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SimCity AAR Part 1, 4/25/13

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AAR of Dark Age Minis Battle, 4/18/13

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GARPA 16, 4/12/13

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Book Review: Ninja: 1000 Years of the Shadow Warrior, 4/10/13

Review of Bioshock INfinite, 4/7/13

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Civilization V AAR, Part 13, 4/4/13

Fire with Fire, 3/31/13

GARPA 15, 3/29/13

Civilization V AAR, Part 12, 3/28/13

Wheaton INterview, 3/27/13

March Mayhem Winner, 3/25/13

Warlock Multiplayer AAR, 3/21/13

WWII PTO Alternate Histories, 3/20/13

GARPA 14, 3/15/13

Crusader Kings II AAR, part 15, 3/14/13

Civilization V AAR, part 11, 3/7/13

Prezcon Convention Coverage, 3/2/13

Civilization V AAR, part 10, 3/3/13


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GARPA – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

by Dan Pinkham and Lloyd Sabin

 

First order of business: a Happy New Year from all two of us at GARPA, and the rest of this ragged bunch at Grogheads. A new year brings changes and as you might have noticed we have moved to a new day. We hope this doesn’t throw off out three loyal readers, after all we know who you are. Friday is infinitely better than Thursday anyway. (ed note: Friday is also better than Sunday, which is when GARPA will be regularly appearing. Blame the code-monkey!)

As always we encourage feedback from all in the forums and look forward to bringing you another year of the best crowd funded projects.

 

Tabletop Stuff

 

Fate Core by Fred Hicks / Evil Hat Productions

$198,890 of a $3,000 goal funding ending January 29thfate

“Fate Core” is the latest iteration of the Fate RPG game originally designed for the Fudge system back in 2001. The Fate rules spawned the creation of Evil Hat Productions as a company and continued to grow from there. Now Evil Hat is bring the RPG world the latest and greatest of the Fate system called “Fate Core.”

Already a smashing success on Kickstarter, this system will improve on everything that made the Fate system popular. “Fate Core” brings your characters to life “using simple-yet-deep rules to make the most of those stories.” Besides the rewards promised at the conclusion of the funding period, every backer can download the latest copy of Fate Core for free upon backing the project.

Backers from $30 and up receive “Fate Core” in hard cover along with many other extras, not to mention the plethora of PDF documents earned at just the $10 level. If you are looking for a new RPG system or just want to upgrade your old Fate rules, head over and check out their project page.

 

 

 

Wargame, Roleplaying and Model Railroad Terrain by Richard P. Chalone

$11,371 of a $3,750 goal funding ending January 19th

As the project’s title suggests, whether your wargame, roleplay, or run model railroads, you want to have terrain on the table for the all-important visual appeal. There is nothing worse than a bland looking table to game over [stomach flu is worse – ed.]

Enter Mr. Chalone’s modular terrain system which will be produced in 15mm, 20mm, or 25/28mm for wargames and RPGs, as well as N, HO, and S scales for model railroaders. The system includes a number of different sized modular textured bases as well as the inserts for these bases. The inserts include trees, rocks, fences, rock walls, and many more basic terrain items. The base and the inserts both contain rare earth magnets that help hold everything in place. This also allows for an undisturbed fit which can then easily be swapped out for another insert depending on the need of the terrain layout.

For a complete list of inserts and pictures of the product check out the Kickstarter page. You can never have too much terrain, right?

terrain

 

Britanan All Stars – Relics: AL Fantasy Football Miniatures by Tor Gaming

£1,083 of a £5,500 goal funding ending January 19th

Until recently Kickstarter projects could only be started by companies in the United States. However, Kickstarter has expanded their influence to include companies from the United Kingdom.

Enter Tor Gaming with their first project, a fantasy football team set in their world of Relicia. Tor Gaming line of miniatures, Relics, is now being expanded with their own fantasy football team playing in their Armistice League. This Kickstarter project focuses on their first team the Britanan All-Stars. The team is designed around the stitchpunk theme. Think steampunk but with cloth and stitches instead of gears, rivets and metal.

Two great things about this project: first, Tor Gaming’s fantasy football rule set is available as a free download on their project page. Second, not only can this team be used with Tor Gaming’s fantasy football game, but also with the many miniature fantasy football games on the market.

If this sound interesting or you just want to know what the heck stitchpunk is, then check out the project page for some pictures of the sculpts.

ff

 

 

12 Realms by MAGE Company

$48,661 of a $20,000 goal funding ending January 29th

12Already a Board Game Geek: 2011 Gold Geek Best Print & Play Board Game Nominee, “12 Realms” has had pervious success. So successful, in fact, that MAGE Company now wants your help to improve the game.

Not only will the Kickstarter product be much improved over the print and play variety, it will also include miniatures for each of the heroes. The game itself is a fast playing cooperative fantasy adventure game for one to six people. The players take on the role of familiar heroes like Robin Hood, Red Riding Hood, the Nutcracker, or Snow White. The players then try and defend - you guessed it - 12 realms from being invaded and pillaged by the Dark Lords.

Each of the heroes has different abilities, so all must work together or be destroyed by the enemy. Along with the miniatures and game boards, “12 Realms” ships with plenty of tokens and cards to keep the boardgamer happy.

“12 Realms” is a possibility to play with the kids or as a quick game with friends. The project has already met its funding goal but every bit made beyond that will go to improve the game and add to its components. Check out the great artwork and game pieces on their project page.

 

Digital Stuff

Dreadline by Eerie Canal

$6,180 pledged of $167,000 goal, pledging ends on Thursday, January 31.

dreadDreadline bills itself as a game with something to offer everyone: a single-player, action RPG combo, with the potential to expand to multiplayer with enough funding. Oh, and it’s set on the RMS Titanic seconds before the ship hits its iceberg of destiny. And the player controls a set of unique monsters looking to kill and maim as many passengers as possible before the iceberg calamity part. How’s that rub you?

The Dreadline team, awesomely named Eerie Canal, claim to not use marketing experts of any type and are putting Dreadline together only with what feels good. This could go either way.

The game revolves around Ghost, a young boy who has been adopted by a group of supernatural monsters who also happen to have a time machine. I suppose that’s how they found themselves on the Titanic.

Lest you think that Dreadline is being put together by some rank amateurs, rest assured that Eerie Canal is indeed made up of PC game industry veterans who have worked on a number of very successful titles including Titan Quest, Bioshock, Rock Band, and Freedom Force. The game engine they have developed over the last year, named “shoe_gazer,” lends Dreadline an anime, comic book visual style, with an air of dark comedic menace. This engine currently supports multiple core PCs, networking, advanced physics, and 3D sound. Nine monsters are slated to be playable and the game is set to be divided into seven ‘calamities’ – great, historically significant disasters, which will make up the game’s campaigns/scenarios, like the sinking of the Titanic.

A fuller set of features is still in the works as the game is fleshed out, and there are tentative plans to port Dreadline to iOS and Mac if the PC project is successfully funded. Eerie Canal claim to know how to keep a unique project from disappearing into the ether, so if you are interested in a dark, horror-based game with a great sense of humor, Dreadline may be the creepy kid under the sheet that you are looking for.

 

Radio the Universe by 6e6e6e

$41,928 raised of $12,000 goal, funding ends Wednesday, January 23.

radioRadio the Universe is weird…I thought I would just come right out and say that at the get go. It has an eclectic, hand drawn art style like Dreadline and an odd storyline too. Similar in some ways to Planescape: Torment, Radio the Universe is set in a morbid, tomblike urban disaster area. The upside to this otherwise morbid-sounding setting is that it is a huge, open, explorable area that is set to be expandable after the game’s release.

The player’s protagonist is also upgradeable as the player advances through the story of Radio the Universe. The developers have taken their influence from older SNES platformer games like Legend of Zelda and have inserted a generous helping of shadow with inspiration from games like Symphony of the Night, Hotline Miami, and Dark Souls.

Response to Radio the Universe has been incredible and 6e6e6e have raised more than 300% of what was originally asked for. This guarantees a PC release and the extra money is being used to expand on the original plans, as well as possibly releasing a browser-based version for use on other platforms.

Radio the Universe has a definite angle: melancholy. It also has a dash of humor thrown in, but not in the same amount as Dreadline does. With financials not an issue, it will be interesting (to say the least) to see where Radio the Universe ends up…face down in a puddle of its own sick, or triumphantly bathing its face in some well-earned sunlight at the surface, finally free.

 

Limit Theory by Josh Parnell

$187,865 pledged of $50,000 initial goal, project funding has ended.

limitOK so far the entrants for Kickstarter PC games in this GARPA installment have been dark, melancholy and grim, much like my drive to work in the morning. But now let’s switch gears: its quitting time, I just left the office and I’m driving home. And it’s Friday, damn it.

Limit Theory takes place in the infinite wastes of outer space, so yes there is darkness there. But it is a 4x game (Xplore, Xpand, Xploit, Xterminate), with both RPG and RTS elements. Also included are space stations, carriers and docking bays, a ship editor, numerous NPC characters, playable factions, and Mac and Linux support. Things are looking up.

Want more? Ok. Limit Theory, contrary to its title, will be open-ended, endless…with your customizable in-game ship you can go anywhere in the universe. Players will even be able to land on planets, trade, explore, and of course fight. The interface promises to be intuitive and easy to learn, and controls are intended to work the same way as a shooter works. Perspective can also be set in either first or third person.

Beyond the initial, individual spacecraft, fleets are eventually open to the player as he advances. Once fleets are acquired, combat can be resolved in RTS style, with interaction with the entire universe available through trade, conquest and construction.

From the game’s plans, it sounds like Josh Parnell wants to create a game with the complexity found in MMO space games, but contained within the confines of a single player system. Encounter merchants, pirates, mercenaries, fleet commanders, and wingmen, or take on the role of one of those or other professions.

The AI of Limit Theory is promised to be advanced in support of all the features it is charged with bringing to life. And everything encountered in the game will be regenerated every time a new game is created, and every game of Limit Theory will be boundless.

As a developer, 20 year old Parnell is currently studying computer graphics and winning graphics rendering awards while building Limit Theory 40 hours a week and quoting Yoda. His influences include Freelancer, Morrowind, and Star Wars. And if you’re still curious as to why the game is named Limit Theory, check this out:

The philosophy of Limit Theory states that “anything and everything can be overcome with the right thought, the right idea, the right insight.” With a little luck, Josh Parnell may be able to do just that, even with the likes of Elite: Dangerous breathing down his neck.

***

And there we are. From Evil Hats to dark subterranean cities to open-ended galaxies and back again. Could you possibly ask for anything more from GARPA? Shut up, no you can’t.

 

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