Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Logitech G7 Review - Wireless Gaming Goodness?

So after everyone around me updated their gaming rigs to uber multicard video goodness, I decided it was high time to fuel my mouse fetish. I've been using hi-end mice for a long time. This time I may have bit too hard on the marketing hook, though.

The G7 is wireless, has a laser for realy high "DPI", and has two swappable LIon batteries. It has two less buttons than my Mx500, but adds the side rocker for the mouse wheel. I think that'll be ok, but I need to reconfigure every game I own now, because I relied quite heavily on the tiny button in front of the mouse wheel on my 500 ( which was the same on my previous cordless mx700).

The G7 app works fine, so far, though I haven't quite figured out how to do custom profiles yet. In order to keep my button quota up, I've switched the sensitivity on the fly buttons to be keystrokes. That means I'm losing one of the advantages of the G7, on the fly DPI changes, unless I can figure out a way to map that to something else on the keyboard.

The G7 is lighter than my mx700, which is good. One of the reasons I went back to the mx500 was because the mx700 was clunky. As is the mx700 base/charger. The G7, while not having one of Logitechs fancy new micro dongles, does have a separate dongle. You can plug the dongle into the charging station or into any other usb port. I personally keep the dongle on the back of my G15 keyboard.

Function wise, I can't really see a difference, but as I said, I'm not changing the DPI on the fly. However, wireless is always better, especially with the cramped desk I keep. I did get my G7 on sale, which made it the same price as its wired counterpart.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Portable Galactic Empire for 2

When we designed the Portable Galactic Empire, one of the challenges we faced was how many people would be allowed to play out of the box. We went with a maximum of 6. However, I would not say that is the ideal number. Truth be told, they probably aren't enough cards in a single set for six players, with the exception of monuments.

For a two player game there are too many cards. If you wish to play a two player game of PGE, I would recommend reducing some of the cards. Remove 3 or 4 sets of weapons as well as half the defenses. Reduce each of the improvements by a count of 6. Reduce the planets and systems by removing all of the larges. Finally reduce the number of monuments in the deck to 6. Victory now requires only 4 monuments.

Unfortunately, with only 2 people playing the chance of stalemate increases. As a result I also recommend you use a sudden death rule. After a monument has been played by either player, each player rolls a d6 at the start of their turn, before the Invasion step. If the result is a six, the game ends without playing that player's turn. The person with the most monuments in play wins. If there is a tie, use resources as a tie breaker. The person with the largest pile of stuff wins.

We haven't really play tested that enough to know its going to work 100%, but it should make for a faster game with 2 people. As always, you should remember that any game out of the box is a framework how you choose to play it is ultimately up to you. And if you come up with what seems look a cool variation, let us know. We love to hear from you.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Record Breaking

Well, advertising seems to be all it's cracked up to be. We have 2 ads live, one on Board Game Geek, one on Board Game News. Between the two we have surpassed all previous records for hits on Castle Games Inc.

In fact the daily hit rate continues to grow, day over day. I really hope we don't have to scramble to do a second printing so soon. But I do hope that. I'm torn.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Release Date

The official release date has been set. The Standard edition will start leaving the building on October 1st.

Head over to the Castle Games Inc. News page for some other updates.

Now just to put 164,000 cards into decks...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Litterally, 4th and Inches

I guess that should be 3rd and inches, but most people watch the NFL. Well, except me. 'cause I likes me football with 3 downs on a long field. Bthbbthbtt.


Boxes - check
Dice - check
Rules - check
Resource Cards - check
Reference Cards - check
Game Cards - still at the die cutters.

Literally, one more running play and we're ready to go. I have pictures of boxes, but I'm waiting until I have everything together to post it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Wait - that could totally be the finish line

Well, after many switchbacks, wrong turns and a lost map, we may finally be there. Today, Jamie is headed to a place to start getting our cards die cut. We have dice in stock. The boxes will be ready by the end of September.

We are in serious jeopardy of actually publishing this game.

Sweet. Phat.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Some Castle Updates

I know - I've turned into one of those developers. I never update my .plan. Well here's some stuff.

Copies of the standard edition of the Portable Galactic Empire are about 3 weeks away. They're not on a boat or train coming from some far off land, like a certain other company I could mention. The components were all manufactured in North America, mostly in Canada. Outstanding are die cutting the cards and the boxes.

I've completely re-built the site, as of July, so if you haven't been by in a while, drop in and send us a note. We also have the fancy, custom ship dice in stock and for sale.