Monthly Archives: November 2013

Novus AEterno Kickstarter Interview

Questions by Shannon Doyle (Leliah), European News Editor

Answers by Nick Talmers Nieuwoudt, CEO Taitale Games

 

Leliah: Hello! Please introduce yourself, explain your role in Novus AEterno, and tell us what your favorite RTS is. (Other than your own of course. ;) )

 

Nick: That’s a hard one to narrow to just one. I have been playing RTS games since I was 7, starting with Command & Conquer. At the moment, though, the RTS that I end up playing the most is either Men of War: Assault Squad or Hearts of Iron 3. But at least once a week, I hop on a classic RTS with my friends; when it’s classics night, my vote is always Red Alert: Aftermath!

 

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Leliah: For those who haven’t been lucky enough to see it and play it, what would you tell them about Novus AEterno?

 

Nick: My first response to this question is always to reference the following Douglas Adams quote:

“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

 

Novus Aeterno is a RTS on a MASSIVE scale; huge in scope without sacrificing anything that we would expect in a RTS like full base-building, resource collection, unit production, fog of war, research, etc… And it includes a lot of new elements not often seen, such as Dynamic non-techtree-based research and full unit design.

 

We combine all of that with what gamers expect from a true MMO: thousands and thousands of players playing together; total persistency; no-borders completely open MASSIVE galaxies; alliances; coalitions; play run economy with no centralized market; even NPC factions with which players can interact and help support, or wipe them out of the game completely!

 

 

Leliah: What makes Novus AEterno unique to others in the RTS market today?

 

Nick: Novus Aeterno really is about expanding the whole style of RTS games. Something which has really stuck with me was, at PAX Prime 2011, our Strategy adviser, Jim Hunt, (Major General USAF, retired), went walking around the show floor and, upon his return, said “Technically, most of these strategy games are not actually ‘Strategy’; they are ‘Tactics’.. Tactics is how you win a battle; Strategy is how you win a war and expand an empire”. In essence, I think that’s what Novus Aeterno is all about – not just one battle, but about month-long wars, diplomatic alliances and the collapse of coalitions bringing the galaxy’s delicate political structure down like a flaming blimp… only for new phoenixes to rise up and lead.

 

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Leliah: Its said in the video for Kickstarter that you were unhappy with what was available on the RTS market, and that was what got Novus AEterno started. What was it you were looking for that they didn’t provide? And how does Novus AEterno do those things?

 

Nick: It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy those other RTS games, many of which are great, but I was frustrated by the limitations of the shorter play cycles. I was searching for a game that let me play on a deeper, more massive (thousands vs. thousands) scale. I wanted a game where my strategic decisions had greater impact and consequences beyond that 30 or 40-minute session. Essentially, I wanted to fight a war and build an empire; not just fight a battle. I also thought there was an opportunity to build a game that enabled players to shine, no matter how they wanted to play the game – diplomatically; with a focus on intelligence and research; militaristic; or with a focus on trade and economy. We’ve worked hard to place equal emphasis on all of those areas of the game, and ultimately encourage players to build strong alliances.

 

 

Leliah: What have been some of your inspirations while making Novus AEterno?

 

Nick: There are pieces of every single game I have ever played in Novus AEterno, from Masters of Orion to Men of War: Assault Squad. In all honesty, though, the greatest inspiration came from an episode of Stargate: Atlantis, where some of the characters find a set of consoles that appear to be a game allowing the user to customize, control, and manage every element of an empire; a few weeks later, they find out that it was not a game at all, and that they were actually real empires controlled by and destroyed following direction from the ‘player’. That’s what sparked the idea of a true empire-building MMORTS in my mind, and started the drive to find this kind of game seven years ago.

 

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Leliah: From the looks of things development is a ways in, what will the funds from the Kickstarter be used for?

 

Nick: Yes, we are near complete on the core features we wanted in the game, but we need the funds to help cover the last few months of development to the finish line. We underestimated the time and dollars needed to make this game when I first conceived it seven years – of course, the scope grew considerably, as well. The project has been funded by friends and angel investors thus far, and with sacrifices by the team, but now we need just a little bit more to finish the game for the first release. And, if we exceed our funding goal, we can expedite the expansion and some features we’re hoping to add in the future.

 

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Leliah: What will happen if you don’t reach your goal of $200,000?

 

Nick: Of course, we hope that doesn’t happen. But, after seven long years, this dedicated team is more determined than ever to make this game, even if we don’t reach our funding goal. It would just take longer and initially lack some of the cool expansion features we’re anxious to add. But we think the gaming community and our fans are as anxious to see this game realized as we are, so we need everyone to help spread the word and support us any way they can.

 

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Leliah: Will Novus AEterno be difficult for someone without RTS experience to jump into? Is there a very big learning curve?

 

Nick: The learning curve for Novus AEterno is actually not very steep at all. One of the core play mechanics and differentiators of Novus is it allows you to focus on your strengths as a gamer. When it comes to unit control, we are finishing up development on our AI system that allows the player to ‘customize’ his/her AI for their ships in great detail. This means if you are less experienced or still learning the tricks of micromanagement, you can ‘program’ your AI ahead of time to do all the basics; and you can worry more about the high level strategy, not the detailed tactics. As the player gets better at the game, they can start taking over more and more of what they let the AI handle early on.

 

 

Leliah: One of the big trends in the market right now is to have an in game cash shop. Will Novus AEterno have one? And if yes, what kinds of things will be in it?

 

Nick: We’re still working some of the details of that out, so we aren’t quite ready to announce anything yet. That said, we have a bunch of things we wish to add to the game as we go – new races, new and collectible ships, so there will of course be some form of in-game marketplace.

 

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Leliah: What has been your personal favorite part of the development so far?

 

Nick: Wow, there have been so many highlights – from working with Jim Hunt on the D.I.M.E. integration, to our first PAX where we got to see people’s reactions to what we were building for the first time. Or maybe when we garnered our first awards a year later at PAX Prime 2012. Within the last year, I’ve met and shown Novus to several industry luminaries who built the games that made me become a gamer – Louis Castle of C&C fame; Alex Gardner, who created Homeworld. I guess if I had to pick just one moment, it would be the outpouring of support from our fans.

 

 

Leliah: Once Novus AEterno goes live, what expansion plans and updates are you aiming for?

 

Nick: We’ve already announced our first stretch goal – capital ships, or ships that have specialized roles that can turn the tide of any battle, on our Kickstarter page. We’ve also mentioned additional races, a centralized control bridge, and Player vs. Computer (PvC) play as possible expansions in our podcasts. We’ll be discussing these possible expansions in greater detail over the coming weeks on our updates. We are also committed to including our dedicated community in the creation, prioritization and implementation of future features. We’re making the game WE wanted to play, but want to make sure it’s also the game THEY want to play.

 

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Leliah: Fantastic. If you want to learn more about Novus AEterno or join the Kickstarter backing, check out their official page!

Cybermonster Thanksgiving Gift Pack Server 12 Giveaway

OnRPG has partnered with Game321 to bring you a special Thanksgiving Gift Pack for Cybermonster 2 worth $100 of in-game items!

Cybermonster 2 is based on Pokemon combined with the original Cyber Monster, featuring revolutionary innovation, a brand new world with countless pets and events, thrilling dungeons, and faction war!

 

To Redeem your Key:

  • Claim the Gift pack and get the redeem code
  • Visit the Cyber Monster 2 official site, Register and login in the game.
  • Choose server 12.
  • Find the redeem icon at the right top of the game, and use your code to redeem the Thanksgiving pack.
  • Please note that the gift pack can only be redeemed in the game when you choose server S12.

Shotgun News 11/27: World of Tanks, Neverwinter, and Tower of Ascension

World of Tanks Given Official Discipline Status at World Cyber Games

16 national teams will compete this weekend at the World Cyber Games in Kunshan, China playing World of Tanks. They will be competing for $35,000, $21,000 and $7,000. Global eSports Director at Wargaming Jonghyuk Baak had this to say about the announcement, “Being selected as an official discipline of this year’s World Cyber Games is truly a testament not only to the popularity of World of Tanks around the world, but also to a clear sign of its continued success in competitive gaming.”

 

Neverwinter Introduces Collections System

Neverwinter Collection (2)

December 5th is quickly approaching, and with it Module 2. This new system will help players keep track of the loot they’ve obtained, and show them what they’re still missing. It also tracks companions, artifacts, and zone rewards. Inner completionist whores beware.

 

Tower of Ascension Announces December Release

Mobile action role-playing game Tower of Ascension will officially launch in the Apple app store in December! Made by WarpPortal, the people behind the Ragnarok series, Tower of Ascension was created using the Unreal 3 Engine and boasts high quality graphics previously unseen in the mobile market. Pre registration is taking place now and those who do will receive exclusive items.

Nether Releases New Patch And Gets Steam Autumn Sale Discount

Nether Thanksgiving

Nether, the first urban-survival game, has a lot to be thankful for: solid early adopter numbers, a strong community of gamers who are helping shape the game and a consistent ranking in the Top 20 on Steam since its early access release.

For Thanksgiving, Nether is releasing a new patch with big performance increases, two versions of a pilgrim hat and a new objective where players must kill a mini-boss that attacks random areas of the city!

To show additional thanks to the gaming community, Nether early access is featured during the Steam Autumn Sale with a 10 percent discount.

Star Trek Online Season 8 Interview w/ Daniel Stahl

Questions by Shannon Doyle (Leliah), European News Editor

Answers by Daniel Stahl, Star Trek Online Producer

STO Season 8 Interview 1

Just days before Season 8 was released I was invited to ask the Star Trek Online Executive Producer Daniel Stahl anything I wanted. But after such a hugely in depth and successful dev blogging push it seemed like there weren’t many things left to ask. So I went away from the traditional questions and went a little more obscure. This as it turns out worked in my favor as people got bogged down with other, more important things so my questions went unanswered for some time. But now, we have them at last. And we can find out everything you wanted to know about Season 8 but were afraid to ask.

 

 

Leliah: How does Season 8 differ from previous seasons?

Daniel: Season 8 features some of our most ambitious group content to date.  The brand new Battlezone will challenge groups of players to defeat Voth that are entrenched in a ground installation.  The immense Voth Fortress Ship will dwarf players and push them to coordinate in an effort to breach the ship and take it out from the inside.  Tied to these events, and several more, is a new reputation.  This rep has been designed to be more player friendly from the ground up, while still providing some of the best rewards in the game.  All in all, this season is jam packed with exciting, interesting, and rewarding content.

 

 

Leliah: There’s a lot of excitement around the new Federation tutorial. How is it different to the previous, and more importantly will there be a way for veteran players to take part and get the story related Bridge officers?

Daniel: This tutorial really focuses on how the player fits into the STO universe, and sets you in a great position to enjoy the story.  You begin as a graduating cadet and through skill, nerve, and guile you will prove yourself worthy of the captain’s chair.  Once there, you’ll have two new mini-missions to complete where you cement your role as a commanding officer and earn your commission and ship in Starfleet.  Along the way you will meet your bridge crew, most importantly Elisa Flores.  She’s tough, smart, funny, and has just enough punch to keep things interesting. She’ll be your first bridge officer and will have plenty to say on your adventure through the tutorial.  For players that have completed our previous tutorial, Elisa Flores is available for free on Starfleet Academy.

STO Season 8 Interview 2

Leliah: There have been a record number of dev blogs about Season 8, putting jobs like mine in danger, is this something you plan to continue for future releases? (Should I start looking for a new job?)

Daniel: Our goal is to keep players as informed as possible on all of our releases!  It’s our hope to let people know exactly what we’re working on so they know what to expect and give us feedback to review right away.  Our goal isn’t to put you out of business, but to give you more information to talk about!  Besides, you get to run this nifty interview full of fun new information.

 

 

Leliah: When picking a race to go up against, why did the Voth get chosen? Also, how did you change them to bring them down to our level? As if we take them as they were seen on TV their technology was vastly superior.

Daniel: The Voth fit into our larger goal for the STO story.  We wanted someone technologically imposing that would be drawn to the even more advanced Dyson Sphere tech.  As for the Voth’s superiority, I’d say it’s more of a case of us catching up in the intervening 30 years than them being reduced to our level.  The Voth have been at the top of the technological ladder for a long time; the alliance is trying to challenge them for that title.

STO Season 8 Interview 3

Leliah: Having asked a lot of STO players what questions they would ask a dev the question was more often than not “When are we getting x?” or “Will they add something to make x better?” How do you respond to requests like this? And when will STO get that really cool thing that everyone wants but actually changes depending on who you ask?

Daniel: All of the devs over here are huge fans of the Star Trek IP, and STO as well.  If a player has thought of something really cool they’d like to see in the game, it’s likely that we’ve at least spoken about it internally.  Since that’s the case, we typically can tell them where the feature or addition stands on the pecking order and if they can plan to see it soon or not.  Everyone has their own idea of what will be cool for STO, and if you look at the growth this game has had over the last 3.5 years I would say nothing is out of the question given the time.

 

 

Leliah: Did you get to work with Michael Dorn? What was that like?

Daniel: I personally didn’t get to work with Michael Dorn, but the entire team was incredibly excited when he was signed.  Everyone was taking turns heading over to the closed doors in the audio area to eavesdrop on him reprising a role he hasn’t played in 10 years.  Like I said earlier, we’re all Star Trek fans first and the fact that he was recording for STO was a surreal experience.

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Leliah: Can you tell us anything about the upcoming holiday plans? Will there be any updates to the traditional Q fun?

Daniel: Our Winter Event is definitely coming back, expect a dev blog very soon to give more details!

 

Leliah: Short of using the good Timeship Aeon to find out, what can you reveal about what comes next for STO?

Daniel: We’re keeping details for 2014 close to our vest for now, but more details will become available as the year progresses.

 

 

Leliah: Thanks for the honest answers. We’ll keep a close eye on those blogs and keep our audience up to date on all the goods! And if you haven’t yet, don’t miss out on a free Bajoran uniform pack while our supplies last!

Cybermonster 2 Thanksgiving Pack Server 4 Giveaway

OnRPG has partnered with Game321 to bring you a special Thanksgiving Gift Pack for Cybermonster 2 worth $100 of in-game items!

Cybermonster 2 is based on Pokemon combined with the original Cyber Monster, featuring revolutionary innovation, a brand new world with countless pets and events, thrilling dungeons, and faction war!

 

To Redeem your Key:

  • Claim the Gift pack and get the redeem code
  • Visit the Cyber Monster 2 official site, Register and login in the game.
  • Choose server S4.
  • Find the redeem icon at the right top of the game, and use your code to redeem the Thanksgiving pack.
  • Please note that the gift pack can only be redeemed in the game when you choose server S4.

Inferno Legend

Inferno Legend is a free-to-play downloadable MMORPG from Gamebox. The game features a non-traditional storyline in which players take on the role of the Devil, working from the underground to fight the humans above who declare themselves righteous.