My Day at WellyCon 2016

WellyCon is New Zealand’s premiere board gaming convention. Hundreds of avid gamers come together, bust out their cardboard cartons and plastic meeple and play board games with each other for two days straight, some even playing into early Sunday morning before returning the next day.


I had never been to WellyCon before, but others had told me about it a few years ago. Only three weeks before the event, I saw it advertised in the ComicCon New Zealand flyer. Apparently all the big NZ geek events were running on the same weekend: Queen’s Birthday weekend.

The bigger, more well-known geek event, also running Queen’s Birthday weekend was Armageddon Expo, the annual entertainment and pop culture event. I’ve been to Armageddon many times (even cosplaying as Gordon Freeman and Axe Cop), but found it less and less to my liking, as it focussed on cartoons, television and cinema, and less about video games and board games.

I asked my lovely wife for the privilege of going to just the Saturday of WellyCon, leaving her with our daughter. Lucky is the man whose wife lets him go to WellyCon without her!

A Community Mindset

Because I was going by myself, I wondered how games got started at WellyCon. It turns out that there’s a very large game library at WellyCon. It’s full of games brought along by other attendees and left to be played by others. You can rustle up a group, choose a game, claim a table, set up and start playing.

I wasn’t expecting to know many people there, and I wasn’t going as part of a group, so I decided to only join games looking for extra players. As it turns out, they have these big signs you can put on your table to make it easy for players like me to find your table.

Turning Up

There was plenty of parking at Wellington Girls in Thorndon, if you knew where to find it. I circled around before I found the tiny WellyCon sign leading in to the parking field.

Once through the door, I walked around the busy atrium, admiring the magnificent stack of board games, and spotting one of the signs, and jumping into a game of Star Wars Carcassonne.

Star Wars Carcassonne is a lighter version of the original Carcassonne where cities are asteroid fields, roads are trade routes, no farms (space is empty) and cloisters are planets, and a fun planet-conquering mechanic which lets you roll battle dice to steal them. None of us had played this variant, and one of us had never played a Carcassonne. We read the rules, and learned how to play, and enjoyed ourselves very much. And I won, which is nice.

Family Jewels

Half-way through the first game, I got a text message from Adrianne, one of the organisers of WellyCon informing me that I had won a spot prize. After my game, I went to claim my prize.

Choosing from almost 90 prizes, I selected a set of plastic gems and gold nuggets for playing Splendor with. They are beautiful and decadent, and must add a further tactile experience to the game. I should not that at this point, I have played a lot of Splendor on my mobile phone, but did not own a physical copy of Splendor.

Much Game. Very Lose. Wow.

I ended up playing Shadows over Camelot with the same two people (Caleb and Fiona) and two other people. The traitor won by sabotaging too many quests, then falsely accusing another player to end the game. We didn’t complete a single quest. Fun game though!

After publically not collecting my lunch, and then correcting, and consuming it, I played a game of Splendor with some older gamers (not revealing my gem stash), and was thoroughly trounced. I got locked out of the ruby market, losing a lot of tempo in the process. I did, however, remind all those players that you can reserve a face-down card from any of the three stocks.

Trading Post

I had brought with me a selection of my least played games, hoping to trade them for slightly better games. WellyCon hosts a trading corner, where you can leave your games on a silent auction or for sale. I missed the (seemingly non-existent) face to face trading session at 12:30, but put all my games in a box marked “Offers” and waited for calls. Maybe not a great strategy, but I did get a call or two, settling one deal that day.

For the Hoard

Splendor board game box art

I finally got a copy to go with the plastic gems I won

Walking around I spotted a demo table with Cheeky Parrot Games showing off their Kickstarter card game Hoard, which I had already seen online. I sat down and played a full game with Tim Kings-Lynne, one of the game’s designers, and Julia Schiller, Director of Cheeky Parrot Games. They’re lovely people, and maybe they let me beat them at their own game. I got to talking to Tim and his exploits on the Miramar Peninsula working at Weta Digital, how the game has developed, and thoroughly enjoyed myself for a good while there.

After this I hung out with my old buddy Chris and Mel for a while, catching up on old games and old times. He also convinced me to put my games on silent auction. We then sat down and they introduced me to Codenames. Being the code master is hard! We played three games before I had to leave for the night and rejoin my family.

Last Dash for Cash

Before I left, I closed a trade! I traded a copy of Power Grid along with the China/Korea map expansion for $40. And on the way out, I passed by the Cerberus Games booth and spotted a copy of Splendor that had not been there all day, which I swiftly secured and took home.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself that day. Playing five different games, most of which I had never played before. I made new friends, won prizes, sold games at auction, caught up with old friends, and bought a game I have wanted for a while.

You should go to WellyCon!

Will I return for WellyCon 10 next year? ABSOLUTELY. My wife is supremely sore she missed out.

Should you? If you have enjoy learning and playing new and interesting board games, Definitely! And I learned there is a Mini-WellyCon coming up, maybe Labour Weekend? See you there?

Cave Story has Masterful Level Design


No doubt about it, Cave Story is one of the best games ever made.

This video is pretty spoiler-heavy, so if you’ve not played Cave Story, there’s a freeware version that’s been ported to almost everything, and if you want it on Steam, Nintendo 3DS, or other shops, you can pay for it too. The freeware version along with the fan translation is still the best choice though.

Pink Heaven out, Kero Blaster on Oct 11

Studio Pixel, infamous for indie smash hit Cave Story, released Pink Heaven for PC. It looks like it features the pink office lady from Pink Hour, the demo prologue game to Kero Blaster, an innovative frog-themed platform shooter.

Pink Heaven - Studio Pixel

Kero Blaster is an excellent game, extremely fun and rewarding, and doesn’t artificially lengthen playtime. For those who still couldn’t get enough, a New Game+ mode made it harder.

The iOS version of Pink Heaven will be released on October 11. Pixel is also giving Kero Blaster an update on the same day, adding ZANGYOU MODE (‘Overtime’ Mode). 

Because of the update, Studio Pixel is bumping the prices of the game up a buck or two, so go get the game while you still can!

Japanese ad informing of Kero Blaster price increase on Windows and iPhone

Gun Godz Main Theme Lyricz

Vlambeer is celebrating 3 years of making insane games, and are giving away their GUN GODZ game that was part of the Venus Patrol Kickstarter pledge benefits.

I think the Venusian gangster rap in GUN GODZ, like most people, is pretty flippin fantastic. I couldn’t find the lyrics for the main theme anywhere, so I did my best to figure out what these G’s are saying, and post it here as a thank you to Vlambeer. You guys are awesome.

GUN GODZ Main Theme – Kozilek feat. Doseone

i got-
i got guns

[the man nun]
i got gun for picnic
it’s gun that send texts
it’s gun that make breakfast
gun that sign breasts
it’s gun that straight faced
gun with six senses
it’s gun that hate texas
gun that wear vests

two clips of hollow tip
‘pon glock and ‘pon hip
ka-click your flesh rip
my clique been rooted
pull pin and then hold this
black out this horseshit
brains blow and whole tits
these cats can get fixed
(pop) shoot you know dick (pop pop pop)
with authentic gun from my sock (pop pop pop)
it meanted somebody got shot (pop pop pop pop pop)
by the nun man who run with the godz of the gunz

g-guns for fake necklaces
guns that send texts
it’s guns that make breakfast
guns that sign breasts
it’s guns that straight faced
guns with six senses
guns that hate texas
guns that wear vests

[the man nun]
i got gun for picnic
it’s gun that send texts
it’s gun that make breakfast
gun that sign breasts
it’s gun that straight faced
gun with six senses
gun that hate texas
gun that wear vests

i got guns for fake necklaces
guns that send texts
it’s guns that make breakfast
guns that sign breasts
it’s guns that straight faced
guns with six senses
guns that hate texas
guns that wear vests


[the man nun]
we’ve got proof and then shoot
we bull proof then pull chute
we knife-proof and nine-shoot
we bomb-proof
your mom’s shot by a gun of the god


we’ve got proof and then shoot
we bull proof and pull chute
we knife-proof and nine-shoot
we bomb-proof
your mom’s shot

one for the money
two’s for the crew
three’s for shooting anything i want to

[reggae break]

ash-a clack clack

yeah one two
you never shouldn’t shoot
a hundred-one hole-in-the-roof
ventilating your new god z suit
you midget doo-doo
we’ve the fittin’ ta mash you
bitchin’ the fat, little kids in the back
you on my pisslist like white girl rhymes
your mighty ducks hat
you’re rockin’, you’re mad
with a chest strapped
clack clack

There are two distinct voices on this track, so I’m calling the one that features on the rest of the album the rapper Doseone, and the one that sounds like Snoop Dogg/Lion “Snoop”, though I’m starting to think that Doseone and Kozilek have a gun for fake guest rappers.

After a twitter conversation with doseone, the “character” rapping first is “theNunMan”, confirmed by his (“Mr.One”) post on Venus Patrol.

inner.geek iOS Games of 2012

In no real particular order but certainly weighted by how much I played and enjoyed a game, here are my iPhone/iOS games you should have played this year.

Games released in 2012

  1. Waking Mars
  2. Beat Sneak Bandit
  3. Punch Quest
  4. WarGames: WOPR
  5. Spell Rift
  6. Letterpress / PuzzleJuice / SpellTower / Wordament – 2012 turned out to be Year of Reinvention of the Word Game.
  7. 10000000
  8. Super Hexagon
  9. Kingdom Rush
  10. Pudding Monsters
  11. Super Monsters Ate My Condo
  12. OLO
  13. Spaceteam
  14. Squids Wild West
  15. Where’s My Perry?
  16. Toybox
  17. Super Crate Box
  18. Blockwick / Blockwick 101
  19. Rune Raiders
  20. Bad Piggies

Oldies but Continued Goodies

  1. Gesundheit
  2. Contre Jour
  3. Where’s My Water?
  4. Cut the Rope / Cut the Rope: Experiments
  5. Squids
  6. Gauge
  7. Frotz
  8. Carcassonne
  9. ASYNC Corp.
  10. Trainyard

Honourable Mentions

  1. McPixel
  2. Whale Trail
  3. Mole Escape
  4. Polymer
  5. Lost Cities