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I was intrigued. If this gets picked up for a season, I'll definitely be watching. I like how it's more strongly tied to the story and characters from the comic and the animated series. Jackie Earle Haley as the Terror cracked me up.
His angry eating of the kid's ice cream was the episode highlight for me.
This is out today (unlocks in seven hours) and I broke my rule to pre-order it. The reviews have been outstanding and the technical appraisals suggest it's very solid on PC. It's done by the same team who did the PC versions of both THIEF and DEUS EX: HUMAN REVOLUTION, so it should be absolutely fine.
I'm enjoying hearing there are no boss battles and a lot more options for stealthing and ghosting, although HR was pretty good on that already.
Darker and more grounded? Kind of, I guess? The only thing I get from that is:
That the first chunk of the pilot is from Arthur's POV, and he has this traumatic background about his father being killed by the villaint. Which is done in a really, darkly hilarious way. And I'm pretty certain Edlund is deliberately taking the mickey out of all the grimdark superhero films in this bit.
The second The Tick shows up, things get a bit looser and funnier.
Also, I thought Patrick Warburton not doing it - although he's still involved as a producer - was going to be a problem, but then they announced the brilliant, brilliant Peter Serafinowicz* as his replacement and he is excellent in the role. No problem there at all.
* From SPACED, SHAUN OF THE DEAD, THE PHANTOM MENACE (he was the original voice of Darth Maul), GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and his own British comedy series, not to mention the mastermind behind the SASSY TRUMP YouTube videos. He is a legit comic legend. Almost no other actor could pull off those Tick-style incredibly hyperbolic speeches as well.
The bard was excellent. Getting an actual musical comedian to play a bard is a great idea.
The same team did Great Minds with Dan Harmon, with GM Spencer as his assistant. It's quite amusing, with more Aubrey Plaza and added Jack Black.
Which one? That doesn't narrow it down! :)
One of my favourites is "Our Man Bashir". The writer brought it in as a holodeck malfunction story and the DS9 guys went, "Nope, against the rules". And he went "Oh, how about the transporter malfunctions and the holodeck is absolutely fine, it just needs to store their patterns?" And the writers apparently liked that get-out clause so much that they bought the story on the spot (and nearly got sued by the JAMES BOND people but there you go).
And here's my full review:
You get a lot of bad episodes that way, sure, but you also get gems like "The Inner Light", "The Visitor" and "Far Beyond the Stars", which would never be made if they'd been filming tighter 13-episode seasons all along.
No scripts where every other line is a reference to another show? They won't bother mentioning Archer more than twice, given how badly that series bombed.
Given that even the latest big-screen movie referenced ENTERPRISE a fair bit, I think it's likely they will reference stuff in ENTERPRISE. More interesting would be if they had an inkling that the timeline had shifted. This new series is starting pretty much at the same time as the Abrams movies, just on the other side of the timeline rift.
I also don't think that a new 25th Century TREK show would suffer from the same problems as VOYAGER, as everyone knows what those weaknesses were. DEEP SPACE NINE did an excellent job of moving around the worst of the TNG/VOYAGER hippy future stuff and make it credible, such as having a ban on holodeck malfunction episodes and reducing technobabble.
First gameplay footage. Also, some stuff on the lore and the background setting for the game.
For "super-pre-alpha" footage, the game looks quite smart already. They've got another year or so of work (maybe less) before launch, and it looks quite likely they'll hit that. At this point Harebrained just need to sit down with every other company trying to get stuff made through Kickstarter and show how they do it so right.
Apparently this demo will even be playable at Gen Con, so that's pretty cool if you're heading that way.
It's a completely original script they're using, but it's set in FR (specifically, Waterdeep, at least partially). Originally it was Universal/Hasbro and Warner Brothers/Sweetpea (who had the film rights from the terrible 2000 movie) fighting over the screen rights, with WB developing the CHAINMAIL idea. Hasbro seems to have ditched Universal and agreed to work with WB in return for retooling the project and keeping Sweetpea and Courtney Solomon involved as producers in name only.
Since WB/Sweetpea originally didn't have the rights to any of the individual D&D worlds, books or characters (only the most generic D&D concepts), it looks like they've thrown out the CHAINMAIL script and restarted again with a FORGOTTEN REALMS-set movie. Canny move by Hasbro, as if legal problems raise their head at a later date they can simply stop WB making any sequels by withdrawing the FR rights.
Hasbro/WotC also apparently want cross-media synergy (ergh) by keeping the film set in the most recent version of the FORGOTTEN REALMS so they can do some marketing with the P&P game and any upcoming video games, whilst a lore-appropriate CRYSTAL SHARD movie would be set in the past of the setting. They could simply re-set the story in the 5th Edition, most up-to-date version of the setting but there may be some confusion there. Legally I believe TSR and then WotC/Hasbro retained all film rights to the individual novels so they don't have to do a separate deal with the authors, but it's not entirely clear if that was the case for all of the books from the very beginning, in which case they might have to strike up a deal with Salvatore which would be expensive.
I briefly met him at a convention in 1996, the weekend after "Severed Dreams" aired in the UK. The show was at the height of its popularity (it was a reasonably big show in the UK, and I think relatively bigger than it was in the States) and the place was jam packed. Doyle acted as unofficial compere and stand-up, cracking jokes and telling stories about filming. He was a very funny and charismatic guy. He really grew as an actor on the show as well, being quite brash in the first season but then a lot more nuanced as an actor in the fourth season.
Belle Sorciere wrote:
Literally the only places I've seen this film discussed as a flop are this forum and MRA sites.
Thanks to Hollywood accounting, flops don't exactly mean what they used to anymore. SERENITY was a failure on initial release, but actually turned a profit once foreign sales and media releases were taken into account. PACIFIC RIM was pretty damn close to failing, but then got a lift from abroad and is now getting a sequel (although they had to fight for it). The new STAR TREK movies made, on paper, reasonable profits given their budgets and marketing, but under-performed against Paramount's targets which has caused them issues (and STAR TREK BEYOND is not looking great either at the moment). There's actually a very good chance that BATMAN VS SUPERMAN's profits were nowhere near as good as it first looks, as the film's marketing budget (especially internationally) was considerably higher than the norm.
GB is now passing $90 million, which means it'll certainly make its production budget back, but may struggle to get to marketing as well. It'll certainly recoup the rest on DVD, Blu-Ray and streaming. So the film being a flop isn't realistically on the cards. It isn't a slam dunk for a sequel though, and Sony will have to think hard on that. Sometimes studios will double down on a franchise and deliver new installments as a sign of good faith even if the franchise has not delivered as highly as you'd hoped. But it'd be tricky to do that if the film hasn't recouped on the initial box office run.
What they'd need to do is come back in a couple of months and see where the film stands once the theatrical run is over and then look at where the media release and streaming takes them.
Every male character was an idiot or a jerk.
Like in the original movie (okay, maybe that was a little harsh).
The villain gets powers out of nowhere.
Like in the original movie.
Stupid fart jokes
Like the original movie had several stupid dick jokes and jokes about how hilarious it was to stalk a woman.
No repercussions for their actions, like being suspects in a murder.
As the movie explained, rather clearly I thought, they were getting cover from the Mayor's office from the start.
Violating their own rules where they end up flat out killing ghosts rather than trapping them.
I don't think you can kill ghosts (there may be a clue in the description there). Their equipment either traps them, disperses them or sends them to Michigan.
They pulled super ghost fighting moves out of nowhere and never missed a single shot. Somehow even had pinpoint accuracy on an arced long range shot.
This isn't true at all. They constantly miss almost the whole time. They shoot up the subway tunnel before finally trapping the ghost and then he escapes anyway. They blast up the theatre (the manager screaming about the art deco getting shot) before managing to land a hit. They also somehow manage to completely miss the giant creature at the end of the film. Their hit ratio is way below that of the original film.
The ghost driving their car to help them for no reason.
Slimer doesn't help them. He steals the car and at the end of the film they trick him into driving into the portal (rather conveniently).
This was no where close to the dry subtle humour of the original.
Original what? Certainly not the original Ghostbusters. The original GB was certainly more restrained and grounded (to a certain degree), but it wasn't exactly a Noel Coward play.
It is still only going to be available on CBS's pay platform, right?
In the USA, yes. Space gets it in Canada and the rest of the world will get it on Netflix.
Given the box office numbers that isn't likely. It is far more likely that they will continue to milk their cash cow in its current form.
The box office numbers for the new TREK films have been well below Paramount's expectations. They wanted to build up to a $1 billion franchise to go up against the Marvel movies and the STAR WARS films, and the fact they've not even gotten to half that took them by surprise. They dialled things up for INTO DARKNESS and that didn't work either, hence a budget cut for BEYOND.
Both of the previous films made profits, but it was a near thing (especially for INTO DARKNESS). BEYOND is opening at a lower ebb than either of the previous movies and has serious blockbuster competition with SUICIDE SQUAD, so it's questionable how successful it's going to be. At the moment it's Abrams's star power and Paramount's lack of an alternative franchise which is keeping talk of a fourth film alive, and if BEYOND is another modest success I can see Paramount either retooling altogether or only doing the fourth film if Abrams returns to direct.
The new TV series will be set in the Prime Continuity after DS9/VOYAGER/TNG (the anthology thing turned out to be a rumour, as did the idea it'd be set between ST6 and TNG). Bryan Fuller said they have the ability to bring back some of the characters and actors from those shows, which isn't possible if it's a fresh reboot or set in the Abramsverse (and CBS doesn't have the rights to the Abramsverse, unless they bought them behind the scenes which doesn't seem likely).
My take on the new film:
It's a very good film, blowing the other two Abrams pictures out of the water and comparing favourably to many of the older ones. It makes a lot of very clever choices which recall the older, slower-paced films whilst also delivering enough explosions and action beats to satisfy the modern casual cinema-goer. The two styles don't entirely mesh, but they do a pretty good job of it.
Every single time a player raises a well-argued and perfectly logical objection to something that's going on, the GM should now just say "These are all reasonable points" and just carry exactly on as before. It's going to be a meme.
I'd lovelovelove a Tuf Voyaging series, I just can't imagine who'd play the title role. I read all the Wildcards books up to a certain point, but never related to the characters on an emotional level.
Conleth Hill seems like a good choice, but he might be bored of playing bald dudes by that point :)
Has there been any discussion on this thread about how N.Ireland is affected by this? Ot affects the greater part of my family (militarised border? Good Friday agreements still valid? Etc.) but I'm too drunk to go into it
So far various people in government have looked at the rhetoric in Northern Ireland about what's happened, the risk of a return to violence, and the mind-boggling expense and practical issues involved in putting border checks back in place, and gone for a stiff drink in the bar. Like Gibraltar, it's something that they didn't quite think through before the election and now the very thought of addressing it is causing migraines.
Rumours from the EU meeting today that Hollande suggested a compromise: giving Britain a free trade deal in return for limits on migration, but that the EU should withdraw the financial passport, removing the ability of the City of London to trade freely in stocks and capital in the EU. Paris, Amsterday, Frankfurt and Dublin would then benefit as they take over various EU finance roles currently handled by London.
Quite clever, since it gives the UK government what the people voted for (an end to EU immigration) and it apparently punishes only "the nasty big banks." Of course, it would completely undermine the economic foundation that Britain is currently built on so it should be laughed out of the building, but I can see it appealing to some.
Steve Geddes wrote:
There is some angst over this issue. It very much looks like Scotland has to pass the separation from the EU as law as a devolved issue. It can refuse. Britain can overrule the Scottish decision if it chooses, but the only 100% legal way of doing that is to repeal the Scotland Act which allows devolved power to Scotland. Effectively, it would have to abolish the Scottish Assembly. That would spark an enormous constitutional crisis in the UK. It would also drive the chances of Scottish independence towards probable. Devolution - giving Scotland much more autonomy but not outright independence - took the wind out of the sails of full independence in the 1990s and this would put it right back in.
I saw nothing that indicated the referendum was actually binding and never imagined that with or without a nonbinding referendum the PM could unilaterally withdraw the UK from the EU. Do you think he could do so without the referendum?
The referendum is nonbinding in itself, but Cameron had promised that its results would be respected by the government. That's been taken to mean that the results would be accepted as binding, unless it was supersceded by a second referendum (now off the table) or a general election result where the winning party had campaigned on a platform of remaining part of the EU.
Just completely ignoring the results would be highly controversial. Both Labour and the Tories would think hard about doing that, because they would hand an enormous propaganda coup to UKIP if they tried and would suffer the consequences at the next election.
Questions from an American. How many times has the Supreme Court of the UK and its predecessors been overturned by the EU's Court of Justice? And what does the return of sovereignty do to those decisions?
Rarely. The British Supreme Court was required to "take note" of rulings from the EU Court but was not legally bound to accept them. It did so due to convention. The one thing that got people so enraged - us not being able to deport terror subjects to countries where they would be tortured - was actually down to Britain's own laws prohibiting rendition, and the EU merely reinforced the fact that it'd be illegal under both UK and EU law.
The issue here - another factor not really explained very well during the referendum - is that EU law is decided upon by European nations together. In fact, many of the laws regarding human rights were originated by British legal experts and then adopted in Brussels and replicated in our courts here.
The principle power of the EU was that UK law could not contravene the four pillars of membership of the EU (free movement of goods, people, capital and services). After leaving the EU, we will then be able to adjust those rules and prevent, for example, free immigration to the UK from anywhere in the EU. The problem is that all four factors are interrelated: you can't have one without the others. We've actually spent an enormous time talking about two of the pillars, people and goods (i.e. trade) but not much on the other two which are just as important. The EU over the weekend said that Britain's ability to trade capital and services in the EU (the so-called "financial passport") will also be withdrawn in the result of Brexit, limiting the ability of British banks and financial instituions to operate in Europe. Since Britain's economy rests firmly on the bedrock of financial services and the movement of capital this is an absolutely massive problem and is what has gotten the markets in a furore.
Fabius Maximus wrote:
This is relevant to my interests, but sounds like young adult fiction, which I'm generally not a fan of (anymore).
It's been marketed at YA, but it's certainly not written like it. It's quite an adult book in a few ways. No graphic sex or anything like that, but it is quite violent. The Battle Royale comparison I think is apt for that: just because most of the cast is teenage kids, that doesn't make it a kid's book.
Regarding Valyrian steel:
It's widely theorised that forging Valyrian steel requires a human sacrifice. The Westerosi blacksmiths have lost the knack of it forging it because they don't know about it - fire and blood is needed, not just fire itself - and might balk at sacrificing people to forge more blades.
Similar thing with the dragon eggs, they only hatched after Mirri Maz Duur was sacrificed along with them and Dany took her walk of faith into the flames. It does beg the question why the eggs at Summerhall didn't hatch, but that may have been because the deaths were accidental rather than a deliberate sacrifice.
Never say never ! It will all dépends on how things turns out in a few months time... The EU is nothing but pragmatic, and the last economical crisis led it to construct on the fly new mechanisms ; even the ECB chose to ignore its own rules to do what was needed. If UK goes out of its collective way to wreck other economies for selfish reasons, nobody will object to its forced exclusion : all in the name of democracy and of the collective will of the british people.
Any such move would require the EU to change its fundamental rules to allow it to kick a member state out. Britain itself - which remember is still a member until the process is completed - will simply veto it. I suspect others - maybe Greece or Poland - would be starkly tempted to as well as the precedent would be alarming.
A third way of explaining Mr Cameron refusal to issue a formal declaration (despite having said before the vote that he would do so at once) could be that he refuses to personnally assume the responsability of the referendum he asked. Letting the next PM handle the matter could be a way of getting back at his Iago, BoJo. Of course, it can be argued that a continent-wide economical crisis is a harsh price to pay for personal revenge, but hey, politicians can be as insane, immature and mean as any other guy.
Yes. As Cameron walked back into Number 10 after announcing his resignation, he apparently said "Why should I do all the hard s**t?" He was also under the impression that the Leave camp had a plan all ready and waiting to roll.
Later that day Sky News political editor Faisal Islam asked a prominent Leave campaigner what the plan was for Brexit and they replied, "We haven't got one."
All of this is like a train wreck, all in slow motion.
Yup. We live in interesting times.
The EU has given the UK more than enough already. And they are still not satisfied. No point in trying to coddle them any further as they will always want more and are not even able to be reasonable about this. Playing with the EU's existence and the risk of yet another grave financial and economical crisis just to advance individuals' political carreers.
I fully agree. Britain got a colossal amount back from the EU for putting not a massive amount in. This message was not even remotely communicated at all by the Remain campaign during the referendum. A lot of British people think we put in less than we got out. Many of those same people have now been told that EU funding for their (often poor and neglected by London) regions will now be pulled and that nice new business centre or sports complex won't be happening and they're confused and angry about that.
All I'm saying is that if UK aims to use the letter of article 50 to hold hostage all EU, it's not completely impossible that other countries agree to go for the spirit of the text and cut it short. Certainly not tomorrow, but maybe in some months time, especially if the Financial crisis goes deeper and drags all of the continent down.
This won't happen. There is no legal mechanism in the EU for forcing a country out against its will, and introducing one quickly and in a knee-jerk reaction to Brexit would ring alarm bells across Europe, not to mention being tremendously out of character for an organisation that prefers a more measured, careful response to issues. They will instead enact pressure through other means (perhaps a hint of a moderately better deal if we invoke Article 50 sooner). This morning, in fact, they seemed to be saying that they'd be - relatively - happy as long as Article 50 is enacted by the end of this year, two months after when it is being proposed.
Smarnil le couard wrote:
I'a afraid that to derail the Brexit now, your next pro-Leave PM (Boris Johnson ?) would have to renege, admitting that he didn't meant what he said during the campaign (that is, utterly wrecking his political career and taking the bullet for the greater good).
The Leave campaign has reneged on its two primary campaign promises in less than 72 hours, so they're getting there.
Interesting reports suggesting that Boris's thinking was that Britain would vote Remain, he would congratulate Cameron and they'd hug it out, Boris would then dutifully and loyally support Cameron for three years, glowing with praise for him, hinting at a peerage, and then be ushered into office with the EU matter at rest, the economy improving and able to begin the Glorious Golden Age of Boris.
The fact that Leave won and he is now expected to negotiate the UK's departure from the European Union has left him with a rictus grin on his face as he's realised that he has absolutely no clue at all on how to do that. That's why he went off to play cricket yesterday rather than talking to anyone and has spent today apparently in emergency meetings with Gove and other Leave Tories trying to work out WTF they are going to do. Becoming PM and having to negotiate Brexit amidst a suddenly declining economy and the potential breakup of the United Kingdom was not in his script.
I think it's sad that many of the pro-leave are already regretting their vote. In fact quite a few younger people who voted to leave have since been interviewed by various agencies and even stated they voted to leave because they thought their vote wouldn't matter.
Apparently it was not communicated well that the rules for the referendum were different to a general election (where the Tories won majority control of Parliament last year with just a third of the vote) and that some people thought that if their area got a majority their vote wouldn't count, so they protest voted or didn't bother voting at all.
That the same petition that is all over social media and anyone in the world can sign?
Nope. You need a UK address to sign the petition. In theory people can simply use a friend's address, but their vote would then be discounted if too many people use the same address and if they do not appear on the electoral register.
The petition does allow non-UK-born residents of Britain and also 16 and 17 year olds to vote. Both groups were unable to vote during the actual referendum, amidst great controversy.
I am at a loss as to why these people think that they are either 1) going to get EU money despite not being part of the EU or 2) going to get the same amount from a British government voted into office on a mandate of reducing spending to all-time record lows.
Damage Report: Day 2 of the New Order (Hail, Boris)
$2.1 trillion wiped off the world economy. Er, sorry about that.
Britain loses its 5th position in the world GDP rankings to France. India not far behind.
British stock markets collapse by 8%, but recover 2%. Worries of further losses next week, but some suggestion there could be a further recovery. However, the markets overall think there will be two years of volatility due to the Brexit negotiations and then a further period of volatllity as the impact of Brexit is measured.
British currency and economy crashes in the worst one-day decline since Black Monday in 1987. In perspective, this was far worse for the UK economy than any day of the 1990s recession or the late 2000s one.
Britain credit rating downgraded to "Negative" by Moodys. Standards and Poor strip Britain of its AAA credit rating.
Morgan and Stanley reveal they have a contingency plan to shift 2,000 UK jobs to Dublin and Frankfurt and will enact it if we don't get a free trade agreement with the EU. HSBC apparently has a similar plan.
The investment sector will have to stop trading in Euros. This was already annoying the Eurozone. When we're out of the EU altogether, we simply won't be able to do it which will hammer investment banking. Which would be less of a problem if the British economy wasn't overwhelmingly based around services.
The ECB confirms that Britain will lose its EU financial passport if we don't allow free movement of peoples, which will impact Britain's ability to offer financial services to Europe. Since that's the underpinning of our economy (we actually make nothing in this country that others can't do instead) that's "mildly" worrying.
Spain confirm that the c. 800,000-1 million British people (mostly elderly) living in Spain won't have to worry and they probably won't be deported back to the UK. Oh, and by the way can they start having some discussions about the control of Gibraltar? Not that the two are related, at all. Oh, and all those people living in Spain will now have to buy private health insurance because they won't be protected by the NHS any more.
EU funding for the British regions (which basically keeps Cornwall, a large chunk of Wales and parts of Northern Ireland afloat) will be terminated. £1 billion+ EU funding for British scientific projects, including our contributions to the LHC, will be terminated.
But, good news! The government has indicated that it will take over the EU subsidies for private landowners, so the British taxpayer will shortly be paying Iain Duncan Smith £150,000 a year for no readily explicable reason.
That's what makes me worry about this. How bad are they going to make things for the people?
Very. Cameron and Osborne's policies have inflicted colossal economic and societal damage on the UK, and there's always been the fear that they - coming from the centre-right of the Conservative Party - were actually the least worst option from the party. The likes of Iain Duncan Smith, whose policies at the Department of Work and Pensions drove hundreds of people to suicide, and Michael Gove, who almost destroyed the British education system, are not going to hold back on taking things much further. Boris Johnson is actually much more centrist and liberal than people give him credit for, so if he emerges as PM things may not be quite that bad.
The vote to leave was mainly by the older generation - that is, the people who won't have to live with the long-term consequences of this. On the other hand, the younger people voted overwhelmingly to stay - and they're the ones who will be impacted the most if the UK actually decides to go through with it. (The resolution is non-binding, and Parliament technically could ignore it if they wanted to. They may still choose to do so if they decide it's politically acceptable.)
It's worth noting that 16 and 17-year-olds were barred by voting, which was hugely controversial because they were allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum two years ago. They were overwhelmingly for Remain, and of course this will affect their long-term prospects.
EU citizens who'd been living in the UK for over 5 years - in some cases more than a decade - were barred from voting. A lot of British voters overseas, who were also overwhelmingly for Remain, also found themselves unable to vote due to complications in arranging it. So given the narrowness of the victory, yes, it's more than slightly controversial.
All this talk of the Youth getting shafted - what is the youth unemployment like in the EU again...? Oh right.
That's down to the Euro, which was a hideous mistake and should be abolished, and to the internal policies of each country. Britain was actually highly praised in the EU for how it's handled the economy and weathered the financial storm, even Germany took some inspiration from it and France's current problems stem from being unable to do the same thing.
So the Leave campaign won by forging an unholy alliance between the hard-right of the Conservative Party and the older, disenfranchised, northern working class citizen who hasn't voted since the Thatcher years, on the basis that the Tories would massively invest in public services and local resources.
In terms of unlikely alliances, this probably isn't quite up there with the Nazi-Soviet Pact but may certainly be in the Sauron-Saruman ballpark.
There is a slight problem here, namely what happens to those disaffected working class voters when the Tories continue to sell off the NHS, continue (if not double down on) austerity and keep shrinking government and public services. Maybe a resurgent Labour under Corbyn, having survived the new leadership challenge and vanquished the last remaining Blairites, sweeps them up and delivers this country to a socialist utopia in 2020. Or UKIP starts hoovering them up at a rate of knots as part of its potential new raison d'etre, "encouraging" immigrants already here to start going home.
Seriously? (1) Could this be true? If so, how widespread is Bregret? (B) When you cast a vote, make it the one you actually want.
Anecdotally, quite widespread. This morning, the people of Cornwall - which voted for Brexit - suddenly asked if leaving the EU meant they'd lose their EU funding (hint: yes). And if so, would the small-government, ultra-capitalist, free market-obsessed Conservative Party step in and replace that funding (hint: no)?
That was far from being the sole argument of the Leave side.
It was the predominant argument once it became clear that they had comprehensively lost the economic one. At one point in the campaign the Brexit camp looked completely beaten because they had tried going toe-to-toe on the economy and were crushed. They had to double down on immigration, immigration and immigration (with a dash of sovereignty, which the Tories didn't want to get into too much because of how they won the last general election but UKIP was happy to) because the second they tried to fight on any other ground they dipped in the polls.
Julian Gollop, the original creator of X-COM (along with LORDS OF CHAOS and LASER SQUAD, and advising on the new Firaxis XCOM games), has announced a new X-COM-esque strategy game called PHOENIX POINT.
The game will play in a similar way to the original X-COM, with a world map from which you can organise research, recruitment and procuring equipment and then a turn-based battle mode where you fight the enemy in procedurally-generated landscapes. In a twist, there will also be procedurally-generated monsters and enemies, assembled on the fly from dozens of body parts and types to form hundreds of potential enemies.
The plot is that the melting permafrost has released a virus known as "the Mist" that mutates both people and creatures into terrible monsters. The Mist has also spread across much of the globe, destroying civilisation and reducing it to pockets surviving in Mist-free enclaves scattered over the globe. There are numerous factions of survivors, some of whom are more interested in fighting each other than the Mist, and you have to guide your faction - the titular Phoenix Point - to victory by arranging strategic alliances or even outright conquering other factions to help gather resources to drive the Mist back.
Gollop has taken inspiration from several sources: the original X-COM (and the third game, APOCALYPSE) for the strategic layer, which will be more involved and dynamic than the Firaxis games. The other factions will be fighting one another, researching and doing other stuff regardless of your actions, so if you kick back too much you might let other factions wipe one another out but you might also end up out-resourced, outnumbered and outflanked. The second inspiration is ALPHA CENTAURI, for the very different factions and their goals and ways to appear them. The third is survival horror: although the game has lots of combat and action, the monsters are disturbing and genuinely monstrous, constantly mutating and evolving to adjust to your tactics. The Mist is also active on the battlefield, capable of warping or mutating your soldiers if you don't find ways of defeating it. Some of the monsters are also absolutely huge. The final inspiration is the modern XCOM, which Gollop has praised for its approachability and accessibility, but thinks there is a way of getting a more complex and malleable game underneath. PHOENIX POINT will have at least 3 wildly different endings (possibly more) depending on how the campaign unfolds.
PHOENIX POINT's release date will apparently be in 2018 on PC, with console versions possible.
I think the decision not to do novels was down to Hasbro's insistence that the movie has to tie into the current books and help shift some more of them, so it'll probably be set in the "present day" of FR 5th Edition.
Apparently there was one comment from the studio that they saw the tone of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY was something they should aspire to: dramatic and serious (it's not an out-and-out comedy) but with a knowing, even slightly meta sense of humour.
Which is great if it works, but will be terrible if it doesn't.
It's set in the Forgotten Realms and will involve the Yawning Portal Inn, so at least part of the film will be set in Waterdeep.
They're also looking at the shared universe possibilities, so we may see DRAGONLANCE, DARK SUN, PLANESCAPE etc as future ideas. But right now it's going to be FORGOTTEN REALMS.
Kate Griffin/Claire North/Catherine Webb (her real name) is a pretty good writer. I'd be interested in seeing her stuff on screen. It's like a more literary version of Neil Gaiman's NEVERWHERE.
I think THOMAS COVENANT really is unfilmable. You can't not have him carry out the sexual assault he does in the books as that torpedoes the entire story (which is all about his redemption from that act), but it will also revolt and turn off viewers in droves (the same way it puts off enormous numbers of readers).
Tad Williams has indicated that there is renewed interest in MEMORY, SORROW AND THORN, especially since he has revealed that there will befive new novels in that world coming out in the next few years.
I did a list a couple of months back of all the books/series headed to the screen. In brief, it's a good time to be a Neil Gaiman fan:
Charles Scholz wrote:
Dragonriders of Pern is certainly far superior to fricking Terry Goodkind (one of the worst authors of epic fantasy to ever put pen to paper), but it's a bit of a stretch to say it's so much better than the other two. Dragonflight and maybe the next couple of books were decent, but Anne & Todd did ride that horse into the ground, flog it thoroughly after death, set fire to it and then tried to sell the ashes.
Funny think is that MacCaffrey has a cover blurb on all three of those other books saying how much she enjoyed them.