Guide to Wunderland
- News Archives
Playing Dragon's Gold. Kory shows a card and says,
"I have a card that lets me pick five treasures."
telos (teel'-ahss) n.
an ultimate end
- Tomcats :|
- Wins the Oscar for
best "destruction of cello
with plaster porpoise"
- Tom Hanks plays a 14-year old kid in the body of a 30 year
old after wishing to be "big" at a mysterious carnival
sideshow. He ends up becoming Vice President in charge of Product
Development at a toy manufacturer, his youthful insights into
toy design having been discovered after he was hired as a computer
operator. He makes it look so easy, doing it all in just a few
weeks... for me, it's taken 15 years.
- "I would definitely recommend it if you like history,
time travel and the manipulation of said event by said means.
The cards are worth the $20 just to read them."
-- Bo, owner, The Gamer's Den, commenting on Chrononauts on the
Game Industry Forum
||ToasterCon was Totally Schaufenster
at Wunderland.Earth, we get together to play games at least once
a week, but we often feel like that's just not enough. So once
a year we invite our close friends to spend an entire weekend
playing games with us, an event we call ToasterCon, and that's
what we just got finished doing. In fact, we haven't even finished
cleaning up yet.
This year was only the second time we've done this, but as
before it was
a huge success, so it's already become an annual tradition for
us. Almost two dozen of our friends came over to play games with
us during at least part of the weekend (with seven out of towners
spending at least one night on our furniture or floor), and we
played games day and night for 3 days straight, with some of
the most dedicated gamers (myself, Kory, and Dale) pushing through
with a full night of gaming on the final evening of the event.
games of every sort, including old favorites and new prototypes,
current releases by major competitors and obscure titles by undersung
independents, and even games we were busily inventing in real-time.
Gnostica (the new Zarcana-style Icehouse game) really is seeming
to be done; Jake had freshly written rulesheets on hand and took
full advantage of the opportunity for playtesting with fresh
blood. Many of us got to playtest Zarf's new Chrononauts-variation,
Becca's Winding Sprawls Estates game is moving forward nicely,
as is something new Kristin's working on, and Kory finally started
showing around the first printed copy of the first draft of his
big, thick Zendo book. But for me, one game stuck out from the
others as the new game I got into this weekend: Schaufenster.
Of course, that's not what it's really
called... the real name is Klunker, but we call it Schaufenster
because this word is a lot of what made this game so much fun.
This German import, published by Rio Grande, includes rules translated
into English, but the cards haven't been changed at all, since
they feature so few words as not to require it. The game turns
us all into jewelry shop owners, and most of the cards just depict
items you can buy and sell: necklaces, earrings, jewel-encrusted
shoes, etc. And there's this one special card, used to denote
your shop window, where you place the jewelry you are offering
for sale, and it's labeled "SCHAUFENSTER", which of
course means "show window" in German.
We started playing Schaufenster around 5 in the morning, after
a rousing tournament of Battling Tops (yes, the blue plastic
arena for spinning top battles published by Ideal in 1969) and
as it got later and later and we got sleepier and punchier, the
word "Schaufenster" became funnier and funnier, and
it became a contest to see who could squeeze the word "Schaufenster"
into a sentence the most times. By morning, it was like the scene
John Malkovich" where everyone just says "Malkovich
Malkovich Malkovich" but instead we were saying "Schaufenster
Schaufenster Schaufenster" in silly German accents, giggling
all the while like 5 year olds. Eventually our hilarity woke
up our houseguests, and as soon as we tried to explain what was
so funny, we knew it was one of those "you just had to be
there" moments. But I think it's a fun game even if you
don't obsess over the word "Schaufenster."
has become part of the tradition, ToasterCon also coincided with
Alison's birthday, and among other
things we rented a cotton candy machine for her for the weekend.
She loves cotton candy and never feels she can really get her
fill at the amusement park where it costs so much; besides, she'd
always wanted to be able to have the experience of actually spinning
the stuff up for herself. So, Kristin found a place that rents
these things out, and we set it up so she could make pink fluffy
sweet stuff for people all throughout the weekend. And it was
a big hit, too.
Anyway, the weekend was a smash all the way around, and we
had a great time doing it. I definitely recommend hosting a gaming
convention in your house if you can handle it.
Have a great week!
||We are one of the 100,000 households who lost
their DSL connection when Northpoint Communications went out
of business, so our email has been seriously disrupted this week.
Alison hasn't been able to read hers at all, and when I finally
got mine turned on again, I had 500 messages to wade through.
My email is now so out of control that I'm thinking about setting
up my own auto-responder...
||The Information Systems Department is still working
on getting my new Flower Power iMac configured and setup, so
I haven't had very much time to mess around with it yet, but
I'm really digging my new computer. After some deliberation,
we've decided to keep using System 9 for now... OS X is just
||"This [customer service via e-mail and telephone]
was an unheard-of innovation in the gaming industry, where rules
questions were usually answered by whatever bearded company grognard
opened the fan mail on a given day, and only then if you included
a SASE and made an intelligent reference to Robert Heinlein."
-- John Tynes, in an article at Salon.com entitled
to the Minotaur"