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Torment: Tides of Numenera

2017-03-15

Torment: Tides of Numenera Review

Corwin reviews the recently released Spiritual Successor to the classic rpg Planescape:Torment. How does it compare to its inspiration? Well, while it's not for everyone, but this could just be another great classic in the making.
» Continue reading the article...

Balrum

2017-02-20

Balrum Review

Balrum was released almost a year ago, so with no further delay, here is our review.
» Read the article

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Expected Releases

Mar: Tanzia
Mar: The Great Whale Road
Apr: Hobo Tough Life
Apr: Kingdom Come
Apr: Niffelheim

Saturday - March 25, 2017

Battle Brothers - Review @ AWNT

by Hiddenx, 09:20

A Wargamers Needful Things has reviewed the tactical RPG Battle Brothers:

Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers, from Overhype Studios, is a game which took me by surprise in the best way. The first time I sat down with it and started playing, my only thought was "How has no one made a game like this before?!"  This is one of those occasional titles which reminds you why you started playing video games in the first place. In case you haven't guessed yet, I really enjoyed the game. Read on to find out all the details, or just go buy the game now.

In Battle Brothers, the player takes on the leadership of a small company of mercenaries making their way in a low-fantasy world. The world, and everything in it, is randomly generated each time you start a campaign. Towns, each of different size and containing different amenities, are scattered across a world divided between a few noble houses. There is also a massive area of the world map which is completely shrouded in mystery at the beginning of your campaign. One will immediately be reminded of Mount & Blade when beginning their wanderings through the world, and if you played that classic, you will feel right at home here. Between these towns runs a network of roads cutting through forests, grasslands, deserts, swamps, and mountains. Trade caravans, squads of soldiers, and even other mercenary bands travel the roads. Lurking in the shadows on every side are groups of baddies, waiting to strike the defenseless peasants. This is where your mercenary company steps in to make some coin.

[...]

Even with all the content in he game, it's clearly a candidate for more of everything, you really couldn't have too much variety here. More quests, character backgrounds, events, enemies, world ending disasters, and weapons are always welcome.  Some areas I would love to see expanded in a patch or DLC down the road would include deeper interactions with towns, more options for running the company itself, a more complex perk system, or even introducing more fantastical elements like magic or taking a step forward in tech (why not both?).

If you have read this far and are still interested in the game, I strongly urge you to go buy it. This is easily my favorite game of the year so far. Not because it has flashy graphics or an amazing storyline, but because it ticks so many boxes of what I want a game to be. It is fun through and through, and feels polished from the moment the game begins.

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Shiness - Release Date: April 18

by Hiddenx, 09:15

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom will be released on April 18:

Release Date & Music Trailer

Our Action-RPG Shiness will arrive to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on 18 April 2017 as revealed in today’s Music Trailer.

The game’s universe was born over 20 years ago from the pen strokes of Samir Rebib, our Artistic Director. In today’s trailer, we invite you discovering the magical lands and characters of the Lightning Kingdom, accompanied by an entrancing, original soundtrack.

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This gives you a first taste of the tracks that will accompany you along your journey. We have pumped all our energy and passion into Shiness, and in less than a month a child's dream finally becomes an indie-RPG with a bold personality… and enchanting music!

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on 18 April 2017.

Pre-orders for PC are open on Steam, and include the Official Shiness Manga, the Original Soundtrack and 15% off the game's price.

Shiness

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

Details

General News - Chris Avellone Interview

by Silver, 06:54

@Glixel they interviewed Chris Avellone about his career and what he thinks about various rpg things.

...
But when I sit down to play Planescape: Torment, I know I'm going to be reading a ton. I don't think that game is any weaker for it.
Well, Planescape's probably an example I'd point to where we never could have done what we wanted to do - like, showing characters' expressions - with the animation budget that we had. Nor could you actually even see it on the scale those characters were [drawn].

Ultimately, we had to describe a lot [using words], and that was a lot of fun. I think Planescape got a little bit of a pass because every NPC you talked to generally knew something about your character. That ended up motivating you to play through it. You're like, "I'll discover something powerful about myself if I keep talking to this person."

So you think the dialogue kept you going by making you feel grand and important?
Yeah. I think Planescape is perhaps one of the most selfish power fantasies I've ever written. Everything revolves around the player character.

Planescape: Torment is often cited as one of the best-written games ever made. How do you feel about the place it occupies in the canon?
Speaking as someone that thought they were going to get fired over that game, I'm extremely gratified by the reception. QA thought it was a very strange game, which is something you really never want to hear from QA. I wasn't sure what the reception was going to be. It was a lot of long hours with a small team. It's really cool that people responded strongly to it.

When did you realize that you would not, in fact, get fired?
Six months later, I'm like, "Oh wow, now I have some breathing room. It seems like I bought some time."

A lot of the games that you've ended up working on as a freelancer are isometric RPGs in that vein.
Actually, very few of the freelance projects I'm on are isometric RPGs. Divinity: Original Sin 2 is the only one that comes close. I don't know how much more I have to add to the genre right now. I spent the last 10, maybe 15 years working on that style of game. What I'd like to do is see what other genres have done with storytelling and then, when I go back to isometric RPGs - which I eventually will - see how can I take the elements those other genres have figured out about story, and bring that into the isometric RPG, to make the experience even stronger.

So you're certain that you'll go back to isometric RPGs? Is that stuff in your bones?
Yeah. I may just go back to the pen-and-paper route. The idea of gazing down at a battle mat and moving your miniatures around - that's something I've always really enjoyed. As long as that's not the only thing I'm ever doing, as long as I'm trying to learn in other ways. That's what makes me happy.

I think the advantage of different genres is that, as a designer, you end up creating mechanics and systems that are designed to enforce that genre.

We as an audience fetishize choice in games - we love being able to choose what our characters are going to say. Do you think that propagating that has come with any negative side effects?

I almost worry it's a technical limitation. Sometimes, it's hard to decide why a player is doing something, and that's why dialogue is important. It gives the player character an opportunity to go, "Here is why I'm doing this." It's otherwise almost impossible to tell.

When we were doing Alpha Protocol, for example - it was an espionage RPG - we didn't focus on a morality meter. We just focused on what the outside world would think of your actions, and then we'd use that as consequences despite why you're really doing it. Because that felt more "secret agent-y." I think that applies to a lot of games. You [as a player] have to make an internal choice. You know why you're doing it. The world may not understand, but that's why you have to make the hard decisions - because you know more than the outside world does.

[...]

General News

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

Details

Planescape: Torment - Countdown to EE?

by Silver, 06:30

A countdown timer on a planescape.com website. It appears Beamdog is behind it.

Planescape: Torment

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

Details

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: - Lost Alpha: April 26

by Hiddenx, 02:30

Three years after the forced beta release, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Lost Alpha will launch on April 26:

LOST ALPHA - DEVELOPER'S CUT

Release Announcement

"If you only knew where I've just been and what I've seen". You remember this one? Well it was a long road up until now, but there is finally a sun shining over us brightly. After almost three years, we can confidently announce the release date of Lost Alpha Director's Cut. Let's talk about some other things first though.

Deadlines. We all love them, right? No, really, they suck. But a deadline has to be set for every project, or else it will never be finished. Setting up the deadline is as critical as meeting it. We have a large team of game enthusiasts with years of experience in development. However everyone is doing this project in his free time, and as the years passing by, the less free time we have. Just wanted to mention that it took us so many years to make this DC because we barely had the time for it. I'ts not a completely new game, it's however the game we had in our mind. Initially, we planned to release the game today, on the 10th anniversary of the release of Shadow of Chernobyl outside of the US. Sadly however, this can't be done, which smoothly brings us over to...

The bugs. Yes, we also love bugs, right? Who doesn't? Well, some people do, but exotic cuisine isn't the scope of this project. Bugs are the bane of software developers, and bugs have plagued us from the beginning of development, and even onto the initial release of LA. We admit that the release version wasn't as stable as we wanted it, but it was a rushed decision after the unexpected leak, and that's precisely why we're giving ourselves just a bit more time - to squish the greatest bugs, so DC will be a more polished game than vanilla Lost Alpha was. But in case some bugs manage to escape unnoticed, we plan to update DC post-release, likely also adding some new content. We have 2 new levels in production, and many new features, which we will uncover later this year. Speaking about stuff we have done so far, here is an updated changes log: click here!

The release date. Yes, what everyone was waiting for. The final release date for Lost Alpha Developer's Cut is the 26th of April 2017, 31 years after the tragic events in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant transpired, which many years later insipred the guys at GSC Game World to create one of the greatest game franchises ever. So that's it for today. See you in slightly over a month! Feel free to contact us via e-mail info@dezowave.com, or on Facebook (search for dezowave page and lost alpha group)! By the way, the last screenshot is from one of our new levels in production.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Post-Apoc
Genre: Non-RPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Friday - March 24, 2017

Lords of Xulima II - About the Sequel

by Hiddenx, 20:39

Numatian Games explains the difficulty level of their Lords of Xulima sequel:

The Sequel: More casual or more hardcore?

Greetings!

Recently, there have been some hot discussions in the forum about if the sequel of Lords of Xulima would be more casual to attract more potential buyers or more hardcore to please the old-school fans. So we would like to talk about this topic and clarify this aspect before the rivers of blood flood the forum. 😉

First, don’t confuse Accessible with Casual

A game can be more casual or more hardcore independently of their accessibility level. Lords of Xulima is big, challenging and deep, with lots of mechanisms and possibilities but, it is very accessible. It is very easy and simple to play (move the avatar, talk with NPCs, disarm traps, level up, combat…). We dedicated a lot of work to achieve that level of simplicity of playing. On contrast, old-school games seemed much more hardcore than they actually were because of their obscure and awkward interfaces.

We will always try to make the games as accessible as possible so any player can play it, but with the same level of challenge and depth as they were originally designed.

[...]

So how will the sequel be?

Let’s just say that in Numantian Games, we will always focus on creating deep and challenging games. It is our seal and always will be. So, of course, it won’t be a casual game and it won’t have casual options to disable mechanisms of the game. We will use the same method for casual players: a low difficulty mode, but they will have to play the same game with the same mechanisms (food, traps, encounters…) as any other player.

Indeed, the game will be even more challenging, more open, with more depth, more options to evolve the party, and many more secrets. There will be a special ending that will be a truly hardcore experience 😉 and more special rewards for the higher difficulties.

Lords of Xulima II

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

Details

Vikings - Wolves of Midgard - Released

by Hiddenx, 20:15

The Action RPG is Vikings - Wolves of Midgard out now:

Rage, Blood and Ragnarok. Vikings – Wolves of Midgard Unleashes Today

Join the Ulfung wolf clan in an epic battle for survival as Kalypso’s brutal combat focused Action RPG launches across Europe
Sharpen your axe, make your blood sacrifice to your deity and prepare to embark on an epic and brutal adventure as you journey to the Shores of Midgard, a world based upon the mythology and bloody history of the Vikings. Take on the endless evil forces by becoming either a Viking warrior or shieldmaiden and master several weapon styles and magical abilities as you battle increasingly challenging enemies and boss encounters. Combat styles include sword and shield, two-handed hammer, staff, bow and dual-wield axes, and by collecting resources and special runes on your adventures you’ll be able to use the game’s in-depth crafting system to upgrade your equipment. Dedicated explorers will also be able to find legendary weapons and armors as well as Artifact weapons tucked away in each of the levels to unlock the most powerful gear in the game. Alongside items and materials, the other key resource you’ll be harvesting is blood, used to level up and earn Gift points, which in turn unlock special powers called ‘Gifts of the Gods’.

To celebrate the launch of Vikings - Wolves of Midgard Kalypso has prepared a short featurette video showing some of the brutal combat and epic boss battles you will encounter on your journey to stop Ragnarok – the end of days.

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Vikings - Wolves of Midgard

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

Details

In Vitra - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 20:05

Today's the release day for the J-RPG In Vitra - that's the second German release today!

In Vitra

Is there any truth to those rumours of a mysterious affliction spreading all over "In Vitra"? The four heroes of this role-playing game with a turn-based combat system embark on an epic quest for a cure – and chance upon a far bigger mystery.

In Vitra

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Released

by Hiddenx, 19:56

Every fan of tactical RPGs can rejoice - the full release of Battle Brothers is now available:

Full Release

It’s here and it’s done! We’re excited to see the finished Battle Brothers graduate from Early Access and be fully released today, on March 24th, 2017.

Creating this game together with you has been a long and rewarding adventure, and we’re very happy with what the game has grown to become. We hope you enjoy playing Battle Brothers as much as we enjoyed developing it – and given a successful launch, this won’t be the end of the road.

With the game’s release, the soundtrack is now also available as a separate DLC. If you’re the owner of the Deluxe or Supporter edition, it’ll be automatically delivered to you via Steam. The Art & Lore book will become available in the coming weeks.

Let’s celebrate this momentous occasion with our new story trailer for launch and final feature list of the Battle Brothers 1.0 release.

About Battle Brothers

Battle Brothers is a turn based tactical RPG which has you leading a mercenary company in a gritty, low-power, medieval fantasy world. You decide where to go, whom to hire or to fight, what contracts to take and how to train and equip your men in a procedurally generated open world campaign. Do you have what it takes to lead them through bloody battles and to victory?

The game consists of a strategic worldmap and a tactical combat layer. On the worldmap you can freely travel in order to take contracts that earn you good coin, find places worth looting, enemies worth pursuing or towns to resupply and hire men at. This is also where you manage, level up and equip your Battle Brothers. Once you engage a hostile party the game will switch to a tactical map where the actual fighting takes place as detailed turn based combat.

  • Manage a medieval mercenary company in a procedurally generated open world.
  • Fight complex turn-based tactical battles with historical equipment and brutal injuries.
  • Permadeath. All characters that die in combat will stay dead – unless they return as the undead.
  • All characters come with their own background stories and traits. Want a stuttering ratcatcher, a greedy witch hunter or a drunkard disowned noble?
  • Character development without a restrictive class-system. Each character gains experience through combat, can level up and acquire powerful perks.
  • Equipment that matters. Different weapons grant unique skills – split shields with axes, stun enemies with maces, form a spearwall with spears or crush armor with a warhammer.
  • Diverse enemy roster. All enemies have unique equipment, skills and AI behavior.
  • A dynamic event system with atmospheric encounters and tough decisions outside of combat.
  • Three late game crises – a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion and an undead scourge – add a looming threat.
  • Two full hours of orchestral soundtrack.
  • 70 Steam Achievements and Steam Trading Cards.

Overhype Studios is an independent game developer studio from Hamburg, Germany. We are devoted to making great games that we want to play ourselves. With Battle Brothers we thrive to reflect the creativity, complexity and originality from the old days when game developers where passionate gamers, not corporate businessmen. While doing this we took a lot of inspiration from some of best games out there: The original X-Com, Warhammer: Shadow of the Horned Rat, Mount & Blade and Jagged Alliance.

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Thursday - March 23, 2017

InXile Entertainment - Brian Fargo to Retire 2019

by Silver, 21:54

@Eurogamer Brian Fargo has announced his retirement will take place in 2019 with the release of Wasteland 3.

inXile boss Brian Fargo has told Eurogamer he plans to retire after Wasteland 3 ships in 2019.

The industry veteran, who founded influential game company Interplay in 1983, said he wanted to relax after a lengthy career making successful games.

"Wasteland 2 and Torment both came out great," he said. "The Mage's Tale's got a great buzz. The Bard's Tale 4 looks spectacular. Wasteland 3 is building on Wasteland 2. It seems like a good time to drop the mic.

"I love this industry, but I've been at this since 1981. I've been at it with Ken and Roberta Williams [Sierra co-founders], Trip Hawkins [EA founder], the guys from Brøderbund - I look at my friends, they have a lot more spare time than I do. It's a very intense business. It's all encompassing. It seems like I should relax for a little bit."
[...]

InXile Entertainment

Details

GOG - Supports Cloud Saves now

by Hiddenx, 20:49

Pladio spotted that GOG supports cloud saves for classic games now - The Verge reports:

Steam competitor GOG Galaxy now supports cloud saves for classic games

PC gaming client GOG Galaxy — billed as a DRM-free alternative to Steam — is getting a big update that adds cloud-saving functionality to a number of games on the service. The software update, which brings Galaxy up to version 1.2, introduces what the company calls “universal cloud saves.” This is something that developers can add to new games released on the platform, but it also means that a number of classic games — which are big part of the GOG library — will be updated with the ability to sync saves across PCs and back up saves to the cloud.

At present, only a handful of older titles will support the cloud feature, including Planescape: Torment, Dragon Age Origins, Heroes of Might & Magic III, and Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines. But GOG says that it will be “constantly working on including this feature in more and more games,” including both new releases and classic titles. Your saves also won’t be tied just to GOG Galaxy. “Cloud saves are not locked behind the gaming platform,” the company explains. “At any moment users can download backup of their saves data and use it as they see fit.”

[...]

GOG

Details

Age of Decadence - Final Update

by Hiddenx, 20:44

Age of Decadence gets all improvements that were developed for the spin-off Dungeon Rats:

The Final Update

This update transfers all applicable changes and improvements from Dungeon Rats, our combat-focused, party-based spin-off set the AoD world.

While the changes are too numerous (and in many cases too minor) to list, here is an overview:

  • Overhead combat info
  • New passive for axes
  • Mouse cursor shows enemies' HPs
  • Expanded info on weapon types
  • THC, CS and ADC stats on area of effect attacks.
  • Tweaked CS formula for aimed strikes.
  • Ranged weapons use Perception for aimed: arms and legs attacks
  • Whirldwind effect for daggers, swords and 1h spears is bleeding instead of knockdown; higher chance to score.
  • Bombs: increased damage and vsDR bonus; the center of explosion does more damage and increases critical strike chance by 50% (goes down with every tile). CON is more effective. 25 + Center of Explosion Bonus - (Victim CON-6) x25; better visuals and sound.
  • The Crafting screen now separates schematics by weapon type and armor material and orders them alphabetically.
  • You can now select techniques without the required materials, to preview the bonuses.

No further content or mechanics updates are planned at this point. All translations are now up to-date as well. We'd like to thank you for your support and willingness to try different games.

While our next full-scale RPG is still in the early stages, your feedback will be more than welcome:

-> Design updates, concept art, screen mockups, etc.

Thanks Pladio!

Age of Decadence

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

Details

Vaporum - Now on Steam Greenlight

by Hiddenx, 20:31

You can vote for the dungeon crawler Vaporum on Steam Greenlight now:

Vaporum is a grid-based, single-player & single-character dungeon crawler game seen from the first person perspective in an original steampunk setting. Inspired by old-school games like Dungeon Master I and II, the Eye of the Beholder series, and the most recent Legend of Grimrock I and II.

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Key Features

  • First person real-time combat
  • Puzzles and level-wide objectives
  • Gadget-based RPG system
  • Lots of exploration, loot, and character customization
  • Mysterious storyline filled with secrets
  • Fully voiced main characters
  • Immersive steampunk setting

Combat

Combat in Vaporum takes place in real time. Each enemy type has a distinctive set of strengths and weaknesses, and various kinds of attacks and defense mechanisms, so you have to employ different tactics to beat each one.

Weapons differ from each other not only by damage and icon image, but each weapon type has a certain unique bonus or behavior other weapons don't. This adds more depth and thought when choosing what weapons to equip.

You will find many types of gadgets: direct attacks, area attacks, offensive & defensive buffs... While these gadgets are powerful, they also drain your energy, and some enemies are immune to certain types of attacks. So you will have to figure out the best way to deal with every encounter the game throws at you.

Puzzles

Most mechanics in Vaporum are very simple. However, combining these mechanics creates intriguing puzzles and level-wide objectives where you have to use both your wits and reflexes. While most puzzles and riddles are contained in a single room, progression objectives can span an entire level or even multiple levels.

Character Progression

Instead of increasing the abilities of your human character, you will improve an exo-rig that you find early in the game.

The character progression system combines a "you are what you wear" aspect with a long-term development of your exo-rig. The gadget-based system allows you to equip various gadgets to help you define your own playstyle. Because gadgets are items, you can change your loadout at any time, giving you a great deal of flexibility to deal with various situations.

On the other hand, as your exo-rig becomes more powerful by absorbing energy from destroyed enemies, you get to unlock useful circuits on it, gaining significant permanent attribute bonuses and passive skills.

These two approaches result in a ton of customization, all at your will.

Story and Exploration

Stranded on a small islet in the middle of an ocean, you enter a gigantic mechanical tower. Nothing makes sense to you, but it is all strangely familiar...

If you want to get into the backstory and uncover the mysteries of the tower, you can delve right into it by reading all the notes you can find. Don't worry, though, you can safely ignore all the text. All major story points are told by the main characters and they are fully voiced!

There are many optional areas in the game that you can choose to explore. They usually present some form of additional challenge, but come with a reward too! The tower is riddled with secret passages that contain unique items and notes of its inhabitants, giving you an insight into their lives and events that precede your arrival.

Vaporum

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

Details

Ama's Lullaby - Kickstarter Update

by Hiddenx, 20:25

With 39 hours to go Ama's Lullaby is nearly 80% funded on Kickstarter:

Ama's Lullaby is a point-and-click video game taking place in a cyberpunk environment. Playing the role of Ama, a high potential teenager who loves computer sciences, you will explore the colony, meet its human and non-human inhabitants, negociate with the AI and make decisions that will impact directly the course of events. Thanks to Ama’s programming talent, you will be able to hack any network of the city, gather information, steal confidential data to use them for your own purposes, disclose them or even blackmail people. But be careful: every action will have consequences on the story, and Ama will become an easy prey once her identity is unveiled.

Ama's Lullaby

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

Details

Phoenix Point - Julian Gollop AMA

by Silver, 12:46

On Reddit Julian Gollop did an AMA focused on Phoenix Point.

We have been developing the game for 10 months now and I have a lot to talk about - however, I can't talk about everything since we are still in discussion with several parties about potential funding for the project. I will do my best to answer everything though.

JulianGollop

That's a mammoth question-and-a-half! Phoenix Point has several standout features - such as procedurally generated aliens, large scale monsters. However, I think the biggest difference is in how the world works. Phoenix Point is definitely more 4X-like - with exploration, discovery, expansion, diplomacy. The human factions are just as important as the aliens. They have resources, tech - and secrets - which would be valuable to you. I am taking some inspiration from X-COM Apocalypse here - but applied to a world scale. The aliens and human factions would do stuff - events would happen - even if the player doesn't intervene. This is something I have been wanting to implement in a game for a long time. I am also really happy about the modern Lovecraftian vibe the writing team are creating.

JulianGollop

There will be a faction rather similar to the Cult of Sirius in Phoenix Point.

[...]

codadun

Hi Julian, How have you planned to strike a balance between meaningful and diverse variation of mutated forms without creating an overwhelming number of perks and buffs to remember? Forgetting one vertebrae-centipede is immune to fire, or is capable of infrared vision compared to its vanilla cousin, and so on. Best of luck on the project funding!

JulianGollop

Good question. A specific alien does not have a large number of abilities and generally the aliens will retire old versions completely before introducing new mutations. At any time there won't be a lot of different mutations around. The basic evolutionary rule the aliens use is that if a particular alien is not performing well, it will be mutated. If an alien is performing well, then more of them will be deployed - until the player figures out how to deal with them.

JulianGollop

The current system we have is something a bit in between. There is an implicit AP system, but the presentation looks like the modern Firaxis XCOM with an 'action zone' and a 'dash zone'. The action zone may be bigger or smaller depending on the weapon or equipment chosen. Your moves can be interrupted on spotting an enemy or taking a hit - and you can react as you see fit. A major feature of the system that a character's 'willpower' rating gives you will points, which you spend on certain special actions. There is also a hit location system with disabling wounds to different parts of the body having different effects. This is quite cool actually - especially when you shoot an alien's gun or shield of its wounded arm.
[...]

Phoenix Point

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

Details

Underworld Ascendant - A New Look

by Silver, 08:21

The latest Stygian Sentinel newsletter shows us the graphical improvements being made to Underworld Ascendant.

As you know, we've been focusing our efforts on The Challenge of Ishtass, where the player is first introduced to the bevy of choices available to them with Underworld Ascendant‘s player-authored Improvisation Engine gameplay.

We're happy to report that we've progressed into the bug-fixing and polish phase. The team has been feverishly addressing gameplay feedback by Paul and Warren. It's been at times challenging work, but we've been making tangible progress on combat, stealth, magic, AI, and more.

A New Look at Underworld Ascendant

We're deep in the thick of it all, so for this month's update we have a much-requested look at our art director Nate (BioShock, The Last of Us) Wells' latest headway on upping our visual bar.

The areas pictured below are still receiving additional polish, lighting, and VFX passes, but we hope you'll agree that they've come far since we first showed them off.
[...]

Underworld Ascendant

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

Details

Wednesday - March 22, 2017

ME:A - Character Creator Improvements?

by Silver, 22:13

@Eurogamer Mass Effect: Andromeda has some character creator problems and Bioware is mulling over possible improvements but can't confirm anything for now.

We're looking at patching lots of issues and want to strongly support the game moving forward," lead designer Ian S. Frazier wrote on Twitter last night, in response to one fan asking whether facial animations for some characters might improve. "I can't say more just yet."

One of Andromeda's areas actively being investigated for tune-up is its character creator, whose relatively limited options have upset some fans.

"Can't promise anything yet, but we're currently evaluating various options for making it better," Frazier wrote.

Last week's early access trial for the game recieved a mixed response from fans, who flooded the internet with some of the game's worst examples of bugs in GIF form.

"Many of these issues will be patched out, and most are negligible - easily forgiven as you gaze out over a gleaming, windswept icefield studded with kett outposts, or glimpse a gigantic sandworm composed of flickering black shards arching through the skies of a desert world," Edwin wrote in Eurogamer's Mass Effect Andromeda review. "But it's staggering, nonetheless, that the game made it to retail in this state."

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

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Claw Hunter - Now on Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 21:27

Farflame spotted the Action Adventure Claw Hunter on Kickstarter:

Claw Hunter

 A single player action-adventure game with RPG elements that allows the player to command three distinct characters with special abilities. Taking place in the 17th century and set on an island where prehistoric life of Cretaceous period was perfectly preserved, Claw Hunter allows the players to return to the days of their childhood, where the prehistoric worlds of dinosaurs and cavemen fascinated us all. Game is focused on a strong main story line and features super-realistic visual style and is built in Unreal Engine. Inspired by titles such as Uncharted, Tomb Raider and The Dig, game features a thrilling story in which the player will embark on a journey through the rugged and dangerous landscape of the tropical island to uncover its long-forgotten mystery. Each character has a different set of skills which players can combine to solve problems arising during their travels. On top of that, players can tame and work with dinosaurs to fulfil different tasks where human hands are not enough.

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Kickstarter Games

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

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All Walls Must Fall - Now on Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 21:24

All Walls Must Fall - a Tech-Noir Tactics Game is now on Kickstarter:

Berlin November 2089

The Cold War never ended. For 150 years both sides have used time manipulation technology to observe and counter each other’s every move. Now this fragile state of affairs is approaching a breaking point, as a rogue nuclear strike will send the world into turmoil. Both sides have scrambled to send agents back in time to find who is behind the attack and how to prevent it. If they fail, the whole world will turn to ash, forever.

All Walls Must Fall is an isometric tactics game where actions happen to the pulsing beat of the music. You control time travelling secret agents as they jump and loop through a single night in the city of Berlin. Using a pausable real-time system, carefully plan your decisions and use powerful time manipulation abilities to your advantage, as you carry out your mission in the shadows or in plain sight. Levels are procedurally recombined using a bespoke system developed by inbetweengames, giving All Walls Must Fall a highly replayable campaign structure, while still offering individually crafted components and set-pieces.

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All Walls Must Fall
takes inspiration from genre classics like X-Com, Syndicate and REZ, as well more recent indie games like The Banner Saga, Braid, SUPERHOT and Crypt of the Necrodancer.

Thanks Farflame!

Kickstarter Games

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

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Pamela - Development Update

by Hiddenx, 21:16

Pamela v0.1.1.6 has been released:

Update: PAMELA v0.1.1.6 is Live!

<Please note! This update will cause existing world save files to be deleted!>

Happy Monday Sleepers!

After some delay fixing last minute issues, we’ve got our first major update ready for showtime.

Why are we calling this a major update, you ask? Well, because there’s a metric ton of fixes, optimizations, and balance tweaking resulting in our by-far largest set of patch notes thus far.

As always, thank you so much to all of you who’ve posted bug reports and in-depth notes here; this is so crucial, and enables us to churn out these updates in a timely manner for everyone’s benefit! Please keep it up, you’re all awesome.

Here are the main highlights of this update:

Saving is significantly more stable and reliable

Due to some unexpected last-minute issues at launch, saving and loading have never quite worked properly. We apologize for all those of you who have lost your epic loot after the save system has hickuped – the underlying issues has now been fixed, and though we’re still working on improvements, you should now be quite safe to build bases, upgrade items, and more without fear of losing everything next time you play.

RAM Usage has been reduced significantly

Through working directly with Unity, we’ve implemented some huge optimizations that have reduced memory usage dramatically (down from roughly 7.5GB to 5.3GB in our testing thus far). These optimizations should reduce crashing for some users, as well as decrease loading times and improve in-game performance. We are still working on some loading time reductions for those of you who experience extreme times (15+ minutes) and will post further updates as we progress.

Hacking Balance 3.0

We’ve been tinkering further with the hacking difficulty systems; at launch, too many objects were locked with too high of difficulty, so we nerfed them quite significantly. Last patch, it seemed that hacking became trivial in most cases, so we’ve played with the way difficulties are calculated. Read the Hacking section of the patch notes for the full info on these changes.

Tons and tons of additional fixes and balance Tweaks

There’s simply too much to describe here, so please read the full patch notes if you’re dying to know every fix. We’ve been replying to threads to notify the OPs if the issue has been fixed, so please check there if you recently posted about a bug.

Phew, time for the patch notes. Please let us know your experience below, hope this update is a solid improvement for every one of you! We should have another patch coming mid-week, depending on how we progress with a few things we have in the works.

[...]

Pamela

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

Details

Conan Exiles - Interview @ Wccftech

by Hiddenx, 21:12

Farflame spotted this Conan Exiles interview at Wccftech:

Conan Exiles – PAX East 2017 Interview with Oscar Lopez

If you build it, they will come…..and break your stuff and put your blacksmith in the Wheel of Pain. That’s Conan Exiles, the new survival multiplayer game by Funcom which recently entered Early Access on Steam.

During Pax East 2017, we learned a little bit more about Conan Exiles’ base building mechanics, PvP, and the upcoming Siege warfare content patch from Lead Designer Oscar Lopez.

Wccftech: First things first, tell me a bit about Conan Exiles and how it differs from your previous Conan game, Age of Conan?
Lopez: Conan Exiles is a survival sandbox MMO. Your main objectives in the game are to survive first, to build an empire, and to thrive against other people. It’s a different setup than what you would get in Age of Conan. Age of Conan is an MMO with a different sense of progression and activates that you do in the game. In this game [Conan Exiles] your activities revolve around food and water and building a base, building better tools to fight. You adventure out to find more material to make even better weapons, castles while taking on other players. The two games are completely different genres and we are making sure we are letting players before jumping that this isn’t a sequel to Age of Conan but its own thing.

[...]

Conan Exiles

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

Details

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Switch replacing the Wii U version

by Nyx, 04:16

Following the release of the Nintendo Switch, Bloodstained: Rituals of the Night has announced they will switch platforms from the intended Wii U to the latest Nintendo console. While this might be bad news for some, they do offer everyone who backed the game for the Wii U to change their pledge to whatever platform they like (Switch by default) or have a full refund if they so wish. 

 

During our Kickstarter campaign, the Wii U was at the height of its popularity, but the situation has drastically changed after the release of Nintendo Switch. 

This change made it difficult to receive the necessary support from the hardware maker, which has led us to drop the Wii U development and shift the development to Nintendo Switch. 

We are very sorry that it has come to this after all your support, but we hope you will understand. We would like to respond by preparing options for our backers, such as moving your pledge to another version or requesting a refund if you don’t want any other version.

 



 

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night

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

Details

Arcane - On Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 00:07

Daveyd spotted the Adventure Survival RPG Arcane on Kickstarter:

The world is overrun by a force far greater then yourself, magic. It’s everywhere, you begin to study it, understand it as it ebbs through every inch of your body. The mystical creatures lurking at the ends of the Earth begin to broaden their horizon. Night time arrives, and with it an evil like you have never seen before… How will you survive?

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Journey into a procedurally generated 2D pixel-driven world with nothing but your own two hands, a drive to endure and a natural gift for the mystical arts. Using your basic instincts and the guidance of your in-game Compendium, it is up to you to unravel the endless secrets of the Arcane.

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Tuesday - March 21, 2017

Pillars of Eternity II - State of the Project

by Silver, 22:35

Pillars of Eternity 2's latest update provides a state of the project report, meaning that the pre-Alpha stage has been reached.

State of the Project - Pre-Alpha

We recently began a new production milestone. With new milestones comes new areas, narrative, creatures, and much more! Without giving away critical story points or areas of our game, here is a high level overview of what some of our departments are working on:

Area Design

We began several new areas that are critical to the storyline of Pillars II, and they are coming along nicely so far. Quests, blockouts, and dialogues for areas are being developed and reviewed before being passed to the environment artists to make the area. As an example, here is a section of an area that was approved for environment art to start work on:


Environment Art

Our environment artists are hard at work completing first and second art passes of areas in Pillars II. A lot of these are areas that are critical to the storyline, so they put a lot of hard work into getting these sections to look perfect. From that blockout you saw above, the artist does a first pass, transforming the area into a playable level with no lighting or VFX. After receiving feedback from our lead artists, the environment artist does a final pass, lighting, and passes it to VFX. Here are first and final passes of that blockout from above:

We will be posting an area update in the near future. In that update, we'll go into detail about how the area designers and environment artists work together to make the levels of Pillars II.

Systems Design

The systems designers are working on finishing the design and implementing the abilities of a few creatures in Pillars II. These designs include a creature's weaknesses and strengths, what abilities they possess, and how the creature should behave. In addition to creatures, design is continuing to make improvements to the subclass and multiclassing systems.

Animation

Our animators are hard at work creating new and unique animations for creatures. Some of our animals now have attack animations and fidgets, including wolves and boars. In addition to animal animations, weapon animations are well underway. We'll post an update in the near future with more about the animation process; there are so many cool animations we want to share that we think it deserves its own post.

Character Art

The character artists have been working on base armor sets for both male and female characters, which are looking great. As an example, here are three variants of the Brigandine armor, modeled by our handsome friend Edér:

Narrative

The narrative designers are working on faction questlines for this milestone, and are ensuring that we provide a level of detail in quests that gives more insight into the culture and personality of each faction. Our writers are also working on dialogues for quests and further developing the history of factions.

Programming

Programming is focused on a variety of functionality for this milestone. Firstly, they are identifying key areas that can cause longer load times and fixing these so they no longer interfere. Load times have already been decreased by a great deal, and optimization will continue as we progress with development. Second, the programmers are continuing to add support for status effects and abilities. Lastly, a few systems have been refactored to allow improved functionality for animal companions and primary attacks.

VFX

VFX is continuing to work on effects passes for areas and making our levels even more beautiful than before. Glowing lights, particles, and objects swaying in the wind make a huge difference for an area. We can't wait to show you the comparison between Pillars II and the first Pillars. In addition to areas, ability VFX are looking pretty great. We'll share some of these with you in a later update.

Audio

Audio is working on adding sounds to maps. A typical audio pass for an area includes placing ambiances and emitters for the general atmosphere of the area, painting footstep maps, and ensuring that audio is implemented for doors, containers, and traps. Whether a map is supposed to feel ominous, peaceful, or anything in-between, these audio passes really bring life to an area and convey emotions that an otherwise silent area could not do.

Overall

We are making good progress on a lot of features, and still have a lot to go! The game is looking beautiful, and we're all very excited about the main story. We can't wait to share more of our progress with you. As we progress into Alpha and eventually Beta, we will release more 'State of the Project' posts like these to keep you informed of what we're working on. Is there a department you want to see more of? Let us know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Pillars of Eternity II

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

Details

Hellhunter - Listed on Steam

by Silver, 22:23

Hellhunter narrowly failed in its Kickstarter attempt but development has continued and it has now been listed on Steam according to the latest update.

Hellhunter is now on the Steam Store!

Lock and load, bait your traps and pack your Cryptonomicon - the nightmares are coming.

Add Hellhunter to your wishlist now, because we're actively developing the game and have lots of announcements coming soon.

Thanks to everyone who's supported us to get this far on social media and Kickstarter, we think you'll love what's coming.

Hellhunter

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Modern
Genre: Puzzle-RPG
Platform: Unknown
Release: In development

Details

Spy DNA - Interview @ Shane Plays

by Hiddenx, 22:21

Husband and wife team Jason Sams and Alex Maier of Shy Snake Games have talked with Shane about Spy DNA, their unique computer RPG, and indie game dev in general:

Spy DNA RPG With Shy Snake Games! - Shane Plays Radio Ep. 92

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Spy DNA

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

Details

Torment:ToN - Brian Fargo Interview @ TGG

by Hiddenx, 22:13

The Gaming Ground has interviewed Brian Fargo about the old days, Torment: Tides of Numenera and future plans:

Interview with Brian Fargo – Torment Tides Of Numenera, old memories and plans for the future

[...]

Jack TGG
How does it feel going from almost giving up old school RPGs to having your old-school RPG being top-seller on Steam and GOG?

Fargo
It continues to be an amazing thrill! I still vividly remember filing away our Wasteland 2 designs as something that would never happen, before Kickstarter ever occurred to me as a possibility. I still can’t thank our backers enough for enabling us to do this, and it has been extra rewarding to see both Wasteland 2 and Torment: Tides of Numenera atop the Steam charts.

[...]

Jack TGG
What have you learned from the time you released Planescape Torment in 1999 to today? How have you evolved as a developer?

Fargo
I’ve had a tremendous number of life experiences since 1999 and events in my life give me a different and deeper perspective. The creations I’m involved with will naturally benefit from my trials and tribulations of life. The biggest development change has been the open discussion with our audience during production. Showing our work in progress allows us to learn new things, get people’s opinions on facets of the game and to remind us of what is important.

[...]

 

Torment:ToN

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

Details

In Vitra - Demo available

by Hiddenx, 21:57

The German J-RPG In Vitra will be released on March 24 on Steam. A demo is already available:

In Vitra is a fantastic role-playing game with a turn-based combat system. It will lure you into the mysterious world of Vitra.

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After years of relentless battles against horrible monsters, finally, peace seems to return to Vitra - when suddenly a strange illness spreads throughout the land. When his grandmother is struck by a serious disease, young Noa and his friend Luke embark on a quest for a cure. But their adventure turns out to be more challenging than they thought. To prevent the plague from spreading even further they have to trace it back to its true origin.

Together with the pharmacist's daughter Lee-Belle and the young priestess Billa Noa and Luke begin their perilous journey far away from any human settlement. They have to face more and more fearsome creatures. And in the course of their adventure the four friends surprisingly come across an even bigger secret.

Join our four friends as they venture deep into the lush green lands of Vitra. Discover a fantastic world full of monsters and mysteries. Find out more about Vitra's dark past and reveal the well-kept secret of the dangerous affliction.

In Vitra

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

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 20:47

Today is the release day for Mass Effect: Andromeda in North America. The EU will follow on March 23.

Release Trailer

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The Week Junior Magazine summarizes the first rections to the game:

Mass Effect Andromeda: Critics torn on 'inconsistent' RPG

'Breathtaking worlds' and 'frenzied combat' are spoiled by 'dull' characters and scripts, say reviewers

Five years after the last instalment, the Mass Effect series has returned - but critics aren't quite as impressed as they were with the original trilogy.

Mass Effect: Andromeda takes players outside the Milky Way galaxy to find a new home for humanity from four potential habitable planets.
[...]

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

Details

Narborion Saga - Released

by Hiddenx, 20:06

The epic high fantasy RPG Narborion Saga has been released:

Enter the world of Narborion Saga, an epic high fantasy role playing game. A mixture of gamebook, tactical combat, rogue-like dungeoneering, minigames and much more - Narborion Saga will not disappoint the fans of narrative, story-driven RPGs.

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Begin your career as a humble page and complete the first three missions to achieve knighthood.

First, you have to find and rebuild the chapel of a long-forgotten Goddess and defeat the Master Vampire, Lord Malbor, agent of the God of Death and Magic. Your path is not an easy one. Dark forests, dangerous swamps lie in your path, full of undead and other nameless horrors. You will find allies and enemies alike, so choose your destiny wisely!

Your second quest is to find the god of Orcs and uncover a secret conspiracy. Something's happening up North, on the snow-covered plains of Yria. The goblinoid races are assembling to form an army, lead by their God. Are you up to the task of finding our what's really happening? You must stop their forces to save your country, breaking one more of the chains of the Goddess you're helping.

The third mission is the most dangerous so far. Receiving some weird rune-sticks, you will have to travel to the Coastless Lake. Here, you will need to explore swamp villages, islands, hidden forests to find the Wyrmslayer so you can defeat the terrible Xaraxorn, Death on Wings.

Besides the rich story, the game is stuffed with random encounters, dungeons and loot - there's plenty more to discover than the fixed narrative!

If you feel strong enough or you're a munchkin at heart, you can try your skill in the Arena, or even challenge your fellow players to a PvP duel!

Narborion Saga

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

Details