1,000 YouTube Subscribers!

A thank you to fans.

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I’m proud to announce that I have hit quadruple digits on my YouTube channel this month!

I’m incredibly thankful and humbled by all the fans. YouTube has a dubious reputation when it comes to community but for the most part the comments and live stream chats have been nothing but positive and fun.

I’ve been uploading videos to YouTube for years, beginning with poorly streamed Let’s Plays of video games with cheap mics, bad audio, and choppy video quality. It wasn’t until 2015 when I began recording and streaming our Roll20 RPG sessions that we really began to find an audience.

Some of you have been with us since Storm King’s Thunder began, others with Lost Mine of Phandelver and even a few of you still make reference to our Shadowrun campaign. The in-universe jokes, from the Graham Cracker Crew to zombie Tims to Jake from State Farm always put a smile on my face.

A few of you have been asking how you can support the channel and my work. I’ve been looking into some options and researching what methods work best, whether its Amazon affiliate links, Patreon, Ko-fi, or a YouTube partnership.

Rest assured that I will never gate our primary RPG streams behind any kind of paywall. Any monetary support would be purely optional, and help me produce more higher quality videos at a steady pace, particularly extra content like my DMs Guild Reviews, Roll20 Reviews, and board game reviews.

This whole venture began as a labor of love and an effective creative outlet. It warms my heart to see so many of you enjoying it along with us. We have more exciting things planned for the future, including our next D&D campaign where I return to the DM’s chair.

Thank you so much for subscribing to my humble channel, for leaving positive (or constructive!) comments, and for chatting during our weekly live streams. Here’s to the next 1,000 fans!

Frostpunk Review [Pixelkin]

A unique post-apocalyptic city-builder that forces you to maintain hope as much as heat and wood.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Things were going well, or least as well as can be expected against an apocalyptic snowstorm, until the temperature plummeted another 40 degrees. “Snowmaggeddon” is a joke during brutal winters. But nobody’s laughing in the world of Frostpunk when temperatures approach -90 degrees, rendering most of the world uninhabitable.

In the last city my supply of coal dwindled to nothing as my geothermic reactor began shutting down. I watched a cascade of Bad News as my workforce grew sick, homes grew cold, and people began dying.

I was forced to pass a law to enable emergency 24 hour shifts. Brave men and women operated frozen coal mines in the dead of night to give us the juice we needed. Some grew sick, and some were so frostbitten they had to have limbs amputated.

But the city survived. These harrowing moments solidify Frostpunk as one of the most memorable and emotional city building sims I’ve ever played.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

The Swords of Ditto Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Many video game genres overlap and blend well together. Shooting and third-person action. Narrative-rich adventure with first-person exploration. RPG elements in just about everything. Yet in the paraphrased words of Dr. Ian Malcolm, just because you can combine genres doesn’t mean you should.

The Swords of Ditto is a cautionary tale. The concept seems solid: combine the basic structure of classic top-down, 2D Zelda within the framework of a challenging roguelike, creating a frustrating experience that relies too much on repetition.

Read the full review at Pixelkin

Divinity: Original Sin is a Great Co-op RPG for Couples [Pixelkin]

Read the full article on Pixelkin

Seven months and 80 hours later my partner and I finally put down our PS4 controllers in triumph to watch the end credits roll on Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Edition.

We have played many cooperative games together over the years but none have enthralled both of us quite like D:OS. Its rewarding tactical combat system, huge world, and most importantly, a story that weaves together both characters equally kept us invested in one of the best cooperative gaming experiences we’ve ever had.

Read the full article on Pixelkin

The Class of 2008 – King’s Bounty: The Legend [PC Gamer]

Read the full article at PC Gamer

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Heroes of Might and Magic 3 is not only one of the best PC strategy games ever made, but one of the best games period, perfectly capturing the magic of building castles and battling fantasy armies. Unfortunately 3DO filed for bankruptcy soon after producing the disappointing fourth entry in the series in the early 2000s, taking New World Computing, the developers of Might and Magic, with them. Ubisoft swooped in to take over, and would then go on to produce increasingly mediocre sequels.

But fortunately for us, in 2008 King’s Bounty: The Legend came from Russia, with love.

Read the full article at PC Gamer

 

The Class of 2008 – Defense Grid: The Awakening [PC Gamer]

This article ran as part of PC Gamer’s Class of 2008 series of retrospectives.

Read the full article at PC Gamer

“We wanted to make a beer game,” says Michael Austin, creative director and co-founder of Hidden Path Entertainment. “That’s a game you can play with one hand while holding a beer.”

Though Austin and his fellow veterans at Hidden Path had previously worked on several games, Defense Grid: The Awakening was their first self-published title. They released it in 2008, when the tower defense genre was still mostly mods for games like Warcraft 3 and a few smartphone and browser games. Austin saw a fellow employee playing Desktop Tower Defense, and became inspired. “I wanted to make a AAA tower defense game, since the genre had only been in mods and flash games so far. I wanted to make Defense Grid because that’s a game I wanted to play.”

Read the full article at PC Gamer

Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – SteamWorld Heist

Does the turn-based tactical combat of XCOM work in a 2D game?

Adventuring through my backlog of games, one game at a time. 

Developer: Image & Form
Publisher: Image & Form
Release Date: December 10, 2015
Available On: 3DS, PC, PS4, Vita, Wii U, iOS, Switch
Played On: 3DS

gaming backlog final thoughtsIt’s been far too long since I was able to properly start and finish an older game from my backlog. My workload as a freelance writer continues to increase (and part of my job is to play new games), and 2017 in particular had a bunch of long games that have taken up a big chunk of my personal play time, such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Divinity: Original Sin 2 (consequently, the #1-3 games on my Top Ten list).

But thanks to waiting in line every day to pick my daughter up from school, I’ve been slowly plugging away on my Nintendo 3DS, finishing a lot of recently released games like Pokémon Moon, Metroid: Samus Returns, and Monster Hunter Stories.

After those I fired up an older game that had been sitting in my digital library for so long that I accidentally purchased it again during a Steam sale at some point: SteamWorld Heist.

SteamWorld Heist is a spin-off of the SteamWorld Dig series that takes place in the same steampunk-robots-in-space universe. But instead of another action-platformerer, it’s freakin’ 2D XCOM, and it works brilliantly. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – SteamWorld Heist”