Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Gaming News

GenCon, and its lingering con crud have passed (and for most people I noticed, it was a delayed con crud, moving in two days or even a week after the event), so let me catch up on stuff in gaming.

Let me start with the toughest news first. Gaming legend Jim Ward (Metamorphosis Alpha, Gamma World, my boss for many, many years at TSR) has been in the hospital for the past way too long for a diabetic ulcer on his foot. He's not doing particularly well, but is most worried about losing time on various projects he's involved in. A GoFundMe Account has been set up to help offset his medical costs. Cards and letters also appreciated, and he can be found at:
       St. Lukes
       James Ward
       Floor 4 28B
      2900 Oklahoma Ave
      Milwaukee, WI 53125

We're all pulling for you, Jim.

The big news that hit right at the end of the convention was an agreement clearing the way for a D&D Movie. The short version: Warner Brothers wants to make a D&D with Hasbro's permission, but has been blocked by Sweetpea Productions, who claims the rights (Though, like all things, it is complicated). The settlement puts Sweetpea as an exec producer (and probably more - we aren't partial to those dealings) and clears Warner to do the movie.

Now, this news, and the mention that it will be set in the Realms, has kicked off a flurry of speculation about a Drizzt movie, or an Elminster movie, or even (yes, in some parts) an Azure Bonds movie, but the best thing to look forward to is a good movie with a good story. The Marvel franchise has not slavishly wed itself to its original books, but instead did films that captured the flavor and magic of the IP without having to lockstep into previous continuity. Have fun, guys.

Speaking of Elminster, his creator, Ed Greenwood, has teamed up with Gabrielle Harbowy to edit the Women in Practical Armor short story collection. Their Kickstarter already made their numbers, but check em out anyway.

Also news out of GenCon was the change of ownership of the venerable Chaosium, home to Glorantha and the Call of Cthulhu games. This is all tied together, because the guys at Rising Moon, who delivered the glorious Guide to Glorantha coffee table tomes are now running things, and Elder Gods Greg Stafford and Sandy Petersen are retreating to the background once more. More information here.

In the wake of Gencon, this popped up on Vice of all places. It's a paen to the wonderful weirdness that is D&D. Author Zak S created the award-winning A Red and Pleasant Land, and his thoughts on the game evoke the writing style of Harlan Ellison when the man was doing essays as a regular column.

Over on the computer game side, there is this about writing for games. I have tales of my own, but you're going to have to buy me a beer. The article includes a link to this twine game (sort of a newfangled Choose-Your-Own-Adventure) called The Writer Will Do Something.

Also on the net is your chance to check out Chaldea: War Room. Chaldea was the home campaign of Peter Adkison (you know, WotC and, um, GenCon) and Peter has been polishing up his chops as a film-maker. War Room in the first of his videos.

And finally, a video that turned up a few weeks back from the Guild Wars: Nightfall game in 2006. Originally put together for the deluxe edition, I don't know if it ever shipped with the game, but instead made its way to the net years later. There are a lot of interviews with the old gang (myself included), and all I can say is ... we all look so YOUNG in it.

More later.