Archive for August, 2008

Days of Wonder sells Battlelore to FFG

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

No, I’m not joking: Fantasy Flight Games has arranged to purchase BattleLore from Days of Wonder, including all copyrights and existing backstock, to become the game’s new publisher. BattleLore fans shouldn’t worry, as the transfer of ownership includes the recently announced Troll Map expansion, and BattleLore creator Richard Borg has agreed to continue developing support products. Probably a good fit at FFG, which obviously still didn’t think it had enough to do. (Full press release below)

More this just more even more in from Gen Con

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

A few links from Saturday’s shows.

  • North Star Games has followed up their smash Wits and Wagers with Say Anything.
  • Fat Dragon makes cardstock terrain, and even some out-and-out fold-up minis, on a really high level of craft.
  • The Call of Duty real-time card game.
  • I’m fairly certain Paul meant Batavia.
  • How to Host a Dungeon sounds like a tabletop interactive version of the world-generation stuff at the start of indie PC text game Dwarf Fortress; everyone I know thinks that part of Dwarf Fortress is cool but stops playing as soon as they have to actually do anything. If HtHaD can actually make you a part of the cool stuff, that’s a recipe for success.
  • I’ve been eyeing The Continuum with interest for a bit, but also with some suspicion; they have their fingers in so many pies that they smell a little bit of desperation. (Mmm, desperation pie.) But to be fair, I need to give the gameplay a look, and the another-free-booster-for-finishing-three-games thing is really smart.

All we're gonna say about the McCain thing

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Edit: we should throw in a mention of this mildly amusing backpedal from the McCain campaign… which gets a little more amusing when you read that it predates the second anti-D&D slam. “Okay, nobody’s looking anymore… try it now!” Maybe someone should tell them that lots of D&D players are still who they were at the very beginning: Midwestern male armchair generals who distrust hippies.

Layoffs, restructuring at WotC

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Today Wizards of the Coast announced it would be restructuring, in order to “focus on key growth strategies for core brands.” (see release below) As you’d expect, this means layoffs, though an exact number or any actual names hasn’t been revealed (ICv2 has heard the total is less than 5% of employees). I wonder how many of the layoffs are Gleemax related – it’d be a shame not to use that labor to get D&D Insider up to speed more quickly. As always, if anyone knows more, give us a holler.

More just in from Gen Con 2008

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

I’ve got a few minutes to peruse a few internet rumblings from this weekend’s big Indianapolis show, so I’ll point out a few things that caught my attention:

  • The new Baron Munchausen RPG from Magnum Opus Press is at the Mongoose booth. [EDIT: we’ve had mixed reports on whether it was at the show, but e23 has the PDF]
  • Cubicle 7 has the Starblazer Adventures RPG at the show, and demos of the eagerly-awaited Doctor Who RPG.
  • Due to the near-certain success of Ken Hite’s Where the Deep Ones Are, brilliantly illustrated by Andy Hopp (which we saw back at GTS ’08), Mr Hite hints there may be a sequel – The Antarctic Express (Polar Express combined with Beyond the Mountains of Madness) – and possibly others to follow.
  • The Sultan is a cool game table for ultrageeks with $9,700 to burn.
  • The story-boardgame Zombie Cinema requires players to make their characters interesting, lest everyone else decide you should get eaten.

We’ll point out more bits as they become fully realized, or interesting, or as time allows. All of the above.

2008 ENnies winners announced at Gen Con Indy

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Earlier this evening at Gen Con Indy, the winners of the Gen Con EN World RPG Awards 2008 were announced to all in attendance at the Indianapolis Westin Grand Ballroom (see full list below). Highlights include Paizo Publishing’s win for Fan Choice Best Publisher (Paizo generally dominated the categories, along with White Wolf and Green Ronin). Star Wars RPG: Saga Edition took Best Rules over second place Trail of Cthulhu, as well as Best Game, though it was edged out by Changeling: The Lost for Product of the Year. Lifetime Achievement Awards were also awarded, to Dave Arneson, Gary Gygax, and Erick Wujcik. OgreCave extends a hearty congratulations to all of this year’s winners.

This just in from This Just In From Gen Con

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

The good news is, someone is actually bothering to report live from the show… where “live” is defined as “ways other than writing rambling daily reports that don’t go up until the next day.” The not-bad-but-maybe-weird news is that the reporting is being done in a podcast – a short one, but still, no random access and no Google juice – and while Tevis and Macklin are two of the best, they barely have time to get the thing up there, let alone do any show notes.

We’re here to help:

  • Warmachine: Legends is the new Privateer offering, besides some more thorough teases on Monsterpocalypse. If you play WM, you know all about what Legends has to offer, aaaand it’s not super-apparent that there is anything in it of compelling interest to the outsider. They are selling a sweet beer-swilling trollkin figure inspired by the Ram brewery, though – watch for that to hit the online store.
  • MAID RPG, the first ever Japanese RPG to be translated to English, is at the show. Its current website is temporary, but I have to say I’ll be a little heartbroken when it gets replaced.
  • HELLAS: Worlds of Sun and Stone! Also known as, Not The Board Game! Ready for some Greek-empire-in-space action? Answers apart from “hell yes” are wrong answers.
  • Crafty Games has sort-of-kind-of announced a release date for Fantasy Craft: “It’ll be done in the fall.”
  • Fantasy Flight apparently has the largest booth at the show. We don’t have hard data on that, but hey, Paul Tevis has the most honest face on the radio. Reports of some big thing being lined up for at FFG today are tantalizing but inconclusive; Mutant Chronicles? Someone clue us in.
  • Ken Hite’s redoubtable Out of the Box column has a new sponsor in Indie Press Revolution. It’ll be changing to a more blog-like format (huzzah!).

This would all be more helpful if game companies had the wherewithal to update their web sites and attend Gen Con at the same time. They still don’t. In the meantime, This Just In From Gen Con is doing a bang-up job.

Grey Ranks and Wolfgang Baur’s Open Design project tie for Diana Jones Award

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008


Read all about it at Baur’s LJ. Diana Jones Award info here.

WotC amends D&D4 GSL in soon-to-be-specified ways

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

One of the big complaints about the Game System License for D&D 4 has been the clause that says they can change it without notification; well, apparently they have every intention of at least getting word to people who read the web, and here’s us doing our part. Changes to the GSL, as yet unspecified but relating to third-party publisher feedback and fan-site policy, will be announced in the “very near future,” which presumably means a Gen Con announcement event (and its attendant website meltdown). One wonders if the fan-site-related aspects were necessitated by the suspension of development work on Gleemax, which was vaguely posited at one point as the intended home for fan-contributed material. (Like they could ever stuff that genie back in the bottle.)

Battlestar Galactica boardgame preparing for jump to stores

Friday, August 8th, 2008

While the SciFi Channel heads into the Battlestar Galactica home stretch, and plans for a Cylon-heavy prequel, Fantasy Flight has fired up the engines on a related project: the Battlestar Galactica boardgame website. According to the site, the game will put each player in the role of a character from the television series, each with his/her own skills and disadvantages. Loyalty cards will be dealt to secretly determine which character is actually a Cylon, both at the beginning of the game and at a “Sleeper phase” partway through. The Human characters work together to escape toward Earth, while the Cylon characters secretly work against the other players. At this point, it doesn’t look like FFG has designed the game to be ultra-expandable, but I wouldn’t put it past them. The boardgame is currently scheduled for an October ’08 release.

PAX East Coast officially in the works

Monday, August 4th, 2008

While I was off in the wilds of Minnesota last week, Tycho over at Penny Arcade made this post pseudo-announcing PAX East Coast 2010. As many gamers know, PAX – or Penny Arcade Expo – is the game con that mixes tabletop names like Fantasy Flight and Wizards of the Coast with computer and console folks like Blizzard, Bungie, Valve, and the like. With the exponential growth the show’s experienced in the past few years, a second show seems logical, and by working with Reed Exhibitions, the guys who put on the New York City Comic Con, this may work out nicely. No specific date has been set, though more details could come at PAX ’08 later this month. The East Coast show could potentially provide an easier show venue for tabletop game companies if PAX East’s date ends up being farther away from Gen Con.