Sunday, May 15, 2016

Cool Stuff: Tak on Kickstarter

In the past couple weeks, I have come across lots of really, really cool book-related stuff in my wanderings around the interwebs. Stuff that made me think, “This is a thing?? This is amazing! How did I not know about this?!” And then I would frantically text Susan or whichever friend I thought would most appreciate it to share the awesomeness I had stumbled upon. And that got me thinking—with all the really nifty, book-related stuff out there for one to come across mostly randomly and fortuitously (one might say like meeting a tinker upon the road?), why not have a new blog feature for sharing the very, very coolest of things like that that I come across? And thus, the creatively titled “Cool Stuff” genre of posts was born.

First up: The game Tak, from Pat Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle books, is becoming a real thing on Kickstarter. In fact, it already is a thing, with rules and instructions for creating your own game to start playing before the Kickstarter is even over.

If you are at all into fantasy novels, you’ve probably heard of these books, if not nommed them like a voracious reading beast. I’m sure I’ve written little blurbs about them here on RTET in the past, but it’s Sunday and I’m feeling too lazy to link to those past posts—suffice to say, they are very, very good (the books, not the posts). They’re the kind of books with a whole wonderful world that you could just crawl into. Good world-building, man. I am powerless to resist it. And it is so, SO cool when things from a beloved, so-well-crafted-as-to-feel-real fictional world make the jump and become real things in our world. (See also this article by Elizabeth Wein on the Book Smugglers site for further treatment of this topic.)

So. Tak. It was introduced in The Wise Man’s Fear, the second book of Rothfuss’ series, and is described by protagonist Kvothe as being “simple it its rules, complex in its strategy.” And now Rothfuss and game designer extraordinaire James Ernest of Cheapass Games have actually created it! It is an abstract strategy game for two players (ahem, I am learning so much about different genres of games and what they’re called these days), and it looks awesome. Fun for book fans, and also fun for people who like games and maybe know nothing about the books. I will be backing this Kickstarter for sure.

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