Star Wars Force For Change: Get Involved!

We’ve talked about it a couple of times on our podcast, but I wanted to do a quick post to remind our enormous and dedicated readers that there’s a great Star Wars related fundraiser going on that could get you a walk on role in Star Wars Episode VII.

Here’s where to find out more – but trust me this is a great thing to get involved with.

Please consider donating some dollars, and hell you might fluke the big kahuna of an appearance in the movie! Plus, you get some pretty spiffy weekly badges to recognise your efforts. Here’s a couple I’ve received:





What’s not to like?


Darth Vader Delivers Pizza: A 12 Year Old Makes Their Dad Very Proud

Your friendly Star Wars: The Old Republic correspondent is a bit proud today. Whilst having a friend over for a sleepover, the two kids decided to make a movie about a story they’d made up. It just happened that Darth Vader got to play a cameo, including this carefully crafted prop:

(click on pic for full size)


There had been no prompting by me, though I was more than happy to whack on my Darth Vader mask and play the role of pizza boy.

There’s hope for this generation after all.

Star Wars Episode 7: What Was Said In That Table Reading

Like any Star Wars fan, I’m damn excited by the announcement of the core cast for Star Wars Episode VII. Our mole in the room transcribed what actually went on* :

(Click on pic for full size)


* or not – we probably just made all this up. Purely out of a love for Star Wars of course.

Mentors Needed At The Lab!

thelabWe love the team over at The Lab, who run a program for 10 to 16 year-old young people with Asperger’s Syndrome who enjoy working with computers.

They offer one-to-one tuition by technology professionals in areas such as programming, 3D, digital design and gaming. They’ve gone from strength to strength over the past few years and they’re looking for more people to be mentors from a range of areas around Australia.

The details:

The Lab is just about to expand (quite significantly) and we are just about to advertise for mentors for locations around Australia.

We are currently seeking mentors in the following areas:
Darwin (NT)
Blacktown (NSW)
Northern Beaches (NSW)
Hunter Valley (NSW)
Canberra (ACT)
Manningham (VIC)
Melton (VIC)
– as well as looking for interest from around the country so we are ready to go when new locations start. is where to go if you want to find out more and apply!

The Leap Motion Kicks Arse Harder Than The Hulk

If you haven’t heard of the Leap Motion before, you’re like to be pretty damn amazed by what you’re about to see. I’ve been following the device for more than a year, as it’s a device that I’m hoping to integrate into my studies.

A good place to get an overview of the Leap Motion is an intro article I wrote here – the demo video there is very much worth seeing up front before you read on.

The release date is slated for May, and as you can see in the video (and related article) below, developers are already doing some pretty damn amazing stuff with it:

So there you go – if the product evolves like I think it will, it’s going to make the Kinect platform look pretty damn lame in comparison. What do you think?

[Thanks to Phillip Street for the heads-up]

Knights Of The Old Republic Movie In Development?

darthbaneHere’s a fascinating rumour. Ain’t It Cool is reporting that amongst a raft of concepts LucasFilm are exploring for future Star Wars movies, that one based on Knight Of The Old Republic could be in the works:

Drew Karpyshyn – the man that created the scenario and much of the dialogue in the STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC. He also worked on JADE EMPIRE and STAR WARS: THE OLD REPUBLIC. Along with writing MASS EFFECT and MASS EFFECT 2. Well he left BIOWARE back in February of last year to work on “screenwriting” and it seems that BIOWARE is a hot bed of rumor regarding the notion that Drew Karpyshyn is working up a screenplay for a film version of KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC.

BioWare game devs are listed as one of the sources of the chatter – it could be just someone playing silly buggers or it’s the seed of something big in development.

What’s your pick?

Game of Thrones Series 3 Preview

Drool. March 31st is the day that Season 3 of Game of Thrones starts. In the meantime here’s a one-minute taste of the treats in store:

Have you seen Series 1 and 2 and if so how does this series look to you?

PS4 Launch Roundup: My Take

‘And Another Thing’ is a semi-regular look at key events or issues in the gaming industry. Written by Flash Point podcast co-host, dedicated tweeter and all round good guy Simon Potter – drop him a line if you want to suggest future columns.

After a two hour media spectacular in New York which brought parts of the internet to a standstill, Sony have begun the next phase of the Console Wars and announced the PS4.

What will it look like? We don’t know yet. How much will it cost? Again, they haven’t said. What we do know is that it will hit shops Christmas 2013 and that E3 is going to be Sony’s next media blitzkrieg.

The good news is Sony learnt their lesson from the Cell processor and the Emotion engine. Based on the x86 architecture, this machine is going to be a comparative breeze to code for (we saw it running Unreal 4), which eats into one of XBox’s big advantages. The upshot is the PS4 has an army of game developers behind it (‘a console designed by game developers for game developers’).

Obviously it’s easy to get swept away in the reality distortion bubble that these things create, but you are still left with an overwhelming sense that devs are genuinely excited about the new platform, and that means games. Lots of games.

So what about those games? Usually you only see tech demos at such hype-fests but we did get to see some real gameplay this time, specifically Killzone Shadow Fall. Not only did it look startling, even through an overloaded video stream, it also gave some solid evidence of the investment and momentum already in the industry. All the big players were there, MediaMolecule, Activision and their subs Blizzard (Diablo III) and Bungie (Destiny… squeeee!), Sucker Punch, Capcom, Square Enix and others. It really felt like an abundance of riches, just like they wanted it to.

Some interesting facts revealed:

  • You can suspend gameplay then jump back in later without reloading
  • A secondary chip allows background downloads, even when the console is off.
  • Heavy social integration – spectator mode and ‘share’ button.
  • With built in Gaikai tech, the PS4 becomes a games server to your Vita (and potentially other hardware, like mobiles and tablets)
  • Play a game while you download it from the PSN – no more demo downloads to try.
  • PS3 games not natively supported or emulated.
  • Current project to allow you to play PS3, 2 and 1 games on the PS4 or any other hardware through Gaikai tech (how that works with preowned is anyone’s guess).
  • Predictive game downloads (the PS4 knows what new games you’d like before you do)
  • The Dualshock 4 and stereoscopic camera, although whether this is the final look, is uncertain (PS3 boomerang)
Things not revealed
  • Whether online gaming will remain free or be folded into PS+
  • If a pre-owned market for PS4 titles can exist
  • Cost and appearance

It’s hard to say whether Microsoft’s job is made easier by Sony announcing first, but if I had to guess I’d say harder. As was pointed out by the founder of the original Xbox project  in his blog Stupid, Stupid, xBox!!, MS have been laser fixed on integrating their ecosystem across multiple devices. In doing that they’ve made the Xbox into a media/advertising hub. In other words they’ve de-emphasised the games.

What wonders Xbox 720 has in store is a mystery for the moment, but if Redmond isn’t feeling a little nervous right now, they’re not paying attention.

Standalone Star Wars Spinoff Movies Confirmed

Well this is just a little bit exciting. Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that there may be a ‘few’ spinoff Star Wars movies released alongside the much hyped Episodes 7-9 due for release over the next few years.

The comments were made in an interview to CNBC, which you can watch right here:

There’s rumours one of the first spinoff movies will be a Yoda one, but I’d just about kill for Splinter of the Mind’s Eye movie myself. What about you?

[via Bleeding Cool]

Warcraft Movie’s Director Announced

Warcraft Movie Release DateRumours about a Warcraft movie have been around nearly as long as World of Warcraft, so it’s great to see a key piece of meat added to the bones of those rumours.

Duncan Jones, director of Source Code, has been signed, with filming set to start in the second half of this year and a release in 2015:

Legendary is keeping its script, written by Charles Leavitt, under wraps. The Warner Bros.-based production and finance outfit is eyeing a fall start and a 2015 release.

Jones’ producing partner, Stuart Fenegan, will executive produce, while Chris Metzen will co-produce for Blizzard.
Warcraft is a big jump up in terms of scope and scale for Jones, the filmmaker son of David Bowie known for his thoughtful sci-fi work.

Jones seems a good pick – if you’ve seen Source Code you’ll know Jones can build tension in a big way whilst delving into otherworldly concepts. That’s two ingredients a Warcraft movie needs for success so here’s hoping. And Hogger – the movie definitely needs Hogger.

[via Hollywood Reporter] and thanks to Luke Le Page for the heads-up!

Review: Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth – Perker and Kristensen

Review: Todd, The Ugliest Kid On EarthThis new release from Image comics is something a little outside the superhero schtick to say the least. The central character, Todd (surprise!), is a kid who’s constantly bullied and is considered so ugly by his mother that he’s forced to wear a bag on his head. Add a ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ mother, a heavy drinking father, a neighbourhood bully and a child serial killer and you have the foundation for an interesting comic series.

This is a story that has the potential to veer solidly into Archie / Dennis The Menace neighbourhood sitcom territory but it manages to achieve exactly the opposite – an edgy, funny, adult comic. Sure, there are some low moments where the story skids into stereotypes but they are far outweighed by the dark humour and a pretty stark portrayal of Todd’s day-to-day life. M.K. Perker’s art is a great match for the story and Kristensen’s writing is more than solid, including a handful of actual laugh out loud moments, something I don’t experience very much in comics.

Todd, The Ugliest Kid On Earth is now on my monthly pull list – kudos to Image Comics for giving series like this a platform to grow. You can buy the digital version here, otherwise hit up your nearest comic shop for a copy. I have a feeling I’ll be sorry to see this title end after its slated four issues.

Webcomic Wednesday: Nimona

Hello and welcome to Webcomic Wednesday! Each Wednesday I’ll highlight a new webcomic, and let you know why I like it so. This week I’m taking a look at Nimona, an ongoing series by Noelle Stevenson, about the exploits of super villain Balister Blackheart, and his devious apprentice Nimona.

nimona image

Nimona is an interesting beast. The tales of Balister Blackheart and Nimona are somewhat different from usual villain based comics. Each prove themselves quite likeable, despite being villains – but that’s how Noelle Stevenson wants you to feel. Blackheart is an honourable man, was once a hero in training, falls victim to betrayal, and finds himself on the other side of the law. He’s surprisingly compelling and deep, and for a short weekly comic strip to get that point across is no mean feat.

Nimona on the other hand is mischievous and childish. She’s a shapeshifter, and upon convincing Blackheart to let her be his sidekick, revels in being a villain. She’s somewhat murderous, but still manages to have heart. Blackheart is a paternal figure in her life, and while she wants to let chaos loose, adheres to Blackheart’s no kill rule. It’s a neat mechanic that makes the villains feel like heroes.

Nimona’s art is also pretty neat. It’s simple and quirky, but compliments the tone nicely. Plus there is an awesome panel in a later strip that has some cool pop culture stars hidden in the background.

There is one little downside that isn’t really a downside. It’s a bit of a wait each week for the next instalment, and it reads better when read as a complete chapter, but that speaks volumes to how often I do end up checking it.

Noelle’s little captions also really complete the package. It’s totally awesome. Nimona is updated every Monday and Thursday. You can check it out here.

Have any webcomics you want me to check out? Let me know on my twitter @Pipes815, or send me a message via our contact form.