Tag Archives: Kickstarter

On Making the Jump

As I write this, the Kickstarter for Battle Chasers: Nightwar is just out of the gate, and the one for an RPG based on the Infinity Miniatures game should be launching at some point soon (allegedly Tuesday). I find the timing interesting, because these are both cases of properties branching out to slightly different fields. Cross-media is getting me in trouble, but it’s almost always interesting.

The date is obviously not still accurate.
The date is obviously not still accurate.

Comic->Video Game

On reflection, this isn’t an uncommon transition (although it usually goes Comic->Movie->Game). I was actually directed to this initially without knowledge that Battle Chasers had been a comic. The art (both concept and prototype) is awesome, and I found it a bit familiar. Then I found out that Joe Madureira was the artist and knew why. This one seems to have a few Ex-Vigil staff on board, but it remains to be seen if they can do a turn-based RPG as well as they did Zelda. (I’m not going to listen to any arguments that Darksiders is not Zelda.)
Battle Chasers Key Art

Wargame->Tabletop RPG

On even further reflection, I’ve seen this one before too, from Iron Kingdoms. Iron Kingdoms is in a bit of an odd place here, because it started as a d20 Campaign setting and underwent this process in the opposite direction. The resulting minis game (Warmachine/Hordes) ended up as the more popular product. Infinity is actually somewhat similar, in that it grew out of a home-brew campaign setting. Aware of this, Tam attempted to work the rules into a workable system, but it didn’t go very far. (This was before the customizable spec-ops rules existed). Some of the unique characters in the Nomads faction were the original PCs.
Zoe and Pi-Well
The current Iron Kingdoms rules are a direct conversion of the Warmachine/Hordes rules, with some additions made for things player characters do that minis usually don’t, like talking to people, or actually recovering from injury. The result is that minis from the wargame are perfectly valid enemies once you give them more than a single hit point. (There are exceptions. Named Casters are generally not going to be reasonable opponents, for instance.) The Infinity rules seem to be going a slightly different route. It’s using a system not based on the minis game, but instead just preserves elements of it. Ability resolution is familiar, but not identical; it still uses d20s in a blackjack-like way, but from there the games diverge greatly. I missed the playtests, so I don’t know that much about it, but it’s a custom system that uses 2d20s to generate a number of successes.
Bran Do Castro
While Corvus Belli (The company that produces Infinity) isn’t directly responsible for the RPG, they are producing materials to go with it. I really look forward to seeing what happens with it. The original Bran Do Castro seems to like it, so here’s hoping I do too.

On Secondary Sin

Blaugust Post #23

Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition is coming out “soon” on PC and the current console generation. I never finished it, but I am a big fan of the original release. Owners of the original will receive the enhanced edition for free, which is in line with what they’ve done for their previous games.

DivinityOS2

A sequel, Original Sin 2, is now on Kickstarter. It’s one of the cases where simply promising more of the same would probably get me interested, but it looks like they’re doing a lot more than that. One of the best features of Original Sin is the ability to disagree with your partner, which results in you playing Rock Paper Scissors against each other. Points for winning are determined by your persuasion stat, and the first to 10 gets to determine what the party does.

Disagreement

Original Sin 2 seems to expand on this concept, and actually let the party work on objectives at odds with each other. No word on if it will allow what Tam refers to as the “GM Victory”, but I honestly kind of hope so. It also expands co-op to include up to 4 players.

4 Players

They’re also tweaking the battle system, which was already one of the best turn-based systems I’ve seen in a long time. Given the character I played the first time around (a ranger-type) I’m not sure a cover system is going to be terribly helpful, but I’m willing to give it a chance. More interactions mostly increases the potential for unintended hilarity. And I appreciate that there are more options for the player than just humans.

Travelers

I haven’t looked forward to a Kickstarter game this much in a long time. It smashed its funding goal on the first day, so it seems likely we’ll be playing this at some point next year.

On Running, Continued

Blaugust Post #19

SRHK

Shadowrun: Hong Kong came out yesterday. It’s the third Shadowrun game to come out of Harebrained Schemes since the Shadowrun Returns Kickstarter. For those who are not familiar, Shadowrun Returns was one of the first games to actually release from the big Kickstarter blitz in 2012. The Kickstarter promised 2 campaigns, and the game released in 2013 with the first one, Dead Man’s Switch. The second, Dragonfall, released as an expansion in early 2014. It got a standalone Director’s Cut release later in the year, with an updated engine. We played Dragonfall for Aggrochat Game Club.

Dragonfall seemed to be a product of having about the same amount of time to make a story+art as they had to make a story+art+engine for Dead Man’s Switch. More effort is devoted to characterization, you have a standard team, and it’s quite a bit longer. Generally speaking we seemed to like it, although if you’re going to play it for yourself, listen to the podcast afterwards, it’s full of spoilers.

Once More, With Feeling

Shadowrun: Hong Kong had its own Kickstarter, and I guess experience pays off. It released exactly when planned, which is nearly unheard of for Kickstarter games so far. I haven’t yet played it, but even starting it reveals that production values are quite a bit higher this time around. The character models are much higher resolution, the UI is cleaner, and it even starts with a voice acted cutscene. (Although I didn’t find any options for subtitles. Baby steps…) I’m currently in the middle of another RPG so I probably won’t get to this immediately, but I’m really looking forward to giving this a shot. Maybe I won’t play a troll adept who cuts things in half with a sword this time?

Seems Unlikely.
Seems Unlikely.

On 1812

If you heard the podcast from February 1, you may have already heard a bit about Overture (I mentioned it again on February 8). Since the podcasts I’ve learned a bit more about it, and I’d like to share. It’s an interesting game, if a bit basic, and I’ve lost several hours to it already.

Background

Overture is in many ways a real-time roguelike in a more traditional sense than that normally implies. It has somewhat randomly generated levels (although they all appear to be overall rectangular, so that part isn’t that interesting), random enemies, and swift death when you’re still learning what you’re doing. Play somewhat resembles games like Diablo, except you move with WASD and attack with the mouse. You move somewhat faster when moving in the direction you’re facing and not attacking, which it turns out is an important mechanic. The game asks you to defeat enemies in 10 levels while challenging a boss at the end of each. Beating a boss allows you to upgrade either your health or your mana, and you are also given the opportunity to spend gold on random chests.

When you inevitably die, you retain the gold your character finished with, and you can use it to upgrade characters or unlock new ones; it’s somewhat similar to Rogue Legacy in this sense. Upgrading only seems to improve your damage output, not your resources, so you still need to remain evasive or you’ll die pretty quickly. Items in the dungeon can improve your attack, defense, and mana regeneration, generally speaking. Weapons frequently have another effect that triggers on-hit, essences frequently have a similar effect on-kill. These can range from bursts of damage, to more gold, to potion drops.

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Meet the Cast

The playable classes are divided into 4 groups of 5 classes: Warriors, Rogues, Mages, and Shamans, where that last one houses everything that didn’t fit neatly into the first 3 categories. Generally warriors have higher defense, rogues move faster, and mages have significantly faster mana regeneration. Most Shamans have one of these also (Paladins have the defense of warriors, Priests have the mana regen of mages, etc.), but a few are slightly different. There are both short-range and long-range classes in most categories, although mages tend toward long-range and warriors tend toward the opposite.

All classes have a “standard” attack on right-click, these vary in effectiveness and range by class. Some examples here are the Peltast (warrior) who throws spears that go through enemies, the Trickster (rogue) who can attack wherever the cursor is without a projectile, and the Invoker (mage), who has a very short-range, very low damage fireball. Right click is usually a secondary attack that costs mana, usually . The Barbarian (warrior) gains a stackable damage aura, the Witch (mage) has a very powerful spray attack, and the Bandit (rogue) has a fan of knives burst.

A few classes have a right-click that isn’t a one-off attack. The most notable case is the Invoker, who becomes a demon with a primary attack that shoots homing fireballs. This form drains mana and you revert to the very weak base form when it runs out. The Brute works similarly, turning into a hammer-throwing berserker, but the brute isn’t quite as helpless when not transformed and has some big disadvantages for transforming. There’s also a Druid (shaman), who only spends mana on switching forms, and doesn’t have a noticeably stronger one. The caster form has a long-ranged magic missile, but moves slowly. The wolf form is very fast (faster than most rogues) and has a high attack speed, but a very short-range. Departing from the transformation theme, there are also oddballs like the Arsonist (mage), who randomly lights fires when right-click is held, or the Necromancer (mage) who summons skeletons.

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Meet the Opposition

There are a lot of enemies in this game, and depending on enemy type they seem to act slightly differently. A lot of them are fairly basic and will merely walk toward you, like most skeletons, and rats, and bats. Minotaurs are a special case because they also have this behavior, but are much, much faster than most other enemies, so they usually feel like they’re charging you. There are quite a few archer or mage-type enemies that will attempt to shoot at you from afar, most of them will try to avoid you if you approach them. Others will just continue trying to shoot you in the face. Behaviors seem to get more complex as you get further into the dungeon, and I haven’t seen the later floors yet.

There are also champion-type enemies that get a random name and more health and damage; if they have other properties I haven’t noticed. These aren’t usually a threat by themselves, but traps sometimes call 3-4 of them in addition to a swarm of normal enemies, and that can cause problems. There are also minibosses with somewhat more varied abilities, these are a threat on their own. Most levels have a large slime that thinks it’s a boss from a bullet hell game guarding the staircase. This was the cause of death for most of my first characters.

Of course, then there are the actual bosses. The “tutorial” warns you that you need to be able to move fast in boss fights, and that’s largely accurate. The game doesn’t pull punches, and sometimes has bosses that rush you in addition to their projectile attacks. Boss tactics don’t stop there, and they can also summon other enemies, lay traps, or interfere with you in other ways. Now that I’m getting more familiar with the game, the level bosses are my most common cause of death.

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Apparently this is a thing you can do

I didn’t know about it when I mentioned it, and it ended before I could point it out, but Overture actually had a Kickstarter conclude recently, even though the game is “finished”. The goals of the campaign were to get it on more platforms (Mac & Linux), soundtrack improvements, and performance improvements. I had mixed feelings about this at first, but after a while I concluded that I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Nowhere are the developers misrepresenting the product currently for sale or what they wanted to do with the Kickstarter. It’s an interesting step in post-release support, but not an entirely unwelcome one. I’m just not sure I personally would buy the game again just to get my money added to the Kickstarter pool.

I do recommend Overture to anyone looking for a generally uncomplicated roguelike where things might get a little crazy. I’m certainly having fun with it.
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On Current Events, #3

This is going to be a short one, but some crazy stuff happened recently.

Fantasy Iron Chef

battle_chef_brigade
Battle Chef Brigade is a game that I heard about in January, and it was just pointed out to me yesterday that it’s on Kickstarter now. It’s from a studio that has already released a few mobile games, and I really like the concept here. The characters also look awesome, and the price for the game itself ($15) is right. I intend to keep an eye on how this one shapes up.

The Man Who Arranges the Blocks

tetris
This might be competition for the Battleship movie, but the company behind the Mortal Kombat movies is making a movie about Tetris. There’s no good way to talk about this without it sounding insane, especially since he refers to it as “a very big, epic sci-fi movie”. There’s nothing I can add here that hasn’t already been said by Penny Arcade (in a comic that’s 11 years old, even). Either way, it’s unlikely to be as good as this video:

October Approaches

It’s time for the AAA Blockbusters of the year to come out, along with pumpkin-flavored everything. I’d hoped that Destiny would have enough longevity to carry me through the temptation of picking up a lot of these, but that doesn’t appear to be the case (more on that later). As a result, there’s a very strong itch for a good co-op game this fall. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is on the way, but their marketing campaign is giving me a lot of pause. This is unfortunate, because Borderlands 2 is one of my most-played games on Steam, behind Skyrim and Dragon Age. Speaking of which, Dragon Age: Inquisition is another game to watch, since DA:Origins is one of my favorite games and DA:2 is… not. Even if the campaign isn’t great, it’s including a Mass Effect 3-like multiplayer mode, and that might be entertaining enough. There are many more things for the rest of the year; Civilization: Beyond Earth and Super Smash Bros 4 are the ones I’m most looking forward to.

Current Events #1

Since I’m not going to be around to partake in the podcast this weekend, I’ll use this as an opportunity to comment on current things. Let’s get rolling!

Amplitude Kickstarter

The best rhythm game on the PS2 is getting an HD remake/sequel for the PS3/PS4 if it can hit a rather lofty goal here on Kickstarter. This was an incredibly fun experience in solo, local multi, and online multiplayer, and I really want this to succeed. That said, I dunno how well a PS-exclusive kickstarter for a niche genre will do, even coming from the company responsible for the original (and Guitar Hero, and Rock Band, and Dance Central).amplitude

Pokémon Announcement

Nintendo announced two new Pokémon games today: “Omega Ruby” and “Alpha Sapphire”. Presumably these are remakes of, or at least related to, the original Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire that originally released for the Game Boy Advance twelve years ago. There’s not much info to go on here, but I hope they address some things wrong with these games the first time around. Team Magma had it right: Hoenn has entirely too much water. An eternity encountering Tentacool doesn’t make for an interesting game.
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Final Fantasy Five Four Job Fiesta

Not exactly current, as registrations are still almost a month away, but it has a blog here, a twitter here, and a subreddit here. The Final Fantasy 5 Four Job Fiesta is an event in which people agree to play through FF5 (the best Final Fantasy) under the constraint that you can only use 4 jobs out of the 20 normally granted to you over the course of the game. It started as a fun thing on a forum in 2009, and spread beyond the forum to become a fundraiser in 2011. Last year it raised $7,475 for Child’s Play. I encourage you to register and play this year even if you’ve never played FF5 before, especially since the release of the android/iOS versions makes getting a copy much easier.YHEJu3_C7HpHiCBI