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Tycho / 2 weeks ago

PAX doesn’t truly end until the Enforcers have been honored at the Afterparty, and now that the ritual has been concluded in full, I can endeavor to reintegrate into normal life.  The gulf between these two worlds - the one where I am Omin, Jerry, and Tycho and the one where I am somebody’s Dad - is profound.  I come home from doing interviews about shit and hosting events and then I do the dishes and make sure his calculator is actually in his backpack.

It’s been a problem.

School started today, and one of them left early because she was so excited and the other one is a teen for whom ennui is a constant companion.  I am present in both of them and they will return home with vital data about the world.  The only “must” on the docket for me today is this new Korean breakfast spot and I will resist with force any attempt to alter course.  I’m also gonna play Control for as long as I possibly can.  As long as this body, wracked by the ravages of age, will hold out.

I love Platinum.  And not just the prized metal, so fetching in one’s grill - I love Platinum Games.  They’re not, like, a hundred percent.  You gotta pay rent and shit.  Sometimes they are just paying the rent.  But when they’re on, they’re fucking on in a genre defining way.

Their collaboration with Nintendo on Astral Chain is starting to look like the founding of a dynasty, with more to it than the combat, which would have been plenty already.  The utility features of electronic devils have been of particular interest to my cohort.

I’ll be able to play it soon; I loaned my Switch to the illustrious duo that did our review of Detroit: Too Human because I thought they’d write something rad about the new Fire Emblem and I think I have been proven right in this regard.  For now I’ll have to live vicariously through Gork.  Between Gears, and Control, and Children of Morta I think… you know, I think I’m gonna be alright.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

I’ve played more games at this show than I have at a PAX in years; typically PAX Unplugged takes that crown, but I’ve discovered a unique solution: to never, ever sleep.

I’ve been playing Warhammer 40k: Kill Team nightly, in the 2v2 Brotherhood configuration, the 1v1 Arena configuration, or (God help me) both in one night.  I’m getting to sleep at like three in the fucking morning.  I’m not young in any way.  Plus, I would say that I was not not drinking.  We were doing battle with some German friends of ours who have hundreds of games between them and my friend Acquisitions Intoxicated Brewmaster Eric Benson and I have about, you know… twelve.  But we were able to take the second game 26-25 when it looked like even from the first round the whole enterprise was doomed. The alliances were unlikely; my GSC outfit The Cult Of The Blessed Hour joined forces with the Adeptus Mechanicus, while der Germans commingled rigorously trained T’au with slavering, bloodthirsty Orkz.  I learned so much the first game that I couldn’t wait to try it out in the second - the main thing I learned is that I can’t fight some theoretical battle where things go a certain way and it all makes sense.  I have to fight the fight that actually sits on the table.  You’d think that would be an easy thing to recognize and understand, but when this many variables are in play it can be surprisingly difficult.  Also, I’ve learned this lesson many, many times before and I doubt will be the last time I try to integrate this wisdom. 

Gabriel has been up surprisingly late each night also, affixed to the Switch until one or two in the morning, trying to master the interesting ideas Astral Chain has on offer.  He’s blowing my mind with this shit: I assumed, correctly, that Platinum’s combat was going to be the latest iteration of their Bayonetta prowess.  Burt he also says there are cool puzzles.  And he says the writing is good, except… he hates words?  I gotta grab this shit when I get home.  He told me before the show that, well, I guess we did make a whole strip about it.

I’ve been taking notes about things I’ve seen here that I’ll get into later in the week, but we did announce some stuff at the show too.  If Clank! Is your thing, you might be interested to know that we just announced the Acquisitions Incorporated: “C” Team Pack to honor the team of our Wednesday streaming game.  It comes with figures, custom starting decks and an accessory for each character, and of course it’s usable in Clank! as well as Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated.  It drops at PAX Unplugged.  Some people are picking up their copies of our Legacy collaboration here at the show, and I’m so pleased it’s out in the wild.

I had commitments from 10am to 8:30pm yesterday, solid. It was real as shit.  Back at it.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 weeks ago

We’ve got Acquisitions Incorporated coming up tonight at 7:30 PDT on the main Twitch channel for the show,  This Ravnica arc, the handoff from Chris Perkins to Jeremy Crawford (“J Craw”), has been rich from the jump, with Interns new and old throughout.  This game includes WWE Superstar (you really do have to include that, it’s obligatory) Xavier Woods as Bobby Zimmeruski, and we’re honored to get Anna Prosser‘s Evelyn Marthain back at the table as well.

Gabriel, for his part, has been trying to round out his performance of Jim between games, becoming more synonymous, embodying the role.  Let’s see how it goes.

Man.  There’s a lot happening at this show, this is what mine looks like if you’re wondering what I’m up to.  One of the main changes you may not know about if you’ve only been the last few years is that we have the Paramount back as our main theatre.  I love that fucking place.  And it cuts out a pretty massive part of the foot travel, also.  Typically there’s this novel isthmus to be managed, often at a run, by me.  It’s indecorous.  I won’t miss that.

11:30am - 12:30pm: Penny Arcade Q&A, Main Theatre (Paramount)
7:30pm - 10:30pm: Acq Inc Live Game, Main Theatre (Paramount)

2:30pm - 3:30pm: D&D Acq Inc Book Panel, Hydra (Grand Hyatt)
4pm - 7pm: Acq Inc Book Signing, Autograph Area (Olive 8)
7:30pm - 8:30pm: Jackbox Party PAX, Raven (Hyatt Regency)

12pm - 1pm: Penny Arcade Make a Strip, Main Theatre (Paramount)
2:30pm - 3:30pm: C Team Panel, Hydra (Grand Hyatt)
4pm - 6pm: Pinny Arcade Trading, Autograph Area (Olive 8)

11:30am - 1:30pm: Acq Inc Player Signing, Autographing Area (Olive 8)
5:30pm - 6:30pm: Omegathon Final Round, Main Theatre (Paramount)

If you’re looking to grab a copy of the Acquisitions Incorporated book, maybe for the signing, or because the arrangement of words and art within is something you find pleasing, my suspicion is that it won’t be hard to find from the game shops that have booths at the show.  Dire Wolf will be at booth 6103 with a bunch of rad shit, but they’ll have the first copies of Clank! Legacy: Acquisitions Incorporated available for sale anywhere.  People - people who are not me - have called it the best manifestation of the Legacy concept on the market.  High praise.  So, if that’s your thing, maybe this is your thing also.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 weeks ago

We were writing the strip he’s gonna draw on stage this Sunday at PAX West, and he had mentioned Pizza Rolls in a meal context and not simply, like… as ballast, and I asked him if he still ate Pizza Rolls or if he was trying to delight me with some kind of ironical retro shit.  He said yes - that he had Combination, which is more detail than I asked for and frankly more than I wanted.

When we lived together, the first thing he would do when he came home was preheat the oven.  Then, after haunting the bathroom, he would come out and arrange frozen pizza rolls on a pan with more care than I think is technically required. Once made sufficiently auspicious, he would torment them inside the stove.  I wonder if all this is because he was raised Catholic; he can’t help but eat things off metal trays.  What God has pizza for flesh?  I am not much given to piety these days, but I could be tempted by a savory enough Lord.

I’m not, like, the best at being a dad.  There are much better dads.  But I think it’s to my credit my unctuous grubs don’t even know what a fucking pizza roll is.  I asked them, and they said no.  But now they wanted to know, which I suppose I should have seen coming.  I told them they a Pizza Roll is a Tater-Tot made out of heart attacks.

But my children are drawn to danger.  They shun the light.

I may have erred, here.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 weeks ago

I haven’t played the game DARQ, partially because of how they chose to spell “Dark,” but mostly because I’ve had a lot of shit to do and most of it involves some real weird wooden devils.  But the story the developer tells in a medium post is one where as soon as they announced they were coming to Steam, Epic tried to pay them not to.  I think that’s weird.

Some people resent the Epic Game Store because they’d like everything they own in one client; that’s not the problem I have.  I don’t give a shit about that.  I think Uplay is kinda slow and weird, but it was loading even when I bought games on Steam, so I just bought Division 2 on there purely because all the money goes to the correct bin.  I did the same with GOG and Thronebreaker, which is brilliant by the way.  I’ll install a client for one fucking game.  I’ve started putting icons for games on my Desktop again.  Yeah.  My desktop, like, on some Windows 95 type shit.  I’m not saying that it’s cool, or right, or whatever, I’m just thinking about other stuff.

Some people don’t like feeling their hand has been forced by an exclusive.  This is related to what we were discussing Friday, which is the strange bargain presented by free to play and the resentment it can generate on the developer side.  Players in this case are making a perfectly rational choice.  Likewise, the Epic Game Store pays people to put their game on there.  I have friends who have taken this deal - it is also a deeply rational choice.  Every game is your last in the current environment and quality doesn’t even seem to be a factor.  If you have never been the person who determines whether or not a person gets paid, I envy you.  The heat and pressure of that role is subterranean.  So if a person makes that calculation and comes up EGS, I think about everyone downstream of that choice and silently salute the person who arrived there.  I’m not in their house.  I don’t know how it is.

But when you’re prowling around for exclusivity on Kickstarters promised to other platforms, or you aren’t being coherent with developers around sale pricing, or you’re digging around in your competitor’s files, look.  This is pretty standard Tech Bro, Move Fast and Break Things type shit, except the Things they’re breaking - Things, capital T - are our social norms.  That’s all.  It’s boorish, and it’s okay to say that.  This is fixable shit.

There’s a specific sort of language around this, purposeful in its construction, that endeavors to paint Epic Game Store as the “moral,” functionally “organic” choice because of its split, but there’s all kinds of splits out there.  I love and the reasons I love it are all there in the FAQ.  I love Humble, too, in its various forms, and each purchase has a charitable payload.  EGS’ larger cut of a smaller pie - with an incentive to use their engine built in, of course - is just marketing for now.  Epic makes Fortnite; it’s not some scrappy pugilist out to make a name.  It’s not clear to me why people carry so much fucking water for this thing.

(CW)TB out.

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