Saturday, August 12, 2017

Expanding my Corner

I have decided that it's time to start trying to grow my little media empire (ha!). This decision was motivated by several factors. One of these factors is the fact that PinkFae appears to be defunct. This makes me sad, but such is life. More importantly, there is the fact that only the first two to four paragraphs of the six most recent articles are accessible at all. I don't want all that writing to be lost, so I'm seriously considering reposting those articles here.

Furthermore, I had an idea some years back. I've been active in my local chapter of PFLAG for some time, and one day, I was wearing a PFLAG shirt which featured some rainbow-coloured stick figures. A friend saw that and told me, 'For a second, I thought those were meeples, and I was about to ask where I could get a shirt like that.' Well, such an idea can't go unexplored! So I threw together a design and tried to get some organisations to use the idea.

Well, nobody would. So I decided, 'screw it, I'm going to do it myself.' So I've created a more advanced Game Dork brand, and have created a store on cafepress where I am selling shirts with these designs.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

What makes a game good?

I found myself sitting around with a few friends last night talking about games. This is not surprising, as we had gotten together for the specific purpose of playing some games. In between games, we talked about gaming, gamers, conventions, and some specific games.

There's a sentiment that I hear often when talking about games. I heard it last night, and I've heard it many times before. We'll be discussing a particular game, and someone will say some variation on:
  • I have a great time playing that game even when I lose.
  • That's a game I love to lose.
  • I don't care if I lose this game, because it's so much fun to play.
I've found it to be true for me in many cases: The Red Dragon Inn, Dominant Species, and The Resistance: Avalon to name just a few. 

Now, I will readily admit that these games are not perfect. The Red Dragon Inn, for example, features player elimination. Dominant Species can be pretty intense, complicated, and lengthy. The Resistance: Avalon is difficult for people who are not good liars.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Board Game Review: The Goonies Adventure Card Game

Recently, the Dork Spouse and I found ourselves at our local board game cafe with time to kill. We looked around at their library to decide what we wanted to play, and eventually decided to try out the Goonies: Adventure Card Game that was funded via Kickstarter last year. So now I will share my thoughts on that game with you. Starting of course with the numbers:

Strategy: 3
Randomness: 4
Complexity: 2
Humour: Derivative
Attractiveness: Pretty
Average Length of Game Play: 45 minutes
Gamer Profile Ratings:
  Strategy: Low
  Conflict: Low
  Social Manipulation: Low
  Fantasy: High

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Accomplishing Big Things

I'm going to post something a bit meta today. I'm not going to talk so much about games, but a little bit more about the games industry. In fact, I'm even pulling back my perspective to talk a little bit about creativity in general.

Let me set the scene. I currently live in central Oklahoma. There's not a lot in Oklahoma. There are farms, there is oil and natural gas, and there is a smattering of a few other things. If you live in one of the two major urban areas (the Oklahoma City metro area, and Tulsa), there's a slightly broader array of things to do and see. A small handful of companies have their headquarters here (most notably, the drive-in fast food chain Sonic), and downtown OKC and Tulsa have some offices for various corporations.

But otherwise, there's not a lot to Oklahoma. The state tries to rely on its Native American heritage (all of which was basically imported from other parts of the country anyway) to promote tourism, but not many people think of Oklahoma as a vacation destination.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Giving It a Try

Before we get started, please allow me to remind you that I have set up a Facebook page for this blog. If you like reading the stuff I write here, head on over to follow me, so that you can keep up to date, and see interesting new stuff that I might post there!

A friend recently drew my attention to an interesting post on Facebook. The short version is this:
An employee from Portal Publishing was irritated to see people claiming that a game is unbalanced and worthless after only playing through once or twice. Instead of learning the ins an outs of the game and getting good at playing that game, they give it a cursory single play-through and then give up on it entirely.
Really, the entry is quite interesting. It's a little emotional, as the author is clearly upset. But I highly recommend reading the whole thing.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Board Game Review: Hoyuk

As I continue to write reviews for those games that were kindly sent to me by Mage Company, I come to the largest of the games that I received: Hoyuk. In this game, you control one of five clans of primitive people settling in a valley. You compete to build houses, fill it with people, attach livestock pens to those houses, fill those pens with cattle, and build add-ons like ovens and shrines.

The game box next to the board set up as if in the middle of a game. The box art shows large stone letters spelling out the title, Hoyuk, standing in a desert landscape against a sun preparing to set. The board shows a valley with stone outcroppings, trees, a river, and a pond. Tiles representing houses and pens are placed about the board, with meeples representing ovens, shrines, villagers, and cattle on some of them. Supplies of meeples are grouped on the right edge of the board, with various cards and building tiles on the left edge.

One quick note before we get started: I have set up a Facebook page for this blog, so if you like what you read, head on over, like us, and share with your friends! Now, let's start this party properly!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tales from the Loop

In 2015, Swedish musician/artist Simon Stålenhag ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the publication of his art book, Tales from the Loop. In this book, which was completed in 2016, the reader will find a wealth of paintings that show suburban Sweden in the 1980s, but with the addition of a number of sci-fi elements such as enormous technologically-advanced towers, magnetically levitating cargo freighters, debris from failed particle accelerator experiments, robots of various sizes, and even an occasional dinosaur brought forward through time portals.

This was so wildly popular that in November of 2016, a new Kickstarter was launched to turn these paintings into a roleplaying game. This one was also a great success, raising almost forty times their target. Thus, in early April of 2017, backers received their copy of the core rulebook.

The cover of the rule book. It shows a painting of four children in their early teens, dressed in winter coats and hats with backpacks and bicycles, standing in a field of yellow grasses and cedar saplings, looking away from the viewer into the distance at three large cooling towers, slightly obscured by fog, with futuristic lights on the tops. The title is printed in white across the top, and along the bottom, it reads, 'Roleplaying in the '80s that never was.'

My good friend John has a copy of this game. He has suggested running a game for me and some others, so he loaned me his book.