OgreCave is committed to the promotion of games, primarily non-computer,
non-console games. Don't get us wrong: Halo 3, Little Big Planet, Tomb Raider,
and the rest are loads of fun, and
we've done our share of mashing buttons and fragging our friends. But
computers have yet to fully capture the social aspect of getting friends
together for a game of Magic, and haven't even come close to what a tabletop
role-playing game feels like. Traditional board games and RPGs were our
first love. As long as the pen and paper games have something the PCs and
PlayStations don't, we'll keep promoting them and playing them.
And quite frankly, tabletop games need the extra press far more than PC
or PS3 games. But we'll slip in a mention of our favorite console titles
and flash games now and then, because, well, we're cross-training
gamers. If it's fun, we'll play it.
Our most important goal at OgreCave is to write everything we post with
intelligence and humor. We promise to keep our readers informed of what the industry is up
to, for better or worse. We won't limit ourselves to just board games, just
card games, or just role-playing games: a game is a game, so if we can have
fun playing it, we'll cover it. If we mention some cool console or
cell phone games along the way, great, but we'll go out of our way to
uncover the latest in tabletop gaming.
Meet the Cave Dwellers:
Allan "Sven the Ogre" Sugarbaker - OgreCave's founder Allan
Sugarbaker has been gaming for over twenty years. He was the first
Unplugged Games Editor for Gamers.com, having supervised and built the
framework of its Unplugged section from the ground up. While at Gamers,
Allan ran extensive playtests, researched a variety of out-of-print
games, and reported on the industry daily until the site ceased its
editorial operations at the end of January 2001 (the dot-com bust
claimed another victim). Allan started OgreCave to bring the most
important and entertaining game news and views into sharper focus for
the average gamer. To help him with the task, Allan gathered a team of
several other former Gamers.com employees and other freelancers (listed
below). Allan has also been responsible for some of the daily operations
of RPGnet since mid-2001, served as
editor for GameBuyer magazine for two years, and does freelance editing of various sorts.
Allan's nickname of Sven the Ogre comes from his rather large stature (5'19"), and
his tendency to use uprooted trees to swat those who anger him. He likes odd
games, role-players who find low stats a challenge, and attending game
conventions. Allan can be emailed at sven (at) ogrecave (dot) com.
Mike "MiSuBa" Sugarbaker is the site's chief maintainer and editorial
loose cannon. If something on the site is broken, it's probably his fault. When
he's not busy playing in rock bands,
breaking hearts, doing random web work, or eating red meat, he works on his game
designs and tries to stop sucking at Icehouse. Email him at mike
(at) ogrecave (dot) com.
Lars Roberts - Lars is a lifelong games and geek culture
enthusiast. As a true child of the '90s, she grew up with a Sega
Genesis, organized books of Lisa Frank stickers, an Angelfire account
coded entirely by hand, and a painfully large collection of Pogs. These
days, Lars can be found playing D&D, searching Steam for bargain
games, drinking ample amounts of coffee, and advocating for diversity in
the gaming community. Currently, Lars does independent contracting as an
occasional game tester for PlayStation, helps OgreCave document
conventions with her skilled photography, and cosplays her favorite geek
culture characters at local events. And to this day, she's still trying
to beat The Lion King game on Sega Genesis - that Elephant
Graveyard level, though.
Steve Kani - At 135 pounds soaking wet, Steve is probably the
least ogre-like of the bunch (he's more like a kuo toa or something).
One of OgreCave's staff reporters, Steve has been playing
roleplaying games since the the very beginning. The very beginning of
roleplaying gaming, that is. He quickly moved from D&D to Traveller and
RuneQuest and has played, and run, role playing games continuously for the
last 25 years or so. Oh, there was that two year break when he was hooked
on wargames like Fire in the East and Advanced Squad Leader. Good times.
Recently, he has come back to D&D albeit that newfangled 5e version.
Currently, Steve is honing his Maya skills, doing a little consulting, and
looking for that next big break. He'll play almost anything, these days,
just as long as you're running.
Demian Katz, a vegetarian, is the author of the Kobolds Ate My
Baby! solitaire adventures. He is an obsessive collector of
interactive fiction and the maintainer of the infamous Comprehensive Gamebook Checklist.
As if this weren't enough, he's also a computer programmer/librarian at
Villanova University by day and a devoted Doctor Who fan, bad-movie
viewer, amateur snail wrangler, and (don't laugh) philatelist by night.
When not involved in any of these activities, he eats and sleeps, which
is something of a drag.
Lee Valentine is a 38-year old game designer and public policy
analyst living in Boston, MA. Lee firmly established his gamer geek
status at a young age when, as an undergraduate at Harvard College, he
petitioned for admission to the campus science fiction association by
submitting an exhaustive "resume" of games he had played. As the
President of indie game publisher Veritas Games Company, he has designed
ten board and card games. He was also the lead designer of Live Action
Clue, a game still played at his alma mater. He compiles and shares
resources on game manufacturing for first time indie game publishers.
Lee is one of the OgreCave's more prolific game reviewers and also helps
out with news coverage and the occasional convention report. At 6'0"
and a bit over 200 pounds, he barely meets the minimum physical
qualifications to be called an Ogre, and has been named "Deputy Ogre" by
the Cave's larger dwellers.
Dennis Hancock - While Dennis was a latecomer to the 'low tech' gaming
community, he was no stranger to 'high tech' computer games of the early
80's. He started with a pong console and grew into the Atari 800XL. His
youth was spent exploring the worlds of Ultima, Zork, and Alternate
Reality. It wasn't until his early 20's when he was introduced to the
pen & paper RPG. D&D and its variants were his bread and butter to start
off, but he soon found himself looking for something more. When he first
played Gamma World, he knew sci-fi was the way he wanted to go. He has
been fortunate enough to find himself a regular game group, and together
they play D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Dark Heresy, and many a board and card
game when time allows. When not gaming, he also takes part in the SCA,
where he fights for the Kingdom of the West. There he goes by the name
of Decimus Valerius Castus, or just Castus for short.
Owen Fletchyr - Owen is a solitary man who serves in the army of the West.
When Owen slips out of his SCA persona, he
sometimes goes by the name of Colin Adams, and does all the artwork you see here
on OgreCave. His illustration portfolio is online at www.colinadams.com. You're damn right he's
Matthew Pook is a 34-year old Englishman living in Birmingham (no, not the one in
Alabama) as the un-lifestyled partner of his Goth fiancée. Currently working as a
Projectionist (no, he doesn't get to watch movies at work), he has been gaming
for over twenty years. He has worked for Hogshead Publishing (the UK's leading
publisher of RPGs) and written/reviewed for White Dwarf, Voodoo Penguin, RPGnet,
Pyramid On-line, Valkyrie Magazine, and RPGshop, among others. He collects old
RPGs, his favourites including Call of Cthulhu, SkyRealms of Jorune, GURPS, Star
Trek, Empire of the Petal Throne, SLA Industries, Star Wars and WFRP. Currently,
he thinks he has about three hundred single RPGs and some fifteen hundred
supplements, and he keeps buying more. He does not own enough books, and the
Klingon in him likes prunes. Friends call him Pookie, but bears have nothing to
do with it.
Joe Kushner - At 6'6" 300 lbs, many suspect that Staff Reviewer Joe Kushner is the
prototype Ogre for the Cave. Introduced to AD&D 1st edition through a
friend who saw him playing the first edition Marvel Super Heroes, he has
since moved onto Rolemaster, Hero, GURPS, Call of Cthulhu and other
goodies but always comes back to D&D because of its wealth of support
and his love of fantasy. Joe's currently enjoying the wealth of new superhero material
with Silver Age Sentinels and the return of Champions. Aside from going to DeVry
Chicago (which he often mocks), Joe works at Federal
Mogul in Skokie. In his spare time (a concept he has difficulty
understanding), he enjoys painting and collecting miniatures with his
favorites currently being the new Celtos (I-Core) and Warlord (Reaper)
lines. Joe has also written reviews for ENWorld, RPGnet, d20Weekly, and Gaming Frontiers, among others.
Craig C. Robertson - Craig has been roleplaying since the tender age
of eight, when his first-level fighter died fighting a hydra atop Orc
Hill. After D&D was forbidden by his parents, he switched to
Traveller, which was permitted because, in his own words: "It's
science fiction, Mom. It doesn't have magic or anything." Later,
Craig took up wargaming, beginning with Steve Jackson's Ogre and
culminating with a financially crippling investment in Avalon Hill's
Advanced Squad Leader. Craig has been spending the last decade
honing a talent for purchasing CCGs that are just about to fail,
including Star Wars, Babylon 5, and INWO. His current projects
include cruising eBay for more Epic 40K miniatures than he could ever
possibly paint, and attempting to prove a unified field theory for
the Palladium megaverse. His only fear is that someday his wife will
find out how much he really spends on gaming-related purchases.
Brian Darnell - Another gamer of ogre-sized proportions, Brian
worked at Gamers.com as the Card Games Editor, covering all things drawn
or tapped. Brian assists OgreCave's news coverage of card games and
tournaments, and tries not to look too imposing.
Orion Holcomb - aka Antony the Freeman, Orion lives in the wild,
rugged, forested wilderness of the north, giving rise to the bigfoot myth.
He does enjoy a good game, any game, and has for a long time. Like Owyn
Fletchyr, Orion is involved in the SCA, as a warrior of the Barony of
Allyshia. He has mediocre skills at many things, including gaming, writing,
carpentry, geology, farming, astronomy, music, anthropology, and living in