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Gabe / on Fri, Apr 5 2002 at 12:23 pm

Dungeon Siege is fun to play

I generally don’t get into fantasy games, much less point and click style RPG ones. Somehow though, Dungeon Siege managed to get a grip on me. Killing monsters is fun but for me the real thrill comes from finding new items and a little something I like to call transmuting. To say that my ranger looks good would be an understatement. His silver chain mail is accented with a bright red flame thrower and matching hat. This ensemble tells monsters that this is a marksman who is serious about killing them with liquid fire and looking good while he does it. He’s ready for summer but still holding on to spring with his +3 to strength leather boots. Watch out Krug Dogs, this flame throwing ranger is H-O-T hot!

Of course my lavish wardrobe wouldn’t be possible with out the wonderful transmute spell. Turning worthless crap into gold has never been this much fun. It doesn’t matter if it’s a broken stick or Gods-burning-lighting-death-Hammer, it all gets transmuted. It could be five gold or a thousand gold, it makes no difference to me.

The latest installment of Love and Hate is available now. You might also notice that the preview section has been replaced by features. This makes a bit more sense seeing as we never had any previews. For right now the only item there is Love and Hate but hopefully that will fill out soon. Oh, and I know the mouse over still says previews so don’t mail me about it. 

I have a TMNT sketch here that I actually like. Keep your fingers crossed I may actually finish it.

-Gabe out

Tycho / on Fri, Apr 5 2002 at 3:57 am

Today’s strip concerns a game you may be spending the weekend with, Gas Powered’s inaugural release Dungeon Siege.  DS is such a streamlined hack und slash experience that it virtually plays itself - which will probably be one of the main complaints leveraged against it.  It won’t keep people from buying it, oh, goodness no - they’ll tell you this while they’re playing.  We’ve rather enjoyed it, ourselves.  Spanning the gap between the Action RPG and an RTS, you can specify default behaviours for your characters which can obviate your presence altogether, provided you have someone to follow through the game.  Gabe has actually gone and done chores while his lethal automaton and I plundered dungeons he might never see.

That aside, today’s cartoon refers to all those fun times we had in the Pit of Despair.  Along with the main campaign (which can be played solo or in blessed, blessed co-op), there is a huge extra world which includes (among many other things) a seemingly infinite maze which seals your doom.  So, that’s nice.  The dialogue and events today are almost verbatim, up to and including when I logged out and left him there.  I like to imagine that he stumbled about in the dark, frightened by noises real or imagined. 

Gabe mentioned Duke Nukem:  Manhattan Project already, but I’ve actually played it, so you get to hear about it again.  Someday, some company is going to want to put their shitty, stupid-ass game on Penny Arcade, and it’ll end up being some big deal, as it is every time it business and integrity are at odds.  Well, no soul-searching this month.  DN:MP is scrumptious, all-purpose, cure-what-ails-ya platform shoot-‘em-up.  I talked to their PR guy about laying out a demo, along the lines of the old “Shareware” concept that put its forebears in front of people - but when the whole game costs twenty-five bucks I can understand why giving part of it away for free isn’t a high priority.

Young man, share those gaming links with your sister.  No “buts”!

  • The Army Men: RTS is, oh, I’m going to say about a million times better than I expected.  I downloaded it in the middle of the night (game demos and insomnia, two great tastes that have a universally recognized relationship when juxtaposed) and it got a grip on me.  It’s not super complex or anything, and it knows that - it’s simple, straightforward, and doesn’t fuck anything up.  When I saw that it was by Battlezone II/Dark Reign 2’s Pandemic Studios, I was like, “Well, yeah.”  If you don’t have anything to do, or you do have something to do but you think you can get away with it, see how it treats ya.

  • Having conquered Jedi Outcast (final verdict, enough moments of absolute brilliance to make sometimes tedious jumpy shit tolerable) and Gunvalkyrie (a treasure for the dedicated gamer), my sights are again set fully upon Freedom Force.  The joy with which it was produced continues to permeate the game, while well-voiced characters say things in (actually interesting) cutscenes that I don’t immediately try to skip.  I itch all over if I don’t check Irrational’s site every day, and my obsessive-compulsive nature has borne twisted fruit:  a new hero model is available, complete with trenchcoat and dual pistols.  You can nab him here.

  • A game I’m following pretty closely is Battlefield 1942, a video of which you can grab at the following link.  Picture Tribes set in WW2 with a shit-ton of vehicles, and you’ll know why I crave it so.

  • This guy used to write me sometimes.

Chris Morrison (of Polymer City fame) wrote in regarding Wednesday’s comic, saying that it looks like we go out of our way to get people riled up.  I told him that when you don’t care - that is to say, when you don’t go out of your way to not make people mad - it often looks like the same thing.  People seem to think that their preferences on a subject - consoles, operating systems, naked jaguar bitches, etc. - represent an inviolable quantity, as though liking vanilla (or what have you) constitues some ultimate, invulnerable act.  That’s just not the case.  To call our expression of preference regarding bi-curious teen lynxes “Bigotry” dilutes the power of the written word.  I’m not apologizing for shit - I do have this hard-assed persona to maintain - but, I will extend an olive branch.  Here’s a picture of Brenna dressed a Wombat, which I will admit looks pretty good.  Try not to beat off to it.

(CW)TB out.

it’s stupid and it’s strange

Gabe / on Wed, Apr 3 2002 at 4:06 pm

Kyle Katarn would be a cool dad.

Wow, lots of talk in the forum about today’s comic strip. I had no idea that furies see them selves as being so unfairly persecuted. I guess they get this kind of shit from people all the time. I can’t imagine why. *cough*nakedanimalporn*cough* I did get some nice mails from people pointing me towards what they called “tasteful” furry art. It turned out to be a rabbit woman in a bikini, soaking wet. I guess she had just gone swimming or something.  It’s totally okay for you guys to draw that stuff. It’s also totally okay for me to say I don’t like it. I mean come on. When you draw a picture of a unicorn man screwing a gazelle chick on a rainbow in outer space you have to expect some people to be a bit turned off by it.

I played a bunch of Super Mario Bros. today..oops..I mean Jedi Knight II. I get those two confused sometimes what with all the jumping puzzles. It continues to entertain though. Walking into a room and yanking all the weapons out of a group of enemy’s hands before I slice them up is a good feeling. If more Star Wars games were like Jedi Knight II the world would truly be a better place.

People have been asking me for an update on Sweet Potato Pai my Virtua Fighter 4 character. Well the truth is I haven’t had any time to play it lately. So unfortunately I remain a 1st Dan. I plan on setting aside some time this week for it though. I’ll let you know how I do.

I have also been getting a lot of mail asking when in the hell I am gonna do some more gabeart. I actually have a number of sketches laying around my desk here. As I look around I can see Haohmaru, Hanzo, Kyle Katarn and K’. None of them made it past the sketch stage though which is sad. Sometimes I go through periods where my hand doesn’t seem like it’s actually connected to my arm. It just doesn’t respond right. Actually the turtle in today’s comic was the first thing I’ve drawn in a few weeks that actually felt good. I might take that as a hint to do a full blown TMNT piece. We’ll see I guess.

Thank you to everyone who has signed up for Club Penny Arcade already this month. Your support is certainly appreciated. I hope you all enjoyed part two of our behind the scenes look at the making of PA. I talked to Tycho and he said he is planning on doing a similar series covering the writing side of the coin.

My mom says that Penny Arcade Year one is the best book that I have ever made. I am inclined to believe her on this one. It’s got all the comics from the first year along with commentary by Tycho and I. It just doesn’t get any better than that…unless of course you hate me. In which case, why are you reading this? Shouldn’t you be posting in the forum?

I am working on some new t-shirt designs today. I am not gonna say exactly what the design is but think about alcoholic consumer electronics. Some people have asked if we get money no matter what shirt they buy at Gameskins. We actually only get money from the PA related ones. Kiko gets money from the rest of them. He’s saved my ass many times in MOH:AA though, so he probably deserves it.

-Gabe out

Tycho / on Wed, Apr 3 2002 at 2:51 am

We are - collectively - in a miserable mood.  Maybe someday we’ll be able to discuss this year’s problem in detail - but until then, please enjoy/endure our misanthropy.  If you are wondering whether or not I’m speaking about you, ask yourself:  Do I draw husky fox men with massive wing-wongs?  Gabe may cast a wider net, but for me, that about covers it.  TMNT falls under the documented “ninja” exception, as does Sanguine Productions’ superlative JadeclawWishbone, on the other hand, is just disturbing.

This middle section of the post was very long, because it included many kilobytes of graphic data - data culled from the winning Dungeon Siege contest video.  I’m not sure if that is connected to the servers getting beaten up today, but just in case, I’ve moved them onto their own page, which I call “humiliation.php3.”

Received a mail from a reader distraught that I hadn’t mentioned Heroes of Might And Magic IV - the reason I haven’t is because I know better.  And it’s not like before, where I claimed to know better and then proceeded to consort with to a known MMORPG.  With Gunvalkyrie, Jedi Outcast, and Freedom Force still in the hopper, another game - let alone another turn-based game where the average play time is over twenty hours per scenario - is just not possible.  Luckily, while excellent graphics are appreciated in a game of this type, it’s not like an FPS (let’s say) where part of the fun is pushing your machine.  I got into HOMM3 after its visuals were a bit stale by modern standards, and it wasn’t any worse for wear.  Everyone who writes about this kind of shit seems to like it, and if I pick it up a few months from now that’s not going to change.

(CW)TB out.

must be the money

Gabe / on Mon, Apr 1 2002 at 5:12 pm

Fucking April Fools day.

Ya, so I guess the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 news story at the cafe today is a joke. I honestly don’t think I will ever understand the whole April Fools day thing. Like Tycho said, most people are assholes most of the time. I see no reason to encourage them.

-Gabe out

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