Posts made in October, 2013


Note: On November 2, I will be participating in the 2013 Extra Life gaming marathon, in support of the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. I will be marathon 25 straight hours of video games and stream as much of it as possible for the whole world to see. I’d certainly appreciate your support, whether via making a donation or simply your support and encouragement. I believe this is a worthy cause, and you can see my longer post about it here. Thanks!

Cat Context 37: Beyond: Two Souls, The Wolf Among Us, Are guilds still useful?

Episode 37 of the Cat Context Podcast is now available! This week, Liore and Ellyndrial are joined by Vajra and talk about Beyond: Two Souls and The Wolf Among Us. Both games get healthy reviews from the crew, but Vajra is a grump and dislikes quick time events. Elly tells him that he is wrong, and the ensuing discussion hits on the underlying question: What really makes something a game? Turns out, that is a hard topic!

This is followed up with some discussion of the Newbie Blogger Initiative‘s recent question “Are guilds essential to MMOs?” We discuss what, exactly, constitutes a guild, and whether we need them now that Twitter and external forum communities are as popular as they have become. Liore finally gets a word in!

As usual, we also banter about random things, like Pumpkin Spiced Lattes.

To listen, head on over to the official episode page, hit us up on iTunes, or just watch the video below. We are also now set up with at our YouTube channel! Please continue to send in ratings, comments, and questions. We really appreciate them!

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There Came an Echo


Posted By on Oct 21, 2013 | 2 comments

Note: On November 2, I will be participating in the 2013 Extra Life gaming marathon, in support of the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. I will be marathon 25 straight hours of video games and stream as much of it as possible for the whole world to see. I’d certainly appreciate your support, whether via making a donation or simply your support and encouragement. I believe this is a worthy cause, and you can see my longer post about it here. Thanks!

As people may or may not know, I am torn on Kickstarter as a medium for getting games made. I really enjoy indie games, and I think it’s great when small studios/teams can get some funding to make their projects happen. I dislike it when it seems like it is used to just cash in on nostalgia, and I especially dislike it when large entities use it as an excuse to get their hands on money well before they otherwise would in some sort of ultra-extended pre-order situation. And I’m not sure how I feel about this brave new world of constantly playing pre-alpha, alpha, pre-beta, beta, and pre-release titles. It’s… weird, and for a lot of styles of games, I’d rather just wait to see the finished product.

Still, that hasn’t stopped me from backing a few projects, and it has been interesting to watch the updates from them roll in every now and then. Not too long ago, I got an email from one project, in particular, that I thought was very interesting. The game is There Came an Echo, by Iridium Studios.

The unique hook, here, is that there are no standard controls. You control the entire game via voice commands, giving  your squad commands – telling them to go to waypoints, what enemies to target, when to launch coordinated attacks, etc. I love innovative control schemes, and once I saw the concept video, I was pretty well hooked. They’ve got Wil Wheaton to sign on to do some voice acting, which doesn’t hurt, either.

Most of the updates have been fairly mundane – “we’ve hired person X to do art!”, “Person Y will be doing the music, and here a small sample!”, etc. But this last one contained what is referred to as a vertical slice – a complete working section of the game that they would typically use to shop around to investors, etc. It is generally similar to a tech demo, in that most of the actual assets could get replaced, but gives a feel for the way the interaction works. And I have to say, it looks very true to form! It’s clearly still in an early state, but conceptually, I am still excited to play it!

Have a look, and let me know what you think:

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Note: On November 2, I will be participating in the 2013 Extra Life gaming marathon, in support of the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. I will be marathon 25 straight hours of video games and stream as much of it as possible for the whole world to see. I’d certainly appreciate your support, whether via making a donation or simply your support and encouragement. I believe this is a worthy cause, and you can see my longer post about it here. Thanks!

cat-context-verticalEpisode 36 of the Cat Context Podcast is now available! Elly and Liore got together for a quick 30-minute discussion on Steam’s Family Sharing beta, looking forward to Beyond: Two Souls, and the upcoming Extra Life marathon.

Liore has been beta-testing the new Steam Family share program, and it appears to do what it says on the box! Does it work well? Listen to find out. Elly is looking forward to Beyond: Two Souls, the new game from game/film mashup creator David Cage and Quantic Dream. Liore isn’t sure whether this style of experience really constitutes a game or not. Elly doesn’t care because it is fun!

Either way, head on over to the official episode page, hit us up on iTunes, or just watch our sweet, sweet video. Also, please rate us, comment, or submit questions. Feedback is the best!

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Note: On November 2, I will be participating in the 2013 Extra Life gaming marathon, in support of the Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. I will be marathon 25 straight hours of video games and stream as much of it as possible for the whole world to see. I’d certainly appreciate your support, whether via making a donation or simply your support and encouragement. I believe this is a worthy cause, and you can see my longer post about it here. Thanks!

cat-context-vertical Episode 35 of the Cat Context Podcast is now available! In this episode, Liore and I were joined by Ryven, and we talked about the Steam announcements and Final Fantasy XIV.

In addition to trying to figure out what void the SteamOS ecosystem is supposed to fill in, it becomes painfully obvious that we don’t really know what we’re talking about. We also talked about Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, The Lost Vikings, the new Magic set, and of course old-timey WoW raiding when everyone was terrible and couldn’t get out of the OBVIOUS BRIGHT BLUE CIRCLE.

Head on over to the episode page to listen, or watch the video if you prefer that. We are also on iTunes and Stitcher radio.

 

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Extra Life 2013


Posted By on Oct 02, 2013 | 2 comments

Quick note: October is the Newbie Blogger Initiative month, and while I am not technically new, I still very much learning. I’ve given myself a goal of “post 2+ times per week”, and I intend to hit it over the next few months. Please yell at/encourage me if I am falling behind.

Extra Life 2013

For the second year in a row, I will be participating in the Extra Life gaming marathon, benefiting the Children’s Hospital & Research Center of Oakland. This is a 25-hour gaming marathon that accentuates the great things about the spirit of the gaming community, by raising money for an excellent cause. I will be streaming as much of the event as possible via Twitch.tv, either on my stream or the Machiavelli’s Cat one.

I will make no promises about my ability to be coherent at the end of this, only that I will do my absolute best to make it through all 24 25 hours with only minimal breaks and no sleeping. Liore will be joining me once again, and we have even set up a fundraising team for Totally Legit Publishing.

Also the same as last year, I am looking for suggestions on how to spend my time. I am certain that there will be a wide variety of games played – my Steam backlog is pretty impressive, I have any number of MMOs installed, and Theros will be draftable on MTGO! Plus, I have a number of console games to knock off before I can reasonably justify going NEXT GEN. But some of my favorite games from last year were suggestions from the audience – looking at you, I Wanna Be The Guy – so, please don’t be shy. Same thing goes if there is some particular challenge you’d like me to undertake within one of those games.

Of course, I’m going to be far more receptive if you help out with a donation! Anything will do, really, because every little bit helps. So please, stop on by my donations page if you are so inclined. Thanks so much!

Click Here to Donate!

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