Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Game News Western JRPG Bevontule: Altar of Roots now on Kickstarter

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. Make America Great Again Infinitron I post news Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Bevontule; Multithreaded Games

    We've been sporadically following the development of Multithreaded Games' Japanese-influenced RPG Bevontule since 2016. The game was successfully greenlit for release on Steam last year and recently got its Steam store page. Now, like many indie titles before it, Bevontule is seeking its fortune on Kickstarter. The game seems to have acquired a subtitle along the way - "Altar of Roots". You might be able to figure out what that means from the highly detailed Kickstarter page. But first, the pitch video. Did you know it's pronounced "BeVONtulay?"



    Bevontule is a tactical role-playing game that occurs primarily on the surface of the continent of Onich – a vast and isolated landmass surrounding a central ocean known as the Inner Sea. Discovered some 1,500 years ago by a number of refugees fleeing their own war-torn homeland, it quickly becomes clear that – despite its welcoming appearance – Onich harbors dark and deadly secrets that were presumably left alone for good reason.

    In present-day Onich, the continent is slowly being ravaged by a blight known as the Kelvari: an expansive, semi-sentient and root-like network of unknown origin and composition that has already “claimed” nearly 60% of the surface of Onich – primarily in the north and west. At the same time, grotesque creatures known as “Rootsouls” accompany the slow but certain spread of the Kelvari. While massive regions of the continent are safe – either via proximity or outright delusional thinking – other nations are on the immediate boundary of the Kelvari fields and have at times had limited success in fighting back the scourge. Politically, this leads to much tension between disparate nations – many of which do not understand the existential threat posed ... and as such, do little in the way of offering up material support to those fighting.

    The player takes control of Bodom, a mysterious person that appears along the western shores of the Inner Sea, allegedly hailing from the northernmost regions of Onich. Claiming the ability to destroy the Kelvari, he quickly finds himself a valuable asset in the ensuing struggle against them – as well as a pawn to the political machinations of regional and continental players. Will you stave off the looming calamity... or unwittingly hasten its arrival?

    Key Features
    • Enjoy a mature and highly-detailed plot spanning thousands of years.
    • Fight in a challenging tactical, turn-based combat system where proper positioning and timing are critical.
    • Visit a beautiful world with modern 3D environments to discover, explore, and conquer.
    • Fend off free-roaming enemies with a wide variety of movement patterns, behaviors, and habitats.
    • Prepare for an unrelenting and highly-intelligent enemy AI that can be scaled to various difficulty levels.
    • Play alongside a cast of interesting characters with defined roles, yet deeply customizable skill sets – allowing multiple builds for each combatant.
    • Unlock, learn, and equip from hundreds of combat skills, attribute bonuses, and world-based buffs.
    • Explore loads of side quests, optional bosses/areas, and minigames!
    • Scavenge, create, and upgrade items using an original skill-based crafting system.
    • Utilize an integrated bestiary system that rewards discovery, experimentation, and exploitation of enemies for rewards.
    Multithreaded are looking to raise $50,000 to finish Bevontule, with an estimated release date on March 2019. If you're interested, a copy of the game can be yours for just $15. You can also try out its latest free demo here. Good luck, guys!
     
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  2. polo Liturgist

    polo
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    I must say it improved A LOT visually, since last time i checked when it looked barebones.

     
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  3. Urthor Learned

    Urthor
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    Doesn't seem like they'll make the 50 grand sadly, rule of thumb for Kickstarters is to get something like 40% of the final total in the first 24 hours and these guys seem like they'll barely scrape past 10-15 grand in 48h if that.

    Indie studio tries 3D graphics runs into trouble is a story old as the hills, but this seems remarkably okay for all that, which is weird and unusual.

    Pity because these guys obviously only need cup noodle and power bill money to last another year until release considering they have the engine up and running, there's actual writing and the combat system is alright. Peak indie development happening right here.
     
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  4. 4249 Erudite Patron

    4249
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    Huh. Neat. Finally gotta give their demo a try I guess. Pretty neutral-positive from stalking their thread from a while.
     
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  5. MRY Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    I remember when Japanese RPGs started getting these surnames in Western markets -- "Person of Lordly Caliber" or "Legacy of Great Intentions" or "Grimoire of the Rift" -- and I always assumed it was a product of cultural norms that didn't quite translate (Chinese gardens are full of similarly grandiloquently named spots). There's something slightly weird about seeing Western developers adopt the convention; a little like a college student affecting an English accent to seem sophisticated or something. I mean, presumably those goofy names weren't goofy in their native tongue; they presumably were idiomatic. I hope, anyway!

    Still, always rooting for the underdogs, so I hope they hit their goal and make a great game.
     
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  6. Make America Great Again Jack Dandy Arcane

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    Might back this, as the demo showed promise.
     
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  7. ESh Arcane

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    It's a JRPG so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that it takes a millennia to complete the story.
     
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  8. Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Arbiter

    Tuco Benedicto Pacifico
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    "Western JRPG" plus this? I noped with the strength of a thousand suns.
     
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  9. Feyd Rautha Savant Patron

    Feyd Rautha
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    Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Backed it at Refugee level
     
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  10. theSavant Erudite

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    I like the style and visuals... but... BUT... I really wished it were a blobber. It somehow gives me the blobber vibes... it would probably be perfect for a blobber. Don't ask me why.
     
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  11. InspectorRumpole Arbiter

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    Why would they take the worst part of JRPG's - console UI, and to add to this game?
     
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  12. Van-d-all Novice

    Van-d-all
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    > Challenging tactical combat *character on screen does a clumsy pirouette*

    That part really cracked me up.

    Anyways, I'm all in for another western JRPG, but honestly I haven't seen it done properly since Anachronox.
     
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  13. Monkey Baron Barely Literate

    Monkey Baron
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    Messed around in the demo, it's really bare bones but alright. I'm sure I'd enjoy the gameplay but the atmosphere and generic soundtrack is scaring me away. Hopefully they hit their goal.
     
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  14. Bohrain Learned

    Bohrain
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    I'm not expecting much, but backed it for 15$. At least they have something tangible to present rather than just lies and empty promises like most crowdfunding projects.
     
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  15. MTG_Derek Multithreaded Games Developer

    MTG_Derek
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    Thanks for the support and feedback, everyone!

    Yeah, we wanted to go with Integrity and Faithlessness, but it was already taken! /s

    We were advised to give it a subtitle as, let's be honest here, Bevontule isn't super phonetic and doesn't really tell much about the world. Then again, most titles don't--like MLB 2k17--what's that game about??


    Hey, have you ever tried to pirouette?! Tactical AF!
     
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  16. thesheeep Arcane

    thesheeep
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    Backed it, too.
    Wanted to play another jRPG for a while, but the real time combat systems are usually a terrible mess.
    Plus, of course, the art style in those is usually way too over-the-top for me.

    So this one already has at least two points going for it!
     
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  17. 4249 Erudite Patron

    4249
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    After dicking around the demo for about a half hour before work, my neutral-positive stance shifted into negative-neutral.

    First quest I get:
    - Pick 16 of these things from bushes that give 1-3 per gather.
    - 'k

    Second quest I get, after dicking around, fighting sum bitch ass bugs and mushrooms and shit and gathering the stuff:
    - Bring 6 of these tool things, that you might sometimes get from those bitch ass bugs and mushrooms and shit.
    - 'k. Let's see, from just fighting a bunch of things, I've gathered 3... Alt + f4

    I can see some potential with the combat, but the encounters themselves so far were just utterly dull.

    Does the demo get any better?
     
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  18. MTG_Derek Multithreaded Games Developer

    MTG_Derek
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    First off, thanks for playing the demo--glad that you took the time to try it out--and sorry you had such a negative experience with it! In the defense of the quest itself, it does rather explicitly tell you that you can only find the tools from a specific enemy--namely, drones, the wasps--of which, they are mostly flying around the area right beside the quest-giver. The drop rate for said item is pretty high, as well. It's also worth noting that this was still the starting area of what is a somewhat-lengthy demo, where, as you might expect, the enemies are basic and simple af. I'm a bit biased, but the demo does pick up in terms of challenge and enemy compositions as you progress.

    I will admit that quests in Bevontule are much more akin to older-style RPGs where there aren't really quest markers or super-explicit instructions. Based on feedback, this is either something that people find incredibly refreshing or they hate it with all their beings. We can always adjust it, however, based on what seems to be a consensus, as we receive more feedback.

    Either way, thanks again for giving it a spin!
     
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  19. 4249 Erudite Patron

    4249
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    Yeah, true, the quest giver does mention the drones pretty explicitly. My gripe is not with how the quests were presented, more on how they're designed. If I want to do "fetch me x amount of shit" quests, I can just play MMOs.
     
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  20. MTG_Derek Multithreaded Games Developer

    MTG_Derek
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    That's fair. On the other hand, it's not like we're doing anything that practically every RPG doesn't do already. We definitely have more involved quests in mind (for instance, escort quests where the escorted actually appears as a 'guest' in combat), but even incredibly-popular JRPGs (looking at you, Xenoblade) feature their fair share of fetch quests / kill x enemy (which are usually just fetch quests in disguise). That being said, your feedback is noted!
     
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  21. Kaivokz Learned

    Kaivokz
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    'Most X do Y -> I should do Y, or it is permissible for me to do Y' is not a valid argument.

    The conclusion only follows if most X are doing Y for a good reason... which means when an argument of that form works, the actual logical force is something like 'Y is good or useful -> I should do Y, or it is permissible for me to do Y.'

    e.g. imagine two populations of people who make the relevant premises true:

    Most people eat brightly colored mushrooms.
    Therefore, I should eat brightly colored mushrooms, or it is permissible...

    Most people do not eat brightly colored mushrooms.
    Therefore, I should not eat brightly colored mushrooms, or it is permissible...

    Which is right? Is it all relative?

    Add a premise: Brightly colored mushrooms are often poisonous.

    Given this additional information it's much better to be in the second population if you hold a belief of the form 'most X do Y -> ...'. However, a much better strategy is to form an argument like this:

    Brightly colored mushrooms are often poisonous.
    I should avoid the consumption of poisonous material if at all possible.
    Therefore, I should avoid consuming brightly colored mushrooms if at all possible.

    You pointed to one of the worst features of XC2--the sidequests are usually dull and bland, not worth doing, and it would have been a better game had the effort all been condensed down into one interesting side quest with some tangible result. Something like forging the crom faeyr in BG2, or anathema in Original Sin 2.
     
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  22. MTG_Derek Multithreaded Games Developer

    MTG_Derek
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    While I do appreciate the refresher, isn't it entirely subjective as to whether the quests in XC are 'good?'
     
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  23. Kaivokz Learned

    Kaivokz
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    If it was entirely subjective we would have no measure of a good or bad game, and you would have nothing to aspire to in making Bevontule. I think Rembrandt's The Night Watch is a far better piece of art than Polluck's... whatevers, or to my doodles as a young child.* Surely you must think some game design is better than others. At the end of the day I can't convince you that Rembrandt is a superior artist to Polluck if you firmly disagree, but I suppose I would ask you: when you played xenoblade, did you enjoy gathering 2 angel engines, 5 blood stones, and whatever else to be rewarded with a generic one liner from your party and 300 exp? Were there any side quests you enjoyed more?** If you truly do enjoy "fetch quests" and think they are good, rewarding game design, then I suppose we are simply at odds.

    The art example was deliberate in that I think Rembrandt displayed both technical skill, attention to detail, and developed a depth of character in his art. Pollock displays little technical skill, by the very nature of his process he does not pay attention to detail (the splatter paintings, anyway), and its character is entirely vapid--any meaning you can find in paint splattered onto canvas has nothing to do with the paint splattered on the canvas and everything to do with the meaning you try to force into it. This maps on to interesting vs. uninteresting side quests, I think.

    *There are some artists, like Van Gogh, who are very talented and can, for example, paint a very realistic painting, but who find it dull, and so venture into abstract art to fulfill themselves. I think, however, you can usually tell the difference between Van Gogh's abstract art and 'modern' abstract art.
    **I know I personally do not enjoy collecting various nonsense for people, and much prefer something like the Nopon who lost his memory and thought he was a proud Urayan Nopon, rather than a stingy Argentum Nopon. There is some substance to appreciate.
     
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  24. MTG_Derek Multithreaded Games Developer

    MTG_Derek
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    Fair point and trust me, I definitely get what you're saying. I most certainly do not necessarily enjoy mindless 'fetch' quests, but when they reveal something about the lore and world of the game itself, they are OK in my book. Often times, in Xenoblade, you're collecting items literally, what seems like, for the hell of it. I actually lol'd at the 2 angel engines, 5 blood stones--it's 100% true.

    That being said, we are a tiny indie studio with limited time and resources--which is why we're going to Kickstarter in the first place. In general, the inclusion of quests such as this is simply to demonstrate that the system is in-place and is not necessarily indicative of the quality/quantity of quests we will eventually have. XC most assuredly takes a quantity over quality approach, and I would wager that someone, somewhere, does enjoy that--I mean, Xenoblade II came out, after all, and while I haven't played it, I'd imagine they didn't tone it down--if anything, I'd bet that it's worse. We certainly want to take the quality over quantity route--the last thing we want is the game to be entirely riddled with fetch quests. That being said, from a pure game development standpoint, there are only a finite number of 'types' of quests, and while fetch quests are probably bottom of the barrel, I don't think they should inherently be discounted altogether, as long as they are implemented in a compelling manner, which you alluded to. Being what this is, a pre-alpha Kickstarter demo, it seems reasonable to assume that the final quest content will differ vastly from what is offered.

    To illustrate what we have in mind, even with the 'thistle collection' quest, the final idea is to provide thistle to make an 'insect repellent.' However, an 'insect growth' brew is accidentally created instead and if the player succeeds in luring a drone into the proximity of the 'repellent', the drone will grow substantially and need to be put down (you know, like one commonly does to unnecessarily large and deadly insects)

    Later in the game (not in the demo), you'll be rescuing survivors of a besieged town. You can either choose to rescue the survivors or ignore them, but for every ignored/unlocated survivor, the boss of the area becomes stronger.

    And there are many more examples that we have in mind. Will the game be comprised of fetch quests? Absolutely not. Will there be some? Sure--but we'll always strive to make them as unique and interesting as possible.

    I do appreciate the feedback btw and the lengthy response.
     
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  25. Kaivokz Learned

    Kaivokz
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    Sounds good to me; that doesn't seem like a basic fetch quest (I haven't played the demo yet). To be honest, I was mostly responding to the 'other devs do it!' line. Your combat system looks like it has a lot of potential. I'll try out the demo. Best of luck with your kickstarter!
     
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