Saturday, April 11, 2015

For future reference – US Census Microdata

The other day, took the kids to the Niagara Aquarium.
On our way home, desperate for bathroom, we stopped at the Tuscarora Reservation. Inside, there is a tiny museum with awesome maps. 

Snapping pictures of them does no justice. They are gorgeous prints. I found out that they are from the 1892 Census.

Looking around online, I found this website with the actual images. The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series website is not just information on the US Census, it is data on individuals. What an excellent historical document.
I am pretty sure they didn’t think of someone pulling maps from the public documents, but what a wonderful resource for history and art.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Next → Stupid Saucy and XFCE Minecraft Trick

Installing Minecraft on a Chromebook is simple. Get Crouton, install Saucy and XFCE then get stuck. Why stuck?
You need to change the permissions of the Minecraft.jar to be an executable.
On many versions of Ubuntu, it is a simple matter of right clicking and checking the “make executable” check box. Using the standard Thunar XFCE file manager, that isn’t an option.
You have a couple of choices here. Installing a new file manager is a possibility, but if you are running XFCE or other light version of Linux, maybe you simply don’t want to do that.
This is a great chance to use the terminal to do what you want. The command needed is “sudo chmod +x”.


As you can see from the screenshot, I am using XFCE on a Chromebook, so my directory line is a little different.


Supporting the Story

Last month, TheseOldGames.com provided two raffle baskets to Boy Scout Troop 601. Each basket had a board game, a set of dice, decks of cards and two sets of Story Cubes. Funds raised allow the Troop to absorb some of the cost of outing and activities such as summer camp.
Rory’s Story Cubes are a great, family friendly way to break the ice.
Having given away 4 sets, I am dying to purchase one (or more) for myself. You can check out the story behind Rory’s Story Cubes over on Youtube or click the video below.





Hooked on Destiny

It is rather simple game, three classes, a couple of sub-classes and a bunch of armor and weapons. But the stories and different modes of play are really entertaining.
You are a guardian, your companions are a Ghost to provide details and wit and a lot of firepower. You must fight to free Earth, the Moon, Mars and Venus.
Right now I found the perfect farm location on the Moon. You can check out the details on this sweet farm right here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Prioritizing Fun

I have so many great games to play, I keep putting off my D&D campaign. I need to prioritize my choices. Here are the games that have me hooked right now:
NHL 2015 by EA Sports
EA Sports has been doing the NHL series for years and it is still very addictive. I love the season system, building teams and players against the league. 





Destiny by Bungie
This one reminds me of Marathon and I love the game play. I haven’t really gotten into it too deeply, but it is a great way to blow off steam. It is expansive yet simple. 

Starfleet Battles and the family of great games by Amarillo Design Bureau
Star Fleet Battles. Or more correctly some mini’s a purchased a while back. I want to get these done so I can play with models.
Additionally, I picked up Federation Space from Warehouse 23. This is the game that really sparked my imagination as a child and directly lead to me playing Star Fleet Battles. I want to try this one with the kiddos.
I also want to sit down and design a custom ship with a great scenario hook and submit both to ADB. SFB is so expansive, that Amarillo Design Bureau needs to strike a balance between fun and reasonability. I really can’t decide if the hooks are good enough for submission or not. No way to tell if I don’t give it a shot.
D&D
Dungeons and Dragons. I have a campaign setting I’ve been working and want to see it in action.
For the past 7 months, I have been teaching a class on religion and this has noticeably affected my D&D campaign plans. I have created a Stave Church Map, a temple dedicated to the planets and a homely inn for the characters to relax at between adventures.
Gemstone IV
Gemstone IV just went F2P and I am hooked once again.

I really want to hammer out a more up to date review of Gemstone IV, but the game has so much depth, it is hard to wrap my mind round.

Rifts
On the way back burner is Rifts. I just picked up Triax and the NGR.
I’d really like to create a campaign for this game with a lighter, more humorous background. Nothing says lack of humor like a post-apocalyptic world. As always with Palladium, the main hook is the artwork.




Around Christmas time, we implemented Family Game Night. I can’t really complain about a lack of playing options. Nothing is more fun and rewarding that setting up Risk, Monopoly or Uno with the family and having a great time.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Map - Temple of the Wanderers


I am fooling around with various temple ideas for a D&D campaign.


This is The Temple of Wanderers. It is a simple mud brick and thatch construction. It is dedicated to the sky. The central dais is for the sun and Mercury. The upper left dais is for Mars, while the right is for Venus. The lower two are Jupiter on the left and then Saturn. Mars and Jupiter are surrounded by red wooden posts and handrails, while the other two daises have yellowish trappings.
The rectangular structure has four stone columns and descends 6 feet into the ground. This space is dedicated to the Moon.

Updated with scanned maps.

click to enlarge
click to enlarge