The Tabletop Project: Ep1. Crossbows?!

Welcome one and all to ‘The Tabletop Project’. This is the first, and possibly last, episode of a new podcast from The Lost Lighthouse. Don’t worry your sweaty breeches, this will not replace or conflict with The (not)Weekly Rapture.

This is a new podcast hosted by Gary and some of his close tabletop gaming friends Chris Tomlin, Jan Proudley, Joe Hadfield and Aaron Bailey. We decided their was a gap in the market for a gaming podcast, as no one has done one of those right? Well I’ve never heard of another one. We will be discussing everything tabletop based and also going on many a tangent along the way.

This episode we introduce ourselves and talk about MCC, Warmachine and Hordes, Netrunner, Dropzone Commander and a few GW things. We have decided that from episode 2 we will have one ‘main’ subject, and few secondary ones.

Hope you enjoy the ‘cast and if you didn’t, please don’t stop listening to the normal transmission!


Download this episode (right click and save)

Gary.

Industry Spotlight: Katsuhiro Harada

Kii turns her keen eye to various members of the gaming industry

In this segment I will highlight people in the games industry that I feel people should give a shit about. It could be developers, artists, professional players and even Let’s Play hosts. Whatever strikes my fancy because I hold all the power (ha).

This month I would like to focus on Katsuhiro Harada, the head behind Tekken and Project Soul (Soulcalibur). The reason I like Harada so much is that he doesn’t take the piss like so many Triple A developers can do these days. The video games industry is at a turn which has put many developers on edge, with free-to-play games becoming giants they seek to cover lost revenue in different ways. Many have begun to favour more unsavoury means of doing this, for example paid on disc DLC (A huge peeve of mine, I’m looking at you Capcom) and pay-to-win multiplayer strategies. However, Harada is different and thus is a hero.

Harada has made it known that he doesn’t like the idea of DLC. When his games are released they are complete. The exception to this was Tekken Tag 2 which launched with a few characters still in development, Harada issued an apology for this and the characters were patched into the game entirely free at a later date. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t extra ways to make money out of Tekken but everything that you can give Harada your hard earned cash for isn’t necessary for a complete experience of the game. Using Tekken Tag 2 as an example, the pay for items were the character movies and music from every previous Tekken game and silly costume items for the playable characters. Costume packs for characters were also on sale as it’s purely a cosmetic choice if you would like Jin Kazama in a swimsuit (I do) and the fact that the Big Bikini Bundle wasn’t restricted to the female characters made this little feminist giddy with equality glee.

Harada seems to care about his fans and his characters and thus treats both with respect. There is a reason he climbed from an arcade promoter to director of two of Namco’s strongest franchises. He’s happy to have a bit of fun and has a good sense of humour which is easily seen in the ‘fights’ he had with Capcom’s Oda on the run up to the release of Street Fighter X Tekken. So, if you like beat ‘em ups I urge you to support Harada’s games as he’s a dude.

Kii

Would You Kindly Get Me Into the Gaming Industry? Chapter Three – First Section Completed

Our contributor Nathan continues his journey into games design.

So it’s been a while since I wrote an article on my progress, mainly because I’d been struggling to manage my time between work and the course and therefore I am a little bit behind. However I have managed to carry on regardless of being sent all over the country for work.

So how is the course going? Pretty well actually. Still passing the tests which is awesome and I’ve started learning about the different types of software I may encounter during my time as a producer. The ones they are focusing on the most are the management applications where I keep everything under wraps such as sound files, graphics, storyboards and any other documents I may need (I should know this).

So after learning about all the software I needed, it was time for the big test. This was the first section test of the course. 1 hour, 100 questions and a 80% pass mark. I sat down and went for it. Sweating, shaking and a lot of swearing, I finished and I received my result a few days later. 82%, only just, but still I can take that as a pass. Its like getting a first or an A so win.

However there is a concern at the moment. There are certain areas in the course material entitled Self Marked Assessments (SMAs) where you answer question about the material and these aren’t marked but I give them a try anyway, but there seems to be a serious lack of coursework so far. Literally nothing, I thought I was building a portfolio.

So instead of sitting here moaning about it, I decided to be proactive and create a story bible for a game idea I’ve had for a while. So far I have the genre, the main character, the premise and the setting. Everything else will come in due course, but it’s great to get some ideas down. I won’t divulge too much, but will mention some bits as I continue to write the articles. So here is my first little taster: Genre – Survival Horror.

 

Nath

Tale Of One Gamer: Week Five

Welcome back my lovelys. Hope you haven’t missed this article. I bet you’ve been gagging for another painting fix! No? Well, you’re getting it anyway.

So this week I’ve been painting a Spellsinger. He’s not actually a Games Workshop model, he is in fact a Privateer Press model. He’s for a faction in Hordes and his title in that is Lord of the Feast. I’ve loved this model for a long time and have always wanted to use it. He seemed perfect for my disgraced Wood Elf force. He is normally modelled with a raven but I’ve changed it to an owl, because you know, owls are boss!

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The one thing I didn’t realise is he’s got a severed arm in his bag. I guess we now know why he’s been expelled from his original group. Maybe he was using magics that were forbidden.

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I’ve also been putting together Durthu. He’s a special character for the Wood Elves. I’m not sure how he’s fitting in with the fluff but I’ll think of something.

Hopefully next week we will have him paired up for your view pleasure.

Byyyyeee!

Gary.

The Tale Of One Gamer: Week Four

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Well it happened. I failed the third week. Not by much but enough to kick me in the nuts for this week! The Dryads were always going to be the ones that did it. 18 of them didn’t help. But I’m glad I decided not too rush them as I’m very happy with the end result.

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This was the unit that was going to push the colour scheme I chose. If it was going to work on these then I was sure it would work well as an army. I think it has! The scheme itself is more simple than it looks. I also love the way the foliage looks on the bases. Those pinks and purples look so nice. Once again the cork was a star!

Next week I have a spell singer and the big bad Durthu to paint. Fingers crossed I can make the blend work on him!

The Lost Lighthouse Reviews: Arctic Scavengers

What a beautiful week of weather we’ve had. What’s that? It’s snowing. Oh, I’m sure it will pass. Ok it’s been 4 months and it’s still coming down out there. It’s cool I’m sure everyone will keep calm. Ok, well someone just hit me with a shovel to get the last of the tinned peaches in the supermarket. I might need to hire some thugs to protect me. If only I had 6 food or medicine!

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So, what the hell am I going on about? Arctic Scavengers of course. A deck builder for 2-5 by Robert Kyle Gabhart and recently re-published by Rio Grande Games. You may be forgiven for waking past this game in your local store. The box is a little bland and bleak, but what it holds will have you accepting thugs and mercenaries with open arms, while leaving helpless refugees freezing to death in the arctic tundra for hours on end. Now I don’t mean this is a long game, the box suggests 45-60 mins,I think the first game will set you back a bit longer but overall I agree with the box. What I mean is you’ll want to play it over and over!

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The basic premise of the game is that you’re a tribes leader in 2097 during the next ice age. You all have an identical starting deck of a few scavengers, a brawler, a shovel, a spear and a wad of useless refugees. You have 3 phases. First off is the draw phase, where you discard your current hand and draw back up to 5. Then you have the resource gathering phase. This is where you look at your hand and decide what you’re going to send your crew to do, will you send your scavenger into the junk deck to dig out some useful medkits or pills, but he might end up with just junk. Maybe it’s best to save him for the skirmish, but he doesn’t have a weapon! Ok, well I’m going to send two of them out to hunt so I can hire another brawler. You’ve always got to be looking a few steps ahead. Last off, and my favourite concept in the game, is phase 3, the skirmish! Any cards you have left over from phase 2 you commit to the skirmish. Nearly every card has a fight value, except refugees. Who ever has the highest overall fight value gets the top card from the contested resource deck which holds gems that might win you the game like tribes families and wolf packs! Fucking wolf packs bro! After all the contested resources have been won, the game is over and you add up the amount of tribes people you have in the deck, the one with the most wins.

The basic game is good fun the game doesn’t stop giving there, oh no! The box itself holds HQ expansion which consists of 4 extra modules. I love games that seamlessly bolts on new features as you go. It’s make them easy to teach new players, then add the modules and you’ve made it more tactful for veteran scavengers.

I think this has become my go-to deck builder. Theme and mechanics flow effortlessly into a great game. Go get it or you’ll be left out in the cold! Sorry

Gary.

The Xbox One – Fancy Gimmick or the Next-Generation Console?

Nathan got an Xbox One. Here is his review. It includes a review of Dead Rising 3. Review-ception.

OK I know the Xbox One has been out for a while, but I thought it was time for a review as I’ve had it for about a week now I thought I’d better share my views on it. Luckily I don’t have to bring money into the equation as I won the Xbox in a competition (go me), so no need to worry if I wasted the money or not. So let’s get cracking!

So I immediately unpacked everything, console, controller and Kinect, and set it all up. I turned it on for the first time and had to the initial configuration and that was a ballache, but I guess it was to be expected. It failed to find my profile so had to create a dummy one and try again later so that was ballache the first.

The next step was to sort out the Kinect and learn about voice commands and motion control. This was ballache the second and third. The voice commands are good, but there are still issues with it. This maybe because I talk like a simpleton. However, after a recent update there has been some improvements so it’s not too bad.

The motion control isn’t so great. In fact its pretty terrible. They’ve ballsed up quite a bit here. It’s very clunky. I followed the tutorial and got through it fine, but I haven’t used it since. The scrolling doesn’t work properly, the selecting of apps and games is awful, using your hands to zoom and rotate objects also needs work.

So far not so good, however I thought I’d give one of the games a go so the first one I put in was Dead Rising 3. I’m a massive fan of the Dead Rising series, the games are simple and fun and you get to kill zombies. So I put the disc in and it had to wait until it installed. Needless to say this annoyed me a bit, but I guess I couldn’t do anything about it.

So as you can see, the game is pretty similar to its predecessors. You can customise weapons, kill scores of zombies and defeat bosses to gain awesome weapons. So what have they done to make it better? Well the graphics are pretty good for starters, the controls are more improved and there are a lot more weapons, weapon combinations and costumes to try on. Story is still pretty basic, but its OK. However, the biggest improvement has to be the use of vehicles in the game. Not a lot to choose from, mainly cars, but there are some gems like fork lift trucks and steamrollers. Oh there’s another bit too: you can customise vehicles.

Now that is a steamroller motorcycle hybrid. Need I say more. This pretty much sold me straight away once I saw it. I am yet to find more hybrids and other weapon customisations but they are pretty epic: sledgehammer twinned with batteries, teddy bears with light machine guns and machetes with chainsaws (somehow when you combine one machete and one chainsaw you get 2 mini chainsaws). I’ll give it 7 decaptated heads out of 10.

The Xbox One I’ll give 5 moving hands out of 10. At the moment it is just a gimmick, but I guess there hasn’t been anything developed to really utilise the graphics and the Kinect properly yet. Also I imagine there will be improvements coming up too, one I would suggest is proper voice recognition. It is a real ballache playing a video game and then your housemates come in and shout “Xbox Turn Off” and then it shuts down. Fucking bastards.

Nath

Tale Of One Gamer: Week 3

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Gary presents his progress on his new Wood Elves army.

So, thanks for joining me again. I won’t take up to much of your time I promise. This week I’ve been making progress on my Rangers. These are the first 10 of a 20 strong unit. In game they are not “optimal” but any pros will soon be able to tell that my list is not optimal in any way!

The two reasons I choose this unit are a) they look shit hot and b) their fluff. The are basically border patrol for the Wildwood, an area of the Wood Elf kingdom where the evil forest spirits are imprisoned by magical waystones. I thought this fit in well with the fact that most of my army comprises of forest spirits.

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For painting I decided to use the same greyish blue I used as my Treemans bark as the cloaks colour. The skin turned out a bit darker than I wanted but I’m still happy with it.

This week I’ll be attempting to paint 16 Dryads! Fingers crossed.

Tale Of One Gamer: Week 2

 

So the first week has been a success! I have a finished Treeman! First unit complete and within time.

The scheme hasn’t quite come out how I anticipated but I’m very happy with the result. Our very own Kii has asked me to do a painting guide which I will do for the next one. I’ll include step by step photos and everything!

The base was the first time I’ve used cork and I bloody love it. I’d highly suggest using it if you don’t already. His base is probably the best I’ve made, ever! Again I’ll do a step by step for the next Treeman.

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I’d say the hardest part was deciding the different colours. All my armies have a linked colour that runs through the entirety. For my Orks it was blue. Some would have blue goggles, my battle wagon had blue banners etc. I think this really pulls an army together when it’s on the board. For the Wood Elves it’s going to be red. The Treeman has red leaves, which he will have in common with the dryads. My Rangers are going to have red scarves and gems. Let’s hope it will work! I guess we’ll find out next week.

Gary

 

 

Kii3: An E3 Round Up

Kii brings us her round up of last week’s E3 expo!

So, the huge event of the summer is here. I am, of course talking about E3 and not the other thing with the kicking. There is an awful lot to cover and people will obviously look into the areas that they care about most; however, I’m going to sum up the conferences and announcements that were my favourites or that I feel need mentioning. Compared to last year the only conference that stayed steady was Ubisoft, everyone else has fluctuated from massive improvement to down right ‘Why did you guys turn up?’

  • Ubisoft:

Ubi have had a very strong conference every year since they picked up Aisha Tyler as a show host. Most of their on stage team don’t read from autocue and appear to be genuinely passionate about what they’re doing.

  • Sony:

Sony… What? The brotherly spats between Sony and Microsoft have always irked me as in my opinion; the joys of your company should speak loud enough without having to shit on your competitors during press conferences in the hopes of gaining more sales. Last year, Sony were not quiet about how little Microsoft talked about games compared to the other entertainment functions of the Xbox One. But this year they have a conference that is almost exactly that, very little time given to games and the game announcements they made were either not Sony exclusives or timed exclusives at best. Disappointing.

  • Microsoft:

Actually talked about games! And quite a variety of them! I was impressed by the range of genres covered in the MS conference instead of just shooty, shooty, halo halo. Also there was Halo. I’m not enthralled by the Super Master Chief Boner Collection but I would rather they do that instead of releasing an anniversary edition of every friggin game before releasing Halo 5. Some of the speakers for games were clearly on their first day out of the office and I really want to find a video of the guy turning WAY before camera cues to some sweet techno.

  • Nintendo:

Mother. Fucking. Zelda. Reddit has already exploded with conspiracy theories. Nintendo really showed up in comparison to last year. I feel like they’ve found their legs as a company now that they’ve realised that the gaming market has changed significantly since they started out. They made a bunch of great game announcements, specifically ones that people really care about and really wanted to see, though there were a couple of announcements that maybe should have been made in the main Nintendo direct instead of in their ‘Tree house’ event afterwards. A new Starfox game being mentioned off-hand took the entire audience by surprise.

  • EA:

EA seemed to forget it was E3? It’s like they flipped the calendar and suddenly went ‘SHIT!’ Barely anything they showed was beyond concept art including an announcement of Bioware’s new IP which seemed to be ‘Hey look, we rendered a tree’. If you’re going to tease, give me a teaser, if you’re going to announce, make a proper announcement. What was delivered instead just felt unprepared.

 

And now, what we really care about: VIDJA GAMES.

 

  • Scalebound:

DMC meets How to Train your Dragon. Sassy Punk kid with Dragon BFF fighting giant monsters. Oh, he can also ‘Flame on’ with matching dragon scale armour at will. It looks pretty, looks fun, seems to have a good sense of humour and also hints at multiple dragon classes and Co-Op/Multiplayer. My friend Timber literally threw his wallet at my TV.

  • Assassins Creed Unity:

It’s in France, looks fluid and you can have some good times with your chums in four-player co-op. The new Assassin sounds pretty good though the controversy of how much work it would have been to render some playable ‘Wimens’ I think they’re called, is tainting it a bit for me. Personally, it’s the first time I’ve cared for AC since Ezio’s introduction game but Ubi, don’t tell me that you can’t even be bothered to reuse your female multiplayer model to make one of the four assassins a Lady-face. Though they would probably give her Assassin garb a Boob Window.

  • Shape up:

Fitness disguised as a game is the right amount of psychological manipulation and competitiveness to trick me into doing cardio. It looks hilarious with things such as graphics of heavier and heavier items being put onto your back during a push-up challenge and a DDR cardio work out.

  • Sunset overdrive:

The humour of Saints Row, numerous ways of killing people of dead rising and the fluidity of movement of a Tony Hawk with some kick ass tunes. I was flagging on Sunset Overdrive due to it not being released after being announced at 2013 E3, however, the development team arrived in costume on a giant bus with a zombie/mutant on the fender. Yes. It’s bright, colourful and has comic book-esque POW, OUCH and BOOM graphics. Yes. Yes. Yes.

  • Amiibos:

Nintendo are very good at manipulating our addictive personalities hence why Pokemon has been going for so many years. Nintendo’s new idea is Amiibo, which are small models (similar to Skylanders) that you can add into various Nintendo games. Your little Amiibo is an A.I that you train yourself and thus even if you and your friend have the same one, they will fight completely differently. Oh yeah, you can make them fight each other and your friends. You can also fight them yourself by popping them into Super Smash Bros which is meant to provide a harder challenge than the Wii-U A.I. Essentially, you have your own friggin pokemon. A POKEMON THAT CAN LOOK LIKE LINK. I’M CALLING MINE WIGGLES.

Kii