I love NO EYES, and I must listen

A lot has been going on lately and I’ve been struggling to put time into a post. I do have some great music for those that are interested. NO EYES (or no3y3s) hasn’t been on my radar for very long and some of their past songs have been up and down. The latest album was all upside though and well worth the $5US! If you like tracks with a lot of action to get you pumped up, grab this album NOW!

Check out NO EYES latest album here!

Advertisements

Fresh content!

I’ve never dabbled in Podcast/ strictly audio content creation before, but when excellent runner of nets and handsome fellow Brian Holland approached me to be a part of his project I couldn’t refuse!

I’m joined by a cast of excellent players and human beings and recording the first few episodes has been a blast. We focus on the competitive side of Netrunner wit more in-depth analysis of cards, decks and the meta as a whole. Even if you’re a casual player, give us a listen! You may like what you hear.

AEG, Doing it right?

Just like last week I thought I’d share some more music with you guys. Here’s a great set from Australian music artist and man of many talents, little-scale! You can check out his blog over here!

For those who don’t know me personally, I have been getting my hands dirty with a lot of Doomtown: Reloaded lately. A re-imagining of an oddball classic in Alderac Entertainment Group’s new ‘Expandable Card Game’ (see: Living Card Game) format. The great thing about getting into such a game at the ground floor is you see the community build up brick-by-brick, something I was proud to be a part of for Netrunner. The other day I was made aware of this news post from the AEG website.

Are AEG making the smart choice?

 

Firstly, this is a fantastic plug for the various community projects involved with the game. Second, it shows how well AEG keeps their ear to the ground. In the past, Fantasy Flight Games legal pursuits of OCTGN* and various card databases (most notably netrunnerdb) have left a bad taste in the community’s mouth. In what is surely a deliberate act, Alderac are not just leaving such services be, but actively advertising them!

The community is the big winner here. db0 is some kind of digital wizard when it comes to OCTGN and praise from the designers should give him peace of mind in his continued support. Speaking of digital wizards, Alsciende made (by far) the best Netrunner deck builder/card database. I don’t know if it was a personal project or AEG actively sought him out for Doomtowndb but it doesn’t matter either way. Having such a finely sharpened and robust tool this early in the games life is, at the very lest, a good thing.

 

*’Online Card and Tabletop Gaming Network’. It’s a malleable program that allows people to create a virtual tabletop to emulate various games. Previous lawsuits against similar programs have often been ineffective to say the least.

A storied past, an interesting future.

Today I wanted to share with you my thoughts about the past/present/future of card gaming. Before getting stuck in, here is what I’m jamming out to at the moment.

At the moment, card gaming feels like it’s in a bit of an age. I say ‘feels like’ because I can’t decide if its a golden/silver age, renaissance or something completely different. For those of you who haven’t been around long or delved into the past, let us dive.

-In the early 90s, collectible card gaming was born with (and will likely end with) Magic. To say it was a success would be a vast understatement. Dudes were slamming Shivan Dragon and loving life.

-Others were quick to take notice and jump on the bandwagon. Some ideas were good, great even. Most were just trying to capitalise on a fad. One thing was for sure, game design was not what it is today which resulted in some pretty out there concepts. At least there was variety! Unfortunately, by the mid-late 90s the market had become flooded and games were dropping like flies.

-In ’99, Pokemon become the first game to outsell Magic. This began the trend of ccgs being designed with marquee brands attached to them, often selling on the name rather than the game. Interesting licensing issues (Star Wars in particular) started to rear their heads around this time too.

-The early 2000s established YuGiOh as the third pillar in the industry, but marked the beginning of darker times for gaming. More franchises were being pushed to the market (particularly anime), many of which cut support after a short amount of time. Mechanically, things were developed better but often rehashed similar ideas from other games (Duelmasters and the WoW ccg are both close to my heart, but are prime offenders in this case).

Untitled-1

-Now in the modern era, new ccg releases are uncommon and often rely on niche audiences to survive. These times have been defined by the rise of two categories, Asian exported ccgs and Fantasy Flight Games ‘Living Card Game’ format.

So, what about the future? Interestingly, the last two will likely face (if not already facing) similar problems with market share. Many Japanese card games target the same audience and with every new title you’re just carving up smaller sections of the pie.

The LCG market still has some ability to grow, particularly with different audiences (nothing is aimed at young teens yet). Initially, they had a massive edge in cost and consumer-centric philosophy which has allowed their games to survive for such a long time (A Game of Thrones is approaching 8 years). However, other major publishers have already taken notice (High Command, Doomtown, VS System) and no doubt more are on the way.

BvAfxPOCYAAdn6x

Eyes are on Upper Deck’s upcoming VS system re-release (not just for legal reasons)

So with the playing field has evened out and more companies throwing their hat in the ring, are we heading towards another crash in the industry? On the international level there may be enough sales to support them, but what about the local level. In some communities the LCGs have already split their customer base, making it hard to find a game. Melbourne is one of the lucky ones in that most players have made Netrunner their game of choice (I may talk about the fantastic implications of that another time).

There we go, thats the state of play at the moment. People are still jamming dragons (albeit not of the Shivan variety), great ideas of the past are being reborn with modern game design and we’re spoilt for choice. It’s a great time to be a gamer, but how long will it last?