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  • Why I Keep Buying Nintendos

    Posted on November 8th, 2005 Brian No comments

    This article on Nintendo’s Genre Innovation Strategy made the rounds a while ago, but it came up in conversation about the upcoming Nintendo Revolution. It took me a while to find it again, so it’s going into my long-long-term memory – a.k.a. here. It’s a good read, although it’s a long read.

    When I worked at Avanade, I used to get tons of crap from Mike Wood and Kevin Kelly and Adam Wenger for not owning an XBox. I always had trouble explaining why I didn’t own one – the best I could say was something along the lines of, “There just aren’t any good games for it.”

    This article really helped me understand why I continually find myself with a Nintendo system, despite all the hoopla over the other major consoles. I’m not a video-game addict, I’m an innovation addict.

  • GenCon Schedule

    Posted on May 15th, 2005 Brian No comments

    GenCon event registration begins on Monday, May 16th, at 12:00 PST. To help my friends coordinate, here’s my currently planned schedule. You guys know which events you want to do en masse.

    • BG00004 – Zombies!!! Intro 2005-08-18 12:00:00 (2 hours)
    • TCG00225 – Unhinged tourney 2005-08-18 14:00:00 (6 hours)
    • NM00487 – Evil Stevie’s Pirate Game 2005-08-19 12:00:00 (4 hours)
    • BG00352 – Journey to Jupiter 2005-08-19 18:00:00 (2 hours) (??)
    • CG00277 – Munchkin Blender 2005-08-20 12:00:00 (2 hours)
    • CG00214 – Killer Bunnies Master Game 2005-08-20 18:00:00 (2 hours)
  • Back Home from GenCon

    Posted on August 24th, 2004 Brian No comments

    Well, I’m back home after being dark for several days at GenCon. I only opened my computer to play music, and the world didn’t end. However, I did have over 800 spams in my spam folder waiting for me. *sigh* I have also been re-introduced to Magic, and I’m enjoying it a lot. I built a couple decks over the week, and played many times. None of my current friends in Virginia play, though, so I need to find a fun game shop to go crash.

    I have retroactively posted my blog entries for the days I was missing, and I am re-titling the existing posts to make them fit into the timeline. I have also uploaded the few pictures that I took to here, along with some choice pictures from Jeff’s camera.

    Major thanks to Mike & Dawn for housing me and everybody else, and for getting me to the airport in time for my flight. I had a great time, and I look forward to next year’s GenCon.

  • GenCon Day #4

    Posted on August 22nd, 2004 Brian No comments

    Ryan and I were registered for a Magic Unglued tournament, so we hauled our asses out of bed early enough to make it there on time. It was a sealed deck tourney with each player receiving a tournament pack of Mirroden and three Unglued boosters. We were each guaranteed a booster consolation prize, which Ryan and I both received. My personal highlight was having to speak only in rhymes in the voice of Mickey Mouse. We then headed home after failing to find any last-minute deals in the Buying Place.

  • GenCon Day #3

    Posted on August 21st, 2004 Brian No comments

    Ah — Saturday. The con was really crowded today as all the weekend attendees flocked in. Ryan and I played the worst Star Wars game EVAR!! The module was called “Sparks,” and it seemed okay; but the DM was simply awful. We are given a lame rebel cargo ship in which to smuggle some supplies onto a planet, and when we drop out of hyperspace there are two Lancer frigates and four squads of TIE fighters pretty much waiting for us. Our little ship is no match for that, but he doesn’t give us any clue as to what to do to make it out of the situation successfully, let alone in one piece! So after my character fails to con them into thinking we’re spies, we magically survive the trip through the cloud of fighters and are not persued once we reach the atmosphere. Then we were told to go invade a garrison, but when we got there there was once again no clues dropped as to how to proceed. We eventually got captured, and then escaped from our cell. We continued on our mission, but for some reason the base commanders had set a trap for us. Yup, that’s right. They set a trap for the prisoners they had already captured. The only fun part of the game was when I was setting an explosive and accidentally detonated it. It blew up really big, but I made a huge role on my damage soak. My 5′ 3″ 260 lbs. gambler with greasy hair went flying through the air like something in a Bruce Willis movie.

    Later that night, we watched The Gamers. The Gamers is a fan movie that won the Gen Con Fan Film Fest last year, and it features a bunch of college dorks playing D&D during finals week. Again, if you’ve ever had the privilege of being involved in a game, you will laugh until you fall over.

  • GenCon Day #2

    Posted on August 20th, 2004 Brian No comments

    The only event on my calendar was a DM session on creating adventures. However, we stayed up so late the night before (Thanks Munchkin!) that we didn’t wake up in time to make the 11:00 start time. So instead we got there after lunch and then wandered around the Dealer Hall for a while, which I have dubbed “The Buying Place,” and shopped for fun stuff. I bought some Magic cards, which I haven’t done in a long, long time.

    Brian, Heather, Jim, and arrived today. It was another great day even though nothing terribly interesting happened. It’s just awesome to have good friends around. Much booze was drunk.

  • GenCon Day #1

    Posted on August 19th, 2004 Brian No comments

    Today is the first day of the Con. Since I pre-registered, we could walk right in and up to our first Lunch Money game at 10:00. That is a very good thing because Pischner got us very, very lost. Way to go!

    But we made it to the game on time, and I just lost the first game to a silly jab from some guy named John. I suck. The second game, we brough in the Sticks & Stones expansion set. Ryan was first out, after having been marked as the Hippie and taking a lot of damage. I then threw a tantrum, ripping out some hair and giving him an atomic wedgie up over his nose; and then another guy named Allex finished him off later with another tantrum. Alan finished me off by smothering a pile of dog crap into my face. I’m not upset, though; he has dog shit on his hands. Allex finally won the game with yet another tantrum against John.

    Ryan bought Munchkin, which is a fantastic non-tradable card game. As he likes to say, it’s an RPG without the RP. The game consists of two piles of cards: Doors & Treasures. A player begins his turn by kicking down a door, which means flopping the top Door card onto the table. If it’s a monster he can run away or fight it. If he fights, he gets to loot the monster’s treasure by drawing Treasure cards. Death means that Bad Stuff happens, which can be anything from losing an item to death of your character and the subsequent looting of the corpse by the other players. The goal of the game is for your munchkin to reach character level ten, and other players are free to help or hinder you using any of the cards they have.

    The real kicker for Munchkin, though, is that the cards are frickin’ hilarious! If you have ever had the joy of spending a Saturday night locked in a stinky basement with a bunch of stinky gamer-dorks hopped up on Mountain Dew and Magic Missles, then you will immediately appreciate cards such as “Pay for the Pizza – Go up a level,” or “Level 17 Monster the DM Made Up Himself.” And they only get better. My personal favorite was the “…Of Doom” card. I was already wearing the “+4 Awful Socks,” and I played the “…Of Doom” card on them, making my socks the “+6 Awful Socks of Doom.” There was also a fantastic moment where I was about to win the game and everybody did everything in their power to stop me. I still won.

    Ryan and I skipped our Plot Twists seminar and Fluxx game so that we could play Munchkin. It’s that good. Or we’re ADD. Or both. Wanna ride bikes?

    Tim arrived today, and then destroyed himself on cheap wine. I lost at poker, though, and we had upped the buy-in to $10, too. Dawn made a really good showing and got herself into heads-up with Ryan; but a combination of Ryan’s skill and Dawn’s sleepiness lead to Ryan taking home the $70 pot.

  • GenCon Day #-1

    Posted on August 17th, 2004 Brian No comments

    Nothing too crazy today. I spent most of the day working, and Mike and Dawn took Jeff to the Indiana State Fair for the day. He apparantly had a great time.

    After they got home, Jeff introduced us to the upcoming Killer Bunnies sequal: Killer Bunnies & The Journey to Jupiter. I won’t mention any of the details, but Jeff’s description of it as another layer on the original Killer Bunnies idea is a good assessment, and I really like the new game mechanics. Of course it still needs some polish, but I look forward to playing it with Hedda and Weeks.

    Teddy & Ryan arrived last night, and they brought the booze and the babes. Okay, so maybe there were no babes, but they definitely brought the booze.

    We played another game of poker, which I won. I’m starting to think I have a knack for this game, as my win-loss ratio now sits at 5/7. Dawn, Mike, and Jeff all went to bed relatively early because they were tired from their long day. This left Ryan, Teddy, and I to play some Magic.

    The three of us haven’t played Magic in so long that we actually had to look up how many cards to draw. How embarassing!

  • GenCon Day #-2

    Posted on August 16th, 2004 Brian No comments

    Today wasn’t really a GenCon day, but it’s my first day in Indianapolis for GenCon, so I’m counting it as Day #1. Chris was nice enough to take me to the airport this morning at 10:00 EDT, and Kevin was nice enough to pick me up from the other airport at 13:00 EST, and Independence Air was kind enough to move me between the two airports for a ridiculously low fair.

    Let me take a moment here to laud low-priced carriers. Independence Air just opened for business a few months ago, and my flight with them came on only their second day running the route from Dulles to Indy. With the discount I received for signing up for their frequent flier program, my round-trip ticket is costing me about $110. That’s not just cheap, that’s how-are-they-making-money-with-only-me-and-six-other-people-in-this-plane cheap. And let me tell you, it was a steal. The flight ran ahead of schedule and included a snack and beverage service. A first for me, except on my only trans-Atlantic flight, was the offer of a hot towel. The planes are small, 50-passenger regional jets; but they are new and clean. And did I mention that this flight is costing less than gas and tolls if I would have driven? So bravo to the low-cost air carriers. You get my money.

    After Kevin picked me up, we wasted several fun hours playing through Smash TV and all 99 levels of Joust 2 from Midway Arcade Treasures. Afterwards, we went out to dinner with Mike, Dawn, Kevin, Amy, and Jeff.

    Let me tell you about Jeff. Jeff is a math teacher from San Diego, California. He is friends with Mike & Dawn and flew in for GenCon, and he is staying at their house for a couple days (as am I). He is full of non-stop energy, and he has a terribly punny sense of humor. He and I went back and forth on some terrible bowling puns for a little bit, but I simply cannot keep up with him. He’s too much. A good word to describe Jeff might be “zany,” although that definitely conjures up a bit too much imagery of wacky cartoon characters in predictable set-ups ending in much-expected hilarity.

    Perhaps not uncoincidental with his sense of humor, Jeff is also the creator of Killer Bunnies & The Quest for the Magic Carrot. We had the unique privilege of playing a game of Killer Bunnies using several as-yet unreleased booster packs for the game, and it was a fantastic time. Some of the cards to be seen are really cool, but even cooler was learning about some of the history, foibles, rules, and secrets for many of the cards in the game. I don’t want to mention anything here for fear of spoiling something I shouldn’t. But it was a real treat to sit at that table.

    After that, we broke out the poker chips for a round of Texas Holdum. It was a good game, and Lady Luck was smiling on me this evening. I kept gettin’ dealt the nuts, and I kept takin’ people down with them. I ended up winning the game, the money from which I will use to buy booze later in the week. Of course, it will at least be the booze I like. :-)

  • Specialty Bunnies Are Their Own Color

    Posted on July 25th, 2004 Brian No comments

    Mike writes, “Brian, on specialty bunnies read the instructions that came with the booster. Any 3 bunnies gets 2 cards.” The instructions actually say, “If a player has a pair and a single Specialty Bunny, it totals 3, and the player may play two cards per turn.” Mike is interpreting “pair” to mean any pair of similarly colored bunnies, which is what we discussed before. However, if you read the entire paragraph describing specialty bunnies, the rules implicitly define pair to be a specialty bunny that has a pair of bunnies on it. This rule is simply meant to clarify that having only two cards, one with a pair of specialty bunnies and the other with only a single specialty bunny, is enough to count for double-play rule. It does not at all imply that a specialty bunny may be used to complete a set.

    So, as I’ve said before, “specialty” is in essence a whole different “color” of bunny.

    For those of you who have been completely confused by this entry, I am discussing the card game Killer Bunnies & The Quest for the Magic Carrot. Check it out!