Off the Bookshelf: Early Summer 2023

A dragon, dwarf, human, and kender appear on the cover of the Dragons of Deceit novel

Nuketown’s Summer Reading List for 2023 is off to a strong start. I started a week earlier than normal – my traditional kickoff is Memorial Day Weekend, but hey, I make the traditions. I finished three books on my reading list and kicked off two more. You can track my progress on Goodreads and The Story Graph. … Read more

Bedlam – Ready Player One Video Game Replay

A text prompt from Bedlam, a text adventure game.

Bedlam is a text adventure game released by Radio Shack for the TRS-80. Written by Robert Arnstein (Raaka-Tu, Pyramid 2000) and released in 1982, the game sets you up as a patient trying to escape an asylum. Quote I knew from my research that the cassette recorder functoned as the TRS-80’s “tape drive”. It stored … Read more

Radio Active #102: Game-o-Rama

A cyberpunk character in a stylized leather jacket. The words Cyberpunk 2077 appear below the character

On this episode of Nuketown Radio Active, I emerge from my winter hibernation to talk about the video games and role-playing games I’m playing (or plan on playing). I talk about the ongoing Ready Player One Replay and my plans to attend GenCon in August 2023. Nuketown News Heading to GenCon in 2023! Haven’t been … Read more

Battle Maps in Virtual Tabletops – Go Big, or Go Bigger

After the move to online gaming during the pandemic, I found that our virtual battle maps shrank. At first glance, it’s confounding – after all, it was our real-world battle maps that were constrained by either the size of our gaming tables or the size of our Chessex battle maps. Online, though, the horizons are … Read more

Summer Reading List 2023

Cover artwork for the various books on the Nuketown Summer Reading List for 2023, including Dead Silence, Dragons of Deceit, Station Eternity, Eyes of the Void, Machine, and Rogue Protocol

The 16th edition of Nuketown’s Summer Reading List features 13 books (12 novels, one non-fiction book), two novellas, and one graphic novel. While dominated by science fiction titles, it has a few horror and fantasy books too. There’s a self-help book dedicated to dealing with stress. You can track my progress on Goodreads and The Story Graph. Looking … Read more

Invoking the Elemental Apocalypse

A collection of Dungeons and Dragons rule books, as well as a black notebook with a dragon logo.

Twenty years ago, the Temple of Elemental Evil rose, and Oerth fell. Vortexes of elemental power – unleashed by factions loyal to the four elemental princes – devastated the world with concurrent apocalypses; city-shattering earthquakes, nation-drowning tidal waves, forest-consuming infernos, and punishing hurricanes. Gods died, slain by the ascendent Elemental Princes who then used their … Read more

Raaka-tu – Ready Player One Video Game Replay

A list of text-based descriptions and commands.

Raaka-tu is a text adventure game (we call it interactive fiction today) released by Radio Shack in 1981 for its TRS-80 and TRS-80 Color Computer. The game was written by Robert Arnstein. Despite playing a ton of text adventure games as a kid (such as Colossal Cave, Zork, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), I never … Read more

E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial – The Ready Player One Video Replay

The title screen for the ET video game, with the text ET and a picture of the alien's head

Released in December 1982, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial is a notoriously bad game. Based on the Steven Speilberg movie of the same name, popular gaming lore blames it for the collapse of the video game industry in 1983 and claims hundreds of thousands of E.T. game cartridges were buried in a landfill. There’s some truth to this … Read more

Starmaster – The Ready Player One Video Replay

A dogfight with an enemy. White stars appear on a black background. A green enemy starfighter appears in the upper left.

Starmaster is Activision’s take on the emerging first-person, star-fighter genre. Released in 1982 and written by Alan Miller, it features gameplay similar to Atari’s Star Raiders (without the complexity of the “Video Touch Pad Controller” add-on hardware). It plays a minor role in Ready Player One, appearing in a single line. Quote Beside the Atari was a shoebox containing … Read more