Today’s strip was another that I did live on Twitch. I happened to draw this one on Monday which is when Tycho and Ryan do their new Hearthstone stream. You can watch me do all the sketching and most of the inking in this one:
Then I took a break while they played some Hearthstone. The idea is that Ryan is teaching Tycho how to play Hearthstone and it must be working. I actually came in and challenged Tycho to try and win back control of the Twitch channel a little early but I got wrecked.
I ended up coming back later and finishing up the colors and words.
I also have the puppy cam set up now so both of these streams had appearances by the new hound. We are really having fun with the Twitch channel. If you haven’t already, you should head over and give it a look.
A lot of Virtual Reality games currently are essentially a cool interaction concept, unfettered by much of anything else. I don’t have a problem with this necessarily, because in some ways VR has made us all toddlers and we must learn to contend with our bodies all over again. It’s okay to start by playing with blocks; indeed, it’s traditional.
There hasn’t been something like a Resident Evil, is what I’m trying to say. But there is one now, for better or for worse, and you can grab the demo whether you have VR or not. This kind of money hasn’t really been spent on a VR game, in part because - outside of the speculative gold rush that virtually every developer I know is taking part in - the install base for VR as a platform (as well as the biological realities of long periods “inside”) seems to contraindicate large-scale, single project investment.
So there’s a lot that’s shocking about Resident Evil 7. This has been a busy year for me, and time - the ur-resource - hasn’t been plentiful. Triage is necessary. And after Resident Evil 6, I’ll be honest with you: the franchise just fell off the list of games I actively watch. That is a deeply confused fucking game. I’ve completed virtually every “real” RE game, some more than once, even that mobile shiz. I’m literally a resident of evil. But they… who knows what they did. Sometimes publishers get it into their heads that they can turn their cult hits into mainstream cash and they forget some important shit in the process.
I think there’s a pressure to be a Silent Hill person or a Resident Evil person, and historically that meant something specific, but Resident Evil 7 wants to have its evil cake and eat it darkly. What a fucking malevolent stew they’ve cooked up here: P.T., the ill-fated zygote of Silent Hill is in the mix. Rob Zombie’s House of 1000 Corpses is in. Blair Witch Project is in. Check out the released videos; this is a document very much of the moment where horror is concerned. Throw in the first person perspective, throw out the S.T.A.R.S. Global Zombie Police stuff, reign in the ever increasing scale, jettison the cheese, and it’s clear: this is a reboot from the ground up.
The result is that I’m incredibly excited for Resident Evil again, a franchise they’ve reinvented at least twice now. I found the demo utterly horrifying, VR or no, but in the headset I felt the intended experience even more; there is something about having an object clamped on your head that really sells the claustrophobia. There is a button, L1 if I recall, whose entire purpose is to cover your face with your hands.
I used that one a lot.
In order to fully grasp the sociopolitical texture of Final Fantasy XV, it’s probably important to watch the movie. And maybe the anime. I didn’t do those things. I just jumped in with both feet into what feels like a Final Fantasy MMO for the most part, but… I think I’m okay with that. I’m at least ten hours okay with it, judging by the weekend. Big takeaways:
This game has meticulous, overwhelming, almost pornographic 3d models of food. And,
It’s a world where people have swords AND cars AND cellphones.
Gabe wondered if they had done some of those specific things on purpose, and I thought maybe he had been infected by a xenospore so I took precautions.
I can only imagine you have read my recent missives with increasing dread, but my investigations of the Eberhard Hoard have reached a dead end. What is needed for research of this kind is strong coffee, mixed with the milk of the goat, and a dried preparation of the herb dreamveil in a 5/3/1 ratio, coupled with a sturdy notebook: one that can be relied upon to contain mystery. For my own studies, I made an order of one mug and one journal to contain my revelations, but perhaps some malevolent force beyond our ability to perceive it added several thousand more mugs and notebooks to my cart, because now I am surrounded by mugs and notebooks - even were I able to extend my life in an unnatural way, I should never find use for all of them. So I offer them to you now from my family’s warehouse, at a fifteen percent discount - any mug, and any Moleskine, for a fifteen percent reduction in their already reasonable price.
In brighter days, I did consider myself a student of verse; in the public houses near Miskatonic University I did perform recitations of my work with some measure of cup-borne enthusiasm. I tell you this by way of warning, for I fear some muse has taken the reins.
A vessel to sip dark elixir,
From an etched and evil pitcher.
The skin of moles is bound to service,
Pages sleep beneath the surface.
Indeed, it was at one of these fateful “Nights of the Open Mic” that I met the man - if a man he was - who would become my mentor in things which should never be taught, to say nothing of learned. But that is a tale for another day. I leave you with another glimpse of the nefarious Codex Coupons.
We’ve been Twitching constantly lately, but we’ve also been streaming games and other stuff from the office. I’m hooked on it. Wild dogs couldn’t drag me away. Well, they probably could. I guess it depends on how many wild dogs. In truth, any value for wildDogs over 1 is probably a deal breaker. But I do like hanging out on there, and hopefully it provides some subtle nutrient for those who gather there.
We’ve played Shadow of Mordor: Game of the Year Edition (GOTYE…?) the last couple times. It’s not new or anything, that’s true; but if you had a PS4 Pro, as our Gabriel does, you might want something uprezzed with new graphical effects, but in a game you’re already familiar with so the delta is apparent. You might also want a game where you trip a person and pull them down onto a sharp sword! Imagine that there is a single game that does all this. And it’s still rad! The game is still fucking rad.
One of the things that continues to stoke this rad furnace, maybe even the thing, is that “Nemesis System” thing that is constantly birthing a moist menagerie of motivated foes. I’m confident that we don’t play the game correctly; of course, if we’re having fun, it doesn’t really matter. But we play the game as though Mordor were a kind of skate park, where our haunted-ass ranger is the board and this ready supply of orcs are the rails and ramps. We die all the time, because we’re mostly trying to do cool tricks, which results in a flow of new blood perpetually being pumped into their ranks. This engine they’ve made is amazing when you are home playing it at night in the dark, but in a context where people are watching it happen the little stories it creates are hilarious and addictive. In one play session, Kuga Blood-Licker came back several times, each time more fucked up than the last, until he became a kind of folk hero to the stream and no doubt to orc-kind; the urge to immortalize him eventually became too strong to resist.