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Thornwatch

The Thornwatch Kickstarter was a huge success but it’s possible that you missed the opportunity to back it. Don’t worry, If you missed the campaign you’ve got another opportunity to get in on all the cool stuff we offered. We’ve got a PledgeManager page set up for Thornwatch that will allow you to preorder the game from now until April 21st. You can get the base set, the Dark of the Wood expansion, the acrylic pawns for both sets, and the deluxe wood box from Dapper Devil.

(Dark of the Wood concept art)

If you have somehow managed to miss all my posts about Thornwatch, here’s how the folks at Lone Shark games describe the project.

Thornwatch is a graphic novel adventure created by Penny Arcade and Lone Shark Games. It is designed by Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade and Mike Selinker, Chad Brown, and Rodney Thompson of Lone Shark Games. It bridges the gap between board games and RPGs, the first of three interlocking games in the Eyrewood Adventures line. Through the game’s unique modular storytelling structure, players get the experience of an RPG in a board game. Thornwatch can be pulled off the shelf for 60 minutes of fun, or provide 2+ hours of epic adventure. It is a visually arresting game, unlike anything we’ve ever made before. When you play Thornwatch, you are inside a comic book story of your own making.

I am in the asset creation phase now. After working on it for years, I’m actually drawing the stuff that will go in the box now which is pretty exciting. I’m also assembling a little team of artists to help me bring it all together. It’s a big game that needs a ton of art and I’ve found some really talented folks to help me. Nick Trujillo who you might remember from Strip Search is working on the paintings that will become our map tiles. I’ve also enlisted the incredibly talented Aviv Or to help me with the comic book style story boards that you will use to build your adventures. It’s going to be a beautiful game and you can still get in on all of the cool Kickstarter action (for a little bit longer) via our PledgeManger page. Thanks so much for all your support, this project has been in the works for a long time but we can finally see the finish line!

-Gabe out

Tycho / 2 days ago

I haven’t had sex with any “entities” in Andromeda yet, but, you know, I’ve got my eye on a sextupedal “physical dream” called the Bright Cogitant and some kind of crab with time-travelling genitalia.  I’m keeping my options open.

I have the Real Boy version of the game now; my trial was rapidly moving into the Gourd Phase.  This trial “ended” at a point where I had started to become curious, and now I have enough curiosity to grease the experience somewhat.  The further I get, the more I think the writing is an intentional tonal shift as opposed to a complete misfire.  It can still be amateur; that’s a separate conversation.  But meaning to do something that doesn’t land with a portion of their audience occupies a distinct portion of the diagram.  I’m open to the idea that it was written for someone else.

Hey!  Tomorrow at 3:30PST is the second episode of Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team.  We had a blast at the intro, which you can catch up with on Twitch or on YouTube right here:

Let us know what you think; we’re hoping to roll out a Podcast of the adventures also, as I’ve gotten a ton of requests for that and I want you to be able to get at this shit however you want.  This afternoon on the stream, Mr. Gribs and I are gonna be Twitching The Switch, which sounds like a nineties sports movie.  Trying to figure out if it’s gonna be Zelda, Snipperclips, or BOTH.  Might be tough!  Roll through around 2PST.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

Snipperclips First 15

When I talked about Snipperclips before - culminating in our powerful Snipperstrip - I said that my mission was to make the attach rate for Snipperclips 1 to 1.  Does that constitute advocacy?  Probably!  Here’s some more: the strip itself was drawn from our play session with it, which was - if anything - even more erotical.

(CW)TB

Tycho / 4 days ago

Hell yes I joined EA Access to play Mass Effect: Andromeda over the weekend.  I don’t hate it.

Many, many years ago I went to a restaurant with Brenna that had a sommelier.  He was insufferable in precisely the way I respect, champion, and endeavor to exemplify.  He was clearly a Word Fucker, and actually opening his copy of the Merriam-Webster’s unabridged would have involved a Hazard Team and industrial solvents.  I don’t know anything about wine, which delighted him, because then he could project even more of himself into social space.  He described a vintage we had inquired about with a chuckle, appending: “Ah, yes.  That one?  Young.  And foolish.”

He was not making a moral judgment.  He thought the information was pertinent.  Being young and foolish can be delightful; it can also be youthful and unwise.

The stuff about the animations you’ve no doubt seen on virtually every news site calling attention to specific moments hasn’t been as bad in the moment.  Some of them, like the janked running on the stairs, I can’t even reproduce unless I run forward while rapidly alternating between presses of A and D.  I don’t want to tell people they’re doin it rong but that’s not my customary mode of interaction.  In any case, the problem for me hasn’t been the animation and it certainly hasn’t been the combat.  And I’m not opposed to Mass Effect: Inquisition in concept, but.  The writing in this game is young and foolish.

I have a reputation as “the one who likes shit,” so let me tell you now, thus augmented: I would not have finished the tutorial if this hadn’t been Mass Effect.  Right now, they are taking time from me the game has not earned - and they are only starting to earn their way back out of debt something like six hours in.  A charitable reading is that they are explicitly, as opposed to accidentally, channeling The CW.  I don’t understand why any of these people are acting they way they do.  I can’t tell you how much I hate writing this.

I ended up putting way, way more time into Mass Effect 3 multiplayer than I ever expected to, and I suspect that may be true here also, because it’s cut from the same cloth while absorbing the immediacy and impact of the new combat in general.  Also, doing these missions can farm resources for your character in the main campaign, so…  yeah.  We’re done here.  I’ve had very confusing instances of lag, though, lag that lasted the entirety of a single online match, but… I didn’t leave?  You wouldn’t believe how effective I was when everything was slowed down to a fifth the normal speed.  I suspect this is how Kiko sees the world.

So that’s why the reviews look the way they do, maybe.  It’s all people holding their own knees, muttering, rocking back and forth, wandering the halls trying to pull apart, rack, and sun-dry their feelings about it.  Thus far, I am mostly confused.

(CW)TB out.

Switch!

I’ve had a few weeks now with my Switch and that included a trip over to Boston. It is hard for me to separate my feelings about the console from Zelda: Breath of the Wild. So far the Switch has really just been a Zelda machine for me. With that said I still feel like the Switch might end up being the ultimate console for me. I don’t know how your house is set up, but we have a family room where we spend most of our time. It’s got the big comfy couch, all the video game consoles and the nice TV. It also has all the boy’s Legos and toys so it’s where we all hand out. If my wife is watching shows or the boys are playing a game I can still be in there playing Zelda on my Switch. I’m not playing a portable game or a different game. I am playing the real deal and when it’s my turn for the TV I can just pop the Switch into the dock and pick up right where I left off. This was already awesome even before I took my trip to Boston.

The flight to PAX and the stay there really sold me on the Switch. Having Zelda on the flight made the 6 hour trip feel like no time at all. I’ve played my 3DS before and I’ve watched movies but this felt different. This felt like having a real console on the plane and other than the uncomfortable seat, I might as well have been at home. Again, I wasn’t playing a portable game that I had picked up for the trip. I was playing my actual game that I am obsessed with at home, only 40,000 feet up in the air. Then when I got to my hotel room it was a simple matter of hooking up the dock and plugging in the Switch. Each night after the show I was back in my room playing Zelda on the TV like I had never left home. Since then I have taken it with me to all sorts of places. Waiting to pick up the kids at school, car trips and just back and forth to work. The Switch is perfect for how I want to play games.

Again, a lot of this has to do with how great Zelda is. If I didn’t have something I wanted to play everywhere I went, the ability to do so wouldn’t really matter all that much. As it stands though, Zelda has quickly become one of my favorite games of all time. The fact that I never have to stop playing it thanks to the design of the Switch is just icing on the cake. Breath of the Wild is an open world game that really doesn’t give a shit what other open world games are doing. They built this incredible space and filled it with puzzles and adventures that they don’t really tell you about. In most open world games they seem to feel the need to hold your hand and make sure there are clear goals and signposts to guide you along. They spent a lot of time building this world and they don’t want you to miss any of it. Zelda doesn’t give a shit if you miss something. Someone in my Twitter feed told me that “everything in BOTW feels like an easter egg” and I don’t think there is a better way to describe it. Every time I discover something in Zelda I feel like I’m the only person to see it. You are consistently rewarded for exploring or trying weird ideas. I feel like I am discovering this world, not just revealing it on a map.

The Switch doesn’t seem to track hours played in a very precise way. Right now it just tells me that I have played “more than 60 hours” of Zelda. I still feel like there is so much more for me to do in this world and I can easily see my play time going into the 100+ hours. That’s a rare thing for me (especially with single player games) as I tend to jump from game to game pretty quickly. I also have the attention span of a small bird and I am always distracted by the latest shiney game to hit stores. I had planned on playing Nier Automata after checking out the demo, but as it stands I have not even purchased it yet. I enjoyed the previous Mass Effect games but Hyrule is just too beautiful to leave right now. I had even intended to go back and play more Horizon: Zero Dawn, but I just discovered how to bake cakes in Zelda.

-Gabe out




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