Stuffed Crocodile

Mazes, Martians, Mead

Monthly Archives: October 2013

[Tools] Syrinscape

I liked Syrinscape when I last was looking for a soundscape program. It wasn’t the nicest looking of programs, and it had some bugs when running it over Wine, but it was functional, and most importantly, it allowed for the easy creation of my own soundscapes. So I did. I even had a few unfinished soundscapes ready that I was thinking about posting at one point. I was even in contact with it’s creator and he told me that the new version of the program would be even better. So I decided to wait with posting these extra soundscapes.
Then came the update.
Well, the creator advertised it as a vast improvement, as making it easier and better, and providing even better ways of creating soundscapes for games.
I noticed a few comments lately about the program and how great it is. So I guess it is actually a good program. I wouldn’t know though.

I didn’t have time to check on it though, even though I was aware that the new version was out. Then someone commented on my entry for the Tavern soundset today, wondering how to actually import this thing.
So I checked out the new version.

Some notes regarding this:
Note 1: it now costs money.

Not for the core version. That one has two soundsets and is free; but the soundsets which previously were available for free now cost money. Okay, I can live with that. He wants to make money with a software he put some effort into. And $3.99 per soundset is not so bad. I can’t say anything against that. After all I prefer making my own soundsets anyway.But…
Note 2: it’s not possible to create custom soundsets anymore.

After installing the core version it turns out that the files for the soundsets included seem to be hidden in a file I can’t open, making it pretty impossible to create new soundsets. According to that comment on my entry there isn’t any way to load new soundsets in either. The FAQ on the website now states “Once we get the the next version out, and the Tablet versions are stable we will move onto making the Syrinscape SoundSet Creator, which will be a fully fledged sound creator, arranger and conductor. Very powerful, and very easy to use.” But I might not hang around actually waiting for that, because…
Note 3: This new version of the program doesn’t  work on Linux

I only get an empty window when starting it. This isn’t a new problem. The reason I used Syrinscape in the first place was because I managed to get it running. All other similar programs ended up like this as well.

So, considering that I mostly was fond of the program because it worked on my system and allowed for easy creation of new soundscapes… well. Not happy here.
Does anyone know a program like this that might work on Linux?


Feline Horrors

Arkham Horror

Arkham Horror (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Did I mention cats in my last entry?

Because… cats. If our tom wouldn’t also manage to be the sweetest of kittens in his good moments we would have sold him on ebay years ago.

So, after sleeving all the cards yesterday I decided to actually use today for learning the rules. My girlfriend was out with her colleagues and I didn’t have anything else to do. So I closed the door to the living room with the cats safely outside and set up the table with the Arkham Horror board.
Note to self: get bigger table, ours was only barely able to hold just the base game.
It went quite well until midnight. I was down to two open gates and had 2 locations sealed. Then, at midnight my girlfriend came home, opened the door and asked: “Why did you lock the cats out of the living room?”
“Because…” I managed to say, but our little Sherlock had rushed into this new mysterious room that had been locked for 3 hours, jumped on the table…

…and Arkham disappeared into a landslide.

“…I was afraid of this.” I finished my sentence.


As mentioned until then it went quite well. I was using three characters against Hastur. This made sealing the gates rather difficult, but some  luck with the Mythos cards had the monsters conveniently move out of the way in a few cases. I think I still have some issues with remembering special cultist powers though, and forgot to move them to the Sky (Hastur’s cultists all ride Byakhee obviously). I think I am slowly getting the hang of it though.


Card Sleeves and other scourges of the common gamer

I bought myself Arkham Horror last week and right away noticed that there will have to be some special measures. Both my cats decided that the trial first game I set up was the most interesting thing since pigeons started nesting in front of our windows (there are few things that fascinate both of them equally as much as tasty flying rats and, obviously, eldritch horrors in cardboard).

So I decided to invest money into card sleeves, something I never did before. Most of my gaming is roleplaying, and even when I was playing Magic the Gathering (back in 3rd edition times) I never really was into it so much as to sleeve my cards.

Now, Łódż has this tiny problem with games as such: there just aren’t any places to actually buy games that are not mainstream. I am not kidding, there was one shop that opened a few months back on Narutowicza, which was more of a Warhammer place from how it looked, and as for the last few months the the complete area around it is more of a wasteland than anything else, the last thing I heard was that it closed again. No, the local authorities don’t give a shit about small local businesses. They also don’t give a shit about normal people having to go to work, transit traffic that has to go through the city, or large companies that want to settle in this city. The traffic authorities have had plans since the 1970s, and right now they think it’s the right time to execute exactly those plans. Which were intended for a communist country where the cars, if there were any, were glorified shoeboxes…

Aaaaaanyway… there is another shop in one of the shopping centres (Galeria Łódzka), which doesn’t even have a proper shop space but is rather a kiosk in front of the Tesco’s there. And there is always the possibility of going to, which is where I got the English version of Arkham Horror to begin with.

Now, I wasn’t going to order a delivery from Gdańsk again, mostly because it’s a pain in the ass to be at the right time at the right place to receive the package (I only ordered it because I had two weeks of holidays and knew exactly where I would be for two or three days). So I went to the small kiosk in Galeria.

I asked the guy there for card sleeves for Arkham Horror (at least I think I did, sometimes I am not sure what I actually say), and he promptly presented me with the right size of Mayfair Games sleeves. They are cheaper than the FFG ones, but I read on BBG that there might be problems with them. Well, I thought, if they don’t fit they won’t be so much of a loss and I have a few other games that I could sleeve as well.

Turns out most of them fit. Two of the three packages of larger sleeves I bought, and two of the smaller ones fit perfectly. Which made it weird that the other package… didn’t. Oh, I managed to force the cards in, after a while, but they didn’t quite fit, were awkward to hold, had air pockets, and sometimes just ripped apart.  I  find this specific incongruity a bit strange. They seem to have produced a batch of a hundred sleeves just half a millimetre or so too small.

But Arkham Horror is sleeved. Now I can start playing it. Most likely with the doors closed though. Cats…