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Wed 7 October 2015

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?

Dex Enhanced Edition Released

Game News - posted by Crooked Bee on Wed 7 October 2015, 23:03:52

Tags: Dex

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2D Cyberpunk Sidescrolling RPG Dex, whose original release was apparently somewhat unsatisfactory, is now seeking to rectify that by releasing an "Enhanced Edition" of the game (which is all the rage these days). Here's the announcement:

It’s finally here, the Enhanced Version you’ve been waiting for!
You can download it now!

Here’s a reminder of the most important improvements this new update brings:
  • Manual saves.
  • Revamped AR / Cyberspace.
  • New user interface / menus.
  • Improved enemy AI / melee combat.
  • Ability to shoot while moving.
  • Steam Achievements / Trading Cards / Badges.
  • Full localization: French / German / Czech / Hungarian.
And much more.

We hope you have fun playing or replaying Dex, and we’re looking forward to your impressions!​

[​IMG] [​IMG]

You can buy the game here.

Thanks almondblight!

There are 24 comments on Dex Enhanced Edition Released

Torment Kickstarter Update #48: Crisis Gameplay Video

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 7 October 2015, 21:16:15

Tags: InXile Entertainment; Jeremy Kopman; Torment: Tides of Numenera

It must be Pre-Release Gameplay Footage Day today. inXile just published a new Torment: Tides of Numenera Kickstarter update announcing the release of the new C0 Alpha. This alpha release is the first to include a Crisis, one of Torment's set-piece combat scenarios. And this time, those of us who don't have access to the alpha get an official gameplay video too. Lead Crisis Designer Jeremy "Titan Canyon" Kopman narrates the video and explains further in the update:

When things get tense (and, more importantly, time-sensitive) in TTON, we enter a turn-based mode. Each individual character, as well as some elements of the environment, take one turn at a time. The order in which characters act is based on an initiative roll at the start of combat. Items, skill training, and abilities can provide an edge on this roll.

In a Crisis, you control the Last Castoff and any companions you may have. When it's a character's turn, they can take one Anoetic Action, one Occultic Action, set up one Defensive Maneuver (disabled for C0), as well as move (with the movement distance available determined by items, skills, and abilities).

The Anoetic Action is a quick, optional action, useful for triggering support abilities and cyphers. These include switching weapons, activating buffs, or employing traversal abilities like teleports – for instance, the companion Aligern can activate his Living Tattoos, providing a buff to the next action he takes. PCs don't need to use their Anoetic Action every turn, but when the circumstances are right they provide an opportunity to maximize effects and add to your tactical advantage.

Occultic Actions are the main actions for the turn. Attacks, most esoteries, and more complex and powerful cyphers consume this action. Alternately, PCs can use this action to interact with objects in the environment or even strike up a (fast-paced) conversation with their enemies. As described in the Crisis Concept document, interacting with objects and people is a key part of our Crisis design. Taking advantage of these options can tip the scales of a combat encounter or even end it outright.

For AST C0, we've chosen to leave the last type of action - Defensive Maneuvers - out for now. There are a couple reasons for this: 1) We didn't feel like the UI was quite ready for primetime; 2) We felt like there were plenty of mechanics for our players to learn as is; 3) The scenario used for C0 occurs early in the game, when your party would have relatively few defensive options available.

When we do include the feature in a future release, Defensive Maneuvers will function as toggles. You use them to set up how the PC will behave off-turn. For example, a crafty jack might choose to trade off some defensive readiness for the opportunity to attack enemies who become flanked or otherwise distracted. A brave glaive might choose to sacrifice for his allies, interposing himself between an enemy and his besieged friend.​

The rest of the update explains in detail the mechanics of applying Effort in a Crisis. It's pretty cool stuff - obviously inspired by The Banner Saga but a lot more complex. I don't think there are going to be any more alphas after this, so it's on to the beta now.

There are 89 comments on Torment Kickstarter Update #48: Crisis Gameplay Video

Underworld Ascendant Prototype Gameplay Footage at PC Gamer and Polygon

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 7 October 2015, 13:51:52

Tags: Joe Fielder; OtherSide Entertainment; Paul Neurath; Underworld Ascendant

The last three biweekly updates for OtherSide Entertainment's Underworld Ascendant were not very interesting, and I had assumed that the much-awaited gameplay footage was still a ways off. For that reason, I was quite surprised to wake up this morning to discover that said footage had suddenly appeared on PC Gamer and Polygon.

At PC Gamer, Paul Neurath and narrative designer Joe Fielder were guests on the site's weekly livestreamed podcast, where they chatted with their hosts about stealth games, open world games, roleplaying games and Undertale, before finally getting to Underworld Ascendant at around 1:19:25. Polygon, meanwhile, just got the raw footage, so that's what I'll post here. The footage features a rather talkative female rogue-mage on a mission to steal some sort of Dwarven artifact, who finds herself pursued by a fearsome Shadow Beast. If you'd like a play-by-play description from the developers (and without the Polygon guy's annoying opening comments) I do recommend watching the PC Gamer stream as well. Anyway, check it out:

Not bad for a game that's just seven months in development. For comparison, we saw our first serious footage of Wasteland 2 after ten months. I assume the voice acting in the final release won't be quite as...contextual.

There are 89 comments on Underworld Ascendant Prototype Gameplay Footage at PC Gamer and Polygon

Tue 6 October 2015
The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone Expansion Launch Trailer and Previews

Preview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 6 October 2015, 19:54:28

Tags: CD Projekt; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt; The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone

Although it doesn't launch until next week, CD Projekt have published the launch trailer for The Witcher 3 Hearts of Stone expansion pack on their YouTube channel. It has a bit of a gothic horror vibe. Check it out:

The storyline of the expansion involves Geralt becoming involved in some sort of supernatural feud between a bandit captain with a severe mortality deficiency and a travelling merchant from the main game who also turns out to be more than what he appears. You can read more about that in one of the many previews of the expansion that were published last week:

Game Informer:
PC Gamer:
Rock Paper Shotgun:
The consensus seems to be that it's a "more of the same" expansion, but with a focus on character development reminiscent of the main game's famous Bloody Baron quest. Apparently, there are some Witcher 1 plot tie-ins in there as well. For maximum spoilage, I recommend the GamePressure preview, written by a rather enthusiastic Pole.

There are 21 comments on The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone Expansion Launch Trailer and Previews

Mon 5 October 2015
Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #69: PC User Interface Improvements

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 5 October 2015, 16:41:16

Tags: Eric Schwarz; InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

The release of the Wasteland 2 Director's Cut is just over a week away and as expected, inXile have released a Kickstarter update to remind people about it, with links to the new trailers released over the past couple of weeks. As an added bonus, it also comes with screenshots of some of the PC-specific user interface improvements implemented for the Director's Cut, along with explanations. I quote:

[​IMG] [​IMG]
[​IMG] [​IMG]

When we started work on updating the interface for PC, we already had a great base to work on with the original Wasteland 2 interface, as well as the updated version for consoles. However, we felt there were a few things we wanted to improve upon when playing with a keyboard and mouse. For example, on consoles, we had to devote portions of the screen to description boxes. This works great with a gamepad, but on PC a lot of that real estate can be put to better use thanks to tooltips.

So, one of the first things we did was make sure that we expanded some of the menus to show more stuff – the Inventory grid got bigger, the Perks menu shows you more Perks at once, and all the text has been moved over to tooltips instead.

One of the other things we wanted to address was to make using skills and objects a bit easier. In the original Wasteland 2, we used a hotbar where you could assign your skills and items. While this let us accommodate a huge number of options, it also meant that sometimes, common actions like lockpicking doors would get repetitive, requiring you to hunt for your squad member with the right skill and then select it manually each time.

You can still interact with objects using the hotbar if you prefer, but we also added a new right-click contextual menu. If you come across an object that has skill checks on it, just right-click it – the game will show you all perceived and valid options available, as well as the skill odds of the highest level character in your party who can use that skill. Then, left-click an icon and your best Ranger for the job will use it. After using skills this way, most of us are finding it impossible to go back.

We've also gone and given Precision Strikes a similar look and feel, replacing the radial menu used on controllers with a set of vertical buttons. Just right-click an enemy in combat to bring this up and you'll be able to target them for a Precision Strike – provided you've got a weapon capable of them. Certain less precise weapons such as shotguns and machine guns won't be able to use Precision Strikes, but they do have other advantages to make up for it.
Context menus make everything better. I'm glad to see the PC hasn't been overlooked in this area.

There are 66 comments on Wasteland 2 Kickstarter Update #69: PC User Interface Improvements

Fri 2 October 2015
BattleTech Kickstarter Update #4: Always Read The Fine Print

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 2 October 2015, 23:03:56

Tags: BattleTech; Harebrained Schemes

Since it hit a million dollars of funding two days ago, the BattleTech Kickstarter campaigned has gathered over 300,000 dollars more, which along with PayPal has unlocked three out of the four Stage 2 stretch goals. Harebrained have continued to engage in social media antics, but today's Kickstarter update has some actual game information. It's about what they have planned for faction interactions in the Stage 3 "expanded mercenary campaign":

One of the more treacherous elements that we’d like to include in the Stage 3 Expanded Mercenary Campaign is negotiating contracts with potential employers - who can be anyone from the leader of a local farming cooperative, to the crown prince of a Great House.

We are currently thinking that mercenary contracts will contain a variety of clauses or terms that can be negotiated. For example, you might trade a higher initial downpayment for increased salvage rights on a given mission. Or, insist that the client provide some of their own military support for a particularly dicey operation, in exchange for a reduction in fees for completing a mission objective.

You may decide to negotiate and try to improve a specific clause in your contract, but remember - it’s a negotiation, so improving the terms in one area may cause the employer to worsen the terms in another. Ideally, different employers will have different contract terms they’re prepared to negotiate and “hot button” issues that may result in negative reactions if pressed too hard. We like the idea that over time you might learn the negotiating style of a particular representative, and thus improve your negotiating success rate with them.

In BATTLETECH, an employer’s agenda isn’t always what it seems. Don’t be surprised if the minor noble from House Marik who’s assigned to negotiate with you slips a little something for herself into your mission objectives. Going out of your way to accomplish that objective might earn you more favorable terms on future contracts, but at what cost?

One of our design goals in the Stage 3 Expanded Mercenary Campaign is make both how you negotiate and execute on contracts with a given employer affect your reputation with *that employer.* Likewise, the Noble Houses and Periphery Kings who are targets of those contracts will remember your combat actions against them. The sum of these actions determines your reputation with each faction in the game - and your reputation determines the contracts and terms they offer.

If we hit Funding Stage 3, over the course of development we will explore the fun of these design concepts and determine how deep each of these systems should be. We’re excited to bring the contract negotiation aspect of mercenary life to the game, and to use it as a vehicle to illustrate the political intrigue of the Inner Sphere.
Sounds pretty cool. Hopefully the rapid pace of funding will continue so they can reach Stage 3 with time to spare.

There are 8 comments on BattleTech Kickstarter Update #4: Always Read The Fine Print

Thu 1 October 2015
RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2015 - Expeditions: Viking

Editorial - posted by Crooked Bee on Thu 1 October 2015, 19:40:22

Tags: Expeditions: Viking; Logic Artists

Bubbles' final appointment of this year's Gamescom also makes for the final part of his report series, focusing on Logic Artists' second Expeditions game, Expeditions: Viking. (In case you missed it, we're also hosting the game's forum on the Codex). From the sound of it, Logic Artists want to get across the message that they recognize the first game's faults and are trying to set things right while also not straying too far from the original formula:

Some of the elements of Conquistador did get a bit tedious – like the camping system, at a certain point. We got a lot of player feedback, from the Codex, from Steam, from other forums, and a lot of people wanted to see something a little more interesting and engaging. So we put a lot of thought into how we can make that different, but not too different, because we want to maintain the theme of the Expeditions franchise. We don't want to go too “dynamic”... it's not a touchscreen minigame, right?​

Both Bubbles and the interviewee, Logic Artists' Alex Mintsioulis, were already exhausted after several days of that most terrible thing in the world, a gaming convention. And yet despite that, the interview turned out to be fairly lengthy, covering topics ranging from the game's premise and campaign structure to camping mechanics, character design, and C&C, to the Codex itself (a dose of ego stroking included):

AM: That's one of the things I love about the Codex. People are brutally, brutally honest with each other: “Yes, what you're saying is crap!” I read an interview with Chris Avellone, I think it was at PAX… It was a whole group of developers sitting together, and they were all kind of like “oh, oh, the Codex strikes fear in the hearts of developers.” And I read that and I thought: “That's not the way that I perceive the Codex.” I'm sometimes a very blunt person. I'm very straightforward, and I'll swear, but that doesn't mean that I want to hurt people's feelings – I just want to get my point across. So when I read something with a whole bunch of expletives and there's also a point in there, then I just read the point. Everything else is irrelevant. It doesn't really matter how people are communicating, it's what they're communicating. The whole point of the Codex is that it's a place where people can be themselves, and if they wanna be rude, they're gonna be rude. It's a sort of take-it-or-leave-it environment, and there's no reason to be afraid of that. You know, as game developers, we're a bunch of socially awkward people. And when you live and work amongst a bunch of socially awkward people, then talking to other socially awkward people should be fairly easy for you. And you should be a little bit empathetic and understand where they're coming from. I'm not always the most polite person myself, and that's something that I think should be easily accepted [by devs who read the Codex]. But it's important that everybody should have the same level of appreciation. You shouldn't get dragged into an argument, because that's not the point. It's about bringing up the things that you like and dislike about the game, and then be challenged on them. If you go back and forth based on that, then that's exactly the kind of feedback that game developers should wanna have. If you develop a culture of communication with your players where you only listen to the polite people, then you're not gonna get to the root of any of your problems. I mean, people are rude, but that doesn't mean they're wrong.​

At the end, Bubbles also gives his own thoughts on the game:

To be honest, I've never held a strong opinion on Expeditions: Conquistador either way. The game offered a respectable amount of C&C, but its travel and combat mechanics eventually became too repetitive for my taste; if it hadn't been for its novel and interesting setting, I'd have abandoned the game a lot sooner than I did. By contrast, the setting of Viking seems to be more familiar and predictable; at least for me, it doesn't hold quite as much appeal anymore. Thankfully, Viking's changes to the equipment system and the character development mechanics could potentially make the gameplay more dynamic and interesting than it was in the first game; and if the gameplay is good, what else matters? On the other hand, the super gory kill cams and the animated 3D camp screens are big warning signs for me; all the talk about achieving immersion by means of extreme violence and "showing the world from another perspective" sounds suspiciously like mainstream pandering to me. And then there's the concept of roaming large regions for hours on end without ever camping or advancing the day/night timer, which I really find enormously strange. Let's hope that the Codex gets lots of beta keys, so that we may help Logic Artists to stay on the path of righteousness.​

Finally, regarding what Bubbles may be up to next...

Next up: Nothing, I'm done.​

We should probably give the man a break. This series has been a long, and good, one.

Read the full article: RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2015 - Expeditions: Viking

There are 37 comments on RPG Codex Report: Gamescom 2015 - Expeditions: Viking

Wed 30 September 2015
BattleTech Kickstarter Update #2: Story Campaign Unlocked, New Stretch Goals

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 30 September 2015, 21:01:56

Tags: BattleTech; Harebrained Schemes; Jordan Weisman

The BattleTech Kickstarter campaign has successfully raised a million dollars, unlocking its Stage 2 single player story campaign in just 25 hours. Harebrained Schemes have not been caught flat-footed and the Stage 2 stretch goals are already prepared. The latest Kickstarter update has the details on those, as well on the progress of the campaign's social media "Backer Missions". Oh, and a video from Jordan Weisman explaining this week's "Bonus Mission". Here's some of that:

MechWarriors of the Inner Sphere, Harebrained Schemes High Command salutes you!

That was a truly astounding first day of backing and we are awed that in one 24 hour period you came together to unlock:
  • Combined Arms
  • Expanded Mission Objectives
  • Expanded Environments
But you did more than just complete these worthwhile STAGE 1 objectives! Through your valiant efforts, we have achieved STAGE 2 and unlocked the Single Player Story Campaign in a single day!

The Global BattleTech Community has spoken with one voice and affirmed that BattleTech is more than just big stompy robots battling it out. It’s a dynamic, centuries-spanning science fiction setting filled with intrigue and cutthroat politics - a fertile environment for rich storytelling. And thanks to your efforts, the Single Player Story Campaign is a reality. We thank you.

Now, MechWarriors, it’s ONWARD towards our next major objective: STAGE 3 - The Extended Mercenary Campaign!

As you will see, we have added several key targets on our march to STAGE 3.
  • $1,100,000 - Cinematic Transitions: We'll add short cutscenes for various events in game - such as deploying your forces to the battlefield - and for key moments in the single-player story.
  • $1,200,000 - Player-Character Origin Stories: In BATTLETECH, you’ll create your own mercenary character to star in the story. If we hit this funding level, you'll be able to choose one of six origin stories for your mercenary commander's career. Are you the only heir of a once noble family that has since fallen from favor? The bastard child of a famous MechWarrior? You decide.
  • $1,350,000 - Voice Acting: We'll record a cast of talented voice actors to act as your advisers, provide mission briefings, and record battlefield emotes. We’ll also add voice acting to the animatics for important moments in the story.
  • $1,550,000: 3D MechWarrior Portrait Customization: We'll build a complete 3D portrait customization system for you to customize the look of both your MechWarriors and your own Mercenary commander.
And how do we reach our STAGE 3 objective? Together.
BattleTech has turned out to be the fastest-funding turn-based Kickstarter in a very long time, and unless it suffers a Bard's Tale IV level of mid-campaign decline, it seems likely to hit all of its stretch goals. I guess that even in 2015, a popular license and an underserved audience can go a long way. Harebrained Schemes, you're playing in the big leagues now.

There are 84 comments on BattleTech Kickstarter Update #2: Story Campaign Unlocked, New Stretch Goals

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #17: That's a Wrap

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 30 September 2015, 15:40:27

Tags: Divinity: Original Sin 2; Larian Studios

Ah, another successful Kickstarter campaign. Divinity: Original Sin 2 ended up reaching all of its stretch goals, making it the most successful oldschool RPG Kickstarter since 2013. Our own fundraiser was also successful, and the RPGWatch was handily defeated, both in funding and in combat. Good times, good times. Here's Larian's celebratory post-campaign update:

That's a Wrap!

After 35 days, 42,713 backers, over 19,000 comments, and a whopping final total of $2,032,434 (plus an estimated $43,000 from Paypal), the Kickstarter campaign for Divinity: Original Sin 2 has come to an end!

All of us at Larian Studios have been truly overwhelmed by the level of support that we have received — not only in terms of pledges, but also feedback and involvement. Right from the beginning, it was our aim to use the campaign as a means to bring our community of fans into the heart of the development process. In every regard, you have exceeded our wildest expectations, and we would like to extend our everlasting gratitude to you all.

And of course, all of the stretch goals have been unlocked! The combined pledges from Kickstarter and Paypal mean that we’ve broken through the $2 million mark, and all of our stretch goals have now been achieved! Get ready for Game Master mode, the Hall of Echoes, Skill Trees and much more!

What's Next?

Of course, this is only the end of the beginning — there’s still a game to finish! The updates and community involvement will continue for every step of the way; there’s plenty of stuff that we haven’t even gotten around to showing you yet, and we can’t wait to bring you the latest developments. As for now, everyone across Larian’s four bases in Ghent, St. Petersburg, Dublin and Quebec will be raising a glass (or two, or eight) to celebrate the end of the campaign and to salute the best community of fans that any developer could possibly hope for!

Want to see how we party? Check out our twitch stream now — maybe somebody forgot to switch it off :)
According to Swen, Larian will now go back to finishing up Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition, and after a short break, begin full production of Divinity: Original Sin 2. And what of Larian's other RPG that they were supposed to be working on? That's a tale for another day, I guess.

There are 30 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #17: That's a Wrap

Tue 29 September 2015
Alpha Strike: BattleTech Kickstarter is Live

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 29 September 2015, 19:43:23

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

Harebrained Schemes' BattleTech Kickstarter just went live, and it's off to a very strong start. The funding goal is $250,000 and the minimum pledge to get a copy of the game is $25, with beta access available at the $50 tier. On top of the basic four stage funding plan we learned about yesterday, this campaign will include a variety of mini-stretch goals for each stage as it unlocks. Since we already know all the basic information about the game, I'll quote the stretch goals for its initial Skirmish Game stage, which Harebrained are funding with their own cash. After the video, of course:


$250,000 - Combined Arms:
We'll add a healthy roster of non-'Mech AI opponents to the Base Skirmish Game including tanks, hovercraft, support vehicles and more. But be careful - even the lightest of combat vehicles can still wreck your 'Mechs under the right conditions.

$400,000 - Expanded Mission Objectives:
We'll add a variety of mission types to the Base Skirmish Game including Escort, Capture, Defend, and more.

$500,000 - Expanded Environments:
We'll add a wider variety of battlefield environments to the game, including time-of-day and atmospheric conditions that affect both movement and combat. Confront enemy forces in the low-visibility conditions of a blizzard on a frigid ice world, or carefully manage your heat in a battle across volcanic fields.
In addition to these, the campaign has a bunch of Bard's Tale IV-style social media stretch goals, with their own unique rewards. I assume there'll be a Kickstarter update about that later, after the game funds, as it surely will. This is definitely no leisurely Shadowrun: Hong Kong-style campaign. I guess they want to be able to get it right the first time with BattleTech.

Update: The campaign has made its initial funding goal and all the Stage 1 stretch goals in just over 4 hours, making Jordan Weisman a very happy man. This is gonna be a big one.

There are 108 comments on Alpha Strike: BattleTech Kickstarter is Live

Swords and Sorcery: Underworld Definitive Edition coming November 3rd

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 29 September 2015, 18:58:38

Tags: OlderBytes; Swords and Sorcery: Underworld

The Definitive Edition of Codexer's Charles-cgr's Swords & Sorcery: Underworld was only formally announced last month, but today it's gotten a release date - November 3rd. Here's a trailer he put together for the occasion:

Good news. You may also be interested in this post from earlier this month explaining the changes that have been made to the game's character system.

There are 7 comments on Swords and Sorcery: Underworld Definitive Edition coming November 3rd

Wasteland 2 Director's Cut Story & Scale Trailer

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 29 September 2015, 18:35:26

Tags: Brian Fargo; InXile Entertainment; Wasteland 2

With the release of the Wasteland 2 Director's Cut imminent, inXile are releasing various promotional trailers for the game. Last week, there was the "Welcome to the Wasteland" trailer, which consisted mostly of recycled footage from the game's intro movie and short gameplay snippets. Today's five minute "Story & Scale" trailer is more interesting. Watch as Brian Fargo explains Wasteland 2's premise and demonstrates some of the choices & consequences available in the in-game location of Titan Canyon, all in a rather incongruently pleasant tone of voice:

Pretty cool, actually. More games should use this style of trailer.

There are 43 comments on Wasteland 2 Director's Cut Story & Scale Trailer

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #15: Last 24 Hours, Twitchathon is Live

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 29 September 2015, 15:47:25

Tags: Divinity: Original Sin 2; Larian Studios

The Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter campaign has entered its final 24 hours. According to the new Kickstarter update, with the inclusion of Paypal funds, the campaign has smashed through its $1.75M $1.85M strech goals. Only the final $2M Game Master mode goal remains. In the meantime, the Twitchathon livestream, after some technical difficulties, has gone live. Here's the stream and the schedule:

Tuesday 29th

15:00 CEST
Best of Divinity: The best moments from previous Divinity games ~ featuring Swen, David, Jan.

17:00 CEST
Editor & Modding Devline: A peek at what to expect from members of our design team ~ featuring Swen, Jeff, Joa, Bert.

18:00 CEST
Let's Play Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition. Mixed with discussion with members of the team about their favourite things in the Enhanced Edition ~ featuring David & other members of the team.

20:00 CEST
Watch the titans battle! RPG Codex versus RPG Watch send their finest gladiators into battle for the glory of the title screen.

22:00 CEST
Devstorm 1! Live devline to brainstorm various ideas that have come in from user voice and our forums for improving the game while we play the prototype. Featuring Swen, Jeff (level design), Joa (art), Slava (dev), Jan (writer), Char (writer) & more. Look out for any special guests that might drop by!

24:00 CEST
Larian takes a nap

Wednesday 30th

9:00 CEST
Strategist Mode: Showcase of Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition tactician mode with the men who know more about it than anyone else on earth ~ featuring Edouard & Nick.

11:00 CEST
Pre-Battle Hype Stream with Q&A ~ featuring all of our offices.

12:00 CEST
The Grand Inter-Larian Battle! Champions from each of the four Larian offices battle it out for bragging rights and first dibs on the cheese platter at the Christmas Party ~ featuring Nick, Matt, and TBD Dublin and St. Petersburg champions.

14:00 CEST
Devstorm 2! A second round to get to any questions and ideas we didn't catch the first time round as we count down to the big moment ~ featuring EVERYONE!
9 hours of sleep in the middle? Amateurs.

UPDATE: Codex champion mindx2 has won a glorious victory against the RPGWatch! In case you missed the battle, you can watch it here:

There are 192 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #15: Last 24 Hours, Twitchathon is Live

BattleTech Kickstarter Pitch Video and Interviews

Interview - posted by Infinitron on Tue 29 September 2015, 02:00:59

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

Harebrained Schemes' BattleTech Kickstarter campaign starts tomorrow, and they're working hard to spread awareness in the BattleTech tabletop community. Today there was a long BattleTech stream on the Twitch channel of the "No Guts No Galaxy" fansite, where viewers got an early look at the game's Kickstarter pitch video, followed by an extended interview and Q&A session with Jordan Weisman, Mitch Gitelman and Mike McCain.

(starts at around 37:45)
The pitch video reveals BattleTech's development strategy, which involves expanding the game from a simple series of skirmish missions all the way to an open-ended experience with procedurally-generated side missions and even PvP multiplayer, depending on how much funding it gets. Here's a Game Informer interview that explains that in further detail and also reveals the exact numbers involved:

Just like with Shadowrun: Hong Kong, Harebrained Schemes is bringing a funded concept to the community. For its fourth Kickstarter, the studio has a four-stage plan for Battletech.

Stage one, which is entirely funded by Harebrained Schemes, is a player-versus-AI skirmish game. The Kickstarter campaign goal is set at $250,000, at which point “combined arms” (vehicles that complement mech combat) will be added. Infantry is being considered, but will only be implemented if it works well.

“There is no stretch goal associated with [infantry],” Weisman says. “In our point of view it’s part of combined arms, if we can pull it off in a way that works.”

There are a number of smaller steps like this on the way to the three big phases that the studio is planning to implement to grow the game. At the $1 million level, Harebrained Schemes will add a single-player campaign. At $1.85 million, the solo play will become more open-ended with side missions and procedural generation. The final stage kicks in at $2.5 million with player-versus-player multiplayer.

This staged approach worked well for the Shadowrun: Hong Kong campaign, which raised $1.2 million. That game was delivered on time in August of this year. Unlike that campaign though, Battletech is a completely new endeavor on a new engine (Unity 5) with systems that evoke the the tabletop game without mimicking it.

[...] Unlike MechCommander, which was a real-time game, Harebrained Schemes is taking advantage of the more thoughtful pace of turn-based play. “The biggest thing to me is the discreet understanding of risk and reward,” Weisman says. “In a real-time game, you can’t be shooting all these numbers at a player and expect them to make intelligent decisions. In a turn-based game, we can tell you what your chances of falling over are if you plot a really tight turn for a mech that’s moving fast. We can tell you what your chances of success are for a weapon group when you’re targeting a mech through intervening terrain.”

Weisman says this gives players a heightened sense of control, but also gives access to deeper systems. Battletech will include a mechbay for player who wish to customize their big, stompy robots. Not only will this allow players to customize arms and armor, but also more granular elements like actuators and gyros. These impact turning radius, as you wouldn’t want your mammoth war machine to fall over.

You won’t need to go that deep if you just want to get out on the battlefield. “Our goal is to offer you more than you’ve ever had before, but not require you to use it,” Weisman explains.

With the Inner Sphere currently existing in the tabletop realm and in MechWarrior Online, Harebrained Schemes wants to make sure that its strategy-tactics game fits in thematically. Battletech will use art created by Mechwarrior Online studio Piranha Games for a sense of consistency.

Unlike Shadowrun: Hong Kong, Harebrained Schemes is planning for a longer development curve as it works on its first Battletech game. The latest Shadowrun title took eight months between Kickstarter launch and game release.

Battletech will take about 18 months. “We’re building a new house,” McCain says. “Battletech is an all new house and an all new foundation that we’re building.”
As for the interview from the No Guts No Galaxy stream, it wasn't hugely interesting, although it did reveal a few additional tidbits about the game and the Kickstarter campaign. You can read my takeaways here. There's going to be another BattleTech stream on the same channel in about an hour where Jordan, Mitch and Mike will answer more questions, but I think I'll skip that.

There are 7 comments on BattleTech Kickstarter Pitch Video and Interviews

Mon 28 September 2015
Whalenought Studios reveal their next RPG - Copper Dreams

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 28 September 2015, 17:52:56

Tags: Copper Dreams; Whalenought Studios

After originally teasing it last month in their interview with Shane Plays, today Joe and Hannah Williams of Whalenought Studios have officially announced their "80s sci-fi cyberpunk" RPG - Copper Dreams. Set on the dystopian island planet of Calitana, Copper Dreams will include some atypical features such as vertical exploration, physically simulated stealth, and a "turn-based, time-based" combat system, which I suspect will turn out to be something akin to Frozen Synapse. Here are the details from the game's official website:


Dumped onto the island world of Calitana, you are one of hundreds drafted to ease the overcrowding that is rapidly miring the citizens of Earth in famine, violence and poverty. Once a beacon of hope, the isolated Calitana quickly devolved from lustrous to disastrous, unable to support its settlers, and overrun with unbridled corruption and lawless syndicates.

From waterways to rooftops, adaptability on the island means scaling the city heights, be it to avoid syndicate eyes or to explore the depths and secrets within. An isometric, fully 3d world allows for vertical freedom and movement. Traverse through districts by vaulting through windows, grappling hook to decks above, or jumping building to building. There's no way off Calitana, but there are a myriad of ways through it.


Engage enemies in strategic, turn-based combat with time-based resolution. Execution time for a turn's actions adds an extra tactical element, and gauging when to attack, hide, intercept or engage in a full-party assault can turn the tide of battle in your favor.

The means to survival not only rests in strategic planning, but the tools and training at your disposal. A variety of ammunition and weapons carry different strengths for different situations, and skills like engineering and chemistry widen your range of tactics in combat.


The best way to engage an enemy is on your own terms. Realtime shadows, sounds, and enemy vision are dangers and aides as you grapple to get the upper hand in encounters in a city that is suspicious at best and hostile at worst.

Learn to manipulate the electric grid, shoot out lights and cameras, and re-program patrols to control your environment. If an enemy can't see you, they can't put a bullet in you, saving precious healing resources to tape yourself up and avoiding critical ailments that require your precious time and money for clinics.


Stagger the odds in your favor with good hardware. A torso shell to house the brain, a chainsaw arm, built in wrist recoil, cloaking rigs, and mobile eyes are among the specialties of the cybernetics artists in Calitana, where food is scarce but copper is cheap.

Construct your party with cybernetic enhancements, synergizing with skills and items, to create unique builds for your team.


Giving you access to a vast amount of tools and technology to affect the world around you gives life to new gameplay scenarios you control. Keep item GUI on screen, such as scanners and terminals, as you survey your surroundings and fill your bags with weapons and goods that you pick up throughout the city.​

Sounds very cool. Copper Dreams is scheduled to be released next year, with a gameplay reveal trailer in December. No mention of a Kickstarter campaign. More details as we learn them.

There are 87 comments on Whalenought Studios reveal their next RPG - Copper Dreams

Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #14: Twitch Bonanza

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Mon 28 September 2015, 16:38:14

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

The Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter campaign reached its $1.65M stretch goal for improved modding support shortly after its last update, and it should be hitting $1.75M relationships stretch goal very soon. With just two days left until the end of the campaign, today's update announces the launch of a 24 hour Divinity: Original Sin 2 "Twitchathon" starting tomorrow at 15:00 CEST. This event will include, among other things, an epic RPG Codex vs RPGWatch arena deathmatch. Here are the details:

We’re coming up to the end of our Kickstarter, and Swen has just finished his last conference of the campaign. If you were lucky enough to be at TwitchCon, you might have bumped into him and some of our team showing off Divinity: Original Sin 2. We’ve had a lot of fun on Twitch with some great streamers over the last couple of weeks, and it was great to be right in the heart of that during TwitchCon. So much so, that we’re having our own Twitch marathon!

Two Days & Counting - Twitchathon

The last 24 hours is a busy time for any Kickstarter campaign, and we’re definitely not making it easy for ourselves! We’re going to be delivering hours of content, streamed live on Twitch to give you an unprecedented level of access to our offices, our devs, and our plans for the game. Our Twitch marathon will include a range of DevLines that will discuss Strategist Mode, the editor that the game will ship with, the Enhanced Edition and what it’s development brings to D:OS 2, and will even include a DevStorm: where we brainstorm your Uservoice ideas and see which will be best to implement in the game. (So if you’ve not had a chance to look at our Uservoice forum yet, get over there and get voting for whips, character customisation, and whatever else you want to see in the game!)

Of course, fun, informative talks are all well and good, but when it comes to entertainment value, nothing really tops blood sports. That’s why we’re hosting a series of Arena Battles for your viewing pleasure! Twitch Streamers will duke it out, RPG Watch and RPG Codex fight for the honour of who gets the most prominent place when their names are shown at the start of D:OS 2, and then we’ll finish it all off with a Larian civil war, as the Gent, St. Petersburg, Dublin, and Quebec teams face off in a vicious four-way contest to see who is the most Divine of them all.

We’ll also be hosting a “Best of Divinity” retrospective on the whole series, to remind you of the story so far.

To see what’s going down and when you can catch it all, head to our Twitch page for the full schedule!​

In addtion to the above, the schedule mentions a "Special Guest" who's going to pop in. I wonder who that's going to be.

There are 18 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #14: Twitch Bonanza

Fri 25 September 2015
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #13: Chris Avellone is in!

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Fri 25 September 2015, 16:03:53

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

Shortly after the Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter campaign was announced, our editor-in-chief Crooked Bee began to lobby for the inclusion of the recently unemployed Chris Avellone in the game's writing team. Although it seemed for a while like he would not make it in, I'm very pleased to announce today that those efforts have born fruit. Swen Vincke published a special Kickstarter update from Twitchcon to announce the news:

Before we launched our Kickstarter campaign, we asked the community what sort of reward and ideas they had in mind for our campaign. You guys came up with some interesting stuff, and one of the highest-voted ideas was getting Chris Avellone on board as a writer.

Plenty of folks on the Larian team are fans of Chris’ work, but we hadn’t yet considered bringing him on for D:OS2. Intrigued, Swen sent him an innocent Tweet, and the two met up at PAX.

What happened there will probably remain a secret forever, but whatever it was, both gentlemen seem to be very enthusiastic about the collaboration. Here's what they had to say:

Chris: "This is the first time I think the community is responsible for bringing two developers together who might not have crossed paths... and especially for such a great project. I have a lot of respect for Larian Studios, Swen, and Divinity: Original Sin; it's one of the best game Kickstarters ever. I met Swen at PAX Prime, talked about RPGs for hours, and at the end of it, it was clear we were on the same page. Now? We're primed to do something great, and I'm proud to be part of it."

Swen: "It’s a huge honor to have one of our favorite developers on board for the game. Chris’ credentials are sterling, so of course I was very nervous about showing him what we’d been working on. When it turned out that he was enthusiastic about it, I was absolutely giddy! It’s a real honor to have one of the masters on board to help us improve our narrative and characters—I honestly can’t wait to get started."

This another great example of how a Kickstarter community can affect the development of a game in a positive way. We are all looking forward to what Chris will come up with, as much as many of you will be.
We did it, folks! Now, let's make the victory complete by reaching the funding goal for our fundraiser, so that everybody knows about it. And I do mean everybody.

There are 140 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #13: Chris Avellone is in!

Thu 24 September 2015
Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #25: Backer Site is Now Live

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Thu 24 September 2015, 23:14:40

Tags: Bard's Tale; Bard's Tale II: The Destiny Knight; Bard's Tale III: Thief of Fate; Bard's Tale IV; Eric Schwarz; InXile Entertainment; Olde Skuul; Rebecca Heineman

Well, okay, it actually soft launched two days ago, but today a new Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter update officially announces that the game's much-awaited backer portal site is live. Now you can get all those early backer bonuses, loyalty rewards, and cross-promotions. If you happen to get a key for something you already own, do feel free to gift it to your fellow Codexers in our gifting thread. Or in this thread if you want, I guess. Here are the details on how to unlock your rewards:

As we mentioned in our last update, one of our big tasks after the Kickstarter wrapped up was getting a backer site together so you guys could register, provide us with your information and claim some of your bonus rewards and goodies for your generous support during the Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter campaign. Good news: the backer site is ready for you right now!

This new backer web site has more features than what we've ever launched a web site with before. For instance, we have an official news section, interactive media galleries, and a more intuitive pledge and rewards management page where you can see images of all the rewards, right down to their individual parts.

Sign Up & Get Your Goodies!

So how do you get your hands on your backer bonus rewards? You will need to create an account on the backer web site, although if you already have a Torment account, you can use that on the Bard's Tale site as well (Ranger Center accounts for Wasteland 2 don't carry over).

When creating your account, please be aware that we link your pledges up based on your email address. For those of you who sign up under one email and used a different email to pledge, or may have changed your email address since pledging, remember that you can visit the Email Addresses page on your account to add any secondary emails. These will get linked to your account along with any rewards and pledges made under them.

If you have any further questions on our backer web site works, you can consult our backer site FAQ and help section.

Once you've signed up, you will be able to claim any available bonus rewards you qualify for (including the first 48 hour games and the inXile Loyalty Rewards bonus) by clicking the "Bonus" tab near the top of the Rewards page.

For more information on the bonus rewards and promotions available, and how to claim them, please refer to this page.

Please note that while Wasteland 2, The Witcher and The Witcher 2 bonuses are available for applicable backers, unreleased games such as Torment: Tides of Numenera and the emulated and remastered version of The Bard's Tale Classic Trilogy are not ready yet. But, once they are, you won't have to wait until the release of The Bard's Tale IV to get them.

More generally, you can check our Reward Status page for a look at when many of our rewards will be made available to you; this will be kept up to date as we have more information to share.​

Also included in the update is a progress report on the remastered Bard's Tale trilogy by Rebecca Heineman's Olde Skuul. She's been posting screenshots of it on her Twitter feed over the past few weeks. Your mileage may vary.

There are 11 comments on Bard's Tale IV Kickstarter Update #25: Backer Site is Now Live

Wed 23 September 2015
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #12: Enhanced Edition Co-Op Trailer and Website

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Wed 23 September 2015, 18:50:40

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

Larian decided to do a little bit of advertising for their upcoming Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition in today's Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter update. They still don't have a definite release date other than "late October", but at least there's a new trailer, focusing on the game's couch co-op functionality:

We'd like to focus today's update on Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition. During yesterday's AMA on Reddit many people wanted to know when the Enhanced Edition is shipping, and we can say with mounting confidence that our aim is and remains the end of October 2015, a.k.a. pretty damn soon!

For those of you who are not entirely sure what the Enhanced Edition of Original Sin is all about, here's an overview of some of its most exciting features and aspects:
  • The combat in the game has been entirely overhauled, which means a massive rebalance has been done of everything related to combat, from stats & skills to each individual combat encounter. New difficulty modes have been added such as the highly challenging Tactician Mode, as well as spectacular new combat features, which include Dual Wielding and the addition of all kinds of grenades and wands to your arsenal.
  • The main story has undergone significant rewrites to improve the narrative experience of the game, and important NPCs such as the cat wizard Arhu have been outfitted with an individual storyline to explore. The entire end sequence of the game has been heavily expanded upon to give Divinity: Original Sin the epic ending it always deserved.
  • Voice acting has been added to the entire game. That's right folks, we're talking about 88,000+ recorded lines, voiced by amazing professional (voice) actors. Their performances add greatly to the immersive quality of Original Sin.
  • Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition will also be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, bringing a game unlike any other to the latest generation of consoles.
  • Tailored to bring you a fantastic couch co-op RPG experience, the Enhanced Edition was developed such that it's a dream to play with two from the comfort of your living room. Stay together or explore apart: with the new split screen feature we've got you covered. And should players on PC prefer to play with a controller as well, that is now perfectly possible.
But let's paint you a picture too! To give you a taste of the co-op experience, here's a brand new trailer that showcases many of the aforementioned features. Have a look!

Still haven't gotten your fill? Then check out the new website dedicated to the Enhanced Edition right here!

Oh my, that website has gotten much busier since the last time I looked at it. Is this a thing now? Anyway, PC players should be most interested in this section of it.

There are 25 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #12: Enhanced Edition Co-Op Trailer and Website

Tue 22 September 2015
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #11: Playing Solo in Quebec

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 22 September 2015, 22:19:38

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

Having made his trip across the Atlantic, in today's Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter update, Swen Vincke introduces us to the shell-shocked Ubisoft veterans that populate Larian's new studio in Quebec. While he's at it, he takes the time to explain a bit about how the game will function in single player, something that has apparently been a matter of concern for the Kickstarter commentariat. Here's the video and the summary:

Since we've launched the campaign, one of the biggest questions that we've been getting is "will the single-player experience will be as in-depth and interesting as multiplayer?". The answer is - of course :)

We know it can be hard to get four friends together to regularly play through something as long and in-depth as a Divinity game. So, while we've been spending a lot of time talking about the multiplayer experience, we haven’t forgotten that it's important that the single player game is just as engaging and fun.

The secret we discovered with Divinity: Original Sin 1 is that allowing for cooperative multiplayer in the manner we do it enriches the single player experience tremendously.

Every time we try to wrap our heads around the different possibilities of a quest designed for multiplayer, we're able to go and feed all of that extra content back into the world, which means it's all right there for you when you walk up with a single player party.

It also adds a huge amount of roleplaying to the world. Thanks to the multiplayer effort, each of your companions can interact with the world as if they were your main character with dialog options that correspond with their origin story. So if you have an elf in your party, it might be more interesting to interact with an elven ancestor tree using your elf rather than your dwarven warrior. But if you interact with your dwarven warrior, you will get different reactions.

While this is all very cool, we did make sure that your main character still remains special. If the advanced relationship system gets in, then you’ll be able to roleplay the relationship options from the viewpoint of your main character, but not from the viewpoint of your companions. That ensures your relationship decisions feel weighty and that you can’t manipulate your companions.

The same goes for persuasion. Persuasion dialogs pop up whenever members of the party have different opinions. We obviously have a large range of persuasion options available in multiplayer and each party member will have its say. In single player however these options will not appear. Instead, the companions will state what they they think is the right course of action depending on their own beliefs and perhaps also the relationship with the main character.

With regards to competitive questing, it’s not so that your companions will go off on their own. There’s a number of PVP things that will be limited to multiplayer and that won’t pop up in single player. However, the fact that we have competitive questing ensures that there’s a broad spectrum of options available to your party in single player, more so than would ordinarily be the case.
I must say that, having heard the explanation of how this stuff will work, the game's somewhat maligned $1.75M relationships stretch goal now seems rather indispensable. Perhaps that was the intention.

There are 1 comments on Divinity: Original Sin 2 Kickstarter Update #11: Playing Solo in Quebec

Vaarna_Arne wants to be a dragon Battle Mech.

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