Retro Drafting Original Ravnica Block

I had another opportunity to do a retro Magic: The Gathering draft with my friend John and a group of 8 other people, including many of the same people as the Fallen Empires Draft.  Like that draft, I had a great time and wanted to reflect on my experience. The original Ravnica block draft includes […]

Retro Magic: The Gathering drafting with Fallen Empires

I had the opportunity to draft Fallen Empires and other sets, thanks to my coworker John.  These old sets have a reputation for being “undraftable” and bad. I had a great experience, though, and I wanted to write about all of the little things I noticed. Fallen Empires was released in 1994, soon after I […]

Impressions of D&D Fifth Edition

(Though out of date, you could read my three D&D Playtest articles: Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) What I’ve Played My first D&D 5E play was on the day the Player’s Handbook released to retail stores, which was early August. We gathered a group and played a whole ton of of Hoard of the […]

D&D Next Playtest Nearing Its End, Still Making Big Changes

(If you haven’t read anything about D&D Next so far, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my articles covering the changes in the system. Some of that stuff is now a bit old/obsolete, but the majority still applies) Skill-free Skills are gone. A large part of the game since 3rd edition, the removal […]

Developments in D&D Next

D&D Next development has progressed since my first post on the new system and I want to break down the changes.  DDN is radical in the game design world: rather than try to upgrade or rework a previous system, DDN attempts to break down and simplify D&D. Buckle up, because we’re going real deep. Understanding Scaling […]

Connecting Xbox/PS3 and a Computer to the Same Monitor

By brother emailed me asking what to do to connect an xbox and his mac mini to the same screen.  I’ve encountered similar situations connecting consoles, multiple computers, or other devices to screens.  There are a two basic strategies. TV Centric If you’re intending to put everything in a living room with a couch, your […]

Clever Design in Cthulu Saves the World

This is a fun little Xbox/PC/soon iOS game in the old Dragon Warrior style.  It’s cheap ($1-3, depending on platform), well made, and doesn’t overstay its welcome.  The developer is also making the upcoming Penny Arcade sequel, which looks great!  There are some other reviews of the game out there, so I want to focus on […]

Understanding D&D Next

The public play test of D&D Next has been released.  This preview allows us to get an idea of where they are going with the the successor to 4th edition.  Their stated goal is to simplify the game and return to the roots of the game.  I’d like to break down some of the major changes, using […]

Cube Building Updates

Cube Drafting is a fun way to get more use out of Magic cards.  I went over the basics in an earlier post.  I want to talk about my considerations when designing the Cube and then provide my thought process on some of the card swaps I made. Creating My first step was going through […]

Matchmaking in Online Competitive Games

With Modern Warfare 3 out, I’m back into the crazy world of non-ranked matchmaking.  My match can involve a group of players with ten times my in-game experience.  Frustrating at first, playing against these skilled players eventually feels satisfying when I start to catch up.  I don’t think I’ve ever come in first place, but […]

Enjoying Magic: The Gathering on the Cheap

I enjoy playing Magic and reading about new sets, but I definitely don’t enjoy keeping boxes of cards around.  Buying lots of packs and trying to trade for cards also does not appeal to me.  While I enjoy drafting, it is pretty expensive if you don’t intend to keep the cards.  So, whenever I can, […]

A few more iPhone games

My iPhone gaming has slowed down over time, but I’ve still checked out a few new games in the last four or five months. Bumpy Road – Control a cute car by moving the terrain around it.  I like the graphics more than the gameplay and didn’t end up playing this game for too long. […]

More of the Good and the Bad on Xbox

AC Brotherhood Good – Best storytelling of any of the games so far, most varied mission design, brotherhood powers are so badass, still very fun to stab people. Bad – Online way more chaotic than strategic, modern day characters as unlikeable as ever, overall gameplay starting to get tedious, brotherhood powers trivialize so many things. […]

Dragon Age 2 Ending

(Spoilers, certainly) I enjoyed much of DA2 but a good portion of the ending sequence played the wrong way for me.  I made some notes to try to figure out why it didn’t quite satisfy. Anders didn’t succumb enough to Justice. He just sorta blows things up but seems otherwise pretty mellow about it afterward. […]

More iPhone Gaming

Axe in Face – Cute music and funny setup, but the gameplay didn’t catch me.  I like the use of iPhone/drawing controls. The Blocks Cometh – A platform set in a world like Tetris, blocks constantly fall from the top of the screen.  Enjoying it but death seems to come out of nowhere. Chaos Rings – […]