Polygon has checked out the upcoming underwater adventure game Diluvion:
Diluvion is a Dark Souls-inspired underwater adventure Also inspired by classics like Freelancer and steampunk science fiction
At this year's PAX West, the setup for my first experience with Diluvion was perfect. Publisher Gambitious had set up a dark room, muffled by heavy cloth. There was a big computer screen, like a porthole, set in the back wall. They had a keyboard from a steampunk joint out in California and a heavy, solid brass mouse made from two old telegraph keys. Before the game even booted up, I knew I was in for a treat.
Diluvion is an adventure exploration game set in a retro-futuristic world where humans are trapped underwater. Centuries after the great floods, humanity lives inside cobbled-together structures clinging to the bottom of massive glaciers and the remains of sunken high-rises. The most intrepid citizens are the submarine captains, who gather together a crew and seek their fortune among the ancient remains deep below.
Forced into the deep oceans by a Great Flood that occurred countless centuries ago, humanity now lives trapped under a thick layer of unbreakable ice and their survival hangs by a tenuous thread. However, their penchant for perseverance is strong, and a new civilization has emerged with distinct kingdoms, religions and cultures. By a twist of fate you, an aspiring submarine captain, have been given the honor of commanding your first sub. With a brave crew at your command, you now venture into the unknown on a quest to discover humanity's greatest secret.
Explore the dangers of the depths in this beautifully realized flooded world, and unearth untold riches and glory. Discover the remnants of civilization in numerous unique towns and learn their local lore, trade stories and treasure, and hire crew new members.
Continuously improve each of the game's 9 unique pilotable submarines using a deep upgrade system, and gain access to new areas and loot. Discover numerous types of cannons and torpedoes to help you overcome the dangers of the deep, and assemble your own unique crew to brave it alongside you. Whether you wish to play as a silent hunter or a guns blazing dreadnought, arrange your crew members and weapons to fit your playstyle.
A Beautiful Underwater World to Explore: Three massive and beautifully realized open sea zones to explore, each with their own factions, local stories and more
Innovative Combination of 2D & 3D Graphics: Experience the mysteries of the deep in beautifully rendered 3D graphics as you navigate your submarine, and seamlessly switch to meticulously hand-painted 2D graphics when exploring towns and cities
Thrilling Real-Time Submarine Combat: Utilize an arsenal of underwater weapons to engage in life-or-death firefights with other submarines and deadly terrifying creatures
Crew Recruitment: Assemble your own unique crew to fight alongside you by recruiting different Helmsmen, Gunners and Sonar Technicians. Utilize each of their special skills and personalities to change the flow of combat and exploration.
Upgradable Submarines: Continuously improve your vessel by acquiring new weapons that can dramatically change the tide of battle, and gain access to new areas by increasing its dive depth by collecting hull armour plates
9 Pilotable Submarines: Explore the world to uncover 9 unique pilotable submarines, each with their own feel, strengths and weaknesses
Resource Management: This world is not for the faint of heart, as resources are limited and survival is a constant battle. You'll have to actively manage your food supplies and oxygen levels should you wish to keep your crew alive and overcome the perils of the sea
Upgradeable Home Base: Build- and grow your own base of operations under the sea to house all your stand-by crew members and submarines. Upgrade your base to increase your notoriety and wealth, as upgraded bases can also house valuable opportunities, such as rare item merchants and bars with notorious sailors as patrons.
Loot System: The world is filled with rare loot and hidden quests to discover.... Especially for those who dare to venture off the beaten path
Terrifying Underwater Foes: Explore the world and test your bravery against giant sea creatures and mysteries undersea anomalies!
Battles of Norghan - September Steam Release
Posted: Sep 25, 2016, 01:33 pm by RPGWatch
The Strategy/Management/RPG-Mix Battles of Norghan from 2005 will be launched on Steam on September 27:
Battles of Norghan is a unique gladiatorial management and strategy game where you not only must recruit, train, and equip fantasy gladiators, but also control them on a tactical grid in turn-based combat. This game has a lot of depth and replayability.
Imagine a football manager game with fantasy world creatures such as orcs, drakes and minotaurs and turn-based strategy battles instead of football matches.
Recruit mercenaries from 22 different fantasy races and classes and manage dozens of fighters as they battle in a variety of different terrains against easy to highly intelligent AI or other player-controlled clans.
Train and hone each fighter's skill through monthly training as well as directly in combat. Build secondary skills such as dodging, shield blocking and dual wielding as well as attributes such as strength, intelligence, hit points, and magic points. There are 200 items and 42 spells available to equip your gladiators, including armors, bows, weapons, magical staves, and more! As each combatant grows with your clan they will age as well and eventually retire. Careful planning and management of your clan can ensure you never have an off season.
Original release dates outside Steam: V.1.0 in August 2005. Version 1.11 in July 26 2016.
Sunless Skies - Kickstarter Announced for 2017
Posted: Sep 25, 2016, 07:23 am by RPGWatch
Failbetter Games announced a sequel for the exploration and survival game Sunless Sea called Sunless Skies:
7 facts about Sunless Skies
As with Sunless Sea, it'll be rich with stories. The Victorian Empire in space - the High Wilderness - a "blistering, wonderful night" among the thrones and domains of the stars. The Empress has abandoned London and led an exodus to the High Wilderness, to carve out a new British Empire. With the Empire being increasingly authoritarian, bohemians, revolutionaries and outcasts - like you - are trying to make a life for themselves on its fringes.
It will elaborate on Sunless Sea. We're enhancing the stuff we liked, and refining the experience. It will be a punishing game, but respectful of your time.
At full release, it will be available on the same platforms at launch which Sunless Sea is available on now: Windows, Mac and Linux.
We will use Early Access again, taking on board all of the lessons we learned from Sunless Sea.
Why the name? The stars are dying. The stars are the Judgements: the inventors, arbiters and enforcers of the universe's laws - but a revolution has begun, and the stars are being murdered.
Our influences include: the science fiction of H G Wells and C S Lewis, the planetary romances of Leigh Brackett, Art Nouveau, Event Horizon, trains.
We are running a Kickstarter for it in February! Stop the clocks, mark your diaries, save your pennies!
Steam - Changes Coming to the Storefront
Posted: Sep 25, 2016, 07:23 am by RPGWatch
@Techraptor Valve has told developers about upcoming changes to the Steam store. Expect these changes to arrive in the next few weeks.
"When we launched the Steam Discovery Update, we introduced a new and smarter Steam store built around personalization and recommendations. In the time since the Discovery Update, we've iterated on the features and made improvements to support the goal of helping each customer find the titles they are most likely to enjoy playing. We think our progress in this direction has been really valuable in supporting a broader variety of gaming experiences big and small, while better serving individual customer tastes. "
In the coming update, we can expect:
Home Page Visual Refresh: Mixing up how the front page appears, removing some visual clutter.
Additional Left Column Navigation: The left navigational column will be getting new direct links to main features of the Steam Store, such as New Releases, Top Sellars, Upcoming Titles, etc.
Friends Activity: A new section to the right of the front page will be dedicated to showing what your friends have been playing lately.
Top Selling New Releases: A brand new section will be added for when a new release becomes a top selling game.
Global Customer Preferences: A new feature that will allow customers to customize their Steam Store experience. Allowing them to opt to exclude certain products from being displayed, such as Videos, Early Access titles, Software, VR, etc.
Targeted Visibility For New Releases: New changes will be made to how new releases will be targeted to the appropriate customers. The goal is to show the specific customer new releases that will most likely appeal to them.
Targeted Visibility For Game Updates: Changes to how Update rounds will be made to be more direct to the customers who would want to see them. Customers who own the game or have it on their wishlist will be prioritized in showing the update.
New Steam Curator Options: Noticing that people are using Steam Curator to give information on a title, without necessarily recommending it, there will be new tools that will allow a curator to make a distinction about whether or not they are recommending, not recommending or just giving information about a title. This will also allow Valve to better understand what curated posts should be highlighted on the front page.
Curators In Main Capsule: The Main Capsule banner will be updated to include curators that the customer personally follows.
Improved Steam Curator Presence: There will be a new section on the Steam Home Page that is dedicated to recommendations from curators. This space will be for recommending more anything from popular releases to more "niche" titles. Additionally, there will be a new landing page to display many recommended titles from a curator.
Voyage of Fortune's Star - New Kickstarter
Posted: Sep 24, 2016, 07:02 pm by RPGWatch
Stewart Wieck launched a Kickstarter campaign for a story driven RPG placed in the 7th Sea tabletop world Théah. The RPG is called Voyage of Fortune's Star:
Voyage of Fortune's Star is our single-player, 3D, story-driven, computer roleplaying game based in the rich world of Théah as presented in John Wick's tabletop roleplaying game, 7th Sea. We have a team of experienced storytellers, programmers and designers to bring you 10+ hours of incredible experience.
Here are some key elements of Voyage of Fortune's Star:
You primarily experience the story first-person as the captain of Fortune's Star, Anzolo Zorzi.
We hope to add the overlapping storyline of the Fate Witch, Magdalena Salvaza, so that for sequences of the game she becomes the primary character under your control.
You have a large crew of pirates and will be able to direct their actions as well.
Whether you experience it only from Anzolo's point-of-view or if we can also add Magdalena's narrative, the story is our priority. Experienced, award-winning writers will craft a rich, dialogue-based narrative.
The game is built in Unreal Engine 4 and features action RPG gameplay.
The game is available as a digital release, as well as in standard and collector's boxed editions loaded with extras.
We're initially developing versions for PC, Mac and Linux.
Digital release is to backers via Steam and also DRM-free.
We have many language options planned, including English, Italian, French, German and Spanish.
Divinity: Original Sin II - Preview @ MMORPG
Posted: Sep 24, 2016, 07:02 pm by RPGWatch
MMORPG likes the Early Access version of Divinity: Original Sin II already:
The RPG Files: Divinity: Original Sin 2 is Off to a Promising Start
The first time I met the Red Prince, I tried to shove him into the ocean. Even though I had guessed he was to be my first companion, I wanted to test the system. Would Divinity: Original Sin 2 really let me go off the rails so quickly? The Prince threw me to the ground and cut my face. As I lay bleeding, I was given the option: do I make nice and admit I was wrong or do I demand blood for blood? Of course, I chose blood.
If this were another other video game, the Prince would balked and made some excuse to avoid fighting me. But Divinity is not any other video game. With a surprising amount of ease, the Red Prince became a smear of meat and gore on his rock over the ocean, already changing the course of the game. After taking his meager possessions as my own, I reloaded and went the opposite route, using humor to defuse the situation, and adopting him as my very own bright red lizard-tank.
Outcast: Second Contact - Preview @ PCGamesN
Posted: Sep 24, 2016, 12:52 pm by RPGWatch
PCGamesN takes a look at Outcast: Second Contact - a remake of the cult-classic Outcast from 1999:
Outcast: Second Contact feels archaic, but perhaps it's just what fans need
Time has not been kind to 3D games of the '90s, and Outcast is no exception. Coming to the original fresh almost twenty years late, it's not hard to be instantly put off by its clumsy mechanics and muddy, smeared world. It's hideous, it's impossible to play... and it's easy to see why it has an adoring fan base. Back in 1999, that open world must have been mind-blowing.
Outcast is a cult classic in the most traditional of ways. It's not a widely-loved game that's a bit niche; it genuinely is only loved by a small faction of gamers who recall its impact. As such, a previous attempt to bring the game back fell flat on its face. The 2014 Kickstarter never even made it to the half-funded point of its $600,000 ask. Appeal were undeterred though, and so raised the money themselves through the sale of an Outcast re-release.
And now we have Outcast: Second Contact, a complete remake that feels very much made for the fans. And that may be both its best feature and demise.
Twinfinite has reviewed the upcoming rogue-like Rogue Wizards:
Rogue Wizards Review Rogue Wizards on PC
There's always been a certain something about the "roguelike" genre that's appealed to me. Rogue Wizards, a turn-based RPG packed with elements of this often-used approach, is no different. A colorful, lively world and plenty of randomly-generated dungeons and loot to comb through, Rogue Wizards presents a somewhat lighter take on the formula. Of course, a lighter take doesn't mean that the task of saving the world is going to be easy.
While its story and approach play it safe, the smooth gameplay and optional "perma-death" Hard Mode still bring plenty to enjoy. With a wide variety of weapons and spells to choose from and a unique experience behind each randomly-generated door, it keeps things fresh without stepping too far outside of established comfort zones.
Dungeons & Darkness - September 30 Release
Posted: Sep 24, 2016, 12:52 pm by RPGWatch
The dungeon crawler Dungeons & Darkness, a love letter to the King's Field and Ultima Underworld series, will be released on September 30:
Explore various dungeons, making use of various weapons and magic! Challenge the most deadly locations, make your name as an adventurer! Clear the corridors of monsters, collecting tools and weapons as you go. Watch out for booby traps!
Dungeon Rats - FAQ
Posted: Sep 24, 2016, 06:43 am by RPGWatch
Iron Tower Studios released a FAQ for their upcoming dungeon crawler Dungeon Rats:
What kind of game is it?
Dungeon Rats is a turn-based, party-based RPG focused almost exclusively on combat for players who like turn-based combat in general and AoD combat in particular. So if you like challenging turn-based combat built around trade-offs and featuring different attack types, alchemy, and tons of stats and modifiers, this game might be for you. If not...
Price & length?
$8.99; 50 fights in total; about 10 hours if you know what you're doing, much longer if you don't (i.e. a new player).
Anywhere from late Oct to mid Nov. The game is almost ready: fully playable from start to finish, all the content is in, we need 5-6 weeks for polishing and extra art assets (missing portraits, ending slides art, etc.).
Why this game? Why not another game like AoD?
Our next full scale RPG is the "colony ship game", currently in pre-production, which means designing the systems, fleshing out the setting and locations, and defining these locations visually. Basically, we can't start working on it until we have the "blueprints" to follow.
This gave us a year (10 months development cycle, 2 months of post release support) to put together a combat game using the AoD engine, systems, and assets. Doing anything else (new engine, different systems, non-combat aspects, etc.) would have easily doubled or tripled the development time. Considering that party-based combat was the most requested feature, we built a game around it, giving you something different instead of going for more of the same.
At lower difficulty levels your enemies get a THC (to-hit chance) penalty (30% on Easy, 15% on Normal, no penalty on Hard), which makes it harder to hit you and greatly increases your party's life expectancy. THC also affects the combat AI, so your enemies won't be using fancier attacks against you.
Your Charisma will determine how many people you can recruit: min 1, max 3, so your party size will range from 2 to 4. Not everyone will be eager to join you; some NPCs will require convincing (Charisma checks). You will have full control over your party members once they join your party. All skill points you earn will be divided between the party members, so a bigger party will level up more slowly.
Can I make my own party?
No. You will create your own character and recruit other convicts. Party members are a resource much like gear and skill points. You acquire it slowly, swapping one party member for another or replacing fallen brethren when an opportunity comes up. This approach fits both the prison setting and Charisma-driven setup. Keep in mind that losing party members is normal on Hard.
Solo Mode? Ironman?
You can select Ironman and/or Solo mode when you start a new game. If you choose the Solo mode your CHA will be lowered to 2 to give you two extra and much needed stat points. You won't be able to recruit any companions.
Do I need to buy or play AoD first?
No. It's a stand-alone game that takes place before the events in AoD. However, some comments and stories will make more sense to those who played AoD a couple of times.
Is there a story?
There is the story of your escape and the prison's hierarchy. There is also a background story that began long before you were imprisoned. That story and its conclusion will expand the lore of the gameworld.
Dialogues? Text adventures?
There are many talkative characters; each fight has a text intro, so you aren't just moving from one fight to the next; there is quite a bit of exploration with text-adventure elements and stat-checks.
Whom are we fighting?
Various prisoners (unaffiliated convicts, gang members - we have three gangs running the prison and their overlord who calls himself the Emperor), prison guards, legionaries sent to clean up the mess, which started long before you arrived, mechanical constructs, and various oversized local flora and fauna.
Battle Brothers - Release: Early 2017
Posted: Sep 23, 2016, 06:12 pm by RPGWatch
Here's the roadmap for the Strategy/RPG Mix Battle Brothers:
Dev Blog #82: Roadmap to the Finish Line
Battle Brothers has come a long way since it entered Early Access over a year ago, in April of 2015. Every update has brought it a step closer towards being a finished game - and there's still a few more steps to take. Read on to learn what changes and additions are yet to come!
What's still to come?
With the perk & injury update live and stable, we'll now start working on the last big update to the game before it leaves Early Access. This is going to be the second-biggest update after the big worldmap update earlier this year and will take us several months to complete.
Here's the list of major points we'll be working on:
Three different 'Greater Evil' end game crises for you to get involved in - a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion and an undead invasion. Each will come with its own set of contracts, events and changes to the world.
An overarching goal to work towards throughout your campaign, and the ability to retire at any point to receive an illustrated ending screen telling of your accomplishments.
A more lively and dynamic world, with more opportunities for you to shape it, and more relation between what is going on in the world and contracts on offer.
A memorial wall screen where your fallen Battle Brothers are listed with their deeds.
An overhaul of the mood and desertion mechanics on the worldmap.
An overhaul of the undead faction with new visuals and lore, unique lootable weapons and armor, and the introduction of new enemy types with their own fighting style.
An overhaul of ghouls as independent beasts that are more interesting and challenging to fight.
More contracts and events to change things up.
Various improvements to usability in both combat and on the worldmap.
Not included in that list are the countless smaller additions and improvements we'll be doing along the way. As usual, all the major points and most of the minor ones will be explained in detail in future dev blogs as we go along, so you'll always know what we're working on and why.
This big update, once published, will then be followed by a couple of smaller updates for balancing, bug fixing and further improvements based on your feedback until the game is ready to be released.
So does that mean...?
It means that Battle Brothers will not be released in 2016. We're looking at a release in early 2017 and you'll be the first to know once we have a set date - most likely to happen when the last big update is live. It's important to us that the finished game feels complete, polished and well worth its price, so we'll take the time necessary to ensure just that and won't rush anything.
It also means that some features that were considered at one point in development or another have been cut and will not make it into the game for now. While some concepts simply won't fit anymore with how the game has evolved, others would still be cool to have but also require a lot of time to do right. Time that we then couldn't spend working on other things. Game development is often about hard choices and setting priorities - what feature best to spend our limited time on? What feature will benefit the game the most? Our choices on what's most important are reflected in the list above. If ever there is an expansion to Battle Brothers, we may revisit some of the concepts that didn't make it into the game at first.
Also, the game has been updated
That's right. The game has just been updated to version 0.7.0.10 with a new contract, balancing changes, a multitude of AI improvements and a couple of bug fixes. Find the changelog below.
Steve Jackson's Sorcery! review: A sprawling adventure of mind-boggling scale With the release of Sorcery's fourth episode, this thrilling adventure comes to a close.
On the road again
For the most part, yes.
It's odd to think that 2016's most epic-in the traditional sense of the word-game might end up being conveyed completely through text, and yet here we are. Sorcery is a sprawling adventure, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure of almost mind-boggling scale, spread out across four installments roughly matching the original four adventure gamebooks from the 1980s.
Sorcery is something special though. I went back and replayed the first two episodes prior to jumping into the latter half, and was amazed how many encounters I'd missed, how many important items I'd blithely walked past. There are so many nooks and crannies to pop your head into-and hope that said nook or cranny isn't occupied by an invisible Snattacat or a ten-foot-tall Skunk Bear.
It has its weak moments-especially in the convoluted third episode-but it's worth struggling through in order to get to the end of this very, very long adventure. The Crown of Kings awaits.
Undertale - Retrospective on it's Popularity
Posted: Sep 23, 2016, 12:12 pm by RPGWatch
One year after release, developer Toby Fox reflects on the success with his RPG Undertale:
Retrospective on UNDERTALE's Popularity
Though it was released almost a year ago, I have the same opinion of it.
It's about an 8/10, niche RPG game.
If you like the characters and the humor, you'll probably like it, and forgive it for its flaws.
If you don't, you'll probably hate it.
Surprisingly, there are many people who like this type of game. Though I did work hard, there's definitely a lot of luck involved in having a game become this popular. So, it wouldn't surprise me if I never made a game as successful again. That's fine with me though.
Not only did I not expect this level of popularity, but initially, I was afraid of it. I didn't want UNDERTALE to become tiring for people, or become spoiled before anyone even got a chance to play it. Early on (this was probably excessive) I even tried to contact certain Let's Players to tell them not to make any content about it.
But, the game became very popular. Unavoidable, even. At the height of its popularity, "not liking the game" felt like a cardinal sin to many fans online. In reaction to these circumstances, others began actively hate the game, creating an endless whirlwind of discourse...
Like a thunderclap to a small dog, all of this attention stressed me out. And every time it seemed to die down, something revived it, such as the GameFAQs contest, the award shows, bizarre theory videos, and so on. At times, I wished I had a way to quell the attention. I felt a strange powerlessness. (And guilt, for feeling stressed when the success of the game SHOULD be something I'm nothing but ecstatic about.)
At the same time, countless wonderful things were happening. People told me the game helped them through a difficult part of their life. Others told me that the game had made them laugh, or cry, or say "I want to be kinder." Many young kids told me they wanted to create games or music because of it. And, on a personal level, because of its popularity, I have been able to help myself and many people in my life. (And, hopefully, in the future, I can help many other people because of it, too.)
So, ultimately, it's a good thing that the game reached so many people, and I'm very, very, very, very, very, very, thankful to everyone that supported it, and everyone that helped me make it.
And thank you to anyone who has created fanworks for this game over the past year. I've been in fandoms my whole life. I drew Cave Story characters in the margins of my 7th grade history class notes. So it's amazing to see something I created incite a similar passion in other people.
Someday, UNDERTALE will fade from people's minds. But, I'm sure in 10 years, some kid who played UNDERTALE will create a game that surpasses it...
I look forward to playing that.
Tomorrow, on UNDERTALE's anniversary, let's have a fun time. I am thinking I will open the askbox, and...
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