Omnium Gatherum: May 23, 2019

An irregular hodgepodge of links gathered together … Omnium Gatherum for May 23, 2019

  • Jinn, an ominous, supernatural teen drama, the first Arabic-language “original” for Netflix, due June 13

    “A group of high schoolers’ lives are disrupted when a jinn arrives seeking their help. High school will never be the same. Coming June 13. Only on Netflix.”

  • Playdate is an upcoming handheld gaming system from venerable and laudable macOS developer Panic

    Panic Playdate  handheld game console

    “Hello. We made a brand new handheld gaming system.

    It’s yellow. It fits in your pocket. It’s got a beautiful black and white screen. It’s not super cheap, but not super expensive. It includes brand new games from some amazing creators. Plus it has a crank.

    So Playdate isn’t just the hardware.

    It’s twelve brand new video games, one each week.

    We weren’t kidding about the crank.

    It flips out from the side, a rotating analog controller that puts a whole new spin on games.”

  • World’s first living organism with fully redesigned DNA created. Researchers create altered synthetic genome, in move with potential medical benefits” — who, where; from the DEPT dept. [HT Michael Szul]

    “Scientists have created the world’s first living organism that has a fully synthetic and radically altered DNA code.

    The lab-made microbe, a strain of bacteria that is normally found in soil and the human gut, is similar to its natural cousins but survives on a smaller set of genetic instructions.

    The bug’s existence proves life can exist with a restricted genetic code and paves the way for organisms whose biological machinery is commandeered to make drugs and useful materials, or to add new features such as virus resistance.”

  • Lyft executive suggests drivers become mechanics after they’re replaced by self-driving robo-taxis” — Graham Rapier, Business Insider; from the New-Boss-Same-As-The-Old-Boss dept.

    “‘Something happened when software would allow long-distance calls and that was you could dial an 800 number, but you needed somebody on the other end of those calls,’ McNeill continued. ‘So overnight, hundreds of thousands of operator jobs were replaced literally with millions of call center jobs.’

    In the same fashion, McNeill said that while the rise of autonomous vehicles could create the need for other types of high-paying jobs, including mechanics.”

  • Kickstarter will not voluntarily recognize its employee union. ‘I know this position is disappointing to some of you who were hoping the company would voice support for this effort,’ CEO Aziz Hasan wrote.” — Bijan Stephen, The Verge; from the New-Boss-Same-As-The-Old-Boss dept. … again

    “In the email, Hasan notes that there is a rising current of worker activism in America, and that what’s happening at Kickstarter ‘isn’t taking place in a vacuum.’ The members of Kickstarter’s union recognize that too: in the memo they published when they announced their plans to unionize, they said they were interested in union protections for themselves as much as they were interested for them for other tech companies. ‘We can do better together — for ourselves and our industry.'”

  • Fabula by Sefirot Srl

    “Writing your story has never been easier

    Fabula is based on the Hero’s Journey and helps you analyze, organize and build your stories.

    Fabula is a tool consisting of 40 cards which you can utilize wherever you want, helping you to analyze, organize, and build your stories.

    You can place Fabula on walls, tables, floors or any other available surface, with the help of ADHESIVE PUTTY or TAPE. Each card is like a box to fill, so you can just arm yourself with post-its and a pen, and start inventing!”

  • Spire’s End by Favard

    Favard Spire's End

    “A Choose Your Own Adventure Card Game

    Spire’s End is a card game that harkens back to the Choose your own Adventures of the ’80s with enemy encounters, interactive story-driven scenarios, and high-end art & design. On Kickstarter late 2019.

    It’s a unique gaming experience without a lot of baggage. Simple set up, intuitive rules and minimal components. No DM, no bookkeeping. Just you, a deck of cards and some dice and cube markers. It’s the grisly tale of a strange tower that emerges in the heart of a bustling Viking city. The townsfolk have vanished. It’s up to you to mount a rescue and unravel the mystery at any cost.

    You move through the game like a book. But in this case, it’s a stack of ominous cards instead. Flip them over, make difficult choices and let the story unfold.”

  • Desolate [also] by Grey Gnome Games

    Grey Gnome Games Desolate

    “You are stranded on a distant space station on a moon… You are not alone…
    There had been no communication with station 04 on the distant moon X483. A rescue mission was mounted, and you were on that ship as it lost use of its controls and crashed but meters from the station’s entrance. After the smoke cleared, you realized you were the only survivor.

    You made your way into the station in hopes of finding help, only to be shocked by the horrors within. You are alone. You must escape. You must survive…

    What is Desolate?

    Desolate is a solo-play card and dice game. You have many choices that will ultimately equate to your survival or your demise. Do you explore the first room you reveal, or press-your-luck and skip it to move on to another, and be forced to resolve the second? When you encounter an alien you must decide how much ammo you want to spend (Each ammo equals 1 die roll) in order to defeat it. Do you over-spend for a certain victory, or take a chance a spend less? When you defeat a foe and open a crate, do you take the larger more valuable resource, or the lesser valued resource that may be more useful now? Do you use a powerful one-use item early on in the game, or wait?

    There are many choices per game, and when you die, and you will often, you will not be able to blame the roll of a die or the draw of card as much as you will have to blame yourself. You will be invested. You may yell at the dice before rolling. You may jump to your feet when you find that final power cell and fire up the escape shuttle for a sweet sweet victory.”

  • Dark Venture by Gilded Skull Games

    Gilded Skull Games Dark Venture

    “Welcome to Dark Venture! Explore a dark-fantasy future with your hero, playing competitively, cooperatively or solo in this retro 1-4 player adventure game. The Dark Venture core set includes over 145 cards, five rule and story guides, six giant ancient hex cards, thick player boards and tracks, cubes, one set of custom etched dice, over 30 character standees and many, many tokens!”

  • Pre-Orders for Free League’s Alien Rpg Begin on May 25 With a Surprise Debut of Their First Cinematic Module” — Free League / Fria Ligan

    Free League The Alien Roleplaying Game pre-order bundle

    “In celebration of the official 40th Anniversary this Saturday, Free League will offer a meaty 168-page Cinematic Starter Kit for their highly-anticipated Alien RPG – debuting their first Cinematic module Chariot of the Gods written by Alien RPG setting writer and sci-fi novelist Andrew E.C. Gaska – as a complimentary bonus gift for anyone who pre-orders the Alien RPG Core Rulebook at alien-rpg.com. The Cinematic Starter Kit will be available for download as soon as the pre-order purchase is confirmed.

    The 40th Anniversary Edition of the Alien RPG Core Rulebook is exclusive to the Free League store and its 40th Anniversary Pre-Order Event, which begins 5/25/19 at 9am EST and ends 8/4/2019 at 11:59pm EST.”

  • His Dark Materials: Season 1, from BBC with two seasons funded, distributed by HBO, coming in 2020 [HT Michael M. Bind Trump Hughes]

    “Adapting Philip Pullman’s award-winning trilogy of the same name, which is considered a modern masterpiece of imaginative fiction, the first season follows Lyra, a seemingly ordinary but brave young woman from another world. Her search for a kidnapped friend uncovers a sinister plot involving stolen children, and becomes a quest to understand a mysterious phenomenon called Dust. As she journeys through the worlds, including our own, Lyra meets Will, a determined and courageous boy. Together, they encounter extraordinary beings and dangerous secrets, with the fate of both the living — and the dead — in their hands.”

  • Terminator: Dark Fate – Official Teaser Trailer produced by James Cameron, directed by Tim Miller, with Linda Hamilton, returning as Sarah Connor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger from Paramount Pictures

    “Welcome to the day after Judgment Day. Producer James Cameron returns with director Tim Miller for Terminator: Dark Fate. Watch the official trailer now. In theatres 11.1.19.”