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Tycho / 2 days ago

I thought Dragon Quest Builders was cool but Dragon Quest Builders 2, with it’s promise of a multiplayer endgame existing in perpetuity and a commitment to ongoing content, essentially dominates my free time.  It’s all being poured into this tiny device.  I will watch Gabe stream it while also playing it, in an effort to “hack” living such that I can experience more of it within the clutching and greedy span capricious fate has allotted me.  I run this battery into the ground daily, and then must resort to - avert your eyes, Mother - playing in docked mode.

I had read that it was only an hour or so before you could access multiplayer, and while I would say that it probably took me longer than most to get there I’m prepared to call “an hour” a hateful lie.  I don’t think ten times that would be out of the question, or more, if you were enjoying yourself or of you managed to get hung up on some quest trigger that isn’t clear.  It’s literally the only thing that bothers me about the game - I like it so much that I often accomplish or discover things ahead of time, and it does its best to catch up, but I often have to retrace my steps to understand why I haven’t ticked something forward.  Maybe it would help if I read some of this text?

Somebody on Twitter said “isn’t that just Minecraft with slimes” and I said, no Minecraft is just Dragon Quest Builders 2 with no motivation.  It’s not all churl.  I get Minecraft and I think it’s amazing, but as a platform for people to express themselves in either with the systems or the world or by making new systems out of its guts.  I can’t really work in either of those.  DQB2 lets me “get” how people live in there, and it’s at that level of mania.  Plus, the end of the first island is legitimately one of the brightest, most life affirming moments I’ve ever had in a videogame.  I’m not exaggerating.

I’m not as much into aesthetics as Ol’ Mr. Gribbs, and I had a problem where I couldn’t figure out how to hang the Harvest Festival pennants anywhere but… the bathrooms, only the bathrooms were decorated for the celebration, but I did my best and I like to think the unfeeling algorithms that govern my AI citizenry made note.

The Finale of “The Velvet Cloak,” the middle bit of the third season of Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team starts tonight at 4pm PDT on the le Twitch, but it’s the culmination of so many things that you might want to start earlier.  That’s something we take pretty seriously, the idea that we’re asking a lot of you, which is why you can watch live or catch the vod, catch it on the YouTube playlist, or wherever you listen to podcasts, even if you just want the RSS.  There’s even recaps to help get you caught up.  There’s Never Been A Better Time, etc.

(CW)TB out.   

I love DQB2!

Thanks to the folks who stopped by my Dragon Quest Builders 2 stream last night. If you watch the VOD you can see all kinds of goofy stuff happening on the screen while I’m playing. I remember to turn the microphone on after a few minutes.

Last night my MixPlay buttons let viewers grow crops and build a little house around my avatar. I had it set up so that people could spend Sparks to “water seeds” and “collect materials” during the stream. So as I was playing, the chat was building little scenes of their own and I’ve got plans for even more elaborate stuff. I still feel like I’m just scratching the surface of what I can do with MixPlay and that’s really exciting.

-Gabe Out

-Gabe out

Tycho / 4 days ago

It’s actually true that there is a thing you can use, specifically, a gridded interface you use to place interactive elements and define their behavior.  I’m not saying that to diminish his accomplishment; if anything, it’s to laud them for theirs.  But he has a history of discovering some new concept and then effortlessly mastering it in a way that is profoundly annoying.

Do you remember when Flash was a thing?  I mean, obviously Flash is still a thing, like a haunted stump is a thing, but Flash was creating a Web for a little while there that was more like The Future and less like a phonebook that required thousands of dollars to access.  I came back to the apartment from work one day, and before I knew he was even interested in Flash he’d made a massive, interesting site in it which was one thing but he’d also perfectly cut a bunch of audio loops as well, which I considered my thing.  So I was mostly mad.

When we first made this site twenty years ago, Gabe handled all the art and I handled the HTML - I learned how to make a table for just that purpose.  But I arranged things in a way that stretched it out because the menu items are all one one side and there was just a fallow field on one side.  That hole - then a material one, now a conceptual one, I filled for no other reason than that gap.  I can’t stress this enough: I have written an article to accompany the comics for twenty years just to avoid learning something.

He’s over at his desk now, drawing crops on his iPad pro - “stream crops” you’ll be able to click on to water, grow, and ultimately harvest with Sparks.  You can also build a little house around the avatars he’s made already.  By comparison, I learned a cool word over the weekend - but I’ve already forgotten it.

My friend Armoire, who you may know, falsely, as Amy T. Falcone, will be joining me on the (Twitch) stream this Afternoon to excavate some Dota Underlords.  Apparently they’re way, way down there.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Call For Enforcers

There is a lot about PAX that makes it what it is, but it would be very hard to imagine PAX at all without Enforcers.  I know people who attended the show one year, got the help they needed to have a great show from a member of this powerful coalition, and became an Enforcer the next year.

  We’re looking to build that world class force for PAX West, and if that sounds like something you’re ready to explore hit up the site and let us know what you think.


Tycho / 1 week ago

I felt like this after they rebooted Spider-Man for the third time.  In that case, of course, I was wrong; the new Spider-Men, not all of whom are even Men, are so vital and real that the young people on my block live part of their lives ensconced within the fiction.  They like Marvel stuff, it’s important to be conversant in it, but to them it largely feels like it’s for somebody else.  Into The Spider-Verse and Holland’s Spider-Man are theirs.  I tried to interrogate this with them, tried to figure out which side of this coin represented the purest manifestation, and they looked at me as though I’d suggested we start holding crucifixions out on the lawn.  They don’t even see them as separate, because they’re both wound around the same central idea: there’s just things that young people understand better.  And it’s possible to find a mentor, someone with the capacity to bridge the gap, but even this is fraught with its own fresh perils.

But yeah, the third time around it sure looked like one o’ them oh-ro-bo-rohs sitchiations, the twitchings of an increasingly out of touch corporate parasite who, in its plump and arachnid lethargy, had forgotten how to catalyze Soma in its withered sacs and had turned by necessity toward autocannibalism.

Beauty and the Beast was already a musical, and survived the transition to flesh mostly intact, though there are exaggerations of dramatic scale that being an animated feature uniquely allows.  But now it feels like a train collision of these things, in slow motion but not slow enough to escape it.  The engine has become inert, but the cars have not received the message and are now desperately trying, with an almost romantic desperation, to become a single object.  I don’t feel like it’s working, and the speed with which they’re being released gives one the impression that they don’t warrant individual attention.

Gabe’s point about The Lion King is, if I understand it, that they have removed art, abraded it, to get to this.  I’ve been startled to see this point manifest in other pieces on the topic, because Disney’s industrial mass gets a pass on their shit all the time.  But they’ve given critics something to sharpen their claws on, and by God they’re doing it.

So…  the third time around, do they just… draw them again?

(CW)TB out.   

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