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Sunday - February 26, 2017
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Balrum

2017-02-20

Balrum Review

Balrum was released almost a year ago, so with no further delay, here is our review.
» Continue reading the article...

RPGWatch

2017-02-02

Game of the Year Awards 2016 - Most Promising RPG

What is the most promising RPG of 2017? Like every year, you had your say. Check out the details to find out what games we and our visitors think are most promising.
» Read the article

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Picture Watch

Sui Generis
Box Art

Poll Watch

What Game to Review Next?
Balrum
40%

The Dwarves
34.29%

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14.29%

Halcyon 6
11.43%

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Sunday - February 26, 2017

Pillars of Eternity II - Paypal and Next Stretch Goal

by Myrthos, 15:28

Now that the Fig campaign has been closed For Pillars of Eternity II, the raising of funds continues by means of Paypal pledges. Next to that also a new stretch goal at $4.75M is announced.

We have a few special things to share with you as our campaign comes to an end. First we have a special message in video format made by Adam Brennecke, the executive producer of Deadfire  - with some fun behind the scenes footage of the game. We also have a new stretch goal for $4.75 million - Sea Monsters and Fishing! We blew by the last stretch goal of $4.25 million and we will now add a Talking Intelligent Weapon to the game, and are on our way to the $4.5 million stretch goal which will add the Ship Crew feature! Amazing!

And here is a thank you video.

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Pillars of Eternity II

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Ghost of a Tale - At GDC2017

by Myrthos, 15:23

In a recent update Seith shares the information the Ghost of a Tale will be at GDC2017 and also provides other information about Xbox One, a new forrested area, improved night skies and updated assets.

I implemented dynamic vegetation throughout the game and since I was at it I also redid the grass assets. The previous version was alright in game when the camera did NOT look down at it. But as soon as it was, the dreaded “razorblade” effect was kicking in. But no more!

And the grass interacts with Tilo in a much more natural manner, while being more or less exactly the same number of polygons as before (if you can believe it)!

There’s something to be said for testing your assets in the worst possible conditions (using unflattering contrast); if you manage to make them look nice in those cases you can be fairly sure they’ll look good in-game.

Ghost of a Tale

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

For the King - Early Access Update

by Myrthos, 15:17

After being in beta for a while For The King will be available in Early Access on the 28th of this Month.

Greetings! As some of you may know, For The King will be launching into Early Access on Steam on February 28th! For those who didn't get to try out the Beta, this will be a perfect time to have an adventure or two. And for those who did try the Beta, there are significant and exciting updates since the last official Beta release.

How will I receive my Key for Early Access?

Those with Beta keys can continue to play with their same key. Early Access will be replacing the Beta version in Steam so apart from a quick update, the process should be seamless.

Those who pledged at The Traveler tier will be receiving their key via BackerKit. BackerKit will email you directly with a perma-link to your BackerKit. You should already have this link (it's the same one you used to fill out the post Kickstarter survey). But just in case you don't, be on the lookout for a BackerKit email on Tuesday.

What if I ordered a GOG Key? Will I still get to play in Early Access?

You bet! We're sending everyone a Steam Early Access key, regardless of your platform preference. Those who wanted a GOG key will receive a temporary Steam Key. Then, once FTK is up on GOG, we'll send you your permanent GOG key.

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

The full version will add support for a balanced 2 player adventure (currently only the single player and 3 player coop adventures have been balanced). New loot and equipment, including the majority of Kickstarter Backer items will be slowly introduced throughout Early Access. The final version will also contain the Frost Realm and Jungle Realm, along with new enemies and encounters. We’ll also be unlocking several Points of Interest like the Warrior’s Arena, The Mage Dungeon, The Water Temple, and more.

In addition, we'll also be adding support for Steam Trading Cards, Steam Achievements, Cloud Saves and language support for French, Spanish, German, Italian, and possibly Russian.

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

The core adventure is complete from beginning to end and the first couple Acts have received significant polish and balancing. Currently only the single player and 3 player coop adventures have been tuned. All cooperative modes can be played both locally and online. There are still some rough edges which we’ll be polishing based on your feedback and we’ll be adding new content up to and beyond our full release. The Lore Store (which contains persistent unlockables) is functioning but will grow significantly in size prior to full release.

For the King

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Roguelike
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Regalia - New Trailer

by Myrthos, 14:59

Regalia: Of men and Monarchs is to be released on the 27th of April. For this a new trailer has been released showing the features of the game.

Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs is a tactical RPG that's equal parts humor, fairytale, and adventure. Publisher Klabater and developer Pixelated Milk are happy to announce the release date has been set! The game will be playable at PAX East Boston!

Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs is a fantasy game developed by Pixelated Milk and published by indie video game publisher Klabater. The game will be released April 27th.

Your story begins in somewhat unexpected circumstances. Who would have thought that after your father passed away you would inherit... a wondrous kingdom far, far away? Unfortunately, the problem is that as soon as you arrive in Ascalia you find out the kingdom is drowning in debt. And this burden is yours to carry!

That's why the kingdom of Ascalia needs your help. Not only is the royal vault empty, but it seems the rest of the city is... well, in ruin. To bring glory back to your family's name, you will have to work hard, use diplomacy, and run the city like a true ruler!

In Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs you will explore a fairytale universe, experience a story full of twists and turns, and learn how to rule a kingdom. You will take part in turn-based combat in battle against a wide range of monsters and bandits, while you will need to employ strategic thinking to ensure the prosperity of your land. You will travel through six different regions full of missions - with over 30 hours of playtime. Meet companions, make friends, and forge enduring relationships - it is certain to pay off.

You won't have to wait long, as indie video game publisher Klabater and developer Pixelated Milk can proudly announce that the release date of Regalia for Windows, OS X, and Linux is set for April 27th.

But you don't have to wait to play. Preview keys are available right now and Regalia: Of Men and Monarchs will be at Klabater's booth at PAX East in Boston, March 10-12th!

FEATURES:

  • Robust turn-based combat full of challenges
  • 6 different regions to explore, each filled with battles, adventures, bosses, and more!
  • More than 20 unique characters to meet, recruit, and befriend. Foster relationships and create the ultimate team of misfits!
  • Everything you need to be a successful king: town management, diplomacy, expeditions, and more
  • A light-hearted story with tons of humor and a fair amount of epicness
  • Over 30 hours of gameplay
  • Huge replayability factor: you won't discover all the content in just one playthrough
  • Craft powerful new weapons
  • Beautiful graphics with hand-drawn 2D backgrounds
  • Orchestral soundtrack composed by Game Audio Factory, known for their work on Furi, Endless Legend, and Endless Space
  • Professional English voice acting
  • Samurai dwarves!

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Regalia

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

System Shock - February Update

by Myrthos, 14:51

Nightdive Studios is working towards something that can be shown next week, according to the February update of the System Shock remake. Next to that the update has information on art and audio, which comes with a video.

As always, we have some awesome art from Robb Waters and Robert Simon to share. Check out these super cool environments:

Concept art of Citadel Station Medical Deck entrance.
Concept art of Citadel Station Medical Deck entrance.
Concept art of Citadel Station's eerie vent system.
Concept art of Citadel Station's eerie vent system.

 

System Shock

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Story Summary

by Hiddenx, 08:19

Farflame spotted a story guide for Mass Effect: Andromeda at PCGamesN:

Mass Effect: Andromeda story guide - premise, plot, bad guys and the Cerberus theory

For all that BioWare have told us about the people and gameplay of Mass Effect: Andromeda, we still find ourselves wondering what actually… happens

In the original trilogy, the Reapers were established as the coming galactic apocalypse from the first mission of the first game, and the overarching conflict of the series was how to discover, forestall and then survive their eventual attack.

If you’ve followed Andromeda at all, you know there’s none of that this time around. You know you’re off to explore a new galaxy, but what exactly are your goals when you set out, and what challenges will you face when you arrive? Read on for everything we know so far about the premise, major plot points and antagonists in Mass Effect: Andromeda, including a fan theory that the Andromeda Initiative are much more than they seem.

[...]

Mass Effect: Andromeda

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Bethesda Softworks - Todd Howard Interview

by Hiddenx, 08:14

Polygon interviewed Todd Howard who has been inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame recently:

Tomorrow night, Bethesda's Todd Howard will be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame. It's a fitting honor for a developer who has steered two of the most esteemed game series, The Elder Scrolls and Fallout.

His most recent work — Skyrim (2011) and Fallout 4 (2015) — are highly regarded role-playing explorations of a fantasy world of dragons, and a post-apocalyptic zone of decay and dastardly conspiracies. Both were critical and commercial successes.

Skyrim particularly seemed to catch its moment. While RPGs were once a niche entertainment for relatively small numbers of adherents, Bethesda's dragon-slaying magical exploration game punched through to the mainstream media, and meme status.

He says the game's high profile success caught him by surprise. "I don't know how it happened," he says. “We could feel it when it crossed over to being referenced on television or other places. It's nothing we could ever plan for. It just kind of happened.

"Certain things came together. People's mood, timing, vibe, marketing, all of it. But it happened very quickly, almost as soon as the game was out."

Howard believes the elevated status of RPGs is due to the fact that so many games now borrow some of that genre's fundamentals such as NPC interactions, exploration, character upgrades and strong story. But the big breakthrough comes from freedom of movement.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Bethesda Softworks

Details

Pillars of Eternity II - Interview

by Hiddenx, 08:07

Gamebanshee's Buck interviewed Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart about crowdfunding, design goals and about Pillars of Eternity II:

Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire Interview

While Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire is now successfully funded and moving on toward more stretch goals following the Fig campaign, I was able to sit down with Obsidian Entertainment CEO Feargus Urquhart earlier this month - before the past week's events had transpired as this interview had to go through a transcription and review process - and talk to him about the business side of crowdfunding, the RPG sequel's design goals, their forthcoming Pillars of Eternity tabletop RPG, and much more.

Beyond that, Feargus also answers a handful of questions about sales figures on their past games, the "super secret" project being worked on by Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky, their latest game pitches, and a variety of other topics. Oh, and he essentially announces that Pillars of Eternity III will be a reality:

[...]

Buck: I was curious about the investment aspect of Fig, as that is where this new platform really differs from Kickstarter. Can you talk a bit about how the selling of $1000 shares works? How do these people get a return on their investment? Are these everyday people, friends, family, companies… maybe even publishers?

Feargus: I don't know. So first off what we've been trying to do is, on that subject of knowing who is investing in things like that, we've actually been sort of very separate from Fig. We've been trying to run the reward funding part of it and not talking to Fig a lot about what's been going on since the campaign started as it related to the investment because I wanted it to be their decision as to sort of how they the investment money, what's the due diligence they're doing and things like that. So I am sort of leaving it to them to decide how we do.

Now, how does it actually work? So what we did is we sort of picked a $14 million number which was to say at $14 million of revenue for Eternity, that's where people will – whatever money they get – get their money back plus 13%. Then at that point in time in essence, the return drops by 50% and then they continue to get a return that's sort of 50% lower at that point. How the numbers will work in essence, is it will be something like, it kind of says it on the page, let me just see if I'm saying it the right way. If we get the full two and a quarter million, in essence, what happens is 16% of the money that we're getting in, up to $14 million goes to the investors and then after that 8% goes to them.

So that's kind of how it works, they'll get a return, they'll get their money back plus the return at $14 million and then the speed of the return will go down by half.


Buck: Wow. Does that entitle them to any of the pledging rewards? Do they even get a copy of the game?

Feargus: No. It's interesting; we originally wanted to do that but it kind of creates this weird – it's sort of like, is that then part of their return? Now, there has to be tax documents that say this is the return they're getting including the game. And it was just like, while it seems silly that we can't give them a game for investing, there was tax reasons on why it was complicated.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Pillars of Eternity II

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Dungeons 3 - Available Fall 2017

by Hiddenx, 07:59

The dungeon management game Dungeons 3 will be available in fall 2017. Farflame spotted  a new trailer at Gamepressure:

Dungeons 3 will let you expand your dungeon and conquer the surface world

Dungeons 3 is in works, Kalypso Media announced today. The third game in the series inspired by Dungeon Keeper will let you build a dungeon and conquer the world above.

Kalypso Media is collaborating with Realmforge Studios on Dungeons 3, another installment in the series of light-hearted strategy games inspired by Bullfrog’s cult classic dungeon manager Dungeon Keeper. The two previous parts were fairly good – actually, the second was better than the first, meaning that developers learned from their previous mistakes, which bodes well for the third one. Dungeons 3 has been announced to come out this fall for PC (Windows, Linux), Mac, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Here’s the reveal trailer:

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[...]

Non-RPG General News

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Unknown
Genre: Unknown
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Saturday - February 25, 2017

Genesis Alpha One - New Roguelike, Basebuilder

by Silver, 22:22

@Gameinformer Genesis Alpha One is a roguelike shooter with base building and survival elements.

Team 17, publisher of games like Worms and the upcoming Yooka-Laylee, has announced a new "mix of roguelike shooter, base building and survival" titled Genesis Alpha One.

The game's debut trailer shows off how those disparate elements come together to create a coherent sci-fi thriller. As you build your base through an isometric interface, you'll discover aliens aboard your newly-built station, which means you'll have to take care of them yourself or build limited-use defenses to help you out. With this being a roguelike and all, proving yourself fit to be one of the last remnants of mankind will likely be no easy task.

The trailer also hints a few story details, such as computers determining that in order to save mankind, you'll have to build "a new one." Whether that means repopulating the planet or creating a new species is unclear. The game does not currently have a release date, but will be coming to both consoles and PC.

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Non-RPG General News

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Unknown
Genre: Unknown
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Final Fantasy VII - 20 Years old

by Hiddenx, 17:09

Do you feel old now? GameSpew take a look back at Final Fantasy VII:

20 Years With My First RPG:
A Final Fantasy VII Retrospective

This month marks Final Fantasy VII‘s 20th anniversary. Feel old yet?

Originally debuting in Japan on 31st January 1997 for PlayStation 1, it later followed in the West, with a September release in North America and November in Europe. Whether or not you believe that VII is the best in the franchise, there’s no denying that the fan base behind it is arguably the most dedicated.

Final Fantasy VII was a big shift for the series, creating something bold, more mature and modern, with the intention of being more inviting to players who may not have been previously acquainted with the RPG genre. I’ve known friends, family members, classmates, and coworkers who were non-RPG fans that played this game upon release and I’m sure a lot of you out there could share the same story. From the original 1997 PS1 release to all ports in between, Final Fantasy VII is the best-selling title in the series with over 11 million units sold.

[...]

Final Fantasy VII

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: J-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Baldur's Gate 2 - Retrospective Review

by Hiddenx, 17:04

The Game Masters look back at Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn:

Game Masters retrospective:
Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn

We take a look back at why it was one of the best games of all time

The maxim that newer is better dominates almost all parts of modern culture, especially when it comes to anything intimately connected with the world of technology. It’s no surprise then that gamers love new things, whether it’s the latest piece of hardware that will push up framerates, or the newest entry into a beloved series.

In this mad rush towards the next big thing it’s sometimes far too easy to dismiss and forget about the great creations of the past, the result of an implicit — and sometimes explicit — belief that a game that received a 10/10 review in 2000 couldn’t possibly be as good as one that received the same score in 2017.

[...]

Baldur's Gate 2

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Greedfall - First Look

by Hiddenx, 16:48

LastKnownMeal tells us everything he knows about Greedfall:

GreedFall - First Look at the Upcoming Open World RPG (Everything We Know)

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Today we take a first look at GreedFall, an upcoming Open World RPG made by Spiders developer studio and published by Focus Home Interactive. There isn't much out there about this game but I managed to find some things to talk about. Sit back, relax and enjoy the video!

Greedfall

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Historical
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Preview

by Hiddenx, 01:02

RPG Site has previewed Mass Effect: Andromeda:

Mass Effect Andromeda Hands-On: Finally reassured and impressed by Bioware's latest

Mass Effect: Andromeda is pretty damn close, and how close it is has left us a little... well, worried. The game is almost out and we've barely heard anything, so when EA finally gave us a call and asked us if we wanted to come and play the game we of course snapped their arm off.

Here's the good, short news: a little over three hours with Andromeda greatly reassured us that EA hasn't got anything to hide with its weirdly reticent marketing strategy - the game actually feels pretty damn good and seems to have some interesting, fresh new ideas for the series while remaining absolutely true to what people loved most about the trilogy. Also, no: it's not Inquisition in space.

You can find me nattering over some gameplay footage (provided by EA - they didn't let us record our own) - below. Then more words!

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[...]

Mass Effect: Andromeda

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - 0.3.7 Update

by Hiddenx, 00:09

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem has been updated to version 0.3.7:

Update 0.3.7 : Skull Crusher, new armors and more !

Hi everyone !

Update 0.3.7 has been deployed ! A new monster is awaiting in the grass fields, the mighty Skull Crusher. We’ve already revealed some of his moves in a previous devblog and you can now fight against him if you wish to test your skills.

To help you turn the tide in your favor, we’ve added three new sets of armor to the game : two light and a medium armor set. Proper affixes should roll on those new armor types, so players can better gear their characters according to their playstyle.

We also improved the Orc Charger. His charge is now smoother, and he’ll fall to the ground when hitting a wall.

This should be the last update before our next big milestone, update 0.4.0, which will introduce new major mechanics and new content. A lot of background work has been done in the past weeks in order to prepare for this huge update, so expect changes in overall balance and feel of the game.

[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Friday - February 24, 2017

Xenonauts 2 - Demo released on GOG

by Silver, 21:54

GOG have the Xenonauts 2 demo available to download now but you will need GOG Galaxy to download it.

Description
About: This is the free public pre-alpha of Xenonauts 2 - a very early build of the game intended for gameplay and stability testing. This demo requires GOG Galaxy to download and will NOT grant a copy of the final game (it will be deleted once the game moves into the paid alpha stage.

Xenonauts 2

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Tactical RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - System Requirements

by Silver, 21:50

The system requirements for Mass Effect: Andromeda have been posted on Origin.

System Requirements

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

OS: 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5 3570 or AMD FX-6350
MEMORY: 8 GB RAM
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB, AMD Radeon 7850 2GB
HARD DRIVE: At least 55 GB of free space
DIRECTX: DirectX 11

RECOMMENDED SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

OS: 64-bit Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows 10
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-4790 or AMD FX-8350
MEMORY: 16 GB RAM
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GTX 1060 3GB, AMD RX 480 4GB
HARD DRIVE: At least 55 GB of free space
DIRECTX: DirectX 11

Mass Effect: Andromeda

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Pillars of Eternity II - Final Hours

by Myrthos, 15:28

The final hours of the FIG campiagn of Pillars of Eternity II are here. With a bit more than 10 hours to go (at the moment of this writing) and more than $4M raised, update #17 talks about companion number eight, a new stretch goal at $4.25M (a talking weapon) and an overview of the add-ons.

Ydwin, our eighth and final companion (we hope!), is a pale elf rogue/cipher with extensive training as an animancer. She was born in a remote, lawless settlement in the White that Wends, where she witnessed the cruelest extremes of kith and nature. Her observations fueled a fascination with animancy, and she eventually made her way to the Vailian Republics to study. She's since become an accomplished master in the field, and advances with luminous adra in the Deadfire have drawn her to the archipelago.

Pillars of Eternity II

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Alaloth - Announced for PC and Consoles

by Silver, 03:13

IGN reports on Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms, an action RPG with isometric graphics and souls like combat and Chris Avellone is helping with the lore and characters.

Gamera Games has announced Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms, an isometric action-RPG in development for PC and consoles, scheduled for a 2018 release, and being created in conjunction with RPG legend, Chris Avellone.

Described as a cross between Dark Souls and Amiga cult classic Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight, Alaloth will be broadly divided into two gameplay phases. Movement across the game's overworld is turn-based, with players visiting points of interest to upgrade their character, buy mounts or visit the ruling families of the game's four kingdoms to be given new quests or learn about the world's political make-up.

On a first playthrough, players will choose from one of four races, and have to ally themselves with an existing house, each with an existing history and tie to one of the kingdoms. After one full completion, however, players will be able to create their own house, with customisable banners, mottos and more.

[...]

The idea appears to be to offer a combat system modern players will immediately understand and gel with, but set within a truly old-school setting, allowing for the story complexities (Game of Thrones is a constant touchstone for Belli) and open-ended nature of classic CRPGs, like Planescape: Torment or Fallout 2.

That's presumably where Chris Avellone - director-designer on, er, Planescape: Torment and Fallout 2 - comes in. Gamera has brought in the founder of RPG specialist Obsidian as a creative consultant to help create the world's lore and character backstories, as well as provide feedback on its overall design, which he describes as involving "mechanics I've rarely had a chance to work on before."

Alaloth

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Obsidian Entertainment - Leonard Boyarsky @ SINFO 24

by Hiddenx, 00:40

Obsidian's creative director Leonard Boyarsky talks about his life in the gaming industry at SINFO 24:

SINFO 24 - 23 FEVEREIRO

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Obsidian Entertainment

Details

Thursday - February 23, 2017

Underworld Ascendant - The Evolution of Lizard Men

by Silver, 23:56

Underworld Ascendants latest update focuses on the evolution of lizard men from look to sound with interviews from the people responsible for both.

The Evolution of the Lizard Men - Part 1: The Look

We recently spoke with character artist Jed (BioShock, Rock Band) Wahl about his current modeling work on Underworld Ascendant's Lizard Men, his early efforts on the BioShock series, and how he got his start.

What originally got you into modeling for games?

I started making digital models at the MIT Media Lab, creating characters for interactive installations designed by graduate students. I got interested in pursuing 3d modeling professionally after participating in some contests held by the late, great Paul Steed at the website Polycount. Paul gave me a lot of encouragement and his book on using 3d Studio Max was a real godsend for me. I really owe that guy a lot.

What was your first game?

My first shipped game was Irrational's Swat 4, working as an environmental modeler. My favorite part about that project was coming up with the theme and decor of the serial killer's lair.

Did we hear correctly that you did all the character models for BioShock? Which was your favorite to work on?

I sculpted the high and lowpoly models for most of the characters, including the Splicers, the Bouncer, Little Sister, Andrew Ryan, Atlas, and the player hands.

My fav is definitely the Bouncer, designed by our own art director Nate Wells. As soon as we saw his ortho design, we felt it could become an iconic character.

My first pro character model ever was an early Splicer concept, also by Nate. This was before programs like Zbrush, so he was done using old-school box modeling methods in 3ds Max.

Something I wish we'd had time to put into the game involved rare Little Sisters dressed in outfits raided from an abandoned costume shop. Their expressions would be modded to suit their pretend identity; a cowgirl Sister could have referred to her Big Daddy as "Sheriff," while a space cadet could call him "Commander," for example. It would have been a fun way to add variety to the Sisters, but there was simply no time in the schedule to make them.

Can you walk us through the process of modeling the Lizard Man for Underworld Ascendant?

Since this was the first sentient character we've designed for the game, there was a lot of iteration and experimentation involved. We also wanted to find a good middle ground between the two major concepts that we'd shown in the backer poll some time ago: a design that was overtly lizard-like while also having the potential to appear intelligent and civilized.

Nate explored concepts via clay and I made a series of quick rough models in Zbrush that explored different proportions and features. A great tool during this process was Adobe's auto rigging tool Mixamo, which it allowed me to take these simple models and quickly get them moving so I could evaluate how their silhouettes looked in a variety of actions. I've included a small sampling of these experiments here, starting with a version inspired by our Blue Lizardman from the poll. From there we explored making him less chameleon and more iguana based, and you can see how he evolves from a more whimsical race to one with a build that can demonstrate equal amounts of strength, agility, and nobility.

Early modeling explorations by Jed

Once Nate was happy with the overall forms of the lizardman, he did a drawover of the model's face to define the kind of scale treatment he was looking for.

From there I refined the hipoly model in Zbrush. This is also one of our first characters done in the "authored style," so there's a lot of experimentation involved at this stage as well.

I generally approach it stylistically as though I'm making a fantasy miniature (which I've sculpted about two hundred of while working for the board game company Greenbrier Games), but still allowing for more detail that I know would end up being lost on a 28mm scale figure.

Low poly renders of the Lizard Man

I created a low poly model from that using the Freeform tool in 3dsMax. His polycount is about 18k, a far cry from the 4-6 thousand used in Bioshock. He was UV mapped in 3dsMax and his normal maps were projected in Knald. From there, I began texturing in Substance Painter.

Next time, we'll show the final pass at the Lizard Man, plus give a new peek at the Mind Crippler. Anything you want to tell fans about it?

The Mind Crippler has been great fun. It's much more bizarre and otherworldly than what I usually get to make. I've always loved/been repulsed by brain-themed creatures... One of my favorite toys as a kid was a cheap PVC figure of a Grell from Dungeons & Dragons. Working on this feels like a fun homage to that thing.
[...]

Underworld Ascendant

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Shock Tactics - Preview @GameGrin

by Silver, 23:10

GameGrin has previewed Shock Tactics and finds it a promising title that wears its XCOM influences proudly.

...
"All units can use all weapons and armour, regardless of class, so players are free to choose how they will equip their squad" Leonard tells me. "You have three abilities that are class-related, and three slots that are unlocked with level and can then be trained. You can also change them later in the game."

One of these abilities is the awesome teleportation skill, that allows your soldier to place three beacons and teleport to each of them in quick succession, shooting whichever enemy is closest to each one. Leonard utilises this to clear out half an enemy squad, before losing an allied mercenary to enemy gunfire.

Although the game is focused on aggressiveness, it is not meant to be frustrating and punishing. Whenever your soldiers die, you got three turns to reach them and stabilise their vitals, meaning they get to rest for a few days in a hospital instead of a cemetery. The campaign also keeps the difficulty slightly in check: "It starts with a tutorial, and then the player gets a story about why they're there and it sets up the game. It tells them what they have to do, and then we basically let the player loose." Leonard says. "He can explore the planet and choose the missions, they're pretty free at this stage. And then, the Consortium invasion fleet is coming to the planet, and the player has 70 days to prepare. So these 70 days are like the exploration phase of the game, and after those 70 days, his outposts get attacked by the Consortium and the enemy troops get way stronger."
[...]

A new gameplay trailer was also released recently.

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Shock Tactics is a turn-based sci-fi strategy game with squad management, exploration, base building and tactical combat that captures the heat of the battle while maintaining fluid gameplay. http://shock-tactics-game.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shocktactics...
Twitter: https://twitter.com/PointBlankG4mes

Shock Tactics

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Commanding your Squad

by Silver, 22:26

A new video for Mass Effect: Andromeda that shows off squad commands and combat profiles.

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Pre-Order Now: http://x.ea.com/27451
Watch Part 1 in the series: http://bit.ly/2lMDgqn

Welcome to the Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay series. In this video, learn all about how to customize your character, progress your skills, and command your squad. In Mass Effect: Andromeda, you are on a mission to find a new home for humanity. How far will you go?

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Coming Spring 2017 to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Xbox One

Subscribe for all Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay & trailer videos: http://bit.ly/1UnWxV0

Mass Effect: Andromeda

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Prey - New Powers Trailer

by Silver, 22:23

@DSOGaming Bethesda have released a new trailer for Prey which shows off some of the powers in the game.

Bethesda has released a new trailer for Arkane’s Prey, showing some of the game’s aliens and powers that players will have. In Prey, players will be able to possess almost all objects; from coffee cups to… bananas. Prey is powered by Crytek’s CRYENGINE and will be released on May 5th. Enjoy!

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Prey

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Pamela - Entering Early Access March 9th

by Silver, 22:18

@DSOGaming P.A.M.E.L.A. is entering Steam early access March 9th. There are some new screenshots at the link also.

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http://store.steampowered.com/app/427...

P.A.M.E.L.A. is an open-world, utopian survival horror game coming to PC on March 9th 2017. Get more info at http://www.pamelagame.com.

Explore and survive in a Utopian future, ravaged by humanity's misguided pursuit of perfection. With the help of an enigmatic ally, scavenge, discover and fight for your life on Eden, a floating monolith of a dead civilization.

SURVIVE - Eat, sleep, and find shelter in a strange and unforgiving world.

DISCOVER - Unveil the tragic mysteries that lie within the walls of Eden.

SCAVENGE - Find supplies and equipment before someone else does.

BUILD - Utilize advanced technology to construct and fortify your own safe haven.

FIGHT - Wield a wide array of advanced equipment and weaponry to defend yourself against Eden's residents

We are currently in alpha development for Windows PC. Stay tuned for more updates!

Pamela

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Elder Scrolls Online - Return to Morrowind Trailer

by Silver, 22:13

Bethesda has released their 'Return to Morrowind' gameplay trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind - Return to Morrowind Gameplay Trailer | PC Xbox One & PS4

The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing (MMORPG) video game developed by ZeniMax Online Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It was originally released for Microsoft Windows and OS X on April 4, 2014.It is a part of The Elder Scrolls series, of which it is the first open-ended multiplayer installment.

As with other games in The Elder Scrolls franchise, the game is set in the continent of Tamriel and features a storyline indirectly connected with the other games. The Elder Scrolls Online had been in development for seven years before its release in 2014. It initially received mixed reviews, but these improved significantly with the re-release and rebranding as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, with the majority of reviews praising the changes.

Elder Scrolls Online

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Deus Ex: MD - A Criminal Past

by Silver, 22:06

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has its second narrative DLC now available called 'A Criminal Past'.

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Posing as a convicted criminal, Jensen is transferred deep into a hostile, high-security prison for augmented felons, with his mission being to track down a fellow undercover agent who has gone dark. To achieve his goal, Jensen will need to confront a darker side to his role before the day is done.
A Criminal Past, our second narrative DLC for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is now available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One

Deus Ex: MD

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: Shooter-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Torment:ToN - George Ziets Interview P1

by Silver, 09:00

Forbes interviews George Ziets, who is the lead area designer for Torment: Tides of Numenera, in the first of a four part interview.

...
What does a writer do during a typical day at work? How does this change over the development cycle?

Early in the project, writers are pulled into preproduction tasks. At InXile, we're in the initial stages of Wasteland 3, so the writers have been brainstorming ideas for characters and factions, writing up design documents for companion NPCs, evaluating possible improvements for our writing tools, getting pulled into story meetings, and updating our dialogue-writing guidelines. The early part of a project can be unpredictable, with lots of impromptu discussions on every aspect of design.

Once preproduction is finished, writers will settle into a more regular routine. We'll assign them dialogues and text, plus deadlines they need to hit. We try to make sure that each writer can "own" a chunk of the game. It's usually better if one writer handles all the writing for a particular level or zone. They feel more ownership, and the tone for that area of the game will be more consistent.

Toward the end of production, when all the dialogue and text has at least a first pass, the writers start revising and fixing bugs. They'll go back over their work to make it better, while our testers send them all the typos, inconsistencies, and logic errors that they've found. At the very end of the project, some of our writers might be pulled into publicity events with the press, and they'll help write and review our marketing materials. Then, even before the project is finished, they'll start brainstorming ideas for the next project... and the cycle continues!

How does your time divide between writing original content and reviewing and editing content to make sure the whole thing hangs together?

Most writers spend a majority of their time writing new content or fixing bugs. The task of reviewing their work usually falls to the narrative lead. When I've been in that role, I spent about 30% of my time reviewing other people's work. Larger studios sometimes have full-time editors who handle much of the reviewing and editing burden, but it's still a good idea to play the game carefully and make sure everything is consistent - character voices, tone, presentation of themes, etc. Writers know the story better than anyone, and we'll catch problems that other people miss.

[...]

Torment:ToN

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Technofantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Wednesday - February 22, 2017

Divinity: Original Sin II - Larian needs you!

by Hiddenx, 23:36

Larian wants your Divinity: Original Sin II test data:

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Needs YOU!

Oh sure, it's easy to look at a video game and think "this came together really well because of the programmers, or the artists, or the very, very attractive and humble writers," but it's a little more complicated than that.

The fact is, any game that we make is a draft before it goes through testing. A well-tested game is a well-polished game, and that's part of the joy of early access! Every single person that sits down to play Divinity: Original Sin 2 generates testing data, but it's only useful if we get to see it.

How do we get to see it? Well, once you close the game you click the friendly little box that appears asking if you’d like to share the game data with us. It really is that quick and that easy.

Sure, but does it really matter?

Yes! VERY yes! It's easy to think "all this data just goes in a big bucket, I'm sure they have plenty - they don't need mine", but the amount of data isn't half as important as the variation. We can catch game-breaking bugs or exploits because one person thought outside the box and did something we didn't expect, or which 99% of players missed. It's these outliers - these individuals - that help give us the fine layer of polish that we're aiming for in Divinity: Original Sin 2. So please, don't ever think that your contribution will be ignored, or isn't worth much. Every piece of data is sacred, and we need each bit we can get.

So what exactly do we track?

If it’s in the game, then we want to know about it! We want to work together with you to produce the best game possible, and that means giving you the chance to share as much game data as you can. But what exactly are we interested in? Here's a summary of the data you can send us.

Position:
There are a bunch of ways out of Fort Joy, and we need to check which routes are used most often (and therefore might be too easy) or which are barely used at all (and may need to be tweaked or balanced.) The same is true of treasure that might be too easy/difficult to find, fights that people are missing, or characters and quests that aren't getting the attention we expected because people just don't spend enough time hanging out in shady alleyways or exploring caves.

We use this data to create a heatmap, which tells us the most common paths people take and which areas they explore. This is also very handy for spotting and fixing mistakes like "I'm pretty sure you shouldn't be able to walk through that wall" or letting us add a chest to reward you for walking through that Sourcerer's cunning wall illusion!

Primary Stats:
STR, FIN, INT, WIS, etc. are the beautiful three-letter building blocks of any character, so it's important we track what builds you're working on and spot any inconsistencies in the system. What stats are picked more than others, and does that change as you level? Does that indicate that any of them are over/underpowered?

Secondary Stats:
In regards secondary stats, the experience points you gain and the speed you gain them at is essential for the pacing of the game. We also need to know how quickly you move and what resistances you're working on so we make sure the levels ahead are balanced and well-paced.

Items and Inventory:
Making sure you have the right equipment as you go is vital, so we check how much you're picking up along the way, and what sort of armour you’re using. This lets us know if there’s too much or too little, and if it's the right level.

Tags:
Tags are a foundational part of Divinity: Original Sin 2, so being able to track the origins, race, and profession tags used is as important as anything else. Also, some tags are dynamic, and are added or removed as you play, which will have to be tracked and carefully balanced to make sure they work well in the final game.

Abilities and Talents:
As the nuts-and-bolts of combat and exploration, making sure abilities and talents work is core to making sure the game plays well. We need to find out what's popular. What ain't? How many of you are picking PetPal? What weapons specialisations do you love? What spells are being used in every battle, and what needs to be buffed up a little?

Gold:
How are you making your gold? Is most of it looted directly or does it come from selling items? Do you have enough gold? Are you doing okay? Can you afford rent and still spend the occasional night at the tavern?

[...]

Divinity: Original Sin II

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details