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Sat 18 October 2014

You're in a desert, walking along in the sand, when all of a sudden you look down and see a tortoise. It's crawling toward you. You reach down and you flip the tortoise over on its back. The tortoise lays on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over, but it can't. Not without your help. But you're not helping. Why is that? Why are you not helping?

Matt Chat 262: Robert Woodhead on developing Wizardry, and leaving Wizardry

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Sat 18 October 2014, 18:52:13

Tags: Robert J. Woodhead; Wizardry

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The third and final episode of Matt Barton's interview with Robert Woodhead begins with Robert continuing with his retelling of various anecdotes from the development of the early Wizardry games. He talks about the technical challenges of developing Wizardry's window-based user interface, and about the series' then-notorious copy protection schemes (which he admits in retrospect were a waste of time, but still considers to have been an interesting challenge). At one point, Matt tries to ask him whether he doesn't regret sticking with the same codebase for all of his games, instead of remaking everything from scratch for every game the same way Richard Garriott did with Ultima, reasoning that it may have stifled the series' innovation. Sadly, Robert either misunderstands the question or chooses to avoid answering it, instead going off on a tangent about portability and localization.

In the end, Robert Woodhead remains above all an independent programmer, not a game design auteur. Matt mentions our own interview with him, where he claimed that he "wasn't proud" of Wizardry, and Robert reiterates that claim, explaining that in his view, Wizardry is not some work of genius, but just one step in the evolution of computer RPGs - a step that could have been taken by any number of people. The interview ends with him telling the story of how he passed the Wizardry torch to David Bradley and moved to Japan where he met his wife. He left the Wizardry chapter of his life behind him, and never touched any of the latter games in the series. He does admit that he would be willing to create a new computer game, if it was truly innovative and he was allowed to "do whatever he wants". That's Robert Woodhead, folks. :salute:

There are 12 comments on Matt Chat 262: Robert Woodhead on developing Wizardry, and leaving Wizardry

Darklands Available on Steam

Game News - posted by Crooked Bee on Sat 18 October 2014, 09:40:44

Tags: BloodNet; Darklands; Microprose; Night Dive Studios; Retroism

Microprose's 1992 open world classic Darklands, set in a magical version of the 15th century historical Europe, has been made available on Steam (in addition to GOG, where it has been sold for quite some time now) as part of a bunch of new entries in the Steam catalog by the recently founded old games publisher Retroism. See here for their Steam titles, which also include stuff like BloodNet.

Heroic Adventures in Medieval Germany

Deep in the twilight of the Black Forest, you and your companions crouch before the robber-knight's tower. Hans, the alchemist, places his mysterious potion by the door. Ebhard the friar implores Saint Dunstan to bless your weapons and armor. And you and Gretchen grip naked long swords, praying your plate mail won't squeak.

With a thundery crash, the door explodes into fragments! You charge inside, swords and maces swinging. One guard falls beneath the power of your blade... then two more! You storm upstairs to the second floor, but there to greet you is Erhard the Red Wolf, the infamous robber-knight, surrounded by his henchmen. Hans tosses a choking potion into their faces and you quickly charge into the fray. The room echoes with the clash of steel on steel... it's a battle to the death in the Black Forest!

Prepare yourself to enter Darklands... the first realistic fantasy role-playing adventure for computers!

Leading a band of four adventurers across the sinister landscape of 15th Century Germany, you'll face the Middle Ages as people believed it to be! A land seething with mythical beasts, religious power-mongers and blood-thirsty sinister robber-knights!

Watch savage battles unfold before your eyes! Travel hundreds of miles by land and sea... from the Frisian Coast to Bohemia... from the Alps to Prussia... visiting over ninety cities along the way!

Your quest for fame and fortune can take you through raucous city streets and dank mine shafts, or from a robber-knight's tower to the terrifying Sabbaths of witches!

So prepare yourself for the astonishing wonders of a realistic fantasy adventure... in the mysterious Darklands!
  • Improve each character's attributes and skills as the game progresses.
  • No artificial character classes or levels!
  • Learn alchemical formulas to make your own potions!
  • Brilliant watercolor-style graphics bring to life and myths and mysteries of the Middle Ages!
  • Easy-to-use and innovative menu presents you with unprecedented role-playing options.
  • Character fight in real-time animation! Freeze the actions and give new orders to characters any time you wish!
Darklands is a unique game that bucked many genre conventions, and merits at least one playthrough from everyone who considers themselves an RPG fan. If in doubt, check out Darth Roxor's review as well as our interview with the game's designer featuring another retrospective, by Obsidian's Josh Sawyer.

Grab the game here or, if you prefer GOG, here.

There are 32 comments on Darklands Available on Steam

Lords of Xulima Early Access Update: 99% of Content Available, New Features

Game News - posted by Crooked Bee on Sat 18 October 2014, 09:28:58

Tags: Lords of Xulima; Numantian Games

Numantian Games' party-based isometric RPG Lords of Xulima got a new Kickstarter update, announcing that all content except the final fight and ending cinematic is now available for Early Access players, as well as two new features - an Ironman mode and the ability to write your own notes on the map (yay!).

V.16 New Content Unlocked: The Search for the Titans

The four colossal Titans known as the Sons of the Elemental Xulnari, have their lair in the most remote places of Xulima. Finding them is just impossible for the mortals, unless you can count on some divine help... For those lucky players that find them, enjoy interacting with those powerful Demigods that have not met a mortal ever.

Now all the world is accessible for the player, including the Glacier of Geldra, the Desolation Desert of Pernitia and the Lake of Fire in Vilak. Also, the four temples of the Elementals Xulnari can be played now. In some of them, you will find new monsters as "The Nightmare" which is one of the most powerful enemies you will find.

Game already finished?
We have unlocked about 15-20 hours more of gameplay. Indeed, 99% of the full game is now playable. Everything except the very end, that includes the Final Boss and the awesome End Cinematic that lasts 8 minutes, at which only a dozen lucky people have had the chance to watch it. We will reserve the climax of this epic story for the official release of Lords of Xulima in November. While you can speculate about the end, what will happen with Xulima and the rest of the world?...

The new Ironman difficulty mode
Many fans of LoX have requested this new difficulty mode. The Ironman mode has the same rules as the Hardcore mode, but you can only save the game when you are safe in the towns. So yes, this mode can be a real nightmare, such a challenge that perhaps nobody can ever finish it.

For those heroic players we have created a new special achievement and the final score is now re-scaled as the Ironman mode grants a score, 300% more than in normal mode. We have added new monsters for the final rank, which now has 100 different positions.

Which will be yours?
Normal Mode: Ranks from 1-50.
Old-School Veteran: Ranks from 50-70.
Hardcore: Ranks from 70-90
Ironman Mode: Up to rank ~100.

New Feature: Write your own notes on the Maps!
Another feature requested by the fans is writing their own notes on the maps. Finally, it has been implemented. It was a little hard to add, but we love that feature too. Also, these custom notes can be consulted directly in the Journal with the rest of auto-notes that the game records for you. Hope you enjoy it!

Next Update
The next update will have finally the Talisman of Golot we promised in Kickstarter, the French translation and perhaps the German one too. ​

For a full changelog, check out this post. You can (and, dare I say, should) buy the game on Steam.

There are 4 comments on Lords of Xulima Early Access Update: 99% of Content Available, New Features

Torment Kickstarter Update #35: Stretch goal funding period extended, Adam Heine novella released

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 18 October 2014, 01:46:46

Tags: Adam Heine; Brother None; InXile Entertainment; Torment: Tides of Numenera

As you've probably heard, the fundraiser for the Gullet stretch goal in Torment: Tides of Numenera failed to reach its target on time. Although it seemed at first that it was gone for good, a surprise Kickstarter update today has announced that funding will be extended until the end of October. In addition to that, the update reports that Adam Heine's From the Depths: Gold, the first of Torment's five novellas based on the metaphysical Tides, has been released and is available now. I quote:

Hi, Thomas here. I'd like to start out today's update with a huge "thank you!" for the immense outpouring of support we received for our stretch goal to add the Gullet into the game. We received some incredibly generous pledges from many backers, including an anonymous donor ($1665), Pookie ($1271), Najiok ($900), Hiro Protagonist ($750) and even a pair of $750 pledges from our very own Colin McComb and Kevin Saunders.

Unfortunately, we fell somewhat short of our goal (about 15%, or $35,000) to see the Gullet added to the final game. However, we did not want to see this great effort of yours go for naught, and we also realized based on comments about this stretch goal as it closed that awareness had not spread widely enough. Some people suggested extending the deadline, in part to allow word to spread to where it didn't before.

So, we're moving the stretch goal deadline for the Gullet to the end of Friday, October 31. Just over $30,000 to go!

Coincidentally this is also when we will be closing a number of add-ons from our Kickstarter period. So while new backers are more than welcome you may also want to consider some of our add-on options! And to remind everyone: please specify your add-ons by Friday, October 31!

From the Depths: Gold Released

We've released the first of our From the Depths novellas. If you need a refresher: the From the Depths stories are a series of novellas being written by people involved in Torment: Tides of Numenera and Numenera itself. While not required reading to play, they provide a richer understanding of the Torment world and characters as well as the Tides.

If the Digital Novella Compilation was part of your Tier, or if you pledged for the $15 add-on, then you can retrieve Adam's novella it RIGHT NOW at our site. It's available DRM-free in all the most common eBook formats (epub, mobi, azw3, and PDF).

The first one we're releasing is written by our Design Lead Adam Heine, and set in Ossiphagan – which was the subject of the lore piece in update 34. It is one of the five From the Depths novellas that give specific insights into the nature of the Tides, with Adam's focusing on the Gold Tide.
Check out the full update for an excerpt from the novella. I guess the idea is that if people like what they see, they'll go ahead and buy it right now.

There are 19 comments on Torment Kickstarter Update #35: Stretch goal funding period extended, Adam Heine novella released

Wed 15 October 2014
Legend of Grimrock 2 Released

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 15 October 2014, 20:35:10

Tags: Almost Human Games; Legend of Grimrock 2

So, Legend of Grimrock 2, the sequel to Almost Human's dungeon crawling indie hit, was released this evening. The original Legend of Grimrock, released two and a half years ago back in April 2012, turned out to be an early precursor to the great RPG retro revival of our times. With all the great games coming out these days, for a while there it was easy to believe that poor, simple Legend of Grimrock would fall by the wayside and be forgotten. But it doesn't look like that's going to happen. The guys at Almost Human resisted the temptation to churn out a quick slam-dunk sequel, which they could have easily done. Instead, they spent the time and produced a bigger, better, more impressive game, capable of holding its own in today's more competitive oldschool RPG arena. And for that they should be applauded. Here's Grimrock 2's official description from its Steam page:

Legend of Grimrock 2 is a dungeon crawling role playing game with a modern execution but an oldschool heart. A group of four prisoners have shipwrecked on the secluded Isle of Nex. The island is filled with ancient crumbled ruins, mysterious shrines and a vast underground network of dungeons and mines. If the prisoners wish to make it out alive, they have to overcome the challenges devised by the ominous mastermind of the island.

Powers of perception and logic are more important than sheer force is, since Legend of Grimrock 2 puts a heavy emphasis on exploration, survival and challenging puzzles. Discover powerful ancient artifacts from hidden secret chambers and buried treasures. Arm your champions, cast spells and craft enchanted potions and bombs to aid you in fighting the dreadful monsters in highly tactical real-time combat.

Design, share and play custom scenarios with the included Dungeon Editor! Create your own adventures and fill them with puzzles, traps, or even totally new items, monsters and environments with custom graphics and audio!

Get ready to venture forth and uncover the secrets of Nex!

Key Features:
  • Explore the wilderness and the dungeons of Isle of Nex: walk in ancient forests riddled with mysterious magical statues, fight the denizens of poison fuming swamps, dive in the Forgotten River in search of treasure, uncover secrets hidden deep below…
  • More than 20 hours of pure blooded dungeon crawling gameplay with grid-based movement and thousands of squares filled with hidden switches, pressure plates, secret doors, riddles, deadly traps and more.
  • Cast spells with runes, craft potions and bombs, fight murderous monsters with a large variety of melee-, ranged and thrown weapons, as well as firearms.
  • Create a party of four characters and customize them with 8 character classes, 5 races, and numerous skills and traits. Collect experience to hone their skills and discover improved equipment and magical artefacts.
  • 42 different kind of monsters including 30 new foes unique to Isle of Nex.
  • Play custom adventures created by others or make your own with Dungeon Editor.
  • More depth, variety and open ended exploration than in Legend of Grimrock 1. Enhanced AI, spell casting, puzzle mechanics and skill systems.
Legend of Grimrock 2 is now available on Steam and GOG for the price of $24, with a 10% discount until next week. First non-Kickstarter game I've D1P'd in a looong time.

There are 62 comments on Legend of Grimrock 2 Released

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Tue 14 October 2014
Legend of Grimrock 2 Review at Rock Paper Shotgun

Review - posted by Infinitron on Tue 14 October 2014, 22:36:49

Tags: Almost Human Games; Legend of Grimrock 2

For most of us, Legend of Grimrock 2 is coming out tomorrow. But the privileged doyens of gaming journalism have already had their hands on it for a while, and have begun publishing their reviews. Among them is Rock Paper Shotgun's John Walker, whose verdict is, well, see for yourself:

Legend Of Grimrock 2 is bigger, deeper and more wonderful than I could ever have expected. I absolutely loved the original, its descending dungeons of tile-based first-person RPG not just reminiscent of Dungeon Master, but as good as it. Grimrock 2, I say without hesitation, is better.

Much as Dungeon Master II took that series outside, so too does Grimrock 2, but here it’s not utterly impossible. It is, however, incredibly difficult. Superbly difficult. While I haven’t actually measured, this sequel is so huge I feel certain the original game would fit into one of its corners. With fifteen huge, individual sections, and another dozen or so smaller areas, each is intricately detailed and packed to bursting with puzzles, challenges, hidden switches, terrifying enemies, and so many secrets.

If you played Grimrock 1, or indeed any of the classic tile-based adventures of the 80s and 90s (DM, Captive, Eye Of The Beholder, etc), then you’ll be familiar with the mechanics. A party of four characters, created by you (or there are pre-mades if you’d prefer), marching together in a real-time 3D world, one square at a time. Your squad, two up (likely with melee skills) and two behind (firing projectile weapons, magic, and so on), explores, casts spells from runes, makes potions from ingredients, and fights an awful lot of enormous bads. Despite moving in only four directions around its enormous grid, combat (and everything else) is in real-time.

And good gracious, it’s done so well. I have adored this game. Spread across a large variety of landscapes, dungeons, and castles, it’s on a scale far beyond your expectations. In fact, every time I became convinced I’d seen every location it was going to offer, I’d stumble on another vast, three-storey place, and have yet another few hours of wonderful treats.

At first, things are extremely daunting. Your party, imprisoned in a cage, washes up on an island after a shipwreck. The beach is filled with monstrous killer turtles (no, really), meaning you have to scramble for puny weapons like sticks and rocks to desperately fend them off, while instantly being introduced to the far greater complexity of the puzzles this time out. As you uncover the many secrets of this sprawling beach area, the size of things already begins to feel a little overwhelming – three or four different directions opening up immediately, each of them containing elements necessary to successful get through the others. And then, that done, you find a massive wooded area filled with furious trees, itself leading to multiple dungeons, a land threaded by rivers, a gloomy bog, and more and more. And each is limited by what you’ve done so far, passages closed off by gates, warping teleporters impeding progress, enemies that seem far too powerful, notes alluding to puzzles you’ve yet to discover, peculiar glowing-eyed stone figures giving you esoteric statements that could be myth or clues… And then you find a note from the creepy, crazy island owner, laughing at your inevitable struggle, warning you to maybe head somewhere else if tough’s too tricky.

[...] Everything in this sequel is bigger, more elaborate, more detailed, and absolutely better. Which, after such a lovely first game, is quite the thing. You will be able to sink days and days into this, and still come away with secrets undiscovered, doors unopened. And I think a real respect for a game that is not only itself phenomenally smart, but one that thinks you are too. It’s a joy, so splendidly crafted, so stuffed with original ideas and surprises. This isn’t nostalgia any more – it’s a massive step forward.​

Well then, that sounds good. Those of you who are concerned with the so-called "combat mambo" might also find this comment interesting. Hopefully we can deliver our own review of Grimrock 2 sooner than later.

There are 16 comments on Legend of Grimrock 2 Review at Rock Paper Shotgun

Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #86: More administrative filler, plus reticles!

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 14 October 2014, 20:54:10

Tags: Brandon Adler; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity

This month's Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter update is once again rather insubstantial, as the team at Obsidian is very busy. There's another announcement of the game's delay, and some info about what they're working on now - "character progression options" (which I assume means talents, and perhaps also rearrangement of class abilities) and combat UI. I quote:

Additional Time for Polish and Feedback

Through your help and feedback, the Pillars of Eternity team has spent the past two years creating a fun, fulfilling experience. An open development has enabled us to interact with our fans and backers in a way we weren't able to in the past, and this has really helped shape Eternity into a game that we all hoped it would become. Plus, with the Backer Beta, we have been able to get excellent feedback from our backers that we are using to shape Eternity into an even better game. We really can't thank you enough.

To incorporate as much feedback as possible, polish every nook and cranny of the game, and make sure we don't ship a buggy game, Obsidian has decided to push the game's release into early next year. We are going to use the extra time to make Eternity shine for our backers, and a game that we were proud to call our own and would live up to your expectations.

Once again, we want to thank you for making this all possible. With your help we can bring Eternity across the finish line.

Speaking of Backer Beta

We are hard at work implementing feedback and bugfixing items in the Backer Beta. One of the major focuses for the team over the past few weeks was adding in additional character progression options and cleaning up UI to make combat a little less chaotic.

You can expect everything from additional Talents and Ability selection choices to UI and HUD improvements in our next update. We are also very close to getting the Mac and Linux versions of the Backer Beta to you guys. It may even make it into the next Beta update.

In fact, here is one of the Backer Beta requested UI changes - Infinity Engine-style targeting reticles.

The full update has the usual status report on physical backer rewards-related issues. I wonder how many of the people in the Kickstarter comments are learning about the game's delay for the first time...

There are 11 comments on Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter Update #86: More administrative filler, plus reticles!

Mon 13 October 2014
Serpent in the Staglands Beta Released

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 13 October 2014, 18:46:07

Tags: Serpent in the Staglands; Whalenought Studios

The Serpent in the Staglands beta was released to backers last night, a bit later than originally planned. The accompanying Kickstarter update is backers-only, though non-backers can view its contents on the game's officials forums. Here's what it says:

You will all be sent an email within the next half hour with a link to both the Windows and Mac versions of the beta, we have to do this manually so it might take a bit. You can download either from the dropbox folder in the link. For the initial beta we’re asking to just get your feedback on the general overview of all the systems. This would include anything concerning layout, combat, spells, dialogue, inventory use and equipment, to moving around and exploring.

We had some last minute issues with the Mac and Windows builds differing from one another, and while patching that up caused a few other problems to arise. Some of these will be addressed below, but this is part of the reason we’d like this to remain a general overview of all the beta systems. We’ll finish fixing things up and drop you a cleaner build to tackle the more detailed aspects of the gameplay in a smoother (less buggy) environment soon. This will include any of your suggestions as well. When we get that out for discussion and feedback proper, the more detailed gameplay fixes we can get from you can be used for the entirety of the game and all the maps outside the beta, which is going to make a tremendous difference in polish.

*This stage of the beta is missing a great deal of the final level of polish including conversations, item and skill tweaking, effects, and everything else you all will help improve. Consider the areas you’re playing through in an early enough stage to get a sense of the direction we’ve headed in, but not an example of what the final experience will entail. Much of this is in place just for testing while we continue to develop the rest of the maps outside the beta environment, like enemy spawning.

Bugs being fixed for the next build:
  • Text garbled in Windows
  • Fullscreening loses initial resolution chosen. Fullscreen not supported on this version
  • Small graphic glitches on Mac and Windows (art stretching, lines appearing off)
  • Quests not always saving correctly / spawning correctly. You can try initiating them, but you might not be able to finish in this version.
  • Merchants have unlimited stocked items when sold something, or to buy something.
  • Torch and world map are in flux currently, and will change in the next beta version to be much better. The World map is particularly finicky at the moment, and is a huge space to move around in currently. We’ve shrunk the map size considerably from what you’ll see in the current build, and it should be a much better solution.
  • Conversations with common folk / settlers haven’t been implemented and Arbiters aren’t spawning in yet (town guards).
  • Some existing conversations can loop
  • Entry points on some maps are not accurate to the exit point of the previous map
  • Hotkeys mapping menu isn’t synced up yet, though there are some existing ones to use.
  • Currently the only way to pass day/night is walking around overworld map. You will be able to do this other ways (talking to an innkeeper). There are differences in all areas as to what spawns and happens at night. The 5 overworld map locations are located as the green icons on the map above. This system, like mentioned, is a little broken as we’ve been implementing the new one, so travel on the overworld at your own risk. We’d advise waiting until the new build is out for an optimized experience.
  • Some backer portraits are being finished up on that were made for party-portraits.
General safety rule while playing around to help save time: SAVE OFTEN. There’s a quicksave button on the bottom right of the HUD (hotkey: Q). There are 4 companions available around the areas we’ve populated maps, though you can create a full party at the start to test as well.

Thanks so much for testing through the treacherous ground that is the beta, we hope you enjoy the direction we’re taking the game. Please share any feedback, and the more tangible ideas you have for improvement the more we can put them to good use. As mentioned in the previous post, we’d like all the feedback at the forums hub so we can be sure to see everything.​

Don't forget to vote Staglands up on Steam Greenlight, so it can be distributed in a less rudimentary fashion.

There are 22 comments on Serpent in the Staglands Beta Released

Legend of Grimrock 2 Races & Classes Revealed

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 13 October 2014, 17:09:39

Tags: Almost Human Games; Legend of Grimrock 2

Two days before the game's release, the official Legend of Grimrock 2 blog gives us a comprehensive listing of the game's races and classes. The selection of races is fairly similar to the first game's, minus the addition of the Ratling. The classes, on the other hand, have been completely overhauled. I quote:

Classes in Grimrock 2 are more flexible than in Grimrock 1. The classes give the characters a starting point and nudge towards a path without forcing it upon them. Every class can advance in the 16 available skills as they like. For example, nothing is stopping your Fighter to learn some magic as long as you advance your Fighter in the spell casting skills.

The classes determine your character’s health and energy and special abilities. The classes are:

Alchemist: Alchemists are the masters of potion brewing. Herbs automatically grow in the alchemist’s inventory during his journey on the island. Alchemists are also proficient with firearms (firearms have 50% less chance to malfunction).

Barbarian: Barbarians do not care about finesse in combat. Instead they rely on raw power and speed. Barbarians Strength is increased by 1 for every level they gain. Barbarians start with the largest amount of health points of all classes and their health grows rapidly as they gain levels.

Battle Mage: Battle Mages are comfortable with fighting in the front row as well as blasting with spells from the back row. They gain moderate amount of health and energy at 1st level. Like Wizards they are natural spellcasters and can cast spells with their bare hands. In addition, when a Battle Mage is equipped with a staff they gain bonuses to their defense.

Fighter: Fighters are masters of close combat. They are great at using special attacks of melee weapons (special attacks with melee weapons take half the time to build up and cost 25% less energy).

Knight: Knights believe that good preparation is the key to triumph in combat. Knight’s Protection value increase by 1 point per level and they are masters of using armor (weight of equipped armor is reduced by 50% and Evasion bonus of equipped shields is increased by 50%).

Rogue: Rogues are stealthy warrior who usually fight with ranged weapons or light melee weapons. When dual wielding they suffer only 25% penalty to weapon damage (normally 40%). Also their chance of scoring a critical hit with missile or throwing weapons is increased by 1% per level.

Wizard: Wizards are natural spellcasters who can cast spells with bare hands. For added effect they sometimes use enchanted staves and orbs to enhance their spellcasting abilities. Wizards have low health but high energy. They also get +2 bonus to their Willpower.

In addition there is a secret eighth class. You have to wait until Wednesday to find out yourself what it is. It is meant for advanced players and changes a core aspect of the game in a radical way.

Your character can also be customized by picking two traits and leveling up two skills of your choise (three if you have the Skilled trait). You can also pick your portrait from the 48 beautiful portraits available. If you can’t make up your mind about some aspect of character creation you can also let the fate decide: name, race, class, attribute scores, skills and traits can all be randomized if you so prefer. Oh, the random name generator has been updated. Say hello to Vaedar Dragonchild and Gamzam Fellsinger!
Oh yeah, now we're talking. Eight classes - no more of that banal Fighter/Mage/Rogue stuff. I wonder what the eighth one is, though. Return of Toorum?

There are 5 comments on Legend of Grimrock 2 Races & Classes Revealed

Sun 12 October 2014
Matt Chat 261: Robert Woodhead on Wizardry

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Sun 12 October 2014, 17:16:08

Tags: Andrew C. Greenberg; Robert J. Woodhead; Wizardry IV: The Return of Werdna; Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord

Continuing his trend of interviewing figures associated with Sir-Tech and the Wizardry series, Matt Barton recently began a new series of interviews with Wizardry co-creator Robert Woodhead. The first episode of the interview, which was broadcast last weekend, focused mainly on Robert's current activities as an anime importer, and thus was of little interest to the Codex. The latest episode, however, is more interesting.

In this episode, Robert retells the origin story of the first Wizardry, which was a combination of a Pascal game he created called Paladin, and a BASIC game by Andrew Greenberg, which was actually named Wizardry. According to Robert, and contra Robert Sirotek, both of them were equally vital to the game's success, with Robert in the role of programmer and engine developer, and Greenberg in the role of designer and content creator. No mention is made of the game's probable, ahem, inspirations on the PLATO network, however. There's also some interesting discussion of the technical challenges that the game faced, which inadvertently allowed it more time for testing, balancing and polish.

In the second half of the episode, Matt (somewhat awkwardly) tries to get Robert to talk about the dumbing down of modern games when compared to oldschool classics like Wizardry. Although Robert does admit at one memorable point that modern gamers are "pussies", he doesn't seem to think that it's a big deal overall. That discussion naturally leads to the topic of the notoriously difficult Wizardry IV, which Robert insists was "difficult, but fair". He says that making the game difficult was the right choice artistically, but concedes that it was a bad idea commercially.

There are 6 comments on Matt Chat 261: Robert Woodhead on Wizardry

Fri 10 October 2014
Torment Kickstarter Update #34: Kevin on the Stretch Goal, Adam on Advancement, Colin on Ossiphagan

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 10 October 2014, 23:03:19

Tags: Adam Heine; Colin McComb; InXile Entertainment; Kevin Saunders; Torment: Tides of Numenera

It's nice to see Torment: Tides of Numenera updates becoming more frequent. In today's Kickstarter update, the Torment Triumvirate - Kevin Saunders, Adam Heine and Colin McComb - are once again in full attendance. Kevin writes about the Gullet stretch goal, which is still $65,000 dollars away with five days remaining until the deadline. Adam writes about Torment's advancement mechanics, and the strategy he's chosen to balance them in a system that allows players to spend experience points on short term benefits. And Colin, as usual, supplies us with yet another massive lore dump, this time about Ossiphagan, a volcanic region of the world which is actually a gigantic abandoned interstellar forge. Since we're a bunch of mechanics nerds here, it's Adam's portion of the update that I'll be quoting:

Adam here. I'm going to talk about how character advancement will work in Tides of Numenera.

Before that, I should tell you how it works in Numenera tabletop, because it's not a strictly traditional advancement system. First, as we've often said, you get XP when you solve problems, complete quests, and make discoveries—not for individual kills. Second, XP is spent, not accumulated – like cyphers, XP are a resource not intended for hoarding. Most of the time, you'll have less than 4 XP, because that's how much most character advancement steps cost. Third, you can also spend XP on short-term benefits—on things other than character advancement.

That last one raises a couple of obvious questions. Why would you spend XP on short-term benefits when you can give your characters lasting benefits like new abilities (or flipped around: what happens if you spend all your XP on short-term benefits and get to the final confrontation with a 1st-Tier character)? Also, if the game has enough XP such that players can spend some on short-term benefits and max their Tier by the end, what's to stop them from spending all their XP on advancement up front, basically maxing out their Tier halfway through the game? How could we balance the game like that without scaling?

Our answer to these questions is what we are, in Torment, calling Discovery Points (DP). Throughout the game, you will gain both XP (per character) and DP (for the party).

Experience Points are gained primarily by accomplishing critical path tasks: progressing quests and solving Crises and other major encounters. Each character gains their own XP individually, though usually if the party completes a Crisis or a quest, all party members will gain the XP. (SIDEBAR: Sometimes you can leave a Companion behind and pick them up again later in the game. In these cases, they will gain their own XP outside of your influence (they don't just sit around waiting for you, after all). So if you pick them up again, you will find them close to your level.)

Each character spends their own XP on character advancement steps, each of which cost 4 XP. These advancement steps include:
  1. Increased Stat Pool
  2. Increased Stat Edge
  3. Increased Maximum Effort Level
  4. Additional Skill Training
  5. Improved paincasting ability (Last Castoff only)
  6. Additional Class Abilities (beyond what you get for your Tier)
  7. Reduced Armor Penalties
Every four advancement steps, the character will advance to the next Tier. The first five can only be advanced once per Tier, and #5-7 are really optional steps (the Last Castoff's paincasting ability will be improved in other ways in the course of the game).

Typical character advancement might look like this: (gain 4 XP) add a new Skill, (gain 4 XP) increase Might Edge, (gain 4 XP) increase Maximum Effort Level, (gain 4 XP) distribute 6 new Stat Pool points. Then as soon as the fourth one is done, that character advances to the next Tier—they gain new abilities from their Focus and choose new abilities and Skills from their Type (glaive, jack, or nano). They can also then use XP to purchase any of the advancement steps again toward the next Tier.

We're planning on balancing the game out to 6th Tier (the maximum Tier in the Corebook), though completionists may still be able to purchase certain advancement steps beyond that if they collect enough XP.

Discovery Points are primarily gained through (wait for it) discovery: figure out how to communicate with an ancient (and alien) intelligence, access a memory abandoned by the Changing God in your brain, or decipher the tale told by an ancient set of moving cave drawings.

DP can also be gained by accepting Intrusions. These are opportunities to make an easy encounter more interesting, rewarding the player for dealing with an added complication. For example, say you're taking on the Sorrow directly (it's not a good idea, but let's say that you are). You discover it's weak against fire damage and, with the help of a flamethrowing artifact you found, are actually doing pretty well against it.

Then an Intrusion occurs. The Sorrow begins to shifts its own molecular make-up so that it's weak against something else but fire barely hurts it. This Intrusion won't always happen: most Intrusions will only trigger when an encounter is already proving easy for you, and many of them have additional conditionals that must be met. Now that this one has triggered, you have a choice: you can spend 1 DP to stop the Intrusion (how that works out narratively depends on each Intrusion, for example maybe you strike a lucky blow, doing little or no damage, but disorienting the Sorrow long enough that it can't finish the shift), or you can let it happen to gain 2 DP.

DP is gained and used by the whole party, and it is spent on short-term benefits. We haven't finalized what all those benefits will be, but some examples might include:
  • Refusing an Intrusion
  • Making a recovery roll without needing to rest
  • Gaining an extra level of Effort on a task for free
  • Taking extra movement during a Crisis
  • Performing an extra action during a Crisis
  • Retrying a failed action during a Crisis
  • Crafting special items that require a crafting cost
The goal here is to maintain the mechanics that make Numenera fun, to keep Torment balanced (so we can estimate approximately what power level characters will be in a given Zone), all while doling out frequent and exciting rewards.
But yeah, that stretch goal - it's not looking too hot right now. Will there be a final day surge, like during a Kickstarter? The backer site now supports pledging any amount of money desired, which might help. You should at least make sure you've registered there and specified your add-ons by the end of the month, because inXile are apparently planning to close off certain add-ons after that.

There are 33 comments on Torment Kickstarter Update #34: Kevin on the Stretch Goal, Adam on Advancement, Colin on Ossiphagan

RPG Codex Interview: Seven Dragon Saga - A Return To Golden Boxes

Codex Interview - posted by Zed on Fri 10 October 2014, 20:27:11

Tags: Seven Dragon Saga; Tactical Simulations Interactive


Tactical Simulations Interactive, or TSI Games, were kind enough to answer some of our questions regarding their upcoming (spiritual) successor to the GoldBox RPGs of the late 80s and early 90s: Seven Dragon Saga. Set in a new fantasy universe and being based on different pen & paper ruleset, one may wonder if this game will be able to live up to the legacy of the classics. Well, I don't know. This is an interview; not a preview, not a review. You silly goose.

From this interview, we learn with certainty that TSI will indeed go the route of crowdfunding Seven Dragon Saga. Let this be a lesson to everybody seeking factuals from media outlets such as Kotaku. We also learn a thing or two about party sizes, combat, the world map and more.

A couple of cool snippets:

In the press-release, one bullet-point touches on the importance of choices and consequences in the game. How will these choices be present, and how are you keeping track of the consequences? Will you be using something like a reputation system? Also, will there be any moral or ethical dispositions for characters – something like D&Ds alignment system?

The player's party represents the Empire in a newly conquered land during a time of crisis, so the NPCs on all sides fall into factions, which we will track with a reputation system. Players' choices at critical junctures can also modify the relative strengths of these faction. For instance, if the player liberates a border fort, he may have the option to raise the flag of one faction or another, granting them control of the fortress and surrounding lands. Should they come to regret the choice, another conquest of the fort may be in order.

We are currently balancing out a Goals system for individual characters. During character creation, the player will be able to select from a limited list of Goals. When the resolution of a quest aligns with that character's goals, they receive a benefit. Not all quest resolutions will have the full range of Goal alignment, so simply having a 'Greedy' party will not provide an optimum solution. Choosing a range of sometimes conflicting goals provides the party a potentially greater benefit, but may begin to clash with the player's personal goals, or lead to the alienation of useful factions. ​

You have made it clear that Seven Dragon Saga is not another tale of a simple farmer's rise to power and glory. What exactly does this entail for the gameplay? Will the game still have the progression relative to a beginner's campaign, but cosmetically scaled up in power? Or will it be more like a playing a high level campaign off-the-bat?

Missing all of your attacks and having 4 HP simply isn't fun. Players can expect to start at a mid-level of proficiency with a reasonable set of skills and abilities to choose from. This means the player will not advance as quickly as some games where 10th level is only a couple of hours away, but endgame characters are more flexible and powerful. Part of this is through incremental improvements (spending points on abilities), part through acquiring new powers, and part through equipment (loot and constructed). ​​

Enjoy the interview and have a great weekend.

Read the full article: RPG Codex Interview: Seven Dragon Saga - A Return To Golden Boxes

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Felipe Pepe at Gamasutra: Why are we abandoning gaming history?

Editorial - posted by Infinitron on Fri 10 October 2014, 15:41:38

Tags: CRPG Book Project

If you've been following the discussion on our forums, you've probably already heard about Codexer Felipe Pepe's CRPG Book Project. It's an ambitious undertaking that aims to chronicle the history of the genre and shine a spotlight on its most notable entries via short reviews crowdsourced from the community. Recently, the project has begun to receive some mainstream media attention, such as this short blurb at Kotaku from last month, while celebrity reviewers such as Tim Cain and Chris Avellone have pitched in to contribute. Now, Felipe has followed that publicity up impressively with a fantastic editorial over at Gamasutra, entitled "Amnesiac Heroes: Why are we abandoning gaming history?". Here's a quote:

In 2012, Frank Cifaldi published here on Gamasutra an article on how poorly gamign history is being kept, exemplified by how we don’t even know when Super Mario Bros. was released in the US. He ended his article by saying “If this is the state of video game preservation in 2012, 50 years after Spacewar!, we're in trouble”. I couldn’t agree more.

While researching CRPG history, I was shocked at how the old editions of the now defunct Computer Gaming World magazine are still one of the best sources for anything pre-Windows. At how articles often omit sources and citations. At the amount of misinformation circulating the web. At how only a handful of few websites and individuals, such as Matt Barton , The RPG Codex and The CRPG Addict, actually work towards preserving our history. At how I have to explain that Fallout 3 had two games before it.

Think for a moment on what is commonly said about pre-90’s CRPGs, on what the younger generations have heard about: Wasteland is the grand-father of Fallout Wasteland 2; Rogue lead to roguelikes; Pool of Radiance “became” Baldur’s Gate and Ultima IV was made by that weird guy that went to space and did a kickstarter recently. That’s all you’re likely to find about the first 16 years of CRPGs in the mainstream media, almost half of our history. And there’s a good chance that it was written by people that never actually played those games.

Cinema is over a century old, yet it’s expected for any decent critic or self-proclaimed enthusiast to have a knowledge ranging from ancient classics such as Battleship Potemkin and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari to recent movies only shown at foreign festivals. If you tried to write about cinema having watched only post-90’s movies and one or two older Disney animations, you would be nothing more than a joke. Renting Citizen Kane once, or the fact that you grew up watching movies, aren't remarkable achievements in a serious industry.

So how can we ask others to respect games as art, when even gamers and industry professionals don’t bother to learn about its history?

Why it’s that gaming, with such a short existence, is already forgetting its past? Why people that proudly call themselves "hardcore gamers" are ignorant and wary of anything more than a decade old? Why do we accept people writing about games that they only read on Wikipedia or watched a Let’s Play? Yes, believe me, its plain obvious that someone that struggles to understand Ultima Underworld’s interface isn’t “a long time Ultima fan”.

Recently, with the kickstarter frenzy, old names came back from exile and many tales of their past glories were told – usually with very detailed descriptions, such as “the classic old-school game X”. But no one bothers to ask about the ones that never returned. There's no research, no fact checking. It’s always easier to interview the legendary Lord British that mailed you to promote his new game than to go after the long-forgotten Lord Wood, who revealed he was working a fifth Phantasie game a year ago and no one noticed. In 2011, Wizardry’s 30th Anniversary was greeted with a big event in Japan, yet I challenge you to find a single article in western gaming media celebrating the date, interviewing developers or bringing any information to their audience that didn't came from Wizardry Online's press release.

Hell, a group of over 30 professional game journalists recently wrote a book listing 1001 games you should play before dying, yet didn't include a single Wizardry, Might & Magic, King's Quest or Gold Box title. Again, one thousand and one games listed, yet there's no room for some of the biggest and most influential series of the past.

So I must ask: when the media say that they don't talk about older games because the audience has no interest in them, is it a proven fact or a self-fulfilling prophecy? People can’t crave what they never heard about.
Read the whole thing there. And if you'd like to contribute to Felipe's book, be sure to check out our dedicated subforum.

There are 176 comments on Felipe Pepe at Gamasutra: Why are we abandoning gaming history?

Wed 8 October 2014
Chaos Chronicles resurrected? Resurfaces on Steam as "Century of Chaos"

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 8 October 2014, 19:29:48

Tags: bitComposer; Century of Chaos; Chaos Chronicles

It's been over a year since the development of Chaos Chronicles, the promising-looking isometric tactical RPG from the now-defunct German developer Coreplay, came to what appeared to be a sad conclusion, as documented here on the Codex in a series of news posts and interviews. Since then we've heard nothing about the game's fate from its publisher, bitComposer, and after the removal of its store page from Steam it was assumed to be permanently dead, although it was never officially cancelled.

It now appears, however, that Chaos Chronicles might not be gone for good. You see, when a game is taken off of Steam, its community page always remains behind, and it remains registered in Steam's database, which is publicly browsable on the outstanding SteamDB site. Yesterday, eagle-eyed Codexer Sinatar noticed that Chaos Chronicles' entry in the database had been surreptitiously renamed to Century of Chaos, as was its community page.


What could this mean? Some people suggested that bitComposer might simply be reusing Chaos Chronicles' entry on Steam for a different game, but the similarity of the names, plus the fact that they had absolutely no reason not to create a new one, makes that highly unlikely. No, in all likelihood, bitComposer have rebooted or are attempting to reboot the development of Chaos Chronicles, under a different developer. Who that developer is - and whether they can even pull this off - remains to be seen.

In related news, the people behind Coreplay, including the Codex's own Peter "HobGoblin42" Ohlmann, have reorganized under a new studio - Grimlore Games, a subsidiary of the Austrian publisher Nordic Games. Their first game will be Spellforce 3, a sequel to the Spellforce RTS series originally created by Phenomic Games, another German developer that was later swallowed up and destroyed by Electronic Arts, after being forced to create F2P browser games for a few years.

Man, the German game development scene sure is rough.

There are 39 comments on Chaos Chronicles resurrected? Resurfaces on Steam as "Century of Chaos"

Tue 7 October 2014
Serpent in the Staglands Update: Backer beta to be released on October 11th

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 7 October 2014, 02:44:15

Tags: Serpent in the Staglands; Whalenought Studios

Looks like October is going to be a busy month for RPG fans, as yet another anticipated title hits beta. This time it's Serpent in the Staglands, whose beta is set to be released on October 11th, as explained in the game's latest Kickstarter update. As usual, awesome Darklandsy animated GIFs abound.

[​IMG] [​IMG]

We’re very excited to announce that we’ll be releasing the beta to specific backer tiers next weekend, so put on your Spicer boots, grab a torch, and get ready for some adventuring. The initial beta will be for Windows and Mac and will include all the main features in the game to be tested. These maps will have the (beta-stage) version of questing, encounters, town folk, and battles we’ve set up for testing.

It will be primarily low level content for the first grade of skills/spells and aptitude abilities, and we’ll be updating the beta down the road with the second grade of skills/spells for a new content area. We’re aiming to not spoil any of the main quest pick-ups in this combat beta, so we’ve changed certain NPCs and removed some random special encounters. Bandits, Iele gangs, flying imps, possessed children, Padurii and more are all awaiting a beating.

It will be primarily low level content for the first grade of skills/spells and aptitude abilities, and we’ll be updating the beta down the road with the second grade of skills/spells for a new content area. We’re aiming to not spoil any of the main quest information in this combat beta, so we’ve changed certain NPCs and removed some random special encounters. Bandits, Iele gangs, flying imps, possessed children, Padurii and more are all awaiting a beating.

We’ve set up some additional information on gameplay specifics on the game site here you can check out. The forums have been set up with a few specific pages for bugs/suggestions from testers as well, so sign up there to give any feedback, as it will be a hub for general communication.

The night/day system will be included in the beta areas, and will affect a few things including change what enemies dwell in certain areas (bandits during the day could be replaced with a coven at night). Random encounters will also be included in overworld-map travel. These have some pretty heavy quest elements later on in the game that we’ll introduce in the second stage of the beta, but for now are limited to battle encounters.

We will be setting up the beta for download on either platform and will email all the beta backers and paypal backers of that tier with where and how to download. Looking forward to next weekend!
Check out the full update for a few samples of Staglands' soundtrack. And don't forget to vote the game up on Steam Greenlight so we can get the beta on Steam!

There are 55 comments on Serpent in the Staglands Update: Backer beta to be released on October 11th

Sat 4 October 2014
Lords of Xulima Early Access Update: New Regions Unlocked

Game News - posted by Crooked Bee on Sat 4 October 2014, 12:53:19

Tags: Lords of Xulima; Numantian Games

Numantian Games' oldschool turn-based RPG Lords of Xulima, of which we did a lengthy preview not so long ago, has received a major Early Access update on Steam. The update introduces new regions to the game with around 30 hours of additional gameplay, as well as new high level skills for Mages and Clerics.

We are very happy to announce that we have unlocked a new portion of the game with about 30 hours of gameplay. Now the game is playable up to 80% of the full content. Everything but the Titans chapter is now playable. The two chapters, "The Divine Artifacts" and "The Impious Princes" can be completed now.


We recommend you to start exploring the Northwest part of Vilak, entering from Sorrentia, and then continue your adventure in Rasmura. The new content is more open and non linear than ever; you have to choose carefully where to go and what to explore and which enemies to fight. Don't try to clean a whole region, instead travel and explore the different regions. You can explore a part of the Ancient Ruins of Devonia, then travel to Tailkendil island in Varas Talak, then return to the Tower of Rage, explore the West of Vilak... More than ever, your destiny is in your hands.

By the way, the entire region of Nagira is now unlocked, although you will have to find a way to reach the Ovengel's castle without ending with your bones burned to the ground.

New High Level skills for Mages and Clerics

Originally we estimated that players would finish the game with a 40-45 level party, so because of that there are no new skills beyond level 40. But we know that some players are collecting until the last experience point they can, so some heroic parties can reach new epics levels of 50-55 or even more. To reward those awesome players, we have created some new high level skills for levels 45 and 50 that will make you feel as if you were a Demigod.

Most people never will see those skills, but they are there. Surely people that plays the Hard-Core mode will find these skills helpful. And we will implement more new skills for the rest of the classes.​

Read the update in full on Kickstarter.

Mathieu has also told me that "development [on Lords of Xulima] will be speeding up quite a bit this month". Read the full planned schedule here.

Finally, Lords of Xulima is now available in the Humble Store, where you can buy it at 20% off until Monday.

There are 21 comments on Lords of Xulima Early Access Update: New Regions Unlocked

Kingdom Come: Deliverance Progress Report: New trailer, alpha access coming on October 22

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sat 4 October 2014, 01:51:26

Tags: Dan Vávra; Kingdom Come: Deliverance; Warhorse Studios

Warhorse Studios' Daniel Vavra, who has been in the news recently, has published a new Kingdom Come: Deliverance progress report video for the game's latest Kickstarter update. The main takeaway from the video is that the game's alpha is scheduled to be released to eligible backers on October 22nd. The alpha will consist of a slice of gameplay taking place in a small village, with no combat but some minor quests. Near the end of the video there's a new trailer, depicting the idyllic peasant life in what I assume is that same village.

The video also contains an amusing little combat demonstration, a detailed look at Warhorse's motion capture and 3D facial scanning processes, some information about their reconstruction of authentic medieval murals, and other fun stuff. So check it out.

There are 108 comments on Kingdom Come: Deliverance Progress Report: New trailer, alpha access coming on October 22

Thu 2 October 2014
Pillars of Eternity delayed to early 2015

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 2 October 2014, 19:17:55

Tags: Feargus Urquhart; Obsidian Entertainment; Paradox Interactive; Pillars of Eternity

Since the release of the backer beta, many backers of Pillars of Eternity have guessed that it would probably be delayed beyond its originally scheduled release date of Winter 2014. Well, today somebody at Paradox seems to have decided to leak the news early:

Obsidian Entertainment and Paradox Interactive announced today that the highly anticipated fantasy role-playing game Pillars of Eternity, originally scheduled for release in late 2014, has been delayed until early 2015.

Feedback through the beta process from those who backed Pillars of Eternity on Kickstarter has been extremely helpful. The development team are listening to the feedback and are incorporating changes to ensure fans absolutely get the best game possible. This short delay will allow Obsidian to produce the quality of game that they can be rightly proud of.

"Since the very beginning of this project we promised our fans and ourselves that we would release this game only when we knew it would be absolutely ready for the best experience possible. We're very close to that point, but not quite there yet. The feedback we have received through our playtest process has been invaluable to us. We are coming into the home stretch but are pushing the release out just a bit to make sure we honor that promise we made originally. Thanks for your patience and support, it will be worth the wait." – Feargus Urquhart, CEO Obsidian.

Both Obsidian and Paradox are aware of the anticipation the thousands of people who donated to the Pillars of Eternity Kickstarter campaign have, many of whom have been clamoring for a game in the style of classic role-playing games for years. And, rest assured, no one is more anxious for the completion and release of this game than we are. However, we are excited to get the extra time to incorporate the feedback and add additional polish.

Your enthusiasm and support has been energizing for everyone and we're just as excited as you are for this game to come out and kick this new renaissance of classic style CRPG's into high gear!
Good news, I guess. I wonder how they're funding it.

There are 162 comments on Pillars of Eternity delayed to early 2015

Wed 1 October 2014
Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #57: Post-Release Update

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 1 October 2014, 21:46:18

Tags: Chris Keenan; InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

A week and a half after the release of Wasteland 2, inXile have published a new Kickstarter update summing up what's happened since then. I quote:

Wow! We've been extremely humbled and electrified at the feedback coming in during Wasteland 2's first week as an officially released game! We love seeing you discover all the little touches and intricacies of the game. We have been very happy to see people engrossed by the game we made with your help, and the high praise directed at it! So, mission accomplished, time to wrap this baby up!

I kid..I kid. We started working on our first patch even before the game was out, and released it last Friday. You can find the 9 pages of patch notes over on our tumblr.

Many fixes were to issues we were aware of but we've also been keeping an eye on your feedback, and tweaking the game experience based on the masses of information flowing across the various discussion boards on the web. One example of this was reducing the jam rates for guns that most frequently caused problems. Our design team is busy cleaning up issues in the various levels and will continue to do so. We are also hard at work fixing memory-related issues to reduce crashes on 32-bit machines.

The game launched with some problems in localizations causing keywords to be entirely missing which could lock you into dialogs. With the latest patch these bugs should be resolved, we will continue to catch any straggling bugs and to polish, edit and improve the localized versions in the future. We fully intend to continue supporting and updating this game, while we are also starting on the development of our modding tools.


Part of the fun and horror of releasing a game is watching reviews stream in, both from users and press. Thankfully it was more fun than horror as Wasteland 2 currently stands at 88% recommended on Steam, with a lot of great reads in the top helpful reviews.

Press reviews have been great as well, such as these from Game Informer (8.75), Gizorama (4.5/5), and GamesBeat (94). We're rounding up all reviews on our tumblr (116 and counting).

Physical Goods Shipping

While everyone can and hopefully is playing Wasteland 2 now with their Steam or GOG keys from the Ranger Center, we've been awaiting timelines from Deep Silver on physical shipping. Because they assembled different elements from different locations in the world and generally used slower shipping, the timeline of physical goods was much longer than we anticipated. As it is looking now, our timeline will be:

- The first batch of physical goods will be standard boxes only, shipped on the 3rd week of this month. These will go out to backers receiving only the standard box.
- Batches of physical goods including the metal Collector's Edition box will ship next and we'll announce a more precise time as soon as we have it.

Deep Silver will ship them with general post shipping (without tracking). We will keep you informed as we get more info on the specific batches shipping out.

We apologize this process took longer than we'd planned or hoped for at the outset. Unfortunately, things outside of our control made it take longer than anticipated. We will do our utmost to ensure you get your physical goods as soon as is possible and in good order.
So, Deep Silver sucks. Who would have guessed? At least there's a nice shoutout to the Pathologic Kickstarter.

There are 55 comments on Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #57: Post-Release Update

Trent Oster interviewed about Icewind Dale:EE at RPGamer, admits he "screwed up" BG:EE

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 1 October 2014, 17:06:22

Tags: Beamdog; Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition; Trent Oster

Over at RPGamer, there's a new interview with Edition Enhancer-in-chief Trent Oster, about the upcoming Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition. Normally I wouldn't newspost this kind of pre-release fluff for such a minor title, but this particular interview actually asks some good questions, and gets a few decent answers, including one rather stunning admission. Here's an excerpt:

JS: Are you adding in any extra original content similar to the Baldur's Gate: EEs? With no recruitable characters in Icewind Dale, you seem to be limited to just storyline or side-quest content.

: We've added all the classes and kits from Baldur's Gate II: EE (as well as a couple of new ones), and over 150 new spells and class abilities to improve the game. There are over 60 new items added to the game. As Icewind Dale was always about creating your entire party, we chose not to implement new characters, but retain the nature and feel of the original.

JS: Are you worried about affecting the overall game balance and difficulty by adding in the new character kits, items, and spells? How do you try to balance this, or can you?

: The new additions will affect the balance, but Icewind Dale was a very hard game to start with, so the challenge will remain. With "Heart of Fury" mode, the challenge is even greater, making monsters smarter and more powerful, increasing an already daunting challenge to new heights. On the other end, we've added what we call "Story Mode" for the players who want to enjoy the epic storytelling that the Infinity Engine games are known for without having to wade through hours of combat. I think, in summary, we've got something for everyone.

JS: I noticed this will also have a multiplayer feature. There are some reports that this functionality is not working well for some users on Baldur's Gate I and II EEs. Has this concern been addressed?

: We screwed up. We made the same rookie mistake that many studios do, and we caved to external pressure and shipped Baldur's Gate: EE and Baldur's Gate II: EE earlier than we should have and there were bugs in the multiplayer code. With the start of 2014, we had a clean slate on the publishing side, and we were able to take the extra time to fix the bugs and make a game we are proud of.

Icewind Dale: EE multiplayer is tight and works well. We've already moved many of those fixes into the Baldur's Gate: EE 1.3 Update which just released on all platforms, including iPhone, so the proof is out there. The new stability and polish are due to the heroic efforts of our testing team, people such as Gate70, Grogerson, and Troodon80, recruited from the community, and a general high level of commitment to quality across the company. We had the whole team testing the game for a period, and we made the decision to implement "Story Mode" based on feedback from a team member who was new to Infinity Engine games.

JS: Do you plan to follow this up with Icewind Dale II: EE?

: If Icewind Dale is a brother or sister to the Baldur's Gate games in terms of code and gameplay differences, Icewind Dale II and Planescape: Torment are more like third cousins. You can see the lineage, but the changes are deep. At this point we haven't gone spelunking too deep into those changes, but we are aware of many differences which will drive up the effort to do our thing on those projects. We hope to do more spleunking once we finish up with the 1.3 Updates for Baldur's Gate: EE and Baldur's Gate II: EE and ship Icewind Dale: EE.

JS: Without getting too technical, what is the nature of differences between Icewind Dale II and Icewind Dale? Any specific examples of challenges that have to be overcome?

: Icewind Dale II implemented the 3rd Edition rules and has a completely different UI scheme. We're really not sure how deep those changes run. The move to 3rd Edition rules would invalidate all the character classes and require a pretty thorough rework of the entire game to bring in the features from our Infinity Plus Engine. At minimum, nightmares abound.

JS: We have discussed the potential of Baldur's Gate III in past interviews. Is it something that is still potentially on the table or being considered?

: We are still interested in Baldur's Gate III. As to what a Baldur's Gate III would be, wow, that is a terrifying premise. I think every Baldur's Gate fan has a different image in their head as to what it would be, and making all of those fans happy would be a monumental challenge. For now, we haven't started any work on a Baldur's Gate III, but we do discuss the concept on a pretty regular basis.
Well, that was unexpected. Maybe Beamdog's reputation can yet be salvaged. Although at the end of the day, they're still just hawking out $20 remakes in an age where we're finally getting a bunch of new RPGs for a change, so yeah.

There are 55 comments on Trent Oster interviewed about Icewind Dale:EE at RPGamer, admits he "screwed up" BG:EE

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Codex definition, a book manuscript.
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