- [Guide] [Games] [E-Books]
These auctions end on Dec
Wine, women, and wrong --
these three things garnish our way.
but the film's too long.
Theory of Game Design
"I've had a couple of LL games for years now, but since
I got to enjoy your table at Ubercon
this fall it reminded me of how much fun they are now that Christmas
present time has come around. So, though our group didn't buy
anything that same day, your time demoing games for us did pay
off a bit! Thank you!" -- comments with
an order from Jeremiah of Parsippany, NJ
||Trying Out New Icehouse Games
week finds us playing a lot of new Icehouse games. Since the
votes for the 2nd
Ice Games Design Contest are due in a matter of hours now
(at one minute before midnight on Friday), it's crunch time for
anyone planning to vote who hasn't yet played all six games.
(I myself have played most of them, and will finish up this evening.)
I don't want to say anything yet about which games I like
best, since some voters may still be making up their own minds,
but I will say that all of the games have interesting and unique
features, and as always I'm excited by peoples' continuing ability
to come up with new ways of playing
with the pyramids.
With one exception, the only equipment (besides pyramids)
needed for these games are basic items easily found in any gamer's
house. The exception is E,
Townsend's game of Martian
Chinese Checkers, which Alison and I are playing in the photo
shown here. This game requires a rather large specialized board,
a hex grid like a Chinese Checkers board, with enough colored
hexes for 6 full Icehouse stashes. Carol has plenty of advice
for making or finding a board, but I couldn't resist coming up
with my own solution to this pre-game challenge.
Last year at Essen
I picked up a set of Hextremity
tiles, and that's what I used to build our E board. Hextremity
is an abstract board game that features these wonderful large
clear plastic hex tiles, very much akin to Icehouse
pieces in appearance and each one is big enough for a large
pyramid to sit on. Unfortunately, the set only includes 12 of
each color, so adapting the E board to work with Hextremity tiles
required playing with a 12 piece stash. (But that's OK, it makes
for a shorter game, which I prefer anyway.) Also, I didn't have
anywhere near enough black filler tiles to build out the whole
board with, meaning we were only able to try the 2 player version
with this board. To really do this right, you'd want 3 or more
Hextremity sets, and what you'd really want is to buy a whole
bunch of extra black tiles a la carte. (And then, what you'd
really really want to do would be to put it all only a huge light
table. Now that would REALLY look cool!)
I've still one game left to play and a ton of other work to do,
so that's all for now from here.
Have a Great Week!
||The gay community needs a new word. The lesson
of the recent backlash against gay marriage is that the straight
community doesn't want the words "wedding" and "marriage"
corrupted as was the word "gay" (which used to mean
simply happy and carefree). At the same time, the existence of
gay unions are grudgingly being admitted to, with many conservatives
coming out in support of civil unions. Now, from what I understand,
"civil unions" are functionally equivalent to "marriages,"
at least in some states, so what it all boils down to is a question
of semantics. It's like the straight world is saying to the gay
world, "OK, OK, you can live together if you must, but you
can't use the word 'marriage.' That's OUR word." So, in
the spirit of compromise, I urge the gay community to let the
straights have their word. Better progress will be made if you
find a catchy new name for civil unions, and fight to make that
option available everywhere, and transferrable from state to
||My nomination for this word is "unification."
Instead of getting "married," gay couples would speak
of becoming "unified," and instead of a wedding ceremony
and reception, we'd attend their unification ritual and party.
Unification has a nice formal, futuristic sound to it, like a
ceremony you'd see being performed on a distant planet in an
episode of Star Trek, and it would work for trios, too! Perhaps
in a hundred years or so, there'll be a whole series of unification
traditions which parallel wedding traditions, and which are similarly
honored and respected. If only we could use time travel to skip
||One of the strangest things I've seen on TV lately
is a peculiar import on Comedy Central called "Banzai!"
Each show sets up a series of bizarre "What will happen?"
situations, labels the various possible outcomes, and then encourages
viewers to "Place Bets Now!" and watch to see if you
win. No mechanism is given nor even suggested for how to actually
place a bet, but there it is, before each scene, "Place
Bets Now!" and after an often-hilarious outcome, you'll
be told that, if you'd bet on, for example, Choice B, then "you
are the winner!" This of course leaves me trying to tinker
up a system for actually playing along at home, as a game, using
Icehouse pieces (what else?) on a Ouija board to track the bets...