Skip Nav

Advertisement

Advertisement

Fuck Etsy

By Gabe – July 12, 2024

I have never sold anything on Etsy but I’ve certainly purchased things from the site. A few years ago Kara and I wanted to get new wedding bands that reflected our love of games and we found an incredible jeweler on Etsy. I’ve also ordered prints from artists I like and handmade gifts. I always thought of it as a sort of Farmer’s Market or Artist Alley where I could directly support creative people making cool stuff. With their latest announcement that AI shit will now be allowed on the site they have created a space that is actively hostile to the exact sorts of people Etsy was theoretically designed to promote. 

 

Zenless

Zenless Zone Zero, I mean… it seems like only food words could possibly suffice. It's luscious. Now, the first time I typed that, an errant pinky had hit the caps lock key and the words "it's luscious" looked a lot more excited than you might expect. Here's the thing: it would be true, even in caps. The game is nutballs, world class in every particular, with supernatural art and animation, a very weird but cool cyberpunk urban fantasy hybrid setting and action gameplay that stands up tall. Music is excellent. I've also never felt less equipped to engage with a game's underlying systems - the dense thicket of custom lingo, mystery resources, and shibboleths designed to obscure that free-to-play games are gig work - they are jobs that you pay to work at.

Advertisement

My Zenless Zone Zero and First Descendant Reviews!

We have a heat advisory here in the Seattle area with temperatures up into the 90’s. To avoid the heat I stayed inside and played games but let’s be honest, that’s what I would have done had the temps been in the 70’s.  I decided to investigate the two big new free to play titles Zenless Zone Zero and The First Descendant. I bounced back and forth between both games all weekend and now I have…Opinions!

 

 

 

Spirit-World Entrepreneur

Mork told me that Kunitsu-Gami: Path Of The Goddess was supposed to be some kind of sleeper hit, that's what he'd read around and also literally seen on Steam - the very definition of a tough crowd. But he also could not figure out what was going on in it - not that the gameplay wasn't clear, but because all the trappings underneath it had no reference to anything he understood. I grabbed the demo, played through it, and saw that it referred to itself as a Kagura Action Strategy Game. I knew the last three words, but the first one stood out. You don't need to understand what Kagura is in order to play the game, which is pretty cool and is essentially derived from tower defense and features dancy combat. But if you want to know what's happening, which I suspect would be absolutely clear to any Japanese person? You might want to know that Kagura means something like "entertaining the gods."

A few recommendations

By Gabe – July 4, 2024

It’s true that most of the books I tend to read are science fiction but I occasionally branch out into history and other non fiction. I wanted to recommend an interesting book I just finished called The Gross.

 

The First Shall Be Last

The main thing I know about The First Descendant - although I do occasionally get the name wrong - is that there is a woman who is also a rabbit and occasionally a robot. She is a dangerous robot rabbit ("robbit") woman and it seems like her cyber-bikini is very tight. Purely as an aesthetic matter, I think it's okay to represent sensuality. I was under the impression broadly that it was naughty to do so, because this is what I am constantly being told. What I've learned is that if someone thinks I would like something it's a foul index of my ethical substrate but if they like it then legitimately grotesque leering constitutes a liberatory project. The first half is what I learned at church, so I'm already dialed in.  

Advertisement

Jobophage

It's important to understand at some level what the frothy valuations of AI related shit are about: they are about the delta between jobs and not-jobs. That is the "opportunity." nVidia makes the substrate for it, and its vendor implementations are laser focused on flensing knowledge and creative workers. Sometimes, you have to get down into the weeds to understand this stuff - the big players in this space all happen believe things about other people's intellectual property that are orthogonal to human flourishing. It appears to be endemic in their spaces. Other times, we don't have to work so hard. For example: Perplexity literally duplicates other people's work on its own site. Then, it will generate a podcast based on the uncredited work. They want the same thing as Google's Gemini, in that you'll come to it for a search experience that's owned end to end - powered by your own uncredited work. This isn't an exaggeration. It's barely editorial. I probably didn't need to use the word "flense" but also, you know… I kinda did. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Commissions Are Open!

That's right, I have decided to try offering commissions. This is something I have not done before outside of the Child’s Play Charity Auction. If you would like to see your D&D character (or whatever RPG system you’re running) drawn by me, now you can. I am starting small with just 4 commission slots as I test out a new platform called Artistree

 

 

Age of Sigmar is VERY GOOD #NewAoS

I feel like I play wargames very seriously, but if you look at the bright lights of the space, I barely play them at all. Plus, the hardcore of this realm play in tournaments which sounds very scary. Imagine the overall dynamic, thus: they are members of the FGC. Evo types. I say this not because all that is bad, but because it is true: the community for every game exists in a continuum and I am decidedly not at the apex. Most aren't; that's what makes it the Apex. In comparison, I play Tekken with my friend on the couch. I tried playing Warhammer at a store once, against a stranger with my printed out army list, and it was the most harrowing experience of my gaming career.  It's just not who I am.  I suspect the vast majority of us aren't.

Alibini

True secrets online are quite rare, so when nobody could figure out what was going on with Dr. Disrespect's ban - and then it continued to be a mystery essentially forever, in Internet Time - it was genuinely shocking. When it was ultimately revealed to be about sexting minors via Twitch Whispers, it set off a bunch of secondary detonations. Ejected by the studio he co-founded. Dropped by Turtle Beach, FanDuel, NBA 2K24, and somehow, also, known sports team The San Francisco 49ers? He's also been demonetized from YouTube, the place he went when Twitch kicked him out. As exiles go, it's quite robust.

Advertisement

July Sticker Pack Preview

I’ll be dropping the July Sticker Packs off at the office next week and I wanted to do a quick post to show you what to expect. I also need to mention that with this July edition we are going back to doing 100 packs per month. I’m glad we were able to do a few packs at 200 but that number was becoming too much for the Krahulik fam and our non-professional equipment to keep up with. For the last half of the year we’ll be doing 100 of each pack. There will still be the professionally printed stickers with large runs in the store but the homemade packs are getting even more limited edition. 

 

 

 

Don't Skip Ale&Tale Tavern!

By Gabe – June 26, 2024

I’m constantly on the hunt for fun cooperative games to play with the fam. It can be tricky because everyone tends to want something a little different. I just recently discovered a new winner though and after completing the demo with Kara I had to come tell you about Ale&Tale Tavern!

 

 

Wild Ideas For Your Next D&D Game!

By Gabe – June 26, 2024

I like Dungeons & Dragons but I’d be lying if I said I had a firm grasp on its rules. I know about rolling dice and I get that high numbers are good, but beyond that I’m pretty much just winging it whenever I play. What I really like about D&D is how easy it is to build your own games inside of it. 

 

 

Comptabiblio

D&D was ever a substrate, an agar plate for you to grow your own mysterious creatures. It used to be incredibly bizarre, baroque, and it's gotten increasingly more legible over time. More people are playing them than have ever played them before, which is cool. There's gonna be a new one I guess! That's what I heard.