Thursday, 31 October 2013

Don't you love it when things start to come together?

Good Thursday everyone!

So first things, you may have noticed my posts have been quite sporadic as of late, I must be honest, and it's for a good reason. I've been using my travel time to and from work (which as you know is when I write most of my posts) to listen to the audiobook of Neil Gaiman's American Gods.

But that is not to say that things are not progressing! Far from it in fact!

That's right friends, my game CRYPTS is slowly growing and expanding as a game!

With every week or so more and more is being developed and I think that we are on the verge of a playable version of the game!

This is a very exciting time for me, to the extent I have been forced to think about how it is going to move ahead financially.

Now I would ask you all to remember that before anything else this was designed as a game that I personally want to play. This is not a financial money put for me, however I am making sure that I allow for the future possibility, just in case.

We currently have a temporarily working 60 card loot deck, 14 card encounter deck, 8 beasties and 2 bosses, and that is not including the upcoming cards in the form of Skin Walkers, three types of Other, Rachnoir Queen of the Skittering Shadow and The Skeleton King!

This will take us up to 12 Beasties and 4 Bosses!

From there i should be able to put out my initial 'free' copy of the game, available on demand from me. This will be on the grounds that I will NOT be using original art, and therefore do not want it on general release.

I will however then be able to get started on the main rule book, where I get to delve deeper into the rules, instead of the QuickStart summary, and also start piecing together the lore and fluff.

Anyway, I think I've rambled enough now, I'll leave you on this great news however; last night New Fairbank Radio recorded episode 20, our first game of the new rules for CRYPTS, and so far it seems super fun to play!

So on that note, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Sunday, 27 October 2013

CRYPTS: An overview

Good Sunday everyone!

So it occurred to me amidst my paranoid craziness, that there might be many out there who don't really get what CRYPTS is all about.

If you are one of those people then this post is for you. But first, some narrative to set the mood:


Gene Burgh was a quiet man, only about a foot taller than his Ma and about the same build. One thing he was not, was a fighter.

Gene's brother Josiah however, now there was a brawler. The tallest man in their town with arms as thick as his head.

Twelve weeks ago Gene's family had received a telegram from Josiah, telling them that he had found a way to solve their money worries and that no one would bother them again. But that was twelve weeks ago, and they had heard nothing since.

It was on orders from his Ma that Gene had left their town, put all his savings into hiring a stagecoach and began the long ride to New Fairbank, from where the telegram had been sent, and it was that town that as he was lost in thought exploded into view admits the dust trails and winds that buffeted the roads ahead.

Gene's time in New Fairbank was to be brief. He would speak to the locals, law enforcement, maybe even the tavern staff and would soon find out what had happened to his brother, and true to his word in no time at all he had found more than enough who we're willing to tell about a barrel chested man matching Josiah's description braving the Dark Below never to be heard of again.

Gene knew he could not return with just that news. He was a coward, but he feared his Ma's wrath more than any creature that lived in such mines and crypts. So with his last few remaining coins Gene gathered some final supplies and ventured into the same mine entrance his brother had many nights prior.

The mine itself was well lit, and it ran for what felt like hours, that was until Gene noticed, it came to an abrupt end, ahead on the ground of the dead end there lay a wooden hatch with an iron bolt holding it in place.

It took all of Gene's strength to prise open the bolt and lift the heavy wooden hatch, below he saw what appeared to be a cavern, hard rock that glistened with water as he dropped his torch to light up the below. The torch hit the ground, and as it did the ground itself moved in a tide of a thousand shiny black moving bodies.

"Bugs" though Gene to himself "I hate bugs".

Lowering himself through the hatch Gene picked up his torch and began to take note of the cavern ahead, it seemed to stretch on for about thirty feet and as his eyes strained to make out the end, he was sure he could see something running towards him.

Gene shook his head, he was clearly imagining things, but no matter how many times he blinked or wiped his eyes with scrunched fists, the image would not leave him. Ahead he saw three small creatures, each one no more than three feet high, their skin a sickly orange and their clothes tattered and dirty.

In their hands they grasped crude and rusted weapons, some used carving knives like they were daggers, while others held aloft makeshift spears.

Gene had heard of such creatures from his Ma's tales, things from the old country that were mischievous and bloodthirsty. He also remembered that they were nervous and easily startled, which is why as a boy his Ma had insisted he keep his voice down.

This memory lodged in his mind Gene raised his Pa's trusty rifle to his shoulder, braced himself and fired.


So, what is the aim of CRYPTS?

Good question, the main aim of this game is to be a dungeon crawler with elements of random encounters, so no 2 games are the same.

In this game you play an adventurer in the old west, either by yourself or in a party of other players called a Posse.

Now your posse needs to have creatures to slay and that is where the opponent comes in. Taking on the role of the Crypt Keeper, one player controls the minions of The Dark Below as they are randomly spawned through the use of an Encounter Deck.

Once the Posse has cleared out a room they then have a chance of obtaining new equipment, weapons and spells through the use of a Loot Deck and equipping these items will make you a stronger more powerful adventurer.


One of the core principles of the game is an ease of accessibility. It will not come with any miniatures or specialised terrain, instead all of this will be made available using either 'cut out and play' tokens provided, or using your own miniatures that I am sure most hobbyists already own. The same is the case with terrain. The dungeons or crypts you'll explore will either come in a very basic 'cut out and play' format or you can use your own ones from D&D, HeroQuest, WarhammerQuest of any other game you may have.

It is also being designed to be used with free internet systems like MapQuest, and modules for CRYPTS will be made available or you can create your own.


The future is pretty sound, with the introduction of Aspects for Classes, initially focussing on the Holy Trinity (Tank, Healer and DPS) but with possible additions added later; Gunslinger, Duelist, Arcanist etc followed by the Path Progession System to work as a levelling form allowing players to customise their characters in a near unlimited form.

There will also be Keeper-less encounters in the form of Raids, these will take whole posses working together to bring down, but the rewards will be worth it.


Things are still very much in early stages at the moment. We have an initial loot deck, a small encounter deck, a couple of boss characters and as of this week a re-designed character card for players to use. All of these designed to be the size of a playing card, so with a small purchase of card sleeves you can start filling in your own character details without concern.

The future is looking good for CRYPTS but there is still a long way to go and lots of opportunities to make this a great game.

So if you are interested in pitching in and giving some thoughts, please let me know at and you too could be play testing your character in the fast paced, action packed world of CRYPTS!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 25 October 2013

The Doctor's Lounge - A Chat With Loxley

Hi there!

How's you?

Uh huh



Well it's good to hear you're doing ok!


I'm good. Had a lot to think about recently, to look back over the past few months and really think about where I stand and what I can bring to the table.

I think it's good to do this. To look at your history be it recent or ancient and re-assess things.

It's like someone somewhere once said: if you don't learn from history then you risk repeating it.

It's funny really, we're quickly coming up to the 2 year birthday of this blog and boy has it been one hell of a year.

... of course I am pretty sure that I have said that every year, but this one feels more hellish than any before.


In terms of hobby updates I have seen so much going on, but I don't wish to talk about that now.

I am still torn up inside over the issues of Shadows of Brimstone.

I have quietened the paranoid brain saying that they ripped my ideas I put online in podcasts and blog/forum posts but I can not shake the feeling that this other game is the one that will get all the credit, that if CRYPTS ever sees the light of day in one form or another, that it will be seen as a game trying to rip off Shadows of Brimstone.

Yes you all know the truth, that when I started this game there was very little in the way of non-fantasy Dungeon Crawlers, and Weird West games were few and far between. I thought I was on to a truly original idea.

I look back over the work I've put into it and the life I have breathed into New Fairbank, the schools of magic, the Sheriff and the Mayor, and of course the Dark Below and the beasties who dwell within.

I still love what has been created and I am really looking forward to creating the main book, with rules, fluff and Monster Manual all combined into one glorious tome.

I just really really hope that when the time comes other people look beyond the 'Weird West Dungeon Crawler' and see the depth of story within.

And so on that note, I leave you for the week. Stay safe, be excellent to each other, and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 24 October 2013

The morning after

Good Thursday everyone!

Well it's the morning after, and now it's time for me to reevaluate my thoughts and plans.


So an update exists on the Kickstarter for Shadows of Brimstone. This update talks about years of work and planning for the game.

Now if this is to be believed, and let's be honest it almost certainly is. Then this means that the similarities really is just a truly unfortunate coincidence.


What it doesn't answer is the future of the game, and if the world really does need both Shadows of Brimstone and CRYPTS.

Honestly I do not know. But there are a couple of differences between these two games. The first is the setting. By now I am sure we have all read about New Fairbank, about Frank Hodges and the Last Light Tavern.

This setting, while perhaps not all that original, is one of the selling points of CRYPTS.

Then there is the designers; me and my friends who have helped this game get where it currently it is.

Between all of us we can make the game exactly how we desire, creating the game we want to play.


So yes, I believe there is still a place for CRYPTS, and on that note, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Shadows & Fantasies

Good evening everyone!

As I write this I am relaxing in a nice, deep, soapy bath. With the hot water soothing my tired body, I can begin to think clearly and allow my paranoid brain to think slightly more clearly.

You see this evening I read some potentially disturbing news:

It turns out that the company Flying Frog Productions are currently running a kickstarter: Shadows of Brimstone

Reading this information gave me pause for thought, and the more I read the more concerned I grew.

Allow me to extract some information for you from their Kickstarter:

Forming an adventuring posse, the Heroes venture down into the dark mines, overrun with all manner of ancient demons and foul creatures from another world.

With tactical gameplay, lots of dice, and a robust card-driven exploration system, no two games are ever the same as the Heroes explore the mines finding new enemies to fight, new Loot to collect, and new dangers to overcome.

Now I know I'm prone to wearing a tin foil hat at the best of times, but tell me, is that, or is that not REMARKABLY similar to the world/game I began this time last year with MaliQuest that quickly spawned CRYPTS?


You see, I am torn. Part of me thinks "it's just a Weird West Dungeon Crawler with a loot deck. It's not as if that is a unique idea!"

But then I read some of the comments on Beasts of War and the article itself and I find myself taking note that people ARE calling it an original and unique idea.


This puts me in a dark place.

I do not know if we are 2 different groups, completely independently coming up with an extremely similar game idea around the same time as each other, and after all, I was inspired by Malifaux, and we are currently having Wild West Exodus about to ship, it's safe to say that Weird West is possibly the current hot-potatoe.


But there is another possibility, one that I hope to any god out there is not true.

That this Shadows of Brimstone is a rip of my ideas.

And this is where I don't know what to think. I know that I am prone to seeing patterns and similarities where there are none, just look at my Wyrd and Malifaux related blog posts in the run up to GenCon. If I was saying that stuff on the street I'd probably have been given meds and be currently living in a padded cell.

So I don't know what to think.

Am I being paranoid? Or is this just one very unfortunate co-incidence?

OR! Are these two games nothing alike and in fact I am seeing similarities and patterns that do not exist.


Whatever the outcome, this puts an interesting spin on things to come with CRYPTS. I haven't copyrighted or trademarked any of my stuff. I know, I know that's the first rule of game design! But I haven't, so even if it turns out this is a 'stolen game' then it's next to impossible to prove it. Especially when you consider how much stuff I put up on the internet for just about anybody to read and use.

But there are more potential issues. What if in a few years time I decided I really wanted to get my game published? Would I think have a possible law suit on my hands, despite having documentation online proving the seeds of this game were sown back in October 2012?


I dunno, I'm probably stressing over nothing, especially now as the coiled beast that lives in the dark of my brain tells me that with this game out there, professionally printed, specifically designed dungeon tiles and miniatures, there's no room for CRYPTS, and that really the game is a pointless waste of my energy from this point on.

- I don't like listening to that part of my brain.


I would welcome any thoughts you may have on this, and while I may be exposing a weakness in saying this, please be kind. As many of you know, MaliQuest and even more so, CRYPTS is my baby, and seeing all of this is leaving me feeling pretty low right now.

Anyway, as always friends, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 18 October 2013

I make my own luck (not really)

Good Friday everyone!

Today I would like to talk about the unusual mentality behind a 1 in 6 die roll.


So I woke up with a great email sitting on my phone from a treasured playtester for CRYPTS who came up with an awesome idea.

The email included a suggestion introducing a minor mechanic introducing an effect by rolling a 1 on a d6 in certain situations.

Now first I would like to say that I loved the idea suggested and will be looking to incorporate this into my next test rules.

Second, it got me thinking about my mentality of the d6, and I'm left wondering if others see it the same way.


I remember back in my GW days I used to have lots of armour saves that required rolling a 6. I remember that rolling a 6 on 1d6 seemed impossible. It never happened, especially when I wanted it to.

On the other hand, rolling a 1 seemed to happen all the time!

This is the strange thing, because both rolls are 1 in 6, so assuming a perfectly balanced dice, over a long enough time you should see just as many 6s as you do 1s.

But hand on heart I would swear to you that for every 6 I rolled, I would roll 10 1s.


The more I think about this, the more I see similar irregularities in other games. Let's have a look at Malifaux for example.

Now this game as many of you will know uses cards rather than dice, as such it's version of super good vs mega bad is the red vs black joker.

Now many will remember the hoo-har about a year or 2 ago over Hard to Wound, and how flipping more cards made it easier for the attacker to flip a red joker causing insane amount of damage, which was the opposite of the intended mechanic.

What you never heard was that flipping more cards also meant a higher chance of flipping the black joker, causing no damage - the exact intent of the mechanic!

So why was this? That something that using very basic probability should be just as likely to be flipped is never remembered in that instance, while the other is?


I have only one possible explanation for this, and that is down to the perceived difference between the good results and the bad.

Going back to the d6 mechanics, no matter the situation, rolling a 1 was always bad.

If you wanted to shoot someone with a gun, rolling a 1 meant you missed.

If you wanted to save your trooper from being shot, rolling a 1 meant you failed.

Rolling a 1 was always BAD!

But if you wanted to shoot someone, and your required 'to hit roll' was a 4+, then rolling a 6 was the same (in many games) as rolling a 4 or a 5.
- hell, imagine if it was a 2+ requirement, then there is no difference between a 2 and a 6.

With this in mind, if there is no difference, how many 6s have been rolled and been ignored because they are counted as part of the mass 'success' roll?


So just think about it for a moment. Let's say you need to make 5 die rolls in a game, a 2+, a 3+, a 4+, a 5+ and a 6+?

In those 5 rolls, if you ever roll a 1, you will likely pay attention, because it means you fail in any of the 5 rolls.

In those rolls however, there is only 1 which requires a 6 to succeed, and when it comes to that roll, you have a 5 in 6 chance of failing!

So just think about that, if you need to roll that 6, and you manage to pull it off, you'll be celebrating, because it was about as against the odds as possible!


Of course random chance does allow for the possibility that there could be someone who for their entire life only ever rolls 1s. It is possible, just super-duper unlikely.


I've never been one to call myself unlucky, I prefer to put my failures in games down to a lack of skill. Yes I may get bad dice rolls, but chances are if I had done other things it would present more opportunities to get better dice rolls (like using 2 dice instead of 1).


Anyway, that's all from me for today, so as always; stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

The Adventures of Geek Dad: The Realisation of a Modern Father

Good Tuesday everyone!

Today I join you with something that I do not do very often...

I have something to admit, and do so troubles me to my very core.

I was wrong!


For roughly 18/19 months now I've been keeping this blog, dipping in and out of my Geek Dad adventures, and until now I was certain that I was not an anomaly, that my attitude to both fatherhood and marriage was the norm and that those who had major differences were the exception.

Today I came to the cruel realisation that such a thing is far from true.


Allow me to talk you through my attitude towards parenthood and by proxy marriage.

You see, from day one I have done everything in my power to raise my daughter 50/50. Where possible we split the night feeds each alternating who did them, and if one of us desperately needed more sleep then the other took the slack knowing that if the worst came to it, the other would do the same in a heart beat.

When the Moo got older and she stopped needing night feeds, we continued to alternate, I would have Saturday as a lie in while my wife would get up to look after the Moo, and I would do the same on Sunday. On occasion when my wife has been super tired or unwell I have done both mornings, and likewise she has done the same for me.

This routine is still in place, and I think that we share pretty much everything like this.

And I can honestly say that as long as one is aware of what upsets the other and vice verse, then we are happy, we don't argue and we have a magical, happy and playful daughter to show for it.

You see, even when I had come home from a long day in the office you wouldn't find me shying away from spending time with my daughter and the ups and downs that goes with that, the same applied from the first week to now, night feeds, bath time, meals, I do my best to be there whenever possible.

But why? Because I love spending time with my daughter and wife, and I want them to both be happy.

Yes it hasn't always been great and there have been times when I'd love to have been somewhere else, but my love for my wife has meant that I didn't want her going through those hard times alone.


So now dear readers, ask yourself, are you the same? Do you or your partner put themselves before their child or other half? If the answer is no, then you are like me, and let me tell you, we are in the minority.


Just this morning, I found a message from my wife, she had been standing in a queue to get her morning coffee when these two "business jerks" started talking really loudly about their children.

One of these BJs was saying that he has been 'forced' to work longer hours so that when he gets home his personal time isn't 'distracted' by 'baby stuff'.

The other BJ was saying how he is making arrangements to stay in a hotel 3 nights a week purely so that he can get away from his kid who is having trouble sleeping.

Reading this sickened me, and I had to mention it to people at work, and the reactions were incredible. Many men who were near we're agreeing with these BJs, while most of the women were not surprised, saying that their own husbands or friends were exactly the same.

In short, this sort of behaviour is not only present, but it is accepted as normal behaviour!



Why is this the case? How can this be the case?

Until today I honestly thought that most men were like me, and those who said "I'm not doing a night feed because I've got to be up for work in the morning" were the exception.


I know that this is not my usual type if Geek Dad post, but I just had to make this, I just needed to send my disgust for these selfish and horrid creatures into the world.

If anyone reads this who falls under the before mentioned criteria then know this: you are not a father. You are a rancid example of a man who does not deserve the title that others like me and the few like me wear with pride every single day.

A partnership is supposed to be 50/50, and that's for everything including childcare.

But you know what the worst of this is? (Or perhaps the best) these sorry excuses for men? They are the ones missing out by choosing to pass on time with their kid, all of those magical moments passing them by, you can't ever get those back, and when your kid grows up they will remember you as the self centre red egotistical BJ that you are.

To those who do make the effort, good on you! I realise now how few and far between we are, and the world is a brighter place because we exist!

On that note, good night, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 11 October 2013

Enjoy what you have

Good Friday everyone!

Today I've been off work thanks to some well placed annual leave, and let me tell you; I feel fantastic!


So I had a few things planned for today. Some of them (cleaning my Den for example) I've done with aplomb, others (writing CRYPTS cards) I have not, but that's ok.


You see the past couple of days have been great for me, and it's only thanks to being able to sit back and enjoy the little things that I am able to say that.


Let's start with earlier in the week.

Last Saturday I had the latest of my accounting exams, and as many of you will know I was shit scared over this. I felt like I wasn't prepared and didn't really know what to expect. But I sat it anyway and managed to walk off with a 100% success grade for that exam.

As a reward for that I decided to buy myself a treat from my FLGS Leisure Games.

This treat was a starter Demon force for the game Hell Dorado.

Since then I have been trying some new basing techniques and began painting them: my current example of a WiP is

Later on in the week on Tuesday evening, me, Will and Vicky met up over Skype and recorded Episode 19 of New Fairbank Radio (you should be able to stream that through the embedded player in this blog).

On Wednesday I was scheduled to record with a member of the development team for the upcoming MMO City of Titans, but sadly due to a family emergency on their side that was postponed and should be done tonight.

Then yesterday me and Andrey met with Bill Anderson of the Gamer's Lounge to record episode 4 of Hobby Sofa. I am aiming to edit that either tonight or tomorrow so it is available to download.


So today I started off in a lazy way, slept in till about 0930, before getting up, having breakfast, cleaning my Den (apart from a few large boxes that need to go in the attic but I can't do that by myself) then doing a small bit of shopping and coming home.

Now I'm laying in a nice warm bath enjoying what is left of my day before I get to see my youngling after her day in nursery and my lovely wife who's been at work.

But you know what this day off has allowed me to do? I've been able to sit back and see all the lovely little things in my life, the fun times spent with paints and games, the great chats and discussions that I've been able to join in, and how even when people are on completely oposite sides of the same fence, be it about miniatures, religion or any of it, you can still exchange thoughts and opinion, be respectful to one another and walk away better friends with a better understanding of just what makes them tick.


Now really, what is wrong with that? And this is what I love about living in today's world and in the place that I and those I care for live in. We have the technology to remove the effect that distance has, to take friends from the other side of the country, or even the other side of the world, and have the freedom to agree and disagree with their opinions.

I mean really, how great is that?


Anyway, I think I've rambled on for a little too long now, plus my bath is beginning to get a little chilly, so I'll leave you for now.

So please friends, stay safe and I hope to see you CRYPTside!

PS: stay tuned for Episode 4 of Hobby Sofa and an exclusive chat between me and Missing Worlds Media!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

More Podcast Plans

Good Wednesday everyone!

Last night me and the rest of New Fairbank Radio (sans Sarah who couldn't join us for work reasons) and our last game of MaliQuest was played.

From Episode 20 we will be switching over to the game CRYPTS, and we will also be moving to a new format: Fortnightly episodes!

The game was fun, long but fun and I am looking forward to getting that out later this week.

Tonight I will be recording with a member(s) of Missing World Media about their new MMO City of Titans. Really looking forward to that.

Tomorrow me and Andrey will be meeting to record Episode 4 of Hobby Sofa, and we will be joined with Bill from the Gamer's Lounge podcast.

As hinted at before, our forward plan with Hobby Sofa is to have me and Andrey as regular hosts, with a 3rd Guest every episode.


Sorting out episodes might be a problem for Hobby Sofa right now, when I put up Episode 3 i was greeted by a lovely announcement saying that I was only able to put up one episode a month with my free account - this is not good at all as I want to release the MWM Interview and our chat on Thursday as 2 separate episodes, mainly because it's not fair on our wargame listeners to listen to an MMO interview if they are not interested, and the same for MWM.

Another option for Hobby Sofa is a paid for account, but for that we would require sponsorship, so if you or someone you know would like to sponsor the cast please get in touch
- yeah shameless request...


Anyway, that is all from me for today, not very much to say, so on that note, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 7 October 2013

CRYPTS: Extract from Doctor Loxley's Manual of Monsters - Others

There is more to fear in the Dark Below than simple beasties.

There are bugs that crawl into your brain and take control of your body.

There are notorious vermin which will devour your body in minutes, bones and all.

There are even even creatures that will rip your very soul from your body, leaving the meat behind for whatever those more insidious may desire.

Then there is the Dark itself.

Some say that the very air of the Crypts are alive, that if you listen hard enough you can hear and feel the Dark Below breathing.

I know that as nonsense and superstition. The Dark Below is no more alive than my trusty revolver.

But that is not to say it does not have energy, magical and cruel energy that twists and warps those who reside in the Crypts for too long.

Some call them the Damned, others Lost and even the Wretched. I've come to know them collectively as 'Others'.

Some of the more common ones are the Wretched, hunters who have been turned to rott, undead shadows of their former selves.

On occasion you may glimpse a Lost, with bodies consumed by fire, and footsteps of thunder.

If you see the Damned, then may whatever deity you pray to watch over your soul. With minds as twisted as rabid dogs, and covered in wounds that would kill a normal man. I have seen these creatures slaughter whole posses by themselves.

Yes my friend, be wary of the Dark Below. It has it's ways of creeping up on you...

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Spoilt for choice

Well where do I begin?

Depending on how this week goes I will with hope be able to report on each of these separately later in the week, but for now (with my tired Monday brain) I will cover them all together.


Missing Worlds Media & City of Titans.

Do you play MMOs? Do you like superheroes? Did you play City of Heroes/Villains back in the day?

If the answer to any of these questions are yes, then you will want to tune into the next episode of Hobby Sofa!

I have managed to wrangle an interview with the volunteer dev team at Missing Worlds Media which is due to record this Wednesday for publishing at the end of the week. We will be talking about their new kickstarter project: The Phoenix Project their work to build the ultimate Superhero MMO; City of Titans.


I am also hoping to record alongside Andrey and with hope we will have a guest host in the form of Bill Anderson from The Dead Tau Project and Gamers Lounge podcast.


New Fairbank Radio is also due to return this week (oh my god that is going to be a lot of editing) where we will either be starting a whole new campaign using the WIP CRYPTS rules, or we will be finishing off co-host Will's campaign.


On Saturday I sat my latest exam for my AAT Level 2 course, Working Effectively in Accounting & Finance, or WEAF for short.

Let me tell you I was anxious as hell, I realised that i didn't really know what to expect, and that I may have prepared completely wrong! Turns out everything was fine and I walked away with a score of ~100%!


As personal reward for doing so well I took a trip to Leisure Games where I got to catch up with my two favourite Hobby Store workers, David & Mike!

Whilst there I also picked up the Hell Dorado Demon starter box, and I am going to have to do a proper write up on this, it's only for small points, but there's something about this purchase that just feels great!

I order to try and make these a little different to my other models I decided to try out a new basing technique and for it I pulled up lots of resources including one from the new owners of the game itself: here.

I thought I would give this a go, and the end result is as follows:

I'm not convinced the pictures really do them justice, but I think the 'slabs' came out great, with lovely layers present just waiting to be painted up!

The plan for these is to use reds into greys creating a nice Hell look. How that will turn out I have no idea, but I'm really looking forward to finding out!


And on that note I leave you for now.

Take care, stay safe and I will see you CRYPT side!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Tears in Rain

Good Thursday everyone!

This is a post that I've been thinking of writing for a while now ever since I had a chat about similar with my father and good friend Tom.

The topic at hand is the emotional attachment that we men/geeks/people feel for inanimate objects.

You see this every day everywhere, grown men naming their cars and referring to it as a she. I believe that this started back in Ye-olde days with galleons, and it is my belief that the same attitude exists with modern geeks and the use of computers, and to a lesser extent mobile phones.


So why do we do this? Why do we feel it necessary to humanise these tools?

I can not explain for other people, only myself and with hope see if the same explanation applies to others.

You see, I'm guilty of this just like many others. My computer is named, and I refer to it as a she (and from this point on will do so in this article), and I do have an emotional tie to her. If she stopped working and needed to be replaced (note, replaced, not upgraded) then I would feel like i had lost a friend and a part of me.

But why? It's crazy isn't it?

Perhaps not...


Hundreds of years ago knights rode a favourite horse, they often had many, but always one that was their favourite. This horse they would trust with their life, and likewise the horse would trust in the rider not to put it in unnecessary danger.

Together the rider and mount were unstoppable against all manner of foe and the armoured cavalry was a truly fearsome sight.


I don't ride a horse, I don't own a suit of armour nor a sword to slay my enemies.

What I do have is my computer.

Together my computer and I have seen many amazing sights and done deeds that bards sing of.

We have free dived from the outer atmosphere in MDK2, brought down the Strogg Empire in Quake2+4, killed an Alien Queen with cunning and wits in virtually every AvP game made, travelled to a tropical paradise and lassoed crazies to cacti in BulletStorm, ventured into the frozen wilderness of Skyrim, grown a legion of monsters in Dungeon Keeper 2, saved the world in Mass Effect, slain the Lich King at the seat of the Icecrown Citadel and hidden from Alma in F.E.A.R.

All of these events may not have been real, but the emotions they brought out of me were real, the excitement, the awe, the courage and fear! And at every stage my computer has been there, my steed, my rifle, my sword.

None of this would have been possible if not for my computer.

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die."
- Roy Batty, Blade Runner 1982

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Alien Rage - Unlimited: A Second Opinion

Good Tuesday everyone!

So yesterday I got the opportunity to sink my teeth into the recently released game Alien Rage - Unlimited

Now for those interested in the game you may have read the review on Destructoid that seems to be doing the rounds, and I would like to add my own thoughts into the pool.


So to start off, what is it? Well Alien Rage is a 'classic' First Person Shooter (FPS) available on PC, PS3 and 360, and the version I got to play was on PC.

Now, first and foremost, Alien Rage is pretty! It is very pretty!

I have to be honest, I can't play it with everything on full, but with a lot of settings cranked to max and some others turned down slightly it plays to a decent degree, and that's running a 5 year old graphics card!

From what I have read it is an Nvidia heavy game, and if you've got a suitable card it should run like a dream, mine is an old Radeon, so I put my minor graphic problems down to that.


But anyway, what about gameplay? AI? Animations? Everything else the game has been criticised over?

Honestly? There are 'issues' with the AI, the aliens are far from intelligent, but that's beside the point. In fact, I believe that in tackling these issues I am doing the game a disservice.

You see there are three games that I regularly have installed on my computer that I enjoy booting up and playing every now and then, the first and least played is Unreal 2, next and middle played is Doom 3, and last but most played is the truly awesome Quake 4! Games that I believe have yet to be properly challenged in the sci-fi FPS genre. I've played the competition that's come about since, and a few (AvP, A:CM etc) have even come close to being as good, but there's always been a problem.

You see modern shooters have a habit if relying on storyline, tactics and game-mechanics, but these games, some of my favourite games ever, don't rely on anything like that, they just throw monsters at you to let you blast them up, all the while giving a pseudo storyline which has the depth of a 1990's Arnie movie.

But is that a bad thing really? No! It means that every so often I can boot up a game, blast some Strogg and feel like a dreaming bad ass!

And that is what Alien Rage does! It makes me feel like a bad ass with a trusty gun!

- You see, yes the game's weaponry is limited, sometimes very similar, but then why would you want to ditch your favourite rifle? She's been through countless battles with you, slain more monsters than you can count and you've even named her!

This is why in games like this, I always have my trusty rifle, be it assault, pulse or plasma, and together we stick through thick or thin. Countless demons, aliens and rogue mercs have fallen before my barrage of fire power, and those words have never been more true in this game:

This is my rifle, there are many like it, but this one is mine. Without me my rifle is nothing, without my rifle I am nothing!


So my friends, what should you take from this review?

As always I can't tell you to play this game, because I don't know your tastes, and you may be reading this thinking "Quake4 sucked balls!" But if like me you loved those games, then give this game a shot. It's only about £15 on Steam and is one hell of a ride!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley