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News - Intervention
Posted by News Fetcher on November 25 '15 at 10:34 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I think it’s fair to say that, on certain axes, my companion has exceeded me in his affection for Fallout. Specifically, I would say his obsession with Jangles The Moon Monkey. Also, uh, his bottomless appetite for chems.
I’ve tended to avoid chems in general, if I can get away with it. Addiction as a concept is so scary to me that I don’t even entertain it in a simulation. But, in an incredible throwback, Gabriel literally peer pressured me into using virtual drugs! No word yet on whether I will soon need to use Jet twice just to get the same high.
I feel a lot of complicated ways about this game. I’m enjoying the comparing notes aspect quite a bit, which I usually only get with Bioware games; Grob has been to places and decapitated people I have never even met! That is one of the hallmarks of a broad system:
1. Anyone can be decapitated, and

2. Romance options for inanimate objects.

Until I can fuck the hinge of a kitchen mixer, we aren’t prioritizing the right things.
So, that stuff is all good. I like to ante up by vaporizing an enemy’s right arm, which tends to tamp down further aggression. But the dialogue - any dialogue, really - isn’t memorable. Not as an interactive system, and not as content. I’m used to my character build having broader, clearer ramifications in this space. This is a gruesome loss; I still remember dialogue from the older games, which were released as the primal Earth was still cooling. It’s possible I’m not playing the right quests yet, but I haven’t seen much texture to the verbal space here. There’s no room for expression in it, or novel interactions. Coming off Pillars of Eternity, where there are unique dialogue trees about what you had for lunch yesterday, I miss it.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - Fallout 4
Posted by News Fetcher on November 23 '15 at 10:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Fallout 4 is the very first Fallout game I’ve ever played. I’ve talked a bit before about how these open world games tend to paralyze me. I wander around feeling like I’m missing tons of stuff. I worry that I’m missing some important thing because I went left instead of right. I used to feel like if I was not “progressing the story” I was wasting time. What I finally realized is that everytime I sit down to play, I’m progressing MY story. I stopped thinking about what the game wanted me to do and just did what I wanted to do. Now I’m having awesome adventures every night!

I also finally figured out junk. I used to be overwhelmed when I walked into a room full of stuff. My squirrel brain made me feel like I had to pick up every ashtray and manila folder. Last night things really clicked for me and I found myself behaving like an honest to God wasteland scavenger. Now I can tear through a space pushing aside newspapers and grabbing duct tape. I imagine myself weighing the tin can in my hand and then tossing it over my shoulder and reaching for the desk lamp thinking “Screws!”. Last night was also the very first time I ever picked up a piece of junk and said to myself “ooh this would look nice on that shelf in my hideout.” So that’s terrifying. Also I’m hooked on Jet.

Here’s a text message I sent to Tycho last night:



< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - Lifelikeness
Posted by News Fetcher on November 23 '15 at 12:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I’ve never been able to get Gabriel on board for earlier Fallout games, even the first Bethesda one, and I’ve never been able to bring him along on anything contained somewhere within an Elder Scroll, so from a nuts and bolts perspective Fallout 4 was always gonna be a rough fuckin’ climb</i>.

There are some Fallout specific things in there, certainly - or things meant to honor its legacy - but there’s a lot of generally just sort of Bethesda stuff in there. So, so much that I tried to explain to him: “Bethesda” constitutes a coherent genre of which Skyrim and the new Fallouts are manifestations.
The main thing he had to do in order to settle into the game - by which I mean the subset of Fallout with which he, himself resonates - was to throw every idea about “proper” play in the garbage. Open-World Paralysis Syndrome (OWPS) is real, and when you aren’t super up on some of the basic laws of a system you can feel like you’re missing even more.

There is a kind of clock that starts for him the same time he starts a game, it has to roost in him by the end of it, and this timer is short. That’s not how I could do it, but it’s something I respect; he is always precisely himself, and I always assume I’m wrong. But! He had to say “no” to a few things just to maintain momentum. For example, by the time he was really getting into it, he hadn’t really set up much of a town. I don’t know if that is ever going to be a big part of the game for him, but if you ever want to feel like you’ve had a productive Tuesday, or whatever, clearing out five or six rusted cars and a big pile of tires can scoot a day over into the win column.
< <a href="http://penny-arcade.com/news/post/2015/11/23/lifelikeness">article continued at Penny Arcade
>

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News - Parabolic
Posted by News Fetcher on November 20 '15 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Lightly paraphrased from the original.

There was a period of time, not even that long a period of time in the grand scheme, where a kind of collaborative back-scratching arrangement was in operation between publishers, the developers in their charge, and the enthusiast press. It has not been dissolved utterly, but you can tell from the increasing percentage of in-line ads for not games that something key has changed. Coupled with the fact that the real action from a promotional perspective is concentrated in a single, scruffily adorable Swede and the spine of the thing is laid bare.
For years, I could never make heads or tails of the access granted to outfits whose primary contribution is aggression either towards the creators or the users of games. One some level, the agents of multinational brands want to be “liked,” for business reasons but also for the regular human reasons, but that couldn’t have been all of it. I think it was mostly just inertia: these are big ships, and they’ve been moving in a certain way for a long time. They were like British Soldiers, lining up dutifully for war against a guerilla force.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - A conversation between friends
Posted by News Fetcher on November 19 '15 at 10:45 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
My son Gabe is ten years old now. He is very much like me. He prefers reading to playing outside. He gives up his recess time at school to help in the library. I still remember doing the exact same thing when I was in fifth grade. Unfortunately he also got my anxiety. He has good days and bad, but recently he’s been having an especially hard time. I am able to understand what he’s going through and so I feel like I can provide some help but I also know just how hard it can be to change the way your brain works. He told me last night that they were having a discussion in class about diseases and kids were talking about the ones they were familiar with. Gabe raised his hand and brought up chronic anxiety. Many of the kids didn’t know what that even was. I asked how he handled that and he told me how he explained it to them.

He said that everyone has fears and worries. He said everyone also has a big filing cabinet in their head full of all the information they need to make themselves feel better. For example he told them that someone might worry about an earthquake but then they would find the “E” section in their filing cabinet and read all the information about the rarity of earthquakes and how being prepared can help. Then they would feel better and stop worrying about it. Gabe told the kids that people with anxiety have a filing cabinet but it’s all unorganized and papers are all over the place. These people he said can’t ever find anything they need to stop worrying. They get scared of something and then just cry and cry because they can’t feel better but they also get frustrated because they know they have the information they need to feel better but they can’t get to it.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - Duration
Posted by News Fetcher on November 18 '15 at 12:16 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We are occasionally ill-served by the One More Win policy; there are times when it compounds the shame and does not result in a reaffirmation of our victorious destiny. We will occasionally invoke the policy retroactively, even. There have been nights where the first round was so good, an exemplar, such a burning display of our martial vigor that we stop right then, immediately.

At like 9:30.
We gotta talk about this new interface on the Xbox One. I heard all kinds of what I would describe as “not good things” about it before launch even though they can’t really afford that kind of launch right now. It didn’t turn out like that. I mean, it works - which is good. But the philosophical gearshift is palpable.
So, the update to the console interface itself - what they call NXOE - is a big deal on its own. For the way I use the system, the really common, every time type stuff, it’s not the same box. Sliding out the panel on the left, creating parties and invites isn’t just better, it’s approaching great. They had a tradition of updates on the 360, and eventually they went one step too far: the current UI over there is too Kinect focused and too slow. The new interface can’t really be called anything other than an indictment of the old regime; it’s like when a revolutionary force takes control and restarts the calendar. Voice commands get a buff from Cortana next year, but the rest of this UI doesn’t give a shit about Kinect and it’s for the better. I never used it to select anything, unless I couldn’t find the controller for some reason, and even then I almost always relied on voice for something more than a couple selections deep. Speed is the watchword. You can start a party now without feeling the first burbles of volcanic rage.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - Desert Bus 9! Child’s Play Dinner!
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '15 at 10:46 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
As of 10am this morning, the valiant Desert Bus just crossed into Day 3 of their harrowing journey - and, at over $173,000, they’re already going nuts over there. I will be very surprised if last year’s record can keep a grip on the belt.

It’s sort of crazy to look at the year-over-year data, to get a sense of the tradition they’re iterating here. It’s incredible. Next year will be their tenth year taking on this gruesome weight, and I can already taste the memes.
There are other Child’s Play traditions underway, also: in just four weeks, the Child’s Play Charity Dinner And Auction will offer up another seismic evening of dinner-fuelled charitable vigor. Tickets for said evening - Thursday, December 10th - can be secured here. If you have something startling or profound you would like to donate to this effort, thank you in advance - hit up this page for details.
(CW)TB

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News - Surface Book
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '15 at 10:46 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I’ve been playing around with a Surface Book for a couple of weeks now and I wanted to share some thoughts. It’s an interesting device, that for me has been equal parts frustrating and awesome.

The Good Stuff

The Surface Book is a beautiful piece of hardware. In terms of its construction I have zero complaints. I suppose the best compliment I can give it, is to say it feels like an Apple product. Specifically a Macbook. Maybe that sounds like a dig but I honestly don’t mean it that way. The keyboard, the monitor, the trackpad, the body of the device, all of it is just top notch.

When it’s all put together the Book is a solid laptop. It’s not going to replace my Razer laptop for gaming, but I was honestly surprised by what I was able to play on it. I tested out Heroes of the Storm, League of Legends, and even Overwatch. All of them were playable but required lowering the graphics settings. You’re not gonna play games on ultra settings but turn some of the fancy stuff off and they work surprisingly well. Again, this is not a gaming machine, but with that said, it is significantly better at playing games that my old Surface Pro 3.

The ability to pop the “screen” off and use it as a fully functional tablet is obviously the Book’s big trick and it is by far my favorite feature. Pressing a button on the keyboard unlocks the screen and you can just pull it right off. This device by itself is surprisingly powerful. I was able to pop the screen off, sit on the couch with it and draw in Manga Studio with no problem. It was very smooth and honestly felt better than drawing on my old Pro 3. The screen by itself is very light and comfortable to hold in your lap. I loved taking it with me up to bed or out on the deck to sketch. It’s also a badass Hearthstone tablet with it’s big beautiful screen.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - The Wolf, Part Four By Tavis Maiden
Posted by News Fetcher on November 16 '15 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Tavis Maiden has always struck me as a very metal sort of name, and he has rocked you for a week, in a manner similar to that of a hurricane. Here is his last morsel; thanks, man. We needed the help.

At lunch on Friday, it became clear that I was the only person at the table and perhaps upon the shattered crust of the Earth for whom Fallout 4 was not a singular experience. I was alone in not liking the hook. I found the initial Vault section anemic, and it did not propel me into a life of wasteland scrabbling, but I learned from this lunch conversation that some people felt like the Vault section in Fallout 3 was too long. They’re wrong about that, of course, as “they” so often are, but it’s clearly a criticism Bethesda took to heart and in enabling these wastrels they have made an enemy of my house.
Let me tell you a few of the things I didn’t like. I don’t like how conversations look in this game. I know it makes me weird, but I don’t really need my character to talk all the time, and I don’t like the terse dialogue UI. In what is almost certainly intended to be “a moment,” very early on, a monster got bugged trying to slink out of its lair and just vibrated there while I emptied a minigun into its nostril. I didn’t like asking four people about this moment, and having three of them report the same bug.
I mean, I didn’t reload the game and see if he wasn’t bugged that time and try to comport myself with valor or whatever. I’m not stupid. They don’t call them “deathclaws” because their claws are safe.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - The Wolf, Part Three By Tavis Maiden
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '15 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Tavis Maiden (this, this, this, this) is congenitally predisposed to wolf. One more on Monday to wrap up.

I think that Fallout must get better later, or something: I can’t get into it. I have never had a problem getting into a Fallout game before; I feel like the last-call, settle-for-him guy for whom “this never happens.” The whole thing is very sad. It’s trying to catalyze events by in a sort of carpe diem way, the way a raccoon might fish a greying hot dog from the trash, and nothing is working.
I had talked about how games like Borderlands or Destiny or CoD or WoW (note that three of these are from the same publisher) have trained us via operant conditioning to want, that is to say “fundamentally require,” certain types of feedback from games. In a less rigorously psychometric way, The Witcher 3 altered way down - like, Ring 0 - what I expect from missions in an open world. How I expect them to be delivered. What I expect to do when I get there. How they can and will be subverted. The moral dimension. I’m not overly concerned with presentation typically, but I think it might fucked me up on that front, too. I could enjoy more games before the stupid fucking Witcher. Now I’m Been To One Wine Tasting guy and I’m aerating pinot noir and talking conspiratorially about “hints of leather.”
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - PAX South Panel Submissions Close Today
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '15 at 11:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
So if you want to submit a panel for PAX South, this is an incredible opportunity. Individual day tickets are also available; if you want to attend the whole show, I’d make a run on them now before one of the days sells out.

(CW)TB

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News - The Wolf, Part Two By Tavis Maiden
Posted by News Fetcher on November 11 '15 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Tavis Maiden (who does all kinds of shit) is here with more wolfs and he is continuing to wolf.

Kiko and I have been playing Call of Duty on the Xbox One most nights, delivering results, or Kiko is delivering results and I am there to witness him. The night it came out Gabe was there, and it was legendary, just as in days of old; we hadn’t seen him on in a few nights and considered playing Zombies instead so we wouldn’t outlevel him too far. But he was playing Call of Duty, just on the Playstation 4.

Where we are not.

When I was in Scotland, I heard a certain type of Scottish dialect in Edinburgh (“Aydin-Burrah”) that was light and had no trace of the World of Warcraft dwarves in it. Even ten miles west of there, I heard accents that I couldn’t describe to you, but were clearly “Scottish.” It took every synapse firing in unison to translate what he said in real time. I had to nod a lot while the processing was occurring, in what I hoped looked something like true rapport. So there’s “English” - situated in some column of celestial light - and then there are the petitioner languages we speak, which aspire to it, but are not the thing. I would have a hard time telling you that we were speaking the same language. What I spoke was merely compatible with what the man in Ratho was saying to his dogs. And it took work. But we were able to have a conversation about boats.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - Full Video Of Our “Make A Game” Panel With Lone Shark Games
Posted by News Fetcher on November 10 '15 at 02:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
If you missed this PAX Prime panel, or you want to see it, or if you are curious what kind of a game could be made in an hour, I have exactly what you need. The game designers were a kind of supergroup with a core group of “Sharks,” plus a couple other ultra-pros, but this would be a great time to remind everybody that Gabe’s “Thornwatch” game has become three games - Thornwatch, The Lookouts, And Daughters Of The Eyrewood - and we’re trusting Lone Shark Games to make them with us.

(CW)TB

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News - The Wolf, Part One By Tavis Maiden
Posted by News Fetcher on November 09 '15 at 12:30 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Tavis Maiden (Tenko King, Binwin’s Minions, Stranger Danger, Strip Search, Probably Other Stuff) is taking a turn with The Lookouts with “The Wolf” for a few days. Let’s tune in.

So it turns out that I’m the only one of my friends over here that likes the new Halo. Call of Duty, with its orca-smooth progression and relentless shooty-shoots, has served as the lingua franca between those of us who are Halo and Destiny players. Though I’m fairly certain Gabriel just plays Destiny before we play CoD. And maybe after.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - Delivery
Posted by News Fetcher on November 06 '15 at 12:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Writing comics with a not-mike - of which there are many, the Earth is lousy with them - was bizarre. I talk with a lot of people about their comics, but it’s in the manner of a Consultant, where I make pronouncements of various kinds and then make my escape shortly before any actual work needs to be done. This time I had to actually forge a connection with another human being and then try to run signal along that connection. It was… novel. I had a super good time with Kris Straub (“Krasp Strib”) plumbing the figurative depths of <a htef="https://twitter.com/krisstraub/status/660378073636802561">bat sex</a>, but the rest of the time was good too. Every second could be recommended on its own terms.

I invited Kris over to Kiko’s hotel to play a round of Pandemic Legacy, thinking it might offer up a cluster of juicy comics, and that ended up being true. It was part and parcel of my effort over the entire weekend to sell as many copies of that game as I could. I don’t want to play any more games on tables that don’t have the word “Legacy” hitched to the back like a caboose. I want Catan Legacy, Magic Legacy: The Gathering Legacy, I want Ladies And Gentlemen Legacy, and I want Warmachine Legacy.
Legacy.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - I’m feeling better
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '15 at 02:30 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Well I am still alive. Sorry Twitter. what happened?

I was having a conversation with Kiko about this just the other day. It used to be that when you were a kid you’d go to the doctor and you’d get some medicine and feel better. It seems like when you go to the doctor once you’re older they often just throw up their hands and say “beats the shit out of me.”

As best they can tell it was a combination of things. The main one being a change in prescription and dosage for one of my brain pills. I’d like to believe that delicately adjusting the levels of chemicals in a human brain is old hat by now but I guess not. I had three real rough days that I hardly remember followed by a pretty solid week of bullshit. I’m on the mend now though and feeling a little better each day. Thanks to everyone who sent me a get well soon message. It was much appreciated during the vomit spree.

While healing I had the opportunity to play some fun games. In between trips to the bathroom I managed to play Halo 5, Darksiders II Deathinitive edition, Overwatch, Destiny and the new Need for Speed. I will now present you with what I half remember fever dream reviews.

Halo 5

I actually really enjoyed the campaign although I think the ending was pretty abrupt. It’s the middle game of a trilogy though, I get it. I’d say the advertising oversold the “hunting the MC” angle but it was still fun.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - Acquisitors, Part Six
Posted by News Fetcher on November 04 '15 at 12:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
There’s been a ton of acquiring lately - and the inherent complexities lend themselves to a specialist approach. Welcome to Acquisitors, Part Six, which could well be called “The Final Acquisition” because it’s the last one. On Friday we’ll have the strip that Kris and I wrote and he drew live at the show, and then next week we’ve got Tavis Maiden - of Tenko King, Binwin’s Minions, Stranger Danger, and of course Strip Search fame - is gonna take a crack at a quick Lookouts story he’s had bangin’ around.

We’re gearing up the store to go basically fucking nuts this Christmas, tbh. We tried some stuff last year that’ll be back, and we have some new stuff to flex this time around, but I wanted to give you a heads up: if you know a deeply immoral reprobate, the sort that frequents this dark temple, Norvermber 23rd is when you can start thinking about which of our hateful artifacts you might get them for Christmas. We’ll have new stuff all week - Black Friday is a thing, and apparently we’re saying Cyber Monday now without irony, and even Thanksgiving is getting into the game.
Pin-wise, we’ve got the Gingerbread set for the holidays, and a a three pin set in collaboration with legendary artist Enfu. Double-Secret boxes make their triumphant return. It keeps going from there; we played a way cool indie boardgame once, called Pushfight:



< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - Acquisitors, Part Five
Posted by News Fetcher on November 01 '15 at 05:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
These motherfuckers just keep acquiring shit! It’s Acquisitors, Part Five.

In the same way that Bruce Banner’s secret is that he’s always angry, Mike Krahulik’s secret is that he is incredibly intelligent. This is something he doesn’t like people to know, but he couldn’t do what he does if he weren’t. My family has a home because I befriended him in high school; it’s as simple as that. I found myself in his nimbus and then, barring a few poor choices on my part, everything worked out.
So doing a PAX without him was definitely strange. Not bad, at all. But strange. You have to understand, you can just be by him and succeed. If he’s not there, I have to attempt it myself. I can’t execute it at his level, but I can fashion myself into a marginal improvement over a bare stage, which I believe I succeeded in doing. Khoo was an excellent addition to the Q&A, I can see that happening again, actually - even in the absence of crisis. And I have to take a second to appreciate my friend Kris Straub, who came through in the most unbelievable way. He and I handled the final round of the Omegathon (Tetris and Dr. Mario!), the first ever Child’s Play Live Auction in Australia ($15,850!), and the Make A Strip panel which went better than it had any right to. At every turn, he rose to the challenge. We even invented a new genre of pornography at the request of a question card - “vesperotica” - a carnal cave of unfettered bat-love.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - Acquisitors, Part Four
Posted by News Fetcher on October 29 '15 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
So, just as I learned last time I was here, if I go to a place that is more than ten hours past my normal schedule, I can get my work done on time. There’s a sorcerial aspect to this whole deal. Right now, PAX is starting, even though every one of my moist organs is telling me it’s Thursday. And this post will go up sort of on the second day of PAX. Don’t think about it! Fill the hole this state of affairs has made in your skull with

Acquisitors, Part Four
.

Once we found “our” gaming shop here in the fabled village of Mael-Byn, whenever we weren’t doing show stuff we’ve been trying to penetrate the evil candy that is Pandemic Legacy. You are trying to cure global diseases, just like in Pandemic, and weirdly enough that’s almost all I feel comfortable saying.
The things you love about Pandemic Legacy are things you can’t say. This happens with electronical games occasionally, also, but here it’s definitional. This game, like the plagues you chase around the globe, constitutes a living thing which does not sit still. The very idea that there are spoilers for a boardgame should tell you we have moved into a strange realm. Like Risk Legacy before it, there’s something deeply lowborn and vulgar about marking up your board permanently. The pieces of a game generally reflect some higher order of reality, they are envoys of a dimension where systems hold sway, the Court of Pure Laws. Abrogating their purity like this feels debauched at first and then, like other debaucheries, quickly becomes an obsession.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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News - PAX Aus Merch Banner
Posted by News Fetcher on October 28 '15 at 02:30 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I received this communique in the early hours of the morning, on an encrypted channel. Its contents are as follows.

—-
PAX Aus banner for y’all to view and plan upon.



We’ve got a fresh Limited Edition pin this year. Those will be available only at the Merch Lite booth in the Exhibition Center Foyer. There will be a limited number available each day so come early if you’d like one.

Some other highlights include: Strip Search DVDs and Blu-Rays! Fresh PAX Aus Mugs! A golden scarf! And, Brian’s personal favorite, a limited-edition alternate-color version of the classic Insert Coin hoodie. Grey on Grey!

—-

(CW)TB

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