Monthly Archives: April 2007

I’m Okay, You’re Okay, But Your Game Sucks

Recently, I was involved in a game where I had less enjoyment than I might like, and offered some criticisms.  The person who was game mastering seemed to take it in stride at the time, but later fired back on the internet, indicating that they took it personally.

I see variations on this time and time again- someone gets offended because someone else doesn’t like their ideas, or someone is afraid to speak their mind for fear of alienating their friends.

Come on.  We are all smart, well adjusted adults, and if we aren’t, it’s high time we started.  Two perfectly intelligent people that are friends can have differences of opionion.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this.

If I’m at your table, watch out.  I’ll let you know what I’m thinking.  You deserve an honest criticism.

ATHFCMFT: High Wierdness

I have long enjoyed Aqua Teen Hunger Force, because it nails wierd-for-the-sake-of-wierd right on the head.  Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie For Theaters, while not the ‘best movie EVAR ZOMG,’ will delight fans of the series.

Since most of this review will be about bashing what wasn’t done right about the movie- lets establish some stuff first- one, I liked it, it had some good laughs and running jokes.  It’s smarter, more cunningly paced and arranged than the typical modern gross-out, pop-riff, B/C-star-studded comedy that saturate theaters.

A 90 minute movie based on a 15 minute show needs to feel like one of two things- either the experience of a ‘marathon session’- many of which I have had and enjoyed, or a really good long episode.  ATHFCMFT tries for the later, and I think somewhat falls short; if the folks at Adult Swim go for another; hopefully it will take more of a vignette fashion, with 3-5 episode caliber ‘plots’ (to use that term loosely), jumping to one another to keep the laughs moving.  The central plot of the movie is gleefully absurd, and pulls in Carl, the Plutonians and the Cybernetic Ghost of Christmas Past from the Future, with visits to Dr. Wierd and Steve.  Dr. Wierd works best when he has nothing at all to do with what’s going on and can be Dr. Wierd for the sake of wierd; his best scenes are those earliest in the movie.  The film’s plot is, ironically enough, almost too coherent; ATHF’s plot holes and lack of continuity are one of the series’s charms, and a nod to that would be wonderful.  The film tries to go for contradictory, mutually exclusive origins for the Aqua Teens, whoever, the truth does not seem muddled enough.

The Mooninites, one of the most popular side characters play a role that seems tacked on tangential; nothing wrong with that in principle, but in practice their presence seems hollow.  (That’s not to say they don’t get some fun lines.)  Some other characters get some short screen presence, but it would be keen to see a reprisal of some old favorites, such as Romulax or Boxy Brown  (seen, but sadly, not heard).

Oh, and it’s worth staying through the credits.  There’s, um, something at the end.

I Quit My Job…

…and I feel fine.

I recall, over two years ago, when I finally announced I was quitting REM (assited living for the disabled), I was estastic.  I jumped up and down, laughing with glee, thrilled that it was all finally over.

Last weekend, when I turned in my notice for my current job, there was… doubt.

Not that I’m doing the right thing, because I know I am, even if everyone says otherwise.  I have to get out of here.  I was more worried about how the management at the hotel would react; but they’ve been pretty cool about it.  And on my last day, I’ll be training my 14th part-time night auditor.  (My full-time replacement is already trained.)

So everything seems to be working out for the best.  Woo-hoo!

Yay for Progress

Well, today I finally got back on track working on my boardgame ‘Fantastic Dungeon Adventure,’ and things went pretty swimmingly.  I got all the monsters statted out, and had a good time thinking up fun boss monsters to torment future players with.  Beware!  Now I just need to flesh out that action deck… if I can only resist the call of Nethack.

Best of Willowrants: Volume II

It’s the best posts of the last six months, all in one convienient post.  Hey, didn’t I do something like this a while ago?   This one has even more best posts, which means I’m either writing more great material, or my standards have declined.  You be the judge!

Game Design:

What’s in a Name?

What Makes a Kewl Power?

Games Need Diminishing Returns

Action Points

Game Modding:  Taking A Task-Based System and Turning it into a Conflict Resolution System:
Drifting HERO
Conflicting Task Resolution:

Game Resources:

Burning Vampires:

The Deadlands Files

Battlestar Fujiyama

Game Rants/Theory:

From Whence Character?

Splat is Not Character

When Do We Game?  (See the comments for the meat of the discussion.)

ABCs of Good Gaming

Con Report:
Fantastic Plattecon Adventure!

Novel Writing:
Novel Woot!