IndieSpotlight: Ravenstorm: Rift of Souls

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Welcome back to the IndieSpotlight segment of RealGamerNewz.com and let me first apologize for taking so long to bring this next installment to all of you patient readers. I can honestly say that speaking with the many indie developers who reached out (and who I reached out to) for slots in the IndieSpotlight articles to come has been the most enjoyable experience in my 4 years as a video games journalist. In the following spotlight, Ravenstorm: Rift of Souls by GameMasterz is covered who I had the honor and pleasure of speaking with many times through voice conference and otherwise. This is one of those games that reaches me as a gamer as well as a journalist and breathes fresh life into a genre that I have been searching out for the past year, enjoy.

Concept:

When you make a long story short, Ravenstorm: Rift of Souls is a turn-based RPG with pen + paper influences, but in reality it’s more than that. Ravenstorm: Rift of Souls comes from a passionate development house that is focused on bringing the appeal of classic board games to the digital gaming world. With a unique vision of self-developed rules for the gamer paired with elaborate and unique game mechanics, this game will allow players to get together in a virtual world of fantasy and adventure without the dice and geographical locality.

There was once a city run by a family who came to the land centuries ago and discovered a rift where the dead return as monsters. This city has called upon the heroes of the world to help them keep order and maintain the rift. However, things are not all as they seem. The rift has secrets that players will uncover as their journey moves forward.

In terms of gameplay, players will be able to make their own characters and enter a turn-based role playing experience with each other on the PC as well as Mobile devices. Co-op and group features make the game even more exciting and are a core focus. Abilities can be leveled up including your mastery of certain aspects of the game such as Swords or Defense. Talents are also unlocked and Stats will increase throughout your progression through Ravenstorm. The title’s combat system has been described by GameMasterz as easy to learn and hard to master, with a high fun factor at all levels, but taking an estimated 3 months to completely max out. Some levels will be randomly generated to some extent within controlled paramaters (GameMasterz compared this to Diablo in terms of what to expect for the amount of randomization in levels).

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One of the other great features in this game is the ability to play the game Mobile (while commuting to work for example) then continue the same game on PC with more features when you arrive at home again.

In Ravenstorm: Rift of Souls, players create the character that they want. For example, you can make a character that sneaks and hides yet loves Heavy Armor but this will be a lot more challenging to produce compared to the more traditional lightweight stealth character. In terms of character creation, nearly everything is possible, but scaled to practicality in terms of how long it will take.

In the main city there is an area where most PvP (Player vs Player and Team vs Team) fights occur. If more elaborate fighting stages are suggested by the community, GameMasterz has stated that they would consider them. However, the PvE experience is being protected by keeping the PvP in an Arena-like area where those who seek such battles can spend as much of their time as they’d like.

Players will have the ability to view things from above but if they hit a critical or simply would like to play the game always looking closer there is also a zoomed in ‘movie’ mode camera angle which can be selected as a preference. This is explained as a sort of ‘over the shoulder’ viewpoint by GameMasterz. If you die while fighting you can be resurrected via Soulstones, and while the game is not open-world it will revolve around a large amount of freedom with PvP and PvE with a linear story also present in the game. After defeating the final boss, there is nothing stopping you from continuing playing and experiencing Endgame content.

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As I stated at the beginning, GameMasterz is very dedicated to the vision for this game and have been developing the game’s mechanics for over 10 years with programmers currently working successfully on putting together the first slice of the game. They look to open a Kickstarter soon and allow public input to drive the development decisions for a prototype during 12 – 18 months of expected dev time before the final version will become available for play.

The team is comprised of experienced members including Kun Chang of Ubisoft and GhostVFX. GameMasterz has also been releasing assets and proof-of-concept materials within a VIP group which RealGamerNewz has become part of. At the bottom of the article you’ll find links to their internet presence where you can find out more about the game. We had a chance to ask them even more questions which are found below in the Text Q&A Interview we conducted.

Q&A Interview:

RGN: Ravenstorm: Rift of Souls seems to feature many different art styles. Can you tell us more about how these will coalesce together in the final product?

GameMasterz: We’re working with a high fantasy look and feel, but with a more murky look than normal. We’re aiming at placing ourselves somewhere between “The lord of the rings” and “game of thrones”, as we want the game to be considered a serious game, with some serious gameplay, mechanics and features.

RGN: How much of the game is based on stats and leveling versus story-line and lore?

GameMasterz: The game is centralized around the vision of bringing the rich, and to times, complex tabletop mechanics into the digital world. Thus the game is centered around mechanics and thus stats, character development, creating and tailoring your character to suit your personal playing style and preferences. The game will have some lore and a main story to follow, but the mechanics is where it really shines through.

RGN: How will the mobile version interact with the home version of Ravenstorm: Rift of Souls?

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GameMasterz: That is not entirely determined yet. However we do consider it to be possible to play the actual game on a mobile device as well. But we’re currentlig considering how it can elevate the PC-experience as well.

RGN: Will the journey be different based on your character class?

GameMasterz: The game is build upon a class-less system, and thus there will be no difference in the evolution of the main story depending on how you choose to create your character. We’re currently thinking about how to add more content, for the players to experience a broader view of the world. Moreover we’re thinking about how to put “class labels” on the characters, to be earned once certain criteria are reached. For instance the character will be allowed to use the description “paladin” or “assassin” when they reach certain attribute-, skill-, and talent markers.

RGN: Will they have in game cutscenes to move the story forward or will it be or dialogue driven?

GameMasterz: It will be cut-scenes unfolding the story to the player, as he progresses through the game. We’re really gonna use the luxury of having a motion picture animation team as an essential part of the game!

RGN: With such complex mechanics how will they make it easy for new players to pick up and play and also on the other end with experienced players so that everyone can ejoy the game?

GameMasterz: We’re currently contemplating on how to do this the best. As of now, there will be some general stats to describe the “powers” of the characters, to get a simple overview of the characters prowess. However, once you want to investigate the mechanics in more detail, the inherent core rules or compendium will be there for your support, to explain how the game works, and there will be in game help. Moreover we’re gonna introduce the basic features of the game and mechanics through a carefully planned tutorial.

Official 720p Teaser of Work-In-Progress Game:

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Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20131003 and was last modified on 20131004 .