Saturday, December 31, 2011


If you hate WoW.


The guild totally did two nights of dungeon runs! We maxed out our weekly guild XP from doing instances and I think everyone went up like 8 levels over the two nights.

Peter, Denis, Me, and Chris (old pal from work) ran Ragefire, Deadmines, Shadowfang, and Wailing Caverns and I think had a lot of fun doing it. Got lots of kewl items, lots of kewl achievements, and at one point only randomly ran Shadowfang 3 times in a row. :\

Blizzard has redone many of the low level dungeons and updated them so they are more challenging and make more of an interesting go of it.

Ether way, good times were had and looking forward to some more!

Myke, gotta get back from Texas so you can get in on this, yo :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

I would play A&A OR Diplo over email! Real time seems damn near impossible with this crew, so I think email would be some hot shit.
I played axis and allies online a few times a couple of years back. It was definitely quick and the graphics were quite impressive considering it's an online java game. I'd be down if others are (highly doubtful due to a strong resistance to MB games). And thankfully, it's not one of those PBEGTFOM javas. It's actually real time. I just don't think it'll ever happen though!

Viva La Resistaaaance! -Agent Lee

| 40k RTS

All right guys, time for a shameful admission, I'm kinda intrigued by 40k. BUT, the last thing I need to do is buy more frickin' miniatures. I see the Dawn of War II complete pack is on sale for $20 on Steam. Seems like a good way to get my fill of Dreadnoughts n' shit without wasting a bunch of scrilla. Is anyone else interested? I will totally pull the trigger!

| PBeM

I will totally play by email if we play Diplomacy. It's the game that play by mail was practically invented for!

C'mon Aeryk, you know you want to unleash your inner bastard.

| No, no no, Fa La La La La!

Rugs, that is great about the AFLAC shop. I am sure it feels lovely to be back in the saddle working again. Funemployment is great for about two to three weeks and then just starts to way down on the sad glands.

I think eLzar had pushed a little on play by mail a few years back, but I don't know that it ever took off. Might be worth looking into.

Happy holidays everyone. Hope everything has gone well so far. After a few days off in LA, I am back at work today. Yippie.


Monday, December 26, 2011


Hai Guyz!

Real life has been kickin' my ass lately.. come back for a look see and Rood man done got hitched up! Good for you mang! Just know your lady friend is now going to be eight shades of crazy while she plans her perfect day, lol.

I'm in full swing with my new jerb.. opening my own AFLAC shop! Been in training the last few weeks and getting up to speed. It's all kind of a blur, lol.

Regarding Christmas, the family elected to go non traditional this year. So I decided to try and recreate one of my favorite specialty rolls from our favorite Japanese restaurant! What could go wrong, right? Haha..

Making the rice red and green didn't go quite as planned, lol. But the flavor was still outstanding. I remain a little shocked that it came out so well, it was really, really good!

The rolls were filled with tempura shrimp and teriyaki chicken with avacado. Outside with bonito flakes and sweet sauce.


Elrock, haven't forgotten about WoW.. just haven't had time for much gaming at all mang. Hoping later this week maybe? Meh, I know you're running out of time, sorry. We'll have to figure out some time though, for sure.

What do the rest of you jerks think about doing some games-by-mail stuff? Ever looked at that website? Axis and Allies! Whenever it's your turn you can log in and take your turn on the website, then check back as other people go through their turns. Only takes a few minutes to process your turn, too. It's pretty fun! I did it a while back with a different group of guys. Wonder what else is on there we could screw around with. It solves the whole "I'm too busy to play games" issue. Don't have to worry about conflicting schedules, etc.

Ok, welp.. off to get a haircut then it's time to go schmooze business! :)
'Twas merely a jest. I don't want to get it until I've got a solid month to play it, so maybe after the holidays settle things down.

I got the Galaxy Trucker expansion! Which is cool, I was starting to feel like it was getting a bit easy. Adds lots of different things to the game, excited to try it out.

Hope everyone had a good one!
Did you end up getting Old Republic Jono? Any thoughts? You made a comment that the level up sound was the light saber woosh, but maybe that was in jest.

What did Wylie get for xmas? Howd the rest of you do? I got clothes n shit, LIKE THE LAST 35 YEARS, arrrgh!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

happy x, yo

| Merry Christmas, jerks

Hey, I'm old school. 60 is the one and true level cap! I remember us dueling in front of iron forge, Paladin vs Druid - so much fun! I'd get so mad when you'd bubble, hahah. And also use potions! I'd still beat you but COMEON!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thought I'd check the blog and what do i see? Gratz Rude on reaching 85! Ding!

Great way to start the 2012 year. Happy holidays all.
Thanks for the kind words guys :) Never thought my engagement to Jesus would get such a great response. I feel honored to be one of his Sister Wives.
Great news! Congratulations!

| r00d-ey!

That is awesome! Congratulations mang. I am glad to hear it. Now, like eLzar said, another excuse for cabin con or something like it. My special lady friend got a kick out of the bouquet story ;) *obligatory Actionteam cheer*: Eeeeeyyyyy!

jr0n, booooo on the car accident. Also, booo to the fact I have a dentist appointment on Tuesday, so I won't be able to make Endgame :(

That's great news man. GRATZ! (Fsssh!) (Lightsaber sound is theoretical SWTOR leveling sound.) I didn't know she caught the bouquet!

It's hard to believe that all the members of the Orange Jews are married/engaged now.

You should consider holding your wedding and/or bachelor party August 16-19, in lovely Indianapolis, IN!

I bet Agricola was part of it too huh? I know from experience, it's pretty hot when you play the "Family Growth Without Room" action, jam the new kid into a crowded room in your hut sharing a room with a wild boar, and say "this could be us."


That is effing great, mang! Congratulations! Not only am I happy for you, but I am happy that we get to have another excuse for a CabinCon!

That is really great news, dude :)

| got engaged

talk about "roll a 1 phase"! I proposed in Catalina during a hike we took to the center of the island where you can see both sides of island. Went off pretty well. Brought my camera and a little tripod and set it up so I could "take a picture of the both of us" - I was really running it as the video camera and ran over and got on my knee, etc - she said yes :)

We'll be getting married sometime next year down here somewhere, maybe during the summer. Would love an action-teamy bachelor weekend if that's possible later in the year because that's always a great send off.

Woohoo! I'm not gonna deny that two of the contributing factors were 1. her catching the bouquet at Enron's wedding and 2. 2012 is right around the corner! Not facing the end of the world single! :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bummer Elzar. Enron has a similarly opposite schedule from me so it looks like Santa Claus isn't bringing much gaming for Xmas this year! At least I have Mage Knight to carry me through the days! Super fun! ;_;

Randomly, I checked out the new Mission Impossible with a dude from work and it was actually very good! Just a really solid, well-shot action movie the likes of which they don't make much anymore (ie, no shakycam). Yeah, Tom Cruise is in it, but I think of it not so much as a Tom Cruise movie, as a spy movie by the director of Iron Giant and Incredibles.

Not sure who else has snApple phones/tablets (maybe just Enron) but there are some good sales on right now. EA games in particular are all .99 and they've got some good stuff. I picked up Dragon's Lair for iPhone and Mirror's Edge and Dead Space for iPad since I plan on picking up an ipad 3 when those come out. I also picked up a free game called "Jetpack Joyride" that's pretty addictive, and Brawl (the old Cheapass card game), which is pretty good too. I finally had to delete Tichu from my phone. I was playing it ALL THE TIME and seeing it in my dreams. Think I'm as good as Tichu as I'm gonna get, now to play the real version!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

| Alas, poor Yoreric

For he is travelling to Santa Rosa (and Lagunitas Brewing, at least!) to visit with Leslie's friend after Xmas. We are leaving on Monday, and I think returning Tuesday night or Wednesday. I'm free after that, tho. :/

While you are in the City of Lost Angels, I will be free however! So, take a commuter train up while you leave the family down there at the reunion! When are you leaving?

Would be great to get some gamin' in after the holidays at least! You should BART to Enrons, and I'll drive up and we can catch Myke during a study break and get some dice rollin'.

| oic

I stand corrected! I thought you were engaging in some Soviet Russian style changing of history. Because, y'know. You're a communist.

I forget... is next week when you'll be watching the boy? (And no doubt, saying "c'mere boyyy" a la season 1 Homer Simpson a lot.) I might be able to swing an Aeryk-style come down early, leave early gaming shift on Tuesday.

Got rear-ended on the way to work yesterday. Just a tap, no damage to the car, but my lower back is stiff and achey for sure. Stupid old bones. Need new bones. And maybe a bigger car now that we got a kid.

| Technicality

When I say The Old Guard, I mean the guild "The Old Guard" on Bonechewer :)

When I was hot and heavy into WoW, I started a guild with a guy from my old work; I called it The Old Guard because I wanted to cater to old people with less l33t attitude. When I took a break, I passed the guildmaster duties off to my pal who then took a Horde break and passed the GM duties to another dude. The guild was unused and unloved for over a year and when I logged back in with a toon that was still in the guild, there was a notice that since the GM had been inactive for so long I could steal control!

Acererak is now back in charge and our numbers are growing! And by growing I mean membership is swelling with all my alts and Pump, Myke, and Chris (my old pal from work). We have a four person dungeon crew already, just need one.... more.... person....

Awesome dungeon content awaits! Scratch that D&D itch in Azeroth! Gold for everyone! We have cookies!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

In Minecraft news, I reasoned that if I moved far enough in one direction I'd find something interesting, so I built a stone sky bridge about going north about 500 blocks, and found a really awesome mountainous area. Nearby are some flatlands with sheep... ALL the sheep. (Seriously, there were a couple dozen running around not far from my doorstep.) And a village! With NPCs in it! The NPCs are kinda creepy. They come out of the houses when you open the door, and... don't really do anything. Was sort of expecting some rudimentary conversation or something.

I'm going to kind of keep it Art-style and do up the area without messing with the terrain too much. There was a natural cave with three openings in the mountain and that's where I'm building the Fiendish Mountain Fortress of Dr. Oeterson.
Technically, I believe to have the "old guard" you'd need to get me, Rude, and Ja-el (where is that guy, anyway?) involved. Like it'd be a situation where you need to pull of a heist, one final heist, and you need the best Druid, Warlock, and Paladin in the business to make it happen.

Lately I've been pretty stoked on Mage Knight! Can't wait to teach it to you guys. The thing is it's SUPER brain burny and intensive but also quite satisfying in a way not many other games are. It's kind of like doing the combat section of Dungeon Lords, for three hours!

Monday, December 19, 2011

| The Old Guard

Rides again!

Jumped in WoW with Myke and Pumpkin tonight and made new Horde toons on the Bonechewer (PvP) server. Paladin, Cleric, and you guessed it, Hunter. Anyhoo, for any of you with a gift from Greatfather Winter burning a hole in your pocket this holiday season, create your toon on Bonechewer and be Horde! Dungeon instances await!

Friday, December 16, 2011

J: Played a little bit of the Old Republic beta and it was pretty fun. I might jump in for a month if enough other people do, but the price ($50-$60 I assume) is kinda tough for me right now, so I dunno. Def don't get it NOW because I hear it's slammed with problems seeing as it's gonna be huge and overloaded for awhile.

E: Fun video review for Band of Brother on the geek. Looks like a lot of fun and the guy is totally pumped about it. You gonna pick that up Erick?

R: Picked up a new boardgame this week called Mondo. Played it a few times with my girlfriend and we had fun. It's a tile-placing game ala the ship building portion of Galaxy Trucker, but you're building worlds and then scoring them. Pretty simple but there's def the chance for depth if you use the advanced rules and options that are present. The worlds also look great when they're done. Pretty cool game, I'll bring it around next meet. I've officially turned my girlfriend into a pretty hardcore board gamer, so every week I'm getting like 5-10 games in! It's kind of intense, haha. She's really into Quarriors right now, but she also digs Agricola and almost everything I've brought around (cept San Juan).

K: illen, Enron. Where are those wedding pics!?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

That's awesome about Wylie! I was thinking about how good that game is for training kids about logic, in addition to the Lego building aspect. Who knows what my kid will be into. I really would like her to be into math and science, Legos etc., since if she is there's better than even odds she'll be able to play board games with me when I'm a 50-year-old grognard (and also will be able to get a decent job), but who knows? My half sister was a helicopter mechanic, so it's not like there isn't precedent.

Would you be up to give the Star Wars MMO a try? Sounds like it's WoW-in-space with some design updates (only have to have four in a party, and you can have AI "companions" to take the place of missing party members, ie NEVER HAVE TO DEAL WITH A STRANGER EVER). I'd like to try it. Maybe next month after the holiday crazies have settled down a bit?

How about you Enron, interested in at least giving it a shot? FWIW, sounds like it's more geared to the single player story experience than WoW is. Every character class has its own storyline, with fully voiced dialogue, conversation choices and so forth. And, Bioware has historically made pretty solid RPGs set in the Star Wars universe, they certainly will do a better job than Turkey Neck did in the last set of movies.

Anyone else?

For the holidays, we ultimately decided to split the difference and do Christmas up here, but go down for a few days the next week (I have that whole week off from work). Way less driving drama, and far less intense events to go to. I'm really bummed about not doing the Poop Deck this year and about not doing the party that Yukari was planned but it's the best thing right now.

| Updates

- "I don't want WoW for xmas" - Done!

- Somebody was visionary, because isn't that boob ball from Kubla\Cabin Con the same boob peripheral from Titty Grab? Not that Johnny needs an excuse, but Titty Grab just looks like some pretense for grabbing prosthetic boobs. Kinda like a gateway before gang-banging RealSex dolls in your basement, or the real thing in a Frat.

- Now, all your kids might be geniuses, particularly the girls, so this might not seem like a big deal, but Wylie totally rocked some Minecraft all by his lonesome this morning. I have no idea what world he jumped into, but Leslie called me and asked if it was okay for him to play it alone (unsure if it was scary or whatnot). I told her it probably was okay, though he still gets creeped out by Endermen, and he probably wouldn't be able to get it going withut me. She said, nah, he's been playing for like 20 minutes already and just wanted to check. :)

Also, yesterday, as a 'job well done' reward after breaking a board in his Ju-Jitsu class(!), I let him play a little MC while I was stringing some Xmas lights. He called me over, as he always does when he's stuck or something, to ask what he does with this 'stick'. It was a lever that I didn't remember having in our inventory, so I told him what it was, he told me he already knew that, but wanted to know where the dynamite was and the red stuff so he could explode some Blow-Up Guys (Creepers). I was impressed, because he remembered how we set the dynamite, the redstone, and the lever from when we did this weeks ago! Further, he crafted the lever by himself!

Proud daddy moment!

##########PRIVATE WoW-LAMER ZONE##################

I tried to RealID friend both of you Mykenloft and Pumpkin using your gmail accounts, but I don't know if/how you are notified and if your gmail accounts are even registered as realID's. Either way, if you get a chance, try and add me using my Gmail, that way we will be notified of log ins regardless of what server we are actually on or character we are using. I've been spending some (ill advised time, should be studying...) on Bonechewer(PvP) leveling some Horde fellas.

The smell of Christmas trees now gives me a Pavlovian drive to fire up WoW - Merrymaker Docnorvell/Acererak rides again!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eric should buy the group Titty Grab for the next cabin con.

I'll set up on BGG! That website "janky!?" Pah!

*Navigates for 45 minutes through horrible menus for Car Wars tips*
Let's do this shit! A 25-50 limit sounds fine to me. Rude - eff google docs, boardgame geek has a gift exchange program built into it! Go create an account, add me and Enron as buddies, and set up a wishlist! It's the jankiest system ever but then I can put our names into it and it'll secret assIgn a target to each person.

Steve imsteve

Out but sending someone a random booby prize:

Anyone else?
The newest Humble Bundle is LIVE! Shit is so good, full of heavy hitters this time. Pay your 3 cents or if you beat the average ($4.58 when I got it) you also get some bonus games that are great. I think it's beyond worth it, even though I had a couple duplicates.

I don't want WoW for xmas!

| Baby vs. Travel

Baby wins!

My two cents is that your sanity and health is more important than pleasing the family with a visit. If you have a challenging sleeper right now, you do what you gotta do to survive and let that kid (and you guys) rest.

Being in a hostile environment (which is ANY other environment than at home) surrounded by unfriendlies (which is ANYONE else other than mom, dad, and baby) is a drag when there is any baby drama.


I liked the bundle I did buy, but like you said, lots of overlap with games I already have or games I don't want at all. Love the concept, love the execution.


Cash is kinda tight right now - lots of big bills hitting over the past few months along with the added cash stress of holiday travel/purchasing might take me out of the running for an AT gift exchange. Though some of you might find a totally unwanted coal-like $5 WoW goodie in your stockings... :)

| Secret Satan

I'm up for a secret Satan. $25~50 range seems reasonable.

jr0n, I still bust out Minecraft quite a bit. I finished up my three towers, put in a large skylight to my mine, reorganized my chest storage/kiln facility, extended my 4 longwall mine corridors to 500+ blocks long and did some more public works road work. I have actually been putting in a sizable amount of time. Especially while I was sick. I saw Pumpkin on-line for a bit on Sunday evening. Outside of that, I haven't seen any of the other Action Team jerks.

I have amassed quite a bit of redstone that I should try and do something with. I think I have some 60+ stacks. Just haven't come up with a plan yet. I also want to play around with Alchemy and Enchanting. I think Dennis has a pick of increased efficiency from his first foray into enchanting.


| omg

the next Humble Indie Bundle which is gonna happen any day now is gonna include:

Super Meat Boy

Extras for paying above average:
Gratuitous Space Battles
Cave Story+

That's insane! That's the best pack yet! I'll remind you guys when it comes out, because ven though I have some of these games already, I really  want Cave Story+ and Shank for basically free sounds pretty good too. Oh, just do it you guys.
I'm down for an Action Team Secret Santa giveaway! For too many years, we've not gifted each other shit, so I say we go for it! $50 top? Or $20 if $50 seems to steep? Someone make a Google Doc, stat!

I think Jordan and Yukari think you're coming to their house the day after x-mas jon, so you might have to let them know! I got a book for your baby and everything! (Mein Kampf, classic) - But yeah, let us know when you're in town, would love to see you guys!

Yeah, the Mage Knight rules looked intense, but like anything, it all usually makes sense once you put it in context. The Agricola rulebook is pretty shitty (almost FFG-status) but once you've got it down, you never really need to look at them again. His new game, Ora et Labora looks cool too.

The only video gaming i've been doing is Battlefield 3. Once I sorted out the technical difficulties, I play that shit every single day. It's not even that good - the maps are all kinda horrible - but the gunplay is fun, plus this morning they're releasing a bunch of classic battlefield maps, so that will breathe some good life into the game.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Yeah those wooden bits are very tempting. I think Pump has a full set!

We had a little secret Santa exchange in me/Enron's SF game group (actually, why the hell aren't we doing one? should we do one? holler if you're in!). I scored Mage Knight! Rude when you posted the rules for this a while ago I was pretty freaked out by the many pages of small print, but now I'm pretty excited about it especially because you can play SOLO! ;_;

So... did everyone just simultaneously crap out on Minecraft to play Skyrim/WoW/Agricola/raise a child/get sick/stare at vast collection of unpainted minis and groan painfully? I guess so, huh? I've been logging in every couple days but never see anyone. I've been playing SP a little bit. I really want to see what the quest mode is about. Unfortunately I went really far into a dungeon, got my ass blown up by a creeper and lost all my shit.

On the child-rearing front, last week was super rough because the kid was just NOT sleeping during the day. She was maybe sleeping 8 hours total per day and newborns her age should be sleeping 14-16 hours. She'd get fussier and fussier over the course of the day and just flip out and scream for hours at night. It was intense. This week things SEEM (knock on wood) to have settled down a bit. I think it was partially that she was going through a growth spurt (and thus hungry all the time) and partially that we weren't doing enough to help her not have gas (and thus uncomfortable/pissed all the time). We're doing some stuff like having her sleep in the carseat for a while after eating and giving her these "gas drops" sometimes (note, they help with gas, they are not gasoline).

Because it's been so rough we're rethinking the holidays a little bit. Right now to go to both Christmas and also the wife's big deal family reunion on New Year's Eve, we would have to be down in LA for over a week. That just sounds insanely hard so we're reconsidering what we're going to do. We might end up staying here for Christmas and coming down for the following weekend. We'd have to move some events around (and miss the Poop Deck :( ) but it might be the better thing for our sanities.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I had heard Skyrim had a bastardized console interface but hopefully it will get modded out or fixed eventually. I actually got used to it with the Fallout games because it was more comfortable to play with a controller (and they're not so twitchy that I need mouse control). I'm sure I'll grab Skyrim one of these days!

 Ordered some wooden animeeples and farmer-family-meeples for Agricola, I'm a sicko! I just can't get down with flat disks for my farmer fams. That game is so good, the more I think about it.

Found the newest game for the next CabinCon, Titty Grab. Way to go BGG, way to go.

Friday, December 09, 2011

| Skyrimjob

I will say this about the game.. hand to hand combat is insanely graphic. Not safe for kiddos, no.

One big kudos I'll give Bethesda is that they incorporated a lot of the gameplay mechanic improvements the mod community made to Oblivion.

My biggest bitch is about the UI and menu interface which absolutely BLOWS. It's a direct port from the console and it makes the baby Jesus cry.
Agricola is awesome! Finally played a few games this week and we both had a blast. First game was kind of hell to get through and we made a grip of mistakes, but after that it all clicked and was really fun. You totally care about your strange little farm :) We were playing the "family" version minus occupations and minor improvements, but I think we're good to go with the full version next time. Gonna buy a pack of better animeeples n shit cuz those fucking blocks don't cut it. Poor WoW. I played for like 2 days on a free server and had a TEENY bit of fun, but it's day has just passed. Star Wars MMO was pretty cool and I may pick it up if anyone else does, but the reality of the sitch is that it's still the same kind of game as WoW and I think I'm not into those time sinks anymore. But, we'll see!

Thursday, December 08, 2011

I'm not much of a fan of the mobile version of the site. It's harder to read the blog. Responses longer than a few sentences get truncated and you have to open each one by one by going to separate "Pages". Fortunately, there is a "full Site" link at the bottom. Maybe there is more to it that I haven't figure out yet. I'm tired and delusional so maybe I'm out-and-out wrong. You be the judge.

I will not be partaking in any potential WOW fest. Same boat as fArt, sans Skyrim addiction. Not a hater. Just not a player.

Wedding photos should be in my greasy hands in the next few days. Yay!

I haven't done any Xmas shopping yet. Ugggg...

Also, I'm on my third boot drive for the year :( Second one just took a shit this past weekend. I am quickly losing faith in SSDs. They are supposed to have great reliability. Well maybe it is just OCZ's fine manufacturing that is leading to drive corruption to the point of bricking them.

Wow, the blog is all fancy on my phone all a sudden! Something you did EJ? If so, nice!

I think I'm probably done with WoW for the nonce. It's just one too many extra time sinks and is a little too familiar now... although I could be tempted by something different down the road. Maybe the star wars game or guild wars 2?

I also keep thinking about picking up Skyrim... then I remember I also got excited about Daggerfall, Morrowwind and Oblivion and bought each only to not really like them. Unfortunately. I want to love them!

OK but Debbie Downer mode off. I think once the baby's past this current growth spurt (aka eat and cry all the time phase) I'll be able to at least do something online. I would still really like to get a real RPG together and, unless Aeryk wants to get ToC going, I think Hackmaster Basic might be that game! I'm pretty deep into the rules now and I think the rules are "similar yet different" enough compared with old AD&D to be easy enough to get into but new enough to be fun. Halfway to second level or bust!

| Haters Gonna Hate

Here's the plan:

1) Get WoW
2) Start characters on a PvP server.
3) See how the gameplay changes when 1) there are PvP fools runnin' 'round killin' y'all, 2) we actually get into an instance dungeon (which wasn't allowed, I don't think, with your free to play account) and get to see a much larger component of the game i.e. party dynamics, puzzle-y boss fights, etc.
4) Have fun!
5) ...
6) Profit!

I have heard only amazing things about Skyrim, only amazing, fantastic, redonkulous things about Skyrim but it is a) 60 bones, and b) non-mmoat approved (massively multiplayer online action team).
I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of how awesome Skyrim is.


But seriously... WOW. It's amazing. /punny

I dunno why I couldn't get addicted to WoW. I actually tried to get sucked in, lol. The social part of it was kind of cool, but the gameplay itself just wasn't all that fun, in my worthless opinion.

| WoW Haters

Here's your chance to prove how much you hate WoW by NOT taking advantage of their holiday sale!

Blah blah, there is still a monthly fee, but for these prices it's worth it to pick it up and then the Action Team Guild will ride again (for the free month of play, anyway) and we can do the dream (for the free month, anyway) of running instance dungeons together again! For some of us, for the first time!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Video-Gamey Week! Won't be around for any long stretches of time this week, but I'll probably be able to get a little video game face time here and there if anyone wants to play some Steam games or what have you. Just noticed today's deal is/was Dungeon Defenders for $3.75 - hear its pretty fun. Action/Tower Defense 4-player co-op jam with a fun art style. Gonna grab it before the 10am switch to whatever tomorrow's game is. I also have had Magick for like a year now and never played it if anyone wants to try to play this week. Or even

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I'm gonna order it right now! I only remember seeing it a little at the con when Dennis was teaching you guys, but it was super late at night and I was super burnt. I think I was overwhelmed by the cards, but with a few more games under my belt, it doesn't sound that crazy at all. It's about $40 on the 'zon (just invented that nickname for Amazon) instead of closer to $70 in stores, so I'll go for it. Awesome you guys are gonna make it down! I wasn't sure with the new baby being born. I'll totally try to meetup with you guys at least one of the days, and time forbidding, get some gaming in!
Thanks for the offer! I'll be around at Xmas this year, so hopefully I'll see you, either at the Christmas Eve thing (would be rad if you and your lady could make it), and/or we should have an Action Team board game day.

Agricola is really good. My wife and I play it quite a bit. The designer did a great job picking a universal theme (building a farm, raising a family) and then integrating the mechanics into that theme. Unlike a lot of Euros it doesn't feel abstract at all. It also scales well for the number of players. If it weren't on the pricey side I would just say go ahead and buy it, but as it is you should try and borrow a copy and give it a shot. I'll bring it down at Xmas if nothing else.

Basically how the game goes is you start with two people in your family and a small house on an empty plot of land. Each family member can take one action per turn. Actions are things like plowing land, planting crops, building fences for pastures, harvesting lumber, adding onto your house, etc. Each action can only be taken once per round so there is competition when both players need to do the same thing. At the start of the game, you've only got two family members and about seven actions available so your choices are not that hard. However, as the game goes more action types are revealed and you can get more family members, so your decisions become more complex. There are a lot of things to do to build a successful (high-scoring) farm. You also have to produce enough food to feed your family or suffer big point penalties (in addition to feeling a little guilty). So it's one of those games where you have a ton of things you want to do, and not a lot of actions to do it with.

The difference between family/regular is that in the regular rules, everyone gets a bunch of cards that add abilities or let you break rules in certain ways. They're a lot of fun, but it can be a lot to take in on top of the other mechanics, so in the family version you just don't use those cards. The cool thing about the cards is that you get a TON, and only use a very small percentage of some, so it adds a lot of replay value.

It's on the long side (usually takes us 2-3 hours to get through) but it doesn't feel long.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

What's the word on Agricola? I know Dennis brought it to the last Con. Thinking about getting it because it's got a family mode and can apparently be scaled down to a more casual play mode.
Space Empires 4x seemed pretty solid, but I only played it the one time :'( The rules and overall mechanics were very clear and straight forward. Playing with other people, I don't know how cumbersome the "hidden information" aspects would seem (basically having a generic ship tile over what you've really got in that fleet), but I think it wouldn't be too bad. You're welcome to borrow it at any time via someone visiting SoCal for xmas (Enron?), or even a flat-rate USPS box. Let me know! I jumped on it through GMTs special ordering program which was really great. I played $40 for it and now its listed at $65, sheesh. I'm still dying to play Kingsburg because I'm addicted to rolling dice and assigning them to shit. Also, Alien Frontiers. Has anyone played Ra? Looks casual friendly but fun, but I'm getting to this point where stuff thats more than 10 years old kinda scares me off because I figure there's a more refined version of that gameplay that's come out recently.
Hope you come to love Kingdom Builder. On the other hand, you can always resell it at Kubla and probably recoup a good chunk of change since it's a new game!

There's a lot of good games coming out. I was kinda overwhelmed by the Mage Knight rulebook you posted a while back, but it's starting to sound really interesting, especially since it's a solid solo game. ;_; Eclipse sounds cool; like Twilight Imperium, but, like, six hours shorter. Also interested in picking up the Space Alert expansion. I don't think we've even played the base game yet, but it looks like something that could change that! It adds an experience point and achievement system to the game. Also comes with badges for the various jobs!

I'm kinda interested in Space 4x, but none of the game stores I go to have it. How do you like it? Any more experience with the solo game in particular? ;_;

I also picked up Risk Legacy! It looks pretty fun. The baby has been going apeshit as of late, but if we get a calm period today, I think we'll break it out. I'll post a play session report on G+ if it eeems worth it.

Things are starting to look pretty good for GenCon! So far, we've got me, Enron, Pumpkin and Blackheart (Peter) looking interested. We'll see if everyone's still in come January registration/hotel signup but it looks like we've met the threshhold for awesomeness. And we could always cram 1-2 extra in the room!
Had a board game week-a-thon the past few days, now I'm back at the house for a week of shitty-work-a-thon. I saw the new Quarriors expansion out at all the stores. About $20 bucks, a few new creatures and the "corrupted quiddity" dice that I'm still uncertain about how they work. My girlfriend really liked Quarriors and almost bought it for me, but I STILL feel like I haven't played the game enough to invest in an expansion. I want to read some reviews before I bite.

Did pick up a couple new games. Tsuro, which is a fun tile placement/"path management" (I think) game with an asian theme. 2-8 players and dead simple to learn, the fun comes in trying to screw your opponents while staying alive. For such an easy game, it was really fun.

Also ordered from Indie Boards & Cards (the guys who put out Resistance, woohoo) their new cooperative game Flash Point: Fire Rescue. You play firefighters trying to rescue as many people from a burning building before it collapses. The fire-spreading mechanic looks similar to how disease spreads in Pandemic, but there's also a dice mechanic involved, so it's supposed to get pretty hairy. It just came in the mail, so haven't actually played it yet, but it's getting good reviews and supposedly scales really well from a family ruleset to more advanced hardcore gamier rulesets. Will get to play it in a few days, so I'll report back then.

Played more Kindgom Builder, and I like it, but I really don't know if I love it. Really need to play it with 4 players rather than 2, because I think we're really missing some competitive aspects that are probably buried there. That shit was $60 bucks goddammit, I better learn to love it.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

that would be awesome if you took another stab it. i dont know what the main program languages are that can be ported or easily converted to ios and droid, but maybe learn that.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh yeah, and to answer your questions about AoW, yes it was a puzzle game with some wargame trappings. It wasn't exactly match 3, but similar idea. You had different units and creating formations with them had effects based on the unit type. I was really impressed by how far Aeryk and O-Rugs got with the proto. Actually thinking about it now makes me want to take another whack at the game, rather than converting it to a boardgame version. :) Maybe I'll just learn Java.
Close -- Hackmaster is the game played by the Knights of the Dinner Table. (Dork Tower is the comic by the asshole who draws Munchkin.) It's kind of a weird bird; somewhere around 2005 they licensed the rights to 1st edition AD&D and then grafted tons and tons and tons of crazy rules onto it to make "Hackmaster 4th Edition." Kind of a half-parody, half-real product. If you ever read the old-school Gygax 1st ed stuff in all its glory, with all the crazy yet awesome stuff like the "Potion Miscibility Chart," and the endless list of polearms, think that in overdrive. For example, they added a critical hit chart. Most companies would have you roll a d100. For this chart you roll d10000. The monster manual was published Encyclopedia style, in 10 volumes. The GM screen was this fully laminated thing of glory that had something like 10 panels. It folded into one of two different modes depending on whether you were in combat or not. It was really pretty comically overwhelming, but the really interesting part is, it apparently was really well-playtested and totally playable.

Then more recently they made Hackmaster Basic, which is the precursor to the full 5th edition. This is what I picked up. It's no longer technically a licensed product, so they were able to ditch a lot of the parody aspects, and it's quite stripped down, but it's still a kind of crazy, high-crunch, sort of gonzo AD&D mod that seems like it'd be really fun if you play in the spirit of the characters in the comic (bloodthirsty, and attentive to detail). I haven't read much of it yet but the neat thing about the combat is that actions are kind of split up over the turn instead of the normal "my initiative count came up, so I take my whole turn now." You move and can attack and counterattack several times over the course of a round. Supposedly it keeps combat a little more engaging for everyone by reducing downtime. We'll never know until we play!*

* We'll never know
Was HackMaster the Dork Tower people? Like the fake game they played in the comic!? That's rad if it is. I'm all for checking out and trying other systems. At first Jon's collection of forgotten RPGs was super depressing, but now it doesn't bother me as much, hahah. Dusty and cobweb filled pdfs.

I don't remember the AoW videos too well other than it seemed to blend match-3 gameplay with sort of olden times battle line type fighting. I'm probably way off, but what stuck with me was images that looked like tiles with different soliders on them and combining them to make different attacks.

I've been thinking about how important cool components are to a game. I think that might be why some of these recent dice games have seemingly done pretty well. Good gameplay obviously matters too, but fun pieces go a long way to bolstering a games image, least for me. That's why I was thinking of rummi tiles/dominoes as a component. Don't think I've really seen that. Puzzle Strike used poker chips which is different. I suspect a lot of games go for cards because they're probably much cheaper to produce and players like card games. (Thinking about it, cards are probably a billion times cheaper than dice/tiles, and can accomplish the same shit, gah!)

Rummikub is fun because you're working with a communal playing field. Everyone starts with 14 random tiles and the goal is to be the first person to get rid of yours. You play tiles in either straights of the same color or groups of the same number, different color. You need 3 or more tiles to make a legal set. The awesome twist is that other players can play off of the sets you've put out there, or they can even tear them apart and make new sets, as long as everything in the play area is still "legal" in the end. It's so good!

I don't know what theme could fit with that style of play. War game wouldn't really make sense, but maybe something that revolved around "influence" or like "assimilation"  - competing Borg cubes :) - Speaking of Star Trek, I hear that new game Fleet Captains is a blast. Not a big enough Trekker to drop $100 bucks on it, but hopefully I'll see it at the next con.

Baconlube, fuck.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

| It only looks like I'm walking out of a Starbucks, when actually I'm doing the robot going backwards INTO a Starbucks.

Was that really before iPhone? Sheesh.

I also spent a little time trying to massage it into a board game but yeah, not suitable for a direct translation. Puzzle games are something machines are great at managing the pieces for, humans, not so much. In some ways, it'd be easier just to make a wargame from scratch.

Although, thinking about it a little today gave me an idea for how to sort of map the puzzle idea to a board game that maybe would be somewhat fast and kind of fun in certain ways! Let me see if I can squirrel away a little time in the next couple days and I'll G+ that shit.

I didn't really debase myself too much in the orgy o' spending that is Black Friday/Cyberhund Monday. Picked up the Oddbox for myself (started playing Abe's Oddyssey again, man what a great game). Bought the HackMaster Basic PDF too (don't get depressed guys). Interesting combat system. Miiiight be different enough from D&D to be fun if we ever feel like doing vanilla fantasy again.

Man, I felt like I had a bunch of stuff to write when I sat down, but I can't remember any of it. I guess sheer exhaustion will do that to you. Here is a picture of some bacon lube.

| Art of War

As the design of the game stands, it could not be directly ported to a desktop version. That is absolutely NOT to say that a game in the same spirit, and with similar mechanics, would not work. I have dabbled with the idea many times myself, and just kicking myself in the pants for the poor management of the project as well as the timing: it was a GREAT smartphone app just waiting to be designed RIGHT BEFORE the iPhone came out, but instead was designed for an XBox - WTF?

You know me, I'm always up for a project challenge and I think AoW:Cardboard Edition might be pretty cool. The Rummy-esque mechanic certainly fits with the "3 in a row" unit activation mechanic of the video game. Could be abstracted out, but maintain the same feel and spirit of the game.

Thoughts from the designer?
Whatever happened with the Eric/Jon colabo Art of War?

I was just thinking of how to steal/borrow elements of Rummikub for some kind of board game involving tiles and pattern recognition/set collection and I remembered briefly seeing vids on the AoW gameplay. I don't remember if it was very tile-y, but I think at one point I was thinking about my Rummikub knock-off  "instead of numbers 1-13, it could be different types of soliders" and that made me think of  AoW.

THEN made me think of crazy ass Kickstarter and how D-Day Dice is at over $90,000 so far. That is fucking madness! In 45 days I think. I think it's gonna be the most raised for a single game yet. It looks cool but I don't know if it looks THAT cool!

 So, in conclusion (going back to my school daze paper-writing skills), maybe you guys can reimagine AoW as a physical casual-friendly game and once it's playtested to all hell, make it through Kickstarter! I don't know if it was even something that could be played in real life, but if it was even close to a "majong wargame" then maybe yalls can make it happen. I'm still gonna brainstorm ripping off Rummikub because that's one of my favorite old school games and I bet those mechanics could be hijacked for something more thematic.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Dude, I'm telling you. Get Arkam City for $1 Dollar! (ONE US DOLLARS!) The first game you buy from OnLive is $1 buck right now, and I did it and it's amazing! It's weird future tech but it really works, and I didn't have to sign up for their yearly/monthly pass thing either (I don't think it's worth it) - just the regular free account. At least go and try the 30 minute previews of any game and see if it runs smooth.

Did you check out/buy the new war game Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles ? Looks like it'd be up your alley Eric and it's from the dude who did my Space Empires game. Has some good reviews and interesting comparisons to CC and some other popular war games I'm sure you play.

| Thanksgiving Shennanigans

- Went to Santa Barbara to hang with da aunt, uncle, and cuz. While we were there, cuz took me on a 6.5 mile hike - 3.25 miles almost straight up. Brutal going up, but then coming down I think is what did my hips and feet in. Surprisingly, my muscles aren't all that fatigued it's my bum hip, foot, and ankles. Good times. I EARNED my treat!

- Forgot about the Steam sale until Friday and the only thing that appealed to me enough to pull the trigger was Modern Warfare 2 for 14.99. I already had some of the other games and I just can't justify spending more that $15 on any game anymore. I'm quite content playing radicool games from 3 years ago for $15. Although, waiting for Batman: Arkham City will be tough... I almost picked up Driver: SF for 24.99, then remembered that I have no time to play games anyway, let alone a driving game.

- Started a bad-ass online penetration testing (read: ethical hacking) class on Sunday. I fear that much of my time over the next 60 days will be spent stuffing my brain full of assembly code and Python for buffer overflow reverse shell scripts, but I would love to get in on some online gaming action. It's one thing to talk about security academically for my job, its another to actually perform the attacks we try to prevent - hopefully this class will give me a nice little edge and perspective in the field that makes me all that much more employable.

- At the very least, HP closes down for the week of the 26th - forcing all employees to take their vacation days and all contingent workers (i.e. contractors, i.e. me) to file for unemployment during that time. There is also talk of forcing a furlough on contractors starting the week of the 16th, so mucho unemployment is possibly in my future. Wylie is off from school starting that week so at least I will be around to watch him during that time and if we don't frustrate and annoy each other into oblivion due to lots of idle time together, it should be a nice little break. This COULD even be a great time for some AT members to visit Casa de Hess for a lil' vacation of their own?

- Tis the season for World of Warcraft again. I really think this might be the year I actually avoid jumping back in around the holidays, as is my tradition, simply because I have scheduled this class at the same time and would really be shooting myself in the foot if I dabbled with my seasonal WoW addiction. I guess the Greench is just going to have to get killed without me this time around, and Smokeywood Pastures will need another poor sap to make their FedEx quest runs for them (Mike? Denis?).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Limbo for $2.50 is today's Steam jam! Loved the demo but never bought the full game, so all over it.

So, Kingdom Builder after a few plays is pretty good. Didn't blow me away or anything, but I don't regret buying it. It might be a little too light-weight and/or abstract, but I still need to play it with more than 2 players. We tried it 4 or 5 times. Quick breakdown: you take turns putting down settlements on a hex map that's randomized every game (you connect 4 map pieces out of 8). The winner of the game is the person with the most VP, which is also randomized via 3 Kingdom cards (out of 10) that set the rules for each game. Example, score VP for building next to water, your longest group of settlements on a horizontal line, or the most settlements in a sector of the map. So each game is potentially pretty different. Lastly, each board section has a unique location to it, meaning every game there are 4 unique location tokens you can collect that give you an extra action on your turn, like "build an additional settlement on a grass tile" or "move any settlement 2 spaces in a straight line". So, on your turn, you turn over a terrain card that dictates where you must build 3 settlements (everyone has 40 settlement pieces), adjacent to you existing settlements if possible. There's 5 terrain types. So, pull the card, place your settlements, do any extra actions you've earned, then that's it. Game is quick because once someone depletes their supply, you play out everyone's last round then that's that. Some of the scoring conditions were pretty fun, but when it comes down to it, it really feels like a relative to "Through the Desert". More variable for sure, but still pretty close to that level of depth I think. I bet a lot of thought went into the design of the game, and how the maps fit together is pretty interesting, but since you can really only do so much in a turn, it doesn't feel very deep. It's quick though and I bet if you were playing with some competitive players, it could get interesting. In a 2-player situation, there's enough room to not really bother each other, so maybe we were missing out on some cutthroat aspects that exist in 3-4 player sessions. I'll bring it next meetup and if you get a chance in the meantime, def give it a play. Not bad by any means, but def not what you'd expect from the guy who created Dominion.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I've heard really good stuff about Risk Legacy, like its basically the best version of Risk yet. That'd be great if you grabbed it. I was a littled weirded out by the "permanently" marked up and changed stuff you do to the game, but I bet it'd be a blast. Don't we get to name cities too? Can't wait to see what gems come up.

Bought Kingdom Builder today, the new game from the Dominiom creator. Gonna try it in a few hours. Looks fun and fairly light, so Ill post my thoughts later.
Has anyone heard about Risk: Legacy? It just came out, and it's a very intriguing idea. I think I'll pick up an Action Team copy over the holidays.

The basic engine is a simple wargame similar to Risk (rewired to take 1-2 hours to play, instead of infinity). The twist of the game is that cards, actions, and game outcomes can permanently modify aspects of the game including the board, card mixes, and faction/unit abilities.

For example, the first thing you do in the game is pick a modifier for the faction you picked. This gives the faction something like an extra unit/turn, an extra die, etc. This modifier is a permanent sticker so it doesn't just apply to your game, but anyone who ever plays that faction in the future. Similarly events will place cities on the board. Whoever plays them, physically stickers and labels the board with the new terrain, and names the city. Provinces can be destroyed or modified. Cards and components removed from the game are physically destroyed.

After playing enough games (20 or so I think) you run out of changes, and then you've got a uniquely customized version of the game. Sounds fun!

Some good stuff on Steam today! The new Deus Ex for $25 and Space Marine for $33.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Had an epic t-day. Didn't overdo it this time although I'm draggin my feet for sure.

Arkam City is badass! Best intro to a Batman game.

Gonna go kill rampage through Battlefield, shotgunning fools in the face. That's what I'm thankful for :)

| Oh my god, I thought I was going to puke for a minute there..

Ate 2 whole plates LIKE A BOSS. Had a giant pressure buildup.. wasn't sure if it was going to come out clean natural gas or black gold. Thankfully I didn't puke all over the place. If you had asked me before hand, I would have put it 50/50 at best.

Brined turkeh and all the fixins!

| All fixed!

OK, did some rewiring and cleanup and the house should be all fixed up!

Today's Steam deals didn't seem that great -- New Vegas for five bucks (tempting), everything else is kind of a pass.
Same to you! We're loning it this Thanksgiving, which is a first for us. (Maybe one other year.) Just too busy with the baby and the long trip to where all of our friends are! I'm looking forward to a chill day, though. I ended up ordering a turkey and fixin's from Mimi's Cafe. We'll see how it is... it was a pretty staggering amount of food for eighty bucks. Should have leftovers for sure. I did make my signature Jell-O salad (with secret ingredient) however. The wife is hooked on that stuff.

New Steam sale items come up in an hour! I decided to pass on Orcs Must Die. I played the XBLA demo and it seemed fun, but not something I'd play for more than another hour or two.

I loved those Abe games back in the day. Oddyssey came out in my second or third year of college and I played the crap out of it. Way better than going to class, hanging out with girls etc.
Have a great Thanksgiving guys!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

| Batman Arkham City - $1

Onlive has a sale right now. First game you buy is $1. ONE DOLLAR! Your choices include Batman Arkham City. I got that shit! Do the free trial first and see if youre happy with how it runs. Runs fine with my internet and looks good. It would look better if it wasn't streaming, sure, but it actually is totally passable and plays great. ONE DOLLA! They also have stuff like Deus Ex, Saints Row 3, La Noire, and some other new games.
Ugh, didn't even know the sale started today. Orcs Must Die was really fun from the demo, so might get that. Edit: Got it! It's really fun, and 75% off makes it $3.74. It's a weird action/tower defense with a total WoW look and humor. Already had the oddworld box, man those games are hard.

| Falling in MY lava... sheesh!

Don't feel bad you missed it! It would've sucked balls!

I think you're the ONLY one who will get to see the whole, functioning experience.

Thanks for the headsup! I do want to play F:NV... although I have a backlog of games and the Steam holiday sales are about to start up... maybe I'll hold off a bit?

Edit: I see the sales have begun! Ooh, you can get all the Oddworld games for 3.75. I never played Stranger's Wrath and supposedly they're putting out an HD upgrade which owners of the original get, so... click!
Dear Jon,

Best Buy has Fallout New Vegas for PS3 for $8 bucks with free shipping:

I don't know if you already got it, but you like PS3 jams, so get it.

Yeah, jr0n was pretty pissed. Ooops. I even took a screen shot of him scolding me.

Also, eLzar has been working out lately...

Wish I would have checked it out before Enron broke it all! I bought some more RAM and now I can magically play Battlefield 3 with maxed graphics and it never crashes. Thank god it didn't work this well when it came out or I would have never left my room. But I promise to go back into Minecraft when you fix your place up.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

| Well, never mind!

Well, Enron had some fun adventures checking out my place:

1. Died in some lava, in a place where I didn't really think it was possible to do so (note to self: add more safety glass)
2. Found an issue that meant Room 3 didn't happen at all (note to self: time for some substantial rewiring)
3. Had a creeper blow up right outside the front door.

Sorry man! Next time will be better!

Meantime, I've got the place closed for renovations... stay tuned!

There are now roads connecting everyone's houses, courtesy of the L-Rock Public Works Division.. including signposts with names / arrows!

I forget where everything is in relation to spawn, but I think Eric's place is closest (the beach house). North of him is the Burning Man monument. Hang a right after that to go to Jon's place, or go straight ahead to Pump Palace. From there, you can head off to the left (west) to Aaron's Imporium of AAAAAAAAAAARON or you can head out farther Northwest to my place (ShopVac).

There's also roads to two of the NPC Villages (one north, one south). Other than that, it's a big wide open world.
It's crazy how PC games are making the creep to $60 bucks, but it's been happening. I think the last Call of Duty was $60, and obviously the new one is as well. Skyrim will most likely go on some kind of sale during the holidays, so I'll probably wait for that. No rush on janky Bethesda gaming, although it looks pretty sweet.

On the way cheaper end of the gaming spectrum, I've been playing a point-n-click adventure on Steam called Gemini Rue. It's great! It's totally got a vibe along the lines of "The Dig" crossed with Blade Runner. Also has that look from the Sierra/Lucasfilm heyday. I'm loving it. I think it's $10 bucks on Steam, but I've got a couple copies for non-Steam copies if anyone is interested. Email me and I'll shoot you a link. It was a part of one of those indie game bundles, so I've only used the Steam version.

Cave Story+ just came out today, and I will probably pick that up soon. The free version was amazing, and the new "HD graphics" are amazing. Super fun platform/adventure game.

I've got a bunch of other game codes in fact I've gotten from those indie bundles, so I'll give them out next online meetup (there's some incentive)!

You're Minecraft house looks sweet! I will have to check it out soon - did you give the cords? If not, please do, because I don't really no where anyone's stuff is - I don't remember where I wandered off to.

| Wiring! Room 1 (spoilers)

Dunno if all you guys have had a chance to poke around with the little mini-dungeon I set up (I think everyone but Rude saw the first and the functionally complete second area?). If you haven't, check it out, it takes like five minutes to go through the whole thing. Anyway I thought I'd put down a few notes on how it works since I know most of you haven't played with redstone too much and maybe you can get inspired to do way cooler (certainly cooler looking) stuff than I've done. Also it's fun for me to think through this stuff myself and how I did certain things in ways that turned out to be stupid and inefficient or (accidentally) sort of clever. Today I'll do the doorbell itself.

I thought about a few ways to make the doorbell ring and then dump the user into the basement. I spent a bunch of time wiring up a completely different method based on regular pistons and then realized that sticky pistons would be a lot easier. I could stick wood to the pistons, extend them, then retract them when the user pushes the button. It also took me a while to figure out the exact best way to wire the pistons. Especially in Beta 1.8 pistons were/are a little wonky and the positioning of the wiring takes a little experimentation.

This picture is directly behind the entry. The wire runs out from near the doorbell, then runs through a series of note blocks with repeaters in between them. The repeaters are important for three reasons. First, current will only travel so far (15 blocks or something) and you need a repeater in there to extend the range. Secondly they let you introduce a delay so that you can space out the notes. (I still think the notes don't sound quite right -- it's the Pirate LeChuck's theme from Monkey Island -- but eh, good enough.) Third, current can only move in one direction (from the back of the repeater to the front).

So the current travels through the seven note blocks/repeaters. Then it hits the sticky pistons. The pistons have wood blocks attached to them (which they push/pull with them).

In their normal state, the pistons are extended, so that the attached blocks are under the entryway, because they are connected to a redstone torch. A redstone torch will power anything connected to it perpetually, unless it receives power from behind (also known as a NOT gate). A wire directly into a block then into a redstone torch is how you create a NOT gate in Minecraft.

The picture above shows what the pistons are like when extended. I chopped the central wood block out for the picture.

So this is the exact order of events:

1. User stands in the entry, which means they are on the wood blocks that are connected to the extended sticky pistons.
2. User pushes button.
3. Current passes sequentially through note blocks, with the notes spaced out because they are separated by repeaters.
4. Current hits the NOT gate which de-powers the redstone torch and all the sticky pistons attached to it.
5. The sticky pistons retract, pulling the wood blocks out from under the user, dumping them into the basement.

I hope I've done Grimtooth proud!
Haven't played either of those games. You're leading the charge, dude!

I did ask a couple of the games group guys about Kingsburg and they weren't super sold on it as a gateway game. I guess it's on the long side? But who knows.

Nice post Pump! I like the top comment (right now) about how the people in the video just won't shut up.

Edit: Oh man, the new Serious Sam came out? I'm tempted.
Edit 2: Skyrim is $59.99 on Steam? WTF man. That shit might fly on consoles but not for PC.
Cthulhu stirs and calls forth his minions. You have been warned.


| further up this rabbit's hole

So, let me throw out some more board games that have caught my eye. Wanna know if any of yous have tried them. These are well reviewed games that SEEM right up my alley for casual-friendly games.

Kingsburg? See lots of raves for it being a great gateway game - I guess it came out right before Stone Age, which gets thrown around as one of the penultimate gateway games. (I totally think penultimate is wrong because it means "next to last", but that word is rad and popped into my head, so it's staying.) Anyways, I've only vaguely heard of Kingsburg but reading reviews and peeping it's game, it looks pretty rad! Anyone try it? Is it quick/fun/rad/wack?

Oh, another game that I think is super new so I don't expect anyone to have played it yet, but looks cool is Mondo! Horrible name! But check out the video explanation on there. It almost looks like a lighter version of the ship building part of Galaxy Trucker! You build worlds not Galactic Trucks. I dunno, looks fun.

| Ding-dong!

OK, I finished prettying up/tweaking the place and now my "doorbell" is all ready for you guys to check out! Thanks Art and Pump for doing some QA on it. :)

You will need to check one thing beforehand. Run over to the really ugly tower next to my house and check the window with the sign on it to see whether you need to throw some gravel in there (it should be pretty obvious from the instructions).

After that, mosey on up to the front door, let yourself into the foyer, and ring the doorbell! No mining blocks or anything after that, but buttons are safe to push.

Probably not gonna be fatal, but you might not want to go in with, like, all your diamonds or anything.

To exit my place, use the iron door in the corner, there's a hard-to-see button next to it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I got a little distracted while making these two, so these are the burnt ones I was disposing of as the chef's penalty for losing concentration, lol.

But yeah, they were pretty yummy.

In other news.. I think I know what it's like to be on mind-altering substances after Haylee loaded up the Willy Wonka texture pack for Minecraft. Everything is either chocolate or candy.. it's complete madness, lol.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

My god, that is one epic flapjack!

Stoked that stoneage turned out fun. Watching videos and reading rules online still doesn't beat trying the actual game, so relieved it turned out good.
Today's breakfast... pancakes with peanut butter, fried bananas and maple syrup. Just missing some bacon to make it full-on Elvis Heart Attack level. Haha... this was really, really good. I've gone carb-free the rest of the day as a result, lolz:

That game's really fun! There's also a really solid online version at some janky German gaming site, so maybe we could play that sometime.
Tool a chance with the game Stoneage and its been a big hit. Almost like an advanced ver of Roll Through the Ages. Don't know how it would play with pro gamers like us but with the casual crowd its just about right.
I got the issue a couple times as well, but it would work when I tried again a minute or two later.

| Invalid Server Key

Apparently, this just happens with 1.0. I upgraded the server and immediately had a problem connection to the LAN address, so I switched to the servebeer address and things were good.

Now that I think about it, I think I had the issue once even after changing it up. Try to remove and re-add the server? Maybe re-install the client? Reboot?

I suspect you figured it out by now, however....
Jumped back into the server tonight and did more wiring. It was a good night to work on this because the baby was awake from 9:30 PM - 3:00 AM, so not a lot of sleeping going on in our household.

I finally finished messing around with wiring! Now i just need to put down blocks to clean up how everything looks and you all can check it out!

Finally learned why you get so much Redstone -- basically what I built isn't even super complex, and I used about 5 stacks of the stuff. I actually had to run over and steal some from Pump's house to finish.

It was fun, but I'm about ready for some good old fashioned minin' before I do another project.

Friday, November 18, 2011

| Minecraft

Hey, getting something about an incorrect server key? Does that have to do with the upgrade / download?


| 3:16

It was meant to be a small form of penance for dropping the ball and missing the Wed night 3:16 game Rudy had been planning. I think 3:16 is pretty cool in concept and I wanted to follow Pumpkin's lead by throwing out a little fiction to maybe generate more interest in the game to hopefully pull off a session (or more!) in the near future.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Good readin'!

Is that a specific genre / world or just free form?
That was great eric! Between you and pump, you guys have already fleshed out 316 so well! I'm out of town for a couple days, but ill bust out some mcnutty fiction when I'm back home.

| 3:16

(cross posted from email)

The fluid that was pelting his face made trooper Tent feel the best he had for as long as he could remember - he felt strangely refreshed. Tent slowly reached his free hand to his chin, released the strap and let his helmet fall to the ground next to where he lay. He ran his hand across his unshaven face and rubbed his eyes until he felt the liquid had been cleared away enough to open them. He was on his side staring down a city street that was covered in debris. Broken concrete, smoldering APCs, and shell casings were littered as far as the obfuscating smoke would let him see. Further down the street he could make out trooper Pumpkin squatting by an open APC, gesturing madly at some troopers running towards the transport, maybe Pumpkin wanted the troopers to get in the vehicle?

Tent tried to wriggle his other arm free from beneath whatever it was that was pinning him to the ground, and discovered that his legs were also immobilized. He turned to look at the chitinous mass of alien than lay across his body and found a handhold inside what he believed was the head, and tried to shift it's weight enough to slip out from under it. The movement of the alien body caused more ichor to exit the gaping wounds in it's exoskeleton, flowing over Tent's face and down his arm. Tent freed himself and crawled over several broken trooper bodies before he began hearing the dull thumps and rattles of what sounded like heavy MG and slug rifles firing.

If they were in a battle, Tent thought he should at least be armed and began looking for a rifle of his own. He found most of the top half of trooper Carlsson beside him, still gripping his rifle and pried it from his lifeless hands. The thumps and rattles became more clear and now he could also hear what sounded like voices in the distance yelling, and another sound, a larger sound; a heavier sound.

Using the rifle for support, Tent slowly stood up despite his vision spinning around like he had one (or ten) too many Terran Meads. He turned toward the direction of the open APC and saw Pumpkin closing the doors from the inside. Pumpkin took one last look out the doors and apparently noticed Tent because he stopped, threw open the doors and a few brief moments later trooper McNulty popped out the top and manned roof mounted heavy MG. Three other troopers jumped out the doors of the APC and took firing positions - Pumpkin began his furious gesturing and Tent thought he could hear him shouting something as well, then they opened fire at Tent.

Trooper Tent felt the air shift as slugs and tracer rounds sped past , the muzzle flashes illuminating the vista of destruction surrounding him. He was standing in the center of an absolute massacre - craters, razor wire, broken bodies, flames, blood and exposed bone as far as the smoke would let him see. He suddenly recognized the large, heavy sonance as the sound of tens of thousands of alien legs skittering and plodding towards him; the same sound he heard this morning before the first wave had overrun their positions. He heard impacts and inhuman screams from behind and without turning, put one aching foot in front of the next, and tried to get to Pumpkin, McNulty, and that waiting APC.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Amazon's bigger/better tab is due out next year, so that's probably what you're friend is talking about. Yeah, I'm good on gadgets for awhile. Just bought some new ram and a fan for my computer, but I'm all about the board games now, woo (20 years too late).

I ordered the 5-6 player expansion for Survive so I can potentially play it with some bigger groups down here and it's just this tiny box crammed with meeples, kinda funny. Now they have stickers for the numbers on the bottom, so at least it will be readable. AND I should be getting my single Whale sea-ple in the mail soon, yes!

I'm already "off" the minecraft again, but I'll probably hop in again here and there to see how the finished version feels - I'm assuming it's basically the same, but still neat to see the little changes. I got so burned out trying to build a single house, so sad.


I'm gonna be around Wednesday night if any peoples wanna play some 3:16 over G Hangout. I know you'll all potentially be too exhausted and I'm cool with that, but I'll shoot out an email during the day and then invites around 8:30 and see if anyone bites. I'll show off my rainbow meeple army on chat-roulette if no one shows up.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

File under "for what it's worth".. but in a private forum I frequent, an Amazon employee hinted to people looking at the Fire that they should hold off until 1Q 2012 for some new item being released by Amazon.

In other news, it looks like I'm going to have my insurance school certificate completed tonight so I can schedule my certification test with the state. Once I have that done I can go sign my agency contract with AFLAC and get started!


Regarding Minecraft, haven't seen anyone on in a while..?

I just found a juicy mine/dungeon that needs cleaning out. Might be fun to get an Action Team adventure squad dispatched to handle things :)

Or... quest for roses/wolves?
No Kindle yet, but it does look more attractive than I'd previously imagined. Just the Asus one I've had for awhile. Yeah, I was laying their trying to use the stupid on screen keyboard and saw the mic icon and it works pretty good! Dude, I'm gonna finally get a replacement whale, stoked. :)

| Killer Wales and Semen Stars

That's funny. Did you pick up a Kindle Fire? Thoughts?
in other news I emailed stronghold games and they are going to send me a new wales. They are the people who put out the survive escape from atlantis game I love it this is message is coming from the voice function of my tablet.
The only thing you need to work on is your attitude. Be more like me and have a rad-itude.

Monday, November 14, 2011

| Minecraft is official

It's gone gold! We are now playing a real game! :)

I went back to work today. Work blows.
Sorry San Juan didn't work out! Playing a bummer game always sucks. A similar game which a lot of people like more is Race for the Galaxy, similar mechanics, different theming, more complex. I think you'd like it but doesn't seem like a good girlfriend type of game. Have you considered trying a LARP?

Aeryk, I will never understand your weird (and unusual!) antipathy towards Puerto Rico, but I love you anyway. I don't actually think the theme is that dry for a Euro -- it's fun to place your plantations, your little disc people, etc. -- but the reason it works for me is the mechanics. They're just so clean, with so many different strategies and routes to victory. What I usually see when teaching the game is there's this moment when the mechanics click, and suddenly you kind of gain comprehension of this weird but elegant machine, and you've got to figure a way to take control of it and win. Edit: which usually I fail at. I kind of suck at Puerto Rico. If I started winning, maybe it'd be less satisfying....
That Skyrim video was hilarious! It looks a lot nicer than OG Oblivion, but it's still got that ghetto-shine Bethesda's known for.
Hahaha... oh my god I was crying I was laughing so hard at this. MAN I want this game now.

Alas, I am too poor both in time and mon-ay.

| Dry as a Bone

Is both San Juan and Puerto Rico. Both got a resounding 'blerg' from Leslie as well. Jambo tried to keep interest, but the theme is kinda lame and has fallen out of favor.

Winners with the Mrs. for whatever reason: Carcassonne, Ra, Blood Bowl Team Manager(!), Ticket to Ride (Europe mostly), Battleline, Cribbage, and Lost Cities (original card game).

So there you go, my two cents.

PS She is MAD ADDICTED to Tichu on the iPhone, though hopefully she has sort of run the addiction course this weekend and can return to her normal self this week.
After a few more hours over the weekend of Tek Wars the RPG, I'm almost over it. It's def a step above most MMORPGS just because it's got that Bioware-shine to it, but I found myself getting pretty bored after awhile.

Played San Juan with my gf this weekend and that was a bust. She wasn't feeling it and neither was I. It was easier for me because I have more exp with dryer euro-type games, but damn, it's not the most exciting game.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Played me some Star Warz MMORPG tonight and it was pretty good! It's a Bioware game, so it very much feels like KOTOR meets Mass Effect. They've taken the Mass Effect dialog-wheel (Good/Neut/Bad) and overall KOTOR aesthetic and vibe and married that to your typical WoW mmo.

The good: One cool aspect of the game I've never seen before are these "story zones" which are specific to each player. So, we may be on Planet Ewok with everyone, but when I go into the Ewok chief's hut, I'm suddenly in "Rudy's Ewok Story instance" so the dialog and happenings are specific to wherever I'm at in that storyline. If I'm grouped, my space homies will see the same cutscenes as me, but they won't be able to effect the outcome via dialog, etc. It works pretty well because it doesn't seem over used. Of course, it also means you'd probably see the same cut scenes a grip of times if you're rolling with your galactic-gal-pals, but they all seemed pretty brisk so far. When you leave said "story instance" you're back in the shared game world. It doesn't break with a load screen, so it flows nicely.

The bad: It's an MMORPG, so my quests have literally been "kill 6 Separatist Snipers" "Disable 3 Separatist Jamming Devices" and "Collect 3 Republic Medicine Crates". Wee, MMOs.

I made a fake Han Solo. I'm gonna play some more this weekend but I'm leaning towards buying it in December and maybe playing a month or two. I hear the pvp is fun but I haven't gotten the opportunity to try it yet.

Friday, November 11, 2011

I keep hearing it's so much better than Space Hulk, so yeah, I totally want to play it too and judge for myself. I don't think you can really beat Space Hulk's theme though.
Yeah, no, Earth Reborn would be a definite girlfriend fail. In fact I tried playing it with Aeryk the other weekend and it was kinda complicated for us... just using the first scenario... although we HAD had about three beers by that point (it was within 40 minutes of Aeryk arriving). I'm really fired up to play it though. I've read about half the rules (up through the funky ability icons). I basically want to get Enron over here for a day or something and just plow through it.

San Juan really isn't that complicated once you put it into practice. Although, the wife and I had played Puerto Rico first and it shares a lot of concepts. (We played with Enron, so imagine him saying: " 'ave another tea, guv'na!' " in a falsetto every time the Governor card comes up, which is every turn). I imagine it would cut the other way as well and San Juan would be a good lead-in to Puerto Rico.

I like playing certain games on consoles for the reasons you mention. Also, just sitting on the couch using a controller is relaxing in a way hunching in front of the computer is not.
Have you tried playing Earth Reborn with Janice yet? Thematically it doesn't look particularly girlfriend-friendly, so I don't know if I'm ready to try and bust that one out yet. I bet I'd have better luck with one of the D&D boardgames because at least it's co-op.

Roll Through the Ages has been the biggest hit so far, followed by Lost Cities. Honorable mentions to Ticket to Ride, Carc, Forbidden Island, and Through the Desert. She didn't really like Jambo (me neither) but I kinda screwed up bringing it as the only game on a Catalina trip once. When Jambo's the only game you've got, trials and tribulations. We'll revisit it again in the future.

I think for the mass-introduction of Euro-style gaming to her friends and family, I'm gonna try Ticket to Ride. I'll also have Carc, Roll Through the Ages, and Through the Desert on standby. Also, Gang of Four. I've had San Juan for awhile now and I've been afraid to try and play it with anyone because it just seemed too daunting. Might have to bust it out and see if the time is right.

/end cardboard
/run electric'

Cool that you liked Arkham Asylum! That's a badass game. I'm pretty excited to get the new one soon. Was going to get the PC version, but thinking about it now, I might end up grabbing a console copy only because you can sell them back so easily. I got burned bad on Battlefield 3 for PC. It's an awesome game in theory, but it's such a buggy/crashy piece of shit, I'm all but done with it. Fuck that shit. And of course since it's a PC digital copy, I can't even recoup $20 bucks or whatever.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Through the Desert is solid! It doesn't hit the table every night or anything, but it's always fun when we do break it out. Next stop: Earth Reborn!

I decided to actually build a house for once (in Minecraft) so today I spent a little bit of time building the foundation, then spent a little time wiring up a doorbell. Uh... make that a lot of time. Took me like three hours! And it's not quite done yet....
Maybe Chez-Rudy will be a dug up graveyard/mummy-doll wharehouse. That's some morbid fucked up shit I expect to see show up on a Law & Order next year. Yuck man.

Got into the Star Wars:Old Republic beta for this weekend only, woo! The game comes out in December too, so if anything, this will act like a crash course demo to see if it's got what it takes to capture my heart. Played a little DC Universe free mmorpg this week, and it was predictably boring. To be fair, it's more along the lines of an action rpg/beatemup in that you go around punching, kicking, and blasting dudes using a controller. But it still has a really generic feel that kind kills any desire to play it, free or not. I'll take a pic of my dude next time I load it up because he looks sweet.

I'll try to build something in Minecraft this week, but I'm still pretty burnt out on the game. I was CRAZY into it for a month or two and then it just kinda lost it's luster. I like the new shit they've added, so that's a positive. Maybe if I treat it less obsessively than last time, I'll get more fun from it.

Picked up "Through the Desert" and played it a few times with my gal. Very girlfriend-friendly game with great pieces (pastel camels!). It's fun and plays really fast which is a plus. I imagine with more than 2 players it being absolutely chaotic and look forward to trying that out. I'm trying to organize a "game night" with her siblings and their SOs to try and introduce them to some awesome not-monopoly board games.

Watched the Twin Peaks pilot for the first time yesterday. It was great! Rememeber watching Season 1 on VHS a long time ago with JP, Jon, and some other random homies ( I think) but I'd never seen season 2 or the pilot. Gonna work my way through the entire series, can't wait. I know S2 is supposed to suck, but I'm still mucho excited and going in with pretty clear expectations.

| Don't be surprised if you come across this...

... in the WebcamRPG Cthulhu sessions. This is one of the most disturbing things ever. EVER.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled, light-hearted, Minecraft posts.

When you start getting closer, we'll have to figure out where to hook it up. Are you doing a raised bridge-like thingy or on-ground path? lol

I need to get back to town and find everyone's stuff. Half the fun of Minecraft is seeing what everyone's up to!

I think my next project is to build some farms in the biodome looking hills behind the castle/keep thing I've got going on. Making the day trips out to Che Pump to till his fields is effective, but time consuming. I try to leave half the haul in the pantry for others to use.

| Public Works, at your service.

Since I'm content (or at least less-inspired than others) to make my little beach house in Minecraft, rather than giant, awe-inspiring compounds, my contribution will be Public Works!

My first task has been to create a road system that connects all our "homes" together so at least we can find our way around. So far Chez Biggdork, Pump, Botz, Enoto, and the Keep on the Borderlands have been completed - next step is to link Shopvac and the elusive Chez Rudy.

See, I can contribute!

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

| Oh, and screenie of the improvements..

Got the lava cross working, swapped out the dirt for dungeon block on the front of the castle, tower #1 built out. Needs to have interior shiz / fluff added like beds, book cases and whatever else. That's gonna have to wait. lol.

| Mind the Creepers

LOL.. had a funny moment tonight with Jon. He was helping me check out the new castle tower for aesthetics and function.. went out in the night time to take a look and typed "hey, let me know if you see any creepers coming". So I poke my head over the edge and see one running for him and type CREEEEEEPEEEERRRR into the chat. But, Jon thinks I'm just joking around and stands there.. haha. About a half second later the obvious happened. SSSSSSSSSssssssssssssss... BOOOM! :(

We had a good laugh about that, lol.

I went ahead and fenced off Enoto's crater as a memorial, with the statement of "Was only trying to help" etched below the Enoto Memorial sign.

Also, took a pic of the squids living in my waterfall.. and a shot of Pump's place in the distance from the ramparts of the new tower.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Haha, that's awesome.

I've had both kiddos on my knees playing Minecraft with me the last couple of days. Haylee was NOT happy with daddy for the environmental lava disaster that killed all those trees on the hillside, lol.

Bennett is all about GET THE BAD GUYS DADDY.

| Arkham Asylum

Thanks for the recommendation on this Rude and Aeryk! I'm almost done (just down to a couple boss fights I think). Love the slick design, finding things is fun, great graphics, and really good combat. Always satisfying to finish a fight with one of Batman's big "non-lethal" moves. For the couple of you that might not have played it, it's definitely worth picking up cheap on Steam or for PS3 sometime. Next up: Demon's Souls!

I was playing Minecraft today and got really freaked out when I thought I heard a zombie right behind me -- turned out it was just my kid snoring.
Been great goofing off in MC with y'all. It's good to have the Jones back!

Found a giant underground city under my keep that is crawling with buddies.. I'm gonna need help with it I think. Adventure time! lol

In other MC news, almost done with the shell on the southern tower.. then just another 1000 blocks for the north tower, weeeee!

Not quite sure what to do with the interior space on these things. Guess i could throw in some beds/chests for the guard barracks levels, lol.

Can you even make "fireplaces" anymore? Thought I remembered hearing about people going into the aether level to grab glowstone..?

At any rate, Im still a ways off from having the goods to make a portal.