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Tycho / 2 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 / 4 days 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.

Tycho / 6 days ago

I mean, this is what happened.  This is just a few frames of a documentary about Gabriel bleeding out in the desert.  To be honest, I don’t know if what came back from there is Gabriel at all: it could be one of those “cactus men” you hear about.  The Walking Cactus, that gets a taste of blood from a dying man, and looks to takin’ on his shape, just to drink more.

I have avoided Arizona altogether, because a bassist in a couple bands I was in was from there, and said that scorpions of sufficient size can run for elective office.  That’s really all I needed to know.  Then I saw this jumping cactus shit and I resolved to not go there twice.  Australia is supposed to be a place of gruesome torments, but I’ve never run afoul of them because I pay the proper obeisances to Atriar, the High Arachnix.  May her emerald abdomen always swell with eggs.

I was in Spokane recently enough for the Dark Dreams to still have me in their ebon chains.

My mom always gets mad at me when I say that her town confers Dark Dreams, or binds people or whatever, but people live in hemorrhoids there and they’re happy to.  It’s literally the best option they have.  I feel compelled, though, to offer some comfort to her on account of my Life Debt, which is not the Wookiee kind but is adjacent in some way.  It doesn’t cost anything to live there, like, anything, which is the only thing that made what you might call the “launch phase” of Penny Arcade possible.  We could click on our own ads there and be a seventh of the way toward rent.  The Internet doesn’t give a shit where this stuff gets made.  I like to think that there’s somebody sitting at Moon’s Mongolian Grill right now who can’t sit still in the booth because they had an idea that won’t let go of their central nervous system.  Even though their driver side window is currently made out of tape because someone broke into their car, there remains within them a kind of unstealable warmth.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

Automata NOIR & EXCEED

I like games in general, games of all kinds; that’s sort of my thing. In the manner of a giant enemy crab, though, I do have a weak point that can be struck for massive damage.

Games that simulate other games.

I think that B. David Talton is the same way, except he must have it worse, because he feels compelled to make these games also. He goes hard.  One of his games - Millennium Blades - is about playing a collectible card game.  I love games based on fighting games as well, I’ve spoken of them often, and he has made two systems: one called BattleCON, and the more-approachable-but-still-rad EXCEED.

He’s a prolific dude, so keeping up with his output is an exciting business.  I mentioned Exceed in a tweet, because I thought it ruled, and he got hold of me via email within a few minutes asking if we wanted to work on something together. He put together a roster for a PA version of Exceed, with a very curatorial selection that revealed him as a true aficionado. I said we should test the waters, and he said “okay!”

He’s Kickstarting a new box for Exceed, called Seventh Cross, that includes a sixteen new fighters to battle with. But! Carl Swangee is included for free at their $100 level, and as an add-on to any level for ten bucks. Modeling interesting, characterful interactions within game systems is what I liked about his work to begin with, and he’s really honored us with his interpretation.

He’s also making an Automata NOIR, a new version of his relentlessly tuned deduction game set in the Automata universe with tender, juicy new modes.  That one’s currently available for pre-order.

I want to investigate more tabletoppy stuff, between the Eyrewood Adventures games we’re making with Lone Shark to fun collaborations when we can put them together. Take a look at this new stuff, and let us know what you think.


Tycho / 1 week ago

We have another strip on the topic of Gabriel’s desertification, I think that’s on Monday.  His first day back in the office was yesterday, and his posture seemed to have been altered drastically.  He was taller than usual and… I don’t know how else to put this.  He appeared to have a spine?  I don’t know what Arizona mineral he absorbed but whatever it was it seems to foster the wearing of hats.

Today’s strip, though, involves cross-applicability of virtual skills.  I understand that his family named their horses after digital horses they’d claimed in a videogame, completing the circle.  It sounds like they brought the Switch with them, yea, even unto that star-ravaged plain, where it got the kind of use we all assumed was confined exclusively to a kind of marketing fantasia.  They just released the Jackbox Party Pack 3 on the system, which…  I mean, I don’t know what to tell you.  This is killer app territory and I’m not making a fucking joke.  This is a vision of a society we have yet to become.  That kickstand is gonna be putting in work.

Hey!  New episode of Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team.  Specifically, it’s Dungeons & Wagons: Part 2, although there are many alternate suggestions for the name that have been suggested.  Cart Blanche, for example.  A La Cart.  Or, simply, tastefully, Dungeons & Wagons: Cart 2.  The next episode is called “The Vespertine Order” unless I change my mind, which I probably will.

Later today, you should be able to catch it on YouTube or via the Podcast Feed for the old school, or just grab it on the iTunes.

My long term fantasy for all this shit comes in the form of a legit Acquisitions Incorporated sourcebook that has all the crunch for franchises, cool things to spend your gold on, the customized parts of the setting I’ve written, and a campaign to get the party started.  Hashtag double entendre, of course.  Putting out an RPG sourcebook is one of those things I didn’t realize was a dream until I start thinking about it.  It would put such firm parenthesis around such a vast part of my life that I’d need to manufacture a new identity to continue living in any useful way.

(CW)TB out.

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