Fight the Power, Hawkgirl!

Thanks to the wonders of Tivo, I’ve been catching the Justice League animated show on a regular basis. I like the show, and there have been some amusing surprises (like Cthulhu showing up the other day!), but one thing keeps bugging me: Hawkgirl. Oh, not the character. Tough chick with power mace? Sign me up for that. What bugs me is the way they write her on the show. 99% of the fight scenes follow this pattern.

1) Fight starts.

2) Hawkgirl leaps to attack, flying in with her cracklin’ mace o’ doom.

3) She lands one or maybe two blows if she’s lucky, and then she is somehow knocked out of the sky by a power or trap or fluke event.

4) Other Justice League characters carry on the fight until Hawkgirl recovers or is receives aid from one of her teammates.

The writers seem to be “Worfing” her. As you may recall, the way to establish the badassedness of anyone on ST:TNG was to have them beat up Worf. He was such a punching bag that Ferengi took him out the first time they showed up. All these damn writers need to find a new gimmick. I don’t want to see Hawkgirl knocked around every episode, I want to see her Thanagarian fury delivered unto the heads of her enemies. I want to see the smiting of mooks and supervillains alike. I mean really, give young girls a superheroine to look up to. Who else do they have on the Justice League, Wonder Woman? Please.

Quest for Cider

I’ve never liked beer. Oh, I’ve gotten drunk on it before. Teenagers can’t be choosy after all and when you shotgun beer you don’t taste it anway. I’ve always found that it tasted like boiled socks though. When I was a kid, I would see all these beer commercials and it always seemed like it would be so delicious. I couldn’t wait to get older so I could try forbidden beer. When I was 12 or so, my cousin Stephanie and I snuck some beer from an unattended keg at a summer BBQ and gleefully snuck off to drink it. My response: ewwwww. Where was the frosty refreshment? Where was the taste people lived for?

At first I thought the keg was just skunky. Surely there was better tasting beer somewhere. Well, 20+ years later and I’ve still never found a beer that tastes good, and I’ve tried beers from all over the world. I had high hopes when I was in Germany, but no dice. Boiled socks. The only nearly beer thing I’ve found that I enjoy is that Belgian Lambec stuff, but that’s really something else. When I was in college though, I discovered hard cider. It’s pretty common in the US today, but at the time cider was more a European thing. Now cider was something I could get behind: alcoholic but not vile tasting.

Five or six years ago I was home in Boston over the holidays. The local liquor store had a special holiday flavor of Ciderjack, “Mulled Apple Cider.” We picked up a six pack to try and it was great. Flavorful, spicy, and so very tasty. I said to Nik, “We’ll have to get some when we get home.” As fate would have it, I have never seen it again. Maybe it was a regional test or something, but it was just not to be found in the Pacific Northwest. Next time I was in MA, I looked for it again but I had no luck. Guess they made just the one batch.

Since then, whenever I go to liquor stores or grocery stores with huge selections of beer and cider, I always carefully search the cider section. Surely amongst all those obscure micro brews and European imports I would find satisfaction. Surely some other brewery hit upon the idea of hard mulled cider.

Alas, my quest has been in vain.

The other day, however, Nik and I were out shopping I noticed that Spire had a new flavor called “Spiced Apple”. That sounded liked mulled so we picked up a six pack. And it’s…close. Definitely the closest of any cider yet, but not quite the same and not quite as good. I’ll be drinking it for the time being, but one day I hope my quest for cider comes to an end.

I Have Returned

Got back from my business trip late Sunday night and I’ve spent the last two days trying to readjust my schedule, catch up on mounds of e-mail, and solve all the mini-crises that popped up while Iwas away. It’s amazing how much can pile up in only a week.

The trip went well. We’ve got some solid possibilities for the future, which is all for the good. Got to get my head back to the here and now though, as GAMA Trade Show is five weeks away and we’ve got tons to do. For you non-gamers, GTS is the only real trade show of the game industry. It’s our chance to get our wares in front of the best retailers and all the distributors too. As a plus, it has been located in Las Vegas for the past five years or so, and that adds a bit of fun to the trip. Last year Nicole, Hal, and I did a “Green Ronin” dinner at Picasso and it was amongst the three best meals of my life. We must have really talked it up, because already two of our industry friends have contacted us and said, “Let’s go to Picasso!” Twist my arm!

These next few months are going to be nutty. We have a pretty aggressive schedule of products lined up, and I’m just rolling up my sleeves and getting ready to dive into a huge design project. Last year I spent so much time doing development work and running the company that my most significent piece of game design wasn’t even for my own company (it was the V for Victory WW2 RPG I did for Dungeon/Polyhedron). This year is going to be different. I got into this industry to design games and I’ll be damned if I’m going to marginalize myself! Development work is hugely important, but nothing beats some good old fashioned game design.