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Tycho / 19 hours ago

Even the demo of Puyo Puyo Tetris hit hard around here.  Gavin had a literal Millennial Rooftop Party with this shit; it’s nuts.  When Mario Kart 8 Deluxe hits on Friday it’s all gonna happen again.  A portable with a little kickstand you always have two controllers for is… look.  I’ve said it before.  But when something actually works like it does in a commercial, a technology that projects into social space, I have to make a note.

In addition to being the game behind my favorite Pinny Arcade pin of all time, What Remains of Edith Finch is a game I think about all the time even though I’ve never played it.  Whenever I sit down to the computer right now it’s hard not to play Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, which I think might be the exact opposite of What Remains Of Edith Finch.  Even still.

I’ve gone over to see What Remains every time it was at a PAX, but there have always been people attached to the game in each instance - via the controller, or some other ethereal thread.  But I wanted to kick out a mention in the strip because of all the great memories I have regarding their game about memories, which has had an effect on me, even though I’ve only ever seen it over an engrossed person’s shoulder.  If you’re wondering where this one fits on the Tycho to Gabe scale, it’s squarely in my domain, though I feel confident he would feel compelled to offer a italicised, sotto voce appreciation of the game’s art.

    (CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

Gabe was telling me about a terrifying event that he had witnessed on television, via a show which is ostensibly about children’s toys but is also about adult ambitions.  It was very difficult to watch.  I felt like my teeth were trying to escape my gums and crawl to safety.  We started to discuss the sorts of products we might offer in this context, which ultimately lead to the scoping, scripting, and ultimately the manufacture of this comical strip.

Broodax first “emerged” on the scene in 2007, ten years ago I guess, which is another way of saying I’m old.  There was a follow-up immediately after, and then also some kind of Jack Thompson thing.  I remember when Jack Thompson called Mike on the phone and yelled at him!  I could hear it across the room, and it wasn’t on speaker.  I remember when he contacted the police about us, and maybe the FBI, but it was a long-ass time ago.  He had an idea that there existed some kind of collusion on the part of the entire “Gaming Industry” to defame him, when the truth is just that the Internet does that sometimes.  Sometimes a lot people agree at once.  It’s like those old cartoons, where a swarm of bees becomes a giant fist and then hits a person.  It’s a process I have a familiarity with, as the fist, and also as the recipient.  Every day, we uncover the strange laws of our new social physics.

  Hey!  Last Thursday was a “very special” Episode of Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team, including as it did our friend Patrick Rothfuss.  Typically he joins us as Viari, but he rolled a bit differently this time.  We had a blast.

Also, if you’d like to listen to an author go hard on what’s considered quality narrative in games, you might also enjoy the episode of Table Talk that happened right after.

(CW)TB out.

Thornwatch Art Update!

Thornwatch is in the home stretch now and the pace is picking up for me. This game needs a lot of artwork and I can’t do it all on my own. I wanted to introduce you to the other artists helping me out on this project and share some of their work with you.

Nick Trujillo

Nick is probably familiar to those of you who watched Strip Search back in the day. He’s super talented and he’s working on all the map tiles for Thornwatch. These are beautiful little paintings that show off the magic of the Eyrewood.

The rest of these artists are all working on storyboards. These are the comic book style pages that will guide you through your adventures in the Eyrewood. They help set up the story and layout all the rules you’ll need for a particular encounter. We’re still working on the text elements and layout but here’s an example.

The game will have a bunch of these storyboards and as much as I’d love to draw them all, there’s just no way. So I have a handful of other artists helping me out:

Aviv Or

Aviv is an artist that I met through Mike Selinker. She is a talented illustrator and sequential artist who has worked with Lone Shark in the past. I’m watching her work come in and really loving her take on the Eyrewood.

Garrett Hanna

Garrett is an artist whose work I discovered via the game Wildstar a few years back. His incredible illustrations were initially what drew me into that game. I’m thrilled beyond words to have him working on Thornwatch. It’s like having one of your favorite bands play your birthday party.

Ben Caldwell

Some of you might know Ben from the Automata series he did along with Gary Whitta called Blood and Oil. Ben is a comic book pro and I’ve been a fan of his work for years. The reality is that every chance to work with Ben is just an opportunity for me to learn a ton of stuff. I’m excited to see what his Eyrewood looks like.

Lar DeSouza

Given that I have known Lar since back in the San Diego Comic Con days, it’s odd that we are only just now working together. He is a fantastic cartoonist and I’ve always been jealous of his caricatures. This was another magical connection made possible by Mike Selinker who seems to know everyone and be their best friend.

Art is a huge part of game experience for me. I know that with this group we can make a beautiful game and I can’t wait for you all to see it.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 6 days ago

I’m still on the prowl for a Switch, so I can’t speak to it personally, but Grabe is having a premium experience with the new Wonder Boy.  That just which just reinforces two things I thought already: one, I need to steal a Switch from one of the other people here, and two, that a lot of the stuff I’m going to like best for it isn’t going to be on a cartridge.  I guess this all leads into a corollary, or maybe even a Point Three, where if you don’t have a plump SD card slotted in that thing it’s entirely possible that ur doin it rong.

Mike Fahey’s blog “Kotaku” dropped a cool take with a video that I enjoyed quite a bit, one that shows the visual swap presented in the strip.

I wanted to mention that Exceed Kickstarter again.  I did already but I’ve been thinking about it a lot after we played it on the stream.  And maybe it’s actually EXCEED?  I don’t want to yell.  And now that I’m even better acquainted with the game, I’m excited play Carl in there - surprising opponents with buffed “normals” and reclaiming your favorite attacks sounds like good fucking times.

I played a round yesterday with Kiko using Season One characters to show him the ropes, and generally when you play a game with Kiko it ends with a period of silence followed by a list of what’s wrong with it.  Even though he is relating the information verbally, you can tell somehow that it’s prepared in a bulleted list and the text is kerned for maximum legibility and effect.  He said, “I’d like to play that again,” which is… I don’t even know what that is.

A good sign for D. Brad Talton, maybe.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Grab has already waxed poetical about Overwatch: Uprising, and in private I have seen him wipe away those tears which demand release.  When I look at the official page, that language doesn’t strike me as being in the service of a one-off initiative.  They can play with this forever, each time with a delectable new mess of crates, just continue driving in this potent spike of ambient narrative expression.  I want to emphasize that Overwatch is what it looks like when Blizzard fails to release a product.  Failing is a skill.  Can you imagine how it must have felt to be waist deep in the ashes of Titan, and still find Overwatch in you?  Would that we could all fail so well.

Gabriel will indeed suffer when Uprising goes away, but so far as I know it’s not the result of personal animus.

Hey!  PAX Dev tickets just went on sale, as in, like, just now.  Like, a couple minutes ago.  I know a lot of people who have derived value from the show - and it’s a nice jump off for the PAX West event.  You can even put your stamp on the show itself, by going through our Panel Submission Engine and carving out some conceptual space.  August probably seems pretty far away right now, but you’d be surprised; time is always moving forward.

(CW)TB out.

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