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2013: Year of the Con

Posted by Djaii Pepper-Martens On 2012-11-19 0 comments

Been far too long since a post.
Reasons for that? Legion... (but they are just excuses).

Anyway, I want to start pooling the resources of the crew to see if we can orgnanize some attendance at a handful of the game cons in 2013. I know it wasn't something you were thining about already, but I have been for years and I bet by the time you're done this article you'll be in.

Mega Con
RUNS: Mar 15th to 17th, 2013
LOCATION: Orange County Convention Center, Hall D
9800 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819

Let's hit the highlights:

  • It's a mega gaming convention with all of the things we love: RPGs, Boardgames, Videogames, fantasy and sci-fi art and writing, comics and people wearing strange costumes.
  • It's held in Convention Center area on International Dr in Orlando FL, one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen to hold an event.
  • There are so many other attractions in Orlando worth checking out, I think we extend the CON by a day or three and check a few things out.
There might even be some way to arrange really low cost affordable accommodations.

But What Next Howie?
I'm glad you asked, but please don't call me Howie.

On the back of this con, there are a few other dates in 2013 worth checking out and I don't know how hard it would be to plan, but it would be amazing to hit 3 conventions in the same year. These are all looking good as 2nd or 3rd stops:

Temple Con (Roanoke)
Technically, this one is BEFORE MegaCon (running from Feb 1 to Feb 3), but hell the name of the post of "Year of The Con" right? So if we have a pre-Mega event planned that works to? This con is held in Roanoke, VI a place that HP Lovecraft used to frequently write about, also featured in several episodes of X-File (that were actually shot in BC, but I digress). The con has games, RPGs and special guests, and who WOULDN"T want to see Roanoke in February?

Origins Game Fair (Columbus)
One of the preimiere conventions of the industry, Origins is always held in lovely Ohio at the beginning of summer, June 12th through 16th, 2013. A con with great depth and history, origins normally draw in 10,000 conventioners or so, and is a short (read: hopefully inexpensive) flight from here.

Gen Con (Indianapolis)
This con runs from Aug 15th to Aug 18th in 2013, and is the premiere RPG convention. Really a no-brainer that we should have made it a goal to get here in previous years, but it just never happened. This is the grand-daddy of all game conventions, being started by E. Gary Gygax himself.

Dragon Con (Atlanta)
Another huge convention of epic gaming proportions, held in beautiful Atlanta at the end of August. This year it runs from Aug 30th to Sep 2nd and always has a great line up of special guests. Atlanta in the end of summer would be hot, but imagine all of the fun? The bummer though, is that this event kinda overlaps with:

Pax Prime (Seattle)
And really who DOESN'T want to get to a PAX? Even if I only made two conventions as my "year of the convention", my first picks would be MegaCon and PAX (sorry Gen Con). Prime in 2013 will be FOUR day event, and I've got a google alert setup to tell me as soon as the weekend passes go on sale. You think you're excited? FEEL THESE NIPPLES!
The date is not fixed yet, but it will almost certainly be the Sept long weekend (hopefully starting on Thursday the week before, not running long after, to squeeze in that extra day).

Okay, how about a table of data?
Right, of course. How impolite of me NOT to have already drafted the critical con names, links, locations and dates in a nice easy to reference table. I should probably mark the premiere events with a star so that they can't be missed. Try this on for size:

Temple ConRoanoke, VIFeb 1st - 3rd
Mega Con  *Orlando, FLMar 15th - 17th
Origins Game Fair Columbus, OHJun 12th - 16th
Gen Con *Indianapolis, INAug 15th - 18th
Dragon ConAtlanta, GAAug 30th - Sep 2nd
Pax Prime *Seattle, WAAug 29th - Sep 2nd

Well? I'm looking for some game con worthy traveling companions to make this happen. As you may (or may NOT have noticed) we're not getting any younger, so we better do that before we look like grandfathers and grandmothers compared to the new generation of gamers.

Kickstarter and Board Gaming

Posted by Toad008 On 2012-09-27 2 comments

Well, I haven't published here in awhile, but I wanted to start a conversation about Kickstarter and Board Games, and thought this crowd would be a good one for the conversation.

I've noticed (and supported) that Kickstarter is doing VERY well in the gaming categories. A decent portion of these games are board games. Have other Schitters been paying attention to anything on Kickstarter? Do people like this model for things like board games. I've noticed quality of pitch to be largely relevant. My most recent project I supported (The Perfect Heist: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1231159621/the-perfect-heist-a-board-game-for-3-to-6-friends) has the rules posted, a video showing the most recent prototype, is only asking for $12k, and looks like a pretty decent game. The stretch rewards include getting yourself in the game artwork, a character based off you, so forth, which is pretty cool. I have seen pitches where they have a name, and something along the lines of "It's a game about zombies". No meat.

What I'm looking for is some sort of helper network, friends or electronic, to help me keep track of what games are coming on kickstarter I should be contributing towards. I love smaller indie style board games, and I'd hate to miss on a brilliant game just because I wasn't paying attention, and it only had one run. At the same time, it is a gamble, so I'd like to minimize too many duplicate buys amongst my crew of friends. (ie: I have a copy of Heist coming, I will totally lend it out to others to try, so we don't all have to risk money on it)

Anyone have any suggestions to help me / us track who is interested in what games / kickstarter purchases? It would be nice to have an updated Board Game Geek group (I need to update) with what people own as well, so we can share games more often?

End of important conversation:

My board game update: I've been playing lots of Descent 2nd edition, and Risk: Legacy. I'm really enjoying both. What games have people been playing lately, and enjoying?

Peewee Herman

Posted by Djaii Pepper-Martens On 2012-09-06 0 comments

First off, Paul Reubens is AWESOME. No, seriously.

Secondly if you're not following him on Twitter you're really missing out, he's a pretty funny guy that often finds great tid-bits like recipies for wicked awesome strange stuff you wouldn't think to make, like this:



For Posperity: Scott Kurtz's Comicon Exclusive prints

Posted by Bairen On 2012-07-11 0 comments

Hola, I've been a fan of pvponline for a good long while. Maybe 5 years or so. I am continually impressed by Scott Kurtz's art. See the few which I thought I would share amongst you.  If you like the artist support them I say.  www.pvponline.com  I am heading over there to buy these prints.


Google+ Name Policy Appeal

Posted by Djaii Pepper-Martens On 2012-05-18 4 comments

Let me try this again. I'm writing this blogpost as a public submission to use my well known moniker for my Google+ account.

I perform under the name "Djaii" and I produce digital audio and materials under this name for short films and other kinds of alternative work. Lots of it OFFLINE.

My friends know I use this legitimate performance alias, my email has this name in it. My SoundCloud page features it, it is a phonetic re-spelling of one of my actual birth certificate names. In all ways it is an appropriate NAME. No, it is not my birth name. If your Google+ policy is that every user must use their birth name, you have some cleaning up to do.

I DO NOT WANT just anybody who feels like poking into my life looking me up on Google+. I don't trust that your policies for privacy will not change substantially opening me up to marketing based on where I graduated or when to grade school at some point in the future after some business intelligence data miner extracts all of the data.

So, please, take note that this "alias" is a completely legitimate way to interact with people who KNOW me and those who want to find me know this is way they can, to interact with me publicly. Make an exception to your name policy and I'll use (even advocate) for your service.

Don't and I won't. I'll just abandon it.
I know it doesn't matter to whoever your are, but those are my terms, take it or leave it. If I was you, I would approve it because it's completely reasonable.

Chew on this

Posted by Djaii Pepper-Martens On 2012-04-27 0 comments

Cool Obama

The important take away is actually from a comment:

"...the Democratic party is now America's conservative party, fighting more often than not to defend a status quo against the radical, perhaps revolutionary, changes proposed/enacted by the Republican party, which has ceased to be 'conservative' in any meaningful sense of the word and must now be considered the party of fundamentalist Friedmanite corporatism and reactionary Robertsonian theocracy. We have reached the point in our political culture at which liberals are the true conservatives and many who call themselves 'conservatives' can probably best be described as 'Right Leninists,' a vanguard party of reactionary revolutionary change."

So really, what the person is saying is that black is the new white or maybe that black is the new black. I couldn't have said that better myself.

Board Games, and Why we need to play more

Posted by Bairen On 2012-03-26 4 comments

So some of you may or may not know that lately I've been super busy. So when I've had the opportunity to try to relax with my family or friends, the topic always boils down to this "Well what do you want to do?"

Since moving back to Saskatoon, I have had the pleasure of meeting many people. Most of you reading this are those people. First let me say Kudos :) As without you life would be boring.

What I've been able to take away has been a renewed passion for games of sorts. People do not realize nowadays with all the technology we have at our fingertips what they are missing with the interaction of just sitting and playing a game with those around you.

With the power going out on the Westside a few times the past week, and while waiting for it come back on, I have had the opportunity to play a few games with my family whilst waiting.

SO far the games of choice we have been playing are:
Apples to Apples as our social game
Pandemic as our group objective game
Monopoly as our classic game
and recently I picked up 7 wonders as our card based game.

I subjected my family to learning to play 7 wonders the other week. They were not so enthused as it seemed daunting to learn the game. After a few rounds the game started to go smoother as we learnt it. And after we finished the first game my sister-in-law immediately demanded a rematch.

I've since just picked up the expansion for it called leaders, and for my brother's birthday I bought him "The Manhattan Project" which was originally a Kickstarter. I'm hoping that we get as much enjoyment out of it as all the others we have learnt.

What this boils down to is:

Thanks for reintroducing me to board games again. And if I can make a suggesttion, get a few people together to have a round or two of a new game, you never know what will happen.


Its time for another round of "The numbers behind the Copyright Math"

Posted by ScrewLoose On 2012-03-20 3 comments

As most people here have an interest in copyrights I thought you would all love this TED Talk. Its a short 5 minute one so it won't take long to watch, the link also has a blog post that goes with it for a bit more detail. To sum it up, if I did math like that in school I would have failed.

StarWars (as God would have wanted)

Posted by Djaii Pepper-Martens On 2012-03-15 3 comments

Click here to see the true power of the force!

* or in this case, the real order you should watch the StarWars films, I plan to try this on Morgan when she finally capitulates and agrees to watch these culturally significant films (I expect that will be when she is like 28 or something)

The New Identitiez

Posted by Kyro Sk On 2012-02-24 3 comments

For reasons that don't matter to anybody but me, the moniker "Kyro" is headed for an end. It was a fine alias for 10 years, but I'm ready to switch to something a little closer to the vest, namely Djaii which is phonically identical to my actual name, but employs a silent 'D' like in Djinni and implies 'DJ' which I (used to) do.

Right, so, what about that music stuff? What about the film work?

Well, there are two aliases that I'll be using for music, one that will follow my new primary moniker "Djaii" and one that is... well even more unconventional.

The Kyro identities on SoundCloud and CCMixter are gone, in favor of this identity on SoundCloud:

Latest tracks by Djaii

Also on SoundCloud, I'll maintain a new Möbius Entendre identity which is for the weird stuff, like Exploration #4 and my newer ambient productions. When doing sound for video (other than actual sound foley work for my film group HALF DAMAGE) I'll post it here also:

Latest tracks by möbius entendre

You will also notice that my email address is going to change. You'll still be able to email me at my kyro address, but replies will start coming from 23 djaii (again a gmail addy). Finally, I'll have a unified identity across SoundCloud, Twitter and our Blog. Email me if you've got questions, the old email address will work for a while yet).

Truth behind Facebook

Posted by Selbonaut On 2012-02-15 3 comments

Choose Your Resort Carefully

Posted by Kyro Sk On 2012-01-29 0 comments

Don't go to the Grand Sirenis in the Riviera Maya.

Please read the post here.

... and then go vote on TripAdvisor here.

(just please click the YES button beside the "was this helpful?" indicator)

Two things about this situation really piss me off:
1 - I don't care what country it is, you don't treat women like this, and you fucking follow up with major repercussions if it does. Like jail for the asshole, let alone the fact he should be fired on the spot.
2 - Shit like this makes those of us that had a good time in Mexico question our experience and wonder if we can go back. We had a great time there, could this have happened to my daughter?

Bill C11

Posted by Kyro Sk On 3 comments

This is as close to caring about elections as I get

Posted by pseudoRequiem On 2012-01-27 0 comments

Prophetic Poetry

Posted by Selbonaut On 2012-01-23 2 comments

Yet more caffiene options

Posted by ScrewLoose On 2012-01-06 2 comments

I'm willing to bet most of us have some form of caffeine addiction. Now there is an option for the laziest caffeine addict. Screw drinking caffeinated beverages like a chump, no more swallowing caffeine pills for that late night cram session, no more gnashing at caffeinated gum, begone with the sucking of caffeinated mints. BEHOLD THE FUTURE IS HERE AEROSHOTS. Yes now all you need to get your buzz on is the ability to BREATHE.

I have no doubt some kid will die huffing 50 of these but we need to thin the herd somehow.

Bad PR goes Viral

Posted by Kyro Sk On 2012-01-04 3 comments

This one requires some reading, but it's an important object lesson. It's got an angle featuring one of the Penny Arcade dudes (Gabe specifically) which is why I think it ties into our content here.

  1. Start here on 1up
  2. To see some of the original email content with come commentary, you can read it here
  3. To wrap it up, please read the article here on Forbes

The dude from Ocean Marketing is clearly out of control.
I'm particularly fond of the following closing statements in the Forbes article:

"In that sense, it’s more like somebody who works at an MMA organisation meeting a world MMA champion in a bar and failing to recognise them, despite the MMA champion identifying himself by name as they squared off."

In case you missed the link in the earlier articles, the full email thread is up on Penny-Arcade here