Archive for November, 2007

2007 OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide – pt 1

Friday, November 30th, 2007

It’s that time of year. You know: time to give and receive games, and spend the holidays playing ‘em! For those of you looking for the perfect game to bestow upon a hapless victim – er, beloved relative or friend, rather – we’ve got you covered with our seventh annual OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide. The first of our four gift suggestion lists for 2007, Twelve Stocking Stuffer Games, is offering its advice on goodies $20 or less. We’ll have more in the days ahead, but for now, start small, and take deep breaths – we’ll get through the season of giving together.

Audio Report – Serving up hate with gravy

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Turkey day and the resulting family obligations pushed this Audio Report episode back a bit, so we’re happy to get this one out there. We got some serious hate on for WotC’s Dungeon Survival Guide and the overall flawed 4th Edition preview marketing approach thus far. Miniatures throwing gang signs, Scandanavian LARPs, and Keira Knightley all may or may not be significant to the rest of the episode, but we certainly pimp the 2007 OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide. Have a listen, and tell us what you think.

State of the Mongoose ’07: aggressive and hungry

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

For everyone’s safety, we try to keep tabs on any snake-eating mammals lurking nearby, and come to grips with what Mongoose Publishing plans to unleash on gamers in the year ahead. The traditional State of the Mongoose address was posted today, this time as a temporary forum, and so far, we’ve learned the following: (more…)

Ready… set… buy gifts!

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

The turkey isn’t even carved yet, and sales are springing up all over. We’ll have our annual OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide up after a last edit and the requisite holiday feasting [EDIT: Now available!], but in the meantime, here’s a few places to start looking for deals:

…and that’s just what I found without looking around much. If you find other sales going on this weekend, post ‘em here to get the word out. Oh, and lest we forget, happy Thanksgiving, and happy gaming!

Raw Deal CCG calls it quits

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

For the more CCG inclined, it may be worthwhile to note the imminent passing of Comic Images’ Raw Deal, the WWE CCG that’s been going strong for seven years. The company will cease publishing the game at the end of December, due to decreased consumer interest. The words “raw deal” always made me think of an Iron Chef CCG, but yeah, I may be alone in that regard, I know. (more…)

D&D senior brand manager confirms: no D20 License for D&D 4

Wednesday, November 14th, 2007

This news is a few days old, but as OC’s Senior Licensing Analyst (I will kidneypunch anyone who takes that seriously), I should weigh in. D&D brand manager Scott Rouse has confirmed at ENworld that the D20 System phenomenon as we know it (by which I mean the D20 System Trademark License) will be a thing of the past as of D&D 4E. There will be the OGL and there will be Wizards’ own official D&D projects, and that will be it. To be perfectly clear, this won’t take away any options as far as what mechanics third-party designers have access to (4E will have a System Reference Document that is available under the OGL, just like 3E, so far as I know), nor will it impact existing products with the D20 logo… I think. I’ll have to reread the D20 STL, but it may even remain legal for publishers to keep putting the D20 label on 3E material. (Also, in case it isn’t obvious, I am not a lawyer.)

So how does this change the landscape for third-party publishers in the 4E era? As a poster in the ENworld thread notes, there will be no easy way for third parties to quickly and clearly identify their products as D&D-compatible. This will have no real effect on the cognoscenti, who know to look for codewords like “world’s most popular fantasy RPG,” which leaves the mass market – people who go to Barnes and Noble and such – and those two dozen or so independent retailers who still care about being able to move third-party D&D supplements to non-initiates. Those markets just got virtually impossible for indie publishers, excepting the three or four biggest fish. Of course, given the hardships of distribution if you aren’t the size of Green Ronin or Mongoose, these markets and most others were already virtually closed to you.

I look forward to seeing what happens with this. In essence, publishers are being kicked out of the nest: maybe a few will fly with the OGL the way a few of us hoped back at the very beginning. Maybe original independent systems will start coming back as a mainstream-RPGs factor. Hell, maybe Evil Hat will make a FATE System Trademark License and everyone will jump on that, I dunno. But it’s the definitive end for the D20 market as we know it, as opposed to the actual end, which was a while back for most meaningful senses of the word.

GAMES 100, give or take a few – Pillars of the Earth is Game of the Year

Tuesday, November 13th, 2007

It’s that time of year again – GAMES Magazine has announced their top game picks for 2007, and the GotY winner is a nerdy-but-not-too strategy board game. No shockers here, except that GAMES now actually has a website that’s not completely useless. However, Funagain seems again to be the only online source for the full list of 100. Remember to support your friendly local game store!

Bella Sara, Adkison in New York Times

Monday, November 12th, 2007

If you already know about Bella Sara (and you should, if you’ve been paying attention), then today’s article in the New York Times won’t reveal anything earthshattering. However, it serves as a reminder that Peter Adkison is still out there, lurking, ready to take over the world’s CCG market again when the time is right. Plus, we might see Bella Sara movies someday. Oh dear.

Audio Report – Uneasy about the approach

Monday, November 5th, 2007

Marketing – or to be more specific, the D&D 4e marketing approach thus far – is one of many things we dive into this episode. The death of Dreamblade, unlife of Zombie Fluxx, and everlasting love of ThunderRoad make appearances this show, as well. Plus, in his OgreCave Audio Report debut, Lee Valentine of Veritas Games Company joins in to throw some elbows with the rest of us.