Feb 27, 2012

Tikal II Does Not Tikal Me Either, Dr. Nicholson.

Just wanted to point out an old blog post I found on The Board Game Geek from none other than game scholar Scott Nicholson.

You can find the blog post in question here. The gist of it is that he likes Tikal II but doesn't like Tikal and put off trying Tikal II for the longest time because he figured it would be similar to Tikal, which he doesn't like.

Feb 20, 2012

Game Summit 2012 Wrap Up.

Well, boys and girls, Game Summit 2012 has come and gone and I had a blast while it lasted. It was a surprisingly packed house on Sunday, the last day of the summit, and people seemed to be a spending mood. We ended up leaving the con with only one box of Shake Out! left! Guess it's time to place another order!

I had a great time and met all sorts of great people, both players and designers. It was an exhausting few days but I loved every minute of it. Sunday was, as mentioned above, surprisingly busy and we got a huge amount of people to the table to play Shake Out!, which is what it's really all about. Other highlights included: Judging the Designer Challenge, sitting down to play with Alain of Jouets Boom and, oh ya, leaving with only one spare copy of Shake Out!. Hit the jump for some pics. Yup, It actually occurred to me to brandish my camera this time.

Pro's and Con's Review: Tikal

Format: Board Game
Designers: Michael Kiesling and Wolfgang Kramer
Publisher: Rio Grande Games

Let me tell you a little story. Three years ago, I haven't even heard of Tikal, a game about jungle exploration and treasure hunting. I had probably seen the box in stores and maybe read something in passing about The Mask Trilogy, but had never looked into it further. Then, in December of 2010 I got my very own copy for my thirtieth birthday from the guys in my game group at work. I wasn't expecting any gifts, so I was pleased and surprised and wondered what this game was all about. One of the guys showed me how to play a few weeks later and I then understood what the gift truly meant, they had given me what would become one of my favourite board games, one that I remain eager to bring to the table to this day. So, I know I've said it before, but I'll say it again: Thanks guys!

As is the custom around here, I'll be giving Tikal the usual Pro's and Con's treatment peering into the guts of the game from a professional's and a consumer's point of view. Let's see what Tikal has to offer.

Feb 19, 2012

Game Summit 2012, The Big Day!

Let me start with this: Who the Hell forgets to take any pictures on the biggest day of a convention!? Apparently, I do! So, sorry folks, no window into the MADNESS that was Saturday at the Game Summit. Ok, that was a slight exaggeration. But, hey, who's going to contradict me, there's no photo evidence! Read on for a run down of how Saturday went.

Feb 18, 2012

Setting Off for Day 2 of Game Summit 2012

My table, graciously sponsored The Game Crafter

Yesterday, the first day of the summit, was pretty successful. I had the chance to catch up with some of the local game design people as well as meet some new folks, including Belfort co-designer Sen-Foong Lim. More importantly, perhaps, my helpers and I got a lot of new people to sit down and try Shake Out!, which really is key to getting people jazzed about this kind of game and turned into a few sales too.

Feb 17, 2012

Game Summit is On!

We are all set up and ready to go here at Game Summit. And don't forget, you have a chance to win Shake Out! Just visit fathergeek.com to enter.

Shake Out! Giveaway On Father Geek

Like free stuff? Want Shake Out!? You're in luck, because fan-of-the-game Cyrus from Father Geek is puttin' on a good ol' fashion giveaway! You can head on over to the giveaway web page here for all the details and to add your name to the draw.

Off to Game Summit 2012!

As I post this, I'm arriving at the Nepean Sportsplex in Ottawa to set up my table for Game Summit.

Feb 13, 2012

So you want to make wall tiles?

Back when I was working on Babo:Invasion at Play Brains one of the coders and I had to come up with all the variations of wall models we were going to have to construct in order to allow any arbitrary shape of wall to be created within our tile based levels. As we figured out possibility after possibility it quickly became clear that the task was going to be just too great. In order to accomodate all maner of possible combination of wall tile we would have needed to model 41 different unique models. We came up with a way of reducing that to 4. Read on to find out how.

Feb 11, 2012

Shake Out! Video Review From The Gamer's Table.

The fine folks of The Gamer's Table have put together a video review of Shake Out! Check out the clip to see what they thought of the game! I think this quote summarizes their thoughts pretty well: "...this game is allot of fun and it can be taught to somebody in two minutes." Oh, and "FIFTY FIVE POINTS!".

Feb 7, 2012

Shake Out! Featured on On Board Games Again!!

Al Leduc of the Game Artisans of Canada broke the news to me that Shake Out! was mentioned on On Board Games yet again!! Don and Erik welcome guest host Cyrus Kirby of Father Geek to talk games as usual and what comes up at 5:35? Shake Out! Oh ya! Keep listening for the best publicity a guy could wish for!

You can listen to the full episode here. The Shake Out! bit runs from about 05:35 to 10:00.

Image from On Board Games

Feb 6, 2012

Pro's and Con's Review: Stone Age

Format: Board Game
Designers: Bernd Brunnhofer
Publisher: Rio Grande Games

Stone Age is a worker placement game for 2 to 4 players that's easy enough for players just getting into the hobby while still giving your noggin' a good workout if you're playing against shrewd competition. Each turn consists of three rounds during which players will place workers, reap the rewards of their placements then feed their people. Lather rinse repeat until one of two end game conditions is reached at which point the final score is tallied and I usually find out how badly I got trounced.

So, let's give Stone Age the ol' Pro's and Con's treatment as I examine the game from a professional's points of view and as a consumer. Read on dear reader, read on!

Feb 2, 2012

Shake Out! Demoed at The Comic Book Shoppe.

I wanted to throw out a big thanks to Jordan Richer of The Comic Book Shoppe for setting up a night for me to demo Shake Out! at the store last Wednesdy. The gamers and staff were super great and supportive. So thanks again everyone! I look forward to seeing many of you in a few weeks at Game Summit.

Lunar Bovine Likes Him Some Aion!

My good friend and co-worker Jason and I enjoyed a game of Aion: A Game of Serpents over lunch yesterday. I trounced him pretty good, but he went on to win against our friend Dave, so no harm done. Looks like he dug the game enough to blog about it! And yes, the awesome picture accompanying this post is courtesy of Jason. And, also yes, that's my devilishly handsom ringed finger in the shot.

Feb 1, 2012

A Short Piece On Social Games From The Atlantic

Benjamin Jackson wrote a short piece for The Atlantic called The Synga Abyss. I really wish he had called it "The Social Games Abyss" rather than, seemingly, shitting exclusively on Zinga because it isn't really highlighting a problem with Zynga's games but rather a problem with most free-to-play "social" style games (yes, including the recently mentioned Tiny Tower). That problem, and my personal beef with them? Their number one design goal is to make money, not create fun. Now, you might say, "What are you a dirty Commie who hates money!?" and the answer is: "Of course not, dumbass." Then you might say, "Isn't that the goal of any commercial game, really, to make money?" and to that I would answer: "Of course, dumbass." The difference is that the traditional way of making money from your game is to make a good, fun game which makes people want to buy your game because of all the fun it provides. These social games aren't trying to be good, fun games, they are trying to bamboozle you with lights and glitter to seem fun while really hiding all sorts of methods to make you part with your money, like a slot machine. I wish nothing more that for us to be at the crest of the social games bubble so it can go ahead and pop already.