RPG Blog http://rpgblog.org/ Fri, 20 May 2022 23:03:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://rpgblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png RPG Blog http://rpgblog.org/ 32 32 How to build a powerful droid https://rpgblog.org/how-to-build-a-powerful-droid/ Fri, 20 May 2022 23:03:02 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/how-to-build-a-powerful-droid/

In Star Wars: The Roleplaying Gameplayers can take on the role of multiple archetypes and careers seen throughout the star wars franchise. They can choose from a number of careers and species, from dashing smugglers to ambitious ambassadors, and even force-wielding Jedi. However, one franchise archetype that isn’t quite as clear as some of these others is droids.

Droids are the semi-sentient robots of the star wars Galaxy, serving as co-pilots for doctors to mediators for political debates. They range from humanoid forms, like those of Protocol Droids and Assassin Droids, to what are essentially trash cans with legs known as Gonk Droids. Interestingly, depending on how the player decides to build, these options are all theoretically possible in the Star Wars role play. The following options are taken from On the edge of the Empire sourcebook, but droids can be used in almost any setting.

RELATED: Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game – How To Build The Best Ambassador

Are droids a life form in the Star Wars galaxy?

As mentioned above, droids are semi-sentient. In the star wars Galaxy, there are two conditions for a thing to be considered a living species, as stated in the On the edge of the Empire book: sensitivity and sapience. Neither concept applies easily to droids, but neither can be entirely negated either. Sentiment is a species’ ability to sense and smell things, which droids can and cannot do. Droids can sense their surroundings with optics and they can respond to external stimuli in their surroundings, but they cannot sense emotions.

Wisdom is described in On the edge of the Empire as “the wisdom that comes from self-awareness”. It’s a little harder to define because droids are certainly self-aware, they know they’re droids, and they know their functions and limitations. However, they are not programmed to learn from this knowledge and therefore cannot ruminate on the nature of their existence or derive understanding from it. At least they’re not supposed to.

Droids that go long periods of time without memory erasing or resetting are known to develop personalities, quirks, and behaviors that they weren’t programmed for. Some famous examples are C-3PO, R2-D2, K-2SO and HK-47 – all very different types of droids with very different functions that have developed personalities over time. In the case of R2-D2’s personality, he was even able to transcend multiple memory wipes. Even basic personal terminals and on-board computers are known to develop personalities in the star wars Galaxy, so it’s not such a stretch to believe that a droid can develop a higher level of sentience.

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Droids are the utility belt of the Star Wars galaxy

As a playable species, droids are incredibly customizable and variable. At first glance, the Droid species seems rather underpowered, as all of their stats start at 1. However, they have a significantly larger XP pool during character creation, allowing them to specialize strongly in the function for which they are intended. Droids can take on any of the same careers and specializations as any other species, with the limitation that they can never become Force-sensitive and cannot use Force powers.

However, being a droid has several other benefits. Droids cannot be poisoned, are immune to all toxins, do not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, and have a much higher cybernetic ceiling than most other species. They can train job skills at a much faster rate when creating characters, and can communicate more easily with other droids. However, they cannot be recovered by traditional means. As inorganic lifeforms, they cannot be cured by Bacta, stimpacks, or medicine skill tests. Instead, they must be repaired with repair patches or mechanical skill tests.

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Droids could have a wide variety of careers in the Star Wars galaxy

With so much customization available, it can be hard to decide what career a droid might have. Fortunately, there are a number of typical droid models listed in the On the edge of the Empire book that can be used as basic starting points. However, it is still possible to create a completely unique droid, as it can be a custom build or a combination of multiple designs.

2-1B Surgical Droids would likely use the Colonist career with the Doctor Specialization, while IG Assassin Droids would likely use the Bounty Hunter Career with the Assassin Specialization. Protocol droids of various types can use the Colonist career with the Politico or Scholar specializations, while a highly specialized Scout droid can use the Explorer career with the Fringer or Scout specializations.

Less humanoid droids are a little harder to analyze. Gonks, Astromechs, and other service droids and co-pilot type droids seem so specialized that they might be better served as NPCs than playable characters. However, an Astromech could easily be built as a Technician with the Mechanic specialization. It’s even theoretically possible to play as an MSE-series Mouse Droid as another type of Technician, likely a Slicer.

RELATED: How to Build a Sith Inquisitor in Dungeons & Dragons

Play a droid in the Star Wars galaxy

Droids can come with a fair amount of built-in stories for their campaign. Droids are not born, they are created, so a Droid player must consider who created them, why, and the basis of their relationship with that person. Are they freed from the oppressive yoke of their organic masters, or do they worship their builder the way C-3PO worships their “Creator?” Were they built by a member of the party and therefore indebted to them in some way?

There are several other droid-related concepts that can create incredibly interesting storytelling. Restraint bolts, memory wipes, system resets, HoloNet, communications between droids – the list goes on. While droids as NPCs are useful and interesting characters in their own right, bringing one in as a player character allows for much more interesting storytelling.

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NECA gives collectors an update on Dungeons & Dragons figures https://rpgblog.org/neca-gives-collectors-an-update-on-dungeons-dragons-figures/ Fri, 20 May 2022 14:22:09 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/neca-gives-collectors-an-update-on-dungeons-dragons-figures/


NECA has an update for Dungeons & Dragons fans, and they introduced new Ultimate 7″ scale figures. The hit characters Warduke and Grimsword are back and both take inspiration from their classic action figures of the era. I know very little about Dungeons & Dragons, but honestly they would fit perfectly into the Mythic Legions lineup. The medieval design and exaggerated armor are fantastic and NECA really brings out those colors. Both figures will include their own set of weapons and accessories, with Warduke coming with a dagger, knife, sword, and sculpted shield.

Grimsword, on the other hand, really embraces this snake design, and it will include a snake mace, a snake shield, and a non-snake sword. I’m curious what other D&D NECA personalities have up their sleeve, since they’ve been really focused on those two for a while. This line carries so much history for many dedicated fans and NECA has really knocked this line out of the park and I hope they continue it. The two ultimate 7″ scale figures from NECA’s Dungeons & Dragons are set to release in Summer 2022, and pre-orders are still live and can be found here.

“Dungeons & Dragons – 7 Scale Action Figure – Ultimate Warduke Figure – NECA took inspiration from classic versions of action figures and reinterpreted them for the modern collector market, taking advantage of all of today’s advances in technology and tooling. Warduke will come with signature accessories and in Ultimate-style packaging.”

“Dungeons & Dragons – 7 Scale Action Figure – Ultimate Grimsword Figure – NECA took inspiration from classic versions of action figures and reinterpreted them for the modern collector market, taking advantage of all of today’s advances in technology and tooling. Grimsword will come with signature accessories and in Ultimate-style packaging.”

Posted in: Collectibles, NECA | Tagged: dungeons & dragons, grimsword, NECA, warduke

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Eidos Montreal’s “really cool” Final Fantasy game that never was https://rpgblog.org/eidos-montreals-really-cool-final-fantasy-game-that-never-was/ Thu, 19 May 2022 19:17:04 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/eidos-montreals-really-cool-final-fantasy-game-that-never-was/

Square Enix originally gave Eidos-Montreal — the developer of two games Deus Ex and Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — the task of making Final Fantasy XV, former executive art director Jonathan Jacque-Belletête confirmed to TA.

This week, TrueAchievements spoke with Rogue Factor Creative Director Jonathan Jacque-Belletête at Nacon’s Bigben Week about his work on the upcoming philosophical, supernatural, and non-violent third-party action game. Hell is Us person. Speaking about his time as artistic director at Eidos-Montreal, he confirmed that Square Enix – before selling its western branch to the Embracer group for $300 million – had taken the Canadian team out of a “really cool” Final Fantasy XV project.

Deus Ex and Marvel’s Guardian of the Galaxy developer have been working on a Final Fantasy 15 project

Final Fantasy XV was released in 2016 and developed by Business Division 2 under the direction of Hajime Tabata. However, there was a lot of turmoil during its ten years of development, including a near-complete reset and engine swap. Jacque-Belletête has now confirmed that as part of this process, Square Enix almost gave Eidos-Montréal the Final Fantasy project:

“[Eidos-Montréal] brought back Deus Ex. I was the art director on that – Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Then [I was] the executive artistic director of Mankind Divided. Then we tried to do Final Fantasy XV. Then they decided to bring it back to Japan – which I think was a big mistake, but it’s still the truth. Ours was really, really cool.

Unfortunately, Jacque-Belletête did not develop further. Development restarted on Final Fantasy XV in 2012, which would roughly coincide with the period between the release of Human Revolution in 2011 and the sequel Mankind Divided in 2016. It’s possible this was when Square Enix decided to try a Western development team for the game and Eidos-Montreal got the license to pitch a concept. If the game had released, it would have made Eidos-Montreal the first Western developer of a mainline Final Fantasy game.

Deus Ex

RPGSite confirmed that Square Enix would not immediately reject a Western developer in 2013. However, with this statement, Jacque-Belletete partially confirms a 2018 report from YouTuber SuperBunnyHop. He said that, according to multiple unnamed sources, Eidos-Montreal had “some basic art, basic game design, in a super secret office.”

Apparently, and it seems more likely given Jacque-Belletête’s confirmation, it was a “space opera RPG” with an art style that used fractals and a love triangle. For more on that, check out the video – but this statement would confirm that Square Enix didn’t want to risk it with Final Fantasy and brought it back to Japan.

You can read more of our interview with Jonathan Jacque-Belletete on the tantalizing Hell is Us next week. What do you think of this news? Are you sad that Square Enix didn’t want to take the risk? Start your own project by typing a comment below!

‘Cyberpunk 2077’ looks fantastic in Unreal Engine 5 https://rpgblog.org/cyberpunk-2077-looks-fantastic-in-unreal-engine-5/ Thu, 19 May 2022 13:47:11 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/cyberpunk-2077-looks-fantastic-in-unreal-engine-5/

CD Projekt Red has announced a long term partnership with Epic Games where they will use Unreal Engine 5 to create the next Witcher game. We All Call It Witcher 4 Even Though They Said It do not Witcher 4, and seems to leave Geralt and concern a new school.

But one thing that CDPR made clear with that announcement was that Cyberpunk 2077 would stay on its current RED engine, even if it gets new DLC in 2023. That’s, of course, pretty obvious, because you don’t just no “switching engines” for a game when a new DLC comes out, so if we see Cyberpunk in Unreal Engine 5, it will have to be for the next game.

Well, fans don’t want to wait that long.

Since anyone can do things in Unreal Engine 5, many fans have taken to trying to imagine what Cyberpunk 2077, its characters and Night City would like to look like Unreal Engine 5. And the result is quite fantastic, as seen in the video compilation below, which features the work of several artists mentioned in the description:

The aging REDengine is certainly to blame for at least some of Cyberpunk 2077’s problems, although when running smoothly, bug-free and on a high-end PC, Cyberpunk can still be an extremely beautiful game.

But obviously Unreal Engine 5 would open up entirely new worlds of what Cyberpunk 2077 could use the more advanced and flexible engine. As seen in this video, this can range from more detailed cityscapes to more realistic facial animation on characters.

We’ve already seen some level of “upgrades” thanks to the Cyberpunk 2077 modding community, which CDPR has embraced through both tools, and even hiring some of the best modders to work in the company.

As for when we might officially see a Cyberpunk 2078 at CDPR, that remains to be seen. We don’t even have a release window for the new Witcher game yet, but it’s unlikely to be here until 2024, I guess, at the earliest. Even though CDPR says they are simultaneously working on these series now, maybe what, 2026-2027 is for a new Cyberpunk? It’s pretty far. However, given that the game will soon cross 20 million in sales and they’ve tapped into a love for the IP, I definitely think a sequel will happen in order to try and fix the mistakes of the first game and restore both series and CDPRs. reputation. It’s just going to take a long time, but I think it will be in Unreal Engine 5 when it finally arrives.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels Herokiller Series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

Bungie’s Political Views Won’t Be “Muzzled” After Sony Acquisition https://rpgblog.org/bungies-political-views-wont-be-muzzled-after-sony-acquisition/ Wed, 18 May 2022 10:51:48 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/bungies-political-views-wont-be-muzzled-after-sony-acquisition/

Bungie CEO Pete Parsons confirmed tweets from the studio’s senior community manager, stating that Bungie would continue to be politically outspoken after its acquisition by Sony.

Senior Community Manager Dylan Gafner tweeted yesterday (May 17): “I admit I’m just a CM in the grand scheme, but I’m confident that we are and will continue to be Bungie. There will never be a ‘muzzle’ big enough to stop us from standing up for what is right” (via Gamer on PC).

Parsons replied with a simple “Yes”.

the Destiny 2 The developer has a reputation for getting involved in political issues on social media, most recently in its support of Roe v. Wade. Twitter commenters demanding that Bungie “stick to making games” are also often firmly pushed back by its social media team.

This contrasts sharply with Sony, which has been criticized for trying to avoid taking sides in the debate. A leaked internal email from Chairman Jim Ryan urged staff to “respect differences of opinion” before spending several paragraphs discussing his cat’s birthday.

Gafner continued in his tweets, “This will have to be proven over time, but we continue to strengthen our pillars and our culture year after year. There’s so much more work to do, but I think we’re on the right track with the talent we have and the passion they bring (not just making games, but improving the industry).

This is far from the first time Bungie has weighed in on political issues, having previously spoken out in favor of Black Lives Matter and trans rights, while decrying Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The developer hasn’t been without its own controversies though, with the departure of human resources manager Gayle d’Hondt after reports of a toxic workplace culture surfaced.

In other news, Take-Two addressed red dead online players who feel abandoned.

Dungeons & Dragons: New Demogorgon Figure Announced https://rpgblog.org/dungeons-dragons-new-demogorgon-figure-announced/ Wed, 18 May 2022 01:29:00 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/dungeons-dragons-new-demogorgon-figure-announced/

The Prince of Demons returns to the table. WizKids announced this week that Demogorgon would be the next demon lord to have his likeness immortalized as Realms D&D Icons figure. The two-headed demon lord was one of Dungeons & Dragons’ first antagonists, appeared in the first game Monster Manual. In recent years, Demogorgon has become a household name when the Netflix series stranger things borrowed its name from Barb’s Monster Eater who served as the Season 1 antagonist.

Demogorgon is the fourth demon prince to appear in WizKids’ D&D Icon of the Realms line, following the undead Orcus, the slimy Juiblex, and Yeenoghu, the demon lord of the gnolls. The Demon Princes are considered the most powerful of the Archdemons and rule over vast swaths of the Infinite Abyss from which all demons in the D&D Multiverse originate. Demogorgon is both a Demon Prince and the Prince of Demons, the latter being a title Demogorgon earned by defeating the former Prince of Demons. Due to his status, Demogorgon has made many powerful enemies in the Abyss, but he maintains his power through raw power. What’s truly terrifying is that Demogorgon would be even more powerful if its two heads weren’t in total conflict. His left head Aameul and his right head Hethradiah have distinct personalities and motivations and clash eternally. Despite this, his mesmerizing gaze, grueling tail, and whip-like arms that instantly rot anything they touch still make the Demogorgon one of D&D’s most fearsome monsters.

(Photo: WizKids)

The Demogorgon figure is designed for tabletop combat and will retail for $89.99. The figure is expected to hit stores in September.

The best armor in Final Fantasy XIV (May 2022) https://rpgblog.org/the-best-armor-in-final-fantasy-xiv-may-2022/ Tue, 17 May 2022 17:43:00 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/the-best-armor-in-final-fantasy-xiv-may-2022/

Final Fantasy XIV introduced some amazing gear sets to Endwalker. Here’s how to get the toughest and best looking armor, as of May 2022.

Gear Final Fantasy XIV constantly improves as more difficult content is added to the game. Older armor becomes obsolete as more powerful gear is readily available. For example, the hardest raid gear in A kingdom is reborn now equals what can be purchased easily with Allagan Tomestones from Poetics. Here’s how to get some of the best armor, right now, in May 2022.

The best gear in any given patch is subjective as some players prefer the coolest gear, while others like to have the highest stats. Adventurers can, of course, solve this problem by using Glamor Prisms in Final Fantasy XIV. These items allow fans to apply the appearance of a piece of gear to the armor they are currently wearing. Each update adds a lot of new gear that can be desirable for adventurers. One of the most sought after armor sets right now is FFXIVArchdemon outfit. To acquire the gear, players must reach level 25 in the new PvP Series system. This can be done by gaining experience in Crystalline Conflict or Rival Wings. The Archfiend Attire is one of the coolest sets added to the game and can be earned by anyone. Adventurers who are more PvE focused should aim to get level 600 gear, the strongest armor available at the moment.


Related: Final Fantasy XIV: How To Get Diabolos Wings

The journey to acquiring the best armor on the market begins with purchasing a full set of ilvl 590 Radiant gear. Allagan Astronomy Tomestones are exchanged for Cihanti in Radz within reach (X: 10.8, Y: 10.3) for gear, which can then be upgraded with Radiant Twine. This ingredient can be purchased from Djole for Myth of Asphodelos III or Wilmetta for 3,000 bags of nuts, both located near the old merchant. The first material drops from Asphodelos: The Third Circle (Savage) and the second from Elite Marks. FFXIV‘s Myths of the Realm Alliance Raid introduced Coins of Aglaia, which can also be exchanged for Radiant Twine, by speaking to Nesvaaz in Radz at your fingertips. After upgrading Radiant Armor, Adventures will receive the increased Radiant Armor, with an ilvl of 600. Players have another way to enter FFXIV to earn equipment of that level.

Other ways to get iLvL 600 gear in Final Fantasy XIV

FFXIV Asphodelos Savage Second Circle Boss

Players who complete the Pandaemonium Savage Raid can find Asphodelos armor in drops. The activity is divided into four circles, with each part offering different rewards. Adventurers looking for level 600 armor should look to complete the second and first circle of Asphodelos (wild). Equipment can be acquired either from the opening Asphodelos Chests or by exchanging Myth of Asphodelos. Unfortunately, players are limited to throwing one random chest per circle each week. Enter the wild version of FFXIVRaiding Pandaemonium with a prefab party can make this process easier, as adventurers can pass on loot they don’t need.

Asphodelos Armor and Augmented Radiant Armor can be level 600, but they both offer different stat distributions. The real endgame for many players is earning the best Glamor in the game. Each set of gear is fantastic and definitely worth picking up for Style Points. The Archfiend Attire isn’t the only amazing armor available to adventurers. The hunt for the best armor Final Fantasy XIV is endless.

Next: Final Fantasy XIV: Best Ways to Get Gil in Patch 6.1

Final Fantasy XIV is available on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and PC via Steam or the official Square Enix website.

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Cyberpunk 2077 Unreal Engine 5 Remake realizes the game’s potential https://rpgblog.org/cyberpunk-2077-unreal-engine-5-remake-realizes-the-games-potential/ Tue, 17 May 2022 10:56:03 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/cyberpunk-2077-unreal-engine-5-remake-realizes-the-games-potential/

What would be Cyberpunk 2077 like it was released in an alternate universe where CD Projekt RED developed the game using the most advanced video game engine available?

Cyberpunk 2077 was developed in CDPR’s proprietary RED engine, the same engine the studio used to create The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It is certainly not to be sniffed at, because both Cyberpunk 2077 and The Witcher 3 are beautiful as they are – but Unreal Engine 5 hits differently.

The demo, which you can see below, is a really pretty amazing display of what Unreal Engine 5 can do, and shows an all too enticing match of what a sequel is all about. Cyberpunk 2077 could look like next-gen consoles years from now.

During a recent State of Unreal stream, CDPR Technical Director Paweł Zawodny explained the thinking behind the engine change for the new game. our focus on Unreal Engine 5,” he said.

“This opens up a new chapter for us where we really want to see how our experience in making open-world games combines with all of Epic’s engineering power,” Zawodny continued. He added that CDPR and Epic will work together to “achieve something amazing in the end.”

CDPR Art Director Jakub Knapik also commented that Unreal Engine 5 is already quite feature-rich, thanks to contributions from other developers.

“The fact that Unreal is already used by many teams around the world, there are a lot of perspectives thrown into the design of the tools and that helps the tool to be much more agile,” he said.

Next game director Jason Slama also highlighted the importance of having a reliable and stable engine, especially when making an open-world game.

“One of the things that’s really important to keep in mind when talking about open-world games versus, say, linear games, is the possibilities that things can go wrong or that the scenarios you have to consider are exponentially higher than linear games,” he explained.

“Players can go whichever direction they want, they can run content in any order they want theoretically, and to really sum it up that means you need a really stable environment where you can bring changes with a high level of confidence that he’s not going to crumble in 1,600 other places down the line.”

A “Pokémon”-style RPG creator is currently in development https://rpgblog.org/a-pokemon-style-rpg-creator-is-currently-in-development/ Mon, 16 May 2022 10:40:17 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/a-pokemon-style-rpg-creator-is-currently-in-development/

A new Kickstarter has opened to fund the development of a Pokemoncreator of retro-style role-playing games, called Monster Maker.

Developer Yanako RPGs is also creating an original in-engine game called Dokimonin addition to designing all the RPG creation tools (via PCGamesN).

According to lead developer Yana, the Kickstarter was created “to help fund the artwork so we can create as much high-quality art as possible”, with the funds being used to develop both the game and the game creator himself.

At the time of writing, the Kickstarter has reached just over 50% of its £8,000 ($10,000) funding goal, with 27 days to go.

Dokimon will be used “as a point of reference for builders” and will be “fully open-source”.

Both Dokimon and Monster Maker will feature fully fleshed out monster tamer style combat, including approximately 70 monsters, 12 elemental types, gear priority system, statuses and abilities.

Monster Maker will allow players to customize the game’s combat system to their preference, making it as simple or as complex as they want. The game will also be designed to be “quick and easy to use”, with several tutorials to help users create their own games.

the Pokemon-The inspired title also lets players choose from any color palette they want, with a target of over 20 playable characters and 10 interchangeable color palettes. Color palettes will also have a nighttime alternative to allow for nighttime cycles in-game.

Monster Maker will continue to have several free updates after launch, but there is currently no release date set for when the RPG maker and Dokimon the game itself will come out.

In other news, the Kingdom Hearts cloud-based collection on Nintendo Switch now warns players of “server congestion.”

Makers Faire celebrates all that is fun, nerdy and exciting about maker culture https://rpgblog.org/makers-faire-celebrates-all-that-is-fun-nerdy-and-exciting-about-maker-culture/ Mon, 16 May 2022 02:29:06 +0000 https://rpgblog.org/makers-faire-celebrates-all-that-is-fun-nerdy-and-exciting-about-maker-culture/
Terrain props and creations by Aardnor Miniatures at the Calgary Maker Faire at the BMO Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Returning for its seventh year, the Calgary Makers Faire was once again one of the biggest show-and-tell expositions in the province.

The Calgary event, one of hundreds of international gatherings held under the Maker Faire brand, took place on Saturday and Sunday. The Calgary edition launched in 2012, with the original starting in San Francisco in 2006.

Visitors had the chance to meet local makers and businesses showcasing an incredible diversity of pop, geek, science and tech culture. Whether it’s being part of the Starship Enterprise deck crew, competing for the longest distance for handmade planes, learning how to chase storms, launch rockets, and even write your own novel.

Plus, watch the robots battle it out in the plexiglass arena.

“We’ve had so many people come to us, young and old, fascinated by looking at things,” said Sean Smith, a local maker and owner of Aardnor Minatures.

The event was organized by the nonprofit Roots 2 STEM, with funds from the fair going to the Rotary Club of Calgary Chinook’s programs for underserved youth.

Terrain props and creations by Aardnor Miniatures at the Calgary Maker Faire at the BMO Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

It’s cool to be a geek now

Smith launched Aardnor Minatures after spending 23 years as a creative director for a digital company. He said it was a great job, but he needed a break from the hectic and stressful environment.

“So I quit right before the pandemic, not knowing the pandemic was coming and I didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said.

He found he was able to combine his love for Dungeons and Dragons, a game he’s been playing for 40 years, with the joy of building miniatures. Throughout the pandemic, he was able to build a thriving business that shipped miniatures to many countries around the world and connected him with some of the biggest names in D&D and Hollywood.

“It’s actually the first time I really felt like an artist, creating, building, selling things,” he said.

Currently he is working on a massive commission for Joe Manganiello. This happened after someone posted one of his creations on Instagram, which caught Manganiello’s attention.

“So on a daily basis I spoke to Joe Manganiello, which just blows my mind because he’s one of the greatest guys in D&D. It’s an extremely weird world, and it’s such a universe welcoming and encompassing. It’s so amazing.

Sean Smith of Aardnor Miniatures holds a Dungeons and Dragons prop being made at the Calgary Maker Faire at the BMO Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

OK to talk about people’s passions now

He said that Dungeons and Dragons, like maker and geek culture, is just something nobody talked about in the 1980s. But now it’s completely flipped.

“We grew up in a time when you didn’t tell people you played Dungeons and Dragons, because you didn’t want to deal with the headache that came with it from the bad associations with satanic panic in the years 80,” Smith says.

Now, web shows like Critical Role, the prominence of D&D in massively popular shows like Stranger Things, and the overall cultural acceptance of gaming as a fun pastime means businesses like Smith’s can start and thrive.

“We always joked in the 50s, you’d see the old men there, playing cards with the big cigars, and it was guys’ night,” he said.

“That’s kind of what D&D is, and to me it’s not just the game, it’s those people – tonight I’ll be playing with friends from 40 years ago who still get together, and it’s a special place in my heart that I still see them.

The International Maker Faire logo at the Calgary Maker Faire at the BMO Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Make maker culture more accessible

Smith credits Adam Savage, former Mythbuster and owner of Tested.com, with making maker and geek culture popular.

“Amazing work that brings the community together to do these things, and you just walk around the Maker Faire here and you can just see all of this creativity – it’s all so amazing.”

Richa Srivastva is a member of the Intimitrons of AREA 51, the first all-female team in the FIRST Robotics Competition. Teams build robots from the ground up to take on different challenges each year, from shooting a ball into a goal, navigating rocky terrain, to spinning color wheels.

“Every year the challenge changes, and every year different teams like to make the robot match that specific challenge, but they want to do it,” she said.

Srivastva was at the Maker Faire on Saturday to help young children, especially young girls, learn and get excited about taking part in engineering challenges.

“I feel like when you hear about different careers, it’s always like I want to be a doctor, I want to be a teacher, but nobody really says I want to be like an engineer,” he said. she declared.

“I want to make it known especially to young girls, because I feel like women are very underrepresented in STEM communities. And it’s a bit difficult for young girls to enter this world because it’s really intimidating to join a team that only has boys, which is the case for a lot of FRC teams.

Slade Chase showcases his Foxtrot battle robot at Maker Faire Calgary at the BMO Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Inspired to participate

The Intimitrons were formed in 2012. The team gives young women the opportunity to improve their engineering abilities, learning practical skills such as welding, machining, computer-aided design and software programming . They also teach practical skills such as project management, teamwork, and business skills such as public speaking, marketing, and networking.

“So I hope a lot of young girls can hear this and know that it’s really fun. It was really engaging, and they don’t have to be robotics experts. You’re here to learn, and everyone is here to learn, and it’s been a really fun experience overall,” Srivastva said.

Slade Chase was one of the participants in the Maker Faire robot combat competition over the weekend, hosted by the Calgary Combat Robotics Club.

The first contestant was inspired to build his own robot to compete in Kilobots XLVI after watching Battle Bots on TV.

“I got into combat robots so of course why not get my own even if it was quite expensive,” he said.

Chase competed with his bot Foxtrot in the antweight division.

“It’s a relief to see it working, my bot didn’t work last game so I was hoping in this one I could finally get that relief.”

The robot fight was one of the highlights of the Makers Faire. Boys and girls, young and old, if there’s one thing everyone has in common, it’s that watching robots crash in the arena makes for a great time.

The Calgary Combat Robotics Club is hosting an afternoon of robot battles at the Calgary Maker Faire at the BMO Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
Carbon 453 (black) takes on Steamed Hams during the Kilobots XLVI antweight masters competition robot fighting event at the Calgary Maker Faire at the BMO Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

Citizen science in action too

The Prairie Thunder Storm Chasers were on hand to share their experience by documenting and sharing the experience of extreme weather conditions in Alberta to please visitors.

Neville Johnson explained that storm chasing was an activity that combined all the different disciplines that make up the maker culture.

“We are here at the fair, which is based on science, technology, education, math and the arts, and storm chasing incorporates all of that,” he said.

He said his team, made up of family members, regularly do all of these things during a chase. Scientific aspects like meteorology, the use of technologies like radar, public education, the mathematics used to sufficiently plan the use of fuel in remote areas of the province and, of course, the art of photography the storms.

Ruth Anne Johnson is the lead photographer and posted her stunning images of some of the wildest weather in the province. She said she leaves the photos largely as she took them, preferring the reality of the storms.

“I leave them raw because I feel like people color them too much, and that’s not the world,” she said.

The Prairie Thunder Storm Chasers regularly report their findings to Environment Canada, helping to better inform and protect Albertans through citizen science. One of the many items they had displayed to the public at the fair was scales and calipers, which they use to accurately measure the size and weight of hail.

“The average person sending in a photo of a hailstorm next to a crazy person or a dollar is great, but we’re doing the little more scientific thing to make it a little more accurate,” said he declared.

A demonstration of the weather radar app used by the Prairie Thunder Storm Chasers at the Calgary Maker Faire at the BMO Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY
A young Calgary Maker Faire visitor checks out some calipers used to measure hailstone size by the Prairie Thunder Storm Chasers at the BMO Center on Saturday, May 14, 2022. ARYN TOOMBS/FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY