West of Loathing
West of Loathing Review
Find out if playing a supernatural comedy western with stick figures is something for you.
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Farflame interviews the developer of the cyberpunk horror game Sense
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Wednesday - July 11, 2018
Sui Generis: Exanima - Update 0.7.0
A large update for Exanima brings new and improved content and better AI.
NEW AND IMPROVED CONTENT
Two new levels have been added to the game, featuring all new content, and also music. With these maps we've pushed for a new level of quality, detail and variety, taking advantage of new engine features and development tools. The first 3 levels of the game have also undergone extensive changes and improvements, an updated tileset and a lot of all new exclusive items.
Over 130 new items have been added across the game, including new item types like bevors and hats. We've also remastered or replaced many assets to better fit the game's current level of quality and aesthetics.
In this update you can meet your first potential long term ally. This provides a whole new dynamic and a fresh way to experience the game.
This was an important first step for the NPC interactions to come. With Exanima's inherent complexity, creating a competent companion was not simple. He is an asset to any player, and we will continue to make companions smarter and more self-sufficient until they feel almost like equals. We will expand on possible interactions, and importantly dialogue, which we can also use to better expose the story and lore.
Your companion will gain experience and learn new skills, much as you do. They will also learn to fight better, become more confident and undergo some other changes in their character.
Dialogue makes a first appearance in this update. We are still only using dialogue in a basic capacity, but it will soon become a much more prominent and important feature in the game.
Our goal with dialogue is something fully real-time and interactive. It is not a separate mode of interaction, but a part of it. You can talk while performing any action. Dialogue can have practical applications, you can point at something or someone, even while walking, and say something relevant. Tactical applications during combat can also be part of the same dialogue system. People can randomly witness the conversations of others, and perhaps join in, or simply learn something. There are countless applications, it is an implicit part of the world and how you interact with it.
NEW DYNAMIC BALANCER
You may have noticed that Exanima's world has been suspiciously flat. Our characters have not been good at moving or keeping their balance otherwise, and when characters lost balance they'd flop like a sack of potatoes.
This is no longer the case. The "balancer" is what has allowed characters make dynamic movements in combat and stay upright. This was overhauled to deal with more difficult ground, such as stairs or rocky slopes, and it is now active all the time, not just in combat. This new balancer does more than just upright movement, it functions even when tumbling or cartwheeling through the air, allowing characters to control more motions and regain their footing dynamically. Characters can now trip, slip, jump off ledges and generally deal with loss of balance without just falling over and resetting. Character can also recover quicker depending on the severity of the fall.
With this come various improvements to movement both in and out combat. In combat movement is now faster and also more responsive, allowing characters to quickly move in new directions without having to shuffle their feet as much.
ALL THINGS AI
Since we began our journey to make a game, our most ambitious goals have been with AI. What we're trying to do, as much as possible, is that if you imagine an approach to a situation, or a way you can modify or prevent an outctome, you probably can. For example, say you were promised a reward, but rather than complete the task, you decide to find out where the reward is stored and steal it. Something like this would not normally be possible, and so called "AI" is notoriously bad if you veer off the scripted path.
There is much more we want in terms of dynamic interactions with AI, but we've been focused on core gameplay features, and have neglected huge aspects of the game, for too long. In order to complete Exanima's story and content, we had to introduce major new features, like intelligent friendly NPCs, dialogue and mind thaumaturgy. If we tried to build these features without the proper foundations we'd ultimately get nowhere. We've now taken the time (perhaps too long!) to completely rebuild every aspect of our AI.
CORE AI FUNCTIONS
We want all our AI encounters to appear like living, thinking beings, not mindless drones that blindly perform a specific task. They are driven by emotions and other states of mind, they have varying personalities, they remember interactions with others and form relationships, they have social and non selfish behaviours.
You might startle someone unexpectedly and cause them to become scared or agitated, but they may calm and reassess the situation. They might defend themselves, but not wish to harm their attacker and behave accordingly. They can understand a stranger fighting in their defence, and may be grateful. They might act to defend someone they care about. They can even, potentially, form social groups among themselves. These are some simple examples of things that are not predefined game mechanics, but that occur organically as part of the simulation. Players and NPCs are treated in the same exact way, based on observable behaviour alone. There is no cheating, no making decisions based on things they shouldn't know.
This is basically our artificial brain, emotions, memory, decision making, impulsive behaviour. But what of more structured and complex tasks? If we were to now simply override it with strictly scripted behaviours, it would become irrelevant.
THE ROLE SYSTEM
As soon as you tell NPCs to behave in a certain way and also give the player freedom to act as they please, things can start to go very wrong. It is a very difficult problem, and the less restrictions you place on the player, and the mechanics of the game world, the more difficult it becomes. Player and mechanical freedom are at the core of our design philosophy, we have spent years devising a solution to these problems, a solution we call the "role system".
"Roles" are basically collections of traits and behaviours. They can be specific and character defining, such as "King of Ardent" or very situational such as "person crossing bridge", they can also be relational, such as "friend" or "customer". They can be real or assumed, they can influence personalities, spread information, reputations and conflicts, and model various real world behavioural effects. Single characters have many roles assigned at once, they come and go, change and evolve.
There is a lot of complexity behind how roles function and interact, but the core concept is that we can keep building our library of roles, to expand on how characters can behave, adapt to situations, perceive and relate to eachother, and use the same tools and systems to also define more specific behaviours, without locking characters into situationally inappropriate ones.
This will be a long journey, but is essentially now a matter of content. Already now the role system is modelling all our behaviour, and we have the means and tools to keep building more.
AND MORE AI
Still falling under the AI umbrella, we felt it was time to address other things too. Combat AI as been completely rebuilt, it is more varied and much more tactical, allowing the most skilled AI to keep experienced players on their toes and not just fall into simple but effective patterns. It can be proficient with different fighting styles and weapons, and it is much more careful about accidentally hitting allies. Pathfinding has also been updated to negotiate more complex environments, avoid moving objects and more.
These are all complex systems, and all fresh from the production line. It will no doubt take us some time to iron out the kinks and especially to actually take advantage of new features. But we now have a true solid foundation, and an array of tools at our disposal to create better and more interesting AI.
Sui Generis: ExanimaSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Shining Resonance Refrain - Released
Shining Resonance Refrain has been released onto Steam to positive reviews.
ABOUT THIS GAME
Play as Yuma Ilvern and stop the Empire from exploiting the power of the ancient dragons, including the soul of the Shining Dragon within you. With the help of your friends, realize your destiny, save Astoria, and unleash the strength you've always had locked away.
In the original game, previously released only in Japan, Imperial Princess Excella was an unplayable character, but in the new "Refrain Mode" in Shining Resonance Refrain, both she and Dragonslayer Jinas can be added as party members for a new experience - just be sure to save this for your second playthrough to avoid any spoilers! As an added bonus, all of the extra cosmetic items and side quests are included in this remaster.
Dragons were long thought to be extinct, and because Yuma holds the ability to transform into the Shining Dragon, he was taken as a captive of the Empire. With the help of the Dragoneers, Sonia, princess of Astoria, pleads with Yuma to aid them in their fight to save their land from the Empire's dominion. Typically timid, will Yuma find the courage to realize the strength he has within him?
Grim Dawn - Enter the Shattered Realm
The latest Grim Misadventure introduces The Shattered Realm for the Grim Dawn expansion Forgotten Gods.
We interrupt this Grim Misadventure with a Shattering announcement!
Every once in a while, something comes to Grim Dawn that brings with it profound ramifications. The Faction system changed the way players traversed the ARPG world with meaningful choices and lasting impact on Cairn.
The Devotion system unveiled the skies, opening up character development by letting you customize your builds and playstyle beyond the already vast possibilities we had with our two mastery and loot system.
The Crucible offered an entirely new approach to hunting loot and introduced some of the toughest challenges the game had seen. It has since become the standard for top-tier build performance and is a staple for experienced players to fine tune their creations.
Item Skill modifiers took things to the next level by making gear choices even more meaningful and cementing Monster Infrequents as a core of the loot hunt.
The Illusionist let you dictate how your character looks rather than being defined solely by the gear you needed for your build. Finally, you could pillage dungeons in style.
Today, we are pleased to reveal for the first time the next major addition coming to Grim Dawn. Included with the Forgotten Gods expansion is a brand-new game mode…The Shattered Realm!loading...
A Celestial Forgotten
The Shattered Realm is unlike anything mankind has ever witnessed, teeming with wealth and power beyond imagining, but also dangers not unlike those that you face even now on Cairn. Whatever entity crafted this realm, it seems it has long vanished and, with its absence, the reality crumbles.
It is very much a reflection of Cairn's physical reality, but broken and distorted. You will visit locations that seem familiar and yet not.
The Shattered Realm seemingly goes on forever, but as its celestial light fades so the insatiable darkness consumes it. The deeper you dig, the tougher the opposition will become.
Traversing the Veil
Crossing between realities is no simple feat and while Cairn is subject to countless tears in the veil that allow not only the Aetherials to cross but also the vile Chthonians, actually transporting yourself beyond can be very punishing upon mortal flesh, if not outright lethal.
Enter Mazaan, the Keeper of Portals.
Blessed by the Witch God Bysmiel to enhance his sensitivity to the veil itself, Mazaan has mastered the ability to tear through the fabric of reality and open the way to realms beyond. It is no mere coincidence that the Witch God cults established their foothold, the Conclave of the Three, where the veil is weakened in the Korvan Plateau.
There Mazaan can perform his duties for those foolish enough to risk the Shattered Realm's infinite dangers. Will you succeed where countless others have perished?
The Shattered Realm may have infinite potential, but so do the dangers that await within. The deeper you delve, the more powerful your foes will be and the more Mutators you will have to contend with. But such risks do not come without compensation.
Endure the challenges of the Shattered Realm and defeat the guardians that await at the end of one of its Shards and you can claim its rewards. Or proceed deeper still, to greater threats and even greater wealth.
The Shattered Realm is inherently unstable. If you spend too long gathering the souls of its damned denizens, then some of the wealth will destabilize and vanish forever into nothingness. Move quickly, the clock is ticking!
The treasures within the Shattered Realm are as mysterious as the reality itself. You will encounter rewards that cannot be found anywhere else, including the most powerful Rune Augments in existence and an item set that reflects your mastery of this unstable reality.
Note that the timer does not exclude you from these exclusive rewards.
This Shattering new game mode and more are coming your way with the Forgotten Gods expansion later this year. Are you adequately prepared for this infinite challenge?
Like knowing what is coming up next for Grim Dawn? Check back on 07/23/2018 for the next Grim Misadventure.
Grim DawnSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Dead Cells - Releasing August 7th
Dead Cells is the new RogueVania game from Motion Twin. Pre-order the console version now and get a 20% discount.
If you live in America and own a switch, pre-orders will be available on July 18.
Dead CellsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Metroidvania RPG
Release: In development
Phantom Doctrine - Releasing August 14th
GOG has announced that Phantom Doctrine will be releasing August 14th.
A game of pawns.
UPDATE: Who's warm for some Cold War espionage? Phantom Doctrine now has an official release date, so mark your calendars (but in code, so the enemy won't know): it's out August 14th!Phantom Doctrine is coming soon to GOG.com.A turn-based conspiracy thriller from the creators of Hard West, set during an alternate history Cold War. Operating from the shadows, you organize, recruit, deceive and infiltrate, leading The Cabal against those dark forces who are plotting to control the world.loading...
Phantom DoctrineSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Bard's Tale IV - Wizards!
The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep has an update on Wizards. There is also a Q&A on the remastered original trilogy and Bard's Tale IV itself.
We're Off To See The Wizard
TL; DR - Wizard class preview, Q&A, Album Box winner
Hi all, Paul here with the latest backer update. There's a lot here, so let's get right to it. We're leading off with Creative Director David Rogers.
Hi everyone, David here with the promised look at the Wizard class. The Wizard is a subclass of the Practitioner that focuses on summoning and maintaining allied minions through a variety of spells, passives, and stat boosts. These minions have a lot of different uses – they can split up enemy focus, deal damage, tank hits, buff one another, or even be used to heal the caster. In a lot of ways, they’re full-fledged party members that show up exactly when and how you need them to.
Obtaining the Wizard: Novice skill will grant mastery in the Gate ability. Gate summons a Shadowy Wraith, an elemental who uses Spell Points to deal damage to enemies. It’s one of a few abilities that can be cast in several ways: the longer you channel this ability, the stronger the minion it’ll create by granting more Spell Points. A Wraith will vanish back to the ether it came from when its Spell Points run out, so starting with a high number can let your elemental throw out a couple extra spells before dissipating. With this style of casting, you can plan more effectively around how long you expect a fight to last and be ready for whatever situation you’re in.
Passing the Wizard: Journeyman skill, a Constitution boost that allows you stay in the fight and boss your new friends around a little longer, the Wizard: Master skill will grant mastery in the Prime Summoning ability. Prime Summoning raises two Skeletons to join the party, either as Warriors or Archers. Warriors have an armor-boosting ability, Deflect, and can be put to good use protecting the rest of your party. On the other hand, Archers go down a little more easily, but can put out devastating punishment with their bows if you protect them. Figuring out how best to utilize your bony friends presents some interesting choices.
Wizard: Master also teaches the Sacrifice Minion ability. Another Multi-Function ability, this spell is effectively three in one. Coalesce Essence kills one summoned minion to bolster another, transferring the original’s stats over. Release Bonds sets free the target minion, weaponizing their essence in a True Damage attack against a target enemy. Absorb Soul sacrifices the target, reabsorbing their magic to heal the caster. These abilities let you get the most out of your minions, letting them fight for you while they’re strong and die for you when they’ve lost their usefulness. You can even combo the spell with itself, using Coalesce Essence and then Absorb Soul to create one big minion and then drain them, gaining an even bigger heal. We here at inXile don’t recommend getting too attached to your minions – killing them is sometimes even more fun than creating them!
At the end of the skill tree, having demonstrated time and again your mastery of minions, players can pick up Grand Summoner and another hefty Constitution boost. The skill grants a passive by the same name that shows your minions who’s in charge, buffing all summoned combatants with Armor. After all, they should be protecting you, not the other way around. This passive is especially helpful with Skeleton Warriors: stacking Armor on them and letting them shield you can be a great way to keep your squishy Practitioner safe. Hey, 11 Armor here – not bad!Thanks for reading along, and looking forward to seeing what your party builds looks like once the backer beta comes out!
Q&A - The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep
Hi all, Paul back to take you through the rest of the update. We received a number of questions for both The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep and The Bard's Tale Trilogy remaster.
With the backer beta due out very (very) soon, we've truncated the number of BT4 questions answered (since the beta will answer many of them) and added in some BTT questions that you've asked us.
Q: Will there be different instruments to play, all with their own renderings of the songs?
A: Each bardic song plays a different track played on a different instrument when cast. We worked with Kurt Heiden, who was the composer for The Bards Tale III: Thief of Fate. Each version of the game had a different MIDI track for each of the Bards songs, and we picked our favorites to recreate. They were scored and then recorded in Scotland by Ged Grimes and his crew of talented Celtic folk musicians.
Q: In regards to the "Will it be possible to create your full party?" question, can you clarify a bit how that works? You start with one character but soon get more? Can you have all characters you made or do you have to have any written NPCs?
A: We get you straight into the game, absorbing the story and the world, as soon as you start a new game. We give you a default character, a bard obviously, but almost immediately let you make your own character if you prefer. The combat and character progression systems in The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep are deep, so we didn't want to ask you to make six characters right out of the gate before you even engaged in your first combat. The first section of the game is basically a quest to recruit your starting party, so we quickly ramp you up to four party members. You meet three narrative characters at the start that join your party: Dalgliesh the Dwarven fighter, Wringneck the Trow Rogue, and The Green Lady, an Elven Practitioner. Similar to the starting character, you can choose to continue adventuring with them, or spend Mercenary Tokens to create custom characters to replace them. No one character is required to be in your party.
Q: Does weather impact the gameplay in any way?
A: No. Any weather in our game is purely cosmetic and just helps to set the mood.
Q: Another question: how much depth will there be in intra-party interactions? Is it just occasional banter or will party members develop running feuds, flirtations, etc. over time (or based upon in-game events).
A: Different characters have different interactions and relationships. Narrative NPCs, like The Green Lady, have fully fleshed out scripts, but the custom characters you create will also have their own personalities and interactions based on the voices you pick for them, so making your own characters won't mean you're missing out. Party Chatter isn't a dynamic system in that you can't, say, make two characters fall in love, but different characters do have different relationships and will interact in special ways.
One fun anecdote to illustrate this is that I made a character and gave him the Volatile voice pack, making him super aggressive. When Dalgliesh the Dwarf joined my party all of a sudden my character kept trying to goad him into an arm wrestling match to prove he was stronger than a dwarf. This exchange probably went on for forty seconds and I was cracking up the whole time.
Q&A - The Bard's Tale Trilogy
And now, we're turning things over to our friends at Krome to answer your questions about their upcoming Bard's Tale Trilogy remaster!
Q: Will the games play like the originals?
A: In tackling this project, we extensively researched each game across different platforms. In doing so, we realized there were many subtle (and sometimes large) differences between them. The goal of the remasters has been to reconcile these differences into one uniform, evolving play experience over the three titles - one heroic narrative across three chapters, with some extra quality of life improvements. Toward the back half of the Trilogy’s development, though, we will be circling back to build out what we’re calling Legacy Mode - a system of optional settings that make the games play closer to how they original 1980’s versions did.
Q: What was your philosophy behind your approach to updating the graphics, particularly the character/monster art?
A: The artists have worked to keep as much of the original character as possible during the uprezzing process, and have made artistic choices where they felt were necessary. Each time we get a new batch of art in, we find ourselves smiling. We’re looking forward to you finally having an opportunity to experience this for yourself!
Q: When will we be able to play?
A: We're planning to release the trilogy with a fully-playable Bard's Tale 1 on July 24th via Steam Early Access!
Q: When will I have access to Bard's Tale II and III?
A: We know people are excited to check out the remasters, so we're aiming to release The Bard’s Tale II: The Destiny Knight in an early access version when it can be completed (with some bugs) and likewise with The Bard’s Tale III: Thief of Fate. We don’t have a current ETA on that, but The Destiny Knight will be sooner rather than later at this point. We will then continue to clean up the games for their final release.
Q: Can I get the remasters on GOG?
A: There will be a GOG version without DRM (with no GOG Galaxy), but will be done when the game is complete, after early access on Steam. Please keep in mind that if you want to get the game on GOG instead of Steam, you'll need to wait until the final release to claim your game key.
Q: Will I be able to press a button and have the game to revert the changes?
A: The Bard's Tale Trilogy remaster is a rebuild of the original games, including the visuals and code, so it's not as simple as us adding a graphics toggle key. Instead, we're devoting our efforts towards offering more improvements to the remastered elements. For example, 70% of the dungeons in The Bard’s Tale III use the same tileset, despite it being a dimension-hopping adventure, and that's something we're hoping to address more directly as part of the remastering efforts.
Q: Will it be a huge grind to level so we can finish the game?
A: We've discussed game balancing and pacing extensively during development, and came to the conclusion that most players would benefit from an experience that cuts down on some of the grinding time. However, we expect Legacy Mode will support those players who want to have that particular experience.
Q: Is Legacy Mode going to be just like the originals?
A: As discussed above, there are many differences across different versions of the game, some of them small and some of them larger. Legacy mode isn't going to be a 1:1 copy of any specific original version of the game, but it will include elements like 1-6 + S for Bard's Tale 1, etc. Legacy Mode won't be coming until later in the Early Access period, so we also hope to use that time to get your feedback on how to refine the trilogy going forward.
Q: Can I use saved games from the original versions in the remaster?
A: With all the differences and bugs from the original games, this was something we thought about but decided against in terms of production time and resources. Instead, we concentrated on making sure the party importing mechanism worked as intended for all of the games in the remaster. That leads us to our next question...
Q: Will I be able to transfer saves across all three games?
A: One of the biggest risks with playing the emulated versions was avoiding problems when trying to port your save file and party across all three games. One of our key goals with the remaster was to improve on the import process by treating the trilogy as one story played across three chapters - you create your party in the first game and then bring that party, changing it as you see fit, across all three games without any problems. That way, you have the full, epic journey as the original Bard's Tale teams intended, no fuss.
Bard's Tale IVSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Release: In development
Tuesday - July 10, 2018
Hero-U - Released
Game Keys Coming Soon
We have a slight delay in providing game keys to non-Beta (under $50) backers for a few reasons:
- I'm giving people more time to answer the Steam vs. GOG key survey
- We're waiting for Valve to give the final game build their stamp of approval
- I came up about 300 Steam keys short, waiting for more keys
- The keys won't work until Valve approves the build anyway
Please have patience. I expect I can send the keys out tomorrow, Wednesday at the latest. But it isn't currently under my control.
Beta backers - You already have a Steam key. The game has been updated to the launch version. I plan to provide GOG keys to upper-tier ("Alpha") backers, and on request to any Beta backer. I wasn't able to survey you because I sent out surveys in 2013. Send email to support at hero-u dot net if you want a GOG key and already have a Steam beta key.
You should receive an email notification from BackerKit when your game key is assigned. Then you can go to https://hero-u-adventure-role-playing-game.backerkit.com/backer/digital_rewards to download all of your digital content.
Currently this consists of either a Steam or a GOG.com key, the technical manual, and the student handbook. If you remember the added booklet in each Quest for Glory game, the student handbook is that sort of fun, but also useful, document. It contains maps of the school, information about the professors and staff, and silly stuff.
Chasm - Launching July 31st
Chasm is a metroidvania roguelike that is launching July 31st.
Chasm Launches July 31st!
Unlike some other games that are developed in secret and then announced about 6 months before launch, Chasm has been in the public eye pretty much from the beginning. Our first post about the game was on IndieDB.com back in January 2013, and we launched a successful Kickstarter campaign just a few months later. It is with a combination of pride, exuberance, relief, and fear that I am hereby officially announcing that we will be launching on July 31, 2018 for $19.99! We’ll be doing a week 1 discount on Steam so keep an eye out for it. And if you haven’t done so already, please add us to your wishlist! (And be sure to tell your friends!)loading...
As you probably know, one distinctive feature of Chasm is that the world map is procedurally generated when you start up a new campaign. That feature has led to a lot of questions and confusion, so I’d like to address exactly how it works and why we designed it that way. The latter part is easy to answer: Our entire team is composed of Metroidvania fans! Whether it’s Castlevania: Symphony of the Night or Axiom Verge, we’ve played through our favorite games so often that we’ve long since memorized the maps. We love how those games play but wish we could wipe our memories so we could get that experience of exploration all over again. It’s our hope that people who love Chasm the way we love our favorite games can play it over and over and still have it feel fresh. But at the same time, people who only play the game once should have no idea that there’s anything procedural about it.
But that’s not to say that everything’s completely random. The way our system works is that there is a fundamental structure to the game that never changes. If you’re familiar with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night you may recall that first you get the Jewel of Open, then the Leap Stone, then the Soul of Bat - in that order. As you get these upgrades, new areas of the map become accessible. Chasm, like all Metroidvanias, follows this structure. When you start up a campaign, the game always has these key upgrades and plot points in the same place. What’s different is how you get from one key point to the other. Chasm has a bunch of pre-designed rooms that are slotted in modularly in different combinations. So you won’t have any rooms that feel like they were designed by a computer - instead, you’ll encounter rooms in a different order and even encounter new rooms you never saw the first time, and your path will be different each time you start up a new campaign.
Getting that to feel right was way easier said than done. There was a ton of balancing we needed to make sure the procedural engine took into account when it builds a world map. There’s pacing - you don’t want to have a string of combat rooms with lots of enemies and no platforming to break it up, nor do you want the opposite. You don’t want the system to block your progress by requiring a certain ability upgrade that you don’t have yet. You don’t want to have the save points too far apart. (To address a common misconception, Chasm is not a roguelike with permadeath, though there is an option for that for veteran players. Permadeath combined with the changing dungeons makes for a tense experience since you never know how many more rooms you need to make it to the end.) And you want to make sure that there’s just the right amount of treasures and surprises along the way to encourage exploration of every little nook and cranny of the game.
There are some people who like the comfort of getting to know a single map by playing it over and over or being able to follow their favorite YouTuber’s walkthrough of the game. We have an option for that too. Everything randomly generated by the game engine is based off of a seed number. If you enter a specific seed number, you can guarantee a specific map. So if you want to follow a walkthrough, just check their seed number and enter that when you set up your campaign.
We’re very excited - and not a little bit nervous - to send our baby out into the world. We’ve polished and fine tuned every little bit of that game to make sure there were no compromises to our original vision over 5 years ago. We can’t wait to hear what you think on July 31st!
Wasteland 2 - Announcement Trailer for Switch
Wasteland 2 has an announcement video for the Switch with the date of release to come shortly.
From the Producer of the original Fallout comes Wasteland 2, the sequel to the first-ever post-apocalyptic computer RPG. The Wasteland's hellish landscape is waiting for you to make your mark... or die trying. With over 80 hours of gameplay, you will deck out your Desert Ranger squad with the most devastating weaponry this side of the fallout zone, test the limits of your strategy skills, and bring justice to the wasteland. Coming to Nintendo Switch in Fall 2018!
Wasteland 2SP/MP: Single-player
Bard's Tale IV - Character Creation Video
Spotlight #1: A character creation video for The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep.
Curious about how character creation works in The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep? Start planning your adventuring party today!
More info at: http://bardstale.com
Bard's Tale IVSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Release: In development
Warhammer 40K: Gladius - Reviews
Over the course of the years, more Warhammer 40,000 games that we can count have been released on PC and consoles, each one offering a different take on the world created by Games Workshop. Among the many strategy games based on the franchise, none are 4X strategy games, and it was up to developer Proxy Studios to release the first one, Warhammer 40,000: Gladius – Relics of War. The team managed to deliver a solid title that can satisfy both Warhammer 40,000 and 4X strategy games fans.
A strategy title in the molds of Sid Meier’s Civilization, the game takes place in the original world of Gladius Prime, where Space Marines, Imperial Guards, Orks, and Necrons battle each other and the world’s wildlife in a bid to dominate the planet. The factions themselves are quite distinct and asymmetrical, possessing unique buildings, units, and technologies. Space Marines, for example, can only have a single city in the form of a Fortress-Chapel dropped from orbit, while Necrons must colonise Necron Ruins and Guardsmen can settle just about anywhere. It creates for an interesting mix of mechanics that fosters replayability and experimentation.
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
General News - Cyberpunk Games List
CramGaming has a list of new cyberpunk games to look out for.
First up and releasing later this year is Daedalic’s futuristic 3D thriller – State of Mind. Set in Berlin, 2048 you play as a journalist Richard Nolan one of the few criticizing the current state of affairs. A world on the brink with the usual lack of resources, mass illnesses caused by pollution, high crime rates, War, controlling Governments and mega-companies , drones and humanoid robots replacing humans, surveillance reigns supreme – you get the picture. Having mysteriously lost his wife and son, Nolan must delve deeper behind the scenes to uncover a worldwide conspiracy whilst investigating sci-fi themes. Sounds good and releases on consoles and PC in 2018.
Grimshade - Combat System Explained
The latest update for Grimshade explained the combat system.
Hello, dear friends. Today we want to tell you about the combat system in Grimshade. We were inspired by classic JRPGs and games like HoMM, Darkest Dungeon, Final Fantasy, etc.
Battles take place on a battlefield, which is split into two parts that are 3x4 cells in size each. Each side belongs to either the player or the opponent, and movement to the other side is restricted.
Each turn is based on the conditional turn-based battle system or CTB. The position on the CTB scale before the start of battle is determined by the actions of each character. During battle, each character uses skills, which are tied to the speed indicator. Any action—be it moving, waiting, or using a skill—spends a certain amount of speed and moves a unit on the CTB scale by this amount.
The skills of the characters and monsters are determined by which row on the battlefield they are in, and on which row of the opposite battlefield they are acting on. Therefore, skills that move enemies on the battlefield are highly valued. For example, you move an archer to the first row. What will that do? First, he can be attacked by melee units. Second, the archer won’t be able to shoot arrows at point-blank range. Other control skills can take a unit’s ability to move away or change his position on the CTB scale.
Each unit in the game has two indicators: HP and tension. They (or one of them) determine the damage of each skill. With HP, everything is simple—if the indicator falls to zero, the unit dies. Tension knocks out monsters, pushing them back on the CTB scale. It’s a bit more difficult with characters because the mechanics of game characters are attached to tension. For example, Alister should be calm in combat, but high tension prevents him from using skills. Ruby is the opposite, though: the higher her tension, the better she fights. And if Kiba’s tension is above 50, then it changes his set of skills.
After the battle, all of the characters’ tension is reset to the base value and life is fully restored. However, during battle, any hero can get injured. A character is injured when he has very low health reserves or when he receives huge damage. Injuries reduce the basic characteristics of characters, including their damage and combat potential. You can only get rid of injuries in safe zones, but getting to one is not a simple task when you are in the middle of a hostile location.
Moreover, each unit has avoidance tokens in battle. The token completely absorbs one hit and restores over time. Every character has different ways to get and restore tokens, as well as to get the maximum number of them. This encourages you to think of a strategy of getting your opponents’ tokens. For example, use quick and powerful blows to take them away from your opponent, and then deal a powerful blow to finish him off before he has the time to get new tokens.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Edge Of Eternity - First Steam Update
Edge of Eternity have posted their first Steam update.
We've been up to our necks into the development of Edge of Eternity. It is about time we share with you a bit of the good things we've been working on, lately.
First of all, what we have here is a...
The previous logo was good for what it was, but it was still a bit far from the epic scope of a project like "Edge of Eternity." As time went by and as the game began to evolve, we felt that our logo should be a little more fleshed out.
So Manon Sam has been working tirelessly to produce something that would be representative of the game, its story and its concepts.
Nifty! What's the story behind this one, I wonder.
Now, for a bit of lore! (And screenshots! Most of all, screenshots.)
A Bit of Gameplay!
As you already know, the combat in Edge of Eternity will be turn-based. We felt that keeping the combat turn-based will allow the player to properly plan their strategies and come up with their own devious tactics to beat their enemies.
But we also felt that we could add another layer of strategy to the game by allowing the players (and their enemies) to exploit their environment.
The Nexus Grid
Combats in Edge of Eternity will take place on Nexus Grids. When it comes to combat, Nexus are represented by hexagons, one of the most potent sign of magical power on the world of Heryon.
Nexus represent a unity of terrain. They can contain basically anything: a group of enemies, heroes, hazards and even bonuses! On top of the already existing skills - traditional to most JRPGs: elemental spells, heals, etc. - each of the character of Edge of Eternity will possess their own unique set of skills that will address and exploit this Grid system.
One character just might lay out a minefield on a chosen Nexus while another - just biding it's time for the right moment to jump into action - might savagely push, seize, throw or attract some enemies on that trapped Nexus.
Another case might be as follows: there is a green crystal on the center of the map, it radiates its pure-healing energy: anyone on the map, heroes or enemies, will be racing towards that Nexus and take advantage of this auto-regen open-bar. That's precisely one of the cases where pushing, blocking or trapping your enemies may sound like a good strategy.
Let's consider this: you are suddenly facing an overwhelming foe and you're quite outmatched. Most RPGs will basically force you to back off and grind until your characters are strong enough to beat that boss. Here, in Edge of Eternity, the game will allow you to pause, think and ask yourself: "Now, if I use this kind of strategy, wouldn't I be able to still beat that foe, and get this awesome reward while still underleveled?"
The general answer is: yes.
The general idea is that we want you, the player, to have a genuine choice in how you tackle your challenge - and that everytime you triumph, you will owe it to no one but yourself.
You will be able to grind if you prefer to beat down the boss with sheer power, get back to the crafting station to craft and customize your weapons properly or - like in this case - get those brain juices flowing and beat those overwhelming odds.
Wow, did I say crafting? I did say crafting. But it's too soon, it's not for now. It's for a next update.
Now, for something completely different. Let's jump away from those technical specifics and meet...
Despite a plump and comical exterior which often makes people want to either hug or kick it, Pilitches are often left alone: it is common knowledge that a happy and peaceful Pilitch lays ten times more eggs than an unhappy one. At the end of the day, people often prefer a good omelet to a quick snuggle with a soft, but unwilling, pecking-like-mad gallinaceous.
Pilitches are fond of music; bards and singers are often hired by countryside farmers to play their entire repertoire in front of pens crowded with Pilitches: after a proper performance, their eggs are both plentiful and succulent.
For reasons unknown, though, Pilitches prefer songs about personal loss, existential anguish and impossible love. They cackle like there's no tomorrow when the final drama unfolds.
You can expect some pretty major announcements during the Gamescom next month! We will also be showcasing Edge of Eternity to the Press during the event. It will be a with a hands-on our latest content and features, so you can expect some juicy info and tidbits in the near future!
You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter if you fear to miss it, or even...
Join us on our Discord[discord.gg] to discuss the game and your love of JRPGs, directly with us!
Stay tuned! We will come back after the holidays!
Edge Of EternitySP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Monday - July 09, 2018
Morrowind - Morrowind Rebirth 4.7 Released
Hello guys! It's time for yet another update. I know that I've said this before, but I can assure you that this is the largest update for Morrowind Rebirth ever! With it comes a ton of stuff including new dungeons to explore, new areas to visit, new creatures, new armor and new artifacts. This along with a ton of balance changes, bugfixes and other additions makes this a truly massive update. I really hope you enjoy 4.7!
This total overhaul of the original game has the goal of enhancing the gameplay simply by rebalancing the game, alongside the visual alterations and upgrades. Though still work-in-progress, Morrowind Rebirth has only recently been updated to version 4.7, and with it comes a slew of brand new stuff to fiddle with. This includes but is not limited to landscape changes, itemisation, creature list, spells, game systems etc.
Fixes themselves aside, which few others than players already familiarised with Rebirth will be interested in, title update 4.7 revamps, adds and enhances a fair amount of stuff as well! Developers have noted that this is the biggest update released for the mod so far, which says quite a lot for one such massive undertaking.
Platform: PC, Xbox
Divinity: Original Sin II - Interview: Definitive Edition
RPGsite interviewed Michael Douse about Divinity: Original Sin II: Definitive Edition.
RPG Site: One of my few personal hangups was that I felt that game, especially later on, had so many overlapping spell effects and battlefields would end up 'swampy' with fields and fire and smoke here and ice there. Is this something that's been addressed at all?
Michael Douse: We didn't specifically target that issue, but we did go through every encounter in the game to try to rebalance the fights based on how players actually played each of the game's battles. We have a 'heat map' of sorts that shows us how players ended up playing the maps, and we made tweaks to every encounter to adjust for this instead of the assumptions we made about how the battles would be played.
RPG Site: Original Sin I eventually saw the inclusion of new party members and the like, but in II, the party works a little bit differently. Will the Definitive Edition have any sort of content-like additions in a similar manner?
Michael Douse: Not characters, but the major changes are things like Arx (a location found late in the game) which has been completely remade. We've also recorded 40,000 words of new story moments for different arcs late in the game. For instance, we didn't add new characters, but existing characters like Beast will have new story arcs, and we also have a brand new Epilogue to help wrap up everything at the end of the game.
Divinity: Original Sin IISP/MP: Single + MP
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Monomyth - The Creator’s Journey
As usual with complex RPGs, Monomyth will have variable playtime. The developer’s initial estimate was about 10-20 hours, “which is roughly what it takes to finish a King’s Field game.” However, after the first few gameplay tests, he realized that this will depend on the player and the playstyle. Depending on the player, levels in games such as Thief can be finished in a few minutes. Monomyth will feature three major areas, which are split up into smaller sub-areas. The design is spiral, so that backtracking happens through shortcuts. “Some secrets and passages in earlier areas can only be accessed later in the game.”
Interactivity is a must in a game like this. Not only it will include dialogue with NPCs, it will also offer an item combination system similar to Arx Fatalis and Ultima Online, so that basically every item can be combined with every other item or interactive element within the world. One example of this is that you can bake bread by combining water and flour, then leaving the dough close to a fire, which is openly borrowed from Arx Fatalis. You can also draw water from wells, break and/or lockpick doors, lift heavy objects to use as weapons. You can even throw objects at levers and buttons to activate them. AIs can be lured into certain directions by throwing items, and so on.
The Elder Scrolls - A Promise Unfulfilled
Indigo Gaming shares his thoughts on the unfulfilled promise of The Elder Scrolls.
In my very first feature-length documentary/analysis video, I take a look at the best-selling RPG series: The Elder Scrolls, from its humble beginnings in Arena, through the massive trendsetter Daggerfall, its delayed sequel Morrowind, the acclaimed Oblivion and the popular but divisive Skyrim, as well as the spinoff games: Battlespire, Redguard, The Elder Scrolls Online and even Shadowkey. I hope you enjoy this complete Elder Scrolls history lesson, opinion piece and documentary.
Arena - 2:39
Daggerfall - 7:06
Battlespire - 14:17
Redguard - 19:00
The Road to Morrowind - 22:00
Morrowind - 25:34
Oblivion - 34:28
Skyrim - 47:52
The Elder Scrolls Online - 1:02:30
Elder Scrolls: Legends - 1:07:44
The Creation Kit and Modding - 1:08:27
The Elder Scrolls That Could Have Been - 1:11:22
The Elder Scrolls
Westboro - Action RPG
Westboro is an isometric action RPG with a real-time combat system where water is scarce.
ABOUT THIS GAME
2039. Water is no longer environmentally sustainable supply.
Most of it is too contaminated and toxic to be suitable for any use by humankind.
As the global population has grown to 12.4 billion, the water crisis became front page news.
The remaining fresh water will not last forever; it will become depleted.
Transnational Corporation SICON holds world domination and control over fresh water resources for several years.
The complicated and unstable situation resulted in violent uprisings among themiddle-class across the globe.
The world approaches its first week in state of emergency...
Westboro is an Indie Point'n'Click Action RPG with a unique real-time combat system.
It is easy to play, but hard to master. Use your abilities and variety of weapons to defeat enemies. Rely on armor or be quick enough to keep yourself in safety. Be stealthy or try to gundown everyone. Fight enemies at long-range or force them to engage in close quarters combat. ...Choose your own playstyle!
Dying Light 2 - First Look & Developer Interview
Sunday - July 08, 2018
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine - Interview
Shacknews: Indie Heaven - Where the Water Taste like Wine Interviewloading...
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is an adventure game developed by Dim Bulb Games and Serenity Forge, and published by Good Shepherd Entertainment. It was released for Linux, macOS, Windows in February 2018.
Where the Water Tastes Like WineSP/MP: Single-player
Pit People - Best Games Midyear 2018 @ Shacknews
Shacknews made a Best Games Midyear list - the strategy title Pit People is on it:
The Behemoth continues to show just how versatile it can be by leaping into the real-time strategy genre. Pit People is an exquisite strategy game that pushes the genre, while also retaining The Behemoth's unique humor. Outside of the core cast, it's a test of putting together the best roster of wacky characters with their own unique functions on the battlefield. While the gameplay is solid on its own, it's the writing that makes Pit People a real treat, making it one of the funniest games of the year, as well as one of the best strategy games of 2018 so far.
Pit PeopleSP/MP: Single + MP
Vampyr - Review @ Pro Gamer
Pro Gamer has reviewed Vampyr:
Around in the gaming scene, we do tend to get a lot of RPG games however not many that are vampire related. A lot of vampire games tend to die quickly without much thought and forgotten about but a fair few do shine through and have a cult following. You have the Legacy of Kain series, a massive series and a fan favourite for sure. Me being one of those fanboys and will be biased saying this is the best vampire games, however, a lot will say you have Vampire: The Masquerade Bloodlines. A lot of back and forth but you get the idea of not many vampire games out there to shine through. Now we have Vampyr, a new take on a vampire game on modern consoles with up to scratch graphics.
The first time I had seen Vampyr was actually a Facebook advert and this is where I see a lot of games that tend to go under the radar but actually have a lot of potential. One look at the trailer for Vampyr I was sold so I followed it all the way up to release hoping, maybe getting my hopes up, about Vampyr.
Vampyr is legit a vampire simulator. It’s a game about living life as a vampire fighting in a war of 2 worlds. You manage your blood levels, your stamina and others to become the ultimate vampire really. While on paper, Vampyr is an RPG vampire game, it’s literally just that but a good one. A lot of vampire games lose this and create their own originally but let’s be honest, we’ve waited a long time for a great vampire game and we finally have one. No over dramatics, no new origins stories. Everything we know and love as a kid of having a fear of vampires is here and you can play it. Vampyr could actually be the best vampire game out there.
Orange Cast - Action Adventure RPG
@DSOGaming Orange Cast is an action adventure RPG inspired by Mass Effect.
Team Rezy is currently working on a new action adventure RPG that is inspired by the Mass Effect series, called Orange Cast. This little gem looks cool – though still rough around the edges – and its development team has released a new gameplay trailer that you can watch below.
Orange Cast is described as an action/RPG atmospheric adventure that is set in a large-scale setting where Soviet and Western science fiction are combined itself.
Saturday - July 07, 2018
Phoenix Point - RPG Codex Interview
Julian Gollop has been interviewed by the RPG Codex about Phoenix Point.
We've been told that at the end of Phoenix Point, the player's force will not consist of dozens of captains - that you've come up with a different way to handle soldier ranks. Could you tell us more about that?
Characters will have a basic character level which represents how skilled and experienced they are. This is used to unlock abilities in the skill tree of the character's class (or classes). There will not be military style ranks.
What character stats are going to be in the game and what will they affect? Will they increase by use like in X-COM, or only if the character levels up?
Current stats are endurance and willpower. More will be added, although it is not yet decided which ones. They won't level up organically by use, but through leveling up. However, the available training facilities at a base will be a significant factor in both stat progression and skill acquisition.
You've said in the past that classes in Phoenix Point will be more flexible than in Firaxis' XCOM. Can you tell us more about these hybrid classes and how they're going to work? Also, what classes are in the game? We've heard about the Assault, Heavy, Sniper, Technician (New Jericho), and Infiltrator (Synedrion) classes. Are there any more that we're not aware of?
Disciples of Anu have three additional classes - beserker, mutog handler (or beast master) and priest. Phoenix Point have the 'operative' class which is multi-skilled. Basically classes represent skill sets or specialisations (or in some cases mutations). A character can train in a secondary class, gaining access to new skill trees. All these classes may be available to the player, either through directly recruiting a soldier from other factions or by gaining the technology and training facilities for a class, making it available to all the player's roster.
Phoenix PointSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Tower of Time - Review
Tower of Time was reviewed by Fextralife.
Tower of Time is a tactical RPG that pits your party against the mysterious floors of an upside down tower that will determine the fate of Artara. Do you have what it takes to make it through all 11?
This game is now available on Steam if you're interested!
Tower of TimeSP/MP: Single-player
Cyberpunk 2077 - Mike Pondsmith Interview
Today we have one and only, Mr. Mike Pondsmith, the creator of Cyberpunk 2020 talk about the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077, Cyberpunk as a genre, The Witcher Tabletop RPG and so much more.
I want to personally thank Mr. Mike Pondsmith for coming and Mrs. Lisa Pondsmith for setting everything up.
Max Pears, Level Designer on Cyberpunk 2077, spoke about this system in an interview with ShackNews, and went into some interesting details, going on to give examples for what sort of stuff this system will allow you to do and what kinds of opportunities it will open up. “We have this really cool class system,” Pears said, “where we have things like Netrunner, Techie, and Solo, but what we do is we’ve got this fluid class system. Each of these is gonna have different abilities. So a Netrunner can hack into people’s brains, [like] in the [E3 2018] demo.”
Cyberpunk 2077SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Conan Exiles - Jewel of the West DLC
A new DLC for Conan Exiles called Jewel of the West will be launching in early August.
The Jewel of the West Pack brings Aquilonian grandeur to Conan Exiles
5 JULY - COMMUNITY MANAGER (JENS ERIK)
In the Imperial East Pack[www.conanexiles.com] we looked eastward and brought architectural styles, weapons and armor from the land of Khitai back with us to the Exiled Lands. For our second DLC we're journeying westwards, to the powerful kingdom of Aquilonia, where Conan himself is destined to one day lead a rebellion and become king.
This DLC will be available for purchase in early August.
Much like its predecessor, the Jewel of the West Pack will add a slew of new content to Conan Exiles. Build exclusive new houses and settlements with a complete set of Aquilonian building pieces. Build with building pieces sheathed in smooth marble to give your structures a grandiose look only matched by those found in the great western jewel itself.
New placeables like great statues, clay braziers and soft, silken divans will bring the spirit of Aquilonia's bath houses and merchant palaces into your homes in the Exiled Lands.
Don three new armors inspired by Aquilonia's soldiers and wield fierce weapons like the lion-headed Aquilonian Mace or crush your enemies' skulls using the Aquilonian Warhammer.
Jewel of the West Pack contains:
- 39 new Aquilonian building pieces: A full set of building pieces with the same stats as existing tier three.
- 15 new armor pieces in three sets, such as the Black Dragon armor: Light, medium and heavy sets with an epic end-game version of each.
- 9 new weapons in one Aquilonian weapon set: Same power as iron weapons with an epic end-game version of each weapon.
- 5 new Aquilonian warpaints: Decorative warpaints symbolizing, for example, rule and bravery.
- 25 new placeables, such as the harp and councilor chair, craftable in the Aquilonian Artisan station.
All the new content from Aquilonia is exclusive to this DLC. The new items do not give any in-game advantage in power, as all items have comparable stats to existing items.
Conan ExilesSP/MP: Single-player
Copper Dreams - Cybernetic Arms
Whalenought have shown off a bit more of the new art style for Copper Dreams.
Characters in Copper Dreams can surgically attach up to 4 cybernetic arms. We're working on getting those boring, fleshy noodle arms to not get in the way of these very eager laser gun arms. cyberpunk struggles, man. pic.twitter.com/nm7oQovE3K— Whalenought Studios (@whalenought) July 6, 2018
Copper DreamsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Vampyr - Review @ MrMattyPlays
MrMattyPlays checked out Vampyr:
Vampyr REVIEW - Hope For Single Player RPGsloading...
After chipping through two playthroughs since the game dropped, I'm here to tell you this is another game restoring my hope in single player RPGs.
Steam - Game Player Counts
@ArsTechnica The player counts for many top ranking Steam games have been deduced from Steam achievements. The loop hole has now been closed but not before some interesting numbers were uncovered for over 13,000 games.
The new data derivation method, as ably explained in a Medium post from The End Is Nigh developer Tyler Glaiel, centers on the percentage of players who have accomplished developer-defined Achievements associated with many games on the service. On the Steam web site, that data appears rounded to two decimal places. In the Steam API, however, the Achievement percentages were, until recently, provided to an extremely precise 16 decimal places.
This added precision means that many Achievement percentages can only be factored into specific whole numbers. (This is useful since each game's player count must be a whole number.) With multiple Achievements to check against, it's possible to find a common denominator that works for all the percentages with high reliability. This process allows for extremely accurate reverse engineering of the denominator representing the total player base for an Achievement percentage.