I hinted at the problems of getting games translated and co-published in China yesterday. Today I go into some details.
In trying to hook up American publishers to Chinese publishers I kept running into not just rejection but outright contempt. The worst offender by far was Victory Point Games who would immediately respond to *purchase queries*, but didn't respond **at all** to any overtures about actually co-publishing. Total radio silence.
One of the frustrating things about living in China was that it was almost impossible to get things from outside of China. Imports are painfully expensive, and companies tend not to want the hassles of licensing local production.
(China's sometimes-deserved reputation for theft of IP doesn't help.)
This was (and often still is) especially felt in the realm of games. SO fell in love with wargames, for example, when he studied in Canada. How could he introduce these to China?
And for my last dice-related toot (for now): all the dice in the world don't help if you don't have some way to conveniently carry them around and a place to conveniently randomize them.
This is a combination dice box and dice tower I have, held together by magnets. (Foolishly I forgot to put a pair of inserts into the tower part that widens it, but as-is it rolls all normal-sized dice.)
The 易经 (I-Ching) divination's oldest known traditional method (yarrow stalks) is painfully time-consuming. People are lazy. Thus coins (not depicted), tiles, cards, and dice have all been used.
For dice, some use a pair of d6s with procedures to badly emulate d8s while others just use a pair of d8s. Cards and tiles have all 64 易经 combinations available. All use an extra d6 to figure the "moving lines", however.
In your games if you have divination, consider its history for added depth.
More tech nerds think they're going to tech away humanity's flaws by … encoding them … and presuming they're the norm.
All with flawed technology that is "intelligent" about the same way as a small soapdish.
Dice are mind-bogglingly ancient. "Knucklebones" were used as randomizers from before recorded history. Throw sticks with anywhere from 2 to 8 sides have been also used since the days of ancient Egypt.
Given the Chinese love of gambling, it should come as no surprise that there are plenty of ancient dice. They come as knucklebones, throw sticks, cubes, and even what we'd call d14 and d18s in modern parlance.
This is a reproduction d18. (I'm still hunting a d14 reproduction.)
@zdl I ought to take That One Guy from the D&D group who consistently rolls 3+ 18s for stats at home and just clean up. Unless they've been *lying*...
Gambling is a huge part of Chinese culture that has been (ineffectively!) suppressed dozens of times over its history. So large a part of the culture is it that Spring Festival, the single most important event each year (and the source of the largest annual human migration in all of history) has gambling games associated with it.
Today's posts cover those games.
Most of this is the ceremony. Skip forward to the launch and flight. This was a perfect launch. Not even a slight glitch.
The "historic" launch of this mission (their words, not mine!) was deemed insufficiently interesting so they decided to start by talking about William Shatner in space.
They're not even TRYING to hide their bias any longer, are they?! 🤣
"Weird-Ass Chinese Playing Cards" supplemental. I got this deck of money cards last night. They're plastic and use a very old style of markings. They're also nicely sized to carry in a pocket or purse without being annoying.
Further, unusually for the style, they're just flatly numbered instead of requiring inference for some cards. For the cash and strings suits (in order from the bottom) you *can* work out the count, but having numerals and suit names is a life saver!
So what we have here today are the finest d4s ever made. They are the perfect d4s.
1. They roll very well: a bit better than d6s, in fact, but not crazily like d24s, d30s, d60s, and d100s.
2. They are distinctively visible, unlike the d8s numbered 1-4 twice.. (Don't ask about the time I kept rolling 1d8 for damage and cursing never getting higher than 4 …)
3. They're instant conversation starters when you break them out to newcomers for the first time.
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