Friday, July 27, 2012

Job - Tough to Relate

Yes, this is another post about Job. Not my job, but Job, the guy from the Bible? Lost a bunch of stuff? Kids all died? Yeah, that guy. We've been studying him still at church and so I've been trying to read Job for my personal devotions. I had a huge revelation the other day about him, so I thought I'd write it down.

I can't relate to Job for 37 chapters. I mean, first we see how wealthy the guy is and how "awesome" he is doing. I'm really blessed, don't get me wrong, but in today's terms Job is a Bill Gates, Donald Trump, or some Oil Baron Sheikh who is absolutely filthy rich. I can't relate to that. I mean, I like my job and I take care of my family, but my backyard only has some rabbits (I consider them mine, but that is just because they live under my shed rent free).

Something else I can't relate to, how much of a good man he was. God says, "Yo Sat'n, looksy here at Job and how great 'e is." Apparently, God has a similar accent to Rocky Balboa today. Job is blameless and God uses him as an example to Satan of an upright man, the most upright man at that time. Yeah, not sure I can relate with that either.

Then, probably the biggest thing I can't relate with is all the loss that occurs in Job's life. He loses all his crazy wealth, his health, all his kids, his wife is a complete nag. I can't relate on any of this either. I've never even lost my job (its job this time, not Job), my health has always been good, my wife doesn't nag me on much more than putting the dishes in the dishwasher wrong, and I've never been so despondent that I wished I wasn't born.

Finally, the friends that he had. I can't really relate to them either. When I have had rough times, for instance death of my uncle or my grandpa or little sister, which compared to Job's problems were small instances of pain and not the overwhelming pain he must've been feeling from losing a WHOLE family at one time, my friends have been great. They haven't been coming to me saying, "Adam what'd you do to make your uncle die?!" or "Well, I guess your grandpa got what he deserved, he must've sinned." They were comforting and just supporting. So can't really relate to Job's relationship with his friends.

However, then comes chapter 38, and the relating begins. God begins questioning Job. He asks a lot of tough questions, that make Job feel pretty small. God reminds Job exactly how big Job is in the scheme of things in the universe and he also reminds him that God remembers Job. You see, this is where I relate to Job and likely most of you do too. We're not rich in camels or have had our whole family die, but we are are minuscule compared to God. I've heard it this way, when compared to God's holiness and his power we're similar to worms or ants. To us, there really isn't much of a difference between two worms or ants. The most powerful ant is completely helpless against us. The most well-behaving worm still is a worm to us.

The cool part though is that Job doesn't end after God putting him in his correct place. Even though Job is so insignificant, God still doesn't forget him. This is where I can also relate to Job, because I know God doesn't forget me either. Well, that is my thoughts on jobs, I mean Job's book in the Bible.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Guild of Thieves is Published!

It's true! Yesterday we received the first two copies of the game. The art looked very good, I just noticed a couple rule tweaks that needed to be made to make it clearer and also had to fix the text on the Sword card that had got cut off. I did these things, took a few pictures and posted it on the Game Crafter Website.

If you want to purchase it, you can do so here: Guild of Thieves. The cost is $14.99 plus shipping. Just so you know, this isn't about making money for me, I'll earn a whoppin' 20 cents of store credit per copy purchased. It's been more about the joy of creating something.

If you do purchase it or even just play a copy of it, please rate and review it both on The Game Crafter & (I'm hoping it'll have an entry in their database soon). Please give it an honest rating on how you like the game. Won't hurt my feelings one way or the other.

Here is a quick How to Play video on the game I did last night:

Finally, I'd like to thank all the people who helped with this game. Here is the list of play testers, it's in the rules, but I really appreciate it so I thought I'd list them again:
Ally Becker, Angie Becker, Andrew Brooks, Nick Carter, Kendra Carter, Katie Daulton, Krista Daulton, Brendan Flood, Abby Funk, Chris Funk, Abigail Johnson, Sean Johnson, Jonathan Kafoure, Annie Montz, Jeremy Montz, David Remiger, Michael Tooley, Rachel Tooley, Randy Tooley, Clint Weis, Meggan Schwirtz & Trevor Schwirtz.

Okay, now I'll get back to blogging about other things than Guild of Thieves.

P.S. There is now a page for Guild of Thieves on BGG:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Guild of Thieves Update #5

It’s finished. Well, it probably won’t ever be completely finished. I’m sure I’ll have rule tweaks and maybe even expansions, but in my mind Guild of Thieves is finally finished. I feel like I’m a board game designer now. Sure, it is just a web-based published game, but I still feel like I’ve accomplished something; similar to how I’d feel if I build a kitchen table or wrote a book. I’ve created something that I hope others can enjoy and the first to copies on in an USPS truck coming this way. I’ve still got some pictures to take and upload in order to officially make it available to the public, so expect a sales pitch soon.

If you haven’t followed my Guild of Thieves (GoT) updates religiously, you can go back and read them. What are you still reading this for?!....... I imagine though, that you didn’t follow them and that you aren’t going to go back and read them, so instead I’ll go ahead and just give you a brief history. I got the idea for the game in August 2011, so it has been nearly a year now to see it come to fruition. My idea essentially came from two great games I enjoyed playing, so it isn’t ground breaking, but it is different. First is Dominion, a game where you purchase cards that are in stacks on the table in front of you to add them to your deck. Second was Hey! That’s My Fish! a game about penguins moving on hexagon pieces picking the pieces up to score points. I wanted to combine the two, the deck-building of Dominion and the using a pawn to move to a specific space of Hey! That’s My Fish!.

So I came home and put together a prototype out of index cards with just letters on them and zero theme. I then began thinking this might be something, so I decided to look for self-publishing options and found which was awesome! I could publish my game, for pretty cheap, if I switched to regular cards instead of hexes (at that time it would’ve cost around $163 per copy of the game for hexes). So I did and around the same time I switched the theme of the game from the Fruit theme (I know, fruit, seriously Adam)  I was working with after my lettered index cards, to the Magical Arabian theme it currently has. I asked Jeremy Montz if he would be interested in doing the art, which he agreed to do, and we were off! It took longer than expected for me to narrow down what cards to put in the base game (I have 3 others that have been play tested and I kept out of the game for one reason or another) and it also took Jeremy a bit longer to come up with the original art and graphic design. Then, to top it off, I switched a card out the last moment and went to text based instead of icon based game play.

So now I’m down to the final steps before it is available for purchase. I’m selling it at cost, because this isn’t a money making venture as much as it is just trying to accomplish something. I’ve got to determine if I want to make a website for Ekka Games, the name of the company I’ve decided to publish GoT through, once the first copies arrive I need to make a YouTube “How to Play” video, and then I’ll be sure to post here on the blog, on Facebook, and Twitter that the Guild of Thieves is available! Then I’m already in the process of working on my next design, which needs a way better name than the current name of City Planner.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Week of Summer

It felt a bit like I was high school this last week. Krista and the girls went up to Wisconsin to see the family on a last minute trip and I stayed back to work. So I worked hard and played hard. I had a good week, though I missed my girls. Here is a rundown of what I did this week, which reminded me of highschool, since during the summer in high school my weeks looked similar.

Worked late and then decided to go and watch the Amazing Spider-man with one of the senior guys from the youth group. I stopped by the new game store called Game Time in Castleton, then went over and watched the movie with Chris. Throughout the week, when I had a few minutes, I'd proceed to watch the previous 3 Spider-man movies as well. Which made for some late nights! Here are my quick thoughts in the order of how I liked the movies: Spider-man 2, Spider-man, The Amazing Spider-man, Spider-man 3 (Topher Grace as Venom is just ridiculous).

Worked late again and then went over to grill out with our community group. It's was some good conversation the Hobbit, Dune, and I even was able to eat without feeding the kids. The burgers were absolutely great by being mixed with apple sauce, crackers, and some other things I'm not remembering now. After that I went over to my buddy Dave's house to play some Command and Colors: Ancients. His wife was out of town too and so we took the chance to play games, which we both get to do, but not very often together. I played the Romans and he played the Carthaginians in a battle I cannot remember. I got out to a 5-0 lead, but only ended up winning 7 - 5.

My brother and his fiance took me fishing out near Illinois in a nice little farm pond. After dinner at a Steak place that I guess is somewhat famous for hosting IU, Illinois, and Purdue basketball teams, we got out on the pond. It was some of the best fishing I've had in a while. Both Lindsey and Caleb caught huge bass, while I missed mine. Though I did catch a lot of very nice, maybe even 1lb Crappie. I didn't get home and in bed until 12:45am, which meant 5:45am came early, but it was really worth it! I love fishing and was glad to get to go. Hope I get to go back. Here is a picture:


Worked last again Thursday, came home and got some business out of the way on the computer and then went to the first game of the softball tourney. We got beat. We got beat 10-7. We hit horrible, with 3 of the innings being a 1-2-3, two of those innings with our top 3 lead off hitters. It didn't make me happy.

After staying busy all week, I was originally planning on just relaxing by myself Friday night, but instead sent out a text to some buddies for some ad hoc gaming. Both Brendan and Clint responded and so we enjoyed a few games together. First Clint and I played Battle Cry, with the Union getting a victory at Gettysburg - Pickett's Charge. Then Brendan joined us for Ninjato (designed by Indianapolis's very own A.B. West), Hansa Tuetonica (I mopped the floor with them, but they'd never played before and I've played quite a bit), and the King of Tokyo (my current HOT game). They took off around 11:15. I got in bed around midnight.

Got up at 6:30 to go and play in our 2nd tourney game of softball. We played on a field we'd never played on before and it is by far the nicest field in the league. This didn't help our hitting though, I went 1 for 3, my only hit coming because nobody covered first when I dribbled the ball down the right field line. Hurt my shoulder, my groin, and got beat 9-3. I've decided I can't manage a team in the playoffs, because thus far my softball teams are 0-4 in play off games and they haven't even been close. With that done at 9:15 or so, I came home and showered, cleaned the dishes for the girls arrival, and then went to play games at the Indy Boardgamers Meet-up. Where I played Trajan (if I owned it this might be my HOT game right now), Eclipse where I scored the highest I've ever scored with the Hydran, and then finished up the day with Train of Thought (a party game I didn't enjoy). I got home about 6:10 and the girls arived about 6:20. We unpacked the stuff from the van and went to get some Yats, which is the perfect way to end the week!

I missed my girls after this week though and I'm really glad they are back! Seriously though, if you knew me at all in high school, you'd know this is what I did during my summers. Though you could substitute golf or basketball in for the softball, and I'd be mowing grass instead of being a desk jockey.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Best Movie Villians

The other day I got into a conversation about Commodus, the Emperor from Gladiator and how much I hated him. Now Joaquin Phoenix, the actor that played Commodus, is hated by me in every movie because of the great job he did as an actor in Gladiator. This got me thinking about the best villains ever in movies. Remember as you are reading this, I’m not a huge horror fan, so none of those bad guys will be on here. I’ll try give you why I think they are a great villain and also perhaps a scene that makes it them the best to hate. In no particular order, here they are:

Magneto from X-Men (2000), X-2 (2003), X-Men: Last Stand (2006). The Ian McKellan version. This guy is a villain, that in a way you feel sorry for and understand why he feels the way he feels. He is right, in a way, with his mission for equality of the mutants, but then he takes it too far. He ends up becoming exactly what he originally starts out fighting and thus becomes the perfect villain to combat Professor X and X-Men.  My favorite scene of his is in X-2 where the guard, who’d been injected with iron, comes into the all glass holding cell and Magneto senses the extra iron and extracts from the guard’s blood to escape.
The Joker from Dark Knight Rises (2008). Heath Ledger made this part. The reason he is the villain is because he just doesn’t care about anyone or anything. He doesn’t even really care about himself. He just wants chaos. It is tough to decide my favorite scene with him, there are the times he is discussing how he got his scars or when he burns his pile of money in front of the crooks. Both are really good. However, his “magic trick” scene when he first introduces himself to the criminal underworld is so unexpected and so mean that it has to be his villain moment.
Commodus from Gladiator (2000). I’ve already mentioned it, but he is a villain that I just hate. He just seems so slimy. Kills his own father, wants to have relations with his own sister, and doesn’t even give Maximus a chance in the arena. The ultimate scene though is when he does kill Marcus Aralias while crying that he never loved him. One of the best acting jobs ever I think.
Gollum from the Lord of the Rings (2001,2002,2003). We all knew that LotR would make the list somehow. Sauron is the main villain in these movies, but one of his puppets is Gollum. The reason I put Gollum on the list, is like Magneto I feel sorry for him. I see that he was unsuspectingly caught in a web he couldn’t get out of and that despite his decline being his fault, I still want to see the good in him like Frodo. What makes him such a good villain though is that despite all Frodo does for him, he still backstabs him and ignores his “hobbit” side in favor the of the desire for the One Ring! Without a doubt, the best scene of Gollum is in the Two Towers when Smeagol convinces Gollum to go away – though we know he won’t be gone for long.
Dr. Octavius in Spiderman 2 (2004). Doc Ock almost didn’t make my list, because I’m not a big fan of the baddies turning good right at the last instant. However, in this case I make an exception, because I think he is just a great bad guy. A good man, who combined with the death of his wife and his extra four arms, goes a bit crazy. My favorite scene is when he robs the bank and takes Aunt Em with him up the side of the building.
Scar from The Lion King (1994). Scar is such a good bad guy…er, I mean, bad lion. He kills his own brother, attempts to kill his nephew, and lets the bad hyenas into the Pride! What I like best about him, is how they made him seem so extremely snooty and above everyone else. Just like you’d imagine a rich prince to be. The best scene with Scar is when Simba comes to see him for the first time in the movie and he tells him about the Elephant Graveyard.
Lex Luthor from Superman (1978). Gene Hackman plays the perfect Lex Luthor, he is crazy full of himself, a genius with absolutely huge plans, and has complete disdain for the people that work around him. I think it is great how he lays out his plans to the dummies with him, they don’t get it, and it makes him furious. Then he even is willing to kill his girlfriends mom with the nuke. My favorite scene with him has to be where he and Superman have their discussion of what is going to happen with the nukes.
Harry & Marv from Home Alone (1990). Okay, these guys aren’t exactly what you’d call the most evil villains ever, but I like them! They make being bad funny. They are about as horrible as can be when it comes to thieves, but they really want to beat the kid. My favorite scene is when Marv tries to go in through the basement and steps on the nails. Just laugh out loud funny!
Owen Davian from Mission: Impossible III (2006). This may be the most controversial addition to this list, but I think he is an excellent bad guy. Being a bad guy is his business. It isn’t about chaos like the Joker or being a genius criminal like Luthor. He just wants to make money and be the best business bad guy ever. My favorite scene is when he first meets Ethan Hunt and says, “You have a wife...girlfriend? Because if you do, I'm gonna find her, whoever she is. I'm gonna hurt her. I'm gonna make her bleed, and cry, and call out your name. And then I'm gonna find you,and kill you right in front of her.” That is a real bad guy and someone you like to hate.

So that is my list, off the top of my head, who'd I miss?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Then Bildad the Shuhite replied: "How long will you say such things? Your words are a blustering wind. Does God pervert justice? Does the Almighty pervert what is right?  When your children sinned against him, he gave them over to the penalty of their sin. Job 8:1-4

Sorta some tough words for Job from his good friend Bildad, huh? Hey Job, yeah I know I'm supposed to be your buddy and I'm really here to comfort you, I even have sat with you for 7 days, but let's just be honest here. Your kids, they got their come uppins. What do you expect out of a God of Justice? Death for their sin. If you read further, he not only has dissed Job's dead kids, but he goes on to say that it has to be Job's fault that he is suffering. Ouch.

I had the opportunity to teach from this passage this last week at church to the high school class. I've been pondering it all week even more. Bildad, like so many of us, was simply stereo-typing and not thinking outside his human mind about what happens in Job 1 & 2. He was, as many people did then and even still do so today, basically saying it's karma. Though he was saying from a Jehovah God sense. What goes around comes around. They got what they deserved and Job should just admit it and move on with his life. Jesus refutes this very thing in John 9, when he is asked by his disciples who sinned that caused the blindness of man. The disciples thought it had to be the guy himself or at the very least his parents, but Jesus said neither did. He was blind for the glory of God.

We (I include myself in this completely) must remember that there are consequences for individual sin. You sleep around, well you're more likely to get an STD, have a broken heart, have stress and relationship issues in the future, all kinds of potential fall outs from being promiscuous. If you are greedy, you might step over the people you care about, trying to earn that dollar, and thus damage those relationships or get burned in a raw business deal or even do something illegal and be put in prison for your greed. There are consequences for individual sin - the high schoolers pointed out David's first born dying because of what he and Bathsheba did to Uriah.

But the story of Job illustrates and the story of Jesus illustrates, this is a fallen world. Not only have I sinned, but everyone has sinned, and the original Adam brought that sin into this world. This world is a fallen and broken world even without your individual sin it still would be. It's amazing to me that God, the same just God that Bildad refers to in Job 8, hasn't destroyed it already. He hasn't though. He sent Christ to take on that sin Himself. All that individual sin that Bildad likes to point out to Job as the reason for suffering, Christ takes it on Himself.

So what does Bildad teach me. First, don't be so quick to judge because there could be stuff going on you don't know about. Second, sometimes even when things seem so correct, I should have more tact in comforting my friend and not being so quick to point out it has to be their personal sins that brought a tragedy around them. Finally, he reminds me that God is just. Not only is God just when it comes to my individual sins though, but He is just when it comes to our corporate sin as mankind. That's and that is why Christ died.

Never thought I'd learn so much from a Shuhite did you? I'm finding there is more to the Book of Job than the first couple chapters and the last four.