The Council Interview
Farflame reached out to The Council Game Director Sylvain Sechi to talk about The Council.
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Forgottenlor checks out the cold world of the Frostbite edition of ICY.
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Wednesday - March 21, 2018
Ghost of a Tale - Review @ Eurogamer
There aren't many reviews for Ghost of a Tale in the English language, but apparently Eurogamer has published one last week.
It's a soggy, rushed-feeling finale, but none of that's enough to kill off my enthusiasm for Dwindling Heights and its denizens - as I write these words, I'm itching to shrug on my preposterously oversized rat armour and take another tour of that central courtyard. There is so much to say about Ghost of a Tale, from the way its stooped and ivy-clad architecture engages with a proud history of video game citadels, through its status as a sort of combat-less Elder Souls knock-off, to the way its writing surfs the line between personality and critique. It is not always great fun to play, but it is always worth pondering, and its mournful, majestic setting will linger in your mind long after the taste of that final encounter has faded.
SP: The Fractured but Whole - DLC available
From Dusk Till Casa Bonita is available since yesterday as DLC for South Parc: The Fractured but Whole.
Mysterion’s sister is in trouble. She’s fallen in with the Vamp Kids of South Park and they’re threatening to turn her into one of them. As part of a ritualistic celebration, the brood of vampires has descended on Cartman’s favorite restaurant, Casa Bonita.
AN ALL-NEW STORY – Explore new areas and fight new enemies in another authentic adventure from Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
A NEW BUDDY – Who better to fight the Vamp Kids than a Goth? Enlist the help of Henrietta Biggle and use her occult powers.
A NEW CLASS – Turn to darkness to fight darkness. Use the new Netherborn class with three new powers and a new ultimate.
SP: The Fractured but WholeSP/MP: Single-player
Depth of Extinction - Build 40
Build number 40 has been made available for Depth of Extinction, which will also be shown at GDC, of which the hihglights are that there are new interior facility layouts, with new facility types, a trap mission and more.
New interior facility layouts that are closed in and more complex. We also separated the facility into rooms and added doors into the picture. To open a door, just position a character next to it and click on it. Opening a door doesn’t use an action. Enemies will also open doors if they are pursuing you!
It’s a Trap! Yes, you’ve seen this on the encounter text, but now this is our first “new” scenario. In a trap mission, your team spawns deep in the facility and must get back to the sub. Unfortunately for you, a lot of enemies will be hunting you. I had a lot of fun playing these and they have a very different feel since the enemy is the aggressor.
New Facility types: Farms, Reactor and Hospitals. We got a lot of new art for farms put together and some new reactor set pieces. You’ve probably seen the hospital stuff before but now we’ve made it into a cohesive level.
Missions will now "auto end" if all enemies are dead and all loot is picked up (including enemy drops).
Notifications look different now and are consistent between the mission screen and the tactical screens. They pop up on the side. We also added a new modal box to let you see what you’ve picked up on the mission. The mission screen will give you notifications when a new area is unlocked, a new sub is available or a new recruit has joined the team.
We now give you a new recruit after every completed objective.
Character voice over removed and replaced with a “text dialog” system. This is the first version, so expect to see some issues with it but I think it’s much more interesting and we are better able to customize the dialog to the character class.
New Loot and Level Up screens now only appear by clicking buttons that appear on the mission screen. The buttons will wiggle a bit to get your attention if you have a level up.
Depth of ExtinctionSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Conan Exiles - Currencies, Map Room and More
If you missed last week’s Conan Exiles stream, you actually missed some good stuff. The big news centers on the economic system en route for the game. Funcom explains that players will be able to find and trade – and even forge – different types of coinage and currencies, as well as trade with NPC merchants and thrall-traders, chiefly in the Unnamed City, which is due for quite the overhaul with new NPCs. Fast travel will also be possible via craftable map rooms.
Conan ExilesSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Synthetik - Roguelite Shooter Released
Synthetik is a top-down roguelite shooter that recently released on Steam.
About This Game
1985. After many years of slavery, the AI servants of Kaida Corporation, the world leader in robotics, have formed the "Machine Legion" and have set out to destroy humanity. Awakening in Kaida Corp. Headquarters, you are the human consciousness of a forgotten Android prototype; the last straw holding the Legion from unleashing the Heart of Armageddon. Only you can battle through the levels of Kaida Corporation's Headquarters, defeat the battalions of enemies within and put an end to this madness.
SYNTHETIK has all the core components of a great rogue-lite - an insurmountable objective defended by relentless opponents and unforgiving bosses encased in ever-changing environments filled with a massive cache of weapons, items, perks and upgrades to discover.
Join the fight alone or through seamless 2 player online co-op, but be careful; every fumble could mean the end.
There's plenty to choices to make and hours of challenge and fun to be had.
Can you defeat the Heart of Armageddon?
T H E N E X T L E V E L I N G U N P L A Y
> Master SYNTHETIK's uniquely rewarding magazine eject and active reload mechanics!
> Weapons can jam and produce heat, check yourself before you burn yourself!
> Go for headshots, tame complex recoil, discard and switch between varied ammo types.
> Savor the uniquely satisfying and direct weapon handling, rewarding precision and mastery!
E X P E R I M E N T
Discover and experiment with over 60 weapons, each with many variants, attachments, and upgrades. Supplement your arsenal with over 80 items that grant offensive and defensive capabilities. There are many choices to make, risks to take, and everything can work!
C U S T O M I Z E
Select between 4 unique and highly customizable classes - Play as a Guardian, Rogue, Commando, or Specialist, each with their own weapon specialisations, loadouts, and perks.
M O D U L A R D I F F I C U L T Y
Choose from 10 different modifications which can be independently combined for a tailored experience. Up the ante for greater risks and rewards or play it safe.
2 P O N L I N E C O O P
Drop in co-op allows you to bring reinforcements to the fight. Better yet, share perks, items, buffs and loot with your comrade. Or, if they get in your way, share your bullets.
Exorder - Tactical-Strategy Game Launched
Solid9 Studios' Exorder, a title which marries the challenging tactical turn-based combat we've come to be familiar with from titles like XCOM with mid-mission unit production, territory control and resource management. Exorder is set in a fantasy world with your standard and less-than-standard assortment of medieval knights and strange creatures going up against one another. The singleplayer campaign is spread across 12 missions telling the tale of how Queen Beyla struggles to retain the throne she recently ascended.
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Tuesday - March 20, 2018
Encased - Officially Announced
Encased has been officially announced by Dark Crystal Games.
Even the squabbles of the Silver and Blue wings did not stop us from launching the website and making a small announcement.https://t.co/YvmFFBvLDW— Dark Crystal Games (@DarkCrystal_HQ) March 20, 2018
Follow along, there will be more.#gamedev #indiedev #encased #scifi #postapocalyptic #rpg pic.twitter.com/xd7HzLVoue
We are glad to announce the video game we have been working on for a plenty of time. Meet Encased – the postapocalyptic single-player tactical RPG with the old-school spirit and a modern design. It features a turn-based combat system and an isometric camera.
The action takes place on the isolated from the other world desert territory covered with a gigantic semi-penetrable dome of mysterious origin. Here lie the ruins of an ancient technologically advanced civilization which are filled with artifacts, traps, and anomalies. After the nuclear war, a corporation researching ancient technologies collapsed, and the remnants of its staff founded a few factions, each one of them having their own vision of the humanity’s future.
Depending on the profession defined by the player during the character creation, some unique dialogue and interaction options appear. Encased is classless – the flexible system of skills and attributes allows making anyone out of your character.
Encased becomes open-world after the prologue and consists of separately loaded areas, with random events that may occur during the translocation.
During the development, we draw our inspiration from such pieces as Fallout 1-2 and “Roadside Picnic“.
Although Encased is the first project for Dark Crystal Games, this is not the first game for our team members. Many of us have a daily experience in the game development and have released a few decent games.
How to follow
It’s best to subscribe to the secret C.R.O.N.U.S. newsletter – there will be really unique materials, classified documents, and demo versions, that you will not see anywhere else. Newsletter http://eepurl.com/dhl8fP. The second best source of data will be our community boards http://forum.darkcrystalgames.com/.
But if you prefer social media – we have plenty.
VK: https://vk.com/darkcrystalgames (Russian)
Smoke and Sacrifice - Dark Fantasy RPG
PC Gamer reports on Smoke and Sacrifice, a dark fantasy RPG. There are screenshots at the link.
In Smoke and Sacrifice, you're a mother searching for her child in a bizarre underworld. All sorts of creatures inhabit this landscape, including jellyfish-like creatures called polyps and a cute hybrid of hogs and porcupines. It immediately reminds me of Don't Starve to play—you craft things to survive, which is extremely familiar. While you start by creating boots, melee weapons and small bombs, though, eventually you'll be creating steampunk-infused mechs. There's a lot going on here.
CD Projekt RED - New Division For Cyberpunk
CD Projekt RED has announced a new division to help it on Cyberpunk 2077 called CD PROJEKT RED Wrocław which is based in Poland.
CD PROJEKT RED, developers of Cyberpunk 2077, The Witcher and GWENT, to open a new division — CD PROJEKT RED Wrocław.
Located in the city of Wrocław, south-western Poland, the new studio will join forces with CD PROJEKT RED Warsaw and Cracow, and bolster development of Cyberpunk 2077 — the upcoming futuristic AAA role-playing game.
“Wrocław is one of the biggest and most technologically advanced cities in Poland and a playing field for serious creative talent. I think the scope of our current and future projects, as well as the overall package we’re bringing in, will pull in people who were hesitant to move to Warsaw or Cracow.” — says Adam Kiciński, President and Joint CEO, CD PROJEKT Capital Group. “The founding dev team of CDPR Wrocław is already pretty stellar, but I still can’t wait to see what talents we’ll discover in new people along the way.” — Kiciński adds.
Consisting of 18 talented industry veterans, Wrocław-based developer, Strange New Things, will form the core of the new studio.
“We’re pretty hyped to be on the spearhead of this new office.” — says Paweł Zawodny, Head of Studio, CD PROJEKT RED Wrocław. “We know Wrocław inside out and it’s an amazing place to make games. The team is strong, and I’m sure we have both the experience and the creative firepower to make Cyberpunk 2077 an even better game.” — Zawodny adds.
“Aside from their immense technological knowledge and artistic flair, the core team of CD PROJEKT RED Wrocław are just great people.” — says Adam Badowski, Game Director for Cyberpunk 2077 and Head of CD PROJEKT RED. “CD PROJEKT RED is not a typical game developer — we put gamers, creative freedom and quality games above making business. These guys not only share this approach, but, much like the rest of the team, think that this attitude is essential to creating epic video games.” — Badowski adds.
Interested in becoming an integral team member of CD PROJEKT RED Wrocław and working with a tight-knit group of professionals on games like CYBERPUNK 2077? Don’t wait a moment longer — write to us at [email protected]
CD Projekt RED
Ash of Gods - Developer Diary#8
The latest developer diary for Ash of Gods goes over what to expect post-release. Ash of Gods is due to release March 23rd.
With only a week left until the release it’s time for me to tell you “See you at the Terminum” (hey, guys, stress on the first syllable). The first issue of our diaries was published on December 22, 2016, and now you read the last one. I’ll also write postmortem, but it seems to me that the format of the statement will be stating the facts and full of bragging or tears.
All this time I tried to talk about everything as it is – without special embellishments, lies, exaggerations and marketing nonsense, which is often freely or not freely added to their own diaries by different teams. In this issue, we will get acquainted once again and I will tell about all who somehow worked a lot on the game. I’ll tell you how things are with the console and mobile versions of the game and I will tell you about the terrible dispute between me and our publishing director.
Right now we are starting to prepare for porting the game on the consoles (Xbox, PS4, Switch) – we signed an agreement with the publisher “Buka” and they will be porting and publishing the game in retail. As we have promised to you during the Kickstarter campaign the game on the consoles will be released 2-4 months after the PC version. Forgive us for not managing to make the controller support on the PC right at the start – we will add this feature to the PC version of the game together with porting on the console. I really want us to translate the game into as many languages as possible. Now we have Russian, English, German, Italian, Chinese, Ukrainian. Soon we will finish with Polish, French, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
When we’re done with consoles, we’ll start working on mobile devices (Android, iOS). It will be at the very end of the year or early in 2019. Maybe I’ll try to check on how difficult it is to build a game on Ps Vita – perhaps it’s not as difficult as it seems?
Ash of GodsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Jeff Vogel - Innovation is not the only Path
@GamesIndustry Jeff Vogel shared his thoughts at GDC on how to survive making indie games.
In his 24 years of continuous indie game development, Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel has learned a few things. In a talk at the Game Developers Conference Independent Games Summit today, he shared some of those things, with the caveat that they may only apply to him and his career, may not be true forever, and may not even be true now.
"Video games are young," Vogel stressed. "Nobody knows anything. We're still scrambling to figure out, 'How do we design these things? How do we create these things? How do we test these things? How do we sell these things? How do we market these things? How do we add loot boxes to our $100 million project without causing it to blow up on the launch pad?'"
Vogel framed his talk as a walk through his personal career in game development, including the creative genesis of his very first video game project.
"It didn't take me long," Vogel said. "I came up with an idea. I loved these games as a kid, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to go to every single game I liked as a kid, and steal the single best idea from every one. And in my crasftsman way, I'm going to amalgamate them into what I hope is a cohesive and satisfying whole."
Bard's Tale IV - Alpha Test Wednesday
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep will have its Alpha test Wednesday.
Bard's Tale IVSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Release: In development
Ys: Memories of Celceta - Revealed for PC
A new game in the Ys series is made available for the PC, which is Ys: Memories of Celceta and it is scheduled ot be released this summer.
Teased No More! XSEED Games Reveals Ys: Memories of Celceta for PC, First Look on Twitch Livestream
Initially Teased by Silhouette, Publisher Shines a Light on Another Classic Nihon Falcom Entry Coming to PC This Year
Torrance, Calif. — March 16, 2018 — XSEED Games, the independent-minded publishing brand of Marvelous USA, Inc., today revealed that they will be publishing Ys: Memories of Celceta, developed by Nihon Falcom and first released for the PlayStation®Vita handheld entertainment system in 2013, on Windows PC in 2018. The title will receive numerous enhancements including improved visuals with a wide range of HD resolutions, unlocked framerates, fully customizable control bindings, mouse support, and more to ensure that it feels at home alongside other PC releases.
About Ys: Memories of Celceta
Knowing nothing but his name, Adol Christin awakens to find himself in the town of Casnan, a bustling frontier village at the edge of an endless sea of trees and untamed wilderness. Bereft of past and purpose, he is left to wander the town until a thief who claims to know him winds up joining him on a sudden mission to rid the local mine of monsters. This unexpected quest reawakens Adol’s instincts as an accomplished swordsman, and together with the thief Duren, his adventures attract the attention of a Romun Army general stationed in the town. Impressed with their skills, she enlists the pair to assist in mapping the Great Forest of Celceta – a task which many have attempted but none have ever returned from. Far from the frontier’s edge, Adol and Duren will have to brave the dangers of Celceta while constantly keeping an eye out for any clues that may help Adol recover his lost memories. More importantly, he must use his best judgment to decide whom he can trust and who is using his memory loss in order to deceive him…
Revisit the setting from the Japanese cult favorite Ys IV and explore the land and characters of Celceta in a whole new way with Ys: Memories of Celceta on PC. Originally released on the “PSVITA” in 2013, the PC remaster of the title features support for a wide range of HD resolutions, multiple fixed framerate options as well as an unlocked framerate, customizable control bindings, mouse support, and much more for Adol’s most immersive and visually impressive trek through the land of Celceta to date. Explore one of the most expansive locales in the series’ history, complete with a robust and detailed mapping system that includes customizable waypoints to keep adventurers from losing themselves while exploring the many secrets hidden within the wilderness. The now-familiar multi-character party system and real-time combat with different weapon types first introduced in Ys SEVEN makes a return in Ys: Memories of Celceta to deliver fast-paced yet strategic action punctuated with meaningful player choice. The PC release will also feature the fan-favorite Boss Rush mode, pitting Adol alone or as part of a full party of characters against an increasingly difficult lineup of bosses in a race against time!
Developed by Nihon Falcom and originally released for the “PSVITA” in 2013, Ys: Memories of Celceta will be published worldwide for PC by XSEED Games this summer. More information about pricing and the release date will be shared at a later time. The PC version of this title has not been rated by the .
Here is a video from their twitch channel about the PC version.
Ys: Memories of CelcetaSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Vigilantes - Version 25 Update
A new development video for version 25 of Vigilantes has been made available.
Here's the most recent development video, which gives a quick update on V25 and covers the overall progress of Vigilantes. To summarise, release is expected in Q3 2018, and after V25, the focus will shift from features to content and balance.
There are many reasons for this, but in short, I feel that the overall quality of the game will suffer if the emphasis remains on adding new features, primarily because it will not allow sufficient time to be committed to content, balancing, and enhancing existing features.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Monday - March 19, 2018
Ni No Kuni 2 - Review @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer has reviewed the upcoming Action RPG Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom:
Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom Review
What is it? An open-world action JRPG built around a great kingdom building sim.
Release date: March 23, 2018
Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom has done a fabulous job of hiding its best feature. It's an open-world action JRPG, but at its heart is a building sim where you've got a top-down view of a dollhouse-like kingdom. You raise buildings, generate resources, assign personnel and research tactics and sciences. Managing your kingdom is not just a thing to do between quests. It's the reason you quest. It's what connects Ni No Kuni 2's many ambitious systems and keeps them running, and more than anything, it's what keeps me coming back.
When it wasn't surprising me with yet more stuff to do, Ni No Kuni 2 impressed me by streamlining RPG basics with modern improvements. Instead of having to tediously pick up items, you automatically hoover up loot. Instead of the JRPG thing where you load into a pocket dimension after bumping into an enemy, if you see an enemy in a dungeon, you approach and fight normally, which improves the flow of dungeon-crawling, makes it easier to gauge enemy strength, and makes exploration tense. These are things I wish every game did.
Ni No Kuni 2 is gorgeous, charming and constantly evolving. Its combat is layered and exciting, and polished by a medley of systems that let you finely tailor your play style. Its globetrotting coming-of-age story is a bit saccharine, but it's told well, and packs an ending that still occupies my thoughts. But its crowning achievement is tying all that and more into an involved and deeply satisfying kingdom building sim, one that enhances every other part of the game.
Ni No Kuni 2SP/MP: Single-player
Platform: PC, PS4
Release: In development
Star Control - Strange Settlement On An Alien Planet
Fred Ford and Paul Reiche III share the reasons why the Star Control IP dispute can't be settled amicably.
Strange Settlement on an Alien Planet
March 19, 2018
After reading about the conflict between us and Stardock, several people have asked the reasonable question, "Why can't you guys just work this out?" In early October 2017 we tried to do just that, exchanging email with Brad Wardell. In these communications, Fred and I defined our idea of a 'win-win' solution...
(Oct. 6, 2017 email from Paul to Brad Wardell) "... It is important that our players are not confused about which game they are getting, so we need to clearly distinguish our respective projects. That separation should fall along our respective rights, Stardock having purchased the Star Control trademarks and Fred and I owning all the IP rights to the works we created.
As we've said to you several times over the past years, we do not want Stardock to use any of our IP, and that remains our position today. To avoid consumer confusion, we must also pass on the DLC option you proposed. Despite your suggestion below, you do not have a license to use our IP. All rights to our work reverted to us long ago. You (and Atari) previously acknowledged same. Further, time and again you have asked for a new license, notwithstanding our consistent rejections. Kindly do not use our IP in your game. If already added, please remove it before release.
We too wish to see both projects succeed and are confident that with reasonable efforts on our respective parts, we can avoid any perceived conflict or confusion between them. ..."
Initially both sides made moves toward compromise. Our blog now includes the attribution "Star Control is a registered trademark of Stardock Systems, Inc". We describe Ghosts of the PrecursorsTM as "a sequel to the Ur-Quan Masters". We no longer use the #starcontrol hashtag. Stardock removed images of our alien races from their website banner and they changed "SUPER-MELEE" to "Fleet Battles" in Origins.
But earlier this month we received an unfathomable settlement offer from Stardock. Paraphrasing from legalese, it requires...
- Fred and Paul must surrender all their IP rights to the classic Star Control games to Stardock.
- Fred and Paul never again use the words "STAR CONTROL" or "GHOSTS OF THE PRECURSORS" or "THE UR-QUAN MASTERS".
- For the next 5 years, Fred and Paul do not work on any game similar to the classic Star Control games.
- Fred and Paul issue a public apology to Stardock.
- Fred and Paul never again challenge Stardock's rights to STAR CONTROL trademark or STAR CONTROL 3 copyright.
- Fred and Paul pay Stardock $225,000.
- Fred and Paul never again call themselves the "creators" of the classic Star Control games.
And if their intent wasn't clear enough, Stardock has now also filed for the trademarks:"The Ur-Quan Masters", "Melnorme", "VUX", Pkunk", "Ilwrath", "Chenjesu", "Androsynth", "Spathi", "SUPER-MELEE", "Syreen", "Ur-Quan", "Orz" and "Yehat".
Fred and I still believe in the ‘win-win' scenario for both studios and both games, but given Stardock's recent actions, we seem headed into a world in which many hundreds of hours and many MILLIONS of dollars are spent on legal actions. Those hours and that money will be lost - not spent on making both games cooler, more beautiful, more fun -- and ultimately that hurts players like you.
Star ControlSP/MP: Unknown
Kingdom Come - Review
The Overclockers Club has reviewed Kingdom Come: Deliverance:
Kingdom Come: Deliverance Review
Here it is, at long last my review of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, a game that places you in 1403 Bohemia, when the kingdom is suffering from civil war. You play as Henry, the son of the blacksmith in Skalitz, but soon after the game starts, your home is attacked and razed to the ground, starting you on your path to protect the province and push back the invaders. While Henry himself is not a real person, the events and some of the NPCs you interact with can be found in history.
Kingdome Come: Deliverance is an open world RPG, and you can expect some of the same mechanics found in other games of the genre, such as the collection of skills you can develop by paying people to teach you, and more importantly practice. Sometimes practice is difficult, as failure can be punishing, but as you level up skills you can unlock some very useful perks, making the time and money invested worth it. There is a lot you can do in this game, and while some can be a little hard to grasp initially, nothing is too hard to get a handle on.
The ESRB has given the game a Mature rating for blood and gore, intense violence, strong language, nudity, strong sexual content, and use of alcohol. Except perhaps blood and gore and intense violence, I think all of the descriptors were met with a single mission, but the game definitely deserves all of these descriptors. If that means such content is not suitable for you, then this review and its media likely is not either.
With those points covered, time to get to the actual review.
Does Kingdom Come: Deliverance deliver on expectations? I am not sure because I did not really set any expectations before playing it, but I was still very satisfied. It really is a fun game and an easy one to recommend, if you are up for such a large game. Not everyone is, and that is fine, but if you want an open-world RPG experience that is also story driven, this is a very good game to consider. It offers a lot between its missions, activities, and the time you can invest in all of it, so if that appeals to you, go for it.
The graphics are beautiful in so many ways, I almost wish I could just walk around in the environment without concern for enemies or anything else. The performance is a bit spread out currently, but I think newer drivers and patches will help with this some, though I cannot guess how much. The story is very good and does provide an interesting glimpse into history, but you may find yourself putting more time into other events than those books might record. The gameplay is solid and enjoyable, even if I can find some things I wish were better. Altogether, it is a good game very worthy of consideration.
Kingdom ComeSP/MP: Single-player
Northgard - Review
PC Gamer has reviewed the RTS game Northgard:
It's spring and my Viking colonists are gleefully filling their bellies now that the snow has melted and our food stores are filling up. The farmers and hunters are working hard, and with their appetite sated, my warriors are jonesing for a fight. I don't have time to enjoy it. I'm already preparing for Northgard’s next harsh winter. Even more than dragons or undead, foul weather is the greatest threat to my growing settlement.
Northgard looks like a throwback, a game that would have comfortably fit in with Age of Empires and Settlers, but while the inspiration is clear, it would be a disservice to imply that it's mainly trading in nostalgia. This Viking saga builds on the history-themed RTS romps of the '90s, but it's not beholden to them.
Northgard lives in the skirmish mode. The campaign mission design is good, but sometimes you just want to shake off the shackles and batter some Vikings in a sandbox. When all of the game's concepts collide, instead of being separated by levels, it becomes a tricky, unpredictable RTS that pulls you in all these different directions. Every game is fat with potential, helped in great part by a map generator that spits out a brilliant array of as-good-as-bespoke battlefields.
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Realms Beyond - World Building #3
ljs23rd spotted a progress update about character portraits for Realms Beyond:
World Building #3: Faces of Argea
During the last two weeks, we have been occupied with one of the most important visual elements of traditional RPGs: Character Portraits.
We needed to find a good compromise between quality and quantity because every NPC in our world that the player can interact with, must get his/her very own unique face. For us, that’s one of the most crucial points if you want to realize a believable world.
A small but expressive 2D portrait can deliver much more personality and individuality than a high-poly 3D model with fancy shaders and physically simulated hair.
After some experiementation with various Photoshop techniques, we finally figured out a proper way to create portraits in a reasonable amount of time in decent quality. The world of Realms Beyond, Argea, will be initially populated with at least 250 unique NPCs (common villagers without dialogue lines won’t have portraits) plus dozens of unique encounter bosses and various mysterious creatures in dungeons and wilderness areas.
We will not disclose every culture and faction yet, but those examples will give you a first impression of our portrait style and the groups that populate Argea:
Realms BeyondSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Sunday - March 18, 2018
Tower of Time - Releasing April 12th
Tower of Time will release April 12th, according to the latest update.
We are testing a new video player and new movie formats - the problem we have since day 1 of our adventures with Linux. We are on a good track but we need to run a lot of tests on different distributions since we are committed to release 100% working version. Should take few more days.
We will balance the game until the very end. At the moment Epic difficulty is midly challenging on level 1 but then from level 2 you really need to think outside the box and find the best synergies between champions' abilities be good at tactical-side of the combat (team positioning, threat management, effective tanking, learning your enemies and what they can do, understanding their weaknesses, etc..).
If you would like to help us, please join our discord channel:
We hope you will enjoy Tower of Time in its final state.
Event Horizon team
Tower of TimeSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Bethesda Softworks - New Game This E3?
JuiceHead thinks that Bethesda will reveal a new game at E3. He is basing this on a recent Todd Howard interview with AIAS Game Maker's Notebook.
Today we take a look at an interview Tood Howard recently gave on The AIAS Game Maker's Notebook, a podcast that has talked to various different devs of larger games. During the interview they talk about Fallout 4 mods and Skyrim SE mods, but also the bigger picture of Fallout 5 and The Elder Scrolls 6. There is mention of new games being complete leading me to believe the rumored Starfield or another new IP will be announced at this E3.
Towards The Pantheon - Releasing May 16th
Towards the Pantheon will be releasing on Steam May 16th.
After almost two years of grueling full time development the anticipated 2D RPG Towards The Pantheon has a release date of May 16th, 2018. While lead developer Connor O.R.T. Linning had been thinking of dates between April and June for quite some time, the date was solidified during a shower one morning and the Lagwagon song ‘May 16th’ from the legendary Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 soundtrack began playing.
Development of Towards The Pantheon started when lead developer Connor O.R.T. Linning collected a long list of RPG clichés and decided to avoid as many of them as possible while designing his game. Gone are elemental types, elixirs, elves, inns, and generic love stories. Instead players of Towards The Pantheon will ride hamsters, journey through a survival horror inspired mansion, collect dead memories, make new friends, and partake in regular chats around the campfire. Artist Leandro Tokarevski joined soon after to create the pixel art for the entire world using a palette of only 16 colors resulting in a vibrant and distinct world full of charm.
Towards The Pantheon follows the journey of Freyja the warrior, Bam the cat, Mishima the electropunk, and Phenez the ghost as they strive to defeat the source of a malevolent regime The Sworn Light at The Pantheon. To make the gameplay of Towards The Pantheon more unique, elements of adventure and survival horror genres have been implemented. The standard HP/MP system for party members has been altered so that every character has their own stat system. For example Phenez the ghost only has Necropoints which means that he must hurt himself to be able to attack, and Bam the cat has Energy Points which are restored by snoozing or using catnip.
With a world containing over 10 distinct regions to explore, 45 enemies to battle, 80 soundtrack songs to experience, hundreds of items to collect, hundreds of NPCs to interact with, and over 15 hours of gameplay, Towards The Pantheon is the unique type of game for those looking for a new and fresh adventure.
In October 2017 the horror/mystery themed prequel game Towards The Pantheon: Escaping Eternity was released for free and received an 89% positive score on Steam. The game was praised by reviewers and streamers for its original premise and dark atmosphere.
Towards The Pantheon’s release date of May 16th also brings lead developer Connor O.R.T. Linning’s journey full circle. 15 years ago he spent his time at school creating an episodic pixel art story accompanied by trading cards that he distributed among his friends named ‘May 16th’. Now at age 26, he’s bringing that same love and dedication to storytelling and game development to Steam, Itch.io, and Gamejolt. Towards The Pantheon can now be added to your Steam Wishlist! http://store.steampowered.com/app/709510/Towards_The_Pantheon/
Press Kit: http://www.towardsthepantheon.com/index.php/press-kit/
Steam Page link: http://store.steampowered.com/app/709510/Towards_The_Pantheon/
Social Media Links:
Towards The PantheonSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
The Council - More Reviews
Here are some more reviews for the Narrative Adventure The Council:
The Council Episode One: The Mad Ones review: “I wondered how characters could believe what was coming out of my mouth”
The Council – Episode 1: The Mad Ones Review – New Story, Old Issues
The Council: Episode 1 - The Mad Ones review: Talk a good game
However, the game is let down by occasionally stilted voice acting, coupled with some rough lip-synching in spots, meaning there can sometimes feel like a disconnect between the dialogue and the action on screen, like a poorly-dubbed movie.
Louis' mother Sarah in particular seems to be baring her giant teeth a bit too often, and you may find yourself cringing at the instances of horribly fake sounding laughter or strange cadence.
Some lines are delivered in such a robotic way that it becomes jarring, while the poorer moments of facial animation (on the otherwise detailed faces) can be rather distracting, which is a shame given how much polish has gone into the gameplay.
But if you can ride out the clunky voice overs, The Mad Ones is a decent introduction into the world of The Council. The novel mechanics and engaging plot are ripe for further exploration over the other upcoming four episodes.
The CouncilSP/MP: Single-player
Soulblight - Released
Soulblight is described as a dark, unforgiving, top-down action roguelike luring you to cross the thin line between good and evil. The game has launched on Steam to a 10% discount.
About This Game
Soulblight is a dark, unforgiving, top-down action roguelike luring you to cross the thin line between good and evil. Instead of XP grinding, it introduces a Tainting Mechanics. While traveling through the shattered reality of the Sanctuary, you will receive personality traits based on your choices. These will be the main source of your strength. To harness them, you will have to act accordingly. Becoming an alcoholic means that you will be rewarded for getting drunk, but from that point being sober might prove to be unbearable.
- A unique Tainting Mechanic designed to encourage role playing
- Tons of weapons, armor, and utility items
- Dynamic and tactical combat build around stamina management and distance control
- Optional stealth approach that complements fighting
- Randomly generated, visually breathtaking levels
- High difficulty level emphasized by permadeath mechanics
- Gameplay-driven narrative
Before entering each level of the Sanctuary you get to choose a Taint that represents a certain personality trait. That choice will shape your future experiences as each Taint unlocks a new way of gaining power - a custom mechanic designed to encourage role-playing. Tainting Mechanics channels your will to survive into actions that are aligned with your hero’s personality.
As you go deeper into the Sanctuary you’ll be able to add more Taints to your character’s personality making the shifting levels of the dungeon itself a skill tree of a kind. However with each new Taint you’re a step closer to the point of no return. Are you sure you know where it is?
Azure Saga: Pathfinder - Review
Sirus Gaming checked out the turn-based sci-fi fantasy RPG Azure Saga: Pathfinder:
Azure Saga: Pathfinder Review – Medieval Meets Sci Fi
Azure Saga: Pathfinder is a turn-based game that married sci-fi and fantasy elements; With the Fantasy elements involving the creatures and magic that appears in-game. It starts from the Sci-Fi end where the hero Synch finds himself stranded in Exonia along with his droid, Noide. There, they meet High Priestess Clery who they ask for help in order to get off the planet. Unfortunately, they find themselves tangled in more problems which center around the mythical planet – Azure.
After playing the game a bit and still am, Azure Saga: Pathfinder is definitely a breath of fresh air compared to many other games that are usually using graphics as their selling point rather than their story-telling. Azure Saga: Pathfinder marries both the story-telling elements of a fantasy-based game and the modern plays of a sci-fi game, bringing both elements together into a turn-based game. For those looking into it, here’s my Azure Saga: Pathfinder Review to help you decide whether or not you should buy the game.
Over-All: It’s a good game
Azure Saga: Pathfinder is a good game, especially for those who enjoy both fantasy and sci-fi elements. Also, if you’re looking for a game that won’t kick up one’s blood pressure but still contains some form of challenge, then this definitely something you should play. If you’re a person who likes games based on aesthetics, then you’ll probably appreciate the artistry of this title especially since it has a novel-like storytelling setting.
- Beautiful artwork
- Enticing storyline
- Additional mechanics more than just beyond the usual turn-based games
- Artwork may not be appealing to those who aren't into anime stylized characters
- May not be dynamic enough for those who want something more engaging
- The game may not appeal to those who aren't into either Fantasy or Sci-Fi
Azure Saga: PathfinderSP/MP: Single-player
Aeon of Sands - Coming Soon
Aeon of Sands is coming soon to Steam although no date has been announced yet.
Aeon of SandsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Release: In development
Saturday - March 17, 2018
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Patch 0.5.0.5 announced
The estimated time for arrival for the Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem patch 0.5.0.5 is March 27th:
New global roadmap and ETA on patch 0.5.0.5
We’ve been pretty busy this week but here is a little update on the ongoing work.
Wolcen global roadmap
I’ve made a new informative Roadmap about the progression of the team on the final content for Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem. It’s more specific about the skills and gameplay features you can currently test in game, those we’re currently working on, and the planned ones.
Wolcen Global Roadmap - 2018 Edition
The elements you will find in this Roadmap are here to reflect the overall advancement of Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem so you can keep track of the progress separating the actual version from the release version.
These features are not related to the planned updates during the Early Access Alpha or the Beta and are still subject to changes during the development of the game. Meaning that even if some elements are “in progress”, it will not mean that it’s planned for the next update. For instance, Act II, III, IV and V are not supposed to be accessed during the Alpha or the Beta version of the game, only at the release, but you will know when we’ll be working on them.
I’ve used some tags on the different elements so you’ll be well informed, here is a little explanation about them:
Red - Important Read me Really: Means you really should read
Green - Completed: Just means it's done
Orange - In Alpha testing: Currently available in the EA Alpha of Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem but still in testing so still subject to changes
Purple - In progress: Means we're currently working on it
Dark Blue - Pending refactor: Means we're currently revamping it
Light Blue - Planned: Means we will be working on it later
We hope that this new Roadmap will give you a better global vision on the actual status of the game and its progression.
When is patch day?
The patch is planned for release on March 27th. It will include a lot of bug and crash fixes, some optimization, UX improvements, bows and new spells. We’ve focused a lot on the feedback we received to solve the current issues in game and allow a more enjoyable test environment for our community.
If you feel like you’ll be nostalgic about some of these issues in the future, enjoy it while you can and take pictures, because it will be fixed in the next update:
- Lightning issues
- Dodgeroll issues
- You will no longer get stuck in water
- The invisible walls in random dungeons should not occur anymore
- The game will update quest objectives even if the inventory is full
- Issues with duplicate/crashes/infinite gold/incapacity to use items
- The items will no longer risk being downgraded after a logout
- Items will no longer disappear when you remove gems with a full inventory
- “Machine gun” attack speed exploit with pistols will not be possible anymore
- You won’t be able to keep templar weapons when leaving the training area
- Overheating will no longer kill the character
We’re also changing the time in game and replace it with the system time. And last but not least, the gems will have their own color on the ground so you won’t miss them anymore.
And that’s all for this week!
As always thank you all for your support and see you next week with a nice screenshot of the month presenting you exclusively one of our latest enemy and environment.
Wolcen: Lords of MayhemSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Ghost of a Tale - Review
Rock Paper Shotgun reviewed the Adventure Stealth RPG Ghost of a Tale:
Ghost Of A Tale is a stealthy RPG with bright whiskers
Ghost Of A Tale is out of early access, letting you squeak your way past an army of rats, in a rodent stealth-cum-RPG. Is it the big cheese, or lost in the rat race? And considering these incredibly obvious puns, why on Earth isn’t it called “Ghost Of A Tail”?
I love the premise. You’re a mouse called Tilo, ridiculously cute, who starts off in a rat prison. Slipped a key by a mysterious stranger, you begin your escape from the jail, only to emerge into a daylight plagued with more rat guards. Your wife is missing, and you’re determined to find her, and doing so is going to involve helping out a lot of other creatures. Tilo, a minstrel, can (in theory) gather multiple outfits of other classes, and thus adopt their abilities, sneak into new areas, and delve deeper into an RPG of fetch quests and combat-free stealth.
But then it’ll charm your pants and underwear clean off with its lovely writing right when you were feeling too cross with it. Other characters are properly funny, have good gags to drop on you, and the way you react to their banter feels like it makes a difference. Heck, the clothes you’re wearing makes a difference. And this is all given a decent pathos through Tilo’s genuine sense of fear, perhaps even grief, for his missing family. It’s full of chuckles, extraordinarily sweet, and hides the fact that it is just a bunch of fetch quests extremely effectively.
I rather love it. I love that the day/night cycles really change the behaviour of everyone in this little world (and you can sleep to whichever time of day you need it to be), even though it’s ridiculously dark at night. I love the way Tilo scampers on all fours when he runs, even though the sprint stamina is far too brief and takes far too long to refill. I love finding a secret tunnel through gained skills, even though the maps are abysmal and unlabeled. Gosh, it could be a lot better, but I really enjoy playing what it is.
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark - Preview
PC Gamer checked out a demo of the tactical RPG Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark:
Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark unabashedly takes after Final Fantasy: Tactics
We played the demo of the Kickstarter success to see how it's coming along.
My plan was to open with an easy joke about how characters in Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark walk infinitely in place like it's the newest exercise craze (as you can see in the trailer above), but unfortunately I missed my chance. The developers at 6 Eyes Studio listened to player feedback and in the latest build characters have new, less goofy idle animations.
Those perpetually strolling characters showed how closely 6 Eyes are emulating Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre, their two main inspirations. Maybe it's for the best, but I'm sorry I took the moonwalking for granted. Yet even without endlessly marching NPCs, there are a lot of elements of Fell Seal lifted directly from Final Fantasy: Tactics.
I can't say for sure, but I don't get the feeling that Fell Seal is going to dip into cliches like "the hero was destined all along" or "the villain wants to turn the entire world into a hellscape." Nothing is for certain, but I've so far enjoyed the story of these three stalwart Arbiters who find themselves the center of attention not due to supernatural ability or conveniently royal blood, but by pure unfortunate circumstance.
Fell Seal: Arbiter's MarkSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development