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Monday - August 07, 2017
Sunday - August 06, 2017
Saturday - August 05, 2017
Friday - August 04, 2017
Thursday - August 03, 2017
Wednesday - August 02, 2017
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Drakensang: The Dark Eye
Box Art

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Monday - August 07, 2017

ELEX - Preview @ Writing Bull

by Hiddenx, 20:23

Writing Bull has made some ELEX-Let's Play videos together with game designer Jenny Pankratz:

Preview Let's Play mit Entwickler: Elex (01) [German]

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ELEX

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development

Details

The Mandate - Dead in the Water?

by Silver, 14:54

@GameWatcher There has been no sign of life around The Mandate.

Just yesterday we broke the news that developer Playdek was quitting their troubled Kickstarter RPG Unsung Story. Today we have another Kickstarter RPG, that frankly we were personally more excited about than Unsung Story, but this one seems to be completely dead. We're talking about highly ambitious space strategy-RPG The Mandate, which raised $701,010 from 16,408 backers in 2013.

It is now August 2017, with the game two years out from developer Perihelion Interactive's estimated release date, and there have both been no updates from the developer since April. Furthermore Perihelion's own website is offline, and the developer itself may have been dissolved.
[...]
Recently backer 'Count Thalim' on the forum dug up legal documents suggesting that Perihelion Interactive has been dissolved, with The Mandate trademark not renewed since April. The final piece, The Mandate website and forum (which is still active with backers commiserating the game's demise), is due to expire on August 19 so it will be quietly taken offline then.

The Mandate

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

Details

Sunday - August 06, 2017

Witcher 3 - Enter The Devils Pit

by Silver, 22:46

@GameRant The Witcher 3 has a new mod called Enter The Devils Pit.

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Despite having been available for nearly two years at this point, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt remains a popular title for the modding community, as there have been a plethora of graphics mods, first-person mods, and even ones as simple as adding snow to the open world created since the base game's initial launch. Now, however, one fan has decided to make a fresh mod available called "Enter the Devil's Pit," which unlocks a brand new area that includes 20 new items, a bunch of non-playable characters (NPCs), bombs, potions, weapons, and much more.
[...]

Witcher 3

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

Details

Shadow of War - Now has a Marketplace

by Silver, 11:23

Middle-earth: Shadow of War will have a marketplace with in-game purchases. Needless to say this is a somewhat controversial move for a single player game.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Introducing the Market - Announcement

The innovative Nemesis System created unique personal stories through procedurally-generated enemies who remember every encounter and are differentiated by their personality, strengths and weaknesses. Middle-earth: Shadow of War expands this innovation with the introduction of followers who bring about entirely new stories of loyalty, betrayal and revenge. The Nemesis System is also expanded to create a unique personal world through Nemesis fortresses, which allows players to utilize different strategies to conquer dynamic strongholds and create personalized worlds with their unique Orc army.

An important aspect of the Nemesis System now comes in forging, customizing and leading your own army of unique Orc followers against the fortresses of Mordor. There are different ways to do this, including dominating Orcs by exploring the vast open-world and encountering them as part of Orc society, or players can acquire Orcs and other items through the Market (in-game store).

Through the Market, players can purchase Loot Chests, War Chests, XP Boosts and Bundles (accessed only with an internet connection).

• Loot Chests contain Gear (weapons and armor) of varying rarity. Equipping and upgrading these weapons and armor enhance Talion's character abilities. Loot Chests can also contain XP Boosts that help level up Talion faster.

• War Chests provide Orc followers of varying rarity to help forge a strong army. They can also contain Training Orders to level up and customize Orc followers.
• XP Boosts are consumables that help level up Talion faster.
• Bundles package up Loot Chests, War Chests and Boosts together at a great value.

 

To purchase these items, players can spend Mirian or Gold throughout the game as one progresses. Mirian is a type of in-game currency that can be acquired by:

• Defeating Treasure Orcs
• Destroying Gear for Mirian
• Destroying Orc followers for Gear (which can be destroyed for Mirian)
• Finding Mirian stashes throughout the game

 

Gold is another form of in-game currency that can be used to get higher level Loot Chests, War Chests, Boosts and Bundles of the aforementioned content. Gold can be acquired by:

• Purchasing through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store or by adding to your Steam Wallet using real money.
• Awarded in small amounts at specific milestones.
• Awarded for participating in community challenges.

 

Please note: No content in the game is gated by Gold. All content can be acquired naturally through normal gameplay.

What is Mirian and how do I earn it?

  • Mirian is a form of in-game currency that players earn by playing the game. Along with Gold, Mirian can be used to purchase Loot Chests and War Chests from the Market. Mirian can be acquired by:
  • Defeating Treasure Orcs
  • Destroying Gear for Mirian
  • Destroying Orc followers for Gear (which can be destroyed for Mirian)
  • Finding Mirian stashes throughout the game

What is Gold and how do I earn it?

Gold is a form of in-game currency awarded in small amounts at specific milestones and for participating in community challenges. It can also be purchased for real money through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store and by adding funds to your Steam Wallet. Along with Mirian, Gold can be used to purchase Loot Chests, War Chests and Boosts from the Market.

What can I get with Gold?

Along with Mirian, players can use Gold to purchase Loot Chests that contain Gear for Talion (weapons and armor), War Chests that provide Orcs for your army of followers and Boosts that help level up Talion faster.

Do I have to pay for Gold?

No, Gold is awarded in small amounts at specific milestones and for participating in community challenges. It can also be purchased through the PlayStation Store, Xbox Store and by adding funds to your Steam Wallet using real money. Everything a player can buy with Gold can also be earned in the game over time for free, but Gold gives players the option to acquire these items faster. No Gold purchases are necessary to enjoy the complete game experience.

What do you mean when you say Gold can save time?

By simply engaging with the world and playing through Middle-earth: Shadow of War, you earn items like Gear for Talion and unique Orcs for your army. These are the same items that are found in the Market within Loot Chests and War Chests. Gold merely allows you to get your hands on them immediately, cutting down some of the additional time that would have been spent winning more battles, tracking nemeses, completing quests and assaulting fortresses.

Does Gold give me an advantage in the game?

No, Gold does not give you any advantage over other players. A player who invests enough time can progress the same amount and have access to the same content as a player who purchases Gold. Gold is not required to progress or advance in the game at all.

Are there unique items in the market purchased using Gold that you can't get through normal play?

No, all of the aforementioned items can be earned playing through the game. Gold merely allows you to get your hands on them immediately.

How much does Gold cost?

Prices for Gold will be communicated at a later date.

Shadow of War

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

Details

Phoenix Point - Early Character Models

by Silver, 11:16

A new video log series has started for Phoenix Point. The first one for August looks at early character models.

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In the first development VLOG of August, X-Com and Phoenix Point creator Julian Gollop takes you on a brief tour around the art an animation department of Snapshot Games to see how some of the early models are shaping up for Phoenix Point.

Phoenix Point is a squad focused turn based tactical game with 4X strategic elements. Phoenix Point was successfully funded on Fig in Jun 2017 and is scheduled for release in late 2018

There's still time to back Phoenix Point, and there are many physical and digital backer rewards to claim: https://app.crowdox.com/projects/1002...

Phoenix Point

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

Details

Diablo 3 - Rise Of The Necromancer Review

by Hiddenx, 09:25

Gears of Biz has reviewed the new necromancer class for Diablo 3:

Diablo 3: Rise Of The Necromancer

It had me at “you can blow up corpses.” Rise of the Necromancer provides a fantastic new character class for Diablo III in a dark wizard who loves the dead as much as Alice Cooper. As such, this downloadable content provides a reason for dedicated fans of Blizzard’s hack-and-slasher to revisit the game, and it even offers a little nudge for newbies to finally get with it and play one of the best action RPGs of all time. There’s one important caveat, though–all you get here is the new necromancer class and his undeadly accoutrements.

[...]

Diablo 3

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

Details

Secret World - Quest Design @ Angry Duck Gamer

by Hiddenx, 09:08

Angry Duck Gamer aka GabrielMP_19 takes a closer look at the quest design of The Secret World:

The investigation quest’s design in The Secret World

MMORPGs are generally not very well regarded in their quest design. Generally full of fetch and “kill X enemies” quests, many of them tend to be boring grinds until the endgame. In such a context, The Secret World’s (more recently relaunched as Secret World Legends) investigation quests are quite a breath of fresh air.

The Secret World was originally launched in 2012 as a story-focused MMORPG. Instead of medieval fantasy or science fiction, the two most popular RPG scenarios, TSW wanted to be different, focusing in conspirations in a lovecraftian urban fantasy. You control a person that has recently awakened magic powers and is called by a mysterious organization (which can be the Illuminati, Templars or the Dragons, it’s up to you). You are soon called to Solomon Island, a place in Maine where a zombie outbreak has begun (yeah, so much for originality).

There are many fetch quests in The Secret World, as it is in most MMORPGs. Still, while you’ll get plenty of “kill 10 zombies” quests, there is a special kind of quest that really sets the game apart: investigation quests. While in most quests you have clear objectives and a question marker to guide you, investigation quests are generally full of riddles and exploration without markers. While some of them can be criticized for their difficulty, they reward out of the box thinking and observation. To explain what sets some of the investigative quests in Secret World apart from other games, I’ll talk about four quests in the first area of the game, Kingsmouth Town.
[...]     
While The Secret World is filled with trash mobs and fetch quests, as any MMORPG is, really, those quests really stand out. Quests like The Kingsmouth Code, even with their difficulty, flesh the world and the lore more than any dialogue and they do so by gameplay, in which the player has to be active in this world. That is great quest design and should be adopted by more games. The Secret World may be an uneven game and even those quests are, but they show steps into the right direction.

Secret World

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Modern
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: Released

Details

Children of Zodiarcs - Review @ Buttonsmashers

by Hiddenx, 09:00

The Buttonsmashers checked out the tactical RPG Children of Zodiarcs:

Children of Zodiarcs Review

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A story-driven, tactical RPG set in the fantasy realm of Lumus; a world divided by affluence and poverty. Take control of Nahmi and her fellow outcasts, utilising a brand new deck and dice based combat system to strike a blow to the noble Lords’ and Ladies’ unquenchable thirst for profit.

Children of Zodiarcs

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

Details

Saturday - August 05, 2017

Aeon of Sands - Development Update

by Silver, 23:58

@IndieRetroNews Aeon of Sands is a love letter to dungeon crawlers.

Grimoire isn't the only game we should be talking about today, as we've also heard from the developers Two Bits Kid, based in Germany, that the dungeon crawler ' AEON OF SANDS ' is basically finished, although 90% of the mazes are in alpha state with all dialogues and graphics. Now for those of you that haven't heard of this game before, this dungeon crawler harks back to the days of Eye of Beholder or Lands of Lore and is a "Dungeon Adventure" story-driven RPG love letter to the golden Amiga, PC classics of the 90's.
[...]

Aeon of Sands

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Tower of Time - Preview @RockPaperShotgun

by Silver, 23:28

RockPaperShotgun tries out the early access version of Tower of Time and has a good time.

Tower Of Time is a splendid RPG with tactical real-time combat

You have to respect clever, and clever is oozing out of Tower Of Time [official site]. Not just an RPG with the guts to try its very own combat system far more intricate than us dungeon crawlers are used to, but also the use of Early Access in a way that makes it seem like an advantage to the player rather than the developer.

Tower Of Time is, at first glance, a traditional isometric-ish RPG, presented in beautiful swishy modern graphics. Click the mouse to move, click on things to interact, attribute skill points and skilfully assign attribute points, and worry about your armour. On top of that, and perhaps a touch crucially, it's also good at these things. It takes place in a familiar fantasy setting featuring a rural human world where cataclysmic events leave almost no sunshine, in which societies are falling as food becomes scarce, and a hero whose childhood marking by a hidden magical throne might make him the one who can change the future. Soon you learn of other regulars, the elves, the orcs, and so on. The writing is a touch purple in places, and definitely leans heavily on the old "for it was to be"-type fantasy stodge, but the atmosphere is immediately established and the characters likable.
[...]

Thanks SSIGuy!

Tower of Time

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

Details

Kingmaker - Harrim: Dwarf Companion

by Silver, 08:53

Pathfinder: Kingmaker introduces another potential companion called Harrim who is a brooding dwarf cleric.

Harrim: The Frailty of Life

Pathfinders! Today we introduce another one of your future companions: a brooding dwarf cleric called Harrim.

In the world of Golarion, religion is not a topic for abstract philosophical discussions, but a matter of life and death. Various deities directly interfere with the lives of mortals - some change them for the better, some for worse, and some just make them... Stranger.

During his life in the Five Kings Mountains, Harrim aspired to follow Torag, the Dwarven god of craft. Unfortunately, no matter how much he studied the holy books, he failed to meet the crucial requirement for a cleric of Torag: he never learned to make anything with his hands. It was worse than just regular clumsiness: Harrim couldn't forge a single nail or carve a wooden spoon to save his life. Some dwarves ridiculed him, others suggested that Torag must have cursed him - and this was what Harrim himself eventually believed.

Betrayed and forsaken by the god he was ready to dedicate his whole life to, Harrim went into exile, searching for some other purpose in life. He found it when he met a traveling cult of one of Golarion's most obscure deities - Groetus, the god of the End Times. A colossal skull-shaped moon looming over Purgatory, Groetus is waiting for the day when Pharasma, the goddess of death, won't be able to contain him anymore, so he can go to the Material plane and put an end to it. This fateful day is nowhere near - it would take aeons for Groetus to become free - but it's inevitable, and comes closer with each passing second. Groetus is patient, and so are his worshippers - hiding in shadows, listening to their god's faint whispers, meditating over their own mortality, and frailty of life.

It is said that the worshippers of Groetus slowly sink into madness. Harrim dismisses such slanderous rumors. The way he talks and acts might seem eccentric, but it has nothing to do with so-called insanity - he just delves deeper into the fundamental truths, understanding the world's nature and the inevitability of its demise... He's happy to explain his religion's teachings - though he rarely finds anyone willing to listen.

Harrim's philosophy hasn't made him a passive observer. He's always ready to use his god's power to heal his allies or bring punishment upon their enemies - though after the battle expect him to say something about the perishable nature of all mortals. He embraces the fact that death will eventually take everyone, but he doesn't hurry to meet it - so he has trained to wear heavy armor and wield a shield. Despite Harrim's bleak philosophy, he'll save your life more than once during the many battles that await you in the Stolen Lands.

Should you rely on Harrim's help in ruling your realm, you will benefit from his wisdom and charisma. A calm, level-headed man, Harrim is surprisingly good at making well-considered decisions, as well as talking to people - that is, until he starts rambling about the End of Days.

Dev response: Magus Archetypes

You may have missed this one: our mechanics designer has created a massive forum post, where he discusses all the archetypes our community has suggested for the Magus. He talks about which of them may work well with the game, which of them might be complicated to implement, how and why certain archetypes would or wouldn't work and much more! If you'd like to learn more about the thought process that goes into our class design, come on over to the forums and have a chat with us!

Hail to the kings!

Owlcats

Thanks Purpleblob!

Kingmaker

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

Details

Demiurgos - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 08:36

Only 3 days to go for the Demiurgos Kickstarter - Kickstarter update #8 presents two books that had a great influence on the game:

Update VIII: Theoretical Background & Vote the Truth Update

In this update we would like to talk about two of the books that had a great influence on DEMIURGOS: Path of the Leviathan and that have been a source of inspiration for us.

The historic Persian wars are meant to be authentically interpreted in the game, and the first book that we will present is by far the most important account of these events.

Herodot: Histories

Histories (greek ἱστορίαι historíai “explorations“) by Herodot is the only known preserved work of the greek author who is often labeled father of history, for he was one of the first individuals who aspired to pass on history objectively and scientifically. His monumental creation spans nine books and was written in the fifth century BC. It offers an overview of the years 700-479 BC; roughly 220 years. Beginning with the ancient oriental great empires Lydia, Babylon and Egypt and ranging to the origin of occidental culture in Ion, the text gives witness to the genesis of the Greek states and the Persian empire and culminates in the Greek-Persian battles of the Persian wars.

In our game we use Herodots „Histories“ as basis for our new interpretation of historic correlations. Many of the events described are to be integrated authentically into our own timeline. Demagogues and military leaders, ideologies and political systems, systems of thought and views of the world – all of these were as relevant and contemporary in the long 19. Century as they were in the time that this work was created in. It offers a rich palette of ideas and stories – actually too much to include in just one game.

Gustave Le Bon: Psychology of the Masses

Psychology of the masses is the main work, of Gustave Le Bon, a Frenchman widely recognized as being the founder of mass-psychology. Mass-psychology is a domain of social psychology and studies the behavior of groups of peoples. Le Bon represents bourgeois-elite conservatism which rejects any hope of cultural, social and political advancement based on the commencing “era of the masses”. The masses, empirically viewed, are entirely stripped of reason. Even the educated, the individual that is able to act reasonable, is guided by unconscious and baser instincts from the moment he becomes part of a crowd. Every forming mass of people is a growing gathering of opportunists. Masses level the collective intellectual capabilities to the lowest standard.

"In the masses, the dumb, uneducated and envious lose their feeling of nullity and impotence which is replaced by a perception of, although impermanent, raw and immense power."

Gustav Le Bon also foresaw our current government debt crisis. He assumed that politicians – driven by the opportunistic masses – would not be able to make larger decisions conflicting with the acute demands of the general public, for example potentially necessary cutbacks in certain areas of the budget. At the same time government spending increases for political reasons: to obtain new groups of voters.

"The uninterrupted growth of said spending inevitably leads to bankruptcy. Many states of Europe; Portugal, Greece, Spain and Turkey, have reached this status – others will follow soon. But this is not really something one has to mind much, for the public has, without much objection, slowly but surely accepted the cut of four fifths of all payments from the assorted countries….and in a time of general decline one has to be satisfied with living for the moment, without thinking of tomorrow – a tomorrow that we cannot influence."

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Mount & Blade II - New weekly Blog

by Hiddenx, 08:13

You can get now information about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord every week:

Dev Blog 03/08/17

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

It is an exciting summer for TaleWorlds Entertainment: our community & communications team recently showcased Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord at E3 in Los Angeles, and next month they will visit Gamescom, Europe’s biggest games industry show, to give hands-on demos to quite a number of journalists.

In the meantime, there’s something that we want to talk with you about. We realise that we haven’t communicated with you as frequently and as openly as we should have. We failed at connecting with our community, and sometimes it might appear as if we are not paying you as much attention as you deserve. We are incredibly grateful for having such fantastic support and we were unsuccessful in letting you know just how much we appreciate you being there for us over the years.

We want to improve our relationship and communication with you – starting right now. We know that you can’t wait to get your hands on Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, and we understand that after all these years you have a lot of questions. Moving forward, we think that the best way to engage with you is by being transparent, by opening our doors to introduce you to our daily work, as well as by having clear channels to communicate with you about everything related to TaleWorlds Entertainment and Mount & Blade that we can – or cannot – talk about at this moment in time. We are striving to create the best game that we can deliver, which is a tough task that has taken us many years, and it is your support that motivates us to work harder!

That is why we are starting a new weekly blog! Every Thursday, you will get to know who is behind Mount & Blade, the diverse and talented team of designers, artists, programmers and others that make the game possible; you will glimpse our struggles and hopes, our daily work, and our favourite parts of the game… We hope that you enjoy the read – and also that it makes the waiting easier! This blog will be available in several languages, because we value all of our different communities and their languages, there are no “first class” or “second class” players for us. At the same time, as we will explain later on, we currently cannot confirm that any particular language will be supported by the game at the day of its release. So please keep it in mind that if this blog is available in, say, Catalan, it does not automatically mean that the game will release in full Catalan.

In the coming weeks we will start a series of short interviews with different members of the development team… and who could be better to start with than TaleWorlds’ founder and CEO, Armagan Yavuz! Armagan founded the company back in 2005 and he is still the driving force behind it. If you would like to know something in particular about him or his work, then leave a question in the comment section and we will pick one to add to our Q&A.

We are also working to improve our social media channels so that you know exactly where to reach us – but we will tell you more about that later this summer. In the meantime, if you want to talk with us and keep up to date with everything relating to TaleWorlds Entertainment and the Mount & Blade franchise, you can find us on our existing channels on Twitter and Facebook – as well as on our official forums, where we just opened a new Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord section where you can talk about the upcoming game.

Mount & Blade II

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

Details

The Tavern - Released

by Hiddenx, 07:57

Moral Anxiety Studio released their RPG/Visual Novel mix The Tavern:

The Tavern is a dark fantasy adventure standing between Visual Novels and RPGs. It merges complex, text-heavy plot and interactive gameplay. Talk to NPC-s, explore your surroundings, gather clues and make dozens of minor and major choices to discover the game's mysteries.

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Plot Description

You play as mercenary named Nalia - a single mother who tries to earn enough coins to survive the winter. Your children need you to come back, but how are you going to act seeing the cruelty and rottenness of the outside world?

After all, the monsters, dark magic and barbarians from Southern Tribes are nothing in comparison with the human iniquity.

Your story begins when you approach a weird, isolated tavern…

Features

  • Immersive, complex dialogues filled with player's decisions;
  • Narrative battles;
  • Multiple endings;
  • Unique, personal story;
  • Non-linear, elastic plot;
  • Estimated playtime - between 1.5 and 3 hours with branching, hidden parts of the story.

The Tavern

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

Details

Friday - August 04, 2017

Path of Exile - Fall of Oriath launches tomorrow

by Hiddenx, 21:54

Henriquejr spotted that the Path of Exile expansion Fall of Oriath will launch tomorrow:

Path of Exile: The Fall of Oriath and the Harbinger League launch tomorrow!

The Fall of Oriath is so close now! This expansion launches alongside The Harbinger League in less than 14 hours as of the time of this news post. The studio is buzzing right now and we can't wait to see what you think of the work we've done. In the meantime, this news post has the information you'll need to know about what happens on launch day.

Path of Exile

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

Details

Galaxy of Pen and Paper - Review @ Toucharcade

by Hiddenx, 19:50

Toucharcade checked out Galaxy of Pen and Paper:

Galaxy of Pen & Paper Review

The original Knights of Pen & Paper was a goofy, grind-heavy RPG with a novel set-up that allowed it to poke fun at the many tropes of the genre. It painted over its repetitive mechanics with a sweet candy coating of enthusiastic charm and only slightly overstayed its welcome. In spite of its flaws, it was a great starting point both for the Pen & Paper concept and its developers Behold Studios. Oddly, the two went their separate ways when Behold opted to work on Chroma Squad instead of putting together a direct sequel to their popular game. The task of crafting Knights of Pen & Paper 2 fell to Kyy Games, and it's safe to say they didn't quite meet the expectations of many of the fans of the first game. Now, Behold is back to try their own follow-up to Pen & Paper. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with a similar setting, however, they've decided to take things to space with Galaxy of Pen & Paper.

[...]

Nevertheless, the core design of Galaxy of Pen & Paper represents a solid improvement over the original game. It has more new ideas and executes on them better than Knights of Pen & Paper 2 did. The production values feel a lot higher, too. Overall, you can feel the years of gained experience between the game that made Behold's name and their return to the brand. I just wish they would allocate more points into their bug-busting and difficulty balancing skills.
I suppose it says something that even with its flaws, I still think RPG fans definitely ought to check this one out.

Score: 4/5

Galaxy of Pen and Paper

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

Details

Pyre - Review @ RPGFan

by Hiddenx, 19:42

RPGFan has reviewed the party-based RPG Pyre:

Pyre

Pyre is the third gorgeous concoction to come out of Supergiant Games, a small studio known for two other hit titles, Bastion and Transistor. This third project maintains the same sense of flair, oozing style in a unique and fascinating world. Unlike its brethren, which relied heavily on one or two core characters and the environment for cues, Pyre world-builds through a tome of text delivered piecemeal and its exceptional cast of characters. I emphasize the lore because that seems to be what Supergiant Games does best, and that remains true here. While it is a beautiful and fun experience, Pyre suffers from issues Bastion and Transistor didn't have, such as pacing and simple gameplay.
[...]
I enjoyed my time with Pyre; I'm glad I played it. The world inspires thought and curiosity, and I'm left with something to mentally chew on for a while. I already miss my new friends. Due to the "check box" nature of getting to know characters and building relationships, I have considered giving it another go with vastly different decisions, but I think I got what I needed out of this. I also wish the history wasn't delivered through chronologically discordant segments of text. Initially, the game feels like a lore dump and there's a lot to know if you want to dive in. I had difficulty wrapping my head around the world's history, and it seemed relevant. The sports matches are fun, but lack the depth or intensity I think the developers were trying to accomplish. I could easily see this being the type of game some people will adore and obsess over, while others will struggle to finish. If what I've described piques your curiosity and you're a sucker for well-written characters and inspiring worlds, this is likely worth a go.

Score: 81%

Pyre

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

Details

Grimoire - Released

by Myrthos, 14:12

After loads of missed launch dates, today is a date where the game is launched. Grimoire is available on Steam with a 10% discount, which still makes it an expensive game. 

The game is live on the Steam Store now. Time to rest for a couple of minutes before going to work on my next game. I'm going to take a 30 minute break, get a Whopper and come back. I am thinking of some kind of Japanese romancing sim that takes place in a boarding school with girls who are disfigured but have great inner beauty. I actually wanted to start on that game in 1994 but I got sidetracked onto this Grimwhatchamacallit thingy.

Grimoire

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

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Underworld Ascendant - All About Interactivity

by Silver, 13:16

The latest Underworld Ascendant update describes its progress creating and transforming the world to make it an interactive playground.

Hello backers,

Joe Fielder, Underworld Ascendant's game director and writer, here again with the latest update straight from the development team.

The last month's been a pretty exciting time at OtherSide, because we've been busy...

Transforming the World Into an Interactive Playground

As you know, we recently stood up the core tenets of combat, stealth, and magic in an early area of the game called The Challenge of Ishtass. There, the player is first introduced to the array of choices available to them with The Improvisation Engine. We set the challenge, the solution is up to you, and we reward creativity.

Our recent milestone has been a key next step in inspiring and supporting player experimentation: turning the world into an interactive playground. The idea is that the systems that simulate this underground realm make sense. A wooden door can be burned down or chopped down, water can put out torches, physics act in logical fashion, and so on. So, when the player tests something out, they get expected results.

At its heart, this work has been about giving the player an abundance of options on how to equip their character and solve the challenge. We've expanded the playable area and added new skills and interactive elements. It's intentionally designed to be replayed. We want players to experiment with different solutions and find what works best for them.

In terms of visuals, it demonstrates our visual style done to a fair extent of polish and now includes an initial pass at UI elements, but we will continue to iterate further on both during development. Current creature animations are not representative of the game's visual target. This an important area we feel deserving of concentrated effort and we'll be locking our sights on it in subsequent milestones. Also, usability of items, skills and interactive elements is another area that we'll continue to hone and polish.

The reason that getting these core elements working clearly and well is absolutely essential is because it unlocks the magic sense of discovery the player gets from combining different systems together.

External playtesting is reliably eye-opening in this regard. For the choices people don't make, as much as the ones they do. Teaching players that they have choice (like, no, seriously, here are your tools, surprise us), after decades of games where they haven't, is a fun, interesting challenge.

To explain, first let's take a look at a few recent additions to the game world...
[...]

Underworld Ascendant

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

Details

Project Resurgence - Cancelled

by Silver, 09:55

Project Resurgence is no more as the developer Nectar Game Studios has run out of money and is effectively dissolved.

NGS Dissolved & Future of Resurgence

Hello again my fellow Nectarines,

Rob here, with a heavy heart and somber news. In this update you'll find:

  • Why Nectar has been dissolved
  • What's next for the team
  • Future of Resurgence
  • Why no refunds
  • Core demo links

It has been extremely difficult for me to write this update. I've tried, and I just couldn't get the words to come out. Emotionally, I've fallen into one of the darkest places in my life, and I'm just now digging myself out and starting to feel ok again. As the title states, we've run out of money and been forced to dissolve Nectar and put Resurgence on indefinite hiatus.

I apologize if this comes as a shock to you. It certainly was a shock to us. But I will try to explain the situation as best I can, and what that means for all of you and our beloved game.
What the Hell Happened?!

When you gave us your money and your faith a year and a half ago, we were convinced we had a solid plan and team to get the job done. But as development progressed, and the schedule started to slip, we found out how far off the mark we truly were. I'm not going to call it "indie-itis" because I find that to be a flippant and condescending term for small plucky teams taking a shot, and falling short of the mark. If you've never developed a game, it's easy to discount the thousands of man-hours, physical and mental energy, personal sacrifice, and plain luck it takes to succeed. And always remember Murphy's Law. Things go wrong, bugs happen, features need to be redesigned or cut, and teammates' life circumstances change. I'm going to go more in-depth with a full postmortem in a later update, covering what exactly went right and wrong, but in a nutshell, we discovered that we were easily making a half-million dollar game on less than half of that budget.

When the Kickstarter closed, we knew that money was only going to be enough to keep the core team going for a year of full-time paid development. That meant scaling down our 50 some volunteers to just 15 people, all getting paid a meager $9.50 per hour (the highest minimum wage in America at the time) to cover our basic living expenses and let us focus on development. We still managed to stretch the funds an extra six months, but as our original release date of January 2017 was looming we knew we had to make some tough decisions. If you're familiar with the Project Management Triangle, we chose to stick with Quality and Low Cost, which also meant abandoning Speed. So our path became clear. To continue development we didn't need to raise an insane amount of money, but we still needed more. And the best option there was to find a publisher.


We began the search for a publisher back in January. Any startup will tell you fundraising generally takes about 3-6 months with the CEO totally focused on that. I tried my best, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to dedicate all my time to that effort. As a small team, I still had to juggle my Creative Director responsibilities to keep the rest of the team moving forward. I'm not an experienced business guy, I'm a designer and producer, so I've had to learn to be an entrepreneur as I went. I needed help, and I asked Cohh to step up as my co-founder, but he just couldn't find the time with his streaming schedule. In March, I brought on an entrepreneur friend and game developer, Branden Middendorf, to help with the fundraising effort. Together, we contacted over 50 publishers, knowing they were our best shot for a "lead investor." In order to deliver on the vision of Resurgence we promised, we set out to raise a $500K seed round from a combination of publishers, angel investors, incubators, and venture capitalists. While a huge number (more than double our Kickstarter goal), that's pretty much the minimum to be taken seriously in the startup investment world. That amount would let us expand the team (finally hiring more programmers and artists), and fund another year of development. Getting a publisher deal was the first step that would have allowed all the other pieces to start falling into place, and we were so close.

Of the publishers we contacted, we had the best luck with the small indie ones. We had several rounds of interviews with Devolver Digital, Raw Fury, Versus Evil, Humble, and Team 17, but ultimately they all passed. Those interviews seemed to go so well, and we were so hopeful that we'd get an offer from at least one of them. Just $100K from a respected publisher would have given us our "lead investor" (the hardest part of fundraising), plus all the benefits a good publisher offers to developers and started the snowball of other investment deals. It's a lot like Kickstarter actually, no one wants to be attached to a project with no momentum, but people come out of the woodwork for one that looks like a sure thing.

Anyway, by June we had just enough money left in the bank for that month of payroll, and remaining bills. We had just released the new Explore demo and were hopeful that would convince the last couple publishers he hadn't heard from yet that we were worth a shot. But soon enough, they too said no. When the final rejection email came in, that was a crushing blow. I spiraled, as I saw the finality of my dream crumbling around me. We were out of time, money, and options. There was no other choice but to close up shop.

That's when I had an emergency meeting with Cohh, and he made an announcement on Twitch a few days later.

Future of Nectar

With no more runway, we came to the harsh realization that, like many other startups, our first venture had failed. I am deeply sorry it took so long to write this update (since many of you only follow us through these backer updates), but it was just too fresh of a wound. It felt like a death in the family, and I had to process my grief first. Then came the task of finalizing the paperwork, paying off our debts, and any other lingering issues. And since Nectar was the main source of income for most of us, we had to immediately set to finding new jobs. Many of us have had to take temporary work to keep the bills paid, but we are still looking for work in games. If you hear about any opportunities for passionate and dedicated cRPG enthusiasts (especially remote), we'd be most appreciative.

Despite the dissolving of Nectar Game Studios as a legal entity, the team itself still wants to keep working together in some way. We've all bonded a lot over the last 5 years working on this project, so there's a good chance we'll keep working together on something in our spare time once again. As soon as we figure out what that is, we'll start looking for volunteers again to join the team. This new phoenix team, rising from the ashes, will no longer be Nectar but we're going to keep the branding we've established for the short term. So anything new going on with the team will still go out on our existing social media platforms and website.

Refunds - One of the big questions we've seen so far is regarding refunds. As much as we'd love to refund all the backer pledges, that's simply just not possible. All that money has been spent on development, to get us this far. It's all gone. The only thing we can do is cancel all the pending add-ons and pre-orders in BackerKit. No one has been charged in BackerKit yet (unless you opted for Paypal), so we will still cancel those payments. Perhaps you've received a refund from a failed project in the past, but there's really no way to do that without someone else footing the bill. The only way I can see that happening is if another studio wanted to purchase the IP, assets, and codebase (a long shot to say the least). And to avoid any confusion, Kickstarter is not a store and pledges are not pre-orders (Kickstarter FAQ: Accountability). Pledges are legally considered donations or gifts so backing a project is essentially taking a gamble on something you'd like to see happen, but there are no guarantees. I'm just sorry we couldn't be one of those projects that are able to deliver.
[...]

Thanks Hurls!

Project Resurgence

SP/MP: Unknown
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Action-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Canceled

Details

Thursday - August 03, 2017

Sunless Skies - Early Access on August 30

by Hiddenx, 20:08

The Adventure RPG Sunless Skies, successor of Sunless Seas, will be available as Early Access version at the end of August:

Enriching the Reach: JANSKY

Our JANSKY sprint leads us to a very special announcement—Sunless Skies is coming to Steam Early Access and GOG Games in Development the 30th of August! With that in mind, all teams have of course been working on buffing, polishing and bug fixing the Reach, our initial area for Early Access / Games in Development.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

 

Sunless Skies

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

Details

Sinner - Announced for 2018

by Hiddenx, 19:59

PCGamesN reports that the action RPG Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption will be released in Q1 2018:

Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption looks like a biblical Dark Souls

A group of triple-A veterans - including a former Ubisoft art director, a Blizzard technical artist, and a Konami senior programmer - have announced their new project, Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption. Developed by Dark Star Studios and published by Another Indie, Sinner is expected to release in Q1 2018.

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The game will have  you take control of Adam, a deceased soldier on a quest to save his soul. Adam must travel across a desolate afterlife in an attempt to piece his past back together, battling a total of eight biblical bosses. Before each major fight, Adam must make a sacrifice, levelling down one stat in order to progress, and each boss will be tougher than the last.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Sinner

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

Details

Battlecursed - Release Q3 2018

by Hiddenx, 19:52

The first person dungeon crawler Battlecursed will be released in Q3 2018:

Battlecursed Early Alpha Preview

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Thanks Farflame!

Battlecursed

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Review @ TechRaptor

by Hiddenx, 19:45

TechRaptor has reviewed the tactical RPG Battle Brothers:

Battle Brothers Review - A Proper Challenge

Tactical RPGs are often hard to come by nowadays, mostly because they are difficult games to master by design. Some (like the Fire Emblem games) are deceptively simple. For the most part, the glut of mechanics and options found in a tactical game is often a major turnoff for players. The indie gaming market has its own share of tactical games, but very few seem to really hit that sweet spot of being challenging without compromising its own mechanics.  Thankfully, a game like Battle Brothers, the first major title from the small German indie team Overhype Studios, is an exception to that rule.

Battle Brothers is a tactical RPG where the player is put in charge of a fledgling mercenary company. The world is based on German folklore with a gritty and dark fantasy twist, but the game is all about building up your ragtag team of mercenaries to take on bigger and better contracts for piles of gold. What will ensue is a campaign that ends when you decide. A campaign where your men’s steel will clash with insurmountable odds as you hopefully lead them to fame and fortune.

[...]

Overall, Battle Brothers is a solid, exhilarating experience that might turn away some players due to its difficulty, but attract others because of its challenge. The strategic options and statistics are complex, the gameplay is tough but not overly difficult. At its heart, the game provides a deep, tactical experience that is both challenging and rewarding for players to enjoy.

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Iron Tower Studio - Interview @cshpicone

by Silver, 13:36

Cshpicone interview Vince D. Weller and Ryan Easton of Iron Tower Studio about the studio and its games past and present.

...
Joining me is Vince, the lead designer of Iron Tower Studio, which is the developer responsible for Age of Decadence, a text-based RPG which I reviewed very positively last year, and Dungeon Rats, a tactical game set in the same world. Ryan Eston Paul, the composer, also joins us to talk about his role in the studio. Throughout the interview we chat about the AoD and the studio in general and, most excitingly, Iron Tower's upcoming game The New World, which is still in the early stages of development.


Please note, you will find the following abbreviations in abundance:

AoD - Age of Decadence

TNW - The New World


***


CSH: Iron Tower Studio has an interesting slogan, "proudly serving 0.003% of the Global Gaming Market since 2015. The remaining 99.997% need not apply." Why have you chosen this approach, and do you think it has helped or hindered your success as a developer?


Vince: You don't choose your passion. Some people are really passionate about action RPGs or MMOs. We happened to be passionate about hardcore, text-heavy RPGs, which is a very niche sub-genre these days.


We knew that AoD won't be a top-seller from day one and we were ok with it. Same goes for The New World. Think of it this way: when you open a corner store to sell what the locals can't buy in a supermarket, it's never about money. It's about doing what you love and dealing with people who love the same thing.


CSH: Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life, eh? So who is Iron Tower Studio and how did the team come together?


Vince: When we made AoD, we had a team of 6: A programmer, animator, artist/designer, writer/designer, 2D artist, and composer. For TNW, we upgraded our animation rig and enlisted a concept artist, a 3D artist, and a second programmer.


I've met Nick (our programmer), Oscar (artist/designer), and Mazin (artist best known for his superb portraits) on RPG Codex, a go-to site if you suspect that a game you like might actually suck but can't figure out why.

[...]

Iron Tower Studio

Details

Pillars of Eternity II - Question Time

by Myrthos, 12:28

Pillars of Eternity II will not be at Gamescom this year, so let's do a community effort in rounding up some questions, which we can ask Josh.

Pillars of Eternity II

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

Details

Divinity: Original Sin II - Voice Acting Confirmed

by Silver, 12:08

Larian tweeted this tidbit recently. Voice acting is a go for Divinity Original Sin II.

 

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

Pillars of Eternity II - Colonialism & Neketaka

by Silver, 11:57

PCGamesN spoke to Josh Sawyer about the influences behind Neketaka, a major city in Pillars of Eternity II.

European colonialism inspired the turf war in Pillars of Eternity 2's capital city

Pillars of Eternity 2 draws from the history of the East India Company as inspiration for its capital city, Neketaka. The city is torn between the competing interests of the trading companies looking to exploit the resources of the Deadfire Archipelago and the natives trying to turn this foreign interest into personal gain.

Talking to us last week, Pillar of Eternity 2 director Josh Sawyer says that Europe's imperial history was very much in mind when designing the game, and Neketaka in particular.

"We're definitely trying to draw connections to things like the East India Trading Company, and various Belgian and Dutch trading firms as well," Sawyer says. "Each of the colonial cultures has a different interest in the area. They overlap a little bit, and they are in direct competition."

[...]

Pillars of Eternity II

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

Details

Fall of Light - Gameplay Trailer

by Myrthos, 09:11

A new gameplay trailer for Fall of Light has been made available. Fall of Light is a dungeon crawler where a father needs to protect his child to lead her to the last remnants of the dying light in the world.

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Fall of Light

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

Details

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Update 0.5.0.1

by Myrthos, 08:58

A new update for Wolcen: Lords of mayhem is now availabe on Steam EA. It brings a new targeting system, a redesign of the elemental storms and some more stuff.

Update 0.5.0.1 will improve many aspects of the game, including a new targeting and player input system.
You can now lock onto enemies, easily move through hordes and more. The game should feel more responsive now!
With the new input system, auto-attack when holding the mouse button ans switching targets is now deactivated by default, but you can still turn it on in the game settings.

Elemental storms have been redesigned too, for a result that is far closer to the initial idea of elemental interaction. The old elemental storms will be turned into powerful area-of-effect spells that will add to the arsenal of elemental mages. ;)

In addition to that, we drastically reduced the size and complexity of the pithus caves. Going through them should be a far more pleasant experience (when it comes to exploring spider-infested caves at least).

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem

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

Details

Wednesday - August 02, 2017

Trails of Cold Steel - PC Port Impressions

by Hiddenx, 19:55

RPG Site checked out the PC version of the story rich J-RPG Trails of Cold Steel, which has been released today on Steam.

Trails of Cold Steel PC Port Impressions

Localized PC ports of Nihon Falcom's catalog of RPGs are seeming to become a bit of an auspicious commonality in 2017. We had the stellar Trails in the Sky the 3rd in May, we have summer releases of Zwei: The Ilvard Insurrection and Ys Seven to look forward to soon, and by the end of the year Aksys and NIS America are bringing each Toyko Xanadu eX+ and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana to PC/Steam respectively.  While many of these titles either originally were PC releases or had planned PC launches from the outset, neither is true for Trails of Cold Steel. However, when XSeed first announced the PC port project back in April, it immediately became clear that this release was going to see a little extra attention: 5000 new lines of voiced dialogue was going to be added to the game.

[...]

Visuals and menus aside, the best addition to this release is the inclusion of Turbo Mode. And boy, I love Turbo Mode. A whole lot. Essentially, Turbo mode is a toggle that defaults to the Right Trigger / R2 of your controller and will speed the game up without compromising the music or voiceovers. If you've played the recently released Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, the implementation is similar here. This trigger was selected as the button of choice because it does not have a standard purpose inside of battles or cutscenes: the areas where speeding ahead would likely be most beneficial. Grinding or crossing a large map area become a breeze and takes a fraction of the time with this option enabled.

The fact that dialogue is unaffected by this toggle means that even cutscenes can be watched when this is held down without the result sounding like a VHS tape on fast-foward. Even more neat, when holding the turbo mode toggle down during a battle, the implementation of this system is "smart" enough such that in battle it will automatically stop speeding things up when the link action prompt occurs. I would find myself go whole encounters without ever letting go of the trigger. Needless to say, I think Turbo Mode is a fantastic addition and playing without it enabled now feels like playing in slow motion.

The verdict? This is the best way to play this game.

Trails of Cold Steel

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

Details