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Saturday - September 24, 2016
Friday - September 23, 2016
Thursday - September 22, 2016
Wednesday - September 21, 2016
Tuesday - September 20, 2016
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The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

2016-09-28

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain Review

Pessimeister goes in-depth in this Warlock of Firetop Mountain review.
» Continue reading the article...

Avadon 3: The Warborne

2016-09-22

Avadon: The Warborn Review

Forgottenlor ventured into the third game of the Avadon series to see if he could continue his enjoyment of Spiderweb games.
» Read the article

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Drakensang: The River of Time - Phileasson's Secret
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Recently Released

Sep: Earthlock
Sep: Rogue Wizards
Sep: Heroes of the Monkey Tavern
Sep: Sorcery! Part 4
Sep: Zenith

Expected Releases

Sep: Dungeons & Darkness
Sep: Final Fantasy XV
Sep: Masquerada
Sep: Wanderer
Oct: Kenshi

Saturday - September 24, 2016

Dungeon Rats - FAQ

by Hiddenx, 08:21

Iron Tower Studios released an FAQ for their upcoming dungeon crawler Dungeon Rats:

FAQ

What kind of game is it?
Dungeon Rats is a turn-based, party-based RPG focused almost exclusively on combat for players who like turn-based combat in general and AoD combat in particular. So if you like challenging turn-based combat built around trade-offs and featuring different attack types, alchemy, and tons of stats and modifiers, this game might be for you. If not...

Price & length?

$8.99; 50 fights in total; about 10 hours if you know what you’re doing, much longer if you don’t (i.e. a new player).

Release date?

Anywhere from late Oct to mid Nov.  The game is almost ready: fully playable from start to finish, all the content is in, we need 5-6 weeks for polishing and extra art assets (missing portraits, ending slides art, etc).

Why this game? Why not another game like AoD?

Our next full scale RPG is the “colony ship game”, currently in pre-production, which means designing the systems, fleshing out the setting and locations, and defining these locations visually. Basically, we can’t start working on it until we have the “blueprints” to follow.

This gave us a year (10 months development cycle, 2 months of post release support) to put together a combat game using the AoD engine, systems, and assets. Doing anything else (new engine, different systems, non-combat aspects, etc) would have easily doubled or tripled the development time. Considering that party-based combat was the most requested feature, we built a game around it, giving you something different instead of going for more of the same.

Difficulty levels?

At lower difficulty levels your enemies get a THC (to-hit chance) penalty (30% on Easy, 15% on Normal, no penalty on Hard), which makes it harder to hit you and greatly increases your party’s life expectancy. THC also affects the combat AI, so your enemies won’t be using fancier attacks against you.

Party mechanics?

Your Charisma will determine how many people you can recruit: min 1, max 3, so your party size will range from 2 to 4. Not everyone will be eager to join you; some NPCs will require convincing (Charisma checks). You will have full control over your party members once they join your party. All skill points you earn will be divided between the party members, so a bigger party will level up more slowly.

Can I make my own party?

No. You will create your own character and recruit other convicts.  Party members are a resource much like gear and skill points. You acquire it slowly, swapping one party member for another or replacing fallen brethren when an opportunity comes up. This approach fits both the prison setting and Charisma-driven setup. Keep in mind that losing party members is normal on Hard.

Solo Mode? Ironman?
You can select Ironman and/or Solo mode when you start a new game. If you choose the Solo mode your CHA will be lowered to 2 to give you two extra and much needed stat points.  You won’t be able to recruit any companions.

Do I need to buy or play AoD first?

No. It’s a stand-alone game that takes place before the events in AoD. However, some comments and stories will make more sense to those who played AoD a couple of times.

Is there a story?
There is the story of your escape and the prison’s hierarchy. There is also a background story that began long before you were imprisoned. That story and its conclusion will expand the lore of the gameworld.

Dialogues? Text adventures?
There are many talkative characters; each fight has a text intro, so you aren’t just moving from one fight to the next;  there is quite a bit of exploration with text-adventure elements and stat-checks.

Whom are we fighting?

Various prisoners (unaffiliated convicts, gang members – we have three gangs running the prison and their overlord who calls himself the Emperor), prison guards, legionaries sent to clean up the mess, which started long before you arrived, mechanical constructs, and various oversized local flora and fauna.

New loot?
20 new items (weapons, armor, misc).

Any questions, ask.

Dungeon Rats

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

Details

Friday - September 23, 2016

Battle Brothers - Release: Early 2017

by Hiddenx, 14:13

Here's the roadmap for the Strategy/RPG Mix Battle Brothers:

Dev Blog #82: Roadmap to the Finish Line

Battle Brothers has come a long way since it entered Early Access over a year ago, in April of 2015. Every update has brought it a step closer towards being a finished game – and there’s still a few more steps to take. Read on to learn what changes and additions are yet to come!

What’s still to come?

With the perk & injury update live and stable, we’ll now start working on the last big update to the game before it leaves Early Access. This is going to be the second-biggest update after the big worldmap update earlier this year and will take us several months to complete.

Here’s the list of major points we’ll be working on:

  • Three different ‘Greater Evil’ end game crises for you to get involved in – a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion and an undead invasion. Each will come with its own set of contracts, events and changes to the world.
  • An overarching goal to work towards throughout your campaign, and the ability to retire at any point to receive an illustrated ending screen telling of your accomplishments.
  • A more lively and dynamic world, with more opportunities for you to shape it, and more relation between what is going on in the world and contracts on offer.
  • A memorial wall screen where your fallen Battle Brothers are listed with their deeds.
  • An overhaul of the mood and desertion mechanics on the worldmap.
  • An overhaul of the undead faction with new visuals and lore, unique lootable weapons and armor, and the introduction of new enemy types with their own fighting style.
  • An overhaul of ghouls as independent beasts that are more interesting and challenging to fight.
  • More contracts and events to change things up.
  • Various improvements to usability in both combat and on the worldmap.
  • Steam achievements.

Not included in that list are the countless smaller additions and improvements we’ll be doing along the way. As usual, all the major points and most of the minor ones will be explained in detail in future dev blogs as we go along, so you’ll always know what we’re working on and why.

This big update, once published, will then be followed by a couple of smaller updates for balancing, bug fixing and further improvements based on your feedback until the game is ready to be released.

So does that mean…?

It means that Battle Brothers will not be released in 2016. We’re looking at a release in early 2017 and you’ll be the first to know once we have a set date – most likely to happen when the last big update is live. It’s important to us that the finished game feels complete, polished and well worth its price, so we’ll take the time necessary to ensure just that and won’t rush anything.

It also means that some features that were considered at one point in development or another have been cut and will not make it into the game for now. While some concepts simply won’t fit anymore with how the game has evolved, others would still be cool to have but also require a lot of time to do right. Time that we then couldn’t spend working on other things. Game development is often about hard choices and setting priorities – what feature best to spend our limited time on? What feature will benefit the game the most? Our choices on what’s most important are reflected in the list above. If ever there is an expansion to Battle Brothers, we may revisit some of the concepts that didn’t make it into the game at first.

Also, the game has been updated

That’s right. The game has just been updated to version 0.7.0.10 with a new contract, balancing changes, a multitude of AI improvements and a couple of bug fixes. Find the changelog below.

[...]

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Sorcery! Part 4 - Review @ PCWorld

by Hiddenx, 10:08

PCWorld has reviewed Sorcery! Part 4:

Steve Jackson's Sorcery! review: A sprawling adventure of mind-boggling scale

With the release of Sorcery's fourth episode, this thrilling adventure comes to a close.

On the road again

For the most part, yes.

It’s odd to think that 2016’s most epic—in the traditional sense of the word—game might end up being conveyed completely through text, and yet here we are. Sorcery is a sprawling adventure, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure of almost mind-boggling scale, spread out across four installments roughly matching the original four adventure gamebooks from the 1980s.

[...]

Bottom line

Sorcery is something special though. I went back and replayed the first two episodes prior to jumping into the latter half, and was amazed how many encounters I’d missed, how many important items I’d blithely walked past. There are so many nooks and crannies to pop your head into—and hope that said nook or cranny isn’t occupied by an invisible Snattacat or a ten-foot-tall Skunk Bear.

It has its weak moments—especially in the convoluted third episode—but it’s worth struggling through in order to get to the end of this very, very long adventure. The Crown of Kings awaits.

Score: 8/10

Sorcery! Part 4

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

Details

Undertale - Retrospective on it's Popularity

by Hiddenx, 09:56

On year after release developer Toby Fox reflects on the success with his RPG Undertale:

Retrospective on UNDERTALE’s Popularity

Though it was released almost a year ago, I have the same opinion of it.

It’s about an 8/10, niche RPG game.

If you like the characters and the humor, you’ll probably like it, and forgive it for its flaws.

If you don’t, you’ll probably hate it.

Surprisingly, there are many people who like this type of game. Though I did work hard, there’s definitely a lot of luck involved in having a game become this popular. So, it wouldn’t surprise me if I never made a game as successful again. That’s fine with me though.

Not only did I not expect this level of popularity, but initially, I was afraid of it. I didn’t want UNDERTALE to become tiring for people, or become spoiled before anyone even got a chance to play it. Early on (this was probably excessive) I even tried to contact certain Let’s Players to tell them not to make any content about it.

But, the game became very popular. Unavoidable, even. At the height of its popularity, “not liking the game” felt like a cardinal sin to many fans online. In reaction to these circumstances, others began actively hate the game, creating an endless whirlwind of discourse…

Like a thunderclap to a small dog, all of this attention stressed me out. And every time it seemed to die down, something revived it, such as the GameFAQs contest, the award shows, bizarre theory videos, and so on. At times, I wished I had a way to quell the attention. I felt a strange powerlessness. (And guilt, for feeling stressed when the success of the game SHOULD be something I’m nothing but ecstatic about.)

At the same time, countless wonderful things were happening. People told me the game helped them through a difficult part of their life. Others told me that the game had made them laugh, or cry, or say “I want to be kinder.” Many young kids told me they wanted to create games or music because of it. And, on a personal level, because of its popularity, I have been able to help myself and many people in my life. (And, hopefully, in the future, I can help many other people because of it, too.)

So, ultimately, it’s a good thing that the game reached so many people, and I’m very, very, very, very, very, very, thankful to everyone that supported it, and everyone that helped me make it.

Thank you.

And thank you to anyone who has created fanworks for this game over the past year. I’ve been in fandoms my whole life. I drew Cave Story characters in the margins of my 7th grade history class notes. So it’s amazing to see something I created incite a similar passion in other people.

Someday, UNDERTALE will fade from people’s minds. But, I’m sure in 10 years, some kid who played UNDERTALE will create a game that surpasses it…

I look forward to playing that.

Tomorrow, on UNDERTALE’s anniversary, let’s have a fun time. I am thinking I will open the askbox, and…

Undertale

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

Details

Tyranny - Dev Diary #2 - Artistry in the Game

by Silver, 09:52

@DSOGaming Obsidian have released part two of a three part series of their developer diaries. This part focuses on the artists and designers behind the world of Tyranny who do the animation, music and character design.

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Tyranny

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

Details

The Surge - Impressions @ FextraLife

by Hiddenx, 09:42

FextraLife has checked out the Action RPG The Surge:

The Surge Gameplay Impressions: Visceral Combat, Weapons, Armor, Implants & More

Last month at Gamescom, we were given the opportunity to play Deck 13’s upcoming mechanized Action RPG, The Surge. Upon seeing the game at E3, we were blown away by the beautiful graphics and fast-paced combat and we couldn’t wait to get a chance to dismember some enemies and find out how the game plays. Having sat down with the game, we have a ton of impressions on what we experienced.

Design

Immediately after picking up the controller and beginning the first stage, you will notice that the game world looks vibrant, moderately futuristic and very industrial. You begin the game as the protagonist, Warren (there is no custom charcters), who has just awoken from a blackout to find that things in his work environment have gone extremely wrong. The area is littered with broken machinery and your coworkers have similarly devolved into violent, zombie-like husks.

You work uniform is a mechanized suit that can be customized and upgraded throughout the game to transform it into a suit of destruction. Each limb, chest and head can be switched out, modified and enhanced. Players will collect parts to do this by dismembering enemies, using Deck 13’s new targeting system that works a lot like Bloodborne’s, only here, you can target various parts of the enemy while you remain locked on.

[...]

 

The Surge

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

Details

Stellar Tactics - Early Access available

by Hiddenx, 09:21

You can now try the Space RPG Stellar Tactics:

Stellar Tactics

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Stellar Tactics - Bringing back the nostalgia, excitement and wonder of classic RPG's, Stellar Tactics will thrill you with a compelling narrative, deep strategic turn based ground combat system and rewarding open world space exploration. Build your team, equip your ship, explore the universe!

It's about that time!

Well, it's finally that time. After lots of testing, late nights, early mornings and over six years of obsessive attention to detail, Stellar Tactics is ready for Early Access. Stellar Tactics is a complicated game with many of the core role playing systems you would expect in a classic RPG. It's more though. It combines traditional space exploration, trading, space ships and progression with deep party based RPG mechanics.

Many of you supported me earlier this year by Greenlighting Stellar Tactics. Since then I've been working hard to make certain the story, combat and core game play elements were as polished as they could be. That doesn't meant there aren't a few rough edges, because there are. I am at a point, however, where I need to gather feedback. Being a small developer (just me) your feedback is going to be critical for the success of the game.

I'm excited to hear what you think. Please, post your suggestions and comments in the forums. I read every post if I can and I usually respond if I have time. I'm looking for your thoughts on combat, interface, progression, balance, weapons, armor, loot, itemization...generally everything. I won't promise that I'll take immediate action on every suggestion, but I will be listening. If I see a good idea or suggestion, I'll consider it and let the community know if I'm planning to move forward with a change. If you find a crash bug, exploit or something that is generally making the game unplayable for you, please, post a note in the bug forums. I'll be working quickly to fix any game stopping bugs and annoyances.

What's next? I expect I'll be fixing bugs for the next few weeks. I'll be fixing things that I missed and issues that different play styles bring to the surface. After that it's all about Alpha. I'll be working hard to finalize space combat, generating content for exploration missions and following the road-map posted on the forums.

I'd like to thank each and everyone one of you for your interest in Stellar Tactics. I know you have many games to choose from. I'm going to work hard to make this game the best it can be.

If you want to help support Stellar Tactics, tell, your friends, family and people you don't even know.

-Don Wilkins

Stellar Tactics

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

Details

Thursday - September 22, 2016

RPGWatch Feature - Avadon 3 Review

by Myrthos, 21:27

We were provided with access to Avadon 3, prior to it being launched and gave it to Forgottenlor, who dived into the game to come back with a detailed analysis of the game.

The Avadon games are story driven. While they allow a decent amount of exploration and character building, it's clear that they aren't as open as, for example, the Avernum series, but make up for this with their main stories and companions. Obviously if you don't like story driven RPGs (such as most RPGs by Bioware, Obsidian, or the Shadowrun games), then Avadon probably won't be your cup of tea. If, like me, you can get really caught up in a story, provided you're given a decent combat system, character building, and exploration, then you'll probably like the Avadon series. As far as The Warborn is concerned, the story is great, and probably my favourite of the Avadon series. It gradually builds tension and sucks you in. In fact I much preferred the way the narrative was built up in this game compared to the two previous games. The one thing that has to be said about The Warborn is that it is a true sequel. If you don't have prior knowledge of some of the NPCs from previous games, the events that occur and choices you'll have to make won't have quite the same impact as they do if you have played the earlier games. The price of peace and loyalty, as well as the worth of personal sacrifice drive the story forward, and you're often put between a rock and a hard place. You can die from making story based decisions (as I found out the beginning of the third chapter, though I decided to reload, decide differently and continue.) Also you'll have to like to read if you want to play these games. There is nothing voiced, and while you're never confronted with huge blocks of text, there is a significant amount of dialogue and environment description, and it's all pretty well written.

Avadon 3

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

Details

Sorcery! Part 4 - Released

by Hiddenx, 20:32

The final part of the gamebook adaption Sorcery! Part 4 has been released today:

An open-world narrative adventure into a cursed Citadel of monsters, traps and magic. Fight weird creatures, cast powerful spells that shape the story, cheat death, and explore everywhere. Begin your journey here, or conclude your adventure from Part 3.

  • Explore freely - go where you want through a hand-drawn, 3D world, creating your own unique story
  • Totally dynamic storytelling - the story adapts itself around everything you do
  • Thousands of choices - all are remembered, from the big to the small, and all will shape your adventure
  • Disguise yourself - adopt different disguises as you infiltrate the Citadel. Characters react differently depending on how you are dressed
  • Uncover the secrets of magic - secret spells to discover, and new forms of magic to master
  • Multiple endings, and hundreds of secrets - the game is stuffed with secrets and hidden content. Can you enter the vaults? Will you find the grave of the invisible girl?
  • Cheat, swindle, deceive, or play with honour - how will you win the trust of the citizens of Mampang? Remember, every choice matters...
  • New enemies, including mutants, guards, merchants and the undead - each with their own strengths and weaknesses
  • Adapted from the best-selling gamebook series by legendary game designer Steve Jackson
  • Swindlestones is back! The game of bluff and deceit is back, with the toughest opponents yet - the Gambling Monks of Effe
  • Seven Gods, all with different quirks and powers
  • Start your adventure here, or load your character and all your choices from Part 3
  • New music from "80 Days" composer Laurence Chapman
  • New 3D hand-drawn maps to explore by Mike Schley

Sorcery! Part 4

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

Details

Heroes of the Monkey Tavern - Release Day

by Hiddenx, 20:20

The dungeon crawler Heroes of the Monkey Tavern will be released today:

After countless days and nights celebrating within the infamous Monkey Tavern, our team of adventurers have spent every last penny... Their fates, however are about to change...

Like a gift from the gods, in walks a mysterious stranger who points them towards a high tower full of invaluable treasures .

It doesn't take much more to rouse their thirst for adventure.

You will enjoy exploring a dungeon full of riddles, dangerous enemies and vicious traps. And if luck favours... you will discover secret passages sheltering legendary weapons and armours.

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Key Features :

  • Dungeon exploration in grid-base movement
  • 8 classes
  • 3 difficulty levels
  • 2 hours of intense music
  • Real time fights
  • 22 different enemies, including 6 bosses
  • Full keyboard and gamepad support
  • Numerous traps and secrets
  • More than 100 unique items

Heroes of the Monkey Tavern

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

Details

Dishonored 2 - New Gameplay Video

by Hiddenx, 19:25

A new gameplay video for Dishonored 2:

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From the gritty streets of Dunwall to the shimmering opulence of Karnaca, every level in Dishonored 2 is a puzzle waiting for you to solve. Watch as both Emily Kaldwin and Corvo Attano showcase a few of the seemingly limitless creative combinations of their supernatural abilities, weapons and gadgets to dispatch their enemies. If you plan on facing your foes head-on, you may find some inspiration here.

Dishonored 2

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

Details

Startrail HD - Finsterkoppenbinge

by Hiddenx, 19:14

The Early Access version of Realms of Arkania II: Startrail HD will be available in Q4 2016. Farflame spotted some pictures of a dwarfen mine called 'Finsterkoppenbinge' -
take a look here.

Startrail HD

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

Details

Halcyon 6: SC - Reviews

by Hiddenx, 08:58

Destructoid and Zam have reviewed Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander:

Destructoid:

Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander is September's sleeper hit

Space pirates and pixel art

[...]

A simple glance at the galactic map is enough to encourage continued play sessions. Halcyon 6 is the kind of game that you can lose hours to. The game’s constant push and pull of new missions and management requirements is aided by great art and quirky humor. Space has never looked prettier in a pixelated format, nor has the silliness of attempting to interact with alien races been quite as charming. On a minute-to-minute scale, it balances challenge and humor to make for a game that feels like a well-realized version of some long forgotten sci-fi TV show.

Zam:

Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander review impressions

It's like Xcom, but in spacier Faster Than Light space.

[...]

At the most straightforward level, success and failure aren’t clear enough in Halcyon 6. You can, for example, lose officers and ships in combat, but it feels like a total disaster that should call for a reload -- in large part because it’s incredibly difficult to have happen in the first ten-plus hours of gameplay. You can be short of resources for what you want to built, but this never seems to be life-threatening. On the other hand, it’s also possible to be faced with a seemingly overwhelming number of distress calls that indicates that things are going badly -- but it rarely appears to be an existential threat.

This has the net result of making it feel like Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander is nearly-great, but just missing the one thing to put it over the top, in the way that Darkest Dungeon’s stress system tied everything together with that similar game. This doesn’t make it bad in the slightest, but it does mean that Halcyon 6 isn’t quite as exciting as its first impression makes it appear.

Halcyon 6: SC

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

Details

Unsung Story - Project Update #53

by Aubrielle, 03:32

In today's Kickstarter update for Unsung Story, Playdek announces that they have a new design partner, as yet unspecified, working with them to produce new content. More details are coming, apparently.

So, essentially, it's an announcement to say that an announcement is coming.  Hmm.

Though it took a little longer than anticipated, we are happy to tell you that we have entered into a strategic agreement with a major company, who will be providing design work for the tactics game, as well as other Unsung branded games in the future. We have begun the collaboration process with them, and will start to see the fruits of those efforts over the next few months. 

We will coordinate with them and make a formal announcement in the near future, but want you to know that this is in place and will have a positive impact on the gameplay, mechanics and overall delivery timeline for the beta and full release. We had hoped to have some design and art progress to show by this month, but we are just now getting the time we need to spend with our partner on the core mechanics and the game world and need to do this before providing updates with visual content progress. Rather than making estimates as to when we think content updates will be ready, we will stick to updating on the design progress more regularly, and then update you when we have a good step forward with some content progress, whether it be concept art or screenshots of in-game progress.  

Again, look to get a formal announcement on our partner as soon as we can all coordinate on public messaging for that. Hopefully, it won’t take longer than a few months, but announced or not, it is happening and is a huge plus for Unsung Story development.

Unsung Story

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

Details

No Truce With The Furies - Dev Blog

by Silver, 00:13

In the latest dev blog for No Truce With The Furies the developer Fortress Occident talks about why they have prioritised non-combat systems and how they have made them a focus with this game. The focus of this development is a more immersive conversation system than what is standard.

In the 15 year build up to No Truce With The Furies, one of our main gripes with RPG-s has always been non-combat skill use. In RPGs - even the story-heavy ones - combat is lavished with tactical tension, skill use produces cool chunky animations, you get pulse-raising rewards and punishments, the logos are colourful. Sound effects go "Tring-trang!" and "Pow!", there are intricate beautiful systems for you to delve into.

Most of this is missing from non-combat skill use. Talking and exploring gets a simplified, non-competitive version of the combat rules. Usually this comes in the form of passive dialogue options: have this much of that required skill and you'll be able to say this thing. Even the games we truly admire - Planescape: Torment, Mask of the Betrayer, Fallout - have little going on in the rules department when it comes to dialogue. Ditto for most tabletop pen-and-paper role playing systems. The tactical depth of using arguments, employing logic, original thinking, empathy - the skill use that covers 95% of our actual lives - makes up 5% of the rule system. Yet my experience tells me thinking is the ultimate game. It's nerve-wrecking, conversations are filled with hidden doubts; we struggle to trust each other, manipulate each other, stay sane. There is great strategic depth and tactical tension that goes into talking that games haven't really - for me - begun to represent yet.

So that's the first thing we set out to create: a truly in depth non-combat skill system. We have four stats and under each stat there are 6 skills. That gives us 24 skills - all 24 have critical non-combat use. In fact, No Truce With The Furies (the first implementation of our role playing system) will cover their non-combat use almost exclusively. (In the future we want every skill to be a two-faced Janus with somewhat unsymmetrical and unexpected uses in combat and outside it).

I'll show off the individual skills in a future post. But first I want to talk about how the skills are used in No Truce With The Furies. That is - about skill checks.

No Truce With The Furies

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

Details

Wednesday - September 21, 2016

Morrowind Rebirth 3.8 - Released

by Hiddenx, 23:17

The Morrowind Rebirth mod has reached version 3.8:

[...]

Morrowind Rebirth Changes

  • You can now get a full set of Morag Tong armor by visiting Morag Tong Guild Halls. These pieces are not given for free until you've reached the rank "Brother", unless you find a set somewhere in the gameworld that is...
  • Travel costs for using boats/silt strider/mages guild travel-services have been raised somewhat.
  • Fatigue returned per second while walking changed from 0.0200 to 0.0300.
  • Minimal runspeed from 115 to 120 (initial starting speed).
  • Low level Dark Brotherhood assassins are now somewhat stronger.
  • Regular rats are no longer hostile.

Morrowind Rebirth Additions

  • Bernadette's Import, Vivec Entrance, has recived a shipment of rare goods. Be sure to check it out.
  • Overhauled Seyda Neen somewhat to make it feel less cramped (more fps as a bonus!).
  • Molag Amur overhaul [ALPHA] with new content featuring:
    • Improved landscape with less floating objects, texture seams, bleeding meshes etc.
    • A new fort, Fort Ashmoth, haunted by the undead [ALPHA - no interior atm].
  • Added a connecting road to Vivec's east entrance.
  • Added more clutter in Ald Velothi.
  • Misc additions here and there.
  • New unique items:
    • Ring of Blind Faith
    • Nightbane [Sword]
  • New creature:
    • Earth Atronach

[...]

Morrowind

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

Details

Sorcery! Part 4 - Review @ TechRaptor

by Hiddenx, 18:22

TechRaptor has reviewed Sorcery! Part 4 - which will be released tomorrow:

Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! Part Four Review – Showdown

It’s been a long journey. You’ve found your way through the Shamutanti Hills, navigated the treacherous “Cityport of Traps”, and survived the time-twisted, apocalyptic Baklands, avoiding or defeating the assassins of the Seven Serpents along the way. Now, in the third installment of Steve Jackson’s legendary Sorcery! series (the first included Parts 1 & 2), your mission to stop an ancient Archmage from subjugating your homeland with the magical Crown of Kings will reach its dramatic conclusion.

[...]

Summary

Sorcery! pushes and exploits both genre tropes and limitations, not as mere parody but in order to provide a better role-playing experience.
A masterful work.

Score: 9.0

 

Sorcery! Part 4

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

Details

Light Fairytale Episode 1 - Kickstarter launched

by Hiddenx, 18:08

The J-RPG Light Fairytale Episode 1 is now on Kickstarter:

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Introduction

Light Fairytale is a turn-based Japanese-style RPG set in a dying underground world ruled by a fierce empire. Inspired by classics such as Final Fantasy 7 and Breath of Fire 5.

The first episode is coming in 2017 on PC and Consoles. In English and Japanese.

Vision

The goal of this project is to bring back the immersion and emotion of 90's JRPGs, but with modern graphics and gameplay systems.

I think the reason why most recent games in the genre have failed to impress is their overly complicated stories and the realistic direction they are taking. This does not leave much to the imagination and just doesn't feel like the naive drama stories we used to love.

Most game-systems in those games are also too complex and require lots of time and dedication to start to be fun. I personally believe in quick and easy to understand, but hard to master gameplay mechanics.

This is exactly what I'm trying to achieve with Light Fairytale: A light yet touching story, with a simple but addictive gameplay!

[...]

 

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Warlock of Firetop Mountain - Review @ RPGFan

by Hiddenx, 09:04

RPGFan has reviewed the gamebook adaption of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain:

The Warlock of Firetop Mountain

Tin Man Games has carved a niche for itself in the digital gamebook market, with their original 2000 AD's Judge Dredd series and the popular Fighting Fantasy series by Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson. The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (WFM) is no stranger to the list as a 1982 paperback by the two aforementioned legends. After a successful Kickstarter that almost quadrupled their $15,000 goal for better artwork for environments and characters, WFM is now available on Steam and coming soon for smart phones and tablets. While I've never played the original paperback on tabletop, it's clear WFM aims to be more than a nostalgia trip.

[...]

Overall, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain certainly has its unique charm—I was captivated for a good amount of time until things started to crash and burn near the end. I have no doubt a demographic exists for those who enjoy exploring and don't mind repeating paths to eke out the best way, but I can't help but feel that the game could be so much better if it had chosen to focus more on one thing rather than both. Perhaps I'm a little too spoiled by Sorcery!, but if WFM had a rewind feature, or even just more save points, I would have stuck around for much longer.

Score: 72%

Warlock of Firetop Mountain

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

Details

Titan Quest - Anniversary Edition Review

by Hiddenx, 08:58

FilmGamesEtc has reviewed the Anniversary Edition of the Action RPG Titan Quest:

Titan Quest was an action RPG that was showered with positive reviews when it was first released back in 2006. However, a rough launch ensured that the game wouldn’t catch on with a wide audience like other genre staples, such as Blizzard’s Diablo series. Iron Lore, the developer behind Titan Quest, went under shortly after releasing Immortal Throne—the game’s first expansion. While Iron Lore’s financial failure put an end to further developments in the Titan Quest series, the bright minds at Iron Lore did go on to play a pivotal role in the creation of Grim Dawn—arguably the best ARPG since Diablo II.

The spirit of Titan Quest lives on in Grim Dawn, but what about Titan Quest itself? When the game was released it had so much promise, but financial and technical hurdles stunted its growth and kept it to cult classic status. Well, fast forward to 2016. Austrian developer and publisher THQ Nordic, who has the rights to the Titan Quest IP, has released a 10-year anniversary version of the game on Steam, which includes the Immortal Throne expansion and full support for modders.

[...]

Summary

If this is your first time hearing about Titan Quest, or if you never played it when it came out back in 2006, now is your chance to experience this gem. Titan Quest is a must-own for any fans of the ARPG genre, and for those who are looking to delve into the genre for the first time. For those who fell in love with this game back in 2006, why not rekindle that love affair? Sure, there are lots of great ARPGs on the market right now, but the zestful spirit of Titan Quest has yet to be recaptured by another title like it. Besides, if you still have your digital copy on hand, it’s free! My experience with this game has been eye-opening.
Sure, Titan Quest has its warts, but these are very easy to look past. The epic journey from Greece to the Far East has a habit of sweeping you off your feet and carrying you along in a captivated trance—at least that was the case for myself. Players who are looking for an ARPG with a deep character customization system, challenging and stimulating gameplay, and a beguiling setting should look no further. Titan Quest is back with a vengeance.

Score: 8.4/10

Titan Quest

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

Details

Sorcerer King: Rivals - Create Your Own RPGs

by Silver, 08:28

Remember the Neverwinter Nights modding days? Stardock does as Sorcerer King: Rivals will let players create their own RPGs according to Gameranx, all thanks to Steamworks. The game is due for release September 22nd.

Neverwinter Nights had some incredibly versatile campaign-creation tools. Remember those? Well, Stardock's upcoming 4X strategy game Sorcerer King: Rivals will include all the tools you need to create your own RPGs and share them with everyone else-minus any of the hassle players had to put up with in NWN and other games thanks to Steamworks.

This fantasy 4X game allows players to design their own classic RPG by stripping out the factions and city/unit building and focus entirely on characters and storybuilding.

[...]

In Rivals, the tables are turned and players now take on the role of a wizard who aspires to godhood. The rival wizards must try to stop you before you ascend, and the Sorcerer King's (he's still around) own ambitions will get in the way of yours.

The tools available in Sorcerer King: Rivals include a quest editor, a map editor, and various other tools to create items, units, tiles, and more.

Stardock describes the game as "Populous meets Master of Magic." It's set for release on September 22.

Sorcerer King

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

Details

D&D Online - Producers Letter

by Silver, 07:58

Gamebanshee reports on the producers letter from Turbine which has annouced some ambitious plans for D&D Online. There are plans for an expansion in 2017 and a significant new content release for the 10 year old game. Now the producers letter details new features, character advancement options and quests.

Here's the list of Things We're Working On:

~ Updated Night Revels event: First up, we're working on an update to The Night Revels, our Halloween-themed event which debuted last year. We're planning to add a couple of new quests along with a handful of new items that will focus on cosmetic fun. We're expecting the updated Night Revels to debut later in October.

~ A new Questing hub: We've long wanted to help people figure out where to go and what to do when they come back to DDO from some time away, and this hub will help both them as well as anyone who'd like to get to quest entrances more quickly. We don't have a name for this new system yet, and we'll be talking a lot more about it in the coming weeks.

~ World Character Transfers: We've heard from many of you that our process to transfer characters from one world to another needs to be more intuitive and take less time. Our new launcher-based system will send a character or characters from one world to another in seconds, and players will be able to pay for their transfers directly with Turbine Points. We think you'll like this transfer system, which is already in place in our sister game Lord of the Rings Online. Expect to see it debut by the end of the year.

~ Deity feats: We'll be adding new Deities that players can follow, and new feats that can be unlocked by players who find favor with their deity of choice.

~ A new free dungeon: We're expecting to release a new free dungeon in December that we think fans of A Study in Sable will enjoy. This quest sends adventurers to a popular type of pen and paper location that hasn't had much representation in DDO. I'd say more, but I don't want to spoil it.

~ Character Bank Storage: We're working to take the user interface used for your Shared Account Bank and Crafting Storage and bring it to your personal character bank. Besides an improved look and functionality, this change will allow us to offer additional character bank storage space in the future.

~ Monks and Favored Soul updates: Continuing our class work, you can expect an overhaul of handwraps in addition to updated enhancement trees for both classes.

Looking beyond 2016, we know many of you have been hearing the rumors and teases about Ravenloft, so let's talk Strahd. We're 100% interested in bringing Ravenloft to DDO, and are working through the process to make it happen. We don't have an exact time frame in mind, although our current plan has it coming to DDO sometime towards the end of 2017. We can't wait to bring one of the most popular and classic adventures in Dungeons & Dragons history to the game.

D&D Online

SP/MP: Massive
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: MMORPG
Platform: PC
Release: Released

Details

Shiness - Behind the Scenes

by Hiddenx, 07:42

Take a look at this behind-the-scenes trailer for Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom:

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Go Behind-the-Scenes in Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom trailer

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom,the upcoming Action-RPG from Enigami, is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC this December. This Behind-the-Scenes video tells the story of the birth of Shiness, and how a seven year-old Samir Rebib - creative director - imagined Shiness' magical universe 20 years ago when he drew his manga, before adapting his universe into a video game. In this video, Enigami studio is opening the door to their imaginary world and describe how they created the enchanting lore of Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom.

The development team also tells us more about Shiness' fast-paced battle system, which blends RPG elements with classic fighting game mechanics. Mastering the real-time blocking, parrying, dodging and combos are key to progressing in your quest, with distinct playstyles across 5 different characters. Each character also has their own special abilities used outside of battle, vital for resolving the many puzzles scattered across the lands of Shiness.

Shiness features its own unique language, created in full just for this mythical universe - this intricate language helps players feel totally immersed in the world of Shiness. The soundtrack, composed entirely by Enigami director Hazem Hawash, only enriches this extraordinary world even further.

Harness the power of Shi alongside Chado and his allies in Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom, coming to Playstation 4, Xbox One and PC this December.

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

Shiness

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

Details

InXile Entertainment - Selling 3D Models

by Silver, 00:38

At gamasutra they report that InXile Entertainment is selling the 3D models from its games to other developers starting with the models from Wasteland 2. The models themselves will be available on game asset marketplace TurboSquid.

It's very rare to see a studio selling game assets it's produced on an open marketplace, and it's a line of business that TurboSquid chief Matt Wisdom (understandably) hopes will become more popular in the game dev community.

"Studios are often sitting on thousands of 3D models that were incredibly expensive to produce," Wisdom stated in a press release laying out the arrangement. "Selling the content helps offset the rising costs of development for the studio, and it allows developers around the world to access amazing, consistent, game-ready models."

The plan seems to be for InXile to start processing and uploading 3D assets from its games to TurboSquid's store in usable formats, starting with assets from its 2014 RPG (pictured) Wasteland 2.

"3D models for AAA titles are often built and used for only a single title," stated InXile founder Brian Fargo in the afore-mentioned release. "It made sense to create additional value out of our existing content by opening it up to other developers."

InXile Entertainment

Details

Tuesday - September 20, 2016

RPGWatch @ Gamescom - Morning Men

by Myrthos, 12:18

The end of the Gamescom articles series is nearing (although there are still a few to cover) and today's article is about Morning Men, a story driven episodic J-RPG.

Morning Men will be released in episodes, with the first episode being planned for the 22nd of November. All episodes will be roughly the same size, but next episode will also include feedback from gamers, so the size might differ depending on that feedback. Currently they are considering at least three episodes. Each of the episodes will be stand-alone, so it can be bought separately from the other ones. Each of the episodes will have a beginning and an end, but there is also an overarching story covering all three of the episodes. If you happen to play episode 1, followed by episode 3, you will get some information, like characters sharing their memories of what happened in episode 2. You can take your character from episode to episode, and your skills will carry over to the new episode. However, you can also opt for starting each episode with a new character, in which case that character will get a stock set of skills and items.

Morning Men

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

Details

Rogue Wizards - To be released Next Week

by Myrthos, 12:11

News reached us that Rogue Wizards will be released next week the 27th of September. Here is its trailer.

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Rogue Wizards is built on dungeon crawling and procedurally generated playthroughs; yet beneath the chasms of these core details are a few fantastic spins on the genre. Combat is turn-based which adds a more clinical thought process to keeping your character alive on a deep run. This is also supplemented by building out your own assets with a town-building mechanic in the Wizard’s Sanctuary of Rogue Wizards. As you rescue lost NPCs in dungeons, they’ll move their shops into town which gives you access to new spells and weapons. Sell off your excess loot to bring shop prices down for a chance to even score sweet stuff for free!

If you are still interested, you might also check out this gameplay video by Evolve.

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Rogue Wizards

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

Details

Bloom - Particles, Design and Planning

by Myrthos, 11:59

In a new development update for Bloom: Memories, some information is given on experiements with particles  (including a video), new creatures, a new dungeon, artwork and a timeline.

First off, like I said last time, we are aiming at getting this prologue done ASAP. I'm talking a month or two..... but that really depends what walls we hit (for example, we need to get in the spawners and the event scripting system to move characters around during "scenes". Waypoints SHOULD work for this, but more likely is we will need to custom build some functionality into that to really get the control we need. For spawners I want to randomize some of the creature stats within a range upon generation...which isn't a crazy task, just another job on the pile. And that isn't even considering the loot tables.). 

After the prologue is done and you all get a chance to play it, it will then be time to plug in our content and work on custom stuff that fell outside of the prologue (for example, some specific abilities will need a little work....like getting moss footsteps to spawn or solving how to handle swimming class creatures ((in water and sand)). 

How long will that take? Really not sure. 6 months? A year? Realistically I expect it actually to go fairly fast to get it playable and all the content in (less than 6 months), BUT then I expect polish and fixing little things to be a huge task (fixing animations, replacing sound effects, scripting out some better movements in events....or even just adding stuff and reworking segments of the story that is confusing). 

Keep in mind I handle all of this scripting and plugging stuff in, along with fixing the animations and basically everything except for the hardcore programming + music....so....only so much one person can do so fast :P

Basically, as I've always said I want to do this right. That "fix little things" stage is a fairly important difference between releasing a game that FEELS good and polished...and one that "falls short, but had so much potential". 

So, to the question of "when will it be done" ....I can only REALLY say "as soon as possible!". :) Everything else is up in the air to how progress goes and how peoples lives fit into development (I don't have sacks of cash laying around to just tell everyone to put down everything they are doing and focus only on Bloom haha).

Bloom

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

Details

Starbound - Hotfix 1.1.1

by Hiddenx, 11:35

The sandbox adventure game Starbound got an hotfix:

v1.1.1 - Changelog

Morning everyone!

We've released a small update this morning that should take care of some collection-related issues introduced in 1.1, plus a few other little things!
Click through to read the patch notes. :)

Starbound v1.1.1 Changelog

  • Make previously captured monsters and previously completed fossils unlock their relevant collectible entries
  • Pets and fossils will need to be dropped and picked back up as item drops in order to register as collectables
  • Better handling of status effects applied by weather, e.g. acid rain
  • Fix bug with Snuffish and Gosmet not being properly added to monster collection
  • Fix swapped collection entries for Avian and Apex skeleton fossils
  • Prevent critters captured in previous versions from also being relocatable
  • Add a few missing recipe unlocks for cooking recipes to relevant items
  • Add missing documentation for a few new Lua functions

Starbound

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

Details

UnReal World - Major Update in October

by Hiddenx, 11:23

The longest living Rogue-like UnReal World gets a major update in October:

Monstrous summary about upcoming quests and spells

Oh yes, we're aiming for a new version release in October with the meat of it being the quests and the new kind of spells. I'll be still wrestling with the final additions until the end of this month, but no longer. Then it's time to wrap things up for You to unfold on some pretty unpredictable October day.

Been writing down the list of new features too and hereby you'll get to read a sneak preview about the big two to expect. Let's have a few screenshot in there too for easier digest. Some of this has been hinted about earlier, but putting it all together is in place now. And there's still September left to write a few more chapters - both the code and the news ;)

This is a list of future features to be released in October:

Quests

There are quests - and that's big. We start with around 15 quests in this version, and more will follow in the future. It's quite impossible to pinpoint it all, but here's a few lines about the most important ideas, features and mechanics regarding the implementation of quests.

The quest system as a whole is an enormous (and laborous) addition. We haven't taken the easiest path, but use verbose dialogue, procedural generation and randomization to maintain replayability and immersion.
Quests don't come in your way in linear or fixed fashion. Not in the the same order, not from the same NPCs, not in the same locations, and so on. Some of the quests may appear several times, some only once.
The plots vary from everyday chores and problems to folklore and mythology based stories and incidents.
We've paid attention to making quests also to fill in the game world and the worldview of the player (character) to good and interesting extent. There are both mundane and otherworldly things to discover, solve and learn.

Quests bring a lot to the game, but open-ended and non-linear roaming, adventuring and surviving remains the essence. You are likely to get involved in quests relatively rarely. Perhaps only once or twice a month or so. And in the end it's completely up to player characters as to what extent, if at all, they want to unfold the quests and stories there now exist.

[...much more...]

UnReal World

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

Details

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas - Review

by Hiddenx, 09:24

WGTC reviewed the puzzle adventure RPG Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas:

Oceanhorn: Monster Of Uncharted Seas Review

[...]

Taking just one look at Oceanhorn reveals the type of game that it is, and it quickly becomes apparent that this action-RPG contains more Zelda than anything else. It’s obvious that the developers were big fans of both A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker, because those two adventures are emulated closely within. That’s not a bad thing, per se, given that Cornfox & Bros. were able to pay homage to their inspiration by doing its iconic mechanics justice, but their obvious lack of creativity is hard to overlook.

[...]

The good news, though, is that things play out in a mostly solid fashion without anything in the way of major technical problems. The gameplay is solid, and offers the odd interesting dungeon and thought provoking puzzle, but it’s all very much A Link to the Past. Hell, the items you find (outside of a fishing rod for hobby fishing) are almost all borrowed from Zelda, including the familiar bow and arrow, bombs and heart pieces. Spells change things up a bit, but they’re not the most useful things out there and are better served for puzzle solving than general combat.

Despite its lack of creativity, Oceanhorn still manages to be a very solid and enjoyable game. It won’t appease everyone, but those who are willing to check their expectations in favour of playing a Zelda-like quest on a non-Nintendo console will find a campaign worth experiencing.

Score: 3.5/5

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Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas

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

Details

Deus Ex: MD - In Praise of Prague

by Aubrielle, 09:11

YouTube critic Mark Brown breaks the trend of supporting bigger worlds by coming out in favor of smaller, more detailed game worlds, using Deus Ex: MD's Prague as an example.

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Deus Ex: MD

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

Details

Moon Hunters - Replaying Value

by Hiddenx, 09:01

Gamasutra analyzed the replaying value of the adventure RPG Moon Hunters:

Replaying value: A unity of mechanics and theme in Moon Hunters

“We remember something new with each telling. Together, let’s tell the story again and again.”

With those words begins another session of Kitfox Games’ Moon Hunters, a puzzle-box myth that was recently selected as one of the PAX 10. Each playthrough is a variation on the theme of an epochal event that sees moon-worshipping tribes pitted against an ascendant, militaristic sun cult bent on destroying them. A single session in this game--once billed as a “co-op personality test” for its heavy emphasis on taking the measure of your character--will last between 75 and 90 minutes, but it’s not meant to be played once.

This is, more than most RPGs, a truly mythopoeic game from top to bottom. It is about playing through every possible embellished variation on the same mythic story, a ludic rendering of how our own real myths come to be. In this, the repetition serves an expressive purpose. There isn’t much in Moon Hunters’ mechanics or its emphasis on replayability that’s strictly new; what impresses is how they are used to draw the game’s theme into sharp definition. Moon Hunters is a prime example of a game that harmonizes its themes with its “gamey-ness.”

[...]

Moon Hunters is on a -35% discount this week.

Moon Hunters

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

Details