Thursday, 30 June 2016

His Scarf Blinded My Camera With Science

If we have to live in a cyberpunk nightmare, we can at least have some of the tech - like clothes and other items that prevent (flash) photography. Not suited to making gangs of cybered-up super-thieves invisible to security feeds, but it’s something...

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

The Living And The Dead

The Living And The Dead, from creator of Life On Mars Ashley Pharoah and Doctor Who director Alice Troughton, is rural period folk horror. This makes it basically Please Watch This Craig. As such I was probably bound to be easy to get watching... but not completely on side.

I’m not entirely convinced that its apparent monster-of-the-week with arc plot format was the best call, though. That could be sustained across six weeks, but it feels like a serial would be a more natural fit.

(Also, as of the end of the first episode, the audience has seen elements showing that the supernatural is a thing but our heroes are still entirely sceptical. Can that last without the Scully problem setting in? If this is just a one-off series it doesn’t need to, but the MOTW suggest that might not be the idea...)

The horror folk side of folk horror is well used, with a new (to me) version of The Lyke-Wake Dirge as the theme tune and a new She Moved Through The Fair in episode one - even though it’s not about a ghost visiting a loved one...

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

More worldbuilding than expected

Independence Day Resurgence is a sequel to the alien invasion trash-classic made and set twenty years later... which runs with Earth being pretty banged up and having access to massive amounts of alien tech for those twenty years. As a result, it looks kind of like Mass Effect with more modern-fighter-shaped spaceships.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

The Martian - not a solo adventure because communication

The Martian modernises the castaway adventure with mostly real science about how to deal with being stranded on Mars after an exploration mission - and also because communication with the rescue effort is a major factor. It starts out impossible and then improves to very difficult, to about as easy as modern communication with a half-hour lag from Earth to Mars.

Constant communication really changes the “split the party” issue - Leverage talks about this, and Steve D talks about this when he talks about Leverage. Here, getting the connection to work is a plot point - before that it is effectively a solo adventure - and the delay can be a major factor at times once it’s up and running.

Thursday, 23 June 2016


A decision that splits normal political alliances in two, could throw a nation into chaos... all very good sources for drama, if it isn’t actually happening to your country.

A normal political development (election, succession) can change things plenty - a once-in-a-lifetime one can really shake a setting up.

Get out and vote, folks.

One Last Match

SteveD on five things gamers can learn from The Fifth Element. I’ll just plug a couple of specific points, about how easy victories can be fun - and make hard victories stand out - and an idea in the section about running out but not empty:
... it’s good to have crit failures be out of ammo or your weapon breaks. But a better idea even then that is leave them with one bullet or a sword that will break on the NEXT hit.
That? That right there? Brilliant.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Gods Of Sweden

A joke in the thread about Gods Of Egypt has become its own glorious thing, Gods Of Sweden, imagining an equally accurate rendition of Norse myth starring Ice Cube as Thor and Ice-T as Loki...

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Under The Strawberry Moon

Summer solstice. Full moon. First time since 1967. Not as cool a name as Super Blood Moon. You wouldn’t have an apocalypse cult gearing up for a ritual for the Strawberry Moon, would you?

Monday, 20 June 2016

The Game Night Of The Film

There’s a board game night at the Edinburgh International Film Festival tonight, slotted in amongst the DJ nights which have been running all week. This seems slightly odd.

(I don’t know how many of the games will be film-based. I doubt that the really rather out of print Highlander card game will make an appearance, for example.)

Then again, a few months ago we had board game nights fundraising for the Green Party.

Sunday, 19 June 2016


From the dawn of time we came, moving silently down through the centuries. Living many secret lives, struggling to reach the time of the Gathering, when the few who remain will battle to the last. No one has ever known we were among you...

... until now.

Go check out Katanas & Trenchcoats.

And Incarnate.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

A new Buffy boardgame

A new Buffy boardgame.

Some of us at TWH once played, I believe, the Prescot Games boardgame. Once. This one sounds a bit more promising.