Sunday, November 11, 2007

Anolog Game Interest

What the heck is this?

That my friend is a what I call a fun game. I have a bad habit of walking in to a hobby store and finding 20 board and card games I want to try out. The problem is I never have the money to buy them all and the second is, well, they may horrible. This game is one I, honestly, bought on a whim and was worth the price.

King's Blood can be summarized as a glorified Uno. Same idea of getting all the cards out of your hand, but just more rules. Don't worry though, the rules actually make it more fun. In order to complete your objective you have to put down different character cards with matching traits .(ex: color or number) Some character cards have special abilities like draw 3 or skip to help keep your opponent from winning. Each card has a gender as well. If the character placed next to each other are opposite genders and other conditions are met, a marriage is formed. By the end of the game you could a sprawling royal family tree on you table.

I after reading the rules and playing it out alone a few times. (a habit of mine to make sure I know the rules.) I took this game on a vacation and forced a group to play a couple of rounds. After a practice they got the hang of the rules, and serious game play ensued. What was interesting was as the everyone got used to the flow of game play, they began to create stories about characters. They began to note the odd pairing that sometimes were created. It was fascinating to see how people would create their own story for the family tree on the table.

King's Blood is the type of game I like because it takes a tried a true concept and changes it enough to be interesting but not enough to be intimidating. In the group I played with, most had played a game of Uno, but I think the majority don't play hobby shop card games. Trying to get them play a game like this is far easier than say Magic the Gathering, because many of the elements of a "normal" card game are there. The rules are on one sheet of paper and not a booklet.

King's Blood to me is something worth checking out, especially if you have people who are hesitant to try a game that isn't sold at Target or Wal-Mart.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


By time you read this post, the site has already changed the title. Apparently, I wasn't the only one who realized just how stupid the original title of the article was. You can guess by looking at these titles, if they don't change them as well.

That or you could read the mindless comments some people left on the article.

I was sent this article at work, it took a good bit of willpower not to say WTF out loud in the office. Yes, I've seen pictures of Jade Raymond. Yes, She is good looking, but the end result is depressing. Video game "journalism" turns into a mass of brainless fools the moment a female, who is hot, gets a high profile job.

Its true you could say well that is the price of fame. I mean look at Hollywood, you live and die by your looks there. The problem with that argument is that in this industry the game is what needs to sell not the person.

Proof: Stevie Case. Anyone remember her? I bet the PC gamers do. To me, she seemed to always promote games with her looks. The games were...Ion Storm...judging from what a PCXL article said that method didn't work very well. I know if I was Jade I'd be worried. Worried not that she has rabid fanboys, but that she can't even be sure the "Professional Journalists" she's does interviews with will even care about the game she is trying to promote. Jade is getting the brunt of fanboys eyes but she not the only girl in the industry. iB0ssom in her blog talks about being a female in the industry, (Read the October 20 article) and her thoughts on situations like above.

IGN is associated with these articles as it's logo is proudly displayed in the corner. I wouldn't even let the article go to print with that title. IGN is one of the biggest game sites on the web, but for a while it appeared they wanted to be the Maxim of game websites. They had a Babes section, which is now "Stars". (Content hasn't change too much though...) If IGN is trying to present itself as a mature journalistic website, they shouldn't have editors allowing articles like those above to pass. I can see clearly the editor and writer laughing in amusement about just how clever they feel about the title.

Oh yeah... you guys are clever...One day perhaps you will move on from the adolescent boy's humor and realize that if you want to be respected as journalist you're gonna have to show respect first.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Latest Fad?

Just about everyone has either heard of or played Portal. Valve has once again created something unique in a genre that tends to run stale at times. I bought the Orange Box mostly for Team Fortress 2, But now the real star of the Orange Box is Portal. In this short game, I did something I hadn't done in a long time playing a FPS:

Lose track of time.

I literally was planning on only playing a few stages then jump into so TF2 action. Three hours and some minutes later there I was done with the game. Yes, it was that good. If you haven't played it yet please do, you'll be pleasantly surprised...If you haven't been reading video game blogs then well you probably know whats gonna happen, but take it from someone who had the ending spoiled for them when I say it was still worth playing.

Anyways, the real reason for this post is about Portal but not to just say how awesome it is. It made think about great games. Portal is a great game people will probably be quoting it for generations in the game industry. However, three months from now, will this all just be a passing fad? Portal is a wonderful game but will people really remember the companion cube? The reason I say this is because Portal is Orange Box's Dark Horse, it wasn't heavily advertised like TF2 or Halo 3. It was just there and it shined. Sure I remember hearing a little about it here and there but TF2 and especially Halo 3 have been sent out as the thing to get. Halo 3 pretty much was being advertised as the greatest game of all time. For a good week after its release Halo 3 was dominating Kotaku's posts with everything from action figures to fan videos. When you compare that to Kotaku's posts about Portal, Halo still dominates it. My fear was that the game that has wonderful design will just fade. Just a another fad in the game industry.

But there are 2 main reasons Portal may survive the short attention span the industry has:

1) Valve is smart. Whether its a mod community or multiplayer, it will help keep it alive. The Mod community keep a game alive well past its prime. I still remember reading PC Gamer top 100 games for 3 years in a row after Half-Life came out. Each year Half-Life was number one, It blew my mind simply because no game ever lasted a year. The reason they kept giving it the award was the Mod community. New mods like Counterstrike and Day of Defeat were popping up all the time.

2) The other advantage is that since there was no hype machine, there will be less hesitance to place it as a "great game of all time". Hype and advertising sell your game to make money but at the cost of people avoiding just because of all the hype. Portal's hype is more word of mouth and less corporate advertising. I don't know about anyone else but I'll take a friends word that game is good over a two page advertisement in a magazine.

Portal may not be a 30 hour epic or a "cultural revolution" but it will be a game I look at when I want to see how to make a great game.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

It Gets You Thinking...

Why would I go and do this? Start a blog about games, please there are probably 2.5 million (+/- 2) people blogging as well. Honestly, I blame reading Escapist Magazine it pointed me to places like Sexy Videogameland(SVGL), and Save the Robot, writers who get you to start thinking. At first i was a casual reader coming occasionally to see what was up. Soon, I was having discussion with my girlfriend (who also reads these blogs) about what was said. After exchanging thoughts on SVGL's post East vs. West. My girlfriend said something: You should write that down as a comment on the site.

Instead, I have the brilliant idea to start a blog...yeah, totally missed the target. Honestly I decided to write in a blog for more personal use. If i find a topic I find interesting this will give me a place to write out my thoughts on the subject. I could just use a notebook or word processor but I've always wanted to try this "Blogging" thing.

So what should you expect from this site?

In truth I don't expect this site to be read by anybody except Me and a few friends but if other stumble upon it. Here is what you will find:
  1. Bad spelling and grammer. I am not a professional writer, I am not looking to be one, so you will find errors. I apologize for this in advance. Feel free to let me know and I'll try to fix them to make it easier to read.
  2. An average vocabulary. Again read above.
  3. My thoughts on subjects I read in Blogs, News sites, Forums. I will try my best to explain my thoughts. I hate when someone tries to make a point and they don't support it with examples and/or facts. It makes one sound like a ranting fanboy/girl.
  4. Games won't just be Video games. While video games are the big thing now, but there are other games that I will mention. If you look at the links under blogs you'll see one that goes to a Warhammer blog. I'd like to say I'll cover all thing I read evenly but to be honest I foresee 80 to 90 % Video Games, mostly because of the size of the industry there's more coverage of it.

Well, here's hoping for a good time writing.