The Wonderful World of AmericaGee

Zombies may be reaching there critical mass in pop culture, but everyone in a while, there’s still room for a truly unique idea in the Genre. America Mcgee is an old pro at creating interesting, and often disturbing, takes on old ideas and favorites. His take on the world of Alice in Wonderlands  remains one of my favorite re imaginations of classic literature. It also haunted my dreams as a child.

While America McGee is still looking to complete his trilogy of Alice games, he’s also looking to start another project that has been referenced before: A re-imagining of the world of Oz. Now, in true America McGee fashion,the tentative idea sounds like the stuff of nightmares:

It could go anywhere. A tentative narrative has Scarecrow, dissatisfied with the brains the Wizard gives him, going on a rampage across Oz to turn everything he meets into a zombie. Oz itself becomes a post-apocalyptic wasteland, in the game McGee’s calling – at least for now - OZombie. But there’s many a slip twixt the brainpan and the lip, and while McGee’s thinking about Kickstarter tiers, there’s no way to know whether or not this zombie apocalypse will ever see the dying light of a steampunk sun.

I am both terrified and intrigued.

Hey, I enjoyed this game!

Hey, I enjoyed this game!

Amalur Gets a New Daddy

Remember with me, back a few years, to the 38 Studios, uh, story. A small studio, created and financed by Kurt Schilling, darling of the East Coast, made a pretty good game. Kingdoms of Amalur was, for all intents and purposes, a pretty great game. However, you can’t always take a good idea to the bank, and this one good idea cost 28 Studios a LOT of money. Luckily, it seems the Kingdoms of Amalur may not be paying for the mistakes of the studio that dreamed it up!

Fortunately, the end of 38 Studios might not mean the end of Amalur. What remains of the studio is trying to sell off the game and its accompanying assets in an attempt to clear the $130 million debt. According to The Providence Journal, an unnamed party has already shown an interest in the title.

“Who knows what the value ultimately will be,” said Providence lawyer, Richard J. Land. “But there is interest in the assets.”

I’m all for innovative and exciting IP’s, and am happy to see The Kingdoms of Amalur might be getting a new home. It’s a sad fact of the world that intellectual properties are tied to financial success, but it is one we need to live with and adapt to. Seeing a good IP get picked up after a financial downfall is a heartwarming moment for every gamer with an eye toward narrative and story.

This is a good thing. Don't get rid of it.

This is a good thing. Don’t get rid of it.

Xbox Shafts Indie Games

Sometimes, People do stupid things. Sometimes, People do really stupid things. Then, sometimes. Microsoft executives decide to get rid of the Xbox Live Arcade and Indie Games Channels.

Vice President of Microsoft, Phil Harrison Announced that, ahead of the impending Xbox One release, that the Xbox Arcade and Xbox Indie Showcase will not be appearing on the new console, and Microsoft is instead deciding to lump everything together:

In the past we had retail games which came on disc, we had Xbox Live Arcade and we had Indie Games, and they had their own discrete channels or discrete silos. With Xbox One and the new marketplace, they’re games. We don’t make a distinction between whether a game is a 50-hour RPG epic or whether it is a puzzle game or whether it is something that fits halfway between the two.”

In my view this is asinine. Sure, every game is now on the same playing field, and they can all hang out together and feel warm and fuzzy, but let’s get real: Indie Games have a very hard time competing against AAA titles; that’s why they are indie games (in part). When you wanted to find an innovative, bizarre or quirky game to play on a weekend, where did you go? Well, okay, besides the Steam Workshop. Xbox Live Arcade or Indie Showcase! This was, in many ways, a separate Isle of game shopping: You could find just what you wanted without the distraction of any AAA titles! Removing that division could be a huge blow to the success of indie games on the Xbox marketplace.

 

1 Angle + Ifinite Hours = ???

1 Angle + Ifinite Hours = ???

Diablo By The Numbers

How many Unique Players are there in Diablo III? How much Gold is in Circulation in the world of Diablo III? How many Calories a burned with a single Mouse-click? Why do you care?

While I can’t answer the last question, a handy infographic listing some of the stats from Diablo III’s one year anniversary can answer any of your Diablo-centric queries! Here are some of the best:

-          “It’s estimated that over 107 billion people have lived on the Planet Earth. Over 3.3 Trillion Monsters have been slain since Diablo III Launched. That’s Approximately 31 Dead Monsters to every human being that has ever lived!”

-          “ If the total number of Gold pieces generated in Diablo III were grains of Rice, the community would be able to Feed the entire population of the earth for 4 days.”

-          “67.1 Million Characters have been created worldwide. 91% are Normal Characters, whereas 9% are Hardcore.”

-          “ If all the Heroes of Sanctuary were to form a Nation, It would be the 20th Largest Country in the World by Population (Just above Thailand)”

I’m not sure if these are inspiring or depressing to be honest…

 

Srsly....Terrifying.

Srsly….Terrifying.

PSA: Run for your Computers.

Computer cause you pain, suffering, and generally a larger amount of stress than is due. Yet, we love them anywho: They let us play games, surf the web and stay connected, let alone give some of us jobs! But there is a threat looming on the horizon… Ants. I know, you’re like “What? Those little guys? But they were so cute in A Bug’s Life!” Not these crazy mothers. I mean, just read this account of these so dubbed “Crazy Ants”:

The crazy ant was first spotted back in 2002 by a pest controller in Houston, but the species wasn’t officially identified until last year. According to a recent paper from researchers at the Texas invasive species research program at the Brackenridge Field Laboratory in the College of Natural Sciences, the ant has since spread to 21 counties in Texas and 20 counties in Florida. They’ve also been spotted south of the Mississippi and in Southern Louisiana.

“When you talk to folks who live in the invaded areas, they tell you they want their fire ants back,” said Ed LeBrun, one of the researchers who penned the paper. “Fire ants are in many ways very polite. They live in your yard. They form mounds and stay there, and they only interact with you if you step on their mound.”

Crazy ants, however, don’t give a toss about your personal space. They swarm wherever they can, occupying any enclosed spaced in large numbers. Naturally, they end up filling up electrical equipment, and that’s where things get weird. For reasons we don’t yet understand, the ants have a tendency to chew through electrical wires. When they reach the delicious electricity underneath the wire’s rubber coating, the ants are electrocuted, but in their death throes they release a signal calling other ants to attack the wire. This results in uninsulated wires surrounded by balls of crazy ant carcases, which, if you’ll forgive the pun, isn’t conductive to the device’s operation.

Excuse me as I attempt to board my house up…