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Tycho / 3 days ago

I stopped playing mobile games that weren’t by Nintendo when it became clear that most games on phones don’t actually function under the circumstances you want them most, or when I do at least, which is on planes.  I’ve had this policy for a while now and I’ve been well served by it.  Even games you wouldn’t think would necessarily be stymied by a lack of data join this dark fraternity of useless lures.

I didn’t really give a shit about Apple Arcade at first; like I said Wednesday, this is just the phase of play we’re in and only once ninety-nine percent of these things fuckin’ die will we be able to figure out what any of it means.  But once it became clear that the whole kit and kaboodle was five dollars - if anybody else is thinking about this kind of thing, by the way, five dollars is the correct amount to ask me for - and the games would be games, that is to say, they would not be a “game” made and then detonated, to be sold as bulk-bin scoops of entertainment shrapnel forever, the pieces never somehow resulting in a whole.  These games wouldn’t require an Internet connection because they were creatures entire.  I don’t even use an iPhone anymore, but I’d consider a swap if they’re gonna drop fucking crazy shit like they have going in this list.  That list is from Cnet.  Did you know there was still a Cnet?  Good for them, you know?  Crazy kids.

No streams from me today because we’re filming the rest of our Vampire: The Masquerade collaboration, Seattle By Night.  Curious?  Watch this space.

The image below goes to a place where you can preorder a shirt with that design on it!  You heard right: our friend Tony Touch is returning as our Artist In Residence next week, and we have a limited time pre-order shirt to celebrate.  Want to see the kind of shit our boy gets up to?  Check out his Instagram, and come back for the streams on the 19th and 20th to see live tattoo and graffiti work done.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 5 days ago

I definitely can’t keep track of this kind of shit anymore, and I don’t think it’s only because my advanced age has converted the tender parts of my brain into porous bone.  I think it’s because increasingly what’s required to Open The Seals of a beta is indistinguishable from some morally tenuous blood ritual.  The shortcut, invariably, is whatever subscription service the publisher happens to be offering now.  If you have worked in IT at all you’ve seen centralization and decentralization occur many, many times, but wow.  I guess technically WoW itself represented a form of centralization as well, strong enough to occur a second time.  But what we’re seeing here is fascinating from a meta perspective: Centralization, then decentralization, and then a profundity of secondary Centralizations this time at the publisher level.  I have a hard time making the case for Uplay+ in my head at fifteen bucks a month, because… yowza, but the fact that it includes the really expensive versions of games I want to play like Breakpoint and Legion confounds the math substantially.  If I purchased the versions of the games I wanted to, like I did with The Division 2, I’d technically be up.  Right?  And it also features all the operators from R6: Siege.  Hm.

Rational choices are not getting easier.

I also wonder very much how subscription services alter the mechanism I use to perceive value.  I buy games precisely because the psychic apparatus is unreliable here.  Gears 5 is a game I like a lot, much better in co-op and I’ll tell you why later, but it has all kinds of backend jank where stats don’t come up, the occasional crash, rewards that don’t feel rewarding, and modes that seem like they might get cool but aren’t now.  But also I’m playing in the campaign with my friend Kris on another fucking platform with one press of a button…?  I think they’ll figure these things out.  Is that because I perceive myself to have spent zero fucking dollars on it because I got through Game Pass?  Does Schrodinger’s Cost reveal some secret reservoir within me of Goodwill?  Possibly.  But the good parts of the game are also weirdly good.  I feel like I can’t trust this idiot meat I’ve been given to make sense of the world.

Oh!  And I’m gonna keep posting this image until the wheels come off.  I’ll see if Dabe can put some wheels on the image that can be removed later. (Dabe: do not do this.)  But our friend Tony Touch is back in town on the 19th and 20th of this month, and we wanted to do a collaboration shirt on the way up to it - it can only be ordered between now and the 20th, so if you like the design grabbing one today might be the strategic move.  We’ll be streaming all the work he does out here on the 19th and 20th, the first day is dedicated to the creation of a permanent piece on the office itself, and on the second day he will make permanent pieces on the literal bodies of the people who work here which would be weird but he worked it all out with them ahead of time so it’s cool.   

(CW)TB out.

Tony Touch!

If you look at me, it’s pretty clear that I love tattoos. The problem is that I really, really hate getting tattoos. I am a huge baby and I don’t like pain. I sweat and cry and try to make jokes because that is my natural defense mechanism. This makes for great stream content I am told.

Watch G & T:  IRL Tattooing on Mike and Jerry - Mike Edition from PennyArcade on

Well Tony Touch will be returning to Penny Arcade for two more streams on 9/19 & 9/20. To celebrate, we have a limited time T-shirt release designed in collaboration with Tony. Check it out, and pre-order here!

I’ll be getting another piece this time. Something to commemorate my years in Acquisitions Inc. Come watch me humiliate myself!

-Gabe out

Tycho / 6 days ago

Overwatch is moving into Skyrimmian territory, a creature made manifest in all places at all times, a star-sign reckoning that a platform has come of age.  I feel like there’s places Overwatch may not be appropriate or maybe there’s people for whom Overwatch reveals gruesome psychic fault lines which you sorta have to keep an eye on.  But if this proliferation is gonna continue, they need to get on Single Sign-In like fuckin’ yesterday.

The greatest strength of the Switch isn’t its ability to morph from home console to portable.  Maybe that got them in the door, a twist like the ones they’ve consistently delivered on the hardware side; a narrative.  But that hasn’t been true for a while, and the Lite is a good index of that - that’s just a cool, mostly out of the way thing it knows how to do, like a comprehensive knowledge of sailing knots or something.  The Switch has the best digital store Nintendo has ever offered, and people actually buy games on it, which means everybody wants to be there - and slowly but surely, they are.  Their outreach, unerring in its Gunn-tier taste level, is profound.  When I see a game launching on PC and the Switch, the Switch, it’s pretty clear some fracture in the old order is snaking its way up the wall.  The hardware is enough, with some affection, to be a vessel for some pretty big ticket PC stuff while being an almost flawless container for today’s raft of indie kink.  I am no console stalwart by any means, but it’s easily my favorite excursion into the form and I’d be truly surprised if that weren’t a common sentiment.  Plus it’s got that goose.

I don’t think it’s PAX related because it took so long to materialize, but I’m sick for fucking real.  This means that I won’t be able to play River City Girls with them on stream, a turn of events I have dubbed “The Sadness Engine.”

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

World of Warcraft Classic may be difficult by modern standards, but at the time it was release it was actively, purposefully a response to to the the player cruelty that was the norm in the space.  I’m fascinated that people want it but also not fully surprised, because people value the things they earn.

I haven’t installed it and I don’t think I will.  I’ve tried to extend a psychic tendril in this direction of MMOs a few times, tentatively, just to see what kind of response it generates in my mind.  Most recently, I tried it with Elder Scrolls Online, which is a pretty sophisticated take on the genre with a few cool twists and a pronounced story focus, generally speaking the kind of thing my brain perceives as food.  Plus it looks like the PvP has Brian Wheeler’s touch, and he’s worked on a bunch of MMOs with great player versus player shit.  But I didn’t get there!  I didn’t get to that part.  There’s just certain kinds of things in the genre that… make me feel like an extra in those mental patient scenes.  You know which ones I mean.  You can smell the bleach, which has begun to creep into the seams of the wooden veneer.  The scene I’m describing is earlier in the film, that broad shorthand they’re so fond of.  These are gentle, harmless, but somehow necessary movements and I don’t like the feeling it puts on my scalp.

  I wrapped up Control last night, and I’m just gonna tell you a few things that you need to know so that when you play it - and you should play it - you don’t inadvertently set the game on Hard Mode.

If the game has an official hard mode, I don’t even know where you would set it.  I know that I found it difficult, of course the medicine for such things is to git gud, but it was substantially more difficult because there are a few ways to expand your repertoire of enticing powers that aren’t required parts of the campaign.  Here’s what I’ll tell you.  I was so curious about the story, and it’s so well made, that I basically just brought that safety bar down like on a roller coaster and just fuckin’ shot to the end.  Don’t do this.  I mean, I felt like I explored a lot, whenever I could, but literally do the quests and don’t not do the Quests.  I didn’t understand until I was playing afterward that you can do all kinds of cool shit!  You can protect yourself in so many novel ways I never had access to.  Like, really protect yourself, which will allow you to live.  If you’re into that sort of thing.

(CW)TB out.

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