Game Designers’ Hard Work on Display at Champlain College and ArtsRiot

The 2014 Senior Game Show at Champlain College. Photo by Steve Mease, used with permission.

The 2014 Senior Game Show at Champlain College. Photo by Steve Mease, used with permission.

Last night, the seniors at Champlain College’s Game Studio showed off their final projects and their demo reels. Teams of students collaborated to create playable games, demonstrating the skills in planning, design, execution as well as programming and computer art during their course of study. The development teams displayed their games’ trailers, as well as their personal demo reels. The keynote address by Jason Della Rocca, co-founder of Execution Labs, hit on the opportunities to learn from failures as much, if not more, from successes.

The live stream of the proceedings is available on the Game Studio’s Ustream channel. The students’ games are on exhibit at ArtsRiot on Pine Street in Burlington for the next two weeks. Pop by and play them yourself.

Vermont Events for Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is an industry-wide day celebrating all things comics! Head to your local comic shop to pick up a variety of free comics from various publishers. This year’s event will take place on May 3rd, two weeks from tomorrow. Here’s where you can drop in on an event:


  • Wonder Cards & Comics, Barre
  • Earth Prime Comics, Burlington

Across the border:

  • Fantastic Planet, Plattsburgh NY
  • Aquilonia Comics, Cards & More, Troy, NY
  • Newbury Comics, West Lebanon, NH
  • Triple Play Games, Claremount NH
  • Comic Boom, Keene, NH
  • Modern Myths, Northampton MA
  • Bob’s II Comics & More, Northampton, MA
  • Newbury Comics, Northampton, MA

Geek Things for April 18th, 2014

  • FNM – Friday Night Magic – See our homepage for format, 6pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Batteries & Motors, 11:00 am, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Tinkering Lab: Open Studio for Makers, 11:00 am, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Lab Coat Investigations, 1:00 pm, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Sound Science, 3:00 pm, Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • PSYC/NSCI Lecture: Dr. Camron Bryant – From drugs to food: Genomic approaches to the neurobiology of substance abuse in mice, 12:30 – 1:30pm, McCardell Bicentennial Hall, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Talk)
  • Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 12:00pm – 12:30pm / 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • Friday Night Magic — Standard Constructed, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Friday Night Magic — Varying Format, 6pm – 10pm, The Gamer’s Grotto, Bennington. (Gaming)
  • Spring Migration Bird Walk. 7-8:30am, North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier. $10/free for members. (BirdS)
  • iConnect Workshop, 9 am-12 pm, Community College of Vermont, Rutland. (Tech)
  • ‘Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory’, 3 & 8 pm, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston. (Theater)
  • Magic: The Gathering, 6-8 pm, Brownell Library, Essex Junction. (Gaming)
  • Create a Biodiverse Garden for Ecological Resilience, 6:30-8 pm, North Branch Nature Center, Montpelier. $5. (Environment)
  • ECHO Earth Week’s MudFest, 10 am-4 pm, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. Regular admission, $9.50-12.50; free for kids ages 2 and under. (Mud)
  • Creative Writing Workshop, 10:30 am & 5:30 pm, Studio 266, Burlington. (Writing)
  • Early Bird Math, 11 am-12 pm, Richmond Free Library, Richmond. (Kids)
  • Friday Night Magic: Two-Headed Giant Born of the Gods Sealed, 7:00pm, Brap’s Magic, Burlington. (Gaming)

Lock S-Foils in Attack Position: Quarterstaff Games to host X-Wing Miniatures Tournament

Fans of the very cool Star Wars miniatures game should head right over to Quarterstaff Games this Saturday April 19th, where they’re hosting an entry in their X-Wing Escalation League. This is an ongoing league, and this weekend’s event will be a 100 point Tournament.

Here’s the details:

Join us on April 19th for our first Star Wars: X-Wing tournament!

Players will build and play a single 100 point squadron list through a Swiss style tournament. Number of rounds will be based upon attendance.

Entry is $5 and sign-ups end promptly at 11:30am.

1st Place: Season 1 Medal, alternate art Colonel Jendon ship card, and a pack of acrylic tokens (3 Seismic Charge and 5 Ion tokens).
2nd Place: Choice of card box (Rebel of Imperial), and a pack of acrylic tokens.
3rd Place: The remaining card box.

All participants will receive one alternate art copy of the Dagger Squadron Pilot ship card. Any remaining copies will be distributed to the players based upon final tournament rankings.

All Star Wars: X-Wing Tournament Rules will be in effect.

All players are expected to have everything they need to field and fly their squadrons. This includes ship models, bases, ship and upgrade cards (no proxies), range rulers and movement templates, dice, a set of asteroids, complete Damage Deck, and any tokens your squadron will need.

Quarterstaff Games will provide the necessary play surfaces. Players may bring their own play mats if they wish, however any play mats that the Tournament Organizer feels may offer an unfair advantage (measured grids, non-standard dimensions, etc.) will not be allowed to play on.

Got what it takes? Go RSVP here on their Facebook event.

Quick Lit: Seven Days Covers Cold Mountain State & Other Geek News

Aimee Picchi

Many thanks to Seven Days: in this week’s issue, they’ve covered our upcoming reading:

Meanwhile, Geek Mountain State is gearing up for another of its popular readings, this one devoted to fantasy. Among the six writers at “Cold Mountain Stories: A Night of the Fantastic” will be Brian Staveley of Marlboro, whose novel The Emperor’s Blades was published in January by Tor Books. Already getting enthusiastic reviews from genre fans, it’s the first in an epic fantasy series called Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne.

Read the full article here.


Geek Things for April 17th, 2014

  •  ‘Cinderella’, 7 PM, Lyndon Institute, Lyndon Center. $22-54. (Theater)
  • Spring Discovery, 9-10:30 am, Green Mountain Audubon Center, Huntington. $8-10 per adult/child pair; $4 per additional child; preregister. (Kids)
  • After School Maker Series: Legos, 3-4 pm, Fairfax Community Library, Fairfax. (Kids)
  • Tech Tutor Program, 3-6 pm, Dorothy Alling Memorial Library, Williston. (Tech)
  • Carrie Brown – “Arming the Union: Vermont Gunmakers and the Technology That Shaped America.” 7 pm, Pawlet Public Library, Pawlet. (Talk)
  • Green Writers Press Celebration Party, 7 pm, Phoenix Books, Burlington. (Writing)
  • National Theater Live: ‘Frankenstein’, 7 pm, Loew Auditorium, Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover. $23. (Theater)
  • ECHO Earth Week’s MudFest, 10 am-4 pm, ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center/Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, Burlington. (Mud).
  • Forza: The Samurai Sword Workout, 6-7 pm, North End Studio A, Burlington. $10. (Workout)
  • Spring Forward Creative Writing Workshop, 6 pm, Bixby Memorial Library, Vergennes. (Writing)
  • Warmachine / Hordes, 5pm – 11pm, Quarterstaff Games, Burlington. (Gaming)
  • Toy Cars: April Vacation Program, 10:00 am, Monthshire Museum of Science, Norwich. Members: $70 / Non-members: $80 Pre-Registration Required. (Kids)
  • Mirror, Mirror, 11:00 am, Monthshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Tinkering Lab: Open Studio for Makers, 11:00 am, Monthshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Lab Coat Investigations, 1:00 pm, Monthshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Fossils: Evidence of the Past, 3:00 pm, Monthshire Museum of Science, Norwich. (Kids)
  • Woodin Environmental Studies Colloquium Series – The Shouf Biosphere Reserve and Co-Management by Nizar Youssef Hani, 12:30 – 1:20pm, Franklin Environmental Center, The Orchard Hill-Crest 103, Middlebury College, Middlebury. (Environment)
  • NOOK Knowledge, 1:00 PM, Barnes and Noble, South Burlington. (Tech)
  • The Conscience of a Cartoonist: Jeff Danziger in Conversation with Tom Tomorrow, 7:30 pm, Norwich Congregational Church, Norwich. (Cartooning)
  • Astronomy Camp, 10am – 4pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • Lyman Spitzer Jr. Planetarium, 12:00pm – 12:30pm / 3:30pm – 4:00pm, Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium, St. Johnsbury. (Astronomy)
  • Northshire Mystery and Thriller Reading Group – The Boy In The Suitcase by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis, 2:00 pm, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center. (Mysteries)
  • A Transition Town Montpelier – Dr. Alan Betts – Dealing with Climate Change. 6pm, Kellogg-Hubbard Library, Montpelier. (Talk)

Transcendence Early Screenings


Transcendence, the debut film film from long-time Christopher Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister is set to be released on Friday, but a number of theaters from around Vermont are holding a special early screening on Thursday, April 17th at 8:00pm. Here’s the list:

  • Majestic 10, Williston: 8:00pm
  • Palace 9, South Burlington: 8:00pm
  • Merrill Roxy Cinema, Burlington: 8:00pm
  • Essex Cinemas, Essex Junction: 800pm
  • Star Theater, St. Johnsbury: 8:00pm
  • Marquis Theater, Middlebury: 8:00pm
  • Springfield Cinemas 3, Springfield: 8:00pm
  • Flagship Premium Cinemas, Rutland: 8:00pm
  • Bennington Cinemas, Bennington: 8:00pm

Visit each theater’s website for tickets.

We’re looking forward to this one. Pfister’s work with Christopher Nolan is fantastic, and so far, the trailers for this have looked to be really interesting, with an excellent cast. Here’s the plot:

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.


Kickstart This: Beyond Mode 7: An SNES Comics Anthology


Vermont comic artists Jesse DuRona and Randall Drew are looking to release their comic anthology titled Beyond Mode 7: An SNES Comics Anthology. The art and writing for the book is done, and now, they’re looking for $3000 to print the book and release it to readers.

Here’s the pitch:

Beyond Mode 7 is a comics and art anthology celebrating the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and how it shaped our creative lives!

Co-edited by cartoonists Jesse DuRona and Randall Drew Beyond Mode 7 is a comics and art anthology based on the SNES. It has been about 2 years in the making and features original work from over 15 artists and writers!

The book is complete and ready to go to print, what we’re KickStarting are the funds to produce the printed version! With over 75 pages of content, much of it in color, we’re hoping to raise enough money to produce 150 perfect-bound copies!

These copies will not only cover Kickstarter rewards, but also the contributor copies that we will be sending out to each artist that provided artwork for the book!

Every dollar raised is budgeted very carefully to cover reward printing costs, packaging, shipping KS fees, and other supplies needed to produce each reward. Our goal is to print and produce as many copies of the book as possible and to put it in as many hands as possible!

Contributers include Kevin Bolk, Eric Lide, Hex Martinez, Matt AuCoin, Brandon Barrows, Bill Volk, Scott Baer, Toril Orlesky, Jesse Mead, Stephanie Whitlock, Chris “Radical” Warren, Matt Young, JoeCam, Amanda Ruddock aka “Pie” and Michael “Blayaden” Ruggia. $10 gets you a digital copy, and $30 will get you a print copy.

Pledge here.

Adaptation Watch: The Operators, by Michael Hastings

The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan

The late Vermont-born journalist Michael Hastings published a popular book about General Stanley McChrystal back in 2011, The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan. Now, it appears that the book is about to be adapted into a film, directed by David Michôd, best known for his film Animal Kingdom

The film is set to star Brad Pitt. From Variety:

“The Operators” is based on Michael Hastings’ 2011 best-seller about the rise and fall of General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The book serves as a behind-the-scenes portrait of the country’s military commanders, their high-stake maneuvers and a political firestorm that shook the United States after Hastings’ article on his 2010 trip to Afghanistan ran in Rolling Stone and lead to McChrystal’s firing after his staff was revealed to bashing the Obama administration and partying on the battlefield.