Welcome to ZainsGaming, a blog about Video games, tabletop games, and teaching and learning. I am a PhD Candidate at the University of Calgary in the Computer Science department.



The Invitation – Print’N’Play

The Invitation – Print and Play prototype version. <<Continue Reading>>

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The Invitation: Kickstarter Campaign

The Kickstarter campaign for The Invitation is finally here!
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/zainsgaming/the-invitation-0 <<continue reading>>


The Invitation: Game Difficulty

An interesting discussion occurred regarding the game’s difficulty, during our last play test of The Invitation. I do intend for the game to be difficult, so that when the players successfully complete a scenario, it actually feels like an accomplishment. <<Continue Reading>>

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The Blake Estate

The Blake Estate is the introductory scenario for the The Invitation. This scenario is meant to be a relatively simple and help the players learn the game. <<Continue Reading>>


The Invitation

Last summer I started working on a tabletop game idea that I had flowing in the back of my mind. The idea came out of incorporating various features of games I enjoyed and avoiding the features I didn’t enjoy. The features I enjoy are cooperative play, difficult gameplay (but not impossible), limited resources, different character types, replayability, and having a good narrative. The features I don’t enjoy are a long and complex setup phases and huge instruction manuals. Through this vision emerged The Invitation, a 3 – 5 player cooperative, narrative, and ‘horror survival’ based tabletop game. In this article I will discuss how the game evolved from just an idea to an actually playable game, along with my impression of how the game turned out. <<Continue Reading>>

Java Games Programming (Part 2)

I have been trying to keep up with the Java Games Programming tutorials and releasing one tutorial video a week. I am trying to distinguish these tutorials from the library of the other tutorials available on YouTube. <<Continue Reading>>

Java Games Programming

For a couple years I have wanted to create a series Java programming tutorials where the content is motivated by developing games. I know there are better platforms for developing video games, but the idea here is to focus on learning programming concepts and using video games as a theme/motivation for the exercises. <<Continue Reading>>


Resident Evil 7: A Terrifyingly Fun Experience

After over 7 years, I finally played a new Resident Evil game I enjoyed, Resident Evil 7. I can’t really make any comment that hasn’t been made before; the game goes back to its roots with survival horror instead of action, and the first person perspective is a significant change but it works really well. What I can comment on is my own experience playing the game. <<Continue Reading>>


Flipped Classroom

The Flipped Classroom is a structure that I have experienced twice as a TA; first for the ‘Introduction to Computer Science for Majors II’ (CPSC 233) course, and second for ‘Design & Analysis for Algorithms’ (CPSC 413). This structure is not limited to the tutorial but also involves the lectures. <<Continue Reading>>


Reminiscing About WoW

I got my first job back in October of 2004. I was a Shakerboarder for Little Caesars Pizza. My job was to stand by the sidewalk holding a sign to advertise the store. Boy, that was a fun winter, but that’s a story for another time. <<Continue Reading>>


Let’s Work Through Exercises Together

The “Let’s Work Through Exercises Together” is one of the more complicated tutorial types for the TA to handle. The idea behind these tutorials is that the students are presented with some exercise(s), and they work through the exercises as a group. <<Continue Reading>>


Welcome to the Wasteland!

Warning this article may contain spoilers for Fallout 4.

I usually stay a little behind games so that I can reduce the cost of my gaming habit. The downside of this is that spoilers are hard to avoid. I have been lucky with this game. The only things that were spoiled for me were; 1) You are supposed to be looking for your son, and 2) The vault tec salesman is still alive in the future. <<Continue Reading>>