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May your dice always roll 6s

Tonight, I continue my trip down games of my past, but this time it’s one that I haven’t played for fourteen years and doesn’t involve a joypad.

Some time ago, I mentioned in passing to a friend that I was interested in painting figures once more. I used to find it incredibly satisfying and working on the models for Believa had rekindled that. Lo and behold, come Christmas the very generous Littlest Kobold gave me a Warhammer 40,000 starter kit with more models that you could shake a scaled sprue at. I was extremely pleased and very soon the kitchen table had been taken over, covered in newspaper and converted into my painting bay.

It was at this point, however, that a series of strange coincidences happened. All over Rare the same thing was occurring; out of the blue, Schizofen received the same starter set and Pirate Steve, also looking for something to paint, happened to raid the Space Marine section of his local Hobbycraft. It was only after we all returned from our Christmas break with the telltale signs of Citedael paint on our fingers that we realised what had happened and how fate, it seemed, had decided it was time for us to once again battle with dice and small plastic figures. So tonight my White Scars ride into battle against the Black Templars.

Over the last few weeks I have enjoyed painting my mini army. After pulling down from the loft my previous efforts of over a decade ago I am shocked at what I thought was “good” back then, and although they may not be Golden Demon standard I a far happier with how I hold a paintbrush now.

All this goes to show is that must be very few, if any, places that are geekier to work in. I’ve spoken before how in the last six years Rare has made me roll more dice and play more card games than I ever thought possible but somehow it still manages to surprises me. Fads spread like wildfire through its corridors and whilst there are some with stouter wills than my own, there are more than enough of us to succumb and enjoy the virtues of social gaming and the plethora of dice that come along with it.

How to make a Believa

My Dare write up is still going slowly, so today I’d like to share with you this.

Chris, Andy and I would like to thank everyone who helped put the covert Believa project together. Special thanks to Will, Adam, Justin, Ryan, Louise, Simona, Jamie, Alan and Stephen, plus the hordes that helped us cut out all those blasted papercraft. Yes, Ali, that means you, too.

What price freedom?

Gold, that’s what price. Viva Piñata: Trouble is Paradise has gone gold and after a couple of weeks of additional promo work I am now on holiday, lounging on my sofa and watching the Olypmics in HD.

As immensely satisified and proud as I am of our team’s efforts over the last couple of years, and especially the few months just gone, I have to say that when I walked out of the barn last night and switched the light out there was a big smile on my face. Knowing I had a fortnight off where no bug could reach me is a grin-worthy event.

This has been my hardest crunch by far and I’ve run the full gambit of emotions with it. With Ghoulies I was young and fresh and VP: Classic saw a lot of my features cut before we got to the business end of things. With Trouble in Paradise, however, I had a lot more responsibilities, more features and a lot more stress. Goodness knows how Ali managed to cope, this being her first first-hand crunch, and I thank her for her patience.

September 5th (2nd t’other side of the pond) is now the next date in the diary for me, being that of VP’s release, and I hope to see a few of you online. Beware, noobs, I’m going to pwn your gard3n.

Believe.

Are you a Believa?

Over the weekend, my good friend Jimmcq dropped me a link to a video that basically glues together my two favourite things in gaming: Halo and Viva Piñata. What more could a man want for?

The toys that Burger King released some time ago now have been thrust into a world of darkness and war where Pester stands tall at the end, paying tribute to the UNSC-Covenenant war.

For those of you unfamiliar with Believe, here is the 60 second version of the original that accompanied Halo 3′s launch and it seems to be going for a shot for shot remake.

If only I could get my hands on that layout, it would make a great Halo Clix map.