A-T Exclusive, Old School Gaming, Prototypes and Experiments

Embassy: Not quite “Atomic Toasters: The Game”

A mock game during alpha testing. Yellow, at the top of the photo (actually playing the smaller, light brown pieces) is leading, 4-2-2-1 going clockwise.

“The crowed streets of Alpsylvania’s capital are thick with spies and intrigue. Four foreign embassies struggle to thwart threats to their security and gain the upper hand over their adversaries through superior intelligence-gathering operations…and perhaps even dare to send a secret agent to assassinate a foreign Ambassador?

Last Friday, I asked everyone about the relevancy of low-tech board games. In a moment of self-indulgence, I used a diagram of a home-made game I’d created as the lead-in photo. I told myself at the time that I didn’t want to feature any particular game people might know well, which might lead the comments in one direction or another. But I must admit that I was also hopeful that it might pique somebody’s interest in my stillborn endeavor. Skitter and Mr. [alphabet soup] took the bait, so I hereby present to you the public debut of Embassy.
Continue reading Embassy: Not quite “Atomic Toasters: The Game”

Old School Gaming, User Input

User Input: Are Board Games Still Relevant?

The initial board layout for EMBASSY, a rather complex counter-espionage-themed game I invented some time back, but never successfully coerced anyone into actually playing.

Board games, from the centuries-old parlor games of chess, backgammon, go and pachisi, to well-known modern classics like Monopoly and Scrabble, and even offbeat, obscure cult favorites, have provided most of us with vivid memories of hours spent with family or friends, even if only as kids. They don’t even require Internet access, electricity or complex equipment, can be played just about anywhere (including camp sites and station wagons), and have kept people around the world entertained for thousands of years. But are they too slow-paced and unexciting for today’s caffeine-fueled, quick-cut-addicted attention spans?
Continue reading User Input: Are Board Games Still Relevant?

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