Dec 1, 2013

Moga Ace Power, One Week Later

With the advent of iOS 7 a few months ago, Apple finally opened the door to game controller support on iOS devices through a standard controller API. By standardizing button layouts and functionality, Apple had allowed hardware manufacturers to produce officially supported game pads and developers to include game pad controls into their games knowing that all official controllers would be supported. The problem was, no actual hardware existed at the time! Well, that was then and official iOS controllers have arrived! The first such controller is Moga's Ace Power which I picked up when it was released last week. So, what do I think of it so far? Read on to find out.

Nov 27, 2013

Starwhal Up on Kickstarter

My friends from Breakfall here in town have launched a Kickstarter campaign to help raise money to put the finishing touches on their ridiculously fun game, Starwhal. Hit this link to check out the Kickstarter page and have a look at the game in action. There's even a demo you can play on the web! If you have fond memories of raucous times playing games on the couch with your friends back in high school, then you need to back this project. This game is phenomenal fun!

Image from

Nov 25, 2013

Blueprints and Northwest Passage At Ludo Outaouais 2013

It was Ludo Outaouais time again this week end and attendees on Saturday got a special treat in the form of early sale copies of Blueprints and Expedition: Northwest Passage courtesy of game shop Multizone! So, these are a couple of great games, but the really awesome part of all this is that they are both designed by local Ottawa designer Yves Tourigny! Hit the jump for more on Yves and the games.

Nov 20, 2013

Pro's and Con's Review: Rise of Augustus

Format: Board Game
Designer: Paolo Mori

I recently attended the Toy and Game Expo on behalf of Roll'n Bump distributor Îlot 307 inc. where I ran a tournament of one of the brand new games they distribute: 2013 Spiel de Jahres nominee: Rise of Augustus.

Of course, having to run a tournament of a brand new game meant learning to play. And having my hands on a brand new game meant getting requests to teach it and sitting down to play it some more. All told, I think I got in about a half dozen games of Rise of Augustus by the time the expo closed its doors.

So what is Rise of Augustus all about? Well, I hate to bust out the same comparison all other reviewers have been using, but it's an apt one. Playing Rise of Augustus is a bit like playing Bingo for gamers. Before you go running off screaming at the thought of smoky parlours filled with listless players blowing pay-day loans just bear in mind this is a Spiel de Jahres nominee and, much like past alum 7 Wonders, offers easy to learn game play with enough meat to keep true gamers engaged. Read on for my full review from a professional and a consumer point of view.

Nov 2, 2013

Wicked First Day at the Toy and Game Expo!

I'm holding down the fort this weekend at the Toy and Game Expo on behalf of the distributor of Roll'n Bump, Îlot 307, and it's been a wicked first day.

Nov 1, 2013

Responsible Gaming With Kids: ESRB Steps Up With Adorable PSA

The ESRB, known for their ratings labels on games in the Americas, has released this great little public service announcement. Good for them, more parents need to learn how to get informed rather than freaking out in the wake of media brouhahas!

Oct 28, 2013

Charity Event Declared Awesome! Thank you Everybody!

Well, I think a big thanks is in order to everyone who attended my charity event last Friday and to the awesome sponsors. A big thanks to Ka and Ashley of the Meeple's Republic for lending me the games for the event and getting folks into the groove. And I wouldn't have had such an awesome pile of prizes to give away without the generosity of The Comic Book Shoppe, Games for All and Îlot 307! And, finally, thank you to the local designers, Al, Yves and Daryl for teaching their games and helping out with the tournament! We raised a nice wad of cash for the kids at! Check out some pics after the jump. 

Oct 22, 2013

Charity Board Game Event Reminder!

A reminder that THIS FRIDAY, I am hosting a fund raising event. It's $10, all for a good cause. You can come learn to play some new games, bring your favourite game to share with others, get some gift ideas for the holidays and participate in the tournament featuring three locally designed games! Great games and game related prizes to be won in the tournament and raffle! I sure hope you can all make it!

Oct 19, 2013

Video Game Event Recap

Above, we have Nick and Dave the top bracket and bottom bracket winners of the tournament. It was a small-ish turn out after all but a ton of fun. Lot's of scream-at-the-screen moments and a nice wad of cash for charity! A big thanks to everyone who was in attendance and I hope no one was unable to get in because we were all busy during the tournament! If so, I'm soooo sorry! I'm going to make sure there's someone at the door from 7 to 9 next friday for the board game event. So, big thanks to the attendees and a huge thanks to Breakfall, Flathead Studios and my buddy from Northernbytes for providing download codes for the prize packs. And a big thanks to a certain someone for generously picking up some gift cards to sweeten the top prize even more!

Oct 17, 2013

Charity Video Games Event Reminder

A reminder that THIS FRIDAY I am hosting a fund raising event. It's $10 all for a good cause. If you bring a game you've made or are working on to play along with the hardware to play it you can get it for $5!! Raffle tournament and prizes to be had!

Sep 24, 2013

Gay Marriage is Wrong, Says "Scientist"...

Nigerian graduate student, Chibuihem Stanley Amalaha of University of Lagos (UNILAG) claims to have scientifically proven that gay marriage is wrong. Really? Read on for my thoughts, and how this tenuously links into my blog's subject matter.

Sep 23, 2013

On Violent Games and Parenting

Just wanted to link to an article sent into Kotaku by a reader talking about how he, as a retailer, tries to do the right thing when it comes to selling violent games to parents for their kids. You can check out the article here:

Aug 15, 2013

Got Some New Goodies

I picked up some new board games yesterday thanks, in no small part, to Chairwoman Ashley of The Meeple's Republic. What games you ask!? Why the 'fresh off the presses' Dungeon Roll and Elusive Interstellar Mayhem! Hit the just for some closer shots.

Aug 14, 2013

Thoughts on Paradox Factor

Interactive fiction is a a genre I don't have much experience with, and I've never attempted to create such a game myself, so I won't be doing a full Pro's and Con's review of Paradox Factor for Android and iOS. That being said, I found the experience so compelling that I absolutely wanted to do a short write up and share this unique title with all of you.

Jun 20, 2013

Jun 19, 2013

Monopolatte Now Open

I took the time yesterday to pop into Monopolatte on the day of its grand opening to drop off a copy of Roll'n Bump for the patrons to enjoy.

Jun 11, 2013

If you're familiar with the independent game scene in Ottawa, you've likely heard of the Dirty Rectangles. The Rectangles are a group of indie game developers who are keen on promoting creativity and a healthy sense of community amongst game makers in the Capital Region. Every month they hold meetings and invite speakers to give presentations and local developers to show off what they're working on. You can probably see where I'm going with this. This month, I will be giving a talk entitled: "Lessons from the Tabletop, How board games can inform video games" exploring good practices in board game design and how they can translate over to the digital realm. For more information you can check out this post on the Dirty Rectangle's site. I'm pretty psyched and hope to see some of you there!

Jun 10, 2013

Meeple's Republic Outdoor Board Gaming Picnic!

Saturday June 15, the girls from The Meeple's Republic will be hosting a pot luck picnic at the McNabb Community Centre park from 4pm to 8pm. Bring food to share and board games to play OUTSIDE! You can check out their site for more info!

Jun 3, 2013

Ottawa International Game Conference 2013: Impressions from the Show Floor

Last week marked the second annual Ottawa International Game Conference which I had the fortune of attending. The OIGC did things a little differently this year, including setting up a 'show floor' style area where developers from the Ottawa region and neighbouring cities could come and show off their games. I think this is awesome and I wanted to do my small part to encourage this showcase of tallent by sharing a little about the cool stuff I saw with all of you. I would like to apologize to all the developers I didn't get around to visiting as I also spent my time at the conference mingling and attending talks. That being said, click through to see some of what was on offer at the OIGC 2013!

Apr 30, 2013

Bitter-sweet: Man Discovers Depth Through the Screen of a Nintendo 3DS

George Kokoris has posted a short article over on Kotaku describing his first encounter with the Nintendo 3DS and how it introduced him to binocular depth perception... Oh and how that made him cry.

Apr 15, 2013

Paying Gun Manufacturers by Buying Games.

Here's a video from The Idea Channel on the morality of buying video games that license the permission to use facsimiles of real guns from gun manufacturers. I like the 'no right or wrong' take of the video on the subject, simply pointing out that real money is being given to real weapon manufacturers for the use of these virtual replicas, just like driving your favourite Ferrari in Forza or Grand Tourismo results in licencing fees to Ferrari, so to does firing rounds of an A-K 47 or P90 in games like Call of Duty or Battlefield. So, what do you think about that?

Personally, I haven't really thought about it. I mean, I knew that realistic guns in games bearing trade markings etc. were licensed from the companies that manufacture the real things, but I never made that money trail link between me, the consumer, and Colt getting a licencing check from Activision.

I'll be honest with you, as a huge fan of shooters, I'm not thrilled to think about this. I like my shooting virtual, and don't love the idea of helping to fund real gun manufacturing.

When it comes to matters of gun control and gun ownership I don't pretend the issue is simpler than it is, I mean, I know no amount of legislation is going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and that, ultimately, bad people are to blame for bad things, but it's hard to argue with the simple logic that it's hard to perpetrate a gun crime without a gun and I wouldn't mind a world with less of them. So, I guess I'll be thinking twice before I open my wallet to a game featuring licensed weaponry from now on.

Video from The Idea Channel
Found via

Feb 7, 2013

Meeple's Republic

I wanted to give a shout out to Ashley and Ka of Meeple's Republic who I met last weekend at Game Summit. They got a lot of eyes on Roll'n Bump on Sunday and helped steer a number of people over to the Mrs. Tiggy Winkles booth. (Thanks again so much you two.)

Feb 2, 2013

Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's Now Carrying Roll'n Bump

Greetings from Game Summit! I had a surprise visit from my publisher this morning, who, on a whim, decided to pop in to check out the show. Oh, ya, and tell me that all Mrs. Tiggy Winkle's stores will be carrying Roll'n Bump! In fact, if you are at the show and want to pick up a copy for yourself, the Mrs. Tiggy Winkle shop here in the convention marketplace has plenty of boxes.

Empire Approved!

Everyone loves Roll'n Bump!

Feb 1, 2013

Not the Only Board Game at the Jam This Year!

This year was a little different at the Ottawa Global Game Jam site. How? Well, our game, Heart Rate Speed Date was not the only non-digital game!

Jan 27, 2013

Game Jam 2013: Day 2

Well, ok! After scrapping Friday's false start, things, finally, coalesced today as we started throwing up mechanism ideas based on a theme idea we had passed up on last night.

Oh, so, speaking of theme. The whole shtick with the jam is that you only find out the theme you'll have to incorporate at the start of the jam after the keynote video. I couldn't share it with all of you until today because of the six hour time difference between us and the farthest jam site in Hawaii (this is the GLOBAL Game Jam, after all). So, the cryptic as hell theme this year? An audio clip of a beating heart! Ya, I know. Thankfully, teams are free to interpret this any way they like. Much of a team's creativity shines through in its interpretation of the theme.

So, blah blah blah, what the heck did we come up with?

Well, we decided to create a game that riffs on the theme by being about matters of the heart while, also, getting your heart rate up. It's called Heart Rate Speed Date, and it's all about playing cards down as fast as you can in a race to match speed dating aficionados with their best possible matches! Check out the pics!

Jan 25, 2013

Kicking Off Game Jam 2013

Getting ready to get my jam on for the 2013 Global Game Jam. Extra cool this year as we won't be the only board game! I was able to rope in two friends to also participate this year. I'm super psyched! Oh! The keynote is about to start. I'll keep posting progress throughout the weekend.

Jan 9, 2013

Upcoming Events

It's the start of a new year, and with a new year comes all sorts of cool events to check out. So, if you are looking to touch base with me or just want to participate in some awesome game related events, here's a list of the fun times I will be having in early 2013. I hope to see you there.

January 25 to 27: Global Game Jam
If you have a penchant for game design, I highly recommend signing up for this! Teams are tasked with designing a video or board game over the course of a weekend based on a theme that is only revealed at the start of the event. This will be my third year participating and I am so psyched! Events are held all over the world, so check the website for one near you. If you are in the Ottawa area, the jam goes down at Carleton University.
Global Game Jam Website
Ottawa Game Jam Website

February 2 to 3: Game Summit
For the board gamers amongst you, and I know there are plenty, you should swing by and see me at this year's Game Summit. I loved my time there last year and am really looking forward to doing it again this year. I should be available to demo Roll'n Bump to anyone who hasn't had a chance to play it yet, or for any masters looking to challenge me to a game.
Game Summit

Some Time in May: Ottawa Game Conference
This event would have been called Game Summit, if the aforementioned board game convention hadn't beaten them to it. For those of you interested in Ottawa's budding video game industry, this show is for you. This will be the conference's second year, and I'm told it will be a massive three day event, up from last year's single day. There will be workshops, talks and demos. If you are in the industry yourself, don't miss it!  The dates for this year haven't been announced yet, so stay tuned to the website for info.
Ottawa Game Conference