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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?

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RPG Codex Report: Divinity: Original Sin 2, or, A Visit to Larian Studios

Editorial - posted by Crooked Bee on Wed 26 August 2015, 15:03:15

Tags: Divinity: Original Sin 2; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

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You may have been wondering why Part 2 of our Gamescom report has been delayed for so long. That is because, in the meantime, we sent sold esteemed community member and our Gamescom reporter Bubbles off to Larian Studios for a closed, all expenses paid hands-on presentation and interview for Divinity: Original Sin 2, where he mingled with Real Game Journalists from European websites like Eurogamer. (All thanks to Bubbles' charming personality having won Swen over at Gamescom, of course.) Now that the D:OS 2 Kickstarter campaign has gone live and the preview embargo has been lifted, you can read all the juicy details Bubbles managed to collect.

These include, but are not limited to, what it's like being bribed by a games developer, what Swen thinks of the Codex, as well as a shocking Roguey-related scoop. Also, an interview with the writing team, including the person who wrote the Codex-Watch questline in D:OS.

A few weeks ago, Larian's PR department sent out a call to European gaming journalists: “come to Ghent on the 20th of August and see Original Sin 2 in action for the first time!” Or at least that's how I imagine it went for the other invitees. For me, contacting Larian involved cornering Swen Vincke in a darkened Gamescom doorway while he was under massive time pressure, and pestering him with convoluted questions until he asked me for a Codex staff contact to organize “an event in two weeks.” Swen first suggested contacting “the man in Australia”, but I already anticipated that Dark Underlord would be too busy with his numerous law suits (and possible jail time) to take care of such petty things. Instead, I suggested that Swen talk to Crooked Bee, who then promptly handed the entire matter off to me. Thus, I was off to the magical metropolis of Ghent on an all-expenses-paid three day trip, from the 19th to the 21th of August. Indeed, I will forever remember Ghent for its abundance of highly aromatic public pissoirs, a startling lack of traffic lights, and the tens of thousands of dead eyed tourists staggering through its crumbling streets. To be fair, the city also had lots of very nice restaurants, where I thankfully got to fill my tummy free of charge. Speaking of which…

Hey Bubbles, what's it like being bribed by a game developer?

Feels pretty good, I'd say. Of course, free transport and accommodation are perfectly normal when you've been invited to a press event, so it was quite sensible that Larian should cover these costs. In my case, they amounted to €228 for first class train tickets and €248 for two nights in a lower-middle-class hotel, plus the cost of a couple of taxi rides. Then, there was the cost of the free food and drink I received on Thursday. However, Larian had to accommodate a dozen journalists as well as a respectable amount of their own staff at these outings, so they couldn't afford to offer quite as top-tier a menu as one might have expected for such an occasion. Between a two-hour lunch, a four-hour dinner, and a four-and-a-half-hour pub crawl, I estimate that I did not consume more than 160 Euros in solid and liquid merchandise, which is really an utterly small amount for the circles that I was moving in. Still, I eventually became aware of the fact that my enthusiastic approach to fine dining was, to a certain degree, open to misinterpretation. My precise moment of epiphany came around 11 PM, when Swen, fresh off his fifth refill of a 2010 Château de Lussac (a pleasant, but rather ordinary vintage), whipped out his cellphone, snarked “Looks like the Codex got corrupted!” and photographed me while I was munching on a delicious cherry-ginger chocolate ice cream cake confection. I mention this incident here both to head off the inevitable tweeted exposé of my indulgence, and to forcefully assure the good Codex community – my friends, my comrades, one and all – that I maintained a clear and critical eye throughout my entire visit at the studio. In fact, I bring you many exclusive scoops, one of them Roguey-related, directly from Swen's mouth. You don't believe me? Then read on, brave readers, and soothe your troubled minds with some twelve thousand words of undiluted, fully objective information.​

Read the full article: RPG Codex Report: Divinity: Original Sin II, or, A Visit to Larian Studios

There are 199 comments on RPG Codex Report: Divinity: Original Sin 2, or, A Visit to Larian Studios

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Score up to $500 by designing RPG Codex' Corporate Branding (Logo & Business Cards) Competition

Competition - posted by DarkUnderlord on Mon 17 August 2015, 06:55:30

Tags: rpgcodex

As we continue to send our representatives to various game conferences, we find more and more that people expect such a prestigious gaming magazine as the Codex to have formal things, like business cards. Also they want letters from us on "our letterhead" to prove our credentials before they'll let even us in the door.

lol

To date, we have made do with a motley collection of hastily-assembled bits and pieces that, coupled with a few referrals from a game developer or three, have usually gotten us in.

However, life on the Codex is about to change. Previously we have lol'd at such requests but it is actually something we need as we continue to send our representatives to such official functions and events. Also it would look cool.

To that end, we are holding a competition. The goal is simple, design the RPG Codex "Corporate" Logo and Branding (I say "corporate" because that's the function we'll be using these in, the website will pretty much remain the same). Officially, we need the following:
  1. Business Cards
  2. Letterhead
  3. Logo and Banner image for Twitter
  4. Logo and Banner image for Facebook
You can have a shot at designing one element or the whole lot.

Business Card and Letterhead Details

The following details need to be on the card:

RPG Codex > doesn't scale to your level
rpgcodex.net
Some kind of "fine print" line like "RPG Codex is owned and operated by Greg Martin Enterprises Pty. Ltd." (or words to that effect).
ABN 59 115 337 534 (ABN = Australian Business Number)
Post: PO Box 308, Kent Town SA 5071, Australia
Email: something@rpgcodex.net
Twitter: @rpgcodex
Facebook: /rpgcodex

We may go for personalised cards for some staff which also means:
Name and job title: Infinitron, Beg Auditor
Possible room for phone number

Cards should be CMYK with a 3-5 mm bleed (for printing)
Letterhead should be sized for international standard A4 paper.​

Competition will remain open until such time as we get something awesome. Multiple entries are desired. And in the event someone comes up with something cool, but it's someone else who takes that idea and really nails it, we will split and / or award additional prizes as required to maintain fairness.

All entries submitted are on the basis they are original works and full rights to use the winning images as we see fit are granted to the RPG Codex. /legalese

We're putting aside $500 USD for prizes, split roughly as $125 in each category. But as we said, how that ends up being paid out will depend. If one person manages to cook up something awesome for the lot, they will be richly rewarded with the whole stash.

So let's see what you can come up with so that the RPG Codex can continue to maintain it's position as a prestigious gaming magazine.

There are 411 comments on Score up to $500 by designing RPG Codex' Corporate Branding (Logo & Business Cards) Competition

Sun 30 August 2015
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #3: One million dollars! Racial skills are in

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Sun 30 August 2015, 19:48:51

Tags: Divinity: Original Sin 2; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

The Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter campaign reached one million dollars of funding a short while ago, prompting Swen Vincke to publish a celebratory update direct from the Larian booth at PAX Prime:



By the Seven! It’s crazy enough that we blasted through our original goal of $500,000 in just 12 hours, but now we’ve hit $1,000,000 on just Day 5? Unbelievable! The support we’ve received from you all has just been amazing. Thank you so much to each and every one of our backers: you’re helping this dream become a reality, and we’re very, very excited to work with you over the coming months to make this game something truly special.

Introducing: Racial Skills

Crossing the seven figure mark means that we will now be introducing Racial Skills to each Origin! Choosing a lizard over a dwarf will no longer be an aesthetic choice: now it will come with a range of skills, talents, and abilities that will reflect each race’s background, strengths, and place in the world. The history of your race will now directly affect how you fight, converse, and move through Rivellon. It’ll change how you deal with NPCs and friends alike, and will add a brand new layer of complexity and tactics to combat and your experience, letting you shape and mould your characters into the people (or lizards) that you want them to be.

Next stop: Undead Origins!
Those poor cosplayers.

There are 11 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #3: One million dollars! Racial skills are in

Pillars of Eternity Retrospective Panel at PAX Prime 2015

Development Info - posted by Infinitron on Sun 30 August 2015, 15:41:32

Tags: Adam Brennecke; Brandon Adler; J.E. Sawyer; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; Pillars of Eternity: The White March

Josh Sawyer, Adam Brennecke and Brandon Adler were at PAX Prime yesterday, where they spoke about the development of Pillars of Eternity in a one hour panel discussion. In between sharing various anecdotes, they also answered questions from Twitter and the audience, and most interestingly, revealed some of their plans for future Pillars of Eternity games.

Here are the more interesting takeaways:
  • There are no plans to port Pillars of Eternity to consoles, though Obsidian may investigate other platforms for future projects.
  • Load times will be improved in the next patch, but according to Adam, it will take major refactoring to get them down to as low as he'd like, which can probably only happen in a sequel.
  • Josh wanted to make the game's first area after the prologue harder, but it had to be toned down due to playtester complaints. They did let him keep the bear cave.
  • Adam's original idea for pre-order items (or should I say "original") was a space hamster and a floating skull. The former was changed to a pig because Obsidian had a pig model handy, and the latter was nixed by Eric Fenstermaker for lore reasons, although it's apparently coming back for The White March Part 2.
  • There was originally a pet duck in the game, which was cut because it looked really bad. This ended up causing some trouble because people had already designed content featuring ducks, including a high level spell designed by Josh himself that would have turned enemies into ducks.
  • There will be no more expansion packs after The White March Part 2. After that it's sequel time.
  • Brandon thinks releasing the game for Linux was not worthwhile, and in retrospect would have chosen not to support it. Only 1.5% of the player base uses Linux. Later on, it's explained that the problems with Linux support were more logistical than technical in nature. It's unclear if Obsidian will keep Linux compatibility for future projects now that they've already done the hard work, but you probably shouldn't bet on it.
  • At one point during the panel, some concept art for future Pillars of Eternity projects (including The White March Part 2) is shown. This includes an area featuring a huge skull reminiscent of Myrkul from Mask of the Betrayer, which we also get to see an initial level blockout of.
  • Plans for Pillars of Eternity 2 include:
    • Baldur's Gate 2-style strongholds. That is, multiple strongholds, with a focus on content rather than systems (Josh explicitly uses those terms).
    • Full multiclassing.
    • Support for "sub-areas", eg, the ability to enter a house in a town without having to load an entirely new area and without having to take your entire party.
    • Expanded AI systems and more customizable party AI.
    • Improved modding support for modifying systems, adding items, etc. Adam says that they've already got plans in place for how they're going to do this.
  • Josh says he's considering reducing the amount of abilities available for use at higher levels for the sequel, specifically mentioning classes such as the Priest which have all of their spells available at once.
  • The success of Pillars of Eternity has changed Obsidian's company culture, and they are now more open to producing smaller games. The Pathfinder tablet game is being developed by ten people.
  • When asked about cut quests, Josh mentions an entire cut area in Twin Elms that would have featured some sort of trial called the "Wield of Fates" (or something like that). However, Josh and Adam seem to consider most of the game's cut content to have been bad and worthy of cutting.
  • A Dark Souls-inspired "New Game Plus" mode is being considered for the sequel.
All in all, the panel seems to imply that a Pillars of Eternity sequel is pretty much a sure thing, with the original game described as "very successful". Which isn't quite the impression you might get from reading certain Josh Sawyer forum posts, where he seems more reserved. I guess we'll see.

There are 57 comments on Pillars of Eternity Retrospective Panel at PAX Prime 2015

Fri 28 August 2015
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #2: Stretch Goals

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 28 August 2015, 16:48:31

Tags: Divinity: Original Sin 2; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

It's the third day of the Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter campaign, which has now gathered almost $850,000 of funding. After taking a day off to establish the Larian booth at PAX Prime, a very energetic Swen Vincke is back with a new Kickstarter update to introduce the campaign's stretch goals, one of which has already been met. Here's a summary:



$700,000 Stretch Goal: Strategist Mode

Akin to Divinity: Original Sin- Enhanced Edition's Tactician Mode, Original Sin 2 will feature a brand new difficulty called Strategist Mode. Rest assured this difficulty tier will consist of much more than a simple numbers game. Yes, your enemies will hit harder, but that is far from all! Each and every fight in the game will be redesigned for Strategist Mode so that enemies are smarter, often come in greater numbers and use a host of skills and tactics they won't use in lower difficulty modes. If we reach this stretch goal, the fights in Original Sin 2 will receive this epic treatment from the get-go.

$850,000 Stretch Goal: Pick a Skill Tree, I

Divinity: Original Sin is rife with spectacular skills, and besides the many new ones we've already planned for Original Sin 2, we want to add even more unique skills to the repertoire. We have quite a list and will let our the backers pick a brand new skill tree, featuring at least 16 skills each, from among a host of new proposals when the campaign ends.

$1,000,000 Stretch Goal: Racial Skills

In Divinity: Original Sin 2, your unique origins will radically change the way you experience the world around you. Of course, since combat is one of the central ways in which you’ll engage with this world, it’s only sensible that your origins and your skillset should intertwine.

When we reach the $1M mark, we’ll develop a set of race-specific skills, abilities, and talents reflective of each race’s background and strengths.

Imagine: a Wood Elf able to summon an army of shambling trees; a Lizard recalling the devastating powers of his draconic ancestors; a Dwarf with the authority of the Empress; a human so good at pickpocketing, he can even catch his own party mates unawares...

$1,200,000 Stretch Goal: Undead Origins

In Original Sin 2, no longer will you have to be human all too human alone. You can be a dwarf too, an elf, yes even a proud lizard! But if we reach this stretchgoal, you'll be able to tell the tales of the dead with undead origins! That's right: at this point we will add the undead as a playable race, complete with origin stories.

$1,350,000 Stretch Goal: Pick a Skill Tree, II

With all the fantastic skills we've dreamt up, we'll need plenty of manpower to implement them. At this mark, we'll again open up a vote to let the backers decide which other of the skill trees listed at the $700,000 tier you would like to see in the game. Voting will be done by backers after the campaign ends.

$1,500,000 Stretch Goal; The Hall of Echoes

Some Rivellonians live in fear of it; some write songs of it; others still are sent there far before their time. When we reach $1,500,000, we'll send you to the Hall of Echoes, land of the dead.

You, unique among the living, will be able to travel to and from this spirit world, where you'll uncover mysteries never before discovered by mortal eyes. You'll gain access to occult wonders, and you'll come face to face with those you've lost-- and those you've dispatched.

The best part - you'll be able to make this your home base!
Of note is the $850k stretch goal, where backers get to vote on which skill tree they want to add to the game (read the full update to see the list). Swen really really wants people to vote for Polymorph, which makes me wonder why it has be up for a vote in the first place! In addition to the stretch goals, Larian are also expanding some of their tiers and offering some additional bonuses. And for those of you who can't get enough Swen, here's a bonus video offering a behind-the-scenes look at his adventures over the past few days.

There are 89 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #2: Stretch Goals


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Thu 27 August 2015
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #1: Funded in less than 12 hours!

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 27 August 2015, 09:12:41

Tags: Divinity: Original Sin 2; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

To the surprise of nobody, Divinity: Original Sin 2 reached its funding goal of $500k rapidly after launching yesterday, crossing the line in less than 12 hours. Nobody, that is, except Larian, who have been caught flat-footed without stretch goals like Obsidian back in 2012. Swen is in Seattle now, preparing Larian's booth for this year's PAX Prime, but he found the time to release a Kickstarter update about it:



You are all amazing!

Who would’ve predicted that a pitch built around adding extra dialog options & origin stories to a complex RPG would be capable of mobilizing so many people so fast? For RPG developers like us it's like a dream come true. You are allowing us to create deep complex RPG experiences that we love to make and we're so very grateful to all of you!

Where Divinity: Original Sin took 12 days to reach its funding goal, Divinity: Original Sin 2 was funded in less than 12 hours. Nobody at Larian, except Eric that is, could imagine that we would meet our goal so fast and now that we’ve reached this point, we’re incredibly motivated to take D:OS 2 as far as we can.

Thank you!!!

Since things went a lot faster than we anticipated, we’ll need a little bit more time to prepare our first big update, but rest assured, it’s coming.

We’re currently in Seattle, prepping for showing the D:OS 2 prototype at PAX Prime (Booth #6011, Level 6), and our best case scenario was actually that we’d be talking about what’s next near the end of the show ;)

But you’ve caught us of guard and showed us there was an even better scenario. We’re very happy that you did!

As a little teaser for PAX, rumour has it that we found a cosplayer who'll be doing the rounds as a wood elf. We haven't spotted him yet but once he pops up, we'll be sure to share a picture with you.
So yeah, stretch goals tomorrow. Unless due to time zone shenanigans "tomorrow" actually means "today". We'll see, I guess. Hopefully Larian will manage to harness PAX Prime to help their Kickstarter campaign, instead of letting it overshadow them like what happened to Bard's Tale IV at E3.

There are 51 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #1: Funded in less than 12 hours!

Wed 26 August 2015
Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #68: New Screenshots, Companion Voices

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 26 August 2015, 22:12:39

Tags: Chris Keenan; InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

inXile released a new Wasteland 2 Kickstarter update today, recapping what they've been up to for the past month. Included are three new screenshots of the upcoming Director's Cut and some samples of its new voice acting. Here's an excerpt:

We come to you now with what may be one of our last couple of updates before the release of Wasteland 2 Director's Cut on PC and consoles! Over the last few weeks, we’ve hit some great milestones on the way to the Director’s cut release, including passing certification for both Microsoft and Sony. This gives our retail distribution partner, Deep Silver, enough time to manufacture and ship copies of the game all over the globe, prior to our release date (October 13th in North America and October 16th for the rest of the world).

The certification process with console manufacturers is required before either Microsoft or Sony will feel comfortable that the software follows a series of standards. While not glamourous, they are meant to ensure that games will uniformly handle a large list of issues that players might encounter while enjoying games on their consoles. This process is quite stressful (as attention to detail is imperative), but always feel like a nice accomplishment when you get the approval email. High fives were most definitely in order on approval day.

[​IMG]
[​IMG] [​IMG]

The PC, Mac, and Linux versions of the Director’s Cut will all be available for you to download and play on October 13th, no matter where you live in the world. If you have the game on Steam or GOG, it will be automatically unlocked for you to enjoy on that date.

The final month and a half of remaining time before release will be spent on some final touches as well as integrating full controller support on PC for those of you who would like to play it that way. We will continue to refine the interface, quirks, perks, precision strikes and combat scenarios until they pry our hands off the code.
You'll have to read the update for the voice samples because I can't embed them here. I wonder if Quarex is voiced by the actual guy? Anyway, not really much new here, but it is a good opportunity for inXile to throw out a ton of shoutouts to all the games and crowdfunding campaigns that have launched recently. So that's something.

There are 25 comments on Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #68: New Screenshots, Companion Voices

Bethesda comes to GOG: Classic Elder Scrolls games released, Fallout trilogy returns

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 26 August 2015, 17:28:56

Tags: An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire; Bethesda Softworks; Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall; Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind; Elder Scrolls: Arena; Fallout; Fallout 2; Fallout Tactics; The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard

You may recall that at the end of 2013, following the expiration of Interplay's license to sell them, the original Fallout games were removed from sale on GOG, due to the site's lack of a partnership with Fallout IP owners Bethesda Softworks. Those classics, formerly among the site's top-selling games, have been gone since then. Recently, however, existing owners of the Fallouts noticed that their copies had been renamed to "Fallout Classic", "Fallout 2 Classic", and "Fallout Tactics Classic", respectively.

So it was not a huge surprise today when GOG announced their new partnership with Bethesda Softworks, not only bringing back the Fallouts but also releasing the classic Elder Scrolls titles as well. Yes, including Battlespire and Redguard! They've released classic id Software shooters Doom and Quake as well. Here's the announcement:

Welcome, Bethesda, to our pantheon of all-time classics!

Today, we're happy to start a blooming new partnership with Bethesda Softworks, one that brings an impressive lineup of their unforgettable games to our DRM-free platform, and plenty of guts and nuclear smiles to our faces.

We're teaming up to release some of the greatest hits from the Bethesda vault, some DRM-free for the first time ever. Eleven new arrivals include The Elder Scrolls and two digital-distribution premieres, totally retro id Software shooters, plus the long-awaited return of the Fallout franchise! To make the day even sweeter, The Elder Scrolls: Arena and The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall will be added to your game shelf entirely for free when you buy any Bethesda game.

The Elder Scrolls, perched high up among the most famous video-game worlds ever created, are now DRM-free and updated for your modern computer - you can purchase all three to receive a 33% discount:

--The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind - Game of the Year Edition.
--The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard - digital distribution premiere.
--The Elder Scrolls: Battlespire - digital distribution premiere.
--The Elder Scrolls: Arena - FREE with any Bethesda purchase.
--The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall - FREE with any Bethesda purchase, too.

Megahit id Software first-person shooters join the fray - also 33% off if you grab all three:

--Quake including Mission Pack 1 and Mission Pack 2
--The Ultimate DOOM
--DOOM II + Master Levels for Doom II + Final DOOM

And last we find that goodbyes are not forever (and that war never changes). Fallout, the premiere post nuclear role playing game franchise is finally back on GOG.com! Save 66% if you complete your collection in one purchase.

--Fallout
--Fallout 2
--Fallout Tactics

The bundle promos end on Wednesday, September 2, 12:59 PM GMT.
Battlespire and Redguard will cost you $6 a piece, while Morrowind is a steep $20, and the Fallouts are $10 each. Note that these are new versions of the Fallout games, and the old Interplay versions have not been upgraded seamlessly like what happened on Steam. Apparently, Interplay's Classic editions include more goodies, so hopefully you all got them for free back in 2013.

There are 34 comments on Bethesda comes to GOG: Classic Elder Scrolls games released, Fallout trilogy returns

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter is Live

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 26 August 2015, 16:15:30

Tags: Divinity: Original Sin 2; Larian Studios; Swen Vincke

In case our new article didn't make that clear, Larian's Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter campaign is now live. You can read the Kickstarter page and our article for the details, but in brief, the focus of Original Sin 2 appears to be choice and consequence based on the "origins" of your party members. Your party members will actually be able to compete with one another, working at cross purposes in the game's quests, a feature obviously built with co-op in mind. In addition, Larian are expanding the combat system even more and making an effort to improve their writing.

Although the game will be mostly self-funded, Larian are seeking $500,000 of crowdfunding to add additional features, which I assume will be revealed later on as stretch goals. An hour in, they already have over $100,000, so that probably won't be a long time from now. Here's the pitch video, which features an extended gameplay demonstration narrated by Swen Vincke:


You can secure a copy of Divinity: Original Sin 2 for $25 ($30 after the Early Bird tier runs out), although you may wish to wait for our prestigious Codex fundraiser. According to the Kickstarter page, the game is scheduled to be released on December 2016.

There are 93 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter is Live

Statement regarding the recent doxxing of an RPG Codex user by the Administration

Community - posted by DarkUnderlord on Wed 26 August 2015, 11:34:52

Tags: rpgcodex

As many of you know, we have fairly lax moderation practices here at the Codex. We also try to adhere to a philosophy of "freedom of speech", perhaps best summed up by a user who once said: "You know, this is what I love about the Codex. Most people ban the trolls. Here we give them enough rope to hang themselves with and then poke them with sticks."

The combination of those two principles has lead to the Codex developing a certain user base over the thirteen years since it was founded in 2002. As a reader, you either love us or hate us for it. You love it because it means this is the one site where the latest AAA release is probably going to be called a steaming pile of a turd, and then generate a flurry of debate where users pick camps and argue the pros or cons of a given feature or game. But you also hate it because it means some of the things people say on here are down-right offensive, in some cases deliberately so. And they're not necessarily talking about RPGs.

When we were a small site that cost all of $50 a month to keep online, it was pretty easy. But adhering to these principles as time has gone by has not been without its challenges. Particularly in a global environment where some countries are making it a criminal offense to post offensive things on the internet. Coupled with the realities of raising tens of thousands of dollars for various KickStarters, which created a whole bunch of issues just to even setup the PayPal account to handle all of that.

But we've tried. I've always taken the attitude that as long as I'm around, I'll try and do the best I can to keep the Codex an eclectic mix of free speech, oddball community nature, and open discussion about topics by users that would probably make plenty of people elsewhere shudder. And as much as there have been times when I've wanted to delete half the user-base, I've tried my best to resist.

Because at some point, you have a right to your opinion. Even if your opinion is stupid and wrong, and you suck for sharing it. Also you're a horrible human being and I hope you die from cancer. Cancerous Aids. In your testicles.

But as I have said, it's not been without its problems. From time to time, we get some users who push things too far. We also have some users who post far too much information about themselves than is probably healthy in an online environment with a bunch of people you don't really know. Not to mention we also have some users who have mental health issues.

Genuine ones.

All of that leads me to the events of the last couple of days. To keep a long story short, a user was posting information about a personal situation he was going through, in one of our forums that is deliberately not public (all our forums used to be public, but when we found that attracted more problem users than users who were here to discuss RPGs, we restricted them to certain membership requirements only).

That thread ultimately resulted in Management Action™ being taken, after it was realised said user had revealed a little bit too much and people were finding, and linking, photos from his Facebook page. The thread was moved to our "Dumb shit goes here to get buried and forgotten about" forum in the hopes that we could all move on and not make this any more serious than it already was.

Some users didn't though, and so another thread was created. Now I'm happy to discuss issues that arise on the Codex. I may not always be entirely serious, but I'm happy to discuss it. If you have a complaint, by all means, have a whine about it. Just understand I'll probably have a whine back.

That thread resulted in me warning some specific users, again that this stuff was just simply not on. I know full well that once something is out, it's out, and some of you here can have all sorts of fun with that - but the message was clear: Don't.

One user, in his response to that warning, gave me the distinct impression that the message had not gotten through. Specifically, he said that all that information was public anyway, and then he mentioned my first name. Now my first name isn't a huge secret (anyone with a bit of googling can find it) but that action made it clear to me that said user had not gotten the message that dropping people's personal details and Facebook accounts is not the right thing to do. Even if that shit is all over the internet and really easy to find.

Now this particular user has a long history on the Codex, as someone who has been raised as a problem user by the staff several times, on several different occassions, for several different issues. One of which included jokes / threats to doxx everyone on the Codex who's details he'd managed to locate. To date, we had not taken any direct action against that user. But it was clear to me that it was time to draw the line.

So in reply, and in order to make a point, I mentioned his first name.

My intent was simple. It's not nice, don't do it. Forget about it and move on because I don't want to have ban you.

Now as an Administrator of the Codex, I'm obviously privy to information that very few of you have. I know IP addresses, email addresses and I have no shortage of individuals who are happy to tell me everything they know about another user, usually in some attempt to stir up trouble.

I also have access to information in the PayPal account. It's necessary. You're effectively making a financial transaction with me, there are certain details we need in order to prevent fraud, and supply whatever it is you may have ordered and / or won depending on what it is we're raising money for.

At the time, I posted his first name purely from memory, not as a result of looking up any specific information. My problem is, I don't recall where I got this user's first name from. As he was a known trouble-maker who had been reported several times, it could have been from anywhere, as I routinely run a range of checks on users who are deemed more problematic. I had believed he had previously revealed information about himself which had allowed him to be tracked down publicly, which I thought is where it came from.

But I can't be sure.

Regardless of where it came from though, what I did was wrong.

While it had the outcome I wanted (he got the message and finally understood that shit's not ok), the ends do not justify the means. I also accept that the manner in which I posted his first name may have looked like a threat that more information would be revealed if he didn't STFU. That was not my intent. But I accept it could be viewed that way.

Effectively doxxing someone (potentially with privileged information that I was entrusted with) even if that person has doxxed and has threatened to doxx other users, is not on.

Shortly after dropping the user's first name, it was removed. And after discussion with the user in question, his account was deleted at his request.

However, there are now a number of other issues that have been raised as a result, including:
  • "Copyright" of content posted on the Codex, particularly with respect to requests to delete information.
  • Issues around deleting information that may be subject to a Police investigation.
  • Your legal rights as users.
The Codex has always been seen as a hobby to me. I don't think I could ever seriously view it as a business, it'll never make that much money. And we spend most of what we raise on server upgrades and sending people to GamesCon. This is also despite looking into actually making the Codex a formal part of my business (when we did it, it was because it made dealing with PayPal and tax issues easier) - which itself raises a number of issues.

As a result of all of this though, I am speaking with lawyers to clarify the legalities. At this stage, it looks like that will at least result in an updated Terms and Conditions / Terms of Service. But the idea is to resolve these issues with a clear legal sounding, so that they don't become problems again. And so that everyone is clear on where yourselves as users, and the Codex as an entity, stand.

For now, I'm sorry for dropping the user's first name. It was the wrong thing to do, regardless of the legalities or otherwise. I have always tried to treat the information I have access to with the utmost respect because I know damn well, it's all fun and games on the internet until someone contacts the FBI (Yes, believe it or not, someone did that once. And no, it wasn't funny).

If there are any users who feel that as a result of this, they no longer wish to have an account on the Codex, all they need to do is PM me and it will be deleted. Note that at this stage, we will not be deleting or wiping any posts until the legal issues around those have been clarified. All an account deletion will do is remove your email address from our server and free up the username.

If you have donated to the Codex in the past, your financial information (real name, address) is stored on PayPal where I have no ability to remove or delete it. The information kept on the Codex is the amount you donated, what fundraiser you donated to, and an invoice number so we can look up the payment in PayPal if there are any issues. We are legally required to keep that information for our own financial records.

And if any of you would like to discuss this further, that's what we're here for.

There are 231 comments on Statement regarding the recent doxxing of an RPG Codex user by the Administration

Tue 25 August 2015
Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part 1 Released

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 25 August 2015, 17:42:31

Tags: Adam Brennecke; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; Pillars of Eternity: The White March

The first part of the Pillars of Eternity: The White March expansion was released a short while ago, along with the game's Patch 2.0. Here's the expansion's release trailer and the description from its Steam page:



Pillars of Eternity: The White March - Part I is a large sprawling expansion pack with hours of gameplay integrated into the main adventure. Along with the new quests and area content, the team at Obsidian continues to support and make improvements to the entire game, including the additions of Player Party AI and Enhanced Enemy AI. Even if you haven't played Pillars of Eternity, now is a great time to jump in and experience the hardcore classic RPG with The White March - Part I.
  • Raised level cap: Your party of six adventurers can now progress beyond level 12 to 14. The additional levels add powerful new spells, abilities and talents for all 11 classes.
  • New areas to explore: Largely focused on the snowy environments inspired by Icewind Dale, the expansion will feature a new quest hub, and many additional quests and dungeons.
  • Soulbound weapons: The expansion features mighty artifacts that grow stronger over time. These weapons gain different powers and attributes depending on the character class that binds to it.
  • New companions: Part 1 of the expansion introduces two new companions you will be able to use throughout all of your adventures. The Devil of Caroc, a rogue, and Zahua, a monk, will be available to join you on your quest in The White March and will travel back with you into the base game.
  • Multi-class talents: Classes will now have additional options to diversify and take on some of the abilities of other classes.
  • Party AI: Now you will have the option to set AI scripts for your party, allowing you to focus on controlling the characters you care about most.
  • Enhanced Enemy AI: Enemies and monsters are now smarter than ever. The new AI makes the entire game more of a challenge, and spell casters will use a wider variety of their spells in more devastating ways.
  • Respec: At any inn or tavern the player can re-level their party members. It gives flexibility for the player to experiment with the RPG systems and try out builds with the newly added multi-class talents. If you aren't completely satisfied with your character, you can now do a rebuild and start over fresh.
The Patch 2.0 changelog is available here. Obsidian have also released a video about the soulbound weapons mechanic. It's worth noting that in addition to the above, The White March and Patch 2.0 apparently include BG2-esque features such as damage type immunities and weapons with a chance to apply a magical effect on hit, including even instant death effects. Combine that with the hints of a possible mage duel and we might be looking at something interesting here.

Pillars of Eternity: The White March - Part 1 is now available on Steam and GOG for the price of $15. You can also grab it together with a pre-order for the second part for $25, which I assume comes out cheaper. Those of you who pre-ordered the expansion during the Kickstarter campaign can get their keys at Obsidian's portal.

There are 94 comments on Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part 1 Released

Sat 22 August 2015
Mitch Gitelman and Mike McCain talk about BattleTech at Sarna.net

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Sat 22 August 2015, 15:21:20

Tags: BattleTech; Harebrained Schemes; Mike McCain; Mitch Gitelman

The guys at Harebrained Schemes seem to be uninterested in attending videogaming events such as E3, Gamescom and PAX, but they expressed loyalty to their tabletop gaming roots by attending Gen Con this year. Interviews from Gen Con about Shadowrun: Hong Kong, Golem Arcana, and BattleTech are still being released even now. The Shadowrun interviews aren't too interesting now that the game is out, but we can never have enough information about BattleTech. This interview about it at Sarna.net is the most detailed I've seen yet. Here's a small excerpt:

Nic: BattleTech has been in many forms since its inception obviously. From tabletop to PC to Virtual World to MechWarrior to MechCommander. What style game is this? How will the players be interacting? With a MechWarrior or a ‘Mech? Or both?

Mike: Both! We’re making a turn-based, tactical squad combat game. You’re going to command a lance of 4 ‘Mechs on the battlefield. It’s going to be a single-player mercenary-style campaign. MechWarrior 2 is a good reference for that. You’re going to choose which missions you want to take. You’re going to hire new MechWarriors, upgrade your ‘Mechs, get salvage. All that good stuff, from mission to mission.

Mitch: And develop your MechWarriors too.

Mike: Yes! MechWarriors will grow. We’re careful not to guarantee specific features here, but we’re looking at MechWarriors with different quirks, personalities, strengths and weaknesses that might manifest over time.

Nic: Single-player or multi-player?

Mike: The initial game we’re taking to Kickstarter is a single-player, open-ended campaign. We are hoping we’ll do well in Kickstarter, so we are talking about multi-player as a stretch-goal. We’ll have more details about that as we get closer to Kickstarter, in the next couple of months.

Nic: What are some of your goals with the Kickstarter? You did a lot of stretch goals with Shadowrun Returns. I’m assuming you’ll be offering interesting things for people that want to back BATTLETECH?

Mike: Our first goal for Kickstarter is to co-fund the development project with backers, not unlike a traditional publisher would with us. We’ll be putting some money in. We’ll be asking backers to help fund the rest of the budget for the base game. And then we’re looking at a variety of stretch goals. We’re looking at PvP, multiplayer, on the planet of Solaris 7, a lot of other cool stuff. We’ve talked about the possibility of more company-command level things (in stretch-goal land). This is my first GenCon, and I’ve been talking to BattleTech fans all day, and the passion for the project is tremendous.

Nic: Without giving us any commitments, Shadowrun took about a year from funding to release. Are you guys hoping for a 2016 or 2017 release?

Mike: 2017. We’d like to think we learn a little bit from project to project. Shadowrun Returns was a blast and we’re really proud of it. We also want to make sure we have enough time. We’ve done this with Shadowrun and Golem Arcana several times now. We have a pretty good idea, on BATTLETECH we want to start with a new fully 3D engine so we’re going to make sure we do it right. We’re looking at early 2017.

Mitch: It also depends on what funding level we get! So the more game they want us to make, the longer it’s probably going to take.
In addition to that, two podcast interviews, with Mike and Mitch respectively, were published during the past couple of weeks. I haven't listened to them in their entirety, but both of them mention that "while the Shadowrun games are RPGs with turn-based tactical combat, BattleTech is a turn-based tactical combat game with RPG elements". I think we can keep on covering it here, though.

There are 56 comments on Mitch Gitelman and Mike McCain talk about BattleTech at Sarna.net

Fri 21 August 2015
Swords and Sorcery: Underworld Definitive Edition Revealed

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 21 August 2015, 20:47:01

Tags: OlderBytes; Swords and Sorcery: Underworld

First there was 2010's Swords and Sorcery: Underworld. Then there was 2012's Swords and Sorcery: Underworld Gold. The latest incarnation of Codexer Charles Clerc's Might & Magic-inspired blobber will be called Swords and Sorcery: Underworld Definitive Edition, and will use the new engine he developed for its upcoming sequel, Swords and Sorcery: Sovereign. Charles' plan to update the game again was first announced way back in May 2014, but its official name and first gameplay footage are revealed for the first time today:


You can read the linked post for a detailed list of the major changes introduced in this version. Hopefully the long-awaited release of the game on Steam, where it was Greenlit back in December 2014, is not far off.

There are 21 comments on Swords and Sorcery: Underworld Definitive Edition Revealed

Pillars of Eternity: The White March Companion Videos

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Fri 21 August 2015, 17:47:52

Tags: Carrie Patel; Eric Fenstermaker; Obsidian Entertainment; Pillars of Eternity; Pillars of Eternity: The White March

With Pillars of Eternity: The White March due to release next Tuesday, Obsidian have released promotional videos for the game's two new companions, Zahua and the Devil of Caroc. The videos are narrated by the companions' respective writers, Eric Fenstermaker and Carrie Patel, and also include gameplay snippets and some nice music:


Zahua comes from an order of monks who "make themselves disgusting and engage in anti-social practices". A new contender for the title of most Codexian companion? We shall see.

Update: Here's another video, narrated by Bobby Null, which showcases the expansion's new areas - the village of Stalwart, Durgan's Battery and Cragholdt Bluffs:


According to the video, Cragholdt is home to "one of the great archmagi of Eora". BG2-style mage battle confirmed?

There are 46 comments on Pillars of Eternity: The White March Companion Videos

Thu 20 August 2015
Shadowrun: Hong Kong Released

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 20 August 2015, 19:26:07

Tags: Harebrained Schemes; Shadowrun: Hong Kong

The Thursday of Incline continues with the release of Shadowrun: Hong Kong. In the same time that other developers have taken to release one RPG, Harebrained Schemes have now released three, and that's while dabbling in a whole bunch of other projects as well. Here's their Kickstarter update:



Wow, Launch Day is finally here!

Thanks for sticking with us throughout the development of Shadowrun: Hong Kong. We've enjoyed giving you these "peeks behind the curtain" and sharing the adventure with you.

We know we say it a lot but thank you again for your generous financial and moral support. (And the bagels! Where would we be without the bagels?)

This game is the result of a true collaboration between artists, designers, programmers, writers, testers, and producers who put the game and their audience above all else. A lot of blood, sweat, tears (along with long, long hours) went into making Shadowrun: Hong Kong and knowing you were out there, excitedly waiting to play the game we were working so hard to deliver, really helped to motivate us.

And so, without further ado, you’ll find everything you need to know to get the game and your rewards below. We appreciate the opportunity to make games for you and hope you enjoy your trip to Hong Kong.
According to reviews published today, the game is exactly what you'd expect - more of the same, bigger and better. Map sizes especially appear to be much expanded, now that tablet memory limitations have been left behind. You can read the reviews yourself over at Rock Paper Shotgun, PC World, Hardcore Gamer or iDigitalTimes. Shadowrun: Hong Kong is now available for the price of $20 over at Steam or GOG. Enjoy it, because we probably won't be getting any more of these anytime soon, now that BattleTech is coming.

There are 51 comments on Shadowrun: Hong Kong Released

SSI Forgotten Realms RPGs Released on GOG

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 20 August 2015, 16:08:20

Tags: Curse of the Azure Bonds; DreamForge Entertainment; Dungeon Hack; Eye of the Beholder; Eye of the Beholder 2: The Legend of Darkmoon; Eye of the Beholder 3: Assault on Myth Drannor; Forgotten Realms: Unlimited Adventures; Gateway to the Savage Frontier; Hillsfar; Menzoberranzan; Pool of Radiance; Pools of Darkness; Secret of the Silver Blades; Stormfront Studios; Strategic Simulations, Inc.; Treasures of the Savage Frontier; Westwood Studios

Earlier this month, GOG-watching Codexer Blackstaff brought to our attention this video of an interview with a GOG employee at Gamescom. Said employee revealed that GOG were planning to release an oldschool 1980s RPG franchise this month. It would be a "huge" release, one that they'd negotiated for four years to acquire for the site. Our knowledgeable users immediately realized that the mention of the word "huge" probably narrowed down the options to either the first five Wizardry games or SSI's AD&D RPGs, while the mention of extensive negotiations seemed to point towards the latter. As usual, our users were correct.

I'm pleased to announce that today, for the first time since Interplay's last compilation re-release in 2001, the classic SSI Forgotten Realms RPGs are available for purchase. That includes all of the Forgotten Realms Gold Box RPGs, the Eye of the Beholder series from Westwood, as well as sundry others such as Dungeon Hack, Menzoberranzan and Hillsfar. Divided into three separate collections, the release appears to be identical to Interplay's three-part Forgotten Realms: The Archives compilation re-release from 1999, but without the newer D&D-themed RTS Blood & Magic that they included in its third part. And of course, since this is a Forgotten Realms collection, it doesn't include SSI's D&D games set in the worlds of Dragonlance, Dark Sun, and others. Hopefully all of those will come later.

Anyway, here's GOG's writeup:

We're casting True Resurrection on Eye of the Beholder and twelve more D&D GoldBox classics.

You are sitting in a tavern. The mighty Wizards of the Coast bestow upon you their greatest treasures: Forgotten Realms: The Archives - long lost relics of an RPG renaissance that changed the face of gaming forever. Today, one of the forgotten grails of gaming history is within your grasp, should you travel to a magical, DRM-free realm known as GOG.com.

Eye of the Beholder, Pool of Radiance, Menzoberranzan - the list of groundbreaking RPG classics goes on. We set out on the quest for Forgotten Realms: The Archives a long time ago, and though it was a perilous journey - after years of searching, huge help from our friends at Hasbro and Wizards of The Coast, as well as months of technical work - we get to be freaking excited to sit here and say:

Forgotten Realms: The Archives are available now, DRM-free on GOG.com

The Archives are a set of thirteen D&D GoldBox classics packaged across three collections:

--Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection One features Eye of the Beholder I, II, and III. It's the three and only, the gold-standard in classic RPG dungeon crawling.

--Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection Two features more gameplay hours and secrets than we could ever count - with Pool of Radiance, Hillsfar, Curse of the Azure Bonds, Gateway to the Savage Frontier, Pools of Darkness, Secret of the Silver Blades, Treasures of the Savage Frontier, and D&D: Unlimited Adventures.

--Forgotten Realms: The Archives - Collection Three features near-infinite replay value and and an important chunk of RPG history with Dungeon Hack and Menzoberranzan.

We are now home to precisely 20 years of digital D&D RPG history - from Pool of Radiance (1988) to Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir (2008). You can also complete your personal collection with all the remaining D&D titles on sale at up to 80% off in our early D&D Weekend Promo! Planescape Torment, Baldur's Gate, Neverwinter Nights - they're all here, so head straight to the promo page, or read more about it.
The first two collections will cost you $10 each and the third one $6. GOG will also be streaming some of the games on their Twitch channel today. With the Shadowrun: Hong Kong release later today and other good news on the horizon, this Thursday is shaping up to be the beginning of a real week of incline.

There are 105 comments on SSI Forgotten Realms RPGs Released on GOG

Wed 19 August 2015
Feargus Urquhart talks about new crowdfunding platform Fig and Obsidian's future

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Wed 19 August 2015, 17:26:19

Tags: Feargus Urquhart; Obsidian Entertainment

Those of you who read our forums probably already heard about Fig yesterday. If you haven't, well, in short, it's a new, highly curated, video game-specific crowdfunding platform created by former Double Fine COO Justin Bailey, which aims to combine traditional rewards-based crowdfunding with equity-based investment to achieve larger budgets for game development. What makes Fig notable to us is that RPG bigwigs Brian Fargo and Feargus Urquhart, as well as Double Fine's Tim Schafer, are members of its advisory board. They will be responsible for curating the projects on the site and all have promised to launch their own future crowdfunding campaigns on it.

Our more perceptive readers quickly noted that while inXile had only recently concluded their crowdfunding campaign for The Bard's Tale IV on Kickstarter, Obsidian had not returned to crowdfunding since their initial outing back in 2012. Perhaps, then, the founding of Fig is a sign that Obsidian's long-awaited next crowdfunded RPG is not far off? This interview on VentureBeat with Feargus and Justin Bailey may point to that. Here are the relevant bits:

GamesBeat: Does this mean that the companies involved. Will Obsidian, InXile, and Double Fine not use Kickstarter in the future?

Urquhart: For our next games, absolutely [we won’t use Kickstarter]. But to be clear, we just worked with another company to do a board game. We did the Pillars of Eternity card game. That would still be something we’d use other crowdfunding sites to do, just because it’s not what we do, but it’s connected. I don’t want to say we would never do anything affiliated with any of the other crowdfunding outlets. But for games, this is why we’re getting together to do this together. And I’ll say together once more.

GamesBeat: For someone who’s used to the traditional Kickstarter investment or preorder system, how would you explain the difference in this equity funding?

Urquhart: To answer the why of it, it’s not just about how to be different from an Indiegogo or Kickstarter or things like that. It’s about having things keep on moving forward from 2012, when there was that huge boom in crowdfunding for video games. That changed our company immeasurably. We have our own brand now. We get to make Eternity games now, so long as we make good ones. That’s awesome. Allowing game-makers to have that opportunity is great.

Now, the difference is, what can we do from there? That’s what Fig does. That’s the connection. It’s not just crowdfunding. If we want to make bigger stuff, if we want to involve people even more in what we’re doing, this takes crowdfunding to a point where people can fund $50,000 games, or $2 million games, or $5 million games. Hopefully we can even get to $10 million and $15 million games. That’s great for the independent game development scene, allowing that. That’s what the difference is. It’s about why we want to do it.

GamesBeat: Feargus, we know we’ll see some sort of Obsidian games on here. Is this going to be what people would expect from an Obsidian game, an RPG sort of experience?

Urquhart: We can probably say it’s going to be an RPG. [Laughs] Obviously we like certain genres and setting. It wouldn’t be for our first one, but there’s definitely a setting we’d love to return to and make an awesome game in. That’s something we’ve been talking about a lot lately.​

GamesBeat: Are traditional publishers responding to this kind of crowdfunding revolution in any way? Are they coming back to some of these studios, saying to Obsidian or Double Fine, “We’d like to take more chances on you guys?” Or are you guys just off doing a new thing and they don’t notice?

Urquhart: I get asked a lot about how publishers have responded to us doing crowdfunding. Unfortunately some of the funniest stories I probably can’t tell you. But the thing is — if I had to guess, they watch it, but it’s not — take Activision and Call of Duty. One, they can fund it themselves and it’s $100 million they’re spending a year, I’m guessing. It’s just not a part of their world. We’re talking about the next Star Wars movie relative to something like Clerks. They’re in totally different worlds.

But because, as you see studios like us, the studios that have been successful, even in comparison to something like Gearbox — they haven’t done crowdfunding. Because of Borderlands, they have a firm base like the rest of us. That changes the conversation when we’re talking to publishers. We have our own brand, more of our own brands. We’re a little bit more financially secure. And so I think it’s changing the conversation between the bigger independent developers and publishers. I think they like it.

What’s interesting, I think, is that if you look at more of the boutique publishers — sometimes I don’t know if they like to be referred to that way, but if you look at something like Deep Silver or Paradox or 505, for them, that changes it a lot, because it all depends on how much we want to do the publishing of our own games. It can create these interesting partnerships, like we did with Paradox and inXile did with Koch for physical distribution of Wasteland 2. That’s where it’s changing in particular.

What’s great for us is that we can also look at it like, what can we do with Eternity now? How big could we take Eternity now that we have it and it’s ours? What I mean by that is, you’ll start seeing larger ripples in the impact on the larger publishers. Not this year, but in years to come.​

We know that in the past Feargus has talked about "Kickstarting a Skyrim", and back in May, he even said they were "looking at that right now". According to Justin Bailey's LinkedIn account, Fig was founded in March. It looks like that wasn't just talk. The comparison with Gearbox is telling. If I may editorialize, I believe the ultimate goal here is to transform Obsidian into a company that can finance its own Fallout: New Vegas-calibre hit and dictate terms to publishers and investors, instead of being beholden to their whims. If Fig is a success, maybe they'll be able to pull that off sooner than we imagined.

There are 77 comments on Feargus Urquhart talks about new crowdfunding platform Fig and Obsidian's future

Shadowrun: Hong Kong Codexian Fundraiser Reward Claims

Community - posted by Angthoron on Wed 19 August 2015, 10:14:43

Tags: Harebrained Schemes; Shadowrun: Hong Kong

With the Shadowrun: Hong Kong release being pretty much upon us, we'd like to remind all of the eligible Codex Fundraiser participant to claim their rewards.

To do so, please head to https://shadowrun-hong-kong.backerkit.com and fill the survey so HBS knows whether you'll want a GOG or a Steam key. If you'll have any issues with completing the survey or getting your rewards, shoot an e-mail to info@hbs-studios.com and inform them about it. Refer to Codex fundraiser as they have our backer info on hand. Let me know if there's any problems.

See you in the shadow. Or not, since, you know, it's singleplayer.

There are 51 comments on Shadowrun: Hong Kong Codexian Fundraiser Reward Claims

Seven Dragon Saga August Update

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 19 August 2015, 00:57:15

Tags: David Shelley; Seven Dragon Saga; Tactical Simulations Interactive

It looks like the un-Kickstarted yet miraculously still-in-development Gold Box successor Seven Dragon Saga might be getting monthly updates now. This month's update once again includes some new art, this time of a nasty being called a Dark Servant, and a general progress report. I quote:

A servant of the dark, hungry for life’s energy. One of the many less savoury beings which inhabit the shadowy corners of the world in Seven Dragon Saga.

We continue heads down through summer, though it does look pretty seeing the blue sky out through the windows. We are pushing forward until we have sufficient material for the game to really feel like something of quality and polish.

The design team completed a draft on the various types of crafting, and Paul is taking a new pass at looting, merchants, quest rewards and the economy in general, in light of ingredients and recipes. The goal is to get the characters not too rich and not too poor, as well as distributing items throughout all the regions.

On the story side, David and Edwin have broken the world down into seven regions, each with an average of four major points of interest. From this, we can fill out the details on factions and important NPCs, and how the whole game should play out. Starting to tally up asset requirements, and working with the art team to confirm it will all fit within their budget.

Sebastian has completed the basics for combat and movement in the prototype, and is now laying the groundwork to import the new player character models, and their whole range of animations. As that wraps up, we expect Amanda of the art team to start delivering full quality environmental assets. And the animation team should also be set to deliver the first batch of fully rigged and animated enemies, such as the Slyth we showed last update.

Once all that is implemented, the prototype will still require new visual effects and audio to finally feel like the first draft of the revised combat experience. Then the design team has a list of dozens of abilities to implement and test.

Lee has been turning designer scribbles into beautiful UI designs, both for combat (and later implementation in the prototype), and for character creation elements, such as Goals. He also continues to oversee all the other artists to keep the vision unified and top quality.

The rest of engineering continues to work with low level elements for the actual game: data structures and handling, inventory, reviewing the crafting designs, and a thousand other niggling details. Nothing pretty yet, but the key is to make the code robust.​

"Sufficient material for the game to really feel like something of quality and polish", eh? Sufficient for what exactly, I wonder?

P.S. Speaking of the Gold Box games, it might be worth taking a look at GOG this Thursday. I wonder if the TSI guys know about this.

There are 2 comments on Seven Dragon Saga August Update

Tue 18 August 2015
RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2015, Part One - The Technomancer, The White March and Kingdom Come

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 18 August 2015, 14:04:49

Tags: Adam Brennecke; J.E. Sawyer; Kingdom Come: Deliverance; Obsidian Entertainment; Paradox Interactive; Pillars of Eternity; Pillars of Eternity: The White March; Spiders; The Technomancer; Warhorse Studios

Attending the Gamescom trade fair in Cologne, Germany has become an annual tradition on the RPG Codex. In 2013, our representatives were staff members Grunker and JarlFrank, whose all-expenses-paid invitation by Ubisoft kicked off the tradition. Last year it was Darth Roxor, who accurately predicted his own reception of Pillars of Eternity, but not so much for Blackguards 2. This year, the honor has fallen to elite collaborator Bubbles, who has come a long way since his early days as a fake Realms of Arkania HD fanboy, joined once again by lovable administrator JarlFrank.

With a full complement of German efficiency this time around, this year's Gamescom coverage has turned out to be our most extensive yet. As such, our report will be divided into several parts. In the first part, Bubbles and JarlFrank share their impressions of The Technomancer, the latest offering from the curiously omnipresent French console RPG house Spiders, Pillars of Eternity: The White March - Part 1, Obsidian Entertainment's soon-to-be-released expansion pack for the Codex's top-reviewed game, and Kingdom Come: Deliverance, the authentic medieval RPG and contemporary culture war totem from Daniel Vavra's Warhorse Studios. Have a snippet:

Paradox had no presence in the business area of the fair, instead electing to hold all their meetings in the public area. I had assumed that the highly exclusive "trade visitor only day" would let us take a sedate stroll through clean, bright halls full of business people in smart suits, just like the organizers had promoted it on the website. Unfortunately, I had overlooked a crucial piece of information, buried in the fine print: "The organizers may grant special access to select members of the public." As soon as we stepped past the fortified barricades of the trade area, we ran into a yelping teenage boy who was jumping up and down with a "Free Fucks - Gay 4 Pay" sign in his hands. The halls were throbbing with select members of the cosplaying public, who shared with us their deep appreciation of Final Fantasy XII, Mad Max: The Game, and the brave resistance fighters from Homefront. More than a hundred people were standing in line at the Fallout 4 cinema to see the latest trailer and take a picture with PipBoy. I did not understand any of the things I was seeing, but I knew that I hated it all.

I could barely talk to JarlFrank through the din. I looked at the publisher's instructions again: "Paradox Interactive will be in Hall 9.1, at Booth A053. The actual demos will be given in private booths located at the end of the hall, following the aisle from our booth, outside the hall facing the hotel Dorint An der Messe Koln. " We flittered through hall 9.1 like carrier pigeons flying over a giant magnet, bouncing from wall to wall and looking out the exits in a futile attempt to figure out which side of a windowless hall was facing the hotel Dorint. Finally we turned around and asked one of the nameless interns at the Paradox booth, who told us to take the southwest exit and turn straight left. They might have just written that in the invitation to begin with. We staggered to the exit, half deaf and mentally scarred.

The Paradox booths were housed in a large white block made of sheet metal sitting on stilts above the convention grounds, so that all visitors might bask in its majesty. Unfortunately, that also meant stepping outside into the blazing sun, which our delicate German temperaments could not withstand for long. We resolved to flee to safety as soon as humanly possible. The greeters at the entance were busy with another pair of visitors, so we swiftly snuck in behind their backs and climbed up the great set of stairs to the top. Up there, we were immediately caught by a bunch of guys sitting in a cramped room resembling a cargo container, who questioned us on our credentials. Thankfully, they were just PR people, so we verbally identified ourselves as serious journalists and were promptly presented with cooled bottles of water. Now we had to wait for "the Pillars of Eternity guys", who were "just coming from dinner".

We still didn't know who exactly we were meeting, so it was pointless to speculate about the wonders that might await us. Instead we struck up a conversation with another attendee, a sweet guy from Munich whose company made children's games. He had a personal interest in Hearts of Iron 4, and had decided to come visit the devs in his spare time. He also, inexcplicably, thought that we were Dutch. He seemed an innocent man with an untarnished soul, but we eventually got to talking about hardcore turn based games, the word "grognards" was mentioned, and before he knew it, we'd exchanged business cards (ours was just a handwritten scribble of our front page address - maybe we should do a community contest for a proper Codex Calling Card). In retrospect, I feel rather bad about sending any mentally stable person to the Codex front page, so I want to mention his company (Studio 100 Media) here to give him some exposure in recompense. He would ultimately prove to be the most interesting person we'd meet during our stay at Paradox.

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Read the full article: RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2015, Part One - The Technomancer, The White March and Kingdom Come

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