Weekend Gaming Goodness

Hey Super Gamers! I hope everyone had as game-filled a weekend as I did.

Yeah, it’s Wednesday. This is really more of a Monday post, isn’t it? Oh well.

I went back to the old country, Winnipeg, over the weekend for two very important reasons: Retro Gamers Unite 2 and a Simpsons trivia game at a place called The Handsome Daughter.

I hadn’t even heard of RGU2 until Thursday or Friday last week. I had actually just agreed to a golf game with some friends for Saturday when I came across the event and had to say TOO BAD, FRIENDS! VIDEO GAMES!

I had planned on spending the day at RGU2 but it was not to be. I actually only got to be there for about an hour, but it was a heckuva set up. Lots of people, lots of game stations, and massive tournaments.

I spoke to one of the organizers, Kyle Rudge, who I’m hoping to soon have on the pod for a longer interview. In the meantime, here’s the short chat we had about RGU2:

By the way (assuming you listened to that interview. Which you should. Come on.), I did try that Mario Lost Levels One Life Challenge and I failed miserably! I died in the second level.

In other, albeit related, news: this old, damaged iPhone ain’t cuttin’ it anymore. I need a camera.

Massive tournament!

Massive tournament!

Prizes!

This is the guy the winning team sent to the lightning round. In Rod We Trust!

The Simpsons trivia tournament was, as many predicted it would be, perfectly cromulent.

The questions were tough, the players were nerds. I went into that tournament all but certain we’d win; we placed fourth.

I am an early Simpsons nut and the questions were all from seasons three to ten. How could I fail? I’ll tell you how: questions like What is the name of the gun store from which Homer buys his gun?

Fourth. Shameful.

Really though, my friends and I had a blast. The host was dressed as Otto and the prize for winning was an inanimate carbon rod.

Our team name? Worker and Parasite.

Super Gamer Ep. 43 – The Punkest Man In Haiku

Jason Anarchy, creator of Drinking Quest, returns to talk about his latest game: Haiku Warrior!

We talk haiku, we talk warrior, we even talk punk rock.

Download link – Episode 43 (Jason Anarchy)

Haiku Warrior on Kickstarter – https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/drinkingquest/haiku-warrior

Follow Jason Anarchy on Twitter

Super Gamer Ep. 42 – Choo Choo! Train Jammin’

Trains are great. Games are great. Put them together and you get Train Jam, which sounds great!

This episode features gamedev Adriel Wallick, organizer of Train Jam. We talk about the event, as well as Adriel’s attempt to make one game a week for 52 weeks.

Download link – Episode 42 (Adriel Wallick)

Follow Adriel Wallick on Twitter.

Adriel Wallick’s website – http://adrielwallick.com/

Train Jam’s website – http://trainjam.com/

Super Gamer Ep. 41 – Red Cobra

Red Cobra! The game title cool enough I made it the name of the episode. I mean, who doesn’t want to learn more about something called Red Cobra?

This episode features Ajari and Colleen Wilson of Adversary Games; we talk about Red Cobra, Indie Teamup, and more!

Download link – Episode 41 (Adversary Games)

Follow Colleen Wilson on Twitter.

Adversary Games’ website – http://www.adversarygames.com/

Welcome to my humble abode.

Hey Super Gamers! Here are some pictures of the Minecraft server I play on with two friends, Gibbertron and JudoJord. Let me show you around…

Let's start with my base. Here's the outside of the lower half.

Let’s start with my base. Here’s the outside of the lower half.

My base began under a waterfall. Boring picture.

My base began under a waterfall. Boring picture.

My room. It's cozy.

My room. It’s cozy.

The study.  Where I come to plot and brood.

The study. Where I come to plot and brood.

My (now abandoned) mine.

My (now abandoned) mine.

Found this fella trespassin'. Had to lock him up.

Found this fella trespassin’. Had to lock him up.

The top of my base. The garden.

The top of my base. The garden.

My horse. He keeps breaking free from his leash.

My horse. He keeps breaking free from his leash.

 

 

 

 

...

Someone's building a new home in our old base.

Someone’s building a new home in our old base.

Gibbertron and I posed for a photo.

Gibbertron and I posed for a photo.

Gibbertron's chicken-spawner-killer-cooker.

Gibbertron’s chicken-spawner-killer-cooker.

Gibbertron's tavern

Gibbertron’s tavern

We built a portal room in the Nether. There's a cow.

We built a portal room in the Nether. There’s a cow.

A rail line connecting our Nether portals.

A rail line connecting our Nether portals.

The rail station.

The rail station.

The treehouse interior.

The treehouse interior.

Super Gamer Ep. 39 – Sports! …Virtual!

In the immortal words of Homer: Sports! Sports! Sports! Sports! Sports! Sports! Sports! Sports!

This episode features Robert Jeffrey and Garth Coutu of Winnipeg’s RP Fantasy Sports. They’re a sports games fantasy league. They’re just starting up and looking to expand.

Plus, Mark talks about his new PS4, Civ: Beyond Earth, and games you can finish but still lose.

Download link – Episode 39 (RP Fantasy Sports)

Follow @RPfantasysports on Twitter.

Evil Brother Breaks Other Brother’s Brain With CSGO Prank

A brilliant prank played on Twitch streamer Kyente (friend of the show – see here) is getting the attention it deserves.

Trel (also a friend of the show – see here), Kyente’s brother, is about as good as I am at CSGO — which is to say, not at all. For Kyente’s birthday stream, Trel enlisted the help of professional CSGO player DUM0RE. With DUM0RE on the mouse and Trel on the mic, Kyente was left wondering how his brother got so good, so fast.

Everything about this video is fantastic and it’s already close to half a million views. Conflagrations, lads!

Advice From A Dungeon Master

Dungeons and Dragons is not a video game. Well, it is. They’ve made lots of them.

But tabletop D&D is not a video game and fledgling dungeon masters would do well to remember that.

Video games have influenced my understanding of storytelling more than any other media. Levels and worlds. Boss battles. Loot. Starting areas and world maps. Mini-games. This is how I think when I write a D&D campaign. For the most part, it’s a good system. There’s obviously a ton of overlap.

Whoa.

Whoa.

The problem is player agency. Choice.

The illusion of choice is an old discussion among gaming nerds. No matter how robust and intricate, a game can only allow you so many options. No matter what you choose, you’re following a path laid out by the developers. Bioshock made fun of this. So did one of the Metal Gear Solid games.

A dungeon master tries to guide his or her players by offering that same false agency, but it doesn’t always work out.

People are unpredictable. Frustratingly so. I’ve written pages and pages, scenario after scenario, thinking no matter what my players choose I’ll have a plan to lead them to the goal. But my players surprise me. Every time I offer them an option A and an option B they choose C. Hours of work on an NPC or an encounter scrapped with one unexpected move.

The players run the show. You can tell them all about a magic spear that will unite the planet and end all suffering; if they don’t want to find it, they don’t have to. If the players want to pick berries all day, they can!

Of course, it’s a give-and-take between the players and the DM. Sometimes you just have to hope the players pick up on what you’re doing and are willing to play along. But what’s an obvious choice to you isn’t necessarily an obvious (or even a sensible) choice to the players.

So my point is: don’t waste your time writing every detail of every encounter you think will happen. Lay out some major plot points — some checkpoints you will get the players to come Hell or high water — and then just know your world. Know the culture, know the geography, know the people. Be ready for whatever your players can throw at you. Do the research and prep work that will help your improv.

One more thing: I recently downloaded Twine to try my hand at games writing. I’ve found it to be the best darned organizational tool out there for writing D&D campaigns. I highly recommend it.