[Editor’s Note: To read all of our Gen Con Walkthrough, start with our Prologue & Thursday, Day 1. -JH]
An inopportune morning migraine had me off to a late start to the day, pulling into my parking spot over a half mile away from the convention center with just 20 minutes to get to the convention center, make my way into the vendor hall, and make my way through the Friday crush of elves, orcs, assassins, and bar maids from booth 7,000 down to the 1100 series!
Somehow I managed to do so without killing myself or others.
Chatting with Ben Loomes was refreshing, as his desire for improving the storytelling landscape around him was one I could totally understand.
As a roleplayer himself, he found real world campaigns lacked the auditory elements found in video games and set about to change that. Using a complex sample based program (so that every type of sound can have random components) with reverb options (so you can have sounds happening in different qualitative environments, from open plains to confined caverns), he created a series of sound effects and music scores that can be triggered by your smartphone or tablet in the midst of your game.
Currently, users can buy packs of Syrinscape sounds for $3.99 per location or type of creature, or they can subscribe for $6.50 a month and have access to everything from the past, as well as the present. Unlike Adobe creative cloud–where if you stop subscribing you lose access to everything–with Syrinscape, if you stop subscribing, while you will lose access to all files created before you subscribed and all files after you stop, you’ll still retain ownership of all sound files released while you subscribed (which is actually a pretty good discount based on just that feature alone, since they’re releasing 2-4 new sets each month).
Moreover, for creatives who want to use the sound and music in unexpected ways from online games to films, the audio is able to be used royalty free even on commercial projects so long as Syrinscape is credited.
In addition to the current release, they’ll be releasing a Master Creator Toolkit which will let creatives make their own sound effects, creating the same sort of randomizable samples the Syrinscape already does. Currently no word on exactly when that’ll be available, what platforms it’ll function on (aside from the fact that it’ll require traditional computer hardware rather than a smart device), or what the cost will be.
For more on Syrinscape, go to: https://syrinscape.com
I had a chance to sit down with Tony Gullatti of Green Brier Games and Alex Lim of Artistic Justice Games. The two companies work together in a symbiotic fusion on a number of products, so it made sense for them to share a booth.
While Alex finished another interview, Tony walked me through the new game, Yashima: Legends of the Kami Masters, which he designed to bring the miniature game experience to a fairly portable and boxed version. Yashima is set in a post-apocalyptic world that blends many oriental people’s together, who must then fight against kami–spirits–who are unleashed on the world. Remixable player decks based on different parameters allow a huge amount of replay as does alternate end game scenarios based on how many players you have. (You can play with 2-4)
While a few early versions of the game, which used a successful kickstarter campaign to get funded, were available for special Gen Con purchase (after contributors had received theirs last week), the game will officially go on sale toward the end of the year for an MSRP of $40.
For more on that go to:
Speaking of successful kickstarter campaigns, Artistic Justice Games has been making a number of their games with kickstarter campaigns, including: Martial Arts–The Card Game (which you can read our review of here); Dragon Tides —the action/adventure-film based dungeon crawling board game featuring Bruce & Brandon Lee; and The Fairy Tale Games: Battle Royale — which allows you to pit some of the greatest fairy tale characters and monsters against one another.
I was really impressed with Alex, who got into gamemaking due to he and his father’s love of martial arts. When he moved on to Dragon Tides, he wanted to explore the relationship of Bruce and Brandon Lee as father and son, something that no game to date has done. His sincerity helped the surviving member of the Lee family, Brandon’s sister, to greenlight the game which allows you to create a cool interactive action movie as you play.
For more on Alex & Artistic Justice Games, go to: http://www.artisticjusticegames.com
For those of you who are fans of Wil Wheaton and Geek & Sundry on YouTube, you know how electric it can be to see him speak. One of the more notable introverts to have the intrapersonal sway of gravitas (which is more common with extroverts), Wheaton’s presence and sincerity have helped him become a beloved part of the alternative community, but have also helped bring nerd culture into the mainstream.
On Friday, I happened to have an extra ticket to his soldout show dealing with his new IndieGogo enabled show, TITANSGRAVE: The Ashes of Valkana , and was able to give another fan a chance to get in with me to Wheaton’s GenCon talk which packed out the largest ballroom at GenCon.
It was really cool to listen to him share behind the scenes information about it, their work with Green Ronin (who specially created the TG:tAoV RPG for the show, based on their Adventure Age engine), and getting to write most of the show’s plot points with his son, Ryan. (Unfortunately, Ryan will not be able to help out on season 2, as he’s been snagged as a writer at a video game company.)
As with all Wil Wheaton events, you came out feeling better about humanity than you went in feeling!