I’m going to PAX for the first time this weekend! I hope it’s fun. A bunch of my GPNW cohorts will be running and demoing games in the unofficial indie RPG room (304), and I’ll be helping out there whenever I’m not wandering the show floor.

If you are also going to PAX, I will see you there! I hope it’s fun. Further updates atwitter.

My friend Joe is committing some thoughtcrime

And he’s doing a Kickstarter thing to fund the print run. It’s a game called Perfect, and it’s one of the best, most effective story games I’ve ever played: a Clockwork Orange-meets-Fahrenheit 451-meets-actual Victorian evil premise that the mechanics support to a startling degree. Playing it, you find yourself alternately drawn toward becoming a violent enemy of the state, and seduced by power like a guard in the Stanford prison experiment. It’s a nasty game, and I really, really like it. Joe talks more about it here.

If you’re interested by this kind of thing, you should chip in $5! If Joe meets his goal, you get a PDF of the game, and if he doesn’t, you get your money back (well, technically, it never even leaves your account).

The dark side of self-exposure

Sumana called me out on my 2007 goal-announcement entry and asked what the follow-up was for 2010-2012. First, HOW IS IT 2010 ALREADY. Second, I thought I’d already done an update on how those goals went, but I can’t find it if I did, so here we go:

Accomplished

  • Get driver’s license

Failed

  • Everything else

Okay, so at 28 I have managed to just reach a 16-year-old’s level of basic competence. Right on track! I got accepted to Clarion but couldn’t afford it, and GSP gently declined my teaching application: this indicates an unsurprising trend of nonprofit programs being happier to take my money than to give me more. I stopped running not long after I posted that entry in 2007, but I struggled into reasonable shape last summer and might be able to get there again now that I own an inhaler.

So. Let’s try this again.

My goals for 2010 are to script a graphic novel and run a half-marathon.

My goals for 2011 are to write a novel and publish a computer game.

My goal for 2012 is to be out of non-student-loan debt.

Thanks to everybody who commented on the project management software entry, by the way

A few weeks ago I attended my second Go Play Northwest, and as before, it was one of the best weekends of my year. I played a lot of games, and wrote up reports on some of them, including Attack of the Crimson Apes (with Danger Patrol), Steam Tank versus Marble Army (with Principia), and Saga of the Goblin Headbag (with Lady Blackbird). I also ran a game of Rubble (discussed), and played my second game of Mythender (discussed, although it may not make any sense). I played just enough of a game of Anima Prime to make me want more.

Finally, I played in a game of The Shab-al-Hiri Roach adapted to take place on Wall Street in 1986, which was very funny and which we will never discuss again.

I did manage to go the entire weekend without playing a single game with Jackson Tegu or Joe McDonald, which, I mean, what the hell guys. They were (along with John Aegard and the Richmond-Smiths) two of my most potent catalysts in getting involved with the Pacific Northwest gaming scene, and now they’ve retreated back to their frozen Canadia. This will be rectified, gentlemen!

GPNW alone is enough to make me reconsider moving to Seattle every year. Then I try to get anywhere in its blighted hellscape of streets and quickly discard that notion.

A Selection of Weapons from the Version of Duke Nukem 3D I dreamt last night

1. Ice Claws
2. Hand Freezing Positions
3. Spare Clip
4. Brazee
5. Luger
6. Snake Pose
7. Panda Pose
8. Tiger Pose
9. Stop Dancing

It should be noted that I almost always seemed to find myself wielding the Stop Dancing, even when I was trying to use the Brazee (a street in Portland). I think my brain is trying to tell me something.

Project Management Software Survey

Hi. Do you work in an information-based company? Do you use some form of project management software? I would like your input.

At my job, we use a motley collection of software–a hosted timesheet solution with integrated project tracking, Outlook, and most recently Bugzilla. Because I work remotely, my exposure to these is actually pretty minimal, which can cause problems.

I’m curious about what features of project management software you or your colleagues actually use. Do you just create projects and subprojects and assign them to people? Do you track hours or just tasks completed? Do you use Gantt charts or critical paths? Automated risk highlighting? What features do you personally depend on, and which parts just seem like annoying busywork?

Comments are turned on for this post (for real this time), or you can email me.

I feel a certain measure of confidence in pronouncing this vaporware

Wow. Wow. The guy who founded WebTV (you remember WebTV, right? Your grandmother failed to use the Internet on it) and the guy who got fired from Eidos (you remember Eidos from 2000-2005, right? You didn’t buy any of their Tomb Raider sequels) have decided to revolutionize the video gaming industry! They’re going to let you play hideously compressed PC games from 2007 without a keyboard or a mouse on a computer with no disc drive, hard drive or video card! Guess who sat around a lot of hotel rooms staring blankly at the N64 controller on the set-top box? (I bet you already guessed!)

To their credit, they have been able to startle some wide-eyed journalists by showing them closed tests on a cloud system with nobody on it, from which they disallowed screen caps or video. That puts them one step ahead of Infinium Labs. You remember Infinium, right? They failed to make the stupid fucking Phantom.

Go Play Northwest Con Report: Day One

PLAYING GAMES IS COMPLETELY AWESOME. Today I playtested a version of Agon hacked into Shadowrun and, even more successfully, a Dragonball Z-meets-epic-level-D&D-as-run-with-Beast Hunters game by Ryan Macklin called Mythender.

Just one day has made me actually want to go back and finish writing Welcome to the New World, the RPG I half-completed in 2005, not to mention the real-time tactical combat game I get really excited about every ten minutes and then get distracted before I write any ideas down. It’s like, oh. Is this why people go to cons?

My neighborhood is named after a vampire slayer

After nearly two months in one sort of transition or another, I have achieved something like a temporary stability: I even bought a flat hard bed, manufactured (I am given to understand) by svirfneblin. All of which is to say my name is on a lease, my belongings no longer fit in the Fit and I like it here very much. I live with the very droll Kara, at least until she discovers I used to play Warcraft and kicks me out, and I’m slowly coming around to the idea of a bike.

I promise I’ll get the rest of the Hugner pictures up soon.