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Tycho / 2 days ago

There’s probably an astronomical metaphor to be made about how Black Ops 3 entered into some specific point in its arc while Grooby Doo, Kiko, and myself were doing some other space thing.  The upshot - denuded of linguistic foofaraw - is that it’s been a very long time since everything lined up and felt this way.  The story in the strip is true, by the way.  Technically speaking, you don’t have to wait for two immobile months on the couch; if you have access to an Xbox One or a decent PC, it’s possible that you could play in the phase that runs until Sunday, a period of time which “perfectly” lines up with PAX.  Once the beta shuts down on the 30th, then you can wait two immobile months.  Try passing the time by spinning a cocoon.

When I was toiling at SAX a week ago - SAX being the pre-PAX event where the swag bags get stuffed, praise be to the Enforcers - I could see that the Formians who work at the convention center were already hoisting shit with the use of…  I mean, they could only be called hoisters.  I guess I didn’t know that was something they did that far ahead.  I’m always there the day before the show proper, and they’re going fucking nuts in there, but I didn’t know they were going consistently nuts for an entire fucking week.  I considered for a moment how many other things I might not know, and decided correctly that this was the only thing.

I’ve set myself up quite a Friday, with a Q&A, standing very near to people while they make a game, interviews, and Acquisitions Incorporated just for the on-paper, scheduled shit.  Maybe this is a strong play, though.  Knock all the big stuff out, and then, I dunno…  attend PAX?

I was thinking about how Take This (Room 309 and the Diversity Lounge!!!) is just one thing that isn’t PAX but happens at PAX, working within it, like an organelle.  The Cookie Brigade is another such thing, and has on more than one occasion provided the only object I’ve eaten all day.  It is like a strange, relentlessly adaptive organism that is constantly evolving irresistible new lures: the introduction of the Peanut Butter Sriracha line of circular baked goods marks the point between the wretched creature I was, and and the gleaming paragon I am now.

The cookies are completely free; it’s like a cookie version of those rad mountain dogs that get you super drunk.  But when a person gives you a cookie an ancient law is invoked and donations get made - to the point where at pretty much every show they bring in five figure donations to Child’s Play off it.  It’s amazing, it just sprouted up in the turned earth of the show, and it’s one of the things that makes PAX what it is.


Tycho / 4 days ago

Them Rainbow 6: Siege Codes

Here’s a bunch of R6 codes in my magical code machine, which can be redeemed for the platform of your choice - apparently this Beta phase gets activated 9/24, so, you know, put it in your calendar I guess.  I’ve been following it super close, especially the destructible terrain slash intelligence gathering phase.  Maybe you have, too.  It’s been awhile.  I really want to see what they’ve done with the place.


Tycho / 4 days ago

Some things are said to have been “a good idea at the time,” the subtext being that it was actually a bad idea even at the moment of its conception, and that this badness was compressed during both the execution and aftermath into a kind of crystalline shit matrix.  I think that my panel idea may exist somewhere in that continuum.

It’s a weird thrust for a panel, in that it doesn’t have the traditional interplay.  It’s more like improv, I guess.  Game jazz.  I feel like I built a heist crew and now I have to accompany them on the heist even though I’ve never heisted even one time, I just like theft.  But let’s say it did turn out okay, and I don’t boil inside my own skin until delicious.  What could we do with such a creature?  What if it hatched, and refused to die?  I want to know.

If this paragraph were on Insta, it would be appended with the hashtag #justpaxthings: all conventions are metaconventions, in their way.  They are composed of concentric flavor spheres, like an Everlasting Gobstopper, and people select their threshold from the superset.  PAX is a chimerical thing, and vast, to the point that there are many things I love about PAX that are creatures of the space itself.

One of those things is called called The AFK Room.  You can use this mind vault as a psychic bulwark if you need to, the show can be authentically batshit sometimes, but it is also staffed by volunteers from Take This if you need to talk to someone about mental health.  Whenever Gabe and I have discussed our own challenges in this context, we find out how much other people needed to hear us say it; it might do you good to know that there are people right at the show who can help.  One of the incredible things about our species is that we can borrow someone’s psychic reserves if we need to, and if you need to, they’re posted up at 309 or in the Diversity Lounge.


Tycho / 5 days ago

CTS Krosmaster Figurines!

They did such a great job on these, holy shit.  I can’t believe it.  if you’re gonna be at PAX, they’re available in Room 210 on the 2nd floor in the Tabletop Area for ten bucks.  I don’t know what the plans for them are outside of that, and I haven’t seen the stat card - you’ll have to ask them.


Tycho / 6 days ago

I really didn’t enjoy the small amount of time I spent with Toy Soldiers: War Chest and I’m not one hundred percent sure I’ll be back.

I don’t think the game feels good to play, and the game’s identity is diffuse to the point of obliteration.  It’s probably important to note that I was trying it on Xbox One, maybe that matters in some way.  It doesn’t look very good, the visuals can be muddy to the point of illegibility, and it doesn’t run super well.  The economy in this thirty dollar game starts looking like a F2P title really quick.  I legitimately wonder if the game wouldn’t execute its new identity - that of a clearing house for nostalgia - better as a freemium iOS title.  Reading that line again, it seems like I’m being a bad man.  I’m not trying to be a jerk, though.  Remember?  I’m the nice one.  Well, sometimes.  Depends on who you ask.  I’ve discovered that assholes tend not to like me.  But mainstream paeans like Legacy Brands travel far in that channel, and they have the licenses.

It comes up in the strip, too: typically I’m the one who has to lead the charge to give games a shot.  Making things is hard and I want to recognize that, but there’s fewer days ahead than behind, or whatever.  I gave them my money, they’ll have to content themselves with that.  I’ve decided I’m going to play fun games for a while.

For example: the CoDBlOps3 beta is just about up, and I’ll be Goddamned if they didn’t get a purchase out of it.  The last couple haven’t stuck for some reason.  I bought Tiger Woods every year because I had a good year with it one time, and then I bought it for a few years after because I wanted to get back to that year; I chased this ghost around the block.

Indeed, I have played Call of Duty games since they were primarily a PC phenomenon; I have played them long enough to be all “Uh oh, it’s a Treyarch year,” except now it’s Treyarch that routinely enunciates series excellence.  Deprioritizing melee kills and the addition of thoughtful new traversal has turned the pace down, which has allowed me entree into the game at all.  And going the “champions” route for characters - a la League - alongside the series’ traditional slots and perks grants a ton of variety and long-term expansion potential.

Kill Confirmed is the definitional Call of Duty gametype for us now; if we can fill out half or more of a team we’ll try other modes, Domination let’s say, but if it’s two or three of us I don’t think there’s a better way to play deathmatch.  It has the thing I liked about “Execution” in Gears also, and I’ve had many opportunities to namecheck Gears lately, but still: killing somebody is cool or whatever but it doesn’t mean shit here scorewise.  You have to commit something to claim those points, typically the meat of your torso, so the tags enemies and friendlies leave behind alter the terrain in a substantial, dynamic way.  It ablates the frustration of individual deaths because your friends can get your tags, which is one of the more incredible sensations, thought getting your friend’s tags and then getting the tag of the enemy that killed them must be considered the Super Burrito Plate of competitive interactions.


in time

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