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Friday - February 10, 2017
Thursday - February 09, 2017
Wednesday - February 08, 2017
Tuesday - February 07, 2017
Monday - February 06, 2017
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Balrum

2017-02-20

Balrum Review

Balrum was released almost a year ago, so with no further delay, here is our review.
» Continue reading the article...

RPGWatch

2017-02-02

Game of the Year Awards 2016 - Most Promising RPG

What is the most promising RPG of 2017? 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

Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning
Box Art

Poll Watch

What Game to Review Next?
Balrum
40%

The Dwarves
34.29%

Ember
14.29%

Halcyon 6
11.43%

Vote

Friday - February 10, 2017

No Truce With The Furies - Humble Bundle Publishers

by Silver, 20:30

No Truce With The Furies is partnering with Humble Bundle who will act as publishers.

Humble Bundle Launches Multi-Platform Publishing & Funding Initiative


New initiative brings developers together with Humble's over 10 million customers; Humble will be evaluating games to publish during GDC and PAX East

San Francisco, CA February 9, 2017 - Humble Bundle announced the launch of a multi-platform publishing and funding initiative. The starting lineup includes seven games across a range of genres and styles, for PC, console, and mobile platforms.

A Hat in Time - The perfect ode to old-school 3D platformers, with a hat-swapping spin

HackyZack - A sticker-collecting, precision-platforming, puzzle-stunt game

Ikenfell - A heartwarming turn-based RPG about a school of magic and its troublesome students

Keyboard Sports - A cheeky adventure with Master QWERTY that uses the entire keyboard

No Truce with the Furies - An isometric role playing game that blends cop show antics with a genre busting "fantastic realism" setting, offering absurd new heights of non-combat gameplay for RPG fans

Scorn - Gripping first-person survival horror set in a nightmarish universe

Staxel - Grow your farm, meet the villagers, and join your friends online in building your world

Publishing Lead John Polson says, "Since Humble's launch in 2010, we have earned the trust of over 10 million customers across our products. In a time when it's harder than ever for games to find their audience, publishing feels like the next logical step in the services that we can offer to our developer partners."

"All of our games will be ‘presented by Humble Bundle,' carrying a seal of quality and curation that fans have come to expect. For each aspect of publishing, developers can choose the services they need, making Humble Bundle a truly modern and adaptable publisher."

No Truce With The Furies

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

Details

Steam - Steam Direct replacing Greenlight

by Silver, 20:10

Steam is going to be rolling out a replacement for Greenlight called Steam Direct by Spring 2017.

Evolving Steam
11 February - Alden
When we consider any new features or changes for Steam, our primary goal is to make customers happy. We measure that happiness by how well we are able to connect customers with great content. We've come to realize that in order to serve this goal we needed to move away from a small group of people here at Valve trying to predict which games would appeal to vastly different groups of customers.

Thus, over Steam's 13-year history, we have gradually moved from a tightly curated store to a more direct distribution model. In the coming months, we are planning to take the next step in this process by removing the largest remaining obstacle to having a direct path, Greenlight. Our goal is to provide developers and publishers with a more direct publishing path and ultimately connect gamers with even more great content.

What we learned from Greenlight
After the launch of Steam Greenlight, we realized that it was a useful stepping stone for moving to a more direct distribution system, but it still left us short of that goal. Along the way, it helped us lower the barrier to publishing for many developers while delivering many great new games to Steam. There are now over 100 Greenlight titles that have made at least $1 Million each, and many of those would likely not have been published in the old, heavily curated Steam store.

These unforeseen successes made it abundantly clear that there are many different audiences on Steam, each looking for a different experience. For example, we see some people that sink thousands of hours into one or two games, while others purchase dozens of titles each year and play portions of each. Some customers are really excited about 4X strategy games, while others just buy visual novels.

Greenlight also exposed two key problems we still needed to address: improving the entire pipeline for bringing new content to Steam and finding more ways to connect customers with the types of content they wanted.

To solve these problems a lot of work was done behind the scenes, where we overhauled the developer publishing tools in Steamworks to help developers get closer to their customers. Other work has been much more visible, such as the Discovery Updates and the introduction of features like user reviews, discovery queues, user tags, streamlined refunds, and Steam Curators.

These improvements have allowed more developers to publish their games and connect with relevant gamers on Steam. One of the clearest metrics is that the average time customers spend playing games on Steam has steadily increased since the first Discovery Update. Over the same time period, the average number of titles purchased on Steam by individual customers has doubled. Both of these data points suggest that we're achieving our goal of helping users find more games that they enjoy playing. (You can read a more detailed analysis of our recent updates here[www.gamasutra.com].)

A better path for digital distribution
The next step in these improvements is to establish a new direct sign-up system for developers to put their games on Steam. This new path, which we're calling "Steam Direct," is targeted for Spring 2017 and will replace Steam Greenlight. We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account. Once set up, developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute, which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline.

While we have invested heavily in our content pipeline and personalized store, we're still debating the publishing fee for Steam Direct. We talked to several developers and studios about an appropriate fee, and they gave us a range of responses from as low as $100 to as high as $5,000. There are pros and cons at either end of the spectrum, so we'd like to gather more feedback before settling on a number.
[...]

Steam

Details

Subset Games - Announce Into the Breach

by Silver, 19:59

The makers of FTL, Subset Games, have announced their new game Into the Breach which is a turn based strategy game with Chris Avellone onboard.

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Introducing the next game by Subset Games, creators of FTL...

Into The Breach!

The remnants of human civilization are threatened by gigantic creatures breeding beneath the earth. You must control powerful mechs from the future to hold off this alien threat. Each attempt to save the world presents a new randomly generated challenge in this turn-based strategy game.

Into the Breach is a single-player game coming to Windows, Mac, and Linux (although not simultaneously). There is no planned release date. Ben Prunty, FTL’s composer, is making an original soundtrack for the game, and award-winning sound designers PowerUp Audio are heading up the rest of the audio. Chris Avellone is lending his writing talents and world building skills to the team as well.

More info available at http://subsetgames.com/

Subset Games

Details

Prey - Arkane Interview

by Silver, 19:46

PCGamer talked to Arkane who had a lot to say about Prey.

"Dishonored is probably the legacy of Thief," says Raphael Colantonio, CEO of Arkane and creative director of Prey. "Prey is the legacy of something like System Shock." And, just like that game, it takes place on a space station.

Prey is set on Talos I, an orbital space station created to research shadowy non-terrestrial lifeforms that, surprise, has now been overrun by shadowy non-terrestrial lifeforms. Built from the shell of a Soviet satellite, the station is owned by the TranStar Corporation. It's a lavish art deco space, augmented by futuristic technology-reminiscent of BioShock, albeit more functional and without the whale. You play Morgan Yu, a man (or woman) with ties to TranStar's neuroscience research program.

As part of Yu's involvement in Talos I's psychotronics division, you're able to scan and acquire powers from the aliens-known as Typhons. There are survivors, but Yu will spend much of his time alone in the abandoned sectors of Talos I. Survival is a matter of using your tools, upgrading your powers and manipulating your environment. And sometimes transforming into a coffee mug.

Arkane's attitude to systems design is summarised by a picture hanging on the wall of its Austin studio. Among a selection of motivational posters depicting Prey's core design pillars is an image of Just Cause 2's Rico riding on top of an airliner. The accompanying text reads, "Say yes to the player."

"It's an instinct we try to cultivate," says Ricardo Bare, Prey's lead designer. "When you're playing a game and you hit an obstacle, you're just naturally like, ‘I'm going to try this.' We try, as developers, to remember that instinct and say yes to it."

Prey

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

Details

Conan Exiles - Modding Tools available

by Silver, 19:26

@DSOGaming Conan Exiles has sold 320K in one week recouping its cost of production and modding tools have been released.

...
Funcom today also released the custom Conan Exiles Dev Kit allowing creators everywhere to develop modifications for the game. Anyone can now create and upload ‘mods' to the Conan Exiles Steam Workshop, whether it's small changes and quality of life improvements, or total conversion mods introducing new creatures, characters, and worlds. To get started, head over to UnrealEngine.com and download the Unreal launcher to access the dev kit.

Funcom has also announced that it will reveal the future of Conan Exiles at this year's Game Developer Conference in San Francisco.
[...]

Conan Exiles

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

Details

Edge Of Eternity - Entering Alpha Stage

by Silver, 19:21

@DSOGaming Edge of Eternity is entering Alpha Stage and has some new screenshots to share.

Midgar Studio has announced that its upcoming JRPG, Edge of Eternity, has entered its alpha stage. In order to celebrate this announcement, the team released a new set of screenshots that can be viewed below.

Edge of Eternity is described as a strategic RPG with dynamic turn-based combats bringing together the Japanese and the Western RPG traditions.

The game promises to offer a unique experience combining renewed classic features with innovative gameplay mechanics. It is an original world mixing fantasy and space opera with a rich and mature narration.

Edge Of Eternity

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

Details

BattleTech - Q&A Video

by Silver, 04:44

HBS did a live video Q&A recently with the designers behind Battletech.

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BattleTech

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

Details

Thursday - February 09, 2017

Expeditions: Viking - Release Date: April 27

by Hiddenx, 21:19

Expeditions: Viking will be released on April 27:

Expeditions: Viking Release Announcement! Save the Date: April 27th, 2017

Danish indie studio Logic Artists along with distribution partners EuroVideo and IMGN.PRO are announcing that Expeditions: Viking, the highly anticipated sequel to Expeditions: Conquistador, is scheduled for release on April 27th, 2017.

After the warm welcome of Expeditions: Conquistador - Logic Artists’ PC debut title, the developers are finally ready to do it again four years later with a long awaited sequel. Logic Artists is pleased to announce April 27th as the release date of Expeditions: Viking.

Expeditions: Viking features a branching dialogue system that allows the game to manage and react to player choices. We initially estimated a word count of 200,000, but we’ve decided to increase it by an additional 80,000 words to provide players with more content and give them more options and choices on how they progress through the story. Said Ali Emek, Expeditions: Viking Producer.

With that amount of content, managing localization takes more time. We think it’s worth it to make the game accessible to international audience. That’s why we’ve arranged a number of language localizations, so from day one players will be able to enjoy Expeditions: Viking in English, French, German, Polish, and Russian. Emek added.

In addition to this, Logic Artists stated that additional development time will allow them to tweak and balance combat gameplay, implementing new special abilities to the most interesting villains and will also include added flavor and improvements to Expeditions: Viking’s animations.

We received great feedback from the testers after our last closed beta session, and rescheduling the release a bit is allowing us to spend our final weeks of development on improving usability and addressing the bugs reported during the beta test. - Emek adds.

More information about the game can be found on the official website www.expeditionsseries.com where folks can sign up to the official newsletter where they can learn more about the game every month, gain access to the the final closed Beta test, and receive special release week rewards!

 

Expeditions: Viking

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

Details

Ama's Lullaby - New Kickstarter

by Hiddenx, 20:50

Ama's Lullaby - a cyberpunk point and click adventure game - is now on Kickstarter:

Ama's Lullaby - Prologue Gameplay Teaser

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Ama's Lullaby is an adventure game in the style of Westwood's Blade Runner (1997), featuring a command-line based hacking system.

Kickstarter Games

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

Details

Greedfall - More Details

by Hiddenx, 19:56

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has some more information on Greedfall:

Greedfall is Spiders’ colonial fantasy RPG

Spiders, the team behind Mars: War Logs, Bound by Flame and The Technomancer, are working on a new RPG that goes by the name Greedfall. The title may be a callback of sorts to Silverfall, an action-RPG that many of the studio’s initial developers worked on at Monte Cristo shortly before forming their new studio. Like that earlier title, Greedfall has a technology vs nature vibe, depicting an island paradise that has been discovered by colonial forces from several distinct nations. You play as a neutral, able to ally yourself with either the nature-loving natives, or any of the nations seeking to exploit the island’s resources. It’s all make-believe, with magic and monsters and a fictional map, but the art style and military tech is 17th century European in style.

[...]

Teaser:

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Thanks Farflame!

Greedfall

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

Details

A Plague Tale: Innocence - Action Adventure announced

by Hiddenx, 19:51

Farflame spotted the Action Adventure A Plague Tale: Innocence on PCGamesN:

A Plague Tale: Innocence is The Last of Us in 14th century, plague-ridden France

The picture A Plague Tale: Innocence paints of 14th century France is one of the most oppressive, bleak and hostile environments ever realised by the medium. Realised by the darkness of a world lit predominantly by candlelight; the cruelty of Inquisition troops; thousands upon thousands of rats pouring forth from every nook and cranny of the environment; and in the middle of it all a 16-year-old girl called Amicia, and Hugo, her five-year-old brother.

The core gameplay mechanic of A Plague Tale: innocence is light. The swarms of ravenous rats won’t go near it, however being in the light or holding a torch will make hiding from Inquisition troops nearly impossible. It’s a familiar mechanic for adventure gaming, but the consequences have never felt so dire, as demonstrated at the very beginning of a pre-alpha gameplay demo.

[...]

Non-RPG General News

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

Details

Diluvion - Review

by Hiddenx, 19:35

AttackOfTheFanboy doesn't like the navigation in Diluvion:

Diluvion Review

[...]

A huge issue that weaved its way into the entire play through is the navigation. The navigation isn’t broken, but it is SO non-existent that it makes even the smallest trips full of frustration. The game uses a trail of golden fish, which by itself is a nice effect, to lead you into the correct direction. I’m still not sure what the trail of fish is there to accomplish though. It would lead me to ‘landmarks’ and important bases, but it never leaded me to an objective or a correct path in the void. The trail would also randomly turn off and on. I think it was proximity based, but it was aggravating to have it randomly disappear and leave my sub in the dark. The map didn’t take the slack off the navigation. By choice of the developers, your submarine does not show up on the map and you are supposed to find your way around by landmarks. The landmark based navigation is tough when there aren’t enough on the map, and it is tough to know how far away they are or where how deep they are. The only way to gain a sense of direction is by bringing up a compass in the UI that shows landmark icons and which direction to go. If you find enough landmarks in a small area and venture away, the icons clump up and cause confusion. The lack of an ability to update the map on your own accord made me want to shy away from exploration, which is one of the biggest draws of Diluvion

[...]

The Verdict

Can I recommend this game? It’s tough to say. There are some scenarios where every part of the game comes together and makes memorable moments. Those moments are few and far between with my time in the game. A certain subset of gamer that loves difficulty for the sake of difficulty can overlook a large chunk of my criticisms, and for them I say it is 100% worth playing. Until the developers patch in improvements to the navigation, mission descriptions, and ‘quality of life’ improvements, most gamers should take a ‘wait and see’ approach to Diluvion.

Score: 2/5

Thanks Farflame!

Diluvion

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

Details

Mass Effect: Andromeda - Dialog Options

by Hiddenx, 19:26

PCGamesN reports that you won't have many dialog options un Mass Effect: Andromeda:

Mass Effect: Andromeda’s conversation options will be built around ‘agree’ and ‘disagree’

BioWare said earlier in the year that Mass Effect: Andromeda’s conversation options would be ditching the black and white morality of the original trilogy for shades of grey. Now the developers have gone on to say exactly how that will work.

In an interview with GamesRadar, creative director Max Walters explained:

"The reason [Paragon/Renegade] are gone is because they were very tied to the Shepard character, so they didn’t really make sense if we weren’t going to have Shepard as our protagonist. What we have now is based more around agreeing and disagreeing.”

Walters says this is in reaction to how binary Paragon and Renegade are. You choose red or blue and you stick to it, not thinking about your responses on a case-by-case basis. This new solution will hopefully change that.

"With agree and disagree it changes by the circumstance and it changes by the character you’re talking to, so you have to actually be more engaged in what’s going on, to know if you’re going to do that," Walters adds.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Mass Effect: Andromeda

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

Details

Deus Ex: MD - Series in Jeopardy?

by Hiddenx, 19:15

Gamepressure speculates that Square Enix may abandon the Deus Ex series:

Why Square Enix may have actually pulled the plug on Deus Ex

Recently, we’ve been hearing rumors about the alleged suspension of the Deus Ex series. In this article, I’d like to present possible reasons for such development and share some of my thoughts on the present condition of the said franchise.

The Deus Ex series might be in jeopardy. Gaming websites report that further development of the cyberpunk franchise has allegedly been suspended due to poor sales of last year’s Mankind Divided. Honestly, even before Eurogamer and Kotaku published news on the topic, I had thought that Mankind Divided wasn’t doing very well. Unfortunately, financial failure of such a big investment could be reason enough to shut down the Deus Ex Universe project. Needless to say, this means we might never learn what happened after the finale of the brilliant successor of Human Revolution. In this article, I share some of my thoughts and insights on the recent rumors and the Deus Ex franchise’s general condition of late.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Deus Ex: MD

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

Details

Immortal Planet - On Steam Greenlight

by Hiddenx, 19:05

Farflame spottet the Action RPG Immortal Planet on Steam Greenlight:

Immortal Planet is an action RPG with challenging combat that rewards patience and punishes recklessness. Explore the crumbling remains of a society of immortals trapped in endless cycles of rebirth. Fight your way to discover the planet's mystery and escape its curse.

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Features

Souls-like Progression: Recover Experiences lost upon death and use them to upgrade your character. Customize your playstyle with dozens of items and spells.

Methodical Combat:
Patience and focus are much more important than reflexes. Block, dodge and tackle enemies while managing your stamina. You can see enemy stamina and exploit it to stun them when they are exhausted.

Tight Level Design: Levels are designed around single checkpoints from which you explore the area around it. Levels feature many unlockable shortcuts so you are always progressing no matter what.

Intense Bossfights: Every level features a powerful boss enemy. Fights with these enemies are multi-stage struggles that are a real test of skill and determination.

Gameplay

Fight against challenging enemies with complex behaviours while exploring levels built around single checkpoints.
Gather Experiences from fallen enemies to upgrade your character.
Fight and die repeatedly, but never lose progress by recovering Experiences lost upon death.
Explore the world to discover the story and find many items and spells that will give you an edge against demanding boss enemies.

Story

On the icy surface of a forgotten planet stand ruined tombs where immortals sleep. While sleepless warriors roam the halls with their minds eroded by eternity, a lone Awakewalker emerges from cryosleep. With no memory of their past, it’s up to them to forge their future, discover the planet’s mysteries, and find a way out of this icy hell.

Immortal Planet

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

Details

Torment: Tides of Numenera - New Story Trailer

by Hiddenx, 18:54

Farflame spotted this new story trailer for Torment: Tides of Numenera:

Torment: Tides of Numenera - Story Trailer

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Torment:ToN

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

Details

Wednesday - February 08, 2017

Divinity: Original Sin II - What's coming next?

by Hiddenx, 21:53

Swen talks about the next steps to develop Divinity: Original Sin II:

Hi all!

Thx for all your feedback & for playing! We're taking early access as an opportunity for trying out new things but we obviously also don't want to frustrate you when we err on the wrong side which is why you can expect an update soon that takes care of some of the most pressing issues, specifically the economy, the longevity of certain surfaces and the removal of some cc from the early enemies.

As we're getting closer to finishing the game and more and more game systems start being activated (we still have a lot of work but for the first time we can actually see the light), you can expect a few more drastic changes. Several of these have to do with the overall experience throughout the entire campaign and the removal of Source surfaces in the early game is related to that. Things like source vampirism, source vision and cursing surfaces are gradually introduced over the main campaign and in the first parts, Source is meant to be something that's hard to get.

One other pretty big change will be the introduction of the level 1 content, which comes before the area where you are now starting (which is supposed to be a level 2 area). That's why the encounter frequency in the beginning is what it is. That said, we may change it if we still see it as a problem after we added the level 1 content.

Regarding the starting classes - those too will be changing over the next couple of months as more and more skills (including those of other schools) get completed and talents get finished. Speaking of talents, lone wolf aka one man army will be available at level 1. We just deactivated it for now cause there's some issues with it.

This was also the first deployment of AI 2.0 and over the coming months we'll continue to work on it. We didn't go over all of the encounters yet to ensure they'd take advantage of it so all you've basically seen so far is AI 2.0 using the skills that were assigned to the enemies under AI 1.0 scripting. Once AI 2.0 is more evolved, we'll start modifying the encounters to balance them for fun. That's also when we'll start handicapping/powering it up to work differently at different difficulty levels.

I also would like to repeat that we're aware of many of your requests and that a lot of them are on our lists and being discussed. Since it's a long list however, some things may take time to materialise but I did want to make a point of posting here to thank you and to ensure you that the effort you put in posting here is worth a lot to us. It's making the game a lot better, even if from time to time we may screw up as we try out a couple of things.

Thanks for your patience!

Swen

Divinity: Original Sin II

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

Details

General News - A new Recipe for the RPG Formula

by Hiddenx, 21:23

Veteran game developer Guido Henkel talks about the current state of the RPG genre at Gamasutra:

A new recipe for the roleplaying game formula

Guido Henkel has been a professional game developer since 1983 and served as producer on Planescape: Torment.

The extinction of computer roleplaying games seemed inevitable by the mid-1990s, a time when publishers almost uniformly dropped the genre. High development costs and long development cycles made them risky propositions, especially since they catered to a niche audience and therefore never generated the same shareholder-pleasing profits as the industry darlings, first-person shooters.

But things have changed. Despite the doomsaying, the genre survived through adaptation, by streamlining gameplay features. Computer roleplaying games (CRPGs) became more accessible and began to appeal to a larger audience and as a result, it is safe to say that today’s CRPGs are mainstream titles that have very little in common with their ancestors from the 80s and 90s. In fact, one could argue that they have very little in common with roleplaying games, period. (Please note that this excursion does not take into consideration the games stemming from the resurgence of retro RPGs in recent years, of course, as they are an intentional throwback to classic design paradigms.)

Despite their mass appeal, to say that contemporary CRPGs lack feature-depth and are too shallow would be a manifest oversimplification of the game mechanics at work, and truly a misrepresentation of the state of CRPGs. Quite on the contrary, these games do, in fact, have a lot of depth and they do have a lot of features. It is the way they are presented and employ these features, that generates the impression of overly shallow gameplay.

[...]

Real roleplaying is about choices

Not that this isn’t fun, but a real roleplaying game is a much different affair than that. What we are looking at here is a mere skeleton of the original genre, boiled down to its bare essentials, and then some. Alternative solutions to problems and paths are usually not available.

But what if you don’t wish to fight an opponent? Why should you feel a need to attack every single breathing being in the wilderness, just because they appear unfriendly? What if you want to barter with a troll instead of gutting him with a spectacular finishing move? What if you’d rather charm your way out of a situation? What if you would prefer to sneak up to and steal any quest artifact without having to kill the enemy? Very few games will offer you any of these options unless they are specifically part of the desired solution path.

[...]

General News

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

Details

RPG Codex - 2012-2016 GOTY Results

by Hiddenx, 21:14

Felipepepe of the RPGCodex wanted to know if we are really living in an age of incline (RPG-wise) - here are the results of his poll:

The Age of Incline: RPG Codex's 2012-2016 GOTY Results

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the RPG Codex's latest poll results!

As you all know, the mid/late 2000's were quite sad for RPG fans. We were treated to the glory of the late 90's/early 2000's with some of the best RPGs ever released, only to see the "Death of PC" - Black Isle, Sir-Tech, Troika, Looking Glass Studios, Westwood Studios, DreamForge, New World Computing, Origin - all closed down or were bought (and then closed down), leaving us under the iron, multi-platform rule of a few giant publishers.

[...]

The winners are:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Age of Decadence

Divinity: Original Sin

RPG Codex

Details

Banner Saga 3 - Voiceovers?

by Silver, 20:49

@PCGamer The Banner Saga 3 could be using voiceovers according to a reddit AMA. The Banner Saga 3 is currently on kickstarter.

During a Reddit AMA, Stoic admitted to having some "exciting news" regarding voiceovers-a feature which hasn't appeared in the series thus far-in line with the current Kickstarter.

"We hope to have exciting news about this goal. It is an expensive thing to get in the game for a small studio like ours, but it's something we'd love to offer the community," says the developer. "Can't say much more about it, but if you want to see this someday, please support the Kickstarter that we're currently running."

Reddit users were quick to suggest voicing their own interpretations of The Banner Saga's whimsical cast is central to their enjoyment, and that introducing professional voiceovers could risk belittling its charm.

"We have a lot of debate internally about that," adds Stoic. "Some folks definitely like that feeling you get from a novel that the voices are acted in your imagination. If it comes to pass, I'm excited to do some experimentation to figure out how to get it right. I love the voices we've worked with thus far, and want to maintain that level of Nordic grit."

Banner Saga 3

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

Details

Dark Souls III - The Ringed City Gameplay

by Silver, 20:42

@GameRant A new gameplay video for the Dark Souls 3 DLC 'The Ringed City'.

...
As seen below in the trailer courtesy of Bandai Namco Entertainment America's YouTube page, players should expect The Ringed City DLC to introduce new areas, weapons, enemies, items, abilities, and much more. For instance, the footage shows off a few different locations encounters to be included in the upcoming Dark Souls 3 expansion, including an experience with a flying, ethereal creature with the capacity to shoot lasers, a boss battle between a humongous flame beast with wings, as well as a long exploration sequence after dropping into the side of a building in a city straight out of M.C. Escher's dreams.

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Not to mention, the latest Dark Souls 3 trailer for its Ringed City DLC features a look at some new dark plum-colored ghost baddies with the ability to change size and drag Ashen Ones into the underworld with them. Interestingly enough, there's even another variation of this specific monster, as there is also a type that can shoot flames from a shield and set its weapon ablaze during combat.
[...]

Dark Souls III

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

Details

Narborion Saga - Releasing March 21st

by Silver, 20:17

@Gamebanshee Narborion Saga is releasing March 21st.

Budapest, Hungary, February 7th, 2017 - Independent Developer Liber Primus Games announced that their epic dark fantasy adventure title Narborion Saga is officially launching on Steam on 21st of March. The PC version of Narborion Saga will have an overhauled combat system, in-depth branching storylines scattered around the open world and PvP battles making this epic fantasy adventure a whole new experience each time it is played.

"Launching Narborion Saga on Steam takes this title to a whole new level", said Dénes Csiszár, Producer and Co-Founder of Liber Primus Games. "We wanted to create an intense and versatile experience that appealed to the huge yet demanding consumer base of RPG fans on PC".

The Narborion Saga for Steam combines three main RPG quests where players will have the opportunity to develop character abilities while learning new spells as well as dueling in Player VS Player combats. The gameplay will be broken down into small episodes and placed as locations on the map. To reach the episodes, players move their character on an overland map as well as on several smaller (swamp, city, and dark forest) maps. Once there's something to do or discover, characters leave the map and enter a gamebook-styled narrative section to complete their quest.

Narborion Saga

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

Details

Vampyr - New Screenshots

by Silver, 20:12

@DSOGaming New screenshots of Vampyr have been released.

 

Vampyr

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

Details

Total War: Warhammer - Bretonnia A Free Faction

by Silver, 09:11

@PCGamesN Total War: Warhammer will have a new free faction of Bretonnia come February 28th.

Bretonnia is coming to Total War: Warhammer later this month, adding the second of the universe's two major human empires to the fantasy war game.

The faction has been present in the game from day one, but only to fight and trade with in the game's campaign, or as a stripped-down version in Battle mode. Now they're fully fleshed out and heading to the strategy game for free.

Total War: Warhammer

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

Details

Tuesday - February 07, 2017

BattleTech - Backer Beta Launch March 15th

by Silver, 23:00

Battletech will have a backer beta launch targeting March 15th according to the latest update on kickstarter.

Greetings MechWarriors!

Klimecky here. We have good news for you - we're targeting March 15th as our Beta launch date. (As you'll recall, Beta access was a Kickstarter Reward for all Backers at the $50 MechWarrior Tier and above). The team has been hard at work getting the game in shape and we're almost ready for you to take a test drive.

Now, I bet you have a few questions... well, your friendly, neighborhood BATTLETECH Producer is here to fill you in with a FAQ that should answer your most pressing questions right away. As we get closer to our target date, I'll update you with any final details you may need to be an effective Beta participant.

After you get caught up on the Beta news, scroll down to learn about our latest digital reward delivery for Backers at the $50 MechWarrior reward level - the first in a series of four novellas by the legendary Michael A. Stackpole. Then keep scrolling to see the sweet new merch AVAILABLE NOW at battletechgear.com!

[...]

Our Next Livestreamed Dev Q&A

If you're not aware, we've resumed our monthly livestreamed development Q&As and the next one will be TOMORROW Wednesday, February 8th from 12pm-1pm Pacific Time.

Due to scheduling contraints, twitch.com/HyperRPG (the station that brings you DEATH FROM ABOVE) will no longer be hosting our Q&As but we're happy to report that our friends at No Guts No Galaxy are ready and willing to take up the cause. We'll also post a recording of the Q&A on the HBS YouTube channel as soon as we can in case you can't tune in live.

This month's topic is the Single-Player Story Campaign. As always, we'll spend the first half-hour taking questions that you post on the BATTLETECH forums before opening up the questions to our live audience on any topic.

BattleTech

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

Details

Bard's Tale IV - Gameplay Video

by Silver, 22:54

The latest update for The Bard's Tale IV shows us some gameplay.

Greetings Exiles,

I'm excited to finally be able to show you our vision for how exploration and combat in Bard's Tale IV will be presented and played.

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Combat is the core of a dungeon crawler and our goal has always been to make sure that it is tactical, deep and pays off visually. We also knew to stay with our roots with combat being party based and phased based, yet we've come up with a unique way to present this style of gameplay. You'll note that we still support six characters for the player to command along with two empty slots for summoned creatures.

Obviously, this is still in development and there are things we're not in love with yet. Namely, the characters on the HUD are still at a first pass. We will be updating their visual look and likely not have them bouncing around as they speak. And the visuals will only continue to improve as we layer on more VFX for world atmosphere, spells and combat effects, add additional post processing, upgrade the materials for the character models and greatly dial up the ambient life in scenes. Already you can see small touches in our use of planar reflections in the puddles of water, and what you can't see is our system for dynamically corrupting the forest based on the actions of the player. We want you to feel the effects you have on the world constantly.
[...]

Bard's Tale IV

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

Details

Enderal - Development Update

by Hiddenx, 21:58

With the Forgotten Stories DLC some exciting new features will be build into Enderal:

Enderal - Forgotten Stories Devblog, Episode 1: Magic

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Enderal

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

Details

Quote - On Early Access

by Silver, 09:45

Indie Games takes a look at Quote which is an action RPG game about a world of ignorance where knowledge is dangerous. The game has recently arrived on Steam early access.

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Yes, in Quote, you're the bad guy. The titular warrior metes out justice with tome in hand, bludgeoning enemies with a simple pushes, dashes, and slams that slowly expand into combos and special attacks. But your most powerful weapon are books themselves; by feeding these unlawful texts to your beaked companion Tatters, Quote can unlock fierce new abilities, ranging from teleporting strikes to wide ranged blasts.
[...]

General News

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

Details

Indie Games - Steven Peeler On Action RPG Design

by Silver, 09:39

Indie Games has interviewed Steven Peeler of Soldak Entertainment (Depths of Peril, Zombasite) about action RPG design.

Steven Peeler has been developing RPGs as Soldak Entertainment for 13 years now. From his first title Depths of Peril up to last year's Zombasite, you always know you're playing a Soldak game right away. We talked to him about his design philosophy and the things that have changed for indie developers over the years.

What's your approach to game design? All of your games are quite similar except for one or two prominent features, such as different settings, the zombie parasite in Zombasite, or a more goal-oriented approach in Din's Curse. Are you starting with specific features in mind that would make the new title stand out, or is it just a matter of experimentation and iteration until you have found something you're happy with?

My design approach is actually a combination of those two things. First, I come up with a few key ideas that makes the game unique from other games in the industry and our own previous games. These are basically the ideas that everything else builds on. Then I write up a relatively short design document. This document fleshes out the key ideas a bit more, adds a lot of smaller details and ideas, and basically is my overall direction for the game.

This essentially becomes my initial todo list for the project. The rest of the project is like you said experimenting and iteration where I'm implementing items from my todo list, play testing, adding new ideas from my play testing, adding ideas from the rest of the team and external testers, removing items from the list that no longer fits or are no longer feasible, and then repeating these last few steps until I'm happy with the game.

Your games feature a dynamic world where things are happening even without any player input and non-player characters are, in fact, treated like actual characters with their own motivations. You have explored this quite a bit already, but do you think this can be further expanded upon, leading to even more emergent gameplay?

I definitely think we still have room to expand on the dynamic world ideas. In every game of ours, that had a dynamic world, we have added new possible outcomes, given entities in the world more tools to work with, and made it more clear the cause and effect of things that happen. I don't see this changing anytime soon.
[...]

Indie Games

Details

Opinion - RPG Mechanics for Scalability

by Silver, 09:22

Sinister Design has an interesting editorial on designing RPG mechanics for scalability.

There is a secret known only to RPG developers, a gleaming nugget of knowledge unearthed anew through long struggle by each succeeding generation of would-be Richard Garriotts and Shouzou Kagas. It is, simply: making RPGs is kind of a pain in the ass.

I love making RPGs, but it's true. The RPG is a ramshackle colossus of systems, each one stitched onto the other, and all forced to interact to produce something resembling a cohesive play experience. Exploration, dialogue, combat, character advancement, item usage, inventory management, party management, crafting, stealth...even the most focused of RPGs is guaranteed to have at least three or four of these systems, each with its own attendant design demands and opportunities for bugs to show up.

But forget those design demands for a moment-because the truth is, it's the content demands that are the real killers. An RPG with a play time of less than 20 hours is unacceptable to the market, and ideally, you should aim for 40 hours or more. You need to create so much art, and so much writing, and so many encounters to fill up those hours that even the most basic, old-school, stripped-down RPG can easily take years upon years to make.

A developer with limited resources at her disposal, staring down the barrel of a half-decade development cycle, might be inclined to wonder: "Is there some way that I can design my game's systems to alleviate the burden of producing all that content?"

Well, I have good news! I'm here to tell you that you can: by designing your mechanics for scalability. Before we get into the "how" of it, though, let's set out exactly what we mean by "scalability."

General News

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

Details

Monday - February 06, 2017

Wasteland 3 - Vision for the Apocalypse

by Silver, 22:57

The latest update for Wasteland 3 focuses on the creative vision. Head to the link to discover the vision document.

Hello Rangers,

It is time to give you all another status update on Wasteland 3! As we mentioned previously, we are deep in our pre-production phase. We have a set of core team members working to build out the vision for the game. In the coming months we have a set timeline to ensure our future team members will roll onto the project smoothly. Lead Designer George Ziets and the content team are hard at work hammering down the overall storyline, as well as working on area design and coming up with all kinds of quirky characters and companions to populate Colorado.

Beyond area and system designs, a key goal for our pre-production period is to get working prototypes for our internal use. These are focused on major gameplay elements, such as combat, missions, exploration, skill use, and so on. A lot of those designs are heavily rooted in Wasteland 2, which gives us a firm basis in the kind of rich reactivity and systemic depth we want. Our prototype work will focus on answering larger questions about new gameplay elements, such as vehicles, multiplayer, and ice and cold. We showed some of this prototyping work in our crowdfunding campaign, but for pre-production it is essential to create prototypes that explore the riskiest gameplay elements, and this will be our focus in coming months.

Since we now have a good idea of the basics, our humble team has been growing. The art lead on Torment, Charlie Bloomer, has begun work on Wasteland 3, and will be concepting and prototyping scenes to figure out how we can maximize the aesthetic of our unique, wintery setting. Dan Jenkins and Chris Wiedel, engineers who worked on Wasteland 2 and Torment, have started exploring Wasteland 3's programming needs, such as integrating useful code from Wasteland 2 and Torment, as well as investigating our requirements to get multiplayer off the ground.

Vision Document

But that's not all we have to share. Dating back to the Interplay days, our studio philosophy is to create a vision document for each of our projects. This document contains the game's core elements and features, and serves to remind us of our high-level goals throughout production, as well as to give new team members an introduction to the game's core features. On Wasteland 2, we shared our vision with you early in the development process, and we're continuing that tradition with Wasteland 3. To read up on it, please click below:

[...]

Wasteland 3

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

Details