Latest Publications

Way Walkers announced

Choice of Games writes in to announce yet another RPG / Choose-Your-Own-Adventure hybrid by the name of Way Walkers. The premise sounds rather promising:

In a metaphysics driven society where freewill is law, your choices are your own as you attend the most prestigious of magical schools.  Learn to master psychic Ability, fight monsters, argue with an Angel, cut classes, befriend unusual races, chase ghosts, and navigate through an exciting city full of in depth characters in an exquisitely detailed world.

Way Walkers is due for release next month on the usual platforms: web, Android and iPhone / iPad.

 

Underrail alpha demo released

So! Remember this? The Underrail playable alpha demo is now out; the developer estimates that it should provide a few hours of play time. Grab the demo right here and give it a try!

Snöken: Inverno announced

Karl Zylinski has announced a new RPG by the name of Snöken: Inverno, intended as the first of three “Snöken” releases.

The setting for this game is contemporary, and so is the premise:

The game is set in the near future where the greenhouse effect has spiralled out of control. You play as an activist group leader who has heard of a research project that according to your sources have a working solution for saving the climate. The solution is to produce a form of anti greenhouse gas and facilities for this has in secrecy been built, deep in the Amazon rainforest. The facilities are ready to be switched on but for unknown reasons the scientists of the project refused. Convinced that all this is a governmental conspiracy you track down a plane with a scientist who has briefly worked on the project. You hi-jack the plane and land as close to the facilities as possible, thereafter you force the scientist to follow you into the jungle. With his help you are going to turn on the machines that you believe will save the planet.

You can see some early pre-alpha footage of gun combat below:

Zylinski tells me that Snöken: Inverno is planned for release on Windows and Mac sometime this fall, ideally in late October or early November.

Opinion: this is what “indie game” means

So, it turns out there’s some guy named Craig Stern running his mouth over on Sinister Design about how to define the phrase “indie game.” You guys don’t care about indie games, right? Of course not! That’s why you’re here, on www.BigBudgetAAARPGs.com.

Here’s a snippet of the piece:

We define words for practical reasons: to be able to easily categorize things with similar qualities, and to delineate the boundaries of those categories. Defining a word is not an opportunity to be a special snowflake, or to show just how badly you want to get rid of the star-off machine. Definitions have to make useful distinctions, or else they serve no purpose.

Developers seem to have a hard time understanding the collective nature of this enterprise. We’re a group used to coding, where we sit by ourselves and name variables day in and day out. Ultimately, what we call the variables doesn’t really matter, so long as we can remember what they do. They’re just placeholders for a fixed, largely arbitrary meaning that we define on a whim according to our individual needs.

So perhaps it isn’t surprising that every developer seems to have their own, self-serving definition of “indie.” Developers with little money insist that it means “a poor developer living on Ramen noodles”; developers who work with publishers insist on a definition that conveniently leaves out “independent of publishers.” It’s time to demolish these transparently flawed definitions and move toward something that benefits the community as a whole.

You can find the full opinion piece right here.

Profit Motive: A Business Adventure RPG announced

Kasan Wright of Profit Motive Team writes in to announce (what else?) Profit Motive, an RPG styled on the rough-and-tumble world of big business.

The premise is simple:

Profit Motive is a modern day, corporate themed RPG. Players assume the role of Myron Meckler, a one-time executive of a major corporation who has been betrayed by his former supervisor and expelled from the company in dishonor. The game follows Myron as he strives to regain his power and position in the business world.

Players will start out as a small business owner surviving the wiles of unruly and unethical competition and grow into a mega conglomerate vying for power against rival companies in intense corporate warfare.

Next up: bullet points!

  • Over the top battles featuring a unique Turn-Based Combat System.
  • The ability to hire key staff and gain the support of NPCs in the world who can be “Summoned”to your aid in battle.
  • 4 Stages of Business Development including: Lv.1) Small Business, Lv.2) Franchise, Lv.3) International Corporation, Lv.4) Mega Conglomeration. Each level introduces new gameplay mechanics and player abilities that add depth and strategy to the battles.
  • Corporate themed story world with lots of interesting character side stories and open-world missions that explore multiple aspects of running a business. High quality background and sprite art.

Profit Motive is due for release in spring 2013. Given the telltale signs of RPG Maker present in the screenshots below, you will probably be unsurprised to learn that this game is Windows-only; however, the developers tell me that they may port it over to additional platforms if there is sufficient interest!

I fully admit to being rather curious about how this plays–the corporate setting is certainly quite original for an RPG, and I rather fancy the idea of role-playing someone who could double as a Bret Easton Ellis character. While I likely won’t have time to give this a spin for another day or two, there’s nothing stopping you from trying it–namely, via the free demo already available right here.

New release: I Miss the Sunrise

Word reaches me that there’s a new sci-fi, turn-based tactical RPG available from TildeOne Games called I Miss the Sunrise.

I’d give you a plot breakdown, but the developers don’t seem to provide one, and frankly, I don’t have time to play through the entire game just to come up with one myself. A diligent reader points me toward the wiki, which contains the following plot summary:

Thousands of years from now, mankind had achieved a perfect, utopian society. Marvels of science and technology allowed every need to be cared for and granted worldwide peace. Even immortality had been achieved. Humans traveled to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, discovering a new, alien species, the lacertians. In time, they were integrated seamlessly into human culture (though their evolutionary relatives, the “Lessers”, were too barbaric to be reasoned with). The dreams of humanity across the galaxy had been achieved, and progress was poised to march ever onwards. Everything was perfect.

But in an instant, that all changed.

A strange, unknown event, known only as “the Shine”, wrought havoc across all of civilization. A blinding flash of light appeared to warp reality, slicing mechanical constructs and ships into fragments as if it was peeling them apart. For an unknown reason, planets were not affected, but little else was spared from the destruction. Billions died, and relay nodes were destroyed, isolating communication and fragmenting civilization further. In addition, emotions, suppressed for aeons, began to surface, leading to chaos as people tried to fight over what was left. Bandits and marauders fought survivors over the scraps of civilization, and, to make matters worse, the Lessers became far more intelligent, stealing ships and using them to cause even more destruction.

However, emotions are not purely negative. Determination and hope also arose, and with them, a light in the darkness was formed: the Inquiry Project, headed by commander Virgil Sorenson. Its goal is to repair the fractured world to its former glory, to restore peace and order once more. A daunting and nigh-impossible task, to be sure, but they have hope…

You are Ros Ouranos, a pilot with no knowledge of their prior identity. You awake in a stasis pod aboard the Inquiry, and are told you are one of three pilots the crew found in a strange, abandoned ship. Your abilities are unique, as you have a special protein in your body that, when combined with another chemical, grants you the ability to think in a sort of stasis, taking as long as necessary to analyze a situation while appearing to take no time at all from an outside perspective. This is, obviously, an incredibly important ability for a commander to have, and thus, like it or not, you are the Inquiry Project’s last hope.

Oh, and you’d better be careful…the other two pilots didn’t last very long.

The developers do provide bullet points, however, so here those are:

  • No typical HP & MP drudgery. Instead, all participants have Hull, Systems, and Pilot ratings that serve as both health and fuel for weapons. Reducing any one to 0 means defeat, so spacefarers beware!
  • Create your own pilot. Give ‘em a name, then choose your gender, race, and customized personality – all of which determines how you interact with other denizens of the universe.
  • Assemble your own weapons. Use salvaged components to customize and outfit your own weapons, name them whatever you want, and use their blueprint codes to share your creations with other players!
  • Fast-paced, strategic turn-based battles reward careful positioning and targeting over brute force. Exploit your enemies’ vulnerabilities while covering your own!
  • An entire fleet of allies is waiting. Explore the remains of civilization with more than a dozen playable characters.
  • Episodic content and huge replayability. Multiple side missions and randomized exploration zones means there is always something to accomplish.

About that “episodic content” bullet: I Miss the Sunrise was originally released across five separate episodes. However, the whole thing was recently made available as a single game. You can download the complete game for free right here.

Movie night: Tomes of Mephistopheles and Dungeon Dashers

Silence those cell phones and hunker down, folks–it’s time for another movie night! (Or at least, it will be, once it gets to be…you know…night.)

Today, we have a brand-new video from Kot-in-Action of their first-person action roguelike Tomes of Mephistopheles (previously covered here), as well as a video update showing the latest build of the cooperative multiplayer turn-based dungeon-delver Dungeon Dashers (previously covered here). Have at you!

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IndieRPGs.com Checks Out Defender’s Quest Gold Edition

As mentioned in last week’s coverage of Defender’s Quest, there is a Gold Edition due for release soon with improved graphics, an improved interface, and a special New Game+ that adds sidequests and special abilities to items. Lars Doucet of Level Up Labs was nice enough to give me access to a pre-release version of the Gold Edition, which I now present to you in video form:

This video just scratches the surface, really, but it should be enough to give you a sense of what sort of experience you’re in for with this game.

New release: Kevin Rudd Farming Generations

Did you like Space Funeral? Well, you’re in luck! From developer magicdweedoo comes Kevin Rudd Farming Generations, an oddball, free-to-download jRPG with quirky visuals and a surreal setting.

You play a member of the Rudd family, owners of the most profitable farm in a small town overrun by a “crime gang.” From my brief time playing it, I can confirm that the game features Earthbound-style combat and some truly weird, unrepentantly goofy dialog. It also has some show-stopper bugs in it, but hey, it’s free.

You can download the game for free right here. Windows only.

Phantasmaburbia release date announced

Greg Lobanov writes in to announce a release date for his ghostly jRPG Phantasmaburbia, previously covered here and the subject of an interview here. Banov has selected October 31st to put the game out (which makes sense, given its subject matter).

Banov says Phantasmaburbia is mostly done, but that he needs to spend time polishing it and hire folks to finish up the game’s assets (most notably sound and music). For that, however, he needs money. Want to help? There’s a Kickstarter. (As if you didn’t see that coming.) There’s some talk of a possible Mac port for the game as well, depending on the final tally.