Important Stuff

Sunday, March 4, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] The Hammer

This is a topic I really wasn't sure I wanted to talk about, but it has been brought up a few times at home by TheDude in relation to some incidents at the store (and at least one outside of it), so I'm going to tackle it.

What was I so desperately avoiding? 

The practice of banning customers from businesses, specifically game stores.


I want to be totally clear: this post is not about any one person, situation or circumstance. This is about making a deliberate choice to tell people that may or may not be customers not to be in your store- ever again.


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Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Von Show #12 - A Very Special Day

Sorry about that. Back now. Still feel a bit rubbish in the voice department, but at least I actually remembered to record something this week, right?

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Friday, March 2, 2012

The Weekly Top X - Old Stuff Day

Did you remember?  Did ya?  It's OK if you didn't, it's not like it only happens once a year or anything. Oh...  that's EXACTLY what it's like.  Well, WE didn't forget about Old Stuff Day!  So you can take heart in that at least.


Which is where this Top X comes in.  I thought that I could kill two birds with one stone and do a Top X of the most read posts on the House of Paincakes.  As it so happened, number one on the list was a post about Big Jim's army was stolen.  Lame.  So I revised the criteria a little and decided to do a Top X entry for each one of our authors.  So today, a self referential Old Stuff Top X - the most read post from each of out authors.

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design Supplemental

I just wanted to throw out a quick heads up for all the Intelligent Design fans out there.  Lo is running a kind of leftovers special over at her own blog (World of Wonder) and was too timid and polite to abuse her powers here at the House of Paincakes.


The first interview is up in it's totality so you can see all the cool stuff that hit the cutting room floor for the actual posts that appear here.  First up is Brian of a Gentleman's Ones fame.

Here's the linky to series:  Intelligent Design Interviews

Here's a  picture of some cool as balls marines from A Gentleman's Ones to pad out this post's length:


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Gaming on a Budget: Spare Parts Month

Spring is in the air.  With that comes a desire in me to get some much needed cleaning done around the old game room.  And with that much needed cleaning came the realization that I have an ass load of spare parts laying around.

One of the dethtron secrets to being a cheapskate and hoarding absolutely everything is hoarding absolutely everything.  Seriously, I don't throw much of anything out.  In the past I've even showed you folks how to use bits of sprue.... in at least two separate articles (article numero uno y dos).  Now, you can bet your ass if a kit comes with any extra parts I'm not getting rid of them.  Instead, I save them in clearly labeled boxes, right next to my jars of urine.

and these are only some of my spares...


Well, as you can see from the picture above, I've amassed myself a little collection of parts there.  But there's a reason for all of this- it saves me money!

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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SinSynn on Why Complaining is Important

Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

My good time buddy, and simultaneously most hated enemy, the Ultimate Rival, is currently infuriated with me.
Why, You ask?
Well, it seems he's not happy with many of my opinions regarding Flames of War version 3.
I gave the new rulebook a grade of C a few weeks back, and that really ground his gears.
How dare I insinuate that Flames of War is not perfect? How dare I point out what I perceive as 'wackiness,' and use terms like 'bloated' in reference to this divine guide to gaming with WWII miniature models?

He labeled me 'complainer.'

*Yeah, that's me*



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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Importance of Balance.

Several of my friends went to a tournament at Warhammer World in Nottingham this weekend...

This might not be an advert for the actual tournament they went to but it's close enough...
As usual the venue was first class, the tables had a nice mix of scenery and there was a bar...but like many of Games Workshops events the 'fun at all costs' posse had decided to stick their fluffy bits into the works.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

SinSynn Supplemental: More Flames of War 3rd (with slightly better batrep pics)


Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

Talkin' Flames of War.
:)
Yesh.

What can I say? I'm happy.
Flames of War 3rd is da awesome, especially when combined with some of the new lists in the Grey Wolf book.
Well, for me it is, cuz I play Axis.
Tee-hee.

My Grenadiers have gotten considerably better, thanks to some of the new rules, like Combat Attachments increasing the stand count for platoons- ever so important for 'more than half' morale checks.
HMG teams are RoF 3 when pinned or moving, and are cheaper in the Grey Wolf lists, etc.

*My Grenadiers- now moar shooty! Xenos HQ guards the objective, a burning Sherman. Arty Observer has the blue base*

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New Member Monday - Yeah, Baby!

Ladies, gentleman, man-children of all ages:  welcome to another funderful week at the House of Paincakes!

man baby!
This first post of the work week is designed to be a kind and gentle island of tranquility since Lo's Intelligent Design series has started wrap up.  Not to worry, Lo will still write for us, but what new treasures she will unearth are not known to the likes of me.   But man, I'm gonna miss the design series.  

In hindsight, my choice of picture does not really help the tranquility thing.

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design: Putting it all Together

The Intelligent Design Series has been a lot of fun, and a huge challenge. For this series, I really wanted to talk about the elements a designer looks at when creating a new game for us to play. I wanted to address more than just a single piece of the puzzle, I hoped to touch on everything that is involved in new material.

Designers think differently and put differing priorities on the various elements we've discussed thus far. Some elements are harder to effect than others. Certain pieces of the puzzle elude game creators and others just don't matter to them. It's a rare designer (or group of designers) that actively looks to (or succeeds in) include all the parts and makes it an effortless and sucessful design for us to enjoy.

What makes a game great?


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Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Von Show - DEAD AIR

Evenin' all.

I have a confession to make. Much like fellow HoPist and righteous dude SinSynn, I've had a bit of a week of it. I've been away from base, and my mind has been occupied with Things That Aren't Blogging, and the long and the short of it is that it was 5.30 UK time before I even remembered that I hadn't planned, scripted, recorded, edited or posted the Show this week. And when I did sit down to record, I realised that I had nothing useful to say about the topic that was suggesting itself to me.

I have no idea how to deal with problem players because... well, because I don't play games with wankers. I play games with reasonable adults who can tell each other what's going wrong with their happy fun make-pretend time. If I do end up with a wanker in the group, nature will take its course, the group will implode in four or fewer sessions, and the people who can play nicely together and want to will go off and sort out their own game. And on the rare occasions that the wanker in the group is me, I'm big enough to own it, apologise for it, and either put myself in check or leave the game.

All well and good, but it doesn't make for an interesting, informative or long column.

Anyway, it's too dark for my webcam to get any sort of decent image recorded, the cat's howling the house down because it's ten minutes to feeding time, and I'm in a bad mood because if there's one thing I hate, it's flaking out, being caught between doing a bad job or no job at all, and having no-one to blame but myself for the case of affairs.


But nobody wants to hear me grumbling about how I fail at life a bit this week, SO! Here's the deal. For one week only, I'm going to break the First Rule of RPG Club. Tell me about your games, your characters, the awesome times you're having at the gaming table. Fill this dead air with your blistering white-hot enthusiasm, and make me feel better for leaving my spare keys in the hands of Mr. Cock-Up.

In the meantime, I'm going to feed the cat, and spend the night making Vampire NPCs. Feh.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

The Weekly Top X - Verily, Ye Olden Tymes Doth Previale!

Hello everyone and welcome to another Weekly Top X chock full of snazzy information and only a slight bit of turpitude!  We had a training session which, I feel, should significantly cut down on all the wickedness and wrong doing that was going on.  I also made everyone shave their Snidely Whiplash mustaches as well.  That shit was getting seriously out of hand.

Everyone looked like Jack Lemmon from the Great Race.
Anyway, for Today's Top X, I thought I'd go aaaaall the way back to the first post that could be considered a New Member Monday and see where some of our longest standing members are today.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gaming on a Budget: Battlefront is Brilliant

Yeah, that title is a bold statement.  It's also a true statement.  While this series has always focused on the consumer side of things, I'm actually going to put my education to work ('bout damn time) and get a little discussion going about one of the best moves I've seen from a company in a long long time. 

Do you own a copy of Flames of War 2nd ed?  Really, well go to your FLGS ASAP, throw around some more acronyms, and get a free copy of the new 3rd edition rules! 

3rd edition FoW- not hard to get.  Also, anybody else notice that this plane took out a train?


Okay, so yes this obviously will save you, the consumer, money on keeping up to date with the latest rules set since you'll be out exactly nothing on the "purchase" of the new book, but that would make for a short Gaming on a Budget article- and I'm not letting you off the hook that easily.  That article would actually pretty much end here, but instead will continue after the jump in a slightly different direction.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Actual (bad) pics of SinSynn's FoW Stuffs



Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

Sorry my post is late, but a lil' sumpthin' came up, and I wasn't able to spend my usual time at the keyboard.
In lieu of like, an actual post, I've got some (pretty bad) pics for you.
Sigh.
Listen, I tried for days to make this work properly, and take actual decent pics for youse guys.
Obviously it didn't work out as well as I'd like, and for now you're stuck looking at these.
Sorry 'bout that.

*Da Tigers*



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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HoPpy Holidays!

Well hell, you didn't think your guy and gal pals here at HoP Headquarters would forget a few holidays, did you?  No, of course you didn't, and of course we didn't.

honestly feared the worst, but the search for 'President Pancakes' turned out to be pretty tame in Google Image


So we've got a hell of a holiday extravaganza to celebrate today what with it being Pancake Day in the UK, Fat Tuesday other places, and Post-Presidents Day in the US.

In honor of these holidays and more, please listen to some holiday themed music after the jump.

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The Rumour Trap.

Rumours are something we come to expect in the world of Warhammer.


Every potential new release comes with the usual selection of information from various sources. From the guy with 'inside' information, to the 'play-testers' who were using a version five years old with the odd bullshit wish-lister thrown into the mix we're given piles of information to sift through and most of it has one single factor in common.

It's complete bollocks.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

New Member Monday - The Schweet Taste of Victory

What's up ya'll!   The all year hootenanny that is the House of Paincakes continues!

Before I get to the fine, disease free bloggers who joined us this week, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Kirby and his wild success with 3++ con!  Thins seemed to go pretty swimmingly and there's a ton of great post over on his blog.

But as we all know, a tournament isn't truly successful until there's enough e-drama to fill the pages of a four volume leather bound collectors edition limited print run.  So let me get this ball rolling:

STAND IN only scored 11.389 battle points.  Strictly an approximation since we would need that fourth decimal place to be sure.  Anyway, as we all know, battle points are the only true measure of a man.  For this reason, STAND IN is a most likely a CHUD.  He probably cheated too.  That guy should be banned from Australia.



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Sunday, February 19, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design: Emotional Connection

That thrill. That incredible rush. That incredible sensation all over - my shin tightening, and my breath catching. all just from looking - I was terrified to touch, but couldn't wait to get my hands all over ---

My first RPG and my true love


While CB has made them all fancy, I adore Napoleonics something fierce

I love "Planes on Sticks", also known as Blue Max 



The emotional connection a game sparks in us almost always has the single-most important impact in decision making we face as consumers. If a game has any hold on you at all emotionally, be ready to cry a lot as your wallet opens almost involuntarily to purchase the newest edition, latest release or even worse, the "collector's edition".

I'm not the only one that feels this way. All of us, at some level, have a game that hits us "below the belt" and makes us feel quivery and somewhat intoxicated. I talked to a lot of folks, and all of them had a memory of "that love".

Here are some comments from people around the web:

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Von Show #11 - "I cast Detect Asshat!"

Slightly shorter than usual this week 'cause my throat's packing in. Sorry if the voice isn't quite as sultry as usual, too.



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Friday, February 17, 2012

New Citadel Paint Inbound?



OK, so the HoP is probably not the first place you'd probably come to get rumors, but there's a reason for this- we don't like to participate in the dissemination of complete and utter horse shit.  Without some kind of hard evidence, most rules don't really hold up.  Here, I'll start one- Take this Internet....

Squats are coming in the Q4 black box next year.  Their background has been altered slightly to explain that they were not wiped out, but went on a journey in the good ship deceiver to probe other galaxies and time continua and have just returned to take their revenge on Pedro Cantor for calling one of them short during a formal dress dinner party.  This has been said to appeal to both fans of Heinlein and "Downton Abbey."

Oh, I forgot I had a point and a real rumor to substantiate.  More after the jump.

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The Weekly Top X - Just BeCosby

Oh holy hell... I just took a trip through the way back machine and was forced to confront the fact that Brent and SinSynn made you all look at gross tentacle stuff waaaay back in September.  Here's the link in case you forgot what it was like.  I've come to think of it as something the House of Paincakes should make amends for.   Not because I feel bad about personally or anything, but just because it's expected.  It's a lot like Tiger Woods apology for all the sex he had with those women.

So today's Top X will be much more family friendly.  So long as that family is the Huxtables... and you ignore the first paragraph.

It's time for the Top X.  With me, as always, is my co-host:  Animated GIFs of Bill Cosby.

except this one

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SinSynn: Honor In Gaming


Hey, folks. SinSynn here.

When Grand Theft Auto IV released, my stepson immediately took a shine to the multiplayer mode known as Cops and Crooks.
The premise of this game type is that one team plays Crooks, and attempts to reach a 'getaway vehicle,' while the other team of Cops tries to stop them.
Well, that's the way it's SUPPOSED to be played- my stepson didn't see it that way.

And so, the first thing him and his lil' squad of buddies would do when they spawned in is immediately team kill anyone who wasn't 'down with them,' and proceed to destroy the getaway vehicle so no one is going anywhere, hunt down the opposing team, and kill the crap outta them using a combination of glitches (spamming the crouch button and firing a shotgun produces an 'automatic shotgun' effect, for example- no more pumping between rounds), and vicious pack tactics.
He sent his favorite controller out to be 'modded,' even.

He was quite proud of his Top 100 ranking on the worldwide leaderboards, too.
Right up until he received his first 'Code of Conduct' ban of 24 hours.
This was followed by the 72 hour ban, the week and month long bans, and eventually his account was killed by Microsoft altogether.
His Gamer Score, records, position on the Leaderboards, and everything else, gone.

*Feel the power*










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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Music to Game By

Yes, this was once a series that I attempted to write for Blood of Kittens and no, I was never able to fully realize it.  The idea was to put a soundtrack to each of the races and factions of 40K.  Overly ambitious- yes!  Crazy of me to think I could write for 3 or more blogs at once- certainly!  At any rate, I got through about a third of the races before real life took over and I had to unceremoniously let the project fall by the wayside.



Music, however, has always been and remains a very important part of my life and my games.  As such, I'm always interested in trying to figure out the perfect record to play during my games.  Would a selection of German cabaret music add that extra something special to my FoW games?  Should my pal Frank be forced to pump Sabbat every time he takes the field with his Chaos Marines?  Somehow, the answer to all of these questions and more seems to be yes.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

SinSynn Supplemental: FoW 3rd Edition First Impression


Hey folks, SinSynn here.

Time to crack open the new Flames of War 3rd Edition rulebook, and see what's goin' on!

No preamble necessary, amirite? Let's just get right to it.


*Still has that 'new rulebook' smell*

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New Member Monday - Right in the Childhood

Hello everyone!  I'll keep this brief since many of you will no doubt need as much time as you can get to jeer at the re-release of The Phantom Menace.  In 3D no less.  And by all means, heap as much derision on that cinematic stillbirth as you can.  Give in to your hate.  Not only is it a bad movie, but it also puts the relative quality of episodes IV, V, VI in stark relief.  The Phantom Menace ruined Star Wars for me FOREVER is what I'm saying.

GAH!  Ah the nostalgia is being ripped from my body!

But there is some good news as always on this fine Monday.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

[Musings of a Blog Haver] the Sponsors

I know you we're all expecting to see another wonderful Musings article courtesy of the incomparable Loquacious, but she's having a birfday and has the day off.  So it's up to me to entertain you this fine Sunday Evening.  Now I just need to make sure I do as good a job of her as she did for me. Only I don't have that handsome rapscallion, SinSynn, to help me out.  But come to think of it he can't hinder me either...

I think what makes Lo's Musings series truly interesting is that she's pulling back the curtain on an area of our hobby lives that the vast majority of us only have a passing understanding of.  She's an actual game store owner.  As we've found out, what goes on behind the counter (so to speak) is fascinating.  Which is not to downplay her excellent writing ability and wit, it's just that those are the vehicles rather than the cargo.

Imagine this crashing into your brain.
My grand intention for today is to attempt something similar with blogging.  Which puts me on shaky ground to start with since blogging is a whole hell of a lot more common than game store owning.  So it behooves me to try and articulate the unique parts of my experience with the House of Paincakes.  There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes as it turns out - more than I had anticipated when Dethtron and I first planted our flag out there.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Von Show - INTERMISSION





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Friday, February 10, 2012

Gaming on a Budget: Long-distance Roleplaying

No I said Selleck, not Stelek...geez

 As one gets older, one is faced with a seemingly endless stream of bullshit.  Do I really need new brakes for my car?  How do groceries disappear so quickly?  Where have all of my friends moved?

And that latter dilemma is the one we'll be concerned with today.  What happens when you've got a regular game night going and all of your friends begin to move away?  You'll probably miss playing pretty soon.  It's time to try and hook up a long-distance game.

If you were playing a tabletop wargame, odds are the fine folks at Vassal has probably got some kind of emulator for you, legal or otherwise.  What if it's a roleplaying game?  Well, then it's time to improvise. 

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

User Content - 40k in a Flash + Campaign

Hello ladies, gentleman and people who reject rigid definitions of gender.  While we're waiting for Dethtron's weekly Gaming on a Budget, I thought I'd share a neat chunk of content from one of our many, amazing blog roll members.

Col. Dracus over at his very own Journal has posted some rules for an interesting 40k campaign that has rally caught my imagination.  It's quick, it's easy and I think it'd be a great thing to build a fully painted army challenge around. Hell, I've been planning army lists for the last couple of days and I'm not even playing 40k at the moment!

I put all of them on a FLASH drive!

Anyway, It's an interesting mix of small scale games, fast play and a persistent territory system.  Most of the rules are grabbed from ye olden days of White Dwarf with some updates as needed.

40k in a Flash!:  the introductory post with the basic rules

LAtCS Forum Thread:  the complete rules, a selection of edits/updates and some army ideas from the players

40k in a Flash! Bat Rep:  An excellent introduction to how these speedy, small scale games play out.

I heartily encourage you all to check it out.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

SinSynn and the Helpful Hamster


Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

 The problem with having a Hamster living in your head is that sometimes, he gets out.

Well, that's one of the problems. I don't wanna get into the whole 'waste management' issue.
Trust me, you don't wanna know.

So lemme tell you what happened the other day.


I'm sleeping, and....

'Sinsynn....wake up.'

....

'Oh, fer the love of....WAKE UP!'

'What? Huh? I was nowhere near Miss Fox's house last night, officer. That sample you're holding did not come from me...'

'Sigh...wake up, you moron. We've got stuffs to do.'

'Mmmmf. Wait....Hamster? What are you doing out? And...what time is it?'

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Always Have a Battleplan...

There is an old saying that goes something like "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy". Of course this is a fair point but even the most poorly organised of military forces have at least a vague idea of what they're going to do.....
Many 40K players however seem to have no idea about what their units are going to do once their on the table and that's if they've even bothered to work out where on the table they need to go....

Unfair?

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Community Announcement: Old Stuff Day is Approaching

Just a quick announcement for this fine Monday evening.  Thor from Creative Twilight has taken up the mantle of last year's Old Stuff day.  I'll let him explain:


Last year Rob at Warhammer 39,999 began Old Stuff Day. In short, it’s a day where every blogger showcases articles they’ve done over past year (or longer), that might have fallen off the radar, maybe it’s just something you’d like to bring attention to again, stuff you may have done before you gained popularity or just anything you’re exceptionally proud of.

Lately Rob hasn’t been doing a lot of blogging and so you probably haven’t seen anything regarding it for this year, which is why I’m mentioning it. I’ve talked with Rob and it’s time to put it out there again. March 2nd is Old Stuff Day. So, take some time and go through your archive to find those articles you want to showcase and draw attention to. Rob said it best last year when he explained what Old Stuff Day is.

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New Member Monday - EEEEEEEE!

Hello, everyone and welcome to our 77th week of operation!  It's not too important a milestone, I just wanted to thank everyone for making it possible and making it great.


Additional and special thanks to Lo and SinSynn for their version of a birfday present last Friday   It was thoughtful and hilarious.  Much like The Life Aquatic or C.H.U.D. Though I do feel like I have to make one tiny correction.  The news of my hangover was greatly exaggerated.  Not once did I pee in front of either of those jerks!  But the post was nice anyways.

Anyways, it's that time again!

New Member Monday

Keywords: 40k, painting and modeling, project logs, bat reps

Keywords: Warhammer Fantasy & 40K centric, with an emphasis on hobby

And we have a winning essay this week.  Well... it's not so much an essay as it is a single sentence.

So, in response to the the tried and true "why are you God's gift to the internet", Arydadan of Elfen Stuff Up had this to say:

I got nothing... I check my articles for spelling errors?


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Sunday, February 5, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design : Tone

I'm back from my break. I'm talking about the TONE of games and how that effects design, or how design effects tone, dependent on the situation.


I think it might help to define tone, so we can break it down and talk about it among ourselves. I found two definitions that really work for my purposes today:

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