Latest Publications

Back to Back: indie RPGs to fund

Boy! It sure been a little while since we last checked in on the world of Kickstarter, eh? Let’s see what’s new!

(more…)

IndieRPGs.com Checks Out The Book of Legends

It’s been a while since I last posted about The Book of Legends, hasn’t it? Originally released back in 2012, The Book of Legends is a jRPG from Aldorlea Games that recently made it onto Steam through the good graces of Steam Greenlight. Indinera Falls reached out to me about it and was good enough to provide me with a copy of the game to check out. The results, as always, are documented on video below:

So: what’d I think?

(more…)

Lenna’s Inception announced

Lenna's InceptionWord reaches me that there’s a new Zelda-alike in development with procedurally generated overworld and dungeons. This one is called Lenna’s Inception, and it’s being created by Tom Coxon (a.k.a. “bytten”).

Coxon says there isn’t an official narrative premise just yet, but that the planned plot will be along these lines:

Lenna teaches at a school until a huge monster bursts into her lesson and takes her students. Upon hearing of the beast, the townsfolk call it the return of the Archangels — and the end of the world. Only Lenna realizes this may not be the truth, and sets out to find the kidnapper herself.

As with any Zelda-alike, Coxon states that Lenna’s Inception “involves lots of action-driven combat, seeking out new items and upgrades, and solving simple puzzles.”

Here’s a trailer showing what it’s all about:

Lenna’s Inception is currently in alpha, and can be downloaded and played for free right here. Once it hits beta in mid-June, Coxon is going to start charging for the game. His plan is to release it at full price sometime near the end of the year for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Saga Heroes pre-alpha demo released

Saga Heroes (previously covered here) now has a demo out for Windows and OUYA, and playable in-browser on other platforms (those being Mac and Linux). You can try out the demo here.

IndieRPGs.com Checks Out Heroes of Steel

Howdy, IndieRPGers! The Trese Brothers, auteurs of nearly a half-dozen Android RPGs, have offered me a Windows build of Heroes of Steel to check out.

If I’m not mistaken, Heroes of Steel is the very first game the Trese Brothers have released on PC, and so mobile origins notwithstanding, I’m judging the game as a PC title. Without further ado, here is the first 35 minutes or so of the game:

So! What’d I think?

(more…)

Celestian Tales: Old North announced

Celestian Tales Old NorthCipto Adiguno of Indonesian indie studio Ekuator Games writes in to tell me about Celestian Tales: Old North, a jRPG they’re creating where the story spans three decades and your characters visibly age.

Now, this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of this game; they actually first wrote to me last summer when they were attempting to kickstart Celestian Tales. At that time, the future of the game was somewhat in doubt; as of today, however, that is no longer so, as they’ve hit 100% funding on their Kickstarter with 21 days left to go.

So what’s it all about? Here’s the premise:

Begin your journey as a youth learning your steps into knighthood. Serve great and powerful heroes as their squires. Take part in campaigns of glory by their sides. Be there as time withers even the mightiest of mortals. When heroes of today replace the yesterday, will you stand to defend your ideals? Will you be steadfast as realities confront your naive thoughts? Will your dark secrets be kept hidden from even dearest ones?

As decades change and life throws its worst, many a people come out a different person. That face you’re looking at the mirror might not be a face you used to know. Flames once shining in your eyes might have turned to cold ashes. Sincere laughters might have vanished into fake smiles to please your peers. Or perhaps you will stay the same, as unrelenting as ever in your beliefs. The path of life has many branches; it is up to you to pick which to tread.

The trailer gives a pretty clear sense of what the narrative is about, at least thematically:

)

The developers state that combat is modeled on Grandia. Enemies will be visible while exploring, and battles will be more substantial and fewer in number than in most jRPGs.

Celestian Tales: Old North is coming out in three parts; the first part is due out for Windows, Mac and Linux in November 2014, and the third part should be coming out by May 2015.

Heroes of Steel out for Windows, Episode 2 released

Heroes of SteelHey folks, remember this one? The Trese Brothers tell me that (1) they’ve now released the second episode of Heroes of Steel, and (2) the game is now available for Windows on Desura, where it is (a) miscategorized as a roguelike and (b) priced at $11.99.

The premise of the second episode:

Episode 2 sends your group into lava caverns and into the highlands of the east where you face Ice and Stone Trolls, crazed Cultists worshiping a spider god and legions of Orcin led by devious shamans. The monster intelligence systems for Episode 2 also raise the bar, forcing you to alter the turn-based tactics you’ve perfected in Episode 1 at every turn. As you progress through Episode 2: the Gathering Shadow, your group will gain access to new and powerful Talents – such as the Wizard’s Firestorm, the Cleric’s Banishment, and the Outlander’s Juggernaut – which were previously locked behind Level 18. The shops of the four new towns, and treasure hoards of the 20 new dungeons hundreds of new weapons, armors, and items available so that you can keep your party bristling with all the best.

Among other things, the developers state that this episode doubles the world’s size and adds more than 30 new monster types.

Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering if that $11.99 price tag for the Windows version gets you everything, or if you’re still going to be forced to engage in a spate of micro-transactions to get the complete experience. Thankfully, you have me around to get the answers to questions like these: the Trese Brothers assure me that the Windows version contains no micro-transactions; it comes with everything included. Go here for Windows, here for iOS, and here for Android.

Subterranea announced

SubterraneaJohn Mabbott of Cloud Nine Games writes in to announce Subterranea, a turn-based, party-based wRPG.

According to Mabbott, the goal is to approximate something like the old Gold Box games of yore, but in 3D and with the addition of destructible environments and physics-based interactions. To that end, Subterranea will employ the Dungeons and Dragons version 3.5 ruleset.

An abbreviation of the rather wordy plot premise:

Many decades ago, a fishing village called Gimlet grew on the side of the swamp like a small barnacle. The villagers of Gimlet scraped out a living, catching and selling the odd looking fish they hauled in from the swamp with their homemade nets.

Recently, a threat to Gimlet’s prosperity has emerged. Two survivors of a six-strong harvesting party returned from the swamp with a fevered table of a temple entrance found sunken near the centre of the swamp. The most brave (or foolhardy) of the harvesters broke through the entrance. When their screams rang out across the swamp from within the dark interior, the survivors fled for their lives, never once looking back.

Your party has answered the call and are gathered in the entry room of Gimlet Hall. You and the other adventuring parties eye each other nervously – will you help or hinder each other? A staff strikes the marble floor, the two massive doors swing open and a guard summons you to be addressed by the cabal…

Among the game’s planned features:

  • Tactical combat with cover and elevation effects
  • Create a party of up to 6 custom characters
  • Heavy use of physics in destructible environments

About those physics and destructible environments–check out what happens roughly 30 seconds into this video:

The game’s presentation is obviously still a bit rough at this point, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little rush of glee when that bridge collapsed and the enemies fell to their deaths. Besides, the game’s in pre-alpha–there is plenty of time to polish things up!

Subterranea is on Kickstarter, where it is about 1/5th of the way to its modest $12,500 goal. It is also on Steam Greenlight, where it awaits your upvote.

Subterranea is planned for a simultaneous Windows and Linux release in March 2015.

Saga Heroes announced

Saga HeroesUtah indie studio Wasatch Games writes in to announce Saga Heroes, an action RPG with a title apparently custom-made to draw the litigious eye of world-class scumbags King.com.

…where was I? (sorry, I got a bit distracted by my loathing of King.com there.) Oh, right! Saga Heroes. Yes. So, here’s the premise:

save the world from evil by uncovering the cause of the corruption of the land by a cult called The Shadow, whose sole purpose is to release the Elder God of Death, Goth-Azul. You start in the small village of Aria, with the clothes on your back and nothing more. Gain the trust of the townsfolk by helping them out and they will reveal more of the story.

“Goth-Azul,” huh? You know, if I had $300 to blow, I might actually throw it at this game’s Kickstarter just so I could create an NPC with this as his dialog: “Man–Azul used to be so much cooler back before he went all Goth, you know? Now he’s got this cuuuult, and he listens to The Cure all the tiiiiime, and he’s just super into death. It’s totally lame.”

“Craig,” you might say, “what are you talking about?: You can’t just throw $300 at a game and create a character!” Ordinarily, dear reader, you would be correct–but this game has a Kickstarter. Feel free to throw money at it if it strikes your fancy! (Also: a Greenlight page for upvoting and such.)

Here’s the trailer:

According to Wasatch’s Kickstarter reward estimates, they’re planning to release the game in August–a very aggressive schedule, but certainly not impossible if they’re far enough along. (Developer Eric Wiggins tells me that the release date might slip if they don’t hit their goal, and the game’s scope will likely be affected.)

Saga Heroes is planned for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Ouya.

Interview with Indinera Falls

AldorleaToday, we have an interview with Indinera Falls, founder of Aldorlea Games and creator of the Laxius Force and Millennium series. I sat down to chat with him about his reliance on RPG Maker, about his plans for the future, about his business model, and about whether direct sales are going to remain viable going forward in the face of Steam’s ever-expanding grip on PC game distribution:

(more…)