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Tycho / 2 days ago

When Rito announced a couple years back that they were going to do everything, literally everything, all the time, I was like, "Damn, that's a lot of things." You're trying to beat CS and Hearthstone and Street Fighter and also, like, Dota again somehow, which is sorta funny because this last one kinda brings the company full circle.

The next few paragraphs should be about how pride cometh before a fall. You know? It should be about how they tried to do way too much shit way out of their ken and natural law itself had to step in to tamp man's hubris. We could detour into some wild theorizing about heat-resistant wing compounds. But the card game was, and is, incredible. And, at least when I played it, incredibly generous by genre standards. Valorant is dope. And now they made a show so good it tempts even the casual observer to install one or more of these things. Again.

And I sorta thought Ruined King was gonna be a reskin of Battle Chasers, that woulda been safe, or even good. Shit, it coulda been a reskin of Darksiders Genesis and I'd still be down to clown. It would have been beautiful and cool in either case, "sweet," in that nineties way - a way mothers abhor! - with a few giant, exposed skulls here and there to let us know malevolent forces truly mean business this time. But it's got all of my favorite JRPG shit in here, with overworld exploration and legitimate twists in the classic initiative bar. They could have engaged in incredibly mercenary behavior here, as they could have with every one of these excursions of theirs, and it still would have worked in a purely business sense. Instead, they tried to earn it every time, and then did.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 4 days ago

I ended up having two separate Thanksgivings; It's not really Thanksgiving in my house unless it culminates in a cathedral of rich bones I can morph into a week's worth of dinners. I go into all that in the Club PA strip that drops tomorrow, but in any event we discovered the endgame strats for Thanksgiving and it involves doing major surgery on a bird.

Because I am abreast of all the hottest trends, and my familiarity with the clock app is profound, I knew that the way our fathers cooked turkey was a barbarous holdover from an unlettered "age of darkness" where giant fowl were roasted inefficiently. A mysterious void stymied all attempts at uniform cooking, and filling it with bread and holy spices only made it a vessel for ravaging disease.

Spatchcocking - the definition has some interesting breadth - is a method of preparing a bird where you cut out its spine with poultry shears or, as I did, to fully defile the creature with an ordinary pair of kitchen scissors terrifying all lookers-on. It had a WWE feel, and at some point in the middle I thought maybe it was going to win. Eventually I was able to find success because it was essentially an object while I was a conscious being, but it was closer than you think. My inarticulate hacking produced nearly a half-cup of razor-sharp "bone shrapnel" and I think, I think, I got most of it.

It is STILL the Holidays. If anything, with multiple bird days behind us, the Holiday mix by volume will only increase from here on out! Here are the stratagems you can employ on the store to maximize your trip:

(CW)TB out.

Child’s Play Auction 2021

The Child’s Play Charity dinner auction has gone virtual again this year and that means you can pick up some tickets and bid on cool stuff from the comfort of your own home. The auction will be on December 2nd this year and I’ve got a sneak peek at some of the items you can get your hands on. 

Here's a prototype of the Thornwatch game we made a a few years ago.

Lord Saldin's Helmet!


Tons of Gunpla.

Original acrylic paintings by someone who loves Kris Straub but is not him!

Saberforge Dueling Lightsabers!




In fact, in addition to this stuff I also donated an old sketchbook of mine that has some pin designs, Thornwatch box covers and a bunch of random doodling. I also handed over my collection of Dungeon Tiles so that they might grace another Dungeon Master's campaign. 


So head over to the official site and get your tickets for our virtual event today! Help us raise money for Child’s Play and get yourself some goodies in the process. 


-Gabe out

Tycho / 1 week ago

At first, I thought Ridley Scott was laying the blame for his movie's failure at the door of milliners - hardworking folk whose craft is plied to the delight of the head and scalp. But no! No. It was instead placed on the brow of that oft maligned cadre, The Millennial, whose disinterest in the schemes of their boomer forebears is well known.

Sometimes when there is an article about a director's incredible take-smithing, I can go and read it and - as is my doom - understand what they meant by it, even if they aren't especially invested in the gesticulations and obeisances of the era. He sorta went off, though. We weren't even aware of the movie at all, as we suggest in the strip - which makes his first point, that Disney had done a great job marketing the film, ring false. None of the quoted sections mention the fact that, as a nation, a once in a century plague has scarred and pitted our society in whatever the opposite of terraforming is. That's an indication about the sort of life he leads, which makes the rest of what he's said coherent in its way: that an alien, incursive force ("the millennian") simply can't comprehend that life outside of a phone exists. Set aside the fact that this isn't the problem, and that people watch movies on their phones all the time if you let them, or that people use their phones to cast movies all the time. Literally: let me for rhetorical purposes simply grant the false premise. When we have to live in the world you fucking assholes built, how can you blame anyone for looking away from it?

I've met a ton of millennials, and I simply haven't found the distribution of motherfuckers particularly concentrated within their confines. And it's like, okay. Do they have a deleterious effect on crops? Yes. Do we think they might be to blame for Mrs. Holmann's cow getting the dropsy? Jury's out. Do I have some welts on my forearm that could be, I dunno, millennial in origin? I'm open to it. Probably yes. Keep some space between them and your seedlings for sure. I don't know. Maybe they did fuck up the movie thing. My arms are itching like crazy.

Millennial readers, I hope this hasn't put you off our incredible holiday deals - new announcements are en route today, plus Double Secret Boxes will be made manifest at 4pm PDT!

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

I was telling Mark about this new Riot fighting game, because a trailery thing just came out, and how I'd played its philosophical predecessor Rising Thunder at PAX fuckin'... years ago. I can see why that team would get bought, even just off that sliver, because I've thought about it consistently ever since then.

Those ideas aren't unique to Rising Thunder or Project L or whatever it's going to be called, though - David Sirlin's Fantasy Strike leaned into this years ago. You might find that game's "Accessibility" page, really more of a manifesto about the fighting game genre, utterly fascinating. I like an arcane input as much as the next cloistered genre adherent, but what really stands out in either of these cases - Fantasy Strike or Project L - is where the thinking happens, and what you're thinking about. It's not, like, the Super Soldier serum or some shit; you'd still get wrecked by a pro because their thinking on the actual game being played - beyond the inputs - is so developed. What it let me see, observe, literally have any concept of, was the game those people play.

Anyway, that's not even what the strip is about. The strip is about me telling Garb about this fighting game, and him tentatively asking, "Is it one of these platform fighters?" in a quiet, tired voice. To his mind, it seems like it's required by law that if you have more than five characters you have to make a middling, two-stars-out-of-five platform fighter to show off your wares. The issue is that most places can't execute Smash with anything like Nintendo's skill and precision, and so you end up with a lot of room temperature mush studded with a ton of recognizable logos.

That being said, specifically with MultiVersus, I have a hard time dismissing it because it has a super experienced team plus their 2v2 focus makes it something like a co-op fighter…? These things prevent me from adopting a sneering, preemptively dismissive crouch, even if it would save me a lot of time. I mean… take a look at what they have to say.

I guess I'd kinda like to see that.

(CW)TB out.

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