Guild Redemund Holiday Gift Guide 2014

I know we’re a bit late on this, but it felt like a good idea, so here’s a short one anyway. Perhaps we’ll have one in good time next year. (No, we won’t.)

Note that we are not getting any money for any of the links. They might not be the best sources, but they were the ones I found first (well, in some cases they are the only sources). Anyhow, do your own research if you want the best deal.

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Gaming and Happiness

Once again, I might be full of shit, but what I understand, psychologists studying happiness seem to believe that happiness has to be intrinsic (come from within us) to last. However, right now, most of our society seems to be geared towards getting extrinsic (from outside us) happiness.

This might sound like some New Age garbage, but this wasn’t told to us by the universe (at least not personally), but its a real result of real studies.

So, why am I writing about this in a gaming (sometimes comics) blog?

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Boardgames for Families

In advertising families and children are often synonymous. Any movie for children is advertised as a movie for the whole family. I can see why parents (which I’m not) might want to distract the children just long enough to be quiet for a bit, but that shouldn’t be the extent the adult can enjoy the situation. And studios have (sort of) understood this. Most Pixar and many DreamWorks animations take the whole family into account by making the films be more than noise and colors for the kids (which is a way too patronising view of the children anyhow).

But this is about games.

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Geek Services in Utrecht

Couple of weeks ago I was in Utrecht for the Magic: the Gathering Grand Prix, which is the highest level open tournament in the game. As usual, I regard these more like excuses to visit certain cities, so why not stay a full week at the former capital of the Kingdom of Holland.

One of the points of interests in the city for me personally, was Oudegracht (the Old Canal), as for some peculiar reason, there are seven shops dedicated to all things geeky (although, I seem to have missed one).

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Battle for New Jersey Preview

Note: This is a preview. The game is not yet published, so much of what I say might change, and I was asked to not divulge anything too specific about the system.

Note 2: The designer of the game (Teemu Vilen) is a member of the guild and thus there might be some bias. I’d like to think there isn’t much, but you never know. Also, I let Teemu read this before publishing.

Battle for New Jersey is a game set in near future, where colonizing aliens have landed on earth in order to strip the planet of its resources. I guess they could be characterized as evil, but that would be shortsighted. But not to worry, a small group of humans have banded together to use their disparate skillsets to take back their neighborhood.

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Using Games to Assess Future Employees

Last year our company (small software venture) underwent some changes and we needed to hire more people. How does one go about that? We had hired people before, but people we knew. This time there weren’t any apparent candidates we could cherrypick from. So, we put out a notice and waited for people to answer.

As a small company and with little reach for our notice, we didn’t get many applications, but some. We chose two to be interviewed. How does one assess people based on an interview? After all, we’re a small company and can’t really afford any dead weight.

My proposal was to test them through games.

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Formula D Review

Note: This is not about the Street Racing version of the game. This is purely about the Formula version, where everyone is playing basically the same car.

Formula D is just what it says on the tin. Its Formula cars racing. But you don’t have to like the sport to enjoy the game. I definitely don’t like the sport, but I do enjoy the game very much. Same applies to other people I’ve played with. Its a push-your-luck game with a strong feel for the theme.

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Looking at Things from Other People’s Perspectives

Recently it was announced that the former Team Star City Games (the professional MtG team sponsored by the largest reseller of MtG-related stuff in the world) had switched to being sponsored by Channel Fireball, which already had its own team. One of the results of this change was that the team no longer had a name and this age of social media, they went out and asked people what name they should use. They got some fairly good answers, such as ProsBloom, which I would have enjoyed (it being another iconic combo from the early days of magic, just like Channel and Fireball).

Then there were answer like City of Traitors, Act of Treason and Dark Betrayal.

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