Interview - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 8 May 2006, 03:03:42Tags: Dropship; Laidback Gaming; Michael Sean McCarthy
Remember Troika Games? You know, that small development studio founded by some former members of Interplay Entertainment which collapsed in financial ruin this past Christmas? Well, someone survived. Michael McCarthy, probably best described as an all-round art guy and part of the Troika team, got in touch with us recently and told us about something new he's planning. It's an RPG. An Action-RPG actually. With turn-based combat... and it's set in that good old 3/4 top-down "isometric" view. We've dubbed it Project T-BAR 3/4 and he's setup his own studio called Laid Back Gaming to get the game developed. We decided to ask Michael all about it.
So all right then, here are the questions...
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Wed 3 May 2006, 01:56:12Tags: Gothic III; Piranha Bytes
Piranha Bytes' Kai Rosenkranz has answered a few questions about upcoming Gothic 3 to satisfy our curiosity. Kai asked us to split it in two parts to protect the uninitiated from all secret Gothic knowledge contained in the second part, which will be posted a week after E3
13. How does Gothic 3 handle choices & consequences? How important are choices and what would they affect? Would my character (not the player!) ever get a reason to regret a previously made choice?That's all I ever wanted - an option to make choices I will regret later on.
Gothic 3 is all about choices in the first place. Yes, there are great sword fights, powerful magic, a lifelike gaming world... but yet choices are the main gameplay element. The player can literally shape the world and influence the story through the way he's handling things. Most decisions have to be made in the field of human relations. The way the player is treating others influences their attitude towards him, and thus their cooperativeness depends on the right choice of words. With a dexterous tongue the hero can even talk a whole city into a revolution. This can also backfire on him, of course. If he falls out of favour with someone, he will most likely not get useful hints or lucrative quests. And yes, if the whole world wants him dead, he might at last regret his choices.
Review - posted by Vault Dweller on Sun 23 April 2006, 05:23:23Tags: Bethesda Softworks; The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
We proudly present our [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.com/content.php?id=129']review[/URL] of the first truly next-generation RPG, [URL='http://www.elderscrolls.com/']Oblivion[/URL]: [INDENT=1][CENTER][SIZE=13px][B]However, with Morrowind I think we saw that our kind of game appeals to a wider audience, given the game's success among more casual gamers who are neither "hardcore" nor "RPG geeks".[/B][/SIZE][/CENTER][/INDENT] [INDENT=1][CENTER][SIZE=13px]Gavin Carter[/SIZE][/CENTER][/INDENT] [INDENT=1][LEFT][SIZE=13px]That quote is probably the best and most honest description of Oblivion I've ever seen. It's a game for casual players. Hardcore fans of the series or RPG geeks need not apply. You shall not find depth or challenge in Oblivion.[/SIZE][/LEFT][/INDENT]
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Wed 19 April 2006, 01:08:40Tags: CD Projekt; Witcher, The
We've had a chat with CD Projekt's Joanna Kobylecka, who was nice enough to answer a few questions about The Witcher in great details:
7. Choices & consequences. CD Projekt has mentioned previously that different paths have different consequences, and that there are no right or wrong choices. Can you elaborate on that?After Oblivion that sounds very, very appealing.
Because we present a fantasy world that has no true distinction between good and evil there really isnâ€™t a right or wrong choice. The Witcher is morally ambiguous. Within the story thereâ€™s a large political struggle occurring between the races and Geralt is struggling with his own existence. As a lone wolf you are not affiliated with any group, but your reputation, based on your previous actions and choices, has a major impact your future actions and choices.
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Fri 17 March 2006, 04:05:40Tags: Josh Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment
JE Sawyer has graced us with his presence and answered a question or two:
In Fallout 3, I wanted to make a serious attempt at balancing firearms through the availability of ammunition. I believed that ammunition as a valuable commodity made sense in a wasteland environment. Low-power ammo would be relatively common, but the stuff found in high powered rifles, machineguns, plasma weapons, etc. would be much rarer. The firearm specializations would have come through perks. I didn't really want to take depth away from firearms; I wanted to make firearm depth comparable to the depth of the unarmed and melee skills. As long as the nature of firearms and ammunition was made clear to the player, I think it would have worked.
Review - posted by Vault Dweller on Tue 14 March 2006, 19:49:54Tags: Elemental Games; Space Rangers 2: Dominators
I've finally had time to [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.com/content.php?id=126']review[/URL] [URL='http://www.elementalgames.com/eng/r_all.php']Space Rangers 2: Dominators[/URL], the verdict is "Must Buy!": [INDENT]Completing quests will have consequences, improving your relationship with some races, and completely pissing other races off. Also, those damn aliens lie to you and a seemingly innocent mission may turn into an insult to another race. I was once asked to deliver a rare animal specimen to a certain planet as an act of friendship from one race to another. Turned out, you have just delivered an abused ambassador back to his native planet in a cage. Needless to say, a few quests like that will ensure that next time you are in the neighbourhood, you will see battleships speeding toward you to inform in an up close and personal manner that they would really like to see you dead. If you do manage to land on a nearby planet, you will be taken to a local prison, which is a lot more fun than it sounds.[/INDENT] Read the full article: [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=126']Space Rangers 2 Review[/URL]
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Wed 8 March 2006, 02:05:04Tags: Chris Avellone; Obsidian Entertainment
Chris Avellone, peace be upon him, has answered [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.com/content.php?id=125']a few questions[/URL] about games he has worked on. [INDENT]I take no offense to your honesty. But stay right where you are, a missile is arcing its way toward your home right now, and there is a lightsaber-wielding Jedi on top of it. Okay, so character resonance - I do think Kreia was a deep character, personally, but I can see how you would feel that way with some other characters... people were strangely divided on Bao-Dur, for example, and G0-T0, while I enjoyed him and I thought his voice actor was awesome (Daran Norris from [I]Team America[/I]), he never really clicked, and that's my fault. I also tried to add more personality to T3, but I'm not sure how well that turned out, either.[/INDENT] Enjoy the interview.
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Fri 3 February 2006, 22:58:18Tags: Basilisk Games; Eschalon: Book I
We've had a chat with Thomas Riegsecker of Basilisk Games about Eschalon: Book I, an indie turn-based fantasy game that should be available this Spring.
7. What other non-combat activities are in the game? What does a skill like Cartography do? How do they affect gameplay?
All the Skills are based on a 1-100 range, with 100 being godlike and would require a lifetime of devotion to achieve. Cartography is a good Skill to talk about: the automap in the upper right corner of the screen does not work at all until you have at least one point in your Cartography Skill. With just one point, your automap will work but it will only produce a crude outline of your surroundings. The more points you allot to your Cartography skill, the better the automap will look as color and details emerge. Eventually you can even get creatures and NPC locations to show up on the automap if your Skill rating gets high enough. Other non-combative Skills such as Lockpicking, Skullduggery (trap disarming), and Move Silently work the same way.
Click here to read the entire interview.
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Fri 13 January 2006, 09:51:35Tags: BioWare; David Gaider
David Gaider of Bioware fame was kind enough to drop everything and answer a few questions about ... well, a lot of things, so you better see for yourself. Here is a snipet:
2. Turn-based vs real-time, your thoughts? Disclaimer: I'm not asking if Bioware would ever make a TB game or which system is better. I'm asking for your own opinion, preferences, even bias - anything goes.
I enjoy a good turn-based combat system. â€œTemple of Elemental Evilâ€ did it very well, I thought, and I remember the first â€œX-Comâ€ game being one of my all-time faves (though itâ€™s not an RPG, of course). I remember when â€œX-Com: Apocalypseâ€ came out, however, and it was going from turn-based to pauseable real-time combat and the fans of the series were in an uproar â€“ me included â€“ enough so that the developers put in a way to optionally use the old turn-based system instead. Much to my surprise I actually found that I enjoyed the real-time combat more. It was faster, and so long as I could still pause and give orders I still felt I had the ability to oversee and control everything that I wanted to. When I played â€œBaldurâ€™s Gateâ€ (which was before I started at Bioware), I found I really enjoyed the pauseable real-time combat there, too, even if it could get a bit hectic during large combats. Full real-time, however, the kind where you canâ€™t give orders while paused â€“ that stuff I just have no time for. Itâ€™s the main reason I donâ€™t play most RTS games.
There is more where it came from
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.
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]