Sunday, 22 December 2013

Level One Complete! CRYPTS Playtesting

Good Sunday everyone!

As I sink into my weekly Sunday bath (that's the bath I have every Sunday, not the only bath I have a week, I'm not [quite] that gross). I am thinking about the editing job I have ahead of me for the latest episode of New Fairbank Radio.

You see we recorded the latest Episode on Wednesday and I have yet to get around to edit it. This is my fault and mine alone, but as it is the Christmas episode, I do kinda need to get it out before hand.

So I'll be doing the before mentioned editing tonight and in no time at all you will have the final fight of Level 1 ear worming its way for your attention.


In this weeks episode we had a lot of fun, namely with our very first boss fight!

I won't reveal quite yet who the fight is against, or even how it went, but once again it seems in the spirit of keeping things fair and even, I did in fact me them a -little- easy for the party, and as such some buffs for this boss have been made.

This if fine though, as after all, this is the point of testing and in doing so we are able to make the changes and improve the experience for all.


You see, I have found something very interesting recently, I've been following what a lot of other game developers have been saying, about how they go about designing something, about making sure certain boxes are ticked and then following an almost formulaic system for testing and how you adjust based on the results of that formula.

What I find interesting is how I am not using a formula like that at all, and the only box I am looking to tick when creating rules etc is "does (X) sound fun?"

Obviously I would never say that my method is right or wrong, it is just more chaotic, apparently random and not something that someone with a qualification I'm game design would really do (but then I am more than aware that in the real world qualifications means eff-all!)

One thing I will say however this method of testing, is working for me. You see I started out working on CRYPTS because I wanted to create a game that I wanted to play, and so far that is exactly what this game is, and whenever I play this game for the irregular testing I am putting it through, I look forward to each and every game, which I will be honest, is a rarity for me.


Anyway, as mentioned before, with hope the latest episode of NFR will be out later tonight, early tomorrow. So until next time, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Another catchup

Good Tuesday everyone!

Ok, so I've been a little pre-occupied as of late, my posts are almost weekly, and my hobby time has all but disappeared.

Why is this? Why is it, rather than working on CRYPTS, rather than painting models, rather than writing blog posts my free time is spent playing on the computer, and my commute time is spent playing Magic TG on my new iPad?

The answer is simple.

It's because I choose to.


Isn't that a wonderful thing? To be able to choose to shirk your responsibilities for a week or two and have absolutely no negative consequences?

Sure I don't have any updates for CRYPTS, and some people may get miffed with that, but that's ok, it's not to stop me working on it the following week.

Yes my models rant being painted, but I'm not painting for any other reason than to enjoy it. If I don't paint this week, I'm not going to get kicked out of a club, or unable to make a tournament, I'll just do some next week, or the week after.

And if I don't write a blog post for a few days, does it really matter? I mean there are people I follow who post only about once every week anyway, and content is only as interesting as you the reader is interested in that topic - therefore it is purely subjective.


So we come to my choice, to watch tv, play on the computer and vegetate for a few days.

I know what you're thinking, I've probably never been happier!

The truth? I've been restless.

I'm a little unable to explain it, like I feel bored, despite enjoying what I'm doing.

I know, I know, it makes no sense.


I guess it comes down to your current 'norm'.

You see, before my little Moo came along, I had spare time spilling out of my ears. But when she came, so did my course as well as my buy in back to hobbies, this blog, my podcast(s) and all that junk that came with it.

I went from being an embarrassed closet Geek to a proud Geek, one who wears his Horde symbol on his breast with pride, and who will very quickly and regularly talk to people at work about his table top games, painting projects and computer games.

I like that version of me.

I like being busy!

Anyway, I don't know where this is going, but then hey! What's new for this blog eh?

Not much of a catch up I know, but still, tomorrow should prove interesting as we record our Christmas episode of New Fairbank Radio!

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

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Birthday Celebrations

Good Thursday everyone!

I must admit, this feels super weird as I type this currently on my new iPad gifted from my awesome wife @tehtri.

Currently I am not sure if it is better or worse typing on a tablet compared to a smart phone. The keyboard is clearly bigger, so if up I struggled with a phone it would certainly be easier, however as I have no problem with my phone, it could just be a case of being scared of change (because I NEVER do that /sarcasm).

All in all I have had a fantastic birthday week. @tehtri had managed to arrive a secret surprise party for me which I had absolutely no idea was going ahead. Even when a couple of friends arrived I still had no idea what was going on, as at every stage there was a perfectly good excuse, and me being the gullible twonk I am, I had no reason to doubt them.

As you can see she did a fantastic job!

Since then I've been doing all manner of things, setting up a new computer screen, trying (and temporarily failing) to set up dual screen displays, opening presents, getting some unrelated but equally awesome congrats from work and yet more.

With all this time spent being a busy busy bee, one thing I have not had a chance to do is work on CRYPTS, however next week we'll be recording our Christmas episode! So if you have any questions or comments for us, get them in to @newfairbank

So until next time, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside,

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

FarCry3: Blood Dragon - A Second Opinion

Good Tuesday everyone!

Today I would like to talk to you about a game I've been playing recently:

FarCry3: Blood Dragon

Now I'm not going to do what a lot of reviewers have already done at great length and talk about the science behind the games, about whether or not the game's joke works.

No instead I'm going to tell you about my experiences and if I enjoyed it.

So to start with as you can see from the cover shot, the game takes a lot of inspiration from the 80s and 90s and the tv/film that came from then.

This is continued when you look at the lead character, voiced by none other than Michael Biehn of Terminator and Aliens fame!

Anyway, the game opens up with a cutscene reminiscent of most video games from the 80s and 90s

And these style of cutscenes continue throughout the game, which itself is filled with more neon than the last Tron film

But is it fun?

Let me ask you another question: Is Axe Cop fun?

That is what this game is! It is not a game that is poking fun at the games of old, or even mocking the modern games, instead it is (to me) a game that was conceived 20-30 years ago, when a kid said "if I could make a game, it would have a cyber commando, lasers, neon, an evil general and dinosaurs that fire more lasers out of their freaking eyes!

Now that kid is a developer, maybe even a head developer, and someone has given him the cash to make a game. This is his moment! And this was his game!

And you know what? It fucking rocks!

From start to finish I really enjoyed this game, I genuinely laughed and smiled, appreciated the nods to pop-culture and really enjoyed the genuine retro feel the whole thing had.

Is it a perfect game? Game of the year? Hell no! But it is a truly enjoyable romp through the mind of most early pubescent boys from the time in question.

So if you have fond memories of He-Man, The Terminator, RoboCop, The Running Man, Rambo, TMNT, VCRs, Fixing the tracking on the school TV, and all the other crap that came with it, give this game a whirl and get lost in a world that heavy metal forgot!

Stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Sunday, 1 December 2013

It's all over (until next year)

Good Sunday everyone!

It's been a long time coming, but now I finally have no more exams until the next year!

It's quite simple you see, on Saturday I sat my latest exam; Computerised Accounting for AAT Level 2. The exam was in two parts:

- Practical in using Sage
- Theory with a multiple choice paper.

Both of these have been sent off now to my exam board and will be marked, of which I should get the results back in between 4-6 weeks.

Depending on the results, I'll either be resitting in Jan/Feb or instead sitting my next and last exam for this course: Basic Accounting Part 2.

Until then however, I have given myself a green card for the rest if the year, so it's time to stop revising and start painting, podcasting, rules writing and playing a tonne of video games!


So what is on the table for good ol' Dr Lox in regards to all of this?

As embarrassing as it may be, I still have all of my Wyrd GenCon order to paint, plus my HellDorado Demon starter pack.

Some of the models are already starting to come together, the Demons, being absolutely a delight to paint are nearly done, I just have a few things left to do (namely being the colours of the bases down, as at the moment they are blending in with the Demons too much).

My Depleted are pretty much done, just in need of some finer touches. The rest... Yeah got a long way to go.

So it's been a few weeks since the last New Fairbank Radio, and we are hoping to record again tomorrow, so stay tuned!

In addition to that Hobby Sofa is overdue, so next week, probably around Thursday or something I am hoping to record.

-Rules Writing
Having this free time (an extra 30-90 minutes a night) means that I can get back on top of writing my CRYPTS rules.

As the testers will have seen, we now have an almost done basic rule set, along with the first optional expansion, all the loot cards, encounter cards and Beasty cards! I also sent out the rather large file Dr Loxley's Manual of Monsters (still awaiting feedback on that guys).

So what's next?

First up is two little rules I've been thinking of, Critical Hits, and duel weapons. More of this in this week's testing update.

Next is of course Project Legacy. Those involved know what I'm talking about.

As always if you want to see these rules, you need to send me an email at or via twitter: @doctorloxley just let me know your email address, I'll send you the files and will include you in any updates that get sent out (1 a week on average).

-Video Games
So a couple of weeks ago my graphics card died, and I replaced it with a £30 replacement that unfortunately was truly subpar and is now in its box as a backup spare.

However in it's place is a £113 Radeon 7850 that let's me run all my games at maximum quality with fantastic frame rate!

What's more it came with a tonne of AMD Reward Vouchers that I've already used to buy (for free) a number of games; FarCry3: Blood Dragon, Saints Row 4, Hit Man: Absolution, Dirt 3, Sleeping Dogs, Sniper Elite 2 and a token for the as yet unreleased Thief due early next year. I still have 1 voucher that entitles me to another 2 games, but there is nothing else in the list that I don't already own, and it runs out at the end of December, so I'm hoping the list gets updated between now and then.

But what this means is that all these game have a high street value of about £160 so I've actually saved money (if I was going to buy the games that was).


What all this means is that I'm spoilt for choice! I've got more fun things to do than I have the time to do them! This is a rare and exciting event for me!


Last but not least from me, I've been thinking of running an off the books CRYPTS campaign over Skype using the free download, easy to configure software MapTools as the game board (much like we do on the podcast).

If you would like to get in on this (no bigger than 5) then drop me a line.

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

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley