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Lickr
Posted by News Fetcher on April 12 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Snip Within
Posted by News Fetcher on April 11 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Being old is weird, and I don’t like it necessarily, but I’d still take it over being young. Both axis are laden with intractable bullshit, but in the latter half of your life people at can least recognize your fundamental humanity.
When you are getting older people start to talk to you about whether or not you should let a complete stranger sever your inner dong. You would think the answer to this would be “no, don’t do that,” but it comes up and gets seriously entertained while I shift uncomfortably in the seat. This shit keeps happening, these Big Questions about what it means to have a transient body long-term, and I’ve reached the point chronologically where my youthful invincibility has begun to flash, on and off, on and off, announcing its terrifying culmination. The Dentist told me that if I was careful and really worked at it, I could keep these teeth for the rest of my life. I didn’t really know what to say to that, except “Good” and “Yay, teeth!”

I’m home now, but I am constantly batting at phantom memories that rise unbidden. Isn’t that just like a phantom memory? They’re always doing shit like that.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Snip Within
Posted by News Fetcher on April 10 '12 at 11:15 PM
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My Big PAX Post
Posted by News Fetcher on April 10 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Well we’ve put another incredible PAX to bed. I’ve been asked to comment on a few of the stories that came out of the show this year. It seems that after three days of games, music and community what people people keep asking me about is the guy who took off his pants, and boobs. I’ll go ahead and give you my take on both of those but first I want to talk about the other story that is making the rounds. That being our trolling of Paul Christoforo.

THE PRANK

You might remember Paul as the guy from Ocean Marketing who self destructed on the internet a few months ago. What you might not know is that in the intervening months Paul has continued to harass me and PA via his twitter. He claimed that he would be coming to the show, regardless of the fact that he was banned. He threatened us and said he would be at PAX East in disguise. When the show finally arrived he began posting photos from the floor claiming he was here and that he took the pics himself. The only problem with that is that his phone was also tweeting his location…which happened to be in California.

On Saturday Paul befriended a con goer from his hometown on twitter. What Paul did not know is that this guy, along with growing up in the same town Paul did, was also a security guard at the PAX convention center. This guard is a huge gamer and he immediately came to us after starting up this conversation with Paul. First we attempted to set up a meeting here in Boston but obviously Paul said he couldn’t do it. Then Mr. Christoforo asked his new best friend to send him some photos from the show floor. We took the pictures ourselves but before we sent them to Paul Robert created a new Twitter account and uploaded all the pics.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Hermetically Yours
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '12 at 07:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
PAX dreams are incredibly weird.  The one I just emerged from proposed that Achievements existed somewhere in the actual world, and they were like edible clocks.  I can’t really put that one together, but it’s alright; this is that organ’s job, to contextualize life in a mythic way.  If previous shows are any indication, this process is just beginning.

The strip from the Make A Strip panel is here offered for your amusement, with audience-derived modifications firmly installed.
The show has initiated its process of perpetual unfolding, and I’m trying to seize URLs as they pass by in an effort to catalog the last three days: Dyad, an incredibly restless combination of Rez and Tempest which is uncontent to stop there, is something I came back to multiple times. I actually ran a demo for people one time when the developer happened to be away, such was my investment.  He was right next to They Bleed Pixels, a wicked little gem of an action/platformer with a rock-solid theme and unrelenting gameplay.  And they were right next to Awesomenauts, a 3v3 take on the League of Legends/MOBA thing done entirely as a sidescroller.  I did not get it at first, and then five minutes later I did get it; that was when its tiny fangs punctured the skin.  

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Hermetically Yours
Posted by News Fetcher on April 09 '12 at 12:15 AM
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Reunification
Posted by News Fetcher on April 06 '12 at 05:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
It’s true;  Gabriel has returned to the fold.  He actively prefers almost everything about the Windows Phone he had - it has the cohesion he feels is missing from Android, and the “active tiles” or whatever those things are on the start screen can reveal data without having to drill down every time, which the iPhone’s app-centric user experience demands.  

At the end of the day, though, he couldn’t do without the ecosystem that surrounds the Apple product.  He’d purchased the new iPad to act as a kind of App steam valve, and the breadth he saw on there (after a year away) startled him.  He woke, then, as though from a dark dream.  

We have a League of Legends project going up today, which you can see here.  They wanted to know if we were interested in putting something together for a Champion a couple months ago, and we said YES.  The timing didn’t work out for Lulu, which we would have jumped at; but there was something in the Varus concept art that took root, and we put in our request.    

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Reunification
Posted by News Fetcher on April 05 '12 at 11:15 PM
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Dereliction
Posted by News Fetcher on April 04 '12 at 10:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Shit is complex at Chez Gabriel, and in a rare twist, it isn’t the direct result of his own malformed behavior. Star Wars Kinect, which was generally expected to be a bucket of mouth-temperature filth and may even be that, has its claws deep into his son.
I believe I have mentioned it, but just in case, there is a substantial portion of Gabriel’s mind which believes that the Kinect - and, to a similar extent, the vanilla Wiimote - have no actual function. This moist lobe of his knows at some level that nothing he does matters to what are almost certainly empty plastic shells, and a result, he doesn’t feel any particular need to perform for them. In fact, he feels put out by the whole thing. He has expectations re: how long it should take a device to register his commands, and the accuracy with which those commands should be rendered once the device finally gets around to it.
We were at Microsoft for something like ten years ago, and they had an elaborate structure that implored cafeteria customers to separate their leavings into five distinct waste strata. In his mind, all five apertures emptied into the same bin, the resultant slurry removed under cover of darkness. We’re from Spokane, where the only recycling that is performed with any regularity is on the souls of the damn’d in the belly of the towering Hell Furnace. Even given that, Gabriel has taken a crazy assertion and run with it all the way to a metaphorical end zone. His peculiar melange of creativity, paranoia, and incision make him a truly unique specimen. The world’s hideous undercurrents are always known to him, whether they exist or not. It’s like being friends with Philip K. Dick.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness: Episode 3
Posted by News Fetcher on April 04 '12 at 12:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
The Precipice is so moist you guys it’s crazy! It’s treacherous for real - and there’s a precipitous drop.

You can shuffle along the Precipice I am referring to this very weekend in the PAX Exhibition Hall, booth 678. Or, if you aren’t attending the show, you’re welcome to check out a few screens, information, and the (now spoileriffic) Episode 3 Chapters at the brand new site. We went with rainslickgame.com as the URL, which seemed to communicate the basic idea. It’s essentially a three-man operation, the guys from Zeboyd “game making” and me banging on text, super low to the ground. I had a lot of fun writing the demo, and I’m excited for people to try it. If it has been your fantasy to open up a time capsule and find a perfectly preserved RPG waiting inside, that’s very much Zeboyd’s thing. I’m incredibly glad they exist. I’m incredibly glad people urged us to contact them, and I am glad a third time to have an opportunity to play Dungeon Master for you again.
(CW)TB

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Dereliction
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Star Wars Kinect
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '12 at 09:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Star Wars Kinect is a real shitfest. Unless you happen to be a seven year old.



That’s my son playing it there. He’s swinging one of his own plastic Lightsabers which he says makes the game even better. He loves the Jedi Destiny mode which has you jumping and swinging your way through a Padawan adventure.

We tried the other game modes on the disc including the dance game and he was confused. “Why would they put dancing in Star Wars? Why wouldn’t you just play Dance Central?” he asked me. These are excellent questions that I did not have good answers for. He thought the Pod Racing was boring and I have to agree with him.

I gave it a shot myself and like most of my Kinect experiences I hated it. It will occasionally perhaps accidentally work the way it is intended for a split second and you will experience something very near fun. The rest of the time you’re just jumping around like an idiot trying to make the fucking thing do what you want. When it isn’t outright frustrating it’s just stupid and boring.

Unless as I said earlier, you are seven years old and you just need an opportunity to jump around in front of a TV while swinging a Lightsaber.

Maybe that’s the Kinect’s real demographic. People who don’t know any better.

-Gabe out

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Perhaps Too Real
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Is it safe to come out? Have people stopped fucking around with everybody? Alright. Let’s go.

It is a problem I did not know about, and probably never would have fully understood it, but your Internet looks really bad on the new iPad. Kiko shuffled in here a week ago, looked at one of our advanced tabloids, and wrinkled his nose. It was as though he could somehow smell the jpeg artifacts. He gave it back by holding it at the extreme reach of his arm, eyes closed, breath held, head turned sharply away.

I do not have that problem.

It’s like with anything: I primarily look at text, which is sharp for real. But the future will not wait, and to that end we have begun creating images that manifest an almost terrifying excellence.
My sister was in town last weekend, and since I am the only person in this family who is on speaking terms with technology, she wanted to know what kind of computer she should get. Her old one is old. It has become recalcitrant. It cannot or will not web as it once did. It was a very strange conversation, because it’s becoming very clear that for ninety-five percent of usage cases NOBODY needs a computer. She could just as easily have asked me what kind of Anvil she should get.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Perhaps Too Real
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '12 at 07:15 AM
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Penny Arcade Television
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I haven’t been able to keep up with PATV because I’ve been writing… something, and when I have to write and write I sort of fall off the planet. Maybe we can both catch up.

For example, and this is super shameful, I haven’t seen the last Blamimation OR the last Kris and Scott’s Scott and Kris show. I haven’t even seen the last episodes of my own show! There are two 4th Panels, one for Multiplicity and one for Configuration, the strips for which can be found here</> and <a href="http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/03/05">here. There’s also an episode about PA Design, which is what Erika and Kiko call it whenever they do things. Oh! And there’s a 4th Panel today, based on Wednesday’s comic! That’s how bad I am at this.
The only things I did catch were Extra Credits (Transgaming, an ongoing meditation on Western and Japanese RPGs) and Checkpoint, which were great like always.
(CW)TB

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Jokers To The Right
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We’ve had such terrible experiences in one way or another with so many iterations of EA’s Tiger Woods franchise that they’ve probably scared me off permanently. I was one of the annual purchasers who felt the shock of their next-gen transition, the one that decimated the course roster, but choked it down; it wasn’t until it became clear that their mechanism for multiplayer matching and gameplay simply didn’t work that I gave up.
Gabriel likes golf much more than I do - he actually likes Golf, capital g, as opposed to Eating Snacks From The Snack Cart (which is the game I like) or Driving The Carts Inappropriately (another favorite). I enjoy golf games, for the reasons I’ve delineated previously: there are very, very few inputs in a game like this, which suffuses each one of them with tremendous import. But I play them for the same reason I accompany my friends on an actual course. It is a primarily social engagement. So if that part if your game doesn’t work, for me, the game evaporates.
No so for my compatriot, because the game being simulated is still golf. And it’s especially Golfy this time around, by which I mean that it takes its cues from the sport itself from a feature perspective. Gabriel is especially pleased with the new (ahem) “stroke,” which consists of a single, beautiful, DaVinci-style arc informed by human mechanics and no other bullshit. Where they’ve really gotten hold of him is with their Country Clubs, which in any other game would be called a clan. He’s creating daily and weekly tournaments, they’re levelling the club in a cooperative way, and they earn bonuses individually from the structure. The developer experimented with Social Challenges previously, I don’t know if that was ever a thing, but this new methodology is both incredibly powerful and fits the setting.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Jokers To The Left Of Me
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 11:15 PM
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Karapyss, The Crabomancer
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 01:30 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
You may recall that, early in the beta period for Rise of Immortals, we said mean things about it and then made a comic about it which was also mean. But! Look what they just did!



Talk about a stand-up crew, jeez. Nice work, though; he looks great.

(CW)TB

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Tiger Wooo
Posted by News Fetcher on March 29 '12 at 09:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Well I am hooked on the new new Tiger Woods. It’s been quite a few years since I enjoyed a Tiger game and honestly I haven’t liked a golf game this much since the original Links 2004 on the first Xbox. This year’s “Total Swing Control” is awesome in my opinion and a huge improvement over the previous swing mechanics. Your shot is now 100% decided by the skill with which you swing the club. You can still apply some spin once you’re in the air but otherwise you will succeed or fail based on your manipulation of the left analog stick.

As someone who really enjoys the sport in RL as the kids say I find the new system super intuitive. You start by opening or closing your stance and then adjusting the ball position. You can also determine where on the ball you’d like to strike it and then you just swing. The new system might not be for everyone and long time players of the series seem divided on it, but if you’ve been avoiding the Tiger games for a while you should give this one a try.

Besides the new swing mechanics I think the Country Clubs are the coolest new feature. These are essentially golf clans you can join with your friends. Once you’re in a country club you can compete in private tournaments, play head to head against each other, and challenge other clubs. The club itself will also level up as its members play. As a club’s level advances its members get bigger and bigger bonuses to the coins they earn no matter what mode they are playing in.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Zeppeling
Posted by News Fetcher on March 28 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We both watched Life 2.0 at different times in the same week, more than a year past when we had meant to see it, because of time and its, like, inelasticity or whatever. I never got around to seeing this film just like I never got around to playing Second Life, the “game” its based on. These are only two examples of things I always meant to do, but did not; I could go on.
I’d be surprised if Second Life regulars were huge fans of Life 2.0. The director here is no fabulist, but he chose his subjects, as was his right. It’s like The Dungeon Masters, which is also an incredible film, or Darkon, or (and this is rapidly becoming clear as I think about it) almost any subculture documentary. The camera tends to be situated outside.
It did inspire a jaunt into Second Life proper though, the first several minutes of which are catalogued here.

Something I neglected to mention during Monday’s Paean to the Freemium was how quickly these games can change - sometimes, the first change is, itself, to adopt a free to play model. I keep thinking about velociraptors: not just because they’re so great, but because this pack of frenzied beasts must necessarily destroy entrenched games. Not individually, no, but as a function of their aggregating bitings.
These games are even more desperately data driven than normal: they are never “complete” in the way a traditional game can be, and their costs are ongoing. This means they might change tack in interesting ways - one of the things that made my trip back into Spiral Knights so sticky.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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