Monday, June 19, 2017

Best Father's Day yet--DIY Star Wars WITH DICE!

Last week I mailed my nephew's birthday present (he turned 11) which was a care package filled with Star Wars treats, including the Star Wars West End Game RPG rules, plus a few Micro Machine minis and dice.

While I was (gleefully!) packing the box, my daughter (nearly 4 years old) took notice and inquired as to what I was doing. She and I had just sat down the day before to watch her second viewing of Star Wars (ep. 4), which she LOVES. To her, the entire story is about Princess Leia and Darth Vader. She's not wrong--as much as Luke figures into the film, Leia is the one leading the Rebels (as far as she knows, anyway!). 

Her favorite scene is when Luke, Leia, Han, and Chewie are trapped in he garbage compactor. I get a million questions every time that plays. "ARE THEY IN THE GARBAGE? WHY DID THEY GO IN THERE? WHAT'S THAT EYE DOING? WHERE DID IT GO?"

She seems to feed off the tension of will-they-or-won't-they make it out. By far, her favorite line--which she quoted to me a day later: "WILL SOMEONE GET THIS WALKING CARPET OUT OF MY WAY?" Yes, of course, your worshipfullness!

Anyway, I should have seen it coming, but she totally surprised me yesterday (Father's Day) by asking if we could "Play that Star Wars game of yours..." meaning the one I packed up for my nephew. 

Seriously, what greater gift can you give a nerd dad than to ask to play a tabletop game of his favorite franchise? ON. FATHER'S. DAY.

So I grabbed a case of Star Wars minis and some dice. Only, she's still learning her numbers. She can read them quite well, but I wanted something that I thought she could identify at a glance, so we went with Fate Dice (+, -, 0) for her first crack at tabletop gaming. I thought we'd run it as a Make Believe session and use the dice to figure out "who wins" an encounter.

A skirmish game!

Throughout our play session, I am, of course, crafting all these (pared-down) rules in my head. Doing my best to go slow and explain things simply and in as short a manner as possible, so as to satisfy the feverish temperament of a toddler's attention span. She seemed to "get it" just fine, but I wasn't sure she was having fun. 

Eventually, we just let the rules fall to the wayside. She laughed uproariously when our minis chased each other around the floor, pretending the the characters were in a back-and-forth game of tag. Soon it was bed time and she (naturally!) was not happy we had to put them away for the night. 

She asked to play again tonight before dinner. I told her "sure" but we can dispense with the dice--believing myself to be freeing her of unnecessary rules that might hamper imagination.  


Apparently she really liked using them. Even if she didn't get all my crazy rules--to her they added to part of the mystery of the game, and (I'm guessing wildly here) maybe even part of its magic. To be honest, it doesn't matter to me that she likes Star Wars. Or anything that I like. But I'm ecstatic to see her using her imagination. We could play games in whatever world she wants and I'll be happy either way. 

Sooner or later, she'll get those rules down...whatever they end up being. But for now, I think we're both just thrilled to be zooming around the room galaxy!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Blomkamp's RAKKA is fantastically weird and BRUTAL

Director Neill Blomkamp's Oats Studios released the first episode--in three parts--of his new experimental films. RAKKA tells the story of an alien-occupied Earth, now turned... you know what? I'm not going to say.

Just watch it. And know that it's not for the faint of heart. I watched this after mindnight last night and I'm certain I didn't sleep well because of it. (So you know it's good ;-)


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

TRAILER: Neill Blomkamp's new scifi project looks wicked cool!

As a fan of Neill Blomkamp's particular flavor of weird scifi, his next project called Oat Studios Volume 1, looks just as visually stunning as anything in his repertoire. I'm a big fan of District 9's stripped down approach to filmmaking and I really enjoyed Elysium's take on have vs. have-nots space-based society.

I'm looking forward to this latest endeavor, which will be a series of shorter films that will stream on Steam.

The first one is set post-apocalypse after an alien lizard invasion.

Check it out:

Bonus Game Idea: A mashup of District + Elysium + OSV1 would make a fantastic setting for Garske Games' Stay Frosty!

Blomkamp's grimy-high-tech future is a fresh alternative to the traditional Aliens/Predator/Terminator aesthetic we all know and love.

Via io9

Thursday, May 25, 2017

40 years ago in a galaxy far, far away...

I'm old enough that I can say I saw this in the theater. It forever altered my brain chemistry. In a good way! I recently sat down with my own kiddo to watch it with her for the first time (and she's the same age I was when I saw it!). For her, the Saga is only _just_ beginning. I envy her.

Here's the first few frames that started it all. I recall feeling even smaller than I was watching those ships pass over my head. Grand space opera indeed!

Thank you George and company for dreaming it up.

May the Force be with you...always.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Final trailer for Valerian debuts!

Here's our last look at the film before it arrives in theaters in July 21 (US). Have a look:


Click the Valerian tag in this post to see the previous trailers, images, posters, and more!