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Tycho / 20 hours ago

I love Housemarque - Super Stardust HD is one of my favorite games of all time, and defeating it with Kiko is one of my favorite gaming memories.  I thought Resogun was very good also.  Now they’re dropping this Matterfall shit, and it’s bonkers but I love it too.

As an adult, I was surprised and delighted to learn that Hair Metal (I’m aware there are more technical terms, subgenres which begat subgenres, etc.) continued to progress elsewhere in the world after it stopped being a going concern here.  That is the ground Housemarque treads: they make arcade games in a world that has, by and large, cast the arcade aside.

Tim Rogers calls it Metroid Contra, and he’s one of like three people whose opinions on games I give any kind of shit about.  It’s got bullet hell way down in it, and it has a control scheme that I can sort of succeed with until my fingers revolt.  It is a game where a lot of shit happens and you are given the tools to create your own solutions.

In other news, we’ve announced our newest intern for the live Acquisitions Incorporated game at PAX West - the Tiefling Sorceror Strix, played by Holly Conrad.  Her last name ends with the word Rad, which is all you absolutely need to know, but she is a prolific creator of stories, characters, and costumes who is featured (among other places) on Chris Perkins’ own D&D Show Dice, Camera, Action!  Among other things, this is the latest piece of continuity that expresses an invigorating concept: that some of these campaigns exist in the same world.

If you aren’t already a fan of hers, I’m overjoyed to introduce you - we’ve got a two and a half hour Podcast called “Enter The Trash Witch” to bridge the gap between the game at PAX East.  Lots of cool details in there about pulp adventure available in Chult, some interpersonal fireworks, and a strong tee-up for the game at PAX West.

(CW)TB out.

I like to read books

My wife Kara planned a vacation to celebrate me turning forty next month. We just got back from eight glorious days in Maui and my sunburn has officially entered the “itchy as fuck” phase. I’m not good at vacationing and eight days is actually the longest I’ve ever allowed myself to take off. I really like my job and the work I do so sometimes it’s difficult to step away from it. I’m very glad I did though as I was starting to get a little burned out and I think the time away really helped. As Cypress Hill so aptly put it 17 years ago, “It’s a fun job, but it’s still a job.”

I don’t like being around people and I don’t like doing things. This can make vacations tricky. I’m not the guy waking up at 6 in the morning to go climb a mountain. That’s just not how my brain is wired. My idea of a vacation is sitting on a beach or by a pool and reading. Maybe floating in the ocean but nothing much more strenuous than that. Thankfully my little family is wired in a similar way (except for maybe my youngest son) and so this is exactly what I spent the last eight days doing. I talked a bit on Twitter about the books I read but I really did try to stay unplugged for most of the trip. I figured I’d give a little bit more detailed breakdown of all the books here:

Fifth Ward: First Watch

This is a pretty standard crime procedural but set in a fantasy city full of Orcs and Elves. You follow along with a pair of detectives as they try and solve a series of murders. The hook itself may be standard but the setting and the telling of the story really make it stand out. Immagine Bad Boys but in Waterdeep.

Battlefield II: Inferno Squadron

This is by far the best of the new wave of Star Wars books in my opinion. Aftermath was one of the worst SW books I’ve ever read and I read the Dark Nest trilogy. Even though I liked Catalyst and Thrawn quite a bit, I just wasn’t enjoying the EU like I used to. Inferno Squadron is the dirty, boots on the ground kind of Star Wars that I really love. It’s really well done and full of characters that I’m honestly still thinking about.

All Systems Red

This is really fun book about an android sent along to protect a group of human scientists as they explore a new planet. Except he really dislikes humans and finds the entire thing super fucking boring. Until the shit hits the fan that is.


This is a book that explores some really cool ideas about virtual reality and A.I. I am hesitant to say much more than that because I don’t want to spoil anything. It’s one of those books that will probably leave you with more questions than answers but these are big ideas and a lot of what I read is still tumbling around in my head. A reader on Twitter told me they have “OPINIONS” about this book and I totally understand it. It’s one of those books that you finish and immediately want to talk with someone about.

Of course I also brought along my Switch. I played a bunch of Severed which is very good and started Sonic Mania on the flight home. I played it for a few hours on the plane ride and loved what I saw. If you’re an old school Sonic fan this game is made for you. I’ll never forget when my Mom told me that she and my dad wanted to get me “one of those Nintendo things” for Christmas one year. I told her that actually I had done a lot of research and the Sega Master System was really the better of the two consoles. 

Sega does what Nintendon’t!

-Gabe out

Tycho / 3 days ago

I always have a good time working with my friend Kris Straub; we’ve been working for years to find a project to do together, and it happened sort of without us realizing it - with AcqInc: The “C” Team.  I didn’t realize that’s what we had done at first, but we have three solid hours or so a week to make a story together now, we just do it in real time and he doesn’t know a hundred percent of it.  His entire character is an ironic OC Self-Insert called “K’thriss Drow’b” that he tucked into his intro videos for Acquisitions Incorporated, and - as is the way of these things - it became a truth.  It’s a thing.  I have been in at least three bands that started as jokes.

That’s how you end up with a name like The Righteous Corn Farmers.

We needed one extra strip to get through Master Krahulik’s absence, and I’m glad to say Kris was able to lend a hand.  There’s a podcast that’ll come out that covers the manufacture of today’s delight, which appears to follow a common theme around here these days: which is linguistically impenetrable cultures gaining enough stature (that is to say, being worth enough money) to be of even casual interest to the wider world.

If you are bored and or lonely this afternoon around 2pm PDT, my battle-brother Kiko and I will be ladling up semi-competent PUBG for your delectation on the Twitch channel, which has been a blast lately.  Yesterday’s episode of our brewing show Acquisitions Intoxicated and the third chapter of co-op Lovecraftian mystery Mythos Tales were a blast, and might provide you with good company.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 5 days ago

I had mentioned on the Twitch thing that I like hobbies that have a lot of custom language, that is to say Jargon; most hobbies are like this, but some are more dense than others.  Someone bellowing from the depths of Twitor, The Truncated Realm, suggested that my hobby is actually learning new words, and the particular genuflections of these hobbies are essentially just the rind.

I can’t imagine why I would argue with that.

Gaming has tons and tons of words.  It used to have even more, if you were playing during the MS-DOS era, and these terms weren’t flourishes - they weren’t simply monastic reiterations of normal concepts, made shadowed and distant from common use.  They were the equivalent of elf-words, and knowledge of them let you use the most powerful calculation engines ever devised to fuck around after school.  You could fix broken things and improve whole things.  It was pretty good times.  Gabe never went through that phase, he started with Windows on a 486, so when something is fucked up all he can do is curse the Gods.  He does not know the offerings.

Most of the new language these days has to do with the roiling kettle that is online social interactions.  Stream-sniping is, when compared to the whole of human history, a relatively recent phenomenon and requires several precursor events to even constitute a recognized dealio.  In some ways, it’s an example of why we can’t have nice things.  On other ways, and I don’t mean to be callous, but, uh…  wow.  That we consider this a problem may be a kind of indictment of our problems.

I like to joke when Keek and I are playing Battlegrounds that we’re being stream-sniped, but (as I’m almost certain I’ve suggested previously) the way I play normally is so filthy-nasty, my failures so naked, that it’s as though I’m playing against an omniscient opponent.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Like any subterranean cloister, our people have tooled a lot of custom language to depict our mysteries.  Jargon serves many purposes, as a shibboleth it excels, but it’s also a form of linguistic compression that saves an incredible amount of time.

Most people can’t perceive what we’re talking about at all.  The best we can hope for often is a kind of bemused curiosity; many people respond to new information, especially densely coded information, as something between an insult and a chop to the trachea.  Even explaining the fundamental conceptual space of Pokemon GO Fest would require supreme patience on virtually everyone’s part.

So much stuff is about to come out.  Good God.  An idea that Ryan Hartman (Our Director of Events and Dragonborn Narcissist, Donaar Blit’zen) had for Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team was to make recap videos that would cover a whole arc, and let you get caught up faster.  There is an amazing animator and fan of the show that goes by the name of Zee Bashew that we identified immediately as being somebody we’d want to work with on these.  He has animated a ton of scenes from the show just… because, and he was a dream to work with - I can’t wait to start on the next one.  Here’s his recap (Zee-Cap?) that condenses most of Episodes 1-4!

If you’re looking for more of the Acquisitions Incorporated that has Jim Darkmagic, Omin Dran, and Pat Rothfuss’ daring chandelier-ophile Viari, there’ll be more for you at PAX West - check the just released full schedule for more.  Who is the fourth player?  All I can say for certain is that we’ll have something special for the true enthusiast next Tuesday.

Hey!  Tomorrow - Saturday, August 12th, from 11am to 4pm - our Garage Sale will be open for business.  All kinds of stuff, from ancient rarities all the way up to televisions, ping pong tables, and even props from Acquisitions Incorporated stage games and production set dressing standees from Strip Search!  As I’ve said before: bring a friend, and bring a truck.  I’ll be there, if you want to nerd out on a variety of topics.  Grab your ticket, pick your time, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

(CW)TB out.

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