Thursday, December 31, 2009

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space


My lovely wife gave me what I wanted for Christmas, the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space roleplaying game. I wanted to own this from the moment I heard about it. But it was the fine fellows at the Source Comics and Games that clenched the deal. A few weeks ago, they had about 4 copies of the game. I asked and Bob let me open one of the boxes even though I wasn't going to buy one at the time. Together he and I sorted through the books and studied the character sheets, deciphering the game system and came to the conclusion that this was a good game. Now I have my very own copy.

The game is written assuming the reader is familiar with the current Doctor Who series. It also assumes the reader is new to roleplaying. I think this is a smart direction with the hope that more young people will discover this fulfilling and wonderful hobby. The production quality is top of the line. Cubicle 7 did an amazing job with art and themes from the BBC show. What I liked the most about the presentation was that the game comes in a box. This was very reminiscent of RPGs from the late '80s and early '90s, like Top Secret/S.I. from TSR. Included inside is a player's manual and a gamemaster's manual, again reminiscent of the old-school games. Several blank character sheets as well as character sheets for each of the major characters of the program. There is a set of six 6-sided dice, a quick start sheet, and an adventure booklet. There are also sheets of accessories that you can use for gameplay- a sheet of tokens that are used for Story Points and a few sheets items you can use for your character's inventory. The latter seemed odd where with most games listing the character's gear on their sheet seems enough. The Story Point system has been a pretty popular feature in many games these days. There is a lot packed into the box and you can tell by the weight of it (it almost might seem the inside is bigger than the outside- wink wink).

One thing that was very interesting is the lack of hitpoints or similar way to measure damage. This lends itself to an unusual philosophy for RPGs and that is this game frowns on violence. While this fits the spirit of the television show, it may be a challenge for experienced gamers who are far more accustomed to kill 'em-and-take-their-stuff type gaming.

This is the only product out as of the writing of this post. There are three other supplements planned so far. There is a Gamemaster Screen and a bestiary of sorts- Aliens and Creatures, both to be released early February. Then in April another supplement will be published- Defending the Earth: The UNIT Sourcebook.

For whatever reason Cubicle 7 doesn't have a forum dedicated to the Doctor Who RPG at their site. I suspect it has something to do with BBC or whatever. No matter. There is a fantastic resource created for and by fans. The DWAITAS is the Doctor Who Adventures In Time And Space forums.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tarzan

I've found a way to enjoy Tarzan with my son. For the last few years I've discovered the joy of the Edgar Rice Burrough's novels. My son is too young to read yet, but he really enjoys animated television. Together we're discovering the '70s series Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle. I haven't seen many other adaptations of Tarzan (including the Disney version. I'd like to see that one, just haven't yet). The Lord of the Jungle cartoon is actually quite accurate to the novels. Greystoke is well spoken and intelligent. The show features the Mangani which are the fictional race of intelligent apes and even uses many words from the Mangani language. Through the series, Tarzan visits many of the lost cities introduced in the novels. The animation is based on the art from the newspaper strip by Burne Hogarth, Burrough's favorite Tarzan comic artist.

So far it has been a wonderful journey. I hope to see the series released on DVD someday. For legal reasons and copyright issues, that seems unlikely anytime soon.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kick Ass

I have heard nothing but good about Kick Ass. Never read it, but I am impressed with the trailer for the upcoming film.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Panic Attack!

From Uruguay to Hollywood: Watch the Video

by Claudine Zap · December 18, 2009
Photo: Carlos Alvarez, Getty Images

Here's a fairy tale that could only happen in the movies. Man makes YouTube video. Goes to Hollywood. Gets pots of money and a movie deal. Except this story is true.

An unknown producer from Uruguay, Fede Alvarez, shelled out about $300 to create a cool video of a robot invasion in Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. The four-minute short, "Ataque de Panico!" (Panic Attack) features ginormous (but slow-moving) weapon-wielding robots that blow stuff up.

We have to admit, it has pretty amazing production values. The Playlist gushed that the director may be the next Neill Blomkamp, who made the South African-based alien flick "District 9." With the blog abuzz, the South American short went viral, and has already been viewed on YouTube 1.5 million times.

Well, apparently nothing gets by Hollywood these days. The lucky duck told the BBC, "I uploaded 'Ataque de Panico!' on a Thursday and on Monday my inbox was totally full of emails from Hollywood studios." Long story short, a bidding war ensued. The offer he pocketed: A $30 million deal with Sam "Spiderman" Raimi's Ghost House Pictures. That's a nice return on investment.

The picture will be a sci-fi thriller set in Argentina and Uruguay. In case you're hoping to see the feature-length version of "Panic Attack!" in a movie theater, it won't be from this deal. The newly minted "it" guy says he will start from scratch.

Here's the video that got him Hollywood gold.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dark Void

Dark Void is a rocketman video game coming out from Capcom. Looks like good old fashion Buck Rogers fun.






Brad Pitt may be on for the movie adaption... wait- a movie adaption!? Nice.


Brad Pitt To Star In ‘Dark Void’ Adaptation? Maybe, But Not Likely


Dark Void
Reports have been coating the Internet over the past few days that a new movie is being made based on the multi-platform video game, Dark Void, and that mega-star Brad Pitt could possibly star in the lead role. Reliance Entertainment and Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment have officially acquired the rights to the property and are currently developing the idea.
There’s a tiny bit of a problems with stories like this, however, as none of it is nearly as likely as it sounds through the eyes. First, and most importantly, is the fact thatDark Void is a video game that no one knows much about yet — it could be the greatest game ever made, it could be the worst ever made; no one will really know until the game is released in January. The two studios will do their best to develop a good strategy, for sure, but until they see how it does and how the story plays to audiences, this is still a project that might not even happen.

Then there’s the Pitt element. I personally have trouble believing that we’re going to see Brad Pitt starring in a video game adaptation — especially with how game-based movies have fared over time. I suppose there is the small chance that they’ll have a great story to tell and brilliant plan for their movie that would be fitting for the likes of Pitt, but I would not count on it at all. Pitt is not the best actor ever to live, but we all know his status and the projects he does, so him starring in this sounds about as likely as Russell Crowe starring in the possible Dead Space movie.
Dark Void is a new science fiction adventure that tells the story of a cargo pilot and a group of other humans who crash in the Bermuda Triangle, which transports them to a parallel universe. In this universe, an alien species that was thought to be extinct still lives and they must fight the aggressive creatures off to survive.
First things first: let’s see how this game looks and plays before we go getting excited about a movie.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

This looks like a very fun and possibly a high quality take on modern fantasy/mythology.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Samurai Jack

I think Samurai Jack is more of a study in cinematography. The animation is so simple, but if you could project what it would look like as a live action, there are few cartoons with the same artistic sense. When you can find a show that holds this type of "camera work" AND has enjoyable story telling with sci-fi and ancient martial weapons, you can't go wrong.





Posted on Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 23:08:35 GMT by: quietearth
Posted under: movie news scifi animation action samurai

Did someone say Samurai Jack? You mean that badass cartoon where a samurai fights evil and is thrown forward in time? Yes, we did, and it looks like
Samurai Jack will be coming to the big screen and IMDB has it tentatively set for 2011. The "2D/stereoscopic 3D production" will be written and directed by series creator Genndy Tartakovsky.To boot, it's being developed at Paramount Pictures with Bad Robot and it looks like JJ Abrams will be a co-producer.

Don't know what you're missing? You can watch the intro and a cool clip after the break. via
Wild Grounds and Frederator.






Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Pathfinder RPG School Play

da Vinci Arts Middle School is performing a show based on a D&D/Pathfinder game module. It debuted this weekend and runs again next. Reports are coming in that it was fantastic. If you're in the Portland, OR area go see this! I'm hoping for a DVD release, myself.

Five years after a tragic fire and a spate of brutal murders, a sinister shadow has fallen upon the people of the small coastal town of Sandpoint. Rumors of goblin armies and wrathful monsters in forgotten ruins have set the populace on edge.

Only a group of unlikely young heroes can prevent the people of Sandpoint from becoming...

Burnt Offerings

Written and Directed by Tom Beckett

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Join the staff and students of da Vinci Arts Middle School - the distinct and unique Portland public school dedicated to creative minds and the fulfillment of artistic potential - as they bring to life the fabled game of Dungeons and Dragons as an original theatrical work, featuring swordplay, goblin battles, romance and adventures of every kind.

November 13th and 14th 7:00 PM.
November 20th and 21st 7:00 PM

Tickets $5-10
Call 503 916 5356 for ticket information

Donations gladly accepted. Help support the arts in public schools.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Based upon "Burt Offerings,"
a Pathfinder Roleplaying Adventure
by James Jacobs.
(C) 2007, Paizo Publishing, LLC.


Discussion about the Burnt Offerings play on RPG.net and Enworld.org.












TRON Legacy theme song by DAFT PUNK

These two videos have been spotted on YouTube supposedly as new tracks from DAFT PUNK's upcoming TRON sequel soundrack. I'm not sure if they're legit, but they are cool. That is for sure.





Here is the trailer if you haven't seen it yet...


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Sky Calls to Us

A Glorious New Dawn about to go mainstream of sorts. This takes something away from the whole thing somehow.


The Symphony of Science
“A Glorious Dawn” On A Path To World Domination

By Lonnie Morgan November 10, 2009

The Album Cover (image: Third Man Records)
Here at GeekDad, we’re big fans of Carl Sagan, the GOAT when it comes to making science understandable for the masses (IOHO). In September of this year, Mr. Sagan went viral posthumously with the internet hit “A Glorious Dawn”, a remixed-auto-tuned version of Sagan and other science greats speaking from the “Cosmos” science series.

And just this past weekend, the first Carl Sagan Day was held in Florida to honor the 75th anniversary of his birth. Now to top it all off, the composer of the Youtube remix, John Boswell, has teamed up with Jack White’s Third Man Records (yes, that Jack White, of the White Stripes) to market a 7-inch vinyl single of the song.

Available online and through Third Man’s Nashville storefront, early buyers may have an extra surprise in their delivery. In addition to the single, 50 random online orders will get a special “Cosmos Colored Vinyl” which features an etching on the B-side of the Voyager Golden Record that was originally mounted on both Voyager 1 and Voyager 2.

But don’t dawdle. We’re sure the first 50 will go fast. But if you miss out, another 100 special vinyls will be available at the Nashville store.

How cool is that?
link

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Max

No more Mel as Max. Tom Hardy steps up as the new Raggedy Man.

MAD MAX TO THUNDER BACK

Story Image


Tom Hardy is to play the lead in Mad Max Fury Road

Sunday November 8,2009

By Henry Fitzherbert

BRITISH actor Tom Hardy is stepping into the shoes of Mel Gibson after being hired to play the lead in Mad Max: Fury Road.

The 31-year-old rising star, who recently won acclaim as Heathcliff in ITV’s Wuthering Heights, will star opposite Oscar winner Charlize Theron in the new post-apocalyptic adventure.

Last night a film insider revealed: “After years of false starts the project is finally going ahead. Warner Bros are financing it and filming starts next year in Australia.”

The new project comes 25 years after the third movie, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, which co-starred Tina Turner. Fury Road will be set shortly after Thunderdome so the hero can remain young.

Gibson became a star on the back of his performance as the “road warrior” in the 1979 original but was not interested in returning to the role, leaving the path clear for Hardy.

The London-born actor came to the attention of Mad Max producer-director George Miller thanks to his roles in Guy Ritchie’s gangster comedy RocknRolla and Bronson, in which he played notorious British prisoner Charles Bronson.

Terence Doyle, editor of British Film Magazine said: “It’s a major coup for Tom, cementing his status as one of our biggest emerging stars.

“He’s a very versatile actor who is convincingly tough and macho but also hugely sensitive and subtle.”


link

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How to Train Your Dragon

Lloyd Doblers in NY

Say Anything used to be one of my favorite movies back in the day. Recently rewatching it proved it to be quite boring. However, I still do really like Lloyd Dobler, the main character who served as a role model for me. This film was also a big push for me to get into Peter Gabriel's music.

Group of Lloyd Doblers Take Over NYC For ‘Say Anything’ Release

Empress Eve | |

A group of trenchcoat-wearing, boombox-lifting Lloyd Dobler look-a-likes took to the streets of New York City today in celebration of the 20th anniversary release of Say Anything on DVD andBlu-ray.

The Doblers, which called themselves “Mobler,” began their adventure at Penn Station and make their way around the city to Washington Square Park and Union Square before ending their journey at Times Square, where the indie band Lloyd Dobler Effect put on an acoustic performance of Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.”

Check out video from the event here below, and a shot of “Mobler” here at right.

For those of you unfamiliar with Say Anything, it’s the 1989 directorial debut from Cameron Crowe that starred a young John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler, an underachieving high school student in Seattle who falls in love with the beautiful, studious class valedictorian Diane (Ione Skye). The teenagers begin a relationship, but not without complications. In a pivotal moment in the film, a trenchcoat-wearing Lloyd tries to win back Diane by standing outside her window holding up a boombox playing “In Your Eyes.”



link

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bond Will Be Back in 2011

I am one of the only people I know that liked Quantum of Solace more than Casino Royal. Many wonder what the next installment will be like for Daniel Craig. Is he going all out now his Bond origins story is finished (that's what the two films really are- one continuous story...), or will he have the lag that Brosnon had midway through his Bond term?

Craig said they start rolling film on the next one towards the end of next year.


Daniel Craig has just put the Bond 23 timeline into perspective, stating that production is set to kick off in the second half of 2010.

Daniel Craig is James Bond

Daniel Craig

The comment was made by Craig after a performance of his Broadway play A Steady Rain alongside Hugh Jackman. While signing autographs and posing for photos with fans, one female member in the crowd asked when the next James Bond film was coming out—to which Craig replied ‘Uh, we start the end of the next year, so…’

To view the brief Craig comment, visit this YouTube link (and scroll forward almost one minute in).

CommanderBond.net readers will recall thatproducer Michael G. Wilson had stated that work had begun on Bond 23earlier this year, although he failed to divulge any specifics. With Craig’s latest comment now, it seems fairly certain that we’ll be back to a three-year wait between Bond films.

As always, keep turning to the CommanderBond.net main page for the most up-to-date Bond coverage on the net.


link

Stephen King to Write Comics

There have been quite a bit of King's words translated to comics lately- Dark Tower and the Stand. These were written for comics by other writers and they were books first. American Vampire will be a whole new story created by Scott Snyder and King with co-write the first five issues with him.

Doctor Who Anime

Found this clip on Youtube...










This is a labor of love from an artist who goes by Paul "MightyOtaking" Johnson (here is his DeviantArt gallery). Seems like he favors the machine aspects of the mythology and represents them perfectly.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mad Max 4 to include Charlize Theron?

All over the internets, today, we're hearing that Charlize Theron may be cast as the leading female role in the fourth Mad Max film from E! Online. It seems number 4 will not be a reboot, but more of a sequel. None of this is clear, but it is interesting and its nice to see some momentum behind the project.

Charlize Theron: Mad Maxine?

Mel Gibson, Mad Max, Charlize TheronMad Max Films; Columbia Pictures

Charlize Theron is ready to go beyond Thunderdome. Mel Gibson, not so much.

Multiple sources tell E! News that the Oscar-winning babe is director George Miller's pick to play the lead female role in the upcoming, Mel-less Mad Max 4.

When he announced that he would begin work on the sequel back in 2007, Miller admitted Gibson was too old for the antihero role of "Mad" Max Rockatansky, and said, "I don't think he would be interested in being involved at all."

Instead, Miller is looking at little-known Brit Tom Hardy, whose credits include Black Hawk Down andBand of Brothers, to play opposite Theron.

However, the Mad Max revamp is a long way from fruition, and Miller is being very secretive about the roles and plot. Actors auditioning for the film have only been given a letter for their character's name. The studio has yet to sign off on Miller's choices, and no formal offers have been made.

A leather-clad Charlize kicking butt in the Outback? You'd think that's a no-brainer.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Carl Sagan and Autotuning = WIN

These videos popped up on our Safe House forum and have been haunting me since. There are many levels of greatness to these videos. First they're very well made. The music is fantastic. The editing is incredible. The message that is said is the best part, however. These videos are truly inspiring. Enjoy.




Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"He is returning, he is coming back..."

Some very exciting news for the new Sarah Jane Adventures...

"He is returning" - HUGE SPOILERS from The Sarah Jane Adventures

Cameron K McEwan


"He is returning, he is coming back"

Do NOT read on if you don't want your enjoyment of this week's story from The Sarah Jane Adventures spoiled in any way.

Published on Oct 19, 2009

Ok, we're not giving any plot points away but we are about to divulge in some facts from the upcoming (not to mention excellent) two-parterThe Mad Woman In The Attic (part one review will be posted on Thursday) that will make some Doctor Who fans (if not all) gasp, drool and then gasp again. And perhaps an "awwww" thrown in for good measure.

During part two of The Mad Woman In The Attic, we get treated to a flashback featuring....

YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

... the Third and Fourth Doctors as played by Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker respectively. The clips shown include The Time Warrior, Planet Of The Spiders, The Hand Of Fearand The Five Doctors. Not only that but we glimpse Sarah Jane's future too with the ominous phrase, "He is returning, he is coming back" and a clip of the TARDIS materialising in the Bannerman Road attic. Towards the end of the episode there's another flash forward (not the 'Next Time' I hasten to add) where we witness The Tenth Doctor, as played by David Tennant.

Not enough nostalgia for you? Well, that little robot mutt K9 is back too - this time for good (so they say). And looks like Mr Smith is none too pleased...

Full reviews wil be coming up on Den Of Geek starting Thursday.


How To Make D&D EVEN MORE Like a Video Game

Roleplaying games have tough competition these days with video games, MMORPGs, etc. Technology has improved RPGs a great deal, too. People are able to connect from all over to discuss or even play RPGs, it's never been easier to have your ideas published for your favorite game with PDFs popularity ever increasing. Communities and forums with countless ways to help the hobby. Technology has done so much to help DMs and Players, alike.

But, back to the video game rivalry. When a tabletop RPG runs like and feels like a game you'd play online, does this hurt the hobby? How about the actual tabletop? Can it go too far?

D&D + Microsoft Surface = Unheard-of Levels of Radness

This may be why Microsoft Surface exists:


Surfacescapes Demo Walkthrough from Visual Story TAs on Vimeo.



Surfacescapes is a proof-of-concept project using the Microsoft Surface Table to play interactive role-playing games, in this case geek favorite Dungeons and Dragons. Players attach physical pieces to the virtual space, which includes all the cool drag and zoom interactions of other Surface apps. Calculations are automated and battles are animated with creatures intelligent enough to detect where the players are situated on the map when they move.

The project is the work of a team of designers from the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. Currently, they only have a basic Game Master tool set programmed, but the researchers are working to enhance the player experience.

The ETC is a world-class research lab dealing with everything from massive multi-player online games to wearable computing to entertainment robotics. All students are required to take a course in improvisational acting to help prepare them to solve problems with and through storytelling. The ETC was also home to Randy Pausch (of Last Lecture fame) until his death in 2008.

I wonder if Surfacescapes will evolve to capture more of the D&D culture, including when to order the pizza. The virtual dice rolling, however, definitely has to go.

Thanks to @dizzyjosh (via @MituK) for the tip.
link

Seems like you might as well just play the video game version. It is very cool, though.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are


Not a kids movie. It was remarkable how realistic each of the wild thing's personalities were. I know many people like that. Most of them were very unlikable. The point being that they're immature and very self absorbed [like Max was before he ran away from home]. The punchline of the movie was Max saying something along the lines of "I wish you all had a mom...". Another line spoken by one of the creatures also drove the point home, "Families are hard" or something like that. His realization that the way these creatures were acting- selfish and childish and needy, this was how he was acting with his family. I really liked how Max never seemed entirely safe with this lot. He is a very clever character. He saves himself right away by taking control of the group, perhaps seeing their need for a leader or parent and filling that role. His lack of experience and his own immaturity fails him in the role and he realizes his own need or desire for it. I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would.

Doctor Who Roleplaying Game

Doctor Who is the longest running science fiction series and in the last few years has had a wondrous resurgence that I whole-heartedly jumped on board. With most successful sci-fi franchises, a role-playing game is inevitable. Cubicle 7 has been working on this project for some time and they're about to release three products: The Doctor Who core RPG box set, a Gamemaster screen, and a bestiary book of sorts.
Here's more info:

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and SpaceRetail Price: $59.95

Size: Boxed Game, 144pp Gamemaster’s Guide, 86pp Player’s Guide, 30pp Adventures Book, 4pp Quick Start Guide, Pre-generated Character Sheets, Blank Character Sheets, Gadget sheets, Story Point Tokens and Dice.

Interior Art: Full colour

Author: David F. Chapman et al.
Stock Code: CB71100
ISBN: 978-1-907204-11-1

Imagine you could go anywhere. This world or countless others, encountering strange alien races, new cultures or hostile environments. Now imagine you could travel to any time. See the pyramids and the Sphinx (back when she had a nose!), discover who (or what) really built Stonehenge, meet the first Emperor of Japan, or travel into the far future as humanity spreads to the stars. Where would you go?

With Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space, the power is in your hands! You can go anywhere or anywhen in the universe. It’s not going to be easy. It’ll probably be dangerous. The universe is a hostile place, full of Daleks, Slitheen, Krillitane, Sontarans, Plasmavores, Cybermen, Sycorax, Judoon and worse. There will be fear, heartbreak and excitement, but above all, it’ll be the trip of a lifetime.

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space is a roleplaying game set in the universe of the world’s longest running science fiction show on TV – the BBC’s Doctor Who. Published in a boxed format, the core set includes:

• Player’s Guide
• Gamemaster’s Guide
• Adventure Book
• Quick Start Guide
• Character sheets, including pre-generated characters for the series cast
• Tokens and Dice

Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space has been written to appeal to both the experienced and first time gamer.

Doctor Who: Gamemaster’s ScreenRetail Price: $14.99
Size: 4 panel screen
Interior Art: Colour
Author: David F. Chapman and Dominic McDowall-Thomas
Stock Code: CB71101
ISBN: 978-1-907204-13-5

Packed with all the information a Gamemaster needs for easy reference during a session of Doctor Who, this 'deluxe' thick screen will last for years of Adventures in Time and Space.
Aliens and Creatures
Retail Price: $39.99Size: Boxed set, 180pp
Interior Art: Full colour
Author: David F. Chapman et al
Stock Code: CB71102
ISBN: 978-1-907204-30-2

In the vast expanse of space wait creatures beyond the imagination. Mutants housed in impenetrable armour, vast criminal families that disguise themselves in the skins of their victims, and thousands of cloned soldiers ready to conquer and crush.

But it's not all evil and danger out there. The songs of the peaceful enslaved echo through time, while others try to protect the weaker species in the endless night of space.

Aliens and Creatures is an expansion set for the Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space roleplaying game. Within this box you will find:

• 148 page rulebook detailing many of the creatures faced in the Doctor's latest adventures including the Cult of Skaro, Davros, the Weeping Angels and the Hath, as well as additional rules for creating your own creatures both as enemies or as playable characters
• 32 page Adventure book, featuring a whole new ready-to-play adventure and many ideas for additional stories
• Additional Story Point Counters
• Alien Record Cards for easy reference
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