Saturday, July 02, 2011

Magika does look pretty cool and got a kick off of the video they had on their homesite.

I agree with rude (hope youre feeling better!), think it'll be better with no board, and having the seats as position. aAn idea that can change the positions is if everyone is assigned a position #, example 1, 2 ,3, 4, 5 (5 players) and 1 can only attack positions 5 and 2, and cards can change positions on players. Thats just an idea, to make positions moveable while gladiators manuever with cards rather than "static" spots without having to get up and switch chairs.

On the cards, to facilitate combo manuevers and team assists, we can use CC's idea of having 2 actions on a card. 1 Instant action and another primary action. Typically the primary action is more powerful, but can only be played during a players turn. While the secondary action are instants played out of turn, usually assists, blocks, attk/def modifiers, etc. That way, you'll also save alot on the # of cards in the deck. Just a thought.

BTW i'm done with my game. I'd like to try it out sometimes! It looks fun, BUT i'm sure thats just my enthusiasm talking or my ass.

| Magicka

Hey I would play Magicka, especially for $3.50. I am out of town with no PC access though. Any chance you could gift me a copy? I'll hook you up with The Adventures of Wily Beamish or something when I get back.

Oh and take notice everyone: Rude and I decided, we all need to play L4D2 again, since we only played for like 5 minutes last year!

Games looking good so far!

| save vs sick

Man, I got the gnarliest cold last night while at work. I mean, went to work perfectly fine and over the course of 8 hours or so I totally succumb to the nastiest head cold :( I guess I would have woken sick and this time just got to experience it happen live. SUCKS! I had to cancel my meetup with your Pasadena group Jael! I hope they don't think I'm a flake.

Speaking of 4e, I'm talking to a D&D group out in Burbank (near my gf/vandams house) that I might joined for Wed at NOON games! Man, who plays D&D at a comic book store at NOON in the middle of the week? ME, maybe! The wed game is going to be Dark Sun with 4e rules and maybe some Gamma World :) The DM seems pretty hardcore and runs like 5-6 games a week at all these different places (apparently there's a lot of gaming at comic book stores in the valley that I was never aware of.) Chatted with him and he seemed nice so gonna check it out. Have no exp with 4e other than maybe the stripped down version in the Ravenloft/Ashardalon games.

On the game Rudicus Maximunt: I don't think there should be a board. I thought of that too, but I think for it to work and be quick, the less items outside of cards the better. While sure, it could be fun to move a mini around a grid, I think that's another level of play we don't need to meddle in. Let's keep it simple and abstract, at least in that respect.

If we were to "direct" players to have a particular setup at the table, I pictured maybe an octagon with players little pyramids of cards in front of them, and in the center of that octagon could be draw decks representing weapons, traps, or whatever else is in the arena "space". But that's already probably over thinking things other than "in the center of the table are the draw piles", period.

Like J's idea about maybe hidden factions and the 3 tiers to a character/levels/years. One thing I liked about the D&D Mini's games was that you could flip the character card over to have the level 2 version of the same dude, with upgraded stats. Back to Bang, I liked their multiple characters with different strengths and weaknesses. For this one I imagine different colorful arena characters, maybe even straddling the fantasy line a little - maybe more on the Spartacus side than Lord of the Rings.

REQUIRED VIEWING: Season 1 of Spartacus. So good. Super campy but it just got really good by the 4th or 5th episode and it has tons of these cartoony/gruesome/gnarly gladiator fights. There's an episode called "Thing in the Pit" which was amazing! Netflix only has episodes 5-10 on streaming, Pit is ep 4 :(

Quick synapsis: Sparty needs to make some dough for his boss so he gets taken to the "pits of the underworld" which are the SUPER skeezy underground death fights. There you got your gnarly Conan/Mad Max freaks fighting to the death. The fights have to draw bones to find out what weapon they get. It's bad ass!

Also, another classic gnar-gnar gladiator scene was from the 2nd season of Rome.
The 13th!!!!

Ugh, gonna take some nyquil and knock the F out. Work 3 more nights :(

Steam sale has some jams today like:
Magica - $3.39 (let's do it! 4 player hi-jinx!)
Plants vs Zombs - $3.39 (who doesn't have it tho)
And some other jams.

Ok, night :(

| In summation

Here's a quick summation of ideas, and some more that I'm sticking in:

- Arena gladiator based game, maybe 3 - 8 supported
- Fast play, multiple rounds needed for victory
- Single goal of 3 "victory points" that can be earned through winning the arena, or through hidden victory conditions based on event draws, faction based, etc.
- Fluxx-like card play where each player turn is fast, and cards in each players hand can be played all at once to make super attacks, super defence, combos, or since there is a Fluxx element, a series of "exploding" card sequences (one card causes other cards to be drawn, played, etc.)
- Interrupt cards can be played out of turn by other players.
- Since there is a faction/hidden victory conditions element, maybe there is also an ability to assist other players.
- "Location based", meaning that where you sit at the table determines where you can attack based on what equipment you are using, or what maneuver cards you have played. Location could also be represented on a simple board so players could run away from each other, group up, etc. The board might be too much location restriction rules, I'm thinking 1st vs. 4th ed D&D rules where 4th is a very strict map based game, and 1st is totally free flowing.
- Equipment could be location based too, so a shield card will be placed to better protect attacks from certain sides/players.
- Cards have 0 - 3 values on them representing attack, defense, and combo/maneuver. There are also event cards that can be played to change the rules of the game, maybe? Each turna player can attack another player by simple attack values, or playing a combo card that might need a certain # of total attack/defence/combo values to be played along with it. These combo cards might cause disarmament, a missed turn, inability to attack/defend, reduced hand size, etc. I see this as awesome finishing moves or setups for allies to do some wicked awesome tag team kills, etc.

I don't want to discount Jon's hole punch idea, but like I said, I think it would be totally awesome in a spaceship game.
Hayden was adorable! Youre just a Hayden hater because you don't do any cool reviews on you tube and get free games from publishers.

I started imagining a "romanesque" theme but then rather than going on a tangent, decided to focus on the "arena" theme but I can see how this would work also for classes like senators, assassins, generals, etc. Anyway, back to gladiators, I started thinking, how about the objective of the game could be to get the "Rudius" and win your freedom! In order to do that, you'll have to be crowned champion for 3 non-consecutive rounds. (3 years time span). The trick however is that you can't just kill anyone. You'll be given a color code (faction), and you'll have to figure out who youre trying to kill. Each player Matt also has a different specialization, ie. Trident/net, Heavy shield / sword, Double sword, etc.

Ok, take it away...

Friday, July 01, 2011

Here's a video review of Bang that should be at your level of comprehension Jael, BANG!
Bang Review

I don't remember really liking it much but I think I may have only played it once or twice a few cons back.

EDIT: Ok, now that I was refreshed on what Bang was (I was thinking of the game with the foam guns), I can kinda picture a gladiator "proximity" based game with mutliple people. You can say that certain weapons/hand-to-hand only allow you to attack the persons directly next to you, while other weapons like a Pike would open up attacking the person 2 or more spaces from you. Players might also need to decide if they're going to defend/evade this turn instead of attacking, and if you've got a shield or something like that, if you defend in a certain direction (Johnny keeps beating on me from the right, so I'll shield that way next turn), leaving you exposed on the other side.

| chitty chitty bang bang... (remember Mrs poppins?)

damn... that's a lot of physical activities rude, but sounds really fun! Boxing though, id hate to get punched in the nose. I know most people start out as mush and training stuff for noobs is really non-contact, but at some point you might change your mind. But dude, get ripped! you might look like Jon tong soon.

Eric: I haven't played bang yet, so probably have to try that first...

| Fast Play

For our first endeavor, I was thinking more of a fast play game, like BANG!, but of course, lots more fun. Hands are cycled through quickly, maybe all at once if you stack your cards for a big attack or combo, lots of interrupts from other players, etc. Maybe even a little Fluxx-ish, if that doesn't turn too many people off!

Like 15 - 30 minutes I'm thinking.

I think the hole punch cards sound like a sweet idea for a spaceship combat game with the hit holes in the cards match up with different locations on the ships.
Jon - Like that idea of cards with holes in them. So is it like, imagine a card has 3 stripes on it with different functions: Attack/Defense/Item or whatever. Then if you place another card on top of it, the holes will highlight numbers on the cards beneath?

Jael - Cool diet :) I've been nuts on activities lately, so with a more controlled diet, I should get into better shape. Twice a week I do dragon boating which is mostly core-stuff, then I joined a boxing gym which I'm going about 3 times a week. That's fun man, makes you feel like a warrior :)

As far as 2+ players for the game, maybe we can start by looking at it as a 2-player game with the ability to expand if you combine another set bringing it up to 4. Besides the weird balance issues Thunderstone had, it handles a big group of players pretty well. But instead of building your deck to fight monsters, you're fighting each other?

Steam: SpaceChem is only $5 bucks today. It's fun and HARD, but when you successfully beat a mission it feels great. Really interesting puzzle game.

Conan: I never played it either! I would be interested in maybe trying it. I remember it got pretty dismal reviews. Didn't live up to the hype of what it was supposed to be like. But FREE is pretty hot and I'm willing to give it a shot. I'll go d/l the client and then we can try it out someday soon in the future :)
Jon - Brilliant!
Maybe the cards could have holes in them, in different places, like punchcards. And if you place a card on top of another card, in way that shows both its attack values, you get to use both numbers!

(Side note: Rude, I can't remember if you tried Age of Conan or not. It just went free to play, and I've always been kinda intrigued. Any thoughts?) (Side note 2: picked up Recettear for $5 in the Steam Sale!)
July 4th weekend!

Started a new diet and workout regimen. Balance of carbs and protien - carbs are for energy, so I eat a carb heavy breakfast and lunch then a low low carb diet at dinner time so the carbs won't be stored as fat. Protein are hard to digest, so I take 20-25 grams of protien breakfast lunch and dinner and spread it out evenly. Goal is to gain 10 lbs of muscle and lose 10 lbs of fat! Makes tons of sense huh!

On Gladiator:
How hefty should the game be? 2 player would be much simpler, 4-6 players is going to be the challenge in terms of determining the game mechanics while keeping the # of cards manageable and that has viability of fun and fast with an average gametime around 45 min to 1 hour?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

RE: Gladiator Card Game. I wonder if it's a deck-building game (sort of the in-thing for a while now) or something else. What would the table look like to someone walking by? I'm maybe picturing each player having a spread of cards in front of him maybe representing his fighter. When one player attacks someone else, they remove/tap/something another players particular stack of cards.

Interlude: One thing I may or may not need to quell is how whenever an idea is thrown out I immediately try to think of something that already exists that sounds like it. I guess that's inevitable but I don't know if that's counter productive. For example, when you said a gladiator combat game I thought of JAB . Never played it (not sure if it's even out yet) but the pictures of how the cards are layed out his awesome! Look at the pic gallery.

Back to Gladiators, one thing I think of from tv/film examples of that kind of combat is how there can be random weapons up for grabs. Also, wild animals (if things aren't moving along fast enough.) These things could be cards.

| AT = The Crowd

Design by committee, sort of. Just a bunch of crazy concepts and ideas about a game, be it feel, favorite mechanics, genre, what have you, and bounce the ideas around for a while and see if anything sticks and maybe try to get some basic rules together, iterate the rules, publish it, make millions! I'll start:

A gladiatorial combat game that uses cards. Should scale from 2 - 6 players, cards are used for attack, defense, and events. Each card can have some, all, or one of the att/def/evt values and can be played together to increase a value, or in a sequence for sweet combo chain effects.

Something to be played at conventions. Fun, fast, good balance between flexibility and simplicity. Combos should be something special to behold, but not impossible to pull off.

Now someone else take the idea and add to it, change it, tear it a new one, or build from it! Aaaaaaaaaaand GO!

I totally don't know what crowd design source means, but if it means we make games or something, I'm in! What do you mean?

| Speaking of Game Design

We should do a crowd sourced AT game design on the blog. I know designing is personal, and maybe we will have multiple games with certain members as owners that have final say on the design decisions, but I think it would be fun.

Okay...... GO!
Glad your boy is doing well! :)

Steam Summer sale started today. Once again they have a bunch of daily challenges and sales n shit. Might get the Back to the Future pack for $12, played the first one, it was fun. We shall see.

| A-Okay

- Wylie did just fine, he's at home eating ice cream and in pain, but he's a lil' trooper.

Or as Face to Face sort of would say if Wylie was the singer, "DO say yamokay, DO say yamokay, DO say yamokay, yamnotnotokaaaaaaay-yah!". (PS this joke will probably only be enjoyed by Ryan.)

- I did my share for the economy recently by picking up some Victory Point Games, games. This is a company run by Alan Emerich, who, if you attended early Strategicon events, you will recognize as one of the auctioneers from the Monday auction! He was not the black one, not the young one, but rather the smaller one :) Anyway, he has a game company and has a bunch of solo games available that are called States of Siege , and some of them look really fun! I picked up Legions of Darkness which is the fantasy one and Dawn of the Zeds, which if you hadn't guessed, is the modern Zombie one. I also picked up Forlorn Hope (Space Hulk-ish with solo rules!) and Gettysburg: The Wheat Field, which is a boardgame version of a miniatures game, which I have always thought could work out nicely.

I'm excited to play these games in all the free time I have. Not.

Yeah, I'd like to check out your incan gold thing, let me know. And I don't really mind chits. There's extra setup and breakdown time, but they give you a lot of information on tiny pieces which is cool. I guess an alternative is minis and stat sheets or cards, but that usually means a lot more money too.

I can't wait to try out Quarriors. Comes with 130 custom dice! Yikes. It's the new chit. It's designed by some awesome designers, so I bet it will rock.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

That sounds like a fun idea for a game Ja-el! I'd play it.
Sure, when you get the game let's try it out. GMt has some pretty cool games but alot of it is chit based, which becomes a time vs fun tradeoff. I also finished the rules on my D&D inca gold version, so i'd like to try that one of these days.
Awesome dude, thanks for the scoop. Glad you had a positive experience with them. Ill try and make it out there and see if I dig it. Ya, the organizer seemed pretty nice.

I ordered that space wargame from gmt jahknee, so when it comes in ill give u a call so we can try it out. I've been reading rhe rules and scenario book and it looks pretty fun.
Yeah, I like the group but it's small, around 10 (slow day)-20 (busy) people per gathering and you meet up at a persons house so it's not like meeting at a game store. The nice thing about that is you get to know the regs real fast and everyone gets to know you. The thing with a smaller group though is the diversity of games is very limited. This group tends to like the euro type block games so be expecting to play those. I haven't played one war game there, so nothing like combat commander, or even axis and allies for this group. More like, Power grid, Puerto rico.. (you can read the games i played last year. Posted it in our group excel blog).

I haven't gone for a few months, just been busy with everything. but yeah, you should try it! The owner has an Eric Hess (know that guy?) sized game collection on the shelf-o-games. So you don't have to bring anything.
Hey Jael, did you ever go meet with a board game group in Pasadena? I joined one that someone from the Something Awful forums suggested to me, and I saw you're a member of the group too! You made a comment about meeting the people at one of the LA Cons. How's that group? I might go on Sat to one of their gaming sessions/BBQ but I'm working all weekend, so it would only be for a few hours if I can muster the strength.

I also joined a D&D group that meets at Games Empire in Pasadena which looks like a massive store with tons of tables. They've got like 10 D&D games going on Sat also, but dunno if I'm ready to take the plunge into 4E D&D. Where's the Chill/Buck Rogers RPG meetup groups!?

RE: Space Empires:4x, the rules are available to look at online and it looks pretty fun! GMT Page

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I hope you didn't miss it (EDIT: you have until July 3rd, then the program is gone), but after Sony's horrible Playstation Network was down for a MONTH, they offered a "welcome back" program:


So, that 1st weekend they were back up, they offered 2 free rentals form their video store (you could rent for 2 days shit like Bad Boys and Ghostbusters. Movies you can watch free on Netflix and a bunch of other places.) They also gave a free month of their PSN+ service which from what I can tell only gave you some exclusive demos and really really bad indie games for free (which won't work after the free month passed.) You could also pick 2 free games for life from the following list:

Little Big Planet 1
Dead Nation (top down left4dead/smashtv kinda game)
Infamous 1
Superstardust HD

So just follow directions in that link and hopefully it still works. It was an option in the PSN Store that says 'WELCOME BACK' or something.
Thanks for the tips fellas! Poop under the fingernails, eh? That's one way to stop biting em.

How do I get free shit from the ps3 fuck-o Rude?

That GMT game looks very cool. Might even wash the taste of Dominant Species out of my mouth (worst,game,ever).
Good luck with Wylie's surgery Elrick and fam! My niece just under went pretty much the exact same thing about a month ago, and she's doing much better. Before hand she was having a horrible time sleeping, night terrors, and stuff that looked like learning disabilities but was probably more due to her tonsils and some other stuff messing up the poor kids sleep. The recovery was brutal. I think they gave her codeine or some kind of hardcore pain killer (for kidz) but it was so hard to get her to take it. So, couple brutal weeks for my sister and her fam, but my niece is doing worlds better now, so looks like it all worked out in the end.

Goodluck with Amazon, Art! I spend too much money with them, which wouldn't feel so bad if I thought I was contributing to your family's well-being. I played and enjoyed Heavy Rain as well. Looks great and is a pretty unique take on the adventure game formula. Loved loved loved LA Noir, which incidentally, is much closer to Heavy Rain than to any of the Grand Theft Autos. Think you'll enjoy it. The only other must-play PS3 game I can think of is probably Uncharted 2, if you've had a chance to play it yet. That shit was amazing and now it's like $20 bucks I think. Plus 3 is coming out soon. Also, since the big Sony/Hacker fuck up gave us the option for 2 free games, I picked and enjoyed Little Big Planet 1 and Wipeout. Wipeout is the best game ever if you're into racing/spacey kinda jams. Awesome visuals, music, and just a really fun progression. It's also 2 games in 1 (HD and Fury), so there's just a ton of content for the price of FREE or whatever it costs otherwise (maybe $15-20).


On the boardgaming front, look forward to trying out 2 new games:

First up, Ascending Empires! It's another flicky game like Catacombs but with a space/civilization strategy game wrapping instead of a dungeon crawl. Good reviews although I guess there's issues with the board. See if any of your game groups have it and let me know the scoops.

Other game I'm actually interested in is from GMT of all companies! Space Empires:4x. 1-4 player 4x wargame/strategy kinda deal. Word on the street is that the rules strike a nice difficulty balance which I'm looking forward to.

Monday, June 27, 2011

| In Other News

I have taken a job that is ALMOST closer to SF than it is to my house. Ah, the things we do to try and secure a stable future for our loved ones.

Sounds like you're making it work in the meantime Art, so I say go with it, hang with the runts as long as you can before you jump back in and sell your soul.

Along with the sleep, prior to baby arrival enjoy the following:

1) a clean house, full of adult things
2) expecting anything you put down to remain where it was placed
3) not getting poop under your fingernails
4) silence
5) being able to have a conversation
6) paying for only two people in your life (babies count for 1.75 more people in cost)
7) energy

I wouldn't change it for the world. :)

And in related news, Wylie goes under the knife on Wednesday to have his tonsils and adenoids removed so hopefully he can sleep easier, not be a mouth-breather, and improve his speech. Fingers crossed for a competent anesthesiologist!
Congrats on the kiddo mang! I will give you the obligatory... SLEEP AS MUCH AS YOU CAN FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN BEFORE THE BABY COMES. lol. Yeah, when we started with the kiddos, we made the conscious decision to have one of us home with the kids while the other one worked. It's been a total bitch financially (and at times, psychologically) to pull off.. but we're not homeless (yet, lol), and we're still eating food every day. I figure once Bennett is old enough to self-advocate, we can look into Michelle working full time again and he can go to a pre-school. Until then, we're doing everything we can to keep expenses down in a range that allows us to exist on a single income.

I'm crossing my fingers like mad for Amazon to come through with a gig. Hell, I'd probably accept something way below where I want to be just for the opportunity to get in the door and then climb up the ladder from within. The commuter train JUST got connected down to where we live south of Seattle, so it'd just be a 1 hour ride on the train. Also, it's only $175 a month for ride-as-much-as-you-want. It'd cost me somewhere between $400-500 in gas, plus maintenance/wear/tear on the car (plus the cost of a car, lol) to commute to Seattle on my own.. and another hour each way on TOP of the hour-long train ride.

Gaming goodz:

Heavy Rain is like watching a movie in which you get to interact and guide the plot. It's like Dragonslayer (the old skool arcade game) meets.. I dunno.. a really fucking cool detective / thriller (usual suspects?). I LOVE the combat so far (ok, only got into one fist fight defending a prostitute from an enraged john, haha). It's a lot of fun. Button mashing, sure, but it's more puzzle-based than anything.

It's almost creepy how interactive the whole thing is. I love it for how unique and interesting it is. I also bought LA Noire recently because it's been getting such good reviews. But, I haven't cracked it open yet. I'm playing Heavy Rain in bed with the wifey at night after we put the kiddos to bed. So in that regard, it's something fun the wifey and I can do together as well.
Good luck at Amazon man! I've heard great things about Heavy Rain, and I have a copy someone lent me lying around -- maybe I should give it a shot. Mostly I've been playing Portal 2 (doing a chapter of co-op here and there with Rude) or Team Fortress 2 with Rude and, theoretically, Ja-el -- which is free now, you should check it out!

O-Rugs, you may have jumped ship before I mentioned that we've got a kid on the way, due in October -- and man, I wish we could do either the Mr. Mom, or for that matter if my wife could do the Mrs. Mom thing. It's just too expensive to live in this part of the country on one income though. Even for people making 6 digits, which I certainly do not.

Here's some stuff I read in the Believer lately that I found interesting and which may be worth a few minutes of y'all's time:

Interview with Gary Gygax, or actually, a kind of article about D&D and the interviewer's experience playing D&D with the Man Himself.

Interview with David Simon, creator of The Wire. Not too spoilerific if you haven't seen the show yet (but if you haven't, what the hell are you waiting for?).

| So yeah, like that.

For the record, I would just like to say that I think crab is delicious.

Also, on teh food-front, I recently discovered a vendor at our local Farmers' market that sells Habanero Jelly. I have a jar of the Raspberry-Habanero and it is just simply amazing. So good. The heat isn't really even that bad. I would have expected it to be much hotter.

Also-Also on teh food-front, I found a kick ass hole-in-the-wall spice shop down in Olympia. SO AWESOME SAUCE. I mean, they have 6-7 different kinds of smoked sea salt. I picked up an ounce of truffle salt for just $4, an ounce of applewood smoked sea salt and some black truffle oil.

Jerb Update: Still Unemployed. Not going to lie, I love being home with the kiddos all day and being Mr. Mom. It's like the Summer Vacation that never ends. Unfortunately, going to have to get a jerb here pretty quick or the family unit may have to downgrade to a very small living space. The good news is, I'm talking with the great folks at Amazon about a couple of positions. The neat thing about that is.. even though they're in Seattle, their HQ is literally 2 blocks away from where the commuter train drops off downtown. That would ROCK. I only live 5 minutes from the park and ride. Supposed to hear back from them this week.

Gaming update: I bought games for the PS3. It's been a long time. Enjoying the hell out of Heavy Rain and Gran Turismo 5. Yay!