It’s August, when I normally do TTRPG videos, so now is a good time for another one of those – in this case talking about a few of the things have that caused me (and my GM) to bounce off of Forged in the Dark & Powered by the Apocalypse games in the past, which you should consider if you want to move from your Dungeons & Dragons game to one of those systems (especially if your group has primarily played D&D).Continue reading
I have a video this week recorded the day it was announced that the Crunchyroll/Funimation merger had been finalized. I give my thoughts on the merger, and a couple different directions it could go.Continue reading
Note – This video was originally done as an intended test to see how well my recording and editing software on my computer handled upscaling to 4K, as a lead-in for subsequent video game reviews and capture. After the render times for this video at 4K ended up taking too long, I decided to go forward with the video anyway at a 1080p render.
I give my thoughts on the really stupid Pokemon Card Bubble, and how this garbage is serving as a barrier for younger, casual players who could be serious participants in the hobby.Continue reading
2020 is the year where Virtual Conventions very much became a big thing, and I give my thoughts based on my experiences as an attendee, and from what I’ve heard from people hosting panels. Hopefully we’ll be able to all meet in person in 2021.Continue reading
In the past I have reviewed several works from creators who are problematic, whether having previously committed sexual assault (David Eddings), or who have said very racist things and have endorsed genocide by a totalitarian dictatorship (Cixin Liu and the Chinese government’s oppression of Uyghurs), so it’s time for me to have something of a discussion of what goes into decisions of what I’m reviewing going forward, and my policies for reviewing works from problematic creators.
Also, for the record, Trans Rights are Human Rights. Black Lives Matter.Continue reading
I have some thoughts on the rumors (and outright stated plans) for Sony and Microsoft’s new pieces of hardware in 2019 – and why they should really slow their roll.
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In 2018, a handful of my Anime Holy Grails getting licensed and released. It’s time to replenish the list.
When I read an analysis of a work of fiction – and the person doing that analysis looks at the world presented in this fiction, sees how it’s fleshed out, and because it’s fleshed out goes “This would be better/best as a video game!” I become kind of frustrated. In particular, I become frustrated because it would also work just as well for a tabletop RPG setting. A great example of this is the below installment of the “Mother’s Basement” video series, where host Geoff Thew discusses the narrative and worldbuilding of the excellent recent anime Made in Abyss, and determines that as good as it is, because of that worldbuilding it would be better as a video game:
My frustration isn’t because the opinion is objectively wrong, or because video games are somehow inferior as an medium. It’s frustrating because there’s this mindset I feel in video game fandom circles that tabletop RPGs don’t exist. They’re the thing that people used to day back before MMORPGs, and now nobody plays them anymore. I don’t mean “nobody” in the sense of nobody of consequence – that tabletop RPGs are viewed with the contempt that was/is shown to LARPers in geek circles. I mean that they just don’t exist – that the person who plays RPGs is like the Tasmanian Tiger, who occasionally emerges from the bush, and then runs back into hiding.
Even the gaming news sources that do talk about RPGs tend to focus on certain more niche sides of things. Austin Walker of Waypoint is way into the narrativist Indie game side of things (which is fine – I don’t believe in bad-wrong-fun). It’s also frustrating because there’s so much more to RPGs than that, and most game sites are only willing to do one of three takes.
- RPGs don’t exist anymore. People played them when I was in college, but nowadays tabletop RPGs don’t exist.
- The only tabletop RPG ever is Dungeons & Dragons. There was Shadowrun and Vampire once upon a time (and I know about those because of their video games), but they no longer exist. This isn’t helped by some forces within the game industry (like the new shepherds of White Wolf and the World of Darkness – and old White Wolf too for that matter)
- Dungeons & Dragons exists, but we’re only going to talk about more artistically minded small press RPGs, like some of the Powered by Apocalypse World games or Dogs in the Vineyard.
Quick note about #3: There is anything wrong in these games – it’s just that there’s an excluded middle – there are games that have gotten visibility among tabletop RPG fans, but nobody outside of that circle knows about that are worth discussing and considering – from Runequest, to 7th Sea, to Savage Worlds.
Anyway, my frustration is born out of the fact that these omissions very much come out of ignorance, whether because the people who made these statements have never had the opportunity to play an RPG, or their experience was a bad time at one game, and they dismissed the medium entirely.
I’ve tried to push back against this through videos of my own, giving recommendations based on existing video games and RPGs that are in print, but my audience is small, and there’s only so much I can do by myself, much as I love tilting at windmills. This also isn’t helped by the fact that, for very valid and understandable economic reasons, much of tabletop RPG publication is done online through PDFs instead of through brick and mortar stores, and any connection between big box booksellers and tabletop RPG publishers (in terms of trying to get their books there) is a thing of the past.
What this does mean is that tabletop RPG publishers need to take some cues from Wizards of the Coast (and then some) when it comes to promoting your stuff. There are a ton of livestreams on Twitch and videos on YouTube through the Dungeons & Dragons and Geek & Sundry YouTube channels showing people playing D&D.
Chaosium, Green Ronin, and other tabletop RPG publishers should be doing something similar for their own systems. Get people to stream Call of Cthulhu, Runequest, Blue Rose, and other games. This not only shows people having fun playing the game, but it also shows people who have never played an RPG before how to play the game.
Additionally, and this is a little thing, but whenever a new Bundle of Holding comes out, the new bundle should get tweeted at @Wario64 (or someone similar), to signal boost the bundle.
Finally, the tabletop RPG industry is kinda in a Crab bucket situation. Tabletop RPGs are surviving and enduring, and as long as the books exist it won’t go anywhere, but unless there’s growth in the player base, there’s no room for growth in the industry – especially for people to make money at this full time, for companies to hire the kind of staff that’s necessary to help maintain a necessary level of professionalism (HR departments and publicists to prevent stupid crap like what happened recently with Bill Webb of Frog God Games and TSR Alum Frank Mentzer.) To do that, the industry needs to stop this stupid undermining bullshit. Politely discourage fans on your boards from slagging and actively attacking other companies games (at least professionally published games – they can slag FATAL all they want), and don’t do that yourself. If we work together, we can get out. If we promote a culture of undermining and slagging each other, we promote the perception that all our games are crap, and not worth people’s time, attention, and money.
So, in short:
- Show people having fun playing your game.
- Use avenues people are already watching to look for game deals, to showcase deals for *your* game.
- Don’t run down other publishers – promote how you’re different, instead of “They suck, we’re better!”
I need to complain a little bit about the design and manufacturing of 4K TVs. Continue reading
Two months after my #WTFU Video, I give my thoughts on recent (as of 4/30/2016) developments on the YouTube-Fair Use front, and further actions to be taken to improve the state of Fair Use online. Continue reading
This week I’ve got an editorial for you all, thanks to the embarassment of news riches that were worth ranting about. First I have a discussion on the reveal that “Mega Man” would appear in Street Fighter X Tekken, and then I have a discussion about the Used Game Debate, and whether the Occupy movement should get involved. (Hint: The answer is yes.)
So, I’ve been doing my “Where I Read” posts for a little over a month now – now for a brief review to go over a few things we’ve learned about the evolution of this magnificent (heh) hobby we call gaming, from the various magazines I’ve read. I’ll be be doing similar installments every few months, as the series (plural) go on.
As for now, here’s the first 3 things we’ve learned.