I found a refurbished HP Windows Mixed Reality headset for $160. It’s the cheapest way to do virtual reality. It does 95% of what the fancy/expensive HTC Vive does. They keep the cost down by using cameras on the headset to sense the controller position instead of external sensors. We cleared out a bunch of space in the living room and I temporarily moved my computer into there. The more space you can clear, the better. But being tethered to the computer with a cable is a pain. You almost need to play barefoot so that you can feel the cable with your feet avoid getting tangled.
I pulled out an old CD-based game to play with Sean on his PC. He asked, “How do you install it?” Yeah, it’s been a while since I’ve done this.
Over the recent holidays, we got a nice chance to play some board games with Uncle BoardGame. 🙂 We played Castle Panic…a cooperative game in which you have to fend off orcs, trolls, etc. that are trying to destroy your castle. We played Bombay…a trading game in which you trade silk on cute little elephants. We played Cities…a simple little tile-building game that he was able to expand from 4 to 8 players just by buying 2 sets. My son really liked Say Anything in which you have several opinion-based questions on a card. We played a game where you balance bent-up metal rods, called Suspend. Reminded me of Jenga. Someone gave Sean Millionaire Monopoly. It’s close to normal Monopoly, except that the first person to $1M wins, so you don’t get into that depressing situation where one person takes a couple of hours to beat the other players. But this has an odd loophole where all the other players could suddenly buy one of their losing co-players’ properties and suddenly propel that person to a win…but this would be pretty spiteful!
If you play LittleBigPlanet on PS3, you may have tried some of the community levels and found them to be mostly just ripoffs of other games. The best way to find the good levels is to go to the community->search page, and search for most hearted. The quality levels are hidden there.
Also, Sean proved that there’s nothing funnier than calling someone a hacker in local multiplayer.
Today in the store, I saw a game called LOGO PARTY. It’s full of “your favorite brands”. Wow. They should pay you to take it.
Uncle Keith is visiting, so board games it is! Last night we played Shadows over Camelot…a neat cooperative board game that involves a lot of multitasking. We just barely pulled off a win. Today, we played several rounds of Escape: The Curse of the Temple. This one was an interesting cooperative 10-minute game involving a CD playing audio queues for timing and frantic dice rolling. I’d almost call it an action board game. It rewards thinking fast and observing fast. We had to cheat and remove some room tiles from the deck before we could win…maybe we’re just not fast enough. Anyway, it was playable for 9-year-olds, which was fun.
Over the holiday, we played Race for the Galaxy. It’s a sort of strategy card game…complicated to learn, but fun once you get there. You collect planets and sci-fi developments of various kinds, trying to create a balance of consumers and producers.
After playing a cooperative firefighting board game called Flash Point, I came up with the idea of one called House Work. You must clean up the childrens’ toys and take care of the other chores before the house is enveloped in utter chaos. It’s almost impossible to win because as you’re cleaning up toys in one room, the 1-year-old is scattering toys in two other rooms…somehow simultaneously. Look out! It’s an outbreak of laundry coming from the kid who’s decided to throw clean clothes directly into the laundry basket. Just like Pandemic, you almost never win.
We got to visit relatives and my uncle (super board game aficionado) was there. We played 7 Wonders, a big ole empire-planning strategy game. Pretty good, but with a high learning curve. We also played Flash Point: Fire Rescue, a cooperative firefighting game similar to Pandemic. Surprisingly, we actually won. I hear that’s rare. One pretty casual game that I found we liked a lot was Hamsterrolle. It’s a bit like Jenga, played in a circular will with inward facing slats around the edge. You’re trying to get rid of all your little wooden blocks by placing them on a wheel, making it slowly turn and eventually drop pieces out. If you cause pieces to fall out, you have to pick them up. Lots of tension and excitement in that game. Oh, another casual game we played was Luck of the Draw. Draw a random subject mentioned on a card and vote on some random criteria such as “most surprising” or “most angular”. Pretty fun.
In scrum software development, there are all these ridiculous special phrases like “story points”, “burn down”, etc. Specialized phrases always annoyed me. Why can’t you just speak in plain English? Why do they have to invent these silly terms? Is it just to protect the trademark of the process inventor? It’s kind of like Bananagrams…great (and stressful) word game, but instead of “next” you say “peel” and “bananas” instead of “done”.