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


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It’s not called c4rd warri0rz anymore
Posted by News Fetcher on September 13 '12 at 03:15 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
So I posted some information about my tabletop game earlier this week. I got a ton of great responses and I really appreciate that so many of you think it sounds interesting. I’ve got a lot more mechanics than I posted about and I’ll be sharing those with you a little bit later. right now I wanted to address one of the big questions I got.

“An RPG needs a world and a story, what is yours?”

Well I’ve decided to set this game in the Eyrewood. Tycho and I have talked about the Lookouts and even the Daughters but this is an entirely new group. So just like I’m showing you the process of creating the mechanics, I’m also going to bring you in as I start building out the world.

So who is this new group in the Eyrewood and what are they like?

As the young Lookouts are so fond of singing “The Eyrewood stretches top to toe”. This is more true than even they know. The Eyrewood is a massive thing and the Lookouts can patrol only a tiny fraction of it. They watch their roads and guard their villages but they cannot be everywhere and truth be told, there are places in the Eyrewood that even a Lookout will not tread.

It might surprise you to learn that there are men who have left the Lookouts, or been forced to leave. Unsatisfied with its scope or critical of its rules, they are now outlaws and outcasts. They have walked away from their oaths and disappeared into the Eyrewood. There are many stories of these men and the hidden paths they walk. For those whom the Lookouts can not or will not help, these stories represent a last desperate hope. For it is said that if no one else can help you and you know the proper way to call them, they will come.

They are the THORNWATCH

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Forgive Me Father
Posted by News Fetcher on September 11 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We came home from Sir Frederik of Meyers a couple years ago with a copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Catshit and literally no way to lose.

We cannot lose in that scenario, not really, because if the game was as bad as everyone expected (it was worse) we would nest well in downy consensus. On the other hand if we found a game in there, somewhere, anywhere, then we’d have gotten some measure of our extortionate hundred and twenty dollar investment returned to us in the form of amusement.
The idea that (ahem) “NBA BALLER BEATS” might actually have a compelling experience written to any quadrant of the disc was inconceivable, we had no words for it in our language. Salting the kitty via social media</i> didn’t seem like an especially good indicator. We were like wry hyenas, ropes of lacy spit swinging off our lips, tearing into the package and gleefully wrasslin’ over its entrails. A basketball, yes. <a href="http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/09/12">How quaint.
We were able to maintain the heat beneath our rage kettle during the tutorial, where we both expressed precision disdain. It was about halfway through Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On” that I realized that he was actually enjoying himself, and doing so in a wholly unauthorized way - a way that implied if not explicitly suggested that it was even possible to do so. He had deviated dangerously from the script.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Benevolence
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Like most sensate organisms, Gabriel didn’t know what he was supposed to think about the Wii U. Reasonable, perceptive creatures can’t be faulted for thinking that the enhanced controller was simply a peripheral, not terribly unlike the two fairly high concept peripherals they might already have been asked to purchase - one which is placed on the floor, of all places, and another that increases the resolution of the remote when used in space (?). The idea that a new controller would come out that has a teevee in there isn’t that weird.
Playing it at PAX sold it to him big, though, because the power of those asymmetric experiences is immense. His boy was there, and the young man was haunting his family ghost-style while everyone else scurried around in terror, and I can only imagine his face. We had lighter versions of this experience before - recall that, as the only people on earth who liked Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, we were receiving private correspondence from our parents, crafting, and all manner of things in a completely private way. But there’s so many ways to play with hidden information both competitively and cooperatively - it’s a staple of board and card games - that it’s easy to get excited about even the more obvious manifestations.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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C4rD //4rI0rZ (working title)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 10 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I ran my D&D group through a test of my new game on Saturday. I was nervous as hell but it went really well. It is a tabletop role playing game that attempts to express each class as a deck. I realize this is nothing new but none of the other games we’ve played have done it how I would do it. I figure there must be lots of people out there like me who want to make a game but just aren’t sure how to get started. I’m not a proffesional obviously but I’m having a lot of fun. I figure if I share my process maybe it will inspire some of you guys. I’m still ridiculously early in the development but here’s how I got started.

I knew I wanted to use decks for characters and so I started thinking about the WOW TCG. This is a game that my players and I loved, especially the raid deck mechanic. It was missing some stuff that we liked from D&D though. So I listed the things that I wished the WOW card game had:

-Character Progression

-Rules for adjudicating RP and Skill Challenge events

-Tactical grid based combat

-A more literal representation of the character as a deck

So with those ideas in mind I tried to imagine a card game that modeled the character as a deck of skills and powers. I started thinking about the Pokemon card game and began messing around with replacing the idea of “Energy” cards with “Skill” cards. So for example in Pokemon you might have a Fighting/Electric deck and in my game a Rogue would be a Strength/Dexterity deck.



< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Benevolence
Posted by News Fetcher on September 09 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Cuspin’
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Now that PAX is over and I am still alive, I can look at all the shit is coming out and actually let it nest in my mind. I’ve been excited for Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition, and apparently it’s coming out in like ten days. Given the wide span between now and its original release, it seemed like a good time to stop and smell the technology.
Of course, Borderlands 2 comes out the same day; that seems pretty bad. I would not release a game on that day, if I could help it. Given the opportunity, I would release it on another day.
I was tantalized by SolForge at PAX, and it appears to have tantl’d Quarter To Three’s Tom Chick also. I honestly don’t know why this hasn’t hit its goal yet on Kickstarter, other than the fact that they’re trying to pitch something sorta high concept. That’s the only reason I can see for them not having met it, because this was one of the best demos on our showfloor. Gary Games has a very particular problem, something we are not unfamiliar with, in that they are essentially trying to Kickstart something free.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Card w4rriorz(working title)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 06 '12 at 07:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
One of the things that came out of our Q&A panel at PAX this year was that I’m making my own tabletop game. Someone asked what exactly was in the sketchbook I didn’t want to show Tycho in this strip. I had not planned on talking about it for a while but the answer was notes for my tabletop RPG.

I’ve been a DM for about four years now and I feel very comfortable running games. One of my favorite things to do is cook up my own mechanics and rules for each of our sessions. It was very rare that my players would show up to the table and not find some new system I wanted to try out. I built all of these ideas on the foundation of D&D 4th edition but nearly every game started out with me saying “I want to try something and if it doesn’t work I’m sorry.”

Most of the time it worked though. Or if it didn’t work at the beginning of the night, with the help of my players we made it into something that did work. The more I thought about it, the more I realized just how much I liked coming up with my own game mechanics and so I started making notes for a game of my own. I started off by listing the games that me and my players loved. and then listing out the problems we had with each one of them. I set out to make a game that combined the things we loved and hopefully fixed the things we didn’t.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Perverse Incentives
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
People asked us many times how we chose Australia for the next PAX, and we didn’t really; you chose it. We know how to run shows, that’s it. “Where they should be” and “who will go to them” is your department, and thus far it’s been an efficient division of labor.
Talking to Scott and Kris after they got back earlier this year, they were positively aglow about the place. I gotta see how far away the closest Mana Bar is; I always wanted to go, but felt confident that would never happen. The new danger, I suppose, is never leaving the bar. There is always danger, it seems; we must be vigilant.
I spent a lot of time playing Card Hunter at PAX, and talking to Card Hunter people, and making a nuisance of myself, and then defeating the artist in Card Hunter multiplayer, which I believe reveals my secret divinity. But right next to Card Hunter was Mark of the Ninja, which is just as good in a completely ‘nother way.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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PAX Haul
Posted by News Fetcher on September 05 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I came away from PAX this year with some pretty cool stuff. Here’s a quick rundown of what I picked up at the show:

-Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures game

I got a great demo of this down at the Fantasy Flight booth. It’s a fun little dog fighting game between Tie Fighters and X-Wings. There is no board or grid so movement is handled with pre-cut pieces that mark the distance you can move and where your ship will end up after a given maneuver. Everyone locks in their movement choice before the round and then they are revealed on your turn. This makes for some fun gameplay as you try and guess where the other ships are going to end up. I pulled a couple moves that I thought would line me up for a great shot only to be looking out at open space.

-Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beta RPG.

Also from Fantasy Flight this book collects the Beta rules for their new Star Wars tabletop RPG. This game uses an interesting Dice Pool mechanic for conflict resolution. From what I’ve read it’s less about number crunching and more about building cool stories and dramatic scenes. I’m keen to see how it plays out at the table and I plan on asking around the office for volunteers to give it a try.

-Iron Kingdoms Core Rules Book

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Perverse Incentives
Posted by News Fetcher on September 04 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Friction
Posted by News Fetcher on September 02 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Enter The Review Dome
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
There is another Madden game out, a football simulator, and because I know you are starved for our incomparable insights into Sports we have done everything to encapsulate our crucial perspective in comic form.
I know people for whom the sum total of the “game industry” is Angry Birds, Madden, and Call of Duty. These are not vile “dudebros” - and let’s not bro-shame, if we can help it - they’re just people who can literally play like three games all year and feel like that was a good year. They’ve got a game to play with their friends, a game to play by themselves, and something to do in line at the Butt Store or whatever. As a point of comparison, I have been installing a game while typing this paragraph.
I love to read Bill Abner’s stuff about Madden over at No High Scores because he actually cares about it, and has the years of experience with games of this kind to contextualize the changes that arise in a game that is remade year after year. I’m not likely to start playing them anytime soon, but I do appreciate a peek into why someone would.
How much I like a Sporting Thing generally follows the pattern

Actual Sports < Videogames Of Sports < Boardgames Of Sports (???)

Which I understand is ridiculous, on some level. I also have an exception at the ready for Actual Sports, so you know it’s an Actual Rule and not some flimsy, waist-high assertion.
Once a company has had success on Kickstarter, it’s often parleyed into another success; I put in for Mantic’s Kings of War ancient skirmish thingy, which caused me to get a heads up on their next one: DreadBall.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Enter The Review Dome
Posted by News Fetcher on August 30 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Relic Knights Stuff
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I backed Zombicide and said so, and then they put the Cardboard Tube Samurai in there, which was banging. This time around, they wanted to know if they could use Tycho and Gabe, which generally we don’t do, but they wanted to gussy them all up fiction and art-wise and I got curious. We let them go hog wild, and they worked crazy fast. Penny Arcade “cyphers” are their next stretch goal now, which is (at the time of this writing, at least) forty-eight hundred dollars away.

(CW)TB

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Zeboyd Pack Also Super Cheap, Son
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I loved working on Precipice with these guys, so I got to get their backs on this: they’ve got Cthulhu Saves The World and Breath of Death VII in a double pack (!) for a buck forty nine. THEY’VE GONE INSANE, etc.

(CW)TB

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The Universal Worm
Posted by News Fetcher on August 29 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Worms have historically been a boon to farmers, engineering the soil for greater efficiency. The worms in Guild Wars 2’s human starter area are not these worms: their segmented bodies are seven feet of reeking, living sausage crammed into armored plates. Their matriarchs are like ravenous telephone poles. What do you you get for culling this demonic herd? The farmer will let you buy her shit, with a currency I didn’t even know I was earning. Mysteries within mysteries!
This isn’t a review or whatever; as I say right there, I just got in the door. But I have to wonder precisely how much more worm duty I can endure. Is it bioaccumulative? Sometimes I think I can feel it pooling in warm pockets throughout my trunk.
Twitter tells us that the act described in the third panel of today’s strip is called a “Key West Boomerang,” but I’m afraid to prove this assertion with a keyword search because then I might see what looks like.
On the “On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness 3” front, starting today and for the duration of PAX you can get the game for three bucks on Steam or on Xbox. Speaking of which, that’s how much it will be on Mobile platforms when they launch in October. It might be done before then, but there’s a lot that you can’t control about those things. We’ll play that part by ear.

The mobile versions include the free “Lair of The Seamstress” DLC out the gate, but everybody else should get that about the same time. The last DLC, which takes place before the game because that’s the optimally pretentious way to tell a story like this, should hit before Christmas.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Universal Worm
Posted by News Fetcher on August 28 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Dig Dug Strip At ShiftyLook
Posted by News Fetcher on August 27 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I thought for sure they would not run this strip, and we would be asked to create a new one, but no! It’s right here, if you’re interested.

(CW)TB

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Campaign Mode
Posted by News Fetcher on August 27 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I never really understood what the point of putting Bing on the Xbox was, other than the fact that they have a Bing and they want you to Bing stuff. I avoided it because I felt it was manipulative, like introducing me to your “cute cousin” who is “really cool” and who you think I “might have a lot in common with” who only uses “meth” “occasionally.” It’s presumptive. But the rest of their “experience” is so deep in the usability weeds right now that Global Search is the only way to pan shit out.
I’ll never see more than a single panel of their new Election Coverage for example, because I have ways to cull out their messaging almost in its entirety. Well, except for the “Use Bing” message, which I’ve apparently absorbed in toto. Hmm.

Broader cultural presence is the sort of “mission creep” that people have complained about for years, but that mission done crept; and it’s an aggregated good in my case, because every member of my family uses the Xbox now on essentially a daily basis. Brenna does not like games generally, she thinks they are not a good time investment absent some fitness purpose, but her comfort level with the device is such that she’ll actively seek those things out for herself. This is a profound development, and makes their largely aspirational “whole family fun” vibration seem tethered to reality in some way.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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