Tag Archives: apple

Marvel Announces Stickers for Apple’s Messages App

The Marvel Universe dives int the world of communication with the newly announced Marvel Stickers collection, available on the App Store for iMessage for iPhone® and iPad® users with the release of iOS 10.

Your messages are about to get a lot more heroic with Marvel Stickers! With this inaugural Marvel Stickers collection, “Items of Power,” iPhone and iPad users can now express themselves creatively, become a part of the Marvel Universe, and further show off what they are feeling. With the very first sticker pack directly from the House of Ideas, you can turn yourself into Spider-Man, defend your thoughts with Iron Man’s Repulsor, SMASH Hulk’s fists when you want to show strength, channel Doctor Strange’s Eye of Agamatto when you have something enlightening to say, or respond to everything with “I Am Groot!”

Make your chats Marvel!

Northwest’s Hard to Swallow for Apple. Readers Get a Free Version.

Hard to Swallow UncensoredTwo weeks ago, Northwest Press submitted their new book Hard to Swallow to Apple’s iBooks with the goal of having a day-and-date release to coincide with the paperback edition that will be in comic book stores this month.

Apple rejected the book, just like they have Northwest Press’ past two releases aimed at adults. The reason is the comics having “prohibited explicit or objectionable content.”

The publisher has now decided to offer a censored version of the book for free, to shine a spotlight on what it sees as Apple’s ongoing campaign against sex in art.

In the days before the iPad debuted, Apple repeatedly rejected comic books and apps with gay content—some of which were very tame and included no nudity—and was accused of following a double standard when compared to heterosexual content. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously defended the platform’s restrictions on sexual content by saying Apple provided his customers “freedom from porn.”

Charles “Zan” Christensen, Northwest Press’ publisher and board member of the nonprofit LGBT comics advocacy organization Prism Comics, took them to task publicly for this in an online article.

in 2011, when the iBooks store was opened up to comics content from indie publishers, Northwest Press submitted its very first release, Jon Macy’s Teleny and Camille (which at that time was the most explicitly sexual book they had published). Apple accepted it, and accepted every subsequent release for about two years.

In Fall of 2013, Apple changed its submission process; they added a new “Explicit Content?” checkbox to their iTunes Producer software, which is used to submit titles to iBooks. The first book Northwest Press submitted to Apple since that change was Al-Qaeda’s Super Secret Weapon, a gay, erotic, political satire of the War on Terror. This book contained far less sexual content than Teleny, so the publisher was perplexed when the book was rejected. Despite following up and protesting the rejection, Apple’s decision stood.

This happened again when Jon Macy finished the final chapter of his fantasy epic Fearful Hunter, and Northwest Press submitted the collected edition to iBooks. Apple rejected it. Lets make that clear. Apple had already approved the first three issues. But, when those issues were collected, they were rejected.

Now that Hard to Swallow has been rejected as well, the publisher feels that Apple will continue to reject any graphic novel that includes sexual content.

Christensen emphasizes that this is not censorship, per se.

Apple is not the US government, and they can make their own decisions about what to include or not. But the waters are muddied by the fact that Apple’s devices behave a lot more like a distribution platform than a standalone bookstore, with independent publishers using iPhones and iPads as a means to distribute their work. When Apple blocks material on content grounds—blocking it from being sold in any app installed on a customer’s device, by the way—they are effectively banning the book from being sold on any of Apple’s over a billion active devices.

Hard to Swallow CensoredTo make a point about what Apple’s behavior, Northwest Press has created a special version of Hard to Swallow, which readers can download for free. They refer to it as the “apple version”, because all of the sexual content and nudity has been censored with pictures of apples.

The publisher has included an introduction to the special edition, penned by Christensen, as well as several Internet links: one is to an iBooks feedback form where the publisher urges individuals to share their feelings about content restrictions—”respectfully but firmly”—with Apple. The second is a link to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, who work to protect comic book creators from censorship and legal threats. The third is a link to Northwest Press’ entire catalog on comiXology, including the two previous books which Apple has rejected.

Comics Studios Pencil United Launches Digital Comics App

Northern SoulsAtmospheric, enigmatic and magical, Pencil United‘s digital native graphic drama series Northern Souls follows the quest of a young man, suspected of having schizophrenia, to find his identity in Europe’s last wilderness, Swedish Lappland, at the same time as WW2 reaches northern Scandinavia. The first episode of the interactive touchscreen reading experience is now available for download, exclusively through the Pencil United app which can be retrieved from the App Store for all Retina iPads.

The series’ main character Mielat, as the strange voices inside his head call him, is contained and tormented by the fact that he doesn’t remember who he is or where he comes from. Everything before the point where he found a peculiar piece of bone with metal pendants is black. With the twisted logic of the mentally ill, he believes that the artefact will lead him to the answers while the voices keep insisting that he has a hidden calling. As a result of a life-threatening flight, Mielat is reluctantly joined by a female German Red Cross doctor. Gradually it is revealed that the rational and determined woman, named Elke, has an agenda of her own but also that the two wanderers’ destinies are mysteriously entwined.

Northern Souls is aimed at a broad adult readership and is full of complex and charismatic characters. In addition to the adventure’s dramatic action the story also holds existential, ethical and political dilemmas. The time period during which the drama is set, right at the beginning of the 1940s, is not just the starting point for the progressive welfare state in Sweden but also the start of the atomic age and the series deals with themes such as the soul and materialism.

The publisher sees themselves as similar to HBO when it comes to original comics focusing on a few carefully chosen in-house produced high quality series in different genres. Going beyong repurposed print, Pencil United has decided to cultivate and enhance interactivity and closeness by adding touch-the-panels navigation, dynamic dual-layer full screen graphics, slideshows, panning widescreen images and info hotspots, in order to create an intimate digital native experience unlike anything else on the market. By focusing on this, the company hopes to reach a broad audience that is interested in modern comics culture and a digital experience.

As a part of Pencil United’s belief in the power of stories and the importance of education, creativity and humanism for development in the world, the studio has decided that for each and every downloaded issue through the Pencil United app they will buy five pencils from UNICEF who will distribute them to schools all over the world.

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The Brothers Behind Riverman Media

A large pizza rolls down a snowy hill, smashing evil skeletons as it gets closer and closer to its destination. Wings flap as a flying man straight out of Greek mythology tries his best to traverse as much as he can. The weight of a large silver-mining company on his shoulders, an executive fights werewolves to defend his livelihood.

These are just a few of the games from Riverman Media, a game development company made up of just two people: brothers Jacob and Paul Stevens.

“Until we became adults, we played every game together. Actually, we still do, for the most part!” said Jacob via Skype interview.

Jacob (Left) and Paul (Right) Stevens. Taken from Riverman Studio Website.

Jacob (Left) and Paul (Right) Stevens. Taken from Riverman Media Website.

After Jacob and Paul finished schooling from Northern Arizona University and Arizona University (CORRRECTION: UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA) respectively, both with degrees in computer science, they got to work on game development full-time. Over the last decade, the duo have been releasing games on mostly iPhones and iPads, with one release on the Wii’s old online store for digital games, “WiiWare,” and some for Windows computers. Jacob does the art and music for the games, while Paul does the programming.

Their first games were first Cash Cow and then Primate Panic, both released for Windows. Cash Cow, a puzzle-game based on familiar mechanics of matching shapes together, is probably their most mass-market game, Jacob explained.

“A lot of people, including our relatives, still play [Cash Cow] all the time,” Jacob said.

The two then developed a game called Madstone for WiiWare, which released in 2008. The game was another shape-matching puzzler, which received some negative reception. IGN critic of the time Mark Bozon gave the game a 4/10, writing “it’s a title that isn’t worth your cash, your Wii storage space, or or [sic] attention.” He criticized the game for overly simplistic gameplay, lack of pointer-controls and widescreen presentation, and a dearth of game mode variety.

“Ultimately I think [the review] drove us to make better and better stuff, even though I don’t quite agree with their review,” Jacob said with a laugh. “I do think that it’s intelligent critiques that push you forward.”

Reception was not entirely negative, however. Nintendo Life critic Spencer McIlvaine gave the game a 7/10, writing “Madstone provides just enough new ideas to make it worth checking out.” The review praised the retro aesthetics and simple-to-play mechanics.

Madstone. Image from Riverman Media Website.

Madstone. Image from Riverman Media Website.

The two were invited to a “Developers Summit” hosted by Nintendo of America in April of 2008, before the release of Madstone. The two said they loved the event, focused on interaction with fellow indie developers as well as guidance given by Nintendo employees. This was one of Paul’s favorite moments of his tenure with Riverman Media, he explained.

“We grew up on Nintendo. It’s what we love,” said Paul.

In 2009, the brothers released a port of Cash Cow for iOS, published by Chillingo, the publisher behind smash-hit Angry Birds. In 2011, IKAROS, a procedurally-generated endless runner, Space Frak, a shoot-em-up, and Deathfall, an arcade-style game, released on iOS, all games made and released quickly as experiments in iOS game development, Jacob explained.

Space Frak was originally released as an ad-supported game, but the team didn’t like that model for game development, leading to that version being replaced with the $2, ad-free version available now. Deathfall, a $3 game, is very similar, in terms of gameplay, to another game released by Riverman Media during that time, called Fat Roll Santa, released for the holidays. Because Deathfall was the more popular game and Fat Roll Santa was so tied to a certain time of year, the two decided to cease support of Fat Roll Santa, which is no longer available to download, according to Paul.

Noticing a trend? Riverman Media is not prone to releasing games with micro-transactions or ads, both models popular to implement into mobile games.

“We don’t really understand ad-supported or freemium games because it’s not what we grew up with,” said Paul via Skype interview.

Jacob said similar things, offering more comments about these practices.

“I really don’t have any principal against in-app purchases, but in practice I think it makes games less fun,” said Jacob.

Games including in-app purchases have been widely criticized by players and pundits alike, one of the loudest critics being former Reviews Editor for Destructoid and The Escapist and current independent games critic Jim Sterling. In a half-star out of five review for The Escapist, Sterling described free-to-play mobile game Dungeon Keeper Mobile, published by Electronic Arts, thusly:

“A cynically motivated skeleton of a non-game, a scam that will take your cash and offer nothing in return. A perversion of a respected series, twisted by some of the most soulless, selfish, and nauseating human beings to ever blight the game industry.”

Sterling recently reviewed Riverman Media’s latest game, The Executive, for his website The Jimquisition, and awarded it a 9.5/10. He praised the game highly as “brilliant,” and pointed to the lack of micro-transactions as its best feature.

“No bullshit premium currencies, no insidious paywalls. It’s sad that such a thing should even be worthy of praise, but that’s the world we live in now,” his review states.

The Executive. Image from Riverman Media.

The Executive. Image from Riverman Media.

The Executive is widely loved by not just iOS-focused websites but also general video game enthusiast sites, in fact. Kotaku writer Mike Fahey wrote that it’s “a brilliant amalgamation of classic concepts that’s dressed to impress – and it certainly does.” App Spy and Touch Arcade both gave the game a 5/5, and Pocket Gamer gave it a 9/10.

The Executive, a $3, soon-to-be $5 (after the launch sale) beat-em-up game with elements of platforming about an executive of a silver-mining company fighting off werewolves, went through a three-year development cycle and was made with a myriad of influences, Paul explained. He recounted a story about driving home from a video store, thinking about the blisteringly fast and action-packed Jackie Chan movies, and how they’ve barely been properly represented in games. Mad Men’s suited characters also found themselves in Paul’s (CORRECTION: JACOB’S) brain when brainstorming for The Executive, which was originally called “Linear Ninja” behind the scenes, he said.

On the subject of the abnormal enemy designs in the game, Jacob told me a funny yet accurate comment he said he has said on multiple occasions.

“I was trying really hard to make a game that wasn’t as strange as Pizza vs. Skeletons, but I guess I failed,” said Jacob with a laugh.

Pizza vs. Skeletons. Image from Riverman Media Website.

Pizza vs. Skeletons. Image from Riverman Media Website.

Pizza vs. Skeletons was their game previous to The Executive, released in 2012 to similar acclaim, brandishing a 90% score on the review aggregate site Metacritic. The game is hard to describe, the best genre descriptor being a platformer, but with lots of other elements. It took 9 months to finish, according to Jacob.

Riverman Media focuses mainly on developing games for iOS devices, finding Apple easy to work with, Jacob explained. He also sees the marketplace as both advantageous and disadvantage for them to release games in.

“The App Store is oddly more competitive and less competitive. It’s more competitive because there are a hundred games being released a day… it’s less competitive because the scopes of those games is usually small compared to a console game,” said Jacob.

The team would like to get more games on home consoles in the future, because of the additions of a controller and a television, Paul explained.

Riverman Media also offers consulting services to other designers, and have helped small, college-enrolled indie game developers as well as big, non-game companies on general design. Fees are sometimes charged for these services, but small, local jobs to little guys tend to be free, Jacob explained.

The two developers have been passionate their whole lives together. Jacob had been doing art and music since a young age, learning through self-teaching and various lessons.

“Video games are really the perfect melding of [technology, art and music] for me,” said Jacob.

Programming is something a lot of people probably see as dull, but it’s far from that for Paul.

“To me, programming is like playing with Lego’s, except rather than a physical creation it’s on the screen,” said Paul. The process of building something others can interact with is still present, he explained.

Their passion doesn’t seem to be dying any time soon, either.

“We both hope to do this as long as we can,” said Paul.

Gerry Conway Killed Gwen Stacy. Amazon Hasn’t Come Close to Killing comiXology.

amazonWhile the above title of this article is clearly hyperbole, so is the reactions to comiXology‘s recent change to their iOS app and the removal of in-app purchasing of their digital comics within it (the ability to purchase through Google Play is also removed, but that’s ignored by most folks). That move has sparked armchair quarterbacks commenting on the change, stating opinion instead of looking at facts. This post originally was going to focus on legendary writer Gerry Conway‘s guest column on this subject. But, since I began writing, more posts have been written again ignoring facts, or clearly having axes to grind with the leading app in digital comics. So, lets look at what folks have to say, and present the reality of this change.

And so, as we could have predicted, Amazon wrecks Comixology.

What has it been, less than a month since Jeff Bezos bought the most promising tool for renewing the mass distribution of comics in the digital era? I’ll give the man this: he’s moved faster to undermine an existing technology for the benefit of his own company than General Motors did when it sabotaged Los Angeles’s public transit Red Line for the benefit of the bus fleet they wanted to sell the City of Angels.

comixology small imageRight away, with an article starting with the above, you know what will follow. The reality is, Amazon has done nothing to comiXology. As stated in numerous articles and interviews, Amazon has yet to actually purchase the software company. That’ll occur some time in the second quarter, most quotes have said June. While changes are clearly being made to prep for that acquisition, I think what Amazon brings to the table will not only cause comiXology to go to the next level, but also take the comic industry with it.

Comixology removed the storefront from its digital reading app for comics on the iPad and iPhone. It didn’t replace it with anything, just a link that takes you out of the app to the Comixology website. No big deal, right? Just one (or two, or three, as it turns out) additional step for the fanatic comic book reader to access comics on his digital reader.

ComiXology absolutely removed the storefront to its iOS app, it did no such thing to its Android app. So, comiXology has changed one app, not the entire eco-system as many individuals writing on the subject have ignored. Now individuals will have to go to the comiXology website to make a purchase and then sync it to their iOS device. This is the same strategy Amazon uses for their Kindle app. It’s against Apples terms of service to allow apps within their store to offer this, so blame Apple, not comiXology for making it more “difficult.” So instead of a process within the app, a few more steps are added to complete the same action. Steps a fanatic will complete anyways, they are after all fanatics.

This is no big deal. And I’ll tell you why and what Conway doesn’t mention. ComiXology, like Amazon and all intelligent technology companies, know more about your behavior than you do. The company has likely crunched the numbers, knowing how many individuals actually purchase from within the iOS app, and have made a conclusion, the business lost due to this change is not greater than the gains of no longer having to pay Apple 30% of their revenue. Numbers don’t lie, and what gets measured gets done. Conway is going off a shortage of information to make his opinion. ComiXology knows more about their customers than he does, and therefore can make much more informed decisions based on numbers, and not emotional opinions.

…it destroys the casual reader’s easy access to an impulse purchase. And that’s a terrible development for the future of comics.

And there’s the issue with so many individuals writing on this subject. They don’t know readers are actually making impulse purchases. ComiXology does an excellent job of presenting readers with choices to purchase through their apps, and through their email program. The actual likelihood is the vast number of purchases are driven by these two factors, not impulse. There are other ways to drive these impulses through links that take readers out of the app to purchase on the website, again bypassing Apple’s 30% cut. Many apps do this successfully.

Yet the fact remains that for someone to discover a comic book today for the first time, he or she pretty much has to be a comic book reader already, or know someone who’s a reader, and he or she has to be comfortable immersing themselves immediately in a very specific sub-cultural experience by stepping through the doors of a comic book specialty shop.

Again, this is an opinion and not fact. Individuals can discover comics in numerous ways. ComiXology’s prolific online advertising program has helped with their explosive growth. Their email program provides suggestions. The company’s thought out presentation of comics through their website and apps present yet another way to discover comics. There’s also word of mouth, and many other avenues, that exist today, as opposed to when Conway was writing. The age of people discovering comics due to specialty shops is over, one just needs to look at The Walking Dead‘s success for that. Mr. Conway, like many in the industry, need to get with times and discover that reality.

Now, I’ve heard some folks say that Amazon is just trying to avoid paying Apple’s “greedy 30% fee” for in-app purchases. This is such nonsense it almost doesn’t require a response, because there are people out there who have a knee-jerk reaction against Apple that goes beyond critical thinking, but in the hopes of reaching more open-minded readers who might be tempted by that argument, let me address it.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 2011 specifically focused on Apple’s 30% cut of the revenue as a reason to now allow apps to link outside for purchases. Again, don’t blame comiXology, blame Apple’s policy.

Our philosophy is simple—when Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing.

There’s absolutely more than Apple’s “greedy 30% fee,” Conway is right about that. ComiXology also removed the ability to pay through Google Play too. That’s another fee. This points more to the fact that all comiXology did was consolidate the purchasing point, making it easier, and more consistent for customers. It would also open up comiXology to better be positioned to have their own gift card program in stores in the future.

When measuring by revenue, comiXology placed fifth for apps in Worldwide iOS and Google Play revenue outside of Games in 2013. The company itself also placed fifth in the same category for companies. Their revenue when it comes to Google Play and thus Android devices is quite healthy.

Leaving the quality of the technology aside (pro or con), the fact is that at least 80% (probably more depending on your source) of all mobile digital purchases occur on the iPad or iPhone platform.

So here’s the actual numbers, Android holds the largest number of installed-base devices, with 1.9 billion in use in 2014, compared to the 682 million iOS/Mac OS, installed-base devices. Around the world Android also generally leads in market share. Apple also doesn’t have 80% of the mobile digital services, they actually have 38.17% of the traffic versus Android’s 42.83% and when it comes to revenue iOS has 52.7% versus Android’s 33.46%. It is projected though, that Android will overtake Apple when it comes to revenue by the end of the year. ComiXology is positioning themselves for the future.

I dug into Facebook data, and discovered users who “like” comiXology and also have the Android platform lead iOS platform users by almost 2 to 1. Their base might not actually be iOS users, so catering, and making business decisions around that install base might not be the best decision at all. Their future is with Android and Amazon, and the gains to be made there will be discussed further below.

Next we have this anonymous piece. One, if folks aren’t willing to put their name to something, they clearly have an axe to grind.

Comixology is nothing more then technology for Amazon to exploit and maximize money from.

The last I checked no business is a charity. They are here to make money and profit. It’s clear the writer of this article is an industry insider and thus benefits from the industry. The fact is, no comic company is a charity, and all are here to maximize money, that’s why they cancel comics, to make sure they make money. So they whole argument is without merit, and if anything hypocritical.

At that point, does there really need a stand alone comics reading app? The death of the Comixology app with all functionality integrated into the Kindle app is very likely.

What isn’t considered here is comiXology becoming the standard, not Kindle. The Kindle has comics, it’s not built for comics, where as comiXology is the opposite. Why wouldn’t Amazon make comiXology the standard in function, and name?

The author talks about the merits of DRM free comics from companies like Image and Rebellion. When Image made their announcement, I discussed how it’s not as great a deal as seems. ComiXology has DRM, but the experience is much better, especially for those not technically astute. You don’t need to load books, find a reader, go through a process. With comiXology, you get technical support if you have issues, as well as compatibility no matter the platform. The company even allows you to read, pause, and continue across devices.. DRM free services provide none of those benefits. But the proof again is in the results. This is from Image President Eric Stephenson in an interview with Multiversity:

The DRM-free thing, I received a lot of mail from people who were so supportive about it and enthusiastic about it, but sales-wise, it’s a fraction of what we do with ComiXology, so I don’t know if that’s necessarily something that is a selling point to the Image reader.

So, even with DRM alternatives, folks aren’t flocking to them…

As of right now, the only “safe” place to buy digital comics remains those that have DRM free offerings.

Really there is no “safe place.” With DRM free there are hurdles involved as well. Technical, organizational, many the average user are not willing to deal with, and based on Stephenson’s own words, not many individuals period are taking advantage.

So lets recap. ComiXology has data we don’t have access to. What data we do have points to the likelihood that iOS users are not a majority of comiXology users, and the money lost from some hurt by the change will be made up by the lack of paying 30% fees to Apple or through Google Play. That 30% will also go to creators and publishers, driving more money into the industry. More money = more profits boosting the long-term viability of the industry. Amazon opens up a whole new audience to market to with cross promotion that wasn’t previously available. Amazon will do that, Apple won’t. Overall, I’m hearing nothing but gains over the vocal minority who think change is bad.

ComiXology Cuts Out Apple

amazonWell that was quick. The ink isn’t dry yet, but the Amazon purchase of comiXology has already resulted in some changes to the digital comic store and its apps. Multiple updates have hit to their numerous apps, changing how things are done.

When it comes to their Google we received the following:

We’ve made changes to our Google Play Android Comics app so please update to version 3.6. In this new version, we have a new comiXology in-app purchase system and a great new cart feature, one of our most requested features.

In the new app, you may be prompted to update your payment information to continue purchasing books. This is a one-time action after which you can purchase inside the app.

I also received a $5 eGift Card in that email which has an expiration date, and can’t be used in certain parts of the world judging by the posts (ie complaints) to the company’s Facebook page.

comixology small imageWhen it comes to the Apple app we received this:

We have introduced a new comiXology iPhone and iPad Comics app, and we are retiring the old one. All your purchased books will be readable in the new app once you’ve downloaded it and taken the following steps:

  • Sync your in-app purchases to your comiXology account by tapping the Restore button on the Purchases tab
  • Download the new comiXology app. This will be your new home for downloading and reading comics.
  • Start shopping on comixology.com. New purchases will appear in the “In Cloud” tab in our new app

What that means is, comiXology, and thus Amazon, have cut out Apple from profiting from sales through the app directly. This is similar to how Amazon handles their Kindle app, which also does not have in app purchasing. There’s good and bad due to this. The bad is, Apple users will have to purchase items through the website. The good is, indie creators should get more as Apple will no longer be taking a cut.

It also looks like payment through Google Play is no longer an option too based on responses online.

The reaction by the community is not a happy one as expected. People took to social networks to complain.

2014-04-26_1912It’ll be interesting to see what’s next as far as comiXology’s numerous apps as well as the upcoming Amazon phone and if this opens up the digital comic space for an entrepreneurial upstart. I also expect the company’s apps to tank as far as our weekly report, which will have to be modified to better reflect what’s going on.

 

First-Ever D&D Board Game Hits iPad; Developed by Playdeck

lords of waterdeepPlaydek and Wizards of the Coast have announced the release of the highly-anticipated  Lords of Waterdeep on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Available on the App Store, Lords of Waterdeep is a stunning digital adaptation of the award-winning Dungeons & Dragons strategic board game.

In Lords of Waterdeep, two to five players assume the role of masked Lords controlling the intriguing city of Waterdeep, one of the most beautiful yet dangerous port cities in the Forgotten Realms. The Lords’ identity remains secret during gameplay so strengths won’t be visible to opponents. The masked Lords vie to purchase buildings and control the city by recruiting agents, whom they send on quests to gain power. Often employing shady dealings in the underbelly of the city and back alleys, the Lords, through their agents, negotiate and outwit each other to rule the city, its treasures and resources.

A strategic board game with worker placement mechanics, Lords of Waterdeep unfurls in eight rounds of action. At the end, the player with the most victory points wins. Agents must complete quests to score victory points and can expand the city by purchasing new buildings that open up new actions and either hinder or help the other lords by playing Intrigue cards to enact carefully laid plans.

Cards and characters will be familiar to those who know and love the tabletop board game. The characters and stories will immediately intrigue those new to the game. Three different types of quests will keep players trying to outguess each other.

With Lords of Waterdeep for iOS, players can now instantly engage in D&D action and are able to play against the computer, friends or the online community through Playdek’s real-time and asynchronous game servers. The digital game will support between two to five players in pass-and-play and asynchronous online multiplayer, as well as play-versus-computer, giving players the chance to play whenever they want.

Other features of Lords of Waterdeep for mobile include:

  • Universal game application – buy once and play on all your devices
  • Selectable online game clocks
  • Rematch button for online and offline matches
  • “Next Game” button takes you to your next online game
  • Matchmaking
  • Player ratings
  • Multiple player offline profiles (for households)
  • Select your faction to act for you in the town of Waterdeep
  • Game tutorial
  • Rule book and card gallery to review game text and effects
  • Options for music and SFX, animation speed, and confirmation pop-ups
  • Retina support
  • iPhone/iPod 5 screen support

 

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow, what’s everyone getting?

Around the Tubes

Mashable – How Batkid Conquered the World, by the Numbers – Interesting read.

CBR – “The Flash” Gets Standalone Pilot, No Backdoor In “Arrow” – I wouldn’t have given it a shot on Arrow, but as a standalone show…

CBLDF – Apple Drops All Issues of Sex Criminals – Still deciding how I feel….

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Marvel Knights: X-Men #1

CBR – Rocket Girl #2

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day! What’s everyone getting?

Around the Tubes

ICv2 – Another ‘Wolverine’ Movie – Anyone really surprised?

CBR – Apple Blocks “Sex Criminals” #2 on comiXology iOS App – Interesting.

Bleeding Cool – Joshua Hale Fialkov Adapting The Bunker For Lionsgate TV – Probably the best digital series out there right now.

The Mary Sue – Warner Bros. Is Creating A TV Show For DC Comics’ Hourman, Because That’s An Awesome, Well-Known Superhero – Much like Marvel, you just have to hope there’s some plan with this.

Bleeding Cool – Larime Taylor Slams Comikaze And Other Shows For Lack Of Disability Awareness – Good! SDCC had issues. So many have issues.

Kotaku – Wrestling Game Or Greatest Super-Hero Game Ever? – This is amazing.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Adventures of Superman #28

Big Shiny Robot – Bandette Volume 1: Presto!

CBR – Unity #1

Around the Tubes

It is new comic day! What’s everyone getting as they head to the shops?

Around the Tubes

Bleeding Cool – Ex-French Attorney General Sues Over Graphic NovelYeah, can’t see this happening in the US.

Engadget – Apple patent outs system for turning video game choices into comic books, is all about Mass Effect This is interesting.

Kotaku – Batman: Arkham Origins Will Have Multiplayer, Sources Say – It could work and definitely would be interesting.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

The Beat – Daredevil #25

Publishers Weekly – Comics Reviews—December

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