Game-related ramblings.

Month: November 2012

The Barkley 2 Kickstarter Campaign Has Launched

Just a quick post to let everyone know that the Kickstarter campaign for the sequel to Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden has launched. I already wrote about the game’s announcement, but now you can go donate to help get it made.

The pitch video has a lot more info about the game, which will apparently play like a cross between Soldat and Zelda. Which is good, because I like both of those. It’s also rather different from the original, which was a standard Japanese-style role-playing game.

Direct your finest slams and most powerful jams towards the Kicstarter page for more info.

Indie Time: Kevin Rudd Farming Generations

I feel like I’m writing about Japanese-style role-playing games disproportionately often, compared to what I’m actually playing. I think this is because, like roguelikes, they make excellent “break time” games that can be played in short, quick sessions and don’t require a significant time investment. While I’m always playing at least one large-scale game, I can’t always sit down for a serious gaming session, and sometimes these “break time” games are all I have time for. I hope to post about the other stuff I’m playing soon, but it may be small-scale games for a while.

Kevin Rudd Farming Generations is a Japanese-style role-playing game made using RPGMaker [EDIT: It was actually made using GameMaker]. I can confirm that it involves both farming and generations.

Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden Is Getting A Sequel

I don’t usually do news posts (well, maybe the Roguelike Updates posts qualify), but this is important. Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden, everyone’s favorite Japanese-style RPG about the last living b-ball stars and their struggle to survive in the post-cyberpocalypse, is getting a sequel.

Developer Tales of Game’s announced the sequel six days ago (I apologize for my tardiness), and give the full title: The Magical Realms of Tír na nÓg: Escape from Necron 7 – Revenge of Cuchulainn: The Official Game of the Movie – Chapter 2 of the Hoopz Barkley SaGa. Apparently it will be an action role-playing game, with an open world that can be explored in non-linear fashion, and will star X114JAM9, “an amnesiac baller with no recollection of his past and no concept of his incredible b-ball destiny.” I took the liberty of grabbing the announcement graphic for use at the top of this post; I don’t think Tales of Game’s will mind. They’re planning a Kickstarter campaign to help fund development, and I’ll be sure to announce that once it launches.

Now, if you’ve played Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden, then you probably don’t need any more information than that to get very excited indeed. If you haven’t played Barkley, Shut Up And Jam: Gaiden, then you should do so immediately.

Why, you ask? Let me tell you.

Roguelike Updates: Who Needs Leveling, Anyway?

It’s time for another roundup of updates to the various roguelikes I’ve covered on this blog. The big news is that Brogue has reached v1.7, with some major changes.

With the exception of its scrolls of enchantment — which allowed players to customize their characters not by some up-front character generation choices but by which pieces of equipment they chose to enchant — Brogue was quite similar to the original Rogue on first release. But the scrolls of enchantment were a great idea, and the strict rationing of these scrolls created strategic dilemmas not found in other roguelikes. By the time I wrote about it, other features of Brogue had already started to follow suit. The player character’s strength (and therefore, ability to use heavier weapons and armor) was no longer tied to experience level, instead being granted by potions of strength which were rationed just like scrolls of enchantment. This meant that it was no longer necessary to fight lots of enemies before getting to use better equipment, and stealthy tactics were more viable.

Still, fighting monsters for experience points to gain levels remained at the core of Brogue, and gaining levels was the only way to gain more health. Until now. With v1.7, leveling has been completely removed from the game.

Behind The Times: Torchlight

Please note that, like always, you can click on the screenshots for bigger versions.

I originally intended to finish playing Torchlight in time for the release of Torchlight 2. Then I injured my wrist, and since Torchlight is a 2-handed game, I had to take a break and play other things. Now, I’ve gone back and finally finished it.

Before I start, a little history: I’ve written many posts on roguelikes, and several more on roguelike-likes, games that borrow design elements from roguelikes and fuse them into other gameplay styles. But the most famous roguelike-like was Blizzard’s 1996 game Diablo. Diablo took the dungeon-crawl premise of most roguelikes — complete with procedurally generated floors, hordes of enemies to fight, and heaps of randomized loot to find — and fused it with a fast-paced real-time combat system. While Diablo did not feature perma-death like most roguelikes, where dying meant starting the whole game over, it did offer serious consequences for failure: there was no manual save system, with the game instead saving automatically when quitting, so it was never possible to reload an old game to reverse a mistake. Dying meant respawning in town without any of your stuff, and having to make a dangerous run to your corpse to recover it. This kept the tense feel of a roguelike without punishing the player too harshly for not having clicked on an enemy quickly enough. [EDIT: Diablo II did feature an optional “hardcore” mode with permadeath — thanks to jefequeso for pointing this out.]

Diablo was an instant hit, spawning its own genre known as the action role-playing game (abbreviated to action-RPG or ARPG). Today, nearly all role-playing games are called action-RPGs because they tend to feature real-time combat systems that play out similarly to action games, but back in 1996 the term applied exclusively to Diablo clones. And there were many, although none managed to unseat the Diablo series as the leader of the genre. Torchlight is a more recent Diablo clone, and has the distinction of being developed by some of the same people who worked on Diablo and Diablo II. While I enjoyed the Diablo games (mostly having played the second), I was never that interested in their dark, demon-filled world. Torchlight’s colorful locales were much more enticing.

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