881 reputation
213
bio website
location Rochester, NY
age 28
visits member for 2 years, 3 months
seen Jan 30 '13 at 13:18

I've worked in IT since 2006 after a brief stint in Journalism. At various points, I've been paid to work with MySQL, MS Office/VB type stuff, XML, HTML and Java. I'm currently a developer working mainly in Java, and am working on some Android and iOS apps in my spare time.


Jan
29
comment What is a good resource to discover new games?
I've personally found that the user comments (the numerical ranking/terse impressions) can sometimes be more helpful than the full written reviews. Particularly those of people rating in the 4-6 range on a 10 scale; often people who love the game will just say "great game!" and people who hate it will just say "terrible game!", but the people who were lukewarm on it will often write the things they liked and disliked about it - both valuable pieces of information, and the full reviews tend to skew positive since it's all ameteur. I agree the UI is pretty terrible, though.
Aug
29
comment How can I play Somnium in real life?
I don't know that it doesn't exist, but there isn't anything on BoardGameGeek under that name, so I doubt it exists under that name (given both the expansiveness of BGG and that Civ is one of the most popular video games in that community, I'd expect it to be added if it did).
Jul
12
comment Alternatives to the Sympathiser in Battlestar Galactica
Pegasus also adds a Cylon Leader character type, who has a personal, hidden win condition (e.g., you win if the humans survive but have 2 resources in the red). If memory serves, that also does away with the sympathizer. Since you're a big fan of the game, I highly recommend Pegasus. It's my favorite board game expansion.
Jun
7
comment What's a good source of generic pieces/components?
If you're looking at components for the price, your best bet is to keep an eye out for clearance sales. If you don't have a local board game store to check, a lot of the online game stores have them a few times a year, as does Barnes & Noble (I've gotten several games at 75% off MSRP from the latter).
May
23
comment What is a Gateway Game?
Monopoly is not generally considered a gateway game because it's not a "gateway" to anything; most people have at least heard of it, if not played it, and introducing people to it won't result in their becoming interested in hobby gaming. From your list, for example, Race for the Galaxy is also not considered a gateway game because the iconography is notoriously tough for people who don't have a frame of reference to grasp (e.g., the difference between military and non-military worlds being an easy to overlook red border), so it's not a good "introduction" to hobby games for most people.
Apr
18
comment Can you build a road on the other side of another player's settlement?
Hmm, that's interesting. Wonder why; seems like an odd design choice to allow settlements to interrupt a road while disallowing "building through", which will end up with the same result on the board eventually.
Apr
4
comment Where can I find more Brood War scenarios?
@RSid No problem; mostly just commented to make sure it doesn't get migrated :) You should give the game a shot! It's getting a little hard to find, and was pricey to start with, but it's one of the best games I've played. Definitely not just a license cash-in. I'd also be interested in more scenarios; I don't believe there are many out there, though. My impression is that most people play the free-for-all "main" mode (which, admittedly, is really fun), and therefore there hasn't been much development by fans. I could be wrong, though...
Apr
4
comment Where can I find more Brood War scenarios?
@RSid This is the Starcraft board game; they named the board game expansion Brood War, too.
Mar
24
comment How do game designers come up with suggested (or minimum) age requirements for games?
@PatLudwig Sorry; thought of a query, found the site, fixed. I still think perhaps the attribution thing is worth discussing, but maybe not here; I'll open something on meta.
Mar
24
comment How do game designers come up with suggested (or minimum) age requirements for games?
@PatLudwig I can't find the article, and have no idea how to search for it; if you have query suggestions that won't return every product with a suggested age, I'll be happy to try it. Meanwhile, ASTM F963 has to be purchased, so I can't verify the contents of that, either. I guess the downvote will have to stand unless I can find that site again. I understand your position, though if I was more concerned about reputation than helping the OP, I wouldn't post things when I don't have the source handy, and I don't know that that's a helpful policy on a board game site (i.e., not a hard science).
Mar
10
comment Why isn't the minimum bid for a property its mortgage value?
Slightly off the question's topic, but I do have a slight philosophical disagreement with the idea of not mortgaging properties to acquire more. I'm not a Monopoly strategy expert, but the best players I know all liberally mortgage properties and use the proceeds to drive up their rents elsewhere; one landing on a medium valued hotel will often bring in enough cash to unmortgage most it. I agree with your caveat that this should definitely done to complete a group, but I think there are enough other situations (trade bait etc.) that I wouldn't characterize it as a bad idea overall.
Feb
28
comment Which expansion to get for BSG Board game?
+1 for a very comprehensive answer. If you dislike the sympathizer rules (as I do), there's also an official variant for the base game that gets rid of them. I just recently found this, so I haven't tried it yet, but I probably will next time I play 4/6 without Cylon leaders. The BGG page for the rules has a disclaimer that they haven't been tested with expansions, so note that. Link: fantasyflightgames.com/ffg_content/Battlestar_Galactica/…
Feb
10
comment How do I find players willing to participate in test-playing my games?
It also matters why they dislike it. If the idea is there, but there's some mechanic that's broken (which you probably won't catch yourself, since different people have different play styles), gamers will generally be patient with that and be interested in trying again. My first run of one prototype was with my wife, who does not play games typically. There was a broken mechanic, but she essentially said that she won't ever voluntarily play it again, because she didn't see potential for her to ever enjoy it.
Feb
10
comment How do I find players willing to participate in test-playing my games?
Really? I'd believe you could do it, but it's very surprising to me that a board game could actually be faster this way (unless it's because you have a larger pool). I admit I've never tried it, but it seems like you'd lose a lot of data from misunderstood rules for a game of any complexity. Even in published games, many a gamer needs to refer to an FAQ in the middle. How do you handle questions, or ensure that they were playing correctly?
Feb
10
comment How do I tell potential game designers their ideas are bad?
+1 especially for the last sentence. Constructive criticism is the reason for playtesting/editing.
Feb
10
comment How do I find players willing to participate in test-playing my games?
This is certainly a good idea for beta testing - that is, if the game has undergone some refinements, has a rulebook that is clear and comprehensive, etc. For the first few plays, though, it's important to do it locally so that you're there to answer questions and clear up misconceptions in real time.
Feb
7
comment How To Mitigate The Random Factor In Agricola?
@thesunneversets If getting family growth actions immediately is indeed the optimal strategy in all situations at high levels of play (I don't have enough experience to assess whether or not that's true), then I don't think there's an answer to your original question; you would need to keep yourself in a position that you can take it immediately regardless of when it comes up (which I think is what warbaker was referring to). For what it's worth, I'm not talking about most of the game here; I'm saying if it comes out at Turn 5, it may make sense to wait for Turn 6, depending on the game state.
Feb
6
comment How To Mitigate The Random Factor In Agricola?
@thesunneversets I agree with about the opportunity cost. Maybe in theory family growth is always the optimal action, but what if there are 12 wood sitting there? Or you have a card that would make taking one vegetable net you 4? Or if you really need both clay and reed this turn? One of the things I like about Agricola is that everything is a trade-off - family growth is investing in the future at the expense of the present, and while it's certainly a worthwhile investment (especially due to the 3 points as you mention), I don't think it's always the best tactical move.
Jan
31
comment Where to find lists of cheap Cubes?
The link in @Hackworth's answer has quite a few lists. I just web searched "magic cube list" and got a bunch of stuff from forums on places like MTGsalvation and Wizards.
Jan
31
comment Where to find lists of cheap Cubes?
+1 because this is a good answer in general. In my case specifically, I only have 120 cards (traded most for board games when my friend was trying to quit), so I'd have to buy regardless if I was going to use official cards. (Perhaps a large lot of cheap commons would do the trick.) As for proxies, I don't mind, but half the people I play with do. They honestly might not even go for a really low powered cube, but I thought it'd be worth a shot.