Sunday, July 27

Space to Think

I've spent the last week in the Lake District with my in-laws (4 of them!). It's a beautiful part of the country with rugged scenery, fantastic walks and peaceful lakes. With six adults to one child, the staffing ratio was such that we could relax and chill out, and the lack of any mobile signal or broadband internet meant that there were no distractions. We had a lovely time, walking, eating, relaxing and gaming (my sister-in-law and her husband are usually up for a game, and The Wife and her brother are occasionally).

The view from our cottage

We did a few walks of around 4 or 5 miles with some decent climbing involved and it felt great to not be hampered by my MS, even though I was carrying all forty stone of The Daughter in a rucksack carrier on my back (note for Americans/Europeans: forty stone is 560lbs or approximately 250kg, she doesn't really weight that - she's only two, it just felt like it). In the past I've struggled with shorter walks on my good days so it felt great to be able to crack on without the exhaustion that can accompany significant exertion. I even felt like I could have kept going, maybe doing as much as seven or eight miles. It's an amazing feeling. It was probably better to have stopped when I did though, it was better to stop wanting more rather than run myself into the ground and risk injury through over-tiredness.

Gaming wise, we mostly played short games, with Martian Dice (only bought a week or so ago!) the clear winner - we played it a lot. On my return I also made it to Newcastle Gamers for what must be the first time in at least three months. I just missed out on a game of Splendor, so I sat and watched that while chatting to Dan and Gareth who were playing. Gareth reckons it would be a hit with my gaming group and he may well be right, though I'll play it a few times before deciding whether or not to get it. Afterwards we played K2 (another one ticked off my list of games to play this year) and then Cavemen: The Quest for Fire. We got the auction rules wrong on this one, so it's hard to form an opinion on it.

While away I had plenty of time and space to think about the games I'm designing. I'm still trying to think of cards to replace the Open Cage / Containment Facility pair in Zombology, but I did manage to come up with a solution for the confusion of who plays their cards first when multiple players play events in the same round. I'd tell you all about it, but I told Dan at Newcastle Gamers on Saturday evening and he came up with a much better idea, so I'm going to steal adopt that instead.

I also had some ideas about Codename: Vacuum while I was away. I've done absolutely nothing with Vacuum since January, struggling to think of ways to reduce the bookkeeping elements of it, while keeping the feel of the different strategies. I had an idea about how to streamline trading that I think will improve things. It also has the added advantage of simplifying the game too. Now I need to knock up another prototype of Vacuum as well...

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