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Monday
Aug172015

AndoCon 2015: Zealeus's Thoughts

Charlie summed up the overall feel of AndoCon 2015 quite well, but another thing about AndoCon (and this goes for any board game festivity I've been to) is the PUG/LFG peoples.  In the games I got to play, it was mostly by luck standing next to people who were demoing their games.  I'm not sure if there was a system in place, but for some of us floating around on our own, walking up to a group of strangers to ask in on a game is very intimidating and not in our tool chest.  So finding people to play with on your own could be difficuly at times.  Which leads to the one other thing.  In the main game room, there was little indication of who was actually demoing their games.  More of an indication of who was actually demoing would have been nice.  There was a side room with just game demos, and that worked.  Oh, and demoing games?  AWESOME!!!  Getting to play unreleased games and give feedback and play with the creater is fricking sweet.
My 2 trifles aside, AndoCon was a blast and did get to play a lot of fun games plus meet some fantastic people.
I played a lot of the same games as Charlie, so my thoughts:
  • I Drank What?  Awesome.  Party.  Game.  The premise is every player is dealt a drink card which they DO NOT KNOW.  One of them is a poison, the rest are wines.  Players then get cards in their hands to force people to drink, avoid drinking, other dastardly deeds.  The goal is, of course, to be the last wino alive.  Definitely a fun party game!
  • Oktoberfest.  Players drink wine to increase their points while increasing their tab - if your tab gets above 24, game is over.  The group aspect is players get cards to reduce tabs (both your and other players) and steal bear points, so it's a balance between increasing YOUR beer points while not letting another person's tab go above 24 unless you're the highest beer count.  It's not a bad or great game.  Was fun to play once, but honestly not something I feel the need to come back to.
  • Coup.  Along with I Drank What?, my highlight game of the weekend!  It's a game of lying, cheating, and deceiving your way to victory!  Each player starts with 2 cards, and you use (or lie about having them!!!) to get coins to kill your enemies.  There is also a mobile version of Coup, but to be honest, a lot of the fun was that human interaction and talking shit to your party mates!
  • The Resistance.  Another deceit game.  You have the Resistance and Spies, and the spies are trying to sabotage the Resistance missions.  Fun game, but I prefer Coup for the deceit style of game.  Though I may just need to play Restistance some more.  I do think Resistance would have been better with more people.
  • Murders and Acquisitions.  Light-hearted & rule-light table top RPG.  Premade characters feature cast from The Office, Archer, and Angel.  Not being much a of table top player, it took me a bit to get into it, but I really did enjoy playing M&A.  There were rules, but it was of the casual nature where people's imagination really made the game shine.
  • Legendary.  (Mostly) cooperative deck-buidling game where the Heroes of Marvel take on the enemies of, well, Marvel!  We only got to play one time and get absolutely pwned because only 1 guy had any idea what was going on.  While Legendary can have a single winner if your team beats the main boss, you MUST work together as a team or the boss will never go down anyways.  I'm not sure I got a great feel for it in my only play through, but I would love to play it again sometime!
  • 7 Wonders.  3 Ages (rounds), with each Age consisting of 7 cards.  Cards consist of resources, science, buildings, trade, military, and other such ideas to see who can gain the most Victory Points.  While cards in the 1st age give less Victory Points than the 3rd age, they can snowball and help lead you to victory.  A number of the 1st & 2nd Age cards help to produce the big Victory Point cards at the end.  It's also a card drafting game - while each age has 7 cards, you also pass the deck to the left or right after each turn.  So if there are 2 cards in a deck you really want, chances are that second card won't be there the 2nd go-round!  The other fun thing is everyone lays their cards down at the same time, so play length doesn't scale up much when you add players.
  • Werewolf.  Being way past my bedtime didn't help, but this is so not my game.
Monday
Aug172015

AndoCon 2015: A Look Back

 

Now I know that the last Look Back I wrote caused a bit of a stir with some parties, and I hope that this does as well. That being said let me tell you about AndoCon 2015. 

AndoCon 2015 took place in the Marriott behind Perimeter Mall, it was a very easy location for me to get to as I live just under 3 miles away. For those who traveled there was MARTA literally down the street and of course FREE parking. 

The one thing that I wished I saw was outer indications that AndoCon was happening in the hotel. Once you were in the hotel and took a short walk to your right you would know that something was going on, but from the outside it just looked like the hotel was doing some really good business.

So lets break this convention down a little bit more, this convention isn't aiming to be the biggest and the baddest, it is looking to be a convention where people get to hang out, play games (card games and board games), maybe playtest some exclusive games, attend and/or participate in game shows, and of course attend some panels.

Now of course if you have heard me talk about AndoCon in the past you know that I've always wanted the panels to have a bit more acknowledgement at the convention, and I think that AndoCon continues to strive to improve that piece of the convention. I'm not going to say that it is perfect, there's still some issues with the way panels went, but there were improvements from last year. 

One thing that panelist have to understand is that the panels are not the main focus on the convention, they are fun to do, and it is interesting to see what people are talking about, but most of the people that attend this convention disappear into a game room never to be heard from again, or until the hotel kicks them out. Were there panels that should have had a big draw at the convention? Absolutely. Did they get that draw? Not quite, I think the most successful panels I saw had about 10 people in attendance. What that means is a third of capacity, or better put a third of the chairs in the room. 

The other issue, which might have driven away some of the panel goers was the fact that the game shows were going on next door and both their room and the panel room doors were open so there were distractions that occurred, sometimes more often than not. The simple fact is that if you are going to be hosting a game show, you need to have an announcers voice, and when you double that with a mic, well it carries.

Now lets get to what I said is the meat of the convention and that is the gaming. Sure I missed my ONE chance to playtest the ONE game I was really interested in (they cancelled the second play session *tear), but I did get to play quite a few games that I think warrant a second look: 

The moral of the story is that if you were not at AndoCon you missed out on something special, sure there was some drama that happened, a couple of hiccups here and there, a mis-thrown pie, and lots of other "you had to be there moments". The good news for those who were in attendance as well as those, who for some reason missed this convention, is that it is coming back, and it is coming back soon. 

AndoCon 2016 will be on March 11-13 at the Marriott behind Perimeter Mall, and they are already taking pre-registration, something I highly recommend that you do so that you can find out about games you would have missed out on otherwise, you can attend a panel or two about some very interesting topics, and of course you can just have a hell of a good time.

*****

If you are hoping that I capture some of AndoCon on my camera, you would be correct, but there is a ton of editing and whatnot to be done so it might be a couple days, or a week before you get to see all that happened. 

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Thursday
Aug132015

New Layers of Fear Trailer is Now Out

Alright there's not much to say, and yes it is still just teasing us even though there is an August 27th release date, but I'm really starting to want to play this game immediately so that I can get the crap scared out of me. Yes I know I'm just weird like that.

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Sunday
Aug092015

Valve Offers Refunds to ALL Owners of a Certain Game

So I know in the past there has been this highly contested debate over how and when Valve should offer a refund, especially when it comes to Indie Games, and to be honest I've been on the fence about it myself. There are plenty of games that can be completely defeated in under the time frame required for the refund, but I think the following game is definitely a case study for allowing refunds to ALL owners, and at the same time a crafty way to cover up your shortcomings.

So there is this game, Journey of the Light, which is now unavailable for purchase, that has been labeled as one of the toughest games on Valve, its not tough in a sense that you die often and have to start over again, it is tough because its a puzzle game that doesn't give you ANY hints, ideas, direction, or anything. Many thought that they just hadn't figured out that one mechanism that would allow them to advance out of the first level. 

Well it turns out that through a little bit of backwards engineering that where there should have been seven levels, there was in fact only one, and there was something missing in the code, or potentially missing that would allow for a player to defeat that level. Now the developer has come out and said that apparently a recent update hosed all the other levels, but it is kind of odd that NO ONE is talking about EVER passing the first level before this apparent patch went in.

Now he has stayed active on twitter to talk to fans and do short ansers but isn't talking to anyone via e-mail. He has recently claimed that he's been really sick so no work has been done to fix the issue, but he has said that he's been testing the later levels although he has not been willing to show any evidence of thier existence. 

So if you have purchased this game Valve is allowing you get your money back, but if you want to wait around and see if there is a such thing as level two through seven, I guess you can play the waiting game.

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Friday
Aug072015

BRAWL Coming to PC/MAC/Linux Next Week

We are Altered Confusion have been waiting for this day, and it would appear that it is happening soon. We got the chance to interview Bloober Team a little bit ago for their game BRAWL, but it was a PS4 Exclusive at the time so we couldn't review it, but now we're going to get that chance as it lands on the computer. 

Now we too can take up the horror party game that feels like a mix of bomberman with the cast of Twisted Metal. We do have some gameplay footage of the PS4 game just to give you a little bit more of what this game actually has to offer, but I'm going to tell you this right now, this game was addicting, and we were crushed that after getting to play it with the developers that we wouldn't be able to play again for some time.

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