Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Mon 16 August 2004, 17:15:45Tags: Omega Syndrome
Our interview with David Moffatt, author of Omega Syndrome. It's that nifty shareware CRPG with an eerie aliens on Earth plot and a turn based combat system.
1.) Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Your background with CRPGs? Why you decided to make one?
I am a programmer by trade and my passion is programming CRPGs. I donâ€™t play CRPGs these days as I spend all of my spare time working on OS. As to my background with CRPGs I have only played a few: Wasteland, Ultima 7 & 8, Fallout 1 & 2 and Baldurs Gate. Of those games my favorites are Ultima 7 and Fallout. The game that influenced me most in terms of game play is Fallout. The game that influenced me most in terms of game engine creation is Baldurs Gate.
Several years ago I stopped playing computer games, as I no longer found them fun or interesting. At the time I thought I had grown out of them, but then I discovered Fallout and really enjoyed playing it. After the Fallout experience I realized I hadnâ€™t grown out of computer games at all, its just that very few great CRPGs are ever made. So instead of complaining about the lack of great games, I decided to learn how to make my own computer games and The Omega Syndrome is the result of those efforts.
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Interview - posted by Ausir on Thu 29 July 2004, 13:09:18Tags: 3D People; Kult: Heretic Kingdoms
Our interview with Peter Nagy (Lead Artist) and Jan Turan (Lead Programmer) of 3D People, plus Chris Bateman (Game Designer/Script Writer) and Richard Boon (Story Designer/Script Editor) from International Hobo about their cRPG title, Kult: Heretic Kingdoms
- Peter: The Heretic Kingdoms look and feel different to the usual fantasy world â€“ and the further into the game that player goes, the more obvious this becomes. Story-wise, god is dead, religion is outlawed, and the Inquisition â€“ the player is an Inquisitor â€“ has absolute power. Many people are poor and weak, but a few notable people, specifically the Scarred, have access to potentially limitless power. Itâ€™s hard to explain, but so many of the details of Kult separate its background from those of other games. Weâ€™re not trying to create something completely new, by any means â€“ we love fantasy stories and art, and games â€“ but we wanted our world to be individual and recognisable. To be worth the time and effort it takes to explore it.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Tue 20 July 2004, 17:21:40Tags: Minions of Mirth; Prairie Games
Our interview with Joshua Ritter of Prairie Games about his CRPG title, Minions of Mirth.
6.) Can you provide us with an example of good and evil instances in the game? How is good and evil handled? Are there consequences for evil actions?
There are four alignments in the game: Good, Evil, Neutral, and Monster. A character can be any of the first three (and at some point we may support monster characters). Depending on your race, you start borderline good, evil, or neutral. There are good/evil quests and good/evil NPCs to aid or vanquish. If you play both sides, you'll be considered Neutral (though, technically I would call this evil). Importantly, there is also a political system which is based on opposing factions. This works much in the same way as alignment, but allows us some liberty in the writing.
Good, evil, and eeeeeeville.
Review - posted by Vault Dweller on Fri 9 July 2004, 22:25:31Tags: Black Isle Studios; Interplay; Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader; Reflexive Entertainment; Vault Dweller
Yep. I said I'll do it and 3 months later I finally did it. So, since you're all obviously dying to know what kinda game [URL='http://lionheart.blackisle.com/']Lionheart[/URL] was, without further ado, I present you [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.com/content.php?id=98']The Lionheart Review![/URL] [INDENT]Lionheart wasn't a good game by any standards. There was too much click fest combat to make it a good adventure RPG. The combat itself was poorly implemented and thus failed to meet the standards of today's action RPGs, and Lionheart definitely didn't qualify to be an RPG in a role-playing kind of way. So, why write a review if the game clearly sucked, you ask? Lionheart should have been a very good, if not a great game. It took a lot of talent and skills to bury that promise. Let's follow each choice and see where and how it went wrong.[/INDENT] Lionheart is one of the things that I "don't get". I would really like to see the design doc for this one.
Interview - posted by Whipporowill on Wed 30 June 2004, 18:20:01Tags: Leonard Boyarsky; Troika Games; Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines
We got a chance to ask Leonard Boyarski a few questions on Troika's higly anticpated Vampire: the Masquerade Bloodlines. Here's a snippet:
Considering fire is one of the only things than can seriously hurt and/or kill a Vampire in the World of Darkness, it's pretty serious stuff. Will there be Flamethrowers or Molotov Cocktails, and if so, how does fire psychics work? Will it spread through the area and take hold or just flicker and die as in most games it's been used?
Weâ€™re currently at work implementing the flamethrower, but there are no Molotov cocktails. Fire isnâ€™t affected by physics, so it doesnâ€™t spread on its own. It does cause aggravated damage to vampires, as it should, but a lot of other damage types affect and are dangerous to vampires in the White Wolf system.
Mmm. Nothing like the smell of burning undead in the morning. Click here for the rest of the moutwatering interview.
Interview - posted by Exitium on Thu 24 June 2004, 02:57:08Tags: Obsidian Entertainment; Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords
Frank Kowalkowski is a Senior Programmer at Obsidian Entertainment and he was nice enough to answer a few questions. His current game is Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, which is slated for a winter release on both the PC and Xbox platforms. The current programming team on KOTOR 2 also include: Adam Brennecke, Anthony Davis, Rich Taylor, Dan Spitzley, Jay Fong, and Chris "Fearless Programming Leader" Jones.
Interview - posted by Spazmo on Sun 6 June 2004, 15:44:17Tags: Gearhead; Joseph Hewitt
We have a talk with Joseph Hewitt, creator of the popular giant robot roguelike Gearhead. Here's a snippet.
I've tried to fill GearHead with as many different
activities as I can. Many of these are drawn from
anime. The PC can join the army, become a pop star,
collect superpowered pets, take a vacation at the hot
springs resort, find a girlfriend or boyfriend,
construct an intelligent robot, and do many other
Interaction with NPCs is very important in GearHead.
It's the only way a starting character can get jobs.
In most RPGs the easiest character for a beginner to
play is one who is good at combat... in GearHead, I
think that the easiest character for a beginner is one
who is very charismatic.
I've always wanted to be a charismatic robot. Read more here.
Review - posted by Exitium on Wed 24 March 2004, 03:32:05Tags: Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader; Reflexive Entertainment
RPG Codex takes an in depth look into the abyss of gaming.
Competition - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Wed 10 March 2004, 20:31:30Tags: Encore Software; Sacred
Since Sacred offers such nice options in clothing and accessories and also has some nice, ph4t l3wt, that's what this contest to win a free copy of the game is about.
For full details, click here.
Review - posted by Spazmo on Thu 19 February 2004, 10:33:38Tags: Geneforge 2; Jeff Vogel; Spiderweb Software
We finally get around to reviewing Geneforge 2. The verdict: it's good.
If you ask the staff members of the RPG Codex for their favourite CRPGs, you're likely to find two common answers from all of them: Fallout and Geneforge. The first is something of a no-brainer but many gamers have never heard of the latter, which is a real shame given how good it is. For a mere $25, the good folks at Spiderweb Software would sell you Geneforge, easily one of the best CRPGs in years. Geneforge was a solid success for Spiderweb, prompting the development and release of a sequel, Geneforge 2. We're happy to report that Geneforge 2 is a fantastic game and lives up to its predecessor admirably.
Anyone surprised? No? Good!
Review - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 5 February 2004, 18:39:10Tags: Nival Interactive; Silent Storm
Our [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.com/content.php?id=95']review[/URL] of [URL='http://www.silentstorm-online.com/']Silent Storm[/URL]. Basically, it's cool. I liked it. That didn't stop me from making a few complaints, though! Here's one of them: [INDENT] Additionally, you can blow up walls and structures with mines and grenades. You can plant explosive traps in windows, doors, and other devices you can directly interact with in order to bring the house down. Of course, this tends to kill anyone in the building, so it's an expensive way of wiping out a nest of snipers sitting in an attic loft rather than risking other methods of direct confrontation. The only major problem with this is that you can't plant explosives directly on walls themselves. You have to plant them in the doors, windows, and so on or on the ground. It would have been nice to be able to blow up a support column by slapping a charge directly on the column itself and running.[/INDENT] I hate limits on my ability to blow stuff up!
Editorial - posted by Spazmo on Fri 23 January 2004, 02:08:59Tags: The Year in Review
We examine the big events in the RPG industry in 2003 and explain why they're mostly horrible.
During the summer of this year, the people at Bethesda Softworks saw fit to inflict upon us another expansion to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.Bloodmoon has you investigating werewolves on the snowy island of--oh, who gives a shit? It's the same old hopelessly dull Morrowind gameplay. You run around fairly pretty countryside beating the tar out of hordes of stupid cliff racers doing completely pointless quests that involve murdering people for no real reason and occasionally 'talking' to the walking search engines the game calls NPCs. Morrowind is a terrible game and the expansions for it don't seem to fix any of that horror.
Oh, dear. Critical levels of sass are being attained, folks.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Tue 20 January 2004, 02:13:14Tags: Akella; Alexander Filatow; Metalheart: Replicants Rampage
Our interview with Akella's own Alexander Filatow and Alexander Shcherbakov about Metalheart, their isometric, sci-fi, turned based CRPG.
10.) Can you tell us a little bit about the factions in the game? For example, if your character is a Nomad, the story has differences than if you were a Human. Can you elaborate on this?
Lets make things clear. There are two main characters. Pre-generated characters. They are humans. And just cannot be nomads os somebody else. You can develop them in lots of ways, but in the end youâ€™re playing the role of a man trying to survive and escape. The factions in the game, as I said before, have their own behaviour â€˜patternsâ€™. And the world in Meatalheart is alive, so you have to build relationship with different races, different groups.
No character creation is definitely a bummer.
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Thu 15 January 2004, 08:16:25Tags: Dmitry Zakharov; Nival Interactive; Silent Storm
Dmitry Zakharov of Nival Interactive has taken time to answer our questions about Silent Storm, turn-based tactical RPG.
2. Silent Storm has many interesting and rarely seen these days features: turn-based combat, role-playing, non-linear campaign structure, multiple paths to complete missions, and interactive environment. Please tell us why each option was chosen, i.e. turn based instead of real time, non-linear instead of linear, etc.
The ultimate goal for all these improvements and concept key-points was to provide players with maximum freedom at every level of gameplay. Thus, for Silent Storm weâ€™ve chosen the turn-based genre as it offers full control over the tactical situation and every operative in your squad. It enables players to make the best use of equipment, weapons, combat patterns and so on. It allows you to immerse into your mission, step into the boots of your squaddies, scrutinize details or apply group strategy whenever needed, at your own choice.
Yet again, non-linear campaign structure means more freedom, flexibility and replayability for the game. Every time you start the game, special randomizer mixes up campaign missions, clues, sensitive information and other game evidence that drives you throughout and uncovers the plot. As you proceed and find these clues, new missions and objectives open up on the global map. This is where you decide which mission to take and in what direction you want to investigate and impose your subversive activity.
Appearance of multiple paths to complete missions was inevitable with the introduction of totally destructible environment and powerful graphical engine in Silent Storm, unseen in the games of its genre before. It lets you collapse buildings, crush through doors, shoot enemies through ceiling by the sound of their footsteps. So, for instance, you can blow a wall with a pack of TNT anywhere you please and distract enemy guards while doing silent killing on the side of the lab. This permits you to fully use your tactical thinking and equipment at hand to accomplish the mission in the best way possible or in your own style. Thatâ€™s why weâ€™ve chosen it.
Ok, I'm sold, from now on I'm playing only turn-based non-linear games!:)
Competition - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Sun 11 January 2004, 15:57:41Tags: Encore Software; Silent Storm
Okay, we've got a little contest to do. Our first one here at this site. Basically, here's what you have to do to win one of three copies of Silent Storm, the soon to be released World War II themed tactical, mission based CRPG.
Make a World War 2 themed propeganda poster advertising Silent Storm, then email it to me by next Thursday, January 15th 2004. We'll pick the winners on Friday, gather their addresses up, and fire them off to Encore Software. They'll then send you the copy.
The rules would be not to use any trademarks other than Silent Storm stuff. Nothing involving naughty bits, either. Entries are to be in JPEG format. Only those living in the United States and Canada are eligible due to shipping stuff.
So, get photoshopping, GIMPing, or whatever thing you use to edit pictures up.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Wed 31 December 2003, 14:21:33Tags: Cornutopia Software; Flatspace; Mark Sheeky
An interview with Matt Sheeky about Flatspace, his 3D on a 2D plane space trader game with rogue-like elements. Here's a taste:
2.) Flatspace has some interesting features from rogue-like games, including permadeath, graveyards, random universe generation, and so forth. Can you tell us a little bit about why you've added features like this? What made you think they'd be interesting in this context?
Well, I like Nethack. Random elements always make a game better because they really add to the depth for such a small amount of development work. Once you've completed Half Life, there is no real reason to ever play it again so why don't they add random levels? Getting the computer to generate as much from seeds can lead to great depth and complexity without much outlay. The real Universe is generated algorithmically after all.
The exploration aspects of rogue clones is rarely used in games, yet those are some of their most interesting aspects. Every game is different. It keeps the game interesting even at the start, a plot driven game gets more and more interesting until you finish the game and never play it again. If a game is just as fun at the start as the end then permadeath is not a penalty.
Nice cover art, ain't it?
Interview - posted by Ausir on Wed 24 December 2003, 00:54:00Tags: Forlorn World; Ground Zero
Przemo_nie of Ground Zero has taken time to answer our questions about Trinity.
6. Will the game be linear or not? How much freedom will the player have in exploring the world and the plot?
The player will have only one purpose after starting the game: to survive as long as he can. We might give the PC some quest to do, which will be his goal in life. However, as in life, he won't have to reach it. All the quests, campaigns, adventures, will be only an addition to the Great History of the World. In this game, the PC won't be a hero saving the mankind. The history of the world will be created by those that inhabit it, and the PC won't be able to influence the most important events. He will be able to try to get to know its details, meet the NPCs creating the history, or run from the place of historic events - for his own good.
As the freedom? Nobody likes limitations, and neither do we.
There are always some limitations. There's only RPG without any - Toon!
Interview - posted by Vault Dweller on Mon 22 December 2003, 17:08:09Tags: Teudogar and the Alliance with Rome; Wolf Mittag
Wolf Mittag of Teudogar and the Alliance with Rome fame has taken a lot of time to answer our questions about his new game
4. I played the demo which I recommend to all our readers, and I couldn't help but notice that there are magical weapons and wizardry skills. How does that fit into a historically authentic RPG?
I included wizardry into the game exactly in order to make it historically authentic: When you're playing "Teudogar", I want you to feel like a genuine Germanic barbarian - and that includes superstitiousness.
People strongly believed in wizardry, and this belief probably made it actually effective. E.g., if you believed in blessings, knowing that you'd been blessed would free you from worrying about a possible defeat. This would enhance your concentration and courage, thereby actually improving your chances of winning a duel. That fact that you attributed your success to a supernatural cause doesn't bother me as long as there is reason to believe such a "spell" genuinely worked.
This is the kind of "magic" included in "Teudogar". It's not about gaining instant victory by pulverizing your enemies, but rather about tilting the odds in your favor by giving you confidence, or by demoralizing your enemies. Today we'd consider it plain autosuggestion, psychology, placebo effects, or manipulation; yet it was equally effective when it was called "magic" and its effects were attributed to higher powers' interference.
That's actually a great way to handle "Magic" in a realistic game world. As George Constanza once said "It's not a lie if you believe it"
Review - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Wed 3 December 2003, 08:18:19Tags: BioWare; Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Our overly long review of Knights of the Old Republic, which I admit is a little long.. But I had a lot to cover, so take your ritalin before reading this. Here's a swath:
Most players of PC CRPGs are used to having fairly easy inventories to deal with. You open a panel, and you have your inventory displayed in a nice grid along side a paper doll of the character that you can drag and drop items to and from in a simple fashion. Well, not in this game. In fact, the main inventory screen and the equip item screen are two different screens. Just to equip a blaster, for example, you have to open up the equip item screen, select the part of the body, then scroll through a single column list of items partaining to that part of the body. Then click on that item, and hit the "Okay" button. That may not sound like much, but it's far more annoying than simply dragging and dropping items like nearly all the modern CRPGs have had for the last five years. It effectively doubles the amount of interface use to do the same thing. You'll definitely notice the difference between this console style system and the more traditional system when you get a new follower later in the game and have to equip most every item on them.
Yes, the inventory does suck, despite what other reviews and BioWare claim.
But, overall, I liked it.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 27 November 2003, 13:41:31Tags: Anino Entertainment; Anito: Defend a Land Enraged
This chat log is taken from the chat with Anino Entertainment about their first game, Anito: Defend a Land Enraged. Here's a sample:
[VicViper] You've made a very unique game in my opinion... are there any game that you got an inspiration from?
[gabusch] VicViper: a mix of old RPGs and adventure games. everything we've played along the way
[gabusch] there's a score system in the game. reminiscent of the old adventure ones
[gabusch] that's how you can keep track of how much of the game you've completed
[gabusch] and, depending on how completely you finish the game, you can get different proclamations at the end of it
[VicViper] similar to King
[VicViper] King's Quest?
I liked the Space Quest ones better, personally.