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Wed 21 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 21 November 2018, 01:39:25

Tags: Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire; Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire - The Forgotten Sanctum

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Not to be outdone by Owlcat, Obsidian chose today to do a DLC reveal of their own. Today's Fig update gives us our first look at The Forgotten Sanctum, the game's third and final expansion DLC. It's a high-level adventure where the player will travel into the depths of a dungeon formed out of the flesh of a sleeping god at the behest of the archmages of Eora. The expansion is due out on December 13th. Here are a few screenshots:

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[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
The more interesting part of the update however is the preview of Patch 4.0, which will be released alongside the new DLC. It turns out that what I thought was going to be a Patch 4.1 is just part of one very big patch. The highlight is the Woedica god challenge mode, which will disable health regeneration and turn all per-encounter abilities into per-rest abilities (AKA "Vancian spellcasting"), effectively restoring IE/PoE1-style strategic resource management. Josh Sawyer provides!

Patch 4.0 Preview

Alongside the release of "The Forgotten Sanctum", the Deadfire team is releasing a new update with patch 4.0. As the team has done with every major update, they're happy to bring new features to Pillars II. Some of the new features that will be arriving with patch 4.0:
  • One additional sub-class per class - That's right! Every class in Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire will be getting one extra sub-class, including the oft-requested Priest of Woedica and Steel Garrote sub-classes!
  • Respawning ships on the world map - The ships of the Deadfire will no longer be gone forever once defeated. They'll now respawn, giving you the ability to attack, loot, and take down again.
  • New Magran's Fire Challenges:
    • Ondra's Challenge
      • Storms are larger, faster, and more frequent in the Deadfire now.
      • Enemy Captains are increased in rank and travel faster when chasing the Watcher
    • Wael's Challenge
      • All numbers become ??? with the exception being item count, party character Attributes, Skill, and Level.
    • Woedica's Challenge
      • All Per-Encounter and Class resources become Per Rest.
      • Party Health no longer regenerates outside of combat.
      • While camping, only "Prepared Meals" will recover Injuries and Resources.
  • Two new Mega Bosses
    • The Wizard Savant
    • The Infernal Construct
Unlike the first two DLCs, Obsidian didn't release a teaser trailer for The Forgotten Sanctum's reveal. It does have a Steam page, though. As for the patch, we'll probably learn more about it when the beta comes out in a week or two.

There are 12 comments on Pillars of Eternity II Fig Update #58: The Forgotten Sanctum coming December 13th, Patch 4.0 Preview

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 21 November 2018, 00:36:33

Tags: Deep Silver; Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Kingmaker; Pathfinder: Kingmaker - Beneath The Stolen Lands; Pathfinder: Kingmaker - The Wildcards; Pathfinder: Kingmaker - Varnhold's Lot

Pathfinder: Kingmaker was released almost two months ago in a disastrously incomplete state and to mixed reviews. That hasn't stopped it from selling about as many copies as Pillars of Eternity II and instantly becoming a new Codex classic, with over 450 pages of discussion as of this writing. We've all been eager to learn what comes next, but it's been hard to figure out Owlcat's strategy. After releasing no fewer than 16 hotfixes to get the bugs under control, they finally released the game's first major patch this weekend. There was also a silly Total War-style Bloody Mess free DLC last month. Now it looks like things are finally coming together, with the reveal of the game's DLC roadmap. The first one is due just two weeks from now. Here's the announcement:

Owlcat Games and Deep Silver announce the upcoming availability of the Season Pass for their critically acclaimed, cRPG Pathfinder: Kingmaker.

Customers who purchase the season pass will receive access to all three upcoming DLCs (paid downloadable content). Each DLC will deliver fresh and exciting content: There are new locations, companions, items, modes and most importantly, new emotions to experience!

STEAM
GOG
DLC #1 – “The Wildcards”

Ardent adventurers of The Stolen Lands will soon have the chance to play the first new DLC! Featuring a new playable race Tieflings, a new playable class Kineticists, and of course combining a race with a class, you get a character! Prepare to welcome your new companion, the Tiefling Kineticist who comes, just like every other companion, with her own rich and engaging storyline.

Oleg Shpilchevsky, Head Of Owlcat Games explains, “A new playable race. During the poll to decide which bonus race we were going to add to the game, one particular option was requested a lot (besides the winner – Aasimars): Tieflings, the people with a drop of demonic blood in their veins. They didn’t make it into the base game, but became the natural choice for the first piece of post-release content.”

DLC #2 – “Varnhold’s Lot”

A new bonus campaign. While celebrating your victory at Jamandi Aldori’s mansion, you’ve met another hero of the Stolen Lands: the mercenary captain Maegar Varn. While you’re building your barony in the Shrike Hills and Narlmarshes, Varn and his people are establishing their own nation of Varnhold in the rocky foothills of Dunsward. What did they have to face? Play this new story, and export the consequences of the choices you’ve made there into the main campaign! This exciting new side story is about the size of one chapter of our main campaign and will take 6-12 hours to complete, depending on your playstyle.

DLC #3 – “Beneath The Stolen Lands”

A new game mode. Sometimes you want to play a story with memorable characters, rich lore, and a complicated set of choices and consequences. But then there are days when you just want to grab a sword, cast some spells, and destroy a horde of monsters! This DLC will introduce a rogue-like randomly generated endless dungeon, complete with a new unique boss. You can explore it in a separate game, or as a part of your main campaign. How deep can you go?

The Season Pass and the first DLC “The Wildcards” is due to be released on December 6 2018.

DLC Information (*dates are estimates and are subject to change)
  • DLC 1 – “The Wildcards” On sale December 6, 2018
  • DLC 2 – “Varnhold’s Lot” – February , 2019*
  • DLC 3 – “Beneath The Stolen Lands” – April, 2019*
(All DLC content requires the base game Pathfinder:Kingmaker in order to play)

Stay tuned for more information soon!
Some might find it disappointing that only the second one of these is a traditional story expansion DLC, but hey, the game is probably large enough as it is. Despite what the announcement claims, the Season Pass is already available for sale on Steam for $25. It's a $5 discount if you buy it instead of getting each DLC individually.

There are 7 comments on Pathfinder: Kingmaker DLCs revealed, first DLC releasing on December 6th

Tue 20 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 20 November 2018, 22:50:14

Tags: Element: Space; Inca Games; Sixth Vowel

Earlier this year we learned about Element: Space, an upcoming RPG from Argentinian studio Sixth Vowel that seems to be a kind of turn-based tactical take on Mass Effect. The press release said it was going to launch in Q4 of this year. Well, it has launched - on Steam Early Access, which may or may not have been the plan all along. The Early Access launch trailer features an intense narrator but doesn't really showcase any gameplay at all, so I'll also post the gameplay trailer the developers put together for PAX West back in August, alongside the accompanying press release.



BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA: TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2018 – Argentina-based incubator and publisher Inca Games, today announced that Element: Space, the first game from its in-house development studio Sixth Vowel, is now available for PC/Steam as Early Access for $19.99 USD. In this squad-based tactical RPG where decisions have consequences, players must forge alliances and build loyalty to save humanity from extinction. The full PC version is slated to launch in Q1, 2019 for $29.99 USD, with additional platforms to follow.

Inca Games wants to use Early Access to reward fans who have been supporting the team through the game’s development, as well as getting player feedback, doing final gameplay balancing and polishing, and locking down strategic partnerships to help with discoverability and distribution.

“Element: Space is an ambitious title from a studio of our size and, with it being our first game, we feel our players and community are an important component in making the game the best it can be, in terms of testing and feedback,” said Javier Entelman, President and CEO of Inca Games and Sixth Vowel. "We were simply amazed and overwhelmed by the incredible response from players when we debuted the game at PAX West this year, so Early Access is a way we can let those early supporters enjoy Element: Space while we are in the final stages of development.”

More than two years in the making by a team of 50 developers, Element: Space is estimated to be one of the biggest games solely conceived and developed in the Spanish language Latin American region. The challenges and learnings the team faced during the game’s development was the impetus to form the Inca Games publishing arm to help other indie studios in the region, foster LatAm’s games ecosystem, and shine a light on its games and talent.

The Game


As Captain Christopher Pietham, players must align with an ideology, and strategically select and lead their squad of diverse companions into intergalactic conflict; dealing with the consequences of their choices throughout Element: Space’s deep story and rich combat.

The single-player game has core aspects of a classic squad-based tactical RPG but, rather than procedurally-generated missions, each is hand-crafted, non-linear, contains free-form combat, and is revealed based upon the player’s selection of factions, ideology, companions and more. Players experience 8 of the 24 nonlinear missions or submissions each time they play, determined by their choices, for an estimated 12-15+ hours per playthrough, so the game must be replayed to experience the entire universe and story.

There are 8 faction worlds to explore, each with its own distinct culture and agenda, and building bonds with each may be rewarded with unique bonuses. There are also 8 potential companions from which players may select their squad. Each unlocks different stories, weapons and/or specialized combat skills, and amplifies aspects of the other squad members. Woven throughout the game is the ‘Sixth Vowel’, a power which can best be described as humanity’s capacity for altering reality by manipulating sound, light and motion at will, either to help or harm.

Turn-based free-form combinations of movement, skills and attacks enables a team-based approach to the Element: Space combat system. A wide selection of melee and ranged weapons, some unlockable based on faction relationships, is available. Not only does each companion have unique skills, with no two characters having the same combination of archetypes, but each set of enemies combine their abilities to challenge the player in a new way that adds to the replayability of the game.

Element: Space Early Access for PC can be downloaded on Steam, on the game’s website, and soon on Humble Bundle for the discounted price of $19.99 USD while the full version of the game will be $29.99 USD. Early Access players will be automatically upgraded to the full game at launch. For additional information, please visit www.element-space.com.
As the press release says, Element: Space is available on Steam for $20, and it's also 33% off until next week, which is pretty damn cheap. The final release is now scheduled for Q1 2019.

There are 1 comments on Turn-based tactical sci-fi RPG Element: Space released on Steam Early Access


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Interview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 20 November 2018, 00:32:26

Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment

Microsoft's acquisition of Obsidian was the subject of rumors for months before it was finally announced, but their acquisition of inXile came to us a complete surprise. Many are wondering why Microsoft would be interested in Brian Fargo's troubled studio. Today, Robert Purchese from Eurogamer has the first post-acquisition interview with Fargo. I wouldn't exactly say it provides a satisfying answer to that question, but otherwise it's a surprisingly interrogative piece. Here's an excerpt:

How long has the deal been in the offing?

Brian Fargo: I'd have to think about when the exact day was it became very real, but the conversation started back in April, and as you might imagine with Microsoft, it's an incredible vetting process you need to go through, both as a person and a company. Yeah, it takes quite a while.

Who approached who - what was the reasoning behind it?

Brian Fargo: I've known Noah Musler a long time [Microsoft business development bigwig who has old ties with Feargus Urquhart and Obsidian as well]. He dropped me a message one day and said, 'Hey, um, I have a crazy idea - you want to come up and talk about something?' I said, 'Sure, let's do it.'

For me, it's always... My goal is to always get my company in a safe harbour so we can spend as much time as possible working on our games and honing our craft. That can come if you sell 2 million units - that's a great way to get there which everyone hopes for. Or, a deal like this. But at the end of the day that's all I ever cared about.

How was the studio doing before the sale - were you in good health? Could you have continued to operate indefinitely without Microsoft's involvement? Because Bard's Tale 4 didn't set the world on fire, Torment: Tides of Numenera didn't seem to do well commercially, and Wasteland 3 isn't due until next year. Were you on the rocks?

Brian Fargo: Well listen, I'm a clever guy and I'm a survivor, so I always have a plan B, C and D at all times. There were a few companies wanting to give us big contracts recently so I always had that as an option, and some of the projects were really interesting. I would have had to continue to adjust my business model; right now we're primarily crowdfunding and publishing ourselves, so perhaps I would have had to mix it up a bit and continue with things like Wasteland 3 but maybe do a work-for-hire contract at the same time.

I found with inXile I've been constantly flexing both our size and our business strategy to survive, so I would have continued doing that.

Anyway, presumably alongside Wasteland 3, you're beefing up to make something new for Microsoft?

Brian Fargo: Yeah, we will be.

Are you working on something now?

Brian Fargo: Well, we've had a project in development for some time we haven't announced that they're quite keen on, so we'll be looking at that and saying, 'Okay, what does this product look like now we're going to be given extra time and resources?' Evaluating how we could make it better.

Was that game part of the deal? Or was it more Microsoft acquiring inXile and then looking at what you could do?

Brian Fargo: They were certainly looking at what we had in development as an indicator of where we were going. They were interested in us because we are a self-sufficient company that can do good product without hand-holding which they could see, with a little extra resource, could really be pushed up a notch. That, as a general sense, was a motivator, and then in addition they were able to look at what was in the pipe and say, 'These guys are really doing some interesting, innovative things.'

So what sort of size are you looking to bulk up to?

Brian Fargo: In the short-term we talk about increasing it 30 per cent or so. We're not trying to become multi-hundred-person teams but just filling the holes we've been desperately wanting to: having a full-time audio person, having a full-time lighting person, having a cinematics person - these things that could help us improve what we're doing.

For the last few years you've made isometric games but presumably Microsoft wants you to make something flashier? I always thought The Bard's Tale 4 was a good indication of where you could go, and what you could do in 3D with Unreal Engine. Is that the direction the one you're going in? Are isometric games off the table?

Brian Fargo: Ultimately we get to decide what we're going to make - they've been very clear on that. They've not once said 'we'd really love you to do more of this or less of that' - that's never been a conversation. Really it's going to be up to us, and very much us talking to our fans about the things they'd like to see. We're not necessarily walking away from isometric at all. There's still some great things you can do with it that haven't been done yet.

Just to be clear, and I believe Microsoft has said something along these lines anyway, but inXile being similar to Obsidian Entertainment does not mean you're going to be lumped together, or does it?

Brian Fargo: There's absolutely no plans to lump us together or have us work in the same office or anything of that nature. What could come out of it, of course, is we're going to have a tighter relationship. We're going to be less competitive and more like brothers, and as we compare notes I'm hoping there could be some synergies so we can help each other across town. Any number of things could happen, but that will be for me and Feargus [Urquhart] to talk about, for something we think is good for both of us. But ultimately, no, we're not being merged out.
Other topics mentioned in the interview include the PS4 ports of Bard's Tale IV and Wasteland 3 (still happening) and the fate of Fig (if it dies, it dies). In the short term, inXile's plan is to keep on doing what they were doing before, except with bigger budgets, better graphics and hopefully smoother launches. The unannounced title that Brian is referring to is undoubtedly the Wasteland: Frost Point/Frostpoint VR game that the studio has been working on since last year. As for Obsidian, Robert plans to interview them also, but apparently it's been "trickier to organize".

There are 41 comments on Brian Fargo interviewed about Microsoft acquisition at Eurogamer


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Fri 16 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 16 November 2018, 02:51:48

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

The Realms Beyond Kickstarter successfully concluded today, having raised €120,709 from 2,653 backers. The community really came together in the final hours, busting through the second & third stretch goals and securing the participation of writers Casey Hollingshead & Scott Hamm and composer Kai Rosenkranz. Here's the victory update from Ceres:

[​IMG]

Phew, what a month! Those last thirty campaign days have been a proper rollercoaster ride and felt more like half a year. But losing sleep, going a bit more grey and not seeing much of the world outside has all been worth it. The show of your support just knocked our socks off!
We’re lost for words to thank everyone. We’ve said it so many times, but can’t really repeat it often enough: THANKS!

Without all the 2648 backers from the US, Germany, UK, Canada, France, Australia, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Belgium, China and many, many more countries, nothing would have happened. But with all of you, this campaign has been a resounding success! We still can’t believe that the campaign has been funded 120%. It was fully funded three days ago and we smashed three stretch goals! We’re more than excited to get stuck in to carry on working with our team, including Edwin Pickett and the people at OnlySound, and of course with Francesca on the map, Casey and Scott on the writing and Kai on additional sound tracks.

All your comments, questions and feedback have been invaluable.
Now begins the long wait for the combat beta, early access and final release. I'm told that there are more updates planned that Ceres didn't have time to get to during the campaign, but in the immediate term, they intend to set up a Backerkit site so that people can continue pledging. Maybe we can still get that Monk stretch goal at some point.

There are 11 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter campaign concludes, three stretch goals achieved

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 16 November 2018, 02:07:54

Tags: Ctrl Alt Ninja; Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest

Ctrl Alt Ninja have finally released a trailer for Druidstone, and we didn't even have to wait until Christmas! As its shiny new Steam page reveals, the game is due out in Spring 2019. There are also details about its story, gameplay and inspirations. I quote:



The druids of the Menhir Forest are troubled. Not only has the Archdruid disappeared, a darkness in the form of purple cysts has fallen upon the forest. It is up to Aava, the daughter of the Archdruid and her new-found companions Leonhard, a mysterious man with no past, and Oiko the mage, a dropout from the guild of Red Priests, to rescue the Archdruid and find out the truth behind the sinister events. As if this wasn't enough, a murderous maniac impersonating Leonhard is at loose in the forest....

Druidstone: The Secret of the Menhir Forest is a labor of love from the makers of the critically acclaimed Legend of Grimrock series. Druidstone is a tactical, single-player, turn-based roleplaying game, which combines the best qualities of modern RPGs with the elegance of tactical boardgames. Every action, every turn counts as you control your party of heroes through handcrafted, challenging missions with varying objectives.

Druidstone is set in a unique fantasy world, Elo Sphaera, filled with ancient, lush forests, standing stones, snow-topped mountains, deadly creatures and puzzle-ridden ruins. The epic story about love and death is centered around the main characters Leonhard, Aava and Oiko, who will along the way meet up with unexpected companions and villains, each with their unique personalities and abilities.

Get ready to venture forth and uncover the secrets of the Menhir Forest!

Key Features
  • A tactical turn- and tile-based battle system where every action, every turn counts.
  • Upgrade the abilities of your heroes as you see fit using power gems obtained by completing missions and discovering hidden treasures.
  • Challenging, hand-crafted missions with playtimes ranging from 15 minutes to 45 minutes.
  • Solve devious non-combat puzzle levels to obtain rare equipment.
  • A gripping, fantastic story of love and death centered around the main characters Leonhard, Aava and Oiko.
  • A unique fantasy setting combining elements from western RPGs, JRPGs and tactical boardgames in unexpected ways.
  • Play custom missions created by others or make your own campaigns with the upcoming Druidstone Level Editor available as a post release update.
Looks pretty slick. Sort of like Divinity: Original Sin meets JRPGs. I know lots of people will appreciate those fast animations.

There are 37 comments on Druidstone gets its first trailer, coming Spring 2019

Company News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 16 November 2018, 01:32:51

Tags: Expeditions: Conquistador; Expeditions: Viking; Logic Artists; THQ Nordic

The consolidation of the RPG industry continues! IP-gobbling publisher THQ Nordic announced today that they'd acquired Logic Artist's Expeditions franchise. They'll be publishing the next game in the series, to be revealed "in due time". Here's their brief press release:

Karlstad/SWEDEN, Vienna/AUSTRIA, Copenhagen/DENMARK, November 15, 2018: THQ Nordic today announced that the acquisition of the intellectual property “Expeditions:...” has been finalized with Logic Artists, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The deal comprises of “Expeditions: Conquistador” and “Expeditions: Viking” and its respective DLCs. Furthermore, Logic Artists and THQ Nordic have agreed to start development of a third game within the “Expeditions:”-Universe. More information will be announced in due time.

The acquisition itself is being handled by THQ Nordic AB, based in Karlstad, Sweden, and daily operations (sales and distribution, evaluation of sequels & new content etc.) will be done via THQ Nordic GmbH in Vienna, Austria.​

Expeditions: Viking was criminally underrated, so I'm happy Logic Artists will have another shot at making their mark. The studio itself appears to be remaining independent.

There are 41 comments on THQ Nordic has acquired the Expeditions franchise, third game confirmed

Thu 15 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 15 November 2018, 23:47:14

Tags: OtherSide Entertainment; Underworld Ascendant

Nearly four and a half years after it was first announced, Underworld Ascendant was finally released today, with more of a whimper than a bang. This game's development is truly one of the most shameful events of the Kickstarter era. It's one thing when a group of respected developers from the old days (and there are few who were more respected than this bunch) fail to recreate the magic and come out with a disappointing game. God knows we've seen plenty of that. It's quite another thing when they reveal themselves to have had no idea how to even make a game.

To be sure, Ascendant is janky, buggy and incomplete, but its real problem is quantity rather than quality. It's been cut down to the absolute minimum. With enough patching, its gameplay could perhaps become acceptable, but we didn't need to bring Paul Neurath and Tim Stellmach out of retirement to create what is basically an Early Access indie dungeon survival game of the sort that three-man teams from Eastern Europe release on Steam every week. Frankly, it's kind of hard to believe that the game even exists. It's the sort of project that's supposed to get cancelled and rebooted before ever seeing the light of day. The really sad thing, though, is that there aren't enough people who care to have even made much of a fuss about it.


Naturally, there are no reviews of the game, only a flurry of interviews with Warren Spector and a few "sponsored" previews on YouTube. It won't be long before the fun begins, though. If for some reason you'd like to experience it first-hand, Ascendant is available on Steam for $30 with a 15% launch discount until next week. Apparently GOG have refused to stock the game, which really tells you all you need to know.

There are 143 comments on Underworld Ascendant Released

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 15 November 2018, 00:19:51

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

The Realms Beyond Kickstarter campaign is in its final 24 hours. Yesterday it reached the world map stretch goal and the writing team stretch goal looks like a sure thing. It doesn't look like Ceres are building up towards a big conclusion, though. Today's Kickstarter update brings us more lore. This time it's about Kvenland, the totally-not-Scandinavia of the Realms Beyond world. Kvenland is inhabited by four tribes - the mercantile Vadians, the rustic Vestani, the warlike Gauds and the piratical Vresians. I'll let you figure out which real-life ethnic groups they correspond to.

Vadians

At the southern shore of lake Kallvatn, right in the heart of Kvenland, at a point where several rivers convene, a trading post named Vadaheim was built. After the Great Cataclysm, the sky had darkened for several years and the cold north missed out on a couple of summers. This led to large masses of ice forming in the mountains, and once the climate normalized the ice melted and raised the water level of the lake, flooding parts of Vadaheim. An enterprising people, not willing to give up their city and stop their profitable trading operations, the Vadians converted their ships into rudimentary homes. Still today many of them live in house-boats and use these mobile homes on their mercantile journeys, traveling down the rivers with their entire families. Most Vadians are in the service of one of the two powerful families ruling the city of Vadaheim. Those who live in the town are better off joining one of the two families than staying neutral – which risks attracting the wrath of both the Ingvarsons and the Grimharsons. For independence is only an option for those who can assert it. But since the long-running feud between the two houses had adverse effects on commerce, they agreed to an armistice and divided the city amongst themselves. But if there is an opportunity to siphon the other family’s profits into their own pockets, they always take it – there may be an armistice between them, but in business, everything is allowed.

A common saying among the Vadians is, "By Valon’s golden apples!" which is an expression of surprise over an unexpectedly profitable business transaction that pulled more gold out of their customer’s pocket than they anticipated.

Veštani

The Veštani are a peaceful people who value a honest heart over a sharp sword – for which they have little use, anyway, as they prefer to use spear and shield in combat.

Around the village Kvilu, which is located at the eastern end of the Lurking Forest, they herd their flocks of sheep and till the earth of their fields in peace. Their evenings they spend in community, listening to the music of the flute and stories of strange creatures and ominous events, which might stem from their tendency for superstition which their priests can only shake their heads over, try as they might, they cannot drive it out of them. It might be encouraged by their elders, whom they highly respect, as they warn the younger generations of all the dangers lurking in the depths of the forest, amongst the shadows of the trees.

But Kvilu is not as peaceful as it may seem, as the Veštani regularly fall victim to raids of the Gauds, a tribe they share a bitter enmity with.

But voices of reason no longer manage to calm those who lost their loved ones and their homes to the Gaudian raids. Especially the younger generations either support an escalation of the conflict to strike back at the hated enemy in force, or think of leaving their homes for greener pastures. From Vadian merchants they heard stories of prosperous towns and lives without hardship beyond the forests of Kvenland, and now grow weary of the simple and uncertain life in Kvilu.

Gauds

The Gauds are known as the most feared and remorseless warriors of Kvenland, settled in the rough lands to the north of the great lake. Ever since he had slain a dragon on the mountain of Dauganrög, they worship their king almost as a god. After his heroic deed the Gauds hailed King Odulf’s under his new name – Sigimer the Dragonslayer. Together with his retinue he founded the town of Güldinheim, which today has become the most important city of the Gauds.

The king’s treasury is filled to the brim with all kinds of riches, but also with plenty of curiosities – a collection he constantly seeks to expand. He is especially fond of artifacts from a long extinct tribe, whose king Hodar, for whose exploits there are no sources but the songs of bards, is said to have ruled the entirety of Kvenland and even projected the power of his kingdom deep into the lands of Cormac. This legendary king is, to Sigimer, an example to follow. He wants to forge a kingdom to rival Hodar‘s, and he is ready to ally with the Vresians and mercenaries of Vadaheim to take the rich lands of Cormac’s north under his control. But he will never make peace with the Veštani, as his son Sigurt lost his life on a cattle raid against them. Had he the resources for it, he would long ago have marched against Kvilu to raze it to the ground. But the day will come when his wrath will triumph over the worldly concerns of logistics, and for this day he is already prepared.

Even his daughter Siglind he kept from a woman’s comfortable life of home and marriage, so her sword would always be ready for war and not dulled by the need to care for offspring. So he declared her to be a sword maiden, and any men who dare touch her will be condemned to death by stoning.

Vresians

On a northern bay of the Galtan Sea, Vindeborg sits as the largest town of Kvenland as well as the most important settlement of the Vresians, who are known to be excellent shipwrights and seafarers as well as fearless explorers. The fishermen not only set out to drag their nets through the deep waters, but add to their catch by raiding and looting other ships. Their reputation of engaging in piracy is widespread and almost sealed their fate 200 years ago. Too long they provoked Cormac on the waters, which culminated in a crushing blow against their tribe. Once, they had reveled in their independence, their leaders chosen by election and ready to step down whenever the people grew unhappy with their rule; following this horrible defeat, they put their fate into the hands of the most charismatic among them. Unnar Usbek became the first king of the Vresians and swore on the ruins of old Vindeborg to take revenge on the Cormacian attackers, even if it took generations to pay them back for what they did.

Ever since, the Vresians have worked at erecting an impregnable fortress and training a formidable fighting force to bring the fire of vengeance against Cormac’s shores. They suffered a major setback thanks to the Great Cataclysm, but Bjar Rabek, the most influential advisor of king Hjör, claims that the time has come to make true the promise of the forefathers. He feels obligated to fulfill the old oath of vengeance, whereas the people are fearful of a war they consider to be hopeless, while a longing for the old freedom spreads through their hearts, symbolized by a white albatross – the animal that adorned the Vresian banners before they had a king, and which has now become a call for open resistance, scrawled on the walls in white chalk.
Check out the full update for three new screenhots and a fun little parable about Valon, the Vadian god of merchants, which I didn't have room to include here.

There are 3 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #15: Lore Update #4 - Kvenland

Mon 12 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 12 November 2018, 22:53:52

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

As expected, the Realms Beyond Kickstarter campaign reached its funding goal today, with three days left to go. With nothing to lose, Ceres have revealed two additional stretch goals. The first goal should be particularly exciting for the Euro-connoisseurs among us. If the campaign manages to raise €120,000, famed Piranha Bytes composer Kai Rosenkranz will contribute three tracks to Realms Beyond's soundtrack. The second one is more traditional. At €140,000, Ceres will add the Monk class to the game.

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How many stretch goals will they will be able to make in three days? The world map goal is a sure thing. If they make it to the writing team goal, it's just an additional €5,000 for Kai Rosenkranz. Seems doable.

There are 39 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #14: Funded! Kai Rosenkranz and Monk Class Stretch Goals

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 12 November 2018, 01:01:38

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

Another weekend has passed and Realms Beyond is now on the verge of reaching its funding goal. Before that happens, Ceres have one last fun little Kickstarter update for us. What's an RPG without a few minigames? In the taverns of Realms Beyond, players will be able to play cards and dice as well as compete in underground pit fights. The update explains:

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Pub Games

At sunset, you and your companions finally arrive in Bridgewater, a famous hub of trade and other, less honest forms of business. Milling amongst the crowds of merchants and citizens, beggars and cut-throats, you slowly wander through the town's narrow alleyways towards the Merry Hangman Inn, in a district of town known for its pleasures – many of them illicit. You enter the tavern in search for a hearty meal, a warm hearth, and some merry entertainment to lift up your spirits.

As anticipated, you find the place is bursting with laughter, singing and cheer as you enter. The smell of good food and beer, and the sound of merry fiddles and happy folk songs out of tune, quickly overwhelm your senses. As some of your companions proceed directly to their rooms in the second floor, longing for a good bed after the strenuous journey, you manage to spot a small empty table in the far corner. When you finally make your way through the crowd of drunken patrons, the tavern maid brings you a battered pewter mug, and asks you with a smile: “Care for a Game?”

Games to spend your hard-earned coin on

Every adventurer needs some time to relax after a long day, and Realms Beyond offers you plenty of games to pass the time with when you return to town after an exhausting adventure. Cards, dice, pit-fighting and axe-throwing are just some of the many activities your adventurers can take part in, trying their luck or skill against NPCs and even wagering some money on their success.

If you’re on good terms with some tavernkeepers or have some coin to spare, who knows… they might even let you prove what you're made of in their underground fighting clubs (no arms, no armor, no spells – only fists and the cheering roars of the crowd).

But be careful with your money – many an adventurer has lost the riches he gained during the day in the games of dice he chose to play at night. If you are clever, though, success at gambling is not only a matter of luck. A character with a high skill at bluffing will be an excellent card player, while a dexterous rogue with sleight of hand can attempt to cheat at dice. But beware! If caught cheating, you might be dragged into a fistfight, and once the guards arrive the cheater is the one who has to pay the fine.

You may even catch goblins playing a game of dice in the dungeon, and if you don’t attack them right away, you may even join in! They are, after all, not the smartest creatures nor the most vigilant guards.
The update also features a brief description of Realms Beyond's voice set functionality, which is pretty standard. It includes a sample audio recording of several barks, voiced by professional voice actor Stephen Chatfield. Just covering all the bases, I guess.

There are 9 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #13: Pub Games and Voice Sets

Sun 11 November 2018

Company News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 11 November 2018, 01:40:38

Tags: Brian Fargo; Carrie Patel; Chris Parker; Feargus Urquhart; InXile Entertainment; Josh Sawyer; Leonard Boyarsky; Megan Starks; Microsoft; Mikey Dowling; Obsidian Entertainment; Tim Cain

Sometimes rumors turn out to be true, and sometimes the truth turns out to be stranger than any rumor. Today at the X018 event in Mexico City, Microsoft announced their acquisition of both Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment. Both studios have released videos to explain the news to their fans, promising bigger budgets and creative freedom. I'll post them along with Microsoft's official newspost:



As part of our commitment to bringing a steady stream of new, exclusive games to our fans, I’m excited to announce Microsoft’s intent to acquire two new game development studios – Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment.

Obsidian Entertainment was founded in 2003 in Irvine, Calif. by industry veterans from Black Isle Studios, led by Feargus Urquhart. The studio quickly made a name for itself with the Xbox exclusive Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords. Over the last fifteen years, they have delivered genre-defining RPGs to players on both console and PC through titles including Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Pillars of Eternity.

inXile Entertainment is a team of industry veterans with decades of PC and RPG expertise. Led by Interplay founder Brian Fargo, inXile’s two development teams in Newport Beach, Calif. and New Orleans excel at creating vast worlds for players to explore with titles such as Wasteland 2, Torment: Tides of Numenera, Bard’s Tale IV and the upcoming Wasteland 3.

It was important for us to find studio partners who have strong creative visions, a mastery of their medium and are expert world-builders. Obsidian and inXile embody all of these qualities while also bringing expertise on the PC platform and a unique RPG focus to the table.

While they do share a common heritage, the two creative teams at Obsidian and inXile are very different. They will continue to operate autonomously with their unique talents, IP and expertise. As part of Microsoft Studios, Obsidian and inXile will have the support and freedom to fully realize their creative ambitions on both existing franchises and new RPG projects.

Together, the two new studios bolster Microsoft Studios to now include 13 distinct and diverse game development teams. We’re focused on implementing new Microsoft technologies, delivering content for new platforms and services like Xbox Game Pass, and creating exclusive games that turn players into loyal Xbox fans. We are committed to expanding the Microsoft Studios franchises players already love, and investing in new, exclusive content for every type of gamer.

It is a genuine pleasure to welcome Obsidian and inXile to the growing Microsoft Studios team and work with them to deliver bigger and more ambitious games for their fans. I’m excited to see the teams maximize their potential at Microsoft and can’t wait for what the future has in store.
I guess this is particularly good news for Wasteland 3, which will now have the budget to become a viable post-apocalyptic competitor to the Divinity: Original Sin series. What it means for Obsidian's still-unannounced game with Take-Two Interactive is still unclear. Perhaps that will be the division of labor going forward, with inXile continuing to develop niche titles while Obsidian returns to their big budget roots. Whatever happens, it's safe to say that the six and a half year era of crowdfunded "AA" RPGs is officially over. Who would have believed that Interplay would be reforged under the Microsoft umbrella? Maybe they should grab the Black Isle trademark from Herve Caen while they're at it.

There are 273 comments on RPGPOCALYPSE: Obsidian and inXile have been acquired by Microsoft

Sat 10 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 10 November 2018, 01:44:11

Tags: Colony Ship; Iron Tower Studio; Vince D. Weller

It's been so long since Vault Dweller talked about Colony Ship's skills that I'd almost forgotten that he'd decided to employ a learn-by-use system. It was a somewhat controversial decision not to stick with a more classic level-up system, but we knew that he had plans to ensure that it wasn't exploitable. This month's development update explains in detail how he achieved that goal, skill by skill. First of all though, we've got some new images of the Pit. They're animated GIFs, so I guess that's one step closer to actual gameplay footage. The game's art direction seems to be coming together nicely.

[​IMG] [​IMG]

Combat skills


Weapon skills – increase your to-hit chance by 10% per rank.
Evasion – reduces the enemy’s to-hit chance with guns by 5% per rank, with melee by 10% per rank.
Armor – reduces armor penalties by 10% per rank.
Critical Strike – increases your chance to score a critical hit by 5% per rank

Our goal here is to raise skills you’re using the most, ideally reinforcing your gameplay style, while eliminating all possible exploits to raise skill fast. Here is the design overview:

XP – experience points that go toward increasing your character level and gaining feats
LP - learning points that go toward increasing your skill level
  • Each attack that does X points of damage gives you X learning points multiplied by the enemy-specific modifier; the points go to the skill matching the weapon used. So if you hit an enemy for 8 points of damage and the modifier reflecting the enemy’s type is 1.5, you get 12 learning points.
  • Each critical strike gives the character who scored it 10+[critical damage] lp, so if you critically hits enemy for 17 points of damage, he gains 27lp. Certain weapon and attack types increase your CS chance and/or CS damage multiplier, so to put things in perspective, if you play a Riddick like character your CS skill will be much higher than if you play a Conan like character.
  • Evasion & Armor. This is where it gets a bit tricky as we have to limit exploits (the obvious one would be rotating your characters while letting the last remaining enemy to attack them to milk every last drop of LP). Each enemy will have a pool of learning points (i.e. what you can learn about defensive skills while fighting this enemy). Once the pool is depleted, the lesson is over. The points can go to one character or split evenly, based on how you fight. The frontliners will get the highest share while your sniper will learn very little or nothing at all.
  • Evasion: When the enemy targets your character and misses, that character gains 5 lp x the modifier until the above mentioned LP pool is depleted.
  • Armor: When the enemy hits your party member, that character gains learning points equal to damage resisted by the armor until the pool is depleted, so the heavier the armor the faster you’d develop the skill. Keep in mind that the pool is the same for both Evasion and Armor, so which skills gain learning points depends on which characters will be targeted first and whether the enemies hit or miss.
  • Each fight gives your party Y xp that's divided between the party members, so if you have 4 guys and you got 100 xp after a fight, each gets 25xp; if you have 2 guys, each gets 50xp. You’d gain most XP from solving quests though.
Read the rest of the update to learn how the game will handle science skills (Medical, Mechanics, Electronics), stealth skills (Lockpicking, Hacking, Sneaking) and speech skills (Persuasion, Streetwise, Impersonate). It's well thought out, and should give you an idea of the sorts of things you'll be doing onboard the colony ship.

There are 12 comments on Colony Ship Update #32: Skills & Learning By Use

Fri 9 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 9 November 2018, 23:45:36

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

The latest Realms Beyond Kickstarter update gives us a look at the game's toolset - namely its map editor and dialogue editor. The update was originally labelled as a micro-update, but changing it was the right thing to do because there's nothing "micro" about this. The toolset appears to be quite powerful and easy to use, and will be released to the public alongside the game, allowing players to create their own campaigns. Watch the video:



In today's update we will show you a little preview video of our editing tools, which will be shipped along with the game as mod tools, so you can create your own scenarios and campaigns.

Our map editor allows you to texture and modify the landscape, place objects and effects, set the lighting and place creatures and NPCs on the map. It's a powerful editor which gives you a lot of options, but the map building process is quick and easy to learn.

The dialogue editor is just as easy to use and just as powerful. Easily write different conversation nodes and connect them with a click of your mouse. Add conditions to the different dialogue options, making them only available to certain classes or races. Or make them dependent on the player character's gender, or a certain skill or stat. With the dialog editor's script calls, you can implement a large variety of condition checks, and you can have NPCs react in different ways to the player's dialogue choices.

We use AngelScript as a scripting language, which is an object-oriented language based on the syntax of C++. This allows you to create all kinds of interesting scripts to spice up your campaign with the custom scenes you want it to have.

Realms Beyond provides you with powerful modding tools that are easy to learn and allow for quick and efficient mapping and dialogue scripting once you are familiar with them.
In other news, Ceres have collected four virtual beer mugs and reached their first social media stretch goal, which means everybody gets the game's digital art book. Doesn't seem like they'll have time to reach the second one though.

There are 8 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #12: Modding Tools Preview

Thu 8 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 8 November 2018, 01:57:40

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

Today's Realms Beyond Kickstarter update introduces the region of the game world known as The Wildlands. It's an orc-infested no man's land, fallen to savagery after the Great Cataclysm and contested by three squabbling pretender kingdoms. Plus there are the tribes of refugees from nearby Pshent, a land overrun by the undead. The player will get to choose which of these factions he wants to side with - one of the three kingdoms, the refugees or even the orcs. Here's an excerpt from the update:

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The Wildlands are one of the most turbulent and unstable areas in Argea. It is a region of numerous different cultures, as humans from all corners of the world came to settle there after the local kingdoms had collapsed and fallen. A land of opportunity, with the riches of the past and abundant natural resources rife for the taking. After centuries of conflict, collaboration, and consolidation, the Wildlands had become a relatively stable region attracting merchants, adventurers and researchers from all across Argea.

But the Great Cataclysm changed everything. Even though the region was spared from volcanic activity, massive earthquakes leveled the major cities and left the survivors with half-collapsed piles of rubble to live in. A large part of the population returned to the lands their ancestors had come from, leaving their ruined homes behind. But those who stayed were not left to rebuild in peace: from the south, orcish hordes pushed into the Wildlands, forcing the humans to take up arms and defend themselves.

This common threat could have united the people of the Wildlands, but instead the vacuum of power left by the collapse caused by the Great Cataclysm led to the rise of three pretender kings fighting over who gets to rule what’s left of this once-prosperous region. Amidst this chaos, the chieftains of the tribes of Pshent, who fled from the destruction of their homeland, have sworn to stay neutral. A difficult stance in a region consumed by a war with so many different sides.

To the southwest, at the border between the Wildlands and what used to be Pshent, only the city of Khuft remains as the last remnant of a once great kingdom. Threatened by the hordes of undead that overran their homeland, more and more Pshentians leave Khuft to seek a better fortune in the Wildlands. Yet all they do is trade one threat against another.

Needless to say, adventurers and mercenaries will find many opportunities for employment in this region. Will you support one of the three pretender kings, help the tribes of Pshent protect their independence, or even join the orcish raiding parties as they push deeper into human lands?

Kalgerth is the strongest of the three pretenders, or at least that’s what he likes to claim. He is seated in the city of Antir, the only city in the Wildlands whose walls are still mostly intact. Holding it gives him more legitimacy than his rivals, but his claims to be the de-facto ruler of the Wildlands are just that – claims. He doesn’t even unite half the population under his rule, and he is too indecisive a ruler to bring more villages under his control. He may have the most solid base for kingship among all three pretenders, but unless he adopts a more bold strategy, his opponents may soon outmaneuver him.

What Marek lacks in territory, he makes up for with a fierce army and ruthless command. He may not control as many villages as Kalgerth or Naraya, nor does he have a city as strong as Antir as the seat of his power, but he has plenty of swords and knows how to use them. He wages a ruthless guerrilla war against Kalgerth, ambushing patrols of his soldiers, and occupies villages so their population has no choice but to accept him as their rightful king. His methods may be effective, but they do not win him much support among the common populace.

Naraya is known for being an eccentric ruler who cares little about warfare and stays mostly out of the conflict between Kalgerth and Marek. Once, she had invited a cobbler from far Pyrrhenia to fashion sandals like Mirvala’s for her, but sent him away again when he didn’t bring her flowers as a gift. She considered it disrespectful of him to not arrive with a gift, and what better gift for a queen of her beauty than a beautiful bouquet of blooming flowers? Despite her eccentricity, her territory is prosperous, as neither Kalgerth nor Marek consider her a serious contender to their kingship. And yet she is far from weak, with well-equipped troops guarding her borders.

The tribes of Pshent have declared their neutrality in the conflict, but chieftess Duniba knows it cannot last. She wants to unite the different tribes under one banner to defend their independence against the pretender kings, who want to win them over to their cause and involve them in pointless fighting. But the tribes are too reluctant, too adamant in their neutrality. She fears it may need a catastrophe to convince the other tribes of joining her cause, but she still hopes the people of Pshent will realize the need for a strong leadership before it is too late. Of course, she only wishes to lead for the good of her people, not for personal ambitions…
To make things even more interesting, the Wildlands are also the site of the ancient fallen empire of Virduris. The region is dotted with Virdurian ruins, some of which were excavated by researchers from neighboring kingdoms before the Great Cataclysm. It certainly sounds like the game's most ambitious area. Perhaps that's why they saved it for last.

There are 15 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #11: Lore Update #3 - The Wildlands and Virduris

Tue 6 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 6 November 2018, 01:49:06

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

As the Kickstarter campaign closes in on 80%, it's time for another Realms Beyond gameplay update. The topic is the game's world map travel layer and camping system. It's something Ceres have discussed before in one of their early blog updates, but the addition of an in-game screenshot makes it much more concrete.

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The world of Argea is vast and full of wonders. While exploring the world map, your group of companions will travel through lush forests, climb magnificent mountain ranges, trek through arid deserts and treacherous swamps, and even sail to long forgotten isles. Your adventures will carry you far and wide, either on the soles of your feet or on horse’s back.

But travel is not an easy task: your adventurers will get tired, hungry, thirsty, and fed up with the monotony of the road during a long journey. Your wizard will have to rest to restore his magical power, your cleric will have to meditate upon his faith; and most of all, after a long day of traveling your entire party wants to take off their sweaty clothes and heavy armor, sit down around the campfire, enjoy a hearty meal and end the day with a game of dice or cards while listening to their musically skilled companion play his lute.

When you’re exhausted after days of travel but still far away from the nearest inn, when you’re lost in the freezing north and need to warm your cold limbs, when the heat of the desert makes you want to wait until nightfall to continue – you set up camp and allow your party to have some well-deserved rest. A campsite can be put up anywhere in the wilderness, but not every location offers the same comforts.

Aside from the elementary feature of resting to recover spells and heal wounds, in Realms Beyond your party members will be able to use the camping time to cook and eat, chat and play games to relax, go hunting and fishing, forage for berries, mushrooms and herbs, treat their wounds, craft potions or identify items, scribe scrolls, and even make music around the campfire. The chances of a successful hunt or finding ingredients in the wilderness depend on the environment, however – you won’t find many plants in the desert, and wildlife is more abundant in woodlands than on the plains.

Camping isn’t without its dangers, either. Hostile groups or natural predators might assault your camp while you sleep, and if you are ill-prepared for the weather, your characters might catch a cold or worse. But camping in the hostile wilderness is a necessary risk to take, because the longer you travel the more it tires out your characters and the more it consumes your adventuring supplies. Eventually, your party will become exhausted, your supplies will run out and you’ll risk starvation and dehydration. Camping lets you rest and take some time to gather food and water from your surroundings.

In order to make your camp a little safer and more comfortable, you can stock up on camping equipment in town before you set out into the wilderness. A kettle for cooking, blankets to keep you warm while you sleep, a boardgame and a musical instrument to serve as entertainment. Camping in Realms Beyond is a game of resource management: you have to weigh the dangers of resting in an unknown area (and risking an ambush, or worse) against the downsides of forcing your party to press on. It adds just one more issue to the list of things you will need to consider before leaving town and setting off to unknown territory.

The equipment and supplies you need to bring with you largely depend on the area you want to journey through. Proper footwear, warm cloaks and a couple of blankets are almost a necessity in the frozen wilderness of the north, and taking additional firewood along isn’t a bad idea, either. In the desert, you should take a few additional waterskins along, as water is scarce and the heat is parching. When and where to rest is always an important decision, too: in the desert, it might make more sense to rest during the day and travel during the night, when it is cooler. If your party is already tired but you know there’s a river a few miles ahead that would be perfect for fishing, it might make sense to press on to get a reliable opportunity to stock up your supplies.

Sometimes, however, you might also wish to rest while you’re exploring a dungeon. Your casters have spent all their magical energy and have no spell slots left, your fighters are wounded and you doubt you could make it through another fight. But resting in a hallway patrolled by monsters isn’t the best idea. Within dungeons, you can only rest at pre-determined resting spots placed in sensible locations by our level designers. These work in a similar way to Dark Sun: Shattered Lands and Knights of the Chalice. Some dungeons might not offer you a resting spot at all, forcing you to carefully manage your limited resources until you get through them. Others might offer you a resting spot close to the entrance, so you can rest before every encounter. This system of resting in dungeons allows us to craft varied and diverse dungeon experiences that all play differently.
Good stuff as always, and kudos to Ceres for acting quickly on our advice.

There are 16 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #10: Camping and Survival

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 6 November 2018, 00:40:56

Tags: OtherSide Entertainment; Underworld Ascendant

The beleaguered Underworld Ascendant comes out in ten days and OtherSide are doing their best to give it a good sendoff. The launch trailer released today looks fairly polished, although it can't hide how limited an experience the game ultimately is.


Alongside the trailer, several websites have published previews of Ascendant with a good amount of detail about its mechanics. They're much more positive in nature than the E3 build previews from earlier this year, though the previewers all seem to be unaware that the factions of the Abyss won't actually physically exist in the game. Here are the links:

OtherSide would also like you to know about their launch week bonus items, which you can read about on Ascendant's updated Steam page. We don't care much about that stuff, but apparently Kickstarter backers will receive better versions of those.

There are 28 comments on Underworld Ascendant Launch Trailer and Previews

Sun 4 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 4 November 2018, 19:18:41

Tags: Copper Dreams; Whalenought Studios

After numerous delays, today Whalenought Studios finally released the Copper Dreams alpha build to eligible backers. The accompanying Kickstarter update has some details about what players can expect. It sounds like the alpha is still a bit rough, but the plan is to continue updating it over the next couple of weeks. I'll post the text of the update here, but first the release trailer:



We wanted to let you know that your builds in Steam have been updated with the first alpha version for testing!

Do expect bugginess. This is a work in progress. Consider this access to feature additions and our bi-nightly builds of squashing all the bugs you'll see.

After designing the tick/tile system with the microtiles, we threw everything we could into it that was part of the original design of the game. Now that it's all in, or at least the fundamentals, it's time to start cleaning it all up on our end and get feedback from yours. The gameplay bugs need a lot more passes while we prep it for the beta (the actual start of the game) release, but if you'd like to follow along with the remainder of fixing things up and provide any feedback now's the time!

Update 1.01

We had pushed this out earlier yesterday, but have done a small patch since which fixed an ongoing issue with the gameplay around picking up and arranging items.

[1.01 Update notes here]

The alpha map is a small example map just to test some mechanics. You’ll start over on death to make that simple, or can retry upon success. Some of these early test maps like this we had done were a little more wild in terms of structure placement and navigation, so expect a little clunkiness getting around. The next map and mission for the alpha we put up will be a variation of newer ones, which are more blocky and fit more rigidly to the microtiles for easier horizontal and vertical navigation. Expect that 1.02 update Monday.

These have been the primary goals we've been working toward making play nicely together since we launched the Kickstarter. We created a micro-turn based global world simulation with the ticks&tiles system, resulting in a much more concise, less abstract way to utilize a turn based roleplaying model. It's pretty groovy and we're very proud of what it is and what it can become — this alpha should hopefully show the fundamentals at work, if anything.

Working on Movement

Right now we're still smoothening out how things move on the tiles, and you'll notice some characters sort of popping around. Originally everything acted like pawns and just snapped tile-to-tile while they moved, which was easy to make sure everything was working properly, but now they have animations to blend between those tile locations. Sometimes that visually works great, others times they can look like they are possessed. This is something that could use some work to make things clear, as weird movement and animations can really dampen the mood. We're working on that, as well as other numerous bugs for 1.1.

There is one game mode and map available, and the rest will unlock the following two weeks, starting Monday. Other alpha maps will focus on other gameplay or ruleset elements that we will be finishing the last things on and putting in for them.

We’ll be posting our short-term timeline there so you can know when to expect new modes and features to be included for testing. You'll also get to choose what feature we'll work on for a big milestone: companions or character generation. We're almost done with both of them, so once we get what we need for 2.0 we'll finish one of those up!

Things should be moving a lot quicker now, and we’re looking forward to your feedback. Thank you again for your patience and support to make something new and awesome, we always appreciate it.
It looks like not many people have alpha access, but some Codex impressions are available here. Hopefully some gameplay footage will show up on YouTube soon.

There are 18 comments on Copper Dreams Kickstarter Update #23: Alpha Released

Sat 3 November 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 3 November 2018, 02:02:13

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

After taking a few days off, the Realms Beyond Kickstarter campaign is back in action with a new lore update. This time we're getting a glimpse at the Celtic-inspired Kingdom of Cormac. The twist is that it's viewed entirely from the perspective of an antagonistic, Durance-like cult preacher. Judging by the number of locations described in detail, it would seem that Cormac is a more central location in the game compared to Pyrrhenia. You can see them all on the regional map included in the update. Note the presence of the city-state of Villenia in the southwest corner.

The gods are dead. Peace upon their virtues.

I was present when Rethgard burned and ash suffocated all cries for help. I witnessed the fall of Caer Pedryvan, long before it fell to the besiegers’ assaults. I listened to prayers lost in the wind, until hunger forced the godsforsaken to feast on their dead. I called to freedom all those doomed souls incarcerated by fear in Eastgate’s walls, hoping the fortress’s stone would keep the disease at bay that crawled out of the Dustmoor as Midlandshire’s righteous scourge. Do you hear the wailing? And the curses of those who had faith in your virtues? The day will come on which "The Black Hand" shall tear down the decrepit fortress and tear out the throats of those who put spoiled corn and rotten meat in the bowls of their brothers and sisters. Hear the wailings arise from Eastgate, while they joyfully watch martial games in Medcaut! They feast above the corpses of those slain for the audience’s enjoyment. Hear the jubilations of those who call the swords of the faithful to swing without rest! They who forge to lively song the chains that force once-proud Tharsians into Kvenland’s bondage. Men and women they wish to break like the trunks of the proud trees they cut down in the north and then ferry down to their stark lands, so they may be fashioned into lances to be shattered against comrades’ breasts. To their grave carry the virtues!

But what weighs such trivial bloodthirst compared to the blistering boil of Waystead, rampantly growing on a mountain of bones! I saw it fester like an ulcer and surround itself with walls upon walls, which cannot manage to keep out the worm that feeds from its putrid flesh. Greed erects its own citadel on Waystead’s hill and stares down upon a city that drowns in it. Do you see the poor lost souls? They are driven through taverns into the voracious arms of the many whorehouses, and declare their love towards ever new piles of useless junk, peddled by crooks and swindlers. At night the great horn resounds to announce the closing of the gates whose hinges creak like the rusted doors within forgotten dungeons. In truth, these districts are the prisons of the destitute! Do you still believe the tale that these walls keep out the foes? They are for you! You are their prisoners! You lie and betray. You defile all who enter your abodes without restraint. And how skilled you are at murdering each other... your ingenuity finds many paths. And the bastard child of your cruelty is torture that causes pain without death, so sweet release may not come to your suffering victims. And you call yourselves the keepers of the virtues? Carry to the grave their legacy!

Originating in this rotten heart, the flood of falsehood flows northward the Greyadder to Cairn Thuath. Is it not blood that surges against the shores of the Galtan Sea, and is the fortress not a butcher whose ramparts reach into the skies as witnesses of incomparable arrogance? To how many who freeze in the cold could the mighty hall offer shelter? O Cirramón, highly vaunted ancestor who on his mighty throne sees, hewn in stone, the ages pass: what do your marble eyes see, o king of emptiness? Sunwardens did you see come and go. And next to them thousands of those damned by their hands. Do you listen with approval to the screams of those who suffocate in the smoke of the fire-wheels they are bound to, burning and choking in the name of the gods? Does no one have pity on the innocent? Is it dissonant to your ears to hear songs of feigned piety at solstice, while elsewhere they scream and scream as the flames consume their living flesh? Fortress of screams! Fortress of bones! Terrible songs of pain resound within your walls. But no pleas soften the hearts of your bloodthirsty knights, who set out on Tuachall’s order to ravage the lands while pennants of virtue stream from the tips of their bloodstained lances. Earl of Glenthearn, I call thee forth to the battlefield of your hypocrisy to submit yourself to the judgment of the slain! Come forth, so your victims may summon a sea of blood poured forth from their wounds to drown Cairn Thuath and your noble line in the consequences of your sins. Carry to the grave the burden that weighs on you!

And also to the west Waystead carries its rotten seed. Towards Bridgewater, which is lovelier in its bloom than silverystar yet just as poisonous, where corrupt collectors take your coin even for crossing the bridges and hang from trees the poor souls who cannot pay, just for the sake of entertainment. Seek they in “The Merry Hangman“ absolvence for their sins at the bottom of a tankard? Or is reflected in the swill that fills their mugs the desperate thrashing of their victims’ limbs? But no, those whose tongues once tasted power over life and death crave to taste again the rush of taking lives, and so they giddily anticipate the next poor fool who cannot pay their extortionate fees! But I ask, when will the fat mayor Henry Fitz dangle from the rope he deserves!? Henry Fitz, who trades women like cattle and commits robbery under the guise of taxes, as long as gold flows into his hands. Who would be surprised to know that these waters, flowing from the west, have their source in Ethuvien, home of the degenerate elven vermin? Just as nightmares are caused by bad food that lies heavy in the stomach, so the land is haunted by the bad waters that flow into it. That is why bad dreams lurk in Fiarach’s dark forests, while restless shadows wander through the ruined castle of Dún Ifrenn.

Even the wilderness is not spared from the depravity. The Drywon of Ynys Dryw isle who call themselves tree-knowers, growing in the forests like wicked weeds. They cavort with vile fey and wild elves, perversions of nature they worship as her protectors. And yet the people are too blind to see their degeneracy for what it is: they harbor love and respect for the Druids and believe in their ungodly lies, worse even than the lies of Cormac’s priests. Their very being violates the rightful order of the world, and yet the elven lies that are Druidic tenets find approval in the ears of men. Like the rivers that run to Bridgewater, originating from elven lands, so the Druids’ enticing words have been told to them by elf and fey. Their little cult flourishes among men, for those who do not participate in the violence and betrayal of the cities instead participate in perverted rituals of faeries. Oh, how great is the humanity of Cormac! Carry to the grave the rotten bark of trees.

Why do you still bow your heads before false prophets and jeweled crowns of gold that have been forged with your sweat and your tears? Recognize your true nature! May the chains break that snake-tongued priests have laid around your limbs and thoughts. Rise, you children of the Inner Flame, so that your Lord may be pleased with you! For he is coming to redeem you. Oh, how he is coming! As a storm, as bolt of thunder, as a dark star. As a falling heaven and beginning of eternity. He shall arrive with fire and with night. His is Hylia’s body, whose wasting rays fashioned your shroud. From burning firmament and thundering clouds will rain down her blood and drench the lands with lust! Then become intoxicated by the setting sun, so you may feel the power of stars in your blood! Celebrate his arrival, you children of the Flame! Celebrate it with relentless destruction! Stride through the wreckage of broken oaths! Reject the bondage of regret! Shatter the idols that enslave you! Give in to your wants and desires! Whatever you crave, seize it! Satisfy all your long-proscribed cravings!

I see a new world rising from the fires of his flesh and with it the armies of the ostracized, who once lived in want like you, but now rejoice in the joyful flames of his kingdom of salvation. Rupture, Argea, for your savior is near! The virtues are dead. Peace be with the gods.

- Pamphlet of the "Cult of the Inner Flame"
In other news, Ceres ran a contest for Halloween to name one of Cormac's fearsome demons. As of today they've narrowed it down to six options, which you can vote on here.

There are 7 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #9: Lore Update #2 - Cormac and the Cult

Tue 30 October 2018

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 30 October 2018, 02:11:50

Tags: Casey Hollingshead; Ceres Games; Realms Beyond: Ashes of the Fallen; Scott Hamm

Realms Beyond will be inching its way towards its funding goal for some time yet, but that hasn't stopped Ceres from announcing another stretch goal. This time it's a pretty great one. If the Kickstarter campaign raises €115,000, Ceres will hire the Codex's own Casey Hollingshead and Age of Decadence writer Scott Hamm to write for the game. Casey and Scott most recently distinguished themselves with their work on Battle Brothers.

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In other news, Ceres have also added a new Digital Deluxe Edition reward tier. For €70, you can get everything from the €55 combat beta tier plus a bunch of digital goodies and an in-game portrait based on your photo. Remember though that two of those digital goodies will be free for everybody if Ceres reach their social media goals.

There are 11 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #7: Writing Team Stretch Goal

Blackthorne needs a kidney


TARGET: $5,000 USD

RAISED: $5,300.74 USD (106%)

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