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.
Privateer Press announced at a seminar today at Gen Con that developer WhiteMoon Dreams is underway on a digital version of Warmachine for… consoles? PCs? Both? Info is coming in via Twitter and is thus a little thin on the ground. Apparently the game will be first-person strategy of a sort – you’ll be in the warcaster’s perspective, issuing orders to your ‘jacks – and that’s about all I know. Unless the game has a confirmed publisher, this might not really even be an announced product so much as a really awesome plan. But there’s a nice, shiny coming-soon page!
Here’s the show, here’s your notes:
- The Diana Jones Award.
- Catalyst has the old WizKids booth spot, right by the entrance. From a polished toy manufacturer to punks in kilts with BattleTech pods: I can get behind that.
- Hero doesn’t have the 6th Edition books yet, so you can preorder and walk away with a PDF on CD. Turns out that’s easier to get in your suitcase.
- Champions Online will be out on September 1st.
- We live to serve, fellas, but as far as the Podcaster Meet & Greet, I can’t figure out where the Safehouse is supposed to be. Unless you’re supposed to go to Milwaukee. Sorry.
- Cubicle 7 has Starblazer Adventures, of course, and some Doctor Who promo thing of unspecified nature.
- Gamescience: precise dice.
- Geek Chic furnishers and their rico-suave new joint, the Emissary. The Sultan is still available as well.
- The Palomino restaurant.
- Eclipse Phase.
- A couple of Hero 6 supplements already out: the Hero Edition of The Day After Ragnarok (not finding a link on it at Atomic Overmind, but it’s at the
Atari/CrypticHero booth), and the awesomely named War of Worldcraft.
If you’re new to OgreCave: hi. We normally just run photos of people with greenish skin, but we’re covering this game stuff as a favor to Ryan. The guy up in the corner has a sword and armor because, uh, budget concerns.
Allan’ll have your back tomorrow morning. Sleep tight!
Yeah, whole new edition… and it looks fascinating. Possibly fascinating in the car-wreck sense, but it’s a bit early to know for sure. Also, it’s a box set at a planned MSRP of $99 – which people will see as a bold step, even though it looks like a better deal than the D&D core books plus dice and power cards. No announced release date that I can see, and it’s an FFG production, so caveat anticipator.
- Pandemic and its On The Brink expansion.
- You already know the Diana Jones Award. Here’s a Dominion link if you still need one.
- Konami’s Blue Dragon CCG.
- The Hite Trifecta: Rough Magicks for Trail of Cthulhu, The Day After Ragnarok for Savage Worlds, and Cthulhu 101 for the kids.
- The very cool-sounding Writers Symposium at Gen Con.
- The ENnie Awards are gonna be hot this year.
- Brave New World: The Movie: The Rally: The Concert! BNW has a long history of vaguely ARG-y Gen Con doin’s, the history of which unfortunately seems to have vanished from the intertubes.
- Midnight Chronicles, the other let’s-make-our-game-into-a-movie movie, is out on DVD and, interestingly, paid download via DriveThruRPG.
- Pirate Jenny, a booth full of female RPG publishers. Not just designers: publishers. Be sure and check out RPGirl while you’re there.
- The line for the Pathfinder RPG was giving people trouble. I expect that to be a theme of the weekend.
- Wow, Catalyst is bringing out an insane amount of stuff: Eclipse Phase, anniversary stuff for SR as well as BT, and something more on the Eighth World setting used in that BattleRun thing. Sorry I can’t find more links; with all these products coming out, Catalyst apparently hasn’t had much web-page-buildin’ time.
There it is, or as much of it as I wrote down, anyway. If you’re new to OgreCave: hi. No, we aren’t just a podcast. Yes, we still do the podcast (podcasts, even). You should follow us on Twitter. We like you and think you’re special.
BrettSpiel has a good-sized interview with freshman designer Cephas Howard, who was on the cusp of getting a couple of board games published when he landed what I think we can all agree is a pretty sweet job: lead designer for the entire LEGO Games line. (Although apparently Herr Knizia is credited on a couple of them, and consulted on many of the rest.) Check the hot piece-prototyping action on the dice there. Howard also confirms that game hacking – with good recommended methodology, even! – is an explicit part of the products. These things are gonna be hot, hot fun.
Yu-Gi-Oh sets TCG lifetime sales record at 22.5 billion cards. Thing about TCGs is once they have enough momentum, they don’t seem to ever stop rolling, ever. It’s like comics: there will always be people who act like comics collectors, even though neither the paper drives of the 40s that made Golden Age comics rare nor the 90s Image boom are ever going to happen again. It might perenially shrink like a radioactive half-life, but it will always be with us.