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Tycho / on Wed, Aug 3 2016 at 11:14 am

I realized something very important when I got the art back from this strip, which is that I hadn’t like one hundred percent told him what I was going for with the Horses.  I can tell you, though.

Recall that I have never been to Gen Con, so the way I conceive of it may not be correct, but it’s my understanding that it takes place at The Inn Of The Last Home in Ansalon.  You won’t actually be able to convince me otherwise.  I imagine that I am opening a door, and when I do, the scent of Otik’s Spiced Potatoes seizes me bodily and I am squeezed through a crack in the door like a weightless puppet.  There are horses because the whole thing takes place in an authentically medieval context!  It’s not just because there’s a bunch of Goddamn horses!  But I see now that he was not privy to over twenty years of emotionally charged embroidery on my part, an effort to return to a home I have never actually been to.  So that probably explains it.  To me, that urge and its attendant details stand on the features of my face, fully legible.

Let’s maintain this pseudo-medieval theme for a moment.  Acquisitions Incorporated has again assumed a corporeal form on this plane, in what the sages have called The Ninth Manifestation.  Josh Price has selected a deeply erotic pairing for the thumbnail that is sure to get the slashfic engines roaring:

I can hear you thinking, “What?  A New Episode?  HOW” but it’s cool.  You need never be startled by information like this!  You can simply gaze into our Subscrorb, the Orb Of YouTube Subscription.  And don’t forget that this entire series leads into the live game at PAX West, so it’s never too late to catch up - either by hitting our seasoned Season Archive, or by stuffing the audio directly into your ears with our podcasts, available all over the fucking place:

iTunes AcqInc / PA DLC
Stitcher AcqInc / PA DLC
Overcast AcqInc / PA DLC
Google Play AcqInc / PA DLC

  Come get as much as you want.  We can’t run out, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.  We’re always making more.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / on Mon, Aug 1 2016 at 12:01 am

There’s a few conventions I’ve been meaning to get to; I think I’ve said I was going to MAGFest a few times.  I will someday.  People seem to bloom when they talk about it, and I’d like to get some of that.  But for years and years, Gen Con essentially defined what a convention was even though I’d never been to it and had no real way of learning about it, because it was just a picture I’d seen in a magazine.  It wasn’t simply an exemplar of the form, it was the entirety of the concept, moated between two deep parentheses.

For an image, it certainly seemed to expand into three dimensions with little difficulty.  It gave me two points, and then I just made a third one up entirely out of my own fevered wishes for a shared cultural space.  Gabe found out about it a couple years ago and now he’s going.  Imagine a pair of pixelated sunglasses descending from a clear, blue sky and coming to rest on his nose.  That’s the situation I’m being asked to deal with.

Like he said, he’ll be there with our allies Lone Shark Games to show off the very latest “build” of Thornwatch.  The bones of previous versions are there, but…  the flesh!  It has sinews!  There are now muscles that tug the skeleton around.  You’ll also be in a position to see a bunch of new art.  I don’t know.  I mean, we’re taking it to Gen Con for a reason: to have an elite cadre bang on this thing.  We want to set it against them, and have it be tested.  The hope is that we may catalyze what’s known as a “Reverse Vegas Scenario,” or RVS.  Historically, phenomena that occur within the confines of Vegas remain situated there. With the information we pull out of this show, it could be the opposite situation.  Thornwatch may be ready to go absolutely everywhere else.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / on Fri, Jul 29 2016 at 6:43 pm

Child’s Play Table Tennis Tournament!

August 6th, we’re going back to a classic this year: a Table Tennis Tournament just like we used to do, only now instead of playing Ping Pong you’re playing Ping Pong and changing lives.  Not bad for an afternoon’s work, eh?

And get a load of this incredible Child’s Play Stuff - an amazing sweat set, that rad custom bottle from Liberty Bottleworks, and more.  You can’t buy the trophy, though - gotta earn that.  Player registration closes on the 3rd, but Spectator registration doesn’t close until the 5th - and if you miss it, you can still register as a Spectator at the door.  We’d love to see you there, and by “see,” of course, I mean “defeat you at Ping Pong,” by which I mean “defeat you at Ping Pong for the kids.”


Gabe / on Fri, Jul 29 2016 at 10:29 am

Thornwatch at Gen Con!

I will be attending my very first Gen Con next week! I will be heading over there with the crew from Lone Shark games to talk about Thornwatch. We are coming up on the end of the design phase of this thing and it feels pretty great. We just recently had a meeting to discuss the size,shape and contents of the box. It felt like a huge milestone for me considering how many years I’ve been working on this game. I recently discovered the original notebook I used to design what I was calling Card Warriorz back then. I thought it might be interesting to share some of the earliest stuff I put down on paper.

The original concept for the game started with the idea of traditional RPG abilities serving like suits in a deck. Then I would build different classes using combinations of those “suits.” A Rouge deck would be made of Strength and Dexterity cards for example.

I designed the game by drawing out the cards and how they would interact with each other. Here I started thinking about powers being charged up with ability cards. This is still a core part of the game too.

Not everything I cooked up back then is still in the game. For a while I was thinking about a loot system that used a typical Ultra Pro 9 pocket card page. Loot would be given out to players as cards. A complete set of loot would form a large image like completing a puzzle. It was a cool idea but I could never quite make it work the way I wanted it too. Maybe someday I’ll dust it off and give it another try.

This is the very first Thornwatch drawing I did. I had some mechanics but no setting at this point. I remember when I talked to Tycho and we decided I should set the game in the Eyrewood. Coming up with the Thornwatch and their lore has been a blast.

Tycho came up with the idea of tying a wreath of thorns around a birch tree in order to summon the Thornwatch. So on one page I’m working on the mechanics and then on the next page I’m thinking about the world. I had so much fun jumping back and forth designing both sides of the game.

I’ve got a couple notebooks filled with pages like that. I think I’ll actually bring the first one to Gen Con with me next week in case anyone wants to thumb through it. Designing this game has been a crazy journey. In the last year or so I’ve had the help of Mike Selinker and Rodney Thompson which has been amazing. When I was doodling in these notebooks my goal was to design a game for the five people in my D&D group to play. Now I’m working with industry legends to polish this thing and get it on store shelves. Not only that but now Thornwatch is just the first game in a series called Eyrewood Adventures. We will also be developing games for the Lookouts and the Daughters of the Eyrewood. It’s just crazy to think how far it’s come.

I’m excited to bring the early game to Gen Con next week for some play testing. I played the latest version last night and I’m so proud of the game it has become. If you are gonna be at the show please come by the Lone Shark booth and say hi.

General Booth Info
Booth 2847
Hours: Thursday - Saturday 10 am to 6 pm Sunday 10 am to 4 pm

Thursday Aug 4
1:00-2:30 Panel Big Co-Op Game – From Betrayal to Thornwatch in Westin Capitol II

Saturday Aug 6
9-11 AM Learn to Play Thornwatch in ICC: 141-142 Tables 1-10

And I will be signing stuff:
Aug 5 from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM

-Gabe out


Tycho / on Fri, Jul 29 2016 at 10:04 am

I don’t remember if there’s a podcast for it exactly, it might have been after the fact, but somewhere in his rodent mind eleven o’clock in the morning constitutes an afternoonian span.  It’s devilry and/or witch-work; no doubt a data point in our species’ tawdry decline.

There’s two new Welcome To PAX Shows up, one for Cosplay and one about For The Watch, which is something I’d love to do again.  But I’m also putting together something else with Josh that I just need to think about out loud.

I streamed something I called ELI5 a ways back with Soren Johnson, one of the creators of Offworld Trading Company.  It’s a super weird game to play if you are dumb.  I thought I wasn’t dumb before I played it, but I was quickly disabused of that notion.  It reminds me of this ancient strip by my friend Kris Straub; I just want to expose myself to whatever rays these weird minds are giving off and try to absorb as much as I can.

I’m filming another episode of ELI5 today to accompany the one I filmed two days ago, to follow it I suppose, the same way one might swallow a spider to catch a fly.  I get very nervous on camera.  I don’t really understand one hundred percent how I got a job communicating to people under these very real conditions, but there you have it.  It is only my very real curiosity about these creators, and what they do, and how it maps to my own process for making something out of nothing that tamps down the fear.  I want to ask questions that would be rude if anyone else asked them, someone who didn’t genuinely understand what is at stake when you expose your entire being in this way.  That’s something I understand very, very well.

(CW)TB out.

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