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Brian / 3 hours ago

A Study in Saffron

I’ve spent the last couple of weekends wandering around my neighborhood with my phone out, collecting Pokemon. It’s seemed a popular past-time and a pleasant one. My usually quiet, keep-to-yourself suburban community has become a swarm of teens, adults and families buzzing around downtown Redmond, sharing smiles and hunting tips. And while I’ve spent the whole of this past week or so wearing some kind of yellow shirt (I’m a Hufflepuff, I have a lot of yellow), I found wearing the sample of our Yellow Team tee to be a neon call for pleasant conversation and fun banter.

Our Team Tees in their wild habitat

Wearing that shirt led directly to my first actual words with 4 of my neighbors, plus a couple of fun chats with some neighborhood kids while we kept the local gym awash in Yellow. It’s been the closest I’ve come to experiencing the small-town America eulogized by Kramer in the screen-door episode of Seinfeld, and that I vaguely remember from my childhood. You know… where neighbors knew each other and chatted a bit. Just, now, instead of talking about the local high school football team, we’re talking about Squirtle spawn points and Pikachu ring-bearers.

Grab one if you want. Or a set for your team. There’s some in Youth Sizes that will hopefully cover the scenario where your team is you and your children. Those have been my favorite teams to encounter.

A Family Team wearing our Team Tees

See you out there!

Tycho / 6 hours ago

Grand Admiral Thrawn is back, welcomed into loving embrace of canon, and I could not be more pleased.  The younger iteration of myself liked him much more than the current revision, but the main thing is what it proves: that they aren’t above boring into the years upon years of calcified work to haul worthies to the surface.  They have an eye on it.  Hopefully not all of it.  Hopefully we can erect some tasteful shōji or something to obscure certain parts.  You can tell from Panel Two where my own fantasies lie, in the voice Karen Traviss brought to the setting, a little more military and a little less mystic.  Time will tell.

Let’s celebrate this newly minted Wodenstag by acquiring and incorporating like only we know how, with Episode 8:

To be delighted even faster than you have been currently, you can always Subscribe to the YouTube channelStarting From The Beginning, you know, also an option for you.  There is a third, brand new option that involves listening to this season of Acquisitions Incorporated as a podcast should you choose to, just as in days of old.  Take full advantage.  Listen to one, while you watch another.  Feast on it.  Listen to seven simultaneously while you watch an eighth, and get completely caught up.  Indeed, here are all the ways one can absorb both our tender podcasts, and be nourished.

iTunes AcqInc / PA DLC
Stitcher AcqInc / PA DLC
Overcast AcqInc / PA DLC
Google Play AcqInc / PA DLC

It’s a little hard to imagine, but we’ve been making AcqInc since May of 2008, when my friend Mike Krahulik called his character Jim Darkmagic mostly just to make me mad.  Judging by the conversations I have at PAX, it was many people’s first exposure to D&D or roleplaying in general.  Now they’re running their own games, or using Dungeons & Dragons as a substrate for a deeply customized system as we did here.  I definitely want people to enjoy Acquisitions Incorporated, but I also want them to see it and be like, hey.  That looks like something I could do.  I could get a bunch of my friends over here, and we could tell a story together.  And they can.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 days ago

Acquisitions Incorporated: Season One - The Podcast

It seemed like a good time to take it all the way back, back in the day, with a podcast of the new Acquisitions Incorporated season we have promoted so vociferously.  It was too fun not to do, and it’s something I get asked about a lot at the PAX shows - essentially, “can I listen to the new stuff while i’m driving to work.”  Absolutely you can.  The feed is here, so go for it!  “Watch” the new season however you like, even if that includes not “watching” it per se.  Big thanks to Erik Bronnum, Kiko Villasenor, Josh Price, and Jeff Kalles for making it happen.  Super proud to work with these guys - official sub-interns, all.


Tycho / 2 days ago

James Patterson, as has been established, is a necromancer.  And he has only begun his dark work.

Well, maybe.  Have you heard about Bookshots?

In the same way Nike branded the calorie with Fuel, Bookshots are an attempt to brand the novella as a form.  I’m not neutral on the subject: I think the novella is a potent form factor.  Nine Princes In Amber and many other rad, classic books fit comfortably in a space that the traditional publishers don’t give a shit about.  Their optimal scenario is the Book As Word Loaf, a hardbacked rectangular volume that demands its place in the culture.  By which I mean the retail shelf.  And the premium that commands.

It’s hard not to think of it, in some ways, as being of a piece with initiatives like his own JIMMY Patterson or Jon Scieszka’s Guys Read, literacy engines which…  I don’t know any “guys” who don’t read, but so many groups are straining themselves to fix this that it must be a thing.  I have a “guy” in my house, a small one, that prefers books to people.  If a person preferred Overwatch to reading, though, I guess I wouldn’t entirely be surprised…?

You can purchase Bookshots in slight volumes - the fantasy is that, in the manner of a tubeworm, they might live in environments that have been hostile to other kinds of literature.  You can grab them as ebooks as well, but there’s also an app which I have downloaded that is basically a frontend for these things.  There’s a free book in there called The Witnesses that I started reading but quickly determined it might not be for me.  I can’t even read a Beach Book on the beach.  I will sit under an umbrella and read an entire Numenera sourcebook cover to cover, so I’m definitely not in the crosshairs of this initiative.  Is the actual problem with books that they are too long?  Is that really the “why”?  Bookshots might work then, even if I don’t like the word.  But if he ends up creating a cultural space and a business case for the novella as a form, I mean, I can’t not love it.  It makes me want to write one, frankly.

Obviously he’s my blood-foe, we’ve warred for millennia.  But I’m trying to figure out if there’s such a thing as a good necromancer.  Maybe so; maybe so.

(CW)TB out.

Destiny Pins!

I am really excited to announce our latest pin set. This is one that I’ve been working on for a while now and I can finally show off the end result.

We play a lot of Destiny at my house. Between my wife, my son Gabe and myself, we have a pretty solid little crew. When the opportunity to draw these Destiny pins came up I knew I had to base them on my family fireteam. So to most people that’s just a cool set of pins but that Titan is Gabe, the Warlock is Kara and I am the hunter. Destiny means a lot to me, it is something that brings my family together. We’ve had hours of fun running strikes and chatting together. I’ll always be able to look back at this set and remember when Gabe was 11 and how excited he was to fight Oryx with his Mom and Dad.

This set will be available for purchase at the Bungie booth this year during PAX West. The pins themselves are big and beautiful. I’m really proud of how they turned out and Gavin did an amazing job on the backer card. This is a set I can see folks keeping on the card back for display. Be sure and stop by the Bungie booth at PAX to see them in person. I think you’ll really be impressed.

-Gabe out

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