Lives of Jim: a Print and Play Board Game

lives-of-jim-main-board

The past few days I’ve been working on a print and play board game in the evenings called Lives of Jim. It’s part of a 10-day paper game jam I’m taking part in. You can find Lives of Jim on itch.io if you want to print it out and play it. And the home for the game jam is on itch.io too. (That’s why I’m using itch.io — never heard of it before, love the URL.)

As if designing your own board game for a paper game jam isn’t nerdy enough each one of the character cards from the game is sort of a nod to different time travel tropes or stories. (One of the suggested themes for the paper game jam, the one I’ve adopted for the game, is time travel.)

jim-cards

There’s a future conqueror like Marvel’s Kang or Chronoliths, something like a terminator, Looper, a heartbroken time traveler like Slaughterhouse Five or maybe the time traveler’s wife, and the idea of morlocks or the caveman from Altered States.

I’m reaching a bit with calling Altered States a time travel movie. I kind of just like pointing people at that movie whenever I can though.

Let me know if you try out Lives of Jim!

Board Game Night

Next Friday I’ll be putting on a board game night for our neighbourhood youth group of kids around grades 4–7. Of course, I’ve started geeking out about this already. Over the past four or five months I’ve had a lot of fun playing designer board games and building a small collection of great games to play with my ten-year old son, my wife, my four-year old daughter — the whole family.

Here’s a few of the games I’ll be putting on. It’s very likely, if you’re reading this post, that you won’t be coming to the board game night. Sorry, readers. Still, you might find something here that’ll create some laughs and surprises on your own family fun night around the kitchen table.

Continue reading Board Game Night

Arimaa: My current game obsession

Designed to be impossible for a Deep Blue to beat the best human player but simple enough for a four year old to learn. Playable with a chess board and pieces but it’s not a chess variant. It’s Arimaa. (Pronounced a-ree-muh.) More importantly, it’s fun. Here’s how to play.

There’s more at the Arimaa site plus an app for Android and iOS. With the exception of the probably-not-going-to-be-reprinted-anytime-soon physical version, they’re all charmingly ugly. Don’t let that stop you.

What WordPress Themes are really about (and WordPress 4.1)

I’ll be committing code to WordPress again with version 4.1! I made my last big contribution with Twenty Ten and Twenty Eleven where I had a hand in both design and coding. (It was with Twenty Eleven where I was actively contributing code). This time I won’t be working on a theme I designed. Instead, I’ll be helping to bring a design from my friend and colleague Takashi Irie to millions and millions of people. As cool as it is to work on the core WordPress project — it’s the software behind 1 in 4 of the websites you visit! — I think I’m just as excited, if not more excited, to work with Takashi on it.

Yes, he’s a great designer and a great person to work with but more than that he understands what themes are about.

  • How people use them as the foundation for personal expression on the web with a blog.
  • How web developers use them as the foundation for quickly producing websites.
  • How motivated tinkerers use them to build up a small business site — probably their first on the web
  • And he understands how a theme is not just for one particular user or site owner but instead is for the vastly greater majority, the millions of people who see it as just another web site and want an easy to get to and pleasurable reading experience.

It sometimes seems to me that WordPress theme developers forget that last part. Takashi understands all these things and thinks about them deeply. Getting a chance to help make his vision for a first WordPress design experience in 2015 come true is an honour and I’m super-excited for the people who will start publishing with WordPress and Twenty Fifteen.

頑張って