At The Con – Arisia 2013

4

Category : Arisia, Conventions, E-vents, Featured

Jessa Phillips is joined by Misty Pendragon to discuss Arisia 2013. Every year, the city of Boston opens their arms to geeks of all aspects for a weekend of fun, music and parties! This year, the Boston Westin Waterfront played host again to Arisia, a convention which embraces the geek community with lots of interesting panels, fantastic artwork, plenty of shiny baubles and, did we mention, parties!?!

 

 

For more about Arisia, check out the website at http://www.arisia.org.

You can find more of Jessa Phillips & Misty Pendragon on our official home at Good To Be A Geek.

Also check out Misty’s interview with Terrence Znudich & Darren Lynn Bousman, the men behind The Devil’s Carnival and Repo! The Genetic Opera, on page 431 of Carpe Nocturne’s Winter 2012-2013 issue – http://www.carpenocturnemagazine.com

 

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com, or email us at gamer@goodtobeageek.com. You can also email David at dlucier[at]goodtobeageek.com, email Jessa at jphillips[at]goodtobeageek.com.

Special thanks to Sterling for the use of his music in the podcast. Be sure to check out his Magnatune profile page to learn more about him and discover more of his music.

Good To Be A Gamer is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Opinions expressed on Good To Be A Gamer are those of the hosts and/or guests and do not necessarily represent those of Good To Be A Geek. Good To Be A Geek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

Good To Be A Gamer, Episode 114 – Week of 02/05/2012

1

Category : Good To Be A Gamer

Recorded 2/12/2012

 

 
Good To Be A Gamer is Available on iTunes!
http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/good-to-be-a-gamer/id476489256
Good To Be A Gamer RSS Feed!
http://goodtobeagamer.libsyn.com/rss

Dreamcast the Movie: Casting Eternal Champions
http://www.goodtobeageek.com/?p=2626

NEWS
DICE 2012: Is the Publising Model Broken? [GamaSutra]
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/40199/DICE_2012_Is_the_publishing_model_broken.php
Halo Dev: Don’t Block Used Games With Xbox 720: Lower Prices Instead [Official Xbox Magazine]
http://www.oxm.co.uk/38702/halo-dev-dont-block-used-games-with-xbox-720-lower-prices-instead/?cid=OTC-RSS&attr=OXM-General-RSS

Image Metrics Unreils Live Driver [Animation Magazine]
http://www.animationmagazine.net/vfx/image-metrics-unveils-live-driver/

Gamebase to Unveil Gambryo 4.0 at GDC 2012 [Gamers Hell]
http://www.gamershell.com/companies/gamebase/955684.html

Double Fine Adventure Exceeds Funding Expectations [Kickstarter]
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/66710809/double-fine-adventure

Notch offers to fund Psychonauts 2 [Pcworld]
http://www.pcworld.com/article/249593/minecraft_creator_offers_money_for_a_psychonauts_sequel.html

Fighting Fantasy coming to iOS [Digital Spy]
http://www.digitalspy.com/gaming/news/a364749/fighting-fantasy-to-return-to-ios-through-epic-games.html
IndieCade 2012 Accepting Submissions [IndieCade]
http://www.indiecade.com/submissions/

Dragon Age: Redemption Hits DVDs on February 14th [Joystiq]
http://www.joystiq.com/2012/02/06/dragon-age-redemption-hits-dvd-on-felicia-day-er-valentines/

ITEMS OF INTEREST
Forget Used Games; Some New Game Sales Don’t Support Their Creators [1UP]
http://www.1up.com/news/forget-games-games-sales-don

Battleship: The Video Game Trailer [IGN Entertainment]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zn1KpTRKK8U

Minecraft: Day One Live Action Web Series Project
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyyCjI3JZkI&list=FLbEukwPdzZIL3D2XxuoraGA&index=2&feature=plpp_video

EVENTS
Total Confusion
Holiday Inn – Mansfield, MA
February 23 – 26, 2012
http://totalcon.com/

Independent Games Festival
San Francisco, CA
March 5-9, 2012
http://www.igf.com/
Public can now vote for the 2012 Audience Award winner!

PAX East
BCEC
April 4-8, 2012
http://east.paxsite.com/

CONTACT
Questions? Comments? We want to hear from you! Feel free to post a comment on the podcast entry at http://www.goodtobeageek.com, or email us at gamer@goodtobeageek.com. You can also email David at dlucier[at]goodtobeageek.com, email Jessa at jphillips[at]goodtobeageek.com.

Special thanks to Sterling for the use of his music in the podcast. Be sure to check out hisMagnatune profile pageto learn more about him and discover more of his music.

Good To Be A Gamer is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Opinions expressed on Good To Be A Gamer are those of the hosts and/or guests and do not necessarily represent those of Good To Be A Geek.
Good To Be A Geekis licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

Episode 02 – At the Con: TempleCon

1

Category : Conventions, Game On, Guest Appearances, PC, PS3, TempleCon, Xbox

At the Con: TempleCon (Ep 02)

On the show, I go to TempleCon. EA is in hot water, Playstation has been busy and Undead Labs is having a very good week.

NEED TO KNOW
**News**
Sony PSP2: Sony announced technical specification for their next generation portable. Dubbed the PSP2, it comes packed with features, including a 5” multi-touch OLED sreen, WiFi & 3G connectivity, dual analog sticks and a rear touchpad, front and rear cameras and built-in GPS. Sony is looking to bridge the gap between console & portable gaming.
Read the Sony Computer Entertainment press release: http://www.scei.co.jp/corporate/release/110127a_e.html

Playstation Phone: A norwegian site, DroidNYTT, got their hands on a leaked commercial which seems to confirm the Playstation Phone is real and it has a name. The latest leak reveals the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, expected to officially be announced at the Mobile World Congress, taking play February 14-17, 2011. The commercial suggests the phone will run on the Android platform.
Watch the commercial on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=MV09PRsAU2Y

Undead Labs teams up with Microsoft Games to bring their open-world zombie survival game to XBLA. Code named “Class 3,” this first look at their big picture asks gamers to put their survival skills to the test in the zombie apocolypse. Incorporating a “choose your own adventure” aspect, the content is influenced by the decisions and actions of the players as they determine where to find shelter, how to obtain resources and how to face off against the zombie hordes. The most interesting part of this game development is that Class 3 is the first part of what will become a bigger game, code-named “Class 4.” The development team is so committed to creating a fully functioning and immersive game, they are trying something new by focusing on the game-play aspects to really nail them down, before moving on to expand the world and the multitude of options that will be available in the completed “Class 4.”
Read more at Undead Labs: http://undeadlabs.com/2011/02/news/undead-labs-and-microsoft-game-studios-to-create-zombie-survival-franchise-on-xbox-360/

Common Sense Media seeks sanctions against EA: At the heart of the Dead Space 2 marketing campaign is a commercial boasting “Your mom hates Dead Space 2,” showing reactions from a group of mothers being shown graphic footage from the new game. The shock advertising is meant to appeal to rebellious young gamers. Dead Space 2 has been rated for players age 17 and up. The accusation here is not the campaign itself is offensive, rather that the campaign works too well, enticing gamers under 17 to play. The ESRB has already denied the request, reminding Common Sense Media it cannot be proved the commercial targets gamers of a specific age. Further, the ESRB was consulted and approved the commercial prior to its airing.
Read more from the LA Times coverage: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/entertainmentnewsbuzz/2011/02/your-mom-hates-dead-space-2-advert-stirring-controversy.html

**Games released last week include:
Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 (PS3, Xbox 360)
Shadow Harvest: Phantom Ops (PC)
Earthrise (PC)

**Games being released this week include:
Mario Sports Mix (Wii)
Sniper: Ghost Warrior (PS3)
Hyperdimension Neptunia (PS3)
Trinity: Sould of Zill O’ll Zero (PS3)
Dungeons (PC)
Fate of The World (PC)
Two Worlds II (PC)
EverQuest II: Destiny of Velious (PC)
Naruto Shippuden: Shinobi Rumble (Nintendo DS)
Test Drive Unlimited 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
You Don’t Know Jack (Nintendo DS, PS3, Xbox 360)
Body & Brain Connection (Xbox 360 w/Kinect)

**On the Calendar, check out these Upcoming Events:

Total Confusion
February 24-27, 2011
Holiday Inn in Mansfield, MA
Website: http://www.totalcon.com

PAX East
March 11-130, 2011
BCEC in Boston, MA
Website: http://east.paxsite .com

GET IN THE GAME
On this episode I am at the con, covering TempleCon 2011. Check back at Good To Be A Gamer later this week for more coverage.

TempleCon (Board, Card, LARP, Miniatures, Video Gaming & Steampunk)
February 2-4, 2011
Crowne Plaza in Warwick, RI
Website: http://www.templecon.org

Temple Games
167 Columbus Avenue
Pawtucket, RI 02860
Phone: (401) 305-0836
http://www.thetemplegames.com

Thanks to Sterling for the use of his music in the podcast. Be sure to check out his Magnatune profile page to learn more about him and discover more of his music. http://magnatune.com/artists/sterling

Good To Be A Gamer is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Opinions expressed on Good To Be A Gamer are those of the host and/or guests and do not necessarily represent those of Good To Be A Geek.

Creative Commons License Disclaimer Code:
Creative Commons License
Good To Be A Gamer Podcast by Good To Be A Geek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Good To Be A Gamer – Episode 01

2

Category : Game On, Good To Be A Gamer

Good To Be A Gamer (Ep 01)

 

On the show, I talk Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. The Nintendo 3DS gets a release date and a price tag, EA Sports is betting on Virgin Gaming, we get details on Portal 2 for the PS3 and The Walking Dead make it into a video game?

NEED TO KNOW

**News**

Nintendo 3DS get a firm release date and pricing. Nintendo officially announced their next generation DS at E3 2010, introducing the 3DS. The 3DS is the first foray into glasses-free gaming and it looks amazing. Finally we have release details! Nintendo 3DS hits shelves in the US on March 27th and you can get yours for $249.99.
Learn more about the Nintendo 3DS.
Read the Nintendo press release.

Portal 2 announces PS3 Features including cross-platform game-play with PC & Mac. The announcement Portal 2 would be released on the PlayStation 3 shocked and excited the gaming community. This week, GameSpot brought us feature details. The most exciting feature is the Steamworks support, allowing PS3, PC & Mac gamers to engage in co-operative play and online chat. Gamers who purchase Portal 2 for the PS3 will have the ability to download a free PC or Mac version so long as they integrate their Steam and PlayStation Network accounts. PS3 gamers will also get the ability to save their games in the cloud. Portal 2 will be released April 19, 2011 for Mac, PC, PS3 & Xbox 360.
Read the full story at GameSpot.

Virgin Gaming joins forces with EA Sports to bring gambling to game-play. Electronic Arts penned an agreement with Virgin Gaming to make them the official world-wide provider of online tournaments for EA Sports. Virgin Gaming will integrate their tournament platform into selected EA Sports games to enable competitive game-play on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. Gamers will be able to buy-in to official tournaments, bet on the game outcome and the platform will track game-play to prevent cheating.
Read the Virgin Games press release.

The Walking Dead Video Game? 1UP.com notified readers they recently received an invitation to a Telltale Games event to take place February 17th. At the event, Telltale Games is expected to announce their newly developed games. The invitation includes a rather vague description that could reference a video game based on the hugely popular television series adapted from the graphic novel, The Walking Dead.
Read the post on 1UP.com.

**Games released last week include:
Mass Effect 2 (PS3)
Little Big Planet 2 (PS3)
The Mysterious Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (Nintendo DS)
Plants vs. Zombies (Nintendo DS)
Mindjack (PS3, Xbox 360)

**Games being released this week include:
You Don’t Know Jack (Wii)
Dead Space 2 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Lord of Arcana (PSP)
Two Worlds II (PC, PS3, Xbox 360)
Breach (PC, Xbox 360)

**On the Calendar, check out these Upcoming Events:

Unity Games XVII
Play Day (Board & Card Gaming)
January 29, 2011 – 9am to 12am
Woburn Hilton Hotel in Woburn, MA
http://www.unitygames.org/ugxvii/ugxvii.htm

TempleCon (Board, Card, LARP, Miniatures, Video Gaming & Steampunk)
February 2-4, 2011
Crowne Plaza in Warwick, RI
Website: http://www.templecon.org

Total Confusion
February 24-27, 2011
Holiday Inn in Mansfield, MA
Website: http://www.totalcon.com

 

GET IN THE GAME

**Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is the follow-up game to Ninja Theory’s Heavenly Sword. 150 years in the future, Mankind is struggling to stay alive. The remaining humans are hunted and enslaved. When a slave ship crashes in New York, the only survivors are Trip and Monkey. Trip is a tech-savvy young woman from a tribe that has remained hidden while robots rule the earth. You play as Monkey, a big, burly fighter with acrobatic skill. To increase her chances of survival, Trip enslaves Monkey to ensure he will protect her as they travel across the treacherous landscape to find a way back to Trip’s people, fighting off mechs along the way. The story is well-told and integrates nicely with the game-play.

Enslaved is set in a post-apocalyptic world. Instead of going for the typical dust-bowl landscape we’re used to seeing from so many games, players are immersed in a lush, green environment which reminds me of the History Channel’s Life After People. Steel, concrete and brick crumble under the oppression of nature, as plants scale structures. The destabilized structures also provide a great environment for the platforming aspects of the game, adding that bit of danger when you realize your hand-hold is crumbling under your weight. Quite simply, the game is gorgeous.

Another fantastic aspect of Enslaved is the facial recognition. A lot of effort has been put into the character design and motion capture to add an additional feeling of realism. A prime example is the inclusion of Andy Serkis, of Lord of the Rings fame, who lends himself to Enslaved for the facial and motion capture, as well as the voice of Monkey. In addition, he puts his considerable talents to good use as co-director of the cut scenes.

In terms of the actual game-play, the game is fun. It combines strategic planning and combat, platforming and hack & slash with a dash of shooter game-play. The companion aspect with Trip is done well. While your primary mission is to protect her, Enslaved doesn’t make it feel like a babysitting job. The companion aspect is a welcome interactive experience, providing necessary assistance to get through the game. The fighting is not especially difficult, but the developers have done a great job mixing in different types of game-play to prevent the game from becoming too monotonous.

Sadly, it’s not all good for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Somehow, the game has not been able to avoid dreaded hang-ups. There are more than a few instances when you will find yourself stuck in the background, forcing you to move back before you can continue forward. Hanging on a piece of scaffolding when hopping from one piece to the next is a sure way to be removed from the gaming experience. Another issue is physical interaction with Trip. Too many times you will find yourself walking into and around Trip in order to find just the right stance to toss her to the next level.

To find out more about Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, visit Namco’s Official Site.

THANKS

Special thanks to Sterling for the use of his music in the podcast. Be sure to check out his Magnatune profile page to learn more about him and discover more of his music.

Good To Be A Gamer is sponsored by Good To Be A Geek – let your geek run wild! Opinions expressed on Good To Be A Gamer are those of the host and/or guests and do not necessarily represent those of Good To Be A Geek. For more information and show notes, please visit the website.

Creative Commons License
Good To Be A Gamer Podcast by Good To Be A Geek is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

I Want to Be a Geek Scout

Category : Geek Out

cross-posted from Total Fan Girl

It’s summer here and my kids have been going to Girl Scout camp for the last two weeks. This means every morning I rush to get them up, dressed, covered in sunscreen and out the door in time to catch the bus. It’s quite a challenge given that we’re all used to moving at a relaxed summer pace, but I think it’s worth the trouble because once upon a time, I went to Girl Scout camp, too. I slept in a little tent in my Star Wars sleeping bag, roasted marshmallows to make s’mores and perfected the art of cooking hot dogs on a stick over a fire. There were arts and crafts, and silly songs, and we went swimming in the lake. It was a week filled with the things you love to do when you’re a kid. I sorta wish I could go again. Technically I could go, but as a Leader, and that would mean supervising a whole bunch of little girls. I don’t want to be responsible. I want to have fun! I want the grown-up version of camp.

As I was stuffing my daughter’s lunch into her backpack it occurred to me that Cons are like camp for grown-up Geeks. Everything at a Con is tailored to you, the Geek. If you don’t like one activity, no worries, there are a dozen others from which to choose. There are plenty of Geek friendly things to do like try new games and see movie trailers. Instead of crafts, you get to take home swag like posters, key rings and gigantic tote bags big enough to hold a small child. There’s even the equivalent of a “Camp Store” where vendors will sell you all sorts of stuff you don’t really need but just have to have to remind you of your fantastic adventure.

There’s even plenty of socializing but instead of a campfire, there’s the tweet-up where you get to stay up late (just like camp) hang out with people you really like but might not see again (just like camp) and drink a bit too much (okay, not like camp). Then everyone goes to bed only to get up at the crack of dawn and do it all over again. Just. Like. Camp. The only thing missing is an official organization, a pledge, and perhaps some badges. But guess what I found?

No, sadly there are no Geek Scouts, but there is a site called FanBoyScouts and they sell Geek Merit Badges. The image below is a badge they call Kessel Run and if you don’t get it then turn in your Geek Card right now.

So, we’ve got the badges. Now if somebody would just come up with a pledge we’d be on our way!

At the Con: TempleCon 2010

Category : Conventions, E-vents, TempleCon

TempleCon kicked off the 2010 New England gaming convention schedule this past weekend. Taking over the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, Rhode Island, 2010 celebrated the event’s fifth year, bringing players together from all forms of gaming. Billed as an event experience unlike any gaming convention, TempleCon paid particular attention to gamers and what we like – extending beyond gameplay. Here you were likely to see belly dancers, musicians, and filmmakers, mixed among the gaming and panels. Arr, there be pirates too! This is Rhode Island after all.

Board Games, Collectible Card Games, Role-Playing Games and Video Games were all represented. There was something for everyone. Without a doubt, some of the biggest draws at TempleCon were the Miniature War Games. This was clear as soon as you registered for the event. All pre-registered attendees received custom imprinted Dog Tags to commemorate the event. Even if you aren’t into War Gaming, Dog Tags just make you feel bad-ass.

Privateer Press, one of the major sponsors, maintained a dedicated presence in the main ballroom with plenty of space for miniature gaming. Among the games and demos running all weekend were WARMACHINES, HORDES and MONSTERPOCALYPSE, including championship gameplay with prizes to boot. Sharing the space was another sponsor, The Warstore. The Warstore packed lots of product for popular games and ran Malifaux demos throughout the weekend.

So miniature gaming isn’t your thing. Don’t worry, there were lots of other gaming opportunities. From tabletop Role-playing games such as Unhallowed Metropolis to Collectible Card Games like Vampire: the Eternal Struggle, or casual games like Apples to Apples, gamers of all skill levels found themselves at home. PC and Video Gamers like myself, could lose ourselves in the LAN Lounge day or night. Even better, if you brought your Xbox 360 or PC, all you had to do was plug and play. Still not what your into? How about some good old-fashioned Arcade games? Neo-Geo games were on hand with Samarai Shodown & Kings of Fighters tournaments.

TempleCon began as a small regional convention. Over the past few years, it has drawn more attendees from an international audience, growing so much, the event had to change venues for 2010. With all the gameplay, it’s no wonder. Gamers are the target audience, but TempleCon is not just for gamers. Like most conventions, there are attendees that come to show off their costuming skills. With its retro-futurism theme, TempleCon openly embraces cosplay.

We all know it just is not a convention with some Star Wars cosplay.

What better way to show off costuming skills than with a costume contest? Saturday night, that is just what we got. The Penny Dreadfuls scoured the crowd at the Deco, Dance & Design event to find some of the most creative costumes.

Half the reason for attending conventions is all the great performances and after hours fun. Friday night’s Diesel, Deco & Dance event was all about music, featuring The Dirge Carolers, Sasquatch & the Rock-a-billys, Emperor Norton’s Standing Marching Band and DJ Delicti.

The Mad Hatter served as the Master of Ceremonies for Saturday’s Deco, Dance & Design event. The show opened with a Godzilla-inspired interpretive dance performed by Ameena. Following her performance was Neylan with a Firefly inspired belly dance routine and Paloma showing off her skills in a gothic number. Additional dance performances included Happy Hour Burlesque, Samara, Troupe Moirea, Tempest and Ela Rogers. All these lovely ladies certainly know how to put on a show. Rounding out the performances was a bit puppetry from Rick Sardinha with his creations Terrance Redbone & The Great Grimpen Mire.

(Happy Hour Burlesque featuring Eddie Paradise, Margarita de Ville & Tommie Gunn)
(Samara, Tempest & Ela Rogers)
(Terrance Redbone & The Great Grimpen Mire)

Watch out the videos below to see performances from Ameena, Neylan and Paloma.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBcGft28SPU]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1jdEJz1rgw]

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3uKncwGM9I]

Being a fan of video games, and being blessed to have friends who game, this event was right up my alley. As soon as I heard about TempleCon, I knew I had to attend and I am glad I had the chance. At the end of the weekend I found myself curious about other types of gaming and intrigued by retro-futurism culture. There may be belly dance lessons in my future and I will definitely be calling on my new found friends to introduce me to some other games.

The best part of the weekend, by far, was the people. I got to spend some time with Nicole Wakelin of Nashua, NH (visit her blog at TotalFanGirl.com), to get her thoughts on Templecon. Attending the convention with her husband for the second year, it was board games that caught her interest. Though she confessed, one of the main reason she attends is also because of the people. As a very social person, TempleCon affords Nicole the chance to meet up with friends throughout New England she does not get to see often. She has been to larger conventions like Atlanta’s Dragon*Con, as well as smaller events such as Carnage Con in Vermont. As Nicole explained, each convention is its own event – large conventions can be somewhat overwhelming, and the smaller events have the benefit of seeing the same people each year. TempleCon seems to be the best of both worlds. The event is full of fun people and events. With its location within New England, it is a convenient event, making it easier for fellow gamers to come together.

So, if you find yourself in New England around this time next year, be sure to make time to hang with the gamers at TempleCon. Better yet, break out your calendar now and plan to see me there!

For more information on TempleCon, visit their website atwww.templecon.org. Please be sure to check out the websites for some of the sponsors and performers below.

Sponsors:

Privateer Press

Warstore

Diesel, Deco & Dance Performers:

Emperor Norton’s Stationary Marching Band

The Dirge Carolers

Sasquatch & The Sick-a-billys

DJ Delicti

Deco, Dance & Design Performers:

Ameena

Neylan

Paloma

Happy Hour Burlesque (featuring Eddie Paradise, Margarita de Ville & Tommie Gunn)

Samara

Troupe Moirae

Rick Sardinha (Terrance Redbone & The Great Grimpen Mire)

Tempest

Ela Rogers

The Penny Dreadfuls

Switch to our mobile site