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I was all kindsa ready to get down on this Rage 2 stuff, the id Software/Avalanche combo has the texture of a summer mixtape, and every video up until now was deeply weird in a way that made me appreciate whoever had decided to pay for all this - a sequel to something that felt more like Engine than Game, for which I bear them no ill will.  Why you would do it, and then how it could then manifest this kind of manic energy, is the kind of impossible horseshit that I naturally gravitate toward.  It had that indie, auteur patina.  We loved Mad Max, even when stupid people said it was bad.

And, you know, Rage 2…  it’s fine.  That’s Gabe’s review, and he played way more than me.  I’m on some Jean-Luc shit - there’s fewer days ahead than behind, people3.  I gotta think about how I’m spending my motherfucking time.

The intro isn’t weird, it’s incoherent.  It’s one of the more half-hearted introductions I’ve played recently.  It looks like there’s something wrong with it.  Borderlands is harder than it looks, guys - you can’t just not give a shit, because then you end up with something like this, where it feels like you didn’t give a shit.  I definitely didn’t spend enough time with it, but nobody’s paying me to play through this.  If anything, I’m out money - the question at this point is complex.  Do I spend more time - that phenomenon instinctively recognized as the ur-currency - trying to get value out of the sunk costs?  I mean, last night, the choice was to watch the most depressing movie I’ve ever seen in my life or play Rage 2 and I went with the movie.  I put my soul in a tomb instead.

If you’re looking for company this afternoon, consider joining us in the studio for our 2pm PDT playthrough of Phoenix Wright - I’ll be joined by Ryan Hartman, Amy Falcone, and the returning Kris Straub playing a cast of…  well, of about ten.  It’s something people people seem to enjoy, and we include ourselves in that number.  See you then.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 5 days ago

I’m typing this on Thursday because I am getting up at eff o’clock on Friday to pick up Amy and go the Airport so I go down - literally down, on a map - to The Descent.  Which is a D&D Event celebrating the new campaign stuff!  Our own book comes out next month (!!!), June 18th, but the Multiverse has continued to spin in the meantime, and down seems like a scary direction.  Let’s see where they end up taking us.

  Elyssa and I will be down there with The “C” Team, and I’ll be playing a solo game in the guise of Omin on Friday with a bunch of people way, way more famous that I am.  Mike was mean about it.  The end!!!

For most stuff, Josh will be hosting from our own channel at twitch.tv/pennyarcade, but a couple of these things are only like ten minutes long so maybe it’s fine if you just go the D&D Channel?  However you want to do it is fine; I’m just glad anybody cares about this shit.  There’s other content available as well, but if you’re looking to enhance quadrant one specifically to find our stuff, I’ve put Elyssa’s schedule for us right below.

Friday 4:00pm - 5:30pm: Opening Ceremonies
8:15pm - 10:15pm: Game with Jerry and Kate on Main Stage (“The Descent, Part 2”)
Channel: twitch.tv/dnd

Saturday 9:00am - 9:10am: PA Dragon Talk Interview with Jerry and Lidija Channel: twitch.tv/dnd
12pm - 1:30pm: AcqInc: The C Team Game with Patrick Rothfuss as Driebus
Channel: twitch.tv/dndlive3

Sunday
8:40am - 8:50am: Idle Champs Dragon Talk Interview with Ryan
Channel: twitch.tv/dnd

(CW)TB out. 

**Private message for Tycho**

I disagree man.

I think there is a difference between what you and I do, or what a writers room does and what people mean when they say “writing by committee”. That term specifically (for me at least) means the work lacks a cohesive vision and probably needed what I would call a Captain. Someone whose job it is to hold in their head the vision of the final product and steer the ship of creators in that direction. That person should absolutely listen to their crew and incorporate their ideas but they need to keep their hands on the wheel or they will be driven off course by the waves…the audience. I’m saying he should not leave the ending of his story to the mercurial whims of a faceless mob. 

There is no “startling path” that has been discovered. Everyone is just upset that it didn’t end the way they wanted. There are a million startling paths being suggested and debated in forums all over the internet. There is no way George could sit down at his computer and magically divine some perfect ending that would…what? He would type the last word and then ascend to heaven? He should end this story the way he originally set out to or what was the point of any of it? Whenever we are asked for advice on cartooning we say a few of the same things. One of the big ones is make comics that make you laugh. You will go crazy trying to please an audience. Better to just please yourself…hmmm.

You know what I mean.


-Gabe out

Tycho / 6 days ago

Giving Star Wars to the Game Of Thrones people is a fascinating choice, particularly as these creators grow more spent and villainous in perception with every passing episode.  I would have given it to Deadwood’s David Milch, but that’s just me.  As Star Wars is largely about Lineage, of course, Carnivale’s Daniel Knauf would also work.  I mean, while we’re giving it to HBO people.  What we need in truth is an HBO Star Wars series, not another Trilogy.  But anyway.

Watching Game of Thrones, as a fandom, as a narrative, and as a cultural product literally and figuratively burn brings me precisely zero pleasure.  I was already out, and intersected with it only to satisfy long held curiosities, but at this point I’m seeing reactions from people who had perhaps forgotten that Daenerys’ last name is Targaryen.

If I were Geor.r.ge, I’d take this opportunity to observe all this data, perhaps an unprecedented amount of Market Research, and throw the rudder hard to port in my writing.  I was talking in the channel about this during one of our art streams, and people made fun of me, suggesting that I was positing something like creation by Committee.  This is…  silly, for many reasons, and it might be worth going into this for a second.

First, every comic on this website - with the exception of perhaps three - was “made by committee.”  If you mean to say that the creative work of more than one person is suspect, you’re wrong.  If you mean to say that group work can lack clarity, it’s possible; but I’d suggest you look at my own work here in the space for evidence that singular creators can be just as fractional, diffuse, and opaque as any group.  Particularly in comedy television, the “writer’s room” is a recognized phenomenon.  Judge work by work.  There’s a lot of mysticism that surrounds the Creator as God-Touched Chrysalis, and certainly I’ve met people who have made me believe this, but it’s not true.  Writing is a subspecies of lying, and its practitioners are not models for emulation.

Second, it’s really what you do with this information that would result in the anodyne, wind-tunnel content we assert when we deploy a term that ends with “...by Committee.”  Such a wealth of feeling, expressed across a species, offers an opportunity to create something that navigates expectations almost nautically.  It was all built up to burn it down; the pyre was heaped with every chapter.  But there’s a startling path through this that only the collated, unconscious analysis of millions of people can calculate.  Only a fool would disregard treasure like this.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 1 week ago

There’s an article on Venture Beat, which is a website, about how a proposed anti-loot box bill has zero chance of passing.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all if it didn’t pass.  Like most legislation, I suspect it constitutes a kind of opportunistic fan-fiction.  Also, nobody has any idea what they’re fucking talking about.

I mean it.  Nobody has any idea what a loot box is.  You might get lucky and find someone who has heard of “Loot Crate” - these will require an additional level of engagement.  You will tell them that people are buying Jedi or Doll Clothes or Cards and that none of it is real.  They may nod.  But this is just the nervous system.

The mind has evaporated; it may never return.

I get pretty tired of things being okay because they’re profitable.  I think I’d like a higher bar if possible.  I feel like these behemoths have broken through our circle of salt, and we’re talking about basic rules of politeness while they’ve turned the walls into wet, throbbing skin.  We’re behind.

About to head back into the studio for more intense courtroom action with our 2pm PDT playthrough of Phoenix Wright - I’ll be joined by Ryan Hartman and Amy Falcone playing a host of characters, and of course you’ll be able to see the both of them again on Wednesday at 4:00pm PDT when Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team makes its triumphant return.

(CW)TB out.