I don’t know if this is going to be an ongoing series, but I’m definitely prepared if it gets to that point.
After many, many years, two apartment/house moves, and my first year of grad school, I’ve decided to take time from an enforced pause in my studies to redesign this blog. In addition to converting it into a personal blog and making some necessary back-end updates and upgrades, I will also be doing the following:
- Completely redesigning the site using a new WordPress theme
- Selecting certain posts to be “guest contributor” posts and compensating the authors
- Removing all original content that doesn’t belong to me and reverting ownership back to the original authors
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be making these changes and older posts may not be available to view immediately. Hence, this post which will currently be the only one visible at this website. Here’s hoping I can get all of this work done before I have to resume my grad school studies and my masters project.
Since this past August, I’ve been playing Magic: the Gathering Arena in their closed beta both on my own and streaming on my Twitch channel at geekingoutabout. I’m not that great of a player, so when I finally won my first game of Momir Basic, I thought it was good enough to create a video about it.
Created, Designed, and Published by Wadjet Eye Games
Written by Dave Gilbert
Starring (from left to right): Logan Cunningham, Sandra Espinoza, Frank Todaro, Arielle Siegel, SungWon Cho (not pictured), and more
Art by Ben Chandler and Ivan Ulyanov
Music by Thomas Regin
Rating: Mature adolescents and above (adult language, gun violence, supernatural elements)
Official Blurb: For one year, crime-torn New York City has been at the mercy of someone hell-bent on destruction and chaos. Waking up on a stormy rooftop, you learn that this someone was you. At least, the heinous acts were carried out by your body, possessed by an angry demon that’s now loose in the city that never sleeps. The only force that can stop it is the Unavowed, a centuries old supernatural crime-fighting troupe that takes down evil in the shadows—and you are their newest member.
Pros: Voice acting is top-notch and all of the diverse characters have depth and are more than just stereotypes.
Cons: Some of the puzzles require a pixel hunt, and that can really take you out of the story.
About four years ago, I worked as an administrative assistant for an indie video game publisher named Games Omniverse. Part of my job was to not only update all of the game design documents on the company’s internal wiki, but to write some articles for the company blog about games, specifically adventure games.
Writing those articles rekindled my love for adventure gaming, so when I was offered a review copy of Unavowed, the latest from Wadjet Eye Games, I jumped at the chance to not only review it, but to get an interview with its creator Dave Gilbert. All the show notes are under the jump.
Better later than never, I say, and so shall you when you watch the this episode in our vidcast wherein I recap my Magic: the Gathering Dominaria prerelease experience and ask the question: When is a troll actually a troll?
And here are the show notes!
In the effort to both be able to play video games while churning out columns, I’ve combined my Sunday Twitch streams and some of my old columns into something entirely new. I can’t call this a pilot because I have at least 15 audio-only Geekly Speaking About… episodes which I hope I’ll have the time to convert to a new embedding format, but I hope you enjoy this new column which was supposed to go up last Thursday but I ran out of time. (Thank goodness for the ability to change publishing and posting dates.)
And now for the show notes!
We’re pleased and proud to announce the debut of our new podcast/vidcast/streaming show/video magazine. Depending on how many spoons I have during the weekend, you should expect either this show or a vidcast version of “Geekly Speaking About” to show up here on the blog every Thursday morning, following a live stream on our Twitch channel called geekingoutabout. You can watch it here and then click the link to read the show notes.
Before I dig into this retro (!) review, let me first explain something. See, back when I was in my early 20s in New York City, I had a day job where I entered DVD and VHS release information into a database that then got sold to companies who needed databases of information like this, like Tower Records. You remember record stores… right?
Anyway, naturally, this meant that the company I was working for had a pretty close relationship with both the major and the minor video distributors and studios. This also means that from time to time, they would send us screener copies of movies that are about to come out on DVD and/or VHS. These copies got passed around the office and housed somewhere until the day someone got sick of seeing them in their cubicle and put them in the breakroom for anyone to take. That’s how I got a hold of a review copy of Tadpole and that’s when I decided to write a DVD review. I’ve cleaned it up since then, but for the most part, I have not looked at this since I first wrote it in 2004. Continue reading “It Came from the Bargain Bin: Tadpole“
I’ve been watching the Rivals of Ixalan Pre-Pre-Release replay first on Twitch and later on YouTube over and over and I think that this is the best kind of marketing event for Magic: the Gathering that Wizards of the Coast ever fell backwards into. Why?
1. The people at Loading Ready Run who are hosting and producing these events have at least a decade of experience in being funny and entertaining while being professional. (Special kudos to James Turner, whose idea this all was, I think.)
2. Their online chat mods do not tolerate trolls. At all.
3. Their online chat community also does not tolerate trolls. At all.
4. The focus on the event is having fun and learning what the cards do, as all non-moneyed competitive events should do. (Note: Winning packs as prizes doesn’t count as money. No matter how much you try, you cannot buy groceries with packs of Magic cards.)
5. The guests they invite can be a diverse bunch of folks who are also entertaining, engaging, and friendly. Two of my favorites have been former Magic pro and current Wizards employee Melissa DeTora and Jimmy Wong from the Command Zone podcast. (Special hat-tip to Reuben Bresler of the Magic Mics podcast, whose Facebook post recap inspired this post.)
It’s these last two parts that are perhaps the most important key to drawing new players into the game or convincing lapsed players that they should head back into their Local Gaming Store to attend the set’s actual pre-release and perhaps start playing Magic again. I know that’s how I felt back when LRR debuted this show starting with the Shadows of Innistrad Pre-Pre-Release. I went to my LGS the following Saturday and went 0-4 in back-to-back events. By watching the show, I could not only see some of the cards that were released in the visual spoiler, but I could get a sense of how to actually play with them in a live situation.
Perhaps the biggest barrier for someone who’s on the fence on whether or not they’ll want to spend their money on a new game they haven’t seen is wanting to actually see what it’s like; the PPRs are perfect for that kind of demonstration, more so than Wizards‘ own Magic tournament streams. Because it’s partially produced by the company, there’s some sort of quality control. However, because LRR was first and foremost a sketch comedy troupe, it’s going to be entertaining. Best of all, because they actually play the game themselves, the way they speak and interact with the game is completely natural and not something that you’d get from any mainstream video content producer or marketing company.
It’s a bit too late for me now to attend the Rivals prerelease because it’s happening this weekend. However, with the return to the game’s initial starting plane Dominaria this April, I may decide to dust off my card sleeves and see if I can actually win a round this time.
After all, practice does make perfect.