Saturday, March 17, 2007

Game Card Catalog

My full collection

Over on BGG, a cool simple idea was discussed: Create a card for each
game you own, and use it as a sort of "card catalog" of your games, or
even as a way of deciding of what game to play. Tom Kiehl made href=>a very cool
tool, that was href=>extensively
discussed. It automatically generates these cards from your BGG

An example sheet of 4

Unfortunately, the cards are less image focused than I'd
want, and I wouldn't want to deal with printing on labels and applying
them to some other material for hundreds and hundreds of games. So, I
decided to write my own card generator, with some changes.

Just the Knizia games in my collection

First, I made the image as large as was plausible, automatically
rotating the image if that would allow it to be larger. The only text
information I wanted on the card was game name, number of players,
time and designer(s). I also wanted to be able to override the game
name, not just the game image. Finally, I wanted them inexpensively,
and in full high-quality color. So, I decided to print them four to a
"page" and have the pages printed as 4x6 photos from Costco. I ended
up having to do a fair amount of cutting, but less than applying 600+
stickers. Overall, the result is very cool. Having one's entire
collection "in hand", physically, with all games being equal is useful
and fun.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Gamer, age 2

Ok, my daughter doesn't actually play many games, but she thinks she
does. She can really play "Go Away Monster!", fully by the rules.
Heck, she even teaches other people the rules. She gets that one.
But for most games, she really means she wants to play with the pieces.

She has a few favorites, such as Zick Zack, Gulo Gulo and Konig der
Maulwurfel (which is really cute to try to hear a two-year-old say),
but she enjoys Chess, Plumpsack, Cartagena, Sambesi, Dawn Under,
Hamster Rolle, Kayanak, Villa Paletti, Face-It and a variety of
others. Even if she's not quite there in terms of the rules of most
of the games, she understands the meta-game. She'll say "Let's play a
daddy game!" and we'll proceed to peruse the shelves and she'll say
"How about this one?" or "Maybe Gulo Guolo?" until we settle on
something. We'll set it out, play with the pieces and clean it up.

But, the absolute icing on the cake is what she's taken to saying
lately when we're playing games. She'll turn to me, look me in the
eyes, and declare "Daddy, I love playing games with you." I love
playing games with her.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Full Circle

Fourteen yearso ago, I wrote the first web spider, back when the web
was small. It was called the Wanderer. Based off of it, I wrote the
first web search engine, called "Wandex". It was not very good, but
again, the web was small. Within a year, numerous better web search
engines appeared. But, I am proud to have had the opportunity to be

In the years since, I started a web analytics company, earned two
degrees, joined a hardware startup, and started a wireless location
company. Now, I have come full circle. In February, I started work
at Google in Boston. The first month has been great and it's a
remarkable company.