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I Don’t Even
Posted by News Fetcher on August 17 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Heralded by a comic of exquisite manufacture, Team Fortress 2 became a cooperative game with the advent of Mann Vs. Machine.

Team Fortress 2 is the first game I install on a new machine, because I love the way it looks; it is also the first game I uninstall because I uninstall it immediately. Love for Team Fortress 2 is so universal that people generally assume I’m “trollin’” when I say so, but I might actually hate it. Nothing that happens in that game ever made sense. To me, obviously; please assume that when I say something I’m speaking from my own perspective. I once described it as twenty-four croquet balls banging around in a dryer, and that’s exactly how it feels. It’s FPS slapstick and it will not allow me to care about it.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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I Don’t Even
Posted by News Fetcher on August 16 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Transition Engineer
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Mike Fehlauher, a man who literally a sword forged to wear at his wedding, stands astride this world and the next. This is an ennobling way to say that he is a huge dork. I called him over the weekend to see if he wanted to press on in our Orcs Must Die 2 campaign, but he didn’t answer because he was drinking in the woods with someone literally dressed as an orc. The whole scenario makes me question his dedication, frankly.
But he has a way of describing the kind of fantasy he likes to run at the table, the kind his players savor, and when he allows me to I like to assist him in the embroidery of same. He describes it as “van art” fantasy; that is to say, the kind of fantasy that would look incredibly sweet airbrushed on the side of a van.
There are elements of Darksiders 2 (or “II,” which is pronounced “twooooooooo”) that subscribe to this sweet, some might say bitchin’ aesthetic. Death here with the Death Mask covered with Skulls n’ Shit secretes it - this “fluid” crawls languorously from the tap. And then there’s stuff that is decidedly not that, very nearby: architectural feats the mind reads as real, somehow. Mythic iconography taken shape. This game is a book, and Mr. Death Face is the cover; keep the old adage close-by.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Last Kickstarter Post
Posted by News Fetcher on August 15 '12 at 09:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Our Kickstarter will be closing here in just about two hours. As I type this we are nearing the $500k level. We’ve managed to raise a half million dollars towards the goal of an ad free Penny Arcade. That’s just incredible and I want to extend a sincere thank you to everyone who pledged. We got very close to all ads removed from the front page of the site. As it stands we’ve raised enough to remove the top banner advertisement next year. We will also be creating a new Automata comic. Tycho will be dressed as the Fruit Fucker at PAX and we will start filming the Strip Search web show this fall!

It doesn’t look like we’ll hit the Lookouts goal. The idea was that if we raised enough money we could replace projects for advertisers with our own stuff. Right now if I’m not drawing Penny Arcade I’m drawing something for an advertiser. That’s why if we do the CTS or Automata, it takes the place of the normal PA comic. We’ve decided that this Daughters of the Eyrewood story is too cool not to make though. So even though we didn’t fund it, we will be producing the Daughters comic and It will take the place of a PA presents project. That means it will be a stand alone project that will run alongside the normal PA comic rather than instead of it.

As for some of the other projects on the list, we will see what we can do. We might be able to get advertisers to pay for some of them. Maybe we can record the DLC podcast from inside the surprisingly spacious trunk of a Chevy Volt?

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Transition Engineer
Posted by News Fetcher on August 14 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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D&D Next Podcast
Posted by News Fetcher on August 13 '12 at 12:45 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
D&D Next is a thing and we sat down with Mike Mearls, Senior Manager of D&D R&D at Wizards of the Coast to talk about it. If that actually sounds interesting to you then you’re in luck, because we recorded the entire thing. You can grab part one right here and part two (which just went up today) right here.

It’s not a game session or anything. It’s honestly just a conversation about what we can expect in D&D Next. I have to admit to being kind of a jerk to Mike in the first episode. I’m just not sure about this new edition and so I gave him a hard time. Mike did a really good job of explaining why I might be interested in a new edition though.

It’s a very honest talk about what D&D Next is and why you should care.

I should also mention that this is all leading up to a new Live D&D game at Pax using the new rule set.

-Gabe out

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Less Is More
Posted by News Fetcher on August 13 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Once one o’clock hits, it’s apparent that a malevolent alien race seizes our broadcast infrastructure and attempts to vend a manifestly dangerous suite of products, services, and ideas. There is no other explanation for the wholly xenogenic nature of these communiques. They show us black and white videos of women who cannot open jars without a custom apparatus; men for whom a hammer is an inconceivably complex device. To look at a hammer with confusion is a dead giveaway. It’s a look that says they would be more comfortable “tamping in” a “spar” with a “kineto.”

Except the jerky machine; I would like to make my own jerky, from the meats I already own.
I’m uniquely immune to these products otherwise. I am not invested in my husk, so the idea that I should pay someone on television to elevate it somehow is preposterous. This is the cloud of insterstellar junk that happened to congregate around my consciousness; it’s functionally a waste product. I don’t want to improve it, I want it cleaned off. As I have suggested previously, I resent the entire notion of a body as an ante and then raise you a generalized dissatisfaction with physicality itself. I feel like that’s where most of the problems are situated! We gotta get on that. I can’t wait to see how we segregate ourselves when we’re formed of nothing but protons; that’s gonna be rad.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Less Is More
Posted by News Fetcher on August 13 '12 at 08:00 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Green Business
Posted by News Fetcher on August 10 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We have a repository for things we will never publish, under any circumstances, and we have a sub-vault for shirts which must not be printed; excerpts from the latter are presented in today’s visual charcuterie. You may have seen these on our table at San Diego Comic-Con, alongside the inexplicable, reader-contributed vaginas and pictures of Finn from Adventure Time fucking some kind of snake. It’s also possible that the snake was his dick; there were ambiguities.
I talked about a devastating but not catastrophic drive failure a few weeks ago, where the data was in bad shape but not irretrievable, and how I used the entirely free PhotoRec to separate our digital photos from the rest of the silt and shrapnel that had collected on the disc. It took more than a week to do it, but I was so happy to have them back that I didn’t really consider what it looks like to have every image, ever just dumped in a pile. That’s not useful. Many of those images are UI elements from websites, for example, and not treasured memories, even if they’re the UI elements from treasuredmemories.com! So I wasn’t done at all, and I was culling this shit manually for some reason, because I’m dumb, and forgot there was such a thing as a Google.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Kickstarter almost over
Posted by News Fetcher on August 08 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
We have just one week remaining on our Kickstarter and its been quite the experiment. We’ve raised nearly half a million dollars which is outstanding. Obviously the idea of an add free Penny Arcade appeals to some of you. I think we really underestimated how many of you actually like our ads though. I’d say the number one piece of feedback I got about the Kickstarter was “I love the ads, don’t get rid of them!”

I have to admit that was unexpected.

It’s true that we work very hard to make our advertising as humane as possible. we don’t allow pop up style ads or full site takeovers. We ask for early copies or walk throughs of games before we allow advertising. We try and make sure that anything you see in those slots is worth clicking on. And you do click on them! Our “click through” rates continue to be miles beyond other sites. The truth is that our ad model works incredibly well. So why would we want to get rid of it?

Well there are a couple of reasons. Right now, for advertising to work we need pageviews. We get something like 50 million a month which is great but the web is changing and pageviews aren’t always going to work. People want to share comics on sites like tumblebook and faceshare. They want to live tweet our comics to their stream audience and wall post them on forum journals. All this social media stuff is awesome but it’s changing the way people use the web. If we didn’t need people to come to penny-arcade.com we could ship the comic to you in an RSS. We could put the entire archive in a free mobile app. We could do all kinds of stuff and that’s really the core idea behind the Kickstarter. We make about a 156 Penny Arcade comics a year, what if instead of advertisers paying us to make them, our fans did?

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Games Of Storied Lineage
Posted by News Fetcher on August 08 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel told me that I needed to see something, and so I did, but I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. If you already know about Men’s Sprint, which we have included in a comic which details a few other lesser known competitions, then what you see in that video won’t surprise you. You will say, “Yes, that’s Men’s Sprint.” Every other person will look at it and wonder why you would give a person some of your gold for doing that. At least, at first! You’ll see.

It taught me the word Velodrome, though; now, I have no choice but to love it.
The specific activity is very nearly irrelevant; if you can score it somehow, or if you can “make things interesting” by attaching a prize correlated to relative performance, the brain works hard to knit a story out of it. I am going to talk to my friend who cuts into brains for a living and find out if she has ever found a shiny stone in the meat somewhere responsible for this. Olympic events are stories within stories, Scheherazade style, and the experience of watching people I don’t know do something I’m not generally interested in and still be utterly fucking entranced seems too purpose-built. Stories are magic; put a couple recognizable slivers of iconography in there - The Victor, The Field - and your mind catches fire.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Games Of Storied Lineage
Posted by News Fetcher on August 07 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Outernauts
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I play Outernauts everyday. Technically I play it twice a day. It’s one of these Facebook games that uses “energy” to keep you from having as much fun as you want. So I play it in the morning and then I let my energy build up and play it again before I leave the office. I am not a Facebook person. In fact I had to create an account just so I could play Outernauts. It’s an awesome game but being tied to Facebook only hurts it.

Besides energy, Outernauts has a couple other currencies. You have Lunars which is what they call the money you can earn in the game and Star Gems which is the currency you buy with real money. Unlike a lot of these games I’ve seen no way to earn Star Gems in the game. As best I can tell you can only get these by trading real money. I’m not opposed to this fundamentally but I have a problem with the way it is integrated here.

Outernauts is essentially space Pokemon. You travel from planet to planet collecting these amazing looking little aliens and then you battle with them. The problem is that during a battle you can pay Star Gems to fully restore a beast’s health and stamina. Back when I used to play Pokemon on the DS I would battle people all the time. Generally speaking you would not heal during a fight because it was a waste of money and it didn’t make for an especially good game. It was usually just considered bad form to heal during a fight. In a real time battle this is something you can agree on with your opponent. The fights in Outernauts are not real time though. If someone wants to duel me they will face my beasts but the AI will be playing them. Since the AI won’t spend my Star Gems (thank god) I’m at an incredible disadvantage. Each time I log into Outernauts I am greeted by a long list of the duels I lost while I was away.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Postito
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '12 at 12:30 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
What the hell kind of news post was that? You could have at least double spaced it.

-Gabe out

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Fleamium
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
“Cloning” may not be cool, but it remains to be seen whether or not the specific example of The Sims Social and The Ville constitutes illegality as opposed to simply bad form. Given a timeline of sufficient length, eventually the increasingly brazen/desperate Zynga was always going to pick the wrong pocket.
If nothing else, it’s an opportunity to revisit Sirlin’s The Aesthetics Of Cloning.
(CW)TB out.
<a>please hang around</a>

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Dream Drop!
Posted by News Fetcher on August 06 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I’ve put a good 13 hours into Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance now and so I feel comfortable telling you that it’s awesome. With that said, If you’re going to play it you need to put up with the wonky camera, the ridiculous story, the complicated nested menus, and systems piled on top of systems. Trust me though, buried under all that crap is a lot of gold. The combat system is fast and fun, the Pokemon style monster collection is great, the Flick Rush card battle game could be sold all by itself, and visually the entire game is just gorgeous.

Kingdom Hearts is a strange series. I find that people either love it or hate it. On some level I realize that I’m being manipulated. It’s fanservice and if you don’t love Disney you probably just look at the KH series and shake your head. I can’t really explain why getting to jump into all these Disney worlds is such a thrill for me. Think about it this way though: What if it wasn’t Disney, what if it was Nintendo? What if Sora’s Keyblade let him fight alongside Link and Samus in their worlds? What if he battled Bowser and collected actual Pokemon? What if Donkey Kongklajhsd

Sorry, I just blacked out there for a second.

I need to go lay down.

-Gabe out

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Fleamium
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Drawrings
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I’ve gotten a lot of mail about my latest Daughter’s of the Eyrewood piece. Thank you very much to everyone who took the time to drop me an email. A lot of you went ahead and linked me back to the very first PA comic and wanted to know how I got from there to here. The answer is that you guys have essentially watched me learn to draw over the course of the last 14 years.

I’m not sure this sort of thing could have happened before webcomics. Generally speaking if you become a syndicated cartoonist you’ve already put a lot of work into designing your strip and its characters. There are some exceptions but for the most part the comics that end up in the paper are made by people who can draw. When I started Penny Arcade I had no fucking idea what I was doing. I liked to draw superheroes in high school but I had no experience drawing a comic strip.

The web has no editor though and so Penny Arcade took off and I just had to try and learn as I went. The archive is full of me trying new things and learning from other artists. At every convention I attend someone will ask me how to get better at drawing. The answer is draw every day and never be satisfied with the result.

Our Kickstarter is entering the home stretch. We’ve added a $50 pledge level that gets you a print of the new Daughter’s art. I think we are within striking distance of all ads off the front page. That’s a pretty dramatic change to the site and one that would love to see.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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David Sirlin On Badminton
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I was going to write about the phenomenon of Losing To Win, but Sirlin is way, way on it</i>. I saw it on <a href="http://www.penny-arcade.com/report/">The Cut, as I see so many things now.

(CW)TB

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Systemica
Posted by News Fetcher on August 03 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
It is difficult to talk to Gabriel at the moment, as the lion’s share of my conversational attempts are directed to “The Hand.” His focus is on the 3DS, specifically on the game that is in the 3DS, even more specifically Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop. His relationship to that device is fraught, as I’ve desribed repeatedly - but it’s the first time he hasn’t complained about it and has found the 3D a boon. That feature is annoying when its implemented in a merely nominal way, but it’s most annoying in a game that simply isn’t enjoyable; a game that no amount of spatial wizardly could improve. Many such games exist.

“DD” is full of meshed systems, though, ones which it took him awhile to explain, like craftable “dream eater” “creachoids” that do “this and that type of shit.” We took it upon ourselves to detail some of the more esoteric mechanisms to assist your savorance of their richness.

There was an authentically hilarious slab of unintentional theater at Kuantico yesterday entitled “Gaming’s Biggest Problem Is That Nobody Wants To Talk,” which can reasonably and with increased precision be retitled, “Why Wont Game Industry Professionals Willingly Feed Their Hand Directly Into My Career-Pulverizing Chipper Shredder.” It conflates a plea for the furtherance of his own livelihood with some kind of democratized info utopia. These fucking people.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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