All Sorts of Weird Stuff offers news and information about George R.R. Martin, in particular about his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
"When I was young, I read all sorts of stuff. One week it would be Lovecraft, the next Vance. It was all imaginative literature, or as my dad called it 'Weird Stuff.' It was all 'Weird Stuff.'"
George R.R. Martin
New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.
Atlus USA has provided a sneak peek of the combat system used for the Game of Thrones RPG being created by Cyanide Studios, due May 15th: (Pre-order: Amazon US Xbox, Amazon US PS3). It gives a look at both the class and leveling system, and a more detailed look at their combat mechanics which enter a “bullet-time” like mode whenever selecting options or issuing commands, rather than fully stopping the action.
Built using the Unreal 3 engine, the game follows two characters—Mors Westford and Alester Sarwyck—in a campaign that starts just before the first novel, taking them to various locations including the westerlands, the riverlands, King’s Landing, and the Wall. For more information, check out our most recent post which links to the Podcast of Ice and Fire’s recent interview with two members of Atlus.
Cyanide’s Game of Thrones RPG is nearing release, with its publication (both in North America via Atlus and Europe via Focus Home Interactive) set for the middle of May. We’ve been covering the news of the game over the course of the last months, including the most recent news regarding a free art book with pre-orders, but I have to say, the good folks at the Podcast of Ice and Fire have gotten a real scoop: an interview Aram and Scott from Atlus to discuss the game. Good stuff—Amin and Mimi are gamers and they (and their forum members) ask the questions many gamers would like answers to.
Make sure to give it a listen!
And from late last month, here’s another of the taste of the game, with a look at another new location: the seat of Castlewood, where part of the game plays out.
Thanks to Massively, we’ve gotten quite a few more details concerning Bigpoint‘s officialy licensed Game of Thrones massively multiplayer roleplaying game. They had a chance to sit down with some of the developers of the game during the San Francisco Game Developers Conference, and certainly got some interesting details out of them that expand on our previous report.
Details of the game’s combat system are expanded on, as are its skills-based system. One of the most important points for many players when considering a free-to-play MMO is the fact that there’s a fear players with deep pockets can “buy” their way to the top of the pile… but Bigpoint insists that the game is not balanced that way, and skilled players are always going to trump less skilled players, regardless of what perks the less skilled players have. It’s probably true that when looking between players of equal skill, those bought-for perks are going to give them the edge… but it’s at least a good move to make sure those perks don’t destabilize competition across all levels of play.
The territory-gain system sounds interesting, with three classes of battle—ranging from 20 v 20 fort battles to big, 50 v 50 castle battles to secure a territory for your side. The voting for a Hand each week, on the other hand, does sound sort of strange on the face of it. Who will vote, and how is this mechanic explained in terms that make sense? It’ll be interesting to learn more as the game develops. On the whole, this seems very much a combat-focused game with a secondary political element (which seems largely to be about deciding when to jump ship to a different faction), but it seems to have potential according to what Massively and other gaming sites who were at GDC have to say.
We’ve also added a sub-section in our gallery for the MMO, with the six high-resolution images that Bigpoint has released so far. The game uses hte Unity engine, which provides very robust graphical performance inside the browser, and it certainly does look quite good from these images.
For awhile now, we’ve been sitting on some information regarding one of the upcoming, Ice and Fire-related things that George and we are involved in. But now, in the last days, things have been moving quite quickly, and it’s time to pull back the curtain.
Some have seen a listing for a product named Maps of Ice and Fire at Random House’s sites. But this is not, in fact, the final title. We can exclusively reveal that the final title is The Lands of Ice and Fire, which will be a boxed collection of posters featuring quite a few different maps, covering everything from the Seven Kingdoms we all know and love, to the lands Across the Narrow Sea… including the fabled Yi Ti, the lands of the Jade Sea, and the mysterious Asshai-by-the-Shadow. There’ll even be maps of a city or two.
This will be the most accurate and complete maps of the world of the setting ever published, featuring lands and places that we’ve never even heard of before—including long-dead kingdoms, half-forgotten cities, and more. I’m not presently certain as to who the artist(s) is/will be… but I’ve been looking over George’s own, hand-drawn maps (we’ve been asked to help proof them and do some of this and that for the final product—and no, don’t ask us for any details!), and suffice it to say, there’s plenty there to fire the imagination for any artist.
The poster collection is due to be released on October 30th or thereabouts, and you can pre-order it now.
Bigpoint, creator of various free-to-play, browser-based games, has opened up its official website for the licensed Game of Thrones massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. At present, all it features is a place for interested fans and gamers to sign up for their e-mail updates…
But Venture Beat has the very first images from the game, showing off the third-person 3D action. According to the article, Bigpoint will be offering a sneak peek of the game at next week’s Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.
All in all, the graphics look pretty good, though the images seem small. But they’re fairly generic—nothing recognizably from Game of Thrones, not yet in any case, and we still know nothing about the gameplay. Something to keep an eye out on, though!
Dark Sword Miniatures has unveiled their latest addition to the George R.R. Martin Masterworks series of miniatures. This time, the incredible Tom Meier has sculpted all six of the Stark direwolves, four of which are now available and two more (Lady and Shaggydog) are being prepped for production. As always, these miniatures come at 28mm scale (sometimes Dark Sword puts them out in 54mm, but not in this case), which makes the level of detail just stunning (human-size figures are not much past an inch tall!)
Speaking of the miniatures, George has a poll asking fans to share which of a set of characters they’d like to see made into figures. Among the options? Khal Drogo, Ser Barristan Selmy, Prince Doran Nymeros Martell, Olenna Tyrell (the Queen of Thorns), Margaery Tyrell, and Davos Seaworth.
We started seeing this buzzed about—a 64-page art book showing concept art and sketches, apparently printed to quite high standards, that will be included with pre-orders of the Game of Thrones RPG from Cyanide. Among those sellers is Amazon US, so mosey on there to pre-order the PS3 or XBox 360 editions (for some reason I can’t track down PC preorder links…) It’s unclear whether this initiative will also take place in Europe, as Atlus USA is the one putting out the press release… so, sorry folks, this may be North America-only.
Here’s the official press release from Atlus USA:
Here’s a 30 minute interview with Ted Nasmith, one of the celebrated “Big Three” Tolkien artists who has recently (and very successfully) turned his hand to depicting George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, with his series of castle paintings for the 2011 calendar (and The World of Ice and Fire book that Linda and I have co-written with GRRM). He’s presently working on the new A Game of Thrones limited edition. Among the topics of discussion are Nasmith’s approach to depicting the setting, and his career in general.
Thanks to the Tower of the Hand for sharing it!
Back in November, we shared the news that Dark Horse—best known by many for their comics, but also a top-notch producer of collectibles—had received the license from HBO to create collectible items for Game of Thrones. And now the first product has been unveiled.
Per their original release, Dark Horse’s license extended to, “statues, busts, and action figures; prop and jewelry replicas; and barware, stationery, and other collectibles.” I guess we know what they went with first. The bust has already been unveiled at the International Toy Fair, will be appearing for pre-order in the March Previews (the leading catalog for the direct market), and will subsequently be released on June 20.
You can find the full press release below.
We’ve previously reported on Green Ronin‘s plans for their Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying system. One of the details they revealed was that they had hired Michael Komarck to return and provide the cover for their new “Game of Thrones” edition of the main rule book.
And now? They’ve unveiled the cover, and lo! it is good. Amazing piece of work, and yet another depiction of one of the most iconic moments of Robert’s rebellion. Now if only they had been on horseback (and Robert beardless), it would have been utterly perfect…
Preorders for the book will become available in April, after the premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
George R.R. Martin shares the news that Gary Gianni will be illustrating the 2014 A Song of Ice and Fire calendar. Better yet, GRRM reports that the sales on the 2011 and 2012 calendars have been so strong that Random House has also contracted to create 2015 and 2016 calendars. Gianni is an Eisner-award winning artist, perhaps best known for having taken over the Prince Valiant comic strip in 2004 and for his artistic interpretations of Robert E. Howard’s oeuvre. Some truly beautiful artwork, both in color and black-and-white.
Gamespy has a good interview with lead game designer Sylvain Sechi and project manager Thomas Veauclin regarind Cyanide’s forthcoming Game of Thrones roleplaying game (Pre-order: X-box, PS3). The game is due to hit shelves in North America on May 15, and should be in Europe around that time as well.
They go into some detail about how they developed the story for the game, and the degree to which George R.R. Martin has been involved. According to them, when they presented their plans with some trepidation, Martin looked it over and told them he had been planning even bigger events to take place in later novels, so their plans were just fine. They also discuss the difference in philosophy between sandbox games such as Skyrim and more narrative-driven games, such as those produced by BioWare.
For those who decided to wait patiently for Cyanide’s Game of Thrones: Genesisstrategy game at a lower price point, the game’s become part of Steam’s Daily Deals, with prices reduced 75% ($9.99 in the US, 9.99€ in Europe). Currently the deal has about 19 hours to go before it’s back to its regular price point.
A lot of movement, a lot of upcoming things of interest to fans of ASoIaF, this year. Among them? The 2013 A Song of Ice and Fire Calendar with art by Marc Simonetti has been up for pre-order a bit… but now a cover has shown up over at Amazon.com (Amazon UK preorder), and it’s very nice indeed.
Also vaguely spoilerish, as it represents a scene from A Dance with Dragons, but without context it should be fine.. Great choice of scene, though, and we’re eager to see what else Simonetti has in store!
Back in March of last year, it was announced that Subterranean Press was going to normalize its limited edition of the A Song of Ice and Fire series by going back to the first two novels and publishing them; they had previously skipped those two, having taken over the license from the defunct Meisha Merlin. A few months later, we learned that Ted Nasmith would illustrate the first novel, A Game of Thrones.
And now GRRM has announced the artist for A Clash of Kings: Richard Hescox, a past winner of the Chesley Award, among other honors. It’ll be awhile before we see his work, but in related news, George noted that Marc Fishman had turned in all of his art for the limited edition of A Dance with Dragons... and you can see most of it, or perhaps even all of it, at his Facebook gallery (naturally, spoilers galore!)
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.