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Mario Marathon For Child’s Play!
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 12:00 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
They’ve been at it for days already, up past $77,000, and they just keep cranking. Stop by the stream!

(CW)TB

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Good Problems
Posted by News Fetcher on June 25 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I was an Avatar: The Last Airbender fan, a big one. Perhaps not big enough to refer to it as ATLA or whatever a true enthusiast would call it; I’m also not entirely sure what a true enthusiast might be called. So, now you have the meticulously calibrated threshold. I have been largely unavailable to mass media enterprises of late, but I couldn’t wait for the season to end to catch up with Korra. I’d gorged on the previous series, and had similar plans, but no. Gabe kept coming into the office eyes wide, head shaking, desperate to discuss and embroider.
I’m in now, though. Oh yes. And I recognize that it’s difficult to be young, and shit is confusing on the real, but dude come on.

Brenna exerts the same field that Gabriel does for whatever reason, a field which fries fucking electronics, and after trying to fix her laptop on and off for a few days I finally pulled the hard drive out of it and started poking around via my other computer. The secret I’ve been keeping as I puttered around this fucking platter is that I had no consistent backup regimen; I used to have Hybir going, but that was a laptop ago and gleaming new hardware had lulled me to sleep. We have physical prints of perhaps one out of three hundred or so, but the images that surround those prints chronologically - what we might call metadata, or what any other person would call “context” - contain the memory in aggregate.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Good Problems
Posted by News Fetcher on June 24 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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A Virus Named TOM
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '12 at 02:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We’ve been testing builds of different stuff for PAX10 ahead of the judging, making sure everything will function day of, because early software doesn’t always behave correctly. Dave and Feh were playing a really cool cooperative puzzler when I dropped in, and I couldn’t bring myself to look away. I could have plugged in a controller, it allows for four clever little virii, but I was too mesmerized. I went back into my office and bought it instantly. I don’t know what this subgenre is called, or if it even has a name, but this is one of those games where you are trying to light up a circuit. A Virus Named Tom! I’m only one judge, so I can’t verify it’ll get all the way to the show, but you could (if you were so inclined) buy it for five stupid bucks and grab the very polished beta right now.

(CW)TB

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Lookouts Comic Book
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
It’s been quite a while since we announced that a Lookouts comic was being made. It honestly took us longer than we thought to nail down the right creative team to make the book. We’ve nailed it now though and the first issue will be available on July 6th.

I’ve created an alternate cover for the very first issue. My cover will be available this year at San Diego Comic Con. Check it out!



(click it for a higher res)

I saved some of my initial sketches for this one in case you’re curious how a piece like this starts out.



This is my very first little thumbnail sketch. One of maybe a dozen or so ideas like it. It’s the one I liked the best though and so I took it a bit further.



This is the next phase. I’m trying to lock down the composition and start thinking about the perspective. You can see that it changed a bit between this and the final image.

I’d like to thank my friend Ben Caldwell who helped me out with some of the perspective stuff in this piece. He’s so good at that sort of thing and it’s something I rarely do. I’d also like to thank Doug Tennapel who did his own alternate Lookouts cover for us. You can check out his new web comic right here and look for more of his work in future Lookouts issues.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Dichotomy
Posted by News Fetcher on June 22 '12 at 09:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Quantum Conundrum made me very happy for its duration, and then it was over, and it was just me at the menu screen having considerably less fun than I had been having previously. I’d passed through so many distinct states of being during the trip that I had forgotten how to do normal things.
It may not be possible to talk about Quantum Conundrum without discussing Portal. I’m sure they don’t like that. This is what happens when you succeed, though: it colors expectations, which need to be addressed. Quantum Conundrum is the game equivalent of “the Sophomore Album.”
I still feel like my initial observation was correct; we don’t have a word to describe a designer’s “style” that is distinct from “genre.” Moreover, I think we might have the genre wrong anyhow; I’m fairly certain Portal and Quantum Conundrum are Adventure Games. Adventure Games of the classic form are still with us, and are arguably experiencing a resurgence, but they’re not this. Portal and Quantum Conundrum are what adventure games would look like if the genre had never experienced a Dark Age: you manipulate your environment, and are rewarded with new environments to manipulate.
Quantum Conundrum doesn’t have any intention of being a narrative tour de force, which is too bad, because this is no doubt what everyone expects. Portal was written by the industry’s foremost writer of humor, which helps. There is one other person who could have done it, but he also works at Valve. Quantum Conundrum is purposefully, explicitly not trying to do that. These people are trolls supreme; click Do A Thing, for example. The game is based on a pun. I’ve never played a game that felt so much like it was teasing the player.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Dichotomy
Posted by News Fetcher on June 21 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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XBLIG Version of Precipice Will Come Out Later
Posted by News Fetcher on June 20 '12 at 11:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
You know how when you save your game, and a message comes up that says
“Don’t Remove The Memory Card”? Well, if you are playing Precipice on
an old Xbox with an MU and you decide to pull it out literally as
you are saving the game
, it will apparently crash. We thought we
had accounted for that exact scenario but apparently our
failsafes against timed MU pulls were not as tight as we had thought,
so it failed Community Peer Review. That’s why it’s not coming out on
the same day as the PC version, which manifests in all its glory on
the 25th. We can’t resubmit for another seven days, so we (and you,
if you want to play it on there) are in kind of a holding pattern.
Zeboyd will push another build out on Tuesday; I’ll keep you posted.
(CW)TB

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The PAX Dev Site Is Rad
Posted by News Fetcher on June 20 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Erika and Kenneth delivered the design and backend equivalent of a savage tag-team maneuver, and now the new PAX Dev page is ready to go. It is full of information, such as the first wave of presentations - and submissions are still open if you’ve got what we’re missing.

(CW)TB

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Anthrophila
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '12 at 11:15 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I was fifteen or so before I’d ever been stung by a bee, so that by the time a bee finally got around to doing it I think I’d sort of forgotten that was something they did. And then you resent it, this fuzzy little flying needle, even though all she’s actually doing is just executing her little subroutine tryna get dat pollen. Gabriel managed to make it all the way to thirty-four without envenomation, something he no doubt considers a kind of “score” to be lorded over me next time we must invent a hierarchy.
He did survive it, though. There was mild swelling.

I have to say that, apropos of Monday’s comic, I thought Microsoft had a very good showing of their retooled Surface concept. I’ve stopped travelling with a laptop at all, getting there with an iPad 3 and a bluetooth keyboard for whatever needs accomplishing, because I don’t require much in the way of specialized tools. But the philosophical aversion of the iPad to external pointing devices makes doing text-heavy work a huge hassle. Kiko did tons of fine visual edits to the card art for Paint The Line on his, but the flitting, screen holistic stuff I need to do ain’t working. This seems like something they’ve thought about with this tablet, and when I say “this” I mean “me.” We all know, by now, what brings boys to the yard; even if a boy should leave the yard, like Gabriel, eventually they will come back because the other yard okay I’m dropping it. But this is neat and decidedly not dumb. There is no auxiliary salad tank.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Rain-Slick 3
Posted by News Fetcher on June 19 '12 at 11:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:


The trailer for Rain-Slick Episode 3 is live. As you can see it’s a bit of a departure from the previous games. We’ve partnered with Zeboyd games this time and the result is a classic 16-bit styled RPG. On the first two games I took on the role of concept artist but this time I’ve left that up to the professionals. The first two games were massive undertakings for us. They were years in development and really pushed us in directions we’d never gone before. Tycho discovered that he loves writing games and I discovered I hate drawing them.

I produced a ton of artwork for the first two episodes. I filled sketchbooks with designs for everything from the main characters to lamp posts. I storyboarded all the cutscenes and drew every weapon and item. All that stuff was then turned over to some extremely talented artists who turned it all into the 3D models and animated movies in the game. The result was beautiful but very little of my actual art appeared in the game. Jerry’s contribution was much more direct. You read every word he wrote just as he wrote it but my stuff was more inspiration and direction for other artists.

What I like is drawing comics and then showing them to people. If you like it that’s great and if you don’t, well maybe you’ll like the one I draw tomorrow. Working for years on a project and then feeling like I had nothing to show for it was a real downer for me. I respect the hell out of the artists who make games but I just can’t do it. I don’t like doing it and I think because of that I’m not especially good at it. What I’m good at is drawing cartoons and so that’s what I want to focus on.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Vacillatr
Posted by News Fetcher on June 18 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Microsoft has some kind of mysterious something or other today; the rumor is that they’re going to announce a tablet of some kind, and we are all by now aware that Microsoft Rumors are absolutely, one hundred percent always true. But in the event that this is the freaky edge case, we’ve got full coverage on each rhetorical base<a>.

As the <a href="http://penny-arcade.com/archive/results/search&keywords=zune/">only Zune enthusiast
in recorded history, I wouldn’t expect a Microsoft tablet to be bad. In fact, given their excellent phone - a robust proving ground for touch UI concepts - I would expect it to be great. I would also expect that it won’t actually penetrate the skull and enter into the meat of the consumer brain.
It used to be that Microsoft made dumb things, and noone cared. Now, they make great things, and get the same result. This isn’t about sympathy for a literal or putative devil; it just chews on the root of the idea that merit constitutes some kind of magical force.
In another Era, manufacturers would have endeavored to create compatibility of some kind with a competitor; either physically or in software. The wholly digital nature of today’s “app” environment makes that more or less impossible. More recently, Microsoft has realized that other manufacturer’s phones exist and might be a good way to extend an electronic tendril which draws a person back into their circular maw. SmartGlass is the next wing of that, which we theorized as a joke in a previous strip; success is about Ubiquity, even on your competitors’ platform.
(CW)TB out.
<a>are you blind

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A Ripe Kickstarter Morsel: Disaster Looms
Posted by News Fetcher on June 18 '12 at 08:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Post en route, obviously, but since there’s only two hours left on this one it seemed worth a mention. I’d backed this before I knew there was an Enforcer working on it; once I found out, I was flush with arcing, eternal power like in Highlander. I say it is “ripe” because they have sufficiently overfunded to unlock an included minigame and the inevitable 5-6 player expansion for anyone pledging at $50 dollars, which is already cheaper than it will retail for. Of course, it’s all contingent on your interest; I have a flashing “weak point” where hex-based, build-the-board games are concerned. They’ve got plenty of videos (and the by now expected Tom Vasel preview) all on the page.

(CW)TB

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Vacillatr
Posted by News Fetcher on June 17 '12 at 11:30 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Terribility
Posted by News Fetcher on June 15 '12 at 09:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Gabriel’s most recently hatched larvae is a brute, a yeti in miniature, whose knack for cataclysm is already refined after two quick solar revolutions. Neither of us have any experience with “boys,” our own sons are nowhere to be found in any of the “accepted” young male archetypes, so it’s fascinating. Well, fascinating for me. I suspect that for Gabriel and Kara it’s more “aerobic.”
My own son, who is six, barely recognizes other human beings as fellow sentients; my daughter is already fluent in over six million forms of manipulation. I want to be proud of it, but I can’t; it’s a little pat for a young girl to express social mastery and an awareness of others’ emotional states. This is why I make her fight and kill animals in a deep pit I dug out back.
I recognize that when I tell you about an ongoing work, I’m attempting to commit a certain percentage of your time and total mind - it’s not something I take lightly. I mentioned Starshift Crisis seven years ago, because it was made by a Kris that I know. The nepotism was jangling and raw. When it became Starslip Crisis I mentioned this also, though I’m not certain if I marked the hard-to-port maneuver which caused it to become simply Starslip. It’s finished now, as in, it ended today, so this recommendation is no longer open-ended: it constitutes a fixed amount of time, which might make it more palatable.

As I have said on previous occasions, the fact that you can get his work for free, in bulk, is an index of our development as a culture, a notch on a doorframe which represents our continued upward growth. Get at it.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Terribility
Posted by News Fetcher on June 14 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Ouroboros Or Whatever
Posted by News Fetcher on June 13 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
The more time passes, the more I hate Prometheus. My theory is that I’ve wrung all the juice out of the Goddamn thing now, every touchpoint about The Pilot or Engineers or Xenomorphs or whatever, so all I have left is this hateful, spongy rind.
People get way crazier about movies than they do about videogames, any day of the week; it usually isn’t wise to insert coin into these kinds of conversations. But, good God! This movie makes me want to fight someone, and I know exactly who. I must have, in the prosecution of my satirical duties, made a person as angry as I am now. The thought terrifies me, frankly; the culmination of that particular narrative seems like a “when” proposition, as opposed to “if.” I’m glad I’m taking Karate.
The best thing we can do with it now is to use it as a cautionary tale, to glean the education from it, and burn the remainder.

To this end I have endeavored to scour my mind with your recent vidyogames. Grabbed Krater yesterday, and I… couldn’t tell you what it is exactly; it’s a single player MOBA? An RTS Diablo? I don’t have any Goddamned idea, and honestly that’s sort of refreshing. I appreciate the kind of toy I can’t grip readily with the suspended claw. Sins of a Solar Empire is a game I always liked, and wanted to be devoured by, but the timing never worked out: the Rebellion expandalone has arrived in time for me to gift a copy to a unsuspecting comrade, and the resultant guilt trip should power two or three rounds at least.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Ouroboros Or Whatever
Posted by News Fetcher on June 12 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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All Those Who Say Neigh
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Still just generally sort of taken aback by the level of sophistication Ubisoft is bringing to their WiiU launch titles. It’s not that I expect garbage from them or something, it’s that almost as a rule Nintendo has to lead people around by the hand on their recent hardware, especially at launch. Even now, nearing the end of its run, there are games released for the Wii where you just do crazy shit with the controller and go wild. Rules are tempered by their exceptions, I suppose.
Jamie ran a hell of an event last Friday, with the Child’s Play and the Golf; I made friends last year I’ve kept in contact with, and picked up a new crop this time around. Scramble, the ruleset for cooperative golf, even inspired me to try my hand at it. Everyone plays from the best of each round of shots, so there’s an intoxicating strategic aspect: you can afford to play a safe shot, and then run a few experiments. The reality is that even if I am very, very bad at golf, and this is demonstrably true, if everyone else puts their ball in the literally rattlesnake infested weeds, I can hit it ten yards off the tee and save their lives on more than one axis. That’s pretty strong ROI.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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All Those Who Say Neigh
Posted by News Fetcher on June 11 '12 at 06:30 AM
From Penny Arcade:


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