Tag Archives: Gaming

5x Video and 5x Tabletop – 10 Awesome New Gaming Projects on Kickstarter This Week

VIDEOGAMES

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Lynn and the Spirits of Inao

A Studio-Ghibli-esque platformer with flying whales.

 

Niche – a genetics survival game

Natural selection is a tricky, messy business.

 

Pirates of the Polygon Sea

Like Sid Meier’s Pirates, but with more polygons.

 

Dystoria, a 6-axis space shooter with an 80’s arcade vibe

So many axes of action in space! Turn up the synthwave.

 

Stern Pinball Arcade: AC/DC

I always fill my ballroom / the event is never small.

 

TABLETOP GAMES

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HoloGrid: Monster Battle (Augmented Reality Board Game)

That guy who made the holographic chess game in Star Wars? He’s making this.

 

The Depths of Durangrar: A Dungeon Crawler…in the dark

Strap on (real) night-vision goggles and hunt hapless heroes.

 

Sol: Last Days of a Star

An imminent supernova throws several worlds into a bit of a tizzy.

 

Campaign Trail

Play along at home with this timely election-based boardgame.

 

Awful Fantasy: the Card Game

A very serious take on a game about writing hilariously bad fantasy novels.

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5x Video and 5x Tabletop – 10 Awesome New Gaming Projects on Kickstarter This Week

VIDEOGAMES

Kickstarter VG 042916

Quench: A Narative Puzzle Game

Play as an avatar of nature and guide animal herds in this narrative puzzler.

 

Gunkatana – Lightning Fast Cyberpunk Action 

Live. Slice. Die. Repeat! Fast, top-down action murderfest.

 

Potions: A Curious Tale

“Combat is not always the answer” for this young witch.

 

Beholder

Sniff out enemies of the state as a Big-Brother-ish building manager.

 

Stardrop

Space is not the final frontier. Keep exploring and discovering.

 

TABLETOP GAMES
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Larklamp | Magic Lantern Game System

“An ancient kind of game console” that casts shadow-boards on a tabletop.

 

Bloc by Bloc: The Insurrection Game

Incredible marriage of theme and system in this Euro-style board game about insurrection.

 

Rifts for Savage Worlds

You’ve always wanted to play a Glitterboy using the Savage Worlds rules.

 

Super Hazard Quest

Retro side-scroller as card game!

 

The Golfing Dead

Ought to be polite to a man with a golf club. [Swings club.] Only common sense.

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The Wii Laptop Brings Portable Wireless Gaming

This is definitely the most impressive and good fun modification/hack I have seen in quite some time. Not being at all up to speed with a soldering iron, I respect those of you who engage in this type of activity.

I await a video that shows some actual game play. But, think of the possibilities - you could have random Wii tournaments on public transport - run with the help of some government arts funding!


Wii Are Just Good Enough

Image by Flickr user CokeeOrg.

Image by Flickr user CokeeOrg.

It’s taken me a month or two but I’ve finally got around to writing something in response to Robert Capps’ article in Wired. His was a brilliant piece reflecting on the success of technology that is just good enough for its purpose - bringing savings in accessibility, simplicity and price. But I won’t rehearse that here as you can read it in full on the site.

What it was missing though was a reference to any ‘Just Good Enough’ gaming technology. To that end I’ve taken the opportunity to use my new Game People column on The Escapist to flesh out what I see as a ”Just Good Enough’ gaming device - the Wii…

“Being a gamer, I immediately thought of Nintendo. Its restrained approach to gaming mirrors those magical devices that succeed with a “just good enough” user experience. It’s an approach I like because it means game design becomes about the player rather than the technology. In fact, they seem to have been reading from the same playbook. Capps’ comments about disrupting existing industry values could just as easily have come from Reggie Fils-Aime.”

I’m still taken by Nintendo’s rhetoric of focusing on the playability rather than the visuals…

“A lot of this is gaming history now, but go back a few years and the idea of low-fi gaming was unheard of. Before the Wii and the DS broke onto the scene, everybody clamored for fidelity, resolution, and hardware features in new gaming consoles. Each new generation had to outgun the last and deliver previously unimagined graphical realism. Go back to the GameCube, though, and you can hear Nintendo quietly building its vision of games not dependent on horsepower. Its big idea: fun from ideas and implementations rather than processor speed, polygon count and frame rate.”

I know there are plenty of problems with Nintendo’s approach, not least the high price and lack of third party support for their ‘Just Good Enough’ device, but for me their wider contribution outweighs this.


Review and Giveaway: Every Geek’s Eyes Deserve Gunnars

Gunnar MLG Legend Chrome glasses; photo © Gunnar Optiks, LLC.

Gunnar MLG Legend Chrome glasses; photo © Gunnar Optiks, LLC.

The odds are that, if you don’t already have one, you could use a set of Gunnar Optiks glasses right now. If, like most geeks, you spend some significant portion of your day in front of a computer monitor — whether for work or for play — you’ve been straining your eyes. Ever get a headache from an intense session of programming, writing, or videogaming? Gunnar’s i-AMP lenses may be the answer.

I’ve been wearing eyeglasses every day of my life for more than twenty years, and an uncounted but surely huge amount of that time has been spent in front of a computer. My non-blogger career is as a software engineer, so there literally is no way I can do my job without my eyes on the screen. I am a hard-core skeptic, and I’d tried out so-called “computer” glasses before, so I figured the Gunnar Optiks glasses wouldn’t have much of an effect on me. I was very pleasantly surprised, then, when the set they sent me worked like a charm.

Since work is where I spend the most time staring at a screen, I took my pair of prescription Gunnar glasses with me there. The first and second days I didn’t really notice much of a difference, but mid-afternoon on the third day I suddenly realized that the usual tension in my temples wasn’t there! Even better than that, the background headache I usually get from overhead fluorescent lights hadn’t arrived.

Matt Blum, wearing his Gunnars; photo by Jen Blum.

Matt Blum, wearing his Gunnars; photo by Jen Blum.

I don’t want to sound like a commercial, but I really can’t find anything negative to say about these glasses. They’re no more expensive than comparable traditional eyeglasses are, they come in lots of stylish designs, and, most importantly, they deliver on their promise. And they keep innovating, too: Gunnar just announced yesterday at CES that they will be selling 3D glasses starting in Q2 of this year, with prescription ones coming in Q3. I might just get myself a pair of those, because there are so many 3D movies coming out these days, and it’s really annoying trying to put 3D glasses on when you’re already wearing the glasses you need to be able to see anything at all.

And now for the giveaway: Leave a comment on this post giving a ballpark figure of the average amount of time you spend in front of a monitor each day to be entered to win a set of Gunnar Optiks MLG Legend Chrome glasses (pictured at the top of this post). These are not prescription lenses, so are suitable for folks with normal vision or who wear contact lenses, and sell for $99. To be entered, you must leave a comment by 5:00pm EST this Sunday, January 10, 2010.

I’m wearing my Gunnars (Groove style) as I write this, because there’s just no reason not to when I’m in front of a monitor. If you spend a lot of time looking at a screen, the money spent on a set for yourself will be well worth it.

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100 Games + 100 Cupcakes = Sweet!

Photos copyright © Linda Dahlberg

Photos copyright © Linda Dahlberg

We’ve posted about cool cake art on GeekDad before, and about cupcakes, and of course about games. But we’ve never posted about all three topics at once, until now.

A graphic design and jewelry artist named Robin Dahlberg and several of her housemates made a set of one hundred of the most awesome cupcakes ever. Each one is decorated to evoke a particular famous game, ranging from Rock-Paper-Scissors to World of Warcraft. In the spirit of gaming, Dahlberg created a web page that makes a game of figuring out what game each cupcake represents, and there’s even a bonus level! The cupcakes are just beautiful — I know I would have trouble eating one because it would mean destroying the fine handiwork.

So, I’ve played 77 of the games represented. How about you?

Hat tip: MetaFilter.


Open Letter to the Hotel Industry: Time to Get Your Game On

By Flickr user massdistraction. May be a Game Cube controller, which is only 8 year-old game tech.

By Flickr user massdistraction. May be a Game Cube controller, which is only 8 year-old game tech.

Hello there, Hotel Industry Person, I am one of your customers. In fact, I’m a pretty good customer. I and my family have stayed in some of your hotels for weeks of total time in the last year on various vacations and business-related trips. I have helped you weather the current economic downturn, and have even purchased some premium services that are the real money-makers for you. It would be reasonable, I think, for you to hear me out on one or two things I’ve noticed; things you could be doing better to make me, the customer, happier and more likely to spend more money in your establishments.

You like to cater to family travelers, don’t you? At least, you give off that impression. If that is indeed the case, let me let you in on a little secret: kids need things to do in your hotel rooms.

Okay, hold on there. I know what you’re going to say. You have televisions in your rooms with on-demand movies to watch, and all sorts of cable channels, and…. wait for it… VIDEO GAMES! Kids these days LOVE the video games!

How old are you, Hotel Industry Person? Do you really consider yourself in touch with “the kids these days?” I can’t tell you how many hotels I’ve stayed in over the last decade where the special video game feature to the TV in the room was to pay some exorbitant hourly rate to play (I shudder to say) Nintendo 64 games. N-64!

So let’s just take a little look at what Wikipedia says about the N64, shall we? Oh look, the N64 was released in 1996. My goodness, do you know that was before my kids were even born? Let me put this as clearly as possible: the N64 was an aging game system before I even started being a family traveler, and you’re still trying to sell it as a feature in your rooms. This is what the kids these days call an “epic fail.”

Okay, I will cop to the fact that the picture above that I found online shows a LodgeNet system running Nintendo Game Cube games. Okay, so it’s only an 8 year-old system. Personally I’ve never seen that in a hotel room, but the picture is at least proof it exists.

Of course, many families have portable game systems and portable media systems that they bring with them, and which can be easily hooked up to TVs. They’d love to hook ‘em up to the TVs in your hotel rooms, except that in many cases those televisions have all their input ports and switches locked down, and only offer the excitement of LodgeNet’s most basic offerings (like the overpriced movies and N64 games).

But I can’t be too mean to the ubiquitous LodgeNet. Having checked their site, they seem to be offering all kinds of packages for hotels to use in offering the most up-to-date media capabilities to their customers - including lovely A/V panels for hooking just about any media device possible to an in-room TV. Then why does it seem most of your hotels only offer a system based on technology over a dozen years old?

And let me be clear - this isn’t a situation where I checked into an old hotel still holding onto equipment installed back in the Clinton administration. No, my most recent stay in one of your establishments was in a hotel tower finished in just the last year. The rooms were fitted with new Sony flat-screen LCD televisions. But they were running the exact same setup I’ve seen dozens of times before, including the N64 gaming system and a complete inability to hook up any peripheral devices.

So, what’s the story? I can guess. I can presume that you, person from the Hotel Industry, have made the decision along with a large number of your cohorts to use the cheapest available system, so that you can have something available for your marketing materials, but you also make sure you make your customers pay through the nose for what it offers. And you won’t let them use their own alternatives, for fear of losing a revenue stream. Pretty shoddy, if you ask me (and if you’ve read this far, you are in some way asking).

I’m sure there’s much more to this. I’m sure there are perfectly lovely establishments out there renting 360s and PS3s to their guests, and leaving all the various input ports open on the TVs so that people can bring their Blu-ray players with them if they want to. But if my sampling is indicative, they are few and far between, and you should really get off your collective duffs and do something about it.

</rant>

Okay, with that out of the way, please feel free to include your experiences with hotel in-room entertainment in the comments below. If you’ve found hotels or hotel chains with better setups, please let us know about them - so we can start supporting the good ones as wel!