Every Man Needs A Shed

Life and Games (but mostly games) from Tony Boydell: Dad, Husband and Independent UK Game Designer, Agricola fanboy and jealous admirer of Carl Chudyk. www.surprisedstaregames.co.uk

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The Birds

Anthony Boydell
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This tweet popped up in my view yesterday:



Goodness! That's a rather glib and sweeping statement, does one not think? I posted this to my FLFG (Friendly Local Facebook Group) and got the usual 50% split in opinion; most of it, admittedly, directed at my response (see below) rather than the OP. As a personal preference, I abhor tie-breakers but try and pop one (max) in to my designs; other designs seem as profligate with their tie-breakers as they are with the contents of the rules themselves! I'm sure there's a fine and worthy discussion to be had...but not "opened" in such a manner.

My response (SP-tagged to lend a mild air of mystery) was:
Spoiler (click to reveal)


I believe I was justified, to-the-point and - yes! - restrained. The World spun on, naturally, despite the priggish huffing, the counter-trolling and the back-slapping; best to get it out of your system before the working week starts again, eh?!


One of the FLFG responses: provocative much?

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Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:20 am
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horror show (not horrorshow)

Anthony Boydell
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The designer’s name is ‘Green’ and it’s spelled fine in the rulebook but - hey! - misprinted on the front cover?! Imagine my horror should Ivor the Engine have rolled off the presses with ‘Tiny Boydell’ or ‘Pete Firmin’ or, Lord love us, ‘Mallfilms’ on the box! Useless.

You may remember that time I opened a new copy of Extra! Extra! and the rotten glue stink nearly asphyxiated me? Didn’t anyone notice the stench on the proof copies or did something shit in the ink feeders on ‘run day’? Hopeless.

(Clarification: this next bit is not specific to a particular game) Bland theme? Naff art? Shoddy components? Lazy proofreading? Zero marketing? Defaulting on royalties? We may be entering a Golden Age of gaming but there's still enormous scope for amateur hour, eyes-on-the-profit bigger than their stomach-to-put-the-effort-in (so-called) "publishers" to really fuck up a Designer's dreams. Disgraceful.
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Fri Jun 8, 2018 6:15 am
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'Sup? Time 'sup, that's what'sup.

Anthony Boydell
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It's the straw that broke the camels back.

It's a bridge too far.

Enough is enough (is enough. I can't go on no more, no more etc).

Its the final turd in the punch bowl.

Game over, man; game over.

With immediate effect - and that includes this post so you won't actually see it - I shall no longer be posting in my BGG blog; someone said something nasty about one of my games (it was probably about Guilds of London. It usually is) and it upset me so much that I slammed my fingers in the door. Do you know how painful it is typing this up? Ruddy painful - and that's proper swearing and everything. Also - coincidentally, therefore significantly - the dog was sick over my original Scandaroon prototype (the one I was saving for the V&A Museum of Childhood tribute exhibition that's happening soon*); though, to be honest, it plays better (if anything).

No more blogging.

Not ever.

Never, never, never, never, never. Never.

Never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveA, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveP, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveR, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveI, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveL, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveF, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveO, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveO, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveL, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, neveS, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never, never.

NEVER!

Same time tomorrow, then?


*I dreamed this.
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12 Comments
Sun Apr 1, 2018 6:35 am
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I finally made it on to the Geek Weekly?!

Anthony Boydell
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Woo-hoo!



(cue: popping of champagne cork)

Let’s follow the link because it was my blog post, now with 100+ thumbs, that brought the campaign to (some bits of) BGG...



(cue: fountain of champagne reducing to a dribble, undrunk)

...eh? What the..?! But that’s Christian’s blog; his post that said he’d seen MY post and was doing some excellent cross-promotion! Either ‘Brad’ didn’t read Christian’s post in full (which makes him ill-suited to picking “the best of” content) or he did and roundly ignored my foundation post deliberately (which makes him a bit of a [redacted]).

*hurrumph* with an extra helping of *sulk*

(makes self a cup of tea, muttering) geekweeklyisrubbishanywaystupidbloodyquizzesandallkickstartershillsanywaybluddyphukkin)


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Thu Mar 29, 2018 5:16 pm
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a bit of your data are belong to facebook

Anthony Boydell
United Kingdom
Newent. Glos
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The whole 'Facebook has stolen your life' controversy - something we all knew but has suddenly been made hyper-Newsworthy because of Cambridge Analytica - sent me scurrying to a remote corner of my FB profile to take a closer look. Sure enough, after one whole click and 4s of searching, I found the 'Download your Profile' link and kicked off the remote job. Shortly afterward I was notified of it's completion and promptly filed to .ZIP prior to having a nervous shuffty:


Only half a gig for 11 years of Social Media-ing?!


Thankfully, at least on the surface, my personal telephone list and Sexting scripts were NOT including in the archive...mainly because I never divulged that info to Farcebook in the first place. However, I did re-discover a Tweet-style FB status update sequence from 2010 when I was stuck in the Newent Tandoori waiting for a takeaway; we (Mrs B and I) had just come back from an all-afternoon School Reunion where I didn't know anyone because it was Mrs B's school reunion and not mine and she's several smooth-skinned years younger than me.

The scene: the local takeout
The time: mid-evening; it is crowded due to some delay in the kitchens. Our protagonists await their spicy pleasures...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 20:52 UTC+01
Great! Spent last few hours in a room with people I don't know and now stood in an unmoving queue of people I don't know for an indeterminate time. :-(

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 20:57 UTC+01
Still it could be worse: Ed 209 Miliband could be Labour lead..er...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 20:58 UTC+01
There's an occasional burst of muffled swearing from the kitchen but no curry has yet emerged for any of us...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 20:59 UTC+01
If I complain will I end up as Special Bhuna?

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:01 UTC+01
Ah! Curry! But not for me - oh, now the customer is complaining he's not got enough nans...more delays :-(

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:03 UTC+01
Some bloke called Lucan has just asked if his Korma is ready yet, only he's just killed the nanny and he REALLY ought to be making a getaway...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:04 UTC+01
At least I can see the telly now..QI XL FTW

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:07 UTC+01
Finally feeling that warm, spiced scirocco on my chilled cheeks...three orders back, though.

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:08 UTC+01
If I don't make it back: to my darling wife and children..I LOVE YOU *sobs*

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:10 UTC+01
The first 'child of the curry queue' has been born, we've discovered fire and developed rudimentary tools..if we wait long enough we'll invent takeaways and finally BE FREE!

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:12 UTC+01
A bloke who popped in for some pilau rice has just formed a religion: we now worship an old copy if The Sun as sacred text...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:15 UTC+01
The prophet Tiffany, 19, has got great Tablets...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:17 UTC+01
Nearly at the front...I feel so weak, though...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:25 UTC+01
Currently distilling moonshine from sweaty socks and discarded takeaway menus...our soothsayers predict the Second Coming is imminent

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:28 UTC+01
(choirs of angels) The light...walking toward the light...all my loved ones are waiting for me...and they're carrying foil takeout trays and pots of damp salad...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:30 UTC+01
A stumpy old lady with a squeaky voice has just pulled me back from oblivion...now I'm covered in either ectoplasm or mango chutney...

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:34 UTC+01
(dramatic music) War is breaking out here...something as innocent as a missed Peshwari has led to terrible casualties - there's masala everywhere (vomits)

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:38 UTC+01
The horror! The horror! Torn pirahta, severed chicken wings and rhita...if I should die think only this of me: that in some corner of a foreign restaurant lies a piece of England *sniff*

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:39 UTC+01
Allelulia! Allelulia! I have curry! I'm coming home, my darlings - daddys coming home (emotional swelling of music, hankies out)


then, finally:

Quote:
Saturday, 25 September 2010 at 21:41 UTC+01
Oh bugger - it's gone cold
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Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:20 am
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embargo farrago

Anthony Boydell
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This tweet popped up in my browser and I immediately spat out a mouthful of tea: "embargo"?!

I am trying to visualize the circumstances in which our beloved Eric was fed this particular tidbit and then told he wasn't allowed to reveal details on pain of...well, on pain of WHAT? Never letting him get privileged info about a gaming product at a very well attended Public trade show ever again? Eh?! The guy from the Industry's most voluminous and influential media presence is gonna be shunned ad infinitum for bleating out details of "Codenames: Legacy" or the "Rising Sun iOS App" or "Pandemic: Flu Outbreak at the Old Folks Home"?! Get bloody real, you twats; you're not the effing NSA. Was he told this Gaming Extinction Level Event (GELE, pronounced 'Jelly') in front of other punters as part of the general publicity ie. is this info freely advertised at the Toy Fair BUT every single attendee is now under this %$@#! embargo? (unlikely) OR was he led in to a booth in the bowels of the Stand and shown this particular Fart Of The Covenant in secret? What the actual, low-calorie, vegetarian friendly, gluten-free FUCK do these publishers think they're doing? This is a shitnugget game/toy NOT the discovery of a new quantum particle or confirmation of communications from extra-terrestrial life!!! Still; it's a good thing these pills I've been taking are keeping me at a low anxiety level otherwise I might've really let rip.

Cunts.
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Mon Feb 19, 2018 6:30 am
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Stope the Trope!

Anthony Boydell
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(ie. anything about having to "clear" purchases with 'the missus' in advance,
having to smuggle boxes in to the house secretly so your partner doesn't notice,
obfuscating Bank statement transactions and/or
'hilariously' being told off for having too many games etc)
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Wed Feb 7, 2018 6:40 am
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Song

Anthony Boydell
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Now the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live

Now the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live

Now the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live

Now the bloggers and YouTubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the bloggers and YouTubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the bloggers and YouTubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live
Now the bloggers and YouTubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss are just going live

So if you want to pledge your moolah thanks to Bloggers and Youtubers with their overwhelming hubris re: the temps who put the stickers on the faces of the bases on the Minis in the stretch goals of the CMON big Kickstarter fuss that’s just going live…

You’re too late! Because the campaign’s just closed!
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Sat Feb 3, 2018 6:30 am
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Fox News

Anthony Boydell
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Couriers? You gotta love 'em! With their chirpy smiles and wry whistles, they carry the very lifeblood of our hobby from door-to-door (OR from door-to-wheelie bin OR from door-to-neighbour-with-whom-one-has-fallen-out's door). If you're lucky, they won't have thrown it off a tower block just to record the impact as a text ringtone or driven a fork-lift truck over it because no-one was there on the Induction Training Course to teach the 'How To Use A Fork-Lift' module. Indeed, my favourite FB group has a regular post appear - every fortnight or so - that exhibits a fresh, new MyHermes' maltreatment of some unfortunate's hard-worked-for hotness.

To be honest, you're lucky if the bloody thing turns up at all; I mean, it took FIVE attempts to get a box of Counter magazines from Kent to my house and each time the website took the Tracking Number and told me it was 'In Transit to Main Depot' when I knew, for a fact, it was still in Derek's porch! And there's the depressing thought of some shady streak-of-piss driver half-inching a couple of those 'tasty lookin' boxes' only to find something nerdy and valueless (to him) within: "What the f*ck is Gloom-f*ckin'-Haven?!" and cue dumping the evidence in a quarry.

It was with a sigh of reassured pleasure, then, when my latest impulse purchase of The Fox in the Forest (just £20 incl. P&P) plopped on to the door-mat surrounded by proportionately as much packaging as an apple pip is surrounded by apple:



God Bless You, Karl! And better luck next time, Mr so-called Postman!
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Thu Jan 18, 2018 6:19 am
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Tick-Tock

Anthony Boydell
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A favourite hobby horse for gamers is to complain about the "accuracy" of the Playing Time, as printed on the side of a game box. Its an eternal game of True or False? where the informed experience of designers, developers and publishers - who have lived and breathed a product for (usually) some years - is pitted against the first evening's experience of complete strangers.



The traditional rubrik of X to Y mins which, of course (and it shouldn't have to be spelled out but...), is an indication of an AVERAGE playing time that takes in to account some experience of the game. Up until now, the world has seen fit to avoid the need to print an extra box labelled "Expected First Game Duration", as this would be more like a vast cosmological equation having to consider:

The intelligence of the group or, more specifically, the intelligence of the stupidest member of the group;

The preparation and/or explanatory skills of the teacher (loquacious vs succinct? coherent vs rambling? audible vs mute? etc);

The environment in which the game is being played ie. visibility (lighting, dense fog etc), background noise (intimacy vs Hen Party) and physical space

Player's susceptibility to over-analysing; and,

The level of general distractions eg. eating a meal at the same time, wandering pets / children and free Wi-Fi.

To expect a number on a box to exactly fit your personal circumstances comprised of many factors out of the control of the game is not just unreasonable, it's bone-headedly imbecilic.

Recently, publishers have started using the X per Player approach which is a smart about-turn as one's natural response is to think about the specifics of each intended player and adjust accordingly eg. Jobbers (a name pulled from the aether purely at random) likes to 'consider his moves more carefully than most', so we'll count him as 1.5 players instead.

In the end, publishers don't just roll a couple of d100s or pull raffle tickets from a hat; we think about these things carefully and honestly - any variance that YOU might suffer is your own fault and you should try a bit harder next time.
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Sun Jan 7, 2018 9:36 am
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