Latest Publications

Unrest release date announced

UnrestPyrodactyl Games writes in to announce that Unrest, the RPG set in ancient India that we previously covered last year, will be released on July 23, 2014. It will be available on Steam at that time.

Back to Back: indie RPGs to fund

It’s been a few weeks since our last Back to Back–let’s see what’s new in the world of indie RPG crowdfunding!

Of the games we posted about last time, Beloved Rapture, Omori, Shiness and Witchmarsh met or surpassed their funding goals; Celestial Tear: Demon’s Revenge, Deadrock Divide, and Endless Fantasy The Goddess Story were not so lucky. (I’m still surprised that Deadrock Divide didn’t make it, frankly–I’m not sure what to make of that.)

As for new projects, things seem to have calmed down from previous months, but we definitely have a few promising ones in search of funding and glory! (Mostly funding, really.)


Medieval Story announced

Medieval StoryDaniel Olofsson of Swedish indie studio OddGames writes in to announce Medieval Story, wRPG / Zelda-alike hybrid he’s developing.

The narrative premise:

You are a local peasant (Edmond) from a small village called Mosscroft. Everyday seems ordinary and dull until you are set on a mission by the village noble which leads to unexpected adventures.

He is given the task to travel to the neighboring village called Fairbridge to find new seeds for sowing. Eager to find some change in his life he gladly accept the task; anything to get away from the farming shores and errands. However, Edmond quickly realizes that life is not so easy on the road. Bandits raid the country side, attacking supply caravans and unproven travelers. He must build up his skills if he is to survive in this unforgiving world…

Medieval Story features isometric graphics, an open world, non-linear progression and branching dialog. So far, so wRPG. However, Medieval Story does not feature experience points or levels; progression occurs through buying better equipment and finding hidden buffs and abilities scattered throughout the game world in true Zelda style.

Olofsson describes the game’s combat like so: “Combat is played in real-time. Each attack and block has to be timed to be successful. However, equipment also plays an important role in the outcome of a battle. Insufficient armor or a dull sword is not advised.”

Here is a trailer showing how all of this looks in action:

Some of the game’s planned features:

  • Story driven action.
  • Puzzle and exploration.
  • Control movement with either mouse or keyboard.
  • Use, drop, push or pick up objects.
  • Interactive character dialogs with hand drawn NPC portraits.
  • Simulation of time, night and day.
  • Dynamic shadows and lighting.
  • DRM-free.

Medieval Story is in alpha right now; there is an IndieGoGo campaign running right now to help fund the remainder of development.

Medieval Story is being developed for Windows, with a planned release date of early 2015. In the meantime, there is an alpha demo available if you want to try the game for yourself.

New release: Star Traders 4X Empires

Star Traders 4X EmpiresWord has it that the Trese Brothers have released a sequel to Star Traders, called Star Traders 4X Empires.

The premise:

The great Exodus has ending and the splintered Star Trader Factions are lost, tired of the endless travel, or too slow to keep pace with the main fleet. Alone, and without the protection of the mighty Templars, you must step into the position of leadership to guide the Factions to their new homeworlds among the stars. You must take command and help carve out a new Quadrant, and lead the refugees from near-extinction to prosperity in a turn-based empire building game. As a political and military leader, the you must use all of your diplomacy, spy-craft and economic savvy to build a winning strategy. Facing both internal and external threats, the player defends the empire from infighting political factions and hostile alien creatures.

Here’s the trailer:

The list of features includes:

  • Build a vast and mighty empire among the stars, manage a complex economy as you install mines, Spice Halls, Exchanges, Palaces and more
  • Defend your Quadrant from one or more Alien races bent on your eradication. Engage in massive fleet on fleet battles with hypersonic Torpedos, mass-driver Guns, Boarding and Planetary Invasion
  • Design and build endless combination of starships to ply deep-space and fight the Alien onslaught
  • Research and rediscover 100+ lost technologies on a sprawling tree
  • Strive to manage the Factions with a robust political system, using espionage and diplomatic power to end conflicts, foster treaties and enhance trade
  • Explore strange and dangerous anomalies among the stars to advance your civilization
  • 5 rich difficulty settings from easy, to realistic, to nearly impossible challenges

Star Traders 4X Empires follows the usual Trese Brothers pricing scheme, with a free basic Android version , a free basic iOS version, and a $4.99 “Elite” Android version.

A desktop release for Windows, Mac and Linux is planned for the future. To that end, Star Traders 4X Empires is on Steam Greenlight; you can upvote it there if you’d like to see it come to Steam.


New-ish release: ADOM

ADOMADOM is not new. In fact, ADOM has been around for literally decades. According to creator Thomas Biskup, ADOM (short for “Ancient Domains of Mystery”) is one of the Big Five roguelikes in existence, notable in large part for being the first roguelike to add to include “vibrant towns, NPC dialog, and quests” to the traditional, straightforward dungeon crawling that was the focus of its predecessors.

The narrative premise:

Deep in the mountainous ranges of the Drakalor Chain, Chaos has broken through into Ancardia and it’s up to you to decide the fate of the entire realm. You control a single character with a wildy varying set of skills, talents, spells and other abilities. Customized equipment makes each race/class combination a very different experience. Explore a mostly randomized underworld, fight monsters, loot treasures and uncover the many secrets lurking in the world of Ancardia.

So what’s “new-ish” about this? Well, y’see, ADOM had a successful Indiegogo campaign back in 2012 that allowed Biskup to expand it with lots of neat new features, including graphical tilesets and 3D support. You can see the fancy new graphical presentation in ADOM’s new trailer:

So that’s that–this game is old as dirt, but the new version is, y’know, new. What’s more, after a whopping 20 years of active development, Biskup has just successfully concluded his campaign to get the game onto Steam, where it will presumably be available in short order. In the meantime, you can download the latest version of the game for free from this page. It comes in Windows, Mac OSX and Linux flavors.

Also, one last thing: even though I am manifestly terrible at roguelikes, I will be trying this one out in the near future! (And probably dying. And recording it. Sigh.) Checks Out Boot Hill Heroes Part One

Dave Welch of Experimental Gamer was kind enough to send a build of Boot Hill Heroes Part One my way. As I tend to do, I sat down to play it for 30-55 minutes, and recorded what transpired. You can see it below:

My thoughts?


New release: Boot Hill Heroes Part One

Boot Hill HeroesIt has come to my attention that the spaghetti Western-themed jRPG Boot Hill Heroes (which we previously covered here) was released by developer Experimental Gamer a couple of months ago.

The narrative premise:

After an alleged attack by the Chepakwik Indians, the people of Bronco County are on the brink of war. Only a farm boy who knows the truth can stop it. Together with his three friends – a gunslinging desperado, an Indian princess, and a calamity jane – he must expose a conspiracy by bringing to justice the six outlaws of the notorious Saints-Little gang.

Their journey will take them through cowtowns, Indian villages, ranches, gold mines, prisons, and into the very heart and soul of the American Wild West. But on their epic adventure to right the wrongs of the past, will they see justice done or discover an even darker secret lying in wait behind the scenes?

As the narrative summary indicates, Boot Hill Heroes depicts a charming, cartoonish version of the American Wild West, complete with OK Corral style shoot-outs. The game’s graphic style reminds me of Earthbound, and it’s hard to imagine that that was anything other than a conscious decision on the developers’ parts. Boot Hill Heroes employs a particularly brisk active-time battle system with action points and support for 4-player cooperative play. You can see all of this in action in the trailer below:

You may notice that this release of Boot Hill Heroes is designated “Part One”–the developers explain that this is a full game of 12 hours length, not just an episode, and that it will be followed up by two sequels in the next year or so. (Part Two is planned for release this fall.) You can pick up Boot Hill Heroes Part One direct from the developer for $7.49; for now, it appears to be out on Windows only.

You can help Boot Hill Heroes Part One get onto Steam via the developers’ Greenlight page. For my part, I’ll be posting an Checks Out episode on this one shortly!


New release: Battleheart Legacy

Battleheart LegacyJohn writes in to inform me of the recent release of Battleheart Legacy, Mika Mobile‘s follow-up to 2011′s Battleheart.

If there’s a narrative premise to speak of, the devs aren’t talking. Instead, we have this:

The spirit of Battleheart returns, re-imagined! In Battleheart Legacy, you will explore a rich and detailed fantasy world, customize your unique hero with dozens of powerful skills and items, do battle with hordes of enemies, encounter quirky characters and discover the stories of a troubled realm. Will you become a powerful wizard, or a notorious rogue? A noble knight, or a savage barbarian? How will you forge your legacy?

Gone are the quirky 2D vector graphics of Battleheart, replaced with stylized isometric 3D. Gone is the real-time party-based combat system, replaced by direct control over a single character. To make up for the simplified combat, the game adds in some RPG elements missing from the original, such as open world exploration, branching dialog and quests. You can see the result in the game’s release trailer:

The devs state that the game features 150+ unique skills, 200 distinct pieces of equipment, 12 character classes, and a multi-classing system that lets you mix and match classes to customize your character.

Battleheart: Legacy appears to be an iOS exclusive; you can snag it from the Apple App Store for $4.99.

Data Hacker: Reboot announced

Behecog PostcardRoss Tunney writes in to announce that New Reality Games has begun development on Data Hacker: Reboot, a jRPG sequel to Data Hacker: Initiation and Data Hacker: Corruption (both mentioned in prior Back to Back articles). As with the rest of the games in the series, the setting of Data Hacker: Reboot is a sort of a Matrix-meets-the-multiverse thing, where everything occurs across distinct virtual realities powered by computers.

The devs describe the narrative premise as follows:

There exist countless virtual realms beyond our current understanding or reach; blurring the lines between the real and the virtual. The Cava are coming. Darkness incarnate; they are the pre-cursor to what is left of reality blinking out of existence once more. There is a hidden force behind them; a barely comprehensible foe. How does one defeat an entity whose being resides across multiple dimensions?

The following features are planned for inclusion in the finished game:

  • A classic side-view Turn-based combat system
  • Bond with Familiars for unique skills and attributes
  • Over 70 classes to unlock
  • Switching classes allows you to retain all learned skills
  • Hack both monsters and people for unpredictable results
  • Professional Voice-Acting
  • Optional dungeons, bosses and quests
  • Trioarch; the addictive trading card game, featuring over 100 cards
  • Town Building! Manage the ‘refugee’ town; including immigration, protection, resource distribution…
  • Player investment- your save file continues from one act to the next

Data Hacker: Reboot is currently on Kickstarter. Both of its precursors were successfully funded, and it seems that this one is on course to get funding as well (though I am assured that they’ll simply try again if the campaign fails). You can go pitch in right here if this title strikes your fancy.

DH:R is tentatively planned for release in January 2015; Windows only.

Back to Back: indie RPGs to check out

Hello, gentle readers! The time has come to once again take a look at the world of indie RPG crowdfunding.

Of the games whose campaigns have ended since we covered them last time, Bob’s Game, Chronicles of the Rift, Heart Forth Alicia, and Popup Dungeon all hit their funding goals. Courier and Forward to the Sky were not so lucky.

So what’s new on the funding horizon?