Dev Blog #2: Companions vs Followers for Project Witchstone.
Welcome back to the Dev Blog for Witchstone. In a series of regular posts, we're gonna dive into the cool features of the game that we're working on to make it a new kind of RPG experience. The very first one is an interesting addition to a well loved system...
Companions... and Followers!
While having companions to your main character is a long-time staple of many (honestly most!) cRPG's, we're using one of the options of the Influence System we've built the core mechanics of the game around to give you even more options when it comes to who you can have following you around.
Companions, in the normal sense, will be available to the player at various points and locations around the world. Because the nature of how each playthrough of Witchstone is wildly variable subject to choices the player makes, there will always be variance in which companions you'll meet along your travels. Among these we plan to have an interesting cast of characters that cover various tactical roles, personalities, and interesting interactions with the world as a whole when they become members of your party. While companions are more likely to stick around through thick and thin, you still need to be aware that they have a mind of their own, and while you do control them directly as a member of the party, their goals and wishes are still there, and their willingness to stick around can be affected by the player's decision to either address or ignore them.
Where we get to do something new and interesting is the inclusion of the ability to convince NPCs to follow you around by using the Influence System. The method you chose to employ is up to you, be it through persuasion, intimidation, or some other method, but a successful attempt will see that NPC willing to tag along with you for the time being. This NPC is still an independent thinker, unlike the companion members of your party who generally will be yours to control, so you may find yourself in some interesting situations if you have followers along while engaging in something they're opposed to. The autonomy that all of the NPC's in the game have still applies to followers you've convinced to come along, so you'll always have to be aware of your actions and the dispositions of anyone you have following the party to avoid (or even encourage) unforeseen outcomes.
One interesting use of the follower system that opens up a lot of possibilities for being able to physically bring NPCs to new locations their AI wouldn't normally bring them to, but their presence can create emergent events. Want the sheriff to come check out the nearby smuggler's hideout? If you can convince him to tag along, you can make it happen even if there isn't a scripted quest that would take the Sheriff there normally. Bringing certain NPCs into areas that create conflict is an obvious use, but on the flip side, inventive use of the follower system may lead to peaceful resolutions that aren't immediately obvious as well. Programming this level of reactivity into the systems is obviously challenging, but we think it's an important aspect of the "living word" feel of Witchstone. We hope its inclusion in the wider toolset we're trying to give players will create more interesting events and effects that step outside the traditional model of RPG design.
If you feel like recruiting every guard you can see so you can run around town in a big gang? Yeah, you can do that too.
....though bringing them all into a restricted area, was probably a bad idea.
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As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts, feedback, or anything at all. You can get a hold of the team by following the game on Twitter! https://twitter.com/WitchstoneGame
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Until next we meet Adventurers!
-The Spearhead Team
Screenrant has reviewed the Early Access version of Sands of Salzaar:
Sands of Salzaar Early Access Review: A Deep and Engrossing Sandbox RPG
Sands of Salzaar is an immersive sandbox RPG, blending elements of Dynasty Warriors, Diablo, Divinity II, and 4X games into something rewarding.
Ambitious sandbox RPGs often come out of left field. It's a rarefied genre with an invested audience, served by clutches of outrageously devoted developers. That's the space where Han-Squirrel Studio's Sands of Salzaar thrives, a Chinese-developed action-oriented sandbox RPG which centers on Middle Eastern culture and folklore, and it touches on everything from the Dynasty Warriors and Diablo franchises to city builders, 4X games, and visual novels. While many facets of the game lack polish or adequate instruction, Sands of Salzaar presents a vibrant and absorbing experience that will hook genre aficionados and newcomers alike.
There's a reason the Sands of Salzaar fanbase put in so much unpaid translation modding work prior to this full release: it's an inspired and engrossing RPG that delivers a fierce value for its modest price. It makes up for an occasional lack of polish with impressive and entertaining depth, and features an excellent soundtrack that somehow doesn't wear out its welcome 50 hours in. While the game is narrative-complete, Han-Squirrel Studio's attentive updates thus far means that more content could well be on the horizon, and a spirited mod community will only grow further with this English translation. Anyone wanting to lose themselves in a new sandbox RPG need look no further: Sands of Salzaar is it.
Genshin Impact is an openworld RPG inspired by the Zelda series
In a world called Teyvat, certain individuals chosen by the gods are given a Vision - magical gemstones that give their bearers the ability to control an element. The player starts out as a Traveler of unknown origin who is searching for a lost sibling. The player can choose between a male or female version of the Traveler. As the adventure progresses, the player controls several other characters met by the Traveler on their journey, each with unique personalities and special abilities, as they undertake quests to understand the truth about the primordial gods of this world.
The devs behind Visual Novel Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Heart of the Forest were interviewed by Gamingbolt about the game's setting, themes and choices.
Can you talk to us about the choice and consequence mechanics in Heart of the Forest and how significantly they will affect how the game's story plays out? Tying the choice and consequence mechanics with character attributes is an interesting concept- how deeply are the two intertwined, and how does the game ensure that choices don't become transparent as a result?
First of all, we have the main branching paths, some of which get closed with your choices and lead you through the story. But there's also another layer to this. At any point, your Rage determines how you see the world. The higher your Rage, the stronger your will to act. You are proactive and able to make more confident decisions. But this prevents you from seeing nuances of the world around you. The options you have become more binary. There's also your personality, which determines the description of places or objects, and which characters follow you or not. Your relations also can change. Your version of Maia can find herself in different places, with different companions at her side, or see everything in a different way.
The game has multiple endings and it will be really hard to achieve the best one.
@thexboxhub Visual Novel Vampire: The Masquerade - Shadows of New York has been released on PC, Switch, Xbox One and PS4.
Whether you're well-versed in the rich universe of Vampire: The Masquerade or a newcomer, it matters not in regards to the latest instalment. Prepare for a political themed horror in the form of Vampire: The Masquerade - Shadows of New York, which has just arrived on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and PC. Will it be able to satisfy your bloodlust?
Shadows of New York is a visual novel that works as both a standalone expansion of the Vampire: The Masquerade lore and as a complementary piece to the previous title, Coteries of New York. This follow-up proves to be a more personal and unique tale set in the world of the tabletop role-playing game. While the metropolis is familiar to some, Shadows of New York will still offer a fresh perspective as you get to meet new characters and visit new locations.
Wccftech reports on a new expansion for Conan Exiles called Isle of Siptah which has been released in Early Access.
What is best in life? Some might say it's to receive a new expansion to one of your favorite games. If Conan Exiles happens to be that game for you, you're in luck as Funcom has released the Isle of Siptah, a new expansion that's exclusively available on Steam Early Access for the time being. This major expansion for Conan Exiles adds in more than a dozen new dungeons, a Maelstrom map, and even a special Wartorn Rhino mount skin for picking up Isle of Siptah while it's in Early Access.
Star Renegades Review - Rogue-Lite Experience that Keeps On Giving
I'll come right out and say it. Star Renegades is a rogue-lite, run-based game in the style of some gritty Saturday morning cartoon. With that out of the way, you should be good to decide on whether or not this game is for you. However, I'd be remiss to not point out a lot more. In fact, there's a lot going on with Star Renegades, so if your interest is piqued, let's dive in.
Star Renegades is a love letter to tactical RPG fans who have been craving a rogue-lite experience that keeps on giving. While not quite at the mastery of Into the Breach in terms of depth, Star Renegades has enough to be excited about.
MMORPG reports that Ultima Online celebrates the 23rd anniversary by announcing Ultima Online New Legacy:
Ultima Celebrates 23rd Anniversary By Announcing Ultima Online New Legacy
Announced during a livestream today, Ultima Online: New Legacy, as well as released a shiny new trailer to celebrate the announcement. The MMO is meant to be a brand new shard, forgoing the current trend of bringing classic MMOs as they existing at launch to life again in a modern world.
"We asked a simple question: 'What is your Britannian Legacy?,"' UO designer Greg Havlusch explained during a celebration livestream today. "And the response was overwhelming. And what it showed us was, just like us, people who have had a chance to experience Ultima Online have an incredible connection to it: the nostalgia, the friendships [...] You just can't find that anymore. And started thinking and talking about how we can recreate that. And that's where this idea of Ultima Online: New Legacy came from, that is our ultimate goal: to recreate that nostalgia you once felt when you played UO, without having to be bogged down and face the barriers of entry that you would otherwise face trying to get into a gameworld that is 23 years old."
Ultima Online: New Legacy is leaning into creating a place for new players to jump into the MMO, as well as capture the nostalgia returning veterans can feel about jumping back into the world. New Legacy is the first new shard the team has released in 15 years, and will have an all new ruleset aimed at making the experience more intuitive, including changes to skill and gear progression, resource gathering, crafting and more. The New Legacy shard will be available to free-to-play accounts, though no official date for its release has been given just yet.
The High Seas Strategy Adventure Sea Legends will be re-released on Steam:
The year is 1667 and the sea is a dangerous place to be. As you set sail for a commission in Barbados, powers are at work that threaten everything you hold dear. A wayward uncle, betrayal, murder and the gift of a single gold earring - all have their part to play within events bounded by pirate attacks and international disputes.
In this exhilarating blend of role-playing adventure and swashbuckling combat, you must make good use of strategy skills and swordsmanship to solve complex puzzles. Build a fleet strong enough to take on the Spanish armada and wrest control of the seas from the misshapen misfit governing Panama - a man who, with the help of a mystical stone earring, aims to steer the destiny of the New World.
Fight full-scale ship-to-ship animated 3D battles
Engage in life-or-death sword fighting duels
A myriad of strategic puzzles and plot twists to unravel
Navigate the seas of the Caribbean, trading wares and managing your ship and its crew
Unique blend of multiple genre, all with the freedom to deviate from the main story for your own adventure
This is a fantastical tale of an exotic land. The Old Empire which once ruled the desert has fallen, leaving various tribes to fight for control of their world. Little do they know of the seeds of darkness which grow in the shadows with each passing day...
Epic War & Strategy:
Recruit and train your soldiers for both large-scale battles and skirmishes. Customize your hero's skills to become a martial arts master, powerful archmage, and more. Manage your resources, ally with different factions, and command your troops in real-time to win.
Explore a Dynamic Open World:
Roam across a giant map to encounter various characters, take on quests, explore dungeons for loot, and uncover tons of secrets behind this sprawling desert...
A New Adventure Every Time You Play:
With each playthrough, you become stronger and discover different questlines, using Legacy points to unlock bonus characters, abilities, and rare items.
Full Modding Support:
Shape your own desert adventure with a full set of mod development tools. Discover hundreds of Steam mods already available featuring large-scale campaigns, multiplayer maps, characters, perks, and more!
The classic MMORPG RuneScape will be released on Steam on October 14:
RuneScape is a high fantasy open world MMORPG. Explore an ever changing and evolving living world where new challenges, skills, and quests await. Featuring unprecedented player freedom, you choose how to play, adventure, and grow.
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