Long story short: I admin two sizable Discord communities and I wanted to make invitations available to readers and the gaming blogger community. Both of these servers are 18+ only and LGBTQ+ inclusive. Details below!
The first Discord is called the Lodge of Sorceresses and it is approaching three years old with a very solid core of regular active members who would love to welcome some new folks into the community. We used to be a Gwent (the Witcher card game) server with a focus on minority player inclusion, but have since expanded to be a general gaming server for everyone, and we have kept the Witcher theme in the user roles and channel names. You can see more details about the group and its history in this post. Regardless of the feminine name of the Lodge, anyone is welcome!
If you read my post a while back about Sayonara Wild Hearts, you’ll know that I really love tarot cards both for their gorgeous art and their usefulness as a mental health maintenance tool. I’ve started a Discord community called Tarotholics, we have grown to over 500 members in less than a month and a half, and we have been getting absolutely amazing feedback about our community setup and activities. If you have any interest in learning tarot (Persona series fans perhaps?) or read tarot already, we would be more than happy to help you along your Fool’s Journey. We also have a fully prized Yuletide Tarot Card Design contestaccepting entries through December 25th.
Regular Backlog Crusader readers might have noticed a banner ad on the last dozen posts or so for an innovative, robust product called Switchblades. This Nintendo Switch kickstand accessory is one I had been using so much that I had actually reached out the manufacturer, Gravilogic, personally to see if they wanted to support Backlog Crusader for a while, and they did. Thanks, Gravilogic! I use my Switchblade all the time when I play my Switch. Seriously. All. The Time. Here’s my review!
Yennefer. Who is she, really? In the Witcher 3 we see her relentlessly pursuing her goals across multiple continents, taking down any obstacles in her way. Yes, she cares passionately for her love, Geralt, but he won’t distract her from her ultimate goals. Despite their closeness, she keeps extremely important secrets from the Witcher during their travels, yet he trusts her implicitly. She is strong and wise, confident and skilled, and a timeless beauty. Their romance is legendary in the Witcher universe, literally.
I must confess: I am a sucker for all things cyberpunk, so enthusiasm might cloud my judgment, but I cannot help but feel that Neo Cab is one of the coolest games I’ve played in a while. It is a game that does not only capture the general aesthetic of the setting (think neon lights, cheesy synths, high-tech gizmos), but its fundamental core: a struggle of an individual faced with a soul-crushing march of high-tech corporations. And Neo Cab achieves that not by projecting an image of some distant dystopian future. Instead, it narrows the gap between reality and the imagination until I could not help but think that the world it has described is waiting for us just around the corner.
In a month overflowing with anticipated, high quality releases, Sayonara Wild Hearts is a shining gem you should have on your radar. This game is an expertly shaken cocktail of neon colors, trippy, dreamlike environments, a catchy synth-pop soundtrack, and skillful level design. While Sayonara is on the brief side with about an hour of total playtime required to complete the campaign, it is a truly magical experience that blew me away with its dynamic art style, captivating music, generous variety of mechanics, and heart-pumping action!
When I first saw the announcement trailer for Creature in the Well during the Nindies showcase earlier this year, it immediately piqued my interest with its derelict setting and intriguing pinball-based gameplay. When I tried the Creature in the Well at Flight School Studio’s booth at PAX West recently, I loved it and figured it would be a hit upon release. Now that it’s out and I’m going to double down on that opinion. Put on your dungeon spelunking gear and get ready to delve into the darkness of Creature in the Well, one of my favorite indie releases of 2019!
Vambrace: Cold Soul, is a roguelike that caught my interest because of its highly stylized, graphic novel-esque art style and grimdark atmosphere. You play as Lyric, a young woman searching for clues about her late father’s mysterious past, who ends up trapped in Icenaire, a city surrounded by enchanted walls of ice that kill anyone who touches them…
I saw this fascinating Gamer Motivation Model by Quantic Foundry over on Krikket’s blog and instantly thought the topic would make for a GREAT new gaming blogger tag! You can take a thorough survey about your gaming preferences on Quantic Foundry’s website that will map out the motivations behind your video game preferences and gaming behavior.
I took the survey myself and was interested in the accuracy and articulation of the descriptions for each type of motivation. I’ve created a set of questions for the gaming blogger community and answered them using my results to get things started!
When Kindergarten came out in 2017, it struck me by surprise. A small, unknown game turned out to be one of the smartest realizations of groundhog day concept in video games I’ve seen. In combination with a twisted sense of humor and witty writing, turned it into one of my year’s highlights. Obviously, when I’ve heard about the release of a sequel, I cleared my schedule specifically to play it. In retrospect, it wasn’t the smartest decision.
In the spirit of content creator appreciation week, I’ve put together a list of my favorite gaming YouTube channels about game design, critique, analysis, development, and industry issues (even some comedy) to help inspire your video game writing! Let me know which you like the most and please share any channels like these that you watch in the comments. I’m always looking for new channels to subscribe to!
Extra Credits Gaming
Extra Credits is most well known for its history series, but they have great videos about gaming too! Most Extra Credits gaming videos are around 10 minutes and focus on game design, development, or the game industry, complemented with adorable hand drawn graphics.