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Friday, February 19, 2010
 
Indie RPG News Round-up - February 19, 2010
It's time again for a round-up of what's happening in the world of indie computer role-playing games! Apparently, these crazy developers still haven't realized that it's impossible for a tiny, low-budget team to make a quality, entertaining RPG! Please, nobody tip them off.

I said I'd try to post these more frequently, to try and capture more of the smaller updates as they come through (and while they might still be arguably considered "news"). So here's what's up...


Doublebear's Zombie RPG
The latest design update on the "Zombie RPG" (working title - but who knows, it could be the final title) continues to deal with the subject of morale in the game. That's morale, not morals. This installment (and there will be another one on morale) deals with the effect of luxury items on the morale of the folks in the post-zombie-apocalypse future.


The Spirit Engine 2
It's gone freeware, folks. Mark Pay thanks everyone who has supported the game, and says he's going to avoid working on big, commercial projects in the future.

The Spirit Engine 2 - Now Freeware


Vastar
Vastar is a new RPG from Exodus Studios is their first commercial RPG, and is nearing completion after a year of development. Look for a release this spring.


Scars of War
An update on Gareth's modular medieval building-making can be found in the latest Scars of War Development Update.


Din's Curse
Steven Peeler of Soldak Entertainment has an interview at GamersInfo.net about his upcoming action-RPG, Din's Curse, and about being a full-time indie game developer. Well worth reading!

GamersInfo.net Interview with Steven Peeler

The latest beta progress report is also available, and notes that with this pre-order, Din's Curse has become his fastest-selling game ever. Let's hope that trend continues.


Spiderweb Software
Jeff Vogel, author of the the Exile, Avernum, and Geneforge RPG series, shares Three Tips to Getting Started in the Indie Business. I don't entirely agree with all of his points - I am personally a fan of GIMP, but I also don't have a gajillion successful indie games to my credit, so what do I know?


Telepath RPG: Servants of God
Craig Stern has an interview about his work on this game series at GameDevHub:

Interview: Game Designer Craig Stern Of Sinister Design



Frayed Knights

The latest development update is up - this time the Rampant Coyote is whining about having to actually write some text and test some quests or something. The loser.

Frayed Knights: Talk Ain't Cheap, Apparently


Aveyond: The Lost Orb
Aveyond: The Lost Orb, part 3 of the Orbs of Magic series is out.



And I thought I was going to get work done this weekend...

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Tuesday, February 09, 2010
 
Indie RPG News Round-Up, 9 Feb 2010
It's past time for another round-up of news, interviews, and updates from the world of indie computer role-playing games. Since I do these less frequently than I ought to, the list is... kinda long. You'd think I'd learn.

Cyclopean
Critical Gamer has an interview with Cyclopean's creator. In it, they discuss the basics of the RPG, and then go into greater detail about adapting H.P. Lovecraft's horror into a computer RPG. UPDATE: Oh, and they also just provided this cool concept sketch to the right.

Zombie RPG
This week's update on Doublebear's Zombie RPG development includes details on the morale system. This is only part 1 of the discussion. Apparently, not freaking out while battling hordes of undead people might be kinda important.

Din's Curse
Din's Curse is currently available for a reduced-price pre-order and beta trial. Check it out here.

Scars of War
Gareth spends some time focusing on the "core concept" of Scars of War - what is the game really about? I would also like to note his article on the "mini-game" issue.

Aveyond: The Lost Orb
After the second Aveyond game, Amaranth Games decided to break each game into smaller chapters. This was done primarily because the games were being sold on casual game portals, which are in the midst of a price war, and are enforcing uniform - cheap! - pricing for all games, which are normally very simple. The complex RPGs just couldn't be made profitable at that price, so Amaranth made the call to break them into smaller segments.

But Amanda Fitch has decided that the next "chapter" of the Aveyond series is going to be much larger than the previous two - not quite the size of the first two Aveyond games, but approaching that territory.

Planet Stronghold Alpha
This upcoming science-fiction RPG by long-time indie game studio Winter Wolves Games. It's currently in early alpha, and is an anime / jRPG style title that goes for the high-tech space opera flavor. Here's a video of combat - but be advised, this is still from a pretty early build.



Millennium 2: Take Me Higher and Millennium 3
The second game of the Millennium series by Aldorlea Games has been out for a while now, with the third (and final?) game in the series anticipated in April.

Golemizer
OnRPG has an interview with the creator of the browser-based "sandbox" MMORPG Golemizer.

Wanderlust: Rebirth
I would poke fun at how long this multiplayer arcade-action RPG has been in development. But, as they say, he who lives in glass houses shouldn't throw bricks... Anyway, last fall they released a playable demo and a trailer video, so things are progressing towards a conclusion. Check them out at the Wanderlust: Rebirth official site.

Immortal Empire
Immortal Empire has launched. It is a browser-based multiplayer tactics RPG.

Ella's Hope
Ella's Hope is another RPG Maker based game from hyper-prolific studio Aldorlea Games, scheduled for a release this month. From Aldorlea's description:

"High in the mountains of Estis an ancient stone marks a portal between mortals and angels. Each year the most promising individuals from across the lands are invited to take part in the Trials - their prize is to become a Candidate for Guardianship, to train amongst the clouds for a chance to join the elite ones. Yet our story is not focused on those specially invited ones - instead meet Ella, a girl with a mysterious past having been found on the mountainside in a storm just under a year ago and now working as a maid in the local Inn."

Desktop Dungeon
Info courtesy of Indiegames.com - Desktop Dungeon is a graphical roguelike with an emphasis on exploration and resource management.

UPDATE:

Siphon Spirit
This one's been mentioned a couple of times here. Siphon Spirit has a projected release of sometime this spring (currently the end of March). Try the free Siphon Spirit Demo in the meantime.

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Friday, January 22, 2010
 
Favorite Indie RPG of 2009?
Okay folks - today's post is a simple one: What was your favorite indie RPG of 2009, and why?

There were a LOT of contenders. I know I'm missing some:

Avernum 6 (Mac)
Geneforge 5 (Windows)
Knights of the Chalice
Aveyond: Lord of Twilight
Aveyond: Gates of Night
Legie
Battle of the Millennium
Cute Knight Kingdom
The Three Musketeers
Aztaka
Eternal Eden 2
Telepath Psy Arena 2 (Not entirely certain it qualifies as an RPG, but WTH)
Science Girls
Asguaard
Millennium 2 - Take Me Higher
Laxius Force 2
Dawn's Light
Eternal Twilight
Deadly Sin
3 Stars of Destiny
Dark Souls
Dark Souls II
Dark Souls - Kara's Quest
Whisper of a Rose
Spirited Heart (Not sure I'd call this an RPG, but again - why not?)
Bionic Heart (ditto)
Pioneering: Episode One

Okay, yeah, RPG Maker titles do take up a disproportionately large segment of the list. And must we mention But even so - that's a pretty significant list!

Some, but not all, of these games can be found at Rampant Games. Just to see what you might have missed. I've been slow trying to keep up with them all. Quite frankly, I can't. Not physically possible, especially not with a goal to play them all to completion (and for some of the more open-ended games, that's not a possibility, either).

But dang, isn't that an awesome problem to have? 2010 is already poised to be an indie RPG bonanza. But - returning to the past before moving towards the future, I again ask:

Which indie RPGs of 2009 rocked the hardest? Why?

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009
 
New Age of Decadence Combat Demo
The new Age of Decadence combat demo is up.

I didn't post the previous one because I was out of town, distracted, and heard that it had enough problems to warrant a new release. And - well, that's done now:

Age of Decadence Combat Demo

If you are looking forward to Age of Decadence, I don't blame you. It's pretty hotly anticipated here at the Casa del Coyote, too. It has serious potential for awesomeness, which I actually expect to be realized.

But at the moment, I have combat envy.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009
 
Quick Soldak News
Steven Peeler has a blog post about the quest system in Din's Curse - about it being more like a "web" than a linear series of quests as found in most RPGs. This was true to a lesser degree with Depths of Peril as well. He's also added the Mage Class and sub-classes (Magician, Fire Mage, and Ice Mage) to the Din's Curse Classes Page.

Speaking of Depths of Peril (and Kivi's Underworld), Guttersnipe has a bit of a review / recommendation for these previous (but still awesome) games, stating "Depths Of Peril is one of the most satisfying games I’ve played in the RPG genre." You can check out the review here.

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Friday, December 11, 2009
 
Din's Curse Progress Report
It looks like Din's Curse is making a lot of progress. Steven Peeler is reporting that alpha testing may begin within a couple of weeks, and the alpha testing may last two to four weeks - followed by beta and pre-orders.

It sounds to me that the release may be only two to three months away. Excellent.

Din's Curse Progress Report

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Wednesday, December 02, 2009
 
Indie RPG News Round-Up, 2 Dec 2009
More indie RPG news than you can... uh.... well, just more indie RPG news... We've got some free games to talk about this time, the end of one series, the beginning of another, and a nice mix of some western (or really unique) RPGs with some ever-popular jRPG-style indie games.

Avernum 6
It's now out, for the Mac. Windows gamers will have to wait until March. The graphics have been greatly improved from previous games (no doubt Jeff Vogel has been receiving pressure from the Eschalon: Book 1 fans...). While we Windows gamers are waiting, Vogel has some thoughts on the final game of his long-running series here.

Din's Curse
Steven Peeler has an update on the Ranger class for this upcoming RPG. Each class in Din's Curse has a number of specialties within the class - three for the core classes, and two for the hybrids. The ranger class has three specialties: Druid, Archer, and Hunter. You can read more about them here: Din's Curse Classes. There's also a fun blog post on earthquakes in the game.

Telepath RPG: Servants of God
The maker of Telepath Psy Arena 2 is working on a full-bore RPG set in the same world, using the same style of tactics-heavy combat. Those who crave something other than plain ol' Medieval European Fantasy, take note. You can play the constantly-in-development demo version here. And here's the trailer:



PARG: A Post-Apocalyptic Roleplaying Game
PARG is just what it stands for - a Post-Apocalyptic Roleplaying Game. It's a single-player only RPG using an isometric 2D perspective, and using turn-based tactical combat. Man - have I ever heard of a game like this before? It is also intended as a non-profit, open-source (Python / FIFE) project. Normally I wouldn't give something like this a high chance of completion, but they are targeting their first tech-demo release in a few weeks. So hopefully this one will be a pleasant surprise.

Scars of War
Gareth has an article up about Banes. Banes are not typical monsters in RPGs. Actually, a lot about Scars of War sounds non-typical. But these entities cannot be defeated directly through any kind of combat. It sounds like banes are kind of like hauntings - you can't just deal with the physical(ish) manifestation, but actually hunt down and resolve the root cause of the bane's existence. It looks interesting, and I'll be fascinated to see how it resolves in actual gameplay.

Cyclopean
It has an engine! And an update! With less than a year from the last update! It might actually become weekly! While it's still much, much earlier in development than I usually pay attention to, I'm putting some faith into Iron Tower Studios to crack the whip here. And I'm just thrilled to see an indie game (someday!) appear embracing the old Call of Cthulhu feel. I hope.

Asguaard
The most prolific indie jRPG studio around has released their latest title, Asguaard. I've not played it yet, but it seems to be a stand-alone title as opposed to a part of a series. From the website:
Welcome to the magical world of Asguaard where Fairies, Dwarves and legendary creatures live together in relative peace.

Yet their future is about to be torn apart.

Somewhere, somehow, the Pandora Box has been opened. A series of devestating plagues each worse than the previous are on their way tearing apart the lands and creatures before them. The magical inhabitants are powerless to prevent the tragedy yet there is just one chance.

A committee of Fairies gather at Asguaard's highest village - their immense task is to summon a creature able to achieve miracles, a creature read about in the oldest of books, a creature that is in posession of something that the Asguaard kind can only dream of and hold in awe. The possession is a soul and the creature - a human.

Come join the fight for Asguaard, a tale of friendship, passion and heroism.

* 100+ hours of gameplay
* 100+ skills to learn
* 500+ locations to explore
* 150+ secret rooms to find
Yeesh, that's a big game!

Download Asguaard

Awakening and Myth Xaran
Awakening and Myth Xaran are RPG Maker / jRPG-style games from Florida-based Exodus Studio. Started by Rebecca Long in 2007, Exodus Studio focuses on faith-based and family-friendly games set in fantasy settings.

Awakening is an RPG Maker / jRPG style "faith-based RPG with a compelling story that draws upon the themes and concepts of the book of Galatians in the Holy Bible." It's a free game, and promises to be first of a series entitled, "The Guardian's Wing Chronicles."

According to the website, Myth Xaran is set within the world of Exodus, which is "a place of mystery and intrigue. Similarly, the will of the gods hold no limits beyond a mortal's understanding. Within a darkened sect of the world, a new light shines upon an effigy of paradise through the eyes of an unknowing tortured soul. With this promised new creation given to him, life also begins -- and a chapter is ready to be written." It is also free, which is

Both games, using RPG Maker, are unfortunately Windows-only. But they are both free, so there's no complaining about the price. I haven't played either one yet, so feel free to chime in.

Cute Knight / Cute Knight Kingdom
Cute Knight Kingdom is out. It's good. I'm once again getting in touch with my inner independently-minded eighteen-year-old girl. Or something. And managing sin, dream, and my massively awesome fighting skills. Being able to spook enemies instead of killing (or taming) them is awesome, and saves on sin. It's basically everything that was cool about the original game, writ larger.

Speaking of the original game, Cute Knight Deluxe is now available for a reduced price. Which is likewise awesome.

Cute Knight Deluxe is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Cute Knight Kingdom is currently Windows-only (I believe this is only a temporary limitation).


Aaand - that's all I have for now. I'm sure RPG fans and creators will be quick to let me know what I've missed... so have at it!

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Thursday, October 22, 2009
 
Indie RPG News Round-Up, 22 Oct 2009
Indie computer RPGs are those games created by small, independent game-studios which have not been funded by major publishers. As the holiday season draws nigh, their counterparts in the mainstream have been releasing a flood of press releases, interviews, and previews. While the indies don't typically cash in on the holiday season, there's been a lot of activity on that front as well. Here's a really quick, short run-down of things going on over the last couple of weeks:

Knights of the Chalice
Knights of the Chalice has become a recent addiction of mine. Both the demo and full game have been upgraded Version 1.21. The big addition in this version: Turn Undead. My clerics always felt a little naked without it. Also, I posted some tips to playing Knights of the Chalice earlier this week that might prove useful for new players who feel overwhelmed by the depth of the game.

Din's Curse
Steven Peeler's taken the show on the road. We've got an interview here, another interview here, the first preview of Din's Curse here, and a blog article about cave-ins in the game.
Depths of Peril
In spite of working on Din's Curse, Mr. Peeler has also gone back and made some changes to his award-winning freshman RPG, Depths of Peril. The changes are mainly bug-fixes, though there are some improvements in adventuring with members of other covenants, and a decrease in the difficulty of kidnapping quests. You can download the patch here.

Aztaka
The version 1.04 Patch and new demo is now available here. This update adds new setup utilities to support wide screen resolutions, mouse speed adjustment as well as increasing the game’s stability.

The Three Musketeers: The Game
This RPG, based an the Alexandre Dumas novel, has now been released. I wrote my quick-take on The Three Musketeers yesterday. And you can snag your copy of The Three Musketeers: The Game here.

Scars of War
Gareth is posting a short story about the world entitled, "Magic's Price." Part 1 and Part 2 are already up. Part 3 is due out soon.

Legie
This is a very unique 3D Adventure / RPG Dungeon-Crawler from Czech developer Sudokop Games. I'm actually putting this one up for sale at the Rampant Games store soon (tonight?). But it's different. The demo doesn't provide any of the dungeon crawling, for which I'm not too thrilled. And the text dialog seems very - uh, translated - and strange. You are an apprentice bartender in a town that going through rough times. There is no magic, and no elves. The demo has you serving beer and cleaning up vomit with a rug which starts soaking through before you are done. It's got a weird name that still doesn't make sense to me after the playing through the demo (UPDATE: Gee, a little actual research, and I discover that Legie is Czech for LEGION. Now that makes much more sense). And the movement system is... different.

And yet, something about it is intriguing and compelling enough for me to shell out the clams for the full version to see what it offers. If you want to check it out yourself, you can check it out here: Legie, by Sudokop Games

Cyclopean
Cyclopean is a Lovecraft-inspired horror RPG. They've posted an "annual" update here. At least now they have a game engine and honest-to-goodness programmer. And a LOT of writing.

The Broken Hourglass
They aren't dead yet! Jason Compton reported to me in an email that he's spending WAY more money than he'd like on this Baldur's Gate 2 - inspired RPG by hiring a full-time implementer (huh, harkening back to the old Infocom "imps?"), and frantically working towards making the "critical path" of the game complete and playable. Once that's done, they'll be re-evaluating what needs to be done with all the side-quests and additional content.

Doublebear's Zombie RPG
Doublebear has been posting a weekly series of Design Updates for your enjoyment and edification. The latest is on skill perks, but I'm just gonna link to the entire forum.

Legend
Aldorlea games has announced the title (and precious little else) of their next RPG, Legend. Man, Indinera Falls & cohorts sure crank 'em out, don't they? Legend will be a one-off game with futuristic elements, and not part of a series (at least, not planned at this point). And it's supposed to be funny. I think it is safe to assume it will be a jRPG-style game using the RPG Maker engine. The closest thing to be had for official information can be found here.

Eschalon: Book 2
The box art for the physical edition can be viewed at the official site. Okay, it's just freakin' box art, but MAN does it bring back the feel of late 80's / early 90's computer RPGs. Which is, of course, the whole idea.

Got more news to share? Let us know in the comments or in the forums! Or PM me in the forums. Or email me. I've got, like, contact information on the "about" page and everything. Which nobody ever visits. *Sniff*.

Hey folks! Have fun! That's what it's all about, right?

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Thursday, September 24, 2009
 
Indie RPG News Roundup, September 24 2009
Indie role-playing games, just like grandmother used to make! Here's a little bit of homemade, homespun goodness for you to sink you teeth into, and enjoy every mouth-watering bite:

Avernum 6
If you follow Jeff Vogel's indie RPG series, he's posted some news on Avernum 6. Yes, there is a food requirement. No, it's not what you think.

Telepath Psy Arena 2
It's almost done, according to developer Sinister Design

UPDATE: It was REALLY almost done. And now it is released! (Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux!)

Download Telepath Psy Arena 2!

(Update: Fixed spelling of Psy)

Eschalon: Book 2
Linux Gaming News has posted an interview with Thomas Riegsecker of Basilisk Games about Eschalon: Book 2. In it, he talks sales numbers, the vision of the series, what constitutes an "old school" RPG, efforts being made to balance the character classes, and much more.

Dawn's Light
This is a recently-released jRPG-style indie game from newcomer John Wizard Games. The game revolves around Harvey, a man who has lost everything and sets out on a quest of revenge - but may find his hatred may destroy himself. The game features a hundred quests - including plenty of side-quests and a load of puzzles. (Available for Windows)

Download Dawn's Light

And check out the trailer:



Din's Curse
Soldak's new "dungeon crawler" has been officially dubbed Din's Curse. Check out the details at the link! The game sounds to be a little closer to Depths of Peril in style and gameplay, which suits me just fine. It sounds like there are some roguelike elements in it (as there were in Depths of Peril), and that it is more "Hardcore" than Kivi's Underworld. The advertised features include:
Co-op? Dynamic, evolving world with emergent gameplay? Massive replayability. I can't wait! I think I'm getting more excited about this game than Diablo III.

Aveyond
Work on the third book of the "Orbs of Magic" series (which started with Aveyond: Lord of Twilight) has begun. Once again, it features Mel as a principle character. Subtitled, "The Lost Orb," it is scheduled for release in December.

Knights of the Chalice
This pretty impressive D20-based old-school RPG is now at version 1.19. If you tried the initial demo but were turned off by bugs or the font, you should check out the latest & greatest. The core gameplay is the same, so that won't have changed. But at least now you can play it in a larger window!

Eternal Twilight
Another jRPG-style RPG made with RPG Maker, Eternal Twilight is a new entry from Oliveair Games which emphasizes a return to the old SNES days with side-view combat with lots of special effects animations. The game features eight playable characters (plus two additional "secret" playable characters). (Available for Windows)

Download Eternal Twilight

UPDATE:
Battle of the Millenium
A new title from extremely prolific Aldorlea Games, this first episode of a promised series includes over 35 quests and battles against 8 "Animal Kings." I haven't tried it - let me know what you think! (Available for Windows)

Download Battle of the Millenium


And that's it for now! Mmm-mmm good!

As always, if you are looking for some fun and adventure, check out these links, and also be sure and check out the Rampant Games Store.

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Monday, August 31, 2009
 
Knights of the Chalice - Now Up To Version 1.15
Dang, that boy has been busy!

IMPROVEMENTS IN RECENT UPGRADES

* Expanded tool tip lets the player know at a glance whether an attack will be affected by flanking, cover, concealment and other major effects.
* The game displays the chance to hit when targeting a ranged-touch or touch spell, just as it does for normal melee and ranged attacks.
* When the player wants to pick up an item, the party automatically moves towards the item before picking it up.
* At the request of players, the main text font has been replaced with a sharp, high-resolution text font.

Knights of the Chalice has become one of those games that I wish I'd written. That's actually a short list.

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Friday, August 21, 2009
 
Indie RPG News Updates, Aug 21 2009
Here are some indie RPG news updates, all quick-and-dirty like:

Knights of the Chalice
This has been patched up to version 1.10 - the developer has been VERY busy the last two weeks. The newest version has a more eye-friendly font as well. Check it out at HeroicFantasyGames.com.

Frayed Knights
Got a question for ya about an alternative to having encounters seemingly spawn from nowhere. Something in between this system (circa Wizardry 7 / Final Fantasy X) and something else which would occupy all my programming time for the next six months. Poll here: Visible Encounters?

Cute Knight Kingdom
Some artwork didn't work out for the next Cute Knight game, and has since become freebie wallpaper. Lo'oris took on the challenge of creating a wide-screen variant, which you can grab here.

Pioneering
A first-person episodic RPG set in - of all places - Revolutionary War era Kentucky! I'm giving them a bunch of extra credit for doing something completely different with the setting. So long as we don't end up with Kentucky Orcs and Tennessee Elves, I'm happy. It began life as a contest submission earlier this year... See how useful these little competitions are? It is currently scheduled for release this fall sometime. Check it out: Pioneering RPG.

And while it's not an RPG, I picked up my copy of the second episode of Tales of Monkey Island last night. Didn't have time to play much of it up, but the opening sequence was seriously kick-butt!

Have fun!

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Monday, August 10, 2009
 
Indie RPG News Roundup, August 09
Wow. The last couple of weeks have been kinda exciting in the indie RPG realm. Here's a round-up of the kinda stuff happenin' right now:

Knights of the Chalice
This is an old-schooler's old-school RPG. Sporting a low-resolution (but surprisingly attractive) look, steeped in the flavor of original Dungeons & Dragons, based on the "3.5" Open Gaming License, built with hand-crafted dungeons, and tossing no bones to the action-RPG crowd, this game looks like it came right out of 1989 or so.

Hardcore. But worthy of taking a look at it. Especially if you like fun, feature-rich, tactical combat. Early reports are pretty positive, but you can find out for yourself by checking out the free demo at their website:

Knights of the Chalice at HeroicFantasyGames.com


Aveyond: Gates of Night
The next chapter in the very popular Aveyond series is out now. A direct sequel to Aveyond: Lord of Twilight, this installment picks the story up in the Orbs of Magic arc. Before his untimely death two hundred years ago, the evil sorcerer, Mordred Darkthrop, created two opposing magical orbs - the Orb of Darkness, and the Orb of Light.

Unwittingly stolen by Mel, a young thief, and placed into the hands of Gyendal, a vampire who calls himself the Lord of Twilight, the Orb of Darkness is about to be used to plunge mankind into eternal night and slavery. Mel, a descendant of Darkthrop, is the only one who can activate the orb.

Maybe.

Now a trainee spy, Mel and her unusual band of companions are racing to find the Orb of Light to counter Gyendal's plans before it is too late.

Download Aveyond: Gates of Knight


The Three Musketeers
Dingo Games is a husband-and-wife team who have put their love of fencing and swordplay into a swashbuckling epic based on the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers. It is scheduled to be released later this month.



The video looks awesome. I wonder how much opportunity you have to fire cannons like that at enemies?


Blade Thrust Tactics
Inspired by games like Jagged Alliance and Fallout Tactics, Blade Thrust Tactics is an isometric tactical RPG in development by new indie developer developer Edy Kaijang of Malaysia.

It is now in beta, and is interesting to me in that it is going after a hardcore niche. Unlike the games that were its inspiration, Blade Thrust Tactics has chosen to use real-time combat rather than turn-based.

A novel based in the game-world is also being written, and two additional games in the series are currently planned.

Blade Thrust Tactics Website

Geneforge
Now that the series is complete, the entire Geneforge Saga from Spiderweb Software is now available on one CD for the discount price of $75.

The Geneforge Saga


"Zombie RPG"
Recently announced as a new game in development under the Iron Tower Studios collective, the details of this apocalyptic "survival RPG" can be found on the Iron Tower Forums. I normally don't post anything about games so early in development (there's too high of a failure rate), but new developer Doublebear Productions consists of two industry veterans with RPG credits that include Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines and Neverwinter Nights 2: Storm of Zehir - Brian Mitsoda and Annie Carlson.

Mmmm.... Brains.....


And that's what I have for now. Have fun!

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Saturday, May 23, 2009
 
Indie RPG News Roundup, May 2009
There have been a few interesting developments on the indie CRPG (Computer Role-Playing Game) front. Most of them begin with the letter "A." Or at least a vowel. Depths of Peril, as always, remains a rebel. Here's what I've heard so far:

Aveyond 3
The newest release in the best-selling Aveyond series of RPGs is in beta, and its release date has been moved from May to June - hopefully in the first half of June. However, rumor has it that this isn't the only change happening to this game. Possibly due to constraints imposed by the casual portals (which are in the middle of a price war), Aveyond 3 is being broken into two chapters. The intention, going forward, is for Amaranth Games to produce smaller RPGs on a more rapid timetable.

She assures everyone that she is cutting the price in half as well, so there's no paying extra for the full game.

Aztaka
Aztaka is an action-RPG based on Aztec legends featuring very attractive graphics and 21 ... er, levels. You are Huitzilo, heir of the sun god, thrust into a war between the gods and mankind.

The demo was recently made available, so you can try it out by downloading it HERE.

Avernum 6
Jeff Vogel of Spiderweb Software has posted the details about his next indie RPG, Avernum 6. Sure enough, this will be the final episode in the Avernum series. Who knows what he'll be doing next? Anyway, you can read about the details in his forum post. The new game will feature improved graphics, with all-redone artwork, and the ability to run at different resolutions or in a window will be in. And some more goodies familiar to long-term fans of the series.

Eternal Eden 2
Breaking our streak of RPGs beginning with the letter "A" is the upcoming sequel to the hit jRPG-style Eternal Eden. It is planned for release before the end of the year. According to the developer, Eternal Eden 2 will focus on Japhee, a female protagonist who possess a mysterious clairvoyance gift. Thanks to her special ability, the player will be allowed to influence parts of the game by reading the future through special artifacts.

The original game was a very high-quality, professional production. And a lot of fun. I expect nothing less of the sequel.

Depths of Peril
Steven Peeler and Soldak Entertainment continue to update this Depths of Peril, a very dynamic hybrid action-RPG. Patch 1.014 is now available at the Official Patch Web Page, and the list of changes can be found here. This seems to principally be a bugfix patch - though users of dual monitors or those having trouble running at their screen resolution should be able to enjoy the game properly now.

Telepath Psy Arena 2
Since we're out of the vowels, let's keep on going, shall we? This is one I just heard about. Telepath Psy Arena 2, according to the developer, is a strategy RPG featuring relatively small, Shining Force-style battles and a marketplace where you recruit your force. There are currently 12 unique unit types to choose from with different strengths and weaknesses, and a roster of 40 unique enemy types to fight against.

You can download the free demo of this game that is still in production here:

Telepath Psy Arena 2

There's more I could tell ya, but then I'd have to kill ya. Or something. Anyway - phat loot for all! The indie RPG scene keeps getting more interesting!

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Monday, May 18, 2009
 
Science Girls "Taster Video"
I'll just link to the I Whine About Games blog with a sped-up example of combat in the upcoming indie RPG, Science Girls:

Science Girls Taster Video

I still don't know much about this one. Hanako's only given little tidbits about it thus far.

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Thursday, April 30, 2009
 
Indie RPG News Roundup, April 30 2009
So what's up in the world of indie computer RPGs? Heck if I know - I'm head-down in my own development these days. But somehow news of the cool has filtered down in the dungeon where I am laboring. This month, most of the news and rumors I'm hearing on the indie RPG front has a very definite "jRPG" / anime - style slant to them. Not that I don't love my jRPG / manga / anime style games. But I'd like some more the love from the more western-style RPG developers in indie-dom with projects that are nearing completion. I'll keep listening. Let me know if you hear anything!

Here's what I've been hearing lately.

Dark Souls
Dark Souls is the recently-released debut RPG from Warfare Studios. It tells the story about a mercenary haunted by the crimes of his past - and hunted FOR them as well. As one of the premier bad-ass mercenaries of the world, he receives a commission from the church - whom he's done business with many times before - to escort an innocent girl with great potential power and her idealistic-but-capable protector across the country.

Of course, the fact that he's hunted by soldiers makes him less-than-ideally suited to be the best guide for this young prodigy, a suggestion he makes and the church leader dismisses. Something's going on.

Dark Souls is the first in a planned 4-game series. It's a little rough around some edges, but it also has a very interesting world that seems - at this point at least - to be pretty well thought-out. It's worth checking out - the game offers the first hour as a free trial mode to see if you like it.

Download Dark Souls


Aveyond
The next game in the best-selling "casual" RPG series, Aveyond 3, is now officially in beta. In her blog, Amanda reports that the game remains on track for a release next month - which is to say, at some point in May, not TOMORROW, May 1st. In addition, details have been leaked that the next RPG in the series - Aveyond 4, will be more of a direct sequel. Up until now, the Aveyond games have taken place in the same world, but with (mostly) new characters and unrelated storylines.

Aveyond 3 Screenshots

Also, Walz Music is also releasing a soundtrack of extended versions of music from Aveyond and a few additional pieces. Entitled, "From Another Shore, Aveyond & Beyond," it should be available at Amazon and iTunes on May 25th.

Spirited Heart
If you (or someone else you know) liked Cute Knight and / or Princess Maker, you will want to check out Spirited Heart. It's a "life sim" style game. You choose your role as one of three girls - an (apparently) normal human, a cute elf, or a wicked demoness. That's the demoness working as a maid to the right. There are twenty different jobs and many events that take place during the game.

Download Spirited Heart (Mac, Linux, and PC)

Mars
Spiders Games is a new French game development studio, which includes several veteran game developers. They are going indie (so far) and self-funding their first title, a sci-fi action-RPG entitled Mars, intended for both the PC and the PS3. They are shopping for a publisher now, and so the "indie" status of the title might not last much longer. But for now, here it is:

Mars Website

Cute Knight Kingdom
Hanako is hard at work on Cute Knight Kingdom, the sequel to her best-selling Cute Knight. An early video and screenshot (left) shows that the game is now a bit less abstract in its environments. The Cute Knight can walk around outdoors and in the dungeon just as she can in the town environments. The first-person-esque dungeons of the original game are gone, replaced by top-down 2D dungeons with lighting effects and monsters that can be seen at a distance. Development is still early, so a lot can change, but it's shaping up and looking pretty sharp.

Kivi's Underworld
Last week, Soldak entertainment added pictures and descriptions of three more playable characters - all female - of the twenty available in Kivi's Underworld: Diador, the gladiator; Xtara the merchant, and Vara the Runemaster.

Age of Decadence
A "Combat Demo" for Age of Decadence is planned "soon." So we should soon get a feel for the turn-based combat system for this upcoming, Roman-era-esque hardcore indie RPG!

Eschalon: Book 2
Not too much to report here, but it seems the hoped-for Q2 release this year won't be happening. Right now, expectations are for a (late) Q3 release.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
 
Indie RPG News Roundup, March 17, 2009
Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I haven't done one of these Indie RPG News roundups in too long, and it's not because there's been a lack of indie RPG news. I just suck. But here I am, trying to make up for lost time.

Aveyond 3: Lord of Twilight
The third episode of the very popular Aveyond series is now in late development, with an expected release in May. This one stars a thief (I love it already), and involves vampires. According to designer Amanda Fitch, this is the longest and the darkest game she's developed to date. The Aveyond games have never seemed particularly dark to me. I mean, okay - getting sold into slavery in the first game isn't exactly fluffy and cute material, though it was treated with a delicately light hand.

I can't tell you how excited I am to check this one out in a couple of months. Aveyond 2 was wonderful, a game I devoured inside of two weeks, and clearly a worthy sequel to the best-selling original. Hopefully Aveyond 3: Lord of Twilight will continue this trend.

Age of Decadence
Here's an interview with Vince D. Weller at Resolution Magazine.

As usual, he lays it on the line with his usual flair. An excerpt:
"Being an RPG junkie, I've experienced it all, loved it all at some point, but now I want something more than killing monsters and watching "awesome" cinematics. I want to be able to decide what to do, when to do, and why. I want to decide, not to be told, who my allies and enemies are... I'd compare it to child's development. A child starts reading kids' books, then teens' books, and then finally progresses to a more serious literature, even if it's sci-fi or fantasy. Well, the problem with the gaming industry is that it keeps producing games that are suitable for the 8-12 age group."
Eschalon: Book II
Here's Sneak Peak #2 of Eschalon: Book II at RPGVault.

Colony of Gamers has an interview which is even more revealing. The happy news for me is that the food and water requirements are now optional for your character. While it's very old-school, there have only been a couple of games where I thought it provided a good addition to the game.

Dire Desire
This one is an older, 3D RPG developed during a six-month period by a student team about two-and-a-half years ago. It was recently released as an open-source project. If you want to play it, or tear it apart and see how it was made, you can check it out on its sourceforge archive:
Download Dire Desire


3 Stars of Destiny
Ah, it's always nice to talk about indie RPGs that are actually out now and available for download!

By the prolific creator of Laxius Force, 3 Stars of Destiny is a new RPG that features dozens of hours of gameplay, 50 unique quests, and lots of secrets. The game concerns the machinations of an evil god to obtain the "3 stars" - three young people who, between them, possess an "unusual energy."

This is French RPG designer Indinera Falls' seventh RPG. You may recall the interview with him back in November after the release of Laxius Force. As usual for Aldorlea Games' latest releases, the world and cast are extensive. 3 Stars of Destiny also offers three difficulty levels and lets you select the monster encounter rate, so you can customize the experience to your skill and / or patience level.

Download 3 Stars of Destiny


Heritage
Heritage is the announced title of newly-formed Macguffin Games, formed by Scott Macmillan. According to Scott, "Heritage is a hybrid RPG / strategy game that jettisons inventory management and meaningless busy-work in order to focus on epic scale storytelling. In Heritage, you will be responsible for guiding the heroes of this noble house through several generations in their quest to finally bring an end to their foe and allow their return to the sea."

What??? No inventory management? But where will I put my potions of healing? :)

Sounds like an interesting project indeed. I'm looking forward to it!

Science Girls (Update)
This was announced in, among other places, the Rampant Games forums back in December. And I spaced it here - sorry! Spiky Caterpillar Games - in conjunction with Hanako Games by some cool indie relationship that I'm hoping will be explained to me soon - is working on this anime-style RPG entitled "Science Girls." The Caterpillar seems most knowledgeable on the theory of RPG design and classic jRPGs, so it sounds like a very cool labor of love.

Details will be forthcoming, but alpha testing has already begin. You can visit the preview page now at Hanako Games:

Science Girls Teaser Page at Hanako Games

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009
 
Utah Indie Night - Winter 2009 - and Indie Lessons
We had another Utah Indie Game Developer meet last week. Due to my (finally solved!) Internet problems, I wasn't able to comment on it the next day as I usually do.

Fortunately, some others did, so I'll link to them.

This time, the meeting was at ITT Tech. The meetings always have a very different flavor depending upon whether they are at ITT or Wahoo (NinjaBee) studios, just because of the space. The ITT meetings tend to lend themselves better for formal presentations (as they are usually in classrooms). This time we were in sort of the central hall / meeting room, which was less crowded, a little noiser, but more useful for giving informal game presentations. ITT is closer to my house, which is an added benefit for me. :) But because they are so busy right now (recessions tend to cause much higher school enrollment), it's been tougher to schedule rooms there in the evenings. But they are always outstanding hosts (as are the Wahoo / NinjaBee crew), and very supportive of the indie game development scene here in Utah.

The night opened up with Josh Jones presenting a post-mortem of his "mini-monthly" experiment. All last year, he worked on creating a new game every month, using Flash. This stemmed from a New Years' resolution to become a better game developer. The mini-monthly experiment honed his design skills, his production skills, and undoubtedly his Flash skills. He's posted his post-mortem notes (and his games) on his website:

The Mini-Monthly Experiment Post-Mortem

I took a bunch of notes, but the stuff on his website is better.

He had a lot of sub-lessons learned for each of his lessons, and some were repeated frequently. If I were to distill some of his best points down from all of his lessons of indie development into the key elements (and add my own spin on things), they'd be:

#1 - Time Management
Working within the constraints of month-long, part-time projects (often while in crunch mode at the Day Job - he worked at the same game company I did last year) really tests your ability to put the right amount of time into each aspect of the game - design, development, and testing / polishing. And leaving time for other activities - like actually playing games. Learning how to juggle these to produce a finished game of sufficient quality by the deadline is challenging. He didn't always succeed, but he learned a lot.

#2 - Design and Scoping
He noted several times that he fell victim to "over-design" - spending too much time in design and not having enough time for production (a problem with one project which prevented it from being completed). In addition, designing for the proper scope, deadline, and budget was challenging. It's easy to fall victim to "feature creep," and adding new ideas until you run out of time.

#3 - Motivation
Motivation is hard, especially for an indie when you really don't have much hope of finding a pot of gold at the end of your game production rainbow. While working on your own game and really cool ideas is fun and all (in principle), you will have to find your own ways of motivating yourself through the less-fun parts (which is pretty much everything after the initial surge of activity).

He also talked about why the mini-monthly projects were so useful as an indie project. More than anything else, they provided a hard deadline and forced him to treat them as real projects rather than interminable time-sinks for puttering and tinkering with.

After that, people got to show off the games. And talk about the problems facing mainstream studios in the local area (as many of the indies were former employees of a particular company that is being sued by the Department of Labor...) We also got the scuttlebutt from an employee of Disney about the two Disney studios having layoffs (which were both relatively small, and rather generous) and being merged together.

The games themselves - due to my tardiness, I'll just point you to Greg Squire's outstanding write-up:

Greg Squire's Write-Up On Utah Indie Night - Winter 2009

Of particular note to me was the OUTSTANDING look of the now-beta indie MMORPG Link Realms. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what indie can be:



Link Realms went beta on January 1, and shortly thereafter became FLOODED with beta testers. Great for stress-testing, not so great for general beta bugs they are trying to find and fix right now, so they've had to put new beta test applicants on a waiting list. This one has the potential to be HUGE. Maybe not World of Warcraft huge, but still huge by most other measures.

A 2D side-scrolling MMORPG was also being shown, entitled Smote. It's still in early development, but functional and playable.

Curtis Mirci showed off his game, Darkened Dreams 2 (which has been mentioned here in the past). Most of the effort so far has gone into the tools, which are REALLY freakin' sweet and will be shipping (by my understanding) with the game. These are fairly comprehensive, and even include scripting (via LUA). These were a little further along than when he showed them in these videos on his website:

Darkened Dreams 2 Video Blogs

The original version of the game (running under Java - not nearly as exciting) can be found here. The new one is running under XNA and looks a lot more interesting. It's still pretty rough and early, but with the tools up and running, things should hopefully progress quickly.

A student project 2D shooter entitled "Galactic Winds" looked like a lot of fun. Inspired by 80's-era side-scrolling space shooters, it included the ability to upgrade (and downgrade) your ship in mid-mission. Downgrading wouldn't get you back as many points as you spent to upgrade, but I could see that technique being used to customize your ship as you prepare to fight different bosses.

Zombie Town - or, as author Darius Ouderkirk described it, "Zombie Tower Defense," was running using TGB as the core engine. It was running into some technical / framerate issues, though that could probably be explained by it having something like a quadrillion zombies on-screen at one time with collision turned on all of them. This one has a lot of potential. I mean, tower defense against hordes of zombies! How perfect is that?

Tank Rage Arena was a game using a custom 3D engine built by creator Nick Terry using DirectX. It's principally a multiplayer tank-combat game. In.... maze-like arenas. I guess rage is involved somewhere. But it looks very nice, and like a lot of fun. He'd made some rapid changes over the last few weeks to add AI tanks so he could demo the game for indie night. The AI tanks weren't too smart, but they did help show what the game was about.

I had some awesome discussions with some very cool people on the sidelines - some of it even indie-game related - and I thank them for putting up with the loudmouth Coyote in their conversations. They provided me with plenty of scuttlebutt and food for thought. And probably blog topics.

I left the night, as usual, feeling pretty inspired and a little humbled. There are some DANG talented indie game developers here in Utah.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008
 
Indie RPG News, Nov 4 2008
Indie Computer Roleplaying Games - All the fun, little of the hype. Unfortunately, I've let the news build up quite a bit in the last few weeks, and now I know I'm letting stuff slip through. My bad. If you have any extra news to pass along, please let me know.

Laxius Force
Okay, I am way late in announcing this one - Indinera Falls contacted me about this game about three weeks ago. If you are a fan of Aveyond or Aveyond 2 (you already know I am), this game is something you should check out. It's an RPG Maker style title, complete with manga-like characters and a story-heavy gameplay. The website advertises over 100 quests and 80 hours of gameplay.

You can download and try Laxius Force here. As far as I understand, it is PC only.

Laxius Force Website


And as long as we're on the subject of more "casual" RPGs...

Kivi's Underworld
Soldak's next game, Kivi's Underworld, is now out and available! Described as a "Casual, hack-and-slash game," Soldak Entertainment has taken a different tack from their way-awesome hardcore "Depths of Peril", but their attention to quality and detail continues to show.

While more of a casual "action adventure" game than its predecessor, Kivi's Underworld sitll possesses a lot of trappings of an RPG, and shares the same world as Depths of Peril. You can check it out yourself at Soldak's site:

Kivi's Underworld at Soldak Entertainment

Cyclopean
Cyclopean is the working title for a new indie RPG in early development, by Iron Tower Studios (who are also currently at work on indie RPG Age of Decadence). It is a turn-based indie RPG inspired heavily by H. P. Lovecraft, and takes place in Western Massachusetts in 1923. However, it is NOT based on Chaosium's pen-and-paper RPG, Call of Cthulhu.

While this is still a very early stage of development, they have created a very cool web-based character generator as a design experiment, which people are already having fun playing with. You can check it out here: Cyclopean Experimental Character Generator.

The Cyclopean Introduction Thread

Mount & Blade
The latest patch for Mount & Blade, the indie RPG with an emphasis on mounted combat, is now available.

Mount & Blade version 1.011 Patch

DROD RPG: Tendry's Tale
I wrote about the DROD (Deadly Rooms of Death) RPG over a year ago, when I played an alpha version at the Utah Indie night. Well, the game released a few weeks ago, bringing much joy to those who love both RPGs and tactical problem-solving. If you enjoy the other DROD games, this new one should be both fresh and familiar at the same time.

DROD RPG: Tendry's Tale

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 2
I really enjoyed the first episode of this series far more than I expected to. Sometimes Penny Arcade's humor leaves me cold. But in this case - the game cracked me up, and I had a lot of fun playing it for the five hours or whatever that it provided me. Beating up on mimes was never so fun. The second episode is now out - and it's about time. I'd almost given up hope.

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 2




And - that's what I have for now. Things are heating up again on the indie RPG front, and I know I'm letting some newsworthy items slip through the crack, but it's late at night and the switch for Daylight Savings Time is wiping me out (why do we still do this?). So I'll leave it at this for now. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008
 
Kivi's Underworld Open Beta
Soldak Entertainment (creator of the oh-so-awesome Depths of Peril) has released a beta test version of Kivi's Underworld for both Windows and Mac, and is requesting feedback.

Give it a try and let 'em know what you think.

Kivi's Underworld Open Beta Download

The site notes that this is NOT a demo... it's just a test version.

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Friday, August 01, 2008
 
Eschalon: Book 1 and Depths of Peril Now Even Cheaper!
Two great indie RPGs are now available for a reduced price. You know, with inflation hitting new highs and the value of the dollar sinking to new lows, you'd think everything would be getting more expensive. But apparently, the price of some good, entertaining fantasy worlds just keeps getting cheaper.

Both Eschalon: Book 1 and Depths of Peril - two absolutely awesome indie RPGs that I have not hesitated to recommend highly - have dropped in price to under $20. Well, a penny or five under, but who's counting? These days, that's something like... what... two euros? Okay, maybe a little more than that... (under 14 at last count)... :)

Both games are available for both PC and Mac, and Eschalon: Book 1 is also available on Linux. Sorry, Commodore 64 owners, you are pretty much S.O.L.

Eschalon: Book 1 is, in my opinion, a brilliant return to "old school" Computer RPG gaming, mixed with more modern graphics and design sensibilities. Waking up in a desolate ghost-town in a land in the midst of war, you find yourself lacking any memories of your own identity or knowledge of the current turmoil. Relying upon notes from an unknown benefactor, you discover that your amnesia and circumstances may not only be no accident, but that you yourself may have been responsible. But for what purpose? Your quest for answers will take you across the land, down into the deepest dungeons, and against fierce foes in this classic-style fantasy RPG.

Depths of Peril borrows from the action-RPG gameplay of Diablo, Dungeon Siege, and Fate, but mixes it with a strategy and dynamic world system that makes it what I consider to be the most innovative RPG - indie or mainstream - that I have seen in years. In the barbarian city of Jorvik, you are the leader of one of several covenants. While venturing forth into the monster- and dungeon-filled wilderness beyond in search of adventure, battle, and loot is a focus of the game, the game doesn't revolve around you. Other covenants are doing the same thing, and may come into arm conflict with you, or may become your fiercest allies. In fact, you may even team up with those allied covenants and adventure together. Neglect the home front for too long, however, and you may find yourself facing a war at home as well as a war in the field. In addition, the events and quests of the game progress in real-time. Ignore a quest, and you may find the stakes escalating --- or that your rivals have become the beloved heroes of the city while you were away.

If you haven't even tried out the free demos of either of these games yet and you are a fan of RPGs, you are missing out. But if you were holding out on buying the full versions, now is the time!

(Note: Depths of Peril dropped in price a few weeks ago, but the price drop caught me snoozing. So they didn't drop in price the same day by some spectacular coincidence - in case you were wondering... Nope, no big indie RPG developer conspiracy going on here. As Far As You Know... )

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008
 
Indie RPG News Roundup, July 23 '08
Mainstream computer & console RPG fans have some exciting news to crow about. There's Final Fantasy XIII, newly announced to be released on the XBox 360 as well as the expected PS3. Fallout 3 has received an immense amount of hype, which I certainly hope will be warranted. Diablo 3 looks... tasty! There's Dragon Age, the spy-thriller RPG-esque Alpha Protocol, an expansion for Neverwinter Nights 2 called Storm of the Zehir, Space Siege, an expanded edition of The Witcher, The Valkyria Chronicles for the PS3, Too Human for the PS3, and the upcoming MMORPG Champions Online, based on one of my all-time favorite pen-and-paper RPGs.

Those of us who don't mind prowling off the beaten path for some excellent and unique role-playing games are finding a bit to be excited about, too. While indie RPG releases and news don't revolve around the Christmas buying season, news has started to trickle out lately after being quiet for several weeks. So here's what I've been able to dig up lately:

Cute Knight Kingdom
The long-awaited sequel to the award winning casual sim-RPG Cute Knight is finally in development. Entitled Cute Knight Kingdom, its biggest addition is a larger world to explore, rather than a single town. According to developer Hanako Games (read: Georgina), "you'll now be walking around on a map and able to visit different locations within a kingdom instead of just sitting in one town all the time. Which also means that travel time can cut into your stat-raising plans, especially if you're wandering all over the place looking for the secret charm cards."

In addition, there is an option to be more active in how you are performing jobs, relying upon some skill rather than just luck & stats for your performance.

Fate Undiscovered Realms
This sequel / expansion / enhancement to the indie RPG Fate was released fairly quietly, in my opinion, by Wild Tangent. It is a Diablo-style RPG done "cute", but still offers a meaty action-RPG experience with lots of questing, dungeon-delving, and loot-accumulation. Fate Undiscovered Realms offers the ability to import your character from the previous game, a level cap of 199, and a new difficulty level called "hardcore" mode (which is not to be confused with Diablo II's perma-death hardcore mode). Fate: Undiscovered Realms is ad-supported for free play, or you can pay for the ad-free premium version.

Download Fate: Undiscovered Realms

Eschalon: Book 2
At the end of every week, Basilisk Games is answering a "question of the week" about their upcoming RPG, Eschalon: Book 2. The sequel to last year's much-lauded Eschalon: Book 1, the next game in the series features a number of new features, many of which have been requested by players of the original (like being able to play a character of either gender).

Questions covered so far include: We all saw the thirst and hunger bars on the screenshots, Could you elaborate on them? Features like these are usually tedious*, so how will you be implementing them? Will B2 be available in other languages, or will you offer fans the possibility to translate or create mods? Will we be able to ride horses to move faster and add a charge attack? Do you have an estimated gameplay hours for this one? The lack of a time penalty for switching between ranged and melee weapons seemed a bit like an exploit. Will that change for Book 2?

Check out Basilisk's answers to these questions and more about Eschalon: Book 2.

Aveyond 3
Aveyond 3 is the next in the Aveyond series, a jRPG-esque game series I am personally quite fond of. Amanda of Amaranth Games has announced that it will begin development next month, and is expected to be released in spring 2009. Details are sketchy, but as she announced on her blog, "Main roles belong to Mel, a thief girl who picks the wrong pocket, Te'ijal our wickedly funny vampress, Galahad, our reluctant knight in shining armor, and a really evil vampire mage who wants to enslave the 'weakling' sun walkers."

Depths of Peril
Steven Peeler has noted that Mac sales of Depths of Peril have been going strong - strong enough that he is going to make Mac versions of all future PC products a priority. There's also a new beta patch 1.012 for Depths of Peril, which should be made official in a few days.

DragonSpires
Okay - this is hardly a new title, but I'd never heard of it before. This is an isometric "massively" multiplayer online RPG written in Java, based on an old DOS game. One of its features includes the ability for players to upload custom maps for play. It's been around for several years, but has begun receiving some updates recently.

DragonSpires Home Page

Dwarf Fortress
Hoo-boy. The big mutha of a roguelike strategy / rpg/ world simulator Dwarf Fortress. Now, it is officially entitled Slaves to Amok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress --- who comes up with these names? Anyway, it has a new version out, v0.28.181.39d. Yeah, don't ask me, I didn't come up with the numbering system either! The big changes from previous versions (not including patches to fix patches) involve the already really humongous world-generation system. The new system includes massive world events, and the ability to customize the world-creation process. Kinda.

Download the latest version of Dwarf Fortress

What is remarkable to me is the incredible, unbelievable amount of detail and simulation packed into this ASCII-art game. I guess it goes to show how much you can do if graphics and ease-of-play (come on, admit it) are not a concern. However, if you are a gamer who really, really likes to see something prettier than alphanumerics on the screen, there is hope.

In addition, there's the first of a three-part interview with Tarn Adams of Bay 12 Games, developers of Dwarf Fortress, who admits (among other things) that Dwarf Fortress has become his full-time job. A job where he keeps rather unusual hours - explaining that "at around ten or eleven [at night], give or take, I can start by programming for the day. That usually runs until around seven AM, often later." Fascinating reading!

Wanderlust
This is a cooperative multiplayer RPG currently in beta, created with Game Maker. Interestingly enough, the game is only barely playable (currently) in single-player... it practically demands a partner (or up to three)! Rather than go into any detail about it here, I'll direct you to the straight scoop at TIGSource, which has a fairly extensive review / preview.

Or you can just visit the very musical homepage for Wanderlust and play the beta demo of Wanderlust it yourself.

Mount & Blade
Freddy Lim has posted a preview of the upcoming horse-heavy RPG Mount & Blade at Gametunnel.com. There's another preview at Jolt. This game is making its way to the finish line (though people who pre-ordered have already been playing it), as beta 0.96 was just released last month. This is the last beta version prior to final release. It's been a long road for these indies, and it looks like it is finally coming to a hopefully glorious end.


And that's it for now. My brain is full. That's a lot of games! Maybe I should do this more often or something. I hear rumor from Jason Compton that we should expect a minor setting update in the near future for The Broken Hourglass, and I hope to see more progress on that one soon. Aside from that, if you know of anything cooking on the indie RPG front, let me know here, or via email (jayb. at rampantgames dot com) or in the forums!

Check out Independent RPGs and Adventures at Rampant Games. Or not.

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