Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Mille Bornes Story….

The Mille Bornes Story….

This has a humorous ending - really.  If you’ve not played the game Miles Borne do not bother reading.

My grandmother died in February about 2004 - she lived in Soo Saint Marie, Ontario - Canada.  We live in Dayton, OH.  We got a flight from Dayton to northern Michigan with a layover in Detroit.  It was cold and rainy in Dayton and our flight was late in arriving from Detroit and therefore late in returning us back. We arrived into Detroit in mix of ice and snow.  We soon learned that the flights were all canceled and found a hotel.  We got a roll-a-way for our son and went to bed hoping to fly out in the morning.  Our son woke up in the middle of the night with some sort of stomach flu and was sick every hour or two.  We had no luggage - it went on without us.  My wife dealt with our sick son while I tried find out what was going on with the tickets.  Found out we were unlikely to fly out anytime soon.  My wife turned to me and said “you can drive in this right?” - I grew up in - upper upper Michigan - driving in snow was nothing to me.  We scrapped the flight and rented a car.  It took an extra hour or two get out of metro Detroit but after that the sun was out and the roads were clear.  We pressed on with little sleep and a little one still getting sick on the clock.  We found a toddler clothes store and got him some clothes and made our way up.  We called my mom and found out she had picked up our luggage and it was in the room.  We finally made it the Canada/US border and I saw the Stop/ArrĂȘte sign and turned to my wife and yelled “coup-fourrĂ©”!  Made for a funny end to an otherwise long arduous trip.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Trees in games

Photosynthesis



What appears to be a maple see in Photosynthesis but more of a weeping willow shape


Red Maple - my yard






We assume is a Blue Spruce with a pine cone in Photosynthesis


Pine of some sort - my yard






Clearly an Oak and acorn in Photosynthesis




Giant Oak in my front yard








This one is not as clear in Photosynthesis - some guess the seed is a Linden


Some similar trees on our street




Another tree in our neighborhood with similar seeds.



Ginkgopolis









Ginkgopolis leaves - real, across the street and in the game.




Arboretum


Jacaranda tree



Royal Poinciana - a southern tree

Stockholm-lilac.jpg

Most of our Lilac's are more of a bush


 2014-10-30 11 09 40 Red Maple during autumn on Lower Ferry Road in Ewing, New Jersey.JPG

Maple Tree - See above in Photosynthesis section


 Salix alba Morton.jpg

We had these in upper Michigan where I grew up


 

A typically southern tree


Olivesfromjordan.jpg

A Mediterranean tree - I saw some in Italy 


Bgbo cornus kousa var chinensis ies.jpg

Dogwood - known for being a southern tree






Oak Tree - See above in Photosynthesis section


Konnamaram.JPG

Cassia Trees - Found is south Florida

Friday, August 4, 2017

Terrarolling Mars

Before the notice went out for the Gen Can't roll and write contest I really had no interest in designing a game.  I play games, and I talk about games on a lot of podcasts and social medial.  When I saw that one of the judges was my buddy Mason Weaver, who hates puns, as well as Suzanne Sheldon, the host of the contest, who also hates puns - I started thinking of ideas for a pun based roll and write.

My initial thoughts were to create a roll and write version of an existing game - Daniel Newman had just done this with Rolled West. 

Mason had introduced me to Kapitan Wackelpudding at BGG - a crazy dexterity based roll and move game where you stack pieces and push them around a map, when something falls it impacts the game. 


kapitan wackelpudding bgg

I tired to come up with a game with stacking dice but I was able to stack 6,7,8 dice and push them around my map quite easily without dice falling.  I then started looking a something that started to feel like a roll and move with spaces and finally gave up.




I switched over to Terraforming Mars.  I created a version with a basic concept of rolling two dice and picking one for the player and one for the dummy player.  I received some feedback that there was no tension and no engine building.



I looked retooled it to include cards.  I sorted through all the cards and came up with a selection of cards for each die roll.  I also added some tension by adding the generations track - every time you rolled doubles you marked off a generation that would speed up one of the end game conditions.  This also was a response to a "too many dice rolls" comments.  I tried to balance the card costs with making things hard to buy with out making you need too many dice rolls to get something.

The early version of the cards were actual photos of the cards.  Since the rules required no copyrighted material I decided to make the cards more generic boxes with text.  This also gave me a opportunity to rewrite the cards with puns and other silliness.  One of the card rows was city cards - I created a city card based on the home location of each of the judges.
Jr is from Dallas, Mandy is from Ottowa, Nicole from Toronto, Edo from Mt. View, and Mason from Oklahoma City.  Cupola City became Couple of Cities.



I also created some specific cards - like Nicole always calls dogs pics on twitters "pupper" and there is a pets card in the inspiration game.

  




This one is just silly...



The original has a card called Lake Mariners.  My buddy Nick Mariner has a twitter account called I call Yellow so I made this as a homage to him.


I actually kind of gave up on it.  I didn't get many more play testers and wasn't finding the time to do much of my own as Origins approached.  Then after Origins I got really sick and ended up in the hospital.  My son brought me my laptop after I started feeling better but was still waiting to get released so I decided to at least wrap up what I had done and get it submitted.  It definitely needs some balancing and revisions but overall I guess as my first attempt at a game at all it isn't so bad.

The final submitted version of the game can be found here.



Sunday, July 30, 2017

Craig Con West

Craig Marks - actually lives east of me but his first east "con" was in Baltimore with Matt so I'm guessing one in his home town of Youngstown, OH had to be West.

My wife and started a tradition of doing over night get a way weekends while our son was still home from college to take care of the pets.  A trip to Youngstown for some games seemed like a good fit although a little farther of a drive than we usually go - about 4 hours if we were to go non-stop, but we never do.  We stopped at Grandpa's cheese barn on the way up for snacks and candy as well as all the other necessary stops.

We arrived at Craig's and introduced him to his wife Erin, son T. and we met his new baby daughter M.  There were enough folks there for two tables of games.  I had brought a ton of game, several that had already been in my car and some that I had hoped to play.

We started with Sagrada.  Erin liked this form previous plays but they didn't have it so Craig requested I bring my copy.  Cindi, Erin and I played with T.  I forgot to mark who won.


Then we moved on to Kanagawa.  This is a game we own and they all like so we knew we'd all like it.  We had a guest at the table - I forget his name - he was just there for the one game...

Andy joined us for a game of Century Spice Road.  I had wanted to play this with Cindi because I thought she'd like this and I had concidered buying it but wanted to get her thoughts before we did.  Since she won - I'm guessing she liked it.


Andy taught us Road Hog - a race game with some "take that" mechanisms.  Cindi won this too, I eeked out 2nd place.


Cindi ended her night with a group play of Herbaceous.  Another game we both own so we all enjoyed it, this was new to Andy.


Cindi was tired from the long day of travels and gaming so we checked into our hotel.  I returned for one more game.  We played a 5 player game of Pandemic the Cure with the expansion - the purple dice.  This was a pretty epic game, every time we thought for sure we were going to die we rolled just the right thing to barely survive.  We also played really well together as a team - often debating our moves but working it out in the end and moving on.



The next day Craig joined us for breakfast and one last game before we ventured off to do some sight seeing.  





Andy had recommended a metropark.  We started at the formal gardens.






From there we took a long drive and saw a covered bridge, a mill, and other cool things.

One last stop for some recommended local ice cream before we hit the road home.   


A great trip.