It’s been a big week for World of Warcraft. The cinematic trailer for Warlords of Dreanor went live last week, and the usual updates regarding subscription numbers and future plans that we’ve all come to expect have been circulating through our Twitter feeds. On such article by IGN featuring a spread on WoW’s traditional, pre-expansion dwindling subscriber count, Game Director Tom Chilton discusses the plans for future expansions. The interesting thing about this article (listed below) is that Chilton expresses that the plan was for expacs to be released more frequently with shorter gaps in between. We all know that for the past expacs the rollout period has been approximately every two years, with a sizeable patch in between to break up the wait.
In my current dayjob I cover a travel territory that reaches through Pennsylvania, out to Baltimore and outside of the DC area. I have met a lot of cool developers through Philly Dev Night who like to come out to Philadelphia every week to create, discuss, and play indie games. I’ve also met some students and researchers doing some fascinating things with game technology to make the world a better place for gamers and non-gamers alike. So, I’m starting a new series of articles. For the next few months, I, AJ, am going to be traveling around my neck of the world talking to indie developers about the work being done in the Philadelphia/Pittsburgh/East Coast gaming scene. I meet interesting people every day, and I want to share their work and words with you!
I’m kicking off the series by talking to Shawn Pierre, the sole proprietor of OriGaminc in Philadelphia, PA. He’s just coming off of a successful Kickstarter for his card game These French Fries are Terrible Hot Dogs and has presented his games at IndieCade East, the Boston Festival of Indie Games, and the Indie MEGABOOTH at Pax East. I asked Shawn a few questions about his current work and future plans. Check out our interview below the jump:
I’m not someone you’d want around in a survival scenario: zombies, tribulation, camping, the park. Frankly, I possess very few skills and many undesirable qualities. If I were placed in an environment containing more than 65% Nature, I would die. I bring middlin’ genetic value to the table, but honestly, you could do better. I have no aptitude in engineering, construction, basic math, unarmed combat, logistics, celestial navigation, tool use, or athletics. I can’t operate a chainsaw, drive a motorcycle, construct an igloo, butcher an animal, or dress a wound. A slurry of cynicism, negative affectivity, and acute anhedonia give rise to a personality best described as “unpleasant.” I’m freakishly resistant to cold, but that power comes at a high price: my cognitive abilities begin to break down above 85°F/29°C, collapsing completely soon after.
You may be curious why I’m telling you all this.
“… a pretty good basic indie platformer with lots of fun things to do in it and some clever levels and bosses.”
“… a game where you, as the titular Knight, can smack the crap out of Reize Seatlan using a shovel.”
From the beginning, The Wolf Among Us struck me as easier to recommend than The Walking Dead, functionally its nearest counterpart, because it isn’t so relentlessly bleak. With the first season now concluded, I think it may just be Telltale’s best season to date.
I never finished the game Shadow Complex. The gameplay was fine, level design fine, but I hit a point where I just couldn’t put up with Jason Flemming anymore. I remember clearly exactly why I put the game down: one of the nameless faceless soldiers yelled something like “Who is this guy? Is it just one man?!” And I thought… yeah, he really is just one man, and, in fact, not a particularly interesting or special man. Not Batman or Samus Aran or Solid Snake or even Sam Fischer or someone actually cool. He’s just this dude Jason, and he frankly bores me to tears with his white-boy blandness. The most interesting thing Jason Flemming ever did is in the alternate ending, where he just gives up and goes home. As far as I am concerned, this is the canon ending to Shadow Complex, the only ending that makes sense. As a bonus getting this ending means spending way less time with Jason.
Unfortunately Jason’s crown has been stolen. I have a new least favorite. Aiden Pearce is just the worst.
So it’s come to my attention that some people – by which I mean all people – misunderstood an earlier post I wrote, announcing the publication of Brilliance, my brother’s sixth novel. In this, the post announcing the publication of A Better World, my brother’s seventh novel, I will endeavor to set the record straight.
It’s been not two but three weeks since our last On Tap, because, like, sometimes Dix gets lazy. In that time, one of this console generation’s first anticipated releases has hit with Watch Dogs, and proved that we’ll likely have no shortage of sociopathic protagonists in case anyone was worried; LeVar Burton and Reading Rainbow blew the lid off Kickstarter by getting all the money; and everyone’s been placing their obligatory E3 bets.
But since we have a little time to kill before Geordi can once again read us to sleep, we’ve had to turn to the comforting embrace of these games…
Have you ever had a night that lasted forever?
Metaphorically, of course – time did march on, you woke up the next day, but at the time, the night just seemed endless, stretched out before you independent of actual time?
What happened to Bulletstorm? It’s a fair question. Here’s a game that – while admittedly not for everyone – was a highly innovative and gorgeous shooter. Tightly designed, cleverly written, well put-together, from a collaboration between two of the most reliably competent genre leaders in the industry. It didn’t go seriously over budget, it wasn’t late, it wasn’t buggy, it didn’t promise one thing and deliver another, and it didn’t rehash World War II or Americans-killing-Arabs memes. The critical reception ranged from positive to gushing; it shipped on every major platform. It was, by all accounts, the definition of a new IP blockbuster.
Zeke Iddon is a good friend of Tap-Repeatedly, and of gaming in general. He penned a hilarious Celebrity Guest Editorial (with equally hilarious video) on Tale of Tales’ Bientôt l’été – that’s Flemish for wander pointlessly on a beach – and now his long-running comedy gaming blog Iron Man Mode is coming to a close. To make sure it goes out in a fiery orange boom of screams and death, Zeke has declared that starting May 23, at 9:00pm GMT, he will-
You know, I better let him speak for himself. He speaks good.
It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of another two weeks. So let’s drink to the last fortnight and have another for the next. Here’s what’s On Tap!
While the gameplay itself offers much to enjoy,
the real treat is in the aesthetics.
Child of Light is a fairy tale rendered
in watercolor, and darkly poetic.
2007 seems so long ago. That was the year THQ and GSC Game World finally released the absurdly ambitious open-world shooter S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl. It surprised us by being phenomenal. Broken, incoherent, and phenomenal. Released after six years of troubled development, it was a heavily redacted copy of the original vision – more than 50% of the game was cut – but even in its mangled state it was a landmark in the “future of shooters is RPGs” concept. To this day nothing has quite replicated the feel of your first time. And throughout it all rumors persisted, about the STALKER that they’d intended.
Welcome to the Zone that was. Welcome back, to a place you’ve never quite been.
Where did the last two weeks go? What even happened? I totally wasn’t paying attention.
Well, I guess the Star Wars cast got announced. That was pretty big. But we here at Tap don’t have time for motion pictures based on older motion pictures. We only like games here. Games only!