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Everything posted by cornchip

  1. Good discussion, and I do agree with the decision to keep it to an hour, especially if it means a part 2 in the future focusing on, hopefully, the obscured European equivalents of China's forgotten role in the Pacific. One of my first board game design attempts as a child was an ocean carrier battle game with some simple rock-paper-scissors (carrier beats fighter beats bomber beats carrier.) The fluidity was definitely an issue, as was the fact that the board was dense enough that players essentially alternated kills until one had a carrier and the other a fighter, neither of which could end the game due to mobility and hard counter differences. It wasn't very good.
  2. Designer Notes 19: Louis Castle

    Roberta Williams would be interesting after hearing Louis' account of the bad deal Sierra offered Westwood. (But really, she would be interesting.)
  3. Designer Notes 19: Louis Castle

    Enjoyable episode. Louis' way of talking and his "dive into it" mindset remind me of Rob Pardo's from the first interview.
  4. Episode 359: Chess in 2016

    I think, rather than a standalone Go episode, it could be interesting to talk about Go in context of surrounding in other games, capturing in strategy games, etc. All you need to do is add a couple of links to Go trainers and resources and much of the chess episode covers what would be said in a standalone Go episode.
  5. Episode 360: Hearts of Iron IV

    I do wish the game had a manual. However, I'm sympathetic to the cost because I understand Paradox would have had to cut features or polish to afford to document the game, and Paradox' strength is in making their games as bursting full as possible. In software development, we have automatic documentation/manual generation tools. Do any game developers use an analogous tool to automatically update their game manuals? I'm aware that a lot of games upon release are hacked together in a way that would make that difficult, but Paradox' engine must be mature enough by now that the data in their games are stored in an orderly way.
  6. Episode 360: Hearts of Iron IV

    What is the podcast that had Bruce talking to Mark Herman?
  7. I think smartphones are where consoles are going. The subsidized contract upgrade rharwick referenced is in rapid decline, replaced by no-contract plans + 24-month installment payments for phones, and slightly more recently, lease with a perpetual upgrade option. Getting XB/PS customers to pay $30/mo to keep getting the latest incremental upgrade makes a lot of sense. One key is whether development markets, which is where the old phones go in the lease programs, can also be dumping grounds for last year's consoles. Another key will of course be customer reception to a program like this. People are comfortable with visiting a phone store to swap a phone. I suppose a few have traded in old consoles for GameStop credit, but this isn't really the same. Probably it's an opportunity for Microsoft to use their official stores to sell and lease phones, Xbox and Surface in a similar manner. Sony USA would be dependent on their dealers.
  8. Episode 359: Chess in 2016

    Is it left to me to be the Go guy? I am sure "Go is superior" Internet comments have dropped off since the Google-Sedol match, not that they were necessarily true anyway. A test of a strategy game's depth might be whether mastering it improves your chess game. Go certainly can make you a better chess player. I don't know if I could say the same for the euros on my shelf, though it sounds like enduring a full schedule at Gencon can prepare you for a serious chess tournament.
  9. The complaint about not knowing which units are effective against other units without end-game information screens isn't one I share. I have definitely been in unclear situations (do stalkers beat roaches?) and trying a few unit compositions and tactics myself has always cleared it up. Help screens/manuals usually explain damage/armor types, etc. Worst-case, I can play a test game with someone to run a bunch of tests or create a scenario for this if the game has an editor. I see this process as part of playing an RTS so it's interesting that others roughly my age expect to not have to do that anymore.
  10. Bumping because this episode and a bunch of others are misfiled -- the audio for this episode is under Sid Meier's Gettysburg, this is some other wargame interview, etc. Obviously low priority, but it makes browsing back episodes pretty tough!
  11. Episode 356: Ashes of the Singularity

    Small request: would you please list the panel members in every episode description? I refer to it when listening sometimes.
  12. Episode 355: Stellaris

    I thought Tom's essay was quite good. I wouldn't interpret his low scores that way, Turrican. Keep in mind there's a lot of garbage that goes unreviewed.
  13. Episode 355: Stellaris

    The scores, as far as they matter, are usually relative to a game's potential. I would play Stellaris before FTL on most days because a partially awesome grand strategy game is still much 'more' than most other games, but I agree FTL deserves a higher score because it was such a good execution of a limited concept.
  14. Designer Notes 18: Offworld Trading Company

    I enjoyed this. As I'd listened to previous episodes, I'd gathered a lot of insight into Offworld's design and evolution, but having it in one place is nice. Regarding the soundtrack, I'd point anyone interested to this article on Mohawk's website for additional insight into the development process: Dividing the score the way they did seems so smart for how it not only fits the escalating tension in the game, but makes it easier to 'test.'
  15. Episode 355: Stellaris

    I get a MoO 3 feeling about this game. I'm concerned that Paradox can't infuse it with enough 'stuff' to really make it an exceptional strategic title because they can't synthesize worlds and lore nearly as quickly as they can draw on their knowledge of history, and the actual space parts mechanically seem a little too easily designed. I would certainly love to be proven wrong, and I suspect I will be, but only after an expansion and a few major patches. Edit: to be clear, I'm very happy this game is being made and I do want it to succeed and be well-regarded.
  16. Episode 354: Offworld Trading Company

    Following up on Soren's mentioning how much his wife likes the game: I was playing the soundtrack for my wife last night and showing her a bit of the game, and she immediately said it looked like something she would want to play. She rarely says this, so In my opinion, that is a big compliment to the Mohawk team. Her favorite games are Sim Farm, Heroes of Might and Magic 3, Jason Rohrer's Cultivation, and Agricola .
  17. Episode 354: Offworld Trading Company

    Here's a link to the previous episode about Offworld:
  18. Episode 353: Twilight Struggle

    I like to tell a new player that there's a card in the late war deck that can end the game early and then describe it while shuffling the Late War deck. I never badger them about the score getting past 6, though (or near 20.) That said, sounds like fledermaus knew about Wargames from his previous games. That's a tough sequence of cards!
  19. Episode 354: Offworld Trading Company

    This podcast has finally prompted me to pick up this game. The single-player might not be Civ-length, but it's quality.
  20. Episode 353: Twilight Struggle

    I find new players aren't thinking about scoring cards as a real possibility. If you imagine Europe scoring is going to hit in the first headline phase, you'll easily place your starting influence. And if you imagine your opponent will place whatever scoring cards you don't have wherever you're weakest, it helps to take actions. The game's like poker in that opponents respond to each other, so you do need a little trust that you'll develop your reading ability beyond a tutorial's ability to teach you. But yes, one nice advantage of teaching in-person is you can play a sample round or two face-up. That's a good teaching tool for people who aren't willing to just jump in. And I find that doing these three things really help new players: Walking them through scoring a region and reminding them that Europe, Asia and MidEast will be scored 1-2 times in Early War. Reminding them that losing influence can lock them out of a region/make spreading influence expensive. Suggesting they play more of their side's cards for influence than for events.
  21. Episode 353: Twilight Struggle

    Does the digital game come with an equivalent to the board game's cheat sheets? I think you can nearly play the entire game correctly just by putting one in front of each player. They cover setup, coups, realignments, influence, victory conditions, etc.
  22. Episode 353: Twilight Struggle

    Enjoying the episode, but man, those are some basic rules for two of you to misunderstand after all these years! What in the world. I haven't gotten the digital edition yet, but I've recommended twice so far to people interested in the game and inexperienced playing it. I don't think I'd even try to pitch it to people who hadn't heard of it. Agree there is a vocabulary deficiency in digital games. I suppose Twilight Struggle is a "turn-based strategy game," but that term does not describe it.
  23. Episode 351: Weekend of Wargaming

    That "feel the Bern" made me laugh. Between that and Troy's trashing Rise of Legends' theme last episode, I'm enjoying the occasional enthusiastic jabs at pet peeve games. As a listener who hasn't played T&T at all, it sounded like the atomic bomb element is exciting but awfully swingy, or at least its viability greatly depends on initial draw. Are spies enough to balance it out (letting opponents know to purely pursue conventional warfare?) I am interested in playing it to find out myself. Listening to the discussion of how unreasonable actions at the end of Fire in the Lake can be viable, I long for more competitive games that are won by adhering to the wisdom in Luther's apocryphal: "If I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would plant a tree." I don't much care for cashing out in the final turn even though I recognize they can be a way to compress the final few turns into one.
  24. Designer Notes 14: Mark Herman

    Okay, I've finally listened to this episode and really enjoyed it. Mark has an approach to games that's getting harder to find. I am sure his class on business and wargaming is fascinating. I took a marketing strategy class as an undergrad that had us compete in a simulated market that was instructive for me, but I was able to figure out the math behind it and it was almost simple enough to be model-able as a board game. I can see the potential. I did tend to get a bit lost on some of Mark's tangents; he's a talker. But quantity has a quality of its own, in this case. Also, since posting my comment above I've figured out that you have a site and video channel, Bruce, and I've a lot more context for the panel members and guests on Designer Notes, 3ma, Game Design Roundtable, etc.
  25. Designer Notes 17: Ananda Gupta

    Good interview. Was this recorded awhile ago? I was hoping to hear a bit about Ananda's work at Riot but he was talking like he'd left Firaxis but couldn't say where he was going yet. And yes, Generals dropped after the Iraq war was underway. I remember because one of the USA tanks would occasionally say, "enemies of the free world," which I assumed to be commentary but probably was referring to the target I'd set for it.