Age of Decadence, our first but hopefully not the last RPG, is now
available. If you've been following it or playing it in Early Access,
you know what to expect (if you did play an earlier version, please
delete prefs.cs file from your Documents/My Games/Age of Decadence
folder before starting a new game). If you've just discovered it, "stay
awhile and listen".
The most commonly asked question is: What Kind of Game Is It?
a very different game than anything you’ve ever played. I’m sure you’ve
noticed that the RPG genre hasn’t really been explored yet and most
RPGs follow the formula that didn’t change in 20 years. While there were
always games that strayed off the beaten path – Darklands, Planescape:
Torment, King of Dragon Pass – such games were the exceptions that only
reinforced the rule.
The Age of Decadence is an experiment, an
attempt to explore a different direction, taking you back to the PnP
roots of the genre. It doesn’t mean that the game is awesome. In fact,
there is a good chance that you won’t like it, precisely because we took
too many liberties with the established design.
So What Sets The Age of Decadence Apart From Other Games?
1. The Setup
many fantasy RPGs are about killing things, clearing up dungeons, and
being a hero. There is nothing wrong with mindless fun and wish
fulfillment, but we want to offer you something different. To quote Tom
Chick (Quarter to Three's game critic):
"But Age of Decadence
wants nothing to do with kobolds, just as it wants nothing to do with
Doo-dads of Unimaginable Power. The overarching idea is a crumbling
society divided among three noble Houses, each fumbling around in its
own version of darkness to comprehend what destroyed the world. That’s
the central mystery. It plays out like noir in that you are the
detective, piecing together what really happened from differing
accounts, all vividly written with clear voices and efficient prose. And
like a detective in a noir yarn, you can’t help but become part of the
central mystery, effecting an outcome you might not have intended."
Age of Decadence is not a game about killing monsters or exploring
mystical lands, but rather, surviving amid the greed and brutality of
your fellow humans and carving out a name for yourself. Good and bad are
purely relative. It’s a world of scheming and backstabbing in which
your words and actions have the potential to forge alliances and sow
discord, and your path is never certain.
You get to play with
seven different factions: three Noble Houses and four 'professional'
guilds: merchants, assassins, thieves, and the army, all fighting for
power or influence; over 100 named characters, over 750 ‘generic’
characters with unique IDs taking part in violent take-overs,
assassinations, and power grabs, and over 600,000 words of dialogue: a
well-developed and thought through world, believable characters,
realistic motivations, but no elves, dwarves, magic, and wizards in
fashionable, pointy hats.
2. Combat’s difficulty
Another design aspect worth mentioning is combat difficulty. It’s a hard game.
difficulty is integrated into the setting. You can’t say that the world
is harsh and unforgiving and then let the player kill everyone who
looks at him or her funny. The game has to be hard, dying should be
easy, and you should have reasons to pick your fights.
a powerful hero who can defeat anyone and save the world and it is the
difficulty that reinforces this notion. Make the game easier and we’re
back to the powerful hero setup. So unless you’re a natural born killer,
watch what you say and think before you act or you’ll end up dead
before you can blink.
3. Choices & Consequences
are what the game is all about - crafting your own narrative via a
variety of choices that alter the story, playing field, and your options
down the road. From multiple quest solutions to branching questlines
you'll have plenty decisions to make and consequences of said decisions
to deal with, which is what makes the game incredibly replayable.
the game as a mercenary and joining the Imperial Guards will give a
completely different experience, different quests, different content and
points of view than, say, playing the game as a merchant (less buying
low and selling high, more scheming and plotting to gain advantages for
the guild), a praetor serving a Noble House, or an assassin.
questlines are interwoven, forming a large, overarching story, so
playing the game only once will be like witnessing events from a single
perspective, which is limited by default. You will have to play the game
several times to better understand what’s going on, piece everything
together, and see the full effect of the choices you make.
The Big Question: Should You Buy The Game?
before you buy. Even if everything I said sounds exactly like your kind
of game, try the demo first. That’s what it’s there for. It gives you
access to the first Chapter, consisting of 3 locations and about 30
quests split between mutually exclusive questlines and decisions.
continue supporting the game and paying attention to your suggestions
and concerns (as long as they fit the core of the game). During the next
3 months we'll work on extra content because why not? I dislike DLCs,
so we won't charge anything for all extra content related to the game.
short-term project is a party-based dungeon crawler set in the AoD
world. One of the characters mentions a prison-mine called The Second
Chance and you'll be given an opportunity to escape it or die trying.
This game will use the existing assets and systems.
(i.e. a full scale RPG) project is a "generation ship" game, inspired
by Heinlein's Orphans of the Sky. We're aiming to create a different
experience with the same core ('hardcore', TB, C&C). So, combat will
be turn-based but focused on ranged rather than melee (earth-made laser
guns - rare but powerful, ammo even more rare, so save for special
occasions - vs crude ship-manufactured firearms favoring burst rather
then precision), level up to distribute skill points and unlock new
feats, focus on the individual and more dynamic C&C, focus on
exploring rather than working your way up in a faction; you'll be one of
the 'freemen' who aren't born into a caste-like faction, more
traditional open level design.
like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who supported us over
the years. We wouldn't have made it this far without you.
Big ups as usual to Poker Cards + her sister and MiniMP3 for translating, Seph for cleaning, Varete for typesetting, and my flatmate for spot translation.
Uber-gratitude to the wonderful Jojo not just for making this comic in the first place but also for providing us with spot explanations. I love being able to bug the actual author, it's the best part of translating fanwork.
Hey! Apparently some of you are having issues viewing files I've uploaded in posts. This is totally lame so here are all the chapters we've released so far for download :)
Also, dropbox, I am NOT using your product to distribute pirated content. Jojo Lii, the creator of The Warrior's Wedge, has given us permission to scanlate his series provided we acknowledge him as the author which he totally, 100% is. Rawr.
Anyway, here are the links ^_^ I will come back and update this post when new chapters are released. Please let me know if there are any issues, I don't seem to be able to reply to comments here but I can, and do, read them.
I don't know if y'all have heard about this or not but the Chinese givernment has decided to blacklist Claymore. I don't know about you, but my first thought when I heard this was "Oh no! Wedge!" and I immediately went and downloaded the raws of all the chapters we've not released yet so that project is safe.
Let this be a reminder to all of us that political climates change and what's there today could easily be gone tomorrow. If you know of any Chinese fanrat or fancomics that you like, secure your own copies now before they vanish for good.
As for Wedge, I know this delay is a downer, but I'm fairly sure we'll get chapter 7 out at the end of the month. After that, MiniMP3 will be finished her exams and things will almost certainly pick up again around here.
Also, if you're bored, go check out our tumblr page. It's mostly me ranting about stuff but you might find something there that's diverting. Seph's page is good fun too but y'all already know that ^^
MiniMP3, our principal proofreader for Wedge, has come down with a wreched case of assignments comorbid with exams and will be unable to do anything fun, let alone work on Wedge, until July.
DON'T PANIC! This does NOT mean that we're going on hiatus for six weeks! The translator for scene 7 has contacts and we're sorting something out. I don't have an ETA for the chapter but things are definitely happening and we'll get it to you as soon as we can.
Sorry about this T.T It's always sad when Real Life gets in the way of nice things but hey, c'est la vie.
A not very long time ago in a whole bunch of countries that are far, far apart. . .
It is a period of personal chaos. Finals and family emergiencies, striking from perfidious fate, have consipired to deprive everybody of their free time.
During this chaos, the members of MiB managed to translate into English Scene 6 of the Chinese doujinshi, THE WARRIOR'S WEDGE, a Teresa-focussed fancomic by Jojo Lii with enough power to slightly lessen the pang of losing Claymore.
Pursued by a vague hunger, Number A sits at her computer, and says a big thank you to theflobear, MiniMP3, Seph, and Varete for their help in producing the totally-not-stolen-because-Jojo-said-we-could scanlations that can amuse her people and restore freedom to the galaxy....
Huge, HUGE shout-out to ProGoddess of Mangahelpers who was so quick to translate pages 5-7 when I asked her to and to the marvellous MiniMP3 who not only translated page 2 but also went through and helped me tidy up the wording of all the other pages. You rock man, thank you so much.
By the way, if anybody happens to have a copy of this book can you get in touch? It's got another interview with Yagi in it and I think you can all guess how much I love reading those :D
Three unrelated releases in one week will never happen again, btw, unless Undeadman 3 turns out to exist after all and we get it done at the same time as the R+V interview and a chapter of Wedge.
Blessed be :)
PS. Here's the2shareddownload link - it's always wise to have a personal copy of interesting stuff especially when it violates copyright ;)
Ladies, gentlemen, and persons of genders not included in stock presentation phrases, I give to you, for the first time in any language other than Japanese (we beat TSS to this one!), the sequel to Norihiro Yagi's introductory work, UNDEADMAN TWO!!!
Gratitude to Rigarudo who shredded a copy of Monthly Shonen Jump 1991/4 and Utsune who spent many hours pouring over nuances just so we could all read this chapter. Thank you also to Varete and Seph for sharing their thoughts on the FX typesetting.
This chapter is brought to you by Tumblr since that's where I met pretty much everybody who's worked hard to make it happen :)
Uber-thanks to tonari-kun for translation, Seph (fuckyeahclaymore and f-f-fight) for cleaning and publicity, Varete (gamirt) for typesetting, and, of course, to MiniMP3 (not on tumblr but on DeviantArt) not just for her help with translation checking and proofreading but also for translating scenes 3 and 4 without which this project probably wouldn't have got off the ground. Follow all these people, they are The Best.
This is available over on mangahelpers but I figured I'd repost it here for the benefit of anyone who doesn't know that. The fact that the first version doesn't even have anti-aliasing on the type (it was my first time typesetting! I got better, I swear!) has, of course, nothing to do with this decision.
The superb MiniMP3 - who you should all totally follow (is that what you do on that site?) on Deviantart - is on break right now and translated scene 4. Don't get too excited, though, she's a full-time student who will be very busy over the next few months. If anyone wants to help out with translation (from Chinese) please, don't be shy.
Alternatively, beg your friends to do it! That's what I do ;)
Much thanks to Seph both for helping out with cleaning this chapter and also for publicising every single one of our Claymore-related releases since Undeadman.
Translators are like buses: nothing comes for AGES and then suddenly everything happens at once. On that note, here are the commentary pages from Undeadman which Utsune and I really should have done when we actually scanlated the manga! Oh well, better late than never ^_^
Hey! I don't know how many of you know about this but there's a Chinese Claymore fancominc called The Warrior's Wedge that has gotten some attention over the years (see here). Well, I worked with the fantastic ProGoddes of MangaHelpers to get out 1 and 2 way back when (see here) and now, praise Teresa, can bring you chapter 3~!
The thing is though, the person who translated this, MiniMP3, did this chapter as a personal favour to yours truly because she's a wonderful, generous human being who you should totally follow on deviantart. I've not got a translator lined up for chapters 4 through 14 so if any excellent soul who speaks Chinese feels like stepping forward (or who knows such a person who they can convince to step forward) please, don't be shy. Even just one chapter would be great ^_^
Yo! Number A here today :) If there are any Claymore fans out there and paying attention we've translated the first part of the long version of the interview with Yagi that appeared on the Jump SQ website :D
Translated by the wonderful Kenji, proofread and typeset by Number A.
Parts two, three, four, and five should all be along shortly :)
I'm glad I've rushed with typesetting DP chapters because as it turns out I have even less free time than anticipated. I'll finish volume 13 obviously but it might take a while. Unfortunately we don't have a translator and it looks like we won't have one. So spread the word, recommend this manga and maybe some other group will take over now that this manga has gained so many followers. When I've started working on this series (2 years ago, volumes 6+ are my work when it comes to typesetting/cleaning) it was a fraction of that and it's the only thing (short of paying a translator) that can get us further translation.
So as I've written before, we have translation up to volume 13. After that there will be a hiatus and most likely you'll never know what happens next. I've been trying to find a translator for years but to no avail (BDR was interested but Desert Punk is very hard to translate). This manga is too obscure, too anti-mainstream (no moe, no naked boobs, etc.) and hard to translate since it's a seinen (in shounens they have furigana which makes translating much easier).
I've posted recruitment posts on Mangafox (it has 1 view - mine), at Mangahelpers - 54 views (and even topics where money is offered aren't much more popular, although it might be that everything is handled silently), at Batoto you can see for yourself and at Baka Updates 38. The problem here is that translators rarely frequent such places and if they do, they usually have a specific manga in mind so it's a tie-in transaction. And with such an obscure manga as Desert Punk it's even more difficult.
I've tried to pitch this manga to 3 translators already (those that I know a bit, well and very well) but none of them seemed interested because they didn't find this manga appealing and they don't have that much free time.So I have no idea how to convince anyone to pick this manga up and translate it short of hiring someone to do it (but that would require a budget which we don't have).
So if you have any ideas on how to resolve this situation I'm all ears. Also, if you can spread the word and try to pitch this project to some groups I would be most grateful.. Maybe there would be one willing to continue our work. As a self-proclaimed biggest DP fan I wouldn't mind to hand over the reins as long as I would get my fill of Desert Punk :P.
Don't get used to such frequent releases though :P. I have another great news for you, benevolent Teriguu has offered to clean Desert Punk so starting from volume 12 the quality will be as good as it can get. He has just sent me cleaned chapter 70 and once I finish volume 11 I'll get straight to typesetting it. Be sure to thank him.
I've got good news and bad news. The good news is obviously that DP is back. The bad news is that I'll be cutting corners and won't clean raws, straighten crooked pages, etc. but only copy/paste with some very basic typesetting. Otherwise it would take me too much time which I don't have and I would like to finish this project. Thanks to Etienne the project stayed alive when no one was willing to translate and thanks to Ikkyusan the quality of translation stayed the same. Ikkyusan especially deserves credit because he translated up to 13 volume so at worst you will get the translation and raws can be easily found on the net. I have time till February 26th and I'll try to scanlate as many chapters as I can.
Remember that interview with Norihiro Yagi that appeared in the December issue of Jump SQ? Well guess what! We now present it, in all it's scanlated glory, for the edification and betterment of what's left of the Claymore fandom. To read or download, simply click on the relevant link below
If you want to help with translating the long version shout in the comments below, PM me over at mangahelpers, track me down through tumblr or otherwise make your intentions known. Utsune the Great and Good is swamped with Real Life right now and isn't able to commit to it T_T
EDIT: Fourtunately Kenji, deus ex machina extraordanaire, stepped in and translated the full version :D Read it here ^^
Also, here are all the pretty pictures in case you don't want to go to Batoto ^^