They do such a fine job, we’ll let Starline do the talking, since they were kind enough to publish this game in English: “Originally released in Japan as Yuuyake Koyake, Golden Sky Stories is a heartwarming, non-violent role-playing game that’s great fun for all ages. It takes place in a small town in rural Japan, and players take on the role of henge (pronounced hen-gay, like a chicken that’s happy), animals with just a little magical power, including the ability to temporarily take human form. They do not fight great battles or unearth valuable treasures though; Golden Sky Stories adventures are all about helping others and becoming friends.” At the Starline web site you’ll find they’ve also published a downloadable supplement called The Colors of the Sky, which features several new character types (mouse, wolf, pony, fish, and witch) and play scenarios.
A new science-fiction role-playing game has appeared on the scene, called HC SVNT DRACONES (a variation on hic sunt dracones, or “here be dragons” in Latin). “HC SVNT DRACONES puts you in the body of a human experiment that outlived its creator, and has gone on expanding into the galaxy while trying to heed the lessons of a race that fell to ruin. It’s about exploration and fear, expansion and conquest, intrigue and subterfuge, and ultimately, it’s about you, learning to be you, when all the trappings of humanity you define yourself with are dead and gone. A unique character generation system allows you to assemble you Vector layer by layer, from their family to their species to the unique anatomy that defines their appearance. Interact with your story on two legs or four, from six feet up, or less than one. Explore new character interactions and problem solving possibilities when your party can range dramatically in size and shape from person to person.” After a (very!) successful Kickstarter campaign by HSD creator Pierce Fraser, the game manual is available now as a download at Drive Thru RPG — with the hardcover edition soon to follow. Also, make sure to check out HSD’s official page at Tumblr for updates.
A tabletop RPG set in "a gloriously weird, wild post-apocalypse", its Indiegogo campaign had, as of Tuesday night, raised just over $1000 of its $6500 goal. Contribution rewards include PDF and hardcopy editions, as well as "adorable stuffy toys". Funding closes December 15.
Funny Animals and More: From Anime to Zoomorphics, based on Fred Patten’s weekly columns from Jerry Beck’s Cartoon Research animation website, was published March 26 by Theme Park Press. It is available in paperback and digital formats, and on Amazon.com.
The book is about animation and comic books rather than specifically anthropomorphic animals, but cartoon and CGI funny animals are a major theme. Topics include anime cat girls; Pokémon and Monster Rancher; Astro Boy and Atomcat; how a popular 1970s anime TV series led to the import of thousands of baby North American raccoons into Japan as pets, whose descendants are ruining thousand-year-old Buddhist and Shinto shrines today; animated Summer Olympics mascots like Misha the bear cub, Sam the eagle, Hodori the tiger, and Cobi the sheepdog, from 1972 to 2012; Patten’s favorite childhood comic-book funny animals like Amster the Hamster, Doodles Duck and his nephew Lemuel, Nutsy Squirrel, Dunbar Dodo, and SuperKatt, and how he would still like to see them animated; Crusader Rabbit; rats in animation; Reynard the Fox in animation; and Disney’s forthcoming 2016 Zootopia.
Here is the final ballot for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards. The voting is among the five titles in each category getting the most nominations. In several categories, there are six finalists because of ties for fifth place. In the Best Short Fiction category, only four finalists are listed because of too many ties for fifth place.
Voting is now open. Due to a technical issue, nominators will need to acquire a new key. The deadline is April 30.
As is not unusual, there were so many nominations for the fourth, fifth, and sixth place nominees in most categories that one more nomination could have made the difference between a title’s getting on the final ballot or not. Please nominate next year.
The 2013 Ursa Major Awards will be announced and presented at a ceremony at the CaliFur X convention, May 30-June 1, 2014, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel, 18000 Von Karman Avenue, Irvine, CA 92612.
Night of the Rabbit is a third-person point-and-click adventure game, developed by Daedalic Entertainment, released in May 2013 for PC, Mac, and on Steam. If you like adventure games, check it out! If you're not into adventure games, this probably won't be your thing.
What's it about? You play an optimistic young British boy named Jerry Hazelnut, living cozily next to a forest on the outskirts of a modern city. Summer is nearing its end, when suddenly a tall, talking white rabbit shows up, and you get to fulfill one of your dreams - becoming a wizard's apprentice and learning magic. To do this, the rabbit whisks you away to Mousewood, the miniature world of the forest animals. A darkness is slowly growing, but first you need to explore the area, help people out and learn some basic spells.
Nominations for the 2013 Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic movies, novels, comic strips, games, etc., will close on February 28. Voting for the winner will begin on March 15 and will close on April 30. The awards will be presented at CaliFur X on May 30 to June 1, at the Irvine Marriott Hotel, Irvine, California.
If you have not nominated yet, you have only a few more days to do so. All titles first published or released during the 2013 calendar year are eligible. The awards are given in eleven categories: Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Novel, Comic Strip, Magazine, Published Illustration, Website, and Game. The final ballot includes the top five titles nominated in each category.
The awards are selected by a two-stage process of nominating and voting. Members of the public send in up to five nominations in each of the eleven categories. The top five nominees in each category (more in case of a tie) are then presented on a final ballot for a public vote.
The eleven categories are: Motion Picture, Dramatic Short Work or Series, Novel, Short Fiction, Other Literary Work, Graphic Novel, Comic Strip, Magazine, Published Illustration, Website, and Game.
Many nominations are likely to come from the 2013 Recommended Anthropomorphic Reading List, which has been built up through prior recommendations. However, inclusion on the List is not necessary for nomination if a work is otherwise eligible.
Antilia, described by its kickstarter page as "an MMORPG featuring a beautiful world, original races, unique gameplay, and an innovative storytelling system", is produced by Colorado Springs, CO based Right Brain Games. With twelve days to go, this promising-looking furry MMORPG project is in need of funding. The existing version already features an unusually detailed crafting system along with four playable races, combat and magic.
The first My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic collectible card game officially sanctioned by Hasbro is being released very soon by Enterplay. The Two-Player Starter Set is available now for ordering, and it’ll be shipping in January. “Build your decks around one of the Mane characters and build a separate problem deck. Race to solve (yours and your opponent’s) problems to earn points. First person to 15 points wins.” According to the publicity we’ve read, that makes it sound a lot simpler to master than it actually is! (Kind of like… friendship.) Check out the Enterplay site for more information.
The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2013 Anthropomorphic Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through November 17. This list is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.
There are two months left to add your favorites of the year to the List. All fans are invited to recommend worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, short fiction, other literary works, graphic stories, comic strips, magazines, published illustrations, websites, and games) first published during 2013, if they are not already on the list.
Send in your recommendations. Read the List to see what other fans have recommended. Have you seen all nine published illustrations, for example? What have you been missing?
No, it’s not a big budget re-make of Night of the Lepus. You wish. No, in 2013 the well-known card game Killer Bunnies (created by Jeff Bellinger and published by Playroom Entertainment) marked its 10th anniversary. In celebration, Playroom have recently released a new game, Killer Bunnies: Heroes vs. Villains. Here’s there description: “Drawing and playing cards from a shared deck, players may choose to be a defender of goodness, courageousness and virtue by playing the Hero Super Bunnies or a generator of chaos, evilness and deceit by playing the Villain Super Bunnies. Whoever they are, the players use their bunnies’ powers to build cities, attack opponents, and protect themselves. The first player who has a predetermined number of bunnies in the Bunny Circle and cities in the City Circle wins!” Playroom’s Killer Bunnies web site has more, including sample artwork from the game.
GaymerX, the first gaming convention focused on LGBT themes, won media buzz and crowds through active inclusion. Inviting allies in "geek culture" to an "arms-open party for anyone who wants to join", it drew over 2,000 to San Francisco's Japantown (a heavy turnout for a first con, compared to established furry conventions.) Founder Matt Conn called it "just the start".
GaymerX is the first gaming convention focused on LGBTQ themes for "gaymers", their allies, and geek culture. On August 3–4 GaymerX will bring contests, parties, panels and more to Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco's Japantown.
Founder and Director of Technology, Andrew Evans, told me:
Creating a safe space for queer geeks and their allies to come together, discuss their geekiness, hang out and feel safe is super important to the community. We felt like the gaming community wasn't doing enough to bring together queer geeks, which is why we're doing GaymerX and built out GaymerConnect. ["A service that allows you to find queer gamers and allies of every identity who play the same games you do."]
Update: Use code GX13FUR by July 26 for a $10 registration discount. [Latte]
As Werewolf: The Apocalypse celebrates its 20th anniversary, fans of its spinoff collectible card game, Rage, are still producing free print and play sets featuring art from many awesome furry artists.
Call of the Sea brings the battle for the ocean to the Rage CCG. It kicks off with the Chulorviah deck, featuring mind-controlling parasitic cephalopods. The block includes three semi-constructed decks and a combat set. The combat deck and Chulorviah deck are available for download, or you can get the Rage plugin for Lackey and play online. The Rokea (sharks) and Sea Dogs (werewolf pirates) decks will be released later this year.
This is a perfect jumping-off point if you’re new to Rage. Download and print the deck, and with a few minor tweaks to construction, you’re ready to go – or dust off your old Rage collection and use it with the original cards. They are fully compatible.