21 December 2012

Reddit Game Dev Wiki

/r/gamedev started a wiki for all kinds of game dev resources. Excited to contribute and see this thing take off! Could become a great valuable hub in the future.

gamedev - index

06 September 2012

Dragon*Con Hiatus

A few people haven't heard the news yet. I may be absent from future Dragon*Cons for the next five years.

The reason is PAX Prime. Truth be told, I enjoy DC over PAX. For me, it's the better con due to the people I see there. However, I have to consider what's best for my career in game development.

Earlier this year, Penny Arcade ran a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds which would allow them to remove advertisements from the site. It wasn't a cause I was particularly enthused about, but one of the reward levels covered admission to every PAX event for the next five years. Considering the rising cost of badges, potential for new events, and that it includes the PAX Dev event, it was a deal I couldn't pass up.

The conflict is that PAX Prime and DC often reside on the same weekend. And by often, I mean only once did they ever not conflict.

The relationship to my career is this- DC is not a con that places much emphasis on the game industry. This year was the first year in many that had any notion of a video game track. There was only one dedicated board game vendor present. The number of players in the free play area couldn't have passed 1000 uniques in four days. Right now, PAX is where I need to be in order to grow.

18 August 2012

GenCon day 2

I'm lying in bed, at the close of day 2 of GenCon. It's been a mega blast so far.

This is my first time at GenCon. The next closest con I've been to of this type (primary focus=tabletop games) was Origins in 1997. I can't overstate how awesome it is to see a tabletop con in 2012 after not attending one for 15 years. 30K people are here for this thing that I love.

If the people attending a con with me weren't a factor, this would probably be my favorite con. Since they are a huge factor me, this is my second favorite con. They people I've been hanging out with, Chris, Lisa, Jess, Kate, and JP are all fabulous.

I'm actually here to work the Asmadi Games booth, which is also in partnership with the Game Salute booth. I'm super excited to be working with both entities. It has been amazing to spend my days teaching and demoing games I like to con attendees. Cool to work alongside the guys from Cards Against Humanity, Tom Vasel, Tasty Minstrel Games, Cryptozoic, etc.

Some neat stuff I've seen so far:
- Sol Forge, new digital CCG
- Consequential alpha, Asmadi's new co-op story-driven episodic board game
- Goko, a company bringing cross-platform board games to desktop and mobile with HTML5
- a limo crossed with a giant chicken
- Zooloretto, an award winning Rio Grande game
- a new game sell out in 5 minutes ( Android: Netrunner)

Speaking of which, there should be some additional copies available in the morning, so I'm'a go to bed in order to be up in time to snag one.

More later.

27 June 2012

Test picture


Title test

First test of Posterous cross-posting to Blogger, Tumblr, Twitter, & Facebook.

12 February 2012

Board Game Weekend

Tons of board gaming this weekend! Almost as good as a convention weekend!

We played:
7 Wonders
The Resistance
Shadow Hunters
Falling (Goblin edition)
Flash Duel: Second edition

First time playing 7 Wonders though I had heard great things about it at PAX Prime and Dragon*Con in 2011. I was definitely stoked to try a game that was described to me as "playing a Magic: The Gathering booster draft." That description is terrifically accurate. Great game length (~30m), strategies that must evolve every turn, lots of replayability, high decision density per minute.

This was our second sitting of The Resistance and the roles and strategies made more sense to our spies this time around. We only played a single game and spies took it on Mission 5. It's as yet unclear if the game can be perfectly deducted in a logical fashion. We also haven't tried putting in the Plot cards to mix things up. So far, still like it more than Werewolf due to lack of player elimination and no heads down time.

Shadow Hunters I had not heard of until today. It's another game built around masked roles and figuring out who's who. It's comparable to Bang! in that you get a role belonging to one of three factions, run around and shoot people while looking for new items and identity clues. After playing it twice, I think I can say I would never play Bang! again if Shadow Hunters is available. Turns go by rather quickly, but this is largely because of a low decision density. Still fun though!

Falling is a neat card game because it's played in real-time (like Spit, Slapjack, ERF, Jungle Speed). A dealer goes around in a circle, dealing cards to each player's stack, which simulates falling through the air towards the ground. At the bottom of the deck is nothing but ground cards and you're out when dealt one. Last person to be in the air is the winner. It's fun because you're frantically trying to move negative cards to opponents, prevent negative cards from playing on you, and queue up cards that make the dealer skip your turn. Hard to describe. It takes playing 1-2 games to get the idea. Fine because a game is 3-5 minutes.

Flash Duel! OMG Flash Duel! It's the last game of David Sirlin's to join my collection. I now own all three games in the Fantasy Strike universe (Yomi and Puzzle Strike being the others).  Flash Duel is Sirlin's take on fencing game En Guarde. Players face each other on a numbered tile bridge and try to score points on each other. Sirlin's take adds additional moves to the game as well as specialized character abilities that add some much needed breadth and depth to the formula.  Games take 5-10 mins and the box includes modes for 1v1, 2v2, and a special 4v1 "raid boss" mode!

I'm worn out... but I'm always glad to try out new games and think about what makes them fun, strategic, etc.

24 January 2012

Risk: Legacy

Lisa and I bought Josh Risk:Legacy for Christmas. This weekend was our
first game.
Gist: Risk gameplay, but player actions permanently alter the game,
including subsequent games.
Super impressed at all the ways the game changes permanently. Whoever
designed it seriously took that concept and applied it at every level.
Players get to pick a race at the start and immediately have to pick
one of two race powers that give the race a bonus. The other power is
destroyed (we burned ours). This happens before players even see the
game for the first time! Crazy stuff.
The core Risk gameplay is updated and basically solves every problem I
had with Risk.  It's still possible to win by eliminating all other
players, but there's more of a built-in timer now. Players must
collect 4 "red star" points. As soon as any player gets a 4th, the
game ends immediately.  There are a few ways to acquire them and no
visible way to reduce the # of red stars in the total game pool. So
players start acquiring and stealing stars and it's truly only so many
turns before the game must end on stars. This solves my biggest
problem with Risk: the lengthy play time.
The other problem I had with Risk was the tendency for players to
turtle, amass huge armies, and get fucking backstab the first player
to make a move. Terrible. In this game, players are rewarded for
taking risks, as it is technically possible to capture 2 red stars in
a single round. But, if you fail and get wiped out because of it, it's
possible to come back into the game, rather than sit it out. Great
changes that make the game fun and playable for me.
Last comment is about the unlockables. The game has sealed packages
inside that are only opened when certain in-game conditions are met.
So the players don't really know about all the game rules until they
play it a few times. The mystery of what's in those packs... it's
super enticing. It's a board game with secrets. Secrets I want to
Great game and totally recommend if you have 3-4 friends you can
consistently play it with. I recommend it even if you don't like Risk
that much.