Gaming

Podcasts rolling along (and now on iTunes too!)

Now that a few episodes of both the Gateway Game Shelf podcast and Game Shelf Campaigns podcast have dropped I’ve listed both on iTunes. After a few days of waiting I received the official notification from Apple that they’re live on iTunes. Huzzah!

Makes it feel so real…

I’d appreciate a review if you have a quick minute to drop one 🙂

Gateway Game Shelf on iTunes

Game Shelf Campaigns on iTunes

Podcasting

Quick update: I’ve finally started producing a couple of podcasts. I’ve had lots of podcast ideas, but most have not gotten off the ground because of various setbacks or uncertainty on my part. That said, I’m very happy with how these are coming along.

Both podcasts are about tabletop gaming, with different audiences in mind for each. Details (and links) are below for your perusal.

The Gateway Game Shelf – Jess and I discuss the games that we play with non-gamers to introduce them to the hobby. The intent of this podcast is to be a limited-run series with a focus on a handful (10 or so) core games that really fit the sweet spot for a non- or new-gamer. Release schedule is bi-weekly until we cover the games we have in mind. Currently the “introductions” and “Ticket To Ride” episodes have been released with more to come.

The Game Shelf Campaigns – In this podcast we follow multiple sessions of a campaign-style tabletop game. This is tilted more toward the person who wants to either a) listen to some actual-play of our rather cerebral group’s play-through of Pandemic Legacy, or b) hear our pre/post game thoughts for each playthrough. Release schedule is bi-weekly (off weeks from The Gateway Game Shelf). Currently the “introductions” episode is up, while future episodes will include two recordings each (the audio from the actual play and the between-game discussion).

Best Grocery Display Ever

It was only a few minutes ago that I learned the real reason the soda companies created the “Fridge Pack” packaging for a 12-pack of soda. Behold, the fruits of that labor!

Mario Pixel Art Soda Display

One might have expected Sprite...

I only wish I’d seen this in person. I learned about it via reddit, which is also where I ripped off the Sprite comment.

Caught My Attention: Mass Effect 2: the Cerberus Network will run used gamers $15

Though this is a bit of a departure from my normal posts, I’ve been distracted by this news all day.  In short, Bioware’s new release, Mass Effect 2 will include $15 in one-time downloadables for anyone who buys the game new from a retailer.

What a great move by a game developer to find new ways to cash in on the used game market.  Though as a gamer who often waits to buy used, I can’t say I’m too excited by this prospect (though the sales guy in me is smiling).

My first question:  Is the new-purchase freebie content compelling enough to stand on its own for secondhand gamers?  I mean, is it compelling enough to shell out $15 for?  Time will tell, though I suspect an ulterior motive.  This seems like the perfect way to test the waters of a hybrid game delivery method.  One where the core engine with a basic game (at a cheap price mom won’t balk at) is purchased as a physical disc, and the bulk of the content is purchased as a download.  Classic razor and blade method of distribution, but with a video game twist.

Extending my fantasy:  When this does catch on, it will be quite a boon for smaller game studios and indie developers alike.  They can shift their focus on creating maps and stories and character development, and know that the engine is set in stone (or in this case, burned into the “core engine” DVD).  As gamers, we could look forward to tighter engine work and deeper storylines.

Of course there would be proper split between the core game disc and the DLC that’s currently a mystery, and striking that balance would take some work.  It’s influenced by a few key factors:  The price of the Disc (not too cheap, not too expensive), the quality of the core game elements (needs to stand on its own without a requirement of DLC), and a healthy selection of DLC (enough variety to satisfy gamer needs, but lean enough to be profitable).  Err on the blend of these elements, and you’re disappointing the gamer community, leaving money on the table, or losing money on your core investment.

I see Bioware baby stepping to find the balance.

Original Inspiration: Mass Effect 2: the Cerberus Network will run used gamers $15 (thanks Ars!)