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Month September 2009

Spectromancer Endnotes

History

In 2001 (I think) Alexey Stankevich created a game called Astral Tournament. On the surface it looked like a simplified Magic:The Gathering clone. Once one started to play it was easy to see that it was much more original than that. After years of difficulty in adapting Magic to online play I deeply appreciated a game that was designed for computer play from ground up.

In Astral Tournament players played dueling wizards. Each player was dealt “cards” from a common deck of 60 cards, so that 20 went to each player and 20 were unused. Each turn players gained an astral power (mana) in 5 different types of magic – earth, air, fire, water, and death. Any card a player was dealt was available to that player the whole game provided they could pay the astral power cost. Each turn a player could play exactly one card – a spell or creature. A spell had an immediate effect – like damage or healing, a creature went into one of several slots in front of the player, and each turn would attack the creature in the opposite slot or the opposing player if it was unblocked. Players took turns playing cards until one of them had no more life – and thus lost the game.

Pax Appearance!

Games with Garfield LIVE at PAX

Richard will be on the “Game Design 101″ panel at PAX Friday Morning.
Tyler will be on the “Original Gangstas” panel at PAX this Friday night.
Come by for the panels and say hello afterwards (we would love to hear what you think of our podcasts).
Tyler’s panel is in the Unicorn Theater at 6:00pm on Friday, September 4th at PAX, Richard’s will be the same room but at 10:30am.
All the information can be found here;
http://www.paxsite.com/schedule.php

See you Friday!

Who is “The Meepler”?

I received a visit today from Agent Taupe of the FBI (Fictitious Bureau of Investigations). It seemed that a game designer, who went by the handle “Buttersleeves”, had been murdered and they suspected the perpetrator was another game designer since the weapon was, wait for it…, a MEEPLE! Agent Taupe wanted a quick psych profile on designers to help in the investigation. I was more than happy to oblige.

I would have to say that most designers share many common traits. Most designers have a fairly good grasp of mathematics. Reiner Knizia and Richard Garfield both have PhD’s in mathematics, and I and several of my colleagues here in Seattle have mastered both addition and subtraction. Of course, I would obviously rule out Richard as the “Meepler” since the use of meeples as the weapon of choice would typically indicate a Eurogame designer, unless Richard is being clever because he knows that everyone would assume that a killer that used a meeple was a Eurogame designer.