You ever have one of those Fridays where you look at your weekend schedule and it’s so full you wish it would just be Monday already? Yep, that’s what we’re looking at. Baseball and soccer in full swing and a family gathering at our house all day Sunday? Yep, no gaming going on this weekend. That said, everyone else at Stately Play is still doing their thing. Let’s take a look at what they have planned.
We’re back again with another dose of our weekly gaze into the future and see what everyone in the writers’ room here at Stately Play plans on fiddling with over the weekend. Personally, I was up until about 3:30am playing Civilization VI last night, so I’m going to keep this intro nice and short. My brain isn’t quite working the way it should [we can’t really tell a difference -ed.] so let’s get on with it.
I know that we missed our Scrying post last Friday and I have to apologize. It was completely my fault. The writers all sent me their blurbs but I chose to head to Chicago instead of writing them up and, well, I’m so ashamed… …There! I’m over it. Hooray for mind altering medication! This week we’re back with our selections for the weekend. Enjoy, and we’ll see you on Monday!
It’s a holiday weekend and my family is spending all of Sunday in the car. Literally. We have a 19 hour drive home and are going to do it straight through, so we’re leaving very early Sunday morning and not stopping until we get home. No, kids, we’re not stopping. YOU’LL JUST HAVE TO HOLD IT! Actually, I’m not that much of a road tyrant. In fact, I probably stop too many times stretching our 19 hour drive into a 22-24 hour trek. All this means I’m not playing much of anything this weekend, especially on Easter. Everyone else, however, is home and pulling out games. Let’s take a gander into the private lives of the writers…
Steam • In which the author addresses the greatest philosophical problems in gaming I tried to do a brief look at Silicon Zeroes, the easy chair of the programming game mini-genre, but, like Proust’s madeleine biscuit*, a single level touched off a bunch of related thoughts I needed to address. But SZ deserves at least a brief overview: if you’re familiar with Human Resource Machine or TIS-100P, you’ve seen the basic idea before: simple programming tasks are basically just puzzles, anyway, so folks have started turning them into puzzle games. SZ does so more comfortably than most, with an easily-grasped interface and helpful features like the ability to bundle a code segment into a reusable chunk. But it also includes the level in question: a problem in which you’re briefly denied access to one of the functions you’ve been using (subtraction), and have to build something to accomplish the same goal. Months later, I think I have an idea of how to understand the intellectual product which makes games distinct from other art forms, and which tracks my intuitions about intellectual property. Though you might have different intuitions, we’ll at least be able to disagree more specifically.
After missing out on Stately Scrying last week, I learned that I actually missed seeing what my comrades were going to be digging into when Stately Play went to sleep for the weekend. I vowed to never again miss another Scrying post, well, at least until the next time I can’t write one. I’m nothing if not dedicated. This is probably a good time to tell you that the next time I can’t write will be next week. My kids have off school for spring break, so we’re driving the family truckster down to Florida on Monday morning. Thus, I know I’ll be away from my keyboard on Monday and Tuesday, but I plan on being back at the keys by Tuesday night. Plans often change, however, especially when there are kids and a wife in vacation-mode present. Thus, I make no promises. Who cares about next week, however, when we have this weekend to talk about.
Tabletop • There are a million discussions out there about Kickstarter and its effect and influence on the world of cardboard gaming with both pros and cons in regards to the crowdfunding giant. Whatever side you may fall on, Kickstarter isn’t going anywhere soon and more and more publishers are finding the pre-order-esque system of Kickstarter a more risk-averse way of publishing than the standard route. From my vantage point the only downside is that many games are Kickstarter only, which means that if you don’t have the time or money to jump on a campaign when it’s live, you’re out of luck and will have to buy the game on the secondary market, which is usually populated by sharks with no interest in said game, only looking to profit and profit big. Then again, it’s only a game, and missing one of the thousands of releases each year isn’t going to ruin anyone’s life. So, I thought it would be a good time to look at some of the games currently on Kickstarter and let you know what’s out there that looks good. I’m not sure if this will be a weekly or monthly feature (or a recurring feature at all), but I’m desperate for stuff to write about, so I’m using you as guinea pigs. Thanks! Of course, there are a ton of games out there on Kickstarter and I can’t cover them all. Thus, I’m only grabbing a handful of the games that have piqued my interest.
Tabletop • As I mentioned last Friday, I spent last Thursday through Sunday up in the woods with four of my best [only? -ed.] friends where we would drink and eat far too much while playing as many games as we could fit in the time allotted to us. This was the seventh year we’ve done this and, in the past, I would try to bring as many new games as possible. It slowly dawned on all of us that trying to teach games to folks who’ve been drinking since noon isn’t a great idea unless you start teaching well before noon. Thus, I’ve limited my new game exploration to only one each morning and after that–once the Sailor Jerry starts flowing–we sink back into the comfortable arms of games we already know how to play. This year our fallback was 18xx. Lots and lots of 18xx.
We’re back with our weekly round-up of what we hope to fire up and play this weekend. Well, most of us are. Due to my son being in his school’s musical this weekend, I don’t think I’ll have time for anything other than keeping up with my Through the Ages and Galaxy Trucker games on my phone. Not to worry, however, as next weekend is the weekend when I head up to the forests of northern Wisconsin and game with my friends for four glorious days. There will be post-game reports. We also don’t have Nick this week, but that’s my fault. I know it’s hard to believe but I screwed up and forgot to tell Nick that Scrying was on this week. Yes, people, the incompetence that damned editor is always ripping me for isn’t an act, it’s a real thing. [you bet your ass it is -ed.] I’m pretty sure my lackadaisical attitude toward Scrying also left Tanner out in the wilds. So, it’s a shorter Scrying than usual. [Go ahead, say it. -ed.] And it’s all my fault. [it’s a start -ed.] I’m starting to hate that guy.
Tabletop • I recently got an itch to play Sails of Glory, a game which wonderfully illustrates the joys which games, especially historical games, offer outside of the game itself. Sails of Glory puts each player in charge of one or two warships from the age of sail (late 1700s/early 1800s). Turns out, there are an embarrassing array of ways to commit to it, and it was with an eye toward justifying myself that I thought of writing an article on the topic.