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Breaking Newsbits

RPGWatch - Winter is Coming Key Giveaway

by Myrthos

Here is our RPGWatch winter key giveaway. Until the 22nd of December you can respond to this post and have a chance to win one of the many games for which we have keys. Keys that we have received from our RPGWatch members and keys that were sent by publishers/developers to RPGWatch, but are not used and even keys that are provided to us by developers explicitely for this giveaway.

You can provide us in your comment to this post, with a list of games you are, or are not interested in, but be aware that the more restrictive your list is, the lower your chance to win one of the games is.

If all goes well, I can sent out the keys, just before Christmas.

And if you haven't registered on our RPGWatch forums before the 22nd of November, you have no chance to win a key.

Check out the first comment for an overview of the games we have keys for in this giveaway.

RPGWatch

Details

Sunday - December 17, 2017

Seven - Review @ Twinfinite

by Hiddenx, 07:02

Twinfinite has reviewed Seven: The Days Long Gone:

Seven: The Days Long Gone Review

SEVEN: THE DAYS LONG GONE ON PC

On paper, Seven: The Days Long Gone sounds brilliant. An open-world free-roaming RPG stealth game played from an isometric perspective, its post-apocalyptic setting, emphasis on Thief-like stealth mechanics, and a plethora of side quests sound like a recipe for success. Unfortunately, in practice, it never quite fulfills that potential.
[...]
Seven’s narrative is certainly its main draw and rescues the often woeful gameplay. The lackluster stealth and bland combat are big issues, as is the frustrating world design. Too often, Seven feels like it’s actively trying to make me stop playing the game – and I really did want to stop. If you’re someone with a lot of patience, you may be able to push your way through Seven’s main campaign and enjoy it to an extent. If not, you may want to avoid this one.

Score: 2/5 – Poor

Pros

  • Good world-building with a lot of lore to dig into.
  • Fun and tense hacking system. 

Cons

  • Confusing world design that is a chore to navigate.
  • Poor A.I.
  • Combat can mostly be ignored – apart from a couple of boss battles, which aren’t fun.

Seven

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates - Review

by Hiddenx, 06:52

Bleeding Cool has reviewed Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates:

How To Screw Up A Tactical RPG: We Review Empyre: Lords Of The Sea Gates

Empyre: Lords Of The Sea Gates

Empyre: Lords Of The Sea Gates was an interesting little RPG title to make its way into my Steam collection. The game is set in the early 1900’s in New York City in an alternate timeline where the sea has risen and buried most of Manhattan underwater, with what survivors remain living in the highrise towers that still dwell above the water. The story shows that fresh water has been cut off to the city, leaving you and whatever support you can get to correct that issue and defeat anyone who stands in your way. You’ll have to deal with the police, mobsters, territorial factions, and your usual smattering of crazy people to get where you need to go.
[...]
Empyre: Lords Of The Sea Gates is a decent idea with poor execution. This honestly feels like a title rushed into production with little testing and even less thought put into it beyond the main plot. I would say if you’re going to get this, it’s probably, at best, a beginner’s guide to tactical RPGs before they get one that actually works right. After that, it’s a waste of time and money. The few things it does get right don’t make up for what it gets horribly wrong.

Score: 5/10

Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates

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

Details

Saturday - December 16, 2017

Ambition: A Minuet in Power - Final Day

by Silver, 23:09

Ambition: A Minuet in Power is in its final day on Kickstarter and has been funded. The game is described as a romantic roguelike set during the French Revolution.

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What are you Making?

We’re making a revolutionary, romantic video game where you play as a woman of fashion in pre-revolutionary France, a time of intrigue, danger, and serial adultery. There, you will use social skills, seduction, and guile to advance your position, all while preparing for the danger of the coming political upheaval.   

Ambition: A Minuet in Power is in development for PC and Mac in English. It will be delivered in standard and DRM-free versions on Steam, GoG and our website. Other platforms and languages may be announced later. Ambition: A Minuet in Power is expected to launch in 2018, however, any stretch goals we reach may alter that launch window. More features means more time spent in production.

How is it Different?

Many romantically focused games are like choose-your-own-adventure books with preset decisions and outcomes. Once you’ve beaten them, there’s rarely a reason to go back and play again.  

Romance in Ambition isn’t just story writing, it’s a mechanic. By engaging in liaisons with various nobles, the player gains limited access to the resources of the person they’ve seduced. The more devoted their partner is to them, the more power the player has over that noble. This lets the player influence the outcome of political events. A particularly creative (and ruthless) player can even maintain multiple secret liaisons simultaneously. Getting caught doing this, however, can have very dangerous consequences.  

How does one gain the devotion of a seduced noble? Wear their gifts out in public, attend their events, spurn their enemies, and more.  

Additionally, Ambition randomly generates the world you play in, every time. This means that every playthrough is a little different. Nobles you meet in one playthrough might not show up in another. The revolution may be a success, or a disaster. It’ll be up to you, as the player, to figure out who to befriend and who to snub, in order to ensure the best position for yourself. 

[...]

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Julian Gollop - The good, the bad, and the ugly of RNG

by Silver, 22:02

Writing for PCGamer, Julian Gollop explains the good and bad of RNG in games.

Never has there been a more controversial topic in the history of strategy gaming than the use and abuse of RNG, otherwise known as Random Number Generators. I know this from experience, since my last game, Chaos Reborn, reveled and delighted in the liberal use of RNGs (it wasn’t called 'Chaos' for nothing). 

It was based on a ZX Spectrum game I made in 1985 called Chaos and published by Games Workshop (a company not shy of randomness itself—usually in the form of buckets of dice rolled in their army games). In Chaos Reborn you play a wizard, and the casting of spells and combat were subject to binary outcome randomness. The combat is especially brutal, with a success killing a target outright and a failure doing nothing at all. Even a lowly giant rat had a 10% chance to kill a dragon.

[...]

Julian Gollop

Details

Eidos Montreal - Will Focus on Online

by Silver, 21:53

PCGamer reports that Eidos Montreal, the maker of Deus Ex, will focus on online experiences.

Eidos Montreal, developer of the modern Deus Ex games, will focus more of its attention on online gaming from now on, it has announced. In a new "vision statement", studio head David Anfossi said that it would be "placing an added emphasis on the online experiences in our games". The developer is hiring new staff, including a lead multiplayer programmer, to support the move and reworking its DAWN engine to better cope with online gaming.

Director of online technology Sébastien Bessette said: "All of these efforts unify our teams towards one single goal, that being to deliver the best online gaming experience to our players."

[...]

Eidos Montreal

Details

Burden of Command - Dev Blog #5

by Silver, 21:46

The latest dev blog for Burden of Command focuses on building empathy.

[...]

In 11Bit Studios' This War of Mine, you also have pieces - a group of refugees - and a board - the fictional war-torn city of Pogoren. However, because of the way that the game builds empathy between the player and the characters they control, the player can't sacrifice their "pieces" to win like they would in a game of chess. The question of how to achieve the win state (surviving until the end of the siege) becomes more complex because the player begins to identify with the characters, thinking not only of their own victory, but the well-being of these beleaguered, relatable, but ultimately fictional souls.
The player might find themselves weighing the emotional cost of forcing a character to visit suffering on others for the sake of obtaining much needed medicine or putting their characters at risk to "be a hero". The nature of the win state itself changes. Is winning a matter of pure survival? Or is it better that they make it out with clean consciences that will let them live with themselves afterward?
The player begins thinking less like someone playing a game, and more like those who are trapped in a ruined building in a city filled with chaos.

Burden of Command is This War of Mine seen from the other side. Building bonds of empathy towards the characters under the player's command serves to turn them into more than little olive drab men on a map. In return, as the player starts to empathise with their company, they begin to feel responsible for their well-being. They begin thinking of the win state not only as a matter of taking the objective, but as a matter of bringing as many of their boys home as possible.

They begin thinking like a Company Commander.

The question for a writer then becomes which characters to focus on building empathy with. Generally speaking, the average player can maintain empathic bonds with anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen characters. Anything more and things get dicey - after all, these characters have to compete for attention with a player's real family members, friends, loved ones, and co-workers. Anything beyond those dozen characters, and players will start forgetting names, faces, and uttering the eight words no writer wants to hear: "I don't care what happens to these people".

A US army rifle company in 1944 had a total paper strength of 193. Realistically, we couldn't make every single one of them into an empathetic character - players would lose track. We had to decide who we would build our core relationships around.

[...]

Burden of Command

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

Details

Shadowhand - Review @ PC Gamer

by Hiddenx, 12:13

PC Gamer has reviewed Shadowhand:

Shadowhand Review

Regency Solitaire was one of my games of the year for 2015. It’s a Jane Austen-style love story through which you progress by playing hands of the card game, solitaire. It was easy to sink entire evenings into Regency Solitaire. Shadowhand is a prequel of sorts, following the adventures of one of the characters in her youthful highwaywoman days. The big difference with Shadowhand is that some rounds of solitaire now play out as turn-based duels.
[...]
This all obscures the real charm of features Shadowhand retains from Regency Solitaire. You get segments of that absorbing pleasure, but the game kept turning into a grind, losing momentum. That, in turn, recasts the light storytelling (which was a pleasant backdrop in the previous game) as a rather convoluted but shallow plot which I kept losing track of during drawn-out boss fights. The characters here felt more prone to slipping into caricature too.

An interesting conundrum is whether to recommend it to someone who enjoyed Regency Solitaire. I think there’s still fun to be had, and it offers whole chunks of what amounts to more Regency Solitaire levels, but it’s harder to love and sorely in need of some tweaking.

Score: 65/100

An ambitious game but one which exposes and compounds the weaknesses of solitaire.

Shadowhand

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Historical
Genre: Card-Based RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Hand of Fate 2 - Review @ KGK

by Hiddenx, 11:51

KGK has reviewed Hand of Fate 2:

Hand of Fate 2 - The KGK Review!

Having not played the previous installment in the series, Hand of Fate, as I’m not a fan of card based games, I decided to give the sequel, Hand of Fate 2 a chance. May as well keep an open mind and see what all the hype is about. It’s also worth noting, that I don’t board the hype train these days, as I can guarantee that they will derail for me in some way or another. So it’s with caution that I installed, then booted up Hand of Fate 2 wondering what lay ahead for me.

After the game had loaded, and shown me that I’d be face to face with a mysterious card dealer and story teller, who is fully voiced and covered in wraps to hide his identity, I realised that this was taking place in a dark, wooden caravan. The table at which you sit, is where the cards are placed, and this is where your adventure begins, and it was far from what I expected. Cards are taken from a deck and placed down in front of your where a small character to represent you will move along one card at a time. Seems reasonable enough and even though it’s not something I’d have ever imagined myself playing, considering something like this boring, I was entranced. Each card had a different effect on me, and the world around me. Would I find treasure, a place to stay on my journey, a troop of ne’er do wells to hand out justice too? I was genuinely intrigued, and wanted to find out more about the world around me.

[...]

Overall, Hand of Fate 2 is a game unlike any other on Xbox One. There’s plenty of exploring to get yourself involved in, plenty of equipment to discover and unlock, and a mysterious man who doesn’t seem to have picked a side, and instead guides you gently further towards your end goal. I couldn’t recommend it more, even to those who wouldn’t normally consider purchasing a game like this. The price isn’t to be sniffed at either, and it’s a worthwhile investment. You will get your value for money, and once is all said and done, you won’t regret it.

Overall Score 9/10

Hand of Fate 2

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

Details

Stellar Tactics - Space Combat 22nd December

by Silver, 10:55

Stellar Tactics will have space combat by the 22nd December.

The video says it all. Thanks for being patient everyone!

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Stellar Tactics

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

Details

Friday - December 15, 2017

Skyrim - New Mod: Lordbound

by Hiddenx, 23:45

Farflame spotted a new mod for Skyrim called Lordbound on DSOGaming:

Skyrim: Lordbound

Skyrim: Lordbound is an expansion-sized mod packing 30+ hours of gameplay, new screenshots released

Modder ‘Arcky’ and his team are currently working on an expansion-sized mod for Skyrim, Skyrim: Lordbound. Skyrim: Lordbound will feature a whole new storyline and region for players to explore and promises to offer 30+ hours of new content, non-linear quests, new weapons/armor and more.

The team aimed to release this mod in Q4 2017, however it appears that it needs some extra time in order to complete it. The modding team still needs some additions and rewrites before everything is in a releasable state, however it will release next month a gameplay trailer for it.

[...]

 

Skyrim

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

Details

My Time At Portia - Early Access January

by Silver, 23:28

@PCGamer My Time At Portia is coming to Steam Early Access January.

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My Time At Portia is a breezy, whimsical crafting sandbox that calls to mind the likes of Harvest Moon and Animal Crossing. It’s idyllic and bright and I want to start building my workshop there right now, escaping the chilly Scottish winter I’m trapped in. Unfortunately, like the rest of you, I’ll need to wait until January 23, when the game launches on early access. In the meantime, we’ll have to content ourselves with a new, but brief, trailer.

[...]

General News

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

Details

Mount & Blade II - Sturgia

by Silver, 23:18

The latest from Mount & Blade II explores the Sturgia faction.

Dev Blog 14/12/17

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

The Sturgian forests are forbidding and cold, but great wealth lies within. Wild honey can be found, and bog iron, but the real prize has always been fur. For centuries, brave traders ventured there to buy the pelts of fox, rabbit and ermine from the tribes of the woods. As the empire expanded eastward, that trickle of traders became a flood. Great towns sprung up on the rivers. Fortune-seekers came from the coast, from the steppes, and most of all from the Nordlands. Tribal elders made alliances with the newcomers, sealed by wedding vows, and with their share of the trading profits hired mercenaries to subdue other tribes. Sturgia became a collection of principalities, then a kingdom, the great powerhouse of the north.

The Sturgians are based on the federation of city-states known as Kievan Rus, located in today's Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Like many boomtowns, the Rus river cities attracted people from faraway lands. Predominantly Slavic communities were forming into states at a breakneck pace and borrowing institutions, religions, and ways of trade and war from their neighbours. Greek missionaries, Finnic foresters, Turkic and Iranian steppe tribes, and most famously the Varangian Norse all left their mark on the aesthetics of Russian art, arms and armour. We think the motifs and styles of Sturgian equipment – gilded and peaked helmets, furs and gold brocade, runes and gripping beasts and folk embroidery and Arabesques -- will make it some of the most spectacular in the game.

As with other factions, we let history be our inspiration for Sturgia's politics. The chroniclers weren't shy about expressing their opinions about the different princes. Some rulers, like Vladimir the Great or Yaroslav the Wise, have come down to us as far-sighted rulers. Others, like Sviatopolk "the Accursed," accused of murdering his brothers, or Vseslav, the sorcerer-king of Pskov, were depicted as some of the more colourful tyrants in medieval Europe. Raganvad, the current Sturgian prince, is cut out of the latter mould: he knows how to punish but not how to reward, and he'll put to the test the old dictum that it is better to be feared than loved.

[...]

Mount & Blade II

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

Details

General News - Inon Zur Interview

by Silver, 23:14

PCGamer interviewed Inon Zur and asked him how his approach to Baldur's Gate, Dragon Age and Crysis differed.

Inon Zur is a multi-award winning composer who has spent the majority of his career writing videogame scores. His resume boasts the likes of Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal, Dragon Age: Origins, Prince of Persia and Crysis, among a long list of other game projects.   

After cutting his teeth on 2001's Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, Zur went on to compose the ambient orchestral arrangements for Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4—the latter of which is now being visited and revisited following the launch of Fallout 4 VR.

 

I recently caught up with Zur to chat about his career, what inspires him to write music for videogames, and how he approaches each project differently. 

PC Gamer: You've worked in television and film, but the majority of your work has been with videogames. What was it that first attracted you to games?

Inon Zur: Videogame score is very unique and a different process than movies and TV. Since the music cannot be locked to a picture (cinematics and cut-scenes being the exceptions), it has to carry a strong signature that can represent what’s going on in the game without hitting specific points. This is challenging, but the creative process is more open and the freedom to write a piece of music that has no boundaries or limitations is very rewarding. 

I also feel that many of the producers and audio directors in the game industry value the music very much and are willing to invest in a high level of production, like recording live orchestras and so on. This is what I’ve found in the scoring for games world and this is why I like to work in this medium so much.

Do you play videogames yourself—what has your relationship with games been like over the years? 

I love games, although I don’t have enough time to play them since I have to score them. I will, however, usually play the games I’m working on to get the feel of the gameplay and to make sure the music does what we want it to do.

[...]

General News

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

Details

General News - Chris Avellone Interview

by Silver, 22:12

Chris Avellone was interviewed by GamesTM and asked about his career, the games industry as a whole and what challenges he expects to face in the future.

[...]

What do you think has been the biggest change in the games industry since 2002?

VR’s reared it head, but I’ve only worked in that space for a short while compared to others. Still, I’ve found it hard to gauge the success of a VR game vs. the genres I normally write for. There is a lot of financial support for VR, but I’m not sure where the tech and games will go in the next few years, although I can say I certainly love writing for them, it’s a much different interaction experience (in a good way).

Crowdsourcing was also a huge change – this, combined with digital distribution, allowed access to specific groups of fans (usually numbering much, much less than AAA fans) who were willing to support a smaller game that publishers might not see equal value in. I don’t blame publishers for this, and I understand why they wouldn’t pursue or fund such projects, but the arrival of an alternative to seeking a publisher and interacting with your players and Backers directly was big for the game industry, and especially the RPG industry (thanks to Tim Schafer and Brian Fargo for kicking it off).

How has technology changed the way you work?

Google’s work suite and Hangouts/Skype/Discord has made working with remote teams or teams composed of developers living across the world (like the FTL/Subset developers – one in London, one in Seattle) much easier. You don’t always need to relocate to an office to be hired to work on a title, and the freeform nature of that has several advantages. Some companies are often willing to hire a talented junior, but not with relocation fees or visa issues as part of the package, which can trap people in areas where there is little or no outlet for working in games – but being able to work remotely helps avoid those issues. (I work for a number of European and Asian companies via remote, and it’s pretty painless. Plus, many of those same companies have several offices across the globe as well.)

In terms of sharing technology, Google has changed the way I work a lot, I like its commenting feature, ability to assign tasks within documents for follow-up, and for Hangouts/Skype meetings, I love the ability to easily collaborate on docs while the meeting is taking place, which streamlines things. (We did this a lot on Divinity: Original Sin II.) Slack has also been a good standard for establishing “project chat” on projects, and I use that often as well.

[...]

General News

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

Details

Obsidian Entertainment - Leonard Boyarsky Interview

by Silver, 14:03

This interview from PCGamesN covers the journey of Leonard Boyarsky from Troika, to Blizzard then working for Obsidian on the secret project.

[...]

Obsidian, going home, and what's next

Was it a shame to leave when you did then? It sounds like you weren't enjoying yourself massively for the middle part of your stint at Blizzard but by the end you had found your groove - and then headed off to Obsidian. Was it a difficult decision?

No, it wasn't a difficult decision at all [laughs]. It had nothing to do with Blizzard. When I started talking to Chris Jones and Fergus [Urquhart, co-owner at Obsidian] and Tim [Cain, now co-Game Director at Obsidian] about doing this it was basically like 'hey, come make another game that you create from scratch, a hardcore RPG in the Obsidian/Troika style’. How can you pass that up? It wasn't really even a question.

We had a few different conversations talking about the possibility of it. I think you'd have to ask Fergus and Chris, but I feel like they had decided it was going to happen before I even realised the decision had been made. We slowly drifted into talking about when I was gonna come over and it's almost like the decision was never actually made between us. I started talking to them and it was like 'oh yeah, this is gonna happen’.

They're like 'Leonard's a sure thing, we'll plan on him being here, we'll work everything else out and then we'll go talk to him’.

Kind of, and the thing about Blizzard, as much fun as I was having doing that stuff, I had been working on Diablo for ten years. I think I worked there ten years and two months. I just don't know I could have done any more Diablo, as much fun as I was having. Another two, three years on a project based around Diablo - if we had been able to take it a completely different direction, possibly.

But then it isn't Diablo, right?

That's not Diablo. That's in the column of ideas that goes right next to 'let's make Diablo more of a hardcore RPG’ [laughs]. There's a lot of great stuff about that game that people love and you don't mess with that, you find ways to make that better. But if you look at the other games I've made in my career, it's pretty obvious I'm insane and dedicated to making very, very difficult games that have a lot of choice and consequence.

What's it like being back at Obsidian, is it everything you'd hoped for in that manner, and are you enjoying whatever it is that you're working on now?

Yeah, very much so. There are basic similarities anywhere you go when you're making games but everybody has their own little quirks and ways of doing things. The day I started and began talking to Tim about this, it was like this is my style of game making, this is how I learned how to make games. Because literally it's like we made games a certain way at Interplay, we brought that over to Troika, Obsidian did the same thing after Black Isle, they had the same practices and same mindset about the games they were making. So to go from some place that was completely different back to a place where it's exactly how I remember doing these things, it was really refreshing and it was like coming home in a lot of ways.

It's been great. I love what we're working on, I'm really happy about it, I'm really glad I got this opportunity to do this one more time.

[...]

Obsidian Entertainment

Details

Rune: Ragnarok - First Screenshots

by Silver, 07:03

DSOGaming has the first screenshots for Rune: Ragnarok.

Human Head Studios has revealed the first screenshots for its upcoming sandbox open-world Viking RPG, Rune: Ragnarok. Rune: Ragnarok is the sequel to the 17-year old Rune game and promises to combine brutal melee combat with rich, Norse-inspired mythology.

[...]

Rune: Ragnarok

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

Details

Thursday - December 14, 2017

Obsidian Entertainment - New RPG published by Take-Two

by Hiddenx, 21:34

PCGamesN reports that Obsidian's new RPG will be published by Take-Two:

Obsidian's new RPG won't be out until at least Q2 2019, now published by Take-Two

Take-Two have launched a new publishing label that is partnered with a load of big name developers who have started independent studios, including Obsidian’s new RPG.
[...]
Recently, Take-Two announced that all their upcoming games would feature microtransactions but it’s not clear whether that will include this new label. While microtransactions may work in some of these games, from the description of Project Wight, a Beowulf-inspired game where you play the monster, doesn’t seem like a natural fit for that kind of system.
[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Obsidian Entertainment

Details

ATOM RPG - Preview @ Cliqist

by Hiddenx, 21:24

The Cliqist checked out the ATOM RPG:

Nostalgia Bait Sucks, Except When Atom RPG Brings Back The Real Fallout

If there’s two things I hate in the gaming industry today that everyone else loves, it’s Bethesda and nostalgia. Bethesda has a long record of suing indie developers over spurious copyright claims while pretending to be the victim. Meanwhile they’ve been ruining Fallout and The Elder Scrolls with bland, boring, and two dimensional gameplay and have somehow convinced people they’re still great. And let’s not forget their refusal to work with video game critics, refusing to send out review copies ahead of time so that pre-orderers don’t cancel when critics rake their games of the coals.

And nostalgia. Nostalgia has become a crutch for modern indie game development. Can’t art? Don’t hire an artist, just draw some squares and call it pixel art! Can’t music? Just bang some pots and pans together, record it with a dollar store microphone, and call it classic 8-bit music! Don’t know how to gameplay? Just make a 2D platformer and call it a fan-made, spiritual successor to Boogerman and people won’t be able to pay you fast enough.

Humph, I say.

[...]

ATOM RPG

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

Details

Fade to Silence - Early Access Version released

by Hiddenx, 21:16

The Early Access version of the post-apocalytic survival RPG Fade to Silence is out now:

Fade to Silence

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As the player you take the role of Ash, a natural but tormented leader. In that role you explore a post-apocalyptic, frozen wasteland to gather the resources necessary to establish a refuge for survival. With dwindling resources, simple tasks like upgrading equipment and collecting materials quickly require an expedition to scavenge the necessary items. In the search for survival materials, players must navigate a vast territory, in which they will encounter Eldritch monsters and an even greater foe: the unrelenting winter. While freezing temperatures constantly take their toll on the player Ash, the deadliest event is that of a blizzard. If caught by surprise, it takes every ounce of skill, determination and luck to survive.

In order to survive and overcome all challenges, the player needs to attract followers, bringing them into thei refuge. Each individual skillset and character traits grants access to higher tier resources and gear. Without such advances, the player character can scavenge only the barest necessities, crafting makeshift tools and weapons.

“You’re glad to have found wood; for once, you’ll have a roaring fire in the camp. As your sled wolves race home, you pay no attention to the strange lights in the forest. You’ve done enough for today.
The wind suddenly picks up - a blizzard is moving in fast. The voice in your head dares you to keep going,”Come on! You have plenty of time to make it back.” You doubt it, but stopping now means you need to build a shelter—out of that precious wood. The snow begins to fall; you have only a moment to decide. Should you risk it and keep going, or do you play it safe but lose your firewood?”

Fade to Silence introduces the many dynamics of a harsh winter climate to a complex, character-driven, group survival experience. The dynamic weather system adds to the immersion of survival in a cold, corrupted world. Survival depends on how well the players read weather patterns, and if they come to the right conclusion - look for shelter or press home. The dynamic snow displacement leaves a realistic path by both player character and NPC. This telltale sign will tell you regions where it is good to hunt and regions where monsters are roaming.

“You’re out hunting. The barren, snow-filled landscape is endless and unrelenting. A Ripper comes out of nowhere, and you fight it off, narrowly dodging its gigantic claws.
Then you see it: a distant fire. Another person? Impossible. But there’s a strange noise—a voice? Wild hope sears your heart; you won’t be alone anymore. The voice in your head steps in, discouraging you from investigating. “Anyone living must have done terrible things to survive”, it says. You quiet the voice, defying it this time, and move in closer. Another person could help you rebuild, gather food, harvest deer. You see someone—yes! Someone else is out here. Then, you hear a scream. But you hesitate. How can you trust them? Another scream, desperate. There’s only one way to find out.”

Features:

  • Explore a vast winter landscape: The launch version lets you explore a river delta, a dense forest region and cultivated farmland of an 8km² area.
  • Wolf Sled Expeditions: Pack your sled, take a follower with you and engage in long term expeditions into the farthest regions.
  • Fight System: Tiered weapon system, melee and ranged combat.
  • Moral choices: Save and recruit various NPCs to join your group. Harsh choices have to be made; who do you take, who do you leave behind.
  • Battle increasingly dangerous Eldritch creatures that roam an apocalyptic world.
  • Trust your inner voice. It is your friend.

IGN shows some gameplay.

Thanks Farflame!

Fade to Silence

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Game of the Year 2017 @ PC Gamer

by Hiddenx, 20:24

Divinity: Original Sin II is PC Gamer's Game of the Year 2017:

Game of the Year 2017: Divinity: Original Sin 2

Larian's massive, liberating RPG is a gift to fans of the genre.

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is PC Gamer's overall Game of the Year for 2017, as voted for by our global editorial team. The following commentary comes from the game's biggest supporters on staff. Look out for the rest of our awards and staff personal picks at our GOTY hub as we head towards the end of December.

Phil Savage: Was there ever any doubt? Divinity: Original Sin 2 was the obvious Game of the Year choice. It's a massive, sprawling RPG for one thing. But more than that, it embraces the chaotic, player-driven nature of all of PC Gamer's GOTY picks for the last few years. Original Sin 2's element-focused combat system is a revelation, giving you scope for wildly inventive, unpredictable solutions. Its fights are a test of wit, and often result in bewildering chain reactions. Whether you're electrifying someone's blood, or combining spells to kill a boss by doing an absurd amount of damage to yourself, experimentation is not only allowed, but rewarded.

[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Thea 2: The Shattering - Development Update

by Silver, 10:53

Thea 2 has received an end of year update which delivers a status report on progress and introduces a new God called Lada.

[...]
Development progress

Editor: final (or as final as it ever gets at this stage, or ever ) works on the editor's functionality are being done this month. This means we're making sure things like - different challenge types, rewards, xp, event logic etc. - work as they should. We're also hoping to add the trade functionality, which is something much needed based on our experience of Thea 1.

Database - again, we're adding skills, resources, items, races, classes and more. Later, we will have to make sure these are all balanced, for now, we need them to exist and take shape so that we can push out that first playable prototype. 

UI/Art/Story - these are constantly being worked on, 2D art is commissioned, 3D models are being matched with their 2D counterparts and perfected by A'vee, the quests are growing in number every week and with the editor shaping up, maybe they'll start working soon ;).

God reveal - Lada

Finally, we will leave you in the gentle hands of our lady of love, may she bring us all a peaceful and happy Christmas and a wonderful 2018!

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Thea 2: The Shattering

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

Details

Star Citizen - Being Sued by Crytek

by Silver, 08:40

@Gamespot Cloud Imperium Games is being sued by Crytek over a breach of contract and copyright infringement.

German game developer and publisher Crytek is suing the developer of the ambitious PC space game Star Citizen over breach of contract and copyright infringement claims. Specifically, Crytek is suing Cloud Imperium Games on the claim that the the Star Citizen studio did not live up to the promises it made for using Crytek's CryEngine.

According to the complaint filed December 12 (via PC Gamer), Crytek agreed to a below-market rate for Cloud Imperium to use CryEngine with the agreement being that Cloud Imperium would prominently display the CryEngine logo in the game. The lawsuit says Crytek knew that displaying the CryEngine's logo was a "critical component" of the agreement between the two companies. The lawsuit goes on to say that Cloud Imperium founder Chris Roberts "publicly sought to minimize Crytek's contribution to Star Citizen."

[...]

Thanks for the news Lucky Day!

Star Citizen

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

Titan Quest - Coming to Consoles

by Silver, 08:32

Eurogamer reports that Titan Quest will be coming to consoles PS4, XBOX One and Switch.

Old Diablo-alike Titan Quest is getting a console re-release on PS4, Xbox One and Switch! This was a game first released in 2006.

The PS4 and Xbox One versions of Titan Quest will arrive on 20th March 2018, priced at a budget £27/€30/$30, with the Switch version to follow "when it is done".

Included will be the full Titan Quest game plus Immortal Throne expansion, but not the game's new Ragnarok expansion, released last month. There will be online co-op for up to six people, and "remastered graphics" to bring the game up to date.

[...]

Thanks for the news ekurisona!

Titan Quest

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

Details

Wednesday - December 13, 2017

Spellforce 3 - Review @ Eurogamer

by Hiddenx, 20:48

Eurogamer recommends Spellforce 3:

SpellForce 3 review

Definitive, maybe.

Describing a game as a mash-up of two other well-known titles is lazy, but you know what? It's fun and sometimes useful, as in the case of SpellForce. 'Baldur's Gate meets Age of Mythology' is the sell, and third time out for this particular series I'm committed to updating the labels of the imaginary Venn diagram for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the game's role-playing strategy formula. And while it's tempting to stick with Baldur's Gate and Age of Mythology, especially as they remain in loyal service thanks to their respective enhanced/extended editions, after a number of unremarkable expandalones and dutiful anthologies, SpellForce 3 feels like the first in the series eager to break free of binary influences.

[...]

While the script and delivery is out of whack in a few places and genuine asymmetry between the playable races would be warmly received, there's really very little about SpellForce 3 that warrants getting upset about. Perhaps there isn't a wide open world to explore and the routes to victory seem more focused on which heroes you recruit along the way, but there's enough more freedom in pace and plenty to enjoy just exploring the maps. Then there are the the multiplayer options - a main campaign can be played in tandem and an unspectacular but fully-featured skirmish mode. There's certainly far more to enjoy than there is to endure and for fans of RPGs or RTS games who might only have a passing interest in half of what SpellForce 3 has to offer, I can assure you that you won't be disappointed.

I'd even go so far as to say that SpellForce 3 is the best Baldur's Gate meets Age of Mythology ever.

The old school RTS continues to gather strength, with help from some friends in high level places - Recommended

Spellforce 3

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

Details

Jupiter Hell - Year One Update

by Silver, 20:23

The Year 1 update for Jupiter Hell.

Year 1 update!

It has been one year since you Kickstarted Jupiter Hell! 12 months ago our Kickstarter completed at 117% of our target amount, and since then we’ve been hard at work to turn your generosity into a fantastic game :)  

There have been some delays along the way, but we’re at a really good point right now. Some developments of late:

  • We’ve expanded our team to 10 people, including 2 new programmers
  • Our custom engine is working great, with Linux builds, optimised physics and light systems, and of course the unique adaptive animation system that makes the game so fluid to play
  • We now have 6 separate environment tilesets, each with color schemes and varied amounts of decorative elements, so we’ll have diverse and interesting levels to explore
  • Jupiter Hell is now populated with several new enemies, including the imp, fat demon, clawed demon, combat drone and summoner, with others in the production queue (these are all placeholder names, incidentally)
  • Base gameplay mechanics are integrated, with the code for deeper elements already in place and ready for rapid expansion
  • ASCII mode! 

What next?

Our next Inner Circle build is expected by the turn of the year. This will be a meaty build for our IC fans, and we expect a big amount of adjustments based on that.

We then plan to release Jupiter Hell’s first alpha build to our Alpha backers in March! Our roadmap to alpha includes a number of key games features:  

  • Full game UI (though still mostly text-based placeholder)
  • Character creation and character advancement (xp, leveling, etc)
  • Inventory system, loot and ‘loot boxes’ (the fun kind!)
  • Initial FX system, for cool explosions, shot effects and more polish on the visuals
  • Many other fixes and polishing on technical features and quality of life improvements to make the game feel more playable and fun

Once we have the alpha released we’ll publish our roadmap to beta!

Jupiter Hell

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

Details

2000AD License - Multiple Games in Development

by Silver, 11:16

@PCGamesN Rebellion has confirmed that multiple games are in development which will be revealed in the coming year.

Rebellion opened the door to license out games in the 2000 AD universe earlier this year. That means any developer or publisher can approach the studio and pitch a 2000 AD game - Rockstar want to make GTA: Judge Dredd? Sure. Arkane want to do an immersive sim set in Strontium Dog’s world? Go for it. An indie studio wants to make a 2D platformer based on Ace Trucking? Why not. All they have to do is approach Rebellion, ask, and agree to the terms. 

Rebellion have said previously that they were considering a Judge Dredd game.

Since that announcement, multiple studios have struck deals with Rebellion to make games in their iconic comic book universes. We spoke to Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley to see what we could find out. 

[...]

Non-RPG General News

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

Details