Category Archives: Games

Who’s The Real King of ‘Kong?’

Donkey Kong

A new documentary tells the tale of two video-game champions and rivals.

Steve Wiebe’s efforts to topple Mitchell’s high score and his struggle to be recognized by his video-gaming peers is chronicled in the new film ‘The King of Kong’. which is set to release on August 17.

The film has more twists than a bag of pretzels, but the salient plot points are thus:

Wiebe started playing Donkey Kong like a madman, the audience is treated to a funny/sad scene of him ignoring his kid’s anguished cries to “Stop playing Donkey Kooooooong!!” But if you’ve seen any sports films, you know the drill: Sometimes our hero has to put his family second to achieve video-game glory.

Read the article on MSNBC.

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Dragon’s Lair On HD-DVD For Xbox

Dragons Lair
Dragon’s Lair is available today, August 15th, for HD DVD players and the XBox 360 HD DVD Add-On.

Remastered from the original film, this all new 1080p High Definition transfer is the first HD game for your HD DVD player and is is packed full of extras in full HD. Also available in Blu-ray for your PS3.

To see this video is full 1080p High Definition visit www.digitalleisure.com.

[youtube qLgF_kQT6wA]

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Crayon Physics

Games

[Update: it appears Petri’s site is probably being slammed with requests and periodically offline]

Crayon Physics is a game by Petri Purho, a student attending Helsinki Polytechnic. He’s a very prolific game developer, cranking out his tenth game, each game developed in under 7 days to force him to be productive and to learn something new.

He’s looking for criticism to improve his coding skills at developing games, so help a brother geek out. Download it (5 MB), test it, give him constructive feedback.

Here’s a demo of the game via youtube.

[youtube hDwAAckxOkc]

China To Limit Teens’ Online Gaming In Favor Of Exercise

Questionable

The Chinese government has launched a campaign to limit the number of hours teenagers spend online playing games.

From MSNBC:

Under new rules that took effect Monday, Chinese Internet gaming companies must install a program that requires users to enter their ID card numbers. After three hours, players under 18 are prompted to stop and “do suitable physical exercise.

If they continue, the software slashes by half any points earned in the game. All points are wiped out if players stay on more than five hours.

PRC Cuts Skeletons From Local Version Of WoW

WoW

The operators of “World of Warcraft” in China have replaced skeletons with healthy human bodies in the local version of the online game. This is due to a recent government campaign to clean up Internet content. The PRC gov’t says this supposedly promotes a ‘healthy online culture” to protect the government’s stability.

WTF? Hacking and slashing players and other monsters is OK, but rendering some skeletons on screen is bad? Sheesh!

Link to the AP article on Wired.

Gleemax Is MySpace For Tabletop Gamers

Wizards of the Coast is in the process of creating its own social networking site dedicated to gamers of all kings. It’s called Gleemax and while it isn’t open yet, they’re answering some basic questions about the direction and scope of the portal.

Appears it’ll be geared towards gamers ranging from RPGs, TCGs, board games, turn-based, miniature war games, just about any type of tabletop game you can imagine.

Below I’ve summarized most of what’s up there to be gleaned, but if you want to check for yourself here’s direct reference links:

SUMMARY-

About the Community:

We want to give all gamers their own personal pages with tons of features that make it convenient to talk about games, find people to play games with, and get more out of the games they choose to play. We’re not just talking about Wizards of the Coast games either. We see this project as an investment in growing the entire strategy gamer culture.

About the Content:

…You can expect a ton of blogs from Wizards insiders and a real dialog between us and our fans (that would be you). And like I said before, this isn’t just about our games. It’s about all games, so you’ll be able to talk about anything you want.

About Games:

I don’t want to give too much away yet, but imagine an Indie Strategy Games Portal filled with the coolest independent games, vetted by us, and given the Wizards Seal-of-Approval for fun, strategic game-play. Then think about a Board Game Portal featuring classics from our Avalon Hill catalog, as well as new games we don’t even know about yet! Plus Magic Online and our original computer game Uncivilized: The Goblin Game (take a peek: www.wizards.com/goblinz). And that’s just a start.

 

[Found via Treasure Tables]

Monster Manual V

Monster_Manual

Monster Manual V is the most recent volume in the best-selling Monster Manual line.

It’s a 224-page D&D supplement with a fully illustrated horde of new monsters, as well as ready-to-play variations of previously existing monsters.

Also, it appears this supplement features maps of monster lairs, sample encounters, and a tactics sections to help Dungeon Masters run the more complex creatures. And many entries contain information about where monsters are likely to appear in the Forgotten Realms and Eberron campaign settings.

The Amazon price at the time of this writing is about US$23, the release date is going to be next month- July 17 2007.  

Developing Game Coders At USC

For EA and its industry brethren, USC is looking more and more like it will be an invaluable source of talent and ideas.

That’s because the university is in the process of forming what it calls the USC Games Institute, an “umbrella of activity” surrounding the research, development and design of video games that is set to encompass the various programs of study currently being held at the university’s engineering school, its School of Cinematic Arts, its Annenberg School for Communication, its Institute for Creative Technologies and its Roski School of Fine Arts.

Link to C|Net article

Retro Gaming Lives!

Yep…I admit it, I’m a product of the old gaming generation 😉  Back in the day, Pac-Man, Frogger and Battlezone were my games of choice.  The Atari 2600 we had in our house was used to its limit!  I don’t remember how many times we had to replace those old Atari joysticks.  As a side note, my editor here once had a record breaking score to Missile Command on the Atari 2600!  W00t!

1980 Games

So you pine for those day of old, when CGA gaming ruled the land?  Look no further than 1980-Games.com for your retro refill!  Trust me when I say you can literally get lost in this website.   I spend hours here at a time 🙂  Have fun!

Wakka, Wakka, Wakka

Microsoft is kickin’ it old school and will be hosting a Pac-Man world championship.

Players from around the world will be competing over the next month to be among the finalists invited to NY City June 5 to play, not on the old arcade machines but on the Xbox 360 via Xbox Live Network.

The winner gets:

  • Free Quiznos sub sandwiches for 26 years (huh?) 
  • 100,000 MS Points to d/l content from Xbox Live (cool)
  • one of a kind Pac-Man embossed Xbox 360 (cool)

InformationWeek has the story. Go there to learn how to sign up.

RPG Fans Worldwide Decry Loss of Dragon/Dungeon

DnD News

Sad but true.

Wizards of the Coast has killed off the 30+ year old rag ‘Dragon‘ and its younger sibling spin-off ‘Dungeon’. They’ve ordered Paizo Publishing to cease production of the magazines after the September 2007 issue which would be DRAGON #359 and DUNGEON #150. If you have a subscription, Paizo wants you to start here: http://paizo.com/transition.

If you’re foaming at the mouth angry and want to get even foamier, read the entire press release. Or, for your venting pleasure, here are some threads on the subject in the WOTC forums you can jump into:

1) Dungeon/Dragon discontinued
2) What WoTC Products Have You Bought Specifically Because of Dragon and/or Dungeon
3) So I finally subsribed to Dragon
4) Why won’t Wotc respond?
5) WotC’s Response.
6) don’t expect the e-zine to be free
7) Wotc can suck the big one.
8) Stop overracting.

Why?

The primary reason given for this is because WOTC believes we prefer getting all that hard copy material online and that an e-zine is the way to go. They feel that since they’re disseminating so much material through their Wizards.com site anyway, publishing a hard copy of unique material isn’t as cost effective if they simply make their online location the one stop shop.

Maybe in some cases they’re right, but there’s nothing quite like the experience of laying down for the night before turning out the light and reading an article in a magazine you like so much. Printing out a copy of the e-zine PDF to take to bed with you just isn’t as satisfying.

Is it Hasbro’s fault?

WOTC is owned by Hasbro. Hasbro will be reporting their quarterly earnings Monday and there is speculation among Dragon fans that this decision to cease publication came down from the parent to cut spending to the bone. I can’t really argue with Hasbro’s financial performance (sym: HAS) at a high level, check out their stock’s 1Yr chart below, outperforming Dow and S&P by a significant margin:

HAS stock performance

What’s a good alternative RPG Magazine?

[whispering] The wife is surprising me for my birthday soon with a subscription to Knights of the Dinner Table. Oh yeah!! 😀

If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading these roleplaying comics published by Kenzer & Co, you’re missing out. I got into the comic about a dozen years late, so I’m playing catchup by reading the ‘Bundles of Trouble’ compilations of the issues dating back to the ’90s while also reading the latest issues coming out on the stands.

KODT 121 - You Get What You Slay For

PCs vs. Consoles, Are You A PC Snob?

Gamespy has a handy guide to discover the PC elitist in you. Then again, if you’re reading this blog you’re likely a PC snob.

Some of my favorites from the list are:

– You believe that only chumps play first-person shooters with a gamepad. In your eyes nothing matches the precision of the good old keyboard and mouse combo..

– You constantly remind people how weak consoles are. Your PC has at least 2GB of RAM, far more than any piddling console and you’d pick an Alienware system over a PlayStation 3 any day…

– GamerTags are Overrated, who needs Xbox Live when you’ve got the Internet?

Windows Live Messenger Coming To XBOX

Sometimes I think you can just be too connected. And that’s the reason why I turn off Communicator at work, because people can randomize me to the point where little gets done.

Of course I’m not the target audience for this XBOX announcement anyway since I don’t even have a ‘360’. In fact, I’m still waiting for the prices of the Atari 2600 VCS to come down in price before I jump into this whole console deal.

Here’s the press release.

Financial Support For D&D Clubs!

Wizards of the Coast “Dungeons and Dragons” division is providing US$20,000 to D&D clubs in an effort to help continue, expand and perpetuate the roleplaying genre. This initiative is being billed as the “Expand your Role” Grant. (Clicky)
DND Table

Who is eligible?

Any roleplaying club that is passionate enough to apply! Note: And must be governed or sponsored by a college or university!

How many Expand Your Role Grants are available?

A minimum of 15 grants will be issued to clubs.

How much financial support is available through the Expand Your Role Grant?

Clubs can apply for a grant amount ranging from a minimum of $50 to a maximum of $1,000. Applicants must provide a detailed budget for their anticipated costs.

How do I apply?

Using the online application provided (25k), tell them in 500 words or less how a Grant from Dungeons & Dragons will benefit the club, provide a brief background/history on the club, and describe how D&D has made a positive impact on your life.