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December 2004 Archive

« November 2004 | Main | January 2005 »

December 30, 2004

03:03 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Because kids aren't fleeing the CCG trend fast enough

Now Wizards is telling parents they are good for you. "The release quotes Dr. Helen Boehm, psychologist and author of Fearless Parenting for the New Millenium [sic] and The Official Guide to the Right Toys, who describes how the interactive, constructive play of trading card games can help build relationships and live-long [sic] strategic thinking skills." (True to form, WotC has not yet made this press release available online.)

December 27, 2004

10:08 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave columns: Getting things started

Yep, OgreCave's throwing its hat into the ring, even if the hat's actually a large iron kettle stolen from that settlement down the road. Our friend Tyler Sigman starts our columns off with the first installment of Parts is Parts, which will take a look at what makes games tick. The ball starts rolling in Intro and Spiel Freak-Out.

December 25, 2004

12:00 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Merry Christmas! Ronin Arts for everybody!

To celebrate the holidays, OgreCave and Ronin Arts have a present for you. Well, mostly Ronin Arts. Anyway, until the end of Christmas Day, you can follow this link to download a free PDF copy of the expanded, deluxe version of vs. Monsters (which made our Christmas Gift Guide, by the way). But at the end of Christmas Day, the offer expires, so grab your copy while you can. Happy holidays!

December 24, 2004

11:04 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2004 - part 4

We know you're out there: you true procrastinators that are counting on that special gift remaining untouched at the game store, waiting for you to finish just one more round of Halo 2 before you go get it. Well, in case that plan doesn't work out, OgreCave's fourth and final Christmas Gift Guide list of 2004 is here to offer a solution. This last list describes twelve downloadable game products, cutting the shipping time to mere seconds. So have a look, and get your shopping done, slackers.

December 23, 2004

12:02 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Ghettopoly set to be destroyed; to be replaced with Stadiumopoly in urban-renewal program

The Smoking Gun hosts the Feds' "complaint for forfeiture" of Ghettopoly, the Monopoknockoff that was pulled from Urban Outfitters stores earlier in the year. The title, while allegedly racist, is also perfectly legal. Methinks there might be more than the Hasbropoly behind all this Federal zeal; wouldn't be the first time "indecency" had given the Justice Department a little goose this year. A goose that lays golden eggs, no doubt.

December 20, 2004

11:21 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2004 - part three

The last minute panic-shopping may have set in, or perhaps you're already eyeing game store shelves in anticipation of some gift certificate lovin'. In either case, OgreCave's third Christmas Gift Guide list of 2004 is here to suggest the best gifts. This group describes Twelve Games Under the d20, the d20 System games we'd most heartily recommend adding to your holiday loot. Our final list, of downloadable goodies, will be along shortly for all you true procrastinators out there.

06:41 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
German newspaper on German games in America

Gamefest translates this German paper's reflection on the Deutschenspielen craze in the US. Devoted Spielfreaks will find no surprises, but it's got some nice historical notes, and it's funny to see how national pride is the subliminal source of a couple of exaggerations. I mean, "group of gaming enthusiasts whose size has long since surpassed that of a 'subculture' "? Hardly. On the whole, though, a smart and refreshing perspective.

December 18, 2004

11:25 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide 2004 - part two

For those of you still unsure what to buy your gaming buddies for the holidays, or perhaps plotting what to spend gift certificates on after the big day, OgreCave dutifully continues its Christmas Gift Guide lists of 2004. In this batch, we suggest Twelve Games Under the Tree (12 Games for Over $20) in the hopes of guiding your hard-earned cash toward the most enjoyable gaming experiences. Check back in the next day or so as we complete our quartet of lists and do our part to ensure a happy holiday season.

December 15, 2004

05:08 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
When Greg Costikyan talks, ogres listen

And they don't even have to sidetalk to do so. Although they might not have exactly listened by the time they post about it (did you know that many of your favorite OgreCave editors have little things called day jobs?), nor is the listening the sort that one does with their ears. But it does concern mobile games and the networking thereof, which we find pretty interesting irrespective of the esteemed Mr. Costikyan's involvement.

10:49 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave review: A Kringle in Time

Just in time for an epic holiday-themed adventure (other than Christmas gift shopping, that is), Demian has provided us with a review of A Kringle in Time by Cumberland Games & Diversions. This downloadable adventure for the Risus system gives new meaning to the term "Christmas slay," and yes, I spelled that right. Read on, and you'll see why.

December 13, 2004

11:39 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
This must be some kind of sign of the Geekpocalypse

GameSpot previews a LEGO Star Wars action puzzle game for Xbox, PS2, and the PC.

December 10, 2004

03:57 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Avalon Hill opens up and says arrrrrrr

Sword and Skull is due in March - it's a pirate game, involving running around on a Talisman-esque track and saving the Sea... Dog... from the... merciless... crew of the... Wascally... Wabbit... or something. You get the picture. For some reason my Google fu is failing me and I can't tell for sure if this is a new design, but it seems to be. GamerDad said back in the day that a classic AH game might be getting remade next year, which would bring the '05 total up to two big-box releases... so it's not looking so good for that RoboRally rumor.


01:15 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave's Christmas Gift Guide 2004

Each year, we try to guide our readers (and those who love them) toward the best game products to be released in the past twelve months. This year is no different. The first of our Gift Guide lists, A Dozen Games At The End Of The Bed, is up, providing our suggestions for inexpensive ($20 or less) holiday gaming gifts. So consult the list, hit the stores, and check back here for our other lists over the next few days.

December 09, 2004

10:23 PM: Steve Kani says...
Gen Con SoCal Ď04: Some Last Notes From the Exhibition Floor.

Gen Con SoCal is over. I am looking over the last of my notes pondering the future of this convention. Sunday was blur of last minute activity running from booth to booth picking up some last minute purchases and talking to a few vendors along the way. Here are the last of my notes from the exhibition floor.


02:19 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Deathknell getting louder

The latest D&D Miniatures preview has a look at two figures from the upcoming Deathknell set. Displayed in the preview are the Couatl, a Lawful Good winged snake with powerful spells (one of which "can strip all creatures in a chosen warband of their Flight ability"); and the Griffon, the Chaotic Good staple of any D&D campaign, which introduces the Bloodlust ability, granting the Griffon the Fearless ability if it reduces any opposing creature to 0 HP. My players don't need any more allies though, so I'll wait and see what nasty critters are previewed next.

December 07, 2004

12:13 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
From the "whittling away at RPGers' mule-like resistance to online play" desk

So, another tool for tabletop roleplaying via the Internet. This one looks fairly comprehensive and really gorgeous - I like the attention to details like GM control of screen tinting for ambience (sweeeet), and support for pressure-sensitive tablets, which a GM with a real yen for paper's flexibility will want to invest in.

Whiiiiich brings up that, like GRiP before it, Fantasy Grounds is a monetary investment. Gamers have thus far seemed unwilling to spend twenty to forty bucks on anything that's pure infrastructure and no content... at least, not if they can't fondle it. There's also the lack of a Mac version, which gamers always make disproportionate noise about (the tendency of Mac users to be disproportionately noisy being multiplied in this case by the larger-than-normal percentage of Mac users among gamers).

I don't think we're quite at the tipping point yet where doing tabletop-style RPGs online just seems like the obvious thing to do, but I think it's coming. Maybe by the time it does, we'll have free tools that cut the mustard. What do you think?

(P.S. First guy who starts a Mac-vs.-PC flame war in the comments gets some alone time in our holding cell with Bjorn the half-minotaur)


06:54 AM: Demian Katz says...
Rio Grande Holiday Update

Rio Grande Games has posted another newsletter containing a couple of interesting pieces of news. First of all, it has the release status of a variety of titles, so if you're thinking of doing some holiday shopping, you'll know what's newly available. More interestingly, it includes information on a special Christmas edition of Halli Galli, a family-friendly game of speed which might be just the way to share German gaming with the younger members of your family this year. Finally, and perhaps most intriguingly of all, there is a mention that Rio Grande is teaming up with James Ernest of Cheapass fame (along with Mike Selinker) on a new title called Gloria Munde. This could be an interesting meeting of two worlds!

December 05, 2004

12:52 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Multi-eyed orb lurks at Gen Con SoCal

Apparently, one of the trophies at Gen Con SoCal's Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures tournament had a sneak preview figure from March's Deathknell set built right into it. Which one? Why, the Beholder, of course. The winner of the tournament has already posted the stats over at the WotC boards, and I've copied them below for your reading pleasure. Take note of the Slide creature ray (an adaptation of the beast's Telekinisis), undoubtedly destined make a splash at parties and miniatures tournments.

December 04, 2004

08:36 PM: Steve Kani says...
Gen Con SoCal Ď04: Day 3 - Bits and Pieces

Here are a few interesting bits and pieces from today.


12:19 PM: Steve Kani says...
Gen Con SoCal Ď04: My Afternoon with Behemoth3

It was another long day, yesterday. Covering this convention by myself has been a lot more work than I thought it was going to be. I have a ticket for an afternoon game of True Dungeon today. That should be fun.

December 03, 2004

08:26 PM: Steve Kani says...
Gen Con SoCal Ď04: Day 2 - Dead Gentlemen

I suppose itís possible that there are a few gamers, out there, that havenít heard of The Gamers, a movie by Dead Gentlemen Productions. If you havenít seen, or heard of, The Gamers or Dead Gentlemen there's still time for you to catch up check out the trailer here (QuickTime required).


01:23 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
WizKids announces how they will make cons suck in 2005

Specifically, with their newest round of convention-exclusive figures. The good news is that the largest one is for Mage Knight, which is unlikely to draw the greasy retailers out of the woodwork at this point. Or it will draw fewer of them, but they will be the very greasiest. Among the scattering of ub3rl33t figures for other WK games is some sort of "mega-pack" for Pirates of the Spanish Main, which ought to help drive a great game even further into the ground. Read on for details.


12:10 PM: Steve Kani says...
Gen Con SoCal Ď04: More News From the Exhibition Floor [ Lots of Images ]

I spent the better part of the day navigating the exhibition floor talking to the vendors and manufacturers. It felt like there were fewer exhibitors compared to last year. Many who attended opted for smaller booths - or even sharing booths with other exhibitors. A number of booths stood empty. A silent reminder that this convention still has a little ways to go.

December 02, 2004

04:33 PM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
OgreCave reviews: David & Goliath

No, we're not reviewing the Old Testament. However, the theme of little versus big is central to Playroom Entertainment's recent card game, David & Goliath. Heather has joined our review team to give her opinion of this intriguing trick-taking game. Would it make a good gift to give this season? Read on to find out.

02:00 PM: Steve Kani says...
Gen Con SoCal Ď04: Is That...New?

Honestly, I didnít think that there was going to be anything new released at Gen Con SoCal. My editor thought likewise. So, imagine my surprise when lo and behold - there was a new product blinking at the light of day.

December 01, 2004

11:08 PM: Steve Kani says...
Gen Con SoCal '04: Day 0

The plane was full, the taxi driver took me on a tour of Inglewood, Gardena and Compton, the hotel reservations were screwed up, and yet somehow I made it.

I am in Anaheim, California for Gen Con SoCal 2004. [Pictures inside.]


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