Tag Archives: catan

Pathos in Paradise

milton

(You can download Milton here.)

Milton shifted uncomfortably among the ferns, moving his weight from one haunch to the other. Pooping in an unfamiliar spot was always stressful, and the noise from the playground tightened him up even worse than usual. His hams were prickly from the heat and pins and needles brought about by a long squat. I really should be doing more yoga, he thought.

But going to class meant that other herbivores would see how inflexible and fat he was, and Milton always felt he was the poster child for Doing It Wrong. Maybe he could just stream yoga videos on his iPad and practice alone at home.

He pushed a little. Nothing. Pushed again. He could feel the first pellet six inches from freedom, stone-hard, stuck, and blocking its comrades from exit. Dehydration, probably, or possibly too many gingko nuts. If he could just get this plug out the rest would come easy, he was sure of it.

Fixing his brow, he pushed too hard, and strained a suprised warble from his crest by accident. Oh, God, if the children heard the sound they’d be on him in seconds.

Some of the other Parasaurolophus on the island loved the humans, but Milton preferred solitude, especially while pooping. The Settler children always begged him to toot little songs while they danced around him like a maypole. The children were cute, but Milton knew his songs weren’t any good and that was why none of the adults ever danced around Milton, the inflexible and fat maypole dinosaur.

Perhaps doing downward-facing dog would move things around enough to shake the pellet loose. He licked his beak and tried again. Mid-pose he contemplated his tail, which reminded him of the time he had knocked over the velvet ropes at the bank with it. Everyone looked at him (everyone was always looking at him) and then the ropes fell and made a tremendous crash, which only made everyone look at him some more.

The sound of crunching leaves told Milton that he was no longer alone. He looked up into the face of a little human, caked in slop and burrs. Milton couldn’t tell the males from females when they were this small, but he did notice the muddy turnip the creature held in one paw.

A turnip. Goodness! Eating a turnip might be just the thing to loosen up the sluices. He sniffed and clicked his beak hopefully. The child made a little warble of its own. “Toot!” it barked. “Toot!”

Milton reached forward and nipped at the turnip but the child pulled it out of reach and frowned. “Toot!”

Several other children had taken notice from across the schoolyard and started running towards him. The turnip bringer turned towards the approaching pack and shouted something in its chirpy stacatto language.

The child turned back to Milton, joined by a dozen similarly filthy companions. It beckoned towards the dinosaur, waving the turnip under Milton’s nose. It whispered slyly as its cold blue eyes met Milton’s gaze. “Toot.”

The ring of children began to chant. “Toot! Toot! Toot! Toot!”

Very well, thought Milton, a performance, then.

He inhaled deeply, expanding his ribcage as far as he could. The children fairly rippled with excitement as Milton’s mighty diaphraghm flexed in preparation for an epic bellow.

A chill suddenly swept over Milton’s body. Every scale from crest to shoulders seemed to prick up on its own, and, with a sickening slurch, something terrible shifted inside his gut.

Oh no. It was coming. Milton turned to run, but was blocked on every side by the tiny humans. He had no desire to trample the little brown creatures but perhaps if he could just nudge one of th–

A grapefruit-sized mass of moist fiber shot from between Milton’s legs and struck one of the children in the neck. The child collapsed, shocked, and Milton thought he saw a fragment of gingko nut stuck to the child’s lip. The other children burst into raucous laughter.

Milton whirled to apologize and the rest came forth in a torrent. Smaller lumps splattered the turnip bearer with chunky filth. A green liquid ribbon arced and danced as Milton turned, dousing a semicircle of children. The laughter turned to shrieks as the little humans fled, slipping and stumbling in the pool of waste. The turnip, long rendered inedible without a good washing, was mashed into a broken patty by panicked feet.

I’m sorry, Milton thought. So sorry. Forgive me. His knees trembled as the last trickles left his body and dripped onto the leaves below. With the children now silent, the pitter-plops were the only sounds left in the world.

The dinosaur turned and slunk away towards his swamp, keenly aware of the angry mob’s hot glare from the relative cleanliness of the schoolyard pond.

Sacking Seahawks with a Packers-themed Catan Robber

Through some mighty confluence of geolocation and preferences algorithms my Facebook Trending feed indicated that the Green Bay Packers are currently obsessed with Settlers of Catan.

Out-of-staters and international visitors to the blog may be unaware that Wisconsin residents are legally obligated to be Green Bay Packers fans. My understanding is that late governor Robert “Fighting Bob” La Follete, sensing the future greatness of Packers football in the Badger State, slipped this requirement into the state constitution in 1902 after meeting the as-yet-unborn Vince Lombardi’s mother in a Brooklyn pizzeria.

We are nothing if not trendy and loyal to the green and gold here at Zheng Labs, and so we took a few hours off from publicizing our latest Kickstarter to create a 3D printable Packers-themed Robber that’s compatible with Settlers of Catan.

packer

This model’s available for free download, just clicky clicky right here. If you’re from the Pack, and you want one printed for the locker room, email me and I’ll hook you up. Heck, for you guys I’ll even customize a bunch with whatever jersey numbers you like.

Oh, and that Kickstarter?

We’re crowdfunding Faire Play 2: A Barbie-compatible 3D printed Roman chariot that can, in theory, be pulled by cats. Check it out and throw me a bone, even if you’re a Seahawks fan. We can all learn to love one another.

One Week to Go until Kickstarter #2

Hello, all, and Happy New Year!

Mistake not the quietude in this tiny corner of 3D printing blogistan for a lack of activity. We’ve been hard at work applying the jeweler’s rouge to Zheng3 Kickstarter #2. All ducks have been rowed, i’s dotted, t’s crossed, p’s and q’s duly minded, and we’re just about ready to hit the shiny, candylike LAUNCH button.

Which, barring unforeseen tragedies, we will do on the morning of January 13, 2015.

Join The Horde for a zero-day notification of this event, hot and steaming from the kobold-powered printing presses in the basement of Zheng Labs.

In celebration of our one-week pre-launch milestone, I’ve created and released the following Catan-compatible T. rex model. Enjoy! More models like Robber Rex are, of course, available for free download in The Forge.

The Forge >Baubles >Robber Rex

Robber Rex

Robber Rex

Designed by Zheng3
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This is a T. rex replacement for your Settlers of Catan robber. Enjoy the carnage and mayhem and sweet crunching of tiny Catanese bones every time you pull a seven in the world’s favorite resource-allocation board game. RAWWWWWWWRR!

But first, my friends, a tale. A tale of misery and woe, and of 3D printing, and ultimately of redemption.


Christmas came and went here at Zheng Labs, and as is our custom the boardgames were drawn from storage and placed into service, to amuse the ever-patient elders who aren’t so into the Minecrafting and the Guild Wars 2 as are their grandchildren

Imagine the shock and dismay and the heartbroken looks on the wee little faces when our Catan box was revealed to have no Robber within!

There was wailing. Gnashing of teeth. Rending of garments. The holiday turducken turned to ash in our mouths.

High and low we searched, under bookcases and couch cushions, between the stuffed animals and inside cans and cartons of Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs and K’Nex and LEGO and Thomas The Tank Engine sets long since mothballed, but the crafty Robber was nowhere to be found.

Dejected, exhausted, we can only assume the Robber has absconded with his ill-gotten booty and is now living like a king in Patagonia.

A d20 was pressed into service as an ersatz Robber token, but we do not tolerate half measures or temporary hacks at Zheng Labs.

We. Do. Not.

So.

To the printer.