West of Loathing
West of Loathing Review
Find out if playing a supernatural comedy western with stick figures is something for you.
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Farflame interviews the developer of the cyberpunk horror game Sense
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The Making of Wizardry - Robert Woodhead Interview by Vindicator
KotOR - Retrospective @ Techraptor by Ryzwitcher
Valkyria Chronicles 4 - Opening Cinematic Trailer by wolfgrimdark
Divinity: Original Sin II - Sir Lora & Quercus Video by Mithter Thibbs
Forum WatchRPG Predictions for 2018 by joxer
Vigilantes: Indie Developed, Crime Themed, Tactical RPG [Demo Available] by Timeslip
[Roguelike] [PC] Caves of Qud Hits GOG and itch.io! by Carnifex
Sikanda [Action Adventure/RPG] by Stefan
Wasteland 3SP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Knights of the Chalice II - July Update
The July update for Knights of the Chalice II has plenty of screenshots so check them out.
Hello everyone, here is the July update on the development of Knights of the Chalice 2.
In the past weeks, there were many additions and improvements to the game.
* It's been a while since I posted gameplay screenshots, so here are a bunch of them. Click on a picture to enlarge it:
* Graphics: I have completed the transfer of many art pieces from KotC 1 to KotC 2, greatly expanding the number of available monster tokens in KotC 2. Even though they are not high resolution, KotC 1 sprites actually make fine supplementary tokens and portraits for KotC 2.
* Help entries: I'm very happy to say that that work is 100% complete. As well as information on controls and shortcut keys, the help covers all of the topics found on the website. But the in-game help is more in-depth and more exhaustive and everything is interconnected with hyperlinks. You can right-click almost anything in the character-sheet screens, character-creation screens and level-up screens to obtain specific information about what you clicked on.
* New adventure map: I've worked on a nice castle map that will have an important role in the demo. See the following map-editor images. Click to enlarge. The castle is called Gleegold Keep. I'm also including an image showing what the editor looks like when adding walls, special squares, altitudes and activable zones.
* Regional map: I've created a regional map, click on the image above to enlarge it. Locations where the party can travel to will be highlighted with a blue glow (or red glow when mousing over them). These locations will appear progressively on the map, as you learn about them in-game. Currently, the background image is a scaled-up version of a small part of my world map. The icon in the bottom-right corner of the regional map is intended to bring up the world map, in case the party needs to travel to another region. The locations / points of interest can be added easily using the editor.
* Soundtracks: I'm happy to say that I've finished adjusting the volume of the 50 soundtracks available in the game. Volumes needed to be adjusted so that one song is not much louder or much quieter than other songs. The KotC 2 soundtracks include new tracks from Manuel, new tracks from Tyson, all the tracks from my past games, plus a small number of ambient/nature tracks. Manuel and Tyson recently contributed new tracks.
* Bardic sound effects: I now have the complete set of bardic music clips from Robert. There will be four musical instrument categories: lute, harp, panflute and bagpipes, each resulting in different sound effects when the party's Bard plays a song. I also have item icons for all four categories. Now I just have to make sure that the bard can equip musical instruments and implement the four sound-effect sets in the game. Robert is also planning to do a Tavern soundtrack.
* Voice effects: I've just started processing the voice effects from voice actress Ariana. First I need to process them and prepare them for the game. Then I need to implement them so that they play at the right times in-game. For example, a random acknowledgement sound will be played when the player clicks to have the party move from point A to point B. Voice effects may also be played through scripts.
* Editor upgrade: I recently completed a massive upgrade of the module and map editor. Now the map editor is like an easy-to-use dungeon painting programme. It can be used to place braziers and pit traps inflicting any of the various energy types. It can also be used to place many adventure-map graphical elements, big and small, easily onto the map. You can place things like pillars, random forests, random barrels, interactive elements such as a lever, and many other things. For example, when you place a random forest, the editor picks one forest image out of a bunch of forest images that were created earlier by Roman, the graphic artist. Once placed, you can move the new forest, delete it or duplicate it.
In addition, the colourful animated butterflies, animated flies and animated bugs from KotC 1 are back. And there will be spatialised sounds for things like torch lights, flies, fountains, damp places, jungle areas, windy corridors and church choirs. Click on the image below to see the editor's fully-expanded menu. I'm also including an image of the Select Saved Game screen.
* Website update: I've recently added a chart of the weapon proficiencies of each class. Click the link and scroll down to see the chart.
* Public domain images: I'll probably use some images from https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/ as story images, since the site has so many good pictures. See below:
* New module planned: I've been conducting talks with Tiavals concerning a Middle East-themed module or campaign that he is planning to create, in partnership, using the tools of KotC 2.
* Combat scripts: I have implemented a small number of script commands used to control enemies during combat.
The most important one is 'Tactics cast spell', the command used to cast a spell or manifest a psionic power. If a combat script contains several 'Tactics cast spell' commands, then the AI will try to cast each spell in the script sequentially, for example it will cast Haste in the first round of combat and Fireball in the second round. As well as the name of the spell, a few more things can be specified, such as a metamagic option, a target square or a target allied creature. You can also specify 'Breath Weapon' instead of a spell name, if you want the creature to use its breath weapon on a particular round. You also use this command to let a creature drink a potion or use a magic item.
Next, we have 'Tactics always cast'. This command is used when you want a spellcaster to make sure that someone always benefits from a particular effect. For example, a Cleric might want to cast Death Ward on an allied dragon any time the dragon loses the Death Ward effect. The same thing can be done with Stoneskin, Haste, etc.
Next, we have 'Tactics do not move'. This command is used when enemies should not move for a number of rounds because someone in the group is planning to launch at a particular location an area spell, such as Web, Silence or Darkness.
Next, we have 'Tactics run away'. This command allows the module creator to let a creature run away from combat when between 10% and 90% of its allies have been defeated and/or when a particular creature has been defeated.
Finally, we have 'If combat round number is equal to / above / or below a particular number'. There are two main uses. Firstly, an alarm may be triggered if combat is taking too long. As in KotC 1, this means that all enemies on the map will be ready for the player, so you cannot surprise them. There may also be more enemy groups and enemy patrols. The second use is when you want to have reinforcements join the battle, for example at the beginning of the third round and sixth round of combat. So you check for the combat round number and then you add monsters to the battle.
* What's next: First I need to complete work on voice effects. Then I need to implement equipped musical instruments and Bardic clips. Then I need to implement all the remaining wondrous/magic items that I've been planning to have in the game for a long looong time. I'm also planning to give more feats to a number of classes (as discussed in this forum thread). I also need to complete work on the spells that can be cast automatically after resting. There is also some work needed on certain script commands that I want to improve. For example, there's a script command to add dialogue answers, but I want that command to allow specifying the text colour and whether the answer can be selected by the player. That way, we can have the game display options that are not available to the party because it requires a certain Skill. Then there's some extra work needed on combat spellcasting AI. I also want to review all my notes to see if there's something important I forgot about.
Basically, the above is what I'd like to finish before focusing only on the demo adventure. In the demo, I'm planning to use high experience-point awards so that the party gains levels quickly, just like in the demo of KotC 1. It will feature a number of locations, a good number of combat encounters and several interesting riddles and puzzles, such as a piano riddle for which I recently collected piano sounds and created the following image. Traditionally, each piano key is marked with a letter, so you have to find a sequence of letters somewhere and then play the associated melody on a piano to solve the riddle and unlock something.
Thank you for reading! Comments are welcome. Farewell and stay tuned for the August update!
Knights of the Chalice IISP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Aeon of Sands - Interview @IndieRetroNews
Indie Retro News interviewed Aeon of Sands developer Two Bits Kid.
How many levels does the Aeon of Sands - The Trail have?
We could answer that with a number, which is higher than 60, but that tells only a misleading (or partial) story. Aeon of Sands is not a game where you face one level after the other in a linear way.
You will see the desert landscape, obscure mazes, from small to large size, fast paced arenas, nested in about 20 sites spread across the world. During one play-through, you see between one third to half of them, based on the choices you take during the extensive choose-your-adventure part.
The reason for that is that we developed a much more bigger game than you can see in one playthrough. So you can play the game only once to create your unique storyline, or repeatedly to discover different sides to it.
We wanted to give the player the opportunity to make real choices and and we wanted these choices to create the explorable paths of the world for him; your story choices create the game areas: it opens some paths and closes some others.
How long has the development taken so far?
Starting in 2012, about 2 years of research, planning, story and pipeline (how to get the exact old-school look and feel), followed by 3 years of implementation (code, graphics, gameplay, story, audio), and almost 1 year of beta-testing and polishing.
The development of Aeon in some numbers, (as of the moment of writing):
- more than 300 hours of Skype calls;
- 18,095 emails exchanged between the two developers;
- more than 30 GB worth of production data files
- a story of about 80,000 words;
- more than 240 illustrations / artworks that go with them;
- more than 60 mazes to explore;
- almost 60 individual opponents, monsters and bosses, for a total 572 frames of animation;
- more than 200 individual items with in-game description;
- more than 270 individual sounds, for monsters, items, ambient and GUI;
- more than a dozen ambient music tracks;
- one developed custom dialogue/story scripting language
- 2,800 coffees or 35 kg of coffee beans ;)
Aeon of SandsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Release: In development
Soul Saga - Early Access in July
The latest update for Soul Saga announces that the game will be releasing for Steam Early Access this July.
Soul Saga - Our 5th Anniversary
5 years ago. from this exact day, I came to Kickstarter as a young developer with a dream: to make a fun game inspired by the classics I loved from my childhood. At first I just planned to find a way to fund Soul Saga's development, but through Kickstarter I found much more. I found support, I found friends, and most importantly: I found a reason to live. Without you, I wouldn't have had the motivation to continue.
In a previous post I covered some of what I've had to sacrifice to keep working on Soul Saga. Since then, I left my entire life behind to return to the exact place I started Soul Saga: my parent's basement. I haven't left the farm since I got here half a year ago, because every waking moment has been dedicated to working on Soul Saga. It's been a long journey with a lot of pain and heartbreak... and if I had the chance to start over, I'd do it all again.
I set out to make a love letter to JRPG classics and ended up making a love letter to you, my friends. From the first moment I wake up, to the last moment I fall asleep, my only goal is to one day see you proud of the game you and I have created together. This is why I've been gathering your feedback and applying it to Soul Saga. I'm making this game for you, and it's you that has pushed Soul Saga to be the best game it can be.
Earlier this year I had hoped to have Soul Saga finished by July. Since then I have done nearly nothing but work on Soul Saga. While I haven't been able to completely finish it yet, I've gotten a lot done. However, after a lifetime of combating mental health diseases and the past 5 years pushing me beyond limits, it's become very obvious that toiling away alone will not be a feasible way to handle the remainder of Soul Saga's development. It's time that we try something new.
Early Access in July
Lately I've been looking back on the past 5 years of Soul Saga's development cycle and analyzing my own personal strengths and weaknesses to plan a realistic route to Soul Saga's completion. What I've found is that the most valuable strength I have isn't from within myself... it's you. Soul Saga could never have been as polished as it is today without your feedback and support. And the only way I can complete Soul Saga is if you can help me figure out the best way to utilize what its world has to offer. And we'll do that through early access.
In July I will be releasing Soul Saga in an early access state. At the moment it's not nearly the game it can be or the game that you truly deserve, but with you and I working together, one day it will be.
Soul SagaSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Consortium: The Tower - Alpha 1.5
A new update for Consortium: The Tower brings it to Alpha 1.5.
Early Access Alpha 1.5 is here: Combat re-balanced + Demo updated + 212121
We have just made v1.5 live for you all. We've also updated the demo to include all of the latest fixes and polish. Click HERE to see a complete list of all the updates and fixes we've made to the game for you.
The biggest change/improvement revolves around combat balance - the early game is now much easier, giving new players more time and space to understand the game's mechanics and systems. We aren't declaring that the game is completely free of issues, but it is now quite stable and we're continuing to fix and polish things as quickly as we're able to.
Here is a complete list of the things iDGi is working on right now:
-Continued polish, fixing and improving all Act 1 content (i.e the game you all have access to now).
-Act 2 content development ongoing, screenshots coming soon!
-A secret partnership centered around a brand new feature for The Tower that no-one is expecting. Fig Backers will be learning about this first, but watch for a big official announcement in the coming weeks!
-A FREE Consortium choose-your-own-adventure digital prequel story is coming to Android and iOS devices! We haven't truly announced it yet, but we're quite close to a first release to our Fig Backers. A PC version will be coming to Steam sometime afterwards...
We have largely been silent over the past few months, and we apologize for any misconceptions that may be floating around out there as to WHY. Please always remember, this is a pure passion project for us, and we will never stop working on it until it's done... even if it kills us, and we have to reincarnate ourselves!
That being fact, in true indie developer fashion, we are all juggling various life responsibilities and contracts along with working on The Tower, so we need to maximize the use of our time. There's still a lot of game to get done here, and creatively we very much need to be able to work on the game in our own way, without any time pressure or outside influences.
So, we deeply appreciate all of your continued patience and understanding, even if we appear to go dark for long periods of time.
We hope you like the latest, more to come soon!
Gregory and the iDGi team
Consortium: The TowerSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Ghost of a Tale - Engine Upgraded
A new update for Ghost of a Tale brings improved lighting and shadows due to an upgraded Unity engine.
Patch Release 7.26 (upgraded engine + better shadows!)
Hello everyone! Here's a new patch release which brings us to version 7.26. It's mostly a maintenance patch, although behind the scenes we've upgraded the game's engine itself (from Unity 5.5 to 2017.4). As a consequence, performance and visual quality have gotten a boost.
Most notably the lighting quality has been greatly improved. The sun's light and shadows now progress smoothly throughout the duration of the day. If you remember before it was advancing abruptly and remained static for 10 seconds, then quickly advanced again and stopped, etc...
- A couple of holes in the sets geometry.
- Some set sectioning issues on the shore.
- Tilo's hood can sometimes go through the top of his head.
- Major upgrade of the engine.
- Optimization pass in preparation of console release.
- Added a new visual option for bloom.
- Light and shadows from the sun now move smoothly throughout the day.
- Sunsets and sunrises as well as the game's overall shadows quality have been improved.
Ghost of a TaleSP/MP: Single-player
Vigilantes - Version 28 Released
Version 28 of Vigilantes adds more content and balance, and also brings the game closer to it estimated release of October 2018.
Like the past few updates, version 28 focuses on adding content, improving balance, but also on completing work which is required for final release. The expectation is that there will be two more updates, and that release will occur in the first 2 weeks of October 2018.
We hope you enjoy the latest update and as always, your comments, questions and observations are welcome. Have a good weekend!
- You can choose the deploy close to enemies or further away
- Patrols on city tiles now link to combat on the correct map type
- Additional tile types added to city map
- Crafting system and crafting UI improved
- Several 1000 additional words of dialogue (3 non combat, 5 post combat encounter)
- Final two maps added
- 7 perks added
- 2 new utility items
- Balance and quality of life improvements.
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Crying Suns - Funded and Stretch Goals
Crying Suns has been funded on Kickstarter and is now onto stretch goals.
Crying Suns is funded!
Greetings indie games supporters!
We did it! Thanks to your crucial help, we will be able to realize the project of our dreams, and maybe even more!
Indeed, with 18 more days to go on the campaign, we have the opportunity to go further into the depth, the quality and the uniqueness of Crying Suns experience.
Here is a reminder of the first stretch goals we planed, mainly focused on new contents such as new factions, alternate endings, the kind of extras we had to cut from our initial plans to fit into the budget:
Join the Crying Suns community
Besides Kickstarter, Crying Suns is active on several social networks where we post regularly exclusive contents, sometimes experimental, but most of the time coming directly from the game progress. We also post shoutout about other indie projects that we really like. Don’t hesitate to come to talk to us for any reason, we answer :)
Crying SunsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Black Geyser - Garden of Delights Reached
The Garden of Delights goal has been reached for Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness.
The Garden of Delights is reached!
You did it! The Garden of Delights will become a reality thanks to your support!
It is a hub of unknown pleasures, where the rich and powerful meet to try the most exotic experiences offered by the Rillow's most veteran hedonists. While it may seem like a paradise, beyond the swaying courtesans and heady incense lie corruption and intrigue. Players who visit may discover secret plots or perhaps just fall prey to sweet sensation. Can you resist the lovely facade of the Garden of Delights long enough to delve deeper?
We have raised more than $145,000, reaching our final stretch goal. Even though this was the last stretch goal, late backing is still available via PayPal and BackerKit as well. Every additional dollar will be used to enhance Black Geyser: Couriers of Darkness.
Completed surveys were locked down in BackerKit. Backers who haven't filled out their survey yet should choose any add-ons and complete their survey as soon as possible. We will process these orders manually.
Black GeyserSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Iron Danger - Superhot meets XCOM
Eurogamer checked out the tactical RPG Iron Danger:
What happens when Superhot meets XCOM?
Meet Iron Danger, a new take on a Finnish legend.
Finland has provided its fair share of classics over the years - from Resogun to Trials through Alan Wake and Angry Birds - but here's one of a different vintage; a game that draws upon a Finnish classic from the 19th century. Kalevala is an epic that's informed much of Finland's national identity, drawing upon Finnish folklore (and proving influential to Tolkien as he built his own mythology) - and all this without a voxel in sight.
It's ripe for returning to, really, which is exactly what upstart Helsinki developer Action Squad - a team who draws experience from seemingly every studio in the area, with Remedy, Rovio, Supercell and RedLynx all making appearances on the various CVs - is doing with Iron Danger, a tactical turn-based adventure with a few neat twists of its own. You're Kipuna, an everyday villager who is granted superpowers that place her in the middle of an epic battle for the city of Kalevala.loading...
Iron DangerSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Hero-U - Weekend Giveaway
We got 10 Hero-U Steam Keys from Michael Cole. The RPGWatch team wants to give them to RPGWatch veterans:
To take part you have to meet at least one of these two requirements (with your current account):
- You have more than 500 posts
- You registered as forum member before 2011
- Post something nice in this thread
(forum years * 500 + post count).
The giveaway ends Sunday Night 15.07.2018 24:00 CET.
ATOM RPG - 0.7.5 - Peregon Update
ATOM RPG has a new update.
0.7.5 - Peregon Update
Finally, it's time for another huge update. We're keeping up with the tempo we set early this year, to give you more content, and this version is actually the biggest one we ever made. We livened up Peregon, we added new quests that can change the Wastes forever, we added new unique NPCs, new weapons, new items, new hard choices, new interface and game play mechanics, and follow-ups for some quests you could not complete before, and it's all here, in this one update, all for your enjoyment.
One problem that will be fixed in a couple of days is the incomplete translation, but our team is working on it as fast as possible.
Hope the new content is to your liking!
Now, the total change list:
- Locations populated with new NPCs;
- 10+ large new quests;
- A secret way to get into the bunker if you're male;
- An ability to meet old friends from the Factory;
- Dog fights in Peregon call out to all spectators;
- 35+ new NPCs, like always, with unique dialogues and portraits;
- Additions to the music and sound library;
- New items, from a bra to some nice BBQ;
- New plot elements for the Myselium;
- 5 new guns to craft, from flinthlock to a pneumatic!
- As well as new bullets for one of those guns;
- Game re-balanced to meet your requests;
- Changes to the inventory; the items are now in two stacks;
- Addition of Ragdoll Physics (WIP)
- Weather effects completely overhauled, now everything is much more moody;
- The exit spots on maps are now better looking;
- Added another kind of enemies. Beware!
- Another machine gun - an old FM Minimi (trophy weapon)
- Armor is now separated into two categories - helmets and body protection. Wearing a vest and no helmet won't save you from headshot damage!
- Five new issues of a self-help survivalist journal "The Red October".
- And last but not least, amazing quantity of bugs got fixed;
Thank you for beeing with us, guys! We appreciate it very
much. And... let there be ATOM!
ATOM RPGSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Ancient Frontier - Music Video
The developers of Ancient Frontier have posted a music video.
Ancient Frontier - The Music VideoGreetings Commanders!
We have a very small update for you today. We put together a video from the different cutscenes and environment videos in Ancient Frontier and arranged it to the main theme done by Mimi Page. Now presenting, The Ancient Frontier Music Video:loading...
We have also added this video to the trailers on the main store page. It is the third trailer now. We hope you enjoy this fun little diversion.
Behind the scenes we are also working on another patch with a small bunch of improvements. Look for that later this week or next week.
Thank you all for playing our games!
Ancient FrontierSP/MP: Single-player
Sui Generis: Exanima - Update 0.7.0
A large update for Exanima brings new and improved content and better AI.
NEW AND IMPROVED CONTENT
Two new levels have been added to the game, featuring all new content, and also music. With these maps we've pushed for a new level of quality, detail and variety, taking advantage of new engine features and development tools. The first 3 levels of the game have also undergone extensive changes and improvements, an updated tileset and a lot of all new exclusive items.
Over 130 new items have been added across the game, including new item types like bevors and hats. We've also remastered or replaced many assets to better fit the game's current level of quality and aesthetics.
In this update you can meet your first potential long term ally. This provides a whole new dynamic and a fresh way to experience the game.
This was an important first step for the NPC interactions to come. With Exanima's inherent complexity, creating a competent companion was not simple. He is an asset to any player, and we will continue to make companions smarter and more self-sufficient until they feel almost like equals. We will expand on possible interactions, and importantly dialogue, which we can also use to better expose the story and lore.
Your companion will gain experience and learn new skills, much as you do. They will also learn to fight better, become more confident and undergo some other changes in their character.
Dialogue makes a first appearance in this update. We are still only using dialogue in a basic capacity, but it will soon become a much more prominent and important feature in the game.
Our goal with dialogue is something fully real-time and interactive. It is not a separate mode of interaction, but a part of it. You can talk while performing any action. Dialogue can have practical applications, you can point at something or someone, even while walking, and say something relevant. Tactical applications during combat can also be part of the same dialogue system. People can randomly witness the conversations of others, and perhaps join in, or simply learn something. There are countless applications, it is an implicit part of the world and how you interact with it.
NEW DYNAMIC BALANCER
You may have noticed that Exanima's world has been suspiciously flat. Our characters have not been good at moving or keeping their balance otherwise, and when characters lost balance they'd flop like a sack of potatoes.
This is no longer the case. The "balancer" is what has allowed characters make dynamic movements in combat and stay upright. This was overhauled to deal with more difficult ground, such as stairs or rocky slopes, and it is now active all the time, not just in combat. This new balancer does more than just upright movement, it functions even when tumbling or cartwheeling through the air, allowing characters to control more motions and regain their footing dynamically. Characters can now trip, slip, jump off ledges and generally deal with loss of balance without just falling over and resetting. Character can also recover quicker depending on the severity of the fall.
With this come various improvements to movement both in and out combat. In combat movement is now faster and also more responsive, allowing characters to quickly move in new directions without having to shuffle their feet as much.
ALL THINGS AI
Since we began our journey to make a game, our most ambitious goals have been with AI. What we're trying to do, as much as possible, is that if you imagine an approach to a situation, or a way you can modify or prevent an outctome, you probably can. For example, say you were promised a reward, but rather than complete the task, you decide to find out where the reward is stored and steal it. Something like this would not normally be possible, and so called "AI" is notoriously bad if you veer off the scripted path.
There is much more we want in terms of dynamic interactions with AI, but we've been focused on core gameplay features, and have neglected huge aspects of the game, for too long. In order to complete Exanima's story and content, we had to introduce major new features, like intelligent friendly NPCs, dialogue and mind thaumaturgy. If we tried to build these features without the proper foundations we'd ultimately get nowhere. We've now taken the time (perhaps too long!) to completely rebuild every aspect of our AI.
CORE AI FUNCTIONS
We want all our AI encounters to appear like living, thinking beings, not mindless drones that blindly perform a specific task. They are driven by emotions and other states of mind, they have varying personalities, they remember interactions with others and form relationships, they have social and non selfish behaviours.
You might startle someone unexpectedly and cause them to become scared or agitated, but they may calm and reassess the situation. They might defend themselves, but not wish to harm their attacker and behave accordingly. They can understand a stranger fighting in their defence, and may be grateful. They might act to defend someone they care about. They can even, potentially, form social groups among themselves. These are some simple examples of things that are not predefined game mechanics, but that occur organically as part of the simulation. Players and NPCs are treated in the same exact way, based on observable behaviour alone. There is no cheating, no making decisions based on things they shouldn't know.
This is basically our artificial brain, emotions, memory, decision making, impulsive behaviour. But what of more structured and complex tasks? If we were to now simply override it with strictly scripted behaviours, it would become irrelevant.
THE ROLE SYSTEM
As soon as you tell NPCs to behave in a certain way and also give the player freedom to act as they please, things can start to go very wrong. It is a very difficult problem, and the less restrictions you place on the player, and the mechanics of the game world, the more difficult it becomes. Player and mechanical freedom are at the core of our design philosophy, we have spent years devising a solution to these problems, a solution we call the "role system".
"Roles" are basically collections of traits and behaviours. They can be specific and character defining, such as "King of Ardent" or very situational such as "person crossing bridge", they can also be relational, such as "friend" or "customer". They can be real or assumed, they can influence personalities, spread information, reputations and conflicts, and model various real world behavioural effects. Single characters have many roles assigned at once, they come and go, change and evolve.
There is a lot of complexity behind how roles function and interact, but the core concept is that we can keep building our library of roles, to expand on how characters can behave, adapt to situations, perceive and relate to eachother, and use the same tools and systems to also define more specific behaviours, without locking characters into situationally inappropriate ones.
This will be a long journey, but is essentially now a matter of content. Already now the role system is modelling all our behaviour, and we have the means and tools to keep building more.
AND MORE AI
Still falling under the AI umbrella, we felt it was time to address other things too. Combat AI as been completely rebuilt, it is more varied and much more tactical, allowing the most skilled AI to keep experienced players on their toes and not just fall into simple but effective patterns. It can be proficient with different fighting styles and weapons, and it is much more careful about accidentally hitting allies. Pathfinding has also been updated to negotiate more complex environments, avoid moving objects and more.
These are all complex systems, and all fresh from the production line. It will no doubt take us some time to iron out the kinks and especially to actually take advantage of new features. But we now have a true solid foundation, and an array of tools at our disposal to create better and more interesting AI.
Sui Generis: ExanimaSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Hero-U - Released
Game Keys Coming Soon
We have a slight delay in providing game keys to non-Beta (under $50) backers for a few reasons:
- I'm giving people more time to answer the Steam vs. GOG key survey
- We're waiting for Valve to give the final game build their stamp of approval
- I came up about 300 Steam keys short, waiting for more keys
- The keys won't work until Valve approves the build anyway
Please have patience. I expect I can send the keys out tomorrow, Wednesday at the latest. But it isn't currently under my control.
Beta backers - You already have a Steam key. The game has been updated to the launch version. I plan to provide GOG keys to upper-tier ("Alpha") backers, and on request to any Beta backer. I wasn't able to survey you because I sent out surveys in 2013. Send email to support at hero-u dot net if you want a GOG key and already have a Steam beta key.
You should receive an email notification from BackerKit when your game key is assigned. Then you can go to https://hero-u-adventure-role-playing-game.backerkit.com/backer/digital_rewards to download all of your digital content.
Currently this consists of either a Steam or a GOG.com key, the technical manual, and the student handbook. If you remember the added booklet in each Quest for Glory game, the student handbook is that sort of fun, but also useful, document. It contains maps of the school, information about the professors and staff, and silly stuff.
Edge Of Eternity - First Steam Update
Edge of Eternity have posted their first Steam update.
We've been up to our necks into the development of Edge of Eternity. It is about time we share with you a bit of the good things we've been working on, lately.
First of all, what we have here is a...
The previous logo was good for what it was, but it was still a bit far from the epic scope of a project like "Edge of Eternity." As time went by and as the game began to evolve, we felt that our logo should be a little more fleshed out.
So Manon Sam has been working tirelessly to produce something that would be representative of the game, its story and its concepts.
Nifty! What's the story behind this one, I wonder.
Now, for a bit of lore! (And screenshots! Most of all, screenshots.)
A Bit of Gameplay!
As you already know, the combat in Edge of Eternity will be turn-based. We felt that keeping the combat turn-based will allow the player to properly plan their strategies and come up with their own devious tactics to beat their enemies.
But we also felt that we could add another layer of strategy to the game by allowing the players (and their enemies) to exploit their environment.
The Nexus Grid
Combats in Edge of Eternity will take place on Nexus Grids. When it comes to combat, Nexus are represented by hexagons, one of the most potent sign of magical power on the world of Heryon.
Nexus represent a unity of terrain. They can contain basically anything: a group of enemies, heroes, hazards and even bonuses! On top of the already existing skills - traditional to most JRPGs: elemental spells, heals, etc. - each of the character of Edge of Eternity will possess their own unique set of skills that will address and exploit this Grid system.
One character just might lay out a minefield on a chosen Nexus while another - just biding it's time for the right moment to jump into action - might savagely push, seize, throw or attract some enemies on that trapped Nexus.
Another case might be as follows: there is a green crystal on the center of the map, it radiates its pure-healing energy: anyone on the map, heroes or enemies, will be racing towards that Nexus and take advantage of this auto-regen open-bar. That's precisely one of the cases where pushing, blocking or trapping your enemies may sound like a good strategy.
Let's consider this: you are suddenly facing an overwhelming foe and you're quite outmatched. Most RPGs will basically force you to back off and grind until your characters are strong enough to beat that boss. Here, in Edge of Eternity, the game will allow you to pause, think and ask yourself: "Now, if I use this kind of strategy, wouldn't I be able to still beat that foe, and get this awesome reward while still underleveled?"
The general answer is: yes.
The general idea is that we want you, the player, to have a genuine choice in how you tackle your challenge - and that everytime you triumph, you will owe it to no one but yourself.
You will be able to grind if you prefer to beat down the boss with sheer power, get back to the crafting station to craft and customize your weapons properly or - like in this case - get those brain juices flowing and beat those overwhelming odds.
Wow, did I say crafting? I did say crafting. But it's too soon, it's not for now. It's for a next update.
Now, for something completely different. Let's jump away from those technical specifics and meet...
Despite a plump and comical exterior which often makes people want to either hug or kick it, Pilitches are often left alone: it is common knowledge that a happy and peaceful Pilitch lays ten times more eggs than an unhappy one. At the end of the day, people often prefer a good omelet to a quick snuggle with a soft, but unwilling, pecking-like-mad gallinaceous.
Pilitches are fond of music; bards and singers are often hired by countryside farmers to play their entire repertoire in front of pens crowded with Pilitches: after a proper performance, their eggs are both plentiful and succulent.
For reasons unknown, though, Pilitches prefer songs about personal loss, existential anguish and impossible love. They cackle like there's no tomorrow when the final drama unfolds.
You can expect some pretty major announcements during the Gamescom next month! We will also be showcasing Edge of Eternity to the Press during the event. It will be a with a hands-on our latest content and features, so you can expect some juicy info and tidbits in the near future!
You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter if you fear to miss it, or even...
Join us on our Discord[discord.gg] to discuss the game and your love of JRPGs, directly with us!
Stay tuned! We will come back after the holidays!
Edge Of EternitySP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Copper Dreams - Cybernetic Arms
Whalenought have shown off a bit more of the new art style for Copper Dreams.
Characters in Copper Dreams can surgically attach up to 4 cybernetic arms. We're working on getting those boring, fleshy noodle arms to not get in the way of these very eager laser gun arms. cyberpunk struggles, man. pic.twitter.com/nm7oQovE3K— Whalenought Studios (@whalenought) July 6, 2018
Copper DreamsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Hero-U - Game trailer
The Adventure RPG Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption will be released on July 9:
Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption Game Trailerloading...
Lori Ann Cole, lead Hero-U and Quest for Glory game designer, created this video to showcase some of the gameplay, music, and beautiful artwork in her upcoming game, Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption. The soundtrack was composed by award-winning Australian composer Ryan Grogan and performed by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra.
Bloom - Labyrinth Demo
The demo for the Labyrinth game, which is being made in order to raise some money for the development of Bloom, has been made available. It is a bit of a rough demo though.
First off, Labyrinth is really coming together fast now. In fact, you can download a little demo to mess around with here ( https://studiofawn.itch.io/labyrinth ). I've discovered keyboard controls need a bit of an upgrade ....and you can't use the merchant still....so without access to upgrades it's definitely a challenge to get through the few levels without dying :P
It's like the Dark Souls of video games!
For those not trying the early demo, here is a video I hastily put together. Sadly I had some problems with after effects rendering it out (causing a horrible stuttering). I probably shouldn't show things like this, but I'm not going to make another one just for this little demo :P I'll make a proper trailer later :)
Work To Do
In the full game we have abilities all set up, icons made, maps laid out (though going through them now filling in the spawns, which should take another week or two to finish).....so overall, everything is nearing towards the end.
The issue at this point is just a few missing features (like the merchant window, or lack of icon inventory count and scrolling)....and then a serious pass upgrading sounds (and getting more of the piano tracks done). But nothing that difficult, just Ariel and Jose need to find time to fit it in between their other work while I keep putting it all together.
So what happens next?
Well, ideally I'd like to find a publisher to release it with (would also let us add in multiplayer).
Otherwise I think we are a couple (2-4? Depends how others schedules go) months from getting it out the door and moving back over to Memories (hopefully with extra sandwich moneys).
Release: In development
Unsung Story - July Update
In the July update for Unsung Story, which brings us the name of the world the game takes place in.
Welcome to Lasfaria, the location for the 77-year war between the Alionne Kingdom and the Saxtel Empire. It represents 11 months of digging in, hard decisions, and pushing forward to get where we are today.
Various names for the world floated around in the documentation we were given like Rasfalia, Razzfaria, and others. But Lasfaria was my favorite, and I felt it was time we finally named this down.
- All 51 missions are now in the game. This is a big milestone for the game, and now begins the long road of building out and perfecting the gameplay of each level.
- Lots of work refining the narrative. We spent a significant part of June fleshing out cutscenes, character dialog, and story moments. Each mission design had to be reviewed and in many cases modified to make sure it still contained all the elements necessary for the story.
- "Crescendo Attack" system created. These are the big ultimate attacks that are meant to change the pace of combat and deepen the strategy of the game.
- Initial AI design created. Currently each unit has the same priority system, but moving forward we'll be starting to differentiate how the AI plays each class, so they take advantage of their core abilities.
- Initial Tutorial created. This is a rough pass through the tutorial elements that happen during the first two missions. The goal is to keep tutorialization as light as possible, while the player gets into the game. We expect to learn a lot from our early alpha testers to help us.
- Significant work on core game flow. This covers critical things such as the order in which abilities are resolved as well as the order in which UI and animations are played and displayed.
- Added many base animations to the game. These include locomotion (movement between nodes), scaling/climbing, dropping to lower tiles, Disciple Bo-Staff attack (used for all physical attacks currently), Archer basic draw and release (used for all projectile attacks currently), reactionary animations for buffs & debuffs (basic stagger).
- Basic progression is in the latest build. Players can now save, load, and create new games.
Unsung StorySP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Beta & Fixed Camera Rotation
A new update for Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem talks about fixed camera rotation and beta.
Beta and Fixed camera rotation
We would like to provide you with some updates on the Beta. We're progressing well on all the features planned, and everyone in the studio is working hard to honor the deadline for the Beta transition.
If you wish to see some previews, you can visit the Trello Beta Roadmap[trello.com] and vote for the preview that you would like to see ;) Every Monday, another sneak peek is posted based on your votes.
Presently, our developers are all focused on the creation and implementation of all the new creatures, effects, characters, weapons, armors, animations and environments, and of course Multiplayer, just for you! We're all really excited about this, and we're quite confident you will be too.
Now, let's talk about the rotating camera. As told in the Beta news, the feature was removed because we realized it was barely used and considered confusing. We know you don't all agree on that point, and that some of you were disappointed by this choice. Although we're confident you will appreciate the change, we would like to tell you a little more about the other reasons why we made that change and share with you another preview of the Beta game.
When we first started the development of Umbra, we tried many camera configurations. Different focal, distances, angles, and movement... As the development progressed, we started identifying a few small issues, and in the end, we realized that the rotating camera didn't serve the gameplay like we expected.
Here at Wolcen Studio, we want the quality of gameplay to come first.
When something goes in the way of a good game experience, we seek out solutions to make it better. That's what we did for the rotating camera.
For the Beta version of the game, we want to improve the camera by streamlining its behaviour, get the ‘perfect' settings, and freeze the rotation control for players.
One of our main priorities on Wolcen, with quality of action, is visual quality. Passionate artists work hard every day here to deliver a beautiful experience, and having only one camera angle greatly improves our ability to achieve this objective.
In the meantime, level design is clearer for the player, and it should be easier for you to enjoy and follow the flow of the action without getting lost or lose the rhythm of the adventure.
Last but not least, optimization is facilitated, and production time of a given area is reduced, allowing us to do more content of a higher quality.
At the end, this was a great experiment for us. The top down camera has the advantage of giving a great visibility of gameplay, and we really want to make the most out of this possibility.
We hope that this explanation made our choice a little more clear for you. Of course, you will have the opportunity to tell us what you think about these changes during the Beta in September.
See you soon!
Wolcen: Lords of MayhemSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development
Crying Suns - On Kickstarter
Crying Suns is a rogue-lite and tactical game where you explore a dying galaxy as the admiral of a space fleet. The game is seeking 25K euro on Kickstarter and is off to a good start having collected 9K already with 28 days remaining. There is a demo available to try out also.
CRYING SUNS is a rogue-lite and tactical game where you explore a dying galaxy as the admiral of a space fleet. As a deep, story-driven game experience, each successful run will uncover a part of the underlying truth about the fall of the Galactic Empire.
- Space exploration in a procedurally-generated universe
- Tactical fights between battleships and their squadron fleets
- A deep and dramatic storyline inspired by our favorite S-F universes (Foundation, Dune, Battlestar Galactica) and structured in 6 chapters.
… Prepare to die often, it's a rogue-lite game... And it's a hard one…
Crying SunsSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Hero-U - Review @The Adventure Gamer
On the whole, though, I would say Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption certainly lives up to being a successor to the Quest for Glory games. It takes the series in a bit of a new direction while still being true to the basic concept, which I take to be that Heroes can take many forms, but in general they do their best to make the world a better place with the skills they have. Hero-U offers plenty of replayability as well, to explore different electives, conversational gambits, or romantic options. I hope you all find it as enjoyable as I did. I’m very much looking forward to more Hero-U games after this one, and I plan to replay after the official release to get Steam achievements and try different choices than I made the first time.
Depth of Extinction - Targeting Mid August Release
Hi everyone! I'm taking a break from working on Build 43 today to give you a sneak peak or what's coming, talk a little about what the schedule is looking like and also make a few announcements.
Let's start with the announcements!
A lot of people have been asking about the DRM free versions of Depth of Extinction, and we are ready to announce the sites where the game will be available at launch.
- Steam - technically the game will be DRM free on Steam since Steam DRM has to be enabled. I have heard that many of you don't like Steam so we have explored a few more options as well. Steam version will support Achievements, Trading Cards (we are good to go already) and Cloud Saves.
- GOG - I am excited that GOG has approved DOE to launch on their site as well. The GOG version will support Achievements and Cloud Saves. I'll investigate whether First Access buyers can get a GOG key.
- Humble Store - we will sell our DRM free version on the Humble Store as well. I believe buying the DRM free copy there will also include a Steam key. The DRM free Humble version will not support achievements and cloud saves.
- Itch.io - Of course we can't forget about our favorite PC indie store itch.io and this version (like Humble) will include a Steam key and won't be able to support achievements and cloud saving.
Another cool announcement is that we have hired game writer Chris Krubeck to work on the story and lead the writing effort in DOE. Chris has worked on several games, notably the cool story driven adventure game Tokyo Dark. We're very excited by the ideas he is bringing to the project and think you will be intrigued by what he has in mind.
The planned schedule
You know what they say about the best laid plans but this is what I would like to happen (and what I think is possible) but as always subject to change.
Stop selling keys to DOE First Access on itch sometime next week (probably July 4) or when they run out (currently 20 left)
Deliver Build 43 to itch.io in about 2-3 weeks (so between July 14-21)
Start distributing Steam Beta keys to selected buyers after Build 43 goes live (we will probably email First Access buyers and ask you to sign up for this)
Collect feedback and playtest data from Build 43 and make modifications
Deliver Build 44 as "Launch Build" in mid August (planning for August 16 but may change)
All First Access buyers will get a Steam key through itch and we will ask for preference on other platforms (i.e. GOG) if possible
Now about that Build...
It was a little slow getting started on Build 43 but a lot of progress has been made in the last 4 weeks toward realizing the final vision for the game. I took a few weeks "off" around Memorial Day, the first to do MomoCon, where we introduced "arcade mode" which might make an appearance later in a content update as a "daily mission" and leaderboard mode.
Depth of ExtinctionSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Delver - Release Announcment
ABOUT THIS GAME
Delve into the shifting dungeons on your hunt for the Yithidian orb, but getting it might just be the easy part. Delver is a single player first-person action roguelike dungeon crawler, just like you wished they used to make.
Slay monsters, blast wands, hoard potions, and loot everything.
- A silky smooth mix of 90s FPS combat with classic RPG mechanics.
- In these dungeons once you're dead you stay dead. Permadeath means that when you die, you begin each run into the dungeon anew.
- Tough as nails gameplay will test your skills, no grinding will save you here.
- A procedural dungeon that will keep you on your toes, no two runs will ever be the same.
- Delicious chunky pixels!
Easy to pick up gameplay, but difficult to master. The dungeon has been waiting for you.
Underrail - Environments Preview
A new update for Underrail shows off some of the environment work.
Dev Log #58: Environments PreviewHi guys,
Just want to let you know that development is going more or less according to plan. After finishing the Rig and the stuff in the old world, we've moved back to the Black Sea and are now polishing up some of the areas and wrapping up quests and the like. You can see some of the interesting areas in the video below as you relax to the excellent atmospheric music of Josh Culler.loading...
We've also started working on the savage natives and their areas, so expect to see some of that in the next dev log.
That's all - just a short update to let you guys know that the development is going more or less according to plan and that you guys should stay tuned for more dev logs in the coming months.
Let us know how you liked the areas showcased in the video.
Pathway - Design Diaries
As development on Pathway continues Robotality documents progress with design diaries.
Starting today, we want to begin sharing a bit more about the development process of Pathway and what's happening behind the scenes at Robotality.
To get the big question out of the way: We're not quite ready yet to announce when the game is being released, but we're getting very very close to being able to do so. We're still on course to release the game in 2018. We've made amazing progress and are really happy with how the game is taking shape!
In today's devlog we're going to give a quick recap of what's been happening since the announcement of the game.
In case you hadn't seen this, we had the opportunity to chat to PC Gamer about Pathway and shared quite a bit of thoughts around our game design decisions and inspirations behind Pathway: PC Gamer interview
In April we were demoing Pathway for the first time publicly at EGX Rezzed in London. Showing a game in public is always a nerve wrecking experience but thankfully the game was received really well and we've written down pages of notes of feedback. Being holed up in our dev caves it can be super easy to develop a tunnel vision of the game. Getting lots of other people to play the game for the first time is really refreshing and helpful. Thank you to everyone who came and played the game!
Speaking of events, we are showing the game at Overflow #003 on May 30th. Overflow is a local chiptune event in Vancouver, Canada. We're showing the game alongside a few other indie games and of course there's lots of chip inspired music. So if you live near Vancouver this is a great opportunity to play Pathway pre-relase! (You can get tickets here: Overflow #003 Tickets).
And to finish up today's devlog, here's a first look at a new environment we've been working on "The Mines":
Until next time!
Come gather around! We have a nice little treat for your ears in this Devlog! We (virtually) sat down with Pathway's brilliant music composer and sound designer Gavin Harrison and asked him a bunch questions about his approach to composing. We're also really excited to share some tracks from the game for the first time!
So ... put on your headphones, click play on this video, grab a coffee and read on:loading...
How did you end up making music for Games?
The starting point for my interest in composing for games reaches right back to the start of the 90’s. I’d been gaming on a ZX Spectrum for as long as I could remember but it was around this point I was introduced to the world of the demo scene. I loved that all these incredibly talented programmers were creating software purely for fun to see just how far they could push the ZX. Of course alongside this were the musicians providing music that was both technically brilliant from the perspective of squeezing the most from the AY chip (or sometimes the 48k beeper) as well brilliant to actually listen to! One month on the Your Sinclair cover tape was a copy of Soundtracker and I guess I never looked back from there. Not only did I start writing for various demo groups but I also ended up building my own MIDI lead and connecting my Spectrum 128K to my first ‘proper’ synth, a Roland D10.
Thankfully these beginnings stood me in good stead when it came to composing for games later in life. I’d always maintained an interest in music and continued to compose into my early 20’s. After taking a break for a few years (though never quite stopping completely!) I came into contact with the Dutch indie developer OrangePixel. At the time he was in the process of developing ‘Inc’ so I put myself forward to compose the music, with the idea of using Soundtracker on the original ZX Spectrum to create it all.
I’ve been extremely fortunate from this point on to have continued making contacts and finding fantastic projects to work on!
Release: In development