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Tycho / on Wed, Apr 10 2002 at 7:34 am

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The Game Detective: Part One

We hadn’t done a strip on the G4 Network yet, and with the announcement of their actual line-up it seemed like a good time.  Gabe has optimism but realistic fears, which he will no doubt elucidate in a few hours’ time.  The only thing I know for certain is that they need a Penny Arcade show.  I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life. 

Instead of doing a strip about it - which I don’t think is really the proper approach - let’s just talk about Tribes: Fast Attack in more detail.  Even after I wished upon him grave physical harm, Alex “Marweas” Rodberg wrote me up with the digits saying we should talk about shit.  This is actually the proper response:  I don’t say things like that because I actually think his spine would be better as two separate lengths, I’m calling him out.  I carried on an extended conversation with Kelly Flock, long after the strip in question, and found that people secure in what they’re doing don’t really have a problem with the things we do at Penny Arcade.  Alex was the same way - congenial but direct, he is of the opinion that T:FA is the proper direction for the franchise to take, and it is (in fact) his job to make those decisions.  And, I respect him even if I’m not crazy about his Tribes philosophy.  Myself, I am of the opinion that a year of concerted bitchery - the whiner’s choir of the TribalWar forums - has finally secured for themselves the Tribes 2 they wanted to begin with.  Well, they can have it.  I was never one for community reindeer games, which is why I have my own site and they have a handle on some fucking message board.

The seeds of Tribes: Fast Attack and Tribes 2 are both present in the original, it’s just that each selects (in the evolutionary sense of the word) different characteristics to be dominant.  There will always be those who claim to hate Tribes 2, but from a game perspective, it is in every way a sequel.  Better graphics.  More vehicles.  More emphasis on teamwork.  Richer armor configurations.  Larger maps.  More robust defensive options.  The much-maligned slowness of T2 is there by virtue of expanded tactical depth.  I asked Alex if, going forward, he thought of Tribes: Fast Attack as their selecting an evolutionary branch to carry into Tribes 3.  He said that he’d like to see future products have something that everyone can enjoy.  That struck me as a bold move.

It’ll never happen, but I’d like to have seen Tribes 3 even bigger than Tribes 2.  Larger, enclosed vehicles to transport troops, with automated or manual arms to fire on fortified enemy positions.  Detailed, believable structures.  License a third-party engine right out the gate, to spend the entire development cycle working on content and gameplay.  Larger individual servers, or metagames that take place across several.  Cinch up the Starsiege universe with a return to Earth, or the Cybrids - introduce the ancient war machines, to scale against the armored Tribes.  I’m sure T:FA will be fine.  I’ll just have to take your word on it.   

Regarding the Triple Threat - that invincible trio of fabulous contests - I’ll announce the victors this Friday coming up.  Many of you asked why I chose to use a Hotmail account as the contact for it, especially after the Hotmail account broke into little pieces and would no longer contain mail.  Well, the simple fact is that more often than not, your species doesn’t take full advantage of my exciting offers.  I suppose that the last contest - which basically involved breaking your arm as you lay on an entire cake - might not be the best concept to drive participation, but I was truly shocked when the mongrel hordes surged over the ramparts of my flimsy, free e-mail account for all three of the prizes.  I accepted mails that came to my account, and did not take affront to their being there - what the hell else were you supposed to do?  Anyhow, I think I’ve already got another 3T lined up, might even be later this month.   

Six quick links to arrest your productivity:

  • Eric Harshbarger’s Lego Site:  His medium is legos, his world is the world of bricks.  Gobs of legomaniacal links, along with ample sample portraits of his sculptures will fascinate young and old.  It’s understood that (for any of the gift holidays) even at the ripe old age of however old I am the gift of lego is one that will be well received.

  • $95,000 Adventure:  I actually don’t care if this is true or not.  I think of it as light-hearted, feel-good fiction like you might find in My Boot.  It’s got some kinda Hallmarky crap in it, but on the whole it’s a good read.

  • Cedric Henry’s Aesop:  The strip I link to here is in response to our nefarious fur-related antics, but it is my opinion that you’d be well-served by his stuff in general.

  • A Mechanical Horror:  A friendly reader suggested this steel monster might make for an acceptable Robo-Croc, and I am likely to agree.

  • NothingArena:  Reader Farbs sent in this marvel, a mutator for Unreal Tournament that excises the pesky weaponry.  He claims that when the mod is in effect, the bots just glare at each other and then go their separate ways.

  • I Almost Forgot:  I snapped a shot of Brenna’s new tattoo, done by family friend Owen Connell from the Pound Gallery.  I really like his stuff.

Yeah, so Friday, we’ll do the prize thing and investigate more of the Game Detective storyline.  We do hope you will attend! 

(CW)TB out.

‘cause i’m honeydew bunsen

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