Funny Things

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Von Show #6 - Balance Of Power

A'right.  This week I'm trying for something a wee bit different as we're talking more about things from the player's perspective, and that's not something I know too much about, so I've recruited Hark and we've done a bit of a double-header.  In fact we've done a lot of a double-header - there's about five times as much material as I usually record (this is what not having a script will do for you), four after all the awkward waiting-to-see-what-we-think-of-next pauses have been edited out, and nobody wants to sit through approximately thirty-eight minutes of two British people talking semi-seriously about nerd games all at once.

So it's a three-parter.  The fourth is a bit off-message and I'll be saving that for when I inevitably get brain mange or something and need a filler episode.  Anyway, here's Part The First, with 100% more Hark, 100% more multi-partness, and 100% more actual transcript rather than cheat-and-copypaste-the-script.  There's even some swearing.

House of Paincakes Blogroll Search

Normally on a Friday, there'd be a Top X to read.  But not today.

Normally, someone from our crack staff of ace journalists would sift through the blog rolls and select 5-12 posts to promote.  It's actually some pretty solid  fun with a hefty dose of self edification.  But there are a couple of flaws - it's time consuming, it's not all that guided and it leaves people out.

That last bit is the important part. 

As the House of Paincakes has grown and matured evolved, we've always stuck by our goal to promote our members.  The Top X. the intermittent User Content Days and all the authors we add are here to draw attention to the blogs we support.  Back in the beginning it was pretty easy to make that happen.  The blogrolls were shorter (and there were only two of them) and the only challenge we had in promotion was making sure we didn't constantly double up on our small (and elite) constituents.  

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Twelfth Day of Fishmas

Paul Destroys the Universe
All right guys and gals, it's the final day. Everything has been building to this. We've even added ANOTHER commentator to the mix since today is very special to him. What we have here is a multimedia explosion. I only mention it because it's literally the first time I've gotten to use that phrase for serious.

Uglyraincoat: Next Year’s Only Hit Single.

dethtron:  So the story goes something like this:  back many moons ago (like 2003, I think) Uglyrainoat hosted a LAN party at his house.  This back at the dawn of time when LAN parties were de rigueur and all the rage.  Anyhow, the kids all wanted to play some FPS that my computer couldn’t run.  Seems I couldn’t hang with the big dogs if the big dogs wanted to play anything more complicated than say “Worms World Party.”  If memory serves, my graphics card was at fault and there wasn’t a way to remedy the situation- the 24 hour graphics card store had yet to be invented.

Doing what any person in this situation would do, I told everyone to go ahead without me and proceeded to figure out how the tunable speech synthesizer worked on my sequencer software.  An hour and a half later “Paul Destroys the Universe” was born and the rest is history.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Eleventh Day of Fishmas

dethtron:  Lauby, I don’t think I can adequately dedicate myself to discussing this card.  Every time I look at your art I lose my shit.
Lauby:  Haha!  This was the pinnacle of my skill with going dumpster diving in Google images.  You know...  now that I think about it, I’m just now noticing the kind of War in Heaven theme we have going on in this set- Jesus, the halo on Billy Ruben, the use of “the last supper” all the ‘damned’ stuff, references to demons and, now,  Satan.  Was all that on purpose?  
dethtron:  I want to say yes.
Uglyraincoat: Idea for next set: Unholy Satanic Furry.
dethtron:  creepiest card idea you’ve ever thrown out.

SinSynn's Sinny Awards!

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

During my interminable stay on this miserable globe, I've notice many strange, recurring behavior patterns you Humans exhibit.
For example, every year around this time, you like to look back, and reflect upon what has occurred during your previous Terran calender year.
Also, you like to hand out meaningless awards.

*I purchased these on E-Bay*

While I find these ritualistic fiascoes a tad curious (why do you clap for 'best sound production in a foreign short film'? Because that part of the show is over?), in all honesty I find most of what Humans do to be inexplicable.
If everything goes according to plan,'s all moot, anyway.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Tenth Day of Fishmas

Lauby:  This actually would have been a nice land if we tweaked it a bit.  Either add a second mana option or ditch the sacrificial aspect of it I’m thinking  Yes, it’s a totally boring reference to the challenges of fishing in man-made lakes, but in an alternative universe, a card series like this is the kind of thing that could skew an entire metagame.  I declare the alternative universe us’s to be geniuses.
Uglyraincoat: It is for those reasons that this card is more than just a green fishmas knockoff of Alliance’s Kjeldoran Outpost.  
dethtron:  perhaps giving all fish protection from everything could have been a more interesting mechanic for this one.

'Cheating' not as obvious as you might think.....

A few of my friends are practising for a tournament in the near future and as usual my home became the 'training ground' for the test of these new armies. While we were 'helping' each other with the tweaking of these lists, the inevitable discussion about playing against cheating bastards occurred.....

However while relating these amusing tales to one another it became evident that what each person defines as 'cheating' can be radically different.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Ninth Day of Fishmas

Lauby:  Speaking of drunk driving...    
Uglyraincoat: It is funny because it is offensive to a certain group of people’s lifestyle.  [Face palm.]  
Lauby:  What are you talking about? This is a perfectly fine salute to our country’s proud yokel heritage.  It’s pretty much the most powerful card we made and my favorite card to play as a result.  It IS America to me.
dethtron:  AMURICA!!!!!
Uglyraincoat: True, and that guy from across the way who gave us all of his “old beer” is a case in point.  He had just driven in from the Anheuser Busch factory, and insisted that anything with a born-on date older than two days tasted inferior.  (His beers were born that very morning.)  He had somehow achieved being a snooty beer-snob about Budlight.  Plus, he ran his mobile home into a tree, knocking down a branch.  He then drafted our help in a bit of impromptu tree-trimming in the middle of the campground - with chain-saw.  I guess it isn’t worth a face-palm if the joke doesn’t make any of the people it references feel bad.  We were cool with Mike, and Mike was cool with us.  Now, Mike’s wife, on the other hand, was not ok with us because her retired husband had suddenly reverted to beer-swilling, 20-something behavior and wanted to play in our bean bag tournament.  
dethtron:  AMURICA!!!!!

New Member Monday: Choosing a Champagne

Happy New Year everyone!  I trust you've all recovered from your massive hangovers.  If not, then what the hell happaned!?  It's a new calendar year at the HoP and our first crop of new members is a great way to start things up (especially nice when paired with the amazing post by Lo on Monday).

But first, I need to do a little bit of a public service.  Now, It's a couple days late, but the information is still invaluable.

Anway, it may come that next year you are invited to a New Years Eve party and have been asked to bring a bottle of champagne.  Or even some other, lesser fancy party later in the year.  It will be very important that you don't fuck this up.

How to Pick a Bottle of Champagne
his is not a complicated guide and will be skipping over much of the minutia of wine drinking and will probably curdle the blood of an aficionado. But them's the breaks.

Now, wine is a tricky beast - with all the hard to pronounce varieties, the food pairing rules, the question of vintage, the wild differences in quality between regions & vintners and so on and so forth.

It's all very important stuff... if you're a hard core wine drinker.  You're probably not. And if you are, then good on you - you're the fanciest drunk there is and I'm jealous.  But we don't need to hear about it. All you need to know is to follow these three rules:

1) Go to a good liquor store.  Or even a wine shop if you've got one handy.  Just make sure it's a little upscale.  Once you're there, go to the champagne section (this will be clearly marked in a good store). DO NOT go to a grocery store.

2) Buy actual champagne.  ALL champagne comes from a single region in France.  Otherwise, as Rob Lowe tells us, it's just a sparking white wine.  If the bottle you are considering lists another white wine type (Pinot Grigio, for example) and/or was made outside of France, it IS NOT champagne no matter what the label says.

3) Spend more than $10.  Hell, you should probable spend more than $20 if we're honest.  But so long as it's French, the $10 rule is good enough.  If you're prepared to spend even more, a good indication that the Champagne will be good is if the bottle comes in a fancy box (but is NOT boxed wine).

There you go.  Now you can avoid embarrassment and impress your friends next year.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Eighth Day of Fishmas

Lauby:  Here’s a nod to the bane of camper’s everywhere.  The raccoons that hung around out campsite were particularly well fed since even if you’re a classy drunk, you’re still a drunk.  I guess what I’m saying is that properly storing your food is not likely to happen.  And then all your paella and port are gone.
Uglyraincoat:  However, they are extra cuddly in case you forget your pillow.  
dethtron:  judging by the sacrifice ability on this card, those are some bloodthirsty raccoons.

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design: Art (Part 2)

Welcome everyone and Happy New Year!

I hope your hangovers aren't too bad, because I'm doing some serious discussions about art and its place in game design.

Last time around, I mentioned that there are various stages in the creation of art. I really only touched on what I meant; giving the merest of hints at what's in store for you today. I gave an overview of the factors of art in game design, specifically mentioning cover, interior and pieces. But how much of what you see in a game is ART, and how much is DESIGN?

Stephen Glasgow, owner of Mox Creative, elaborates this way:

When I’m “on the clock”, and talking to a potential new client, I am pitching my design work.  As I explain my process and methodology I emphasize that there is a huge difference between “art” and “graphic design”.  Technical skill wise, both have the same core -  strong use of creative eye, hand skills, use of balance, contrast, etc.

One crucial detail however, separates the two into completely different entities. As a graphic designer, I am visually communicating someone else’s message.  As an artist, I’m visually conveying my personal emotion.