Tag: board games
DnD OGL Update Aftermath
In the aftermath of the Open Game Licence 2.0 leak, Wizards of the Coast have struggled to claw back their fanbase as DnD Beyond servers suffer under the load of mass subscription cancelations. Additionally, several big third-party publishers who would be affected by the new royalty system have tabled their intention to either jump ship or create their own licensing system. Kobold Press teased “Project Black Flag”, Matt Colville’s MCDM Productions is working on both a new OGL as well as a new TTRPG, and Paizo/Pathfinder looking to collaborate on an open RPG license.
In response, a statement was released insisting “It was never our intent to impact the vast majority of the community.” They also tried to clarify stating that any future revisions “…will not include the license back provision that some people were afraid was a means for us to steal work. That thought never crossed our minds.”
Activision Blizzard… when will it end?
As the saga continues, here’s the current headlines coming out of the company that can’t stop making waves.
- Activision Blizzard has refused to acknowledge the union that formed late December. Management at Proletariat issued the statement that leadership “…has always been pro-worker“ and that employees “…deserve some time to process (sic) and to better understand its potential impacts.”
- The Microsoft Activision Blizzard merger that was announced in January 2022 has had new challenges with the European Union filing an antitrust challenge and Google parent Alphabet Inc, and Nvidia are filing for unfair advantages in the gaming market. These join other objections placed with the US Federal Trade Commission to be investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority, and finalised in April.
- In some hearsay arguments Activision Blizzard claims that it was Netease that rejected the six-month extension of their partnership. Various sources cite irreconcilable differences including Netease president referring to an Activision Blizzard executive as a “jerk”. Because of these, after January 23rd several titles will no longer be accessible in China, most notably World of Warcraft, Diablo 3, Starcraft, and Overwatch 2.
Doors Close on Stadia
As the curtains close on the experiment that was Google Stadia, refunds have been processed for everything but Pro subscriptions… but payments were also paused the day shutdown was announced. But what about all that hardware you don’t have? Well, if you did manage to get the controller, Google has pushed a self-serve tool to enable Bluetooth connections with the gamepads. Meaning, your Stadia Gamepad may be obsolete, but at least you can still use it on the hardware you didn’t get because you used Stadia.
Oh! Remember that guy who had 6000 hours in Red Dead Online on the Stadia who was pleading for a character transfer? Well, not only did Rockstar organise a transfer, he also got a gift box from the company. Unfortunately, Rockstar has announced they will no longer be releasing any major content for Red Dead Online, instead focusing on the upcoming GTA6.
And finally, a moment for the death of Google Stadia…
And now, for some upcoming games.
On Friday January 20th, the next instalment in the series Fire Emblem Engages and its Wave 1 DLC are coming to Switch. World War 1 horror survival Trenches emerges from Steam early access onto PlayStation, Xbox, & the Switch.
Tuesday January 24th, the RAM-hungry, RPG, fantasy shooter Forspoken is coming to PC & PS5, and deckbuilding & strategy boardgame mashup Mahokenshi comes to PC.
And on Thursday January 26th, for that nostalgia hit Wonder Boy Anniversary Collection is coming to PlayStation and Switch. The strange Hitman: World of Assassination hodgepodge that collects Hitman 1 to 3 as well as Hitman 3: Freelancer Mode are all coming to PC, PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch. Fight the nightmares of a girl in the twin stick shooter NeverAwake, coming to PlayStation and Switch.
WHAT IS SPRINGCON?
An event organised by Springfield Gamers, SpringCon’22 is the culmination of a tremendous amount of effort, organisation, and heart in order to create a fun, newbie-friendly tabletop extravaganza.
SpringCon is a celebration of everything to do with tabletop role-playing games, board games, card games, and all the gear, loot, and community that surrounds these hobbies. There is also an emphasis on introducing these hobbies to people who are new, curious, or seeking a new community to join. There were tournaments with some impressive prizes, workshops for learning how to make terrain for tabletop games, demonstrations for various tabletop systems, a bring-and-buy event where attendees could bring in their old boardgames and get something totally new, and so much more. Zed Games got to experience the first ever SpringCon this year, and we are looking forward to seeing what’s on next year!
WHO ARE THE ORGANISERS?
A community effort requires a community, and SpringCon’22 was no exception.
Primarily organised by Neal, the club president of Springfield Gamers, he has a tonne of experience with sharing games, but also teaching and guiding new players, organising regular gaming days and nights, and creating a welcoming environment. He is pictured here with the tournament grand prize, a full tabletop map.
The primary sponsor and vendor was Epic Ipswich, an amazing play space and game store with a fully equipped cafe, perfect for those who want to make an afternoon of it. Whilst having a look at their stall, which was stocked with absolutely everything anyone could possibly need to get into tabletop role-playing games or board-games, we took the opportunity to chat with the stall handlers, who were hugely welcoming, had a lot of information for us, and has instilled a desire to visit Epic Ipswich at some point.
Also making an appearance was the League of Extraordinary Gamers Brisbane and the Ipswich Tabletop Association. We got to witness some games and tournaments being run, and the maps, models, gameplay, and the very intense focus required.
We were able to chat with some of the guys from the Ipswich Tabletop Association who gave some great insight into where to get started with miniature painting and were super keen to offer tips.
WHAT WAS THERE?
We’ve mentioned some of the events, but also here are some of the vendors who were there!
Making Morrigan, who creates detailed tabletop pieces that incorporates LED lights and some really cool tricks, including a magic dice box!
Dragonfire Resin & Gaming, a small business that creates 3D printed models, gaming scenery, and just cool stuff.
Caitlin Fairchild dice bags, who had a tonne of creative, hand-made dice bags that were both very cute and very funny.
Geektastic Accessories, full of detailed, clever, and really funky accessories (including fabulous d20 earrings).
Terrain workshops were run by Corrupted Quill, and she was so booked out we didn’t even get a chance to chat with her, but we did take a tonne of photos of some of her work.
In addition there were plenty of food and drink stalls available, such as BBQ, potato tornadoes (a personal favourite), gigantic cups of iced tea, and coffee of course, all available outside with plenty of shaded seating. Perfect for recharging after seeing everything in the hall!
WAS IT FUN?
SpringCon was a tremendous amount of fun, but more than that it was engaging, interesting, and inspiring. Even if we couldn’t participate in everything that was available, just chatting to vendors and participants was fascinating as we asked how they got into this hobby, how they started, and their favourite creations or moments.
A common theme? Nearly everyone had, at some point, taken the dive to get into a game that they were curious about, but had no idea where to start, but thanks to friends or a small leap of faith, have been able to put their heart and time into something so detailed, interesting, and a little bit niche. That was a similar story, whether they were creatives, players, or organisers. Of course, a few people had simply grown up with it, but their open-arms approach makes it a lot easier for newbies to make that dive.
Truly, the best part of SpringCon is that there will be another one next year!
This week on Zed Games, Paul winds us up over the Playdate, and Zahra & Caroline talk Games for the Holidays!
This week Zed Games is helmed by Zahra, Hazel, and Caroline while they talk gaming news, this years Australian Game Development Awards, and the recent AND local SpringCon 2022!
This week Zed Games discuss the week in gaming news, and Maylee and Zahra talk about tabletop RPG tools and alternative systems.
Nobody knows how epic this podcast is… will you take the plunge?
Listen in to Ezie and Elliott talk news, while Paul reviews Nobody Saves the World, and Tobi screams incoherently about Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Dual at Mt. Skullzfyre.
Developer: Light Brick Studio, Light Brick AS
Publisher: The Lego Group
Music: Hendrik Lindstrand
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X & S, iOS, PC (Windows & Mac)
Released: 20th December 2019
Genre: Puzzle, Adventure, Indie
Now you might be thinking, “Oh, a LEGO game similar to the likes of Harry Potter or Star Wars” well you’d be wrong this little gem is a small-time indie development that differs greatly from other games in the LEGO franchise. This story follows a father and son depicted in LEGO where they go on an adventure in a series of different stages using the ability of building LEGOs to reach their destinations. There are no subtitles or dialog to follow, simply the story is told throughout gameplay using its environment to illustrate each challenge and using beautiful level design to instruct the player how to overcome each stage.
There are many different levels with different themes, such as hoping along beaches, climbing mountains, navigating swamp lands as well as some dark industrial style levels. You play as both the parent and child using your third-party abilities to move LEGO pieces around the scene to help build bridges, steps, or make shift ramps to get each character to the end of the puzzle. Some levels are more difficult than others but overall, there is no incorrect way to solve them just the limit of you LEGO building imagination.
LEGO Builder’s Journey is a 3D puzzle platformer that is very kind on the player. LEGO is about building and creating solutions with your imagination and this block building brilliance allows you exactly that. With each puzzle you encounter you are free to move pieces where and how you like. With very intuitive block moving and placing mechanics the game feels smooth and intentional. As you progress through, levels can become a little more challenging with the introduction of sinking mud, larger gaps to cover, weight scales and not to mention some levels that involve making a skate track for your character to ride on.
I played LEGO Builder’s Journey on the Nintendo Switch and found the controls to feel really intuitive, you can even use the touch screen when in handheld mode, my only issue was that you have to use the A button to both rotate and place pieces. The UI is minimalistic and innocuous, I actually consider the UI to be my overall favourite aspect of the game it felt really kind on the user, it also felt totally natural when moving through the main menu as well as understanding narrative without any dialog. I found that the tutorial parts of the game where enhanced buy this seamless UI experience. The UI design is simply phenomenal.
There is exclusively one gameplay mode which is the story, with the PC version of LEGO Builder’s Journey has a couple more levels than the Nintendo Switch version if end up looking for more content, which could happen given that the gameplay time was roughly 2 hours in total. I must say that LEGO Builder’s Journey could definitely have benefited from being much longer as it was kind of sad that the moment, I was getting right into it, it came to an end. In saying that each moment that I did spend in game was well and truly worth it, don’t let the short run time deter you from this fantastic indie experience.
The sound design is calming and simple, using delicate sound effects for each object you interact with as well as nice clinks and clunks from placing blocks. The score of music that plays in the background is the best kind for unwinding after a long day. The composer Hendrik Lindstrand has provided a beautiful soundscape for you to drift away on, as you place LEGO blocks the music gently guides you on your journey and really adds to that feeling of imagination and wonder that we all know and love about LEGO.
I must say that LEGO Builder’s Journey is blocktacular and beautiful. With subtle and effective UI too delightfully calm music, it really is a short and sweet adventure. From around $20 on the Nintendo eShop and $30 on Steam it maybe a little steep so keep an eye out for when it goes on special. Despite how short the duration of play is I found the story captivating and each level I played I was spurred on by the beautifully directed relationship between child and parent. What is LEGO without a heart-warming family building relationship? At least this one you don’t accidentally step on any bricks in the middle of the night… OW!
HO HO HO, and a MERRY CHRISTMAS … podcast that is … This week Zahra and Paul talk news, reviews and some special games to play with family over the Christmas holidays.
Zed Games Crew covers Brisbane’s Game On Festival GO423 and talks the breakaway hit Unpacking.