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Subject: Geek of the Week: Mr. Ekted (ekted) rss

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Jay Little
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I've enjoyed my time as Geek of the Week, but now it's time to step down and introduce the new Geek of the Week, Ekted.

User profile: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/ekted

Ekted enjoys the anonymity of the internet, preferring to go by his user ID than his real name. But that doesn't mean he's a passive participant by any means. Ekted is a GeekLister, game reviewer, forum contributor, PBEM (play-by-email) boardgame player, active Blogger and always looking at ways BGG can be improved. And he doesn't beat around the bush -- after reading his posts, you rarely have to guess where Ekted stands or what his opinion is.

You can read up on previous Geeks of the Week using this handy list of forum threads:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/84208

I'll kick things off with a few questions -- please jump right in and give Ekted a warm, rousing Geek of the Week welcome:

1) The de facto ice-breaker game for Geek of the Week is "Two Truths and a Lie" -- you tell us three things about yourself. Two are true one is a lie. We have to guess which is false. (hints: Try to make your truths the most unexpected things about yourself to trick us. The lie can be very close to the truth.) Don't tell us which one is the lie til the end of the week.

2) Tell us a bit about yourself -- what do you do for a living and how did you get into gaming? Whatever you can share without revealing your secret identity

3) Many of your GeekLists and Blogs seem to take a look at games from a mathematical, analytical way -- what sort of things catch your eye about a game that inspire you to write about them in this way?

4) I know you've tried a lot of PBEM (play-by-email or play-by-post) games on a lot of different sites. What are your two favorite PBEM boardgames at the moment, and what makes them so good? (include links, please)

5) What characteristics help a game lend itself to a PBEM environment? Which two games do you think would make great PBEM games?

6) What recent developments on the BoardGameGeek (last 6 months or so) do you think are big steps in the right direction to improving the site and community?

7) What tweaks or updates would you like to see implemented on BoardGameGeek to improve functionality and utility for users?

8) Your Top 10 and Hot Games list a lot of analytical, "heavy" games (Taj Mahal, Euphrat & Tigris, Keythedral, El Grande) -- what appeals to you most about heavier games?

9) On the flip side of the spectrum, what are your favorite filler, light & fluffy games?

10) If you could set up a game session with any 3 famous people from history, what game would it be, and who would you play against?

11) You note Red Dwarf, Monty Python's Flying Circus & Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as favorites of yours -- what is it about British Comedy that tickles your funny bone?

12) You only rate one game a "10" on the BGG Scale -- Taj Mahal. Please share with us why Taj Mahal deserves the only Perfect 10 (especially since the rating is based on just one play) you've come across so far.

Thanks, Ekted -- enjoy your week of Geekish infamy!


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Yehuda Berlinger
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Hey, Mr E. Nice to see you here.

I love Maine, and I keep promising myself that if I ever get to the U.S. again for a real vacation that I will go back.

What are your favorite things about, and places in, Maine?

Yehuda
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Matthew M Monin
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Congratulations, ekted.

 


In my gaming group the top left monument tile from the game Ra has been dubbed the "ekted" - does your group follow a similar naming convention?

Your ratings graph features an interesting curve - it appears that 8 is your standard rating for a very good game. And while it is fairly easy for a game to score less than 8, it isn't at all an easy matter to score higher. What general heuristics do you use when assigning ratings?

How many times have people that only know you by your username mistakenly call you Ted?

-MMM
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Nick Fisk
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That's weird. This bit used to mention Shire Games, and tell you all how wonderful we are. But it seems to have got deleted. Let's see what happens this time ....
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"Mister Ekted" .... I just got that blush

Have a good week ... I'll come back if I ever manage to think of an interesting question


N.
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John Brier
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Congrats on being geek of thw week! A couple questions.

How did things work out in your at first tempestuous relationship with BSW owing to what you found to be an obnoxious interface - did you make it over the hump or never went back?

Did you ever end up buying and playing Bonaparte at Marengo? I just played that for the first time last week and was very impressed. Heartily recommend it as the perfect wargame for Euro gamer.

Your most notable characteristic in my mind is your fascination with rulebooks, to the extent that (it seems?) the rulebook is an entity you "study" in itself and your evaluation of it has a bearing on your impression of the game itself. So firstly,

What game(s) have you played where the rulebook was most influential in your like/dislike of a game?

and,

To what aspect of your personality and/or historical antecedent do you attribute this fascination with rules?


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Paul Sommer
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On a lighter Note .....

Is there a Mrs.Ekted and if is how does she view your gaming? ,if not WAS there a Mrs.Ekted and was it your gaming that was the last straw ?
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L Myrick
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Congratulations on being the geek of the week! Well deserved.
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MSV Burns
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Ok, forget about BGG and boardgames for just a second.

I don't know how many BGGers know about Ekted's farflung internet-related fame, but I'm curious about one of his earlier endeavors.

Ekted, please say something about Subspace. What are your feelings about the current state of the game?

Are you surprised that there is, in fact, a current state of the game?

I've long thought it was one of the coolest things to be had on these internets, even though I played a couple thousand hours and never really got very good at it.

The fact that SS is simple, yet deep and incredibly compelling, reminds me a lot of eurogames, and I take its continued popularity as partial proof of marqos' first theorem of gaming: "Gameplay rules over all."

What can game designers (and players) learn from the fact that a dinosaur like this can still roam the dusty corners of the net?

P.S. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, start here at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SubSpace_%28computer_game%29

Then download the client and see what you make of it. If you have an addictive personality, beware... wow

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Gerald McDaniel
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Congratulations ekted! You are an interesting person, and I'm sure everyone here will enjoy learning more about you.

Have fun!
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Gerald McDaniel
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Oh, yes -- why don't you share your latke recipe? (And this time, remember the onions.......)

laugh
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Jim Cote
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ynnen wrote:
I've enjoyed my time as Geek of the Week, but now it's time to step down and introduce the new Geek of the Week, Ekted.

User profile: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/user/ekted

Ekted enjoys the anonymity of the internet, preferring to go by his user ID than his real name. But that doesn't mean he's a passive participant by any means. Ekted is a GeekLister, game reviewer, forum contributor, PBEM (play-by-email) boardgame player, active Blogger and always looking at ways BGG can be improved. And he doesn't beat around the bush -- after reading his posts, you rarely have to guess where Ekted stands or what his opinion is.


Thank you, Jay, for passing the GeekTorch (tm) to me. I will bear it, and my internet soul, to the best of my ability. Long ago, when I first started playing with the internet, I decided that I would try to separate my real identity with my virtual one. Call it an abundance of caution. Some day I may give in. My real name is Jim. Please call me Jim if you like. Despite trying to separate my identities, I am essentially the same person in real life that you know here. Some people might seem meek in real life and real "bad boys" online. I try to be honest to myself. I wouldn't say anything here that I wouldn't say to someone's face.

ynnen wrote:
1) The de facto ice-breaker game for Geek of the Week is "Two Truths and a Lie" -- you tell us three things about yourself. Two are true one is a lie. We have to guess which is false. (hints: Try to make your truths the most unexpected things about yourself to trick us. The lie can be very close to the truth.) Don't tell us which one is the lie til the end of the week.


1. I saw the original Star Wars three days in a row when it first came out in the theater.

2. I saw E.T. three days in a row when it first came out in the theater.

3. I saw Wargames three days in a row when it first came out in the theater.

Not very exciting, eh?

ynnen wrote:
2) Tell us a bit about yourself -- what do you do for a living and how did you get into gaming? Whatever you can share without revealing your secret identity


I am 42 and live in Maine. I have lived here all my life (so far). While I have no love of the cold, I do enjoy the mild summer weather. The worst case is usually about a week of 95F 95% humidity. I live with my girlfriend Mary Ann (for 13 years). We are 5 minutes from the ocean, and about 30 minutes from some decent hiking.

I am a software designer by trade and by hobby. I worked at Innovative/Informix Software on the Smart Software System. This was an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, database, modem communications package) for DOS before Windows existed. I worked at DeLorme Mapping on apps like Street Atlas, Map'n'Go, and the GPS driving system. I also worked at Tundra Semiconductor designing computer chips.

At 37, I got bored with Electrical Engineering, left my job, and just didn't bother to look for another. It's been just short of 5 years now, and I'm still just enjoying my "retirement", which is why you will see my posts here at all times of day. In general, I am a night owl, but my natural day is more like 27-30 hours. So every once in a while I'll just stay up all night and all day the next day, and make up for it with 10-12 hours of sleep.

Ok, now the controvertial part. Over the years, I have refined a specific description for myself which seems to ring true in every possible circumstance. I have a list of 8 [Edit] things that I hate. Those who know me can always judge my reaction to something based on these 8 criteria. I hate...

Traveling: I just like being home. All my stuff is here. I know where to get the food I like. I don't like being someplace new or on unknown roads. [Edit] Gaming is really testing me here. I'd love to go to a convention or simply travel a "little" to find more serious gamers.

Dressing Up: Formality is a stupid tradition probably created by the upper class to make themselves visually "superior" to the lower classes. Being comfortable is more important. I look down on people in suits.

Dancing: I don't dance, period. Nor do I participate in any other mindless group activities where everyone tries to fit in by being equally stupid (eg drinking/parties/bars, watching sports, work-required team-building stuff like outward bound).

Religion: I am an atheist, and always have been. I was the 5-year-old kid on the bus trying to convince 10-year-olds that Santa wasn't real. I was the 5-year-old sitting in church wondering how they could get so many people together to try to trick me. I don't begrudge anyone their tastes in life, but I am simply flat out mind boggled that people are religious, and given our constitution I find the ubiquity of religion in law and government to be insulting.

Ceremony/Celebration: I do not like holidays, birthdays, or any other arbitrary events based on the position of the Earth and Sun.

Being Cold: I would rather be 20 degrees too hot than 10 degrees too cold.

Random Crowds: I don't like the feeling that I'm supposed to engage in polite chit chat with strangers who I will never see again in my life. Give me a book and a sound-proof room. However, other than having to travel, a game convention would be awesome.

Noise: I do like to talk. Ask anyone who I've spent hours with on Skype in the wee hours of the morning. Noise prevents that. I do not like bars, concerts, crowded theaters/restaurants, etc.

So you can imagine my predicament when I was the best man in my brother's wedding in Maryland in the winter. All 7 of the above came crashing together in a week of hell. laugh

I worked with 2 guys who played bridge. Long after I left that job, one of them got me playing Settlers of Catan online. I stumbled onto BGG one day looking up SoC information. Like most "outsiders" I had no idea how many great games existed. Now I'm just playing catch-up. You can read more about me in an old blog post:

http://ekted.blogspot.com/2005/08/gamers.html

ynnen wrote:
3) Many of your GeekLists and Blogs seem to take a look at games from a mathematical, analytical way -- what sort of things catch your eye about a game that inspire you to write about them in this way?


Game tastes really are subjective. I may really like one auction game, and really dislike another. So I'm constantly asking myself why. I look for more subtle similarities between the games I like. That naturally leads me to all sorts of thoughts on luck, theme, winning, granularity, etc. In some sense, my blog is just me talking to myself about this stuff.

ynnen wrote:
4) I know you've tried a lot of PBEM (play-by-email or play-by-post) games on a lot of different sites. What are your two favorite PBEM boardgames at the moment, and what makes them so good? (include links, please)


Being a software designer, I am particularly sensitive to user interface. I have discussed this in the following two blog posts:

http://ekted.blogspot.com/2006/02/play-by-web.html
http://ekted.blogspot.com/2006/02/play-by-web-part-ii.html

I think the best 2 current PbW games are Hansa and Samurai, which are both available at http://www.mabiweb.com/ He does a fantastic job presenting the game board itself as well as making the controls intuitive and all but foolproof. MaBi is currently working on In The Shadow of the Emperor which I can't wait to try.

I should also give some nods to Tikal (http://www.spielbyweb.com/index.php), Torres (http://www.boiteajeux.net/), and Through the Desert and Vinci (http://www.ludagora.net/) for their fairly nice presentations.

ynnen wrote:
5) What characteristics help a game lend itself to a PBEM environment? Which two games do you think would make great PBEM games?


This is an easy one. There needs to be very limited player interaction. If every player has to give some kind of input on every turn, it can be a long wait. I realize people used to play games by mail over a period of months and years, but in today's world a day is a long time. In PbW, it doesnt' matter if it takes you 2 hours to figure out what you want. When you finally decide, you enter your "moves" and click done. Then it's the next player's turn.

I don't envy the SpielByWeb guys trying to design Caylus as a PbW game. Think about how many "waits" there are. About 15 turns. Each turn, players might place up to 6 workers. Then each building has to be resolved--about half of them requiring input. Even at 10 player inputs per day, that can be 50 days to play a game. One way to minimize this is to pre-enter your choices (eg I'll take wood here, I'll take the denier track for my favor, etc.). But many times you really need to wait to see what others do before making that choice.

I'd like to see Carolus Magnus and Tower of Babel implemented as PbW games. They both have little or no interaction. Turns are simple and quick. The interaction in ToB is simultaneous. As runners up, I would mention San Marco and perhaps Elasund.

ynnen wrote:
6) What recent developments on the BoardGameGeek (last 6 months or so) do you think are big steps in the right direction to improving the site and community?


There's a difficult line to walk between the serious BGG users and the "unwashed masses". If the interface is too simple, then it becomes difficult to access the complex data that we all rely on every day. If it's too complex, then no new users are going to be able to navigate the site, or even be able to ask HOW to navigate it.

Customizability is a pretty big deal. The recent update went a long way towards that. I hope they go further. "They" being Aldie.

Connectivity is next. BGG does a fantastic job of letting us get the data we need, and submit the content we want.

ynnen wrote:
7) What tweaks or updates would you like to see implemented on BoardGameGeek to improve functionality and utility for users?


Consistency. This is getting better, but still has a long way to go. People use interfaces in different ways, but we all have a common practice. We all use cues to help us quickly navigate complexity. These cues can be color, text (content, typeface, size), symbols, and location on the screen. Is every row in a table the same height? When you click on a filename anywhere on the site, do you download the file? Do all input pages have the same functionality?

There are too many colors, too many different text sizes, too many visual things that break up a page that don't need to be there, too much wasted space.

ynnen wrote:
8) Your Top 10 and Hot Games list a lot of analytical, "heavy" games (Taj Mahal, Euphrat & Tigris, Keythedral, El Grande) -- what appeals to you most about heavier games?


I love having tough choices. Even in a light game like Through the Desert, you have to make tough choices. I like games that have tough choices as part of the design, and games where you can take actions to purposely give tough choices to your opponent(s).

ynnen wrote:
9) On the flip side of the spectrum, what are your favorite filler, light & fluffy games?


Ra - If you can call that light and fluffy.

Carcassonne - Usually goes over well with casual gamers. No real options to worry about other than WHERE.

Alhambra - Less interaction. Feels a little less random than Carc.

ynnen wrote:
10) If you could set up a game session with any 3 famous people from history, what game would it be, and who would you play against?


I'd play Taj Mahal against Reiner Knizia, Archimedes, and Kiera Knightley. I'll leave it up to your imaginations as to why. laugh

ynnen wrote:
11) You note Red Dwarf, Monty Python's Flying Circus & Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as favorites of yours -- what is it about British Comedy that tickles your funny bone?


British comedy writing is superior to American in every way. It's got a wonderful sarcastic edge, it tends to be more irreverent, and well...being American, certain things only sound funny with a British accent. British comedy actors are also superior. Ours are rubbish.

Even a chick flick like Notting Hill is tolerable because of Hugh Grant's humor. John Hannah was fantastic in Sliding Doors.

ynnen wrote:
12) You only rate one game a "10" on the BGG Scale -- Taj Mahal. Please share with us why Taj Mahal deserves the only Perfect 10 (especially since the rating is based on just one play) you've come across so far.


Yes, I've only played Taj Mahal once, and only then at Gamebox Online (the interface is terrible by the way *g*). Taj Mahal is the only game that I've ever read the rules to that clicked so perfectly into place in my mind. It's got a spatial element, a very unique auction, resource management, set collection, special actions, and card drafting. But each aspect of the game is almost understated by design. You cannot desribe it as "an auction game" or "a set collection game" and do the game justice. I guess I would say it has "a little of everything". You can make a plan but you also have to think of your feet. The game setup is random and the cards are shuffled, so no two games will be exactly the same. At this point, I can't guarantee I will ove it forever, so in that sense, it probably shouldn't be a 10. That is why I have the 1-play caveat.

If I ever design a game and get it published, I hope it will have as much an affect on others as Taj had on me.

ynnen wrote:
Thanks, Ekted -- enjoy your week of Geekish infamy!


Thanks for giving my fingers such a workout. I'll be getting to the rest of the posts shortly.


- Jim

http://ekted.blogspot.com/
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Jim Cote
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Shade_Jon wrote:
Hey, Mr E. Nice to see you here.

I love Maine, and I keep promising myself that if I ever get to the U.S. again for a real vacation that I will go back.

What are your favorite things about, and places in, Maine?

Yehuda


I don't travel much, even in-state. But locally I do enjoy the beach, long walks down tree-lined roads, some small "mountain" hikes, and some of the local food. Maine is a very quiet place. The largest city, Portland, has only 65,000 people. Maine is famous for lobster, blueberries, and potatoes. Of those, I only like potatoes. But I also enjoy the local Fish, Scallops, Maine Shrimp (the tiny tender kind, not the kind used in shrimp cocktail). I also love pizza. Maine is not famous for pizza, but...

Trivia: Maine has the highest per capita number of pizza places of all states.

State Animal: Moose
State Flower: white pine cone and tassel
State Berry: Wild Blueberry
State Bird: Chickadee
State Fish: landlocked Salmon
State Fossil: Pertica quadrifaria
State Tree: white pine
State Mineral: tourmaline
State Insect: Honeybee
State Cat: Maine Coon Cat
State Soil: Chesuncook Soil Series
State Herb: Wintergreen
State Song: “State of Maine Song”
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Jim Cote
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Octavian wrote:
In my gaming group the top left monument tile from the game Ra has been dubbed the "ekted" - does your group follow a similar naming convention?


Hahaha! The people I game with locally barely even know about BGG.

Octavian wrote:
Your ratings graph features an interesting curve - it appears that 8 is your standard rating for a very good game. And while it is fairly easy for a game to score less than 8, it isn't at all an easy matter to score higher. What general heuristics do you use when assigning ratings?


Every few months I go through my game list to see if my relative ratings have changed. Sometimes I decide that a few games need to be switched, but it is rare. I do try to apply the BGG guidelines to my ratings, but it is never clear cut. My heuristic is to find the spot in the games I've already rated where the new game goes.

Perhaps one reason for the unusual curve is this. When I initially found BGG I made several impulse buys, or bought games with less information that was available to me. Now that I have lots of Geek Buddies and am willing to read everything available and ask questions, I'm pretty much only buying games I know I will like.

The only game in recent memory that was almost a mistake was Reef Encounter. I was hot for it after reading the rules...twice. But after playing on SpielByWeb, I decided instantly that it wasn't for me. In some games, it's a huge leap from understanding HOW to play to knowing if the game is fun.

I hope people are more willing to use Geek Buddy Analysis than simple rating when researching a new game. Who cares if I love a game or hate it? The real issue is WHY and how my thoughts on other games match yours. I'd hate for new BGG'ers to blindly say, "Hmm. Puerto Rico is #1. I guess I'll buy that." In my case it was, "Hmm. Puerto Rico is #1. I guess I'll check out the rules."

Octavian wrote:
How many times have people that only know you by your username mistakenly call you Ted?


Very few actually. Most get the play on words right off. The surprising part is that many people who have known me for years will suddenly say, "Oh! I just got your name!"
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Jim Cote
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verandi wrote:
How did things work out in your at first tempestuous relationship with BSW owing to what you found to be an obnoxious interface - did you make it over the hump or never went back?


The first time I went there, someone led me through enough steps to get into the game they were going to show me. I hated it right off, and soon stopped going altogether. Then when I wanted to play/try other games, I went back and configured the client to be as tolerable as possible...which is sadly still all but intolerable.

I do still go back once in a while, but I don't like just hanging out. It's often difficult getting mutli-player games going with friends, and I prefer not to play with random people.

verandi wrote:
Did you ever end up buying and playing Bonaparte at Marengo? I just played that for the first time last week and was very impressed. Heartily recommend it as the perfect wargame for Euro gamer.


I would buy it (and Friedrich) if I had a local player who was interested. I ran the images and some of the descriptions by my brother, and he was underwhelmed. He was my best hope. So if I ever meet any BGG'ers out there (travel? me?) with either of these games, I'm going to make you play these with me.

verandi wrote:
Your most notable characteristic in my mind is your fascination with rulebooks, to the extent that (it seems?) the rulebook is an entity you "study" in itself and your evaluation of it has a bearing on your impression of the game itself. So firstly,

What game(s) have you played where the rulebook was most influential in your like/dislike of a game?


Well, let's see. I have 2 issues with rulebooks:

1. They need to describe how to play the game completely and unambiguously. For most of people, this is their ONLY source of information. The rule book is the source of clarification/resolution if any issues come up during play. Certain designers/publishers do not playtest, and it's clear from the rules that this is so.

2. The rulebook is one manifestation of the designer's and publisher's passion and commitment for the game. If they aren't willing, for example, to have a 10-year-old spellcheck it, then they are insulting the consumer.

Rulebooks will never turn me on to a bad game, but they might turn me off of a good game.

I think the Reef Encounter rules got me interested. Of course the theme might as well be Brain Surgery to the average non-marine-biologist, but I did eventually internalize the mechanics and found the rules to be very straight forward.

My most recent rules disappointment was Byzantium. I think Martin Wallace has lots of great games in his head, but that they never quite completely make it onto paper. Many say the rules are solid, but I think the 39 threads say otherwise. I don't mean to pick on Martin Wallace, because he is not the worse by any means. Once I got through all my questions, I did buy the game along with Struggle of Empires. I already owned Liberte.

verandi wrote:
To what aspect of your personality and/or historical antecedent do you attribute this fascination with rules?


I am fascinated with all kinds of technical and scientific learning. I watch everything on the Discover Channels. I love all the nerdy movies (Wargames, The Net, Hackers, Sneakers, Short Circuit, Matrix, Contact), TV shows (Star Trek, Monk, Numb3rs, Battlestar Galatica), and books (fantasy, sci-fi, computer).

So combining my programming background, the quest for tech/science, and my obsession for user interface (presentation), I am a tough customer for rule books. Also, in software every possible condition has to be accounted for or you have a bug. "Ooops, the space shuttle just blew up. We'll post FAQ/errata on our web site next week."
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Jim Cote
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TiNYTimIDFluffYBunnY wrote:
On a lighter Note .....

Is there a Mrs.Ekted and if is how does she view your gaming? ,if not WAS there a Mrs.Ekted and was it your gaming that was the last straw ?


Yes there is. My girlfriend Mary Ann and I have been together for 13 years. She plays the most games with me of anyone. She's not nearly as serious as I am, but she enjoys games like: Euphrates and Tigris, Carolus Magnus, San Marco, and Rheinlander. She is very supportive, but doesn't like to "add new games to our list" very often. The last new one was Elasund on my birthday 3 weeks ago. About a month before that, I taught her how to play Ra.

There have been no real flops yet with her, although we decided to not play Die Magier von Pangea any more with just 2 players.
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Jim Cote
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Marqos wrote:
Ok, forget about BGG and boardgames for just a second.

I don't know how many BGGers know about Ekted's farflung internet-related fame, but I'm curious about one of his earlier endeavors.

Ekted, please say something about Subspace. What are your feelings about the current state of the game?

Are you surprised that there is, in fact, a current state of the game?

I've long thought it was one of the coolest things to be had on these internets, even though I played a couple thousand hours and never really got very good at it.

The fact that SS is simple, yet deep and incredibly compelling, reminds me a lot of eurogames, and I take its continued popularity as partial proof of marqos' first theorem of gaming: "Gameplay rules over all."

What can game designers (and players) learn from the fact that a dinosaur like this can still roam the dusty corners of the net?

P.S. For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, start here at wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SubSpace_%28computer_game%29

Then download the client and see what you make of it. If you have an addictive personality, beware... wow


Marqos, do I know you by another name?

He's right. I am an administrator of one server (of many) of a game called Subspace. It's a multi-player 2d ship combat game. There are so many configurable options that dozens of servers exist each with their own style of game. The server I run is called Powerball. It's basically soccer...in a maze...with spaceships. You pass a "powerball" from ship to ship, trying to score it in a goal area. You try to steal the ball and defend your goal by killing the enemy with bullets, bombs, and a handful of other special features. This game is over 12 years old and I still play it almost every day.

Subspace was created by Virgin Interactive Electronics back in the mid 90's. They sold off all their intellectual property except Subspace (sort of). So it became virtual dead-ware.

The client was soon the target for hackers. Since a real-time game with lots of things going on pretty much has to be controlled from the client side, all it takes is someone with a little knowlegde of its inner workings to be able to cheat. An app called Twister was created that let you do all sorts of illegal things by command.

A guy named Priit Kasesalu and I rewrote the client from scratch to not only provide more protections from cheating, but also to add more features to the game. If that strange name sounds familiar, Priit is one of the people who designed the networking cores for Kazaa and Skype--quite the resume.

Like Marqos said, it is not the flash that makes the game compelling. It's the gameplay. And since you play against people in real-time, every game is different. I am not at all surprised it's still around. Games that are simple yet deep without too much "samey-ness" will last a long time.
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Jim Cote
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gamesgrandpa wrote:
Oh, yes -- why don't you share your latke recipe? (And this time, remember the onions.......)

laugh


Hehe! gamesgrandpa is referring to this blog post: http://ekted.blogspot.com/2006/03/latkes-and-camels.html

2 potatoes, peeled, shredded, squeezed
1/2 onion, shredded
1 egg
1.5 Tbsp flour
salt & pepper to taste

Drop by large spoonfuls into a pan with 1/8" (3mm) of oil at medium heat. Flatten them out. Cook on each side until golden.

I now make them even easier by buying bags of pre-shedded potatoes. They are just as good, and it cuts prep time in half.
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Robin
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I noticed that you list the Riftwar Saga as a favorite book. Did you enjoy any other books by Raymond Feist? I have been meaning to read Faerie Tale soon.

Are you into comic books at all? The Riftwar Saga is coming out as a comic book.
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John Lyne
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Thanks Nick, I hadn't appreciated that there was a play on words (with Mister Ekted) until you mentioned it. It took me a while but I'm there.
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Jim Cote
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Helenoftroy wrote:
I noticed that you list the Riftwar Saga as a favorite book. Did you enjoy any other books by Raymond Feist? I have been meaning to read Faerie Tale soon.

Are you into comic books at all? The Riftwar Saga is coming out as a comic book.


You make a good point. I have not looked at any other Feist books. However, when I finished The Black Magician trilogy by Trudi Canavan, I immediately bought her next book, Priestess of the White. I don't read comics of any sort.
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Morgan Dontanville
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If raw sewage were to spill into your house which games would you refuse to throw out?

Would you rather lose your nose or both your ears?

What song would you like to be played at your funeral?

What is your favorite flavor?

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Jim Cote
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sisteray wrote:
If raw sewage were to spill into your house which games would you refuse to throw out?


Everything I have can be replaced, and almost everything could be replaced by new/shrink copies. My obsession is really not in the physical games themselves, but in the playing of them and in having lots of options at game time. So a freak toilet disaster would not leave any permanent emotional damage.

sisteray wrote:
Would you rather lose your nose or both your ears?


If it was just cosmetic, then my ears. If it was my complete sense of smell or hearing, it would be a very tough choice. I love food, and I love music. My gut tells me I'd choose to lose my sense of smell.

sisteray wrote:
What song would you like to be played at your funeral?


To me, a funeral is not for the dead person, but for those left behind. I would just want to be remembered in whatever way my family and friends chose, but I guess I would want to leave a parting message. The first song that comes to mind is something I feel really strongly about. People seem to want to grow up and grow old too fast. They worry. They lose their sense of wonder. They lose their desire to "play" and enjoy their lives. I think gamers are much better at breaking out of the seriousness of life.

"All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)" by XTC

Lyrics: http://www.lyricstime.com/xtc-all-of-a-sudden-lyrics.html

sisteray wrote:
What is your favorite flavor?


Meal Flavor - pepperoni
Dessert Flavor - chocolate...anything chocolate
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Necessary Evil
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Hey There,

No questions...just wanted to say that I liked subspace a lot (actually I liked x-pilot a lot 1st) and played the heck out of it a while back.

good job

-M
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Jim Cote
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malloc wrote:
Hey There,

No questions...just wanted to say that I liked subspace a lot (actually I liked x-pilot a lot 1st) and played the heck out of it a while back.

good job

-M


Thanks. Before Subspace, I played a lot of Netrek. I'm sure that's still going strong too. I had a lot of fun playing that, but I never really felt the sense of community that Subspace has.
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June King
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Ah, another Maine lover. I have known a few people who either lived in Maine or moved there. Most have one thing in common: they never want to leave or they always move back to Maine. I had planned a visit there once (a girlhood friend lives in Camden), but the day I narrowed it down to three B&Bs I could afford, some wastes of space decided to crash some planes into the WTC towers and the Pentagon. Kinda took the wind out of my sails about going for a while. angry

There is a point to all my rambling. What is it about Maine that makes its inhabitants so loyal? According to one of Maine's most famous residents, it's chock full of vampires, bad clowns and assorted other creepies. Oh, and insects the size of Buicks.

June
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