The Digital Archaeologists: How GOG.com Rescues Games From The Dustbin Of History: The modern age spawned thousands of video games, but as technology advanced and companies failed, many of these games were lost. GOG.com looks to find them. Game Informer recounts GOG.com’s decade-long quest to refurbish ancient games for modern platforms and secure the rights to said games so they can be published, DRM-free.
The Day the Dinosaurs Died: Were the dinosaurs wiped out by a single cataclysmic meteor strike? Or were they already in decline before the hit? This New Yorker article looks at archeologist Robert DePalma’s discovery of a fossil site that could answer the question once and for all.
Tales from the Loop Review: The Tales From the Loop role-playing game combines the 1980s nostalgia artwork of Simon Stlenhags with the kids-on-bikes aesthetic of Stranger Things. This Gnome Stew review provides an overview of the game, and that over view helped inspire me to buy the game. Unfortunately, it doesn’t delve deeply into how well the game actually plays; I’d love to see a follow-up article that talks about running a Tales from the Loop one-shot or campaign.
The Strange Case of the Phantom Pokemon: This BBC article delves into the terrifying phenomenon of “sleep paralysis”, in which people get caught halfway between sleep and wakefulness. It’s something I experienced myself over the years. In my case, it was the vague sense of an amorphous evil presence in the room, not a Pokeman, but the rest of it fits: the inability to move, the sense of something … terrible … in the room, and the strange sense of simultaneously dreaming and being awake.
The Many Settings of Dungeons & Dragons, Part 1: Jeremiah McCoy runs down the myriad settings for the iconic role-playing game in a four-part series. Part 1 covers Greyhawk, Mystara, Forgotten Realms, and Dragonlance, as well as their corresponding sub-settings. Part 2 looks at Dark Sun, Birthright, Eberron, Nentir Vale, and Ravnica. Part 3 covers the meta-settings — settings are meant to crossover between the various D&D worlds — and covers Raventloft, Spelljammer, Planescape, and … Ed Greenwood’s house? Part 4 is about micro settings, which are small, self-contained worlds such as Tale of the Comet and Jakandor. Finally, there’s Part 5, which gets into the “licensed and not so licensed” settings. It looks at related properties like Lankhmar, Conan, Rokugan, Kingdoms of Kalamar, and Warcraft. It’s a huge series, but well worth reading if you’re a fan of D&D history.
Dungeons & Dragons: Waterdeep – Dragon Heist Extras: I’m running Dragon Heist for the Gamer Working Group (my lunchtime game). I used to run a homegrown campaign set in Greyhawk, but prep time became an issue. When we rebooted the GWG, I decided to run a pre-made adventure. I chose Dragon Heist for two reasons: 1) The urban setting makes it super easy to improvise adventures and 2) the Forgotten Realms is exhaustively documented. Waterdeep itself already had a ton of material, and fans have written and published even more since Dragon Heist came out. ComicBook.com runs down the best of the material for the adventure path. It’s a great resource if you’re running Dragon Heist or its follow-up, Dungeon of the Mad Mage.
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A screenshot from a resurrected Indiana Jones game. Credit: Game Informer / LucasArts.