Category Archives: Gamesäge

#33 Gamesäge Episode 009 Betrayal at House on the Hill

Well met, my friends!

Here is the short – well, short-ish, it’s still at eight and a half minutes, even though people keep telling me that five minutes is the youtube threshold – review of the board game “Betrayal at House on the Hill”.

It’s not my usual kind of game, as it has several issues. However, the game has a high cool factor and contains some wacky ideas, for example those sliders on your five sided character sheet to denote stat improvements or the two scenario books to provide different pieces of information to the different players. There is a downside to those two scenario books as well: everyone, who plays, needs to be an experienced gamer, since the traitor cannot ask anyone else for rule clarifications and must be familiar with gamer lingo. Nevertheless, it’s certainly a great game that everybody should pick up.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#29 Hearthstone beta

Well met, my friends!

In yesterday’s episode of gamesäge, I’m having a look at Blizzard’s latest game Hearthstone, which is currently in the beta test stage.

Although it is technically a card game, it uses the advantages of being on a computer quite well: Some of the spells assign damage to random targets. This could also be done in a card game with lots of dice rolling, but having the computer do this automatically for you is quite convenient. It also allows for things like transforming a character into a frog and then recalling that character back to your hand: All of a sudden the cards in your hand also include a frog card, which previously didn’t exist. Two immediate improvements in comparison to magic the gathering are that you don’t have to rely on drawing land – in Hearthstone your available mana always increased by one per turn up to a maximum of ten. The other improvement is that there are no interrupt spells, which means that you can play through your entire turn without having this chess-clock situation that arises in the computer version of magic the gathering. It’s annoying to time out, simply because you did not see that you have the option to interrupt your opponent’s play and the program is waiting for your reaction.

Overall I quite like Hearthstone. Hopefully it’ll be a big success post release and won’t fade out too quickly. If all goes well, I’ll have a board game episode up, before doing another computer game review.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#27 Miscellaneous things

Well met, my friends!

In the meantime a few things have happened, so I’ll just sum them up in one big blog post:

Spiel and Gamesäge
In late October I’ve attended the annual games fair “Spiel” in Essen, which is the biggest event of that sort in the world. I didn’t try out any new games, but I participated in a King of Tokyo tournament. Unfortunately I did not manage to win one of those four player tournaments until they ran out of prizes. Still, that was good fun and perhaps next year I’ll attend all of the days and will try out and buy more games. Regarding gamesäge, I’m behind schedule, but the last video I posted also deals with Spiel 2013.

Sword & Laser season 2
Some of you might remember the Sword & Laser podcast I mentioned on my blog, because I submitted a story to their anthology (see blog posts 4 and 16 for details). Right now they are trying to raise money for a second season of the video version of their podcast. The kickstarter campaign still runs for 15 days – I’ve already backed this and am looking forward to reading the aforementioned anthology, which was the kickstarter reward for backing.

Age of Torridan
Unfortunately I didn’t complete the milestone of finishing my work in progress novel “Age of Torridan” by the end of October. I’m at seventy thousand words and there are just four chapters left to write until the first draft is ready. This leads me straight to the next point:

NaNoWriMo
The first of November, which is NaNoWriMo‘s start date, is a holiday in Germany. However, this year I had to come in to work, since there was an important deadline. I did not get any words done for NaNoWriMo on the 1st and 2nd of November. Afterwards I flew to London for a short vacation. Since I didn’t note card a new story, didn’t finish Age of Torridan and started late, I’ve decided to be a “NaNo rebel” and continue working on the old book.

London
My London trip was great as always – I attended Patrick Rothfuss‘s signing and Q&A in both Oxford and London. I don’t want to go into too much detail here, as that actually is a relevant blog entry on its own.

Twitter follow etiquette
Originally I only followed people on twitter, if I “discovered” them or if I knew them well. However, I’ve changed my mind regarding the whole “follow back” etiquette and as a result I soared from 26 followers to 70. So my new approach is to follow back everyone, who adds me, but when people post too many weird, disagreeable, nonsensical things, as determined by my mood, I may unfollow again. In any case, people are in good company, as Wil Wheaton usually goes on a twitter rampage once a year, resulting in me unfollowing him and adding him again a few months later.

That’s all for now. Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#25 Gamesäge Episode 004 Nexus Ops

Well met, my friends!

So far with every youtube video I uploaded, I received a lot of useful feedback. The latest feedback “I only managed to watch half of your video” reminded me that I’ve read somewhere that the most successful youtube clips are between 2 and 5 minutes long.

Therefore, I’ve decided to imitate Rahdo’s style of having a playthrough video and a sort of verdict video. The only improvement here is that the quick discussion is the first video and the lengthy playthrough (that may not be of interest to everyone) is the second video. Here is the latest episode of Gamesäge, where I have a look at “Nexus Ops”. Let me know what you think:

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#23 New videos

Well met, my friends!

I did not have time to review “Race for the Galaxy” in yesterday’s episode of gamesäge. Instead, I’m talking about the materials I used for my old game prototypes and about the combat system in one of those games.

In addition, I also uploaded the outtakes from gamesäge episode 002 last Thursday.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time,

Kai

#21 Gamesäge episode 002

Well met, my friends!

Getting the video up on time was a bit of a problem this time around. The video itself was plagued by numerous false starts – at least I should have enough material for a bloopers / outtakes video.

After I cut it with Windows Life Movie Maker, I noticed that on my desktop computer I could only save it as a .wmv file. I uploaded that on youtube, which took about an hour, but then I noticed that there was a black border around the video. So I had to delete it, go to my laptop and save the video as .mp4

Unfortunately something went wrong and the last few seconds of the video were missing. I then updated the Windows Life Movie Maker on my desktop and reuploaded. The whole process took till 1 in the morning, but since I started the upload on Sunday, I maintain that I wasn’t late :P

So, as mentioned last time, I am taking a look at the game Citadels in this episode of Gamesäge (pronounced “game sage”).

The next video will probably be about Race for the Galaxy.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time.

#19 Gamesäge episode one!

Hi all,

I’ve finally joined the ranks of youtubers – I used to have a channel under a different name since 2006, but I did not upload any videos. For recognition purposes I’ve decided to use www.youtube.com/kaiherbertz as my main channel.

However, the show is called “Gamesäge”, which is pronounced “game sage”. Every week I will review one of my favourite games. In addition to merely reviewing it, I’ll have a closer look at the underlying mechanics. Thus, the name gamesäge has a sort of double meaning – it’s an odd spelling of the words game sage and also the word “Säge” is German for “saw”. With my metaphorical saw, I shall cut open the games and look inside to find out what makes them work.

Let me know what you think of the first video and tune in next week on Sunday when I will have a closer look at the game citadels.

Pursue your dreams and see you next time!

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