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Tycho / on Fri, Aug 22 2014 at 11:00 am

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The Conclave

There’s a new playtest for Thornwatch coming to PAX Prime, one that plays around with the systems a little bit.  Jamie had an idea counter to a decision on the game’s fundamental focus, and she proved that contentious ground with an adventure.  That adventure forms the core of what you might play at Prime.  I’ll let him do the rest of it, but I will also put a link to the newsletter sign-up because newsletter subs are how he determines his worth as a person now.  Well, newsletter subs, and maintaining an atmosphere of psychological terror.

I was overjoyed when they pushed the release of Pinball FX2 on Xbox One to let people continue to own the tables they had purchased on the 360.  Backwards compatibility isn’t really a thing anymore; I never had much use for it since I always leave the old machine plugged in.  I also don’t trust wireless keyboards, and wi-fi makes me uncomfortable in competitive games, because I’m a crazy person.  Somebody probably used it.  The official stats never seemed to make a case.

Sony’s ahead of this game substantially with Cross-Buy, which was neat on PS3/Vita but is even cooler on PS3/PS4, because I don’t actually have a Vita.  Ownership of physical discs isn’t something I revere, what I prefer (read: demand) is simple use.  And they’re killing it right now.  But my tables weren’t purchased on PS3, so it didn’t help.  And I could rebuild that catalog, certainly, but I would have stewed about it.  Luckily, I’m lazy enough that they fixed it before I had a chance to.

I, uh, think that Pinball is important.  Zileas over at Riot talks about the the pursuit of mastery as something they want to encourage as a champ, and that’s pinball in a nutshell.  Pinball is fun to play just keeping the ball out of the yawning gap.  It’s challenging, and you always get the sense that you could have done so.

I’ve always loved it.  It could be economical, also, when beseeching parents for money.  My father was much more likely to caught up change for what he perceived to be a game of skill.  You can watch young people fascinated by it, their iced creams dangerously close to the machine.  There are no rules to them, other than the almighty Law of the Drain.

It’s like watching a cloud chamber, adance with mysterious rays, until you begin to see patterns which weave themselves into coherent philosophy.  Every table is this way, in its own way.  It is randomness, situated fully within quotation marks.  Play a table, focus on it, and if you are careful you can feel the moment when ritual becomes science.

(CW)TB out.

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