The Big Give 2017

May the Fourth Be With You!

The Big Give S.A. is all day today, May 4. For those who may not be familiar, The Big Give S.A. is a 24-hour day of giving. It’s organized by the Texas Nonprofit Council and the San Antonio Area Foundation, with the support of the New Braunfels Community Center and the Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country.

Since 2014, 101,000 donors have given nearly $11 million dollars to over 1,600 nonprofits through the Big Give-making it one of the most successful giving days in the country.

You may remember that last year was challenging — After a series of technical failures, the national Give Local America site went down, and donors across the country had difficulty giving to the nonprofits of their choice. Our community still rallied to raise $4.3 million for 1,055 nonprofits in 2016! You are resilient and generous!

All the nonprofits we have helped in this past year or will help later this year are fundraising extra-hard today! Many are participating in special events all day. Here are their Big Give links. If a particular organization over the last year was special to you, or if one of our upcoming nonprofit partners has a special place in your heart, please give and GIVE BIG!

Elf Louise

San Antonio Food Bank

Family Violence Prevention Services


Animal Defense League

San Antonio AIDS Foundation

San Antonio Youth Literacy

Texas Burn Survivor Society

The Rape Crisis Center

Texas Diaper Bank

Alpha Home

Merced Housing Texas



The Big Give 20172017-05-04T10:04:59-06:00

PAX South Shenanigans

So this was an amazing, exhausting weekend! First, just housekeeping:

As I hope most of you will have already seen elsewhere, February Nerd Night has changed locations. We are now meeting at Geeks Cafe on Babcock Rd. Same time, still Friday night, February 12, at 7pm. Just a shiny new location.

While that last-minute news did nothing good for my level of stress on Friday afternoon, I did manage to get my stuff together and get postcards/business cards handed out at PAX South. The Enforcers (PAX volunteers) couldn’t have been nicer or more supportive, pointing me to a table near the games checkout where I could leave my materials, and I’d estimate a good 60-80 were picked up during the con! So maybe we’ll see some new faces. Also, the Enforcer I spoke to during my 5-midnight shift (at the Iello Games tables in the Foam Brain Games booth) took my card and said he would look us up when they started planning next year’s tabletop area. Looks like we might have the opportunity to come in to the con next year, teach games, and meet fascinating folks! I met a lot of game designers, talked to game publishers who will perhaps start sending us swag for raffles and a game library, and shook hands with enough people to pick up quite the nasty, voice-stealing cold. The ultimate PAX souvenir, I guess. All in all, it was a great experience. Thanks to Iello and Foam Brain for making our area so much fun.


Iello Game Demo Crew at Pax South 2016

Me, Daniel, Cynthia, and John rocking some yellow. In fairness, this picture was taken at closing time on Day 3. We look really, really tired. Please do not judge 😛

I learned how to play a few Iello games really well. I played my first military tactical game in a long time, and while I won’t say I learned it really well, I can play the heck out of Shadows Over Normandie‘s first campaign scenario. We also played Welcome to the Dungeon, Steam Park, Medieval Academy, Dungeon Fighter (which has some ludicrously funny “dexterity” requirements), King of New York, and Fun Farm.

At some point I’ll get the opportunity to choose some games from Iello, and I’m looking at a few goodies that I wished had been available for demos – The Big Book of Madness and World of Yo-Ho stick out in my mind at the moment. We’ll see what my choices are when I get that magical email. World of Yo-Ho uses your smartphone or tablet to make a custom pirate ship that sails on a map. It’s so cool. Check out the link above for a video (the bottom video).

Anyway! I also visited the Indie Games area and play-tested as many as I could. I only had 3 hours or so in the Main Expo hall — since I worked on Friday and half of Saturday morning was spent dealing with the venue change for Nerd Night — but I put them to good use. I met one of the designers of Karmaka, Dave Burke, and that is possibly the most gorgeous game I’ve ever seen. Backed it on Kickstarter, so we’ll get a copy of that one when they ship. There is a print-and-play available here, and I will try to have a copy of it at Nerd Night. You start life as a dung beetle, and try to live your lives well enough that you eventually reach enlightenment.

I played a lot more games, but a lot of my pictures were crappy. Bad light, Steph in a hurry.. but here are a few.



Takat (I won!)

Takat (I won!)


Cuisine A La Card (Developer Dani Demarest)

Cuisine A La Card (Designer Dani Demarest)

So. I’m going to stop here, and fill you all in on the latest developments for Nerd Night in my next post, either tonight or tomorrow. I’ll tease you by saying big changes, all for the good, are coming down the pike! I’m excited to see what 2016 brings for us!

PAX South - Indie Games[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

PAX South Shenanigans2016-12-02T09:01:18-06:00

January Updates: Codenames and More

So it’s been a busy month. I’m sorry for not posting as regularly as I should have. Fact is, with the holidays, it felt like we had pretty much back-to-back Nerd Nights and I’ve also been working on a couple of other projects, some kind of big that I’ll tell you all about when they’re closer to being real and not just imaginary things in my head.

Some news I can tell you: We’re going to be welcoming Melanie Riley from SAMMinistries to Nerd Night on the 12th of February. She’ll be talking with you all briefly about the work SAMM does and what will happen with the items you’re donating. I really enjoy it when people come from the organizations we are supporting. 1) I don’t have to talk as much, and 2) it really cements the bonds I’m hoping to build with these groups as we involve more people around the community with Nerd Night.

Some more news! I’m happy to have a copy of Codenames from Czech Games for our February raffle prize! This somewhat hard-to-find game (at least around Christmastime, when I tried!) arrived too late to make January’s raffle, so I’ve been resisting the impulse to play it myself and I’m saving it for all of you. You’re welcome! 😛 Codenames is the #1 party game on BoardGameGeek and everyone I know who has had the chance to play it has really enjoyed it. Hopefully whoever is lucky enough to win the raffle will let us crack it open and play a round or two. Read ShutUpAndSitDown’s review of it here if you want to get an idea of how it plays.

That’s about it for now. I’m almost ready to make a biggish announcement, though, so hopefully I’ll get back to you before Nerd Night on February 12th. Take a look here for the SAMMinistries Charity Spotlight, and scroll all the way to the bottom for the Wish List of items. Grab a couple of those and bring them to Nerd Night, help the homeless population of San Antonio as they transition to temporary housing so we can do our part to make sure they are successful.



January Updates: Codenames and More2016-11-25T10:59:38-06:00
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