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Mass Effect: Andromeda

2017-04-12

Mass Effect: Andromeda Review

Maylander reviewed Mass Effect : Andromeda on our forums and we are now publishing it on the front page.
» Continue reading the article...

Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition

2017-04-10

Planescape: Torment Enhanced Edition Interview

With the help of some of our members we have asked Beamdog some questions about the Enhanced Edition of Planescape: Torment
» Read the article

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Picture Watch

Avadon 3: The Warborne
Box Art

Poll Watch

In what age group are you?
Below 20
0%

Between 20 and 29
7.26%

Between 30 and 39
32.26%

Between 40 and 49
36.29%

Between 50 and 59
16.94%

60+
5.65%

Ancient, like Corwin
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Vote

Recently Released

Apr: Onyx
Apr: Flatspace IIk
Apr: Grimoire Chronicles
Apr: Shiness
Apr: Moonfall

Expected Releases

Apr: Expeditions: Viking
Apr: Regalia
Apr: Niffelheim
May: Children of Zodiarcs
May: Demons Age

Forum Watch

XCom2 opinions by henriquejr
What cRPGs to look forward to? by azarhal
Top 10 CRPGs of all time by txa1265
Pricewatch! by Khayyin
RIP Gamebanshee? by lackblogger

Monday - April 17, 2017

Star Citizen - News @ DualShockers

by Hiddenx, 09:41

Farflame spotted some Star Citizen info on DualShockers:

Star Citizen Gets Fantastic Screenshots and Videos Showing Update 3.0, Javelin Destroyer and More

Star Citizen shows off its planetary content, the Aegis Javelin destroyer and more future goodies.

Chris Roberts’ Cloud Imperium Games released a batch of new screenshots and videos showcasing some rather interesting upcoming elements for the game.

First of all, we get a batch of screenshots from update 3.0, which will introduce the game’s planetary tech. Alongside the screenshots we also get a video showcasing of the schedule for the update has been determined, giving an interesting look at the workflow of the studios under the Cloud Imperium Games umbrella.

The detailed schedule can be found here, and we learn that the currently estimated release date for 3.0 is on June 29th.

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(some lessons on Agile Software Development)

[...]

Star Citizen

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Sci-Fi
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: In development

Details

All Walls Must Fall - Interview

by Hiddenx, 09:33

The tech-noir tactics game All Walls Must Fall is already funded with 58 hours to go on Kickstarter. Farflame spotted this comprehensive interview on OnlySP:

Thinking in Four Dimensions: inbetweengames Talks Time and Tactics in All Walls Must Fall

All Walls Must Fall is a new strategy game—creatively billed as a “Tech-Noir Tactics” title—from an indie outfit comprised of former members of Spec Ops: The Line developer YAGER. The game imagines an alternate future in which the Cold War never ended, the Berlin Wall never came down, and Communism never faded to little more than the memory of a failed ideology. Despite the premise, the game sidelines political commentary, only offering vague references to never-ending international hostilities and the existence of a rogue actor that has detonated a nuclear device in a TV tower in an attempt to end the stalemate.

The science-fiction trappings of the game emerge immediately, with the player cast in the role of a burly time-travelling secret agent named Kai. His quest to prevent the pre-ordained explosion begins with an assassination ten hours before detonation.

OnlySP recently had the chance to go hands-on with a pre-alpha version of the first third of the game, alongside a brief interview with Jan David Hassel, one of the co-founders of developer inbetweengames and designer on the title.

Mission Structure, Narrative, and Failing Better

Like a growing number of indie titles, All Walls Must Fall is, in some respects, a delightful retro throwback, immediately bringing to mind classic strategy games such as X-COM. As one might expect, this heritage brings with it a number of familiar elements, including an isometric perspective, a wide range of options to deal with any given situation, and a rather archaic mission structure.

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[...]

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Lemuria: Lost in Space - Released

by Hiddenx, 09:18

Farflame spotted the Adventure RPG Lemuria: Lost in Space, that was released last month:

Lemuria: Lost in Space is a unique adventure, full of mysteries, puzzles and shocking discoveries. Explore the long-lost Lemuria 7 spaceship and find out what happened to the crew.

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The Intriguing Story

The Lemuria 7 spaceship has been missing for over 70 years. Now it is back in the Solar System, however there are no crew members on it. It's also unclear how the Lemuria 7 has returned and why it has been seriously damaged.
In Lemuria: Lost in Space, you play as Abrix - the robot with AI that may operate in extreme temperatures, high levels of radiation and that yields weapon and hacking modules to explore the whole Lemuria 7 spaceship.

  • Explore over 100 rooms of the spaceship, solve dozens of puzzles, find valuable resources and fight with security turrets and other enemies patrolling the ship;
  • Uncover the story of the lost crew of Lemuria 7. The ship has been missing for over 70 years - find out what exactly happened to them;
  • Acquire new skills allowing you to hack computer terminals or even the spaceship network to avoid fighting with patrolling robots;
  • Challenge yourself in demanding mini-games that will test your logical thinking and maths skills;
  • Feel the unique atmosphere of the abandoned spaceship with the original soundtrack, composed by Ree-D.

Unique Gameplay

Abrix has an ability to overrun security systems. The unique hacking mini-game will challenge your math, geographic and logical thinking skills. The other mini-game, called Netwar, gives you the possibility to overrun spaceship network and avoid certain fights with hostile robots.
Abrix has also a special software that allows him to upgrade himself during the mission. You need to be very careful - if you run out of batteries or an anti-radiation cloak, the mission is aborted and the game is over.

Dangerous Exploration

In order to explore over 100 rooms of the spaceship, you'll need to solve dozens of puzzles, find valuable resources for the robot and fight with security turrets and other enemies patrolling the ship.

Lemuria: Lost in Space

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

Details

General News - Origins of JRPGs

by Hiddenx, 01:25

PC Gamer tells us that J-RPGs have their roots on the PC platform:

The forgotten origins of JRPGs on the PC

While the golden age of JRPGs was on the console, their genesis started on the PC.

Long before Dragon Quest would ignite a golden age of Japanese roleplaying games, there was Seduction of the Condominium Wives. Forget genre tropes like heroic knights and evil dragons: this proto-JRPG was about a salesman going door-to-door trying to peddle condoms to lonely women while battling off Yakuza gang members and ghosts. Released in 1982, Seduction of the Condominium Wives was one of the first Japanese RPGs—if you can even call it that.

[...]

The origins of Japanese RPGs is often attributed to Wizardry, a hugely successful western RPG designed by Robert Woodhead in 1981. There's no denying that Wizardy—and to a similar extent Richard Garriott's Ultima—had a huge impact on JRPGs. In the September/October issue of Computer Gaming World, columnist Roe R. Adams describes Woodhead's and Garriott's fame in the East: "Both Wizardry and Ultima have huge followings in Japan. The computer magazines cover [Richard Garriott] like our National Inquirer would cover a television star. When Robert Woodhead, of Wizardry fame, was recently in Japan he was practically mobbed by autograph seekers."

But the truth is that before either game was imported to Japan, a thriving development scene of proto-RPGs had already taken hold. In 1982, Japan's videogame industry was booming. Arcade games like Nintendo's Donkey Kong had come out a year earlier and sparked a golden era of videogame mania. While Japan was allegedly facing a shortage of 100 yen coins from the success of arcade games, its personal computing industry was also booming. Companies like Nippon Electric Company (NEC) were coming out with innovative hardware like the PC-8001, which is where the first Japanese RPGs would arrive.

[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

General News

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

Details

Sunday - April 16, 2017

Steam Hammer - Opens Beta Access

by Silver, 22:28

@PCGamesN Steam Hammer, a sandbox rpg, has gone into open beta. Steam early access is planned for later this year.

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Following a successful Kickstarter campaign and two years of work down in the foundry, Steam Hammer is ready to take to the air with its first major beta test. Set in a tumultuous steampunk world, Steam Hammer has up to 64 players scrambling for resources and land on the Acribo Islands, following a devastating airship crash.

 

Hoping to service the untapped market of steampunk enthusiasts and survival game fans, Steam Hammer has players establishing their own steampunk colony on this quiet island chain. With no overarching goal to accomplish in Steam Hammer, players can choose to devote their life to building a Victorian utopia, or becoming a dastardly airship pirate or even creating the perfect farmstead. There is no fixed class system either, with players developing skills depending on their desired playstyle or in-game goal. You want to be a farmer who is also a skilled sniper and gunsmith? Go right ahead.
[...]

General News

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

Details

Grimoire - Greenlighted

by Hiddenx, 12:57

Grimoire has been greenlit by Valve:

GRIMOIRE GREENLIGHTED BY VALVE ON STEAM!

3640+ YES VOTES, #28TH PLACE IN TOP 100 FINAL TALLY!

Pretty good for the game that never stood a chance.

Thank you for the info, luj1!

Grimoire

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

Details

SpellForce 2 - Anniversary Edition

by Hiddenx, 10:10

Porcozaur spotted that Spellforce 2 got some nice updates in an Anniversary Edition:

Introducing SpellForce 2 - Anniversary Edition

Hello everyone,

This month SpellForce 2 celebrate its 11 Anniversary and for this we wanted to offer you some fixes and improvements - introducing SpellForce 2 - Anniversary Edition.

Anniversary Edition Features

  • Re-implemented multiplayer and NAT traversal for a smooth online experience
  • Many technical Bugfixes
  • Additions and Fixes for the Free Game Mode
  • Widescreen Support
  • Full compatibility with modern operating systems

Major Engine & Technical Re-Design/Re-Work

  • Grass rendering improved
  • View distance improvements
  • Improved trees (trunk/branch)
  • Improved leaf rendering (add leaf subsurface scattering)
  • Improved lighting (per pixel, basic Bidirectional reflectance distribution function specular, rim light, view dependent ambient, etc)
  • Improved shadows (soft shadows, percentage-closer filtering)
  • Shader Model 3.0 usage only

Enjoy!

SpellForce 2

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

Details

Veil of Crows - EA Release April 28

by Hiddenx, 09:56

The sandbox style real-time strategy game Veil of Crows will be available as Early Access Version on April 28:

Veil of Crows

Veil of Crows is a sandbox style real-time strategy game set in a chaotic medieval world. From violent, and overtly bloody battles, to completely destructible castles, RPG style hero development, and meaningful interactions with other factions.
Trade, bribe, extort, and destroy your way to world domination! The world of Veil of Crows remains persistent after you die, so your impact will have a lasting effect on the world even after you fail, or start over. Can you conquer the world and take the throne?

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Key features:

Epic battles:

  • Command large armies in gratuitous bloody conflict.
  • Besiege mighty castles with siege engines.
  • Take advantage of destructible buildings and walls.
  • Every type of unit has strengths and weaknesses.
  • Take heed of the current weather, geography and battle conditions

Sandbox:

  • A massive sandbox style campaign map that includes more than 75 towns and villages ready to be conquered.
  • Complete quests for other lords and village leaders for bounty and improving relations.
  • Take your time to explore the world, or take your chances with random encounters.
  • Hunt down the bandits who raided your village for resources and prisoners, or destroy their camps to prevent further intrusion.
  • Just because you might die, doesn't mean your world dies too. Start again and your former kingdom still remains, however you are just another peasant in a land of corpses.

Three game modes:

  • Prologue: Tutorial game... you will have some help along the way.
  • Veil of Crows: The main game. You start with a hero and a small group of units. Keep your hero alive and put them on the throne, or die trying. Game-over will result after your hero dies, however, the world will remain as you left it, but you must start as a new character with a new faction.
  • Sandbox mode: A Casual game mode where you can select your starting conditions. (This game mode is currently not available but is under development.)

Manage your faction:

  • Six different resource types can be acquired in your villages. You can trade these resources, or use them to upgrade your castles and train stronger units.
  • Forge alliances, or threaten and backstab your way to power. Every action you take will change other factions opinions of you.
  • Extort and bribe enemy armies in the hope they will leave you alone, desert, or join your forces.

Mighty Heroes:

  • Train up mighty heroes and generals to lead your armies and grant bonuses to your towns when granting vassals.
  • Visit the armoury and customise your heroes equipment, and watch them carve through your enemies.
  • Put your leader on the throne and conquer the world! In the main game, you start by customising the main character. You must keep them alive, and put them on the throne to truly conquer the world. If they die, game over!

Veil of Crows

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

Details

Children of Zodiarcs - Beta Gameplay

by Hiddenx, 09:26

KillerGymSox is showing some Children of Zodiarcs gameplay:

Children of Zodiarcs Kickstarter Beta

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I decided to show off a little bit of the Children of Zodiarcs Beta developed by Cardboard Utopia. The Beta is a work in progress and does not reflect the quality of the final product.

Children of Zodiarcs

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

Details

Shadowhand - Announced

by Hiddenx, 09:14

The strategic RPG card game Shadowhand will be released in May 2017:

RIDE WITH SHADOWHAND

Shadowhand is a strategic RPG card game. Duel powerful enemies with unique solitaire-style turn-based combat. Build mini-decks and equip your character strategically to sneak, slice and blast through foes!

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SET IN LATE 18TH CENTURY ENGLAND

We follow the story of Lady Cornelia Darkmoor, a beguiling young aristocrat who masquerades as the notorious highwaywoman, Shadowhand. Fleeing a crime scene and forced to act under the cover of darkness, Shadowhand's mission to safeguard a woman she holds dear leads to a web of corruption, smuggling and blackmail.

IT'S TIME TO STAND AND DELIVER -
YOUR FORTUNE AND FREEDOM ARE AT STAKE

Combining an historical visual novel narrative with a card-driven RPG, Shadowhand's story spans 20 chapters of atmospheric locations including stormy coastlines, mysterious woods and gloomy manors. Featuring 180 levels of elegant and intense single-player card action, players must dodge the law and brawl with outlaws in turn-based combat, gaining experience to customize their character and collect new weapons, gear and loot.

Shadowhand

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

Details

Bloodlust 2: Nemesis - Announced

by Hiddenx, 08:47

The popular Action RPG Bloodlust: Shadowhunter gets a sequel - Bloodlust 2: Nemesis:

Bloodlust 2: Nemesis

Bloodlust 2: Nemesis is a "Dungeon Crawler" style game where your character (a Warrior, Thief, or Witch) will explore extremely deep dungeons and journey into the depths of darkness searching for a great evil, while struggling to decide whether to destroy or embrace their Kindred family.

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Story

"After the Hunter killed an emperor to the east and destroyed an entire bloodline, the Council felt the playing field between the humans and the undead might be a little too even."

"They authorized the development of an experimental food source; a synthetic blood built from both alchemy and science. The project is funded and developed by the Taku Clan, under the codename NEMESIS. Neural Embryonic Morphing Experimental Synthetic Immune System something or other."

"I guess its supposed to be better than the real thing, I don't really know, I never touched it, since I prefer my blood warm and dirty."

"But I've seen its strength, replicating and enhancing the cells of the undead, allowing our species to morph into even stronger creatures, making us more monstrous than we already are."

Bloodlust 2: Nemesis

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

Details

Saturday - April 15, 2017

Stellar Tactics - Abandoned Facility (KZ-MR7)

by Silver, 09:17

Stellar Tactics has received a large content patch which adds the abandoned facility KZ-MR7.

Unlimited procedural missions, equipment stash, streamlined game start, mercenaries, new enemies, tons of gear to loot, updated space stations, new character portraits, turn order bar, grenades and med-kits moved out of the secondary weapon slot and much more...this is a big patch!

I'd like to thank everyone one of you for supporting the development of Stellar Tactics and for your patience. There has been an enormous amount of work put into the game over the last few months. I don't want to overhype this build, though I do think you are going to like what you find (I hope). The game just took a very big leap forward towards Alpha.

[...]

With that, here is what you will find in 0.051!

Procedural missions have been added to the game. The abandoned Halamis Research Station has re-appeared on the surface of Achmedius VIII. You will find a new NPC near the entrance of the Trade Station in Achmedius who will recruit you. A few things about the procedural mission system.

  • The level cap is set to 60 - this applies to global team member levels and skills
  • There are three mission categories right now; eliminate boss, clear facility and gather. More are coming (destroy, activate and rescue).
  • Missions are offered in short, medium and long variants - long missions take quite a while. The longer the mission, the better the rewards and tokens. You can reject a mission and another will be generated.
  • You can abandon a procedural mission. Story missions cannot be abandoned. You must leave the facility to abandon missions. A button is displayed in the mission log area with red text that says "ABANDON" and is only displayed if you are not located in the mission area. Clicking the button will remove the mission from your active missions list. No rewards will be granted for the abandoned mission. You can only take one mission at a time from the Halamis agent, so, this frees you up to take further missions if you are having difficulty completing your currently assigned task.
  • Tokens are granted for missions - more tokens for longer missions. Faction tokens can be spent at faction merchants for unique armor, devices and other goods. Faction merchants are not in the game yet. They will be going in very soon, so save those tokens! Besides a new armor set, there is at least one device that will be going on this vendor that every one of you is going to want - believe me!
  • Every time you enter the facility the layout is randomly generated. That is, locations are assembled to create a unique facility layout. Enemy placement, enemy types, loot and the placement of objectives changes every time a mission is generated.
  • Other than the basic background story of the facility, there is no story content in this update. This is the first pass at procedural mission content that will be persisted throughout the universe. Other "mission sets" and enemies will be developed in the future for variants on the system. Story content is different and non-procedural. I do plan to add flavor logs and other interesting mission variants in the future.
  • The slice mines have been moved to another planet.

New portraits replaced the old portrait system. There are a total of 20 to choose from. If you load an existing game, I assign a portrait to your team members automatically (other than Rhamus and Jensen - NPC portraits are not changed).

  • Auto-assignment of portraits may display duplicates.
  • To change portraits, enter the character information screen ("C"), select the portrait from the portrait GUI in the upper left of the screen. Once the character you want to change is selected, left click the larger single portrait on the character information screen. A new window will pop up that lets you assign a new portrait, voice and name.
  • You can change any team members portrait, name and voice at any time.

When starting a new game, you can now choose to skip the Dauntless. After the universe data is generated, you will create a single character, starting the game without a full team. You will be able to add new team members on the Trade station, where you will find several mercenaries willing to join you in your travels.
The mission information UI on the log screen now allows sorting by active and completed missions. Active missions are displayed by default.

NPC's can now join your team. There are several on the Achmedius Trade Station.

  • The doctors will leave your team the next time you enter the trade station. If you are already on the trade station, walk near the entry and they will leave your team. This leaves you room to add three new and permanent team members by recruiting them on the station.
  • Save before your recruit your merc's in case you want to make changes. The Mercenary manger is not yet in the game. It will go in at a later time allow you to add and remove merc's from your active party.
  • Mercenaries have assigned combat skills. They will tell you which skills they are proficient with.
  • Mercenaries set their level to your existing team's average level.
  • Even though the mercenaries skills may not exactly match what you are looking for, you can still progress that team member and customize them by equipping the appropriate weapon types of your choosing.
  • Once a new NPC joins your team, you will be able to change their appearance, voice and name.
  • The NPC's physical model appearance will change to match the selected portrait the next time you change locations or save and reload the game. I'll be doing some work in the future so the models match the portraits better!
  • The new team member will have a number of stat points to assign depending on what level you are when you ask the mercenary to join your team.
    [...]

Stellar Tactics

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

Details

Arelite Core - Review @ Gamingtrend

by Hiddenx, 09:00

The Adventure RPG Arelite Core was reviewed by Gamingtrend:

Battles, Blitz, and Baeme: Arelite Core Review

It seems these days that JRPGs are taking cues from western influences and developing into open-world, cinematic sprawls. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but it does make the times when the genre returns to form that much memorable. Titles like Eternal Sonata and Gurumin highlight how a modern spin on an old formula can work, with linear storytelling complemented by some great gameplay. Dragon Slumber aims to recapture the magic of 16-bit RPGs with Arelite Core, a 2D game inspired by the JRPG classics of the SNES. While it does suffer from some generic identity, the game is a loving homage to the JRPGs of the 90s.

[...]

While it’s not a dealbreaker, Arelite Core is also a bit on the short side in comparison to other games in the genre. Advertised as a campaign that will last 20 hours (with an achievement for beating it in under 10), it seems a bit short compared to its inspirations, which are at least twice as long as this game. However, for what it’s worth, the game is great for a playthrough, and the developer promised to create DLC to increase the longevity of the title.

Score: 80/100 - Great

Arelite Core

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

Details

Depth of Extinction - On Steam Greenlight

by Hiddenx, 08:39

The tactical RPG Depth of Extinction is now on Steam Greenlight:

THE SEAS HAVE RISEN
A cataclysmic event has forced humanity to build undersea environments to survive. Now 500 years have passed and we are in decline. Pirates, raiders, androids and worse things scour what is left of these habitats looking to survive.

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GAME FEATURES
  • Turn based, tactical control of a squad of mercenary pirates
  • Procedurally generated undersea habitats to explore
  • Tons of weapons, armor and items to find
  • Many character skills to unlock based on stats and chosen class
  • Recruit unique characters to your team
  • Perma-Death!
  • Mission based gameplay
  • 15+ different enemy types, each with unique AI and attack patterns
  • Beautiful pixel art environments where everything is destructible
Want an Early Access invite? Sign up!

ABOUT THE GAME
Strongly influenced by games such as X-Com (originals and reboots), Fallout 1 & 2, Shadowrun and Wasteland 2, this tactical roguelike RPG stands on its own as a worthy game for fans of those series.

Depth of Extinction

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

Details

Galaxy of Pen and Paper - Announced for 2017

by Hiddenx, 08:24

The tabletop inspired Sci-Fi RPG Galaxy of Pen and Paper will be released for iOS and Android in July and later in 2017 for the PC:

THE ULTIMATE ROLE-PLAYING SIMULATION GOES TO SPACE!

Galaxy of Pen & Paper is an RPG with retro art, classic turn-based battles, and an endless parade of monsters, loot, and humor! Assemble your party and control both the players and the Game Master as you fight, loot, and laugh your way to space!

TURN-BASED COMBAT SYSTEM
Assemble the party of your choice, picking your players, races and classes! Unlock new content with the blood, sweat, and luck of your party’s ingenuity and dice rolls!

CUSTOMIZATION
Will your party include a Slayer Simian Savage or a Thinker Green Medtech? Customize everything from your battle encounters to your Game Master’s table!

EXPLORE THE GALAXY OF QUESTS AND LOOT
Gather your adventurers and travel trough a galaxy of pen and paper, and discover the newest threat as they leave Earth. All the fun of a pen and paper RPG with none of the lost dice!

COMPLETELY NEW GAME
Prepare to be amazed with so much new things! Spaceship battles, stories with multiple decisions, sci-fi classes and races, side-way battles, planet navigation and exploration, and of course, traveling through space and time!

Galaxy of Pen and Paper

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

Details

Friday - April 14, 2017

Hero-U - Interview with the Coles

by Silver, 10:48

The Gamer HUD interviewed Corey and Lori Cole about Hero-U:Rogue to Redemption.

..
GH:

I understand Lori does most if not all the writing in the game? That sounds like a monumental task! How do you manage it?

Corey:

"Total game text is on the order of the largest Harry Potter novel - Order of the Phoenix - 255,000 words and climbing."

Lori wrote essentially all of the dialogue in Quest for Glory with just a few contributions from me, and she is doing the same on Hero-U. This is possible only because we've stretched the schedule - she's been at it for over four years and is *almost* done. I had planned to write all the non-dialogue text, but that's been a challenge. Fortunately, Josh Mandel joined the team and has taken over the lion's share of writing descriptions and object interaction text. I doubt you'll be able to tell his writing from mine in the game; we have similar styles. Josh previously contributed much of the writing in our Shannara game.

GH:

Because your team seems more dynamic than one might find in a smaller project, but also markedly different from some AAA game dev studios or when you were both at Sierra, what challenges has that presented for you, and how has it enhanced the (near) final product?

Corey:

It's been very challenging. Many terrific team members left the project for better paying or longer-term opportunities. Each time that happens, we've lost knowledge and expertise, and had to search for new developers. I'm very happy with the team now, and I'm hoping they'll all make it at least to release. If the game sells well enough initially, we hope to keep most of them on for the rest of the series.

At Sierra, when it became clear we needed more people, they assigned more people to the team. It's much tougher as an indie long after we paid out the Kickstart funds. Now Lori and I are paying team members out of personal loans and our own rather shallow pockets. Once the game releases, we might or might not make some of that back. That's a lot different from working for a company on a fixed salary.
[...]

Hero-U

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

Details

Shock Tactics - Review @ BleedingCool

by Hiddenx, 10:45

BleedingCool reviewed the turn-based strategy game Shock Tactics:

If ‘Starship Troopers’ Had A Purpose, ‘Shock Tactics’ Might Be It

Shock Tactics is a turn-based strategy game where you will command soldiers to achieve certain missions. You’re part of the Free Space Pioneers who explore new planets and help protect them. Essentially, you look for new alien tech while protecting colonization and mining facilities from alien threats, as well as rival troops from the Imperial Consortium. There’s a lot to be explored and protected and none of it comes easy. Some missions are simple like killing all the enemies and staying alive. Others not so much as they become time-sensitive and require quick and decisive action to make them happen.

[...]

Overall, Shock Tactics is fairly well done and gives a nice variety of issues to overcome as an individual and a team. Aside from the problems I had above, there’s a lot to be discovered in the game as you wind your way to the eventual goal of having successful missions for the company and unraveling what the aliens are doing on this hostile world. As well as what the rival factions are trying to pull off. Highly recommend for people who enjoy these games, but I also acknowledge that it may not be everyone’s taste.

Score: 8/10

Shock Tactics

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

Details

Cosmic Star Heroine - First Impressions @ Kotaku

by Hiddenx, 10:14

Kotaku's Jason Schreier written down his first impressions of the Sci-fi J-RPG Cosmic Star Heroine:

Cosmic Star Heroine Is Like A Cross Between Phantasy Star And Chrono Trigger

If you’re one of the many JRPG fans upset that Sega gave up on proper Phantasy Star games after the Genesis, here is a game for you: Cosmic Star Heroine, a new RPG that channels all sorts of beloved classics, from Chrono Trigger to Suikoden.

So far I’ve played three hours of Cosmic Star Heroine, which came out yesterday for PC and PS4 (with more platforms to follow). It’s a little rough—there are some weird bugs, and my game soft-locked once—but it’s charming and funny, to the point where it might actually take you away from Persona 5. It centers around a super-spy space agent named Alyssa L’Salle, who finds herself battling against a giant conspiracy and sets out to save the galaxy (as you do). And it’s been in development since mid-2013, when it was Kickstarted with an estimated release date of, uh, 2014.
[...]
As you get more party members and combat gets more complicated, fighting battles start to feel like looking over a big chessboard, deciding when to use each action to do the most damage before an enemy can take you out. Do you want to waste a hyper turn healing or gamble that you can win before your party members lose all of their health? Do you want to use Alyssa’s strength buff on Chahn to do fire damage or Dave to take out those robots with electricity? On the tougher difficulty modes—I’m playing on the hard “Heroine” difficulty—this can get really elaborate, challenging, and fun.

So yeah, I recommend Cosmic Star Heroine. The finicky little bugs can get annoying—for some reason on PS4, the game is ultra-sensitive when starting conversations and will continually restart dialogue after you’ve Xed out of the box—but I’m quite enjoying the game so far.

Cosmic Star Heroine

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

Details

Twist of Destiny - EA Version Released

by Hiddenx, 09:51

The Early Access version of the 2D-Adventure RPG Twist of Fate is now available:

Twist of Destiny is an exciting turn-based RPG where you lead a team of up to 4 characters around the world in dangerous adventures! Experience the astonishing art & animations in the world of TOD.

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Key Features

Team Management. Explore the world and recruit adventurers to your party. Level them, manage their equipment and make the best team combos for each fight!

Large Game World. Interact with various town NPC's & do quests- but remember to pick your answers wisely, because you may gain or lose Amity, which will give you various benefits. (If the Amity is low they might start speaking to you in more aggressive tone & even fight your team. But by increasing Amity they could unlock new features and give friendly quests.)

RPG Features. We're also working hard on new classical RPG features such as skill upgrade system, equipment upgrades, crafting, item enchantments & adventurer retirement system.

EA Plans. We plan to work on updates long and hard. -That's what she said. But on more serious note our plan is to expand the game world a lot. Add completely new continent(s) full with new npc's, maps, items and content. Like mentioned above we also plan to add new rpg features which would enrich the whole experience. Collect items and craft powerful gear for your team. Make money off of the multiplayer item bazaar or relax and go fishing in towns with a water source.

Dive deep into the detailed world of Twist of Destiny. Discover how intricate towns and lifelike inhabitants interact and develop their feelings about you based on your treatment of them.

Twist of Destiny

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

Details

Thursday - April 13, 2017

Torment:ToN - Interview @ RPGCodex

by Hiddenx, 22:16

Our friends at the Codex (who can be real drama queens sometimes) are talking with inXile Entertainment again:

RPG Codex Report: A Codexian Visit to inXile Entertainment

Ever since Techland canceled our interview with Brian Fargo last year, our relations with InXile have been strained, to say the least. And now that it has been a month and a half since the release of Torment: Tides of Numenera, it's quite clear that the game has not been a success. It may not be a coincidence that shortly after its release, we received an entreaty from inXile PR representative Jim Redner. Jim told us he was seeking to make peace with the Codex, and that he was willing to hear our demands. Our initial proposal was a humble one - a reveal-all AMA with George Ziets, probably the only person at inXile who still has our community's trust. To that Jim responded with a counter-proposal - an in-person visit to inXile, to be followed by an AMA with several of Torment's developers. That was an opportunity we couldn't pass up, and so a couple of weeks ago we dispatched our secret agent in Southern California to inXile's headquarters in Newport Beach. Today, we'rehappy to present the report of his visit to Brian Fargo's court.

[...]

Kevin Saunders left before the end of production. Can you talk about why he left and how his departure affected production?

Brian: I can’t talk about an employee’s specific performance, but what I can do is to provide you with a factual history of things. Kevin left the project in late 2015, right? At that point, we were roughly two years into production. At that point, we’ve gotten the first pass of combat. The story was not yet at first pass. No abilities or weapons were in outside of the alpha systems. And so, at that time, if we had gone along that route, the game would not be done until the year 2018. I could not afford to stay on that path. I had to change what we were doing.

And, to talk about scope, the product was wildly over scoped. Even today, after we made the “cuts,” the original specification for the game was 600,000 words. You know how many we are at now? It’s 1.6 million words, probably a world record for a single player game. I think the only games that have more word count is MMOs done over a long period of time.

[...]

Did the fact that InXile was taking on several different projects – Wasteland 2, Director’s Cut, Wasteland 3, Bard’s Tale 4 - at the same time affect Numenera's production? Why did you decide to take on so many projects at the same time, given this risk?

Brian: The majority of the entire company was on Torment, that was very much the case. Maybe we could’ve moved the start time up a couple of months while we were doing Director’s Cut things. Maybe. But overall, they had the lion’s share of the resources of this company.

I’ve been involved in a lot of products before as you know, and whenever we’re doing something different or innovative, they’re messy behind the scenes. Fallout 2, behind the scenes, was a mess. Planescape: Torment was a mess. The original producer for that project was replaced. So this drama is part and parcel of development. I’ve been involved in very few products in which it was straight forward. The only times it was straight forward was, for example, Icewind Dale, where all the systems were in place, we knew what it was, it wasn’t that deep as a product – and by the way, it was one of my favorite games – but it was very straight forward, you knew exactly what you were doing, all the systems were in place.

When everything’s place, it can become more like that, but whenever you’re trying to innovate in any way, it’s always very messy. I’ve never been on a product where it was run perfectly and you know everything. There’s a great book called Creative Inc. by the founders of Pixar, in which they talk about how every Pixar movie starts off as a piece of shit. Those were his words. It’s basically a mess and it’s a false goal to try and make production perfect, because when you do that, production will not be perfect and you’ll have a dry product. So I think there is messiness that comes with the territory.

They’re messy. We could go back thirty years to talk about how all the different products were messy. From Stone Keep to Battle Chess to Descent, they all had some drama behind the scenes. You know, in production you could have a lead programmer quit in the middle, and you could lose two months because you have to train a new person to take over their code. Think about the cost of losing two months and what that would do. That didn’t happen in this particular case but I’ve had it happen before. You can’t just swap people out easily.

[...]

Torment:ToN

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

Details

War of Velana - Now on Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 20:48

The tactical RPG War of Velana inspired by the 16 bit era is now on Kickstarter and Steam Greenlight:

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War of Velana draws from the tactical combat, world exploration, and interaction of the Shining Force games. Unlike other tactical games, Shining Force wasn't simply grid battles connected by menus. They let you search and discover items and secrets in the world like many non-tactical RPGs. You could actually talk villagers and shop patrons, not just their menu systems. The duality created a feel unlike anything else, and that's what we strive to present.

With that spirit in mind, we took some parts from other classics as well. In combat, if an ally falls, they aren't permanently dead or removed from battle, but turn into a tombstone. This gives you a chance to revive them and return them to the fight, very much akin to Final Fantasy Tactics.

If you do not revive a unit within a few turns, their tombstone will crumble, which removes them from the battle. On easier difficulties, you can pray to the Goddess to return units to the party. On harder difficulties they will be gone forever.

Try our Alpha demo for Windows! You must download both the .exe and the data folder for the demo to work. (You don't need to download the readme) Please message directly us with any build issues or bugs! (we've found a lot of them and are already working on a new build)

 

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Tanzia - EA Release Date: April 27

by Hiddenx, 20:37

The Action RPG Tanzia will be released as an Early Access version on April 27:

Early Access roadmap:

  • The first EA build will feature all but the last few chapters.
  • The last chapters will be released during Early Access.
  • We'll do small in-between updates in case of bugs.
  • Players will be able to keep playing after reaching the end of each build, if they want to level up, buy gear, or finish sidequests.

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About Tanzia
Become the greatest shaman to ever lob a fireball. Retrace the steps of your Akazi ancestors to prevent your island home of Tanzia from being overrun by an ancient evil. Your elders will guide you, but it is up to you to master your skills and live up to your family’s legacy. An old-style RPG made with modern tech and set in a unique world, Tanzia combines elements of favorite classic action-adventure RPGs in an open 3D world full of magic and monsters. 

Tanzia's story design was developed in collaboration with Kevin Saunders (whose previous work includes as a senior designer on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, lead designer on Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer, and project director on Torment: Tides of Numenera).

Tanzia

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

Details

Moonfall - Released

by Hiddenx, 20:24

The 2d-Action RPG Moonfall is now available on Steam:

About the Game

Moonfall is a hand-painted side-scrolling 2D action RPG beat'em up set in an industrial gothic universe named Terra Nihil. It tells a story of a once small Empire at the peak of its glory attained by a mysterious element called Lunarium that suddenly experiences a surge in attacks from so-called Savages, aboriginal tribes living outside its borders.

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Features

  • Beautifully hand-painted 2D graphics full of details and dark atmosphere.
  • 3 classes with unique active and passive abilities. Gaining experience points by killing monsters and completing main and side quests.
  • Action-packed combat system using different skills to provide a diverse choice of dealing with battle clashes. A suitable strategy is the key to success as lingering for too long among some enemies can lead to a premature death.
  • 13 open-ended and fully explorable levels with elements of the metroidvania genre, variable content of quests, boss fights and notes expanding the lore.
  • Over 80 unique items constiting of swords, axes, daggers, armors, helmets, boots, rings and so on with their own atributes.
  • Over 60 enemies divided into two categories - common and elite.
  • Multiplayer arenas, defend mode and cooperation as a free update in the future.
  • Immersive orchestral soundtrack with catchy melodies and melancholic ambient.
  • Full Xbox 360 and Xbox One Controller support.
  • Achievements and trading cards.

Moonfall

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

Details

ELEX - The Ruins

by Hiddenx, 20:15

Farflame spotted another ELEX-screenshot on WoE:

"Reestablishing a functioning infrastructure is unnecessary. All of our strength is focused on the extraction of Elex."
-Announcement of an officer

-> World of Elex

ELEX

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

Details

Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Interview

by Hiddenx, 20:11

TSA has interviewed Kevin Stephen, Studio Head of Monolith Productions about the Shadow of Mordor sequel Shadow of War:

Kevin Stephen On Nemeses, Fortresses And Naming Middle-earth: Shadow Of War

More-dor.

After the success of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, a sequel was never really in doubt, and Monolith and Warner Bros. have now revealed what they’ve been working on for the past few years. This is Shadow of Mordor taken much, much further, with a Nemesis system that now affects how the world evolves, raising your own army, and so much more.

[...]

TSA: Obviously, one of the biggest things in Shadow of Mordor was the Nemesis system, and I think a lot of people saw this as something that would influence where other open world games, a little like how Arkham Asylum’s combat proliferated. We haven’t really seen that happen, though, why do you think that is? Is it time? Complexity?

Kevin: My theory is just that it’s really hard to do.

Well, I have a few theories. I think the key one is that it’s hard. It took us a long time to build the system and we were very focussed on it. […] I also think that the fact that time always moves forward in our game means that if somebody goes, “OK, we’re going to do this,” and starts thinking about what they need to make it work, it’s a bit more complex than some people think and how your game systems really need to support it.

That’s probably the key reason, but I also think that designers don’t like to copy other designers, so there’s some ego involved too. Even if they want to do it, there might be people pushing back and saying they can do their own thing.

But I don’t know. I don’t have insight and a game could be announced tomorrow that has something like the Nemesis system – they wouldn’t call it that, I’m sure. It would be great to see other games do something similar.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Middle-earth: Shadow of War

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

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - ME Games Ranking

by Hiddenx, 20:02

PCGamesN has ranked all Mass Effect games:

A definitive ranking of all the Mass Effect games, from worst to best

Thanks to the recent launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda, there are now even more ways to be wrong when it comes to ranking BioWare’s space opera and dating sim series. The last thing anybody wants is to be ostracised by society for having a criminally misguided opinion.

[...]

4 - Mass Effect: Andromeda

[...]

3 - Mass Effect

[...]

2 - Mass Effect 3

[...]

1 - Mass Effect 2

[...]

Farflame wants to know if the Watchers agree :)

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

Details

Non-RPG General News - Frostpunk Revealed

by Silver, 13:09

@GamePressure takes a long look at Frostpunk and finds its an intriguing new title from This War of Mine developer 11 bit studios.

....

The age of ice and steam

You want some cold facts? Well, I suppose we can safely assume that Frostpunk will be a unique mix of various genres and mechanics: we can notice RTS mechanics, elements of survival, social and urban management, as well as decisions that will influence the lives of individuals and the fate of the entire society. As the devs themselves have said:

"We're not trying to reinvent the wheel; we want to combine the existing genres in such a way that we get something original."

Contrary to what you might be expecting, the game isn't set in the future. It depicts an alternative vision of the 19th century. After a cataclysm has almost wiped out humanity from the face of the earth, it's the players' task to preserve the lives of a handful that survived the disaster. The devs promise that the players will be able to explore the reasons behind the Armageddon - was it a divine punishment, or simply a natural phenomenon?

The technology that will become our lifeline will be based on steam and ice. We really like this idea, as it seems more than plausible to use this unlimited resource offered by a world covered in ice. The 19th-century-ish technology of Frostpunk will have us melt ice to get water and steam, and steam-powered engines will in turn enable us to warm the dying residents. As to the stuff we will do in the new game from 11 bit studios, we can only wonder: resource acquisition and crafting? Perhaps some mining and metallurgy, who knows? What we do know is that our main task will be to efficiently manage the city, make the right decisions, provide for the residents, and... sacrifice individuals in the name of survival of the collective.
[...]

Non-RPG General News

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

Details

Wednesday - April 12, 2017

Zombasite - Patch 1.011

by Hiddenx, 20:27

Patch 1.011 for Zombasite has been released. This patch makes healing potions weaken infection, improves identification bonus, improves monster respawn system, and fixes a bunch of other minor issues. The changes are listed here.

Zombasite

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

Details

The Man Came Around - On Kickstarter

by Silver, 14:01

@PCGamer The Man Came Around is on Kickstarter and comes with a free demo. The game itself is a survival rpg which explores the themes of fascism and repression. The goal is for 10K euros and has made close to 4K already with 28 days to go.

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As mentioned there, Occida is The Man Came Around's fictional settings that's said to be the "most powerful nation of the world", but has been "shaken by mass protests met by brutal repression". An internal war has broken on between activist group The Many and the government, which has in turn forced the country into a dictatorship. 

From here, you assume the role of five nomad citizens aiming to cross the North Border to freedom. Naturally, this proves no easy feat as you're forced to manage scarce resources, make life-threatening decisions, and battle both the heavily armed guards scattered across the mountain and the elements themselves.

[...]

Features :

  • Political fable: The story explores how a democratic system can fall, ruined by special interests. And asks the crucial question: How could it happen?
  • Moral Choices: Sacrificing a member, making shady deals or letting innocents die in order to survive ... Those choices will impact the story.
  • Group Survival: Permadeath for the characters! It's up to you to finish the game with five or only one survivor.
  • Trauma System: Stress and guilt will impact your characters' psyche.
  • Interactive Narration: Let your choices change the story. Replay to discover all possibilities.
  • Lost in a Maze: Explore a labyrinthine world full of secrets.
  • Unique Graphic Style: 2D handcrafted speed painting.

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Snowbird Game Studios - Lays off Most Staff

by Silver, 11:58

@Gamasutra Due to the poor reception of Eador: Imperium Snowbird Game Studios has layed off most of its staff.

Russian indie studio Snowbird Games announced last month that most of its staff is being let go in the wake of a poor reception to its most recent game, Eador: Imperium.

It's bad news for the developers who worked there and almost certainly bad news for the studio, which was founded in 2011.

In a blog post, the "new administration" stated that Snowbird's main investor dismissed the dev team due to "unsatisfactory results" and "slow development rates" on the studio's recent games.

Since then, the company has published plans to patch at least one of those games, 2015's Blood & Gold! Caribbean (pictured).

"The new administration has factually no complaints against the old development team," reads the post. "A very complicated and content-heavy project was based on the outdated technology. The problem in this case lies with the management who took decision regarding the game’s concept and its engine."

The post also promises to offer players a "brand new project" and a Blood & Gold! spin-off game (or "farewell project") developed by a third party, ORGS Studio, at some point in the future.

Snowbird Game Studios

Details