Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Game News Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates Released

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Coin Operated Games; Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates

    Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates, the strange steampunk RPG from previously unknown New Hampshire-based studio Coin Operated Games, was released on Steam today with little fanfare, less than three months after its original announcement. Despite their ability to produce a fancy website, press releases and trailers, COG never did get around to properly publicizing Empyre as I kept thinking they would. A few obscure websites (Gaming Target, COGconnected, Hey Poor Player) did publish previews of the game in September, and to be honest it sounds like nothing more than shovelware. I guess appearances can be deceiving. But we've come this far, so here's the launch trailer and accompanying press release:


    Auburn, New Hampshire – October 4, 2017 – Coin Operated Games announces today that its Neo-Victorian RPG Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates, has launched on PC via Steam at a SRP of $29.99. Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates is a top-down isometric RPG that takes place in an alternate industrial New York circa 1911, and features an original story penned by renowned writer/comic artist Paul Noth, a staff cartoonist for The New Yorker magazine where his work has appeared regularly since 2004. Created by a team of industry veterans, the game serves as the inaugural title of the indie development studio, and aims to recapture the feeling of classic RPGs with a fresh setting and immersive storyline.

    … water is everywhere but none of it to drink…

    Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates depicts a troubled New York in which the entire city is flooded by rising oceans and the citizens now face a new threat: the fresh water pipes have stopped and there is no water to drink! Following the collapse of governments when the waters began to rise, New Yorkers found themselves in a temporary period of anarchy and chaos before more localized groups began to take control and form smaller city-states that they ruled with complete authority. Led by pirates, mafia families and a renegade Prussian naval commander to name a few, these warring city-states provide a violent and colorful cast of characters to meet and fight with/against as players seek to solve the water crisis facing the city.

    Although set in a fictional, alternate history the game also authentically reflects scenes and locations from New York circa 1900, while tying the storyline to current day themes such as global warming and the rising of the oceans. Players will experience an early 20th century version of New York built upon the ruins of the submerged “old city” and plagued by warring city-states.

    The game’s combat will feel familiar to veteran RPG players, however there is a new twist in that the game uses a hybrid Real Time/Turn-based combat system. Players can enter a “Planning Mode” where they choose actions for each character in their party to plan their strategies while combat is paused. When entering into the “Action Mode” all characters will perform simultaneously, giving players complete control over their party while presenting a streamlined combat system that allows players to be as strategic, or direct, as they choose.

    “We are beyond thrilled to be sharing Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates with gamers from around the world,” said John Randall, Creative Director of Empyre. “We strove to keep our games setting and themes recognizable but unique so that we could really let the story from our fantastic writer, Paul Noth, shine. We can’t wait for both old-school gamers looking to relive their 90’s RPG experiences and the next generation of gamers to get their hands on the game. We have so many more stories to tell in this alternate reality, this is just our first chapter!”
    Hope springs eternal, my friend. As the press release says, Empyre: Lords of the Sea Gates is now available on Steam for $30. I hope somebody checks it out, we need to find out how weird it is.
     
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  2. YES!gender: ⚧ Hi, I'm Roqua

    YES!
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    Hopefully a lot more than somebody checks it out. I'll get it now but I figured this game would have a large audience on a site claiming to love rpgs.
     
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  3. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

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  4. Ruzengender: ⚧ Learned

    Ruzen
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    Curious but I need some reviews too.
     
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  5. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    Here's some gameplay:

     
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  6. lukaszekgender: ⚧ Magister

    lukaszek
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    thats a lot of copy paste on single screen
     
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  7. Make America Great Again torogender: ⚧ Arcane

    toro
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    This looks awful.
     
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  8. Otreegender: ⚧ Literate

    Otree
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    Not appealing to me. I'm gonna pass this game.
     
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  9. Make America Great Again Rogueygender: ⚧ Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

    Roguey
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    Looks like they made the same amateur mistake inXile initially made when it comes to presenting dialogue.
     
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  10. IHaveHugeNickgender: ⚧ Arcane

    IHaveHugeNick
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    :codexisforindividualswithgenderidentityissues:
     
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  11. uishagender: ⚧ Novice

    uisha
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    The RPG space nowadays is crowded crowded, even the small PC exclusive CRPG niche has gotten so popular that large companies and franchises are battling it out (Larian and Obsidian).
    Without high production values from large investments, or cultivated fanbases from kickstarting or brand names, or any unique selling point (like AoD's le 1000 year development cycle), a RPG is doomed to fail.

    This empyre game looks like the typical unity shovelware, has a sort of interesting setting but not nearly attractive enough (compared to lets say Sunless sea), and awful marketing that doesn't know its audience.
    Just look at the Steam introduction, its so full of marketing fluff words like 'authentic', quoting the 'creative director' (yeah i'm so impressed), stuff that works for the laymen maybe, but definitely won't impress the RPG veterans who are the intended audience of this game.
     
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  12. Chaotic_Hereticgender: ⚧ Magister

    Chaotic_Heretic
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    Eh I will admit I will be enjoying schadenfreude if this turns into a failure.

    They went with RTwP.
     
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  13. Urthorgender: ⚧ Learned

    Urthor
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    You forget how much bad music hurts a game until you actually encounter some.
     
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  14. Prime Juntagender: ⚧ Arcane

    Prime Junta
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    I'm mildly intrigued about this one, but not 30 bucks intrigued.
     
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  15. Jrpgfangender: ⚧ Learned

    Jrpgfan
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    The setting looks interesting but from the videos I've seen and reviews I've read the game is very linear and there's very little in the way of customization, so it's probably more of an adventure with tactical combat than an RPG per se. I might be wrong though.
     
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  16. Morkargender: ⚧ illiterate

    Morkar
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    The presentation isn't optimal but fine enough for me. AI seems a bit confused in combat but tolerable. Dialogue reads like a translation from Russian?

    If that's true the game unfortunately isn't for me. Waiting for further witness.
     
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  17. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Purportedly written by a New Yorker cartoonist.

    It's very weird. I find the cartoonist pretty clever (in a New Yorker way): https://condenaststore.com/art/paul-noth But it seems like a mismatch for a cRPG. Even weirder, the cartoonist himself makes no mention of this work (his most significant writing, I would think?) on his Twitter feed that I can find: https://twitter.com/search?l=&q=empyre from:PaulNoth&src=typd&lang=en

    Everything about this game is mysterious, which lends a certain mystique to what would otherwise look like a fairly standard European low budget RPG.
     
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  18. Tom Baker's Arsegender: ⚧ Educated

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  19. Tom Baker's Arsegender: ⚧ Educated

    Tom Baker's Arse
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    The music is just completely fucking weird and sounds nothing like the setting. It so bad that it is a deal-breaker for me. Forget about the fact that there is no character creation at all.
     
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  20. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    This is the button you need to use to embed a YouTube link.

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. Elhoimgender: ⚧ Iron Tower Studio Developer

    Elhoim
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    Definitely, it feels like music for a Transport Tycoon type of game set in the early 20th century.
     
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  22. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I swear, there is something weird about all of this. For instance, the game lists a separate publisher and developer on Steam, but neither has released anything else and both are headquartered in Auburn, New Hampshire. The trademark is registered to the publisher, listing as an address a rural residence in New Hampshire. The fact that they have a registered trademark, one on which registration was sought in February 2015, no less, the services of a real PR company (One PR), and a New Yorker cartoonist as their writer are all AAA kind of stuff. The fact that the publisher and developer are simply alter egos of a guy working from his home in New Hampshire, on the other hand, is more like Codexian offbeat indie development. The only names I can find attached are John Randall and Noth, but the PR materials say: "The core team is made up of industry veterans with a combined 60 years of experience from iconic organizations including Crytek, Codemasters, Creative Assembly, Stormregion, and Digital Reality." The reference to Codemasters and Stormregion means that the John Randall is almost certainly this John Randall, a QA Tester. In other words, the project has as its creative director someone with a number of years of bug testing games at a variety of developers and as its writer a well-regarded cartoonist for the New Yorker. Also, it was apparently all carried out by a dude working from his large New Hampshire farmstead.

    There's nothing nefarious about it -- I can't possibly see any negative angle. It just seems like there's a totally fascinating "how did this game get made" story here. Infinitron: Why don't you guys try interviewing the team? They could use the publicity, and I bet there's going to be a great Prelude to Darkness, Age of Decadence, Grimoire style story here.
     
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  23. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    I was thinking about that myself. But see here: http://www.rpgcodex.net/forums/inde...d-neo-victorian-new-york.117029/#post-5203779
     
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  24. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    Ah, I thought I remembered such a post! Doesn't that just add a new layer of mystery? I had suspected that Randall might be the CEO, but it just raises the question of how one goes from itinerant QA tester to New Hampshire patroon capable of funding such a game. And who actually wrote the game, Noth or Peter Kurdi?
     
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  25. Make America Great Again vonAchdorfgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    vonAchdorf
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    An Empyre for the Fampyr(e).

    Copper Dreams' art direction look way better - this just looks a bit cheap.
     
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