Unplugged-gaming rants and raves with the OgreCave staff

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November 30, 2007 - Trends and microclimates

With Mike, Allan, and Steve.

As we start this time, Steve’s mock-threatening to buckle under the holiday pressure. He tells us what’s been selling in his neck of the retail woods as the season of giving gets underway (1:46).

At about (4:38) we reveal Steve’s choice of angry apparel, which came with one of his Currently Playing selections. Despite the trends at Steve’s store, we mention the game store microclimates that can be so befuddling to retailers (7:16).

At (8:47) Allan mentions the smaller margin FFG is giving retailers on StarCraft. This leads into talk of another FFG release, the Kingdom Hearts TCG (which is on our 2007 Christmas Gift Guide (10:25). WotC’s Maple Story TCG also gets a brief discussion, particularly how it ties into actual online play far better than the WOW TCG ever did (12:51). Steve’s apparel continues to be distracting.

Comics & Games Retailer announced it was calling it quits, and we alternate between lamenting the loss and shrugging (16:20). ACD Distribution had just changed hands when this show was recorded, and we discuss, applaude, and shrug about that as well (19:45). Somehow the New York Anime Festival hosting Magic Worlds leads to mention of a “Maid Cafe” (22:54).

Steve starts Currently Playing (25:09) by describing The War on Terror by Terrorbull Games, the source of his costuming choice this show. He also played Antike from Rio Grande Games (28:20).

Mike tries to claim no play, then admits to some Zombie Fluxx (29:58). (Mike’s full Zombie Fluxx review is worth a read, btw.) The news that Twilight Creations’ Zombies! has sold 100k copies sneaks in around here.

Allan brought in Simpsons Scrabble by Sababba Toys, which gets the once-over (32:38). He also ran his weekly D&D game, and experienced Valve’s Portal on Xbox 360 (37:22), which gets a strongly favorable review from both Mike and Allan. A last mention of the 2007 Christmas Gift Guide leads to Pulp Fiction references and Mike falling apart.

This show’s music selection is The Device Has Been Modified, a Portal-rific mix by Victims of Science. Be sure to listen to the very end (but you already do, right?).

Don’t forget to leave your comments here.

# 2008-01-02 by svenogre |

November 9, 2007 - Angry at the calm before the storm

With Mike, Allan, and Steve, as usual.

We bring the hate this episode, and it’s aimed at WotC fluff. After a few words on the StarCraft boardgame (1:35), we worry about impending D&D 4e preview products, and take a big ol’ swing at the severely-mistargeted Dungeon Survival Guide (3:48) and the latest D&D Miniatures expansion, Desert of Desolation (we challenge you identify all the 4e preview figures without help from the internet) (16:18). Inbetween (at 8:30), Mike theorizes that bad previews might be intended to boost sales of future preview products. If so, we’re doubly angry, and we ranted a bit.

In less angry news, Mike tells us about Scandanavian LARP Doubt (20:04) and Zombie Fluxx (27:53), which appears on our 2007 Christmas Gift Guide (Mike also wrote a full review here). Finally, Mike played some Hero’s Banner (30:10), and “went a little gonzo”.

Steve got waylaid by real life and a dead refrigerator, but brought in a Pirates of the Caribbean CSG collectible tin (33:10). At (36:28) Allan got in some Guitar Hero 3, and brought out the dead in his weekly D&D game.

At (38:20) we pimp our seventh annual OgreCave Christmas Gift Guide (complete with new graphic from OC’s art director Colin). At the last minute, Allan mentions his impression of The Simpsons on the Xbox 360 (41:27).

Deposit all comments here.

# 2007-11-30 by svenogre |

October 19, 2007 - Musing on the marketing

With Mike, Allan, resident retailer and kuo-toa Steve, and special guest Lee Valentine of Veritas Games Company.

To start off (2:15), we ask the question “Why are we getting our D&D 4e info somewhere other than a WotC site?” The marketing approach thus far leaves something to be desired. Lee took it upon himself to wade int ot the fourth edition SRD/trademark licensing debate, and reports on what’s been discussed (12:40).

(17:56) Dreamblade is dead. Long live… um, something else. At (21:05) Mike wonders why the property wasn’t a card model game, but not too seriously. A quick autopsy, some musing on other Hasbro properties that could be stretched over the Dreamblade rules (25:19), what D&D Miniatures are trying these days, and WotC’s promise of a PDF to update all the old stat cards for fourth edition (29:46).

At (33:00), talk of transparent booster packaging prompts fresh products to be opened, which also lapses into Currently Playing. Allan breaks open some Halo ActionClix, burned things in Halo 3, partied with Mario Party 8, and perused Secrets of Los Angeles for Call of Cthulhu.

At (40:53) Steve cracks open a shrinkwrapped, cardboard coffin of Zombie Fluxx, so we examine and discuss. He’s also played Last Night on Earth.

(48:12) Mike’s played Betrayal at House on the Hill, Torres, Loopin’ Louie, and a little ThunderRoad, baby.

(51:16) Lee played Betrayal as well, along with Cutthroat Caverns, F*ck This!, Taiji, and Battue: Storm of the Horselords. He also reminds us about Infinite Armies. Last but not least (56:20), Lee gives us a quick preview of Veritas Games Company’s 2008 releases, which include gems like Mime Sweeper and Zombies Want Fluffy (who wouldn’t?). We wrap by all agreeing that for retailers, and especially for abstract games, demoing is all.

Thoughts? Give us your comments here. Also, check out Lee’s full review of Taiji.

# 2007-11-02 by svenogre |

September 28, 2007 - Brendan LaSalle and the XCrawl Fiction Contest

Allan, Mike, and kua-toa Steve Kani get into a bit of Halo 3 discussion, before getting to the business at hand: Allan and Mike talking with Brendan LaSalle of Pandahead Productions. The full interview is on our Interviews page, but for the show we cut it down to focus on the Xcrawl Fiction Writing Contest just announced by Pandahead and publisher Goodman Games. Listen in, and hear how to sway the judges (us!).

Also discussed: the aforementioned video game that came out, and various spin-offs thereof. Allan goes slightly overboard with the music. You’ll see.

We give some quick thoughts on several other games along the way, including Halo ActionClix (7:10); Dragons of Kir (33:00); Three-Dragon Ante (35:40); Wordsweep (36:30); Alhambra Dice (37:05); Tannhäuser (38:30); Ubongo (41:00), the Wii game Boogie (43:10), and others. (ThunderRoad!)

Comments here, and don’t forget to check out the full interview with Brendan LaSalle.

# 2007-10-16 by misuba |

September 6, 2007 - Convention season fallout

With the regulars: Mike, Allan & Chris.

The show starts out with a look back at how clever we hoped we were when presenting this year’s Ogre’s Choice Awards, which looked somewhat less clever once a theorized D&D 4e became reality. We share some of the reactions we’ve heard over the WotC announcement (2:44); some folks are angry over the secrecy, but not us. At about (9:15) Mike has a horrible product idea that would get folks sued, maybe, but someone should take that chance! Some Gen Con follow-up ensues at (12:30): the podcast scene; the Ennies; Spirit of the Century winning more awards in addition to ours; vague thoughts on changing the D&D Miniatures Game. At (15:40) Chris brings up the black hole that was Gen Con’s news coverage. True Dungeon seems to have taken place with hardly a murmur resulting (18:15), though interesting reports from Guardian 6 have trickled in. We talk of White Wolf, and of Monte Cook’s World of Darkness not seeming to have the expected momentum (19:40). We give Paizo’s Pathfinder volumes more love (20:40). The WOW CCG boosters in Gen Con bags = another bad sign for the game (23:20). There’s nothing but good signs for BattleTech and Shadowrun, though (24:30).

The first true rant of the episode arrives at (26:20), when we discuss Fantasy Flight handling North American distribution for Rackham, just before the latter filed for their version of bankruptcy. FFG might be better served keeping to its own projects, like the Mutant Chronicles CMG and Kingdom Hearts TCG (we mention both in passing) (31:00).

At (32:20) Mike relates his observations from the Penny Arcade Expo ‘07 (or PAX), and makes the inevitable comparisons to Gen Con. He notes ample evidence that PAX is already considered a major marketing venue for video games (StarCraft 2 and Halo 3 both made appearances) (35:30). Could PAX and Gen Con become the two-prong marketing approach for conventions?

Toward the end of the show (42:45), we talk a bit about ConQuest ’07. The local show has some troubles of late, yet plans to move cities soon, is stretching the brand name to Vegas – ambitious ideas that could be a big gamble.

Currently Playing starts at around (48:40): Chris has done nothing but BattleTech lately; Allan has been maintaining his weekly D&D campaign. Mike tried out the StarCraft Board Game at PAX, and saw various other things in open gaming there.

And finally, we announce (at 52:20) that Chris shall no longer be a “regular” on the OgreCave Audio Report, but we’ll hold a seat for him at the table for venting those pent-up rants from time to time. Thanks for riding shotgun with us for so long, Chris. We’ve enjoyed the ride, will continue dutifully in your absence, and are happy to provide you more ammo in the future.

Comments on this show are over here.

# 2007-09-22 by svenogre |