A Tale of Two RPGs

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Two cool Fantasy Role Playing Games have caught my attention lately on my iPad; The Battle for Wesnoth and Battleheart.

Yes, they’re both RPGs, but are so dissimilar in their approach and execution that they’re not really treading in each other’s space, so to speak. Here’s why…

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It’s Big
The Battle for Wesnoth (which I’ll call Wesnoth from now on) is a large, turn-based strategy-style RPG. Think back to the old-school versions of WarCraft and you’ve got it, without the hewing of trees or mining of gold.

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Now if this sounds a bit familiar, well it is. The iPad version of Wesnoth is a port (the official port) of the free Linux, MacOSX, and Windows version of the game.

According to the developer:

Battle for Wesnoth is the official port of a gigantic, complex and detailed full-scale strategy-RPG. We made sure that nothing was cut from the game, everything from flags flapping to skeletons juggling their heads, it’s all here!

Wesnoth is a unique combination of tactical strategy RPGs like Fire Emblem, Advance Wars, Panzer General, and Final Fantasy Tactics. Using your hero, you need to capture villages to gain income, and recruit new units to do battle. These units gain experience through combat and can level up into powerful new classes. But make sure to protect your veteran troops, as they can be recalled throughout a campaign!

Yes, it’s big. And fun! And long!

  • Almost 200 campaign scenarios across 15 major campaigns – literally hundreds of hours of gameplay!!
  • Over 200 fully animated unit types in six major factions, all with distinctive abilities, weapons and spells
  • Experienced units gain powerful new abilities as they advance
  • Bring your battle-hardened troops with you as you fight through campaigns
  • Highly detailed and varied terrain graphics
  • Three levels of difficulty for casual to expert players
  • Cross-platform multiplayer matches against iPhone, PC, mac and linux players!
  • Professional music score with 90 minutes of original music
  • OpenFeint integration with achievements

Being turn-based, you have the luxury of time to carefully plot out your moves — not so in this next RPG!

Battleheart
Fun. Cute. Engaging. All words that easily describe my current quick-RPG-fix.
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Battleheart doesn’t really have a fleshed out story, rather it’s more of a RPG forest & dungeon crawl with a set of scenarios encountered by your hearty band of adventurers, here’s my crew.

You progress through the scenerairos, leveling up, collecting loot, finding and spending gold.

As with any good RPG, as you level up you get access to new powers and abilities. And as you get more gold, you can buy better weapons, armor, and magical objects to make your characters more powerful.

Create a unique party of heroes, and lead them in frantic real-time battles against monsters of ever increasing power. Lay waste to your foes with dozens of unique special powers as you gain experience, upgrade your party’s equipment, and craft them into the ultimate battle force!

  • Easily command your army via simple touch commands.
  • Create a unique party from numerous character classes, including stealthy rogues, powerful wizards and stoic knights!
  • Customize your heroes via dozens of unique skills – literally hundreds of class and skill combinations!
  • Make the most of your party’s skills to control the battlefield – turn your opponents into frogs, stun them with poisons, or simply destroy them with meteor strikes and whirlwinds of steel!
  • Over 100 unique items to collect and equip across a 30+ level campaign, complete with epic boss battles!
  • Put your custom party to the ultimate test in survival arenas, where rare and unique rewards can be found!
  • Incredibly sharp animation and art designed specifically for the Retina Display and iPad!

My crew having a BBQ…

A simple and quick game to get into, but one that becomes challenging after a few hours of game play, which it should as it continues to challenge you!

Two Games, for two game experiences
As I mentioned at the outset, these two RPGs are only similar in that they *are* RPGs. Which is great for me because when I tire of pushing my party-of-4 through the next scene in Battleheart, I can switch over to Wesnoth and slow things down a bit, while cranking up the strategy factor. More pure RPG fun!

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On the radio…again!

A couple of weeks ago local realtor and heavy social media maven @ZoomJer and I were interviewed by CBC’s Rod Kurtz about our involvement with social media and our upcoming sessions at Guru Digital Arts College’s Social Media Saturday event.

Yes, we had fun! Check out our interview here… [powerpress url=”http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1165339/CBCRadioInterview/2010-09-15-social-media.mp3″]

World’s workforce suffers huge productivity loss due to Google

Earlier today Google decided to see how much it could influence the economy and productivity of first and second world nations by unleashing a viral online attack against Internet-connected office workers world wide. Ostensibly promoted as a 30 year anniversary of a classic video game, Google is, in reality, bringing workplace activity to a crawl.

In Canada, on the Friday before a national holiday long weekend, the impact was realized when innocent office minions using Google’s website to search for information from the previously-trust-worthy search engine, were instead cleverly diverted  by an insidious interactive animation based on the ’80s arcade-game classic Pac Man.

According to a report by the Toronto Star:

Created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the creation of the video game icon, the interactive doodle actually features all 256 levels from the original monster game hit.

Just how much productivity will be lost by employers whose workers will get waylaid by the new distraction on its homepage while doing a search? Wendy Rozeluk, a Google Canada spokesperson laughed and responded: “I have no idea.”

At workplaces, universities, cube-farms, and computer science labs around the world, the Pac Man theme could be heard anytime someone tried to look something up using the popular search engine.

“This is getting annoying…” said one user, declining to give her name for fear of retribution.

But it looks like a reprieve from the Pac Man theme is close at hand. Google will remove the Pac Man Doodle mid-day on Sunday. Until then, perhaps keep the sound turned down on your system when ‘searching’.

Exactly 1 week ago today [slideshow]

Exactly one week ago today we were enjoying our last day on Maui, by snorkeling.

By our rough count, we managed to get in and under the water about every other day — which is pretty good for a prairie boy.

So, to revisit the experience today seemed a bit appropo, with a slideshow of all the good/interesting shots we’d managed to get into flickr so far.

All these photos were taken with a very cool Panasonic DMC-TS2, which I discuss in further detail in a few Future Shop blog posts.

Open the Portal. Discover a new game. Yes it’s free!

Unless you’ve not been paying attention to the first-person-shooter or puzzle game genres over the last few years, you’re quite aware of what Portal is. But just incase you fall into that aforementioned category, let me quote from … …more



This post is an excerpt from one of my weekly posts on the Future Shop Techblog. Check out the full post here.


Another day, another video

Who is @laryssaw and why does she have this fixation on ‘The Most (fill in the blank) Man in the World’ videos? She sent me a new one (below) one earlier today, and this unforgettable gem from last week.
Steve Nash is the most ridiculous man in the world

Oh, and be nice to Laryssa, she’s helping me out on an upcoming project for this blog — stay tuned for details 🙂