Category Archives: Games

Some Quick Updates

Yep – just some quick ones.

1) Something interesting is happening.  I can’t talk about details yet, but I’ll let you all know when I know the final details – probably Wednesday afternoon.

2) As you probably know, Chris is back and out of the hospital.  He’s staying with us for a while, while he recovers.  We’re pumping calories into him at an astronomical rate.  Hopefully we can have him good and fat soon.

3) I’ve signed up on sparkpeople.com  It’s a fitness and nutrition tracking site.  I’m trying to sort of diet = 1850 calories or less per day.  So far it’s going pretty good. 

4) In that regard I’ve recently put a post up on my fitness blog – runfatboyrun.wordpress.com  I’m planning to add to it more regularly again.

5) I’m writing this on my laptop with no internet connection.  If all goes well this should publish when I get to an internet connection later in the day.  What fascinating modern times we live in.

6) Going to Kamloops soon.  Have an appointment with a specialist about my back disease.  I’m hoping for some sort of miracle drug that takes away my pain and lets me sleep full nights again.  That would be cool. 

7) Spore is pretty cool.  I’ve been playing offline only in  my “liberated” version.  Now that EA/Maxis has said that they’ll be changing the copy protection to allow five activations and are putting in place a tool to “de-authorize” activated computers (much like iTunes) I’ll consider buying it if I don’t get it for my birthday.

8) Which is coming up soon!  I’m getting oldish.

9) Dylan is officially a 6mo.  That’s pretty cool.  She’s loving real people food – although she only gets to gum bread and rice crackers and stuff to death.  The occasional bit of rice cereal.  Y’know – baby stuff.

10) People are coming over tonight.  It’s officially a wedding planning exercise, garnished with a fresh beef roast and veggies.  I think Scott is planning to add a topping of Rock Band Fun after we get the work part done.  Since Ivy pooped in the potty it’s also going to be her potty pooping party we’ve been promising her since we started this whole potty training affair.  And what an affair it’s been!\

11) Ivy pooped in the potty!!!!!  YAY! Word! Dude! Party Time! Excellent! (guitar solo) Sweeeeeeeet!

12) I rode my bike to work today.  Chilly.  I had to scrape frost off the seat, put on a scarf, and wear ski-doo gloves.  It was pretty cold, but once you get to 100km/h at least your helmet unfogs!  Awesome!  I’m guessing this will be one of my last commutes this year on the bike, and prolly one of the last times I get to ride before I have to winterize the little baby and put it away for the winter.  Sad me.

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PMOG

What is PMOG you may ask.

I would answer thusly.

“That is a very good question. According to their website it is a ‘Passivley Multiplayer Game’, but the real truth goes a little deeper than that. Allow me to give you a link to where you can get it, and then I will discuss it further below.”

Perhaps the first interesting look at PMOG should be this webcomic detailing in sort of poetic form the descent of one into the PMOG world. That is to say, the underground of the internet in the real world.

You can find the original sized comics at http://pmog.com/codex/appendices/metamorphosis

Here is the general idea. First, you install a firefox toolbar. This “voluntary spyware” tracks your surfing history and you begin to gain coins and whatnot passively, while you surf normally. You can easily turn it off or on, and change lots of it’s settings.

Now that you have your toolbar enabled, you can “find” things that other people have placed on the internet. For example, I’m going to place a crate on my website with some coins in it. If you are the next “pmogian” to come along, you will see a crate pop up, and you can choose to take what is inside.

So, it’s sort of like a treasure hunt, right? Yep. It’s also a little more.

Pmogians can leave missions on websites too. Missions (should you choose to accept them) take you on a guided tour of the internet, linking from page to page. I’m going to build one based on my linked blogs on the sidebar.

Portals, when you see them, mysteriously take you to another website. Why? Well, you’d have to ask those who dropped them. Sometimes it might be because they like another site better, and want to let other pmogians know. Sometimes it could be because they just want to cause mischief. ;)

I haven’t figured out lightposts yet. Their description says “Lightposts light up the areas between web sites. They make visible connections that were dark before.” Ah, I see. If I read a little further it tells me that lightposts are required to make missions. Neat.

Mines can be dropped on websites, and when you step on one they take away some of your datapoints (coins).

Armour can be worn to protect against mine attacks.

Coins/Datapoints are collected at each new site you go to. (Each day, or ever, or something. I’m not quite sure. I’ve found a way of farming them, and in only a day and a bit have collected over 600 of them. Since I’m using firefox I do a search in google and go along and open every link in a new tab. I do this for as many as I have patience for and then close all tabs and start again! Whew! Internet surfing at speed!

Now, depending what you do there are different factions you will be joined to. Bedouins for example are known to wear armour to protect themselves. Vigilantes foil others mischief by placing St. Nicks on their profiles, blocking them from doing their next action. There are others, fly over to pmog.com to see what they are like.

Feel free to come along and join me. My username is Suprspi, and I’d be happy to have you as an acquaintance. Or just take my mission and see what I like best on the internet in the world of blogs, comics and random stuff.

I should mention that I found this game, like so much other cool stuff I’ve found on the internet, from Wil Wheaton. Will is also playing PMOG, but I don’t know his name yet. This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen on the internet in a long time, and I really encourage you all to check it out.

Planting, Cleaning, Building, Oil-Changing

Well, I went for a ride with Greg and Kate today.  We hopped on the bikes and followed Greg’s parents out the the Yorston Farm and had Cinnamon Buns.  They have an event called Cinnamon Sunday each Sunday in May.  Buns are 1$ each and really, really yummy.  We took some curvy roads home. (Yorston Farm, incidentally, is where we went to the super awesome corn maze last year, and will be going again this fall.)

When I got home I changed my oil and filter in my bike.  Nice clean oil now, will be dirty in a day or two.  The curvy roads were fun, and Greg brought the extra pieces for my left fairing, so I can hopefully tighten up my dash and whatnot.  Sweetness.

Tom, Chris, Scott, Sam and I worked on putting together Ivy’s new swing set!  She loves it, it has one baby swing in the middle, two big kid swings, a slide and a teeter-totter.  The whole thing was enjoyed by all of the kids, because Mel brought her little ones, Ally and James over as well!  Super awesome sunny Sunday. (And it was Sun-Day as well, nice and warm at about 22*C)

Then we had some yummy barbecued pork chops, courtesy of Samantha.  Salad too – the first and only thing I ate today other than a cinnamon bun.  It was super to sit outside with the family and enjoy some dinner.

After dinner Samantha and I cleaned the barbecue, CLR and Scotch-Pads baby!  We scrubbed and hosed and sprayed and cursed and cleaned and rinsed and …. whew!  The BBQ should be nice and clean for next thing we cook on it – maybe ceder plank salmon tomorrow night.

I also managed to get our three herb pots planted, the three pepper plants and the extra herbs in the herb garden in the back.  I’m hoping my garlic chives and leeks do well back there too – the rubarb is still scrawny, it hasn’t put down good roots yet.  Maybe I should find some good food safe fertilizer to drop down back there.  We have parsley and something else new – can’t even remember what I planted.

Then, to finish off the night Chris, Sam and I put some Mario Kart Wii on and raced ourselves silly.  I have to get my sorry, sunburned butt to work in the morning, so I’m about to crash now.  See y’all later!

PS.

Welcome to summer time!

because I’m being creative lately

I found this article today at Man Bytes Blog, one of the blogs on my reading list.  It contained a very astute observation about the relationship between creative people, those who review their work and those who try to disect it and find the ultimate “meaning” or “message” hidden within.

There has always been an uneasy love triangle between the artist, the critic and the academic. It is a tempestuous relationship, often fraught with violent sulks, bitter recriminations and vengeful silences. There is nothing new about an artist claiming their work contains different themes, or no themes at all, than that which an academic claims to see, just as there’s nothing new about the artist accusing the critic of not being deep enough, or sensitive enough, or intelligent enough, to understand the true import of their novel, play, movie, sculpture, or what have you. Likewise, the critic is often hampered by their own limited understanding of the creative process or frustrated over their own failure to produce works that captivate the public. The academic may, in their examination of the artist’s work, be more focused on impressing their peerage with convoluted insights or insecurely scrambling to bury their own ignorance under a mound of obfuscation. Those who are but tangentially involved in this codependent ménage à trois, the audience, probably wish they’d all just shut up and get back to buggering each other, because that’s what they’re paying their hard earned shekels for in the first place.

I just thought you’d enjoy that, and perhaps that some who read this would enjoy the blog of an indie game developer who comes up with such insights.

Crofton Forks – a Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Setting

I’m working on an adventure setting for Dungeons and Dragons. Sami and I are planning on playing for the first time in a long time, so I started thinking about a place to run some really simple adventures. As so often is the case, the idea has blossomed and grown. Now I’ve got a few cities and towns built, and idea, and I’m working on the background.

So much for a simple “go kill some orcs and re-learn D&D combat before we play with our group” adventure. Actually – that’ll still happen. This is just the setting building blocks – giving me a setting of my own to tell my own stories in.

If you like it, you can use it yourself, or modify it for your use. I’m going to be releasing it under a Creative Commons licence – so it’ll be free to use as long as you give attribution where it’s due.

You can go check out my Crofton Forks blog if you like, that’s where I’ll be organizing the information. This is in a way I guess, my first foray into self publishing – however, it’s not for pay – just a way to stretch my legs a bit.

Let me know what you think.

As seen on slashdot…

A comment about parents gaming with their children I saw on slashdot and liked.

Well, I am not primarily my kids’ FRIEND…

I am their parent.

We don’t have to share interests, although it is nice. However my main priority when it comes to my kids is gaming in the real world.

One time I caught my son chasing his sister with a whiffle ball bat — it’s not heavy enough to really hurt somebody, but it certainly can sting like the dickens.

“Here, give me that,” I said. “We’re going to play a game. You are going to take this bat and tap me on the shin. But the rules of the game say I can tap you back on the shin just as hard.”

So, my son takes the bat and gives me a tiny little tap. I take the bat and give him a tiny tap. Then he gives me a slightly harder tap which I return. Then he gives me a look that plainly says he doesn’t believe I’m serious, then gives me a painful whack in the shin. I take the bat and promptly give him an equally painful whack in the shin. He then gives me light tap which I return.

This goes on for a while, and my son is literally whooping with laughter, when my wife walks in to see what’s going on. She snatches the bat out of my son’s hands. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” she yells.

“I’m teaching our son about the Golden Rule,” I reply. “Also, that it hurts to be whacked with a bat.”

One other time, I walked into the room and caught my daughter calling my son a “shithead”, for which I remonstrated with her.

“Do you want me to apologize?” she asked.

“Of course I want you to apologize,” I replied,” although I realize I can’t keep you from insulting each other.”

“You mean its OK to insult each other?” she asked.

“Of course it’s not OK,” I replied. “I simply recognize I can’t stop you from doing it. I insist, however, that we don’t use potty language in this house.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well,” I replied, “let’s play a little game. Try insulting me without using potty language.”

“Er,’You are a stinky idiot.'”

“No, playground language isn’t acceptable either,” I said. “How about, ‘You are a fetid addle-pate.'”

We went back and forth a few times, and were just getting into the swing of things when my wife came into the room. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” she cried.

“I am teaching our daughter not to use vulgar language,” I replied. “I am also working on her vocabulary.”

Sometimes I wonder if women understand child-rearing at all.”

geek-a-licious

Today Josh and Lori are coming over to play Magic: The Gathering. Emille might come too. I got paid, so I get to buy a few cards – not sure yet what I’m going to buy, I have a few decks on the go.

Worldwide D&D Game Day is coming up! This sounds like it may be the awesomest thing I don’t get to do on November 3, because I live in the frigid north where there are no game or comic book stores.

D&D is one of those fallbacks for me. It brings me back to my childhood, and making the friendships that have survived since orcs and kobolds.

I will always remember my first adventure when I was but 9 years old. Talking to a tree that spoke in riddles and having my friend put on a cursed helmet that kept shrinking. We only got three questions, and he ruined the last one by asking how to get the helmet off his head. Good times.

As we got older, we always went back to D&D. I played D&D, AD&D and then D&D 3rd edition. D&D 3.5 came out shortly afterwords and I had to buy the core rulebooks for that too (which is actually still my favourite version).

I toyed with D&D Miniatures, and I’ve always had a love for misshapen blobs of lead or pewter with paint stuck to them. Some I’ve done are sad creations, and others are works of art.

Wil Wheaton popped this onto my radar today, with this appropriate remark:

“Wizards has wisely created 4th level characters for the festivities, so players won’t have to suffer the indignity of being killed by a single kobold. On the other hand, players won’t get to enjoy the rite of passage we all enjoyed the first time we were killed by a single kobold, while trying in vain to defend ourselves by casting Light.”

So, if you live somewhere you can get to one of these things, and have fond memories of D&D as I do, round someone up or go alone, and perhaps give it another go.

Maybe I’ll try to organize some kind of little event around my place for this…although knowing me, that would turn into a campaign, and then I’d have to plan and plot and DM and stuff.

Hmm…maybe I’ll stick to Magic.