Galactic Wars on Kickstarter

February 07, 14

I hope you’re having a wonder filled New Year!

I’ve been way off the radar scrambling on the oceanic prairie flats for awhile enjoying time with my daughter.  Since our power was shut off for local construction work, and I’m now stranded at a not-so-populated Coffee Bean, I thought I’d vacuum the webs off the ‘ole wordpress and let you know about a super cool new Kickstarter project.

It’s called Galactic Wars – please check it out if you have a chance.

It’s rippingly clear that anything interesting in gaming going forward will be built by independents. With Galactic Wars, I’ve got a friend going down that increasingly well traveled route right now — so please consider helping out with the project if you can.

More to follow and have a fantastic February!  

Game Industry Meltdown?

February 13, 13

Turmoil is about the only word that pops to mind when I think about the current game industry.   It’s always been turbulent, and this can actually be a good thing as new areas of opportunity begin to emerge in the wake of said turbulence.

Yet, it’s that exact point that makes me more than a little bit leery these days.  It feels like more of a continual state of turbulence with very little tangible new opportunity emerging.

It’s true that the gates are basically wide open for developers from mobile to tablets to Steam (who recently announced layoffs) – but almost everyone from big studio veteran to complete newcomer are struggling mightily just to get along.

The 3% of developers actually able to keep the virtual office lights on at this point don’t really interest me.  It’s hard for anyone to start to rise above the noise of the avalanche of new titles and options driven by a  99 cents/free/freemium with 2-5% paid conversion style situation.

On the traditional publishing side of things, the picture doesn’t get much better.

EA’s CFO recently said : “We’re much more focused now. We’ve got a core group of ten-to-fifteen titles. We’ll stage those in terms of the transition and manage those costs through that. Our goal is to keep the cost increase for R&D under $100 million. And some of that will be in this year, some of that in ’14, and some in our fiscal year ’15.

So basically, we can expect the same ten-to-fifteen titles wrapped in “4th generation” clothes – with nebulous “R&D” money attached to the actual title construction costs to facilitate that “4th generation” platform support being sure to spend under $100 million split over at least 3-4 years.

(*All of this before anyone really knows the true level of market interest for these new consoles in a VERY different economic climate than that which hosted the last round of console wars/offerings)

If you’re not working on one of those ten-to-fifteen titles for a very small handful of mega-publishers — due to the disappearance of any middle tier publishers offering up any form of competition (they’ve either been driven out or acquired), you’re probably not working at all – or you’re angling around trying for the 99 cents/free/freemium with 2-5% paid conversion with an Ikea desk setup in your Mom’s garage.

What bothers me most is simple: Opportunity.

I’d like to think new developers have a chance. I know, maybe it’s naïve and old fashioned, but I’d like to see an industry that can actually utilize new developer talent building new games and attracting all new players to the fold.  This keeps the ecosystem fresh, but it’s not remotely clear how that’s going to work right now.

I’m not quite seeing how we’re going to get the cord into the socket – and I certainly hope the “4th generation” provides much more than ten-to-fifteen of the same legacy titles with art uplifts.

Press Paws at Nucleus

February 12, 13

I went to a super cool event this weekend to benefit Press Paws — raising money for our dog pals using game art.  How cool is that?  Two of my very favorites in a single place.

Be sure to check out their site and the amazing work done by the folks behind the event.   You can see more on their site — but here’s a few of my favorites…

Top 5 Games You Won’t Want to Miss

February 07, 13

Top 5 Games - Warhammer Kill Team

Howdy folks … these aren’t necessarily hot off the “code freeze” titles, but they’re well worth checking out.

After a half year posting absence (oops), here’s my Top 5 games to give a go in no particular order.

1) Lara Croft and the Guardians of Light
I was never a very big Tomb Raider player, but if 3/4 action games are your pitcher of Jolt, than this is one you”ll want to check out on Playstation Network. Fantastic environments, bug battles, weapon switch ups, and puzzles.

2) Assault Heroes or Assault Heroes 2
If you like vehicle action games as much as me, you’ll probably enjoy both of these – I replay them quite a bit, and now that my play time is pretty much at an all time low, its got to count — and these count big time. On XBLA.

3) Warhammer Kill Team
Huge fan of this one.  Incredible action, great pacing, still trying to finish – stuck at the helicopter. XBLA.

4) Guild Wars 2
My pals and I being BIG original recipe GW fans, we were waiting for this one.  I love the variety, the action events you can stumble upon, the ease of solo or group play at any level, the diversity of environs, the focus on action instances and collaborative boss battles — and the lack of a monthly charge.  It all adds up to a phenomenal gaming achievement. PC.

5) Various Dynasty Warriors
I like button mashers, always have — and it’s too late to apologize.  These change it up a bit over the series — which I’m slowly moving through – emphasizing some, and avoiding others with some sage advice from friends. Various.

Master Kreng Versus Jet Li!

July 20, 12

Check out this high-octane two part interview with Master Kreng … Crunch!

Part I:

Part II:

Strange Adventures 187 DC Comics, 1966

July 18, 12
DC Comics Strange Adventures 1966

Strange Adventures, DC Comics 1966

Two archaeologists are imprisoned in a metallic gorilla head left behind by aliens.

It is the weirdest prison on Earth by a long shot, except for the ones we enter into willingly and routinely.

Gigantic enamels form a trap that snaps shut while the innocent use pick axes to uncover Incan idols.

We scramble to find a way out of the gaps like bits of parsley after a seasoned salad.

There are always Strange Adventures in the jungle.

Chateaubriand’s Master

June 29, 12

“A master in the art of living draws no sharp distinction between his work and his play; his labor and his leisure; his mind and his body; his education and his recreation.  He hardly knows which is which.  He simply pursues his vision of excellence through whatever he is doing, and leaves others to determine whether he is working or playing.  To himself, he always appears to be doing both.”
Francois Auguste Rene Chateaubriand

Are we pursuing our vision of excellence, or is that suffocated vision entirely forgotten?  If you can find any point of balance between labor and leisure, you’re already ahead of most of us.

Nobody really sits down and says: “I’m play deficient…”

Few ask themselves how play does or doesn’t blend with their pursuits.

An industry partially known for the offering of one small form of play — is built to insure that the play-crafters work themselves into the ground.

Can we make it to the which is which?

Robosaurus 1992

June 24, 12

Before the attempted sale on Pawn Stars, Robosaurus pursued acting…
only burritos and sad faces


June 24, 12

The failing infrastructure of the City is shuttling around unknowns in the piping trying to topple the tenuous order above.

We find the defenders kneeling and hopeless
on a scaffold breaking the steam.

Palms against the glass, migration against the mind.

The Riffs III

June 21, 12

The Riffs IIIThe vehicles leave flame tracks caused by leaky fuel tanks because the rats will own Manhattan despite the efforts of anyone.

Peace gestures are a farce and a trap.

Beer bottles hurled at the mowhawked aggressor meet their end on an oversized screen mesh — a coward’s headlight.

A single rat looks on owning victory with calm.