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Tycho / 8 hours ago

I’m good on comet shit, thanks.  I’m a position to know what the margins are like on enthusiast media properties, and so I know that it’s incumbent on them to beat the shit out of whatever is getting views, but it’s lead to a state of affairs where the stats are functionally writing the content and it looks it.

The only upside I can think of it is that maybe the algorithm is sentient and is consciously manipulating humanity toward some end we can’t project.  That’s how far out I have to get to validate this reality.

Nintendo Labo dominated our homes over the weekend, and its gravity was such that no light could escape.  If I want something to have broad adoption in my house, I just leave it in a central area like you would a tray of hors d’oeuvres and wait.  I guess in a way it’s like laying a trap?  But trying to encourage active participation is poison to any endeavor at my house.  The time between me setting it down and shit getting made is shorter than it has ever been.

Once you’ve made the stuff, which is cleverly written and incredibly fun on its own, and then played with the stuff, which is varying shades of rad, and then gone into the Discover section to engage in dialogues with imaginary people about how all these things actually work, you can head into the Garage.

You should click that link because you probably won’t believe what you see there, but in a good way, and that’s always a rare treat on today’s Internet.  Let me tell you that there is a ton of horseshit “science” stuff people want to sell you as a parent.  So, so much.  They’ll try to sell you science shit “for boys.”  They’ll try to sell you science shit “for girls.”  A lot of it is very wet and messy.  Nintendo Labo would recommend itself over its competitors simply by being dry.  But its gentle instructions and inviting designs mean that by the time you ask if they need help they’re already done, and they’re incredibly proud.

From time to time over the history of the company there’s always comparisons between Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, comparisons which assume they are in the same industry.  I’m not sure this is actually true.  Nintendo was founded in 1889 to make playing cards, and if there’s one thing you can say through the course of their innovations, it’s that they’re continually trying to emphasize the physicality of things.  They have consistently made things that project into the real world.  And they understand “fun” in a way that is utterly proprietary.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

People often talk about the “dadification” of games, which I suspect is at least partially a function of a workforce that is aging and a medium that is aging with it.  I mean aging in the sense of a casked liquor.  I don’t mean aging in demonstrable progression of decrepitude sense, but know this: the grave awaits us all.  Purely in terms of time spent there, it’s not even a contest; the tomb is the truest home of man.

Along with this dadification comes various representations of young people, which is a very tough business.  It’s not impossible to do, but it’s almost never the case that a writer is tasked with this while they have any idea what fucking kids are like from the perspective of a kid.  You forget this right away, some alteration in the structure of the brain, when you take your place on the frontlines of our perpetual, generational wars.

I have occasionally seen well-behaved children in the wild, civilized creatures, at whose feet the gutted Earth is restored.  I assume they have very firm parents.  Not that I’m not firm; I’m just firm in ways that create problems for me later, with jeremiads about unaccountable power and distrust of arbitrary authority that erode my own rhetorical position.  We have more thoughts on this topic in the strip.

The game is excellent, but the way.  We lucked out pretty hard that the dude sending out the review copies was somebody we’d known over at Atlus originally, and Gabe has been gnawing on it with great hunger and ferocity.  I would say it was hot as Hel, kinda work the Norse thing in there, but the Norse didn’t conceive of Hell as hot - they conceived of it as cold.  The joke doesn’t work at all

Cory Barlog, the Director on the new God of War, posted a video of himself checking the Metacritic for the game.  It’s like an unboxing video, but for the potential of the human spirit.

I had a sense what the video would actually be about before I started it, and ultimately time would prove it correct: it’s not personal in any way.  it’s the relief of having lead people through a very hard place and, with the number in front of him, having independently verifiable proof that their trust had not been misplaced.  He did not lead them astray.  Until he saw that, he didn’t know himself.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 5 days ago

AcqInc: The “C” Team Returns April 25th

I have the last four pages of Nurse Normal‘s Jonaari opus, Never Mind That for you right here.  Pages 1-6 and here, pages 7-12 are here, and pages 13-16 are below:

Very excited to get back on my shit next Wednesday.


Tycho / 5 days ago

We actually wrote this comic  before it was announced that the guided missile was being shelved indefinitely.  They have a pretty aggressive schedule over there.

I was talking to Jeff Kalles, who you might remember as Jeff No-Magic from Acquisitions Incorporated, about it yesterday.  The man is a Project Manager just, like, in his blood, and to hear him tell it managing the kind of seismic success a game like Fortnite is experiencing is an incredibly sophisticated challenge.  There’s always gonna be the “Good problem to have,” wink-nudge contingent, and certainly it can be effectively argued that wealth is superior to destitution.  No doubt a tasteful chart would help drive this point home: the bars could be made up of, like, dollar bills or something.  The one for Destitution could be very small, only a few pixels in height.

But the manic pace of the updates was always going to result in an algae bloom type scenario.  Personally, I like this mad energy.  As somebody who makes things I want to know that people who share this drive are able to transform this opportunity into a canvas where this desperate energy - and I mean that in the best possible way - has a venue of expression.  But that doesn’t mean that every idea is good for the game.  Hearing that the guided missile was on time-out made me happy because it indicated that it’s not simply raw inertia over there, even in this heady context, somebody’s still driving even if it means curating out a feature that has delivered untold viral reach.

But yes, success as disease.  Compared to their initial contemporaries, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds was ridiculously responsive - and then they were alone, functionally without equal, on a high roost atop a spur of volcanic rock.  PUBG’s own explosive success created the preconditions for what looked like lethargy externally, particularly in the face of a ravenous young competitor.  Their response was a fair bit of time coming, but it’s begun to reflect a new dynamism from philosophical shifts in the collapsing circle to entirely new modes with respawns.  There’s enough room for both of these games and they’re making each other better every day.   

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Inspired by true events.

My Xbox Live account and at least one of my Uplay accounts are all tied to an ancient Hotmail, which I think is now just some inward lump of Outlook, slowly shriveling like a parasitic twin.  It has a folder called Junk Mail, and this folder currently “haz” forty-five mails in it, but even a cursory glance at the “mail” folder will tell you that every mail in there for the last several years is spam.  Something like a game reserve, where spam might run free.

(I used to use an Outlook plugin called “SpamBayes” back in the day that was the most effective tool I’d ever seen for managing Spam, but aside from its incredible efficacy it also called non-spam email “ham,” a designation I’m more pleased with than is probably warranted.)

I took a different plane home than everybody else from hashtag PAX East, meeting the fam and Brenna’s parents in Hawaii.  I’m not very good at Paradise; my idea of a good time is doing what I’m doing now - writing in the dark.  This is why creating people without your hangups is kind of handy.  Sometimes you do something else, something you might not have otherwise, and you bring those things with you back into the dark room.

I did briefly experience a savory new condition that was like a mixed plate of agoraphobia and claustrophobia which was so ridiculous I was eventually able to think my way out of it.  It’s like, what is this horseshit?  No, mind.  You only get one.

When I arrived, Brenna had already purchased a ukulele for Ronia.  I spent the next, like, four days playing it.  Songs just fall out of these things.  There is a hole right in the front where songs condense and then precipitate.  The only challenge, really, is deciding which of the songs you’re gonna finish.  But this is a rad problem and I’m not mad.

The main takeaway is that I finally figured out the linguistic role of the word “one” in Pidgin.  It wasn’t very hard and I don’t know why it took me so long.  In another ten years, hopefully I’ll be able to systematize the word “kine,” which is so versatile it’s less a word and something like a grammatical mortar.

(CW)TB out.

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