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TWiG – Episode 002

Well here we are Episode 2 and we are literally flying out of the gate with a full force that not even Captain Picard and his intrepid USS Enterprise can catch up, even at Warp 9.9. Anyway, we apologize for the bad audio to about 23 minutes in. Unfortunately Snowball needs to learn how to use a mic. Bad Snowball….

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Shownotes after the break

Mike Dodd
Steve Saylor
Show notes

THIS WEEK IN GEEK

Episode two

Show Notes

This Week in Geek News:

Wall-Mart launches video download service – In Beta
Wal-Mart will have about three thousand films and television episodes available for download, with movies going for $12.88 to $19.88 and TV shows for $1.96 per episode — a whopping 4 cents cheaper than Apple’s price. New releases will be available the same day they come out on DVD. Older movies will sell for $7.50, compared with Apple’s $9.99.
Need Windows XP or Vista and Internet Explorer to download videos
You can backup a video up to three times, but you can only burn it to DVD as a data disc, which will not play in a DVD player.

Make your own Optimus Prime
Paper Robots has created its greatest achievement: Optimus Prime. This site gives downloadable instructions on how to cut-out and shape your very own Transformer
You just need a color printer, an exacto knife, tape, and the ability to fold paper.

Fox issues cease-and-desist order to Swiss Family Guy Robinson
– Brian Froud’s theater show Swiss Family Guy Robinson. one-man act is essentially a staged mash-up of the original Swiss Family Robinson but with Family Guy characters
– Froud’s show was a hit at Toronto’s Fringe Festival, but his chances of ever staging the show again are slim to none. Fox has slapped Froud with a cease-and-desist order for unauthorized use of Family Guy characters.

Super Bowl commercials list:
TV Squad has a list of all Super Bowl commercials
My favourite the GoDaddy Marketing commercial. Internet celebs Cali Lewis of GeekBriefTV and Alex Albrecht and Kevin Rose of Diggnation were in the commercial

Star Trek Enterprise on iTunes
First Season up
Episodes cost 1.99 and Season box set is 48.99
Cheaper box set than through other retailers

Apple Corp and Apple Inc settle differences
After more than a decade of fighting over Apple’s use of the name in selling music-related products, as well as music itself with the iTunes Store, the two companies are calling it a day.
Quote from Press Release – “Under this new agreement, Apple Inc. will own all of the trademarks related to “Apple” and will license certain of those trademarks back to Apple Corps for their continued use.”
In other words: it seems as though Apple Inc. has won the trademarks, but we don’t really know how or why.

Indiana Jones 4 releases on May 22 2008
Movie will be released one day before Speed Racer by the Wachowski brothers the official followup to the Matrix (unofficial was V for Vendetta)
It will already be hard enough for Speed Racer to attract the audiences away from HYPERLINK “http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0371746/” Iron Man which Jeff Bridges has also been cast as a “mystery man” along with Robert Downery Jr. Terrence Howard and Gwenyth Paltrow(I’m looking forward to this and I never even read the comic) and the second picture in the Narnia franchise, which will open May 2 and May 16, respectively.

Outsourcing World of Warcraft skills
According to an estimate from a company called Power-levels.com, it would take someone starting from scratch 768 hours to reach the highest level you can hit in World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.
To level from level 1 to 70 costs $556. The jump from level 60 to 70: $239.
It’s against terms of service but site is still up and running

TOPIC: The evolution and history of the ROLE PLAYING GAME

Dungeons and Dragons
Created in 1974 by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson
Originally developed from a game called “Chainmail”
Split into two version into Advanced D&D in 77
Evolved into D&D 3rd edition in 2000 when Wizards of the coast bought TSR
Made up 50% of all RPG products sold on 2002

Greyhawk-default game setting and created by Gyrax
Forgotten Realms- characters drizzt (Night elf guy with two swords)
Ravenloft- Gothic horror setting
Spelljammer- Outer space fantasy (Steampunk)

Vampire:The Masquerade
White Wolf studios
Had a short lived Tv series based on the game called : Kindred:the Embraced
2004 was rebooted into Vampire:The Requiem
Many companion games like Mage:The Acension, Hunter:The Reckoning,
Werewolf:The Forsaken,
Very active LARP community

Shadowrun
Developed and published by FASA from 1989 to 2001
Sold to Wizkids and Fan Pro publishes the game now
In 4th Edition
Most successful cyberpunk RPG
Game mechanics based on six sided dice
Various video games published
Fanfilms based on the game usually made in germany

Battletech/Mechwarrior
Designed by FASA in 1984
Based on a board game/war game
Militay space opera
Orginally called “battledroids”
Lucasfilm had the name changed as they hold a license on the name “Droids”
Had an animated TV show based on the propetty with 3d CGI graphics
Various video game properties developed

Rifts
Meant to be mulit use with various other products produced
Game has universal game mechanics and characters,etc
Not unusual for a wizard to be fighting aliens or robots in a game
Game world is EARTh hundreds of years in the future
Potential psychic energry is very important to the game
Various Wormholes or rifts opened up on Earth after a huge war and let all sorts of weird things in

Call of Cthulhu
Published by Chaosism
Has had 7 editions published
Currently celebrating 25 years as an Rpg
Based on the world of Hp Lovecraft
Has had a Wizards of the coast version which uses the D20 core rule system
Is possible with the D20 rules to cross CoC with D&D
Has alternative settings by different publishers, Delta Green being the most popular with the X files setting
Players do not necessary win, more like how much of their sanity is left when the character is done
Very much in tone and theme with Lovecraft’s atmosphere

Video Game RPGs

First RPG was Dungeon back in 1975 using Unix PDP-10 computers

The early Video Game RPG’s were all text based. Which some people thought were better than today’s RPG’s because of use of the imagination and bringing the same feeling you get when playing the tabletop games

Most popular modern RPG’s

Final Fantasy
Made by Square Enix
As of Winter 2006, twelve games have been released as part of the main (numbered) series
First installment was December 18 1987 in Japan
Final Fantasy is Square Enix’s most successful franchise, and the third biggest selling video game franchise of all time, having sold over 68 million units worldwide as of May 2006 behind Mario and Pokemon series
Most popular of the series was Final Fantasy VII due to it’s being released on the Sony Playstation instead of Nintendo’s 64. Which because of the growth of the Sony Playstation brand many gamers got into Final Fantasy because of Final Fantasy VII

Other notable RPG’s
Diablo II
Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic
Neverwinter Nights
Baulder’s Gate
Dungeon Siege
Elder Scrolls
Warcraft

MMORPGs

Where many believe that the RPG universe is heading into the future because of it’s connection with other people throughout the world

What MMORPG we got into? – Matrix Online
Made by Monolith Productions
Incorporates the Matrix universe after Matrix Revolutions
Story originally created by Larry and Andy Wachowski which was supposed to be Canon to the Matrix universe
Game now owned by Sony
Not exactly doing as well as people hoped, subscriptions have since gone down.

Other popular MMORPG’s
Everquest – The original most addictive MMORPG
Sometimes known as “EverCrack” due to its addictive gameplay
Most controversial case of Shawn Woolley who committed suicide at the age of 21 on November 2001

Star Wars Galaxies
City of Heroes/City of Villains – Players who continue to play this game still love it due to it’s Superhero premise.
Also with it’s unique combination of two games where actual player heroes can take on Player villains is what attracts people to this game.

Guild Wars – The very first free MMORPG after purchasing the game. No monthly fees.
Made by the same people who made City of Heroes – Cryptic Studios

Dungeons and Dragons – Wizards of the Coast and Turbine
Not that bad

Most popular MMORPG – World of Warcraft
Made by Blizzard Entertainment
Most commercial success of any RPGs based on active subscriptions
Was released on the 10th anniversary of the Warcraft Franchise
On January 11, 2007, Blizzard announced that the subscriber base for World of Warcraft has reached a new milestone, with 8 million players worldwide; there are more than 2 million players in North America, 1.5 million players in Europe, and 3.5 million players in China.
Combines a lot of similarities to Dungeons and Dragons
Well known for its simple and fun gameplay
Expansion Burning Crusade

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