I've just written a post on the Five Men Standing website about our weekend at the Made in Wairarapa expo, where a good time was had by all! Wander over here to have a read and see a couple of photos.
Happy Sheep's a fast, fun game of memory, deduction and bluffing. It's a fabulous family game, but it's also got enough calculation and deception to make it a great light filler for serious gamers.
The lovely thing about it is that is seems very simple: lay out the lovely wooden tiles in a grid, start peeking at them and moving them around, and yell "Happy Sheep" when you think you know where four tiles in a group that are all black or all white.
Except it's astonishing how you can be wrong and there's lots of laughter and good-natured ribbing! It's a deadly game to play with kids: somehow the little munchkins seem to cope with the memory side so well. But that's when you start bluffing and putting tiles into a group as if you're trying to create 4 similar ones, but really you're trying to get them to jump the gun and get it wrong!
So as I said, lovely game, simple to learn but hard to master, surprising amount of strategy, and it plays so quickly that you tend to have quite a few games in a row.
For 2-4 players and aimed at 6 to adult, it also comes with rules for a very basic game for 3 and ups.
The Wairarapa is an intriguing place, full of interesting people doing fascinating things if you spend the time tracking them down.
For instance, I stayed away from Stonehenge Aotearoa for a while, worried it'd be some twee embarrassing facsimile of the original Stonehenge. I was an idiot. It's brilliant, and the people who run it are fabulous at giving insights into how our ongoing understanding of measurement and time and the heavens has shaped civilisation. In short, it was a revelation, and one I've happily taken other visitors to.
With that in mind, I'm looking forward to participating in the Made In Wairarapa exhibition, which kicks off Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th of August at the Genesis Centre in Masterton. I'm keen to find out more about what's going on in my backyard, and meet the folk who make their living in all sorts of interesting ways.
We will, of course, also be there showing off our web, design and boardgame work, including Five Men Standing, the official game of Rugby World Cup 2011.
If you pop by and have a play, you'll score a voucher for $5 off the game itself or $2 off a Country Team Pack.
Hope to catch you there!
I've written before about what an interesting place the small town of Carterton is. It's full of lovely treats like the amazing French cuisine of Mirabelle, the joys of stone-oven pizza in the hills at Bolle and Gerlinda's rustic Swiss lodge, and a proliferation of artists whose work is wondrous.
Living right on Carrington Park in the middle of town has transformed our first-floor office windows into a giant TV: we get all sorts of sports events happening right on our doorstep, and even the occasional hovercraft.
Before heading to the fair shores of Aotearoa, we ran a multimedia and web business in Melbourne for over a decade, so it's not unusual to get a call from across the ditch about work!
In this case, it was Newcastle City Council; they were embarking on a water safety education programme, and wanted some online games to support the project. We chatted about their key messages and then Bek and I suggested four game concepts built around those themes, which they happily agreed to.
Bek worked her graphic magic and I added some ninja code skills, and soon four shiny games appeared, using our favoured blend of fun, humour and animation while also delivered a vital safety message. Have a play!
The lovely people at Taylor Boutique continue to create amazingly stylish and yet incredibly practical garments, and recently decided to make the jump to an online shop.
We used the NZ-designed Instinct WordPress Ecommerce plug-in to integrate the shop into their existing blog. Because it uses a similar interface to blog posting for creating and altering items in the shop, we were able to hand off some of the updating to the Taylor people to do themselves.
This proved very useful when they launched their Summmer 2011-2012 range - just after we'd headed to Fiji to escape the depths of Carterton's winter! Rather than have to chase us, designer Vicki Taylor added garment images and sent products live herself.
So if you're looking for a tasty serving of superbly stylish and functional clothing, be sure to check out the ridiculously versatile Circle Dress, prepare for some summer colour with the Oblique Tunic, and drool over the Tracey Nuels TN_29 shoes and the Kohl and Cochineal bags!
You'll feel even better knowing it's all NZ designed and manufactured!
We also maintain their blog and website, so to see some luscious full-screen images of the Summer 2011-2012 range, head over here.