it inevitably leads to endless discussion about which one is best and the reasons why that is true. One thing I've learned - compared to other entries in the series Final Fantasy III is big on characters, not so big on a deep and engrossing story, but critical for the introduction of the job system.

Read it all here.

Wednesday - February 14, 2007

RPGWatch Side Quest: The Great Debate

by Dhruin, 23:15

In his second Side Quest, Corwin looks at "The Great Debate" - is turn-based or realtime combat better?

Head here to read the article and don't forget to throw in your opinion.

Wednesday - January 17, 2007

RPGWatch - The Whole Game in My Hand #2

by Dhruin, 22:37

Mike Anderson takes a second trip into the world of handheld RPG gaming with the latest The Whole Game in My Hand, bringing us up to date with the latest releases and the outlook for each of the handheld platforms.  Also included is a full review of Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony for PSP.  Here's a snip:

The to-hit bonus for ported games being crap has to be something like +4 with a greatly extended critical range. So why should this game even be of interest? Because new content based on existing franchises has worked well on the PSP –as the Grand Theft Auto and Syphon Filter games have shown. Also, games like the two Untold Legends have demonstrated that an action-RPG is a near-perfect fit for the PSP hardware and controls. What those games lacked was a compelling reason to play – they featured generic characters, stories and combat, even by action-RPG standards. Dungeon Siege: Throne of Agony will not change any opinions you might have about deep stories in action-RPG’s, but it is a fun game that is the best handheld action-RPG yet and will keep you going for many hours if you can get past the limitations and issues.

Wednesday - January 10, 2007

RPGWatch Side Quest: 2006 - 2007 Overview, Part 2

by Dhruin, 01:38

We continue our preview of 2007, covering more action titles, indies and speculation on a number of topics.  Here's a snip:

Pulling back from specific games, will 2007 see any particular trends? Apart from the long-term general action-isation of the genre, it's hard to pick any movements with confidence.  I'd like to predict the arrival of a thriving indie mid-tier market enabled by digital delivery but, frankly, there's little sign of a stream of new indies to follow this current batch.  I'd also like to predict this year's diversity and new IPs will continue but, again, it's not likely...2007 is just a trick of accidental timing (assuming the expected titles actually ship, of course). 

Head here to read it all.

Wednesday - January 03, 2007

RPGWatch Side Quest: 2006 - 2007 Overview, Part 1

by Dhruin, 09:49

It's traditional at this time of year to release Yet Another Retrospective and we wouldn't want to let you down.  Our latest Side Quest starts with an overview of the RPGs of 2006 and then kicks off the first part of a 2007 Preview:

2006 should be stricken from the annals of CRPG history.  Not because nothing of any note was released - that’s something roleplay fans have learned to expect.  No, it’s because it should have been a fantastic year and ended up a hodge-podge collection of botched releases, compromised gameplay and worse: failed potential that sometimes offered just enough brilliance to really make it hurt.

Read on...

Wednesday - December 13, 2006

RPGWatch Side Quest: The Avatar and Me

by Dhruin, 07:28

There's a mood...a sense the greater gaming public has embraced Oblivion as the new template for all future RPGs. Rules are out, simulations are in. But is it really the best path to better gameplay in future RPGs?

There has been an inexorable move toward action/RPGs for many years (in fact, the term is redundant – they’re almost all action/RPGs) but since the success of Oblivion, there’s a sense that the general player base has awakened and co-opted the genre -- finally, they’re saying, RPGs have crawled out of their grognard past and caught up with modern gaming.  Rules-based play is old-fashioned and out-moded; being the character on screen in a cinematic first-person action extravaganza is real roleplaying. 

Read our latest Side Quest here -- and don't forget to express your opinion.

Monday - November 13, 2006

RPGWatch Side Quest: Where is the "R" in CRPG?

by Dhruin, 13:44

In our first Side Quest at RPGWatch, Corwin looks at roleplaying in modern CRPGs from both the player's and the game's perspective.  Do modern CRPGs really offer any roleplaying and do modern players really want it?

How much Role playing really happens in a modern CRPG? According to a recent readers poll on a well known gaming site, more than a third of all respondents said they only played ‘themselves’ and fewer than that actually tried to play a role. Should this be surprising, or has the ‘Role’ disappeared from our gaming?

Head here to read it all and don't forget to throw in some comments.  Just in case you aren't aware, guests are able to post in news comments threads.

Monday - November 06, 2006

The Whole Game in My Hand #1

by Dhruin, 11:25
What's going on in the RPG world for portable gaming systems? Can you get a decent role-playing experience on the go? Join Mike Anderson as he starts a monthly quest to keep you informed on the hits and misses of RPGs on the GBA, DS and PSP!

Wednesday - October 18, 2006

RPGWatch - RSS Feeds Live!

by Dhruin, 23:38

We've added the first of many additional site features - RSS Feeds
are now live!

Tuesday - October 17, 2006

RPGWatch - Welcome to RPGWatch!

by Dhruin, 23:36

Hello and welcome! After many months of planning and hard work, we are now live.

The current site represents a basic feature set, with more advanced features planned as we move along. In the meantime, choose your preferred skin (you'll find a Light and Dark choice on the menu bar at the top) and join us regularly for the latest RPG and MMOG news and exclusive articles.

More about RPGWatch...

Friday - October 06, 2006

Quantum Leap Award: RPG Genre @ Gamasutra

by Kalia, 23:15
Gamasutra is featuring an article highlighting the industry's opinion about the RPGs that have precipitated 'quantum leaps' in the genre:
"In September 2006, the editors of Gamasutra asked its readership of game industry professionals to chime in and vote for which game in the role-playing genre "brought the genre forward" in the biggest way - whether it be an early game that helped define the RPG, or a more recent one which took those core ideas and developed a more rewarding experience than before. Specifically, we asked:

"Which role playing game over the entire history of the genre do you think has made the biggest 'quantum leap', and why?"

Source: Gamasutra

In-Game Ads Burrow Deeper @ Wired

by Dhruin, 00:37
More ads in gaming coverage at Wired that describes the extent to which in-game ads may drive future game design. Here's a fun dichotomy:
As part of a recent Game Metrix study, comScore surveyed both the heavy and medium gamer segments regarding their attitudes about in-game advertising. Thirty-seven percent of heavy gamers (those who play games at least 16 hours a week) agreed that featuring actual products or companies in games make the games feel more realistic.
And...
Acclaim is about to take product placement to another level with its free, ad-supported massively multiplayer online games next year. Game industry veteran Dave Perry, who's directing 2Moons for Acclaim and creating several additional MMO games, wants to open up the door for corporate-sponsored micro transactions.

"When you buy a virtual item, we're going to do a search to see if any advertiser in real-time is willing to pick up the cost of that item," said Perry. "If you want this sword, it would put up a message and ask if you would like Coca-Cola to buy this item for you."

Source: Evil Avatar

Pompolic: Trailer @ 3D Gamers

by Dhruin, 00:17
A trailer for the action/RPG Pompolic: Call for Heroes has been released offering "two minutes of gameplay footage to demonstrate some of the game's spells".

Sunday - October 01, 2006

Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom - Site Live

by Dhruin, 00:25
An official Kingdom Under Fire: Circle of Doom site is now live, offering the usual goodies for this action/RPG based on the RTS series. You can grab some screens and a trailer asd well as read about the gameplay. Thanks Blue's.

Wednesday - September 27, 2006

Pen and Paper RPGs that should be on PC @ FiringSquad

by Dhruin, 00:53
An interesting article at FiringSquad titled <a href="http://www.firingsquad.com/features/pen_paper_rpg/" target="_blank">Pen and Paper RPGs that should be on PC</a> looks at several PnP RPGs and the idea of a PC cRPG. Among the games briefly covered are Paranoia, Delta Green and Deadlands:<blockquote><em>Deadlands: This well known RPG series was created in the mid-1980a "!s by Shane Hensley (who currently works for City of Heroes developer Cryptic Studios) as an true alternative to the many fantasy RPGs out on the market. Set in an alternate 19th century American West where creatures and monsters roamed the range alongside cowboys and Indians, this title has a ton of potential to be turned into a great video and/or PC game.<br><br>Indeed, UK game developed Headfirst acquired the rights to make such a Deadlands game and had completed a three level demo to show to publishers before the developer went out of business shortly after the release of their 2005 Xbox-PC game Call of Cthulu: Dark Corners of the Earth. In a phone conversation with FiringSquad for this article, Hensley told us that he was very impressed with the demo that Headfirst had created and was disappointed that their Deadlands game would never be completed. Hensley told us that he is currently shopping around the Deadlands video/PC game license to a number of interested parties but there is no word on when such a deal will be announced.</em></blockquote>

Tuesday - September 26, 2006

Pompolic: Dev Diary #2 @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 22:49
The official Pompolic: Call for Heroes site has a second dev diary for this action/RPG:
One of the new features that are recently added is certainly the Dark Souls effect. Dark Souls are one of the key elements in the game. As you know from the background story, they are the right hands of Pompolic. By capturing them after some time a negative effect will influence the character for a short period of time. As the player moves to the end of the game, these negative effects will be longer and appear more often. For the Warrior all input damages will be doubled and the character can't run. The Amazon's health will slowly decrease and the character's strength will be reduced to half, thus making 50% less damage.

Saturday - September 16, 2006

Large Scale Open Ended Games Editorial @ Gamer's Info

by Kalia, 13:48
Gamer's Info editor Anti_Eden has posted an editorial about large scale, open-ended RPGs and the casual gamer.
What could Bethesda, or any other developer for that matter, have done to keep my interest level high, and keep me logging in to their world, immersing myself in their content? Again, I stress, the answer is simple. Provide distractions. Provide simple little things that would keep me coming back day after day, night after night, even if I only had 10 minutes to spare. Heck, some "hardcore" gamers might even consider these types of things worthless and meaningless at first glance. But lately, one of the current industry-wide objectives is to find a way to capture and engross the "casual gamer" and turn them onto playing video games. Oblivion failed to do that on every account. But Oblivion (and Bethesda) are not the only ones who are failing at this. Apparently, it's an industry-wide "epidemic." All I have to do is look at the game icons on my desktop that go unclicked for more examples. Even beyond those, I've got the stack of games literally sitting within arms reach from me on my desk, that remain uninstalled. If you seriously want examples, I'll give them to you, just ask. But I don't think it needs to be done. I'd rather you all ask yourself which games failed you, and then we can all discuss that.

Source: Gamer's Info

Friday - September 15, 2006

Introducing Word of Chaos [Updated]

by Dhruin, 01:23
Thanks to Todd for pointing out an interesting project on our forums. 'Word of Chaos' appears to be a single-character RPG where the player takes on the role of an Half-Orc, with turn-based, grid-based combat in a rather attractive, fully 3D world. Unfortunately, Hungarian developer <a href="http://www.brainfactor.com" target="_blank">Brainfactor's</a> site appears to be down (hopefully not a bad sign) but you can view a <a href="http://www.gametrailers.com/gamepage.php?id=3221" target="_blank">trailer at GameTrailers</a> and here's the game description courtesy of Google's cache:<blockquote><em>The biggest project currently under development at Brainfactor, the a SWord of Chaosa ? is an adventure/rpg that will take its players to the vast fantasy world of Worluk. The computer game was inspired by John Caldwella "!s immensely popular series of fantasy novels, the first volume of which was published more than a decade ago in Hungary. The epic tale follows the adventures of Skandar Graun, a half-orc who becomes a key figure in the eternal war between Order and Chaos when he is given the task by the God of Chaos to take revenge on the Mage Peltar for the murder of his parents and take the legendary artifact called a UThe Word of Chaosa ? from the Order-worshipping Peltar. When Skandar Graun swears to do his duty, little does he know about the fate that will haunt the Champion of Chaos and that things like revenge will not mean anything in the shadow of death. <br> <br>Players who go on an adventure in this beautifully rendered, full 3D fantasy world will have the opportunity to complete over 60 side quests, meet 300 NPCs each of whom live a life of their own, fight a hundred different monsters, learn 120 different spells (either clerical spells or spells from Magesa "! grimoires), and prepare potions by learning Alchemy or Herbalism. The open character development system and 36 different skills available allow players to decide whether to develop their characters into a fearless warrior, a thief hiding in the shadows, or a wizard casting spells by using Magical Essence. The availability of special feats adds further complexity to character development. <br> <br>This game, being developed by Brainfactor, offers a new fighting system, fight and spellcasting combos, real character development, sub-games, tales and short stories fleshing out the world around the characters, and plenty more.</em></blockquote>We'll try to dig up more information as soon as possible. <p>Update: It seems <a href="http://www.brainfactor.hu/" target="_blank">Brainfactor</a> does have a working site using a Hungarian extension (thanks Todd), Worthplaying pointed out some screens from their announcement of the game, which we missed, <a href="http://www.worthplaying.com/article.php?sid=37030" target="_blank">here</a> and <a href="http://www.worthplaying.com/article.php?sid=26885" target="_blank">here</a> and also check out additional trailers <a href="http://www.gametrailers.com/gamepage.php?id=3221" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>

Thursday - September 14, 2006

Heroes of Annihilated Empires Demo

by Dhruin, 23:41
We haven't officially covered Heroes of Annihilated Empires but as a genre-crossing RTS/RPG, some readers might be interested in the beta demo recently released. Strategy Informer and Worthplaying both let us know about their mirrors. Here's the description Strategy Informer sent over:
The 500MB demo offers a mix of single- and multiplayer gameplay utilizing both the RTS and RPG elements from the full game. Included in the demo is an extensive single-player mission taken directly from the game, and a LAN-playable skirmish mode with two available races (Elves and Undead - each with three heroes to choose from).

Wednesday - September 13, 2006

Todd Howard Audio Interview Pt. 2 @ Escape Radio

by Dhruin, 01:43
Escape Radio has kicked up their latest podcast with the second part of their Todd Howard interview, mentioning Oblivion and Fallout 3.

Friday - September 08, 2006

Master Creating Site Relaunch Redux

by Dhruin, 23:01
We mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Master Creating (Restricted Area) had relaunched their website. We received word that the site is now also in English, so most of us can check out their new development Legend: Hand of God and the launch of their middleware, the Master Engine.

Day Watch Section & Screens @ 3D Gamers

by Kalia, 15:41
3D Gamers has created a section with some basic information and ten screens from Nival Interactive's upcoming 3D RPG, Day Watch. Head over for a look.

Source: 3D Gamers

Thursday - September 07, 2006

Writing Game Dialogue @ Hollywood Reporter

by Dhruin, 22:49
The Hollywood Reporter has an article on writing for games, with input from various developers including BioWare:
In "Mass Effect," a next-generation role-playing game for the Xbox 360 scheduled for release in the first half of 2007, Walters and lead writer Mike Laidlaw recall that creating the characters became a team effort. [The first installment of a planned trilogy, the game takes place in the year 2183 and revolves around an ancient prophecy that says that every 50,000 years machines come to this galaxy to harvest all organic life -- and the time of their return is approaching.]

Wednesday - September 06, 2006

Salvatore Teams Up to Form Green Monster Games

by Dhruin, 23:43
Noted fantasy writer R.A. Salvatore has teamed with baseball legend Curt Shilling and developer Todd McFarlane to create Green Monster Games, according to Gamasutra. There is no website or other details on the genre of their first project but the presence of Salvatore might hint at something fantasy based, while Curt Schilling is well-known as an MMOG fan.

Tuesday - September 05, 2006

Battle Lords: Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 01:12
Next at Worthplaying is 23 screens from Katauri's Battle Lords. Katauri was formed from ex-Elemental devs who worked on Space Rangers.

PC Games of Fall 2006 @ PC.IGN

by Dhruin, 00:58
PC.IGN has kicked up a PC Games of Fall 2006 overview, selecting key titles from each genre to highlight. The article starts with Dark Messiah under the Action banner, while the RPG category sees Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales, Gothic 3 and NWN2 briefly previewed:
With the third game in the series, Piranha Bytes is hoping to bring the same kind of positive progression to the gameplay with new combat features, improved user interface, and even more open-ended options. Care is being given to create a storyline that transcends the all-too-familiar good versus evil conflict. choices will be presented that not only supply the chance to help the orcs, but they'll be presented in a way that will make the idea sound like the right and just one. What looks evil at one point may actually look good towards the middle of the game. The new combat system has some key additions that should help with accessibility. These include a soft lock, a tweaked combat system, and a ten slot quick access bar at the screen's bottom.
On the MMORPG side, ArchLord, EQ2: Echoes of Faydwer and WoW: The Burning Crusade get the nod.

Monday - September 04, 2006

Winterheart's Guild: Interview @ Frags.com.ar

by Dhruin, 23:44
You may recall we discovered Winterheart's Guild last year - an action/RPG based on the Finnish metal band, Sonata Arctica. A site called Frags.com.ar now has an <a href="http://www.frags.com.ar/foro/showthread.php?t=9678" target="_blank">interview</a> with Zelian games on the project:<blockquote><em><b>What can you tell us about the gameplay?</b><br><br><br>MG: We hope to draw from various genres and blend it into a unique experience. The gameplay leans toward action (sometimes quite bloody and frantic), with RPG elements that spice up the fun factor. We want enough action to make the game fun, and enough RPG to give the game depth. In terms of actual gameplay, we have several corner-stones that come together in the final experience: Combat (action), Travel (exploration), Trade (loot, buy/sell, trade), Conversation (info, receive items, other game state effects) and Character Management. All these things take place in a very physical world a  we are using Ageia PhysX (with hardware support) to bring the world physically to life. Dona "!t have the key to open the wooden door? Just bash it in if you have the right weapon and enough strengtha </em></blockquote>

Source: Blue's

Wednesday - August 30, 2006

Master Creating site Relaunch

by Dhruin, 23:46
Master Creating has relaunched their site, reflecting the changed development focus from the long-completed Restricted Area to Legend: Hand of God and the licensing of their Master Engine. The site appears to be in German only at this point.

Sunday - August 27, 2006

Manifesto Games Launches

by Dhruin, 00:25
You may have read one of Greg Costikyan's rants on the broken nature of the games industry and, in particular, the publisher-retailer distribution system. Greg (a senior member of the International Game Developers Association) promised to impact this by creating Manifesto Games - an indie games publisher and web portal. Manifesto has now launched (although it is actually in Beta, I believe), attempting to make indie gaming more accessible. As it currently stands, the site offers little more than the sale of a seemingly random collection of known indie games but it might be worth watching. Here's a direct link to their RPG category.

Wednesday - August 23, 2006

Fallout Revisited, Day #1 @ GameBanshee

by Dhruin, 22:40
GameBanshee is promoting a new feature titled 'Fallout Revisited', spread over three days. This first day doesn't actually cover Fallout but offers interviews with Wasteland designer Ken St. Andre and Fallout Tactics lead designer Ed Orman. Here's a bit from the Wasteland interview:
GB: How did you get involved with Wasteland?

Ken: Brian Fargo visited me in Phoenix and described a post World War III game that Interplay wanted to do using some new coding techniques that Alan Pavlish had developed. He asked me if I could come up with such a game, maybe modeled along the lines of the movie "Red Dawn"? I told him I thought I could.

The Guild 2: Screens & Movie @ 3D Gamers

by Kalia, 15:35
3D Gamersk has posted some new screens and a movie from the upcoming RPG/RTS hybrid, The Guild 2:
New screenshots for The Guild 2 are now available for download in regular and high resolutions along with the GC movie trailer for this medieval role-playing strategy sequel being developed at 4HEAD Studios. You can also view the images online, while the very high resolution clip shows off the game in a bit under two minutes of mostly new, in-engine footage.

Source: 3D Gamers

Tuesday - August 22, 2006

EA acquires Phenomic

by Gorath, 21:17
According to Heise Online, who are quoting Die Welt's Wednesday edition as original source, publishing giant EA acquired the German development studio Phenomic. Phenomic was founded in 1997 by The Settlers creator Volker Wertich. They are best known for their SpellForce franchise.
The studio will be renamed to EA Phenomic. Its location will still be Ingelheim in south-west Germany. Management changes are not planned, financial details were not disclosed.

Source: Heise Online

Thursday - August 17, 2006

Metro 2033 Revealed

by Dhruin, 22:28
Blue's is pointing out a post-apoc "action-oriented horror/action/survival FPS game with elements of RPG" titled Metro 2033. It's too early to tell whether the RPG elements will warrant ongoing coverage from us and the Flash-y website makes it hard to link and quote but it might be worth a look if you'd like to check out some action-survival in the Moscow Metro system. Other than the engine supporting "Learning, but controlled АI, which uses motivation graphs and planning, has human similar perception properties, including ability to see light and colour", there isn't much gameplay information available so here's a bit from the story:
The whole world lies in ruins. Humanity is almost annihilated. Due to the high-level of radiation cities became unsuitable for living. Outside cities, as rumours say, there are endless burned out deserts and wilds of mutated forests. The survived still remember about the past greatness of human. But the remnants of the civilization gradually become just memories, spin with stories and turn into legends.
Screens are available from 3D Gamers.

Tuesday - August 15, 2006

Peter Molyneux Q&A @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 12:23
Coming out of the GameSpot's UK office is an interview with Peter Molyneux. This one doesn't have any direct relevancy to RPGs with nary a mention of Fable 2 but some of the general development comments may be of interest. For example, Peter sees the PC as more of a "casual" platform, World of Warcraft aside:
GSUK: The Movies and Black & White 2 didn't enjoy the same level of success as previous Lionhead titles, despite being critically well received. Would you put their lack of success down to marketing?

PM: It's very easy to blame marketing departments and publishers when sales don't live up to expectations, but in reality there are many, many reasons for what happened, so I'll just focus on three. Firstly, the PC market has been declining; the number of PC-only titles that have been successful is nonexistent. And, in fact, The Movies was, in sales terms, the most successful original IP over the Christmas period. Secondly, launching any game over the Christmas period is challenging, as there is so much focus on a few games which have massive marketing budgets behind them. Thirdly, I think the type of people playing and buying PC games has changed. If you exclude World of Warcraft, there seems to be many more casual gamers playing games on the PC than hardcore gamers.

Saturday - August 12, 2006

Pompolic: CAll for Heroes - Dev Diary #1 @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 23:52
The first in what is presumably a series of Pompolic dev diaries is up at Worthplaying, with Quotix Software programmer Attila Siladji talking about graphics programming.

Sunday - August 06, 2006

Not the Time for Dragons: Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 22:41
Eddard Stark from CRPG.ru also wrote in about three new screens from the Russian project 'Not the Time for the Dragons'.

Friday - August 04, 2006

Pompolic: Call for Heroes - Interview @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 23:13
The first to shed some light on 'Pompolic: Call for Heroes' is RPG Vault, with an interview Attila Siladji from Quotix Software. Here's the opening question:
Jonric: In your own words, what kind of game will Pompolic: Call for Heroes be, and what kind of player is likely to find it most appealing?

Attila Siladji: It's a third-person action game with some RPG elements. There will be a lot of action, and because of that, it should appeal to gamers who are hungry for this type of play. Besides killing the bad guys, the player will need to capture the Dark Souls, the servants of Pompolic. They will be well protected by monsters. The player will gain certain amounts of experience for each enemy you kill, which will help to upgrade the character's strength, health and armor.

The History of Wizards of the Coast @ RPG Net

by Kalia, 02:26
RPG Net editor Shannon Appelcline has written an interesting take on the history of Wizards of the Coast. He chronicles the company's rise from its first published game, The Primal Order all the way through today and the activities of WotC.
As long as Wizards is allowed their autonomy by corporate overlord Hasbro, it looks like they're going to remain a surprisingly spry and innovative force in gaming. RPGs surely aren't their only focus, and most of their actual innovation seems directed toward board games and miniatures, but the potential for innovative RPGs remains. However, as a part of a huge corporate hegemony, Wizards is also just a heartbeat away from bureaucratic control at any moment.

Source: NWN 2 Warcry

Thursday - August 03, 2006

Golden Joystick Award Nominations

by Dhruin, 23:10
You'll be thrilled to hear the shortlist for the the latest <a href="http://www.goldenjoystick.com/" target="_blank">Golden Joystick</a> awards has been released and in among exciting categories such as the "Nuts All-Nighter Award", are nominations for Oblivion, Fable: The Lost Chapters and Guild Wars: Factions. The accompanying PR proclaims "front-runner for the prestigious a UUltimate Game of the Yeara "! gong is Take 2 Interactivea "!s popular Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, which has no less than five nominations in total".

Wednesday - August 02, 2006

MiSTland South becomes GFI Russia

by Dhruin, 22:41
Straight from an email comes news that MiSTland South, makers of games such as COPS 2170: Power of Law and the upcoming Jagged Alliance 3D, has been renamed to GFI Russia, following their purchase by GFI earlier this year.

Tuesday - August 01, 2006

Pompolic: Trailer @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 22:30
The official Pompolic: Call for Heroes site is offering the first trailer of this recently announced action/RPG.

Friday - July 28, 2006

Warren Spector Interview @ CVG

by Dhruin, 22:18
Warren Spector pops up at CVG to talk about Junction Point Studios. Since we've had other Spector interviews recently, here's a different snip:
With the situation currently as it is, do you think that the Deus Ex universe will ever be revisited?

I wish I knew, but you'd have to ask someone at Eidos about that. I'd love to go back there, myself. There are plenty more games to set and stories to tell in that universe. I miss the Dentons a lot... Hey, Eidos, wanna sell the IP?

Thursday - July 27, 2006

Playing a Role, or Does the Role Play You? #2 @ eToychest

by Dhruin, 00:30
eToychest continues their ruminations on roleplaying in the RPG genre with Playing a Role, or Does the Role Play You? (Part 2):
A commonly held distinction is that the Asian-influenced RPG features a pre-determined protagonist, while the Western style leans towards a customized character. The former offers an ability to let the gamer play a greater role in the plot of the game, but the latter is where we can find actual personal involvement and emotional attachment. Sure, on the average customization boils down to a handful of numbers with no inherent meaning, but those are our numbers, and it does imbue the title with a sense of personal investment.

Wouldn't it be great if we had both?

Tuesday - July 25, 2006

Pompolic: Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 12:30
Worthplaying has 10 screens from the freshly-revealed Pompolic: Call for Heroes.

Monday - July 24, 2006

Non-RPG RPGs? @ eToychest

by Kalia, 15:38
eToychest writer Ryan Sharpe has posted an interesting article. In it, he lists five games that he feels are immersive enough to -be- RPGs though they are -not- RPGs. See if you agree:
3) Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Multi-Platform, 2004)

The Grand Theft Auto games have always been fairly open, but it is in the state of San Andreas that you could really play a role. In the beginning, the protagonist, CJ, is pretty much a blank slate, and through the course of the game you get to mold him to whatever you see fit. Should your CJ be a gleefully rotund gangbanger, always wearing his colors and getting respect in his hood? Or would you rather turn him into a lean, mean, killing machine, decked out in the latest fashions and obscene amounts of bling for his high-brow social engagements? The myriad ways in which you could alter and customize CJ in the great sandbox that is San Andreas really helped the game feel like you were playing a role, especially compared to the fairly worthless protagonists of the first three Grand Theft Auto titles.

Source: eToychest

Sunday - July 23, 2006

Pompolic: Call for Heroes Revealed

by Dhruin, 22:44
Blue's has noticed a website for a new action/RPG titled Pompolic: Call for Heroes. The actual gameplay details are scarce and there are no screens at this point - what is there suggests a Diablo clone. Here's a bit on the backstory:
Years ago a dimensional portal to the Outer Worlds was suddenly opened, and an enemy from the darkness encroached on our world. Led by a demon named Pompolic, armies of demonic hordes quickly overran most of the planet. The origin of Pompolic remains unknown, but it is certain that this malevolent spiritual being possesses supernatural powers. His desire is obvious: possess the people and turn them into minions of his dark army. He wields his power through his servants, the Dark Souls. The Dark Souls, protected by horde of monsters, infiltrate people's minds and make them slaves of evil. The denizens of our world are on the edge of total annihilation.
...while a post on the forums has this to say:
We are proud to announce that we have opened a dedicated website for our upcoming game, Pompolic : Call for Heroes. This is a 3D action game with RPG elements placed in a fantasy world. There are 2 different characters the player can choose from, each with unique weapons and abilities. And of course, there are dozens of monsters...

Thursday - July 20, 2006

Not the Time for Dragons: Interview @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 22:40
Eddard Stark from CRPG.ru dropped us a line about an English translation they published of an interview on 'Not the time for Dragons'. Here's the intro to help introduce the subject:
Since its announcement, Russian RPG-project named Not The Time For Dragons received little publicity. Information starvation could not be satiated with but a handful of previews based entirely on the official press release and short comments by the developers. And there is much yet to reveal about such an interesting project. Based on a solid and popular setting (the game's based on a novel by popular Russian fantasy writers Nick Perumov and Sergei Lukyanenko), the game's using The Engine from Blood Magic to breathe life into the world, spicing it all up with some very intriguing gameplay features. Plus, do we really have an abundance of promising party-based RPGs nowadays? And yet, no new facts... Unable to bear such an injustice, we embarked on a holy quest of shedding the light on this project by questioning the developers about all the juicy details.

Stardock Publishing Q&A @ FiringSquad

by Dhruin, 22:35
Stardock (Galactic Civilisations and the TotalGaming digital download service which distributes RPGs such as Etrom and Gods: Lands of Infinity) recently announced its intention to add a publishing division. In a new <a href="http://www.firingsquad.com/news/newsarticle.asp?searchid=11213" target="_blank">interview</a> at FiringSquad, CEO Brad Wardell earmarked RPGs as a specialty:<blockquote><em><b>FiringSquad: What sorts of games is Stardock Entertainment looking to publish?</b><br><br>Brad Wardell: Initially we are looking to stay in the strategy-game market. But we are also looking to expand into role-playing, as well, since we feel thata "!s another market thata  like strategya  hasna "!t received a lot of attention from publishers and developers in recent years (outside MMOs which are a totally different thing).</em></blockquote>

Wednesday - July 19, 2006

Playing a Role, or Does the Role Play You? @ eToychest

by Dhruin, 03:02
eToychest has an editorial titled Playing a Role, or Does the Role Play You?. There are several items to potentially take issue with but the broad message hits the mark. Let's start with an early snip:
It is perhaps fair to say that the Japanese have been bolder in their approach to the role-playing game - Final Fantasy VIII took a turn for the technological without missing a beat, and Skies of Arcadia seamlessly blended airships and swashbuckling - but even if we stick to our domestic role-playing games - free of giant hair, effeminate male protagonists, and the same story told 12 times over - the genre still reeks of standard openings, closings, transitions, narrative devices and themes.


This is ironic, considering the roots the American role-playing game has in the pencil-and-paper world. For example, Alkabeth, the precursor to Ultima, was totally derivative of Dungeons and Dragons. But while the pencil-and-paper RPG scene rapidly expanded to fit every niche imaginable - horror, intrigue, adventure, and romance - their digital counterparts stayed as close as possible to plate mail and red dragons.

Tuesday - July 18, 2006

The Empirical Analysis of the Role Playing Game (RPG) Genre for Video Games

by Dhruin, 03:18
This just popped up in my inbox and although it's of no direct interest to game players, I thought some might still be interested. For the mere price of Euro 1,144 you can grab Research and Markets' The Empirical Analysis of the Role Playing Game (RPG) Genre for Video Games report for developers and publishers:
This report provides a unique insight into one of the most complex of computer games genres: the Role Playing Game (RPG).

The RPG genre is calculated from a sample of 272 RPG games. Standard deviations are used to identify key selling points and new games potentials.

The second part of the report uses the same games analysis software to undertake an investigation into the way platform technology, PC and Console in this case, influence fundamental aspects of RPG design.

The report concludes with general principles of relevance to both RPG developers and publishes and the games developer community in general.

Key Selling Points, Genres and Platforms:

In this report we investigate the underlying nature of role playing games (RPGs), clarifying the subtleties and complexities that characterise such games. We also identify two very important sub-genres, within the main RPG genre, and the role of platform technology in creating them.

Games can be compared both against each other and against their industry attributed genre profiles. As a result we can spot developmental trends and identify the Key Selling Points (KSPs) of individual games and franchises.
I'll be able to get my Diablo Killer (tm) project perfect with this data. Companies mentioned in the data include Troika, Black Isle, BioWare, Obsidian, Blizzard, Nival, Ascaron and more.

PC Games.de hints at upcoming "Diablo killer"

by Dhruin, 03:08
German mag PC Games.de has revealed they will unveil a new action/RPG to take on "Sacred 2, Titan Quest and the old master Diablo" next week. Other than that claim the game apparently features art from the designer of the Balrog in Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie.

A partly obscured screenshot is currently on offer and more of the screen will be revealed each day, apparently.

Monday - July 17, 2006

Dragonlance Animated Movie @ Official Site

by Kalia, 13:48
The Dragonlance Series of novels will be turned into an animated film. Kiefer Sutherland has recently been signed to voice Raistlin Majere. You can read more about it at the link above.

Source: Slashdot

Sunday - July 16, 2006

Peter Molyneux Interview @ Joystiq

by Dhruin, 01:34
Lionhead's Peter Molyneux has been interviewed at Joystiq, touching on failed Fable expectations, Fable 2 and the industry:
Fable was pretty much portrayed as one of the most open games of all time, but in terms of hype, it failed to meet the high expectations that you gave the game. There was even a forum post where you apologized about this: why did it get to that level?

Well, it started with this fatal line that I made and that was that I wanted to make Fable the greatest role playing game of all time. I kinda still defend that because I honestly don't see the point in making a game that you don't honestly believe has a chance of being the greatest game of all time. I meet the press quite a lot, every 6-8 weeks there's some sort of press interview. The way I work then is to get a system in, play around with it, polish it, make it better. Sometimes I leave it as it is and sometimes I throw it away.

I think what ended up happening was twofold: because I was meeting people so frequently I was talking about features that actually hadn't gone through that process, like the tree example. Actually it was stupid! Growing trees took a lot of the processing power that could have been used for combat. What does growing trees really add for the player?
Meanwhile, at BBC News Molyneux explains B&W2 and The Movies were not as good as they should have been because they ran out of money. (Thanks Blue's)

Monday - July 10, 2006

Arkane Studios Austin Q&A @ FiringSquad

by Garrett, 20:58
The FiringSquad has a short Q&A with Arkane's Mastermind Raphael Colantonio about the recent opening of their US office:
FiringSquad: What can you tell us about the Austin studio's first game projects and will they be similar to the first person action-RPGs that you have developed in the past?

Raphael Colantonio:Both the Austin and Lyon's office will be co-developing on the same games. The idea is to collaborate and get the best expertise of both places. So this won't really affect the Lyon office, but it certainly makes the communication process different.

Friday - July 07, 2006

Five that Fell @ Next Gen

by Dhruin, 23:13
Next Gen has an interesting article titled <a href="http://www.next-gen.biz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3357&Itemid=2&limit=1&limitstart=0" target="_blank">Five that Fell</a>, described as a "tribute to five fallen icons of the videogame industry a  developers and publishers who made their mark, changed the world, then vanished into history". Those covered are Atari Games, Origin Systems, Sierra Online, Black Isle and Looking Glass:<blockquote><em>The story of Looking Glass is the familiar ahead-of-their-time tale. Now we can easily look back and say, hey a  these guys are responsible for most of the best things that have happened in the last decade, so why did they take so long to get recognized? The answer's pretty simple: there was almost always someone cheaper, faster, simpler, or louder. If Ultima Underworld had been free, easy to run, and easy to play, Wolfenstein wouldn't have stood a chance against it. On the other hand, it also wouldn't have been Ultima Underworld. For nearly a decade, Looking Glass pushed so far that nobody could keep up. It's only after they vanished that it became clear what we had all been missing.</em></blockquote>

Battle Lords: Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 14:12
Another batch of Battle Lords screens comes courtesy of CRPG.ru. Hit the link for 11 shots from Katauri's upcoming game.

Arkane opens US studio

by Dhruin, 13:31
Gamasutra has noticed an additional studio listed on Arkane's contact page. It seems the French-based developer known for Arx Fatalis and the upcoming Dark Messiah of Might & Magic has quietly added an Austin, Texas studio at some stage - although no details at this point on what they might be working on or why they chose that location.

Interesting.

Tuesday - July 04, 2006

Ron Gilbert working on an RPG

by Dhruin, 00:50
An interview with Monkey Island creator and adventure luminary Ron Gilbert at CVG has revealed he is working on an RPG of sorts:
"I do have a kind of very story-heavy, story-based kind of RPG game that I'm currently designing, but I'm still looking for a publisher willing to publish it", Gilbert explained. "[It's] very heavily story-based, a lot of sensibilities of adventure games mixed with some of the action fun RPG elements."

"The thing I'm trying to do with the game right now is kind of meld it with an RPG," he continued, "So what you've got is the kind of large world exploration that you have in an RPG that you don't really have with an adventure game. You've got the action, some light combat, you know, Diablo-style combat going on with it, but it is also infused with really good adventure-game-style puzzles and adventure-style sensibilities to the storytelling.

Source: Evil Avatar

Saturday - July 01, 2006

Battle Lords: Screens @ CRPG.ru

by Dhruin, 23:42
CRPG.ru let us know they have 12 exclusive screens from Battle Lords, the new game being made by ex-Space Rangers developers.

Thursday - June 29, 2006

Warren Spector Interview Pt. 2 @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 22:15
Eurogamer continues their interview with Warren Spector talking primarily about game design:
Eurogamer: One of the things I like as a player is to find out more of the back story by being thorough. By poking around in dark corners and finding old notes that give clues away, and things pinned to notice boards, or chests to break in to. Games like Silent Hill, Metroid Prime and Resident Evil have always favoured this approach, but then you get games like Oblivion where there are more books and more items of text to read than most gamers could ever have time or energy to read, and games like Half-Life 1 or 2 which have few secrets to uncover. Do you feel text can still play an important role in providing a deeper narrative or is it more about listening in on NPC conversations these days?

Warren Spector: I don't think it'll surprise anyone that I like text in games but I recognise that a lot of players don't. The fundamental experience of videogames is, and should be, seeing, listening and doing, but there's certainly a place for a certain amount of optional text.

The key for me is to give as many players as possible as many ways to get into your game as you can. If players want to ignore text, they should be able to. Heck, if players want to be able to bypass combat, let 'em.

Wednesday - June 28, 2006

Warren Spector Interview @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 01:42
Warren Spector's Junction Point Studios is currently working on an unnamed Steam project with Valve after their first (also unnamed) project was put on hold. We have no idea if the project has any RPG elements but he probably continues to be a person of interest to the community - so here's his latest interview over at Eurogamer:
Eurogamer: There's a certain irony that you're working with Valve when it's clear that Gabe Newell has an almost polar opposite design philosophy to yours. As you know, he firmly believes that gamers should get to experience "as much entertainment as possible", but that making something where players may miss five sixths of the game is a "mistake". He says, "You spend all this time to build stuff most players will never ever see." That's a pretty wholesale rejection of your company's mantra of allowing players to craft their own unique experiences through in-game choices, don't you think? Who's right here?

Warren Spector: Well, I'M right, of course! No, seriously, there's clearly room for a variety of approaches to game design - god, it'd be boring if we all believed the same stuff and made the same kind of game! Fact is, I've been having this argument with Gabe for, oh, let's see... how long have I known him? Nine years? Yeah, all that time. And before that, I used to argue with Richard Garriott and others at Origin about the same damn thing. I'll go to my grave believing I'm right.

But, really, I find the idea that one design philosophy is "right" and another "wrong" (or even that one is better than another) incredibly odd. I mean, is Star Wars better than The Godfather? Is Lord of the Rings better than Goodfellas? Should Stephen Spielberg make nothing but action-adventure movies because they make more money than his more "serious" efforts? Should we elevate Tom Clancy or Dan Brown to the top of the writing heap and stop reading Shakespeare? Does anyone think all music should be aimed at the top of the Billboard charts? I sure don't want to live in a world where everyone sounds like Britney Spears... oh, wait, I already do... Anyway, you get my point...

BioWare, Irrational embrace new AMD platform

by Dhruin, 01:07
This is mostly PR fluffery but it caught my eye with a rare mention of BioWare's Dragon Age:
Software Industry Embraces AMD's Upcoming PC Enthusiast Platform; PC Games Joining Digital Media Software in Transition to Multi-Threaded Applications
SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 26, 2006--AMD (NYSE: AMD) announced today broad software developer support for its upcoming four-core, multi-socket enthusiast platform, codenamed 4x4. Leading software developers including Bioware, Cakewalk, Crytek, Havok, Irrational Games, Midway, NERO and Sony have been working on software applications and games to take advantage of multi-core processors and benefit from AMD's Direct Connect Architecture. [...]

"BioWare is committed to delivering truly amazing next-generation gaming experiences. Our future title "Dragon Age(TM)" is an excellent showcase of what we can deliver by combining our BioWare Eclipse Engine(TM) with its multi-core design philosophy with the power of an AMD four-core, multi-socket architecture," said Trent Oster, director of technology at BioWare Corporation.
More...

Tuesday - June 27, 2006

Afterfall: Prelude Revealed

by Dhruin, 02:05
The Polish post-apoc project Afterfall has announced at NMA a preview/tech demo titled 'Prelude' will be released this December:
"Afterfall: Prelude" is a short, but fully-featured game set in a pre-war German military base a dozen years before the game's timeline. "Afterfall:Prelude" will offer:

- One of a kind atmosphere mixed of a post-apocalyptic, known to you from our stories and descriptions, Afterfall's climate, and that of various survival horrors.
- Circa 3-4h gameplay
- 7 atmospheric locations to explore. All brimming with delicious details.
- Original game's "Afterfall" v1.0 beta mechanics, which is a depleted, but self-sufficient version.
- Over 300 items, which can possibly be modified and assembled by the player character.
- A complete story, an unusual hero, whose actions you might direct, and a distinct time frame.

Source: NMA

Monday - June 26, 2006

5 Things RPGs Do Wrong #2 and #1 @ eToychest

by Kalia, 13:37
Finishing the series, Five Things RPGs Do Wrong, eToychest has posted up the number 2 (RPGs are too easy...) and number 1 (Not enough roleplay) mistakes made by most of today's RPGs.
The industry seems to have been brainwashed into thinking that all a game needs to have included to be called a role-playing game is a paint by numbers plot coupled with experience points and leveling up. That is not what a role-playing game is supposed to be about. Role-playing is about loosing yourself in a character, a concept that is lost on far too many role-playing games, especially (but not exclusively) of the console variety.

Source: eToychest

Thursday - June 22, 2006

#3 of "The 5 Things RPGs Do Wrong" @ eToychest

by Kalia, 14:12
Continuing their backward count to number one, eToychest serves up RPG error number three. Focusing on originality, or more precisely the author's thought that originality is lacking, he said:
...our latest gripe turns to originality, or to put it better, the lack thereof. Now, I understand that creativity and the spark of inspiration when it comes to creating a new game, especially a role-playing game, are not things to take for granted. However, for what seems like an eternity role-playing games have been feeding players the same tired themes and circumstances to the point where one game's plot reads much like most any other.
Read the rest here.

Source: eToychest

Tuesday - June 20, 2006

5 Things RPGs Do Wrong #4 @ eToychest

by Kalia, 19:16
Continuing an editorial string, eToychest the author's #4 opinion (out of five) of the greatest errors that most RPGs make:
It simply defies logic how developers can deliver a role-playing game to market, and ask players invest uncountable hours into the adventure, but then simply forget about their accomplishments and start from scratch when a sequel comes along months, or even years later.
You can read the rest of #4 above and find out the #5 error as well.

Source: eToychest

Monday - June 19, 2006

Randy Smith Interview Pts. 1 & 2 @ Evil Avatar

by Dhruin, 10:36
Evil Avatar has spoken to Randy Smith about his his work on Thief and stealth gameplay concepts. Here's a snip from the first part, introducing Randy:
Jonathan: Please, briefly introduce yourself.

Randy: Hi, I'm Randy Smith, game designer.

I'm a 5' 10" 31 y.o. Gemini, interested in the cheeses of the world. I worked on Thief 1, 2, and then for a change I worked on Thief 3.

I was a freelance consultant on various projects for a couple of years, and more recently I took a full time job working with Doug Church's team on a Steven Spielberg project here at EALA.
Part 1 and Part 2.

Sunday - June 18, 2006

Not the Time for Dragons - 7 New Screens @ cRPG.ru

by Kalia, 20:11
Eddard Stark has sent word that cRPG.ru has seven exclusive screenshots from the upcoming Not the Time for Dragons. You can see them all right here.

Source: cRPG.ru

Saturday - June 17, 2006

Afterfall cuts a deal with Unigine

by Dhruin, 08:32
Polish post-apoc project <a href="http://afterfall.pl/index/en/25" target="_blank">Afterfall</a> has inked a deal for Unigine engine license without paying up-front fees:<blockquote><em>Unigine Corp., creators of a high-quality graphics engine a  Unigine, and Intoxicate Interactive have signed a license agreement for the engine. The agreement is so favorable for Intoxicate Interactive that the young developers do not have to pay any fees up front and can focus on making their game. Unigine developers emphasize the need for cooperation with both young and innovative development groups as well as providing middleware solutions to large established companies. The decision of Unigine Corp. was influenced by the professional quality of work at Intoxicate Interactive that has just completed the pre-production of its first game a  Afterfall. The Unigine engine shall be used to develop both a demo version of Afterfall and the final product.</em></blockquote>

Source: NMA

Friday - June 16, 2006

Deep Shadows: White Gold Screens @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 07:22
Developer Deep Shadows has posted screens for 'White Gold', which I presume is the title for the previously revealed sequel to 'Boiling Point'.

Tuesday - June 13, 2006

Chris Crawford Interview @ Gamasutra

by Dhruin, 07:25
This is off-topic but some may be interested in a look...industry vet Chris Crawford has been <a href="http://gamasutra.com/features/20060612/murdey_01.shtml" target="_blank">interviewed</a> at Gamasutra about innovation in the industry and his own academic work on an interactive storytelling system called "Storytronics". Here's a provocative quote:<blockquote><em><b>GS: When you say new ideas don't go anywhere, what kind of new ideas do you mean? Have you seen any that maybe popped up and fell flat?</b> <br> <br>CC: I haven't even seen any new ideas pop up. The industry is so completely inbred that the people working in it arena "!t even capable of coming up with new ideas anymore. I was appalled, for example, at the recent GDC. I looked over the games at the Independent Games Festival and they all looked completely derivative to me. Just copies of the same ideas being recycled. I didn't see anything Ia "!d call innovative, and this was from people not even interested in doing anythinga in making money. It was just straight amateurs trying to be innovative and even they couldn't be innovative.</em></blockquote>Free registration may be required.

Games of Summer 2006 @ IGN

by Kalia, 02:55
PC IGN has posted their "Games of Summer 2006" list. Of interest to RPG players are the following:
  • Dungeon Siege II: Broken Worlds
  • Nightwatch
  • Titan Quest
Read all the games right here.

Source: IGN

Monday - June 12, 2006

Not the Time For Dragons Screens @ cRPG.ru

by Kalia, 21:03
Eddard Stark has sent along word that cRPG.ru has two new screenshots from "Not the Time For Dragons". Thanks, Eddard!

Source: CRPG.ru

Friday - June 09, 2006

Beltion: Beyond Ritual Announced

by Dhruin, 08:07
I have the feeling our friends at CRPG.ru have pointed this one out before but it has hit the radar with an English <a href="http://www.rostok-games.com.ua/eng/project/" target="_blank">product page</a>...Beltion: Beyond Ritual is an action/RPG from Ukrainian developer Rostok-Games:<blockquote><em><b>Beltion: Beyond Ritual</b> in a nonlinear third-person view Action/RPG game with the branching system of complementary quests. The game is being developed for PC platform only.<br /> <br /> The game is oriented on audience of 13-18 and older. The game should be specially attractive to the fans of medieval fantasy setting due to original art style concept combined with accustomed genre and setting canons. <br /> <br /> We dona "!t use any trademarks or other property that should be licensed. <br /> <br /> <b>USP a  unique selling points</b> <br /> <ul> <li>Literary and artistic constituents of the game world of our own design <li>Non-traditional interpretation of artistic genre and setting canons <li>Four independent systems of combat interaction, with possibility of combination <li>Original main character: a necromancer priest <li>A role-playing system of own design <li>Original stylization of characters, weapons, equipment and locations <li>Unique character development system using four types of human personality a  sanguine, choleric, melancholic and phlegmatic, that allows the player to act in a most comfortable way <li>Different solutions for problems a  by communication, combat or magic <li>More than three dozens of weapon types a  swords, sabers, axes, hammers, clubs, halberds, spears, numerous crossbows. All variations with different combat specifications <li>Wide range of Death Magic spells, including the variety of undead summoning <li>Possibility of covert enemy liquidation in a Sstealtha ? type actions <li>Different endings dependant on the manner of play</ul> Approximate playing time is about 60 hours <br /> <br /> <b>Game description</b> <br /> <br /> The player is completely free to choose what to do in the game world. He can fight, trade, communicate with the Beltion inhabitants, accomplish quests given by them, develop his own character, fulfill different rituals of Gods and Powers who inhabit the game world. <br /> <br /> The player will be able to visit countries and cities of Beltion continent, meet different characters of several races, gather interesting information about their everyday life by reading books, taking part in conversations, watching ingame movies. The persons player cam meet differ not only by racial belonging, but also by social levels, from high-ranking officials and rulers to beggars, vagabonds and rogues. Sometimes a clever dialogue will gain him more than a fight. Due to the possibility of trade, the player is able to sell items he gathered to buy new armour, weapons, magic items and ritual objects.</em></blockquote>There's more than I can reasonably post here so head over for the rest and check out some <a href="http://www.beltion-game.com/gallery/screenshots" target="_blank">screens</a> on the Russian site.

Source: Blue's

Monday - June 05, 2006

Broken Hourglass Interview @ Sorcerer's Place

by Kalia, 01:14
<a href="http://www.sorcerers.net/index.php#001840">Sorcerer's Place</a> has posted an interview with Jason Compton, creator of a new game called Broken Hourglass. Compton has been previously recognized for his work on a Baldur's Gate 2 module. Here's a small portion: <blockquote><em><b>5. SP: How familiar will the setting and the rules system be to a Baldur's Gate series fan and what are the most radical changes he or she will experience?</b><br><br>Jason Compton: BG players specifically or simply D&D players generally shouldn't have too much trouble adapting to the settinga  superficially, it falls under the "sword and sorcery" or "mage and metal" category. The Byzantine-inspired flavors should be a breath of fresh air. The most significant difference that a D&D/BG player may find is that although our setting does have magic and swords and pikes and cruel, excessively tattooed elves and whatnot, it's comparatively light in the "wandering and marauding monster" departmenta  most of the "baddies" in our world are, in fact, other people, not dog-faced monsters. That's not to say there aren't a few strange and unusual creatures in the bestiary, however.</em></blockquote>

Source: Sorcerer's Place

Friday - June 02, 2006

Warren Spector Interview @ Working Title

by Dhruin, 08:34
Working Title cornered Warren Spector to talk about E3, the industry and what Junction Point Studios has been doing. Interestingly, it seems their first title is cancelled/on hold:
Let's talk a bit about Junction Point Studios. The company has been founded about 1.5 years ago, but it's been pretty quiet until now. What have you been doing so far?

JPS currently has about 20 people. We started out working on a pretty epic game with a supportive publisher but, through no fault of our own, the deal got cancelled after about 9 months of work. Since then, we've been working on some stuff with Valve (can't talk much about that), doing concept development for some folks (can't talk at ALL about that, sadly!) and pitching some new game ideas. We're keeping plenty busy!
More...

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