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The Fullness Of Time
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '12 at 11:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
No, you can’t actually name a star after a person. Well, you can, but nobody else will know about it and it doesn’t matter. But what if you actually could, for reals?
I think that would be better.
Alright, so the latest Microsoft rumor was not a rumor, because they never are, and this one is so interesting.
It shouldn’t be, of course. It’s utterly pedestrian. Subsidizing hardware with a service charge is how you sell expensive things to people who can’t afford them, or can’t afford it all at once. It’s about context, though: the gaming console has historically been sold to people who place a premium on its ownership. Eventually the top part of the funnel gets wider, certainly, and prices drop. But seeing this model here, where I live, is like finding a bear in your driveway. What happens when you launch a console in this way?
You can look at Amazon or whatever and see that the hardware goes for $276 and up. Obviously, you and I probably aren’t interested in such a device for our personal use: four gigs isn’t enough to copy a single disc to the local drive, reaping the benefits thereby. The Kinect is deeply, profoundly optional as a peripheral. It doesn’t matter, though: “we” already own the thing. “We” have probably owned several, statistically speaking. This box is for another type of person, and that person exists in far greater numbers than the stalwart faithful which huddle in our cloister.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Tera
Posted by News Fetcher on May 07 '12 at 10:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
I’m playing a lot of Tera right now. This is always when I regret playing a beta as I push through all the content I already saw. I’m playing a Sorcerer now though which is a change and that takes some of the sting out of doing all the same quests again. As of last night I finally hit the point that I got to in the beta (around level 18).

I’ve had the opportunity to play some high level content at various events and I’m really excited to get to that point with my own character. Something about the combat in Tera just really scratches an itch for me. The combat in games like WoW or even SW:TOR is sort of like old naval warfare. Two big ships sidle up next to each other and just unload. At the end of the day you just have to hope you survive it. Tera is much more action oriented. Enemies give you tells before they attack and you need to move out of the way. You need to be actively blocking and dodging if you want to survive some of these fights. Spells and arrows have trajectories and if you move out of their path you don’t get hit! No more fireballs that track you as you dodge out of the way. So when I have some NPC telling me to go get ten serrated fangs, I’m actually excited because it means I get to go play.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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The Fullness Of Time
Posted by News Fetcher on May 06 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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PAX
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '12 at 01:45 PM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Please come in and sit down. We need to talk about PAX Prime.

The show is completely sold out. 3 day passes were gone in a day. The rest of the passes were gone shortly after. It was by far the fastest PAX has ever sold out. The result is that there are many of you who want to go but can’t because you didn’t grab one in time. I’m getting some mail from you guys and you’re understandably frustrated. I’m also getting lots of suggestions for how we could fix this. Let me try and respond to the big ones:

“Sell more tickets!”

This is a nice idea but we have hit a hard limit here in Seattle. We are up against the fire code at the Washington State Convention Center. So selling more tickets to PAX Prime is simply not an option.

“Sell them in waves.”

I hear this one a lot and there are a couple reasons this won’t help. First off, each wave would sell out in a matter of minutes rather than hours. I’m not sure that is an improvement. Also, we can still only sell a certain number of tickets. The fact is that more people want to go to PAX than we can safely fit in the venue. Even if we sell them in waves there will be thousands of people who can’t get a ticket and are upset.

“Don’t let scalpers buy them!”

For the most part they aren’t. The average number of passes purchased was 1.7. Also hotels in downtown Seattle are also almost all sold out. Unless scalpers are also buying up rooms and the Marriott, this just isn’t a huge factor.

“Why not let us buy tickets for the next PAX at the current PAX?”

Because then we’d have a massive line of people trying to buy tickets for the next show. You’d waste your entire PAX trying to get tickets for the next PAX. Also it would screw people who aren’t there.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Incredibility
Posted by News Fetcher on May 04 '12 at 08:30 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
There is something we pay attention to here that you probably don’t, but after I tell you, it’s entirely possible that you’ll play along: we like to the play “the preview game.”

So, over on the right there, in the “latest comic” box, there’s a graphical preview of the most recent strip. We generate that automatically - no person is ever selecting portions to crop. It is often perfect. Today’s is an easy one, it’s just one dude, but there are times when it grabs genuinely compelling, almost curatorial shots. There! Now you know.
There was a fairly high profile hoax/scam thing on Kickstarter for “Mythic: The Story Of Gods And Men” that was swiftly pulverized by community sleuthing. As suggested previously, one is - in many cases - funding the “idea” of a game, ideas being a quantity in ready supply. If they had been less stupid, less obvious in their ruse, they could have taken in their eighty thousand dollars and then promptly evaporated. We may expect the next villain to utilize a more sophisticated approach.

Despite not wanting to be the Kickfather, it seems like it keeps happening. Not every time I want it to, of course: it’s not actually something I have control over. I can’t make things succeed. But as a medium, as a rebroadcasting apparatus to the microcommunities that can bring something like this to fruition, my body will suffice.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Incredibility
Posted by News Fetcher on May 03 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Ultimatrix
Posted by News Fetcher on May 01 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Back, Back Catalogue
Posted by News Fetcher on April 29 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Resignation
Posted by News Fetcher on April 27 '12 at 10:00 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I’ve played a lot of Trials already, like, a lot; mostly during a period where Gabriel did not use computers for games which were not Massive and/or Multiplayer, so he had no idea what he was getting into. For developer RedLynx, Trials is more genre than specific title: I own three games from them, make that four, and they are all very… trialsy.

As a game which every person owns and/or for which there are many demos available, telling you about the manifold virtues of Trials Evolution may not be an incredible time investment. Suffice it to say that it’s a proud entrant in the “one more run” school of Microscale Performance Optimization that transforms your Friend’s List into asynchronous competitive content. Robert and Gabriel were passing the controller back and forth every ten runs, and I think Khoo put it best. He doesn’t want to give up the controller, but when he does, he’s relieved. It’s demanding in a way that many modern games are afraid to be. There is always a slight pressure being applied to the trachea.
What gives the game its throbbing immediacy is a physics simulation of sufficient nuance. You can “play” with these physics in ways that are incredibly challenging slash profoundly satisfying, two factors with a recognized bond. But it also creates the weird scenarios such simulations are capable of, and this coupled with the bizarre elixir of destiny and amnesia your seventieth attempt brings on results in a kind of madness.

It does work, on occasion. Not enough to rely on it. Unless it does work, in which case it feels inevitable.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Resignation
Posted by News Fetcher on April 26 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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The Rising Tide
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
We usually try to go somewhere after a PAX, and we do, but after the last PAX East retreat it became clear that Penny Arcade is made up of Young People on one side and Families on the other side, and young people are feral as a category. It wasn’t a good match; with our new Separate Vacations technology, they can go to their rave parties and puff on cheeba while we can go about the business of creating a lasting culture. Gabriel had gone to something called a Great Wolf Lodge at one point, and did not die, which seemed to recommend it as a destination.
He did tell me some stories about the kiddie pool though, specifically its ratios, that might give a father pause. I have a full-body latex sheath I purchased for another purpose which might come in handy.
I don’t want to become the Kickfather people come to in order to make their nut; requests to do so have grown to the point that some sites have had to create specific policies related to their promotion. There’s Wisdom in that, and maybe I’ll need something like that at some point. Some of these Kicks have bigger problems, too. I’ve already had to talk one potential group down already, just last night. I don’t want to be in the dream crushing business either, but some dreams are self-crushing, and it’s not always easy to see that from inside.

< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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Child’s Play Golf Tournament!
Posted by News Fetcher on April 25 '12 at 09:30 AM
By Gabe from Penny Arcade:
Our second annual Child’s Play golf Tournament is coming up on June 8th. It’s actually the Friday after E3 so if you’re in LA for the show already, why not stay and play golf with us for Child’s Play! You can watch some footage from last year’s event over on PATV. It was an absolute blast and I can’t wait for this year.

Just like last year we’re running four person teams in a scramble format. If you’re not familiar with a scramble it’s my favorite format. Each person on a team hits a drive and then the best shot is chosen. Everyone takes their second shot from that spot and then the best shot is chosen again. You continue like this until you hole out. You might not be a great golfer but over the course of 18 holes I guarantee you’ll make some shots that your team will use.

We moved to a much nicer course this year, the Angeles National Golf Course. Almost the entire PA staff will be on hand and playing along with some of our friends and family. It’s a great event for a good cause. If you would like to come, you can hit this page for all the details.

Oh and if I slice a drive into your fairway and it hits you, when you regain consciousness I’ll sign the ball for you!

-Gabe out

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The Rising Tide
Posted by News Fetcher on April 24 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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Vendetta Online Codes Mang
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '12 at 12:30 PM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
A decade ago, I linked to Guild Software’s spaceship MMO Vendetta Online, which promised multiplatform play in addition to its stellar shenanigans. They’re still going, and they’re looking for new blood. To that end, they have me a huge bank of month-long trial codes to dispense. Simply approach the Code Dispenser Machine for yours.

(CW)TB

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He Are The Champion
Posted by News Fetcher on April 23 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
Functionally speaking, the comic is about Hero Academy but we may expand the viewport to include the entirety of our whole entire relationship and these sweeping arcs are retained.

I don’t mind losing, and to a certain extent expect that I will, because I play with another victory condition: to learn and understand. I can lose and still win, which is good, because I’m well acquainted with the former. I received a lot of “sportsmanship awards” as a youth, and I have oriented my entire being around this. Of course, this process is predicated on my ability to play a game more that once. Gabriel’s ability to defraud me of life pleasure is a way for him to win twice in any encounter, a system which allows for the possession and consumption of a cake simultaneously.
I don’t know how it happened, but Gabriel ended up at a table playing Mouse Guard with the creator of the game. “Welcome to PAX,” as they say. He was with his niece, Ben for some reason, and Kiko’s wife Vizelle who took to it something fierce. I needed to talk about something else on Friday, but let’s get to it now.
It has more dice than the more experimental “indie” rpgs I’m familiar with, and has some familiar systemic shapes, but it quickly becomes clear that the entire purpose of these old structures is to incubate the new.
There is a Luke in that gutted tauntaun, sapping its warmth.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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He Are The Champion
Posted by News Fetcher on April 22 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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A Matter Of Scale
Posted by News Fetcher on April 20 '12 at 10:45 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
With our Warmachine tournament well and truly over, the original tabletop group has begun to clamor for a return to Pursuit of Destiny - the D&D campaign that, for many of them, marks their first true investment in a character. As my role lies largely on the Narrative and Performance axis, I’m ready to start carving this fucking bird.
Something’s been staying his hand, though. I’ve underestimated the extent to which he sees his first outing as a failure. I tried to make him understand that what happened is something that happens, and that keeping a game fresh for as long as he did is an incredible feat. He has no right being as good at this as he is. Just for an index, I want to show you some of these failures of his. Look at this awful shit:



That’s fucking nauseating. Also, this garbage:



Plus, FILTH



He’s worried about the same power creep issues we’ve already discussed at length, and is hungry to explore other systems his players aren’t terribly interested in, but underneath all of that is this sense that he does not have it. The suspicion. There’s a way to find out, of course, but this carries with it the danger of verification.
This is something I have great familiarity with. Like most readers, I had functionally consigned On The Rain-Slick Precipice Of Darkness to the furnace. I had let it float away on one of those little lantern boats in a way that brought me closure, if no one else. Insufficient.
Fucking insufficient.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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A Matter Of Scale
Posted by News Fetcher on April 19 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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One Explanation
Posted by News Fetcher on April 18 '12 at 10:15 AM
By Tycho from Penny Arcade:
I used to suggest books to Gabriel purely in order to Civilize him. I would select a book as though I were selecting a whip and then I would beat the shit out of him with my whip-book. We’re far more aligned now, and so suggestions can more easily flow in either direction. His taste level has improved considerably, no doubt a function of my tutelage and proximity, while my own taste level has been seared irreparably by his gutter filth. The happy medium, from where I am sitting, is a literary slaughterhouse.
Which is why I was entirely shocked to see him pick up Neuromancer. This is a book that, even under the loose compact we have devised, I would never have suggested. This is a book that travelled back in time of its own accord, a book written for people in the future in their own Goddamn language. It resorts to poetry frequently in its attempt to circumvent the reader’s linguistic bulwarks. It is not a “Gabriel Book.”
When I read it, it was the pop media tie-in mill operating in reverse: I came to it through the computer game. This seemed to happen a lot: games were putting books in front of me that commented out or rewrote whole sections of my thought process. Fahrenheit 451, Nine Princes In Amber, and Rendezvous With Rama all fell into my head via text adventures. They got into me early, placing brick over brick, making me an irredeemable twat.
People sometimes give us things at PAX, which I tell them to heap upon our Black Altar. We don’t actually have one, but I’m seriously considering it.
< article continued at Penny Arcade >

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One Explanation
Posted by News Fetcher on April 17 '12 at 11:15 PM
From Penny Arcade:


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