So excited for this! After a year of work, I’m finally releasing my gamfication system for getting kids ready for school, called Kids Morning Adventure. It ended up being very similar to my RPG for kids, Kids Dungeon Adventure, but refined for the busy morning schedule.
I love the new retro 8-bit Google Maps, kind of an early April Fool’s joke. Just go to Google Maps and click “start quest.” It reminds me of old school Final Fantasy or Dragon Warrior. Update: My memory is failing me a little. It’s not just a tribute to Dragon Warrior. All the tile graphics and enemies are lifted straight from it!
Empire State Building, Chrysler Building
Weird little guy in the ice near Mt Everest
Seattle Space Needle
San Francisco Ferry Building
St Louis Arch
Druinlord (Weird crab thing in NJ). There seem to be a few of these around the map.
There are lots of these little people like these two in Chicago
Bus in Tokyo
Little blue slime guy in Tokyo
Dog statue in Tokyo – Related info
Temple of Heaven, Beijing
Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe
Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, some tower
Tate Modern, Tower Bridge
One Canada Square in London
Magician in England
Great Pyramids, the Sphinx
Christo Redentor, Rio De Janeiro
The Kremlin and St Basil’s Cathedral
Fernsehterm of Berlin
Eames building in LA
Sydney Opera House
Tower Hall, San Jose State
San Diego Zoo
Pennsylvania Wolf Monster
Rock Golem outside of Indy
Dragon in the middle of the Atlantic!
Ayers Rock, Australia
Oldenburg Spoonbridge Sculpture
Georgia Tech Tower
MIT, Hancock Building, and Faneuil Hall
Angel of the North
Buenos Aires Cabildo
Burj Al Arab
Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA
General Post Office, Dublin
Great Wall of China
Heinz Field in Pittsburgh
Troll near Cuba
Loch Ness Monster
Drollmagi (Bug Eyed Monster)
Leaning Tower of Pisa
Biosphere and Habitat 67 in Montreal
Mt Rushmore (ugh, I looked forever for this one, thanks reddit!)
Naruto Strait Whirlpool
Nazca Lines, Peru
Obelisk in Buenos Aires
Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai
Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia
Building in Japan
Walking to the Sky, Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh Zoo Polar Bear
Drakee (purple dragon thing)
Red Wyvern (I hated fighting Wyverns in Dragon Warrior)
Poltergeist (purple ghost)
Spector (blue ghost)
Wolflord (red wolf)
Seattle Asian Art Museum
Flinders Station and Eureka Tower, Melbourne
Neuschwanstein Castle (Very cool!)
Chocolate Hills National Park, Phillipines
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Tower in Tokyo (and more)
Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto, Japan
I also got a hacker news thread going and some have added or identified things in my list. Thanks!
Great shout out today from ars technica!
Another great site with pics of the locations.
Since I launched Dungeon Adventure, an RPG for kids, a few weeks ago a lot of people have asked me how exactly I’m selling it. It’s for sale as a digital download and print out board game, or “floor top RPG” as Phil Nelson called it. Here’s how it works:
I have a hosting account with iPower that I have had for about 9 years. It hosts this site, Dungeon Adventure, and almost any other domain I’ve ever had like markgarvey.net. My cost is $99/year, but I don’t count that against Dungeon Adventure because I’d be paying that anyway to host bengarvey.com.
I registered the domain name through iPower: $12.95/year
I looked for a while at different e-commerce / checkout software sites like scribd, PayLoadz, DigitalGoodsDelivery.com, and e-junkie. I decided on e-junkie for the following reasons:
1. Seemed reputable based on reviews and testamonials.
2. Ultra low cost. $5/month flat fee for 50MB storage and no transaction fees.
So far I have been extremely happy with my choice and in hindsight I am so glad I chose a service with no transaction fees. Spread over the cost of all my sales, that $5 is just a few pennies in transaction fees. E-junkie allows people to download the file with a unique link up to 5 times, provides email alerts to me, sends customizable confirmation emails to customers, and allow me to email customers (for a small additional fee). I was setup in about 10 minutes and it has worked flawlessly since day 1.
For payment I use paypal. I’ve used it for a long time and never had any issues with them. I’ve heard the horror stories of account freezes and such, but everything has been great. Paypal’s cut is 3% + $0.30, so on my $5.99 game the cost is $0.48. e-junkie integrated with paypal very easily and it had all the setup info I needed to accept payments through them.
Hosting account: $8.25/month (I was already paying for this, but I’ll include it anyway)
Domain name: $1.08/month (if you’re buying hosting, you’ll get this included with the $8.25)
Checkout software: $5/month
Transaction fees: $0.48 per transaction
Total: $13.25 per month ($6.08 if you already have hosting and just need a domain)
Throughput per transaction is $5.51, so I need to sell 2.4 games per month (or 1.1) to break even.
With a cost structure this low I’ve already covered them for years.
I love the Internet.
A while back Sasha and I were playing with some toys and I built a maze out of blocks. With the blocks we had, you couldn’t make a decent maze but it occured to me that our maze would make a decent D&D style dungeon. We had some of her figures walk through the maze fighting simple monsters, and I thought to myself, “I could make this work into a real game.”
Soon after that, the Dungeon Adventure was born. It’s simple enough for me and my 4 year old daughter to walk through a dungeon and complete a quest. Here’s how it works.
1. You build a dungeon out of blocks you already have.
2. You fill the dungeon with monster cards and treasure cards.
3. Set up an overall quest for the kid(s) to complete.
4. Have them walk through the dungeon and complete the quest.
The game uses a super simple battle system using normal, 6 sided dice and hitpoints.
After playing 5 or 6 times with more complex dungeons and more interesting stories, I decided we would try and sell a version of the Dungeon Adventure online as a download and print game. I set up a website for it this week and registered a domain name. Let me know what you think!
Parents can sometimes be appalled at the hypnotic effect that television has on toddlers; they see their otherwise active and vibrant children gazing silently, mouth agape at the screen, and they assume the worst: that television is turning their child into a zombie. The same feeling arises a few years later when they see their grade-schoolers navigating a video game world, oblivious to the reality that surrounds them. But these expressions are not signs of mental atrophy. They’re signs of focus.
2005’s Everything Good is Bad for You by Steve Johnson is a challenge to the idea that pop culture is ruining our brains. Mainstream television shows are quantifiably more complex and mentally demanding than the shows of previous decades, and video games test and develop our problem solving skills better than ever before. Definitely worth reading.
A mad bomber has planted a device in the building and you have to put together a team of experts to find the bomb and dismantle it. Do you call the bomb squad? A SWAT team? No, you call Gene Simmons, Mr T, and Albert Einstein.
Famous Missions by Jason Tagmire is a new card game where you must put together ridiculous celebrity trios to complete movie-plot style missions like stopping alien invasions, robbing banks, etc. The included celebrities range from Bill Gates to Genghis Kahn to Paris Hilton. The cartoonish artwork is fantastic makes you want to play it.
Game mechanics are as follows. ?The judge player draws a Mission Card from the deck and the other two players pick their three best People Cards out of seven for that mission. ?The judge chooses the best team out of the two and the loser can then argue his case for why his team should have won. ?If the judge has been swayed and changes their mind, the other player can then argue why his team is superior and the judge gets one more chance to change her mind. ?Whoever the judge finalizes on wins the round and the game progresses to a new mission. ? ?It’s very similar to Apples to Apples, another great game.
Here’s a video the creator, Jason Tagmire, put together to show how it goes.
Overall I love the concept and the artwork, but I feel like the game mechanics need some more work. I know there is a great game buried inside of Famous Missions waiting to get out, but in the current form it’s hard to keep playing. I think you get desensitized to the overall joke and you need a way to keep it interesting. I’ve come up with a few and they definitely enhanced gameplay in my sessions (I’ve played it three times now).
1. The standard rules have one player always acting as the judge. We took turns, because no one wanted to play the judge every time.
2. The judge hid his eyes when players were choosing their teams so he didn’t know who chose them. This helps reduce bias.
3. Instead of flipping over three from one team and then three from another, we alternated back and forth flipping over one from each team at a time. This encouraged comparisons between those two celebrities and made it more dramatic.
One of the hardest things about new games is getting people to try them. As soon as I show people the cards to Famous Missions they say, “We have to play this!” It’s an awesome game that just needs a little help and I love showing it to people. If you want a copy, buy it online here.
My cousin Christa has a blog, which I believe she’s had for a while, but she’s been updating a lot so check it out!? She’s a self described board game geek and taught me how to play chess when I was a kid.
Sorry Odd Man In fans, I’ve been having trouble locating the last few bugs from the server upgrade. One or more of my queries are failing because of some new reserved words in mySQL. I should be able to fix it soon, but in the mean time don’t start any of your games. If you already started your game, email me and I’ll unstart it.
Update: I think they’re all fixed now.
Just a heads up, I’m aware that no private messages are being displayed in Odd Man In.? They’re all still there, but I haven’t figured out yet why they’re not showing up.
Update: I found a similar problem on my dad’s site.? I figured out the issue and should be able to resolve it in OMI soon.
Update #2😕 It turned out to be a completely different problem, but I think I’ve fixed it. It was related to the server change, but not the same problem as the one on my Dad’s site. Let me know if anything else is broken.
I’m gearing up for a big update on Odd Man In.? If you know of any bugs, leave them in the comments here and I’ll make sure they get added.