Ten Questions: Age of Decadence

Age of Decadence, as I’ve already mentioned, will soon probably turn out to be one of the best RPGs a modern gentleman and his lady can enjoy, while also being the first truly ambitious CRPG the indie scene has ever attempted. Now, before heading off to its official website to find out more, have a read at what the developers have to say for themselves and -more importantly- their game.
The Age of Decadence logo

1. Well fearless developers, care to introduce yourselves?

Nick handles programming, Oscar does the visuals, Rami models stuff, Ivan animates it, and I [Vince] am responsible for the overall design and writing.

2. Now, how about introducing us to your forthcoming release: Age of Decadence?

It’s an RPG featuring:
– an original, low magic post-apocalyptic setting
– a detailed skill-based system
– turn-based combat with action points and different attacks
– a lot of dialogue with stat, skill, and reputation checks
– meaningful choices & consequences
– multiple paths & multiple endings

3. Any idea when we should expect to play it? Will it be a download-only title?

Sometime this year. We’ll offer both download-only digital copies and professionally done boxed copies with a full color manual, a map, and a jewel-case CD. We’ve received quite a few publishing offers, but it’s too early to tell.
The Age of Decadence - Gameplay Screenshot

4. And the name, the name… What is the significance of the Age of Decadence title?

It describes the setting. Highly anticipated sequels “The Age of Renaissance” and “The Age of Nationalism” are already in pre-production. Buy two, get the third one for free.

5. Care to elaborate a bit on the setting and story bits of the game?

The setting is post-apocalyptic fantasy. Several hundred years ago a war between two kingdoms almost destroyed them both. Magic, not unlike nuclear power, was used and supernatural allies were summoned. What’s left wasn’t in any shape to be called empires or kingdoms, so the age of town-states and decadence had begun. A lot of knowledge has been lost; magic was blamed for the devastation, and was all but banned; facilities that were seemed too dangerous were sealed.

The story begins when your character acquires an ancient map and revolves around learning where and what the map leads to, dealing with factions that have very different goals, and finally dealing with what awaits for you at the end of your journey.

6. I understand this will be more or less a turn based experience. How exactly will AoD play?

Turn-based. As for how:
– your Dex defines the amount of action point you get per turn and ranges from 6 to 12.
– all actions have AP costs, so for example swinging a short sword costs 4AP, while bringing a two-handed sword on someone’s head will cost you 6AP. So, if you have 12AP per turn, you can either attack twice with a two-hander, or 3 times with a short sword, or 4 times with a dagger.
– AoD offers a large variety of attacks: fast, regular, power, special, and aimed. Fast attacks deliver less damage, but cost 1AP less and come with a to-hit bonus which works well against fast, hard to hit opponents. Power attacks pack quite a punch, but they cost 1AP more and are easier to avoid. Aimed attacks target specific body parts, etc.

So, going with the above mentioned example, armed with a short sword and 12AP per turn, you can do 3 regular attacks, or 4 fast attacks, or 2 power attacks, in which case you’ll still have 2AP left. If you grab a dagger in your free hand, you can perform a fast attack with a dagger. We also offer throwing nets, acid, and black powder bombs to enhance your combat experience.

The Age of Decadence - Gameplay Screenshot

7. Will there be dialog? Puzzles? Moral Choices? Naked goblins?

We’ve spent all our money on dialogues and choices, so we had to skip puzzles and goblins completely. Even though they look kinda hot naked.

Overall, dialogues and choices are the main aspect of the game and the main attraction. We have seven different endings and only two involve mortal combat. You’ll be able to talk your way in and out of trouble, make allies and enemies (there are no default good and bad guys), and handle quests in non-combat ways using dialogues and text adventure elements.

8. Any information on the engine you’ll be using you’d care to share?

We are using Torque Game Engine, which was at the forefront of the WW2 technology. It’s a real pleasure to work with advanced technology and craft living & breathing photorealistic worlds.

9. How about the available quests?

Well, they are much more better than the unavailable quests, I’ll tell you that much. We have over 100 quests (104 to be specific, but that could change), but your choices will filter it down to about 60 quests per playthrough. I’m glad to report that we have 0 FedEx quests and 0 “kill x monsters/Bring me x items” quests.
The Age of Decadence - Gameplay Screenshot

10. What kind of character creation and game mechanics systems will you be using? Should we expect something like D&D or something more akin to Fallout/GURPS?

The system is skill-based. Your stats define your starting skills and then you gain and distribute skill points. We’re slowly playing a “Let’s play AoD” game on our forums, so drop by and take a look at the character system, dialogues, and some mechanics.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig4uWe_jOvQ[/youtube]

Ten Questions with Envizions

Gamebox logo
Gamebox logo


If you need more proof that mobile gaming is becoming a large part of the gaming industry, look no further than all the innovations being released for the Android mobile platform. Gamebox is one of those newest innovations, created by Envizions it allows gamers to back-up and store their games. Not only can you store you mobile gaming save states, but you can also back-up documents, videos and music.

In order to bring you more information on this new product Obsolete Gamer conducted an interview for our Ten Questions segment.

Obsolete Gamer: Can you start with telling us a little bit about Envizions as a company?

I started Envizions in 2004. I along with four co-workers pooled our money together to self fund the company. The EVO console created such an amazing buzz that it excited new co-workers and each person pooled $5 per week to fund the company.

Obsolete Gamer: In a nutshell what is the Gamebox?

GameBox is a back-up storage for games, but can also be used to back-up documents, videos, and music.

Obsolete Gamer: What was the EVO beta market study and what did you learn from it?

We learned that we were ahead of our time with in terms of utilizing technology like voice recognition, PC, DVR, content, social and convergence and being that these advance were being presented by a startup company hurt us a bit. We constantly see things from recent consoles that our CES 2007 EVO already employed. Our testers gave us great feedback on what they liked about the system and what needed to be improved on. We sold all of our initial systems and now everyone is requesting one? Go figure (Lol)

Obsolete Gamer: For those that don’t know can you tell us about cloud and cloud-based games and storage?

The cloud has many meanings but our meaning is storing important and valuable data in secure locations. GameBox will also employ some basic game streaming similar to concepts your readers have seen from current companies.

Obsolete Gamer: So gamers will be able to save their game data including saved states like is done on some console emulators?


Obsolete Gamer: Give us some more information on the cross-device usage and how it will apply to high definition televisions and networked-based games?

We want to take that approach we did with the first EVO with convergence, but expand on that concept further with mobile, tablets, and television. Once we are closer to finishing, we’ll have a few more secrets to share.

Obsolete Gamer: You will also offer Gesture Controlled Gaming; can you tell us more about that?

Not much. We have something very special planned. And I mean special. “We want this system to come alive…literally!”

Obsolete Gamer: Now developers will be able to sign-up and receive unlimited storage and access to tools for only $9.95 per month?

Yes, but we plan to do other special things for our partner developers.

Obsolete Gamer: What does it mean to be the first crowd source and social participation console?

Users will have control on where we release the system first, the design, the color, the game controllers etc. When the Rock says “I’m the people’s champ.” GameBox is the people’s system with Envizions providing a small assist.

Obsolete Gamer: What is your personal view on mobile gaming now and in the near future?

I have loved gaming since the Nintendo era. I have beat several games on that system. Now we have mobile gaming and I love it also. I can see this being huge as we move forward.

Ten Questions with Tony Gonzales

Romstar logo
Romstar logo

Tony Gonzales

What is your professional background related to gaming?

I had taken electronics in school and a regular hang out type at the local college arcade, I always wondered about the electronics inside and enjoyed looking in when they were being repaired. One particular game was a pain in the neck; the owner had it repaired several times. I idly slapped the cabinet and it did an immediate reset. Turns out that the power supply had leads poking onto a metal casing. Insulated fish paper repaired it for good. That is when he asked me if I wanted a job working on his games. I said yes and games have been a part of my life ever since. The game was Plieades, by the way and the tech at the time with the arcade later went onto fame as the world’s first videogame champion and one of the founders of a major game software company.

Personally when did you start gaming and what did you play?

Always loved pinballs and mechanical games. 7,8,9, no idea of a starting date for liking games. I loved them, though!

One of the companies you worked for was Romstar, can you tell us about what you did there as well as the company itself?

Romstar was my first manufacturing job. I was half the tech department and later headed up the consumer division. Repair, beta testing, phone counselor, manual writing, I was there. Some previous work I did with a friend on an in-house hardware game system resulted in Magic Darts for the NES. I also helped ship, beta test since I had the only truck at the company (strange but true fact, the cabinet for Ninja Warriors was designed to fit the truck, an 88 Toyota short-bed. I still have that truck today). Basically, all of us wore many hats there. Your readers may find this a bit surprising that for a game company that did manufacturing and home games as well as design, the amount of personnel was 14.

Can you tell us about repairing arcade games?

Always a puzzle, always a lot of fun, except when they don’t respond. Each repair teaches me more, and I grew hungry for more knowledge along the way. I still do. Right now as I type this, I am sitting with a Galaxian board in my lap that I had repaired.

What was it like working for SNK?

Lots of fun, lots of hard work. A great balance. Creative juices got out to play, we worked hard to give the customers and distributors good value. Great group to work with, some I still remain in contact today. A huge family, as it were. Same situation at Romstar.

Can you tell us about working on a project that never gets released, does that upset you or are you just glad you had the opportunity to do it?

Tera was probably my favorite project I worked on. That was an in-house designed hardware system. Our vice president had brought in a friend named Doug Hughes, who had designed the old US game board system for Taito (Qix). I spent a week up north on his ranch helping in the design and learning to program it. It was 286 based and programmed in Borland C. Sadly; the system never saw the light of day though some of the programming formed the core game design of Magic Darts on the NES 8 bit. I still have the schematics to this puppy. Might have to hit it up on a CPLD someday 🙂

What was your favorite game related project of your career?

Probably Tera,  I have drawings for what I hope would be a Tera ][ eventually. I revamped the design for a brand new microprocessor I hope to be working with soon called Terbium. Terbium is a 32 bit 65C02 and much more….

What are you currently working on?

I have several projects. The biggest game one I call Pinball Mind. There was a pinball made in the 1970s called Fireball and sold for homes. When the CPU dies on those, they are un-repairable. I designed a piggyback CPU board for those. I have some fun display and light animations at present and I am revamping the code into a cleaner library format. It will release with a whole slew of features to make it worth the cost, including 4 games, a built in contest, possible linking and video capabilities and a software developer’s kit. It is based on the 65C02.

Some other projects include several arcade and redemption games, an alternate reality game which has been in design and some play over the last 4 years, and some music CDs to butress 2 movie soundtracks I am composing.

What games are you currently playing?

Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. Otherwise, I don’t play too much. No time these days!

What is your favorite classic game?

Got too many for different reasons, but Haunted House pinball and Sinistar probably rank in my top, along with Tempest and Chiller.

Ten Questions with Aaron Hunter of Playtechtonics

Starport logo
Starport logo


Ever play the game twenty questions? In an effort to bring you more information on games and the companies and people behind them Obsolete Gamer will be bringing you a new weekly series called Ten Questions.

The feature will work the way it sounds. We will ask various people in the gaming industry ten questions about their company, current projects and gaming background. This week Obsolete Gamer had a chat with Aaron Hunter, lead designer for Starport.

Playtechtonics Bio: Playtechtonics is an independent game development studio located in Austin, TX.

Can you tell us about your personal gaming history and experience?

Aaron Hunter: I started games as a kid with an Apple 2e computer. I began learning programming languages before high school and kept up with it as a personal hobby since then. I’ve worked for a number of large game developers including Microsoft, Acclaim, and others.

Can you tell us about Playtechtonics?

Aaron Hunter: Playtechtonics is a small development company headed by Aaron Hunter, a programmer and designer.

How did you begin with Playtechtonics?

Aaron Hunter: Playtechtonics began in 2001 as a way to break out of the box being defined by corporate game developers and pursue new concepts in game development, particularly the MMO.

Since it is a gaming company can you tell us about the day to day of working at a company that makes games?

Aaron Hunter: Day to day it can be tough to apply yourself to the abstract task of arranging code and graphics and testing it. You have to have discipline and drive. The nice part is you have room to shine creatively.

What are the challenges and benefits of being a maker of independent games?

Aaron Hunter: The challenges are that you can’t get all the graphics and content you want in as fast as the big guys. The advantage is you can do what you want regardless of corporate opinions.

Tell us about Starport Galactic Empires?

Aaron Hunter: Starport: Galactic Empires is action and role-playing MMO featuring player vs. player competition, spaceship combat, and empire building.

Why make it a free MMO?

Aaron Hunter: A free MMO is preferable to a subscription based one because it puts less of a barrier between you and your customers and that allows trust to build between the two.

Do you think games like yours offering a fun MMO experience without the cost could be the future of online gaming?

Aaron Hunter: Yes.

What future additions to Starport are you hoping to add?

Aaron Hunter: We are adding new graphics, new toys, and new galaxies.

When you are not working what games do you currently play?

Aaron Hunter: I normally play speed chess.

You can also check out the Wiki page for Starport.