Goodreads Review – Blood, Sweat, and Pixels

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are MadeBlood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made by Jason Schreier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t usually read nonfiction, preferring to escape into genre stories amidst all the news and feature articles I read on a daily basis, but Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is an absolute gem. Jason Schreier is one of the best gaming journalists in the business and provides an excellent compilation of ten feature-length, source-based articles, each focusing on a different game around the 2012-2015 era.

Video game development is incredibly complicated and challenging, with big-budget titles zooming into the tens of millions with hundreds of employees and years of labor, some of which is grueling overtime. Challenges include company mismanagement, corporate takeovers, and technology woes, all in the vein of triumphing over adversity.

Even as a freelance writer who covers much of the gaming industry and has interviewed many developers, the stories and quotes in here are sobering. Yet Schreier always maintains an aura of positivity and hopefulness about game development, including how initially mediocre games (like Diablo 3 and Destiny) can be vastly improved years later.

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels is easily accessible even for complete gaming neophytes, and highly recommend for anyone interested in the enriching stories of modern game development.

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DMs Guild Review – Oath of the Voidwalker

A new Paladin Sacred Oath powered by the Void.

A review copy of “Oath of the Voidwalker: A Paladin Sacred Oath” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Justin Handlin and Austin Sargent (Crit Academy)

I’ve reviewed plenty of compilation supplements that feature multiple new subclasses, races, feats, items, spells, etc. It’s rare that I like everything featured in those bundles, which makes me appreciate something smaller like Oath of the Voidwalker, a 6-page product featuring a single subclass – and it’s a darn good one.

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Tomb of Annihilation Session 67 Recap

During the Yuan-ti ritual, the other half of the party battles their way through the underground river to reach the throne room.

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Previously on Tomb of Annihilation

Starring:
Mannix, level 8 Yuan-ti Inquisitive Rogue/Divination Wizard
Khaless, level 8 Half-Drow Assassin Rogue
Gillian, level 8 Triton Bard of Whispers
George, level 8 Tortle Battle Master Fighter/Rogue
Therin, level 8 Hill Dwarf Druid of the Moon

While Mannix was in the middle of his drug-fueled blood-ritual of transformation last session, the rest of the party fought their way through the Underground River to reach Ras Nsi’s throne room.

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Kunai Review [Pixelkin]

Read the full review on Pixelkin

Shovel Knight was one of the most popular and well-received indie games of the last several years, lovingly ripping off NES-era pixels and gameplay.

With fun abilities, excellent level designs, and a charming art style, I’m declaring Kunai the Shovel Knight of 2020, though Kunai shoulders the much more expansive (and oft-overused) genre of metroidvania, and not without some significant growing pains.

Read the full review on Pixelkin

DMs Guild Review – The Dead Wizard’s Tower

A one-shot dungeon crawl in a magical tower for level 5.

A review copy of “The Dead Wizard’s Tower” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Jordan Carmichael

The Dead Wizard’s Tower is a short dungeon crawl that takes place – you guessed it – entirely within a magical tower. A wizard has recently passed and his friendly rival tasks a party of adventurers to go inside and retrieve his staff and spellbook.

Unfortunately the one-shot lacks any kind of map, and the dungeon quickly devolves into a series of linear combat encounters.

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