A Roll and Write Experience

Frustration. For weeks that was the predominant emotion. Maybe weeks is a bit too long, but for sure it was frustration. You see, I’d decided to enter the GenCan’t Roll and Write contest. A game design contest that with a one month deadline, that needed to involve standard dice (the roll bit), that involved writing on paper (eh…the write part), and that MUST include a solo mode. All three things made me uncomfortable as a designer. Generally I don’t like dice. I’ve very little experience with roll and write games. I’ve more experience with solo games, but have never designed one, and any ambitions I’ve had to design one usually end with exasperation as I try to find the balance between replayability (generally through random events, unpredictable outcomes etc.) and making the game about skill, not luck (generally though reducing randomness, avoiding hugely unpredictable outcomes). Continue reading

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Coffee Roaster

I’ve never roasted coffee. I do enjoy a good cup of coffee, and we’re lucky to have some very well regarded roasters in Dublin, like 3fe, Roasted Brown and Coffee Angel. Given my lack of coffee roasting experience, what follows is a wholly groundless assertion: it’s an art. Sure, you can measure the roasting time, the temperature, but I bet it’s never 100% exactly right every time. Neither is a game of Coffee Roaster, a solo game from Japan. Sure, you can math out some bits, try to count and make sure you’re as close as possible, but things don’t always go as expected, and you end up with a horrible cup of coffee from an over-roasted bean. Continue reading

First Impressions: Honshu

 

Honshu is the main island of Japan. Why is this game called Honshu? No idea. What is this game’s connection to Japan? Seriously, no idea. But it doesn’t matter because what lies inside the box with the lovely art is a smart game. It mixes common mechanics so well that it could become one of my favourite games. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: I’ve only played it a few times, so let me just talk about my first impressions. Continue reading

The Crafty Podcast – Episode 07: The Theme is the Thing

The Crafty Podcast Episode 07 is now online!

Also available on iTunes & Stitcher! Be sure to rate and subscribe so you don’t miss an episode!

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