Earlier this month, the Aegis of Champions was claimed by European team, Team Liquid.

‘The International’ is so much more than who wins the Grand Final. It’s a festival and celebration of all things Dota 2.

During the event Valve teased the new Dota 2 themed card game that they’ve been working on, Artifact. They also revealed the appearances of 2 new heroes, who have yet to be named.

Did someone say Production Value?

Over the course of the week the production value maintained a constant high quality. With community personalities providing insight and statistics to the introduction videos that played before the players entered their booths.

The insane production quality is what by far stole the show. This year’s theme was ‘Aquatic’ and the visual theme of being underwater could be felt everywhere. From the aquatic themed map that came equipped with reefs instead of trees and a whale call that could be heard sporadically throughout the battle. The lights above were layered in a way to evoke the feeling of waves crashing above, and the AR (Augmented Reality) assets on stage were those of reefs and coral branches reaching up towards the ceiling.

So what is it?

The International 7 is a pinnacle, not only in prize pool, which reached $24.7 Million, but in skill level as well. The teams that play in this tournament were either invited by Valve, the developers of the game, or they qualified in the open qualifiers held online.

For those that have never been to an esports event, this is like none other. This is the Super Bowl of Dota and it’s the only event that matters for the players who take part. The tournament lasts a week and takes over the Key Arena in Seattle and the area around it. For the 16 teams involved the event begins with the online group stage. The outcomes of the group stage determines what placement a team receives in the main stage, either upper or lower bracket. If a team is in lower bracket they’re on the knife’s edge, one series loss and they’re out.

What’d you think?

Overall I’d say the international was an amazing event to attend and I plan on attending again next year. Dota isn’t going away any time soon and with all of the updates and new content. I hope to see you all on the battlefield!



Night Trap Sells Out In Minutes. What can Limited Run Games do to ease frustration?


Limited Run Games is run by 2 people who create Limited Runs of previously digital exclusive games for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. I wrote an article on them last year.

Since then they’ve garnered more and more attention and as such, obtained the rights of popular games that are popular even outside of the traditional collecting circle. This has caused some woes for collectors now that they have to compete with an ever growing following of casual buyers looking to snag a physical copy of their favorite game.

The last meltdown occurred when the Wonderboy collectors edition sold out within minutes of Go-Live and that had caught collectors by surprise. Up until that point, the games that Limited Run Games had sold would sell out, but not as quick as Wonderboy did. This resulted in some buyers being able to add the game to their cart, but learn that the game was sold out before completing the checkout process.

Limited Run Gaming has since explained in detail how their checkout system actually works: When you add an item to the cart, it does not hold the item. Amazon, Modcloth and Ticketmaster are some of the few retailers that actually hold the item in your cart until you complete check out. While this isn’t that big of a deal for regular purchases, it does cause some problems when a limited run of a popular game goes live on their site.

So you would think that this would resolve any future frustration. Wrong.

Of course Night Trap would be a repeat of Wonderboy except 10 fold. Night Trap is a notorious FMV game that triggered a debate about violent video games in the 1990s. The game was remastered for the PlayStation 4 and PC digitally with Limited Run Gaming producing physical copies. The day before release, Limited Run Games again reminded buyers of hurdles that they might face given the popularity of Night Trap. (This game has been hyped for months)

As predicted, 10am EST came, Night Trap went live and immediately sold out.

One of the hiccups was that the Limited Run Game crew noticed that people were able to add the Collector’s Edition to their cart prior to Go-Live so they created a brand new SKU to give everyone an equal chance. Those not on Twitter at the time were unaware of these change and were met with error 404.

When I added Night Trap collector’s edition to my cart, I was sent into a waiting room for about a minute then taken to my PayPal account. Luckily I had all my information updated and was able to successfully place an order.

Others weren’t so lucky. Jared Epicpower missed his Collector’s Edition but was able to snag the PC version. Which is STILL available at the time of this article (4:11pm EST)

What can Limited Run Games do to ease frustrations?

Well not a whole lot. I suppose they can make a little more, but given the Limited nature of their business model, they might not want to change it. Their shopping model might seem archaic but I feel it’s just that too many people are now interested in Limited Run Games and want to snatch up a copy for themselves. Scalpers will always be around, but you need to make sure your PayPal is already signed in and Limited Run Games information is up to date. Be prepared for these releases.  It’s really on you.

e3 2017 epicpower jared twitch rp

E3 2017 was a nightmare since they opened 15,000 tickets to the public. Sure it is cool to realize a dream and attend E3, but it was also a shit show. I played 2 games and got a lot of meetings done though.

Tokyo Game Show has it correct. 2 days for the industry followed by 2 days for the public. Hopefully E3 2018 begins doing that.

Highlights of this video are 1:17 I role play as a shuttle bus information attendant. Get ready to experience things through my eyes!

Subway has been a staple of busy people everywhere, including game developers. I was at the Subway near our hotel this morning picking up breakfast/lunch before we went back out to GDC for meetings. While looking up the ingredients in the meat, I have food allergies, there was a big top hit article that broke last night regarding Subway’s chicken only having 50% chicken DNA.

Well well, what do you think it is mostly made up of? My first notion went to rat meat, but I know rat meat is too expensive. The next idea for chicken like substance I had was soybean. Turns out I was right!

Read the full article here and learn something!


nintendo switch indie games

It’s getting pretty exciting with the Nintendo Switch launch coming this Friday! Now we have a list of indie games coming to the Switch. GDC has been a whirlwind of information and it is exciting to think of what meetings Nintendo is having with developers behind closed doors here at GDC 2017.

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Startup companies these days entice investors using numbers, in the case of online service and app startups, high user subscription/followers is what brings value and visibility. Word on the street was that Twitch was once a tiny and highly unsecure office back in its early days, with such a strong lack of security that someone even got away with stealing complete PC setups there without any delays.

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