What did we do on Sin Night?

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Sin and Jesus might not sound like a fun topic, but our questions and games made it more fun than it should have been!

We wrangled up six of our trusty GameCell dudes: Tyler, Josh, Yoshi, Alex, Greg, and Brylan (six). Vince and I sat in. And then we had five more show up later. It got intense. And heated. Yoshi took the Discussion Master helm and assigned the first question:

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Yoshi talked about Dishonored and how the world became less filled with disease and infection if you preserved your enemies lives. Alex Carter talked about how Dragon Ball Zenoverse was about an attempt to repair the brokenness of time.

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Brylan and Yoshi really opened up about their loved ones and how their attempts to fix things have gone. They were some super brave answers that are best kept as conversations that stick with our crew.

Tyler also talked about how valuable it is that we address our own faults.

 

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Greg mentioned laughter. Alex mentioned beating yourself up. We also explored the value of forgiveness in coming to terms with brokenness in a healthy way.

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We explored three small stories from the Bible that deal with forgiveness. Tyler told the parable of the Unforgiving Debtor. I told the other two.

Josh was into it. Then we asked our last question.

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We got some bold and brave answers to this both as both a no and a yes. We prayed, snacked, and then filled the basement with all the late-arrivals.

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These guys aren’t being rude (normal) on their phones, they’re getting ready for another round of QUIPLASH, which was Brylan’s pick as the honorary new guy (second time here).

Players in Quiplash come up with answers on their phones. We got everybody in the room playing or teamed up if they didn’t have a smartphone.

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Jokes took dirty turns and playful personal attacks. We anticipated this and asked the question:

Now you know your mind is dirty: do you think your mind could become clean again?”

While they answered in a chorus of “no’s,” I was most proud of Vince who illustrated that it was possible to be clean and hilarious.

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Mama Bird (Austin) got the next pick: ORBITAL GEAR. Unfortunately, the screengrab doesn’t show that this game splits player segments into four screens. But our crew enjoyed planet-hopping as mechs that killed each other.

Greg asked the question, “How do you feel about other people who sin against you in games like this?

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Our crew’s responses seemed to agree that a mark of maturity is when you can forgive your opponents as a gentleman and not carry out grudges.

TRINE 2 was Vince’s pick. But he picked others to play for him. Very gentlemanly. This game came with the question, “What’s the hardest part of dealing with other’s mistakes?

I heard somebody saying that this kind of makes you to forgive others a lot. Especially since we make a lot of our own dumb mistakes.

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This night was maybe our best yet this year.

~

Other SIN NIGHT games and questions (that didn’t get used):

  • Blues and Bullets
    How might investigating others sins help you deal with your own?
  • Life is Strange
    Would you make wiser (less selfish) choices if you could rewind time like Max? Why?
  • Tengami
    When might be a good time to slow down and really consider your choices and if you’re walking the best way?
  • Her Story
    How does listening to her story make you feel about her?
  • The Swindle
    How might exploring the broken life of a thief make you better at respecting others’ belongings?
  • Titan Souls
    How do you think this game deals with brokenness?

GAMECELL — VIP Access Night

[Feel free to watch the video above or read below.]

Did you know that your importance to gives you special VIP Access to God and the things he’s doing in this world? That’s what our GameCell explored on Friday: VIP Access. We asked:

1. What game makes you feel important? 

Mass Effect, Assassin’s Creed, Dragon Age came up; most of which make you the center of the known world.

2. When has somebody made you feel important?

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Richie said his chorus teacher. Wayne talked about his shop teacher in high school. I talked about church planting school. Seemed like school was a popular answer.

3. What do you think the Bible says about your importance?

Wayne brought up how Jesus’ self-sacrifice brought about the reconciling hope for all of us. But we also discussed how having a relationship with God simply helps you to know what He’s like more. And how this relationship opens up special VIP access to opportunities that we wouldn’t have otherwise. In essence: since God finds us to be of utmost importance, it relates to the world around us.

Wes read this card as a sort of a send-off on the theme:

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Game Time.

Most of the games we played accessible through special VIP Access thanks to relationships:

  • Rocket League – Wes’ pick
  • Her Story
  • ClusterPuck 99 – Alex Carter’s pick
  • Mark of the Old Ones
  • The Fall – Richie’s Pick
  • Regular Human Basketball
  • QuiplashOur late group’s pick
  • Spintires
  • Threshold

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Wrapping up at Plus 10 Damage — Last Three Contributions

Man, I’ve loved writing at Plus 10 Damage. Sass, class, and video games in an online hand grenade. It’s been great. But that season has come to its dramatic conclusion.

I’m stepping more into indie game trailer production and to spaces where I can create a bit more of a dialogue around that space. But before you start seeing more of that. How about I share my final Plus 10 Damage work?

It’s impossible to talk about Massive Chalice without bringing up XCOM and baby production. So I dove into that pretty hard in this video review. I’d say that you can read the whole article here at Plus10Damage. But it’s a little abbreviated as I tried something less scripted (and as such, there’s no written review.

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In my final weekly trailer roundup for Plus10Damage, I highlighted something for each segment of the indie games culture: something weird/innovative, something hilarious, something multiplayer, something mechanical, and something just pure Minecraft. Enjoy.

And in my final Plus10Damage video review, I explored the merits of the super fast rad game, The Next Penelope. This one’s probably mostly for technical players and adrenaline junkies. But we had some fun on the couch multiplayer circuit as well. Check it out.

~

So that’s it. Thanks so much to Matthew Bosko, Steven Brummel, and especially David Gutsche for making my time at Plus 10 Damage beyond memorable. It’s been a wonderful season. Looking forward to finding opportunities to collaborate again in the future!

Best of the Best Indie Game Trailers: E3 and Beyond!

I love indie game trailers. I love making them. I love watching them. For the past several weeks, I’ve been collecting them just for your enjoyment!

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Week 5: Ronin and Perception

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Week 4: Swordy and Wildfire

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Week 3: Volume and Shadow Warrior 2

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Week 2: Rive and Mighty No 9

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Week 1: The Best Trailers of E3 2015

 

Video Reviews: Sunset, Neon Struct, Sproggiwood, and more!

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Video reviews are just more fun than written game reviews. So I stepped into that arena with these puppies:

Neon Struct Video Review

My first video review explored what’s great about this stealth game and helped me set the bar for how to grab an audience. Read the full review at Plus 10 Damage.

Sunset Video Review

Sunset’s review explored what makes this unique game worth exploring. It honed my skills at video-hooks. Read the full review at Plus 10 Damage.

Sproggiwood Video Review

Sproggiwood grabbed me like nothing else on iPhone. So I tried this iPhone capture technique to tell the story entirely with mobile footage. Read the full review at Plus 10 Damage.

(I don’t have time to only make video reviews. So you’ll have to settle for these text-only doggies:)

DUCK GAME Video Review

DUCK GAME is GUARANTEED to be the most fun you can have with ducks. Seriously. These are some fun ducks!

Hands Off! Itch.io Review

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Hands Off! may be one of the most original and enjoyable competitive two-player games that I’ve played. But it takes a little bit of time to explain. In this writeup, I explain what kind of players will love it, and what kind of players might not enjoy it as much. Read the full review at Plus 10 Damage.

Bang Bang Bang! Itch.io Review

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Bang Bang Bang serves as perhaps the fastest couch multiplayer game I know of. Blink and it might be over. This means that those slow on the uptake might not enjoy it as much as those who blink less. Still it’s amazing. Read the full review at Plus 10 Damage.

GAMECELL Recap: 2-Min Fly By — Wedding Night

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Watch this new and improved GAMECELL recap video:

Discussion Cliffnotes: 

  1. What game pulled your heart strings at E3? Looking forward to something?
  2. What’s your favorite relationships in games?
  3. What do you think a good marriage looks like? What’s the key ingredient?
  4. What’s love?

Let’s look at the Bible’s Book of Love:

Young Man:
“How beautiful you are, my beloved, how beautiful!
Your eyes behind your veil are like doves.
Your hair falls in waves,
like a flock of goats frisking down the slopes of Gilead.
Your teeth are as white as sheep, newly shorn and washed.

They are perfectly matched; not one is missing. 
Your lips are like a ribbon of scarlet.
Oh, how beautiful your mouth!
Your cheeks behind your veil are like pomegranate halves
– lovely and delicious. 
Your neck is as stately as the tower of David,
jeweled with the shields of a thousand heroes. 
Your breasts are like twin fawns of a gazelle,
feeding among the lilies. 
Before the dawn comes and the shadows flee away,
I will go to the mountain of myrrh and to the hill of frankincense.
– Song of Songs 4:1-6

What are key rules that come to mind in the Bible? Did you know the 10 Commandments were wedding vows? Jesus’ commandments, also wedding vows to those who keep them. The question becomes: “are you willing to sacrifice your rights to become one with God?”

Last Question:

  1. What do you want more than anything?

Many answers revolve around wanting to be adored. God wants to do that for you. It just comes down to, “Will you say yes?”

Here’s a preview of the evening before it happened:

Game Selection:

To coincide with the idea of the Bride of Christ, all the games we’re playing have strong female characters or are brides on the cusp of marriages. Enjoy.

  • Broken Age
  • Gravity Ghost
  • The Next Penelope
  • Sunset
  • Cloudbuilt
  • Tomb Raider
  • Duck Game (just because)

Additional Details:

We also played John Beatty’s first game (which is awesome, BTW): Lone Rocket. It’s online and free and you should play it! We also watched Alex Carter’s first game trailer that he made as a student project for Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 (not online).

Videos: Let’s Play Games With GAMECELL!

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We teamed up with a couple friends to make some videos with our GAMECELL crew. Mike Perna of INNROADS Ministries joined us for a game. And David Gutsche lovingly shared some of our play sessions on Plus 10 Damage!

Which one of these is your favorite?

The Yawhg:

We played the Yawhg with Mike Perna who’s just one state away in New Jersey! Massive thanks to Alex Carter for dungeon mastering, Stevie Tuttle for being the red princess, Pierce Callender for playing the orange gentleman, and Garrett Krout for serving as the best drunk nun ever.

Hot Date:

We played the pug speed dating game, Hot Date. Jason Turner, Greg Burns, Alex Hively, and Wes Hess took turns picking names and questions to ask some very rude pugs.

SUPER ROCK BLASTERS:

Then our crew played QuadraTron’s four-player game, SUPER ROCK BLASTERS. Wes got really good at winning. So we tried to give everybody else more of a shot. Tyler Hollingshead served as a great equalizer. Jason and Greg did an amazing job of holding their own as the rock blasting got super nuts.

HANDS OFF!:

We switched to the most original two-player slapping game I’ve ever seen: HANDS OFFWes took to it right away. And Alex didn’t like it so much. But Tyler, Greg, Jason, and I really enjoyed the game even though it takes a little to get used to.

REGULAR HUMAN BASKETBALL:

Arron Bayne, Joey Roush, and Garret Krout came over the next day. We played REGULAR HUMAN BASKETBALL, which may be the most hilarious game we’ve ever played:

Thanks to Zachery Oliver for sharing the Yawhg video on Theology Gaming, and of course, to Mike Perna for the team-up. And massive thanks to David Gutsche for sharing the other videos on Plus 10 Damage.

Videos: Learning Heroes of the Storm

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Zachery Oliver and a few of us Theology Gaming dudes worked together at a few rounds of Heroes of the Storm. We tried to get past my mortal fear of MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas).

Have you played Heroes of the Storm? What do you think of it? 

Zach taught me a lot about how to not be terrible at the game:

Bryan’s six-year-old son joined us in a round to hilarious results:

Then the amazing Todd Williams joined Zach and I!

Then Todd showed us how a master of the game can enjoy playing with noobs like me!

For more great overviews on games like this, check out Theology Gaming.

POWER OF GOD Night — A GameCell Recap

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Power seems like it’s how the world works: the powerful control and the weak are overpowered. But in the Bible, we see a God who almost always only shows his power through human weakness and humility. With that in mind, we explored the theme of power in the ironically named, “POWER OF GOD Night.”

Using state of the art mobile technology, we’ve found the solution to distilling the GameCell experience down to a two-minute video. Enjoy.

Cliffnote version:

Alex Carter, Hively, Greg, Zac (new guy), Garrett, Tim, Tyler, Vince, Jason and I showed up. Greg took on the Discussion Master role and had Garret ask the first question:

“What’s your Favorite game power?”

Everybody shared, then Vince got the next question:

“What comes to mind hearing, “THE POWER OF GOD?”

Our crew went with some pretty obvious shining “God rays” and super-poweredness. Tyler mentioned the nature of God creating everything from nothing.  Then Tyler volunteered as Text Master:

1 Corinthians‬ ‭1‬:‭27‬ 

“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong.”

Then we asked,

“What’s your favorite Bible story? Or first that comes to mind?”

New guy, Zac, mentioned David and Goliath and we pointed out how that was about a weak little guy showing-up somebody who was powerful. Greg mentioned the three crosses. And we looked at how Jesus’ cross was an illustration of God using weakness to reveal his greatest power. And Alex Carter mentioned Samson’s story, which made me tell the whole thing from scratch since very few of our guys knew anything about it. And despite how weird all of the super-powered fox-catching abilities and war-powers Samson got were, the point where he was at his most-powerful was when he was utterly shamed, blind, and humiliated. And God used that moment to free a young and weak Israel from oppression.

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We hit home on the theme a little bit saying, “may you find that God’s power comes through the things that look weak!”

Then Alex Hively volunteered to pray us closed even though he wasn’t quite sure of how to do it. We helped him through, had snack, and transitioned to the game-time. But first we had a detour and I shared with the guys a private screening of my first game trailer for the upcoming game, ReElise (details coming soon, I promise).

We picked from this lot that all illustrate the power of small or weak things:

  • Skyhook
  • Sunset
  • I Am Bread!
  • Titan Souls
  • Toybox Turbos
  • Ori and the Blind Forest
  • ReElise

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Zac picked Skyhook (an A- Multiplayer game, which is good for Early Access). Then he picked me to go next, which was a first, but I picked Ori and the Blind Forest (The intro was A+ storytelling but the main game was only B- to watch for non-players). Jason showed up and picked Toybox Turbos (an A+ multiplayer game, which may be the most fun local multiplayer racing game we’ve played other than Speedrunners). Then when the crowd thinned, Alex Carter picked ReElise (a 20% complete build of the game), and I recorded it as input for the developer, Justin Fox. But despite that early nature of the game and being a turn-based RPG without any voice acting, our crew absolutely loved it (I’d say it was easily an A+ game for one to play and others to watch).

An amazing night.

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Articles: Two Sets of 5 Things And Videogame Pornography?

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I wrote more things! This time I go from sounding really liberal to really prudish! Oh, and I’m making game trailers now, so I might as well toss that out there.

  1. 5 Best Game Trailers of the Week — Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker & More
    I’m wrapping up the five best trailers of the week over at Plus 10 Damage. Check it out!
  2. 5 Best/Worst Things About Dragon Age Inquisition And Its Religious Nature
    Apparently I’m on a binge of five-item list posts lately. Maybe that’s because people seem to like this format? Not sure. Either way, here’s the five most interesting reflections I had on Dragon Age Inquisition.
  3. GameCell Recaps With Bigger Photos!
    This blog theme doesn’t have the nicest image resolution, but fortunately Zachery is letting me cross-post all of our GameCell recaps in glorious HD (well, 900px-wide photos at least)! Check out Quick Night and Relational Tension Night with better image fidelity.
  4. Can You Avoid Videogame Pornography in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt?
    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has more sexual content than any other mainstream video game. But there’s a strong likelihood that player agency means you can choose to say no to it. So what are players doing with that?

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