Forgottenlor dives into Vigilantes and finds some good and bad.
» Continue reading the article...
RPGWatch Indie Showcase/ Zombasite
In our first edition of Indie Showcases we interview Soldak's Steven Peeler about Zombasite
» Read the article
The Watcher's Guild
The Watching Eye
The Watchers' Rest
The Watchers' Place
The Vigilant Watcher
The End-of-Watch Tavern
The House of the Lost Souls
I know a better name
Sunday - February 17, 2019
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Active Skill Tree
The active skill tree of Wolcen has been improved and they made a video to show it.
And as far as updates go, they had this to say:
We are still working on the Beta transition, you can track our progression on the latest Trello Roadmap.
Each week the status of the tasks are updated, you will also find there a weekly update on the game's progression, for the Beta and the final release.
This week, we finalized the new Passive Skill Tree for the Beta and we are currently testing it, along with a "mercenary mode" that will be available for the Beta. This mode will allow you to explore the Act I environments and slash Act I creatures, with various objectives and awesome rewards upon completion.
We are now working on the second game mode that will be available for higher challenges, we will tell you more about this mode later.
Finally, we know you're waiting for this transition, we are working hard to make it happen as soon as possible, so hold on just a little longer, we're getting close!
Wolcen: Lords of MayhemSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Fall of Light - Darkest Edition Launched
An updated version of Fall of Light, named Fall of Light; Darkest Edition is now available on Steam.
Fall of Light: Darkest Edition Launches on Steam with Free UpdateFall of Light's definitive update includes a brand new dungeon, once-console-exclusive content, bug fixes, and balancing!
Prague, Czech Republic, February 15th, 2019 -- 1C Entertainment and RuneHeads embrace the darkness as story-driven dungeon crawler, Fall of Light, receives its biggest update yet - for free, no less - on Steam today! This marks the arrival of the Darkest Edition on PC following a period of exclusivity on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
Fall of Light takes the player into a dark world, in which an old warrior leads his daughter towards the last remnants of sunlight. Only together they are strong enough to defeat the enemies born from the Shadow. The lack of light, in combination with the stylized graphics, underline the game's grim atmosphere, both in the world above and the one below - the birthplace of the evil threatening to end the Era of Men.
As part of this free update for all existing Steam owners of Fall of Light, players can look forward to exploring a brand new dungeon, complete with a new boss, deadly traps, even-more-deadly enemies and weapons to collect. This joins a wealth of content that was previously exclusive to consoles, as well as more tweaks and quality of life changes than you can shake a sword at!
For a more detailed look at what Steam players can expect from the Darkest Edition update, along with a list of reasons this is a hack-and-slash adventure worth falling for, take a look below.
- 20 different battle stances, including two-handed and dual-wielding
- 10 weapon classes covering both short-range and long-range weaponry
- Guide and protect your companion - Aether, the Indigo child
- Fight Shadows, soldiers of darkness and underworld bosses
- Explore the overworld, scour dungeons and temples to gain and use special powers
- Uncover many secrets and solve various environmental puzzles
Fall of Light: Darkest Edition is out now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.
Patch 1.5 - Release Notes:
- New content (including exclusive content originally available in the console version)
- A new dungeon with a new boss fight, traps, enemies and weapons
- Revamp of the hitboxes
- Improved combat animations
- Nyx stats rebalanced
- Aether stats rebalanced
- Enemies' stats rebalanced
- Sunray sequence rebalanced
- Improved performances
- New visual effects
- New lantern behavior
- Also, increase the oil duration and charging time speeded up
- New sound effects
- Quality of life: roll/dodge and run have two separated buttons
- Minor Bug fixes
If you don't know the game, here is the original launch trailer.
Fall of LightSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Heretic Operative - Interview @ RPGamer
RPGamer interviewed the devs of the upcoming strategy RPG Heretic Operative:
Heretic Operative Interview
C Prompt Games is a new studio founded by industry veterans Ian Fischer and Robert Fermier, who previous worked together at Ensemble Studios and Robot Entertainment. They just recently announced C Prompt Games’ first title Heretic Operative, which they describe as a narrative strategy RPG, and it will be available early 2019 on Steam. Ian and Robert were kind enough to take the time to answer several of our questions about their upcoming game.Johnathan Stringer (RPGamer): What is the goal and vision of C Prompt Games? Is there a back story into the studio’s creation?
Ian Fischer and Robert Fermier (C Prompt Games): Ian and I have worked together for years and we share similar perspectives on design. Among these, we are motivated by system-based design and emergence in games. We feel the best stories in games are the ones that players make for themselves as they play, and we like to think about how to best deliver those experiences. That is not something that everyone understands or enjoys and our time working in larger teams let us experience some of the problems you can have trying to get unique designs to retain their uniqueness in that environment. We started C Prompt to create a place that was about making games that focus on strategy, systems, and deep, player-created narrative.
JS: What is Heretic Operative? Can you give us a high level description of the game? What are some of the design and gameplay highlights that sets it apart, and what is the planned release date and platform?
IA/RF: In terms of gameplay, Heretic Operative is a “narrative strategy RPG” — which basically means that it takes story and character elements of an RPG, and merges them the resource management and structure of a board game.
You play as the leader of a band of Heretics — a secret society of magic users in a world where magic has been outlawed by the Church. Magic is being used to bring about huge disasters by a rival group of mages called the Cultus Arcanum (or just “the Cult”). Caught between these two warring factions, the Heretics have to find a way to save the world while being hunted by both sides.Turns play out fairly differently based on a player’s strategy (and how well things have been going with that strategy). In general, you think a lot about locations. There are different places on the map and every place has a certain character, which is produced by the kinds of adventures likely at the location and the kinds of actions that can be taken there. So, first, you are thinking about the skills your operative has (or operatives have if you have been recruiting) and how they can be put to use. Are you trying to build up your ability in magic and learn new spells? You might want to try to get into the Elven Archive. Do you have an agent with high corruption that you are worried about losing? If you can get them to the Desolate Isle, there are a lot of options there for cleansing. Are you trying to gear up a bit more? There are shops in the Museum District, but you are likely to run into Templars from the Church there, so make sure you are sending an operative with high social skill, who can talk his way out of the situations he’s likely to get into.
Heretic OperativeSP/MP: Single-player
Eastshade - Released
The traveling artist adventure Eastshade has been released:
You are a traveling painter, exploring the island of Eastshade. Capture the world on canvas using your artist’s easel. Talk to the inhabitants to learn about their lives. Make friends and help those in need. Discover mysteries and uncover secrets about the land. Surmount natural impasses to reach forgotten places. Experience how your actions impact the world around you.loading...
- A peaceful open-world exploration-adventure full of character
- Compose paintings anywhere in the world and offer them to the locals to unlock secrets and gain items
- Acquire crafting materials and schematics to surmount obstacles and solve quests
- Make friends along the way through fully-voiced dynamic conversations and unlockable topics
Saturday - February 16, 2019
Battle Brothers - Company Origins Part 2
A new dev blog for Battle Brothers has more on Company Origins.
Dev Blog #114: Company Origins, Part II
Last week we talked about what the company origins feature of the upcoming ‘Warriors of the North’ DLC is exactly and looked at several of these origins. This week we continue with a closer look at two more origins that are part of a larger selection for you to choose from. Just keep in mind again that things are in active development and may still change – let’s go!
The Northern Raiders
With an expansion focused on bringing variety and flavor to the northern parts of the map, it’s only fitting that there’d be an origin that has you start in the north as well. Playing as northern raiders let’s you start with veteran raiders that are well-equipped with some of the new nordic and rus inspired armor and helmets which we’ll show in an upcoming blog post of its own.
However, you’ll also start as outlaws, which means that 2 out of 3 noble houses are outright hostile, while the remaining one is distrustful. It makes for a challenging start where you rely more on venturing out on your own instead of taking on contracts. And it’s up to you how to proceed: Do you want to mend relations over time and become a proper mercenary company, getting paid by the the noble houses, or do you continue with raiding and pillaging, alienating the nobles further? Fortunately, your men are quite proficient at pillaging, and you’ll have a higher chance to get any equipment dropped by your enemies in battle, so you’ll have to rely less on being able to buy equipment in cities that will most likely just send their militia after you.
The Lone Wolf
For a very different experience of playing the game, and in some way the opposite to last week’s militia origin, have your player character be present on the field of battle.
You’ll start with a single well-equipped and experienced hedge knight who is, in a way, your player character. He can’t be fired and he’ll never desert the company, but if he dies, your campaign ends and you lose the game. He’ll be the strongest man in the company for quite a while, but having him in the fray is always a risk, so you’ll have to think carefully on how you want to use him. And because this origin only ever allows you to have 12 men in your roster, there’s no putting him in the backline – you go out there and fight side by side with the rest of your men, or you’ll leave them at a disadvantage and have them call you a coward. Having to defend your player character adds a different layer of strategy to each battle. Despite your character starting out strong, it’s a challenge suited best for experienced players.
There’s more origins to choose from still, but we don’t want to spoil everything, so you’ll have to find out for yourself by playing the game. Join us again next week when we take a look at a different feature of the upcoming DLC!
Battle BrothersSP/MP: Single-player
Bard's Tale IV - Review @Christ Centered Gamer
Christ Centered Gamer reviewed The Bard's Tale IV: Barrow's Deep.
Okay. I’ve been harsh with Bard’s Tale IV‘s puzzles, but now for where the game shines: the battle system. Combat here carries so many intricate factors I doubt I can give it justice, yet here I am to try. Encounters of the evil kind are inevitable. Similar to Checkers, combat is done in turns between your party and the enemy party. Which side goes first depends on who strikes first. You’ve got a limited number of moves (called opportunity) in your turn. Each character only has six abilities, five of which you personally equip. You get four moves, one movement option, and an item slot. Consider how these choices work in a group, though. A well rounded team needs complimentary attributes. In battle, your characters are assembled on a two rowed, four columned grid. Who’s in front and who’s in back in relation to your foes can put you in or or out of harm’s way. Changing positions mid-battle costs opportunity too. Lastly, each attack has different areas of range, cooldowns, and/or charge times. Some attacks can be cancelled mid-charge by mental attacks. Equipped weapons and armor can alter some moves’ behavior, and items grant advantages if chosen wisely. Now, I agree that this all sounds dense. It is, but it’s a good kind of dense, at least to my tastes. I enjoyed the countless variables I had to turn the tides. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it was mine.
Bard's Tale IVSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Arkane Studios - Hiring Monetization Designer
PCGamesN reports that Arkane Lyon is looking to hire a monetization designer.
The posting might not be too surprising within the wider industry, but it does mark part of a significant change in Arkane Lyon’s strategy. Until October, sister studio Arkane Austin had been explicitly hiring for multiplayer projects , but that changed when Arkane Lyon started hiring QA testers with “experience in […] GAaS [games as a service].” Many of parent company Zenimax’s other internal studios – including Bethesda, id Software, and MachineGames – have been making a greater push towards multiplayer in recent years.
Hazardous Space - Version 1.0 Released
Hazardous Space is a Roguelike 2D turn-based action game with RPG elements and has recently reached version 1.0.
A dangerous survival adventure in space station labirynths. Turn-based combat, character progression, the atmosphere of impending threat. Collect and modify weapons, stock up on ammunition and first-aid kits, use your brain and think two steps ahead. Between you and the exit from the station - a horde of enemies who know nothing about fear or mercy.
Unravel Mystery of the Wanderer Station
The "Wanderer" station is full of secrets for you to uncover. Perhaps, that's how we will find out what happened there and how the arrival of Max is connected with that. Or maybe not only that. The main thing to survive!
Whole Station of Labyrinths and Traps
If you think that the layout of the premises in the future will cease to be the fruit of the maniacal misanthrope's sick mind - you are deeply mistaken. Max will have to wade through the mazes, crowded with traps, enemies and other surprises. A simple straight path is for wimps!
Craft System and Resource Management
From rusty knuckles to super-mega-blaster - feel like a master gunsmith! And do not forget about your battlesuit: it makes you strong, dexterous, skillful - demanding energy instead. Lots of energy. Tons of energy!
Wide Selection of Weapons
If the enemy is unresting - provide him with the eternal rest! For this, there's a whole arsenal of various weapons at the "Wanderer" station. Grenades, machine guns, brass knuckles, pistols... Not enough? Each weapon can have an elemental damage module!
Hordes of Diverse Enemies
Zombies, mutants, mutant zombies, monsters from laboratories, zombie monsters from laboratories ... Max and you are not going to get bored!
Have you explored the station, remembered the compartments' layout, taken notes of the traps and stashes? Here's a new walkthrough for you! Each new attempt feels like the first time, cause the levels are generated procedurally.
It's 2115. Something terrible has happened on board the research space station Wanderer, and the former space marine Max Carnage becomes an unwilling participant in these events. To survive, he will need to remember his military past.
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Outward - Interview @thexboxhub
The developers of Outward were interviewed by the XBOX Hub.
Are there any benefits to passing things down to the next generation of your family? Or is it simply a way of introducing a new-game+ type affair to the game?
The legacy system is not something we are detailing much at the moment as I want to see how quickly the players will get it and start using it, but I can say that essentially yes, it serves the purpose of a New Game + type of experience.
Often in games that bring magic into combat, we find that later on the magic aspects simply reach near overpowered levels. Is this the case in Outward and if not how have you ensured that traditional combat and magic remain fair and equal?
Magic in Outward comes at a very real cost of permanently sacrificing maximum health and stamina. The reduction of stamina is especially painful as it means less dodging, sprinting or attacking. Equipment that increases magical power also offer less protection against physical attacks. Moreover, magic is very resource intensive, usually requiring to use up magical components. Overall, there are situations in which mages are better and others in which warriors are better suited. It is also possible to play a hybrid character. What matters is always whether or not you are well prepared before heading down into combat, and this is true for both approaches.
OutwardSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Mad Princess: The Great Gladiators - Now Available
January 11th, 2019, Tokyo – The English translated version of independent developer Atorasoft’s gladiator role-playing game “Mad Princess: The Great Gladiators” is now available for sale on DLsite and is planned to be released on Steam.
“YOU, the player, will not be restricted by a single story. In this RPG you can enjoy a ‘free-scenario’ where you are at liberty to adventure and play as you please.
The battle and exploration controls are straightforward, allowing the player to enjoy the content many times in a smooth and hassle-free manner.
We sincerely hope you enjoy our game!”
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
The Outer Worlds - Play Your Way
GameInformer talked with Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarksy about how The Outer Worlds lets you play your way.
While the story does have choices and characters at different places along the good/evil spectrum, The Outer Worlds isn’t necessarily about picking a moral alignment and sticking to it. ‘It’s not “here’s the good choice, here’s the bad one,’” Cain says. “Instead, it’s like, ‘You could this or this. This will cause X, this will cause Y. You decide what you care about.’”
“But it’s not always extreme gray areas,” Boyarsky clarifies.
“What if the more evil choice has an obviously better outcome?” Cain says. “What if more people are saved by the evil choice? But it’s evil! But the result is better! Is it a worse choice? I don’t know if you can solve morality with arithmetic, but there are some things in the game where you’re like, ‘I am not sure if this is bad.’”
The Outer WorldsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Pillars of Eternity II - Survey on Turn-Based Mode
Obsidian wants your opinion on the turn-based mode for Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. Fill out the survey if you are interested, before February 21st 2019.
In case you haven't heard, we released a new and completely free combat system to Deadfire last month!
While it's still in its beta form and we are thankful for any and all feedback you may have given us so far, we hope you might be able to take a few minutes to fill out the following survey regarding Deadfire!
The survey will close on February 21, 2019, so please don't wait!
Also, we'd love it if you'd share the survey with any friends who are also fans of ours.
As you are the backbone of our Deadfire audience, we value your time and thoughts immensely, and your completion of this questionnaire would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much for participating, and for being a fan of Obsidian.
Pillars of Eternity IISP/MP: Single-player
Friday - February 15, 2019
Underworld Ascendant - Player Journey & Gameplay Improvements
Update 2 for Underworld Ascendant has been released.
Update 2 - Player Journey & Gameplay ImprovementsUnderworld Ascendant
Update 2 Build Notes
Thank you for your continued support of Underworld Ascendant!
We have been hard at work on Update 2 and have focused our efforts on the overall structure of the Abyss, the player journey, AI and other gameplay improvements. We believe these changes will significantly improve the overall player experience, especially when starting a new game.
We hope you enjoy this update and please continue to provide your feedback.
The Stygian Abyss renovated
- The world is now a series of interconnected levels, accessible through The Grand Staircase. Updated quest flow now focuses on important narrative quests that highlight both new and refined story and content, while allowing the player to freely explore the environment and optional side-quests.
- As a result of this major change, we highly recommend that you start a new game to experience it. That said, if you want to start from where you left off, your old save games will still work and you will start at a roughly similar place in the new story progression.
Player experience improvements highlights
- Updated enemy patrol paths and lighting pass in all levels to enhance tactical stealth gameplay, and enemy population overhaul/refinements on all main quests.
- New and streamlined story elements along main critical path, with supplemental story elements moved to explorable space.
- The Vault of Nyx, the final level encounter, gameplay and clarity improvements.
Meta Game updates
- The Doom Counter has been refined to better ramp the type and difficulty of creatures that appear, and now allows players to complete the game without having to set it back more than once in an average playthrough.
- Players no longer need to gain Faction Favor or Influence to trigger the final encounter of the game, though Faction Favor still provides benefits in trade.
- New games can now choose a difficulty level. All old save games will be treated as “Normal” difficulty.
Save Game System
We made some additional enhancements and refinements to the save game system based on your feedback:
- Players can now use F5 to quick save and F9 to quick load said quick save.
- Players are now asked for confirmation if they are about to overwrite an existing save.
- Clarity pass on the text in the Save menu to improve usability.
- Also a load game panel clarity pass. It will also now show difficulty of each save game.
- Updated enemy patrol paths and AI behavior models to improve their reaction to player actions
- Enemies will no longer do more than one in-combat emote in a row, which makes them much more aggressive.
- Enemies will flee less often than before.
- Animuses now alert all nearby undead when they are being attacked.
- Lizardmen casters will no longer cast while on the ground or getting up.
- Lizardmen will now be more aggressive.
- Better wandering for deep slugs and rats.
- Skeletons will no longer attack torches that damage them. Also reduced torch damage radius for when creatures walk by them.
- Enemies now have more personality in their idle time.
Loot and Items
- Standard trunks are now smaller to reflect that they don’t hold treasure on the level of the mighty Typhon chests. Removed the sparkly “treasure” effect when you open a trunk. Celebrations are for actual treasure chests.
- Trunks that are too low-level to hold much loot will now (rather than being so empty) have more filler items such as pots, which will sometimes contain coins.
- Clarity pass on item descriptions to make it easier to understand what they do.
- Magical items now have a different color name so they stand out more in your inventory.
- Player’s speed percentage is now listed in the inventory screen so you can tell if items you have equipped are slowing you down (or speeding you up).
- Item tooltips for equipment that improves the wearer’s armor percentage now include a notation about that.
- Updated Aelita’s trade menu to make it easier to understand how much silver you will get for a trade, and how much silver Aelita has available to trade.
- When you mouse over an item, it will be compared to the same type of item you have equipped, if any.
- Right clicking on items in your inventory behaves the same as double clicking. This also applies to trade where it will move it to/from the offer table.
- When moving a stack of items within their inventory, the player is no longer prompted to pick how many they like to move. To see that pop up, hold down shift and click on the stack of items.
Underworld AscendantSP/MP: Single-player
Anthem - Live Action Trailer
DSOGaming reports on a live action trailer for Anthem.
Electronic Arts has collaborated with Oats Studios and Neill Blomkamp for a live-action trailer for Bioware’s upcoming multiplayer title, Anthem. This trailer showcases a story of survival set in the world of Anthem, decades before the events of the game, and looks absolutely phenomenal.
AnthemSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Vagrus: The Riven Realms - Character Design
On IndieDB the complete character design development blogs (four in total) have been posted for Vagrus: The Riven Realms.
The vast majority of the characters you see revealed are enemy characters, even if sometimes they can be allies in the game for short periods of time (or versions of them, anyways). Although Events will involve these enemy characters often, you will mainly see them as shown in the artwork in turn-based combat. All of them have their unique combat skills and synergies with other enemies.
The other category is Companions. Companions in Vagrus are full-fledged, named characters with varied backgrounds, skills, alignments, and personalities (for example, Javek or Sedarias). Each of them can join your comitatus and do various things for you:
- They can fight for you in combat. Each of them have combat skills that you can use to defeat your enemies. Their stats and skills can be upgraded using your own Insight, essentially levelling them up. With each level up, you can give them new perks and improve their combat skills.
- Each companion has their own personal storyline you can follow. These stories can go in different directions, eventually upgrading the companion and driving the overall narrative. You can also talk to them at camp and learn more about them, their goals, dreams, past, and so on.
- Companions can also fill special roles in the comitatus, becoming what we call Deputies. Essentially, Deputies are your officers and most trusted traveling companions. Each of these positions can be filled by a single available Companion and the filled position provides you with passive and active boons. For example, having a Companion as a Scout Master gives you bonuses to Movement Points, raises the chances of successful scouting and improves the quality of information gathered from scouting.
- Each Companion and Deputy position also allows you additional choices in certain Events you come across, widening your chances to successfully navigate these stories.
Vagrus: The Riven RealmsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Edge Of Eternity - Plains of Solna
Plains of Solna is the second chapter of Edge of Eternity, which is currently in Early Access. Plains of Solna will be made available on March 6th.
The Plains of Solna is the second out of the four major expansions currently announced for the game early access. It will add hours of new story content and massively expand the game world. Edge of Eternity is currently in Early Access and will fully launch and come to consoles next year.
- The Plains of Solna - Chapter 2 update highlights:
- The tale continues: Hours of new story content await as Daryon and
Selene confront both the ghosts of their pasts and decade-old rivals as
they try to reach the Priestess' elusive master, Alpharius
- Explore the parts of the world: Visit new landmarks like the Lighthouse and the Cave and discover new areas that will double the size of the game world to 18.000 square m2
- Ride a Nekaroo: The cute companion Nekaroo makes its debut and can carry you through the world
- Many more surprises: New monsters, new weapons, new quests, new characters... and a few surprises along the way.
The Plains of Solna update will be released for free for all owners of the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity.
Edge Of EternitySP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Grimshade - Gameplay Trailer
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Blue Bottle Games - Announce Ostranauts
Blue Bottle Games, the makers of Neo Scavenger, have announced noir spaceship-life simulator Ostranauts. The game is due late 2019.
Ostranauts is a detailed simulation of owning and living aboard a spaceship, in a solar system where honest living is a slow death sentence. Set in the NEO Scavenger universe, where Earth has suffered cataclysmic collapse, the rest of the System lives on in a state of capitalistic dystopia.
Players will create their captain, build or customize their starting ship from the spoils of their career history, and find ways to keep their motley crew in line, fuel in their tanks, food on their plates, and the debt collectors at bay.
Detailed Custom Ship Design
Players can build their ship, in any shape, from functioning modular parts. The parts have physical properties, interact with each other, and can wear out over time.
Crew members have physiological and emotional needs, ranging from basal needs like food, water, oxygen, and temperature, to more esoteric needs like privacy, security, intimacy, and esteem.
Ostranauts is a detailed simulation, with many interdependent systems. Players will have to manage supplies, emotions, power grids, finances, security, social ties, and more to keep their enterprise alive, both literally and figuratively.
Each crew member runs an AI that is constantly making choices based on their current needs and past experience. If one colleague is consistently comforting, and another threatening, an AI will seek out the former when they need security.
Rich, Drip-Fed Lore
Just like in NEO Scavenger, the game is rich with hidden lore for those who want to seek it. Colonies and factions have long histories. Everyday products have brands and marketing. Unexplained phenomena have rumors echoing through the media and hidden files. And for those that don't care, it doesn't get in the way.
The tech-level in Ostranauts is near-future, but plausible. There is no faster-than-light travel, no sound in a void, no dogfighting, nor force fields. On the other hand, some ultra tech exists for the purposes of aesthetics and storytelling. E.g. fusion efficiency, cooling, and shielding are enhanced. FTL texting is possible (albeit expensive and low-bandwidth). And the unexplained supernatural events seen in NEO Scavenger are not limited to Earth.
Low-Stress Controls and Pace
The challenge of Ostranauts is in the decisions it presents, not the player's endurance or reaction time. It plays in real-time with pause and fast-forward, to allow players to play at their own pace (similar to other management sims). Players should be able to take a break when they need to, and resume later. Similarly, players can fast-forward if they get bored, with the game auto-stopping when something requires the player's attention.
Original Soundtrack by Josh Culler
Josh Culler, composer of the haunting NEO Scavenger soundtrack, is back again with an all-new body of work, specifically crafted for Ostranauts.
Most of the game's data is in plain-text files for easy access. Modders who want to make their experience more unique will be able to edit a wide variety of game data.
Blue Bottle Games
Thursday - February 14, 2019
Phantom Doctrine - Patch 1.1
Henriquejr spotted update 1.1 for Phantom Doctrine:
We are back with another patch for Phantom Doctrine, this time introducing Update 1.1!
You will finally be able to alter the foundations of your spy agency by meddling with our declassified parameter sheets, and include some of your own ideas, based on a guide we've put together for you. Update 1.1 also includes additional Investigation Board content, improved support for ultrawide resolutions, minor improvements and bugfixes listed below.
As always, we sincerely hope that you'll enjoy the new possibilities, and the entire Team wants to express its gratitude for your ongoing support. Stay vigilant, Agents!
- A plethora of game parameters can now be accessed and modded via .csv files to provide new gameplay experience with Phantom Doctrine
- Custom agent portraits can be loaded into the game
- Standard enemies can have their outfit presets changed
- You may modify images, texts and parameters of the existing sidestories or even create your new sidestory events to add some interesting context to the main plot
- You may modify all in-game text or create your own localization, however, it will be a bit more tricky
All the details concerning modding and localization can be found here.
Improvements & added content
- Additional variants of Investigation Board snippets and new satellite photos
- Improvements to the already available names and surnames for Agents of various nationalities, and addition of new ones for more variety
- Cabal and Beholder Agents were subject to some body engineering treatments and had their stats balanced
- The Point of Interest popup on the World Map now displays the maximum number of Agents that may embark on a given Assault Mission
- Agents carrying bodies have been trained to open and close doors on demand
- VFX tweaks for weapon muzzle flashes and explosions
- The "plant explosives" mission type is now always loaded with the appropriate non-story levels
- Bargain ability Damage Threshold tooltip is now consistent with the actual boosted value (50DT instead of 200DT)
- Alt-tabbing while having the gamepad selected as the primary input device no longer causes the game to receive additional input from the mouse
- Workshop’s crafting assignment button states should now be more consistent with other facilities
- Tiles no longer guarded by enemy units after the effect of the Distract ability fades are not marked as dangerous anymore
- Fixed: The issue of agents being sometimes blurred out in the Forger’s Agent Customization screen
- The game can now be launched also in 3840x1080, 3440x1440 and 2560x1080 resolutions, providing proper access to the Main Menu
- All loading screens should be now properly displayed in ultrawide resolutions
- All Investigation Board files and snippets regardless of the chosen language are now properly displayed and accessible also in the 1280x1024 resolution
- Fixed: A rare occurrence in which enemy agents who were supposed to enable the CCTV systems were not only disabling them, but also hijacking the game camera altogether, resulting in a softlock
- Various text and localization fixes
Phantom DoctrineSP/MP: Single + MP
Enderal - Forgotten Stories released
The Skyrim mod Enderal - Forgotten Stories is now released on Steam:
Enderal: Forgotten Stories
- An open world with its own lore and hand-crafted, detailed and diverse landscapes – explore deserts, heathlands, forests, jungles, mountains, and more.
- An unconventional story with believable characters and psychological undercurrents.
- German and English voice acting by professional voice over artists.
- Multi-faceted, believable characters with own ambitions and motivations.
- Overhauled gameplay with classes, experience points, survival mechanics and challenging combat.
- An overhauled skill system with classes and new special abilities.
- A housing system allowing the player to design their own homes.
- 30 to 125 hours of expected playtime.
Added in Forgotten Stories
- Two "crafting classes" that utilize alchemy and enchanting for combat – use potions to shapeshift into a werewolf as the Lycantrope, use enchanting to craft spirit companions as the Phasmalist.
- Improved performance and stability for a smooth experience.
- Twelve new sidequests and two non-linear guild questlines: Work your way up the Golden Sickle, Enderal's merchants guild and infiltrate the ranks of the Rhalâta, the enigmatic cult ruling the Undercity.
- Reworked and improved crafting, spells, and much more.
Kickstarter Games - Crossroads Inn
In Crossroads Inn, you play as an owner of a tavern located in the heart of a fantasy land of Delcrys. Your tavern is situated directly next to borders of three powerful kingdoms, on the crossroads of the biggest trade routes. You face quite a challenge - how to survive in these difficult economic conditions and transform this run-down dive into a prosperous business? How to make your tavern become the topic of conversation not only for juicers and drunkards, but also rich men and nobility?
You will be able to freely build and expand your tavern, offer services for the guests, manage the workers, fight for prestige and renown. Only you can decide, if you want to create a natty harbor for scheming “Seers” and exquisite aristocracy, or a nasty den for thieves and assassins from the “Aviary”.
Kickstarter GamesSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
RPGWatch Feature - Vigilantes Review
Here is Forgottenlor's take on Vigilantes, which he found to be competent, but limited in scope.
The new X-COM (2012) showed that there was a market for turn based tactical games, and since then a number of indie developers either inspired by the remake of such classics as the original X-COM and Jagged Alliance have tried their hand at tactical games with varying degrees of success. Vigilantes is one of the latest of those attempts. To its credit Vigilantes tries something a little different, as its cast of protagonists aren't soldiers, but a small group of private citizens who have declared war on the gangs which have control of their city. Vigilantes avoids the apocalyptic mood that runs through a lot of tactics game, preferring a pulp fiction approach with a set cast of characters. Vigilantes was made by a small dedicated indie team, who managed to put out an extremely competent game, but one limited in scope.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Tokyo RPG Factory - Announce ONINAKI
Action RPG ONINAKI has been announced for Switch, PS4 and PC.
Players assume the role of a Watcher named Kagachi, doing battle by “manifesting” the souls of Daemons, which act as the classes found in traditional roleplaying games.
Each Daemon has its own unique weapons and skills, and players can shift between them in real time to gain the upper hand in battle. Moving between the Living World and the realm of the dead known as the Beyond, Kagachi must save the souls of the Lost, as the story of life and reincarnation in this wondrous kingdom unfolds.
ONINAKI is coming to Nintendo Switch this summer.
Tokyo RPG Factory
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - Release Window Trailer
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will release Summer 2019 for PC.
Launching Summer 2019!
Igavania is back in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night - a 2.5D sidescrolling gothic action RPG from the godfather of the genre, Koji Igarashi.
Fight, Craft and Explore as you battle endless demons and race to save yourself, and the world, from the encroaching darkness.
Discover multiple playable characters, branching ending paths, tons of bosses, the biggest Igavania castle ever, and hundreds of spells, weapons, enemies, loot and cosmetic customizations!
Oh btw: we got celebrity voice actors like David Hayter (Snake – Metal Gear) and a live orchestra soundtrack composed by the legendary Michiru Yamane…just saying…
Bloodstained: Ritual of the NightSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Metroidvania RPG
Release: In development
Druidstone - Randomness
A new update for Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest focuses on randomness.
First of all apologies for the long break since the last blog update. Unfortunately the realities of game development, or really the crunch mode where we have been for the past months, has meant that we had to sacrifice updating the blog in order to concentrate fully on development. Now as we are gearing towards beta and finally the launch, we’d like to get to blogging more often… Well, let’s see how that goes!
Ok, that thing sorted out, let’s talk about today’s subject, which is randomness as a game design concept and how it affects Druidstone. Randomness can be found in many places and in many forms in a game. For example, are levels fixed or randomly generated (tried that, didn’t work for us)? Are combat values such as hit chance, damage, damage reduction and so on random numbers or fixed? Are enemies in levels randomized? What about loot drops and items? Is enemy AI based on random behavior or do they follow strict deterministic rules? Each of these questions can be answered independently, so you end up with a design space with a large number of different combinations, each with their own feel and effect on gameplay.
Even if it would be feasible to test every possible combination (it’s NOT), it’s not clear cut which particular combition is the best. So at this point it’s the job of the game developer to put the game designer hat on and apply some good game design principles… which usually really means making “intelligent guesses” based on the game designer’s preferences and experiences!
One interesting thought experiment is how far can you push on the extremes. What if everything was purely random? That would probably be a very chaotic experience, and a poor match for our goal of making a deeply tactical game. A more appropriate question in our case would be: what would a game without any random factors be like, where everything except the players input is basically predetermined? On the surface several games seem to be like that. For example, games like Into the Breach (an absolute masterpiece btw!), chess and Solitaire seem to have no randomness. But looking deeper even these games have randomness. In Into the Breach enemy moves seem to be randomly determined, which leads to surprising moments. In chess the decisions of the opponent, how he or she moves the pieces, while not necessary determined by a random process, provide unpredictability for the other player. In Solitaire the deck of cards is in a random order. The point of randomness in games is to produce unexpected events because unpredictability and being surprised is fun. I believe all games have some sort of randomness built in. If they don’t they cease to be games and become pure puzzles. In fact, a definition of a puzzle could be “a game without random elements” (this definition is problematic though: defining a game is even harder problem).
Ok, what does this all got to do with Druidstone? Hold on, we are getting there! For Druidstone the most important design decisions we have to make regarding randomness are:
1. Are the levels fixed or randomly generated?
2. Combat values (hit chance, damage, etc.): fixed or not?
3. Fixed or random loot?
4. Should enemies follow strict rules or be based on random numbers?
There are others but I think these are the most important ones, which have the biggest impact on gameplay.
Random level generation we have already scrapped and this has been covered in previous blog posts.
For the combat rules, we have actually tried both random and fixed variations. The initial design, following our initial gut feeling, was to make combat values, like damage and to-hit, randomly varying like in most RPGs. But once we tried constant values and set hit chance to always be 100%, the nature of the combat changed. Most importantly combat without random modifiers support planning and tactics better and using hero abilities in combos is more practical because you know the outcome of your actions. Druidstone does not have an initiative system, so you can activate your heroes in any order and interleave actions of your heroes any way you want. This combined with the no random numbers approach to combat rules turns the battles into sort of mini-puzzles, which we find more interesting than statistical approach. Using your limited resources and abilities becomes an integral part of solving these puzzles. For example, the thought process while playing could be “Ok, gee, there’s no way I can defeat that Dark Knight with high armor value… Hmm… maybe if Leonhard first charges and pushes him to Oiko’s range, then Oiko can teleport the Dark Knight on that trap, which explodes at the end of heroes round. But wait! To do that Aava needs to clear these critters first because they are blocking Oiko…” And so on. Written like this it may sound complicated, but with aids such as visualizing the outcome of attacks, enemy statistics being open information and being able to see enemy reaches, it becomes intuitive and natural.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Wednesday - February 13, 2019
System Shock 3 - Still Publisher Interest
VG24/7 reports that there is still publisher interest in a System Shock 3.
Update: VG247 reached out to Otherside Entertainment for comment on the ongoing development of System Shock 3.
“Thanks for reaching out and for your concern,” studio director Warren Spector said via email. “That being said, I’m not sure how concerned you ought to be. Tumultuous times are pretty common in the game business – tumultuous isn’t so bad! We parted ways with Starbreeze (amicably) which means we are in the process of lining up a new publishing partner. Happily, given the pedigree of System Shock and the progress we’ve made so far there’s already a lot of interest.
System Shock 3SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Non-RPG General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey - February Update
Wccftech reports on what the February update for Assassin's Creed: Odyssey will contain.
Ubisoft shared all the details on the planned Assassin’s Creed Odyssey February update. These include the awaited New Game Plus mode, a level cap increase, a new episode of the ‘Lost Tales of Greece’ story and several new items. Check out the full lowdown below.loading...
Assassin's Creed: OdysseySP/MP: Single-player