Shmee Played D&D With His Friends And Has This Video As Proof!

Well we went and did it: The Paladin, Plumpy Thimble, Shaun and I played D&D on the internet.  It was a fun experience, and we learned a lot for next time, if there is a next time, like check if your mic is working right off the bat instead of waiting to hear from your little brother that there is no sound.  Mr. Thimble has hosted the video for us on his YouTube channel, along with a brief explanation of what happened during the first 45 minutes.

We got this setup working with a great free software package for streaming OBS Studio (OBS = Open Broadcaster Software).  It is a little finicky, like the fact if you open and close it you need to re-add your mics, but the price is right, and it is very easy to use, so if you want to start streaming it is a great way to test the waters without spending your hard earned cash.  It works to just record your video, or stream it to YouTube, Twitch, or Mixer.  We could only get three cameras working, but that was because of my Surface Book’s hardware limitations, not OBS.

Anyway, if you want, you should check out our little adventure above.  Though I won’t be hurt if you don’t.  The other guys might take it personally though.

Do You Like D&D?! Let’s See If We Can Change That! (No Wait…)

So this Friday at 7:30PM, The Paladin will be leading Plumpy Thimble, Shaun, and myself though a riveting game of D&D!  Better yet, you can watch us on my Mixer Channel!  I know, who doesn’t want to watch grown men roll dice while talking about fantastical stuff, I mean I sure do, but sadly I have to play, so it is up to you folks to tune this Friday the 22nd at 7:30PM Pacific time to my Mixer Channel for me!  It will probably be a disaster since we have never done this before, but that will be all the more entertaining for all of you!  If you start tuning in earlier, you may see us setting up, how fun will that be?! (I don’t know the answer to that question) Anyway see you Friday!

Unpacking PAX West 2017!

PAX West was a blur this year, I did so much, and I had so much fun that it is hard to talk about anything in particular.  I enjoyed most of the panels I went too.  Two of the funniest featured Kris Straub: PAX Rumble 2017 (video game wresting at its finest) and the live version of his internet radio show 28 Plays Later (two guys talk about stuff).  Of course the Telltale group play of Batman: The Enemy Within was as fun as always, and even though it has changed to a bunch of random ads, I still love going to the Gearbox show.

I didn’t have time to play a lot of the games on the show floor or elsewhere, but I am going to say that Forza 7 is the default game of show for me.  I played it twice, and it is simply stunning on the Xbox One X.  It truly shows the craziness the X will be able to pull off this Christmas.  Board game wise, I am not going to name a game of the year.  The ones I played were all fine, but I didn’t play a game I had to have.  Though Dwarves: Dig, Delve, Die at least had some sweet dwarven shaped dice, and I won, which is always a bonus.

PAX West is always an experience, and there are some moments after all the walking and waiting in lines that make me wonder if it is all worth it, but every year I can’t wait to do it all over again.  If you like geeky things and hanging out with geeky people, try to get yourself to a PAX.  There will be something for you.  Even if you have to weed through the three hundred “how to make your stream successful” panels.  Though I can help you out with that: be funny, talented, have good screen presence, and self promote like crazy.  Until next year PAX West!

The Paladin’s PAX Wrap Up

PAX_West_logo

Like Shmee I also attended PAX West, formerly Prime, and like him I came away with a few games to recommend. While there really wasn’t a game of show for me in either the Board Game or Video Game categories, there were some interesting and fun games you should check out for yourself.

13174223_812958785500988_1829712118734515543_n

911 Operator by Jutsu Games out of Poland made me upset, not because it was difficult or controversial. No, I was upset because I was on the phone with a guy who had cut off his leg, begging me to tell his wife he loved her, while the stupid ambulance driver took his sweet time navigating Seattle’s streets probably trying to find a Starbucks first. 911 Operator felt frantic, but meaningful and I was proud at the end of the demo that no one died on my watch – not even one-leg guy.

maxresdefault

Lightspeed Frontier was a fun little game in the IndieMEGABOOTH by Crowdwork Studios. I had fun flying around in this procedurally generated, rouge-like game (Shmee’s favorite genre right now). Plus I rammed another ship, killed it, and impressed the devs who were cool guys. You can download the demo now, so give it a try.

13398703_839314072879086_2116245479_n

The final game I’ll talk about is Identeco a Cyberpunk RPG that is now in Beta by Humanoid Games. We played this and it was a lot of fun. Thematically its similar to the RPG Shadowrun, just less grim and without the fantasy elements of Elves, Dwarves, Orcs, or Magic. Mechanically it felt a little more like D&D with a little more meat to it. I enjoyed our playtest and was impressed with the system. I suggest you download their Beta and give it a try yourself.

Some honorable mentions would be Cowbots and Aliens (which Shmee talks about in his post) and Ice Cool, a fun dexterity game with penguins.

Course there is so much more that goes on at PAX; panels, events, swag, and just being with friends, bro. Most of it would be hard to explain without context or not being in a sleepless state kept awake by energy drinks. Still, I plan to go back next year to plumb the depths and come back with more great games to try.

PAX West 2016 Wrap-Up!

PAX_West_logo

Another PAX West (formally PAX Prime) has come and gone, and I am exhausted.  There is so much to see and do that it just overwhelms the senses.  Every show that I have gone to is different, and this year was mostly about just hanging out with my friends.  One big reason for that was the huge indie game presence at PAX, and a lot of them were similar, so nothing really stood out.  Indies are usually well represented at PAX, but this year they were everywhere.  Word to the wise for all you indie game creators out there: if your new game features the terms rougelike or procedurally generated, your game had better be amazing.  There are like eighteen million (not exaggerating) procedurally generated rougelikes out there and they are all pretty much the same.  They are not bad, but just not good enough to care about.

Which is why the only indie game that I really ended up enjoying was an old school four player party game called Death Squared from SMG Studios.

Death-Squared

In Death Squared each player tries to move their cube to their colored circle.  Once all cubes are on their circle the ‘room’ is complete.  The problem is by moving your cube you are causing problems for the other cubes, so you all have to work together.  It is so simple, but so well executed.  This looks to be a must buy.

For board games I was starting to feel the same way that I was feeling about indie games.  They all have different settings, but in the end they are pretty the same three or four games.  However it took a trivia game called America by Bezier Games to prove me wrong.

america

I generally am not a big fan of trivia games, but America’s excellent design makes it a ton of fun.  Pretty much there are three tracks for every question: the State the question takes place in, the year the question happened, and the amount of something in the question.  You get more points for getting it right, but if you are close you get points too.  That way even if you don’t know the answer you can guess based on whether you think other people know the answer or not.  It is great.

Like I said above with this year kind of being different it took a while for me to come up with a game of show, but I ended up picking Cowbots and Aliens.

cowbots-and-aliens

This game saved VR for me.  Every VR experience I have had thus far has been kind of so-so.  Some of it has looked cool, but none of the games have been better because they were in VR.  Cowbots and Aliens by Wizard Games Inc. was different.  It puts you in a saloon where you can use anything in the room as a weapon.  You can flip tables, deflect bullets with spittoons, break bottles over counter tops, you know pretty much everything you have ever wanted to do in the wild west while fighting an Alien Squid.  It was a blast.

The best panel by far was Telltale’s group play of Batman.

telltale-batman

It was so fun to control Batman with a thousand other people.  If you have not picked up their Batman yet, you should.  Like everything they do it was well done.  I can’t wait to play the rest of this great game.

That was pretty much my PAX West, and while I will need a few days to recover, I can’t wait until next year to do it all over again!  I wonder what PAX West 2017 will be like?