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The Elephant Game

Did you know that Earth’s most widely-played boardgame (Xiangqi) is also one of Earth’s oldest boardgames? Xiangqi (pronounced “Shang Chi”) is also known as Chinese Chess (or “The Elephant Game,” as it translates to in English.)  Chess scholars can trace the roots of Xiangqi all the way back to the 2nd century B.C.E..  In addition to being a “must play” …

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Making board games more fun with modern design

Design is about so much more than aesthetics — something software designers, especially user experience designers, have known for a very long time. In the analog gaming world, the discipline known as “user-centered design” is starting to come into its own as well, making games not only look good, but helping players understand what’s happening while they play.

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Star Wars: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Trailer One: King of Colons and Subtitles

  Today we were gifted the first trailer for Rogue One, Disney/Lucasfilm’s first ever non-episodic feature film from the Star Wars universe.  Along with the new faces of what appears to be the Rebel and Imperial B-Squads the trailer hits a laundry list of nostalgic sights.  AT-AT’s?  Check.  Stormtroopers? Of Course.  Death Star and Star Destroyers? Rebels and a Rebel Base?  Check …

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Strange Truths – Radioactive Wild Boars of Japan

Wild radioactive boars are rampaging around northern Japan near Fukushima. This story falls solidly under the category of “if you can’t make something gameable out of this you aren’t even trying”. The beasts are savaging farms, breeding uncontrollably, eating radiation tainted crops, and hunters are piling the carcasses up faster than they can be safely disposed of. While reading it I …

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Analog gaming is winning with the smartphone generation

One of the reasons cited for the downturn in RPGs and board games was the popularity of video games. Home consoles and advances in personal computers created a market where no one had to leave the house to visit an arcade, making video games a surprising recession resistant market despite the high price tag. With the invention of tablets and …

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Level up : 7 DIY Projects for Crafty GMs

One thing which I find delightful is the overlap between the RPG and Make communities. I enjoy geeky crafts and discovered the items on this list while searching for unique things. This list only covers a small sample of DIY projects for those who like making their own gaming accessories. 1. Magnetic Dungeon This magnetic dungeon by Mike Schmidt is …

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Write Gallifreyan Like a Time Lord

Those complex circles that look like a map of time aren’t just pretty decor. Gallifreyan, is the written language of Time Lords and now thanks to Loren Sherman of Sherman’s Planet, we all can write like we have two hearts. An effort that began with Who fans was tweaked and modified by Loren in order to make it into a …

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Asmodeus in your adventures – three devilish hooks for any fantasy RPG

Once upon a time, there was only Dungeons & Dragons. There were no editions, save for the printing editions of the original woodgrain and white boxes. And then, one day in 1977, a book called the Monster Manual arrived, heralding the beginning of a new, “Advanced” D&D. And in that tome, there was an arch-devil named Asmodeus. The mere mention of his name …