Newegg Patent Troll Hunters T ShirtGlobal Archery Products, which had claimed patents on foam-tipped LARP arrows, is dropping that element of its lawsuit against Mr. Jordan Gwyther, operator of and reseller of LARP equipment. The company, however, continues to move forward with claims of trademark infringement.

According to Ars Technica, Global Archery decided to withdraw its patent claims after reviewing information on prior art provided by Gwyther’s attorneys. That prior art was a German patent for the arrows that Gwyther sells.

Another potential factor in Global Archery’s decision was the recent support lent to Gwyther’s case by internet retailer Newegg. Newegg has been active in the fight against so-called “patent trolls” and in this case contributed $10,000 to Gwyther’s legal defense and is selling troll-hunter t-shirts to raise additional funds.

While dropping the patent claims, Global Archery has also argued in defense of its position, pointing out that the company is an active producer of arrows and a supporter of the LARP community. The company, in fact, markets its products as a safe version of archery for families and promotes Archery Tag, a sport similar to paintball or laser-tag.

Among the issues at which the two parties remain at-odds is Global Archery’s assertion that Gwyther should not be permitted to target Global’s customers. The company takes the unusual position that by contacting Global’s customers and claiming “without proof” to have a better product, Gwyther is engaging in false advertising.

Global Archery also asserts a difficult claim of trademark infringement, citing Gwyther’s purchase of Google ads tied to the former company’s name being used as a search keyword.

To help with his defense of the case, Jordan Gwyther set up a GoFundMe page and posted a video plea to YouTube. Global Archery has taken issue with those actions as well and asked a judge for a gag order to prevent Gwyther from talking publicly about the dispute. And that’s where the Electronic Frontier Foundation joined the case. The organization submitted an amicus brief stating its belief that Gwyther has a First Amendment right to speak out.

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JuggernaJuggernautut, from Bully Pulpit Games, is a live-action RPG that’s supposed to have players exploring the meaning of free will. Set in cold-war 1950, the game posits the invention of a computer that predicts the future.

Players draw a series of cards that represent computer output. Then because the Juggernaut computer is infallible, the players must come up with stories for how the predictions come true.

One session lasts through a deck of 22 Job Summary Cards but the game comes with a total of 58 such cards for a different experience each time.

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Using Pelgrane Press’ Gumshoe system for a time-travel roleplaying game, TimeWatch is supposed to be rules-light, provide fast cinematic action, and facilitate improvisational GMing. Lead designer Kevin Kulp also promises that the game will “embrace using paradox and time-travel to your advantage when solving mysteries and battling foes; leave yourself a note from the future, or have your future self clock in to lend a hand when you need it the most.” At the ambitious stretch goal of $1 billion, he also promises to fund an actual time machine.

With Village in a Box, The Game Crafter is “experimenting” at Kickstarter. The company says it’s about building an economy of scale. For an $89 pledge, backers can get eight different games, each one of which has sold or will sell for around $20 on The Game Crafter’s website. However, I’m not convinced. There are nine pledge levels that bundle different combinations of the eight games, and add-on options further increase the number of permutations. When divided among the eight games, the project’s goal of only $1,500 doesn’t strike me as enough to guarantee scale for any one. Thus, I see it as more of a marketing device. Nevertheless, if you’re interested in any of the games and willing to pay up front, The Game Crafter is offering a pretty good discount and as a POD company should be able to deliver in a reasonable time frame.

Mora Games, who also plans to use The Game Crafter for Flip, may have a bigger problem. The game looks quite similar, as well as similarly named, to Flip Out from Gamewright.

Shoshana Kessock is raising funds to support the Living Games Conference at New York University. The conference is about LARPs and Shoshana, who’s running the conference as her graduate student thesis, would like to record its events for future scholarly reference.

Also in the LARP category is Sabertron. The project from Level Up aims to produce foam swords with built-in electronics that can record hits and differentiate them parried strikes.


Fat Dragon Games’ Ravenfell project is for the production of print-and-assemble 28 mm miniature terrain files. Fat Dragon promises a whole village’s worth of buildings that can be folded flat and reassembled, customized with add-on elements, and mixed-and-matched level by level. The thing is, I can’t find any indication of how many model plans the company considers a village’s worth. And while the project has hit a number of stretch goals, only the higher priced donors qualify for the extra rewards attached to them.

Query is a party game based on the auto-complete function of internet search engines. Each round players try to guess which phrase are a true search engine result and which are alternatives submitted by fellow players.

In Livestock Uprising, Dog Might Games looks to be producing a resource-driven war game, gimmicked up with farm animals as factions. For $250, backers can get “From Seed to Harvest”, a 70 page book of “articles, workshops, design tips, drawings, and artwork” about the game, and a hand-made, hardwood game box.

On Indiegogo, Noel and Tye are asking for funds to help them make a Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine costume. [Waiting for the C&D…]

On Ulule, Narrativiste Edition is seeking funds for a French translation of Evil Hat’s Spirit of the Century RPG.

Tasty Minstrel Games’ latest pay-what-you-want project is a western-themed, tile-laying game. This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us is worth $3 for the name alone.

Tasty Minstrel Games’ Scoville project stands out for doing a fantastic job of teaching the basics of the game in a 3 minute video. Actual play looks pretty good too. The game is about farming hot peppers, which are represented by wood cubes of various colors. The board represents a shared field for planting peppers, which when harvested peppers can be sold in the market (for various benefits) or used in the making of chili recipes (for victory points). Cross-breeding specialty peppers draws on the color wheel as a mechanism in the game.

Another project that does a good job of introducing game play in its short video is Nika from Eagle Games. Though applied to an ancient Greece theme, Nika is an abstract title where the goal is to move one’s pieces to the other side of the board. The twist—let’s say in comparison to a traditional game like Chess—is that while the pieces are all the same, their relative strength depends on how groups are configured and aligned together—in game terms, the size and shape of a phalanx.

I don’t think that Queen Games is really depending on Kickstarter success to print Tortuga, a game about pirates stealing treasure from each other that’ll come with a bunch of custom dice. But then again, I don’t think that it’s backers really care.

Modiphius Entertainment proposes to bring back the Mutant Chronicles roleplaying game in a 3rd edition with new rules. And it looks like the company is already well underway with an extensive playtesting program and has detailed plans for a full line of supplements. By the way, I have no idea what “dieselpunk sci-fi” means.

Silver Fox is producing a line of Call of Cthulhu 32 mm miniatures.

UPDATED 1/4/2014

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Battlestar Galactica LARP

CylonOrganizers in Gothenburg, Sweden are planning a Battlestar Galactica LARP to take place over 3 days aboard an actual navy destroyer. Participants will experience the early post-Cylon-attack period on The Monitor Celestra, a previously decommissioned ship suddenly isolated from the rest of the fleet.

The LARP is being run three times over weekends in March for groups of up to 150. While operated as a “non-profit fan event”, registration prices range 2400-3400 SEK ($370-525), depending on the class of character chosen. The fees cover food, lodging, and all required costumes.

[via GeekDad]

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