Dungeons & Dragons has lots of licensed video games. But the pen-and-paper tabletop game that many gamers consider the soul of D&D is a game in flux.
The presence of Dungeons & Dragons was felt throughout the long, broad halls of Boston’s PAX East convention this past weekend. Wizards of the Coast brought with them this year the traditional tabletop offerings, running tables of D&D Essentials and the new Lords of Waterdeep board game in the convention’s table gaming room. But Dungeons & Dragons also means video games these days. In addition to checking out some new content premiering for the existing Dungeons & Dragons Online, I also got a first look at the newest D&D MMO, which is simply called Neverwinter. My thoughts on the latter lead off a series about the things I saw this past weekend at PAX. Join me past the jump.
I know this is likely to render meaningless the lives of many a reader, but you gaze upon the fifth-to-last Dark Souls Diary.
“Steerpike!” You cry. “No! Please for the love of all that is good and/or holy, say it’s not true! You have already written twenty thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight words, words we neither solicited nor enjoyed! Your own mother has asked you to stop! Say that we don’t have to read five more of these before the torment can end! We beg you Steerpike, just type this: ‘and then I did a bunch of other stuff and won the end forever.’ Wouldn’t that be a pithy closing?”
That actually would be pretty clever.
Unfortunately Kermdinger Studios was hit by a meteorite yesterday and completely obliterated. Bummer.
Okay, I’m just kidding. Only Ethan was obliterated.
I normally don’t post breathless and shocking announcements, but it’s just been brought to my attention that there’s been a huge upset in the world of gaming. Specifically, SWERY65, director of Deadly Premonition, has had his blog taken over by an alternate-dimension doppelganger with a terrifying mustache. And I gotta say, the game that development genius ZVVORY666 is working on now looks incredible.
What better way to spend a sunny weekend than playing games indoors. If I had a portable generator I would have likely taken my desk outside, but then I’d have only had sun glare on my monitor. Instead, I packed off my family for three days and decided to stay indoors away from the sun’s rays, playing Guild Wars 2 for more than 42 hours (curse the need to sleep!)…
For all that it’s short, and its tail is shorter; for all that it is what it is and what it is may not resonate with you the way it did with me, Journey is revelatory. As a responsible journalist I feel I ought to shy back from saying what I want to say, and what I want to say is this: if you have a PS3, buy Journey. If you don’t have a PS3, go get a PS3, then buy Journey.
Alliance of Awesome fellow Harbour Master, at his own haunt of Electron Dance, has posted a thoughtful piece on games that “leak:” that is, games that are uber-stimulative, not just profound or impactful, but that make you look at life differently. Check it out, he promises more to come.
Vessel is unique, as mesmerising to look at as it is to hear, brimming with smart mechanics and puzzles, and just a joy from start to finish. And after a two year wait since that first trailer, I couldn’t be more relieved to say all that. For $15 (less than £10), it gets my heartiest recommendation. If you’re still on the fence, there’s also a demo available on Steam which will hopefully push you off the right side of it.
While I’m stuck in my room because the Queen is outside and they won’t let me out (still sore about that whole revolution thing, I guess), I’ll get you up to date on what the Kermdinger chaps have been up to.
Here is another cool thing I did at GDC: play a lot of the games in the IGF. Some of the games have been released already, while others are still works in-progress. The first game I played there fell in to the latter category: Gunpoint. Gunpoint is a work-in-progress being designed and programmed by Tom Francis, with help from indie artists and sound designers. He keeps an extensive development blog, and I’d been following the project for a while, so I chatted with Tom at the event. Somehow from there I managed to get him to send me a test build to play with at home, for the full Gunpoint experience.
I completed Dark Souls a couple weekends ago – something I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to do. However, just because I’m done doesn’t mean that each and every one of you aren’t hanging on breathlessly for the next installment of my Diary! Far be it from me to deny you.
Today the adventure continues with all new topics: oral hygeine for snakes, the world’s worst library, dragons in the buff, and more crystal than you can shake a hippie at! Let’s go!
Now that I’ve finally fought off jet-lag and the post-con blahs, I thought I’d spend a few days talking about stuff I saw at GDC that caught my interest. Hopefully it will interest Tap’s community, too.
First up, a quick one: a video from software called Earthsim. Not a game exactly, but an engine and visualization project. Jump below the fold for more.
As many of you know, Ethan Sicotte – known around here by his nom de plume Finkbug – died by his own hand last Friday. I put it that way because I greatly prefer the notice in his local paper: Ethan Sicotte died after a tumultuous battle that he fought valiantly for many years. His death came on his own terms on March 9.
Finkbug was more than a regular at Tap-Repeatedly, he was a fixture, and a friend. His presence extends years before Tap even became Tap, when it was still Four Fat Chicks. He’d been a part of the community for nearly a decade. Everyone who knew him recognized his singular brilliance, his singular wit, his singular nature that made him such an important part of the community.
Finkbug chose to leave us in a way that’s left a lot of people reeling, but no one can be suffering more than his family and close friends. Our thoughts are with those people in their grief. Since Finkbug had been among us for so long, and come to mean so much to so many, it seemed only right to put together a small tribute for him. Here are just a few of the thoughts and memories some Tap members have, decorated with Ethan’s own artwork. In lieu of having Finkbug around, we must take some comfort in his memory, which will be treasured by many here.
I want to talk to you about a very dangerous individual whose word is, even now, spreading to your very living rooms. This individual has formed a small cadre of loyal followers and true believers on little more than force of personality. This cult is threatens to draw all of you into it if you aren’t careful.
Tappers, I want to talk to you about Commander Shepard.