Posted by & filed under Board Games.

The world has fallen into chaos. Constant wars and the political machinations of many corrupt powers has pulled the world into a perpetual competition. Ultimately, power still lays in the hands of the community, but who can hold the ever-changing support of the masses? None can escape the push and pull from the Factions, vying for power, not the eSports Hero, Fundraising Socialite, nor Judicial Examiner.

This week we played Master of Wills by Stormcrest Games.

Stormcrest Games’s first title, Master of Wills takes place in a distant future, where power is controlled by a collection of Factions, who are in constant war with one another for dominance.

Master of Wills is a 2 or 4 player game that functions off of a tug-of-war system. Each player or team of two takes on the role of one of the Factions vying for power. Each round, players recruit unaligned members of the community, and use their influence to effect the community around them. Each faction constructs a deck of action cards, from which they play additional faction powers to further effect the board state. The game lasts for eight rounds. At the end of the eighth round, the faction who possess the most influence wins the game.

The game is simple, yet intense. The tug-of-war mechanic establishes easy gameplay and restricted decisions, but offers enough tactical decision making to bring out some interesting moments. Our 4-player game was very close. Early on, the Alphaguard was able to force a negative influence community member into the allies of Razorcorp.

As play progressed, Razorcorp answered by pulling a number of high influence community members, while Alphaguard established a strong engine for pulling activists to their allies. The push and pull continued leaving both sides very well matched. On the last round, Razorcorp took a risk by bringing the Energy Dancer into their ranks, pulling three high influence cards closer to their side, but accepting four negative influence into their allies. In the end, Alphaguard could not respond and Razorcorp won.

Despite some early misgivings concerning what appears to be a complex game, all of our players thoroughly enjoyed the game. The general simplicity to the decision-making within the game overcomes what appears to be a complex card game, allowing for non-gamers entry into the fan base. At the end of the game, two of our players were excited to take it home and play with friends and family.

We would like to thank Stormcrest Games for this great donation.

If you would like to play Master of Wills, it is available for check out here, at the UNT Media Library.

Posted by & filed under Video Games.

Making its debut in 2016, Valve (partnered with HTC) Vive VR headset has taken the way people game and interact up a notch. In addition to the success that the Vive has brought Valve, other companies such as Samsung, Sony’s PlayStation, Oculus, and independent makers have developed their own competitive systems and VR platforms. Here at the Media Library, we offer the chance to experience the world of virtual reality. In support of our Learning Technologies, New Media, Computer Science, and Gaming programs and events, we have had the opportunity to buy some of these amazing VR systems. Check out the list of systems we have available for in-house check out!

 

Valve: HTC Vive

The Vive is a virtual reality for room scale virtual reality gaming. Partnered with Valve, you can use this headset with Vive compatible games on Steam. Not all Vive activities have to be game related, explore the World using Google Earth or let your finger be the brush when using Tilt Brush, an illustrating software.

 

Sony: PlayStation VR

Sony’s VR headset for the PlayStation 4 allows the player to immerse themselves into their favorite games on PlayStation. Lightweight and maneuverable, this device can be used alone or when playing others; the device does not inhibit the playing ability of the other players. Fun games that are compatible with the VR set include Resident Evil: Biohazard (Game 737 PS4), Farpoint (Game 767 PS4), Rigs (Game 766 PS4), and many others.

 

Oculus: Oculus Rift

Created with the help of Kickstarter, the Oculus Rift is a multi-platform virtual reality headset that enables individuals to interact with the virtual world. While the Oculus rift has its own site where you can buy and download games, the Rift is also compatible with SteamVR. Some of the VR games for Oculus Rift are Oculus exclusive Lone Echo, Superhot VR, Star Trek: Bridge Crew, and many more.

 

Come by the Media Library and immerse yourself in the world of virtual reality. No experience is required to have fun here; if you need help with anything our staff are more than happy to get you started. Hope to see you all soon.

 

Post by Student Supervisor Maya Charles

Posted by & filed under Movie Recommendations, Television Recommendations.

Looking for something new to watch? Check out what we have just added to our collection, here at the UNT Media Library!

 

Movies Call Number
3 hommes et un couffin  DVD 17892
A regular black : the hidden Wuthering Heights  DVD 17901
Age of consent  DVD 17902
Awake, my soul : the story of the Sacred harp  DVD 17893
Bajrangi Bhaijaan  DVD 17857
Battle of the sexes  DVD 17887
Blade runner 2049  DVD 17873 Blu-ray
Blade runner 2049  DVD 17874
Brawl in cell block 99  DVD 17870
Class of ’27  DVD 17900R
Closer to truth. Meaning DVD 17911
Coach  DVD 17907R
Defiant lives  DVD 17864R
Desert hearts  DVD 17908 Blu-ray
Dunkirk  DVD 17877 Blu-ray
Dunkirk  DVD 17878
E-[d]entity : female perspectives on identity in digital environments DVD 17885R
Early women filmmakers (1902-1943) : an international anthology  DVD 17862 Blu-ray
Early women filmmakers (1902-1943) : an international anthology  DVD 17863
Embrace of the serpent  DVD 17884
Food chains  DVD 17890
Good time  DVD 17872
It  DVD 17875
It  DVD 17876 Blu-ray
Karz  DVD 17853
La signora di tutti  DVD 17868 PAL
Ladri di biciclette = Bicycle thieves  DVD 17861 Blu-ray
Les quatre cents coups  DVD 17860 Blu-ray
Logan  DVD 17889
Logan lucky  DVD 17888
Major!  DVD 17883
Married with children : the complete series DVD 17401 v.1-21
Mother!  DVD 17869
My love affair with the brain : the life and science of Dr. Marian Diamond DVD 17865R
No ideas but in things : the composer Alvin Lucier  DVD 17867
Process group counseling : a live demonstration DVD 17891R
Raga : a film journey into the soul of India  DVD 17856
Raga revelry : a journey through North Indian classical music  DVD 17866R
Songs of the adventurers  DVD 17910R
Stranger things. Season 1 DVD 17895 v.1-2
Stranger things. Season 1 DVD 17896 v.1-2 Blu-ray
Strawberries need rain  DVD 17909
The basement  DVD 17880
The big bang theory. The complete first season DVD 17897 v.1-2 Blu-ray
The big bang theory. The complete fourth season DVD 17903 v.1-2 Blu-ray
The big bang theory. The complete second season DVD 17898 v.1-2 Blu-ray
The big bang theory. The complete seventh season DVD 17906 v.1-2 Blu-ray
The big bang theory. The complete sixth season DVD 17905 v.1-2 Blu-ray
The big bang theory. The complete third season DVD 17899 v.1-2 Blu-ray
The killing of a sacred deer  DVD 17871
The lost arcade  DVD 17882
The Perez family  DVD 17858
The reincarnation of Peter Proud  DVD 17886
The searchers  DVD 17859 Blu-ray
The tallest tree in our forest : biography of Paul Robeson. DVD 17881R
These three  DVD 17854R
What is philanthropy?  DVD 17855
Wings of desire DVD 17879 Blu-ray

Posted by & filed under Video Games.

The UNT media library proudly offers computer gaming access to the student population through the nest computer lab at Chilton Hall. Students must provide their own games but here is a list of free games available through steam!

Warframe

“WF is a cooperative free-to-play third person online action game set in a sci-fi world.”

Do you like graceful, hack-and-slash laser action? Exploring across ghost-like lost worlds? Warframe is a game that makes you the combination of a ninja, a ballerina, and the terminator. Apply with grace.

 

Team Fortress 2

“Nine distinct classes provide a broad range of tactical abilities & Personalities. Constantly updated with new game modes, maps, equipment &, most importantly, hats!”

A Classic game packed with as much action as comical life. Whether you’re a new player or a returning player, TF2 provides tons of entertaining game play.

 

War Thunder

“War Thunder is the most comprehensive free-to-play, cross-platform, MMO military game for Windows, Linux, Mac and PlayStation®4 dedicated to aviation, armored vehicles, and naval craft from World War II and the Cold War.”

War Thunder puts you right in the cockpit and lets you put all that hard-earned history knowledge right to the test! Perform bombing runs, strafe attacks, or defend your bomber with machine guns as the Luftwaffe try and knock you down!

 

SMITE

“Rally here! Join millions of players in Smite, the online battleground of the gods. Whether this is your first Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) game or you’re a seasoned veteran, the competitive action and irreverent mythology of SMITE will make you a believer.”

This is an action man’s Dota. A wonderful game that puts you up close to the fighting; Smite doesn’t have a pay to win mechanic and the community behind the game is active with plenty of player-oriented give aways. This is a great game to make a home of, with the potential for hundreds of accrued hours.

 

Path of Exile

“You are an Exile, struggling to survive on the dark continent of Wraeclast, as you fight to earn power that will allow you to exact your revenge against those who wronged you. Created by hardcore gamers, Path of Exile is an online Action RPG set in a dark fantasy world.”

Path of Exile is fantastic. EVERY steam owner should at one point or another try this game. However, it might take a bit to get to liking the game because it takes around 7 hours to get there (for me at least). This game is basically the Paladins to Diablo. Personally, I think these games are about equal with diablo, scoring a bit higher in my book because of just nostalgia and a couple of minor points.

                -Gunter

 

Tree of Savior

“Tree of Savior (abbreviated as TOS thereafter) is an MMORPG in which you embark on a journey to search for the goddesses in the world of chaos. Fairy-tale like colors accompanied with beautiful graphics in TOS will have you reminiscing about precious moments all throughout the game.”

I got immediately sucked into this game, and keep going back to it in random spurts. It’s a very cute game, very beautiful, & the level grinding is easy. not too much of a challenge, great game to chill with. For me this game is very enjoyable! I really like it so far.

                -☆Diamond Destiny☆

 

World of Warships

“Experience epic, free-to-play naval combat when you helm one of over 200 historic vessels in an exciting balance of strategy and real-time combat in World of Warships. Outfit your fleet with flags, camouflage, modifications, talented commanders, and more!”

World of Warships is a favorite of mine, personally. I love how it combines 10 players in different ship classes and seems to balance them all. Either as the fast destroyer, hiding behind rocks and dashing out for a powerful torpedo run, or as a lumbering battleship, angling my giant slow-firing guns at just the right angle to pierce the enemy deck, there’s a lot of balanced variety involved. While players can pay to unlock ships rather than earn them, you’re always put in a match with ships of your same tier level, leading to an even match. Matches only take 10-15 mins making it a great game for short breaks or extended periods of play.

 

Dota 2

“Every day, millions of players worldwide enter battle as one of over a hundred Dota heroes. And no matter if it’s their 10th hour of play or 1,000th, there’s always something new to discover. With regular updates that ensure a constant evolution of gameplay, features, and heroes, Dota 2 has truly taken on a life of its”. 

Dota is a fusion of RPG & RTS with state of the art graphics. Compete with your team to stem the flow of enemy minions while leading your minions to crush the other side’s base. With dozens of heroes to choose from find your best style to crush the enemy!

 

Eve Online

“EVE Online is a community-driven spaceship MMO where players can play for free, choosing their own path from countless options. Experience space exploration, immense PvP and PvE battles, mining, industry and a thriving player economy in an ever-expanding sandbox.”

Since they’ve added The Agency PVE finder, EVE has become exactly what I’ve wanted in an MMO: A massive open world with a big to-do list of fun things.

 

Planet Side 2

“Join an all-out planetary war, where thousands of players battle as one in strategic, targeted missions against opposing empires. Utilize infantry, air and ground vehicles to destroy your enemies in this revolutionary, massive scale, first-person shooter.”

Planet Side 2 is the shooter I’ve wanted for a long time. I tire of multiplayer shooter games that were small 8 v 8 affairs that lasted only minutes. I wanted a large world war, and that’s what planet side 2 is. Join your friends, or even strangers you don’t know, as hundreds of you, in planes, tanks, and on foot, lay siege to an enemy fort. When you succeed, check the map. Your forces rush to lay siege to the next fortress, only to see your defenses crumbling…on the other side of the planet! With multiple continents to fight across and a large skill ceiling to master, Planet Side 2 is a phenomenal journey to be undertaken.

 

Post by Student Supervisor John Pankonien

Posted by & filed under Board Games.

Old Casey Jones steps up to bat. It’s been years since he first retired, but his new cybernetic arm is doing great, and his cybernetic eye has increased his reaction speed seven-fold. Once again the bases are loaded, and he was better now than he ever was in his early years. Hitting a grand slam would be easy enough if it wasn’t for that darned robot pitcher the other team had drafted just last season. His knuckleball is brutal, especially since he doesn’t even have knuckles. Casey grits his teeth and squares his shoulders as he winds back, ready for the pitch. Maybe coming back to the Major Leagues wasn’t the best idea after all.

This week we played Baseball Highlights 2045 from Eagle-Gryphon Games.

Taking place in the year 2045, baseball has evolved. Now allowing cyborg enhancements and robots to play, pitching has become an act of science, and batting requires fast computing or intuition than skill and a good eye. Fans still love it though, and the technical skill of fielding is still a “natural’s” game.

Choose your starting team, and play ball! In between each individual game of 6 innings, each player has the option to draft new players for their roster, sending older players to the minor leagues to make room on the bench. Each player’s team evolves from game to game, allowing for new and interesting plays late in the series.

This game is a favorite for a number of our staff and students alike. Combining the worlds of tabletop gaming and sports, Baseball Highlights 2045, or “Robot Baseball” as it is colloquially called here, creates an experience that encompasses the theme fully, while also creating a unique and engaging competitive experience as the same time.

Our latest game was a short series between New York and Los Angeles. The first game was a easy pick up by the Los Angeles player. In the draft, New York quickly grabbed a new robot player “See Ya” to add a solid home run ability to their strong ability to hit base runs. Los Angeles saw that draft coming, and picked up Daisuke Darvish, the cyborg pitcher from Texas to counter act the new batting talent. The second game was a low scorer for both sides. The fielding game was a strong one, between glove cards and pick offs, few runners were brought in. Los Angeles pulled the “W” again. Trying to extend his hitting ability, Los Angeles picked up the Robot hitter “Wiffle” from Seattle, while New York countered with cyborg pitcher Hideo Tanaka from Cleveland.

In the end, New York only pulled one game win in the series before Los Angeles pulled their fourth win to clinch the series.

In all, Baseball Highlights 2045 is a solid 2 or 4 player head-to-head game that brings sports fans to the tabletop gaming world, and vise-versa.

We would like to thank Eagle-Gryphon Games for this great donation.

If you would like to give Baseball highlights 2045 a try, or another selection from Eagle-Gryphon Games, they are available for check out here, at the UNT Media Library.

Posted by & filed under Board Games.

It’s an eagle. It’s a whirly-copter. It’s a… rhino?! Rhino Hero is here to save the day. Scaling buildings in the big city, our overweight hero looks for trouble. Can the building hold him? Beast City builds some of the strongest skyscrapers in the Animal Kingdom, but even the strongest buildings sometimes fall under the strain.

This week we played Rhino Hero from HABA.

One of HABA’s highest rated games, Rhino Hero tasks the players with building a structure able to withstand the stress of having a rhino for a super hero. Can you build a full skyscraper before the structure collapses under the weight?

This game functions with a similar mechanic to Jenga, where players take turns interacting with the tower, hoping the building does not fall on your turn. Each player takes turns adding walls in the form of folded playing cards to match the markings on the last roof card. Some roof cards also call for players to play additional cards, skip turns, reverse order, or to move Rhino Hero up the building. The game ends when one player runs out of roof cards, or the building collapses.

In our 4-player play through, it was clear early on that no one was going to give the other players a break. Each of our more precarious single wall cards were played early, creating a very wobbly base. From there, each movement of Rhino Hero was accompanied by bated breath. A double roof play followed by a poorly timed reversal put one player in a good place to win, doubling the tension. Twelve stories tall, our building began to wobble severely, and with the movement of Rhino Hero, our tower came crashing down.

Every player walked away from the game with a sense of enjoyment. The wide age range of this dexterity game (5+) allows this to be a staple for any family, but the addition of the card powers creates a strategic element that makes this game solid for older groups as well.

We would like to thank HABA for this great donation.

If you would like to give Rhino Hero a try, or another selection from HABA, they are available for check out here, at the UNT Media Library.

Posted by & filed under Television Recommendations.

Definitely binge worthy.

Definitely available at the Media Library.

Blackish Season 1 DVD 17237 v. 1-3

A comedy series centered around Andre “Dre” Johnson (played by Anthony Anderson) who has it all…a job as a top ad exec, a beautiful doctor wife, four great kids and a lovely, well-appointed house in the suburbs. And he’s not about to let his family forget how they got there. Related imageKeeping cultural identity alive is not without its challenges for this man on a mission. With perpetual pushback from clueless coworkers, an outspoken father, and even the wife and kids, Dre’s efforts to enlighten are exhausting. Forced to straddle two worlds and three generations, he’s one man determined to make his point.

Preacher Season 1 DVD 17212 v.1-4

Image result for preacher tv show gif an angel and a demon

A possessed minister teams up with his ex and a hard-drinking Irish vampire in search of answers. Expect dark humor and the lightly grotesque.

 

 

 

Reign Seasons 1-2 DVD 17015-17016

Drama fantasy produced by The CW centered around Mary Stuart, the Queen of Scotland. Ever since Mary was a little girl, the English have wanted her country and her crown. As a teenager, Mary is sent to France to wed its next king to save herself and her people. Waiting at the French Court is the gorgeous Prince Francis, his illegitimate half-brother Sebastian,Image result for reign tv show gif a king on the brink of madness, a scheming queen, and the seer Nostradamus with a devastating prophecy. Leaning on the hard side of fantasy, this story is far from actual history and focuses on pulling your heart strings with a classic love triangle.

Flash Season 1 DVD 17005 v.1-5

Related image

If you’re into DC television series like Arrow and Supergirl, or have a special place in your heart for The Flash, this series is sure to satisfy you! CSI investigator Barry Allen is endearingly book-smart, somewhat awkward late and, as a result of a scientific experiment gone awry, the fastest man alive. Zigzagging through the action-packed new series from the creative team behind Arrow and based on the supersonic DC Comics character. With his life shadowed by his mother’s murder and his father wrongly convicted of the crime, Barry finds that his newfound power of super speed grants him the ability to move through Central City.

Gotham Season 1 DVD 17012 v.1-6

The good. The evil. The beginning. When rookie Gotham City detective James Gordon, dedicated to restoring his crime-ridden metropolis back to its decent and illustrious past, catches the case of a murdered socialite couple, he promises their shattered, surviving son Bruce Wayne he’ll find their killer. Image result for gotham tv show gifIt is an obligation and an obsession that will cost him dearly, and set the stage for the gritty and exciting world of Gotham. The series balances attachment to the Batman series while also creating a world it’s own, as well known characters slowly come to the surface and the audience watches their development unfold.

Posted by & filed under Board Games.

Pixels & Pieces would like to share another video in our speaker series on board game design with our speaker, Sean McCoy of Tuesday Knight Games, co-designer of Two Rooms and a Boom and the upcoming World Championship Russian Roulette. Last Thursday, Sean joined us to discuss the process of self producing a game and the logistics of production, manufacturing, and delivery.

 

Join us Thursday nights from 6pm-8pm in the Media Library (Chilton Hall Rm. 111) for Pixels & Pieces, and allow us to help you turn your tabletop game ideas into a reality.

Posted by & filed under Board Games.

Our Pixels & Pieces speaker series is back with our newest video on board game design. Our speaker, Jason Kingsley, is the designer of Ophir, Lanterns: The Emperor’s Gifts, and the upcoming Professor Treasure’s Secret Sky Castle, as well as the artist for Lanterns: The Harvest Festival, Dead Men Tell No Tales, and World’s Fair 1893. In this video he discusses with us the process of creating and commissioning illustration and graphic design for board games, how to communicate with the producer and designer, and how are fits into the production of a game.

Join us Thursday nights from 6pm-8pm in the Media Library (Chilton Hall Rm. 111) for Pixels & Pieces, and allow us to help you turn your tabletop game ideas into a reality.

Posted by & filed under Board Games.

The Black Orchestra: a connection of German government members in WWII who sought to overthrow Hitler. Can you work with a group to formulate and execute a plan that will eliminate the Nazi leader for good?

This week we played Black Orchestra from Game Salute.

The year is 1944. As a member of the German government, you have been given clearance to attend one of Hitler’s conferences. You have obtained a briefcase containing a bomb, and believe you might be able to get close enough to Hitler to kill him in the explosion. You compatriots want to take out Himmler and Göring at the same time, but they are not here. Do you make the attempt, or wait for better circumstances?

This is the game of Black Orchestra. Each player takes on the role of a member of the actual “Schwarze Kapelle”, or Black Orchestra from World War II. As the game progresses, Hitler and his deputies move across the board, performing key actions pulled straight from the history books. Hitler’s support will rise and fall based on these actions, and your own involvement, but do not do too much, or else suspicion about you will rise.

Through this game, Germany will grow in size and power. The players will cooperatively try and avoid prison while they gather support, materials, and undermine the Nazi regime, all while trying to formulate a successful plot. If the players are successful, Hitler dies and the players win. If at any point, all players are in prison, or the “Documents Located” card is drawn, signaling everyone’s identities as Black Orchestra members becoming known.

In our playthrough we teamed up as General Ludwig Beck and Henning von Tresckow of the Wehrmacht, General Hans Oster of the Abwehr, and civilian Erich Kordt. Early in the game, Oster began manipulating the political climate by conspiring, and using his additional actions to fill his hand with cards his allies could share. The other players spread out to procure resources, and attempt to find a plot card we could work towards. Our first attempt at assassinating Hitler resulted in failure when our suitcase bomb was too far from him when it went off, leaving Erich in prison. As the game progressed, Hitler’s military support skyrocketed, causing each member of the Black Orchestra to fear failure of each plot drawn. Finally, however, the Nazi hosted a Party Rally in Nuremberg. The drop in Military Support allowed General Beck to derail the train bringing Hitler to Nuremberg. The die roll was against the players, but all dice surprisingly all landed with target symbols, allowing for an early success.

 

 

We all had an absolute blast playing Black Orchestra. The tension in the game was real, and as Hitler gained power, we became a little more desperate to act. Some players took tons of risks to progress our play, others held back and floated under the radar. The mix of play styles worked well together, and we quickly were able to raise each player’s motivation to the committed level. The historical facts woven into the gameplay really adds to the immersion, and even though our game ended quickly, each player felt they contributed to our success. The game seems complex, and definitely allows for tactical decisions to be made, but the co-operative component and ease of action choices makes the game accessible to a wide range of players.

In all, we would highly suggest Black Orchestra as both a fun co-op game, and as a teaching tool.

We would like to thank Game Salute for this great donation.

If you would like to give Black Orchestra a try, or another selection from Game Salute, they are available for check out here, at the UNT Media Library.

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