Saturday, 25 August 2012


I rarely get the chance to play a board game these days, but have very fond memories of doing so in times gone past and would love to find a way to play more again. I enjoy the mechanics and oddities of a good game and the social aspect of getting together with friends.

One of the cool things coming out of Geek & Sundry is a little show hosted by Wil Weaton where they play a board game with other cool folk and with some nice editing and graphics we are treated to the fun of TableTop!

There are a host of episodes up already and all of them are great fun to watch, seeing classics like Settlers of Catan and Ticket to Ride and Munchkin are cool, plus others I hadnt heard of like Gloom and Elder Sign. Here are a few embeded, but go to the site to see all of them plus heaps of behind the scenes goodies.

Friday, 24 August 2012

The Vying of the MMOs

While there is something nice about a game with some quick and simple gameplay with friends be it the coop mass zombie slaying of Left 4 Dead 2 or the strategy of Starcraft 2. But ever since Everquest came into being the MMO for me has created a gaming paradigm in which activity and gametime delivered all the fun while also an ongoing purpose and a common evolving persistent world that we could all relate to and talk about. The genre has evolved slowly as each new title emerged, slowly because of the huge development times required to create games of this type, catering to so many players and so many play-styles.

I am exploring what The Secret World has to offer at the moment and even though the setting is different, the mechanics are another slight evolution is some respects with other elements unchanged. Anyhow, this post is a little bit of a grab-bad of videos that explore some of the current offerings and the games that are almost here that are all vying for their slice of this market.

So here are 2 or 3 vids each from the MMOs that have something interesting, or something tempting, that might lure me and friends into their murky depths.

The Secret World
I am already in here, but there is a great deal more to explore this alternate world

Guild Wars 2
Some intriguing ideas and good execution = look so so cool.

Planetside 2
The return of the persistent FPSMMO 

Star Wars The Old Republic
As each update comes and the F2P - more tempting all the time

Mechwarrior Online
The possibilities here are very high - perfect logic for an MMO (esp with CE3)

Star Trek Online
Was playing, so many good things in space and on away missions

World of Warcraft
The mothership, Blizzard with their expansion = class leading.

Other's that are almost on this list: DayZ, City of Heroes, EQ2, LOTRO and more besides.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Moths Butterflies and Doodles

Whenever I have my little A5 sketchpad out (daily if possible at least briefly) doodles and concept thinking abound. Over the last few years there have been so many drawings of Moth and Butterfly characters or their architecture and equipment. This latest little compilation is no different, all scanned from the book with ballpoint pen or pencil as the weapons of choice. Some specific things to look out for here are a few more ideas for Butterfly warrior maiden helmets, eyes, wings and silhouettes.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

SuckerPUNCH site

Once in a while it is nice to feature a site and here is one that is chock full of interesting things SuckerPUNCH is all about design with a focus on techy digital generative artistic forms and concepts. I like the little statement of intent on their site - kinda describes what they are all about:

when was the last time you got punched by design? we are inundated by images everyday which wear us down with their hopeless nostalgia repackaged as new. weary of quirk and whimsy but still in need of a laugh and a stiff drink, we need to confront that which claims to be contemporary in an attempt to define the present. there are no more kings. we are looking to get knocked in the teeth a bit by the unexpected, the beautiful, and the present.

Anyhow, there is much to see there, maybe these images will lure you there and then on into the wider interweb...

[Images from articles on the SuckerPUNCH site] 

Monday, 20 August 2012

Pandaria Cinematic Goodness

If there is one thing we can rely on is Blizzard to pull out a luscious, engaging and expertly crafted cinematic trailer. With the Mists of Pandaria looming large on the horizon, their new cinematic is just gorgeous and really accentuates the Kung Fu Panda origins of the expansion as well as the very playful style that the World of Warcraft owns in this MMO space.

The CG work here is first rate, with beautiful visuals and some very classy animation that holds up in big bold full screen with character fully consuming the frame. Games.Softpedia have a suite of screengrabs for us that show off the detail they pack into every frame gorgeous work.

[Screenshots of the Mists of Pandaria cinematic via Games.Softpedia]

Sunday, 19 August 2012

The Lorax

One of my favourite movies is the stunning realisation of the imagined worlds of Dr Seuss' Horton Hears a Who. So when the Despicable Me gang took on The Lorax - we were destined to have something nifty emerge. While this lovely little film may not live up to the lofty heights of these ancestors there is plenty to like and it certainly carries its message with grace.

The ability to bring the zany worlds of Dr Seuss to life with 3D CG films like this is beautiful, the wonky architecture, the odd proportions and all the fur and fluffybits. Combine that with the animation and sound that goes well beyond where the illustrations left off and we are fully transported into this world to ride the emotions and the meaning behind the poetic words.

[The Lorax imagery via the official site]

Apart from the main message about our environment and rampant consumerism, there are other threads here that are quite clever. I like the Gran character, showing how cool and wily a grandparent can be (esp with Betty White voicing here).

Have a look at these few pieces of Craig Elliot concept art for the film, beautifully capturing some of the original art essence while expanding and filling in the detail - love the buildings.

[The Lorax concept art by Craig Elliot via his site]

Oh and I want one of Ted's one wheeler scooter motorbike thingoes...