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Tycho / 18 hours ago

After we talked about Fortnite: Battle Royale last week, Greazy-E installed it on the PS4 here in our office and a stream of people from the building found themselves drawn inexorably toward it.  Except Kiko.  Kiko is staying out on principle.

A phenomena that started at Mike’s house and then filtered into our celestial realm here is to spectate the match out and watch your lineage.  Maybe it’s technically the reverse of a lineage, but still.  It’s so engaging that there has to be a way to make it part of the game proper.

Having spent more time with this bizarre entity, my head is spinning.  First of all, I wasn’t aware that Fornite: Battle Royale was a completely separate free download.  I’d sort of assumed that the entire purpose was to act as a candy coating to get the client on your box, but no: it’s some kind of multiphasic cluster lure.  If you choose the base game from the main menu, it tells you you have to buy it.  Which, you know, Gabe did.  He wanted to support them for the other game, because there really isn’t any monetization substrate in Battle Royale.  It’s almost purely about asserting the raw fact of its existence.

Also, I suggested it was “interesting” last time, but the way the endgame shifts when it’s about resources and construction is beyond fascinating and constitutes a far more interesting denouement - a word I spelled correctly the very first time.

At this point, I really just want to see if Epic is prepared to do what needs to be done here.  The headroom in Battle Royale is vast.  There’s no ceiling on it, from introducing their third faction from the PVE mode, to emphasizing the substantial trap component, to getting vehicle functionality in there, to carving the island into two massive teams…  It’s like this.  Right now the conversation is about cloning or whatever.  They could change that very quickly, if that’s what they wanted to do; if they were here with the intention to stay.

Hey!  Tomorrow at 3pm PDT, we’ve got a sponsored stream for Asmadi GamesOne Deck Dungeon, with the designer of the game Chris Cieslik.  My friend Eric Benson and I have played the fuck out of it, and I’m looking forward to having Chris explain to me all the ways I’ve been playing it wrong.

(CW)TB out.

Australia Pin Quest!

We have a bunch of cool pins coming to Australia this year, including a Mickey Mouse pin! We’re also bringing an incredible selection of Nintendo pins to the show as well as the brand new Master Sword pin. Just take a look at all this cool stuff!


PAX AUS 2017 Partner Pins

Ashen and Florence Pins [Annapurna Interactive]
Available at the Annapurna Interactive Booth 2900.

Mighty Machine and Shooty Cutie Cat [Mighty Games]
Available at the Mighty Games Booth 6420.

Think of the Children and Orwell [Surprise Attack]
Available for purchase at the Surprise Attack Booth PR16.

Crossy Chicken and Crossy Mickey [Hipster Whale]
Available for purchase at the Might Games Booth 6420.

Hand of Fate 1 and 2 [Defiant Development]
Available for sale at the Defiant Development Booth PR11.

Doggo [Checkpoint]
Available for sale at the Diversity Hub. All funds raised help continue our efforts to connect mental health resources with video games and technology.

Forts Eagle Empire Insignia [Earthwork Games]
Available for purchase at the EarthWork Stand at AIS05.

Cute Samurai [Samurai Punk]
Available for purchase at the Lil Punk Booth PR02.

28 Plays Later [Kris Straub]
Available for purchase at the Kris Staub table in Bandland.

Blockpocalypse: Shark [Dime Studios]
Available for purchase at the Dime Studios Booth 15. Also available as a bundle with Blockpocalypse.

Paperville Panic UFO [Ultimerse]
Available for Purchase at the Ultimerse Booth PR03.

Framed 2 [Loveshack Entertainment]
Available for purchase at the Loveshack Entertainment Booth PR01.


PAX AUS 2017 Show Pins

PAX AUS 2017 Pin Set
Available at both PAX Merch Booths.

Limited Edition PAX AUS 2017 Pin
ONLY available at the PAX Merch Lite Booth


PAX AUS 2017 Show Pins

Nintendo™ based joys await you at PAX AUS 2017 with our Legend Of Zelda™ and Super Mario Bros.™ pin sets! Available at both PAX Merch Booths, while supplies last.


Get your Pin Quest here.

-Gabe out


Tycho / 4 days ago

I love playing PUBG with Kiko on Wednesdays.  We even have an Emote dedicated to that stream - a chicken drummie with the no symbol around it - that designates us as Team NeverRoast, a fraternal order dedicated to failure in PlayerUnknown’s BATTLEGROUNDS.

Kiko sent me a message yesterday night about Fortnite: Battle Royale, which is in many ways a clone of PUBG - a clone of its mechanics, but also apparently its success.  Before this, people mostly talked about how the product had interesting ideas but didn’t understand itself very well.  Now, it’s spoken of in the same sentence as one of the world’s most popular games almost every day.

It’s not really a legal matter, but I’m not sure it’s “cool.”  I’m not sure it is in accordance with Bro Law.  I think it might be kind of a dick move.  I asked David Sirlin (whose Fantasy Strike recently hit Early Access) about this awhile ago, because he’s been accused of precisely this kind of thing.  What you’ll get from his piece is that it’s cool when you want it to be cool and bad when it’s expressly illegal, what’s more, almost everything you like is made from molecules of other things.

MC Paul Barman’s “Sampling Law” asserts an aesthetic framework for determining if sampling is legitimate, suggesting that “if he don’t make it his” - that is to say, if the artist has not interpreted the work and fashioned something original out of it - the work constitutes theft.  So, what’s different?

Well, to Grobbit, the fact that there’s even a moment’s consideration given over to visual beauty is not an insignificant thing.  We couldn’t get him to play The Division with us, even though it’s fucking excellent and only got better over time, because you could get chinos and slouchies as loot.  I think his general philosophy is that if you can buy the game’s loot at Urban Outfitters, it doesn’t constitute an aspirational item.

From a gameplay perspective, item rarity in pickups is a nice twist I think.  But the most substantial deviation is that the harvest and build loop from Fortnite is retained, so that you’re also getting construction resources.  I’ve never survived a final circle in PUBG, and I’d never suggest that they change anything about it - but that’s not the game I was playing for the previous twenty minutes.  That’s another game entirely, very slither-oriented, very “snake forward.”  This is true in Fortnite’s version as well, except the ability to build shelters in the final minutes of the battle widens the set in a way that I find extremely interesting.

(CW)TB out.

Acquisitions Inc. Down Under!

I’m excited to finally announce that Acquisitions Incorporated is coming to PAX Australia this year! We’re switching things up for this adventure though and moving Ac Inc. to a “galaxy far far away”. That’s right, Omin Dran has opened an AI franchise in the Outer Rim and we’ll be playing Fantasy Flight’s Edge of the Empire.

I’ll be taking on the roll of game master for this adventure and my players will be Jerry Holkins, Holly Conrad, Kris Straub, and making his first appearance at the AI table, Jesse Cox. In this universe Omin Dran is a smooth talking smuggler with a beat up freighter and a crew of miscreants.

I’m really looking forward to this game. Obviously I’m a huge Star Wars fan but beyond that I just really like what this game does mechanically. Edge of the Empire has a really interesting core mechanic based on assembling these large pools of dice, rolling them and then divining the outcome like some fortune teller reading chicken bones. It is possible in EotE to succeed and fail at a check at the same time. It’s an incredible system that really lends itself to cooperative storytelling. If you’ve never seen it played before I think you’re in for a treat. Don’t worry about not knowing the system, I’ll be teaching it and explaining the mechanics as we play.

So what does aquisitions Inc. look like in a different setting? What’s Omin Dran like when he’s a Twi’lek scoundrel instead of a half-elf cleric? Who is the mysterious droid K-3RS and is he really force sensitive? All these questions and more will be answered on October 27th! Come watch us live at PAX or catch the show on Twitch.

-Gabe out

We are currently doing an AMA over on R/Boardgames. Come ASK US ANYTHING!’

-Gabe out

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