Developer Basilisk Games have just released Eschalon: Book I, a Computer Role Playing Game for the PC. Basilisk is not a name that is typically associate with the giants of the industry like Blizzard, Valve, or Firaxis. You will not find Basilisk amongst the next tier of PC devs, like Big Huge Games or Relic. Basilisk is just a few people (or possibly one person (I've only interacted with one person there anyway) with a small budget with intent is to make a computer game and distribute it digitally. No flashy graphics engine, no major publisher backing the game, no 7-8 figure budget, no massive marketing campaign, no eye-level shelf space in a center-floor display at Electronics Boutique. Eschalon is the flagship title for an indie developer. That pretty much means that 6 billion people don't know any better and could not possibly care less, but also that several
of the voices in Ken's head of the contributors to this blog happen to care a good deal.
Basilisk is so small it doesn't even employ a proper team of testers – it asked for help testing it and had to hope some nice, trustworthy people would answer the call (myself among them; excepting the nice part). I'm not here to tell you why you should play Eschalon. While I'm not directly affiliated (my status as beta tester notwithstanding), the point is I don't actually need to. It's not shareware per se, but it appears the distinction here is a minor semantic issue. Shareware embraces the try-before-you-buy concept, typically allowing the player to play the actual game but somehow feature/content restricted. Users typically purchase a license key to unlock the full game. Eschalon, despite a stand alone demo, going for the same concept.
The Eschalon demo is available for download here, purchasing links available here. It's 60 megs, which isn't a very large in the broadband era (if you happen to live in a region where you're still paying by the minute, you have my sympathies). So, if you don't put a premium on fancy graphics, or are looking for something to stick on a laptop, download the demo and give it a whirl. It won't hurt to try the game, and what you'll find is a game with quality production values (small studio size notwithstanding), a pretty decent story, and a character development system with lots of options. You might even like it.
Edit: forgot to add the "more" functionality, and because it seems author is not displaying properly.
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