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After this Madden Ultimate Team shit, plus a Call of Duty beta I played with Keek and Glamdring every possible second, our descent into performative masculinity is complete.  The only question now is whether or not this constitutes our final form, or if this is a kind of moist, pupal proto-bro scenario that ultimately results in something more firm.  We’ll see.

Later on today, specifically at 4pm PDT, Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team returns - get caught up with Kris and Ryan’s funny video for the last arc, and come hang with us tonight!

Over the summer, our house is essentially where all the neighborhood kids hang out.  A couple of these young women had expressed an interest in Detroit: Become Human, but they had no PS4 to play it on.  I offered to let them borrow my PS4 in exchange for a review, which immediately follows this paragraph.

Where is the line that separates human from machine? In Detroit: Become Human, an RPG produced by Quantic Dream, that is the question presented to players. Set 20 years in the future, the game produces many gut wrenching situations dependent on a player’s choices. The multitude of time sensitive controls add the possibility of failure that can completely change the storyline. Stunning visuals, immersive soundtrack, obvious attention to world building, and complex characters that players can connect to, make Detroit a game that ropes the player emotionally and physically into the world, creating a personal experience for each individual to enjoy.

The controls were difficult to grasp at first, having never used a PS4 before, but through experience, we adjusted quickly. Along with that, many of the decisions and actions in the game had a time limit. This created urgency in serious situations, and required us to make split second decisions instead of taking the time to figure out the best choice for the scenario. By forcing the player to choose quickly, the response chosen is made in the moment. Many of the games we have played have all been “failure equals death, try again”. Instead, Detroit does not give second chances. The storyline shifts to a new outcome. At the end of each chapter, you can see your route, based on the decisions you chose, along with other options that could have resulted in a different outcome. While some paths are direct, with only one possible outcome, many of the scenes had at least four endings. This way, failure is a part of the gameplay that doesn’t detract from the story.

A part of Detroit we both found to be so enthralling was the attention to detail. The raindrops on leaves, the snow building up over time on clothing, the distinct shadows during different parts of the day. The thought put into the world is so fine-tuned that we would’ve been content to just take our android for a walk around the small park downtown, or towards the looming construction in the distance. The game feels complete. Of course, there are the few glitches that sneak their way in, but the combination of beautiful aesthetics and intricate story covered it up perfectly. The amount of details also applies to the characters. Each time we played, the way our character’s hair would move in the wind, or how they walked would change. An android might change the way they walked to exhibit a different persona, which proves the developers’ thoughtfulness.

In Detroit, the player controls three different androids with interwoven timelines. Connor works for the Detroit police investigating deviant androids, Markus takes care of an old artist, and Kara watches a child named Alice and handles the chores. Each storyline is shaped by every decision the player makes. All of the characters’ stories end up overlapping so any decisions made for one character could impact the story of another character. Playing as Connor, the main goal is to locate and capture deviants, androids who have gone off their programming.  Playing as three characters with three different goals creates a challenge, forcing the player to decide who they support most.

There was only one part of the game we wish had more closure. A symbol that you encounter multiple times throughout the game, has important story significance. However, the meaning behind it remains a mystery. By the end of the game, we still hadn’t learned as much as we wanted. Some players may prefer that kind of mystery, but to us it was just a plot hole we wanted to know more about. The other main point of confusion during our playthrough was the unclear transitions between cutscene and gameplay. Due to the cinematic aspect of the game, it was often difficult to tell when a cutscene had ended and when gameplay had begun again. Many times we waited for a while before realizing that the cutscene was over, which brought us out of the moment.

Despite the few inconveniences we experienced, the game overall is an enrapturing experience that kept us engaged to the very end. After playing through once and seeing all the different options that we could’ve made, it’s clear that this game should be played multiple times. The amount of variables opens up so many diverging paths that it’s hard to feel satisfied with just one playthrough. We both watched a playthrough online before playing Detroit ourselves and we found no less enjoyment having already known the basic plot points. Watching it being played by someone else is a full experience, but it cannot compare to playing it personally. Overall, Detroit: Become Human is a wonderful plot-driven game that leads the player through a beautiful world with an addictive story. The game wraps you up physically and psychologically into the world and characters, creating an experience that drives a player to finish. Happy ending or sad, it is entertaining to watch any outcome unfold.

(One of them even included some Fan Art!  I can’t wait until I can hire one of these people.)

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

It’s sorta like when World of Warcraft introduced Eternium Ore; it was like, hey.  Don’t paint yourself into a corner here.  You gotta make a bunch more mystical ores!  You don’t want to get to Forever-ite until you absolutely have to.

What the hell are you gonna do after Doom Eternal?  Or Halo Infinity?!  You taunt the Gods with this kind of shit; Duke Nukem “Forever” was probably a headstone.  And now you’ve built a gigantic mouse trap and you’re laying down in it.  Unless…  the entire purpose is for these games to constitute final, indefinitely expanded, canonical products which exist parallel to the traditional industry…?  To transmute these brands into undying services?  That would…  hmm.

Hmm.

Hey!  We’re back on what is commonly known as our bullshit, specifically in a streaming context.  We’ve had or will have rad shit all day, from our Technomancer’s ASMR Coding Stream at 8am PDT to Livescream horror with the Design Team at 12, but schedules have once again allowed us to deliver our full phalanx for Dadfuckers, Inc.!  Which mean Ryan Harman as horny-ass dad Tommy No-Chill, Joshua Price as a slightly older and potentially wiser Tommy, and then the rest of the cast rendered verbally by my good friend Kris Straub and I.  In particular, I have a languid vampire man you might be nourished by.  Maybe leave some time open this afternoon, around 2pm PDT?

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 6 days ago

Lexcalibur Reading At University Bookstore

I should emphasize for those of you reading this from out of town that University Bookstore is actually a very specific bookstore, and not more of a general concept as it might first appear.  But!  It’s all true:  At 5pm pn August 18th, I will be doing a reading at the aforementioned University Bookstore (this one) of my “if Shel Silverstein was your Dungeon Master” book of poetry Lexcalibur.  We’ll also have a small allotment of the physical book available there, if that’s something you missed out on last time.  There’s also a Facebook event?  Do you want that? I was told to link it.

I hope to see you there!

(CW)TB

Tycho / 6 days ago

Obviously, there has to be a way to digest the dSports you haven’t consumed; some mechanism by which we may obtain chelated versions of these prized materials for easy absorption.  That’s DiceCenter.

(There wasn’t enough room in this one to give another shoutout to Goldenboy, unfortunately.  We love that dude.)

The streaming schedule next week is pretty goofed up because of yet another Top Secret project. It’s not a Project based on the classic TSR roleplaying game Top Secret, unfortunately; such is the bewildered and dilapidated state of our world.  But Monday’s packed with all the classics, and we’ll have Ryan Josh, Kris and Myself on deck for Dadfuckers, Inc.  Vitally, Wednesday’s good - for it marks the return of Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team.

Season Two is like a self-contained trilogy, and it’s designed to be easy to catch up with, because each of the three arcs has their own recap video.  Book One, Plans Within Plans, is distilled here.  The recap for Book Two, Promise, just dropped and is available here:

They’re animations executed by Kris Straub, who you may know better as K’thriss Drow’b - a Drow gentleman you may know from your local mist shroud.  This time around, he gets the unique perspective of Ryan Hartman’s Dragonborn Narcissist, Donaar Blit’zen.  Which means, among other things, that it’s pretty Goddamn funny.  Get these two vids under your belt, and you’ll be ready on Wednesday when 4pm PDT rolls around.

I CHANGED MY MIND about what we’re gonna stream.  We are gonna play Madden 19 (?!?) and Dead Cells instead.  Stillaround 2pm PDT, though!  That part is the same.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

I feel confident that the dSports league I inevitably found will suffer the same grim setbacks shared by every other attempt to yoke incredibly competitive young men toward some decorous, public expression.  Don’t these violent sociopaths know I’m trying to establish dominion?!?

Hey, have you heard about KeyForge: Call Of The Archons?  It’s from Fantasy Flight, which is calling it a “Unique Game.”  Like, as a genre.  I’ll get into the peculiarities of that in a second.  What it means functionally is that every deck of cards you buy is different.

I think the gameplay looks quite fascinating.  There’s no “mana” of any kind, rather, each time your turn comes around you simply choose a color and can play all cards of that color.  Of course they have a name for these colors, it’s like “Houses” or some shit, but they more or less map onto the concept of Mana Type.  You’re not trying to kill your opponent - rather, you’re trying to generate an in-game material and build a certain number of keys with it.  Wait!  That’s why it’s called KeyForge!!!  You know the material in question is magical as hell because the name starts with one of those weird letters that is an A, but is also an E.

It’s by Richard Garfield, who is… you know…  The Magic Guy, though I also think of him as the Robo Rally Guy and potentially even the Vampire Guy.  We might also, for the purposes of this discussion, call him the “Spectromancer Guy” because it’s a) something else he worked on, but b) also includes some KeyForgey lane based/spatial concepts about where cards are laid plus involves your “deck” being drawn outside of your control from a superset of cards.

So every deck you’d buy in the store its own name and its own leader and its own card back and there aren’t any more like it.  There’s a very specific type of computer generated uniqueness that isn’t especially unique in feel, and that’s the vibe I’m getting from the leader cards. This type of algorithmic stuff is all over gaming right now, in part because they don’t have to manage the physicality of these ideas.  That’s the advantage of the digital space!  Printing this game out seems like a very novel decision.

I will absolutely grab a deck or two, and if I end up liking it, I’ll grab as many as… three more.  At this point, the people I’d be playing the game with would almost certainly institute a “sleeving and deckbuilding is okay” policy, at which point… it would become a collectible card game with ten dollar booster packs…?

I’m glad they’re trying it.  But it does seem like a weird thing to try.

(CW)TB out.




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