Friday, November 14, 2008

Kill It With Fire

As discussed in Identity Crisis I have been working on a little game design project.

"Kill It With Fire" is the name for my solo pen-and-paper game about maintaining a web presence while trolls try to bring it crashing down around your ears. Although it was mostly an exercise in design, it is actually playable.

The main design theory I was following was "system matters". The mechanics of the game had to be suited to the task at hand, practically as well as thematically. As play-testers have pointed out that the game seems repetitive and, at times, futile, I think I have captured the essence of holding back the mindless tide that is trolldom.

Kill It With Fire puts you in the role of a site-admin. Every day trolls assault your blog, forum, photo site, and even your personal life, but you have limited resources to undo their damage. You win by removing the last troll token on the board (representing . If at any point there are more than ten troll tokens on any one of your responsibilities you lose. Theoretically you could count the turns you survived before losing to compare your progress with others, but playing to a win or lose is usually enough.

You will need two regular six-sided dice and some counters (coins or tiddlywinks or fine) to play. The rules explain everything you need to know

Take a look and see what you think:

Kill it with Fire (File size 131K)

EDIT: File now located at

Sunday, November 02, 2008


So Halloween has been and gone for another year. I hope all the residents of the Trannisphere were able to take advantage of the season fora spot of dressing up. I certainly did. But before I discuss that...

Wasn't Dead Set good?

I had high hopes for the show, as Charlie Brooker is consistently entertaining on Screenwipe. But I also had deap-seated worries, because I hated the Nathan Barley series but found him pant-wettingly funny on the TV Go Home website).

I wasn't disappointed. It was funny, scary, and nicely satirical. There are some issues that pop up in horror that I have problems with (the ending Frank Darrabont's take on The Mist pushed those buttons), but Dead Set ended in a way that made sense, and felt right. Obviously as an optimist I'd have gone for a open-ended Butch and Sundance ending, but that's just personal preference. And it's out on DVD soon for those that missed it.

So, Halloween. I went out Friday night to The Wheel again, for their Halloqueen karaoke party. It was also my friend Hannah's birthday, so any excuse to dress up!

After Chrissy had hijacked my favourite outfit for herself, and Hannah had laid dibs on my goth wig, I decided to go for the old PVC witch look (sadly not as cool as Becky's one from the other year, but good enough). Unfortunately, despite trying it o weeks ago and loving it, I tried it on again Friday morning and had a fashion crisis - it didn't look right and I hated it!

Instead I went for a different witchy look, and dug out my top hat and skull staff. And when I got to Chrissy's to change I found she had a skull pendant and a cool bone bracelet which I horked, and had a last minute change to voodoo priestess. Sadly my pics are a bit blurry, and others were rather unflattering, so unless you scour Facebook, you'll have to imagine!

The night itself was pretty cool, and I met some new friends Amy and Shawnie. Amy hadn't dressed up, but Shawnie made an awesome Priss (from Bladerunner), and we spent the night chatting about all kinds of things.

Which reminds me - sorry if I didn't give you enough of my time Chrissy. You seemed a little distant (I think understand why) and I felt uncomfortable bothering you too much. I hope you get things sorted out.

But overall it was a good night, and I got to sing lots (even though I started choking to death during Love's Unkind)

And finally, the best story of the night:

While we waited for a taxi, we stood outside the pub with the smokers. There were around ten of us, and a couple of us were pretty big people. Plus we were completely blocking access to the pub door, you'd have had to push past, or go completely around to get in.

Which is why we fell about laughing when a muppet in a passing car threw an egg and hit the bottom of the pub door, completely missing everybody! A guy in a vampire costume made the observation that it was probably the throwers vestigial sixth finger causing some top spin that made him miss :)