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11:10 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
AH lifts curtain on Nexus Ops
You know, there's almost nothing I like better than mining resources on a strange planet. If StarCraft and its ilk weren't so damn stressful, I'd be in there mining my little heart out. But, since turn-based games are more my speed, I'm glad to see these details on Nexus Ops. It looks pretty straightforward... almost familiar, actually, although I couldn't say what I think it looks like. I doubt the monolith will be like Dark Tower, and although hexes remind me of everything from Titan to Settlers, I have a feeling it won't play much like those either. But a nice combat bash where I get to suck up space resources sounds like it's every bit the WotC Board Game a boy could hope for.
01:00 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Let's Kill again, like we did last summer
If, like us, you've been doing the casual-gaming thing for a while, you might remember a cute little card game called Let's Kill, which not only did the stick-figure thing years before Kingdom of Loathing, but managed to be a funny game about serial killers and still be actually funny. Well, Atlas Games is doing a new edition, with all (or at least some) new stick-figure art. We really did play this back in the day, and the gameplay really did hold up. Really. And it's by the same folks who do LARP chess. So, you know, fear it.
01:20 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Topps bringing "Yo Mama" to Blockbuster first
We've known for a while that we have the Wayans brothers to thank for the frightening concept of The Dozens CCG, which Topps plans to release just after the weekend (June 1). Now ICv2 reports that the "ancestor-insulting game" will be exclusive to Blockbuster stores until the beginning of August. No additional information has been released about the hardness level of the gum to be packaged with the game.
09:55 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Avalon Hill alludes slyly to more wargames in future
And lo, a cute reference to a Seekrit Projekt in this interview about RoboRally (PDF) has raised anew the spectre of "Avalon Hill" now standing for "WotC Board Games," rather than the completely proud, never ever silly, always grognardy and entirely luck-free (yeah, right) legacy of the AH backlist. All that's really in the article are said allusions, plus a reminder that Nexus Ops is coming and will likely be the gamer-est new game that the new AH has made to date. Vegas Showdown sounds reasonably solid too, in a more European way. In the meantime, why not simply recognize that AH is now an alternate WotC logo, accept that the "real" Avalon Hill died with the wargame hobby and by its own financial hand, and move on to helping produce new culture you like, instead of pining for the fjords?
12:12 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Steal this developer's journal: details on Thieves' World
Right, so... Thieves' World. Green Ronin is doing it for D20. There's a dev journal with one article up so far. I keep waiting for some company or another to embrace the weblog a little more fully; I just feel like that's the form this kind of article belongs in these days. But it doesn't matter. Nothing matters. Nothing but... coffee. And roleplaying products. And coffee.
02:19 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Decipher kills two games, deep-freezes WARS until Hollywood calls
"MegaMan and .hack will be taken out of production and no further products will be released for either line. ... WARS TCG will be put on hiatus to give the property a chance to develop to its fullest potential. While this is very disappointing to all of us here at Decipher, given the current state of the TCG market we feel it is necessary. Decipher is in negotiations with potential partners in Hollywood that could lead to WARS becoming a much more substantial property than it is currently." Don't know if I should laugh or cry. How does a game "property" "develop" while it's out of print... unless it was never really game-focused at all?
02:34 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
New Torg interim edition as PDF; Sven won't sleep for days
He will be too busy saying "DUDE!!!" over and over again, and hitting reload at RPGnow waiting for the Torg 1.5 Revised and Expanded Rulebook to hit as a PDF in the "next few days." June will supposedly bring us a hardcover "limited edition" - $38 is way too cheap for a 275-page gamebook, let alone for something that says "limited" on it, but I'm sure nobody but me and Steve Long will complain, and there is a lot to like about this way of doing a release. Y'see, this is all part of the road to an alleged 2.0 version of the game next year, meaning that WEG gets a lot of free playtesting and online chatter from Torg's long-starved hardcore fans. PDF release as viral marketing! I don't think the day is too far away when releasing your game electronically first, then in print if it does well, will not only be much more common but may be required. I keep saying I'll write more about that, but read this from Ron Edwards for now.
02:30 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Spiel des Jahres nominees announced
In General and Children's categories, along with recommended lists, per the usual. I could be wrong, but it looks like most of the short list is already in print in English.
11:07 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Avalon Hill announces Axis & Allies Miniatures for Gen Con
Finally, some collectible WWII minis. But, um, there's this little game out there called Flames of War, and... well, I guess we'll see how it shakes out. I mean, D&D Minis is certainly kicking ass over Mage Knight these days, and you could probably say they're in the same segment of the market. I'll have a look at Gen Con. (Oh: yeah, um, in case you care, I'll be covering Gen Con instead of Origins this year. We trust that any Origins news will be good about getting out via means other than me. Plus, they say Indy has plenty of WiFi.)
04:54 PM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Mage Knight's latest last gasp: RPG for PCs
It turns out that Mage Knight is still good for something after all: lending its name to otherwise unrelated PC games. As the press release says (PDF warning; full text is pasted below), "Mage Knight: Apocalypse opens up the battle for the Land in completely different ways." Whereas an actual online version of Mage Knight might actually have been helpful to players who didn't want to deal with the ugly mess that in-person organized play became. That is, it might have if it had come out four years ago. But anyway!
01:01 AM: Mike Sugarbaker says...
Kingdom of Loathing card game for Gen Con
They have no web page up for it, nor even a permalink to their news post (so we've quoted it after the jump), but APE Games (you know, Big Top and Anathema?) has this forum page for Dungeons of Loathing, a card game based on the Web's #1 threat to corporate productivity, the Kingdom of Loathing RPG. Like the famed Web game on which it is based, DoL will feature original, if crude, artwork by creator Jick, and gaming satire that is actually, seriously, no-kidding funny. (And I don't think anything is funny.) Available this fall in faithful and glorious black and white. At least I assume so.
09:41 AM: Allan Sugarbaker says...
Dark days ahead for Round Table
The next boardgame release from Days of Wonder will visit the court of King Arthur, in Shadows Over Camelot. From the preview info given thus far, it looks to be part Reiner Knizia's Lord of the Rings (players cooperate against the game itself), part Talisman (there are seven choices of knights to play, items to gain, and health to track), and part Clue (one of the knights may be a traitor, and a hidden card reveals who it is). Days of Wonder is pulling out the stops to stir up pre-release excitement, as an eighth knight, Sir Bedivere, is the free giveaway figure from this month's Game Trade Magazine. In all, this game looks to be another solid strategy title.