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» PoE: The White March - More Reviews - Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am
» Witcher 3 - PAX Panel and More - Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am
» Van Helsing: Final Cut - The Road to, Parts 4-7 - Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am
» A House of Many Doors - Kickstarter Started and Previews - Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am
» Divinity: Original Sin II - Lizards and Racial Skills - Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am
» RPGWatch Feature - Elminage Gothic Review - Sep 02, 2015, 06:03 pm
» CivCraft - New Graphics and Stretch Goal - Sep 02, 2015, 06:03 pm
» Exoplanet: First Contact - Stretch Goal and Main Theme - Sep 02, 2015, 06:03 pm
» Matt Chat - Kickstarting Free Software - Sep 02, 2015, 06:03 pm
» Weekly Wizards of the Coast News Round-up - Sep 02, 2015, 02:58 pm
» Satellite Reign - Guide to Mayhem and Corporate Violence - Sep 02, 2015, 05:42 am
» Legends of Valour - Retrospective Review @ Rock, Paper,... - Sep 01, 2015, 11:22 pm
» Kenshi - Eight Year Development Journey @ Siliconera - Sep 01, 2015, 11:22 pm
» Hard West - Previews - Sep 01, 2015, 11:22 pm
» Pillars of Eternity - Retrospective Panel Discussion - Sep 01, 2015, 11:22 pm


Latest Active Threads on Boards o' Magick:
» PoE: The White March - More Reviews (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Witcher 3 - PAX Panel and More (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Van Helsing: Final Cut - The Road to, Parts 4-7 (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» A House of Many Doors - Kickstarter Started... (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Divinity: Original Sin II - Lizards and Racial... (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» RPGWatch Feature - Elminage Gothic Review (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» CivCraft - New Graphics and Stretch Goal (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Exoplanet: First Contact - Stretch Goal and... (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Matt Chat - Kickstarting Free Software (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Weekly Wizards of the Coast News Round-up (Game/SP News & Comments post by Taluntain)

PoE: The White March - More Reviews
Posted: Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]And here are a few reviews more for The White March, Part 1, the expansion for Pillars of Eternity.

PC Invasion, 7:

Reconciling how well mid-point expansions like this one 'fit' into the overall game is an awkward task. It's a bit like suddenly gaining a few extra chapters for a favourite book; a welcome addition (if done well), but difficult to declare as absolutely necessary. The White March is up to the standard you'd expect, and largely familiar (broader combat changes aside) in its scope. Part two may or may not offer greater revelations. For now this expansion is straightforward to recommend, but harder to absolutely rave about.​

aNewDomain:

And since there is plenty of text to read, readability is very important. The foundation of a good CRPG is the story, and that story is mostly conveyed by text as it is revealed in your interactions with other characters in the game. Pillars of Eternity also includes some excellent voice acting, but most of those sequences involve the main plot. All of the side quests require reading on-screen dialogue.​

GameWatcher, 7.5

Cards on the table here, the main plot in The White March never really comes together. It all feels a bit superfluous - why would The Watcher, cursed seer of souls, bother wandering all the way into the frozen wastes on the off chance they might get a better sword? There are a few attempts to tie Pillars' main plot to the expansion, but they're largely inconsequential, and the very nature of your main objective can't help but make your trip north feel a bit like an extended side mission. That's not to say there aren't any engaging quests, because there definitely are, but taken as a new chapter of your hero's story, The White March feels a bit lightweight.​


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Witcher 3 - PAX Panel and More
Posted: Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]If you want to learn a bit more about The Witcher 3 from the devs, you can watch this video from PAX Prime in which they talk about it.


Furthermore if you want to read a lengthy fictional article on what The Witcher 4 can be like (a game that is likely not to be made), you can check out this 3 part editorial at Nerd Rock from the Sun.

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Van Helsing: Final Cut - The Road to, Parts 4-7
Posted: Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]There are more parts to read for 'The road to' of the Van Helsing: Final Cut game.

There is part 4 about the weird science of Borgovia, part 5 about The Ink:

The Ink is an endless realm behind the scenes of everyday Borgovia - and it is also the primeval material of creation and dreams that had been used to write the world into existence at the dawn of the world. The Ink is an ethereal place of soft, crawling mists, capable of giving birth to wonders and nightmares and granting safe haven for pockets of strange realities or chunks of the normal world trapped in the Ink like bubbles in amber.​

Part 6 about Lady Katerina and part 7 about events and scenarios:

Unlike the account-bound Daily Quests and Challenges, there will be globally active events present in the game world. These could be quest-based, loot-based, but they can affect the whole endgame. Some of them won't be affected by the difficulty, but use their own system. We'll look out for major holidays as well for some neat special conditions.

The main appeal of the events is to secure challenges to the players, but in a global, competitive fashion: there will be Leaderboards connected to these events, to see who is the best. Of course, being on the top of the Leaderboard will grant the players better rewards at the closure of these events.​


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A House of Many Doors - Kickstarter Started and Previews
Posted: Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]The Kickstarter for A House of Many Doors has started today. The goal is 4,000 British Pounds and they are almost halfway there. A digital copy of the game is only 5 GBP.

A House of Many Doors is a 2D exploration RPG coming to PC in July next year. I want to make the kind of game I love to play: a game with narrative depth, compelling characters, and branching, nonlinear storylines.

In A House of Many Doors you are an explorer, poet and spy, traversing and mapping the House - a vast parasite dimension that steals from other worlds.

You explore the House in a clanking train with mechanical legs. You will discover bizarre civilizations, assemble a dysfunctional crew and level up your poetry, while clinging to life and sanity.​

There is also a comment from the creator about the differences with Sunless Sea, which was a game he was inspired by.

PCGamer and Rock, Paper, Shotgun have covered the game already.

I've been waiting for A House of Many Doors [official site] to arrive on Kickstarter for a while now. Developers Pixel Trickery are asking for £4,000, which will be added to savings and £12,000 of funding from Sunless Sea makers Failbetter Games, it's an exploration-based RPG set in a bizarre world in which you play a poet/journalist.

The list of influences includes Planescape: Torment and Calvino's Invisible Cities. I want it.

There is a pre-alpha demo and it feels like a pre-alpha demo, which is to say it feels more like a proof of concept than a slice of game. The text on the campaign page is a more convincing sales pitch than what is playable at the moment and I'm fine with that - this is a game, like Sunless Sea and Fallen London, that will be thick with words.​


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Divinity: Original Sin II - Lizards and Racial Skills
Posted: Sep 03, 2015, 12:13 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]In update number 4 for the Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter we're told more about the lizards, one of the playable races in the game.

Lizards are proud: proud to form the world's eldest empire, the world's grandest culture. An imperial dwarf might scoff when reading such grandiose descriptions, but deep down he'd know there is something undeniable about them.

Legend has it that the Lizards were once even mightier still: descendants of dragons, with dragon blood running through their veins. Most don't buy these stories though, saying that the Lizards are simply trying to increase their already sensational reputation for political and military reasons.

Be that as it may, the Lizards and their empire are a force to be reckoned with, even by the rapidly expanding Divine Order, to the latter's great frustration...​

There is also more about the Lizard lore in the update. Furthermore they ask for your input on what kind of racial skills should be in the game. Here are a few of them:

Thanks to your unlocking of the Racial Skills stretch goals, all playable species will now get unique skills. Today we're talking about the Lizards, so what unique skills could they have? If you have a good idea, do share it with us in the comments section! Nothing is set in stone yet on the Racial Skills and we'd love to hear from you.

Here's a couple of ideas to get you going. But don't hold back on us now!

Health Regeneration (Passive)
Bask in the sun and recharge those battle-damaged batteries.

Resist Poison (Passive)
Not only a lizard's speech is riddled with acid, its blood is too. Good luck trying to knock one out with something as crude as cyanide.

10% chance to fall asleep when chilled (Passive)
Cold-bloods get sleepy in low temperatures. We see it happen at Larian all the time...

Automatically hastened when warm/hot (Passive)
Hand them a cup of coffee on the other hand...

+1 Intelligence Bonus (Passive)
No Larian tie-in here, but them lizards though! They're *real* smart!​

And finally they mention that new tiers will be made available; one of them providing the opportunity to have your name in the game.

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RPGWatch Feature - Elminage Gothic Review
Posted: Sep 02, 2015, 06:03 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]In their second Elminage Gothic review, RPGWatch's Fluent shares his opinion on the game and concludes it is one of the best games in its genre.

As you explore the maze-like dungeons, the game places a heavy emphasis on figuring out things yourself and forcing you to pay attention to your surroundings. Since you only have so many maps that you can carry, you will have to manually explore the dungeon, learning it's intricacies and getting a lay of the land, only using your maps sparingly. The game makes you develop a strong sense of direction, because if you get turned around and start burning through maps, you will once again be in a lot of trouble. Managing the maps and learning the exploration system in the game is imperative to making progress. The game again gets easier in this regard when you get teleportation magic and are able to freely move through the dungeon at your leisure, entering and leaving to re-supply. But be warned; your characters age, so all that time you spent going back and forth to town could come back to haunt you much later.​


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CivCraft - New Graphics and Stretch Goal
Posted: Sep 02, 2015, 06:03 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]A Kickstarter update for Civcraft, talks about new graphics (of which they have animated gifs) and that the stretch goal of $50K has been improved to also include extra immersion by means of graphics and sound.

Thank you for your support, we are nearly at the 25K stretch goal!

The past few days have been busy at Larkon Studio after meeting up with new designers who joined our team. Because of the growth of our team, we've been working on new graphics and artwork, as well as the Arch-Mage pack, and are going to publish new content and artwork on a regular basis.

This means that we'll be able to improve CivCraft's graphics and sound even at the 50K stretch goal!


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Exoplanet: First Contact - Stretch Goal and Main Theme
Posted: Sep 02, 2015, 06:03 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]In a lengthy update on Kickstarter for Exoplanet: First Contact, the team announces a new stretch goal and more information on the main theme of the game.

In many modern RPGs companions are a standard feature, but sometimes it can be annoying to manage and control them. Some developers go even further and make interacting with companions and completing their personal sidequests an important part of the core gameplay that cannot be avoided if you wish to get the "good" ending. We at Alerstam think that all of the game's features should be enjoyable and not punish the player for avoiding some activities they are not so fond of.

In Exoplanet all of the companions activities are completely optional and in fact there is a special achievement called "Lone Wolf" for completing the game without using their help. They may still appear in some quests on their own behalf, but if you would rather walk the lonesome road and like quiet moments of solitude - then just leave them at your ship to do the daily chores. Or don't even invite them aboard in the first place. You are the captain after all.​


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Matt Chat - Kickstarting Free Software
Posted: Sep 02, 2015, 06:03 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]On his blog, Matt Burton discusses free software and game development and if an open source game can be Kickstarted.

First, a bit of history. As some long-time followers know, I used to be something of a cheerleader for the free software movement, doing cover features for Free Software Magazine and writing articles on it for Armchair Arcade. At the time, I was convinced that GNU/Linux was the future I wanted to fight for, and that anything other than 100% free software was unethical. To put it short, I had drunk the Kool-Aid.

My views started to shift partly in response to an email exchange I had with FSF founder Richard Stallman. Stallman told me that even he didn't think games ought to be free; just their code. Creative assets (music, graphics, etc.) could and should still be protected. The impression I got was that his fight for free software didn't include entertainment; just utilities, instructional material, or other "useful" wares.

These views shifted further when I began learning more about how real-life game development worked. In particular, I learned that most games aren't written from scratch; rather, they rely heavily on proprietary packages, libraries, or entire engines they license. In short, they aren't in a legal position to make their code free. Arguably, you could insist that developers avoid doing so, but that seems to be imposing an unfair burden on them in my opinion.​


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Weekly Wizards of the Coast News Round-up
Posted: Sep 02, 2015, 02:58 pm by Taluntain

[​IMG]» The Public Dungeon Master (Behind the Screens - 08/31/2015)
» Graz’zt—The Dark Prince (D&D Alumni - 08/28/2015)
» Adding First-Time D&D Players Midcampaign (Behind the Screens - 08/24/2015)

Note: You can purchase most of the books, manuals, accessories etc. mentioned in the news here via Amazon's online stores (US, CA, UK or DE).

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Satellite Reign - Guide to Mayhem and Corporate Violence
Posted: Sep 02, 2015, 05:42 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]PC Invasion has a guide for people who are struggling with Satellite Reign or who want to be more effective. Read the guide here.

A sample:

For anybody who wishes Satellite Reign had a pause function, Team Stims are also a must. They effectively become your pause key, allowing you to think for a while about your moves and positioning. Very helpful for those who want to take all four agents into combat on a regular basis.

If you're not so bothered about having a pseudo-pause, Field Medic is a solid investment. Another (mostly) passive ability, this one improves squad health, makes health recharge a little quicker and makes any med-kits you have work better. You can also activate nano-bots for some energy-based healing.​


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Legends of Valour - Retrospective Review @ Rock, Paper, Shotgun
Posted: Sep 01, 2015, 11:22 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Richard Cobbet takes a look back at Legends of Valour - a game that was cited as an influence on the Elder Scrolls series.

Who said epic action and high adventure has to be part of an adventurer's life? (Checks) Oh, right. Pretty much everyone at least expects it.
Still, back in 1992, US Gold and Synthetic Dimensions decided to try something a little different. Specifically, spelling 'Valour' correctly. (The sequel might have done the same for 'Honour', but we never got to find out.) Also, something to do with life simulation. It's a little remembered game these days, but one that had a major impact on some of the biggest modern RPGs around. Ever heard of a series called The Elder Scrolls? Bethesda's Todd Howard has long mentioned this being one of its big inspirations. [...]​


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Kenshi - Eight Year Development Journey @ Siliconera
Posted: Sep 01, 2015, 11:22 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Chris Priestman (Siliconera) talks with developer Chris Hunt about the eight year development journey of the sandbox squad-based RPG Kenshi:

Kenshi's Eight Year Development Journey From One-Man RPG To A Team's Success
Kenshi has been in development for a long time. Eight years, in fact. And it's no wonder: the majority of it is the work of just one person, Chris Hunt, and the game is scheduled to be absolutely huge. So what is Kenshi? It's a harsh, open ended RPG that relies on detailed sandbox play rather than a linear structure.

Your primary goal in Kenshi is to survive. And it's not made easy as the other characters in the game will not be intimidated by you as you're not a fated hero. You're just a regular nobody trying to get along with your life. And so it's possible that bandits will kill you in a village raid, that you'll be mugged, or you may even be turned into a slave at any point if you let an attacker get the better of you.

For the past couple of years, Kenshi has been gaining popularity on Steam Early Access, and due to that the progress it's been making has accelerated as more money means more time and people can be thrown at it. Siliconera caught up with the game's lead Chris Hunt to talk about how he got started working on Kenshi, why he undertook such an ambitious project by himself, and where the game is now heading with its latest updates.

To start with, could you give a brief history on the development of Kenshi - how it got started, how long it's been in the making, and who's working on it?

I started work on Kenshi around eight years ago now. For the first five or six years, I worked alone on it full time whilst juggling a minimum wage security guard job during the nights to get by. It's been in the works for a long time, mainly laying in the fundamental systems and getting it into a playable state. But it's finally picking up pace now that it's on Steam Early Access and I can afford extra manpower. During the last two years I've managed to grow a small team - Sam, our first programmer; Oli, our world designer; Natalie, our PR contact & writer; Otto, our 3D & concept designer; and Maykol, our second programmer.

What would you say is the concept at the center of Kenshi? What kind of experience does it offer at its core that you won't find in other games?

It's a mixture of genres: an open world RPG, kind of like Skyrim (very very loosely speaking), but with RTS elements of squad control, base building, research and crafting.

I've never liked the hand-holding that most of the big RPGs give the player where you'll start off a hero, strong from the very beginning, nothing to fear. In Kenshi you start out as a normal runt with no special powers, no higher stats. You are not special, you are nothing, and even survival itself is a struggle. You'll be bullied, harassed, caught up in the war of another faction... maybe you'll even get caught up in a bandit raid while resting in the 'safety' of a town.

[...]


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Hard West - Previews
Posted: Sep 01, 2015, 11:22 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Here is another selection of Hard West previews.

The Escapist:

I did notice at one point during the battle that a silhouetted figure appeared after one of my move actions. It turns out, enemies cast shadows, which you can spot, but since all you saw was a shadow, it lets you know there's a person there, but doesn't offer any other information. It strikes me as a mechanic that seems fairly innocuous, but may well play a huge part in the game. If you can stick to the shadows, and find your enemies by the shadows they cast, you can stay out of sight until you're ready to move in for the kill. Maybe.​

The Game Fanatics:

Like XCOM, your characters are placed on a grid with full and half cover spread throughout the map. Where Hard West differs is that you can sometimes make your own cover. Flip a table over for some half cover, or open that basement door to turn half cover into full cover. Another innovation found within is its luck feature; this dictates how successful your actions or actions taken against you will be. You use luck to make hard shots, reduce or even avoid any damage inflicted on you. The abilities you equip before combat affects the luck you have and unfortunately, once you use it all, your luck can literally run out.​

IGN:

Before you and your hired guns enter a battlefield, you're able to prepare exactly how you want to tackle the situation. Guns, and gun upgrades, let you manage range and damage. Hard West is also silly as all get out - I walked into a Cannibal Farm mission with an absurd quad-barrel shotgun. Cannibals are spooky enough to justify that many barrels. More importantly, though, is the collectible card element of Hard West. Progress, purchases, and exploration lets you draw cards that imbue characters with new abilities when equipped. Lifesteal, accuracy improvements, and other effects make life easier, but it's the more active skills I enjoyed most.

Fanning your pistol compromises accuracy, but allows a gunman to deal more damage faster. The ricochet is by far my favorite, though. Pinging a bullet off a nearby bucket to take down an enemy hidden around the corner feels fantastic. Launching it off a bucket, into an anvil, off a water pump, and into the face of a sniper on the second level of a barn? Next level.​


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Pillars of Eternity - Retrospective Panel Discussion
Posted: Sep 01, 2015, 11:22 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Watch Adam Brennecke, Josh Sawyer and Brandon Adler talk about the development process of Pillars of Eternity for an hour.



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