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Tycho / on Tue, May 26 2015 at 3:23 pm

Child’s Play Golf Tournament Tickets!

They are available!  I am by no means a golf expert; I come mostly for the buffet and the intensely shared fellow-feeling.  For your calendar:

Date: Friday, July 17th 2015
Time: Golf Registration 9:00AM - 10:00AM, Mini-Golf Registration 12:30PM-1:15PM, Mixer 4:00PM
Location: Willows Run Golf Course, 10402 Willows Rd, Redmond, WA 98052

I’ve been to all of them, and it would be a fun way to spend your time even the absence of its profound charitable payload.


Gabe / on Mon, May 25 2015 at 12:57 pm

Monday Sketchdump!

Last week I attended a special “Art Night” at my kid’s school. I ended up spending the evening drawing with elementary school kids and had a great time. Here’s some of my doodles:

Here’s me drawing shapes and the kids figuring out what they are. I was trying to explain how the game worked to a little girl and I asked her if any of my shapes looked like anything. She said that one looked like a fish but I had forgotten some parts. I asked her to draw the missing parts for me and she did. Nothing beats making art with kids.

-Gabe out


Tycho / on Mon, May 25 2015 at 11:25 am

So, last time, I was worried that between Destiny’s immediacy and my belief that there was some mystically optimal condition under which to play The Witcher, it would end up sort of like my Steam library, in a list more akin to a list of achievements than of time played or work considered.  But that is not true.  Having secured 32 Light in order to make myself marginally less worthless to my Fireteam, I had a chance over the weekend to plow through the “Witching 101” portion of The Witcher 3 and into the game proper, which isn’t an epic roleplaying game at all apparently but a card game called gwent.

I played a ton of Dice Poker in the second one, I was the Champion Dice Poker Man.  It was like Yahtzee, and I like Yahztee.  Weirdly, one of my favorite things about Dice Poker was how it emphasized the handcrafted physicality of the game: it was a box that people carried around with them, to play where they could.  There were different backgrounds depending on where you played, like the table at an inn let’s say.  Hearthstone does this, too.  Gwent, the minigame equivalent in Witcher 3, doesn’t have the same verisimilitude thing going on.  On the other hand, it is pretty fuckin’ rad.

The article I see most often referred to in this conversation is Vince Ingenito’s “The Witcher’s Gwent Is A Better Card Game Than Heartstone,” whose ambiguous, mushmouthed argumentation leaves the true position of the author unclear - a common problem with young writers.  That said, we may triangulate from this aimless prose that the author thinks gwent is at least alright.

And it is.  The established side of the commentariat has a couple hundred hours on me yet, but the first thing I do when going to any town is check and see if somebody is selling gwent cards.  It reminds me of nothing more than getting my dishwasher tips and crossing the street to the game shop to see how many cards I can get for the money.  Am I subsisting primarily on raw chunks of murdered wolf?  Yes.  But my deck is getting tiiiight.

I’d rather that you explore and learn the basics on your own, I don’t like taking that from people, but it’s a game you play best two out of three.  You draw ten cards from your deck, and you have to play all three games with those cards.  In Magic, or Hearthstone, or any game really, you never want to lose, let alone lose on purpose!  But that happens in Gwent.  Sometimes its the best play.  In a game meant to simulate war, such losses can be played as feints; the opponents brings their best assets to a battle you didn’t even show up for.  Eventually I will think that is just a cool idea.  Right at the moment, though, I’m overwhelmed by it.

I was going to say that, unlike many digital card games - ones that play with the mutable data of the cards themselves, or “summon” cards from a superset you don’t own - there’s no reason why this game couldn’t be played on a table.  Except we know it can be, because the Xbox One version I never considered for a fraction of a second includes physical decks in its collector’s edition.  I fully expect to see motherfuckers flopping those cards down at PAX.  So, if you bring it, let’s be friends.


Gabe / on Fri, May 22 2015 at 10:00 am


I forgot to post my Throwback Thursday art yesterday. It was a hit last week and I intended to do it again but just spaced it. So to make up for it I’m gonna post two incredibly embarrassing pieces of artwork from my past!

I did this first comic book page back in 7th grade. I don’t remember all their names but I know the purple and yellow guy was named Volt.

This second piece was done around my senior year in high school. This was Sam and he was a teenage runaway with the exiled spirit of a disgraced angel living inside him because…high school.

Please direct all public shaming to my Twitter account.

-Gabe out

Tycho / on Fri, May 22 2015 at 12:01 am

Gavin came up with AirDND at lunch, and it was too good to leave on the table.  Utilizing long-forgetten alchemical techniques, including those we have transmuted this notion into a comic strip.

I feel like I’m too new at Destiny to tell you anything of import about the new expansion; I’ve had a few lucky Crota drops, that’s the extent of my career as a Guardian.  I’m the inheritor of all the creature comforts and improvements you and Gabriel had to suffer through, I never knew the worst of it.  I know that when the game first came out, if you died while in a Darkness Zone not only did you have to restart from the checkpoint, you were also forced to order off the kid’s menu.  It’s terrifying stuff.

No, all I have now is that relentless, smooth loop, of which the Prison of Elders is a good example - and between the novel loot structure and the round modifiers it’s filling a very specific role in the experience.  I keep trying to sell my compatriots on Trials of Osiris, but they’re not super into the PVP, which I kind of get.  I’m not super into the PVP either.  But I am into gambling.

What House of Wolves means primarily is that I haven’t gotten more than twenty consecutive minutes into The Witcher 3.  I’m missing out on all the fun!  I have read a lot about sub-par foliage, including CD Projekt RED’s thoroughly human response to it.  Judging from the scores, the game is apparently cool even in the presence of these lackadaisical shrubs.  But… I did essentially put another computer’s worth of parts inside my computer to play this.  I’m trying to figure out if that makes me dumb, or if there’s some way I can blame them for this.  They’ll have a much easier time when they use this engine for Cyberpunk 2077, no doubt; in the grim darkness of the far future, nobody can afford decorative plants.

That said, I haven’t even had to opportunity to scoff at some less than ideal sunflowers.  I’ve been waiting for it a long time, so much time that I’ve become very good at waiting for it.  Now it’s like I need the mood to be right, just right; candles and shit.  I have felt like this before, that there was some proper celestial configuration which must act as a prerequisite, and I can tell you where that policy has lead previously: it leads to a universe where I never actually play the game in question.  I can’t let that happen this time.


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