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Skyward Sword
Posted by News Fetcher on November 15 '11 at 10:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
A few months ago Nintendo approached us about doing a project for them. I was interested, but my schedule was full at the time. Then they told us it was Zelda. The business guys were hesitant to put any more work on my plate but I told them I had to do it. Like a little kid offering to do chores I promised I would work late and come in on the weekends. I had to draw Zelda!

Before anything was signed they needed to see how I would draw Link. They told me that my artwork would need to get approved by the artists on the Skyward Sword team as well as Mr. Aonuma himself. I was absolutely terrified. So I went to work and sent over some concept art. I had done a young almost Wind Waker style version of Link and they liked it but told me that Link was older in this game and so I needed to make him a teenager. Also Skyward Sword uses a really beautiful water color effect and they wanted to know if I could incorporate that.

So I went back to the drawing board. I actually bought some water colors and started doing tests. I knew that I’d be creating the comic in Photoshop but I figured a better understanding of the physical medium would help. I painted this:



I colored it again but this time using Photoshop and sent it over to Nintendo.





(click here for the High Res)

This is the message I got back:



“this is some great stuff. I was actually with Mr. Aonuma on Friday for the Zelda Symphony and we were able to quickly show him the first page, which he liked.”


< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Last Week For Season 2 DVD Preorders
Posted by News Fetcher on November 14 '11 at 01:16 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
A brief repost follows.

Any preorders received before 11/20/11 will be signed by everybody here, just like last time around. 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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Reporting vs. Muting
Posted by News Fetcher on November 14 '11 at 11:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Scott has been playing MW3 with us every night and it makes me really happy. In much the same way that I experience things fresh through my children, I am seeing games in a new way through Scott. He’s still very new to console gaming and this morning he came into my office to talk about his experience last night. I guess he got stuck in public chat for a bit before he could get into his own party and he couldn’t believe it. “They aren’t even talking, they are just saying racist shit over and over again or making blow job noises.” he told me. I explained that this is how it is and he asked me where all the people from PAX are and that made me think. Obviously we are all in there together but the game has like a billion players. The odds of us stumbling across each other must be astronomical.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Asura’s Wrath!
Posted by News Fetcher on November 14 '11 at 10:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I’ve got another cool PA presents project to tell you about. This time we were approached by Capcom to create something for Asura’s Wrath. We ended up making a six page comic book that explores how Asura’s “wrath issues” effect his day to day life.



Our comic has been combined with a bunch of original concept and character art from Capcom to make one book.



If you’d like to get one of these you just need to pre-order the game from a Gamestop.



I’d like to thank Capcom for the opportunity to play with their character’s like this. We got a chance to check out the game a while ago and and had a great time. I was surprised at how much I was laughing while we played. it’s a great action game but it definitely has a very over the top sense of humor. Hopefully we captured some of that in our comic.

-Gabe out

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Thulsa Broom
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '11 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Mute!
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '11 at 11:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Like Tycho I have also jumped into a few MW3 games without having muted everyone. I honestly can’t believe the shit they say to me and the names they call me. I would make a Fat, Ugly, or Slutty site for guys but I actually don’t feel comfortable repeating the things that have been said to me. If they know you’re a girl that gives these monsters an obvious avenue of attack. If you’re just a dude they need to be more, “creative”. The answer is to mute them. Mute them right away and never stop muting them. Mute them forever.

-Gabe out

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Skyrim
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '11 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I never got into any of the previous Elder Scrolls games. I could never get past the graphics which as Tycho likes to say “has kept me from enjoying a great many things.” I just always thought the characters looked ridiculous and the world felt so bland. I was able to get a copy of Skyrim for the Xbox a bit early though and so I decided to give this one a shot.

The world really is beautiful this time and that makes me want to explore it. The people still look stupid most of the time and the voice acting is pretty spotty. Still I was having fun running around and discovering old ruins. I found a cave full of vampires and killed them all only to discover I had contracted vampirism. Getting rid of that kept me busy for a while. I really like the way the game lets you create a character simply by playing the way you want to play. It’s incredibly smart and so seamless. I only wish actually playing the game was more fun.

There’s just nothing to the combat. Killing a cave full of vampires is cool because at the end I got a rad sword but actually fighting them was pretty boring. Fighting shit in Skyrim isn’t about how well you can manipulate your controller, it’s about numbers. The level of your shit vs. the level of whatever you’re pointing your hands at. For me this just didn’t hold my interest.

The other big problem I had is probably because I was playing it on the Xbox. So much of the game is about exploring and I enjoyed doing that out in the wilderness but in towns it drives me crazy. The towns are full of buildings to investigate but the load time when you want to go inside is so bad that I just avoid it all together. So unless it’s a shop or an inn I just don’t go inside which means I’m missing tons of content. Tycho says the load times don’t exist on the PC so that’s not really an issue for him.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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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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