Busy Weekend! Hacking, Games, 3D Printing, Con!


Whoa! Super busy weekend at Milwaukee Makerspace!

There’s a DC414 Meeting on Friday April 4th, 2014 at 7pm, but don’t stay up all night hacking away on things, because there’s more fun on Saturday.

On Saturday April 5th, 2014 from 11am to 6pm is Table Top Board Game Day! Bring your friends and your games!

Saturday is also the Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup at 1pm.

But Wait! There’s More!

This one’s for members only, but we’ll be running a Makerspace Monthly Orientation Class on Saturday at 10am. If you’re a new member, please attend!

And if the space is too crowded for you, head over to KappaKon/Concinnity 14 happening on the 3rd floor of the Milwaukee School of Engineering’s Student Center.

The DC414 Meeting, Table Top Board Game Day, and Milwaukee 3D Printing Meetup are all free and open to the public, so come hang out at Milwaukee Makerspace with us!

Tabletop Game Boxes

With Tabletop Day approaching and my great affinity for complicated rules attached to cardboard (see picture on leftDSCF0722 of what should be my linen closet) I thought it would be the perfect time to work on a few projects to improve some games that I much enjoy. On top of some other, smaller things I decided that the boxes that come with a great majority of card games are kind of worthless. Take for example. Gloom. A fantastic game in which you try to make your family as miserable as possible before killing them off in horrid ways all the time trying to make your opponents family happy so they cannot do the same (I realize I sound crazy but if you come down to the MakerSpace this Saturday I will have it so you should give it a shot. It really is fantastic). While the game is fantastic it came in was one of those that has the bump of cardboard in the middle between the two stacks of cards that is supposedly, in some fantasy universe where cards have different physics than everything else, supposed to keep them separate. This never works and the box usually breaks fairly quickly.

Being utterly fed-up with these boxes I decided to make my own for 3 games. Gloom, Cthulhu Gloom, and GOSU: Tactics. With the first two this also has the added benefit of being able to make the box large enough that I can fit expansions in with the base game and in the case of GOSU it is an opportunity to make a box that better fits sleeved cards and add a 3 turn counter to keep track of the round after the pass (If you have played GOSU you know it can get a little hazy when some people are taking a whole slew of turns per round).

After some playing with Inkscape, cutting out the first one on the laser cutter, realizing I suck at measuring, cutting things again, some gluing, and several layers of shellac later I had a few new boxes.

I had several people ask me how it was that I achieved this look on Baltic birch plywood so I thought I would go over that quickly. TheCGloom Box Open

inner part was just rag stained with some dark Minwax stain (I think it was Red Mahogany) so nothing special there but it adds a nice contrast to the lighter outside I feel. The outside is an amber shellac. I just applied 5-6 coats with a heavy sanding between the first two and a very light sanding between the rest. Nothing too exciting but it really makes this plain wood look pretty decent.



Game Day / Miracle Berry Tasting Party

Last week we gathered for a day of gaming – the unplugged variety!  We started with classic Ticket to Ride and a new card game called Timeline: Inventions, eventually moving on to The Impossible Machine and Settlers of Catan.  Timeline: Inventions was a favorite because it tested our knowledge of different invention dates.  It was challenging without being competitive, and it was fun for everyone – regardless of who won.

The Impossible Machine was a bit of a flop, because each player only gets a couple of turns before the machine is built and scored.  Players largely depend on the luck of their cards to win, so there was almost no way to strategize or fight for the win, especially with so few turns in each game.  In the meantime, Shane collected suggestions for a Miracle Berry taste test….

First, the tasters sucked on Miracle Berry tablets (which we got from ThinkGeek).  These tablets, made from a rare berry, are supposed to alter your taste buds so that foods taste sweet.  We had to coat our tongue, not chew them, so it took several minutes to prepare.  The lineup of things to taste included: original Pringles, Salt and Vinegar Pringles, red wine, apple cider vinegar, grapefruit juice, sweet pickles, dill pickles, salsa, Guinness, blueberry yogurt, lemon yogurt, pepper jack cheese, sour cream dip, dark chocolate, strawberries, lemons, Sour Patch Kids, and Zours candy.  Oh yeah, and I think there was also some Tequila.

Results?  The dark chocolate tasted like sweet chocolate.  The strawberries tasted like they were dipped in sugar.  Some tasters thought the extra-sweet flavor seemed artificial – a different kind of sweet, one that we’re not used to.  The red wine was disappointing, but the Guinness reportedly tasted like a chocolate milkshake.  The lemons created a tart physical sensation in the mouth without registering a sour flavor on the tongue!  And finally, the whole crew followed Tom’s lead by putting yogurt on a pickle.  Everyone agreed that it was delicious!  I did a control taste test, and I proclaimed that it simply tasted like a yogurt-covered-pickle.  The yogurt was very delicious and sweet, so of course everyone would love the combination if they couldn’t taste the sour from the pickle!

The salsa and the pepper jack cheese were not very spicy to begin with, so they simply lost their tangy aspects after having the Miracle Berries.  The Zours candy seemed to be sour enough to actually taste sour, but this might have been because the Miracle Berries were wearing off by the time we tasted them.  We all agreed: we should have tasted several things before taking the Miracle Berry tablets.  That way, we would’ve had a before-and-after comparison.