Archive for April 17th, 2013

PAX Prime tickets sold out

, | Games


PAX Prime 2013 passes went on sale today. Those of you lucky enough to have grabbed a pass will see the wonderous sights (and large lines) of one of the biggest videogame expos still going. This year’s gathering will occur just before an E3 show that will likely feature three major console makers battling for positive press, so anticipation is high that PAX attendees will see some good previews. Did you get your pass? Probably not. The 4-day passes sold out in mere minutes with single day passes selling out before the evening.

Six hours later and we are again completely sold out of badges. We apologize for any technical hiccups we ran into early in the day. Our partners over at ShowClix were scrambling to fix any issues that came up, and we have some solid takeaways as far as what we would do differently next year. Thank you again for your patience, and we’ll see you in August!

PAX Prime will be held in Seattle from August 30th to September 2nd.

Correction: PAX Prime 2013 is held after, not before, E3 2013. These events exist on the same sequential Einsteinian time model as everything else on Earth, so August 30th is after June 13th.

Qt3 Games Podcast: Tom vs Bruce vs Chris Taylor

, | Games podcasts


The battle between Tom and Bruce in Nemo’s War might be over, but the war rages on! Nemo’s War creator Chris Taylor joins Tom Chick and Bruce Geryk for an in-depth (get it?) discussion of Jules Verne, boardgaming, and more boardgaming. Join us for a very special Tabletop Edition of the Quarter to Three Games Podcast.


Euro Truck Simulator 2 wants to put you behind the wheel of a real truck

, | Games


Is anything more awesome than Euro Truck Simulator 2? I’m thinking, but I can’t come up with a good answer. I loved it so much that I chose to discuss it for my first Quarter to Three podcast. Maybe Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon will top it, but for now, ETS2 is so terrific that there’s a contest to become a real-life Heavy Goods Vehicle driver, sponsored by the UK publisher of ETS2. If you live in the EU, you could watch some videos, answer some questions, and win a free HGV driving course! Now, you can finally be the long-haulin’ cap-wearing knight of the road you’ve always dreamed you could be.

Porkchop Express, look out!

Ship just got real

, | Games


I’m sorry about the headline. I really am. It’s the tagline for Pieces Interactive’s upcoming naval strategy game Leviathan: Warships. PC Gamer has a hands-on preview of the Paradox published multiplayer game that looks lovely. It’s an asynchronous real-time game that pits player-designed battleship fleets against each another.

The framework of your Leviathan fleet is a Warhammer tabletop-esque point-buy system, with three tiers for Small, Medium, and Large fleets. Using these points, you can fully customize a handful of ship classes with different weapons, bridge types, speed-boosting modifications, energy shields, and more. Each hull has a limited number of hard points, which can generally fit one, bigger gun, or a couple smaller ones. The only limit to the type of fleet you can build is your point budget.

Shields and weapons are all directional, as well. You can save on points by loading up one side of your ship with a completely insane amount of guns while leaving the other side bare, but this opens up the possibility of your opponent out-maneuvering you and hitting your undefended broadside. Vision and weapon ranges also play a large role. You can only shoot what you can see, and most weapons have a minimum (as well as a maximum) range.

Ships created with a point-buy system? Yes, please! I’m a sucker for any game that allows players to pick and choose components and design their own machines of doom.

Victoria II reminds us of the dark time when Seattle nearly destroyed Spain

, | Games


In 1842, the United States and Britain both colonized Seattle at the same time. This didn’t go over well. The world sat up and took notice. Would future Washingtonians call the trunk of a car a trunk or a boot? Would they think Mr. Bean movies were funny? And how good would they be at acting? It mattered. So the Great Powers were given the opportunity to weigh in. Spain decided to wait and see how everyone else was going to vote. And when the issue broke into war, Spain had forgotten to vote and was therefore dinged five prestige points.

I was in charge of Spain back then. You may not remember this from the history books, but it’s true. My bad. I was trying to figure out something else. Sue me. It’s not easy running a whole country. So we lost five points of prestige. This isn’t normally be a big deal, but at this particular point in history, Spain was low man on the totem pole of Great Powers. By losing those five points of prestige, Italy qualified for Spain’s Great Power slot. Spain had a little over a year to stay Great by earning more prestige. So she declared war on the Ottoman Empire, who had defaulted on Spanish loans some years earlier. Spain figured she could sink some Ottoman ships, sue for peace, rake in a little prestige from the victory, and hold her place in the geopolitical sun.

But Spain forgot to check that the Ottoman Empire was allied with Austria, which meant the 11 Spanish ships that weren’t policing Cuba and Indonesia were up against about 30 Ottoman and Austrian ships in the Mediterranean that had nothing better to do. Oops. Spain’s attempt to bully the Ottomans into renewing interest payments — “This is a nice empire you have, Ottomans; it would be a shame if something happened to it…” — resulted into the loss of Spain’s home fleet and a subsequent blockade of Spanish ports. What should have been a prestige gain turned into a prestige loss.

And that’s how the Brits and Americans bumping elbows in Seattle lead to the fall of the Spanish Empire in 1844. But as you also may recall from your history book, Spain didn’t give up! The invention of pressure chambers for thorax surgery — this is an actual thing is Victoria II, bless it’s historically detailed heart! — in 1848 gave the Iberian peninsula just the boost to prestige it needed to qualify again for the Great Power club. Take that, Italy!

Blood Dragon: The Cyber War

, | Games

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon marketing serves up another wonderfully campy commerical. This time, it’s a live-action extravaganza of synth music, bad acting, and goofy costumes. It’s glorious. I really hope the game can live up to the promise of the terrific videos we’ve gotten.