Kickstarter - All News
Monday - May 13, 2013
TUG - A Sandbox RPG Going Social
According to themselves TUG is a multiplayer open-world sandbox-RPG using new technology and social sciences to directly involve players in the game’s design. They are currently trying to get $215K at Kickstarter and are currently at 98K with 18 days to go.
TUG sits at the crossroads where survival sandbox and multiplayer RPG’s meet, offering both elegant simplicity and a world of complex secrets for those who desire to seek them out. From freezing snow capped mountains to dark dreary caves, TUG offers a massive procedurally-generated world to explore, full of mystery and danger -- but what makes TUG truly unique is its ability to help us learn what you as players enjoy about the game, and to use your interactions to make an amazing world even better.
The project draws inspiration from fun, accessible games we love such as Minecraft, Fable, Animal Crossing, and Zelda, as well as games that feature deeply complex worlds, including Eve Online, Monster Hunter, and Dwarf Fortress.
What do we think you’ll like about TUG? Some of the things we’re most excited about include:
- Integrated modding support: we won’t just have support for modding tools hooked in from the beginning -- we’ll be sharing our tools with modders.
- Pets and Companions will join you in your travels and help along the way.
- Entire Civilizations lie hidden for you to uncover... or create new ones to conquer the world!
- Day, Night, and Seasonal Cycles with perils and opportunities unique to each.
- Exotic Wild Beasts to tame, hunt, breed, or ride!
- Logic Engineering, from simple trap triggers to reprogramming your golem!
- Dark Mysteries to unearth, and ancient powers to unleash!
- DRM-Free. That includes the servers, which we’ll also be sharing with you.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Tuesday - May 07, 2013
Chasm - Kickstarted and Demo Available
The Kickstarter for Chasm shows the project from Discord Games has surpassed its $150K funding goal with several days remaining in the campaign. There is a playable demo so the game can be sampled also.
PLAY THE DEMO AND PLEDGE NOW! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/d...
Chasm is a 2D Platformer Action-RPG currently in development for Windows, Mac, & Linux. Taking equal inspiration from hack 'n slash dungeon crawlers (procedurally generated dungeons, loot drops, etc) and Metroidvania-style platformers, the game aims to immerse you in its 2D fantasy world full of exciting treasure, deadly enemies, and abundant secrets.
Monday - May 06, 2013
Adventure Maximus! - A New Kid Friendly Table Top Game
Eden Studios sent news for their recently started kickstarter. It's a card based Role Playing Game for players 8 years-of-age and up. It looks like a good way to get kids interested in RPG's.
Eden Studios has been known for publishing award winning and fan favorite RPGs for over 15 years. Today we embark on a new project to bring in new players to the world of role playing games. It's time for a role playing game adults & kids can both enjoy. Make a character in under 2 minutes. Start playing out of the box.
That project is entitled Adventure Maximus!
Adventure MAXIMUS! is a card based, introductory Role Playing Game for players 8 years-of-age and up. Players can take on roles from eight different races. Working together as a famous "Adventure Company" based in the fantastic, post-apocalyptic world of Ex-Machina they can become heroes of legend.
Adventure MAXIMUS! follows the classic role playing game format consisting of someone who runs the adventure (who we call a Maximus Master) and 2 or more players who interact with the adventure. Inexperienced Maximus Masters will find using our Adventure Creation System helpful when making their first adventure. Also, the role of Maximus Master can be taken over by a player in mid adventure so that everyone gets a chance to play!
Saturday - May 04, 2013
TinyKeep - A New Action RPG
As usual I came across another kickstarter that needs some attention and funding. This time the kickstarter is called TinyKeep.
TinyKeep is a 3D dungeon crawler for Windows and Mac, currently under development by programmer Phi Dinh. The game was originally inspired by classic roguelikes and RPGs such as Rogue, NetHack, Ultima IV, and boardgames like Hero Quest. Since it's inception, the game has taken on a life of it's own, dragged kicking and screaming into a new age - where terrifyingly intelligent monsters haunt the beautifully lit corridors of TinyKeep's dungeons.
In essence, TinyKeep is a 3D realtime Action RPG, focusing on exploration and combat. The premise is simple: Your character is a prisoner, a seasoned fighter jailed many years ago and left to perish in the deepest, darkest cells of the keep. The nights pass by and all hope seems lost, you realise that the end is drawing near. But on one fateful day, you wake up and find yourself mysteriously free of your shackles, and in front of you lies a broken, unlocked door. There is only one thing left to do, you must now escape TinyKeep!
At its heart is a sophisticated AI system, designed to produce unique monster intelligence that behaves in exciting and unpredictable ways. We wanted to create a game that feels alive, where the dungeon's inhabitants have their own motivations and needs, and situations are created that have never been seen before in a game of this genre.
Friday - April 26, 2013
RPGs are Evil - Dark Dungeons: The Movie
I was introduced to this kickstsrter via an email notice in my newsbox . This time the kickstarter isn't about a game, but about the famous 1984 Anti-Dungeons and Dragons comic Dark Dungeons.
I won the lottery. Not the jackpot, "just" a thousand bucks, and being a typical middle-class middle-manager a thousand dollars is nice, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't going to change my life. So I decided to do something special with the money. I decided I wanted to spend it to bring something that would last; I would spend it to try and bring Jack Chick's epic 1984 graphic novel / tract to film.
I wrote Chick Publications explaining this to them and I'm super-excited to announce that I have obtained the video rights to make a movie based on Dark Dungeons.
If you're not familiar with Dark Dungeons you can read it in its entirety here;
But all you really need to know is that it sets out to show what Jack Chick knows to be the truth behind role-playing. It shows that;
*Playing RPGs can make you gain real life magic abilities
*If you gain a high enough level you will be invited to join a secret cult
* Gamers whose characters die are in danger of committing suicide.
* That DM's are vile temptresses that are out to corrupt their players to the forces of evil.
Given all those startling claims it's amazing that the crusade against RPG's has not been more successful! In fact, the last movie to crusade against D&D was Tom Hank's 1982 classic, "Mazes and Monsters."
We are going change all that. I'm already investing all of my lottery winnings in this project but it's just not enough to get it filmed and that's where you come in.
If the idea of seeing a movie where all the anti-RPG arguments above are made with every last drop of drama and conviction I can wring out them appeals to you, then I want you to invest today and make this movie a reality.
Tuesday - April 23, 2013
The Realm Game - A New Adventure Game Set In Post-Civilisation England
The Realm is the latest title asking you to part with your pennies and pounds in the form of a Kickstarter.While not a RPG I know some of you are interested in adventure games.
We are a group of experienced game developers asking for your help to make a unique and visually stunning graphical adventure. We will be using a combination of inspiring 3D and beautifully crafted 2D artwork to set a new artistic benchmark for the point and click genre, not just on PC and Mac, but on tablet devices too. We call our style ‘Western Art, Eastern Heart’.
We’re re-imagining the point and click adventure, bringing it up to date so that it can be played just as easily on touch screen devices as with a mouse. We've taken out complicated inventory screens and obscure puzzles and replaced them with the streamlined interactivity and intuitive design now expected of modern games.
So What Is 'The Realm'?
The Realm is set in a far distant future where the world has been reclaimed by nature. Our once proud cities now lie abandoned - overgrown with strange plants and twisted vines. The locations in The Realm reflect the real-life landscapes and architecture of the North East of England.
Some humans remain, but they are now leading a more simple life based around small rural communities entirely divorced from modern technology and science. The age of magic and mysticism has returned and there are rumours of stirrings in the forests.
Kickstarter - Nine Year Old Raises $24,534
You read the headline right it's not wrong. A nine year old named Mackenzie Wilson wants to create her own RPG game. She just successfully concluded her Kickstarter campaign for her RPG, raising $24,534 pledged by 1,442 backers.
I play games on my computer, PS3 and KindleHD all the time and it's fun but I REALLY WANT to create my own games to play. Ultimately I want to learn to program really cool stuff, but since I'm 9 I'm starting with RPG Maker because it lets me create something awesome without having to know how to actually program everything. I'll learn to program more as I get older, but right now, RPG Maker's drag & drop functionality makes it pretty easy for me to create working RPG games quickly. And each time, my games get better & better. I'm having fun playing with the software now and learning how it works. It's given me lots more ideas about how to make the game I'm going to build at RPG Camp even AWESOMER!
Right now, I know for sure that my game will be more age appropriate than the games I'm stuck playing. Sadly there just aren't many cool RPGs out there for kids my age that aren't stupid or silly.
As I said in the video, I want to create an RPG that isn't too violent and isn't filled with bad words, still has a good story line & cool graphics, but has shorter cut scenes, less menus & fewer controls. And most importantly, I want a game that allows team members to face danger together and get hurt but doesn't kill team mates off & eliminate them from battle.
It's no secret there aren't enough females in STEM professions so part of my Kickstarter campaign is aimed at raising awareness and getting girls thinking about careers in technology at an early age. I want to be a role model for kids - but especially to girls so there are more girls in tech because I don't want to be the only girl in the room. My Mom and I created fun messaging about things girls can do followed by "KEEP UP!" which implies that the person who's supporting the campaign is ahead of others and a leader. Both of these items will be built in the game.
Monday - April 22, 2013
Worlds of Magic - Life in the City
Worlds of Magic has more information on the game in their recent kickstarter update. The update deals with the project funding, and the city side of the game.
Salutations our ingenious and inquisitive backers! Today we want to focus on two main points:
We have now passed the 90% line. This is awesome news! We still have plenty of time to hit stretch goals. However, as always, we want to be moving along even more quickly. Everyone can help us do that just by sharing what they've found with their friends. We now have over 1400 backers. We don't know how many friends you guys have, but we're fairly sure “a lot” is a fitting description :) So, make sure you let them know about WoM!
Now, I think we'll all agree that it's very MoM inspired. Some of you may not like the fact that population can be assigned to research. However, Aaron LOVED it in MoO2, so you'll have to go by the forums and argue with him about it if you don't like the idea. This is the first taste. There will be more to come. You have certainly noticed that there is no picture of the city on this screen. Don't worry, you'll see all your cool little buildings in what is now the empty part of this screen. Be sure to leave us comments about what you like (or what you don't like if you must, lol). We're listening!
To wrap up we'll do what we always do and thank you as well as ask you to keep spreading the word. We're getting there step by step!
Steven Kimura - Disappointed With Kickstarter
I know this news post has nothing to do with RPG's, but it has eveything to do with all the recentt RPG's kickstarted. Former Harmonix and Irrational Games turned indepent developer Steven Kimura has has spoken of his grievance with the direction of Kickstarter.
“Kickstarter is becoming a burned out, cynical market that can’t support the kinds of projects we’re working on.” says Kimura. “It’s disheartening for me to see some rehash of a game that was popular 20 years ago get funded. I get it, because that’s a reflection of the retail market – all sequels – but those kinds of projects have really burned people out on Kickstarter for us.”
“For me, indie development is about making something creative and different. I think that’s what Kickstarter was supposed to be about, but I think that it’s shifted, especially in the game space. Now it’s just a shop and I think that’s the death of that platform. That’s not what it’s for.”
Now the question is do you agree with him? I for one am grateful for kickstarter. I have more RPG's that would of never been funded by a publisher.
Sunday - April 21, 2013
Worlds of Magic - The Art of WoM
Worlds of Magic has a new update on their kickstarter game. This time it deals with the art side of the game.
Hello your probably wondering how I'm going to describe you today backers! This update is about the art behind Worlds of Magic. We asked George to give us a brief description of the process he goes through when he starts working on a new character. He had a fair amount to say. We also have a few more concept sketches George did for us that were colored by one of our other artists. We're hoping you'll find all this as exciting as we do. So, here is what George had to say on the subject:
I'm just a lifelong fan of fantasy and science fiction, so I devour movies, television, novels, comic books, and games in those genres. They say, "Good artists borrow; great artists steal." When I play tabletop RPGs there are no copyright laws to stop me from shamelessly stealing characters and concepts from fiction or history, but with commercial games you have to make a few changes here and there to satisfy the desire to emulate popular characters. Of course there are times when you want to depart from classic tropes and archetypes and do something different, but if you do that every time you're suddenly outside of the genre.
Saturday - April 20, 2013
Worlds of Magic - Delving Into Development
Worlds of Magic is back with another update on kickstarter.
Good whatever time you happen to be reading this our up-at-all-hours backers! This update will be short for those of you who have no interest in development video. For those of you who are interested it may be too long. Still, if you average that out it's probably just right, lol.
This video is an overview of the evolution of the battle board. Aaron did his best to make it interesting. You can tell him how he did in the comments!
We hope you enjoy the video. We put a lot into it :)
Keep in mind: If you like what you're seeing share it. We haven't reached all the MoM fans out there. In fact, we've only scratched the surface. We're doing the best we can to let them all know about the wonderful Worlds of Magic, but we certainly appreciate any help you guys can give us. Just talking about it around the water cooler at work could make a big difference. The more people who know, the more backers we'll have, the better we can make the game!
As always, THANKS!!
Thursday - April 18, 2013
Worlds of Magic - A Fistful of Addons
Worlds of Magic has a new update on there kickstarter. As of right now the project has £23,204 of it's £30,000 goal. Maybe the new addons can help find the rest with 14 days to go.
Hello again our inspiring backers! And I mean INSPIRING. The first subject we're going to touch in this update is something that was inspired directly by you. That is to say, you asked for it and here it is: Addons and Additional Tiers! We'll walk through the tiers first and then move on to the additions. So:
Mayor: 18£ - You get: Add a city name to the list of random names (approved names obviously, some things just wouldn't fit WoM, no matter how funny they may be.) A digital copy of the game, manual, artwork and artbook, beta access, backers-only forums access and your name in the credits.
Bard: 20£ - You get: A digital copy of the soundtrack as well as a digital copy of the game, manual, artwork and artbook, beta access, backers-only forums access and your name in the credits.
Plane Walker: 75£ - You get: 7 digital copies of the game and manual and 7 beta keys. You get a digital copy of the artwork, artbook and spellbook in addition to backers-only forums access and your name in the credits.
Digital Creatures Roster: 5£ - A digital list of creatures and units with their image and stats.
Additional Hero 5 Pack: 5£ - Add 5 KS exclusive random heroes to your game.
Digital Spellbook: 6£ - A digital copy of the physical spellbook.
Digital Soundtrack: 6£ - A digital version of the game's soundtrack. (Heroes and higher get this free. Backers who pledge 100£ or more also get a physical copy of the soundtrack for free.)
Additional Faction Leader: 8£ - Add a KS exclusive Sorcerer Lord to your game.
Additional Copy: 10£ - Get an extra digital copy of the game at a discount.
Future WoM Content: 12£ - Get all future Worlds of Magic content for free. (You know we're planning to do a lot with this game in future guys. This is your chance to get a lot of future additions at a very low price!)
You asked for extra options and we gave them to you. Now, use them and go up your pledge. :)Alright guys, the second subject we're going to address is that of the great faction vote. We have to decide on the fifth race. The choice is between Orcs and Draconians (we know, it's a hard choice.) Keep in mind this is JUST to decide the fifth slot. Both races may (and probably will) make it into Worlds of Magic in time, but we have to pick a first one first as it were. So, please, take a moment and cast your vote for one or the other:
Orcs Vs. Draconians Vote
We appreciate your feedback!
Tuesday - April 16, 2013
Chasm - 2D Fantasy ARPG
Yes I can see it already your thinking not another one, and were does he keep finding them. Discord Games has started a kickstater called Chasm.
Chasm (pronounced kaz-um) is a 2D Action-RPG Platformer currently in development for Windows, Mac, & Linux. Taking equal inspiration from hack ‘n slash dungeon crawlers (procedurally generated dungeons, loot drops, etc) and Metroidvania-style platformers, the game aims to immerse you in its 2D fantasy world full of exciting treasure, deadly enemies, and abundant secrets.
We are attempting to create an authentic retro experience similar to the games you remember. Chasm was heavily influenced by games like Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Diablo. If these games are your style, then this is the game you have been waiting for!
In Chasm, players take up the role of a soldier passing through a remote mining town on their journey home from a long war. The town’s miners have recently disappeared after breaching a long-forgotten temple far below the town, and reawakened an ancient slumbering evil. Now trapped in the town by supernatural forces, you’re left with no option but to explore the mines below, battle enemies and bosses, and increase your abilities in hopes of finally escaping and returning home.
World of Magic - Interview @ RPS
Rock Paper Shotgun has an interview with the Worlds of Magic devs, who are currently running a Kickstarter for their game.
RPS: On the Kickstarter page, you state – “Our primary goal for Worlds of Magic is to capture the essence of what made Master of Magic the classic it is” – what do you believe are the most important features and what have other games lacked?
Wastelands: There are a number of elements that we feel made Master of Magic the incredible classic that it is. Just browsing over the feature list on our Kickstarter page will give you an insight into our thought process. I’ll take a moment to touch the highlights here: First it’s very important to maintain the true 4X feel. Procedurally generated random maps, fog of war, interesting locations to discover, long lost loot to find, it’s all in Worlds of Magic. Spells, magical artifacts, and magic in general are also an essential piece. With Worlds of Magic we’ve expanded on the concepts found in Master of Magic. We offer a wider range of magical schools (we call them circles) to choose from. Your spell circle choices have an effect on what spells you can research and cast. It also effects what kind of artifacts you can make for your heroes. Of course, heroes are yet another fundamental piece. Just as Master of Magic did, Worlds of magic offers a number of unique heroes you can persuade to join your armies. They can gain more experience and reach higher levels than normal units and you can equip them with magical weapons, armour, etc. There’s a great deal more, but I can’t touch every point here. Our Kickstarter page has a much more in-depth explanation.
As far as other games are concerned I would say that we haven’t seen a real spiritual successor to Master of Magic because developers tend to want to put their own new “spin” on things. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and if you add nothing new you just end up making a clone, not a successor. Worlds of Magic has a lot of new stuff in it. However, it’s stuff we’ve worked hard to make sure would have fit into Master of Magic in the first place.
Monday - April 15, 2013
Planet Explorers - Kickstarter
Another kickstarter that is late in the news. The game is called Planet Explorers. The game only needs a litttle more to reach it's goal. Please spread the word to help the project.
Planet Explorers is an open world voxel based sandbox adventure RPG game set on a distant planet. The game uses a new OpenCL system based on the Unity 3D engine to allow players to change the terrain in anyway, create new objects in any form, and do it anywhere.
In Planet Explorers, it is the year 2287, one of the first colony ships sent out by Earth arrives at the planet Maria, in the Epsilon Indi Star System. During its landing sequence, something appears in front of the massive ship that causes it to lose control and crash into the planet. Some of the colonists survive in lifeboats, but what they find is an unforgiving land filled with creatures ready to outlast the visitors from Earth. Now the survivors must explore, gather, build, create, fight, and ultimately, establish a lasting new home.
The gameplay will be in 3rd and 1st person perspectives. Players will be able to customize their character, combine and create weapons, vehicles, and buildings. At the same time, players will have to defeat multitudes of enemies of varying intelligence and defend the remnants of the colonists. This is an RPG, so it will feature a full story arc complete with missions and side quests. The game will feature a single player story line as well as random single and multiplayer adventure maps. Multiplayer, both through LAN and online, will be featured prominently in Planet Explorers, including but not limited to build mode, adventure mode, cooperation mode, and versus mode.
Lex Laser Saves The Galaxy, Again - Starting on Kickstarter
A sci-fi tactical puzzle RPG for busy people is what the team behind Lex Laser Saves The Galaxy, Again is saying about their game that has just gone live on Kickstarter.
Between missions, you can use the various technological items and alien artifacts you have found to improve your arsenal. You won't have to guess at recipes, though. Lex Laser is a top-notch technician, and can stick almost any mod onto any weapon.
For example, the Orthobarrel mod might add a second projectile to every shot from a gun, but always 90 degrees to the right of the main shot, and the gun will take twice as much ammo per shot. Stack the Explosive Ammo on top of that, and you can turn your simple pistol into a mini-multi-grenade launcher. That's fantastic until you find yourself in a museum filled with fragile crystal sculptures - then you might want to go back to the base model.
You might also find (or build) sensors, such as a tactical readout that predicts enemy actions, or a life detector that can give you hints about where to go to rescue that last refugee.
This equipment mechanic is the primary way Lex Laser improves as the game goes on, so a little creativity here can go a long way.
Consortium - Update #19-20 Stretch Goals
Consortium brings news with Updates #19-20. The project is already funded with three days left with $55,022 earned already. The updates detail the new stretch goals and a character update.
We have zoomed in a bit and created a few smaller stretch goals to give us all something to shoot for over the final days of our campaign. We have updated the main page with these, but here are the new smaller stretch goals:
$55K: The third most spoken language on Earth is Spanish, so we intend to localize the game to Spanish first.
$60K: There are a few very cool interactive scenes in CONSORTIUM that we have cut due to time and resource restraints that we would love to be able to squeeze back in if we hit this goal. These scenes would increase player freedom and add more consequences to actions...
$65K: Localization to another language, decided by YOU, based on a poll.
$70K: "EXTREME ZENLIL SIMULATION". All exterior doors will be able to be shot out, triggering completely simulated decompression events, potentially causing main characters to die. The environment becomes significantly more fragile (lights, computer screens and more can become damaged). Turbulance will feel more real, creating a more immersive and believable feeling of flight.
$75K: Localization to another language, decided by YOU, based on a poll
Sunday - April 14, 2013
Infinite Space 3 - Kickstarter
Well this news is a little late, but I want to bring attention to another rougelike kickstarter game.
Infinite Space 3: Sea of Stars is going to be a single-player science fiction roguelike with turn-based navigation and real-time combat. There’ll be randomly-generated open worlds, frequent deaths, and mod tools.
A three-dimensional follow-up to our classic indie space-roguelikes, Strange Adventures and Weird Worlds.
Although Sea of Stars builds on the universe you visited in the earlier games, it is expanded with fresh new material and gameplay. Discovering the interactions between items, alien races, characters and random events will keep you busy for years - yet each session of the game is a complete adventure that you can finish in one sitting. To extend the game's longevity even further, we encourage people to make mods and even provide tools for it!At its core, Sea of Stars is a single-player science fiction roguelike similar to Strange Adventures and Weird Worlds. Turn-based star map navigation is combined with a real-time combat system. The game provides a randomly generated open world for you to explore, and will only reveal a fraction of its secrets each time you play. There is no going back to a saved game - everything you do has a permanent effect. Death is frequent, but only makes you want to try again.
C-Wars - A Roguelike Pixel Art Game
Onipunks a China based developer has just started their kickstarter called C-Wars. They already have two updates and the project is half funded.
What happens when Cyberpunk apocalypse roguelike meets RTS in pixel art? C-Wars!We love apocalyptic themes (not in real life, of course!), and have been thinking about the best way to integrate themes of desperation, chaos, and hope into one game. This isn’t just about simple storytelling or displaying a crisis in front of you; it’s our invitation to you to enter into and interact with this world.C-Wars is a roguelike game. Its gameplay allows you to explore this cyberpunk apocalypse in your own way.
Roguelike is retro but not old fashioned, especially when embedded with an original combat system.In addition to the numerous special/random encounters commonly seen in a regular roguelike game, we’ve spent a large amount of time creating this unique combat system, which follows an RTS spirit with an ARPG essence. Our goal is to amplify units collaboration and micromanagement.
It's a magnificent combination of retro-style visuals and innovative gameplay.
A global nuclear war reset humankind, and Luna base became the final outpost of civilization. 150 years later, Alpha, the largest Luna city, was infected by Crystal mutants. Despite all the precautions taken, the infection broke the quarantine barrier and hit Delta City.
Luna Council decided to use tactical nuclear weapons to terminate the two cites. You, as Sector 7's field commander, must enter these infected areas and find out the truth before it's too late. Your decisions in the game will determine Luna's fate.
They also have an alpha version to try.
Saturday - April 13, 2013
Consortium - Kickstarter Update #18 Funded
Consortium's kickstarter has a new update that basically tells us the game has been funded. I for one am happy for the developer congratulations.
YOU have all decided: CONSORTIUM is going to be finished in time for this summer!! YES!! Now we have slightly less than one week to see how far into stretch goals we can manage to achieve to make this game the absolute best it can be!
You have asked for it, so we have provided, as promised. Go HERE to make a pledge via PayPal.
They have also posted a new video.
Friday - April 12, 2013
Kickstarter - The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death Update #9
Cancelled RPG kickstarter The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death has another update . It's called "Why we can deliver a good and deep story".
Before sharing the vision doc next week with you guys, I want to share some thoughts on a topic that greatly affects the new take on the game. I am talking about the story.
The initial vision for the story on TDT was including well-known elements from a standard high fantasy setting. This would allow us to have more time to develop the dialogues, as people already know how elves, dwarves or orks are supposed to behave.
One of the issues that we had was that the plot for the story was initially written with a lesser scope in mind. But now the game has evolved in many senses, and keeping the same story would be limiting ourselves too much and we wouldn't deliver the best possible experience. We are aware that we can't aim at the moon, we are not Bioware or Obsidian, but we definitely trust that we can deliver something really good. I'm fully convinced of it.
Another issue we had was the language. It's difficult for us to write the story and dialogues directly in English. Our lack of a proficient command of the English language meant that we were losing many nuances and subtleties inherent to the language, and that meant that we couldn't convey or instill enough richness to the characters and situations.
As we told in a previous post update, we will now write the story and dialogues in Spanish, as it's our native language. This will allow us two things: conveying this lost richness due to our lack of a proficient knowledge of the English language and be 20 times much faster. We will then send all the texts to a professional English native translator specialized in literature to ensure this richness is not lost along the way. We think this is key for the success of the game, besides taking care of the other systems of course, like combat, non-combat skills or the new factions system.
Why this focus on the story won't affect other game systems?
First, because we can now deliver a great amount of text ensuring the quality doesn't diminish. I will write the most part of the story, but Miguel will also help me. We both have been writing stories since we were children, so we've developed a good sense of what it takes to develop a good plot and characters to make the story engaging an inmersive enough - this doesn't mean we don't see this as easy-peasy, Lord forgive me!-. Also, with your help during the beta stage, we can iron out things that need to be modified and suit best to the story. We also have the chance to get the help of some mates that have written and published some stories, and the best of all, we are all long-time CRPG players, which makes things easier!
Also, in this case we, as cofounders, will take charge of the writing, and this means no additional budget costs to be spend on the texts besides the translations. I hope this makes sense to you guys. Anyways, all the texts we will share with you regarding the story, the Vision Doc, etc will be already translated in English, no worries for that! =)
The Thief of Dreams Novel Kickstarter by Betrayal at Krondor Author Neal Hallford
RPG veteran Neal Hallford, lead writer of the classic RPG Betrayal at Krondor, gamers' most favourite screen saver Dungeon Siege and a couple of other well known RPGs, started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a couple of months full time work on his fantasy novel The Thief of Dreams.
The Thief of Dreams will be
a new fantasy novel set in a world where magic is forbidden, where sorcerers are spies, and where a force beyond imagination threatens to transform the long simmering cold war between the nine kingdoms into a cataclysmic, world-shattering conflict.
In the misty town of Durande, nobleman Turiel de Juarde nearly dies at the point of an assassin's blade, but his surprising rescue by his spell-hurling younger brother Aeris uncovers a connection to unsuspected world of treachery, deception, and magical intrigue. As the secret society of Owls scour the streets for Turiel's would-be assassins, the King's soldiers hunt the sorcerous Owls on suspicion of treason, and a net of fear and paranoia unravels a hard-fought truce that could tear the kingdom of Eaden apart forever. Dispatched on a mission to ferret out whether the assassins are agents of a foreign power, or a dangerous offshoot of the Owls, Aeris and Turiel will confront powers that could end all life in Callendia.
Filled with adventure, mystery, and court intrigue, The Thief of Dreams combines a unique blend of magic and espionage in a story that will keep you reading long past midnight, and well into the dawn.
Betrayal at Krondor is an all-time classic which pushed game writing forward and combined a slick interface for its time with a lot of depth and turn-based combat. Krondor series creator Raymond E. Feist later made Neal Hallford's BaK story canon by writing a novel based on it which made it onto the NYT bestseller list.
The Kickstarter is currently at 3k$ of 24k$ with 30 days to go.
A successful book Kickstarter could even be an important stepping stone for an upcoming spiritual successor to Betrayal at Krondor, says The Codex.
Tuesday - April 09, 2013
Kickstarter - Sanguine Nights: Darkest Blood Campaign
Team Ravenous is the latest independent developer to bring their project to Kickstarter, a It's a new vampire-themed action RPG entitled Sanguine Nights: Darkest Blood for the Linux, Macintosh, and Windows platforms.
The team is looking for $75,000 over the next 34 days and is hoping to cater to fans of both multiplayer and single player.
If you were a fan of games like Vampire Bloodlines, and Vampire The Masquerade the game should feel similiar. They could really use the help. Spread the word.
Here is the link to the Kickstarter.
Monday - April 08, 2013
Enemy - Funded
The Kickstarter for Enemy has been succesfully completed by gathering $18,143 out of an asked $15,000. Also the first stretch goal has been achieved.
This is a short update, but I just wanted to inform everyone that the first stretch goal has been reached! Enemy will have Mac and Linux versions released simultaneously with Windows.
Consortium - Updates #10 - #13, Another Rifle, More Characters and New Tiers
Here are some updates for the Consortium Kickstarter, which is currently little over $5K away from being funded.
There is some information on a new rifle, the Kinetic Assault Rifle (K.A.R.).
Then there is some more information on two in-game characters focussing on some of the antagonists in the game: Kiril Angelov and the Homeless Mercenaries.
And finally some new tiers are announced.
- OTHER PLATFORMS ($10) Receive the iDGi Discoveries Document upon game launch + one copy of the game on a platform other than PC, once a port has been made and is available. The Discoveries document is the perfect thing to read before even playing the game! NOTE: ALL tiers at $17 and above will receive the PC game upon launch & have access to one other copy of the game, on a different platform, when available (delivery date on this is for the iDGi Discoveries document only)
- *KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE* SPECIAL EDITION (PC only) ($17) - Digital Game Manual + Custom main menu content with exclusive credits, behind the scenes video, photos and more. The game itself will be identical to the game you get in lower tiers - ONLY the main menu is changed. Much of the same behind-the-scene content will also be found on the Special Edition DVD (see our Add-Ons). This version of CONSORTIUM will never be available outside of Kickstarter. NOTE: All higher tiers will also receive this version of the game.
- MAKE A NAME FOR YOURSELF (limited 250 @ $65) - You will get everything from the "CONSORTIUM KNIGHT" tier + have your full name included in the game lore, discoverable via the in-game information console. NOTE: This tier is exclusive and will not be available to higher tiers.
- MAKE A COMPANY (limited 15 @ $75) - You will get everything from the "CONSORTIUM KNIGHT" tier + work with the design team to create an in-game corporation or company that will be used as a part of the lore and written about in the information console. NOTE: This tier is exclusive and will not be available to higher tiers.
- MAKE HEADLINES (limited 50 @ $75) - You will get everything from the "CONSORTIUM KNIGHT" tier + work with the design team to come up with your own current world news event for the year 2042. NOTE: This tier is exclusive and will not be available to higher tiers.
- MAKE HISTORY (limited 50 @ $75) - You will get everything from the "CONSORTIUM KNIGHT" tier + work with the design team to come up with your own alternative history event between the years 1700 and 2042, and we will integrate it into the lore.
- MAKE A PERSON (limited 30 @ $150) - You will get everything from the "CONSORTIUM BISHOP" tier + work with the design team to create a character who is part of the lore and written about in the information console. NOTE: This tier is exclusive and will not be available to higher tiers.
- IMMORTALIZE YOURSELF (limited 25 @ $175) - You will get everything from the "CONSORTIUM QUEEN" tier + have your photo converted into Zenlil crew personal portraits. NOTE: This tier is exclusive and will not be available to higher tiers.
- THE INTERACTIVE SCREENPLAY ($250) - You will get everything from the "CONSORTIUM QUEEN" tier + receive the full "CONSORTIUM" Interactive Screenplay, a ~500 page printed book, signed by the team. This is the ENTIRE GAME in written form and has taken nearly four years to develop.
- SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION (limited 5 @ $350) - You will get everything from the "THE INTERACTIVE SCREENPLAY" tier + Have your full-name spoken out loud in the game by one of the main characters. NOTE: This tier is exclusive and will not be available to higher tiers.
- BE A VOICE ACTOR (limited 5 @ $1000) - You will get everything from the "THE CONSORTIUM KING" tier + voice an entire interactive conversation with the player as part of a series of in-game easter eggs. These will not exist unless a pledge is made. (Decent microphone required). NOTE: This tier is exclusive and will not be available to higher tiers.
- ZENLIL MASCOT CAT (limited 1 @ $5000) You will get everything from the "THE CONSORTIUM KING" tier + design and name the Zenlil feline mascot. Only if this pledge is made will there be a cat in the game. NOTE: This tier is exclusive and will not be available to higher tiers.
Friday - April 05, 2013
Worlds of Magic - A Classic 4X Fantasy Game
Not an RPG so we probably won't follow it that much, but the Kickstarter for Worlds of Magic claims it follows the footsteps of MicroProse's Master of Magic and there should be some interest for such a game here.
Primary gameplay takes place on the world map. From there you can move your armies to explore new territory, defend key positions or attack your enemies. You can gain control of additional cities by conquering them or founding new ones yourself. You manage the cities under your control, building new buildings to improve them, dedicating your work force to one task or another, and creating new military units. Your armies can be made up of units you've trained, heroes and mercenaries you've hired, and even powerful summoned creatures. When two enemy armies collide gameplay is moved to the tactical battle map where combat is played out turn by turn. During gameplay you will also reasearch new spells, manage your economy, and deal with diplomatic situations all in an attempt to gain supreme control of the universe.
Worlds of Magic will not only seek to capture the charm of the timeless classic that serves as its inspiration, but also go beyond it in a number of areas.
- 10 Leaders To Choose From (Or Create Your Own)
- 6 Factions To Rule Over
- 80 Units To Use In Battle
- 12 Spell Circles
- 300 Spells To Learn And Master
- 7 Planes To Explore And Conquer
- 45 Special Units (Heroes, Champions, and Titans)
Thanks Von Paulus and Mark.
Thursday - April 04, 2013
Consortium - Update #8, DVD and a Rifle
Update 8 of the Consortium Kickstarter ($35K out of an asked $50K) is bringing news on Consortium DVD that you can get with a $30 add-on and is also sharing info through a video on The Consortium Energy Assault Rifle (C.E.A.R.).
Tuesday - April 02, 2013
The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death - How the Team is Organized
Abel Bascunana Autoloot games provided us with more information on the way the development of The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death is handled.
Today is one of those days I can’t sleep. Here it’s 4am.
It’s been many weeks that I’ve been going to sleep between 4-6am. I tried to organize the work, had the KS video prepared, while at the same time wrote the game and press texts, sent them to proofread, recorded the ingame video footage, managed the press news, etc. What I do recall as the most stressful time before the KS campaign was the day before launching, when messing around with the Visual .Net code Jose Manuel did so I could change the chars speed, the particle effects and trying to position the NPCs to make them move properly without them getting stuck when they touched each other (blame the collision system!). I didn’t have the slightest idea how it all worked, even JM left some indications before leaving to BCN. Also Carlos could not connect at all times to solve things that were not working properly.
I must have done it three hundred times. Compile now and check if things are correct. Are not? Then apply changes, commit the files on the repo and check again if it worked properly. It was very time consuming and getting good video takes wasn’t easy. Miguel was at Seville due to personal matters for a week, so I was overwhelmed by all the work we needed to pull out for the KS campaign.
Rafater worked hard to have the video ready while I was preparing the KS layout. We finished it all at 9am, having been up all night long. The day after, KS approved our page and the backers know the rest of the story and how it ends… Anyways this time we’ll take it longer so we can push a proper KS campaign, as said on the last update.
So as you see, we rushed quite a lot, also because we are trying to meet our internal deadlines. Why such a hurry?
The reasons are as follows.
When the team was made up by Miguel (Combat and IA Design and Production), Jose Manuel (Lead Programmer), Rafa (2D Art) and me (Story, Dialogues and Quests, Production), both Miguel and me could pay the expenses for Jose Manuel’s and Rafa salaries. But as the project needs increased, we needed to hire more people. Now that David Lopez (3D GFX), David Lucena (Lightning and Shadow casting) and Carlos Mangas (Combat Programming) have joined the team, it’s very difficult to keep up and pay them all from our personal savings.
Both Miguel and me are making remarkable efforts to maintain afloat this lifetime cRPG dream of us. Miguel has had to let go some of his clients from his personal business to allocate more time to the project. This also means a reduced income and more economic constraints, besides he recently moved with his girlfriend with all the expenses and hassle this means.
In my case, I voluntarily left a Social Games company that I’ve seen ranking up from 17 to 120 employees in a year and a half. I was the QA Manager and my job was pretty stable. But dreams are dreams, and to make them come true you must risk something. I’ve been working on some freelance translation work to help pay my part of the expenses, but this doesn’t give enough money to make the cRPG we want to make.
We’ve achieved many, let me write it in capital letters, MANY good things with such adverse circumstances. Jose, David Lopez, Carlos Mangas, David Lucena, and me, are now working full time on The Dark Triad (Jose Manuel has been the only one that has been working on the project full time during the last 10 months). Miguel and Rafa are working part-time, even Miguel works almost 7-8 hours on the project. Rafa is also involved in other projects, but when he is needed he’s always there to respond with hard work.
So we can say then that our modus operandi almost resembles that of other established professional RPG game companies, with the difference that everybody works from their homes. I don’t really know if we are the first ones to attempt a cRPG at this scale doing remote work. This, rather than being an obstacle, has meant an increased productivity, as we have a schedule where we must overlap and be together during all the morning, and then everybody has some flexible hours, which allow them to work at midnight for example when they feel more proactive. The team has daily meetings by Skype, also all the activity, tickets, messaging, etc. is centralized on Assembla. Before finding out what worked best for us Project Management-wise, we tried with Trello, Google docs, Jira and other Agile Dev solutions, but Assembla is the one we all feel most comfortable with.
If you’ve read our other entries, you know we already have some major systems in place, specially our proprietary 3D tech, which consists and a fully fledged 3D game editor and a model viewer. We don’t use Unity. We would do in the future if things go well, but having our own 3D tech allows us for a great flexibility to mess in the heart of the code itself and adapt it to our needs.
We find ourselves in a critical stage where we are redefining many things, specially regarding the story to make it more compelling, and, tied to this, adding the necessary non-combat skills to provide the players with enough options to work out things in different, unexpected ways. As you can imagine, this affects the classes, skills, abilities, companions interactions, etc., we we must have a clear vision of what we are doing before start adding content involving those systems (and what was already done will need to be rebuild to adjust it to our new vision).
Next week I’ll send you a draft of what I’m coming up regarding the story, with so you can give me some honest feedback if you wish. I will need it if we want to make The Dark Triad the memorable RPG we are pursuing. If we can fund the game on KS, I’ll be able to work 12-14 hours/day on the story and dialogues. That’s my oath to all our backers so the characters, the story is truly engaging and the choices you make have real consequences in the game world.
Even I have not gone into full detail, you see that making a game, specially an RPG, is a complex affair that involves many procedures and logistics, and there are many constraints and challenges to solve along the way.
What amazes me and makes me most proud of all this is the commitment of each team member. David Lopez and David Lucena have been working in the games industry since the early 2000’s for some important companies, and they have been really interested since the knew about our project, and they are being really proactive on making The Dark Triad a dream come true. Carlos and Rafa are also super committed, and without Miguel’s partnership, work and commitment, The Dark Triad would not had even made its first breath. But this time, please allow me to mention Jose Manuel Alcaraz, our Lead Programmer, the man that goes to sleep at 7am many times, who has designed our 3D engine from scratch, and who is the essential cornerstone of the project. I know some day he’ll have a deserved recognition as the one that helped to make The Dark Triad come true.
Please Hail Jose Manuel =)
Monday - April 01, 2013
Bloom - Update #6, Evolving Art
In the sixth update of the Bloom Kickstarter ($13.7K out of an asked $50K) Dani provides more information on how the art has evolved over time.
Hey everyone, Dani here again. For this update I’m going to take you back a bit and give everyone an idea of where Bloom came from artistically and how much it has evolved to what you see today (and is still evolving).
Bloom officially began years ago as two separate graphic novel attempts exploring different ideas and styles. The first was a very short color version (of only 5 pages), and the 2nd was a black and white version that went on to be over 30 pages.
Unofficially, Bloom actually began years before that with various personal projects I had done and I drew elements from them into the Bloom world). An example of this is the golem creature that I had created while working on a cartoon intended for Nickelodeon, and then as Bloom advanced I re-created him to fit into a darker world.
At the point of the graphic novels, the majority of the concept work was actually done while making each page. While this wasn't very effective in terms of design, it set the ground work from which I was able to build from (and many of the ideas you can still see today in one form or another).
After the graphic novels, I found myself with a great body of writing and story-lines along with the solid beginnings of a world. So, in my free time, I continued to refine the ideas and push things further.
Actually, that is a big part of Bloom, the way it changes. Unlike other projects, this one is being lead from the artistic side and the focus on experience and story. Since I am the one doing all of the concept design, writing, and modeling; the game evolves alongside me.
Even in the last week we took another step forward and explored some more styles. We intend to continue this type of exploration and growth as we move forward and in the end should have something truly unique for players to experience. Bloom has never tried to be just “another game”; it is our dedication to really push ourselves beyond the norm to make this something special.
Make sure to check out the update for more artwork.
Sunday - March 31, 2013
The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death - Update
The devs of The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death send us a status update on what they are planning for their next Kickstarter pitch.
The team has been talking a lot about the things that we did wrong, and we are just working and planning how to make a bigger impact on our Kickstarter relaunch. We are working on different areas to do so:
- Combat: we want to include combat footage that explains the mechanics much better. We don't have all the mechanics in place yet obviously, but at least we want to show you much more interaction, both in the attacks, counterattacks, enemy Ai, contextual info like enemy stats, improved particle effects, more variety on the animations and new interface combat elements (like movement arrows, damage taken floating numbers, etc).
- Story: When we started designing the story for the game 10 months ago, the game had a lesser scope. Believe it or not, we thought we would be only capable of including big dungeons by reusing a few 3D tilesets with no outdoors. This has changed dramatically and we will have outdoors, towns, temples, woods, mountains, etc besides indoor areas. The original story was adapted to our graphical limitations. Now, we'll try to make the story more clear and less stuffed . We will tell less in our presentation (the video plot was 7min. long!), but it will hopefully be much more interesting.
- Dialogues: This is related with the non-combat skills. We want to show you some examples of dialogue interactions with npcs where new lines will appear depending on your non-combat abilites.
- Non-combat skills: We are discussing what non-combat skills must be mandatory in our game. This has many implications, as it affects the classes, the kind of interactions of the party members, the stats and abilities systems, the dialogues, the world map elements and much more. We must be conscious of our limited budget to include the ones that are a must. Once the game systems have been set into place and tested, we can think of including new secondary abilites that we left out from the initial pool.
We will prepare a clear introduction of the non-combat skills so you can understand what we want to achieve.
- Graphics: The new Kickstarter relaunch video will showcase some new cool areas and monsters.
- Dynamic Lightning: Yes! and it's awesome to witness how the shadows of your party members and enemies adapt to the light sources in the scene and project to solid elements like walls, etc! With this change, the game atmosphere will improve quite a bit =)
- Language translation: We will write the story and updates initially in Spanish, and then we will send it to a professional Spanish-English translator so it all is crystal clear. Spanish is the mother tongue of most of us and we feel there has been many communication misunderstandings due to the bad way of expressing ourselves in English during our Kickstarter updates, besides the many typos that cropped out on the Kickstarter home page.
- PR: we will soon start working with a PR agency to help us promoting the game. We feel we didn't have a good graphic material to show to the press. Now we are preparing some renders and ingame screens that will hopefully catch the media eyes this time! =)
There are some other things we'd like to show you, but we are not sure we will be able to. For example, we have a very basic inventory system with the drag&drop functionality, but it's not fully fleshed out yet, so it's better not to rush until it has a better look.Does it sound like a good plan? Let us know on our forums.
Thursday - March 28, 2013
Consortium - Update #7
There's yet another Consortium update as their campaign reaches 60%, offering the first stretch goal:
It's set at $70K, and we're calling it "Extreme Zenlil Simulation":
Basically, this means we take an extra month to further polish and refine the game, and get the following features in:
- Unscripted decompression events. This means that with explosives, the exterior doors inside Zenlil can be blasted open, triggering dangerous decompression of the immediate area, causing internal airlock doors to slam shut. People could potentially get pushed out before the atmospheric shielding engages...
- Enhanced environment destructibility. This means that anything that looks "fragile", like computer screens can be severely damaged by gun fire, explosions, etc. Pawns would immediately be assigned to repair them...
- Enhanced turbulance simulation. We have turbulance in the game right now, but we want to add more detail and variety. Imagine everyone on-board reacting to turbulence (getting jostled, losing footing, etc). Imagine huge turbulence events causing objects to fly around the cabin....etc
Much more info on the game coming soon!
Consortium - More Character Updates
Here are some more character updates of Consortium's Pawns.
Character Summary: Gary Ma (born Ma Yat Hang) was a single child born in Hong Kong to middle class parents who, at the time, owned a low-end restaurant in the Aberdeen district. Gary’s father died of lung cancer when he was five years old, and not wanting Gary to follow in his footsteps, his mother sold the restaurant soon after. A year later mother and son moved to Vancouver, B.C., where Gary’s uncle (father’s side) was living and doing well for himself as a hotel manager in what he called a “yuppie part of town.”
At the age of 16, after doing a school project on oceanic acidification, Gary decided he was going to dedicate his life to the environment. It of course didn’t hurt that his class partner on the project was his wife-to-be, Carla, and that her parents were responsible for pretty much literally “saving the whales” following the Resource Wars. They were married in September of 2028, three months before Carla and Gary’s mother were both killed in what their world calls the “Great Vancouver Earthquake.”
Gary has a long history with Taryn Fisher/Knight 15 (the “boss” of the Zenlil crew). They met in 2030 at a vigil for the victims of the Vancouver quake which decimated the entire city and much of the Lower Mainland on December 21st, 2028. At the time Gary was working for Environment Canada and was known for his publications on rising water temperatures off the coast of B.C. and how it’s affecting the fishing industry there. Not exactly exciting stuff, but he was making a name for himself as a prominent environmental scientist within well respected circles.
Fast forward a couple years and a couple degrees later, to March of 2037. Taryn Fisher was inducted into the Consortium as the first Knight for the newly constructed C-3800-D, Zenlil. After following his career closely, she recommended Gary for a position on her crew. He joined without hesitation, was given the title “Pawn 1” as a joke by the King (the King has unusual methods for choosing the numbers), and has since been a loyally dedicated officer.
Monday - March 25, 2013
The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death - Canceled
The Kickstarter for The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death has been canceled. Here is the information on the reasons for the cancelation and that they will be back.
We want to thank the almost 300 backers that have shown their faith in The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death during this Kickstarter campaign. Thanks for your support and passion, for making great suggestions and engaging with the community in the comments section, and trying to spread the word about the game, we appreciate your efforts A LOT!
We’ve gotten $5,589 in 5 days. The first day was awesome, with more than $3,500 after Brian Fargo, inXile cofounder, tweeted "This game deserves a look at," on his account in reference to The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death (thanks Brian and we wish breaks all records!!).
The days after have been a dire struggle to usher more potential backers to our KS page. The problem has been ours in part, as we hadn’t secured the services of a PR agency to spread the word properly. Second, this weekend PAX East was held, and next week it’s the GDC’s turn. This means that no matter how much money we would spent on PR right now, it would be almost impossible to be mentioned on gaming sites when the big boys on the block are gearing up to announcetheir coming games for the Christmas season. Besides, we launched after Torment: Tides of Numenera and Shroud of the Avatar were on KS, the two biggest projects since Wasteland 2 and Project Eternity. This may have made things more difficult, especially as backers might have supported both games and now would not have the money to spend on other smaller-scale projects such as ours.
Also, we must be critical of ourselves and recognize that we haven’t done a good job of conveying what the game is about. Yes, you know it’s a CRPG, and that there will be combat and dialogues, but the way we’ve explained it all has been confusing to say the least, and there was a lack of information regarding the main gameplay mechanics from the beginning, which we think hasn’t helped. It hasn’t helped either that some texts were not properly proofread due to a lack of coordination with our editors and translators because of the hour difference, which resulted in some glaring typos cropping up.
We are currently preparing a pitch and gameplay video that will explain much better how the combat and dialogues work, and what options are available in them. We’ll also redefine the story. Many of you said it was too convoluted, and maybe contained too many elements. Besides, we want to remove some important limitations, like that fact that the party member characters had to be from a certain race and classes, or that you couldn’t play with a female character on your party.
We will also adjust the initial scope of the game. We wanted to add many things, but we think it’s better to focus on the two main aspects of the game: a good turn-based combat and a nice non-combat conversation system. We will maintain and improve the graphic quality of the game, but we will reduce the game map extension. We can’t attempt to put in as many 3D assets as Baldur’s Gate, but we will maintain enough content for the game to provide dozens of hours of play. At the same time, this reduced map will allow us to reduce our pledge by almost half. And this is important, as we think that if potential backers see that we are near the funding goal, they will feel more confident in backing the project. Our goal is to expand the game content as soon as The Dark Triad is available for purchase.
We have also detected a clear imbalance with the rewards. Once you create a tier and at least one backer has pledged for it, Kickstarter won’t allow you to add new rewards into it. We forgot to tell you that the downloadable version of the game will be DRM-free, and even though we put it on top of our main page, many people didn’t see that. We could only communicate new reward additions through the updates, but for new backers this is important information that should be clearly visible. Also, we wanted to include boxed edition tiers and we saw that first we needed to adjust the digital tiers content, and we couldn’t do so due to the aforementioned restrictions.
We’ve also received some complaints from US backers about the difficulties they were having pledging. It seems some US banks block payments overseas by default, and you must call them to remove this restriction. Other people was confused by the lack of an option to pay via Amazon. The reason for that is that the UK project payments are handled by Kickstarter directly without being funneled through Amazon. And last, some of you didn’t know if paying in pounds would charge you any extra when making the payment (which is not).
We’ve taken all this weekend to reflect about all these issues, and after reaching a consensus, we think the best course of action we can take is canceling the current pledge drive. This will allow us to focus on preparing new content, explain things much better and securing a PR agency from the very beginning to help spread the word about The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death. We will take one month and one week, and on the 6th of May we will come back to run a brand new Kickstarter campaign for the game.
Meanwhile, we’ve opened an Indiegogo campaign for all of you that want to help us support the game development for the next two months until we can succeed in our Kickstarter campaign. These funds will help us to pay our 5 team members and stay afloat during this time. We don’t have any publisher behind us and before approaching any we will try to go with crowdfunding so we can remain independent game developers (unless it’s a known RPG publisher that could guarantee us IP rights and the max creative freedom).
Last, you can stay in touch with us on our forums. We are currently asking what non-combat skills do you like to see in the game
Once again, thanks for your support guys, you made us happy even if we didn’t make it this time. I hope that what we will show the next month can make you even more thrilled about the possibilities of The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death. We won’t stop until you have the chance to play the medieval fantasy world of TDT:DD in your homes! =)
Kickstarter - Pixelry, A Jousting RPG
The devs of Pixelry let us know of their Kickstarter for their jousting-focused medieval RPG, a game that likes to show its pixels. They are currently at 1,800 pound out of an asked 25K. It has an alpha version available to check the game out.
Hopefully you're already familiar with Pixelry, but if you aren't then all you need to know is that it's a jousting-focused medieval RPG. The version that's been available during alphafunding is now being referred to as Pixelry Classic, and that contains a few mini-games to play, the King's tournament to compete in and some customization options to your heraldry and horse. That version is no longer on sale.
What we're now working on is the full version of Pixelry as intended, and this is what will be known as Pixelry Champions. It is this that we are seeking funding for, as Pixelry Champions will have many extra features and needs lots of polish.
Reaching our goal of £23,000 will mean that we can work on the game full time and add the following features to the Pixelry experience:
- Better sound system.
- Choose gender: Male - Female.
- Fix resolutions.
- New room transitions.
- Implement the use of the mouse on the UI and add hotkeys to different places.
- Animations, ambience, particles, give more life to the world.
- New music and sound effects.
- Better RPG aspects and combat system of the game.
- Detailed inventory system with more options, items and better implementation on the combat strategies.
- Enhanced UI with universal mouse support with simple drag & drop system
- Better enemies and more difficulties and leagues.
- Calendar with special events or minigames.
- Item offers and different incentives and challenges.
Consortium - Updates
Having past the 50% mark of reaching their goal of $50K it is time to look at the updates for the Consortium Kickstarter. The latest being on the characters in the game and their actors and a Q&A with these actors.
Character Summary: Some of you may remember Patricia from the Alternate Reality Game based in 2028. She was responsible for luring one of the main characters, Kevin Chard – “father” to the Consortium King, into her confidence at the bidding of one of the main antagonists. Immediately after realizing the extent of what she was helping commit, she befriended Consortium founder Dr. David Schelter and has since dedicated her life to atoning for her mistakes which indirectly cost the lives of thousands of people. She joined the Consortium as a general C-3800 engineer in 2039, and never looked back.
It’s now 2042, she has just recently gotten married to a man she met while vacationing in Peru (many of Zenlil’s crew went to the wedding) and they are currently working on their first child together. Patricia is also a very spiritual person, being both a member of the Guardian and Catholic Churches.
Extra Notes: While her name and heritage are very clearly British, Patricia spent most of her life in Mexico and so has learned to adopt a strong, Spanish accent. Those closest to her would say that she even feels resentment toward her English heritage after being abandoned by her parents at an early age.
Sunday - March 24, 2013
Bloom - Update #5, More on Combat
In update #5 more information on combat in Bloom ($13,3K of $50K, with 25 days to go) is given.
From the outset of designing the combat mechanics we knew we wanted to capture that fast and satisfying combat you find in old school games. The thing is, we weren't happy with just taking mechanics from the past and repackaging them (nostalgia is great, but there is plenty of room for taking these things further!).We also wanted a type of game that is just “fun” (a mysterious and hard to quantify attribute) and doesn't grow old easily. You know, the type of game that you don’t just throw away when you get to the end or that grows old once you figure out the pattern or ultimate combo that trivializes everything. This is the type of combat you find in older school games, your Castlevania, your Metroid, your Mega Man, even in your Mario’s.So, what exactly is it that makes these games so long lasting? How come we can come back to them so many years later and they are still pretty fun? Basically, each of them has the same “fun” combat that can keep the player on their toes. It is a balance of dodging and attacking which keeps the player engaged, but beyond that, it gives the player a CHALLENGE and makes you work a little bit. We are keeping these things firmly in mind and applying them to make sure the game provides that same level of satisfaction and intrinsic value as you play (basically, each element of game play is fun in itself, instead of us forcing you to jump through hoops to get a story treat or new item).
But again, this isn't about blindly copying the past (as so many seem to do). Our philosophy is to pick apart the WHY, and then try to push it forward and bring it into our world even better. Is the secret to “The Legend of Zelda” the sword and board? Or is it the simplicity and mechanic of needing to time close combat attacks?
The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death - Update #3, Character Customization & Game Story
More information on character customization and the game story is made available in update #3 of The Dark Triad: Dragon's Breath.
It seems The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death's plot is generating some controversy. There are the ones that like the setting a lot, and there are others that plainly abhor it. I decided to write this piece to make some things clear, as I think one video can’t explain accurately what’s hidden behind a seemingly cliche story.
Some may argue that the story of The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death is the classic conflict of Good vs Evil, and that’s true to a certain extent. But this is true only in a black and white sense-- in reality, we are trying to make the distinction between these forces much grayer. What one can view as good and bad depends on his own point of view and beliefs, which are conditioned by his or her life experiences and the environment in which they were raised.
TDT:DD is based in a medieval fantasy setting. Obviously a fantastic setting does not mean that the story and, by extension, dialogue, cannot be highly realistic, at least regarding the social events and personal interactions with other NPCs and party members.
At the same time, we cannot say realism can’t be mixed with a high degree of fantasy. If we think more deeply about this contradiction, we could actually form a connection between them: Fantasy might be an attempt to explain reality, using an associative logic that has not yet understood the laws of nature or those of cause and effect.
Thursday - March 21, 2013
The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death - Extra Reward
In the first update for The Dark Triad: Dragon's Breath Kickstarter (currently at 4K GBP from an asked 80K) the news is that the 20 pound tier now has an extra reward.
Yes! We've include a new reward on tier £20 and above! The Adventurer's Guide to the Isolated Lands is an ancient book assembled from buried scrolls found in the deep caves at the shores of the Sea of Litanies. The Adventurer's Guide is an illustrated account written and drawn by unknown scholars about the different kingdoms of the Isolated Lands, their history and races, their remarkable locations and also includes shredded maps that point out to secret places known only to a handful who dared to tread their dangerous paths and came alive to give an account of its many hidden wonders, traps and treasures! It's a good piece of knowledge for both explorers and warriors alike!
(if you are interested on this item, remember that you can update your pledge manually anytime.)
Regarding the game itself, we’ve been following your comments both here and on the forums. You want to know more about the combat: how it will be played, how the AI will work and if it will be complex enough to have you engaged throughout the whole game. Miguel, Carlos and Jose Manuel will work hard during the next days to post a meaningful update regarding this area, and hopefully we'll be able to show you new combat mechanics on a gameplay video in a couple of weeks.
Wednesday - March 20, 2013
The Dark Triad: Dragon's Death - On Kickstarter Today
After yesterday's announcement that The Dark Triad: Dragon's Breath was going to be on Kickstarter today, we can now inform you that the newsbit was correct, so here it is.
The Dark Triad: Dragon’s Death is a 3D-isometric, turn-based computer RPG with an amazing epic history and a fresh dynamic turn-based combat, developed by Autoloot Games Ltd., an indie studio formed by veteran industry game developers from Ubisoft, Gameloft, or Funcom to name a few, that have participated in the development of games such as Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell, Heroes of Sparta 2 or Prince of Persia among many others.
They are asking for 80.000 pounds, which is about $120.000.
Consortium - Kickstarter V2
A new Kickstarter for the first person RPG shooter Consortium has been launched again.
CONSORTIUM is a first-person story and character-based role-playing shooter set in an interactive world defined by your choices.
Rather than endlessly exploring a huge, expansive and ultimately static world, you’ll find yourself within a dynamic, bustling, interactive and alive micro-environment: the Consortium Command Vessel, C-3800-D "ZENLIL."
The crew of Zenlil live their lives and do their jobs throughout the ship, reacting to your presence and actions where appropriate. Freely walk among them and speak to everyone you encounter, experience what it’s like to be a part of something much bigger and brighter than anything you could imagine – and then choose to help ensure it stays that way or work to tear it apart!
CONSORTIUM is a role-playing game in which you are able to role-play as yourself. You are you (as in you can speak as yourself, a man/woman from "our world") and you're being given the opportunity to physically control a man from a parallel world. This man is first day Consortium field agent Bishop Six, operative for a powerful peacekeeping force in a not-quite-utopia future of 2042.
How you choose to speak for, interpret and play this role is entirely up to you! Do you choose to role-play the Bishop and be what the Consortium want you to be? Or do you choose to forge your own path simply using his body and voice as your vessel for communicating with and exploring their world?
You have total control over the Bishop's inventory, medical state, and the state of all his weapons, armor and equipment. You can also customize his Battle Utility Suit with hard-point devices such as personal deflector shields and shock absorbers.
You must also manage and balance the Bishop's Utility Energy, with which he can power everything from medical nanites to energy weapons... as well as Storage Energy, which represents stored items such as armor, weapons and ammunition.
Tuesday - March 19, 2013
The Dark Triad: Dragon's Breath - On Kickstarter Tomorrow
The devs from The Drak Triad: Dragon's Breath wrote in to inform us that they will be launching a Kickstarter for their game tomorrow.
More news tomorrow I suppose.
Sunday - March 17, 2013
Bloom - Update #4, About Combat
Bloom is currently close to $12K on Kickstarter and with 32 days to go can still reach the asked $50K. Then again the last few days the figure did not increase that much so they could use a bit of help. The game is different and might be too different for some, but I would like to see it being realized, so I pledged.
To provide more information on combat and update was made today.
Game Feel –
The first step when considering the combat was to consider how the game felt. Should it be non-stop action fighting armies of enemies? Or slower and meticulous? In the end we wanted something in the middle to challenge players but also provide that sometimes hectic action of being overwhelmed by enemies.
Game Flow –
The next step is considering the flow of combat. How long should an encounter last? Again, here we took a medium approach and chose something about in the middle of the extremes (an extreme example of this is to think of the difference between a game of “rock paper scissors” and “chess”). Fast enough to let you move on with the game but slow enough to really let you strategize and consider what you are doing.
The Player! –
Now we finally get to the player. This is a huge piece which really controls much of the game. With Bloom, we want the player to be out-matched and more defensive in nature (lending to the narrative and creating a feeling of overcoming challenges at every turn).
The first distinction in the player is the relatively low amount of life (at least compared to many other games of our generation). This means dodging, deflecting, and other strategies to avoid damage are highly important. You don’t play a one-man army able to deflect bullets off your abs, but you are equipped with some pretty interesting abilities to help you out. A characters life is more a resource for ingenuity and game-play than a sponge for damage.
This goes hand in hand with a characters life and is basically a consideration of how a player recovers. Do you recover life after each fight so each encounter is met at the same player strength base? Or as you play, are you slowly worn down from mistakes? If you have ever played a first generation and current generation first person shooter, you will understand the idea of limitation.
With Bloom, we actually have taken a mixed approach to this. The life / energy bar goes up and down regularly through game play, but you are limited at a higher level by the Linked Heart mechanic. This means you can be worn down through the game and defeated but each fight you typically begin with the same of life / energy.
On an individual encounter level, your attacks drain from your life bar and create an organic limitation in how much you can do how fast. This creates a situation where the balance of power in a battle rapidly swings to extremes as you use larger attacks to defeat enemies, but are then forced to play defensively while recovering and dodging the others.
This is really the big one in terms of how combat works. As I said before you are largely overpowered in the world and typically rely on a range of defensive abilities to protect you. Of course you also have offensive abilities, but these are highly draining to your life and leave you exposed. Effectively this creates game-play which requires careful consideration before running into battle blasting your largest attacks.
Friday - March 15, 2013
Kickstarter - Bloom, an Action Adventure RPG
If adventure RPGs are your thing then you might want to check out the Kickstarter for Bloom. They are asking $50K and are currently at $11K with 34 more days to go.
Bloom: Memories is a beautiful artistic take on the action-adventure / RPG genre that carries players through an epic journey following the theme of the “purest love”; that between a mother and her child.
Bloom strives to capture the innocent feeling of adventure and discovery (taking lessons from such classic games as “The Legend of Zelda”) while at the same time pushing the experience deeper with a heartfelt story of love and sacrifice.
Of course, beyond the story and artwork, Bloom also features strong game design which not only provides fun game play but also further supports the story and art direction.
A few examples of these are:
Linked Heart Mechanic – Because of the special bond between the main character and his mother, they share in each other’s pain and sacrifice for each other. This is represented by five hearts for both characters at the top of the screen which heal over time.
For the mother, these typically allow for her to protect the main character at a distance when he needs her most. While for the main character, his can be used to give him extra strength to rise to the challenges of the world. And, for both characters, pieces of their heart may break during moments of emotional pain.
Be careful though, a persons heart can only take so much before it gives up completely.Single Energy / Health Bar – With Bloom, the energy and life bar combine to create another layer of strategy to combat while simultaneously simplifying the interface and allowing players to focus more on the game. We want combat to have elements of thoughtful purpose, of considering the costs and advantages to using different abilities. Mindlessly mashing buttons will only get you so far in this world.
Luckily there are also a variety of ways to replenish your strength, though of course they too come with considerations.
The Bridge – The bridge is where the energy of life exists overlaying the world and its inhabitance. While this is all theory, rumor has it that with enough training one can begin to open their mind to this plane and even walk within it at will. Inside the bridge one can see the true nature of friend and foe, past the physical aspects of a being and into their hearts.
They say the bridge contains an entire world for one to explore… though, be warned, the bridge can be a hostile place to the unprepared.
The Linked Heart and Bridge features are explained in more detail in updates 1 and 3.
Thursday - March 14, 2013
Sui Generis - Update #18 - Development Update
Kostaz informed us we missed the development update of Sui Generis from last week. Next to the development update they also mention moving to a new location.
Nothing is more important than populating the world with diverse characters. The physique and inventory system we talked about in previous updates will accomplish this and implement many of the game's most important features.
We had to revise our initial design as it proved impractical, the assets we had also proved unsuitable. We now have a functional system, much higher quality models and have made various improvements to how they work in game.
The revised system uses a square physique graph where the two axes represent muscularity and fat. We had to use significantly more morph targets than we planned but we now have the full range of physiques for both male female characters with excellent results. Here are some examples of different physiques outputted by the completed system.
Click on the link to actually see those examples.
Tuesday - March 12, 2013
Delver's Drop - Preview
Craig Stern has a video preview of Delver's Drop, the action RPG that is to be released on PC, Linux, Android and iOS. It still has 7 hours to go on Kickstarter and has almost doubled it's asked amount of $75K.
Tuesday - March 05, 2013
Kickstarter - Matt Barton's Kickstarter Project: Untitled
Matt Barton, who you might know from his regular chats on Armchair Arcade, is announcing his Kickstarter for a game with various rules and a quantifiable outcome. Ha is planning to ask for just $100 million, which might not be enough to fund it.
After days of planning and hours of editing, I have finally completed my Kickstarter announcement video. Please pledge right now to help me reach my funding goal of 100 million dollars in 30 days. That may sound like a large sum, but when you hear this pitch and what I'm planning, I think you'll agree it's well worth taking out a second mortgage on your home.
=I can't reveal too much without spoiling the game's many twists and surprises, but following are some FAQs and my responses.
Can you describe exactly the kind of game you're proposing here?
Of course. In short, this will be a game with a system in which players engage in an artificial conflict, defined by rules, that results in a quantifiable outcome. That's about as specific as I can be at this point, but hopefully that answers your question.
$100 million doesn't seem like enough money to make an indie game. How will you budget it out?
You're absolutely right--just the martinis, spa treatments, Belgian chocolates, and Star Wars collectibles for the office can quickly reach upwards of a million. Of course I also have a taste for exotic ales that has to be factored in. But I think there should be at least enough left over to pay an amateur coder a part-time salary to do the heavy lifting. I'm also planning on including art and perhaps some public domain music.
Will it have rats in it?
Who the hell do you think you're talking to here? Okay, that's all the time I have for answering questions. Now pledge!!!
Monday - March 04, 2013
Enemy - Funded
The Kickstarter for Enemy is with 4 days to go funded, so some stretch goals are announced as well.
Stretch Goal 1: $18000: Simultaneous Mac and Linux release
With $18000, I'll bring on a dedicated Linux/Mac programmer who will focus on only that side of the game. Those platforms will get a simultaneous release with the Windows version and all the attention that they deserve.
Stretch Goal 2: $24000: Additional, free post-release content
Though I intend to continue to support the game after its release, with $24000 I will be guaranteed to be able to continue to support the game full-time after its release, regardless of sales or anything else. With this time, I will add more detailed towns, weather, and other additional content.
Thursday - February 28, 2013
Kickstarter - Heroes of Steel
Bob informed us of the Kickstarter for Heroes of Steel, which already met its goal with 17K pledged of an asked 12K, but there is still an opportunity to join within the next 50 hours, if you like its concepts.
In Heroes of Steel, you command a party of four heroes with a diverse set of backgrounds, skills, and abilities as you strive to protect the shattered remains of civilization from dark powers. Your adventure will follow the heroes through a sprawling story that will start a few years after the shattering and covering the legendary struggle against the dark. A rich world full of sub-plots, quests, and diversions will be wrapped in and around the main story, allowing you to enjoy the world of Steel to the fullest depths.
The world of Steel, as you will know it, will feel like an endless series of dungeons, underground lairs, lost highways, and buried cisterns. The druids led the survivors into the under-deep, and they have been forced to settle there and scratch out a life beneath the surface. Much of the action of Heroes of Steel will occur below ground, but there will be brief glimpses of the surface, when nearing a town or traversing open ground, when the weak light from the sun slants down through the chasm to the stony floor.
As you progress through the game’s story, you will uncover many secrets of the world of Steel and its splintered pantheon of gods. The main plot and the web of subplots will deepen your understanding and appreciation for the rich world, and the forces of evil that threaten to overwhelm it. The courageous acts you will undertake in Heroes will become the core stories, myths and legends spread by humanity in future games within the trilogy of Steel. Taking inspiration from the pen and paper role-playing games developed by the Trese Brothers, you will find grim themes running through the storylines and a focus on human problems.When creating your party you can choose from a variety of distinct characters to form a balanced group. Heroes of Steel will provide four unique classes from which to choose, each with their own abilities and special powers which you can further develop. Taking inspiration from other classic games, each class will have its own tree of special abilities allowing you to choose how each character evolves. This depth of customization will allow you to create characters of the same basic class who function very differently within your party. Will you build a purely offensive sorcerer wielding fiery wrath, or spread your talents to enable a team-player or a defensive caster? In Heroes, you have that flexibility.
Tuesday - February 26, 2013
Enemy - Update #7, Character Skills
The Kickstarter for Enemy (12.7K out of and asked 15K with 10 days to go) has been updated with information on the character skills.
Enemy has a skill-based character system, rather than a class-based one, so your characters can mix and match abilities from different classic games. You'll put some points into skills at character creation, and as you play more, you'll gain experience which you can use to develop your character's skills more fully, and add new ones. That is, Enemy features experience points and levelling-up, as opposed to X-Com's implicit training of skills by use. When you recruit a new member of your team, you also take over their skill development. I wanted to use this update to describe the skills in Enemy and some of the design decisions behind them. The following list is what's currently implemented in the game. More may be added over time.
In a game with permanent death, health is pretty critical. In addition to making a character sturdier overall, a high health score also lessens the chance of injuries to specific parts of the body: head injuries damage mind, vision, and reaction skills; arm injuries damage ranged, bomb, melee, and throw abilities; and leg injuries damage the jump ability and slow movement. Characters take damage from attacks, but also from being struck by moving objects and debris.
In addition to having a health bar, characters also have a mental health bar, which reflects the effect that battle is having on their morale. While physical health is drained from getting hit with an attack, even attacks that miss can drain mental health. Mental health is also drained by sustaining injuries, and seeing allies injured; loss is reduced in the presence of allies and increased when a character is alone. If mental health drops to zero, a character may freeze up and do nothing for a turn, drop their weapons and run away from battle, or panic and attack wildly in all directions. A team with very low mental health can get by as long as everything goes perfectly, but often, as soon as one thing goes wrong, everyone panics, makes themselves vulnerable, and gets wiped out.
Your ranged skill governs the long-range weapons you can use, ranging from the humble blaster to the mighty, three-shot-firing spread-gun. It also determines the accuracy with which you can use those weapons. Because of its long range, it synchronizes very well with both the vision and reaction time skills.
Bombs are your best option for clearing out dangerous areas, collapsing structures, punching open new entrances, and more. This skill also governs the use of smoke bombs and flash-bangs. A bomb is a midrange weapon and doesn't have the same reach as blaster, so a big part of the tactics of effective bomb use involves setting up the rest of your team so that you can safely move your bombers into place.
Melee allows the use of magic swords, along with other iconic video game melee weapons like air pumps and hammers. It has the highest damage output of all the skills, but requires characters to move right into the middle of battle. In order to make wading into the heart of a battle a viable strategy, melee also governs the use of shields, which block a significant proportion of damage, so long as that damage is coming from the front.
The throw skill allows you to pick up objects, carry them around, and throw them. A higher throw skill allows for heavier objects to be thrown, for further distances, and with more force. Thrown objects will then damage characters and objects based on their momentum and material type. The throw skill is interesting in that it has the most degree of dependence on the specific details of the situation: what kind of objects are around, where they are, what they are made of, and how much mass they have. Anything can be thrown, provided you have the skill to lift it: if a swordsman has chopped down a tree, a character with a high throw skill could then pick it up and toss it; throwing your allies, enemies, allies who are holding enemies, etc. is also supported.
Jump allows you to stomp on enemies to defeat them, and is also a great utility skill to move quickly around the battlefield. It synergizes well with other skills: it makes it easier for characters who can throw to get next to heavy objects; allows snipers to get to hard-to-reach and high up places; allows melee users and bombers to instantly close distance. Jump allows a character to cross land while spending very few time units, but is tiring and can only be limited times per turn. Additionally, reaction fire from blasters can can interrupt a jump, injure the jumper, and knock them to the ground (see attached video). Highly-skilled jumpers do more damage, can go further, and can break through sturdier materials if objects are blocking the way.
When you explore an area, places that have never been seen by your characters are completely blacked out. Areas that have been seen but are not currently in view are slightly darkened, and if enemy characters move through those areas, you will not see them. You will only see enemy actions and generate reaction fire if they take place within one of your team's vision cones, and the vision skill allows to to expand the distance and view angle of these cones. Of course, like all skills, this goes both ways: you can sneak up on your opponents just like they can sneak up on you.
This skill allows you to execute attacks that interrupt the opposing side's turn. It gives you a reason to move in a solid and defensible formation as you sweep through an area, to dodge from cover to cover, to blow holes in walls to gain line-of-sight, or collapse ceilings to rubble to block the sight of your opponents.
There are other aspects of the character system that are still in an experimental phase, including character history, and being able to take flaws and merits, in addition to other skills. In this update, I just wanted to cover the skills that are fully-implemented already. Thanks for reading!
Monday - February 25, 2013
Days of Dawn - Funded
The Kickstarter for Days of Dawn managed to gather quite a bit of money in the last hours, saving the day for the devs. With a total of $54,135 they have managed to reach their pledge of $50K.
We have made it!
Thank you so much, everybody! You have been the most supportive and astonishing backers I could ever imagine. We are thrilled about what you've done for Days of Dawn. This has not been the photo-finish we expected it to be – we actually ran a second round getting 108% of the funding goal.
I can hardly tell you how we feel right now. This has been one of the most exciting experiences I've made in my life. Getting in contact with you, virtually meeting wonderful people who trust in our ability to create an awesome game. And here goes my promise to you: We'll do everything we can to knock you off your shoes with a game that's dragging you right into a fantastic world full of wonder.
So what about the stretchgoals?
We have almost reached the first stretchgoal at $55,000. As a thank-you for your wonderful support we're going to add the first stretchgoal to the game nonetheless and call it reached. We will start up a Paypal-site very soon to allow all those people without a credit-card to join us and will try to reach the second goal as well by this.
Let's stay in contact!
We had a wonderful time with you guys and we don't want to loose contact now. Please think about joining our boards on board.bumblebee-games.com/
If you send me a mail with your Username here on kickstarter, the amount you pledged and your name on the forum, I will unlock access to the backer-only board for you. There we'll get into in-depth discussions about the games future, you can take part in polls, see concept-artwork and so on. Please join us there to keep contact.
Once again: Thank you SO VERY MUCH! We're so thankful for what you've done for us. We'll start right away on creating a wonderful game to have the closed beta ready in june!
Sunday - February 24, 2013
Kickstarter - Delver's Drop
Anthony wrote in a few days back about Delver's Drop, a "stylish physics-based Action RPG" for PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android. The campaign has been running for a while and has 16 days to go, with $40k of the $75k goal on the board:
Delver's Drop is a 2D Action RPG with fluid physics-based movement, snappy combat, shifting dungeons, and a rogue's gallery of individually leveled character classes. With an emphasis on mystery and dynamic gameplay experiences, the game features randomization for infinite replay, enigmatic puzzle permutations to unravel, multiple narrative paths, customizable character growth, and layers of secrets to unearth.
Our game is built on inspirations from the 8 & 16-bit eras, but acknowledges contemporary progress in game design and fully utilizes current technology. The gameplay is familiar yet distinct with stunning HD visuals and snappy, fluid 360-degree control. It is accessible yet deep and tactical, and is incredibly replayable.
- Immense & Unpredictable Dungeon Dive — 8 zones of castle dungeons with 4 sub-levels to explore. Levels will be combined from masterfully designed hand-crafted rooms and components, with randomized content and floor layouts.
- Physics-based Hack & Slash Combat — Since all characters and enemies move and collide on a physics-based system, any interplay of attacks, traps, and magic resolve based on responsive, snazzy, and sometimes chaotic physics effects.
- Multiple Characters & Play Styles — Play the game with one or all of the 5 character classes (some to be decided by backers!). Classes have unique speed and movement properties, weapon, special ability, and perk tree, giving each a different play style.
- Character Growth & Customization — Gain experience as you play each class, and keep this progress through the class’s perk tree even if your current character dies. Level up if you want more flexibility, but Delver’s Drop is totally grind-free.
- Weapons & Sub-Items — The player can find and purchase interesting and upgraded weapons for each class, as well as a large suite of expendable sub-items that are randomly spawn during each session. But items slots are limited, requiring intelligent use!
- Puzzles & Secrets — Like many action adventure games, Delver’s Drop will feature interesting puzzles, requiring clever manipulation of dungeon elements, using physics to advantage, and resourceful usage of secondary items.
Thursday - February 21, 2013
Days of Dawn - Close to the Finale
The Kickstarter for Days of Dawn has entered it's last 3 days and is stil 20K short of it's 50K goal. Quite some updates on this turn-based RPG have been produced since the last time we covered this game, so make sure to check out their updates pages to see if this is a game you would like to lay down some some money for.
Thursday - February 14, 2013
Kickstarter - Enemy
A Kickstarter for Enemy, a tactical roguelike, started last week asking for 15K and currently at 3.3K.
Every time you start a new game, the game procedurally generates a new world, using decades-old video games as its building blocks. The result is a collision of genres, where haunted graveyards, infested space stations, and peaceful mushroom villages all stand side-by-side. The premise of the game is also procedurally generated, using classic game plots. In one play-through, you might rescue the King of Dreams from the captain of the space pirates. In the next, you might avenge your fallen father by defeating a resurrected Dracula. Crossing the world is handled in much the same way as the original Zelda, where you will lead your team across individual cells that are linked together, and patrolled by enemies from throughout the history of games. You'll find peaceful regions to explore as well, including towns with shops and NPCs.
Although the world you're in is strange, combat is highly detailed and feels real. Enemy has a turn based combat system inspired by the 1994 classic, X-Com. You'll devise strategies based around the unique set of abilities you've chosen for your team, and then execute them step-by-step, all while responding to counter-moves made by the enemy team.
Tuesday - February 12, 2013
Wildman - Kickstarter Cancelled - Gas Powered Games Might Still Survive
Chris Taylor from Gas Powered Games has updated Wildman's Kickstarter page with the news that tke Kickstarter campaign for this now is cancelled. His focus is now on other ways to save Gas Powered Games:
Greetings Kickstarters. We have some news today. We are canceling the Wildman Kickstarter.At this point, it makes sense for us to focus our attention on other ways to keep Gas Powered Games running. Unfortunately, we are unable to share any specifics in public. When we have news to share, we will be posting it on our site. If you want status updates, or if you want to continue discussing Wildman and/or this Kickstarter, please consider migrating over to forums.gaspowered.com.
Monday - February 11, 2013
Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey - Begins Kickstarter Campaign
From BrownEyedTigre at Gameboomers comes the news about a Dreamfall Chapters: The Longest Journey Kickstarter campaign. While this game is an Adventure and certainly not an RPG, I'm posting this news since I know many us here at the rpgwatch also enjoy playing adventure games as well. Currently Ragnar Tørnquist's new independent studio Red Thread Games managed to collect more than 625,000 $ in about two days.
Here's some info from the Kickstarterpage for this game, first about the game:
Dreamfall Chapters continues and concludes the gripping story of Zoë Castillo, the Dreamer. Revisiting familiar locations and characters, and introducing new sights and sounds, new faces, new game mechanics, new thrills and challenges, Dreamfall Chapters takes the player on an emotional, exciting and challenging journey -- from a dystopian cyberpunk future, through the mysterious and dreamlike Storytime, to the magical landscapes of Arcadia. We aim to recapture the heart and soul of The Longest Journey and to improve on the immersion and game mechanics of Dreamfall in order to bring you a fitting, satisfying and emotional conclusion to the Dreamer Cycle.
Then about Red Thread Games:
Red Thread Games is an independent game development studio founded by Ragnar Tørnquist. For years it's been our dream to tell more stories in The Longest Journey saga, and now we've finally brought together the core team behind Dreamfall for this long-awaited sequel.
Source: BrownEyedTigre at Gameboomers
Sunday - February 10, 2013
Kickstarter - Project Awakened
Bob sends word of Project Awakened, a "AAA" action game with some RPG elements made with Unreal Engine 4 and built by a team that apparently assisted develop UE4. It seems ambitious for the $500k being chased, with $94k currently on the board:
Project Awakened is a genre-defying game that lets you answer the question: "Who do you want to be?" For the first time in a modern AAA action game, you will have the opportunity to completely define your dream videogame character, from abilities to aesthetics, all while playing in an action-packed world that responds to your personal playstyle.
Destructoid: “Awakened is a Game that may very well be brilliant”
- Modular (not class or skilltree) a-la-carte ability system
- Incredibly customizable character visualization
- Characters that are as unique as the player who created them
Project Awakened contains a modular powers and skill system that allows players to select from a huge number of abilities and combine them in unique ways. Unlike other games which use a class system or skill trees, Project Awakened leaves every choice and ability up the player. Likewise, players will have the opportunity to completely customize the appearance of their characters. Comical or serious, rough or polished, nearly any character imaginable can be created using the Project Awakened Player Creation system. The result is a game with seemingly limitless gameplay and replay potential based on which abilities players choose.
While Project Awakened allows for players to make typical videogame heroes such as Ninjas, Snipers, or Urban Warriors, what makes Project Awakened truly unique is the potential to craft gameplay experiences and challenges that have never existed before. An invisible hero who can charm enemies to fight for her. A non-violent hero with super speed and agility racing past enemies to the goal. A man who spontaneously combusts at will and touches everyone to incinerate them. The possibilities are endless, and allow players to craft a gameplay challenge unlike anything anyone has ever seen before. The only limit is the player’s imagination.
Friday - February 08, 2013
Legends of Dawn - Update #16, Player's House
Legends of Dawn's update number 16 is about the player's House and that Amazon hasn't payed them yet and they are now in the top 25 of Greenlight.
In the mean time we put some effort to implement one of the features mentioned here at Kickstarter. This feature was not part of the original design or stretch goals but we thought it was nice idea and it did not take too much time to flesh out. So here it is - now you will be able to buy and decorate your own house in Legends of Dawn!
A player's house is used as safe place to rest and store items you've found on your journey. You will be able to buy shelves, closets, weapon racks and other item holders. You can also buy a bed for rest and more than 40 different decorative objects!
Wildman - Updates #11 & #12
In the recent updates for the Wildman Kickstarter (7 days to go, 453K/1.1M) more videos can be watched. Kevin Pun shows how he creates concept art. Bruce Bjorkland has a daily live Twitch.TV stream. Chris Taylor and Brian Fricks dive deeper into the Wildman level creation process. And there are some images of concept art and Q&As.
Tuesday - February 05, 2013
Wildman - Chris Taylor Interview @ PC Games N
Chris Taylor has been interviewed by PC Games N, in the interview he describes the troubled times Gas Powered Games had in the past and is experiencing now as well as the Wildman Kickstarter Campaign. A snip about the bad times in the past:
There have been times when they had debt and no projects and no publishers. There have been times when he’s been at serious risk of not just losing his company, but the home he shares with his family. “Driving home in my car, owing 4.3 million dollars, and not knowing where payroll was going to come from on Friday, is the most horrifyingly naked, frustrating, shiver-y, feeling,” he says. “Driving into the driveway of my home in tears. I lived these things in my 15 years here!” And he survived. Paid off every cent he owed. He’s 46 years-old, working on PC games since he was a teenage amateur and a lead designer and studio head since 1998.
A quote on when the troubled timed began at GPG this time:
Heading into the fall, Gas Powered had four months' worth of "burn" in the bank, the operating costs needed to sustain the studio, and its health seemed more secure than it had in years. But it never rains. Not only did Microsoft inform Gas Powered that they had decided to suspend development on Age of Empires Online, but suddenly Gas Powered's other contracts started falling apart. Right now there's a small team at Gas Powered completing work on a project that Taylor is sure will never see the light of day, just to fulfill a contract with a publisher. Suddenly Gas Powered's cash reserves represented a life meter, a timer counting down on how long the company had to save itself. To reduce the outflow, Taylor laid off a significant portion of the company. In retrospect, he suspects he should have cut deeper. But he couldn't.
A quote on how Chris Taylor sees Kickstarter:
Only now does Taylor fully understand what will sell and will not sell on Kickstarter. On Three Moves Ahead this week, he told us, "I felt like GPG, and Wildman, and my leadership would be the right answer. And people would get behind me... That ‘s been true of the six thousand odd people that have pledged. But that's not the same turnout that we've seen in other games that are nostalgic, frankly, that are going to be remakes of old games that people understand. They can practically see the design of the game in their head."
And finally, a quote on how his father helped Chris Taylor financially:
His father called him over the weekend with an offer of help. His father has money, but he also tends to be tight-fisted. It’s habit. He’s not rich, but he’s comfortably retired after a career as a construction contractor and then a manufacturer. They were businesses that Taylor might have inherited, if life hadn’t sent him falling 14 feet from scaffolding at a work site when he was 20, crushing a vertebra in his lumbar. With a bad back, Taylor wouldn’t be able to work in construction, and so he'd been free to devote himself to programming and game design. It had been his passion since his father got him his first computer when Taylor was 14. Now, thirty years later, his father was calling because he wanted to help his son continue in that career. “Chris, I’ve got $2,000 here that I want to give you,” his father told him. “But... I can’t figure out this Kickstarter site. How do I give this to you?”
Akaneiro - Funded Succesfully
Akeneiro is now succesfully funded with a total bakcing of around 204,000 US dollars, so Spicy Horse's Kickstarter page informs us. The game needed 200,000 US dollars to be funded. Everyone at Spicy Horse is very happy and excited about this as their thank you letter tells us:
Greetings Hunters! Amazing! We did it!!!
From myself, Ophelea, the entire team at Spicy Horse and Lulu (DOG), Thank You! Your support in helping us spread the word and fund this campaign over the past 30 days has been absolutely fantastic. So, what's next? First we wait on Kickstarter to do their end of campaign "house cleaning," which can take a few days or more. Then we'll get working on delivering campaign rewards - starting with virtual items like Karma. The development team will begin work on their planning and we'll post info about delivery dates ASAP. Lots of questions about Ouya, so we'll start figuring out what we can do to support that demand. Physical items will start to get shipped around, signed and sent out. And we'll keep you updated throughout.
Monday - February 04, 2013
Wildman - Interview @ IncGamers
IncGamers interviewed Chris Taylor on Wildman and Gas Powered Games. This next bit is about what might happen when the Kickstarter will fail.
IncGamers: Was that kind of a hint there that if this Kickstarter doesn’t go through, that you’d be launching another one, essentially?
Chris: It kind of sounded like a hint, but it wasn’t. It was pure… you know, I don’t care what you’re doing, I don’t care if you’re trying to… like, anything you do, if you fail at it and you do it again, you do better at it. You keep doing the same thing over and over again until you master it. You get back on the horse. But if you’re at the rodeo and the bull throws you off and the clowns rescue you, you don’t go back on the bull – you go to hospital for two weeks! The bruising goes down and you recover and you think “Maybe next year’s rodeo, I might try it again with the lessons learnt.”
You don’t chase the clowns away and get back on the bull right away, you have to recover from it. We’ll have a very difficult situation to manage through but I want to say that the phone has been ringing, people have been calling and asking us about Wildman. They are saying, “Hey, maybe there is a partnership here.”
I don’t know the details, those conversations are just getting started. We haven’t worked out any terms – it’s just the phone has rung and I’m really busy, and we’re going to kinda see how it goes. But let’s say, for example, the campaign doesn’t go through and someone says “How about we kick in $500,000 and you give us rights to territories X, Y and Z,” and then someone else comes along and we give them rights to another territory. Maybe we can do this a different way, and maybe we can do some fundraising right off our site, which you can actually do right now.
I think we’ve raised a grand total of $1,000 because we direct people to the Kickstarter site. We don’t want to raise the money through our site, per se, unless you don’t have access to Kickstarter. This is a really subtle point – in case you can’t get access, you can still get our site. If the thing doesn’t go through we are going to refund those folks; they won’t be paying anything, to make that little quick digression.
Maybe there’s another way we can make Wildman, but that does not mean going right back to Kickstarter instantly. Maybe we can do it a different way if we can get funds to bridge the company. So anything is possible.
Wildman - Update #10, Node Creation
In a new video update for Wildman Chris Taylor and Jeremy Schmidt talk about node creation for their map editors.
In addition they also will have a QA session on Twitch.tv today and there was an interview with Chris taylor was interviewed at Robert Space.
Friday - February 01, 2013
Wildman - Update #9, Windows Map Editor
The video for Wildman on Kickstarter ($399K/$1.1M, 14 days to go) has been updated, in it Chris Taylor and Brian Sturm show with the stand alone map editor how levels in Wildman are created.
And there are two new pieces of concept art as well.
Thursday - January 31, 2013
Akaneiro - Launched
Amercian McGee's Akaneiro has launched according to Bluesnews, though you still have three days to plonk down some money for the Kickstarter, if financing already-released F2P games is your thing:
January 31 2013. Shanghai. Spicy Horse Games, makers of "Alice: Madness Returns," "BigHead BASH," and "American McGee's Grimm" announced today that "Akaneiro: Demon Hunters" is now available for play via SpicyWorld and Kongregate for Mac and PC.
Based on the Little Red Riding Hood story combined with Japanese folklore and myth, and illustrated in Spicy Horse's unique dark fantasy style, "Akaneiro: Demon Hunters" is an action-RPG that lets players hunt legendary monsters in Edo-era Japan.
Akaneiro launches with 20 maps of content with more options on the way, including Steam integration. If the now-running Kickstarter is fully funded, Linux and mobile versions and additional systems including co-op gameplay and equipment crafting will be arriving in the near-future. To check out the Kickstarter plans and reward tiers, please visit: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spicyhorse/akaneiro-demon-hunters
The game is free to download and play, with a $20 "unlock all maps" one time purchase option for those who'd like to get all the content in one shot as well as various options purchasable with the in-game currency, karma, for those planning to buy things piecemeal.
To play Akaneiro now, players need only visit the official site.
Source: Blues News
Wednesday - January 30, 2013
Wildman - Updates #6, 7 & 8, Video Updates
The last 3 updates for Wildman ($379K, 16 days to go) brings us 3 different videos.
Update number 6 talks about fitting an RTS into an action RPG and the first comcept art for dinosaurs.
Update number 7 covers mod tools and Project Mercury, which is the web platform they are using.
And in update number 8 Chris Taylor answers a bunch of questions that were raised on Kickstarter.
Tuesday - January 29, 2013
Days of Dawn - Re-Kickstartered
Bumblebee's colourful Days of Dawn has returned for a second attempt at Kickstarter, this time looking for $50k - around half of their first goal. So far they have $13k, with 26 days to go:
- Explore an open world full of mysteries and adventure in multiple nonlinear storylines
- Experience a unique magic system with an emotional approach in a world whose magical forces just awakened
- During your journeys, have three companions out of a range of seven complex player characters join your party
- Engage in incredibly fast and intuitive turn-based battles
- Join in-group interactions and social involvement among your party members
- Encounter original characters and creatures in beautifully handpainted scenery and a fantastic musical score
- Basic version to be developed in English
(additional languages made available by stretchgoals, send us your requests)
- Will be available for PC, Mac and Linux
(additional systems made available by stretchgoals)
Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox - How to Run a Successful Kickstarter
Alex Norton has given a 90 minute lecture last year on how he made his pledge on Kickstarter for Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox a success, raising over 500% of it's original pledge. There is a video of 90 minuntes covering this lecture, which might be a bit long, so he summarized it in an editorial for Gamasutra.
He makes some valid points on running a successful kickstarter not addressing the point that he only asked for $6000 to start with, which made raising a lot more maybe a bit easier compared to those who are asking $30.000 to start with.
After doing significant research on other, more successful, crowd-funded projects, I came to the following conclusions:
- Communication is key! Talk to your pledgers and potential customers. Answer their questions when they have them and keep them engaged.
- It all comes down to how you sell your product, and how you sell yourself and your team as people.
- Be aware of your target audience and gear every little thing you do towards them and only them.
- Market your campaign. Send links to blogs, reviewers, journals, magazines and spread it across social networks. Get traffic to it.
- Be willing to put in the hours that it takes to make regular updates, answer all questions and keep the customer engaged at all times.
On top of this, I decided to change my tactics to include the following:
- Show the customer that the project is being made by people. Good quality, friendly, nice people. If they like you, they'll be more inclined to like what you're selling.
- Don't just show them why your product is special. Show them why it's special to YOU, and why it should be special to THEM.
- When you're selling your product, you should also be selling the people making it. It makes the customer feel a part of something, rather than a simple ‘browse and buy' scenario.
- Write lots of updates. At LEAST 3 per week. Show them you're working at it. Show them how dedicated you are. Try and use video where possible. People respond to video. Get your best speaker onto it.
- Talk to the pledgers, not just as someone who answers questions, but really engage them in conversation. Show them you're real.
And you can check out the 90 minute low quality shakey-cam video too.
Monday - January 28, 2013
Kickstarter - Have a Drink
With this one we stray a bit from our regular RPG newsposting, but it's just this time and it still is somewhat RPG related and kinda fun. In the Kickstarter for Blasphemous Coctails you can pledge for a book of cocktail recipes inspired by H.P. Lovecraft, the Cthulhu Mythos, and the horror genre in general.
The book will include drinking rules for Dungeons and Dragons d20 and Savage Worlds, so now you can sip the same drink at the same time as your character in-game is drinking it.
Wildman - Chris Taylor on Matt Chat
In the latest Matt Chat, Chris Taylor is interviewed on the current state of the Wildman Kickstarter and what happened with Gas Powered Games these weeks.
Here it is, the Matt Chat to end all Matt Chats! Gas Powered Games' latest project, Wildman: An Evolutionary Action RPG, hasn't been going well, and Chris blames himself. In this hour-long interview, we see Chris at times sad, grateful, guilty, and brilliant. Without doubt, he's a Good Person, someone that nobody should want to see fail regardless of the project he takes on. What makes the situation worse, though, is that Wildman actually looks like a great game, especially for folks like me who love Civilization-style tech building. Check out the video, and don't forget to pledge a few dollars to the Kickstarter campaign. Every little bit helps.
Sunday - January 27, 2013
Wildman - Update # 4
The Kickstarter page for this page has seen its 4th update bringing the the total sum up to abput 328,000 US dollars with 19 days to ago in the Kickstarter campaign. This update features a video showing us the the design process behind the game.
Today's video walks you through the design for Wildman and delivers some insight on how to fit an RTS into an action-RPG.
Wednesday - January 23, 2013
Wildman - Update #5, Screenshots
Today's Kickstarter update for Wildman shows two in-game screenshot that are made with an older version of the engine.
Tuesday - January 22, 2013
Wildman - Update #4, Getting the Word Out
In update number four for Wildman, Chris Taylor talks about the emotional weekend after the lay-offs, what is coming with respect to the updates for this week, such as how the RTS elements are combined with the core RPG engine, a new video that will be available on the mod tools, more concept art and updates to the existing tiers.
In addition they also added a new $85 tier.
Saturday - January 19, 2013
Wildman - Update # 3, Team Members Laid off at Gas Powered Games
Chris Taylor from Gas Powered Games appears in this third update from the games Kickstarter page. Apparently, Gas Power Games has laid off much of the team, since GPG won't be able to pay the members of the team severance pay if funding for this game fails. Chris Taylor now asks the backers if the Kickstarter project should be cancelled.
Friday - January 18, 2013
Wildman - Update # 2 - Q&A as Well as Gameplay Prototype
A scond update for this game has been posted at its Kickstarter page. The update features
a Q and A session as well as video showing prototype gameplay:
So, we've prepared Wildman Video Update #1, which includes some of the current prototype gameplay. This is extremely early development footage using an older version of our 3D rendering technology with the lighting removed and placeholder models and textures. For those interested in the new tech, it will use deferred rendering; you might want to Bing that. (Hah, kidding. Google.) Everything will be significantly better looking when the engine upgrade is completed.
Thursday - January 17, 2013
Wildman - Update #1, DRM, Offline Mode and More
Bob points out the first Wildman update, which covers DRM, offline mode, multiplayer and more:
Greetings people of Kickstarter!
We’ve had an amazing first couple of days with Wildman, and would like to thank every one of you for supporting the project. In reading over your feedback and questions, we realize that we had a few holes in our initial pitch and need to give a few more details.
Wildman will have no DRM. Nada. Zip.
Offline and Online Mode
Wildman will have an offline and online mode. We’re focusing our initial efforts on the offline version. The offline version will not require an Internet connection to play. It will also support all mods. We may allow offline characters in private co-op, but that’s TBD.
The online version will feature a character vault that allows you to easily move the same character between machines, and will be more secure. It will be the version used in public co-op multiplayer, and will allow limited “approved” mods.
Linux and OS/X Support
These are stretch goals. Once we meet our initial funding, we will unveil the goals we need to reach to support additional platforms. We are not using a commercial engine like Unity, so each additional OS adds requires additional development and testing to our project. However, we have already started the work to make our engine support multi-platform OpenGL instead of Windows-only DirectX.
(This is the primary reason we’ve been hesitant to show gameplay; we are mid-renderer, which means the game today does not look as good as it will when we are finished.)
We are initially focused on developing the single-player version of Wildman, and after we get that version complete we will add co-op support to War Zones.
It is our belief that adding co-operative play to an already entertaining single-player game makes for a fun co-op multiplayer game. The opposite, however, isn’t always true.
In the first week of January, 2013, Microsoft announced that it was ending content development for Age of Empires Online. Unfortunately, some news sites incorrectly attributed this decision to us; the official statement came from Microsoft, and they alone could make that kind of decision.
Wildman was already in development. The basic concept was conceived of early last year, but we finally assigned a team to the project at the start of October. Everything in this Kickstarter represents the first three months of development work, which is one of the reasons why some of the details are still up-in-the-air. Every day, we come up with more specifics; we intend to share those decisions with the public, and backers will have a chance to shape those decisions.
It’s one of the reasons why we’re here, to let you take part in this game’s development. If we were further along, these decisions would already be made.
Tuesday - January 15, 2013
Vacant Sky: Awakening - Pre-Apocalyptic RPG
Bob sends word of Vacant Sky: Awakening, a "pre-apocalyptic", episodic RPG with jRPG stylings. Their Kickstarter is nearly at their goal with $7.2k/$8k with 21 days to go:
In Vacant Sky: Awakening, the player assumes the role of a young nobleman and follows his seven year journey for glory, fame, power, and love. As time moves on, the player will see characters grow and contend with the new issues that come with adulthood – such as taking responsibility for one's past actions.
The gameplay is a fusion of old-school tabletop RPGs such as Dungeons & Dragons and modern digital ones such as Persona. Players customize their characters not by spending points but by making decisions, seamlessly weaving together narrative and gameplay to create a unique experience each time the game is played.
- Episodic: The story spans seven years and eight episodes. As the cast grows up, they must face the different problems which come with adulthood - such as taking responsibility for their past actions.
- RPG: Customizable characters. Party management. Character development. Exploration and sidequests.
- ...without the fat: No random encounters. No grinding. No crystals. No heroes. No time left.
- Cross-platform: The game will be released on PC, Ouya, PS Vita, and Android (including a tablet-optimized version). Based on demand, we might expand to other platforms.
- Character engagement: Rather than an impersonal method of character advancement such as spending experience points or navigating a tech tree, players direct their characters’ growth by controlling their decision-making and seeing them grow as people.
- Relationships: Success in battle requires learning the relationships between characters and using them effectively.
Friday - January 11, 2013
Akaneiro - Preview @ IndieStatik
IndieStatik takes a look at Akaneiro and share with us their dislike for the game, stating that it is bad and disappointing or maybe he actually just doesn't like American McGee despite the intro:
I like American McGee. There, I said it. Guy has nice hair, he made a couple decent games and he has a nationality for a name. If I could, I’d call myself Irish O’Flannigan, but I don’t have the kind of swag that Mr. McGee commands. Who does, really? The guy worked for Id, he coded on Quake, he made a horror adventure out of Alice in Wonderland. It was even pretty good. That takes some serious swag.
So this guy makes American McGee’s Alice and it’s a pretty good game. He slaps his name on it because I guess game designers are like celebrities now, and all we need is their name to convince us to throw money at them like cash-flinging gibbons. He’s a figurehead in the industry, so naturally he makes a couple more games, and this is how we ended up with American McGee’s Scrapland. American McGee’s reviewers gave American McGee’s newer games mixed reviews. Our faith in the man was shaken, but not destroyed. Every real artist releases a stinker or two sometimes, right? The next one would be better. Finally, after months of waiting, we got American McGee’s Bad Day L.A.
He doesn't like the Cunning class either;
Let’s get this out of the way right now – the Cunning class blows. Don’t pick that one. This already isn’t a great game, and you don’t need a poor class selection making it worse. Their ranged attacks are very costly and don’t do a lot of damage, plus the range is questionable at best and they’re as resilient as wet paper bags. For all intents and purposes you’ve got two class options: you could pick Fortitude, which is a decent option if a little boring, but trust me and pick Prowess instead. This will ensure you have a character so powerful that you can walk all over the game. Prowess characters are fast, well-armored and can deal ludicrous damage to wide swaths of enemies at once right out of the gate, not to mention they only get better.
Nor does he like the Kickstarter move:
Yes, you heard me: the game is completed. Finished. Though American McGee has since retracted that statement now that the Kickstarter has been launched. Apparently, the game isn’t finished now, and he meant that they had ran out of funded development time on the game, thus implying the intention was to release an unfinished game or…what? It’s releasing soon anyway and will likely make it on to Steam due to the Greenlight program. It even has a business model set up with that Karma Crystal market. But they’re still running a Kickstarter for it, as if it has loads of development ahead of it and they weren’t in the position where they could just release the game and start raking in the revenue as they were going to originally via a free-to-play model. Think about that.
Wednesday - January 09, 2013
Akaneiro - Open Beta Launched
American McGee and Spicy Horse have released the open beta for Akaneiro, so you can check it out for yourself and decide if this "finished" F2P game is worth your Kickstarter dollars:
Let's just get this out of the way... OPEN BETA!!!!!
Go play the game RIGHT NOW:
What'd you think? We'd love to hear your feedback, comments and suggestions! Discuss them here on Kickstarter if you like, but please be sure to also share them over on the SpicyWorld Forums and via the ZenDesk link labeled "Report Bugs/Suggestions" at the bottom of the game frame. This phase of Beta will last from today (Jan 9th) until a week from now (Jan 16th.) We'll then take the game offline for one week, during which time the team will tune, adjust and repair - based largely on the feedback you provide. Find something you don't like or think we should improve? Great! Tell us all about it! This is YOUR game!
Source: Blues News
Tuesday - January 08, 2013
Akaneiro - "100% Finished"
American McGee has written to Kotaku to take issue with with their reporting of his Akaneiro Kickstarter. It appears he wasn't comfortable with them saying the campaign was to "finish" Akaneiro:
"The game is 100% finished," he wrote. "The company is not out of money. The project was completed on time, on budget and will be shipped this month (Jan 2013.) It has been in Closed Beta with 25k people having run through it since late last year."
McGee also addressed the line "we're out of time and money to do so," which has since been removed from their Kickstarter.
"When the Akaneiro team says they are 'out of money/time' it just means they came to the natural end of their development cycle on that project," McGee told me. "The KS campaign would allow them to extend that—something we'd ask a publisher to consider were we funded that way. We're not, so we ask the audience instead."
I asked McGee to clarify this: if the game is 100% finished, why does the Kickstarter say that the team feels "some key features are missing"? Why start a Kickstarter at all?
"'What's been achieved both artistically and mechanically is fantastic… but it's just not enough to call the game complete, to satisfy our fans or ourselves,'" McGee wrote, citing his Kickstarter page. "THIS is the main idea. We're not satisfied. We'd like to take the game further and make it better. In the days when we were funded by a publisher, we would have asked them to review our ideas for additional features and approve (or not) a longer development cycle. 99% of the time they would have said 'no.'"
Clear as mud. The campaign is currently at $47k / $200k, so contributing to a finished F2P game doesn't seem to be a hurdle.
Sunday - January 06, 2013
Antharion - Funding Closed
Antharion's Kickstarter has closed with $22.5k - over double the original goal of $10k but a bit short of the next stretch goal:
Thank you everyone so so very much! We are incredibly grateful to each and every one of you for your support throughout this campaign. Who would have imagined we'd end up over-funded at 225% with 730 backers?
We'll continue to produce updates for you guys but you can also keep up to date on Antharion's official website and forum. We have a section on our forum for feedback and ideas where we want to here from you about what you'd like to see in the game or even just cool ideas you have for Antharion. If you have any questions or comments don't hesitate, you can reach us here or on our website or forum anytime.
Saturday - January 05, 2013
Antharion - Updates 16, 17, Final Hours
Antharion has passed their second stretch goal at $20k and trying for the next stretch at $25k - just 6 hours to go as I type.
Wow! We've had quite an eventful last day: we passed 700 backers and unlocked our 2nd stretch goal!
$40 - Name an Inn or Shop
Why Are The 25k Stretch Goals Important??
Pets - these would represent probably the single largest game play addition to Antharion so far. Pets add a whole new dimension because their presence is felt across all aspects of game play. Each pet will have a different role. Just a few examples of what pets will do include: carrying around large amounts of extra inventory, holding aggro or attacking monsters during combat, stealing/looting items and providing a light source for your party in while in darkness.
Linux - Speaks for itself. Come on Linux people, let's make this thing happen!
Monster Island Conclave - An island off the south eastern coast of Antharion solely inhabited by monsters and complete with a monster capitol city where you can interact with inhabitants just like regular NPCs. Let me just say that this is so big that it could almost be considered a standalone expansion on its own!
Friday - January 04, 2013
Antharion - Update #15, The Evolution
Antharion has just 30 hours to run and they are close to the $20k stretch goal (currently $18.7k), with this new update offering a new reward tier and some screens showing the game's visual evolution over time:
We just added a new $45 reward tier so that now anyone who pledges $45 or more will get a digital PDF bestiary (plus all previous rewards)! This thing will be huge and extensive considering that we already have 55 monsters and plan on adding even more! Again, anyone whose pledge is currently at $50 or more will automatically get the bestiary.
Last update we talked a bit about how Antharion has evolved since its initial conception. Today we're going to actually show you just how far Antharion has come since its humble origins. Those of you with us during our "big-head" days probably already have a feel for how quickly our project has been progressing but there's nothing like seeing it laid out clearly in a time-line. Antharion will continue to grow and improve in every way possible up until the very day of its release!
Akaneiro - Kickstarter Campaign
Akaneiro is a P2P action/RPG (currently single-player but co-op is planned) from American McGee and Spicy Horse. They are looking for $200k over the next 30 days to finish development and create an iOS/Android port:
A free to play ARPG with classic design sense meets fast-paced action, inspired by Japanese themes and the Red Riding Hood tale.
Veteran game designer American McGee (Quake, Alice, Grimm) and Spicy Horse (Alice: Madness Returns) are set on delivering players a uniquely enthralling free to play action role-playing experience.
Akaneiro: Demon Hunters will transport you to a world realized in a striking visual style inspired by Japanese ink, watercolor and woodblock illustration. We’ve dug deep into the history and folklore of Japan when designing our scenarios and characters. Mixing this foundation with an original mythology inspired by Red Riding Hood yields a fantastic and inspiring setting for players to explore.
Akaneiro provides players with a free to play ARPG of depth, blended seamlessly with the speed and intensity of a pure action title. Combat is fast and unrelenting, but you can sway the tide with careful selection of abilities and equipment. A multitude of character building paths are available, though we've avoided being overly prescriptive, ensuring you can find the best balance of abilities and equipment for your personal play style.
It does look visually striking, if you are interested.
Halfling Wars - Kickstarter for iOS
The devs of Halfling Wars which is labeled as a mobile social RPG from the Hobbit genre wrote in to inform us of their game on Kickstarter.
I am not sure if this fits the interest of our readers but here is a bit of info on the game:
One of the many appealing aspects of Halfling Wars is that it can by played using several styles of gameplay. Build your village and farm for gold. Build an army and claim more land. Buff out your creatures and fight your friends. We’ve designed it so that it is more than just a 5 minute logon to check your eggs, cash in your crops, and then either log off or spend money. You can continually play Halfling Wars at the normal game play rate without spending a penny.
Our main goal was to create something fun and unique - a perfect blend of both light and dark for each player's experience. On one side the player is a gentle, jolly, good-natured Halfling who prefers nothing more than growing anything green, smoking pipe weed, or drinking a nice ale. On the other side the user plays as a Darkling, a bitter mischievous creature who prefers the twilight hours to go about his business. Instead of giving the player the option of which creature to play, we allow them to do both at the same time… after all there is a little Halfling and Darkling in all of us.
Thursday - January 03, 2013
Antharion - Update #14, Final Days, Magic
Orphic has posted Update #14 for their Antharion Kickstarter as the enter the last three days. With $17k on the board, they have their sights on the $20k stretch. This update also looks at magic:
Today we're going to talk a bit about magic. In Antharion there are three schools of magic: Black, White and Gray. Antharion's magic system is relatively unique in that each of its spell schools focuses singularly on one thing. Black Magic focuses on harmful spells, White Magic focuses on buffs and restorative spells, and Gray Magic focuses on alterative and illusory spells. This means you won't find any damage spells in the school of White Magic and likewise you won't find any buffs in Gray, etc. Below is a complete list of all of the spells we currently have working. Keep in mind that we will continue adding/refining spells throughout the remainder of development.
- Firebolt - Hurls a ball of fire at a single target
- Summon Beast - Conjure a rat to fight for you
- Curse of Weakness - Increase the target's weakness to physical attacks
- Poison - Does damage over time to a single target
- Curse of Sloth - Slows your enemy temporarily lowering his action points
- Web - Immobilizes the target in a spider's web
- Life-Tap - Convert some of your life into mana
- Inferno - Create a huge wall of fire extending out in every direction
- Ice Bolt - Hurl a shard of ice at a single target freezing it
- Death Blow - Deals a single devastating blow to an adjacent target
- Cone of Cold - Freezes all targets within its cone
- Curse of Magic - Makes the target susceptible to magical damage
- Poison Cloud - Poison all targets within its radius
- Summon Demon - Summon an imp to hurl fireballs at your enemies
- Last Stand - Create a massive explosion killing the caster in the process
Tuesday - January 01, 2013
Antharion - Kickstarter Update # 13
This video demonstrates a very simple quest from start to finish along with a little combat and some new interface elements. All of the music in the video is part of Antharion's original soundtrack composed by Eric Gallardo.
Sunday - December 30, 2012
Telepath Tactics - Failed to be Funded
As somewhat expected Telepath Tactics did not get funded and got stuck at $18.615 out of a $25.500 goal, but it will be back!
All right, guys! First thing's first: we didn't make our goal. That's unfortunate, but it's not nearly as bad as some folks think. You see, despite the fact that this campaign didn't "succeed," it was actually quite successful at spreading the word about the game. (How many of you knew about Telepath Tactics before this campaign started? Exactly.)
This campaign has also been extraordinarily successful for me, personally. I've gotten invaluable feedback about the sort of things you all care about in Telepath Tactics, and I've learned a whole heck of a lot about how to run a crowdfunding campaign. The next time I try this, we will make the goal! (Speaking of which: mark your calendars for March, folks!)
In the meantime, I'm going to keep on developing the game. To stay up-to-date on the development of Telepath Tactics (and snag any future demo updates):
- Follow me on Twitter.
- Like Sinister Design on Facebook.
- Join the Sinister Design forums. (This is the primary place where I collect bug reports and take suggestions on features folks want to see.)
- Subscribe to Sinister Design on Youtube. (This will make it so you're automatically notified whenever I upload a new gameplay video. )
- Vote on Steam Greenlight. (Just 'cuz.)
Also, don't forget to keep telling your friends about Telepath Tactics: the more people there are who know about the game, the easier it'll be to make our goal when we make a second go of Kickstarting this sucker.
Thanks again for your support; see you in the Spring!
Saturday - December 29, 2012
Antharion - First Stretch Goal Unlocked
Antharion has passed $15k with a full week to go. This goal opens up "magical items, alignment powers, buy a house, 5 new monster types and Northern Point Winter Island". The next goal at $20 includes a new Undead playable race and more. There's also a new update that looks at races:
Human - Are the ruling dominant race in Antharion. After thousands of years of brutal Orc rule, humans united Antharion's various factions under a single flag and proceeded to enslave the entire Orc race in a single sweeping act of retribution.
Orc - For thousands of years Orcs used their surperior strength and fighting ability to dominate all other groups. This led to a deep-seated resentment among the other races culminating in the Orc race's complete enslavement by the debauched King Zeverith. Though Orcs are officially classified as a commodity in Antharion, a few still exist freely in small pockets on the outskirts of the Kingdom.
Lynx - A naturally solitary race, Lynx prefer to live out their lives alone on the fringes of society. Many of them survive off of thievery leading to a general distrust of the entire race.
Elf - During Orc rule, Elves were kept as pets and artificially bred for aptitude in White Magic, beauty and tiny brains (a trait elevated by Orcish culture). Humans are quite happy with the small state of the Elf brain as that's one less group to potentially challenge human dominance.
Necrophil - Originally the summoned magical creations of powerful Black Wizards. Necrophils began a recursive sequence of self-replication whereby each successively summoned creature was capable of more powerful magic than the last. This resulted in Necrophils being even more powerful than their original summoners. Necrophils are the most feared and reviled of all the races, and the greatest threat to the Humanty's hold on power.
Telepath Tactics - Update #12, Final Hours
There's literally a couple of hours left in Telepath Tactics' Kickstarter - currently $18k of $25k - quite a big ask but there's been a lot of last minute activity, so there's hope. If you are interested, this is absolutely your last chance:
As Swedish hair band Europe once said: "It's the final countdown!" (I can't type cheesy synths directly into an update, but if I could, I would do so right here.)
We're now in the middle of the final day for the Telepath Tactics Kickstarter. Over the course of this campaign, such luminaries as Brian Fargo and Kieron Gillen have pledged their support to the project. Today, I actually got a tweet from Julian Gollop--the brilliant designer behind the original X-COM--saying (and I quote): "Yes indeed I have heard of Telepath Tactics. I am seriously looking forward to it!" Holy hell, people. [...]
On a more mundane note: I've continued pressing forward with development, restructuring the way that dialog is formatted in Telepath Tactics to accommodate future support for multiple responses in dialog. In short: branching dialog and branching campaign support is just on the horizon! I've also added some really neat new features to the game, including predictive damage displays and point lighting. (You can see a screenshot of the point lighting in action below.)
Wednesday - December 26, 2012
Telepath Tactics - Update #11, Last Days
There's a new Telepath Tactics update as their Kickstarter campaign hits three days remaining ($13.5k/$25k). The demo has been updated with new features and Sinister Design promises a bonus mystery campaign as they try to achieve success:
As a sort of Christmas present to you all, I've gone ahead and updated the demo again, this time with requested features such as edge-of-screen panning (which you can turn on using the Options menu), a right-clickable Rotate button, and the ability to cycle back and forth through available characters using the mouse wheel.
Now, you've probably noticed that we're fast approaching the moment of truth for Telepath Tactics. I did a few quick calculations, and it turns out that we can meet the funding goal if 500 of us each contribute just an extra $25.
To that end, here's a quick reminder: if the campaign succeeds and you backed at or above the $25 level, you are guaranteed a DRM-free copy of the game from the moment the campaign ends, continuous updates throughout the game's development, and a free Steam key whenever the game's Greenlight campaign succeeds. Add $9 to that, and you're guaranteed a second copy of the game to do with as you please! Just something to keep in mind if you're a $10 backer.
Friday - December 21, 2012
Telepath Tactics - Passes $11k
Sinister Design points out their Kickstarter for Telepath Tactics has passed the $11k milestone, so there's certainly reasonable interest, but they have a big mountain to climb to reach $25k in 7 days. Here's the lastest update, which also has a new reward offer:
Hey, folks! We're entering the last week of the campaign now. We've raised nearly $11,000 for Telepath Tactics, and are closing in on 600 backers. I'm happy for the support that every last one of you has shown the game so far: it means a lot to me personally, and has helped motivate me to focus on making this game as awesome as humanly possible!
We're currently less than $15,000 away from the funding goal, with 7 days to go. It will take some doing to meet the goal, but it's hardly impossible--remember, Sportsfriends raised its final $20,000 in the last day of its campaign! We just need to pull in some larger backers to make it happen for us here.
To help out, my friend Lars Doucet--creator of the excellent RPG Defender's Quest--has generously donated 200 copies of both Defender's Quest and the (also excellent) Defender's Quest soundtrack for me to give away. So here's the deal: the first 200 backers to pledge at or above $100 will get a free copy of both Defender's Quest and the Defender's Quest soundtrack on top of all other rewards!
Forsaken Fortress - Funded, last hours to achieve stretch goals
Forsaken Fortress hit their funding goal over the last day or so - as I write, there's a mere 9 hours left in their Kickstarter campaign. They currently have $116k of 100k on the board and the first two stretch goals are down:
- 105,000: Atomic Squirrel Race officially added.(not a joke)Achieved!
- 110,000: Free play mode(no story, no ending, no limit)Achieved!
- 120,000: Scenario modes(Defense mode, capture the flag mode, search and destroy mode...)
Antharion - Update #10
Antharion ($13.4k / 15 days) has posted a new update adding new reward tiers:
Hey guys! We're now just $1,584 away from hitting our first stretch goal!! With over 500 backers, if each of you upgraded by just $5 we'd instantly unlock our first stretch goal and be well on our way towards hitting the 2nd! Tonight we're introducing several new reward tiers to give you guys more upgrading options...
$50 All Digital Pack (Includes all previous rewards)
- iPad version of Antharion
- 50 page digital PDF comprised of Antharion's original hand-written design notes and sketches
- Your name will appear in an in-game book as one of the "Founders of Antharion"
$80 All Digital Design a NPC Pack (Includes all $50 level rewards) - plus you'll work with us to design and name your own NPC. Want to make an NPC in your own likeness? Just give us a photo and we'll have our artist recreate you in pixel form. (Note: this reward is NOT included in any higher level tiers.) This tier is limited and will only be available to the first 20 backers.
$500 Immortalization Pack (Includes all $100 level rewards) - plus you'll be immortalized in Antharion's world. You'll name one of Antharion's major towns plus we'll create a statue of you and place it prominently in the center of town for all to see! You'll also become a part of Antharion's lore and we'll even create an entire in-game book about you! This tier is limited and will only be available to the first 3 backers.
Thursday - December 20, 2012
Legends of Dawn - Kickstarter Launched
Remember Legends of Dawn, which we highlighted with a teaser trailer a couple of weeks ago? Dreamatrix has launched a Kickstarter campaign for this open world game, asking for $25k to finish the game off. The interesting thing is the game is almost done, so delivery is estimated at February 2013, only a couple of months away.
The game is described as "hardcore" and "isometric", although to my mind the style looks more like Two Worlds. Here's a snip:
Another quality that makes Legends of Dawn interesting is the freedom of direction and movement. Most games force a player to follow the main storyline and forbid any deviation, or significant veering off the set course. Legends of Dawn is more sympathetic to your playing needs. You are free to wander wherever tickles your fancy within the continent, without limitations, under one condition. Stay alive. We have been careful to ensure that the quests only suggest, rather than impose direction of movement. Your journey is in your hands.
The first thing to notice about LOD is that it has an old school style and feel to it, with some unique features which differentiate it from classic games of this generation.
This is not a game to appeal to casual gamers, it is a hardcore fantasy game with a large, diverse world filled with a lot of dangers, intrigue and mystery.
- Choose among 3 different races - Human, Elf and Danian and 2 genders - male or female
- Explore hundreds of unique locations (dungeons, forts, camps, cemeteries, docks, mountains, canyons, flying islands, swamps, temples, shrines etc.)
- Fight your way through more than 20 dungeons, caves, crypts, mausoleums and catacombs and rest in 3 cities - Human, Elven and Danian
- 150+ types of wild creatures and monsters that drop several loots so you stand a good chance of getting multiple valuable items
- Adaptable creature AI: depending whether it is day or night, creatures spawn and act differently. Weather conditions also influence a monster's behavior
- Players are free to move in this nonlinear world, in any direction they choose. As long as they have the necessary items or skills to survive in the field
- Combat and magic: A combination of Knight and Mage will work together without class restrictions and players have a wide choice of weapons or spells, they are able to use in combat
- Discover different ways to use and combine more than 35 combat, creature lore, crafting, gathering, resistance and devotion skills
- A complex crafting system with over 25.000 usable items, allows you to make everything from food, metal, wood, stone, leather to weapons and fashion armors
- Unlocking System with Runes: using specific runes players can interactively unlock and activate locked chests or crates and other mechanisms in the game
- System of sacrifices: The 3 gods; Perun, Veles and Svarog each have their own shrines throughout the continent. Activating a shrine opens the sacrifice panel with options to sacrifice items and gain divine favours
- Streaming technology enables playing without any loading screens. All data seamlessly loads in background.
Wednesday - December 19, 2012
Telepath Tactics - Interview @ Rampant Coyote
Our favourite Coyote has interviewed Craig Stern from Sinister Design about Telepath Tactics, which is 2/3 through its Kickstarter campaign:
Rampant Coyote: For those who have played tactics games in the past – your own games, or Band of Bugs or the like on the PC, or games like Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea on consoles and handhelds – what would really make them stand up and take notice of Telepath Tactics? While the PC isn’t exactly overwhelmed with strategy RPGs these days, what features really set Telepath Tactics apart?
Craig: First, as you point out, games like this are very rare on PC. That’s reason enough to support the game all on its own, I think!
Beyond that, though, Telepath Tactics stands alone in terms of features. It has extensive mod support with support for custom single player campaigns, which means that the game could theoretically have a limitless supply of new content flooding in for years to come. As far as I’m concerned, this will be a game to keep on your hard drive until the day you die.
The combat engine itself, in turn, is what happens if you take all that advice (1, 2, 3) I’ve been writing up on SinisterDesign.net over the past year and a half and actually put it into practice. Telepath Tactics is highly deterministic, with straightforward rules that combine in interesting ways to create a huge possibility space. To restate that in plain English: attacks do not have a chance to “miss,” damage is 100% predictable, and there are a lot of easy-to-grasp mechanics that make things interesting: elevation effects; environmental hazards; the ability to push, pull and throw characters; destructible and dynamic scenery; counterattacks; status effects; elemental weaknesses and resistances; character energy that regenerates when resting; up to eight attacks per character; AOE attacks; variable range attacks; movement abilities; backstab bonuses; sidestab bonuses; the ability to create bridges and barricades; explosive satchels that you can place and detonate; random item drops; and so on.
On top of all that, Telepath Tactics has local multiplayer. I’ve actually thrown parties where my friends come over and we play matches, and I can attest that it’s a lot of fun.
Antharion - First iPad Video
Orphic has successfully ported Antharion to the iPad and offer a new video showing it off:
Antharion has been successfully ported to the iPad! And the good news is that it runs, looks and feels way way better than we ever imagined it could on a tablet device. We believe that there is a place for serious RPGs on tablets and it just so happens that Antharion is perfectly suited to the platform. Touching and dragging interface elements like spell buttons from the spell book over to the action bar feels so much more intuitive on the iPad. Selecting targets in combat and opening and closing interface panels feels effortless. It's hard to tell from the video, but Antharion looks gorgeous on the iPad's display. Check out the video...
Consortium - Oficially Cancelled
Consortium is now officially cancelled on Kickstarter. They are offering to all backers a PDF document they name 'Discoveries', which gives all the details of the game once it is finished.
Some specifics on the document (estimated at least 300 pages):
- Completely in-game and written by Thrie Desertch (my in-game counterpart, brother of Vidal Desertch; creator of the iDGi-1 satellite)
- Full “biography section” for every single character even mentioned in the A.R.G. With over 30 names currently on this list, many of which will be a part of the 3D game series, this will make for a really helpful tool to better understand the history and motivations of everyone involved.
- It will be written as a timeline of events, exactly as if you were playing along with the A.R.G. from the very beginning back in 2010. NO details missed.
- Will include every piece of content so far released; and this is A LOT of stuff (every written document, journal, transcribed audio files/blogs, email, descriptions/screenshots/links for videos, mini-games, and puzzles)... complete with “Thrie’s Thoughts” on everything; an unbiased look at the information and what it all means.
- A breakdown of the entire “in-game iDGi forum” found HERE. Over two years of fairly consistent posts back and forth between people from the other side of the rift, and people from our world (“players”). This will be a chronological point-form summary of everything posted by both players and characters.
They are thinking of returning to Kickstarter in February, but do not consider it a wasted effort as they had tthe opportunity to show the game to the world and learned something as well
For interest's sake, here are the top 2 lessons we've learned with this campaign:
- #1: We should have announced CONSORTIUM at least a month before starting the Kickstarter campaign. Given we are a new company announcing a new I.P, this was absolutely necessary to allow knowledge of CONSORTIUM's existence to spread.
- #2: December is not a great month for Kickstarter campaigns. People are busy visiting family, partying and spending money buying gifts, etc. We believe that this is the biggest reason it's taking as long as it is right now to spread awareness of CONSORTIUM. It's one of the busiest times of the year...
Kickstarter - Days of Dawn
The devs of Days of Dawn let us know they have a Kickstarter going where they are aiming for 95K and are currently at 22K with 13 days to go. As they say themselves:
„Days of Dawn“ is an original roleplaying game coming in HD-glory, pledging to bring back the flair of early roleplaying games – imagine classic titles of the 16-bit era in beautifully handpainted hi-res graphics and an orchestra-quality soundtrack.
The spells in the magic system use your emotional state to determine the effect. Only by learning to channel your emotions in the right way you can get the desired effect out of a spell.
With two additional traits – emotional control and emotional strength – and seven feelings of differing intensity, not only do your characters personalities influence the outcome of magic usage, but also the experiences and encounters they make during their journey.
The game is scheduled to be released on Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and Pandora (an open source handheld gaming platform).
There is an early beta version of the game available to all those who have at least pledged 69 dollars.
Tuesday - December 18, 2012
Forsaken Fortress - New Alpha Footage
With three days to run and $81k of $100k on the board, Forsaken Fortress has kicked up a new pre-Alpha gameplay video:
Consortium - About to be Cancelled
In a 'backers only' post the devs of Consortium announce that they are in the process of closing the campaing on Kickstarter. Being at just below 10K and a target of 200K with just 13 days to go, this looks like a sensible move to make.
They are planning to restart early in the new year , but I am not sure that this is the best time to start a campaign.
Development on the game will continue and can be followed on their blog.
Monday - December 17, 2012
Consortium - Update #5 and #6
In the last weekend there were two updates for Consortium on Kickstarer. The first is on the music which will feature no other than Jeremy Soule.
Jeremy Soule has always approached his games with a keen eye, and a steady determination to advance the role that music plays. His scores are spellbinding, embodying the spirit of whatever work he is contributing to, and his standards are impeccable.
We are approaching the score of CONSORTIUM in much the same way one would a film. The non-linear and branching nature of the game means that players will experience the story in their own way, from their perspective. Jeremy's music will always be there, complimenting what you're doing, playing with your emotions. There will be musical foreshadowing and powerful thematic moments that will help you to interpret the events and unravel the mystery. The music will have meaning within the context of the narrative itself, in precisely the same way that the dialogue contributes to the narrative.
In the second update the team is realizing that being at 9K out of a requested 200K and only 14 days to go, things look difficult.
We know that we should have announced CONSORTIUM at least a month before starting this campaign, in order to give time for the knowledge of our existence to percolate around the world. We are a new developer creating a brand new I.P., after all....
Sure, our pitch could have been stronger and there is plenty more we could have shown and talked about, but at this point the biggest problem we are facing is the pure lack of traffic to our page and video. Most of our backers have found us through Kickstarter itself. Only just yesterday, Rock, Paper, Shotgun posted about us and triggered a large traffic and backer spike! (THANK YOU!).
We need many other game sites to discover us, but with the holidays it's been very difficult to line up last minute coverage.
Please, to those of you who have backed us and want to immerse yourself in the most fully realized and polished version of CONSORTIUM possible -- write to your favourite game news sites, and post on your favourite forums about CONSORTIUM!
Telepath Tactics - Update #9, Demo Update
Telepath Tactics could use a bit more backing being at 9.4K out of the 25.5K that was asked and 12 more days to go. If you are in doubt if you should back this game maybe the updated demo might be something worth trying.
Hello, everyone! Thanks to all the great feedback you guys provided after I first released the demo, I've decided to update it with a whole bunch of bug fixes, improvements, features, and an entirely new battle at the end of the demo!
Antharion - Update #8, Day/Night Cycle
Catching up on Antharion ($12.7k/$10k, 19 days), an update was posted the other day with a video of the day/night cycle:
To make a virtual world feel compelling and alive, it needs regularity. Antharion's day/night cycle gives it this regularity and helps to give you a sense that you're fully immersed in a living-breathing world. Day and night also have tangible effects on game play. Adventuring outdoors at night becomes a dangerous affair since even with a torch you still can only see a few feet ahead. Searching for inns to sleep at during nights becomes quite important. Also, NPCs have schedules and will often go home at night after work. One new feature we just added that you'll see in the video is light shafts coming in from windows. Light shafts start to shine when the sun comes out and eventually disappear when the sun goes down. The atmospheric music in the video was created by our composer Eric.
Friday - December 14, 2012
Forsaken Fortress - Updates
I thought it time we catch up with Forsaken Fortress - the "survival RPG" campaign on Kickstarter. Currently they are at $59k / $100 with 8 days to go.
Bear with us that this is a very rough video demonstrating the basic combat system in FF. The AI is really dumb at this point but it should give you an idea of what combat would look like. :)
- You can take up to 9 people on an expedition. You can divide them into three squads(green, blue and red)
- You control your own "hero" and issue general orders(GO TO, FOLLOW, COVERING FIRE....) to your squads.
- The AI will intelligently act based on your orders. They will try to take cover when under fire or try to revive unconscious comrades, etc.
- Your squad member's morale and personality will also influence their action. If a character is a coward, he or she may just flee if the situation has gone wrong.
To Be Discussed
- Reinforcement from the base?
- Artillery support from the base? (Mark the target and call in some hot rocks!)
Thursday - December 13, 2012
Antharion - Update #7 - AI Video
In the latest update for Antharion the AI in the game is made visible by means of a video.
Hey guys! Antharion is all about immersion and creating a beautifully unique and alive fantasy world for you to explore. In order to make this world feel more convincing, we've spent countless hours trying to make its inhabitants feel more intelligent. In Antharion each NPC will have its own unique temperament, personality and combat strategy. We want the creatures of Anthartion to react to your actions in tangible ways so as to make everything you do feel more meaningful and important. In this video we demonstrate just a few of Antharion's working AI features...
[Note: In the video you'll notice NPCs moving sometimes quickly without the player having moved. This is merely for the sake of demonstration and is achieved by holding down space bar which has the effect of passing on the player's turn]
Wednesday - December 12, 2012
Telepath Tactics - Update #8, All about MP
In Update #8 for Telepath Tactics' Kickstarter, Sinister Design discusses multiplayer in their strategy/RPG:
Telepath Tactics began life as a multiplayer game, and that remains the portion of the game closest to completion. Local multiplayer, a rare and important feature, has been fully functional (and really fun!) in Telepath Tactics for months now.
In the video below, I walk through the numerous customization options that go into a local multiplayer match (free-for-all vs. teams, army composition rules, fog of war, etc.) and play a 2 vs. 2 match with one CPU ally against two CPU opponents.
Sui Generis - Update #17, Forum Launch
We've just launched the insider forum. This forum is primarily intended for anyone with alpha, beta or development video access but anyone who has pledged £20 or more can participate. If you qualify and register to our forums using the email address associated with your Kickstarter account you will automatically be granted access to the insider forum. If you register to our forums using a different email address then please contact email@example.com from your payment address with "insider forum" as the subject line and specify your forum email address.
The insider forum is a place where we will discuss the game and its development with you in a more direct and informal way. We will still use Kickstarter and other channels as a platform for larger updates and the majority of our forums are open to everyone.
Also the Paypal pledge system has been updated:
We've added a more complete paypal pledge system. Some of the rewards such as the collector's edition will only be available for a short period of time, these are there for those people that were not able to pledge before the Kickstarter campaign ended. Also for a limited amount of time, if you wish to upgrade your existing pledge you can do so. A revised set of rewards will remain available so that we can raise more money in order to recruit additional team members and improve the quality of the game!
Tuesday - December 11, 2012
Telepath Tactics - Preview @ Indie Game Mag
The game starts with a brief introduction to the plot done via scrolling text before setting the scene with some of the main characters in a brief introduction of the characters. All in all the story does not develop greatly in the demo, but this is largely due to the demo being limited to only a few level, with most of them tutorial based you only get a brief feel for the gameplay.
Although the demo does have a distinctly slow pace it guides you through all the basics more than adequately. The pace can be compared to that of someone being first taught Chess and equally as necessary. This becomes apparent when you play the game as there are a lot of subtleties in the characters and the ways in which every piece interacts. Although you learn very quickly from your mistakes and when you leave your flank open to be backstabbed by the enemy, you do learn to always rotate your characters appropriately.
All the small subtleties in the game make for a game that may look quite basic and straightforward on the surface but is actually very deep and engaging. You do have to constantly think ahead, and figure out the best route for that particular scenario. This is where the static nature of the characters really comes into full bloom, as you are able to begin planning where they will be and how they will get there. You can anticipate damage and find ways to counter times you let your guard down, really the level of strategy possible is endless.
Consortium - Update #4, Story
Update number 4 of the Consortium Kickstarter (6.7K/200K, 20 days to go) talks about the story of the game.
First and foremost, let me start by repeating our mantra: the story of Consortium revolves around an extremely deep-seeded mystery and is too complex to simply point and say: “our game is about THIS!” This is one of our greatest weapons to ensure the ~6 hour experience of Consortium is as unique and unpredictable as possible. This is also why the story write up, here on KS, is mostly geared toward setting up the WHOs and WHEREs, and not so much the specific WHATs. We want players to feel like they are actually exploring an alternate universe, as themselves, and have absolutely NO idea what is coming next. Much like many movies tend to give everything away in their trailers (we hate that!), Consortium would be ruined if we talked too much about the specific “narrative thread” of the story. We hope to hook people on the IDEA of the game world we have created, and on the very notion of being the physical puppet master of another human being. It definitely helps to know some history on this alternate Earth + its characters (and this is precisely where our A.R.G. comes into play) but this is not vital to still enjoy what CONSORTIUM has to offer.
So... if you’re looking for examples of our writing team’s ability and want to at least get a feeling for the thematic/mood elements of our game and its characters, please refer to our A.R.G. The A.R.G. is not just for show and flash – it’s an integral part to the story and lore that makeup our entire game! Keep in mind that everything from the Corporate Blog to the Experience Space Scene is entirely IN-GAME. So if you email a character, such as Vidal Desertch, then you can expect an in-game reply. This Kickstarter campaign is the ONLY element of Consortium and/or its A.R.G. that is ‘out of game.’
Essentials of our A.R.G. include:
- Audio blogs.
- Audio puzzles.
- Alternate world/future News Articles and Mission Reports all about countless elements/characters in our story.
- Regular puzzles/riddles/hidden secrets that are what A.R.G.’s normally comprise of.
- Hand-written journals also with secret codes and puzzles hidden within.
- Hidden dialing coordinates (find them all to dial into an entirely different time/place!).
- An entire “internal Worldview Industries” e-mail program, packed with over a hundred email correspondences between characters.
- A *MASSIVE* in-game forum between the public and characters of our game.
- A fun/trippy “arcade-style” game called the Greenberg Device, with 21 unique levels of play.
- Once you reach the 93-99% complete mark (according to the in-game progress bar), you can access the "King-Made Question Bot." Simply put, you can directly ask this BOT questions about anything at all, and it will reply to the best of its ability. It has just recently been given a huge overhaul and is jam-packed with easter eggs and other fun stuff to discover.
I guess that's it for now! Stay tuned for more updates, as I know Greg has some more game play videos planned for you! If you have any further/specific questions about story or the A.R.G... please do not hesitate to throw me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday - December 10, 2012
Antharion - Update #6 - Music
There's another Antharion update ($11.8k, 26 days), this time with some sample work-in-progress music samples:
Here are a few tracks that our composer Eric Gallardo has been working on. Please keep in mind these are more like sketches than finished pieces. The first is a dungeon atmosphere, the second an outdoor atmospheric track intended for use in snowy regions and the third is a general usage outdoor atmospheric track. Hope you enjoy and please let us know what you think!
Kickstarter - Data Hacker Initiation
Ross informed us of his game named Data Hacker Initiation on Kickstarter. The game has already met its goal of 300 pounds, but it still has 30 days to go. So if this floats your boat, there is still an opportunity to pledge.
My brainchild; the #data//hacker series is a three-parter, and is based around an online game called 'Online World.' I draw a lot of inspiration from games such as Final Fantasy and the .hack series, but am sure to make this project my own.
Initiation follows Jay as he seeks revenge on the Administrators of Online World, who cruelly banished him from the beloved fantasy realm after a case of mistaken identity. Jay soon becomes entangled in the mess of corruption and deceit led by the infamous corporation.
While the core concept can be likened to the .hack series, I can assure you with no doubt that the game takes on a very different take, climaxing in Reboot, which I am hoping to develop in Unity 3D. More details on Initiation's features are detailed below.
I expect to be releasing the final version of Initiation in March 2013; the project is coming along steadily.Core features of Initiation are as follows:
A Branching, Immersive Storyline with a wide range of memorable characters that you can interact with on many levels
Continue your save file from Initiation into Corruption
An estimated 20+ hours of core plot content, with optional content making up many, many more hours.
Dungeon-based exploration, with each and every dungeon feeling unique and different from the last (no copy-paste dungeons like in .hack)
Dynamic world that changes based on your actions whilst playing
Recruitment system that allows you to make significant tactical choices
300+ Items of equipment, with over 30 classes to wear them, each with their own unique skillset.
Generic classes mature depending on your actions into unique classes such as the Noireknight, Dracokin, Bladedancer or Astromancer (and many more)
Lots of optional content including locales, bosses, dungeons, real estate, DodoBaird racing and a featured Card game named Trioarch!
Sunday - December 09, 2012
Antharion - Update #5, Lighting and Shadowing Video
Antharion has updated their lighting tech and the latest Kickstarter update shows that off:
Hey guys! In the past week we've made a few modifications to Antharion's rendering engine and thought we might as well make an update out of. So here's a video showcasing our engine's real-time dynamic lighting and shadowing capabilities along with a newly added "classic lighting mode" option for older devices (or for people who prefer a more tile-based aesthetic). We've also included the first dungeon atmosphere track by our composer Eric Gallardo. Check it out...
Friday - December 07, 2012
Telepath Tactics - Demo Impressions
Indie Statik has been playing the alpha demo of Telepath Tactics and wrote their first impressions based on their playthrough of the single available scenario.
Overall, the scenario doesn’t do much to show those really cool moments (and tactics, of course) that its Kickstarter page hints at. You can win by killing one unit, the enemy general, and doing so only takes a little more than ten turns if you rush him. You have to play in a very unnatural way to set up the interesting abilities, rather than just use your lame bowman and crossbowman to kill everything from a few spaces away while your swordsmen tank. The scenario starts with building a bridge in order to cross a river, but you would hope for sneakier and subtler ways to use this ability. You actually can’t reach the enemy unless you use your engineer to lay some path down across the river.
But one demo scenario is a silly way to judge games in this genre. RPGs are about characters persisting and changing through the game: grabbing items, leveling and developing as characters in a story. Telepath Tactics is promising a lot, and I’m excited to see whether it can deliver. This is one to watch, and it definitely needs the Kickstarter money to give it the depth that it deserves.
Consortium - Update #3, Dialog System
In the update of today for Consortium the interactive dialog system is shown.
Here is the I.D.S in action. This footage is raw, unedited game footage from near the beginning of the current build of "CONSORTIUM". Note our commentary, explaining what is happening.
(Please excuse the bad video quality, and those lines across the screen appeared after Kickstarter encoded it...)
(SPOILER ALERT: This is giving part of the game away!) More soon!
Telepath Tactics - Kickstarter Update #7, Stretch Goals
In update 7 of Teleapth Tactics stretch goals and new rewards are announced.
$35,000 - Mobile Ports
$45,000 - Choices and Consequences$50,000 - Dungeon tilesets and objects
$80,000 - Dedicated Linux Port
$100,000 - Phoenix-like rebirth as a wRPG!
To make sure that pledging at a higher level is worth your while, I've decided to sweeten the pot a bit. First, I'm throwing in free copies of my past games for folks able and willing to give a little extra:
- In addition to your normal rewards, everyone who pledges at or above $40 will now receive a free copy of Telepath Psy Arena 2, an addictive tournament-style tactics game with team management, challenge matches, randomly generated training battles, and 10 leagues filled with fights that will test your tactical skill!
- On top of that, everyone who pledges at or above $100 will also get a free copy of my last game, Telepath RPG: Servants of God, a Middle East steampunk tactical wRPG about oppression, democracy, God, and the nature of knowledge. (That game normally costs $25 all on its own, so this is a pretty killer value!)
And finally, a gentle reminder about the bump-up bonus:
- Whatever you choose to pledge, bump it up by $9 to get another copy of Telepath Tactics for a friend. (That's a 10% discount off the price of the game!) You'll be glad you did this when the game comes out and you have someone you know to battle with. ;)
Thursday - December 06, 2012
Antharion - Funded!
Antharion's new Kickstarter has been funded and they now sit at $10.2k / $10k goal with a whole 30 days yet to run. Time to look toward Stretch goals...
Telepath Tactics - Kickstarter Updates #4, 6 and demo News
Two more updates are available for Telepath: Tactics (6.6K/25.5K, 23 more days). Actually there are 3, but one is for backers only.
Update number 4 is about modding capabilities. In a video Craig explains how this works.
This video just scratches the surface of what's possible in Telepath Tactics. I didn't discuss editing tilesets, character sprites and other graphics; editing skills and attacks; adding in custom weather, lighting, or battle conditions; or creating cut scenes. I also left out most aspects of dialog scripting, didn't touch on randomizing character names, etc. etc. This was a bare-bones preview, in other words.
I'm in the process of documenting how to mod each aspect of the game; right now, the game manual has a pretty comprehensive guide to modding in new tilesets, as well as new skills and attacks. Go give it a look if you're curious to learn more about modding in Telepath Tactics.
Update #6 is about the 26 classes of Telepath: Tactis, that are all listed in the update.
Assassin - The Assassin is frail but fast--she can move 9 spaces per turn, leap over obstacles, and has a 20% chance to dodge all non-mental attacks. Assassins also get an unusually large backstab bonus to their attacks; combined with their high maneuverability, this makes them very useful for getting behind and quickly dispatching psychic healers and fighters. They cannot dodge mental attacks, however, and Assassins are highly vulnerable to the status effects slow and blind, which will prevent them from dodging any attacks at all. Used well, an assassin can be deadly; used poorly, the assassin will simply be dead.
Bowman - A strong attacker, the Bowman has a ranged counterattack and the longest attack range of any unit in the game. Bowmen are good for harassment, as they can fire their bows and continue moving afterwards. Bowmen are frail, however, and can be killed quickly if not protected. Bowmen are especially good at taking down flying enemies.
Finally Telepath: Tactics is also on Steam Greenlight and is currently at 21% from reaching the Top 100.
Wednesday - December 05, 2012
Kickstarter - Consortium
Consortium is a "narrative first person RPG set 45,000 feet in the air and 30 years in the future" from Interdimensional Games, who are seeking $200k over the next 25 days. Apparently the project has roots in a project from 1999 titled 'Amen' from Cavedog, though I can't say I recall that development.
JOIN US in bringing to life this bright vision of humanity’s future – a world that has overcome many of the gravest environmental and societal issues we face today. Step through the rift and join the CONSORTIUM; the most feared and revered paramilitary peacekeepers on the planet.
WHAT IF you could take complete control of another human being? And what if that human being was a man destined to decide the fate of an alternate dimension? Speak for him, move for him, and be known as merciful and/or a killer, hero, liar, wild card...or perhaps the strong/silent type?
CONSORTIUM gives you that chance...
The story of CONSORTIUM begins in our world - the “real world” - where we here at Interdimensional Games have developed a satellite (IDGI-1) capable of opening a digital rift through time and space. Anyone with an internet connection can travel through this rift and awaken within an alternate dimension from our own – the “game world" - in the year 2042.
Upon crossing the rift, you’ll find yourself aboard a Consortium command vessel, designated C-3800-D, “ZENLIL,” and in full control of a man codenamed Bishop Six. Zenlil is one of five such Consortium vessels, and is the ultimate in air superiority. A massive jumbo jet that’s powered by fusion batteries and capable of taking missions in orbit or even as far as the Artemis-1 Moon Colony.
PLAYER FREEDOM: Our game will never force you to stand in one place, staring at a character, while they ramble on. Walk away from people at any time, or talk to people while doing other things. Just remember that characters will respond accordingly to any strange or rude behaviour!
NPCs REMEMBER: Similar to the recently successful (and fantastic) "The Walking Dead" game series, everything you say is remembered by characters. Their opinion of you will change over time, and the course of the game narrative can be altered. Your decisions will cascade into future CONSORTIUM games as well, so choose wisely...
ENSEMBLE INTERACTIVE CONVERSATIONS: Our game allows you to carry on conversations with multiple NPCs simultaneously. Guide the ensemble and speak to who you want, agree/disagree with who/what you want, or say nothing and let things unfold without your input!
Watch as our extremely detailed story unfolds based on your responses and actions, or simply walk away from any conversation and/or choose to say or do nothing at all... The choice is always yours!
Jeremey Soule has already been announced as the composer, by the way.
Source: Blues News
Antharion - Update #3, Stretch Goals
Antharion has almost reached their goal ($9.5k / $10k) ans so stretch goals have been launched, including new items, a player house, new tilesets and Linux support. The actual list is a graphic that is hard to quote but here's some of the accompanying text:
Magical Items - items imbued with magical effects such as: a sword with a chance to freeze its target on strike, a bow with a chance to poison, etc.
Northern Point Winter Island - A massive island on the far northern reaches of Antharion, Northern Point is a snowy winter wilderness with a few small settlements carved out amidst it's barren frosty landscape. Explore and conquer numerous ice caverns filled with Frost Liches, Snow Yetis and like monsters.
13 Level Mega Dungeon - Conquer this 13 level mega dungeon bohemoth and you'll be duly rewarded with one of the three most powerful items known to exist in Anthation!
Monster Island Conclave - An island off the south eastern coast of Antharion solely inhabited by monsters and complete with a monster capitol city where you can interact with inhabitants just like regular NPCs.
Sunday - December 02, 2012
Telepath: Tactics - Update #3, More Characters
A third Kickstarter update is online for Telepath Tactics, which seems to be travelling reasonably well ($5k/$25k, 27 days). This post introduces more characters:
Minnow Flaxenhair - Minnow grew up on a farm, where her natural aptitude for creating psychokinetic barriers proved useful in managing livestock. It didn't take long for a passing recruiter to catch wind of her talents, however, and now she works as a psy healer in the Magistrate's army, erecting psychokinetic shields on the battlefield to ward off potentially fatal attacks.
Minnow is talkative, fond of drink, and prone to making wisecracks. She particularly enjoys getting under Alvin's skin.
Grant Winter - Grant is a cryokineticist with an orderly, disciplined life that borders on ascetic. He does not drink, and has never taken a lover. Grant spent many years studying cryokinesis, and has bound up his sense of self-worth almost entirely in his role as a loyal and dutiful soldier. He has a good mind for tactics, though his ability to lead is sometimes compromised by his difficulty connecting with others. Commander Crowe has been grooming him to be a squad leader for some time, a fact which causes Grant no small amount of pride.
Friday - November 30, 2012
Antharion - Back on Kickstarter
Antharion is back on Kickstarter again. After the first try where they came $1,190 short in order to reach their goal of $15,000 they are now asking for $10,000 and have currently already collected 20% of that amount.
Antharion is a hard-core dungeon crawling turn-based RPG set in a vast and interactive fantasy world that encourages player exploration. What sets Antharion apart from other RPGs is how faithfully it recreates the experience of classics like Ultima, Wizardry and Pool of Radiance. Antharion combines an immense open world, deep tactical turn-based combat and a rich character creation system, with the distinctive look and feel of a traditional Western RPG. Antharion wants to breathe new life into an old genre.
On Antharion's first Kickstarter campaign.
Our first try at Kickstarter failed at 92%, but that’s not the whole story. We’d done a total of just 5% in the week leading up to that day. In the last few hours of the project, our backers just went nuts driving funding progress up from 73% to 92%. You’d think that with just hours left to go, and 27% still needed, that they’d feel hopeless and just give up. Instead, they kept going, upgrading their pledges and pulling in tons of new backers, eventually we the day with a gain of 19%. It was just amazing, it’s hard to express in words how that made us feel. We’ve been working on this thing for over a year, never really knowing if anyone else would actually be interested in it other than ourselves. Just to find out that there were so many people out there who believe in what we’re doing was a really amazing feeling.
Kickstarter - Six Most Important Lessons
Gamasutra has an editorial that covers, according to the author, the six most important lessons from Kickstarter. Here is the one on the need for a plan:
You need a clear and realistic plan -- no matter who you are. Fan love for developers can play a major role in Kickstarter successes, as we saw with Double Fine Adventure. But pedigree isn't everything, and fans are quickly becoming much more circumspect about that.
Veterans Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall learned this the hard way. At the beginning of the Kickstarter boom, the idea of an old-school RPG from the creators of Wizardry, Anachronox and more might have been enough to inspire fan faith, but the pair ended up surprised at how much detail and specificity fans demanded when they went live. The pair decided to halt their Kickstarter until they could come back with a stronger plan and a clearer trajectory.
Even though it's possible they could have made their goal in the end, the audience feedback and slow start to the funding was an important sign to Brathwaite and Hall about what even the most experienced developers need to know about the Kickstarter environment.
Telepath Tactics - Kickstarter Update #2
In the second update for Telepath Tactics (4.1K/25.5K, 29 days to go) new tiers and add-ons are announced,
First, we have a new $30 tier that includes the game's soundtrack!
Basically, it's the older $30 tier, but with a digital soundtrack instead of a physical postcard. You can pick whichever you like best.
Second, we have a brand new $60 tier that includes every type of non-creative digital reward:
As you can see, the $60 tier not only has the game with early access, the digital art, the soundtrack, your name in the credits, and early access to the map editor, it also gets you a full digital copy of the critically acclaimed 30-song soundtrack to my last game, Telepath RPG: Servants of God.
Cool, eh? Finally, we have our first top-up: add $9 on top of your current pledge of $10 or more, and we'll send you a free second copy of the game to give to a friend! (That's a second copy at less than the finished game will cost!)
Sui Generis - Funded!
Sui Generis has been funded (160k of 150k) and the team has posted a short update:
It's been a bumpy ride but somehow we came through. This is thanks to you, our backers and supporters. We never dreamed we could get such great support from the community, we're deeply touched by the passion you've shown and how much energy (and hard earned money!) you put into making this happen. We can't thank you enough. We came to Kickstarter to make the game we've always dreamed of, we've always been highly motivated but your enthusiasm and dedication are a stronger motivator than anything we've known and now we know we're making this game for you!
A special thanks goes out to Brian Fargo, TotalBiscuit, Stephen Fry, Zojoi (Shadowgate), Corey Cole (Hero-U), Obsidian Entertainment, and everyone else who helped us!
Now we're going to focus on making you the best game we possibly can. It's going to take a little time for the whole team to relocate so we can work together but we won't stop working hard for a minute. We will stay in touch with you, keep you updated and get your feedback. If you haven't done it yet then please come join our forums where we already have a great community.
The Bare Mettle team
Thursday - November 29, 2012
Telepath Tactics - Kickstarter Update #1
Craig Stern brings us the first update on his Telepath Tactics Kickstarter to talk about how things are going with the Kickstarter (more than 10% in one day), the world, the story and characters.
South of mainland Cera Bella lies a giant string of islands known as the Dundar Archipelago. The Dundar isles number in the hundreds, and stretch across thousands of square miles of ocean. In the earliest times, each island was largely isolated, its inhabitants—if there were any—left to develop a unique culture untouched by its neighbors.
Eight hundred years ago, Ser Gilliam Dundar changed that. Making use of new sailing and navigation technologies, he led a massive army on a whirlwind conquest of the archipelago, absorbing island after island into a sprawling empire that would endure for centuries. With no unifying culture to bind them, Emperor Dundar and his successors have required a deft hand to keep tensions among the islands under control.
The Dundar Empire is ruled over by a popularly elected senate. After serving their terms, former senators are given the title magistrate and are appointed as provincial governors, typically with control over one or more isles. However, the Senate can--in exceptional circumstances--remove a magistrate from office and assign his land to someone else.
The rise of steam technology has caused problems for Dundar's political system. Steam tech is powered by vibra, a volatile crystal that heats up dramatically when exposed to a spark. The geological strata beneath many of Dundar's islands contain rich veins of vibra.
Shadowlings, disembodied creatures from the nether reaches of the earth, were the first to discover the secrets of vibra mining. They established sophisticated and powerful mining companies to extract vibra from the earth wherever it may be found. Though native to mainland Cera Bella, the shadowlings have increasingly found it profitable to meddle in the Dundar isles in order to gain access to their veins of vibra.
Specifically, the shadowlings have been known to interfere in Senate elections by funneling financial support to whichever candidate looks more likely to win, then returning when the senator becomes a magistrate and asking permission to mine on the magistrate's islands. Not surprisingly, they usually get this permission.
Kickstarter - Barkley 2
Jack let us know that Barkley 2 an RPG Sequel to Barkley Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden is on Kickstarter asking for 35K, while they are now at 33K with still 29 days to go, so it is a safe bet that they will reach their goal.
With the actual title of the game being: The Magical Realms of Tír na nÓg: Escape from Necron 7 - Revenge of Cuchulainn: The Official Game of the Movie - Chapter 2 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa, they have this to say about it:
The year is 666X. A powerful youngster, wise beyond his years, awakens from a B-Ball induced coma aboard the mysterious dwarf space ziggurat Necron 7, held captive by the Malevolent A.I. Cuchulainn. With no memory of who he is or where he came from, he adopts the identity of X114JAM9 and sets off into the Post-Cyberpocalyptic Wasteland in search of the enigmatic Cyberdwarf, the only one who can reveal to him the terrible truth behind his forgotten past and make sense of his harrowing future. Barkley 2 is a coming of age story, a story about love, hope, betrayal and redemption. It is a story about identity and sacrifice, a story about wayward jocks struggling for a purpose. It is a story about the trials of our dystopian future and most importantly...
...it is a story about You.
Barkley 2 is an open world action roleplaying game with heavy emphasis on exploration, choice, character development and discovery. It combines the focus on strong characters and narrative of Eastern RPGs with the non-linearity and openness of Western RPGs, drawing on the best ideas from titles like Realms of Arkania, Fallout, Dark Souls, Romancing SaGa, Dark Sun, Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall and Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne. It is a game that combines core roleplaying ideas like character creation and development, quests and choices and consequences with fast-paced, action oriented combat (think Soldat meets Zelda) and Tales of Game's unique and erotic sense of humor. In short: this ain't your grandpa's rollenspiel.
Sui Generis - Kickstarter Update #14,15, Add-on and Interview
Sui Generis is still 14K pounds short from reaching it's goal with only 15 hours to go. So this is going to be stressing times for Madoc, who announced some T-shirts you can get as an add-on and had time to do an interview with Forbes.
Forbes: When I first wrote about Sui Generis, a lot of my readers said it looks more like a tech demo than an RPG. While I was enthusiastic about the nature of the game and the gameplay itself, many people worried that this was technology without a game.
So what is the story, and how will it figure into what we’ve seen already?
Evans: Well, we’re very keen on the concept of writing your own story. Our main focus is creating a world and sandbox elements that have lots of depth to them. Mostly it’s going to be about you discovering the world, learning abilities and growing into whatever it is you will become. The player character is special but what is special about them is that when they die they return to life. No saving and loading and no respawning as if it were normal, the fact that you come back is a big deal within the context of the world.
You don’t do quests and get rewarded for completing them, there’s stuff going and you can get involved. You might actually lose more than you gain by doing so.
Update #12 is intended as an example of a game experience from the player character’s perspective. The events there are dynamic, based on player actions. An apparently simple premise can escalate into almost anything and by doing things you always discover more things to do and get more deeply involved. No content is isolated, there’s an open world and a single vast interconnected underworld rather than a series of small dungeons. Similarly with events, we want everything to be connected and affected by whatever you do or happens.
The main plot is essentially just an extension of this. Theoretically it would be possible to avert the entire affair by accidentally rolling a boulder off a cliff and this landing on the main antagonist. The player would then play the game and perhaps never realise there was supposed to be some big problem to solve. Of course in practice this is quite unlikely!
It’s ambitious but we think this is what an RPG has to be. Who knows how much we can actually do but we have to try! We do have serious ideas about its implementation.
Telepath Tactics - Goes to Kickstarter
We have covered news before on Telepath Tactics during its development and now it has been brought to Kickstarter so Craig Stern can get some funding to finalize his game in a better way. He is asking for 25.5K and already 11% of that amount is pledged.
Telepath Tactics is a turn-based tactical RPG in the tradition of Fire Emblem and Disgaea. It features a single player campaign with well-written characters embroiled in a tale of war and political intrigue, as well as 2-to-6 player multiplayer with support for hotseat play (i.e. you and your friends playing together in the same room, Super Smash Brothers style). Telepath Tactics is being developed for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Telepath Tactics takes place in a fantasy-steampunk universe that averts most of the tropes you're used to from these sorts of games. Magic doesn't exist: instead, there is psionics and steam-powered technology reliant on a volatile, crystalline substance called vibra. Cavaliers don't ride horses: they ride giant, armored praying mantises. There are no elves, no dwarves, no goblins, no dragons: it's just humans and a few other, entirely original sentient races (such as the shadowlings, disembodied floating heads that quite literally feed on human suffering).
Telepath Tactics takes a highly deterministic approach to combat mechanics. Attack damage is 100% predictable, and attacks always hit unless there is some intervening factor (such as the attacker having been blinded, or the target having some special defensive status effect). In this regard, it is very much a game of skill akin to chess—chance will seldom determine the outcome of a battle.
Telepath Tactics borrows liberally from the best tactics games around to provide a wide variety of available strategies. Throw enemies off of cliffs; push enemies into water or lava; fling friends across gaps; set your enemies on fire; freeze them; blind them; cripple them; stun them; use hit-and-run tactics with cavalry and bowmen; teleport; grab item drops; stick your ranged units on the high ground to boost their effectiveness; the list goes on and on.
Wednesday - November 28, 2012
Sui Generis - Kickstarter Update #13, Blood, Fire and Shields
The Sui Generis kickstarter is currently still 30K pounds short of their 150K goal, but still have 39 hours ahead of them, so who knows.
In this update they show how blood, fire and shields are shown in the game.
We've had quite a few requests and questions about blood, fire and shields. What better way to show we intend to do these things than getting started on it? So, we got to work, made some early versions of these features and put them in a video for you!
We've added blood sprays for the more painful blows, the effect is still simple but we already see the potential of the animation resulting from all the physics. When our character rendering system is complete we plan to add lots of proper sticky yucky gore, wounds, dents and the lot. And not just on characters. For now we've made weapons get nicely spattered until they're covered in the stuff.
Just a fiery pit for now but it's procedural, volumetric fire. It's 3D, there are no repeating animations, we can shape it however we want, make it envelop and react to objects etc. Those physics again. The colours need tweaking but we're pretty happy with this early result.
We basically just strapped a shield to the character's arm and added some basic blocking behaviours. Even though we've done very little the physics are already doing a lot. Shields are supposed to be a big build choice and just as we hoped they're proving to be extremely effective.
Kickstarter - Forsaken Fortress, survival RPG
Bob and Jonah both write in to highlight the Kickstarter campaign for Forsaken Fortress, which is described as a "survival RPG". With 23 days to go, they have $14k of their $100k goal:
A special RPG in which you build your base, defenses,assemble your team, collect resources and survive in a post apocalyptic world.
What is Forsaken Fortress?
Unlike many other existing post-apocalyptic RPG, Forsaken Fortress emphasize on simulation features such as base building, character personality, interaction and resource collection. In the game you need to lead a group of survivors to build your base and maintain its basic functionality such as electricity generation or food storage and at the same time you need to ensure its security by building defenses or setting traps. You will also need to lead your expedition team to the wasteland to gather supplies and to work on missions. You need to assemble and maintain a specialized team which is made up of unique and individual characters and to utilize their professional skills in order to achieve optimized team functionality. Characters in Forsaken Fortress are highly dynamic in their behavior. They have needs, goals and personalities which will influence their daily life and decision making. Some of them may fall in love, some of them may not get along and all these bring life to the devastated forsaken world.
Monday - November 26, 2012
Kickstarter - IceBlink Engine & Toolset
We received a mail on this Kickstarter pledge named IceBlink, which is about the creation of a 2D engine and toolset allowing you to create your own 2D role playing games. They only asked for $500 and are already over $1,000 so they are funded.
This project will develop a Role Playing Game (RPG) 2D engine and toolset as well as a demo adventure game module created with the toolset. The game is inspired by a few of my favorite games; The Bard’s Tale, SSI Gold Box series games, Baldur’s Gate, and Neverwinter Nights (1 and 2). The intent is to create a game engine that results in a virtual table top, Pen and Paper type feel in a single player computer game. The game engine will be free once completed, but the toolset will initially only be available to backers of this Kickstarter project. The toolset will allow anyone to create their own adventures to share with the rest of us.
Kickstarter - Sui Generis - Kickstarter Update #12, Writing
With just 3 more days to go Sui Generis still needs another 60K (pounds that is). Not impossible, but difficult. To help things they have added an update on writing.
We promised a writing update and here it is. We have three loosely connected short thematic pieces, two of which also illustrate what could be actual gameplay experiences. By reworking encounters into a story format, you begin to get a feel for the tone we're aiming toward. Enjoy!
They say we built cities in the sky.
The histories say we made great things, once. White pillars that never tarnished. Great monuments, and greater cities around them. We lived in tranquility. Somehow, everything changed. None can tell what the ancestors did to anger the Gods... to make them poison the water, and curse the skies.
That was lifetimes ago, so far gone that no one remembers how or even where it may have been. Others say that’s only fairy stories. That things have always been such as they are. That our ancestors scraped in the dirt just as we do today, and dreamed of greater things around the nighttime fires... just as we do today.
Myself, I couldn’t guess. I dream of walking the hills without need of a sword, of falling to sleep without setting traps against the night. Beyond that, I suppose I don’t much care.
They say we built cities in the sky... I’ll settle for travelling without looking over my shoulder, or wondering what hides within the evening mist.
Two more stories can be found on their Kickstarter page.
Beasts & Blades - Funding Unsuccessful
One of the kickstarters we have been following a bit was Beasts & Blades. Over the weekend it has failed to be funded with gathering $1,760 out of the requested 12,500. They are continuing now on PayPal hoping to collect the required amount in that way.
Ok we promised the last update was the last, it was a fib.
Big thanks to all those who supported! Look for the campaign coming back again soon in jan - feb.
Please take notice of the paypal again, we've gotten donations from.... not very many out of 138 people! The game has pretty high development costs for an indie project, and we definitely do need what was pledged here on Kickstarter.
We've been yapping about it a lot, because it's important. We want to continue developing this project. We do most definitely need the help of the community to do that.
Lets bring this project back stronger shall we? We need your support to do that.
Friday - November 23, 2012
Sui Generis - Kickstarter Update #11, Items and Equipment
For the update of today the devs of Sui Generis (79K/150K, 6days) offer more insight into items, equipment and the inventory system.
We've got some pretty cool features planned for our inventory system. We're going to be using a "slotless" inventory system. In practice this means there's over a hundred slots and you don't see them. This allows you to equip many combinations of things, rather than being limited to articles of clothing or armour that cover a fixed part of your character's body.
To make clothes we use a dedicated cloth simulator and other tools we've developed. This allows us to make realistic clothes very quickly and easily. It also allows clothes to change depending on what else you're wearing. For example, long trousers will tuck into boots realistically.
Items will have properties that make sense. You won't be just wearing as many items as possible because they confer stat bonuses. You will wear specific items because they do something useful or because you like the way they look.
Most items you find will be fairly mundane. However a good, well balanced weapon can be a significant upgrade over a crude weapon; an armour made of well tempered plates that interlock cleverly and is well padded can provide a huge advantage in terms of protection, manoeuvrability and even things like insulation. Such items can also carry a high monetary value.
There will however also be a great many items with much more special qualities. These won't be randomly generated items that make no apparent sense, they will have plausible though sometimes quirky qualities, you will get a sense that someone designed them with a purpose. These items will be well hidden and well guarded, they won't just spawn at random. If you defeat an opponent you will be able to take whatever they have equipped and they will have been using this equipment to combat you.
Thursday - November 22, 2012
Sui Generis - Kickstarter Updates #7-#10, Combat and Add-Ons
In the last week or so several updates became available for the Kickstarter game Sui Generis. There is the introduction of a new writer, more on combat:
As the combat is at the moment, we only have swinging weapons. Every attack is chosen out of a set at random, and while each have their perks, it's up to you to react and adjust your aim, or even cancel it (by simply letting go of the mouse button) in favour of parrying. It makes for very skilful gameplay whilst being hugely dynamic and simple to operate. Parrying is automatic, but you're at the mercy of physics, and learning to rotate your character so your parrying arm is better placed to deflect the incoming blow is key.
I spent a long time playing Mount and Blade, and not to blow my own trumpet but it was one of the games I was very good at, and I'm obviously talking about PvP against some very good players. While it is seriously fun, combat is not very dynamic and it's not hugely fun to watch unless you can appreciate the skill involved in what's going on. It is purely mechanical and looks kind of silly. With only 4 directions of parrying, all of which you can attempt every single attack (if you're quick enough), it is entirely possible to, say, make a macro that cycles parrying every direction, rendering the entire system exploitable. This is not a criticism, I love the game, it's just the nature of a mechanical system.
This is very, very early combat you're looking at here. Think typical isometric game, where all you can do is left-click. If you were watching someone play the third installment of a game who's name I shall not mention, and all the person was doing was left-click attacking, I think it would be far less enticing. We are going to have special strikes you can incorporate into your build and even stabbing weapons as either an alternate attack, or more specialised weapons like spears. These will be pin-point accurate, based on our epic collisions and bring in a whole new play-style to the early gameplay you're seeing in our videos. We would also like to include double-tap behaviours for dodging and a wide variety of close-quarters utility thaumaturgic powers.
Shields will play an important role in defensive melee combat, and instead of providing a static defensive bonus, when you aren't attacking you will adopt a sort of bracing stance. It will be up to you to angle the shield into blows, and allow you to perform bashes and other offensive maneouvres. Skill points are very limited, and choosing to incorporate a shield into your build will be a significant build choice, rather than just a damage/defence tradeoff.
And new information on the T-shirts and add-ons:
Digital Soundtrack +£5
Extra Digital Copy of the Game +£10
Extra Three Digital Copies of the Game +£20
Extra Digital Copy of the Game Including Beta Access +£15
Extra Digital Copy of the Game Including Alpha Access +£30
Exclusive Downloadable Videos +£30
Audio CD Soundtrack +£15
Extra Collector's Edition Copy of the Game +£60
Sui Generis T-Shirt +£20
Bare Mettle Hoodie +£40
Wednesday - November 21, 2012
Kickstarter - Legend of Dungeon
The name rolls awkwardly off my tongue but Legend of Dungeon is a 4-player coop pixel-art-with-3D-lighting roguelike that has already passed its tiny $5k goal. A demo is also available.
Legend of Dungeon is a 4 Player Co-Op Roguelike-like Beat'em'up with dynamic lighting on awesome pixel art.
Legend of Dungeon is about looking for treasure in a dungeon full to the brim with monsters. Legend has it there is a massive treasure all the way down on the 26th floor. Your quest is to go down there, get the treasure, and make it back to the surface alive.
- 1 to 4 Player Cooperative Gameplay
- Real-Time Beat'em'up combat
...except with 2 or more players, you become a ghost, and have to collect spirit orbs to resurrect yourself. You'll come back with low health, but you'll be back in the game. Once you're all dead though, thats it, game over man.
- Dynamic Lighting and Real-Time Shadows
Legend of Dungeon uses 3D Normal Mapping on low-res pixel art to create dynamically lit sprites.
- The Artwork
Based on the character designs of Sebastiaan van Hijfte (svh440 of r/PixelArt fame). Each character is adapted and animated for use with the dynamic lighting.
- Dynamic Music
The music generates from tracks composed by David Dirig, it dynamically assembles based on the types of enemies you are confronting.
- Randomized Content
Dungeon Layout, Monsters and Item placement, Potion Colors and Devices are all randomized each playthrough.
- Online Score Board
describing how you died and how much gold you collected.
- DRM Free because no one wants that.
Beast & Blades - Kickstarter Updates, Backup and Linux Support
The Kickstarter for Beast & Blades isn't going anywhere fast being at $1.800 of a $12.500 goal and only 4 days to go. They have however a backup plan, with is to gather funds through PayPal instead. In addition they announced that Linux support will be in.
It's now official, Beasts & Blades will be released for Linux based os's as well as win/mac , ios, and android including the ouya!
Thank you to our new backers, you guys rock! We thank you for your continued support, and definitely tell your buddies.
In the event the entire 12.5g goal is not met, we would like you to take notice of the paypal link located right under the Kickstarter video. It is a donation, so it is still tax deductable. We have a large goal to meet in a short amount of time! If the goal isn't reached this time, definitely help partially fund us through paypal so we can keep improving Beasts & Blades! Even partial funding is extremely important to the success of the project, and as noted before we can still gaurantee all of your rewards. We only ask a small additional fee for the t-shirts, as shipping costs at current rates are factored into the goal of 12.5g. T shirts through paypal will be $30. All other reward amounts remain the same.
That said, lets get us to 12.5 this time! Help push this campaign to the goal, without the awesome backer it is not possible. We thank you!
Monday - November 19, 2012
Ars Magica - Reaches the End
Ars Magica was not succesfull on Kickstarter with just 31% of the goal achieved. They will not try again either.
Sadly, this is not our hour.
First and foremost we want to thank each you, our patrons, for supporting our project. We didn't make it, but you all certainly fought for us. Your help, comments, advice and discussions brought this project closer to reality, and you have our gratitude and admiration. Atlas Games, too, brought every gun to bear, and were the ideal partner for this project.
We have heard the chorus of pleas for a second try, and we would like to, we would really like to. However, we cannot commit to it- our budget for speculative projects is small, and easily exceeded by the costs of a new campaign: after all, we somehow doubt you'd want to see the same video and screenshots again! ;)
There may come a time when we are able to create an Ars Magica game with your help, but we reluctantly believe it will not be soon. Which is a tremendous pity, because we believe gaming needs new, unique role-playing experiences, with original mechanics, stories and settings. But then, we've built a company around that idea. It's possible we're biased. ;)
Once again: thank you all for everything! It's been fun, educational and bittersweet, but it was an honor for the Team to work with you.
Sunday - November 18, 2012
Sui Generis - More on Combat
Sui Generis Update #8 talks more about combat:
As the combat is at the moment, we only have swinging weapons. Every attack is chosen out of a set at random, and while each have their perks, it's up to you to react and adjust your aim, or even cancel it (by simply letting go of the mouse button) in favour of parrying. It makes for very skilful gameplay whilst being hugely dynamic and simple to operate. Parrying is automatic, but you're at the mercy of physics, and learning to rotate your character so your parrying arm is better placed to deflect the incoming blow is key.
I spent a long time playing Mount and Blade, and not to blow my own trumpet but it was one of the games I was very good at, and I'm obviously talking about PvP against some very good players. While it is seriously fun, combat is not very dynamic and it's not hugely fun to watch unless you can appreciate the skill involved in what's going on. It is purely mechanical and looks kind of silly. With only 4 directions of parrying, all of which you can attempt every single attack (if you're quick enough), it is entirely possible to, say, make a macro that cycles parrying every direction, rendering the entire system exploitable. This is not a criticism, I love the game, it's just the nature of a mechanical system.
This is very, very early combat you're looking at here. Think typical isometric game, where all you can do is left-click. If you were watching someone play the third installment of a game who's name I shall not mention, and all the person was doing was left-click attacking, I think it would be far less enticing. We are going to have special strikes you can incorporate into your build and even stabbing weapons as either an alternate attack, or more specialised weapons like spears. These will be pin-point accurate, based on our epic collisions and bring in a whole new play-style to the early gameplay you're seeing in our videos. We would also like to include double-tap behaviours for dodging and a wide variety of close-quarters utility thaumaturgic powers.
Shields will play an important role in defensive melee combat, and instead of providing a static defensive bonus, when you aren't attacking you will adopt a sort of bracing stance. It will be up to you to angle the shield into blows, and allow you to perform bashes and other offensive maneouvres. Skill points are very limited, and choosing to incorporate a shield into your build will be a significant build choice, rather than just a damage/defence tradeoff.
Antharion - Falls Short
Antharion has fallen short of their Kickstarter goal, closing at $13.8k out of $15k. For fans, it looks like they plan to re-group and try again. From the comments:
Alright, you guys have convinced us!! We're going to relaunch, but we'll take a week to regroup and polish. We've learned a lot this first time around and will definitely put this knowledge to good use for the relaunch. Check back here or on our website for details - and we'd continue to appreciate any feedback or advice regarding Antharion or how to move forward with Kickstarter. Thanks again guys!
Saturday - November 17, 2012
Antharion - Final Hours, New Video
Atharion has only 18 hours to run for their Kickstarter as I write - with a little under $4k to go, they need every pledge they can get. For the last push, a new video has been released:
Hey guys, so it's the last day and we're doing a huge push! Here's a video showing off a full battle plus some monsters and environmental stuff. Hope you enjoy, and remember, tell everyone you know, post on every forum, send emails and help us get the word out ...less than 24 hours left! It's a lot of work but we can do it with your help!!!
Friday - November 16, 2012
Sui Generis - Kickstarter Update #6, Combat
The sixth update for Sui Generis (52K/150K, 13 days to go) talks about producing a new environment type; a wasteland, character animations and a new combat video.
The inputs for our animations are hand crafted. The animations currently in the game were made by Madoc while he designed the system and tools behind them. Madoc is not an animator, nor a swordsman and he had plenty to do besides making animations! Hiring a professional animator is at the top of our list of priorities and we are already taking some under consideration. The dynamic behaviours and procedural elements of animations are also something we hope to improve significantly so that the characters appear more reactive and sure footed.
In the first part of the video Kieran demonstrates how the controls work. Most of the weapons in our videos are supposed to be heavy, in the first part of this video we decreased the mass of the weapons, sped up the animations and removed some of the worst wobble from them. The animations are still amateurish but hopefully you can see that the worst problems come from the quality of the animations.
Thursday - November 15, 2012
Ars Magica - Nearing the End
The Kickstarter game Ars Magicka is nearing the end. At the moment of writing this they still have 69 hours but with 73K out of 250K this looks to be difficult to achieve.
Anyway, jsust in case there are some with plenty of money to burn here is the latest update on the combat UI:
The center portion of the UI is the map, and this displays not only the position of the combatants but also the various features available. You can mouse over these for more information, and click on them to take contextual actions or move characters to them. As noted previously, unused features can come and go as the rounds passed, so you’ll want to be looking at the map for additional options as time goes by.
You’ll also notice the little icons for the combatants which ring the map’s edges. You can click on these to change targets or focus on a feature, if you do not want to navigate by map.
Above and below the map you have information related to the currently selected character (top), and the active character (bottom.) Here you can review known information about the characters, generally contextual to the actions available. You can also click on the main portrait to see a more detailed character sheet, where appropriate.
To the right of the map is the general features list, for easy reference. Some features, as for example the Chesnut Limb and Hollow Trunk, are parts of a larger feature, in this case a Chesnut Tree. This list, like the map, is updated as features become available and/or move out of the flow of combat. You are also able to close this pane if you prefer to work directly on the map.
On the left of the map is the contextual action list for a specific target. The top portion of this pane shows actions which are directed at the target, and the bottom shows actions which are directed towards yourself. You can expand this pane to show more options, or you may close it and work directly from a larger map.
Wednesday - November 14, 2012
Sui Generis - First Look @ Forbes
Forbes checked out what Sui Generis is all about and wrote this article on it.
“Sui Generis is not about running around killing hordes of enemies in order to collect experience points and numerous items,” the Kickstarter page reads. “It is about exploring a world and being involved in major events there. What exactly you do and how you do it is entirely up to you. The world is carefully designed to be believable and have a life of its own. It is not there to wait for you to go on quests, trigger events or make decisions. Events will take their course and may take a turn for the worse if you don’t get involved.”
There will be no saving and loading, no easy out for the unwary or careless, and death—well, prepare to die. And when you do die, events that transpired before your death will remain in place. Death matters.
“Much of the time combat situations will be occasional yet meaningful,” the game description continues. “Few opponents can be dismissed as trivial. Though there are powerful items, even an old rusty sword can be effective in the right hands. There are no levels, but there is a more natural progression system based on skills and thaumaturgic powers. There are no classes, but rather countless possible builds with diverse and interesting qualities.”
No classes, no leveling, and a deep, dynamic open-world. Oh, and really unique and quite possibly amazing combat.
Monday - November 12, 2012
Antharion - Update #11, Previews
A short update on Kickstarter for Antharion is available, which is mainly just linking to a few previews (IndieGraph, RPS, IndieGames and I-Luv-Games).
Antharion could just reach its goal having 10K in pledges out of a 15K goal and 5 days to go.
Beast & Blades - Kickstarter Updates, New Beta
New to version 0.6 :
- Several new additions to the in game menu (press "escape" when in game), including character stats, skills, items, equipment, party info, loading, exit, Quest log ... yes quests! and Crafting!
- Crafting!! Combine items you get from looting, chests / barrels with other items to make things! There are a handful of items you can craft now, and the list of craftable items and items you can pick up will grow huge!
- Several graphical improvements, including greatly improved battle cameras
- NPC characters now follow you in your party in normal navigation mode!
- We promised you a HUGE map to start with to run around, and we delivered.. There are only a couple fights outdoors right now, but you can explore everywhere. Beware, there are no world boundaries yet, and yes you can fall straight off of the terrain into the digital abyss. we know this :)
Kickstarter - #103 - A Turn Based Strategy Game
Gavin writes in with their Kickstarter with the rather odd name of #103 - a turn-based strategy game with RPG elements and a "rich story driven" single player campaign. They are looking for 50k pounds with 20 days to run:
#103 is to be a story rich 3D Turn Based Strategy game for Windows & Mac. In it you play the role of a robotic Grim Reaper who has become disillusioned with a system he is forced to obey. After being sent to 'reap' the soul of a recently deceased child he begins to question whether this souls destiny is truly right and decides to make a stand.
Played out in a detailed 3D world populated by strange creatures and teaming with souls of the deceased, the game is set across 2 distinct worlds : the real world and 'The Sanctuary' - a dystopian world created in the image of hell by the elders of the Reapers.
As you guide #103 around the beautifully crafted levels trying to complete the mission objects you will also control up to 10 souls (amongst a few other characters). You will be able to combine #103's body and weapons with the freed souls to unleash new attacks and special abilities in your fight to free the trapped souls.
The game features:
- Classic turn based gameplay
- Detailed environments
- Power up you weapons and attacks by combining spirits of the dead
- Rich story driven single player game
- Asynchronous online multiplayer game
- Spectacular visuals and special effects
- Earn new abilities and special moves by completing side quests
Thursday - November 08, 2012
Sui Generis - Update #4
An update on Kickstarter for Sui Generis showed up expressing some of their thoughts on the game.
Here's a quick update in response to some of the opinions that seem to have formed regarding our game. We are simply expressing some of our thoughts here.
Yes, you start the game as an anonymous villager. The whole point here is that you create your own character and write your own story. If you want to play a named hero with a rich background, predefined personality and a clear mission ahead, then you're looking at the wrong game. Personally, we feel completely alienated from such characters.
Yes, your character does turn out to be special. If you weren't special you wouldn't stand a chance. And here comes a spoiler. Rather than providing you with this astounding power to record moments in time and return to them whenever you please (read save/load) so that you may win every battle, eventually, even by pure chance; we thought it better for it to be an element of the story. We don't just brush over this as an every day "respawn" or other mechanic. Also, to quote our project page, "not as vague mythology but actual chains of events leading to the current situation".
Yes, our world is under duress, you won't be picking daisies. As for a looming threat, you may have no idea what it is until it's too late. Nothing is as it seems. There is no evil in our world. There may be lack of scruples, ruthlessness or just genuine oversight, but motives are often complex and valid to those who hold them.
What you should be paying attention to when reading our brief summary of the premise are the "ifs" and "buts". We dislike linear story, we hate linear story, no, we truly despise linear story. If you asked us what is as pleasant as being poked in the eye, we'd have to answer "linear story".
We have not given you a story. We have intentionally lured you into thinking of this as a fairly typical fantasy RPG. Guess what? We don't like those either. We are of a skeptical nature and when faced with the usual fantasy claptrap, much like an inquisitive child, our answer is simply "but why?". There is lots of because in our world. We have taken what appears to be generic fantasy and given it a whole new twist. A lot of effort has gone into this and to reveal it would be to throw it all away. We hold it more dear than the funds we are trying to raise. If by not revealing it we fail in securing your support, then so be it.
We have been asked about character interactions and such. Well, sometimes we want to chat and sometimes we just want to kill stuff. Must be those hormones. Thing is, when the latter mood takes us, and some whining NPC decides to illustrate their sensitive nature to us, the solution is clear: smack 'em in the gob, throw 'em in the river, then perhaps evaluate whether their home looks to be a suitable place to store our booty. If this errant behaviour should upset someone, well, let them come. That, to us, is role playing. What we tend to be presented with in "games with choices" is something like this:
1) Help the distressed peasant now
2) Help the distressed peasant later
3) Help the distressed peasant reluctantly
That is not role playing. We don't know what it is, but we don't like it.
You may encounter characters with sunny dispositions that are not always genuine and heartfelt. You may find yourself trying to divine your interlocutor's true intent, hopefully you are well versed in the arts of subtlety and sarcasm. You may also encounter characters with good or even noble intentions, and yet these intentions may not be in your best interests. Our game will certainly feature moral dilemmas and ambiguities.
Undoubtedly much of what we say sounds familiar and doesn't strike you as original, but perhaps it has at least conveyed something of our ethos. Take home what you will.
Big thanks to everyone who is supporting us.
Wednesday - November 07, 2012
AAIMIE - Not Meeting It's Goal
A while ago we reported on AAIMIE, a Kickstarter game that looked promising and was aiming for 7000 dollars, but with 37 hours to go it is only at 582 dollars and will probably not make it (unless something close to a miracle happens).
This however does not mean the end of AAIMIE. It will still be made, but it's release will be more limited and does not include iOS and Android versions.
Sui Generis - Update on Characters
On the Kickstarter page for Sui Generis an update on character customisation and advancement.
Your Character. Yes, yours
When you create a character you define a physique which is the basic shape and tone of your body. You do not choose from preset body types but rather between extremes of lithe, muscular and heavy. You may also choose a height and possibly other physical attributes. Various features, hair, facial hair and skin tone will also be selectable. You can of course choose your gender and any name you like.
These are the skills planned for Sui Generis:
- Light Weapons
- Heavy Weapons
- Ranged Weapons
You will be limited by a global skill total which is distributed amongst your individual skills, it will not be possible to train all skills to the highest attainable level. You choose which skills to train, untrain or keep at their current level. To train a particular skill it must see relatively frequent use. Actively training a skill by more frequent, repeated use will not increase your proficiency, progression will remain gradual. This mechanic exists so that players spend more time playing the game and experiencing the world rather than performing repetitive tasks in order to achieve more rapid advancement.
Skills have the following major expertise levels:
A milestone is granted for reaching each of level of expertise beyond Inept. You can choose amongst several milestones further specialising your use of any given skill. Milestones may grant new abilities or improve particular aspects of a skill. As an example, Light Weapons will feature milestones such as Dual Wield and Defensive Fighting. Any milestone may be retrained, but this requires also retraining the skill from its previous level of expertise.
Skills are never required to grant a proficiency in using equipment but only in improving the character's effectiveness with it. All equipment can be used without artificial requirements. Equipment also does not belong to specific categories. For example, a weapon has a variable weight putting it somewhere on the scale of light to heavy.
A huge aspect of character advancement is thaumaturgy. Though you can make some use of all forms of thaumaturgy you must choose one as innate to your character. This is your natural talent and where you will excel.
The forms of thaumaturgy currently planned are:
Each form of thaumaturgy grants specific effects rather than having a particular purpose. For example, a necromancer would use powerful Mind thaumaturgy to evoke the transcended mind of the dead, causing them to take control of their remains. The revived dead control their decayed bodies by means of their own dormant capacity for thaumaturgy.
Thaumaturgic power does not undergo gradual progression over time, rather some portion of the transcendent mind of others is absorbed in their moment of death. The more advanced the transcendence of the mind being sundered, the more of it may be absorbed. Some thaumaturgic knowledge, different from raw power, may also be gleaned during such moments.
Thaumaturgic knowledge may also be gained by natural insight where one's innate powers are concerned, and other sources of knowledge or learning besides.
You will initially have a basic command of your power, using it in its simplest form. With time you will learn more elaborate ways of shaping its outcome, refining its use and combining your individual insights into completely new effects. As a basic example, you may learn to turn Force Blast into an omnidirectional effect, pushing things away in any direction; you may also learn to make the force highly coherent, thus turning it into a shield. The two things combined may lead you to make a bubble that shields you from all directions.
What about stats/attributes?
Sui Generis does not feature attributes as seen in many RPGs that can be advanced over time. Innate qualities such as your strength, dexterity or toughness are affected by your initial choice of physique. Currently we do not have specific mechanics planned for altering or improving these though they may be introduced. There are also no health points but simply resistance to various forms of damage which may be partly natural and partly conferred by equipment and various effects.
We hope this gives you an idea of the possibilities for creating unique characters with interesting abilities. Our goal is to provide many possible builds and unique play styles which you can tailor to your personal preference.
If you have more specific questions please visit our forums so that together we can build a body of information that everyone can benefit from.
Tuesday - November 06, 2012
Sui Generis - Combat Video
And as we are with Kickstarter updates here is the latest for Sui Generis (currently at 10% of its goal), showing some pre-alpha combat.
Ars Magica - Interview and the Schism War
The Kickstarter page for Ars Magica shows an update on the Schism war, which apparently is something known to Ars Magica fans.
What, exactly, is this ‘Schism War’ we’ve been hearing about?
If you aren’t an Ars Magica fan already, you may be puzzled by the references to the Schism War which have been flying around. This major event, which occurs right at the beginning of our period, opens with rumors of diabolism, blood sacrifice and apocalypse, and ends with the utter destruction of one of the thirteen Houses of Hermes: an unprecedented event in the history of the Order.
For those of you who are Ars Magica fans, you’ll have the pleasure of witnessing these events on the ground, and may even have a hand in shaping a little piece of their outcome...
It's the devil you know...
In the late tenth century, the leaders of House Tytalus were found to be making pacts with demons, believing that they had the strength to compel the loyal service of the fallen without falling to sin themselves.
They were wrong, and they paid the price as the Order purged their House.
In the aftermath, magi became ever more suspicious of one another's activities, demanding to inspect covenants, demands that were refused. Tribunals froze into deadlock as magi who were not directly involved avoided taking sides, and frustrated individuals took matters into their own hands.
Whispers become Swords
The Order of Hermes recognizes Wizard's War, by which a magus takes himself and his opponent outside the protection of the laws of the Order for one lunar month. During a Wizard's War, a magus may do anything to his opponent that his power permits, and such wars were declared to force investigations of suspect covenants.
The target of a Wizard's War may, of course, defend herself in any way she can; many died in these clashes.
In addition it also shows an interview with nathan Dilday.
1) How did you first learn about the Ars Magica tabletop game?
You know, I don't completely remember when I first learned about Ars Magica. But I certainly bought my first Ars Magica 5th edition book at Origins 2005, the year after it won an Origins Award. Through my college years, I actually collected way more RPGs than I played, and the magic system of Ars Magica, in addition to the narrative style, hooked me fast and hard.
For what was the first time in my experience, I had a magic system that really felt systematic. Magi weren't anything like the D&D style wizards that I'd stopped finding satisfying. Ars Magica magi didn't just have a list of five spells that they could memorize; they could create entirely new spells, they could have strengths in different sorts of magic that didn't rely on spell lists... it really opened my eyes to how interestingly magic could be modeled in a game.
Monday - November 05, 2012
Sui Generis - Story and the World
The first update for Sui Generis, which is still quite a bit away from their 150.000 pound goal, is about the story and the world.
You start the game as apparently just a common villager but someone obviously disagrees, this puts your village in danger and you are exiled. You will be thrown into a hostile world you know nothing about and be forced to fend for yourself. As an unworldly villager you will discover this land and learn of it's history and current affairs, of the primitive people living in awe of a misconceived past. It soon becomes clear that you are no ordinary villager and indeed have some highly exceptional qualities. Dark, ominous events are rapidly transpiring throughout the world, a terrible conclusion beckons on the horizon. You may be the only one with power enough to prevent catastrophe but it all hinges on whether or not you choose to intervene, freedom is king here and there will always be numerous ways to achieve any desired outcome, or fail in the attempt.
You will find yourself in a large open world that you can explore freely. A rich detailed terrain features many interesting locations. A vast sprawling underworld, a source of terror for the people but filled with ancient treasures, tells strange stories of the world's past.
The world features a feudal society dissolving under the pressure of thaumaturges, once benevolent miracle workers who have now turned to dark and cruel activities. Thaumaturges wield great powers, they can manipulate many aspects of the world with their minds. A recent shift in their agenda has led them to cruel experiments and dangerous incursions into the underworld, causing it's dormant threats to stir.
There will be other races besides humans but they will be very much nonhuman, more like creatures or mutants. The demon image and the ogre (we call him porky!) in our videos will hopefully give you some idea of the type of thing we have in mind. These creatures will have their own social structures but ones dramatically different and alien to those of humans. There are no elves, orcs or other common fantasy races (we use ogre as a descriptive term), all creatures are original.
The story unfolds in a hugely dynamic fashion and events will transpire even without your intervention. Your lack of involvement may lead to truly disastrous consequences for the world, the game will not end but the world may become a very inhospitable place. Even if you try your best you may not succeed, the game does not revolve around completing tasks and progressing stages of the plot. Success or failure are of equal value, the aim is to have fun.
There will be a great many unique non player characters in the world, whether they become friends or enemies or are simply indifferent is completely circumstantial. The game is not specifically designed to have a persistent party of companions, though some characters may choose to follow you and may be predisposed toward this role. If they perish they will not return to life, or at least not as they were. Ultimately no character (or creature) is special, all are subject to the same rules and the physical laws of the universe.
The Sui Generis game experience plays hugely on the element of mystery. The idea is that you are thrown into an unfamiliar fantastic world for you to discover. It's history is not understood by it's inhabitants and trying to piece it together will be an important element of the game.
Beasts & Blades - Beta news
A new beta for Beasts & Blades is available for those who want to try this out. Those who made a pledge for this game on Kickstarter have access to additional in-game items and features. At the moment the pledges are not going that fast, so they can still use some help in getting to their goal of 12.500$.
Friday - November 02, 2012
Kickstarter - Solenttar
Solenttar is 2D RPG and toolset built using the openForgeRPG engine and developed by NWN Vault Hall of Famer slowdive_fan (Chronicles of Charnia). They are looking for a modest $4k on Kickstarter over the next 29 days:
This project will develop a Role Playing Game (RPG) 2D engine and toolset as well as the first adventure module created with the toolset, Solenttar. The game is inspired by a few of my favorite games; The Bard’s Tale, Gold Box series games, Baldur’s Gate, and Neverwinter Nights (1 and 2). The first story based, adventure module created with the toolset will be Solenttar. It is an adventure that takes place in a fantasy world called Lanterna. It is similar to many other Tolkien like settings with a few unconventional features such as talking beasts. You create your own character and will have the option to invite others to join you on your journey.
You may have up to four members in your party and there will be at least six classes and three races to choose from. As part of this project, we are developing an engine and toolset called openForgeRPG. It is a simple 2D, grid based and turn based engine. The intent is to create a game engine that results in a virtual table top, Pen and Paper type feel in a single player computer game. The engine and toolset will be free, once they are completed, but Solenttar will only be available to backers of this Kickstarter project. The toolset will allow anyone to create their own adventures to share with the rest of us. What does this mean for players, builders and writers? The goal is to give writers and builders the ability to easily, quickly and effectively tell their story. Since the engine and toolset will be free, players can experience your stories without having to purchase a game first. That means all of your friends and family can enjoy your story, yeah! The game is being developed to run on Windows based PCs.
Who am I you ask? My name is Jeremy, also known in many places on the internet as slowdive_fan. I am a Hall of Fame author and a Mod of the Month winner on the IGN NWN Vault and The Neverwinter Nexus respectively. I am the creator of a number of adventure modules and campaigns in both Neverwinter Nights 1 and 2. Please help us complete this wonderful project. We really appreciate any support you have to offer. Thanks again!
Kickstarter - Beasts & Blades
Here is an RPG on Kickstarter that we missed up to now: Beasts & Blades. According to the developers it can be cetegorized as an 'epic 3D turn-based RPG adventure game' to be released on PC, MAC, IOS, and Android.
They are asking for 12.500$ and are currently at 1.071$ with 23 days to go.
There is quite some info on the game available including some videos and artwork of the characters including scarcely dressed women and men. Here is a bit on the story:
The basic story :
The storyline revolves around five main playable characters, a corrupt leader Lord Crewe, and a kingdom betrayed.
The game opens in a scene where a royal investigation team (five main characters) has been put together by Lord Crewe to investigate recent disappearances, including that of the High Mage's daughter, in the Mereen Forest south of the main town of Elmere. The players find only an abandoned ritual camp, or what seems to be abandoned. In a series of strange events, an evil force reveals itself from a portal to another realm, renders each player unconscious, and takes control of the team. Each player awakens to find themselves alone, in an unfamiliar place, and must battle their way out to find the rest of the investigation team and find out who is behind all of this.
What the players don't know yet, is the dark forces are secretly being controlled by their own king, Lord Crewe. Throughout the story the players must find answers as to the king's motivation, why he has become encircled in darkness and has betrayed his kingdom, and restore peace and order to Aurion once again.
Here is a video with some early beta gameplay.
Ars Magica - Updates
Several udates for Ars Magica were made since our last report on the Kickstarter campaing for this game, which is currently at 51K of the 290K goal with still 16 days to go.
The latest update is about combat.
Getting into Trouble
As mentioned in previous Updates, Combat can come as a result of Opportunities (your Covenfolk are ambushed, you prepare a raid against the local banditry, something goes terribly wrong and so on) and during the course of quests. Combat is party based, highly tactical, abstract and very old school.
The Middle Ages were Lethal
First of all, combat in the Ars Magica tabletop game is not something to take lightly. For those of you unfamiliar with the rules, hitting or missing is determined by a simple roll based on Attack and Defense factors, with degree of damage based on your weapon and the defender’s ability to ‘Soak’, or resist, wounding. A strong and well-armored warrior can dispatch many foes...but eventually even the greatest will fall due to fatigue and wounds. A weak and unarmored wizard, on the other hand is hopeless in a melee, and a dagger in the right hands can end your favorite character in a heartbeat.
Be careful. ;)
Combat in Years of Conquest uses the tabletop system in full and adds in an extra dimension of environmental effects. On the tabletop, you have a GM to tell you what your surroundings are, and in the video game you have the Environment. This is an abstract set of features and conditions which are reachable by any party (with some restrictions on positionality) within the bounds of the combat. It’s very diverse, and can range from a tree, your wagon, a muddy pool and a boulder, all in one encounter.
Negotiating with the Battlefield
Your party, and your opponent, use these environmental features to take shelter, improve their defenses, carry our special attacks, and to gain other bonuses. Unlike other tactical rpgs, the limits of your positional tactics aren’t flanks and area of effect cones, but rather the interaction of where you’ve positioned your characters versus where they’ve positioned their characters, and how you can best use that to your advantage. Characters themselves can be features, too- an important distinction when you really need to protect someone, for instance your mage.
A quick example of a typical combat situation might be helpful here: a warrior is making use of a ‘Narrow Ground’ feature so that your melee can only attack him, and no one else on the field. Meanwhile, an archer is at a ‘Tree Limb’ feature, which improves his ranged attacks. You might instruct your characters to contest the ‘Narrow Ground’ feature and rob the warrior of its bonus, direct your mage to snap the ‘Tree Limb’ and send the archer plummeting, take cover behind a ‘Boulder’, or make use of a ‘Witty Taunt’ action to bring the warrior to you (thereby removing the feature from them.) Only through careful use of the Environment will you be victorious- and since unused parts of the Environment refresh each round to reflect the shifting circumstances in combat, you’ll need to be constantly adapting tactics to succeed.
Magic and the Environment
For most of your covenfolk, features offer variations on key concepts: attack, defense, denial and movement. For your mages, however, features offer unique ways to set your opponent on fire, snare them, charm them to your side and empower your magic. Every feature usually has one or more spell action associated with it, allowing mages proficient with spells (or good at Spontaneous Magic) the ability to use the Environment against your foes. Turning your opponents ‘Narrow Ground’ into a muddy trap, using tree branches to capture the archer or tossing the boulder on top of a bandit is just the beginning...
Combat continues until one party flees, surrenders or is charmed into submission. And if you hold the field you’ll able to recover your wounded, loot, and progress...if not, well...you might find some of those lost items in a merchant’s inventory down the road. No promises.
Antharion - Interview @ True PC Gaming
True PC Gaming interviewed Ari Rae-Silver, developer responsible for the open world party-based RPG, Antharion.
Please talk about developing the art style, level design and music for Antharion.
The art style was originally conceived of by myself back when Antharion was still a one man project. Antharion’s style was inextricably linked to the overall design of the game since its inception. The game was always intended to be a massive open-ended world with tons and tons of dungeons. In order to do this, I had to strip away all but the absolutely necessary assets, figure out how many unique version of each I’d need (on the high-end estimate) and determine how long each type of asset would take to produce. Level design is unique to every project and is something that you learn as you go along. For Antharion, it’s figuring out the optimal size/shapes of dungeons along with the optimal ratios of monsters to dungeons size and those sorts of things. We have yet to hire a composer to score Antharion’s music, but we know what we want and use placeholders while testing in-house.
Outside of creating the game itself, what is the toughest aspect of being an indie developer?
Game development itself is really one huge challenge. Probably the biggest is maintaining the project’s core vision while engaging in a multiplicity of seemingly unending tasks. You’re constantly designing, coding, managing the asset pipeline, planning what assets you’ll need and at what times, worrying about funding, paying people, distribution, deadlines, promotion, etc.
Also if you go to their Kickstarter page, you will find that they also have 3 stretch goals at 18K, 21K and 25K. At the moment of this writing they are about 6.500$ short of their 15.000$ goal with still 16 days to go.
Wednesday - October 31, 2012
Kickstarter - Sui Generis
Salvo writes in to point out Sui Generis, an RPG on Kickstarter described as "a ground breaking RPG for the PC that may just change the way you think about games". In more specific terms, the game is classless and doesn't use levels and also doesn't allow you to save-and-reload. They are looking for 150k Pounds (no, not dollars) over the next 29 days, which looks like a big ask:
Originally inspired by our belief that we could do almost anything, we let our imaginations run free. What would be your idea of the ultimate role-playing experience if you weren't aware of any limits? That's what we've been asking ourselves for many years and Sui Generis is the culmination of our ideas.
Sui Generis is set in a dark, hostile mediaeval world pervaded by intrigue and treachery. A completely original work evolved over many years, the Sui Generis universe is the product of many rare moments of inspiration. It encompasses a vast and rich history spanning aeons and galaxies, not as vague mythology but actual chains of events leading to the current situation. In Sui Generis you will get a sense that everything is connected and exists for a reason. You won't just be fed the history in a cutscene or book and you may never know the full story. We believe that piecing together elusive clues will be of huge entertainment value.
Sui Generis is not about running around killing hordes of enemies in order to collect experience points and numerous items. It is about exploring a world and being involved in major events there. What exactly you do and how you do it is entirely up to you. The world is carefully designed to be believable and have a life of its own. It is not there to wait for you to go on quests, trigger events or make decisions. Events will take their course and may take a turn for the worse if you don't get involved.
Much of the time combat situations will be occasional yet meaningful. Few opponents can be dismissed as trivial. Though there are powerful items, even an old rusty sword can be effective in the right hands. There are no levels in Sui Generis, but there is a more natural progression system based on skills and thaumaturgic powers. There are no classes, but rather countless possible builds with diverse and interesting qualities.
As you advance in Sui Generis you won't see creatures or characters in the world becoming more powerful with you. Rather, you will be able to face opponents and explore locations that previously entailed certain death. Death will not be hard to come by and carries consequences, and there is no saving and loading. The game will put you in situations where trying to get out alive may be your only concern. We believe this is important to keep the game exciting. What's a game if you can't lose?
Monday - October 29, 2012
Antharion - Update #5, Game Progress
The Kickstarter campaing for Antharion is with 19 days to go halfway to its goal and they bring us this small update on what progress they are making with the game.
It's been a really busy last couple of days for us. Programming-wise I've been polishing the smart AI system for enemies and NPCs along with making some balancing tweaks to combat and magic. Our artist Peter has been churning out monsters like crazy and just created a female avatar body for each race. Our world designer Jen has been creating some really cool towns and dungeons which all look amazing. Everything is coming together beautifully and it's incredibly exciting!!
Sunday - October 28, 2012
Kickstarter - Interstellar Marines
Zero Point Software writes in with their Kickstarter for Interstellar Marines: Prologue. The description is a "sci-fi FPS focused on tactical co-op, role-playing and nonlinear gameplay", so hopefully there's more to it than merely shooting. They are looking for $600k over the next 31 days:
Interstellar Marines: Prologue is a sci-fi FPS that offers a unique blend of tactical co-op, progressive role-playing, and nonlinear gameplay, featuring the intense backstory leading up to First Contact – the first game in our ambitious trilogy.
- Diverse Combat Training: The entire game is built with a variety of fulfilling training scenarios in single-player, co-op and multiplayer.
- First Person Simulation: We have a razor-sharp focus on creating an immersive First Person Simulator via distinct graphics, sound and gameplay – no more floating cameras!
- Tactical Co-Op: Prologue is designed from the ground up to support up to 4 players in co-op, with truly cooperative interaction.
- Progressive Role-Playing: As you train your soldier you gain XP that converts into upgradeable skills on your character, weapon and equipment.
- Customizable Arsenal: With the latest in near-future weapons and equipment at your disposal, you have the option to fully customize your arsenal on the fly.
- Rich and Believable AI: In Prologue, we aim to deliver a believable AI that makes every encounter exciting.
- Simulated Training Environments: Experience an atmospheric training facility built to artificially simulate every conceivable encounter. AI SARA controls the mission variables, making sure every battle is different!
Saturday - October 27, 2012
Kickstarter - Hero-U - Kickstarter Update # 4
The team behind this game has updated their Kickstarter page. They've collected about 130,000 $ for far. And for this, they say:
We're doing very well so far - Thank you everyone for your support! We're rapidly approaching the 1/3 mark towards Hero-U's goal. We're now in the "accumulation period" where we slowly build up towards the goal. We hope all of you are sharing the project with your friends, but being gentle about it. :-)
Kickstarter - Antharion - Interview @ RPG Codex
RPG Codex has talked to Ari Rae-Silver from Orphic Software, the company behind this game. A quote on the inspiration:
To begin with, what inspired Antharion's concept and why did you decide to make a turn-based RPG in this day and age? What makes Antharion unique and sets it apart from the multitude of other indie RPGs and Kickstarter projects?
Antharion was inspired by my experiences getting lost in games like Pool of Radiance and Morrowind for hours or days at a time. And I’ve always had a love of turn-based games, they just feel more cerebral which I really like. A lot of modern games hide behind obtuse interfaces and fancy graphics. Antharion doesn’t (it can’t afford to). Our goal from the start was to make Antharion’s core gameplay feel ultra-responsive and transparent in a WISIWIG sort of way.
A quote on the plot, background etc:
Can you introduce our readers to the game's setting, backstory and plot? What are some of the themes you aim to explore with Antharion?
The game is set in the fantasy world of Antharion, a huge island continent. The beloved King and uniter of Antharion was recently murdered by his own son Zeverith. Zeverith paraded his father’s corpse through the streets of the capitol. Then he had the corpse rendered into a monument in the center of the capital city square so as to remind all the citizens of his ultimate power. Along with dissolving the Senate, Zeverith sold of huge swaths of land (along with the inhabitants) to wealthy powerful interests. Magic was long the domain of a small group of very powerful wizards known simply as, The Order.
A quote on how the quests are going to be:
How diverse are Antharion's quests going to be? What other types of quests apart from kill and fetch quests are you going to put in the game? You also call the game world of Antharion "open-ended". Does this include alternative endings and multiple quest solutions?
There’s a lot of diversity. Of course you’ll have the standard Fed-Ex style quests, but you’ll also have some pretty unique stuff. For example: you meet a local slave trader in one of the sleazier taverns on the wrong side of town. He tells you that he’s just had a shipment of Orcs stolen by a rival slaver and asks you to go retrieve them. From this point there are a number of possible outcomes: (1) you could go and retrieve the Orc slaves and return them to the quest giver; (2) you could go and free the Orc slaves; (3) you might happen to run into the rival slaver who would then offer you money to kill the quest giver; or (4) you could just kill all of Orc slaves for the heck of it.
Source: RPG Codex
Friday - October 26, 2012
Antharion - Update #4, Future Plans
In the latest Kickstarter update on Antharion a message was made showing some of their plans.
Hey guys, we just passed $6,000 and are on track to meet our goal but we still need your help! Please like us on Facebook and tell all of your friends about Antharion! Every little thing helps.
We wanted to share with you a few features that we're going to be adding along with a few that we're considering.
We're definitely adding: alchemy, female avatars, pick-pocketing and a traits system (advantages/disadvantages that you can choose from during character creation).
We're considering: crafting, a persuasion skill, a blood particle system, optional walking animations, feats/perks, scaling down head size and a gambling mini game. There are a few other things but they're more tentative.
Also, let us know what kind of stretch goals you'd like to see.
Thursday - October 25, 2012
Ars Magica - interview @ RPGCodex
RPGCodex has teamed up with Josh Sawyer to put together some questions they could ask the Ars Magica devs about their Kickstarter game.
For those unfamiliar with the Ars Magica PnP system, can you briefly present it and point out its main strengths? How faithfully do you intend to reproduce these strengths and the PnP system in general, including the fatigue-based magic system, in your game?
This is a tough question. How to distill the magic, history, role-playing, alchemy, mystery, faith and personality of the table-top game? It defies classification.
In short, Ars Magica is a role-playing game set in Medieval history, in which you chart the rise and fall (and perhaps rise again) of a Covenant of mages and their underlings. The forces of the supernatural surround you: faeries, demons, magical beasts, and the encroaching world of the mundanes and the Dominion. Every character in the Covenant has a life of their own, with likes and dislikes of their own, and you can play any of them when you need them. Their personalities grow as the years pass, and by the end of every Ars Magica Saga you usually have a story or two to tell about everyone, even the least peasant. The heart of the Covenant is the mages, and each of them are vying for greater knowledge, power and prestige. The magic system is pseudo-scientific, and applies an interesting rigor to spells which you see virtually nowhere else. Your mages can research, study, and distill the forces of magic, creating ever more powerful, useful, or fun spells. Furthermore, via Spontaneous Magic, you can create a Spell to do most anything within the limit of your ability. We could go on and on, but that hits all the key topics. : )
We strongly feel that magic is an omnipresent part of the Ars Magica system, so it's omnipresent in our game, too. Whether you are looking at the Covenant map, in an Adventure, or a Combat, the spells which are contextual to the situation are available for use. And if you don't know the Spell, you can always try it Spontaneously. The Fatigue mechanic (and Twilight, too) are present, per the 5E rules.
Wednesday - October 24, 2012
Antharion - Indie, TB, party-based Kickstarter
There have been a couple of Antharion Kickstarter updates over the last few days ($5.8k/$15k, 24 days). First, new reward tiers have been added:
Due to popular demand we've just created a new $30 tier which now gives early access to Antharion's Beta. We also created a new $110 tier in which you'll be given access to the Alpha plus a special thanks in the game's credits. And of course anyone already supporting us above the $30 tier will automatically get access to the beta as well.
...and some new monster art has been posted.
Kickstarter - Sword of Fargoal 2 Interview by Eric Kain
Eric Kain from Forbes Magazine talks with Jeff McCord and Paul Pridham, the creators of the game. You can view the interview here.
The interview is about one hour; they discuss why it took so long for a sequel to appear, why they decided to use Kickstarter to finish Sword of Fargoal 2's development, the iOS version of Sword of Fargoal, the roguelike genre in general, and much much more.
Arakion - Forums Opened
Cris Taylor, the developer of Arakion tells us their forums are available now.
After a lot of discussion with the Arakion dev team for what we thought was the best way to approach the forums, I have finally decided on how the forums will be structured and they have been launched! The forums have been built around having a discussion. During development I believe a structure centered around discussion more than anything else, is the most important. This not only to keep you all engaged but lets everyone have an open line of communication with the development team and other gamers.
Since I cannot automate people into backer status from Kickstarter or Indiegogo, what I need from you is just a little help. What you will need to do is register on the forums, then message me on here with your registered username. I'm sorry for this slight annoyance but in the future this will all be automated as the site becomes more integrated, we looked into trying to automate it as much as possible and couldn't resolve the issue for KS and IGG backers.
Why should I take the time to get Backer Status on the forums?
Backer status not only allows you to proudly display your support of Arakion, but it also lets you join in the Backer only forum discussions. One of the perks of being a backer is that you get to help mold and create content that goes into Arakion, so please be sure to get your reward as a backer on the forums!
Please be patient as you're transferred to backer status. I'll be working on it as quickly as I can.
So be sure to hop on over and join in the discussion immediately!
Monday - October 22, 2012
AAIMIE - Update #3, Gameplay and Plot
In the third update of AAIMIE more detial on the gameplay and plot is given.
Today I thought I'd share a little bit about the power facility, plot and gameplay elements of AAIMIE. There are *possible spoilers* in this so if you don't want to know more about the story please skip this update.
My goal of this game has always been to make sure you are completely engulfed in the world. I want you to be able to explore this facility and start out as a lowly robot who finds itself part of this larger picture, not just of the facility but of this facility's place in the world, and the universe.
The game starts with you waking up after new AI routines are implanted. This AI makes you want to destroy this power facility. Now, this isn't any ordinary facility. It's one of hundreds on this planet and the produce a new, highly potent and sought after energy.
The facility itself can be thought of as an upside down Tower of Hanoi in its shape. These rings lie on top of each other and in the middle is the overlord of the facility. This overlord is in charge of every aspect of its operation. You can see this overlord in every level of the game. Through windows and open areas, from the very start, you can see this overlord and you know that your ultimate goal is to destroy it.
I feel this gives the player a connection to the facility and the goal. You aren't thrown in and after hours and hours of gameplay all of a sudden you see the "boss" for the first time. In AAIMIE, from the start, you know what it looks like. And throughout your journey to the bottom of the facility you will see this enemy many, many times.
At first, this overlord will pay no attention to you. You are insignificant. But as you progress, and gain abilities, and start damaging the facility it protects, you will become a threat. This overlord that you have been seeing as you descend will begin to start attacking you, and the structures you are in. This will heighten your connection to the world, and make destroying this overlord even more desirable.
So that is an update of the general gameplay of AAIMIE. I hope you enjoyed this update and the next update will be posted in a couple of days with even more details.
Sunday - October 21, 2012
Hero-U - Interviews @ RPS, RPG Codex
A couple of interviews have hit for Hero-U, talking to Lori and Corey Cole. From RPS:
RPS: And this one’s going to be more of an RPG, of course.
COREY: I guess you could say that Quest for Glory was about 70% adventure and 30% roleplaying. This one is going to be more 60% roleplaying and 40% adventuring. Part of that is just down to the look. It’s a 2D, top-down world, so it is going to feel more like a graphical version of a grid based game like Rogue than a Quest for Glory adventure.
LORI: Well, not like Rogue. We’re using much of the engine from Brawsome’s MacGuffin’s Curse, so it’s more tile based.
COREY: Yeah, and the tiles are large, so we’re able to have better animation, larger characters… you’ll feel like you’re in the environments. We’re also going to have some screens that are more like adventure game backgrounds. We’ve got some very beautiful images that the artists are putting together. How many will depend on how the budget turns out.
...and RPG Codex:
RPG Codex: How did the idea of Hero-U originate, and what were the main points of debate you had when coming up with the game's concept? Why the name, "Hero-U"?
The version of the game we worked on in 2010 focused on the Wizard character, but we decided to save that for a sequel so people wouldn't think, "Oh, it's a Harry Potter game set in Hogwarts." The team brainstormed some title ideas, Andrew Goulding of Brawsome suggested "Rogue Redemption", and artist Eric Varnes modified it to "Rogue to Redemption". We all liked the combination of word play and good description of the story. Your character starts out as a disgraced Thief and may redeem himself to become a Rogue Hero.
As for the concept, Lori and I have been kicking it around since 2008 in various incarnations. We started out trying to make a straight text adventure, but we weren't satisfied with it. Two years ago we tried again as a mostly-text game with a "click on the keyword" interface and a graphic window, but it still didn't seem to have the right feel. This year we talked about moving to a top-down map interface similar to Epyx Rogue on the Atari ST, and that sounded more promising. When we saw Brawsome's game "MacGuffin's Curse", Lori and I both thought that was exactly the look that would work for our new game. Well, close anyway - We're perfectionists who always tweak things. : )
Corey Cole: We wanted to make a game based on www.theschoolforheroes.com. I thought the name was a little long, and a few of the people on the project pointed out that "school" made them think of a game for teenagers. We talked about a few variations, and ended up with "Hero-U" because "U" stands for "University" and also for "You". We want each player to feel that this is a game made just for him/her.
Saturday - October 20, 2012
Antharion - Indie, TB, party-based Kickstarter
Antharion is an indie 2D RPG with turn-based combat, a party and an open world inspired by Ultima, among others. The team are looking for a modest $15k from their Kickstarter, with $2k already pledged:
Antharion can best be described as a fusion of various elements from classic series like The Elder Scrolls, Baldur’s Gate, and Ultima into a single player old-school RPG experience. We wanted to combine an immense open-ended living-breathing world where the player is free to go anywhere and do anything, with a deep tactical turn-based combat system, a rich skill set and character creation system, and the distinctive feel of old-school classic RPGs.
- Open World: Go anywhere and do anything in Antharion’s vast open-ended living-breathing hand crafted world.
- Turn-Based: Antharion features a deeply satisfying tactical turn-based combat system beneath a sleek and intuitive interface.
- Party-Based: Create and control a party of up to 4 characters. Choose each of their races (each race with it's own characteristics) and customize all attributes, skills and equipment.
- Epic Story: Antharion features a dark and mysterious world of magical mystery and political intrigue.
- Meaningful Decisions: Save the kingdom and become revered or destroy it and become reviled. In Antharion your actions matter and are reflected tangibly in the world around you.
- Freedom: The world of Antharion is fully interactive: go inside of every room of every building, open every drawer and steal any item. Explore over 100 dungeons ...all at your leisure.
- Magic: 3 schools featuring 45 unique spells.
- No Level Scaling: Antharion does NOT scale loot or monsters.
Ars Magica - Kickstarter Launches
Ars Magica is a Kickstarter campaign from the folks behind Academagia to create a 2D RPG video game version of the well known PnP game. They are looking for $290k and have $8k pledged so far:
Black Chicken Studios, working under license from Atlas Games, is delighted to present a new simulation role-playing game for the PC. After 25 years and 5 editions, Ars Magica will at long last be paid tribute in a single-player, turn-based video game. Authentic to the original, this is a faithful, beautiful, and accurate depiction of covenant gameplay and the RPG’s legendary magic system during a dangerous century in the Stonehenge Tribunal. With your help, we’ll bring Ars Magica: Years of Conquest and its tapestry of wars, intrigue, invasion and, above all, magic to life!
Imagine a world where myth is real. Faeries dance in forest glades, angels protect the Church, demons corrupt the weak, and wizards wield magic beyond the ken of other mortals.
You play one of these mages, and belong to one of 13 Houses banded together to form the ancient Order of Hermes. You’re dedicated to protecting and perfecting your command over magic. Served by knights, warriors, and peasants, you contend with the perils of plagues, beasts, battles, and other wizards to defend your covenant, your power, and your prestige. Your wizard will need to master the perils of life and death itself, if you are to prosper over 100 years of gameplay.
Shaker - "Mercy killing"
In the latest Shaker update, Tom and Brenda have pulled the plug to regroup:
We are profoundly grateful to our fans. You were as excited about this game as we were, and from the very beginning, you encouraged us to post more details about it and even sent in fan art! We have received backing from over 7,000 of you and raised a quarter million dollars in just a few days (!). That's humbling and wonderful.
We are profoundly grateful to the press. You covered our Kickstarter's launch and story update and gave it as much attention as you possibly could. It was through your efforts that many heard about our game.
We are grateful to our friends in the game industry who gave us suggestions, support and critique. We are a wonderfully tight-knit community, and we owe you for all your feedback and friendship.
Ultimately, our pitch just wasn't strong enough to get the traction we felt it needed to thrive. Sure, it may have made it. We could have fought our way to a possibly successful end. In reading your feedback and talking it over internally, however, we decided that it made more sense to kill it and come back with something stronger.
In game design, mercy killing is the law.
So, please accept our thanks and apologies in equal order. Expect something more soon.
Friday - October 19, 2012
Divine Space - Update 6
We missed several updates on the Kickstarter game Divine Space, but here is update 6 about joining Kicking it Forward,F2P, Click-n-Go and other news. Here is a snip:
Congratulations, we reached 10%, or $10,000 mark!
You did it! You all did it – and we got up to 10% of light speed, which is equal to $10,000! This is a good sign, because the fight is only at the beginning. For now, we are only passing asteroid clouds, getting our cannons ready and programming our rockets so they would hit target when time will come. Meanwhile, our ally, LimpDigit team, is working on the new video for us, which will be a mix of our presentation and gameplay video. This shall significantly increase our chances to victory. There are still 35 light days to go, which is more than most of other projects have from beginning. We knew it would be a hard fight, and took additional two weeks to fix our project, tune it and prepare properly for press and big portals. Thanks to many of you, we managed to polish our page and make it much better.
Kicking it Forward: LETS DO SOME KICKS!
Yes, we are finally in. We always wanted to be part of that noble community, but our future has been too unclear and foggy. For a while we have been flying through the area, full of dust and tiny asteroids. Perhaps it was a planet before, or it could become a planet and failed, who knows? But now we finally passed through this dangerous area and are ready to dock the starbase of Kicking It Forward team. Why we are joining that community? Because we know how hard it is to get acknowledged by the indie teams and we want to help our colleagues. Many projects are great and deserve support, but can't get enough attention. Kicking It Forward helps such teams, and we want to be amongst those great people!
AAIMIE - Update #2, About Components
An update for the Kickstarter game AAIMIE is available now. The number of pledges are still a bit on the low side for this game with 20 days to go.
I've had a few people ask for more more details about the game. I intentionally haven't posted many details because I'm sticking with the "exploration" aspects of the game and don't want to give away too much. However, I do understand the need for more info so I am going to start posting more updates, and if I do post anything that I think might spoil the game I will preface it with *POSSIBLE SPOILER* so you will know to skip it if you prefer to be surprised when the game is released.
So today I'm posting on Components. Not a great name and I may change it later, but Components are items you can attach to AAIMIE which gives special "abilities". You start out with 2 slots to attach components and you can change them in and out at will depending on the situation you are about to face. You can upgrade later so you may add more than 2. Also, there are various levels of components. So you may get 2 "Energy Rechargers" but one could increase your energy at a higher rate than the other. There are also things you can do to increase the effectiveness of the components.
The Components list is as follows. These are subject to change based on how they affect gameplay, but this is the current list:
Reduces your chances to be detected by enemies. This is a passive component that is always active when attached.
Discharge an EMP pulse which reduces the energy levels of enemies or even machines in the world. This is useful for weakening enemies and reducing the energy level of devices you are trying to hack.
Energy Recharger -
Recharges your energy at an increased rate. Energy is very important in AAIMIE as most weapons and shields are energy based. The faster you recharge the more damage you can do.
Many puzzles are hacking based. This component makes certain puzzles easier to hack.
Energy Increaser -
Increases the base energy of AAIMIE.
Shield Booster -
Increases the strength of your shields allowing you take take more damage, either from enemies or from failed hacking attempts that attempt to harm you.
Turbo Boost -
Briefly increase your movement speed. This is a good for getting away from enemies or quickly approaching an enemy who is at range.
Aim Stabilizer -
Increases your chances of hitting and enemy
Armor Strength -
Once your shields are depleted your armor will start taking damage. This increases the strength of your armor allowing you to take less damage.
Allows you to see through walls
Shows enemies and puzzles and hackable items within range.
Frenzy Enemy -
Increases the chances of the enemy to retreat from combat
Throws down an energy turret to provide additional damage during combat
Strength Booster -
Every item has weight. This allows you to carry more items.
Allows you to attach an additional component to AAIMIE.
Energy Blocker (when enemies attack with energy) -
When enemies attack with energy weapons, this reduces the damage received. It only works against energy-based weapons.
Detection Feedback -
Allows AAIMIE to detect if she is currently being tracked, or is at risk of being detected.
That's all for now. I hope you enjoyed the update and if you haven't already done so please tell your friends about AAIMIE so we can make this game happen.
Shaker - Update #9, The World of Antera
It was a while coming but Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall's Shaker Kickstarter has a new update with a map of the world of Antera and some examples of major locations. An example:
Connelly (or whoever you customize as your main character) and team find themselves on a world they've visited before, but only in a narrow sense, under strict orders. Now they will be required to explore it more deeply to find out what happened...and if there is the possibility of any way home. If not, it's time to settle in and find their place in this new world!
This area is Blade Sector, the second sector in the way Shaker operatives have divided up this world and its primary inhabitation sites. Sector names are based on locally familiar words, so that an off-mention will not sound strange. Anvil Sector is inhabited, but is not near the Delta Node on Antera.
Here are a few highlighted places in the area the game will take place in:
THE HUB CITY: LOKE
Loke is a beautiful city on the water, a thriving city for trade and a meeting place for all races. This has been the team's first stop on all their missions.
FELAIRN FOREST: THE SURVIVORS
Living in Rhun-Daar, the humanoid race of the Paldor are survivors of a great onslaught of creatures from Darkling Crag. They won the war, but at a dear loss to their population. Those remaining have an intense mistrust of strangers.
Monday - October 15, 2012
Kickstarter - Divine Space Announcement
Word received by us about a new Kickstarter campaign for a space action RPG named Divine Space.
- Divine Space is a 3D space adventure/quest ARPG in hard sci-fi genre, with real-time combat and click-n-go controls. It's a mix of the spirits of such games as Star Control, Elite, and Space Rangers; this simple gameplay comparable to Dark Orbit, with excellent, up-to-date three-dimensional graphics somehow comparable to Eve Online.
- The first version of the game will be released for iPads, very soon after (within 2-3 months) - we will release version for Anrdroid pads.
- Later, there will be PC/Mac/Linux version and, hopefully, iPhone and later – MMO (previous are single-player versions).
Main features of the game:
- Scientific: the world is built on real astronomical data, obtained from astronomers and scientists. Stars have their real positions, spectral classes, etc;
- Construction of ships from parts. You can built your custom hulls and add devices and weapons;
- Deep scenario and world design (it's almost USP nowadays). We built our scenario based on current research. It's somewhat a prediction of the possible future;
- Most operating systems are supported. First, the game will be single-player ARPG, but the game will move toward serious MMO;
- For the iPad and Android there are no similar space games of the same quality, and there are no similar 3D games with same casual controls;
Educative. We teach our players, and this is our mission - and they won't even notice that. We make world better.
- We might be interesting for you because we are first Russian team that is going for such large goal - $100,000, while we are indie and unknown team. There weren't other Russian teams at Kickstarter (or other crowdfunding portals) with such goal. Our project is good, and of the good quality. It's not something we made in a month - we began development in end of 2011. We have very positive feedback from our backers; conversion to backers is 2,6% (and that's much for an indie game).
Sunday - October 14, 2012
Shaker - Update #8, Evolution of Concept Art
There's a new Shaker update discussing two pieces of concept art:
Hey there, Shaker operatives! This update we thought we’d let you check out the new tier you asked for, and give you a peek at the concept art process -- from sketches to finished design!
Before we begin, just want to remind folks of the new tier, $125 for the Old-School Edition + Cloth Map. People wanted something more affordable, and we priced it as low as we thought we could!
To review: Shaker: An Old School RPG features a six-character party - you and your 3 crew as well as 2 recruitable player characters. You begin the game as James Connelly, though you may customize him any way you like (including changing his appearance and gender). Next, you create 3 different Shaker operatives to join you on your Antera mission. Traveling back through time and space to arrive on Antera, you may recruit two locals to work on your crew. This is a medieval era world, with swordplay and magic.
So we needed cool concept art to convey combat in that medieval world.
Kickstarter - Fields of Fresh
This one is from left-field but who knows what people might like? Nathan writes in with his Kickstarter for a farming RPG called Fields of Fresh. They are only asking for $1000 and here's the intro:
Where have all of the good farming games gone?
To my memory, I have only played one good farming game series, it involved harvesting, sprites, and a moon. Every time I browse the web for a farming game, the results are games that are not up to par with my expectations as a gamer . Do farmers not deserve honor? After all, they provide most of the food we eat. In March 2011, I decided to make a Farming Game. This farming game will satisfy me as a gamer. The mission was to not make a lame social farming game, but a full-fledged farming RPG where the farmers have stories and lives.
Friday - October 12, 2012
Kickstarter - Shaker - Update # 7 Boxed Edition Like in the Good Old Days
The people behind this game, Tom Hall and Brenda Braitwaite, has decided to reward people with a boxed edition of this game with a cloth map, a t-shirt and several other goodies:
$125: OLD-SCHOOL CLOTH MAP EDITION -- All the previous rewards + a BOXED EDITION OF OLD SCHOOL RPG + CLOTH MAP + CD CONTAINING THE OLD SCHOOL RPG AND SOUNDTRACK + EXCLUSIVE OLD SCHOOL RPG LOGO T-SHIRT + VIP IN-GAME CHARACTER HONOR + CUSTOM OLD SCHOOL RPG METAL DOG TAG MEDALLION. Harkening back to the golden era of RPGs, the Old School edition of Old School RPG comes complete with a classic RPG box which opens to reveal the Old School RPG t-shirt wrapping the game's CD and soundtrack. A cloth map of the world and classic trinket medallion -- in this case, a Shaker Corporation dogtag -- completes the 1980's effect. Please add $15 for international shipping.
Thursday - October 11, 2012
Kickstarter - Shaker - Editorial @ Edge
Jason Killingsworth from EDGE has penned an editorial about Shaker, the old school rpg created by Tom Hall and Brenda Braithwaite. In it, he asks the question "old school rpg, what does that mean anyway?"
A quote about what he thinks about the rpgs of the past:
The primary distinguishing traits of many old-school RPGs were nothing more than creative workarounds for the nascent technology available at the time – text input, turn-based simulations, etc. The Kickstarter page assures us that the game will have the graphical fidelity players expect from contemporary games, but that doesn’t get us much closer to a working definition.
A quote about what he thinks about naming Shaker an old school rpg:
To label one’s project Old School RPG seems to just draw attention to this appeal to nostalgia in such an obvious way that it comes off feeling a little crass, perhaps too forward. Especially in a context where you’re trying to convince people to contribute money to your project. It’s easy to romanticise the past, but Brathwaite and Hall still need to offer a compelling case for what makes old-school RPGs not only meaningfully different, but preferable to the genre’s more evolved descendants living today.
Shaker - Update #6, Combat
Tom Hall and Brenda Brathwaite explain the combat of their old school RPG, Shaker.
Combat: Steel and Spells
Combat in the world of Antera is full of swords and sorcery! Outside of combat, you have free movement about the world of Antera, but once you have an encounter with the not-so-friendly residents of this medieval world, it’s old-school, turn-based combat.
Before the Encounter
Your party has six characters in total (your four characters and two local NPC recruits). Before combat, you are free to arrange your party as you wish in front and back ranks. The further back your characters are, the safer they will be. The closer they are to the action, the more brute-force damage they can do. Back-rank characters must have spells, long-range attacks or weapons, or special skills. All weapons and spells have specific ranges.
Combat occurs when you near an enemy, and you enter combat mode. Before you, you see the creatures in the world, and combat proceeds in turn-based rounds. In traditional RPG fashion, you choose each character’s action. The NPCs are, at first, autonomous, but you can choose their actions once they fully trust you. Once everyone determines their course, the game determines who goes first based on everyone’s quickness (plus or minus any modifiers). Combat then plays out in front of you with each party member or enemy taking turns in order of their Initiative. Combat ends when you defeat the enemy or they run away, knowing what’s good for them.
During combat, your characters have several options to choose from depending on their available weapon, profession and location in the party. You may choose from: Attack using your current weapon, select a Spell/Special using your profession’s unique powers, or use an Item. You can also get the hell out of dodge or skip your turn.
Combat continues round after round until there’s a victor. Hopefully, you’re the one looking down on the bodies of your foes! :)
GOOD OLD GAMES
Vote up Shaker: Old School RPG on Good Old Games! Here's the link to add the game to the community wishlist.
Wednesday - October 10, 2012
Kickstarter - AAIMIE: "Tron meets Grimrock"
Indie developer James Sablatura writes in with his Kickstarter for AAIMIE - "Autonomous Artificially Intelligent Maintenance Industrial Engineer", which is described as "an old school RPG with a modern feel". James is looking for $7k to make the game.
AAIMIE leads a simple life. She is a maintenance robot on Power Facility #38. Her daily routine includes maintaining the facility, wiring, energy conduits and general repair. Her artificial intelligence routines allow her to perform her job without any outside influence. She is completely autonomous and free to roam the facility.
That is, until one day, while performing general maintenance, life as she knew it was turned upside down. After a brief power outage, she awoke to find that she was no longer restricted to knowledge of simple maintenance. Her memory banks were now filled with classified inside information on the power plant, its residents, its security systems, its weak points, and most importantly, an uncontrollable urge to destroy the facility. So how did this happen? Who implanted this knowledge and why? These are all questions that AAIMIE will have to figure out.
AAIMIE is a grid-based, first person point of view role playing indie game being developed for release on PC, Mac, ios and Android in 2013. It has been described as “Tron Meets Grimrock” with an emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving.
You play as AAIMIE just after her A.I. was altered, resulting in her desire to destroy the facility. AAIMIE starts as a simple maintenance bot with only a welding torch and basic navigational components. Through exploration, puzzle-solving and combat she gains weapons, armor and component upgrades.
Although there is combat in the game, the main focus is exploration, discovery of new areas, scripted events, puzzle solving and story telling. You will become part of the world, and discover all it has to offer.
Shaker - Update #5 from Tom Hall and Brenda Brathwaite
"Old School RPG" appears to have a name - Shaker: An Old School RPG. The latest update discusses some gameplay, the party (actually 6 characters when you include 2 recruitable player characters) and professions:
Shaker: An Old School RPG features a six-character party - you and your 3 crew as well as 2 recruitable player characters. You begin the game as James Connelly, though you may customize him any way you like (including changing his appearance and gender). Next, you create 3 different Shaker operatives to join you on your Antera mission. Traveling back through time and space to arrive on Antera, you may recruit two locals to work on your crew.
YOUR CHARACTERS AND CREW
All characters and recruits have key statistics as quantified by Shaker Corporation: Strength, Vitality, Agility, Quickness, Intelligence, and Psy. The values of these attributes determine what Profession you qualify for. Your characters are also born with a specific BioTrait pattern. Similar to “race” in old-school games, a character’s BioTrait pre-disposes gives them certain strengths, weaknesses and powers. Recruiting locals (which you can, of course, fire) will help you to balance your party.
We are in pre-production at present, and want to give you an early look at the core Bridge Professions and how they map to Professions on the destination worlds.
Tuesday - October 09, 2012
Old School RPG - Update #4, More Story, Concept Art
Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall's Old School RPG Kickstarter has a new update with some more story and a single piece of concept art:
“Welcome to Shaker Corporation.”
At 806 employees, Shaker was a far cry from from its origins in a graduate student lab at MIT. Beginning as a mere mathematical model - but an exceedingly precise one - Shaker’s core technology eventually evolved into a device that allowed it to see 100 years into the future and as far back as all past human memory allowed. Catherine Shaker knew she had struck gold, and founded the corporation well before her graduation. At the time of her death, which she had accurately predicted, the company had already received massive funding from throughout the universe.
Next update will cover combat and gameplay, apparently.
Monday - October 08, 2012
Arakion - Goes On
Now that Arakion has almost reach twice the amoun that was asked for at Kickstarter quite a few updates are available.
A small summary:
- Although the $50K has not been entirely met, the stretch goal will be added anyway, this means Fates Change and tablet support is added.
- You can continue to contribute to the development of the game by means of an Indiegogo campaign (which can be used with PayPal).
- A new stretch goal at $60K is announced (to be achieved via Indiegogo): Winters Edge consisting of:
- A new armor type for each class (think thick armor built for war in winter)
- An additional weapon type for each class
- An entirely new zone (The Castle)
- A new set of buildings for your town
- A host of new enemies and bosses
- New traits
- Additional skill customizations for each class
- An additional fate weaver type (Cold Steel) *more on this soon*
- A story revolving around who the "Ancients" are
Friday - October 05, 2012
Kickstarter - Old School RPG World and Story Details
Loot Drop posted a pretty good update for their Old School RPG Kickstarter a day or two back that provides much more detail on the setting and story. A sample:
James Connelly works for Shaker, a Bridge corporation between time and worlds. Depending on the job he - or any of Shaker’s 400 employees - can be anyone you want them to be. Human warrior? Done. Cyborg Psionic, also done. "Remember the 4 F's: Frontier dictates form, function and family" according to the official employee manual.
Officially, Connelly was a resident of the Bridge, but he spent so much time away from it that the concept of residence and permanence had lost its meaning over time. He lived out of a locker at Shaker, storing only his most important mementos there -- family heirlooms, a couple of gifts from post-jobs. He slept in rooms usually assigned to other Shaker employees destined for imminent departure. His family, a wife and two kids, residents of Barrow, would visit him when they could.
On July 24, 2526, that would change. His frontier would become his home, his form would become his being, his function and new family possibly his forever. Shaker, it seems, had ceased communicating. The supplies and support he expected - he needed - were no where to be found. His return transport was unknown. He and his three crew were alone.
Antera - a medieval, barely developed planet - was now his home.
Gamasutra also has an interview:
Hall loves to develop universes, says Brathwaite. "We had just started talking... and seriously, within two days, he had 10 pages of story ideas. He had the name of a janitor in this universe already."
As for her, she has a deep love for systems: "I always have been and continue to be fascinated by game math," she says. "I'm fascinated with the underlying architecture of the game. Tom and I both love being architects, and we love drawing all the plans out... I'm interested in how this thing is going to work, and Tom is interested in laying the story over the top of that world and creating characters."
At least in pre-production, the two will lead a smaller team, with a couple of artists, four or five coders and a sound designer early on ("I think that affects the overall feel of the world," Brathwaite says). From there, they'll scale up the art as Brathwaite and Hall continue to lead the game design.
Arakion - First Stretch Goal Met
The First stretch goal of Arakion has been met. This measn the card game is in. A third stretch goal was made public, which is the following:
$42,500: The Darkest Night
This stretch goal includes a story arc that brings a substantial amount of additional content to the game. During this portion of the game the sky has turned black and an undead army has been resurrected and begins to lay siege to your town.
It is up to you to build defenses, fight back against the scourge, and uncover the reason they have come back. This story has you not only defending your town but exploring an entirely new zone with all the content that provides including dungeons, aesthetics and more.
During your travels you'll encounter a new set of enemies, find lost blueprints and save new NPCs. With all this content whats not to love about this stretch goal!
Specifically speaking this update includes:
- Additional defense mini-game where you must defend your town against raids.
- 1 additional zone that includes more dungeons, an abandoned town and a ruined castle to explore
- Additional enemies (Bone Giant, Zombie Dragon "he wants your braaaaaiiiiinnssss", a unique boss, and more)
- Multiple new buildings for your town
- Additional armor and weapons for every class
This is something I've really wanted to do, not only because I think it would be extremely fun to play through but because it adds an additional layer of depth to the game with town defense. As you can tell in the pitch video the town has walls so why not put them to use! If you really want this stretch goal to happen, be sure to tell everyone you know about Arakion so together we can make this the best game possible!!
In addition an update is available on the history of making Arakion.
First off, I hope you're as excited as I am to see where Arakion goes in the next 48 hours, the sky is the limit as they say! The update tonight is a purely video update, this was originally intended to be the "making of" video but it was beginning to become a bit of a time sync and in order to keep my word I have improvised and given you guys a slimmer version!
Before we get to the video update however I just want to mention a few important things. Since you guys are so awesome and amazing and we have reached the card game stretch goal, upon release of the card game online I'll be giving out codes to all Kickstarter backers for $20 in game currency for the card game. As I have stated before I will be using revenue from the online version of the card game to help fund additional content for Arakion.
Also, tomorrow there will be three updates an in depth look at the Battlemage, a look at the people joining the team after Kickstarter and the voices of Arakion #2. I hope you all have had a good Thursday and remember to keep spreading the word so we reach those stretch goals!!
Thursday - October 04, 2012
Arakion - Armor and Music Updates
n the early update today I just wanted to go into a little bit about how armor works in Arakion. In Arakion instead of finding standard generic cloth armor, leather armor etc... that any class can wear, you forge armor that is customized for each class type. This allows you to craft armor that is specific for your character's play style instead of giving generic stat benefits. This opens up the freedom for me to implement armor pieces that effect class skills, give passive benefits geared towards the class and more.
As you play through the game, much like you would forge new weapons, you will be forging new armor and equipment for your character. You will find rare recipes as well as materials that you will use.
In the example shown above you see a monk with a basic set of armor. After multiple forges this monk has added a necklace, scrolls, a "cape" and an arm brace. You will continue to forge new equipment and replace old equipment for your characters in this fashion throughout the game.
I’d like to give a quick update on the music of Arakion. Since the last time I posted, I have finished up the in-game music. I expanded on the melody used in the original in-game teaser, and made it more full. This is meant to be a pleasant piece that plays while the player is building up the town, hence the title “Rebuilding.”
I hope you guys like the finished track, and are excited to hear the rest in game and on the soundtrack. Thank you again for supporting Arakion and be sure to tell your friends about it!
Wednesday - October 03, 2012
Kickstarter - Brenda Brathwaite and Tom Hall RPG
I didn't expect this one, I must say. Brenda Brathwaite (Wizardry) and Tom Hall (Anachronox) have launched a Kickstarter for "An Old-School RPG" with their company Loot Drop. The gameplay isn't clear (unless I missed it), although the combat is turn-based and the party has four characters.
Loot Drop includes John Romero, for what that's worth, who is Brenda's partner.
The Kickstarter is looking for $1M with 32 days to run, though at $1.9M they promise "TWO FULL games - one designed by Brenda Brathwaite and one designed by Tom Hall". Here's a partial feature snip:
- Characters: Create a group of up to 4 characters, choosing from multiple races and professions.
- Skills: Balance your characters' strengths, weaknesses and skills, knowing each of them affects play.
- Progression: Gain experience and gain levels to hone your characters to your exact liking.
- Recruitable Characters: Hire NPCs to work with you, if you trust them, or allow them to hire you to be their guide.
- Character Extensions (Stretch Goal): Wrestle with the old-school favorites from back in the paper days - alignment, age, rank and randomly-rolled temperament.
- Exploration: Explore a richly detailed world, home to unique, dangerous and sometimes crafty creatures who may be friend or foe.
- Treasure: Loot castles, caverns and dungeons and defeat hordes of creatures in a world where your skill and cunning are key.
Arakion - Funded and Updates
With still 3 days to go, Arakion has been funded on Kickstarter. We have misses some updates on the game, so here is a collection:
- Pet types are feline, canine, arachnid and a unique Arakion pet
- Each pet can acquire special abilities (carrying healing crystals things like that)
- Pets start with 3 energy, allowing 3 uses per dungeon before recharging.
- 4 Passive and 4 Active specializations for each class
- 1 Passive specialization for each skill
- Active specializations are supplemental minor skills like healing for a warrior
- Additional reward tiers receive the helms from previous tiers
- More backer only helms will be announced soon
- There will be aesthetic headgear you can find in the game
Now down to business, first up on the agenda is the announcement of the discounted prices of the high end tiers. This will probably run through the rest of Kickstarter and starts at the $1,250+ level. They have been discounted by about 50% so if you had any interest in having a hand at creating content for the game now is your chance to get on it!
Next up is the change in stretch goals. A lot of people really wanted to see the card game and the infinity tower in the game. So the card game is now 30k and the tower is 35k, if you hit those stretch goals I'll work overtime to make sure they're in the game for you! I'll be announcing the new 42.5k stretch goal as soon as the card game is met!
Finally is the big announcement of the final class (for now) called The Seeker. The Seeker is is a gatherer of lost knowledge and a rogue. He deals substantial single target damage as well as finding hidden and rare blueprints (please note you can find these without the seeker, he's just good at it). He makes a great addition to any party and for anyone who is a completionist and has to find every hidden corner of the game, he's a must have.
The Seeker's skills include 2 Damage abilities as well as 2 gathering / finding abilities. His arsenal includes thin blades, daggers, shivs, crossbows and more. Later on today or tonight I'm going to be releasing an in depth analysis of The Seeker as well as concepts currently in production.
Before I get going I just want to mention that I'll be releasing 2-3 updates per day now through the end of the Kickstarter, and if you want to see those stretch goals met be sure to tell your friends about the game and spread the word!
Saturday - September 29, 2012
Arakion - Update 9
A new update for Arakion has been made available. This time it give more information about the Battlemage, specializations and pets. Arakion is entering its last week on Kickstarter and is just over $3500 short of reaching its 25K goal.
Hey Kickstarters it's that time again,
Today I'm going to be announcing some major information regarding the game, if you have any questions about the update please leave them in the comments below and I'll get back to them as soon as I see them.
The first thing I'd like to announce in this update is the release of the Battlemage (You'll be getting a preview of the Battlemage in action and armor in the next few days). Right hand wielding staves or wands with the left hand wielding swords, axes, clubs or staves. These lords of battle have the ability to unleash massive amounts of damage easily cutting through enemies.
During early testing of these classes in prototyping, it's easy to tell this is going to be a extremely fun class to play. The four primary skills of these classes are:
- Arcane Bolt - Single target - long ranged spell
- Elemental Wrath - Area of effect - close range spell
- Charged Strike - Charge your weapons with arcane energy and strike at the enemy
- Arcane Shield - Shield your party to block damage
Next up is the announcement of specializations. Specializations are another way to customize your character, they are an additional skill that each class has the ability to acquire. During the course of the game you'll have the possibility to journey on a quest and receive a tome to unlock a new skill for each of your characters.
- Each character can only have 1 specialization
- Every class will (probably) have 4 possible specializations
- Passive specializations also exist
- Specializations have far less customization than the 4 primary skills
Another major announcement today is the inclusion of pet companions. While each party consists of 3 major characters, you'll also start out with a pet filling a "fourth" slot. Pets were originally intended to be a stretch goal but after a lot of testing, I've concluded that they can be included at no additional stretch goal needed.
Pets can be utilized to help assist your party. While they serve no combat purpose, you can train your pets to get additional resources, find secret areas, map out dungeons, and more. Each pet starts with 3 energy per dungeon and you have the option to spend that energy on what you deem useful. The more you utilize your pet the stronger they'll become so be sure to use them often!
At character creation you'll be able to pick what type of pet you want (there should be 4 at launch). Each type of pet starts out with certain specializations, hound pets start out with the ability to more easily find secret areas while the arachnid pets and map out dungeons more quickly.
Finally I'd like to say after testing some of the hats, I'm going to be including a full set of facial and head aesthetics for your character that you can change and customize throughout the game. These will supplement the backer only aesthetics that will be included with your Kickstarter pledges.
- $15 - The Fez :: Ushanka :: Top Hat and Monocle
- $25 - Headband with a feather :: Goggles :: Cast Iron Steam-punk Helm
- $50 - Guy Fawkes mask (V for Vendetta) :: Jewelry set
- More on these in future updates
Monday - September 24, 2012
Arakion - The World and Creating It
An update from the Arakion Kickstarter ($17.5k/$25k, 12 days) on creating the game world:
Arakion exists in an extremely prodigious and engulfing world. From the moment you first step foot in it, till the final battle, I'm striving hard to make everything feel like it has a place and reason for being.
In the same fashion the world is also highly interactive. You'll be able to interact with almost everything around you, a lot of time has been spent developing something that doesn't feel stale and static but is engrossing. In most games you will go from point A to point B, in Arakion you'll journey through the world being presented with multiple paths to get to your destination. If you're the explorer type, you will be able to go to massive open areas that have nothing to do with your main quest, finding dungeons and secrets and spending hours exploring the vast land that Arakion has to offer.
On the other hand if you prefer a more linear story, you'll be able to focus on the main quest and choose a more point A to point B approach. The world of Arakion presents you with a lot of options that don't bottleneck you, and that's the way it should be.
Saturday - September 22, 2012
Arakion - Stretch Goals Updated
Chris Taylor informed us of the update of the stretch goals for Arakion on Kickstarted, with still being 9K short of the 25K goal.
Today I'd like to announce some good news, great news, and for some of you, awesome news!
Let's start with the awesome news, as of today one of the stretch goals has become tablet support, this has been very requested and I am happy to announce that if the funding reaches $50,000 there will be tablet support! I have been working with a friend to figure out how to optimize the game for tablet and this morning we managed to get a test version fully working. Tablet support will be released for all version of tablets compatible with unity, ios, android etc... Please note that tablet support has a 1 month later planned release.
Next up we have an adjustment in the Card Game price. I have found a coder willing to work with me to bring you guys the card game much cheaper than planned, so I have brought down the initial price of the card game from 50k to 35k, this also includes the 10 trait pack that was originally at 30k.
A new stretch goal has been added at $42,250, the Infinite Tower. This is an endless dungeon that increases in difficulty each time you enter. Inside you'll find rare blueprints, materials, monsters and more. This tower will truly push your group to their limits!
Finally, if the game makes it to 50k, the mod stretch goal will be opened up at a later goal. This will include a full set of tools to create your own world and dungeons!
The long and short:
- Card game at $35,000
- Infinity Tower: an endless dungeon at $42,250
- Tablet support at $50,000
- Mod Tools eventually
Kickstarter - Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse
Kuki writes in, asking us to mention the Kickstarter for Broken Sword: The Serpent's Curse. It's a classic adventure and well out of our mandate but I'm sure a number of readers will be interested. There's only 14 hours to go on their Kickstarter, which has almost doubled their original $400k goal, so you'll need to get moving:
Broken Sword is a point and click adventure game series starring unwilling hero George Stobbart, an intrepid American lawyer, and Nico Collard, a sassy French freelance journalist. Through the series George and Nico are unwittingly drawn into sinister and terrifying conspiracies, requiring them to uncover ancient mysteries and unravel myths across the globe. Nerve, cunning and guile are essential in order to conquer these compelling adventures.
The four games in the series have won or been nominated for many awards, including:
- 4 BAFTAs (Best Adventure, Best Story, Best PC Game, Best Design)
- Best European Adventure - European Game Awards
- Best Video Game Script - Writer's Guild of Great Britain
- Pocket Gamer Gold Award - Pocket Gamer Awards
- Excellence in Writing - Game Developers Choice Awards
The games are regularly awarded exceptional review scores: for example Broken Sword: Director's Cut (iPhone) currently has a Metacritic (average) score of 91%!
Sunday - September 09, 2012
Kickstarter - Arakion
Arakion is a "first person, group based RPG that includes extensive character customization, town building and adventuring in a story driven world". The art style is certainly different. Chris Taylor (no, not that one; not that one, either) is looking for $25k,with around $2k having been raised in the last couple of days. There's a thread here on our forums, or check out the Kickstarter.
Arakion is a modern take on a classic RPG formula. You're put in control of three heroes trying to survive a world devastated by war. Adventuring in Arakion will take you across open land, into deep dungeons and even put you in control of rebuilding a desolated town.
- Character Customization! Character customization in Arakion is a refreshing take on the RPG Level-Up formula. Instead of skills and stats after X experience, your choices throughout the game affect your heroes. From the weapons you choose to forge, to the add-ons you choose for their housing, every decision has an impact on your heroes.
- You did what with my weapon?! Each character only starts with one weapon, one set of armor and four skills. You'll use the materials you find in the world to shape and morph your characters in to the heroes they'll become. Every decision you make has a permanent and lasting impact on your hero which resonates in the manner they play and interact with the world.
- Town Building! Using building blueprints you find, the people you rescue, along with the help of a mysterious stranger, you'll use ancient devices to rebuild a lost town. You'll have to choose wisely however, as some building decisions permanently prevent other choices.
- Combat! Combat in Arakion allows you to choose real-time, turn-based or a unique blend of both. The core system of Arakion takes two old school styles of gameplay and merging them into one seamless combat experience.
- Adventure! You'll adventure through dozens of dungeons, castles and open world areas while finding hidden passageways, collecting materials and crushing your foes.
- Story! The game features a deep and engaging story-line that spans generations. As you play through the game you'll learn about the history of Arakion and your heroes, as well as taking a part in shaping your heroes past with the unique trait system.
Sunday - August 26, 2012
Kickstarter - Conclave
Remember Conclave? The indie browser-based tabletop-inspired game from 10x10 Room? Quite a few people tried it when we last posted - now they have a Kickstarter that's $9k into a $75k goal with 28 days to run:
Ever wanted to play a tabletop roleplaying game or an MMO with friends but had trouble finding the time? We sure have. Work, school, family, even other hobbies: they all make it difficult to schedule hours-long regular gaming sessions.
Since the alternatives we've tried are either clunky or lack the depth we're looking for, we decided to create an online multiplayer game that captured the experience of a tabletop RPG but didn't force you to schedule your life around it. A game that would let you play for as long or short a time as you like, from any web-capable device, without sacrificing story or gameplay.
Friday - August 17, 2012
Kickstarter - Dungeon Master Pro: Online Character Sheet
Here is something RPG related that is not a game, but still might be of interest to you. Dungeon Master Pro is a tool that allows you to manage your character sheets online from a PC or mobile device.
Dynamic Online Character Sheet (DOCS) is a character sheet editor and online character repository for players and NPCs. Character sheets can be modified real time by player and GM alike. By creating a database driven character sheet, the GM can, during the game for example, modify hit points, spell affects, items carried or damages etc.. This allows discreet look ups and improves your overall experience, during the game or out of session. And you still have the option ot print and use your character for offline play.
Saturday - August 04, 2012
Kickstarter - Shadow Remnants
Shorebound Studios wrote in about their Kickstarter for Shadow Remnants, a tactical turn-based fantasy RPG. The campaign is looking for $75k over the next 27 days. Here are some descriptive excerpts and the feature list:
Shadow Remnants is a turn-based tactical role-playing game for the PC. As you travel through the vast country of Avatia, you will battle against the tides of corruption to uncover an ancient power with a dreadful secret. Using the wide range of character classes at your disposal, assemble a band of followers to aid you in battle. Make your way to the very heart of corruption, crushing your foes with both magic and sheer physical might.
If you enjoyed Final Fantasy Tactics, Disgaea or other similar titles then you are not alone. The turn-based tactical RPG genre is a great one...so, why does it feel so neglected? We decided to create a game to reignite the excitement that these games brought us. We feel that infusing unique classes, non-linear talent trees, a crafting system, randomized encounters, epic boss battles, our soul fragment system, multiplayer and a lengthy single player campaign with dozens of side quests will make one awesome game.
- 13 unique classes which become available through a tree-style unlock system to allow maximum player customization and a wide range of party compositions
- 2 skill trees for each class, allowing for control over a specific character's focus
- A crafting system that allows you to use raw materials obtained in battle to forge new gear
- Turn-based combat on vibrant 3d battlefields where character skills, gear, timing and positioning all affect the outcome of a fight.
- Online multiplayer where you can take your party head-to-head against other players and compete for rare crafting materials and rankings
- Epic boss battles which will require every ounce of skill and strategy that you have at your disposal
- Soul Fragments drop at random when an enemy is slain. After you collect a certain amount, you will learn a new spell from the soul.
- A new and challenging gameplay mechanic that allows the player to directly influence the effectiveness of your abilities and spells by timing a charge meter. The closer the meter is to the critical zone, the more powerful the attack.
Wednesday - July 11, 2012
Kickstarter - Star Command
Von Paulus suggests the Kickstarter for Star Command is worth a look because of the RPG elements. I'm not sure how true that is but it certainly looks like fun for space fans. This campaign is to fund a desktop version based on the current iOS game:
Star Command is an upcoming space ship-simulation-adventure game where you build an interstellar starship of your own unique image. You choose the colors, the hull types, the size and most importantly, who and what goes inside. Engine rooms, medical bays, shield generators - the choice is yours.
After you build your vessel, you will search the galaxy for talented crew to hire and help on your voyage. You will level-up crew members, give them new ranks and powerful abilities like tactical grenades to obliterate invaders, deployable shield walls to defend from incoming laser basts, or even the ability to revive slowly-dying crew members.
Once your awesome ship and elite crew are assembled, you will hyper-speed to new and strange places throughout the galaxy, making contact with exotic alien lifeforms. Some will be friendly, some weird and bizarre, and some will be downright evil.
Thursday - July 05, 2012
Kickstarter - Paper Sorcerer
Myrkel on our forums posted about the Kickstarter campaign for Paper Sorcerer, and it's certainly a game some readers would enjoy. It's a first-person dungeon crawler inspired by the likes of Wizardry and offering a unique hand-drawn look. The campaign has already exceeded the measly $5k requested but I'm sure they could use more:
Paper Sorcerer is a first-person turn-based RPG with adventure game elements inspired by Wizardry, Dungeons and Dragons, and Shadowgate.
- Play as a renegade sorcerer as he struggles to escape the book prison and regain his powers.
- Escape a magical prison filled with heroes hunting you down at every turn.
- Strategy over grinding battles, with a charge based spell system.
- Create a party of summons to join you as allies in battle.
- Discover open-ended puzzles and solve them with a combinations of spells, items, and your wits.
- Hand-drawn high-resolution sprites inspired by the work of late eighteenth and early nineteenth century illustrators like Aubrey Beardsley and William Bradley.
- DRM-free for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, and possibly Xbox Live Indie Arcade and web-browser.
- All-inclusive game, promise to never make you pay for DLC content.
Monday - June 11, 2012
Kickstarter - Xenonauts Campaign Closes
- Dedicated level designer!
- Indoor terror missions!
- Soviet Town tileset!
- Tileset-specific AI soldiers!
- Female soldiers!
- Mac / Linux port on release!
- The new UI design will be rolled out across the whole game (ideally with the background art updating as you research new technology)!
- Soldier combat medal system!
- Battlefield suppression mechanics!
- Animated battlefield tiles!
- A DRM-free version of the game on release!
- 80 extra soldier portaits!
Sunday - June 10, 2012
Kickstarter - Cult: Awakening of the Old Ones
crazyirish writes in with Cult: Awakening of the Old Ones on Kickstarter, an "open-ended" RPG with "procedural storytelling". Apparently the game is all text at the moment but the developer is looking for a mere $5000 to have a tileset made and set up a website (currently $4485 with 25 days to go, so they will definitely get there):
Cult is an open-ended role-playing game set in a user-generated world with a strong focus on storytelling, exploration, and environmental interaction. In simpler terms, it is about exploring a richly fleshed-out fantasy world unique from any other, with procedurally generated stories, myths, legends, civilizations, creatures, gods, and - well, basically everything! Cult is one part role playing game and one part experiment into the possible depth of procedural generation, and one of my goals with this project is to intertwine computer-driven storytelling with random content in a way that appears as seamless as possible to the player.
I drew my inspiration from games like Dwarf Fortress, the Elder Scrolls series, Darklands, and even Crusader Kings. I have also been heavily influenced by games from the 90's like Chrono Trigger, Secret of Evermore and Final Fantasy 3 which relied on a very strong story to draw the player in and keep them hooked. I love playing open-ended games, but I've always wanted a game that combined a randomly generated, complex world with equally complex stories, history, and characters. Since I've never been able to find any games like that, I decided to make one of my own!
Friday - June 01, 2012
Kickstarter - Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox Nenewed Campaign
A conversation on our forums made me realise Malevolence: The Sword of Ahkranox had ditched IndieGoGo and set up an entirely new campaign on Kickstarter - one that has already been successful ($14k of $6k raised, 8 days to go).
The new pitch takes an entirely different tone and is worth re-visiting, particularly if you looked at their IndieGoGo campaign. Here's the feature list:
If you're just having a quick look, here are the key things that make this game what it is:
- The game is an homage to classic RPGs such as Eye of the Beholder, Might & Magic, Dungeon Master, Stonekeep, etc
- Movement is grid-based and turn-based
- It is set in an infinite, persistent world (yes, persistent, too!)
- The world is rich and full of dungeons, crypts, forests, cities, vast oceans and more
- World is NOT randomly generated, but it IS infinite, so you can share what you find with friends
- Items, weapons, quests, locations, maps, NPCs, even dialogue are generated by the game
- Even some graphics such as weapon images are generated procedurally
- The game is nearly finished, but we need some extra funds to add the final layer of polish to make the game as good as it can be
Monday - May 28, 2012
Kickstarter - Xenonauts Funding Successful
I thought we'd quickly check in on the Xenonauts Kickstarter, which has now passed 100k (double the $50k goal, 13 days to go). Two key stretch goals have been achieved - a dedicated level designer and indoor missions - and a Soviet town tileset is next on the list.
Monday - May 14, 2012
Kickstarter - Xenonauts Stretch Goals Announced
Von Paulus points out the Xenonauts Kickstarter poll on stretch goals has already produced results. It seems everyone wanted new tilesets and they can't do all of three, so they decided on a final stretch goals order, which you can see in this update. Interesting to see Mac/Linux ports right at the bottom of the poll.
Sunday - May 13, 2012
Kickstarter - Xenonauts Funding Successful
Another runaway success with Xenonauts achieving their $50k funding goal in 56 hours (currently $63k, 28 days to go). Stretch goals have been announced and, or course, check out the early demo if you haven't already. Rather than lay out a specific order, the developers have a poll on prefered stretch goals and will try to add them in order of their popularity:
- Mac / Linux port – The game will be ported onto Mac / Linux platforms for release, and hopefully for beta too.
- Female soldiers – We’ll add female soldiers to the game, with 25-30 female portraits and modified Basic Armour soldier art. Battlefield sprites will remain unisex.
- Soviet Town terror tileset ($40k) – the current terror tileset is an American town. To fit with the Cold War theme, we’ll put in an alternate tileset for the Soviet bloc countries using Soviet-style architecture.
- Military Base tileset ($40k) – this tileset would allow us to put military terror sites in the game, where aliens have attacked a military base and you are sent in to deal with them.
- Indoor missions – these would be missions where combat squads are sent into large buildings or into underground bunkers to clear out an alien strike team. We can mostly re-use the Xenonaut Base tiles for this, so this will be a $25k item.
- Reaper (Chryssalid) Hive tileset ($40k) – in addition to the normal alien base missions, we will add Reaper (the Xenonaut equivalent of Chryssalids) Hive missions to the late-game. These would feature “nodes” that spawned infinite numbers of Reapers until destroyed. Yes, I have been playing Space Hulk.
- Tileset-Specific NPC Allies – we do have friendly AI soldiers in the game, but only one type. This would add different variants – police on the Industrial tileset, farmers with shotguns on the Farm tileset, mujahedeen with AK-47s on the Desert tileset etc.
- Vehicle Combat Experience – soldiers level up with experience, vehicles do not. This would allow vehicles to increase their stats (not armour / health) by a maximum of 15% with combat experience.
- Pilot Portraits and Callsigns – at the moment, the aircraft are just aircraft. This would give each aircraft a pilot portrait and a callsign, so they seem less expendable. These pilots will not level up with experience.
- Human Psionics and Blaster Bombs – We’ve removed these from the game due to balance reasons, and we will not put them in Xenonauts. This stretch goal would bundle the game with a developer-made mod that allowed people to put them back in.
- Memorial Screen – This would be a tab on the UI which allowed you to view a list of all your dead soldiers, including the location and time of death, their portrait and number of kills etc.
- Proxy Grenades – These are fun. This would add a secondary fire function to all advanced grenades (Alenium grenades upwards) that allows them to be used as proxy grenades.
- Motion Detector – This would be a one-hand soldier item that, when equipped, will display a coloured overlay on the battlefield to show any AI movement in previous turn within range of the soldier holding it.
- Hire a Level Designer - we will add a lot more map variation to the game before release, but we don’t have a devoted level designer. This will let us hire one.
- Tall Grass – There’s waist-high grass in X-Com. This would put it in Xenonauts too, complete with the ridiculous (yet amusing) fire mechanics from the original.
Wednesday - May 09, 2012
Kickstarter - Xenonauts
Today's Kickstarter project is indie XCOM "remake" Xenonauts. This has been around for a while but now they are looking for $50k for the last stretch. They already have $20k in one day, so this one looks ready for a big haul:
Xenonauts has been in development for almost three years already, and has been available for pre-order for the last 18 months (please see the FAQ if you have already pre-ordered the game). We are planning to release the game this year. Why are we doing a Kickstarter?
The answer is simple - we want to make Xenonauts as good as it can be! We have raised enough money through our existing pre-order system to finish the game, but there are a lot of cool little touches that we want to implement but we simply don't have the resources to justify spending our time on. This is a shame - it's always the little touches that make a game memorable!
Xenonauts is also an incredibly complex game and contains vast amounts of content. We only have three full-time team members (the project lead, one artist and one coder) and they don't even live in the same country, instead working together in a virtual office. Everyone else on the team works with us part-time, around other jobs - the ones that pay the bills. This causes a lot of delays, bottlenecks, miscommunication and stress.
Despite the difficulties, we are nearing completion of the game using this model. However, getting the key team members together full time and in the same place would allow us to respond to bugs and issues more quickly, and finish the game faster and to a higher standard (and with less damage to our collective sanity).
They have a demo you can try, so check it out.
Tuesday - May 01, 2012
Kickstarter - Realm Explorer
Today's new Kickstarter project is Realm Explorer, a sandbox, free-roaming RPG with multiplayer and Minecraft-like elements (digging, building). I'm not clear on the game content beyond roaming, digging and crafting but take a look:
Realm Explorer will be a computer game about creation in the fantasy universe of Gnostaria; your creations. In perhaps the most dynamic sandbox world yet to be conceived you will be able to dig the soil and mine ore, precious metals and gems all in a beautiful and dynamic 3D world. The terrain will shape and form to your actions. Drive a shovel into the ground and watch the earth give way. Heave your pickaxe into a cave wall and see the stone disintegrate before you; revealing the treasure beneath. Go on adventures alone or with friends via internet multiplayer and craft weapons, armor, tools and other items. How you play is up to you. The possibilities are limitless.
- Generate unlimited unique worlds. Explore vast and interesting procedurally generated sandbox worlds set in the fantasy universe of Gnostaria.
- Play online with friends via internet multiplayer or enjoy a single player world.
- Built in server browser. Find other games or host your own.
- Persistent game worlds. Play now and come back to the same world later, just as you left it. Multiplayer games can be hosted indefinitely online for public or private worlds.
- Shape the terrain. Dig anywhere using shovels and pickaxes. Mine resources from natural caves, raise or demolish hills and mountains or construct tunnels.
- Cut down trees to clear land and collect lumber.
- Craft and create any item in the game. There are hundreds of weapons, armor, clothing and more. If it's in the game you can make it. Use the resources you gather to make new and better items.
- Unique crafting system. Use a combination of “hand tools” (e.g. hammers, scissors, saws) in your inventory and “craft stations” (e.g. forges, anvils, looms, tanning racks) to construct different items.
- Complete character customization. Change facial features, hair style, facial hair, skin color and more. Choose between either male or female characters.
- See what you wear. Armor and clothing are visually represented on your game character on a piece-by-piece basis. Mix and match armor and clothing pieces for utility or style. You can wear a different boot on each foot or a different glove on each hand. Your character will look like what you are wearing.
- Visible backpacks and belt pouches. Additional inventory-extending containers like backpacks, rucksacks, belt pouches and belt packs can be worn and are visually represented on your character.
- Expand your inventory slots. Different types of containers will give you more usable inventory space.
- RPG elements including character skills and character development. The more you perform actions the more your skills related to those actions increase. For a pure sandbox experience players can turn off skills and focus entirely on gathering resources and building.
- Drop items. Pick them up later. Items you drop on the ground appear and can be seen or taken by other players (or NPCs).
- Physics. Realm Explorer makes use of a physics engine for various gameplay elements.
- Future game modes including multiplayer co-operative “Defense” mode, where players work together to hold off waves of incoming enemies, are planned.
- Smash and destroy almost any item in the game.
- Real-time action-oriented combat mechanics. One click = one swing.
- Battle fierce enemies. From the common wolf or the mundane rat to incredible golems and horrifying undead.
- Jump between offensive and defensive stances to block and parry attacks. Perform defensive maneuvers like kicks and shield bashes.
- Wield hundreds of different weapons and use different weapon styles; swords, axes, maces, hammers, spears, javelins, bows, crossbows, daggers, knives, one handed weapons and giant two-handed weapons. If one weapon isn’t enough why not use two? Dual wield any two one-handed weapons for double the fun.
- Find and collect rare items and artifacts.
- Interact with friendly and hostile NPCs.
- Participate in dynamically generated quests.
- Experience a breathtaking dynamic weather system and dynamic day and night system.
- Enjoy a brief, optional story campaign “Gnostaria: Golem Wars” and take part in the exciting story of golem-kind throughout the realm. Can a golem really have a heart of gold?
- And much more!
Sunday - April 29, 2012
Kickstarter - Dark Meridian
I've created a category for Kickstarter, since we now get a couple of press releases a week for projects - though most of them are outside the genres we cover.
Dark Meridian is probably outside our coverage but here's one post to gauge the interest. They are seeking $250k and seem to have a fair amount of the game completed:
Dark Meridian is an exciting new fusion of RTS, RPG, and 3rd person shooter. It gives you a persistent RPG-like character with attributes, skill trees, and equipment, and lets you take that character into battle as a fighter, a squad leader, and a commander.
Characters gain levels and are given points that can be used to increase their abilities and attributes. Weapons and armor are awarded to players according to their actions in each battle. How you play and the choices you make when leveling your character will allow you to build a character that best fits your play style, whether that be a hand-to-hand fighter, a ranged marksman, an arcane mage, an efficient commander, or some combination of those.
Players can choose to be in the midst of battle as a combatant and squad leader or they can act as a commander, building their town and defenses. Players are free to switch between commander and combatant as the battle dictates. It is up to the commander to place buildings, decide which technologies to research and which units to recruit. As a combatant, players join the battle from a close 3rd person perspective; they can ride mounts, man siege engines, and command a small squad of AI characters.
The game is built around multiplayer team based play along with single player and cooperative play against AI. Matches are highly customizable, allowing up to four teams with any combination of AI and/or human squad leaders and commanders. There are numerous options to customize a match, including an open world map system that allows for thousands of possible map variations.
Country: United States