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The Verge
Posted by News Fetcher on May 14 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Neal Stephenson was my favorite author for a very long time, and The Diamond Age remains my favorite book, even if I can’t read any if his newer books with an approximation of enjoyment.
I should emphasize that when I say “newer books,” some of these books are by now quite old: I loved the original Cryptonomicon, but every book past that has been torment. I choked down Anathema from about the half-way point, jaw set, lower teeth pressed hard against the upper, determined not to be defeated. He’d already gotten my money, but I was determined not to lose my honor.
The difference between Neal Stephenson and China Miéville for me is that I never liked the latter, even though I’m supposed to; even though it is simply an accepted fact that people of any cognition whatsoever are turning each page with a shaking hand, ready to receive his next sacred revelation. I own every one of his books, each time thinking this will be the one until his unique ocular drill begins to whir and I must hurl the book across the room or be blinded. This may be the first time you have read on a website that China Miéville is something less than a God; I’ve certainly never seen it typed, which was reason enough to do it.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Verge
Posted by News Fetcher on May 13 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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PAX Dev Returns
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '12 at 01:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
It’s back, and everything you could possibly want to know (including how to submit panels) can be found at the official site.

(CW)TB

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The Warrior Spirit
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel and and frequent collaborator Scott Kurtz were talking about how Draw Something barely meets the criteria for a game. Gabriel is not as good at Pictionary as you might think: he can draw, certainly, but when you apply a time pressure his whole shit falls apart. Drawing Quickly is a very particular skill, one you must choose at the time of character creation, and he took the traits “Abrasive” and “Annoyingly High Metabolism” instead.
If you can truly draw, though, and you have a capacitive stylus because you are a professional artist, and there are no limits on the amount of time you can sit there and draw, they’re right: the game disappears. The inability of most people to draw a recognizable concept quickly is the game. Right? If you look at a duck, and then correctly declare that it is one, that’s not exactly top ten good times.
While he was still a daily player, the only real complaint he had was that he found himself pulling up the same words over and over. More words, even sponsored words or words which represent common brands, were not something he found especially unwelcome but he may be in the minority there. People are pulling out of the game, some say for this reason, but if I regularly reached nine million people I’d probably say that I was doin’ prett-ty good.
This is that dang ol’ tendency to bifurcate the real into some binary proposition, play or not play, when there’s clearly at least one more approach: leverage their infrastructure to make a statement about it in your turn itself. Stepping out of the dialogue is that choice which seems courageous, but is not; the answer now, as ever, is always more art. Raise a sword in the Devil’s House. Even the answer to art you don’t like is more art - in fact, especially then.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Warrior Spirit
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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First party
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the normal nerd uniform of a T-Shirt and jeans. When you want or need to look a little nicer we’ve made First Party. These are well made pieces that can put a little class in your wardrobe while still representing your love of games.



I’m proud to say that we’ve launched version 2.0 of our classic polo shirt. Besides new colors we’ve really improved the construction of the shirt. These 100% cotton shirts are now made with a much better fabric (a breathable, soft combed-cotton pique to be specific). We’ve also made them much easier to care for by making them pre-shrunk and machine washable. I’ve been wearing the new shirt for a while now and absolutely love it. It feels much better and I think the fit is perfect. It’s also worth pointing out that we’ve made the same upgrades to our new women’s polo as well.



We’ve also added the First Party v1.0 hooded sweater. If you watch a lot of PATV you’ve probably already seen us sporting this in many of the episodes. It’s a 100% cotton sweater in charcoal grey with the white first party logo embroidered on the chest. The reason you see us wearing it a lot is because it’s super comfortable. Our goal with First Party is always to make stuff that we want to wear and this sweater has been a huge hit around the office.



< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Dig Dug Thing We’re Doing At ShiftyLook
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Do you know what that is? It’s kind of cool: ShiftyLook is essentially a series of webcomics (and now a podcast) by a ton of people digging way, way into Namco Bandai’s back catalog. They have a bunch up now, but they’ve got a wider Dig Dug series on the way they roped Scott and us into. Looking forward to it.

(CW)TB

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Condensation
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
It’s entirely true for me, and for Gabriel, and perhaps even for you; there’s seven point six gigs worth of wholly inert Diablo 3 dormant on one of our fixed disks.

Clearly, it’s not the most important thing in the universe. I imagine we’ll continue to respirate, performing gas exchange and generally maintaining consciousness. It is dumb, though, and weird; not the respiration, that’s something you should all be doing. I support that part one hundred percent.

No, it’s the idea that we have to go through all these gyrations even though scarcity and its crude attendant necessities have been (for a not insignificant portion of the gaming public) relegated to history. If anybody could break this thing, it would be Blizzard, right? If anyone could just say, “Hey, it’s 2012 alright, and nobody can play our game offline anyway because we won’t let them, and boxes are made of cardboard and are not in any way magical, so go ahead and install your game” it would be them.
It is certainly the case that there are crevices, holes in the earth, where one may not feel the light of the healing Web upon their skin-flesh. Those people are welcome to purchase physical objects. People of the Console must certainly remain People of the Disc, at least for the time being. But there’s no console version of Diablo, and there’s no secondary market to war with on PC games. There is no fiefdom to sustain, short of an ancient retail edifice the future will rapidly transform into a chain of mall-bound mausoleums.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Condensation
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Child’s Play Golf Tournament!
Posted by News Fetcher on May 08 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
The 2012 Child’s Play golf tournament is halfway sold out now. I’ve decided this is my year to really get back into the game. I haven’t played seriously in about 15 years. I played high school golf as a young man but I got sick of the competition and gave up the game to focus on my art. I love the game though and in just the last couple of weeks I’ve probably been out four times. I’m not shooting like I was when I was 18 but I’m having a blast and I’m getting better each time I go out.

I’m using an iPhone app called GolfLogix to track my progress this year. So far I’ve played two rounds with it and I’m really impressed. You can see my scorecard from yesterday right here (jesus I can’t believe I just shared that). The app gives you an easy way to track things like fairways hit, GIR, and average putts. It will also give you yardages using your phone’s GPS. I was honestly skeptical about that part but having used it a couple times now I’m sold. I played with a buddy who was using a physical range finder to shoot his yardage. We compared numbers a few times and my phone was always within a yard or two of his reading. Anyway if you’re looking for a good Golf app I highly recommend it.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Mobile Frame Zero Rules Preview
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '12 at 01:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I was super excited about Mobile Frame Zero, to the extent that I was sort of bummed when the Kickstarter succeeded because I loved going back for updates and seeing what people were building. I had a chance to recapture the old magic today when the rules preview popped up in my mailbox: you can grab them too, backer or no, and play games this week if you want to! It’s conceptualized around Lego, but you can use whatever you want to. You aren’t going to get in trouble, or anything; there’s no international body that governs this.

(CW)TB

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The Fullness Of Time
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
No, you can’t actually name a star after a person. Well, you can, but nobody else will know about it and it doesn’t matter. But what if you actually could, for reals?
I think that would be better.
Alright, so the latest Microsoft rumor was not a rumor, because they never are, and this one is so interesting.
It shouldn’t be, of course. It’s utterly pedestrian. Subsidizing hardware with a service charge is how you sell expensive things to people who can’t afford them, or can’t afford it all at once. It’s about context, though: the gaming console has historically been sold to people who place a premium on its ownership. Eventually the top part of the funnel gets wider, certainly, and prices drop. But seeing this model here, where I live, is like finding a bear in your driveway. What happens when you launch a console in this way?
You can look at Amazon or whatever and see that the hardware goes for $276 and up. Obviously, you and I probably aren’t interested in such a device for our personal use: four gigs isn’t enough to copy a single disc to the local drive, reaping the benefits thereby. The Kinect is deeply, profoundly optional as a peripheral. It doesn’t matter, though: “we” already own the thing. “We” have probably owned several, statistically speaking. This box is for another type of person, and that person exists in far greater numbers than the stalwart faithful which huddle in our cloister.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Tera
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I’m playing a lot of Tera right now. This is always when I regret playing a beta as I push through all the content I already saw. I’m playing a Sorcerer now though which is a change and that takes some of the sting out of doing all the same quests again. As of last night I finally hit the point that I got to in the beta (around level 18).

I’ve had the opportunity to play some high level content at various events and I’m really excited to get to that point with my own character. Something about the combat in Tera just really scratches an itch for me. The combat in games like WoW or even SW:TOR is sort of like old naval warfare. Two big ships sidle up next to each other and just unload. At the end of the day you just have to hope you survive it. Tera is much more action oriented. Enemies give you tells before they attack and you need to move out of the way. You need to be actively blocking and dodging if you want to survive some of these fights. Spells and arrows have trajectories and if you move out of their path you don’t get hit! No more fireballs that track you as you dodge out of the way. So when I have some NPC telling me to go get ten serrated fangs, I’m actually excited because it means I get to go play.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Fullness Of Time
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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PAX
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Please come in and sit down. We need to talk about PAX Prime.

The show is completely sold out. 3 day passes were gone in a day. The rest of the passes were gone shortly after. It was by far the fastest PAX has ever sold out. The result is that there are many of you who want to go but can’t because you didn’t grab one in time. I’m getting some mail from you guys and you’re understandably frustrated. I’m also getting lots of suggestions for how we could fix this. Let me try and respond to the big ones:

“Sell more tickets!”

This is a nice idea but we have hit a hard limit here in Seattle. We are up against the fire code at the Washington State Convention Center. So selling more tickets to PAX Prime is simply not an option.

“Sell them in waves.”

I hear this one a lot and there are a couple reasons this won’t help. First off, each wave would sell out in a matter of minutes rather than hours. I’m not sure that is an improvement. Also, we can still only sell a certain number of tickets. The fact is that more people want to go to PAX than we can safely fit in the venue. Even if we sell them in waves there will be thousands of people who can’t get a ticket and are upset.

“Don’t let scalpers buy them!”

For the most part they aren’t. The average number of passes purchased was 1.7. Also hotels in downtown Seattle are also almost all sold out. Unless scalpers are also buying up rooms and the Marriott, this just isn’t a huge factor.

“Why not let us buy tickets for the next PAX at the current PAX?”

Because then we’d have a massive line of people trying to buy tickets for the next show. You’d waste your entire PAX trying to get tickets for the next PAX. Also it would screw people who aren’t there.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Incredibility
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '12 at 08:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
There is something we pay attention to here that you probably don’t, but after I tell you, it’s entirely possible that you’ll play along: we like to the play “the preview game.”

So, over on the right there, in the “latest comic” box, there’s a graphical preview of the most recent strip. We generate that automatically - no person is ever selecting portions to crop. It is often perfect. Today’s is an easy one, it’s just one dude, but there are times when it grabs genuinely compelling, almost curatorial shots. There! Now you know.
There was a fairly high profile hoax/scam thing on Kickstarter for “Mythic: The Story Of Gods And Men” that was swiftly pulverized by community sleuthing. As suggested previously, one is - in many cases - funding the “idea” of a game, ideas being a quantity in ready supply. If they had been less stupid, less obvious in their ruse, they could have taken in their eighty thousand dollars and then promptly evaporated. We may expect the next villain to utilize a more sophisticated approach.

Despite not wanting to be the Kickfather, it seems like it keeps happening. Not every time I want it to, of course: it’s not actually something I have control over. I can’t make things succeed. But as a medium, as a rebroadcasting apparatus to the microcommunities that can bring something like this to fruition, my body will suffice.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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


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The Ultimatrix
Posted by News Fetcher on May 01 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Back, Back Catalogue
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Resignation
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I’ve played a lot of Trials already, like, a lot; mostly during a period where Gabriel did not use computers for games which were not Massive and/or Multiplayer, so he had no idea what he was getting into. For developer RedLynx, Trials is more genre than specific title: I own three games from them, make that four, and they are all very… trialsy.

As a game which every person owns and/or for which there are many demos available, telling you about the manifold virtues of Trials Evolution may not be an incredible time investment. Suffice it to say that it’s a proud entrant in the “one more run” school of Microscale Performance Optimization that transforms your Friend’s List into asynchronous competitive content. Robert and Gabriel were passing the controller back and forth every ten runs, and I think Khoo put it best. He doesn’t want to give up the controller, but when he does, he’s relieved. It’s demanding in a way that many modern games are afraid to be. There is always a slight pressure being applied to the trachea.
What gives the game its throbbing immediacy is a physics simulation of sufficient nuance. You can “play” with these physics in ways that are incredibly challenging slash profoundly satisfying, two factors with a recognized bond. But it also creates the weird scenarios such simulations are capable of, and this coupled with the bizarre elixir of destiny and amnesia your seventieth attempt brings on results in a kind of madness.

It does work, on occasion. Not enough to rely on it. Unless it does work, in which case it feels inevitable.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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