So on the trend of things I am backing on Kickstarter, here is the latest to the list. Sentinels of the Multiverse: OblivAeon, the last in the line of expansions for the card game Sentinels of the Multiverse. We picked up the original set as it is a cooperative card game so it makes for great family play. In the game each player is a superhero (there are lots to choose from, even without the various expansions) and they work together to overcome the environmental challenges to defeat the villain. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but no two games are exactly the same. With the variety of villains, environments (settings) and superheros there is a seemingly endless set of combinations. We also like that both superheros and villains come in various challenge levels making it easier to play with a variety of skill levels and keep it balanced and fun for everyone.
Depending on your backer level on the Kickstarter you could get just the expansion, or for a bit more include a cool case that will hold the game with every expansion all in one very heavy box, or go for broke and get the whole shebang including the case and all the expansions.
If you haven’t had a chance to check this game out I highly suggest you do.
There is a new Gaming Con coming to Oregon this year. It is taking place in the Dalles and is called WagonCon. There are four people on the board, one of whom I know from Gamestorm. They are funding the event via a Kickstarter campaign and it is still open for another 7 days (closes on 2/28). I am planning to attend for at least part of Friday and Saturday. The full event runs from Friday April 1st through Sunday April 3rd. While the first year will be on the smaller side, there is something wonderfully intimate about a smaller convention. Plus you would get to game with some great people (myself included). Be sure to check out WagonCon’s Kickstarter and get in while you can.
A couple of years ago I stumbled upon a Geek Version of the Traditional Wedding Anniversary list. The list is from Geek Dad on Wired and here is the link to the Geek Anniversary List so you can enjoy it too. Since then my husband and I have been using this list to determine our gifts for the year. We shake it up some since they don’t always fit. Like last year (5th Anniversary) was smart phones, but we both had good working phones, so we swapped for an earlier year we had missed out on, geeky t-shirts. I will share the shirts we got in another post later.
Board Game Gifts
So with this year being our 6th anniversary and us both really enjoying playing board games we went with the scheduled theme for this year. Last month we went to GameStorm (our local Gaming Convection) it made the shopping that much easier. While my husband is generally good at choosing gifts, he also tells me that he prefers me to be direct and not hint about. So when I found that Guardian Games was selling a game I had really enjoyed playing a few years ago at GameStorm I told him that is what I wanted. I also got his game from the dealer’s room as well.
I asked him to get me Zombie Cinema. It is a true Indie game in both feel and content. The game play is virtually all storytelling with a roaming narrator along with some basic dice-offs and a board to make sure the story progresses in true zombie horror style. When I played it at GameStorm we set the patient zero on an airplane at PDX and the trigger as airline food. It was a crazy story that I still have fond memories of several years later, which is the point in any story-telling game after all. And amazingly I made it out of the scenario alive, though barely. Sadly my current gaming group isn’t big into Indie-style storytelling board games so it may be a while before I get to use it. I do have a couple in Wisconsin that it would be fun to play the game with, perhaps life will let me travel to them soon.
For my husband I got him an expansion for one of our new family favorites, Sentinels of The Multiverse (2nd Edition). This game is a great family game as you are all playing together to defeat the bad guy. There is a lot of replay value as their are multiple villains and settings to choose from as well as super hero characters to play. Really it includes something for everyone. Since we have the base set and a friend picked up some expansions for it, I went with a different expansion and am really looking forward to playing it soon. I got him Sentinels of The Multiverse: Shattered Timelines. Which has several new villains, heroes, and settings. I am really looking forward to trying to beat The Dreamer, but I am not sure we will be able to manage that one. Guess I will update you if we ever manage it.
We love embracing our geek when it comes to gift giving. What is the geekiest gift you have ever exchanged with someone else?
There comes a time in every gamers life when you simply don’t have enough tokens, figures, widgets, poker chips, what have you to represent all of the bad guys, or all of your good guys. It may be during an epic RPG battle where you really need to show that you have amassed an army of evil robots to do your bidding. You could either buy a large number of mini-figs or resort to baubles to show them all, but wouldn’t it be cooler if you actually had a small army of Robot Meeples to put on the map? I discovered today, via Board Game Geek, an online store specializing in Meeples, Tokens, and other various side bits to the gaming frenzy. The store is called Meeple Source and they carry a wealth of tokens, Meeples and other products to assist the gamer. They also make products for the Board Game designer as well, so if you or your kids need supplies for their personally crafted, work-of-art board game this is the place to shop!! Plus, if you are in need, they even do custom designs. I will say that I haven’t shopped with them, and they don’t even know I am endorsing them, but their products look so great I couldn’t help but share this resource with you.
As the calendar moves from August to September we head towards the last days of sun for a few months here in the Pacific Northwest. With the fall comes the rain, and for me that is the sign that it is time to start sewing costumes again. Having weather a touch too icky to want to go out makes it all the easier to get going on the next round of costuming.
Even though we haven’t seen the rain yet, I still need to get my sewing area back in order. We have already started discussing ideas for Halloween and Orycon this year. Nothing new for me this year, at least I don’t think so. However, my daughter will need a new costume and probably my son as well. For my daughter this year it is a belly dancing outfit that uses the same pattern mine does, but in different colors and without the vest and waist-cincher. As for my son I am not sure. Finding costumes for the nearly teen boy is challenging at best and downright impossible at worst. Especially when you have to rule out anything that involves a mask or face make-up. At least he tolerates hats these days so perhaps that might help.
Here are some links I get ideas from for costuming as well as some new finds that look fun. Perhaps these links will spark an idea of your own…
Once we get our ideas in place it is time to get patterns together and some materials to make our costumes with. In some cases I make my own patterns by using newspaper and the kids’ clothing to help with sizing. I have had mixed results by doing this. Likely that is because I am rarely being very precise when I take that approach. For better results I use a commercial pattern. For my husband and son I can usual use them as-is out of the package. However, my daughter and I are more of a challenge and it usual involves merging several different sizes of the pattern pieces together. Thankfully this has usually worked out for me quite well.
Here are some of the places I like to shop for patterns and fabric. I am sure there are likely some great options in your neighborhood (and if they sell online we would love to hear about them in the comments), but no harm in knowing a few more places to look.
This adorable little game is perfect for family or friends to play together. This game takes no reading skills to play and doesn’t even take much in the way of counting either so any child that can keep the dice out of their mouths is old enough to play. The whole idea is of the game is that there is an invisible cat whose food bowl sees a small group of mice in and out of it through the actions of the dice. The game is pure chance, which means that like the classic game Candy Land you can’t through the game in your child’s favor if they aren’t able to lose well yet.
The game play of Feed the Kitty is pretty basic. The components of the game are small wooden mice tokens, 1 plastic food bowl, and two 6-sided dice. Youngest player goes first and play proceeds clockwise around the table. The mice are divided evenly between the players with any left over mice placed into the food bowl. The player rolls the two dice and follows the actions shown. The various actions for the dice are:
Sleeping Cat: The cat is sleeping – nothing happens
Food Bowl: The cat captures a mouse – place one of your mice in the food bowl
Mouse: A mouse escapes the food bowl – take a mouse from the food bowl (if there is one) and place it in your mouse pile
Arrow: A mouse moves to a new pile – pass a mouse to the player on your left
Play continues in this manner until only one person has mice left in their pile. The nice thing is that if a player runs out of mice they are not totally out of the game. They could get passed a mouse from the player on their right.
Requires no reading so perfect for those that can’t read
Game play is fast so games don’t take very long
The rules are simple so it is easy to learn
My kids still enjoy it even at 12 and 10
Game is pure chance no skill involved
Because it is pure chance you can’t throw the game to make it easier for your kids to win
How to get the game
The game is still in print and should be available at your local game store. Or you can order Feed the Kitty online via Amazon.
So, no doubt you have heard by now about Vantablack, the new product that absorbs 99.965% of light. If you haven’t then I suggest you go and check it out. Here is my favorite link about it (link here), I think the image there does a great job of showing off just how unusual and trippy to the human eye it looks. I am fairly certain that seeing this in person would “blow my mind” as my kids would say. While we are taught that what you see is really the reflection of light bouncing off a surface Vantblack’s ability to absorb virtually all light really illustrates it in a way no text or lecture can. I guess a picture is worth a million words in this case.
However what has me going is the variety of applications for this product combined with the fact that it is actually manufacturable and not just a great idea stuck in a lab somewhere. In fact the article I read (see link above) says they have already filled their first order. So beyond obvious stuff like coating the inside of a telescope, or to replace all the optical black anodized parts made now, where and how do you see this getting used?
Share your thoughts
I would love to see both your practical and your more fantastical ideas on the various uses for Vantablack. How could you build this into a game like Shadowrun or Cyberpunk? Could future ninjas be blacker than black, and would that be so black that they would stand out? Please post your thoughts in the comments below.
One of my most popular posts on my blog has been my short list of floor plans. Having a map of an area is one of the easiest ways to not only plan your rpg adventure, but also to make sure that all of your players are visualizing the same thing. Anything that keeps everyone on the same page helps to reduce confusion and arguments, both of which take away from the joy of the rpg.
So without further delay here is another list of floor plan links you may find useful in your games. Most of these are aimed at the near past, modern, or near future time periods. Hope you enjoy them.
A month ago or so we tried out a new card game, Falling: Goblin Edition and while crazy it was a lot of fun. The premise of the card game is that you are a group of Goblins who, for whatever reason, are falling and are sure to die when you hit the ground. So you take on the goal of trying to be the last one to hit the ground.
The game is very fast paced and lacks a true turn based system as you just fling cards as fast as they are dealt out. While it took us a couple of games before both the dealer and the players had figured out what we were doing, once we did it worked nicely. With such a fast paced game it did an excellent job of simulating the story line. While you were busy pushing other goblins (players) or grabbing onto thing to try to slow your decent the ground appeared with an unexpected “Thud!” often without you seeing it coming.
I wouldn’t recommend the game for kids younger than perhaps late Middle School, the pace would be a real challenge and the lack of true turns was a challenge for even the table of seasoned gamers I was playing with. It did make for an entertaining passing of time though while we waited for the last member of our gaming group to arrive for the evening’s table top session.
Just like shopping locally helps the economy where you live, the same can be said for supporting your local Game Designer. By finding out the game designers in your community you are helping to drive innovation and creativity in your region. Many, if not most, major metropolitan centers have at least a few game designers. Just last night I found out that we have a new set of game designers in Portland; at least they are new to me. They are called Elbowfish Gaming and are located right here in Portland. Thanks to GameStorm for letting me know about them and their Kickstarter Project for a new game called Anti-Matter Matters. Right now they have a Kickstarter Project that is nearing the end of it’s funding time. It is so close to being funded and I really want to see their game in person and for sale. I went and helped with their kickstarter campaign and urge you to as well, but hurry as it closes this Saturday July 13th!!
So what is the game?
Good question. It is a board game about particle physics. Honestly I don’t know a lot about particle physics myself, but this group does and they have created a board game that promises to be fun while demystifying the rather complex subject of quantum physics. They have been test playing at Guardian Games, a local gaming shop, and they say while being fun it also stays true to the science. The game is rated as age 13+ and plays with 2-6 players. They are hoping to eventually do the extra testing and stuff that will allow them to mark the game 11+. But that means I can play this with my son now and my daughter too in the not too distant future.
I urge you to give what you can and help make science fun, and bring this game to life
Here is a quote from Elbowfish Gaming’s website that I just love: “Play is a universal, social activity. Games can be more than diversions. They are a medium of expression that, like film, books, television and theater, can provide thought-provoking, emotional, transformative and entertaining experiences.”