ATOM RPG: Post-apocalyptic indie game
RPGWatch Indie Showcase/ ATOM RPG
In our second installment of the Indie Showcase, we take a look at ATOM RPG.
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Forgottenlor dives into Vigilantes and finds some good and bad.
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The Watcher's Guild
The Watching Eye
The Watchers' Rest
The Watchers' Place
The Vigilant Watcher
The End-of-Watch Tavern
The House of the Lost Souls
I know a better name
Wednesday - March 20, 2019
Final Fantasy IX - Review @ RPGFan
RPGFan has reviewed the remastered version of Final Fantasy IX:
Final Fantasy IX (Remaster)
"The fun and magic that made the game memorable are still present, but also improved upon in many meaningful ways."
I finished high school about 15 years ago, as of this writing. My memories of those days are fond, talking Magic: The Gathering and video games and just letting my nerd flag fly. My friends and I revelled in the golden age of RPGs, so the work of Squaresoft was a hot topic for us. One particular quote from my good friend Eric, which I can only paraphrase, has always stuck with me, as he summed up the three main Final Fantasy entries of the era:
"Final Fantasy VII is like an anime, VIII is the emo afterschool special, and IX is the Saturday morning cartoon."
I did not play Final Fantasy IX for many years after high school, and I could only question why it took me so long when I eventually did! Final Fantasy IX was a truly magical experience that returned to the roots of fantasy established in the first entry of the series. Bright and bouncy, with a decent level of drama and a memorable cast, the game lived up to my friend Eric's assessment at the time. However, a little older and wiser though I may be, I'm not sure his reductive statement holds true anymore.
Final Fantasy IXSP/MP: Single-player
Path of Exile - Upcoming Synthesis Patch
An upcoming patch for Path of Exile's 'Synthesis' expansion makes many changes and improvements.
We're continuing to work on improvements for recent content, based on your feedback. We're planning to release the 3.6.2 patch by the end of this working week, which contains a lot of Betrayal changes as well as whatever Synthesis ones are ready. Please note that the following list may be changed prior to the release of this update.
The following improvements are planned to be included in this patch:
- Fixing various issues where monster packs in Fragmented Memories and the Memory Void didn't contain the correct Rare monsters. This also fixes the issue that many players are having where they can't find the Rare monsters required for the "Defeat Synthesis Monsters" challenge.
- Adding labels to Synthesised Chests.
- Reducing number of additional monsters that spawn during Betrayal Intervention encounters. Monsters will respawn less frequently as well.
- Fixing various issues where Niko would not show up in areas for some players, preventing Sulphite from being spawned.
- Increasing the amount of Mastermind Intelligence gained at the completion of a Safehouse.
- Adjusting Intelligence gain values from Betrayal encounters.
- Further changes to address lag and client freezes during Intervention encounters.
- Adding a "release" option that players can select if they don't want to make a choice at the completion of a Betrayal encounter.
- Intervention targets will now deal less damage for a short duration after they have spawned. This is intended to give players more time to react and to re-position as needed.
- Areas prior to Maps will only spawn a single Betrayal encounter. Map areas will continue to spawn three encounters. While we understand that players have been able to somewhat deterministically find Betrayal encounters by repeatedly creating new instances of areas such as The Quarry or The Foothills, we don't want this to be the correct answer. It is both bad for server load and not exactly the intended avenue to gather Intelligence. We are adjusting Intelligence-gain values towards Safehouse unlocks and Mastermind unlocks which should give players quicker access to these without having to resort to creating the same area repeatedly.
- Transportation encounters require you to be closer to them before they'll begin. Previously, they began when you were further away than felt correct.
- Fixing a bug where Intervention encounters could not occur if you had already completed another Job in the same area.
- Fixing a bug where Sulphite Veins in an area affected by the Monstrous Treasure prophecy would not give any Sulphite.
- Fixing a bug where various Sextant modifiers spawned their monsters or barrels inside of Fragmented Memories.
- Adding the ability to toggle visibility of map modifiers on or off.
There are other Synthesis changes that we are working on but can't commit to for 3.6.2 as they are taking some time to finish, test and finalise before they can be patched in. Some of these may have to wait until 3.6.3, which we're targeting to release sometime in the middle of next week.
Path of ExileSP/MP: Massive
Genre: Hack & Slash
Disney - Reviving Lucasfilm Games
PCGamesN reports that Disney is reviving Lucasfilm Games.
In the last few days, Disney has posted job descriptions for numerous roles, all specifically for work at “Lucasfilm Games”. These include producers, marketing coordinators, art directors, and other major roles. It even looks like there’s going to be separate branch for Asian territories.
According to the postings, Lucasfilm Games will be working on “interactive products” based on Star Wars or other Lucasfilm IP, for “all digital platforms”. These include PC, Mac, all current-gen consoles, mobile phones, and AR/VR devices. We’re already expecting Willow VR to be announced later this year.
System Shock - Gameplay Video
@DSOGaming A 21 minute long gameplay video from System Shock Remake.
Nightdive Studios has released a new video, showcasing 21 minutes of gameplay footage from the upcoming remake of System Shock. As the team noted, the level shown here, Medical Level, is not the final version as there are missing enemies, weapons, effects, and sounds.
System ShockSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Tuesday - March 19, 2019
Sekiro - Gameplay Overview Trailer
Release: In development
Starpoint Gemini 3 - Lore Timeline
A new update for Starpoint Gemini 3 looks at the series timeline and the events that have taken place.
In recent days, we got a number of questions regarding the timeline lore of all games from Starpoint Gemini series. Since each sequel had a different perspective on the events in the SPG universe, but they are all linked, we've decided to make a quick rundown of all major events dating back to a period even before the original Starpoint Gemini took place.
Hope you'll like this little chronology, as it puts things in a linear, easy to follow chain of events.
Just to give you a heads up - timeline stops just as Starpoint Gemini 3 is about to begin. We wouldn't want to spoil it for you...
Btw, if you have any comments, questions or simply want to chat with some like-minded players in a more direct manner, feel free to join our OFFICIALLY VERIFIED DISCORD server:
But, back to our ancient story of what really happened in Gemini (and beyond)...
First human expedition arrives on the planet Mars and establishes several permanent outposts2040.
Construction of the first Martian city and a planetary shipyard2050.
Colonization from both Earth and Mars spreads further to other planets of the Solar system2065.
Horrible tragedy on Earth during testing of an advanced new ship propulsion for extra-solar travels. Main governments and corporations evacuate to Mars2072.
Colonial Alliance is founded and includes all colonized planets of the Solar system2091.
Colonial Alliance returns to Earth and starts a war with the remaining population in order to establish a new social structure2102.
War on Earth ends, new Earth Alliance is established and it includes the planet Earth and six Solar colonies2137.
Construction of the first Starpoint, a gateway to Sirius system2140.
First scientific and military vessels enter Sirius system. A new colonization begins2183.
Colonized planets in the Sirius system in open rebellion against Earth Alliance. State of emergency is declared2184.
Earth Alliance crushes the Sirius rebellion. First Colonial Directorate is established in Sirius to maintain order2185.
Foundation of the Earth Empire, all emergency jurisdiction is permanently in the hands of High Governor and his Council2189.
Colonization of Orion system begins, second Colonial Directorate introduced2192.
Science vessel „Nostromo“ investigates newly discovered wormhole and reaches the Gemini system, very unusual and unstable system with large number of habitable planets2197.
Starpoint Gemini constructed, colonization begins rapidly, third Colonial Directorate founded2210.
Empire begins the Orion Project, the creation of enhanced humans based on uncovered alien technology2270.
First uprising erupts in now very populated and wealthy Gemini system2271.
Enhanced human clones in Orion start an open rebellion. Imperial Command attempts to shut down the project2273.
Colonial Directorate defeated in Gemini, the Starpoint incident closes the Starpoint and Gemini remains separated from the Empire2274.
Empire makes the first contact with a presumably extinct alien species in the Orion system. Aliens help human clones in the rebellion2279.
Imperial forces are driven out of the Orion system. Project Eulogy begins with great haste.2280.
First two Leviathans cross to Orion system, both get destroyed in heavy battles2290.
Human hybrid clones invade Imperial main space with the alien support2295.
Empire is losing grip on its main space. It is driven to desperate measures. Two Leviathans travel to Sirius system but are lost without a trace. Spread out imperial armada abandons search2296.
Starpoint Gemini is reopened, second Gemini war ends. Empire suddenly commands full withdrawal of all remaining forces to Gemini system, including the remaining Leviathans. Earth in the Solar system is no longer the foothold of humankind.
Starpoint Gemini 3SP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
System Shock 3SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Monday - March 18, 2019
Paradox Interactive - New Images for Vampire Game
PC Gamer reports on Paradox Interactive sharing some new screenshots for its Vampire game.
From the images, posted on Twitter, we think we can pick out the Surfside Diner, The Ocean Hotel in flames, The Ventrue Penthouse, The Malkavian Mansion, the Nosferatu Sewers, and Fat Larry's van.
It's all pointing towards either a remake or a follow-up to Bloodlines, and Paradox promises that "something big" is coming next week during the Game Developers Conference.
Guilds Of Delenar - Releasing 22nd March
A new patch for Guilds of Delenar which releases on the 22nd March.
Patch .13: Rogue Shadow Tree and lots of improvements and fixes.Hi Everyone!
Lots of small things this weekend, and a bit more Rogue stuff... Im pretty sure I forgot to write some stuff down, but more of the small things are stuff I noticed while watching gameplay videos from people... The UI is starting to get more smooth (still has a ways to go, but I am trying to round off the sharp edges the best I can).
- Rogue Shadow Tree is expanded now.
- New Skill Weaving Resource: Conceal, This reduces all damage taken by 2% per stack.
- New Rogue Talented Skill: Blind, Blind causes all abilities with a chance to hit (meaning not heals or buffs), to have a 35% chance to miss or resist.
- New Rogue Talented Skill: Slowing Poison, This skill reduces actions points by 1 (minimum 1), and does moderate damage over 3 seconds. This can stack up to 3 times.
- Fixed a bug where music volume was not adjustable.
- The tavern in Drom will now also attract Rogues and Paladins.
- Fixed a bug with the displayed path in dungeon.
- Fixed a bug with treasure chests gold and fame transfers.
- Fixed a 1080p sizing issue in the party menu.
- Fixed a bug where a defeated dungeon party could becomes dislodged from the draw manager.
- Added some text below the party slots that tell you to click the slots to select party members.
- Changed the tutorial that tells you to go to Cletus' house, to now require that you have a path there before going away... This should prevent users from dismissing the tutorial without reading it, and then having no idea what to do...
- Added a tutorial that describes how to move and use abilities in combat.
- fixed a bug where upon the first load, the Home Town Heroes had incorrect health/mana values.
- Fixed a bug with background music being to quiet.
- Guild members in the barracks are not much easier to select
- The tavern should no longer generate lag when creating new heroes.
- Now if you drag a party over a building it will lock to the node point. This is in direct response to videos of the game being played by others :)
- The screen centering now detects if the active unit is within a range rather than the exact middle, the scroll speed is also much faster.
Anyways I hope you all can see that I am gonna be patching a lot (thats kinda my MO for those that dont know me), and that things will get fixed, improved and expanded pretty rapidly as the days/weeks go by.
Game comes out in under 5 days, I hope to see you all on the 22nd!
Guilds Of DelenarSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Fade to Silence - Releasing April 30th
@DSOGaming Fade to Silence is set to leave Early Access April 30th.
Black Forest Games has announced that Fade to Silence will leave Early Access on the PC on April 30th. Fade to Silence is a survival game in which players take the role of Ash, a natural but tormented leader. In that role players explore a post-apocalyptic, frozen wasteland to gather the resources necessary to establish a refuge for survival.
Fade to SilenceSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Morrowind - The Story of Rebirth
@PCGamesN The modders behind Rebirth for Morrowind tell the story behind the mods creation.
Have you ever looked at an in-game object and thought about its positioning or placement? For Morrowind Rebirth creator Trancemaster_1988 such minor detail has been a fascination for more than a decade as he’s steadily worked on his passion project. This attention to detail seems to explain why Rebirth has been in development since 2010 as even the smallest, most easily overlookable details can take weeks to implement.
This is something that RubberMan – a long-time friend of Trancemaster – who creates dialogue, models, and features such as the banking system in Rebirth, knows well. He recalls how Trancemaster once requested that all the furniture in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind be redesigned so that it’d easier to place flat objects on them.
Platform: PC, Xbox
Editorial - Missions with Meaning
Player2 is in search of missions with meaning.
I’ll bet, if you have read this far, there is one game that is in the forefront of your mind. So I am going to mention it. The Witcher 3. If there is a better example of what I am talking about I am yet to play it. In fact, I think it is fair to say that The Witcher 3 has changed what it means to have a living, breathing, meaningful world in a game. Just mention the Bloody Baron and anyone who has played the game instantly reacts. But the thing is, to complete that quest you did things players had been doing in games for years. You went to point A, looked for an object, killed some baddies, returned to base, went to point b, discovered a truth, killed some baddies, returned home. Questing 101 right? But what made that quest so impactful was how the story intertwined with the gameplay. There were repercussions and consequences to your actions, your choices had an impact in the world, changing it in ways that would remain consistent for your remaining time spent with Geralt. For the rest of the game, every time you visited that area of the world you were reminded of your actions and what became as a result. The Witcher 3 changed the way we look at story, at purpose, in an open world and nothing has even come close since.
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Sunday - March 17, 2019
Mass Effect - New Version of ALOT mod
@DSOGaming The latest version of the ALOT mod adds more than 5 gigabytes of new textures for Mass Effect 1 & 2.
Mass Effect fans, here is something for you today. Modder ‘CreeperLava’ has released a major new version of the ALOT, A Lot of Textures, mod for Mass Effect 1 and 2. This new version is 5GB in size and features more than 256 new or improved textures for Bioware’s classic titles.
Mass EffectSP/MP: Single + MP
Platform: PC, Xbox 360
Cyberpunk 2077 - Gaga on Board?
PCGamesN reports that Lady Gaga is possibly attached to Cyberpunk 2077.
While those reports are currently unconfirmed, the suggestion is that Gaga will perform motion-capture (and presumably voice acting) for the game. Sources also state that her involvement with the project will be officially announced during E3 2019, and that we’ll find out the Cyberpunk 2077 release date at the same time.
Cyberpunk 2077SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Eternity - Review @ Wccftech
Wccftech has reviewed Eternity: The Last Unicorn:
Eternity: The Last Unicorn Review – Deserving of Extinction
Video games have been on a bit of a Viking kick recently. God of War, The Banner Saga, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, and more have tapped into those heavy-metal album cover Nordic vibes, and why not? Who doesn’t enjoy cleaving a frost giant’s head in two with a battle axe? Eternity: The Last Unicorn, a new action-RPG from Brazilian developer Void Studios, is the latest game to go to the Norse mythology well.
Actually, Eternity: The Last Unicorn has a number of influences. Yes, it does the Viking thing, but it’s also inspired by PS1-era fixed-camera classics and modern hardcore action-RPGs like Dark Souls. Needless to say, the game is a bit of a mishmash, but is the combination just crazy enough to work? Is Eternity: The Last Unicorn action-RPG Valhalla or will it pillage your patience? Let’s find out…
Eternity: The Last Unicorn is a less-than-magical mix of misplaced PS1-era nostalgia and shallow Dark Souls mimicry. Nearly everything about the game, from its fixed camera angles, to its clunky combat, to its copious backtracking is broken or irritating in some way. If challenge is all you’re looking for in a game, perhaps Eternity: The Last Unicorn is for you. Everyone else will likely find it as fun as a sharpened horn to the eye.
- You may learn a bit about Norse myths
- Masochists might enjoy themselves
- Fairly lengthy quest
- Bland story and characters
- Dated camera angles and visuals
- Sluggish, shallow, broken combat
- Tons of tedious backtracking
- Worst crafting system ever
- Riddled with bugsScore: 3.5/10
MISTOVER - Announced
The turn-based RPG MISTOVER will be released this summer:
The unexpected appearance of the Vortex, Pillar of Despair, unleashed dreadful creatures that brutally raided the world. Defenseless and vulnerable, mankind was soon on the verge of extinction.
When all hope was lost, a miracle happened and the creatures suddenly vanished. Desperate to prevent the next invasion, the survivors created a group called the 'Corps' that journeys into the Vortex from whence the creatures emerged. You will lead the Corps to reveal the secrets behind the incidents.
Will the human race succeed in changing the course of their destiny?loading...
In the Mist of the Vortex, Pillar of Despair...
- You will be constantly dealing with internal conflicts between 'satisfaction' and 'greed'.
- Limited visibility will hinder your exploration.
- Utilize skills and create effective formations to achieve victory.
- Don't forget, even your best crew members have only one life.
- Upgrading gear is not the only way to win.
- Contains 40-hours of expeditions in 5 distinct regions.
- Turn-based RPG with a twist... It can change based on your actions.
- Maps are always changing… practice different strategies in order to survive.
- Build an invincible Corps by combining and strategizing with 8 different Corps classes.
- Learn new skills and upgrade equipment to enhance Corps Crew members.
- The Mist influences EVERYTHING that happens in the game.
- Your strategy will reshape the fate of mankind.
- Lead the Arta Kingdom's Corps into the Misty expedition!
Release: In development
Ashes of Oahu - Shooter RPG
OnlySP reports that Ashes of Oahu is the redesigned Nightmarchers RPG that was previously on Fig but failed to fund.
One of the key changes to the game is the shrinking of the playspace. Previously, Wyrmbyte had endeavoured to create a 1:1 representation of Oahu, though the new version reduces the island’s area to 25km2.
The move away from recreation extends to the gods in the game, which no longer take their names from those used by Hawaiian natives.
Another major change comes to the art style, which has been adapted from realism to one inspired by comic books. The developer claims that this alteration came from a desire to reflect the fictional nature of the story.
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Phantom Brigade - Steam Page Up
Phantom Brigade is a turn-based tactical RPG, focusing on in-depth customization and player driven stories. As the last surviving squad of mech pilots, you must capture enemy equipment and facilities to level the playing field. Outnumbered and out-gunned, lead The Brigade through a desperate campaign to retake their war-torn homeland.
- Cinematic spin on the turn-based genre • Predict enemy movements, orchestrate precisely timed countermeasures and watch the action unfold.
- Strategy • Make high-level tactical decisions on the world map, manage your base, and decide how to apply your limited resources.
- Tactical combat • Take command of your squad in varied missions ranging from sabotage of enemy equipment and infiltration of high tech facilities to convoy ambushes and challenging outpost onslaughts.
- Customization • Featuring a rich customization system, the game enables you to fine-tune performance of your mechs, install a wide selection of equipment and access a wealth of cosmetic options. Make your ready to face any challenge - in style.
- Destructible environments • It's not a proper game about walking tanks without some falling buildings. The game allows every square meter of every scene to be destroyed. Blow up any cover and collapse buildings over your enemies.
Phantom BrigadeSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Saturday - March 16, 2019
Battle Brothers - The Barbarians Part 2
A new update for Battle Brothers provides further details on 'The Barbarians'.
Dev Blog #118: The Barbarians, Part II
Following the introduction of the barbarian faction in part one, this week we’ll take a look at the first three of their unit types and some general combat mechanics. All part of the upcoming ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC, of course. As always, keep in mind that things are still in development and may change. With that said, let’s delve in!
ThrallsNorthern barbarians are not born free, but as thralls in servitude to their elders, and ultimately their tribe. They have no say on tribal matters, and they may possess only what they can carry. On occasion, members of other tribes are also accepted into thralldom, either peacefully or after being captured in battle.
It is expected that a thrall seek the respect of their master, their ancestors, and the tribe as a whole, and ultimately earn their status as a free man or woman. Indeed, young folk are considered to have reached adulthood as they become free, and to have then earned their place and say in the tribe. One way to do so, but not the only one, is to prove their worth in battle.
Thralls are the light and nimble infantry of the barbarian tribes. Clad only in furs, and sometimes with nothing but warpaint on their bare chests, armed either with weapons made from readily available materials like bone, or looted from the battlefield, they rely on ferociously overwhelming the enemy. They’re quick and agile, making ample use of the ‘Adrenaline’ skill. And having both the ‘Anticipation’ and ‘Dodge’ perks makes them harder to hit, at least until they’ve exhausted themselves after a couple of rounds.
Like all barbarian infantry, thralls have a very physical combat style of wrestling with the enemy, throwing their weight against them, and jostling to put their opponent out of balance. Their ‘Barbarian Wrath’ perk makes them fight even harder as they get hit, and the next time they land a hit of their own, they confer a status effect which for one turn knocks their target out of balance to lower their damage and defense until they have regained their footing.
ReaversReavers are the medium infantry of the barbarian tribes. They’re battle-hardened free men, yet not necessarily warriors by trade. Some may be bloodthirsty veterans of many battles that seek immortality through their deeds on the battlefield, and have tattoos on their skin tell the saga of their life. Others are merely hunters or craftsmen that join with the rest of the tribe to raid and ensure their survival in the upcoming winter.
Reavers are often armed with armor and weapons that have been passed down through generations and show signs of wear, but may also have claimed equipment in duels that settled disputes. Like thralls, they have an offensive and nimble combat style, but backed up with experience and skill. Like all barbarians, they don’t fear death the same as southern folk do, and so are not easily broken. They’re roughly comparable to brigand raiders, but may be more or less of a challenge, depending on your approach.
ChampionsWarriors who show exceptional skill on the battlefield are said to be blessed by the ancestors, and those who also have impressive victories to show are said to eventually take a place beside the ancestors in the afterlife to watch over the tribe. These champions of the ancestors are the heavy infantry of the barbarians, and they wear weighty metal armor and heavy two-handed weapons – trophies from vanquished foes and gifts from invested elders.
Unlike thralls and reavers, champions rely on their heavy armor for defense. They can shrug off status effects more easily, and excel even when fighting against several opponents at once. Tougher enemies than any brigand, other than perhaps brigand leaders, they are mid to late game opponents.
Battle BrothersSP/MP: Single-player
Star Traders: Frontiers - Big Update
A big update for Star Traders: Frontiers sees many changes.
Update #138: Light of a Thousand Suns
Captains, after an all-too-long drought, word is finally filtering down through the spice halls that Update #138 has arrived! The extended delay has resulted in an over-sized update, which we will get into detail below. We've improved the ship combat UI, added new animations, sped up play by adding new keybindings and tuning the orbital ops play loop, made balance changes to Rep from ship encounters with Smugglers and Explorers, tweaked 3 RP torps and the Dart Jammer ship, and made a host of small improvements and bug fixes to boot.
We also want to share an important change to the dev roadmap. The 14+ day delay between updates here was in preparation for a big move -- the upcoming release of fighters and carriers. For a number of reasons, we've decided to swap the 6th Era and the launch of Fighters from Carriers. So, while this update does not yet contain the major milestone, it is a huge prep step, especially in the changes to the ship combat UI. When are carriers coming? Soon :D
Once we get past the newly updated v2.4.x, we'll hit v2.5.x and there will be an extended period of adding Eras and vignette story arcs to the game.
But for now, on to the update!Ship Combat Improvements
With Update #138, missiles finally go boom as they deserve! The new animation helps them stand out from the other types of weapons and helps give that split second warning so your officer can shout "missiles incoming!"
Also with Update #138, the ship combat UI is starting to get the needed stream of improvements that will prepare it for carriers and fighters release. In this update, we've made some changes to the main control scheme, added animation and improved player cues.
The biggest change is the shifting of the move and range change orders out of the center lists. These have now been promoted to a constantly available set of buttons on the left side of the combat HUD, giving the option to escape, retreat, advance or board. Their tooltips have been improved to be more dynamic and list RP cost as well as target range.
You can now get to these with fewer clicks as well as using the newly added keyboard shortcuts (default to Q for retreat / escape and A for advance / board). And of course, setup your own customization for the fastest play.
Finally, to match the weapon counter in the HUD tabs, we've added a checkmark to the Talents tab. If you've selected a Talent to run for the turn, the checkmark appears, so that if you return to your weapons tab you can still see that you've picked a Talent for the turn and are ready to go.Ship Builder AI Update
In the last update, the enemy ship builder AI got a little carried away with itself. In the early game, it was gaining accessing to some components that were out of band. We've made another round of improvements to the AI, both softening up its access to more powerful components earlier but also helping it to be more focused in its ship upgrade strategy in the later game. Early game captains will probably see a bit of a reprieve from last update, while late game captains may find their enemies have upped their design game once again.
This update also ties the intelligence of the ship builder to game difficulty more closely which is a trend we'll keep pushing as we continue to make improvements.Orbital Play Loop
In the endless quest to smooth out pace of play and reduce clicks, we've made an important change to how the orbital ops card games play. If you end up in a ship combat due to a card draw, after the encounter and or combat is resolved you now return directly to the orbital ops screen you were on, instead of the system orbit screen. It is a small change, but for those captains who rely on these operations in their career, it is a big one. Combined with the fast speed option, orbital ops now fly!Medium Torps and Dart Jammer
After a great discussion on the Steam boards, we've improved medium slot Torpedos. These heavier torps are still best at softening up and crippling the enemy, but for their 3 RP cost they have gained additional points of Accuracy and more Void Damage.
The Dart Jammer comes out of the starport with one additional Officer Cabin and one less Mass Dampener, making it more ready to fly immediately.
As it seems to be a steady point of confusion, we have removed the languag "Boost Ship Skills" from components that increase ship Skill Pools. We've also fixed the install time on Defense Pattern Matrix 4.Talents Oh Talents
With almost 500 Talents in the game, its a constant drum beat of fixes, rebalances and improvements. With this update, we've improved the rules for Diplomat's "Legal Pressure" Talent which now grants 20% + Intimidate extra when ransoming an enemy ship. The Talent description also warns of the chance to have a small Rep loss for using it.
To avoid too much use of the word "Scavenger" except for the job, we've renamed Mechanic's "Expert Scavenger" Talent to "Orchestrated Salvage". Bounty Hunter's "Red Badge" no longer incorrectly reports affect on xeno rep.
We've fixed a host of issues with Xeno Hunter Talents. "Puncture Points" no longer removes enemy debuffs. "Macabre Harvest" is now correctly counted toward boarding victory Talents. In addition, the Combat Medic "Toxin Terror" no longer remove the buffs from the character using it (what a weird little bug).
Star Traders: FrontiersSP/MP: Single-player
Mage's Initiation - Review
Game On Aus has reviewed the adventure RPG Mage's Initiation: Reign of the Elements:
Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements Review
“Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements is a fantastic point-and-click hybrid adventure RPG inspired by the Quest for Glory series, with a focus on playing as an elemental mage.”
Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements is a point-and-click hybrid adventure/RPG developed by Himalaya Studios and released on January 31, 2019. Mage’s Initiation took inspiration from Sierra Online’s Quest for Glory (QFG) and King’s Quest series’. I recently reviewed Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption by Lori Ann and Corey Cole, two legends in the adventure game genre who developed the QFG games. Playing Hero-U really hit the nostalgia for me, so when the opportunity came along to review Mage’s Initiation, I jumped at the chance.
In 2001, a not-for-profit company called AGD Interactive, founded by Britney Brimhall and Chris Warren, made a name for themselves by developing remakes of King’s Quest I, II and III, as well as a remake of Quest for Glory II. Britney and Chris later founded Himalaya Studios in 2011 and, similar to the Coles’ path of development for Hero-U, created a kickstarter campaign for Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements in 2013. Over 3000 backers helped Himalaya reach a respectable funding target which almost met all their stretch goals, and fast forward 6 years, the game was finally released on Steam, GOG and the Humble Store.
When I completed my first playthrough with 493 out of a possible 500 xp points (so close!), the game prompted me to create a save game which can then be imported into future games in this series. This, along with a sneaky end-credits scene gives me hope that there’ll be more games to follow. I very much hope Himalaya Studios is supported enough to do so.
Overall, I gave the game a 7.5/10. Mage’s Initiation: Reign of the Elements is a fantastic point-and-click hybrid adventure RPG inspired by the Quest for Glory series, with a focus on playing as an elemental mage. I enjoyed the great storytelling and fully voice-acted and lip-synced characters. The absence of an in-game journal and clunky combat may frustrate modern gamers, but for those of us that grew up with these types of games, there was a good balance of challenge, thinking and fun throughout the game.
Mage's InitiationSP/MP: Single-player
Pathway - Gameplay Preview
The first gameplay preview for Pathway.
Wishlist Pathway now on Steam:
Pathway is a strategy adventure game from Germany-based developers Robotality, featuring turn-based combat and unique story encounters.
Explore temples, tombs and the desert wilderness in a grand pulp adventure! Coming to Windows, Mac & Linux in 2019!
In this gameplay preview you'll see an insight into the game's second campaign adventure, The Wrath of God. There's 5x campaign adventures in total to discover and complete, each with varying difficulty.
Your quest is to track down the Nazis, and foil their plans to get hold of the mysterious and eponymous object the Wrath of God.
The video shows off team party building, a small selection of the 400 hand-crafted story events with choice-based unique encounters, the procedural overworld map, inventory management, mysterious (and rather horrifying) bunker discoveries, as well as turn-based strategic maneuvers against the Nazis, the undead and even some supernatural forces at work!
Release: In development
Colony Ship - Demo update #2, More Screens
The latest update from Colony Ship has more info on the demo and some new screenshots.
We made good progress with things that matter (but hard to show) like programming, balance, and scripting but poor progress with relatively minor but highly visible things like armor models and portraits. As (probably) mentioned previously, the demo is fully playable and has 14 fights, 2 of them optional. We're still playing it on a daily basis, ironman-style as there's no save/load system yet, so the demo has already received 2 balance updates as a result. The engine is great and very stable. I didn't have a single crash yet (despite daily updates); there were some occasional freezes earlier (for example, if one enemy knocks you out and his helpful buddy shoots in the face, scoring a knockdown) but I didn't have any in my last 2-hour long play session.
The feats are now working and two gadgets out of three are done (the energy shield and the distortion field). All gadget parts (each gadget consists of 3 upgradeable parts that increase its properties such as shield's regen rate or damage resistance) are nicely modeled and textured. The main new addition is the targeting info (see the screens below). It gives you a full THC breakdown, which will help the player to understand how it's calculated and helps us make sure that bonuses and penalties are implemented properly. RNG is working great, so far the balance between hits and misses is perfect.
So far the armor thing (the delay) is our biggest problem, which is a good indicator as I can think of worse things to screw up. It's slowly moving forward, so I hope that we'll have it done in 3 weeks. Similar to the weapons, the armor is split into 2 main categories: common Ship-made ballistic armor and rare Earth-made combat and anti-riot armor. You can expect 10 unique models for each category: helmet, body armor, jacket/coat, boots, goggles, mask/respirator. Right now we have about a third (talking about the models).
Anyway, some screens for your amusement:
Here you can how a weapon range affects THC and why having a long gun is always a good idea. While the damage is about the same (because the caliber and craftsmanship are about the same), the rifle is a lot more accurate. While I managed to hit twice, the second hit was merely a graze.
Not a good start, he crippled me before I could run for cover, so by the time I reached it I had no AP left to shoot. This revolver is great at close range, especially when Fanning but it has low range so I can't hit much and the shotgun isn't much help in this situation either. These Looters are armed with better weapons so losing this fight is very easy. I started again, managed to beat them with better planning (I forgot to switch weapons before that fight) and - in the best traditions of AoD - was rewarded with a really challenging fight that starts a series of very unfortunate events (liberty-loving Brotherhood fucking hates when someone kills their assassins):
Colony ShipSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Friday - March 15, 2019
Steam - User Reviews Revisited
Henriquejr spotted the following Steam news:
User Reviews Revisited
Some time ago we made some changes to how we presented the User Reviews for games, and their resulting Review Score. We talked about those changes in this blog post. As we describe in that post, we want to ensure that players who've played a game can voice their opinions about why other people should or shouldn't buy the game, and that our summary of those opinions into a single Review Score should represent the likelihood that a future purchaser will be happy with their purchase.
Since that post, we've continued to listen to feedback from both players and developers. It's clear to us that players value reviews highly, and want us to ensure they're accurate and trustworthy. Developers understand that they're valuable to players, but want to feel like they're being treated fairly. We've also spent a bunch of time building analysis tools to help us better understand what's happening in the reviews across all titles on Steam. With that feedback and data in hand, we think we're ready to make another change.
That change can be described easily: we're going to identify off-topic review bombs, and remove them from the Review Score.
But while easy to say, it raises a bunch of questions, so let's dig into the details. First, what do we mean by an off-topic review bomb? As we defined back in our original post, a review bomb is where players post a large number of reviews in a short period of time, aimed at lowering the Review Score of a game. We define an off-topic review bomb as one where the focus of those reviews is on a topic that we consider unrelated to the likelihood that future purchasers will be happy if they buy the game, and hence not something that should be added to the Review Score.
Obviously, there's a grey area here, because there's a wide range of things that players care about. So how will we identify these off-topic review bombs? The first step is a tool we've built that identifies any anomalous review activity on all games on Steam in as close to real-time as possible. It doesn't know why a given game is receiving anomalous review activity, and it doesn't even try to figure that out. Instead, it notifies a team of people at Valve, who'll then go and investigate. We've already run our tool across the entire history of reviews on Steam, identifying many reasons why games have seen periods of anomalous review activity, and off-topic review bombs appear to only be a small number of them.
Once our team has identified that the anomalous activity is an off-topic review bomb, we'll mark the time period it encompasses and notify the developer. The reviews within that time period will then be removed from the Review Score calculation. As before, the reviews themselves are left untouched - if you want to dig into them to see if they're relevant to you, you'll still be able to do so. To help you do that, we've made it clear when you're looking at a store page where we've removed some reviews by default, and we've further improved the UI around anomalous review periods.
Heretic Operative - Some Gameplay
SplatterCatGaming checked out Heretic Operative:
Heretic Operative - Tabletop Occult Board Game!loading...
Heretic Operative Gameplay with Splat! Let's Play Heretic Operative and check out a board game where you'll resist the forces of chaos and attempt to save the world from their corrupted influence!
Heretic OperativeSP/MP: Single-player
CrossCode - An Action RPG Classic
A Gamingbolt editorial on CrossCode, that they call an action RPG classic.
To say anything more would be to spoil some of CrossCode‘s best moments. Besides, this a story you’re best left to take in at a comfortable pace, spending time with its characters and ironically forgetting yourself in the world of CrossWorlds. The world design is utterly impeccable in this regard, channeling the 2D aesthetic of old-school role-playing games with seemingly little effort at all. CrossWorlds slowly opens up, introducing you to the simplistic tutorial dungeon before venturing into the first major town, Rookie Harbor.
What’s impressive about CrossCode‘s world design is that, for all intents and purposes, it’s acknowledging and yet leveraging the limitation of NPC conversations. Within the context of a video game, seeing all these characters would make for a more immersive experience. The limitations make sense to us – some NPCs have monotone shades in conversation screens or throwaway/cliche dialogue (like the hard-boiled cop not being impressed by Lea’s designation as a Seeker) – because this isn’t a big-budget MMO. However, when you think about it, this is more or less how things are presented in an MMO. There are throwaway NPC characters who simply exist to dole out quests and whose existences are forgotten the second you move away. Their dialogue and characterization usually is cliched. CrossCode nails both world design from a 16-bit action RPG perspective and the perspective of an MMO, becoming a meta-commentary by the simple handling of its premise.