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Azul

Azul is the 2018 Spiel des Jahres winner, among a long list of many other prizes. It sits second in the BGG family games ranking after only two years since the release.

The artwork doesn’t dissapoint. The board materials are very well designed and look durable — nice touch: it includes a linen bag for the tiles that goes well with the Moorish aesthetics.

I tend to think that card games are more newbies-friendly than board games due to lower setup time, simpler rules and quicker turns. However, Azul has that same feeling, perhaps infused by the lack of a central board -everyone has their own- and the fact that most of your time/energy is focused on completing your own geometrical figures, rather than strategizing to block your opponents.

I’ve only played once so far, in a group of four (kids and adults). I’ve found the mechanics abstract and was surprised how the kids managed to beat the grown-ups — it was them who asked to play! I’ve got the feeling that this is the kind of game that I’d enjoy having in my collection.

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CuBirds

I stumbled upon CuBirds while I was looking for something light and fun for two people to play. It was the beautiful artwork that picked my interest first, the cubic art is so cute!

It was created by Stefan Alexander, an electrical engineer working on wearables for whom board games design is a side gig. The rules are simple, but the emergent complexity makes each game different. It consists on creating your bird collection, and you win when you’ve got either birds from 7 different species or two species with 3 specimen each.

I wouldn’t say it has the same rhythm than Sushi Go! although it shares some characteristics: there are few and simple rules so it’s easily approachable to newbies, the theme and artwork engages people from different backgrounds, all the information you need is contained in the cards, and you win by keeping track of cards and probabilities (something most people are familiar with).

Highly recommended filler for after-dinner infusions.

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Sushi Go!

I’m starting a new section on this blog to talk about games. The first entry is for the card game that was more present in my family during this past holidays: Sushi Go! by Phil Walker-Harding.

Sushi Go! is the prototype of a party game for everyone: easy to learn, prone to quick turns with almost no time to think, and a theme that pleases most people (who doesn’t like food?).

It’s a game that takes the core mechanics to the essentials, making it accessible to everyone. The artwork conveys playfulness while also communicating the score system — nice touch, look at how many items have the tempura and sashimi cards and compare to the score. The packaging is easy to travel with: it’s compact, with no spare parts once you open it, and it fits on anyone’s bag. Last, but not least, it has some parallels with real-life: the pick & pass rhythm mimics the sushi trains, and desserts are eaten at the end.

I’d say this is a game that shines with 4 people, although it’s playable by 2 to 5. It goes well with any age, and I’ve tried it with people ranging from 8 to 60 years old.

SushiGo! is my current recommendation as a filler game for dinners with friends & family that are newbies to board games.

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Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they will screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they will either fix it or come up with something better. If you get the team right, chances are that they’ll get the ideas right.

Creativity, Ed Catmull.
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Programs must be written for people to read, and only incidentally for machines to execute.

— SICP, preface to the 1st edition.

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Dvorak, 3rd year

The past 1st of November marked the anniversary of my switching to DVORAK. I took some time for myself, visited TypeRacer to have some fun and compare results from previous years (see 2017, 2018). Already having surpassed both my previous speed and accuracy I didn’t have any expectations this year, just checking how I was doing.

In terms of accuracy, it looks like I didn’t make great progress. I’m a bit below than the past year mean wise (98.7% vs 98.2%) and also falled short in the number of times I reach 99% accuracy or above. However, I’ve improved my bottom accuracy in half a point (96.4% vs 97.1%).

Speed, thought, is a different matter. It continues to improve rapidly in every metric: the lower bottom, the number of times above 70, and the mean have increased (71 vs 74).

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To became a member of the community of architects requires an ability to learn to view the world as an architect and to use architect’s tools in a professional way. This can happen only by observing and interacting with experienced architects within the context of a studio.

Internet, innovation and OpenSource: Actors in the network, Ilkka Tuomi.
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Meetup WordPress Lugo

Hai uns meses atrás, Carlos liouse a manta á cabeza e propúxose retomar a programación do meetup de WordPress en Lugo, logo dun tempo parada. Lhosca e máis eu decidimos botar unha man e en Xullo presentamos a nova etapa, coa colaboración da maravillosa xente que organiza o meetup (e WordCamp!) WordPress Pontevedra.

Logo dunha pausa polo verán, comezamos o outono coas pilas cargadas. O próximo venres 25 de Outubro, imos a falar de Gutenberg, replicaremos webs co editor de bloques, e veremos cómo estendelo. Temos prazas limitadas, xa podes reservar a túa na web da meetup.

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The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends.

Ratatouille, Anton Ego.
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Get a good chair, because you can’t always be motivated, and sometimes you have to sit on it until you’re done.

— The grandfather of a friend, who had a work ethic that I share.