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Fri 14 June 2019

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Fri 14 June 2019, 15:00:11

Tags: Black Shamrock; Cyanide Studio; Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory

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IGN have gotten their hands on ten minutes of Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory gameplay footage. In this typical troubleshooting scenario, the player character and his team are tasked with investigating the whereabouts of a maintenance team who have gone missing in the sector's lower levels, with the side objective of retrieving a cowardly floor scrubbing robot. Once there, the scrubot is easily located but the team is nowhere to seen, replaced with an army of hostile security bots who have been reprogrammed to think they're characters from a fantasy RPG. The game plays a bit like a real-time version of Shadowrun Returns, with a large emphasis on cover. Unfortunately the person playing skips through all the dialogue, so it comes across as more hack n' slash than it should. Thankfully IGN have also written a preview which provides some necessary context. Here's the gameplay footage and an excerpt:

You take on the role of a Troubleshooter: someone whose job is to deal with any problems in Alpha Complex that may require a more personal touch than Friend Computers many drones and servo-arms are able to provide. In our demo, this meant investigating why one of the maintenance bots in a sub-basement level was behaving oddly.

It turned out that a group of Traitors - the designation given to anyone in the Alpha Complex facility that does not follow the rules or remain Happy™ - had sealed off a few rooms in the sub-basement to use as their personal LARP-ing grounds (they'd even reprogrammed security bots to shout "Lightning Bolt!" as they fire their lasers), and it was up to us and our three crew members to clear them out.

Combat in Paranoia is real-time, but you can pause the action whenever you like for as long as you want to give your squad of four commands, sending them to cover, attacking specific enemies or making use of their unique specializations. For example, while your Cleanliness Officer might be able to use disinfecting chemical to deal acid damage, or your Happiness Officer (basically the logical and horrifying extrapolation of Big Pharma and Social Media) could buff your team with psychotropic drugs.

What's interesting is that rather than failing and restarting a mission upon death with a different skill loadout, HiM features a unique take on permadeath. Friend Computer understands that accidents happen, and as such has issued Troubleshooters with a bank of clones that are activated upon a unit's accidental termination (or an intentional one, depending on your actions). What's interesting is that each time you activate a clone, you're able to re-spec your skills and attribute points, effectively creating a new character every time you die. Friend Computer only provides six clones that can be re-spec'd, though, so you'll have to choose wisely if you don't want to get stuck with a skill set you don't want. I'm told, however, that there may be a certain geneticist somewhere in Alpha Complex that could help with that - if you've got funds and are willing to risk the demerits...

Of course, it wouldn't be called "Paranoia" without good reason. While your team members may be under your control during combat and missions, they are very much not your team members. Even though your jobs will take you into areas where Friend Computer's scanners don't work, that doesn't mean your team members won't inform Friend Computer of any misdeeds you commit while on a mission. For example, when we found ourselves at a locked door, our tech expert suggested that I hack a nearby vending machine to gain access to the local network and unlock the door. It was a good idea, so I did - and the little weasel ratted me out as soon as we got back upstairs, which caused my Treason Level (a percent rating system that every citizen has indicating how concerned Friend Computer is with their Happiness™) to increase and change my citizen rating from Questionable to Suspicious.

We didn't see much of Alpha Complex beyond the couple of floors we visited, but the little bit of the world it showed us did a great job playing with this notion of omnipotence and mistrust, and how you have to deal with it. Wherever your character goes, security cameras track your every move - even the Friend Computer icon at the top of the screen (it lets you know when you're in view of its cameras) follows the motion of your mouse cursor with eerie, silent malice.

Though I only experienced a small portion Paranoia's world, I was immediately hooked by its witty take on the "robots gone awry" genre, and can't wait to see how my exploits play out depending on my choices. Will I splinter off from the other citizens to join a secret society and overthrow FC? Or will I remain a steadfast and Happy™ agent of Friend Computer's ruthlessly intelligent design? Happiness may be mandatory, but participation is entirely voluntary - and I'll gladly be throwing on my read overalls later this year.
The game definitely has potential and the writing seems fun. For it to be a truly good game though, we'll have to see some more variety. Hopefully the developers are up to the task.

There are 16 comments on Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory Gameplay Footage and Preview at IGN

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Fri 14 June 2019, 02:33:34

Tags: Brian Heins; Leonard Boyarsky; Obsidian Entertainment; The Outer Worlds

There have been a few more presentations of The Outer Worlds with Leonard Boyarsky at E3 since Monday, including at GameSpot and Shacknews, all featuring the same truncated gameplay footage. And there have been a bunch of previews of the game as well, which mention people and places that don't appear in that footage. It all came together today when Leonard showed up at the E3 Coliseum show to present the full-length Outer Worlds demo. Accompanying him was none other than former Tyranny director Brian Heins, who provided narration (sometimes too much of it). The demo takes place on the wild planet of Monarch and begins in a frontier town called Fallbrook. The player character receives a mission from a local businesswoman to take out Clive Lumbergh, the grisly owner of a nearby factory for genetically engineered bacon. This time instead of going in through the sewer entrance, the player infiltrates the factory using his social skills with the help of a unique holographic disguise mechanic. However, the demo cuts off in the same place as before, with the player about to make his decision on how to deal with Clive.

Now that we've seen that, here are those previews:

This is probably the best footage of The Outer Worlds we've seen so far, demonstrating a variety of paths, mechanics and some clever writing. Let's hope they can keep it up.

There are 17 comments on The Outer Worlds E3 2019 Demo Gameplay Footage and Previews

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Wed 12 June 2019

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 12 June 2019, 23:03:13

Tags: Hardsuit Labs; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2

Were those Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 gameplay trailers from earlier this week too short for you? Well you're in luck, because Paradox have apparently decided to let the press distribute the full-length gameplay footage that the trailers were cut from. There are actually several versions floating around. IGN and PCWorld have a copy where the encounter with the rogue thinblood Slugg ends with his death, while GameSpot have one where he's dealt with more amicably. I'll post one of each:

A number of websites have written previews of this demo. Here's a list of all the previews I was able to find today:

As you can see the game is still a bit rough around the edges in places, and it doesn't help that player in the IGN version is terrible at combat. Nine more months of development should be enough to address these issues, though.

There are 48 comments on Bloodlines 2 E3 2019 Demo Gameplay Footage and Previews

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Preview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 12 June 2019, 19:54:44

Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077

Like last year, CD Projekt brought a 50 minute Cyberpunk 2077 to E3 which they aren't ready to share with the public yet. Until it's inevitably released later this year, we'll have to make due with descriptions from the press. The main takeaway from the demo is that Keanu Reeves' role is more than just a cameo. He plays the "digital ghost" of Johnny Silverhand, an iconic character from Cyberpunk 2020 lore who will be V's companion throughout the game. He becomes involved with the story when V is implanted with a unique chip that may contain the secret to immortality. The demo seems to be concerned with V's attempt to investigate the chip by seeking the aid of a group of Haitian netrunners called the Voodoo Boys. You can see a few of these characters in the new batch of screenshots CD Projekt released yesterday:

[​IMG] [​IMG]
[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
Here are some of the previews released over the past 24 hours:

Besides all the hype surrounding Keanu Reeves, another thing many websites have been impressed by is the confirmation that it will be possible to play through Cyberpunk 2077 without killing anybody. All in all, it's quite a whiplash from yesterday when people noticed that CD Projekt had begun describing the game as "open-world action-adventure" and started getting worried.

There are 29 comments on Cyberpunk 2077 E3 2019 Demo Previews and Screenshots

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 12 June 2019, 16:36:20

Tags: Bigben Interactive; Black Shamrock; Cyanide Studio; Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory

Bigben Interactive were too small-time to get into one of this year's big E3 press conferences, but that didn't stop them from releasing this fun new trailer for Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory. The trailer takes the form of a guide to the game's combat system, although I'd recommend not taking its advice. It also offers a quick look at dialogue and hacking.

Looks pretty fun, doesn't it? If this game is as good as its trailers, we might be looking at an unexpected gem. Paranoia still has no exact release but is supposed to come out sometime later this year. If you'd like to learn more, there are also a few previews from last month that we never got around to posting at Daily Star, TheSixthAxis and Wccftech.

There are 7 comments on Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory Gameplay Trailer and Previews

Tue 11 June 2019

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 11 June 2019, 17:55:30

Tags: Leonard Boyarsky; Obsidian Entertainment; The Outer Worlds

Leonard Boyarsky sat down with IGN and Twitch yesterday and presented some new gameplay footage from The Outer Worlds that Obsidian brought to E3 this year. The footage shows the player character fighting his way to a corporate installation with companions Ellie and Nyoka, infiltrating through a sewer entrance, sneaking around inside and finally speaking to the installation's twisted cook, which is where it cuts off. Unfortunately the interviews don't address the footage at all so the context of these events is unclear, but at least it gives us a look at how the game has progressed since we last saw it in action back in March.

In other news, yesterday Obsidian updated the Outer Worlds official website and the game became available for preorder. As of now only the console versions of the game are available from the preorder site, but the Microsoft Store preorder page is already up and running.

There are 26 comments on The Outer Worlds Gameplay Footage on IGN and Twitch E3 2019 Broadcasts

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 11 June 2019, 00:27:43

Tags: Baldur's Gate III; Brian Mitsoda; Cara Ellison; Hardsuit Labs; Larian Studios; Mike Mearls; Swen Vincke; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2

Last night's Bethesda E3 press conference was a bust, so today we moved right on to the PC Gaming Show. Swen Vincke and Mike Mearls were there to talk about Baldur's Gate III, but as expected they had nothing new to reveal. The reason we were watching was Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2. Paradox had promised they would finally reveal some gameplay footage of it today. When Brian Mitsoda and Cara Ellison appeared on stage what we got instead was a heavily abridged one minute gameplay trailer, which was a bit disappointing. But then Paradox published an extended four minute version, which was quite a bit better. The trailer is basically the in-game version of the chase scene from the original announcement trailer. The player character takes a mission to track down a certain thin-blood and extract some information out of him, interacting with a couple of vampire factions along the way. There's some combat, magic, and at the end a glimpse of dialogue, which uses a traditional dialogue tree interface with skill checks. Check it out:

Looks pretty good, doesn't it? I'd say Hardsuit have the basics nailed down. Hopefully we won't have to wait long to see more.

There are 62 comments on PC Gaming Show at E3 2019: Bloodlines 2 Gameplay Trailer

Mon 10 June 2019

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 10 June 2019, 14:54:08

Tags: InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 3

inXile published a new Wasteland 3 Fig update shortly after yesterday's Microsoft E3 show ended. As I said, the game's trailer didn't announce a release date, and the reason for that is that it's been delayed to next year. The good news is that the backer alpha will be out as soon as August, with an Early Access beta release coming shortly afterwards. Anyway, speaking of the trailer, you'll be glad to hear that Scotchmo's appearance in it wasn't custom-made CGI. He will be a character in Wasteland 3 and what we saw in the trailer was his "talking head". The update includes a short video of an in-game conversation with Scotchmo, featuring a standard RPG dialogue tree including skill checks. I'll post that here along with an excerpt from the update:

A Postcard Arrives

E3 is upon us—that special time of year when you learn about new games, or more about the games you’re most excitedly waiting for. We’re happy to be delivering some of the latter, with a new, pre-Alpha look at Wasteland 3 from an old pal and returning character from Wasteland 2. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

In addition to the return of Scotchmo and an extended look at the post-nuclear landscape of Colorado, we’re announcing a new launch window of Spring 2020. That’s down to the fact that, thanks to our relationship with Microsoft, we’re able to hire more staff and spend more time realizing our vision for Wasteland 3. All in all it means a little more time to get things right and deliver the experience we want, and the one we know you expect.

We also have new screenshots to share over on our Wasteland 3 page on the inXile site so you can get a closer look at some of locations glimpsed at in the video.

Alpha, Early Access and Release

We’re pleased to announce two more release windows; ones we’re asked about almost as often as when the game itself is coming out.

Our backer Alpha will arrive August, 2019 to those who pledged in the First Access and higher tiers. Early Access (sometimes referred to as Beta) will be arriving in late Fall, 2019, and is for all backer tiers with the exception of the Correspondent tier.

The Alpha will be a first opportunity to play around with many of the game’s different systems in a guided experience, with the Early Access providing a bigger chunk of the game to check out. In both cases, they’ll be your opportunity to provide us with feedback that we can use to help make the final game that much better for everyone.

As mentioned above—but it bears repeating—our launch target for the full game release is now Spring 2020.

One Last Treat
Finally, we wanted to leave you with one last treat. We’re happy we were able to reveal Scotchmo’s triumphant return in the E3 trailer, and wanted to share a look at how we’re bringing Scotchmo back for Wasteland 3. show how the character originally evolved in Wasteland 2, the iteration work he went through in early production, and finally an extended video snippet of a player conversation with him. Again, please remember that everything you see, from graphics to audio to UI, are all pre-Alpha.

And here’s an extended look at the model, animation, and VO for Scotchmo. The dialog UI is very much temp in this video, but provides an example of the type of dialog options you might see in the final game. Our artists want to reiterate that this is of course an early look with temp UI, in-progress lighting, model, and everything else. However, we'd still love to hear your feedback!

Thank you again for your backing and support of the game. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you. We’ll see you again soon with some more Wasteland 3 goodies, including drill-downs on some of the core gameplay pillars and systems. Stay tuned!
inXile are taking the Wasteland 3 alpha to Gamescom in August, so we'll hear more about the game then if not earlier. For more details about the alpha and beta releases, see the FAQ in the full update.

There are 22 comments on Wasteland 3 Fig Update #29: Delayed to Spring 2020, Scotchmo Conversation Scene

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 10 June 2019, 01:02:59

Tags: CD Projekt; Cyberpunk 2077; InXile Entertainment; Obsidian Entertainment; The Outer Worlds; Wasteland 3

With publishers increasingly opting out of full-scale press conferences in favor of more modest livestreams and Sony skipping out of the event entirely, Microsoft were left to dominate this year's E3 by default. With their recent acquisition of Obsidian and inXile, tonight's Microsoft press conference promised to be particularly relevant to Codex interests. In fact, The Outer Worlds was the very first game to appear, with a colorful but rather earnest anti-corporate trailer that also reveals that Dr. Phineas has been redesigned to look like less of a Rick and Morty ripoff. Wasteland 3 appeared later on with a light-hearted trailer featuring none other than Scotchmo from Wasteland 2, offering us an introduction to the wonders of post-apocalyptic Colorado and our first glimpse of real gameplay since the game was crowdfunded back in 2016.

Those of you who find the tone of these trailers objectionable will be happy to know that the Cyberpunk 2077 trailer played it completely straight. Well, and then there's the part where Keanu Reeves showed up, because of course he did. It's a direct sequel to the 48 minute gameplay reveal from last August but with the male protagonist, who appears to have gotten a visual redesign. Things don't turn out so well for him, but Keanu makes everything better.

Finally, there are release dates. The Outer Worlds is coming on October 25th and Cyberpunk 2077 is coming next year on April 16th, with the latter game now available for preorder as well. The Wasteland 3 trailer doesn't announce a release date, but it too has a new release window. More on that later.

There are 41 comments on Microsoft E3 2019 Press Conference: Cyberpunk 2077, The Outer Worlds, Wasteland 3

Sat 8 June 2019

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 8 June 2019, 22:31:46

Tags: Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game; Iron Tower Studio; Vince D. Weller

Coming in right before tomorrow's explosion of news from E3 is this month's Colony Ship development update, with another status report on the game's upcoming combat demo. Progress on the portraits and animations that have been holding the demo up is slow but ongoing. The update includes examples of two recently added portraits and a new pistol animation. There's also a sample of quest dialogue from the Pit, and of course the usual batch of screenshots from the arena. The new features demonstrated in the screenshots this time are poison gas grenades and feats. I'll post two of them here:

[​IMG] [​IMG]

News from the front:

- Progress on the portraits and animations is still slow. Meet generic combat NPC 05 and 06. The helmets and goggles reflect the in-game headgear models. Ivan finished tweaking the rifles animations, going over the pistol animations now (over 200 animations).

- Programming and design are right on schedule, which is a lot more important as I'd rather wait for portraits and animations than for the programming tasks to be completed.

- Scott and I are working on dialogues for the side quests; I hope to have all the quests and dialogues for the Pit ready by the end of the month. Random snippets:

* * *

“What can I get you?” The bartender has spotted you looking over the assortment of unlabeled, plastic gallon jugs, each with its own unappealing liquid in some shade of brown. “We got Gutwarmer, Rat Poison, High Voltage, Firewater, and Absolution. Special on the Rat Poison right now, every third round is free for as long as you're able to drink it.”

* * *
Three men stand silently about a portable heater, the Ship equivalent of the frontier campfire, minus the good cheer.

“Do you have it?” the man in charge says in a voice hoarse and low. The left side of his face is disfigured with gruesome, saucer-sized scars, like vicious sucker marks. From one of these rippled craters, the angry orange light of an ocular implant is doing duty for a missing eye. You suppress a shudder thinking about the tentacle that must have delivered that kiss. Everyone’s heard the stories, of course, but you felt better telling yourself they were exaggerated.

1. Continue.

Chance hurriedly yanks a dusty old control module from his belt bag and passes it to Scarface. The Granger glances down at it, no more than a quick take, then tosses it to ground.

“What’s the deal?” asks Chance, his righteous indignation more than slightly overplayed. “You wanted a tower control module, I brought you a tower control module. Now where’s my money? I got shit to do.” He cuts his eyes at you, both in a naked appeal for support and to give himself a break from looking at his mark.

Scarface isn’t looking at Chance anymore, though. His implant is giving you a hard stare, and you’re guessing it’s not interested in your haircut. Judging by the design, it’s military hardware, already locked in and analyzing its target.

1. “The money, like he said. Best if you don't make us ask again.”
2. “What if I can get this module for you?”
Two more months to go, hopefully. See the full update for the rest of the screenshots including descriptions.

There are 57 comments on Colony Ship Update #38: Combat Demo Update #5 - Quest Dialogue Sample

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 8 June 2019, 00:57:29

Tags: David Rogers; InXile Entertainment; Krome Studios; The Bard's Tale; The Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight; The Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate; The Bard's Tale IV: Barrows Deep

You might remember that The Bard's Tale IV was supposed to receive a Director's Cut update in June. Well, we're in June now but apparently it's still not ready. According to today's Kickstarter update, the new release window for the Director's Cut is "late summer". It is far along enough to offer us a first look though, including a glimpse at the new Royal Necropolis of Haernhold high level area.

Release Update

Hi everyone, work on the Director’s Cut is going very well, and we’re excited to share more about our progress today. As you’re aware, we were acquired by Microsoft late last year, and they’ve been a truly amazing partner, providing us access to new resources and refinement processes, and allowing us to take the time we want to ensure we make this the definitive edition of The Bard’s Tale IV. The good news is that the wait won’t be that much longer, as we’re targeting late summer for a release of the Director’s Cut on Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

We’ll be sharing more news on specific dates in the near future, but for now here is a video on the changes from the game’s Creative Director, David Rogers, detailing what you’ll find in this new Director’s Cut.

The Bard’s Tale Trilogy Update

We also have some news regarding The Bard’s Tale Trilogy for Mac gamers. Since launch, we’ve seen that Linux users have been able to play the game with minimal fuss, using methods like Steam’s Proton service. On the other hand, Mac users have not been able to play the game, so we are pleased to announce that we have made the additional investment to develop a Mac version. Krome is currently working on some additional updates for The Bard’s Tale Trilogy, and will begin work on the Mac version later this summer. All of you, Windows, Mac, and Linux, will be getting these additional Bard’s Tale Trilogy enhancement updates free of charge.

Stay Tuned!

As we noted above, we’ll have a release date for the The Bard’s Tale IV: Director’s Cut soon, so be on the lookout for another update!
What does late summer mean, sometime around September? Maybe they're saving the announcement of the exact date for the Microsoft press conference at E3.

There are 8 comments on Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #56: Director's Cut First Look - Delayed to Late Summer

Fri 7 June 2019

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 7 June 2019, 21:52:57

Tags: Baldur's Gate III; Larian Studios; Mike Mearls; Swen Vincke; Wizards of the Coast

No matter how Baldur's Gate III turns out, the nice thing is that we're going to get more amusing Swen Vincke videos. The first video for Baldur's Gate III, published as part of a new series of development updates called the Larian Gazette, tells the story of how Swen got permission from Wizards of the Coast to make the game. I think it might be a bit embellished, though.

There's nothing new here in terms of information, but it's a start. You can sign up for the Larian Gazette on Baldur's Gate III's official website. The game will also be appearing at the PC Gaming Show at E3 on Monday, although it doesn't sound like any big reveals are planned.

There are 60 comments on Baldur's Gate III Community Update #1: The Secret Sauce of Dungeons & Dragons

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Fri 7 June 2019, 02:14:19

Tags: Josh Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Pillars of Eternity II was supposed to be the standard bearer of the second wave of crowdfunded RPGs, but although it was not a bad game, things didn't really turn out that way. What went wrong? Last week Josh Sawyer traveled to Poland to give a talk about that at the annual Digital Dragons conference. It's rather appropriate that the video should be made public on the same day as Baldur's Gate III's announcement and the release of Pathfinder: Kingmaker's Enhanced Edition. It's a 50 minute postmortem, the first half of which is an overview of the flaws from the first Pillars of Eternity that Obsidian sought to address in the sequel.

Things get more interesting in the second half, where Josh examines several of Deadfire's more controversial features, throwing his bosses under the bus a couple of times in the process. These include the five character party (no regrets), the companion relationship system (an overambitious failure), the ship-to-ship combat system (a disaster that was actually cut from the game and then forced back into it as a stretch goal by Obsidian management) and full voice acting (also imposed by management, resulting in what Josh describes as the most stressful period of his entire career).

That's not to say that the entire talk is about blaming other people. Josh admits that he failed as lead narrative designer, creating a story that couldn't decide whether it was about factions or gods. He admits that he failed to realize that turn-based RPGs were now more popular than real-time-with-pause, and that he didn't take complaints about the game's low difficulty seriously enough during the backer beta. Ultimately, Josh concludes that in the future he should work on a different kind of RPG. Congratulations Codex, you've beaten him!

There are 108 comments on Josh Sawyer's Pillars of Eternity II Postmortem at Digital Dragons 2019

Thu 6 June 2019

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 6 June 2019, 23:25:16

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Kingmaker; Pathfinder: Kingmaker - Beneath The Stolen Lands

Pathfinder: Kingmaker was released in a disastrously incomplete state, but that didn't stop it from becoming our RPG of the year for 2018. Today it reaches its final form with the release of the extensive Enhanced Edition update, making it probably one of the best RPGs of all time. You can read more about the Enhanced Edition in the two developer diary updates published by Owlcat over the past two weeks. It's got so much stuff in it that the Beneath the Stolen Lands roguelike mode DLC released alongside it seems almost like an afterthought. Still, it's a big enough deal to get its own launch trailer:

Meet with the self-proclaimed protector of Golarion, and discover what secrets lie buried beneath the Stolen Lands, in a shifting labyrinth of madness where nothing is what it seems, complete with dangerous enemies to battle and ancient treasures to unearth. Defend the lands against one of the most deadly enemies the world has ever faced.
  • Enter a massive dungeon with a party made from scratch. Begin your adventure to the Tenebrous Depths with a party of newly created characters. Start the game from the main menu and experience the descent into an endless rogue-like dungeon.
  • Explore the near-infinite possibilities of building a Pathfinder character. Try out different builds to perfect your tactics at your leisure. Create a band of adventurers able to overcome any danger!
  • Defeat is but a new beginning! Dying in an encounter enables additional benefits for your next playthrough.
  • Unlock new items to buy across multiple playthoughs. The number of item slots nearby traders have depends on how far you have been able to descend during all of your previous forays combined.
  • ...or enter the dungeon as your main character. Alternatively, you can wait for an invitation from a mysterious protector of Golarion as you play through the Main Story. The preset version of the dungeon is included into the main campaign, allowing you to use your character and companions to conquer the Tenebrous Depths.
Of course all this is happening on the same day as the Baldur's Gate III announcement, because Owlcat gonna Owlcat. Oh well, they'll be okay. Beneath the Stolen Lands is available now on Steam and GOG for $10. The full patchnotes for the Enhanced Edition are available here.

There are 28 comments on Pathfinder: Kingmaker - Enhanced Edition and Beneath the Stolen Lands DLC Released

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 6 June 2019, 20:04:46

Tags: Baldur's Gate III; Larian Studios; Mike Mearls; Swen Vincke

I thought Baldur's Gate III would be revealed during one of the E3 press conferences over the weekend, but it turns out we didn't have to wait that long. You may have heard of Stadia, a new game streaming service from Google announced back in March. Google cleverly scheduled their first Stadia Connect event two days before the rest of E3, and the first game to be announced during that event was none other than Baldur's Gate III. The game is a sequel to Wizards of the Coast's upcoming Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus tabletop module, set over 100 years after the original series. All we know about the story right now is that it involves a rather terrifying illithid invasion, as the cinematic announcement trailer makes clear:

Larian aren't ready to reveal any concrete information about Baldur's Gate III yet, but that didn't stop Swen Vincke from offering interviews about it to a bunch of websites. The most important takeaway is that it's not clear that the game is an isometric RPG. It will not be using the same engine as the Divinity: Original Sin series. The ruleset will be based on 5th Edition D&D, but with "adaptations". Other than that, the interviews don't offer much beyond a general idea of the game's sensibilities. Here's a list of them:

Baldur's Gate III has been in development since 2017, but Larian aren't ready to reveal a release date estimate yet. Hopefully we'll learn more about the game during E3 or shortly afterwards. In the meantime, you can wishlist it on Steam or GOG, or sign up to the newsletter on the official website.

There are 294 comments on Baldur's Gate III announced at Google Stadia Connect event

Tue 4 June 2019

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Tue 4 June 2019, 19:03:38

Tags: Ceres Games; Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen

It's been quite a while since we last had a major Realms Beyond development update, but worry not, the game is still alive. Ceres even received a nice visit from Josh Sawyer last week, who had plenty of praise for what he saw. It'll be some time yet before the game is ready for release, but the team has been hard at work filling its world with quests and locations. To achieve that they've made use of a sophisticated dialogue editor, which is the topic of today's Kickstarter update. It also includes a new batch of screenshots, which I'll post before the excerpt:

[​IMG] [​IMG]
[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

In the weeks since the last update, we’ve been hard at work designing quests and locations. And to make sure that our quests are as good as they can be and offer the highest possible degree of reactivity towards the player character, we’ve also improved our dialogue system and added a handful of new features to it.

In this update, we’re going to show you the new features of the dialogue system, as well as screenshots of some beautiful new locations we’ve added to the world of Argea. The section of the update that shows off the dialogue tool will contain minor spoilers for early content in the game, as well as a side quest later in the game. If you wish to avoid such spoilers, please take note of the warnings and skip ahead.

In an RPG, it is important that the game recognizes the player’s character build. And since Realms Beyond allows the player to create (or to recruit) a party of six characters, a diverse party should mean that NPCs react differently to each of them. Different characters should also be able to react differently to NPC statements. While most characters might agree with the assessment that orcs are savage barbarians, a half-orc character might object to such a statement.

Dialogue options can depend on many things: the player character’s gender, race, class, ability scores, skills, equipment, current status effects, faction reputation, and more. If you want to find a peaceful solution with the orcs, letting your half-orc do the talking might be a good idea. Similarly, in a village where everyone is prejudiced towards elves because of an old grudge that has never been forgotten, an elven or half-elven character will have a harder time winning the sympathies of the populace.

[...] During your travels through Argea, you will come upon several wizards living in solitary towers, dedicated to their research. One of these wizards, a man named Obalor, tells you about his rivalry with a fellow sorceress named Jeralis. Many years ago, she lost her eyes in an accident, and went on to craft a pair of enchanted emeralds to return her sight. Wizards all across the realm have wondered how she fashioned that enchantment, and Obalor is determined to find it out. He hires the player party to take Jeralis’ emerald eyes and bring them to him, so he can examine the enchantment and learn his rival’s technique.

If the player accepts the quest, he must travel to Jeralis’ tower and get his hands on her emerald eyes. One way to do this is to engage her in dialogue and convince her that he himself is an arcane researcher and interested in studying the enchantment. Jeralis isn’t opposed to borrowing her eyes to someone interested in the workings of their enchantment, but the player’s character doesn’t quite strike her as a magical researcher.

This is where more complex conditions come in. If the player’s character is a highly intelligent wizard, he (or she) can easily convince her of being a researcher himself. If the player’s character is a wizard, but has only average rather than exceptional intelligence for his class, he’ll have to bluff a little to make her believe him. And if the player’s character is not a wizard, he’ll have to bluff a lot.

Our scripting system allows us to make dialogue checks as complex as we need them to be for any given quest situation. We can check the player character’s gender, race and class. We can check the player character’s attributes and skills. We can check the player’s equipment, and whether she’s wearing something on an equipment slot at all: a guard might demand your character take her helmet off before she enters the throne room, as it would be rude to enter the royal chambers with a covered head. It is as simple as checking for the condition of BAREHEADED being false.

This powerful scripting system allows us to recognize any state a player character may be in, and have NPCs acknowledge everything that is appropriate for them to comment on (like a dwarf reacting favorably toward a fellow dwarf and skeptically toward an elf, a priestess mentioning you should take your boots off before you enter the inner sanctum, a merchant greeting you as a colleague because your character is a member of the merchants’ guild, etc). It also allows for creative quest solutions. Let’s imagine a magic mirror that guards a magically locked door. You can interact with it, but looking into it doesn’t do anything. In another chamber of the dungeon you find out that the door only opens for those who stare into the mirror with blinded eyes – you can cast a spell of blinding upon your character, interact with the mirror while the BLIND condition is true, and the door will open!

As for the quest to get Jeralis’ emerald eyes – there are approaches other than asking her and bluffing, such as intimidation, combat and stealth, but how exactly those can be pulled off is up to you to find out when you play the game! Our quests generally offer at least two possible solutions, usually more. Every player will have a different party and follow a different playstyle, so we try to add multiple solutions and decisions to each quest to offer a large amount of choice to the player – and, of course, a high degree of replayability.
If they can actually maintain this level of reactivity throughout the entire game (which is a big if of course) then this is going to be very cool. Remember that the dialogue editor is going to be released to the public, so whatever happens there's definitely a lot of potential here.

There are 35 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #20: Reactive Dialogues and New Screenshots

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 4 June 2019, 18:14:46

Tags: Ancient Forge Studio; Glorious Companions

Imagine Battle Brothers, except in 3D (including legs) and set in a more unconventional fantasy world with red lizardmen and dudes with mohawks. That's what Ancient Forge Studio's Glorious Companions appears to be. The game first came to our attention in March but has clearly been in development for longer than that, because it's already out on Steam Early Access as of today. There's a lot to read in the game's development updates, but I might as well get on to posting its launch trailer and release announcement:

We can’t believe it’s been almost 10 years since the first time the initial idea for Glorious Companions sprinkled into our minds. We had been dabbling in pen-and-paper RPGs for a while and we thought it’d be really cool to one day create a video game, where we could share the vision for all the mechanics and the world of Navaroth with a broader audience. At that time, the game was really tiny. 2D avatars moving around the board in an awkward and sluggish way and yet we were so happy to our ideas come alive. This is why we have stuck with game development as it’s a very satisfying medium to share your vision.

Today marks a very special day. We’re releasing Glorious Companions in Early Access - the first milestone out of many others to come. While the day in itself is special, we want to stay humble and treat it as a beginning of something new, not a finale to the whole journey. We’ve got amazing plans for this game and we’d love to invite you all to get on that ride with us.

Here’s a rough content & feature plan for the Early Access. There are all the planned features that we want to complete before moving out of Early Access. Keep in mind that depending on the game’s financial success, some of those features and content might be out faster and some of them might take a little bit longer to roll out.

Short Term Continuous Updates (aka things you can expect in the coming weeks)

Valrenay Abilities Updates
New Weapon Types Updates
AI Updates
Hair Style Options for Player Characters
Bug Fixes & QoL tweaks
Balance Patches

Big Content & Feature Updates

Scarres Fully Playable Race Update
World Map 2.0 (region based, roads, simulated trading, new environment assets)
Settlement Management and Sieges Update
Procedural Generation of Battle Locations (based on their position on the world map)
Anderia Fully Playable Race Update
Trigoths Fully Playable Race Update
Politics & World Map AI Update
Peer-2-Peer Multiplayer Update
Mercenary Faction Update
Ancient Guardians Uprising Update

The first few months are going to lay a lot of groundwork for the future and we want to take that time to see what the community thinks of the game and the direction you guys would like to see it go. Ultimately, our aim is to create something that people can legitimately have fun with for a long time, and we’re not afraid of criticism of our ideas. That’s why for now we’re committed to the following 6 months plan while the further future is something we intend to craft with your feedback in mind.
Glorious Companions is available now for $30 with a 10% launch discount until next week. I have to say that's not cheap for an unknown indie on Early Access. The game looks promising enough, so I hope the developers know what they're doing.

There are 16 comments on Turn-based tactical fantasy mercenary company RPG Glorious Companions released on Steam Early Access

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 4 June 2019, 01:57:30

Tags: Scape-IT; SKALD: Against the Black Priory

There have been a bunch of Ultima-inspired RPG Kickstarters recently, such as Code of the Savage and the tragically vaporous Unknown Realm. There's something timeless about that style, I guess. We don't post about every retro RPG we come across, but Scape-IT's SKALD: Against the Black Priory is another one that's too cool not to mention. SKALD combines classic Ultima-style exploration with the more complex character and combat systems typical of the Gold Box games, but it also has more modern elements such as scripted narrative sequences with dialogue trees. The game has been in development since the beginning of 2018, starting out as an RPG engine simply called SKALD. The actual Against the Black Priory campaign was first unveiled at the end of 2018 and in March creator Anders Lauridsen announced his decision to bring it to Kickstarter, which he did today. Without further ado, here is SKALD's rather brief pitch video and an excerpt from its campaign page:

SKALD: Against the Black Priory is a tile and turn based roleplaying game where you lead a party of up to six characters on an epic and perilous quest.

The game features:
  • Vintage graphics using the glorious Commodore 64 color palette
  • Complex level-based character development with abilities, skills and features
  • Grindless tactical combat
  • "Choose-your-own-adventure" system and dynamic, tree based dialog.
As a party based RPG, SKALD puts heavy emphasis on both roleplaying- and mechanical interaction between party members.

The current leader of the party can be swapped by the push of a button and the skills and abilities of the current leader will influence interactions with the game world. But be warned: Managing the party can be challenging with members having private agendas and motivations.

Combat in SKALD is turn- and menu-based. This leads to fast and grind-less combat (that can be automated). The design emphasis is on having interactions between abilities, tactics and situational circumstances create unique and challenging combat every time.

The game will feature a rich and highly interactive world with both scripted and systemic ways of interacting with the hundreds of NPCs, items, objects and plot points. The game will allow for, and encourage, a large range of player expression and roleplaying.

Interacting with the world takes place through tree-based dialog, "choose-you-own-adventure sequences", combat, tile-based exploration and interaction with in-game systems.

SKALD: Against the Black Priory will feature level-based character development with both numerical stats and special abilities. I also intend for roleplaying choices to affect character development by taking a leaf from classics such as Fallout 1 and 2.

As a game of dark, gritty fantasy, magic is a huge part of the world building. It will play a huge part of the game and designing a system that is both mechanically and narratively appealing is a challenge I can't wait to dig into! More on that down the line.

The game will release on PC (Windows) first with releases for Mac and handheld devices down the line. NOTE: Backer rewards are PC only.

Estimated release date is June 2020.​

SKALD: Against the Black Priory can be yours for a mere 99 Norwegian Kroner (about $11) with alpha access available at 199 NOK (~$23) and beta at 349 NOK (~$40). The game is well on its way towards its very attainable 70000 NOK (~$8000) funding goal and is scheduled to be out next June. Check out the official website for more details.

There are 28 comments on SKALD: Against the Black Priory, a retro RPG inspired by Ultima and Gold Box, now on Kickstarter

Thu 30 May 2019

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 30 May 2019, 22:40:11

Tags: Baldur's Gate III; Larian Studios

Mild-mannered Codexer Belegarsson happened to access Larian's official website today where he came across this strange image:

Clearly we're looking at an impending announcement, but for what game? Divinity III? Divinity: Original Sin III? Half-Life III? A look inside the image file's innards reveals the truth. Gentlemen, Larian Studios is making Baldur's Gate III:


Okay, so this isn't actually that big of a surprise. Local vatnik Bester has been telling us this game was a thing since last September. Larian denied that, even as Brian Fargo admitted on Twitter that he knew who was making Baldur's Gate 3. I guess they were lying! Not cool, guys. Anyway, I assume the game will be formally announced at E3, where it'll join the growing list of RPGs already set to make an appearance there. Once again, let the drama begin!

There are 602 comments on Larian is making Baldur's Gate III

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 30 May 2019, 20:59:47


The indie Soviet Fallout homage ATOM RPG was released a bit over five months ago and to our complete surprise turned out to be one of 2018's best RPGs. The game's development was somewhat rushed towards the end however, which showed up in certain areas that were a bit desolate for their size. One such area was the Dead City, which the ATOM Team promised they would improve in a post-launch update. That promise was fulfilled in yesterday in the form of the Dead City Update, which not only overhauls the city but also adds a ton of additional new features to the game. It's such a big deal they even put together a fancy trailer for it, which I'll post here along with an excerpt from the release announcement:

Dear friends!

Finally the moment has come, when our game ATOM RPG is completely finished. In this update we balanced out melee weapons, added to the enemy AI, finalized all of the quests that were left unsolved in the previous update. The main thing, however, is the change of Dead City into a place full of new, unique characters with their own stories and quests. The map is now filled with points of interest and new locations. To see the list of all changes, scroll to the end of this post now.

We would like to use this post mostly to thank you all for the motivation, unique ideas, kind words of praise and endless support. We told this to you multiple times now, yet these words never lost their sincerity and meaning for us: without you, there would be no game, especially of this magnitude. You, our dear players, are the ones who shaped it starting with Kickstarter and the Early Access versions.

This final version of the game is truly your achievement, as much as it is ours.

And the work doesn’t stop here. Our next project will be a stand-alone add-on to the game, code-named Trudograd. It will hopefully hit Steam later this year. Until that time, we will share news of porting Atom to other platforms, translating it to other languages, and of course the development process of the new add-on.

Thank you for being with us, and we really hope that you will continue this journey we got planned out.

Let there be ATOM!
Awesome news. And yes, there's a standalone expansion coming later this year too. It's great to see that things are working out for these guys. They certainly deserve it.

There are 30 comments on ATOM RPG gets massive Dead City content update, standalone expansion coming later this year

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