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  1. Blog Reporting


    In the past, before the upgrades and the downtime, reporting things in the blogs was a complicated mess of PMing BlogAlert, linking the content, describing the broken rules, and hoping someone read the BlogAlert account in a timely manner.


    NO MORE!


    The "REPORT" buttons on comments and entries DO WORK. Before the downtine, they did not. Now they do! Hurray!


    So, in short, if you have something to report, click that button, describe the offense, and a blog staff member will receive the report and an automatic link the the offending content. (Please do not use this to report signatures)


    This is much easier on us, on you, the general populace, and also on kittens everywhere.


    -The Blog Staff

  2. It's a Blog

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    Dropping in again for no reason, seeing who's about. Still a few folk I remember doing similar now and again, kind of nice.

    Been doing some self-reflecting recently, bit of therapy and that, you know how it is. Probably should've been doing that as a teenager but eh, better late than never. Actually brought up this place during a few sessions, was very much a place I turned to to be 'validated' when I wasn't getting that elsewhere in my life. Growing up I had nobody around who shared my interests and a lot of folk who just thought I was dumb - so BZP gave me a place to have shared interests, and be seen as 'smart' for knowing a lot of Bionicle lore. And then the 'popularity' and 'fame' I'd get leaking set pictures or kicking off for gay rights or whatever was giving me the attention I wasn't getting elsewhere. And there'd be a bit of a 'fight' mentality in all of that because of dissatisfaction elsewhere in life. A lot of the motivations and brain loops involved back then have persisted over the years - getting quieter, but when I step back and look I can still see that stuff is cycling around in my head a lot. People's opinion of me informs a lot, I do a lot to be valued by people and react badly when I even get the WHIFF that people think I might be dumb or not understand something - it's like I have to 'prove' myself in those situations. It's all able to be traced back, and seeing this stuff laid out like that and mapping it all back just makes it all a lot easier. I can see how my brain naturally functions, and why.

    Wiped this blog because I mentioned it to a few people IRL and they tracked it down, them seeing how I used to be was not a comfortable thing so I panic deleted as they started reading. Bad times. It's tricky with new people, you get the fresh start with them, but having a previous version of yourself 'preserved' online for them to also see is....yeah it's weird innit.

    Anyway, things are good overall. It's cool analyzing myself a bit more - always growth to be had, just trying to actively dig for it a little bit more at the minute. Pretty fun and cool. 

    Also, you know what I'm desperate for? A run-down of like, what happened with every BIG NAME person from BZP back in the day. I wanna know where everyone is and when they dropped off the site and why etc. I live for the GOSSIP.

  3. March, oh my, almost flown by, I feel like the March Hare shouting "I’m late!" for my pretend post-date!

    Present proceedings:

    -Traumatic almost ends to a toxic situation.

    Thankful that the terriblest times typically cannot precisely recur in a particular person’s story.

    -Unrelated double ER day did damages that aren't bandaged, too drained to explain, brain & body badly bumbling since. Eating, drinking, moving, sleeping, thinking, I’m brilliantly bad at all that. But breathing, and I have usable hands!  Drowning in Duke doctors doing their best to diagnose some suspected ultra rare “root disease” of the speedily sprouting idiopathic secondaries. 

    (Fr e e s o c k s + six(?) hours of waiting room weave while watching other patients leave

    + CannotSeeAThingInThisDarkCarDoodle and the “Ran out of yarn, paper cranes to amuse that toddlerpatient” to keep hands busy & mind sane! Inexpressibly obliged to have a mom, always there, uncontainable care. I wish everyone had a mom, what gift could be more golden?)


    -Life is a lovely thing to live around people positive! 

    -I haven't touched a dead rat or nest all year! I’ve been very good. Rarely doing limpy late night ladder leaps these days, you see. Only minor chairclimbing for curtains!

    -Our windowside wildflowers are blooming. Springs seem sunnier here, I wonder if it’s the mountainous elevation or pure imagination.


    -Chronic midproject making madness missions marching forth! Even a couch can be a creative chariot *lapdesk lightning bolt power* with essentially endless enchanted art endeavours to edit!

    Significantly surprising when ~half I've made I simply forget exists at this point, haha. 

    -Phone of my own for photos! Thankfully a retired one that will never, ever ring (meaning hauling me into a hermit-hiding fit from it at home. Guessing that the former years of ~7 daily pointless phone calls from one individual could have contributed to the recoiling? ) It wasn’t difficult to phoneless document projects prior, as 24/7 access was warmwelcomed as my mom was always around. Inexpressible appreciation! Miss her lots. Sorry for fuzzy Fire-tablet photos in the mix here. And shadowy shots. And if these possibly oversized images are harming the site?


    Specks to show, but back to sewing small.  A game of “Can I sew this fast and beat the neuropathic fire, lefty foot limpness & edema fluid before it fills my feet? ” Wonder if supine machine sewing is achievable. The adventures of adaptation! *EDIT:    

    Just yesterday I figured out a floorflop footless footpedal function to be used from now on. Relief! Power!



     A tale of Tatooine twins. To begin!

    Once upon a not far away time...a noble lady noted a night of Star Wars watching amongst the nice folk of the workplace. An uncanny correlation of conversation! For the leader of the league had of late procured a pair of undesired plastic persons in a collection lot, bought from an "extra" actress in the Star wars films.  Once upon ages ago in a home far, far away...a little human became absurdly obsessed with Star Wars. This was thanks to a Lego Xbox game from a grandfather, the fisherman one. She so longed for a certain little Leia doll, but no luck did fall, due to the tag on that specifically splendid ‘70s doll.

    This is that 1978 doll. Sent to me without being sought out at all.

    Hysterical happiness! I daresay- miraculous! Not that material things matter much, but such meaning and memories the plastic molds can hold!

     Little video of my dear death star duo:


    r2raoFYHni47QwATxvIwxwzewIpW1I6NPu-TuMlb35soOr9E22CyVEDsUlXNTGgNveJfVGLEjuKbGVVE6qqbEHFEehlGLv37CCt-FrIE5AVx2g8ULCyyJSICe0bn_Prr32YhbDHXGazKsfTzvEUOKCU Ua6Ml3CG6YRizNPu5LMXkS6B_n6eeKK6AZIYf64rsJtV5d0VlonQI0FbIVRHqza80ssV5Evnofl40u1RrmPkTRci7iamuaGn4XYos6WhLCEa9YlG_6bBYEeDQk6D8fuyBhnrNe9nk60fUL-8_Lt2hog




    Referred permanently for robe rehab. I reminisced over my days of doll doovers inspired by the Tree Change Dolls and then did the daring thing-repainting!  

    A catastrophe in the collector's eyes?

    But done with love, and so far, no lighting has punished me from above. The generous giver wanted to see the makeover, and remarkably- wasn't angry! Actually pleased!? 


    Untimed project due to being out of practice+physical flops/post ERs project pause for weeks.

    Absenteeism of old faces by acetone.

    Repainted the faces, bodies and limbs with acrylic craft paint. Used various PC pictures as a skin color guide for overriding the orange aura. I fear their complexions are not perfect, but bumbled as best I could, and their kind natures are quite good. Sealed with Jo Sonja's matte brush on varnish.  Sewed and gelled Leia's cinnamon buns back. Drafted their clothes from paper towel + tape test garments. Leather scrap accessories, mostly handsewn.

    Shoes also paper-towel drafted and held on with baby rubber bands…because it's a supply I storage-scavenged.


    And a drive link with WIP pics: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1xROTDk3lRt0JFEGLurrp2h1ZKrECQtvS asI had this already to send to the giver and was too tired to properly post all pictures.

    The Skywalker family is uncanny in its relatability to me. Siblings with the same first letter of names, one fancy, one a family-farm-dweller, the dangerous dad, the moral mom made miserable for it, and the abnormal lack of other family members to stop the tragedy.


    So, sew, totoro!

    The story of how this spirit sprouted: I naturally was making a preliminary pattern for Agnes’ Fluffy Unicorn in the form of a costume suit for The Baby, as you do. This was a post-paper bean, old t-shirt-first test subject I’d already mentally trashed. 

    Video because overabundant pictures:




    But then by some miraculous twist, it looked okay and was Totoro-tone. So, ears, faux fur and leather, and braided embroidery thread whiskers (hooked on sewing machine needle during braid for neatness). And the tiny, hand beaded, machine-veined tree toupee! Dear knowledgeable ones, is it truly an Akita leaf as this one article says https://www.laitimes.com/en/article/vioe_w7d3.html








    Was the wandering wheelchairless weirdo for these photos, thus not at all pro. Wish I weren’t too weak for a serious stop motion production. Late January. A fine feeling to breathe the arbor-aroma after days of complete crippled couch confinement! Never understood why adults don't climb trees typically, I’d live in one if my legs would allow it! Russian yew tree twigs, Alaskan blown glass buoy orbs brought from my grandparents’ + mom’s major move, many moons ago.


    @Bambi has first-rate create recommendations. 

    “June 19, 2022: Now you just need a Mimikyu to go with that Pikachu. :P

    Thanks for 3hrs of thread therapy! 


    Bit-sized butterflies! And feather from dear Brownie, my once-duck-baby we had to leave behind.



    Cannot remember the contents.  Two months was a terribly long time ago! Did I already share this shot?

    …hmm, art was in this! *subtracts points from senility score with laughable satisfaction*


    Mermaid-ish mom top made from a precut back in the basement residence. French seams and such.



    Bakes thanks to new backbrace need (and wheelchariot, so weird to remember cooking without it.) Caramel crumb cookies and yeastroll feast, not properly planned in the least but for a birthday of our benevolent once-basement-hosts! SHko7JgwLihhab3EiKYPcri3kGlVBR_u2rONDzS3LJ1DbqjbyI3IDXBQDnUKCCAzIJkrsjjeEEjVztdRYkEDdeW8SeC2pAQqd_OdnrTKkiqe--AAb6cbRk_7ZH21ISnf9U5aG_cIS4AhCOzhibu3-VcWQvUqNhe6vP9rMA_bZ3y0tjBBUEnGNDjoZ4fu3ncy8mo_1_7UtJu7bTC8vqvpnZONyLzXGtyyF1Q-TTif319SvpZ8SeCqFDTMWcjxvmiIjVK_LdSHYppYQpD3ObfhO8MHGdabnIEJqNR9-Vwk0bi66k

    Sprinkley spontaneity party from September! 

    AslkSLe9anVkfgQuXql7rSv3hGN27PIMQG4EX6xb0Ij9o4M2cYjWYI2A4Z4SBsphmY9CLFx6sbQBwN_lkA8yg656e92Hd1-G-IaXZuZ0aKnnFusQtFdWsVrpRy38IRFUPU1xK8z7ptGsZ58XrjEWO5o qeMMuEFlwz1qiWhjo6To3FFZZOMH1WDKAlwrNm0j6tvDB5aX-pPR5I8_Gkltj7YwdHRC4ngaMH-wXcPZfX2fxGWsSavwZCf-b2QT3GDlfRp3mCp7Ilw96QVWInqpHmj-QRRbiOSkwp5DeOfvIkpSN7U


    And bake box for momcoworkers. Three am tablet photos being triumphant, of course. 


    So spine shattering and shortness of breath inducing, sadly. Shouldn’t be doing extra stuff, but suffering for special occasions-other people treats is a pretty sweet pretend occupation to me! 

    Used to want to be a pastry chef prior to the allergic to everything adventures. But thankfully also a costume designer, a toy maker, Jedi, and an artist of course, so no sadness stayed once that idea strayed. At this point I’m thinking being a fairy godmother or a grandma-minus-the-family would be the most wondrous and well-suited dream career. #1 has the wings for optimum mobility, and how nice it would be to be invisible, unknown, free, far-away, in a forest fairy village making tiny gifts for all ze humans at all hours, and dropping them at doorsteps on phantom runs. #2 matches my mobility and eccentric octogenarian interests. Unremitting time & things to invent when repelled by traditional entertainment/television!


    Oh yes! Some tutorials tied up, hoping they aren’t too topsy-turvy for typical translation: 




    *Still silently with Greg on this and esteem them as best friends* 


    Wow, this is wackily harder to organize words. Sorry for the near-nonsense.

    Art assemblages wait until next time, I go crumble like an overcrisp crippled cookie now.

    Care, cheerfulness and imaginary confectioneries to all!  Wishing you a superb start of spring!



    *adoring that magic wand duster far more than I should*


    Probably going to regret not proofreading this later.

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    [No more monthly "updates" for now. Next time you hear from me it's go time.]

    17; 18; 1



  4. I've wanted one of these since 2006. It's safe to say that Bionicle collecting today isn't what it was in those days, but I'm still immensely happy to be able to add the elusive brown Komau to my collection:


    This was a lucky BrickLink find. Immaculate condition, bought from the original owner who got it from Lego headquarters in Billund. Goes nicely with my Metru blue Matatu 🙂


    Now to track down the white Huna - anyone have one to sell? 🤣

  5. JAG18
    Latest Entry

    Nine years ago I joined BZPower.  This site wasn't even nine years old when I discovered it. 

    I still have fond memories of those early years.  Traffic had already declined by then, but it was still an active place (certainly much better than it is today).  Most of the people I talked to back then have since moved on (although it's not like I'm around here much either). 

    What spinner am I getting?  A hau, the kind Tahu Stars wore.  I have that set somewhere. 

    OK, I don't have anything profound or substantial to say, but I wanted to mark the occasion. 

  6. Ta-metru_defender
    Latest Entry

    Well, after a brief Invision Board-based hiatus, we're back!

    Did you like that video review of Tahu and Takua? I haven't done one in a while and it was fun to dive back in, especially since, over the past year, I've moved to doing video post-production full time. I was freelancing for around a year at a couple of documentary houses until last month when I started as a staff Assistant Editor a trailer house. If you saw the trailer for Indiana Jones and The Dial of Destiny, that was us. I had nothing to do with that Indy trailer, but I did see a TV Spot I helped out with on TV on New Year's Eve, so that was pretty dope. There are a lot of projects in the pipe that I can't talk about (I'm NDA'd within an inch of my life) but it's super cool to, y'know, be doing this professionally.

    Part of the fun of the gig is getting to see how those trailers are made and see all the ways the Editors make them work. And then learn from them and use them when cutting something else.

    Like a video review for a Bionicle site.


    I put more effort into this than the other reviews I did, part because it's Bionicle and part because, well, I wanted to take stuff I've learnt out on a semi-dry run. There was an AfterEffects project too to enhance the glow in the opening too, plus some foley and externally-recorded sound. Then some funky sound design too 'cuz this stuff is fun.

    Because hey, I am a proper professional.



  7. Big

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    Started out alright, got a little bad in the middle, and picked up in the last few months. 5/10

    Hoping the good carries over into 2023. How was your year?

    Enjoy the fireworks:

    [Free] Fire Works Icon

  8.  After a season of change, I've emerged with a new set of musings gleaned from a new hobby - board games. 

    A new set of friends who became family (because the season of change definitely included but was not limited to marriage), have introduced me to a slew of various card/board games. Unfortunately I married into a very strategically savvy family, but fortunately they still know how to make the experience fun. 

    To clarify, "favorite" here equates to the combined most enjoyability and re-playability. The optimal board game for me is something just the two of us can bust out after dinner when we don't want to do dishes right away, enjoy, and move along with our evening. 

    In ranked order my favorites are: 

    1. Splendor
    2. Firefly
    3. Codenames
    4. Coup
    5. Boss Monster
    6. Azul
    7. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion
    8. Red Dragon Inn
    9. Hive
    10. Onitama

    Games that didn't quite make the list:

    • Ticket to Ride
    • Carcassonne
    • Villainous
    • 7 Wonders

    A bit about the "not quite" list - something they all have in common was that when I learned them the first time, they were poorly explained.  The new games I ended up liking the most either were explained systematically with clear win-conditions from the start, or they were completely new to everyone so we figured it out together. I'm sure there will come a day when most, if not all of these games make it into the actual ranking list. 


    Honorable mentions that don't count because they are not new to me, but would still recommend:


    • Scattergories
    • Bananagrams
    • Catch Phrase
    • "What did you knock over this time?!?", a game with the Little Peeps (below), which I must admit is not my favorite but for some reason we keep playing it. Every day. Multiple times. But look at that face. 


    Moving on to the reasoning behind my top choices from the actual games list. I promise this is not just a post about the cat. I hope you don't expect too much explanation or a tutorial on how to play, as this is not a game review blog. I will simply state what I found enjoyable, challenging, and frustrating - like a very subjective pros and cons list. 

    Common deciding factors are: 

    Commitment - Some games are highly enjoyable, but are also highly complex and require a larger number of players. Large time and/or social commitment detract from re-playability. 

    Complexity - Closely tied to commitment, but not the same. Basically, how difficult it was for me to learn. An example of a game that I would consider higher in complexity but lower commitment would be Red Dragon Inn, listed below. 

    Versatility in # of Players- A game that is easily playable and enjoyable both in a group or just the two of us is ideal. Yes, I'm aware there are many "two player variants" for some of the games lower on my list, but learning a new variant would up the complexity and mental commitment and thus lower the overall enjoyability for me. 

    Cut-Throatedness - This is where the "sore loser" aspect of this post comes in, and this is probably the most subjective measure on this list. I have learned that I am much more of a sore loser than I originally had thought. Now, this factor is somewhat related to number of players. It is also the reason why Hive and Onitama are at the bottom of my list. They are both exclusively two player games, and you must take something away from the other person to beat them, if that makes sense. I can lose in Splendor all day and feel fine, because it's more of a resource race with optional/minimal "mess with the other person in their face" mechanics. But losing so directly in Hive, losing each turn and knowing it, gets old really quickly. 

    1. Splendor (image source)

    I'm just going to throw an x/10 rating for some of the pertinent factors, and then my 2 cents. And just keep in mind that a 10/10 in a given category may not be a good thing in my book. 

    Commitment: 3/10 - low time commitment is a plus for me, can definitely play this while a pot of rice simmers or something. 
    Complexity: 5/10 - not entirely sure how to have an accurate/consistent complexity scale. It was easy enough to learn and play, but the pattern of thinking needed to make progress is so different from my usual that it never feels boring. 
    Versatility: 8/10 - This is the game we play most often, just the two of us, and one we recommend most to play with friends and/or bring to family gatherings (probably tied with Codenames). The only thing I would improve is to have condensed travel-version, because playing at cafes and informal restaurants (like a pizzeria) is a favorite thing for us to do. 
    Cut-Throat: 4/10 - There are definitely ways for you to mess with other people in this game, or try to, but there are enough other ways for them to keep progressing or mess with you in return that it doesn't get discouraging (again, very subjective factor). 

    Pros: Fun, relatively simple to learn, pretty art, very tactile tokens (those things are solid), and a potentially cool Marvel version that I have yet to play. 
    Cons: I still haven't won a two-player game, the pieces are small enough that the kitten can easily mess up the entire board (most games have this con, now that I think about it). 


    2. Firefly: The Game (image source)

    This game is so so great, we absolutely love it, and actually re-arranged an entire room in our house so we can more easily play this game kitten-free. That is, she gets to roam the whole house while we spread the game and various decks across multiple tables in a small room 😂. It definitely helps to have seen the TV show, which was actually recommended to me for the first time by old BZP friends back when I was in high school :) the only reason this game is #2 and not #1 is because of the effort it takes (combination of time commitment, complexity, and the low points of versatility). 

    Commitment: 9/10 - We have routinely set aside 3-4 hours for this game, as per instructions, but each time it has taken 4.5+ hours. The exception was playing through a fan-made scenario recently crafted specifically for a two player cooperative game. 
    Complexity: 7/10 - Not gonna lie, it was a lot to learn at first. So many moving parts to the game and mechanics. That said, once you learn it, it was easy to keep going and pick back up. Still complicated, but not difficult. 
    Versatility: 7/10 - This is great in versatility because 1 player scenarios are possible and fun, 2 player scenarios are possible and fun, etc. etc., but additionally, there are great fan-made scenarios that are playable and fun. The negatives on versatility are that once you set it up, you're stuck there for a while. There's no sane reason why you would want to take this to a coffee shop for an afternoon unless you want to lose half the tokens and pieces and cards. 
    Cut-Throat: 2/10 - The way the scenarios are set up, and the variety of ways you can achieve the series of goals to meet the win conditions make the game competitive in the "racing" sense, rather than the cut-throat way. Actually to the point that even I wish there were more direct ways to mess with other players. However, this is not a negative factor for me, because if there were other ways to mess with other players, I would probably be getting the short end of the straw. Both Splendor and Firefly are solid favorites because they are highly replayable with a variety of numbers of players. 

    Pros: Goes so well with the show! Adds a whole new layer of fun. You get to follow a story line, which is always fun. It's fast-paced enough to keep you engaged and not complex enough that you have to pay attention to every single move every single person makes, so you can relax, grab a snack or chat throughout. Also has cool expansions, or so I'm told. 

    Cons: Complex set up for comparatively simple gameplay, need lots of time and considerable amount of space. Also kind of expensive, but totally worth it. 



    3. Codenames (image source)

    Don't let the low numbers in the ratings fool you, this game is one of the most enjoyable ones we have on our shelf. 

    Commitment: 3/10 - This one is nice because you can easily play multiple rounds without getting tired of it, or at least we can when the family gets together. And if someone gets tired or needs a break, they can step out for a round with little to no impact (depending on number of players). 
    Complexity: 3/10 - Very easy to pick up the gist by just watching a few rounds, although some explaining would probably be necessary before fully playing as both a team member and taking a turn as the codemaster. 
    Versatility: 3/10 - This is the one major drawback, we've found it best with 6+ players, 4 at the very least, as it's a team game. We haven't tried the 2-player variant yet, but it's enjoyable enough that we have plans to in the near future. It also would not be ideal for a travel game because of the 5x5 grid of small cards that are easily lost. 
    Cut-Throat: 5/10 - So this 5/10 is more for general competition aspect and perceived pressure during gameplay, not necessarily because of any cut-throat mechanics. Guessing and being the hint-giver/codemaster both feel relatively high pressure to me, but that's part of what makes it so enjoyable.

    Pros: great combination of social deduction, word association, strategy and teamwork. 
    Cons: higher player number needed, so we don't play it as often as we like. 



    4. Coup (image source)


    Coup is probably the game we've had the most laughs with, just the dynamic of how well different people bluff or don't. 

    Commitment: 2/10 - Pretty simple set up, don't need much table space if any, and a round can probably be as short as 5 minutes, although that somewhat depends on number of players. We probably average 10-15 minutes per round in a game with 5 players. 
    Complexity: 4/10 - A bit difficult to learn and keep certain rules straight, but also straightforward with refreshingly black-and-white rules compared to all the lying and bluffing the game is based around (my husband describes it as a streamlined version of poker). 
    Versatility: 6/10 - I would travel with this game! One of the main downsides is that it requires at least 3 players to really make it worth it, although, again, we are researching more into the 2-player variant. 
    Cut-Throat: 8/10 - This is the exception on the list, the game is by nature cut-throat, with the goal to be the last man standing. I think part of what helps is that the rounds go so quickly, and you tend to go out quickly when you do, so it's not a slow, inevitable defeat you have to watch unfold before you. And everyone else killing each other off after you're out is many times more entertaining and educational anyways.

    Pros: Very strategic and simple once you learn it, and has a significant social aspect, which is always a fun variable to throw in. 
    Cons: If you're very against lying, morally, this is not a game for you. 



    5. Boss Monster (image source)


    Commitment: 3/10 - This is another game that's easy to play in under half an hour. The setup is comparatively simple, and it's easy enough to play a second or third round if you want to. 
    Complexity: 4/10 - Pretty straightforward, but the variety of monster/trap rooms and combinations lend variability that keeps everything interesting. 
    Versatility: 7/10 - Great to play two player, because there is some element of randomness/luck involved that tables can turn quickly (something I like and annoys my husband). Also good with groups, and theoretically could be played while out and about, but probably not outside. 
    Cut-Throat: 4/10 - This one really depends on number of players. Even if it's just the two of you, it's possible to win without messing with the other player, which can get tiring if you're always the target. However, it's obviously not as fun if you don't play the "gotcha" cards on the other player, thus it's better as a more-than-two player game, but can be played pretty sustainably as such. 

    Pros: Great pixel art! I have the biggest nostalgic soft spot for pixel art. Also what I think is a creative, unique dungeon/deck-building theme that I think is just charming. 
    Cons: Not initially as much variety in the decks as I'd thought, we were interested in expansion packs pretty early on. 

    6. Azul (image source)


    Commitment: 4/10 - Although we haven't played it in a while, it's pretty simple to set up, put away, etc. It can be played in under an hour, although sometimes it's extended past that. The players have the ability to trigger the last round pretty early on, so the play time can vary greatly. 
    Complexity: 3/10 - Pretty easy to learn and then teach. The only somewhat tricky part is learning the scoring. And a lot of the scoring turns into honors system, which is fine for adults, but if we teach the nieces I have a feeling we'll have to keep a closer eye on their score counters. 
    Versatility: 7/10 - Great for 2 players, great for more than that, with the only difference in set up being the number of tiles available each round. Also tactile enough to take different places without fear of it blowing away (that is, no cards), although it can take up a decent amount of space. And I'd highly caution against losing even a single tile. 
    Cut-Throat: 2/10 - Nice and chill, and honestly gameplay went better when we focused on our own scores. When we tried to get to the resources (tiles, in this case) that we thought everyone else wanted, instead of the ones we knew we needed, it was a much longer game with much slower progress overall. That is, a more cut-throat style of gameplay is possible, but nets an overall negative result based on our experience (of course, maybe we were doing it wrong? I'm sure it's possible to play that way and do it well. Shrug). 

    Pros: So pretty! Very tactile, and I would love to teach this game to our niece. And my mother. I think the fact that it doesn't look like a scary strategy game (which it's not, really), appeals to a wider player base. Also it's tactile-centric, which is always fun. Very solid tiles, and again, just beautiful, fun designs. 
    Cons: Honestly, the only con in this game for me is that I'm constantly stuck playing with highly strategic people who do the equivalent of counting cards, so they're just always ahead and in power the entire game. Some level of unpredictability/luck would be useful. 


    7. Gloomhaven: Jaws of the Lion (image source)


    Commitment: 9/10 - We needed to schedule an extra 45 minutes for setup alone, essentially, although this included small talk and such. Imagine a somewhat streamlined version of  D&D that's just dungeon crawling and fighting. So far it has a fun story (bonus is that you don't need a DM, the guide books/monster decks are basically the DM for you). But we needed upwards of 5 hours per scenario, every flat surface we owned, and needed to schedule the sessions with our other two players, which always becomes a logistics battle sooner or later. 
    Complexity: 10/10 - I'm not sure where to begin describing this complexity, so just trust me. Like, I'm sure there are much more complex games out there, in fact, I know there are. But out of the games mentioned here, this is far and away the most complicated. 
    Versatility: 1/10 - Not much flexibility in setup, like even if one of the various decks a player has set out gets nudged over an inch, everything feels off. 
    Cut-Throat: 2/10 - It's a cooperative campaign game, so that's cool. Very limited movesets for your characters, at least the level we're at. But the scenarios themselves felt pretty challenging. More than once we spent 3+ hours working our way through a room, only to fail and have to start over (usually we just called it an evening and rescheduled). 

    Pros: It is fun once you get going. It really is. It just takes a lot to get there. It also has an intriguing story and a cool world. It's expensive, but you get so much bang for your buck. I'm constantly amazed how much fit into the game box (and continues to fit back in).
    Cons: It's just a huge effort any time we want to play. Sometimes I miss playing (it's been a few months), but the other two players in our party are busy now with holiday stuff, so it's unlikely we'll play again anytime soon. 


    8. Red Dragon Inn (image source)

    Okay so as a bit of a disclaimer, I think I've only actually played this one once? I really enjoyed it when I did, so that should say something. But the disclaimer is to note that I have no idea how to really rate it. 

    Commitment: 5/10 - It felt like it took a long time, but we had a large amount of players. 
    Complexity: 4/10 - It was simple once I got the hang of what a turn looked like. It's a fun balancing act and "gotcha" tricks you play on other players, or tavern-goers. There's a gambling mini-game built in that I remember really hating/being confused by though. 
    Versatility: 5/10 - It seemed easy to play with many people (we had 7 at one point), but I imagine playing with two players would be much less fun.  
    Cut-Throat: 5/10 - Most of the game seemed based on playing your cards' effects on other players to their detriment, but with enough players, the effects felt spread out enough that it didn't feel cut-throat. 

    Pros: Great art, fun concept, you can choose a character to play as and get really into it if you want. 
    Cons: Unsure, but it was fun (except gambling, no idea why that gets to be a thing). 

    9. Hive (image source)

    Commitment: 3/10 - Very easy to play even while you wait for your pizza to come out, fits on a pretty small area usually, but the hive has no boundaries and can grow in weird directions if you're not careful. 
    Complexity: 3/10 - I say it's like streamlined chess without a board. My husband who plays chess for fun (shudder) disagrees. 
    Versatility: 9/10 - This is very fun because you can really take it anywhere. We've played it outside on a mountain top, in the aforementioned pizza place, in our backyard, etc. Fun shape, fun concept, easy to teach others. Only detriment in versatility is that you don't have the option to expand past a two-player game.
    Cut-Throat: 9/10 - I believe this fits the "zero sum game" category. If you progress, it's to the detriment of your opponent. Thus, the reason why I can only lose so many times in a row - you feel every inch that's taken from you. Also, it really depends on pacing. If you fall behind by one step, it's only a matter of time before you lose, and you know it within one or two turns. It is possible to draw, though. 

    Pros: Versatile, fun and well-designed tiles, I think it's a pretty unique concept (surround you opponent's queen bee using your other bug tiles with their specific movement abilities), easy enough to play with kids. I definitely did this and lost to a six year old not on purpose. 
    Cons: You can lose to a six year old. 

    10. Onitama (image source)

    Commitment: 4/10 - This one varies in time commitment, although the surface area required is probably one of the smallest on the list, along with Hive and Coup. Games can be quick, under 10 minutes, or run over 45 minutes. It really depends on the cards you have to work with and how stubborn/careless both of you are. 
    Complexity: 4/10 - Simple enough concept, and interesting. It's kind of like checkers but you have a rotating set of move patterns (Tiger, Cobra etc. that you see in the picture), and the strategy involved in how the cards rotate between you and your opponent really stretched my brain. I liked it. 
    Versatility: 7/10 - Pretty good travel game, it comes with a roll-up mat that's like a mouse pad, and pretty solid figurines. Cards have potential to blow away though. Also can only play 2 players. 
    Cut-Throat: 9/10 - Again, since it's like chess/checkers, you win based on the other person losing. Sometimes it's possible to have a stalemate, but that's rare from what we've found. This is another one I can only lose so many times in a row.

    Pros: Really pretty cards! I like the mythos worked in, like you see the tiger lunging forward, the cobra I think is supposed to be dancing back and forth trying to hypnotize. I find it more tolerable than chess or checkers because of the rotating moveset mechanic. 
    Cons: Really can drag on if you let it. Also if your game has 5 bad cards, you're kind of stuck with them for the game.

    Phew. I didn't think this post would take the entire afternoon when I sat down with the idea, but here I am, one afternoon later 😅. If you stuck with me this long, thanks, and I hope it was worth your while one way or another - maybe an idea for a holiday gift or something. 

    I am always open to new suggestions, and of course any hints for improving this or that!




  9. Just want to share this pic of my son playing with some Bionicle sets for the first time. It melted my heart, if anyone else will get it it's got to be you guys!


    My plans to indoctrinate the babies are finally coming to fruition. 🤨

  10. https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/653395021940260864/1022886975608463411/19_-_AetherGarde.jpg

    A roguelike game where players must traverse seven deadly trials, collecting & crafting loot along the way! Click the banner to join the Discord - AetherGarde begins October 3rd.

  11. The best thing I can say right now is that the breaks between my blog entries are much, much longer than the breaks between my artistic endeavours (please imagine those two words in a more sarcastic tone). Wish I knew what was the problem, but sitting down to draw is no longer as easy nor natural as it used to be. Mostly, I am afraid, I think. Afraid of what I create not lining up with what I had in mind (a given, if I rarely try my hands at it.) Afraid of only being able to produce slightly off, slightly nightmarish vent art when really all I want to do is draw pretty things to distract myself from what's causing the vent arts in the first place.

    Especially the latter point.

    So what am I doing to combat that, and the accompanying feelings of hopelessness?

    Two things, mostly. One is working on my mental health and resilience. Times are bad still, but I don't want to let that crush me. The other thing is moving to other creative things to do in the meantime - I've taken up crocheting, darning and other mending techniques, and painting. To keep my hands occupied, and have something to show by the end of the day, something tangible, a proof of my tiny existence in that miniscule time frame that I'm around for.

    Because things will get better again.
    They always do.

  12. I come here every few years just to see what happened. It is like returning to a hometown that never existed, and all the people were fictional characters you made up as imaginary friends, and only a few straggling ghosts roam the grounds as though nothing changed.

    I post this just to see if the ghosts can hear. The sensation of wandering in here ever since 2013, when I left the staff, has been haunting.

  13. almost 16 years since I joined this site as a kid. it was a major part of my life for so long. to say that my time and the people I met here was instrumental to my development would be an understatement.

    so many friendships came and went, even a relationship started and ended here, and the drama - so much drama. all the arguments, bullying right-wing bigots, carving out an identity and (infamous) reputation through so many different phases and identity crises. Laughin'Man, Scythey, Ryuujin, Serein, Heck - I changed so much from the time I started here till I faded away that it feels like I was five different people, and there's a little bit of every one that's made me who I am today.

    shout out to the 3 people who might see this and think, "hey, I remember him". and to the handful of people who joined after I left who are reading this and thinking "who's this weird old guy?" just remember when you're pushing 30 the people, places, and things that got you there.

  14. Hello everyone. Tahu Returns won the poll! Congrats to the artist! 
    Due to a tight schedule, the colors have been decided on. We apologize for the inconvenience. 
    While we’re taking orders on other social media platforms, if you’re going to BrickFair 2022, please place your order here. 

    The price for this years shirt is $12. Please only place an order if you’re going to BrickFair in person. 

    You'll have about a week to put your orders in. We hope you enjoy the new BZP shirts!


  15. hey everybody! I decided to visit bzp last night and was really happy to see a lot of familiar usernames. I joined here back when I was only 15 years old... I'm nearly 30 now, and looking at my post history on this account it looks like I haven't regularly posted here since bionicle gen 2 was coming out. I think the best part of checking around sites I used to frequent is seeing the familiar users getting into careers they enjoy, getting really into a new hobby, or otherwise just doing new things in life.

    So here's my question for everybody, whether you've been here a long time or not. What have you been up to since Bionicle ended? 

    As for me, I became a game developer. Not my full time gig yet, I'm working as a cook full time now too. Back during my teenage bzpower days, I always thought I would be a visual artist or novelist, but nowadays I'm way more into game dev and producing music. I can't link my project since it's fairly M-rated, but I have one game on Steam! My goal right now is to make a lot of little arcade projects in my signature garish grossout style.

    Anyway, this is me procrastinating. I should be programming right now, lol. Let me know what you've been up to! See you all around! ❤️

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    Recent Entries

    When you read, your eyes look at symbols that stand for sounds, and those sounds represent concepts. Reading requires both of these events (symbols-to-sounds, and sounds-to-concepts) to take place. It happens so quickly, we can ignore the middleman if we want. Writing systems like Chinese are called logographies as opposed to true alphabets, because Chinese characters don't stand for sounds at all, just concepts. You have to learn as many characters in Chinese as there are ideas. English sometimes works like that. Consider the difference between to, too, and two. In this case, different sets of symbols all produce the same sound. The only option the English-speaker has is to memorize separate what spelling corresponds to each idea.

    This is a lot of work, and your brain is doing it all the time. It's doing it right now, in fact. On top of that, you don't remember the symbols you've read for the rest of your life. I'm reading a book right now, and I'm in the middle portion, and I don't recall exactly the symbols it opened with, and I'll remember them even less precisely by the time I reach the end. And yet, the thoughts it made me think remain in my head. I still know what the book is about. It's not as though I've never read it.

    Now we introduce a third (potentially fourth) stopping pointing in the act of reading: symbols correspond to ideas (through the byway of sounds), but those ideas in turn correspond to an impression. The impression, most often, remains in the reader's mind long after most, or even all, of the symbols and sounds do not. You cannot recreate the physical, indisputable elements of the book, but you can still say what it was about. How can this be?

    This is to say nothing of the nuances that exist even within the individual letters and sounds, and how many things even simple combinations can mean. This has been just a little look at the act of reading, provided to you by the act of reading no less.

  16. It appears that BZP makes a triumphant return.

    So, what have i been doing over the past few days?

    Well, i was surprised by the emergence of a new trailer for Kirby And the Forgotten Land, and even more surprised by the release of a 3 level-long demo for the game. The demo shows off new features like "Mouthful Mode", which you either love or hate. (I love it) The game really reminds me of Kirby's Blowout Blast, most likely due to both games having B I G  K I R B Y

    image.jpeg.45803330c82934b2b10231a7dffcc911.jpeg image.jpeg.86f7bd79cc2933dab891faccd49654cd.jpeg

    (Also, both are 3d)

    I've also been preparing for another Ye Olde Not-So-Good Film Review. 

    Uh, wow, that entry was a lot shorter than i thought it'd be. Oh well! See ya later!


  17. Valendale
    Latest Entry

    On Thursday, I went to the Orthodontist for what I thought was just a routine visit, but to my surprise they started taking some scans of my mouth, telling me it was for my retainer. And at the end of the appointment, I was informed that my braces would be fully removed at the end of the month!

    I started laughing with joy when I heard the news. One of the staff told me my laughter was contagious. That has to be one of the best compliments I've ever received.

    I've had my braces for almost 3 years now. They've become a part of my life as I've grown over that time. And getting them off reminds me of that, but it also reminds me of how much some things haven't changed.

    I've also already made an appointment with some friends to hit up a candy shop that day and get some of the things I've been missing out on for so long!

  18. So let me start my story like any old man with an anecdote that doesn't really go anywhere.

    I was trawling through my old blog entries trying to find out when I got Pokemon Diamond. I'm playing Brilliant Diamond and I wanted to see if I wrote down anything about my initial playthrough of the game. Turns out, 17 year old me did not see that as something worth recording. :shrugs:

    Instead I seemed to be a little full of myself. A lot of the blog entries from that time are about my own fame and power on BZP, which in the hindsight of old age looks a bit sad and pathetic. Yeah, I definitely played it up a bit for laughs, but I have to confess that there was a bit of truth behind that.

    It's hard when you're seventeen and you have all these hopes and aspirations. At school, you're just a regular person, but on the internet, hey, you just make some funny Flash videos and write some silly movie parodies and suddenly you're someone special. Of course it would go to your head, you're still a kid. What do you know about power or fame? How could you possibly use those things responsibly? I wasn't even that powerful or famous. Imagine if I were a real celebrity! Yowza... :confused:

    For the most part, I guess I was well-liked. Certainly if I go onto Bionicle Discord communities, people tell me they have fond memories of some of the things I've done. So maybe I'm overthinking it, maybe this is just the imposter syndrome that we all have to face in adulthood.

    And things could absolutely be worse. You hear all sorts of stories about people who use their power and  influence to abuse and control vulnerable people. I definitely never did anything like that. I just made some blog posts that aged poorly.

    I don't think I'm a bad person now or that I was a bad person before, I just think it's interesting how my values shifted as I got older. Right now I am 31. I run my own business where I give children speech therapy.  “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” That's my new aim in life: to help make other people feel good, not just myself. My power and influence speaks for itself, I don't have to brag about it on the internet, even as a joke.

    Thank you for reading this. I hope you managed to grow beyond the person you were at seventeen too.

  19. dviddy
    Latest Entry



    Maddison and I got married on October 2nd, 2021 in a very lovely elopement in the same city we live in, at sunset.

  20. It's Mask of Light, but all the Matoran on Mata Nui are on their own quests to find the seventh Toa before anyone else like It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.

    Takua accidentally rides Pewku into a lake of lava and they both slowly become lava bones while Jaller waves from the bankside.

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