Balrum was released almost a year ago, so with no further delay, here is our review.
» Continue reading the article...
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
Friday - February 24, 2017
Alaloth - Announced for PC and Consoles
IGN reports on Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms, an action RPG with isometric graphics and souls like combat and Chris Avellone is helping with the lore and characters.
Gamera Games has announced Alaloth: Champions of the Four Kingdoms, an isometric action-RPG in development for PC and consoles, scheduled for a 2018 release, and being created in conjunction with RPG legend, Chris Avellone.
Described as a cross between Dark Souls and Amiga cult classic Moonstone: A Hard Days Knight, Alaloth will be broadly divided into two gameplay phases. Movement across the game's overworld is turn-based, with players visiting points of interest to upgrade their character, buy mounts or visit the ruling families of the game's four kingdoms to be given new quests or learn about the world's political make-up.
On a first playthrough, players will choose from one of four races, and have to ally themselves with an existing house, each with an existing history and tie to one of the kingdoms. After one full completion, however, players will be able to create their own house, with customisable banners, mottos and more.
The idea appears to be to offer a combat system modern players will immediately understand and gel with, but set within a truly old-school setting, allowing for the story complexities (Game of Thrones is a constant touchstone for Belli) and open-ended nature of classic CRPGs, like Planescape: Torment or Fallout 2.
That's presumably where Chris Avellone - director-designer on, er, Planescape: Torment and Fallout 2 - comes in. Gamera has brought in the founder of RPG specialist Obsidian as a creative consultant to help create the world's lore and character backstories, as well as provide feedback on its overall design, which he describes as involving "mechanics I've rarely had a chance to work on before."
Release: In development
Thursday - February 23, 2017
Underworld Ascendant - The Evolution of Lizard Men
The Evolution of the Lizard Men - Part 1: The Look
We recently spoke with character artist Jed (BioShock, Rock Band) Wahl about his current modeling work on Underworld Ascendant's Lizard Men, his early efforts on the BioShock series, and how he got his start.
What originally got you into modeling for games?
I started making digital models at the MIT Media Lab, creating characters for interactive installations designed by graduate students. I got interested in pursuing 3d modeling professionally after participating in some contests held by the late, great Paul Steed at the website Polycount. Paul gave me a lot of encouragement and his book on using 3d Studio Max was a real godsend for me. I really owe that guy a lot.
What was your first game?
My first shipped game was Irrational's Swat 4, working as an environmental modeler. My favorite part about that project was coming up with the theme and decor of the serial killer's lair.
Did we hear correctly that you did all the character models for BioShock? Which was your favorite to work on?
I sculpted the high and lowpoly models for most of the characters, including the Splicers, the Bouncer, Little Sister, Andrew Ryan, Atlas, and the player hands.
My fav is definitely the Bouncer, designed by our own art director Nate Wells. As soon as we saw his ortho design, we felt it could become an iconic character.
My first pro character model ever was an early Splicer concept, also by Nate. This was before programs like Zbrush, so he was done using old-school box modeling methods in 3ds Max.
Something I wish we'd had time to put into the game involved rare Little Sisters dressed in outfits raided from an abandoned costume shop. Their expressions would be modded to suit their pretend identity; a cowgirl Sister could have referred to her Big Daddy as "Sheriff," while a space cadet could call him "Commander," for example. It would have been a fun way to add variety to the Sisters, but there was simply no time in the schedule to make them.
Can you walk us through the process of modeling the Lizard Man for Underworld Ascendant?
Since this was the first sentient character we've designed for the game, there was a lot of iteration and experimentation involved. We also wanted to find a good middle ground between the two major concepts that we'd shown in the backer poll some time ago: a design that was overtly lizard-like while also having the potential to appear intelligent and civilized.
Nate explored concepts via clay and I made a series of quick rough models in Zbrush that explored different proportions and features. A great tool during this process was Adobe's auto rigging tool Mixamo, which it allowed me to take these simple models and quickly get them moving so I could evaluate how their silhouettes looked in a variety of actions. I've included a small sampling of these experiments here, starting with a version inspired by our Blue Lizardman from the poll. From there we explored making him less chameleon and more iguana based, and you can see how he evolves from a more whimsical race to one with a build that can demonstrate equal amounts of strength, agility, and nobility.
Early modeling explorations by Jed
Once Nate was happy with the overall forms of the lizardman, he did a drawover of the model's face to define the kind of scale treatment he was looking for.
From there I refined the hipoly model in Zbrush. This is also one of our first characters done in the "authored style," so there's a lot of experimentation involved at this stage as well.
I generally approach it stylistically as though I'm making a fantasy miniature (which I've sculpted about two hundred of while working for the board game company Greenbrier Games), but still allowing for more detail that I know would end up being lost on a 28mm scale figure.
Low poly renders of the Lizard Man
I created a low poly model from that using the Freeform tool in 3dsMax. His polycount is about 18k, a far cry from the 4-6 thousand used in Bioshock. He was UV mapped in 3dsMax and his normal maps were projected in Knald. From there, I began texturing in Substance Painter.
Next time, we'll show the final pass at the Lizard Man, plus give a new peek at the Mind Crippler. Anything you want to tell fans about it?
The Mind Crippler has been great fun. It's much more bizarre and otherworldly than what I usually get to make. I've always loved/been repulsed by brain-themed creatures... One of my favorite toys as a kid was a cheap PVC figure of a Grell from Dungeons & Dragons. Working on this feels like a fun homage to that thing.
Underworld AscendantSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Shock Tactics - Preview @GameGrin
GameGrin has previewed Shock Tactics and finds it a promising title that wears its XCOM influences proudly.
"All units can use all weapons and armour, regardless of class, so players are free to choose how they will equip their squad" Leonard tells me. "You have three abilities that are class-related, and three slots that are unlocked with level and can then be trained. You can also change them later in the game."
One of these abilities is the awesome teleportation skill, that allows your soldier to place three beacons and teleport to each of them in quick succession, shooting whichever enemy is closest to each one. Leonard utilises this to clear out half an enemy squad, before losing an allied mercenary to enemy gunfire.
Although the game is focused on aggressiveness, it is not meant to be frustrating and punishing. Whenever your soldiers die, you got three turns to reach them and stabilise their vitals, meaning they get to rest for a few days in a hospital instead of a cemetery. The campaign also keeps the difficulty slightly in check: "It starts with a tutorial, and then the player gets a story about why they're there and it sets up the game. It tells them what they have to do, and then we basically let the player loose." Leonard says. "He can explore the planet and choose the missions, they're pretty free at this stage. And then, the Consortium invasion fleet is coming to the planet, and the player has 70 days to prepare. So these 70 days are like the exploration phase of the game, and after those 70 days, his outposts get attacked by the Consortium and the enemy troops get way stronger."
A new gameplay trailer was also released recently.
Shock Tactics is a turn-based sci-fi strategy game with squad management, exploration, base building and tactical combat that captures the heat of the battle while maintaining fluid gameplay. http://shock-tactics-game.com
Shock TacticsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Mass Effect: Andromeda - Commanding your Squad
A new video for Mass Effect: Andromeda that shows off squad commands and combat profiles.
Pre-Order Now: http://x.ea.com/27451
Watch Part 1 in the series: http://bit.ly/2lMDgqn
Welcome to the Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay series. In this video, learn all about how to customize your character, progress your skills, and command your squad. In Mass Effect: Andromeda, you are on a mission to find a new home for humanity. How far will you go?
Mass Effect: Andromeda - Coming Spring 2017 to PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 4 Pro, and Xbox One
Subscribe for all Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay & trailer videos: http://bit.ly/1UnWxV0
Mass Effect: AndromedaSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Prey - New Powers Trailer
@DSOGaming Bethesda have released a new trailer for Prey which shows off some of the powers in the game.
Bethesda has released a new trailer for Arkane’s Prey, showing some of the game’s aliens and powers that players will have. In Prey, players will be able to possess almost all objects; from coffee cups to… bananas. Prey is powered by Crytek’s CRYENGINE and will be released on May 5th. Enjoy!loading...
Release: In development
Pamela - Entering Early Access March 9th
P.A.M.E.L.A. is an open-world, utopian survival horror game coming to PC on March 9th 2017. Get more info at http://www.pamelagame.com.
Explore and survive in a Utopian future, ravaged by humanity's misguided pursuit of perfection. With the help of an enigmatic ally, scavenge, discover and fight for your life on Eden, a floating monolith of a dead civilization.
SURVIVE - Eat, sleep, and find shelter in a strange and unforgiving world.
DISCOVER - Unveil the tragic mysteries that lie within the walls of Eden.
SCAVENGE - Find supplies and equipment before someone else does.
BUILD - Utilize advanced technology to construct and fortify your own safe haven.
FIGHT - Wield a wide array of advanced equipment and weaponry to defend yourself against Eden's residents
We are currently in alpha development for Windows PC. Stay tuned for more updates!
Release: In development
Elder Scrolls Online - Return to Morrowind Trailer
Bethesda has released their 'Return to Morrowind' gameplay trailer for The Elder Scrolls Online.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind - Return to Morrowind Gameplay Trailer | PC Xbox One & PS4
The Elder Scrolls Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing (MMORPG) video game developed by ZeniMax Online Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It was originally released for Microsoft Windows and OS X on April 4, 2014.It is a part of The Elder Scrolls series, of which it is the first open-ended multiplayer installment.
As with other games in The Elder Scrolls franchise, the game is set in the continent of Tamriel and features a storyline indirectly connected with the other games. The Elder Scrolls Online had been in development for seven years before its release in 2014. It initially received mixed reviews, but these improved significantly with the re-release and rebranding as The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, with the majority of reviews praising the changes.
Elder Scrolls OnlineSP/MP: Single + MP
Deus Ex: MD - A Criminal Past
Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has its second narrative DLC now available called 'A Criminal Past'.
Posing as a convicted criminal, Jensen is transferred deep into a hostile, high-security prison for augmented felons, with his mission being to track down a fellow undercover agent who has gone dark. To achieve his goal, Jensen will need to confront a darker side to his role before the day is done.
A Criminal Past, our second narrative DLC for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is now available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One
Deus Ex: MDSP/MP: Single + MP
Torment:ToN - George Ziets Interview P1
Forbes interviews George Ziets, who is the lead area designer for Torment: Tides of Numenera, in the first of a four part interview.
What does a writer do during a typical day at work? How does this change over the development cycle?
Early in the project, writers are pulled into preproduction tasks. At InXile, we're in the initial stages of Wasteland 3, so the writers have been brainstorming ideas for characters and factions, writing up design documents for companion NPCs, evaluating possible improvements for our writing tools, getting pulled into story meetings, and updating our dialogue-writing guidelines. The early part of a project can be unpredictable, with lots of impromptu discussions on every aspect of design.
Once preproduction is finished, writers will settle into a more regular routine. We'll assign them dialogues and text, plus deadlines they need to hit. We try to make sure that each writer can "own" a chunk of the game. It's usually better if one writer handles all the writing for a particular level or zone. They feel more ownership, and the tone for that area of the game will be more consistent.
Toward the end of production, when all the dialogue and text has at least a first pass, the writers start revising and fixing bugs. They'll go back over their work to make it better, while our testers send them all the typos, inconsistencies, and logic errors that they've found. At the very end of the project, some of our writers might be pulled into publicity events with the press, and they'll help write and review our marketing materials. Then, even before the project is finished, they'll start brainstorming ideas for the next project... and the cycle continues!
How does your time divide between writing original content and reviewing and editing content to make sure the whole thing hangs together?
Most writers spend a majority of their time writing new content or fixing bugs. The task of reviewing their work usually falls to the narrative lead. When I've been in that role, I spent about 30% of my time reviewing other people's work. Larger studios sometimes have full-time editors who handle much of the reviewing and editing burden, but it's still a good idea to play the game carefully and make sure everything is consistent - character voices, tone, presentation of themes, etc. Writers know the story better than anyone, and we'll catch problems that other people miss.
Release: In development
Wednesday - February 22, 2017
Divinity: Original Sin II - Larian needs you!
Larian wants your Divinity: Original Sin II test data:
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Needs YOU!
Oh sure, it's easy to look at a video game and think "this came together really well because of the programmers, or the artists, or the very, very attractive and humble writers," but it's a little more complicated than that.
The fact is, any game that we make is a draft before it goes through testing. A well-tested game is a well-polished game, and that's part of the joy of early access! Every single person that sits down to play Divinity: Original Sin 2 generates testing data, but it's only useful if we get to see it.
How do we get to see it? Well, once you close the game you click the friendly little box that appears asking if you’d like to share the game data with us. It really is that quick and that easy.
Sure, but does it really matter?
Yes! VERY yes! It's easy to think "all this data just goes in a big bucket, I'm sure they have plenty - they don't need mine", but the amount of data isn't half as important as the variation. We can catch game-breaking bugs or exploits because one person thought outside the box and did something we didn't expect, or which 99% of players missed. It's these outliers - these individuals - that help give us the fine layer of polish that we're aiming for in Divinity: Original Sin 2. So please, don't ever think that your contribution will be ignored, or isn't worth much. Every piece of data is sacred, and we need each bit we can get.
So what exactly do we track?
If it’s in the game, then we want to know about it! We want to work together with you to produce the best game possible, and that means giving you the chance to share as much game data as you can. But what exactly are we interested in? Here's a summary of the data you can send us.
There are a bunch of ways out of Fort Joy, and we need to check which routes are used most often (and therefore might be too easy) or which are barely used at all (and may need to be tweaked or balanced.) The same is true of treasure that might be too easy/difficult to find, fights that people are missing, or characters and quests that aren't getting the attention we expected because people just don't spend enough time hanging out in shady alleyways or exploring caves.
We use this data to create a heatmap, which tells us the most common paths people take and which areas they explore. This is also very handy for spotting and fixing mistakes like "I'm pretty sure you shouldn't be able to walk through that wall" or letting us add a chest to reward you for walking through that Sourcerer's cunning wall illusion!
STR, FIN, INT, WIS, etc. are the beautiful three-letter building blocks of any character, so it's important we track what builds you're working on and spot any inconsistencies in the system. What stats are picked more than others, and does that change as you level? Does that indicate that any of them are over/underpowered?
In regards secondary stats, the experience points you gain and the speed you gain them at is essential for the pacing of the game. We also need to know how quickly you move and what resistances you're working on so we make sure the levels ahead are balanced and well-paced.
Items and Inventory:
Making sure you have the right equipment as you go is vital, so we check how much you're picking up along the way, and what sort of armour you’re using. This lets us know if there’s too much or too little, and if it's the right level.
Tags are a foundational part of Divinity: Original Sin 2, so being able to track the origins, race, and profession tags used is as important as anything else. Also, some tags are dynamic, and are added or removed as you play, which will have to be tracked and carefully balanced to make sure they work well in the final game.
Abilities and Talents:
As the nuts-and-bolts of combat and exploration, making sure abilities and talents work is core to making sure the game plays well. We need to find out what's popular. What ain't? How many of you are picking PetPal? What weapons specialisations do you love? What spells are being used in every battle, and what needs to be buffed up a little?
How are you making your gold? Is most of it looted directly or does it come from selling items? Do you have enough gold? Are you doing okay? Can you afford rent and still spend the occasional night at the tavern?
Divinity: Original Sin IISP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Into The Breach - Why so long for the next game
@waypoint.vice they ask why Subset Games took so long to come out with another game after FTL and they elaborate on Into the Breach.
How the developer dealt with a "sophomore slump" after their first game's unexpected success.
Nobody expected FTL, a hardcore roguelike where players try (and usually fail) to guide a spaceship back to headquarters, to be such a massive success, especially not FTL developer Subset Games. It's been more than four years since FTL was released, but it was only two weeks ago that Subset Games got around to announcing their next game, the mech-and-monsters Into the Breach.
Subset Games has kept busy, though. FTL: Advanced Edition, released as a free update in April 2014, brought new mechanics and complexity to FTL, and the game was ported to iPad.
And while it might be hard to remember, the final months of FTL's development were funded by a Kickstarter campaign way back in February 2012, not long after Double Fine helped put the service on the map for video game fans. They asked for $10,000, but ended up with $200,542.
"Having a successful project has changed a number of things," said Subset Games co-founder and FTL designer Justin Ma, during a recent email interview. "Being able to self-fund means we can take our time and maintain better work-life balance compared to FTL's development. However, it brings new stress, too. We went through a period of a 'sophomoric slump' where we were a bit paralyzed figuring out what game to work on next."
Into the Breach, set in a world where kaiju-like creatures have emerged from the ground, looks like a delicious mix of Front Mission and Advance Wars.
To answer the most burning question about Into the Breach: Ma described the mechs as "somewhere between Mechwarrior's Mechs and Front Mission's Wanzers."
This wasn't the first game they settled on, though. Before their "sophomoric slump," Ma and his development partner, Matthew Davis, took a few months off; it'd been a busy few years. The two began prototyping ideas on their own, rather than immediately collaborating. They would show one another the projects, though, and eventually, one idea called out to both of them. Over the next few months, they poked, prodded, and stretched the prototype to make sure it fit.
"Whether or not fans of FTL will like our next game is big a concern," said Ma. "In the end, we're doing our best to ignore the success of FTL and focus on just trying to make a game that we would want to play."
Into the Breach was directly inspired by blockbuster movies where the good guys ostensibly save the world from one threat or another, while brazenly busting up the cities around them. (Last year's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice built off this reaction to Man of Steel, though it didn't really work.)
"No one seems to care or notice the destruction despite millions of people likely having been killed," said Ma. "We wanted to make a game where the defense of the city is the highest priority."
Into The BreachSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Styx: Shards of Darkness - Launching March 14th
@GamePressure Styx: Shards of Darkness will be launching March 14th.
In this new behind the scenes video Focus Home Interactive revealed the specific release date for Styx: Shards of Darkness. The upcoming sequel to Cyanide Studio's fantasy stealth action game is going to launch on March 14, 2017 on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Apart from pointing at the release date, the video discusses the main character, the eponymous goblin assassin named Styx. He's a nasty little creature with a prickly sense of humor and a knack for dirty tricks (not to mentin stabbing people in the neck). The developers also talk a bit about level desing and their inspirations for that.loading...
Styx: Shards of DarknessSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Pillars of Eternity II - Your Own Ship
Pillars of Eternity 2s latest update focuses on ships. There are more stretch goals posted as well.
Your Own Ship!loading...
Yes, we can finally confirm what we've been keeping secret this whole time: a new and exciting feature that takes the Pillars of Eternity experience to a completely new stage, which adds open-world exploration and discovery to the gameplay on both land and at sea! As many of you guessed correctly, in Deadfire you can be the captain of your own ship. With ships, you have the power to play the game differently; now, you can freely explore the islands of the Deadfire using the new world map.
You want details about the ships? No problem. Your ship is a Dyrwoodan sloop called the Defiant, purchased for you by the Steward of Caed Nua, who has made the journey to help you (part of her, anyway) on your quest to hunt down Eothas, and is one of the first allies to join you on your adventure. The ship acts as your mobile base of operations, carrying you and your comrades wherever you command. Companions will stay on-board while not in your party, and you can even go below decks to your captain's quarters for rest and relaxation.
You can customize, upgrade, and add personal touches to the Defiant. This includes changing your sails, painting your hull, and flying flags to show your personal colors/faction allegiance. You can also improve the performance of your cannons, sails, and hull, beyond just their cosmetic appearance. For example, Dwarven cannons add extra firepower in naval battles, or while upgraded sails give you an extra bit of speed to outmaneuver your opponent. If we hit our $3.5 million stretch goal,we'll add even more new and amazing, unlockable upgrades for your ships. And if we hit our $4 million stretch goal, we will add other ships that you can find, purchase, or even steal during your adventure - to make them your own.
The World Map - Navigate the High Seas
As you probably saw in the video, above, the world map has gotten complete overhaul in terms of form and function. No longer do you have to travel from point to point in a locked fashion (though you can travel directly to locations you've already discovered, if you want). Instead, you can freely explore the map in any direction you want with your ship. You can even disembark and travel by foot on the larger islands. Our design inspiration here comes directly from classic RPGs like Fallout1 & 2; this new approach to the world map makes Pillars II feel bigger, freer, and lets you play how you want. You may discover islands and dungeons not on your map, adventure on your own path for extra treasure, or chart a course towards a distant island.
During your sea travels, you can access the ship at any time to talk to your companions or manage your ship. And through the world map UI, you can travel directly to previously discovered locations. We have a similar feature in the Neketaka City Map UI that allows you to go directly to major interior areas without having to the walk through the exterior district maps manually, which will save you a lot of time.
During your adventures around the islands of Deadfire, you may encounter things at sea. These special encounters will be presented as scripted interactions - not only will your ship play a role, but any ship upgrades will impact how these interactions play out, too. We will have both combat and non-combat encounters, many of which will play out in-game depending on the resolution you've chosen. For example, you may come upon a hostile pirate ship on the horizon. If you choose to engage, you can fire your cannons in attempt to destroy their ship, or you can try closing the distance to board and fight the crew directly. How effective a cannon shot is will depend on how improved your cannons are, and how likely you are to be able to escape, on your sails. Other examples include finding a derelict vessel, saving a group of stranded sailors on a wreck, meeting a traveling merchant, or fighting a monstrous sea creature. How you deal with these events is up to you.
Pillars of Eternity IISP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Colony Ship RPG - Factions' Headquarters
Iron Tower Studios has posted another update for Colony Ship RPG and has concept art for each area. This update focuses on factions' headquarters.
We're picking up speed and working on the starting town (the Pit) putting together the very first level. The new engine makes a huge difference and so far everything is going very smoothly, but obviously we're still in the early stages.
The writing for the starting town is almost done, the quests will require 14 portraits and Mazin is already working on the first two, so we can dedicate the next update to the Pit, introduce some characters and tell you what to expect design wise. Our new concept artist is still working on the locations.
The Habitat - The Brotherhood of Liberty:
The Brotherhood was formed to liberate the people from the iron shackles of the Ship Authority. Though their first sally -which the fossils of the old world denigrate with the term "mutiny"- failed to completely achieve this aim, the Brotherhood was successful in establishing themselves as a power to be reckoned with. More importantly, their ideals of liberty and freedom are now discussed everywhere.
The Brotherhood's initially pure goal, to free the enslaved wherever they may be, has unfortunately been sullied by the practical concerns of democracy. If the Brotherhood had had access to the older histories they would have realized that democracies beget their own factions, factions which cannot be put down with violence for now they are within. The Executive Council was also forced to consider issues like the right to vote, and whether it should be granted freely to all, or earned through service to the state. The first generation earned their rights rebelling against the tyrants, whereas the youth of today have forgotten even the names of those heroes. Easily swayed by rhetoric and bribed with cheap comforts, these layabouts could hardly be less concerned with such abstractions as liberty and universal suffrage.
To bring freedom to the Ship entire must involve war, and no war may be won without sacrifice, nor may battles be managed by committee. The unwillingness to back high ideals with bloodshed is, as far as the Council is concerned, the reason for the recent losses against the Protectors. Yet any attempt to limit majority rule must be interpreted as a retreat from the ideals upon which the Brotherhood's very identity is based. If every decision, even those which mean death to some of the Brotherhood's own citizens, must first be approved by a majority, how is it possible even to start?
The Brotherhood's mindset is that of a group under siege that must remain vigilant and stand ready to repel the invaders. Their government building is not a tall and proud spire (that can be brought down) but a bunker-like structure. Turtle vs Eagle.
Unlike the Protectors who carry the torch of the centuries old Mission, holding it sacrosanct, the Brotherhood's ideology is far less stable. What started as an anarchist uprising driven by the desire to free the people (whether they wanted or not) was slowly transformed into a different form of tyranny - that of the majority. Hard won freedom had to give way to security and the great struggle against the Protectors. Some might even argue that the Protectors and the Brotherhood are two sides of the same coin and question the wisdom of the mutineers who replaced one authoritative state with another.
* * *
The Habitat - The Church of the Elect (the Garden of Eden district)
As inevitably happens in dark and challenging times, some citizens turn to God for reassurance, the promise of an end to pain and hunger. Or failing an end, at least a purpose.
The Church of the Elect rejected both the Protectors of the Mission and the Brotherhood of Liberty as worldly fools distracted by politics and their own egos. Teaching their adherents that they were chosen by God, the Church frames the journey of the Ship as a centuries-long test of faith. We all face a series of difficult trials, yes, but with a very definite end.
When the Ship arrives at her destination, Judgement Day awaits every citizen. The righteous will be welcomed into the Promised Land of Alpha Centauri-4, while the unrepentant will be returned to the Hell from which we fled -Earth- to suffer for all eternity.
Led by the Chaplain-General, the Church of the Elect is a militant organization. While Christ was undoubtedly a man of peace, what he preached on Earth does not strictly apply in the void of space. Extraordinary challenges require exceptional measures, for even Jesus can't do much for an unarmed man.
The Church represents militant Christianity as no other kind would have lasted long against the Protectors whose God is the Mission or the Brotherhood that sees God as yet another master. As far as the Church is concerned, both the Protectors and the Brotherhood as living proof that men who don't follow the teaching of Jesus Christ to the letter are bound to get lost. It's obvious that the Ship won't arrive to the Promised Land until everyone follows the same guiding light, thus it's the Church's holy duty to save the Mission and land the Ship.
* * *
As always, your feedback and comments are welcome. I updated the 'concept art' thread to keep all art in one place.
Colony Ship RPGSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
NieR: Automata - Delayed on PC
@DSOGaming Nier: Automata has been delayed on PC with no new date being announced.
Whether this delay is due to console time-exclusivity deals or not remains to be seen. The point is that when this latest trailer was originally created, Square Enix planned to release the Steam version on March 10th. However, this is no longer the case. Moreover, and according to the latest press release, NieR Automata will be coming to the PC later this year.
"NieR: Automata, developed by SQUARE ENIX and PlatinumGames Inc., will release in North America on March 7 for the PlayStation® computer entertainment system and Steam® in 2017."
And that is that!loading...
NieR: AutomataSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Tuesday - February 21, 2017
Banner Saga 3 - A look at combat
The Banner Saga 3 will have more variety in its combat according to the latest kickstarter update.
Hi, everyone! I'm Matt Rhoades, Lead Designer at Stoic. I'm excited to share some of the new combat designs we have in store for you in Banner Saga 3. Hopefully this will answer some questions as well as serve to start more discussions in the community about what's to come.
Our unique Strength-versus-Armor dynamic has always been the hallmark of the Banner Saga trilogy, but Banner Saga 3 will utilize new combat-focused features that we haven't been able to implement until now.
In Banner Saga 2 we had destructible props, such as barricades, but in Banner Saga 3 we want to create more dynamic battle boards that can change and evolve over the course of a fight. Picture a flaming urn that, when struck, tips over and ignites a line of oil on the ground, creating a wall of fire with which your enemies (or your heroes) have to contend!
Enemy Minds (Updated AI)
We're improving enemy Artificial Intelligence to make enemies feel smarter and more dangerous! We're enhancing ‘pathfinding' to let the enemy be attracted to or repelled from certain areas. This will let us tether enemies to make them better at defending objectives and also better at avoiding dangerous areas of the battle board (like fire pits). As a side effect, we will also be able to create battles that incorporate more hazardous terrain, which will make movement a more tactical choice for players.
We'll set AI target priority in a more granular way, which will allow us to do more interesting attack/defend scenarios, and tell stories through our battles with a higher fidelity. This will lead to more organic behaviors and new strategic opportunities for players who want to build a plan around anticipating enemy's actions.
Fighting in the Darkness
There's a growing Darkness overtaking the world, and we've been crafting new mechanics that differentiate these battles from what you've seen before. I'm not going to say TOO much, but I will tell you that you can expect a replacement for the war horn and a press-your-luck element. This should have even our most experienced players torn while trying to decide what to do.
Lastly, I want to mention our "Alpha Access to Game Battles." This will be your chance to try some of these new mechanics, including new bosses, in story - free battles that will help us gauge difficulty, fine tune some of our numbers, and, of course, make sure things are FUN! We're looking forward to sharing these battles with you and we can't wait to get your feedback on the backer forums.
Banner Saga 3SP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Underrail - New Weapons
Styg presents some new weapons for the Underrail expansion in dev log #51:
Dev Log #51: New Weapon Types
Hi guys. In the past few months we've been working (and we're still working) on a couple of major features for the expansion, but we didn't want to show any of them before they were ready. First of these that are now done are the new weapons, so without further ado I give you the three new weapon types - the spear, the machete and the shotgun.
The choice of spear and machete as new weapons was mostly thematic (you will learn why in some later dev log), but these weapons will also have their own place in the melee arsenal. Spears are meant to be versatile offensive and defensive weapons, while machetes are meant to be high risk-high reward weapons that will rely on the user keeping up the offensive. More on the exact mechanics of this will be revealed later when I get to implementing their specific feats. There are two types of machetes that differ slight in critical chance/damage stats.
Pit People - Review
The Den of Geek has reviewed the turn-based combat strategy game Pit People:
Pit People (Early Access) Review
Strategy is not the most accessible genre.
Besides planning out the best path to victory in each battle, most modern strategy titles require endless grinding and gear customization. It’s a commitment that few older gamers have time for. Pit People, the latest game from indie developer The Behemoth, tries to strike a balance between accessibility and complexity, with a good dose of juvenile (yet often hilarious) humor. For the most part, it’s successful, though the lack of content in the early access release on Xbox One and Steam is a little disappointing.
Pit People begins where the Behemoth’s last game, Battleblock Theater, ends, with a giant bear crashing into the planet. This actually makes sense in context. We’re then introduced to Horatio, a humble blueberry farmer, who begins a quest for vengeance after his son is apparently killed in a battle with bandits. Though this would be a tragic scene in many video games, here it’s played for laughs, thanks to the consistently hilarious voiceover from Will Stamper, and interference from the previously mentioned giant bear.
Pit PeopleSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Pixel Privateers - Released
The squad based tactical RPG Pixel Privateers has been released:
Pixel Privateers is a Squad Based Tactical RPG “Loot ‘Em Up” that will send your team of mercenaries through a mysterious wormhole on a quest to gather technology for your employer. In a twist of fate, your journey becomes a one-way ticket – with an entire galaxy of worlds to explore, factions to encounter, and epic gear to collect. Will you make it back home, make your mark in this new universe, or become another victim of the many dangers of the cosmos? Ultimately, how your story plays out is up to you!
Focusing on a user-customizable experience and robust multiplayer within the framework of a deep and engaging space exploration RPG, Pixel Privateers seeks to provide a truly accessible experience that will appeal to gamers of all types and skill levels.
- Huge Universe to Explore
- Navigate your ship through the universe and land on any planet you choose! Take care, however, for many perils await – from warring factions to bloodthirsty aliens and more!
- True Tactical, Squad-Based Combat
- Control your squad individually in tactical mode - where you issue orders and have them carried out - or control your squad as one - directing them all at once!
- Accessible Gameplay
- An array of difficulty settings will allow you to enjoy the game in a more casual manner – or challenge yourself in Hardcore Mode where death is quite permanent!
- Storyline and Factions
- Learn the history of various factions and their place in the universe, and become part of the intrigue yourself. Where do your loyalties lie? What part will you play? See how the story unfolds!
- Deep Skill and Tech Trees
- Advance your knowledge and conquer: Gain awesome new skills, abilities, and technologies as you research alien artifacts. Train and advance individual crew members by enhancing their stats and collecting better gear!
Pixel PrivateersSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Krai Mira - Extended Cut: Available in April
Krai Mira: Extended Cut will be released on April 4th. Owners of the standard version will get the update for free:
Krai Mira: Extended Cut will be available in April
Krai Mira, the spiritual successor to the classic Fallout, is making a huge comeback in April thanks to the Extended Cut release. It wouldn’t be possible without the cooperation between IMGN.PRO and TallTech Studios. The Extended Cut rebuilds formula of Krai Mira and makes it even more addictive with tons of new content. We are happy to announce that the release date is set for April 4, 2017!
February 20th, Bielsko-Biała, Poland.
War. War never changes. Krai Mira, a post-apocalyptic isometric RPG, takes huge inspiration from genre classics like Fallout 1 and Fallout 2. In order to survive, the player needs to be cunning, ruthless, and use their survival skills. The air is filled with toxic poison and enemies lurk ahead – it certainly won’t be easy to make it out alive…
The action takes place in an open world full of a variety of locations. Every step reveals new dangers. The smell of the toxic air makes breathing almost impossible. Skin is burnt by the sun, the ground is soaked with radiation and blood. Survival is the priority here, then finding out what actually happened in this forsaken place. To do that, the player needs to fight monsters and looters alike.
That’s why the most important aspect of Krai Mira is combat. The player is given a wide range of weapons and armor, including some pretty unusual items. It’s possible, for example, to wear various things you pick up during exploration, like old flat tires. This realistic element makes Krai Mira’s universe a whole lot more believable. The player levels up, developing their character and carefully selecting abilities. While exploring the radioactive desert, lost cities, forests, caves, and swamps, NPCs are waiting to offer interesting quests.
KRAI MIRA: EXTENDED CUT
This old-school production by TallTech Studio, styled after the genre’s classics, is getting a spectacular amount of improvements thanks to this special version of the game. Rich new content will enhance the experience of the dangerfilled post-apocalyptic world: developers implemented interactive help and tips, new inventory view and UI adjustments. Players will also find many new items, including high level armor and advanced cures. And this is just the beginning – you’ll meet even more dangerous creatures and much more random encounters. The truth is, you always need to watch your back in Krai Mira.
At the same time the developers have added new localizations (French, Polish, and German), tons of new dialogue lines, and smarter AI. The player will also find new locations: the monastery, catacombs, “Lake” laboratory complex, ancient ruins, and more. So you can be sure of the fact, that Krai Mira: Extended Cut is carefully polished – the developers also took care of bugs, balance and optimization fixes. And, most importantly, now you’ll be able to continue your adventure after completing the main quest.
- improved, better-quality content
- impressively precise in-combat design
- sneaking, setting up traps and mines
- additional flavor in minigames: gambling, dice, arcade machine
- exploring various locations, such as swamps, forests, desert, caves, ancient ruins
- collecting weapons, armor, and unique items
- intriguing main storyline in an open world
- additional side missions
- dynamic day and night cycle
- character development around personal preferences
- gaining followers
- inspired by cult games like Fallout, Commandos, and Diablo
Krai MiraSP/MP: Single-player
Battle Brothers - Let's Play Episode 5
Another Battle Brothers let's play episode:
Let's Play Battle Brothers (Final Update) - Episode 5
In episode 5 our Battle Brothers face a horde of wiedergangers in the snow - let's hope no one gets turned!
Battle BrothersSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Monday - February 20, 2017
Unavowed - New Screenshots
Farflame spotted some new Unavowed screenshots on Indie Retro News. Unavowed is an Adventure/RPG Mix:
- Choose a male or female protagonist
- Choose one of three playable origin stories
- Branching storyline
- A total of five companion characters to choose from. Each with their own talents and abilities.
- Double the resolution of a typical Wadjet Eye Game!
- All the usual guff - voice acting, commentary, original music, etc.
Release: In development
Call of Cthulhu - Preview
Farflame spotted this informative preview of Call of Cthulhu on GodisaGeek:
Call of Cthulhu combines true detective spirit with quintessential Lovecraftian horror
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I’ve never read anything by H.P. Lovecraft. My knowledge of his work extends to knowing that Cthulhu is some massive squid geezer and that our boy Crafty was a bit of a racist in his work. Regardless, his writing has stood the test of time and continues to be read and referenced today. In fact, it’s even being used for inspiration in a video game.
Call of Cthulhu is a video game adaptation of the paper role-playing game of the same name, developed by Cyanide Studios. Set in the 1920s, it’s a first person horror-adventure RPG which puts you in the shoes of Private Investigator Pearce who has been tasked in discovering the truth behind a mysterious fire that ravaged through the Hawkins Mansion and killed three people.
I watched a demo which showed off the opening to the game and then a monster encounter which takes place further on in the adventure, which is aiming to be around 10 to 15 hours long. Although I completely hate horror in whichever form it takes (so much so that I jumped when a flock of birds frantically took flight at the beginning of the demo) and have no connection to Lovecraft in the slightest, I was very impressed by Call of Cthulhu. There seems to be a lot of depth and interesting ideas going on.
Call of CthulhuSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Interview
GameWatcher interviewed the lead storyteller of Werewolf: The Apocalypse:
Monsters are hidden among us, watching, waiting, in the shadows
GameWatcher: Could we just get you to introduce yourself for us, please?
Martin Elricsson: I am Martin Elricsson, I am the Lead Storyteller of White Wolf, the reformed White Wolf. For years, we were owned by CCP, to do with the MMO World of Darkness, I worked as Senior Content in that and it completely broke my heart when that project went downhill, as some computer game projects do, of course. We left with a treasure of concept art and ideas, but now we are our own thing. We are financed by the Paradox group, we are not owned by Paradox but the money comes from the same place. We are very clear that we need to be our own thing in order to do our mature and complex stories about monsters hidden among us.
Martin Elricsson: Are you familiar with Vampire: The Masquerade?
GameWatcher: Somewhat, yes…
Martin Elricsson: This started in 1991 as a pen and paper table top roleplaying game which became the second bestselling roleplaying game during the 90s, after Dungeons and Dragons. Of course, it’s a game that pulls in a lot of women, a lot of goths and people with alternative lifestyles. It’s one integrated universe of monsters hidden among us, manipulating politics and being affected by us. It’s our world but under the surface, the nightmares are boiling. Twenty-five years later, we are updating the whole universe for contemporary times. Continuing the same stories that began in the 90s, we are now in the age of the apocalypse, we are in the end age.
General NewsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release: In development
RPGWatch Feature - Balrum Review
Forgottenlor has played a few games for which he did not want to write a review, at least not for all of them. So in a poll we did last month, our visitors decided that most of them would be looking forward to a review of Balrum.
The story of Balrum isn't bad. It's a sort of classic fantasy story where the character's mysterious origins are revealed, where an ancient evil awakens, and where in the end only the character can make things right. The writing also isn't too bad. Most of the background story is revealed in text discussions with npcs or in the various notes you find throughout the world. Unfortunately there is nothing particularly interesting going on here either. The characters you meet in Balrum are for the most part as flat as cardboard. Since you can't interact with them much, and the few side quest are pretty uninteresting, that's not really so important. Indeed the story's main goal appears to be to sending you from one corner of a map to another, so you can explore first the Dark Forest and then the world of Balrum as a whole. Though you spend hours wandering around, you really only interact with the story and its characters for a small portion of the game. Players who are looking for a story oriented game or clever or interesting quests probably should avoid Balrum. That's simply not the kind of the game it is.
Sunday - February 19, 2017
Bethesda Softworks - Three new Projects
Glixel reports that Bethesda Softworks is working on three new projects:
Bethesda has three new projects in the works
Two of them are "classically" Bethesda.
"We've got a good number of projects on the go," he said. "We're bigger now and we do want to be putting out more stuff. We have two larger projects that are more classically the scale of what we do, but even bigger. We overlap the projects so we're working on them at the same time, but they're staggered," he teased. "I can't talk a lot about them, but I can say that they're bigger than anything we've ever done. They're a bit different, but definitely in the wheelhouse that people are used to from us."