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New Penny Arcade Television
Posted by News Fetcher on May 13 '11 at 09:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Part One of our rematch against the infernal, warlockin' sonsabitches at Bungie is now available. (CW)TB

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


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Scholarship, Enforcers, PAX 10!
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Here is everything else i needed to tell you today:

- We would like to give you ten thousand dollars to help with the incredible debt you are accruing at school. It's called the Penny Arcade Scholarship, and this will be the fifth year that we have awarded it. You can find a FAQ and the application here, which needs to get back to us by June 30th. Sound good?

- Enforcers are the colloquial name for PAX Volunteers, so chosen because Enforcer sounds substantially more rad. We're looking for help with the next PAX, and the application for that can be found here.

- If you'd like to submit your independent game for the PAX 10, our illustrious public showcase, that can be done here. We'll be accepting submissions until June 1st.

(CW)TB

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The Threshold Protocol
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel and I will be attending a bachelor party so intense that I am told the B and the P should be capitalized. I am also told that its shape will differ radically from the norm, and I’m glad, because the model for events like this doesn’t exactly invigorate me.

I think of myself as “enthusiastic” when it comes to whatever people want to do in this regard. I’m almost the polar opposite of a prude, with a ravenous ethos that has as its core tenet “everything they taught me in church about the human body is demonstrably wrong and or evil.” I just never had an especially good time in the ordinary continuum of the Strip Club thing; I mostly felt filthy the entire time. Not morally filthy, physically filthy. As in, like, dirty.

Primarily, it didn’t seem like an especially good investment of our rapidly diminishing time. It did seem like a good way to buy a thimbleful of flat soda for nine dollars and come away with MRSA. But I’m not sure why you would want to do that? Maybe that’s your thing.

I won’t judge.

Brink has been kind of strange. I’ve said that I like it when scores on games are widely disparate, and this one has some dips that verge on the subterranean. If the game were dumb, I would tell you so. Then I would be done, and we could do something else. But it’s not dumb, it’s just weird. I’d rather convene the Council of Elrond on this motherfucker and see where we can get to.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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The Threshold Protocol
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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New PATV: Checkpoint
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
LoadingReadyRun - Yes! The Desert Bus people! - debut their new show on PATV today, a news digest vehicle they call Checkpoint.

(CW)TB

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A Gentlemen's Evening
Posted by News Fetcher on May 09 '11 at 07:00 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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Dire Circumstances
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '11 at 11:30 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Crisis averted! Hopefully.

Two things.

- Like all other conscious beings, we have constantly fantasized about operating our own gaming shop. The contours of this thing have changed multiple times - in its most recent incarnation, it was Olympus: a kind of evolved arcade that The Mana Bar would ultimately make real.

A shop called Card Kingdom just opened up dangerously close to the office, and it’s essentially the tabletop version of my fantasy store. In addition to a frankly ridiculous supply of games from every conceivable discipline, it’s got a cafe with local taps and a barista who knows his shit. The only thing they don’t have is cots, which keeps me from simply living there.

- It’s been so long since I’ve had to cover multiplayer fundamentals, but it does happen. In fact, it’s happening now: you do not win King of The Hill matches (in Gears or any other game) by killing members of the opposite team.

It can help, certainly. The Hill itself should be well greased with foe-pulp. What I’m saying is that without capturing the hill, you can’t score any points. Devoid of a context which grants them value, all those sweet killz of yours are frenzied masturbation. I think there is a misconception at the root: the &ldquo;Hill&rdquo; in question is not a hill of corpses you pile up, and when it reaches a certain height it results in your coronation.

This is not what happens.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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Part The Rusted Chains
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '11 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel has a hunger for DeviantArt, and maybe even deviant art, or at any rate an appetite for the art of deviants; I have been made to absorb more than one cache of unique offerings on his assertion that I have to &ldquo;come and look at this,&rdquo; because it’s &ldquo;so weird,&rdquo; but when I go over there a pool of cooling saliva has already gathered on the surface of his Wacom, and it is connected to his mouth by a hair-thin column of glistening spit.

Presumably on account of its &ldquo;weirdness,&rdquo; he just sent - to the entire office - a link to a DA page that featured

- Quetzalcoatl biting a woman’s vagina with a kind of jagged proto-beak
- A werewolf biting a woman on her vagina
- A malevolent vagina biting another vagina on the vagina

There’s a theme there, but it’s hard to put my finger on it. Anyway, there’s a lot of incredible material on there that is very much in the &ldquo;Exhibit A&rdquo; type vein.

While listening to the radio this morning, I heard some pretty real talk about the Sony thing - interviews with real, live Gamezorz about what it means when something you have purchased has key features which simply disappear. I can’t even imagine the fear they are feeling in their underground bunker at Microsoft, how many pizza men have been sniped just on principle. I'm sure they are eating things out of cans without heating the contents, cutting themselves occasionally on the serrated edge. I saw a truly amazing article on Krocataw that suggested that no networks anywhere were safe ever, but to keep using them every day because you have no choice.

That was an interesting perspective.

Then again, it was from a person who makes their living offering security services. Maybe that’s just what his sales pitch looks like.

(CW)TB out.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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Part The Rusted Chains
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Value Proposition
Posted by News Fetcher on May 02 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Having committed themselves to in absolute terms to the replication of Blizzard’s back catalogue, it’s no wonder that Gameloft found their way to World of Warcraft eventually. The shocking part is that it actually kind of works.

Getting your phone off the nightstand, doing a couple quests, and going back to sleep is either something which is appealing or appalling; you’d have a right to either. If you have questions about the way that it works and looks, typically it’s fair to say that it operates in a Wowvian manner, except where it’s been cleverly cut to fit a portable.

I would love to tell you that you should just grab it; you’d probably be impressed. But as we suggest in the strip, there are multiple tiers of payment. It may be that ultimately the game becomes free, once the premium &ldquo;booster phase&rdquo; of the client has fallen into the atmosphere. Between its two concurrent tokenized currencies - hereafter and forever known as Smurfberries - and a monthly subscription that kicks in, it starts to look less like &ldquo;options&rdquo; and more like &ldquo;tentacles.&rdquo;

It’s tempting to say that &ldquo;free&rdquo; is the future, but it’s more tempting to say that &ldquo;free&rdquo; is the present; that ship has sailed. And it didn’t cost anything to ride on it.

Watch out for the concessions, though.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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


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Solve It (Etc.)
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 03:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I saw a review of an XBLIG called Solve It over at Joystiq, a game with a tile-laying mechanic where the tiles represent a kind of "program." It's probably better if you just play it, or examine this Kongregate experience entitled light-Bot, but if these kinds of things turn your crank you should get your mitts on a copy of RoboRally. The other two are perfectly good puzzle games, but when you've had that experience in a competitive context they feel lonely by comparison.

(CW)TB

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We have two new shirts!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 02:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
It only does pre-orders:



Rex Ready, time traveling secret agent dinosaur!



-Gabe out

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Even Newer Penny Arcade Television!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 09:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I always see things a couple weeks in advance, so I never know where the series is at on the live servers - but here is an actually new episode, entitled "The Retreat."

(CW)TB

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New Penny Arcade Television
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We've got a 4th Panel for you today, a show which covers the writing process for "When Larry Met Mary."

(CW)TB

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PAXDev Panel Submissions
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '11 at 08:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
If you are a developer, just, like... developin' all the time, and you'd like to submit a panel for the conference, this is where you would do that.

(CW)TB

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Editorializin'
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '11 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We have yet again distilled the news according to the old ways. This is that.

I was quite sad to hear that the planned arrival of The Witcher on consoles evaporated. It came down to business ultimately; there’s no functional reason it wouldn’t have worked there. Its combat wasn’t especially &ldquo;heritage&rdquo; for a PC game, but the level of trust in the player and narrative sophistication would stand out anywhere. This is all based on The Extended Edition of course, a substantial reworking of the game that brought it more in line with their ambitions and the expectations of players. I should mention that it was free as well, which more or less cemented to me that if they ever made a sequel, I would remember that humility. I would gladly have played it again on any gaming appliance, but when it fell through I was mostly disappointed that others wouldn’t have a chance to be as surprised by it as I was.

People like to contrast The Witcher with BioWare’s roleplaying output, and I think it can be educational to do so, even if I might not come to all the same conclusions. Part of why Bioware’s approach choice ends up along the Nourishing Gaia Earth-Force/Psychopathic Robo-Hitler continuum is at least partly to do with the idea of a User Interface. They - and it is polite that they do this - they give you two big levers and you get to pull one. It’s simplistic I guess, yeah; lots of useful thing are. A knife is simplistic also, with its clear delineations of handle and blade. They’re extending us a kind of courtesy.

< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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It Only Does Preorders!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 28 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:


-Gabe out

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The Song Of Something Something
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '11 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
People have different thresholds regarding spoilification, something we deal with in many comics, today&rsquo;s included - but the way these break down for the true Game of Thrones enthusiast is apparently quite nuanced.

There was a lot that I enjoyed about the first book in the series. I liked that it quite fearlessly fucked with the conventions of series fantasy, conventions which have long comforted readers, and I wasn&rsquo;t aware of this propensity when I read it, being brutalized thereby.

I honestly couldn&rsquo;t endure the second one.

I chose that word carefully: I felt like it was pressing down on me the entire time I read it. I know people love these books, and I&rsquo;m not here to tell them they&rsquo;re wrong to. Kiko loves them, and somehow we&rsquo;ve managed to remain friends. It wasn&rsquo;t for lack of trying, though. I wanted to like the Goddamn things! It was never my intention to become a professional contrarian, I would much rather just tell you things that you already believe, but I can&rsquo;t. I picked up the second book immediately, as in perhaps ten seconds after closing the first. It&rsquo;s how I intended to live, leaping to the next book in the series at regular intervals and clutching it to survive. Couldn&rsquo;t do it.

This is why I&rsquo;m excited for the show: now I can know what my friends are talking about, without having to read the books. I can watch Sean Bean being rad, again. The profound expense of converting these novels to video will act as a natural sieve, seizing the largest chunks of the excess. They can just show me a tender shank right there on the screen, or a table with a bunch of food on it. I don&rsquo;t have to hear how a woman has beef juice running down her arm and onions in her hair or whatever other calcified smut that rancid old coot has clanking around in his braincase.
< article continue at Penny Arcade >

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