Shadow of Mordor has a Photo Mode now, and our first question was along the lines of “how would an Uruk use Instagram.” Until it occurred to us that they would use Instagram in precisely the same way everyone else does.
I used to ask if you had found a Final Game - specifically a videogame you could always return to, conceivably, a game-as-life-practice. I was going to posit that League of Legends ticks a few boxes I think might be crucial to the enterprise, but I am so angry at everything to do with that entire continuum that I don’t want to relive its horrors. The lessons are still there, I guess, even if the game makes me want to eat my own lips.
It was that kinda night.
Whatever the game is, it almost certainly must reside on the PC. It’s a realm that grants games a kind of immortality “in a world” where enforced annuality and the console arms race transform platforms into quicksand. It needs contemplative and immediate polarities of interaction. I am legitimately starting to wonder if the idea of a stable map - such as Summoner’s Rift, in The Game That Shall Not Be Named - that allows for endlessly iterable gameplay isn’t also necessary. Something that mirrors the “field” of a sport or the “board” of a game and constitutes a base of approach. I find algorithmic levels interesting for a time but, ironically I guess, I get bored of them must faster than I do a single thoughtfully made place. I like intention, I guess.
I don’t think it can have a set story, but I’d love to be wrong about that; I read 1984 every year, and it’s new every time. That rule may simply be an artifact of a specific period of games writing. For all the life human players can inflict on a system I think multiplayer is optional. I think ongoing content can simulate deep novelty but isn’t required. Back in the day I thought World of Warcraft was the Ur-Game, or an Ur-Game, but I don’t think it can have a subscription. I’m always going to like games that exist outside of this, but I’m not going to play The Witcher again when I’m sixty. But I’ll still be playing XCOM.
We have once again issued our Penny Arcade Scholarship, which as I have stated in the past always feels kind of Bad-Good. I feel more like I un-chose everyone else when I select a winner, because having a few ounces of personal correspondence and assorted surveillance on these lives makes you feel it. I wasn’t able to attend college at all on account of money, so when I read letters from people re: the debt load they’re taking on it’s something I hear with clarity. But we can help a little bit, right? We can return to them a couple moments each day which they can put toward their destiny. This time, we chose Anthony Scott. Go get ‘em, man. And stay in touch.
We’re bringing some great pins with us to PAX Australia at the end of the month. Here’s a look at the Pinny Arcade pins you’ll be able to collect in Melbourne this year!
In addition to these pins we will have the new staff pins, the unique pins for Tycho and I, as well as a few older sets. Can’t wait to get my trade on!
I have suggested it on a few occasions, but I am something like a consultant(?) on Broodhollow. This is a sort of ornamental way of saying that I am essentially a fan with access to the creator. His writhing, newly-hatched larva is, no doubt, a veritable mine of horrors he can fold into his work - but we spent a few hours yesterday fully enunciating the spine of the setting and setting up the most pristine domino configuration to knock down over the course of the next year. The whiteboard in his office now resembles (if not fully manifests) the “crazy wall” universally embroidered by cult members and psychic children.
I told Gwarb about these works in an effort to instigate some kind of artistic bidding war, and it super didn’t go my way because I am essentially a stenographer. If he ever finds out about Dragon or whatever I’m fucked. The ride is over. I will have to begin writing exclusively as my Fursona (Scotty Spotts, leopard cub/quetzal, blue eyes, slogan: “I’m in the catbird seat!”)
Wasteland was the first game I ever bought with my own money, back on the C64. Well, the C128, in C64 mode. This was back when you saved your game directly to the floppy the game was on; I can remember getting myself into the kind of irrevocably fucked situations you find in traditionalist RPGs, thinking I’d basically lost a summer, when I found a recent save on the other side of the disc. I literally went and hugged my mom.
Wasteland 2 is out now, and for the type of game it is - the videogame equivalent of a fetish, practically speaking - it’s getting crazy love. I played it enough during beta to know that I wanted to play it “for real,” that is to say, after it had molted and chewed its way out of the sac, its carapace agleam. Sometimes, I don’t mind early. Nuclear Throne, an algorithmic action roguelike thing, I can play the shit out of that while its still soft in the middle. Roguelikes are especially good at being played as in progress works - new content simply appears or is integrated in line, sequenced by the fretting little mind at the heart of it. Something with a story, or something whose play is defined by vast, meshed, persistent systems doesn’t seem like a good time investment for sane people.
They just dropped a hilariously large changelog for their most recent patch, so dense was its body that I initially thought I was reading a novella about patching. I had notes for the author, certainly, but there was much to like. Characterization needed work. I love seeing it, though; they aren’t running away from it. You build trust this way. One more patch, maybe a little work with the shopvac around the edge, and I’m in.