Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption
Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption Review
Corwin checked if Hero-U has some Quest for Glory vibe
» Continue reading the article...
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos
The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos Preview
Based on an original French IP, this game came as a bit of a surprise.
» Read the article
Saturday - September 22, 2018
Bard's Tale IV - Helpful Tips Video
Fextralife produced a video to help newcomers to The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep.
In this video, we'll go through helpful tips that we think you'll need to know when you're just starting in The Bard's Tale 4
Warhammer: Chaosbane - Rise of Chaos Trailer
A new trailer for Warhammer: Chaosbane called 'Rise of Chaos'.
Rally under the banner of Magnus the Pious, as you and your friends, become the bane of Chaos. Battle across the Old World in the first Hack N' Slash set in the Fantasy Battles universe, Warhammer: Chaosbane.
Release: In development
Telltale Games - Announces Shut Down
@TechQuila Telltale Games announced that they will be shutting down.
Telltale games, on 21st September 2018 officially announced that it will be shutting down, following a round of mass layoffs for the company’s 250 or so employees which saw almost 90% of the workforce discharged.
Best known for their narrative titles like borderlands, the studio had carved a small niche for itself in the industry.
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Friday - September 21, 2018
ATOM RPG - Announcement 0.8.5
A new version announcement for ATOM RPG. Screenshots at the link.
It's time for our traditional announcement of things to come in the new version, that will be uploaded on Steam in the beginning of October!
- This expansion will expand our world with three new locations, and a whole new second region map (WIP, just for sightseeing);
- We livened up Krasnoznamenny and some other locations with many new characters;
- New craft recipes for weapons and even custom meds;
- Many new quests, as well as the ability to finally finish some of the old ones...
- Enhanced visual effects;
- New ways to gamble;
- Remastered sound;
- New order system for followers;
- Improved AI;
This one is going to be really huge! Thanks for sticking with us!
...and let there be Atom!
ATOM RPGSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Starflight 3 - Chris Taylor Interview
Nighthawks - City of Colours
The latest update for Nighthawks which is currently 52% funded with 13 days to go.
Nighthawks Exposed #8 - City Of Colours
So, we've talked a lot about the game design and writing, but Nighthawks wouldn't exist in any form without the art of pixel-wizard Ben (as lovingly touched up by Ivan - the art, not Ben, at least as far as I know). I'm not going to dig too deeply into the art side, because that's not my field. I can barely draw stick figures. Still, I thought I'd talk a bit about how we came up with the look of the game and what we're aiming for in the full game.
The most important thing is that from the start, we agreed that we didn't want Nighthawks to just be a game of reds, blacks and greys. That looks good in a single shot, but over the course of a whole game you really do start to long for something a bit different. You can still be atmospheric and spooky with light and colour. While we've never agreed on a catchy name for this, I like to think of it as 'electro-goth'. The blue neon outside Nighthawks, the green hue of the streets, and in other areas not in the demo, taking a more comic-book sensibility to location design so that each area has its own palette, its own theme, and cool background details like the Chained Tree of Fountaincourt or [SPOILER REDACTED].
Not all of Nighthawks will be set in the city, due to flashbacks, but even the bits within it need to be interesting. Even though it's a modern city and thus a more familiar location than somewhere like Thedas or Temeria or Taris, or indeed an RPG location not beginning with the letter 'T', it can still be a place that feels interesting to explore and which has its own culture and its own beat. Our four main districts are designed with that in mind. This should be a place that you probably wouldn't want to visit in real life, without vampire powers anyway, but would certainly find fascinating... before being shivved in the back.
The original art is further helped by the fact that our backgrounds aren't purely static, but short 4K movie loops. The idea is to capture a moment in time, but also make it breathe, with rain and lighting effects and smoke and similar. Unfortunately, compression on the Kickstarter video doesn't make this look its best, but trust me, it looks super-crisp and lovely when you see it live. Just a little animated detail really brings the life of the backgrounds out, and we're intending to make the ones for the full game much, much cooler.
Luckily, this is one of those projects where art and design is absolutely on the same page, and I for one can't wait to see what Ben and Ivan do with the rest of the stuff in the design. So far, it's been entirely a case of sending over the descriptions and getting back almost exactly what I had in mind, only way better looking. You know you've got the right artists on board when your longest and fiddliest artistic decision is about your bartender's bra. Not kidding about that. Suffice to say, if you see a character proudly sporting an incredibly frilly one in the final game, you'll know that's almost certainly Ben making A Point.
Thanks Silver Coin!
Release: In development
Encased - Music P1
A new update for Encased talks about music. Encased is 52% funded with 24 days to go.
Encased Kickstarter Update #8: Music - Part I
In today's update we would like to speak about one of the most important aspects for creating the atmosphere of the game — the music. And about the people who composed the main theme for our Kickstarter video.
Make yourself comfortable and get your best speakers, they’ll come in handy! Now we’re gonna show you how the track was being made.loading...
Suddenly, there’s a man responsible for the music under our Dome. Introduce yourself, buddy.
My name is Peter Salnikov and I’m happy to be on board of this campaign. As a composer, I wrote this Encased Kickstarter Theme with my bandmate Ruslan Eldoradovitch.
Peter, you’re not telling us everything. There are no random guys under the Dome. You’re connected to games, aren’t you?
My career could be easily split in two sections. The first is media. After seven years in gaming journalism I decided to quit this profession, and for the last five years me and my partners run an independent lifestyle media called Disgusting Men. It’s the biggest site and community of it’s sort in Russia, we also run the biggest entertainment podcast of the same name. It’s all in Russian, but if you feel like listening to it, check the episodes with Raphael Colantonio (Dishonored, Prey), Daniel Vavra (Mafia, Kingdom Come: Deliverance) – they were published in English as well.
We begin to see the big picture now. let’s talk about music.
Aside of that, for almost a decade we play rock’n’roll with our band called Solar Deity. It’s a real rock band with rehearsals, shows and tours, and its lyrics are in English, so this could be easier to check out. We also did some soundtrack jobs before. Being a curious and a stubborn person, I offered my help to Vyacheslav the way he couldn’t refuse.
Let’s think back a few days ago and recall how did it happen.
The week before Encased Kickstarter launch was pretty tough. We were live streaming, breaking down the musical plan we sticked to while recording the demo of this music. We then held a Skype call with Dark Crystal Games and that was the exact moment when found out that this Kickstarter page will go live on September 13th and not a single day later.
After that, you most certainly did grab you head, saying ‘Guys, to hell with you, we don’t have the time!’ Was it like this? Or...
After a short panic strike we’ve mobilised all our forces to record this music live, as was planned earlier. We wrote the theme together with my band partner Ruslan but in fact there were a lot more people involved in this than the two of us. In a day we got all of them covered: the trombone player, the string trio, the sax guy, the drummer, the sound engineer and the studio fellas – all of them got their instructions, paper score, dates and details. In two days we stood ready at the studio. In short, it was a huge luck to suddenly be able to gather all those gifted (and thus – over occupied) people at one time and place and this fast. We did all the basic job in 24 hours.
Let’s ruin the intrigue from the start: it was much more harder.
The problem was that the Kickstarter video itself wasn’t finished by then, and when it finally was – it was almost seven minutes long vs. two and a half minutes of our music. But that was a part of the deal we made with the Crystals.
And still you managed.
This Encased Kickstarter Theme (sorry, it still has no name but it definitely deserves to have one – leave your suggestions in the comment section below) was built to be a «handcrafted procedural track». In short, all instruments and fragments were recorded in one tempo and key, and though the original track was only 2:40 long, all of its pieces and cues could be cut apart, arranged in any order and length and transformed into a longer track or a smaller jingle. Actually, we learned that playing a lot of Red Dead Redemption and watching this video after. So, after getting a Dropbox video link, we’ve spent a night and a morning bringing the demo music to needed structure. And then our sound engineer Artem brought the instrumental track to the same form.
When we were waiting for the track, we tried to guess, what will it be like… and we didn’t. Although the result surprised us, in a good way. The video provides a sense how this track was being created, but the references and the internal working are still a mystery.
First off, when we had our first meeting with Vyacheslav Kozikhin, we were talking about the references, the vibe we need. We’ve played the pre-alpha build (and yes, we play a lot of CRPGs in general) and figured, why not make it something that would sound sci-fi, post-apocalyptic, western, and 1970’s-ish at the same time? As a reference, we took Dune (1984) soundtrack, the music of The Last Man Standing (1996, a Bruce Willis movie) and mixed it up with our vision of our favourite game music (Mass Effect, Baldur’s Gate, Fallout – there’s a lot of «canon» features if you listen closely). But the main part was to imagine something like this to be played by a real band actually existing in this word of alternative history.
And, well, there you have it. If you’d ask us to think of an orchestra performing in a club somewhere outside the Dome, we’d think of this. Tell us what you think! There’s a lot more job ahead than done, so your suggestions will be considered.
Project funding info
As of today $53,160 pledged by 1,494 backers! Thanks to all of you!
Thanks Silver Coin!
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Bard's Tale IV - Review @ COG
COG has reviewed The Bard's Tale IV:
The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep ReviewThirty years is a long time to wait between installments for one of the most notable RPG franchises in gaming history. Sure, there was a revisit of sorts in 2004 with a version of The Bard’s Tale, but that wasn’t a direct sequel or even a remake. And, yes, VR owners did get a chance to get back into the “proper” lore with last year’s The Mage’s Tale, which set the stage nicely for The Bard’s Tale IV: Barrows Deep. With such a big gap in time between the last main chapter of the story, will it be able to not only connect with the nostalgia factor but also keep things up to date for modern gamers?
There is so much going on that is good that it’s hard to even mention it all. You start with plenty of customization options, not just with character creation, but within classes and skills. All told there are somewhere between sixty to seventy skills per class. I haven’t even mentioned the puzzles, which I found to be just the right mix of difficult, neither boring nor too hard. The story is great, even with the occasional self-spoiler. Combat has a lot going for it and keeps things interesting, but it’s always possible that not everyone feels that way on that front. The few performance issues aside, it’s a game that’s hard not to like. Interestingly enough, prior to release InXile Entertainment CEO Brian Fargo said that if The Bard’s Tale IV sells over two million copies over the first eighteen months he’ll attempt to buy back Interplay. Is this a two million seller over the next year and a half? It very well may be.
- Excellent story and music
- interesting combat style
- Good puzzles
- Lots of options
- Great visuals
- Game occasionally spoils itself
- Long load times
- Some stutters
CrossCode - Review @ COG
CrossCode Review – Can’t Fight With Physics
CrossCode is an RPG that demands your full attention at every turn. Whether it’s solving puzzles, completing quests or surviving the many battles, you need to be on your toes. Honestly, it’s exhausting. But I don’t mind the strain. Indeed, I’d rather more RPGs pushed me in this fashion. Perhaps it’s just the focus on puzzles that permeates every level of this game, but I had to work for every victory. That only made said victories all the sweeter, however.
CrossCode is a mashup of several disparate genres. You’re solving your way through puzzle-laden dungeons, grinding away at MMO-type quests, and cutting your teeth on action RPG combat. For the most part, this combination works. The major drawback for me is that these different genres require different parts of my brain to be active. Jumping from one style of gameplay to the next was honestly a little jarring. The zen peace I find in grinding serves no purpose in the tense boss fights, and even the regular enemies require your full attention at first. On the other hand, the puzzle sections need a whole separate form of patience and concentration. In the end, my love of the grind won out, and CrossCode became that kind of experience in full. I recognize that this kind of patient application may not be suitable for everyone, however. CrossCode is a beautiful world loaded with puzzles of all kinds. If you can find your center among this storm of separate genres, you might really enjoy this game.
- Fun dialogue
- Combat is satisfying and deep
- Big beautiful skill trees
- Quest and story pacing is off
- Difficulty feels uneven
- Certain puzzles were brutalScore: 76/100
Thursday - September 20, 2018
CrossCode - Released
CrossCode 1.0 Out Now!loading...
It's here. The day has come. After 7 years of development, half of which were in Early Access, CrossCode 1.0 finally releases!
Well, what can we say? What a crazy long journey it was. When we started out with CrossCode we've been a small team of inexperienced indie developers. So obviously, we decided to create a fully-featured RPG. Which was stupid ambitious. Yet still... we somehow did it.
And that's because of you! All you amazing people that backed us on Indiegogo or bought the Early Access version, supported us through the years with feedback, suggestions, tons... TONS of typo fixes or just by cheering us on over all this time. You made it possible for us to not only develop all the content we originally planned, but also to improve the game even further, suggesting features and improvements we never originally thought of.
We want you to know that this means a lot to us. It's really hard to describe how we feel right now. Especially since we had to write this text 3 days in advance. It's probably a mixture of extreme happiness and total exhaustion.
We would also like to thank all of our publishers who greatly helped us getting the word out all across the world.
And now the game is out. So it's up to you to play and hopefully enjoy this game of ours. Let us know what you think!Missing Content
Just because CrossCode hit full release, doesn't mean it's complete...!
Well, we already warned you that we might not make it in time and that's pretty much what happened. Steam Achievements and Trading Cards are unfortunately not available yet. However, we'll work on this right away and hopefully add those features within the following weeks.
Note that the game already keeps tracks of achievements internally, so there is no need to replay the game after Steam Achievements have been added - you will automatically get all the achievements you already collected once you boot the game.
Other things, that are still missing and will be added in following updates:
- NPCs, quests, enemies, and food items that we need to implement for our Indiegogo Backers
- A New Game+ Mode
- The Last Minute Hero Guild
- More Quests and proper NPCs for Rhombus Square
- The Arena in Rhombus Square with more combat challenges
- A Ninja Skin for Lea that we promised some of our Indiegogo backers is still in development. It will become available within a few weeks!
We'll also have another post in the upcoming weeks to talk more about our Post-Game content plans.
The 7th CircleSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Star Control: Origins - Available Now
After 5 years of development to become Stardock's biggest release ever, we're pleased to announce Star Control®: OriginsTM, our sci-fi adventure RPG is now available. In Star Control: Origins' adventure mode, players will take control of Earth's first interstellar ship to discover dozens of unique alien races, one of which is the mysterious Scryve who apparently want to completely destroy all traces of human life. Befriend strange extraterrestrials, gather resources from thousands of planets, and engage any hostile aliens as you set out to save humanity from a number of unknown threats. Players looking to directly engage in space combat will want to check out the Fleet Battles mode. In it, players can partake in multiplayer ship-to-ship combat against opponents both online and locally as they pilot vessels featured in adventure mode and custom ships created within the Ship Crafting system. Players have total control over how a custom ship looks, as well as what weapons and defenses it'll wield.
Star Control: OriginsSP/MP: Single-player
Call of CthulhuSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition - New Video
@Wccftech Some new video for Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition which showcases Patty.
New gameplay footage is now available for Tales of Vesperia Definitive Edition, the upcoming remaster of one of the best entries in Bandai Namco’s JRPG series.
The new footage, which can be checked out below, showcases a mix of old and new content. The new footage is also the first time we are able to listen to Patty’s English voice, which is quite faithful to the Japanese one.loading...
Freedom Force - Retrospective Review
Freedom Force retrospective from Retrospective Gaming.
The closest thing we have to a Super hero RPG
I recommend the GOG version
(Stay away from the steam version)
From GOG " From a distant corner of the galaxy, an evil alien race sets in motion a sinister plan to conquer the Earth. They unleash a powerful catalyst — Energy X — that imbues the planet's worst miscreants with super-powers to bring the planet to its knees. Now Earth's only hope lies with a new breed of heroes... The Freedom Force! Command a squad of comic book heroes in the defense of Patriot City. Choose from over a dozen heroes or create your own comic champions. Fight for freedom in over 20 action-packed missions. Restore order in a completely interactive 3D world."
Freedom ForceSP/MP: Single-player
Bard's Tale IV - Patch Plans
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep has a patch plan. The first major patch is scheduled for the 21st September.
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep Patch Road Map
19 SEPTEMBER - PAUL_INXILE
First of all, thank you for your patience and for your ongoing support. We are here to update you on the short-term road map for The Bard's Tale IV so you can get a sense of what's coming. We had a few more problems during yesterday's release then we had hoped for, and we apologize for the inconvenience. We will try hard to solve all of your issues as fast as we can.
One of the biggest concerns has been the delay in delivering the final keys of the game. Both our partners Crowdox and Xsolla faced a situation where these were not distributed as planned and it took them some time to sort it out. Our partners have assured us that all remaining issues should be resolved by today.
We are also aware that some people are experiencing problems with dropping framerates, missing widescreen support, FOV sliders, or unusual high loading times between certain areas. In addition, a small amount of people are encountering a black screen on load. Thank you for all the feedback you have been provided so far, and we want to make sure you see what we are doing with it. Please take a look at our patch notes below for detailed information.
We are working around the clock to solve these issues as soon as possible. Also, we would like to ask you to let us know if there are any other issues that influence your personal gaming experience in a negative way. We have spent a lot of love, time and effort into the development of The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep, and there is no bigger reward for us than if you are enjoying it.
The team at inXile
Patch 1 - Est. Friday 9/21
- We're starting initial work on improving load times to help people playing on non-SSD hard drives. There is more work to be done but it's a big focus of ours in the near future
- Initial work on optimization and framerate improvements.
- Auto-detection of hardware and adjustment of quality settings on initial load of the game. While there is currently auto-detection in the options menu, it wasn't happening automatically. The game defaults to Ultra settings which is likely causing FPS issues for those without high end hardware.
- FOV adjustment slider.
- Fixing wide-screen monitor support. This is part one of a two part plan.
- First is getting the resolution settings working as intended followed by an art pass on the UI elements in patch 2.
- Fixes for a few side quests that weren't triggering as intended
- Fix to puzzle weapons where if a puzzle is solved on the weapon while it's equipped by a player, it will result in the puzzle reverting it's state to unsolved. As a workaround now, it can be solved in the inventory perfectly fine.
- Optimization to Kaels Rudiment that dropped framerate while in combat
- Fix in Magnar's Tower where a lever can be spammed in the shadow combat room that makes a bell hint unreadable
- Fix for a softlock if a tutorial pops up when a player reads a note
- Falkentyne's Fury will no longer persist on the players party team after a combat has ended.
- Fix where the Strifespear's abilities don't play nicely with the Vanguard skill
- Update to the save system that will allow players to delete saves as needed.
- Fix for a bug where killing Charn Cultists with Falkentynes Fury, which would result in a soft lock.
- Fix for spellpoints not updating correctly on the stat sheet when gear is equipped and unequipped.
- Fix where in rare instances, activating a standing stone of gratitude before going into a combat can result in a soft lock
- Fix for a duping item issue by replacing a non-stackable trinket with a stackable one.
- Fix so MACO compass can't be spammed outside of combat, allowing for a stacked stun chance.
- Fix where pausing the game during a cutscene after killing Yadis can cause the game to enter an unresponsive state.
- Fix for the wraith where it shows 3 mana before summoning but actually costs 4 mana.
- Other smaller fixes
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics - Releasing October 4th
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics will release October 4th.
Challenge the Great Old Ones from October 4th
20 SEPTEMBER - RIPSTONE
*Exciting news claxon*
We're super excited to announce that Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics will launch on Steam on October 4th!
We also have a brand new gameplay trailer for you and a whole new set of exclusive screenshots that are now live on the Steam store page. The new assets showcase various locations from numerous missions within the game and also provide a first look at some of the mythical Nazi weapons and enemies you will be faced with.
Check out the new launch trailer below!loading...
With exactly two weeks to go until the launch of Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics, we're going to be sharing even more behind the scenes content and giving you an insight into the Forest of Fear. If you have any questions, please let us know below or drop us a message in the Community Hub. We can't wait to share the game with you next month!
Thanks for your support
Achtung! Cthulhu TacticsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Dead In Vinland - The Vallhund DLC Released
A new DLC for Dead In Vinland has been released called 'The Vallhund' as well as a large patch and new languages support.
The Vallhund DLC is available now! + 1.2 Patch + New languages!
20 SEPTEMBER - HEGOR
Hello survivors! Time to welcome the Vallhund in your camp!
The first DLC for Dead In Vinland is available now!
That's right, you can now get a new member in your camp! This is actually the first time that we've released a DLC for a game, sooo we're quite nervous! We hope you'll like it!
Owners of the Vallhund DLC will trigger a mid-day event where they will be able to "recruit" the dog into the camp. It will happen on day 5 for new games, but you can also load your save and the event should trigger the next mid-day if you already passed day 5.
The little dog will now be part of your camp, and each half day you'll be able to select 1 action that the dog will do. (more on that later)
The dog has 2 gauges: Affection and Energy
Energy will enable him to do more complex actions, and is spent when you do any action.
Affection will enable him to learn new tricks.
The dogs' actions are very diverse:
The most basic action: Rest! The little dog will regain Energy.
You can send him to Fetch resources: Bones, Basic resources, Food
Decrease states: Depression and Injuries
Give bonus Traits to Kari or the whole camp
Treasure hunt: he will try to find one of the Skill Upgrade items!
Like every other camp stations in the camp, you can "upgrade", or rather, train your dog! This training won't take any in-game time, so the effects of that training will be immediatly available after the upgrade.
And of course, there is a little story between your beloved dog and Kari... We added a few night events for them. Will Kari manage to train this cute little dog to be a fearsome beast? 😉
If you want to know everything in detail about this DLC and the 1.2 Patch, please head to our official blogpost[deadinvinland.com]
The Vallhund is available for $1.99/1.99€/£1.69!
Something that was very requested by our players was new languages! Today, we're very happy to announce that Dead In Vinland now fully supports:
Polish (Community translation. Thanks A LOT to our awesome polish translators: MrOrochimaru, Amne, Jacek "OddFables", Kosciesza Starszyjsierzant, Wioleta (Vix) Perkowska)
Italian (Official translation. Thanks to Roberto Bertoni of Daring Touch))
Chinese (Official translation. Thanks to our chinese partner WhisperGames)
There are quite a lot of new features included in the 1.2 Patch:
Random traits for enemies
Crits on camp actions
Upgraded battle character sheet
3rd focus for the exploration
Rework of how the breeding chances
Rework of how the traps and dryers work
You can now check the characters' sheet during the night
And many others!
Dead In VinlandSP/MP: Single-player
Wednesday - September 19, 2018
Das Geisterschiff - Released
The adventure RPG / dungeon crawler hybrid Das Geisterschiff (The Ghost Ship) has been released today:
Das Geisterschiff is a turn-based cyberpunk adventure/dungeon crawler hybrid with survival horror elements where you play as a mecha pilot working for one of the megacorps.
By 2072 the Earth turned into a scorched wasteland, forcing the population to move underground while two megacorps are stuck in an endless war over the territory and resources. After graduating from the military academy you've decided to join one of them.
- Non-linear dungeons filled with dangerous encounters, traps and puzzles;
- Survival horror on steroids: no healing, no ammo pickups, no mercy;
- Nuanced turn-based combat within dungeons;
- Unique wireframe-like graphics supported by atmospheric electronic soundtrack.loading...
Das GeisterschiffSP/MP: Single-player
Left Alive - Interview & First Look
@Wccftech A first look at Left Alive and an interview with the developers.
Why have you decided to blend all of these genres together?
Really the idea is that different people have different ideas in their head about how they want to play. Some people are very good at action games, some people aren’t so good at action games. We wanted to give them that freedom of choice to play the way they wanted to.
It also gives you the chance to roleplay in different ways. You can play as a moralistic character if you want to go through and be scrupulous or you can play more of a pragmatist if you want.
Do the three characters reflect different aspects of game genres?
You’ve always got the option of how you will handle each of the characters here. They’ve obviously got their own backstory and reason for being in the city when it was invaded, and they’re all dealing with their past as well. So you’ve got the choice: if you really resonate with that character and their background and think they should be played a certain way you can, or you can play how you want to play if you prefer.
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
InXile Entertainment - Brian Fargo Wants Interplay Back
PCGamesN reports on a tweet made by Brian Fargo that indicates he will buy back Interplay if The Bard's Tale IV sells well.
Brian Fargo was a founder of Interplay way back in 1983. The company’s impressive list of credits covers everything from The Bard’s Tale to Fallout and now, it seems, Fargo wants to buy it back. Of course, videogame companies don’t come free, and he says there’s one condition before Interplay comes back to one of its original founders – you’d better buy his next game.
Xenonauts 2 - September Update
The September update for Xenonauts 2 highlights the progress that is being made in many areas.
Xenonauts-2 September Progress Update!
Now the dust has settled on our successful Kickstarter campaign, it's time for a progress update on Xenonauts-2!
There's lots of exciting stuff to talk about, even though the lingering admin from the Kickstarter has kept us busy and the summer holiday period means that we've frequently been without one or more important team members!
The first thing I want to show off is a very early incarnation of the air combat. The art and design are both still very rough, so try to look past all the placeholder art from the first Xenonauts and the rather simple combat interactions in the video.
Our objectives for the X2 air combat were to make something that was fast-paced but still rewarded the same skills as the rest of the game – tactical and strategic planning (I felt the X1 air combat emphasized reactions over good tactics). I've been playing with a lot of different ideas over the past few years, but I feel we've now hit on a good idea that will be able to combine both speed and tactical depth once complete.
Essentially the player has a certain number of turns to shoot down each UFO before it engages its jump drive and escapes from your interceptors. Your interceptor weapons have limited ammo and generally do more damage the closer you are (as do the alien weapons). Your interceptors can make one move each turn before they attack, but the UFO is also able to move - which it does by moving your jets up and down the battlefield to represent it speeding up / slowing down. Different UFOs will of course have different strengths and weaknesses, and the system supports up to three combatants per side.
I'll likely be writing an entire update devoted to the new Air Combat model once things are a bit more polished and the design has developed further, so I won't try to explain any more about the rules for now – but I just wanted to show everyone that we do already have a basic air combat system working and hooked up to the rest of the strategy layer!
Armory & Soldier Equip:
The next thing I wanted to talk about is the Armory screen and the soldier inventory mechanics. The UI concept above incorporates two major mechanical changes since the start of the Kickstarter, and also gives you some idea of the direction we'd like to take the final UI now we can afford to divert some of our funds to a dedicated UI artist (although it is only a rough style / layout concept, so don't read too much into the details).
The first big mechanical change is the return of the grid-based soldier backpack from Xenonauts 1. We were initially planning to remove this as part of a package of changes to make the inventory system less cumbersome, but we reconsidered our position after the community raised some valid points about why this might make the game less interesting to play. We're currently in the process of implementing the old backpack / inventory mechanics (they'll be in for the closed beta), as well as the other planned changes that were uncontroversial improvements to the system.
The second change is my first concept for the modular armour system that forms part of the modular equipment stretch goal. This works by splitting armour into two different inventory slots: the "Armour" and the "Plating", and giving items in both a set of % resistances against different types of damage.
The “Armour” is the base layer of armour your soldier is wearing – at the start of the game it's the blue Tacsuit, but your research efforts soon unlock different types of suit that offer better / different protection against the various damage types (ranging up to the endgame Exosuit).
“Plating” represents any additional armour you wear on top of this base suit, so the starting Tacsuit allows players to wear either “Light Kevlar” or “Heavy Kevlar” plating (the heavier plating offers more protection but weighs more). As the player progresses through the research tree, the Plating can be upgraded – e.g. Kevlar vests become more protective Alloy vests, etc.
This system allows players to mix and match armour to suit the specific mission. If you want good Chemical protection, you can equip your soldiers with a Chemsuit but then issue your assault troopers heavy plating and your snipers light plating. The way that plating upgrades through the game keeps older types of armour relevant, too - that same Chemsuit will still be somewhat viable in the late game if you have sufficiently advanced plating available, although advanced tech like an Exosuit would obviously be better in most situations.
Remember that this idea is still at concept stage and not yet implemented, so it may well change prior to release (or even prior to the closed beta!)
Finally, I just want to show off a quick piece of concept art for a new alien to go in the game. The 3D art for this alien is not yet complete, but it's planned to be a single-tile psionic support unit.
We've got a number of new aliens working their way through our art / design pipeline, and we're making an effort to include some more distinctive aliens in the game this time around. There's certainly a place for humanoid aliens in space jumpsuits in the alien roster, but I think any X-Com successor also needs to embrace some of the absurdity of the original games to properly capture their spirit. A floating alien brain seems a pretty good place to start!
Anyway, that's enough from me - there's a lot more I'd like to talk about but I really should get back to work! The closed beta is still planned for the start of November and I'll keep everyone informed on our progress towards that deadline as it approaches.
Xenonauts 2SP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Vanguard Faction Gameplay
A new video for Age of Wonders: Planetfall looks at the Vanguard faction.
Planetfall takes the fantasy series into the realms of science fiction, adding new ideas to the mix of empire building and turn-based tactical combat. Emerging from the ruins of a fallen galactic empire, you’re looking to ascend to rule the galaxy once more, whether playing through a single player campaign, on randomised maps or against friends in multiplayer.
Release: TBA 2019 / Pc, Ps4, XBoxOne
Age of Wonders: PlanetfallSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Mass Effect - Drew Karpyshyn Interview
Drew Karpyshyn was interviewed about Mass Effect by tic games network.
Drew Karpyshyn on Mass Effect
One of the things we asked Drew about was how Mass Effect came to be, including whether parallels to Knights of the Old Republic were intentional and trying to understand the overall process behind creating such a huge new IP. We also asked about what it was like putting together the team for Mass Effect.
He told us that “What we usually try to do with BioWare is we try to build on what we’ve done before. So there was a lot of the same team, some of the writers, some of the artists, a lot of the production people, from KOTOR, came on to Mass Effect. We worked well together, we had done a pretty good job on KOTOR, it was a already a big success so wanted to keep a lot of that team together.”
He also talked about the nature of the conversation wheel and how things changed with having a voice protagonist.
Mass EffectSP/MP: Single + MP
Platform: PC, Xbox 360
Encased - Random Encounters
A new update for Encased about random encounters. Encased is now 38% funded with 28 days to go.
Encased Kickstarter Update #5: Random Encounters
Whoa, this update came out of nowhere, didn’t it? Kind of snuck up on you, just like one of our random encounters!
Our random encounter system is one of the features we’re most proud of. Here’s how it works:
Every encounter in Encased is its own post-apocalyptic story. Some of these stories will resolve on the spot, others will require significant effort and maximum concentration. Many encounters have consequences and lead to a whole new series of quests.
Random encounters occur when the player travels on the world map. A player’s Stats as well as the world’s condition directly affects which stories will be generated.
There is still civilization of a sort in the east of the Dome. You might meet a water caravan, slave traders, or a Kshatriya patrol. You may stumble upon a suspicious house, or a car riddled with bullet holes and carrying a mysterious case on the back seat. You might discover money or a relic inside.
Encounters in the east are mostly social in nature, while the west is almost barren of life. Salt marshes and white sand tell completely different stories: of bare survival and limited supplies, of struggling against the elements. You may find yourself searching out rare underground facilities offering shelter and relief from the relentless heat.
The south of the Dome also has underground complexes, but travellers won’t find any welcome there. The south is an old communications center, a place where ancient battle machines lay buried beneath the sand and rocks. There are countless small bunkers here, the kind where once you enter, the somehow still-powered doors slide silently shut behind your back.
The north lands are now ruled by the New Committee. You may meet police and army patrols, come upon restricted areas where weird experiments are underway, and whole fields of abandoned vehicles rusting away to nothing.
Sooner or later, fate will lead the player to the very center of the Dome where Maelstrom runs rampant alongside gangs of insane raiders, and the stranger anomalies summoned by Tower radiation. Encounters near the center involve battles with bandits, surreal zones of abnormality, the constant chatter of insane Maelstrom, and many other unusual and exciting events.
When we say ‘many’ unusual events, this is no exaggeration. Encounters in Encased cannot all be resolved with combat. There are meetings with characters, secret locations which cannot be found any other way, and vignettes — brief but detailed text adventures, where the solution will depend on a player’s decisions, Stats and Skills.
For example, while travelling the desert the player may discover a spacious house. The doors are all locked, but there is definitely something going on inside. The player may break in (Lockpicking), enter through the open window on the second floor (Deftness), slip in through the back door (Sneaking), or simply knock and ask them to let you in (Looks). Although if you are unsuccessful, there’s always the risk of a bullet to the face. Perhaps, the player is wearing a mad raider’s mask or has shown up at a gang lair in a Black Wing uniform. Anyway, there is always a way to complete an encounter, even if it’s not immediately obvious.
At this point most of our planned 75 random encounters have already been written. With your help there can be even more!
Project fundraising report: $38,260 pledged by 1,010 backers! This means we’ve successfully raised almost 40% of our base goal, and are moving quickly past to the next milestone! Thank you so much!
Special thanks also to our friends at Larian Studios and especially to Swen Vincke for their generous contribution, shout out and moral support! Larian is constantly raising the bar for CRPGs with their beautiful games. Larian’s love, dedication, and creative energy make their studio a role model for all of us at Dark Crystal Games.
Thanks Silver Coin!
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Tuesday - September 18, 2018
General News - A book about The Story of Ultima
A book about the story of Ultima, Origin and Garriott, named Through the Moongate, is currently on Kickstarter for the final steps of its release.
If you have played a computer role-playing game (CRPG), chances are Ultima played a part in its inspiration. Created by visionary Richard Garriott, and produced by his company Origin Systems, Inc., Ultima is one of the most important and influential CRPG series in the world. Through the Moongate illuminates the path of the Ultima games' history and the creative people behind this landmark series. It also covers some of Origin's other games, especially Wing Commander, and touches on several contemporary titles. Many of these tales have never before been told.
As I traced the paths of the Ultima games and those who worked for Origin Systems, I began to realize the multitude of games that would not be possible without the influence of Richard Garriott, Origin Systems, and Ultima series upon the industry. To ensure their place in history, I've included special coverage of the Wing Commander and Ultima Underworld series, plus significant CRPGs of the era such as Star Trek (PDP), Empire and other PLATO games, Escape! and RobotWar by Silas Warner, Temple of Apshai, Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord, Wizardry II: The Knight of Diamonds, Escape from Mt. Drash, Moebius: The Orb of Celestial Harmony, Autoduel, Ogre, 2400 A.D., Questron, Tales of the Unknown: Volume I, Wizadore, Dungeon Master, Times of Lore, The Black Onyx, Dragon Quest, and Xanadu.
Thronebreaker - Launches October 23rd
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, which was originally named Gwent: Thronebreaker, will be avalable on GOG at the 23rd of October.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
Thronebreaker is a single player role-playing game set in the world of The Witcher that combines narrative-driven exploration with unique puzzles and card battle mechanics. Crafted by the developers responsible for some of the most iconic moments in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the game spins a truly regal tale of Meve, a war-veteran queen of two Northern Realms - Lyria and Rivia. Facing an imminent Nilfgaardian invasion, Meve is forced to once again enter the warpath, and set out on a dark journey of destruction and revenge.
Throughout the adventure, players will explore new and never-before-seen parts of The Witcher world, embark on thought-provoking quests featuring rich, multidimensional characters. All while gathering resources to expand their army and engaging in epic story battles powered by the skill-based battle system known from GWENT: The Witcher Card Game.
Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales will release on PC via GOG.com on October 23rd, with a console release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 set for December 4th. Details regarding the pricing of Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales will be released in the future.
On that same day Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is coming out of beta as well and will be available for free.
Genre: Card-Based RPG
Release: In development
Depth of Extinction - Almost Ready
In a recent blog for Depth of Extinction, we are informed that the game is almost ready to be launched. Here is the launch trailer.
We skipped an update for Build 44 but are going to cover that build plus 45 in this extra special “last” blog post before the final stretch run to release the game onto Steam, GOG and itch.io! We will have an announcement regarding the launch date later this week.
Depth of ExtinctionSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Legends of Ellaria - Goes RPG
In the latest version of Legends of Ellaria (currently in closed beta) the RPG system has been implemented, but it still has places to go.
We are excited to announce that a new version 0.5.42.01 RPG Leveling System is up
We have been working on different features and fixes, and we are finally ready to release some of the progress to you.
In this version, you will now find:
In future versions we will be adding:
- New RPG system where you can level and invest in attributes, bonuses, and abilities.
- Added support for proficiencies, power attacks, and status effects
- Remade the character inventory and character stats user interface from scratch
- Remade most of the animations
- Remade the character controller. The character movement is smoother now.
- Rebalanced all RPG statistics
- Included a status bar during combat for viewing NPC stats
- Included a 3D character display in the inventory
- New skills
- Kingdom Management
- World map
- UI and graphics improvements/optimizations
Legends of EllariaSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development