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Tycho / 2 hours ago

Success And Its Opposite

Gabe is playing an Xbox game at home, alone, and without compulsion - specifically, Forza Horizon 3.  I don’t know what caused this to happen, but it’s happening and we have to deal with that.  Specifically, I have to deal with that.

I grabbed a copy after being coated in his effusions, and with a jaunty spirit, named my international racing mogul Sloth.  In my mind I can see his business card, and underneath where it says Sloth is a curl of italicized cursive that says “It’s Ironic.”

I want to know way, way more before I talk about it, but the initial impressions are really, really good.  You have to play for awhile before “Horizon Online” materializes, but once it does, it offers some highly novel options: modes for unbridled adventure, and even a way to approach the campaign content together.  Loneliness is what keeps me out of the racing space in general, and their approach is making me feel things.  Fans of The Crew, of course, are shaking their heads.

Two important things to consider today.  The first is an unbridled attempt to tantalize you that is almost beyond cruelty and ventures into a kind of hesitant sadism:

'He turns pals into pyres with his unfriendly fires.' #comingsoon #pinnyarcade #acqinc

A photo posted by Penny Arcade (@pamegacorp) on

Do with this information what you will.  Common responses thus far have been salivation and the sort of shuddering one sees at down home tent revivals.

It was also my great pleasure to talk with Theresa Duringer over at Temple Gates, creators of Ascension VR, about…  well, I won’t lie to you.  We talked about Ascension VR, in a brand new Tycho Tries.

I’ve said it before, and lo, here is another opportunity: the approach she and her team took with this game from a presentation perspective is fascinating, and they’re just getting fucking started over there.  I can’t wait to see what huge interactivity problem they solve next.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 2 days ago

Call For PAX South Enforcers!

PAX Aus fast approaches, but there is another.

As one of the ancient pillars of PAX, the Enforcers are one of the mystic elements that separate it from other shows - and you can literally embody this difference.  Check out the Enforcer page for South and, thus inspired, take a moment to fill out the application.  Here’s some Qs, with the As placed in close proximity:

Q: Do Enforcers get a free pass?
A: Yes! Also a neat staff shirt.

Q: Do Enforcers get paid?
A: Yes!

Q: How many days/hours would I have to work?
A: Enforcers must commit to working a minimum of one one 5-6 hour shift each day of PAX.

Q: How old do I have to be to Enforce?
A: Enforcers must be minimum 18 years old.

Q: Can people from other countries apply?
A: Unfortunately, no. Enforcers must able to work legally in the US.

Other questions can be directed to klindsay@penny-arcade.com or @Peeardee on Twitter.

(CW)TB

Tycho / 2 days ago

I never waver on whether a computer is the best place to play games; that’s a given for me.  Consoles will always be like a weird friend of Gabriel’s I am forced to endure.  Where I do occasionally wander, where my position does occasionally vibrate ever so slightly, is how much I like engaging in Satanic rituals as a prefix to my leisure activities.

It’s never going to be zero.  I’m always going to exhort Satan and his Demonic Lieutenants to inhabit the Ritual Box.  And Gabriel wants to give me shit or whatever because he just pushes a button and then fun comes out, but I keep thinking about The Little Red Hen.  Right?  He doesn’t want to interact with wheat.  I think of PC gaming as a process, which culminates in playing a game.  He thinks of PC gaming as a kind of farm league, where worthies are winnowed out from the writhing masses, and elevated to his cloud castle.

I like being there when things happen.  And that means being where things happen.  I want to see some filthy creature, made mostly of slime, like, slime, one leg, and an eyeball, flop out onto the beach and just pant there for awhile as their lungs figure out how to be lungs.  I want to sift the universes that are created and destroyed every second on these machines; I want to be where these dangerous missives and doomed bottle messages come to rest.

(CW)TB out.

I had fun with my Xbox!

I like to give Tycho a hard time about PC games but I actually spent some time this weekend playing on mine. I do not have a dedicated place to play PC games and I think that’s part of the problem. I spent some time this weekend working on resolving this problem. For my birthday on Sunday I got a Razer Turret. It’s a little wireless keyboard that is built into a lap desk. It also comes with a mouse to use along with it and both of them fit into a slick charging station when not in use. I hooked my laptop up to the TV and sat back with the keyboard and mouse on the couch. I played some Battlerite and a few other Steam games I’ve been meaning to try. I really enjoyed playing this way as opposed to sitting at a desk in front of a little screen. I was super impressed with the Turret as well. The keyboard feels great and the magnetic mouse pad is so smart. I know there’s lots of solutions out there for playing PC games from the comfort of your couch but I played with the Turret a bunch this weekend and came away really impressed.

Speaking of impressive gaming hardware, I also picked up a custom Xbox controller from the Xbox Design Lab.

This new controller is so much better than the original one! It feels more sturdy to me and I love the textured finish on the back. The bumpers feel significantly better in my opinion and the whole thing just feels great in your hands. The addition of a headphone jack on the bottom is also much appreciated. Oh, and it has Bluetooth so I can pair it with my Surface Book without needing a dongle! Besides all the physical improvements I also just really loved how beautiful it came out. When you custom build one of these things it’s not just painted with the colors you pick. The colors are baked into the plastic and the end result looks incredibly slick. I know I’ve been super hard on the Xbox One but I’m in love with my new controller and I used it to play a bunch of Forza Horizon 3 over the weekend. I had a really positive experience with my Xbox One this weekend and I have to admit it’s got me looking at the Xbox One S in a new light.

There’s only 9 days left on the Thornwatch Kickstarter. Thanks again to everyone who has supported the game. Over the weekend they posted a PDF version of the notebook I used to design the game. This is the very first notebook I had and the stuff in it is uh…pretty raw I’d say. You can see me working on mechanics on one page and then doodling characters and setting stuff on the next.

 

The folks and Lone Shark will be doing an AMA over on Reddit this afternoon along with Tycho and myself. It starts at 1:00 pm PDT. Come ask us ANYTHING!

-Gabe out

 

Tycho / 5 days ago

I’m working through Destiny’s Rise of Iron campaign, as one does, shoveling savory collectibles directly into my craw. I saw Gabe in orbit last night and thought it might be nice to wrap things up with another human; what wasn’t immediately clear at the time was that he was upstairs watching Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping and not actually there.  Our ships wobbled in intimate proximity for a long while; no words were said.  I feel like there’s a metaphor here.  Or maybe a literal?

I’m in that dangerous, restless period between games, what we might call the “Banchan Phase,” where I only want little nibbles of things and I want the freedom to move to the next tiny dish.  It’s made it almost impossible to commit to Telltale’s Batman, which you would think would be perfect for this phase, but slow burn doesn’t work for this ravenous mental gear.

I’m gonna see where I get with Battlerite, which just hit; I’ve liked what Stunlock Studios has done in general, actually.  Bloodline Champions was cool, and I was sad to see Dead Island: Epidemic get shut down because it was stuffed with amazing ideas apparently only I thought were amazing.  I was looking at Fractured Space, and wondering what was going on with the space, specifically I’m thinking of the fractures, and got curious right away.  Reminded me of Dreadnaught, with the camera way, way back.  “Slow League of Legends in Space” is exactly what I want, thank you very much.  I need that to become a genre, and that seems to be happening.

PAX Aus Three Day badges are sold out, so we’re down to the Single Days, which you should seize immediately.  It’s also worth the trip, if you are from elsewhere; you can watch every movie you missed for the year on the flights to and from, and then you can attend a rad show in a rad town where even the alleyways - places of fear where I am from - spill over with unique art, rare books and artisinal meats.  I don’t one hundred percent understand Australia and I don’t have to: all I know is you have to go sometime, and you might as well get a PAX in while you do.  I’m fighting the urge to pack for this show today, which would be a bad idea, because I only have enough of these black shirts for a week.

(CW)TB out.