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NB: sorry for the incoherentness of this post, this is really one of the ones that's more for my benefit than yours :) I have lots of ideas for good posts in the future that I haven't written yet, like how intelligence is relative, and teachers aren't appreciated in Australia, and.. I forgot the rest already :(

Well first off, I had another dream about computer games that don't exist (yet..). This one was kinda lemmings style, where you had 4 dudes and you had to get them to the end of the level, only the dudes and everything else were drawn vector style, and the level was an endless loop of some kind.

In other news, Software Construction exam was ok except for my stupid moment of not being able to remember how to use tr properly and I ended up implementing it in Perl using two 26-character hashes..
Had a Microprocessors study session with the Shirefolk yesterday, we ended up spending about 50% of the time arguing about two's complement and IEEE floating point representation, but despite all this we ended up covering a lot of ground (and hey, now we all know how to do two's complement and floating point representation REALLY WELL..)

Spent most of today running around doing stuff for the flat. I also told Alex how I had no desire to spend money on computer games anymore, less than a minute before walking into EB and seeing something I absolutely had to buy.
Spent the rest of today gossiping and procrastinating.

At the Micros study session board games came up briefly and it turns out the Shirefolk are all fans of card and board games. Makes me really want to resurrect the idea of CardBoardSoc, since now I would have a potential base of people interested. I also still really wanna play D&D one day, or failing that do the next best thing, which is running D&D for my friends. Yet another thing to do in my limitless spare time.. right after I finish making my board game projects..and watch all those DVDs I bought.. and play those games.. *sigh*

I can't wait for exams to be over. I'll be moving out and finally having time to pursue some of those things in the above list. And probably a few others I forgot about... it's really sad when you have so many things on your "want to do" list that you can't even remember them all anymore, even though they're all things you're really really really interested in..

New games: Shadow of the Colossus
Megadrive games collection (cmon, it's awesome! It's got Golden Axe and Sonic and Columns and..)
New/resurrected ideas: D&D, vector-lemmings!(needs a better name obviously), board games, CardBoardSoc!!!!!
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It all started when I met this guy Ben, who had made this simple triangle-based strategy game. Only problem was that it didn't work too well, and as a hardcore gaming nerd it was fairly obvious why to me. So in the days that followed I set out to keep the original spirit of the game but fix it so that it worked. Of course the moment I started doing so I went off on a tangent and made another game instead. But afterwards I went back and made the original game, so it was all good :p

Both games use the original hex shaped board divided into triangles. So I went out in search of a Kent set* to make a board and pieces. Apparently they aren't being made anymore, and no other company has stepped in to fill the breach. Long story short, I bought a crappy geometry set from Coles for 50c, and then the next day went to a newsagent and shelled out $2.50 for a protractor that you can actually see through. Being able to see through your protractor is much more important than you would think for making precise angles. Anyway, turns out that I didn't need one anyway. Remember all those geometry/sketching tricks they drummed into us at high school? Turns out that they're actually pretty useful, assuming that at some point in your life you feel the hankering to draw giant hexagons, equilateral triangles and then subdivide those triangles a la Pascal's Triangle. You can make all of the above using nothing but string, compass, ruler and pencil, and it's actually pretty cool. It's especially cool if you're like me, and are so uncoordinated that cutting a straight line is difficult even when following a line drawn on the page , because all these methods are fairly idiot-proof.

*Kent sets were these geometry sets that everyone had in high school. They were fairly uber, packing clear plastic ruler, triangle ruler thingies and protractor, metal compass, and small but serviceable pencil

Cool geometry tricks.. ).

And thus ends the geometry lesson for today :p

I'll post more about the games at a later date when I have more to show off about them. Also, despite all my gloating about noob-friendly methods of drawing all these shapes they're still not perfect. When I drew the three main lines to break the hexagon into six triangles they didn't *quite* intersect nicely. Instead there's this tiny triangle of about one or two millimetre sides in the centre. It might not sound like much but it does bug me that I spent so many hours working on this stupid thing, and not have a better result.
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So here's the deal..

I am a gamer at heart. I enjoy games in general, which includes computer games. But what I really, really, enjoy is playing card games and board games against other people. And by board games I mean not Risk or Diplomacy, the other ones like Settlers of Catan. And by card games I mean not Munchkin, and both regular cards (bridge, poker, etc) and collectible cards a la Magic. In short, not the games that most people bring to games nights. I also like roleplaying. But not the kind that goes until midnight at uni and leaves me unable to get home.

So in short, I am a gamer without a gaming group. My uni friends.. well, all too few of them are willing to play, and its getting hard to meet up with them these days at any rate. There's no point in my joining the Gameplayers society at uni because in my (albeit limited) experience they don't really do anything except roleplay, and the roleplaying invariably happens at times I can't go.

Alison suggested that maybe I should consider starting a new club on campus, since gameplayers doesn't really do much in the way of board or card games. It would be the card playing and boardgames society, aka... CardBoardSoc! Pros: I would have a group of people I could actually play games with, my friends would probably join too I expect, I could use the memebership cost to buy more games. Cons: Organisation involved, need 15 people to affiliate with Casoc, Gameplayers probably wouldn't be happy since I would be in fairly direct competition with them, and I would probably have to deal with one of my exes who is an avid gamer and still hangs around unsw on occasion.

It seems like a lot of effort just to have a gaming group, but gaming really is my drug. Last Sesoc meeting was spent playing hold 'em in preparation for the upcoming poker night, and it reminded me of how great the feeling is. Incidentally, I'm quite a good poker player since I'm having so much fun that I tend to wear a demented grin no matter what my cards are like.

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aka Why my brother should have been a politician.

Back in the day I used to be an avid gamer, of both card games and board games. Name a CCG(collectible card game) and I either played it, had tried it and didn't like it, or had heard of it and knew about some of its main features. Board games I didn't get into nearly as much, but I still have my memories of playing Settlers of Catan with my brother and cousin.

So the question I'm sure you're all pondering here is what does this have to do with world politics?

Well.. the strategy of keeping a position of obvious strength where other players are afraid to be the first one to attack lest they be singled out for retaliation, where you 'generously' don't make use of your force to hurt anyone else except where everyone can agree that it was justified, and when you are attacked respond immediately and with overwhelming force? To me that sounds awfully like the US.

Also, the overwhelming force tactic and keeping a position of strength is, to a lesser extent, what I believe Israel is trying to do. It's widely accepted that they have the best trained army in the world, one of the best intelligence networks, and some of the best technology courtesy of the US and having some of the best scientists working for them. The war now going on between Israel and Lebanon over an attack that resulted in 8 dead Israeli soldiers and 2 captured is, to me, a way of Israel saying “You crossed the line. Now you can either produce the captured soldiers, or we can use you as a lesson to everyone about why you shouldn't fuck with us.”

Of course, the parallel between Magic and real life isn't complete. In Magic it was extremely common for one player to take himself to the brink of death in order to win. And in real life willingly taking that much damage would be unacceptable. But the diplomacy, the use and abuse of power, they're all there for someone willing to see beyond the game and apply the principles learnt. Like in Ender's Game, perhaps future wars will be composed of over-intelligent gamers who spend hours honing their skills with wargames.

PS : I am neither condoning or opposing Israel for its actions concerning Lebanon. I have no opinion either way, what I am saying is that given Israel's history of going to extreme measures to rescue its people, its actions have a justification from their point of view. America on the other hand, I'm not all too happy with but I can't be bothered going into it since my argument would involve the right to interfere and other philosophical stuff like that.
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while playing Shining Force 2 for sega genesis, i realised that the cost to resurrect a lost team member at the point i'm at now is about 250, while the cost of a weapon ranges from 1800-2500. Interesting to see how a good weapon is worth 10 good fighters O_o


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