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Poll Watch

Are you excited about the 2018 games?
Absolutely not
1.96%

Not really
23.53%

Somewhat excited
35.29%

Oh yes!
39.22%

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Expected Releases

Feb: Into The Breach
Feb: ATOM RPG
Feb: For the King
Mar: Dead Cells
Mar: Thea 2: The Shattering

Monday - February 19, 2018

Biomutant - Developer Interview

by Silver, 00:50

At the PC Gamer Weekender, a Biomutant developer was interviewed about the game.

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We talk with the developer of Biomutant right here at PC Gamer Weekender 2018 in London.

Biomutant

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

Details

Sunday - February 18, 2018

Ash of Gods - Developer Diary #6

by Hiddenx, 22:14

Farflame spotted the Ash of Gods developer diary #6:

DEVELOPER DIARY #6

Putting a hand on my heart, I can say that I did not plan to write this diary, but in our profiles on social networks a pool of questions had accumulated, which I would like to answer all at once and I just have a little time for it. This time I will talk about how we made content – characters, effects and why there is so much text in the game. I will add a little bit about the readiness of the Feng’s line. I will also talk about the state of the translation and the parallel translation into 9 languages. If the text seems too serious, bear in mind that I am writing it quite sober – this seems to be the first such diary, give me a little slack for it.

[...]

Ash of Gods

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

Details

Greedfall - Two Previews

by Hiddenx, 22:09

Farflame spotted two previews for the Fantasy Action RPG Greedfall:

Playstation Lifestyle

Daily Star

Greedfall

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

Details

Forged of Blood - Progress Update & Release Timetable

by Silver, 14:12

A new update for Critical Forge announces Forged of Blood is close to being released.

Critical Forge Turns 2 & Progress Update

Happy Lunar New Year!

Interestingly enough, this year’s date nicely aligns with the studio’s two year anniversary. Two years ago to the day, six of us started this journey in a dusty office space with hand-me-down furniture and a few dozen boxes of electronics. In those first few days we didn’t have a studio name, a game title, or even an internet connection. All we had was a common dream to make something cool, something tactical, and something we can call our own. Yeah, that was cheesy, but honestly it’s hard not to get a little cheesy over something we’ve put our savings and a couple years (so far) of our lives into.

Now, we’re just months away from launching Forged of Blood and the last couple years has been an absolute blur. In that time we’ve built out the team to a studio peak of eleven and have said goodbye to some incredibly talented people as they moved on to other projects. At the end of the day, the game we will launch is a testament to their talent and I could not have been any more grateful to have had the chance to work with them so far.

So while the studio is closed for the Lunar New Year celebrations, I thought it would be nice to see just how far we’ve come. Thing is, while I’ve had this post planned for about a month now… the toughest thing about all this, is the sad fact that we don’t have a lot of “good” photos to look back through – a side effect, no doubt; of crappy office lighting, an old camera phone, and being a bunch of camera shy nerds, but I digress.

[...]

Two years ago:

Igor: “Here’s the thing though… I don’t want the same old thing. Light/dark… good/evil is boring. I want something with multiple traits we can track on something…”

Milo: “Oh, how about something like this?”

*Milo draws a circle on the board and three axes*

Igor: “Huh, that works.”

Milo: “Really?”

Igor: “Yeah.”

Milo: “Cool. Hey Joe, check this out…”

And so the TPI was born.

Granted, it still took another year or so of philosophical and mechanical debates, but the beginnings of what would be the driving narrative force in our game really did have such an anticlimactic beginning (you can read more about the system here).

The last two years came and went so quickly I still can’t quite believe that we’re in the home stretch. We’ve made a ton of mistakes in the process and we’ve had our share of disappointments (failed Kickstarter campaigns, missed opportunities, and seeing dear friends leave), but through it all we kept going and I knew that everything we did, we did for the betterment of the game. With scant resources and an ambitious timeline, this was (is) one hell of a project for a virgin studio and I am so proud to say that each member of our team has thus far exceeded every expectation.

So where are we now?

Well, the programming side is in implementation and clean up mode. It’s tedious, time consuming and often frustrating, but we’re inching our way through. On the art side of things, all of our 3D assets and special visual effects are done – and I’m very happy to say that we’ve exceeded our intended map-count by a comfortable margin. Our solo animator is busy putting together the final few cinematics with 2D assets coming in from the awesome folks over at Caravan Studios. Our music tracks are being finalized, and our custom creature sound effects are in production – leaving only the generic sound effects for us to deal with in the pipeline (one thing at a time…). On the narrative front, we are admittedly lagging – mostly due to the breadth of things pulling me away from it at any given point of the day. However we are making a ton of progress and I’m very relieved to have some solid friends helping me smooth things along there.

Forged of Blood, has been and continues to be one of the greatest challenges in my creative career. I’d like to think that I’ve grown over the last two years of mistakes and daily challenges,  and I truly believe that the studio will have something we can be very proud to call our own when it is all said and done. Nevertheless, the coming months will be hard and they will be stressful, I have no doubt of that; but I really hope that collectively we take a moment and look back on where we were just two short years ago. The progress we’ve made is tremendous, and the work we are putting out has been worthy of the very high bar we’ve set for ourselves.

With that, I’d like to close with my sincerest gratitude for every member of our studio – past, present, and future. We’ve done amazing things together and we’ve forged one hell of a game so far. We’re almost there, and I cannot wait to show the world what we’ve done.

To our fans, friends, and families who have cheered us on from the very beginning, seen us through our Kickstarter campaign and the aftermath, and helped us deal with the very real and very challenging stresses of game development – “thank you” is just not enough. We wouldn’t be here without you and we hope to make you all proud with the game we will launch this year, and seriously: thank you.

Finally, to those of you who are just joining us on this journey. Take a moment, have a look, and we hope you like what you see.

Here’s wishing everyone a happy and prosperous new year, and here’s to another year of adventures at Critical Forge.

– Igor

Forged of Blood

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

Details

The Iron Oath - February Update

by Silver, 12:47

The February update for The Iron Oath talks about how their dungeon layouts are created.

February Update

Hey everyone, we're back with another monthly update and today we're going to talk about how our dungeon layouts are created. We originally had been using a system that created layouts dynamically when entering a dungeon, but we've recently decided to go with a more hand-crafted approach so we have a little more control over everything. Here's an example of what creating a layout looks like from our end.(note this isn't an actual layout that will be used, it was more of a "stress-test" to make sure everything functioned properly despite some awkward placement!)

[...]

We're continuing to work towards our next demo phase and are getting fairly close. We also have a couple new additions to combat that we will touch on in the next update. Hope you all have a great weekend and we thank you for your continued support! :)

 ----

The Iron Oath

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

Details

CRPG Book - Now in ePub Format

by Silver, 12:17

The latest update for The CRPG Book announces that it has been 'patched' to fix some grammar errors and is now available in ePub format.

Hello everyone,

It has been an overwhelming week! In less than 5 days the CRPG Book got over 100k downloads and it has been a blast to see everyone enjoying it. Smile

Several volunteers appeared to help with proofreading and I’m trying to come up with a good system for this. I’ve also “patched” the book to version 1.0.2, fixing a bunch of typos, grammar mistakes and adding three contributors whose name had been left out.

A lot of people want an ePub version. This is hard to do with such complex layout, but I’ve exported it as well as I could. Please get in touch if you know how to do this better.

ePub Version 

Also, some groups are now translating the book to Spanish, German, Russian and Chinese! Besides the translations, a lot of people wanted to print a copy for personal use, make “abridged” versions,  or simply check the files to see how the project was made.

So here’s a link to the full InDesign project.

The CRPG Book uses a CC BY-NC 4.0 Creative Commons license, meaning you can use it however you wish – as long as you credit the authors and don’t use it for monetary gain.

Finally, I received a few offers to publish a hardcover version! The idea is to turn it into a charity fundraiser, so I’ll keep everyone updated as things progress.

But for now, I’ll rest a bit. Thanks everyone for an unforgettable week! Smile

General News

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

Details

Alder's Blood - A Victorian Fantasy XCOM

by Silver, 12:10

A new Kickstarter has launched for a Victorian era inspired XCOM game called Alder's Blood.

Child of XCOM and Bloodborne that was raised by Darkest Dungeon. 

Alder’s Blood, a fresh take on the tactial genre, which raises the tactical decisions of the player over the mere luck of RNG rolls.

Lead the group of legendary monster slayers in the dark, twisted remnants of civilization. Gear up, scout ahead and hunt throughout putrid forests, forsaken castles, corrupted hamlets and cursed coves. Battle feral monsters and the Darkness itself, the corrupting force of the entire land.

Platform PC

We consider Steam as a first platform we hit, then GOG. We do not deny other platforms in the future (PS4, Switch).

Features

  • no RNG system in the base mechanics; forget all the missed shots fired just 1 meter in front of your enemy;
  • Darkness System can surprise you by changing the rules on the game in the middle of the fight;
  • Stamina System - fail miserably just by losing your breath during combat;
  • Senses System - monsters can hear and SMELL you! Beware of the wind;
  • Strategy - a second gameplay layer, where you can research new gear, craft items and prepare for the next encouter;
  • Boss fights - track down and face challenging enemies in storyline missions.

Gameplay

Alder's Blood is a 2D fuse of tactical and strategy game mixed with a few twists and fresh approach to the genre. We removed the RNG systems from core mechanics of the combat, as we believe that we can provide interesting and surprising experience without implementing the dice rolls.

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Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Obsidian Entertainment - Steve Escalante Interview

by Silver, 07:11

MCV interviewed Steve Escalante of Versus Evil and asked him about working with Obsidian.

However, with Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, Versus Evil seems to be upping its game.

“Before I started Versus Evil, I was at Bethesda for five years. We’ve all worked on big triple-A projects,” general manager Steve Escalante tells MCV. “So to dive into something like Pillars of Eternity really expands the knowledge that we’ve always had.

“We are starting to focus on more genres that make sense for us as a publisher, that complement the experiences that I’ve had in my 18 years in this business. And RPG as a genre happens to be one of them.”

Picking up this specific project was a no-brainer for Versus Evil, Escalante explains: “First and foremost, it’s Obsidian and they are one of the top-tier RPG developers. Plain and simple. Having been a fan of RPGs for most of my life, it was a bit of a geek-out phase for myself going ‘Wow, this would be really amazing if we can work with the Obsidian teams’.”

[...]

Obsidian Entertainment

Details

Saturday - February 17, 2018

Once upon a Dungeon - Released

by Hiddenx, 09:24

Koto Games released the old school roguelike Once Upon a Dungeon:

Once upon a Dungeon

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Once upon a Dungeon is a roguelike game with a dense atmosphere and challenging gameplay. Explore dark dungeons full of dreadful foes. Defeat them using physical power or mighty spells. Craft magic items, collect unique ones, enhance your attributes and face the main antagonist – Fallen One.

The game has following features:

  • turn based
  • procedurally generated levels
  • permanent death (optionally)
  • hack/slash oriented
  • tons of loot (ordinary, magic, enchantable, unique)
  • spells system
  • trading system
  • interesting quests
  • cool crafting system
  • door/key/lever mechanics
  • different monsters (ordinary, champions, bosses)

Weapons have different capabilities depending on their type:

  • Bashing – enhanced chance for stunning
  • Axes – enhanced chance for tear apart
  • Daggers – enhanced chance for bleeding
  • Swords – enhanced chance for hit

Spells can cause different effect depending on their type:

  • Fire – burning
  • Ice – freezing
  • Poison – poisoning

Once upon a Dungeon

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

Details

MMORPG News - Darkfall: New Dawn

by Hiddenx, 08:58

Ub3ergames released their MMO Darkfall: New Dawn:

Darkfall: New Dawn

A game’s redemption release, after nearly 2 years of development
The French startup Ub3rgames just announced the successful launch of their MMORPG: Darkfall: New Dawn. It was a challenging release that happened on the previous weekend. Three days only after launch the server is holding strong despite player counts raising by the day.

Originally developed by Aventurine in 2009, Darkfall Online was one of the most highly anticipated MMORPG, first and only MMOFPS with large scale combat, full loot system, and no tab targeting. DFO left thousands of fans mourning when the server closed in 2012, putting the game to its end.

Since February 2016, the indie studio, who took over the old and beloved game, has been working  on unleashing a new and improved version of the MMORPG,  under the name Darkfall: New Dawn, targeting both the veterans and new gamers.

“We always wanted to share this historical moment with our community who supported us for two years, so we were, - and still are - here, on the battlefield 24/7.”  said GM Paul, one of the developers and game masters.

The players were longing for two big features finally introduced in the last patch before launch:

  • the local banking system - allowing for a player-driven economy.
  • the title system - giving the user the ability to choose their own specialization in the forms of perks and skills, offering diversity in a classless game.

These two changes created a real difference and are an improvement over the original game.

“Darkfall had such high expectations during the lead up to its original launch, and we feel we can eventually make good on all the promises made back then while correcting the original’s flaws. We’ll start with one of the most unique conquest games out there, and as time goes on, increase its depth to satisfy all kind of players. Darkfall: New Dawn is about redemption. ” said Ub3rgames CEO, Marc Thompson.

In an attempt to celebrate the launch, Ub3rgames released a surprise trailer for the players on the day before. The video published on Youtube is more technical and outlines the differences between  DND and the original Darkfall Online.

MMORPG News

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

Details

Path of Exile - Bestiary League Official Trailer

by Hiddenx, 08:46

The Bestiary League will be available on March 2:

Path of Exile: Bestiary League Official Trailer

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In the Bestiary Challenge League, hunter-scavenger Einhar Frey teaches you to hunt, capture and sacrifice beasts in order to craft powerful items. Path of Exile's March Update includes the Bestiary League, dozens of new items, new gems, new end-game content, and more.

Path of Exile

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

Details

Fallen Gods - Introducing Fallen Gods

by Silver, 06:22

Wormwood Studios have a new update on Fallen Gods which serves as an introduction to the game.

Update #1: Introducing Fallen Gods

Once, the world was better, the gods greater, the wars over, the end farther. You were born in the Cloudlands during those days, one of the Ormfolk, forever young and strong, worshiped by those below for your forefathers' deeds. But all is not well. Now, wolves and worse haunt the night, the law holds no sway, and men's hearts grow hard toward your kind. Fearful of their dwindling shares of souls, your brothers turned against each other ... and against you. And so you were cast down from the clouds, a fallen god broken upon the bitter earth. You rise, still free from death, with only the slightest hope of winning your way back to the heavens that are your rightful home.

Fallen Gods is an RPG inspired by the board game Barbarian Prince, the computer game King of Dragon Pass, and the sagas, eddas, and folklore of the far north. With a dark, wry tone, it tells the story of a god trying to survive in a dying world ruled by beings with great might and wits, but without the wisdom to heal the wounds left by their wars. The game has been in production for about four years, and its concepts have been building in my head for decades.

At the core of Fallen Gods are interactive events, choose-your-own-adventure vignettes in the spirit of the Lone Wolf gamebooks. Throughout the game, the player will enter towns and tunnels, meet strangers and friends on the road, face earthly and unearthly foes, and witness wonders of all kinds. Each of these events, accompanied by a hand-painted illustration, consists of a series of nodes, each a paragraph of text followed by several choices that depend upon the skills the god knows, the items he bears, and the followers he leads.
A forest village quest.

These events, like Fallen Gods itself, are about exploring the game's world, mechanics, and story. In every session, dozens of the hundreds of possible events are spread across a procedurally generated landscape in a way that creates both surprise and coherence. Events are both destinations for the player to seek out and obstacles to bar his way. They provide the landmarks and characters that bring the world to life and make geographic exploration rewarding and dangerous.

Events also provide a laboratory for mechanical exploration. Just as the world is unique in every session, so too is the god, with different skills, strengths, supplies, followers, and gear. These things, alone and together, are powerful tools that can open up new paths, some obvious, others requiring thought and experience. Thus, for example, the Death Lore skill (allowing the god to speak to the dead) and the Wurmskin Cloak (allowing him to understand the speech of birds) can together unlock a new path through the "Windfall" event, which begins with the god finding a field full of dead starlings. Or, in "The Whale," the player might use the Wild Heart skill (allowing him to bend beasts to his will) along with Nail (a magical spear) to draw back and harpoon his titular foe. In another example, the screenshot below shows a few of the possible forks at the start of the "All Is Lost" event.

As the player passes along these different event paths, he uncovers more about the world and what has befallen it. This "narrative exploration" reflects three values (aside from the basic goal of engaging writing). First, what the player learns should be relevant to the game's mechanics and thus of practical value. As in the wonderful King of Dragon Pass, an understanding of the setting's laws and lore helps in handling both friends and foes, in making informed choices rather than guesses. Second, while Fallen Gods involves plenty of words, reading should lead to doing: there is never more than a paragraph of text before the player is back in control, either making a choice with strategic consequences, fighting foes in a tactical battle, or exploring the world while managing resources. Third, the setting should be uncanny and unsettling, rooted in the same rich soil from which modern fantasy springs, but growing along different lines.

That setting grew from my fascination with Iceland and its marvelous Commonwealth, a nation of silver-tongued skalds, quick-witted warriors, troll-women, and land-wights, a land haunted at night by the Northern Lights, where some men still worshiped the beautifully flawed Norse gods. Where but in that Iceland would they compose an epic about a man who "was so great a lawyer that his match was not to be found"? This is Njal Thorgeilsson, the 10th century hero of the hauntingly titled Saga of Burnt Njal, a man who warns that "by the law alone will our land be built up" in a saga that vividly shows the other path, as scenes of farms and families give way to an endless blood-feud that brings Njal his fatal epithet. Where but in that Iceland would men dream up nabrok, wealth-bringing pants stitched from a dead man's skin, or tilberi, milk-sucking worms shaped by witches from wool-wrapped ribs? What other land, so tiny, so remote, so poor, could bring forth not just Snorri Sturluson but Leif Erikson?

But Fallen Gods is not a "Norse" or "Viking" game; neither is it a Tolkien-inspired fantasy setting. Rather, like Tolkien's own setting, it is drawn from the old lore and poured into a new glass, hopefully yielding something familiar but also strange.

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[...]

Fallen Gods

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

Details

Friday - February 16, 2018

Ion Storm - History

by Hiddenx, 21:58

PC Gamer tells the history of Ion Storm:

The History of Ion Storm

The tumultuous story of two of the most influential studios in PC gaming history.

Jake Hughes was working as a model designer on Starship Troopers when he received a call from Peter Marquardt. Marquardt was an actor—he played the bad guy in Robert Rodriguez’s first film, El Mariachi—but he also had a passion for games. The pair originally met on the set of Wing Commander IV, where Marquardt was shooting for the game’s cutscenes.

“He calls me up and he says, ‘Hey, John Romero is making a company and they’re looking for associate producers, come on out,’” Hughes says. “Peter was working on Daikatana, and Tom Hall was needing an associate producer. So I came out and I met Tom, and we connected instantly … because they all knew about Starship Troopers.”

A week later, Hughes was offered the job as associate producer of Anachronox, the third game by Ion Storm Dallas. He was one of around 80 individuals invited to join the company at that time. Most were men, nearly all were under 30 years old and their backgrounds ranged from model designers to members of bands such as Information Society. Few of them had worked much in the games industry before. “Tom was actually the only person who had the experience [on Anachronox],” Hughes remembers. “This is, of course, Ion Storm, right? Where ego is a thing.”

In March 1997, Hughes made the drive from Los Angeles to Dallas to join Ion Storm. Its lavish office in the penthouse of Dallas’s Chase Tower wasn’t ready yet, so the team used a smaller office in the interim. Hughes’s office cubicle was connected to Romero’s. “I actually got to hear him play deathmatch every night,” he remembers.

For Hughes and everyone else involved, Ion Storm Dallas was videogaming nirvana, a company with huge talent, huge investment and huge ambitions, dreamed up by arguably the most famous man in the industry at the time. The honeymoon wouldn’t last, though. Within a year the studio would be plagued by turbulent office politics, a slew of public image crises and a host of development problems from which its reputation would never fully recover.

[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

Ion Storm

Details

Stellar Tactics - Combat Update

by Silver, 21:08

Stellar Tactics has received a combat update.

Hi all - Lots of changes in this patch - see the video for highlights and details below:

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COMBAT CHANGES:

ADDED: End turn options. When ending your turn you will have several new options to choose from. This options menu is only displayed if you have 2 or more AP left over when ending your turn. If queuing attacks, your turn will end as usual if no AP is left over. You can cancel out of the end turn menu by pressing the escape key.

  • WAIT - Wait requires a full bar of AP and allows you to skip your turn, adjusting your position in the turn order. This is handy for cases where your team member may be blocked. When selecting this option, your position in the turn order is adjusted after the last team member in the turn order.
  • DEFEND - Defend requires 2 AP and has a small chance of avoiding a single attack while waiting for your next turn or mitigating a portion of the next attacks damage. The cost of 2AP is a choice balanced against reloading your weapon or setting your team members in a defensive posture while in combat. Defend is applied after armor, shields and any other damage mitigation. You can see which team members and enemy combatants are defending by rolling over them with your mouse. The status bar at the top of the screen will show a defend icon in cases where combatants are in defend mode.
  • END TURN - Ends your turn with no ap cost or further action. Any remainig AP up to 2 points will be rolled over into your next turn as it has been in the past.


ADDED: Attacks of opportunity:

  • Only combatants with a melee weapon equipped and selected can execute an attack of opportunity.
  • If a combatant is in range of a melee opponent and they move, the enemy will get a free attack.
  • Combatants get a single chance during any round of having an attack of opportunity applied.
  • Combatants get a single attack of opportunity per round of combat.
  • If the enemy misses you, you will continue to your selected destination.
  • If the enemy does damage, your move will be interrupted. You can choose to heal, attack or move as usual after the attack.
  • Combatants can only be attacked once in any round. That includes instances where the closest enemy combatant has already dealt an attack of opportunity.
  • Status effects have a chance to apply any status effects as normal.
  • Stunned combatants cannot make attacks of opportunity. However, they do remove the moving combatants chance to receive an attack of opportunity for that round.


Combat navigation and blocking has been overhauled. The goal was to improve the way blocking works so it is fair for both the player and the AI. Characters now have descreet blocking areas that work much better than they did previously. You should notice that AI can no longer move through characters when retreating or if blocked in areas by your team members. Enemies also do a much better job of keeping their distance from other characters with this update. You also now have the option to "Wait" in cases where your team members are blocked so you can make adjustments to positioning. I'll be continuing to improve on this system over time.

GENERAL FIXES IN THIS PATCH:
FIXED: Adding and removing armor with stats (+STR - +END) now correctly update the display of HP in the character info and inventory screens.
FIXED: Bleed resist display in character info screen
FIXED: A number of rounding errors for weapon damage in rollover info, character information and inventory areas.
FIXED: Projectile impacts and damage display are now timed based on range to target
FIXED: Grenade throw animations from crouched position.
FIXED: When swapping weapons, border highlights now updated correctly.
FIXED: When mercs were recruited, they were given 4 less intial stat points than they were supposed to recieve. You are now credited 4 stat points the next time you attack in combat.
FIXED: An error in the trade in value for ships based on charisma.
FIXED: An error in the display of values displayed in trade menus when items had a value of 100,000 credits or more.

UPDATED: You can no longer select team members other than the selected active combatant with the F1-F4 keys and by clicking them while in combat. This was confusing players because they were unable to end their turns if they inadvertantly selected another team member.

UPDATED: Missile launcher damage toned down a bit.

UPDATED: Adjusted mini-gun damage up a bit.

UPDATED: Damage modifiers to burst and full auto - you should see a significant damage boost to both of these fire modes bringing them somewhat in line with the use of ammo and AP expenditure. Burst and full-auto do have a damage penalty to reflect accuracy when firing with these modes. You will deal and receive more peak damage now and will need to mitigate this with healing, especially at higher levels. Time to start using those med-kits. This will be balanced a bit more with the introduction of First-Aid related powers/devices. "Medic!"

UPDATED: Heavy weapon damage increased - should give you a reason to use heavy weapons a little more often now. You are going to want to focus fire on heavy weapon enemies and get them out of the way as a priority. A critical with a heavy weapon is devastating!

UPDATED: Reduced the amount of ammo used for full-auto attacks for rifles, smg's and pistols from 12 to 8. Damage for this fire mode was just too high with the changes above and ammo use was excessive.

UPDATED: Removed level based attack bonuses which were skewing damage. Note that rollover info for weapons is just an estimate based on your currently equipped base weapon damage, equipped mods and a bunch of other factors. Breaking out a calculator is not likely to result in exact damage values. There is a lot of voodoo going on in the background of damage calculations including ranged falloff calculations, stat modifiers and more.

UPDATED: Floating fonts for combat and comments.

UPDATED: Melee received a boost in damage. With the addition of attacks of opportunity, melee team members also gain an additional boost to damage in cases where combatants try to leave the area of influence (see above).

Stellar Tactics

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

Details

System Shock - Returning to Vision

by Silver, 20:47

A new update on the System Shock Remake announces a return to the original concept.

Sometimes You Need To Take a Step Back In Order To Take Two Steps Forward

Kickstarter Update from Stephen Kick, CEO of Nightdive Studios

In March of 2016, Nightdive Studios released our video of our vision of System Shock Remastered. Done in Unity it was an immediate hit with almost a half million views on YouTube. In June of 2016 we launched a Kickstarter campaign to make the vision into a reality. It was tremendously successful with over 21,000 backers contributing over $1.3 million to the campaign. We put together a development team and began working on the game. But along the way something happened.

Maybe we were too successful. Maybe we lost our focus. The vision began to change. We moved from a Remaster to a completely new game. We shifted engines from Unity to Unreal, a choice that we don’t regret and one that has worked out for us. With the switch we began envisioning doing more, but straying from the core concepts of the original title.

As our concept grew and as our team changed, so did the scope of what we were doing and with that the budget for the game. As the budget grew, we began a long series of conversations with potential publishing partners. The more that we worked on the game, the more that we wanted to do, and the further we got from the original concepts that made System Shock so great.

Ultimately the responsibility for the decisions rests with me. As the CEO and founder of Nightdive Studios, a company that was built on the restoration of the System Shock franchise, I let things get out of control. I can tell you that I did it for all the right reasons, that I was totally committed to making a great game, but it has become clear to me that we took the wrong path, that we turned our backs on the very people who made this possible, our Kickstarter backers.

I have put the team on a hiatus while we reassess our path so that we can return to our vision. We are taking a break, but NOT ending the project. Please accept my personal assurance that we will be back and stronger than ever. System Shock is going to be completed and all of our promises fulfilled.  

Stephen Kick

System Shock

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

Details

CD Projekt RED - On Loot Box Controversy

by Silver, 13:10

@PCGamer CD Projekt RED have responded to the loot box controversy.

In November, CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kiciński proposed its long-awaited Cyberpunk 2077 will include online elements to ensure its long-term success. With this in mind, I ask the developer's co-founder Marcin Iwiński where he and his team stand with loot boxes—suggesting the controversial mechanic has dominated the conversation around single-versus-multiplayer games in the last 12 months. 

 

"'Conversation' sounds way too nice to describe what was happening last year. I would rather call it community backlash," says Iwiński . "And this time around, it wasn’t just the hardcore community, there were a lot of really pissed off gamers out there and they decided to speak up. Where we stand is quite simple and you could see it with all of our past releases—most recently The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and GWENT. If you buy a full priced game, you should get a big, polished piece of content, which gives you many, many hours of fun gameplay.

[...]

CD Projekt RED

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Vigilantes - 3 Question Survey

by Silver, 10:46

Vigilantes is running a survey to see who is interested in playing.

Can you help us with a 3 question survey?

Hi everyone,

We're trying to get a snapshot of people who are playing, or are interested in playing Vigilantes, and were wondering if you could spare a moment for a super brief survey, which has 3 multiple choice questions. The survey will take about 30 seconds to complete, and will not capture any personal data, such as email, name, etc.

Here's the survey, in case you would like to participate:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfy7b14cwNvPL92jekyd1oyZvP4zohoL7ootx3KCDw1D9tYKw/viewform

Thank you for reading,

Daithi

Vigilantes

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

Details

Bard's Tale IV - Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

by Silver, 10:15

A new update for The Bard's Tale IV takes a look at the Bard classes, announces the Archetype Poll 2 winner and updates Backers on rewards.

Hard Drinking, Rabble Rousing Bards

TL;DR: A Look at the Bard classes, Archetype Poll #2 Winner, Backer Rewards Update, Crowdfunding Corner

First Round's On The Bard

Howdy, everyone!

David here, back again to give you the first of our class breakdowns. Everyone at inXile was a little proud that you chose The Bard for the first preview. That character class was what helped set the series apart from its contemporaries such as Wizardry and Ultima, and the image of a bard quaffing a drink as he heads into battle has been an enduring one. We have had some fun ideas updating the character class for the new game. Today, we’ll be talking about two of the six classes that bards have access to: The Brew Master and the Rabble Rouser.

Brew Master ("Just one more test, and then we are ready for the world!")

Bards are only as powerful as the brew that fuels them. In the original trilogy, bards must wet their whistle. When they’ve sung too many songs, they’d have to return to the Adventurer’s Guild for a drink. Caith is a big, wild place, and the adventure extends well beyond the walls of Skara Brae! With that in mind, we didn’t want to force the player to stop what they are doing and backtrack to the Guild every few fights. Still, we also wanted to hold true to the booze-fueled theme of the Bard's Tales of old. In The Bard's Tale IV, the Bard drinks as they fight to gain useful generate Spell Points, which are in turn used to sing their magical songs.

Brew Masters are not only masters of brewing beers and spirits, they’re masters of drunken brawling. The bard’s Basic Combat skill teaches a bard to not only swing a hatchet, but also how to chug a drink in the heat of combat and craft Trow Squeezins, a drinkable power-up. Trow Squeezins, and really all brews in The Bard’s Tale, do two things: grant Spell Points and build up the status effect "Drunken." The Spell Points can be saved up or spent on one of the bard’s magical songs (which we’ll cover below). As for the latter, being drunk also carries its own risks and rewards.

How well a bard can hold their drink is based on their Intelligence stat. While your Drunken status effect is equal to or lower than your Intelligence stat, you’re fine, dandy, and fighting-fit. However, the moment your Drunken status exceeds your Intelligence, your bard goes into a drunken fury, gaining a huge burst of Strength before blacking out for a few turns. Overindulging limits how many songs your bard can sing in a fight before going out of commission, but can also be used strategically to get yourself out of a jam. The boost in Strength they receive before blacking out empowers both their attacks and their songs, allowing for huge damage/defense spikes in a time of need.

The next skill in the Brew Master line is Battle Brewer. Battle Brewer grants +1 Intelligence, allowing you to hold your liquor that much better. You’ll need it, because it also teaches you how to craft Elven Wine. Elven Wine is notoriously potent. It grants +2 Spell Points, but also grants +4 Drunken. Since you can only chug booze once per turn, and some songs cost 2 or more Spell Points to sing, Elven Wine is your fastest way to pull off that clutch song. It’s also your fastest way to end up asleep in a nearby gutter when your party is being bashed by some giant monster. Please drink responsibly.

Mean Drunk is another optional skill bards can pick up along the way. It’s not required to achieve the title of Brew Master, but it sure is handy for them. The Mean Drunk skill grants your Bard a passive effect which causes them to throw a mug at the enemy after every drink, for a little extra tick of damage.

The next skill in the Brew Master skill line is Town Drunk. Through this skill you learn to brew beer. It’s not just any beer though - it's Dwarven Stout! This grants +1 Spell Point and +2 Drunken, but it also causes your next melee attack to be empowered with Dwarven belligerence, causing knockback to enemies you hit. The fact that some boozes grant bonus attack effects makes Bards very versatile. Knockback can be used to disrupt enemy positioning, causing a channeled attack to miss, or exposing a weak wizard that would have otherwise been protected by their ally.

Lastly, we have the capstone skill in the class line: Brew Master. Brew Master grants the bard extra Strength, Intelligence, the recipe to brew Lowland Park Whisky, and the Shot of Courage passive. Lowland Park Whisky is the finest whisky in all the land, and in addition to granting Spell Points and Drunken, those who drink it are empowered with pompous indignation that causes their next melee attack to deal Mental Damage. That’s a huge buff, as Mental Damage is used to break the focus of enemies and ignores Armor. Generally, attacks that deal Mental Damage are on the weak side, but when a bard is swigging Lowland Park Whisky, they can pump out the highest Mental Damage in the game. The Shot of Courage passive is nothing to sneeze at either. At the start of each combat, the bard takes a free drink, granting them a free spell point and a Drunken level.

Brew Masters are powerful allies, able to choose the right brew for the job. A clever Brew Master also knows the exact moment to over-indulge for a huge burst of power to wipe out an enemy party. It’s also useful to note that bards can drink any booze they come across, so if your party contains more than one bard, only one needs to go down this path to brew booze for the others.

[...]

Bard's Tale IV

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

Details

Thursday - February 15, 2018

Kingdom Come - Play a normal One

by Hiddenx, 23:00

Henriquejr spotted a PC Gamer editorial about Kingdom Come: Deliverance:

It's refreshing to play an unimportant dork in Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Meet Henry, a well-meaning lad with no special powers whatsoever.

In the first hour of The Witcher 3, as world-famous monster hunter Geralt of Rivia I cut down a mighty griffin with nothing but a sword and some bolts. In Kingdom Come: Deliverance, as Henry of nowhere in particular, I teamed up with some local lads to throw poo at a man's house.

This is one of Kingdom Come: Deliverance's most charming qualities. Not the poo, I mean, but rather the game's determination to ground you in an unglamourous period setting where people can't fling fireballs around. You're not scanning the skies for dragons, you're scrabbling around for a few measly coins so you can buy a jerkin that doesn't make people turn their nose up at you in disgust.

Henry is a blacksmith's son, which is admittedly the most cliched role for an RPG hero. The difference here is that, as far as I know, Henry isn't secretly a dragon or something. It's possible he might turn out to be the long-lost son of a King (I'm only a few hours in), but I really hope not, because it's novel for an RPG to put this much effort into simulating life at the bottom.

[...]

 

Kingdom Come

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

Details

FF XII: The Zodiac Age - Review

by Hiddenx, 22:48

PC Gamer has reviewed the J-RPG Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age:

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age review

The little kingdom of Dalmasca has been taken over by the rampaging forces of Archadia and it's up to a couple of street urchins, a resistance leader, a knight, a sky pirate, and a rabbit lady, to battle their oppressors and save the realm. There's an airship, of course, and there are Chocobos, and you revive party members with tufts of phoenix down—so far, so Final Fantasy—but look past the mascots and you'll find the boldest, most inventive game of the series, powered by a weighty squad-based RPG system and remastered to run at high resolutions on PC.

After a brief scene-setting prologue you start the game in control of Vaan, a charmless and irritating child from the streets of Dalmasca. He's hitting rats in a sewer alone, and seems determined to give you the worst possible introduction to FFXII's world and systems. As you guide him around town and into the surrounding deserts to hunt monsters you pick up companions like Vaan's streetwise pal, Penelo, and the fantastic sky pirate Balthir, whose opening line “I play the leading man,” hints at a massive lost opportunity. Once you have a full squad the combat system oh-so-slowly reveals itself, and the fun can truly begin.

[...]

Score: 85/100 - A decent port of a great Final Fantasy with one of the cleverest combat systems in RPGs.

Thanks henriquejr!

FF XII: The Zodiac Age

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

Details

Secret of Mana - Released

by Hiddenx, 20:05

The PC remake of the old SNES classic Secret of Mana has been released - the first user reviews are mixed.

Secret of Mana

Originally released in 1993, Secret of Mana is by far the most popular title in the Mana series. Now it's finally getting a long-awaited, full 3D remake!

The game faithfully retells the beloved story while adopting modern 3D graphics and controls. It will feature a newly arranged musical score, voiced characters and new content.

The adventure of Randi, Primm, and Popoi is reborn in the new Secret of Mana!

KEY FEATURES:

  • Moogle Suit DLC - Equippable armor that can be used in game. This special piece of equipment also changes the appearance of the characters.
  • Tiger Two Piece DLC -Equippable armor that can be used in game. This special piece of equipment also changes the appearance of Primm.
  • Tiger Suit DLC - Equippable armor that can be used in game. This special piece of equipment also changes the appearance of Randi and Popoi.
  • Custom downloadable wallpaper (sizes: 1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, 1920 x 1080, 2560 x 1600)
  • 3D Graphics - Revamped visuals for the entire game; a vivid, Mana-filled world rebuilt in 3D!
  • Upgraded Gameplay - The original system has been reworked in an effort to realize a modern action RPG with improved gameplay.

Secret of Mana

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

Details

Underworld Ascendant - An Evolving Stygian Abyss

by Silver, 11:14

An update on the evolving design for Underworld Ascendant.

Hey everyone,

Kind thanks for all the positive response to the new footage, screens, interviews, and press from PaxSouth! We’re deeply appreciative of your support! The game wouldn’t be here today without you.

In this month’s newsletter, we’re excited to tell you more about three key aspects of the game: the constantly evolving nature of The Stygian Abyss, player progression, and a bit more about narrative aspects.

An Ever-Evolving Stygian Abyss

Many of you have asked about our plans for Underworld Ascendant’s environments. For example, is it a hub-and-spoke model? Is it a large open sandbox world? Or maybe one-off, discrete levels? In Underworld Ascendant, we’re taking a similar route to Ultima Underworld 2. The player will accept missions and bounties, acquire skills, trade for provisions and equipment, and interact with Faction intermediaries in Marcaul, a Lizard Man settlement and hub of trade and intrigue. Once you’ve readied yourself for your next challenge, you’ll navigate The Circle of Portals outside of town to travel to levels.

The primary reason we’re using this design is because it maximizes the amount of time players are in interesting and relevant environments. Second, this design leverages our small team in the most optimal way (currently 14 internally) and allows us to focus on making great interactive and dynamic environments where you can track even small changes as the narrative progresses.

Exploration is an important feature of The Stygian Abyss and there will be plenty of dark tombs and labyrinthine caverns to explore, with the help of The Silver Sapling!

New quests are offered by the Factions each day in Marcaul, and these range in challenge, reward, consequence, and location. You may even return to a level area two or more times over the course of the game. However, each time you visit a level, you’ll encounter new opportunities, challenges, and more. Helpful creatures like Lizard Man allies may be present or a swarm of Lava Bats may now inhabit the area. Useful flora like the glue plants may have been harvested and replaced with Nether Moss, which causes Deep Slugs to leave a sight-blocking smoke trail. Movement options also change, as the Outcast tribe’s construction efforts expand or are destroyed.

We’ll talk more about the Outcasts and their relationship with the Factions (and you!) at a later time.

As the game progresses, the world state begins to decay, causing the local ecology to become even more challenging, as fierce creatures crawl up from the lower depths and thermal vents appear.

These are a few of the ways we’re working to ensure that not only are levels different every time you visit them, but that you can play through the game multiple times and have a uniquely different experience each time.

In future updates, we’ll talk about the world state changes in depth, as well as its driver: our main nemesis, Typhon.

[...]

Underworld Ascendant

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

Details

Stardew Valley - Update on 1.3

by Silver, 10:20

Concerned Ape has posted an update on the progress of 1.3 for Stardew Valley.

Hi everyone,

Just want to give you a quick fill-in on the status of the new update.

As you may know, I’ve always worked solo on Stardew Valley. However,  for this multiplayer update I’ve had the help of Tom Coxon (of Chucklefish). He’s done all the network coding to turn Stardew Valley into a multiplayer game… truly an impressive feat, and one that would not be possible without his talent. He deserves a lot of credit for this — Thank you Tom!

Now, here’s where we’re at:

Work on the new features is done, and we’ve sent all the new text off to be translated into the different languages. Meanwhile, we are working on bug fixes. Once we’ve received the translated text and integrated it back into the game, we’ll begin a serious QA phase involving thorough testing of all new features in both multiplayer and single player contexts. When that is finished, the update should be ready for a public beta.  I am still shooting for a spring release for the beta.

When the beta gets closer to launch, I’ll fill you guys in on more specifics as to how multiplayer will work, as well as a more complete list of the new features in the update.

I’ll also be sure to let you guys know as soon as we’ve determined a more concrete timetable for release.

For now, here’s a screenshot of the new signs in action:

 

 

These signs are crafting items that will be available to you from the start of the game. Any item in Stardew Valley can be “clicked” onto them to display. 

Thanks so much everyone for your patience while we get this update ready. It’s really going to be a “game changer” for Stardew Valley!

-Ape

Stardew Valley

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

Details

Vampyr - Gameplay Trailer

by Silver, 07:12

@Gamesworld Gameplay A new gameplay video for Vampyr.

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Vampyr

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

Details

Kingdom Come - Already Sold 500,000

by Silver, 06:58

@byznys.ihned.cz Kingdom Come: Deliverance has already sold 500,000.

  • Czech Medieval RPG Kingdome Come: Deliverance aims to succeed.
  • According to the developers, hundreds of thousands of copies were sold two days after the release, and the costly development of the game is likely to be paid.
  • It would be a great success for developers if they sold over a million copies.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance of Warhorse Studios exceeded half a million units, Lupa.cz reported. It was estimated by Daniel Vávra, the developer and co-owner of the studio at Czech Television . The game, which the studio has been developing for six years, was launched on Tuesday 13 February.

"I think the game will be paid tomorrow, and anything over a million sold will be nice for us, and we are about to be in two days (from the release) to half," Czech TV Vávra said on Wednesday evening. Development, according to him, stood at hundreds of millions of crowns. It is probably the most costly game in the Czech Republic.
[...]

Kingdom Come

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

Details

Extinction - Features Trailer

by Silver, 06:42

Extinction has a features trailer.

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You are the last of the Sentinels. The fate of humankind is in your hands. http://extinction.com/

Learn more about the world and story of Extinction as you prepare to protect humanity from the bloodthirsty hordes of the Ravenii.

Discover Extinction's skill-based combat, which you'll have to master to defend Dolorum - and the world - from annihilation. Extinction launches April 10, 2018 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Extinction

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

Details

Banner Saga 3 - The Dredge

by Silver, 06:40

Banner Saga 3 has a new video on the Dredge.

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As we approach the release of Banner Saga 3, the final installment in the award-winning RPG trilogy, our attention turns to the race all have feared since the dawn of creation - the Dredge! But are they the real threat, or is there more to this mysterious race than meets the eye? Banner Saga 3 - COMING SUMMER 2018

Banner Saga 3

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

Details

Call of Cthulhu - Gameplay Video

by Silver, 06:37

@Gamesworld Gameplay Call of Cthulhu has a gameplay video.

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Call of Cthulhu

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

Details

Wednesday - February 14, 2018

Bevontule - 30% funded

by Hiddenx, 19:38

The Bevontule Kickstarter is 30% funded - OnlySP made a video preview:

Content Tourism: Bevontule's Cocktail of Influence

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Bevontule is the debut game from the tiny indie team at Multithreaded Games. The project has lived in various forms for more than 20 years, and it's currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. OnlySP's Matthew Falconer took an extended look at the demo of the game.

Thanks Farflame!

Bevontule

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

Details