Lion Forge rolls out new comics/tabletop gaming hybrid series imprint

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Comics publisher Lion Forge recently announced Quillion, a new hybrid for comics storytelling and tabletop gaming. It plans to brings something a little different to both worlds, bridging a gateway for new readers between both.

The first series release under the Quillion flag will be Rolled & Told, set for “combining the thrill of tabletop role-play with the storytelling of comics in a monthly comic book format. Rolled & Told brings a ready-to-play, fun adventure for one of gaming’s favorite tabletop role-playing games, alongside beautiful illustrations, comics coinciding with each full adventure, as well as instructive articles.”

Issue #0 will premiere at San Diego Comic-Con in July as a free giveaway. Rolled & Told #1 will release in September.

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“A project like this creates an incredible opportunity for new creative talent to be showcased,” says Lion Forge associate editor, Christina “Steenz” Stewart. “With anywhere between seven and twenty different comics creators on each issue, Rolled & Told will be more than a periodical, but also a natural gateway between gaming and comics.”

 

“For me, Rolled & Told is the best thing I never knew I was missing until I saw it put together in all its magnificent glory. It feels both familiar and groundbreaking at the same time. You get fun, wild, and over-the-top adventures. Those adventures are jam-packed with not only awesome and stylish art, but also a comic driven directly by one of the adventures!” says Lion Forge lead game designer, E.L. Thomas. “For an old-school game master like myself, it’s a privilege to work with such talented people and an honor to be part of what is surely going to be a staple on many a game table for years to come.”

Rolled & Told No. 1 is set to roll out at better comic stores (and hopefully some gaming stores too) everywhere this September. For more information this and the Quillion imprint, also visit www.lionforge.com.

E3 2018: Indivisible, a new animated gaming adventure revealed

 

Another overlooked gem from this year’s E3 Expo is Indivisible, a fully animated game with a hybrid of platforming and turned based classic RPG elements.

This new adventure is developed by Lab Zero (the creative team behind Skullgirls) and published by 505 Games.

Indivisible stars Ajna (AHZH-na), a girl who sets out on a globe-spanning journey to discover the truth behind her mysterious powers. On her quest she’ll be joined by a variety of unique heroes and gain new abilities to traverse the environments and defeat the enemies they’ll encounter along the way.

In addition to a fresh spin on RPG gameplay, Indivisible features a deep storyline inspired by southeast Asian and other world mythologies, Lab Zero’s trademark feature-quality 2D hand-drawn animation,

For the soundtrack, Lab Zero brought aboard Secret of Mana composer Hiroki Kikuta. The game will also have an animated opening by popular anime studio TRIGGER.

Indivisible is planned for release in 2019 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Steam for Windows / Mac / Linux. For more info, check out the official site at www.indivisiblegame.com.

Udon brings video game fantasy to manga shelves with ‘Dragon’s Crown’

Udon Entertainment recently announced its upcoming new video game based manga, Dragon’s Crown; with an invitation for new readers to “join an epic journey through catacombs, castles, and labyrinths.”

An adventure is now set for “The Fighter, the Sorceress, the Elf, the Wizard, the Amazon, and the Dwarf! These six heroes have come together to a quest for riches, for glory, and for the honor of the kingdom of Hydeland! (Though really, it’s mostly for the riches…)!”

Dragon’s Crown is adapted and drawn by artist Yuztan (Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid), the Dragon’s Crown manga captures all the hard-hitting action, sexiness and silliness of the beat-em-up RPG. Created by George Kamitani and Vanillaware, the game is known for its gorgeous artwork and designs, and the manga certainly lives up to that visual legacy.

Dragon’s Crown: Volume 1 arrives in stores everywhere October 2017. A second and final volume of the series will follow in 2018.

FINAL FANTASY XII: THE ZODIAC AGE new Spring Trailer

Square Enix Ltd. recently unveiled an all-new cinematic trailer for Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age.

And, here it is:

“In Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, players are transported to the grand world of Ivalice where magic is commonplace and airships fill the skies. War has engulfed the kingdom of Dalmasca, leaving it in ruin and uncertainty. Princess Ashe, the only surviving heir to the Dalmascan throne, devotes herself to the resistance to liberate her country. Accompanied by Vaan, a young man who lost his family in the war, together these unlikely allies and their companions lead the fight for the freedom of their homeland.”

The is an updated version of the Playstation 2 classic released over a decade ago, with new HD remastered graphics, 7.1 surround sound, gameplay improvements, new game modes and more.

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will be available for the PlayStation 4 on July 11th, 2017. For more information, visit: http://www.finalfantasyxii.com

Personal thoughts: I thought I said goodbye to the original game of long ago, but suddenly its strange beauty in both the story and gameplay calls me back (espcially from this trailer). the original was not my favorite of the Final Fantasy RPGs but does have a special place in my collection for what it was looking to do. I really like the character designs, though not as emotionally invested in them as a group. I think this because there was more game than story content. The challenge and better part of the game is within configuring the characters for combat and the difficult side quests. I think I will pick this up eventually, in hopes that this version will be a truer, more defined version of the original.

TANGLEDEEP dungeon crawler RPG reaches Kickstarter goal, within first week

Independent game developer Impact Gameworks recently announced its dungeon crawler Tangledeep game has reached its Kickstarter funding goal within the first week. The current totals are currently now at over $16,500 in pledges, with over 560 backers. There are 20 days left from now, to reach its 30,000 in stretch goals.

Tangledeep harks back to the 16-bit golden age of role-playing games, drawing inspiration from the famed classics including Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger.

The gameplay is strategy focused turn-based gameplay. The game’s dungeon is ever-changing and presents a variety of challenges for the player to figure out.  The character job system and a plethora of equipment options offer a fresh experience and gameplay in every session.

The Tangledeep in-game music soundtrack will feature two styles for the player: a retro 16-bit version, and a modern version with orchestration and live-recorded instrumentalists. Its main music is by Andrew “zircon” Aversa, the sole programmer and designer for Tangledeep. Also, guest contributions will add to the overall soundtrack, including legendary composers Hiroki Kikuta (Secret of Mana, Seiken Densetsu 3), Grant Kirkhope (GoldenEye 007, Banjo-Kazooie and the upcoming Yooka-Laylee).

See the trailer here for more info on Tangledeep and its creator.

The game release date is not yet announced, through the Kickstarter page projects the 2017 holiday season. For more info and continuation of the currently active Kickstarter, visit the official page here.

Game Trailer – Evoland 2

Evoland 2 Official Trailer

  • Release Date: Summer 2015
  • Publishers: Shiro Games
  • Platform: Windows, probable others in the future.
  • Official Site: www.evoland2.com
  • Notes: Sequel to the first Evoland game. It is schedule to be released for the summer of 2015, hoever can be preordered now from the Evoland 2 official site.

Synopsis:

“Evoland 2 is the spiritual successor to the original Evoland with its graphics style changing as you travel through time and it’s gameplay evolving as you move along the storyline. It is also a much bigger game and a classic RPG at heart, with a complex scenario based on time travel, dozens of characters with their own backgrounds and ambitions and vastly different gameplay styles that are linked to the story and the player’s actions. Full of humor and references to classic games, the aptly named Evoland 2, A Slight Case of Spacetime Continuum Disorder will bring a truly epic and extraordinary adventure, unlike anything you’ve ever played before!.”

– Official site, http://www.evoland2.com

Personal Thoughts:

I enjoyed the hell out of the original Evoland, though it was short and easy for this experienced player.

The original was more than the quirky premise of the many past console RPG games since the mid 1980s. The gameplay contained much on reverential humor, poking fun at tropes and overused plot devices. Players like myself got the frequent snark, especially at some cumbersome elements (yes, village music is terrible), as it just went ahead and reused them anyway (argh, not another random encounter!). The main characters (Kaeris, Clink) were often parodies or tributes (pick one), of one or more beloved gaming icons.  The gameplay was solid and good, accompanied by a good soundtrack.

However, all was short and very limited. The land, very small and the changing elements of the game from classic to modern was too few, for being such an original concept that added to this game’s uniqueness. The ending felt rushed, and unfulfilling. All that was left, were hidden dungeons and some mundane side questing. This was acceptable for the price I paid, but I wanted more.

And now, we get more in Evoland 2. The trailer reveals much, and more into the history of gaming. I can tell the original creator (or creators), put a lot more into this. I see fighting games, shooting games, puzzle games..all no doubt are accounted for in the similar humor-filled homage-filled tone of the first. I also see a bit more of what the changing style of the original, hopefully not following a chronological order and adding to the story itself. The game is also likely bigger than the first, as all sequels should. I can also hope for some ridiculously overly expansive and contrived story development, that will expand upon the overly simple script of the first. Also, I have no doubt the gameplay and soundtrack will be just good, perhaps better than the first.  The new challenge elements look good, especially the side-scroller play. I look forward to all this nostalgia, with hopefully more meta humor added in.

Yes to Evoland 2.  I look forward!

– Orion T

Game Review: Out There : Ω Edition

Out There : Ω Edition

  • Genre: strategy point/click RPG
  • Creators: Mi-Clos Studio
  • Platform: Steam
  • Price: $9.95
  • Official site: outtheregame.com
  • Notes: Expanded edition of the regular game, still available on IOS, Android systems.

Synopsis:

Out There is a strategy game based on point and click decisions, set in a space-travel survival scenario. As the player, you are an astronaut set astray after cryogenic sleep gone wrong. Now you must survive and find your way back home, with very limited means. You eventually mine resources, communicate with alien cultures, balance your necessities, upgrade (and eventually change) your ship, and make decisions that may reward to end your life. Eventually, the story will change. There is more at stake than your own survival as you find yourself taking part in a larger cosmic game.

The game was previously released as an app for iOS and Android mobile devices. This Out There : Ω Edition game is an expanded edition for the Steam console. The Ω Edition has new alien breeds, new spaceships, expanded stories and text, new ending, and more difficult decisions. The game also has a new animated opening, and extended musical score by Siddhartha Barnhoorn (Antichamber, The Stanley Parable). There is also much added environment and planet details, more colorful and deeper detailed map chart, and more visual details added; using a new graphic engine

Personal Thoughts:

Out There is not the game for those seeking satisfaction through engagement of a world made convenient and easy. There is no easy mode option, nor is there any forgiveness should their character of control die within 20 minutes of gameplay. There are no second chances or extra lives. If your story ends, you can not go back. You simply start over, and learn from experience; which does not guarantee any longer or extended experience. You may start with something, and end with nothing. This is not a game for anyone who believes the universe is fair and made for them.

Out There is a game base on 20% luck, and 80% of working to figure out how to manipulate your chances of luck, for good fortune or recovery from a bad turn. This is a game of survival, and discovery. The reward is living an extra day, turning one more page of your own cosmic drama. This game is for anyone, who enjoys more reality put into their pretend situation of misplacement on its grandest scale. To be often be dealt a bad hand, and still win. And perhaps, even alter the ending to an unforeseen destiny.

For me, I am a big fan of the earlier iOS version, which I played to its fullest. I have a little advantage in what to expect, and the many ways I can die; thus can make decisions on how to avoid some of that. Still, the game is hard and challenging.

This game is also compared too much to FTL, a space ship game with similar visuals. There is little besides the visuals and placement of ship components, that deserves such a comparison. Out There feels closer to Oregon Trail, in the ideas of surrealism and dealing with misfortunes. The reward is building upon your story, and seeing it through.

The constant narrative is wonderful in its initial simplicity. You identify with the character, as someone who does not ask to be alone, but works to make the best of it. Being observant, and seeing the bad situation as a sort of challenge. Your destinations have beauty, and there is cheer in finding the right elements at the right time. To reach a “garden planet” before losing your last moment of oxygen, or to find a an abandoned ship when all else seems hopeless; if your adrenaline rush that while the universe if unfair, there is something “out there” on your side.

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That’s where the constant modification, installing and upgrading of your ship to foresee and unlock rewards and avoid danger. Much like in the picture above, where the “Inframeter” allows me to see what a solar system may have for me, before spending my valuable resources on travel. To get these valuable resources, is also a game of hope and good educated guesses. And your sizes of ships vary; often with very limited space to what’s available for equipment and extra element resources. You must choose wisely on what to use and drop.

The Ω Edition adds more complication to the new ship acquisition. Some new ships of promise need repair, as you hopefully have the right elements ready, or figure out some quick access to. I also came across one of the new ships for this edition, filled with dead humans as an actual resource. I could was a bit puzzled on what to do with these bundles of dead humans, and felt it wasn’t morally right to simply drop them into space. This is the odd emotionally involvement that Out There has brought me to.

Compared to the iOS version earlier played, I felt surprised to that one very vital flaw which can still be exploited. That would be a cheat, where one could simply “quit” during a visit to a solar system as an unfortunate mishap that does not end in death. Then go back to the title screen, and “continue.” There is a slight rewind, and you may continue. The cheat seems petty, but I cant help but to repeat this as I feel I should do whatever it takes to survive; even if that means using my Captain Kirk style solution to this Kobayashi Maru of a game.

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Not all challenges depend on luck, or altering that luck. Some challenges are conquered by simply thinking and studying your mistakes. For example, the alien encounters; where mistranslated reactions can lose some great rewards. Look carefully at the words of aliens when you encounter life. Sometimes a few giveaways at some names that reveal friendship, or testing your allegiances to malevolent cosmic forces. In most cases, you need to just know a few words in English, through previous encounters.

The “Omega” element is everything, especially after your survival extends to a point with in the game where suddenly hostile alien forces greatly limit your chance for finding resources. You come across the important Omega element in mastering your encounters with alien life, and in rare story interruptions during space travel. You also find the ability to change life should you gain the technology to develop the”Life Seed” or “Death Seed” ship enhancements. New narratives open, and more mysteries of this game reveal themselves. You may find yourself more involved in the game as your death may come before a satisfactory conclusion, resulting in increased agony.

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For this edition, the added visuals and extended musical track is a fantastic touch. The changes in both as the gameplay extends, adding freshness. Some even adds a lot more attentive detail than expected, enough to almost bring a cinematic element to the game. The added font, text narratives, effects bring Out There closer to reading a comic book, than reading a novel or watching a movie. As a game, this works perfect.

However, this edition should have some updates, or more features.  A day counter could be instantly available at the push of a button. An automatic story log would be awesome, with perhaps even a save feature to archive your greatest adventures; perhaps even publish them to Facebook and social media happenings. I would also more story art to the narratives, as the visual designs (aliens, ships, environments), are fantastic. I love to see more of the artist’s take on some of these chance encounters, like this one..

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Overall, Out There : Ω Edition is a fantastic adventure for hardcore RPG fanatics, and casual gamers wanting more story. It’s also great science fiction storytelling, intelligent written and engaging. This edition brings the much needed depth the mobile versions missed, and a worthwhile use of your money and time.

– Orion T

Animated Video Short: The Reward

The Reward from The Animation Workshop on Vimeo.

WARNING: Some graphic violence and humor within. Viewer discretion is advised.

  • Title: The Reward
  • Creators: Sun Creature Studio (for the Animation Workshop)
  • Published: January 28, 2013 (Originally for the Animation Workshop)
  • Source: Film – Sun Creature Studio official page – suncreature.com and  youtube.com/suncreaturestudio
  • Graduation film from The Animation Workshop in Denmark – official page –  www.animwork.dk/en.
  • Notes: Planned for an expanded “Tales of Alethrion” series.

Synopsis:

From suncreature.com:

“The Reward is a wordless 2D animation short, directed by Mikkel Mainz Ekljær and Kenneth Ladekjær in artistic collaboration with Glenn August, Jonas Andreassen, Josefine Hannibal, Karen Bennetzen, Ole Christian Loken, Paolo Giandoso and Tanja Nielsen.”

A tale of two bros who find a map and go on a most epic adventure. The rest you should watch.

Personal Thoughts:

This brought a lot of joy to my heart. As a fan of nearly everything that I think  here (One Piece, Adventure Time, Final Fantasy) . The animation is very stylish, and awesome in terms of what’s done with this small team involved. I like the sudden cuts, and editing used to quickly show us the passing of time, and elevation of action in the heroes time progression. I can’t think of anything else like this, in such a short time.

The writing says an incredible amount, for a short film with no words. There is a lot of wicked fun humor, and some very imaginative things mixing science fantasy; reminding me of those classic role-playing games (both digital and tabletop). I see the great story to this meaning of the term “,” and how awesome a life-long friendship will endure. You see the incredible feats they carry out; not likely done by one, or as much fun.  I also applaud the message in the end, where such a friendship can inspire a new generation in very subtle ways.

There is much to enjoy here. I would like to see more of this style and animations from Sun Creature Studio.

– Orion T