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Goodbye 2014

I suppose if I'm ever going to use LJ again I really ought to write something about the last half of 2014.

What Happened in 2014Collapse )

Magic 2015 Card Designs

With the release of this Summer's Magic the Gathering "Core Set" - Magic 2015 - Wizards of the Coast have done something new. They invited various well known game designers to contribute card designs. I was curious to see how they'd do, so... here are my thoughts on the results.

Card Design AnalysisCollapse )

Light Time

So, I decide to replace one of the two anicent strip lights in our kitchen. How hard can it be, right?

Quite hard, actually...Collapse )

A Year of Music

Bea's music teacher is very good and has done a great job this year in getting her interested in his subject. That and her interest in making music videos (with the Video Star app, mostly) led to Bea asking me to recommend some music to her. I complained that I didn't really know much about music, but said I'd try and come up with some ideas.

"Well," she said, "you're always setting me challenges, so here's one for you. Every day for the next year you have to recommend one music track to me."

I accepted, of course...Collapse )


Video game tourism is a thing now, if it wasn't already, since lathany and I have just returned from visiting the Cornish seaside town of Polperro mainly due to its appearance in The Lost Crown. (Although after we announced we were going her parents turned out to have been there for their honeymoon!).

We stayed in The Crumplehorn Inn - a pub with a working waterwheel (!) and mostly spent our time visiting locations from the game and eating All The Food. I'm not karohemd, so I failed to photograph most of what we ate, but it included the usual Cornish ice cream, cream tea and pasties, some great seafood (both excellent, sophisticated stuff at The Kitchen and deep fried but still very good stuff at the Crumplehorn Inn itself), an outstanding curry, lots of full English breakfast and a very fine kipper. All excellent, although lathany notes that the Stroganoff she had was not as good as the one made by the Navy - if that information is ever useful to anyone I will be very surprised.

Polperro's museum was very interesting. In particular, it had a huge amount of detail about the history of smuggling in the area. Turns out I completely misunderstood what this was like. The Crumplehorn Inn was once the house of the superbly named Zephaniah Job, who was a sort of godfather-like fingure and acted as a banker to all the local smugglers. Indeed, as far as I can tell from the records, smuggling was most of the economy at one point. There was a fascinating account of how one man was driven from the community for collaborating with "the revenue men"!

Last but not least, have some photos:

Some photos...Collapse )

The Pied Piper

This evening, Bea and I went to see Ryan in his school play, "The Pied Piper of Hamelin".

It was surprisingly great!Collapse )

Trouble at the Babysitting Union

Since lathany and I were considering going to see the new Veronica Mars movie[1] we decided to ask Bea if she'd mind looking after Ryan while we went.

On the complexities of the labour market...Collapse )

Maybe Time to Build an Ark?

You know how when you're moving house there's this big list of things you're supposed to pay attention to? And it always ends up looking like a lot of unnecessary fuss. Well, right now I'm pretty glad I took the stuff about flood zones seriously, because at the time of writing water levels are rising perilously all around West London and some parts of Ashford are looking alarmingly puddly. Shepperton is mostly underwater, with the sole exception of Bea's school! My next update will probably be about dinghies, but for now let's talk about something else...

King MachineCollapse )
Bea"s Doctor Who RPGCollapse )
TetrobotCollapse )
Hippo StuffCollapse )

Happy New Year

Happy New Year LJ people!

I took Christmas off to eat ALL THE CHOCOLATE and visit relatives and stuff. It was relaxing.

I've made a video tutorial for King Machine and played a bit of Spelunky and... erm... there isn't much news. At least, not until I feel like writing a big chatty post, which I don't right now.

I've been playing a bit of Spelunky and have a new respect for al_fruitbat's godlike skills as a result. Goddamn tiki traps! :-(

How about a picture of the Paradox from smiorgan's old Invisibles game? Not exactly topical, I just felt like drawing it. :-)

Decided to steal lathany's idea of adapting the "ten books that stayed with you" thing to video games. It's not supposed to be a top ten or a list of objectively great works, just a personal list of video games that have been important to you. I've crossposted this to G+, following Dawn's lead, because LJ doesn't seem to get much traffic despite being clearly superior.

My Ten GamesCollapse )