March 8, 2013

What I’ve Been Doing Instead of Blogging…

Filed under: Geekery,Personal — Adam Heine @ 5:37 PM

I let almost a month go by without blogging? Sorry! I’ve been a bit busy with that job I mentioned a while ago.

We launched a Kickstarter for our game two days ago (I’ll explain in a second) and raised over $2,000,000 in two days! It’s been pretty amazing, and we still have 28 days to go. Here’s some more information:

So first, Kickstarter is a funding platform for any kind of creative project. You pledge money to projects that you want to see happen, because most of them won’t happen without your help. If the project doesn’t meet its goal, then they don’t take your money (which is why we say “pledge” instead of “pay” or “donate”). You can learn more here.

Our game is called Torment: Tides of Numenera. It’s a computer role-playing game and a successor to Planescape: Torment (the one I worked on waaaaay back in the day). Both are kind of niche games, which is why we’re funding it through Kickstarter instead of, say, pitching it to a big game publisher.

Our minimum funding required to make the game was $900,000. We hit that goal in six hours (!), and now are hoping for even more to make an even bigger and better game, one that’s worthy of the Torment name.

What this means for me is a job, one where I can do something I love, support my family, and work from home so I can still be with my family. It’s kind of the perfect storm. (Incidentally, I’m still trying to sell a novel, and we still very much need and appreciate your regular support — the storm’s not that perfect).

What this means for you — if you enjoy CRPGs, or have ever heard of Planescape: Torment, or you just like me and want to help this thing succeed — is you can go to the Kickstarter page and pledge something to help the game. Or if you have any gaming friends, you can spread the word.

It feels a little mercenary posting this here, but I wanted you to know what I was doing, and I wanted to give you the opportunity to help out if you wanted to (just like every other time we ask for money). Next week I’ll post some kid pics my dad took, and it’ll be all good 🙂


January 31, 2013

Gamers, We Make Them Too

Filed under: Geekery,Personal,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 2:56 PM

Lutiya, Cindy, and Adam playing Settlers.

Isaac tries to beat Uncle Matt at Khet.

Josiah watches Cindy, Joel, and Isaac play Dominion.

Josiah hustles Uncle Matt at chess.

September 27, 2012

Anica is Kung Fu Fighting

Filed under: Geekery,Personal,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 5:05 PM

Don’t blame me if your head explodes from cuteness.

May 10, 2012

It Must Be Genetic

Filed under: Geekery,Philosophy,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 10:49 AM

“Daddy, look! Pirate!”

— Anica Heine


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My plans to create a pirate clan are moving ahead nicely, it seems.

May 3, 2012

The Games We Play

Filed under: Geekery,Personal — Adam Heine @ 2:53 PM

Cindy and I are gamers. So it should come as no surprise that we are inadvertently raising gamer children. Here’s what we’ve gotten them to play lately:

Pan: The “work away from home all summer” game. Seriously, we haven’t seen this girl for almost two months. We assume she still wants to live with us when college starts up again in a couple of weeks…

Lutiya: Dominion. A fairly complex card game with a decent amount of in-game text. Does it bother Lu? Not at all. She must have gotten some of her foster father in her, cuz she refuses to stop playing even when she loses (though, also like me, she can get grumpy when she loses — I can’t blame her). Also: Phase 10 and Rummy.

Sarah: Also Dominion. Though Sarah’s strategies tend to revolve around a large amount of Thief and Spy cards.

Joel, Sam, Josiah, Nathan, and Isaac: Uno. Lots of Uno. Though they have yet to learn how to hold their cards right. They’re also fairly accomplished at Go Fish and Memory (though they cheat at the latter).

Asia and Anica have not graduated to real games yet, but that doesn’t keep them from wanting to be involved. Both of them have learned how Not To Bend Cards (much more quickly than Isaac did, I should point out), and one of Anica’s favorite games is to pick out all the blue cards from the Uno deck. I still don’t know what’s up with that.

I think the favorite game for Cindy and I would have to be the Sleep Game. Sadly, we don’t get to play it that often.

What are you playing?

February 16, 2012

Teaching Important Skills

Filed under: Geekery,Pictures — Adam Heine @ 9:40 AM

Anica is a little . . . picky about things. She wants to choose what to wear. She wants to get her own water (even though she requires her palanquin (that’s me) to reach it). She wants her pink bowl.

And the other day, she wanted to learn how to dual-wield, apparently. She got two spoons.

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She was a little confused at first, but she’s a Heine. She likes food. And after a couple of minutes, she took to her dual spoons as well as any 2nd-level Ranger.

May 3, 2011

God is my Firefly-class Transport

Filed under: Geekery,Religion — Adam Heine @ 7:03 PM

I’ve heard folks say Christians use God as a crutch, implying we use God as a cop out for things we could very well do on our own.

I actually agree with this. Both the accusation (I admit sometimes I blame God for things that are actually my fault) and the analogy, provided we can agree that we’re all in fact broken, and therefore need crutches just to walk.

But people don’t like hearing they can’t walk on their own (even if it’s true), so I’ve got a different analogy: God is my Firefly-class transport ship.

Because God isn’t asking us to walk–he did give us that ability and he does expect us to do it in our own. But God also asks us to do the impossible. He asks us to leave our home and everything we know, to go to places we’ve never heard of and befriend people we can’t even talk to. He asks us to risk relationships by speaking truth and love.

He asks the childless to become parents, of children with issues they don’t know how to solve (neither the children nor the parents) and which make the job far more difficult than regular parenting already is.

Technically, all of this is possible. Technically, anyone can do this. But in practice–on those days when we have faced almost violent defiance, with no one to help and with food to cook and other kids to pick up from school and sanity to keep–those are the days when not quitting is impossible. Those are the days when God is asking more of us than we can possibly do on our own. He’s not asking us to walk, but to fly to the moon. For that, we need something more than just a crutch. We need a freaking spaceship.

Fortunately, God provides that too.

March 15, 2011

10 Quick Hits

Filed under: Geekery,Our Work,Parenting,Personal — Adam Heine @ 6:11 PM
  1. Today is Anica’s 1st birthday. She’s not walking by herself yet (she prefers to travel by palanquin), but she is, in fact, cuter every single day.
  2. Got to spend some time with Pastor Jamie and David Tran last week. Not enough time, but it’s always good seeing old friends, no matter what.
  3. Cindy’s students did their annual dance performance last Saturday. Cindy’s really stretching herself–choreographing a solo for one girl, creating a dance with more of a story, even dancing herself! It is an awesome thing to see. I can’t wait to see what she does next.
  4. We think we found a school for the boys. It’s still new, but they teach both Thai and English, Christian values, and they are trying to push beyond what’s required by the Thai education system. Also, they’re cheap.
  5. That said, we’re going to wait another year before sending Joel (the oldest of the boys). These kids need as much time bonding with us as they can possibly get, we figure.
  6. Meanwhile, Cindy and Prang are doing a fabulous job teaching them at home. I saw Isaac and Sam putting letter magnets together at random (3- and 4-letter combos) and trying to read what they had written.
  7. I played bass for our church’s annual conference last week. I got three blisters, used a bass pick for the first time, and saw no less than four iPads used by visiting pastors (three as Bibles, one on a music stand as the worship leader’s song sheet).
  8. Cindy got a new game. It takes me back to that summer I was addicted to Magic: The Gathering.
  9. The girls are off school. I’m relearning that the best way to avert a teenage girl’s mysterious silent treatment is to spend time with her before it hits.
  10. No news on Pancake. The documents are in. We’re still waiting. That is all.

If I missed something, ask away!

May 2, 2009

Random Questions

Filed under: Geekery,Thailand — Adam Heine @ 10:59 AM

Two questions were asked in addition to the one about resources. I said I’d answer, so here we go.

Clement asked how to order pizza in Thai, or at least how to say, “I’m hungry.” I’ll start with the latter.

The word hungry is pronounced like the English word “hue,” with a rising tone (look here or here to know what that means).

The rest depends on whether you’re a guy or a girl. The personal pronoun for a guy is like the word “poem,” with a rising tone; for a girl it’s “chun” with either a rising or a high tone. Then, to be polite, you need a particle at the end: “cup” for guys, “kah” for girls (high and falling tones, respectively).

So, Clement, you would say, “Pŏem hŭe cúp.” Cindy would say, “Chún hŭe kâh.” (This is not the proper anglicization of Thai, by the way. I’m writing these the way they are pronounced.)

If you want to order pizza, say “Căw pízzâ nòy cúp/kâh.” Of course then they’ll ask you all sorts of questions about what kind of pizza you want, at which point you find some pictures to point at.

Whytey wanted to know my strategies for success in Ticket to Ride. I’ll tell you how I play, but the only way I know to win for sure is to not play with Cindy and Emmet at the same time (also don’t play Europe – I can’t win on that continent). Here are some general strategies I play with:

  1. Keep the biggest destinations, if possible.
  2. Keep as many destinations as can reasonably go together (i.e. they share cities or are along similar routes). With 3 or 5 players, you might want to keep the minimum. With 2 or 4 players, don’t be afraid to keep them all.
  3. If you don’t have any big destinations, keep destinations near the big ones – as if you did have them. You might pick up the big ones later (it helps to know what the big destinations are for this one).
  4. Figure out which routes you have to have – the ones that will be the most trouble to go around if they’re taken. In the first turn, that means the 1-car routes and possibly Houston to Dallas. If you can use these, grab them right away.
  5. Grab face up cards for (a) routes identified in #3, (b) colors you need that just aren’t showing up, or (c) 5- or 6-car routes (especially if (b) is also true). Otherwise, take face down, especially in the beginning. You’ll get cards you don’t need, but you’ll be able to use them later and you’ll be glad you have them. You’ll also get wilds.
  6. Don’t ever draw face down for just one color. If you need just one color, you should be grabbing new destinations (in the middle) or wilds (at the end).
  7. Stay out of the Midwest. All those 1- and 2-car routes just waste time. Avoid it as much as you can.
  8. If Cindy says she has a terrible hand, and she’s sure she’ll lose, you should be more worried, not less. She’s not lying, but she’s probably not going to lose either.

Hope that helps!

January 12, 2009

Anything Can Be Proved With Math

Filed under: Creativity,Funny,Geekery — Adam Heine @ 7:52 PM

Posted with permission. Our 14 year-old friend, who’d prefer to go by the handle MorELen, gave us this mathematical proof about the nature of girls.

Girls take time and money:

g = t x m

Time is money, so:

g = m2

And money is the root of all evil:

m = √e


g = (√e)2
g = e

Girls are evil!

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