Gamescom 2016 – A review

So there I was, hitting the showroom floor at 09:11 o’clock. Boy was I excited! Roaming the halls with my buddy Alex.

First stop was Dreadnought from Grey Box Games. The introduction movie wasn’t anything new but the quick battle after was a lot of fun and despite of me our team won. Yeah! The Instagram-thingy didn’t really work but we got a cool T-Shirt.

Next up was the Microsoft ID@XBOX booth. Which was a bit difficult to find, but we managed. And there was a treat waiting. Oh boy! Terrible Toybox, Inc. (Better known as Ron Gilbert and his merry men) showed Thimbleweed Park and you could have a nice chat with Robert Megone. And so I did. Also we took a sneak peak at We Happy Few from Compulsion Games. I didn’t touch any of the two because I don’t want to spoil the fun for me but both looked stunning.

A big (really big) presentation was Blizzard. I mean it was massiv! But nothing really new. Sadly.

We then wandered a bit aimlessly through the halls until I saw a big sign for the new South Park game “Fractured but whole“. You’ve got to love the guys for their way with words. Looks as promising as “Stick of truth” was. We shall see.

Onward! TO GLORY! We passed by the Dawn Of War III booth which had an enourmus line waiting at this rather “empty” day and I don’t want to know how “bad” this will get, when the public streams into the halls.

Nintendo was up next and it was crowded. Sadly the mini NES was just a mock-up. But it all felt very cosy.

I had still some unchecked boxes on my to-do list and one of them was Star Citizen. The waiting line was way to long for my taste (hey, I can play that game at home too ;)) but lucky me, right on the other side was Lawbreakers by Boss Key Productions. Usually not my type of game but Rohan Rivas was there and this was the first time to shake hands with someone who’s work I’ve been following for years now. (Remember gametrailers.com?) And so we did shake hands and had a nice chat. And a picture. But the camera ate the picture. No!!!

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Time for yet another meeting with strangers. The very nice folks from PlayWood Project Aps (Michael Rud Jakobsen and Jens-Emil Kristensen) had some time to spare and talk about the future and visions of Wartile. (Go check out the demo right now!) It’s really awesome to meet creators in real life.

After all that blinking lights we too a break. And wandered the halls of fanservice. Fanshops! SHOPS!

But what we stumbled upon there was really a surprise. Smach Z, the handheld steam maschine had a booth and you could try the prototype. Sadly they had technical problems so we could hold it but not really use it. The prototype was rather big and heavy but that will change with the final version. Kickstarter will go live September 1st. I’m curious.

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After that, we wandered a bit more, tried various games and finally (after close to 8 hours) settled for “we are tired, let’s head back”. It was big fun and next year I’ll be back.

WARTILE Canceled – A Momentary Farewell

That’s some News to wake up to. Michael Rud Jakobsen wrote on behalf of Playwood Project ApS:

Unfortunately, we are today in a situation where we have to consider and realize the harsh truth that it’s very unlikely that we will reach the campaign’s main goal. There’s much to consider and there’s many reasons as to why this may be the case and we have already learned a lot, both about our community and about how WARTILE is seen by those who didn’t back the project.

“Unlikely” is not “impossible” and since day one I had an eye open on Kicktraq to see where it’s going. And my guess was “it will be close, but they’ll make it”. Mostly because most Kickstarter projects gain momentum in the last 3 days.

But that probably the problem when hitting the goal just by a bit: there is no room for fault tolerance. We had this problem with another Kickstarter. Rocket Ranger Reloaded had a goal of $89,999 and got $90,715. But they didn’t really get $90,000 as an update on the 21st september 2015 told us:

We reached the goal but not far beyond our target. Also we did not get some bigger payments from backers from the higher levels. We lost about 30k on money that we did not get (Credit cards payment where refused). But we still had to pay Kickstarter and Amazon Fees. [Sven from Cinemaware]

Simple math: one third missing. That’s a chunk of change. And I guess that is the reason for Wartile being cancelled. Just a too big risk.

I, for my part, hate seeing that project being let go and “going dark” but I hope the guys at ApS get their feet on the ground. Michael Rud Jakobsen ends his note with this:

Again we are sad and incredibly sorry to disappoint all of you backers, and everyone else who believed in us, but going forward, we take with us a lot of knowledge about ourselves as developers and of WARTILE as a game. Be sure that we will rise again, stronger and better as we aim at the future.

Until we meet again, do keep spreading the love for cool projects.

So go and subscribe to their newsletter, follow their Facebook and Twitter accounts or email them if you want to happen to have $100,000 laying around. ;) Or maybe Daniel Kayser can help. He’s Product Marketing Manager at Unreal Engine.

WARTILE – Figurine Customization

One of the major plus points of a physical miniatures games is customizing your miniatures. In most video game adaptations of miniature wargaming I’m aware of this is reduced to changing a colour scheme. Maybe switch a weapon. But it’s all cosmetic most of the time.

But in Wartile it will also change stats and you can do more than mere colour changes. The developer says:

In WARTILE, you’ll be able to customize your figurines with different weapons, shields and armor pieces, both to make them look unique and cool, and to change their overall combat stats so that they can be more defensive or more offensive, depending on the task at hand.

So we are getting a cool WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor with an animated stats preview. I like that a lot. Just take a quick look at their video:

So consider backing them. Click HERE

Kickstarter – Two sides of the coin

So I backed a game called “Into the Stars” back in 2015 on Kickstarter. It promised a captains chair star ship experience to see how it would feel to be a “Captain Kirk”. It was supposed to be ready in July 2015. But it wasn’t until 2016 that I got the game. And even though they fixed some very basic but annoying bugs in “short time” the game still is boring as hell. Sorry.

That was the “bad” side.

On the other side there is “Wartile”. The Kickstarter is still running and they have to deliver on many promises but at least they have at least two things “Into the Stars” did not have. First they don’t promise a quick delivery but a reasonable timetable. “Into the Stars” was aiming for 6 months and ended with 14. “Wartile” takes the 14 months right from the start. Second, “Wartile” has a playable demo right now and it already is more fun (for me at least) than “Into the Stars”.

Usually I hate bashing on games but “Into the Stars” promised to be so much more but this dull, boring and ultra slow paced “space harvesting sim”. Just take a look at some of the reviews and let that sink in.

Of course there is the possibility that “Wartile” will not deliver what it promises but at the time of writing I really doubt that. The bigger problem at the moment is the lack of funding. Right now with close to 20.000 GBP pledged they only have a third of what they asked. So please consider backing them. I think the game can deliver. Again: “Wartile” has a demo and everybody can take a look at it and try the game mechanics. Try before you buy. :)

tl;dr
BUY “WARTILE”! Avoid “Into the Stars”.

Wartile – RTS meets miniature skirmish battles.

Ich habe doch wieder einen Kickstarter unterstützt. Und zwar Wartile. Man nehme mittelalterliches Miniaturen Tabletop, stecke es auf Hex-Bases und ersetze die üblichen, Runden-basierenden Mechaniken durch Echtzeit Bewegung und schon wird das ganze flotter. Wer also Starcraft & Co. sowie kleine, bunte Plastikminiaturen wie Warhammer, Judge Dread und Flames of War mag, der ist hier top aufgehoben.

Ein riesen Bonus für die Jungs ist die Tatsache, dass sie bei Steam eine spielbare Demo mit einer Mission und einem Tutorial haben. Try before you buy. Top!

Also schaut es euch mal an und vielleicht sieht man sich 2017 dann auf dem Schlachtfeld ;)

[Update] Einen YouTube Kanal haben sie doch. Gestern war der nicht zu finden. KLICK

Das aktuelle Video ist ein dev-vlog über deren Level Desing.

Und hübsch aussehen tut es auch. Seht selbst: