In which I catch up on my reporting of recently discovered links of interest.
- ProFantasy map-building software
Although principally aimed at a different section of the tabletop gaming community, this software house (which is based in the UK) produces an array of map-building gaming tools. Some of the sample graphics and maps would not look out of place in a eurogame and might provide some inspiration for the hobbyist designers out there.
- Shapeways 3D printing
The wonderful world of 3D printing is brought to the masses by Shapeways in the Netherlands. I have seen a few examples of 3D-printed objects, and the technology really is remarkable; and with the coming of companies such as Shapeways, is now also remarkably accessible and affordable. The process can ‘print’ almost any object that can be modelled in 3D with a computer; the technology builds the object as hundreds or thousands of precise layers of a special plastic- or metal-based material laid onto each other. Amazing!
- Microcubology: YouTube channel / Shapeways store
And here’s a great example of 3D printing technology in action! Richard Gain is a British puzzle designer who has used Shapeways to produce his concepts as physical prototypes (including some exceptionally small ones!). His YouTube videos explain and demonstrate some of his designs, which you can order direct form Shapeways, if you fancy your own copy.
- Interactive Carcassonne ruleset
This isn’t new, but BGG user Aldaron has put together an elaborate webpage which attempts to incorporate all of the many rules and scoring possibilities of Carcassonne and its many expansions. Expand the Settings panel, toggle the expansions in play, and the rest of the page magically updates its summary of the labyrinthine rules and scoring. Possibly not designed for the novice, but a useful aide memoire for more experienced, if forgetful, players. Mind you, I’m a huge Carcassonne fan and even I was befuddled by the odd way in which in-game and game-end scoring is presented in some cases. But overall an impressively obsessive achievement!
- A Puzzle for Pirates / Scientific American
An old article from that venerable purveyor of interesting things Scientific American (here preserved for posterity as a PDF) in which the author Ian Stewart introduces and expands upon one of those fiendishly counter-intuitive logic puzzles, which is the sort of thing you either love or hate. I’d never heard the puzzle before, but its a real doozy!
- UK Games Expo
And finally a name-check and shout-out for the forthcoming UK Games Expo, which is taking place in Birmingham on the 5th, 6th and 7th June. Good luck and fair winds to Sumeria which I reported on a little while ago, and which is in the running for the UK Game of the Year award!