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Tuesday - September 16, 2014
Monday - September 15, 2014
Sunday - September 14, 2014
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After Reset

2014-09-16

After Reset Interview

Last week I had the chance to interview Mr. Nixon of Black Cloud Studios . I asked the community to send questions, and some of you responded. So lets get started.
» Continue reading the article...

Legends of Eisenwald

2014-09-11

Legends of Eisenwald Preview

Aubrielle played the Beta version of Legends of Eisenwald, and added some information from Alexander Dergay, the head of Aterdux Studios in a preview. So lets give them both a big thank you.
» Read the article

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Picture Watch

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes
Box Art

Poll Watch

Your Favorite Infinity Engine Game?
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Expected Releases

Sep: Wasteland 2
Sep: Gauntlet
Sep: Lords of Xulima
Sep: TinyKeep

Tuesday - September 16, 2014

Dead State - Beta Patch #1 Released

by Couchpotato, 09:07

Double Bear released the first patch for the new Dead State Beta, and posted a new update with more information on the kickstarter page.

Beta Patch #1 Released

Hi everyone! I hope you’ve been enjoying playing the Beta. We’re super grateful for all the feedback and bug reports that have been pouring in - you guys are totally awesome! You also did a fantastic job working together to identify potential causes of a couple major bugs, which helped us track them down and resolve them a lot quicker.

This first update addresses the biggest issues you guys reported, fixes various miscellaneous issues, tweaks balance, and extends a couple of features.

Information about

Dead State

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

Details

RPGWatch - After Reset Interview

by Couchpotato, 05:23

Last week I had the chance to interview Mr. Nixon of Black Cloud Studios. I asked the community to send questions, and some of you responded. So lets get started.

CouchPotato: Thanks for agreeing to do the interview Mr. Nixon, and congratulations on getting funded. To start can you give us some information about yourself, and your company Black Cloud Studios?

Mr. Nixon: Thank you, Kevin, and thank RPGWatch for being interested and for giving us an opportunity to talk about our game. 

Mostly I’m a common RPG gamer like many others who are reading our interview right now. 3 years ago, as a former Dungeon Master, I began to work on the After Reset setting as a hobby, spending my own savings on elaborating it as a realistic post-apocalyptic word. When the core of the setting was complete with hard sci-fi details, I began to hire free-lance artists and musicians so that they could begin animating my vision. Then there were modelers, programmers, video editors etc. By the time of Fall of 2013, when I decided to put After Reset RPG on Steam Greenlight just for fun, I had a permanent group of free-lancers who I had been working with for a long time. After the surprising success on Steam Greenlight, they formed the core of Black Cloud Studios.

Information about

After Reset

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

Details

Wasteland 2 - Video Preview @ Eurogamer

by Couchpotato, 05:22

Eurogamer has new video preview of the final build of Wasteland 2.

Playing the final release version of Wasteland 2, due out 19th September 2014. How is it different from the beta? Eurogamer writers Wesley Yin-Poole and Bertie Purchese talk you through it.

Information about

Wasteland 2

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

Details

Steam - More Weekly Steam Sales

by Couchpotato, 05:19

Here are a few more Steam sales this week each one has a certain time limit so hurry.

Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition -75%
Deus Ex: Invisible War -75%
Deus Ex: The Fall -75%
Deus Ex: Human Revolution: Director's Cut -75%
Starpoint Gemini -75%
Starpoint Gemini 2 -40%


Information about

Steam

Details

Pillars of Eternity - Sensuki's Suggestions

by Couchpotato, 05:06

A member by the name of Sensuki on the Obsidian forums has taken it upon himself to submit some new changes for Pillars of Eternity, and from the replies it has worked.

Greetings, all. Today we’re going to talk about the Attribute system in Pillars of Eternity. Traditionally, CRPGs have suffered from certain issues with character attributes that PoE’s Lead Designer, Josh Sawyer, believes detract from the character creation and gameplay experience – namely, the problem of certain classes being pigeonholed into pumping certain attributes to function properly, and the existence of dump stats. To that end, the attribute system in Pillars of Eternity is designed with a few fundamental design goals in mind:

  1. All attributes should be useful (in some way) for every class.
  2. No dump stats – that is, no stat should be overwhelmingly better or worse than the others.

These design goals aim to fix some systemic problems with the traditional D&D-based attribute systems. These design goals are admirable and worthwhile, and we believe that if realized, they will make Pillars of Eternity a richer and more rewarding experience. Unfortunately, the current attribute system fails to meet these goals. In particular, Perception and Resolve are simultaneously not useful for all classes/character archetypes, and are also very widely considered to be dump stats in most cases. However, this can be fixed. I (Sensuki) came up with a solution about two weeks ago and after many days consulting with Matt516 on the mathematical, logical, and balance issues with this solution, we have produced this paper.

https://dl.dropboxus...bute_Rework.pdf

Information about

Pillars of Eternity

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

Details

Runemaster - Preview @ Worldsfactory

by Couchpotato, 05:02

I found a new hands-on preview ths week for Runemaster at Worldsfactory.

In development by Paradox Development Studio (you may know them for strategy classics like Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron and Crusader Kings) and coming out on both PC & PS4, Runemaster could become a surprise hit when it releases later this year. Your gender may be tied to your class, but don’t expect to play the same game twice with Runemaster.

Information about

Runemaster

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

Details

Hellraid - New Stream Tomorrow

by Couchpotato, 05:00

Techland announced they will be hosting a new Live stream of Hellraid tomorrow on Twitch at 1:00 pm EDT. Here's the information from the website.

New Incarnation of Hellraid to be Streamed Live Tomorrow

Don your best armors and sharpen your swords! Today Techland announced a new live stream for its upcoming FPP hack’n’slash title Hellraid. For the first time ever, the game will be shown publicly after its transition to Chrome Engine 6 – Techland’s proprietary next-gen engine that also fuels the much anticipated Dying Light. The stream will begin tomorrow, on September 16th, at 10:00 AM PDT.

Information about

Hellraid

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

Details

Worlds of Magic - First Impression @ Space Sector

by Couchpotato, 04:56

Space Sector's Keith Turner posted a new preview of the Early Access version of Worlds of Magic that gives his first impression of the game.

I spent a few hours with Worlds of Magic this weekend in order to provide some brief first impressions to those who may be wondering about the state of the game as it stands “right now”. It is important to keep in mind that the “right now” status of a freshly launched Early Access game is elusive, and daily updates and changes can resolve or create issues that ultimately lead to a different experience than I have had.

Worlds of Magic, more than any other title I’ve played in recent years, feels like a game from my past. More specifically, it has a very similar feel to Microprose’s classic, Master of Magic. This should come as no surprise, given their stated goal to be a true spiritual successor. While bringing this beloved game back to life is in many ways a positive thing, this reunion isn’t without its negatives. In some aspects, I think this is by design, but in others, I am almost certain it is because the game is still in a late alpha stage. I’ll be comparing Worlds of Magic and Master of Magic a lot, for reasons that will soon become very obvious, so I’ll be using the abbreviations WoM and MoM respectively throughout this impressions piece.

Worlds of Magic does a great job at recreating the Master of Magic sorcerer lord creation system. Aside from the graphical enhancements and UI changes, the system is almost identical. When creating a custom lord, you will select a portrait from one of the existing lords, as you do in MoM. You will then divide a set number of points between your desired skills, called disciplines in WoM, and your spell spheres. You then proceed to select your starting spells dependent on the points you spent in each spell sphere. While all of this sounds mechanically identical to MoM, there are some key differences primarily having to do with how magic is designed.

Information about

Worlds of Magic

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

Details

Hartacon Tactics - Summer 2014 Trailer

by Couchpotato, 04:52

Hartacon Tactics has a new Summer 2014 Trailer released this week.

Hartacon is an online RPG game developed with XNA that allows players to challenge each other in online battles. Battles take place in 2D isometric maps with 4-angles view and zoom. A player can create one or more parties of characters of different classes, each with peculiar stats, skills and weapons. By winning battles, parties gain Upgrade Points (UPs), used to recruit new characters and buy equipments, while individual characters gain Growth Points (GPs), used to learn new skills and increase stats. The battle system is tactical, turn-based, and features traditional RPG elements such as elements and altered states. Players can play against each other or team up in alliances.

Information about

Hartacon Tactics

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

Details

Ken Rolston - Joins Hinterland Games

by Couchpotato, 04:49

Gamasutra has news that veteran RPG designer Ken Rolston has joined Hinterland Games to help with some new games. Lets hope it's not more MMO RPGs.

Ken Rolston, previously known as the lead designer on The Elder Scrolls titles Morrowind and Oblivion, has joined Hinterland Games, the team behind survival game The Long Dark.

Rolston is a 25 year industry veteran, whose credits extend beyond his work in the video game sphere, to pen and paper RPGs such as Paranoia and RuneQuest.

Information about

Gamasutra

Details

Shadow Realms - New Preview/Interview Video

by Couchpotato, 04:46

GamerHub TV has a new Preview/ Interview video with Bioware about Shadow Realms, and it also includes some new gameplay footage.

BioWare details its new 4 vs 1 online story-driven action RPG in this exclusive interview from the Electronic Arts booth at PAX Prime in Seattle.

Information about

Shadow Realms

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Mercenarys & Greenlight

by Couchpotato, 04:42

Overhype Studios next update for Battle Brothers on Steam has more infomation on mercenary contracts, and talks about the game on Steam Greenlight.

It’s been one week now since we launched on Greenlight, and what a ride it’s been! We’re now at 63% on the way to the top 100. Not too shabby for one week, but still a long way to go before being greenlit.

Thank you all for your support so far! Only with your help can we get the game on Steam, which would allow us to work on it full-time and make progress much faster. If you know others who might be interested in Battle Brothers, please do share the link!

So, that’s that. For now, let us take a look at contracts, which in Battle Brothers work much like quests do in other RPGs, and how they shape the game.

Information about

Battle Brothers

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

Details

The Tale of Three - New Action-Adventure Game

by Couchpotato, 04:39

The Tale of Three is a new Action-Adventure Game from a developer called gameDNA studio. They also have a webpage on Seam Greenlight that has more information.

The Tale of Three will be an action-adventure game with some RPG elements, but we won’t hold your hand throughout the story. There will be a lot to discover but nothing will be given on a plate. We focus on a maximum immersion and high level of difficulty like in the old-school games.

If that got you interested they have a campaign on Indiegogo that needs funding.

Welcome to our crowdfunding campaign for The Tale of Three, which is a third-person perspective video game with three playable characters whose fates get tangled up with each other.

If you haven't already seen the trailer, don't wait anymore – you must see it! The video contains actual in-game footage from the pre-alpha version. We realize that it looks pretty raw without some assets, textures, or parts of gameplay but keep in mind that it's the beginning of the development and in the end it will look much better.

Our goal is to create a game that will allow you to take part in an epic adventure with unforgettable characters in the mysterious world. We hope that it will stand out by its original gameplay and high level of difficulty – like in old good games, but with a modern twist.

Among the inspirations we have to mention fables and tales from our childhood like those by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, and many, many others. When it comes to games, we take pattern from Hype: The Time Quest (it's quite old but still charming), the Gothic series, Fable: The Lost Chapters, The Witcher series, and Dark Souls.

So what we want to achieve is to create something that will make us feel the same magic we felt when our mothers and fathers read us stories in childhood, and then when we played games as teenagers. Sometimes contemporary productions look pretty but finishing them no longer makes such pleasure like in the old ones. We would like to return to the roots, drawn from the DNA of classics and make for you something that you will want to play again.

Information about

Indiegogo

Details

JA:Flashback - Early Access Impression

by Couchpotato, 04:32

Gabriel Mejia posted a short Early Access impression for Jagged Alliance Flashback on Two Dash Stash. Unlike the other previews  he says Full Control is making progress.

Currently, the game is available through Steam’s Early Access program is still a ways away from an official release. Nonetheless, the Early Access build of the game is playable, without any game breaking bugs or issues, and shows that the team at Full Control is making steady progress on the game. Of course, with some minor bugs, a spartan UI, and missing assets the game is far from perfect, that being said, combat, which was my main focus, was enjoyable and fun.

Information about

JA:Flashback

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

Details

Shadow of Mordor - Live Action Trailer

by Couchpotato, 04:27

Seems a new live action trailer for Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor was released today.

Information about

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

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

Details

Path of Exile - 1.2.2b Patch Released

by Couchpotato, 04:23

Grinding Gear Games posted news on the Path of Exile forums that path 1.2.2b is now available for download. Here is the short post with the news, and more links.

1.2.2b Patch

We're deploying a 1.2.2b patch to fix a few issues with today's 1.2.2 deploy. Thanks for your patience! One feature that people are enjoying in today's patch is the ability to unleash pets in your hideout. We've seen some pretty awesome hideouts with large collections of pets so far. Someone purchased over 100 Wetas! If you haven't checked out the three new skill effects in 1.2.2, they're over here.

The bows and wands affected by the problem in the first few minutes of 1.2.2 have been restored in remove-only stash tabs.

Information about

Path of Exile

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

Details

Monday - September 15, 2014

Original Sin - The Wait Is Over Update

by Couchpotato, 20:03

Larian Studios latest kickstarter update for Divinity: Original Sin has information the promised companion patch is now available. Here are the details.

The wait is over: Two new companions have landed in Cyseal!

We may have been a bit quiet over the past two months, but you'll be happy to hear we've spent the time not only recovering from launch, but also preparing improvements and new content for Divinity: Original Sin. We figured: how better to break the silence than with an exciting update chock full of much-asked-after features?

Today, we're launching a content-heavy update to D:OS players, featuring two totally new companions, each ready (if you play your cards right) to help save Rivellon. Also included in the newest update is a big quality-of-life improvement and another coat of polish.

Below, Swen discusses more about the added content, as well as future updates and what the team's been up to since our last update (hint: Divinity: Original Sin isn't the only game we're working on!).

Information about

Original Sin

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

Details

Feargus Urquhart - Interview #4 @ Matt Chat

by Couchpotato, 08:43

Matt Chat posted the fourth video interview with Feargus Urquhart the CEO of Obsidian Entertainment, and he talks about KOTOR II, NWN II, FO:NV.


Feargus is back one final time (for now!) to chat about Obsidian. We talk about the behind-the-scenes drama with these titles before getting into Dwarves, a game based on Snow White that was cancelled after a year of production. We wrap up with a discussion of being a boss, and how to reject somebody's ideas without making an enemy.

Information about

Obsidian Entertainment

Details

Graywalkers - Kickstarter Update

by Couchpotato, 06:44

Dreamlords Digital has posted news the kickstarter relaunch of Graywalkers: Purgatory will be on September 24. So fingers crossed it doesn't get delayed once again.

Hello everyone. We will be submitting our page to Kickstarter this weekend to get it approved. It normally takes 2-3 days for approval. Assuming there are no issues with the page and it gets approved, our target launch will be on September 24.

Information about

Graywalkers

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

Details

Dragon - Early Access FAQ Posted

by Couchpotato, 06:41

Red Level Games posted a FAQ on Steam about Early Access for Dragon.

Release Questions

1. Early Access Release Date: September 19, 2014.
2. Early Access Price: $17.99
3. Early Access Launch Week Price: $14.99
4. Estimated Retail Release: Summer or Fall 2015.
5. Platforms: PC, Mac, Linux. Mac and Linux versions may be released after PC.
6. Consoles: If we are successful we would love to release on consoles.
7. Distributors: Steam Storefront. We are also considering the Humble Store, Gamer’s Gate, Good Ol’ Game, Greenman Gaming, and IndieGameStand.

Game Questions

What is Dragon: The Game?

Dragon: The Game (“Dragon”) is an open-world action RPG, where you will play as a living, fire-breathing dragon! A dragon will be able to:

  • Explore and hunt over a vast fantasy world.
  • Eat, grow, and gain power; customizing your dragon’s traits and abilities along the way.
  • Establish lairs, claim territory, and amass untold hordes.
  • Battle other dragons and fantastic creatures.
  • Topple buildings, raze villages, and torch forests on destructible worlds.
  • Impact the world’s economy and development through your actions.
  • Interact with villagers, kingdoms, and other mighty creatures. Will you be a benevolent guardian or a ruthless tyrant?
  • Create a legacy. Your dragon’s descendants will inherit powers and traits from their parent.

Will the game support multi-player?

Dragon will support multi-player through Photon.

Will dragons be able to use magic?

Yes, though magic will not be included in the initial Early Access version of the game. We want to determine what magic system will best complement the other features of the game, so we feel it is best to implement in later stages of development.

What does treasure do for my dragon?

Gold and other wealth will increase your dragon’s dominance and influence in the world and will be worked into several game mechanics. Collecting rare items, artwork, and other loot will be a significant part of the game and will reveal the lore of the world in addition to providing benefits to your dragon.

Will Dragon be crowd-funded?

We will pursue crowd funding for Dragon based on the community’s response to the Early Access.

Information about

Dragon

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

Details

Battle Brothers - Questions & Answers Update

by Couchpotato, 06:37

Overhype Studios has a new update on Steam with more Questions & Answers.

Frequently Asked Questions - and Answers

As time flies by a lot of interesting and important questions regarding Battle Brothers pop up. We want to take the time to answer some important ones. If you have any more questions just ask in the comments or start a discussion!

Q: Is the game a sandbox or does it have a linear progression with a beginning and end?

A. Battle Brothers will have a completely open world which doesn’t restrict the player to go anywhere based on story progress, but only on being able to survive. Concerning progression, the game will have a beginning and an end given by the general setting, loosely framed within a narrative related to one of several “greater evils”. There’ll also be several milestones along the way, though they don’t necessarily have to be completed in linear sequence or at all. We won’t have forced and repetitive story missions that conflict with our open world gameplay or get in the way of replayability. However, the ultimate goal of every campaign will be to destroy the source behind the “greater evil” and stop the invasion. At some point the player will have to face the enemy or see the land get swept away.

Information about

Battle Brothers

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

Details

Seven Dragon Saga - Interview @ Combo Breaker

by Couchpotato, 06:35

Combo Breaker posted a new interview with Tactical Simulations Interactive president David Klein, and provided a translation for English readers.

So read the google document since I can't post a preview of it.

Source: RPG Codex

Information about

Seven Dragon Saga

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

Details

Sienna Storm - Interview & Kickstarter Update

by Couchpotato, 06:28

Digital Knights the Street espionage PC game failed to get to funded, and only managed to earn $17,049 of the asking $179,000 goal.

They have one last update to read.

To all units: retreat and regroup. We gonna win next time

To our dear Sienna Storm backers,

It is with saddened hearts that we officially announce the "dissolution" of our current Kickstarter project. We appreciate all the constructive feedback you have given us, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts that you have stuck with us to this very moment. 

Your support and feedback is valuable to us and it will be the key to the complete development of Sienna Storm. We want to share this game with you all, so we will look into different reasonable opportunities and probably even relaunch on Kickstarter at a later time.  

Please stay tuned, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter so that you will be the first to know all of the updates and news on Sienna Storm!

The developers also did a follow-up interview with Redbull.

It’s been a learning lesson for the team, but they’re not too disheartened, and will consider other options before turning to publishers, the old-fashioned way.

"We haven’t approached any publishers yet, because our priority is to keep the rights within Digital Knights and build a strong Sienna Storm brand,” Filipov tells Red Bull. “But we’re open to any business discussions a publisher or a strategic partner would like to have, because there might be proposals that let us stay independent and grow."

“Trust us when we say that we will be back and Sienna Storm will be a success!” In other words, the developers at Digital Knights haven’t played the last card in their hands just yet. Not by a long shot.

Information about

Sienna Storm

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

Details

Gamasutra - Branching Conversation Systems

by Couchpotato, 06:22

Gamasutra has two interesting articles about Branching Conversation Systems from Alexander Freed. You can read the first article by clicking the following link.

Video games are bad at handling conversations. Video games are especially bad at handling interactive conversations. There’s a reason most classic games are remembered for their gameplay or atmosphere rather than their dialogue: talking isn’t a strength of the medium.

But dialogue is a powerful and versatile storytelling tool–it characterizes, it builds relationships, it turns subtext into text, it gives rhythm and pacing to scenes, it creates an “index” of key words and phrases to a narrative, it brings drama into quiet moments… and so on. Foregoing dialogue altogether enormously limits the kinds of stories a video game can tell. So we’ve been using it from almost the beginning, despite our better judgment.

Basic non-interactive dialogue is easy. Screens of text or lines of voiceover are simple to deliver. Yet this approach inevitably turns the Player (the person behind the screen, as opposed to the in-game Player character) into a passive consumer of content.

The second part of his post can be read here.

So you’ve decided that a branching conversation system is the best choice for your game. You’ve got the writing and programming expertise to make it work, and the budget to support implementation and testing. But how will your system really function? You know your high-level goals, but it’s time to refine.

In this post, we’ll discuss some of the largest design decisions you’ll need to make before writing begins.

Information about

Gamasutra

Details

InSomnia - Forums Up in Test Mode

by Couchpotato, 06:17

Studio MONO's latest update for InSomnia brings news the official forum are now up.

InSomnia Forum UP in Test Mode

Hello to all of our backers and followers! 

We have some very news today: Our forum is finally up, in test mode but you can already use it!  Registration is open for everybody; the forums themselves are set to read-only for unregistered guests, while posting is open for everybody with an account. 

We also ask you to acquaintance yourself with the rules - they’re short, seriously, give them a glance. Also, please keep in mind that the forums are basically in a beta. Pretty much everything can change, expand or, on the contrary, get deleted. If you have any ideas or thoughts about the structure of the the forum - give us a notice! There’s a special topic ready for your suggestions. 

The forum is available here: http://www.insomnia-project.com/forum-3/ 

In other news, we’ve began to actively collaborate with those fans who wanted to help InSomnia professionally - 3D modellers, artists, composers and others. We’ve collected quite an amount of interesting, quality content, which we’ll start compiling and showing off for everyone who’s interested - and all of this content will make it’s way into the game! That’s it for today! See you on the forums!

Information about

InSomnia

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

Details

Dungeons & Dragons - News Roundup

by Couchpotato, 06:13

Retro Gaming Mag has a new retrospective article about the AD&D License for Heroes of the Lance. I know a few you still play the older games so it might interest a few of you.

Admit it, you knew this was coming. Maybe not today, maybe not next week, but you knew, at some point, I was going to dig into the hog waller. If that’s what you’ve been waiting for, retro gaming fans, then today’s your lucky day. Rejoice. Clap your hands. Give the ol’ banjo a tune-up. Because today I dipped my hands into the muck, and I came up holding  the royal, diamond-encrusted, jellyfish-immortal turd of all turds in the Nintendo Entertainment System’s library: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes of the Lance. Do you have any idea how much I hate myself just for writing that last sentence?

Also I found a new interview on RPGamer with Jeremy Crawford about his work on the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition and Blue Rose.

A legion of reporters, speaking in perfect unison: Two years ago, Mike Mearls stood up at the Gen-Con address and said, "We're going to give D&D back to the players." There was a huge playtest. Give us a sense of the scope of the playtest.

JC: The playtest, as far as we know, is the largest playtest any tabletop game has ever had—not just any roleplaying game, any tabletop game, period. We've had over 175,000 playtesters over the course of two years. As you can see, if you've looked at the playtest packets over the past two years, there has been a tremendous amount of evolution, even from the final packet to what you see in the starter set and the Player's Handbook.

In addition to that large body of playtesters in the public playtest, we had a group of playtesters that we called our alpha playtesters. They signed a non-disclosure agreement, and they were seeing information that the public was not. That was over 100 groups, each group of five to six people, so that was on top of the public playtest. They were often giving us very rapid feedback on material that we would revise, sometimes every other week. They were champs. We would sometimes revise a whole section of the game, send it out, and say, "We want feedback from you in two weeks," and they did it.
What this meant for us was creating processes that we never had before. We always incorporated playtesting into our work, but we had never incorporated it to this scale. The person who really took point on processing this insane amount of feedback was Peter Lee.

Peter Lee is one of the designers of the board game Lords of Waterdeep, and he was the guy who was taking line after line after line of feedback and sifting through every line of it. I like to bring that up because sometimes there's skepticism: "Did Wizards go through this?" Yes, actually, we did. It required a person working nearly fulltime for several months, just on this, but it was worth it. It bore all sort of fruit for the game because it helped ensure that we really were listening to the thousands of people who love D&D. It also highlighted for us at times things that we thought we were going to need to change, but it turned out we didn't. There were things we weren't sure were going to work, but everybody loved it. There were other times where we confident. "Oh, this is absolutely a thing that should be in the new game," but the playtesters showed us otherwise. It was a very fruitful and dynamic process over the two years.

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Dungeons & Dragons

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Kai Rosenkranz - Risen Rewards Update

by Couchpotato, 06:05

Kai Rosenkran's is now offering a Risen fan Teir for anyone who wants want to help support his funded kickstarter album. So here are the details of the new baker teir.

RISEN FAN« Reward Tier now open!

This is just a quick update to inform you that the RISEN FAN reward tier is now available. As announced previously (watch video), it contains the following for $196:

  • An exclusive RISEN t-shirt designed by myself
  • A pamphlet with sheet music for RISEN 1
  • A piece of RPG underwear
  • A Journey Home picnic blanket
  • A Journey Home special GIFT BOX with some surprises and an autograph card
  • A Journey Home sheet music book
  • A Journey Home t-shirt
  • The Journey Home deluxe album on audio CD
  • Your appearance (name & picture) in Hero Backers video
  • A "Thank You" tweet / Facebook posting to your accounts
  • All downloads (album, sheet music, medley, "thank you" card)

All physical rewards have been revealed and the vinyl edition is announced as a stretch goal, so here's the final overview.

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Kickstarter

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Rampant Games - Opinion On Voice Acting

by Couchpotato, 05:59

The Rampant Coyote talks about his opinion on voice acting in games, and talks about why his Frayed Knight games don't have voiceovers.

Talking to someone at Comic Con last weekend, they recommended fully voiced dialog for my game because they hate to read when playing a game, but they will listen to somebody talk to them “all day.” I mentioned that for me, I’m kind of the opposite. Maybe for the first couple of lines – especially if it’s a major bit of character-revelation or a significant plot development – I’ll listen all the way through. But most of the time, I’ll read through the line of dialog, and then interrupt the voice-over in mid-sentence to jump to the next part. Voice is just too slow.

I love the idea of bringing the Baldur’s Gate style back into vogue – where the first line or paragraph was voiced in any particular scene, so you get the flavor of the character. But in talking to some modern players, they aren’t so keen on that. In short – players don’t want to read when they are playing a game. (I suspect some of them don’t like to read, period, but that’s another story.)  I do get that. I find myself in the same boat. When playing a game, certain parts of your brain are active, and get into a rhythm. Going into text-reading mode completely breaks that flow, and engages different parts of your brain. At least, that’s how it feels. It breaks the flow of things. And while gaming is primarily visual, we can be interpret audio information and communication in a way that’s less disruptive then stuff we have to process visually.

So I dunno. Maybe I’m out there on the fringe, wanting a return to the Baldur’s Gate style “samples” in hopes of getting the best of both worlds. Maybe I’m really out to lunch on this. Maybe I’m too far from the “mainstream.” I dunno.

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Rampant Games

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Liege - Post-Funding Update #29

by Couchpotato, 05:54

John Rhee of Coda Games has released a new post-funding development update for his funded RPG Liege, and it includes a new video to watch also.

Apologies to those of you who were looking forward to the alpha release with this update- I decided it’d be better to take some more time to polish things up a bit rather than disappointing with a rushed build. Things are taking longer than planned, but we're getting a lot done and hopefully you like what you see so far!

Information about

Liege

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

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Sunday - September 14, 2014

Dragon Age: Inquisition - Skyhold Interview

by Couchpotato, 05:12

Bioware posted the first part of a new interview about the Skyhold in DA:I.

Last week, Dragon Age fans were introduced to Skyhold—the Inquisition's base of operations—through an article from our friends at Game Informer. Following the article, we caught up with Dragon Age: Inquisition producer Cameron Lee to ask a few follow-up questions.

In part 1 of this interview series, Cameron discusses what Skyhold is used for, what players can do to customize it, who you can interact with there, and more!

[DRAGON AGE]: Can you give us a quick recap on what exactly Skyhold is?

[CAMERON LEE]: Skyhold is a huge fortress and the seat of your power as the leader of the Inquisition. From there, you decide the fate of nations, direct your agents throughout Thedas, pass judgment on your enemies, and decide how you will personally take action against the Elder One.

[DA]: Does Skyhold's appearance change over the course of the game?

[CL]: As you progress, you'll notice some parts of Skyhold expanding and becoming more detailed. Murals may be painted, and trophies collected and mysterious artifacts researched by your Inquisition followers. All of this and more has a physical impact on Skyhold.

[DA]: What areas of Skyhold can players customize?

[CL]: Skyhold can be customized to reflect what sort of Inquisition you're leading. You choose what to do with major parts of the castle such as towers and the courtyard as well as decorations like statues, windows, drapes, furniture, and even the heraldry your Inquisition forces will take into the world.

Information about

Dragon Age: Inquisition

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

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Dragon - Interview @ IndieGames

by Couchpotato, 05:09

IndieGames interviewed Erik Johnson of Red Level Games a few questions about his Dragon focused ARPG I posted about yesterday in case you missed it.

Let us get one thing out of the way first... Will we really get to play as fully grown dragons in Dragon?

Yes -- no false advertising on that front. And not just any dragon, your dragon. We want the game to contain a really robust character creator, and for players to have a variety of branching options as their dragon gains experience and evolves (through various means such as completing quests, eating, sleeping, and so on). A fledgling version of the character creator will be in by Early Access next week, and it might still be possible for us to release it ahead of the 19th -- which would give those interested a chance to customize a bit ahead of jumping into the first public Alpha build.

And, in a nutshell, how will the game play?

Similar to an action RPG, but you're a dragon as opposed to a humanoid protagonist -- meaning you can fly. We haven't taken that portion of it lightly either. A few of us on the team spent a good amount of our time on the road this summer, attending conferences (including PAX Prime, Dragonflight and Denver Comic Con) to build awareness as well as get feedback from attendees on the game's concept and our flight and combat mechanics. I remember worrying that without the RPG layer in at the time, people would see it as a lackluster tech demo. Instead, we had trouble getting folks to give up their seats for the next in line. They wanted to explore all corners of the world by air, and it became clear that many of those who tried the game found flying around the small biome we created for the demo to be its own special experience. I'm not sure how to describe it, maybe relaxing? Cathartic? Regardless, it allowed them to cut loose as a dragon and we know that's the crux of it all.

Another one of our top priorities is to have the initial co-op/multiplayer layer in for our Early Access Launch next week, as we're aiming to develop content that will specifically cater to various PvE and PvP bits as we move toward official launch. We'll be relying on early adopting players to help us test out these new features as we introduce them, along with other aspects of the game like mod tools.

Information about

Dragon

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

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Age of Wonders 3 - New Patch & Dev Journal

by Couchpotato, 05:05

Triumph Studios announces patch 1.4 for Age Of Wonders III is now in Beta on Steam.

As we’re ramping up for the Golden Realms Expansion set to be released September 18th, we’re first going to talk about the accompanying v1.4 Patch. There’s a huge list of changes below, but the stand out features of the patch are:

  • A whole bunch of AI improvements and fixes, including: a more aggressive AI, trespassing updates, AI surrendering, etc.
  • Updated disjunction mechanics. See Dev Journal: New Disjunct & Spell Mechanics for details. This also includes changes to abilities removing buffs and debuffs to make these consistent with the disjunct mechanics and more interesting overall.
  • Non-Hero units can now continue levelling up beyond “Elite” and the level cap for Heroes has been razed.
  • Added an option to disable observing other people’s Manual Battles, such that the units and spells of other Players are no longer revealed.
  • Tactical spells balance update, making them – and especially buff and debuff spells – more viable and fun.
  • An update to all Elementals, adding more variety to their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Multiple balance changes – specifically to Arch Druid and Rogue units which – adding racial diversity.
  • Changes Happiness and Morale to make these systems more interesting. Includes changes to Skills, Abilities and Status Effects to add more active and direct ways of influencing Morale.
  • Addition of the Package Manager to facilitate user made maps.  This including Steam Workshop support. See here for a guide on how to use it!

They also released a new Development Journal about Wild Magic.

Hi there, here’s a look at another new feature from the upcoming Golden Realms expansion.  This time it’s the new magical sphere of Wild Magic.  Players who choose this specialization have the ability to direct the flow of raw magical energy for spectacular results.

Information about

Age of Wonders 3

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

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Sinister Design - Against the Cult of Simplicity

by Couchpotato, 05:01

Craig Stern of Sinister Designs has a new post about the Cult of Simplicity.

While at Indiecade in 2013, I had the pleasure of listening to Brenda Romero give an inspirational talk (one which she has evidently delivered elsewhere since) themed after the movie Hiro Dreams of Sushi. It was a talk about seeking perfection in game design. She described a triangle with one corner labeled on time, another labeled on budget, and a third labeled great. She exhorted the audience to disregard the “on time” and “on budget” sides of the game development triangle, and instead aim for a game that is truly great at all costs.

Brenda is a funny and dynamic speaker, and it made for a very entertaining talk. I would have enjoyed it without reservation but for one moment where she exhorted the audience to design games centered around a single core mechanic. Romero indicated that that was the only way to design something truly perfect. I considered asking her to defend that position in the Q&A that followed, but I hesitated. “I already have a bit of a reputation as a gadfly in the indie community,” I thought to myself. “And I like Brenda. Is this really a battle worth fighting?” I chose to let it go–but the memory of that moment continued to nag at me.

Later on in the weekend, I dropped by a tent where Jeremy Gibson was giving a talk on game design. I don’t recall the name of the talk, but it struck me as an intro-level lecture for folks who had not been making games for very long. He, too, apparently felt obliged to spend some time telling the audience to make games with only a single core mechanic. He did not give a reason; he did not limit his statement to new designers who are just finding their feet. He simply said that game designers should do it. Full stop.

Now, here’s the thing: I genuinely enjoy games that employ only a single core mechanic. But I also enjoy highly complex games that leverage many different systems, and I admit that I am deeply uncomfortable with the thought that leaders in the indie community are running around telling everybody that one of these is somehow better than the other.

Before we get into the repercussions of telling people that a game with a single core mechanic is preferable, I want to take a step back and examine the merits of the contention itself: is it, in fact, actually better to have a single core mechanic?

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Sinister Design

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance - Gameswelt Videos

by Couchpotato, 04:57

Warhorse shared links for some new videos on a German site called Gameswelt. The good news is some parts are in English, and they show new gameplay.

Gameswelt from Germany presented their 1st of 4 videos of their visit at our Studio in Prague. Check Gameswelt.de for today’s joy.

Gameswelt NEXT: Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Do you want to see our Alchemy system or are you rather into archery? Check video 2 from the visit of Gameswelt at Warhorse Studios

Gameswelt NEXT - Teil 2: Dungeons & No Dragons

And there goes the 3rd video of Gameswelt. Have you ever wondered how our Tech Alpha will look like? Or the Beta? Check it out!

Gameswelt NEXT - Teil 3: Alpha? Beta? Release?

Source: Warhorse Studios

Information about

Kingdom Come: Deliverance

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

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Worlds of Magic - New Patch Released

by Couchpotato, 04:52

Wastelands Interactive uploaded a new patch on Steam for the early Access version of  Worlds of Magic. So here are the details of the fixes, and changes from the patch.

New (1424M) build is up

A new patch has been uploaded. (Windows only, Linux and Mac to be uploaded on Monday) We tried to address as many issues as possible.

Below is the changelog.

We would really appreciate your feedback.

  • [fixed] You can transmute 0 mana for 0 gold in alchemy-
  • [fixed] Unit switcher above the minimap is not centered
  • [fixed] Blue moon didn't apply it's bonus to research from Sage discipline
  • [changed] Disabled forge
  • [fixed] Not working next page button on spellbook
  • [fixed] The game shouldn't crash from out of memory error while generating any more
  • [fixed] Default race on surveyor was always DRACONIANS
  • [fixed] Expanding "sort by lord" popup on enchantment list caused enexpected behaviour
  • [added] Tooltips for mirror panel
  • [fixed] Fixed many in-game texts
  • [fixed] Win/lose conditions
  • [fixed] Weird city-targeting spell issues
  • [fixed] Enchantment panel
  • [fixed] There was one additional militia unit during battle which wasn't shown on city screen
  • [fixed] Amount of turns remaining to finish research wasn't updating (visual only bug)
  • [fixed] Crash when opening abilities minipanel for some units
  • [fixed] Army selection and destination flag animations are no longer fps-dependent
  • [fixed] Number of opponents and world size drop down menus have wider colliders
  • [tweak] Adjusted surveyor panel depth
  • [tweak] Adjusted battle summary depth
  • [tweak] Map, history and forge buttons are grayed out and unclickable
  • [fixed] Owerwriting a file didn't update it's date
  • [fixed] Units were losing exp after loading
  • [fixed] Random obstacles will no longer generate during city siege
  • [fixed] Bless duration (was 0)
  • [fixed] AC modifying spells were not working

Information about

Worlds of Magic

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

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