Chat Box

SonicRob: who?
FyreHaar: he’s a procyclist
FyreHaar: rides with you know, Lance Armstrong
SonicRob: I read that as proctologist
FyreHaar: hee hee
SonicRob: he rides with one gloved finger pointed at the front of the pack
FyreHaar: ahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SonicRob: this is how Lance wins
FyreHaar: OMG lol

Our PAX Schedule

With the Penny Arcade Expo a mere 18 days away, it’s high time we began strategizing. We’ve fairly divided the labor of planning – I’ve been combing through the event schedule to select the panels and concerts I’m most interested in seeing, while Fyre has been constructing a 1:1 replica of the Washington State Trade and Seattle Convention Center for us to practice our speed-runs through.

How’s that coming, BTW? (will you settle for 1:32 scale? -FH)

At any rate, this is the list of events I’m at least somewhat curious to see, as culled from the list of dozens of possible distractions and entertainments that the good folk of PAX are waving, plattered and fragrant, beneath our noses. Continue reading Our PAX Schedule

And Speaking of Inspiration

As I’ve noted elsewhere, I’m an idea man, but I work way better when I’m riffing off of the flawed ideas of others than when I’m trying to invent my own stuff out of whole cloth.

I haven’t finished Dead Rising yet; the whole mall full of zombies and ways to kill them thing sounded awesome, but those bastards at Capcom decided to put in that crazy time limit for saving all the survivors and getting all the story events to appear. If you just run around killing zombies with all the cool shit in the mall, you won’t lose the game, but you won’t really “win” either, at least as I measure it.

Ok, yes, I’m a little bit crazy about collecting everything and getting the best ending and all that and shut up I’m perfectly normal I just like getting the most out of my games.

I imagine that this is the designers’ stab at having you feel some tension and excitement, as defending yourself is actually pretty easy once you’re leveled up. If your zombie-killing capacity is nearly unlimited, the only way that Capcom can could inject some kind of scarcity to limit you is to give you a scarcity of time instead of, say, weapons. But this means that you don’t get to run around the mall stocking up on chainsaws and fireaxes and shredding crowds of undead; instead you just have to grab those things when you happen upon them while you’re sprinting like a camera-laden Jesse Owens to try and kill your way to the next survivor before he cowers himself to death. Continue reading And Speaking of Inspiration

Chat Box

Rob: I wasted my orbomb in that last match
Rob: enemy standing around, I drop, they spread out
Rob: got 2 scout squads
Rob: tank and avatar dodged it
Fyrehaar: the trick is to engage
Fyrehaar: so they won’t think it’s coming
Rob: target my position. full purification spread
Fyrehaar: indeed
Fyrehaar: someone must stay to place the targeting beacon
Fyrehaar: you’re not fighting troops
Fyrehaar: you’re not fighting a race
Fyrehaar: you’re fighting a geek
Fyrehaar: make him shit it
Fyrehaar: and you’ll win

Chat Box

Fyrehaar: missy came on after lil kim
Fyrehaar: i like it when she says nonsensical stuff
Rob: she is truly funky
Fyrehaar: i like that when a male rapper guests on her track he seems subservient
Fyrehaar: not like a highlight
Rob: she is a feminist
Rob: but is Kim a feminist?
Fyrehaar: in action if not in her professed position
Fyrehaar: kim is not a feminist
Fyrehaar: she is complicit in her own oppression
Rob: does she reclaim her own body by using it as a weapon?
Fyrehaar: she is exploiting her self
Fyrehaar: while she is aggressive
Fyrehaar: it is in a way that plays into male aggression and abets it
Rob: is she aggressively submissive?
Fyrehaar: yeah
Rob: that’s just weird
Fyrehaar: Missy is aggressive
Fyrehaar: but she doesn’t negate herself
Fyrehaar: she doesn’t seem to mold herself to fit a set of expectations based around male privilege
Fyrehaar: lil kim aggrandizes her ability to please men and be like
Rob: well, Kim is aggressive in an expected way. Missy is aggressive on a much broader scale
Fyrehaar: yeah
Rob: like her weirdness is aggressive
Fyrehaar: nicely put
Rob: she’s not just loud and crude
Fyrehaar: yup
Fyrehaar: like Beck
Rob: Lil’ Kim assaults your ears and your junk. Missy Elliott assaults your reality!

Ordo Cartographicus – Resource Distribution

This isn’t really much of a post, but I’ve been mucking around with the DoW2 map editor to see if I can use it to work on my design chops – “Christ, another blogger and/or game tester who wants to be a game designer?” Yes. Sorry – and I figured I may as well share any results in a public forum.

One of the early things I like to do when I’m working up a map is put down power and requisition points. In fact, it’s the third thing I do, right behind placing bases and positioning victory points. However, it’s occurred to me that I don’t really know how many of each is a good balance. I suppose more points will equal more resources and a faster fight, but too many would lead to clutter and imbalance. With these concerns in mind, I decided to have a look at Relic’s official maps for the game.

The short version is that for 1v1 maps Relic likes 4 or 5 of each, usually with a bit more requisition if you don’t feel like keeping it identical; the 6 requisition points in Green Tooth Gorge are a bit of an outlier. For 2v2, they like 5 of each, maybe 6 for a crowded slugfest map (p.s. I hate you in all your evil forms, Calderis Refinery). For 3v3 Relic likes 6 of each, with 5 in a map that needs lots of room to maneuver and 7 in a really big open map or another ugly sluggathon. Ugly but complete chart of data follows:

1v1 Maps Power Req
Green Tooth Gorge 4 6
Siwal Frontier 4 5
Calderis Refinery 4 4
Legis High Stratum 4 4
Leviathan Hive 5 4
Outer Reaches 4 5
Green Tooth Jungle 4 5
2v2 Maps Power Req
Calderis Refinery 6 6
Medean Cliff Mines 5 5
Golgotha Depths 5 5
Ruins of Argus 5 5
3v3 Maps Power Req
Angel Gate 6 7
Typhon Arena 5 5
Argus Desert Gate 6 6
Calderis Refinery 6 6
Tiber Outpost 6 6
Capital Spire 5 6
Siccaris Plateau 6 7

Ante Carto, Nullum Mundus


Film Century 1.5 – A New Hope

Aug. 2 Crimes and Misdemeanors – The films of Woody Allen would like to remind you that while he has been an utter bastard to all of his wives, at least he never paid anyone to kill any of them, right? 79/150
Aug. 3 Tsotsi – Life is hard; how hard has it made you? 80/150
Aug. 6 Kill! (1968) – A fun, if occasionally grim cross between Yojimbo and Lethal Weapon. 81/150
Aug. 9 (500) Days of Summer – Set your watch by it: the corporate media will always copy the stylistic tics of the popular underground and shy away from the really meaningful ideas underneath them. 82/150
Aug. 10 The Ramen Girl – It’s been sort of terrifying these last few years watching Brittany Murphy ripen into the next vessel for Joan Rivers’ brain. 83/150
Aug. 11 Terminator Salvation – And why not, honestly, when we recall that the boring, bland, deluded, faceless, messianic machine-fighting dirtballs were the best part of the last two Matrix movies? 84/150