Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Match and Magic

Monday, April 16th, 2012

I just saw this Kickstarter drive for Match & Magic and wanted to point it out to anybody who donates on the Kickstarter scene.  I had originally heard about this from from a post on Dubious Quality a while back and had wondered how it was progressing.  I’m a huge fan of Puzzle Quest myself.  It was definitely an inspiration for the design of my latest game.  I decided to transform the gem matching into a card matching (trick taking) mechanic built around tarot cards but the fundamental concept behind all these implementations is the same:  set up a rule set and allow the player to find ways to manipulate them by identifying certain patterns that are displayed on the board and how they can interact with your off board abilities. Enough design gibberish though.  Check out the drive and the video.  Man I wish my office was that clean.  I might be able to finish my game faster. 🙂

Show Me The Sales

Monday, November 14th, 2011

Cliff Harris aka Cliffski was kind enough to invite me into the Show Me The Games first ever Show Me The Sales event.  You can not only grab Solium Infernum for 50% if you happened to miss my recent Never On Steam sale, but there are also a lot of other very cool and high quality indie games on sale there as well.

Never On Steam Update

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

A big thanks to everybody who has sent me supportive emails since I went public with my Steam rejection.  I’ve also gotten a few angry emails with opinions supportive of Steam’s decision to deny me a money hat fitting.  🙂 I’m just trying to have a little fun with this and make some lemonade out of lemons….and hopefully get some more exposure for my games and set the groundwork for a successful launch of my next game The Occult Chronicles.  The response to my Never On Steam sale has been surprisingly good and I appreciate everybody spreading the word.  I’m going to try and get something put up on my main web page soon.

In the meantime the code is NEVERONSTEAM

50% off all my games except for the AE & SI bundle which is already discounted so you should just buy them separately.

Here is a link to check out Armageddon Empires if you want to take a look.  With the 50% discount the price is $12.50.

Never On Steam Sale

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Over the years I’ve gotten quite a few emails asking if or when my games will be on Steam.  I have to admit that I have felt very ambivalent about the whole thing because on the one hand I really like selling direct and cutting out the middle man but on the other hand I know a lot of devs who have had the mon$y hat put on their heads via selling on Steam.  The only thing Steam has ever given me so far is that empty feeling in the gut as I have watched them deflate indie software prices almost single handed.  But today I got the ubiquitous “Not a good fit” rejection letter that I so richly deserved for my moment of weakness last week when I submitted Armageddon Empires for consideration on Steam thinking that I too might look good in a money hat. Oh Well.

But it inspired me to try and make something out of this and burn my ships just like Cortez did and set off for the interior and fortune and glory.  So I am going to fight fire with fire and launch a preemptive strike on Steam’s Xmas sale and do a 50% off all my games NEVER GOING TO BE ON STEAM sale.  You can get the discount by entering this code when you check out


The Sale is going to last 2 weeks. Please spread this news around on any board or watering hole that you frequent that might have a musty old turn based grog hanging out in close proximity.

NOTE: The 50% discount only applies to the individual games and not the already discounted bundle of SI & AE.

Check out Armageddon Empires here

Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I think this is sums it all up pretty well.

QT3 Relaunch

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Tom Chick is taking his entertaining Fidgit formula back to the homeland and reinventing the front page of QT3. I hope we get a new wallet threat level system in place.

Cursed Dungeons

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

No news here about SGS. I’m toiling away in the dungeon working on the AI and trying to round up the last bits of the UI art. I really hate AI coding. It’s lots of hard work with very little pay off until you start to see things come together….this is especially true of the goal based system that I have refined since I started doing this with Armageddon Empires. Each goal is a separate little hell in and of itself that has to be tested inside and out usually in isolation to make sure all the possible combinations of “sub goals” fire correctly and execute in an intelligent manner. It often means endless coding of algorithms to “rank” something in order for the AI to choose something that has to happen….i.e. which card to cash in, which card to buy, which posse to choose to confront a player who is moving into your territory, etc. etc. I generally use some combos of fuzzy logic variables or weighted sums to “rate” whatever it is I have to but setting those up is always long, dull and boring work. The fun only comes when you get a bunch of these goals working together to accomplish things and see the emergent behavior that tickles and surprises and makes you say…I didn’t intend for that to happen but I like it.

But speaking of dungeons, I needed a break from the tedium this weekend so I broke out the revamped Dungeonquest which I had recently purchased having had fond memories of the original decades ago. I convinced my 12 year old son and 10 year old daughter to give it a go and after a moderate amount of time setting it up we were on our way. The game is short, random and brutal or at least that was what my childhood memories seemed to recall. It didn’t disappoint. I had read the rules over the last couple of days and had everything pretty well groked out except for combat which I figured we could just go through slowly with the rule book when that came up. As it turned out for me combat really wasn’t much of an issue. I had one of the most awful starts that I think you can possibly have. It was still fun because each time I drew a tile more terrible that the last my kids broke out into hysterical fits of laughter….rolling on the floor type laughter. I guess you had to be there.

Here is a short recap of what happened for me:

Turn 1: Drew cave in.
Turn 2: Went back to start
Turn 3 Drew Portcullis room that dead ended
Turn 4 Was afraid of getting stuck in portcullis room so went back and tried to climb over rubble. Failed
Turn 5 +1 Determination for rubble. Failed.
Turn 6 +2 Determination for rubble. Failed.
Turn 7 +3 Determination for rubble. Success.
Turn 8 Drew dead end room. (Kids are laughing so hard they might be crying)
Turn 9 Searched room and got lucky and found secret door. (Maybe my luck is turning. Kids are a little quieter now it seems)
Turn 9a Drew portcullis room. Kids are howling again because my strength is so low. Decide to use special ability to add +3 for taking a wound. Fail
Turn 10 +1 Determination, +3 for wound Attempt to lift portcullis. Success.
Turn 11 Drew bridge over chasm. Ok my luck has got to change even if my agility is feeble. Besides I have got to get moving. Aargghhh. Fail. I have fallen into the Catacombs.
Turn 12 Crawling around in the catacombs
Turn 13 Crawling around in the catacombs. Fell into a pit. Need to roll to get out. That sums it up. I fell into a pit and got stuck even after I had fallen into a pit.
Turn 14 +1 Determination to get out of pit. Fail.
Turn 15 +2 Determination and got out of the pit and then have to fight Troll.

In the meantime my son has reached the dragon hoard and successfully looted some nice treasure while I remain lost in the catacombs. My daughter caught a pit in the pendulum type blade right between the shoulders and should have died (needed a 4 or lower with two six siders and rolled high) but my son and I were so afraid to tell her that she was out of the game we pretended it didn’t happen and just gave her some wound tokens. They don’t call her Mad Maddie for nothing. We’ve taken a break and left the setup out on the kitchen table much to my wife’s consternation. I mumbled something about finishing it tomorrow. I’m doomed but I’d like to see if my son can actually get out alive with all that loot. Maybe I can figure out a way to get in front of him and block him so that we all lose. Now that’s a nice thought.

Even though I have had really bad luck with my tile drawing I’ve had a great time playing this game. I’m still alive and all I need to do is grab a small bit of treasure and make it back out and hope that my son gets caught somewhere. The laughs we’ve had with this one game have made it more than worth the purchase price. The thrill of exploration doesn’t get any better than what is served up in Dungeonquest. I’d like to try and capture that thrill in my rogue like design down the road.

Here is my woeful cursed path of failure
Path Of Doom

Here is the board situation when we stopped. Notice that my kids have reached the Dragon’s Treasure room and have started plundering. Not a Dragon Rage card in sight of course
The Board


Wednesday, April 14th, 2010


The March of Folly

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

The concept is one that should never be forgotten by a good systems analyst. Barbara Tuchman’s classic is an examination of the process of how organizations can relentlessly pursue policies that act against their own best interests. The utility analysis of best interests can be a bit subjective but the concept that Tuchman illustrates with her case studies is very useful.

If just a bit of what you read here at Broken Toys (the best summation I’ve found) is true then my guess is that the book could use a new chapter.

British Cottage Bedrooms

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Wait that’s not right. Anyway, there is a neat article on British One Man Indies that is a nice read and features Cliffski of Gratuitous Space Battles fame. I found myself nodding in agreement through most of it. I especially agree with this sentiment “But I get to spend all day every day doing what I love, and there’s no real price to be put on that.” That’s doubly so when you are in the fun design stage of a project like I am right now with Rogue Expedition.