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Tue 2 June 2020

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 2 June 2020, 20:00:23

Tags: Solasta: Crown of the Magister; Tactical Adventures

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We got a sneak peek at Solasta: Crown of the Magister's character creation during the Kickstarter campaign last year and a more up-to-date glimpse in last month's features trailer. Now Tactical Adventures are ready to give us an extended look in the form of a 24 minute dev diary video narrated by our friend Myzzrym. Notable features of Solasta's character creation include racial languages, a customizable class equipment loadout, and a dynamic personality determined by selecting tags based on the character's alignment and background. You can get a preview of your class abilities at higher levels, select a diety from the setting's pantheon if you're a cleric or paladin, and allocate your stats using oldschool dice rolling or point buy.


Good stuff. It'd be nice if they released an updated version of the demo that includes character creation for the Steam summer festival next week.

There are 11 comments on Solasta: Crown of the Magister Character Creation Dev Diary

Mon 1 June 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 1 June 2020, 23:31:36

Tags: Mitzi Games; Space Cats Tactics

Do you like managing spaceships? Do you like cats? Do you like turn-based tactical combat? Then Space Cats Tactics might be the game for you. In Space Cats Tactics you play as a genetically engineered cat supersoldier-turned-space pirate tasked with smuggling a ship, the Curiousity, to the outer reaches of the galaxy. The game is obviously inspired by FTL, but also features turn-based combat both in space and onboard. The developer is one Alex Nicola, a Guerilla Games UI engineer making indie games in his spare time, and he's been working on it for several years now. We spotted the game when it appeared on Steam last month and it didn't take long for it to hit Kickstarter afterwards. Here's the pitch video:


Alex is looking to raise €10,000 to improve Space Cats Tactics, although it will be released no matter what happens. If you like what you see, you can secure a copy for €18, with beta access at €36 and alpha access at €72. A free demo is available on Steam and on the game's official website. Space Cats Tactics is due out in July 2021.

There are 24 comments on Space Cats Tactics, a game of turn-based space battles, crew management and cats, now on Kickstarter


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Fri 29 May 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 29 May 2020, 22:35:31

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

As you may recall, one of the Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous stretch goals was for a new playable animal race - Kitsune, Catfolk or Ratfolk. Backers would get to decide which one in a post-campaign poll. Well, the time has finally come. The poll is on Owlcat's forums and is open to everybody who has backed the game, including slacker backers. The latest Kickstarter update has the details. I quote:

[​IMG]

Greetings Pathfinders!

When it comes to character creation, there’s no such thing as too many options. We know just how much many of you love the character creation process, and how important it is to make your beloved character in every detail, bring them to life, and fully embody them throughout the whole adventure. So it is only natural that you’ve all been eagerly awaiting the poll to decide the new playable race, which we announced some time ago as one of our Kickstarter campaign stretch goals.

Finally, the time has come to choose your candidate for a new in-game playable race! Who will it be? Catfolk, Kitsune, or maybe Ratfolk? Let the showdown begin!

Starting from now, each backer can participate in the special poll and vote for the new playable race that they think best suits our next game. The slacker backers also get to vote, so if you missed the Kickstarter campaign, you can still participate in the poll if you support us on the backer portal: https://wrath.owlcatgames.com/preorder. The voting will last for a month, until the 30th of June, and take place in a special section of the forum: https://forum.owlcatgames.com/t/pathfinder-wrath-of-the-righteous-vote-for-the-playable-race/20295

Don’t forget, you can always discuss the poll on our Discord server or any other social platform! To encourage a lively debate, we’ve added three new Discord emotes for you—one for each candidate.

Go wild! Let everyone know why your candidate is the best.
Go forth and vote, Codex backers. I'm sure you can figure out which one of those three options is the most Codexian.

There are 37 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #53: New Playable Race Poll


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Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Fri 29 May 2020, 20:25:27

Tags: Brian Fargo; inXile Entertainment; Nathan Long; Wasteland 3

For the third and final episode of inXile's series of Wasteland 3 dev diaries, Brian Fargo and Nathan Long return to talk about the game's choice & consequence. It's a shorter episode than the previous ones and it starts out the way you'd expect - tough moral choices, brutal consequences, every edge case must be anticipated, etc. Will you murder this family to steal their heirloom rifle? According to Nathan, no choice in Wasteland 3 will be "punished", but the consequences will always be apparent. The consequences of your choices will usually be predictable, so if you reach a particularly brutal ending, you made that ending. As before, the episode premiers at IGN:


In other news, Wasteland 3 is the cover story for the latest issue of Game Informer, which means they'll be publishing lots of videos and articles about it on their website over the next month. So far the only thing they've released is a forty minute gameplay video from the backer beta, but there's sure to be more starting from next week.

There are 15 comments on Wasteland 3 Dev Diary #3: Choice & Consequence


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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 29 May 2020, 19:06:56

Tags: Lost Pilgrims Studio; Vagrus - The Riven Realms

Recently, free game demos seem to have been making a resurgence. Often they're released on a temporary basis as part of promotional "digital showfloors", a trend that has been accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. As part of this year's summer sale, GOG have released seven demos of upcoming titles. One of them is for Vagrus - The Riven Realms, the interesting-looking post-apocalyptic fantasy caravan management strategy RPG crowdfunded on Fig last year. Those who backed Vagrus have had access to alpha builds since the beginning, including an open world chapter released last month, but now the general public can check it out.


The Vagrus Prologue is available on GOG for free until June 15th, and will also be available on Steam starting from June 9th.

There are 6 comments on Vagrus - The Riven Realms Prologue demo available until June 15th

People News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 29 May 2020, 02:23:24

Tags: Arnold Hendrick

According to a post by veteran MicroProse artist Matt Scibilia in a Facebook group for former employees, Darklands creator Arnold Hendrick passed away this Monday on May 25th. Apparently he'd been struggling with terminal cancer for some time. He was 69 years old and is survived by his wife and family.

[​IMG]
Arnold Hendrick, 1950-2020
Crooked Bee interviewed Arnold Hendrick back in 2012, with a little help from Obsidian's Josh Sawyer, who is a huge fan of Darklands. He was also a guest on Matt Barton's show back in 2010. More recently, we'd enjoyed following Arnold's various musings in Darklands' Steam discussion forum and had been wondering where he'd disappeared to recently. While it's unlikely that his passing will be noted by many outside hardcore RPG communities such as ours, the legacy of Darklands may yet live on.

There are 40 comments on Darklands creator Arnold Hendrick has passed away

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 29 May 2020, 00:04:23

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

You might recall that the Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous alpha test was supposed to have run for only three weeks. It's now been a month since it was released and it hasn't gone anywhere. Today Owlcat announced that they've decided to extend the current alpha's duration by at least two months, after which it'll be replaced by a new version with more content, meaning it's been extended pretty much indefinitely.

Dear Pathfinders!

We’re all so excited for the release of Wrath of the Righteous, it’s no wonder that so many of you decided to participate in the alpha test, to be among the first crusaders to experience the new game. Thanks to your help, we’re getting a ton of invaluable feedback: we have already planned some changes for the game using the information we got from you, and we’ll be posting a separate update about that soon. But today we have another piece of great news that we want to share with you!

Our alpha testers have been asking us to make the testing period longer so they can play a little bit more. We also know that there are still some people who would like to participate in the alpha, even though the test is about to end. Well, we’ve heard you! So we’ve decided to extend the alpha test – the current version will be available on Steam for the next two months at least.

We will soon stop collecting feedback for the current alpha version, but all the alpha testers and those who decide to jump into the Alpha Early Access now can still play the available version and take part in the second stage of testing, which will take place by the end of the summer. The next alpha version will contain some new content and we will be happy to hear your thoughts on it through a new series of surveys.

The crusade goes on!​

Good news for Codex backers who got their keys late. The update also includes a nice shoutout to Knights of the Chalice 2.

There are 1 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #52: Alpha Test Extended

Thu 28 May 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 28 May 2020, 23:25:10

Tags: Arkane Studios; Arx Fatalis; Bethesda Softworks

Today is the 20th anniversary of immersive sim developer Arkane Studios. Bethesda have decided to mark the occasion by setting up an "Arkane 20" site where fans can sign up and get a free copy of the studio's first title, the 2002 Ultima Underworld homage Arx Fatalis, on the Bethesda.net store. It's clearly an attempt at doing some community building ahead of the imminent reveal of Arkane's next game Deathloop, but free stuff is always nice. The game has been updated on Steam and GOG as well, so you can play on Windows 10 now without having to use the Arx Libertatis source port. They even made a trailer:


Bethesda have published an article about Arx Fatalis' legacy on their website, and there are also some details about the game in Noclip's new documentary about Arkane. Did you know that Dark Messiah could have been Arx Fatalis 2 if Bethesda had published it instead of Ubisoft? Those were different times.

There are 23 comments on Arx Fatalis updated for Arkane Studios 20th anniversary, free giveaway on Bethesda.net

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 28 May 2020, 18:53:20

Tags: Sleepy Sentry; Slitherine; Stirring Abyss

Stirring Abyss is an upcoming Lovecraft-inspired tactical RPG by Finnish indie studio Sleepy Sentry, where you take charge of the crew of a submarine who have found themselves stranded at the bottom of the ocean among the ruins of a forgotten civilization. The game was first announced way back in 2016, but we only spotted it at the end of 2018 shortly after the failure of its crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. Despite this setback the developers decided to press on, and yesterday it was revealed that they'd won the support of venerable strategy game publisher Slitherine, who will be publishing Stirring Abyss as part of their new K-Project indie label. Here's their press release along with a couple of trailers. Note that the gameplay trailer is from 2018, so it might out be out of date.



Epsom, 26th May 2020. Slitherine and Sleepy Sentry, an indie game development studio based in Turku, Finland, are proud to announce Stirring Abyss.

Stirring Abyss is the second indie title to be published under the newly launched K-Project label. A tactical squad-based game with strong RPG elements and a Lovecraftian narrative, Stirring Abyss plunges players into the deep end as they take charge of the surviving crew of the USS Salem, a submarine struck by disaster whilst on a top-secret research mission in the early years of the Cold War. They find themselves surrounded by the ruins of a forgotten civilization, their badly damaged vessel lying stranded at the bottom of the ocean.

Stirring Abyss proves how different and innovative a strategy game can be,” says Marco Minoli, Marketing Director at Slitherine. “K-Project was created for this purpose: we look at different angles for the genre and different approaches to a sometimes tired niche. Good ideas often come from small, bold studios that are willing to experiment and we are here to fully support this.

Stirring Abyss is a weird and scary beast. It stays true to the Lovecraftian tradition of merging strange creatures and situations with a fearful yet immersive atmosphere; while investigating the uncharted seabed, horror comes from the depths of the human mind as much as from the depths of the ocean.

The developers are creating an experience that, unlike other horror games, doesn’t rely on jump scares or unexpected loud sounds to give you chills. Instead, Stirring Abyss takes inspiration from classic board games and traditional RPGs, translating madness and exhaustion into game mechanics, as well as the inevitable fascination for the horrifying, forgotten creatures of the abyss, allowing the weird, disturbing atmosphere to seep into every aspect of play.

Taking inspiration from the short story The Temple by H.P. Lovecraft, in which a German submarine gets lost underwater during the First World War, in Stirring Abyss you follow the horrifying destiny of the members of the USS Salem’s crew, as they suffer from disturbing nightmares and hallucinations after the discovery of an ancient, cursed relic. In Story Mode, you slowly unravel the mysteries of the depths in a desperate quest to rescue your missing crewmembers and fix the crippled Salem. The choices you make determine the fate of your crew – and that of the entire world.

Every expedition lives or dies by the strength of its crew. You have a diverse array of character traits and skills at your disposal, each opening exciting new options for both combat and story events. As you delve ever deeper, you may also subject your crew to powerful but grisly mutations; the price of survival is high, and no one escapes the abyss unchanged.

The horrors of the void hiding in the deep waters can become too much to bear, and your crew may experience episodes of exhaustion and insanity. Will their psyche get stronger, or will it be forever damaged? Only a game of dice with Fate itself will determine the outcome.

Salvaged resources can be turned into weapons, armor, or other useful supplies – or used to repair and upgrade the Salem, giving your crew a crucial edge in the fight for survival. The more you explore the abyss during the missions, the more chance you have of finding lost treasures of the deep.

The hauntingly beautiful environment holds many secrets and mysteries to explore, but danger lurks just outside the feeble circles of light you can bring with you. Be wise, and use your skills to scout the black waters and light up the path: unseen terrors may be hiding just out of sight.

Endless Mode pits your crew in a roguelike battle against a never-ending army of enemies that will grow stronger and stronger as you progress. It is the ultimate test of strategic ability as you not only decide how to improve your own squad, but also pick your poison and choose which powers your foes will gain.
Slitherine have decided to call Stirring Abyss a "tactical squad-based game with strong RPG elements" rather than a straight RPG, but that didn't stop PC Gamer from describing the game as a strategy-RPG in their short preview, not to mention the developers on their Twitter account. Since we missed it the first time, I don't mind giving it a shoutout. According to its Steam page, Stirring Abyss is "coming soon", presumably this year.

There are 28 comments on Stirring Abyss is an upcoming Lovecraftian tactical RPG set at the bottom of the ocean

Tue 26 May 2020

Game News - posted by VentilatorOfDoom on Tue 26 May 2020, 14:44:27

Tags: Heroic Fantasy Games; Knights of the Chalice 2

It's been 11 years since the release of Knights of the Chalice. Now the Knights of the Chalice 2 Kickstarter is finally live and will run until July 2nd.

Greetings to you, worthy friends! KotC 2 is the brilliant offspring of acclaimed computer role-playing game Knights of the Chalice (now available on Steam). The new game is intended to recreate the best aspects of past 2D D&D computer RPGs such as Baldur's Gate 2, Temple of Elemental Evil, Dark Sun Shattered Lands, Champions of Krynn and Planescape: Torment.

KotC 2 uses the OGL 3.5, the ruleset at the root of tabletop RPG Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. D&D 3.5 is well known for its tactical depth and the wealth of its character classes, feats and spells. KotC 2 expands the library of races, classes, feats, skills and spells in order to be even more Devious & Deadly than D&D!​

I don't have a credit card and there seems to be no paypal option, so I will hop on the Codex fundraiser bandwagon as soon as DarkUnderlord puts that up.

There are 109 comments on Knights of the Chalice 2 Kickstarter live

Sat 23 May 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 23 May 2020, 00:50:10

Tags: Owlcat Games; Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous

Today's Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter update is a lore update about Queen Galfrey, the perpetually youthful ruler of Mendev. Owlcat have chosen to introduce the queen in a rather unique way, in the form of an anachronistic press interview. I suspect it offers a glimpse at the motivations behind some of the political intrigues players might become involved with over the course of the game.

Greetings, Your Highness! Thank you for agreeing to this interview.

Greetings to you and your readers. I don't usually have time to converse with bards, chroniclers, or the press, but if this interview attracts even a handful of new recruits to the ranks of the crusaders, then it is my pleasure.

Today you are famed throughout Golarion as one of the leading lights of the church of Iomedae. Many people call you "the Sword of Iomedae." However, some of our readers will be unaware that you started out as a paladin of another deity, Aroden, who was taken from us, to the profound sadness of all his faithful.

That is correct. Sometimes even I am surprised by how young the church of Iomedae is. And by how long we have been without Aroden. The beginning of the last century was a difficult time for me. I had lost my father and my god, I was crowned queen, and then the gates to the plane of chaos burst open right on the borders of my kingdom. Iomedae took up her heavenly post at that time, shouldering the heavy burden of protecting all mortalkind as Aroden did before her. My faith in Iomedae was my salvation. If you will permit me to wax poetic, finding my faith in Iomedae was like drowning in a raging sea and suddenly finding granite beneath my feet, raising me up. That’s what my faith in Iomedae means to me.

That leads us to our next question. You are more than one hundred years old, Your Highness. There are few substances on Golarion capable of extending the natural lifespan of any given race. It is assumed that you use one of these substances to prolong your life: the extremely costly and extremely rare sun orchid elixir.

I make no secret of it. The decision was taken by the church of Iomedae. You can ask the leaders of the church for further comment if you wish to know more about the reasons behind the decision. But the long and short of it is that the church feared the disorder that a change in leadership would bring while Mendev was embroiled in a war against the demons. For myself personally, this forced longevity is not a boon, it is a necessity, one that is bound up with my duties as the leader of the crusade.

Your Highness, our next question may seem provocative, but we would be remiss not to ask it. Many of your political opponents see your prolonged life as a power play. Some even go so far as to claim that you are exploiting the situation with the demon invasion to hold onto the throne of Mendev, your youth, and control over the flow of money funding the crusades from wealthy supporters.

My "political opponents" clearly have a low opinion of both my moral rectitude and my intelligence. Amassing power in a country that at any moment could be wiped off the face of Golarion by hordes of demons from the Abyss? I would rightly call a fool anyone who came up with such a scheme. And I say "fool" rather than use more strident language that is beneath the dignity of a monarch.

That is not an outright denial, Your Highness.

You would prefer a more direct answer? Then, of course, I deny it. I am not selfishly holding on to the reins of power, I am not treating the crusade coffers as my own personal bank, and I have no intention of living forever. Whoever is making these wild claims clearly has no understanding of the concept of duty. I, however, do. I have a sacred duty to my people, to my goddess, and to all Golarion.

The other argument that is often put forth in these debates is that Mendev is hosting too many foreign fighters. Volunteers flock here from all across Golarion to fight in the crusade. Crusaders do not answer to the government of Mendev, but to you personally, as the figurehead of the crusade movement and the leader of the paladins of Iomedae.

I must correct you on that point—the troops fighting in the crusade do not all answer to me directly. Far from it, in fact. For instance, the Hellknights are wholly independent and act as an allied force. I merely coordinate the actions of all the crusade troops.

And yet you still wield considerable influence over this massive military force.

Remind me to make your newspaper office my first target when I reveal my true visage and declare myself the tyrannical eternal queen of the entire continent. But that moment has not yet arrived, alas. Until then, I must continue battling the unending hordes of the Abyss. And thank Heaven that across all Golarion there are brave souls who are willing to leave hearth and home to defend our world.

It must take a special kind of person to do that.

Yes. Indeed it does.
As Owlcat would say, hail to the queens.

There are 11 comments on Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Kickstarter Update #51: Interview with the Queen

Fri 22 May 2020

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Fri 22 May 2020, 23:58:07

Tags: Brian Fargo; inXile Entertainment; Nathan Long; Wasteland 3

The second episode of inXile's new series of Wasteland 3 dev diaries, again premiering at IGN, is about the game's characters, factions and narrative. It's presented by Brian Fargo himself along with Nathan Long, who it seems has once again found himself the last man standing after the departure of all the other major writers. Together they introduce some of the setting's major players, including the Reagan-worshipping Gippers and their leader Mother Nancy Reliance, who control Colorado's oil supply, and the amiably corrupt Sergeant Kwon, the party's liaison with the Patriarch's police force. Brian Fargo's favorite character however is the psychotic Victory Buchanan, who we met in the Wasteland 3 backer alpha. The Patriarch's equally bloodthirsty daughter Liberty Buchanan makes an appearance in the video as well.


According to Nathan, Wasteland 3's narrative should feel more cohesive and less episodic compared to that of its predecessor. While in Wasteland 2 you discovered the conflict over the course of the game, in Wasteland 3 the premise is presented to you from the outset, but you won't necessarily know which side to believe. Naturally, reactivity is still a major focus, including multiple endings similar to those in Wasteland 2. Brian says the reactivity will be better telegraphed and reinforced in Wasteland 3, so that players feel like the world is always watching (something that George Ziets also talked about last year). In summary, it sounds promising.

There are 19 comments on Wasteland 3 Dev Diary #2: The World, Story & Characters

Thu 21 May 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 21 May 2020, 20:12:29

Tags: Team ADOM; Thomas Biskup; Ultimate ADOM: Caverns of Chaos

Classical roguelikes aren't our main focus on this website, so after ADOM was released on Steam back in late 2015 I didn't pay much attention to it. Obviously the game continued to be updated, and it was eventually released on GOG in late 2018. Last year creator Thomas Biskup even crowdfunded an ADOM tabletop RPG on Kickstarter. However, for the past few years his team's main project has been Ultimate ADOM: Caverns of Chaos. Originally announced in late 2017, Ultimate ADOM is actually a sequel of sorts set after the defeat of the original game's villain, superseding Biskup's abandoned ADOM II/JADE project. The game is just a dungeon crawler this time without ADOM's open world, but it's got a heavy focus on factions. It's based on the Unity engine and has an optional isometric graphical mode. So why am I telling you this now? Because the game appeared on Steam yesterday. Here's its teaser trailer:



The Story so Far

Evil has been vanquished. Peace has returned to Ancardia, and the peasants dare to dream once more of prosperity. Seven very different factions vie for control over the cataclysmic aftermath left behind by Andor Drakon’s defeat. And somewhere, deep down in an inhospitable cave, ChAoS is stirring again.

Pick up your blade, prepare your spells, check your daggers and ready your bow, for you are about to enter the ominous Caverns of Chaos. Choose your allegiance carefully, for you are nothing more than an expendable asset to the masters you choose.

Fight for a mercenary's glory and purse, for the justice of a folk in decline, for the light of purity or even for ChAoS itself. Every choice you make will determine how you approach the ever-changing Caverns of Chaos before you.

Features and Gameplay

  • Ultimate ADOM is a modern reimagining of traditional rogue-like dungeon-crawling.
  • Endless procedurally generated dungeons, countless monsters, items and a grand selection of very different skills allow for unlimited replayability
  • Intuitive control system will get rid of the need to memorize hundreds of keys. Though you can still do so, if you're into that. We are not judging.
  • Your chosen class, gender, race and allegiance will change the way the game challenges you. NPCs will react differently, new quests will be open to you and the world may change completely based on your performance.
  • A deep magic system with several unique schools of magic and dozens of spells per school. Flaming auras that damage nearby enemies, cold snaps that freeze rivers, animating the very walls of the dungeon to aid you - everything is possible.
  • A stealth system introduces a totally new way of playing the game: Instead of hacking or blasting all opposition to pieces you now can sneak past adversaries and avoid conflict by silently sneaking out of deadly situations.
  • Interactive items! Topple braziers to spill their burning oil on unsuspecting enemies. Push coffins to block passage ways, or smash them in hopes of loot. Lock doors, smash them, open them or turn them into wooden golems to (hopefully) serve your bidding.
  • Turn yourself into an abomination and graft your enemies’ body parts on yourself. They won’t need them any more, and what is better than wielding two swords? Two swords and an axe to harvest more bodyparts than ever before.
  • Choose or toggle between graphic mode and traditional ASCII at any time. Toggle between 3d mode and top down view, in ASCII or in the graphic mode. Toggle everything you wish, we probably have a game mode just for you.
  • “Play the way you want” – countless options of how to tackle the dungeons awaiting you. Befriend or tame creatures, slay monsters, delve deeper or keep exploring and expanding the cavern levels you have already found. Set traps and smash doors, or unlock them with the keys you found. Push coffins and other objects!
Ultimate ADOM will apparently be out on Steam "later in 2020". If you'd like to know more, there's a ton of information on the game's official website, where you can also sign up for the closed alpha.

There are 23 comments on Ultimate ADOM: Caverns of Chaos is coming to Steam later this year

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 21 May 2020, 00:47:28

Tags: OtherSide Entertainment; System Shock 3; Tencent

OtherSide Entertainment released a System Shock 3 pre-alpha gameplay teaser back in September. It was a last ditch attempt at finding a publisher for the game, which predictably failed. Over the next couple of months we began spotting numerous laid off employees on LinkedIn, and in December an anonymous former developer confirmed on our forums that OtherSide Austin no longer existed. OtherSide's Boston studio still survives somehow working on god knows what, but we all thought System Shock 3 was dead and buried. Then last week LESS T_T noticed that OtherSide's systemshock3.com domain had been quietly transferred to Chinese conglomerate Tencent a month earlier (and for good measure systemshock4.com as well). After several articles in the mainstream press were published about it earlier this week, today OtherSide confirmed somewhat vaguely that System Shock 3 had indeed been picked up by Tencent.

We are happy to announce that Tencent will be taking the System Shock franchise forward. As a smaller Indie studio, it had been challenging for us to carry the project on our own. We believe Tencent’s deep capabilities and expertise as a leading game company will bring the franchise to new heights.
Some outlets interpreted this as an announcement that Tencent had acquired the entire System Shock franchise, but current IP owners Nightdive Studios were quick to shoot that down in a statement to PC Gamer.

While the tweet implies that Tencent now owns System Shock, Nightdive Studios, which is currently working on a System Shock remake, clarified that it remains the owner of the property.

"OtherSide licensed certain rights from us to make sequels. Those rights have now been transferred to Tencent," a rep said. "Nothing about that transfer in any way impacts our ownership."​

What's clear in my opinion is that this is not a standard publishing deal announcement. OtherSide sound like they've passed System Shock 3 on to a new owner, not like they're about to work on it themselves. My guess is that Tencent intend to find or form a new studio to develop a System Shock sequel, perhaps with Warren Spector onboard to oversee development. Indeed, there were rumors to that effect last month. We shall see.

There are 59 comments on System Shock 3 has been acquired by Tencent

Wed 20 May 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 20 May 2020, 20:07:31

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

SKALD: Against the Black Priory is undoubtedly among the coolest of the various retro Ultima-likes in development these days. One of its many good qualities is that developer Anders Lauridsen knows how to stick to a schedule. He released the backer alpha a month after the game was Kickstarted last summer and it continued to be updated throughout 2019. A development update published last month announced that the game was now effectively in closed beta, with a final release planned for September. Today, that beta build was made available to backers.

[​IMG] [​IMG]

Hello everyone!

The time is finally here: I happy to announce that the first tiny piece of the Beta build is finally up!

It's short and sweet and consists of the games prologue. It should take about 15-20 minutes to play through and you can consider it an interactive trailer of sorts . It also should give you a pretty good idea of where the game is going.

How do I get it?
Easy: Just use the itch.io link you got for the Alpha demo. It should take you right to the game's Itch page and there you should find the Beta build easy as pie. If you've lost your link, get in touch with me and I'll hook you up.

The Next Step

Beta 1.0.0 is for all backers and a handful of friends of the community. As beta-development proceeds, backers of KNIGHT-tier and higher will get a brand new key so they can follow the closed beta development.

Feedback and reaching out

By far, my preferred way of getting feedback in the demo is via the Discord-channel. We have sub-channels set up for that express purpose and keeping things in one place makes it a lot easier for me to review.

Beyond that you can always reach me at contact(at)skaldrpg.com or on twitter.

Hope you all enjoy the demo!
Back in November, Anders launched an Indiegogo InDemand campaign for SKALD, allowing him to continue accepting pledges indefinitely. So if you weren't a Kickstarter backer and want to get in on the beta, it's not too late.

There are 6 comments on SKALD: Against the Black Priory now in beta, coming September

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 20 May 2020, 00:53:43

Tags: Externus: Path of the Solari; Winterborn

Way back in January 2019, it was reported that a group of former Infinity Ward developers had formed an indie studio called Winterborn for the purpose of developing a tactical RPG based on the studio head's homebrew tabletop setting. What kind of RPG would a bunch of ex-Call of Duty guys create? The answer it turns out is a cartoony turn-based tactical RPG inspired by Japanese SRPGs and featuring CYOA sequences. Its title is Externus: Path of the Solari and it was announced last month, properly revealed last week, and today it's on Kickstarter. The full reveal trailer is also the pitch video:



Externus: Path of the Solari is a character-driven tactical roleplaying game (RPG) adapted from an original tabletop game. We take inspiration from classic tactical RPGs like Fire Emblem, Final Fantasy Tactics, and Shining Force along with modern game development to craft our own story and give you characters that matter. Our approach is designed to allow you to get to know the characters in your party along with strategic combat in full 3D battlefields.

Features
  • Strategic Turn-Based Tactical Combat
  • Full 3D Battlefields
  • Character-Driven Story
  • Storybook Choose Your Own Adventure Sequences
  • Death Matters, Each Ally You Lose Will Change Your Story
  • Unique Full-Color Artstyle
  • Based On An Original Tabletop RPG
Externus is a storybook brought to life and your actions on and off the battlefield can change the pages as they're presented. You should think about the risks and rewards of bringing certain characters and using their specialized abilities. Your actions and choices matter. This goes back to our tabletop roots of wanting to tell a collective story that changes based on the players around the table. We encourage party interaction through our campfire scenes and storybook sequences that pay homage to the original tabletop game. Think about the world in terms of Fate. Death will be permanent in Externus, how will you react? Let the story play out and see how a character's death affects those who knew them both in positive and negative ways. Maybe it'll even send a ripple effect out into the world!

We are a group of passionate game developers with over 11 years of experience in making games. We're building Externus using our custom BroadSword Engine built on the MonoGame Framework.
Winterborn aim to raise $50,000 and their plan is to release Externus next summer in June 2021. A basic copy of the game is available for $18 for the first week of the campaign, with beta access available at $30. There's also a free pre-alpha demo you can check out at their itch.io site.

There are 26 comments on Externus: Path of the Solari is a tactical RPG from ex-Infinity Ward devs, now on Kickstarter

Tue 19 May 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 19 May 2020, 23:39:14

Tags: Animmal; The Way of Wrath

The unique shamanistic turn-based tactical RPG The Way of Wrath has become one of my more anticipated upcoming indie titles, so this is news that I probably should have posted about sooner. The developers at Animmal have planned from the beginning to launch the game on Early Access, but they're not sure when. In order to reach an informed decision they plan to run a closed beta first, which they've been taking signups for on their website since March. Besides that, they've continued to release all sorts of videos on their YouTube channel, the most significant of which is this brief gameplay footage from last month.


According to Animmal's most recent developer diary, the beta keys will start going out at the end of this month. It sounds like they also plan to temporarily make it available on Steam later on in June. After that there will be the Early Access proper, and then possibly a Kickstarter, though they aren't entirely sure about that part yet. It all starts from the beta though, so head on over to their website and sign up.

There are 1 comments on Sign up for the The Way of Wrath beta

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 19 May 2020, 01:42:23

Tags: Mathieu Girard; Solasta: Crown of the Magister; Tactical Adventures

Since the conclusion of the Solasta: Crown of the Magister Kickstarter campaign back in October, developer Tactical Adventures have continued to publish development updates and community polls on a weekly basis. These have generally been too incremental in nature to post here. Today however Solasta reached a major milestone with the release of a new features trailer that showcases the current state of the game, including character creation, exploration and combat.


Apparently, Tactical Adventures recently gave members of the press a more in-depth look at the build this trailer is based on. Only a few websites (Gamereactor, Screen Rant, Tech-Gaming) have come out with previews, but they're all thrilled with what they saw. Here's an excerpt from Gamereactor's preview:

Once you have assembled your party of four, it's time to start the game up, at which point you will be greeted by a cutscene. This is where Solasta's stories will be told, through fully voiced dialogue, with each character determined by you just prior. A high elf scholar will, for example, speak formally, with grace and confidence.

As each of the four tells their separate stories between chugs of ale, each character will take you through a specific tutorial section. For example, we were shown how to sneak out of prison as the team cleric and while escaping, we also got to see how Solasta utilises verticality and, quite honestly, we were blown away. The game doesn't just let you climb ladders, you'll get to actually traverse as if you were playing an exploration-based platformer but with a classic isometric RPG control scheme. Manipulate your environments, jump across gaps, crawl through holes in the walls, climb foliage - you can essentially do anything, truly. When we tell you that you can manipulate your environments we don't just mean that you can press a button or move a rock. You can destroy entire bridges if you wish to.

The next tutorial we got to see showed off basic combat mechanics (with some cool twists added). In the tutorial scenario, our dwarven fighter was to cross a bridge over a beautiful flowing river (but oh lord, our hero was a bit too high up) but wolves were both on his heels and blocking his path on the other side. The scenario revealed some classic RPG mechanics such as attacks of opportunity (i.e. attacking automatically when an enemy gets too close) and being able to see the turns of each character in the battle at the top of the screen (this is, of course, a tactical advantage).

A cool mechanic that was perfect to show during this tutorial stage was 'shove', a simple move to push enemies back. In this case, however, that shove threw the targeted wolf all the way down into the abyss below. As with all other moves, you won't succeed in everything you do since it's an initiative-based game. As the fighter finally reached the other side of the bridge, the wolves were still following him, prompting our hero to interact with a large rock standing on an elevation and pushing it off and onto the stone foundation of the bridge, causing it to collapse (which was oh so satisfying). Later on during the demo, we learned that the combat also offers plenty of vertical manoeuvres, not just linked to climbing or standing on various elevations but also levitation and flying, which is then cause for deeper strategic thinking. A thing to note, however, is the fact that you won't be controlling a singular character; you created your dynamic quartet and they're your responsibility now, but don't worry, if you learn how to combine their strengths, the characters will synergise perfectly, which is precisely what you want. Keep track of status effects (i.e. buffs and debuffs) and approach your enemies with tactics in mind and you'll do just fine - we hope.

Apart from this, light is a huge focus in Solasta, both in and out of combat as the game features a dynamic day/night cycle. Lighting, no matter if it's natural or conjured, has an impact on what you and your enemies can see, changing gameplay depending on what time of day you reach an area. The lighting doesn't just seem like an interesting and surprisingly deep aspect, it also brings exceptional beauty to the stark and stunning environments, of which there are many (get ready as it looks like we're going to get to explore a massive world in Solasta). In relation to the dynamic day/night cycle, players also need to make sure to rest and eat every 24 hours to keep their team at their best.

For us, Solasta: Crown of the Magister came out of the leftfield and from knowing very little to having seen the game in action, we're truly excited to see where Tactical Adventures takes things. From the intricacy of the real-time dice roll and the in-depth character creation through to the beautiful and manipulatable environments and the consequential use of light, we were hooked straight away. If what's to come continues to build on what we've just seen, we're sure that this is going to be one to watch as it gets closer to a full release.​

The game looks awesome. Hopefully we'll get to see more of this build ourselves.

There are 19 comments on Solasta: Crown of the Magister Features Trailer and Previews

Sun 17 May 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 17 May 2020, 00:58:22

Tags: Stygian Software; Underrail; Underrail: Infusion

You might recall that in addition to the upcoming Underrail: Infusion standalone expansion, Styg has also been working on a content update for the original game. In the latest dev log, he reveals that the update will be oriented towards water areas and confirms that it will feature mechanical changes to psi. As for Infusion, there's nothing in the dev log about the expansion itself, but the updated engine it will use now has support for fancy particle effects. That'll make it easier for Styg to implement new abilities and allow the team create more visually appealing environments.

[​IMG] [​IMG]

Hi guys,

We're slowly wrapping up the work on the next content update for Underrail. This one is going to be mostly oriented towards the water areas in terms of content, and, as hinted before, will also feature mechanical changes to psi. It's coming soon™ and I don't really have anything more to say about it until it arrives, so instead I'll show you something cool that we've made for Infusion.

We're developing a particle system for the updated engine that will allow us to quickly make nice looking and varied effects. Besides being an upgrade to the previous system visually, the more important aspect of it is that it will allow me to more easily add new psi, special, and item abilities, because now I can quickly make effects for those, which was the most tasking part of the process. Also, the level designers will be able to use the new system to further customize the areas and really bring the environment to life.

Speaking of which, we now have an additional team member working full time on level and quest design, as well as writing, so we're going to be able to produce more content faster in the future. We're planning on at least one more major content update after this one, but, of course, at some point we're going to have to focus more on Infusion.

Let us know how you like new visuals.

Cheers.
Fantastic. I guess that content update might be more like an update for the Expedition expansion in practice.

There are 23 comments on Underrail Dev Log #66: Shiny Particles

Fri 15 May 2020

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 15 May 2020, 23:58:58

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

As promised, the long-awaited Realms Beyond combat beta has been released to eligible backers. Players will get to assemble a party and can expect to face some tough battles in the Halls of Challenge, made tougher by the fact that savegame functionality hasn't been implemented yet. Here's the announcement:

Fellow Adventurers!

The long-awaited combat beta of Realms Beyond has been finally released to backers whose reward tier includes combat beta access. Assemble your party and enter the Halls of Challenge to brave tough fights that will put all your skills to the test!

The purpose of the combat beta is to provide feedback and bug reports to us, so if you are among those with access to it, we ask you to report any issues to us. The easiest way to do so is in our official Discord server, where we have opened a dedicated combat beta channel. You can also use our official forums at realms-beyond.com (account registration required). You can also write to support[at]ceres-games.com.

While the combat beta is not available to the public, there is no NDA on it. You can take screenshots, talk about your experience on forums and social media, or even record yourself playing it on YouTube or Twitch.

Since this is essentially a closed beta, please keep in mind that there are still bugs to be ironed out, balance is not perfect, and some features are missing. We will deal with those issues as we receive your reports. As of now, we have not yet implemented a savegame feature. If you want to speed up animations in combat, hold down <SPACE>. If you have any questions - or suggestions - feel free to contact us about them.

Happy playing, and may you survive the trials of the Halls of Challenge!
The combat beta is exclusive to original Kickstarter backers and is not available on the Realms Beyond preorder site. By my count, only 231 people pledged enough money to get it. Let's hope some of them upload videos to YouTube.

There are 12 comments on Realms Beyond Kickstarter Update #24: Combat Beta Released

Pierre Begue wants money for his sequel.


TARGET: $5,000 USD

RAISED: $1,074.05 USD (21%)

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