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Tycho / on Fri, Oct 1 2010 at 12:00 am

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Today’s strip isn’t terribly far from the conversation we actually had.  Dialogue wise.

I’d seen his tweet to the effect that he’d discovered Civilization V on a lazy Saturday afternoon, and attempted to make myself useful immediately.  Like every other time he’s undertaken something vital fifteen years after my fervent plea to do so, I expend a small amount of energy castigating him for these lapses, but the end result is that I very much want him to do those things and so indulging in it has no strategic value.

You can lead a horse to Civilization, but you can’t make him…  him being the horse, in this case…  Basically, Gabriel is the horse.  That’s the takeaway.

He was lying on the thinking couch revolving his thinking ball, and he wanted very much to know what the fuck was happening, and why did it take fourteen turns to hand a bunch of prehistoric d-bags some shovels.  That’s because for him, fourteen turns is a lot.  He imagines that individual turns are falling out of some finite hopper, and they will run out, and every turn must be profitably expended.  That mentality may have originally been borne of the demo, which has hard limits on that kind of thing.  But not every turn is a barn-burner, in the same way that not every birthday is twenty-one.  Sometimes you turn twenty.  That’s okay, too.

It was also crucial to emphasize to him that while having the biggest military is cool and useful, the game isn’t reductive: that’s not the only way to win.  This is a pretty big idea, especially for a new player.  He wanted to know what genre the game was, and I told him that its genre was Civilization, and the victory condition is to create something of lasting value.

As I suggested earlier, I don’t want to create anything of lasting value.  I only want skullfucker games for whom the living player is a kind of annoyance.  My DS is open next to my mousepad, and there is a demonic sea bird on there who can eat you with one snap of its bill, which is lined with raw gems.  There’s also some kind of Snake God and galleon which is at least thirty percent ghost.  I’ve said that one of the ways I gauge a DS game is by recharges, and thus far the newest Etrian Odyssey is on its fourth.  Running out of power is the only reason i got any sleep at all.  


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