Latest Publications

Ruins of Endoth announced

Ruins of EndothDaz writes to me from Ruined Games to announce Ruins of Endoth, a top-down 2D action RPG with procedurally generated environments.

Daz sums up the current state of the game as follows:

  • 10 procedurally generated dungeon levels (potentially infinite in the full release)
  • Fully randomised loot, calling from 10 base item types with up to 20 variations in each.
  • Normal, Magic, Rare and Legendary loot classification – all with separate algorithms that determine the scope of the random rolls.
  • Semi-randomised monster distribution. I have some levels with pre-determined monster types and within that I allow some to spawn and others to not, and also each individual monster has unique stats (within a range for the particular class).  These also scale based on player level at the time they encounter them.
  • Corpses to loot.
  • Three different chest types.  Normal, Silver and Gold.  Silver and gold require keys to open which again are randomly spawned on creatures/chests – along with random spawning of chests
  • Level Clear bonus.  Each level can be played how you wish but you get an abstract ‘Level Cleared’ bonus reward of cash/items/keys if you clear a level of monsters.
  • Player stats and levelling.  The player has Str, Dex and Vit as his Primary Stats and these directly affect Secondary attributes such as RNG (Ranged attack), MEL (Melee attack), Life (Hit Points) and also your total damage output with both kinds fo weapons.
  • Music from Matthew Pablo for the Title screen and Credits.
  • Much more I’m probably forgetting
Full version of the game will expand upon all these elements, and also add randomised main and sub-quests and possibly some item manipulation (enhancement, socketing etc?) as well as merchants, secrets and lots of other content.

This teaser trailer should give you an idea of how it plays:

Daz states that he’s just released a free demo (Windows only)–you can snag it here. Ruins of Endoth is tentatively scheduled for full release in June or July of this year.

Interview with Lars Doucet

Today we have an interview with Lars Doucet of LevelUp Labs, one of the two core members of the team that brought us the delightful RPG / Tower Defense game Defender’s Quest (a game which, in my opinion, was the first such hybrid to actually get the “RPG” part more or less correct).

Today, LevelUp Labs issued a surprise announcement about Defender’s Quest II’s music. Kevin Penkin, who composed the soundtrack for the first Defender’s Quest, will be returning; no big surprises there. What is a surprise is that the title theme will be composed collaboratively with game music legend Nobuo Uematsu.

Hit the jump for more details on how LevelUp Labs snagged Nobuo Uematsu; their plans for Defender’s Quest 2 design and mechanics; and the promising open source game development framework they’ve been using to make these games.


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…) 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?


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. 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?


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.