Archive for January, 2009

Free Sacred 2 art book

Posted in design, news  on January 29th, 2009 by: ian

cdv USA have made available a free art book of Sacred 2 art in pdf format.  If you are interested in having a look, then go here.

According to cdv, ‘This lushly illustrated e-book showcases hand-drawn character designs, renders and other artistic creations from the game’s diverse universe, while also showcasing the progression of Sacred 2: Fallen Angel from an imaginative vision to an incredibly compelling RPG for next-generation consoles and PC.’

It features some great artwork, so if you’d like to see some of the concept art of Sacred 2 or you’re interested in the concept art stage of developing computer games, then it is definitely worth checking it out.

cdv USA have made available a free art book of Sacred 2 art in pdf format.  If you are interested in having a look, then go here.

According to cdv, ‘This lushly illustrated e-book showcases hand-drawn character designs, renders and other artistic creations from the game’s diverse universe, while also showcasing the progression of Sacred 2: Fallen Angel from an imaginative vision to an incredibly compelling RPG for next-generation consoles and PC.’

It features some great artwork, so if you’d like to see some of the concept art of Sacred 2 or you’re interested in the concept art stage of developing computer games, then it is definitely worth checking it out.

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Fable 2 is not coming to the pc

Posted in news  on January 28th, 2009 by: ian

Well, this is certainly a disappointment.  According to cinemablend, Fable 2 will not be getting ported to the PC at all (or, according to Lionhead, ‘We’re not working on a PC version of Fable II…If this changes we’ll make sure you know about it on our website’).

It’s certainly annoying as I was looking forward to playing Fable 2, however, at least there are plenty of other rpgs that should be coming out this year for me to look forward to.

Well, this is certainly a disappointment.  According to cinemablend, Fable 2 will not be getting ported to the PC at all (or, according to Lionhead, ‘We’re not working on a PC version of Fable II…If this changes we’ll make sure you know about it on our website’).

It’s certainly annoying as I was looking forward to playing Fable 2, however, at least there are plenty of other rpgs that should be coming out this year for me to look forward to.

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The blog of the Black Hound

Posted in design  on January 23rd, 2009 by: ian

If you’re interested in the game development process, then you may want to have a look at this blog.  It’s about the development of a Neverwinter Nights 2 mod, ‘The Black Hound’.  The interesting thing about this is that it is being developed by J.E. Sawyer formerly at Black Isle Studios and currently working at Obsidian.

It is loosely based on the initial design for Baldurs Gate 3 and is looking very interesting.  Currently looking at a late 2009/2010 release, if you’re interested in the spiritual successor to one of the best rpg games that have been made then it is defintely worth checking out.  Also look at this site if you’re after some more information.

If you’re interested in the game development process, then you may want to have a look at this blog.  It’s about the development of a Neverwinter Nights 2 mod, ‘The Black Hound’.  The interesting thing about this is that it is being developed by J.E. Sawyer formerly at Black Isle Studios and currently working at Obsidian.

It is loosely based on the initial design for Baldurs Gate 3 and is looking very interesting.  Currently looking at a late 2009/2010 release, if you’re interested in the spiritual successor to one of the best rpg games that have been made then it is defintely worth checking out.  Also look at this site if you’re after some more information.

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New patch for Fallout 3

Posted in news  on January 21st, 2009 by: ian

There is a new patch out for Fallout 3 New patch for Fallout 3 and can be found here.  It covers quite a number of bug fixes and the release notes are described below:

Bug Fixes

Fixed occasional crashes during loading and waiting.

Friendly or neutral NPC health bars, when taking damage, no longer flicker repeatedly.

Fixed issue where certain NPCs would occasionally disappear from the game.

Fixed issue where dead NPCs would occasionally come back to life.

Fixed rendering issue with the Gatling Laser gun’s tracers.

Fixed issue where the haircut menu would occasionally not appear properly.

Added ability to remap your VATS and pip boy buttons.

Fixed rare load/save issues that would cause NPCs to behave incorrectly.

Fixed issue where quest objectives would occasionally not update properly due to talking activators,
intercoms and conversations.

Using Radaway from the Pip-Boy’s Status Menu repeatedly no longer crashes the game.

Player no longer gets stuck in level up menu if their skills are maxed out.

Fixed issue where multiple followers would occasionally not load into an interior.

Fixed rare issue with getting stuck in VATS mode.

Fixed rare crash with fighting NPCs with corrupted data.

Fixed rare crashes while loading and saving games.

Fixed rare issue where player would fall through the floor while in VATS.

Fixed occasional crash after scoring a critical hit in the head with a Railway Rifle.

Prevent NPCs from inadvertently dying from falling.

Fixed occasional issue where the controller would stop working properly.

Fixed crashes related to repeatedly equipping and dropping clothing and armor into the world.

Quest Fixes

Fixed several instances where quest item stayed in inventory permanently after completing quests.

Fixed an issue where the distress message would occasionally not play in Trouble on the Homefront.

In The Waters of Life quest, the Citadel gate will open properly if the player fast travels away after exiting the Taft Tunnels but before reaching the Citadel gate with Doctor Li.

For the Big Trouble in Big Town quest, the broken protectrons in Big Town become active at the proper time.

In The American Dream quest, fixed specific issue which prevented the player from accessing their belongings in the locker by the door if they left the room first.

Fixed infinite caps exploit in Strictly Business quest.

Fixed rare instance where Dad would have no valid dialogue during The Waters of Life quest.

Prevent issue during the Finding the Garden of Eden quest where player would fade to black, instead of traveling to Raven Rock, while in combat with a follower.

Fixed several XP speech exploits with certain NPCs.

Fixed XP exploit with a robot in Fort Bannister.

Fixed issue where player’s controls can become locked permanently during The American Dream.

Have fun!

There is a new patch out for Fallout 3 New patch for Fallout 3 and can be found here.  It covers quite a number of bug fixes and the release notes are described below:

Bug Fixes

Fixed occasional crashes during loading and waiting.

Friendly or neutral NPC health bars, when taking damage, no longer flicker repeatedly.

Fixed issue where certain NPCs would occasionally disappear from the game.

Fixed issue where dead NPCs would occasionally come back to life.

Fixed rendering issue with the Gatling Laser gun’s tracers.

Fixed issue where the haircut menu would occasionally not appear properly.

Added ability to remap your VATS and pip boy buttons.

Fixed rare load/save issues that would cause NPCs to behave incorrectly.

Fixed issue where quest objectives would occasionally not update properly due to talking activators,
intercoms and conversations.

Using Radaway from the Pip-Boy’s Status Menu repeatedly no longer crashes the game.

Player no longer gets stuck in level up menu if their skills are maxed out.

Fixed issue where multiple followers would occasionally not load into an interior.

Fixed rare issue with getting stuck in VATS mode.

Fixed rare crash with fighting NPCs with corrupted data.

Fixed rare crashes while loading and saving games.

Fixed rare issue where player would fall through the floor while in VATS.

Fixed occasional crash after scoring a critical hit in the head with a Railway Rifle.

Prevent NPCs from inadvertently dying from falling.

Fixed occasional issue where the controller would stop working properly.

Fixed crashes related to repeatedly equipping and dropping clothing and armor into the world.

Quest Fixes

Fixed several instances where quest item stayed in inventory permanently after completing quests.

Fixed an issue where the distress message would occasionally not play in Trouble on the Homefront.

In The Waters of Life quest, the Citadel gate will open properly if the player fast travels away after exiting the Taft Tunnels but before reaching the Citadel gate with Doctor Li.

For the Big Trouble in Big Town quest, the broken protectrons in Big Town become active at the proper time.

In The American Dream quest, fixed specific issue which prevented the player from accessing their belongings in the locker by the door if they left the room first.

Fixed infinite caps exploit in Strictly Business quest.

Fixed rare instance where Dad would have no valid dialogue during The Waters of Life quest.

Prevent issue during the Finding the Garden of Eden quest where player would fade to black, instead of traveling to Raven Rock, while in combat with a follower.

Fixed several XP speech exploits with certain NPCs.

Fixed XP exploit with a robot in Fort Bannister.

Fixed issue where player’s controls can become locked permanently during The American Dream.

Have fun!

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What are the most anticipated pc rpg games of 2009?

Posted in news, pc rpg games  on January 13th, 2009 by: ian

RPGWatch has an article up about their most anticipated computer role-playing games scheduled for release in 2009.  It comprises both the editors’ choices and a poll results of their readers.

Up first from the readers we have Dragon Age: Origins and I think this line explains why, ‘There’s no

dragonagedownload screenshot 18 300x168 What are the most anticipated pc rpg games of 2009?

Dragon Age: Origins

doubting their success since then but many fans hold Baldur’s Gate II as their best game, so the idea that Dragon Age represents a spiritual successor is powerful’.  Baldur’s Gate II was one of the best rpgs that I have played, so if Bioware can even come close then it should be incredible.

Second in the readers top three is Age of Decadence, an indie old-school rpg that has massive potential.  I’m going to hold off on getting too excited about this one myself just yet though, as the Iron Tower team have yet to publish a game,

aodcombat2 1 150x150 What are the most anticipated pc rpg games of 2009?

Age of Decadence

but if it lives up to it’s potential then as the poll suggests it could quite easily beat the majority of AAA titles that will be coming out this year.

Number three is Diablo 3, ’nuff said.  We’ll see if Blizzard manage to re-create the magic of the original two, though hopefully the hype won’t be so great that people can only de disappointed.

The editors’ list also includes Dragon Age, but also includes Divine Divinity 2 and Risen.  I don’t know anything about Risen but the Divine Divinity sequel is one that I am looking forward to.  While I wasn’t blown away by the original it waws fun and if the sequel can improve on the first then I will definitely enjoy it.

RPGWatch has an article up about their most anticipated computer role-playing games scheduled for release in 2009.  It comprises both the editors’ choices and a poll results of their readers.

Up first from the readers we have Dragon Age: Origins and I think this line explains why, ‘There’s no

dragonagedownload screenshot 18 300x168 What are the most anticipated pc rpg games of 2009?

Dragon Age: Origins

doubting their success since then but many fans hold Baldur’s Gate II as their best game, so the idea that Dragon Age represents a spiritual successor is powerful’.  Baldur’s Gate II was one of the best rpgs that I have played, so if Bioware can even come close then it should be incredible.

Second in the readers top three is Age of Decadence, an indie old-school rpg that has massive potential.  I’m going to hold off on getting too excited about this one myself just yet though, as the Iron Tower team have yet to publish a game,

aodcombat2 1 150x150 What are the most anticipated pc rpg games of 2009?

Age of Decadence

but if it lives up to it’s potential then as the poll suggests it could quite easily beat the majority of AAA titles that will be coming out this year.

Number three is Diablo 3, ’nuff said.  We’ll see if Blizzard manage to re-create the magic of the original two, though hopefully the hype won’t be so great that people can only de disappointed.

The editors’ list also includes Dragon Age, but also includes Divine Divinity 2 and Risen.  I don’t know anything about Risen but the Divine Divinity sequel is one that I am looking forward to.  While I wasn’t blown away by the original it waws fun and if the sequel can improve on the first then I will definitely enjoy it.

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What are the best pc rpg games of all time?

Posted in pc rpg classics  on January 9th, 2009 by: ian

There is an article up at examiner.com of their 10 best computer role-playing games of all time.  It’s not a bad list, and apparently was judged on the criteria of ‘fun, merit and legacy’ (not sure how you determine the merit of a computer game though), here it is:

  1. NeverWinter Nights
  2. Ultima IV
  3. Rogue
  4. Everquest
  5. Diablo II
  6. Pool of Radiance
  7. Fallout
  8. The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall
  9. Baldur’s Gate
  10. World of Warcraft

Now, since I’ve got no real interest in MMORPGs, I’m going to remove Everquest and World of Warcraft from this list and in their places add Planescape: Torment, which I think is an horrendous omission.  I’m also going to add Quest for Glory I in as well, which may not have had much merit or legacy (apart from four sequels), but it is just so much fun to play that I have to add it in.

qfg1 150x150 What are the best pc rpg games of all time?

Quest for Glory 1

In case you don’t know it, QfG1 is an adventure/rpg hybrid created by Sierra where your quest is to earn the title of ‘Hero’ in the town of Spielburg.  This is one of my favourite games of all time so I’m definitely putting it on the list.

ultimaiv 150x150 What are the best pc rpg games of all time?

Ultima IV

You can’t really argue with any of the other games that they have on their list – all of them have had a massive impact on the development of pc rpg games.  The ones with the most impact, I reckon are Ultima IV, Diablo II and Baldurs Gate.

I think that Ultima IV is the first game that not only has elements that are recognisable in modern rpgs but, with the story of the Avatar, is the first rpg that created an in-depth and unique storyline that is easily remembered today.

While Diablo can be seen as the start of the action rpg coming into the mainstream, it was really Diablo II that really created the action rpg genre with a game that you can argue hasn’t really been beaten yet.

diablo2 150x150 What are the best pc rpg games of all time?

Diablo 2

Baldurs Gate also has to be considered one of the most influential rpgs because it almost single-handedly saved the computer rpg genre – released at a time when rpgs were widely considered to be dying, it revitalised the genre and gave impetous to all of the rpgs that we see today.

So, there is my top three – Ultima IV as the start of the modern, story-driven rpgs, Diablo II for the action rpg genre and Baldurs Gate for saving the genre from oblivion.  What are your thoughts, do you agree or disagree with these choices?

There is an article up at examiner.com of their 10 best computer role-playing games of all time.  It’s not a bad list, and apparently was judged on the criteria of ‘fun, merit and legacy’ (not sure how you determine the merit of a computer game though), here it is:

  1. NeverWinter Nights
  2. Ultima IV
  3. Rogue
  4. Everquest
  5. Diablo II
  6. Pool of Radiance
  7. Fallout
  8. The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall
  9. Baldur’s Gate
  10. World of Warcraft

Now, since I’ve got no real interest in MMORPGs, I’m going to remove Everquest and World of Warcraft from this list and in their places add Planescape: Torment, which I think is an horrendous omission.  I’m also going to add Quest for Glory I in as well, which may not have had much merit or legacy (apart from four sequels), but it is just so much fun to play that I have to add it in.

qfg1 150x150 What are the best pc rpg games of all time?

Quest for Glory 1

In case you don’t know it, QfG1 is an adventure/rpg hybrid created by Sierra where your quest is to earn the title of ‘Hero’ in the town of Spielburg.  This is one of my favourite games of all time so I’m definitely putting it on the list.

ultimaiv 150x150 What are the best pc rpg games of all time?

Ultima IV

You can’t really argue with any of the other games that they have on their list – all of them have had a massive impact on the development of pc rpg games.  The ones with the most impact, I reckon are Ultima IV, Diablo II and Baldurs Gate.

I think that Ultima IV is the first game that not only has elements that are recognisable in modern rpgs but, with the story of the Avatar, is the first rpg that created an in-depth and unique storyline that is easily remembered today.

While Diablo can be seen as the start of the action rpg coming into the mainstream, it was really Diablo II that really created the action rpg genre with a game that you can argue hasn’t really been beaten yet.

diablo2 150x150 What are the best pc rpg games of all time?

Diablo 2

Baldurs Gate also has to be considered one of the most influential rpgs because it almost single-handedly saved the computer rpg genre – released at a time when rpgs were widely considered to be dying, it revitalised the genre and gave impetous to all of the rpgs that we see today.

So, there is my top three – Ultima IV as the start of the modern, story-driven rpgs, Diablo II for the action rpg genre and Baldurs Gate for saving the genre from oblivion.  What are your thoughts, do you agree or disagree with these choices?

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Video of the top 5 pc rpg games of 2008

Posted in pc rpg games  on January 8th, 2009 by: ian

I have found a video on youtube of someones top computer role-playing games of 2008 for the pc. What I really like about this is the fact that it shows actual in-game footage of the different rpgs.  It is very online game heavy, but the top two are both single-player games.  Let me know what you think.

I have found a video on youtube of someones top computer role-playing games of 2008 for the pc. What I really like about this is the fact that it shows actual in-game footage of the different rpgs.  It is very online game heavy, but the top two are both single-player games.  Let me know what you think.

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More top rpg games of 2008

Posted in news, pc rpg games  on January 7th, 2009 by: ian

The website OMG RPG have listed their top rpgs of 2008.  While this list of not exclusively pc based it does includes four pc rpg games, ‘The Witcher: Enhanced Edition’ at number 9, ‘Mass Effect’ at 7, ‘World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King’ at 4 and ‘Fallout 3′ in second place.  They also list ‘Fable 2′, which as I mentioned in a previous post, looks set for a pc release – I wonder if it’ll make a best of 2009 list?

As I’ve already mentioned, The Witcher More top rpg games of 2008 is one of my favourites of the current crop of computer role-playing games and as they say, ‘This is definitely a game all PC gamers should have in their library’ – there’s not much more you can really say about that.

Mass Effect More top rpg games of 2008 is pure Bioware, if you enjoy Bioware games then you’ll love it, however if you don’t then you won’t, simple as that.  I think by now Bioware have decided what they do well, they know how they want their games to look and feel so you now know what you are getting with them.  Mass Effect is a sci-fi rpg where you take on the role of Commander Shepard, effectively a special forces commando, and attempt to save the universe… again.

I don’t really know much about Wrath of the Lich King as I’m not really into MMORPGs so I’ll let you read the article if you want to find out more about it.

Finally, Fallout 3 More top rpg games of 2008, well I’ve got to start with a quote from the article – ‘I could have easily rated this as number one; but maybe I am just a bit sick of all the awesome reviews and non-stop attention it is getting’, I don’t know why but I just love that quote!  Anyway, I have to admit that I haven’t actually played Fallout 3 myself yet, so I’m welcome you feedback of what you thought of it.

The website OMG RPG have listed their top rpgs of 2008.  While this list of not exclusively pc based it does includes four pc rpg games, ‘The Witcher: Enhanced Edition’ at number 9, ‘Mass Effect’ at 7, ‘World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King’ at 4 and ‘Fallout 3′ in second place.  They also list ‘Fable 2′, which as I mentioned in a previous post, looks set for a pc release – I wonder if it’ll make a best of 2009 list?

As I’ve already mentioned, The Witcher More top rpg games of 2008 is one of my favourites of the current crop of computer role-playing games and as they say, ‘This is definitely a game all PC gamers should have in their library’ – there’s not much more you can really say about that.

Mass Effect More top rpg games of 2008 is pure Bioware, if you enjoy Bioware games then you’ll love it, however if you don’t then you won’t, simple as that.  I think by now Bioware have decided what they do well, they know how they want their games to look and feel so you now know what you are getting with them.  Mass Effect is a sci-fi rpg where you take on the role of Commander Shepard, effectively a special forces commando, and attempt to save the universe… again.

I don’t really know much about Wrath of the Lich King as I’m not really into MMORPGs so I’ll let you read the article if you want to find out more about it.

Finally, Fallout 3 More top rpg games of 2008, well I’ve got to start with a quote from the article – ‘I could have easily rated this as number one; but maybe I am just a bit sick of all the awesome reviews and non-stop attention it is getting’, I don’t know why but I just love that quote!  Anyway, I have to admit that I haven’t actually played Fallout 3 myself yet, so I’m welcome you feedback of what you thought of it.

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Lord British is back… probably!

Posted in design, news, pc rpg games  on January 6th, 2009 by: ian

In an interview with the BBC Lord British (AKA Richard Garriott), the developer of the Ultima series, has stated that, ‘I’m keen to get back into the fray and work on a new game. Probably medieval fantasy and probably online’.  Good luck to him, hopefully he’s planning on bringing out something that will revolutionise the industry in the same way that the original Ultimas did.  I grew up on these games and still think that in some ways they haven’t been bettered yet – anyone remember the Radiant AI of Oblivion? It was supposed to be revolutionary but instead was the same as the AI in Ultima 6, just not as good!

I think the most interesting part of the interview actually comes from the one developer that I hadn’t heard of.  Paul Barnett.  He made a number of interesting comments, including, ‘It was a year of disappointing big games; budgets too big, development too long, platforms underdeveloped, and expectations were too high.’  I’m not sure about the expectations bit as I tend to have very low expectations until the game actually comes out but I definitely agree with the bit about budgets and development time.  I think that it is getting to the point where the size of the budgets are making it impossible to cater for anyone apart from the casual gamer, just because the hard-core market is so much smaller.  This could have grave consequences for any of us who actually want a challenge.

Paul also says, ‘At the same time, 2008 was the year that web browser games came of age’, now the current rpg browser games are still pretty primitive but you can begin to see all of the potential here.  Does anyone want an article on current web browser rpgs?  Does anyone currently play any?

One part of the interview that I have to disagree with though is from Peter Molyneux where he says, ‘However, only a few people actually saw all the cut sequences because the game was so tough to play. Are we making games too difficult?’  To which I can only say No!  Some of us still like to play games that give us some kind of challenge!  The current trend of moving towards the lowest common denominator in games is one that I really hate, and it is really disappointing that it seems my only chance to continue to play games that can really challenge me can be found in the indies.

In an interview with the BBC Lord British (AKA Richard Garriott), the developer of the Ultima series, has stated that, ‘I’m keen to get back into the fray and work on a new game. Probably medieval fantasy and probably online’.  Good luck to him, hopefully he’s planning on bringing out something that will revolutionise the industry in the same way that the original Ultimas did.  I grew up on these games and still think that in some ways they haven’t been bettered yet – anyone remember the Radiant AI of Oblivion? It was supposed to be revolutionary but instead was the same as the AI in Ultima 6, just not as good!

I think the most interesting part of the interview actually comes from the one developer that I hadn’t heard of.  Paul Barnett.  He made a number of interesting comments, including, ‘It was a year of disappointing big games; budgets too big, development too long, platforms underdeveloped, and expectations were too high.’  I’m not sure about the expectations bit as I tend to have very low expectations until the game actually comes out but I definitely agree with the bit about budgets and development time.  I think that it is getting to the point where the size of the budgets are making it impossible to cater for anyone apart from the casual gamer, just because the hard-core market is so much smaller.  This could have grave consequences for any of us who actually want a challenge.

Paul also says, ‘At the same time, 2008 was the year that web browser games came of age’, now the current rpg browser games are still pretty primitive but you can begin to see all of the potential here.  Does anyone want an article on current web browser rpgs?  Does anyone currently play any?

One part of the interview that I have to disagree with though is from Peter Molyneux where he says, ‘However, only a few people actually saw all the cut sequences because the game was so tough to play. Are we making games too difficult?’  To which I can only say No!  Some of us still like to play games that give us some kind of challenge!  The current trend of moving towards the lowest common denominator in games is one that I really hate, and it is really disappointing that it seems my only chance to continue to play games that can really challenge me can be found in the indies.

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