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Gabe / 20 hours ago

Patting myself on the back

I am really enjoying Dragon Age: Inquisition. One of my favorite features is the War Room with its massive map of the regions. Your party navigates this map and unlocks new locations on it by spending “Power” which you can earn by completing missions. This is super fun.

What’s cool is it’s actually almost identical to a system I created for my old D&D campaign. When I decided to try and run a sandbox style game I created a world map that the party would navigate by spending “resolve”. They spent resolve tokens to move to and unlock new areas of the map. You can read my breakdown of how the system functioned right here if you’re interested.

I’m not saying they ripped me off or anything like that. I’m sure plenty of other games have used a similar system in the past. I cooked this one up on my own though and it’s neat to see that another group of game designers I admire came up with something so close. It just makes me feel like a cool guy.

-Gabe out

Gabe / 22 hours ago

I’m a very good driver

Yesterday I was playing some Farcry 4 here at the office. Robert came out and watched for a bit. He was unimpressed with my driving skills. I found a rad little Tuk-Tuk and told him I was gonna show him some incredible driving. This is the result:


-Gabe out

 

Tycho / 2 days ago

He’s playing Dragon Age!

When I advocate here in this realm, in this blue place, I am mostly trying to convince my compatriot.  I am glad you are here and I hope that you find it of use.  But I find that I can cobble together some fairly elaborate persuasion if I think he is the target.  Right?  It’s like when Goku was gravity training.  Sort of.  If I can make that case to him, I can make it to anybody.

Sometimes I will say that he wouldn’t like something when it is amazing and I secretly want him to like it the most.  It’s way more fun to discover something yourself, you want ownership over this kind of stuff.  And I don’t want it to seem like a victory or something to lord over him, or whatever.  But it’s a victory, and I won!  No, not really.  But yes!

Anyway, the hat problem he has - and the problem you might have also - can be trivially resolved!  Go into Options, click on Interface, find the thing that looks like this:

And make it look like this!

Let us never speak of it again.  It won’t fix the problem where you accidentally flirt with someone and then they legitimately flirt back, something which also happens in real life.  I definitely don’t want to have sex with a minotaur, though.  That’s not one of my things.  Now I gotta adventure with this dude and shit’s gonna be all weird.  Am I right, ladies?!

We popped in the new Far Cry yesterday, just to see, and it quickly attracted a crowd.  Every Far Cry now apparently has to have a weirdly charismatic foe, and the new one got ‘em going; “open world” games offer unparalleled entertainment for the spectator.  In fact, I think a Spectator might even be required.  It’s something to do with the way eyes work, and feel free to test this assertion at your own house: people who are not being mauled by carnivores have a much easier time catching the twinkle of a partially hidden cache.  The game provided one of the best gaming “minutes” of the year already, though: we saw a little rustle in the brush, and a little creature shuffled out, except it was a honey badger or some shit and it tried to kill us.  Eventually we had it by the scruff of the neck, saying unto to him, “WHAT IS YOUR DEAL,” and by the time we’d thrown him back to the ground a hawk started raking our scalp so we stole a four wheeler and in our attempt to escape these beasts drove it straight off a cliff.

I laughed so hard that I stopped receiving oxygen and my vision became splotchy.  But I’d also seen enough of their environment to be really convinced by it, to the extent that I wondered what an RPG of the Bethesda variety would look like in it.  I didn’t wonder about it very long, though, because Far Cry is an RPG.  They already did what I was thinking about, they just made an RPG with all the trappings of a mainstream genre that people buy in droves.  This is a game where you earn XP and craft better wallets.  The fact that you’re holding a gun as opposed to a wand is something for the sages to mull over.

Meth is supposed to be super bad for you, that’s what I read, but I think if I were up for a week straight I could deal with these muhfuckin’ Dragon Age rifts on the double.  I could even start on Far Cry myself; perhaps I could secure chrome sufficient to help my friends crack camps in co-op.  I’m gonna see how many meths you need for that.  Like, how many individual meths.

(CW)TB out.

Diorblo

I spent the weekend playing a lot of games but not the games I expected. I tried to get into the new AC Unity but just couldn’t do it. It looks amazing but I found the game super boring. I wonder if the reason I liked Black Flag so much was because it wasn’t like a traditional AC game. I beat COD’s single player campaign and thought I’d dig into the multiplayer but ended up back in Destiny for my FPS fix. I think if I had my freinds on the PS4 it might be different. I tried switching over to the Xbox One to play with them but that only lasted one night. I spent the most time this weekend playing Diablo 3 on the PS4. I had grabbed it on Friday when I was sick and looking for something to play. I thought I’d just check it out real quick and ended up playing for three hours straight. When Kara got home she saw me wrapped up in a blanket on the couch and said. “why are you playing Diablo 3…without me!”

We had played a bit on the PC but it didn’t really stick. She picked up a controller and popped into my game. Pretty soon the two of us were hooked. “This is so much better than playing on the computer.” she told me. Pretty soon my 10 year old turned off Minecraft and came in to see what we were doing. “Can I play?” he asked. I gave him the third controller and he jumped in with a Crusader. I have to agree Diablo 3 is much better as a couch game. We kept coming back to it over the weekend and had a blast.

Tycho says he doesn’t think I’ll like Dragon Age: Inquisition but I have to see for myself. I did the pre-install on the PS4 last night and I’m looking forward to checking it out tonight. I also grabbed Farcry 4 while I was in there but I don’t know how I’m supposed to find time to play all this stuff.

I know some people like to see the behind the making of stuff on our larger comic projects. Here are a couple images showing you the process for the latest page of Automata. The first one here is my original sketch for the page.

Here is the inked page ready to be colored.

I’ve been getting lots of nice comments on Silverside so thank you for that. I’m glad you guys like Sam and Carl as much as we do.

-Gabe out

Tycho / 4 days ago

Gabriel and I are largely CoD adjacent.  We purchase them, like them, and play them, but they rarely become a lifestyle.  Black Ops II - “blops” - was the exception, at least for him, when he discovered that playing it via the Wii U’s remote screen allowed him to play it more or less constantly.  He plays the new one with Keek sometimes and experienced some of the classic concerns, but he’s got a bad cold that has placed him betwixt life and death.  I think he got it from Australia; it’s essentially a bioweapon.  He probably should have declared it on that sheet they give you at the airport.  I haven’t been able to play with them as much as I’d like.  Barely at all.

People are playing on the new Summoner’s Rift, also; it’s doesn’t have every change they’re introducing yet, and there are a lot, but if I hook a creep when I am trying to grab a champion, it’s a different kind of creep.  And they’re up close, now, so I can really appreciate the distinctions.  I’m not in a position to commit, though.  It in an Inquisition thing.

I have to admit to being a little confused by this game.  I like Dragon Age because I’m a dork, and I gotta like it.  I’m not trying to make anybody feel bad with that statement; there are matters of execution that can determine the degree of success, can carve out and own part of a person’s mind.  But you get a bonus to that roll, right?  I said when comparing the series to The Witcher that it didn’t feel like hard fantasy to me; there was no ground floor.  But The Keep implies a different kind of foundation, a substrate created by the compounded decisions of two previous games.  That ain’t nothing.  Here’s what’s up: I think Dragon Age: Inquisition might actually be great.  And not great because it is a shambling pile of fucking nerd shibboleths.  Which I’m totally okay with something being, believe me.  But, yes.  What constellation governed the development of this game?  Was Inquisition their “Final Fantasy” - their last shot for the franchise?  Because sweat stands on its brow; it has a manic quality.

I’m playing it on a PC that was hot shit two years ago.  I firmly believe that Ludacris would play it on PC also, and everything I have done in my life thus far has been with Ludacris as my North Star.  “Good Graphics” to someone who doesn’t really play games often has to do with fidelity: does it look like the world they know?  So, to Brenna, Assassin’s Creed: Unity is startling because she’s seeing individual stitches on shit where the stitches would be.  I can show her “my Inquisition character,” as I did “last night,” and she doesn’t give a shit.  You will see some things even early on that will stir the blood, though; giving this crew Frostbite lets them casually overwhelm players with scale.  But if DAII set the tone with Kirkwall, they’ve managed to unfold it and lay it over a globe in a way that says “this is what we meant last time” and you believe them.  You are increasingly travelling through a place of ideas taken shape.  I feel like they’ve done something polite for me when I step into, say, a coast pierced by basalt columns.  Like they opened a door, and I stepped through.  I feel like I should thank someone.

There is a part of the Dragon Age team that really doesn’t understand helmets.  They understand heads, certainly.  That’s where all their writing comes out of, so those have to be executed at a certain level.  The profound investment they have in faces makes them try to do these open helmets that never quite look right, their ratios seem goofed, or they’re made of weird metals that exist nowhere in nature or anywhere else in the game.  These are somehow better than the helmets that don’t show faces, and look like no person could ever actually wear them.  As though they would crush the head within; as though the helmet were, itself, a form of medieval punishment.  Oh!  And when I use the Search command to highlight interactables near me, sometimes the location of these things is ambiguous.  And the overhead “Tactical View” has a very challenging time with anything but a uniform savanna.  There, that’s everything I hate.  Seriously, that’s all of it.  If you can make your peace with those, then get in here.

(CW)TB out.




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