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Monday, June 14, 2010

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City Of Heroes: Going Rogue Dev Diary Available
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Massively has posted a new developer diary from Going Rogue designer and mission lead, John Hegner. The developer discussed the process of designing Praetoria and creating its signature characters.

The upcoming expansion to NCSoft and Paragon Studios's super hero themed MMO, City of Heroes, will feature a new alignment system which will allow heroes and villains the chance to switch sides, two new primary fictional characters, and the new threat of the parallel universe known as Praetoria.

What we knew going in was that we wanted Praetoria to be a world where the players playing the content would constantly be questioning who was right and who was wrong. This was a critical component. Praetoria isn't necessarily about good vs. evil or right and wrong, it is about order and chaos; freedom and oppression. Then we started looking at dystopian future stories and analyzing the logical method for how other authors explained downward spirals of civilization, either morally or culturally, in their worlds. That's when we settled on the catch phrase; Utopia at a cost.

About half way through the process of writing up Tyrant and the world's background, we hit on the pulse of what we wanted. Tyrant needed to be someone that people could empathize with, despite the fact that he was a villain. We made Tyrant into a version of Statesman who believed a little less in the inherent good in people, and a little more in his own. This minute change was all it took for Primal Earth's greatest hero to become Praetoria Earth's greatest villain. The people didn't fear him, they loved him, and he ruled over the world from a throne that he didn't take from humanity, but one that they gave to him willingly.
Learn more at the links below.

Massively: Going Rogue Dev Diary
City of Heroes
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Discussing Two Worlds II
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Two Worlds Vault has posted a new interview with Jake DiGennaro about Two Worlds II, Reality Pump's upcoming RPG. The Q&A included answers to a few questions about the game and what fans will see at the E3 2010 event. Two Worlds II will send players to the unexplored land of Eastern Antaloor and will feature detailed graphics, an active combat system, and a complex storyline.

TWVault: Speaking of E3 TWII presentation, what does TWII have that no other RPG or free-roamer shown at E3 can boast?
Jake: I think Reality Pump has done an amazing job brainstorming and developing new approaches to classic RPG mechanics. While the card-based magic system is always the easiest feature to point to as it takes spellcasting in a very unique direction, features such as the crafting system, character advancement system, and alchemy systems are all designed in a way that affords players a scale of customization that is fairly uncommon in games within the genre. Also we have the Oculus, and who doesn't like the idea of cruising around the world as a floating eyeball that can explode!

TWVault: On a bit different note, in most videos so far we've actually seen very little gore and no blood (just green slime). Is NA version going to be similarly bland from the combat/gore perspective? Any chance we get to see brutal and realistic melee combat impact on the enemy, like in e.g. Age of Conan or Assassin's Creed?
Jake: There's always a fine line to be walked when producing a trailer, between making it representative of the game but remembering that it's not always in good taste to make a 90 second homage to decapitating orcs...

TWVault: I'd watch that!
Jake: ...Haha, but, rest assured as an M-rated game there will be plenty of adult oriented combat elements, including blood and melee impact physics.
Read more at the links below.

Two Worlds Vault: E3 Interview
Two Worlds II
Buy Two Worlds II

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The Secret Of Monkey Island: SE Reviewed
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Appletell has posted a new review of The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition from LucasArts and Aspyr Media. The game is a "reimagining" of the original 1990 title, updated with contemporary art, remastered music, full voiceover, and a new hint system. Appletell gave The Secret of Monkey Island: SE a score of five out of five.

From the review:

But the special edition doesn’t just update the graphics. It has a re-recorded and remastered score, and you’ve now got full voice acting, with the principal characters (Guybrush Threepwood, Elaine Marley and the ghost pirate LeChuck) being voiced by the same actors who played them in Tales of Monkey Island. Having recently finished that game, it was nice to get this continuity. They do a fantastic job.

The biggest update from the original version would have to be the new command system. Gone are the typed verb commands, replaced by cursor icons that tell you how can interact with various characters and objects. Some of these can be confusing at first, but you get the hang of it quickly.

Of couse, with adventure games, what really matters are the story and puzzles. The puzzles need to be challenging without being illogical, and the story needs to be entertaining enough to drive you through the puzzles and keep you going when you get stumped…which you will (although purists show note that the actual “stump joke” has been removed). A new hint system will generally let you know what do at the more frustrating points, but in this age of online walkthroughs, it’s not entirely necessary. Where were such tools in 1990 when your only available help was a 99 cent per minute hint line phone call?
Visit the page below to read the full review.

Appletell: The Secret of Monkey Island SE
Aspyr Media
The Secret Of Monkey Island: Special Edition
Buy The Secret Of Monkey Island: Special Edition

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Jeff Vogel Reveals More About Avadon: The Black Fortress.
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 2 comments

RPG Codex has published a new interview with Spiderweb Software's Jeff Vogel. The in-depth Q&A offered more details about the recently announced RPG Avadon: The Black Fortress, as well as Vogel's plans to update the first three Avernum games and bring Spiderweb games to mobile devices.

Avadon is described as an epic adventure in a strange and dangerous world in which players take the role of a spy and warrior who must fight the enemies of his homeland. Avadon: The Black Fortress will feature four different character classes, dozens of sidequests, hundreds of items to discover, and many different possible endings.

1. What sort of party system can we expect in Avadon: The Black Fortress? The screenshots give the impression of a single PC with joinable NPCs. Will any party members be player created? How large can your party be and how many of them are romanceable?
You will start out making your main character, and then you can recruit two more from a total of four possible joiners. There are four character classes, and each of the joiners has a different one, so you always will be missing one class. You’ll have to shift strategies as you go through the game.
Each joiner has his or her own personality and story and issues, but no romance.

5. What are the four classes? How do they play differently other than being a spellcaster/non-spellcaster?
There are blademasters, shamans, shadowwalkers, and sorceresses, each with dozens of different offensive and defensive abilities. I have worked hard to make them play differently. For example, a shadowwalker can duck in, do a lot of damage very quickly, and use evasive abilities to confuse foes and leap to safety. A shaman will summon beasts to aid her.

11. What are some of the skills/abilities/spells that will be available?
Most of the skills are linked to the abilities. When you buy a skill, you immediately get an ability. Buy more of the skill, and the ability does extra stuff. Buy enough of the skill and you get a new, more powerful version of that ability.
Hmm. Just some examples. A cone attack that does cold damage and flings foes farther away. A spell that teleports you away leaving a decoy in your place. The standard suite of poison clouds, blessings, charms, and summons. Abilities to keep your opponents from noticing you or that draw their attacks.
Check out the ful interview at the page below.

RPG Codex: Avadon The Black Fortress
Spiderweb Software
Avadon: The Black Fortress
Buy Avadon: The Black Fortress

Mac Games News for Friday, June 11, 2010

Eschalon: Book II Version 1.04 Coming Soon6:00 AM
Mini Ninjas Release Delayed6:00 AM
StarCraft II: Wings Of Liberty Beta Retrospective6:00 AM
X3: Reunion OS X Native Port Launches Soon6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Friday, June 11, 2010 on one page

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