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More exquisite dot.content from Blue Mountain eCards today - in the pulverized ruin of our society, it’s nice to know you can even send a card to yourself between choking breaths.  Travel through time to offer nominal comfort to a future version of yourself!  Put down the shovel.  Grieve at the Olympic level with Blue Mountain eCards.

You can recommend Dicey Dungeons in a number of ways and they all have vigor.  The personality of the game, contained and projected through the art of Marlowe Dobbe, must be considered the first of its virtues.  Roguelikes have a “thing.”  I like this thing, so I’m not mad about it, but the thing is Diablo One tier viscera dragged across filthy marble.  Imagine a ray of pure sunlight so intense that this is all burned away, that even the sad ghosts who suffer there are made whole.  She’s on some kinda rad Color Kittens, instant classic shit with a funny dungeon game show theme filled with enemies who are too cool to fully hate.

The music, by veteran chiptune composer Chipzel, is fucking me up.  I think you sorta have to hear it, and luckily that’s very easy to do.  I am a proponent of the chunky waveform, but Good God.  What she’s done here is scoot chip music tantalizingly close to analog sound, moving the digital instrumentation so very close, an odd richness, without losing the character that makes this mode of composition so unique.  I’ve never heard anything like this.  I’ve never even heard anyone attempt it.

The game proper, designed by Super Hexagon and VVVVVV‘s Terry Cavanagh who I met at PAX South and told him this game was very good, makes an incredible amount of sense.  This game has interesting angles, but the game is not about cloistering or rarifying its depth.  It’s functionally a dice game, where you place dice values on cards which represent equipment and derive results - made the damage you deal or the defense you generate is based on the die face.  Maybe a piece of equipment only needs an Odd die of any kind.  And each of these pieces of equipment slots into an inventory grid system where they occupy a certain amount of size.  Earn new equipment, slot it, or upgrade it for greater effects or smaller size in your pack.  Gain levels, earning more hit points and more dice to roll.

It goes on from there - each of the game’s classes emphasize hungers for different values.  The thief, for example, is more than happy to sling tons and tons of low value dice at something because they’re not necessarily concerned with the number - they want the Poison effect it applies to the enemy, let’s say, and the weapon isn’t picky.  You’re gonna laugh when you see the Robot.  The game is a form of numeric mediation and it has healed me.

Now understand that those things are all in the same game.  I grabbed it on a lark because I got bewitched by the art, but also because it didn’t mind running on the same Linux Mint laptop I’m typing this on.  And now it’s out for real with a bunch of new shit.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

I got a mail from the ESA a little while ago that…  Well, we did make a comic about all of it.  Maybe we start there.

I haven’t gone to this show for many years, I have a few other ones I go to, so this was the first communication I’ve had from them for a while.  I think the world was a very different place in 2004 from a “We Live On The Internet” perspective, but probably still “we should have passwords on things” territory.  It’s hard to say if harassment has been stepped up lately because it’s been at a pretty consistent level for more than two decades.  This is just… factual, I’m not even saying you should feel any kind of way about it.  You can get a death threat if you thought the Draw system in Final Fantasy VIII was bad, and I have.  I’ve been signed up for a few novel mailing lists in the last week, who knows.  So I guess the lesson is, if you’re gonna release people’s personal information I guess have it be very old information so as to minimize harm.  Of course, they also let information from the last two years slip, where harms are substantially greater.  I didn’t attend E3 in 2018 or 2019, so it would I appear I was lucky in more ways than one.

Gonna hang out with my friend Amy The Falcon on the streem at Noon PDT for her sponsored Idle Champs shiz, promoting the new Steller’s Jay familiar Vizier - until August 28th, every sale of Vizier goes toward sponsoring the AFK chillout room, pioneered at PAX by Take This.

\We may also spend time just being happy that Jim Darkmagic was released for the game today.  There is a lot to discuss, is all I’m saying.  Also: all the young women who live on my block have commandeered the stream from 12-2 PDT tomorrow.  By the end of the week they will probably own the company.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 5 days ago

I don’t talk about it a lot, I should talk about it more, but we do a brewing show the vast, vast majority of Tuesdays on Twitch called Acquisitions Intoxicated.  There’s like seventy two fucking episodes of this shit!  We even have a collaboration between #AcqInt and Two Beers Brewing hitting later this month that should hopefully still be around when PAX West rolls around - every beer we craft with the channel and subsequently brew has a narrative tied into Acquisitions incorporated or D&D in general, and this one is called Signing Bonus.  I can’t wait for you to see the label, and maybe even the promotional poster.

We brew an in an appliance called a PicoBrew, which I backed on Kickstarter a million years ago.  The sequel to the device, the PicoBrew Z, can be used to make other kinds of beverages, and one of them is cold brew.  Since I’m a home roaster in an effort to be Seattle as fuck it was an easy matter to toss in a couple pounds of home roast and then have the device give me back four fucking gallons of coffee.  Which, in an effort to be even more Seattle than I was previously, I put on a Nitro Tap.  This is all covered in the previous strip.  But that was written before, just to make a joke at my expense.  I hadn’t actually had any of it.

Let me put it this way: it’s a sacrament for a religion that won’t be founded for another hundred years.  Even so, I’ve wept in its orbital cathedral.  That’s the mindcasting power of this malevolent, wholly sentient fluid.

Penny Arcade’s precious son Ryan Hartman goes now to prepare a place for you, specifically PAX West, so I will take this opportunity - like I take every opportunity - to play Dunderlords.  The party will be open, and we can usually get in three solid games from 2-4:30pm PDT or so.  Come test your mettle!

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

It’s not a hard and fast rule, for example I can’t eat the Ironjawz I’m about to paint.  But if I undertake a hobby, when I’m done doing the hobby, I want to have something I can put in my mouth.

The joke I typically make is that I want to the be the arbiter of a kind of artisanal apocalypse.  We often associate the end of days with gutted cities, or gouts of flame reflected in the gap-toothed glass of a skyscraper.  But I see no reason why we shouldn’t also have yogurt.

In Asheron’s Call, almost the entirety of my encumbrance was taken up by pots and pans.  There’s an overlap there on whatever abstract character sheet would contain my actual skills, the non-combat region distended with misspent points.  Whatever the diagram of my capacities looks like, the outputs have nothing in common with the things Gabriel likes.  His tastes orbit mine in a smaller circle, like a moon.  There’s no overlap.  He doesn’t drink, and coffee is bad, and there’s something about about yogurt he finds unseemly.  Maybe it’s because he understands, at some level, that by the time it gets to him it’s already been eaten.

Me and Gronkowski and gonna keep going on our Madden Ultimate Stream from 2pm to 4pm PDT - we’ll see you there.  I mean, if you’re there.  If you aren’t, obviously things get more complicated.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 1 week ago

We’ve streamed Madden stuff a few times, and invariably things shift into the eldritch for me.  That’s more or less par for the course, I guess - I’m always trying to bend shit in a mythos direction anyway.  But sports can absorb an incredible volume of these concepts because the human narratives underpinning them are so strong.

I get into football sometimes during the actual season, but I don’t actually like how it makes me feel.  By half-time, I’m like the twisted revelers in a Bath Salts video - chittering at the screen and demanding that dogs just listen.  I avoided it forever because I saw it as some kind of proxy for other things I didn’t like, but by the time I came to it on my own I had to limit access to it because it is too fucking exciting.  Jeff Kalles here at Penny Arcade watches Football on three screens simultaneously, there’s a teevee and then a subscription Red Zone thing and then there’s a Fantasy Thing also I think.  I respect it, I honor it, and I can see it from my current position.  I’m swerving around.

I sublimate these Sporting Urges primarily through wargames, which have a lot in common with these dynamics even when they aren’t explicitly sports related - there’s a lot to appreciate about Games Workshop’s Kill Team or Warcry‘s take on season play between teams of asymmetrical ability, and Blood Bowl, DreadBall, and Guild Ball all model strange sports directly, though that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re less lethal.

My friends who ended up an GenCon brought something back in this vein, “Aristeia!,” that delivers something like character shooter in the vein of Overwatch that takes place in a sporting arena with dynamic goals.  It’s from the company that did Infinity, Corvus Belli, so I was already inclined to investigate.  You gotta take a look - it’s got Wargame style figure crafting and painting, plus deckbuildy force composition from a huge set of models, similar to the a character select screen.  What it means as a practical matter is that even though I didn’t even go to GenCon it’s still, somehow, going to be very, very expensive.

(CW)TB out.




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