Monthly Archives: February 2014

Getting a buzz

A lot of the fun that comes with doing MelloPanther is just working on the creative processes.  In other words, the brainstorming, the molding and the building of things, whether it’s panels or game shows or any sort of programming.  Presenting is fun, too, but it’s getting to that point that tends to excite me the most.  I have folders full of mock-ups and drafts and layouts for just about anything as well as projects that serve mainly as tutorials, unlikely to see the light of day.  Not only is it good practice to hone my skills in design and coding, it keeps the flow of ideas free.  In a way, it’s sort of my version of a doodle pad.

I bring all this up because I recently got into a conversation about the tech I use for my games.  My weapons of choice are currently Flash and buzzers from Buzz! The Mega Quiz.  Flash, because it’s fairly easy to work with and the buzzers because it’s a 20-button joystick which can be mapped to a keyboard.  During that conversation, we fell down a bit of a proverbial rabbit hole.  At the bottom of this hole was the idea for a whole new buzzer system, able to be constructed on the relatively cheap.  If done properly, this new system could drastically change if not revolutionize the way I do game shows.  I can’t say much about it right now, primarily because most of it is above my head (I’m a software guy, not a hardware guy–luckily the other people in this conversation were the latter) but I’m very excited and I hope to get the ball running on this soon because I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Setsucon Recap, Part 2

You might have caught my review while recording Otaku Drive Time, but I wanted to go into detail regarding a couple of things here and there.

As mentioned previously, I mentioned 4th Edition D&D and got an interesting side conversation from two old-school RPG’ers.  The crux of the argument was that the combat was crap and the leveling system was also crap.  Because the main aspects of the numbers side of the RPG were so out of whack, the game itself fails.

Here’s the thing, though. One, I like how 4th Edition was pick-up-and-play ready.  The uniformity of the classes allow people to make new characters in no time flat.  Second of all, an RPG is only as good as its first two letters.  If the group you are in isn’t able to tell or participate in a good story, then it doesn’t matter how the combat system works.  I played 4th edition and Star Wars: Saga Edition for very long stretches–campaigns for each lasted over a year, if I remember right–and our parties had a lot of fun with memorable characters,  In the D&D game, I ended up turning into an Eladrin minivan because I was able to teleport half the group.  In Star Wars, not only was I an ace pilot that ended up putting two over on the GM in the final battle (that’s a great story for another time), our mechanic and our Wookiee were two great and awesome characters that would’ve been great in any system.

So while I understand the resistance to 4E, it shouldn’t have gotten in the way of a good game.  Any game system can work if you have the right story.