Tag: Firefly

Spoilers Sweetie

Spoilers Sweetie

That title might not make a lot of sense, but it’s from Doctor Who. In Doctor Who, the Doctor keeps on crossing paths with River Song who is experiencing the Doctor’s life in a different order than the Doctor is, so she has a diary […]

The Evolution of Deck Building Games

The Evolution of Deck Building Games

Let me start by saying that Deck Building is one of my favorite game mechanics, and one that has been around for a while. Also, let me say that there are two different, distinct ways you can qualify deck building. I am not referring to […]

From Book (or Movie) to Board

From Book (or Movie) to Board

If you go into Fantasy Flight Game Center (or to their website), you see loads and loads of board games that have Star Wars on the side of the box. They have X-Wing, Armada, Rebellion, Imperial Assault, Legion, and Destiny, and I’m probably  missing a couple, not to mention the RPG where they have Force and DestinyEdge of the Empire, and Age of Rebellion. It’s really cool to see them because they all give you different feels for games, Rebellion lets you feel like you’re controlling the over arching saga of the original trilogy. X-Wing gives you space dog fights, and Armada gives you big interstellar combat. Imperial Assault gives you quick hitting rebel missions and Legion pits larger forces against each other. And Destiny gives you a card game with Star Wars art and a lot of fun dice.

Image Source: Fantasy Flight Games

These are all games that Fantasy Flight has taken from a license and turned into a ton of products. I’m pretty sure I’m evening missing a game. There are also other games like the Game of Thrones living card game or the new game that came out from CMON, Song of Ice and Fire. There’s a whole system of games, the Legendary Encounters based off of Marvel Legendary (another licensed property) for Alien, Predator, Firefly, Big Trouble in Little China, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and now X-Files. The point of writing all of that was that there are a ton of board games that have cool properties behind them and there are more coming out all of the time.

Unlike Robin Hood and Lovecraft’s work which can be slapped on anything because they are public domain, there are a lot that need to be licensed. So, what are some of these other stories that I can to see board games made out of?

I’m going to give the title of the book, TV show, movie, and some description of what I think would make it an interesting game or how I might go about building a game. I’m also going to be avoiding things that I know are already board games, you might not know there is a Kung-Fu Panda game, but there is, so I won’t be making my own for that.

R.I.P.D.

R.I.P.D. is a movie and comic about a cop who dies and then becomes a cop in the after life taking crazy bad guys. I like the theme for this one and think that with a bunch of minis and different cops who you could play, it could be a fun game playing against a scenario(s). You’d be trying to defeat different bad guys, or maybe a scenario would have you get information while trying to survive long enough to get back out. There’s a good number of stories that you could do with it, and while it is a lot of the current meta, I’d lean into the supernatural. Give the players and monsters abilities that they can use that are a bit game breaking, but come at a cost to the monsters of the players. That would then give the game a unique feel as compared to other scenario based games because it’s the last ditch sort of move instead of other variable player powers.

Kingkiller Chronicle

Image Source: Kingkiller Wikia

Now, there is something coming out that can have some tie in to this series by Patrick Rothfuss, but I want to take it in a different direction than that game. That one looks like it is more about the whole fantasy world, and like I said, it isn’t an actual game on the series, it just has a module for it, so it counts for me. I’d focus on the time at the university. People could take on different students, doing different things for different classes and the game would be split into four or five parts which would be different years at the school. Each turn you’d take an action to either study, go to classes, make money, or if you are playing a character who has money, just get money. You’d play as different characters who are studying at the university and at the end of each round you’d score points and depending on how you did and your income, you’d get your tuition set for the next year which would take money from you, and you’d repeat the process. If you didn’t have enough money, you’d be limited to actions in town or going and taking out a loan to be able to stay in school, but that would be costly for you. I think you could make this game interesting by having characters increase in skills, do sneaky things, and complete missions for teachers. I think I’d then have the players try and get as many points as they could in completing their education or at least advancing in it.

Killjoys

Image Credit: Subscene

Killjoys is a space television series about a crew who picks up criminals and turns them in and deals generally with all the problems that are going on in their world. I don’t think I’d make my game as dramatic as the show, but I do think I’d set it up so that it really focuses on bringing in those criminals like the earlier part of the show does. It would somewhat be a pick-up and deliver game where you fly to a planet, pick up what you need, and deliver it back for money. However, the longer you go, the more troubles you are going to run into completing missions and also the more events and worse events that will be happening to the Quad, the area of planets you are working in. In the end, the winner would have the most money at the end of the game from bringing in criminals, but you have to decide how to use it because you might want to upgrade your ship, weapons, or crew to make the jobs easier.

Stranger Things

I’m a little surprised I haven’t heard of one besides some company branding an ouija board with Stranger Things, because of money. For those who don’t know, Stranger things is about a girl who escapes from the grasp of an evil company that is messing around with her abilities and is also looking into another dimension, the Upside Down where there are monsters that start bleeding over into this small town. I would make this as an asymmetric game for up to five people as that’s about how it works in the game. There are the kids, the teenagers, the adults, the company, and the upside down. The upside down and the kids would be required to play the game, but the rest could be optional. As the kids, you are trying to keep Eleven safe and close the portal to the Upside Down, as the Upside Down, you are trying to capture all the kids or get enough monsters into the world that you win. If you were the adults, your goal would to find one of the kids who gets lost in the upside down, and as the teens your goal is to kill as many monsters as possible. Finally, as the company, your goal would be to keep Eleven alive, but have her under your control, and not have anyone else win for a certain number of rounds. I could also see cutting it down to three factions and having the people of the town, adults, teens, and kids, all be the same person. But I think it could be interesting, each group having their own special powers and goals that they are going for in the game.

What are some stories that you think would turn into a good board game? What are some of your favorites that are already board games?


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Casting the Dream – Reckoners

Casting the Dream – Reckoners

So, for some silly fun, much like making meals to go along with certain books, games, or movies, what would be some dream castings for various movies. This one I’m starting with the book series by Brandon Sanderson The Reckoners with the first book being called […]

Solo Gaming

Solo Gaming

It’s been a long day of work, school, or life in general, and you just want to unwind. It’s pretty normal for people to pick up a controller and play their favorite video game to unwind. This is something that people have been doing for […]

Know Your Nerds: Kristen’s Top 5 TV Series

Know Your Nerds: Kristen’s Top 5 TV Series

If you were around here last week, you know that Peder shared a great list of his top five TV shows. And now it’s my turn! I have to say, I didn’t find this any easier than picking my favorite books, which surprised me a bit — I love a good TV show as much as the next nerd, but it’s really only been in the last few years that I’ve had the opportunity to finally watch some of the really good stuff (chalk it up to intermittent cable access in my youth and nonexistent TV access during my college years, I guess).

And like Peder, I primarily watch TV when I want some escapist fun, and that comes in many different forms that are hard to even really compare. I mean, one day I might be in the mood for a fantastical show; another day I might want to watch sci-fi; and at another time, I might want to watch a few episodes of a drama. I enjoy all those (extremely different) things about equally; it just depends on what sort of mood I’m in.

All that is to say that the rankings in this list are somewhat arbitrary, and might change depending on the day you ask me. Regardless, these are the five TV series that rise to the top of my list:

5. Killjoys

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This space opera-style show came under my radar (ha, see what I did there?) not too long after it first aired in 2013 — it started out strong right from the first episode, and hasn’t stopped since. The show follows a trio of bounty hunters who conduct their badassery in a system of planets known as the Quad. The setting is part Firefly-style space-cowboy romp, part grungy dystopian, part action drama, and all fantastic. It’s honestly worth watching for the aesthetic alone, but it’s so much more than that, too — it’s well-developed characters who have increasingly complex relationships with each other, perfectly paced action, and tons of plot twists to keep you guessing. If you’ve ever loved a space story, you’re bound to love this show, too.

4. Chuck

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This show has had a special place in my heart from pretty much the first episode. I discovered Chuck when I was freshly graduated from college and unemployed, so I spent many delightful hours binge-watching it. As the show begins, the titular character, a tech nerd who works in a ho-hum job at a pseudo-Best Buy, is getting through the daily grind, wondering if anything interesting will ever happen to him. As it turns out, things are about to get a little too interesting — when Chuck opens a mysterious email from his estranged college friend, the contents of a supercomputer known as the Intersect are downloaded into his brain (stick with me here), making Chuck a living repository of tons of top-secret government information. When his friend’s organization tracks Chuck down and assigns a stone-cold (and gorgeous) spy to him as his handler/bodyguard, Chuck’s life goes from boring days in Burbank to exciting espionage missions all around the world. The show has that fish-out-of-water trope I can’t get enough of, an absolutely delightful protagonist, and a great cast of characters. It’s one I know I’ll rewatch again and again.

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3. Psych

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Like Peder, I have to rank this show among the best-of-the-best. This goofy show about a serial-job-hopper-turned-fake-psychic and his hilariously squeamish best friend is pretty much everything I want in a show. It has my absolute favorite type of humor, characters who don’t fit the usual mold, a healthy dose of absurdity, and a lot of heart. The protagonist, Shawn Spencer, should be kind of insufferable but is somehow lovable, and he and the other characters play off of each other perfectly. The lightning-quick humor and silliness had me hooked from the start, and the sheer variety and delightfulness of the episodes make it immensely rewatchable.

2. Doctor Who

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It kind of feels like blasphemy to have this show as only the second on my list, but you can at least rest assured that my top choice squeaked by this one by a VERY thin margin. I started watching Doctor Who right after I graduated from college, mainly because I had to know what all my nerdy friends were on about. I started by watching the first season of the New Who iteration that Peder mentioned, and as he notes, the first few episodes are preeeetty rough. Because of that, I didn’t get sucked in right away. Eventually, though, I powered through the cheesier stuff, and found I’d fallen in love with the show almost without realizing it. Doctor Who literally has something for everyone — adventure, conceptual sci-fi weirdness, romance, history, horror, heart-wrenching storylines, amazing characters, and pretty much everything else in between. If you can’t find at least a couple of episodes to love in this show, I’m convinced you’re just haven’t found the right one for you yet. While some episodes and seasons are inevitably better than others for such a long-running show, the hits far outweigh the misses, and this show will always have me coming back for more as long as it’s around.

1.  Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Out of the shows I love, this is the one that always rises to the top. I fell in love with A:TLA when it first came out during my high school years, and I know that no matter how much I re-watch it, it’s never going to get old. The show takes place in a fantastical universe where a large portion of the population can control the different elements — water, earth, fire, and air. As the story starts, we learn that the Avatar, who has lived for thousands of years by way of reincarnation and is the only person in the world who can control all four elements, has been missing for 100 years. When a sister and brother from the water tribe find a young boy named Aang frozen in an iceberg, they discover that he is the Avatar that everyone has been searching for. While the Avatar was lost, the Fire Nation took the opportunity to assert their control over the other nations, and the world Aang wakes up to is very different from the one he left. With the weight of the world on his shoulders, it’s up to Aang to restore balance between the nations and the elements, with help from the friends he meets along the way.

This show really speaks to the part of me that I don’t think will ever stop being a kid — it’s that combination of wonder, adventure, fun, and heart that just feels like home to me. The series is equally full of hilarious, quotable moments and serious themes that will linger with you for a long time. It’s impressively mature for a show that’s mainly geared toward the middle-grade set, and in my very not-humble opinion, it’s the best thing Nickelodeon has ever done, either before or since.

To finish things off, I have to include some honorable mentions that were *this* close to making it on the list: Pushing Daisies (an absolute delight that ended way too soon), Firefly (the best space cowboy show ever), Outlander (three words: ALL THE FEELS), Community (just stupid-hilarious), Silicon Valley (the most fun I’ve ever had being stressed out and having secondhand embarrassment), Bob’s Burgers (way better than it has any right to be), and Sherlock (smart, sexy, and absolutely legendary).

Do any of your favorites overlap with mine? What TV shows would make it into your top 5?

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CONvergence 2017 Roundup

CONvergence 2017 Roundup

It’s that time of year again, folks! Peder and I just spent a fantastic long weekend at CONvergence, one of the largest nerdy conventions that takes place in the Twin Cities. In my opinion, it was one of our best cons yet, made all the […]

Sci-Fi TV Shows

Sci-Fi TV Shows

Thought it was time to move away from gaming of different types and back into the world of television. Where even to begin with sci-fi shows? What makes sci-fi shows that have been successful interesting and long-lasting? The biggest reason for me, as to why I […]

Cosplay Etiquette

Cosplay Etiquette

As I’ve mentioned before, cosplay is a subcategory of nerdiness in which anything goes…almost. As varied and wondrous as coplay is, there are still some guidelines to keep in mind so that you — and your fellow cosplayers — can get the most out of the experience.

dwarves

Let me start with the disclaimer that by no means do I intend to talk down to anybody via these cosplay do’s and don’ts, nor are they necessarily hard-and-fast rules that will hold true in every case. Just think of this post as a friendly reminder, from one awkward nerd to another, that when we find ourselves in large groups together, especially at something as exciting as a convention we’ve been waiting months to go to, we can sometimes go a little nuts and do things we wouldn’t even think of doing in other, less spandex-laden settings. This is just a way to think about how we can channel all that nerdy energy and excitement in positive and respectful ways, ensuring that a good time is had by all.

*Deep breath*…here we go!

Don’t assume that someone in costume is ready to engage with you

ghiblijayneLet’s face it — one of the things we love most about cons is the people-watching. There are always so many amazing cosplays, and it’s a ton of fun to see all the different characters other con-goers chose to portray. And it’s totally fine (and even encouraged) to talk to other cosplayers and tell them how much you love their costume/character/story their character is from.

However, don’t let your desire to do so overrule your good sense. If the person whose costume you are admiring looks like they’re in the middle of something, or is having a conversation with someone else, wait for the opportune moment to catch their attention. Maybe they’re trying to make plans for meeting up with a friend later, or maybe they’ve just had five different people stop them for a photo when they’re already late for a panel session they really want to go to.

It’s tempting to try to snag someone before the opportunity passes, but remember that, as much as we all feel like elaborate, mobile works of art while we’re cosplaying, we’re all just people — people who might be feeling frazzled from all the chaos, or who might have tired feet from tromping through the convention center all day. Know that you can and should go up to fellow cosplayers to talk to them and compliment their apparel, but use the same politeness you would when addressing anyone else you’ve just met.

And on the other side of the coin…

Remember that cosplay = attention

20150702_203552If you’re an introverted cosplayer, like I am, you’ll know that, while cosplaying is fun, it’s kind of exhausting. When I cosplayed at my first con, I knew on some level that people were going to be paying attention to me because I was in costume, but I don’t think I was really prepared for just what that meant — strangers talking to me like they knew me just because they knew about the character I was cosplaying, the requests for photos, the random (and sometimes personal) questions about my costume, etc. And while it’s fun to get a little extra attention, sometimes the amount you receive as a cosplayer can be overwhelming.

However, on some level, all cosplayers do what they do because they really do want to get noticed. If they didn’t like the attention and admiration at least a little, they wouldn’t go in costume. If you’ll be cosplaying, go into it prepared to get gawked at a little, get some requests for photos, and have people suddenly quiz you on the finer points of the story your character is from. And just remember, the vast majority of people have good intentions, and they’re looking at you and interacting with you because they think you look awesome! Which is pretty great, actually.

Be courteous when asking for a photo

ghibligals

As many of you know, it’s common practice at cons to ask cosplayers if you can take a picture of or with them. This is completely fine, and generally makes the experience more fun and memorable. However, when you see someone you’d like to ask, remember that, while they’re probably expecting to get asked for pictures, your request still has the potential to catch them off guard. Don’t be abrupt when you ask, or try to sneak a pic as someone walks by, and for heaven’s sake, don’t touch someone you don’t know to get their attention (harder to remember than it seems!). Granted, there are some people who’d be fine with any of these things, but since you don’t know the person you’re asking and can’t be sure how they’d feel about it, it’s better to err on the side of caution.

Don’t judge

This is an important one, and the one that’s often hardest for me, personally. Unfortunately, along with the admiration of some con-goers’ cosplay sometimes comes disdain for others’ costumes. Whether it’s thinking that someone’s costume is extra-revealing, thinking I’ve done a better job on my costume than someone else has on theirs, deciding someone’s interpretation of a character isn’t in keeping with that character’s persona, or other things of that sort, it can get pretty icky, folks. So join me in trying your best not to judge others based on their costume choices (or, conversely, look down on yourself because you think someone else’s costume is better than yours), and focus on the aspects of someone’s costume that makes it cool and unique, or compliment someone on a costume that they clearly worked hard on. Sincerity, respect, and perspective is where it’s at.

These are a few of the things I try to keep in mind when cosplaying — what have I missed? What do you try to make sure to do (or not do) to make an awesome cosplaying experience even better? Share with us in the comments!

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