Board Game Review: Steve Jackson Triple Threat!

A photo of the outer wall of the Steve Jackson Games booth at Gen Con 2016, with the mural consisting of a banner for the Simon's Cat Card Game.For my last entry about Gen Con, I’m going to do three board game reviews in one article. Why? Partly because the games are all short and simple. Partly because they’re all from Steve Jackson Games. Partly because it’s time to finish up the Gen Con posts and get on to something else! So we’re going to look at the three games they demoed at their ‘Play New Releases’ table: Simon’s Cat Card Game, I Hate Zombies, and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Board Game.
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GMing (Part 4): Preparing a Game Session

A line drawing, coloured, of a swan standing on a large stone telling a story to two other birds standing nearby. In the background is a castle near some farmland and some clouds. This image is meant to be symbolic of a GM leading a game session.

A swan telling a story. Much like the GM tells a story to the players in a game session, often of fantastical tales, such as a swan telling stories.

I have one more post to write on Gen Con. But we’ve been hearing about Gen Con for months now. Let’s take a break before we finish it up. It’s been a long time since we’ve had any installments on the Analysis of GMing series. Let’s get another one of those in! This time, we’ll talk about planning a game session.

So you’ve chosen a game, gathered a group of players, and have a design for the overall campaign. It’s time to start getting into the nitty-gritty. Before you meet up with your players for that first session, you need to know what’s going to happen in that session. So let’s take a look at that. Continue Reading →

ZOE (Zombie Orpheus Entertainment) – A Great Little Company

The ZOE logo: a white circle with five hands rising up from the bottom in silhouette, as if they were the hands of zombies erupting up out of the ground. A short arc, about a quarter the circumference of the white circle, concentric with the white circle, runs along the bottom edge of the circle, bisecting three dots. This logo is white on a background of dark blue fading to black in gradient, is the inverse of the normal colours: a black logo on a white background.One of the booths I stopped at whilst I was at Gen Con was the Zombie Orpheus Entertainment booth. I knew I wanted to see what they had, because I’d enjoyed Dark Dungeons so much. ZOE was the company that had produced that particular film. So I stopped by and talked to one of the representatives for a moment, This is what they had to say.

Before we hear about their projects

Here’s a little background on ZOE. Back around the turn of the century, a group of friends from Washington released a couple of low-budget indie horror films called Demon Hunters. They later formed a company called Dead Gentlemen Productions, and subsequently created a humorous short film called The Gamers. This film was wildly popular, so they made a sequel: The Gamers 2: Dorkness Rising. Despite the popularity of the sequel, the company had issues with distribution, and most of the members decided to take a hiatus to deal with feelings of burnout.

But one of the members from Dead Gentlemen decided to keep working on films. So, with a new vision of how the company should be run, he formed Zombie Orpheus Entertainment. A big part of his vision was to make ZOE a fan-driven venture. He hoped that this would help alleviate the issues they’d had that caused burnout for Dead Gentlemen. Continue Reading →

Board Game Review: Tell Me a Story

The box, about 3 centimetres by 7 centimetres by 5 centimetres, with the game Tell Me a Story. The box is black with various white line drawings all over it, and a large speech balloon with the title n the front and the lid.A brand new company called Escape Hatch Games had just released their first game a month or so before Gen Con. As I was wandering around the exhibit hall, I saw their booth, with the name of this first game proudly displayed on a banner behind them, and I knew I had to check it out. I stopped to ask them about it, and they did a quick one-round demo with me, and I knew I had to have it. Last week, I finally got to play a full game for the first time with three of my friends. It was epic. So now I shall review for you, my loyal readers, the wonderful game called Tell Me a Story.

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MetaArcade: A New Frontier in Roleplaying Games

The MetaArcade Logo: The word MetaArcade in stylized letters, the first four in blue and the rest in red.One of the more interesting things that I got to see at Gen Con was the MetaArcade booth. They’re working on an interesting new concept: digital roleplaying. That sounds like computer or console-based RPGs, like the Final Fantasy series or Secret of Mana. But it’s not. Here, let me explain. In order to explain, we’ll need to go back in time to 1975, in Phoenix, Arizona. Continue Reading →

Diversity Panel at Gen Con 2016: A Review

The official illustration of Shardra, the first trans character in Pathfinder, an excellent representation of diversity in gaming. She is a dwarven female in elaborate shaman clothing, holding a large mace, with a fantastical lizard-like creature on her shoulder.One of the panels I attended at Gen Con was ‘Diversity in Gaming.’ I expected it to be about ensuring an inclusive environment for all people in the games industry. Instead, it was three staffers from Paizo, the company that publishes the Pathfinder roleplaying game, discussing their company’s policies on inclusiveness.

Not what I expected, but still worthwhile. Continue Reading →