BSP-039: Why I Won’t Crowdfund Your Project

00:00 - Intro
01:27 - I need to improve
04:15 - Google vs. Apple
08:22 - I Won’t Crowd Fund Your Project
12:30 - New Tile Device
14:21 - Halt & Catch Fire
16:46 - Amazon Streaming Service
18:42 - Mirage Men
21:12 - Oathbreak - Rheia
23:42 - New Windows Computer
25:43 - The Dig Game
29:04 - Outro

Episode 39 is live! Once again, I illustrate how I practice what I preach. I pick apart a bad habit that occurs far too often, and struggle to correct it throughout the entire podcast. I then explain where I stand in my struggle between apple & google. And in the last personal piece of the podcast, I explain that due to my experiences with crowdfunding sites/services, I will no longer be utilizing any of these funding mediums.

In the news I talk about a new Tile device, the end of the best TV show on air, Halt & Catch Fire, and Amazon’s music streaming service.

To finish out the podcast, I discuss Mirage Men, a documentary focussing around the disinformation campaign waged against Paul Bennewitz and the entire UFOlogy community. I talk about a band I just discovered called Oathbreaker, and share my thoughts on their new album. And the I talk about why I bought a new windows computer, and what the first game I played on it was.

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The Shrieker Podcast 007: Jonathan Zimmerman

Jonathan Zimmerman talks to us about Nighttime Guardians, a simple game about teddy bears protecting sleeping children from things that go bump in the night.

Jonathans’s first game aims to be accessible through its simplicity. The rules are short, filling one double-sided page. The game only requires a handful of common six sided dice. The subject matter and simplicity should make the game usable by even the youngest players. The core game is available as a pay-what-you-want but future supplements will likely have a small fixed price.

This month you can download Quimcy Sluran’s Slumber, a short adventure for Nighttime Guardians.

The Free RPG Society: The demo version of Golden Sky Stories is a trimmed down but completely usable version of the full game. Its unique genre and resolution mechanic make this a game that everyone should try at some point.

Rate and Review our show on itunes, comment on our website, or email me. We’d love to hear from you.

Logitech G230 Gaming Headset Review / Test

It's time for another gaming headset review. This time I am testing out the Logitech G230 Gaming Headset. If you are interested in this gaming headset, it runs approximately $65 on Amazon. 

What's In the Box 

  1. Wired Gaming Headset
  2. Documentation

Performance / Features

The build quality on this headset is a huge letdown. The plastic all over the headphones feels cheap, and the hinges feel weak like they will break. The foam on the headband is a bit too firm, but not uncomfortable, and the padding on the ear cups is a much softer foam, but still a little too firm for my liking. However, the headphones were not uncomfortable, I am just being overly critical.

The cable is braided which is always a good thing. It makes me feel like the cable will survive longer. On top of that, the cable is 10 feet long. The cable also contains a small control module that allows you to mute the microphone and adjust the headphone's volume. The control panel has a clip on the back so you can clip it to your shirt as well.

The headphone drivers are 40mm and are advertised as 20Hz to 20kHz. When I tested them, they performed pretty close to that. I started hearing noise around 20Hz in the low end, and in the high end, I heard audio just above 19.5kHz. 

The microphone performed pretty well for a gaming headset. It is a cardioid uni-directional microphone and it lists a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz (which I don't fully trust). The microphone also mentions that it is noise canceling to help eliminate excess noises.  

Pros

  • Good Sounding Microphone
  • Good Noise Cancellation on Microphone
  • Nice Sounding Headphones
  • Braided 10 ft. Cable

Cons

  • Poor Construction
  • Padding is made of overly Firm Foam. 

Conclusion

I think that this is a pretty decent option for a gaming headset. The headphones perform admirably. They provide some of the best frequency response that I have heard in a cheap headset. The microphone is also a very nice feature on this headset. The audio does not sound muffled or digitized like the majority of low end gaming headset microphones. The mic provides fairly natural sound even though it does sound like it lacks some frequencies from it's response.

If you are looking for a headset around $65 that will allow you to walk 10 feet, this is a good option, but if this is out of your price range make sure to check out my other gaming headset reviews. If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1QV7PSv

The Shrieker Podcast 003: Mark Diaz Truman

Mark Diaz-Truman talks with us about his upcoming game Cartel, issues with mixing too much reality into gaming, and the differences between designing Powered by the Apocalypse games as opposed to using the Fate system.

Cartel is currently available in ashcan format through Magpie Games. It's a narco-fiction game, drawing inspiration from Breaking Bad, The Wire, Traffic, and The Departed. narco-fiction is the antithesis of noir. Noir tends to be serious and about uncovering a hidden truth while narco-fiction can be a black comedy with no mystery, just people living and dying in a terrible world. It ends ores to separate the legality of a character’s action from the more interesting question of its morality. Inspired by Sagas of the Icelanders, it also tries to immerse players in the cultural realities of Mexico. The playbooks in Powered by the Apocalypse games can do this by highlighting what is interesting and uncertain in a setting. This allows Mark sees this as an opportunity to create games that tell the stories of minorities that otherwise might not be told, to create games in which being white and male must be a choice rather than the default. However, The world of Cartel is not a perfect mirror of Mexican life. It is more realistic than most games, shedding the tropes of magic and superheroes, but it diverges from reality in subtler ways. This abstraction to an exaggerated, mythic Mexican landscape allows player to tackle harsh issues in a way that is still entertaining and emotionally safe. There are not many games that sit so close to reality (14 Days and Fight Fire being other examples) because it becomes difficult to guarantee excitement and drama, an issue that Moore passive storytelling mediums (like novels and movies) don't share.

 

Apocalypse World and Fate are two major open platforms for aspiring designer to build on, but they are very different. Fate is a generic system that can be tweaked and adjusted into a new game. Apocalypse World, on the other hand, simply offers playbooks, which is more of a way of formatting a game than a system. Apocalypse World could never be generic as the setting is interwoven with each playbook’s moves. Also, Fate has a welcoming community of designers who support each other, while Powered by the Apocalypse designers seem more likely to work independently. Ultimately, Mark believes that Apocalypse games are much harder to make.

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I wrote my first game Anything Helps for the 2015 Golden Cobra Challenge. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

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The Shrieker Podcast 001: Phil Lewis

Phil Lewis talks to us about New Mexicon (RPG convention, October 23-25 at Hotel Parq, Albuquerque) and Wrath of the Autarch (his new kingdom-building game). 

The Hotel Parq was originally built as a hospital in 1928 and might be haunted, making it a perfect venue for this late October convention. The convention is the only one in New Mexico focusing on RPGs, specifically indie and small press games, and has been organized by Mark Diaz-Truman, Phil Lewis, Nicholas Hopkins, and Nathan Paoletta. There will be a lot of Powered by the Apocalypse, Fate, and Dungeon Crawl Classic games as well as some games being run or even play tested by their creators. The con is based on the Games on Demand structure, though it may be using a card priority system this year. Legend of the 5 Rings designer John Wick will be in attendance this year and Saturday may have vendors such as Magpie Games.

Wrath of the Autarch is a very procedural, GM-less, asymmetrical, kingdom building game with troop-based play derived from Fate Core. In the game players use diplomacy, war, exploration, and development to promote their stronghold, hopefully defeating their rival kingdom ruled by the tyrannical Autarch. It was inspired by RPGs such as D&D Birthright, Ars Magica, Contenders, Song of Ice and Fire, and Civilization video games. It was written by Phil Lewis, edited by Amanda Valentine, and illustrated by Nathan Paoletta, Doug Kovacs, Eric Quigley, Alyssa Maynard, and Johnny Gray. It is on Kickstarter till October 22nd (UPDATE: THE GAME HAS FUNDED) and will be released as a PDF and a hardcover book.

Phil has written a bonus mission for his game called Don't Fear the Shrieker