Archive for June, 2008

We met Dave Barry at the Post Hunt!

June 10, 2008

The 2008 Post Hunt offered "a wacky day of puzzle solving, or at least a weird afternoon". Indeed it was. It was very clever, and it required a kind of thinking that only a select few individuals innately have, a mixture of right-brained reasoning, the ability to know which mental tangents are worth pursuing, and sharp chance observational skills. I participated with a team of four, braving the rain for such a unique amusement. We would have fared better if only one of the four of us recognized the flavor of coconut in those fortune cookies. (I also should have been in adventure game mode and picked up every object I was offered, with the expectation that everything that isn’t bolted down will be eventually useful.) You can read the follow-up transcripts here, but it probably won’t make much sense to you unless you were there (heh, just like the real thing).

But the real treat was an autograph session with one of my favorite authors, Dave Barry, the subject of this week’s photo. I had him autograph the copy of The Only Travel Guide You’ll Ever Need that I took with me to the British Isles in 1995, my entry point to his silly literature. Evelyn held out the Complete Guide to Guys for his waiting pen, saying that "he [Ryan] lured me up to his dormroom with this." Dave chuckled and replied, "It never worked for me." This book is partially responsible for our marriage. Thanks for the autographs and photo, Dave. (And as co-sponser and co-author of the Post Hunt, rough him up for me, will you?)

I returned to Balticon, armed with my game design prototypes, hoping to repeat the fun I had last year. Bedecked in lab coat and forearmed with last year’s experience, I had a better sense of what to expect, and thus I was able to relax and focus more on good gaming. True to my expectations, I was mistaken for a Rabbit. "Hey, look! He’s a Rabbit too," some kids cried to their white-coated chaperone. I had one memorable game of Wanderlust with six players, a record! Several people were very enthusiastic while playing the game, and I am more convinced that Wanderlust has far more casual gamer and non-gamer appeal than Ferrball’s Mansion does. I was able to introduce two more people to the venerable Ferrball, my game design masterpiece so far, but the search for a publisher continues. Hal Haag suggested that I enter a game design contest that the Games Club of Maryland will
run "next year". Perhaps I will.

I learned a game which I enjoyed and will recommend here: TransAmerica. It’s like Aquarius… the players mutually build a pattern while trying to connect a secret formation first. I also recommend Filthy Rich, but it is a completely different kind of game.

Nifty Wikipedia Thing: Places where it is illegal to die

Article You Must Read: Pearls Before Breakfast (aka The Incognito Violinist)

Movies I’ve Seen:

Hot Fuzz (2007)

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ~ Delivered what it promised without detracting from the rest of the franchise. If you liked Raiders of the Lost Ark but thought it should be more like Stargate, this movie is for you.

What I’m Currently Reading:

"Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand (19.6%)

"Dave Barry Slept Here: A Sort-Of History of the United States" by Dave Barry