Monday, March 31, 2014

Boiled Leather Audio Hour 28

The Quality of Mercy: GeorgeRRMartin.com’s new “The Winds of Winter” Sample Chapter

It is a weeping, and a moaning, and a gnashing of teeth: Hot on the heels of our last installment comes yet another BLAH about yet another Winds of Winter sample chapter! For all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s about Arya Stark, this one’s pretty clearly the most talked-about yet. Should we believe the hype, or is this often disturbing chapter chronicling Arya’s further Faceless adventures in Braavos edgy for edginess’ sake? And if we see it as the latter, who’s to blame — an author pushing the envelope, or an audience out for blood? It’s our most conflicted sample-chapter discussion yet. Bone up on some recommended reading referenced in the ep first, if you’re up for it, then tune in and see where you come down.

Mirror here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

A Flight of Links

- This War of Mine seems strange
- Mothman Prophecies defense. I remember the movie as not being bad at all. Not oustanding, neither.
- New X-Man trailer
- The Winds of Winter Tyrion excerpt chapter
- Berlin after the war
- Ground Zeroes gets the intelligence right
- Stormsongs: Jon V, Tyrion II, Danaerys IV, Danaeys IV
- Religions in ASOIAF
- Prometheus 2 has a lot more Michael Fassbender in it. 
- There's a report from the first Turtles-Teaser. To me, it sounds good, except that father-angle.
- I agree with the questionator about Theon and other characters, not so much with the answer.
- Wertzone reviews House of Cards. He's more positive about it.
- MovieBob on the X-Men trailer. 
- Six episodes GOT have been titled. 
- This interview with Benioff and Weiss is really interesting, especially the parts about the original pilot. Seems like they really fucked that up. 
- Star Wars and race
- Burial at Sea part 2 Review
- Hilarious "review" of Transformers 4
- New Edge of Tomorrow trailer
- The Chinese obviously have a complex of some kind
- Assassin's Creed: Unity trailer
- And MovieBob about it
- Theory about Euron Greyjoy
- I still don't understand how someone can play Monopoly voluntarily
- Schwarzenegger really wants to be in the new Terminator. "The Terminator ages", my ass.
- Galactic Civilisations III preview 
- Diablo III Reaper of Souls review. Yeah, sounds like expected. 
- There was a Dr. Gay Hitler in Ohio. 
- The second part of the Tom Clancy series. 
- Noah review. Count me intrigued.
-Jupiter Ascended trailer. I'm unimpressed, can't say why.
- How we won the war on D&D
- Why Asimov's three laws don't help us
- Interesting Noah review
- More about the Turtles trailer
- Yet another Reaper of Souls review that confirms my Diablo III bias
- FTL Advanced Edition coming in a week
- Hilarious
- Stormsongs reads Jaime VI
- and Arya VIII
- And talks about Mercy
- War of the Roses and ASOIAF

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 20

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 20 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Manu Mishra, a member of the community.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boiled Leather Audio Hour #27

Wild Is the Wind: The New “The Winds of Winter” Sample Chapter in the World of Ice and Fire App

Once more unto the breach, dear friends: George R.R. Martin has unveiled a new sample chapter from The Winds of Winter, this time ensconced in the World of Ice and Fire app on your friendly neighborhood smartphone, and Sean and I are back to pick that sucker apart! The POV character is Tyrion Lannister, the place is Meereen, and the scene is a slaughter — the Battle of Fire is now fully underway, so via the Imp we get a picture of how the fight is going, who’s involved on what side (the Windblown! the Ironborn! the Second Sons!), and how Tyrion feels about it all. From the strategic situation to Tyrion’s own psychological battles, there’s a lot to talk about. And with GRRM promising much more ASoIaF material on the way at a pretty rapid clip this year, we’d better get cracking!

Mirror here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Board Game: Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition

One nerd-issue I deeply care about I haven't written about at all on Nerdstream yet, which is something I intend to remedy. So, let's start a new series of boardgame reviews that present you some of my all-time favorites. One warning in advance: the boardgames I am to present to you aren't exactly the family-friendly stuff. They aren't reaching the complexity levels that some tabletops and cosims do, but they usually run several hours and require a good understanding of pretty complex rules. That's being said, let's launch into the first issue of the new series and review a special favorite of mine: Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition, published by Fantasy Flight Games. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A callout to all "Supreme Court of Westeros" participants

Hi everyone, 

due to some...technical difficulties (the nice term for "I fucked up") we need to get in contact with you as soon as possible. If you were already published or sent us back your answers, we need the mails again that you sent us containing your answers, with the mail from us containing the questions attached. If you weren't yet published and didn't send us the questions (or received them), please send us an email stating as much. I apologize for all the trouble. 

Stefan

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Auction House, Blizzard's biggest brainfart ever

When Diablo III was released back in 2012, it contained a feature named "The Auctionhouse", in which you could sell your in-game loot for game money and, later, for real money. The idea seems to have been to capitalize on the in-game items trade that went over ebay and similar traders up to this point. What Blizzard seems to have totally forgotten is that such a feature, built in the game, would have massive consequences for gameplay. And those consequences really aren't placable in the "fun" column of gaming experiences. 
Unpracticable armor is a hallmark of Diablo III opponents.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 19

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 19 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Adam Feldman, who runs the formidable blog of The Meereeneese Blot. If you haven't checked it out yet, stop reading right now and do so, because it's that good. He was a guest on the "Boiled Leather Audio Hour" with Sean and Stefan as well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Series I finished watching

Warning: Contains very mild spoilers for all series mentioned. 

I have watched quite a bit of series. Many of them I finished or don't see myself stopping to watch soon, and since I made this marvelous post about Series I Stopped Watching, I feel that a counterweight is in order. Not of all of it is good, but at least I finished it and didn't stop in the middle. The order in which they come doesn't say anything about preference, only my memory. Some of the shows are still running, so in fact, the jury is out whether I'll finish them. If not, I'll move them. I noted how many seasons constitutes "finished" at the time of this writing. So, there comes the stuff I did finish, and now I will take the time to tell you why, and you may stop reading anytime and consider what you've read up to this point as wasted time. Let's go.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Violence is the solution - the dramatic devices of "Sons of Anarchy"

Warning: Mild spoilers for "Sons of Anarchy", seasons 1-3 and all seasons of "Breaking Bad" following. Strong spoilers will be marked. I have myself not viewed seasons 4 and up of SoA, so please refrain from spoilers in the comments and keep to general statements.

To state that violence is solving practically every plot of "Sons of Anarchy" seems like a bit of a redundant statement. It's about an extremely violent motorcycle club, after all, who makes a living by engaging in gun trafficking and whose idea of a good time is to shoot at rival gangs. While we follow the exploits of Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam), the protagonist of the show, we see multiple threats to the clubs, its members and their friends arise. There's also some in-fighting going on, especially between Jax and the gang leader, Clay (Ron Perlman). But while violence certainly isn't conspiciously absent from other TV shows, in "Sons of Anarchy", it's use a general solution for all problems extends the plots itself - which diminishes the artistic quality of the show drastically. 
Freedom seldom rides, though.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 18

Thursday is court day! We're late again, though.
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 18 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judges this week is Michal. She found A Song of Ice and Fire in 2004, and her life has never been the same. A frequent commenter on the Podcast of Ice and Fire forums, Michal also covers Game of Thrones for Hypable.com. You can follow her on Twitter as @inkasrain.

Friday, March 7, 2014

"Blackguards" review

I have to say, the existence of Blackguards came as a surprise to me. I didn't know of the game until its release, but I was interested, to say the least. The game is a tactical, round-based role-playing-game, which in itself isn't exactly novel, but it is also set in the world of The Dark Eye, the German roleplaying system I myself have been playing for close to one-and-a-half decades now (compare here). Naturally, I wanted to try it out. I was pleasantly surprised, I have to say.

Not by the graphics, I have to say.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 17

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 17 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judges this week are Elio and Linda, founders of Westeros.org and authors of the upcoming "The World of Ice and Fire" companion volume. You can follow them on Twitter.

Monday, March 3, 2014

A Flight of Links

- Terminator meets Batman
- 1984 is outdated
- Irrational Decision making
- Essay about the Wire. Font gives eye cancer though. 
- Benedict Cumberbatch as Smaug. 
- Batman in real life
- New Godzilla look and sound
- D&D at college
- Sansa VI, by Steven Attewell 
- Disney builds its own streaming channel
- 5 movie plots possible by incompetence
- 6 realistic changes that'd improve super hero movies. 
- Video games and LBTG characters. 
- Bic Picture about the Guardians of the Galaxy trailer
- Godzilla trailer looks good
- Inception board game doesn't. 
- Beginner's Guide to Dark Souls. 
- Bethesda hates Mages
-This hilarious German grocery-commercial apparantly made it to the US. If you're interested in more articles about the influence of English language and culture in Germany, tell me in the comments.
- In the same line, an article about English influence on German language. 
- Apparantly, translating Kafka is a pain in the ass. Believe me, it works the other way around, too. 
- And even more of that stuff!
- There's a nest somewhere!  
- In case you want the GOT-agony in 8 bits.  
- Son of God release. The intro is hilarious.
-  We get a Tyrion paragraph. Not chapter. Paragraph.
- Stormsongs reads a Tyrion chapter and forgets to complain about the worldbuilding :)
- Call of Duty still sucks, yes. 
- Thief Review
- Michael Bay produces a "Birds" remake. Insert jokes about exploding birds. 
- Phil leaves Winter is coming.
- Race of the Iron Throne reads Dany IX
- Breaking Bad remix that is awesome
- Nice comic

- Adam Feldman started yet another analysis series. I put an empty line in so you see it more clearly. Read it.