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GARPA 25 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

With a chill in the air this week it is clear that the seasons are changing again. Soon we won’t have to feel particularly guilty about gaming or reading inside since the weather won’t be as cooperative. Peruse our below roundup to get some good ideas on interesting games and other swag to pickup to help you keep your seasonal affective disorder at bay!



Dean Putney’s World War I Album

$82,631 pledged of $50,000 goal

Funding ends Thursday, September 5

PutneyStQuentinYes I usually cover games but this is special. Dean Putney of San Francisco has a literal treasure chest full of over 1000 photographic negatives of his great grandfather’s military service in World War I. Not only that, but his great grandfather, Walter Koessler, fought for Imperial Germany on the Western front, a perspective not covered as well or as often in English histories of the war.

The negatives, some stereoscopic, look incredibly vivid, even when viewed on the internet. Putney found over 1000 of them, all preserved and protected in a family attic in southern California, just recently. His great grandfather was an architect before the war started, and served in the German artillery as a lieutenant. He was a skilled photographer, and after the war left Germany for Hollywood, CA where he became an art director in the booming U.S. movie industry. His skill is immediately evident when viewing his pictures, which feature recognizable equipment, locations and even some aerial shots.

The images, besides being of technical high quality, are also notable for how expressive they are. Even from the few samples shown on Putney’s Kickstarter page, the mood from the outbreak of war in 1914 through subsequent years (it looks like his great grandfather served through the entire conflict) deteriorates noticeably. Images flow from young kids horsing around in a festive atmosphere in summer 1914 through to the grim reality of combat as time goes by. The images are very good at expressing the change of emotion. For grogs interested in German history, the First World War, or even just photography as a medium, Dean Putney’s Kickstarter project is something very special.


GARPA 25 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

GARPA #24 – Dan Pinkham & Lloyd Sabin

Let’s face it, a long work week can get to all of us. And in the summer long weeks can feel even longer.

I focused on this point just a minute ago when my co-worker came in said good morning to me, found something on his desk and then said, “What fresh Hell is this?”

We’ve all been there. And that’s where GARPA comes in. You work yourself to the bone to get some money, and hopefully once the family is taken care of and the bills are paid, you have a bit leftover for yourself. We are here to help unload you of that burden as well as forget about any “fresh Hells” you had to endure to get it by providing updates on the best looking crowd-sourced games coming down the pike. Let’s get to it!

Board/Role-Playing Games

DemonWars – Reformation by R.A. Salvatore
$14,057 pledged of $50,000 goal, funding ends August 30


Speaking of fresh Hells, DemonWars – Reformation is looking to set your world on fire quickly and efficiently. Set in R.A. Salvatore’s world of Corona (not the one in Queens, NY) DemonWars-Reformation  will have a game system akin to older tabletop board and role-playing games from the 1970s. The setting of Corona includes creatures that any self-respecting demon-slayer should expect to find: goblins, evil monks, and of course demons, along with intricate maps, in-game lore books, and a detailed gemstone magic system.

Want more detail? OK: DemonWars-Reformation puts the player in the role of a monk in the Abellican Church.  The player is thrown against a rebellious church faction under the command of Marcalo De’Unnero. Confused yet? Me too.  No worries though. The plot of DemonWars-Reformation is set after the events taking place in Salvatore’s novel Immortalis.

Clearly, fans of Salvatore’s work will be delighted to pick up DemonWars-Reformation. They will also be ecstatic to know that the game is in a working prototype mode right now, and play testing has been going on since the beginning of this year. Originally intended to include every faction in the DemonWars universe, Salvatore and his team have honed this down to the Abellican Church for the initial launch to flesh the faction out. With success, other factions from the books will be covered in future game modules.

It is refreshing to see a new game in production set in an untapped world. I know for me personally reading through the Kickstarter info got me interested in the DemonWars backstory and it looks to be progressing well enough with 30 days to go.

Tuesday Screenshot

Tropico 4

Behold the beginnings of my very own banana republic.  While it might not look like much now I have plans to use this island for my own nefarious gains.  First we need some natural resources to exploit and some slums to house the peasants.  Once we have plenty of workers I can begin the building of tourist traps and drain the money from the pockets of rich foreigners.  As long as other governments don’t interfere I’ll be live the good life in no time.  It’s good to be the king … or at least the supreme leader for life.


Game – Tropico 4

GARPA 23 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

It‘s that time again, whether you like it or not.  GARPA is back for another Friday of gaming projects funded by you, the fans.

Come watch Lloyd and Dan explore new projects or at least watch them talk to themselves about what, in their minds, constitutes a cool project. Cool is the operative word here since it is presently hotter than a snake’s arse in Arizona in the summertime over most of the known world right now. Remember…cool.

Like what you see or think we missed something, make sure and leave some feedback on the forums, if for nothing else than to boost our egos.

Stay cool!

GARPA-23-July-19-2013-1 I AM ZOMBIEI AM ZOMBIE: Field Manual & RPG by Make-Believe Games

$23,343 pledged of a $30,000 goal funding ending July 31st

I AM ZOMBIE is a very unique take on the zombie genre.  As you can tell from the title you are a zombie, well sort of.  It is better if I let the game designers explain it.

“You are a Toxic, a victim of an age-old disease, the Scourge. The cycles of your life revolve around picking up and getting rid of Odium, a by-product of that which ravages your body. Odium build-up threatens to transform you into a mindless zombie – a Skag – whilst granting physical prowess. You might (sic) half-dead, but if you control your Odium, you can retain your humanity, at least some of time.

GARPA 22 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

Authors: Dan Pinkham and Jim Zabek

The boys here at GARPA took some time this week to celebrate 4th of July here in the US. Even with all the remembrances, parades, cookouts, and fireworks we are able to bring you an abbreviated version of GARPA (though LongBlade has managed to sneak in a couple of contributions of his own). Join us in two weeks when we are back with the full column.


Battle Merchants by Minion Games

$5,250 of a $30,000 goal funding ending August 5th

GARPA 22 Battle MerchantsWe all love a good game set in a fantasy world, the good races of dwarves, elves etc. fighting the orcs, goblins, and other evil creatures.  While this theme has been presented in many different ways it is usually entertaining and we can’t seem to get enough of it.  However, when a game comes along that takes these fantasy themes and incorporates them in a unique way we tend to take notice.  Enter Battle Merchants, set in a fantasy world that is embroiled in the good vs. evil conflict.  Instead of controlling one of the sides you are in charge making and selling weapons to the warring factions.  A kind of fantasy arms dealer or “merchant of death” if you will.

Tuesday Screenshot – Scourge of War – Gettysburg

Tuesday July 2 2012 screenshot Gettysburg screenshot

The hot and humid Pennsylvania air was stifling, made worse by the gunpowder smoke that was slowly beginning to fill the air.  It had taken most of the day before then men of Hood’s division had been sent forward to attack the Union left flank.  Despite the exhaustion from marching through the muggy late afternoon heat, the men went forward in good order, quickly pushing back the Union pickets.  Now as they continued to press their attack Union lines were solidifying to their front and slowing their progress.  Their objectives, the two wooded hills, rose out of the landscape before them.  These two earthen giants were theirs for the taking.  The plan was simple and the men would do what was asked of them, but still there were doubts.  Had the enemy seen them in time and realized their plan?  Was it too late in the day?   There was urgency now in the voice of the officers as they pressed their men forward.  This battle, this day, could very well change the course of this horrific war.

Book Review: Cain at Gettysburg

Author: Ralph Peters

Publisher: Forge Books

Reviewing Author: Dan Pinkham

With the country in the midst of the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War and the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg this year I have found myself somewhat disappointed in the apparent lack of coverage of this pivotal period in American history.  So to fill the void I rummaged around the internet and came across a recently published (2012) historical-fiction novel titled Cain at Gettysburg by Ralph Peters.  Before buying the book I read some reviews and many compared it to Michael Shaara’s excellent Gettysburg novel, Killer Angels.  I can tell you that this is not the case.  While both books are excellent in their own respects I believe Cain at Gettysburg brings a soldier’s unique perspective in a way many books do not.  The author Ralph Peters, a retired Army officer who has written over 20 fiction and non-fiction books many with military themes, brings the Battle of Gettysburg to life in a whole new way.

GARPA 21 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

GARPA #21 – Dan Pinkham and Lloyd Sabin

GARPA is now 21 … old enough to drink here in the US. These online tech articles grow up so fast. Make sure before you take GARPA out to hoist a few that there is a designated driver. And here take this … no no, shut up and just take it, you never know when you’re going to need it. Better safe than sorry I say, and I’ve seen GARPA’s taste in women. Just hang on to it and if needed GARPA will let you know, trust me.

And now … the best in crowd-sourced PC, board, miniature, and card games. You know, to pass the time until you go out drinking and carousing with a more mature (and on the hunt) GARPA.

PC Games

Data Dealer by Cuteacute

$560.00 pledged of $50,000.00 goal, funding ends Thursday, July 11.

Yes Cuteacute is a terrible name for a studio, I agree. But the developers are Austrian so that explains it and gives us a good reason not to mess with them further.

GARPA21-DataDealerOn any ordinary day, the idea of Data Dealer would be a great one: run your own social network and collect millions of online profiles and other bits of potentially secret information. Note that Data Dealer does not place the player in any sort of governmental role…you’re in this just for the thrill of learning millions of tiny little secrets and finding millions of virtually closeted-skeletons. And of course monetary profit! Millions of dollars of monetary profit!

Data Dealer is browser-based and there is a beta version available right now at the appropriately named www.datadealer.com. The developers have been working feverishly to get the game in the state it’s currently in…the Kickstarter campaign was started to get the game in a final state and make it available to as many people as possible.

Take the role of a positively shady information age tycoon and run every kind of online company you can think of: mobile apps, dating sites, search engines and social media are all available to you. But those components are just the beginning.