Geek Proud, GeekOut.

Archive for November, 2017

GeekOut Shrewsbury in 2018

If you’re reading this on the day of publishing, you should already be on your way to GeekOut Shrewsbury, you can read this tomorrow or something just get to Monty’s Tower! If you’re reading this from Friday onwards, or if you are for whatever reason incapable of getting to GeekOut in Shrewsbury, then you have a lot to look forward to next year.

Note that all the details listed here are subject to minor changes, mostly additions, this is just a trailer after all, the finished product is still in the editing suite. So here I write in the past on the matter of the future, for you to read in the present. Moving swiftly on with the terrible march of time!

January 25th GeekOut Resolutions

We’ll ring in the new year with some pledges to change our ways for the geekier! No, there’ll be no demands to give up your vices or pledges to shed the Christmas-kilos, but why not finally commit to reading that book series you’ve always had your eye on, or digging into that unplayed collection of games in your Steam list? There’s that event you’ve been planning to attend, the cosplay that’s been sat on your to-do list for far too long, and all those films people have been telling you are essential viewing!

It’s time to resolve! In the mean time expect a Geeky Pub Quiz, we’ll be holding them every odd numbered month, gotta change things up from time to time.

February 22nd Sweet Lovecraft

As couples unite under strange stars, dancing to forbidden tunes, so too do the lovelorn yearn for the love that dare not speak its name, for fear of what horrors that name may invoke. Take up the felt-tip pens and assorted craft supplies, and sacrificially pour out your heart into creepy, eldritch, and alien Valentines cards (tentacles not required, but not discouraged).

Brush up on some Lovecraftian horror in February, you may wish to cite the verses found in the Necronomicon to profess your agonised screaming… or whatever emotions you may be feeling at the time.

March 29th March at the Movies

The unrelenting tide of cinema moves us to compose an entire quiz comprised of film and film related media and media that has itself been made into films. Red carpet pending, possible red welcome-mat stand in on hand, we’re on a budget here.

And on the subject of films…

April 26th DC vs Marvel

Fun isn’t something one considers when balancing the universe… but this does put a smile on my face.

The trailer says May, but in the UK it’ll be the day after April’s GeekOut Shrewsbury. Seems like a perfect day to pitch Marvel against DC, villains against villains, heroes against heroes, with the occasional 2000AD or Vision Comics cameo just to muddy the waters. We may or may not have to organise a GeekOut Cinema Trip while we’re on the job.

May 25th May The GeekOut Be With You

Star Wars and science fiction in general will be the focus of May’s quiz and overall event goings-on. If you can tell your Peacekeepers from your Stormtroopers, split your Jedi from your Rangers, and know which boxes to file Cylons and Borg then you’ll be off to a good start. You may also want to look up the meaning of the word Muadib.

June 28th Gamers Gauntlet

Time to run some tournaments. Victories in a variety of games – tabletop and video – will raise you through a bracket to compete for the disappointing prize which may or may not be a gauntlet. The games will be decided based on your votes throughout May and June, so keep an eye on GeekOut South-West for news and your chance to have some input on June’s Gamers Gauntlet.

July 26th Steam Punked

Gather ye round innovators and inventors, you’ll need to have your life’s work ready and on the table to be torn apart by the mustachio’d and judicious judging panel (it’s me). If times are hard, just slap some gears on something. Take your table lamp and show me your Situated Illuminatrix, show me no sofas but your Multicapacitated Respitor might turn heads. It’s the “Stick Some Gears On It” Inventors Fayre!

Class yourself up to the teeth in the latest in retro fashions, technolysed victoriana, top hats and chimney spouts, and sink your teeth into a the months quiz.

August 30th Tengen Toppa GeekOut Lagann

At the height of summer is the height of our untamed power! Kick off from underground and blast straight into the heavens with unrestrained might!

August’s anime themed GeekOut Meet will see us building prototype mechs to take us into the future and into victory, but in accordance with the space we’ll have to work with they shall be small and made predominantly of paper and cardboard.

September 27th Harry Potter and the Shrewsbury Geeks

Back to school, but if we must don uniforms lets at least keep it geeky. Septembers quiz shall be unapologetically strong on the Harry Potter themes, we’ll keep it mostly accessible but there’s no doubt that the Muggles will be disadvantaged. Dress wizardly or witchly for cheeky extra points, and expect September’s Disappointing Prize to be sourced from Labyrinth in Grope Lane.

October 25th Lycanthropic

Bang on full moon too, almost like we planned it that way…

Hallowe’en need not be a theme in it’s own right. It’s filled with potential, and subgenres and possibilities. Nor should we feel restricted to werewolves when the notion of humans becoming carnivorous monsters has been around longer than Anthony Hopkins. Competition and survivors TBD.

November 29th NaNoGeKo

Nearly finished NaNoWriMo?

They say everyone has a book inside them, well we’re not looking to extract the whole thing, just give it a peak at the outside world. Whether you’ve been taking part in National Novel Writing Month or are still in the planning stages, come prepared, or prepared to prepare to write the blurb for that book you’ve always wanted to put to paper. Expect a literary quiz, meaning no fewer than two competitions with prizes to boot! Arrive dressed in a dust jacket and your finest bookmark.

December 27th GiftWrapped GeekOut

Mimicking the annual habits of GeekOut Bristol, we shall be running a Super-Secret Santa, and this is important because we may very well be running the same this year on the 28th! This year we’ll impose a £5 spending limit, next year raising to £5.50 to account for inflation, but deducting fifty pence to account for economic disaster. The task is simple enough: buy a present for someone, you don’t know who. If you put a present in you can take a present out!

Running it in 2018 and in future years will pend the success of running it this year, much the same as GeekOut itself. So far you’ve made the effort that goes into running GeekOut all the more enjoyable. See you later on today, and again next month, and hopefully, all year after that. If you’re enjoying GeekOut then spread the love through Facebook and Meetup.


Housemarque – Indie Developer spotlight

Are arcade-style games dead?

Take a classic such as Robotron; Would a similar game have any place in the marketplace today? Well, I like to think they do still have a place. We have reviewed quite a few of what I would call ‘arcade-style games‘ like The Binding of Isaac or Enter the Gungeon.

Independent Finnish developers Housemarque have been making such arcade-style games since the early 1990’s and recently I read their blog, with sadness in my heart, when they declared that Arcade is Dead.

(more…)


Unstable Magic

If ever you look upon geeks in hobby shops and coffee places, playing confusing card games and getting heated over nonsensical rules, and thought to yourself “They take a game way too seriously” then the creators of the biggest of those games has an answer for you. Magic: the Gathering, rich in story, wrought with impenetrable rules, and assailed with tournament laws that make all but the geekiest feel saddened, is about to release their first comedy set in thirteen years, the third of the so-called “UN-sets”, Unstable.

So while I wait patiently for my copy of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything… so very patiently… here’s Wizards of the Coast’s other big product release that has my attention. (more…)


GeekOut Bristol Meet – December 9th: A VERY STAR WARS CHRISTMAS

18+ Event

Oh it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
Toys in every store.
But we want to meet up more.
Oh look at the geeks galore!

(more…)


Video Game Review: Mirror’s Edge

Mirror’s Edge was a game that broke boundaries; insofar that it created a unique way to traverse across the maps. You didn’t have to follow a specific path, but it certainly would help if you did. Many years on, we then got another addition to the Mirror’s Edge franchise, which wasn’t quite as well received. I decided to go back recently and replay through this EA Title released back in 2009 – Is it as good today as it was when it was first released?

(more…)


Top 10 – Series That Went On To Long

GeekOut Top 10s

A series that goes on too long can be a terrible thing; from an unnecessary deviation from the plot, through to repetition of the show. What may have had a promising start, ultimately, is turning into a slog, rather than an enjoyable show to continue watching. Naturally, a series isn’t even limited to film and TV, but rather all mediums.

You are all a strange bunch, as you all picked this Top 10 after last week’s Series That Ended Too Soon. So, from getting soppy at last week’s list, to us going “Oh god, why is/was that going on so long”, this week’s Top 10 Series That Went On Too Long is all thanks to you. Thanks, folks. Let’s begin the list!

(more…)


Dice Theory: A Quick Study of Probability and Dungeons & Dragons

Have you ever wondered why we roll a D20, as opposed to, say, a D12 for a success roll in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign? Probably not; But it’s something you really should be aware of. Different dice perform differently, under different circumstances – Two of the same kinds of dice will, typically, yield different results under the same rigorous testing process. But how can that be? Why does this happen?

(more…)


Review – Punisher

Here I admit Netflix had me concerned. The Defenders had been skiing very much downhill in my opinion, with a rapid decline beginning in the second half of Luke Cage ending in a blander than bland Defenders with only a handful of redeemable features. Now the Punisher had been a little underutilised in Daredevil Season 2, but we were still presented with a version of Frank Castle that we fell utterly in love with in Jon Bernthal, a series of his own was inevitable with the fan support.

Creating a series to appeal to the fans, outside of the initial plot, little to no pre-planning to work him into the larger, very successful Marvel Mediaverse… Yeah, I think I was entitled to my doubts, but we have rather proved that cutting yourself loose of a shared universe can make life a hell of a lot easier. (more…)


Gamer Question of the Month: Dec ’17

We were asked by the lovely team over at the Later Levels if I would like to take part in doing a monthly Q&A, to open discussion about video games amongst bloggers. If you’re interested in joining in the discussion, leave us a comment below, or reach out to Later Levels. It’s been a few months since we last took part in one of these here on GeekOut South-West, but as ever we’ll be sharing what the question of the month is, as well as what our answers to this question is and our justification for the answers. We’ve not been involved in the past few, but hey, we’re back! Development of some projects is taking longer than expected, so here’s a chance for us to kick back and enjoy some hypothetical questions – This is the question of the month:

Which video game character would do a better job than Santa?

(more…)


MCM Birmingham

I don’t go to MCM comicons very often these days, despite living only ten minutes down the road from the Telford event it’s a rare occasion for me to have a weekend off, and they never seem to line up. This month circumstances so happened that I was able to arrange the day off* and so I went with a few friends to Birmingham NEC to get nerdy for a few hours. This does of course mean I’m only just getting through the Punisher, but it’s been worth the wait.

First of all let me say a quick thanks to the admins who corrected my minor screw-up, after accidentally buying a ticket for Sunday I emailed them to ask for a swap, and they had it done by morning. Despite the website saying no refunds or transfers, it was apparently nothing to set me up properly. Cheers guys.

The NEC was host to three events this weekend, and not only did that make for the most crowded train ride I’ve even been on, it also meant MCM was relocated to the far end of the building which is something of a new experience for me, despite having been at the NEC or the nearby Hilton at least a dozen times, I think this weekend was my first experience of the halls at the far end. Perhaps the halls are bigger? Certainly more labyrinthine, usually I can sweep through a comicon twice in in an hour, this year I’m still not sure I saw it all.

Important points, if you’re enjoying the newly rebooted Robot Wars then you might be interested in seeing the season 1 champion Apollo on tour with the robot fighting arena that pops up at every MCM (at least the ones I’ve attended). There are always a host of celebrities to meet, not least of which Warwick Davis and some of the Red Dwarf cast, Ian McElhinney, and Virginia Hey, and those are only the faces I saw. With time and money on the line however, I had to prioritise my Christmas shopping, no time for queues and autographs.

The advantage of having predominantly nerdy friends is that finding something for everyone is easy; the hard part of shopping at an MCM is deciding how much to spend, by and large the answer is too much. I notice this year there has been a distinct upswing in the number of custom Lego minifigures and randomised loot boxes, but sincerely I can’t say that I noticed anything lacking. Anime, comics, memorabilia, video games, film, cosplay… possibly every order of geeky interest is always solidly and massively represented.

I had the opportunity to say hi to a couple of friendly faces, at least one member of the Kitacon committee (Hi Claire!) and an artist friend from work, Faiza, who dropped me off at her stall in the artist’s alley to chat to her sister about D&D. Unexpected for sure, but good conversation is good conversation.

Ok, so the level of engagement is not quite so deep as one of the big anime conventions, but the appeal is universal, and this close to Wales then Birmingham is the biggest and the best.

And I’ve managed to check two more names of the Christmas list. I don’t care that it’s November, more fool you for not starting months ago.


*The caveat being that I’ve lost quite a substantial chunk of my weekly games night just as the campaign is heating up.