The Black Hole

A frustrating day at work. I discovered that a hotel over-charged me for an upcoming trip, because I wasn’t paying attention. I felt despair upon realizing that. Silly, but true. I knew I’d have to call and explain and try to work it out. I felt like a child. Travel arrangements frequently bring out a feeling of helplessness in me. I feel overwhelmed, even though I have few things to do. I worry that I’ll completely foul it […]

Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls action shot

My Board Game: Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls

Months ago, I watched a bizarre short film called Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls which threw together clips from various cartoons and space opera serials of the 1930’s. The film didn’t do much for me, but the name stuck. I mentioned that name to Michael R, and we fantasized a competitive board game in which zeppelins fly over a lost world, descending for treasure as their crews fight off pterodactyls. Today, after much play-testing, that […]

'Game closet' by lkbm on Flickr

50 Games in 50 Weeks, Complete

In July of last year, I took stock of myself as a gamer. I wanted to understand games better, and eventually design games. I realized that I suffered from a deficiency: I could play a few games well, but I knew only a few of them. I decided to fix this by setting myself an impossible-sounding challenge: 50 Games in 50 Weeks. I would play 50 games that I had never played before, all within the next 50 weeks. Last […]

The Problem with Blogging

I love having a personal blog. Yet it sits in an awkward place, like the new boyfriend at the dinner table. It’s not a cathartic private journal that records one’s angers and fears. Neither is a blog about anything other than the self. I’m too much of a Renaissance Man to give my personal blog a single topic like politics or cooking. As such, this has become a wildly inconsistent record of my interests and thoughts. On one hand, […]

Please do not buy candy from Munchies Sweets and Treats

Please do not buy candy from Munchies Sweets and Treats

Bottom line up-front: I ordered a bunch of candy from Munchies Sweets and Treats, only received half, and they’ve ignored my requests for the rest of the candy I paid for. This past Halloween, I wanted to buy a bunch of full-size candy bars for the trick-or-treaters. It’s always fun to see their eyes bug out when I offer them a pail full of big candy bars. And I figured I could buy them in bulk. After an hour of Googling, I found […]

Halloween Music Challenge!

Halloween Music Challenge!

There’s a lot of terrible Halloween music out there: fake “horror” sound effects set to Casio keyboard demo music and banal lyrics. Here’s part of my Halloween playlist to get us started. What’s your favorite Halloween music?

Seven Dragons © Looney Labs

50 Games in 50 Weeks: Seven Dragons

Just finished playing a game of Seven Dragons, a strategy card game by Looney Labs. It manages to find an excellent middle ground between ease of comprehension and strategic options. The rules can be easily explained in 10 minutes (though I botched one of the rules’ aspects). After you begin playing and once you hit the game’s midpoint, your strategic options become complex and interesting. It’s something of a pattern-matching game. A silver dragon […]

Road Trip, Day 1

Road Trip, Day 1

I’m off on the first day of my great cross-country road trip. I’ve stopped at a small Italian restaurant in Maryland.

50 Games in 50 Weeks: Fortune & Glory

50 Games in 50 Weeks: Fortune & Glory

Fortune & Glory is a new board game of pulp adventure. Each player is an Indiana Jones-style adventurer, traveling the world, looking for treasure, fighting Nazis and mob bosses. The board shows the world, split up into maybe two dozen zones for major countries and areas. Each player gets a specific character card to play, each of which has a couple of stats. The game includes a bunch of different card types, several […]

The Business of Art

I pay artists. If you’re an artist, and you’re charging money for your work, please read this post. I love artists. But they’re often, well, frustrating to deal with. I’ve had to terminate my relationship with too many artists. Here’s how to avoid that for your clients: Figure out what you will and won’t do. Communicate that. This is obviously important for taboos like sex or violence towards […]

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