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CoN Site News

The CoNvent Calendar Returns!

I've been utterly awful at keeping up with fanart this year - perhaps there's a volunteer opportunity for one of you readers out there - but thanks to a burst of energy, the CoNvent Calendar is returning for its second year! Every day from now until Christmas, we'll have a new fanart published to our calendar page. If you're a CoN member, you can visit each one and rate it; if you've rated all of the pieces by the end of the year, you'll get a limited-edition CoN award for your account! Start here, with the first day's art, from new CoN artist thirteenthangel.

To follow along, check the calendar page every day, watch the Fanart Commentary forum, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter! Happy Holidays!
Posted in: CoN Site News

Square Enix PAX East Rundown

Square Enix
I just got an email from Squenix discussing their offerings at PAX East this year. The company does have a sizable footprint on the show floor, as well as the panels mentioned in our last podcast and more, but today's email detailed some new information regarding activities and events coming this weekend.

With Type-0 coming out in just a couple weeks, it makes sense that it will be playable now, and so it shall be. Folks who play the game on the show floor will also get a poster splitting between Ace and Noctis; the poster is similar or even identical to the ones that you might have seen in your local game store.

Additionally, the Final Fantasy XIV panel on Saturday will be livestreamed. Feel free to look through the crowd for yours truly. This panel, as a reminder, will be an overview of the upcoming Heavensward expansion and might talk further about the future of the MMO as well.

There's also going to be a Life Is Strange panel on Friday afternoon. If you've tried this game, you might be interested to know that the panel will discuss not just the development of the game, but also will release some new details about the second chapter in the episodic game. Unfortunately, this one I won't be able to make.

Finally, for Tomb Raider and cosplay fans, there's a chance to get a limited edition Rise of the Tomb Raider poster on the show floor. A cosplayer by the name of Jenn Croft, who has portrayed Lara Croft for a decade and a half, will be at the con and folks who get themselves all selfied up with her will get a chance at the poster. Square Enix will also be hosting a cosplay meetup Saturday afternoon; unfortunately, it looks like they're doing it at the exact same time as the Final Fantasy XV panel, so I will have to figure something out.

In case it's not clear from the rest of this post, I am still planning on being there for Saturday, March 7. I'll be spending a lot of time on the show floor, so if you or anyone you know will also be in attendance, reach out to me on the CoN Facebook or Twitter to find out where I can be found.
Posted in: CoN Site News

Square Enix comes to PAX East 2015

Square Enix
The schedule for panel discussions at PAX East 2015 was recently announced, and a couple of them this year are of particular interest to CoN readers. On Saturday at lunchtime, Naoki Yoshida, producer and director of Final Fantasy XIV, will spend an hour discussing the first expansion pack to A Realm Reborn, titled "Heavensward." As described on the official site:

"Join FINAL FANTASY XIV Producer/Director Naoki Yoshida as he takes the stage to discuss details on the first expansion - Heavensward. Also, Yoshida has a habit of announcing things he shouldn't, so you won't want to miss this! (We'll keep the PR team distracted so they won't interfere.)"

Later in the day, a second panel will feature Square Enix personnel, this time "Behind the Game Designs of Final Fantasy XV." The two lead game designers of the upcoming flagship title will discuss the process of designing the latest game in the core Final Fantasy series; again, from the official PAX site:

"Join two of FINAL FANTASY XV's lead game designers, Wan Hazmer and Prasert Prasertvithyakarn, as they share their experiences working on one of the most anticipated games of all time. Hazmer and Prasertvithyakarn are attending PAX EAST from SQUARE ENIX's Tokyo Studios where they work in tandem to bring FINAL FANTASY XV to life. Fans will also be in for a treat with additional information revealed on the upcoming title, FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD!"

Of particular interest to readers here, by the way: yours truly will be in attendance that day, and I plan to visit both these panels as well as the Square Enix booth, where I plan to collect both photos and experiences around Squenix games (to share with you) and hopefully swag (which I won't). If you have requests of things to look for, or just want to see a bit of the show floor, let me know.

Source: PAX East Schedule
Posted in: CoN Site News

Here's the CoNvent Calendar!

Terra by AenaIt has nuns! No, it's just a pun! Ugh. Shoot me.

I'd been thinking about advent calendars recently because they're fun and it's that time of year. Some folks have LEGO ones, some (like me, blessedly) have them full of beer. For this holiday season, we're doing our own filled with fanart. It's not fancy yet, though hopefully I can work on that sometime before the calendar's all open - for now, though, we'll be adding a new fanart each day from now until Christmas, and logged-in users who place a vote on all of them before the end of the year will get a limited edition award on their account.

Here's the first, from one of the many new fanartists we've found recently, Aena. Vote on it now below!

Edited to add, the CoNvent Calendar page is now live - you can now see the calendar fanart as it's added so you can see all the things for which you want to vote. That link's below too!

Source: "Terra" by Aena, CoNvent Calendar 2014
Posted in: CoN Site News

CoNniversary 2013! Now with More Final Fantasy VI!

Caves of Narshe Site News
No pomp, no circumstance this CoNniversary, sorry. We've been a machine of late, and that carries over to this year's birthday message. Of a one-track mind, that is to say, and that track has been directed at taking the oldest game content on the site and making it fantastic. The results of such labors, again years in the making, are visible now: the Final Fantasy VI section of the Caves of Narshe is now cooking at a far higher temperature than ever before.

This section was actually, in the end, kind of a blast to do. It was painfully hard to keep going at times, but I think that everyone who worked on this as hard or even harder than I did would probably agree that doing this work rekindled our love for a game that deserves all the love it gets. We got so excited, in fact, that we even got the original CoNcast crew together to do a quick-hit recording today to talk just a little bit about how great FF6 is, and I am guessing that the next episode might well cover more of the same. Today's episode will get its own newspost later in the day so you can download it, don't worry!

As is obvious, Final Fantasy VI was the first game we ever covered. While we updated the content considerably during the creation of CoN5 over a decade ago, this new release marks the pinnacle of our coverage for what is, for better or worse, our flagship game. Djibriel, yet again, supplied the bulk of the content from his fantastic walkthrough, while Death Penalty, EvilEye and a multitude of others worked with me to make that content uniquely CoN's. And it is that, to be sure; the quality of the content has improved in a way that's barely measurable (in the good direction!), while the technology driving it remains the standard that other Final Fantasy sites still have not managed to match after all these years. We've continued to improve the technology running the game coverage sections, and we have spun out nearly a dozen miniguides for FF6 that extend our coverage well beyond a simple walkthrough and equipment pages.

Indeed, after all these years. This is the site's sixteenth birthday, and as it now can legally drive in some locales, it continues to trundle along like the lorry it is. Note: I'm using that metaphor so I can ignore the fact that the site could consent to... other things in many places at this same age. Anyway, at least in terms of the vibrancy of the site itself, I feel as if things are a bit resurgent. In the past two years, we've revamped two huge sections of the site; not only that, you'll of course remember this time last year when we finally released the fantastic Skyglade to make the site faster and more fashion-forward. While the community aspect of the site remains difficult to maintain through the splintering and segmenting of Final Fantasy and Square Enix fans as a whole (note my thoughts in the first CoNcast for more on that), I maintain that our core community is of the highest quality, and while we don't attract the most new users of anyone, we certainly continue to attract many of the brightest and most clever, due largely to our passion and commitment to the cause. Thanks to you all, this day and every one before and after.

So what's next? Well, hopefully we can get back to posting news more frequently as we won't be in crunch time for FF6. We've got some new updates to the site planned for the next year or so, and I'll be working hard in the near future to improve the user experience behind the scenes by way of fixing a variety of minor bugs in the site and also improving the CoN development webserver to (hopefully) make future work smoother.

Okay, so perhaps this counts for some pomp and circumstance. I'm flowery when I write, I just can't help it. Enjoy your CoNniversary with us!
Posted in: CoN Site News
(12 Comments – Last by Kame)
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TheSpeedGamers Plan Final Fantasy Charity Marathon

Caves of Narshe Site News
Next week, game speedrunning collective TheSpeedGamers are kicking off a week-long marathon of speeding through tons of games bearing the Final Fantasy name, from Final Fantasy I all the way through XIII-2, and some sideline games as well. For this event, the group are collecting donations for ACT Today!, an autism treatment and support charity. Thanks to their most excellent choice of choosing to run games of which we cover many, we here at CoN are all on board to help them reach their fundraising goal.

Starting on 24 June, the group will begin running through the Final Fantasy games, and the runs will continue day and night through 1 July. During that time, you can watch the stream and even send in donations direct from the CoN homepage as we work with them to hit their $15,000 fundraising goal. In fact, we've already gotten the ball rolling by sending in a pre-marathon donation from the CoN staff!

The schedule will be coming soon, so you can look out for your favorite game in the series to crop up. It appears that the very first game to be played will be Final Fantasy VIII starting at 6pm American Central time, with other games filling in after based on gamer availability. In the meantime, start thinking about what sorts of donations you might be able to chip in, because every little bit helps and TSG have been great to work with (and because hey, it's never a bad idea to show what a great, if small, community CoN is!).
Posted in: CoN Site News

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Caves of Narshe Version 6
©1997–2016 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

All fanfiction and fanart (including original artwork in forum avatars) is property of the original authors. Some graphics property of Square Enix.