October 3, 2005: Linucon Report
I spent the weekend at Linucon
here in Austin. This is a general geek convention - Linux, SF, and a bit of gaming and anime and so on - somewhat modeled after Penguicon
I had a good time. The convention deserved to be better attended, but those of us who were there had fun. That included me, and the fun I had included . . .
- I got to spend some time (not enough, darn it) with Howard Tayler (Schlock Mercenary). We talked about the Schlock book that we both want to do through SJ Games . . . and this is not an announcement or anything, but if you're a Schlock fan, there's a certain big comic convention that you might really enjoy next year. Stay tuned. We also talked about a possible Schlock game, and the future of webcomics, and snack foods of the future, and all KINDS of other stuff. Oh, and during his first-in-his-life game of Illuminati, he had a card idea that is going straight into the new supplement even if we have to bump one of the other cards. I wish there were a wormgate between Salt Lake City and Austin, I do, I do.
- I talked about games - what else? - with James Ernest of Cheapass Games. And I got to learn Kill Doctor Lucky from its creator. KDL is one of James' best-selling games . . . maybe his #1 . . . and it's fun. The players are the houseguests of a nasty old man whom they all, unbeknownst to each other, wish to kill. Since they don't realize they ALL hate him, they work very hard to get out of sight of the other guests while close to the bad doctor, the better to do him in. We played it live-action style, on a room-sized map. In the first game, I got to be Dr. Lucky. In the real game, he's represented by a pawn who moves according to strict rules and cards played by his would-be killers. In the live version, Dr. Lucky still has no volition, but can taunt the players. Hee hee. In the second game, I got to play, and I killed Dr. Lucky! More hee.
- I talked computer games with Eric S. Raymond. Turns out we think alike on some things . . . perhaps Good Stuff will come of that. I also gave the "What's New at SJ Games" panel audience a sneak preview of some UltraCorps progress that has not been announced. No, I'm not telling you what it was. You should have been there!
- And we had perhaps the best iteration yet of the Chaos Machine. The con gave us a wonderful space, and lots of people dropped by to help with Chaos Engineering. We built a BIG machine. There should be photos later at the conchaos.com site. What can I say? I love it when people help me play with my toys . . .
There WILL be a Linucon 3. I expect most everybody who attended this year will be back. If you're not one of those people . . . see you next year?
-- Steve Jackson