Friday Linkaround–Random Items of Interest

Company of Heroes Designer Killed: Brian R. Wood of Relic was killed, and his pregnant wife injured, when a 21-year-old driver under the influence of drugs hit their vehicle. Brian was the lead on Company of Heroes Online, and had worked on the original CoH, Axis and Allies, and Kohan II. He was 33. A trust fund has been established for his wife and child.

The Witness: A preview of the next game from the creator of Braid, which also has a nice development blog.

Oh, That Explains It: Gearbox (the people behind Borderlands, Brothers in Arms, and various Half-Life ports and expansions) actually bought the rights to Duke Nukem from 3D Realms. There had to be some explanation why we’re suddenly seeing the most legendary piece of vaporware of all time: someone competent is now involved.

Descendancy: Nigel Buckle’s alien combat & trading board game, Ascendancy, is no longer being published by JKLM/Prime Games, and is in search of a new home.

Flashing Scrabble: I’m always a little cautious about reinventions of classic games, particularly when they put electronics in my board games, but Scrabble Flash looks interesting. It’s Scrabble played with “smart” tiles that change letters and “know” when allowable words are formed. Hasbro is sending one along, so I should I have a review up next week.

You Never Want to See the Words “Laceration Hazard” and “Toys” in the Same Story: A fact that Land of Nod is now discovering. Then again, somehow my generation survived Lawn Darts with most of our eyes intact. Bonus points for including the sentence “Consumers should immediately take the toy asparagus from children and return the product to the company for a free replacement asparagus.”

Nostalgia For the 1980s Will Be Dealt With Most Severely:  Look, the 1980s spanned my youth from age 12 to 22. I won’t say it was a complete wash: we had Ozzy going solo, video arcades, D&D, and Raiders of the Lost Ark. We also had Men Without Hats, Diff’rent Strokes, Temple of Doom, shoulder pads, mullets, leg warmers, and stuff like this. Yes, it’s televised British Dungeons & Dragons gaming. It’s as wonderfully horrible as it sounds. And it’s still better than the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, which was just all kinds of wrong.

Chess: The week in Chess.