Game Design

Review Roundup

Tabletop Gaming News - 9 September 2017 - 11:00am
Let’s see if the system decides to eat this one or not. Anyway, it’s Saturday, and that means I’m happy. I’ve been doing various domestic things this morning in order to be ready for when a friend comes over for some gaming (Guild Ball and Ascension are the most-likely games to be played). The other […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wyrd Previews The Dreadnaught For The Other Side

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 3:01pm
Friday afternoon is here. And as we get ready for the glory that is the weekend, we’ve got one more story for you today. We would be remiss to not give you your regular Friday The Other Side preview, complements of Wyrd. This time around, it’s the Dreadnaught, titan of the Abyssinian army. From the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Game Nite Magazine Issue 17 Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 3:00pm
As we head into the weekend, there’s the potential for a lot of waiting around. You might be going in a car somewhere. Or waiting for friends at the LGS. Or waiting for the BBQ to be ready. With that spare time, you can partake in a gaming magazine. For example, Game Nite Magazine has […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Gen Con 50 Survey Open Now

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 2:00pm
Would you like to take a survey? Did you go to Gen Con 50? Did you eat beans at Gen Con 50? Would you go to a convention with George Wendt? Would you go to a bean-eating convention with George Wendt? If you answered “yes” to at least that first question, Gen Con would love […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

AEG Previews September Releases

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 1:00pm
Alderac Entertainment Group (or AEG, to their friends) has several new releases they’ll be bringing to store shelves this month. If you’re a fan of cats, or smashing things together, or pirates, you’ll be happy to see what’s coming. Yeah, it’s a bit of everything. But what else would you expect from them? From the […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Corvus Belli Previews Characters From Aristeia

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 12:00pm
Aristeia! is Corvus Belli’s venture into the world of fantasy sports. We’ll be first introduced to this through their starter box. In this preview, take a look at the characters that’ll be coming in said box and check out their various stats and special abilities. From the preview: As weeks go by, Aristeia! gets closer […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Friday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 11:00am
Well, the short week that seemed surprisingly long has come to an end. We’re about to make our way back to the weekend. Considering the various things hitting Netflix this past week, I’m guessing a lot of my weekend will involve binging some shows like MLP and Bojack Horseman. But there will still be some […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Submit your pitch for a great GDC 2018 Community Management talk!

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 8 September 2017 - 10:05am

Submit your talk pitches for next year's GDC Community Management Summit, which presents sessions and panels aimed at giving community management pros room to share knowledge and hone their craft. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wizard Duel Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 10:00am
I’m sure a decent portion of you out there wish you could have wizard duels like they do in Harry Potter. Two opponents, wands in hand, look to cast spells at their opponents in order to knock them out of the fight. Well, up until now, you really couldn’t do that in real life. Wizard […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wyrd’s Iron Painter Competition Happening Now

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 9:00am
Most painting competitions out there have you paint up a single piece and submit it as your entry. Wyrd’s Iron Painter is like that… kinda, except for the fact that you’re doing that multiple times in a row, each time with a new piece that has to be better than the last one if you […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Whitehall Mystery Now Available From Fantasy Flight Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 8:00am
Murder is afoot! Jack the Ripper has once again started his slayings. The most notorious serial killer London has ever known is loose. It’s up to the investigators to track him down and bring him to justice. That’s just what you’ll be doing in Whitehall Mystery, the new board game available now from Fantasy Flight […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Steamforged Previews All Guild Identity Cards

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 7:00am
Guild Identity cards give coaches in Guild Ball a new way to customize their team. Each Guild is starting out with 3 different Identities they can choose from, each one giving you a universal ability, from getting you more kicking distance to offering new ways to get VPs and just about anything in-between. We’d seen […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

5 reasons why kids need to learn visual programming - by Alex Sarrazin Blogs - 8 September 2017 - 6:40am
This article is written by Crazy Dreamz, a sandbox platformer where people can learn visual coding on a platformer game. They can also share their world online and enjoy new experiences from other people.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Lessons from Suzy Cube: The Camera System, Part 2 - by Louis-Nicolas Dozois Blogs - 8 September 2017 - 6:40am
This is the second in a three part series of articles breaking down the camera system in upcoming 3D platformer Suzy Cube. Get to know everything that has gone into making a camera meant to always keep you focused on the action.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Stand firmly, breathe deeply: The two secrets that make your game character looks alive - by Yiwen Zhang Blogs - 8 September 2017 - 6:33am
Game characters are like puppets on the stage. A poor puppeteer can only make them move, but a master can give them life. Here is a lesson learned from a great puppeteer and a reflection on how it will help us in creating characters in games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Legion Sicaran Omega Tank Destroyer Available To Order From

Tabletop Gaming News - 8 September 2017 - 6:00am
In the grim dark of the far-future, there’s lots of armored pieces around you might have to worry about when going into battle. From huge titans and gargants to terminators and crisis suits, you’re gonna need a way to get those enemies off the board. Bathing them in balls of plasma is a good option. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Lesson learned from Gamescom: Why a small indie studio needs big game events, and how to do it right - by Mohammad Fahmi Blogs - 8 September 2017 - 4:54am
For small indie studios, going to big event like is not a simple and easy decision. When and why indie studio needs to go to big global event, and how to do it right.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Troy’s Crock Pot: Immersed in the Jungle

Gnome Stew - 8 September 2017 - 12:01am

Grab a vine and give a mighty Tarzan yell. Dungeons and Dragons is going to the jungle.

Tomb of Annihilation, the brand’s next adventure storyline is slated to be released Sept. 19. After the announcement in May, I’ve been stoked about this development. Roleplaying in the jungle hits one of my sweet spots.

Since then, I’ve been indulging in jungle-themed media, hoping to heighten the vibe.

Here are some recommendations if you want to mimic the experience:

1 The full Tarzan

Edgar Rice Burroughs may have written “Tarzan of the Apes” as a lark, but it still holds for me a special place in my heart. It’s one of those formative adventure stories young boys and girls read that enraptures and captivates, despite its shortcomings in tone and stereotypes. Make time to read the original, if you can. Burroughs writes action like few others. It’s a treat.

Then spent at least a couple hours with an interpretation in film. The first adaption came out only six years after Burroughs first published Tarzan’s exploits, and Hollywood has never stopped churning them out. I’d recommend Christopher Lambert’s turn in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes from 1984. But not to be overlooked was 2016’s Legend of Tarzan starring Alexander Skarsgard, which reimagines Tarzan as from the mid-19th century and set against the backdrop of Belgium notorius rule of the Congo. (But hey, if 1981’s Tarzan, the Ape Man starring Bo Derek, Miles O’Keeffe and Richard Harris is more your speed, then by all means, indulge yourself.)

Do yourself a favor and read a few issues of DC Comics’ Tarzan during its run at DC Comics from 1972 to 1975. Another visual treat: The covers Neal Adams and Boris Vallejo did for Ballentine Book’s reprinting of the Tarzan series.

2 Enter Michael Crichton’s “Congo”

The novel, written in 1979, succeeds as a pulpy mashup of the Search for King Solomon’s Mines, the legends of the Great White Ape and his usual brand of scientific techno-suspense.  Once you’re on board with Amy, the “talking” gorilla, the story takes off. I think it’s superior to “Jurassic Park,” but you can read them both and decide for yourself. (You can skip the movie adaption of Congo, though, it’s still a guilty pleasure for me, since it includes a bit with Bruce Campbell and a great characterization by Ernie Hudson speaking with a posh accent as a “great white hunter, who just happens to be black.”)  

3 Game books

As we are mining material for roleplaying adventures, I have three recommendations. Southlands campaign setting by Wolfgang Baur, Ben McFarland and Brian Suskind is a must stop. Secrets of Xendrik by Keith Baker, Jason Bulmahn and Amber Scott is worth mining, as is the companion Eberron supplement City of Stormreach, which details a coastal jumping off point not unlike Chult’s Port Nyanzaru. Want to learn the secrets of the tropical forest? See if you can score a copy of Into the Green by Thomas Knauss.  

I guess it goes without saying that the classic D&D Expert module  X1 Isle of Dread is a must read, too.  In fact, the blank hex player’s map of the island is being adapted for Tomb of Annihilation.

How many game products was that supposed to be? Three? Oh well.

4 National Geographic

No one brings stories of real exploits and current conditions from the tropical rainforests to today’s readers like the National Geographic Society’s magazine. The current issue, in fact, has a piece on Dian Fossey and her research and conservation of the Virunga mountain gorillas. But, of course, over recent years there have been other compelling pieces, including an investigation into the ivory trade and how it is decimating and endangering elephant and rhino species. Plus, the photography is first rate.

5 Go to the zoo

Simple as that. Visit a zoo or preserve. Get a sense of the immensity / exotic nature of the creatures on exhibit. For example, seeing a lion, giraffe or white rhino — the African creatures on exhibit at our local zoo — can do a lot to help GM’s when describing how these animals move and act.

6 Sight and Sound

OK, so you could watch jungle-themed movies and never hit bottom. Add war films set in the jungle to your search and you’ll never leave the video library. As I mentioned before, Hollywood loves jungle movies. In addition, many have outstanding soundtracks, which you can adapt as background sound cues for your playing sessions, especially if you make use of a service such as Spotify.

Chult, where Tomb of Annihilation is set, features dinosaurs prominently. So, go ahead, take in Jurassic Park and the Lost World and revel in the horror. Everything is bigger in the jungle, so find a King Kong movie to your liking. “Skull Island” is out now; it’s good if you like seeing things blow up, but of course, there’s almost as many Kong movies as there are Tarzan films.

Want something with a little more realism, or is at least grounded in the real world? Give Medicine ManLost City of Z or Gorillas in the Mist a chance. Also, the roundup scene from Hatari is what inspired the dino roundup from Lost World, and since Hatari has John Wayne, it’s instantly better. *wink*

But if you only watch one jungle-themed movie, then I will insist it be African Queen starring Katharine Hepburn and  Humphrey Bogart. Everything you’ll need to know about adventure story-telling in that environment is evident in the film — even if there aren’t any dinosaurs or ape-men swinging from trees.

Closing note

Of course, one not need wait for the hardback book to enjoy adventuring in the jungles — those of our real world and those in imaginary places. Moving your game into a tropical forest requires only the willingness to imagine a sweeping canopy of trees and a desire to keep reminding your players they are soaked through to their shoes by the moisture and rain.

There are lost cities, territorial tribal peoples and dangerous forest creatures in the jungle. They are just waiting for you to find them.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Andoria Battlefields Board Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 September 2017 - 3:00pm
In most games, you play as either the “good guys” or the “bad guys.” You’re either fighting to save the world, or looking to watch it burn. Well, Andoria Battlefields lets you do a bit of both. Players have their own set of heroes they’re looking to use to close the portals that the monsters […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

ZiPANG Portable: The Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 September 2017 - 2:00pm
Japan has a rich history. A time that certainly gets a lot of attention is the Sengoku period in the 17th century. Civil war was on and the various factions were all vying for control. In Zipang Portable, you will be in charge of one of those factions. Using ninjas, samurai, as well as courtesans, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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