So long 2017! You were mostly terrible but there were a few redeeming qualities, not least of which the advent of GeekOut Shrewsbury. On Thursday we rounded out the year in true geeky style, a mountain of board games, Callum’s Nintendo Switch (thanks man), and our first super secret santa.
The Little Dessert Shop Pre-Meet
This was my first trip to the recently opened Little Dessert Shop, and I am not disappointed by what’s on offer, I thought I’d grown sick of sweet foods over Christmas, enough to skip the waffles, but not enough to resist a brownie and custard. The table size was a little small for some serious gaming, but there’s always space for a quick game of Love Letter between coffees. Thanks to the lads behind the counter, you were nothing if not entertaining.
A Very Busy Montgomery’s Tower
To say that Monty’s was busy is an understatement, in fact we had a while to wait before we could claim our seats, and no other table was available for us apart from the little ones we use to rack up the games. But we’re nerds, and never short of something to do. Callum and Murray settled into a Pokemon battle, while I played some pinball and chatted with Ben until we managed to occupy some furniture and bust into a game of Magic.
I also broke out some of my new Christmas presents, including new favourite Rhino Hero courtesy of our very own Timlah (cheers Tim, expect your presents soonish) which will need to be expanded upon at some point; and the DC Deck Builder Heroes Unite, featuring the D-list of DC heroes, but some of the better mechanics from any iteration of the game I’ve played thus far. I did not get to try the Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle deck building game brought in by Harley, who ran an RPG later in the evening.
Around 21:30 the music began, because it’s the bizarre half-formed space between Christmas and New Years where time is irrelevant and no one has to work unless they’re retail, service or emergency services. I neglected to consider this possibility, and may have to restructure next December’s GeekOut Shrewsbury to account for it. Still, it didn’t stop the progress of the Christmassy roleplay taking place in the corner, which I hear involved a murderous reindeer, and Mad Max elves. No doubt I’ll hear the rest of the story another time.
Thanks to everyone who put in to the Super Secret Santa, especially whoever brought the Trumpisms book, which shall take pride of place next to my volumes of George W. Bushisms. I can also say that whoever put in the Ferrero Roche, your present was equally well received. We wound down early as the music only got more intrusive, squeezed in a quick game of Surakarta on a custom board made by John, which cracked spontaneously in the middle of the game surreptitiously moving my pieces allowing me to gain the brief advantage I needed to turn the horrible losing streak I’d started on.
2017? So that happened. Moving on.
As we continue our inexorable march forwards through time, unable to alter what was to repair what is and improve what will be, we can only look to what approaches with hope. So far we appear to have something to be optimistic about, and here we’ve chosen some of our geeky favourites.
Here’s our Top 10 of the Best Things to Come in 2018! Happy New Year everyone.
Aah, Amecon! This will mark Joel’s third time at the event and Timlah’s second – and both of us are equally excited to be going back to Amecon, as the last one was so damn good! With the nicest venue in the UK for anime conventions, Amecon 2018 is set to be another exciting and extraordinary event. Whilst it doesn’t call itself a party convention like Kitacon does, it certainly knows how to make you get in the mood for a great cheesy rave!
Ah, but that’s not all Amecon does! The focus is purely on the fans, with a great emphasis on cosplay itself. Amecon is an interesting event for every Otaku out there; but it’s also a great convention in general. Slipping in at number 10, as we know we’re being heavily biased, but hey, it’s our list and we will add Amecon, because for us, it’s the convention we’re all looking forward to the most.
9) Agony (Video Game)
It is very difficult to keep the conversation about this game family friendly. Agony is a survival horror set in the depths of hell, in which you play a damned soul desperately seeking a way out. Every glimpse of footage we’ve seen so far is a depiction of rot, decay, torture, gore,viscera, and … shall we say “adult themes”.
Will Agony bring anything new to the table so far as revolutionary mechanics or incredibly inventive gameplay? I doubt it. As for narrative, I don’t know that that’s necessarily the point either. What we’re seeing is a gruesomely creative art piece that will get intentionally provocative and inventive in its depictions of suffering and despair. I am deeply curious as to what lies beneath that slick sheen of blood and between the trees of twisted limbs when Agony gets released this year.
8) Pacific Rim Uprising
Following the breakout hit of Guillermo Del Torro’s love letter to anime, Pacific Rim, buzz was high for a sequel with more giant robot vs giant monster action. It took a couple of tries but we are now going to see Pacific Rim 2, Uprising, picking up the story with the son of Stacker Pentecost, John Boyega, against the second wave of apocalyptic kaiju bent on our demise. The trailer we’ve seen so far seems to suggest that there aren’t many Jaeger’s left after the countries of the Rim turned on one another.
I have some concerns, I’ll be honest. The trailers seem to imply a more light-hearted approach, gone is any trace of the dark and gritty so far as the visuals go, but I’m remaining hopeful. New Jaegers look pretty, new kaiju look big and scary, and we still have the important parts for me: Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, and Ellen McLain (at least she’s in the promo material). If nothing else this will be a big, glorious spectacle… and that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?
7) Nvidia ‘Volta’
Remember when everyone was ranting and raving about how crazy good the GeForce 1080 was going to be? They were proven to be right; reliable beasts of a GPU, which seemingly upped the game of the developers looking to push the limits of graphics in PC based video games. But the 1080 board wouldn’t be around for too long, before a successive technology would be developed by the team at Nvidia.
Volta isn’t a whole new board, per se, but instead it appears to be a whole new GPU architecture. One of the interesting points is the extreme attention it’s bringing to Artificial Intelligence; citing that AI should be available in every industry. They go so far and talk so bold as to saying that Volta will bring breakthroughs in every industry. Now, if that’s not talking big, I don’t know what is..!
6) Altered Carbon
Netflix continues its trend of bringing increasingly cool TV to the internet addicted masses. In this adaption of the Richard K. Morgan novel, the human mind can live forever by passing from body to body, resulting in minds that are centuries old being piled into young and healthy new flesh whenever the old carcass wears out.
So how do you pitch a murder mystery in a world that fears no death? By having the victim hire the man to find his killer. For me it looks like it’s got it all! Neonoir setting, creepy premise with political and ethical ramifications, and the occasional dose of action to change up the pace every now and again. The original novel was awarded the Philip K. Dick award in 2003, which is a nice little segue to…
5) Electric Dreams – Philip K. Dick
This one’s for you America, because we’ve already seen it! Well I haven’t, but the point is I can watch it whenever I like, because I’m British and we got it first! Anyway, if you’re a fan of Black Mirror, or just a fan of Philip K. Dick in general then this series is going to be worth a watch. The mind that brought you A Scanner Darkly, The Man in The High Castle, and of course the precursor novels to Bladerunner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, and Screamers, remains a goldmine for ideas in modern sci-fi.
The series of short stories explores the nature of consciousness, politics, and society through the lens of dystopian future societies, space faring humanity, and advanced technologies. More episodes are due to release in the UK in 2018, along with a full release across the Atlantic. I may even have caught up to it and Black Mirror by then.
4) Moon Express
No, I’m not making this up – This is a crowdsourced venture which is promising that we will be reaching the moon in 2018. Okay, humankind has reached the moon before, but this time around, a private company which was brought to life via Kickstarter, along with strategic links to NASA, wishes to be the first to the moon.
They have a few goals on the moon; they wish to mine it for valuable resources to bring back to Earth. They also wish to eventually create human colonies on the moon, which is definitely a first thought of its kind. Whatever you think about this as a concept, it’s a very niche, very interesting idea and I’m excited to see what this brings about.
Perhaps “The Man on the Moon” will stop being a myth and start becoming a reality.
I’m not going to lie to you all and say that this will be video game of 2018, because I genuinely don’t know. I don’t know if the team making Vampyr are going to handle such a hard to master genre, or if they’ll flop. However, Vampyr is similar in concept to one of my favourite, incredibly rough RPGs – Vampire: the Masquerade: Bloodlines.
In Vampyr, you play as a recently turned a Vampyr, who is also a doctor. Your whole life has been devoted to saving people; but now people are the very thing you need to feed off in order to survive. As such, you have a moral dilemma – Do you end up feasting on those you were meant to save, or do you find another way to survive?
Vampire games are hugely uncommon these days, which always annoys me. It’s such a great genre that needs further exploration, that I can only wish good things for this title.
2) The Incredibles 2
This may never have been the plan, and we’ve waited thirteen years to hear the words Incredibles 2, which once again sparks hope for a Dredd sequel but that’s not what we’re here for. The story will pick up right where we left it, with the family discovering that little baby Jack-Jack not only has super-powers, but apparently has all of them. No surprises given that their other two children are immensely powerful in their own right, but they appear to have given birth to a Kal-El like godling.
The main question left is who our new villain will be. Current theory remains that the Underminer will make a reappearance, but comparing a guy with a drill to Syndrome? No, he’s got to have some deep underlying message to compete with the original! Let’s never forget that this was the film that gave us hope for a good Fantastic Four film… we need that hope again, and once again we must turn to Disney for it.
1) Avengers Infinity Wars
There will come a time when we all grow tired of the endless tide of Marvel films, some of us are already there, and with the acquisition of Fox and its constituent Marvel properties that day may arrive sooner than later. Personally I’m expecting saturation after the Infinity Wars are over, but until then OH MY GOD IT’S GONNA BE SO AWESOME! Next year there’ll be Black Panther, more Deadpool, more X-Men, more Ant Man, and so much more everything. And yet there’s only one thing on my mind.
I made my feelings clear in my extended dissection of Thanos’ line in the trailer, but this is a cinematic event ten years and twenty films in the making, all of it building to this moment. Thanos made his first over-the-shoulder post-credits appearance back in 2012, and didn’t get a line of dialogue until Josh Brolin took the Mad Titan’s voice in Guardians of the Galaxy. Someone’s going to die. Probably me. Of excitement.
See? It’s not all doom and gloom! And that’s only the best of what’s confirmed. There are rumours and hints at other plans from some our favourite creators and properties, and while they can’t exactly be put officially into the list, the very least we can do is offer them a nod in the honourable mentions.
Game of Thrones: Winds of Winter?
A new Games of Thrones book, like a recurring character in the series, is quite an uncommon thing. Sure, there are enough of them, but it’s always a case of when George R. R. Martin decides it’s time to finish and release that new book – and there are fans out there who seem to ask him on an almost daily basis the six words: ‘When’s the next book being released?’
Now, it’s not up to a fan to decide when an author releases a book – After all, it’s the authors livelihood, so it’s up to George himself to make the final decision. However, when all is said and done, there wasn’t a release last year – So perhaps Winds of Winter will finally come out in 2018? This is pure speculation, so here’s hoping we get to continue the epic franchise before TV decides to run ahead of itself.
The Return of Epic Rap Battles of History?
Joel and I have both been pretty upfront and honest in the past; We really enjoy the Epic Rap Battles of History YouTube channel. So much so, we once dedicated a whole Top 10 to their best songs. With this in mind, we’ve been keeping up to date, watching out for anything their channel puts out – and not too long ago, we got a new video which spoke about the possible return of their videos.
Now, don’t get me wrong, similarly to AmeCon, this gets into the list purely because we love this and we both have a joint interest in the channel. Here’s hoping that they come back this year and they’re as strong as ever, but as their video shows, there’s a little bit more going on behind the scenes right now – So all the best to NicePeter and their soon to be baby girl! Aww, what a nice way to go into 2018.
Extra Honourable Mention
Of course, 2017 was an exciting year for us here at GeekOut Media! We worked our butts off and we did a lot of interesting things – But, as an extra honourable mention, we thought we’d give you a bit of a glimpse into…
Another Year of GeekOut Media
Joel – It’s been about four years since I started writing for GeekOut, give or take a month or three, and it won’t be long before I’ll have been running the Shrewsbury Meets for a full year. In doing this job I have earned not a single penny, but there have been many achievements born of this little project of ours. Another year of Meetups, ebooks, events, and hopefully my new undertaking as a DM for hire. And it’s all thanks to you guys.
Timlah – Well, when we hit September 2018, it’ll have been half a decade of this website. What a crazy realisation..! With this said, we’ve been such a busy team over these years, that we hope that we’ll get more people to join our cause in the coming year. We’re looking forward to meeting many new, cool geeks, like you! Come join us for a meetup; or join us in our online ventures, as we get ready to embrace the new year!
Let us look back fondly upon 2017, after all it’s just another arbitrary number applied to an elliptical orbit without a fixed line along its circumference to officially mark the passage of time. Technically it’s the wrong number, and it’s even more wrong if you mark it by the Human Era calendar…
Help us get 12,018 HE/2018 AD kicked off right with another geeky Top 10 by voting down below.
Happy New Year from everyone here at GeekOut South-West!
Last year, I wrote an article on the Cosplay Trends for 2017, in which I managed to get 4 out of 5 right, so I felt like I needed to try this type of article once again! Yes, with the new year nearly on our doorstep, it’s time for us to look to the future. We’ve had a lot of really cool new trends appear this year, so what do you think we’re going to see in 2018? Well, there are some trends I foresee coming to light.
So shortly after writing a short, and only slightly sarcastic article about Toronto’s Dungeon Master For Hire and discovering another in New York, and more still on Reddit, I find myself thinking that there may just be a career in this, and perhaps just enough money to be made that I can finally shed the burdens of traditional employment and embrace a true vocation, a calling if you will. Am I so willing to surrender my evenings and weekends to meet with random strangers and show them how to play my favourite hobby?
Well it’s that or take up drinking… (more…)
If you’ve read up on an arcade game called Polybius, you will find information about an arcade cabinet from 1981 that became an urban legend. It was apparently a crowdsourced psychology experiment that produced psychoactive and addictive effects. The legend also talks of men in black attending the cabinets, simply for the purpose of data-mining. The arcade cabinet is as rare as rare can be and there are rumours that only a few of the original cabinets exist; one of which is stored in Basingstoke. James Rolfe, aka The Angry Video Game Nerd, did a piece on the legend too, so it has an interesting history.
I’m writing this on Christmas evening, slumped in my chair in a new hoodie, overstuffed with food and casting an eye over my haul for the year, watching some good quality entertainment, half working a short campaign, half writing this article. It’s been a big, weird year. It started with a Charizard… (more…)
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but it’s also the season where you need to wrap up; so be sure to keep warm this Christmas Day. Of course, you’ll no doubt be unwrapping presents whilst you keep wrapped up, but as we uncover the mysteries of today’s article, we from GeekOut Media wanted to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!
We’re fast approaching the new year, with Christmas in just 5 days! Every year, us gamers look forward to something new, something exciting and something completely different. However, we’re also a bunch of people who are rather fond of habits, so sequels and expansions upon franchises are always much desired. In 2018, we’re going to get some interesting new IP, along with some awesome new sequels. Similar to last year’s post about what we should look forward to in 2017, it’s time to look towards 2018 and see a few games we really should be throwing our wallets at our monitors for.
I swear I’m going to knock my monitor over if I keep doing that.
Welcome one, welcome all, to GeekOut Media’s Top 10 Gifts for Gamers. Now we decided to come up with some basic guidelines for what we would or would not include in this week’s list, the last weekend before Christmas – So, here’s what we settled upon:
- Must be a gift you could buy a friend or family at a reasonable price (Under £50)
- No Official Consoles – They’re too expensive for this list.
- No specific Video Games or Board Games.
With the rules for this list out of the way with, let’s unwrap this week’s list! (more…)
Silent night; holy night. All is calm. All is– Ooh a present!
Yes, you’d better believe it, you voted for it and you’ve now got it; we’re going to check through video games once again for another Christmas staple – Wrapped Presents. See, throughout the year, wrapping paper is an oft-forgotten part of gifting, as really it’s only Christmas wrapping paper that has some intriguing design choices.
We’re going to delve deep under the Christmas tree of video game past, in hopes to uncover some still wrapped gems. Maybe we’ll uncover a brand new game? Or perhaps we’ll uncover some more delicious wall turkey? Mmm, wall turkey.
… Sorry; last week’s ‘A History of Festive Food in Video Games’ is still on my mind.