RPG Hub Movie Review: The Atticus Institute

Found footage movies are a dime a dozen and quite a few are not so great but I came across this particular gem by my good friend Neil during one of our hangouts. The concept of the movie seemed interesting; the Atticus Institute follows a group that studied psychic and telekinetic phenomenon in the 1970’s. While being deceived by one subject and losing focus the group comes across another promising patient but things are not what they seem to be. Soon they all discover that they are now way in over their heads where science loses out to faith.

Now while the film is found footage it is also filmed like a documentary reporting on these events that ended The Atticus Institute. I think with the sensitive materials that such a group possesses and also the involvement of the government that a documentary would probably not ever make it to fruition let alone former agents and army personnel speaking during segments.

The build is very good with you experiencing the wonder this group gets to participate in everyday and also when it fails. Finally when this new patient who has all these abilities gets into the mix you sense how on edge the institute got. While it was wonderful for some, others were uncertain and extremely fearful. Once the government gets involved when the institute reaches out for help, the pace picks up and things get even more out of hand which leads to the climatic ending.

While the build was good the filming was excellent. The team did a great job of getting the 70’s style down from clothing to equipment and then transitioning to the present day. You really felt the two distinctive era’s had their own life to it.

The acting from everyone was great and there wasn’t one person that didn’t feel out of place which tends to happen in these sorts of movies. You will also notice a lot of familiar actors & actresses from both movies and tv. It seemed all throughout the movie we were going “Hey it’s the principal from Buffy!” to “I can’t quite place him but I totally know I watched a movie or two with him in it”. It’s funny when you see people you know but you just cannot place them exactly.

The Atticus Institute is simply an awesome movie. A great popcorn flick if you’re into supernatural thrillers. It’s well paced, the acting is great and you almost wish they would make another one because it was that damn good. What makes a good scary movie is not the quantity of jumps but the build towards them. The Atticus Institute does exactly that and I highly recommend it to anyone.

A Kickstarter Tale of Woe

Kickstarter is pretty much a phenomenon right now and I know a lot of my friends have used it. I myself have only used it once but from what I have seen and understand is that there is a general rule of thumb and that is nothing is ever on time.

I have partaken in the Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed Kickstarter in 2013 and what was to be released in 2014 is now heading towards roughly Halloween this year. From what I understand there was lots of issues and Chaosium almost going under, followed by changes in management to help get the company back where is should and now being run by Moon Design.

As my first foray into the Kickstarting realm I cannot help but feel soured on the experience. I get that not all of them are like that but they have a tendency to always be a bit late and that is fair to an extent.

Shit happens as they say, artists get sick, ideas change and the project evolves with it potentially running wild. I’m pretty sure many of you can relate with your own experiences. I think the key to any Kickstarter is communication.

It’s disappointing as a consumer to have to wait for something your so excited about, especially something you paid for already but it’s even more bearable when you have an idea of how things are going. I know from the Call of Cthulhu 7th Ed that updates have been all over the play from frequent to non frequent and all the way back to frequent.

I have nothing against Chaosium nor the product. I know from managing a huge budget project that it’s frakking hard and I applaud that they are working extra hard these days on more updates and giving hope to all involved that this project will see the light of day. Other projects on the other hand sometimes don’t end in a Happily Ever After and if you have been a part of that then you have my sympathies.

I don’t think this will be my sole Kickstart but I am a bit more weary of the process but I think know now to keep my expectations lower and having the mindset to tack on extra time that the experience will be a lot better.

If you have had any rough Kickstarter experiences, let us know.

 

Ordinem Ignota: A Miskatonic University Campaign

For those interesting in following Play by Post campaigns and love Call of Cthulhu, feel free to check out the campaign Ordinem Ignota: A Miskatonic University Campaign. You can find the link in the drop down menu up top…yeah that one.

Being a father of two and finding the ability to play games over the years has been very difficult but finally I got this much gestating campaign off the ground.  Take a look, ignore all the grammatical errors, enjoy it and hopefully it spurs further ideas for your adventures.

D&D 5th Edition is Here!! How are you enjoying it?

5th Edition is finally out now and you may have had some opportunity to hop right in and get down to playing some games. If so I would like to know how you are all enjoying it thus far. From what I can see on message boards we seem to have a resounding success on our hands here.

I have ogled at it for a few days now but we already had glimpses of what was coming through all the play testing. I must say though that the edition has a very old vibe to it which is great. The system itself is just plain familiar. Definite elements from 2nd and 3rd editions that wiff of nostalgia and while to some that may not be a good thing I would beg to differ.

I don’t think it can be refuted that D&D heavily segmented the market with 4th edition more so then any previous edition. It drew a line and many people didn’t want to cross. I myself felt it was a bit too… video gamey. I literally felt at times I was playing an MMO like World of Warcraft and spamming actions rather then role playing.

While I haven’t cleared the book in it’s entirety yet I must say one thing though that stands out to me as a long time fan of all things Dungeons & Dragons and that is how inclusive this edition is. I am not talking just mechanics but the way the book is written.

Every edition was written with a default setting in mind, that being Greyhawk however now suddenly the Forgotten Realms is now holding that spot. Reading the book however you have quotes from Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk. You have also races that are detailed for these various campaign settings. While I have a feeling they are holding back to elaborate more class specific material till they do a source book for that setting in the future I cannot help but simply feel included.

What drove me nuts about 3rd and 4th editions is that they dropped almost all their settings. Licensed the rest out for 3rd edition but then removed those licenses and made everyone suffer for 4th. Myself being a fan of Ravenloft felt very left in the dark and while 4th Ed had it’s Ravenloft flavored books it was never Ravenloft. It was almost forbidden to even mention it’s existence. The same went for the other campaign settings.

I get the feeling though and I hope, just hope, that they do follow through and release source books for all the settings. I get why they do the class books, the spell books and all that jazz. I also know that not all settings are popular like say Greyhawk or The Realms but it would be nice to just have a book to say, here is some fun specific stuff for you, here is some new information, now play!

Even my wife is wanting in on 5th edition and I plan on running a Greyhawk game for her. To me this edition has already won me over. Once I play with the rest of the guys and get my own game going I will update with more thoughts on how it all works. Stay tuned!

HEROES is coming back

Were you a fan of the tv show HEROES. I was a pretty big fan. I think the series had a lot to offer and brought superheroes more into the mainstream but it got a bit bloated at the end of it’s run. Well suffice it to say it is coming back in 2015. Not only that but the creator himself is coming back for it as well.  How about that for some interesting developments.

Heroes Reborn back in 2015 via IGN

Square Enix and the product of languishing delivery: Part Deux

Well the drama continues over at Square Enix where many people have yet to receive their collectors edition of Lightning Returns. There have been complaints to the Better Business Bureau, calls to Square Enix and calls to Digital River. with lots of finger pointing. Well finally Square Enix have responded and sadly they somehow made things slightly worse. Here is a small quote:

Earlier today, Square Enix North America learned that a small number of our fans had not yet received their online order placed from February 7-8. To all those affected, we sincerely apologize. Like you, we understand the frustration of not getting an order on the day it was promised.

We have since identified and remedied the issue, and are working to ensure that all of the orders will be processed in an expedited fashion.

Now they have supposedly sent as compensation an email to “those affected” with a credit, free delivery and refund of original shipping charge. Now that is pretty fair all considering but note that dates of the affected customers. Feb 7-8? Really?

So we have people affected well before that date and also after. What about them? Many people reported not even receiving that famous email. I know I haven’t but I am just waiting for my game patiently while playing Ni No Kuni.

I think the big lesson that needs to be learned is communication and customer service. Both have been executed poorly and looking at their remedy, they are not putting much thought into their future actions either.

For those still waiting for their game all I can say is keep the faith, I am waiting  with you all and maybe by the time the next Final Fantasy comes out we may have it.

Square Enix Apology

Square Enix and the product of languishing delivery

Well Square Enix seems to have burned the biscuits of many fans who have ordered their fancy collectors edition of Lightning Returns from their site. Now when ordered you can select your delivery method from standard to expedited. Many clients have ordered as early as January and have in turn received confirmation of shipment however this is where things are hitting a snag. Now for those who have standard shipment you are pretty much in a wait and see mode but for those who actually have a tracking number some have seen there games stuck in one location for upwards to 5 days. Now is this a problem on the carrier side, Square Enix or their apparent store middlemen Digital River.

I for one ordered the collectors edition at the beginning of February and indeed got my confirmation that it was shipped. On their site it warns that the game may not make it for launch day which isn’t so bad. I can live with that without amping up my nerd rage but I can see why many are very angry at this point especially the ones who ordered well before I did.

From reading the forums Square is being completely unresponsive aside from their moderator asking to contact their customer support who will then send you to call Digital River because it’s not their problem (they only make the games…duhhh), then Digital River will A) tell you that your item rather then be there in days will take 4-6 weeks to arrive despite their previous shipping information they provided. That would mean a game you should be playing in mid February will be playable in your home at beginning to mid march.

I personally bought the collectors edition from them because it was the most robust edition. It had the watch, art book, game, dlc, etc compared to other retailers who just had extra dlc. With this experience however I like many others will simply have to look elsewhere.

I think in this instance though Square Enix needs to man up and just say hey, we f***ed up, sorry and we’ll do better. What happened to simple customer service. Oh and if you want to see drama unfold, feel free to hit up the North American Square Enix page.