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Thank You, Edgar
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
It had fully been my intention to hold out on Modern Warfare 3, but if Robert drops a copy on my desk in an effort to catalyze the ancient ritual I’m not going to tell him no. We have enough people that we could very easily play nothing but Private games forever. And that’s more or less what we do.
These are some tremendously, almost unnaturally refined shootin’s, they are the HFCS of shootin’s, and even in the absence of the game’s horrifically optimized progression mechanisms they confer an entertainment payload. But those systems still exert a call, and occasionally we descend into the mire. Very occasionally, but not occasionally enough, which would be never.

Ever is probably too often. There are a couple reasons; one of them is almost an anomaly in the medium. Quake, Quake II, and Quake III have almost nothing to do with one another: these games are sequels only in name. By comparison, Call of Duty games since Modern Warfare share a kind of vital blood from product to product. The skills are much more transferable from game to game, and believe it: they’re getting transferred. I was more or less competitive a couple years ago, but look at the fucking stats. People never stopped playing “this game.” And they haven’t, for years.
Losing in games is something I expect, though. Losing in general. I’m a loser. But I made the mistake of remaining in game chat, instead of retreating to an Xbox Live Party.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Thank You, Edgar
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Posebook
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 02:45 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
As I’ve said before Stephen Silver has been one of the biggest influences on my work. I am a huge fan of his stuff and I’ve learned a lot over the years by studying his work. He approached me a few months ago about a new App he was working on and he asked me if I’d like to be a part of it. Obviously I did and I wanted to share the result with you guys.

Stephen is working on an incredible new App for artists called Posebook. This is a huge collection of photographs featuring models in various costumes striking hundreds of different poses. The other part of the App is that Stephen has reached out to a number of different artists and asked them to choose a pose and draw their take on it. He’ll then include these pieces for some extra inspiration.



I was incredibly honored to be asked to participate and I decided to choose a photo that would be difficult for me to render. I have a very hard time drawing women and so I picked this barbarian woman to give myself a real challenge.



Here is the result.



You can find more info on the app right here.

-Gabe out

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Their Name Means Big
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 11:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
With Skyrim only a couple days away, and your evenings likely engaged in some kind of military or paramilitary conflict around the (digital) globe, you might not have had the opportunity to prepare yourself mentally for the rigors of an entire simulated life in Tamriel. Fear not. We are, as ever, your servants.
For me, the greatest pleasure has been seeing my long-time collaborator play it. I had a hard time getting him into the last one, and his lack of affection for things is communicable. But The Cycle is complete now, it doesn’t need to be refreshed; he doesn’t need perpetual coaxing to play amazing games, which was once the case. He had moderate to severe art challenges with Oblivion: the faces, which were previously made by melting tallow over a wooden substrate, now look like the sort of thing we associate with living beings. But, it’s like… “amazing faces” wasn’t the draw. The draw is that you can do things like contract vampirism, and become a vampire. What he’s getting now is a case study in the difference between a sandbox and an open world.
Gus Mastrapa’s “Things I Ate In Skyrim” is a well rendered account, a piece about eating which is savory in its own right, but you might be surprised to find during your own play through that you spend most of the game with a bit of butterfly wing poking out of your mouth. Cities tend to have something particular about them ecologically, which means new things to eat, and new things to eat means new things to learn about their alchemical properties, which are often injurious. It’s true! Every strange root you find isn’t something you should (strictly speaking) eat. But you will.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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My Child’s Play Auction
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I just wanted to post this one more time before the auction ends. You have two days left to bid if you are interested:

Back in 2007 Blizzard gave away a really cool bronze statue to all their employees. It was a smaller version of the massive Orc on a Wolf statue that graces their courtyard. These are really beautiful pieces and very rare obviously. Well one employee actually donated his statue to Child’s Play and it ended up going into our live auction. I actually bid on it from the stage and ended up winning it. In fact we did a comic strip about it right after the dinner.

So I’ve been proudly displaying it in my house for about three years now. This year I decided that it was time someone else got a chance to own this incredible piece. So I’ve gone ahead and re-donated it back to Child’s Play. It’s now up on eBay and ready to be bid on. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go directly to Child’s Play. So if you are a WOW fan and you want to own a very special piece of Blizzard history, now is your chance.

-Gabe out

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Their Name Means Big
Posted by News Fetcher on November 08 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Deliverance
Posted by News Fetcher on November 07 '11 at 10:00 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Child’s Play Auction
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '11 at 04:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Back in 2007 Blizzard gave away a really cool bronze statue to all their employees. It was a smaller version of the massive Orc on a Wolf statue that graces their courtyard. These are really beautiful pieces and very rare obviously. Well one employee actually donated his statue to Child’s Play and it ended up going into our live auction. I actually bid on it from the stage and ended up winning it. In fact we did a comic strip about it right after the dinner.

So I’ve been proudly displaying it in my house for about three years now. This year I decided that it was time someone else got a chance to own this incredible piece. So I’ve gone ahead and re-donated it back to Child’s Play. It’s now up on eBay and ready to be bid on. 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go directly to Child’s Play. So if you are a WOW fan and you want to own a very special piece of Blizzard history, now is your chance.

-Gabe out

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Working Conditions
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I mentioned Simon Parkin’s “savage” and “carnivorous” Uncharted 3 review in my last post, and having several hours of the game now under my belt, I suspect it is only a kind of tactical diplomacy that kept it at eight of ten. This will be the installment will be the one where the shine comes off for many people, but for me, the inverse is true: I am wondering if the game is entirely comprised of shine.
Does it help that this game has the best shine in the business? I think so. It’s got mad vistas up in. It has the most memorable characters and dialogue of this generation. It also has platforming that is largely autopilot whenever it isn’t killing you for no discernible reason, and gunplay that entirely forgets the second syllable of the word. But what’s the alternative - not experiencing the rest of it? They’ve carved out their Dragon’s Lair 2012 niche, and they will own it forever. The second game had tremendous heart: the texture and tone of its Nepal is something I’ll remember in thirty years. It’s more Uncharted, true, but it’s also less. And that’s okay to say.
It also has incredibly stupid enemies. I don’t mean stupid in an AI way, they’re fine. I mean in a narrative sense they’re completely insane. I can (and have) come up with a reason why they act like this, because you sort of have to. But WOW.

I can tell you one of my favorite things about The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword without spoiling the game one whit, which is nice. Are you ready?

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Working Conditions
Posted by News Fetcher on November 03 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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New Laser Cell
Posted by News Fetcher on November 03 '11 at 11:17 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Our newest limited edition Laser Cell is now available in the PA store. This particular one features the Lookouts and you might remember it as the cover to the PAX East guide last year. In fact is was requests at PAX that made us decide to turn it into a cell.



Only 1000 of these will ever be made and each one is signed and numbered. The Laser Cell process actually makes these things look really sharp. In fact I don’t think the pictures do it justice. We’ve done a number of these over the years and I think they make a really nice collectible.



Also, this reminded me of the other Lookouts drawing I did that year. This was my first concept for the cover that I eventually scrapped in favor of the one above. I still think it’s a cool drawing.



-Gabe out

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Penny Arcade The Series, Season 2 Preorder
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '11 at 03:30 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Any preorders received before 11/20/11 will be signed by everybody here, just like last time around. t Here’s one of the bonus episodes, which is something like a Fourth Panel that didn’t result in a strip. It’s my associate and I trying to figure out how to be better at our other job, which is “attempting to producing psychologically whole beings.”



Recall that you can preorder a couple different ways: the set itself, both seasons together, or with the shirt/mug if you so desire.
(CW)TB

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Retroid
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I think I was probably content to let another Sonic game pass over me and through me, until I saw a video review at GameTrailers that used words like “Best” and “Game” and “in Decades,” all in rapid succession.

It approaches the whole of the Sonician ouevre via some kind of mystical craw that consumes and regurgitates beings from different times. That’s great if you’ve managed to retain some kind of currency over your twenty-year span, but there’s also a lot of cultural shrapnel bound up in that idea, and upon closer examination those irregular hunks are the only legacy of these obliterated mascots.

Vectorman and Gex were also considered for the third panel, but the idea of a tiny, now irrelevant star seemed especially tragic.
Purchasing Uncharted 3 was complicated, but not for any of the normal reasons. My wallet is a source of endless amusement for the tiny Valkyrie that coalesced in my home, it’s full of modern totems whose precise function is known but whose power is palpable. These things are occasionally “misplaced.” So when you try to buy something with a card that does not exist, when you reach for a sheath that contains no sword, nothing happens. It’s cool, I found some money in Robert’s desk.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Child’s Play 2011
Posted by News Fetcher on November 02 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
The Child’s Play 2011 season officially started yesterday! We kicked things off this year with an incredible new website design that should make keeping up with all the different CP events much easier thanks to a new calendar. We’ve also got a brand new map that his been updated with more hospitals for 2011.

We don’t really start talking about Child’s Play here on Penny Arcade until November but it has really grown in to a year round event. Yesterday may have been the official launch but if you look at the main page you’ll see that we have already raised almost half a million dollars this year!

So please take a look at the new site. Check out the calendar and find an event you’d like to support. Or hit the map and pick a hospital to donate to directly. No matter how you choose to support Child’s Play you are helping to improve the lives of kids in hospitals all over the world. The opportunity to sit down a play a video game is sometimes the only bit of normalcy these kids get in their lives. I’ve read the letters and shaken the hands of grateful parents and seen them cry when they talk about all the good you guys are doing. I never cease to be amazed by the incredible generosity of our community.

When gamers give back, it makes a difference.

-Gabe out

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Retroid
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Surprise Ending
Posted by News Fetcher on October 31 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Having been harrowed by various modes of Halloween Party exposure, a strip like this was almost a certainty.
I’ve mentioned before how I rarely to get to choose the platform I play on; I could probably link every word of that sentence to a discrete instance of that lament. I could play Battlefield 3 with Gabe on the computer, but he’s
otherwise occupied, and given the precise nature of that occupation I don’t expect him anytime soon. That means grabbing an Xbox 360 copy, because that’s where I can reliably get games with friends. At least, that was the idea. It’s a week after launch, and all night they didn’t have QuickMatch working - that’s QuickMatch, a feature that launched with Live 1.0 on the original Xbox. They say they’ve got it working now, or that it may work, but they haven’t earned that faith. I trust them about as far as I can throw them. What’s wrong, anyway?
“There are a number of different factors impacting server connectivity on Xbox 360,” the spokesperson said. “It is a particularly complex server architecture and we continue to work with Microsoft to improve connectivity.”
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Surprise Ending
Posted by News Fetcher on October 30 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Penny Arcade: The Game, Gamers vs. Evil
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '11 at 01:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
The brand new Penny Arcade card game is now available in our store. This is a deck building game along the lines of Dominion or Ascension that uses characters and art from all 12 years of Penny Arcade history. I’ve had a chance to play it quite a bit now and honestly I think it’s the best game of that genre that I have tried. It was created by Cryptozoic, the same guys behind the WoW TCG and the equally awesome card game Food Fight.



You might also remember that these are the same people working on the totally fucking awesome Lookouts hybrid role-playing/board game. They make awesome games and I love the card game they put together for us. so hit the store and check out the game, this is just the first of many cool projects you’ll see from PA and Cryptozoic.

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Fibocracy
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '11 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Everybody is screwing around with Fitocracy at the office it seems like, or the beta of it, which Gabriel managed to wheedle an invitation for. It’s a social/gamification engine designed to incentivize physical activity. As I’ve suggested many times, I’m deeply invested in the idea that I exist discretely from “the husk.” I am often deeply uncomfortable with the ineluctable fact of my body. That will either sound crazy to you, or it will sound like something you might think yourself in the secret vaults of your own mind. Making time to move this thing around and get to know it has made consciousness far more bearable.
Fitocracy associates experience point thresholds with various exercises, that’s the game part, and being a game, the compulsion to game can be overpowering.
Speaking of ineluctable, in order to play Battlefield 3, you must pass between Scylla and Charybdis - the treacherous browser-based frontend called Battlelog. Sometimes in the electronic entertainment continuum, opinions differ. You sometimes hear that: “opinions differ.” Opinions don’t differ on Battlelog. Battlelog is universally reviled.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Fibocracy
Posted by News Fetcher on October 27 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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