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Dungeons of Chaos

2018-02-08

Dungeons of Chaos Review

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

Battles of Norghan

2017-12-21

Battles of Norghan Review

Forgottenlor fights his way through the tournaments in Battles of Norghan, but can he win the cup?
» Read the article

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February

Ash of Gods - Developer Diary #6

by Hiddenx, Sunday - February 18, 2018 22:14

Farflame spotted the Ash of Gods developer diary #6:

DEVELOPER DIARY #6

Putting a hand on my heart, I can say that I did not plan to write this diary, but in our profiles on social networks a pool of questions had accumulated, which I would like to answer all at once and I just have a little time for it. This time I will talk about how we made content – characters, effects and why there is so much text in the game. I will add a little bit about the readiness of the Feng’s line. I will also talk about the state of the translation and the parallel translation into 9 languages. If the text seems too serious, bear in mind that I am writing it quite sober – this seems to be the first such diary, give me a little slack for it.

[...]

Ash of Gods

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

Details

The Iron Oath - February Update

by Silver, Sunday - February 18, 2018 12:47

The February update for The Iron Oath talks about how their dungeon layouts are created.

February Update

Hey everyone, we're back with another monthly update and today we're going to talk about how our dungeon layouts are created. We originally had been using a system that created layouts dynamically when entering a dungeon, but we've recently decided to go with a more hand-crafted approach so we have a little more control over everything. Here's an example of what creating a layout looks like from our end.(note this isn't an actual layout that will be used, it was more of a "stress-test" to make sure everything functioned properly despite some awkward placement!)

[...]

We're continuing to work towards our next demo phase and are getting fairly close. We also have a couple new additions to combat that we will touch on in the next update. Hope you all have a great weekend and we thank you for your continued support! :)

 ----

The Iron Oath

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

Details

Once upon a Dungeon - Released

by Hiddenx, Saturday - February 17, 2018 09:24

Koto Games released the old school roguelike Once Upon a Dungeon:

Once upon a Dungeon

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Once upon a Dungeon is a roguelike game with a dense atmosphere and challenging gameplay. Explore dark dungeons full of dreadful foes. Defeat them using physical power or mighty spells. Craft magic items, collect unique ones, enhance your attributes and face the main antagonist – Fallen One.

The game has following features:

  • turn based
  • procedurally generated levels
  • permanent death (optionally)
  • hack/slash oriented
  • tons of loot (ordinary, magic, enchantable, unique)
  • spells system
  • trading system
  • interesting quests
  • cool crafting system
  • door/key/lever mechanics
  • different monsters (ordinary, champions, bosses)

Weapons have different capabilities depending on their type:

  • Bashing – enhanced chance for stunning
  • Axes – enhanced chance for tear apart
  • Daggers – enhanced chance for bleeding
  • Swords – enhanced chance for hit

Spells can cause different effect depending on their type:

  • Fire – burning
  • Ice – freezing
  • Poison – poisoning

Once upon a Dungeon

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

Details

Stellar Tactics - Combat Update

by Silver, Friday - February 16, 2018 21:08

Stellar Tactics has received a combat update.

Hi all - Lots of changes in this patch - see the video for highlights and details below:

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COMBAT CHANGES:

ADDED: End turn options. When ending your turn you will have several new options to choose from. This options menu is only displayed if you have 2 or more AP left over when ending your turn. If queuing attacks, your turn will end as usual if no AP is left over. You can cancel out of the end turn menu by pressing the escape key.

  • WAIT - Wait requires a full bar of AP and allows you to skip your turn, adjusting your position in the turn order. This is handy for cases where your team member may be blocked. When selecting this option, your position in the turn order is adjusted after the last team member in the turn order.
  • DEFEND - Defend requires 2 AP and has a small chance of avoiding a single attack while waiting for your next turn or mitigating a portion of the next attacks damage. The cost of 2AP is a choice balanced against reloading your weapon or setting your team members in a defensive posture while in combat. Defend is applied after armor, shields and any other damage mitigation. You can see which team members and enemy combatants are defending by rolling over them with your mouse. The status bar at the top of the screen will show a defend icon in cases where combatants are in defend mode.
  • END TURN - Ends your turn with no ap cost or further action. Any remainig AP up to 2 points will be rolled over into your next turn as it has been in the past.


ADDED: Attacks of opportunity:

  • Only combatants with a melee weapon equipped and selected can execute an attack of opportunity.
  • If a combatant is in range of a melee opponent and they move, the enemy will get a free attack.
  • Combatants get a single chance during any round of having an attack of opportunity applied.
  • Combatants get a single attack of opportunity per round of combat.
  • If the enemy misses you, you will continue to your selected destination.
  • If the enemy does damage, your move will be interrupted. You can choose to heal, attack or move as usual after the attack.
  • Combatants can only be attacked once in any round. That includes instances where the closest enemy combatant has already dealt an attack of opportunity.
  • Status effects have a chance to apply any status effects as normal.
  • Stunned combatants cannot make attacks of opportunity. However, they do remove the moving combatants chance to receive an attack of opportunity for that round.


Combat navigation and blocking has been overhauled. The goal was to improve the way blocking works so it is fair for both the player and the AI. Characters now have descreet blocking areas that work much better than they did previously. You should notice that AI can no longer move through characters when retreating or if blocked in areas by your team members. Enemies also do a much better job of keeping their distance from other characters with this update. You also now have the option to "Wait" in cases where your team members are blocked so you can make adjustments to positioning. I'll be continuing to improve on this system over time.

GENERAL FIXES IN THIS PATCH:
FIXED: Adding and removing armor with stats (+STR - +END) now correctly update the display of HP in the character info and inventory screens.
FIXED: Bleed resist display in character info screen
FIXED: A number of rounding errors for weapon damage in rollover info, character information and inventory areas.
FIXED: Projectile impacts and damage display are now timed based on range to target
FIXED: Grenade throw animations from crouched position.
FIXED: When swapping weapons, border highlights now updated correctly.
FIXED: When mercs were recruited, they were given 4 less intial stat points than they were supposed to recieve. You are now credited 4 stat points the next time you attack in combat.
FIXED: An error in the trade in value for ships based on charisma.
FIXED: An error in the display of values displayed in trade menus when items had a value of 100,000 credits or more.

UPDATED: You can no longer select team members other than the selected active combatant with the F1-F4 keys and by clicking them while in combat. This was confusing players because they were unable to end their turns if they inadvertantly selected another team member.

UPDATED: Missile launcher damage toned down a bit.

UPDATED: Adjusted mini-gun damage up a bit.

UPDATED: Damage modifiers to burst and full auto - you should see a significant damage boost to both of these fire modes bringing them somewhat in line with the use of ammo and AP expenditure. Burst and full-auto do have a damage penalty to reflect accuracy when firing with these modes. You will deal and receive more peak damage now and will need to mitigate this with healing, especially at higher levels. Time to start using those med-kits. This will be balanced a bit more with the introduction of First-Aid related powers/devices. "Medic!"

UPDATED: Heavy weapon damage increased - should give you a reason to use heavy weapons a little more often now. You are going to want to focus fire on heavy weapon enemies and get them out of the way as a priority. A critical with a heavy weapon is devastating!

UPDATED: Reduced the amount of ammo used for full-auto attacks for rifles, smg's and pistols from 12 to 8. Damage for this fire mode was just too high with the changes above and ammo use was excessive.

UPDATED: Removed level based attack bonuses which were skewing damage. Note that rollover info for weapons is just an estimate based on your currently equipped base weapon damage, equipped mods and a bunch of other factors. Breaking out a calculator is not likely to result in exact damage values. There is a lot of voodoo going on in the background of damage calculations including ranged falloff calculations, stat modifiers and more.

UPDATED: Floating fonts for combat and comments.

UPDATED: Melee received a boost in damage. With the addition of attacks of opportunity, melee team members also gain an additional boost to damage in cases where combatants try to leave the area of influence (see above).

Stellar Tactics

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

Details

Vigilantes - 3 Question Survey

by Silver, Friday - February 16, 2018 10:46

Vigilantes is running a survey to see who is interested in playing.

Can you help us with a 3 question survey?

Hi everyone,

We're trying to get a snapshot of people who are playing, or are interested in playing Vigilantes, and were wondering if you could spare a moment for a super brief survey, which has 3 multiple choice questions. The survey will take about 30 seconds to complete, and will not capture any personal data, such as email, name, etc.

Here's the survey, in case you would like to participate:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfy7b14cwNvPL92jekyd1oyZvP4zohoL7ootx3KCDw1D9tYKw/viewform

Thank you for reading,

Daithi

Vigilantes

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

Details

Stardew Valley - Update on 1.3

by Silver, Thursday - February 15, 2018 10:20

Concerned Ape has posted an update on the progress of 1.3 for Stardew Valley.

Hi everyone,

Just want to give you a quick fill-in on the status of the new update.

As you may know, I’ve always worked solo on Stardew Valley. However,  for this multiplayer update I’ve had the help of Tom Coxon (of Chucklefish). He’s done all the network coding to turn Stardew Valley into a multiplayer game… truly an impressive feat, and one that would not be possible without his talent. He deserves a lot of credit for this — Thank you Tom!

Now, here’s where we’re at:

Work on the new features is done, and we’ve sent all the new text off to be translated into the different languages. Meanwhile, we are working on bug fixes. Once we’ve received the translated text and integrated it back into the game, we’ll begin a serious QA phase involving thorough testing of all new features in both multiplayer and single player contexts. When that is finished, the update should be ready for a public beta.  I am still shooting for a spring release for the beta.

When the beta gets closer to launch, I’ll fill you guys in on more specifics as to how multiplayer will work, as well as a more complete list of the new features in the update.

I’ll also be sure to let you guys know as soon as we’ve determined a more concrete timetable for release.

For now, here’s a screenshot of the new signs in action:

 

 

These signs are crafting items that will be available to you from the start of the game. Any item in Stardew Valley can be “clicked” onto them to display. 

Thanks so much everyone for your patience while we get this update ready. It’s really going to be a “game changer” for Stardew Valley!

-Ape

Stardew Valley

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

Details

Bevontule - 30% funded

by Hiddenx, Wednesday - February 14, 2018 19:38

The Bevontule Kickstarter is 30% funded - OnlySP made a video preview:

Content Tourism: Bevontule's Cocktail of Influence

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Bevontule is the debut game from the tiny indie team at Multithreaded Games. The project has lived in various forms for more than 20 years, and it's currently seeking funding on Kickstarter. OnlySP's Matthew Falconer took an extended look at the demo of the game.

Thanks Farflame!

Bevontule

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

Details

Frontiers - The State of Frontiers

by Silver, Wednesday - February 14, 2018 12:02

Frontiers is a Kickstarter from long ago. Our last news post was from 2015 however the game is still in development and has received an overhaul, which you can read all about in this rather long Kickstarter update.

End of Year Update

Strap yourselves in - this is going to be a long update! We've got almost 6 months of development to cover, and I think you're going to be surprised by how much has changed in that time.

The State of FRONTIERS

As you all know, FRONTIERS has undergone an overhaul. It's now keeping pace with the latest Unity version (currently using 2017.3.0f3).

After upgrading to Unity 2017 many, many pieces of the original architecture became irrelevant, as they were in place to overcome Unity 4.x limitations. With those limitations gone I could remove a great deal of complexity, and with it, a great number of bugs. So what does that actually look like, in concrete terms?

Let's start with the first big change - the new Item system, which spearheaded the game's new look. The new look will probably be controversial (as would any major change made so long after release) but after reading I'm sure you'll agree that it was necessary.

[...]

State of FRONTIERS: In Conclusion

FRONTIERS is in a pretty decent place, given the risk of upgrading at this stage. This overhaul has enabled me to incorporate all the things I've learned from the other titles we've worked on. It always felt a little unfair that all the games you guys didn't back would benefit most from the early failures on this project. So I'm glad I can bring that knowledge full-circle.

Summarizing all these changes and going over all the ways I've saved work for myself has been energizing - it's easy to forget how much I've actually accomplished given how stressed out I've been these past months.

[...]

Frontiers

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

Details

Arakion - Launching Soon

by Silver, Wednesday - February 14, 2018 11:50

Arakion: Book One will launch sometime in February.

News | Launching Soon and Testers
16 January - Lavidimus
Hey everyone

Arakion is full steam ahead ever closer to launch! The launch window right now is looking likely at the end of January or early February. I'm waiting for a few more pieces to fall in place and then Arakion will be ready to go!

In the meantime, Arakion is always looking for more testers. So if Arakion is something you think you would enjoy testing, email me at [email protected] and I'll get you an invite to the Discord channel! I'll also begin posting updates more frequently now that we're closer to launch, so be on the lookout!

Have a wonderful day,
-Lavidimus

Arakion

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

Details

Sunless Skies - Interview

by Silver, Tuesday - February 13, 2018 14:52

MCV interview Failbetter Games about Sunless Skies and whether early access 'curiousity' is dwindling.

The game has also been hit by several changes to Steam's marketplace, which is affecting Early Access games negatively.

"Valve has reduced the exposure Early Access titles titles tend to get on the platform, very sensibly," Myers mentioned. "It's very sensible, probably as a way to protect people from problematic early access games, ones that end up not getting finished."

However, Myers says there also seems to be less interest from the public with regards to getting stuck into an Early Access game. "Players have sated the curiosity that initially seemed to motivate a lot of players to back Early Access projects, in terms of going through the development process," adds Myers.

"Now, players are more likely to base their purchasing decision on whether or not they think it's the right time to experience the game."

For Sunless Skies, a game with a heavy narrative focus, Myers posits that a lot of players could be waiting for the game to be complete before they throw themselves in rather than experiencing just a small part of it.

It's a tough blow for Failbetter, and has unfortunately seen them part ways with several members of staff, delaying the game past its initial launch date. Work on the game continues, rapidly, and both Myers and Flynn say there's no risk the studio won't deliver.

[...]

Sunless Skies

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

Details

Mount & Blade II - The Empire

by Hiddenx, Sunday - February 11, 2018 17:11

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

Dev Blog 08/02/18

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

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

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

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

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Mount & Blade II

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

Details

Rogue Empire - Early Access launched

by Hiddenx, Saturday - February 10, 2018 08:06

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

Rogue Empire

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

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

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

Key features:

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

Rogue Empire

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

Details

Xploquest 2 - Announced for February 20

by Hiddenx, Saturday - February 10, 2018 07:53

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

Xploquest 2

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

To achieve this feat, you will need to:

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

The gold and experience gained will allow you to

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

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

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

Xploquest 2

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

Details

RPGWatch Feature - Dungeons of Chaos Review

by Myrthos, Thursday - February 08, 2018 12:55

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

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

Dungeons of Chaos

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

Details

Sunless Skies - Delayed

by Hiddenx, Thursday - February 08, 2018 02:13

PC Gamer reports that Failbetter Games has some financial problems:

Failbetter Games lays off employees, Sunless Skies delayed

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

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

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

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

[...]

Thanks henriquejr!

Sunless Skies

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

Details

Hand of Fate 2 - Adds Mod Support

by Silver, Tuesday - February 06, 2018 13:29

Hand of Fate 2 has added mod support.

Hand of Fate 2 Game Master's Toolkit is now live!

Today’s Hand of Fate 2 update includes the HoF2 SDK - The Game Master’s Toolkit! These are the same tools used at Defiant to create the HoF2 campaign our future DLC content. They’re powerful content creation tools and we’re excited to see what you make with them! With the Game Master’s Toolkit, you’ll be able to create anything from a simple encounter all the way up to a full-fledged challenge with its own win conditions, blessings, curses and artefact rewards.

Important note: the tools are still in beta! While they’re fully functional, there may be unexpected issues to be patched later. If you do run into trouble, be sure to head over to the Modding Discussion Board in our Steam forums.

To get up and running with the toolkit, look for the Hand of Fate 2 SDK in the Tools dropdown of your Steam library. You’ll also need to download version 2017.2.1f1 of the Unity Engine, found here.[unity3d.com] More detailed instructions are contained here https://docs.google.com/document/d/1b38u34JAH-16A3PRC5y6fUe9ycGk851mTy5cgjohznY/edit?usp=sharing

Good luck! The Game of Life and Death is now in your capable hands!

Hand of Fate 2

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

Details

Bloom - January Development Update

by Myrthos, Monday - February 05, 2018 12:15

Despite the lack of funding, the development of Bloom: Memories is still progressing.

....

Ariel is all freed up again and we are trying to get labyrinth set up and done as soon as we can. 

But....given the extra time to stew on the game.... I couldn't help but start to mess with the design (-ducks-). 

Basically, as I was playing some more Gauntlet to see how they were handling stuff....it's obvious there are a lot of problems with the core game loop. It turns out running around shooting a bunch of stuff is fun ....for 5 minutes. Even with the quest mode in later Gauntlets, it wasn't exactly enough to keep it that interesting (at least to me).

So, I have no choice but to shake things up a bit in how we are approaching Labyrinth! 

First off, we are going to be focusing in on the single player aspect more (if the core experience isn't fun, it won't really survive with multiplayer). Ideally it will be structured as multiple attempts to make it through the Labyrinth ....each time growing stronger so you can progress further. 

This also means we can keep a better sense of exploration randomizing in just a few of each areas maps before getting something new. 

To go with that, we are also slowing down the game play a bit, making it harder, and giving players a chance to breath. 

One idea for this is to borrow from a really old game I used to play as a kid....where they had an interesting crystal farming mechanic. Basically you would place them down and they would duplicate, but while they were doing that you had to guard them from being eaten by normal people walking around.

....

Bloom

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

Details

Avernum 3: Ruined World - Jeff Vogel Blog

by Hiddenx, Sunday - February 04, 2018 09:27

Jeff Vogel talks about his second remake of Exile 3:

We Released Avernum 3: Ruined World.

In 1997, I wrote a hit game.

It was called Exile 3: Ruined World. It and its remasters are the most popular games I've ever written.

Bear in mind this game was a hit by 1997 shareware standards, not 2018 indie standards. It made enough to buy a modest 1997-priced house. It didn't make enough to buy a mega-mansion.  But I'm certainly not complaining.

In 2002, I remastered the game into Avernum 3. It sold a lot of copies. Then, this week, twenty years after its first release, we shipped Avernum 3: Ruined World, the second remaster of this title. If my email is to be believed, a lot of people want it.

This is a brief story of writing a game that did really well and figuring out how to deal with it.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Avernum 3: Ruined World

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

Details

January

Depth of Extinction - Build 38

by Hiddenx, Wednesday - January 31, 2018 20:57

Learn more about Depth of Destinction's character classes, UI and balancing in the following DevLog:

Build 38 - Character Classes, UI and Balancing

Depth of Extinction First Access » Devlog

It’s been in the works for a few months now, but the Character Class update is finally here! We wrote down some details about it and covered the initial five classes in this blog post. We’ve also brushed up the UI again for this build, as our artist Sebastien (@vakerics) has done some spiffy new icons for the character and weapon classes, plus for icons that are used in other places in the UI. This Build was pretty complex, as you can tell by the version number, as we did 7 revisions to the initial Build 38. I think that is our most ever.

Unfortunately, this update resets save data but we think it’s worth it to start over and experience the new classes! Read on for all the details

First, let’s talk about the skills that can be unlocked in these five new classes first. Each class has 3 skills that can be unlocked when the stat value for the class is upgraded to a particular level.

[...]

Depth of Extinction

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

Details

Avernum 3: Ruined World - Released

by Silver, Wednesday - January 31, 2018 12:21

Avernum 3: Ruined World has been released on Steam to a 10% launch discount.

About This Game

The conclusion to our hit indie fantasy trilogy! Avernum 3: Ruined World is an epic, indie fantasy role-playing adventure with many hours of gameplay. Explore an enormous world that evolves as time passes. Towns are destroyed. Refugees flee. Disasters happen.

Your people long to escape from their underworld prison, but the surface world is being destroyed. Fight plagues of bizarre monsters and win your freedom. Enjoy an intricate tactical battle system with multitudes of abilities, character traits, and unique magical artifacts.

Avernum 3: Ruined World features:

  • Epic fantasy adventure with over 60 hours of gameplay. Explore an enormous underworld and a huge surface continent.
  • Rich game system with over 60 spells and battle disciplines and a multitude of beneficial character traits to choose from.
  • Well over 100 towns and dungeons, which change as time passes. Cities crumble as the monster plagues advance.
  • Fight to save the world. Or don’t! Do odd jobs. Be a bounty hunter or merchant. Buy a house.
  • Unique races and settings make Avernum different from any adventure out there.
  • Over 100 side quests and hundreds of magical artifacts.

The story of Avernum 3 is self-contained, and previous experience with Avernum games isn't required.

Avernum 3: Ruined World

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

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Bevontule - Kickstarter launched

by Hiddenx, Tuesday - January 30, 2018 21:17

The Kickstarter campaign for the tactical RPG Bevontule has started:

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Bevontule

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

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End State - Inventory Screen Peek

by Silver, Tuesday - January 30, 2018 09:23

End State has been silent for awhile but have posted this peak at their new inventory screen on twitter.

End State is a classical turn-based tactics game where you manage and command your squad in various combat and intelligence operations. It is made with passion for tactical games and inspired by the classics of the genre such as Jagged Alliance, X-Com, and tactical shooters like the original Rainbow Six games.

SQUAD MANAGEMENT

Hire, train and get equipment for your operatives and create your ultimate team. Operatives gain experience from missions and may train new skills that enhance their tactical abilities.
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RICH TACTICAL COMBAT

Use varying realistic tactics, from stealth takedowns to coordinated assaults and strategically positioned snipers, and choose the best approach for each mission.

DIVERSE MISSIONS

You may be tasked to capture intel from enemy safehouses, capture or eliminate high-value targets, rescue hostages, protect critical assets and more.

ADVANCED WEAPON SYSTEM

Weapons have stats such as Accuracy, Damage, Penetration, Range, Firerate, Recoil, Reaction, Mobility, Magazine size and varying fire-modes from single shots to automatic fire.

BULLET PATH SIMULATION

Each bullet is ray-traced through the scene and reacts with the environment according to the bullets penetration stat and the resistance of walls and objects.

DESTRUCTIBLE ENVIRONMENT

Everything goes into bits and pieces. Grenades, RPG's and remotely detonated explosives can be used to destroy buildings and other obstacles.

End State

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

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The Iron Oath - January Update

by Silver, Monday - January 29, 2018 22:54

The latest update for The Iron Oath.

January update

Happy New Year to everyone! As mentioned in our last update, Chris took the game to Otronicon a few weekends ago. His report and some pictures of the event are below. We're currently working towards a larger build aimed for March, and we'll share some video of it once complete. I mentioned last month that we were going to show how our dungeon layouts are generated from our various environment tiles. I do have a couple more tiles I would like to tackle before then so I'm going to save that for the February update. All in all, things are starting to come together and it's pretty exciting for us :)

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Hey everyone, Chris here. Earlier this month I took a short demo to the local Otronicon convention to showcase some of the game's combat to attendees. The audience there skewed a little younger than our core demographic but we met some awesome people and got some great feedback. My favorite from the weekend was a kid, who was probably around 10, telling me how much he liked it because it reminded him of Mario + Rabbids. I guess that game is a pretty good jumping off point for kids to start down the path of tactics games haha. 

On another note, I've been hard at work continuing off from last month where I built out our quest system and now I've incorporated all our dialogue into using Yarn as well. Yarn is a great tool that will help us create tons of quests and dialogue very quickly. I'm looking forward to showing off more around that down the line. Aside from that I've been working on the world map and how quests/events are handled in towns and while traveling on the road. Also fixed several bugs that I'd seen during the course of people playing the game at Otronicon. As we gear up to our next major milestone you'll probably see us start posting more on social media and in discord with updates, gifs, and screenshots which should continue through the release of the Beta towards the end of this year.

The Iron Oath

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

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ATOM RPG - Update on Progress

by Silver, Monday - January 29, 2018 12:54

ATOM RPG has an update about an update.

Latest news about the update

Hey, guys!

With great regret, we have to state, that as January comes to a close, we are sensing that we won't be able to deliver the new planned update on time more and more. For this, we would really like to apologize. There is no need to worry about the future of the game, though. We're late not because of some problems, or because of lack of dedication. We simply miscalculated when we predicted the work will be over in January. Something that looks easily done "on paper" needs a lot of trial and error to actually implement. Therefore, to avoid accidentally misleading you again, and to get some breathing room for testing and tweaking the changes we made for the game, we shift the release date of the major update to February 28th. We're really sorry for this, and we promise to be less idealistic in future release date calculations.

To at least start making it up to you, we finally compiled a full, comprehensible list of changes ahead. It going to be a long one, since despite this date mix-up, January was actually one of the most productive months for the project.

Let's start with one of the larger and complex additions, which actually made us lag for a bit: a new NPC follower! He really turned out to be one of these "easy on paper hard in real life" kinds of things, but we still mostly made him! He's an infiltration agent named Fidel, and he will join you, boasting a better AI system, which now should recognize that it's a part of a larger team and act accordingly. Fidel will also know when to shoot and when to use melee. There are also thoughts of a second, four--legged companion we might just make to make it up to you for the late update.

You should also prepare for:

* More than 20 new NPCs, each one, as tradition goes, with a unique portrait, skill set, and dialogue.
* New quests - because how can you go without them? We'll have everything - from talk-quests localized to one individual, to a huge b-movie plot epic, that will make you run around the global map, adding grizzled mercenaries to your team for a last battle for what is right!..
* The factory quest line will finally see it's end. Ever wondered what will happen, once the bandits use your services enough times? Well wonder no more!

Also, just to prove that ATOM has the best audience, we're adding a ton of little objects and features, that were first thought of by our Steam commenters, or inspired by the ideas some of the backers shared on the forums.

Some of the minor tweaks are:

* Weapons will now have perks. For example, knives get a chance to go between chinks in armor, dealing raw damage, sniper rifles get a long range bonus, but lose most usability in CQC, etc.
* Crippling blows! Aimed shots now get to have special effects like blinding, slowing down, disarming and otherwise incapacitating opponents.
* New ammo types that will use the new damage/penetration formulas.
* New kinds of armors and clothes
* New usable items, most of them inspired by the players, like the "Krasnaya Moskva" deodorant.
* New maps and map variants for random encounters.
* Balance improved for: items, weapons, consumables, random encounters, crafting.
* New craft recipes inspired by the forums.
* New animations for the NPCs. The little fellows will not just react to new traumatic experiences that the aimed shot overhaul brings forth. They will also do more daily activities, and not just mope around. Remember The Fall? We really want to make daily cycles for the NPCs just like it was in that good old game.
* A much larger sound library! More sounds for everything!

Thank you for waiting, we really hope the result won't disappoint.
Best regards, ATOM TEAM.

ATOM RPG

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

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Star Traders: Frontiers - Third Shot Vents the Hull

by Silver, Monday - January 29, 2018 06:32

A new update for Star Traders: Frontiers.

Update #28: Third Shot Vents the Hull

26 JANUARY - TRESE BROTHERS

We're firing off Update #28 tonight with another round of improvements to the starport, new stash visibility and fixes for Talents and a story arc.

Even though we are a small team of two, we are dedicated to a relentless pace of updates during our Early Access period. To achieve that, we focus on rapid iterative development -- meaning we do short-cycle updates and improvements, rarely focusing perfect completion of any given feature or content area but instead making significant forward progress with a willingness to come back and continue to improve. This gives our tiny team the freedom to move fast, constantly improve and get daily feedback from our players that matters. And since we're on a short-cycle, that feedback can find its way into the game quickly as well.

We are now in the process of closing in on finishing the v2.1.x family. With a few more upgrades to the New Ship screen, we'll finish the Starport overhaul. The final Faen family storylines are being translated from design into story events, and we're buttoning up the rest of the items on the list. It is exciting to look forward to v2.2.x!

A special thanks to all of our Captains leaving a review and sharing the game!

Lucky Third Torp
So it has taken 3 rounds with the Starport upgrade screens to get to where we really want to be. Naval cadets across the galaxy have some sayings -- "the third torp vents the hull" or as the Cadar say: "third torp always does the trick". For us, this was the case and we've put out another round of improvements to the starport upgrade screen that should help everyone move quickly through the filters. We've especially improved the size and prominence of warnings about upgrades, like those stating that a given barracks exceeds your ship's max crew.

Stashes Light Up
Previously, a stash icon was always shown over any wilderness zone. With Update #28, we've converted those stash icons to function like all of the other zone services icons -- only lighting up and showing when there is something there. This means that stashes can be seen visibly on the map only where they are and also appear lit up in the system atlas.

We've also double down on our fix to the Vytautas storyline and closed the last outstanding issue. We fixed a bug preventing Intel from Lucrative Wholesale from actually appearing and tweaked the rating displays for Exploration score on zones.

v2.0.71 - 1/25/2018
- Stash icons now only appear over planets where stashes are active in quadrant map / system atlas
- Improved display of warnings during starport component upgrade (barracks exceed max crew, etc)
- Added "Exact" filter to starport upgrade to allow quick compare of components of same type
- Upgrade Ship Weapon sorting improved
- Fixed issue where starport Upgrade Talents were not firing when upgrading ships in dry dock
- Further improved starport upgrade screens, filters and component compare display
- Fixed duplicate Zenrin prisoner story missions
- Fixed issues with Lucrative Wholesale Talent
- Fixed description of Exploration rating

Star Traders: Frontiers

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

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Realms Beyond - World Building #2

by Silver, Monday - January 29, 2018 06:21

Realms Beyond has a new blog update on world building.

World Building #2: Where do you start designing an open world roleplaying game?

Up to this point, most of our blog posts have covered sources of influence and inspiration and some general game mechanics. What we have not covered at all so far, is the world of Realms Beyond. That's where I come in...

Some of you may know me as "Dragon" in our forums and I am the Creative Director of Realms Beyond, which means, I am overseeing the creation of the content that you will eventually play in the game.

I do have a background in game design and I've worked on numerous roleplaying games before, in a variety of capacities, and when I joined the Ceres Team some time ago, the first order of business was the general world design.

While we're using assets and code from the never-released Chaos Chronicles project, we decided early on to create the actual content for Realms Beyond from scratch. But where do you start designing an open world roleplaying game?

Aside from re-familiarizing myself with the D&D rules of version 3.5 and looking through all the already-created assets and materials, I had a completely clean slate. Peter (aka HobGoblin42), our project director and lead programmer, had only one guideline for me: create a believable world, rich in detail, that appeals to fans of classic fantasy games and literature.

For a game designer and writer, that is a lot of leeway-much more than you will usually find. So I sat down and brainstormed a number of ideas. While being an open world, the game would ultimately have to have some kind of main storyline, regardless of the player's participation in it. Some overarching events have to happen in the world to keep the whole thing moving. With that in mind, I fleshed out a first basic storyline.

This may sound pretty straight-forward, but in reality, it means that I took a ton of notes, wrote a lot of text and revised it again and again to accommodate new ideas and changes. Just when I thought I had it all fitting together nicely, another idea popped into my head, making me rethink my premise, my second act or my solution. It happened a number of times, which is normal for the way I work, until I got to the point where I felt I had exhausted my "What if?" pool.

With plot points, locations, characters and events listed in bullet points, I then went to work to flesh it out in writing and I created a document that was a couple of thousand words long, essentially running through the plot, explaining what happens in chronological order and filling in the necessary background to follow and understand the developments, all the way to the end.

This narrative is not as clean as you might expect because after virtually every other paragraph I had to intersperse Editor's Notes to explain what was going on, why things happened, why characters behaved a certain way, why a turn of events was relevant, and so on. But in the end, it painted the picture of a story that unfolds in the world we are trying to build. Events of such proportions that they affect everyone in the world, including the player.

We bounced the plot outline around a few times to iron out some wrinkles and to add in some additional comments and ideas that surfaced while we were discussing the narrative. A few weeks later, we had an outline that we both liked and felt comfortable enough with to use it as the basic premise for Realms Beyond. It became our Foundation.

And then it was time to actually design the world...

World building is such a huge topic that I won't be able to cover it in any kind of detail in one post alone, so it will become a fixture in our blog updates, as I will cover some of the countless aspects that go into this subject. Hopefully, you'll find it enjoyable, to see how a world is conceived and what the glue is that will hold it all together.

Even though I have been working on a great many roleplaying games, most of those games either relied on an existing, typically licensed, universe, or the scope of the game was such that actual world building was not required. Therefore, large-scale world building has never been anything I really had to do before. That's what made it enticing. That's what made it intimidating. But if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it is that you can only truly learn anything by doing and that you can learn anything if you take it one step at a time.

The first thing that was necessary to begin any kind of world design was to determine what kind of game we wanted to make. What kind of feel did we want? It's the difference between, say, "The Lord of the Rings" and "Dragon Age," just to give you two very different flairs of fantasy.

It also required us to answer the question of what kind of cultures we wanted in the game. Once again, it's the difference between "The Lord of the Rings" and, say, "Wizardry: Crusaders of the Dark Savant."

What kind of geography did we want in the game? A general nordic feel like "Skyrim," for example, or something more traditional like, you guessed it, "The Lord of the Rings?"

After some discussion, we had settled on a few parameters that would serve me as a guideline to create the game world. Some of our decisions were actually dictated by the art assets we had already in place, so we knew that for the most part, we wanted a traditional fantasy world with a pseudo-medieval setting that is not too exotic or radical-meaning no fancy machines or the like.

The entire team and I shared one core belief, that in order to make a fantasy world believable, it helps to make it relatable. To make it relatable, use something familiar. Ergo, we decided to loosely base the cultures in our game world on actual historic cultures. Naturally, making a fantasy game means we treat the term "loosely" really loosely and won't let ourselves get bogged down by actual history.

In the end, we decided on a series of cultures, like a Nordic people, one that builds upon Central Europe, another one reminiscent of the Mediterranean, and then Elven people and dwarves, of course. But we also included cultures like the Maya and ancient Mesopotamia to our list. Not a bad start, especially because all of this can be expanded as the world grows. These generalized peoples also allow me to add granularity as I need it. Not all Central European cultures are the same either, after all. There are the French, the Germans, the British, the Irish... you get the idea.

As I mentioned before, it is important to us to make a game that is relatable, something that has a certain amount of familiarity without feeling like we're trying to simulate medieval world history, for example. With these cultures in place, it is possible for me to begin adding colorful facets and nuances to them, which means... notes, notes, notes!

For years I've kept a general Writer's Journal. It is a notebook in which I jot down everything that comes to my mind. Ideas, names, events, thoughts, anything really, that could be useful at some point.

Why would I do this? Because creativity is a fickle mistress. Inspiration typically strikes when you least expect it and good ideas are just as quickly forgotten. I hate it when I forget ideas and can only remember that it was something really, really cool! The Writer's Journal prevents that and for Realms Beyond, I started a separate Writer's Journal, specifically for things relating to the game. In it, I record the same things mentioned earlier, but I also collect quest ideas, ideas for cool monsters and other things that are relating to the game.

In case you are wondering, no, I do not collect these things in a physical book. I am using a software package called Scrivener which has been my best friend as a writer for many years. It is a writing software that is perfectly tailored to my writing and research needs because it allows me to organize things in ways that suit me best. I can throw in media files like images or soundbites, I can write, create folders and tree structures to organize notes, I can create a cork wall and pin note cards to it... it is truly the most perfect tool imaginable for the task.

Well, that just about wraps it up for today. Join me again next time when I'll tell you more about the process of putting together a brand new world.

Realms Beyond

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

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Age of Decadence - Review

by Silver, Friday - January 26, 2018 08:45

Shalashaskka reviewed The Age of Decadence

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What do you get when you make a hardcore RPG set in a Roman post-apocalyptic society and emphasize storytelling and dialogue checks? You get The Age of Decadence, one of the finest indie RPGs I've played in a very long time.

Age of Decadence

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

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Staxel - Early Access available

by Hiddenx, Tuesday - January 23, 2018 20:36

The Early Access version of Staxel is now available on Steam:

Staxel Is Now Available!

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After nearly four years of development, and our team growing from a small two-man operation to nearly a dozen hard-working developers, we have finally published Staxel to Steam! As you can imagine we're all feeling a mix of excitement, pride, and nerves over this and we can't wait to see what you all think of our game so far. While we still have so much we'd like to do, we think you'll all certainly enjoy what's already there!

As you can see, Staxel has come a long way from its humble beginnings. It started out as a basic creative builder, with not much other than an open world and a handful of tools and building blocks. Since that point we’ve kept on adding more and more of the content and systems we’d had in mind until we reached a point where we were happy to show the world what we’ve got. It's been a wild ride so far, but now begins a totally new phase for Staxel, and we're super excited to get started!

This brings us to a very important point, and one we’re forever grateful for. We'd like to take a moment to thank our fantastic community for all the support you've given us and for all the fun we've had with you over the past few years. We've had a blast gaming with you, chatting with you and spitballing ideas. All the way from the tiny IRC channel we started with to the busy and friendly Discord server we hang out on together now. Thanks guys, we've seriously loved every minute of it, and without you, it goes without saying we never would have reached this point!

With that, we hope all of you have a blast with Staxel! Keep an eye out as in the coming days we will be posting another article outlining some of our plans for Staxel's development, including plans for new features and such!

Staxel

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

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