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» Matt Chatt #341 - Stellaris Review - May 23, 2016, 08:14 pm
» InSomnia - Kickstarter Update - May 23, 2016, 08:14 pm
» Tyranny - Interview @ GameWatcher - May 23, 2016, 08:14 pm
» Non-RPG General News - Thief 1 HD Mod - May 23, 2016, 01:52 pm
» Dark Souls III - Beating Bosses With Dance Pads - May 23, 2016, 07:43 am
» Diablo 3 - Fourth Anniversary; Then and Now - May 23, 2016, 07:43 am
» Opinion - Sidequests and Other Distractions - May 23, 2016, 07:43 am
» Total War: Warhammer - PC Gamer Review - May 23, 2016, 07:43 am
» Graywalkers - April-May Update - May 23, 2016, 01:42 am
» Shroud of the Avatar - Capital City of Brittany - May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm
» Dishonored 2 - No dumbing down - May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm
» Witcher 3 - Don't expect a Witcher 4 - May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm
» InSomnia - Interview @ TGG - May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm
» Dungeons Of Aledorn - Alpha Released - May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm
» General News - Chris Avellone @ Retrokompott - May 22, 2016, 01:13 am


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Matt Chatt #341 - Stellaris Review
Posted: May 23, 2016, 08:14 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Matt checked out the space strategy game Stellaris:



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InSomnia - Kickstarter Update
Posted: May 23, 2016, 08:14 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Learn more about the rifles of InSomnia in this Kickstarter:

Time For Some Rifles!
Hello everyone! For today's update, we'll be talking about a very handy type of weapon that will help you survive the dangers in Object 6. What do you do when shotguns and SMG are not good enough for the task at hand? That's right, for those cases you pick up a rifle!

Rifles are powerful weapons that are particularly useful against armored targets. Average armor can be penetrated without any additional effort while heavy armored foes can only be damaged if you target the weak spots - such as joints. As expected, rifles are great at trying to hit something that is not right on top of your face. Their fire rate is low, take a while to reload, and are not ideal when you're on the move.

And now let's take a more detailed look at one specific rifle model:

MT-4 Linear Rifle
The MT-4 Linear Rifle is a powerful six-shooter that can penetrate a standard army protective vest from a 70m distance. A very reliable and accurate weapon based on the structure of heavy rifles of used in the Last War. This model is a simpler version (although still very deadly) that was downgraded a bit as there was no need to fight heavy armored SORG golems anymore after Object 6 left the dying planet of the Nomahs.

[...]​


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Tyranny - Interview @ GameWatcher
Posted: May 23, 2016, 08:14 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]GameWatcher has interviewed Game Director Brian Heins about Tyranny:

We talk to Brian Heins about Obsidian's new world where the bad guys are in charge
I fell in love with Pillars of Eternity last year despite having no nostalgia for Baldur's Gate or its Infinity Engine successors. The excellent RPG took the depth and complexity of those old RPGs, sanded off the rough edges, and built a brand new world with compelling history, excellent quests, and exquisite combat.

So when it was announced that Obsidian was working on a new title built on the same ideas, I was more than a little excited. Titled Tyranny, the new game dispenses with the epic quest to stop an evil overlord from enslaving humanity. The bad guy has already won, the emperor is already ruling, and you play as one of his most important lieutenants. I got the chance to sit down with the game's director, Brian Heins, and ask about the upcoming adventure.

GameWatcher: The basic pitch is that this is a world in which the bad guys have already won. How does the player factor into that?

Brian Heins:
Your role is what we call a Fatebinder. It's a role that exists in Kyros' empire to help resolve the disputes that can arise from the various factions that make up the groups within the empire. So Kyros, the overlord, has several lieutenants that are called Archons, and each of those is in charge of different aspects of the empire. Some are governors of districts, others are generals of armies, and some are in charge of magical guilds or elements of the bureaucracy that keep the wheels of empire turning. Each of these different Archons have different agendas and personal goals they want to try and fulfill and often those come into conflict.

One of the Archons, the oldest and what some believe is the most powerful of the Archons, is your boss, Tunon, who is responsible for judging all of the other disputes between the Archons. Tunon created the Fatebinders to basically resolve the disputes that arise between the different armies and magic guilds and things that are all controlled by Kyros. So your job is basically to handle these disputes and make sure that they don't become larger problems, and to enforce Kyros' law in the world.

GameWatcher: How does the main character's role in this ostensibly evil faction affect the player's options for behaving in the way they want?

Brian Heins: So basically, within the rules of Kyros' law, each of the Archons and then the player themselves have a great deal of autonomy. As long as you are upholding Kyros' will, you have a lot of leeway in what choices you make. So just because you're serving in an evil empire doesn't mean you necessarily have to make evil choices. They're definitely available and they can be a lot of fun to make, but players who want to try to have more of a moral stance can take it. It's not always going to be the easiest path to take because you're surrounded by awful people who want awful things, so they're definitely going to try and lead you astray and make things easier for you to take the difficult path.

[...]​


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Non-RPG General News - Thief 1 HD Mod
Posted: May 23, 2016, 01:52 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]An HD mod for Thief: The Dark Project and Thief Gold has been released.

Thief 1 HD Mod v1.2 is out!

This is the full Installer Setup of version 1.2 - Now also for Thief: The Dark Project version! - New water arrow FX, new gas arrow FX, new smoke FX, new water FX, new explosion FX, new blood FX, new Zombie models...



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Dark Souls III - Beating Bosses With Dance Pads
Posted: May 23, 2016, 07:43 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Just when you thought you'd seen it all, some incredibly talented person managed to beat a boss on Dark Souls III...using a dance pad.


Beating Dark Souls games using unconventional tools is a popular sport on the internet. Folk have beaten early instalments of the series using drum and guitar controllers in the past, while the rest of us swear in admiration. Now YouTuber Rudeism has taken up the challenge in Dark Souls 3: he's decided to beat the game using dance pads, because why not.

The boss battle embedded below is the game's first, Ludex Gundyr, and according to the creator it "only took nearly 30 attempts". At that rate, I'd hate to guess how many attempts some of the game' later bosses will require. Given the feats we've seen achieved in the past, though, it's inevitable someone will do it eventually.​

Source.

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Diablo 3 - Fourth Anniversary; Then and Now
Posted: May 23, 2016, 07:43 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Has it been four years already? Blizzard is celebrating Diablo III's fourth anniversary this week and muses aloud about how the game has changed in that time.

A post on the Battle.net website alerts us to the fact that Diablo III is celebrating its fourth anniversary this week, while a subsequent post provides a quick look at how the item comparison mechanics have evolved over that course of time, given the release of the Reaper of Souls expansion pack and the game's transition to consoles. An excerpt from the latter:

Patch 2.0.1 launched just prior to the release of Reaper of Souls, introducing many new systems to the game in preparation for the expansion. One change was replacing the Life and Protection stats with new and better-defined stats.

Enter Healing and Toughness. Toughness was intended to be an overall calculation of your Effective Health Pool, or EHP. This is a simplified summary of your hero's survivability based on stats like maximum Life, Armor, Resistances, Dodge, and other types of damage reduction. Similarly, healing was meant to be an average of how quickly you could regain health. This first pass got the basic messages across, but some of the more variable stats (like Life Per Kill) caused confusing inflations and muddled the information given to the player. So in Patch 2.1.2, we made another change.

"Healing" was replaced with "Recovery," and the name was changed to not only better encompass its purpose, but to clearly highlight that change had occurred. The new stat estimated how much Toughness you would expect to recover in an average encounter, and we changed the weighting of certain healing stats to provide a more accurate picture.

In our current iteration, these stat summaries provide enough information to be useful to the average player and helps shine a light on how each stat contributes to your character's overall power. This feature was so useful that we received a lot of community requests for a similar overview of follower equipment. In Patch 2.4.0, we fulfilled this request!​

Source.

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Opinion - Sidequests and Other Distractions
Posted: May 23, 2016, 07:43 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]GameBanshee links to a couple of interesting op-eds on quests, distractions, and how the author believes meaning is changing in RPG's.

This recent and lengthy editorial points to the way in which quest design and execution have been handled in virtually every CRPG since the 1990s, in particular how dozens of even hundreds of side quests have caused us to neglect many games' main quests. The article suggests that this has led to an "erosion" of meaning to the primary quests in general, and while I tend to agree, I don't think there's a great alternative without the narrative being structured around a series of progressive quests toward one end goal, therefore limiting player choice. In any event, I've left you with a handful of paragraphs below:

This juggling of quests and side-quests is, I guess, part of the form of CRPGs, set in stone by the time Baldur's Gate came along (1998) but present in games quite a bit earlier: you see similar plot/task juggling in, for example, the first-person CRPG Betrayal at Krondor (1993), just on a smaller scale. This "start task, get distracted by other task, end up with a shopping list of stuff" model seems natural to videogames - perhaps because, in giving us a to-do list, the form naturally dovetails with the player's instinct to tidy up game worlds.

Still, I think videogame "quests" could benefit from quest models from other media: literature, for example. Quests in videogames - particularly RPGs - are promising opportunities for expression, empathy and the creation of meaning: key moments in the role-playing interface between game and player. Yet often they're repetitious, predictable and by-the-numbers - and even when they're not, the meaty quests brimming with character are often undercut by popping off to kill 10 spider rats.

...

In the original Baldur's Gate journal, quests were not represented: instead players were given a list of date-stamped entries which filled out as their adventure progressed. Their story was told linearly, as a series of diary entries.

I find it interesting that you can see the development of quests and task structures in CRPGs through their evolving interfaces. I also find it interesting that while the BG developers started by keeping track of actions in a journal - a throwback to the storytelling focus of D&D - and kept it as a vestigial interface feature in the sequel, it's ultimately a forgotten feature which has been expunged from the RPG genre. CRPGs, at least those built on Baldur's Gate's foundations, do not lend themselves to organic storytelling as much as they do to "I completed this goal, I completed that goal, now I need to go do this goal."

But just because these games don't seem to be as narratively flexible as their pen and paper counterparts doesn't mean that the notion of "quests" (as a personally significant journey) has no value. On the contrary, I think that if used correctly quests can breathe life into an RPG experience and provide much-needed context and personal stakes.

...

Another example of a game with meaningful quests is the much-praised Planescape: Torment. This game, building on the Baldur's Gate formula, has the quest system we recognise from CRPGs, but the main quest is a quest in every sense. The player character, we discover, is an immortal who sometimes loses his memory when he "dies"; as such, he has lived an unknown number of past "lives", each one ended by a sudden bout of amnesia brought on by the trauma of death. Some of these past incarnations, we discover, were kind; others were brutal. The player begins a quest to discover who they are, how they became this way and why this all happened, and on the way discovers what remains of their past incarnations; the game's tagline and central question is "What can change the nature of a man?"

This harmonises with the conventions of the CRPG genre, since most RPGs ask the question "Who are you?", and let the player's choices and actions determine the answer. This is especially complicated and juicy in a game where "Who are you?" can also be read as "Who were you? Are you the same person as your past selves? Is it even possible for a person to change?" This quest is not as tightly designed as ME2's crew missions - it lasts at least 30 hours, not 30 minutes - but it is a game-long quest which really is a quest in the traditional sense. It's ultimately about the most fundamental aspects of the protagonist's identity. As such, the main quest enriches and adds context to all of the minor choices and character-driven moments in the game. The player is playing a game about a man seeking his identity while asking questions about the nature of identity, and play is accomplished by defining this character's identity through choice and action while also thinking about those same questions of identity. It's an unusually thoughtful discussion of roleplaying since one could argue the protagonist achieves personhood after his amnesia by roleplaying the person he wants to become: the questions "Who should I be? How do I get there?" are implicitly asked by both player and character, even if the protagonist never asks them aloud.
And, for what it's worth, the blog is also sporting an older article that analyzes why role-playing games are so combat-focused. Food for thought, both of them.​


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Total War: Warhammer - PC Gamer Review
Posted: May 23, 2016, 07:43 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]PC Gamer reviews Total War: Warhammer and gives it an impressive 86.

Dwarfs line the walls of the Everpeak, weapons ready. They fire bolt and lead at the incoming Orcs, but to the Giant lummoxing forward at the head of the green horde it may as well be a light smither of rain. The Giant crashes into the gates, stumbles back and crashes into them again. It bursts through to be faced by massed units of Longbeards, fearless Dwarf veterans, who mob the Giant like dogs harassing an elephant.

They win, because in the rock, paper, scissors of Total War: Warhammer the Longbeards' immunity to psychological effects makes them good at fighting fear-causing Giants. Slayers would be even better as they have the Anti-Large trait as well as Unbreakable, but this is a game where paper can beat scissors so long as there's enough of it.

Moldy Old World
Until now Total War has recreated historical eras, and so the tactics have been based on simplified versions of real-world tactics, whether deployed by Rome or Napoleon. Cavalry flank and race ahead to attack missile units before they get too many shots off; spears defend and resist cavalry charges; missile units pour volleys into dense infantry units as they slowly advance. Here, things are more complicated.

The Warhammer World is a fantasy setting, one loosely based on Renaissance Europe but with the fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien, Michael Moorcock, H. P. Lovecraft and Fritz Leiber funnelled into it through industrial pipes while copies of 2000 AD and heavy metal album covers are scattered on top. It's a mish-mash of everything someone at Games Workshop ever thought was cool, and it's both familiar and really weird.​


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Graywalkers - April-May Update
Posted: May 23, 2016, 01:42 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Here's the newest Kickstarter update for the Graywalkers: Purgatory RPG:

April-May Update
Greetings Graywalkers! We have a lot to share with you today as usual. Though our updates are only every other month, we try and make sure that they are long and full of content and news. This month though, we will be sharing 2 updates. We've figured that while we are working on the game, we can give you more information about the other aspects of the game, particularly the role-playing aspect of it. That will be in the update next week. In the meantime, this update will focus on the development itself.

So here we go with what we have in store for this update:

NEWS UPDATE
  • Steam Store Page - we are currently preparing our Steam Store page and will be posting information to that soon. We're just working out the final paperwork needed and preparing the new content we will be sharing on it. We're slowly putting together everything we need to move forward and this is one of them.
  • Fund Raising - as we go into the next stage, we are now again trying to raise funds via investors. The reason we are trying to raise funds is primarily for 2 reasons: to get more resources to speed up development since we're behind schedule, and to prepare for costs of marketing and distribution. We are currently talking to several investors but these things normally always take time. If any of you know anybody who might be interested to invest, feel free to contact me at russelltomas@dreamlordsdigital.com and we will share more information about it.
  • Pre-Orders - When we release the new website, we will start taking pre-orders from those who would be interested. Obviously you guys don't have to do that anymore but you may know some friends or family who might want to order soon. In the meantime, while that isn't up yet, people can still back us up via PayPal.
  • Regular Monthly Updates - I've decided to start doing regular monthly updates starting this month. Those updates may be shorter than the ones we normally make but at least it will be more regular now. We've been noticing some people are getting antsy so the regular communication should ease up some fears that we are not around.
  • Casual Connect Indie Prize - Graywalkers Purgatory has been shortlisted for the IndiePrize in Casual Connect this 2016. The event will be from May 17-May 19, 2016. IndiePrize is a competition joined by game companies from all over the world, most of which is from Asia. Unfortunately, we didn't win but we're still happy to have been a part of it. We'll be joining the next ones in the various other Casual Connects in the US and other places. I think as we get closer to the game being done, the bigger our chances.
ALPHA
We are still working on the Alpha but we're getting close. We really just want to make it good so we're trying not to rush it too much. As we already said before, quality over speed. One thing is guaranteed, once it is ready, you guys will be the first to know...and those who have Alpha Access, will be the first to try it out. Thank you for your patience. Don't worry, we guarantee it is all worth it in the end.

GUI
We've shown you some of the combat GUI in the past. Today we want to share with you a few of the character UI screens. Like always, it's a work in progress so feel free to let us know any feedback, comments or suggestions. UI was one of the areas people commented about the most​


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Shroud of the Avatar - Capital City of Brittany
Posted: May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Here's a walkthrough of Shroud of the Avatar's Capital City of Brittany:


Take a guided tour with Level Designer Esteben Zaldivar, as he walks you through Brittany, the Capital of Novia, in Lord British's epic game, Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues.​


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Dishonored 2 - No dumbing down
Posted: May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Here's a Gameinformer interview with the creative director of Arkane Studios - Harvey Smith. Fortunately he likes challenging games:

Why Harvey Smith Refuses To 'Dumb Down' Dishonored 2
It's a nebulous genre, but Arkane Studios and Dishonored 2's creative director Harvey Smith have an undying passion for "immersive first-person" games. With our June cover story detailing Dishonored 2, we break down what's exciting about the sequel's gameplay, and while visiting the studio we spoke to Smith about the game's place within the evolving genre.

[...]

Video interview:



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Witcher 3 - Don't expect a Witcher 4
Posted: May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Eurogamer suspects that there will not be another Witcher game:

Don't expect The Witcher 4 any time soon - or maybe ever
According to CD Projekt co-founder Marcin Iwinski, the company doesn't have a next Witcher game in any kind of development. Nor is one planned.

I asked him whether the studio will leave The Witcher series for good - following the release of Witcher 3 Blood and Wine on 31st May - or return to it some day, and he said, "We honestly don't know. We don't have anything planned as of now to be honest on the next Witcher.

"As we said before, never say never [but] right now it's really Blood and Wine. This is the end. Blood and Wine is [the] closing and there won't be any Witcher any time soon - if there ever will be one. And I would really like to see how people feel about it, if they will enjoy it."​


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InSomnia - Interview @ TGG
Posted: May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]TGG has interviewed Anatoliy Guyduk of Studio Mono about InSomnia:

Some of you might already have seen my "InSomnia" video. Well, for those who haven't done that yet. I really enjoyed Studio Mono's tech demo of their upcoming retro-futuristic/dieselpunk RPG "InSomnia". And thus I decided to do an interview with Studio Mono, so I got a chance to talk to Anatoliy Guyduk about their plans for "InSomnia". And with that said, please enjoy my interview =)


Robin TGG
Could you perhaps tell us how Studio Mono and "InSomnia" came about?

Guyduk Studio Mono

Hi! It all started quite long time ago when few of my other friends and I started to discuss the possibility of developing of an RPG. At first this was more like joke, but by the end we asked ourselves: why the hell not? This made me write first design document of the project, which took about two weeks to complete. After that I started looking for programmers who could implement all these ideas in form of working code. I searched for all information online I could find about game development, asked friends of my friends to join the cause etc. So, step by step, month after month the vision of the project grew stronger, we had new people to help us and add some personal input. We tried things and learnt stuff. My home was like a focal point at first, but then we were able to find a small office, moved a few old PCs there. This is when we decided to create a studio and called it Mono.

Robin TGG
What can you tell us about "InSomnia's" story and its main characters? And how big do you think the world of "InSomnia" will be in the final version? (hours of gameplay and the actual km size of the world).


Guyduk Studio Mono
The story takes place onboard a gigantic space metropolis, which started its journey through the universe over 400 years ago. This ship is inhabited by descendants of a once great civilization who were forced to leave its dying planet in search of a new home. The last hope for these people is to reach the Evacuation Point, which is a distant planet where they plan to start the history of humanity once again. This is exactly when the player enters the scene - to find out the real reasons for what remains of humankind to proceed with this dangerous trip, and face a new threat that might easily kill everyone who's left.

Regarding the size of the world, I certainly can't tell how many KMs are there. InSomnia consists of a number of locations of differing sizes, all of which are connected with the help of global map, with occasional random encounters with generic content happening in between. However, it will take up to 33-50 hours to complete the main storyline. So the game is pretty expansive!​

-> Kickstarter

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Dungeons Of Aledorn - Alpha Released
Posted: May 22, 2016, 07:32 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]The alpha version of the old school RPG Dungeons of Aledorn is out:

Alpha Released - At Last!
Greetings to all friends, gamers, backers and followers. Today, we have some good news, the twice-postponed alpha version of "Dungeons of Aledorn" (DoA) is finally here. We briefly want to tell you what you can expect in the alpha version and why it took so long.


Starting today, a total of 119 backers are eligible to download and try out the game in its current state. If you hit the KickStarter rank of "Black Bear" or better, check you email for further instructions. And now, straight onto the features of the alpha version. Your pre-designed party of 3 heroes (Warrior, Rogue and Wizard) finds itself in the small town of Manto. You can roam around freely, search for hidden treasures or enter into dialogue with some NPCs. You can also accept a few quests and one of them can be even successfully completed.

[...]​


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General News - Chris Avellone @ Retrokompott
Posted: May 22, 2016, 01:13 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]The guys from the German Retro Podcast called Retrokompott published an English Audio-Interview with Chris Avallone where he talks about a little bit of everything, mostly about old times and his beginnings.

The interview can be found here -> at the bottom, numbered 6.

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