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Technology

The Old Hellfire Club – Kickstarter

It’s been nearly a year since I first heard of and played The Old Hellfire Club. I am very pleased to announce that they are now live on Kickstarter. Here is why you should now go and check it out and back their campaign.

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I’m Becoming a Blogger For Hire

Have you ever wanted to write for a living? I think many of us have, even if it’s only a passing interest. I’m one of the many people who have wanted to do this, so, I guess this is my way of saying that I’m now a Blogger For Hire. But what does that mean, why did I get to this point and what sort of services can I offer? More importantly, if you were interested in doing something similar, what do you need to know?

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European Parliament Passes Article 13

Yesterday (26th March 2019), Article 13 was passed by the European Parliament. A while back, we wrote an article that I think many of you would have agreed with (or at least seemed to agree with at the time). Unfortunately, it appears that our battle for Article 13 to be denied has been, temporarily in vein. Whilst we can only speculate what this means for the future, here are some of the facts that we know of so far.

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Top 10 Terrifying Tech

GeekOut Top 10s

Technology is marvelous, isn’t it? From the powers of the internet, through to robotics like Asimo, tech has changed our lives. However, in the real world and in fictional works, some technology isn’t used for the betterment of mankind, but rather to further an agenda. Look even further and you see that sometimes the well-intended is outright terrifying. Here are our Top 10 examples of terrifying tech.

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Raspberry Pi Projects

I have in my possession two Raspberry Pi’s. The first one is the one we take to GeekOut Bristol Meets, which has a bunch of retro games on it. I’ve got a bunch of controllers for it, where it acts as our sort of mini retro arcade. Great. But my other Raspberry Pi I’ve not really done much with for a while. Originally, I was going to have it as a sort of “task manager”, where you press a tick button to say you’ve done the task. However, I never got around to it. Now I keep looking at it and I’m thinking of doing something else with it. Here’s a couple of projects I’m considering for my Pi – So hopefully you’ll get some ideas what to do with yours!

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On Kickstarter: Offensive Adult Party Game

In many ways more than one, the name of the game sort of tells you everything you think you need to know about it. This game is Offensive Adult Party Game, which is a mock of all of those offensive adult party games you’ve seen. You know the ones – They even took the image of one. Now, there’s not a massive amount to say about this campaign, but all you need to know is that it’s already earned enough to be funded, so there’s something. If you’re a fan of parody-esque Kickstarter products, then read on.

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Projectors: What you need to know before you buy

Projectors are fantastic; if you have a Raspberry Pi, or if you have a laptop, a tablet – Whatever it is, you may want to project it. We used to use a projector at the GeekOut Bristol Meets, which we would project a game onto a wall (usually an ill-suited wall at that). However, the projector we had was terrible if your game had words to pay attention to. We certainly couldn’t watch a film off it – So what went wrong and what do you need to know before you buy a projector?

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Top 10 – Fan Created Products

GeekOut Top 10s

You may be wondering how much content genuinely has been made by fans that we wanted to make a list about and the truth is – There’s a lot. We could get specific by saying best “fanart”, or best “fanfic”, or even best “fan made game”… But the truth is, there’s a lot of great content out there by crazy talented individuals. This week, we dedicate it to the fans who make their mark on the world, by taking something they enjoy and running wild with it.

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Kickstarter Highlight: Throw Throw Burrito

Ever wondered what it would be like to mix a civil game of cards with dodgeball mechanics? Neither had I before, but now I’ve been shown the light. Thanks to the creator’s of Exploding Kittens and Bears vs Babies, The Oatmeal, I now want to know how to dip, dodge, duck, dive and dodge through a card game. Introducing their latest delightful family-friendly game, Throw Throw Burrito.

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Kickstart Highlight – Critical Role: The Legends of Vox Machina

Ok, we started Kickstarter Highlights to shine a light on smaller or lesser known projects that we wanted to see shine, or managed by people we love, but occasionally we like to talk about projects that we love that really don’t need the help. Case in point, Critical Role, the series that broke MCM London, a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors who play Dungeons & Dragons live on the internet for a few hours every week and draw massive viewership and crowds, and have been partially responsible to the exponential boom in popularity of the hobby!

I’ve talked about them before. They’re a good – if inaccurate – representation of the hobby, vastly more entertaining to watch as it’s being played by actual performers, voice actors who know about taking turns when talking so that there’s no cross-talking, who can totally immerse themselves in their character so deeply that we can more clearly envision the action, and who get visibly emotional about the narrative, reacting appropriately to every moment of drama and capable of deftly improvising moments of their own.

So it makes sense for a bunch of actors with characters that they love and live, with connections in the industry who also love D&D, to club together and make a cartoon! One to go alongside the comics written by Matt Colville, and all of the other products, the books, the art, the live appearances… you get the idea they’re doing well.

The project will be supported by the studio Titmouse Inc, famous for shows like Metalocalypse, Venture Bros., Tigtone that I put on my to-do list lately, and Avatar: The Last Airbender, alongside a host of other major projects, so the animation will be in excellent hands. The cast will be played by themselves, with Matt Mercer serving the bulk of the NPCs… or rather those characters who are not the protagonists.

The test will be how well a D&D style narrative can be translated into a linear format, as it rarely crosses well into other formats – at least those that endeavour to capture the spirit of tabletop RP. As this project is dedicating itself more to existent characters and a well developed and explored world, things could be very different.

So, to the campaign itself. The target is $750,000 to fund the actual animation to a high standard, with a projected release of late 2020. Backer rewards do not include access to a digital stream or download of the final result, rather heavily implying that the final product will be available for everyone to enjoy, likely via their (newly independent of Geek & Sundry) YouTube channel and probably Twitch as it is their principle platform.

The rewards backers receive are instead encouraged to pledge for loot, some digital downloads of music uniquely composed for Critical Role, including a piece written and (partially) performed by the cast. Dice, sticker packs, art prints, cuddly toys, accessories for roleplay and memorabilia, and of course the upper echelons include personalised artwork by Titmouse, producer credits, and when you hit a five figure sum you get a studio tour and more.

Those upper echelon rewards? All gone. I would not be surprised to find a lot of D&D executives towards the top of that list, and possibly Matt Colville himself. The campaign? When I started writing it was at about $2.1 million, it’s now approaching $2.4M, and the campaign started less than five hours ago. IGN managed to squeeze out an article last night a few minutes after the project passed $1M, and I won’t be publishing this for another ten hours, who knows how much money might have poured into the pot. Stretch goals are disappearing, and the twenty-two minute animated short will be treble the length before I go to bed, and will be a feature length film by morning unless pledges slow down.

Sam Riegel and Travis Willingham have apparently been talking to producers for a while, and the attachment of the hobby still makes studios reluctant to engage with projects, presumably offers may have been made with limitations or changes. Crowd funding may lack security for the consumer… fairly certain the same group have ripped me off twice now… but it does put creativity in the hands of those passionate about a project. The CR team have proven time and time again that they are capable of producing high quality content. Here’s to another one.

Oh… there goes $2.5 million!


Side note…! Hot damn, 514% funding on Lasers and Liches!! Go check out this awesome project blending sci-fi and D&D, and adds bonus dinosaurs, perfect for anyone wanting to RP their way through Kung Fury or a Shadowrun Rave. You still have a week to get involved, and there are still stretch goals left to reach.

~Text message from Tim~

What do you mean it was made by a “different Chris”?