This Week Online - April 26, 2014

Hey all - Hope you've had a good last week. Amusingly enough, I didn't have a whole lot to post from last week so I had to wait a few extra days before some goodies came to my attention. I hope you enjoy these!

  • Do you enjoy literature? Do you enjoy comedy? The perfect melding of the two is at Thug Notes on YouTube. It's simply fantastic.
  • Are you a Patrick Rothfuss fan? You should be. He announced on his blog today that he is coming out with a new book which is not the third book in the Kingkiller Chronicle. Yes, I'm a bit disappointed, but it's set in that world so that'll be a nice consolation.
  • Stephen Colbert is closing down The Colbert Report and taking over The Late Show from David Letterman when he retires at the end of the year. As a result, Stephen has been making the rounds on shows this week. Here he says goodbye on The Daily Show. And he was also on The Late Show this past week.
  • John Waters filmed a no-smoking PSA? Yes!
  • Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen being adorable, AGAIN.
  • A fantastic fan film featuring Harley Quinn.
  • Short film following two astronauts on a ship that can travel back three minutes in time. Simply great.

I'm still trying to find the time to finish the Berlin installment of the latest Shadowrun Returns game in order to review it properly here. So far it's great, but I'm only about 10 hours of gameplay in.

Also, I picked up a game for the iPad (and other systems) called Dragons of Atlantis: Heirs of the Dragon. It's a "free to play" city-building-in-a-pvp-world type game. I played Evony back in the day for a while until the pvp stuff eventually drove me away from it. The interface on a touch screen is great. And it has neat added features like building mythical troop units (minotaurs, dragons, ogres) and you can raise an epic dragon to defend your city. If you like this sort of game, give it a try.

This Week Online - April 14, 2014

Hola all - please enjoy some amusements I found online in the past week!

Lastly, you know I'm a big fan of Tabletop, the Geek & Sundry web show hosted by Wil Wheaton on YouTube. They've decided to crowdsource the third season of the show over on Indiegogo. Check out the campaign and give if you can. If he can reach $1m, we will get a third season of Tabletop with 20 episodes AND a new spin-off show all about roleplaying games. THAT is something I really want to see!

Enjoy your week!

This Week Online - April 3, 2014

Ok, to be honest, it's more like the last couple of weeks online. Getting back into the swing of things here. Hope you enjoy these things I found!

Tabletop Thursday - Fortune & Glory

Yesterday’s Tabletop episode featured the board game Fortune and Glory. The players are Felicia Day, Ryon Day, Wil Wheaton, and Brandon Routh. My first exposure to Fortune & Glory was on the game review site Shut Up & Sit Down. They did not favorably review the game, saying that there isn’t much strategy to the game and that if a player happens to roll poorly on a consistent basis they can end up not having a lot to do for the duration of the game. My favorite quote from their review is "This game, this beautiful game, this landfill of components, cards and color, this crush of cliffhangers, is everything that's wrong with Ameritrash."

As a quick aside, Shut Up & Sit Down is a fantastic gaming review site and I think it’s a great compliment to Tabletop (and On The Table) for gaming news. They’re raising funding to keep their website/content production going, so if you feel like tossing them some monetary love I think they’re worth it.

My thoughts about the game from this episode of Tabletop… well, 7 minutes in Wil cuts in and admits they got the rules all wrong throughout their gameplay so the episode isn’t really a representative sense of how the game plays. So, it’s hard to gauge. They certainly seem to have fun playing the game. But there are a LOT of bits involved… games with tons of bits can be a headache. There also seem to be a TON of rules and rules variants.

I think this is a game whose theme (Indiana Jones-style adventurers traversing the world to gather artifacts and fight Nazis) is very appealing. I will probably rent this game from my local game store to give it a try before thinking about purchasing it.

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If you take the time to watch this episode, I recommend you take an additional 10 minutes to watch SU&SD's review as well.

Tabletop Thursday - Ticket to Ride: Europe

Happy Thursday! Today's episode of Tabletop features Ticket to Ride: Europe. [youtube= width="400" height="300"]

Players are Emma Caulfield, Anne Wheaton and John Kovalic. The chemistry between the players is very upbeat and positive, despite Wil and John's initial competitiveness against each other. Still, this game basically plays just like the original Ticket to Ride from last season with very small variations.

Hope everyone has had a good week. The kids in my area got the entire week off from school due to snow, and this was also my son's birthday week. So happy birthday to him, and yay snow! I feel like I've gotten some proper Winter now.

The big project at my house is painting a bathroom to look like the inside of the classic TARDIS. It's turned out to be a lot more work than expected (as all painting projects do). I'll be posting pictures & details here when it's finished!

This Week Online - January 20, 2014

Hola everyone! Hope you're having a warm & relaxing MLK day today. Here's some fun stuff I've seen online in the last couple of weeks:

We're expecting snow here tonight, which would be a nice change from the relatively mild temperatures and lots of rain we've had so far this Winter. Have a good week and check back soon for more posts!

Tabletop Thursday - Takenoko

Today's episode features the game Takenoko, which I've heard of but have never played. It looks like a really cute game and the folks in this episode have a great time playing it. I'll definitely be picking this up for a future game night!

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I love the animated panda, but not as much as the Owlbear from Lords of Waterdeep.


This Week Online - November 11, 2013

Hi folks! Time for the round-up of fun things I found on the Internet this week.


Not The Flog - Episode 4

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This is the fourth installment of Wil Wheaton's occasional chat about board games that aren't the sort of games that would play well on Tabletop. Over the course of this episode, he recommends a lot of Halloween/Horror themed games and entertainment which are fun. I'll recap them here in case you don't have time to watch the episode. He is terribly funny in this, though, so if you like his humor I recommend it.

RPG in a Box Betrayal at House on the Hill The Last Night on Earth Arkham Horror The Fury of Dracula Castle Ravenloft Mansions of Madness A Touch of Evil

Game Guides/Game-in-a-Book Gurps Horror Dread

Card Games Spooks (out of print, Steve Jackson) Munchkin Bites & Munchkinomicon

Video Games Silent Hill 3 Slender Amnesia - The Dark Descent

Horror Movies Creep Show Evil Dead 2 Event Horizon Texas Chainsaw Massacre (original) Game Change Cabin in the Woods The Ring

Tabletop Catch-Up - Shadows Over Camelot and Betrayal at House on the Hill

I've missed the last two Tabletop episodes so I want to get them posted here before too much more time passes by. Shadows Over Camelot featured Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik from Penny Arcade and Tara Strong who voice acts everything everywhere (Bubbles, Timmy Turner, Raven, Ben Tennyson, etc.). It's a good episode but I have to admit I wasn't running out to pick up this game to play it. To my surprise, we'd already acquired it during a scratch & dent purchasing jag at a local game store, so we brought it out this past weekend at our Game Night party. It was great! More on that later... for now, enjoy this episode!

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The following episode was a two-parter featuring Betrayal at House on the Hill. This 2-part episode currently ranks as my favorite Tabletop episode of all time (narrowly edging out Fiasco - check the Tabletop page on the right to find all the episodes easily). The episode features three people I didn't know before the episode, but their chemistry is great and the humor is fantastic.

Enjoy Part 1 and Part 2 of Betrayal at House on the Hill:

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I own this game but haven't played it yet. It and the Firefly board game are on the top of my "must play next" list.

This Week Online - October 30, 2013

Some mid-week updates! Gearing up for NaNoWriMo, so I'm expecting November to be a wild ride! Please enjoy!

Have a happy (and safe) Halloween!

Fun Stuff on the Internet

It's time for another list of fun things to watch/read on the Internet!

Tabletop Thursday - Lords of Waterdeep

This episode actually aired two weeks ago, but I wanted to get it posted here before tomorrow's new episode comes out. Lords of Waterdeep is a resource management game set in the legendary Dungeon and Dragons city of Waterdeep. Knowledge of D&D is not required to play this game. The interaction between Felicia Day, Wil Wheaton, Pat Rothfuss and Brandon Laatsch is great in this episode. Much fun is had. I have asked G&S if they would consider making the owlbear image available to folks to use... I'll post more here if I hear anything back.

Oh, and definitely watch the gag reel. There is so much owlbear goodness all over it.

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Postscript:  There must have been a lot of requests. Enjoy OWLBEAR!


The Bounty of the Internet

Goodness, the last few days have been a wealth of things to see. Let me share some of the wonderful things I've found out there over the holiday weekend.

  • The best Zombie-related short film I have ever seen'
  • Have you heard of what3words? I hadn't either. I think it's totally cool.
  • Thug Notes!!! I can't say it enough. Did you use Cliff's Notes in school? Did you like to read books? Do you have an appreciation of urban gangster culture? This is the perfect amalgam of all of these interests. I can't even pick out one particular review to point you to because they're all so good. Pick a book you've read and GO THERE NOW!
  • Here's what you missed by not playing Bioshock Infinite. (spoilers)
  • Here's what you missed by not playing Borderlands 2. (spoilers)
  • The Wheatons are asking for donations for their local humane society and offering an awesome geek calendar as an incentive. Even if you don't back their humane society, please consider donating money to your own local humane society. Animals are awesome.

More to come over the course of the week!

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Hey all - Been gone for a couple weeks. Back to school shenanigans. Getting life done. Back in the saddle now and making time to get back to writing here.

Here's some awesome stuff that happened on the Internet while I was away:

Can you tell I'm just a teeny tiny bit excited about the Burial at Sea expansion? I'm happy to have an expansion to be excited about, because the whole idea of the Clash in the Clouds expansion left me cold. Lots more shooting at things? Using weapons and vigours? Who cares. I don't play Bioshock for the shooting, I play it for the story.

Over the next couple of days I'll get caught up with reviews about Elysium, The World's End, the Tabletop episode about Lords of Waterdeep, another Game Night story, and some cooking tossed in for good measure.

Check back daily. I'll have updates rolling again.


Tabletop Thursday - Star Wars X-Wing

Yay, new Tabletop! And it's funny and engaging. I get the impression from how this game is edited that the game takes a REALLY LONG TIME to play. The premise appears to be cooperative teams who play Empire or Rebel Alliance against each other. To be honest, it reminded me a lot of the ancient game Starfleet Battles -- but that's Star Trek (and far more complex) and not Star Wars.

Seth Green is funny and understated in that way I get the impression he always is. His wife, Clare Grant, is highly competitive. Mike Lamond (who I didn't know before this episode) tries his best to keep Wil on task and focused on the game. Seth and Wil's impressions of various characters from Star Wars are worth watching this episode alone.



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A Bunch of Random Stuff (Geek Week)

It continues to be Geek Week on YouTube, but for some reason the nice everything-we-released-today lists have stopped arriving in my mailbox. Not to worry, though. Here's a bunch of random awesome from the Internet from the last two days:

And finally, if you aren't aware of the video game review site Zero Punctuation, you should be. It's hilarious. Though, generally only for games you've actually played.

Tomorrow on Geek Week it's Gaming Day, so I can't wait to see what is dished up then!

Oh, and I finally finished Shadowrun Returns. That last fight was a beast. Onward and upward!

All's Quiet on the Geek Week Front

Hoi chummers, I've been busy trying to finish Shadowrun Returns and dealing with real life responsibilities for the last few days. I'm working on the final boss fight in SR right now and it's a chafe.

So while I'm busy with that, I wanted to make sure you are aware of the fact that this week is Geek Week on YouTube. Yay marketing. But, I hope it'll give some good visibility to some folks who are doing good work out there. Some of the videos they've posted I knew nothing about and was glad to discover them.

Today is day 2 of Geek Week, so I'll add links to further Geek Week content to this post as they come out.

Day 1 -- This series of videos includes SkyHook (with Freddie Wong), We Meet Again (Star Wars Parody), DramaBug CatBug (animated), Animated version of Patton Oswalt's Star Wars Filibuster, RWBY Episode 2, 10 Best Blockbuster Fan Parodies with Brian Blessed, 10 Ways to Make a Hollywood Blockbuster for under $100, Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical, The Fallen, and Star Wars vs. Star Trek Street Fight.

Out of the first day, my favorites were the Star Wars Filibuster, the 10 Blockbuster Fan Parodies, Breaking Bad: The Middle School Musical and the SW vs. ST Street Fight.

Day 2 -- This series begins with a Naruto fake movie trailer, How To Be More Asian, Yogsquest Episode 2, 18 Days Episode 1, Chameleon Circuit - Teenage Rebel, 20 Best YouTube Animations from Around the World with Warwick Davis, and The Top 10 Mind Bending Facts about Dr. Who with Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman.

My favorites today were the Naruto trailer, How To Be More Asian, Yogsquest, 18 Days Episode 1 and the 20 Best YouTube Animations. 18 Days is written by Grant Morrison so if you enjoy his comics, I think this animated series will be a must watch.


Two Fantastic Anti-Hero Shorts

I'm continuing to find phenomenal short films on YouTube so want to keep sharing them with you. First up is a short about the Spider-Man vigilante, The Punisher. Thomas Jane, the lead actor in The Punisher from 2004, stars in this short film which was made in 2012. Ron Perlman is a secondary character in the short. Be aware - this short film is very brutal and violent.

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The same folks who made The Punisher short film have made a Venom short film. I know what you're thinking. "But Venom is responsible for making Spider Man 3 suck so badly!" Yes, yes. Give this a chance. It's gritty. It reminded me a lot of The Blair Witch Project in terms of style and tone. It stars Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) as Eddie Brock. Do yourself a favor. Click on that link and scroll down to the two paragraphs under "Backstory". Read those. Then watch this.

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Watch all the way through the credits. There's extra footage there to see.

I think both of these films are so well done that they put most of Hollywood's superhero-themed offerings to shame.

The Brothers Rapture, Post Human, and The Final Moments of Karl Brant

brothers_rapture There are three really awesome short films on the Internet that you should take a minute and watch.

The first one is The Brothers Rapture, on YouTube. It is nearly 18 minutes long. If you loved Bioshock and Bioshock 2, this little film is for you. It's live-action Rapture. Simply wonderful.

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The next one is a video I found originally hosted on i09 called Post Human. It's Aeon Fluxx meets Akira meets Heavy Metal. I would love it if they turned this into a regular series. It will take less than 6 minutes of your time.

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Lastly there is a film called The Final Moments of Karl Brant. It's splendid and runs 16.5 minutes. Technology, a murder investigation, and Paul Reubens in the lead role! Make sure you watch all the way through the credits.

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