Experiment 101 studio head Stefan Ljungqvist spoke with GamingBolt about Biomutant and talked about combat, traversal, the world, and more.
Given the mixture of martial arts melee combat, shooting, and magical abilities in Biomutant's combat, it seems like there's a lot of focus on variety. Does that lend itself to build variety as well? How freely can players mix and match, or conversely focus entirely on one style?
There absolutely is a lot of focus on variety! You can mix and match just as you like. You can use all weapons, all skills and any equipment with every character and combine their use as you wish.
Based on all that has been shown so far, it seems like traversal is another area where the game is encouraging variety, and from various vehicles to things such as jetpacks and gliders, it looks like they're going to be plenty of options available to players. That said, do players have total freedom over choosing their preferred method of traversal, or are there sections of the world or within the story where specific traversal methods are necessary?
Yes, certain parts of the game - for example the big archipelago area, some of it is even polluted, so you will need your skiff boat to travel. But in most parts of the world, you can use a large variety of mounts, jetpacks, flying creatures and such to travel. However, you can't use certain traversal options in all parts of the game - the Mek is for example only available in the Dead Zone.
How much of an impact do players' choices have on the story and how it plays out? Can you tell us how many endings the game has?
Yes. Biomutant has 2 major endings in terms of the main storyline around the Tree of Life. Additionally, the Tribe War has his own possible outcomes, depending on which tribe you allied with and how you acted towards other tribes. And many of other choices you made during your playthrough will be reflected on when the game comes to an end.
@DSOGaming A newly released mod for Skyrim Special Edition lets you explore the entire province of Valenwood. There are more screenshots at the link.
Modder 'theblackfist' released a pretty cool mod for Skyrim Special Edition. Assault on Valenwood is 2.6GB in size, adds a new quest, and lets you explore the entire province of Valenwood.
In this mod, players will team up with the Imperial assault forces as they and their allies travel within Valenwood, taking the province back city by city. The native Bosmer and Khajiit populations will also join your cause.
The developers of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 were interviewed by Gamingbolt about the open world, branching story, atmosphere, and more.
Atmosphere and horror are clearly a big emphasis in this game, which is something that series fans will undoubtedly be glad about. Both of those can be very subjective things though, so how do you as developers ensure that you're hitting the mark in those areas on a consistent level?
With three games in the series, we think we have a strong vision of what players like and expect.
Also, the core team is located in Kyiv, Ukraine, and we visit the Exclusion Zone every couple of months - for the purpose of both work (photogrammetry) and inspiration.
So we can say it's a mix of existing experience and translating the cultural code. The whole thing is so powerful yet so subtle it's really hard to describe in words. You can be sure it's different for pretty much everyone. But probably it is the "atmosphere" people are talking about.
You're promising a massive open world with S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2- just what should players expect in this area where things such as size, design, and variety are concerned? Do you think it becomes harder to maintain a consistent level of horror and atmosphere when a game is set in a large open world environment?
Yes, maintaining the interest of the player is a challenge for every open-world game.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 is mostly about the new story, and we can't tell it without the open world. The player needs to feel the scale and the outcomes of his decisions. It is a long way so it can land an impact. A big journey with its own pace and outcomes.
Also, it's about seeing the Zone in her renewed beauty. The seamless open world is a thing the series always aimed for. Hopefully, the players will enjoy both the story and the world we're crafting. They are highly special for us.
Niche Gamerreviewed the action RPG NieR Replicant:
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... Review
When Nier was released in 2010, it defied traditional RPG conventions in a big way. It deconstructed the idea of a typical JRPG protagonist, who believed he was doing the right thing and had a noble goal. Most heroes have their own set of just principles, and they are usually morally black/white. Nier's themes challenges the player on what justice is, and wraps it in a bleak and cold existential blanket.
Imaginative, though it may be, Nier was a bit on the unpolished and rough side for a 2010 Square Enix production. The incongruity of the quality was made more apparent when PlatinumGames' NieR: Automata showed everyone how great the Nier franchise could be. Automata was such a hit, that the boys at Square Enix green lit a remake of the first game, immediately.
NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... wouldn't just be a remake, but would also be like a director's cut. Content that got cut would be restored, and the protagonist would be redesigned to match Yoko Taro's original intent. "Father" Nier would be reverted back to "Brother," and fans of Automata can experience where it all began.
NieR Replicant is still an imperfect cult game like it was in 2010; but now it's much smoother, a little nicer looking, and has a few extra features. A lot of what hurt the original game is still present and accounted for, like the new game plus that does not ever let the player go back to being the boy version of the hero, and the low budget presentation.
It would have been preferable if the dialogue sequences had a bit more cinematic flair to them instead of characters talking in flat wide shots, or if there was an option for the original soundtrack. While still deeply flawed, NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... is still highly recommended for its depressing existential scenario that makes players look at RPGs in a different way.
Being the hero is overrated. We've been there, done that and bought the mythril armour; for those of us who frequent fantasy video games, it can all begin to get a touch generic after a while. Then comes along a game like Legend of Keepers.
Upon reading the title, you'd be forgiven for believing this is going to be a hardy quest for adventurers seeking treasures untold, and in truth, there is treasure. However, unlike other RPGs, you're guarding that treasure from would-be heroes. That's right, you're the bad guy in this scenario.
More specifically, you're the dungeon master, in charge of ensuring that the monsters in your care (we use that term loosely) are up to the task at hand. You can crack the whip, quite literally, as much as you like within this game, but you still need to keep the monsters you're in charge of happy.
Summary Legend of Keepers is a delight to play. It has such character, both in its looks and humour, that it feels unique when compared to other games out there. For those who want to work hard to create undefeatable monsters and dungeons, there's plenty of scope to carve out your success. It's definitely a title to try out for yourself, even if you're not usually one for this type of turn-based indie RPG.
Enter a world of Inca mythology when action-RPG Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards comes to PC and Switch on May 26th.
Embody the role of Incan demigod Aluna, the warrior daughter of a Spanish conquistador and Latin American nature goddess Pachamama. Starring comic book creator and actress Paula Garces (Harold & Kumar series, On My Block, The Shield), Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards is a rip-roaring romp through Inca lore featuring mythological gods, beasts, and tales that formed the backbone of 16th century Colombian culture.
Raised in Spain, Aluna escaped to the New World only to realize it was her true homeland. Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards sets our heroine on a quest through Inca mythology as she strives to restore the amulet her goddess mother entrusted to her... and fulfill her true destiny. Venture from the Sanctuary seaside cliffs through the massive jungles of the New World, all the way to Nagaric's Temple in the Volcanic Canyons in this pulpy period adventure based on the comic book series The World of Aluna.
The first dev diary for Expeditions: Rome explains the game's vision.
DevDiary 1 - Game & Vision
Expeditions: Rome is a single player Turn-Based Tactical Role Playing Game set during the Roman Republic era roughly between 100BC and 40 BC, around the time when Rome was slowly starting to turn into an empire. At its core, Rome is an RPG, where you play the role of either the son or daughter of a patrician family, leading your Praetorians and Legions in battle across multiple regions while navigating the intricacies of Roman politics.
This leads us to our first vision statement. With Rome, we want to create an immersive, story-rich RPG with player driven choices. Right out the gate, you can choose to play either a male or female hero, and that choice has a major impact on how the story unfolds. That is just the first of many decisions you'll make, many of which can alter how your missions unfold, what types of quests you can take, and much much more. For anyone who's played previous games in the Expeditions franchise, you'll have some taste of what we're talking about here, but for Rome, we've really aimed to take the impact of choices to the next level. Expect to hear much more about this in upcoming DevDiaries.
We also wanted to bring an even more immersive experience when it comes to how we tell our story, and a big part of that was going for a fully voiced experience this time around. We can't even tell you how much time and care went into casting each character and making sure we can get the best performances we can, but we think you'll be excited about the outcome.
Our next major vision statement is about our turn-based combat. We feel we've learned a lot from our previous games. With Rome, we really focused on bringing exciting turn-based combat with a wide range of tactical options, driven by loot and character growth. There's way more variety in the weapon and class based skills this time around, not to mention a wider selection of items to use. We've also gone through countless iterations on the core combat system and encounter design with a focus on keeping combat fresh as the game progresses. And wait till you hear about our epic Siege missions, which we'll talk about later! There are almost limitless options for you to explore as you level up and equip your party to fit various playstyles.
In the fan question section of their current video Piranha Bytes' devs Jennifer & Björn Pankratz said that their "current game in development" (=ELEX 2) is already completely playable and they are fine tuning it. There's still a lot of work to do, but QA is already testing it and errors get eliminated all the time.
Some Quality of Life changes have been developed for Vagrus: The Riven Realms:
Devlog #46 + Project Update | QoL Improvements and Vagrus in the Finals!
There has been a number of Quality of Life changes to the game in the last couple of months and we wanted to collect them in one post.
The comitatus UI on the top left over the campaign map is one of the most frequently used interfaces in the game and we wanted to add several stats to make it more informative. To save space, we changed text to icons and now it also displays Nutrition and Obedience, as well as Combat Strength and Defense for Crew Combat.
Another addition to the comitatus
UI is the button to use the Traverse Leadership Perk - the last one missing from that category. Activating it converts 3 March Movement Points to regular Movement Points, which can be done every 3 days for 4 Resourcefulness.
When deploying your companions in Companion Combat, now you have the option to autofill the positions using the new button. The order in which they are deployed depends on their health (Wounded entities come later).
Similar to Autofill, this improvement helps with Companion Combat deployment. You can save and load three different formations. Especially since you can enter Companion Combat from Crew Combat, players have come up with their preferred setups so using Formations, they can access them very easily.
Chart Node Cards
These cards unify settlement and POI cards with quest and Task markers. Button mechanics are the same now and there is a significant visual tune-up, too. For settlements, Codex, Price History, and Mark buttons are available, while quest and Task markers have buttons opening the relevant Journal entry as well as Mark options.
These were improved to show how many nodes fall into the area designated by the marker. They are color-coded to be easier to differentiate even at a cursory glance. Better yet, preview versions of these same markers are available for Tasks and Passengers (if the destination is unknown for your character), so you can better calculate travel times and risks.
We hope you'll enjoy these changes - we have put a lot of work into them.
Also great news
Vagrus has made it into the finalists in the Digital Dragons Indie Celebration competition!
Besides the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places awarded based on the votes of the jury, there is also a Community Vote you can participate in here. The list is in alphabetical order, so Vagrus is the last one.
By the way, the voting for Untold Games Awards' community award is still on, so if you haven't, head over there, too, and have your voice heard.
Words can not express how much we appreciate your continued support. Stay tuned, stay safe, and conquer the wasteland!
RPGWatch's Pladio had the opportunity to ask Vince of Iron Tower Studio a few questions about their Colony Ship game.
RPGWatch: Hello Vince, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. Now that your new game, Colony Ship RPG is out for Early Access, can you start by introducing the game? What type of game is it and can you introduce the setting?
Vince: Like our first game, it's a turn-based isometric RPG with plenty of dialogues, skill-checks, branching storyline, and multiple solutions. It takes place on a generation ship - a giant colony ship traveling at sub-light speed, so the journey will take centuries. Many generations will be born on the ship and will die on the ship before she reaches her destination. Your character is one of the Shipborn, chained to a fate chosen by one of your distant ancestors.
RPGWatch: Will the ship ever reach its destination?
Vince: In the tentative sequel.
RPGWatch: For people who know Iron Tower Studio, your previous games, the Age of Decadence and Dungeon Rats, had a vastly different setting to this one. What made you depart from the post-apocalyptic Roman world to a space faring setting?
Vince: We want to tell different stories and I'm sure our audience wants to 'visit' different worlds. Hopefully they'll enjoy visiting this one.
Some people have noticed that our updated store page now has a release date!
It's May 11th!
Last week we had a news site announce our release date. I wanted to make a proper blog post announcement the next day, but some important programming stuff came up, and it slipped my mind. Indie teams and wearing lots of hats does that, unfortunately, so sometimes my "lead programmer" role comes ahead of my "community person" role. So, I decided to dedicate an entire blog post to talk about our early access release.
The game will release to early access next week, May 11th, 6 days from the time of this blog post.
Our efforts in the days before it goes live are mostly on ironing out the UX stuff we know about and fixing any obvious issues. Funny thing about obvious: when the QA team affiliated with Versus Evil started going over the game, they found a bunch of obvious issues that we just didn't see.
We're making sure that all unlocks work. We're adding missing illustrations to the encounters. We're playtesting the whole game from start to end to see if there are any wild balancing issues. We're fixing up bugs, adding QoL features, updating UI where needed, etc.
The state of the game is, in our opinion, good. That said, there might be obvious issues (see the note above about QA) that we've become completely blind to. If you find anything you have issues with, please tell us about it because we can't fix it unless we know about it. Our current plan is to do weekly patches, most probably on Fridays. The patches would contain any fixes done during that week by our 3 programmers, any balance changes our designers Mat and Mia decide on, and any visual polish and alternate maps and general art improvements our 4 artists do.
Please keep in mind that we are not a large team. As you can count above, we're 9 full-time people who are trying their best to bring this game to life. We can't do everything under the sun (like, for example, custom party character creation), but we try our best and prioritize things based on impact, importance, and reality. The more people tell us something is broken or something should change, the more likely those things do get prioritized and done, assuming they're even possible.
Some changes might be easy, some not. I'll try to communicate these things via blog posts where possible, and we're always present on our Discord server and Steam forums. If you want/like immediate communication, Discord is your best bet. If you're on the other side of the world from Europe or we're asleep, Steam forums are good enough as well. I usually make it a point to myself to respond to most questions and topics that benefit from an answer or at least an acknowledgment.
Today we would like to introduce you to ATOM RPG: Trudograd's 4th content update!
We have added unique missions for both factions, the police and the revolutionaries; we have added new side quests and characters to already existing locations; as well as new maps and even secrets.
Based on your feedback, we are also continuing to work on combat mechanics. For example, depending on the type of encounter, your opponents will now coordinate their actions more often, creating problems for the player character not only using their overwhelming numbers or high skills and stats, but also through the ability to work in teams.
In addition, we have revised the difficulty of some story-related battles and we hope that this will have a positive impact on the gaming experience of our community.
Also, we want to show you the ballistics mechanics which are currently under development and were announced earlier. The main idea of this mechanic is that bullets and projectiles fired from firearms and crossbows can now pierce through not only the first target, but also the one behind it.
For us, this mechanic is a big step forward, so we really want to get your opinion on this innovation. And don't forget that your opponents can do everything you can!
In general there are a number of additions to improve the gaming experience:
Now you can safely move from point to point on the Global Map, because to enter any location you will now need to confirm your choice with the "Enter" button.
Some temporary locations like the Cult Lair, etc. will receive an approximate difficulty level marker, ranging from 1 to 5 stars. The more stars, the more difficult the location and the battle on it will be. At the moment this system is static, but in the future it will hopefully be directly tied to the level of your character.
We have moved the shortcut keys for the actions "Information", "Steal", "Lockpick", "Repair" and so on, following the example of the original ATOM. These actions are available on the numeric keypad using keys 1 through 4.
A complete list of changes included in the update is available below:
Continued storylines for the Revolutionaries and the Police;
Added 5 new locations;
Added characters and quests for existing locations (Police, Docks, Factory, Grey Corner, Mikhalych's Tavern);
Added several new weapon modifications;
Added ballistics mechanics for firearms and crossbows;
Fixed a number of errors that caused the console to pop out;
Fixed behavior of special armor in cases when it runs out of fuel;
Fixed a bug with transferring Hexogen's characteristics when transferring progress from ATOM;
Fixed a bug that made it impossible to interact with the radio on leaving the location;
Fixed a bug where the player could kill Francis Liao without consequence;
Fixed a logic error when companions healed spiders during battle at the "Underground testing area" location;
Fixed a bug where companions changed their location after reloading a save;
MrMattyPlays looks back at Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen:
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen - RPG Time Machine
Let's travel back to the past in the RPG Time Machine. This episode hones in on Dragon's Dogma, a CapCom RPG that has gradually developed a devout following. While the game has continuously been re-released for a total for 7 years, it has yet to reach mass popularity. Melding mechanics from Dark Souls and Monster Hunter in one, it serves to be one of the most unique experiences you can have with a modern RPG. With that, let's go back in time to Dragon's Dogma.
Wizard Worm checked out the dungeon crawler Inferno - Beyond the 7th Circle:
Inferno - Beyond the 7th Circle Review (New Old School Dungeon Crawler)
Come see my Inferno - Beyond the 7th Circle Review. It`s a new dungeon crawler made in old school style. It's inspired by classic cRPG from the 90s. An old-school game for hardcore players. If you've enjoyed classic CRPG from the 90s, you will like this game. You will see inferno beyond the 7th circle gameplay and my first look.
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