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Aaron Dykstra
Works at Amazon.com
Attended Michigan Technological University
Lives in Seattle, WA
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Aaron Dykstra

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If God gave us taste buds, it's because he wanted us to use them. That's all the logic we need to rationalize wanting to eat a box full of the…
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Aaron Dykstra

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I take a "brief" look at my exposure to tabletop RPG...
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Ditto
 
Love this.
“Apparently, a sufficient number of puppies can explain any computer science concept. Here we have multithreading:”
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This looks absolutely amazing!
 
Hex Mapper Progress!

So it's been awfully quiet recently - lots of other stuff going on - but there's also been progress on the hex mapping front.

One feature that everyone wanted was the ability to place varying terrain type quickly. So, there's now a random terrain from group button. Each time you click, it selects a different tile from the set.

The second most common response was that precisely placing terrain icons is hard. So now you get a ghosted image of the icon that follows the mouse, and shows you where the icon will be placed.

Other than that - killing bugs (coast misalignment, dragging causing locations to be offset, ... also found an issue with image load performance that I'm trying to kill)

#hexallthethings  
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Take a look here!
 
+Rob Heinsoo will push the button to launch the 13th Age in Glorantha Kickstarter at noon Pacific time today! We and the Moon Design team have worked hard to ensure that the Kickstarter approval robot gives the project its blessing when he does. We'll post an announcement when it goes live.
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Aaron Dykstra

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This is incredible.
 
If you’ve ever had a problem identifying your luggage at the airport, the Fine Line Workshop in Pennsylvania will fix that for you – they’ve got a line of leather-clad ‘monster boxes’ that are hard to miss and look like they carry a serious bite.
Each hand-made box is decorated by sculpting leather over a wooden box. Glass eyes, fake teeth and paint transform them into ‘mimic’ creatures from the Dungeons and Dragons table-top roleplaying game that trick adventurers into approaching them by disguising themselves as treasure chests.
The workshop, run by artist Mellie Z, uses fantasy and RPG elements heavily in their work, so if this is something you’re into, be sure to check out their Etsy shop for tons of other leather products!
More info: finelineleatherdesign.com | Etsy | Facebook (h/t: demilked)
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Such a tragedy. I can't even imagine the loss.
 
Tabletop community - something truly terrible happened to one of our own.

A charity bundle has been set up at DriveThruRPG. Please take a look, lots of good stuff there, for a very reasonable price to offer a small amount of help. 
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Yeah.
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Yes!
 
Some of the personalized advertising out there is getting too spooky. I'm fairly frequently seeing products I just was looking at in an online store immediately afterward in an ad on a news website.

A few years ago, I wrote a blog post advocating this type of advertising, "What to advertise when there is no commercial intent?" (http://goo.gl/iZi3P9). The point of that article was that, if you have no immediate purchase intent -- someone isn't doing a web search for a product -- then you might have to reach back in the person's history to find the last purchase intent they had and build on that.

However, this did not mean that you should just show the last product I looked at, which is what a lot of these ads are doing. If I look at a chair, don't follow me around the web showing me ads for that same chair over and over again. That's spooky and not helpful.

Personalized ads should help people discover things they don't know about related to past purchase intent. If I look at a chair, show me similar furniture and coupons and deals related in some way to that chair and that store. Don't just show me the same chair again. I know about that chair. Show me something I don't know. Help me discover something I haven't found yet.

Personalization, including personalized advertising, is about helping people discover things they did not find on their own. Personalization is not re-finding, just showing what I found before, just exposing my history. Personalization is discovery. 
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Sitting down for some D&D prep. I am currently wrapping up my 4th edition campaigns that I am running. My Friday night crew's setup is complete unless they decide to take me for a wild ride. My Tuesday night crew's setup is only partially done and I am still working on the mega dungeon set piece. I am guessing I have about 1 or 2 encounters to finalize and we are golden.

Once that is done, I will be back to work on my new setting that we will be running in the 13th Age system. So far, I have the hook for the setting, but I need to put some teeth in it. I have a number of the different factions setup. It says a lot about 13th Age in that I am finding that most of the icons I want for this setting are close match for the ones in the book. Kudos to those guys!
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Please RT: There is no right way to do a wrong thing #LetGarrettPlay
I figure if Alex from Target can trend, then I am giving this a try. #LetGarrettPlay

The story: Garrett is a 9 year old that plays organized youth hockey. In last weekend's game he was called for intending to injure someone, ejected from the game, and su...
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Well, we suffered from a couple hour power outage... Unfortunately it was right when I was uploading photos and planning my next D&D session. So instead I took some time and grabbed my miniatures and paints and finished off two paladins, and 4 orc brutes.  Got a little bit further on my old wizard and started on 2 halflings and a dwarven warrior.  So all in all, a pretty productive day when my PC was down...
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I was lucky enough to gather a bunch of friends at AFK Elixirs and Eatery to play some +13th Age .  We ran the night with 6 players and myself.  The players ranged in age from 6 to 40.  I grabbed the level 2 pre-gens off the website and let them choose.  In addition, it was their first exposure to 13th age and for two of them, a first exposure to pen and paper RPGs.

I have played 13th Age as a player a few times, but only in the convention circuit.  I have been reading it though and felt comfortable enough with the rules to wing any normal rule weirdness that can creep up in a game.  I also decided to go full on lazy with prep work and come up with a story based on one unique things and backgrounds.

The party created very interesting characters.  I noticed that two of them went nautical for one unique things (one had gills and was blue, and the other had webbed feet I believe) so we went with a dockside adventure.  After that I just started setting up a mission where some things were getting stolen but no one knew how.

The icon rolls I put to use early by doling out advice and some magical gear at the start.  The advice could be played later to aid in some later part of the adventure.  The other part was that the icon rolls helped me set the players in this particular adventure which setup a temporary truce between the Orc Lord and the Diabolist.  They were working together to disrupt the trade of important goods into the Dwarf King's realm.

The party really did a good job in bring out some of their uniqueness to head to resolution. They did surprise me a few times by being a bit impulsive, but it was a one shot and they were having fun so we went with it.  I also utilized the montage to move a long journey along as they moved from one location to another.

Overall I think they had a good time.  I felt the rules did enable me to run completely improv style.  I am definitely going to do that again.
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Have him in circles
106 people
Karen York's profile photo
Kevin Wilson's profile photo
Tony Gregg's profile photo
Jason Clemons's profile photo
Matt Nibbelink's profile photo
Video Games's profile photo
James Doyle's profile photo
Stephen Brozovich's profile photo
Jeff Few's profile photo
Work
Employment
  • Amazon.com
    SDE, 2005 - present
  • Whirlpool
    Engineer, 1996 - 2005
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Seattle, WA
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MTU Theatre and Troupe
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Education
  • Michigan Technological University
    Computer Science, 1996 - 2000
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