Good Bye!

Today I decided to close the Troika Chronicles for good. That means I won’t update the news and I will probably not renew the domain troikachronicles.com. But since the site is hosted by WordPress.com I will probably keep it running as long as possible.

It has been a great time, but with Troika Games long gone, I lost interest in the site. If you are interested where my focus lies today, check out my pen & paper RPG blog “Stargazer’s World“.

Thanks and good bye!

What’s Tim Cain Up To?

Edge Online has talked to Tim Cain, who is lead designer for Carbine Studios’ announced MMORPG.

What are you playing right now?

TC: Let’s see, I’m playing Dungeons & Dragons Online. I’m playing City of Villains, I’m playing Warhammer Online and I’m going to cancel my [Age of] Conan account. I think that’s about it.

JG: Is your WoW account active?

TC: Yeah I play WoW. Everyone plays WoW. I have Fallout 3 preordered and Lich King preordered so I know what I’m going to be doing in October and November.

You can check out the full interview here.

Life sign from Carbine Studios

Almost one year ago I interviewed Jeremy Gaffney (Executive Producer), Tim Cain (Lead Programmer) and Kevin Beardslee (VP of Design) from Carbine Studios about their upcoming MMO. Yesterday IGN Vault posted a video interview with Jess Lebow (Lead Quest Designer). The major announcement is probably that Tim Cain has taken charge of the design department! Way to go, Tim!

You can watch the whole interview here.

Vince D. Weller interviewed @ Alley of Infinite Angles

Who is Vince D. Weller? And why is his interview covered by the Troika Chronicles?
V.D. Weller is a long-time Troika Games fan who turned game developer. With his team he’s developing “Age of Decadence”, an independent roleplaying game that could make Arcanum fans very happy. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

You have previously described your team as “picking up Troika’s ball because somebody had to”. What is it about games like Troika’s that today’s RPGs aren’t providing, and why is it important to keep that flame alive?

I don’t think that in the last 10-15 years anyone did as much to truly push the RPG genre forward as Troika did. Fallout and Arcanum are two of the best RPGs ever created. ToEE had the best and most faithful DnD turn-based combat and one of the best turn-based combat implementations in general. Bloodlines was probably one of the first successful attempts to fuse action with role-playing. Robust dialogue trees with skillchecks, focus on characters and dialogues, non-linearity, multiple options and paths, choices & consequences – that’s Troika. We are influenced by Troika’s games, by Troika’s design philosophy, by Troika’s ideas.

Troika’s games were different. Troika’s RPGs were actually ROLE-PLAYING games, not games with adjustable stats. Sure, they were buggy and often unpolished, but I’d rather play a brilliant, but unpolished game, than a well-polished, generic and uninspiring game.

Needless to say, we’ll do our best to deliver well-tested and polished games for our audience.

I hope “Age of Decadence” will be finished soon, because I am starving for some great roleplaying game! For more information on AoD check out the official Iron Tower Studio website!

Unofficial Arcanum Patch released

I have to admit I haven’t been checking Terra Arcanum for quite some time now. And so I completely missed that there’s an Unofficial Arcanum Patch! The latest version has been released just days ago. Following is a list of changes/fixes:

-Removed two red pixels in Light Wood Door’s art.
-Level scaling is back, but now you get random encounters after levels 45-49 as well.
-There’s a chance that orcish bandits in random encounters will have an ogre in their group now. (This wasn’t working before because of a typo).
-Fixed scripts of Molochean Hand Assasins, Orc Bandits and Bates’ Bounty Hunters. You won’t be caught in neverending dialogue loop anymore if you try to control their mind.
-Fixed wrongs stats on a number of orcs and ogres’ prototypes. Summoned orcs and ogres aren’t considered monsters anymore.
-Vendigroth’s music track is restored.
-Fixed music issues in the part of Tarant around the library, Caladon’s docks, the boat landing on Thanatos, the Ruby Glade, Ashlag Village and Stringy Pete’s Cove.
-Fixed three typos in Thom Grak’s dialogue.
-Fixed a typo in “IFS Zephyr Miracle” newspaper.
-Fixed a typo in Malek Nebbs’ dialogue.
-One of passages in the Black Mountain mines can’t be destroyed anymore.
-A table in Bates’ factory can’t be highlighted anymore.
-A painting in the Mayor’s mansion in Black Root can’t be highlighted anymore.
-Restored Virgil’s dialogue about Lawrence Brummond’s newspaper.
-Lawrence Brummond’s newspaper can’t be pickpocketed from the clerk anymore.
-Fixed a typo in Lawrence Brummond’s newspaper.
-Fixed a typo in Virgil’s dialogue (talking about the newspaper).
-Fixed a typo in Virgil’s dialogue (talking about the flying machines).
-Fixed 12 typos in newspapers.
-Fixed a typo in Gilbert Bates’ dialogue.
-Gilbert Bates now asks for his ring after the questions’ branch as well.
-WorldEd: changed categories for many critter prototypes.
-Fixed several problems with some of critter prototypes.
-Summoned creatures now have correct palettes. (not default ones)
-Fixed basic proto issues with the guard in front of the gates on the Isle of Despair: correct soundbank and portrait now.
-The junk dealer in Derhnolm now has a correct dialogue.
-Fixed some broken tiles in the herbalist’s house in Shrouded Hills.
-Fixed three broken lines in the dialogue of the Mayor of Black Root.
-Fixed 8 typos in train ticket agents’ dialogues.
-Fixed a typo in Black Root’s rumors.
-Fixed a typo in Winston Schuyler’s dialogue.
-Fixed the land bridge’s townmap.
-Fixed two broken lines and a typo in Killian Drake’s dialogue.
-Prince Farad won’t talk to you anymore if you tell him that Aria is being tortured by Praetor.
-Fixed two broken lines in the dialogue of the Mayor of Black Root.
-Removed a description from Princess Aria’s Amulet.
-Standardized descriptions for Dorian Amulet, Ring of Protection, Amulet of Beauty and Axe of Strength.
-Standardized a lot of descriptions for unique items.
-Fixed wrong descriptions for Charmed, Magick, Mystic and Arcane Robes.
-Fixed wrong descriptions for Charmed, Magick, Mystic and Arcane Chainmails.
-Fixed wrong descriptions for Charmed, Magick, Mystic and Arcane Platemails.

You can download the UAP here.

Leonard Boyarsky interview @ 1UP

1UP had the chance to talk to Leonard Boyarsky about the upcoming Diablo III. Here’s an excerpt:

1UP: Since you’ve worked on games like Fallout and Arcanum, can you talk about how your background in hardcore RPG design contributes to the design of the action-heavy Diablo III?

LB: Since you didn’t catch the world design panel, this isn’t going to be information you heard already. But in the panel, we talked about how you can argue that an action game doesn’t really need a story. I would then argue that even if you have an action game that concentrates on the action, if you have that story layer in there — which is opt-in of course because a bunch of players won’t care about the story in that type of game — but if it’s there for the people who do care, or if it informs all the art and the mood and the way people talk in the game, I think it comes across to the player. Even those who only peripherally encounter it through their quests, it gives them something to care about. They’re not only caring about the next piece of armor or the next level, but if we’re doing out job right, they’re going to care about the next plot point. That’s where I come in.

You can read the full interview here.

Zero Radius Games

Zero Radius Games is a hobbyist game design group that consists of Chris Taylor, Tom Decker (he was part of the ToEE and Bloodlines teams) and Scott Everts. ZRG has finally a working website again and they have put up some of their games for download. The games are in PDF format (yes, these are board and/or card games) and you don’t use a PC to play them. ;) As far as I’ve heard their games are pretty sweet, so have a look at their site!

By the way, I’ve found that piece of information at the Fallout 3 Blog! Thanks briosafreak!

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