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Collaboration
Posted by News Fetcher on September 28 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I wasn’t at the last Thornwatch playtest. I made the mistake of relaxing for one second last Friday, one Goddamn second, and PAX finally caught up with me and laid me out. I understand that it was… a thing.
Watching a game materialize is fascinating. I’ve written games, certainly; that’s the axis I feel like I have something to contribute in. But I have avoided “design” quite on purpose. I’m an editor, at heart. If I were being uncharitable, and that’s sort of in my wheelhouse, I would say that it was an effort to avoid responsibility - cowardice, essentially. That would be fine with me. But I also don’t want to design games, and when the first barriers arise I run from the hills. I don’t have the thing underneath the thing, the mania for it. But you need somebody around to tell you when you’re off the rails, because it’s very hard to see. You need an asshole, essentially. Well, another one. An external one. This is something I’m good at.

Because he decided to set it in Lookouts, there’s a lot of lore that needs making. We need to know this stuff anyway, so it’s a lot of fun writing poems and building it out. Right now I’m just going full blast in an attempt to be useful, we’ll see if that designation ultimately applies to any of this stuff. I did make a bit for the rule of thumb people use to remember how to call the Thornwatch though, which he seemed to like. These are all knots, and yes, I know how they look:

Twainward for burdens that no man should carry,

Bent Bow for battles you can’t fight alone,

Wagon-Wise for when the Watch must not tarry,

Crow’s Loop for travelers far from home.


< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Collaboration
Posted by News Fetcher on September 27 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Transfer Of Title (Preliminary)
Posted by News Fetcher on September 26 '12 at 07:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I know there’s a typo in the strip; I’ll fix it when I get in. I had a super convoluted method of trying to resolve it that didn’t work, which has only compounded my anxiety. For awhile, Gabriel would leave typos in to punish me, to shame me, but that’s my secret. I’m always ashamed.

(That wasn’t real talk! We’re not real-talking. That is an Avengers reference. I have no idea what shame is; look through my archive.)

(CW)TB

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Transfer Of Title
Posted by News Fetcher on September 26 '12 at 07:30 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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PAX AUS
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
In case you missed it we announced PAX Australia at PAX Prime this year. It’s scheduled to lauch next year and we’ll be announcing all the details in the next few weeks. If you want to stay up to date on the latest happenings with PAX Down Under there are a couple places to watch.

First off you should follow the official PAX Australia Twitter Feed and second you can keep an eye on the official Facebook Page.

If you’re hungry for all the PAX Australia info you can get your hands on then I recommend this interview that Ploygon did with our own Robert Khoo.

I’ve never been to Australia before but I’ve always wanted to go. I plan on trying to stay for a few days after the show so that I can get an honest to God vacation out of the trip.

-Gabe out

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Thornwatch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 25 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Last night I ran another Thornwatch play test. This time we worked on how deck advancement will function as well as testing out some new mechanics for skill test resolution.



Yes I know my cards are full of typos but cut me some slack. I’m making hundreds of these cards and this is still an alpha.



So Each character starts out with a 30 card deck. The idea is that as you adventure you can modify your deck by adding cards to it or replacing the ones you have.The max size of a deck is 60 cards but you don’t have to build it out that much if you don’t want to. In my game enemies deal wound cards that get shuffled into your deck. As you draw into them they go into your hand and since you can’t discard them they begin to build up. Each character has a number of wound cards they can have in their hand before they die. So adding cards to your deck has the advantage of making you less susceptible to wounds. The downside obviously is that with more cards in your deck you might not always draw into exactly what you want.

The idea is that someone like a warrior might choose to add cards to his deck giving him a wide selection of attacks and powers while also essentially increasing his “HP”. On the other hand a wizard might choose to keep his deck around 30 or 40 cards and simply focus on the spells he likes. He will be more likely to draw what he wants but also more vulnerable to wounds.



< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Coming Aparkalypse
Posted by News Fetcher on September 24 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We have referenced Linkin Park once before, in another strip, which resulted in the kind of hurt one typically associates with the butt. “LP” is like a test strip for age; I can put it in my mouth, take it out, compare it to the color chart, and it will say “YOU ARE TOO OLD.” I was starting to think I had reclaimed some measure of my former vigor, in accordance with theory that age can fluctuate as it pertains to cultural product, but then I saw a sign someone had stapled to a telephone pole and the urge to tear it down was overwhelming. “Nope,” I said. “Still old.”
There is always a point in a song from The L to the P where I want to hurt one of the people making those sounds. I wouldn’t be able to pull that off, obviously. Look at them in the video; they are clearly wererats. It typically has something to do with this awful mephit they have what does their singin’. I don’t know what elemental plane he hails from, or what ritual is required to summon him - which of his dark appetites must be appealed to. Vis a vis Age, there is always the suspicion that a young man might be a wastrel, and one’s wastrel-guage is ever ready to make firm these doubts. We learned that there was a Linkin Park related “opportunity” to be had as regards Medal Of Honor: Warfighter, and locked the strip on its coordinates.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Coming Aparkalypse
Posted by News Fetcher on September 23 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Iconoclast
Posted by News Fetcher on September 20 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Iconoclast
Posted by News Fetcher on September 20 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
People used to ask me what I liked about Donkey Konga, what was so great about it, which made me scrunch up my face. This is a game where you beat bongos with your friends; it needs to justification. It justifies itself. Fuck off.

Well, Borderlands 2 is a game where you play bongos on enemy faces, at range, with firearms. You and friends can even shoot the same face. When the face has been completely, um… played, treasure comes out. Again, you know, I didn’t know we had to convene the Council of Elrond on this shit. That all sounds pretty good.
I was in the room when Kiko came in, paused meaningfully, and said he wasn’t sure if Borderlands 2 was a very good game. Gabriel released a breath that I assume he’d been holding in since we played Tuesday night. He finds the guns and gunplay itself mushy. I thought for sure they’d like the spacecamp art, but Kiko talked a lot about enemies and palettes and the illegibility these things conspired to create. Neither had nice things to say about a quest system where you have to be “on” that specific quest to progress it. Come to think of it, neither had much nice to say at all.
Gabriel actually said there was too much loot, which took me several seconds to process. I asked him why it was a problem this time, when it had apparently been fine in Diablo III. He thought maybe it wasn’t okay in Diablo, either: after all, Diablo didn’t exactly stick. Several hours later, while he was drawing the strip, he paused his music because he’d figured part of it out. Here is me trying to paraphrase it:
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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OPC
Posted by News Fetcher on September 19 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel’s Guild Wars account was hacked with all speed, shortly after it had begun to germinate mentally. He received a mail that said someone - “hopefully you!” - had made a password change request. Spoiler warning, obviously! It wasn’t.

These games build their dependence giving you a little drip of sugar at a time, and the account was stolen right in the middle of the most reliable phase of absorption; someone else was playing the character when the game cracks open at about level 10 and light starts to shoot out of it. They levelled up a couple weapons, did nice things for people. People steal accounts to use as rebroadcasters for their lucrative Golds, but this was more like, I don’t know. Joyriding? I guess? All the bags got emptied, and the character is no worse for wear, but it’s just… weird somehow.

I have played it every spare moment I have, and I’m only level eighteen - I have no idea how reviewers got as far as they did, or what wedge of the game they managed to experience when they got there. I’m not saying that they’re bad people or that they didn’t do it, I’m just impressed. There are so many “games” present here, and you can choose one and play that to the exclusion of the others, in a game that will never be finished.
I like to make combos, that’s the only thing I can say with certainty. I love to play it, but I’m not anywhere near forming an opinion, and with Borderlands, Torchlight, and a renewed interest in League of Legends here to suck the air out, Guild Wars 2 seems destined to be a largely private affair.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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OPC
Posted by News Fetcher on September 18 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Yeah!
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
There has been a slight rebranding. Now you play as a powerful Thronguard from the Thronmarch.

-Gabe out

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Thronwatch?
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Are you changing the IP?

(CW)TB

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Thornwatch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 17 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I had a major play test last Friday for my Thornwatch game. It was the first time I tried to run a full adventure rather than just testing combat mechanics. If you’re working on a game of your own I cannot stress enough just how important it is to get it in front of other people. Watching how my friends played it showed me right away what parts were working and what parts needed help.

The Thornwatch setting is designed to provide quick focused adventures similar to a television episode. They start with the Thornwatch group being summoned by someone in need. On Friday the night began with the following:

The Forest has alerted you to a call of distress. You move swiftly and silently through the Eyrewood, letting it guide you to your destination. When you arrive the scene is not a surprise to you.

You see a white barked Birch tree striped with black bands. The Birch Tree being the Symbol of Long honored traditions is the first part of the spell that brought you here. The second part is wrapped around the tree’s trunk. A wreath of thorns has been tied there in the fashion described by the old poems.The barbed wreath symbolising pain and sacrifice completes the spell and draws the Thornwatch (and binds them to the task). This wreath is tied in a Crow’s Loop knot telling you something needs guarding.

Huddled at the base of the tree cradling his bloody hands in his lap is a dirty middle aged man in filthy farmers coveralls. He is sobbing quietly and has not noticed your arrival.


Besides injecting some RP into the night I also added a new fifth class and tried some new mechanics that allowed players to help each other by augmenting each other’s attacks. So it was a big test for the game and it went great.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Adjudicator
Posted by News Fetcher on September 16 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Torch
Posted by News Fetcher on September 14 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
There’s lots to like, or not like, or to think and talk about as regards the onslaught of Wii U data. I happen to believe Wired’s Chris Kohler does it best; he’s got a psychic investment but it doesn’t cloud his analysis. The price is a concern at the individual level and also at the meta/tactical level, but if - like Gabriel - you saw your son gleam in the presence of the device, you might feel compelled to see that glow again.
FTL: Faster Than Light is out today, one of the first big gaming Kickstarters to bear fruit, and it’s a fruit I can’t stop biting. The best part is that it’s always reforming itself post-bite into some other fruit, and then I can bite that one. They have created a spacefaring meta-meal.
You just wanna tousle their hair. You know? That’s probably not okay to do. But this post is me grinning at them, a big one with only the barest hint of teeth, and essentially being like, “You did it. You said you would, you took money in, and you catalyzed it somehow into this space captain real-time boardgame thing. And it works, somehow. You beautiful bastards, it actually works.”
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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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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