Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Knot Dice, by Matthew O'Malley

Full Disclosure: Matthew O'Malley, the designer of Knot Dice, is a friend of mine and as part of the review process, Matthew furnished me with a set of 18 Knot Dice to play with. In addition, I am working on developing games using these components. However, since they're also a component system, having designed with them allows me to talk about using them as components, which is important for the review.

  Who should buy Knot Dice? Anyone who likes quick, compelling games; anyone who wants a fascinating set of components for design; or anyone who just loves beautiful dice. 

The major difference between Knot Dice (the upcoming project from Matthew O'Malley of Black Oak Games) and most games is that Knot Dice is a component system more than an individual game, with games and sets of puzzles available on his website. Knot Dice functions - and functions well - on three different levels: as a set of games, as a component system, and as art. And they're worth the cost as any of those three alone.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Pairs Variant From the Editor

I'm a fan of light card games, particularly those that I can carry in my backpack and break out at the bar over drinks, or with my family at dinner. Pairs, funded through Kicksarter by Cheapass Games in 2014, fits this description perfectly!

I had a chance to play Pairs and Continuous Pairs with James Ernest, the designer and owner of Cheapass Games, while at GAMA Trade Show last week. I was inspired to try to design my own Pairs variant, and James was gracious enough to encourage me to post it publicly. Here goes!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Post Hoc Fallacy in Playtesting

This morning, my cats would not stop meowing when I was trying to feed them. (Even if you’re reading this on a different day than I published it, I guarantee that my cats meowed me to just about  the point of madness this morning.) Someone once told me that they do that because they learned it from meowing at their adorable kitty mommies when trying to get food as kittens, and the behavior just stuck.  I don’t know if that’s true; it makes me want to feed them less.

Every. Damn. Morning.

My cat, without knowing it (because cats don’t understand logical fallacies), is engaging in what philosophers and debate kids would call the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. Wikipedia tells us that fancy Latin phrase literally means “After this; therefore, because of this”. It’s any time we claim that an event caused a reaction simply because it came before it.  I carried this rock around, and then I wasn’t attacked by tigers. Ergo, the rock must protect me from tigers!  (This logical fallacy is also called a "false cause" fallacy or "affirming the consequent".)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Interview with Jeff King & Jordan Steinhoff of All Us Geeks

Jeff King and Jordan Steinhoff, cohosts of All Us Geeks

I’m here today chatting with Jeff King and Jordan Steinhoff, the guys behind All Us Geeks, which, today, is celebrating its three year anniversary. All Us Geeks started out as a podcast, but now it's also a website, blog, YouTube channel - and anything else I’m forgetting?

Jordan: I have low grade plans for world domination as well as the current entertainment offerings.

Jeff: From a strictly All Us Geeks angle, I think you nailed it. We haven’t launched AUG Con yet or anything. ;-}

When you do, sign me up. For both. I want, like, a duchy or something after the AUG takeover is complete. And a booth at AUG Con. That’s probably easier. Anyway, you guys are coming up on your third anniversary. So, for people who don’t know what you guys are all about, give us a brief history of All Us Geeks.

Jordan: All Us Geeks started as Jeff and Michael, another host who is currently on hiatus.  I was invited for a review of the Walking Dead TV series and never left.  It was originally going to be audio and written game reviews with some general added geekery.  As we evolved, we lost a host, added some video work and created the United Geeks Network, a network of like minded geeky content. 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Interview with Jamey Stegmaier, Matthew O'Malley & Ben Rosset about Between Two Cities

Jamey Stegmaier, Matthew O'Malley & Ben Rosset

Hi everybody! I’m here with Jamey Stegmaier, Matthew O’Malley, and Ben Rosset who currently have a Kickstarter up for Ben & Matthew’s Between Two Cities.  Jamey Stegmaier is half of Stonemaier Games and the designer of Viticulture, its expansion Tuscany, and Euphoria and is one of the leading experts on Kickstarter best practices.  Ben Rosset is the designer of Mars Needs Mechanics, Brew Crafters, Brew Crafters: The Travel Card Game, and co-designer of Between Two Cities.  Matthew O’Malley is the designer of Diner, Battle of Wits, Knot Dice, and co-designer of Between Two Cities. Phew. That’s a lot of designer cred in one interview! Thanks for talking with me, guys!

So let’s jump right in and talk about the project. Matthew, Ben, tell us all a little bit about Between Two Cities.