Tag Archives: featured

Master of Orion: Silicoid After Action Report (Early Access 3)

I did not write about Early Access Two, but it contained several good incremental improvements and introduced the Klackons and Terran Khanate to the game. I played it for a bit, but didn’t really dive deep.

I was compelled to write this article because since Early Access 3 was released late last week, I binged on a large galaxy game that I completed with the Silicoids, one of the new additions to this edition of the game.  Continue reading Master of Orion: Silicoid After Action Report (Early Access 3)

Master of Orion: Early Access First Playthrough

First, a Little History

I have been a huge fan of the Master of Orion series since the very first title, but I became obsessed with Master of Orion 2: Battle at Antares. I probably played hundreds of games of MoO2, mostly all single player. I was invested in the setting and the game was deep enough that each playthrough was unique and had its own challenges. Continue reading Master of Orion: Early Access First Playthrough

My First Game Design Kit

My daughter is 8 years old in a few days, and she’s expressed a lot of interest in board and video games. She’s also said that she wanted to “make up her own game.” After seeing a post a few months ago with a $20 Game Design Kit (sadly, the original link no longer works, but here’s a post that contains a fair amount of it), my wife and I decided we would put one together for our little girl.

Few things have been more creatively enriching than walking around a dollar store (and later, a craft store) searching for potential game pieces among the stock.

Continue reading My First Game Design Kit

Games I Would Play

In the spirit of Pokémon  Conquest (a mashup of the monster battler and Nobunga’s Ambition), here are some games that I would love to play, remixed or mashed up or developed in a different way:

  • Super Mario Brothers: A Telltale Games Series
  • Sid Meier’s Ninjas!
  • Crusader Kings: Modern Warfare
  • World of Pokémon (a.k.a. Pokémonline)
  • Starship Troopers: Total War
  • Assassin’s Creed: Red Sky
    • (set on Mars, like Red Faction. With space pirates.)

Hatred and Violence in Games

Today, Hatred was pulled from Steam Greenlight.

I could understand the “what makes this different than GTA?” arguments for this game if it were meant to teach a lesson. The point is to hunt down and murder defenseless people. If the point was to sicken and disgust me, then well done. Point made.

Continue reading Hatred and Violence in Games

Cyrill: Creature of Shadow

Character history for my character in a Planescape game being run by the Wombat Warlord.

Terry Rankin was a simple man from rural parts of Massachusetts. He never had much book learning, but he worked hard and kept out of trouble. When the Depression came, he found himself lucky to find work at the University cleaning up the libraries and halls. He did such a good job, that they put him in charge of cleaning the lower levels of Widener Library. Biggest on campus. He even had a key to the lower stacks where those rich students weren’t even allowed. That made him proud.

He did like to read, and he liked the fantastic. H.G. WellesJules Verne, and H.P. Lovecraft. Sometimes he wished his duties let him spend more time looking through the books. One night he decided to take a break in the lower stacks. In a pile of unsorted old books, he saw a book that looked like it was right out of one of his fantasy stories.

The book had a strange leather cover and looked old enough to be locked up next to the Gutenberg Bible. He opened it up carefully, half expecting it to fall apart in his hands, but it was solid, smelling slightly of decay. He’d never learned a language outside of English, so the words inside were unfamiliar. Somehow, though, he understood what they said.

He returned to the book every night, each night studying it more and more until his boss began to notice his work slacking. He was more careful after that, but hungered for more. Terry tried his first incantation at midnight on Halloween.

The spells were simple at first, but soon he was able to master several techniques. Over the next year, he was even able to summon servants. Copies of himself. They did the work at night, while he poured himself fully into study of this ancient tome. During the day, as he slept, they faded into nothingness. His first and strongest duplicate, named Cyrill after a baby brother that died of the Spanish Flu, searched the rest of the library for more secrets to unlock. He did his job well, and studied alongside his creator.

This could not last. The more Terry obsessed over his newfound access to the beyond, the more it consumed his sanity. He could not keep this part of his life separate from the rest, and he was close to getting fired and losing access to the his treasured tome and the rest of the library. Terry confided in Cyrill that he would destroy the whole campus, and perhaps the whole East Coast, if he could no longer be near the book.

Cyrill could not let that happen. One night while Terry was once again hunched over the books, Cyrill dismissed the other duplicates. Terry did not look up as he approached, and Cyrill was used that inattention and familarity to cut his creator’s throat. Cyrill, just like every morning, faded into nothingness as the sun came up.

When he awoke, he was in the city of Sigil. He was a new life, created by a mortal, and no gods or men could claim him as a servant.