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Tycho / 27 minutes ago

I occasionally try to utilize my notoriety to get shit.  I feel my alignment shifting when I do, a grinding pressure, a sense that perhaps my momma raised me wrong after all, so I don’t try to run game with great frequency.  In the context I was raised in it’s of a piece with “putting on airs,” like literacy.  When I attempt to use my Ultimate, I tell you here; as often as not, it doesn’t work at all.  At PAX West, a few months before the official release of Star Wars: Destiny, I had a chance to drop into a demo during the show and it essentially arrested the natural motion of my thoughts.  A steel rod was inserted into a moving bike wheel until every spoke was wrenched out, and then it rolled off into a hedge very slowly and fell over.

I tried to buy his Goddamn demo kit straight off him.  No dice.  I considered shedding this husk and revealing my soul lantern, to grant him entre into the deliberations of my Spirit Court.  I think by that time he found these writhings amusing, more than anything.  A box came last week, with Star Wars RPG books to review, and a couple starters for Destiny were spread atop the books like frosting.  I assume they were included out of pity.

It’s out now, but wherever it materializes it disappears quickly, bopped into nonexistence like a mole.  Know that if you see them available online somewhere, you are racing me to buy them.

Our own Gabriel explained the system to me with incredible clarity, and I think I remember having a headset on when he made this gleaming revelation, so it should materialize as a podcast: in many CCGs, there is the concept of The Chain.  This “chain” represents time in a hyper-granular way so that you can discern what happens when many things are happening at once.  Or, when something happens that negates something else that happened previously.  There is a Zen Koan sort of texture to it; does a monster deal damage if it doesn’t exist?

Here’s what he said.  Star Wars: Destiny explodes the chain out, so that every action is atomized: each act is your entire turn.  In many CCGs, your “turn” is this hydra-headed, multifarious beast with a multi-step upkeep, then as many discrete acts as you can pay for, occasionally interrupted by cards your opponent plays during your turn that you respond to and so forth.  In SW:D, simply generating a resource - like tapping Mana - is an entire turn.  So now, the spotlight comes back to you: why did they generate that resource?  What do they want to do with it?  Is it more advantageous for me to try and counter that pool, or crank up my own shenanigans that they have a chance to reckon with?  It’s played in rounds; when both players pass, then everybody handles a big upkeep phase together.  It’s really fast, it’s really clever, and if there’s a physical CCG more suited to digital play I don’t know about it.  Holy shit.  Also, it’s a game played with cards and dice - these dice are where the resources get generated.  These cubes are a bit larger than most, with a smooth texture and rounded corners, and each booster pack comes with a dice in it.  The want to possess them has piquant notes of Dragon Sickness.

Gabe and his eldest just played the starters for a while, sans boosters of any kind; the play format I think allows for you to wring a lot of play from the learning phase.

If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest Welcome To PAX shows, this would be a good time to catch up.  They’re done by friend and ally Octavio Abea, and they’re pretty intimate.  The more of them we’ve done, the closer we’ve tried to get him installed into the current of the show - the show at the top, PAX, but also pulling threads and showing him all the tiny conventions that people bring with them, some of which have been around for years.  The latest episode is about Acquisitions Incorporated, and lets you see the wild crush before the show to get it stood up.

Remember that you can also subscribe to the channel to receive juice of this kind at the very peak of its freshness.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 22 hours ago

Luigi™ Jump Pin Now Available

And when I say Luigi™ Jump Pin, I’m referring to this one right here:

As your pin sommelier, I would say that it pairs well with our Super Mario Bros.™ World 1-1 Pin Set.

(CW)TB

Twitching all day

Today’s strip was another that I did live on Twitch. I happened to draw this one on Monday which is when Tycho and Ryan do their new Hearthstone stream. You can watch me do all the sketching and most of the inking in this one:

Watch live video from on www.twitch.tv

Then I took a break while they played some Hearthstone. The idea is that Ryan is teaching Tycho how to play Hearthstone and it must be working. I actually came in and challenged Tycho to try and win back control of the Twitch channel a little early but I got wrecked.

Watch live video from on www.twitch.tv

I ended up coming back later and finishing up the colors and words.

Watch live video from on www.twitch.tv

I also have the puppy cam set up now so both of these streams had appearances by the new hound. We are really having fun with the Twitch channel. If you haven’t already, you should head over and give it a look.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 3 days ago

A lot of Virtual Reality games currently are essentially a cool interaction concept, unfettered by much of anything else.  I don’t have a problem with this necessarily, because in some ways VR has made us all toddlers and we must learn to contend with our bodies all over again.  It’s okay to start by playing with blocks; indeed, it’s traditional.

There hasn’t been something like a Resident Evil, is what I’m trying to say.  But there is one now, for better or for worse, and you can grab the demo whether you have VR or not.  This kind of money hasn’t really been spent on a VR game, in part because - outside of the speculative gold rush that virtually every developer I know is taking part in - the install base for VR as a platform (as well as the biological realities of long periods “inside”) seems to contraindicate large-scale, single project investment.

So there’s a lot that’s shocking about Resident Evil 7.  This has been a busy year for me, and time - the ur-resource - hasn’t been plentiful.  Triage is necessary.  And after Resident Evil 6, I’ll be honest with you: the franchise just fell off the list of games I actively watch.  That is a deeply confused fucking game.  I’ve completed virtually every “real” RE game, some more than once, even that mobile shiz.  I’m literally a resident of evil.  But they…  who knows what they did.  Sometimes publishers get it into their heads that they can turn their cult hits into mainstream cash and they forget some important shit in the process.

I think there’s a pressure to be a Silent Hill person or a Resident Evil person, and historically that meant something specific, but Resident Evil 7 wants to have its evil cake and eat it darkly.  What a fucking malevolent stew they’ve cooked up here: P.T., the ill-fated zygote of Silent Hill is in the mix.  Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses is in.  Blair Witch Project is in.  Check out the released videos; this is a document very much of the moment where horror is concerned.  Throw in the first person perspective, throw out the S.T.A.R.S. Global Zombie Police stuff, reign in the ever increasing scale, jettison the cheese, and it’s clear: this is a reboot from the ground up.

The result is that I’m incredibly excited for Resident Evil again, a franchise they’ve reinvented at least twice now.  I found the demo utterly horrifying, VR or no, but in the headset I felt the intended experience even more; there is something about having an object clamped on your head that really sells the claustrophobia.  There is a button, L1 if I recall, whose entire purpose is to cover your face with your hands.

I used that one a lot.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 4 days ago

In order to fully grasp the sociopolitical texture of Final Fantasy XV, it’s probably important to watch the movie.  And maybe the anime.  I didn’t do those things.  I just jumped in with both feet into what feels like a Final Fantasy MMO for the most part, but…  I think I’m okay with that.  I’m at least ten hours okay with it, judging by the weekend.  Big takeaways:

This game has meticulous, overwhelming, almost pornographic 3d models of food.  And,
It’s a world where people have swords AND cars AND cellphones.

Gabe wondered if they had done some of those specific things on purpose, and I thought maybe he had been infected by a xenospore so I took precautions.

I can only imagine you have read my recent missives with increasing dread, but my investigations of the Eberhard Hoard have reached a dead end.  What is needed for research of this kind is strong coffee, mixed with the milk of the goat, and a dried preparation of the herb dreamveil in a 5/3/1 ratio, coupled with a sturdy notebook: one that can be relied upon to contain mystery.  For my own studies, I made an order of one mug and one journal to contain my revelations, but perhaps some malevolent force beyond our ability to perceive it added several thousand more mugs and notebooks to my cart, because now I am surrounded by mugs and notebooks - even were I able to extend my life in an unnatural way, I should never find use for all of them.  So I offer them to you now from my family’s warehouse, at a fifteen percent discount - any mug, and any Moleskine, for a fifteen percent reduction in their already reasonable price.

In brighter days, I did consider myself a student of verse; in the public houses near Miskatonic University I did perform recitations of my work with some measure of cup-borne enthusiasm.  I tell you this by way of warning, for I fear some muse has taken the reins.

A vessel to sip dark elixir,
From an etched and evil pitcher.
The skin of moles is bound to service,
Pages sleep beneath the surface.

Indeed, it was at one of these fateful “Nights of the Open Mic” that I met the man - if a man he was - who would become my mentor in things which should never be taught, to say nothing of learned. But that is a tale for another day.  I leave you with another glimpse of the nefarious Codex Coupons.

(CW)TB out.




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