Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Seattle trip 2010 - the rest of the story

Last post was Tuesday night after Music in the Park with Renee, Matt and Jonah.

Wednesday I did play pickup frisbee at Microsoft as planned, then picked up Sean and Jeremy and eventually met up with Rif and Mohan at Griptonite Games' office for a game night. I played my latest design Eminent Domain with Rif, Sean and Mohan (Jeremy played some other game), but then people decided to leave, so we all went to Mohan and Rif's apartment in Belleview and hung out. Mohan and I chatted about game design stuff while Sean, Jeremy and Rif played Innovation - a new game by the guy that made Glory to Rome. Mohan has a neat idea for a solitaire game based on things like Spider Solitaire or Klondike, but with a theme that applies to the way those games work. It might be best as a digital game, so it's a good thing he works in the digital game industry!

Thursday after going to the store with Amelia, I spent much of the day with Renee and Jonah. We went to lunch, the post office, and to check out a day care place. It was a nice visit, and when Renee was putting Jonah down for a nap I think I fell asleep on the couch myself! After that I went to Microsoft Building 50 for a game night to meet up with Christopher Rao, a guy I met a couple of years ago on my Seattle trip, and hung out with at BGG.con as well. I like that particular game night locale because it's in a cafeteria at Microsoft, so the table space is great, the lighting is great, and since it's at Microsoft, there's free soda all over the place. I liked it a little better last year because the "game night" was during the day and the cafeteria was open for business, but what can you do. You can order pizza, that's what!

I met a guy named Robb Effinger there, and he was pretty cool. We played Ground Floor, a game that is being published next year by Tasty Minstrel Games. everyone enjoyed it, it went over very well. After that I played a dice game which I remembered liking the time I played it about a year ago... it's called Alea Iacta Est, and for the life of me I can't recall what I thought was good about it. Jeremy and Robb didn't like it either. We also played Fermat - which is a math game like Set (but with math), which is apparently being published under the name Got It! this year. Finally, Robb and I played a game of Wizard's Tower in which I basically just explained the rules as they came up. He ended up winning, even though he didn't know how to play! Overall it was a pretty fun game night.

Friday I went to another pickup frisbee game at Microsoft. There is so much frisbee to be had in Seattle! And the weather was gorgeous all week! Later that night I had arranged to demo Terra Prime and Homesteaders at Uncle's Games in Redmond Town Center, so I met Renee, Matt, Jonah, Sean, and Rif at Red Robin, then proceeded to Uncle's for their Friday game night. I met a fan of Tasty Minstrel who had come by, Peter Loop, who was a neat guy and I showed him all the upcoming Tasty Minstrel games I had with me (Jab, Train of Thought and Ground Floor). Over the course of the evening I also played Forbidden Island, another cooperative game by the guy who made Pandemic. I had heard good things about it, but it turns out it's EXACTLY LIKE Pandemic, only simpler! I don't think Pandemic needed to be simpler, so I really didn't care for the game at all. I also played Innovation a couple times with Sean, Race For The Galaxy (in which I completely crushed Sean!), Tsuro, Train of Thought, and Fermat (I'm still calling it that!)

Saturday morning, Jeremy, Amelia and I headed to Seattle Center for a Magic: the Gathering Prerelease tournament. I hadn't played Magic in a while, so that was fun. After that we went to a game night for Emerald City Gamers, hosted by a guy named Justin in Ballard (not far from Seattle Center). We played a game called Cyclades which I'd heard about and Jeremy wanted to play because it has a Kraken in it (!) Sadly, in our game it didn't come up, so noone was able to Release the Kraken! After that we played Galaxy Trucker, which is a cute, fun game about quickly cobbling together a spaceship an then watching it get blown apart by space pirates and asteroids.

Sunday I went to Marymoor park for the usual pickup frisbee again. Since the weather was so nice I thought it would be fun to organize a barbecue, which we did on Sunday at Mohan's apartment complex. They have a nice courtyard with grass, a grill, and their apartment is on top of a Safeway (to which we made several trips for buns, burgers, drinks, etc). Alex was able to make it, which I didn't think was going to happen, and I got a chance to play his new game called Witch's Coven - a semi-cooperative game about evil witches brewing a potion of power. The idea is that as a group you want to have all the necessary ingredients for the potion, but since you want to be more powerful than other players, you want to make it so that the coven doesn't need at least 1 player in order to make the potion. So you basically don't want to be obsolete, and further, you want to try and make another player obsolete. It doesn't take very long, and it was more interesting than I thought it would be at first.

There were about 13 people total at the BBQ, and after a bit, the 7 of us remaining went inside and chatted about various thing and just hung out. It's seldom that I just hang out with friends, so I found that refreshing.

Monday morning I had to return my rental car, and Sean hooked me up with a ride to the airport. I flew to Phoenix without incident, then drove to Tucson and went almost immediately to frisbee league.

All in all I had an EXCELLENT summer vacation in Seattle! Next year I hope to remember to factor $10/day of parking into the cost of flying from Phoenix - that can really add up on a long trip like this one! It was tough to leave highs in the low 80s for lows in the high 80s, but the good news is that I seem to have missed all the really atrocious weather while I was in the very comfortable Pacific NW. Every time I go to Seattle I come home wishing I didn't have to leave. I know it's only nice like that in Summer, I think it would be cool to find a summer gig there and work/live the rest of the year here in Tucson.

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