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Dungeons of Chaos

2018-02-08

Dungeons of Chaos Review

Forgottenlor reviews a game that takes us back in time to the good old days.
» Continue reading the article...

RPGWatch

2018-02-01

Game of the Year Awards 2017 - Most Promising RPG

What is the most promising RPG of 2018? Like every year, you had your say. Check out the details to find out what games we and our visitors think are most promising.
» Read the article

Recent articles










Picture Watch

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Box Art

Poll Watch

Are you excited about the 2018 games?
Absolutely not
2.08%

Not really
25%

Somewhat excited
33.33%

Oh yes!
39.58%

Vote

Expected Releases

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

Monday - February 12, 2018

FF XII: The Zodiac Age - Review

by Hiddenx, 00:50

Rock Paper Shotgun checked out Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age:

Wot I Think – Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

There’s a race of beings in Final Fantasy XII called the Bangaa. They have the snout of a crocodile, the squat of an ape and the arms of an entire gymnasium. Their ears are colourful leathery drapes, their lips adorned with piercings and trinkets. One of them, a shopkeeper called Migelo, resembles a rehabilitated Watto. Others are menacing bounty hunters. But they all have strange voices. Not otherworldly or fantastical, I mean strange in the sense that the voice actors can’t decide between a Scottish, Jamaican or West Country accent, and often speak as hackneyed villains. In a lot of ways, these scaly people encapsulate how I feel about this late-to-the-PC-party JRPG. They are both good-looking and incredulous. Flawed works of biological art that I can’t help but like, even when my better judgement often says “no”.

It’s difficult to describe the joys of a Final Fantasy to those who only see the flashing colours and bright numbers, the sewer levels and the prison escapes. The twelfth incarnation holds few surprises and its age shows. You are tasked with killing a fetch quest of rats within the first half an hour. That fifteen – sorry, XV – of these monstrosities of language and graphics have been brought into existence is sometimes baffling. And yet to me playing a Final Fantasy game is still a happy experience, like putting your sticky fingers deep into a pick ‘n’ mix of sugary JRPG nonsense. Here’s the liquorice katana. And look, a strawberry crystal. I will probably feel sick after this, because there’s always too much in this bag. But will I stop scoffing these chocolate chocobos? No.

[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

FF XII: The Zodiac Age

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

Details

Sunday - February 11, 2018

Mount & Blade II - The Empire

by Hiddenx, 17:11

The current Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord dev blog describes the Empire, three factions and their conflicts:

Dev Blog 08/02/18

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

For the next feature in our blogpost series on Bannerlord's factions, we shall look at the Empire. Because the Empire is in some ways the centre of gravity of the game, we're going to divide this blog into two parts. At the start of the game the Empire is divided into three factions engaged in a civil war. But before we describe the three factions and what they stand for, let us look at how the conflict started....

A thousand years ago, the Calradoi were one of a dozen tribes living in the hill country between the southern sea and the Battanian woods. Over time, they subjugated their neighbours, forcing them into a confederation of city-states. Perhaps they were slightly fiercer than the others, or just lucky, or perhaps it was the one tradition that set them apart - the Calradoi had no kings. Ever since the hero Echerion slew the tyrant Cypegos, the institution of the monarchy was banned, in theory at least. There was an assembly of free citizens that met occasionally, a senate of elders (in practice the largest landowners) that sat permanently, and - when it was absolutely necessary - supreme command could be invested for a short time in the person of an emperor, a title that back then meant little more than the right to lead an army.

From their heartland in the hills the Calradoi began to spread outward. As they did so, their political traditions – never written down – began to change. Soon, the army was in the field more years than not, and gradually the emperors stopped retiring at the end of campaigns. The senators meanwhile moved to the conquered provinces and acquired great estates. The capital moved from place to place, and the assembly of the people was called wherever the emperor desired. In practice, this was usually an army camp where his veterans could be relied upon to shout down any opposition. The question of succession was always a potential crisis. Usually, the emperor nominated an heir, the senate ratified his choice, and the people (meaning the army) acclaimed it. But this did not always happen smoothly, and then the succession was settled on the battlefield of a civil war.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Mount & Blade II

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

Details

Pillars of Eternity II - Quirky Lore

by Hiddenx, 17:03

PCGamesN likes the quirky lore of Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire:

Pillars of Eternity II's quirky lore makes its world irresistible

From a distance, the first Pillars of Eternity could seem a little dry - drenched in pretend history then baked to resemble the best RPGs of the ‘90s, it is akin to a tea-stained map in an elaborate school project. To an extent, it had to be that way as the game promised to Kickstarter backers in 2012 was a return to what they loved about Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment.

There was no room for the wild, creatively unrestrained colour of Divinity: Original Sin II, nor the weird communist world order of Obsidian’s own Tyranny. Pillars of Eternity’s nation of Dyrwood was born when designer Josh Sawyer flipped a map of the Dalelands in the Forgotten Realms - of Dungeons & Dragons - and stuck a bunch of new labels on it.

Obsidian tasked themselves with recreating the feeling of decades of D&D lore. On top of that, perhaps they considered that, in Baldur’s Gate, the shelves of Candlekeep library were filled with books referencing the stories of RA Salvatore and Ed Greenwood.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Pillars of Eternity II

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

Details

Beast Quest - Release Date: March 16

by Hiddenx, 16:57

OnlySP reports that the Action RPG Beast Quest will be released on March 16:

Beast Quest Set to Bring High Fantasy Bestseller to Life Later This Year

Maximum Games has teamed up with Torus Games to bring Adam Blade’s bestselling book series Beast Quest to life as an action-RPG.

The children’s novel series has been well received by many readers, who praise its creative creatures and well-developed world building. The story of the game adaptation will take place across the first four books in the series, as hero Tom journeys to free four enslaved beasts that are being forced to harm the land of Avantia.
[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Beast Quest

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

Details

Neverwinter Nights: EE - Signup for the Beta

by Hiddenx, 16:37

From the Recap: You can now signup for the NWN: EE beta on Steam:

February 9 Livestream Recap

Today’s livestream with Beamdog CEO Trent Oster and Studio Director Phillip Daigle revealed two big updates for Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition - new character models and news about the NWN:EE beta on Steam! They also shared news about the open beta for the upcoming 2.5 patch for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition.

Missed the stream? It's on YouTube and Twitch!

[...]

  • Throughout the coming week, we will be rolling out early invitations to the NWN:EE beta on Steam. If you hop over to our special Discord channel you will be able to request a Steam key. Invitations will be limited on a day-to-day basis. On Feb 16, we plan to email all Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition Head Start owners beta keys.
  • Activating a Steam key doesn’t disable your Beamdog version. When the beta is over, beta Steam keys will deactivate and Head Start owners will be supplied full NWN:EE steam keys for all NWN:EE content purchased.
  • The NWN:EE beta on Steam will support the Steam Friends List. It’s as easy to use as you could think: on your Steam overlay you choose the Friends List and invite a buddy into your game, without any port-forwarding on your router.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Neverwinter Nights: EE

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

Details

Egress - Announcement Trailer

by Hiddenx, 16:22

Farflame spotted a trailer for the Lovecraft Cyberpunk Action RPG Egress:

Egress

Egress - role-playing BattleRoyale with an intense hardcore Souls-like combat system. Choose your hero with unique abilities and become the last survivor!

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Features:

  • Alternate universe, combining the Victorian era, Lovecraft's mythology and Retrowave
  • The multi-level City. Explore streets, houses and sewer tunnels
  • Heroes with unique abilities, weapons and the opportunity to become stronger
  • Hardcore Souls-like combat system based on melee attacks and dodges, ability combinations as well as strengths and weaknesses of the characters, their roles and equipment
  • Solo or team-up modes

General News

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

Details

Fear Effect: Sedna - Development finished

by Hiddenx, 16:10

The development of the tactical action game Fear Effect: Sedna is finished:

Development finished! More news soon.

We are very happy to announce that Fear Effect Sedna has finished development and we would like to thank you all on Kickstarter for your support...
THANK YOU!

Console builds are done. Bugs are gone. Ratings are finalised. Contracts are being signed. Legal requirements are being resolved. Builds are being submitted. Store images are being created. Dates are being set.

We also want to let everyone know the demo of Fear Effect Sedna is no longer available on Steam. We really appreciate all the feedback, comments and bug reports from all of you. The demo really no longer represents the final game and we’re very excited for you all to play it properly.

Understandably, most replies to this might be “When is the release date?”

We can’t say this day, on this month. We can’t say that we’ll be telling you the release date really soon. We can’t say that there’s a file on this computer called “FE_Sedna_Trailer.mp4".
Sssshhhhh!

What we can say is - make sure you're following the Facebook and Twitter accounts for Fear Effect, Sushee, Square Enix Collective and Forever Entertainment to make sure you stay up to date.

Speak to you all (very) soon.

Sushee.

Thanks Farflame!

Non-RPG General News

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

Details

Witcher 3 - Saving Slavic Folklore

by Hiddenx, 16:03

Hyper explains how games like the Witcher are saving Slavic folklore:

How video games like The Witcher are saving Slavic folklore

Video games like Thea: The Awakening and The Witcher 3 are using Slavic folktales to tell new and compelling stories

Folktales from the Slavic countries (primarily Central and Eastern Europe) form one of the richest and most diverse mythologies in the world. Traditional Western European fairy tales may have become watered down and sanitised over countless retellings and interpretations, but Slavic mythology still retains its bite.
If you caught the recent TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's American Gods, you'll have some idea of how sharp this bite can be. The show, like the novel it's based on, prominently features the Slavic god of darkness, Czernobog, who lives with the Zorya sisters (representing the evening star, the morning star and the midnight star). The character is violent, funny and morally ambiguous; a long way from Disney's Sleeping Beauty.

But such appearances of Slavic folklore in popular media are rare. Unlike the Western fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm, which have become subsumed into our consciousness through animation and film, you're unlikely to see Slavic spirits and monsters in a cartoon musical. The lack of written source material means there's also a distinct possibility we could lose this rich and diverse mythology.

But this rich folklore is finding a suitable home in the nascent medium of video games, an interactive artform that chimes with the ambiguous shades of Slavic storytelling.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Witcher 3

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

Details

Saturday - February 10, 2018

Spellforce 3 - Adds Mod Support

by Silver, 12:14

Spellforce 3 will have mod support.

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The critically acclaimed RTS/RPG SpellForce 3 gets a new, powerful map editor today. Players can not only create maps with the same tools as the development team, they can also use an extensive scripting tool to create their very own missions and custom maps, with unique rule-sets. You want to set up a MOBA-kind-of-map, where you only command heroes, while automated armies fight each other? Or do you prefer a Horde mode, fighting ever stronger waves of enemies? You can create them, you can make #MakeRTSGreatAgain.

This is the first step of the modding implementation for SpellForce 3. The map- and scripting editor will come with a detailed tutorial and glossary, to make the modding opportunities as accessible as possible to everyone. The modding tools are available now and can be downloaded directly via steam. Of course they are free for all owners of SpellForce 3.

Spellforce 3

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

Details

Beamdog - David Gaider Farewell

by Silver, 12:09

Creative Director, David Gaider has left Beamdog according to the Beamblog.

Today, Beamdog bids farewell to our Creative Director, David Gaider.

Dave came to Beamdog during interesting times. Since then, he has been teacher, mentor, and friend to many on the team. We've seen Dave conjure new worlds we'd love to play in, and spin stories in places already close to our hearts. Someday we will share the fruits of his labour!

Most lasting, Dave has built a creative team that will shape the stories Beamdog tells in the years to come. He has freely shared his incredible wealth of storytelling and narrative design experience with the developers, designers, and artists around him. We've all learned a lot from Dave and we hope he picked up a trick or two from us as well.

As fans of Dragon Age, KoTOR, Baldur's Gate, and many of the other incredible worlds Dave has helped create, we're excited to find out what's next (come on, give us a clue Dave!) be it a new game, novel, or whatever else it is you choose to create.

We'll certainly miss your lunchtime stories. Best of luck Dave!

Beamdog

Details

Cyberpunk 2077 - First Commercial

by Silver, 11:57

PCGamesN reports on the first commercial for Cyberpunk 2077 that comes from an unusual source - Vodafone.

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New details of Cyberpunk 2077 have surfaced courtesy of a somewhat bizarre source - Vodafone. As part of a joint campaign with Spanish newspaper El Pais on the future of technology, the European telecoms giant spoke with Mike Pondsmith, the author of the pen-and-paper RPG on which Cyberpunk 2077 is based.

 

The news comes to us via Spanish YouTuber and Cyberpunk fan Madqueen, who helpfully provides English captions on the interview. You can watch her video above, or alternatively, can get auto-translated English subs on the original Spanish version here. Either way her channel has a ton of great Cyberpunk content, so do consider subscribing.

[...]

Cyberpunk 2077

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

Details

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics - Kickstarter successful

by Hiddenx, 08:40

The Kickstarter campaign for the Strategy RPG Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is already a success:

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics

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In the Achtung! Cthulhu universe, a band of Allied heroes fight the Secret War against the Nazi Black Sun and their rivals Nachtwolfe. The Nazi factions have turned to the ancient and terrible powers of the Mythos, weaponizing evil to win the war. This move is starting to yield results as, powered with ancient secrets and terrible Mythos allies, Black Sun and Nachtwolfe are on the verge of unleashing terrible weapons upon the Allied forces. It is your job to stop them - by any means necessary.

In the spirit of Allied cooperation, Auroch Digital has teamed with the creators of Achtung! Cthulhu, Modiphius and indie publisher Ripstone to bring this award-winning tabletop RPG to a computer screen near you!

Ripstone have been amazingly supportive and are funding the single player game for release in Q4 2018. However, there’s much more we want to add to the game! We want you to join us in the next phase of the Secret War in raising some extra war bonds to make Achtung! Cthulhu even more amazing. Over the last five years since the original Achtung! Cthulhu RPG smashed its goals on Kickstarter the team at Modiphius have created lots and lots of great characters for the setting. For us to add them all takes a lot more time and resources; for each unit our team need to make a set of boned 3D meshes, new animations and more. We've got the core sorted and locked down but we really need the Pathfinder Demon Hunters to enter the fray! These elite spiritual Native American warriors bring a mixture of ancient knowledge and modern day firepower into the fight that the Allied heroes desperately need.

Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics

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

Details

Rogue Empire - Early Access launched

by Hiddenx, 08:06

The Early Access version of the roguelike Rogue Empire is now available:

Rogue Empire

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The shadow came, destroying everything in its way! Every kingdom in Ethistos was loosing ground and lives. When all seemed lost... the First Shadow disappeared! Where? How? No one knows... But the marks of their coming still linger across Ethistos!

Rogue Empire is an tactical turn-based RPG randomly generated content and heavy Rogue-like elements. Choose one of multiple character combinations and advance it with unique abilities!

Embark on a quest to heal the world of Ethistos and unveil the mysteries of the First Shadow!

Key features:

  • Randomly generated dungeons, items and events! Play again and again!
  • Unique class building based of Trading Card Games concepts.
  • Many unique bosses to defeat!
  • 7 races and 5 distinct classes to choose!
  • A huge map with exploration events, side quests and story!
  • Soul essence: Dying will provide you with valuable soul essence, used to unlock perks and new options for your next adventures!
  • A beautifully illustrated story with multiple endings!

Rogue Empire

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

Details

Xploquest 2 - Announced for February 20

by Hiddenx, 07:53

The retro-style Adventure RPG Xploquest 2 will be available at February 20 on Steam:

Xploquest 2

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The forces of evil have settled on the continent. Again ! Only a few cities have been able to stay out of the control of the Dark Knight. A chosen has been elected to find a way to defeat him. No luck, it's you (again!) Who have been appointed.

To achieve this feat, you will need to:

  • travel the different regions by foot, by boat or teleporting
  • fight monsters
  • explore dungeons, towers and caves
  • discover the last free cities
  • find the essential ingredients to make magic potions
  • complete quests
  • solve puzzles

The gold and experience gained will allow you to

  • increase your combat power
  • develop your magic abilities to cast awesome spells
  • buy more and more effective weapons and protections
  • acquire new skills
  • make potions

A sequel of the famous Xploquest game, Xploquest 2 is a tiled based role-playing game based on the exploration and management of your character, which takes place in an open world.

Are you ready to get started in the world of Xploquest ?

Xploquest 2

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

Details

Friday - February 09, 2018

Vampyr - Episode 4: Stories from the dark

by Silver, 13:23

The Vampyr webseries concludes with a release date of June 5th 2018. 

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'Episode IV: Stories from the Dark' – in the final episode of the series, discover how Vampyr blends story and gameplay

DONTNOD Entertainment brings fans into the studio one last time for a final look at the creative process behind upcoming action-RPG, Vampyr. Dontnod Presents Vampyr - Episode IV: Stories from the Dark reveals yet more exclusive gameplay footage, plus the release date. Also, dive into the story of Vampyr and how the Parisian studio builds a narrative with the player at the center. The four-part webseries, produced and realized by the video department of Focus Home Interactive, is now complete after a month of reveals, with every episode available on YouTube.

Vampyr

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

Details

Bethesda Softworks - Two Titles before Elder Scrolls 6

by Silver, 13:16

Gamerant reported on a question put to Pete Hines about when to expect the next Elder Scrolls title.

Responding to questions about the release date of the next Elder Scrolls title, Pete Hines, the vice president of Bethesda Softworks, has reconfirmed that the studio’s development team has two major games planned before the release of the Elder Scrolls 6.

Hines first stated as much during an interview at E3 in June of last year, when he was asked by the interviewer about Bethesda’s plans for the Elder Scrolls series. He responded to the question by stating that the next Elder Scrolls was not yet in development, as Bethesda had two major titles in development that would release before the studio set to work on the next entry in the Elder Scrolls series.
[...]

Bethesda Softworks

Details

General News - Jeff Vogel AMA

by Silver, 06:52

Jeff Vogel did a AMA(Ask me anything) on Reddit where he shares some details on his new RPG and other things.

Hello, my name is Jeff Vogel! Since 1994, I've run an indie game company named Spiderweb Software (http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/). We make indie, retro, old-school, story-heavy RPGs for Windows, Macintosh, and iPad. (And occasionally Android. And Linux.) We've made 16 all-new titles, plus ten full remasters.

Last Wednesday, we released Avernum 3: Ruined World, a full remaster of our all-time most popular title. It's a gigantic game in a unique setting, with lots of cool encounters, an intricate battle system, and plenty of low-budget charm.

Avernum 3 is out on Steam (http://store.steampowered.com/app/691830/Avernum_3_Ruined_World/), GOG.com (https://www.gog.com/game/avernum_3_ruined_world), and our own site (http://www.spiderwebsoftware.com/avernum/avernum3).

I am spending the next several hours (until around 6 PM PST) answering questions and taking on all comers. If you want to ask about our games, indie games, the history of gaming and the Internet, or anything about role-playing games, fire away!

EDIT: I'll answer the most common question now. What are we doing next?

We're making entirely new IP. New game system, new graphics, new world, new story. I hope (no promises) to do a Kickstarter early this summer with a full announcement.

It will still be a low-budget, turn-based, icon art fantasy RPG with a rich story. If you are expecting fancy tech, shiny 3-D, or big budget, nope. We're still us. Within those bounds, it is different from anything we've done before, and I'm very excited about it.

EDIT 2: I try to answer every question. That means, if I ignore your question, it's answered elsewhere. I get a lot of question repeats.

EDIT 3: Another FAQ ... We will remaster the Geneforge games, starting in 18 months or so. The story and gameplay will be mostly the same, but I have a lot of cool ideas for the creation system.

I'm taking a break for an hour or so. The questions are slowing down, and there are a lot of repeats. I will be back to pick through and give answers. Oh, and 100 duck-sized horses.

EDIT 4: Thanks everyone for a terrific AMA! I had a great time, and I hope I answered everyone's questions. If Avernum 3 sounds interesting, you can try a big demo on our web site. Have a great night!

[...]

Thanks Xian!

General News

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

Details

Thursday - February 08, 2018

Pillars of Eternity II - Two Previews

by Hiddenx, 19:57

Farflame spotted two previews for Pillars of Eternity: Deadfire:

Expansive:

Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is an evolution of the original in almost every conceivable way and we’ve only just been able to scratch the surface. Obsidian have me completely hooked already and I cannot wait to see what comes next.

Player2:

From our time with Pillars 2, it is easy to see this game becoming another hit for Obsidian. It is more welcoming than most of its CRPG brethern but it does that without losing any complexity for those that have spent years with this sort of game. With Obsidian’s track record it is safe to say that the story will more than likely be great and the visual aspects of the title are shaping up nicely. Pillars of Eternity II is one to watch and we can’t wait to dive into the full release in April.

Pillars of Eternity II

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

Details

RPGWatch Feature - Dungeons of Chaos Review

by Myrthos, 12:55

Forgottenlor reviews Dungeons of Chaos, which looks to take us back in time to the good old days.

Dungeons of Chaos is a throwback to the first open world rpgs, like the early Might and Magics and Ultimas. These games weren't about crafting or finding something to interact with every thirty seconds, but about exploring huge open areas, fighting off monster, solving an occasional riddle, and figuring out what you had to do next. Near and far were hidden treasures and monsters both easy to defeat and way to powerful for your party. In these kinds of games you often learned brutally where you could not go until you got more powerful. Dungeons of Chaos recaptures the feeling of these types of games in their entirety, including combat and dialogue systems that you hardly see now of days. While the game is purposefully nostalgic, it at least understands what made these games fun, and offers the player a game of epic scope and a huge world to explore.

Dungeons of Chaos

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

Details

Hero-U - Final Alpha Stages

by Silver, 12:48

A new Kickstarter update for Hero-U.

Game Development Progress

We’ve completed the first Alpha test stages, and I will soon be inviting every backer entitled to the Alpha and Beta Test perk. We’re currently polishing the Catacombs area of Hero-U and adding the Dungeon. At the beginning of March, we plan to add the Endgame and open up testing to everyone with the Beta Testing perk. The game will be complete at that point, but will undoubtedly have balance issues and bugs that we missed in earlier testing.

As we get closer to Code Complete, I can start making better estimates of how long it will take us to complete everything else. Lori has finished writing the game dialogue, and Josh Mandel is finishing up the last few object interactions. I still have some writing work to do on the endgame, game manual, Bestiary, and art book, and polish work to do on the Yearbook.

Depending on further testing results, we are likely looking at a mid-April 2018 release. To do that, we will need much more than the finished game and manual. We need to integrate it with every release platform, get keys to backers, and much more.

 
A Zombie Chorus Line - “Hey, watch where you’re sheathing that sword!”

“Racing to the Finish Line” on Hero-U.com

Lori posted a new blog entry on www.hero-u.com - http://hero-u.com/racing-to-the-finish-line/ - last month. Check it out. She writes most of the posts there, while I write most of the Kickstarter updates.

Alpha Testing - Watch for your Steam invitation

Earth’s listing in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy read simply, “Mostly harmless.” Now that our small cadre of pre-Alpha testers have helped us eliminate the most devastating bugs from Hero-U, I will soon be inviting all registered Alpha testers to experience the game-in-progress. It’s mostly playable now, with just the dungeon and endgame to be added over the next few weeks.

If your page on https://hero-u-adventure-role-playing-game.backerkit.com/ shows that you have the “Alpha and Beta Testing” perk, keep watch on your email for an Alpha test invitation within the next two weeks.

The team is looking forward to more testers with a mixture of anticipation, excitement, and concern (“terror” is much too strong a term). They’ve quashed over 1100 bugs so far, and with your help we’ll do our best to make the game squeaky-clean by release. 

Sneaking Through the Sea Caves

What Do Our Testers Think About Hero-U?

So far the tester feedback has been very positive. Despite having to fight bugs, our testers have been very involved in the game and have good things to say about it.

I asked one tester, Raf M, to write up his impressions. Here are his concluding paragraphs. His full “impressions” report is at http://hero-u.com/hero-u-playtesting-feedback/.

"Based on what is currently playable in the alpha (and that is already quite a lot), I think that the gamers who liked Quest for Glory, will like Hero-U. I think it is clear that Hero-U is also a Lori and Corey Cole game."

"In my opinion, the game succeeds in making you feel that Shawn is at a school, but it’s essentially still a story driven RPG/adventure game hybrid, not a “school simulator”."

"I have spent quite a lot of time playing the alpha. I immediately liked the core of the game. If I didn’t, I would not have invested so much time playing an unfinished game with inevitable bugs. I am always looking forwards to new builds, so I can make more progress in the game."

"There is still more work to be done, but there is already a lot of content in the game. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is getting bigger and bigger. In my opinion, the alpha is strongly indicating that the long wait for the final game is almost over and it will be worth it."

Unsolicited, tester Richard Baxter wrote:

"I am finding the game really enjoyable (at day 30). The character interactions, visual emotions, music, atmosphere, lighting, environmental depth, story, comedy, portraits, statues, textures, and 3D animations are all incredible. I also find it (like Quest for Glory) a great learning programme in the finer points of heroism and ethical philosophy - which is one of the underlying themes (school)."

"I think Lori should become a director for a film, and do writing for similar games. Her characters are so much more interesting."

It’s difficult - maybe impossible - for us to judge our own work. It’s always a big relief when we release a game and find out that players like it. We’ve been very fortunate with that so far in that players say they like almost all of our games. We hope that Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption will continue that lucky legacy. (Game Success = 90% Luck, 90% Inspiration, and 90% Hard Work. It’s possible I should have taken that Statistics class I missed in college.)

Hero-U

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

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Pillars of Eternity II - Interview with Josh Sawyer

by Silver, 10:51

GameInformer interviewed Josh Sawyer about Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire. The interview is over 3 pages so prepare accordingly.

...I also had a chance to chat with the game’s director, Josh Sawyer, who went in depth to explain the inspirations fueling the new game, what has changed since the original, and details about new features that fans may not yet know about, including an as-yet undetailed character and other clues. 

Read on for all of Sawyer’s insight into the upcoming role-playing game from Obsidian Entertainment. 

Matt Miller: I want to start out talking about this intriguing corner of your campaign setting in which Pillars II unfolds. Can you tell me about the world of Pillars 2 and what makes it unique, both tonally and geographically?

Josh Sawyer: Sure. When we started on the original Pillars of Eternity, we intentionally skewed conservative because we were doing a Kickstarter that was playing heavily on nostalgia. We were very open about that, and because a lot of the Infinity Engine games focused on the sort of very traditional western European feel of something like D&D’s Forgotten Realms. We leaned pretty heavily towards that, but we always knew at the time that for future games, we wanted to spread our wings and take a look at places, visual styles, and cultures that aren’t necessarily dealt with as much in fantasy. Early on in Pillars, because both to stir the imagination of the designers and to stir the imagination of our players, I came up with a bunch of far-off locations for the worlds there that were not anywhere near where the first game took place. Places like Rauatai, the Living Lands, and the Vailian Republic, and then the Deadfire. 

The Deadfire, when we first conceived of it, I just thought it would be cool to have at the eastern edge of the known world, at least in this part of the world, the eastern edge of the known world is this huge chain of islands mostly made up of dormant volcanoes, which is where the name Deadfire comes from. And there’s a native population there, but it’s also full of pirates and sea monsters and all sorts of crazy things. When it came time to make the sequel to Pillars, we said “Where do we want to go?” The most common reply that I got was to the Deadfire. So, when we decided to set it here, we knew right away that we were going to have a lot of opportunities to have a much different visual style to our areas, we would introduce a culture that felt very not-European while still bringing over the colonial elements of cultures like the Vailian Republics.

[...]

Pillars of Eternity II

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

Details

Gothic - Series 75% Off on Steam & GOG

by Silver, 09:50

The Gothic series is 75% off on Steam and GOG until February 13th.

Gothic

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General News - Roguelike Deck Builder

by Hiddenx, 02:20

Julian Gollop on PC Gamer: A new subgenre is born - The Roguelike Deck Builder.

The Gollop Chamber: Rise of the roguelike deck builder

From the tabletop to videogames like Slay the Spire and Dream Quest, a new subgenre has emerged.

I am often fascinated by game design evolution and how different genres and mechanics get fused in interesting ways. Much of the innovation here has taken place in board games, but there are also interesting evolutionary influences on videogames, where a videogame takes a board game idea and makes it something only possible in this medium. So today I would like to introduce you to a new videogame sub-genre—the roguelike deck builder. Now there aren't many entries in this genre, but I am sure this will change.

First, to explain deck building games. When you hear "deck building" the first thing you might think of is Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone, but these are games for which you build decks, not "deck building games". In deck building games the game revolves around building the deck as part of the gameplay. The first deck builder I played was Dominion, a card/board game released back in 2008. In Dominion, each player starts with a deck of 10 cards containing money cards and victory point cards. Each turn a player draws five cards from that deck and may buy a card using money cards from their hand, and play a card. Then the hand is discarded, so that a new hand of five cards may be drawn on the next turn. When a player doesn't have enough cards to draw from they shuffle all discarded cards, including any cards bought in preceding rounds, in order to create a fresh draw deck. The cards you buy include money cards and victory point cards of various values, and kingdom cards which can be played for various effects which are described on the card.

[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

General News

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

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Sunless Skies - Delayed

by Hiddenx, 02:13

PC Gamer reports that Failbetter Games has some financial problems:

Failbetter Games lays off employees, Sunless Skies delayed

The studio said the game will ship, but it's taking a more cautious approach to the future.

2017 was a "mixed bag" for Sunless Sea developer Failbetter Games, and it's resulted in some unfortunate changes at the studio and on its next project, Sunless Skies, which has sold far fewer copies than Sunless Sea and isn't going to make its scheduled May release.

Sunless Skies was a huge success on Kickstarter, breaking its £100,000 goal in just four hours and finishing with nearly four times that amount. The Early Access release has been a very different matter, however, as sales have only achieved about 15 percent of what Sunless Sea achieved over the same period of time. The studio cited a number of reasons for the slippage, including a premature rollout, changes to the marketplace, and the wild success of the Kickstarter, which led to fewer Early Access purchases and thus lower visibility on the storefront.

Despite that rough start, development of Sunless Skies continues to move ahead, "and there's no danger of us failing to deliver the project you backed," communications director Hannah Flynn wrote in a blog post. "But the business has a lot less cash in the bank than we wanted to have at this point."

[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

Sunless Skies

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

Details

Wednesday - February 07, 2018

The Surge 2 - Announced

by Silver, 11:15

@GameRevolution The Surge 2 has been announced.

The Surge 2 has been announced, with Deck 13 working alongside publisher Focus Home Interactive to bring the sequel to life.

The original The Surge, released in May 2017, received favorable reviews and a relatively positive reception from gamers. Drawing comparisons to Dark Souls but taking place in a sci-fi setting, it seems that the game was popular enough to receive a follow-up, with the announcement being made on its official Facebook page today.

[...]

The Surge

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

Details

CD Projekt RED - Registered for E3

by Silver, 10:16

@Shacknews CD Projekt RED is registered for E3 2018. This gives credence to the rumour of Cyberpunk 2077 being shown at E3.

According to Polish gaming site GryOnline, CD Projekt RED has plans to pull the wraps of its highly-anticipated Cyberpunk 2077 at the upcoming E3 2018 show in June. The company is expected to show the public a trailer and present a playable demo behind closed doors at the show. GryOnline says that the claim has been verified by two independent sources.
[...]

 

CD Projekt RED

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Pillars of Eternity II - About Programmable AI

by Silver, 02:21

PCGamesN explores Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire and enjoys the customizable AI.

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Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire rethinks companions. As an RPG born from the Infinity Engine mould - which birthed Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale -  a heavy emphasis is placed on party-based combat. Its predecessor replicated Baldur’s Gate’s combat perhaps a little too faithfully, creating a system that was not only deep, but often confusing. With Deadfire, the team at Obsidian aim to rectify those problems, leaving behind not only the problems of its predecessor, but making your companions smarter and more engaging to be around. 

Take a closer look at Pillars of Eternity II's ship combat

 

A few key changes have been made to Pillars of Eternity II’s party system. You can expect to see:

  • Cleaner combat mechanics that don’t sacrifice the original game’s depth.
  • A new AI system that provides more challenging enemies and smarter companions.
  • The ability to write AI behaviour routines for your companions.
  • A new multiclass system that allows you to craft highly diverse characters.
  • Companions that can argue or even fall in love with both you and each other.

[...]

Pillars of Eternity II

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

Details