Tonight on GeekNights, we bring back our classic "How to Not Suck" series with How to Not Suck at Hosting Parties. In the news, VA-11 HALL-A is out, and you should probably play it even if you don't consider yourself a "gamer." The NHL (hockey, in case you are one of those types who "ignore" sports) expansion in to Las Vegas means that there's going to be an expansion draft. The Brexit has a decent chance of passing, but Scott refuses to talk about "things that don't matter" and gets pretty grumpy about it.
Today, we pick through an entertaining Reddit thread on strange strategies in tabletop games. Beyond that, the G2A game codes scandal is pretty awful, and matchmaking is an interesting problem in Overwatch.
Tonight on GeekNights, we talk about talking at computers with the likes of Siri, Google Glass, Amazon Echo, etc... In the news, the legendary Robert Khoo steps down from Penny Arcade and Child's play. He will be missed, and we wish him a hearty GLHF with whatever he's up to after this. Apple has WWDC 2016, where they announced some things.
Tonight on GeekNights, Twitter plays GeekNights as we do a show about what we should do a show about, seeded with suggestions from the listener. In the news, a legend of a man, sorely needed in these times, passes away. We'll miss you, Muhammad Ali. AI is learning to play Atari games like a human child would. Old people have no idea what we're on about, but Hillary Clinton's campaign went a little Bulworthy.
We are presenting at PAX East 2016! This will be our 38th lecture or panel at a PAX since 2008, and it's a good one!
Atari Game Design
Sunday, April 24 at 3:30pm
Game design is a wide subject. The best approach to mastering it is to focus on the fundamentals, and what better place to do that than with Atari 2600 games? Join us for a deep game design analysis of classic competitive Atari games like Outlaw, and how their core concepts extend to modern games. When you can literally count the pixels with your eyes, and the code will fit in your calculator, the core principles of good (and bad) design become starkly apparent.
Designing Game Rules
PAX South 2016
The rules of a game literally define it. In videogames, they are intrinsic limitations. In tabletop, players must enforce them. In all games, players need to learn them. There are good and bad ways to teach a game. From awful tutorials to unparseable rulebooks, elegant demos to hour-long slogs, join us for a mechanical discussion of how game rules are (and should be) written, how players learn games, and why so few people are willing to read a 100 page rulebook (nevermind the appendices)!
Book Club - The Eye of the World
If and when you go to the book store, you hang in the nerdy sci-fi/fantasy/graphic novel section. That's how geeks do. And in that section there are certain books you see over and over again. Certain book series that are ever-present.
There's the Lord of the Rings. There are all the D&D Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance books. There's Foundation, Earthsea, Culture, Thomas Covenant, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and so many more.
They are really popular and famous series for a reason. Now, nobody is going to say that you must read them all, since they aren't all good. But they are all incredibly famous for a reason, so it should be good to know about them, even if reading them isn't in the cards.
And that brings us to the ridiculously famous Wheel of Time series. We knew very little about it other than that the books were very large, and it was a very famous series of fantasy novels. It was thus our nerdly duty to select the first of these books for our club selection.