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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in The First Church of Beer and Pretzels' LiveJournal:

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Tuesday, January 29th, 2008
7:20 pm

To anyone and everyone who was at Dreamation 2008, my car, a blue Saturn SL1 was broken into and robbed. If you saw anything please let me know. I am hoping to be able to recover the laptop, pretty much above all other things missing.
This occurred in Iselin, NJ at the Woodbridge Hilton.
Here's a list of what was taken:

My Gateway laptop with power cable
Portable Hard Drive
6x8 Intuos2 WACOM tablet with pen
microsoft optical mouse
512mb SD card
Black Attache
spare Motorola battery
19" LCD Envision Monitor

Garmin C330 GPS system w/ mounts & powersupply
DOOM Boardgame and expansion

Brown Travel Bag
Clothing (several pairs of jeans, t-shirts) Cybergen T-shirt, I-Con T-shirt
My signed copies of Cyberpunk 2020 and Cyberpunk v.3, spare copy of Cyberpunk V.3, Edgerunners Inc.
D&D Players Handbook v3.5, DM's guide, Monster Manual 1

Mandy's Red Travel Bag
Hair Products
Phone charger

I'm offering a 2000$ reward for the return of all goods stolen, especially the computer and external hard drive with data.
Thursday, January 24th, 2008
1:13 pm
half a game
So. Hauling out my design stuff a few months back I worked out a simple mechanic for placing plastic chips, but the second half of the proto-game was singularly lacking. So I decided to post the mechanic here to see what you-all would come up with, if you feel like sharing.

2-6 players
12 plastic chips in each of the following colors: red orange yellow green blue and purple.
15 plastic chips in both white and black
(total 102 chips)
6 colored tokens (no white or black)

Each player draws a token out of a bag and selects a chip of the matching color which he places on the table in front of him (under his token), then draws a "hand" of three chips.

Chips may only be played next to matching color chips, chips adjacent on the color wheel (green and orange for a yellow chip), or "neutral" (black & white) chips.

Turn sequence: Draw one chip. play a chip from your hand into any player's "structure", play must be legal. Continue until either time is called or all chips have been used. (I tried it both blind draw from a bag and open draw from stacks of each color, I preferred blind draw: simpler set up, and more luck, less strategy)

In the proto game the underside of the chips had colored stickers with either a + or -. The scoring at the end took a long time since you had to total the net value of a particular color chip for that structure then count the number of them present to figure out the value, then repeat five more times and total all the results. :P Okay for a computer game, no fun in real life.

Obviously something more involved than simple scoring would need to happen; perhaps the goal is to build "rings" around your initial chip, with some chips having detrimental effects so you'd want to play them on other players. Perhaps something neat happens if you build a complete "rainbow" of six colors, in order,out from your central chip (the one marked with the token)

My gut-level thought is that about 1/3 - 1/2 of the chips need to be detrimental in some way so players interact more rather than just taking turns building their own structure, with maybe 1/4 being beneficial or defensive in some way.

Current Mood: curious
Friday, November 2nd, 2007
10:17 pm
The Pains of Doing Business
Way back when The RPG Dungeon became IcePack Games we went from electronic distribution to real world merchandise. At that time we were selling RPG material exclusively and that was primarily adventure modules we self-printed. One of the biggest sellers we have ever had was the electronic version of "The World of Sevemens Sourcebook". That book was the campaign setting that my D&D players gamed in going all the way back to the early 1980's. The sourcebook was written using the 2nd edition AD&D rules and when 3rd edition came out we no longer offered it.
We were moving in a different direction and it just didn't seem necessary to update it. I was busy battling business licensing anyway. That was also the time I found out about UPC's, you know those little bar codes on the back of everything you buy. I paid $750 for the lump of UPC's that I bought all those years ago and I'm glad I did. I just found out that since 2002 any new codes have to be renewed every year.
When I was trying to get my first game sold at HobbyTown USA I was told "If we can't scan it, we can't sell it!" So the UPC's were bought and you will see them on every game we make.

The World of Sevemens turns 25 in just a few months and I wanted to do something special for the anniversary. It has been posted to the website for 2  years now and I am finally getting around to it. "The World of Sevemens Campaign Setting" is getting a 3.5/4ed makeover. Not only that, we are having hard bound copies of the book printed that will be available at Amazon and Borders as well as a few hobby/game stores. The electronic version and hard bound version will both also be available from IPG and The RPG Dungeon.

Since this is the rebirth of d20 D&D lineup with 3 other sourcebooks and a bunch of setting specific modules we wanted to do it right. We are going to be holding a giveaway (more details to come) of proofing copies of the book while we wait on the final hurdle. If I thought UPC's were a pain in the ass they are nothing compared to ISBN's. ISBN's are the book codes and they are $650 for 10. So I am currently working on that little issue while going through 500+ pages of source material. Making all the little changes that need to made for 3.5/4ed and pruning stuff to get it down to 150 pages.

So yeah, what a pain in the ass. Since you sat through all of that I figure the least I could do is give you the lineup. Without further ado I present the Sevemens' hardback sourcebook lineup.

  • The World of Sevemens Campaign Setting
  • Gods, Relics & Rituals of Sevemens
  • The Sevemens Creature Compendium
  • Dragon Lore
  • Prestige and Professions

Current Mood: busy
Monday, August 6th, 2007
9:51 pm
Indie games worth checking out?
Do folks have any good recommendations of good PC download indie games? I've been tasked with trying populating our initial list of games to investigate for our someday indie portal at work, of course at the same time that we've got a looming deadline with a ton of work on my game. So, if anybody has any suggestions of games worth checking out, I'd love to hear them since I don't have time to surf the net playing hours of random games trying to find good ones, hah. :)

Current Mood: tired
Monday, July 16th, 2007
5:03 pm
larp thoughts text
I'm writing an article about generating rules mechanics and using LARP as my example. If any of you are so inclined, please give this a once over and tell me where you think I'm wrong.

intro to larp rules generationCollapse )
Monday, June 18th, 2007
5:58 am
You mean other people design games? Cool!

I've made a game where you arrange letters glued together in Tetris-like shapes onto a Scrabble-like board and find words in a Boggle-like way. But without so many trademarks. I'd like to invite everyone to try it out and let me know what their opinions are. You can find it at http://games.wode.com.

It looks like this:

Tell me what you think! Thanks...
Friday, January 12th, 2007
3:49 am
Need Help With My Book:
Need some help with the book I'm writing.

I need people who are experienced at building 3D terrain to help write a section about it.

If anyone is interested, please contact me.
It is not a paying gig, but you will be given a credit in the book.
Feel free to pass this along on any communities, journals, or otherwise that may be interested.

Thursday, November 16th, 2006
10:41 pm
games requiring hardcore construction:
Ok, got a WEIRD question for you guys. I'm currently building a boardgame...it's requiring me to build a multiple-slider, slide-rule like game component. All I can think to make it out of (for the prototype) is wood, which will require a miter box, which I don't have. Can anyone suggest a way to make this sort of thing, without having to use wood? I would be greatly appreciative.

The main thing is I need to keep it cheap. The plastic molds for other pieces are already running me about 500$ (or so my artist guesstimates).

Sunday, October 29th, 2006
9:30 pm
Tuesday, July 18th, 2006
7:34 pm
It looks like Palladium Games may survive
Apparently they've had a massive show of support and are still kicking. They've managed to clear a lot of debt and things are looking better, though they're not out of the woods yet. They've issued an updated product release schedule that also has a financial status report about half way down the page.
7:43 pm
I just self-published my first game!
A game too warped for WhiteWolf. A system too overpowered for Munchkin. A world too fraught with cliches for D&D. And it all rests on the classical twist in fate: the coin flip. MLX parodies classical RPGs and takes roleplaying into a new more portable age, utlizing only the contents of a wallet for its mechanics. It is a lively and humorous system that draws on countless pop-culture sources for entertainment. This is the RPG that Jack Chick warned you about.* *This game contains strong language that is not suitable for all readers. Several may find parts of it in bad taste. MLX is also new and different, which many people equate with frightening or dangerous.
Saturday, May 13th, 2006
2:01 am
I have created a community to announce news about my game company
It's at sparebrainsnews and anyone is welcome. I'm taking three or four new test kits with me next week on a 5,000 mile drive to get some reactions, when I return home I'm going to be setting up (hopefully!) an Amazon store to start selling Zombie Cafe through.
Thursday, May 4th, 2006
1:16 am
Seeking playtesters for a bluffing game concept

I have a concept for a bluffing game. Before I get all bogged down in making it go, I want to test the concept.

I'm looking for a few people who are willing to test the concept with me. If I can find some people in the Twin Cities, bonus. Otherwise, if I can find some willing participants who can get together with me on IM (where I'm also "patrickwonders"), that'd work, too.

Interested folks should enjoy bluffing games---poker-ish. Comfort with figuring probabilities might be useful as might a dash of bravado.

Thanks in advance....

ps. I'm perfectly willing to return the favor and playtest also... my main gaming interests are logic/puzzler games, team-sports games (though not so much with American football), and bluffing games.


Current Mood: hopeful
Thursday, April 27th, 2006
10:06 am
Palladium Games
Palladium Games has been dealt a strange blow to their business. Here's a quote: "For legal reasons, I cannot go into details about exactly what happened. Suffice it to say that betrayal of trust, theft, and embezzlement has inflicted what we estimate to be $850,000 to 1.3 million dollars in damages to Palladium. "

I'm passing it on. Even if you don't like Palladium but do love gaming you should halp out. This will damage a business that is already damaged.

Tuesday, February 7th, 2006
12:51 pm
The owner of Flying Buffalo is running for Scottsdale City Council
I received this email from Rick last night, sort of gaming related.

Hi! Just thought you all might like to know that last week I went
down to city hall and filed as a write-in candidate for the
Scottsdale City Council election coming up March 14th.

No write-in candidate has ever won in Scottsdale, but it turns out it
doesn't cost anything and you don't even have to get any signatures.
But you have to file.

Reason I did this is because the papers have been discussing "Light
Rail" for some time, and Phoenix is spending millions of dollars
putting a rail line down the middle of town. Scottsdale opted not to
do this, and there has been much discussion in the papers of whether
we are "missing out" by not having "light rail". (i.e. old 1800's
technology). But the discussion has always been whether we should
have light rail, or nothing. No one is discussing alternatives, such
as SkyTran (www.skytran.net) - an overhead monorail mag-lev
transportation system designed by my friend Doug Malewicki.

There are three council seats open for election, and there are four
official candidates, and seven write-in candidates. It should be
amusing. I doubt I'll get more than a few votes, but I will consider
my campaign to be a success if I can get just one reporter to write
one article about SkyTran!

Monday I'll be on tv on the local cable channel for a question and
answer session with all the candidates. I'll try to tape it - let me
know if you want a copy!

I'm not looking for campaign donations as I don't plan to spend any
money. As long as I spend less than $500 I don't have to file any
financial paperwork. But wish me luck!
Rick Loomis
Scottsdale City Council Candidate!
Saturday, January 21st, 2006
9:14 pm
I'm hoping this list is still active
I see there hasn't been much in the way of activity of late, and that the moderator hasn't posted in almost four months. Not a good sign.

Anyway, I came here from adding Flying Buffalo to my interests, I worked there back in the early 80's during their peak while located in Tempe. I am a game designer living in New Mexico, a small town called Cloudcroft that's about 90 minutes north of El Paso. I have one game that I've sold a few copies of called Zombie Cafe, my company, such as it is, is called Spare Brains Games.

Just wanted to introduce myself and also mention a Yahoo board game design forum on board came design called the Board Game Design forum, you can sign up for it at http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/BoardGameDesign/. I'd suggest using a gmail account for it to keep things somewhat better organized.
Wednesday, January 4th, 2006
7:37 pm
A Rock, Paper, Scissors economy...
I've had this idea of a simple RPS based "economy" simulator for a year or two now. Very simple, very unrealistic but still has a nice complex feedback loop to it.

Finally got around to throwing together a simple browser based based web game over xmas.

Browser turn based multiplayer games reminded me of simple PBM stuff from back in the 80s. The game complexity isnt so much of importance its more the interacting with a large number of other people.

So thats the kind of the style I've gone for.

I'm posting here since I'd like to see if it actually works at all and that requires more evil players to poke it with sticks. I figure this is a vary good place to find evil players. :)

I'd also like to know if it's similar to anything else?

It is a simple RPS based feedback loop after all, I'd expect it to be used in other games but I don't know of any and google is not helping me much in this quest. Does it seem familiar to anyone?


If you feel like poking it with sticks a bit for me that would be appreciated, I'm still fiddling with it and plan to add a couple of extra things but the basic (simple) game is there.

Current Mood: geeky
Wednesday, October 12th, 2005
5:44 pm
puerto rico homerules?
So I finally got a chance to play Puerto Rico last weekend and was wondering what kinds of additions and/or changes people here had come up with.

I must admit my first thought was to add (another) strategic element through a communal island map for building rather than individual cards. You'd have to mark who owned what, but I think the annoyance would be outweighed by the chance plot placement strategies.

I'm not sure what other home rules I'd add along with it, probably some kind of bonus for adjacent farms of the same type, or farms adjacent to their storehouses. Perhaps limited city building area so placement there would become more important.
Saturday, September 17th, 2005
1:20 pm
Paper Prototyping for Computer Games

An article on the benefits of creating and playtesting a pen-and-paper game to see if the rules of a computer game will work well. And of course, if the computer game falls through for some reason (like a lack of funding), well... you might still have a marketable game in there somewhere.

(found via the MUD-Dev mailing list)
Tuesday, June 28th, 2005
1:01 pm
Dvorak - A Nomic Card Game

Has anyone else here seen or used it?

"Dvorak is a card game where all of the cards start out blank; players choose a theme, make up enough cards to get started, shuffle and deal, then add further cards to the game as the game progresses. It provides you with enough rules to start a game, but leaves the theme and the depth up to you."

It's not exactly 1K Blank Cards; it looks like it could be useful for standalone card game design as well. There are a number of archived decks on the site that are fun and/or amusing.
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