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» Firewatch - Released - Feb 10, 2016, 12:53 am
» Beamdog - David Gaider joins as Creative Director - Feb 10, 2016, 12:53 am
» 7 Mages - On Greenlight - Feb 09, 2016, 06:42 pm
» General News - Amazon Releases Free Game Engine - Feb 09, 2016, 06:42 pm
» Wanderer - Development Update - Feb 09, 2016, 06:42 pm
» Moon Hunters - On Steam This Month - Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm
» Project Resurgence - Funded - Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm
» General News - GameTrailers has Closed - Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm
» Darkest Dungeon - Interview @ Gamasutra - Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm
» CivCraft - Alpha Update - Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm
» The Digital Antiquarian - The Road to Ultima V - Feb 09, 2016, 06:22 am
» Game Informer - Long Live Single Player - Feb 09, 2016, 06:22 am
» Dark Souls III - The Lord of Cinder - Feb 09, 2016, 12:22 am
» General News - The Best RPGs of 2016 - Feb 09, 2016, 12:22 am
» General News - RPGs love Space - Feb 09, 2016, 12:22 am

Latest Active Threads on Boards o' Magick:
» The essential Cleric/Mage spells. (Baldur's Gate 2: Enhanced Edition post by Paracelsi)
» The Big Hello (Again) Thread (Sorcerous Sundries post by Blackthorne TA)
» Firewatch - Released (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Beamdog - David Gaider joins as Creative Director (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» 7 Mages - On Greenlight (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» General News - Amazon Releases Free Game Engine (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Wanderer - Development Update (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Best ranged weapons (Icewind Dale 2 post by Cecily Griselda)
» Moon Hunters - On Steam This Month (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)
» Project Resurgence - Funded (Game/SP News & Comments post by RPGWatch)

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Firewatch - Released
Posted: Feb 10, 2016, 12:53 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]The mystery first person adventure Firewatch has been released:

Firewatch is a single-player first-person mystery set in the Wyoming wilderness.

The year is 1989. You are a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it's your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor Delilah is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio-your only contact with the world you've left behind. But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the forest, you'll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

A Note: Firewatch is a video game about adults having adult conversations about adult things. If you plan on playing with a younger gamer, that might be good to know going in.​

  • A stunningly beautiful wilderness environment that expands as you explore.
  • A tailor-made story: the choices you make shape the narrative and build relationships.
  • An edge-of-your-seat mystery.
  • Secrets and discoveries to be made over every hill.
  • Living, breathing characters brought to life by Cissy Jones (The Walking Dead: Season 1) and Rich Sommer (Mad Men)
  • A spectacular wilderness environment by Olly Moss (Illustrator) and Jane Ng (The Cave, Brutal Legend)
  • A thrilling story and script by Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin (The Walking Dead: Season 1, Poker Night at the Inventory)
  • A stirring original soundtrack by Chris Remo (Gone Home)
  • Fluid first-person animation by James Benson (Ori & The Blind Forest)
  • Gameplay scripting and design work by Patrick Ewing (Twitter) and Nels Anderson (Mark of the Ninja)
  • Programming by Will Armstrong (Bioshock II), Ben Burbank (Costume Quest 2, Space Base DF-9), and Paolo Surricchio (Deadpool, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare)

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Beamdog - David Gaider joins as Creative Director
Posted: Feb 10, 2016, 12:53 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Game Informer reports the former Bioware writer has been signed on as Creative Director. Baldur's Gate 3 confirmed?

In January, David Gaider surprised Dragon Age fans by announcing his departure from BioWare. Today, we know that he hasn't gone far.

Gaider announced that he has joined Beamdog as creative director. The company has released updated PC and mobile versions of both Baldur's Gate games. Gaider was a writer on Baldur's Gate II.

A note on Beamdog's website details his new role:

We're very pleased to welcome David Gaider to the company as our new creative director. Originally we advertised for the position of senior writer, but when David contacted Trent about the position, we upgraded the role.

David is well known for his design and writing work on Baldur's Gate 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Dragon Age: Origins. He brings 17 years of experience to our little team and we couldn't be happier to work with him. David will lead the writing team and direct new creative endeavors for the company.

Welcome, David!

With any luck, this might be the first part of an announcement Baldur's Gate fans have been waiting for since the second entry was released in 2000. In 2012, Beamdog producer Phillip Daigle indicated that if the Enhanced Editions performed well that there might be hope for a third game.​

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7 Mages - On Greenlight
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 06:42 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Mobile devices are bringing back the old dungeon crawler subgenre. The dungeon crawler 7 Mages is now on Steam Greenlight:

The Story
Assume the role of a mage charged with protecting a village of poor peasants from raids by rogue mages intent on stealing their crops. Pushed to the limit, the peasants pool their last resources and set off to town to hire mages to protect their village. They find you, and your first task is to assemble a company of six other mages to help the poor villagers.

Game Style
Seven Mages is a grid-based dungeon crawler with a unique turn-based system of combat that allows you to split up your comrades to make the battles more tactical. The mages you control employ various types of powers, including elemental magic, magical maneuvers and unique musical magic.

Besides the crypts at the beginning, players also experience many other environments: they emerge to the surface of the town and into the surrounding forests; they sail on boats, wade through swamps and struggle across frozen mountain peaks. And there will be much more: dragon guts, sea bottom level, Storm city... every level has its own graphic environment. Each environment has unique enemies with different kinds of behavior that tactically change a battles.

Combats in Seven Mages are turn-based. In other words, while movement is free (i.e. in real time) when you are not engaged in battle, the game stops when a clash breaks out and the system switches to a turn-based regime. Here you can do one of six moves: perform magical maneuver with cold weapon, cast elemental spell, play magical song, reequip (or drink potion), move any party member, or defend.

Magical Maneuvers
A battle mage can use magic to force the weapon to do things that are against the laws of nature. There is a maneuver that sends your sword far ahead of you to cut an enemy there and then return to your hand. With spear or halberd there is a different maneuver that can extend the weapon (to more than twice its length), hit an enemy that's two squares away and pull them closer to you (where you can finish them off). Ranged weapons on the other hand can shoot several projectiles at once, and with magic, one arrow can hit more than one enemy even if they're not standing in a line.

Elemental Magic

To perform maneuvers or musical magic, you need an item (a weapon or an instrument). The difference between these two types of magic and elemental magic is that the latter does not need any item to cast. Besides the ever-popular fireball that all mages simply must have in their arsenal, there is also a spell that can set the ground around the mage on fire or a spell that calls thunderstorms on remote squares. There are also spells that can show you the strengths and weaknesses of an enemy, give you a hint if you're stuck on a puzzle or show you a map of unknown territory. And there's also the option to summon a party member.

Magical Songs
Seven Mages also introduce a heretofore unseen method of spellcasting in fantasy games. Instead of weapons, players hold a military drum, a horn or a fiery violin and play a magical song on them. Everyone within earshot feels the effects of the spell and becomes a stronger fighter; their arms and legs come alive with more speed or seas part in front of them. The same tune can be played by several heroes in the party at once, and as the music gets richer, the spell becomes stronger.

Early Access

The game was originally developed for mobile devices (iOS and Android) and it will hit App Store and Google Play on March 15. Once we get the green light, we will put the same version on Steam in Early Access, and then we will start working on further adjustments of the game for more advanced PC hardware. It means that the Early Access version will be already polished and fully playable. The only difference between Early Access and the full game will be prettier graphics of the PC version, as well as some minor adjustments in texts (we will remove all the 'taps' and 'swipes', etc.). Of course we will reflect any relevant user feedback.

In points
  • 14 unique environments
  • 28 types of enemies with different fight styles
  • 60 spells
  • Heavily tactical turn-based combat
  • Unique and previously unseen musical magic
  • New puzzles and twists in each level
  • Retro feeling in high-end graphics
  • Dozens hours of gameplay
More info in:

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General News - Amazon Releases Free Game Engine
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 06:42 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Amazon is making a free game development engine available, based on Crytek's CryEngine, which is named Lumberyard. Not only is it free, the source code is also freely available. Integration with Twitch is already available and an integration with Oculus is coming.

Amazon makes money off the engine as it is closely integrated with Amazon Web Services, which is not free. That said, it is apparently possible for developers to integrate their own server.

Given that the engine uses AWS it is probably suited best for MMO type games.

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Wanderer - Development Update
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 06:42 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Two weeks ago a new development update for Wanderer was made available.

90% of the work I've been doing over the past two months is on the story front. I've spent 100's of hours at this point writing and rewriting the flow of the narrative, becoming familiar and comfortable with the characters, and fleshing out the history and backstory of the world, and I'm very happy with the result and where the story has wound up going!

It's definitely been an incredibly intense experience thus far, as to stay on schedule we really need to be out of pre-production by the 1st of February, which means all the foundations need to be laid so I can switch gears and focus fully on producing visual assets and animations full time. I absolutely would not be comfortable moving forward on the foundation of a story that I didn't think was coming together like I wanted, so to put it lightly I've been feeling the pressure. Now that I can see the light at the end of tunnel I can feel the load lighten a little bit and it's definitely a relief! :)

At this point, there's not a whole lot I can reveal about the details of the story, because I intend a large part of the game to be going into the experience somewhat blind, much like Rook himself, and experiencing and learning things first hand rather than through exposition. However, I would like to officially reveal something we haven't talked much about yet, which is that Wanderer will feature a second playable character with her own separate story line! Meet VALE Special Investigator Akira Saionji.....​

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Moon Hunters - On Steam This Month
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Moon Hunters is coming to Steam on the 25th of February.

The good news is that the game is only 5 weeks (ed: since the 20th of January) away (for PC on Steam -- Mac and Linux to follow shortly after.. then certification begins on the PS4 version). The even more good news is that everything looks like it's pretty much on track!

It might feel long to you if you've been waiting for a while, but to us it seems like it's looming tomorrow and there's an infinite amount of little improvements we want to make...! We're trying not to panic...!​

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Project Resurgence - Funded
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Project Resurgence has been funded. With 39 hours to go, the counter is at $168K with a goal of $160K.

The next stretch goal is at $173K and is named 'Accessibility'.

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General News - GameTrailers has Closed
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]After 13 years, GameTrailers has now been shut down and everybody at GT has been laid off. Many of you have probably used GameTrailers in those 13 years and although there are many other outlets to use, they were one of the very first with game videos on the internet.

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Darkest Dungeon - Interview @ Gamasutra
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Gamasutra talked with Darkest Dungeon's producer and design director Tyler Sigman and creative director Chris Bourassa about their development process.

How much time have you spent working on the game so far?

Sigman: Chris and I did a lot of prepro via concept meetings and brainstorming sessions, so by the time we kicked off development, we at least had a pretty good idea of what we were trying to do. But we formally began development in April 2013. We Kickstarted in February 2014, Early Access'd in February 2015, and hit full release on January 19, 2016. We originally were aiming for about 18 months of development, but this being videogames, things have a way of stretching out!

Bourassa: We spent a good year or so meeting up outside of our day jobs and talking through the design and structure of the game. I still have those old sketchbooks - they're packed full of screen layouts, fresh ideas, false starts, and breakthrough 'eureka' moments!

What was the toughest part about developing an Early Access game?

Sigman: It's like a white knuckle rollercoaster ride. We've been fortunate enough to have a lot of success, but we've had some tough moments, too. Developing in Early Access is like working while naked in a transparent cube suspended above Times Square. Your lows and highs are there for everyone to see. But that's kind of the point, and DD is a stronger game for having gone through it. I remain extremely bullish on both Kickstarter and Early Access. But my advice is to make sure to swallow your Dramamine before taking the plunge. Community management and live game support are things that take extra skillsets and resources beyond what is already hard enough: making a good game.​

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CivCraft - Alpha Update
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 12:23 pm by RPGWatch

[​IMG]The early alpha version of CivCraft, which is only available to backers, has been updated and a next version is imminent.

We would first like to thank you for your suggestions and bug reports for us to improve CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria. We hope you all liked it, and since the release we already made some progress. One week have passed since the Pre-Alpha, and we've been working around the clock on the major issues with the earlier version.

First thing we did was to address the biggest issue of all; the massive slow frame rate and CPU cost for running CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria. After a week of coding and optimizations, we've doubled the frame rate and speed of the game. In fact, we've optimized CivCraft more than expected and decided to add SSAO, Filmic Tonemapping, Normal bump corrections, color corrections, light adaptation, and many other technical words that just makes Ellaria look cool and beautiful!

In the past week, We've also managed to complete our day/night cycle, as well as the weather system. The next version will include this feature, as well as a better environmentally sound.

We're planning to publish a next version with more areas to explore and with forest life, as well as more things to do in your city. However, we're planning to publish a version just with the optimization, just as soon as we'll build automatic updates and registration system, so that you'll receive updates instead of a big installation file, as well as the items or CivCraft - Legends of Ellaria version you backed.

In the meanwhile, we're also working on the city life, and have opened a vote section here.​

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The Digital Antiquarian - The Road to Ultima V
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 06:22 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]@The Digital Antiquarian, Jimmy Maher explores the development of Ultima V. In this article we learn about the internal squabbles, business deals and relocation of Origin.

The most dangerous of these conflicts was the great sibling squabble over just where Origin Systems should be located. Back at the end of 1983, you may remember, Robert had been able to convince Richard to move the company from their parents' garage in Houston, Texas, up to New Hampshire, where his wife Marcy had found a fine position of her own working for Bell Labs. The deal was that they would remain there for at least three years. Robert, who had spent the months before the move commuting cross-country in his private plane, hoped that during the three years something might change: Marcy might get a transfer, or Richard might decide he actually liked New England and wanted to stay there. Well, at the end of 1986 the three years were up, and neither of those things had happened.


Thus Richard and company, reunited again with Bueche, found themselves a minimalist office in Austin in early 1987, fifteen desks ranged along a single long hallway. And Richard himself, now becoming a very wealthy young man indeed thanks to the huge success of Ultima III and IV, started work on Britannia Manor, a custom-built house-cum-castle worthy of Lord British; it came complete with secret passageways, a cave, a wine cellar, and a stellar observatory. It was pretty clear he wasn't planning to go anywhere else anytime soon.​

Jimmy also examined the specifics of the business deal between Origin and EA and how it went sour.

The origin of Origin's EA problem dated back to August of 1985, about a month before the release of Ultima IV. By this point distribution was starting to become a real issue for a little publisher like Origin, as the few really big publishers, small enough in number to count on one hand, were taking advantage of their size and clout to squeeze the little guys off of store shelves. Knowing he had a hugely anticipated game on his hands with Ultima IV, one that with the proper care and handling should easily exceed the considerable-in-its-own-right success of Ultima III, Robert also knew he needed excellent distribution to realize its potential. He therefore turned to EA, one of the biggest of the big boys of the industry.


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Game Informer - Long Live Single Player
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 06:22 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Remember when the death of single player was predicted? Game Informer has an article on trend driven development cycles.

At 2011's European Game Developers Conference, industry veteran Mark Cerny rattled gamers' cages when he told a room full of journalists he believes "the traditional single-player game experience will be gone in three years. Right now you sit in your living room and you're playing a game by yourself - we call it the sp mission or the single-player campaign. In a world with Facebook, I just don't think that's going to last."

Cerny's prediction placed single-player gaming's death at the end of 2014. These comments were said at a time when a good majority of developers were going out of their way to include multiplayer components into games. Even the strongest of the narrative driven adventure series (like BioShock, Singularity, Batman: Arkham, The Chronicles of Riddick, and Uncharted) invested significant development resources into multiplayer integration.


Not everyone was bearish on single player at the time. Bethesda Softworks largely ignored the industry's trends and instead focused on making quality single-player experiences like the internally developed The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - an adventure players can sink hundreds of hours into - and Arkane Studios' Dishonored, an exceptional stealth adventure. Both games, which only offered single-player content, were critically acclaimed and sold well.​

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Dark Souls III - The Lord of Cinder
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 12:22 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]A new Dark Souls III cinematic trailer introduces us to the Lord of Cinder in the kingdom of Lothric, which does contain spoilers.

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General News - The Best RPGs of 2016
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 12:22 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]Here is another list at The Escapist. The Escapist lists the 9 best RPGs of this year that are yet to be released. The list holds Final Fantasy XV, Persona 5, Fire Emblem Fate, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, The Technomancer, Mass Effect Andromeda, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Horizon Zero Dawn and Dark Souls III.

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General News - RPGs love Space
Posted: Feb 09, 2016, 12:22 am by RPGWatch

[​IMG]The RPG Scrollbars at Rock Paper Shotgun: Richard Cobbet about the fun of exploration:

The RPG Scrollbars: To Distant Shores
I'm on the road at the moment - not literally, that would make typing very dangerous - so unsurprisingly I've been pondering travel. Also regretting taking too long to see The Martian, and again being stunned by what Americans consider chocolate. But I can't think of even a tenuous connection between those and RPGs, so travel it is - and in particular, the rare joy that comes of not simply going somewhere new, but feeling that sense of distance behind you and a whole new horizon lying ahead.


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