You Rebel scum…

So yeah, it’s been a while… *cough*

It’s been an amazing week for nostalgia, with the re-release of classic space combat games X-Wing and TIE Fighter. My response to this has ranged from an initial scream of HOLY ZARQUON SINGING FISH to having to restrain myself from squealing with joy (Hey, I was at work) to walking round with a grin on my face so wide that it threatened to snap my face in half. And this is in the same week that Captain Marvel and Black Panther movies got announced, so it’s not like I’m short of geekgasm.

Animal

That’s basically how I looked when I first saw the press release.

Those games are a massive part of my adolesence, since it’s not like I was doing things like partying, drinking or spending time with the fairer sex. Ahem… X-Wing let me live out a childhood dream of taking part in the attack of the first Death Star, which I then never managed to complete owing to it being ludicrously difficult. TIE Fighter, on the other hand, was where I took my first steps on the dark path and found that playing the bad guys can be incredibly fun. (See the TV show Leverage for more of that) It also had several features that X-Wing lacked, such as backing up your scores if you got killed, being able to match speed with your target and the TIE Defender, the most broken Starfighter EVER. You also got a second campaign, where if you talked a with a mysterious Cloaked Figure, and completed a bunch of hidden objectives, you got an awesome tattoo slowly branded on your arm by FORCE LIGHTNING, a tattoo that I’m unashamed to admit I wanted badly when I was 14, and still do a little at 34.

Tietatooscreenshot

See – told you it was awesome.

Just flying a TIE Fighter itself was amazing – the sound of the things is practically engraved on my eardrums. Hell, the only reason I’m writing this and not playing the games is my lack of a joystick, something I intend to rectify over the weekend. Then I’ll be 14 again, it’ll be back to my youth, or at least the bits of it I actually like remembering. Now, if they can also re-release X-Wing vs TIE Fighter and X-Wing Alliance, then I may be so happy the universe will shatter.

PS: I still want one of the Imperial Officer uniform caps, despite the fact I’m sure I’d look ludicrous in it. But I did once buy a pair of WW2 flying goggles solely to wear to a Crimson Skies Clix tourney, so I have some history in that department.

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Sydcon 2014: A Report

So, what did I do at Sydcon? Feel ill mostly. I bought the board game Tsuro, an expansion for Pandemic and some wonderful art. Didn’t buy any dice though, which might be part of the reason why I was so sick.

I did get the chance to play Havoc Brigade, an incredibly amusing game about a bunch of semi competent Orcs (Or possibly a pile of Goblins) on a suicide mission to capture a Human prince. I got to play a pirate caption (Without a ship mind you) and managed to score an award for not using anything but the front door, or a hole blown in the wall by an explosion. Oh, and did I mention I started out dressed in an outfit the Sixth Doctor would consider garish and later upgraded to a coat that Rob Halford would think a little over the top*? Much fun and well worth your time, but I think that of anything that encourages you to speak in stupid accents.

My game (Also about a bunch of semi competent Orcs, but these are musicians!) ran twice, with both groups of players seeming to have enjoyed themselves. (I say seeming, cause of self-doubt more than anything else.) Having people say they saw your name on the GM’s list and immediately signed up is a hell of a thing – flattering and terrifying in equal measure. Could I have handled the game better? Probably. I have a tendency to indulge my players too much when they’re enjoying themselves, which can derail things even further than I normally do. Eh. It’s not like my games are structure heavy to begin with – go play WoD if you want that sort of thing! (It’s not that I have issues with World of Darkness games, just they tend to feature things like strong emotions, harsh decisions and ‘issues’, things my games mostly ignore in favour of bad accents and explosions. I’m like Michael Bay in that respect.)

The big question is will I write another game featuring these characters?

A: Probably not. I have an idea or two for a third game (They wake an actual Tarrasque and are told ‘You woke it up, you kill it”), but the second was a lot more of a struggle to write. It was fun, don’t get me wrong, but it felt more like work to write rather than fun. Part of that may be due to my state of mind at the moment, but that’s something for another time. It’s not like I’m short of other projects anyhow. Some of which, I shall detail below!

A Conan the Barbarian freeform: In the Rats Nest tavern in Arenjun the City of Thieves, a wretched hive of scum and villainy even by Zamoran standards, something incredibly valuable has been stolen, though what and by whom is not yet known. The person who did the stealing is there, as if the fence they’re selling it to, and the person who commissioned the theft in the first place. Along with several people who could use the item, exchange the item for goods and/or services or just want to get it to screw someone else over. (Those individuals have no idea who each other are though.) Skullduggery, backstabbing and shenanigans occur, or hopefully will if it get’s written. (Yes, I did recently re-watch Conan the Barbarian and it’s just as awesome as I remember)

A Deadlands freeform: A post-apocalyptic western, set in a small town that’s hosting both an election for Sheriff and a poker tournament. Co-writing this one with some friends and will hopefully make some movement on it soon. Also, one of my co-writers hasn’t yet seen The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which I need to rectify regardless.

[SPOILERS] tabletop: A super- secret project that I refuse to spoil. Which I can’t anyway, as it’s not written yet! All I’ll say is that it involves a large blue box…

Enough for now. Sleep beckons, hopefully. (Smoke detectors are lovely, but when they decide to let you know the battery is running low at 5:30 in the morning, they’re less useful…)

* The alternative version of that joke was ‘had more medals than a third world dictator