Archive for September 20th, 2012

, | Games

After a brief exclusive period for some of our Kickstarter supporters, the rebooted Tom vs Bruce is now officially live for everyone. Our first game is the Civilization IV mod Dune Wars, in which we take turns playing House Atreides against the AI.

On turn 202, a rumor spread throughout Sergeybrinograd that Tom and Bruce were using their terms of service as the heads of House Atreides for some sort of bizarre internet contest sponsored by a grassroots movement of questionable repute called Kickstarter. House Harkonnen couldn’t be directly tied to the rumors. But when a city suddenly acquires a trait called “misinformation” that reduces production by 20% and causes unhappiness to four points of population, you can blame it on espionage. And where there’s espionage, House Harkonnen can’t be far behind.

This was the beginning of the Harkonnen Wars, a valiant period in Atreides history when Tom Chick demonstrated his considerable prowess as a cunning diplomat, an importer of fine luxury goods, a brilliant military leader familiar with the tenets of Civilization IV warfare, and a lover. On that last count, suffice to say Princess Irulan was often seen leaving the Atreides palace in Arrakeen during the early hours. The shrewd observer might note that she was in a disheveled state and often carrying her heels. That she would later agree to trades advantageous to House Atreides can’t have been a coincidence. I mean, who ever heard of just giving away techs like Protected Trade and Defensive Armaments?

Read the Dune Wars Tom vs Bruce here.

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, | Game reviews

One of my most common reactions while playing Guild Wars 2 is, “Well, heck, why didn’t games do it like this before?” There are all sorts of answers to that question, including the fact that some games did do it like this before (the MMO aficionado might recognize elements of Dark Age of Camelot, Rift, Eve Online, and Guild Wars 1). But the main answer is that these kinds of games have been in thrall to World of Warcraft’s success, which in turn is in thrall to it’s own launch date. Blizzard’s formula was so successful so quickly and so lucratively and for so long that it cast a tall foreboding shadow on an entire genre, freezing it in the year 2004. This was the way you do it if you want to be big and successful. This is the way it was.

After the jump, the operative word is “was”. Continue reading →

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