Archive for October, 2006

Audio Report: the SoCal run-up begins

Friday, October 27th, 2006

It’s almost time for the biggest little game convention, or the littlest big one, whatever. Steve joins us for a foray into all the nooks and crannies, plus plenty of board gaming and even some resin-casting misadventures. Word.

RPGNow and DriveThruRPG merge

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

The tabletop game industry’s two biggest sellers of electronic products, RPGNow and DriveThruRPG, have merged to become a bigger gestalt robot called OneBookShelf. The new company website will eventually take the place of the original two sites, and publishers formerly only at one or the other will get a wider audience. Strategic partnerships with RPGnet and ENWorld were also announced, as OneBookShelf will operate online stores for each website (RPGNow already runs a store for RPGnet). Some downtime for both merging companies is expected in the days ahead as preparations are made for the unified website. The full press release is below.

Mixing it up at Kuma Pageworks

Thursday, October 19th, 2006

The famed Mix-O-Tronic, a random idea generator used to spin off game design inspirations, has returned, this time in the form of a contest. Retasked as the Mix-O-Tronic Challenge, the contest aims to create a gaming think-tank community akin to what Game Chef has built, but with a wider focus, including “innovators from every corner of the gaming world: computer, board, card, RPG and wargame aficionados”. Registration has started for the Mix-O-Tronic warm-up period, which will lead into the contest’s January 9th starting date. See the full press release below for more details.

Hellboy lends his oversized hand to HorrorClix

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Hellboy has given WizKids a reason to try a HeroClix/HorrorClix crossover product… other than the desperation retailers saw when WizKids announced the return period on HorrorClix would be cancelled for any distributor making a reorder. Even a windowed “Hellboy and the B.P.R.D Action Pack” with the Dark Horse Comics logo riding shotgun will be hard pressed to pull the HorrorClix game out of its downward spiral. Maybe the Aliens vs. Predator packs will be able to pull the game out of the fire. I wouldn’t count on it, though.

Audio Report: BattleLore! Top fives! Thunder Road!

Sunday, October 15th, 2006

Neither rain nor sleet nor five consecutive network failures will keep the OCAR staff from doing their appointed rounds… eventually. We spend a good long time in this show on our picks for the top 5 RPGs of all time, and some interesting choices were made indeed. Check it out.

From the RPG-PC-tools desk, something that might not suck

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

Character creator software for RPGs is not exactly an innovation. Nonetheless I still thought it was sort of cool that the people behind Army Builder and Card Vault are doing a generalized RPG tool called Hero Lab. Oddly, given the name, they haven’t announced a kit for the Hero System – just the d20 SRD. But Lone Wolf’s track record and industry profile at least raises the possibility that more RPG publishers will get on board, and there will finally be a multi-system PC tool for chargen that doesn’t leave users at the mercy of lawsuits or open-source developers.

Dungeons & Dragons Online wins British award

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

On Thursday, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (similar to the Oscars) announced its 2006 winners in Video Games categories – and we’re as surprised they have the categories as you are. In the Multiplayer category, Atari’s Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach took the prize, which must mean they’re doing something right even if World of Warcraft hasn’t been pushed off its throne. Other notable winners were Shadow of the Colossus (for Artistic Achievement and Action/Adventure), Rise and Fall: Civilizations at War (for Strategy), and Lego Star Wars II (for Gameplay). Also of interest is the Academy’s games committee list, which includes none other than Ian Livingstone, of Games Workshop and Fighting Fantasy fame, among other achievements.

Bastion Games calls it quits, hands off titles

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

Seems the siren call of the computer game industry has lured another creative spirit toward better funded pastures. In a pair of press releases today, Bastion Press announced that starting now, other companies would be taking up support of its properties. Specifically, Bastion’s President Jim Butler has handed off nearly all of its RPG titles to DragonWing Games, which will continue to sell Bastion products, reprint sold out titles, and develop new ones under the joint Bastion/DragonWing banner. The other Bastion property, Oathbound, has landed in the hands of its original author, Greg Dent, and will soon have a new website at Both press releases are below.

GPA elects 2006-2007 Board

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

The Game Publishers Association has elected its new Board of Directors, making Tony Hellmann of Technomancer Games the new Executive Director. So far, there don’t seem to be any GAMA-style election protests, so I guess that’s a good sign. Other election results are below.