Archive for August, 2010

It’s a little bit rare in the gaming world to get a true surprise these days – news gets leaked, developments become predictable, and the internet has made the press cycle a very different beast than it was when your next PC Gamer issue was the only way you found things out.  Sometimes, though, we still get an unexpected gift.  It’s been less than a year since Runic Games floored us with their excellent action RPG Torchlight, and last week saw the announcement that a full sequel featuring cooperative multiplayer is practically right around the corner.

We loved talking to Runic about the first Torchlight last year, so naturally we wanted to get them back on as quickly as we could to discuss the next installment.  Once again we solicited your questions, made our appointment with the team, and I’m extremely happy to be able to bring you this episode as a result.  Unfortunately, Falcor the Wonder Dog was running around on official Runic business and couldn’t join us, but I’m a little bit giddy to tell you that we had both Schaefer brothers on this call, marking what Erich Schaefer tells us is his first podcast appearance.  I hope we did him proud.  Enjoy.

On the Immortal Machines side:
Eric [Ravenlock] – Host
Clayton [Voodoo] – Producer
Rob [mightbe] – Special Guest

On the Runic side:
Max and Erich Schaefer – Runic Co-Founders
Jason Beck – Art Director
Wonder Russell – Minister of Public Relations

Thanks to everybody who submitted questions – we tried to cram in as many as we could on a tight schedule.  Without further ado: Runic Games and Torchlight II!

Once you’re done listening, come discuss the interview over at Colony of Gamers!

[Episode 37] A Long Awaited Return

That isn’t the episode title I expected to be typing.  I haven’t been awaiting Starcraft II at all; in fact, I spent most of the last year professing complete apathy towards it, because RTS’s aren’t really my thing, and I didn’t love the first one that much, and blah blah whatever.  As you doubtless already know, I was wrong, and it’s pretty great.  So, in this episode, we talk about that rather quite a lot.  It deserves it.  It isn’t unanimous or universal praise, but let me be clear in saying I’m pleased with my unexpected purchase.

In other completely unrelated but still somewhat Blizzard-centric news, one of our own, J_Arcane, has made a pen-and-paper RPG called “Drums of War” based on the Warcraft universe.  The challenges of moving computer games to tabletops are entirely too fascinating to not talk about, so it gets some attention as well.

The whole thing is rounded out by some further disappointment in DICE (refunds for Battlefield 1943 PC pre-orders, huh? Yeah, didn’t see that one coming), some talk about happier news like a new entry in the Worms franchise that actually looks good, and we make mention again of our ongoing Beat Hazard giveaway, which is honestly beginning to convince me that you guys just don’t like winning stuff.  Of course there’s also some talk about the few other games we’ve been playing – did you know Just Cause II is really good? It’s really good. – but mostly we’re here to talk Starcraft.  It’s been a long time, after all.

So come on in and enjoy A Long Awaited Return.

Hosted by Eric [Ravenlock]
Participants are J_Arcane and James [Vigil80]
Produced by Clayton [Voodoo]

Want to talk about the show?  Come discuss the episode over at Colony of Gamers.

I’ve made no secret about my love of action RPG’s.  I’ve carried – ahem – a torch for Torchlight since before its release, but I love pretty much anything that lets me hit loot pinatas and collect shiny trinkets; Titan’s Quest, Sacred, Icewind Dale, Divine Divinity, Dungeon Siege… I even played Revenant.  (Look it up.)  And when Diablo 3 comes out, forget it.  I may just disappear.

But the game development world isn’t just sitting around waiting for Blizzard to bring out the next installment of their juggernaut, and indie developers in particular have been busy innovating in a genre that hasn’t seen many high-profile entries in the last few years.  The aforementioned Torchlight got a lot of media attention (thanks in part to not just an excellent game but Runic’s staff of ex-Blizzard employees), but Steven Peeler has been making action RPG’s with a twist and selling them online for the last several years.

His latest, Din’s Curse, was discussed briefly in a previous Immortal Machines episode – it’s an action RPG where you take a wandering hero through a string of randomly generated towns and attached dungeons… a little like Torchlight might be if the town of Ember was different every time you started a game, and was in actual peril.  The world in Din’s Curse, you see, doesn’t wait for you to get around to saving it – waste too much time, and those monsters will get stronger, and the town you’re trying to save may end up overrun.

We were lucky enough to be joined by developer Steven Peeler on this episode, to talk about his company Soldak Entertainment, Din’s Curse, their previous releases, and what he hopes to work on next.  It’s always great to get a little insight into how the games we love are made, and I hope you’ll enjoy listening to Steven as much as we enjoyed talking with him in our latest IndieCast.

Want to talk about it?  Come join the discussion over at Colony of Gamers.