June 28th, 2006

Match Game SF

Match Game: Fretting Over Setup

Because the laser printer on my desk at work is better than the ink-jet printer at home, I intended to print questions for Match Game SF today. Because it's mostly a different audience and all but one of the panelists are different from BayCon, I plan to re-use some of the questions (sorry figmo!); however, some of the questions were highly BayCon-specific and I need new ones. Wouldn't you know that I left the bag of existing questions at home? Oh, well, I was probably going to have to re-print all of the questions anyway, because I have no blank 4 x 6 cards left, only the larger 5 x 8 cards I bought this week, so in order for the new questions to match the old, they'll all have to be reprinted. I have the files of the questions from BayCon; what I don't have -- again, left at home -- is the stock of more questions that T.A.R.D.I.S. wrote and gave to me when they gave me their game setup years ago. I'll manage.

One thing I need is to get the panelists together for a relatively short (15-30 minutes if BayCon is any indication) run-through on how the game works and what's expected of them. Then Lisa, announcer David Gallaher, and I need to do a somewhat longer technical rehearsal so that Lisa and Dave can get get comfortable with the equipment and reading the intros. It may seem simple, but it took us quite a while at BayCon to get things synced properly. The reason it may have looked smooth when we performed it was because we'd rehearsed it. Doing a live show is more difficult than a taped one where if you glitch, you can just go back and film it again.

Unfortunately, I don't have contact information for all of the panelists, so I'm going to have to try and round them up somehow at the con. As if I didn't have enough to do!
Match Game SF

Match Game: Score Indicators

Because I have access to a color printer that will handle the 5 x 8 card stock, I am going to create new, larger, color images of the score indicators. In the existing set (used at BayCon), the images are black and white on 4 x 6 cards. These are larger, and somewhat closer to the actual game design, although I can't find enough references for me to match the colors and typefaces as well as I would like, so I've settled on just making the numbers very bold and readable.

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The black border around the image is an artifact of how it exported from PowerPoint. The actual background is white, not black. Despite how it appears here, as printed the images are both the same size; that is, the blue shaded area is 4 3/8 inches wide by 3 3/8 inches high.

The top point of the triangle touches the top edge of the shaded square. This is intentional, and is part of the original set design. Experimenting with this, I think they did it this way because otherwise it's difficult to keep the numbers for the triangle the same size as those in the circle. When printed on white stock and with the black areas actually printing as white, this looks reasonably close to the original design -- roughly as close as they got it on Gameshow Marathon.

What I did not do is reproduce the row of triangles (or circles) across the top of the score indicator. I decided that keeping the number as large as possible was more important than trying to precisely match the original.

One improvement these cards have over the previous set is that they are printed symmetrically; that is, the contestant can see his/her own score facing back at him/her.
Conrunner Kevin

Happy Birthday to Me

Lisa is passing through the Bay Area tonight, driving to San Diego. I will catch up with her on Friday, as I'm flying down to preserve time off days for the Japan trip next year. This evening over dinner, she said, "I always miss you for your birthday because we're always so busy."

My birthday is August 27, so normally I'm either at a Worldcon or one is just about to happen. "Yes?" I said.

"Would you mind if I gave you your birthday present now?" she asked somewhat shyly.

I said, "No, not at all. You don't have to give me presents, you know."

"But I wanted to!" she said. "I spent all day shopping for this."

And with that, she presented me with a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H2 digital camera!

Lisa said that she wanted to buy me a camera, but did not want to buy one that was made in China. After much searching, she decided that this relative higher-end camera was one of the few still made outside of China, so I would have to just live with it.

Wow. I was taken totally by surprise. But now I have to somehow try and figure out how to use it before Westercon. Maybe I can read the instructions on the flight down on Friday morning. OTOH, that flight leaves Oakland at 6:40, so I'll have to be up at about 3 AM in order to get to the airport in time, so I may not be worth much.
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased
Pensive Kevin

Yin and Yang

As if to prove that something had to go wrong to offset how well Match Game prep was going and the camera that Lisa gave me this evening, we had computer problems. When we fired up the #2 laptop that she uses to play games (but that usually lives with me), the computer would not recognize the touch pad. I've tried several different things, but none of them show a pointing device present on the machine. And of course wouldn't you know that I don't have any external pointing devices with me, as I left the mouse for my machine in the office this evening.

It worked just fine two weeks ago when she used it during the Seaside trip. It hasn't even been turned on since the last time she shut it down on that trip. So why would it suddenly decide that there are no pointing devices?

I expect that troubleshooting this may take an evening of fiddling about with the computer and driver disks, with lots of rebooting and false starts. This is an evening I do not have available, because I really want to get to bed early tomorrow on account of having to be up so early to go to the airport. But this was the computer that was supposed to drive the Match Game titles. I can use my own laptop -- that's the one on which I developed the slide show anyway -- but I prefer to use the backup machine for this, because it has far less loaded on it, and at least in theory should be less susceptible to failures "on the fly" like the embarrassing error message my laptop threw up during the load-in to the Interaction Closing Ceremonies.
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated