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Gabe / on Wed, Sep 3 2014 at 9:40 am

PAX Prime 2014

This year’s PAX Prime was the 17th PAX, which is pretty hard for me to believe. It also marks 10 years of PAX Prime here in Seattle. I can still remember my wife Kara, pregnant with Gabe during the very first PAX at the Meydenbauer convention center. He started 4th grade yesterday and will turn 10 years old on September 9th. It all happened so terrifyingly fast.

This year was an absolute blast. It was easily my favorite Acquisitions Inc. game ever. Chris Perkins really outdid himself this time and you can see the results over on the Twitch channel.  We also had some great Q&A’s this year. The switch to pre-written questions happened at PAX East and I think the result is a much better experience. We’re able to get through a lot more questions and the ones we get tend to be really interesting. In fact the questions during the Make A Strip panel were so good I almost didn’t finish the comic. I kept stopping to think about my answers and pretty soon I looked down at the clock and saw I only had about 30 minutes left. I wasn’t close to finished and had to race to wrap it up in time.

During the second Q&A I was able to focus more on the questions since I didn’t have to draw a strip at the same time. I feel like we had another great selection and I think we gave some answers that people probably haven’t heard before. I made it a point to dig out the “Red Envelope” questions which are according to Robert who organized them all are the hard questions. We had one that asked if we were concerned about being considered corporate whores or something like that since we don’t seem to attack the industry as much as we used to. It’s a fair question although I might have worded it differently. It’s actually something Tycho and I have been very aware of recently and talked a lot about.

Maybe it’s just that we’re getting older, maybe it has something to do with being a parent. My guess is it’s a lot of stuff but the end result is we just aren’t as interested in being angry as we used to be. Personally I’d much rather spend a news post or a comic strip talking about an incredible game that I loved instead of some shit game that I hated. I don’t have the time or energy to devote to tearing games apart anymore. I love games and I’d much rather spend my time sharing the good stuff and maybe introducing you all to a game you would have missed otherwise. I’m not saying we’ll never take another crappy game to task but I think it’s going to be rare. I have fun playing games with my family and my friends. That’s what I’m interested in sharing these days.

PAX is a nice reminder of just how incredible games and gamers really are. I always come away from the show inspired by this community. Thanks to everyone who came out and made the show so amazing. I’m ready to do it all again next month in Australia.

-Gabe out


I didn’t get to play everything obviously, but my favorite game of the show was Gigantic!

Tycho / on Mon, Sep 1 2014 at 12:01 am

Making an update while PAX is ongoing still feels pretty weird.  I mean, if you worked at a gaming news site, I guess this would be, like, your whole show.  I suppose the reality is that everyone is updating constantly about the show, and everything else, professionally or otherwise.  “Writing” and “Living” are two distinct gears for me.  It’s a big lever and it’s hard to pull.

We managed our strip duties on Sunday, achieving our goal, performing flawless karate on foes real and imagined.  Using Benaroya for main theater stuff again this year has been really fun, because it is hella plush, and as stated previously (indeed, last year at this time) I’ll never conceive of myself as rating accommodations of this sort.  A world class violinist is going to touch something that I touched before going on, and shit himself on stage.  It will be a sad story, the kind that makes people mourn him while he is still alive.  Such is our corrupting influence.

Benaroya is also a very nice place to play Dungeons & Dragons, should you ever get the opportunity.  I want to thank everybody who came out for Acquisitions Incorporated on Saturday.  I am told by trusted third parties that they think it is the best one yet, and I think being there provides a mysterious additional nutrient, but you can actually watch that event right now if you want.

I am up to my ass in PAX, I’m always here, but huge portions of the show are available online now.  I always sorta fantasized about that, but I had that fantasy before there was such a thing as a Twitch or Twitching.  There’s a channel for the show you can use to project your consciousness into PAX digitally, and the profile page has a deep bank of panels and concerts you can use.  It creates a scenario where you can have had attended pre-Pax - in a roiling and interstitial futurian pastois.

    (CW)TB out.

Tycho / on Fri, Aug 29 2014 at 12:01 am

Gabriel is constantly impressing himself with what he calls his thinkin’s, which are like little caltrops for the brain.  He once posited that while it was technically true that each cock exists within its own “timeline,” under certain rare conditions it would be possible for a cock to block itself.

That’s, uh… huh.  That’s not really applicable to my life.

We’ve long considered collecting these things together in one of those Daily Affirmation type calendars, we jot them down when we can, but we discussed for a few harrowing minutes what form a book might take.  I will toil to avert this outcome.

PAX Prime is upon us, and there are many rituals to observe; Acquisitions Incorporated returns with Morgaen in tow, and you can see Kris Straub’s new intro a little early if you like, to prepare you for the stream on Saturday night.  We are competing in a Gauntlet tournament aptly named “The Gauntlet,” because the winners get one of those vast novelty belts I coveted as a young wrestling fan.  If such a belt is on the line, you must do everything in your power to possess it.  I’ve still got a pocketful of PAX AUS pins to trade, and my schedule is more open than ever.  You’ll see me.  Come say hi.

I’ll be backstage here in a little bit getting ready for Mikey Neumann’s Storytime, which used to be the Keynote but I think we decided a few years in that “Keynote” was a little serious.  Also, when you ask someone to do Storytime, they say yes much faster than when you ask them to do a Keynote.  Keynotes must, by law, reference Q1.  Storytime is a much better fit for Neumann, who - as “Chief Creative Champion” at Gearbox - is tremendously hard to pin down.  When he was in the office getting ready, he was writing at least one book, working on at least one game, and slicing tracks together for his hip-hop debut.  I’m thinking this dude can probably figure out a podium.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / on Wed, Aug 27 2014 at 11:02 am

I had assumed, largely because I was directly told, that the conglomeration known as Goo-Tube was purchasing Twitch.  It certainly seemed to map out, what with Twitch cracking down on copyright in exactly the same way YouTube had.  But that’s apparently just hedge trimming now, work that must be done in advance of acquisition by any party.  Amazon picked them upOn accident?

When we hear about Jonas, and the whale which constituted his temporary housing, we are (correctly) skeptical.  But nine hundred and seventy million dollars borders on that level of mythic power.  It occupies a zone adjacent to pure fact.  Amazon is doing all kinds of weird shit, including making what is functionally an urban “lair” and building out a credible internal game division.  Twitch has vast cachet, and is essentially social-media powered television enterprise.  What does Amazon see it as?  And does it ultimately result in me having a branded cornea?  Because I’m down.

Monday’s comic featured the plaintive cries of those banned for being actual neo-nazis or for encouraging others to die with tremendous specificity, focused largely around the fact that Lyte (the Riot equivalent of a Blue Response) is either Mother Mary or Charon, and I like either interpretation.

When trying to find Lyte’s official title, I hit up the Wikia for the game.  I recognized him in his picture, and the name was familiar, but you have to understand how many people I see.  I see so many people.  And I get a lot of false positives.  I used to do IT shit at fifty-odd sites, and I swear to God some of these principles, librarians, secretaries, and teachers were the same Goddamned person in different clothes at another school.  I figured maybe I saw him at their booth or something, that was probably it.

But no: he’s this Jeffrey Lin, the young man we awarded our scholarship to in 2010. The stated purpose of the Penny Arcade Scholarship is to “recognize one student shown to have the most potential to positively impact the game industry,” and the motherfucker has basically taken on on the Kobayashi Maru of complex, high-pressure gaming interactions.  We rarely get to find out where they end up, but look at this shit.  They haven’t cracked it yet, and maybe it’s not crackable in the classic sense, but they’ve got it surrounded.  That’s all there is to say about it, really.  I just think it’s cool that the Scholarship is inserted at any point in that causal chain.

(CW)TB out.

Gabe / on Mon, Aug 25 2014 at 5:38 pm


The most recent cinematic trailer for League of Legends got me thinking about the game again. I’ve played a lot of it over the years but I’m not sure I’ve ever gotten this into the strategy of it. I’ve always liked it, but I’m actually trying not to suck at it now and that’s new for me. I’ve been watching the LCS matches and I’m surprised just how much I enjoy watching other people play a video game.

I’ve always been a Wukong fan but what I am discovering is that I like tanky fighters. I’ve decided top lane is the spot I can do the most good for my team and I’m slowly learning what my responsibilities are. As of right now I’m sort of hooked on Darius. He’s so much fun to play that even though I know I should probably be trying other champs I can’t put him away.

I like him so much I had to do a so goofy fanart.

(click for the big version)

-Gabe out

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