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Movie Review: Gamerz

Gamerz Movie PosterGamerz (spelt with a ‘Z’ to distinguish it from the -much better- The Gamers) is a Scottish indie movie about fantasy role-play gaming (RPGs). I was particularly enthusiastic to see this movie because it’s a British production and I am a British gamer. However it wasn’t what I expected because it isn’t really about gaming, it is a character piece about disparate people from different backgrounds being brought together and the relationships/conflicts which occur between them. The game is a vehicle to bring the characters together.

Gamerz follows Ralph, an extremely isolated young nerd whose parents died in a car crash. He is bullied and downtrodden so escapes into his imagination, creating his own fantasy world in which he is in complete control. When he starts University he takes over the role-play society and becomes Game Master, running an adventure campaign using his own setting and his own rules. The players hang on his every word. Ralph falls for the society’s only female gamer, Marlyn, a sexy Goth who, unfortunately, is as mad as a box of frogs. Also one of the bullys from Ralph’s neighbourhood – the drug-dealing, car-jacking Lennie – wants in on the role-playing action. He, too, is attracted to Marlyn, and soon things start to spin out of Ralph’s control. Will his house of cards come tumbling down?

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Blog Computer Games News & Announcements

Diablo III Release Announced

WOW! I can’t believe it’s over a decade since the last Diablo game came out, but we finally have a release date on Diablo III which is *Drumroll* May 15th!! Two days before my Birthday! *hint hint* Preorders are open now and you can choose either a digital or physical version.

Diablo II was the most popular game of 2000 and it has been predicted that Diablo 3 will sell 5 million copies this year. Diablo is a Dark Fantasy gaming series with many aspects of horror, lots of undead, and Demons playing a major role. It’s the ultimate dungeon dive descending into the depth of hell itself, and the ultimate monster mash with literally hoards of monsters going after your character (you’ll be racing for those choke points)!

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Art Blog Sketches

Sunday Sketch #17 – Crunt

This is Crunt (derived from Crotchety Runt and only coincidentally sounds like a rude word).
He’s like Grumpy (from the Seven Dwarves) but without the charm. This is the dwarf that other dwarves find too offensive to be around. Crunt is not evil (Lawful Good actually), he’s just unpleasant, rude and smelly (he’s afraid of water). It often annoys me in computer RPGs how you are not allowed to role-play a rude character without it being considered evil. Someone can be ill-mannered yet still carry a good heart.

Crunt is the epitome of low Charisma. Now many, many people get low charisma confused with low Comliness – but comliness is how physically attractive/unattractive you are whereas Charisma is about how attractive your personality is. Look out for an example of low Comliness next week when I’ll be doing the concept art for Crunt’s sidekick Fugly.

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Blog Webcomic Interviews Webcomics

Phineus: Magician for Hire Interview – Part 2

The Phineus: Magician for Hire interview with Barry Linck continues…

Click here if you’ve yet to read the Phinius: Magician for Hire Interview – Part 1.

Q6: Has being a Role-play Gamer helped you with creating stories for Phineus: Magician for Hire?

Yes, definitely. As well as my theater and film background.

Role-playing has gotten me to think as a character, act as a character would act. Being a DM, helped me create worlds, tell stories and create conflict in the stories.

In addition, all the monsters, magic, and Myth are right in there. I know most of the stuff in , say, the Monster Manual, is based on mythology. That said, the various gaming manuals itemize and describe the characters so succinctly that they sort of become my go to Beast-encyclopedia.

There have been stories I’ve done directly lifted from advesntures I’ve played with my game versions of Phin and Sara. I’ve even created a RPG around Phineus, with the help of my friend, John Burris. I’m even working on a second edition.

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Blog Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Gamers 2 – Dorkness Rising

A Sequel to The Gamers, Dorkness Rising is even better, like the first with all it’s rough edges smoothed off. From the first few seconds Dorkness Rising gleams with professionalism – it’s still an Indie production, for sure, but Dead Gentleman Productions have teamed up with Epic Level Entertainment to produce something to easily rival a cinematic release.

Still from The Gamers 2 - Dorkness Rising, Flyyn's 2nd death

Dorkness Rising uses the same style of storytelling established in the first, switching between in-game and out-of-game perspectives to great comic effect, but this time with a different group of gamers. The plot is entirely separate from it’s predecessor so there is no requirement to watch The Gamers first. A couple of characters recur: Lodge, played by Nathan Rice, is now the DM and originally played Newmoon. Mark (the Red) also makes a cameo appearance. (Hooray!)

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Blog Webcomic Interviews Webcomics

Wayward Fall Interview – Part 1

Taversia, author and artist for the Vampire webcomic Wayward Fall, takes the hot seat.

Example snippet from the vampire webcomic Wayward Fall featuring Vigana

Q1. What’s your webcomic ‘Wayward Fall’ about?

A1. Over the course of the past couple of years that Wayward Fall has been online, its storyline has continued to unravel and evolve. I first began the comic with my co-writer, AntiType, in Autumn/Winter of 2008 (it was a transitional period; the first pages were created on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. But the comic itself did not go live until December 17th). It centres around a vampire, Vigana, who grew up in the Dark Ages, now reawakened in the modern era, in an urban underground society. She fell in with the mob, operating the fictitious city of Wayward Falls, and soon came in to working for them as a hit-woman. It outlines her inner struggles, coming to terms with the trials and tribulations of her rather unfortunate life. Although there are many comedic elements within the comic, at its core, Wayward Fall is an ongoing romantic tragedy with a strong fantasy/sci-fi theme. There are also subtle religious undertones abound. As the story continues to develop, it will gradually become much darker. Furthermore, not any one character is safe from at some point, facing destruction at the discretion of the writers (currently, just me).

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Blog Movie Reviews

Movie Review: The Gamers

The Gamers is an Independently produced comedy by Dead Gentleman Productions, and focuses on a group of student role-play gamers (I can confidently say they are playing Dungeons & Dragons – I recognise the books). It fully embraces the concept of this being a game and interchanges between the game-world and the real-world, which adds much of its humour. The Gamers succeeds in accurately showing what the experience of gaming is like: to the outside viewer just a bunch of nerds sitting around a table, but once you enter that imaginative world you see it is much more, and a ton of fun!

Role-players sitting around a table from the movie The Gamers

The Movie is very much carried by its humour, the plot itself isn’t very robust being a basic defeat the villain, rescue the Princess cliché but nonetheless serves as a good vehicle. Likewise the characters are very stereotypical but that’s okay because it’s what the movie is making fun of.

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Blog Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Dungeons & Dragons 2 – Wrath of the Dragon God

After the atrocity of Dungeons & Dragons the Movie it’s doubtful whether any sequel ever had lower expectations than this. Fortunately things could only get better. Wrath of the Dragon God could not be more different from its predecessor, and it’s gratifying to see criticism being used constructively.

Mages casting spells

Set in Ismer a century on the city is unrecognisable, but Damodar, the blue-lipped henchman (minus the blue lips) and only recurring character (played by Bruce Payne), plans to destroy it. It seems Jeremy Irons cursed him with undeath (justification for blue lips if ever I heard one) so Damodar, seeking revenge, locks him in a room with the first movie playing on a continual loop recovers the magical Orb of Thingamabob to awaken the sleeping Dragon God.

Pg 46: Role Play

This week in Epic Fail: Amuletts tries to get Dirk to participate in the sexy kind of Fantasy Role Play. He runs away.

Creator’s Commentary: I wasn’t at all sure whether to be this blatant, but luckily this is a comic on the internet and I know that in comparison to a lot of the stuff out there this is pretty tame.

Some of you will be pleased to hear that this is the end of the ‘Shopping’ storyline. It was fun, and I could go on, but I think I’ve said what’s necessary.

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Blog Movie Reviews

Movie Review: Dungeons & Dragons (2000)

I’m starting to believe that Dungeons & Dragons is to film what Macbeth is to Theatre: cursed. Invoke the name and you spell disaster. Perhaps you’ve seen the 80’s cartoon series or Dragons of Autumn Twilight? They were bad, to be sure, but this is worse – far worse than you can possibly imagine. Which, believe it or not, is sort of it’s charm; it keeps you watching with morbid fascination to see just how bad bad can get.

Blue lipstick? Bugger me!

The movie’s tag-line was ‘This is no game,’ and truer words were never spoken. The classic role-play game is only conspicuous in it’s absence from the production that bears it’s name. A few scant elements were incorporated from the source matter, but those inaccurately, so what was intended as fan service comes across as a kick in the teeth.