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Tycho / 15 hours ago

Nintendo letting somebody have The Legend Of Zelda to just… play around in probably deserves its own rhetorical excursion, but this is of a piece with the Switch being such a natural home for indies anyway.  On a couple recent releases, I’ve seen game launch on the Switch first - or launch on Switch and PC.  It’s a shocking result, but I think it tells you where indies are making money today.

Gabriel suffered mightily at the hands of Cadence of Hyrule, to the extent that he died on the second screen, but I don’t see any reason to fuck with him here.  The game is legitimately hard - particularly when you’re talking about managing the beat plus a screen full of jerk-ass monsters, some of whom launch projectiles to boot.  The metaphor is typically “Rubbing Your Belly And Patting Your Head,” but what if you must do these things while also trying to do your math homework and predict the fucking future.

Gabriel did find a path to success though, one that I think is not well explained, but we’ll get into all that with Wednesday’s comic and post.  In the end, though, the game is just… bright, lovely, and there are multiple paths into it.  The trust Nintendo granted Brace Yourself Games is stunning and an index of their faith.  Plus, I mean…  they’ve got Danny Baranowsky on the decks.  What a novel age we inhabit.

Gonna head back into the studio with Ryan Hartman to Slay a Spire or two at 2pm PDT.  We might require moral support.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 4 days ago

There is a streamer who goes by the name DrDisrespect and if you follow this sort of thing at all you know his deal.  As a professional asshole myself, I see the waves of opprobrium generated by this cadre perhaps in a unique context.

There is sometimes a difference of opinion, I think, between the platforms and the viewers about who and what they want to see on the screen.  Platform holders and the prim hall monitors who observe this industry seem to want more or less the same thing:  anodyne human billboards upon which can be projected millions upon millions of dollars in advertising.  But there are also people outside this, wild creatures who have either jumped or chewed through the fence, whose personas are plainly antisocial aggressors that many, many viewers recognize with their time and treasure.  Such an organism was once called a Shock Jock and the concept ports quite readily to YouTube or Twitch.  There is a kind of unease around them but because they offer something so alien to the mainstream, they must be retained as funnels into the larger operation.

So if DrDisrespect repeatedly livestreams people in the bathroom at E3, over and over again, and eventually they get around to putting him on time-out, it’s good that they did that.  Because what he did was fucking weird, and gross, in ways that may project into the legal sphere.  But when I saw a kid in there, a kid of maybe ten fucking livestreamed from a urinal, this all ceased to be a novel intellectual exercise and instead become something more like an icicle pushed slowly through my left eye.

I have suggested before that your politics consist of those things which you consider outside the realm of politics.  I will never write about what occurred to me when I saw that, as a man and a father, burning in the knowledge that what he did doesn’t matter at all.

It doesn’t matter at all.  Because we toil and writhe in the dumbest age yet, it’s possible that someone might think I’m saying it’s not important.  I’m not saying that, though.  What I’m saying is that it materially, observably doesn’t matter insofar as he’ll be back on bigger than ever, sooner than you think, his bad boy credentials only burnished by his stint in detention.  By his nominal exile.  By what is functionally a vacation.  What our masters feel for us can’t even be called contempt, because that would imply conscious recognition.  What we are is a number lower than another number, his number, and therefore somewhere below the human threshold.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 5 days ago

Acquisitions Incorporated Book & Goods Preorder

Reposting, for the reasons outlined in the first paragraph.  Also: it fucking comes out next week! Order NOW, as they say on television.

I am always surprised when I learn that somebody missed something of ours, but it’s not actually a surprise to any conscious being - I don’t promote the stuff we do as much as I could.  Generally it’s because I don’t want to annoy you.  But too many people worked too hard on it for too long for me to allow my usual horseshit.

At root: in concert with Wizards of the Coast, the home of Dungeons and Dragons, we have created an honest-to-God, official supplement designed to invite players and Dungeon Masters into the world of Acquisitions Incorporated.  This sort of arrangement is unprecedented to my knowledge, and I’m still freaking out.  The book, whose handsome cover was created by Mike Krahulik, looks like this:

Preorders from our store include a special, free gift, though it’s possible you may want to purchase a second one, which you can do from the Purchase Options dropdown.  I present to you: The Green Flame Pin, which we’ve had in our back pocket for just such an occasion.  It’s pretty fucking cool and uses a new process, the specifics of which I think you’ll be able to determine very quickly.

If you would like to crown this extravaganza with a conceptual cherry, consider the Dungeon Master’s Screen made by the incomparable Kris Straub and myself.  It is essentially a parody of the official 5E screen and has very little information in it that could possibly be of any use, although it’s possible that something useful snuck in there during an ill-starred edit.  There are more shots on the store page if you have had a bad day and desperately need evidence of a world where whimsy still exists.


Tycho / 6 days ago

The first quarter, round March - the period this website has referred to as Gamer Christmas - has become so suffused with content it may be impossible to reach minimum safe distance.  Ultimately it’s about science, which for most modern people is about science fiction, which is itself about balls of flame and ships drawn inexorably toward their expanding maw - the cosmic inverse of creation.

I thought we might hear more about the rumored new hardware platforms, but Nintendo used their Nintendo Direct yesterday to just remind people how Joy works.  Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon is a top five game for me, it is beautiful to listen to, beautiful to look at, and functionally perfect as a kind of playhouse diorama progressively revealing itself through play - the developer behind that one, Next Level Games, is behind this one as well.  And they kept the cool multiplayer!  But yeah.  Nice to see CD PROJEKT RED in there, I’d love to see that continue to be a platform for them, and elsewhere there’s just a really neat mix of old and new that I’m just happy to be here for.  I also think they aren’t done with announcements for this year.  What a startling platform their friendly little creature has turned out to be.

Gabe has enough Playstations (a mix of 4s and one Pro if I recall correctly) for everybody in his family to play Overwatch, which I always thought was kinda intense until I realized that playing videogames as a family is a really vital norm over there, but I might get somewhere close to that with the Switch.

Ronia’s first game that she ever really got was Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer.  We still play Amiibo Festival and shit; she has a headcanon where she’s married to Digby.  She’s way into it.  I’ve told the story before, but when the credits rolled on Happy Home designer I had to explain what it means when that happens, and she started to sob.  She has no idea what she’s in for when it comes to a real Animal Crossing game, to the extent that if I ever want to use a Switch in this house again I’m gonna have to get her one.  I can use mine to visit her town.  We can get a headstart on me puttering around her real house, the house she’ll buy herself, toiling beyond all fact and reason to continue offering a relevant service.

Don’t forget, it’s Wedenstag, which means it’s time to fasten the Velvet Cloak around our shoulders for more pulp Sci-Fi in Acquisitions Incorporated: The “C” Team.  Ryan is down at E3, but (Who’s) Amy has returned, returning us to something like balance.  I’ll be overjoyed when their sibling energy returns in full, but Elyssa and I are working on a guest spot for next week that I think a lot of people will take note of.  In any event!  Come see us - it all starts on Twitch at 4pm PDT.

(CW)TB out.   

Tycho / 1 week ago

I completely understand why publishers and platform holders like streaming - they’d love it if you couldn’t own anything.  If you want a vision of the future, imagine a freemium game played on a streaming platform forever.  Eventually one of these Beasts Spoken Of In The Book Of Revelation is going to coin the term “Streamium” and it will be like horn that signals the Earth’s final hour.

I’m just not doing any of this shit.  The only one of these streaming things that doesn’t make me do that convulsive sort of cat/hairball thing automatically is xCloud, because its purpose is to increase the value of the things I already own.  I doubt I’ll even use it.  I just hate it way, way less.

As far as Stadia goes, I want fewer platforms, not more.  And where there are platforms, I want their arbitrary dominion over my data and progress annihilated.  If they want my money, they can court me for it with something other than the hostage situation these behemoths have operated thus far.

Maybe it’s for somebody.  Maybe it’s for a projected demographic, a Stadioid, the kind of nobody only the very intelligent can muster.  I think of this stuff much the same way I do when I see an advertisement for MTN DEW AMP GAME FUEL.  Why are you here?  Why now?  You’d better have a better fucking answer than “Q2.”

E3 is when Devolver Digital inflicts their performance art on us.  Most of everything else I catch up on later.  Except for Ubisoft at 1.  I need to know about Beyond Good and Evil and Division and if there’s a Splinter Cell or not.  I’m gonna go watch it in Kiko’s office.

Engineer’s out this afternoon, Ryan’s down at E3, Amy’s outta town and Kris is exploring a “psychic vent” he calls Aperture 472.  So, since Phoenix Wright, Slay The Spire, and EXAPUNKS are out, I’m gonna go nuts streaming something I’ve been trying to fit into the day - Outer Wilds.  See you at 2pm PDT.

(CW)TB out.   

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