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Community - posted by DarkUnderlord on Sun 26 June 2022, 16:07:20

Tags: rpgcodex

Right, we're now running XenForo 2.0. Why? Because progress, that's why. Also using old deprecated software is bad.

There are still some tweaks and mostly minor features to bring back online (like there always have been in some cases) but core functionality appears to be up and working.

The front page is up, and we can post content again. We're aware there are some issues with updating forum indexes with the latest post, and alerting users to new posts in the news forum. Rest assured this is our top priority and we'll get right on that.

Thanks to @Twiglard for his work on the forum theme. Hopefully most of the bitching has been resolved now. And special thanks for his efforts on the back-end with code support.

There are 89 comments on Thank you for your patience during our down-time

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Tue 14 June 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 14 June 2022, 23:00:00

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

It took much longer to finalize than Vault Dweller and his team originally planned, but following an extended beta testing period, the Habitat update for the Colony Ship Early Access build is finally here. In case you've forgotten, the Habitat is a vast urban arcology where most of the ship's inhabitants live, including its three major factions. With this update, the game's second chapter is now complete and available to play. Altogether about 60% of its final content is now done. The update announcement has more details:

After a three-month delay, the Habitat is finally ready to be released. It's an important milestone that adds one of the most important and biggest locations to the game and marks the end of chapter 2. As of right now, 60% of the content is done.​
In the Habitat you finally get to meet the three main factions (the Brotherhood of Liberty, Church of the Elect, and Protectors of the Mission) and see what they're all about, meet the faction party members who'll join one once you're ready to proceed to the ECLSS, and learn more about the machine you found in the Armory. Unlike the Pit, the Habitat is more about diplomacy (read scheming and plotting) and setting up the playing board for future branching.​
While the current stage's content is done (you'll return to the Habitat once you're ready to deliver the machine, which will unlock new quests), we'll continue improving the visuals, adding minor conversations and expanding the existing ones throughout the development, so it will be an ongoing project. Anything you wish to see there (I assume you know by now what we can and cannot do), let us know.​
The delay forced us to re-evaluate the remaining workload and update the 'roadmap':​
End of Jul - ECLSS and the maintenance deck​
End of Oct - The Pit (chapter 3 content)​
End of Dec - Heart (the mutant town)​
End of Feb - Hydroponics (Yellow and Red Zones), Mission Control (lower levels)​
End of Apr - The Armory (level 3), Bridge and the end of chapter 3, all locations are done.​
End of Jun - Endgame (chapter 4)​
It's a safe schedule that gives plenty of time to each item. The only new locations on the list are the ECLSS, the mutant town (smaller than the Pit), and the Bridge. The other locations will be using the existing assets (and already animated creatures).​
We apologize for the delay, of the Habitat and the final release. We did our best and worked non-stop since Christmas. We hope you'll like the end result and look forward to your feedback.​

As stated, because of the unexpected delay the game's entire development roadmap has been pushed back. The final launch date is now scheduled for June 2023.

There are 8 comments on Colony Ship Early Access Update: New Location - The Habitat

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Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Tue 14 June 2022, 22:00:00

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Josh Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pentiment; Pete Hines; Starfield

After Sunday's Starfield and Pentiment reveals, it looks like there aren't going to be any further RPG announcements of significance this summer. However, we did get to hear a bit more about those two titles during today's Xbox Games Showcase Extended, where Microsoft shoves various additional features that were left out of the main event. They brought in Pete Hines to talk more about Starfield and about what make a Bethesda RPG more generally. The general gist of it is: See that planet? You can fly to it with your customizable spaceship. Later on, they unveiled a three minute Pentiment dev diary video featuring Josh Sawyer and artist Hannah Kennedy, who spoke about the game's premise and visual style.

Barring any surprises, that's probably it for this summer's gaming festivities. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

There are 10 comments on Microsoft Extended Showcase 2022: Starfield and Pentiment

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Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 14 June 2022, 21:00:00

Tags: Croteam; Room-C Games; The Hand of Merlin; Versus Evil

After five years of development including over a year in Early Access, Room-C Games' The Hand of Merlin was released today. Despite its availability, it's been hard to get a Codex consensus on this one. As the latest in a recent wave of "weird Arthurian" tactical RPGs that also includes titles such as Sword Legacy: Omen, Tainted Grail: Conquest and the well-received King Arthur: Knight's Tale, the game is likely to be overlooked. But it's turn-based and isometric, so the Codex will do its part. You've already seen the launch trailer, so I'll just quote publisher Versus Evil's press release:

Denver, CO – June 14th, 2022 - Independent developer Room C Games in co-production with Croteam and in partnership with indie publisher Versus Evil are excited to announce that their rogue-lite RPG game The Hand of Merlin has left Steam Early Access today on PC, and is available to play on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. The console versions launch with all eight major updates from the PC version included.​
The Hand of Merlin is a turn-based rogue-lite RPG in which Arthurian legend clashes with dark and foreboding sci-fi horror. This unusual merging of genres introduces a wholly unique sci fi element to its storytelling. Utilizing both squad-based and turn-based combat, players can employ tactical cunning to use cover, set up ambushes and coordinate attacks with ranged, melee and spellcasting combat to conquer both human and unworldly abhorrent creatures and other enemy characters they encounter on their quest.​
The Hand of Merlin will take players on a journey from Albion to Jerusalem to explore richly-imagined medieval lands on the brink of apocalypse - assaulted by an otherworldly evil from a story crafted by Jonas Kyratzes (The Talos Principle, Serious Sam 4) and Verena Kyratzes (The Lands of Dream, Serious Sam 4).​
The Hand of Merlin is a game where choices are permanent depending on the decisions players make as they carve a path across the lands of Albion, Marca Hispanica and al-Andalus. Adventurers will also need to find a keen balance as they weigh the risk and reward for the paths they choose.​
What players take with them on this journey will be essential since combat is inevitable, trading in nearby towns can improve arms and armor, or they can continue to roam and trade with hermit artisans in the wild. Renown is the backbone of progression in The Hand of Merlin and can be used to level up party heroes, and players can choose between a randomized set of new skills or improved attributes to balance out the combat prowess of their party.​
Since entering Early Access in May 2021, The Hand of Merlin has had eight major updates on its path to version 1.0, which have added a variety of gameplay options for players, including randomized party creation, new epic questlines, meta progression, passive skills, alternate maps and varied difficulty modes. One of these latest updates includes ‘Endless Mode’, a brand new way to play the game with a new biome, complete with 20 unique new combat maps and an opportunity for players to learn Spells, and for fueling up Hard Mode+ run modifiers. Combined, these eight updates provide a comprehensive set of features designed to enhance the overall player experience for RPG fans.​
“Throughout Early Access we’ve committed a lot of time and energy into community feedback with a series of updates that have really embellished the games features and replayability based upon what the community was telling us, we’re extremely pleased with the results and the work the team has done to make The Hand of Merlin a truly competitive rogue-lite RPG.“ Said Robert Sajko Creative Director at Room C Games.
With a large focus on exploration and encounter, mortality is the consequence of existence in human form, but even in defeat, players retain collected arcane knowledge as they jump from one parallel dimension to the next. No two worlds are ever quite the same, and each journey will be unique. Defeat is not the end in this realm, only a new beginning. For a full list of updates and features added to the game head over to The Hand of Merlin Steam page here.​
The Hand of Merlin is available now on PC via Steam, Epic Game Store and GOG. Priced $24.99 / £18.99 / €22.49 for the Standard Edition with a Deluxe Edition priced at $29.99 / £22.49 / €26.99. A soundtrack of the game is also available for $7.99 / £5.99 / €6.99. Console versions are priced $29.99 / €29.99.​
Versus Evil has a 40% launch discount in place for its first week on sale for the PC version on Steam.​

As mentioned, The Hand of Merlin is available on Steam and GOG for $25, with a massive 40% launch discount until next week. I suspect Versus Evil aren't too optimistic about the game's chances either. Which is a shame, because it does seem like the developers put a lot of effort into it. Oh well.

There are 0 comments on The Hand of Merlin Released

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Mon 13 June 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 13 June 2022, 21:00:00

Tags: Aledorn; Laughing Coyote Software; Lost Eidolons; Mitzi Games; NoEZ Games; Ocean Drive Studio; Pixellore; Queen's Wish 2: The Tormentor; SmokeSomeFrogs; Sonucido: The Mage; Space Cats Tactics; Spiderweb Software; Subterrain: Mines of Titan; Warlordocracy

It's time for another edition of Steam Next Fest, during which demos of upcoming games are made available to the public on Steam. Among the RPGs participating this summer is Jeff Vogel's upcoming Queen's Wish 2: The Tormentor, but the most interesting one must be Czech Arkania-like Aledorn, formerly known as Dungeons of Aledorn, which has somehow returned from the vapor after its original development team broke up in 2019.

These and all the other demos will be available until (at least) June 20th. As always, various developer livestreams are scheduled over the course of the week. Details are available on each game's Steam page.

There are 0 comments on Steam Next Fest, June 2022: Demos of upcoming RPGs available from June 13th to 20th

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Sun 12 June 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 12 June 2022, 23:00:00

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Josh Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pentiment; Starfield; Todd Howard

The Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase has become the most important event of the annual summer gaming festival formerly known as E3. There were fewer RPG announcements during this year's showcase than I'd hoped for, but what we did get was pretty interesting. Obsidian finally formally announced Pentiment, the historical RPG from Josh Sawyer whose title was leaked last year. Set in 16th century Bavaria, Pentiment is a narrative RPG in which players will assume the role of Andreas Maler, a monastic illustrator at fictional Kiersau Abbey who finds himself caught up in a series of murders over a twenty five year period. Not much is known about gameplay other than that it owes more inspiration to indie titles such as Night in the Woods than to Disco Elysium, but the game's heavily stylized appearance is already proving to be extremely divisive. Pentiment has a Steam page and will be launching this November. For more details about the game's premise and visual style, check out Josh's interview with IGN.

So that's nice, but obviously the highlight of the evening was Bethesda's space RPG Starfield. Originally announced way back in 2018, Starfield was recently delayed to early 2023 and Bethesda have revealed little about it other than a few sporadic dev diary-style videos. However, any angst about that was surely wiped clean by the fifteen minute gameplay reveal they released today. To keep things brief, the game is very much Skyrim/Fallout 4 in space, including outpost construction and an improve-by-use perk-based character system. Of course, it also features space travel, including ship management and arcadey space combat, across over a hundred star systems and a thousand planets. Are you hyped, Codex?

That's it for this year's Xbox showcase. Unfortunately, Obsidian's other titles and inXile's unannounced game were a no-show. Perhaps something interesting will show up during the PC Gaming Show later today, though.

There are 0 comments on Microsoft Showcase 2022: Pentiment and Starfield

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Sat 11 June 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 11 June 2022, 20:14:11

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

There's not much going on during today's summer gaming festivities. However, upcoming Ultima-like SKALD: Against the Black Priory did make a brief appearance during this year's Guerrilla Collective event with a new teaser trailer. Narrated from the perspective of a doomsday cultist who doesn't think much of adventurers, the trailer showcases some of the game's latest new visual effects. Check it out:

There's no launch date for SKALD yet, but a new demo representative of the final game will be available this month, presumably for Steam Next Fest.

There are 96 comments on SKALD: Against the Black Priory Teaser Trailer

Fri 10 June 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 10 June 2022, 15:47:14

Tags: Firaxis Games; Jake Solomon; Marvel's Midnight Suns

Marvel's Midnight Suns, the Marvel universe card-based tactical RPG from Firaxis announced last year, was originally supposed to have been out this March. After seeing the initial reactions from the community, Firaxis announced their decision to postpone the game's release back in November. Could that mean they were going to drop the card-based combat? Yesterday during the Summer Game Fest opening event, amongst countless sci-fi horror game trailers, there was also a new cinematic trailer for Midnight Suns announcing a release date of October 7th.

There's no gameplay here, but there are plenty of details about it in the new batch of hands-on previews that were published across the web alongside the announcement. Some of the previews claim the game is totally like XCOM and others say it's the anti-XCOM, but all confirm that yes, the cards are still there.

This was the only news announced yesterday that was (barely) relevant to Codex interests. There'll be more stuff happening over the weekend, but I guess the Xbox Showcase on Sunday is going to be the main event for RPGs.

There are 27 comments on Marvel's Midnight Suns releasing on October 7th

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 10 June 2022, 00:37:28

Tags: Jettatura; Kyoto Cybernetics

For the past decade, Codexer megidolaon has been working on a dungeon crawling RPG in his spare time. What began as a hobby project gradually became more serious and in 2017 it was titled Jettatura, which is the Italian word for the evil eye. Now the game is finally nearing completion and so megidolaeon has decided to launch its Steam page, alongside a two minute gameplay trailer. By the looks of it, Jettatura is primarily inspired by Wizardry and in particular its Japanese installments. Notably, it has no automap feature. As befits such a hardcore title, the trailer ends with a total party kill.

Grab a trusty No. 2 pencil, a scroll of graph paper, and a sword! As an adventurer, it seems like an immeasurable epoch has passed since any quest of considerable hardship has intertwined your fate, but recently a crisis has befallen the land which beckons your steel! Descend into the labyrinthine depths below the redoubt of Ylondur to retrieve the Scepter of Basmu, slay the treacherous necromancer Arlemal and his band of monstrous henchmen who pilfered it from the Royal Museum, and return as exalted champions to claim your spoils of coin, titles of nobility and acreage, and glory!

Form a party comprised of one to six adventurers to pursue your dauntless quest. But tread not without due caution, for within the dusty crypts, winding mazes, crumbling dungeons, and wicked fiend-temples of the sunless underfoot, there await deadly traps and illusions to confound and enmesh any interlopers -- at least, those who have not already been slain by the many ravenous beasts and cruel goblin-kin who skulk in the shadows!

Available for Linux and Windows.

  • Round-based combat
  • 7 playable races, 11 playable professions, and 3 schools of magic
  • Traditional mechanics - such as Vancian magic and Armor Class going downward from 10
  • Six sprawling dungeon floors - interconnected and winding, full of confounding illusions, dangerous traps, and deadly creatures
  • Over 200 types of items
  • Over 100 types of enemies
  • Lush, colorful, hand-drawn monster and environment art by Juan Miguel López Barea
  • Absolutely no hand-holding - draw your own damn maps!
  • Respects your time - prioritizes gameplay and dungeon exploration; no excessively-meandering "storytelling" here!

According to megidolaon, Jettatura will be out later this year, probably around October.

There are 76 comments on Jettatura is a Wizardry-inspired dungeon crawler a decade in the making

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Fri 3 June 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 3 June 2022, 18:09:55

Tags: Coin Operated Games; Empyre: Dukes of the Far Frontier

Empyre: Dukes of the Far Frontier, the inexplicable sequel to 2017's shovelware steampunk RPG Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates, was released today. There's no launch trailer so I'll just quote the developer's press release, which once again touts real time-with-pause combat as some brilliant new invention.

Auburn, New Hampshire – June 3, 2022 – Coin Operated Games announces today that its Neo-Victorian RPG Empyre: Dukes of the Far Frontier, has come to Steam. Developed by a team of industry veterans from such influential companies as Crytek, Codemasters, Gameloft and Creative Assembly, Empyre: Dukes of the Far Frontieris a top-down isometric RPG that takes place in a Neo-Victorian Wild West circa 1925.

Empyre: Dukes of the Far Frontier is set in a Neo-Victorian version of the Wild West where you've got a first-class ticket to explore a seemingly utopian city run by steam-powered robots that society has become increasingly reliant upon. In this mecca of machines and social revolution, a carefree life awaits, or so you've been led to believe. Discover the secrets of the robotic working class, and claw your way to the truth in this isometric alternate history RPG adventure!

Featuring a top-down isometric presentation, Empyre: Dukes of the Far Frontier will rekindle old-school PC RPG fans with feelings of some of the classic story-driven RPGs of the 90s.

While the combat should feel familiar to veteran players, there’s been a familiar modern twist added now that the game uses a hybrid Real Time/Turn-based System. Players can enter a “Planning Mode” where they choose actions for each character in their party while combat is paused, and when entering into the “Action Mode” all characters will perform simultaneously, giving players complete control over their party while presenting a streamlined combat system that eliminates waiting for each character to act in sequence.

“One of the things we strove for when designing Empyre was to project a believable vision of the future,” said John Randall, Creative Director of Empyre. “But not just any future. An Utopian vision of the future based on Gilded Age turn of the century technology. A future based on steam-powered contraptions and all manner of mechanical marvels. People and society exist and act as they did in the early 20th Century but live in an amazing city fashioned by wondrous machines. We feel this will give the players a one-of-a-kind experience that they haven’t seen anywhere before.”

Developed by Coin Operated Games, Empyre: Dukes of the Far Frontier is now available via Steam.

For more product information, visit www.empyrethegame.com, on Steam at https://store.steampowered.com/app/1935460/EMPYRE_Dukes_of_the_Far_Frontier/ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Empyrethegame-272522026282358/, Twitter at https://twitter.com/EmpyreTheGame #nowatertodrink and on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/EmpyreTheGame
Empyre: Dukes of the Far Frontier is available on Steam for $20. Too bad Roqua isn't around anymore to tell us how it is!

There are 17 comments on Empyre: Dukes of the Far Frontier Released

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Wed 1 June 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 1 June 2022, 23:34:05

Tags: Owlcat Games; Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader

Ever since we learned back in 2020 that Owlcat Games were hiring people to develop a turn-based science fiction RPG, there have been persistent rumors that said game would be set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. I'm not sure if there was a basis for these rumors or if it was just wishful thinking, but when Owlcat began teasing an announcement a couple of weeks before the annual Warhammer Skulls event, it became clear that they were quite true. Today they officially unveiled Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, an isometric turn-based RPG in which players will assume the role of a freewheeling space privateer tasked with expanding the borders of the Imperium into the uncharted Koronus Expanse. That's right, it's Pathfinder: Kingmaker IN SPACE. Here's the game's announcement trailer and the accompanying post:

We are thrilled to announce Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader - the first classic roleplaying game with turn-based combat set in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium. The World Premiere, including the first glimpse of gameplay, was announced at the Warhammer Skulls Showcase. Those of you who are eager to get your hands on the early version of the game and help us with the development can obtain our Founder’s Packs; they are already available on the game’s website.

This time you will take on the role of a Rogue Trader, a scion of an ancient dynasty of daring privateers that reign over their own merchant empire and explore the fringes of Imperial space with the blessing of the Emperor Himself. Thanks to their Warrant of Trade - the Rogue Trader is endowed with privileges and power beyond imagination as well as the task of expanding the borders of the Imperium. At their disposal is a gargantuan voidship of immense strength and innumerable personnel ready to follow any undertakings of the leader. Show your subjects mercy or disdain, stay faithful to the Emperor, or consort with enemies of Mankind - every decision and every act of the Rogue Trader sends ripples throughout entire star systems, changing the in-game world and those who inhabit it.

The action will unfold in the Koronus Expanse, a dangerous and unexplored region on the far frontiers of the Imperium of Man. Many explorers have fallen victim to this dangerous place and never returned.

Remarkable and sophisticated companions are one of the pillars of cRPGs, and Rogue Trader is not an exception. A mighty Space Marine, a mercurial Aeldari Ranger, or even a courageous Sister of Battle armed with bolter and ardent prayers are just a few of the many characters that will join the Rogue Trader during your adventures.

Starting today, you can support the game by purchasing one of the Founder’s Packs. Become a part of the team behind Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader! Those who decide to support the developers early will gain access to the Alpha and Beta versions of the game, help the team to shape the experience with their feedback, and receive a set of unique rewards and items available only to early supporters.​

It doesn't look like Rogue Trader is going to be crowdfunded, but it is available for preorder with a number of Kickstarter-like tiers. You can grab the basic game including beta access for $40, a premium edition with preorder bonus items will cost you $50 and alpha access is available for $100. The game doesn't have a launch date yet, but the preorder FAQ reveals that the alpha build will be available this year and that the beta is launching next year.

There are 112 comments on Owlcat's next game is a turn-based Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader RPG

Sat 28 May 2022

Codex Review - posted by Infinitron on Sat 28 May 2022, 15:52:51

Tags: ChaosForge; Jupiter Hell

Roguelikes have never been a primary focus of this website, nor of our chief content officer Darth Roxor, who in fact has very little experience with the genre. As a fan of Doom, one roguelike he has played extensively is DoomRL, the venerable Doom-based roguelike by Kornel Kisielewicz. So it's no surprise that Kisielewicz's DoomRL successor Jupiter Hell was of great interest to him when it appeared on Kickstarter back in 2016. Having played it extensively even before it left Early Access last August, Roxor has now turned in his review of this title, and his verdict is uniformly positive. Here's his appraisal of the game's core combat mechanics:

At a basic level, combat is very similar to DoomRL. Everything is turn-based, you get one action a turn, and the rest of the world moves together with you. Actions take time to perform, the baseline being ‘1 second’, but some are obviously faster than others. If you have a 50% movement speed boost, you’ll be able to take two steps over the same time as it’ll take most other enemies to take one. Managing the time taken to do things is extremely important, as quickness will often allow you to avoid getting whacked.

Guns have accuracy thresholds for distance, with all having optimal and max ranges, and some having minimum range. You will take an accuracy penalty for being at a distance lower than minimum or greater than optimal, while exceeding max range will down your accuracy to zero. One thing I don’t entirely get here is the purpose of optimal/max ranges greater than 6, because 6 tiles is the limit of your view, and you can’t shoot beyond that, even with blind fire. The only exception are shotguns, which aren’t subject to accuracy, and distance only influences their damage, while spraying blindly into the fog of war can actually hurt enemies beyond the 6-tile limit. It can also be extremely effective if you manage to lay your hands on a long-range shotgun.

Where Jupiter Hell strays from its predecessor is in its inclusion of cover mechanics. Anything between you and your opponent will act as cover – this includes props, walls and other enemies. Shooting something behind cover significantly influences accuracy, which makes positioning in combat a vital factor, especially since a number of perks also have an impact on cover, either by reducing it for your targets, or increasing its effectiveness for you. Thus, hunkering down behind some walls, spinning up your chaingun and using an extra action or two to aim can help you withstand even the most unfavourable odds. Similarly, a stupid zombie grunt with a handgun can become a much bigger nuisance when behind cover.

The maps in Jupiter Hell are generally rather tight as well, with big open rooms being a rarity, so cover is something to always keep in mind as you plan your approach. Plus, even in the bigger rooms you’ll find plenty of props, such as chairs or crates, to provide cover, though these are all destructible.

But that’s not to say that (ab)using cover is the ultimate way to go. It’s obviously going to be much less useful if you’re playing a running man. And even if you’re focused on entrenchment, there’s still plenty of things that can smoke you out, particularly acid pools and poison clouds that can be thrown by various enemies. Plus, no matter how much of a living bunker you are, some attacks will still go through and keep chipping away at your health – cover may be important, but it’s still just an individual mechanic, and not god mode, and Jupiter Hell is fortunately not a cover shooter.

Another thing to keep in mind is pain. As you get damaged, you’ll accumulate pain – some enemies even have special abilities that leave you in pain just by looking at you. Pain is a percentage that reduces your accuracy, so the more you get whacked, the worse your performance becomes. In my experience, this mechanic is primarily there to punish your mistakes – if you’re standing in the open like a dumbass, or you keep shooting at a fiend that’s in your face and slashing you, your pain will ramp up, and well, it’s exactly something you deserve. As mentioned before, the marine can cleanse pain and convert it into healing with his special ability, while other classes will have to either wait it out or use a medkit to remove all pain. Oftentimes, waiting it out in the middle of a slaughterfest is not an option.

One thing that I’ve come to realise is a bit of a bummer is that pain applies only to you. The game is generally fair and symmetrical when it comes to its mechanics, but pain is an exception that can sometimes be annoying when facing enemies with high health pools. With more straight-forward builds, the best thing you can do is take cover behind a corner, keep shooting and pray that none of their attacks go through – it feels a little arbitrary, especially when you reach a ceiling where your damage won’t be getting higher, but you’ll still encounter tougher enemies, which leaves you without some additional way to mitigate the risks.

Nevertheless, playing carefully and managing the risks is an important part of Jupiter Hell, since just like most other roguelikes, it’s extremely unforgiving when it comes to dumb mistakes. I’d say that most of my runs are interrupted by a sudden bout of dying due to losing focus. You keep tapping those movement keys like stupid, you run into an armoured ravager, you get blasted with rockets and die. You can’t be bothered to take a step aside and duck behind cover – that former CRI sergeant will be more than glad to spray you with lead. Even worse if you forget about the stuff you’re carrying, and realise only after dying that you could have teleported to safety with a phase kit or run away in a smokescreen. But you were actually too much of a cheapskate to use them, so quit whining.​

Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Jupiter Hell

There are 24 comments on RPG Codex Review: Jupiter Hell

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 28 May 2022, 01:32:58

Tags: Esturia Games; The Sargosian Abyss

The Sargosian Abyss, roguelike followup to last year's retro RPG Battle for Esturia, was released as a free Early Access beta on Itch.io back in March. Turns out this is one of those rare cases where the term "beta" was used appropriately to describe a brief pre-release testing period, as the game is now suddenly available for sale on Steam. Here's the trailer developer nlfortier put together for it last month:

You can grab The Sargosian Abyss on Steam for $8, with a 20% launch discount until next week. The game is still available free on Itch.io as well, though that version is missing a couple of classes and difficulty options.

There are 16 comments on The Sargosian Abyss Released

Fri 27 May 2022

Game News - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Fri 27 May 2022, 01:22:27

Tags: Fabled Lands; Prime Games

Fabled Lands is now out on Steam for those looking for a low fi but more classical CRPG. It boasts several classes, a gigantic amount of quests, an open world, turn based combat, multiple ways to play, a permadeath option, and boats. Lots and lots of boats. Who doesn't like owning a boat? Anyway, here's the trailer and such:

The original Fabled Lands gamebooks, written by Dave Morris and Jamie Thomson, and beloved by many, have been transformed into an epic, digital adventure of interactive fiction with a massive game world. Be anyone you want: explorer, merchant, priest, scholar, thief, wizard, or soldier of fortune. Buy ships, goods, and townhouses, join a temple, risk desperate adventures in the wilderness, or embroil yourself in court intrigues and the sudden violence of city backstreets. Undertake missions that will earn you allies and enemies, or remain a free agent and choose your own objectives. With hundreds of quests and locations to explore, the choices are all yours.

Since I mentioned it in the last news bit, the reviews are Mostly Positive as of the time of this post, so I guess people like it. For those that like movie length Let's Plays in order to see what the game is like, there's this video from Nookrium. It's almost three hours long, so hit the bathroom before viewing and grab the popcorn.

There are 35 comments on Fabled Lands books a release

Game News - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Fri 27 May 2022, 01:02:59

Tags: Mi-Clos Studio; Out There: Oceans of Time

Out There: Oceans of Time is now available for the masses with a Steam version or the DRM free GOG version. So, for those that didn't read the review, or place the first game, or get the android one, or have just emerged from a cave, this is a space faring rogue-like where you explore space, gather resources, find or purchase new ships, salvage derelicts, save planets, and boldly go forth and hunt down some evil guy named Archon. Here's some of the release stuff:

The successor to the award-winning Out There, Oceans of Time blends roguelike, resource management and interactive fiction for a space survival epic where death is one wrong decision away.

As Commander Nyx, explore a vast galaxy that is different every time you play, as you search for the Archon; a cosmic villain set on dominating the civilisations of the galaxy.

Encounter other strange lifeforms and learn to communicate, trade, and conduct diplomacy as you build a coalition of allies in your mission to find the Archon.

The reviews are already Mixed on Steam, but there's not that many of them. Apparently there's some survival elements and bugs that people aren't liking too much. I'm not real thrilled I can't make my own Captain.

There are 8 comments on Out There: Oceans of Time manages a release

Thu 26 May 2022

Game News - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 26 May 2022, 15:38:51

Tags: Grog; Thomas Biskup

Per this thread on Roguelike Temple Forums, Grog has been released. Graphics whores need not apply, since this is an ASCII text graphics game. However, it does seem to have some pretty neat features for it's debut. Here's a list of the features the author wants you to know about:

  • A dungeon consisting of 25 screen-sized levels.
  • Four monster types on level 1, with plus two new monster types per level. One of the new monsters always will be more powerful as far as combat goes, the other type will sport some challenging special power.
  • Special room types starting at dungeon level 3.
  • Ghosts (former player characters showing up as monsters).
  • Revenge monsters (monsters that managed to kill a player receive a name, special powers or power boosts for consecutive kills and return in later games).
  • Inventory size is strongly limited.
  • Include an item ID game but allow for auto-ID after some time passes.
  • Hunger, prayers, tons of highly variable items.
  • Ultra-flexible character generation (e.g. you enter a textual name, gender and type and your attributes will be fixed depending on these choices).
  • Add a personal note about the fate of your character to your highscore entries.
  • A straight-forward goal: Reach level 25, find the Throne of Immortality and escape the dungeon.

I really like the ghost idea as well as the "revenge monsters", although that might be a double jeopardy system for newer players who die often. I assume there's some kind of limit on such things, otherwise it's a difficulty ramp that's just going to shoot through the roof.

There are 11 comments on Grog makes a 1.0.0 release

Review - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 26 May 2022, 15:27:49

Tags: Mi-Clos Studio; Out There: Oceans of Time

Turn Based Lovers offers up their take of Out There: Oceans of Time, a space faring "rogue-like". It covers many aspects of the game with the author's favorite part seeming to be the exploration part of the game. Which, yeah, space games and exploration kind of go together like peas and carrots. He seems to not like the early game, particularly the resource management. The overall score is a 7. Here's a brief snippet:

One of the main features of Out There: Oceans of Time is Exploration. This is where in my opinion the game most shines. You will be going from system to system, with random events showing up, and flying over to nearby planets. The latter you can then scan for something interesting – an anomaly of sorts. Finding it gives an option to go on an expedition to the planet. After landing, you end up on a grid-like map, with the crew you’ve selected for the journey. From there, you just move across the planet’s surface, gathering resources, possibly navigating trap areas and, finally, solving events.

Say what you want about games that call themselves rogue-like these days, and I'll be one of the first people to say that tag is way overused and abused, but they don't seem to be shoe-horned in to a setting or genre like more classic CRPGs seem to be. Also, the more CRPGs set in space, with space ships, and planetary exploration, the better as far as I'm concerned.

There are 3 comments on TBL explores Out There: Oceans of Time

Game News - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 26 May 2022, 14:46:35

Tags: My Time at Sandrock; Pathea Games

My Time at Sandrock has hit Early Access on Steam. It's a follow up to My Time at Portia, which was a fairly well polished crafting, farming, fighting, digging, scavenging, levelling up little game available on nearly everything. This side-quel takes place in a new location, but is essentially the same idea only with a planned multiplayer aspect and a desert setting.

My Time at Sandrock-Just like My Time at Portia, My Time at Sandrock takes place in a wholesome post-apocalyptic world 300 years after the Day of Calamity destroyed most modern technologies.

After accepting a job offer to become Sandrock’s newest Builder, you’ll arrive in the wild and rugged city-state, where it’s up to you and your trusty tools to restore the community to its former glory. Gather resources to build machines, befriend locals, and defend Sandrock from monsters — all while saving the town from economic ruin!

I played the first one for a little over a week and had a good bit of fun with it once I figured things out. It's not bad for a casual game and there's a heck of a lot of things to do.

Oh, and watch this video and then think about what Bethesda did with Fallout 3. What? A new area of the world having different critters roaming around? Who would have thought that might be a smart thing to do. But, I guess when you're creatively bankrupt, just doing what someone else already did, regardless of if it makes sense, is the best you can do.

There are 24 comments on My Time at Sandrock tools to Early Access

Wed 25 May 2022

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 25 May 2022, 23:59:21

Tags: Artefacts Studio; Dear Villagers; The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: Back to the Futon; The Dungeon Of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet Of Chaos

The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: Back to the Futon, the third and final DLC for Artefect Studio's well-received parodic tactical RPG, will finally be launching this summer. As the title suggests, this time the party will be going on a journey through time and space in an adventure that's also a direct sequel to last year's Ruins of Limis DLC. Here's its characteristically silly announcement trailer along with the accompanying post:

Howdy, adventurers!

It was announced at the end of 2021, it's here, it's coming! The new DLC: Go back to the Futon!

It will be available this summer 2022! Get ready, the wishlist are open today!

As you know this DLC will be the last one of the saga! It will finish the story of our band of broken arms, you will discover new characters, four new chapters that will continue the story of Ruins of Limis. As you will have understood from the title of this new expansion, our team will be sent on a quest through time and space.

Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

Back to the Futon will be releasing over a year after Ruins of Limis, which itself was released over eight months after the original game. I'm not sure how that makes sense, but it's always nice to have more Naheulbeuk.

There are 14 comments on The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk Back to the Futon time travel DLC releasing this summer

Mon 23 May 2022

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Mon 23 May 2022, 22:00:00

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

Following up on his 2020 presentation about reputation mechanics, Josh Sawyer was supposed to have given a talk about RPG armor systems last year. Somehow it took him until this week to finally get around to it, but here we go at last. He begins by outlining a rough history of armor system design in CRPGs. Classic D&D armor simply makes characters harder to hit, but in video games there's been a trend towards a more simulationist approach in which armor absorbs damage while possibly making characters easier to hit. However, Josh is not a fan of armor systems that are primarily based on the dichotomy of "dodge vs block". He also disapproves of systems that use a single overly abstract numeric representation for armor effectiveness.

Josh's favored approach to armor is a Damage Threshold or Damage Reduction-based system, and preferably a combination of both as seen in Fallout 1 & 2. Fallout: New Vegas primarily used DT, but given more development time he probably would have assigned a larger role to DR in its systems (as he eventually did with his JSawyer mod). Pillars of Eternity also had DT-based armor, but Josh believes the game's profusion of damage types and generally higher damage values made the system unwieldy. For Pillars of Eternity II, he replaced this with a penetration-based system inspired by Darklands, but that turned out to be even more confusing to players.

In future titles, Josh plans to use a more straightforward combination of DT and DR, with the former scaling over the course of the game and the latter using fixed percentage values depending on armor type. Alternatively, he might revisit the penetration concept but use a small number of categories (Low/Medium/High) instead of numeric values to make things easier to understand. Of course, all of this probably isn't relevant to his next game, which isn't going to have a combat system at all.

There are 133 comments on Josh Sawyer on the Road to Better Armor Systems

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