Oak Games

Home     About     Games     Stuff     Treehouse     Contact



No gorillas allowed!


games     natural history     science     language and culture     military / history     food and drink     media     gizmos     other    




Here's an idea for a game: Drinkin' Dragons. Just a name, nothing else. Dragons drink from flagons.



He likes it.


Actually this turned very quickly into a real game, although probably a fatally flawed one. It hits my buttons, I really want it to work, and I might try it on Christmas. It would be a family game that's not exactly appropriate for children, with a lot of co-operation.

There are a bunch of mostly exotic drinks. Your dragon can fly after drinking 15 or so drinks, as well as some other criteria. The different dragons, probably three, have a list of dietary considerations. During your turn you draw a flagon card, you can make a trade with another player, and you can drink one drink by putting your card down with your line of drinks.

The dietary considerations are
A) Alcoholic - you want to have three or so alcoholic drinks, but nobody can drink and fly, so things have to be acquired and timed. Also the alcoholic can't avoid drinking alcohol. The coffee addict has to drink a couple of cups of coffee, and can't drink anything until having the first coffee. The behaviour is going to be thematic. The weight watcher can't drink if the last three turns involved too many calories.
B) Doesn't drink alcohol / coffee / tea.
C) Allergies (including peanut, banana, dandelion), lactose intolerant, celiac, can't have strong spices.

A player has a list of three drinks he likes, maybe banana milk and cinotto and tea, and must drink some combination of three before flying off. This will also be thematic - mmm, I want that.

What happens when an alcoholic can't drink alcohol? The former is abandoned and the latter takes over. But ... if the player drinks an alcoholic drink (puts down a card) and nobody catches this before someone else drinks, the drink stands. Not really fair, but very thematic.

Should a die be used to determine whose turn it is? It is simpler without the die, but trading might break down at the end. I'm thinking do normal turns until "late in the evening" you switch to using a die.

Hmm ..


I've been debating whether to make this. It would be educational for kids, counting calories and sorting out this gluten business (see below) and perhaps seeing the trouble with addictions. The tactics of this game are all about trading. I estimate a player will make four trades in a game, so six trades en entier for all three players. Will the game play itself?


It looks like I will not do it. I'll spend my pre-Christmas time working on the long-planned and long-procrastinated Bestiary, a set of funny animal drawings.

How could Drinkin' Dragons be improved? There is card drafting, whatever that means. There is also bidding, where players bid with their 50 coins in a mini auction when the next card is turned over.

Bidding is thematically better than trading drinks. It might be tricky for little kids. Say goodbye to the co-operative trades and say hello to competition, including bids just to bankrupt someone. The dice dilemma is gone. So it looks like the bidding mechanism might (or might not) make things more interesting and tactical. A player's turn is when it's his turn to draw and reveal the next card. A player may consume one drink during his turn. You still put down a line of cards (including blanks). Can you get a drink from another player?

Hmm ..


Back to trading. Maybe the number of favourite drinks should be increased, to increase the amount of trading. Another approach that will certainly shake things up is you have to get all six types of favourite drinks, which would become increasingly tricky.

Back to bidding. The problem is that most cards mostly don't matter to most people. A bug fix is to have a bartender lay out three drinks, and players bid for who gets all three. You have to keep puttin' 'em back, birch juice would be all right, and gurana is one of your favourites. You actually can't have the caffè latte because you're lactose intolerant, and the coffee addict will bid high.

I'm not sure if I should keep water as a drink.

Another approach is to have each player with 15 cards (we could tinker with the numbers). When the game begins you can look at your dietary requirements and your drinks, then join the brief blitz of trading until somebody has met their dietary requirements. Some special rules for alcohol, coffee and peanut allergy are out the window because they depend on turns.

There are many ways of doing this. The good news is it is good for getting creative ideas, but the bad news is none of them work. It should be said that designing and even playing these types of games is new to me.

How about there is a communal set of fifteen or maybe ten cards that all players use together. For a player's turn three (chosen? random? next in sequence?) cards are taken from this set and three cards are taken from the top of the slush pile. The player decides whether to switch the three cards with the other three cards. When the 15 cards meet a player's requirements, that dragon can fly off. Are the diets secret? Does the alcoholic have no choice when alcohol is offered?

In addition to the three classic players - alcoholic, coffee addict and weight watcher - there could be a completionist, who must drink all three types of favourite drinks.

We'll rename the completionist as the connoisseur.

Here is the latest probably failed approach. Let's consider the Safari Race card game. There are categories of animals, like extinct, Australian. A fruit bat is flying, mammal and herbivore. You race along a track of twelve animal cards, and you have a hand of five animal cards. If your hand includes three animals in the same category as the next animal on your track, you move forward by one. Players trade at any time.

For Drinkin' Dragons you have a hand of as many as three drinks, and you have a track of 15, not drinks but categories. Most of these are "free", so any drink unless you have a diet issue. There are also four "favourite" positions on the track, or specific drinks if you are the connoisseur. Depending on the player, there are also alcohol and coffee categories. During your turn you can grab from the slush pile, drink or put back, and you can trade a card with another player.

Actually let's ease up on the cards and go to more familiar territory: boards. You have a board with the various drinks for you to go to, but other dragons are inadvertently swooping in and cutting off your route and grabbing your drinks. Once you consume the drinks you require, but avoid the diet issues, you can breathe fire.
This is about position.

I think I'm getting somewhere. You fly to a particular drinking house (no board, no grid) from among seven drinking houses. You would gradually consume drinks from the sequence of drinks at that house, until you choose to fly to another. Once you have met your drinking requirements you can breathe fire. Can you share a house with other dragons? Thematically decent.

You have three favourite drinks, seven for the connoisseur. You have to get each type. It's easy to start getting them, but becomes harder to get the last one. As a result players who are behind can catch up, leading to a dramatic finish. The coffee addict has to start by getting a coffee before chalking up favourite drinks. Can't drink and fly? The weight watcher has to fly off after consuming x calories, and anyone will have to fly off rather than drinking a health issue. Flying means you spend one turn not at a house. They're going to resemble a bunch of hummingbirds.

Are there tactical decisions to be made, or is it an unhappy mix of obvious and random? Is there player interaction, and does that matter? Maybe it will be a fun scramble regardless of what it's like in theory.

Indian Relay rallies Canada's First Nation communities



Where are these ladies from?


Natural History


Caecilians are amphibians.

True or false?

A: True




Language and Culture


Where is this lady from?


Military / History


Food and Drink (mostly drink)




Can a celiac drink Fireball? Does it contain glutens?


I think it is gluten free, at least the whisky part, but I'm not sure. I wanted to lift the curtain on the way it works in the industry.

Who would know? If you contact the customer service, that will be a third party company covering multiple different things. They might forward the inquiry to management of, not the company but some huge conglomerate, and the management is not going to know everything that goes on. People lower down will know what goes on, but you won't be contacting them.

People sometimes assume that alcoholic drinks will have ingredients easily available, but it's not like that. In the U.S.A. alcoholic drinks are not required to print ingredients on the lable, because it's not considered food or something. In addition, companies are not in a rush to let others know the secret sauce. Part of a drink will come from third party companies, so the drink company may not have easy access to information about these ingredients.

Anyway, glutens are not an ingredient. How would the company know if its own product contains glutens? And what precisely does "gluten free" mean? It's the government that sets that. And if the government chooses to change its standard ..

I think it's gluten free because the process of distillation removes glutens.

People who have celiac disease have intestinal problems caused by glutens. It is an autoimmune disease, but not an allergy. I have sympathy for these people. As for the people who are avoiding glutens because they are following a dubious fad, they should learn to consult experts, and I don't have sympathy for them.

Music, film, television


I'm a big fan of Western animated shows, mostly the heavy hitters. I like the animated shows and have no use for live fiction shows. I also have basically no use for the modern computer animated movies, and I can't really explain why that is.

I like the Simpsons, the most digestable of these shows. Family Guy, a show I avoided for some time, is one I like to watch a lot (I'm glossing over how these shows have changed over time). There's Ren and Stimpy, there's Futurama. Home Movies is officially my favourite of these shows. There is Bromwell High from Britain (and Canada). The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy is for kids, and I like it. There's Bob and Margaret. There's Undergrads. Mission Hill, particularly the science fiction convention episode. Other shows are worth a few episodes here and there. Some are for kids, and some are really weird. I almost forgot about Duck Dodgers.


There are other animated productions out there, from '30s animation to NFB Canadian shorts. A whole bunch of various stuff, but let's not complicate things.

Interestingly, different animated shows have different qualities. Simpsons has fabulous voice work. H Jon Benjamin as coach in Home Movies is a great character, but he is nothing when it comes to doing different voices (he has the same voice in Archer and Bob's Burgers). Behind all the craziness of Ren and Stimpy there is great art work. Meanwhile South Park started out with simple paper cutouts. Home Movies has a lot of edited improvisation, which gives it its peculiar character. Family Guy can have musical bits, adventurous stories including science fiction, and daring humour. Futurama has a variety of qualities, more than The Simpsons, but I think a big strength might quietly be its wordplay. Some shows have nice intro or interstitial music, like Home Movies, or Odd Job Jack. Sometimes I wonder if Canadian productions have more emphasis on word humour.


Weirdly, other than the shows I like, I'm like oil and water with other shows, and that includes the ones I've seen and the ones I have not seen. I've never been a fan of South Park. I don't have an objection to it, it's full of quality satire and humour, but it has never been for me. American Dad won't stick with me, although I like Family Guy. Bob's Burgers is not for me, and I've basically not seen Archer. King of the Hill does not appeal to me.

There is a lot of negativity in these shows, and I really do object to that. That's a whole complex topic with bathroom humour, ugliness, shock and nihilism. Suicide has been casually popping up. Lots of red flags there. Family Guy writers will regularly think of a handicap and have a scene making fun of the handicapped person. I'm sure lots of university papers have been written about that. Characters will show that they don't care about other people who are suffering. This happens over and over, and this is supposed to be funny. I can only speculate what's going on there.


These shows that I like were made during the 1990s into the 2000s. And then .. nothing. If there is a nice animated show out there, I don't know what it is (well, actually there is one, which is the point here, stay tuned).




Why are propellers on the front of planes and the back of boats?


What is a skeleton key?


I wouldn't complain if this was in the treehouse.




Q: What is the fourth most populous state in the U.S.A.?

A: New York source

(Canada has 36.7 million)