How can you get teenagers to enjoy the classics? Jeane and Karena interview Ali Dent about her book The LitClub in which she describes the literature club she created to get her kids and other kids into reading. Then they spotlight fellow CWAtCer Martin Waterhouse’s musical take on Brave New World (which the gang talked about back in May).
Doctor Who returned to the BBC this past Saturday with a brand new episode, The Bells of Saint John, and a brand new companion, Clara, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.
Last week the BBC held a press conference with writer and executive producer Steven Moffat, to answer questions about Doctor Who in general and this new season in particular. Moffat was, as usual, very witty and engaging, giving reporters little tidbits about future episodes, without giving too much away about the upcoming adventures of the Eleventh Doctor and his mysterious new companion.
Game Connection is a growing site of marketing and business development in the games industry, and while there weren’t that many booths on hand, there were a number of marketing and business experts in the field present who provided an insider’s view of a very different aspect of the gaming industry than the creative one.
Among those present was Carmel Ben-Or of TAKEOFF CSH, a marketing agency that’s worked with a number of large and small companies for projects in the industry. I took the time to ask him some broad questions about his work in the field – how marketing material is conceived and how it interacts with gaming culture.
There’s magic in the air when you walk the floor of most geeky conventions, and some people add as much to the atmosphere as any rare trinket or special signing. Those people are the cosplayers, and their enthusiasm is tangible in the effort they put into their costumes and the energy they display in any of the million pictures taken of them any given day.
This year at San Diego Comic-Con, I found several amazing cosplayers that took to their role like a fish to water when I wanted to speak with their superheroic o(r villainous) alter-ego. Watch the interviews below as some amazing cosplayers, including The Birds of Play (Harley Quinn & Supergirl), Nerds Like Us (Dark Helmet), and Greg Mills (Nightwing) slip seamlessly into character and let us know what it’s like to be so super at Comic-Con.
In an era of reboots and franchises that rise lifelessly from the grave, what’s still more than meets the eye? Transformers!
Although the bitter taste of the Bay-formers still taints our nostalgic tongues, there are still men and women out there doing right by both Autobots and Decepticons. Enter High Moon Studios and their Transformers series of games beginning with War of Cybertron in 2010 and now continuing on with Fall of Cybertron due on August 21, 2012.
Created by self-described fans of the original Generation One Transformers from ’84, the Cybertron series rings true to other fans of G1. Featuring a familiar cast of characters and the iconic voice of Peter Cullen as he reprises his role as Optimus Prime, the series itself is a Hasbro-sanctioned reboot to the franchise that gives players control of both the heroic Autobots and their villainous Decepticon counterparts.
At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con we spoke with Dave Cravens of High Moon Studios about the upcoming sequel, and why Fall of Cybertron will be worth the wait.
Remember the days when you were in high school trying to fit in and and find your way in life? For some it’s been countless years ago, and for others it was yesterday; thankfully for both there’s one webcomic out there for both to share.
ForeverFreshman.com is a webcomic started in 2011 by artist Neil Segura and writer Ray Mendivil, helping us re-live what we want our good ol’ days to be.
When I write I usually try to keep the tone friendly yet somewhat professional. If you’ll excuse me I have to drop that for just a second:
I interviewed Adam Warren! He’s so awesome! Yay! (Thanks, I had to get that out of my system.)
I sent Adam several questions about his series Empowered (of which Volume 7 was just released this past Wednesday) and he was nice enough to respond with some really great answers. I tend to forget that he’s not just an amazing artist, he’s also a fantastic writer. But before I drop off a fangirl cliff again, I’ll let him speak for himself.
Writer Scott Snyder has been one of the “IT” guys at DC Comics for several years now, starting with his creator-owned American Vampire series at Vertigo, and rolling into his landmark run in Detective Comics. Snyder has continued his run with Batman in the New 52 on the self-titled Bat-book as well as picking up the resurrected Swamp Thing book. His mastery of the written word has earned him fan acclaim, best shown by the high sales numbers of his books and his renown among readers.
Just this past weekend at WonderCon, I was able to speak with Scott Snyder and talk to him briefly about the Batman, his love of noir fiction, and get a taste for what is to come from the coming Batman event, Night of Owls.
Joss Whedon created the online sensation Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog in 2008, proving independent television online is feasible while simultaneously thumbing his nose at the establishment. In defiance of limited resources and frustrating studio politics, Whedon proved you can produce good product cheaply, distribute it for free, and still make money – Dr. Horrible was a huge hit. It was a new paradigm and one that inspired rabid fan response.
Cut to 2010. Director Andy Lowe of Chinese Pirate Productions fretted, “Why doesn’t someone do a live Dr. Horrible show?” Finally someone asked, “Andy, why don’t YOU just do it?” He licensed the title from the surprisingly laid-back and gracious Time Science Blood Club (managers of Mutant Enemy properties), found musical director Brian Hammond via the San Diego theatre scene, and the rest is more than crazy random happenstance.
I know it may seem a bit strange to see Warhammer instead of Warcraft in the title of my post, but Dave and I got a chance to have a chat with and ask questions of Mythic Community Manager James Nichols at this past weekend’s GameX. So, I figured given those circumstance coupled with the lack of exciting things happening in WoW this week are a good enough reason for me to allow it to enter my life again. Temporarily.
A bit of history with myself and Warhammer. I’m not the Warhammer guy, Dave is, in our little group of friends. So when I heard about WH Online, to me it was an mad grab for the greedy Games Workshop to get into the MMORPG market while the path Blizzard cut was still clear. It took nearly all of their promises, gameplay trailers, cinematics and more than a few well written Warhammer fantasy books to even agree to get me to try the game. So I buckle, agree and sign up for the beta by pre-ordering the game.
About 1 week prior to the open beta, I *finally* got my damned beta key to work. I jumped into the game to find an average run of the mill riddled with bugs and badness MMORPG. However, I also saw in WH Online massive potential. The lore and classes grabbed me and held on tight. But at the same time, the broken mechanics and bastardization of the game itself pushed me hard back into the loving arms of Azeroth. I lasted from the time I started in beta until the release of Wrath of the Lich King, fairly hardcore. After that, I kept WH Online as a side game for about 7 more months before calling it quitsies. Lack of fixes for release bugs, insane class balance decisions, lack of real competition and the WORST battlegrounds I’ve played in any game yet (Too objective. Warhammer is about KILLING, not capturing flags. See below) ultimately led to my downfall.
Read. Follow. Repeat for hundreds of hours.
Now, what follows is the interview with James Nichols of Mythic.
Bill: For all the diehard Warhammer fans out there, this question must be asked. Are there any plans to include any of the other Chaos Gods in a greater capactiy?
James: No plans for that right now, other than the small things already in game. Simply wouldn’t fit with the game mechanics.
Bill: With such an established set of lore, so built upon by the company and fans, why was it decided to take Warhammer Online in a direction that felt more like DAoC 2?
James: Lots of things just naturally carried over from DAoC, ideas the developers just loved. Then again, a lot of prevalent things like relics did not carry over, making the game different from DAoC.
Bill: Any chance of 3 factions or a free for all PvP server, since WH:O is already so similar? Those being 2 of most people’s favorite mechanics from DAoC.
James: 3 factions would destroy the mechanics of the game, as they’re built now. No plans for free for all PvP either, as it would not draw a suficient amount of people to it.
Bill: At release, many broken mechanics and missing features caused an early mass exodus of players from the game. As of the time I quit, most of those things still existed. Are they fixed?
James: Patch 1.3.2 addressed almost all of the problems plagueing game play, technical and lag issues. AOE and CC power issues have also been addressed, to make the mechanics feel less dominating and much more situational.
Bill: Also, the 6 capital cities promised at launch are still 4 shy of that total. Any chance of seeing the other 4 cities soon?
James: No plans as of right now. Time constraints at release killed the hopes for all 6, as each city took 9 months for a team to build.
Bill: Warhammer had a huge surge of players at release, but lost most of them. So to all the people out there that have an account rotting, give them one reason to come back and try the game again.
James: With almost all bugs having been fixed and many other class issues ironed out, Warhammer Online offers the best PvP experience in MMORPGs right now. Play Warhammer if PvP is your main goal.
That’s that, folks. James and the other Warhammer devs present at GameX were great guys, very fun to talk to. I spent a few hours at their booth and even some time at the after parties gabbing it up with them. Very good people who I think truly want to put out a good game. Still, I felt a bit of a corporate line being towed during the answering of the questions. All said, I will be signing up for another month of Warhammer, if nothing more than to see if they delivered on any promises yet. Keep your eyes open in the next week or two for a follow-up!