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Halloween Horror: Top 10 Candies

Halloween Horror: Top 10 Candies

Yes, this is highly subjective, and Halloween candies are generally just candies, but we will be talking about some Halloween specific ones on this list, and #1 might shock you (oh yeah, create that click bait). These are all going to be candies that you 

10 Minute Marvel Episode 67: Moon Knight and Johnny Blaze

10 Minute Marvel Episode 67: Moon Knight and Johnny Blaze

It’s only fitting that with Halloween around the corner, we talk about a couple of the more Halloween Marvel characters, one in the news, and one talking about the backstory for that character. Join me on this Halloween #10MinMarvel. Thank you all for checking out 

Halloween Horror: Halloween TV Shows

Halloween Horror: Halloween TV Shows

It’s the spooktacular week leading up to Halloween! That means that we are going to be wall to wall, bumper to bumper, jump scare to jump scare talking about Halloween and Halloween things! We start off with some scary shows to checkout for Halloween Haunting.

Now, you’ll quickly realize that I don’t love gore horror and jump scare horror can be done really well and I’ll like it, but I do love me some B horror. So this list might have a little of those on it, but it’s going to be a lot of more monster feature shows that really feel like Halloween to me.

Stranger Things

Got to start off with the classic, if you haven’t watched it, I will say it’s not that scary if that’s what has been holding you back. The way this type of show is described is as “Kids on Bikes”. That means that you’re dealing with almost an adventure story, but with elements of horror thrown in as the kids are trying to figure out everything that is going on. Normally there is some element of the parents not believing them and the kids being right in the end and probably a teenager who is a non-believer who ends up helping in the end. Stranger Things definitely follows a lot of those tropes, but it builds upon them in interesting ways and while a lot of the 80’s Kids on Bikes style horror or just horror in general that this is based off suffered from poorer writing, Stranger things has very solid writing. Overall just a wonderful Halloween feeling show.

Image Source: Netflix

The Order

This one is as much a teen drama as a horror show, but you follow Jack Morton as he gets into the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose, a secret, and magic, organization that his mother had gotten into before her mysterious death. This one is all about the monsters, the crazy magic, college aged kids, and basically anything and everything that could go wrong going wrong. This is not a serious horror show at all, but the monsters in it, the magic in it, if you want campy Halloween that somehow still takes itself seriously, this one is pretty solid for that. Don’t expect anything ground breaking, but sit back and enjoy a pretty convoluted ride.

Supernatural

If you want your Halloween show to take itself a bit more seriously, at least some of the time, Supernatural might be the right show for you. This is still monster of the week, but with CW melodrama. This ranges from a show that is straight up horror as it goes through it’s monster of the week to one that is extremely self aware and back again to horror. There’s a lot of this show, so if you wanted to wrap it up before Halloween, don’t plan on sleeping.

Image Source: My Anime List

Ghost Hunt

This one is a bit different because it’s an anime. This one, as the name suggests is all about hunting ghosts. Teenagers hunting ghosts to be specific, but it does a good job of blending some wonderful horror elements together with some pretty fast and witty dialog in it as well. This has an interesting feel to it as well because being anime, the horror elements are more Japanese which is something that we have a vague idea of because of things like The Ring or as was hinted at in Cabin the Woods, but even those are an Americanized version of that. If you don’t know if you like anime, but you do like horror this is less “anime” in the sense of what people generally would consider.

Helix

Finale one for the list, and I do like to highlight some different ones, even though Stranger Things and Supernatural should always show up. But Helix takes horror in another direction. Playing off of the vibes of the The Thing, this Sci-Fi channel show is all about surviving in the Antarctic when something is going horribly wrong at the scientific outpost. It has a lot of those, who is or isn’t infected aspect of it going on, and overall, I enjoyed it when I watched it a while back. It’s one that I want to revisit as I know I never completely finished it that second season. If you want something that is more true horror and less Halloween horror, Helix definitely leans into that.

What are some other ones I could have or should have mentioned? I can think of a lot of them, and maybe next year I’ll do a massive Halloween show list or put out some sort of bigger list with a ton of different shows and types of Halloween shows so you can pick the ones that look best to you to watch.

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Board Game Design Diary  – The Levels

Board Game Design Diary – The Levels

I said I was going to be talking about this next, and I think it is important to talk about this now as next week Design Diaries might be light because it’s the week before Halloween, which means all the Halloween topics, because, obviously. This 

Descent: Legends of the Dark – Spiel Digital Announcement

Descent: Legends of the Dark – Spiel Digital Announcement

As a “good” board gamer, I get excited about new games all the time, there are always new games that come out and while I’m excited about them, I generally don’t write about them, unless it’s a Kickstarter Back or Brick article, or maybe something 

Board Game Design Diary – The Guilds

Board Game Design Diary – The Guilds

Yesterday I talked about the bosses but that is only one part of a level. The other part of the level is basically a longer story and preparation phase for that boss battle. But before I can talk about that, I think we need to talk about guilds. If you’ve missed any of the previous parts, you can find them below.

The Premise

The Characters

The Bosses

The Guilds

Let’s talk about what a guild is, it isn’t a concept that shows up that often in a board game. But in an MMORPG, that’s generally the people who are partied together in a group and share loot, money, tips, and things like that. But as compared to a small group of friends you might play with, a guild is generally going to be larger so that you have more resources to share amongst each other.

The idea of this large group can be tricky to do in board games or even an RPG. The issue with it is that you have so many faceless characters that you don’t have that much of an investment in controlling nameless and faceless characters, they are a bit more cannon fodder than anything else. And in this case, that means in game that you’re killing people, generally not one of those things that you’d want to actually do, so having a guild is going to need to have some weight and some advantage to the group.

I want people to be worried about maintaining their guild for several reasons and we’ll get into some of those when we talk about the levels and what you do on the them. Your guild, based off of many people you have in it, is going to be able to help you on the levels. I’ve talked about it with the boss battles and how you’d need to balance between having too many people protecting you, tiring them out, stressing them out, and putting them in danger too much and having people leave the guild that way, as compared to having too few and having people die, plus then people leave the guild because people are dying.

Image Source: D&D Beyond

I think that death is a key concept here and those leaving or joining the guild. If you have enough people die, you will be fighting an uphill battle getting people to your guild and keeping people in your guild. It might be worth it for the late push to risk more, but early game, you could be fighting a battle making sure that you are spending enough time recruiting guild members to offset those leaving because you’d demonstrated that you’re willing to risk people’s lives needlessly, when you go into a boss battle or go through a level battle or quest. So, if you have too many die, you will always be dealing with a steady stream of guild members leaving.

Another thing that I’m considering with guild members is how to use them on the levels between bosses. I think that they will be a communal resource that players will be able to decide on how to use them. Maybe a player is going on a difficult quest, they can take guild members along with them to help mitigate some of the challenges. Or the players could send out guild members to recruit on a level, do a quest on their own, shop for gear, anything that the players can do, but for the guild members instead. I’m thinking something along the lines of, every ten guild members you have, you can assign them one action per round on a level. So if you have thirty people, you got an extra three actions, if you have twenty-nine, you have an extra two.

To go with that, and to get into levels just a little bit, but mainly as it pertains to guilds. Some levels are just going to be nice, or look like a good spot to stop while others push on ahead. You are going to have a few people leave the guild on those levels. Or maybe the level looks very dangerous, and sending out guild members to do anything on that level without them being paired with someone else will cause you to lose a guild member. So it won’t just be a situation where you can always send off guild members to do jobs for you and expect to see the numbers grow and not shrink.

The guild is also going to be a timer on the levels as well. There will be a limit to how long you can stay on a level, let’s say in this example that you can stay on a level ten rounds doing actions each round. So you might shop, you might quest which will take four rounds, you might research the level boss for another round. Now you’ve spent six rounds. You can spend another four rounds, so a total of ten on that level if you want, or maybe as many rounds as you want, but after four more rounds you’ll run out of event cards for that level, more on that in levels, but every round you stay after five, you start to lose more and more guild members. Some get used to it and settle down, some might be discontent about not pushing ahead and trying to get back to the real world. So maybe there is an awesome quest that you really want to do because you know the reward is going to be a skill, and you need another skill to feel comfortable fighting the boss, but it’s going to cost you guild members, and you might then run into an issue with not having enough or using a large enough percentage to fight the boss that you’ll lose some more. So do you push into that quest, get that skill, have guild members leave, and then have to spend most of the next floor recruiting again, or do you push ahead and hope that you get a similar event on the next floor?

Obviously there is a bunch of the fine details to be worked out here. I do think there will be a cap on guild size, which feels like something that is fairly standard in games, because otherwise you could just recruit early on until you have a massive number and just kind of run with it. So I want the pressure of that to be part of what players have to think about through the game. This is something that I feel like good cooperative games do, I want players to have to think about which 5-8 things they really want to do and have a few that they won’t be able to get to even though they’d be good as well.

What do you think of Guilds? Do you think that it will be too much to handle in the game, do you think it’ll be a good type of pressure for the game?

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Board Game Design Diary – The Bosses

Board Game Design Diary – The Bosses

So, I’ve done two of these before, you can find the general idea and the character ideas already starting to be fleshed out. Next I want to talk about the level bosses in the game. The Premise The Characters So let’s now talk about the 

Back or Brick: Project L: Finesse

Back or Brick: Project L: Finesse

This polymino game has you filling in spaces on cards, trying to get the most points in a light engine building game. Pros Established company Engine Building Expansion and base game Good price Quality components Cons No base game only level The Page I like 

Halloween Scares – What Makes an Iconic Slasher

Halloween Scares – What Makes an Iconic Slasher

We’ve all seen or know of the horror films out there where there is some iconic bad guy. They have made it into popular culture, even if people don’t know the movies, they know who Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees are and know about their films, the Halloween, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th.

So what makes those characters so Iconic and more, like Pinhead from the Hellraiser films, Pennywise from IT, etc?

I think that the starting spot is the look. Michael Myers has his mask, Voorhees his hockey mask, Freddy Krueger his gloves, and more. Each of these slashers or monsters has their very specific look to them and that’s going to make it stick out in your head more and be more memorable. And while there was something that it stick out in memories, they weren’t extremely over the top in their outfits with the exception of Hellraiser and Pinhead, but even his was more muted in tones. I think something that feels reasonable makes it stand out more with the parts that aren’t reasonable.

I think that a lot of them too hit about the right time for something like that. If you look at the iconic horror movie slashers, Halloween was made in 1978, Friday the 13th was made in 1980, A Nightmare on Elm Street was made in 1984. There was a peak time for these horror films that really made them stick out. Now, what the reason for that is, I’m not sure. But there is something about the 80’s horror icons that really stand out compared to a lot of the newer ones. It’s tough to put your finger on it, but I think the newer ones either go too light, in that they are shooting for a PG/PG-13 rating or delve too much into the R rating. The 80’s horror films definitely have horror, but there is some bit of camp to them.

And I would say that’s another thing, and might be why it works from the 80’s and less so now. But the movies having camp to them just a bit, makes it more iconic as well. It can’t be an intentionally campy movie. If it’s too obvious that the movie is trying to be campy, the slasher might get recognized for a little bit, but generally the movies don’t have as much staying power. None of the big three, or even the earlier Hellraiser films (later ones intentionally campy) are attempting to be campy, there is just something about them that allows them to blend horror and that campiness really well. I think some of it is budget, and I think some of it is technology. No matter how large budget or how much effort they put into making it feel horrific, it was never going to look like real life, so it was always going to be just a little bit off, which oddly enough, I think makes them stand the test of time and be memorable.

I think the final question to ask, and I’m not sure I know the answer to this, would it be possible for there to be a modern iconic slasher. Now, there have been good modern horror slasher films, and a lot of bad ones, and don’t think that in the 80’s there aren’t a lot of bad ones as well, but what would it take and would it be possible, to have a modern horror slasher film spawn a series the way that Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween have? And even those iconic ones as remakes really didn’t capture the same feel. The closest that I can see are the Saw films. Though, I’m not sure that I consider Jigsaw to be a slasher, but that started with a kind of absurd premise that took itself seriously, but overall couldn’t be actually taken that seriously. And even with those, I feel like Jigsaw wasn’t the iconic piece to it, like Freddy or Jason on to their franchises, but it was the traps and the puzzle horror.

So, what are your thoughts, what makes in iconic slasher? Is it possible to have an iconic slasher created like we had with Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, and Michael Myers again?

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10 Minute Marvel Episode 66: Where to Start in Comics and MCU Spoiler(?)

10 Minute Marvel Episode 66: Where to Start in Comics and MCU Spoiler(?)

There’s a bunch of news from maybe not a casting, to filming starting, to a potential spoiler for [redacted]. Plus I talk about where you can jump into comics as Marvel Unlimited moves to a 3 month delay as from when they are released in