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Found 103 results

  1. A tale of love, revenge, and giant robots make up the core of Lancer, an upcoming tabletop role-playing game currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Lancer comes courtesy of Massif Press, an indie publishing outfit seeking to empower interesting tabletop game creators. As a wholly original game, Lancer is the realization of a longtime dream of Massif Press' co-founders, Tom Parkinson Morgan and Miguel Lopez. If you're a fan of mecha media like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam, or Armored Core, this tabletop was made for you to enjoy. Lancer takes place in the distant future. Ten thousand years after the planet suffered a colossal climate change event that effectively ended human dominance of Earth, the survivors turned to the stars and have built up a new empire that no longer relies on just one planet. The new era brought new technology that allowed humanity to live in a state of luxury hitherto unknown - but the right to exist in that manner remained reserved for a handful of the rich and powerful. In this setting, players take on the role of pilots, humans capable of controlling the massive humanoid war machines that make up the new era of military might. It's up to the players and their GM to forge a path forward in a galaxy of political and social intrigue, fringed all about with the lurking unknowns of uncharted space. Humanity, for all of its great strides, could still fall to internal strife or to the unfathomable powers that lurk in the dark. The rules of the system have been kept light to help enable a more narrative-oriented experience. However, Lancer gets tactical when players step into their trusty mechs, requiring teamwork, imagination, and a bit of cold calculation. As players progress through their campaigns, they will have the opportunity to modify and improve their mechs to give a sense of accomplishment, unique narrative twists, and to prepare them to battle ever stronger foes. Pilots gain licenses as they progress, giving them access to new parts for their mechs and new abilities. These licenses are not tied to any classes, each pilot should feel unique and unrestricted in their development. The system backing up Lancer's core mechanics takes a lot of cues from The Demon Lord, Armored Core, and Blades In The Dark. There should be a different feel between the out-of-mech narrative segments and the tense combat of the in-mech segments. If you're curious about the game itself, you can look through the full game rules, minus the art, layout, and editing that the Kickstarter funds will be used to add. It's completely free and tabletop RPG fans can take it for a spin to see if they enjoy the game before backing the crowdfunding campaign. This free version will persist even after the official release occurs. The Kickstarter asked for $46,000 to make the core book a reality. However, with a little under two weeks left in the campaign, the Kickstarter has raised over $300,000, unlocking all of the currently available stretch goals. Rewards will ship to Lancer's backers in March of 2020. If you're looking for a unique tabletop RPG experience, Lancer might just be it. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  2. A tale of love, revenge, and giant robots make up the core of Lancer, an upcoming tabletop role-playing game currently seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Lancer comes courtesy of Massif Press, an indie publishing outfit seeking to empower interesting tabletop game creators. As a wholly original game, Lancer is the realization of a longtime dream of Massif Press' co-founders, Tom Parkinson Morgan and Miguel Lopez. If you're a fan of mecha media like Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gundam, or Armored Core, this tabletop was made for you to enjoy. Lancer takes place in the distant future. Ten thousand years after the planet suffered a colossal climate change event that effectively ended human dominance of Earth, the survivors turned to the stars and have built up a new empire that no longer relies on just one planet. The new era brought new technology that allowed humanity to live in a state of luxury hitherto unknown - but the right to exist in that manner remained reserved for a handful of the rich and powerful. In this setting, players take on the role of pilots, humans capable of controlling the massive humanoid war machines that make up the new era of military might. It's up to the players and their GM to forge a path forward in a galaxy of political and social intrigue, fringed all about with the lurking unknowns of uncharted space. Humanity, for all of its great strides, could still fall to internal strife or to the unfathomable powers that lurk in the dark. The rules of the system have been kept light to help enable a more narrative-oriented experience. However, Lancer gets tactical when players step into their trusty mechs, requiring teamwork, imagination, and a bit of cold calculation. As players progress through their campaigns, they will have the opportunity to modify and improve their mechs to give a sense of accomplishment, unique narrative twists, and to prepare them to battle ever stronger foes. Pilots gain licenses as they progress, giving them access to new parts for their mechs and new abilities. These licenses are not tied to any classes, each pilot should feel unique and unrestricted in their development. The system backing up Lancer's core mechanics takes a lot of cues from The Demon Lord, Armored Core, and Blades In The Dark. There should be a different feel between the out-of-mech narrative segments and the tense combat of the in-mech segments. If you're curious about the game itself, you can look through the full game rules, minus the art, layout, and editing that the Kickstarter funds will be used to add. It's completely free and tabletop RPG fans can take it for a spin to see if they enjoy the game before backing the crowdfunding campaign. This free version will persist even after the official release occurs. The Kickstarter asked for $46,000 to make the core book a reality. However, with a little under two weeks left in the campaign, the Kickstarter has raised over $300,000, unlocking all of the currently available stretch goals. Rewards will ship to Lancer's backers in March of 2020. If you're looking for a unique tabletop RPG experience, Lancer might just be it. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  3. The crowdfunding for Bloodborne's tabletop board game adaptation is in full swing over on Kickstarter with the total nearing $1.7 million with weeks to go until the campaign wraps up. you might be thinking to yourself, "But wait! Wasn't there already a Bloodborne tabletop game?" And you would be correct! In a way. Eric M. Lang designed the Bloodborne card game that released in 2016 bringing the popular action-RPG of the same name to the table for the first time. Now, Eric M. Lang has returned along with veteran designer Michale Shinall to fully realize the potential of a Bloodborne tabletop experience. Bloodborne is a 2015 action-RPG from Dark Souls developer FromSoftware. It released exclusively for the PlayStation 4 and featured the return of Dark Souls' director Hidetaka Miyazaki. The game follows the adventures of a foreigner who comes to the city of Yharnam in search of the legendary healing offered by the church and its blood. Soon, the player is wrapped up in an eldritch conspiracy constructed by powers and beings far beyond mortal comprehension. On top of the core campaign, players could discover chalices that brought them into a sprawling dungeon beneath the city that goes deep down into the earth, snaking toward an ancient being at the heart of the strange corruption that has seeped into the land. That brings us to the Kickstarter from CMON, a company that has a growing relationship with Sony that allowed them to make the 2016 Bloodborne card game, the Bloodborne board game, and God of War: The Card Game. The latest crowdfunding effort offers an amazing array of miniatures and a beautiful collection of board pieces. As a draw for the game, those who back the Kickstarter get access to a large number of exclusive figures that represent players, items, enemies, and bosses. If you think that Bloodborne: The Board Game is releasing without lore or a story, you would be dead wrong. In fact, it has four different stories that come in the form of campaigns. Each campaign takes place over the course of three chapters that each drastically change the way enemies appear and behave along with new content. Each chapter features a number of decisions players need to make in order to proceed and those choices create a branching narrative with possible consequences farther along in the campaign. Each of these campaigns take place in familiar settings like Yharnam's Cathedral Ward or the Tomb of Oedeon, each created in a way you've never seen before. Instead of relying on the luck of dice, Bloodborne: The Board Game makes use of cards. Players choose from a selection of trick weapons that determine their basic abilities before beginning their adventure. While slaying monsters, players can procure a number of permanent items, upgrade cards, and consumables. How players use those upgrades and items on top of their weapons will determine if they are able to survive the long hunt. Those enemies that stand in the way of survival fill out a roster of over twenty unique enemy types armed with almost thirty AI cards. You can look over the work-in-progress rule book to get a more in-depth idea of what the final game will play like. The Kickstarter campaign initially asked for $200,000 to get the basic version of the game released. However, with over 8x more than their goal raised, the campaign has rolled out a crazy amount of extras. By far the most important unlocked at $230,000: Chalice Dungeon Rules. Players will be able to augment their games with a series of special rules and Chalice Dungeon tiles. Twelve additional tiles and forty-five additional miniatures have been unlocked so far. At the moment, the campaign appears to be on track to hit $1.75 million and unlock another four miniatures. If the project receieves even more backing, which seems incredibly likely, even more will be added to the game package. If you are a fan of multiple backing tiers, you might be disappointed by this campaign. There's only one backing tier left at $100 for the base game and all the Kickstarter exclusive figures. Bloodborne: The Board Game, thankfully, comes with a clear release window. Backers can expect the big box tabletop to release in May of 2020. One thing backers should be aware of, however, is shipping. The backing pledge does not include shipping, so in order to actually receive the board game, backers will need to pay for shipping after the Kickstarter ends. This will all be handled through a service called Pledge Manager launching shortly after the end of the Kickstarter. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. The crowdfunding for Bloodborne's tabletop board game adaptation is in full swing over on Kickstarter with the total nearing $1.7 million with weeks to go until the campaign wraps up. you might be thinking to yourself, "But wait! Wasn't there already a Bloodborne tabletop game?" And you would be correct! In a way. Eric M. Lang designed the Bloodborne card game that released in 2016 bringing the popular action-RPG of the same name to the table for the first time. Now, Eric M. Lang has returned along with veteran designer Michale Shinall to fully realize the potential of a Bloodborne tabletop experience. Bloodborne is a 2015 action-RPG from Dark Souls developer FromSoftware. It released exclusively for the PlayStation 4 and featured the return of Dark Souls' director Hidetaka Miyazaki. The game follows the adventures of a foreigner who comes to the city of Yharnam in search of the legendary healing offered by the church and its blood. Soon, the player is wrapped up in an eldritch conspiracy constructed by powers and beings far beyond mortal comprehension. On top of the core campaign, players could discover chalices that brought them into a sprawling dungeon beneath the city that goes deep down into the earth, snaking toward an ancient being at the heart of the strange corruption that has seeped into the land. That brings us to the Kickstarter from CMON, a company that has a growing relationship with Sony that allowed them to make the 2016 Bloodborne card game, the Bloodborne board game, and God of War: The Card Game. The latest crowdfunding effort offers an amazing array of miniatures and a beautiful collection of board pieces. As a draw for the game, those who back the Kickstarter get access to a large number of exclusive figures that represent players, items, enemies, and bosses. If you think that Bloodborne: The Board Game is releasing without lore or a story, you would be dead wrong. In fact, it has four different stories that come in the form of campaigns. Each campaign takes place over the course of three chapters that each drastically change the way enemies appear and behave along with new content. Each chapter features a number of decisions players need to make in order to proceed and those choices create a branching narrative with possible consequences farther along in the campaign. Each of these campaigns take place in familiar settings like Yharnam's Cathedral Ward or the Tomb of Oedeon, each created in a way you've never seen before. Instead of relying on the luck of dice, Bloodborne: The Board Game makes use of cards. Players choose from a selection of trick weapons that determine their basic abilities before beginning their adventure. While slaying monsters, players can procure a number of permanent items, upgrade cards, and consumables. How players use those upgrades and items on top of their weapons will determine if they are able to survive the long hunt. Those enemies that stand in the way of survival fill out a roster of over twenty unique enemy types armed with almost thirty AI cards. You can look over the work-in-progress rule book to get a more in-depth idea of what the final game will play like. The Kickstarter campaign initially asked for $200,000 to get the basic version of the game released. However, with over 8x more than their goal raised, the campaign has rolled out a crazy amount of extras. By far the most important unlocked at $230,000: Chalice Dungeon Rules. Players will be able to augment their games with a series of special rules and Chalice Dungeon tiles. Twelve additional tiles and forty-five additional miniatures have been unlocked so far. At the moment, the campaign appears to be on track to hit $1.75 million and unlock another four miniatures. If the project receieves even more backing, which seems incredibly likely, even more will be added to the game package. If you are a fan of multiple backing tiers, you might be disappointed by this campaign. There's only one backing tier left at $100 for the base game and all the Kickstarter exclusive figures. Bloodborne: The Board Game, thankfully, comes with a clear release window. Backers can expect the big box tabletop to release in May of 2020. One thing backers should be aware of, however, is shipping. The backing pledge does not include shipping, so in order to actually receive the board game, backers will need to pay for shipping after the Kickstarter ends. This will all be handled through a service called Pledge Manager launching shortly after the end of the Kickstarter. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. The creators of Myst, Riven, and Obduction are back with Firmament, a first-person adventure game that seeks to be unlike anything players have seen before. To that end, Cyan Inc. has released its preliminary vision of Firmament onto Kickstarter to raise money to complete its production and gauge potential player interest in their latest puzzle-filled mystery. Players will awaken in a mysterious location, frozen in the mountains of an unfamiliar land. In the next room, they will encounter "the device" a strange collection of lights and clockwork that was left on a table in the outstretched hands of an icy corpse. As players approach, the device comes to life and relays a message from its previous owner, a woman who had planned to explain everything in person. That is, until some unexplained something ruined those plans. Armed with scraps of knowledge, the player must venture forth and uncover the secrets of Firmament with nothing but their wits and the aid of the device that was left in their care. "We are a small indie developer and we love the idea that what we are doing is not building games; it is building worlds." says Rand Miller, the CEO & co-founder of Cyan Inc. The teaser shows off just what the worlds of Firmament look like, with concept art and early in-game visions of surreal landscapes and architecture. While the game begins on snow capped mountains, the game will range into lush, temperate lands, soot-covered early industrial/steam-powered locales, and the strange, technological door at the heart of it all. Through it all, an aesthetic of magic and steampunk leaves an unmistakable trail. The inscrutable and anachronistic technology serve as part of Firmament's thematic callback to Myst. Oh, and the soundtrack? Yeah, it's being overseen by Russell Brower, the composer behind World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone. That design sensibility carries over to one of the big divergent elements of Firmament compared to its predecessors: The device. The clockwork friend exists as both a tool and an ally. It serves as a character in its own right, able to respond to player decisions and actions. It does not speak, but it's able to understands the player's gestures. In a move that's sure to invite some comparisons to the Kinect, players are able to direct the device to perform various tasks by discovering and using hand gestures. In fact, a main part of the gameplay involves working together with the device to learn how to communicate with one another without words. That's actually really cool if the technical hurdles can be overcome and it works as intended. The team at Cyan has embraced VR and built Firmament from the ground up to support virtual reality headsets and sensors. In fact, that might be the primary reason their gesture-based approach to communication with the device will succeed. Of course, the team recognizes that not everyone is able to play games in VR, so a non-VR option will be available. They just heavily encourage people to play Firmament in VR if they can. How exactly the gesture controls will work on a gamepad or a mouse and keyboard remain to be seen. As of this writing, the Kickstarter is nearing $1.1 million pledges from 13,569 people in its crowdfunding campaign. However, it only has three days left to reach $1.3 million. There's also a stretch goal of $1.4 million to add Mac, PS4/PSVR, and multilingual support. The campaign, as one might expect, is packed with backer rewards. One of the most interesting is that fans who back the game at $250 will be able to see and play the proof of concept that Cyan Inc. developed for their own internal use. It's not often that those early vertical slices make it out into the public, but seeing some of that behind-the-scenes game development is always really interesting. People who back the Kickstarter will also receive exclusive DLC for the finished version of Firmament that will reskin the trusty clockwork companion - including one skin that's a direct throwback to Myst. Another exclusive for backers will be some additional unique elements that haven't been revealed. On top of that, players will be able to personalize some elements of the narrative in the exclusive DLC, like naming a special book or leaving behind a significant date that will appear in the campaign. Overall, Firmament looks to be the kind of project that Cyan Inc. does best, an atmosphere heavy adventure full of more questions than answers. The game is expected to ship in July of 2020, though the success or failure of the Kickstarter could cause that window to shift somewhat. Here's hoping this unique project succeeds. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  6. The creators of Myst, Riven, and Obduction are back with Firmament, a first-person adventure game that seeks to be unlike anything players have seen before. To that end, Cyan Inc. has released its preliminary vision of Firmament onto Kickstarter to raise money to complete its production and gauge potential player interest in their latest puzzle-filled mystery. Players will awaken in a mysterious location, frozen in the mountains of an unfamiliar land. In the next room, they will encounter "the device" a strange collection of lights and clockwork that was left on a table in the outstretched hands of an icy corpse. As players approach, the device comes to life and relays a message from its previous owner, a woman who had planned to explain everything in person. That is, until some unexplained something ruined those plans. Armed with scraps of knowledge, the player must venture forth and uncover the secrets of Firmament with nothing but their wits and the aid of the device that was left in their care. "We are a small indie developer and we love the idea that what we are doing is not building games; it is building worlds." says Rand Miller, the CEO & co-founder of Cyan Inc. The teaser shows off just what the worlds of Firmament look like, with concept art and early in-game visions of surreal landscapes and architecture. While the game begins on snow capped mountains, the game will range into lush, temperate lands, soot-covered early industrial/steam-powered locales, and the strange, technological door at the heart of it all. Through it all, an aesthetic of magic and steampunk leaves an unmistakable trail. The inscrutable and anachronistic technology serve as part of Firmament's thematic callback to Myst. Oh, and the soundtrack? Yeah, it's being overseen by Russell Brower, the composer behind World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, and Hearthstone. That design sensibility carries over to one of the big divergent elements of Firmament compared to its predecessors: The device. The clockwork friend exists as both a tool and an ally. It serves as a character in its own right, able to respond to player decisions and actions. It does not speak, but it's able to understands the player's gestures. In a move that's sure to invite some comparisons to the Kinect, players are able to direct the device to perform various tasks by discovering and using hand gestures. In fact, a main part of the gameplay involves working together with the device to learn how to communicate with one another without words. That's actually really cool if the technical hurdles can be overcome and it works as intended. The team at Cyan has embraced VR and built Firmament from the ground up to support virtual reality headsets and sensors. In fact, that might be the primary reason their gesture-based approach to communication with the device will succeed. Of course, the team recognizes that not everyone is able to play games in VR, so a non-VR option will be available. They just heavily encourage people to play Firmament in VR if they can. How exactly the gesture controls will work on a gamepad or a mouse and keyboard remain to be seen. As of this writing, the Kickstarter is nearing $1.1 million pledges from 13,569 people in its crowdfunding campaign. However, it only has three days left to reach $1.3 million. There's also a stretch goal of $1.4 million to add Mac, PS4/PSVR, and multilingual support. The campaign, as one might expect, is packed with backer rewards. One of the most interesting is that fans who back the game at $250 will be able to see and play the proof of concept that Cyan Inc. developed for their own internal use. It's not often that those early vertical slices make it out into the public, but seeing some of that behind-the-scenes game development is always really interesting. People who back the Kickstarter will also receive exclusive DLC for the finished version of Firmament that will reskin the trusty clockwork companion - including one skin that's a direct throwback to Myst. Another exclusive for backers will be some additional unique elements that haven't been revealed. On top of that, players will be able to personalize some elements of the narrative in the exclusive DLC, like naming a special book or leaving behind a significant date that will appear in the campaign. Overall, Firmament looks to be the kind of project that Cyan Inc. does best, an atmosphere heavy adventure full of more questions than answers. The game is expected to ship in July of 2020, though the success or failure of the Kickstarter could cause that window to shift somewhat. Here's hoping this unique project succeeds. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  7. Dario Argento, the writer and director of the 1977 cult classic Suspiria (recently remade in 2018), has decided to turn his talents for visual storytelling to the world of video games with the help of Clod Studio. Argento got his start as a film critic before breaking into screenwriting, helping to pen the script to Sergio Leone's iconic spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West. From there, Argento went on to specialize in giallo film, a style and genre of film making that blends pulp thriller with horror and psychological drama. This landed him jobs collaborating with a number of great horror directors like George A. Romero on Dawn of the Dead. Director John Carpenter has frequently cited Argento's work as a major inspiration for the film Halloween. Unfortunately, outside of a few breakout hits, many of the director's films failed to find a large audience and the critics of his time viewed his work as low-class. Luckily, many of them found cult followings and today many of them are held up as the finest examples of horror and giallo film making. However, in more recent years he's become less active due to age, but at 78 years old he still shows a passion for creating new films and has taken a liking to Clod Studio, becoming their artistic director. "Dreadful Bond is a project that's very close to my themes, to my films, to my dreams: it has something deep that struck me immediately. I got carried away on this new journey with Clod Studio," said Argento while explaining how he had fallen in love with what the game could be. Clod Studio itself is relatively new. It formed in Milan, Italy in 2016 and has been refining their idea of what Dreadful Bond might become since then, growing to over fifteen people in the years since. Their vision of a giallo-like game exploring issues both psychological and supernatural culminated in a Kickstarter that has unveiled both a short film created in-game with the direction of Dario Argento and a playable demo that allows players to explore Wharton Manor. Dreadful Bond is an atmospheric, first-person dive into surreal horror. Players take on the role of a mysterious individual whose identity slowly reveals itself as Wharton Manor's estate is explored. The mansion, as one might imagine, is not a happy place. It's glory has long since faded and been replaced with a collection of horrible events that have left their marks strewn through its many rooms. The developers warn that the underlying horror of Dreadful Bond might strike people as an incredibly disturbing and possibly off-putting reveal. Their Kickstarter reiterates this point by saying, "We are serious about this: if you're not willing to face a disturbing truth, do not support this project!" The mansion plays host to a variety of supernatural entities, visions, and memories. The memories play out in a unique style, they are projected onto walls as shadows. At the heart of all of this lies something called "Empuros," something that inspired the horrific acts that afflicted the people who entered Wharton Manor. The team describes the player's journey as an experience of that individual's personal hell, melding science and mysticism to concepts of love and death. One of the interesting stylistic choices for Dreadful Bond is the use of hyper-realistic environments mixed with the decision to make the entire production a black and white affair. It even makes use of a subtle film grain effect to harkens back to the game's roots in giallo cinema which also used black-and-white heavily during the 60s and 70s. The team at Clod Studio has created the game using a technique called photogrammetry in which they scan objects and environments that can then be reproduced in-game almost perfectly. Even the shadows seen in-game were captured from real actors performing the scenes. This lends the game a very grounded feeling and heightens the feeling of disconnect when supernatural events begin to occur. The Kickstarter... might not make its goal. As of this writing, the project has only amassed a little over $24,000 of their $67,000 goal. Less than five days remain for the team to raise the remaining funds. However, the game appears to be far enough along that it seems inconceivable to me that it won't get made. It already has an impressive short film, "For Bridget," that you can watch below and a demo of Dreadful Bond has released that shows off a good chunk of the mansion. At the very least, I hope the world is blessed with the insanity that is a horror game created under the artistic direction of Dario Argento, one of the best horror directors working today. Honestly, if you are a fan of horror games, this should be on your radar. It looks like a lot of time and care has been poured into this project by a team that feels passionate about horror alongside the input of one of the greats of the genre. The presentation feels fresh and eye-catching. The subject matter seems bold and twisted. Even if this eventually comes out and receives some harsh criticism for elements we haven't seen yet, I have no doubt that Dreadful Bond will be incredibly interesting and unique in a genre that has contented itself with ripping off Amnesia: The Dark Descent for the past seven years. This could be a breath of fresh air in a genre that really needs it. The Kickstarter ends on the April 24, so be sure to back it if you find it interesting. Dreadful Bond, if successful (and hopefully even if it fails to succeed on Kickstarter) will release for PC and, possibly, PlayStation 4 in late 2020 or early 2021. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  8. Dario Argento, the writer and director of the 1977 cult classic Suspiria (recently remade in 2018), has decided to turn his talents for visual storytelling to the world of video games with the help of Clod Studio. Argento got his start as a film critic before breaking into screenwriting, helping to pen the script to Sergio Leone's iconic spaghetti western Once Upon a Time in the West. From there, Argento went on to specialize in giallo film, a style and genre of film making that blends pulp thriller with horror and psychological drama. This landed him jobs collaborating with a number of great horror directors like George A. Romero on Dawn of the Dead. Director John Carpenter has frequently cited Argento's work as a major inspiration for the film Halloween. Unfortunately, outside of a few breakout hits, many of the director's films failed to find a large audience and the critics of his time viewed his work as low-class. Luckily, many of them found cult followings and today many of them are held up as the finest examples of horror and giallo film making. However, in more recent years he's become less active due to age, but at 78 years old he still shows a passion for creating new films and has taken a liking to Clod Studio, becoming their artistic director. "Dreadful Bond is a project that's very close to my themes, to my films, to my dreams: it has something deep that struck me immediately. I got carried away on this new journey with Clod Studio," said Argento while explaining how he had fallen in love with what the game could be. Clod Studio itself is relatively new. It formed in Milan, Italy in 2016 and has been refining their idea of what Dreadful Bond might become since then, growing to over fifteen people in the years since. Their vision of a giallo-like game exploring issues both psychological and supernatural culminated in a Kickstarter that has unveiled both a short film created in-game with the direction of Dario Argento and a playable demo that allows players to explore Wharton Manor. Dreadful Bond is an atmospheric, first-person dive into surreal horror. Players take on the role of a mysterious individual whose identity slowly reveals itself as Wharton Manor's estate is explored. The mansion, as one might imagine, is not a happy place. It's glory has long since faded and been replaced with a collection of horrible events that have left their marks strewn through its many rooms. The developers warn that the underlying horror of Dreadful Bond might strike people as an incredibly disturbing and possibly off-putting reveal. Their Kickstarter reiterates this point by saying, "We are serious about this: if you're not willing to face a disturbing truth, do not support this project!" The mansion plays host to a variety of supernatural entities, visions, and memories. The memories play out in a unique style, they are projected onto walls as shadows. At the heart of all of this lies something called "Empuros," something that inspired the horrific acts that afflicted the people who entered Wharton Manor. The team describes the player's journey as an experience of that individual's personal hell, melding science and mysticism to concepts of love and death. One of the interesting stylistic choices for Dreadful Bond is the use of hyper-realistic environments mixed with the decision to make the entire production a black and white affair. It even makes use of a subtle film grain effect to harkens back to the game's roots in giallo cinema which also used black-and-white heavily during the 60s and 70s. The team at Clod Studio has created the game using a technique called photogrammetry in which they scan objects and environments that can then be reproduced in-game almost perfectly. Even the shadows seen in-game were captured from real actors performing the scenes. This lends the game a very grounded feeling and heightens the feeling of disconnect when supernatural events begin to occur. The Kickstarter... might not make its goal. As of this writing, the project has only amassed a little over $24,000 of their $67,000 goal. Less than five days remain for the team to raise the remaining funds. However, the game appears to be far enough along that it seems inconceivable to me that it won't get made. It already has an impressive short film, "For Bridget," that you can watch below and a demo of Dreadful Bond has released that shows off a good chunk of the mansion. At the very least, I hope the world is blessed with the insanity that is a horror game created under the artistic direction of Dario Argento, one of the best horror directors working today. Honestly, if you are a fan of horror games, this should be on your radar. It looks like a lot of time and care has been poured into this project by a team that feels passionate about horror alongside the input of one of the greats of the genre. The presentation feels fresh and eye-catching. The subject matter seems bold and twisted. Even if this eventually comes out and receives some harsh criticism for elements we haven't seen yet, I have no doubt that Dreadful Bond will be incredibly interesting and unique in a genre that has contented itself with ripping off Amnesia: The Dark Descent for the past seven years. This could be a breath of fresh air in a genre that really needs it. The Kickstarter ends on the April 24, so be sure to back it if you find it interesting. Dreadful Bond, if successful (and hopefully even if it fails to succeed on Kickstarter) will release for PC and, possibly, PlayStation 4 in late 2020 or early 2021. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  9. After years of requests from fans, the team behind the popular Dungeons & Dragons live role-playing show Critical Role has launched a crowdfunding campaign to create The Legend of Vox Machina an animated special based on the characters that starred in the first season of the show. Despite being up for less than a day, the Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its primary goal and several stretch goals with over $2.5 million in the first day, moving closer toward making The Legend of Vox Machina a feature-length film. Critical Role began in 2015 as a collaboration between voice actor Matt Mercer and Geek & Sundry, though the series has amicably split from Geek & Sundry in the years since. The show stars a team of voice actors and actresses who gather together to play Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition while broadcasting live across the internet. The central cast of Season 1, who will reprise their roles in the upcoming animated special, consists of Matt Mercer (Dungeon Master), Ashley Johnson (Pike Trickfoot), Laura Bailey (Vex'ahlia "Vex" Vessar), Liam O'Brien (Vax 'ildan "Vax" Vessar & Lieve'tel Toluse), Marisha Ray (Keyleth of the Air Ashari), Sam Riegel (Scanlan Shorthalt & Taryon "Tary" Darrington), Taliesin Jaffe (Percival "Percy" Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III), Travis Willingham (Grog Strongjaw & Sir Bertrand Bell), and Orion Acaba (Tiberius Stormwind). Each episode consists of a full Dungeons & Dragons session, meaning that they can frequently run between 3-6 hours apiece. There have been two seasons thus far as well as many efforts across the series' history to raise money for numerous good causes, Extra Life among them! The adventure this colorful cast of voice actors has been on for the last several years has included spin-offs, partnerships with Wizards of the Coast, and even comic books. Now they've taken to Kickstarter to bring their characters to life on-screen in the animated adventure The Legend of Vox Machina. The animation for the special will be handled by Titmouse, a well-known and beloved studio in the realm of animated television. It's most recognizable works include The Venture Bros., Metalocalypse, and Big Mouth. On top of that, Critical Role has obtained the services of Jennifer Muro, the writer behind Star Wars: Forces of Destiny and Spider-Man, to pen the upcoming special. In addition to the voice actors already attached to Critical Role, additional talent that has yet to be announced will include voices from shows like Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball Z, Duck Tales, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. At the time of writing this, The Legend of Vox Machina has raised over $2.5 million from over 19,000 people to produce the animated special. Initially, the pitch was for a 22-minute special for $750,000. However, fans quickly demolished that goal. At $1 million raised, a one-shot called The Search for Grog Epilogue: The Search for Bob will be played. At $1.5 million, the length of the special doubled to 44 minutes and those who pitched in over $100 will receive a special beanie. At $2 million, fans unlocked another one-shot called Vox Machina's Summer Reunion at Dalen's Closet. At $2.5 million, the length of the special shot up to 66 minutes. If the special raises over $3 million, fans of Critical Role will unlock an 88 minute special along with a third one-shot which will see Season 1 and Season 2 characters colliding. There are still 45 days in the fundraising campaign. If you've never seen Critical Role before, you can watch all 150+ episodes of it for free over on the Critical Role YouTube channel. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  10. After years of requests from fans, the team behind the popular Dungeons & Dragons live role-playing show Critical Role has launched a crowdfunding campaign to create The Legend of Vox Machina an animated special based on the characters that starred in the first season of the show. Despite being up for less than a day, the Kickstarter campaign has already surpassed its primary goal and several stretch goals with over $2.5 million in the first day, moving closer toward making The Legend of Vox Machina a feature-length film. Critical Role began in 2015 as a collaboration between voice actor Matt Mercer and Geek & Sundry, though the series has amicably split from Geek & Sundry in the years since. The show stars a team of voice actors and actresses who gather together to play Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition while broadcasting live across the internet. The central cast of Season 1, who will reprise their roles in the upcoming animated special, consists of Matt Mercer (Dungeon Master), Ashley Johnson (Pike Trickfoot), Laura Bailey (Vex'ahlia "Vex" Vessar), Liam O'Brien (Vax 'ildan "Vax" Vessar & Lieve'tel Toluse), Marisha Ray (Keyleth of the Air Ashari), Sam Riegel (Scanlan Shorthalt & Taryon "Tary" Darrington), Taliesin Jaffe (Percival "Percy" Fredrickstein Von Musel Klossowski de Rolo III), Travis Willingham (Grog Strongjaw & Sir Bertrand Bell), and Orion Acaba (Tiberius Stormwind). Each episode consists of a full Dungeons & Dragons session, meaning that they can frequently run between 3-6 hours apiece. There have been two seasons thus far as well as many efforts across the series' history to raise money for numerous good causes, Extra Life among them! The adventure this colorful cast of voice actors has been on for the last several years has included spin-offs, partnerships with Wizards of the Coast, and even comic books. Now they've taken to Kickstarter to bring their characters to life on-screen in the animated adventure The Legend of Vox Machina. The animation for the special will be handled by Titmouse, a well-known and beloved studio in the realm of animated television. It's most recognizable works include The Venture Bros., Metalocalypse, and Big Mouth. On top of that, Critical Role has obtained the services of Jennifer Muro, the writer behind Star Wars: Forces of Destiny and Spider-Man, to pen the upcoming special. In addition to the voice actors already attached to Critical Role, additional talent that has yet to be announced will include voices from shows like Attack on Titan, Dragon Ball Z, Duck Tales, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. At the time of writing this, The Legend of Vox Machina has raised over $2.5 million from over 19,000 people to produce the animated special. Initially, the pitch was for a 22-minute special for $750,000. However, fans quickly demolished that goal. At $1 million raised, a one-shot called The Search for Grog Epilogue: The Search for Bob will be played. At $1.5 million, the length of the special doubled to 44 minutes and those who pitched in over $100 will receive a special beanie. At $2 million, fans unlocked another one-shot called Vox Machina's Summer Reunion at Dalen's Closet. At $2.5 million, the length of the special shot up to 66 minutes. If the special raises over $3 million, fans of Critical Role will unlock an 88 minute special along with a third one-shot which will see Season 1 and Season 2 characters colliding. There are still 45 days in the fundraising campaign. If you've never seen Critical Role before, you can watch all 150+ episodes of it for free over on the Critical Role YouTube channel. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  11. Nightdive Studios has been quietly working on a remake of System Shock since their successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2016. Their mission is to bring the forward-thinking 1994 PC title into a recognizable, but modernized, form. And, to be honest, it looks fantastic. System Shock originally released on PC back in 1994. It offered players the chance to play a first-person science fiction role-playing game with a rich and detailed world that could be tackled in a wide variety of unique ways. It rewarded creativity and established many of the conventions that games still make use of to this day and directly influenced the creation of games like BioShock, Deus Ex, Half-Life 2, and Metal Gear Solid. Looking Glass Interactive received critical acclaim for the game, but the games it created were ahead of their time, leading to lower sales compared with the straight-forward and immediately rewarding Doom. That brings us to the present day as Nightdive Studios works to bring a completely rebuilt version of System Shock to modern systems. Nightdive cut their teeth on revamping retro titles to play on new hardware. They are responsible for reviving I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, System Shock 1, and System Shock 2, and also played a part in creating modern titles like Skyrim and BioShock Infinite. The studio has been transparent with their development process, posting videos and screenshots throughout the creation of the new System Shock. The latest update showcases a number of the finished and finalized art assets in action. The System Shock remake is scheduled to release in 2020, so this video is still pre-alpha. However, seeing a small section of what will be included in the finished game is really exciting. You can check out the video below. The next development update will apparently show off the combat mechanics of the System Shock remake, which will be really interesting. One of the drawbacks of the original was the complicated control scheme that doesn't feel great if you go back to experience it. Modernized controls and mechanics would go a long way toward making the remake a success. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  12. Nightdive Studios has been quietly working on a remake of System Shock since their successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2016. Their mission is to bring the forward-thinking 1994 PC title into a recognizable, but modernized, form. And, to be honest, it looks fantastic. System Shock originally released on PC back in 1994. It offered players the chance to play a first-person science fiction role-playing game with a rich and detailed world that could be tackled in a wide variety of unique ways. It rewarded creativity and established many of the conventions that games still make use of to this day and directly influenced the creation of games like BioShock, Deus Ex, Half-Life 2, and Metal Gear Solid. Looking Glass Interactive received critical acclaim for the game, but the games it created were ahead of their time, leading to lower sales compared with the straight-forward and immediately rewarding Doom. That brings us to the present day as Nightdive Studios works to bring a completely rebuilt version of System Shock to modern systems. Nightdive cut their teeth on revamping retro titles to play on new hardware. They are responsible for reviving I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, System Shock 1, and System Shock 2, and also played a part in creating modern titles like Skyrim and BioShock Infinite. The studio has been transparent with their development process, posting videos and screenshots throughout the creation of the new System Shock. The latest update showcases a number of the finished and finalized art assets in action. The System Shock remake is scheduled to release in 2020, so this video is still pre-alpha. However, seeing a small section of what will be included in the finished game is really exciting. You can check out the video below. The next development update will apparently show off the combat mechanics of the System Shock remake, which will be really interesting. One of the drawbacks of the original was the complicated control scheme that doesn't feel great if you go back to experience it. Modernized controls and mechanics would go a long way toward making the remake a success. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  13. Back in 2015, a small, four-person team based in France launched a Kickstarter with the modest goal of raising $44,000 to create a game in the classic JRPG mold. Their pitch for their dream game wound up bringing in almost four times that amount and development on Edge of Eternity began. Three years later and a team of nine people, Midgar Studio has released the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity along with a development road map - and the game certainly looks impressive as heck. Though released to the public, the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity remains very much in its alpha stages. It only includes the first chapter of the story that will bring players on a journey through the first major area of the game built around the hub city of Herelsor. The first portion of the Edge of Eternity's Early Access includes six self-contained sidequests and a number of procedurally generated quests alongside the main story. It will also contain a portion of the soundtrack composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, the man responsible for the soundtracks of Chrono Trigger, Xenoblade, and Shadow Hearts. The actual gameplay in Edge of Eternity combines classic open world roaming with turn-based tactical battles that rely on an innovative hex system. Players will explore, level up, and unlock new abilities by using a system that seems similar to Final Fantasy X's ability grids. With each major update milestone, the gameplay systems will be expanded upon and deepened with new abilities, items, and more. Edge of Eternity takes place on the fictional world of Heryon, a planet in turmoil following an invasion of technologically superior outsiders known as the Archelites. In order to survive, the nations of Heryon banded together under an organization called the Consortium and managed to trap the invaders within their mobile fortress by turning to the powerful magic found within the crystals native to their lands. The war entered a prolonged stalemate for decades until the invaders released a new weapon: The Corrosion. The plague ripped through the cities rendering those afflicted with it to develop strange mechanical mutations while slowly going mad from the agony of the disease. In an effort to combat the incurable sickness, those who brew too close to technology or made unauthorized use of it would be labelled as criminals and sent to their deaths. Edge of Eternity follows Daryon, a soldier for the Consortium who receives a fateful letter from home telling him his mother has fallen ill with the Corrosion. That knowledge spurs Daryon down a path at odds with the forces around him. Through a twist of fate, Daryon meets the renegade Selene, a young woman on the run after being found guilty of illegal use of technology. The two will need to rely on one another to survive in a world of war and monsters. Interestingly, Midgar Studio will also be including a set of modding tools for Edge of Eternity called The Eternal Forge that will come with a built-in mod manager. I wouldn't typically think of JRPGs and extensive modding, but the possibilities mixed with the solid foundations of the game itself. Following this initial release, here's what to expect coming as free updates in the near future, bearing in mind that each major update will include new zones, sidequests, monsters, items, and abilities. The Plains of Solna - Late February 2019 - Another section of the open world with a new city named Old Herelsor, the devs describe a farm "sheltering a very, very special creature," too. The Reunion - Spring 2019 - A new segment of the open world with an entirely different environment biome, a dungeon, and a continuation of the main story The Man who survived the Corrosion - Summer 2019 - A new city with expansive quest support and a new party member (it is a JRPG after all!) “As a small indie team of nine people, making an epic JRPG adventure is a huge and work-intensive task. We believe that the labor done so far and its results are already quite an achievement, but we’re still a long way away from getting the game to where we want it to be,” said Jeremy Zeler, founder of Midgar Studio. “Following on from our successful Kickstarter campaign, launching Edge of Eternity into Early Access allows us to further involve our community through the development. It allows us to get direct feedback on new story content, new areas of the game world, the general feel of the game as we expand and build towards the full, polished release our fans and followers are expecting us to deliver.” Edge of Eternity is currently available for PC players through Steam Early Access. People who buy it now will be able to help squash bugs and offer the team suggestions to shape development as the title heads for its full release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  14. Back in 2015, a small, four-person team based in France launched a Kickstarter with the modest goal of raising $44,000 to create a game in the classic JRPG mold. Their pitch for their dream game wound up bringing in almost four times that amount and development on Edge of Eternity began. Three years later and a team of nine people, Midgar Studio has released the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity along with a development road map - and the game certainly looks impressive as heck. Though released to the public, the Early Access version of Edge of Eternity remains very much in its alpha stages. It only includes the first chapter of the story that will bring players on a journey through the first major area of the game built around the hub city of Herelsor. The first portion of the Edge of Eternity's Early Access includes six self-contained sidequests and a number of procedurally generated quests alongside the main story. It will also contain a portion of the soundtrack composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, the man responsible for the soundtracks of Chrono Trigger, Xenoblade, and Shadow Hearts. The actual gameplay in Edge of Eternity combines classic open world roaming with turn-based tactical battles that rely on an innovative hex system. Players will explore, level up, and unlock new abilities by using a system that seems similar to Final Fantasy X's ability grids. With each major update milestone, the gameplay systems will be expanded upon and deepened with new abilities, items, and more. Edge of Eternity takes place on the fictional world of Heryon, a planet in turmoil following an invasion of technologically superior outsiders known as the Archelites. In order to survive, the nations of Heryon banded together under an organization called the Consortium and managed to trap the invaders within their mobile fortress by turning to the powerful magic found within the crystals native to their lands. The war entered a prolonged stalemate for decades until the invaders released a new weapon: The Corrosion. The plague ripped through the cities rendering those afflicted with it to develop strange mechanical mutations while slowly going mad from the agony of the disease. In an effort to combat the incurable sickness, those who brew too close to technology or made unauthorized use of it would be labelled as criminals and sent to their deaths. Edge of Eternity follows Daryon, a soldier for the Consortium who receives a fateful letter from home telling him his mother has fallen ill with the Corrosion. That knowledge spurs Daryon down a path at odds with the forces around him. Through a twist of fate, Daryon meets the renegade Selene, a young woman on the run after being found guilty of illegal use of technology. The two will need to rely on one another to survive in a world of war and monsters. Interestingly, Midgar Studio will also be including a set of modding tools for Edge of Eternity called The Eternal Forge that will come with a built-in mod manager. I wouldn't typically think of JRPGs and extensive modding, but the possibilities mixed with the solid foundations of the game itself. Following this initial release, here's what to expect coming as free updates in the near future, bearing in mind that each major update will include new zones, sidequests, monsters, items, and abilities. The Plains of Solna - Late February 2019 - Another section of the open world with a new city named Old Herelsor, the devs describe a farm "sheltering a very, very special creature," too. The Reunion - Spring 2019 - A new segment of the open world with an entirely different environment biome, a dungeon, and a continuation of the main story The Man who survived the Corrosion - Summer 2019 - A new city with expansive quest support and a new party member (it is a JRPG after all!) “As a small indie team of nine people, making an epic JRPG adventure is a huge and work-intensive task. We believe that the labor done so far and its results are already quite an achievement, but we’re still a long way away from getting the game to where we want it to be,” said Jeremy Zeler, founder of Midgar Studio. “Following on from our successful Kickstarter campaign, launching Edge of Eternity into Early Access allows us to further involve our community through the development. It allows us to get direct feedback on new story content, new areas of the game world, the general feel of the game as we expand and build towards the full, polished release our fans and followers are expecting us to deliver.” Edge of Eternity is currently available for PC players through Steam Early Access. People who buy it now will be able to help squash bugs and offer the team suggestions to shape development as the title heads for its full release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  15. Kickstarter is a wonderful thing for niche projects and it doesn't get more niche in video games than bringing a cancelled N64 game back from the dead for a fresh release. Piko Interactive is a small company that focuses on bringing obscure homebrew titles to retro consoles and resurrecting cancelled games. They've set their sights on bringing the action-adventure game 40 Winks to the Nintendo 64, a goal which would make it the first game released for the console since it was discontinued in 2003! If you've been hungry for a new N64 adventure for the past 15 years, then this one goes out to you. If the name 40 Winks sounds familiar to you, that's because the title actually did see a release on the original PlayStation. A port to the N64 had been planned, but was ultimately scrapped due to financial problems that plagued its development. The game is about a cranky old man named Nitecap who curses the magical winks, making them into hoodwinks. Two kids, Ruff and Tumble, embark on a quest to rescue the winks and free themselves of the horrible nightmares that have plagued them since Nitecap's curse. Ruff and Tumble have to journey through several different worlds made up of fantastic dreamscapes inhabited by various monsters and peppered with dangers. Luckily, they have the help of a wide array of transformations that give them various abilities. They can become monsters, superheroes, ninjas, among other forms. Unique to the N64 version will be a two player co-op mode that never materialized on the original PlayStation version. The Kickstarter set out with a goal of $20,000 and has currently amassed over $40,000 with almost a month left for the campaign to continue raising funds. If they manage to reach $60,000, a distinct possibility, Piko Interactive will put together a 40 Winks controller that backers of the special edition tier or above will receive for free. Two additional stretch goals remain a mystery. It's always really amazing to see so many people get passionate about old and forgotten games. Are there any cancelled games you'd like to see come out on their original console?
  16. Kickstarter is a wonderful thing for niche projects and it doesn't get more niche in video games than bringing a cancelled N64 game back from the dead for a fresh release. Piko Interactive is a small company that focuses on bringing obscure homebrew titles to retro consoles and resurrecting cancelled games. They've set their sights on bringing the action-adventure game 40 Winks to the Nintendo 64, a goal which would make it the first game released for the console since it was discontinued in 2003! If you've been hungry for a new N64 adventure for the past 15 years, then this one goes out to you. If the name 40 Winks sounds familiar to you, that's because the title actually did see a release on the original PlayStation. A port to the N64 had been planned, but was ultimately scrapped due to financial problems that plagued its development. The game is about a cranky old man named Nitecap who curses the magical winks, making them into hoodwinks. Two kids, Ruff and Tumble, embark on a quest to rescue the winks and free themselves of the horrible nightmares that have plagued them since Nitecap's curse. Ruff and Tumble have to journey through several different worlds made up of fantastic dreamscapes inhabited by various monsters and peppered with dangers. Luckily, they have the help of a wide array of transformations that give them various abilities. They can become monsters, superheroes, ninjas, among other forms. Unique to the N64 version will be a two player co-op mode that never materialized on the original PlayStation version. The Kickstarter set out with a goal of $20,000 and has currently amassed over $40,000 with almost a month left for the campaign to continue raising funds. If they manage to reach $60,000, a distinct possibility, Piko Interactive will put together a 40 Winks controller that backers of the special edition tier or above will receive for free. Two additional stretch goals remain a mystery. It's always really amazing to see so many people get passionate about old and forgotten games. Are there any cancelled games you'd like to see come out on their original console? View full article
  17. Ashes of Creation began as one of 2017's most successful Kickstarter projects. Asking for a whopping $750,000, the prospective MMO managed to raise over $3.25 million from interested parties won over by its pitch. Since then, more details about the game's design have been coming out in various updates on Intrepid Studios' blog and social media channels. For those unfamiliar with Ashes of Creation, the premise is that players take on the role of pioneers on a world that hasn't seen civilization for millennia. Players will be able to build communities and cities while exploring to uncover the secrets of the fallen world. Of course, that which can be built can also be destroyed, so player populations are expected to grow around cities, leading to the potential of organic, in-game wars to topple rival settlements. The goal is to create an organic MMO experience that forges a genuine world history for players and locations with something new always on the horizon. Ashes of Creation will be a subscription-based game with a cash shop that offers additional customizations for characters beyond the basics found in character creation. When creating a character, players will have eight playable races to chose from as well as a combination of two archetypes. Those can be combined to create up to 64 unique classes for players to choose from. The choices players make will supposedly have far-ranging consequences. The more player activity done in a certain area, the closer that area becomes to developing a settlement. Where a settlement is placed will have an effect on the surrounding monster populations as it grows. Quests will appear or disappear depending on how players choose to interact with the world. The focus of a settlement could wind up playing a huge role in the game for years to come. The effect players have on the world also means that no server running Ashes of Creation will ever be the same as another, presenting the opportunity for new adventures on other servers. The economy of the world will also be driven by players. Trading can be an incredibly lucrative venture, but players will have to create and defend caravans to successfully pull off a trading mission. That might necessitate hiring other players to defend a caravan from other players looking to loot a fat trade mission. These caravans will determine what kinds of goods and services a settlement, village, or metropolis might be able to provide. While the economy certainly lies players to cities and settlements, there are other mechanics in place that encourage players to invest time and effort into building up their home. When a player purchases a house in a new village, they can hold onto that property. If the village grows into a city, their house also grows. If that city turns into a metropolis, they will be in possession of a mansion. Owning property in a city grants citizenship, further tying a player to their homeland. Alternatively, players can settle far from cities and carve out their own existence in the wilderness. Of course, there are more conventional activities aside from literal worldbuilding. Players who yearn for the thrill of questing will be able to explore the world to find new locations for a prospective settlement or uncover the entrance to a new dungeon of the old world. Intrepid Studios aims to make these hostile, dangerous, and slightly frightening places to venture into - making it a choice with benefits and drawbacks for players to weigh when considering an adventure of that nature. Who knows what lurks beneath the surface of a monster-infested world? On the technical end of things, Ashes of Creation uses Unreal Engine 4 and will be optimized for PC hardware released within the last several years. There will be options for the game to be scaled up and down as needed. The team working on Ashes of Creation has an extreme level of pedigree, with members that have worked on games like Everquest 1, Ever Quest 2, Everquest Next, Star Wars Galaxies, BioShock, Gears of War, Planetside 2, XCOM, and many other projects. One thing that might give some people pause when looking into Ashes of Creation is the past of Steven Sharif, the creative director and CEO of Intrepid Studios. During the Kickstarter, some people noted that prior to making his fortune in real estate, he was involved with a company called XanGo, which is known for its multi-level marketing practices. Multi-level marketing involves recruiting unpaid people who sell a company's products with their recruiter earning a slice of the sale. While technically legal, this strategy typically brings unfavorable comparisons to pyramid schemes. Sharif being involved and profiting from his participation in such a company wasn't seen in a positive light (for reference, studies have estimated that about 990-999 out of every 1000 participants in a multi-level marketing company wind up losing money). Sharif gave an interview to Massively Overpowered to help clear the air. It turns out that he was recruited at 18 to sell XanGo's fruit shakes and vitamins. He managed to create a successful online store to sell these products and made money off of the sales that allowed him to go into real estate. He insists that while there are many companies that use the tactic in disreputable ways, there others like Avon, Marykay, and XanGo that operate on the level with a focus on selling products rather than recruiting people. All of that being said, Sharif's intention to create an MMORPG that's different than anything currently on the market seems genuine. As a long-time MMO gamer, he sees himself in a financial position that enables him to create a game that bridges the gap between open-world, consequential titles and the MMO genre, which has traditionally seen more static worlds. The overall impression of Ashes of Creation is positive. It possesses a vision of an interesting, vibrant world full of player-driven and reactive experiences. The possibility of a world built and governed by players certainly intrigues me.It leaves open the possibility for dramatic confrontations with a certain degree of real history and stakes that few games might be able to provide. The closest comparison I can think of is in EVE Online, where player controlled superweapons and battleships that take years to be built can all be wiped away by a colossal, coordinated raid. Applying that same mindset to cities built and maintained by players opens up a lot of possibilities. While the exact release date of Ashes of Creation remains nebulous, expect to see the closed alpha begin later this year, possibly in December, and a full release either in late 2019 or early 2020. View full article
  18. Ashes of Creation began as one of 2017's most successful Kickstarter projects. Asking for a whopping $750,000, the prospective MMO managed to raise over $3.25 million from interested parties won over by its pitch. Since then, more details about the game's design have been coming out in various updates on Intrepid Studios' blog and social media channels. For those unfamiliar with Ashes of Creation, the premise is that players take on the role of pioneers on a world that hasn't seen civilization for millennia. Players will be able to build communities and cities while exploring to uncover the secrets of the fallen world. Of course, that which can be built can also be destroyed, so player populations are expected to grow around cities, leading to the potential of organic, in-game wars to topple rival settlements. The goal is to create an organic MMO experience that forges a genuine world history for players and locations with something new always on the horizon. Ashes of Creation will be a subscription-based game with a cash shop that offers additional customizations for characters beyond the basics found in character creation. When creating a character, players will have eight playable races to chose from as well as a combination of two archetypes. Those can be combined to create up to 64 unique classes for players to choose from. The choices players make will supposedly have far-ranging consequences. The more player activity done in a certain area, the closer that area becomes to developing a settlement. Where a settlement is placed will have an effect on the surrounding monster populations as it grows. Quests will appear or disappear depending on how players choose to interact with the world. The focus of a settlement could wind up playing a huge role in the game for years to come. The effect players have on the world also means that no server running Ashes of Creation will ever be the same as another, presenting the opportunity for new adventures on other servers. The economy of the world will also be driven by players. Trading can be an incredibly lucrative venture, but players will have to create and defend caravans to successfully pull off a trading mission. That might necessitate hiring other players to defend a caravan from other players looking to loot a fat trade mission. These caravans will determine what kinds of goods and services a settlement, village, or metropolis might be able to provide. While the economy certainly lies players to cities and settlements, there are other mechanics in place that encourage players to invest time and effort into building up their home. When a player purchases a house in a new village, they can hold onto that property. If the village grows into a city, their house also grows. If that city turns into a metropolis, they will be in possession of a mansion. Owning property in a city grants citizenship, further tying a player to their homeland. Alternatively, players can settle far from cities and carve out their own existence in the wilderness. Of course, there are more conventional activities aside from literal worldbuilding. Players who yearn for the thrill of questing will be able to explore the world to find new locations for a prospective settlement or uncover the entrance to a new dungeon of the old world. Intrepid Studios aims to make these hostile, dangerous, and slightly frightening places to venture into - making it a choice with benefits and drawbacks for players to weigh when considering an adventure of that nature. Who knows what lurks beneath the surface of a monster-infested world? On the technical end of things, Ashes of Creation uses Unreal Engine 4 and will be optimized for PC hardware released within the last several years. There will be options for the game to be scaled up and down as needed. The team working on Ashes of Creation has an extreme level of pedigree, with members that have worked on games like Everquest 1, Ever Quest 2, Everquest Next, Star Wars Galaxies, BioShock, Gears of War, Planetside 2, XCOM, and many other projects. One thing that might give some people pause when looking into Ashes of Creation is the past of Steven Sharif, the creative director and CEO of Intrepid Studios. During the Kickstarter, some people noted that prior to making his fortune in real estate, he was involved with a company called XanGo, which is known for its multi-level marketing practices. Multi-level marketing involves recruiting unpaid people who sell a company's products with their recruiter earning a slice of the sale. While technically legal, this strategy typically brings unfavorable comparisons to pyramid schemes. Sharif being involved and profiting from his participation in such a company wasn't seen in a positive light (for reference, studies have estimated that about 990-999 out of every 1000 participants in a multi-level marketing company wind up losing money). Sharif gave an interview to Massively Overpowered to help clear the air. It turns out that he was recruited at 18 to sell XanGo's fruit shakes and vitamins. He managed to create a successful online store to sell these products and made money off of the sales that allowed him to go into real estate. He insists that while there are many companies that use the tactic in disreputable ways, there others like Avon, Marykay, and XanGo that operate on the level with a focus on selling products rather than recruiting people. All of that being said, Sharif's intention to create an MMORPG that's different than anything currently on the market seems genuine. As a long-time MMO gamer, he sees himself in a financial position that enables him to create a game that bridges the gap between open-world, consequential titles and the MMO genre, which has traditionally seen more static worlds. The overall impression of Ashes of Creation is positive. It possesses a vision of an interesting, vibrant world full of player-driven and reactive experiences. The possibility of a world built and governed by players certainly intrigues me.It leaves open the possibility for dramatic confrontations with a certain degree of real history and stakes that few games might be able to provide. The closest comparison I can think of is in EVE Online, where player controlled superweapons and battleships that take years to be built can all be wiped away by a colossal, coordinated raid. Applying that same mindset to cities built and maintained by players opens up a lot of possibilities. While the exact release date of Ashes of Creation remains nebulous, expect to see the closed alpha begin later this year, possibly in December, and a full release either in late 2019 or early 2020.
  19. The Onus Helm made its debut in a humble Kickstarter campaign that looks to secure $5,500 to finish development. The roguelike dungeon crawler stars an enigmatic character who awakens to find themselves in a mysterious, seemingly endless labyrinth with a burdensome, irremovable helmet placed on their head. To uncover the secrets of the helm and find freedom, players will have to navigate the dangers of the deadly maze and defeat the evils that have taken up residence in its ever shifting halls. The demo put out by developer B-Cubed Labs puts a full level on display. It takes the randomly generated room approach found in The Binding of Isaac and puts its own unique spin on the formula, something that could certainly intrigue fans in the retro-indie community. Players make their way through the dungeon room by room. Each room can hold enemies, secrets, items, or upgrades. Players will need to explore as much as possible to be prepared for the boss, a maniacal shadow that can summon floating swords. Each trip through the demo proves to be different. On one occasion, I was able to find a room in which an NPC played a flute on a tree stump. On another, I found a thief-like creature who gave me more insight into the surreal world of The Onus Helm where every character has been cursed with a similar helmet that they can't remove. Should you fall in battle, the next playthrough mixes up the dungeon, shifting the rooms in new and interesting ways. A small array of weapons can drastically how one approaches the enemies in-game. Players start out with a sword and an infinite ammo slingshot. However, there are many other treasures to be found or bought that can help the player survive. A larger sword upgrade can be obtained that makes melee combat much easier, a powerful bow with limited ammo or a boomerang can replace the slingshot, and bombs prove to be a necessity for both secrets and strategic combat. Potions, health upgrades, and other non-weapons can be uncovered, too. The look of B-Cubed Labs indie project is certainly arresting. Mixed with a more retro throwback aesthetic, a lot of influence from the original Legend of Zelda appears readily apparent. It manages to straddle the line between homage and novelty really well in a way that feels both familiar and different. The final version of The Onus Helm is planned to include simply more stuff than is in the demo. More rooms, enemies, items, weapons, NPCs, and bosses will offer a more fully rounded experience. The planned PC release will offer both keyboard and controller support and a built-in speedrun clock for those who feel the need for speed. The core game has been mostly finished so even if the Kickstarter fails The Onus Helm will likely see the light of day. The Kickstarter seems to be for funding additional assets and mechanics with stretch goals for even more stuff like more music, co-op, a console release, and a larger development team to add even more stuff into the roguelike generation system B-Cubed has set up. Overall, my impression of The Onus Helm was that it's a game worthy of time and attention. I hope it meets its goal in the next nine days and I encourage everyone to check out the Kickstarter and demo. It should release sometime later this year. View full article
  20. The Onus Helm made its debut in a humble Kickstarter campaign that looks to secure $5,500 to finish development. The roguelike dungeon crawler stars an enigmatic character who awakens to find themselves in a mysterious, seemingly endless labyrinth with a burdensome, irremovable helmet placed on their head. To uncover the secrets of the helm and find freedom, players will have to navigate the dangers of the deadly maze and defeat the evils that have taken up residence in its ever shifting halls. The demo put out by developer B-Cubed Labs puts a full level on display. It takes the randomly generated room approach found in The Binding of Isaac and puts its own unique spin on the formula, something that could certainly intrigue fans in the retro-indie community. Players make their way through the dungeon room by room. Each room can hold enemies, secrets, items, or upgrades. Players will need to explore as much as possible to be prepared for the boss, a maniacal shadow that can summon floating swords. Each trip through the demo proves to be different. On one occasion, I was able to find a room in which an NPC played a flute on a tree stump. On another, I found a thief-like creature who gave me more insight into the surreal world of The Onus Helm where every character has been cursed with a similar helmet that they can't remove. Should you fall in battle, the next playthrough mixes up the dungeon, shifting the rooms in new and interesting ways. A small array of weapons can drastically how one approaches the enemies in-game. Players start out with a sword and an infinite ammo slingshot. However, there are many other treasures to be found or bought that can help the player survive. A larger sword upgrade can be obtained that makes melee combat much easier, a powerful bow with limited ammo or a boomerang can replace the slingshot, and bombs prove to be a necessity for both secrets and strategic combat. Potions, health upgrades, and other non-weapons can be uncovered, too. The look of B-Cubed Labs indie project is certainly arresting. Mixed with a more retro throwback aesthetic, a lot of influence from the original Legend of Zelda appears readily apparent. It manages to straddle the line between homage and novelty really well in a way that feels both familiar and different. The final version of The Onus Helm is planned to include simply more stuff than is in the demo. More rooms, enemies, items, weapons, NPCs, and bosses will offer a more fully rounded experience. The planned PC release will offer both keyboard and controller support and a built-in speedrun clock for those who feel the need for speed. The core game has been mostly finished so even if the Kickstarter fails The Onus Helm will likely see the light of day. The Kickstarter seems to be for funding additional assets and mechanics with stretch goals for even more stuff like more music, co-op, a console release, and a larger development team to add even more stuff into the roguelike generation system B-Cubed has set up. Overall, my impression of The Onus Helm was that it's a game worthy of time and attention. I hope it meets its goal in the next nine days and I encourage everyone to check out the Kickstarter and demo. It should release sometime later this year.
  21. After almost a year and a half of development, Slipgate Studios will be bringing their adult-oriented action-platformer to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as updating the PC release with a host of finalized content. The release marks the culmination of promises made during the late 2016 Kickstarter campaign that introduced the world to Rad Rodgers. Conceived as a project to pay homage to the platformers of the late 80s and mid 90s, Rad Rodgers stars a child bearing the titular moniker who finds himself sucked into a video game world. With the help of Dusty, Rad's out-dated console which now has a face and a foul-mouth (voiced by Duke Nukem voice actor Jon St. John), Rad Rodgers becomes involved in a mission to save the First World, a jungle suffering from a corrupting disease. The first chapter of Rad Rodger's adventures comes with over five weapons that allow Rad and Dusty to blast, punch, and blaze their way through the First World. Explosions and hot platforming action are accompanied by a fresh take on retro platforming soundtracks composed by Andrew Hulshult, complete with synthesizers and a driving pace. Occasional glitches might occur in-game, which give Dusty a time to shine. The aged gaming console can then enter a mind-bending area behind the scenes called the Pixelverse where he can attempt to repair the glitch. While Rad Rodgers will be appearing on consoles for the first time, the PC version has been out since the tail-end of 2016. Those who already own Rad Rodgers will see an update that adds a huge collection of new stuff to the core game. Several new levels will be added along with new boss encounters, four new enemies, and redesigned puzzles. Players will be able to unlock hats as they progress throughout Rodger's adventures, meaning players will be able to customize Rad with over twenty different hats. Leaderboards will allow players around the world to strive to achieve the high scores on each level. Slipgate Studios have also added the Excalibat, a weapon previously seen in Rise of the Triad. As it does have a decidedly adult sense of humor, the game presents the option to bleep out objectionable language and replace the copious amounts of blood generated in-game with purple goop. The PC update releases alongside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Rad Rodgers on February 21. View full article
  22. After almost a year and a half of development, Slipgate Studios will be bringing their adult-oriented action-platformer to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, as well as updating the PC release with a host of finalized content. The release marks the culmination of promises made during the late 2016 Kickstarter campaign that introduced the world to Rad Rodgers. Conceived as a project to pay homage to the platformers of the late 80s and mid 90s, Rad Rodgers stars a child bearing the titular moniker who finds himself sucked into a video game world. With the help of Dusty, Rad's out-dated console which now has a face and a foul-mouth (voiced by Duke Nukem voice actor Jon St. John), Rad Rodgers becomes involved in a mission to save the First World, a jungle suffering from a corrupting disease. The first chapter of Rad Rodger's adventures comes with over five weapons that allow Rad and Dusty to blast, punch, and blaze their way through the First World. Explosions and hot platforming action are accompanied by a fresh take on retro platforming soundtracks composed by Andrew Hulshult, complete with synthesizers and a driving pace. Occasional glitches might occur in-game, which give Dusty a time to shine. The aged gaming console can then enter a mind-bending area behind the scenes called the Pixelverse where he can attempt to repair the glitch. While Rad Rodgers will be appearing on consoles for the first time, the PC version has been out since the tail-end of 2016. Those who already own Rad Rodgers will see an update that adds a huge collection of new stuff to the core game. Several new levels will be added along with new boss encounters, four new enemies, and redesigned puzzles. Players will be able to unlock hats as they progress throughout Rodger's adventures, meaning players will be able to customize Rad with over twenty different hats. Leaderboards will allow players around the world to strive to achieve the high scores on each level. Slipgate Studios have also added the Excalibat, a weapon previously seen in Rise of the Triad. As it does have a decidedly adult sense of humor, the game presents the option to bleep out objectionable language and replace the copious amounts of blood generated in-game with purple goop. The PC update releases alongside the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Rad Rodgers on February 21.
  23. The Kickstarter for Chronicle X is in the process of winding down. The tactical board game currently sits at a little over $450,000, more than ten times its initial goal of $40,000. The project captured the imagination of board game enthusiasts with its gripping conflict between a group of players controlling branches of the Chronicle X military organization and the Overmind, an alien overlord controlling the forces bent on conquering Earth. Archon Studio heads the development on Chronicle X, making this Kickstarter the second game they've produced. Their previous game, Vanguard of War, a relatively well-received tabletop that also found crowdfunding success. Gameplay revolves around players controlling heroes who have access to special abilities and equipment. Players take turns trying to outsmart the opposing side. As the heroes take damage, their other capabilities will decrease, making every action and reaction count and placing a great deal of importance to characters capable of healing. combat takes place on a map composed of four tiles that offer different terrain and features that control the flow of battle. The Overmind player controls the various aliens that populate each of the tiles, working to destroy Chronicle X. Players will be able to work together between missions to build a base with different upgrades that can be used both between and during missions. The turn-based board game offers an impressive array of miniatures made of a specialized material that maximizes quality and comes in a single piece to avoid assembly mishaps. To give you a sense of scale, the miniatures generally stand 32mm tall with some reaching 80mm. The folks at Archon Studio have even offered a money-back guarantee for Chronicle X - if players don't enjoy their time with the game, they are prepared to refund. If the change of heart happens within 60 days of the crowdfunding campaign coming to a close, the company will refund in full. If it takes longer to feel unhappy with the game, but before the game ships out, they'll refund the amount pledged minus Kickstarter's processing fees. After it ships, if players are not satisfied within 14 days of receiving Chronicle X, Archon Studio will still refund the pledge. Overall, Chronicle X looks like a really fun tabletop game for a decently sized group of friends. You can back the Kickstarter until tomorrow to nab some nifty bonuses. What do you think? Is this a game you'd be interested in playing?
  24. The Kickstarter for Chronicle X is in the process of winding down. The tactical board game currently sits at a little over $450,000, more than ten times its initial goal of $40,000. The project captured the imagination of board game enthusiasts with its gripping conflict between a group of players controlling branches of the Chronicle X military organization and the Overmind, an alien overlord controlling the forces bent on conquering Earth. Archon Studio heads the development on Chronicle X, making this Kickstarter the second game they've produced. Their previous game, Vanguard of War, a relatively well-received tabletop that also found crowdfunding success. Gameplay revolves around players controlling heroes who have access to special abilities and equipment. Players take turns trying to outsmart the opposing side. As the heroes take damage, their other capabilities will decrease, making every action and reaction count and placing a great deal of importance to characters capable of healing. combat takes place on a map composed of four tiles that offer different terrain and features that control the flow of battle. The Overmind player controls the various aliens that populate each of the tiles, working to destroy Chronicle X. Players will be able to work together between missions to build a base with different upgrades that can be used both between and during missions. The turn-based board game offers an impressive array of miniatures made of a specialized material that maximizes quality and comes in a single piece to avoid assembly mishaps. To give you a sense of scale, the miniatures generally stand 32mm tall with some reaching 80mm. The folks at Archon Studio have even offered a money-back guarantee for Chronicle X - if players don't enjoy their time with the game, they are prepared to refund. If the change of heart happens within 60 days of the crowdfunding campaign coming to a close, the company will refund in full. If it takes longer to feel unhappy with the game, but before the game ships out, they'll refund the amount pledged minus Kickstarter's processing fees. After it ships, if players are not satisfied within 14 days of receiving Chronicle X, Archon Studio will still refund the pledge. Overall, Chronicle X looks like a really fun tabletop game for a decently sized group of friends. You can back the Kickstarter until tomorrow to nab some nifty bonuses. What do you think? Is this a game you'd be interested in playing? View full article
  25. The fine folks at crea-ture Studios have been hard at work for the past month managing a Kickstarter campaign that aims to help them finish their skating simulator Session. Session has managed to succeed, cresting its fundraising goal and surging toward the various milestones set for it that would unlock additional features in the final game. The basic goal crea-ture Studios has for Session is to create as fluid a skating experience as possible. To that end, it employs a novel dual stick control system with each stick controlling a different leg. This allows for the performance of smooth and skillful tricks that rely on players understanding how to shift their weight between each foot. The mastery of this control scheme not only affects how players pull off tricks, but also how they maintain them. Shifting weight will have effects on the duration of tricks, making them either failures or flawless successes. In a major departure from previous skating games, Session won't have a scoring system. Tricks will be performed for their own merit with the option of filming and sharing them on social media. This combines with the in-game cameraman. Players can choose from various filters and angles to capture their tricks in the most flattering light before editing them in-game to share with friends and strangers alike. Inspired by the golden era of skateboarding, the early 90s and early 2000, Session's primary goal is to make you experience what skateboarding really is; an incredible sport where there are no other goals other than expressing your creativity and achieving success through hard work, perseverance and bits of madness for no one else other than yourself. Still, some people might find the lack of positive reinforcement via a points system perplexing, given the history of the genre. Crea-ture Studios explains it well in their Kickstarter saying: The main purpose of the game is to live the sport in its entirety. Feel what it is to be a talented street skater. Explore and tame the concrete, film yourself, your friends and share your footage on the internet with the worldwide skateboarding community. Session focuses on the authenticity of skating, both in the way the game feels and is presented to the player. Based on this philosophy, each feature makes the game even more innovative, fun and respectful to the skateboarding culture. There's still a week remaining on Session's crowdfunding campaign. The next stretch goal is solidly in sight CA$155,000 and the total raised so far sits at a little over CA$137,000. Beyond that, Session will have online multiplayer if the campaign can raise CA$255,000. If you aren't quite sold on the premise, but are interested in checking out Session to see if it might be interesting, the Kickstarter has put out a demo, which can be downloaded here. What do you think? Are you craving a successor to Tony Hawk's skateboarding throne? View full article
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