Interview - posted by Mistress on Mon 27 January 2003, 19:26:09Tags: Buka Entertainment; Paradise Cracked
Our interview with MiST land regarding their tactical RPG, Paradise Cracked.
3. Can you give us some information on the concept and setting of Paradise Cracked? What inspirations and influences lie behind them? What do you feel sets the game apart from the crowd? What elements of the setting really stand out?
?Paradise Cracked? is basically a tactical game. Some of its elements will remind you of X-COM. Most of the gameplay is turn-based tactical combats. But apart from this, there are NPCs, who give you information and quests; there are playable characters, each with a set of parameters ( strength, intellect, dexterity, etc.), which can be improved in the flow of the game by gaining experience and getting new levels; there is a huge game-world to wander about. And that is why we call it ?tactical RPG?.
One of the strongest points of Paradise Cracked is its soundtrack. In Russia the game was awarded a medal for ?the best soundtrack of the year? As for the music, it is dynamic, that is, as the situation around the player?s party changes, a new theme starts playing. Each level of the city has a different set of themes. Thus in Low Town we have dark guitar passages and industrial, and in Sky Town we have smooth and soft ambient, which turns into electronic break beat, when the player?s party starts a combat. Totally, there is over an hour of music, and over two hours of sound. And, of course, sound adds a lot to the whole atmosphere, which the game creates.
Thanks to Vitaly Shutov ? President of MiST land and Game Designer for Paradise Cracked, and Olesia Tokarenko - PR manager of MiST land.
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Interview - posted by Mistress on Sat 25 January 2003, 18:22:38Tags: Ion Hardie; Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader; Reflexive Entertainment
Our interview with Ion Hardie of Reflexive Entertainment, Co-Producer and Lead Designer on Lionheart.
4. Combat in Lionheart is real time with pause. What influenced the decision to adopt this system rather than the turnbased combat of Fallout? What was the reasoning behind this move?
Ion Hardie: Feargus Urquhart from Black Isle had done a lot of early concept work in how the system could be modified to take into account the transition to real time and the inclusion of magic. He had been interested in trying it out, and we at Reflexive had plenty of experience working in real time. We were interested in trying out something new and the switch to real time, as well as the inclusion of magic, seemed like great ways to do that.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Fri 24 January 2003, 01:46:23Tags: Jan Beuck; Master Creating; Restricted Area
Our interview with Jan Beuck of master creating about their upcoming cyberpunkish action CRPG, Restricted Area.
2.) Can you tell us a little bit about why you picked a Sci-Fi setting? What type of Sci-Fi are we going to be seeing in this game?
The scenario can be described as dark future, comparable to movies like "Bladerunner" and "Matrix". We choose this, because their have been so many fantasy games in the past that it has become boring to play always the same characters and kill always the same monsters for always the same treasures
We want something new. We are also fans of the dark future pen-and-paper RPGs "Shadowrun" and "Cyberpunk", and they have great influence on Restricted Area.
Mmm.. Dark future!
Interview - posted by Mistress on Sat 18 January 2003, 01:16:09Tags: Jonquil Software; Spells of Gold
Our interview with Jonquil Software, developers of Spells of Gold, the upcoming RPG with a trade slant, published by Buka.
6. Quests obviously play a part in the game. How much variety will there be in terms of their nature and goals? Are there many optional quests? How do these tie in with the main, plot focused elements of the game?
In the game the Hero will have to accomplish a definite number of storyline quests. Each plotline suggests performing its particular tasks different from those of another ones. So to fulfill a task the Hero will have to pay money, to fight, to look for certain items, to buy magic potions, to look for some people and do other things. There are optional quests in the game (we speak about storyline quests not random tasks (see further)) but they are not many.
Now letâ€™s talk about non-storyline quests or missions. They are great many in the game. It is possible to get a task almost in every building. After accomplishing it the Hero is sure to be awarded with something either money or experience and maybe some karma points (white or dark) and besides, he will improve the NPCâ€™s attitude towards him himself. So the Hero gains a favorable attitude of a god by performing missions in the temple of that god. The missions offered depend on the Heroâ€™s experience and the NPCâ€™s attitude to him.
Enjoy! Thanks to Jonquil Software for taking the time to answer the questions!
Interview - posted by Deathy on Thu 16 January 2003, 03:19:56Tags: Lionheart: Legacy of the Crusader; Reflexive Entertainment
Here's a sample of the chat log.
[Deathy] [Pracht] Will there be anything similar to the Pip Boy featured in the Fallout series that will be included in this game?
[EricD_Reflexive] I'll take this one.
[EricD_Reflexive] We thought about doing something along those lines, but alas time was a restriction on that.
[EricD_Reflexive] So, no, we don't have images for all the traits and perks in a pipboy style.
[EricD_Reflexive] next question
That's a bummer.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Tue 14 January 2003, 20:23:28Tags: Nethack: Falcon's Eye
Our interview with Jaakko Peltonen, the guy working on Nethack - Falcon's Eye as well as Ultima 4: Dawn of Virtue.
6.) Have you considering making a major variant to the NetHack rules? Or perhaps another rogue-like? Even making an entirely new one?
Jaakko Peltonen: Sometimes, but I think I'd partly be reinventing the wheel. The NetHack rules have evolved over many versions; there'd need to be a really good idea or reason to drastically change them.
Thanks for the time, Jaakko!
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Mon 13 January 2003, 22:18:26Tags: Temple of Elemental Evil; Tim Cain; Troika Games
Our interview with Tim Cain over the upcoming Temple of Elemental Evil CRPG from Troika, published by Infogrames.
1.) You've said you felt nostalgic over the Greyhawk setting. Is this the only reason you picked it over, less conventional D&D settings like Dark Sun or Planescape?
Tim Cain: When the opportunity to do D&D 3E came up, I sat down with my entire collection (100+) of modules and tried to decide which one I wanted to do. The module had to be one I enjoyed playing (of course), but it also had to be big enough to feel "epic". Many of the modules that fit the bill were Greyhawk modules, which I had grown up playing with AD&D. The Temple of Elemental Evil became the obvious choice when I noticed the level range began at level 1, while my next favorite, Against the Giants, started much higher. ToEE is a big, fun adventure, more complex than the standard dungeon fare of the time.
There you have it, big and fun!
Review - posted by Mistress on Fri 10 January 2003, 00:53:00Tags: BioWare; Neverwinter Nights: Witch's Wake
Our review of the Witchâ€™s Wake Part 1: The Fields of Battle, the first module in the official series for Neverwinter Nights.
Many aspects of the Official Campaign have been modified and replaced in this module, through the incorporation of community developed modifications. This is really more of a credit to the efforts of the community than to Bioware, and demonstrates what can actually be achieved with time and attention to detail. While itâ€™s nice to see that people have overcome many of the niggling issues with the game, through developing their own solutions, itâ€™s still a great shame that some of the more obvious and poor implementations werenâ€™t handled by Bioware themselves.
Review - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Fri 3 January 2003, 18:49:53Tags: Object Software; Prince of Qin
Our review of Prince of Qin, the ancient China themed CRPG from Object Software.
This Five Elements belief manifests itself in the mechanics of the game through a number of ways. For example, one elemental aligned item can push another elementally aligned item if the first promotes the second. If you have a weapon in your hand that's based on Fire, and a ring on that hand that's Wood based, abilities in that weapon will be unlocked because Fire is promoted by Wood. Likewise, a necklace with a Metal alignment can promote a helmet with a Water alignment, and so on.
Ah, sweet, sweet elemental alignments.
Information - posted by Calis on Tue 24 December 2002, 20:33:51Tags: The Year in Review
What did Saint Proverbius, Mistress, Calis, and Exitium think were the best games released this year? Read it and find out.
And here's a clip from the forward:
So, why not list the CRPGs we thought were the best? OF course, some will say that the big reason not to do it is that everyone else is. However, I'm pretty sure that most everyone else didn't play all the ones we played. In fact, I'm pretty sure that most of them haven't heard of some of the shareware games we cover, or the rogue-likes.
Review - posted by Exitium on Fri 20 December 2002, 22:32:48Tags: Arkane Studios; Arx Fatalis
French based company Arkane Studios was initially funded by 11 people in the month of October of 1999 with an initial investment of a hundred and eighty thousand dollars. Comprising of developers of various talents from EA, Infogrames, and Interplay, Arx Fatalis was their first and project as a team and the most ambitious one that any of them had ever worked on individually. Published by Austrian publishing house JoWood Productions, Arx Fatalis is the fruit of three years of their long nights at the office. Delve into our review of Arx Fatalis to see if their efforts paid off. Read the full article: [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=26']Arx Fatalis Review[/URL]
Editorial - posted by Mistress on Mon 16 December 2002, 22:36:39Tags: Black Isle Studios; Josh Sawyer
"A lot of users can't adequately describe why they like certain games -- or even why they like certain features of games. While it's certainly true that developers can listen too much to users, there's a frightening tendency for developers to respond to this deluge of opinion by simply ignoring the users. I think that the best thing to do is to listen to the users, but really examine the source of their praise and their criticism."
Thank you Josh!
Information - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Thu 12 December 2002, 10:07:25Tags: Mat Williams; Prelude to Darkness; Zero Sum
This is part 2 of the magic system of Prelude to Darkness. This one covers two magic skills, Gifts of Goddess as well as Thaumaturgy. Here's a bit of what Mat Williams wrote about Gifts of Goddess:
The Goddess allows certain folk of River lineage to channel her power. These gifts are granted generally as a result of a specific action. Most gifts are more powerful when used on the self or by touch as the link to the Goddess fades over distance, thus each gift usually has at least two variants one for the self or touch and another at range. -Mat WilliamsThanks to Mat Williams for helping with this article.
Interview - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Wed 11 December 2002, 20:13:50Tags: Harbinger; Silverback Entertainment
Straight up interview about Harbinger, the Sci-fi, actionish CRPG being made by Silverback. Here's the interest building clip:
4.) Science fiction CRPGs are very rare. Can you tell us why you picked science fiction over traditional fantasy? Do you think the setting will affect the type of people to which CRPGs are typically marketed?
Andy Muir: Honestly, it's because I'm sick to death of traditional fantasy games. I mean, I love them and I play them all, but there's a limit to the number of caves, crypts and cemeteries I can explore before it starts to get old.
I don't think that the Sci-fi people and the fantasy people are necessarily two separate camps. Everyone has their preferences sure, but for the most part, the people that enjoy Star Wars also enjoy the Lord of the Rings so I don't really expect this to be a factor when it comes to sales.
Editorial - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Tue 10 December 2002, 21:29:33Tags: Gareth Davies; Micro Forte
Gareth Davies, aka Section8, an artist/designer at Micro Forte has well as an instructor at The Academy of Interactive Entertainment, has written up a rather interesting and lengthy summary of the combat systems employed by CRPGs.
No matter what type of Role-Playing Game (RPG) you are playing, you can be 95% sure it involves killing things. Many so called RPGs provide no gameplay beyond hacking away and leaving swaths of dead monsters, sans any material posessions, and others might allow you to avoid combat situations altogether. However regardless of design philosophies, combat usually comprises the core gameplay, and so it's essential that it is well thought out and executed, but more importantly it has to be enjoyable and challenging for the player.
Thanks heaps, Gareth! I hope you didn't wear out your keyboard on it!
Editorial - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Fri 6 December 2002, 23:22:41Tags: Black Label Games; Chris Taylor
Chris Taylor, one of the main designers of Fallout and Stonekeep for Interplay, as well as Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring for the GameBoy Advance provides his unique spin on the design of CRPGs.
On my ring finger, you have story itself. RPGs without story are tactical combat and level treadmill games. Those can be interesting games, but not really conducive to creating a great role-playing game. The quality of the story can help determine the quality of the game, especially for RPGs. Planescape Torment would have been a good game without it's wonderful story, but was elevated to a great game by the quality of it's writing, story and dialogue.
Kudos to you, Chris Taylor! Thanks for the time.
Editorial - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Tue 3 December 2002, 19:02:09Tags: Leonard Boyarsky; Troika Games
Leon Boyarski, Troika Games, offers up an editorial on CRPG development, and how making money is important. Also, why marketting people suck.
When I sat down to write about RPG development, I went through the list of things I like to see in an RPG. Depth of characterization and plot. Reactivity of the world. Believable NPCs. Feeling like you?re playing a ?role?. Then I tried to decide which is the most important in RPG development ? and the answer is none of them.
Ah, reality. Such a harsh mistress.
Review - posted by Exitium on Sun 1 December 2002, 19:28:17Tags: Divine Divinity; Larian Studios
With the recent flooding of CRPG releases in the market, Divine Divinity finds itself in steep competition against many other games of the same genre, some of which that have been more received wider press coverage and have garnered a larger fan-base than Divine Divinity, Larian Studios' second effort into the already saturated CRPG market. Divine Divinity, a game with a tautological name as any others you would have noticed was a game plagued by constant delays ever since it was first put into full production in the year 2000 after the cancellation of Larian Studios' previous effort, "The Lady, the Mage & the Knight". How does it compare with all the others? Read the full article: [URL='http://www.rpgcodex.net/content.php?id=17']Divine Divinity Review[/URL]
Interview - posted by Mistress on Fri 29 November 2002, 20:21:25Tags: Prelude to Darkness; Zero Sum
Interview with Travis Williams, lead artist on Prelude to Darkness.
"1. Could you tell us a little about yourself, your role at Zero-Sum, and your involvement in the development of Prelude to Darkness?
Travis Williams: My background is pretty diverse: I?ve spent a lot of my professional life in academic research (cognitive psychology), freelance graphic design and illustration, and playing music. My work at Zero Sum represents my first serious foray into the world of video game creation."
Editorial - posted by Saint_Proverbius on Mon 25 November 2002, 22:21:41Tags: Tim Cain; Troika Games
Our first developer editorial on game design, and who better to start it with than Tim Cain, the man who helped usher in Fallout and Arcanum. Some of this words:
Another lesson that should be obvious: turn-based games are still fun. Despite the plethora of real-time computer games on the market, there is still satisfaction in playing a game in the old-fashioned turn-based method we all grew up with. Some newer games seem to be real-time for no other reason than because real-time is more modern. Why make a real-time D&D computer game, which requires you to ignore or change all of the rules having to do with D&D?s inherently turn-based nature? I am surprised no one has made a real-time chess game. I?ll even give you a good name for it: ?Xtreme Chess? And don?t forget the sticker: ?Now With Phat Lewt?.
Thank you, Tim Cain.