NEW

Apex Theropod Collected Edition Kickstarter

Hello everybody! We just wanted to share the news that the Apex Theropod: Deck Building Game will be launching on Kickstarter next TUESDAY. Right now, we're planning to call this the "Collected Edition." This version of the game includes a new box with all new box...

Ian Stuart Sharpe on the Jotunn War Cover Process

One of the ideas that fascinates me most as an author are the symbols we use throughout history. For example, the cover of the latest issue of the Jötunn War is a pastiche of a well known WWI poster. We have subverted the Army Air Service American Eagle and added in a...

The Santa Myth…

...And Why Pit Such a Cheery Legend Against the Horror of Zombies? by John Mayer Although this very question sounds paradoxical, the horror genre has always been at its best when it injects the shocking, the gruesome, the profane, the unknown, the ugly with the...

Storytime with Ian: Who are the Jötnar?

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”. See, that’s where the Christianity has it all wrong. All good Vikings knew the real story of how it all really began. The same way it will all end. With giants. Ginnungagap was the great emptiness before there...

Santa VS Zombies Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Gwendolyn Nix gwen@outlandentertainment.com SANTA VS ZOMBIES, ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL, LAUNCHES ON KICKSTARTER  Adventurous world full of Christmas cheer and gore to launch April 9, 2019   TOPEKA, KANSAS (April 11, 2019)—A new...

NEW COMIC, ORC GIRL & GOBBO, RELEASES FROM OUTLAND ENTERTAINMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Gwendolyn Nix gwen@outlandentertainment.com NEW COMIC, ORC GIRL & GOBBO, RELEASES FROM OUTLAND ENTERTAINMENT  New Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy Comic Releases on March 29, 2019 TOPEKA, KANSAS (March 29, 2019)—Orc Girl & Gobbo, a...

Planet Comicon 2019 Booth #1925

Hello folks! As we do every year, we'll be out at our hometown show, Planet Comicon. We'll have a variety of books, games, comics, and artwork on the table for you to check out! We'll be at booth #1925. This year, special guest Chris Yarbrough will be joining us for...

NEW VIKINGVERSE GRAPHIC NOVEL, THE JÖTUNN WAR, LAUNCHES ON KICKSTARTER

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Gwendolyn Nix gwen@outlandentertainment.com NEW VIKINGVERSE GRAPHIC NOVEL, THE JÖTUNN WAR, LAUNCHES ON KICKSTARTER The first of a four-issue graphic novel brings Norse history to life this March TOPEKA, KANSAS (March 22, 2019)— The...

Reclaiming Norse Mythology from the Nazis by Ian Stuart Sharpe

It is one of the most iconic scenes in modern cinematic history:  Indiana Jones is in a desperate race against the Nazis, a lone hero battling against the entire German war machine to prevent an ancient artefact of immense power from falling into the wrong hands. Of...

Interview with Ian Stuart Sharpe, Author of The All Father Paradox!

Q: What made you write The All Father Paradox? Ian Stuart Sharpe: I think it was preordained. Not in a crazy way, you understand. You just learn to spot the signs, to realize that something is off-kilter. For example, in the year 793AD, according to the Anglo-Saxon...
Apex Theropod Collected Edition Kickstarter

Apex Theropod Collected Edition Kickstarter

Hello everybody!

We just wanted to share the news that the Apex Theropod: Deck Building Game will be launching on Kickstarter next TUESDAY.

Right now, we’re planning to call this the “Collected Edition.” This version of the game includes a new box with all new box artwork and collects not only the BASE GAME, but also the four primary expansions, STOMPING GROUNDS, SUCHOMIMUS, SAUROPHAGANAX, and THERIZINOSAURUS.

Additionally, we’re offering the option to get a couple Kickstarter exclusive decks that are only available through the Kickstarter campaign and nowhere else! The MEGALODON and PROMETHEAN WARS decks!

The game has been off the market for the last couple years and this is all about getting it back out into the world. Since Outland took over the project from Herschel Hoffmeier, we’ve received many inquiries from folks looking to find their own copy of the game. Your inquiries have not fallen on deaf ears!

We’re going to be keeping this project pretty simple and direct. We’re raising funds to do another print run on the game, which is what will be going out to backers and, after we deliver to everybody, we’ll be putting it back out on the market as well.

A couple other items, just for clarity –

We will be working with a company called KickCTRL. We’ll be the first to admit – we’ve not always done the best at managing our Kickstarter campaigns (in fact, we’ve been pretty terrible). We’re working to turn that around. KickCTRL will be running the campaign, coordinating response, managing the funds, production, printing, and shipping. This is their sole focus! We are incredibly excited to be working with them on this project!

Any backer of the previous two Apex Kickstarter projects who have not received their full base game will be getting a copy of the collected edition unless they would prefer the second edition.

KickCTRL has also very thoroughly quoted out the prices to print and ship the game. Our goal for the KS allows us to do a substantial print run and deliver the games as soon as they are printed. This is the same printer that printed the second edition of Apex, so they are a known quantity in terms of quality and delivery. Furthermore, they have an amazing warehouse in Chicago that can pack and ship all the games to the backers.

So, dependent upon a successful campaign, we will be able to immediately order the games as soon as the campaign completes. It’ll take about a month to print everything and a month and a half to ship it to our warehouse in Chicago, so we fully expect to start shipping games tentatively no later than April, 2020 (with a bit of a buffer built in for any potential delays).

We’re very excited about this and we’re looking forward to getting the game into your hands!

Thank you!

Ian Stuart Sharpe on the Jotunn War Cover Process

Ian Stuart Sharpe on the Jotunn War Cover Process

One of the ideas that fascinates me most as an author are the symbols we use throughout history.

For example, the cover of the latest issue of the Jötunn War is a pastiche of a well known WWI poster. We have subverted the Army Air Service American Eagle and added in a raven, very much a Norse symbol.

Because the whole premise of the Vikingverse is that the Norse never Christianised – and in my alternate history, even conquered Rome – it is the Raven banner and not the eagle that flutters proudly across the Norse Empire. Same idea, different reality!

You might wonder why artists and propagandists were so keen on the eagles in the first place….

The bald eagle was chosen June 20, 1782 as the emblem of the United States of America, because of its long life, great strength and majestic looks, and also because it was then believed to exist only on the American continent. But the eagle as a heraldic device goes further back. The Reichsadler (German “Imperial Eagle”, also featured in the original) is derived from the Roman eagle standard, used by the Holy Roman Emperors and in modern coats of arms of Germany, including those of the Second German Empire (1871–1918) and the Third Reich (Nazi Germany, 1933–1945).

It was meant to embody the reference to the Roman tradition similar to the double-headed eagle used by the Palaiologi emperors of the Byzantine Empire or the tsars of Russia. It’s all about power and legitimacy.

But we all know history is rewritten by the victors, and in my setting that means Vikings! So, go and tell people to buy up War Bonds/make a Kickstarter pledge.

The Empire needs YOU!

Ian Stuart Sharpe

Planet Comicon 2019 Booth #1925

Planet Comicon 2019 Booth #1925

Hello folks!

As we do every year, we’ll be out at our hometown show, Planet Comicon. We’ll have a variety of books, games, comics, and artwork on the table for you to check out!

We’ll be at booth #1925.

This year, special guest Chris Yarbrough will be joining us for the release of his creator owned comic, Orcgirl & Gobbo. You’ll have a chance to be the first to see it in print! You’ll also be able to purchase exclusive prints!

We’ll also be premiering the preview issue of The Jotunn War from Ian Stuart Sharpe, Devmalya Pramanik, Paul Little, and Ed Dukeshire. It’s a futuristic Viking saga set in Ian’s Vikingverse. We’ll also have his first novel, The All Father Paradox, available for sale as well.

In addition, we’ll have copies of the Apex Theropod deck building game from Herschel Hoffmeyer, Shotguns & Sorcery RPG and Omnibus from Matt Forbeck, and a variety of anthologies (Blackguards, Knaves, Kaiju Rising, Kaiju Rising 2, Mech, Hath No Fury, and Emergence) published by Outland. In addition, we’ll have the premiere of the hard cover Warlock 5 graphic novel from Cullen Bunn, JimmyZ, Jeff Edwards, Andy Poole, and Ed Dukeshire.

It’s going to be a really exciting show! Looking forward to seeing you there!

Ragnarok Publications Absorbed into Outland Entertainment

Ragnarok Publications Absorbed into Outland Entertainment

Hello folks!

When we announced last year (2017) that we were making changes to Ragnarok Publications, the intent was to maintain Ragnarok as an imprint of Outland Entertainment. But as we started to move forward, it became more and more obvious that there was just too much negative press associated with Ragnarok. None of which really had anything to do with the current team behind the company as it stands.

So, rather than try to continue publishing with one arm tied behind our back, we’ve made the decision to absorb Ragnarok into Outland. It also helps to bring everything under one banner in terms of management and production.

We’ll be maintaining these titles from the Ragnarok catalog –

  • Blackguards: Tales of Assassins, Mercenaries, and Rogues;
  • Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place;
  • Hath No Fury: Tales of Strong Women;
  • Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters;
  • Mech: Age of Steel;
  • Neverland’s Library.

We’ll also be maintaining our distribution relationship with Independent Publishers Group (IPG). We love working with them and they have been more than supportive with all the changes we’ve made.

Moving forward, we’ll be taking on projects that we intend to develop into trans-media IP (intellectual property). Meaning, before we take on a project, we’ll be looking at how we can develop it into fiction, comics, and games, or some combination of those three items. It’s a slightly different approach than Ragnarok had previously, but we have a pretty extensive background not only developing fiction (whether it’s anthologies, novels, or novellas), but developing comics and game projects through our creative services as well.

We also have a deep and abiding love for all things fiction, comics, and games!

So as 2018 progresses, we should have some fun announcements to make about the projects that are currently in development. Keep an ear to the ground and if you haven’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page!

Thanks!

JM

Ragnarok Publications Absorbed into Outland Entertainment

OUTLAND ENTERTAINMENT ANNOUNCES OUTLAND PUBLICATIONS, NEW KICKSTARTER LAUNCH

KANSAS, UNITED STATES (28 December, 2017) —

Outland Entertainment has launched its comics, games, and fiction publishing division, Outland Publications. The new arm of the creative services company continues to publish the company’s successful projects, such as the forthcoming print volumes of Nightfell and Warlock 5, as well as digital comics such as Ithaca and The Barry Blair Library, as well as anthologies formerly published by Outland’s fiction arm Ragnarok Publications. All currently in print Ragnarok Publications titles are being absorbed into the new division.

Outland Publications first new anthology project, Kaiju Rising 2, a sequel to Ragnarok Publication’s most popular anthology, is launching a Kickstarter on January 9, 2018. Editors Nick Sharps, editor of Kaiju Rising, and editor-in-chief Alana Joli Abbott have brought together an exceptional author list: Marie Brennan, ML Brennan, Cullen Bunn, Teri Clarke, Nick Cole, Steve Diamond, Kane Gilmour, Jonathan Green, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Melanie Meadors, Mari Murdock, Lee Murray, Jeremy Robinson, Sabrina Vourvoulias, and Dan Wells. 

Editor in Chief Alana Joli Abbott, who has been with Outland since May 2016 and served as Editor in Chief of Ragnarok Publications upon Outland’s acquisition of that company, enthused about the new division’s upcoming projects. “We have some excellent anthologies planned for this year, featuring a group of really exceptional authors,” she said. “I’m pleased to be collaborating with experienced anthology editors, including Nick Sharps and Melanie Meadors, and Narazu editor Cerece Rennie Murphy, to be putting these projects together.”

Outland Publications’s other forthcoming projects for 2018 include the core roleplaying book for Matt Forbeck’s Shotguns and Socrery, as well as an omnibus tome of Forbeck’s novels that inspired the setting, and the launch of trans-media project Pileaus, which includes a roleplaying game, comic, and short fiction projects. 

Outland Entertainment continues to provide high quality creative services under the name of the parent company.

# # #

Outland Entertainment was founded as a creative services company in 2008 by Jeremy Mohler. Since then, Outland has worked for a wide variety of clients across the world. Outland specializes in assembling creative teams and managing projects. Contact them via their site form or go to www.outlandentertainment.com. For more information, contact Jeremy Mohler at jeremy@outlandentertainment.com.

WARLOCK 5 IS COMING TO KICKSTARTER ON APRIL 26TH

WARLOCK 5 IS COMING TO KICKSTARTER ON APRIL 26TH

KANSAS, UNITED STATES (26th April, 2017) —

On the 26th April, Ragnarok Publications will launch a Kickstarter campaign for a reimagining of Warlock 5. Originally created by Gordon Derry & Denis Beauvais, Warlock 5 was published by Barry Blair, a Canadian comic book publisher, artist and writer, known for launching Aircel Comics in the 1980s. CULLEN BUNN and JIMMY Z JOHNSTON co-write this relaunched fantasy adventure while JEFFREY EDWARDS takes on the artwork with colors by ANDY POOLE.

The campaign seeks to fund the reinvention of this classic fantasy masterpiece, full of rivalry, betrayal, magic, dragons, and killer robots. The goal is to create a 60-page full-color original graphic novel with an entrancing action-packed narrative that will please both newcomers and fans of the early series.

This project is part of The Barry Blair Library, which provides a collection of approximately 300 issues and over 6000 pages of content collected from over a half-dozen publishers that Blair worked on through the 1980s and 90s. Prepare yourself to read works such as Blood N Guts“, “Demon Hunter“, “Dragonring“,  “Elflord” and Gun Fury” for the first time in digital format.

Cullen & Johnston keep the story faithful to Blair’s work, while Edwards illustrates the most exhilarating multiverse scenes, all brought to life by Poole’s colors.

The new Warlock 5 series is something every comic fan will want.

 

# # #

Ragnarok Publications, founded in 2013 by Joseph Martin and Tim Marquitz, publishes genre fiction and has released about 50 titles from dozens of authors. They specialize in genre fiction and can be reached at www.ragnarokpub.com. Outland Entertainment was founded as a creative services company in 2008 by Jeremy Mohler. Since then, Outland has worked for a wide variety of clients across the world. Outland specializes in assembling creative teams and managing projects. Contact them via their site form or go to www.outlandentertainment.com. For more information, contact Gwendolyn Nix at g.nix@ragnarokpub.com or Susana Grilo at s.grilo@ragnarokpub.com

Ragnarok Publications and Outland Entertainment merge to expand publishing and creative services

Ragnarok Publications and Outland Entertainment merge to expand publishing and creative services

Crestview Hills, Kentucky (Feb. 22, 2017) Genre fiction publisher Ragnarok Publications and creative services company Outland Entertainment announced this week that the two will be merging into one, with Ragnarok Publications as the publishing branch and Outland Entertainment continuing to offer creative services.
Ragnarok Publications began releasing titles to market in January 2014, providing epic fantasy, urban fantasy, and supernatural/paranormal fiction to readers. As of 2016 they are distributed by IPG Books into the trade market.
Outland Entertainment’s expertise lies in illustration, graphics, and comic development, branching into publishing in 2014. The merger has come about to expand both companies’ creative opportunities, leading Ragnarok Publications to come under the banner of Outland Entertainment to oversee Outland’s comics and games, in addition to continuing to publish novels. Outland Entertainment will remain dedicated to creative services.
“We are thrilled to partner with Outland,” said Joseph Martin, former Creative Director of Ragnarok Publications and now Publisher with the Outland merger. “It lets us expand our publishing repertoire by adding more staff and a diversification of comics and games properties, at the same time utilizing the strength of Outland’s design services and contacts. Jeremy [Mohler] and I have been talking since late 2014 about this merger. It’s nothing but upside.”
“We’re excited about the partnership,” added Jeremy Mohler, former Outland Entertainment Founder & Creative Director and current Creative Director at Ragnarok. “Joe and his team have an impressive reputation for publishing quality products and an amazing library of novels and anthologies. Merging our two companies, more importantly our teams, will only increase the quality of our products, and we’ll be able to create, manage, and tackle more projects and, best of all, reach more markets together rather than on our own.”
Martin and Mohler will remain the heads of the merged company. Ragnarok and Outland’s teams will combine, resulting in the following:
Joe Martin Publisher, responsible for project acquisitions, and production supervision of novel and anthology published titles.
Jeremy Mohler Creative Director, responsible for project acquisitions, overseeing all creative services, and supervising graphic novel and game projects.
Alana Joli Abbott Editor in Chief, responsible for story development, editing, production, and overseeing projects to publication.
Edward Lavallee Chief of Comic Operations, responsible for all aspects of graphic novel production schedule, submission, and distribution.
Gwendolyn Nix Office Administrator, responsible for manuscript editing, public relations, liaison with clients and authors, and novel production administration.
Shawn King Director of Design, responsible for design solutions, including website graphics, novel covers, comic page layout and games.
William Ward Director of Games, responsible for game idea and development and overseeing them through to publication.
Susana Grilo Director of Digital Marketing, responsible for marketing, overseeing digital technologies and social media trends, and ensuring strong company presence.
Nicolas Giacondino In-House Illustrator, responsible for illustration development for graphic novels, games, and comics.
# # #
Ragnarok Publications, founded in 2013 by Joseph Martin and Tim Marquitz, publishes genre fiction and have released about 50 titles and worked with dozens of authors. They specialize in genre fiction and can be reached at www.ragnarokpub.com. Outland Entertainment was founded as a creative services company in 2008 by Jeremy Mohler. Since then, Outland has worked for a wide variety of clients across the world. Outland specializes in assembling creative teams and managing projects. Contact them via their site form or go to www.outlandentertainment.com. For more information, contact Gwendolyn Nix at g.nix@ragnarokpub.com.
Choice of the Pirate – The power of CHOICE

Choice of the Pirate – The power of CHOICE

It’s great a feeling to have your say on how a story develops. That while you’re reading, it evolves, and your own character is created according to your choices. This makes it a lot more personal. So I was eager to try out a multiple choice interactive novel from Choice of Games and see if it lived up to its recommendation.

When I first opened the Choice of the Pirate app [I was surprised:  stark, without the usual razzle-dazzle one associates when we hear the words “interactive e-book.” But I quickly realized it didn’t need any of that: the quirkiness was in the way it approached you directly.

The stats column, on the left side of the screen, informing you of your character’s development, is written in pirate. (Please, tell me you know what I’m talking about! There’s even a day for it. “Arrr, me matey! I’m yer captain!”)

Being a fan of all things pirate—it all began with Pirates of The Caribbean I have to confess—when I got hold of Choice of the Pirate by our very own Alana Joli Abbott, I was intrigued.

At first I didn’t know exactly how it would play out.  How would the graphics on the column get filled?  I read the “landlubber’s guide to the terms” but I was still curious! And it was with a childlike pleasure I started to see MY character emerge from the story. Yes, my character. Because I’m sure that if you read it, even if you decided to copy my general characteristics (such as name, moniker, flagship, flag and even signature clothing), your character would be different in some percentage. The delight of being an honorable but 91% pirate woman! To have this sassy young lass navigate the flow of allies and enemies, trying to figure out how to improve her skills at the art of Cambiar—a special kind of magic—all connected to my own choices.

 

 

 

 

The Status column!

 

 

I got stuck looking at some paragraphs, rereading the options given. Would I ruin my reputation? Would this be too definite for the character, or would there be another chance to follow a similar thread?

Oh, how I wished I could read ahead! Or go back and change something.

There’s an increased level of responsibility when reading a book like this. You read knowing that what you answer might only control the order of info given, or how quickly you reach a certain goal, but it also might mean an abrupt change of wind.

I admit sometimes I needed an extra choice, something that wasn’t there. But here’s the thing: the narrative has already been written; you’re just navigating your way through the different choices the author has created. Think of it like a sneak peek of how the multiverse theory would kind of work out. Parallel universes where what doesn’t happen here will fracture outward, creating a different timeline and therefore a new universe where your unchosen option will play out.

Or…maybe not.

Sometimes you can feel the hand of the writer steering you, limiting your choices. These moments break a little bit of the “oh, I have freedom!” feeling that you embark on. But without these confinements, there had to be an infinite number of hypotheses that would in turn lead to uncountable plot points. So, to sum up: not feasible, deal with it, and enjoy the sweet playful compromise, bargained between you and the author.

I had a blast! If sometimes I felt restricted, others I felt like I had too much on my shoulders: the name of my character? I wanted it to be something meaningful. Her flag? It definitely had to be special!

My attempt to make my pirate and flag tangible… hey…I’m not an illustrator!

And that’s how I found myself delving into lists of marine flora and feminine names. “Too strange. Too predictable. Oh… I don’t even know how to say that,” were some of the things that crossed my mind. I easily lost twenty minutes searching for a name fit for my character.

But the flag and the clothing? That came out instantly! I had already begun to discover Noziroth, she was becoming more and more visible.

I loved the idea of incarnating this person, so I made the choices against what I usually do—which is set up to make completely bold choices that I’d never dare in real life. Here, I actually put on the salty battered leather boots and decided to be me (well, as “me” as possible, of course!).

I felt the yearn to kill a certain character. But when the time came to press the “Next” button and make it my final choice, I would change for the merciful option I knew I would actually go for as “me.” Nonetheless, I was pleased to end up with a bold, fierce character that had a lot of me in it. I had the opportunity of seeing how I would behave in a sea filled with scavenger rats and dubious captains. I got to be a PIRATE!

And yes, I wished I could try another choice; see where the other road would have led me. That’s the magic of it: if you want, you’re free to reread the book and play it out as a complete opposite character! But you know what? I think I’ll wait for awhile: I’m just too caught up with the web I created.

See how possessively I talk about the narrative? It seems as though I wrote the story myself. That’s the beauty of these books. Alana creates a rich, involving universe with strong characters that you—as a reader and as a character yourself—get to play against. She allows you to feel at ease to explore this world she created at your own pace.

And it is magical. I felt as surprised as I felt responsible for some outcomes. There were cliffhangers, some intriguing characters, and it made you want to read faster: why? Why can’t I read just a little bit ahead? The answer is simple: it would ruin the whole experience.

When talking about this book, I always talked about the things I had chosen and what that had gotten me. I didn’t feel like I was just reading. I was creating alongside the author. Isn’t that powerful? I have to say that as a writer it must be really scary to share this power with the user (reader/creator). As Alana said in her article “Sharing your world: game writing,” you have to be open about how the story will play out. Not much different than a Game Master on a quest. Your players will define their own characters and blaze through a path of their own, although inside the possibilities of the universe you’ve built.

It’s a much more immersive way to experience a narrative. I felt embarrassed, excited, disappointed: as the choice is yours to make, so is the rejection or the pain that results from it.

When reading a common book, you get to imagine the whole thing in your head, and we all know that no two readers will get the same exact experience of a particular story. However, here you’re bound by the information and descriptions given. The characters are all fleshed out, or at least not as raw as in this choice book.

Don’t be fooled: Choice of the Pirate is no ordinary “Choose your own Adventure” book. Alana borrows the core idea from ol’ creative Edward Packard, but allows you to actually create your character—nearly—from scratch. And that, for me, was key for all the rest. I was captured. I assumed the role of the protagonist: buying the ghost ship against common sense, maintaining cordial relationships with as many people as I could, trying to find out the truth about the Pirate King’s identity. Yahima Noziroth was my avatar in the island of San Alfonso and the Lucayan sea.

Can’t wait to start reading one of Alana’s other apps, Choice of Kung Fu. Being a Pirate: check! Now, let’s be a martial artist, shall we?

 

Have you already read any of these titles? No?!? Then click here and try it.

And please, please share your characters in the comments. I would love to see how your pirate turns out!

S.G.

Hearthstone: RPG or TCG?

Hearthstone: RPG or TCG?

 

You should already know I’m a noob in the game universe. Following my post “RPG: Hearthstone, my  newest addiction,” some of our readers pointed out to me that Hearthstone isn’t exactly an RPG, but first and foremost a TCG.

I made my case, they made theirs, and in the end we still had doubts.

While Hearthstone is based on as hardcore a roleplaying game as World of Warcraft undoubtedly is—or is it? We’ll get back to this—Hearthstone itself is more of a card game. You do get into character, but you don’t create the whole persona—I mean, you can’t even edit or change their speech bubbles during games. You’re stuck with the personality that each class has been given.

You can’t actively trade cards with other players either. You can disenchant yours, get dust and then craft new ones, but it’s not like your friend can entice you with three awesome cards just so he can have your Ragnaros.

However, when you’re playing against your friends, be it a friendly banter or the ultimate challenge, you’re not “you.” There’s this Mage, Warrior, Hunter, or Rogue who molds your actions—and therefore how your personality comes through. Of course you will have a determined gaming strategy that sets you apart. Maybe you like to attack the Hero directly from the very beginning instead of wiping all its minions off the table. Nevertheless, one can argue that you are indeed playing a role. You don’t have as much creative freedom as you get in other RPGs, but you are in character nonetheless.

“How about the cards?” I can hear some of you shouting. “How can you not see that you’re playing freaking cards?!?”

Well, yes, cards are the gateway to your actions, they’re how you express yourself—outside of the speech bubbles. You can change the backs of the cards, and you can choose whether or not to use the golden ones, giving your personal touch to the game. Hey, you can even buy new characters that will, in turn, grant you access to new card backs.  And don’t forget that you can interact with the different settings where you’re playing.

Then again, what makes an RPG or a TCG? Wait. You didn’t think there were just these two terms did you? Because there are more to count, starting this small list—and this is just concerning the CG part as a constant:

BCG: Battle Card GameCCG: Customizable Card Game
ECG: Expandable Card Game
LCG: Living Card Game
OCG: Official Card Game
OCG: Original Card Game
TCG: The Card Game
XCG: Expandable Card Game

This IS confusing.

Even worse, did you know some people claim that WoW goes by the name of TCG? Hey! Don’t crucify me! I have yet to play it to reach any conclusion.

If you look for definitions of each of the aforementioned terms, they vary from source to source. Opinions differ and the rules get hazy when you scan through different forums.

So… Here I am. New at this and without certainties about nomenclatures. But you know what? Even though most of you would probably smack me in the face for saying this, I do have to admit that I don’t really care what it is called. The important word on that fancy and—sometimes confusing—pot of acronyms is the G word. I simply want to enjoy myself playing GAMES, no matter if they’re slightly more TC based or RP oriented.

May I just add how interesting this whole acronym thing is? It makes you feel like you’re an old soul gamer. No? Is it just me? Well, at least it impresses non-gamers… Anyway…

What do you think? RPG or TCG? Weigh in with your opinion in the comments and see if you can convince me!

S.G.

Web Summit – Techies Assemble in Lisbon

Web Summit – Techies Assemble in Lisbon

The city was bursting with people wearing badges. You could spot your kindred souls just by seeing the blue lanyards. Finding yourself in Lisbon, here in Portugal, you’d think we’d be speaking our own language, but no: from November 7-10, the first contact you’d have with ANYONE—be it the lady from the teeny tiny fruit shop to the conference speaker at the MEO Arena—would be in English.

Lisbon transformed itself to welcome the more than 50,000 geeks that made their way to Web Summit. Taking into account it was the first event of its kind and size to take place in our country, I think we behaved quite well. Yes, 3,000 attendees were left outside the main stage on opening day and that was a big shock for everyone—believe me, I had paid my ticket, was psyched to be at the opening ceremony… and stood freezing on the steps amidst the crowd watching through a screen.

But let’s not get caught up in the logistic details and cut to chase: all the tech revolution.

There were thousands of startups from every sector you can imagine: Entertainment, Health, Sports, Fashion, Socializing, Learning… What held this diverse group together was the fact that they were using new(-ish) technology. Whether touting apps made from scratch or adaptations of existing software and hardware, people showed how innovation can be achieved in the smallest of ideas.

But there weren’t only startups there. You could see and experience new ventures of household names like Microsoft, Google, or Tesla.

You always know that going to a conference (or convention) is going to test your agility. How’s your sprinting time? With the stands of companies changing on a daily basis, plus the huge number of presentations, I found myself running franticly to catch all I wanted. Needless to say, sacrifices were made.

But I managed to hear some captivating speakers on a variety of topics that truly interest me. There was time for new marketing ideas and tools at the PandaConf, tons about the importance of continuing to make relevant content for your increasingly demanding audience at ContentMakers, and more VR and AR enlightening at the TalkRobot stage, while FutureSocieties and Modum offered different views on how we can learn and teach people to be bolder and embrace tech innovation by applying new methods to old business and creative models.

All that was asked in return was that you remembered their words and took their advice into account when your time came. People want entrepreneurship to move forward embracing the technological advances we continue to conquer.

At Night Summit, when you had worn yourself out all day, it felt nice talking to the other attendees about work, yes, but more about the countries they came from and what they thought about current events—remember that a certain election happened right in the middle of the conference, so that was a topic that immediately permeated every conversation from then on.

I could go into detail at how excited I was to finally meet Paddy Cosgrave in person or how cool it was too listen to Joseph Gordon-Levitt talk about film and creativity. I was disappointed to miss an interview with Sophia, the AI robot created by Ben Goertzel—that looks disturbingly like a character out of Ex-Machina…

My head bubbled with ideas upon listening to Baobab Studios CEO Maureen Fan and film producer Michael Shamberg, and I got many ideas strolling down the Entertainment aisle of startups. I felt the urge to do something. To act. To be part of this moving innovative cluster of people who’ll bring you the Future, no matter what field you work in. Because in the end it will all spread through our lives, from the way we dress to how we talk to friends or how we drive a car.

S.G.