Saturday, April 28, 2012

I really need to find my old Magic cards and unload the good stuff. My cards from high school are in awful condition from playing on the sidewalk in Stockton, etc., but my college-era cards should be in decent shape.

I played a couple of Telltale's Monkey Island games, and they were fun, and I love that they were filling a niche nobody else was (until now, perhaps), but they were lacking in the oomph dept. I feel about Telltale how I felt about Jughead's Revenge. Solid mid-listers, some good songs, probably really nice guys, you might buy a T-shirt, but would you get the tramp stamp? No, probably not.

I "finished" Fez and "started" the "New Game+" (you can finish the game way before doing everything, and New Game+ isn't really a restart). Aeryk, this honestly seems right up your alley, with "the" mysterious codes and unthreatening, yet creepy ambience. I'm now at the point where I need to either sink some time into the codes or just look shit up on the Internet. I'll probably do the latter, unless you guys want to team up and become some kind of code-cracking super group.

Played Agricola with the Farmers on the Moops expansion. Have you tried it Rude? The first game was actually kind of stressful, because I went from kind of understanding how to build a successful farm, to once again having no idea what the hell I was doing. But, things came together at the end and it's really a pretty good expansion. It changes up the game a lot without really adding much complexity, and it might actually make the game a bit easier, overall.
The artwork in Ascension might be a turn off? The game is totally straight forward tho which is nice. I was eyeing a physical copy a few days ago and totally thought to myself "I can play the hell out of this game now!" I still don't feel that kind of confidence in Dominion, but I haven't played that game in years. Walking Dead looks pretty cool, but having just played some Law and Order telltale adventure, probably gonna hold out for a sale.

| Walking Dead and Ascension

Walking Dead: A fairly good experience.  The art style moves between fitting and then sort of silly.  Horrific zombie attacks are less horrific when they are sort of cartoony, but by and large it looks pretty good.  The story is a straight forward zombie outbreak tale, and the characters are interesting enough.  I listened to a Bombcast interview with some of the guys on the TellTale team and they were talking up the game like there would be all these difficult decisions and I guess they were right, but the decisions are a little obvious - do I save this person, or that person?  One will die, one will live, but which one?

Some of the 'hot spots' to click on objects or people are pretty terrible and not even on the actual object, but slightly next to it, which does pose some problems.  You can toggle an option to always show hot spots, which I have used to get out of a pinch when I couldn't find the off-center hot spot.

All in all, I'm looking forward to the rest of the chapters and think it will be a fun time.

Ascension: Lots of fun!  Seems like a super-duper simple game that takes a lot of the guess work out of deck building games by sort of reducing the number of combination of cards, if that makes any sense?  I like it a lot and really want to buy a physical copy of it too, I think it COULD go over well with Leslie.

I sold like 7 Magic cards (Legends, Antiquities, unlimited, etc.) I found while boxing things up to for like $240 credit, so I could be picking it up sooner rather than later!

How's the Walking Dead game, Eric? I see you've put in a few hours!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ascension for ios is on sale for 99 cents right now. Fun deck builder Jon and I play a lot of. An awesome free game I'm currently hooked on is Jetpack Joyride. Its a ton of fun! Ryan's on the leader board so he knows what's up.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

| Excited nerds will kill anything

How did the podcast guys describe it? It seems like "retro 8-bit" would be front and center. Anyway, maybe try revisiting it in a day or two? I've only played a couple times and it's pretty intriguing, I don't think you need to sink 50 hours into it or anything. Anyway, Magic Realm was pretty fun! Yes, lots of chart consulting and it ultimately broke down in sheer perplexity, but I strongly want to play again soon. I pretty much agree with Aeryk's assessment and want to see what happens when you get to the meat of the game and start hiring armies, teaming up with other players, etc. We did use magic (which isn't all that hard, and is very cool). I definitely see the advantage of printing the updated, fan-made monster pieces. They have so much information on them.

| MR and Fez

When I played solo, and with Peter and Denis, I thought MR was a lot of fun. It was esoteric, cryptic, complex, and bizarre, but in a very mechanical and somehow logical way. Each turn was like a puzzle to figure out and I began to get in a rhythm until something new popped out. I never played with natives or magic, just the basics, but I do recall having a lot of fun figuring it out with Peter and Denis.

 I also listened to that Bombcast and was enthused about Fez, and then I bought it and played it - less enthused. Not because it isn't charming and clever, but all the stuff the Bombers were talking/alluding to I will probably never see because my job is not to play games all day. I don't think I will be able to invest the time to actually peel the onion and get to that crazy shit. I also had a TOTALLY different minds-eye picture of what Fez would look like based on the Bombcast description. Given their adoration and total mind-blowing revelation-laden description of the depth of the game, I was not expecting a goofy fantasy land "side-scrolling" puzzle game, with a twist.

 It's fun, and I will still tinker with it, but I don't think I will get to experience first hand the weird Celestine Prophecy a-ha moments everyone else will.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I've heard great things about Fez, last night in fact listening to the Bombcast! I had never heard of it (haven't turned the 360 on in months) but they were saying it has a TON of depth that isn't immediately apparent, and that really doesn't even start to click till after your first play through. I'm excited to try it out!

Also want to get Journey on the PS3 - that's the weird ambient exploration game set in a dessert world. Played that one yet? Supposed to be awesome games-as-art kinda deal.

I also told Johnny to try out the Wire after he raved at me about Breaking Bad. :)

There's a Titan HD app for ipads. I hear it makes the game a lot more bearable because it speeds things up by like 85%. I think it looks interesting like a lot of those old ass games. INTERESTING, but not something I need to play.

I'm still intrigued by Magic Realm. Was it "fun"? I saw pics on G+ and it was all you guys looking through books perplexed! Do you think you'll like it once the rules are understood?

| Gamez

Good deal on ME3! Personally I haven't finished it yet. I'm enjoying it, but gameplay-wise, it's really more of the same after ME2. That isn't a bad thing but I'm not as compelled to jam through it like with the other games.

I picked up Fez and have been enjoying it. It's a pretty relaxing puzzle game with fun retro graphics and sound and great production values (within those limits). One thing I like is that, while for the most part it's platforming puzzles, there are also these weird clues lying around the place, that seem to relate to things you find elsewhere in the game, in ways that are unclear. It reminds me a bit of Myst in that sense (although the gameplay is absolutely nothing like Myst).

Ja-el: glad you're doing some crime research! You're almost ready to enhance "Drug Wars" to Avalon Hill complexity 9. When you're ready to move from meth to heroin distribution (complexity 10), perhaps you should watch The Wire? Although it doesn't focus as much on the nuts and bolts of production, it is useful for understanding the limited strengths and crippling weaknesses of the law enforcement organizations that will inevitably come after you, how to run a crime organization with remorseless effectiveness (until it is brought low by ambition and betrayal, anyway), the ins and outs of the international drug and prostitution trades, and the best ways to bring the youth of tomorrow into your organization, both as workers, and as consumers.

BTW, I know I played Titan once or twice with Paul back in the day -- weren't you there? It's honestly not that great of a game. Movement is really weird and random, and combat is sort of fun, but the game is looooooong. (One player can basically watch TV while the other two resolve a single combat.) One best left to nostalgia, IMO. The best thing about it was that the ink used in the first printing of the game was not water soluble, so any sweat, spilled water, etc would destroy the chits.

| Decision Time!

Enron/Aeryk/Myke (I know you're reading this!), it's time to make a decision on staying Friday night at the con. The convention block of rooms is tapped out, so if we reserve online, it'll be $160 for the room before taxes etc.

Personally I'm up for it, as long as we're going to hang around on Saturday and play games as well (I can probably stay until 3 or so). Otherwise I fear it would be, show up Friday, get wasted, play, like, one casual game, do the flea market, and then at seven AM everyone leaves.

Anyone else want to come up for the one, single most amazing day of gaming you've ever had in your ENTIRE LIFE?
Mass Effect 3 is $30 bucks on Amazon right now across all it's different formats. Ordered the 360 version since that's where my saves from ME1 and 2 are. Hope it's good! I forgot how regular video games are so pricey. You can get almost all the awesome board games for around $30-40 bucks.

The Summoner Wars app is going to have some kind of free-to-play aspect to it. They haven't said how, but it will either be free with additional factions costing money, or having a price and then factions added for free. Can't wait! I ordered one of the starter sets (Tundra Orks vs Phoenix Elves) and will try to get Johnny to play it one of these weekends. Think they're supposed to be one of the easier teams to get into so I'm excited to try them out.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Love the shows, love the shows, love HoBOs!  

Breaking bad is so breaking good.  I almost didn't wake up when Rudy came over on sunday, because the night before I was up until the wee hours in the morning watching the entire season 1 and season 2.  At some point, the movie gets really depressing, as in, no concience cold blooded murder.  but if you just remind yourself, it's just a show, it eventually gets better.  And then some parts made you wonder why everyone didn't become a meth cooker at some point in their lives or die from lung cancer!   But the story gets more positive and delightful,  with hope and that silver lining, all that feel good kinda stuff.  Then there's Lot's of titties in Episode 3 season 2.  

Early AV games can be crazy nuts.  Think people had more patience back in those times, or more of something.  The game I remember ever seeing required game time of 3 days or 72 hours.  "The longest day" with over 3000 pieces.  It was awesome just on the thought.  I always wanted to play it, but never had or desire to own it.   Definitly want to play Titans some day, which seems to be similar to MR.  

I watched a few videos on Magic Realm after Cabin Collins because I think you'd brought it along. Looks interesting and epic and long. I'm always game for trying something like the online version. Give me a few months to read the rules.

How does it compare to that 10 hour space game you played recently? That's more recent, isn't it? Twilight Imperishable, I think?


Game of Thrones is on fire this season. You non-HBO having dudes are gonna love it when you get around to catching up. The pacing is much better this season and the look of the show is a lot more impressive. They have so many great background shots this season, something that was seriously lacking season 1. It's brilliant.

Also watched the new HBO comedies VEEP and Girls. I really like Girls, mumblecore 20-something self-entitled chicks in New York - it feels very real and funny and embarassing. Makes me totally miss my 20s but then also grateful I made it through them. Veep is the lady from Seinfeld as a really aloof vice president. Seems like it will be good - very "The Office" meets "Arrested Development" - should be interesting.


I never knew their was such a thing as a "Conservative Punk Rock" movement. :( It looks really depressing and mean and yuck. One of the main dudes in it is Dave Smalley from ALL and other shitty bands I barely remember. Went far down the google/wiki rabbit hole after reading a great article on an ex-Straight Edge punker dude: From AV Club

In the meantime, Top Ten Awkward Coachella Dances

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It was gaming day for Action Team North as well! Enron and I got together with some of the SF game guys to try out Magic Realm, a behemoth of a game, perhaps THE behemoth of a game. It went how I think most first-time games of Magic Realm go: a ton of rules explanation, finally starting, immediately getting bogged down on some rules points, handwaving it, playing a bit, running into another confusing situation, everybody looking at the rules for a while, then giving up and having a beer. :) It was still lots of fun! The game is so crazy and complicated, that it begs for further exploration.

In our case it was the native hireling rules that bogged us down -- Matt and I just kind of failed on those. I've been using Realm Speak to play through some of the situations that vexed us. It's started to become clear... very slowly.

I think most involved wanted to give it another shot, and I think it's gonna happen. I'm really hoping to get a game going at Kubla. Aeryk, what do you say? Spend Saturday morning/early afternoon getting into the Realm?

And for Rude/Ja-el, we should fire up the online version sometime, hopefully the technical obstacles wouldn't be too gnarly. It's a board game version, of a role-playing game, created by Avalon Hill at an extreme level of complexity and simulation, in 1979.

Edit: Love how the default pane is HTML, yet if you type in that pane, your line breaks don't work? Yeah, great update Google.
Awesome gaming today Johnny! We got thru a lot more of Twilight Struggle but again, I had to end it early for sleep. We made it into the mid-war. USSR (me) was ahead on the score track, but that doesn't really mean much because a whole lot could have still happened. Super fun game!
I knocked the board a little at the end so it all looks kinda sloppy

Yeah, and guess what?  All that wife beating, meth addiction, starts on the gateway drug.  And you know who (would have) grows the gateway drug?  Apparently professor pot.   hehe  =)

I can handle uncomfortable humor a million times better than uncomfortable drama. I friggen love how crazy and evil meth is (it is 85% of all the crimes I see, the other 15% being idiot men beating on women - which probably ties back to Meth!!!), but I just struggled with Breaking Bad. I think the main dudes son being special needs was just TOO FUCKING HEAVY and I checked out early. I hear it gets pretty ridiculous in later seasons, which is probably more my style (True Blood fan #1).

I'll see Johnny in the morning to play some games/game design/stomp out his racism! I thought something was fishy when he tore up the Martin Luther King card in Twilight Struggle! He claimed he was having a Risk Legacy flashback, but now I don't know... (Just kidding, don't think he's racist/don't know if there's really an MLK card in TS!)

Last week we looked at Johnny's Incan Gold inspired Dungeon Crawl card game. There are some cool ideas there so we're spending a little time on it before playing. I'll also show him my Caravan Guard ideas and see if we can brainstorm anything.