The DJA-nominated Game Chef mini-RPG competition is on for 2009, and it’s now being operated by Push editor Jonathan Walton, who’s given it a great look, a rules overhaul, and a very clever and well-executed new means of communication. Whereas the last several Game Chefs have had dedicated web forums, Walton is encouraging competitors to start free weblogs and is aggregating the results through several feeds. It’s a new approach to community that I think will be a good fit for the contest, and new approaches to community are certainly needed in the RPG world. Also, the tight time restriction of GC is now optional amidst the new achievement-badge-style contest schema; if you’re long on ideas but short on free time, take a look at those.
Archive for August, 2009
After escaping the Green Goblin and the Sandman for years, Spider-Man will soon be caught by a mere mouse — Mickey Mouse. In a $4 billion deal, Disney is acquiring 5,000 Marvel-branded characters and other associated properties. For the gaming industry, this might make Marvel licensing available only to the “big boys”, because Disney’s licensing division is notoriously harder for small companies to navigate without a Disney-vetted licensing agent or a stable of other successfully managed licenses in the game company’s portfolio. Still, as Marvel’s value as a licensor has gone up in recent years, the licensing fees may have already put Marvel out of the reach of many game companies anyway. The guys at Upper Deck renewed their license at just the right time. Feel free to comment with additional details or speculations. The full story is here.
The Gen Con Indy 2009 wrap-up press release (also pasted below) provided this year’s head count, reported as “over 27,900 unique attendees”. This means Gen Con was down less than 2.5% from last year’s total of 28,600 visitors. Gen Con’s long-established status as an annual gamer pilgrimage seems to have helped it weather the rough economic times better than Origins ’09 or GTS ’09, which each experienced 18% attendance drop-off. Of course, current economic optimism may have helped Gen Con a bit, too…
Additionally, Gen Con raised $12,000 in charity funds, and no one refused the gaming-tainted cash (unlike last year). So no righteous indignation for you, Joe Gamer.
Small Box Games has, ironically enough, no games in small boxes: they do cloth bags, custom printed with cover info and such. Games are around the $20 mark, seem to have decent components, look kinda interesting, and catch some love on BoardGameGeek here and there.
That’s good, internet. Now bring me some more.
Fantasy Flight Games recently let its fans know that the company had acquired the rights to Tannhäuser from its previous publisher, Take on You, Ltd. This should allow FFG to release new expansions – such as the upcoming Daedalus set due later this year – on a more regular basis. Other expansions are also planned in 2009, including troop packs for the Union and Reich, four new figures, and a second edition of the core game fully compatible with the original release.
Gen Con always brings new game products into view that were obscure before, and this year’s no exception. I’m not sure what to think of Campaign Coins – metal coins of different sorts for your fantasy RPG campaign. The website’s still in progress, but there’s internet murmurs of a partnership or license with a major RPG company. Here’s the thing: my players are easily distracted already – would adding a pile of RPG money aid the roleplay experience, or cause my players to play Tiddly Winks with shiny objects instead of listening? What would you do?
Yep, rumors on the internets were true: Games Workshop is bringing beloved boxed game Space Hulk back as a $99 limited edition on September 5th. If you’re into it, you might wanna hop on that preorder.
A pair of new reviews are up today. First is Dennis’ look at Timestreams from Bucephalus Games, a new card game that pits different eras of history against each other. Then I’ve thrown in my review of Run For Your Life, Candyman! from Smirk & Dagger. For my money, it’s the only way to revisit the dreaded childhood game Candy Land, and far more enjoyable, too. It seemed only fitting to post this now, since S&D’s sequel game Shootin’ Ladders has just hit Gen Con.