Somebody’s nicked Heroquest, we rarely have enough of us in for a decent game of Werewolf and my Rock Band expertise doesn’t extend far beyond songs by the Police (oh, the joy in their eyes as they’re forced to play ‘Can’t Stand Losing You’ *again*!), so I bought some new stuff for game hour this week. I wasn’t around for the deboxings this morning though, since I’ve taken the day off to recuperate after juggling like a trained octopus all month.
Finished Mass Effect this morning, finally. Expected it to be good and it was, although the Paragon ending left me a bit cold and the romance stuff was eye-rollingly bad. At least [spoiler alert!] Kaidan didn’t pounce on Shepard at the end. Thinking about it… if ME’s supposed to be a trilogy, I wonder if we’ll be able to import our Shepards all the way through?
This weekend I braved the freshly BORISed transport system to attend GameCamp 08, an informal do up at 3Rooms to give people who do stuff with games and technology some face time together for pretty much whatever purpose we like (within the limits of acceptable decorum and the fire code).
The session schedule was pretty packed and I couldn’t make it to everything I fancied due to things happening concurrently, but I managed to pick many awesome brains, eat 17 brownies and sun my translucent arms for the first time this year, so I wouldn’t dream of complaining.
Every Friday morning my whole team spends an hour playing games together. Anything we fancy: Magic, Munchkin (which we haven’t picked up in awhile, actually)… Werewolf‘s a popular one ‘cos we can play as a big group. The main point of Game Hour is having fun, but it’s also a great opportunity to learn one another’s playstyles, gain cooperative experience across game teams and even practice demoing skills – since with each new game there’s at least one of us who’s never played whatever-it-is before.
Last Friday, a couple of the guys were super-organized and brought in Mario Kart for the Wii. We’ve got a Wii in our games room, but unfortunately someone had borrowed its power cable for a couple of weeks (!) so we couldn’t actually play anything on it. Having only five players, which isn’t quite enough for Werewolf, we decided to fall back on an old classic: HeroQuest.
Although a suspicious number of our brothers had apparently played HeroQuest back in the day, none of us ever had so we spent the first half hour pawing at the game pieces and trying to figure out the rules. In defiance of typecasting, I picked the Dwarf character. (You can’t go too far wrong hacking at everything with an axe.) We each entered the the dungeon from a different place on the map, and sortof individually winged it through sections of the pre-made level one dungeon, fighting goblins, finding a bit of treasure and falling into traps.
The game was rushed and improvisational – not quite HeroQuest as intended, but a great experience. With five minutes left it descended into all-in PvP vs. the Elf, which I’m happy to say (since my Dwarf started it), the Elf lost. Next to a particularly spirited game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with my daughter, it was the most fun I had all week.
Back home after an eventful couple of flights on Monday; now entertaining my mother who’s visiting from Virginia.
I’ve got quite a bit to catch up on from days 3 and 4. Happily, sxswi is churning out podcasts now. Video too – click through from here.
Recommended: You Are Here: Gaming and User’s Geolocation in Web 2.0
Queued up: The Suxorz: The Worst Social Media Ad Campaigns of 2007; Hi-Tech Craft: Why Sewing and Knitting Still Matter
One for the fellas at work (sorry, no swag :/): Expression Engine 2 Sneak Peak (not my spelling!)
Rachel Clarke Bibrik Ltd
Jeremy Ettinghausen Digital Publisher, Penguin Books
Roo Reynolds Metaverse Evangelist, IBM
Dan Hon CEO, Six to Start
Dan Heaf, BBC, moderator
Heaf: How can games, stories, puzzles etc. help engage users with your brand? We’ve seen in film and tv that these techniques have been put in place to great effect. Outside of those genres, can such tactics be effective? (more…)
OK, so in the afternoon I went to Stories, Games and Your Brand, another panel featuring Dan and other smart people. Tony’s notes are less rambly than mine. :) As a result of being in that session, I missed Zuckerberg’s trainwreck of an interview, but now all the sour faces I encountered outside Ballroom A afterwards make sense!
Kathy Sierra was next up in A with Tools for Enchantment: 20 Ways to Woo Users. Packed house. Predictably fun talk – my notes don’t capture it well so it’s worth waiting for the video.
Finally, The Supercollider: A Hero of the Social Network, Matt‘s panel. [Edit: there’s a summary at dessalles.] His slides were superb. Two people tripped over my charger, but thankfully no-one was hurt (although some hard-disk protector feature on my laptop kicked in, which was worrying until it didn’t actually do anything and went away).
Et voila! Now I head off to some drive-thru to pick up dinner, like a very sad person. For the best really I think, since I’m flying back tomorrow and need to pack, be properly hydrated etc. Have fun, moo party people! ;)
Was very lucky to even get to the first panel, having left late with no thought for probable queues for the parking garage! (I’m staying at the Hyatt Place, about a 10-minute drive away from the ACC.)
Today I went to:
What Teens Want Online & On Their Phones: No ads, Flash games. High text allowance. Wholesome kids. Dan liveblogged it.
You Are Here: Gaming and User’s Geolocation in Web 2.0: Really, really interesting stuff. Liveblogged at NowPublic (scroll); überthings, socialight
[Laptop battery went flat and I'd left the charger in the hotel. Spent rest of the day scribbling on various surfaces.]
Opening Remarks with Henry Jenkins and Steven Johnson: Funny, hopeful, inspiring. Summary at Geek Gestalt
Cross-Media Cross-Pollination: Mashing Up Video Games and ARGs: Dan’s panel with Tony and Dee, lovely people I met at lunch. Great overview of ARGs and what they can learn from videogames; gears turning. I’m sad that I have to head back home before Jane McGonigal’s keynote.
Social Network Coups: The Users are Revolting!: Turned out to be even more entertaining than I expected. Examples of how CMs at Metafilter, Lifehacker, Second Life and io9 handled community uprisings. I’ll post the podcast when it’s up.
I’m having a bash at the PMOG beta from home (would be far too distracting at work!), and like it a lot so far. It’s got loads of potential for creating fun journeys and sharing interests with people. Not sure about the social aspects yet, but I’m reserving judgment til the features have a bit more flesh.
LOVE the steampunky theme, and the art is awesome – particularly the badge designs. Reminds me a lot of Arcanum.
Here I am. If you’re not playing yet and would like to try it out, ping me and I’ll invite you (while supplies last).
Is anyone still playing Chore Wars? It was built on such a brilliant concept that I really hoped to see it take off, although having put it through its paces myself I can see why it might be slow to do so.
My problem was that when I tried to rope my husband in to play, he’d do the chores but just wasn’t interested in updating the site, so I ended up with a solo game that wasn’t any fun. I might’ve hung in there longer given SMS updating and better support for parties that don’t actually live together (and if that stuff ever makes it in I’ll go back and give it another shot), but as it is I can thank the experience of Chore Wars for helping me figure out a few things that I want from a chore-focused game.