Tag Archives: Android

Cold Wars 2014: There’s an APP for that!


I’m starting the “last minute” updates for COLD WARS 2014 Guidebook App.  I just added all schedule additions SINCE January 10 (the PEL update).  I also added Room Layouts and Tournaments.  I have YET to add Exhibitor Lists.   I have no idea who is a vendor at Cold Wars 2014 at the moment, so it will have to wait until the Convention leadership sends me more information.

I really don’t need to post another “This is how Guidebook works and how you use it” post, there’s about 7 on this blog already and the method doesn’t change much, just the data.  Go to the HISTORICON 2013 post on this subject if you need help.

Yessir, there’s an app for that. CLICK ON THIS POSTER to go to the Cold Wars 2014 Landing Page, to download YOUR copy.

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Some outstanding Tiller Wargames hit Ipad and Android


John Tiller

John Tiller is one of those classic names to conjure with in the turn-based computer wargames software niche.   He got his start with Talonsoft in 1995, and from 1995 to 1999 was pretty much the go-to guy for design in that company, creating the classic “Tiller Interface” for his Battleground, Campaign, and Age of Sail games (menu bar of icons up top, hex map in the center, specific units highlighted in a bar either to the left of or below the hex map action).   For about six years this was the standard for a Talonsoft turn-based wargame in the Windows arena; when Talonsoft pitched tents he went to  HPS simulations and recreated his success over there, expanding on the basic game engine he created for Talonsoft, adding campaign elements to the basic Civil War engine that he had created, and expanding the engine to other eras not covered by Talonsoft.   When Talonsoft cashed in its chips it also sold its designs off to Matrix Games, which has released Tiller’s old campaigns as updated collections on one CD.  At some point, John Tiller set up shop for himself and created Tiller Software, which continues to develop games using the turn-based engine that has done a decent job since 1995.

Out of the blue, Tiller Software recently jumped into the mobile device marketplace with very little fanfare.  Indeed, in the rush and excitement of the release of DRIVE ON MOSCOW by Shenandoah Studios recently, I had no idea that Tiller was now dabbling in providing games for mobile devices.  So it was a bit of a shocker to see not just one, but FIVE turn based, hex wargames that are direct ports from his older HPS Simulations titles.   I assume the rights have reverted to him.   So far, Tiller Software has release five wargames for both the Android and IoS platforms, three of which are absolutely free!

All five games on my Ipad Air

CWB: Battles is Tiller’s Civil War Battles game engine, which is essentially the same engine that created Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg Shiloh and Chickamauga for Talonsoft.  No campaign interface that I’ve seen, and this (free!) game is mostly a bunch of non-historical teaching scenarios to get the user boned up on the CWB interface.

Civil War Brigade Series, intro scenario screen

MAP: Modern is a port of John Tiller Software game of the same name.  The two commercial HPS titles are Air War: Middle East and Air War: Vietnam.  The Ipad/Android release appears to be a generic trainer app to introduce the MAP system and provide learning scenarios.  It’s also free.

Modern Air Power. Most of the Action takes place in Korea

PzC: Tunisia43 is a game in the Panzer Campaigns series, an operational level wargame engine for many titles.  For more on the base game, click here.  Note that this game DOES have historical scenarios, roughly in line with the commercial Windows product of the same name– though not as many are included.   It also costs money, 2.99.

Tunisia 43 Intro Scenario

PzC: Bulge44 is the port of this Windows game from Tiller Software, and it roughly aligns itself to that title in terms of scenarios.   It’s a pretty detailed game of the Battle of the Bulge with tons of units and lots of scenarios (although not as much as the Windows game); I’m enjoying playing Kampfgruppe Peiper even as we speak.   It also costs 2.99.

Panzer Campaigns: Bulge 44 screen

PzC is basically the engine of the Panzer Campaigns and was released as a sort of intro to the series (for free!).  It has several scenarios of varying complexity, designed to teach the PzC system to the player in segments.

Me assualting some pesky Soviets who just won’t fold and run away on me, even when surrounded. The nerve of those guys.

The business plan for mobile apps appears to be to release the basic game engine with some training scenarios for free (PzC, MAP, CWB) and then follow up with specific historical games (e.g., Tunisia, Bulge) for about 2.99 each.  I love this idea.  The Windows games were about 30 dollars at their cheapest and often much more than that.    Granted, the games are ports of MS Windows resolution games with MS Windows inspired interface; very little has been done to take advantage of or adhere to IoS or Android capabilities with these ports.  So there’s a little bit of a learning curve figuring out the specific menu bar icons, and how to move or fire.  That wasn’t all that easy in Windows, in IoS it can be a chore.  However, once you figure out the basics of one game you can play ALL games, no matter what the era.  You’ll have to figure out the nuances between menu bars, as the icons do change.  Fortunately, the documentation is very functional:

Getting Started Screen, Bulge 44

The really important elements to learn are the menu buttons and how to move and fire.  Everything else is secondary.

Graphics are not at the level of Shennandoah Studios, this is a port of a Windows game that originated in the 90s, and it has that 90s look and feel.  With that said, the game play is tremendous and the ROI for 2.99 is very good– each commercial game has several scenarios and loads of replay value.  Even the freebie introductory games (PzC, MOB, CWB) have about ten scenarios each which is respectable.

All of these game apps are available right now in the Itunes App store and Google Play.  Search for John Tiller or CWB and then click on the designer’s name and you’ll find all of them easily.  Or try this link.  I’m pretty excited about this development– these are real, serious no-fooling wargames for the Ipad, NOT arcade games, and they will definitely appeal to the wargame fan with an Ipad or Android tablet.  I don’t advise trying to play any of the Android or IoS ports on a small screen, the resolution is just too small to be useful.  Tablets  only!  I have played them with an Ipad Air and a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the port is virtually identical across platforms, which is a plus.

Have fun with these! I know I did.

Change of Policy at Google Books! Yay!


Google Books was another free service from Google for people to access libraries, conduct online libraries for academic purposes, and also buy and store their own catalog of electronic books.  Potential users complained when they couldn’t use the service as a sort of online calibre or adobe editions service.  You couldn’t add your own epubs and pdfs to your own library, for fear of violating B&N’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle, only not tied to any device.  I liked the idea of Google books, but hardly used it, as I couldn’t archive my own epubs on the service, so what was the point?

Something new on the horizon...

Something new on the horizon…

All of that is changed.  The recent update of Google Books announced that they are removing some restrictions on uploading privately owned content to ones’ Google Book library.  So now a person can upload their own commercial Epub files and PDFs to Google Book libraries.   There’s still some places where it falls short.. no MOBI files, no Kindle content, no PDFs over a certain size (I believe 25 megs).  Still, it’s a big step forward, and I’ll tell you why.

  1. Virtually ANY device or reader that can read a browser or run an Android app or IoS app can become your reader.  The files are cloud-stored, and downloaded when you need them.   (I say “virtually any” as I don’t know about the Windows Tablet operating system yet)
  2. You don’t have to store as many files as I do locally, and that’s a big plus.  I can replicate my gigantic Ireader library in Google Books, and download what I want, when I want it (presuming an internet connection), then archive it back when I’m done.  Much more easy-peasy than Ibooks.
  3. The new version of Google Books is reasonably flexible, allowing expanded research into topics and storage in custom bookshelf style groups of files.

Epubs are the easiest to store so far, I’ve found, but it would help if there was a way (to borrow a good feature from Calibre) to look up meta information from book databases on individual titles.  I like to be able to see my covers, and they often don’t make it on epubs.

Screenshot of Google Books

Screenshot of Google Books.  As you can see, it’s not perfect, but it is serviceable.

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Leviathans (not THOSE Leviathans) coming soon to a portable device near you


LEVIATHAN: WARSHIPS from Paradox Interactive (not to be confused with the flying battleship Leviathans from Catalyst Game Labs) was announced earlier this year and has a launch date of 30 April this year. Leviathan Warhsips appears to be a semi-real time naval combat game set in a kinda-sorta Edwardian universe. This doesn’t appear to be a very deep game, but there are elements I’m liking from the limited information that has been released so far. The fleets are customizable, if somewhat cartoony and corny looking.

Fire! Fire! Fire!

Engage! Engage! Engage!

Secondly, this isn’t just an arcade game, though it might look like one at first glance. Everything I’m seeing appears to indicate that there IS a combat system at work here, and it makes consistent and logical sense. For instance, check out the damage display:

Damage boxes, eh? Reminds you of.. oh, I dunno, pretty much any naval wargame I’ve ever played with miniatures?

That’s not a “my ship took ten hit points, therefore it sinks” kind of damage model. It’s still fairly simple-looking, but there’s some thought beind shown here. I’m intrigued.

Best of all, There appears to be some thought put into the firing model. Shots get fired and don’t hit. Ships fire and the shot gets blocked by terrain or they fall short. Ships can’t seem to fire at what they can’t see. Check out the following two Youtube videos displaying the review version of the software.

and

The ships in these examples aren’t violating basic physics. They aren’t zipping around like hydrofoils.. they are big lumbering beasts who actually have to maneuver to bring guns to bear. That’s pretty hopeful. I still see the AI doing a few stupid things, but the overall game appears to be somewhat on target with how naval gunfire from the early 20th century ought to look like.

So, yeah, I’m intrigued. I here this will be a cross-platform release, and it might be out for the Ipad at the same time as everything else, including Windows. I hope there’s some form of online play or sequential PBeM play being developed.

I’ll know more when on April 30th!

HISTORICON 2012 Guidebook App is now available


The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (HMGS) is holding our annual Spring convention, HISTORICON 2012, on July 19.  You can get in a big chunk of gaming, and the Guidebook can help.

Just like before every con I make one of these for, this post is a short introduction to Guidebook, how to get it and how to use it for YOUR convention.

Main Menu

HISTORICON 2012 Guidebook Main Menu, on an Ipad 2.

First of, what is GUIDEBOOK?  This is an application, or “App” in modern parlance, that resides on a multitude of mobile devices (Ipad, Ipod, Iphone, Android smartphones, Android Tablets, and there’s even a version for browser enabled phones that can access the web).  GUIDEBOOK maintains a master schedule of every thing going on at a convention, Maps where everything is, general information about the convention,  plus maintaining a custom version of your own schedule that keeps a list of all the things you want to do when you go to a convention.. and reminds you when you when it’s time to do it.  Think of it as your, extremely personalized version of the paper program guide that can store on a handy device, beeps you when it’s time to go to the next item on your schedule and keeps a to-do list for you.

The Convention Information Screen on your HISTORICON 2012 Guidebook. This is where I store useful tidbits like convention hours, prices and directions information. Has links to GOOGLE MAPS, but you’ll need some form of internet connection to make it work.

Guidebook is an application for supporting conventions, trade shows and other events by hosting a version of their event schedules, layouts, maps, and special data lists on a variety of portable platforms– notably the Apple IoS products Iphone, Ipod Touch, Ipad, any Android phone, and any internet enabled phone that can web-browse.  In essence, Guidebook takes the important stuff out of the paper program book you all know and love and puts it on a device you may carry around with you on a regular basis.

Directions on how to get and use GUIDEBOOK

(much of this information is repeated on the HISTORICON 2012 “Landing Page”, which is a new service from Guidebook)

The various links associated with these instructions are located on Guidebook’s GET THE APP webpage

A page from the MASTER SCHEDULE icon containing actual HISTORICON 2012 schedule data. See the colored bars on the left side? They are color coded. RED for Events. GREEN for tournament events, and BLUE for scheduled speakers.  In this listing, Tournament listings are preceded by “TN” and Seminars by “SEM” for easy visual scanning.

If you have an Ipod Touch, Iphone, or Ipad 1 or 2, visit the Itunes App Store, for the Guidebook app.  Download it. Install it.  It’s free.  Then “Search for events” and located HISTORICON 2012.  Download that guide.   There you go, that’s all you need to do.  Start browsing and bookmarking events you want to go to.

This is what a map page looks like. I included maps to all the major rooms HISTORICON 2012 will be utilizing plus a “zoom view” for harder to make out rooms.  Again, that’s a real map from HISTORICON 2012.

If you have an ANDROID phone, go to the Android Store.  Look up GUIDEBOOK. Download the app.  It’s free. Then “Search for events” and located HISTORICON 2012.  Download that guide, and browse away.

This is our vendor listing. It’s pretty simple– just a list with a table number next to the Vendor title. I could add more information per each vendor but I didn’t get anything beyond the names and table assignments. To use this, scan this list for your vendor and switch to the maps collection and look up the vendor hall. Pretty easy stuff.

If you have an INTERNET CAPABLE, but not Android or IoS phone, you can point your phone’s browser to this web link: http://m.guidebook.com  You will see a less graphical interface but it will contain the same amount of information as the other two platforms (IoS and Android).  Even nicer, when you use a web browser phone, it doesn’t count against our download limit.

I published the guide yesterday, and it is currently being proofread by the Guidebook technical folks for final release and download.  You may look at a preview instance of the guide in your web browser in advance, right now.

Simply point your browser to this url: http://m.guidebook.com/1041/  It will probably ask for a preview code.  Type in this: g5b7si2f

You can probably use the preview link above in advance with any browser capable phone.  Anyway, that should contain everything you want to know for HISTORICON 2012– Gaming Events with maps and table numbers, show hours, location, Exhibitors with table numbers, Tournaments, the works.

IF THE INFORMATION CHANGES, up to and DURING the convention, that will be communicated to me by Bill Rutherford, or some other events person, and I will make the changes on the server, which will be communicated to the users as an update to the Guidebook ready for download.  You don’t have to do anything but hit “yes”.

Have fun, and I hope this is useful for you.  I’ll see you at HISTORICON 2012!

* Last Minute Notes:

  1. Katherine DeLeon, the project manager with whom I worked with at Guidebook, gracefully allowed us to use “track group” indexing for free for this HISTORICON.  This is usually something we pay extra for.  So you will see something a little different than the main menu above–  a menu with a red, green and blue dot for Game Events, Tournaments and Speakers.  These choices will be grouped together in those menus.  I think this will be a very useful choice.
  2. I received information for the Hobby University which still may be added in, but the format I received it in was pretty difficult to update from.  If I can sort it out in time, I’ll add it to the guidebook and just allow it to update for you.

Disclaimers:

I did not program the actual app GUIDEBOOK, just prepared the HISTORICON 2012 data module for free use.  I’m not an employee of Guidebook.com and don’t get paid to endorse them.  Use at your own risk.

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Android Boardgame Helper apps, creating a new market


Much attention has been given to the Ipad/Ipod platform for boardgame conversions; and with good reason.  The IOS platform seems to have emerged as the primary platform of choice for boardgame conversions of all kinds, with the Android Market lagging behind the big releases by a period from six months to  a year in some cases.  For instance, Carcassonne, one of the biggest hits in the IoS Realm, has only recently been released for Android as a commercial product.    There are other big titles, such as Through The Desert, Words with Friends, and Cataan, but for the most part releases continue to lag for full up game conversions with AI and/or multiplayer/internet gaming component.   There’s plenty of reasons for this.. the two installation bases are not equal.  There is concern from developers about how they will get paid, and how quickly, whereas the Apple Itunes App store is more stable and considered more secure.

This doesn’t mean that boardgames aren’t represented on Android.  There have been a surprising amount of boardgame HELPER apps released in the last two years.  For the most part these are deck shufflers and builders, dice rollers, and “toolbox” apps that do many things.   Most, if not almost all, of them are free for the download.  I suspect this is because the licensing issues are too complex and it’s just easier to release them for free.  There are very few free (and very few commercial, come to think of it) boardgame apps that actually play the game WITH you, but there are many Android apps out there that will HELP you play a boardgame.  Some of these are helpful, some are puzzling, but most of them are free, so you will have no problem trying them out and making up your own mind.

Here, then, is a list of some useful boardgame utilities out there on the Android market right now.

Droidippy A DIPLOMACY adjudication/game play app not unlike JDip and RealPolitik, only it plays on an Android platform.  Receives email turns and adjudicates Diplomacy games with multiple players; displays a map readout that updates on all the player’s phones/tablets.

Axis and Allies Combat Simulator I never understood the reasons for having an Axis and Allies combat Simulator, but they were popular way back in the day on Windows platforms as shareware, and here’s on for about four dollars.  Has a menu driven interface and figures out the probability of success on possible combats.

The Milton Bradley edition of Axis & Allies, s...

The Milton Bradley edition of Axis & Allies, showing the game map and all 299 playing pieces (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Assorted Magic: the Gathering Utilities.  (Links to search for “Magic the Gathering” on Android Market) Frankly there are so many Magic: the Gathering utilities, life counters, card databases, toolboxes, ultimate apps, AIs and simulators out there on the market that one could write a very long blog post on that subject, and I’m not that big of a fan.    Suffice to say, the apps in this collection either count life, catalog cards, manage your collection, and provide strategy tips.  I’ve yet to find an app that actually plays the game.

Rattus Shuffle randomly selects for you with which cards you’re going to play the board game Rattus, which was reviewed on this blog a while ago.

Rattus

Rattus (Photo credit: MeoplesMagazine)

To use Rattus Shuffle: Before you’re going to play the game, choose from all the available expansions, select the number of players and Rattus Shuffle will determine with which combination of cards you’re going to play the game.  The creator appears to have the cooperation of Goblin Games, as they are using the same artwork.

Dominion Shuffle: this is a helper app for the great card drafting game DOMINION.  randomly select a set of kingdom cards for the card game Dominion. It has a flexible way of specifying the shuffle rules and choosing which cards to use. The card language can be chosen using the menu.  Dominion Shuffle also includes support for Androminion (Dominion for Android, it actually allows game play)  to play with your selected kingdom cards against the computer.   Along the same vein are Dominion Card PickerDominion Randomizer, and Randominion, which are basically deck builders and shuffler apps.

Agricola Score Calculator is pretty much what it says, a scoring app for the hit board game AGRICOLA.   The app and the interface are colorful and straightforward.   Along the same lines: Agricola Score Sheet (Lite and Regular) and Agricola Buddy.

Carcassonne Scoreboard.   Since Carc is now a paid game app in the market, this is about all we’ll see freeware.  Like many other boardgame support apps, this maintains a scoresheet for repeated games.  Along the same lines are: Carcassonne Scorer and Scorer Lite.

Lost Cities CCSKC:  Another Reiner Knizia classic, Lost Cities is represented in the market by a Score Keeper app that maintains game score and tracks the cards left in the deck.  Along the same lines is Lost Cities: Help, which essentially does the same thing.

RFTG Scorer is a straightforward, useful score sheet app for RACE FOR THE GALAXY.

Munchlevel is a life counter/scorer type app from the hit card game MUNCHKIN, by Steve Jackson Games.  Not much to be said here, the app is pretty straightforward and easy to use.  Alon the same lines are: Munchkin Level Counter and Munchkimetro.

 Thunderstone Shuffle app is a card shuffling app for the card drafting game THUNDERSTONE,  similiar to others mentioned.  This app lets you choose which cards can be selected and easily randomizes which cards will appear in your game. It understands the rules of the game and generates a legal layout, has a solo option and marks cards which were in the previous shuffle, making multiple games easier.
Descent Assistant is a sort of toolbox, monster manager for the Dungeon Crawling game DESCENT from Fantasy Flight Games.   This app makes an Overlord’s job much easier by simplifying monster management tasks.  Users can add monsters to manage their statistics.  Descent Assistant contains all available monsters, including Road to Legend encounters and chiefs. Displays all capabilities of added monsters including descriptions of all abilities.  The Interface doesn’t appear to have the same artwork.  In the same vein, but different,

are: The Descent Dice Roller and Dicent.

Doom Dice Simulator rolls

the dice for DOOM the boardgame.

Lastly is the Small World Pedia, which appears to be an unofficial encyclopedia of Small World games series involving all the races, powers, relics and legendary places, are displayed the informations on the amount of tokens collected and the rules concerning the powers of each items.
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Cold Wars 2012 is right around the corner, Guidebook is now


The Historical Miniatures Gaming Society (HMGS) is holding our annual Spring convention, COLD WARS 2012, on March 9-11.  Unofficially, if you show up Thursday, you can also get in a big chunk of gaming, as well.

As I have done for the past two conventions, I have created a Guidebook helper app for this convention using the Guidebook.com event planning service and software.  Guidebook is an outstanding service that just keeps getting better with the strategic partnering decisions they have made in the last year. We have been using Guidebook’s entry level free service tier for the last two conventions, HISTORICON 11 and FALL IN! 11.   This limits the number of guidebook downloads to a flat 200 downloads per event.  That may not seem like much (and it has dropped from last year, when it was 300).  I think we could probably justify spending a flat 500 dollars to get unlimited downloads, but we’re building up to that usage level gradually.  We had under 300 downloads for HISTORICON and FALL IN, so with the reduction in the download amount this year we actually MIGHT have a bigger demand then supply for COLD WARS 12!  With all that said, here’s what GUIDEBOOK does:

ImageGuidebook is an application for supporting conventions, trade shows and other events by hosting a version of their event schedules, layouts, maps, and special data lists on a variety of portable platforms— notably the Apple IoS products Iphone, Ipod Touch, Ipad, any Android phone, and any internet enabled phone that can web-browse.  In essence, Guidebook takes the important stuff out of the paper program book you all know and love and puts it on a device you may carry around with you on a regular basis.

Directions

The various links associated with these instructions are located on Guidebook’s GET THE APP webpage

If you have an Ipod Touch, Iphone, or Ipad 1 or 2, visit the Itunes App Store, for the Guidebook app.  Download it. Install it.  It’s free.  Then “Search for events” and located COLD WARS 2012.  Download that guide.   There you go, that’s all you need to do.  Start browsing and bookmarking events you want to go to.

If you have an ANDROID phone, go to the Android Store.  Look up GUIDEBOOK. Download the app.  It’s free. Then “Search for events” and located COLD WARS 2012.  Download that guide, and browse away.

If you have an INTERNET CAPABLE, but not Android or IoS phone, you can point your phone’s browser to this web link: http://m.guidebook.com  You will see a less graphical interface but it will contain the same amount of information as the other two platforms (IoS and Android).  Even nicer, when you use a web browser phone, it doesn’t count against our download limit.

I published the guide yesterday, and it is currently being proofread by the Guidebook technical folks for final release and download.  You may look at a preview instance of the guide in your web browser in advance, right now.

Simply point your browser to this url: http://m.guidebook.com/1041/  It will probably ask for a preview code.  Type in this: spdtq52z

You can probably use the preview link above in advance with any browser capable phone.  Anyway, that should contain everything you want to know for COLD WARS 2012– Gaming Events with maps and table numbers, show hours, location, Exhibitors with table numbers, Tournaments, Painting University, the works.

IF THE INFORMATION CHANGES, up to and DURING the convention, that will be communicated to me by Bob Van Der Kamp, or some other events person, and I will make the changes on the server, which will be communicated to the users as an update to the Guidebook ready for download.  You don’t have to do anything but hit “yes”.

Have fun, and I hope this is useful for you.

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Lightning Review: BRAWL by Cheapass Games


And another fine Lightning Review! This week it’s a game that didn’t get a lot of attention when it came out, so I’m going to pay attention to it now. Namely, BRAWL by Cheapass Games, the app of the real time martial arts card game from Cheapass. I liked it for what it is; a fast, real time and not-very-deep card game simulation.

(I apologize for the audio cut off at the end, as it went over the five minute time limit. I said “So that’s It, thanks for listening to Lightning Review and I recommend you pick this one up!”)

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Lightning Review: LOOT AND SCOOT by Victory Point Games


A new series of short reviews of IOS/Android game apps, produced using my Ipad2 and coming in at five minutes or less per review.

This was a LR of LOOT AND SCOOT, by Victory Point Games.  Loot and Scoot started life as a paper and cardboard game and was recently ported to both Android and IOS (Ipad) platforms as a game app.  My experience is entirely with the Ipad version, though I’m certain the Android game wouldn’t play any differently.  Loot and Scoot can be summarized as a fun little rolling dice and luck-pressing game with a heavy fantasy dungeon crawl theme.

Production note: I apologize for the audio cutoff at the end there, I was just saying “Thanks for listening, and I hope you enjoy Loot and Scoot”.

English: Apple iPad Event

Sniff.. so long, Steve. Image via Wikipedia

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Join the Experiment: Play by Email game via Evernote web and Ipad app…


Evernote for iOS icon

Image via Wikipedia

Evernote Web is a unique utility that allows a user to take notes, capture pictures, ideas and documents and share them across the web over a wide variety of platforms. Since Evernote notes and information captures can be read easily on a PC (via Evernote Web), Android Smartphones (via the Evernote app) or IOS devices, (via the App), or any IoS device such as an Ipad, Ipod or Iphone, it really becomes a useful method of communicating to a lot of people in different places all at once.  And being the gaming geek that I am, that sort of conjures up Play By Email games, but done in an entirely new way.  Or kind of entirely new– shared file spaces are NOT new, they have been around for a while; see Box.net, Dropbox.com, and Google Docs.    There’s just something about Evernote‘s implementation that I really enjoy.  For starters, it can view the same information over  so many platforms, easily, and I can share folders to the whole world or to certain individuals.  I can do that in Google Docs and Dropbox and Box, too, but again, it’s a touchy feely thing.

Evernote on different platforms

Evernote on different platforms: The same note on an Ipod Touch and an Ipad, I also can see it on my Android phone, but I had to take the picture with something.

SO.. trying to put this idea to some use, I thought it might be fun to run a PBeM game in the shared space I’ve put up on Evernote web.  I have created a shared folder here: https://www.evernote.com/pub/misternizz/pbemgames  I don’t think you will need to download a client to view this folder, since I shared it to the world.

The game I’m going to test this concept out with is called BY POPULAR DEMAND (BPD).  If you’ve read this blog for over a year or so, you know I’ve run BPD games before on here.  The pbemgames folder currently has the rules to the game.  I will process a turn by selecting a General Category, then Six Categories that fit that general category, and a magic letter.  If you would like to play, email me at misternizz.7270c@m.evernote.com.  Every week I’ll process a turn or two, depending on how quickly they are turned in.  The game runs for ten turns.  You are scored by how many categories match the categories of the answers of everyone that sends in a response.  Thus, if the Category is “Male names beginning with the letter J”, and ten people send me JOE and 3 people send me JEREMY, the JOEs will get ten points and the JEREMYs will receive 3 points.  See how it works?  It may seem mindlessly simple but the skill is in guessing not what YOU think is right, but what EVERYONE thinks is right.

So, please feel free to hop in.  I will post a spreadsheet to the Evernote folder above via my Ipad once I get about 6 plus people playing.  I will email everyone from Evernote informing them when the game starts.  I hope you can join us!

Evernote

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TACTICA RTS: Another Real IPAD Wargame done Old School Style.


Given the urgent nature of some of Jason Waggoner’s comments in previous posts on the subject, I need to check out a new Ipad-only wargame from a company called Waggoner Industries for the IoS system. The game is called TACTICA RTS. Honestly, I can’t afford an Ipad 2 right now, but I mean to get one at some point. So I really have no idea of what the game is like as there isn’t a video on it yet. I’ll append this post when there is. What I’m seeing from the screenshots I personally consider very encouraging. Check this out:

Wow! A Wargame!

WOW!! this is a REAL Wargame!

I don’t mean to gush, but doesn’t this look Tactics II done again as an Ipad wargame? I like it! The best part of the mix is that I would be considering this game to be an engine of sorts. It won’t take much to plug in historical OOBs and Scenarios to this game– I strongly suggest that Waggoner Industries market a “wargame construction set” of sorts for this engine.. A module for creating OOBs, a simple tile based map editor, and a way to play them PBeM. You can create a whole wargaming community with this thing if you want to put the work into it.

I’m enthused.

To get a copy of TACTICA RTS, visit the APP STORE on ITUNES. If you’re an old grognard type like me, GO BUY THIS THING, so the author will be encouraged to make more of it. Maybe with historical, not generic, scenarios. And how about some support for the Itouch? Spread the love, baby.

And speaking of zombies, and I know we were…


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