Game Time: The best stories about games, culture, and community (March 12-18)
With the help of my graduate assistant Sammi Kirby, each week I’ll pull together stories about games, culture, and the art and design of communities. Where Dungeons & Dreamers: A story of how computer games created a global community ends, this blog begins. If we’ve missed a story, let us know. Or share your story with us in the comments.
- Kickstarter Tabletop Roundup: Cards, Dice, Heists. And Pandas: There are a number of kickstarter campaigns for tabletop games that are ending within the next month. Examples include the quick card game Seven7s, Entropy involves weaving together storylines into one world, The Family Arcana uses cards to create a rearrangeable story, Halfsies Dice is just a cool dice set, and Above and Below lets the user choose their own adventures as they build and explore the game world.
- UNL residents strengthen friendships through tabletop games: Resident assistant Adrienne Ricker introduced tabletop board games to her residents at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a way to connect with her residents, and as a way for the resident to connect with each other. Other students also introduce board games, like Dungeons & Dragons, as a way to connect and to have fun.
- If you were teaching a course on Tabletop RPGs, what rpgs would you cover?: This reddit thread where people are adding to a list of tabletop rpgs that should at least be read, not necessarily played, by a design class. The definitive list from the author is FATE Core, Pathfinder, Anima: Beyond Fantasy, World of Darkness, GURPS & RIFTS, HERO, OVA, Kuro, Edge of the Empire, Numenera, Golden Sky Stories, Dungeon World, and Tavern Tales.
- The Dungeons and Dragons Session That Became a Real-Life Phenomenon: Comptiq, a Japanese computer magazine, serialized a Dungeons and Dragons game played by a group of friends called Group SNE. The “Record of Lodoss War” became so popular that it spun off into popular novels, books, anime series, manga, video games and another ruleset, but it never really took off outside of Japan.
- WIL WHEATON ANNOUNCES INTERNATIONAL TABLETOP DAY 2015: Wil Wheaton announced that April 11 is International TableTop Day 2015. People can celebrate by playing with friends, but they can also see if any hobby shops or gaming clubs are putting any events on that day.
- Nothing has gone horribly wrong, but 2015 launch for consumer Oculus Rift less likely: Palmer Lucky, Oculus founder, is not announcing any particular day or month for the release of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. He claims they’ve aimed higher for the product, and as such aren’t setting a concrete release date.
- Valve VR Demo Is Like A Hyper Detailed Myst: Valve’s virtual reality software lets the user walk around small room sized areas, and used Myst and Monkey Island as inspiration for its first-person game The Gallery: The Six Elements.
A Hodge Podge
- Millennium Falcon Papercraft Is A Work Of Art: Bernard Szukiel took four years to make an incredibly detailed paper replica of the Millennium Falcon that is over three feet long and 99 percent paper.
- Multiplayer is More Fun When Your Friends Act Like Idiots Together: At this weekend’s SXSW Gaming Expo in Austin, Texas, there was a lot of interest in offline multiplayer games. There is video of a dancing game, a funny two-person wrestling game, and a game that’s a mixed up version of hockey, basketball and bowling.
- Gallery: GDC 2015 shows off inventive controllers and Atari history: At this year’s Game Developers Conference there were over a dozen new unique methods for video game control. This article has photos and two videos that show the variety of controls, which includes a game that uses a giant tennis ball-trackball and a stuffed pug butt as its controls.
- New BBC drama tells story of GTA, ‘one of the greatest British coding success stories’: The BBC Make it Digital initiative will have a 90 minute drama on BBC Two about Grand Theft Auto’s start and fallout, although no specific date was given. Although it was a big success, the violence of the game led to strong objections from influential groups, which led to its fallout.
- Cards Against Humanity is free online starting this weekend: This weekend, Cards Against Humanity is launching a free web app for smartphones, tablets and Windows PC called Cards Against Originality.
- Rise of the indie publishers: Indie games are getting harder to get discovered, so more effort should be put into marketing and promoting. Publishers like Versus Evil and Devolver Digital are actually working on helping indies, without taking away the IP rights, but Indie game developers really need to work on long-term success.