Short and to the point
I haven’t been blogging much lately because my interest has been mostly consumed in my development of the Android:Netrunner OCTGN game definition and its peripheral activities, mainly casting games, streaming, promoting and of course playing it
Just recently we finished the biggest tournament in the world with 128 international participants playing over almost 3 months (1 matchup per week), and as part of promoting the event and the game, I took to casting the matches so that we can later post them online for other to watch. Many many cumulative hours of recording later, and I’ve created a youtube playlist of a significant number of the top matches from the tournament, mostly casted by yours truly, along with my personal NBN of co-casters and video editors. Take a peek if you want
Not only that,but once the tournament was about to finish, I decided to take it even further and livestream the final four matches, just to bring some extra excitement. About 20 people tuned in to watch the final matches and we had quite a bit of commentary and all around fun. Take a look how it turned out.
But other than that, I now regularly stream my games online as I play them, just so that I may raise interest in this great game and also inspire others to do the same. And in fact I’m glad to say it has worked brilliantly. Already we have almost half a dozen players who stream their games regularly, and we even had some cultural complaints about the practice. All this is great news, as it shows a healthy community that will only keep getting larger and more active.
And we already have plans for new leagues and tournaments and people keep inventing more ways to enjoy this game and spead the joy around. The more interest all these generate, the better the actual game will do in sales, which is just great for everyone involved. The future looks bright!
But this was actually funny.
Just thought I’d throw this out there. I’ve recently started recording my Android:Netrunner games played with on OCTGN in the very vibrant community that has formed around it. To make things easier for me, I’ve been streaming directly to twitch.tv and afterwards, for the more interesting games, also exporting them to youtube.
This is what it looks like for now
If you’re interested in catching a look when I’m playing, my twitch.tv channel is here, and if you just can’t get enough A:NR from me only, do a search for “Netrunner” and you’ll find that a few others are starting to do the same as well. I do hope this catches on
If you are interested in doing the same thing yourself, it really quite easy. Simply download and install the Open Broadcast Software which is free software and thus has no limitations on streaming (I initially tried with some of the things they suggest on twitch.tv, but all of them cost or are limited in some way). To stream OCTGN correctly, make sure you record the whole monitor (trying to record just the OCTGN window doesn’t work in my experience) and also set it so that it catches layered windows. Record at exactly your monitor’s resolution to avoid resizing artifacts.
If on the other hand you’re interested in just seeing the more interesting of my games, you can subscribe to my Youtube channel.
Apropos youtube channel: In case you haven’t yet gotten into Android:Netrunner on OCTGN, I’ve also made a tutorial video on how to use OCTGN to play, which should take you through all the basics you’ll need to use the engine efficiently and comfortably to play. If you take a look at my games, you’ll notice that there is very little fiddling around the engine, which makes playing online very pleasant compared to the usual card game experience.
Now go forth an run streaming!
Recently I’ve been getting more and more active in the BoardGameGeek.com community for Android:Netrunner, since I’m so active in the development of the OCTGN game definition for it, as well as liking the game itself quite a lot. And yesterday a usual event occured that gave me an insight into forum culture.
As is common with geek culture in online communities, some people tend to form strong opinions about various aspects of their hobby and want to share those opinions with others. But sometimes we get to see things heat up a little too much. Apparently randomly, one person will reply rudely to someone known for strong opinions suddenly there’s an outpouring of negativity against the opinionated player coming from all directions.
The opinionated person is usually taken aback from such hostility as they don’t understand where it’s coming from.
I’ve seen this reaction occur quite frequently, but it usually happens in hobbyist discussions, such as the ones revolving around games. This is because those tend to have a low-impact consequence to a change within them being bad, which makes most moderate people not bother as much with online discussions about them, unless those people are opinionated or bored.
This however means that someone who does react strongly about changes that they perceive to be important, tends to stick out like a sore thumb. Why does someone gets constantly flustered about something as insignificant (in the large scale of things) as a game? And why do people get annoyed at such common reactions?
This hadn’t actually click for me until today, as I was reading the above exchange and I was also considering that I also felt annoyed every time I saw such strong opinions being posted by the same people. But I couldn’t put a finger as to why. Why was I irritated about someone taking a card game too seriously?
And then it dawned on me, that I wasn’t getting annoyed by the opinion itself. I wasn’t even annoyed by the opinion being put forth as a fact. It was rather the situation that the same people would post the same kind of “the sky is falling” commentary every time and then, predictably, others would reply aggressively in to point out why they are completely wrong, which would trigger a discussion that took over most of the thread from that point on.
In short, those posting strong opinions ended up almost always focusing the whole topic on their ideas, “heating up” the thread and making the whole discussion revolve around them. It’s an attention grab! And it’s this constant attention-seeking that is annoying the people around them, possibly without them realizing the true reason. And thus ending up with random lash-outs like the above screenshot.
I suspect that the people behaving this way do not realize why they are doing it. For them, this is a hobby that they really love and they have strong opinions because they’d hate to see it ruined by bad decisions. So it’s understandable that they post those opinions on every relevant discussion and make threads about them, isn’t it?
It just so happens that this behaviour makes them the superstar of every discussion. Sometimes negatively, sometimes positively, depending on how much they reflect the popular sentiment, but almost always there will be one or more people with an equally strong opinion on the other side who’ll be annoyed enough at the arrogance or stubbornness to reply likewise, and thus a heated discussion will begin, centering around their comments. And given that humans are social creatures, this is addictive.
It’s addictive to always be the center of attention, as long as that attention is not overly hostile. So any behaviour that brings about this state of affairs is going to be repeated as long as the reward is reinforced. And given that most people, on both sides, don’t realize what is going on, is is going to be reinforced every time.
And then people in the community are going to start getting annoyed, because it turns out that any thread where particular people comment on (in their usual style), immediately takes a few steps towards flamewar status, and it just so happens that everyone will be discussing those comments for the next few pages, and every other interesting comment will be ignored as those most inflamed by the arguments are going to focus on just that.
So you see this kind of comments, and you grind your teeth, mutter “Oh it’s this person again? What horribly wrong opinion do they have to present now?”. And after months of the same procedure, someone else tells them to “STFU because nobody cares” or something, and you think “Fuck yeah” and pile on at the opportunity to put them in their place, until the whole thing escalates and feelings are hurt.
I think this whole thing can be quickly de-escalated if people realize the true reason why such comments create a negative attitude. The attention seekers need to stop trying to make the kind of inflammatory comment that will make them the center of discussion, and I believe the way to achieve that is not in random hostility, which is likely not to achieve anything as it’s vague and misdirected, but to call those people out explicitly for their attention seeking and how that negatively affects the community around them.
Fantasy Flight has released a great video explaining the basics of Android:Netrunner and taking you through the first three turns of an average game. The production values here are really top notch and it’s very enjoyable to watch, even for someone who already knows the game.
If you’re interested in seeing what the big fuss is about and how can this game remain a cult classic after dying in the late 90s and then topping the BGG charts mere months after being revived a decade later, check this video, and see why the gameplay is so amazingly good.
And once you’ve done this, log onto OCTGN and try out a few games for yourself.
Believe the hype!
This is a question posted in the /r/anarchism101 subreddit which is a common misconception about what anarchists suggest
I want to think of anarchism as a description for what is wrong and what needs to be plucked out, but once I think of its implementation I can’t help but to think it doesn’t fit humans as a whole. We need to rise intellectually before it can be applied. Right?
So here’s a chance to address this quickly
Is the reason why anarchism is still not the norm because humans aren’t yet ready for it?
No. Anarchism is the most compatible with what anthropology and psychology tells us about humans social relations. The problem is that the environment you live in (i.e. society) shapes what things you accept and humans have been either too conditioned by hundreds of years of coercion and violence to accept capitalist values, such as wage slavery, or actively prevented from seeking the alternative even now.
Most humans would gladly shake off capitalist concepts of work and wage and exploitation given half the chance, but those who have the most benefit in doing so (the poor in other countries) are actively repressed by violence funded by their exploiters (the rich and middle class of rich countries). In turn, the middle class and the poor of the richer counties are palliated by the crumbs from the theft which occurs wholescale in the rest of the world, so that they don’t rise up. And when the palliatives fail, actual violence is again employed.
For the last month or so, I’ve been feverishly working on a OCTGN Plugin for Star Wars: The Card Game, by Fantasy Flight Games and I’ve finally released a polished version that I’m comfortable sharing with the world. So it’s now time to share the news and help people get started in the usual way.
So, Star Wars: The Card Game, is a “Living Card Game” release, much like Android:Netrunner or Warhamer:Invasion and it’s obvious on which theme it’s based on. The game has only gone out to stores this week if I am not mistaken so it’s brand new.
As a game, it is a somewhat asymmetric game, where each side (Light or Dark) has slightly different victory conditions, albeit their core gameplay does not differ all that much. Most of the differentiation happens in the kind of effects each Affiliation focuses on, much like the colours of Magic:The Gathering. I won’t go into much detail here as I’m sure you can find a lot of reviews online if you happen to need them.
I’ve played a dozen games or so by now, and I’m quite liking it. It may not be as deep or thematic as Android:Netrunner, but it has a lot of tough decisions to make and it’s the kind of game that you canot not see its depth of strategy from reading the rulebook and the spoilers, but rather you need to actually get down to the table and get your hands dirty. Even though I seem to completely suck at it (I’ve won 2 games only), it does show a lot of promise.
So for anyone interested in trying it out, you can now use my polished OCTGN plugin to do so. Below I will provide you with some step-by-step instructions on how to get it up and running.
(Also, check out these detailed instructions on installing games on OCTGN as well)
- Download & Install the OCTGN client from here (Windows only...for now )
- Open OCTGN and register an account or login with an existing one.
- Go to the game manager tab and click the “Add” button. In the window that will open type:
Name: OCTGN Directory
Feed URL/Path: http://www.myget.org/f/octgngamedirectory
and press “Add”. A new feed should appear on the left.
- Click on the “OCTGN Directory” Feed. On the right a list of games should appear. Star Wars – The Card Game should be towards the bottom.
- Click on Star Wars – The Card Game and click “Install”. After a short wait it should finish.
- You are now ready to play. The game will automatically generate proxy cards to use, so you don’t need to download anything else.
(Optional) If you want, you can have card art, instead of proxies
- Go here and download all the card packs (.o8c) you find. Anything that says “(Censored)” includes cards where the card text has been blurred out.
- In OCTGN, go to game manager and click on “Add o8c”
- Select the .o8c files you download them one by one and install them. You will see a install window and once each pack is installed, you’ll see a pop-up window confirming this. This should take a few seconds at most (Warning: Sometimes the pop-up window appears behind the main OCTGN window. Simply move OCTGN to see it. It’s not stuck).
- Done! Your sets now contain card art.
(Optional) In case you’re a new player, grab the rulebook from here (pdf) or watch the video tutorials.
Once everything is set up, you need to find someone to play with. You can go to the Host/Join tab to see if anyone has a game waiting. If nobody does, host your own and put in the title that you’re a new player.
Once you find someone, one of you hosts and game and the other joins. Leave the two-sided checkbox checked and once the game is started, load your starter decks. Things should be fairly intuitive but keep in mind these basic things in relation to the OCTGN engine plugin.
- First thing you do after you load a deck is Setup (Ctrl+Shift+S). This will check if your version is up to date, show you the Message of the Day, and also give you some Tips on playing the game.
- The setup will put 4 objectives in your hand. You need to select one to put to the bottom of your deck. Once you’ve decided which one, simply mouse over it and press “Del”. Now that you have just three objectives in your hand, press Ctrl+Shift+S once more to place them on the table
- Wait until your opponent has placed their objectives on the table as well and communicate if any of you wants to take a Mulligan. If not, then double-click on your objectives to reveal them and start the game.
- To move from Phase to Phase and to start/end your turn, simply press Ctrl+Enter. This will automatically trigger any card effects that happen after that phase.
- To attack an objective, target it and press Ctrl+A (or use the context menu on the table). Now you can assign attackers/defenders.
- Most actions that you want to do, you can do by double-clicking on a card. The game will intuitively understand what you most likely want to achieve and do it. If you’re in an engagement, double-clicking on a non-participating unit will make it participate (turn it 90 degrees sideways). If a unit is participating, double clicking with it will perform a strike. If you’re trying to pay for a card, double clicking on a resource generating card will focus it to generate resources and so on. Double-Click is your friend.
- If a card needs a target for its ability, simply use shift+click to target another card before you use it. Shift+Click again to clear a target.
I’ve made a video on how to play. It’s a bit outdated now that the new version is out, but I’ll update it in the near future