Stardew Valley Review
Purpleblob goes down on the farm with Stardew Valley.
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Arcadian Atlas Feature
Aubrielle sits down with Becca and Taylor Bair, the producers of the upcoming tactical RPG Arcadian Atlas.
» Read the article
Mega Bucks AAA+
Noticeably well funded
Fairly well funded
Cheap and cheerful
Forum WatchBalrum: Why RPGWatch isn't playing? by wiretripped
Bast*rd Bonds and the critical hit! by forgottenlor
Aloran indie rpg game by zwanzig_zwoelf
STYGIAN: Reign of The Old Ones. A Lovecraftian computer rpg. by Scrawled
Stygian - Psychological Disorders
Stygian's Kickstarter campaign is almost over. GameBanshee found the latest update notes interesting:
As Cultic Games' Stygian: Reign of the Old Ones Kickstarter campaign nears its conclusion with less than 40 hours to go, it has seen a total of fifteen updates to date, which cover a variety of topics, including the game's stretch goals, art design, music composition, combat mechanics, and more. Here's a little something from the most recent update:In this update we'd like to share more information on the advantages and side effects of Mental Conditions in Stygian's challenging combat scenarios.
As we emphasized before, sometimes it helps to be mad in a world gone mad!
Increases Action Points but gives the character a small chance to lose control and attack the nearest enemy unit in combat.
Increases Reaction but gives the character a small chance to attack an ally in combat.
Increases Mental Resistance but gives the character a small chance to enter a catatonic state and lose a combat round.
Increases Critical Chance but gives the character a small chance to lose a certain amount of Sanity after killing a foe.
Increases Supernatural Defense but gives the character a small chance to lose his Physical Defense bonus entirely for a turn.
Slightly increases the success chance of a repeated combat action but gives the character a small chance to automatically repeat a failed combat action until getting a success or passing a High Difficulty Will check.
Unsung Story - New Update
In a new update for Unsung Story, Playdek informs us that more information about the schedule of the beta will be expected in August.
Here is an update on our current progress towards an Unsung Story beta release. First off, we have released the product spoken of in our updates, and have been getting resources onto making a beta playable version of Unsung Story tactics. The second platform release of the other product took a little longer than expected, so getting onto content work is behind about a month. We apologize for being off a month with this update, as we had hoped to have more specifics for you in May. We have fortunately been able to start getting some agreements in place for outside design assistance on the character classes and mechanics, and we will be able to update you on those specifics later next month.
We are also starting the process of getting additional concept art work contractors in place as well for world and level design, and look forward to sharing the new art work with you. Our beta game play and content goal still remains the same, which is two levels and two character schools, with each school having multiple class variations. We need to spend a bit more design time on the characters for the beta goal before we can provide an updated timeline estimate for the beta release, but we should have a good handle on that by August.
As of now, we estimate to have new art, screenshots and design details to show by September, and we will have another design update for you next month.
We know that we have one method of restoring faith in this project, and that is through delivering on a great tactics game, which we intend to do. Thank you again for your patience and support.
Unsung StorySP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Chaos Reborn - New Mode Reduces Randomisation
A new 'law mode' has been added to Chaos Reborn that reduces randomisation. If you still want the traditional gameplay it is still there and called 'chaos mode'. RockPaperShotgun outlines the changes.
In the traditional version of the game, spells and attacks have a probability of success, so every move is a gamble, with the odds known in advance. In Law mode, those probabilities are replaced, with mana costs, hit points and predictable outcomes taking their place. The actual deck of spells you take into combat will still be randomised, though with some rigging of the numbers permitted through use of gear that bumps up the likelihood of certain spells being selected.
I've long thought that the perfect tactical game wouldn't use any random number generation at all (hi, Chess) but I enjoy variety enough to see the benefits of the occasional dice roll. Truth be told, I like the tension that a percentage chance to hit or survive provides in certain circumstances. A game that can support the roll of the dice and predictable outcomes, from one mode to another, could offer the best of both worlds, so I'm pleased to see Chaos Reborn attempting just that.
The reasoning behind the mode is best explained by Gollop himself:
"The new mode is entirely optional, but we added it for the benefit of those who prefer less random elements in their game play. It also adds an interesting alternative game style for our existing players. It is also an interesting experiment in comparative game design. By changing just a few rules a whole new game experience is possible."
And this isn't the end of Chaos:
"...we have released eight updates of the game since launch, including the recent addition of a flexible custom multiplayer games lobby that allows co-op and AI players. We always listen to feedback from players both old and new, and will continue to support the game on a regular basis. There is more Chaos to come."
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Chaos RebornSP/MP: Single + MP
The Mandate - Producers Letter
There has been a lot of time since the last update from The Mandate and this is addressed in the latest kickstarter update called 'The Producers Letter'. They have brought on board a new community manager who will endeavour to update the community more.
We are putting the Galaxy together. The first Cluster, which consists of a four star system, is done and it was very needed to have the core systems in place for fast iteration and to have a quality benchmark for level design -- now it's much easier for us to expand and build the rest of the "world". It was a major step and we're much relieved now that it's completed and that it works as we imagined it.
We wanted something rich, we have it, next for us is: build on it and use it up to its full potential.
We are starting to populate the Clusters with missions. This includes both tutorial missions and advanced missions.
Since the relationship with the crew is our focus, personal missions will be included, like requests from your very own officers. You will dive into their Background and learn about the world you live in through their own experience. We know precisely the experience we want to create but it ties into a lot of game Systems. We are looking at how to integrate this at the moment.
As of today, the entire story for the first Cluster is completed, we are currently designing the crew missions, additional side missions and faction specific missions.
Some of the delay can be attributed to the narrative. When we put everything together, we felt, that it was too weak. Of course our universe stayed the same and, but we have now achieved the internal consistency we needed and a way for the player to create his unique version of the story.
There is a much deeper and richer narrative, which ties into you as a captain on a personal level as well as your crew, while still retaining all we have promised before story wise, like the conflict between factions for example.
Events are situations that happen during play and require a response from either your crew or your captain. Basically every event has a clear cause and effect, but there are a couple of events that are triggered randomly, to act as some kind of surprise element you need to take care of.
For now, events are split into two categories: Interior Ship Events, affecting the interior of the ship and Space Events, relating to situations that occur outside of the ship, such as rogue asteroids, pirate attacks, etc. This is one of the things we had right, so we kept it and are working on integrating it to the missions.
Exploration will be a big part of the experience when you are roaming the universe. You will encounter different Points of Interest (POI) -- You can unveil them by ordering your Astrogation Officer to activate the ships' scanners. There you might find lore, items, events or other types of activities, such as special combat encounters. This is part of the things we decided to add as we looked at how we could make our adventure mode the most interesting we can. We will confirm several more aspects as we move forward.
For our internal test purposes, the UI did not have to be very user friendly or pretty, so let me tell you, it made Amelie's eyes bleed. But slowly but surely we are changing this, replacing placeholder art with real art assets - she is thankfully already recovering. Of course this process needs a lot of iterations, but hey - we are getting there and moving towards playtest in the next 3 months!
This is one of the things that nobody notices if you get it right, and everybody complains about it if you do not. During the last months we iterated on the control scheme for the Adventure Mode. Currently you can decide how to navigate your ship, you can also set a desired camera angle to enjoy the universe either top down or more from a third person view. We need to pass the validation test in a few months and iterate to make it smooooth.
The MandateSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Ghost of a Tale - Beta Has Begun
In a new development update, Seith informs us that the closed beta for Ghost of a Tale has begun.
The entire process has been an eye-opener though and we’ve already got some quite astute notes. But I’m very happy to report we haven’t heard anything of a nature to make us doubt the validity of the entire experience! Whew!
What we’ve got in spades are insights into what some players expect, or may take for granted. If you’ll allow me to digress here: When I was working on movies we did what’s called “test-screenings”, after which producers would come back to us (the crew) and make us change A LOT of things, sometimes putting into question the foundations of the project.
I always disliked those periods. Not because of the feedback itself (it often had merit) but because it meant our leaders (the studio) didn’t make the right decisions in the first place. Sometimes even though we were telling them there were issues.
To be fair, creating a piece of entertainment is always difficult because it has to be communicated clearly. You need to make sure your intended audience “gets it”. Although it can sometimes lead to a certain amount of pandering. Or on the opposite end you can get obtuse experiences with a mightily cerebral message, which does not appeal to me either (at least as far as games are concerned). Finding the right balance always is a difficult act.
But it’s exciting watching players put two and two together and as a result wanting to learn more about the world they explore. Which is why I don’t want to reveal too much about the story or even some game mechanics.
Ghost of a TaleSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Mount & Blade II - More on Sieges
After TaleWorlds showed us the impressive video of Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord's siege mode at E3, they went on to say that M&B II could support even more than 500 units, as well as promising better siege AI than its predecessor.
Now, the expanded team is working on the highly anticipated sequel: Mount & Blade II Bannerlord. The game was featured in E3 2016’s PC Gaming Show, where TaleWorlds demonstrated the new siege system for the first time.
This has been majorly improved since the first game in the series, which will please those fans who gave their feedback on this feature. Gamers will now be able to choose different tactics and control their approach by positioning troops and weapons exactly where they desire; according to the developers, this will allow for a much more involved experience.
The siege demonstrated below had about 500 units in total, but TaleWorlds is confident that bigger sieges will be featured in the game without performance issues. Another significant improvement introduced by Mount & Blade II Bannerlord is the enhanced Artificial Intelligence (AI).
TaleWorlds promised “massive strides” with the AI so that the soldiers can now take smarter actions on the battlefield. For example, if you manage to open a breach in the castle the enemy commander NPC will try to close that breach.
Castle defenses are destructible and the AI will make the defenders retreat should the walls be lost to the attackers. An important note is that sounds aren’t final yet in the video below, so take that into account.
SteamWorld Heist - Released and on Sale
SteamWorld Heist launched a couple of weeks ago and is currently on sale on Steam for 25% off.
From the makers of SteamWorld Dig:
In SteamWorld Heist, you command a steam-driven pirate crew in a series of epic tactical shootouts. It’s turn-based strategy with a twist: You manually aim the guns of your robots, allowing for insane skill shots and bullet-bouncing action!
As the captain you will board, loot and shoot your way through enemy spaceships. Overcome the challenges of the vast frontier by upgrading your recruits with unique abilities, weapons – and even stylish hatsKey features
- Strategy focused on skill rather than chance
- Procedurally generated levels
- 15-20 hours of playtime, followed by New Game+
- Kind to newcomers, deep and challenging for veterans
- Soundtrack by Steam Powered Giraffe
SteamWorld HeistSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
Stygian - Funded!
The Lovecraftian RPG Stygian has been funded on Kickstarter.The newest update shows evironment art:
Beauty in Madness: Environment Art of Stygian
Greetings fellow admirers of the macabre!
In this update we'd like to give you more information on the creation process of our environment art along with sharing some images from different stages of production. Our environment artist Elwira Pawlikowska is responsible for breathing life into the eerie landscapes you'll visit in Stygian. Her painstaking, authentic pencil drawing style and background in architecture made her the perfect choice for Stygian's backgrounds.
Banner Saga 2 - Gets Free Survival Mode
@Bluesnews they posted about the Banner Saga 2 and its new free survival mode courtesy of Stoic.
...This challenges players to try to survive 40 consecutive levels of combat in the turn-based tactics game. Here are more details:
"Survival Mode is something we've been working on behind the scenes for a while now," commented John Watson, Technical Director at Stoic. "This is an entirely new experience within Banner Saga 2. Our goal was to create a fun, tactical game mode where fans can play from a different perspective which focuses on strategy and the hard cost of death in combat. We modified how the combat worked from the core game based on feedback from our community and put it through a closed beta to make sure that it was fun. Thanks again to our dedicated fans for their continued support." he added.
In survival mode players have to assemble a ‘combat' team from a wide range of existing Banner Saga heroes. Once their team is complete, combat begins, but beware, perma-death in battle is real and once lost, a hero can not be brought back. Each victory grants ‘Renown' (one of the major currencies in the Banner Saga), which can be used to unlock more Heroes to replace ones that have fallen. Items now drop in combat, or can be purchased with Renown, so that you can constantly improve your combat team. A 30-second timer keeps the action moving and leaderboards track how each player ranks against others. All three difficulty levels are included in survival mode, so the hard core challenge is available to those who think they can make it all the way through.
"Although Stoic is a tiny indie studio and their time is precious, they have shown an unrelenting commitment to fans of the Banner Saga by producing more content for them to enjoy. " said Steve Escalante, General Manager of Versus Evil. "The Banner Saga 2 just became a much bigger game with the core experience already lauded as one of 2016's best games and now this new, free game mode included. We hope to get this update in the console launch later this Summer as well as make it a part of our mobile experience." he concluded.
The FREE Survival Mode is available now for Banner Saga 2 owners (on PC and Mac). Banner Saga 2 is also currently available to buy on Steam, GOG, Humble Store, GreenMan Gaming, EA's Origin and other digital PC and Mac stores.
Banner Saga 2SP/MP: Single-player
Voxel Quest - Going Open Source
Another development with Voxel Quest. The game is going fully open source. There's no timetable as to when this will occur.
Hi all - bet you are wondering what is going on at this point. The short answer is I did not know exactly how to proceed until now, finally having an idea of my employment situation.
I have talked to some people (in the forums, email, and elsewhere) about the current status but otherwise apologize for the silence. Basically for the past month I have been busy hunting for jobs and doing associated prep work or tasks. I also tried to get VQ funded via other means (licensing) but that did not work out. I am moving on to a fulltime job, so I am deciding to cancel the Patreon (and I will refund everyone's money here and elsewhere, of course). I don't feel right taking money when I probably won't have much time or energy to devote to the project.
The good news is that I am making all of Voxel Quest fully open source (MIT or similar, every iteration of the engine will be available), and I am doing a little bit of work to make things ready for this (I am even attempting to buy rights to the sprite sheet that Voxel Quest uses, which is a 3rd party asset). Stay tuned for more on this. I can't express how thankful I am that you chose to support me, and I hope that the years of work I put into VQ and all its source will be a small token of my gratitude. I will probably cancel my Patreon before the next pledge cycle so you don't need to necessarily manage your pledge, it should be automatically canceled soon. The Patreon peaked at $450/month, which I am really surprised at, although I expressed concern with starting it in the first place and turns out those concerns were valid. I will also soon organize a method for refunds (both for Patreon and everything else). Any questions or concerns, as usual, do not hesitate to contact me. Again, my goal is to keep everyone happy so let me know what I can do in that respect.
I am not fully abandoning VQ - I will attempt to provide as much support as I reasonably can to help people understand the source, and I will also probably chip in on the github repository every so often. But overall I will not be making great strides in the short term. I am hoping that someone can eventually make a commercial product with it, and that might kick up interest a bit.
For those curious, I am soon going to start contracting at OpenAI, with potential to move full time.
*Again, I stress that refunds are not required, but if anyone wants one I am offering without judgement.
Additionally, I have read through all of the comments below and I continue to be blown away by people's enthusiasm. I am not replying individually because my website's comment handler is a pain to use for many entries.
Voxel QuestSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Stellar Tactics - Developers Log #3
We learn a lot about dungeons and missions in this Stellar Tactics development update:
DEVELOPERS LOG #3- Dungeons (Oh my!)
I’m using the word loosely, but I think it best defines the numerous mission locations found throughout the Stellar Tactics universe. As you travel through the universe, you will be presented with numerous opportunities to engage in ground exploration missions. You will usually be offered missions on Trade Stations in their bar’s and cantina’s where lively and quirky residents of the Stellar Tactics universe converge for rest and relaxation.
There are two mission engines in Stellar Tactics. The first generates missions dynamically based on your faction, recent events in the vicinity and a number of other factors. People everywhere need your help and you will be sent to planetary cave systems, abandoned research facilities, hidden bases, ancient ruins, derelict ships and more on a variety of missions that are generally dangerous. Some missions are fairly straight forward, others are actually dynamically generated mission chains that will have you traveling across the universe completing a number of tasks. In general, you will be entering dangerous dungeons, some large, some small. The large dungeon locations can take several hours to clear. Smaller dungeons may take from 15-40 minutes to complete. There is usually a boss at the end of these locations that will drop higher tier equipment.
The second mission engine is used for the main story narrative and is fully scripted. The dungeon locations for static missions are all hand crafted and tuned for difficulty and itemization. These locations drive the main narrative.
One dungeon type in particular is related to Ascension and the “Azimuth” system. Azimuth are skills granted by the ancient Aznari, a race of intelligent aliens that have abandoned this area of space. As you explore, you will encounter many of these ruins. Some of them have locked chambers that will grant you unique skills. Examples are AE heals, AE damage, AE buff’s and other temporary team based benefits that are useful in combat. These skills are very powerful.
Azimuth are used by collecting a charge during combat. Once fully charged, you can select a skill and unleash that skill on your friends or foes. Once you are granted Azimuth, you can use them at any time in combat, assuming you have a full Azimuth guage. Azimuth charges persist and can be saved for when they are needed.
Dungeons are filled with loot, from valuable baubles to powerful named weapons. They are a large part of Stellar Tactics and important for character progression. Of course, you could just focus on trading, mining and space combat, but then you would be missing out on all the fun of party based tactical combat.
Stellar TacticsSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Fictorum - Now on Kickstarter
For the next 30 days Fictorum is trying to get funded on Kickstarter, having set a goal of $25,000. In Fictorum you play a mage, so if you don't like playing a mage, this might not be your thing, but as a mage you can customize your spells to your liking.
Fictorum is an action RPG featuring customizable, dynamic spell-casting. You are a powerful wizard of a forbidden magical order, the Fictorum, with the unique ability to shape and master all schools of magic. Stretching the limits of your power, you have survived your own execution at the hands of the Inquisition, a sprawling theocratic empire bent on eradicating all Fictorum. As the last of your kind, you will shatter the Inquisition as vengeance for your exterminated order, as well as anyone else who dares to stand in your path.
Demolish your surroundings with legendary magic: Become the wizard that you’ve always wanted to play—Wield awe-inspiring magic with explosive impacts that will send your enemies flying and shatter structures into rubble with a single, well-placed spell.
Dynamically improve your spells with our spell-shaping system: Shape a spell towards any of the available runes to amplify specific properties of any spell. Mastering this system will allow you to turn a fireball into a high-explosive cluster bomb, or a basic ice blast into a leaping ball of frozen doom! And these customizations aren’t set—you can constantly reconfigure your runesets and spells.
Traverse a world shattered by magic on your mission of vengeance: Progress through our randomly-generated world map, as you search for the Grand Inquisitor, to avenge your massacred order. Conflict is rampant throughout the world, and many locations have difficult choices to make—will you choose to fight your way through a fortified town, potentially finding new equipment, or will you take the path of least resistance, saving your strength for the battles to come? Do you investigate a local execution or use the opportunity to loot valuables in the nearby town? The choice is yours.
Find powerful items and new spells to increase your immense power: Each location has opportunities for encountering new spells and equipment that increase your magical potency and keep you safe. You can also trade magical essence that you find for new equipment, or use it to enchant the armor, spells, or runes that you already possess, further enhancing your capabilities.
Discover the impact that you left on the world: Once your journey is over, your story is retold by the Chronicler Santheocles. Judging from your actions and choices, your exploits are cataloged, and titles are awarded according to your worth and skills. Were you well-known for your prowess in fire magic and duly titled “The Inferno?” Perhaps you took a few too many arrows in your quest, and are appropriately given the moniker “The Pincushion.” Depending on the outcome, obtaining a new title may unlock a new starting title for your next playthrough, granting you access to a new loadout of items and abilities!
Release: In development
For the King - Consoles and Beta
In Kickstarter update #20 for For the King the release for Xbox One, the short delay to beta and some other stuff are being discussed.
As some of you know, we were down at E3 this past week showing off FTK to the press. We got some great feedback seeing new people play for the first time and made some great contacts. We were also recently announced for Xbox One during their E3 presentation. We're honored to have been included in their Indie Showreel and it was super cool to see For The King on the big screen! As you probably surmised, this means we're 100% coming to consoles but our first priority remains the PC. So what does this mean?
For starters, our release date for console will happen sometime after our launch on PC. How much longer afterwards is hard to gauge, most likely we'll aim for 6 months. For anyone interested in playing the console versions, we'll be sending you an additional key for either XboxOne or PS4 (pending release) on top of your original PC key. This way you don't have to choose between PC and Console. Before we ship we'll send out a survey to gather your preference. Woo hoo!
For the KingSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
StarCrawlers - To Catch a Privateer
Another update for StarCrawlers titled 'To Catch a Privateer'. This one introduces a new story mission.
The next story mission has arrived: To Catch A Privateer
After the events of Dumpster Diving, you'll return to STIX to hear a game-changing announcement from Aurora (better check your rep situation!). Your employer will then assign you a mission to either capture or rescue a notorious criminal...
We hope you enjoy the next step in the story, we won't spoiler anything here, but please feel free to share your thoughts in the forums!
StarCrawlers has been updated to Gregarious Gorilla v8 - 06.16.2016
Fixed an issue causing bomblet explosions to halt combat.
For real this time.
Added a UI scaling amount slider. This feature is still experimental.
Fixed ability tooltip triggering automatically when targeting an enemy.
Fixed overlapping elements in the event popup screen.
Optimized some class ability memory usage.
Fixed an issue with doors acting oddly if you enter combat while standing next to one.
Fixed trap panels complaining about strings they had failed to find.
Fixed an issue with floor tile navigation in some mine tunnel variants.
Fixed issue with cam traps obssessing over a single tile.
Misc fixes and improvements.
New Story Mission : The Train Job
Ragnarok Missions (if you passed the test)
More environment lootables
More friendly faction contact events
More cool stuff!
Release: In development
Battle Brothers - New UI This Week
According to an announcement for Battle Brothers last Friday, we will be seeing the updated UI for the game this week.
Good news, everyone! The reworked UI is almost ready to go. It sports a new look of wood and iron, and comes with two long-awaited additions: A larger roster with reserves and a customizable formation for battle.
Because some underlying parts of the game have been changed quite extensively, new issues are bound to arise, and we’d like to iron them out with your help. As previously announced, we’ll thus first launch the reworked UI in a separate beta branch, and once everything works smoothly, merge it with the main branch of the game. The beta branch will launch early next week so that we’re in office and can immediately address any potential problems.
To learn more about the new UI and coming additions, read our last dev blog here.
Battle BrothersSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Monster's Den: Godfall - May Update
Another development update from last month is for Monster's Den: Godfall, which focusses on items and equipment.
Let's take a look through some of the types of items you can expect to find in Monsters' Den: Godfall.
These are common items without any in-game function other than to be sold in exchange for gold. By default, these items are automatically sold when picked up. They exist to add a little flavour and flesh out the world.
These are items that can be used to improve your reputation standing with a human faction, helping to unlock new items and services from that faction. Many of these items only drop from particular enemies or areas.
Magical (green) and Rare (blue) equipment is generated by taking a base item and adding a random prefix and/or suffix (blue items have both). There is wide variety in this bracket, and it will make up the bulk of your equipment through the early-to-mid game.
Storied (teal) and Epic (purple) items are generally better than basic equipment. These items have names and stories behind them, and thematically appropriate statistics. Storied items are given a random prefix or suffix as well as their preset bonuses. Epic items have no random element to their statistics and are more powerful.
Monster's Den: GodfallSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Dungeon Kingdom - May Development Update
In the May development update for Dungeon Kingdom: Sign of the Moon, information is provided about the changes that have been made to the game.
It’s time for an update on Dungeon Kingdom: Sign of the Moon’s progress.
We have been adjusting a lot of the features in the game:
- First of all, we adjusted and in some cases simplified the core rules system to make character evolution clearer for players. All parts have been tweaked, such as character evolution, experience gain, damage, etc.
-Priest spell casting has changed: Now priests do not need Mana to cast a spell. Priest get their power from their devotion to Adwij. You can cast any spell if the hero has the right level to do it. Then, a cool down appears before you can cast that spell again.
-We now allow players to look around on the automap, it’s no longer locked in place.
-Health Points are now Body Points, and Mana is now Spirit/Mind Points. While Body Points don't really change the game, the notion of Spirit Points allows for some new mechanics such as a new kind of attack: the Psionic Attack. Any character with no Spirit Points will lose the ability to perform actions, including physical ones, as their brain is in a paralyzed-like state.
-New spells and new items have been added.
-Better visual feedback when you get hurt, gain new levels, etc. We’ve also added the gauges when you’re sleeping.
-The game is now paused when reading a book/scroll.
-You can now switch around the character’s positions. Front characters can now become back characters and vice versa, at any time.
-Added the ability to use items to cast spells, such as scrolls and staffs.
-Some other new features were added, but we'll let you discover them whilst playing, we don't want to spoil the surprise!
The next update will contain all of the features mentioned above, but we’ll take some more time to test them all first.
On the Level design side of things, we keep adding new levels, and we care about creating a lot of content for all the areas and not simply always reusing the same graphical elements. This is of course time consuming and we want to thank you all for your patience. We don't want sacrifice any content by rushing to push out levels that we are not satisfied with. This is why we have decided to schedule the full release for after the summer. Holidays are coming quickly, and instead of having the final release when many of our players are away, we'll wait until after the summer and take that time to polish the game.
Stay tuned for the next game update, we'll push it on to Steam soon!
Dungeon KingdomSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Dungeon Crawler
Release: In development
Sketch Tales - Terrain Editor and Magic
On of the new features in the upcoming update for Sketch Tales is the terrain editor, for which a video has been made available.
In addition the most recent update of the game also provides an animation of some magic in action.
Here's a fresh look a player doing some damage with their magic of choice: fireballs!
As mentioned a couple weeks back, fireballs are just one type of magic weaponry you will be able to use to battle it out. Different sorts of magic can be found in any game but the best part is that players will be able to draw their own magic, add it to their character, and go nuts! Want to inflict pain with deadly purple apples? Go for it! How about pink rabbits as your magic weapon of choice? Sure thing! Plan on getting creative in how you brawl SOON.
Sketch TalesSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Staxel - Development Update
In the latest Staxel blog some information about development and the storage mechanic is provided.
I thought I’d give you all a look at some of what’s been worked on this week. I won’t go into too much detail about each aspect but this should give you a good idea about a few of the things you can expect to be showing up in the game pretty soon.
We’ve made some good progress with our first in-game farm animal! This was featured in the last Staxel Reporter, but since then the cows have had their animations worked on, and improved AI code is currently being written.
This week we started working on the beekeeping mechanic, and how it’s all going to come together and function in the game. If you’re curious as to how the beekeeping mechanic is going to work, we did an article on it in the Staxel Reporter – Issue #11: Beekeeping & Modding Guide Spotlight.
We’re all very excited for beekeeping and we hope you are too!
As you can see we’ve continued to add more plant life to Staxel, right now we’re specifically working on adding fruit trees. I don’t know about you, but I’m really looking forward to creating a huge, colourful orchard with every type of fruit tree!
We’re very happy with our progress these past two weeks, it’s nice to see another main feature shaping up in the game, and makes us excited about everything else we have planned.
StaxelSP/MP: Single + MP
Release: In development
Balrum - From Intro to Conclusion
CRPG Revisited chronicles an adventure through Balrum from start to finish. Warning: article snippet posted here contains mild spoilers.
The individual behind the CRPG Revisited blog has taken Balcony Team's old-school, open world RPG Balrum through its paces, having cranked out a series of articles since early March that take us through the game's introduction to its end boss finale. The articles start with an intro, then move on to the first ten hours, somewhere in the middle, entering the mage guild, and the final battle. Rather than spoil anything from the end, I'll quote from an earlier point:For the first time in the game I had to progress and not just avoid tougher obstacles as is common in this open world RPG. The tower was filled with ghosts. Fortunately I had found a necklace which deflects some of their chilling effects and I got my hunter skill level raised to two which meant I could get rid of my wolf pet. I trapped a bear instead and he is tougher but slower. Together we slowly explored the tower.
After the first level there was no turning back. It wasn´t possible to use the trapdoor to get out. I had to move forward. I was a little nervous about that but hoped everything would go well. Level two was a huge labyrinth which led me to many dead ends but with the help of the automap, patience and lots of food (remember you consume food, drinks and stamina (rest) allt the time). In the end I met my first "boss", a skeleton king.
What followed was the most interesting battle in this game so far. He was much stronger than me but by hurling fireballs at him whicle my bear clawed at him and tried to slow him down and by always retreating out of melee combat, I was able to slowly drain his energies. Pretty fast my mana dropped to zero and I had to run away to keep my distance and get myself time to drink mana potions. My pet bear also died pretty early. I then used my stun/freeze spell on him everytime I needed to drink more health and mana potions and run away to keep my distance. Sometimes the Skeleton king hurled fireballs at me or tried to stun me instead of moving forward. Those moments where critical but I always managed to get out even though my pool of potions was about to be depleted. At one time I had trapped my self into a dead end and saw the face of death emerging at me. The skeleton king was now weak but so was I. I finally mustered my last mana strength and used a teleportation potion on myself and by that I got on the other side of the king and could keep running away. Finally he died. It had cost me dozens of expensive potions but it was all worth it. Not regarding XP but by a few good items and by progressing.
Mount & Blade II - Interview @ TechRaptor
TechRaptor has interviewed Frank Elliott and Steve Negus about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:
I attended a presentation with Taleworlds Entertainment all about siege in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. Later I returned and Taleworlds graciously agreed to an interview, so I spoke with Frank Elliott and Steve Negus about more siege details, factions, relationships between lords, and more.
We first talked about much of what you can see in this video here, which is much of what I saw in the presentation I attended. There was discussion of what players new to the series should be excited to see, as well as the general philosophy behind Bannerlord. Basically, Taleworlds knows they have a good set of systems and mechanics in place, now they are just working to improve them. Siege is just one of the areas we can see that general improvement. The interview discusses siege a little, AI improvements, and more.
Stygian - Kickstarter Update
Take a closer look at the gifts of madness:
A Closer Look at Our Gifts of Madness
Greetings fellow Arkham residents!
In this update we'd like to give you additional details about some of our gifts and their connection to the game's lore.
Merry Folk from the Stars
Written by the mysterious Edmund Whateley and published by the equally enigmatic publishing house Cultic Press, "Merry Folk from the Stars" caused a wave of hysteria among children across the country. Some see the unholy success that came by the publication of this cursed book as the final nail in the coffin of our society.
Parents all over the country reported hallucinations, aggressive behavior, catatonic trances and even worse symptoms displayed by their children who read the book. Further complicating this dismal situation, Merry Folk could only be the beginning of what is yet to come...
Special Edition Game Tome
Skullstone - Dungeon Crawler in Development
@RetroRemakes Skullstone, a Legend of Grimrock like game in development at the moment has made some progress with more to come soon.
Longer gameplay - no cuts!
This is a VERY early version so there is a lot of things that need to be done. Mobs are unbalanced - it means that they may be too weak or their skills aren't strong enough. Some icons are just a placeholders.
Now we are working on second style for dungeons, which would be different than Grimrock. Soon we will show it.
The game is written in Java, we use JMonkeyEngine. For textures - I don't know exactly, GIMP and Substance Painter for sure, maybe something else. Models are made in Blender.
Indie RPGsSP/MP: Unknown
Release: In development
Bastard Bonds - Tactical RPG released on Steam
The mature tactical RPG Bastard Bonds has been released on Steam:
Justice has failed. The criminal, the deranged, the inconvenient, and the uncomfortable; all are cast across the sea to the greedy island of Lukatt, whose shores let nothing slip free. Whether sinner or saint, you are one of these outcasts, and it is there, in a dark cell on the cold shore of that island, where you will finally cut fate's throat and take control of your own future.
Gather a band of the criminal and the forgotten, forgive their transgressions or ostracize them, use them as workhorses or nurture their trust, slaughter your enemies or spare them, release the conquered or press them into service. Find a way to escape the inescapable, or find a way to bend it to your will.
Bastard Bonds is a mature, fast-paced tactical RPG with high-end pixel art and in-depth character customization, including built-in sprite mod support. Featuring more than 200 in-game locations, more than 1000 character sprites, an all-original soundtrack, and 40+ hours of gameplay.
Bastard BondsSP/MP: Single-player
Genre: Tactical RPG
RPGWatch Feature - Stardew Valley Review
Purpleblob goes farming and gets married in her review of Stardew Valley.
On my first play through the game, I followed the direction that the game seemed to push me towards - playing a hard-working farmer that befriended the townsfolk, and worked to unite the community and drive away the evil corporation that I used to work for in my previous life.
On my second character, I went the opposite direction, and role played a girl who didn't bother so much with farming, but spent her time making easy money, and working to cement Joja's foothold on the town. Both ways were equally satisfying, and did not lock me out of some of the optional features and areas of the town.
With a little bit of imagination, you will find the game offers a surprising amount of replayability. In contrast to some AAA games, at no point was I railroaded into taking a certain approach to roleplaying, and the game did not artificially heap guilt upon me for assisting the "bad guys".
Stardew ValleySP/MP: Single-player
Mount & Blade II - E3 Siege Trailer
TaleWorlds shows off some brand new footage of siege gameplay from Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord.
Edit Myrthos: And here are some new screens as well
And an extended gameplay video:
Stygian - Cultic Games Interview
Here's a RPG-France interview with Cultic Games who are running a Kickstarter campaign for the RPG Stygian right now - a snippet:
A Detailed Interview with Cultic Games and More!
Lovecraft's universe is unique, and is an infinite source of inspiration for video games, art or movies. Why did you want to make a roleplaying game in this world?
Since the first time I read Lovecraft (I guess I was around 10 when my older brother gave me the book, I still blame him for the weird dreams :)) the storytelling style, the themes of facing the incomprehensible and the fragility of human beings against these cold ancient entities left their deep mark on me.
Besides I always wondered why CRPGs were confined to certain settings and themes in the last decades. Think about "Ultima: Martian Dreams" or SSI's "Dark Sun" games or "Albion" from Thalion Software. They are all wonderful and fresh games opening new horizons to RPG gamers. Then somehow games like that started to disappear. Of course there are business reasons behind this. These kind of games require taking a certain kind of risk for the publisher. "Orcs and Elves sell, right? Why change the formula?"
We're living in the indie age now. The gamers are your publishers and you can obtain the template codes of an inventory system from Unity Asset Store. There is breathing space for passion to prevail against established business systems. So why the hell not?
Banner Saga 2 - Review @ Gamer Professionals
Gamer Professionals reviewed Banner Saga 2:
Banner Saga 2 Review (PC)
After the great success Stoic Studios had with The Banner Saga, they brought us part two on April 19, 2016. Taking place almost immediately after the first game Banner Saga 2 brings us back to familiar faces, artwork and that amazing music score. That’s just the beginning as Stoic has listened to their fans and what content to improve on. Let’s go through what was added to the second Banner Saga, part two of a trilogy.
First and foremost, if you have completed Banner Saga you may import your characters, items, levels and choices. Through testing I have found this to be the preferable option. The edge you get from importing a save is well worth it. Some of the items and characters won’t be available without an imported save.
To wrap this up, The Banner Saga 2 went beyond my expectations. The masterful way of melding story, lore, and music into a tactical RPG is simply wonderful. Artwork that had already impressed many was improved both obviously and in minor detail. Storytelling has become more fluid while making battle less of a grind. Lastly, the way Stoic meshed the first and second Banner Saga games was brilliant. Much like any of Telltale’s games, your choice effects how things play out in a major way.
Banner Saga 2SP/MP: Single-player
Expeditions: Viking - June Newsletter
The June newsletter for Expeditions: Viking:
Heil og sæl - Happy & Healthy
Greetings and well met fellow Viking. We're pleased that you've joined us once more (or for the first time) for this Expeditions: Viking saga.
As the fairer weather sets in, we toil away to bring you more news on your favourite Viking themed RPG. This week sees us not only looking back at RPC Germany and a nice article from The Daily Crate, but also looking ahead to what July might bring (you should probably pay attention at this point).
Tíðendi - News
We're entering the "quiet" period in the gaming industry, with summer coming up, but that doesn't mean we're taking it easy.
With less big events to attend, we set our attention to some smaller gigs with kindred spirits, and have been busy planning our own little thing. We'll get to the latter in just a minute but first, being fans of viking garb and kit, we set sail to Germany, to bring them much Viking goodness at the RPC (Role Play Convention), with a little sneak peek at the game for all the fine folk there.
Right from the first newsletter, we've brought you articles of those fortunate enough to get some hands on time with our game. This month will be no different. The wonderful people over at The Daily Crate gave us a lovely little writeup after dipping their feet in our world, and you should absolutely give it a read.
For us character design is an important part of bringing the historical world of Expeditions: Viking to life, so to speak. In this developer diary, featured in Gameinformer, August Hansen breaks down the art team's motivations and research discoveries when tackling character design.
Click here to watch the video
Freyja’s Viking Facts
In today's day and age, it's often hard to distinguish fact from fiction. The pre-recorded era is hard to keep track of at the best of times, and the ability for people to make up their own, more colourful facts, doesn't help matters along.
But fret not. Stuck at a party talking about historically accurate viking facts, but don't know what sources to believe? Well your friendly neighbourhood Logic Artists have your back!
Each and every Friday at @expeditionsgame we’ll post some true facts about Vikings that are either exaggerated or missed entirely. We’ve named each one of these “oh so scholarly” posts Freyja’s Friday Fun Facts after the goddess Freyja, who’s known for her wisdom and whom Friday is said to be named after. Clever, huh?
Yet, there’s only so much truth you can drop in 140 characters, and we want to drop it hard. So, with that in mind, we’re going to bring you some cool tidbits that we think will be to your Viking, erh, liking.
Not everything you've heard about vikings is true and some of what you might not have heard, is.
While the exact year is unknown, it is estimated that around year 1000, the Viking Leif Erikson discovered what would later be known as America. It was given the name "Vinland" (pronounced "Winland").
Now, there are two theories as to why, with the most popular pointing to the nordic word "vin" (wine) and the pressence of natural grapevines in the area they're believed to have landed in.
The other theory suggests that the pronounciation is actually "vinland" with a hard vowel. This would imply the use was that of the proto-norse "vinju" which means meadow or pasture.
Regardless of whether the vikings named the land for the landscape or the drink, one thing remains:
The Vikings, as would prove to be a theme amongst Europeans coming to the Americas for the first time, got on terribly with the locals.
If you're curious as to why this tends to be the result, why not check out Expeditions: Conquistador on steam. Odds are you'll fare better than the Vikings did. You see, archaeologists found a slew of arrow heads in the ruins of the first settlement, so it's not a stretch the assume that the Vikings were "persuaded" to leave whence they came and never return.
Tala - Communicate
And now, the reveal we've been teasing at. Some of you might have heard about Chris Avellone. If the name doesn't ring a bell, some of the games he's worked on most surely will: Fallout 2, Baldur's Gate, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale, KOTOR2, Neverwinter Nights 2. Those seem more familiar? Heh, we thought so. Well, it's our absolute pleasure to reveal that he's dropping by our office to do a little workshop with us. See if some of that RPG-God magic can't sprinkle over our viking world.
Which is cool for us, and obvioiusly you when the game comes out. But there has to be more to this, right? I'm glad you asked!
We'd love to take some questions and the like from you guys, so if there's anything you'd like to ask Lord Chris, about game design, RPG's or anything else you can think of, we'd love for you to throw the questions up on Twitter or Facebook, and we'll pick a few for him to answer.
Till next time
Be your friend's
Return gift for gift.
with laughter again
but betrayal with treachery.
- The Havamal -
Expeditions: VikingSP/MP: Single-player
Release: In development
Stellar Tactics - Developers Log #2
The Developers Log #2 answers some questions about character creation:
Some have asked about character creation. So, a few answers and a video for everyone:loading...
[Q] Can I create my own character?
[A] Yes (see the video below). At the start of the game you will create a team of four combat specialists, genetically modified remnants of past wars hidden in a chamber on the Dauntless, one of four ships heading into the deep of space seeking a new home for the human race.
You can customize your characters appearance and that avatar will not only have a custom visual portrait, it’s appearance is actually reflected in the characters 3D model in the game. There are around 1700 visual combinations based on gender, face, hair, hair color and complexion. Beyond that you can assign unique voices to each of your team members.
[Q] Can I customize my characters.
[A] Yes, Stellar Tactics is a full-featured party based RPG with classless character progression. Every member of your team can be customized in countless ways. Skills improve through use, so, equip a weapon of a certain type and use it and you will gain skill in that weapon. Use First Aid and you will improve in that skill. At various “Tiers” of skill, you will unlock perks that allow you to further customize your character. As each character levels up, they are giving bonus stat points that can be allocated to Strength, Agility and other base statistics.
In addition to the base stat’s and skill customizations, you will be able to customize each your character’s further through your equipment. There are literally millions of possible equipment permutations. Equipment comes in five Tiers of quality, each providing stat bonuses, adjustments to accuracy, critical modifiers and more. In addition, there are “Mod’s” of many kinds that allow you to upgrade your weapons through slotting mod’s to change their fire-mode packages, expand their clip size, provide stat bonuses and more. Mod’s affect both ranged weapons and melee weapons.
[Q] Is Stellar Tactics a RPG Lite game
[A] No, Stellar Tactics is a Classic Full-Featured RPG. It’s similar in many ways to games that I enjoy like Baldurs Gate, Fallout 1 and 2 and games I have worked on like Wizardry and Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura. It breaks the mold of traditional fantasy RPG’s and moves the setting to space, gives you a ship and a team of space faring mercenaries and set’s you loose in a sandbox universe where you make your own choices and live or die by your own decisions.
What I’ve been working on:
- The Prologue is now content complete!
- Polishing and tweaking game assets
- Testing and tweaking the prologue story and missions
- Refining dialog
- More asteroid mining
- Ship inventory management and hud
- Fixing minor bugs
- Adding flavor text and log entries
-> Steam page
Stellar TacticsSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release: In development
Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem - Kickstarter Update #31
In this development update for Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem the first animated gifs showing decapitation and dismemberment are available. Also there is some footage on new combos:
We also have more footage for Two Handed Axe Combos as well as special attacks for weapons. Those will consume Rage (and refill Umbra), with various effects and synergies. The Dual Daggers Rend will make all enemies around bleed for a small amount of damage, but each strike form the combo will increase the bleed damage significantly.
The Two Handed Sword Charged attack will strike enemies in a straight line for massive amounts of damage that increases with each enemy pierced. Make sure to impale as many enemies as you can ! The Two Handed Axe Charged attack strikes in an arc in front of the players, hitting all foes caught in the blast. The damage and range of charged attacks will vary depending on how much you charged it. Release the button too soon and it will be cancelled, too late and you won’t do maximum damage. Timing will be of the essence !
The version you are seeing right now isn’t finalized. The final one will have particle effect to make it awesome and help you see the charge levels.
And the camera system has been revamped.
By default the camera now has a smoothing effect that always the players to veer off center, allowing you to see more of the world. There’s a slider to control the amount of sway, and a dissociated camera option to always have the player on the center of the screen. Raise the slider and uncheck the dissociated camera option to return to a traditional camera style (but still smoother than it was before), or put the slider to the minimum for a super-immersive and cool looking console-style camera. The choice is yours !
Wolcen: Lords of MayhemSP/MP: Single + MP
Genre: Hack & Slash
Release: In development