Archive for December, 2007

2007 OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide – pt 4

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Just under the wire, the final installment of the 2007 OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide is here. This final list is our traditional “Eleventh Hour Special” – that is, downloadable gift suggestions, cutting that all-inhibiting shipping time delay right out of the equation. Only hours remain until folks start opening gifts, so have a look, and quickly download a gift or two, if you have the need.

That wraps up this year’s OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide (pun not intended, and stubbornly ignored). If you’re still stuck for ideas, feel free to peruse our lists from years past, our Ogre’s Choice Awards lists, or listening in on a few episodes of the OgreCave Audio Report. There, I’ve run out of things to shamelessly plug, so I’m off to bed. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Amber & Palladium TMNT designer Erick Wujcik terminally ill

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

It was announced yesterday that Erick Wujcik, designer of the classic RPG adaptation Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness and the seminal Amber Diceless RPG, is rapidly dying of pancreatic cancer. Palladium publisher Kevin Siembieda has started a website to “give the millions of people who have loved the man and enjoyed his games, the opportunity to express their appreciation for him and his work.” If you have a story to share, please do.

2007 OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide – pt 3

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Yeah, I know: there’s hardly any shopping time left before Christmas (the only thing that saved me from getting sick with the rest of the family was all the extra hours at work), but we’re still plowing ahead with our annual OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide! In our third list of 2007 gift suggestions, we’ve gathered Twelve Games Under the d20, our choices of the best products for fans of the waning d20 System. With just a few days left, we hope you’ve already finished buying gifts, but in case you’re still playing catch-up (like us), we hope our gift picks will help out – or provide ideas to aim your post-holiday gift certificates toward. Naturally, our previous lists are still full of worthwhile suggestions, so have at them!

We’ll have one more list – the last minute, downloadable products – in a day or two. As long as we aren’t waylaid by anything else, that is…

Peter Jackson to Ring in two Hobbit films

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

Famed director and geek-icon Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame has finally reached an agreement with New Line Cinema to be involved in creating two prequel films to the J.R.R. Tolkien movies. It was announced earlier today that Jackson will serve as executive producer for two movies based on The Hobbit, which sets the whole Golem/Frodo/Sauron dynamic into motion. Production could begin as soon as 2009, with the movies tentatively set to release in 2010 and 2011. Now if we can just get the Hollywood writers’ strike settled, maybe things will get underway.

Gameplaywright: shall Wii play an RPG?

Monday, December 17th, 2007

Over at Will Hindmarch and Jeff Tidball’s freshly announced blog Gameplaywright, Will makes the following provocative observation that may surprise Wii owners:

The wiimote is a roleplaying prop, isn’t it? It’s a multi-functional device morphed by your imagination and direct interface into some imaginary role in an imaginary setting. Thus, every Wii game is practically an RPG, or at least contains “RPG elements,” bordering on LARP. Your acceptance of the wiimote as something other than it is – your “casting” of it into a role – flows back into you, transforming you into a roleplayer.

That’s right, Wii gamers: you’ve been drafted; we’ll expect you to make well-informed votes for all Origins Award and ENnies ceremonies from now on, plan accordingly. But honestly, I couldn’t agree with Will more – the right Wii interface can nearly eliminate the learning curve on what a roleplaying game is, and could make the entire roleplaying medium (yes, including the tabletop games) less intimidating. Now if we could just get the right cross-pollinization of socially mobilizing party games the Wii is known for with a memorable story-driven experience, then we’d really have a tool to recruit fresh roleplayers.

This also reminds me I was going to pick up Resident Evil 4 for the Wii, and get my survival horror roleplaying on.

2007 OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide – pt 2

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

Holiday parties and other happy interruptions have delayed us, but the OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide shall not be stopped! Continuing our 2007 gift suggestion lists, we present Twelve Games Under the Tree, our picks from gaming goodies over $20. Time grows short, so get to your local game store and pick up those gifts. We’ll prep the rest of our Guide and get back to you shortly, but there’s always our previous lists if you’re desperate for ideas.

Weisman gets new gig infiltrating physical world with old-timey modern-fantasy mecha

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Jordan Weisman, founder of FASA, has licensed the rights to MechWarrior, Shadowrun and Crimson Skies from Microsoft to his latest startup, Smith & Tinker.” S&T apparently aims to draw on the lessons of ARGs, the medium Weisman helped pioneer at his company 42 Entertainment, and carry them into the realm of Internet-connected real-world objects (in the form of games and toys). No announcement has yet been made that gets more specific than that. But if you put CS, SR and MW in a blender and poured the resulting paste all over a website, it would indeed look like Smith & Tinker’s.

New reviews from the Cave

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

Just to bring them everyone’s attention, I thought I’d point out the latest new reviews we’ve posted. Some of these were attached to the 2007 Christmas Gift Guide:

More coming up soon. Stay tuned.

Something of WotC’s probably headed for Xbox Live Arcade, who knows what

Tuesday, December 4th, 2007

“Wizards of the Coast [...] today announced an agreement with leading UK video game developer Stainless Games to produce an exciting new online downloadable game.” Doesn’t “leading” usually mean that you don’t do your development work under some other company‘s name? Still, though, the Xbox Live versions of Asteroids and such have been big on that platform, and the note that this “exciting new downloadable game” will involve “one of the most treasured IPs in the games field” makes me think the project is an Xbox Live version of Magic Online. A second possibility is an Xbox counterpart to the D&D4 online playtable, which would be exciting but likely not anywhere near as profitable. Anyway these are just my wild-ass guesses.

Dr Who RPG announced at Dragonmeet

Saturday, December 1st, 2007

Frequent OgreCave contributor Matthew Pook tells us some exciting news from Dragonmeet, happening right now: Cubicle 7 has secured a license to produce a Dr Who RPG based on the new BBC television series. According to Matthew, the license also includes spin-offs like Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures. We’ll wait to see what the official press release says once it’s posted. Excellent news for Whovians, in any case.