Editorial - posted by Spazmo on Fri 6 January 2006, 20:51:01Tags: The Year in Review
For the third time in a row, we've whipped up a long-winded article about why this past year was such awful crap for the RPG genre.
But apparently BioWare has gotten tired of catering to the difficult PC market, what with demands for interesting plots, NPCs that aren't a pain in the ass and hey, maybe something without elves in it for a change? No, it's much easier to pander to console kiddies whose idea of RPG gameplay is collecting multicoloured ocarinas or watching twenty hours of FMV cutscenes. BioWare's forthcoming projects are mostly to be released on the Xbox 360 and include a whole trilogy of sci-fi "RPGs" called Mass Effect (colloquially known as "gravity" to those of us with a clue), which might be interesting if they weren't more FPS than RPG, according to press releases.Read on. We had a lot to whine about this year.
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Review - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Sat 4 June 2005, 09:20:59Tags: Fate
Our review of Fate, that wacky dungeon crawling action rogue-like from Wild Tangent.
Probably the most important people in town, the ones you'll go to more often, are the quest givers. Quests int he game are simple, randomly generated missions involving the dungeon. They can vary in the goal, which can be to find an item, kill a creature, kill a certain number of creatures, or a combination of those things. In exchange for your time and risking your neck, you'll recieve additional experience, fame, and gold. In some cases, you may have an item as a reward as well. It may or may not be as nice as the item you pick up in the quest, though. In cases like that, if you decide you can't live without that quest item, you can simply cancel the quest and keep the item. No one will cry foul over it. After all, you're the one that went down there to get it. Finders keepers.
Yeah, greed is good.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Fri 27 May 2005, 08:00:39Tags: Fate; Wild Tangent
Our glorious interview with developer Travis Baldree about Fate. Here's a bit about having no class:
10.) Most rogue-likes and Diablo style games have classes. Instead, Fate uses a skill system. Any reason why you went with a free form skill system? Any upsides and downsides to this?
There are a couple of reasons for this -
Primarily, I wanted players to be able to change the direction of their play midgame. Having a universal skill system with diminishing returns lets you switch between without too much of a penalty - especially since you can buy skill points.
Also, it's frankly a lot easier to balance than a classed system, and quicker to develop. Since all characters can use all skills and spells, they don't have to complement each other as rigidly.
The updside is real flexibility with your character - you can have a spellcasting tank, a summoning archer, basically whatever you like.
The downside is that the skills and spells don't have the same tailored 'uniqueness' of skill trees that makes each playthrough VASTLY different. You can play through the game very differently, but you can always dip in and taste everything if you want to. With a classed system, the next time you play, you really discover something different that you had no access to before.
There you have it. Classless systems are easy and cool.
Interview - posted by Spazmo on Sat 30 April 2005, 18:21:17Tags: Battleline Games; Epoch Star
We had a talk with Rick Battagline of Battleline Games about their space based RPG, Epoch Star.
Epoch Star is set in a distant Galaxy, in what would be our future. The human race is present in this Galaxy, but is not the focal point of the story. Epoch Star focuses on the relationships between several alien races that have formed a "Union of Stars"; a race of all consuming Serpentine creatures known as "Ignus" who ravage and destroy any planet or life form they come in contact with; a collection of smaller unnamed barbarian races that are oppressed by the Union; And a recent arrival of several new races, one race who worships a god known as the "Epoch Star" and another who claims to be fleeing from the wrath of the "Epoch Star".Get the rest of the dirt on Epoch Star by reading the interview--and we've also got a pair of sneak peek screenshots of Epoch Star's upcoming graphical overhaul.
Preview - posted by Exitium on Tue 12 April 2005, 02:11:47Tags: Jan Beuck; Master Creating; Restricted Area
These are the basic skills featured in Master Creating's cyberpunk themed Action RPG, Restricted Area.
Review - posted by Exitium on Fri 4 February 2005, 16:47:14Tags: MISTLand; Power of Law: COPS: 2170
Like me, most of us have to wait a very long time for any turn-based games to come out because of their relative scarcity in the gaming market, at least of late. While I have personally opted for replays of old turn-based titles and RPGs like Jagged Alliance 2 and Battle Isle 3, there have been a few games released in the recent years that try to fill the niche. One such game is the recently released COPS 2170, developed by Russian developers Mistland and published in the States by Strategy First.
It was only natural that Mistland would have another attempt at developing another turn-based title after the moderate successes of Paradise Cracked and Alfa Anti-Terror in their Russian homeland, but the reception for the former aforementioned title (the latter is yet to be released elsewhere) was definitely a lot less than spectacular everywhere else. While you may lament the poor sales of the underappreciated Silent Storm (my personal opinion of the game notwithstanding) in the United States, thereâ€™s little of value to be found in the box of Paradise Cracked. Nonetheless, Mistland likely follows the principle of â€˜trial and errorâ€™. Letâ€™s see how their latest offering turned out.
Review - posted by Exitium on Sun 30 January 2005, 16:54:21Tags: Object Software; Seal of Evil
Weâ€™ve all been waiting for the next fun RPG to load up and play to our hearts content on our computers. Needless to say, itâ€™s been a long time coming. In my hands, I hold a copy of Object Softwareâ€™s latest foray into the RPG genre, Seal of Evil. Does Seal of Evil fulfill the role of the much needed boost of life to a currently lifeless RPG playfield? Read on and find out.
Editorial - posted by Vault Dweller on Mon 27 December 2004, 21:35:11Tags: The Year in Review
Once again we examine the big events in the RPG industry in 2004 and explain why this year sucked even more then 2003:
Obsidian Entertainment, Bioware's trusty sidekick, has scored some crumbs off the Bio's table: KOTOR 2: Attack of the Clones and NWN 2: Everything Fallout fans have asked for since Fallout 2!(TM) Since Feargus Urquhart has mentioned his ideas about Knights of the NEW Republic, it would take a rather cold day in hell to see an original game with the Obsidian logo on it.
I'll use this space to thank Spazmo for his help and contribution to this article.
Interview - posted by Ausir on Tue 7 December 2004, 03:28:55Tags: CD Projekt; Witcher, The
We have asked CD Projekt, the developer of The Witcher, an upcoming action-RPG based on the books of Andrzej Sapkowski, a few questions, and got some interesting answers. Here's a snippet:
12. In The Witcher there won't be a clear distinction between Good and Evil. Could you give an example of a morally ambiguous situation from your game?
The whole world of The Witcher functions without the clichÃ©d simplification of Good vs. Evil conflicts â€“ therefore we will encounter moral dilemmas all the time. Sometimes there is no doubt that finishing a profitable quest will require us to violate law, the witcher code, or just your own idea of what is right. Most people can't distinguish between a monster slayer and an assassin, and will often request someone to be murdered. Sometimes while working on a quest you'll realize that you were cheated, and what you're actually doing is wrong â€“ the quest of rescuing a princess turns out to be actually about kidnapping her for ransom. Some of them will require choosing one side of the conflict, where everyone is equally vicious and wicked. A classic example is racial hatred â€“ in revenge for pogroms, the persecuted elves answer with acts of terror and murdering innocent people. Which side will our hero choose?
Review - posted by Exitium on Sat 4 December 2004, 07:08:09Tags: Ian Miles Cheong; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
This is a Bloodlines as I see it, clear as day. In this review, Iâ€™ll be highlighting a lot of the things I liked about the game, as well as all of the aspects that bothered me and caused me to like the game less.
Review - posted by Spazmo on Mon 29 November 2004, 22:38:46Tags: Troika Games; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
We've got our own take on Troika's Vampire RPG. [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.com/content.php?id=113']Read on.[/URL] Here's the opening paragraph because you don't get to see the end unless you read the whole thing, you cheater. [INDENT]It was around this time last year that [URL='http://www.troikagames.com/']Troika Games[/URL] released their second game, [I][URL='http://www.greyhawkgame.com/']Temple of Elemental Evil[/URL][/I]. The game, publisher and largely the teams are all different, but the stakes for the company seem about the same. Both games follow a Troika title that wasn't quite as good or successful as fans--and those who certainly aren't fans--would have liked them to be. Both games are a chance for the company to really make a name for itself and show that years after [I]Fallout[/I], the game that got it all right, and [I][URL='http://arcanum.sierra.com/']Arcanum[/URL][/I], the game that got lots of it right, the Troika team still had it. And, unfortunately for this new game, [I][URL='http://www.vampirebloodlines.com/']Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines[/URL][/I], both games, while being quite good in their own right, don't fully make up for all the mistakes made in the company's previous effort and, woefully, make new ones of their own.[/INDENT]
Information - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 25 November 2004, 00:20:18Tags: Leonard Boyarsky; Troika Games; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
A Frequently Asked Questions dealie submitted by Leon Boyarsky about the technical problems some people are having with Bloodlines.
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Wed 10 November 2004, 22:43:50Tags: S.C.O.U.R.G.E.: Heroes of Lesser Renown
We've asked Gabor Torok, the developer of S.C.O.U.R.G.E., a rogue-like RPG dedicated to the underdogs: the has-been, burned-out heroes of the game who are given a second chance to save the world and themselves, a few questions and got back very detailed and interesting answers. Don't miss this interview.
2. It's been almost 25 years since Rogue was released. How has the genre evolved? Have you paid attention to what other developers did, direction they took, features they added? What are your favorite rogue-like games?
I'm not an authority on roguelike games. However, what strikes me as their most enduring feature is the uncompromising focus on gameplay. While the professional industry appears to writhe under the heal of the console
economy, roguelikes offer a unique experience that people still find enjoyable. I am not a gaming purist either way, so in S.C.O.U.R.G.E. I try to blend the best of both worlds.
Uncompromising focus on gameplay... Couldn't have said it better myself.
Information - posted by Exitium on Sun 22 August 2004, 00:28:44Tags: Josh Sawyer
Venerable game designer Josh E. Sawyer explains what it means to design a mod for a game, what it's like to be on a mod team and how to pull something like that off. Sawyer gives the lowdown on the bare essentials of mod making.
Interview - posted by Exitium on Thu 19 August 2004, 06:55:43Tags: Liu Jiang; Object Software; Seal of Evil
RPG Codex takes an in-depth look into Object Software's ancient Chinese history-themed RPG, Seal of Evil, by asking plenty of questions and getting plenty of answers from Liu Jiang, the product manager of Prince of Qin, World of Qin and Seal of Evil. Read on!
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Mon 16 August 2004, 17:15:45Tags: Omega Syndrome
Our interview with David Moffatt, author of Omega Syndrome. It's that nifty shareware CRPG with an eerie aliens on Earth plot and a turn based combat system.
1.) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background with CRPGs? Why you decided to make one?
I am a programmer by trade and my passion is programming CRPGs. I donâ€™t play CRPGs these days as I spend all of my spare time working on OS. As to my background with CRPGs I have only played a few: Wasteland, Ultima 7 & 8, Fallout 1 & 2 and Baldurs Gate. Of those games my favorites are Ultima 7 and Fallout. The game that influenced me most in terms of game play is Fallout. The game that influenced me most in terms of game engine creation is Baldurs Gate.
Several years ago I stopped playing computer games, as I no longer found them fun or interesting. At the time I thought I had grown out of them, but then I discovered Fallout and really enjoyed playing it. After the Fallout experience I realized I hadnâ€™t grown out of computer games at all, its just that very few great CRPGs are ever made. So instead of complaining about the lack of great games, I decided to learn how to make my own computer games and The Omega Syndrome is the result of those efforts.
Interview - posted by Ausir on Thu 29 July 2004, 13:09:18Tags: 3D People; Kult: Heretic Kingdoms
Our interview with Peter Nagy (Lead Artist) and Jan Turan (Lead Programmer) of 3D People, plus Chris Bateman (Game Designer/Script Writer) and Richard Boon (Story Designer/Script Editor) from International Hobo about their cRPG title, Kult: Heretic Kingdoms
- Peter: The Heretic Kingdoms look and feel different to the usual fantasy world â€“ and the further into the game that player goes, the more obvious this becomes. Story-wise, god is dead, religion is outlawed, and the Inquisition â€“ the player is an Inquisitor â€“ has absolute power. Many people are poor and weak, but a few notable people, specifically the Scarred, have access to potentially limitless power. Itâ€™s hard to explain, but so many of the details of Kult separate its background from those of other games. Weâ€™re not trying to create something completely new, by any means â€“ we love fantasy stories and art, and games â€“ but we wanted our world to be individual and recognisable. To be worth the time and effort it takes to explore it.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Tue 20 July 2004, 17:21:40Tags: Minions of Mirth; Prairie Games
Our interview with Joshua Ritter of Prairie Games about his CRPG title, Minions of Mirth.
6.) Can you provide us with an example of good and evil instances in the game? How is good and evil handled? Are there consequences for evil actions?
There are four alignments in the game: Good, Evil, Neutral, and Monster. A character can be any of the first three (and at some point we may support monster characters). Depending on your race, you start borderline good, evil, or neutral. There are good/evil quests and good/evil NPCs to aid or vanquish. If you play both sides, you'll be considered Neutral (though, technically I would call this evil). Importantly, there is also a political system which is based on opposing factions. This works much in the same way as alignment, but allows us some liberty in the writing.
Good, evil, and eeeeeeville.
Review - posted by Vault Dweller on Fri 9 July 2004, 22:25:31Tags: Black Isle Studios; Interplay; Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader; Reflexive Entertainment
Yep. I said I'll do it and 3 months later I finally did it. So, since you're all obviously dying to know what kinda game [URL='http://lionheart.blackisle.com/']Lionheart[/URL] was, without further ado, I present you [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.com/content.php?id=98']The Lionheart Review![/URL] [INDENT]Lionheart wasn't a good game by any standards. There was too much click fest combat to make it a good adventure RPG. The combat itself was poorly implemented and thus failed to meet the standards of today's action RPGs, and Lionheart definitely didn't qualify to be an RPG in a role-playing kind of way. So, why write a review if the game clearly sucked, you ask? Lionheart should have been a very good, if not a great game. It took a lot of talent and skills to bury that promise. Let's follow each choice and see where and how it went wrong.[/INDENT] Lionheart is one of the things that I "don't get". I would really like to see the design doc for this one.
Interview - posted by Whipporowill on Wed 30 June 2004, 18:20:01Tags: Leonard Boyarsky; Troika Games; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
We got a chance to ask Leonard Boyarski a few questions on Troika's higly anticpated Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines. Here's a snippet:
Considering fire is one of the only things than can seriously hurt and/or kill a Vampire in the World of Darkness, it's pretty serious stuff. Will there be Flamethrowers or Molotov Cocktails, and if so, how does fire psychics work? Will it spread through the area and take hold or just flicker and die as in most games it's been used?
Weâ€™re currently at work implementing the flamethrower, but there are no Molotov cocktails. Fire isnâ€™t affected by physics, so it doesnâ€™t spread on its own. It does cause aggravated damage to vampires, as it should, but a lot of other damage types affect and are dangerous to vampires in the White Wolf system.
Mmm. Nothing like the smell of burning undead in the morning. Click here for the rest of the moutwatering interview.