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Tycho / on Mon, Feb 6 2017 at 11:16 am

It’s my actual, real birthday today, which is a little scary, because from a perceptual standpoint I feel like I just did all this shit.  Partly because of how the PAX half of the year is constructed, and partly due to the ossification of my brain with age, the second half of every year is the going-down-very-fast portion of the roller coaster and I often find myself waking up here in February or so, blinking as though at a bright light.  I put it this way last year, and I have no qualms with that presentation - it still feels more or less true, from the harrowing draconic imagery up to the heartfelt thanks enunciated at its culmination.

You might have seen the profound Acquisitions Incorporated shirt “collab” between Gavin and Gabriel at PAX South, where these artifacts were available for purchase.  I have been asked innumerable times (okay, maybe like a hundred or so times) if the shirts would be available on the store, and they will!  For reference, I’m talking about these shirts:

Yes, those shirts.  They’ll hit the store on Valentine’s Day, at 9am PST.  And, because our Merchandise Manager Lidija is always looking for ways to honor and delight you, she had these rad Valentines made.  We’ll drop one in your order!

Getting Acquisitions Incorporated to PAX South was the first manoeuvre in a sequence of sophisticated plays that have, as their purpose and design, the recognition that people like Acquisitions Incorporated and we should be taking that affection seriously.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / on Fri, Feb 3 2017 at 11:29 am

Gabriel got home from PAX South a day before I did, so he had a chance to dig into Astroneer.  I don’t have time or inclination anymore to play everything that Steam decides is important; I’ve had a very similar experience with what rises there, over and over and over, the bizarre, strappy, masochistic fetish gear that runs rampant in that space which reliably delivers experiences of the form:

1. Fail to find a server 2. Find a server, but get disconnected 3. Get connected but spawn into the world having already died

It’s like, look.  I’m an advocate.  I advocate.  It’s my whole role in the social perpetual motion machine we’re operating over here.  But your inventory UI looks like a broken windshield and two or three vital player interactions aren’t even bound to anything.  I’ll be back.

My time with Astroneer was very much in the “first blush of romance” phase, where my associate (CW)Gabe sailed down into my world in a pod, and then we proceeded to discover how these worlds work.  No Man’s Sky is definitely in here genetically, but No Man’s Sky (like Skyrim, let’s say) is a game that makes me long for companionship.  I know that’s not universal; I have friends for whom a simulation of solitude is a welcome psychic lilypad.  But learning systems, with a friend, in real-time, is why I play videogames.

We gotta film a bunch of First 15s today, and Josh’s new plan is that we do those on the stream, which makes the whole thing way more fun, then we can choose one of those to play a bit more.  Looking forward to getting back on the couch, stop by around 2 PST if’n you need company.


Tycho / on Wed, Feb 1 2017 at 11:28 am

Monsieur Gouribeau and I used to play through every Resident Evil together.  Occasionally a dog would jump through a window and he would jump and I would jump, but I didn’t actually understand what was happening yet. He was jumping away, and I was jumping toward.

There was a kind of ironical sheen that used to cling to the franchise.  My favorite was always Code Veronica, where new technology and new storytelling tried to create a different experience for the player.  The games eventually got too scary, too authentically scary, some combination of intention and fidelity put it past him altogether.  He never went for Silent Hill because the type of scary it is starts by peeling up your fingernails.  This fear is not about the destruction of the body, though that is almost assured; this fear is about ideas.  I always just assumed he’d go along with me for 7, kept asking him about it, had he tried the VR demo which is fucking awful, and he was just, like, no man.  There’s all kinds of poison I don’t eat.

I’m always a little surprised to learn that we are not the same person.

The way I’ve tried to describe it to him is that I actually need these experiences; I need to be expanded in various ways, and on various axes, if I’m going to have the tools I need to to make stuff.  As a result, I have defenses he doesn’t: an instinctual way of systematizing input.  The sensations don’t come all the way through; they’re gated by some mechanism I don’t one hundred percent understand.  It’s always been the case that I feel as though I’m experiencing things second hand, from a remove; always The Ordinator apportions and selectively applies consciousness.  For example: Dabe and I were eating Hot Sauce to entertain people on the stream, and it tripped some kind of fight or flight response in him that ultimately melted away into something like “i love you, man” inebriation.  I ate it and determined that it was new.  When it got to Mad Dog 357, so named because it clocks in at 357,000 Scoville units, I paused for much longer than I thought I did at the time, but I was not destroyed by it.  I was fascinated by it.  It was something like what another person would call pain, but that’s not how it parses.  It…  hm.

I think I’m going to stop there.


Tycho / on Mon, Jan 30 2017 at 9:13 am

Here’s the strip we did during the Make a Strip panel, which, now that I think of it, you can totally watch even after the fact.  There are always Twitch Elves embedded in the Main Theatre staff trying to juice the show for video content, and you can swim in that multisensory reservoir anytime you want to.  For example: have you ever wondered if I am as insufferable in real life as I am in text form?  Or, more likely, would like confirmation that this is the case?  This is a question you can answer there.

More to the point: do you want to catch the first ever Acquisitions Incorporated game at PAX South?  Easy to do.  Want to see Mariachi Entertainment System make Kiko cry, live on stage?  I’ve got that too.  I’m just saying!  You might not be aware just how much PAX we can etch onto your cornea remotely.

The show exceeded my most fevered fantasies of what it could accomplish, let me say that.  The atmosphere, some commingling of attendee, venue, and region, is the favorite show of many by choice.  So we worked hard with partners to bring cool stuff in: True Dungeon made an appearance, for example.  It’s p. rad tbh.  I had a chance to see the Nintendo Switch for the first time!  And we got AcqInc down here, to even that part out.  AUS, I hear you.  I’m workin’ on it.

I’m never going to stop saying it, because as the Loremaster of PAX, it’s my duty to say so:  PAX is a Convention Convention, and most of them are founded dynamically by attendees.  These conventions scale between two people and tens of thousands over the course of the weekends.  They are varied in purpose and often overlap in physical space.  I talked to a woman in the airport before I boarded the plane (‘Sup, Becca?) who was going to PAX South to meet a bunch of friends for the first time.  I have friends I only see at PAX, which may be true for you also.  One of these many conventions was a march on the Senator’s office, just for example.  Whenever I’m asked by a Muggle media outlet about what the fuck we’re doing here, I tell them: this show is about culture first.  This is what we know: when it is given an opportunity for expression, that culture condenses straight out of the air wherever we set one of these things up.  People try to thank me for this stuff, and after I’ve told them to thank the Enforcers, I say, listen.  Best case scenario for me, this is something we’re doing together.  I’ve been to every one, though. And I know where that energy comes from.

Oh!  Did you hear about PAX Unplugged, by the way?  All tabletop stuff?  Out in Philly?  You might note that the truncated form of Pennsylvania is PA; we’ve been planning this event, in secret, for hundreds of years.


Tycho / on Fri, Jan 27 2017 at 3:02 pm

AcqInc At PAX South! Thanks Wizards Of The Coast!

It took some doing, but we finally got it down here.  Join Omin Dran, James Winifred Darkmagic III, Viari, and Morgaen on Saturday at 2PM CST for whatever DM Chris Perkins has planned for us.  If you aren’t at PAX South, we do weep for you - but we’ve got you covered.  Hit up PAX on Twitch to watch it live.  Thanks again to Wizards of the Coast for helping put all this together!


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