Friday, May 25, 2007

Nostalgia Games: Dungeon

I played Dungeon with someone else only a handful of times. The time commitment to play, plus the large space needed and the (relatively) complicated rules left it out of interest for most of my friends. But that was okay, because unlike Creature Castle, Dungeon lent itself to solo play, so long as you didn't care much for objectives; instead, I just tried to get as many treasures on the map as I could. As a simplified version of Dungeons and Dragons (it was even published by TSR), it basically involved controlling an explorer who would gradually grow in power and be able to descend into deeper levels of the dungeon and face ever-stronger monsters.

There were several versions of the game. I'm not sure what the differences were between the different printings, but the one I had was the one which looked like this:

Dungeon Board Game

I remember keeping a little notebook tracking my accomplishments in this game, in trying to assess the likelihood of winning and seeing which character was the most efficient. I quickly got bored with that, though, and instead came up with new treasures and new monsters that you could fight, and new spells the wizard could cast. This was probably the most extensive game board modding I did as a kid.

Monday, May 07, 2007

IE 8 to require web designers to "opt in" to standards compliance

Microsoft is saying that IE 8 will have better standards compliance, but will require web developers to "opt in" to standards compliant page rendering.

First of all, why the #%@!? is Microsoft still planning on making a browser that intentionally renders HTML wrong?

Second, why the #%@!? is Microsoft going to make it not default to rendering pages correctly?

And finally, why the #%@!? is Microsoft going to make web developers add even more cruft to their web pages to support their design flaws?


Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to hear that we will be able to flip a switch that says, "Oh, and tell Internet Explorer to not suck (as bad)." That is much better than having to deal with guillotines and peekaboos for hours and hours.

But really, when are they going to grow up and not assume that all web developers have the time, patience, and willingness to treat their browser as a special case? Suck it up, Microsoft! Admit your software was crap, and fix it. Don't let it continue to sit there broken, and don't force us to learn even more ways in which we have to treat IE as a special case when making a web page.

If some web developers opted to write broken pages to look nice in IE but which totally break when rendered in standards compliant browsers, then it's their own damn fault for betting on the wrong horse. Let them take on the burden of opting in to the broken renderer of IE 8.

Fix the software, Microsoft. Make it work correctly by default. Don't give us an endless stream of Backward Com-crap-ibility.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Nostalgia Games: Creature Castle

Being the only kid in the house meant that two-player games didn't do much good for you. Still, Creature Castle provided hours of entertainment for me. When I saw this photo of the game board:

Creature Castle Board Game

...I remembered not only the hours I spent drawing my own versions of the creepy monsters in the castle (the mad scientist and the executioner were my favorites), but also a vague recollection of having adapted the rules to work as a one-player game. The one-player rules were nothing clever - basically, I played the role of two players, with one player being "the good guy" and the other player being "the bad guy" to see who would win - but I remember being pretty proud of myself for having figured out a way to play it one-player. I do have a vague recollection of expanding the rules in some fashion, but those innovations are lost in time to me now.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

New Arkham Nights version available

French Hill Streets Booklet
I've just uploaded a new version of Arkham Nights, my expansion for Arkham Horror which adds encounters to street locations.

This version changes the way the casebook is organized. Instead of having all the location encounters in a single casebook, there are now individual half-size booklets, one for each street location. This reduces the space needed on the table for them, allows multiple players to manage their encounters at once, and generally adds more fun and atmosphere to the game than the original, thanks to the stylized nature of the booklets. (They also match the Tomes expansion.)

This version also fixes a few typos and fixes the card sheet which was printing out at the wrong size.

You can get the new expansion at the Arkham Investigations site.