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In the real world, the realest one we have at any rate, Gabriel the Younger joined his friends in ridiculing a boy who did not understand procreation.  Except he didn’t understand it either.  Understand that conversations like this happen in Minecraft, now.  So he asked his Dad, who I know well.  And his dad had no idea how he was going to do it, much like our own dads, who simply never told us anything.  Except there’s no way you can get away with that anymore.

I have probably been too frank at home, honestly.  It’s a problem I have: I hate lies.  It has made this job increasingly difficult.  But I would rather that they know something too early than not at all, or to let some malefactor define these things toward their own purpose.

I would never say that I was better at this than Gabriel the Elder.  Until recently there was an active rivalry, but I am currently the worst father in this galaxy - just beating out the malevolent Husk-Ship Armogedra.  But my son does know what his dick is about, on account of a policy called Facts By Five.  He listened in ever crystallizing horror until everything seemed to coalesce for him, he said “Okay,” and finished building his robot; a robot now studded with brutal, gas-powered chain-dongs.

When Gabe and I were talking about this stuff at lunch, it seemed like we knew a lot of people who might be able to “help” with this.  We don’t have a literal rolodex, but we have the social equivalent of it, and it’s stuffed with incredible motherfuckers of virtually every RPG class.  He and I bookend this thing, today is the first one, but there’s a convoy of rad shit en route.

(CW)TB out.

San Diego Comic Con

San Diego Comic Con is this week and Tycho and I will be there holding down booth 1334.


(click for the big version)

We’ve got a few San Diego exclusive items this year. First is a brand new pin set. This is the”Sketch” pin set. We called it that because they are sketches of Gabe and Tycho.

We also have a new poster and shirt featuring the “Wizard” Gabe and Tycho that you might have seen on the cover of the PAX East guide book.

We’ll have a selection of other pin sets as well as some books, a hat and a PA:The Series DVD. Besides all that, everyone in the booth will have a big selection of pins to trade. I’ve got some cool stuff I’ve been saving from various PAX’s and I think Brian mentioned he might even have an extra DLC pin. Spend $65 with us and you’ll get this year’s Merch pin.

We will be in booth 1334 and Tycho and I will try and be at the table as much as possible. I’m happy to give you a sketch and Jerry said he will write a short story for anyone who asks. One of those might be a lie.

We’ve had a lot of fun at Comic Con over the years but I think this will be our last one. So come by the booth, get some PA loot, trade some pins, or just say hi.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 4 days ago

It’s been a long time since I actually stuck with an MMO, but whatever Wildstar is doing seems to be working on me.  Succeeding in these requires, to my mind, some kind of obsession.  Played in an ordinary way, the genre’s tropes veritably ensure that it won’t satisfy.  Wildstar has more immediacy than most, in my opinion, but you gotta commit to this genre.  I have discovered a level of obsession that is compatible with the rest of my life.

The comic is for raids in general, but raiding in that game specifically has a kind of bullet-hell, arcade complexity that requires a lot from players - luckily, we have it to give.  Often.  Most of the time, we do.  Or, others have it to give, and I pay them back when a friend of mine pays me back next Tuesday hopefully he’s going through some shit right now.

We do an afterparty for Enforcers after each PAX, which actually finishes the show in my mind.  The day after is as important as any other day, it’s just not one that attendees know about.  Last time around, a dude I’ve talked to for years and years at these things told me about his game, and he had it, and did I want to play it.

This is a highly complex situation for me, and the person asking it, and every person within a fixed radius of the event.  I was in a band for awhile, a couple different bands, and when you ask somebody if they want to hear your shit, they can’t actually say no.  There’s no social space to do that.  Even if that’s the last thing they want, even if they hate music.  “Please don’t, your dreams are uninteresting to me” can’t really be said even if it is the only true thing.  So, I try not to do that, for their sake.  What it means when someone brings their thing to me is that I understand how hard it is for them to say, “Hey, I made a scale model of my psyche.  Please appraise this molecule of my secret self” and I want to honor it.  But I can’t lie to them, either.  The best I can hope to do is to hurt them temporarily, toward a purpose, like you might “hurt” a bonsai.

Except I didn’t have to engage in any kind of diplomacy - what he came up with was fucking sweet.  It’s a CCG type game where you play cards to a tactical field that abstracts concept like Range, and these cards move like wargame units.  I loved it, and they’re trying to make a digital version of the game I played through Kickstarter.  He wanted to know if he could use Penny Arcade characters for some bonus content, and that was a very easy call.

(CW)TB out.

Fates Forever

I mentioned Fates Forever last week and since then I’ve only gotten more into it. I’m playing it every single day and still loving it. I’m gonna drop the official gameplay trailer in here so you can get an idea of how pretty this game is:

From the UI to the gameplay the entire experience just feels incredibly polished. It feels like a game I could be playing on a PC rather than something that has been gutted in order to work on a tablet. With that said it uses the fact that it is on tablet is some cool ways. Many of the abilities use touch controls in interesting ways, like drawing out a path for a fireball to follow. I also love how quick the games are. The average game for me takes between 10 and 15 minutes with the longest games I’ve played lasting maybe 20 minutes.

I’m really diving deep into this one now. I’ve been researching builds and studying items. In fact a really slick guide site just opened up that has a bunch of helpful info. It’s free to play but I love the game so much I happily gave them twenty bucks for their launch pack that includes all the current heroes as well as the ones slotted to come out soon. If you decide to give it a shot feel free to add me as a friend. My username is Gorb, and if you see me on go ahead and invite me to a game.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 6 days ago

There are many examples in the archive of us getting a word stuck in our mouths.

It’s like those shark shows, where they have the sharks, and the underwater cage person, and the shark has something in its jaws and it is freaking out.  I would never say that what I have isn’t an observable, definable condition, only that I’m lucky enough to have lashed a loosely bound framework around this obsessive core.  Also, that you seem to get something out of it.  Or that you endure it.  Or that you occasionally prefer it to nothing!  Let’s go with the last one.  In any case, I had an attack of this condition yesterday when Gabar was reading to me from a new sci-fi book.  Historically I’ve kept bedroom tools and kitchen tools separate but I am beginning to reconsider.

Also: I have filed away “Nip Rasper” as a name for use in a future RPG.  I suggested that Galabrion draw him, but I don’t think the request found purchase.

I have written on more than one occasion about the games of David Sirlin, and occasionally the person of David Sirlin.  I’m a fan of his in the way that I am a fan of Brian Michael Bendis or Brian K. Vaughan: if they did something, I’m there to see it.

If someone wants to play a quick game of something, I bring out Flash Duel; generally when asked for “my favorite game” I say Puzzle Strike without hesitation, as though I were measuring my control area.  Like his other stuff, it’s a codification of asymmetrical fighting game mechanics.  It’s like if Dominion were Street Fighter, basically.  And, like the genre it evokes, you can “button mash” in it: you can “play it” without playing it.  I didn’t understand it for months, didn’t know what was there to get, until the moment I did, playing it obsessively with every character and not moving on until I understood each one.

That was my arc with Yomi also.  I had it, and liked it; his “thing” is in full sway here.  Every “character” is a Poker Deck full of custom cards and they’re all completely different experiences.  It wasn’t until I started playing the app and I got a sense of the timing on some of the special abilities that it joined the others in my standard pitch to new players.  It’s rock solid, competitive, tournament quality play backed up by a ridiculous amount of playtest data.

There’s a Kickstarter for the newest set that ends today, that’s what all this is about.  There’s only ten hours or so left on it, and if you’re looking for a game you could play for years and still get better at, one that will continually reveal itself to you, you know, it’s not a bad choice.

(CW)TB out.




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