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Tycho / on Mon, Dec 28 2015 at 11:41 am

That’s a wrap for All Through The House.  Like any of our other “babies” - weird story things which are not primarily about dogs eating a man’s balls or exploding dicks - this one has the occasional suitor.  One of these is going to get all the way to a screen someday, and I don’t mean because we did it ourselves.  I mean somebody’s gonna make one of these a “real boy,” and it could launch on the same day as a new Star Wars and I would still be pleased.

Star Wars is pretty good, I’ve seen it a couple times so far; it’s got problems but you can’t talk about them without someone calling you names.  And not like the regular names people call each other, names which impute nefarious action on the part of your opponent, like whether or not they fuck moms or their nuanced position on cocks.

The way it works now, what you might call the New Old Fashioned Way, is that there is no position of any kind that isn’t laced up with a position on some Question Of The Age.  There are character arcs in Star Wars that are truncated and inexplicable, but like a total dork I have come up with reasons for why it’s fine.  This is a pretty common nerd pastime, and I’m good at it.  But even expressing moments of doubt about that which has been considered sanctified - doubt, you’ll recall, being a distinctly human emotion; dogs do not doubt - creates the preconditions for exile.

If this is what it means to have your culture integrated into the mainstream, I don’t care for it.  It’s…  Church, everything has been transformed into Church, and I hate Church.  Every action must be slathered with a kind of pious frosting, a greater moral dimension, even if you’re talking about laser swords.  It’s vital not necessarily to do good, but to be seen as good, which isn’t really the same thing.  If this weren’t my job, I would stop doing it.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / on Fri, Dec 25 2015 at 12:01 am

AW SHIT!  It’s gettin’ kinda hectic.

They closed “the pass” just before our trip over and just after, and I’m starting to wonder if we’re going to be stuck over here.  In case I have left any doubt as to my position on these matters, that is not what I want.

I should have strategized harder about this trip.  The time I spent creating apocalyptic Spokane imagery is time I should have spent decanting boardgames into a compact form for travel.  The Spokanite is a hard creature, to be sure, but they are not immune to the mournful whistle of a Mexican Train; I could have doused them with Camel Up and set them ablaze, or introduced them to one of the many manifestations of Lord Chvatil, The Thousand Faced one - probably Codenames.  The next time I’m summoned to this Satanic bunghole I shall endeavor to be more pragmatic.

Merry Christmas, everybody.  And if you customarily have a Happy Christmas, try a Merry one just to see if you like it.  I’ll go with a Happy one, and next year around this time we’ll compare notes.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / on Wed, Dec 23 2015 at 9:21 am

One of the “delights,” which I guess I don’t 100% mind but whatever, is that before I can get a newspost typed up over here I typically have to spend a half an hour or so fixing the computer I’m working on.  I wouldn’t even know how to compare the machines my parents own to my own machines or computers in general.  I’m not surprised that people hate computers if this is their experience with them.  Just as a point of reference, when I click the mouse on my computer, shit happens.  Forces are marshalled and great engines roar.  On my mom’s laptop, there is a mouse attached, but it does nothing, like a vestigial tail.

Her house looks like some kind of aperture widened up between our world and the Pinterest dimension, and their denizens have emerged in force to seize territory.  Snowmen and reindeer upcycled from precious bottlecaps flank wine bottles also dressed as reindeer or inexplicably wearing sweaters.  I was able to barricade the door to her room with some tasteful Pier One wickered spheroids and now I am waiting for the police to arrive.

When we first talked about Nightlight, it describes how some fathers are shields, but others are swords!  With an Exclamation Point! And then for that and the next storyline with Grace we only talk about Swords.  All Through The House is about how the other side works.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / on Mon, Dec 21 2015 at 5:00 pm

PAX South Tabletop Indie Showcase

We offer free booth space to game developers at the conventions, but it takes a little different shape depending on where you go: PAX 10 was the original “indie” showcase, at East it’s similar but focuses on mobile, and the newest show in San Antonio focuses exclusively on tabletop offerings.

And what a crop this year!  Good lord.  Don’t forget to check some of the official sites: a couple of these games already have Print & Play options, so you don’t even have to wait.


Tycho / on Sun, Dec 20 2015 at 9:45 pm

Running a total of four strips, Nightlight: All Through The House is a four strip Nightlight story about, you know.  Things that permeate houses, I guess!  You’ll know when you see it.

The 3DS is back in rotation hard with Pokemon Picross, which is like a Picross game where you make pictures of Pokemon which you also then collect.  It would be nefarious even if it weren’t free to play.

For some reason, many of the people I talk to at a given PAX don’t seem to know about Picross.  This sucks, not just because their lives haven’t been enriched by Picross, but also because I have some metaphors I’m fond of that require a working knowledge of the game.  It’s supremely inconvenient to lead with a penetrating Picross themed insight and then have it just glisten there on the epidermis, wholly unabsorbed.  It’s not clear to me how one of the best puzzle forms has somehow eluded universal worship.  It’s like Sudoku, but fun and cool.  And when you’re done, there’s a little picture, instead of a bunch of numbers.  I’m sure that Robert appreciates a big pile of numbers but if I had to choose between Charmander and some numbers I’mma go with the Lizard Pokemon.

So, if you don’t know about Picross, their digital store has loads of it.  If you aren’t down with free to play, which we’ll come back to later, grab one of the ones in the Picross E series for six bucks straight up and sink down into this inviting brain syrup.  It’s like, um…  Sudoku Minesweeper.  The game offers you a grid with a series of numeric clues alongside each row and column, so if you have a ten by ten grid and the clue is “9,” you know that the middle eight squares are filled in.  Then you use the crumbs of information you have to infer greater and greater relationships.  There can also be more than one number in the clue - something like “1 8 1,” which means that there is one filled in block, followed by eight filled in blocks, followed by one block - each discrete entry separated from the others by at least one blank.  Those blanks are just as important as the filled in squares when it comes to the “greater inferences” I mentioned before.  The feeling of it - the brain feeling - is exquisite, because you can actually sense the crystals of awareness forming and spreading out.  If you want to feel like Sherlock Fucking Holmes every ten minutes or so this is a game you should have.

How much you can play is mostly governed by a resource called Picrites, because of course they are.  Right?  Every one of these things has to cook up some clever name for its whippin’ switch.

The amount of Picrites you get as a matter of course probably won’t support binge playing of the game.  I have time, or I don’t have it; as much as I don’t like what feels manipulative about the genre, my life is a pretty good fit for free to play.  Unless I really, really love a game, I never bump up against the energy or currency limitations.  I’m about to bump up against them here, but…  it’s possible to pay for an essentially unlimited volume of their currency for about thirty bucks.  You aren’t supposed to let people buy their way out of the trap, it’s a complete F2P no-no, but they let you do it.  Nintendo’s approach to F2P - which they call Free To Start - has a shareware vibe to me, so long as you can still Get Out Of Jail at a certain price.

I just grabbed SteamWorld Heist, too - a turn-based strategy game, rendered from the side - and it’s fucking shit hot.  It’ll be nice to have it with me in Spokane, of course; something to do while I’m in line for our holiday ration of Hate Grubs.

(CW)TB out.

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