Got a text msg a couple of weeks ago that some friends were in Vegas. How could I say no? Went the next day to meet them for more gambling, drinking, and good times. Nope, I never win anything but I always have a good time.
[rant]Finally got tired of dealing with our horrible contracting company and executive mgmt at work and set up an appt with the CIO. Two days later I was sitting in my VPs office discussing how concerned she was with my well-being. Riiiight. This is coming from the same person that had no idea who I was 2 days prior and only has about 30 full time employees under her. I hate office politics and wish that compensation was more closely tied to merit than whose ass you kiss.[/rant]
Culdcept Saga. Mixed emotions on this one. On the one hand it validates my belief that people will sit there and play countless hours to collect all the tokens that will be available in my game. It also shows me what pitfalls to avoid:
1. Allow the user to look at all stats at all times
2. Explain exactly what each ability, etc is and exactly how things interact
3. Don't allow chance to play a huge part of the game. Nothing is more frustrating than "I would have won but they never landed on one of my spaces". At least not in a strategy game.
4. Don't make a story just for the sake of having a story. This one sucks.
5. Don't assume that the player knows what a card does just by looking at the picture. Too many times I fight a new opponent and a card I've never seen before flickers on the screen for a second just before it has some effect or is discarded so I have no idea what it does until it's too late.
6. Don't remove the ability to allow players to trade tokens. I shouldn't have to play (quite literally) hundreds of times to get enough of what I need to construct a decent deck.
7. Allow the player to skip through some sequences (battles) that they don't have any affect on.
And what I liked:
1. Very good AI. I'm really impressed with the decisions that are made as I play against the game.
2. Tons and tons of cards to get that do some interesting things, gotta catch em all!
3. Rules are fairly simple but the rules allow for lots of varying strategies.
4. Different maps/board setups allow for different strategies.
5. I like all the nods to other games, characters, etc.
6. Gives me quite a few ideas to help with my "base set".
Finally, my game is coming along on the backend fairly well. Almost have turn-based functionality built in with the rules manager. The first demo will just be a "this is how it works now you you try it" kind of thing. After playing Culdcept, I definitely need to put some thought into how I'm going to handle the AI.
 And whatever happened to some of those other journals I liked to follow like Pluvious and Besome?