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Thread: [Multi] Rune 2

  1. #1
    Administrator Like-a-Bunny's Avatar
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    [Multi] Rune 2



    Human Head Studios' Rune gets a surprise sequel announcement

    Just in time for Thor Ragnarok


    Many moons ago, in the year 2000, Human Head Studios released an epic action game that was steeped in Norse mythology. Running on the then cutting edge Unreal 1.0 engine, Rune put players in the shoes of a Viking named Ragnar on a quest to prevent Ragnarok, which is basically the Norse apocalypse. It may have taken 17 years to get here, but it looks like the end is finally nigh.

    Human Head announced, today, that they will be returning to their roots for a brand new installment in Rune called Rune: Ragnarok. While not much is known (like platforms, possible launch date or even how it plays), the game will be an open-world action RPG set during the end of days.



    Chris Rhinehart, the project director for Ragnarok, says, "After seventeen years, we are thrilled to finally announce a new Rune game. In the spirit of the original, Rune: Ragnarok has intense and brutal combat in a world steeped in Norse mythology. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve created."

    Seeing as how the original was a PC title that later got ported to PS2, I think its safe to assume this will hit PC and all major consoles. If you've never played the original, you can get it on Steam and GOG for a measly $10. I never owned it, but I remember enjoying the demo back when I was a teen. Hopefully this new sequel lives up to the expectations of long time fans.
    bron

    Original Prey Devs Reveal Open-World RPG Rune: Ragnarok

    17 years later, there's apparently a Rune sequel in the works.


    It's understandable if you've never heard of Rune, the action-adventure game from developer Human Head. The title came out way back in 2000, and since then, Human Head has become much more well-known as the developer of the original Prey and the ill-fated Prey 2. Today, Human Head announced that its next project is a follow-up to Rune, called Rune: Ragnarok.

    Rune: Ragnarok is an open-world sandbox RPG, according to the announcement trailer's description. Nothing else is known about its gameplay right now, but the trailer hints at the game's context and tone.

    "From birth, the children of the North hear tales of the end of the world," the video's narrator states. "A battle so great the gods fall and the Nine Worlds are consumed by frost and fire. But these tales are false. The gods did not perish. For seven years our worlds have been devoured by death and destruction. Now, mankind must rise and do what the gods could not. Ragnarok must end."

    Human Head hasn't announced a release date or even platforms for the game yet. However, the studio's website currently states that it works on titles for PC, consoles, VR, and mobile devices, so there's a possibility that Rune: Ragnarok could support VR headsets.

    If you're interested in learning more about the original Rune, you can read GameSpot's review here. Critic Erik Wolpaw said at the time that it's a "beautiful-looking experience" but ultimately limited by a simplistic combat system.
    bron

    Human Head Studios announces Rune: Ragnarok for PC



    Human Head Studios has announced Rune: Ragnarok, an open-world RPG sequel to its 2000-released Rune.

    The game is set in a “dangerous universe where gods, beasts, and the last remaining humans struggle to survive,” and “combines brutal melee combat with rich, Norse-inspired mythology.”

    Here’s an overview of the game, via Human Head Studios:

    About

    A highly anticipated follow-up to Rune, the team’s hit action-adventure game, Rune: Ragnarok places players in the middle of an epic battle where gods, beasts, and the last remaining humans struggle to survive.

    By pledging allegiance to one of the Norse gods, players gain favor and special abilities to aid them as they raid enemy villages, fight the undead in brutal melee combat, sail to new lands, and craft powerful weapons to complete the goals of their god and conclude Ragnarok.

    Development of Rune: Ragnarok is being funded by ESDF Management, a video game production and finance company.

    Chris Rhinehart, Project Director

    “After seventeen years, we are thrilled to finally announce a new Rune game. In the spirit of the original, Rune: Ragnarok has intense and brutal combat in a world steeped in Norse mythology. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve created.”

    Matt Candler, ESDF Managing Partner

    “Rune: Ragnarok is the first video game we’ve committed to financing. We’re incredibly excited to support the vision that our partners at Human Head Studios have offered for long-time fans and newcomers to Rune alike.”
    bron
    Last edited by Like-a-Bunny; 29th August 2017 at 10:40.
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  2. #2
    Administrator Like-a-Bunny's Avatar
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    @Illuv ...

    Een vervolg dus op deze Rune. Man wat heb ik een plezier met deze game gehad!




    Hell yes! Mead, gigantische knotsen en rondvliegende ledematen. BRING IT!
    Last edited by Like-a-Bunny; 28th August 2017 at 21:17.
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  3. #3
    Primarily old. Illuv's Avatar
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    FFFFFUUUUUCKKK YEAH!!!!

    Open world hoeft dan weer niet van me, maar zolang er net zo'n geweldige MP aanwezig is als in Rune & Rune: Halls of Valhalla dan ben ik aanwezig.
    "His feet are light and nimble. He never sleeps. He says that he will never die. He dances in light and in shadow and he is a great favorite. He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die."

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    Member Michiel1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illuv View Post
    FFFFFUUUUUCKKK YEAH!!!!

    Open world hoeft dan weer niet van me, maar zolang er net zo'n geweldige MP aanwezig is als in Rune & Rune: Halls of Valhalla dan ben ik aanwezig.
    MP kan me gestolen worden eerlijk gezegt zolang de singeplayer maar weer epic is net als Rune

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    Administrator Like-a-Bunny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michiel1986 View Post
    MP kan me gestolen worden eerlijk gezegt zolang de singeplayer maar weer epic is net als Rune
    Ik ben absoluut geen mp-guy en vroeger nóg minder dan nu, maar die van Rune was echt ontiegelijk vet destijds. Unreal-achtig, maar dan met melee combat.

    Maar ik vraag me af hoeveel mensen hier Rune überhaupt iets zegt.

    [edit]



    En never forget:

    Last edited by Like-a-Bunny; 29th August 2017 at 10:42.
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    Administrator Liquidje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Like-a-Bunny View Post
    Ik ben absoluut geen mp-guy en vroeger nóg minder dan nu, maar die van Rune was echt ontiegelijk vet destijds. Unreal-achtig, maar dan met melee combat.

    Maar ik vraag me af hoeveel mensen hier Rune überhaupt iets zegt.
    Deze guy ook Weet ook niet zo goed waarom ik destijds deze game uberhaupt online ging spelen, maar het was awesome as balls. Hoewel ik hoop dat ze iets als Chivalry kunnen evenaren.
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    Member Glory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Like-a-Bunny View Post
    En never forget:

    Wat een bizar verhaal blijft dat ook.. Zeker omdat de game al bijna klaar was.

    Rune heb ik nooit gespeeld, maar ik ben wel benieuwd. Human head lijkt wel veel talent te hebben.

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    Rune: Ragnarok Looks Awesome in Its First Pre-Alpha Trailer

    Human Head Studios has released a pre-alpha trailer for its upcoming open-world RPG Rune: Ragnarok that shows the game in all its Nordic fantasy glory.

    Last year, Human Head Studios revealed Rune: Ragnarok, a new entry in their long-dormant Rune series, which had not seen a new title since 2001. As the year went on, we saw key-art of the Nordic gods and a few screenshots, but today, we finally got to see the game in action in trailer form, and it’s pretty badass.

    The trailer’s narration gives some nice exposition on the world, which is currently being ravaged by the end of days, also known as Ragnarok in Norse mythology. The trailer also shows us what gameplay will look like, even though this trailer is only for the pre-alpha version of the game. A variety of cool things you can do in the game are shown in the trailer, including fighting a giant sea creatures, giants, and dragons, riding dragons, and beating someone with their own limb.

    For those of you who don’t know, Rune: Ragnarok takes place in a world where the aforementioned Ragnarok has fallen upon it, with many Nordic gods fighting and dying. In the game, players must align themselves with one of five gods – Freya, Hel, Loki, Odin, and Thor – and survive Ragnarok. The game is an open-world RPG with combat that is described as “intense and brutal” by the developers; sailing will also play a big part in the game, and you can see a bit of it in this trailer.

    You can check out the pre-alpha trailer for the game below. Rune: Ragnarok does not yet have a release date, and is currently only slated for PC. If you want to get a chance to try
    out the game early, you can

    bron
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    Senior Member RPGer's Avatar
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    Ik kan niet wachten

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    Primarily old. Illuv's Avatar
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    Meer van dit en minder open world fluff svp

    "His feet are light and nimble. He never sleeps. He says that he will never die. He dances in light and in shadow and he is a great favorite. He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die."

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    Administrator Like-a-Bunny's Avatar
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    @Sif.
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    Administrator Liquidje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illuv View Post
    Meer van dit en minder open world fluff svp
    Dit, ik zoek gewoon iets dat mij net zo aanspreekt als Chivalry destijds en Rune dus daarvoor
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    Choose Wisely The_wildcard's Avatar
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    Oni op PC had ook een geweldig combat systeem.
    Helaas was de multi geschrapt bij die game.

    Rune kan ik me vrij weinig van herinneren.
    Getting to know a girl who can fold like Origami paper...... Look a Swan

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  14. #14
    Administrator Liquidje's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_wildcard View Post
    Oni op PC had ook een geweldig combat systeem.
    Helaas was de multi geschrapt bij die game.
    You are kidding me right? De combat van Oni werkt echt voor geen meter in een multiplayer setting. Oni was een singleplayer game waar de "scheve" verhouding in power en abilities centraal stond, daar zie ik dus echt geen fatsoenlijke multiplayer in terug. Melee fighters zijn nu eenmaal zeldzaam, naast Rune en Chivalry kan ik er maar weinig bedenken die het goed deden.

    Dat gezegd hebbende, die trailer doet ECHT smaken naar meer. En verdomme, nu wil ik Chivalry spelen.
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    Choose Wisely The_wildcard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquidje View Post
    You are kidding me right? De combat van Oni werkt echt voor geen meter in een multiplayer setting. Oni was een singleplayer game waar de "scheve" verhouding in power en abilities centraal stond, daar zie ik dus echt geen fatsoenlijke multiplayer in terug. Melee fighters zijn nu eenmaal zeldzaam, naast Rune en Chivalry kan ik er maar weinig bedenken die het goed deden.

    Dat gezegd hebbende, die trailer doet ECHT smaken naar meer. En verdomme, nu wil ik Chivalry spelen.
    Is misschien ook wel weer zo. Betreft Chivalry zou ik Mordhau in de gaten houden.



    Moet Chiv worden zonder de Rainbow/whirlwind exploits
    Getting to know a girl who can fold like Origami paper...... Look a Swan

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    Winner A1GP South Africa jos's Avatar
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    Dit ziet er zeer interessant uit.

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    Member Michiel1986's Avatar
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    Klein stukje alpha oldskool


  18. #18
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    It took 18 years, but Rune: Ragnarok is Human Head getting back to where it all started

    First look at GDC


    Human Head Studios, a company that has been around for 20 years, is known by most people for two very specific things: It released Prey which is remembered fondly, and it started making Prey 2 until Bethesda put the kibosh on that. Kind of lost in the studio's history is Rune, the Norse mythology game that first proved Human Head was more than capable of serving as a lead developer on projects.

    In a GDC meeting with Human Head co-founder Chris Rhinehart, it's made clear why the studio's going back to its roots. "It was our first game and we always wanted to bring it back," Rhinehart tells us. The slightly-longer version is "After Prey, we started talking about how it'd be cool to come back to Rune. We hatched different ideas and kind of explored small prototypes and talked to different publishers. A year ago, we connected with ESDF and they were looking to do a viking-based game and we were looking to bring back Rune, and we thought it would be a great fit. So we decided to resurrect it."

    It's easy enough to see how Human Head ended up on a Rune reunion tour, but actually creating the game is very different 18 years later. There are modern conveniences and expectations that have to be accounted for. There needs to be a certain degree of variety to keep players invested.



    One of the first things Rhinehart told us was "There are a lot more RPG elements." The beginning of Rune: Ragnarok asks you to align with one of five gods -- Thor, Odin, Freya, Hel, or Loki. Ragnarok's objective is to stop the eponymous and apocalyptic Ragnarok, and whichever god you sidle up to will help inform exactly how that's done. Rhinehart says he hopes this will be adequate reason to play through more than once.

    Our demo had many of those RPG sensibilities that you kind of find yourself trusting will translate to the full game. We heard about (and briefly saw) a character creation menu, quests that are sometimes based on how much favor you have with a particular god, crafting systems for weapons (which now include bows and spears), and the runes that grant temporary buffs and abilities. How that's all eventually realized in the final product can never be properly conveyed in a short demo.

    But it's Human Head's emphasis on player experience that's most encouraging. Rhinehart says a core design philosophy behind Rune: Ragnarok is that "you don't have to travel a long distance to come to something cool." Sometimes that will be as a large group. The numbers aren't finalized yet, but Human Head hopes to let players tackle raids in crowds of 50 or 60 people. However, it will be balanced so that solo players can go at it alone. Also, while there will be a competitive multiplayer aspect, PvP and PvE servers will be separate from one another.



    That's what has Rune: Ragnarok feeling like it'll slide into this weird MMO-lite space -- there's the option to play as a very large group, but Human Head also has a definitive story it wants to tell. It doesn't seem like there's this never-ending sprawl of content planned to keep players coming back. (For what it's worth, Human Head has the same semi-commitment to survival elements; there won't be hunger or thirst, but hypothermia, poison, and bleeding are all persistent status threats.)

    Where Human Head probably won't create near-endless content for Rune: Ragnarok, the community might. Rhinehart tells us the developer plans to put a lot of power in the players' hands in terms of server setup. The studio also intends to take a hands-off approach to however the players want to mod the game. It's being built in Unreal 4 and Rhinehart notes that he's not sure which of Human Head's tools they plan to release.

    In some ways, Rune: Ragnarok has been in the works all along; Rhinehart makes it seem like Rune has always been rattling around on Human Head's proverbial back-burner. In a more realistic way, the actual development of Rune: Ragnarok started just one year ago. Rhinehart says the studio's exploring the idea of an Early Access release to help shape production, but nothing is set in stone. Whatever ends up happening, it seems Human Head is putting its heart and soul into this game. Rune is kind of its baby.

    bron
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    Member Michiel1986's Avatar
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    @Like-a-Bunny dit wordt heel erg vet als ik hun mag geloven

    One of the first things Rhinehart told us was "There are a lot more RPG elements." The beginning of Rune: Ragnarok asks you to align with one of five gods -- Thor, Odin, Freya, Hel, or Loki.

    Thor FTW!

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    You can use severed limbs as weapons and projectiles in open world survival RPG Rune

    In fact, you can use any weapon as a projectile. If you've run out of arrows, you can even throw your bow.




    I'm not sure if it says something about me or the kinds of games I play, but while trying out an alpha build of Rune, the upcoming third-person sandbox survival RPG from Human Head Studios, the first thing I asked after picking up the dismembered arm of a human enemy was: "Can I eat this?"

    In my defense, a few minutes earlier I had stomped on a lizard, then picked it up, bit its head off, and casually tossed the rest of it over my shoulder. So maybe (hopefully) asking Rune's project director Chris Rhinehart if I could eat human limbs wasn't a question completely out of left field. Turns out you can't use human limbs as food, but you can use them as weapons. In Rune, you can beat a guy to death with his dead buddy's arms and legs. Just look elsewhere for a snack.


    A Viking prepares to hurl a severed leg at a wolf. War never changes, eh?


    Rune is Human Head Studios' return to the world of what is now called Rune Classic, the hack-and-slash Viking action adventure game released in 2000. Now Human Head is taking its Vikings into the open world survival RPG genre. Servers will support up to 64 players at a time, but there will also be an option for playing solo on a private server. I got a look at the basics of Rune with an alpha build at E3.

    After some character creation (I focused mostly on selecting my tattoos and facial hair), we began on one island but quickly found a viking longship—which you'll be able to craft—and sailed to another. Armed with just an axe and shield I did battle with some NPC vikings, giants, and a few other nasty creatures, though after swapping my axe for an enormous flaming sword I was introduced to a fun feature of Rune: you can throw your weapons, any and all of them, whenever you want.

    It happened first by accident. I'd been swarmed by a handful of high-level NPCs and was attempting to hack at them while running by, when I held down the Q key instead of the W key. Q brings up an aiming reticle for throwing projectiles, and I didn't realize my sword was a projectile weapon at the moment, so when I clicked the mouse button to attack, I wound up chucking my sword into one of the enemies, where it lodged.

    [img]https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/whU5uZM7WayYugMaoYewUn-650-80.jpeg/img]

    This now meant I had to retrieve my sword from the still-living NPC, so I ran past him again, yanking my sword out of his body so I could resume melee combat. Rhinehart explained that any weapon can be thrown as a projectile, and that even includes bows. Run out of arrows and your enemy is still standing? Throw your bow at him. It's what gangsters do in old-timey movies when they run out of bullets, right? Chuck their gun as a last ditch attempt to win the fight.

    Once I knew I could throw all my weapons, I'm a bit ashamed to admit that's what I spent the rest of the demo doing. I threw my sword into a giant's arm, then ran up to him, leapt into the air, and yanked it back out of him again. I lost my axe repeatedly due to poor aim, missing my target and then having to hunt through the bushes to find it again. And of course, you can throw severed arms and legs as well as use them as melee weapons. It gives combat a fun and improvisational feel, being able to grab whatever is handy and swing it or throw it at someone.

    My own arm was cut off at one point, but unfortunately I wasn't able to discover if I could pick it up and use it as a weapon with my remaining arm, because I was killed a moment later. According to Rhinehart, you can survive with your own arm severed, provided you heal yourself before you bleed out.

    I wish I'd had a bit more time with Rune: the combat was gory, fast-paced, and fun, and the map showed a world dotted with many more islands than the two I got to visit. Rune is headed for a closed beta (with both PvP and PvE servers) on June 23, and plans to enter Steam Early Access later in the year.
    bron
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    Historian Overlord Das Tentakel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Like-a-Bunny View Post
    Vooropgezet het allemaal fatsoenlijk is uitgewerkt (big if...) gaat dit een heerlijke onzingame worden.

    Please be good...

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    Rune Will Revive the Classic Franchise via Steam Early Access on September 19

    Human Head Studios will finally be releasing Rune for PC via Steam Early Access on September 19.

    While we learned that Rune would hit Steam Early Access in September earlier this month, a specific date was not revealed then. Today, developer Human Head Studios and publisher ESDF announced that Rune is poised to bring back the classic franchise on Wednesday, September 19.

    For those of you who aren’t aware, Rune, which originally named Rune: Ragnarok is an open-world multiplayer-focused RPG based on Norse mythology. At Early Access launch, the game will have both PvE and PvP in addition to a fleshed out story. Chris Rhinehart, Rune’s Project Leader and Human Head Studios Co-Founder seems pretty enthusiastic about finally let players experience the game’s for themselves:

    “With Rune Classic, we worked to push the boundaries of PvP, and with this spiritual successor, we’re now pushing even further with intense, brutal combat mechanics not often seen in these type of games. Use your enemy’s strength against them – literally rip off their arm and then beat them to death with it!”

    There will be three different versions of Rune for players to choose from when it Early Access stint begins: the $29.99 Warrior Pack, the $39.99 Berserker Rage Pack, and the $59.99 God Slayer back. These will feature increasing amounts of extra in-game content in addition to the game’s soundtrack at the highest tier. Players can now pre-order all versions of the game for a 15% discount, while the first 10,000 people who pre-order will also receive Rune Classic.

    All versions of Rune will be available for PC via Early Access on Steam on September 19. DualShockers will hands on with the game at E3 2018, and you can check out our impressions.
    bron
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  23. #23
    Administrator Liquidje's Avatar
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    Jeeej Ik ben vooral benieuwd naar het online
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  24. #24
    It's-a me! Pokalapoketl's Avatar
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  25. #25
    Administrator Like-a-Bunny's Avatar
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    Oei...
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  26. #26
    Member Michiel1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Like-a-Bunny View Post
    Oei...
    Niks oei, old skool hack en slash buddy lache dit man

  27. #27
    Member Overmind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Like-a-Bunny View Post
    Oei...
    Het is toch hartstikke tof dat er een ps2 port van de nieuwe God of War komt!

    Ik had hier wel ietsie meer van verwacht, het origineel met veel plezier gespeeld vroeger. Zet mij ook maar in kamp oei...

  28. #28
    Administrator Like-a-Bunny's Avatar
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    Rune 2 Exceeded Expectations on Epic Games Store, Support Will Continue



    Yesterday, Rune 2 developer Human Head Studios revealed that it had closed its doors. The announcement was shocking but even more shocking was the news that the entire studio was reforming as Roundhouse Studios under Bethesda. This has left current players asking about the future of Rune 2 which is currently available on the Epic Games Store for PC.

    Publisher Ragnarok LLC allayed some of those fears on its forums, first announcing that the game’s demand “exceeded our expectations.” It then confirmed that support would continue for Rune 2. “Yesterday, we successfully launched RUNE II onto the Epic Games Store and the game’s demand has exceeded our expectations. We’re very thankful that everyone wants to play our game. First and foremost – we love this game and we will continue to support Rune 2.”

    Of course, the announcement of Human Head Studios closing down was “shocking news” to the company. “There are several entities working on Rune 2 – we found out about this news when you did. Human Head had a longstanding agreement with Rune 2 publisher, Ragnarok Game, LLC, to provide ongoing support for the game. We are working quickly to resolve any current technical issues while we build the team that will execute the exciting planned future of Rune 2’s post-launch content strategy. We appreciate your patience and understanding while we work through any launch issues.”

    The publisher then confirmed that work would continue to bring Rune 2 to other PC platforms (most likely referring to its Steam release) next year. It’s also excited to showcase the “future” of Rune 2 content. Where that could lead and what plans the publisher has remains to be seen as well as how the former Human Head Studios developers will handle things. Stay tuned for more details in the meantime.
    bron

    Human Head Studios omgezet tot nieuwe Bethesda studio

    Bethesda heeft een nieuwe studio opgericht in Wisconsin genaamd Roundhouse Studios. De studio bevat een aantal ontwikkelaars die de originele Prey game uit 2006 hebben gemaakt.
    bron
    Last edited by Like-a-Bunny; 14th November 2019 at 20:10.
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  29. #29
    Member Michiel1986's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Like-a-Bunny View Post
    Dit is dan wel weer een dikke oei

  30. #30
    Administrator Like-a-Bunny's Avatar
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    Toch niet zo soepeltjes...

    Rune 2 publisher is suing Human Head for abandoning game, withholding assets

    Rune 2 publisher Ragnarok has filed a legal complaint against developer Human Head Studios.


    It looks like the story of Human Head Studios may yet have a new chapter. The studio recently shuttered following the release of Rune 2. Rather than letting go of staff, the team was absorbed by Bethesda as part of the new Roundhouse Studios.

    Roundhouse is Human Head’s new name, but little else has changed. The move surprised many, not least of which Rune 2’s own publisher Ragnarok. Now, the company has taken Human Head to court.

    In the lawsuit [PDF], Ragnarok is seeking $100 million in compensation, and acquisition of Rune 2’s assets and source code so it can continue supporting the game.

    The filing is big, but it reveals what appears to be troubled development and a drop in communication towards the end. Ragnarok said Human Head had agreed to an 11-milestone contract that would see the studio receive payments upon clearing each milestone. Human Head would take on development duties and community management, leaving Ragnarok to fund and market.


    However, Ragnarok alleges that due to “delays, errors, and mismanagement” the number of milestone expanded to 23, and the company says all completed milestones were paid. Moving on from Rune 2’s troubled development, the lawsuit reveals that Ragnarok was not aware of the Bethesda deal.

    The company alleges that it was difficult to get the developer to respond to contact towards the end of the game’s development. Ragnarok was told of Human Head’s decision to shut down just three business days before the game’s launch, though without a mention of Bethesda’s involvement.

    Ragnarok says Rune 2 rights belong to it, but it is currently unable to continue DLC development and post-launch support because it has yet to receive the game’s core assets, which it says it owns as part of the initial contract.

    The publisher echoed these statements in a forum post, where it also stressed its commitment to Rune 2.
    bron
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  31. #31
    Administrator Like-a-Bunny's Avatar
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    'We got stabbed in the back': How Rune 2 survived one of the worst game launches in years

    The day after Rune 2 launched, developer Human Head Studios closed its doors. But that was just the beginning.




    Some game launches go smoothly, and some don't. Very few go as spectacularly wrong as last year's rollout of Rune 2. More than two years after it was announced, the game launched on the Epic Games Store on November 12, 2019—and on November 13, developer Human Head Studios closed its doors, leaving the game orphaned on day one. As if that weren't bizarre enough, Human Head resurfaced the very same day as Bethesda Softworks-owned Roundhouse Studios.

    "Rune 2 will be the final game for Human Head Studios," community manager Katherine Stull wrote on the Human Head blog at the time. "After 22 great years of making games as an independent studio, economic realities have forced us to make the decision to wind down the company and close its doors. But while we are closing the book on Human Head, we are not closing the book on the amazing team we have assembled."

    Stull explained that Human Head contacted Bethesda and negotiated the opening of Roundhouse Studios, which picked up its entire former staff. Human Head and Bethesda had an existing relationship, though not an entirely positive one. Human Head was the studio that fought with Bethesda over the original version of Prey 2, which the publisher ultimately cancelled before rebooting the series with Arkane Studios instead.

    Before Rune 2 released, things weren't exactly looking peachy for Human Head. In 2019, its game Survived By was cancelled while in Early Access, and in 2018 it released The Quiet Man with Square Enix, a game we called "spectacularly bad."

    If you want to tank a game ... this is probably the playbook on how to do it.


    I reached out to the new Roundhouse Studios and its co-founders Ben Gokey and Chris Rhinehart for more information on the sudden dissolution of Human Head and the dispute with Ragnarok, but received no response. Efforts to contact Human Head's legal representatives, as recommended by Bethesda, also went nowhere. Whatever the reasons for the surprise shutdown, though, the bottom line for Rune 2 publisher Ragnarok Game LLC is that it was, in every possible way, a disaster.

    "If you want to tank a game ... this is probably the playbook on how to do it," Ragnarok general counsel Sam Goldberg told me in a recent interview. "Show up for no marketing, don't support streamers, make an announcement the day after the game launched that you're no longer going to work on it and you've joined some competitive company—I mean, what more could they do?"

    Human Head told Ragnarok that it was shutting down on November 7, less than a week before Rune 2 was set to go live. It refused to say why it was closing so suddenly, Rune 2 executive producer Matt Candler said, and did not allow the publisher to attempt to hire any of its employees as contractors. The developer agreed to support the game post-launch while Ragnarok worked out a longer-term plan, but Candler said Human Head ghosted them on that, too.

    "We did a ton of great work, set up a lot of interviews and a lot of streams, spent a lot of money, and they never showed up," Candler said. "We launched the game ourselves, we had a great day on November 12. We got initially, really strong reviews about the game, saying that this is kind of a cool indie game. And then Wednesday morning, the 13th, the first thing I see is people saying, look, Bethesda makes an announcement that they've founded a new studio in Madison, and all the employees of Human Head are now employees of Roundhouse Studios, a Bethesda studio."

    Making the timing even more surprising, Human Head left behind money by bailing out early: Candler claimed the studio would have earned $67,000 on the final milestone, due after release, and another $110,000 for supporting the game post-launch.

    They actually did everything they could to prevent us from supporting the product.


    "They could've kept their mouth shut and collected the money, and we would've been like, yup, here you go. And we would've gotten through a successful launch together," Candler said. "We could've transitioned the game if they weren't able to participate anymore, we could've transitioned naturally—here's the source code, we'll help you find somebody. But they didn't do that. They actually did everything they could to prevent us from supporting the product."



    Candler immediately began reaching out to all the top Unreal developers he knew, attempting to put together a team to keep the game going. Several expressed interest, but the recovery effort was hampered by yet another bizarre twist: Most of the developers Candler spoke to wanted to look at the source code and assets to evaluate the scope of the job, but according to Goldberg, Human Head wouldn't hand it over at first.

    “They refused to give us the source code that was our property, to be able to update and fix the game for the community,” Goldberg said. “So not only do they abandon us—full stop, full abandonment, total stab in the back—I mean, again, who does that? But then we don't even have our property, the source code, to be able to update the game.”

    Candler’s first hires were Symmetric Games co-founders Dan Nikolaides and Vic Lopez—"They're fucking Unreal wizards, some of the best in the business," Candler said—who started the process of reworking the game with older builds and assets. Once the wheels were turning, they brought in more people—an animator, a programmer, an art director, a sound guy—and committed to an extensive overhaul of Rune 2.

    "It took me all of December. I called all my friends and all my favors in, and said, I need your help, guys. We're in bad shape. We still have a great opportunity, because we own everything," Candler said. He also credited Epic for being “a fantastic partner” throughout the process. “And Epic said thank you to us—thank you for not abandoning this game, not walking away."

    It was a major undertaking—Goldberg claimed that Human Head's "comprehensive failure" to meet objectives left the game in far worse shape than the publisher had realized. But once work on fixing the underlying systems of Rune 2 began in earnest—and after Human Head turned over the source code at the end of 2019—the new team decided to expand the scope of the game beyond what was originally envisioned.

    New features in the works include a quest system, NPCs, deeper character stats, a horde mode, and multiplayer support for up to 20 people. The work went well enough that the four principals involved—Candler, Goldberg, Nikolaides, and Lopez—decided to lock down their partnership as Studio 369.



    "We are already in discussions about future projects, planning to start. Right now our main focus is the Rune 2 Steam launch and supporting the game on the Epic Game Store," Candler said. "But we do have some game pitches out, we are talking with other publishers, we are talking with other finance options—that's what we're experienced at doing, raising capital—we really like working together and our plan is to grow the team and do some other high-end Unreal projects."

    It sounds like a net positive, and Candler acknowledged that some good things have come out of it. But he also pointed out that the good is relative to the calamitous days in November and December, when Rune 2 was on the verge of collapse. And apart from that, he and Goldberg clearly still feel betrayed by Human Head.

    You don't do this to people.


    "When you're emailing people and you're talking to them every day, you're fighting every day to make the game as good as it can be for launch, and they're telling you that they're gonna be there, and you're putting your own personal money into it, which is what Sam and I did to extend the game past its deadline, and it just comes out of nowhere... You guys couldn't just be honest with us?" said Candler. "I'm sure you were having difficulties too, but you couldn't just be honest?"

    "We got stabbed in the back," he continued. "You're not going to easily get over that. It's not just—yes, we're builders, we want to keep building games, we want to do right by the community for Rune 2, we're going to build a great game. We're going to continue to improve it. But I'm sorry, of course there's bitterness, and of course we're going to be upset, and there's going to be—that's going to last. You don't do this to people."

    For now, Studio 369 is looking ahead to Rune 2's launch on Steam later this year. It will feature "all the Steamworks stuff," like achievements, badges, and maybe custom gear, but the big hook will be the addition of a hefty new PvP-focused mode—but not a battle royale—currently in development that the team hopes to be able to show off soon. It also recently rolled out a major “narrative update” on the Rune 2 PTR that features a complete rebuild of the game’s first chapter, Age of Awakening.

    "We're making lemonade here. We're happy with 369, the team and the progress, and the response from the community. But we're not happy with what happened, and it is not okay, and I think that is clear with respect to the legal action that we've been compelled to take," Candler said, referring to Ragnarok's ongoing lawsuit against Human Head. The company is seeking restitution of financing for the game's development and at least $100 million in compensation.

    "What's really been cool is how many people want to talk to us and work with us, because it shows we stood up. They've said, 'This is the caliber of people we want to work with.' I'm getting more business opportunities than I ever did this time last year, because people are saying, God, you guys stuck around."

    Human Head Studios and its former management have thus far opted not to defend themselves outside of court. That leaves the story one-sided for now, although some aspects, including that Human Head closed its doors when Rune 2 launched and reformed the next day as Bethesda-owned Roundhouse Studios, are not in dispute. We'll update this story if we receive comment from Human Head or Bethesda.
    bron
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  32. #32
    Primarily old. Illuv's Avatar
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    Wat een verhaal. En what a waste
    "His feet are light and nimble. He never sleeps. He says that he will never die. He dances in light and in shadow and he is a great favorite. He never sleeps, the judge. He is dancing, dancing. He says that he will never die."

  33. #33
    Member Michiel1986's Avatar
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    Hele spel is al verpest anyway hier is niks meer rune achtig aan.

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