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Tycho / 2 hours ago

He has different problems at his house than I do.  It’s funny, if you let it be.  It is hard to.  But you can see, with your physical eyes, the moment a person learns that what they say doesn’t have to be connected with real events.

They’ll lie about any Goddamn thing.  They’ll lie about things you just saw them do!  They’ll lie about previous lies.  They’ll lie about lying about lying.  And they don’t seem to understand a hundred percent that it’s happening, either.  They seem just as surprised as anyone else that language has the power to describe unreal events.  They’re still grappling with the idea of permanence.  For example, teeth are permanent.  Well, technically, only some teeth are, but yeah.  And Ronia, I know you haven’t brushed your teeth because your mouth smells like ground beef.

Like some ground-ass, motherfuckin’ beef.

My son is “on the spectrum,” and there are a bunch of letters doctors have told us to use when describing him, but one of the things that isolates him from other people is that in order to live in our society (and maybe other societies, I dunno) you have to lie 24/7 just to get by.  He has a hard time figuring out some of these nuances.  People lie and call it being “nice” or “diplomatic” or some other little tiara we place on the good lies.  There is also a class of behaviors which are not lies exactly, but abrogations of self, though it still feels like lying.  People smell gross and you can’t notice.  People are wrong about, you know, Ambystoma Mexicanum sometimes and you must make peace.

It’s a matter of specializing.  My position, of course, is that writers are liars, they are simply liars we sanction.  I endure strong compulsions to make sounds of various kinds, and I learned that people privilege certain sounds over others, enough that it was worth my while to make these sounds conform to them: keep the sounds in a rhythm, or make them tonal, and people perceive it as music.  Write down the voices in your head, stud it with novel words, and now you’re a writer.  You know, instead of a whackjob.  At least some of the time.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

Merchandise: FINAL FORM

Kiko and Brian and given me this Alpha-Q level commerce communique.  Let’s dig in:

Ready or not, it’s time for all of the Holiday Shopping Season messages. Let’s do one too!

We have new things for the holidays. Other things are on sale for the season. And some items are even holiday exclusives. Plus we’ve got our seasonal reward items that you earn as you buy more of our things. Here’s what we’ve got!


-Buy $35 of things: Get this year’s Holiday Card
-Buy $65 of things: Get a Last Christmas Board Book
-Buy $100 of things: Get a Merch 3.0 Pinny Arcade Pin


Merch and Fleshreaper Mugs

Christmas Pin Set

Enfu Pin Set

Lookouts Graphic Novel

Push Fight

Streamer Tee


Co Op Hoodies

PAX Poster Set


This weekend only: PAX Poster Set is $19.99
Select apparel, including: Fruit Friends Hoodie - $10 off
Roll for Initiative and Hate you To Death Tees - $7 off


Tycho / 3 days ago

In another comic strip ripped from the headlines, our Gabriel has decided to involve a neutral third party in order to mediate between himself and another, different part of himself.  I would never presume to tell you things he hadn’t told you in a comic, or hadn’t authorized in some other way - not unless I had performed a calculation and determined you would be more amused than he would be angry.  But I have my own problems, certainly, and I can tell you that being an introvert who is constantly, violently thrust into the public eye is perhaps not an infinitely scalable state of affairs.

At the last PAX Prime I talked with the creators of Darkest Dungeon, who were at that time in midst of one of these Two-Minutes Hate things the Internet is always getting into and that some (as we have so recently discussed) are financially incentivized to create.  Something wasn’t working the way the developers had intended it to; what some players saw as an optimal strategy was seen internally as a reductive failure state, a kind of stagnation.  So they had the temerity to change something in their unreleased game and became that week’s honorary Satan.

They were trying to absorb all this new data, but they wanted to know how I had managed such things.  They knew that I had some experience in these matters, and yet I stood before them quite alive.  Here is what I told them: that I came to believe I had died, that my enemies had killed me, and I had to invent a new person to be.  I don’t know if that helped them at all.  But it’s something I felt like they should know.

In case you aren’t keeping score, our species developed the ultimate form of communication.  This is a Tier 5, virtually game winning achievement.  But if you use it to do or say anything interesting, people conspire to exile, terrify, or murder you.  And that’s where I work.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 5 days ago

Holiday Merch Preview

Brian is gearing up hard down in the warehouse.  He asked me to post this, and I agreed, because he had the look of a deranged and dangerous animal:

Tomorrow kicks off the so-called “Holiday Season.” A period of noted commerce and great savings.

Come noon on Thanksgiving, we’ll have a bunch of stuff up on our fancy new store: New pins, tees, a hoodie, new mugs, a book and even a new board game. We’ll also have a fresh batch of our coveted Double Secret Boxes and a few “Black Friday” deals that will start a day early and run through the weekend.

As is traditional, we’ve got our Holiday Reward tiers running. Here’s what you can get this year:

-Buy $35 of things: Get this year’s Holiday Card
-Buy $65 of things: Get a Last Christmas Board Book
-Buy $100 of things: Get a Merch 3.0 Pinny Arcade Pin

If you are the eager type, it is worth noting that the Holiday Rewards are already up and running, so even orders made today will qualify for seasonal recompense.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 5 days ago

I think it’s fair to say that, on certain axes, my companion has exceeded me in his affection for Fallout.  Specifically, I would say his obsession with Jangles The Moon Monkey.  Also, uh, his bottomless appetite for chems.

I’ve tended to avoid chems in general, if I can get away with it.  Addiction as a concept is so scary to me that I don’t even entertain it in a simulation.  But, in an incredible throwback, Gabriel literally peer pressured me into using virtual drugs!  No word yet on whether I will soon need to use Jet twice just to get the same high.

I feel a lot of complicated ways about this game.  I’m enjoying the comparing notes aspect quite a bit, which I usually only get with Bioware games; Grob has been to places and decapitated people I have never even met!  That is one of the hallmarks of a broad system:

1.  Anyone can be decapitated, and
2.  Romance options for inanimate objects.

Until I can fuck the hinge of a kitchen mixer, we aren’t prioritizing the right things.

So, that stuff is all good.  I like to ante up by vaporizing an enemy’s right arm, which tends to tamp down further aggression.  But the dialogue - any dialogue, really - isn’t memorable.  Not as an interactive system, and not as content.  I’m used to my character build having broader,  clearer ramifications in this space.  This is a gruesome loss; I still remember dialogue from the older games, which were released as the primal Earth was still cooling.  It’s possible I’m not playing the right quests yet, but I haven’t seen much texture to the verbal space here.  There’s no room for expression in it, or novel interactions.  Coming off Pillars of Eternity, where there are unique dialogue trees about what you had for lunch yesterday, I miss it.

Conceptually speaking, this paragraph was designed to suggest that Fallout couldn’t continue the way it is now.  That’s plainly nonsense, though: somehow, the angular, supreme elegance of a game I played years ago has become a summer blockbuster and has brought all the boys to the yard like so many milkshakes.  I want to say the same thing about Halo, even if I like it; I don’t know if the Old Ways, historically considered to be The Best, can carry the game into the future.  It’s just a fear of mine, it might not even be based on anything; I’m just invested in these things retaining their vigor so that I can play them the rest of my life.  That’s the age we live in now.  Except I’m clearly wrong, to the tune of over a billion combines dollars between these two games.  The game is so big in some places, and so small in others.  The more I play, the harder it is to make peace with that.

(CW)TB out.

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