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Game Design Notes (and other random thoughts)

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New Games, a Math Trade and More Work

David Gregg
United States
North Carolina
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New Game Stuff

Had a pretty epic Games for Geekgold lottery win here recently and have been starting to try out the games now that they've arrived.

First off, Cthulhu Dice is a quick little game that I've been wanting (but unwilling to spend actual money on), so was happy to win a copy. This is definitely not a game that require any real thought to play and won't be used for the main game of the night or anything, but works great when you wanna kill 5 minutes before bed or to wind down an evening. It's also extremely small and thus easy to take pretty much anywhere. So far I've played it with 4 players and with 6 and I think I prefer it with more players.

One of the other games that arrived which I hadn't previously heard of is Forceball (along with promos). After reading the rules it actually looks like a pretty solid little 2 player game which I'm looking forward to trying out. I'll probably have to wait until the next time my youngest and I have a game day since we usually play with at least 3 players at my place, but that's ok, I can wait. One thing that this one doesn't come with which I would have liked is a turn guide of some sort, though there is a user made one, but it prints out onto full size paper, so I'm thinking of remaking one pocketmod style.

Last, but not least, I just found out that Coloretto has some promos that are available in the geek store, so absolutely had to buy them given how much we play the game. I'm also planning to make myself the 2 player variant cards along with the grey side of the scoring cards since my copy didn't come with those.

Math Trade

Finally another math trade is going on, especially that it's a US only trade making shipping costs something that I can actually afford currently. I've started to gather up some smaller games that I'm needing to trade off, so I decided to make a couple "Pick Any Two" type listings.

Item #1: The Last Starfighter Combat Game, Sirocco and Sorry! Sliders.
Item #2: Ultimate Werewolf: Ultimate Edition, San Juan, Wits & Wagers Family and Munchkin Cthulhu 1, 2 and 3
Item #3: Also put up a listing for 750 geekgold

Btw, the actual geeklist is here: April trades bring May games - an April 2012 U.S.-only Math Trade

More Work

Computer Client

So, the client I had from my previous blog post called me back the very next day saying they couldn't get explorer.exe to run in order back up their files and didn't know what to do, so asked if I could look at it again... This tells me that the hard drive is failing much quicker then I had anticipated and of course offered to take another look at it, though this time I would definitely need to purchase a new hard drive for it. While installing a hard drive isn't a big deal, finding one local (client didn't want to wait for shipping) is very difficult due to where we live. I tried our local office store, but they didn't have what I needed in stock and of course neither did the local supercenter. Tried calling around local PC repair shops, but they all close pretty early and I missed them. Tried the shops again the following day by calling from work so I'd be sure to catch them while open and found ONE that actually had what I needed in stock. Was even pretty decently priced!

So after installing the new drive the first thing I wanted to try was cloning the old drive over in an attempt to keep all of the client's installed programs in tact. I like to use Acronis True Image for this type of job, not only because it works well, but because it can create a live CD which can be booted from to still manage a backup or clone even once the operating system is damaged. The cloning process completed pretty quickly, but unfortunately the OS was still damaged, so ran a repair install to fix it. After running the repair, there were still several issues with the system (found and removed a few viruses, couldn't run Windows Update and couldn't install new apps).

After trying a few various things I decided that the OS was going to need a fresh install, but still wanted to preserve the programs, so attempted a full install (without formatting) directly over top the existing install. While this did allow the system to run more smoothly, it didn't completely remedy the issues I was having. So... several hours lost and another day later I give up on saving the installed software, format the drive and just install Windows from scratch. Afterward of course I'm able to fully update the system, install Microsoft Security Essentials and then reconnect the old drive to make copying over their data as easy as possible. I didn't ask for any additional labor fees, but they were quite generous and left a nice tip.

Breakroom TV Project

Finally finished up the Powerpoint project that I mentioned last blog post and have been running it all weekend; hoping I don't come back into work Monday to see it going crazy... To get the system to work I ended up having to abandon a built in timing macro to control the slides and just go with a 12 hour slideshow set to repeat. Getting the videos to work was really tricky as I can't embed the live channel feeds, so had to run a recording schedule set to just before the times when I wanted to show the footage, a batch script to move video files around and then link the video files into the Powerpoint slides so that it'll automatically use the new videos as they're created. This particular project has been stressing me quite a bit since it was handed to me as a very high priority project during the final few weeks of a separate even larger, higher priority project...


But I got it done and the other project is wrapping up nicely, just in time for yet another project that I have to complete early May.


Late Night Math

A couple nights ago I was just chillin' and about to load up the Diablo III beta (didn't like it) when some random person messaged me on Facebook. Turns out they had posted for help with their math as they had a test that night (online college course) and my mother had recommended me (love math, hate tutoring). They were working with polynomials, which I happen to enjoy, so I went ahead and dove into a tutoring session via Facebook messaging and hung around as they took their test. They were really happy to have received the last minute help and ended up buying me a gift card to Cool Stuff Inc, enough to nab Lords of Waterdeep, the #1 board game on my want list!

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