Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Angry Wishlist

Like everyone else on the planet, I like Angry Birds. But after the first fifty or sixty levels or so, I started to hit a wall where my frustration with the game overwhelmed my desire to play it. Ragequits became quite common.

Granted, how many games can you say that about-- that the ragequit wall comes after the first fifty or sixty levels? A lot of games-- especially physics puzzles-- hit that wall a lot sooner.

But it's got me thinking about which features I'd like to see in a sequel:

  • Guidelines. I don't think it would do the game irrepable harm if the game told me where a bird would hit given its current angle and the tug of the rubber-band. You don't need to tell me how hard it's going to hit, what kind of damage it's going to do, or give me lines for blue splitters and yellow dashers-- just let me know where I'm aiming. Because too often I think I have something lined up the same way, and it ends up completely different. Make it less about my dexterity/precision and more about my brain.

  • Have stars unlock levels, rather than beating the level before it. Circumvents the ragequit wall.

  • Level Editor. Because UGC is all the rage these days.

  • Creative Mode. Give me a mode where I'm assigned the birds, yes, but I can choose the order in which they strike.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Divided Republic

In the past, I've been something of a vocal Kickstarter party-pooper, though it was less that I was anti-kickstarter, per se, so much as I didn't have the money to even chip in a few bucks here or there for this guy or that one, and I kinda resented the idea that if I didn't chip in said bucks, I was anti-indie-film or something. People pointed out that if I gave to so many films, people might give to our films, but we never intend to kickstart our films, for the simple reason that we've seen our films, and we certainly wouldn't give us money to make them.

And I still don't have the cash, though I recently broke my long-standing Kickstarter abstinence for Alex Bagosy's board game, Divided Republic. Partially, this is because I have a better sense of what I'm going to get out of it. With a film, so many things can and often do go wrong, and before push comes to shove you're out x amount of money for a DVD copy of and T-shirt for a film that never got finished, or a film that maybe shouldn't have been finished. With a board game, you pretty much know what you're going to get: you can read the rules to grasp the mechanics, sometimes even print-and-play the game beforehand. It's less of a, "Sure, I'll give you this money and cross my fingers" and more of a, "I am for all intents and purposes pre-ordering this game, and in doing so, I am helping it get published."

There's no print-and-play available of Divided Republic, but there is this video,

and this gorgeous board:

It's in a sorta desperate situation; it has ten days left to raise over $9000. If kickstarting is your kinda thing, or board games about the 1860 Presidential election, well, you know what to do.

Disclaimer: The game's publisher, Numbskull Games, is also publishing my game Prepotent.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

An Actual Conversation Between Two Middle-Aged Men, Heard In Passing.

"So, I just stayed home and watched Two and a Half Men. I could watch that all day long. Doesn't matter how many times I've seen it, I just laugh and laugh."

"Charlie Sheen was funny."

"I don't know how he screwed that up."

"How could he?"