Latest Publications

Star Crawlers now in paid beta

Star Crawlers
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The Star Crawlers team has emailed me to announce that the beta version of their sci-fi first-person dungeon crawler (previously covered here) has now been made available to purchase on Steam Early Access.

It’s $19.99, though there is presently a discount. Windows, Mac and Linux.

Edge of Eternity announced

Edge of Eternity
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We previously covered Edge of Eternity on Back to Back–but given that it’s close to 300% funded, I think it’s safe to treat this one as a game that’s going forward with development.

In development by the four-person French outfit Midgar Studio, Edge of Eternity looks to me like the latest of a series attempts to capitalize on Square Enix’s recent failures. (And indeed, with a studio name like “Midgar,” how could it not be?)

In case there was any doubt that this is basically going to be a 3D Final Fantasy clone, the devs describe Edge of Eternity as a “tribute to JRPG classics,” with an active-time battle system and a mixed fantasy and sci-fi world. They write:

Edge Of Eternity s’inspire des mécaniques de jeu qui ont fait le succès de titres mythiques (tel que FFVII) pour en proposer une vision modernisée.

Which, loosely translated, means that they want to create a modern take on the jRPG using mechanics from mythic titles like Final Fantasy VII. The main thing that seems to set Edge of Eternity apart from FF7 and the like is the devs’ apparent commitment to breaking with linearity, providing an open overworld and a branching, nonlinear story.

Speaking of story, here’s the premise:

Heryon was once a peaceful world. For years, the crystals gave the three realms of Astrya, Junor and Dehostra, the same access to powerful magic powers and created an harmonious balance.

Then They came…They came above Junor first. In no time, their massive spaceship destroyed everything that was once a majestic capital city and they took possession of the realm. Reynan, Grand General of Dehostra’s armies, took leadership for the defense of Heryon. He founded the Consortium and used all the magical power the crystals could give to launch the counterattack. Battles after battles, the Consortium pushed the invaders back and got them trapped into their landed spaceship transformed into an invincible fortress. Unable to break the siege, the enemy made a dreadful move: unleash of a terrible biological weapon people will soon call “The Metal Sickness”.

Now, 30 years later, the siege is still going on and Heryon lives in pain and in fear of a new open war.

There are just under 11 days left on the Edge of Eternity Kickstarter. The “digital copy of the game tier” lists an estimated delivery date of December 2016; Windows, Mac, Linux, XBox One, and Playstation 4.

New release: Ananias

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Word reaches me that there’s a new mobile roguelike on the scene entitled Ananias. Developed by Slashware (a.k.a. Slashie, indie developer and creator of approximately one dozen roguelikes), this one is a traditional roguelike of the graphical variety, and is already up to version 1.56.

The developer describes Ananias as a straightforward roguelike with an interface specially suited for touch controls, and mechanics optimal for quick play sessions. The premise:

Dive to the bottom of the tombs of the gods using your smartphone’s browser. Take adventure with you everywhere!

If that isn’t descriptive enough for you, then perhaps the trailer will give you a better sense of things:

The game’s feature list is as follows:

  • Four player classes with different skills and play styles.
  • 41 enemy types, each with an unique feature that makes him stand apart from the rest.
  • Pick a monster to join you in your adventure, or transform a deadly foe into an ally.
  • Make your monsters evolve into powerful creatures using magic spells found into the dungeon.
  • Randomly generated environments, every game is a new adventure!
  • Explore five different environments as you dive into the bowels of earth
  • Hand-crafted authentic pixel art and Original Soundtrack
  • Challenge your friends online playing head to head to see who survives longer
  • Rise through both the global and friends ranking.
  • Play online on any modern browser or download for your Android device.

Ananias is available to play for free in-browser. In addition, those with Android phones can nab a free version and/or a $2.99 “Fellowship Edition” version that lets you play online with friends.

At PAX East!

Hello gentle readers! I’m taking a short break from posting while I attend PAX East (where I’ve already spotted such highly anticipated indie RPG titles as Severed and Liege). Anyway, fret not–posting will resume next week!

Telepath Tactics release date announced

Telepath Tactics
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After several long years in development, it appears the strategy RPG Telepath Tactics has now been given a firm release date.

The game has changed quite a bit since I first posted about it here, both in terms of focus and level of completion. Whereas multiplayer was supposed to be the main event back in 2012, it’s now focused on a Fire Emblem-style single player campaign–and that campaign is now finished, reportedly clocking in at close to 40 hours in length.

Here’s the last proper trailer to come out for Telepath Tactics, showing off the game’s completed animations and attack effects:

Telepath Tactics will be coming out for Windows, Mac and Linux on April 16, 2015.

Back to Back: Indie RPGS to fund

Since we last looked, only one Kickstarter campaign from our last Back to Back has ended: Himeko Sutori, unsuccessfully. Luckily, a bunch of games remain in search of crowdfunding, and we have a whole raft of new ones joining in this time around:

(more…)

Severed announced

Severed Large
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So! I was poking around the internets, as I often do, when I discovered that DrinkBox Studios, creators of the critically acclaimed Guacamelee, have been working on a first-person dungeon delver. It’s called Severed, and it has you playing as a young woman with a fantastical (and fantastically literal) sword arm.

The premise:

In Severed you play as a distraught warrior, who is lost in a fantastical world. She is tasked with the challenge of knitting together pieces of her story from both the past and the future. Our heroine will embark on a journey through a surreal non-linear world using a gesture based combat mechanic to defeat enemies in this first person adventure. Unlock new abilities, discover secrets of the land, and grow in power as you master both offensive and defensive techniques. Let Severed be your mystery to unravel.

The trailer shows off tile-based exploration of an incredibly colorful, borderline-psychadelic world, as well as combat that appears to use player gestures to direct sword slashes against specific portions of your enemies’ anatomy:

The planned features include

  • Use touch-based combat mechanics with offensive & defensive techniques against a variety of enemies
  • Have autonomy over upgrade paths
  • Gain abilities from Totems—magic armor created from the remains of defeated bosses
  • Force enemies into vulnerable states, then sever their body parts to upgrade equipment and abilities
  • Choose how to progress through branching routes as you avoid hazards and solve puzzles

Severed is planned for release in Summer 2015 for the Playstation Vita. (The developers have declined to comment on whether it’ll be getting ported to other platforms, though given the touch-based combat system, porting to smart phones strikes me as an obvious choice if the game does well enough.)

New release: Forward to the Sky

Forward to the Sky
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Wei Chen of Taiwanese developer Animugame writes in to inform me of the release of Forward to the Sky, the 3D Zelda-alike we last discussed here.

The premise:

Once upon a time, there was a great tower in the sky. People were mining crystal with delight during the prosperous days. Until that disaster happened…… Time past, the history had been forgotten. And now, it emerged from the clouds again – the sky tower.

Reveal the story of the sky tower.  … You are going to collect all the crystal pieces to connect the story and everything will be revealed once Princess reaches the top level.

So there you have it–nice and straightforward. Wei states that game involves a mixture of combat, puzzles, and platforming, though you could probably gather as much by watching the trailer:

Though the game takes place in a single location (the sky tower), there are 6 different areas to traverse as you ascend.

Forward to the Sky is available on Steam for Windows, Mac and Linux–$7.99.

MyRPG Master announced, in paid alpha

MyRPG Master
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It’s been a while since I last posted about an RPG creation tool, but it looks like we have a new one on the horizon. In development by French indie Dragon Head Studio, MyRPG Master is designed to let you create 3D RPGs without any coding.

Dragon Head Studio provides a powerful 3D engine, with simple editors, that will give the users the unique opportunity to build nice and rich 3D worlds.

MyRPG Master includes a terrain editor, a river editor, the ability to edit characters and objects, and so on. It also lets you test out what you’ve made in-editor, which–speaking as an RPG developer–is a pretty darn handy thing to have. This trailer shows a few of the program’s editors in action:

The developers state that MyRPG Master is planned to have two other notable features:

  • a large built-in object library the user can use to build their own worlds and adventures. This library is updated on weekly basis with new assets and will offer thousands of flora, fauna, buildings, creatures and many more items. And for even more creativity, users can add any 3D object of their choice through the collada files importer.
  • another feature widely expected by RPG creators: the opportunity to choose their own rule system. They can choose between dice systems, like in classic pen and paper games, or formulas like in most MMORPGs. They can also work on their full own rule system or import those of their favorite pen and paper RPG.

MyRPG Master is currently in alpha, with only some of its editors currently implemented. According to the developers, the program’s “Rules and Universe editors will be progressively released over the next months.”

Just as importantly, you can’t actually release the games you make with it yet. The devs note that games made with MyRPG Master will be playable by people using a free but yet-to-be-released client called “MyRPG Player.” As for creating standalone executables, “[a] special program called ‘MyRPG Indie’ will also be available later for ambitious projects wishing to plan a stand alone release.”

Even so, if you want to get in on it early, you can snag MyRPG Master for $39.99 on Steam Early Access. Windows only.

The developers state that they plan for a beta release this summer, and final release by the end of 2015.

New release: Elendia Ceus

Elendia Ceus
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The ever-prolific Aldorlea Games writes in to announce the release of Elendia Ceus, a new jRPG they’ve developed.

The premise:

What lies beneath the skies?
This is a question nobody in the cloud world of Elendia wants answered -
nobody but one man, LaCaster, who lost his wife as she passed to the other side.
And because the prophecies say Elendia will collapse if a breach is made through to the other world, you have to stop LaCaster from trying to revive his wife. But he is a general of the Kingdom and you are only a pirate. He has the power and you are barely legal. In such impossible adversity, do you have what it takes to stop the imminent disaster from happening?

Well? Do you? Do you?!

Here are some of the game’s features, per the developer:

  • Mouse control
  • 3 modes of difficulty
  • 20+ Hours of epic and rich gameplay
  • Choose whether your characters are “astrology-aligned” for more depth and strategy
  • 50+ secret rooms to discover (and even mega secret rooms!)
  • 6 Relics, 8 Artifacts, 7 Legends, 4 Dragons etc.
  • Colyseum with 3 Leagues for you to test your skills

There’s a free demo available here; you can nab the full game for $19.99. Windows only.