The only thing that keeps my workday from being an unbroken stream of Outernauts' plinks and boinks is the fact that "energy" exists. My compatriot hurts for it, and it's made a beast of him.
Gabriel is not what you would call a "casual" gamer, assuming such a definition still has currency; I'm not entirely sure it does, but lets get it up on the wheel. Generally you figure out what that term means either by saying what it isn't (it's not "hardcore") or via a circuitous definition (casual gamers like casual games). I'm starting to think that it's best thought of as a genre, given the asymmetrical, bite-size "servings" and other proven systems. Typically this sort of thing is phrased as a war between teh mud-spackled hardcorz and bright Freemium princes, only recently arrived from the future. I would say this is fairly typical of our inability to observe or assess shit.
What became clear very quickly is that Gabriel is playing this type of game "wrong," which is at least partly to blame for his energy drought: he's not being sufficiently "social." He's not acting as a sales force, which would replenish this resource incrementally. He doesn't use Facebook with any regularity; he's going there to play. It's not a diversion: that is what he actively wants to do. He wants to "buy" Outernauts, and there's your bifurcation. Those of us who have lamented the death of arcades may now "celebrate" in earnest; they are well and truly back.
Somehow Ben over at PAR came up with some Orcs Must Die 2 codes, and since I had already preordered it I could accept them without the baroque border of guilt which generally accompanies such things. I don't know what he had to fill out to get them, but I signed no such document; I guess we'll see if I get in trouble. They're local, so if they want to come beat me up or whatever we can schedule a time.
I haven't laughed this hard all year - I laughed so hard I saw spots. I had to take a moment to restore proper brain/oxygen levels so that I could function. The byzantine trap combos are, as ever, the main course - but things "seem" more real, they are reinforced, when another person can see them also, from their own perspective. This is something you can do now, bring another person. This makes Orcs Must Die 2 an exercise in shit getting demonstrably, ineluctably real.
Where I almost lost consciousness was in the creation of something we called "The Carwash," which has the added bonus of making you hear Rose Royce's "Car Wash" in your mind. This is a device which orcs do not like. I can't stress that enough. The Car Wash involves... okay, I'm laughing again. Alright. Hoo! Okay.
The Car Wash involves two four channel acid sprayers set across from each other at a chokepoint. Descending from the ceiling are two Haymakers, whirling automatic clubs that drop down and beat the shit out of dudes. But below these and between the sprayers are Coinforges built into the floor, devices which generally speaking increase the value of each "customer," but in our case we've customized them to increase the damage enemies take while standing on them. It's not especially fancy, by any means - but it works.
You can set up the intro/outro to the Car Wash anyway you like; ours led stumbling, acid-drenched orcs to our all-you-can-die Death Bar, where Customer Satisfaction Dwarves were empowered to deliver explosive "experiences" before sending them "home" with our clever medieval railgun. In the orc death business, it's all about turnaround.