Interview with Ashes of Creation’s Steven Sharif [ZAM]

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Since the halcyon days of Double Fine Adventure just a few years ago, Kickstarter has faded as a legitimate source of revenue for video game companies. While some veteran developers and spiritual sequels can still find success on Kickstarter, it’s the last place one would expect to find a multi-million dollar MMORPG by a brand new studio.

Intrepid Studios has discovered an audience who is hungry for their upcoming title Ashes of Creation, an ambitious MMORPG that promises an impressive degree of player involvement within the politics, economy, and history of the world. The Kickstarter campaign surged to over $1 million after 36 hours. The campaign wrapped up last week with nearly 20,000 backers pledging over $3.2 million.

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D&D 5E “Storm King’s Thunder” Session 8 Recap

We talk down a dwarven assault on the flying tower, survive an explosion by a mysterious new foe, and cling to life versus a pair of deadly Yetis in the snowfields below.

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Previously on “Storm King’s Thunder”

We’d been in the tower for a week, and fended off two separate attacks. I was pleased to see Zephyros again but unnerved at the global event that painted him a target. I would be glad to set down near Bryn Shander and resume our quest.

That night I felt a chill in the air. I slept uneasily, with visions of what Korinn had told us about her own ominous vision dancing through my mind. We awoke to the sound of a growing thunderstorm all around us. Zephyros floated down, a worried expression on his face.

“Little ones! Gather quickly!” he implored. I’d never seen him like this before. “Something terrible has happened. You all need to get out of here right now.” His words were punctuated by a startling roar that echoed throughout the tower, as a thudding sound indicated that something large had landed directly on the tower.

“I’m not going to leave you, Zephyros,” I yelled, the howling winds making it difficult to speak. I’d only just found my friend again. After all we’d been through protecting this tower, I wasn’t about to abandon it. We could face whatever new threat together.

“Zephyros,” an eerily calm, deep voice echoed down the tower. “You have for so long stared into the void,” it taunted. “Now it is your lucky night. The void has come calling.”

“Zephyros,” I yelled, “What did you see?”

“The cloud, dear boy. Whatever I could not see. It is here. You have to go.” Zephyros waved his hands and I felt our bodies become lighter than air. I glanced at Korinn, who was clutching her stomach as if struck by a wave of nausea.

“Don’t do this Zephyros!” I felt my voice crack. Zephyros was the closest figure I had to a father and mentor in my life. Without him, I’d never reached the Mind-Zei monastery, never untapped my potential, never survived the nightmares.

d&dZephyros’ eyes crinkled with sadness. “I’m sorry my boy. It is the only way. I will deal with this. You must continue our work. The Ordning – fix it if you can. I will find you. I promise.”

The tower shuddered as pieces began falling around us. I was dumbstruck as the giant ushered us toward the front door and outside into the swirling winds, our hair standing on end from the lightning surging around us.

Zephyros stepped back inside the tower and drew himself up. The kindly old man became a beacon of strength and defiance. “Whatever you are,” he shouted up into the tower, “You will not have me or my castle!”

“Come Zephyros,” the voice teased. “Claim the answers you seek.” A huge chunk of the tower was ripped away, crashing to the bottom nearby.

“Zephryos!” I screamed and ran back toward him. The cloud giant turned, a look of resolution etched upon his face. He reached out a hand and a blast of telekinetic force slammed into me. I hurtled backwards along with the others. A second later we were tumbling down the air, the Feather Fall spell keeping us from plunging to our deaths.

I reached out with my mind, briefly touching his. ::We’ll find you again:: I sent. The connection was severed as the tower receded into the distant sky. A giant bolt of lighting coursed through the cloud, slamming into the tower and exploding chunks of rock. I screamed again, and again.

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We’re In a Golden Age of Space Strategy Games [Pixelkin]

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Not long ago the strategy genre was struggling when it came to the final frontier. Fans of endlessly replayable strategy games and galactic empires frequently cite 1996’s Master of Orion II as the pinnacle of the sub-genre. Nearly two decades have gone by without much competition.

Fast-forward to 2017 and suddenly we have a myriad of excellent space games all vying for your star-faring gaze.

Between 2015’s Galactic Civilizations III, last year’s Stellaris, and the recently released Endless Space 2, I’m officially declaring it the Golden Age of Space Strategy Games. But which one is right for you, O Conquistador of the Cosmos?

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