What's original? Cloning games versus making games


Raph "Theory of Fun" Koster has a wonderful, readable, theory-rich article that helps unpick the discussion about when a game is a clone of another game, when it's a skin, when it's a variant, and when it's a new game.

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Desk made from a pinball table

Tim Sway turned an old Charlie's Angels pinball machine into a desk, cleverly repurposing the coinbox as a desk safe. It's not the first time he's done this, either: check out his Moon Cresta desk. (via Geekologie)

Connect Four Robot

MIT student Patrick McCabe made a version of the classic game Connect Four where you play against a robot! (via Laughing Squid)

Mouse Trap's cousin Crazy Clock

Mouse Trap (1963) became a classic but its cousin Crazy Clock (1964) vanished into history's toy chest. Above, vintage TV commercials for both (via Strange Universe).

Idle No More game: defend traditional land from oil pipelines

Idle No More is a quick RPG created by a Canadian Metis activist in which you defend traditional territory from encroaching oil pipelines.

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Side-scroller life-lessons


Owl Turd's most recent webcomic, We Go Forward, has a surprising barb hidden in its lighthearted parable about life considered as a side-scroller. It brought me up sharply this morning when I read it, and I can't get it out of my mind.

3D printable version of Marcel Duchamp's rare Art Deco chess-set


Marcel Duchamp's rare chess-set has been recreated as freely downloadable 3D print-files on Thingiverse, where the community is actively remixing them.

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Kickstarting a Lovecraftian game where the object is to stay sane and alive

Labratory's kickstarting a new game: "Shadows of Arkham," which is pure Lovecraftian Ameri-trash for people who know that you can't fight the Elder Gods, but you might be able to avoid mind-death if you're quick enough.

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Neil Gaiman's haunted game Wayward Manor

Wayward Manor, the overdue video game that Neil Gaiman wrote, now has a release date: July 15!

Set in a 1920s Victorian Gothic pastoral estate, Wayward Manor focuses on the plight of a ghost whose hope of a peaceful after-life is interrupted by a remarkable cast of intruders. Awoken from his post-mortem slumbers, our ghost must find ever-more inventive and brilliant ways to scare them away. As the ghost learns more about the living characters, he also learns more about his own death and after-life, and the danger they are all facing.

Wayward Manor (via IO9)

Dice shaming for disloyal D20s


Dice-shaming: for when your stubborn, disloyal polyhedra refuse to behave (see also). Dang, I hope this becomes a thing! (via Seanan)

A better version of Werewolf

The original game of Werewolf, also known as Mafia, is a party game of bluffing, paranoia, and wild accusations invented (appropriately enough) in Soviet Russia in the 1980s. It pits a small number of Werewolves (who know each others’ identities) against a larger group of Villagers who have no information; the Werewolves select a Villager to kill each “night” (while everyone’s eyes are closed), and the entire group votes on a player to lynch as a werewolf each “day” until one team or the other prevails. Jon Seagull reviews a much-improved version.

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Konami Code necklace


Etsy's Ha Ha Bird made this brilliant $23 Konami Code Necklace, made from black-engraved 3mm mirror acrylic. It's 18" long, with a magnetic clasp. (via Geekymerch)

Zelda-themed stop-motion chalk-drawing animation

Chalk artist Chris Carlson sends us this astounding stop-motion animation of his 3D chalk drawings of Link from Legend of Zelda, popping out of two-space and having a mischievous adventure in our world. I can't even begin to imagine the amount of labor that went into drawing the frames of this animation -- bravo! (Thanks, Chris!)

Cubicles and Careers: an RPG for monsters who dream of office-jobs

Cubicles and Careers is a new webseries from Fantasycon's Murray Triplett and Greg Johnson that brings us to the gaming table where fantastic monsters gather to role-play at working in mundane offices, making saving throws against being noticed by their bosses when they sneak in to work late. Looks like fun!

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FabLab: a free game that creates 3D printable toys

Makies, the 3D printed toy and game company, has launched FabLab, its inaugural game! FabLab is a free game for people eight and up, through which you create and customize a character and its accessories, which you can also get as real-world, one-off, custom-fabbed objects. MakieLab, the company that created FabLab, was founded by my wife Alice Taylor, and so I've had an inside view into the process by which the game and its back-end -- which includes a remarkable toolchain for turning 3D game-objects into printable items -- came into being. The Makies here in London are fantastic, and they've done brilliantly with the game, if I do say so myself. Please give the game a try -- and tell your friends!

Makies FabLab! Out Now! | Makie.me