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Tycho / 15 hours ago

A return to more commonplace horrors. Although, even this strip is essentially a documentary. We had a lot of rituals custom to the Olive Garden - styled "The OG" - and it was a place of comfort and solace but also of infinite soup and bread sceptres. Occasionally you will see a listicle situation online where it's suggested that Number 7 Will Shock You. The tale of the dark energies that coursed through him, desperate for release, a veritable Tour of Shitaly, shocked me like Number 7 might have if I'd actually clicked through and read it. It sounded pretty bad.

The Management of Motorsports returns this afternoon to The Channel. A last lap miscommunication between the Pit Crew and Management resulted in a heartbreaker finish for Enriqua Lara. Hong was doing whatever Hong was doing, it was fine - but a podium miss around complexities at the tail end of the race was a shocking hit to morale. New policies are being put in place, and a new management backend engineered to smooth these issues. Consultants have been fired, and new consultants with more commanding hairstyles have been brought in. In the meantime, how will Gabir Motors - proud member of the Dragon Race Team China - fare in the upcoming race? Join us and find out, today at 2pm PDT.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 3 days ago

I'm very, very tired of people pretending the world didn't burn down. I'm sick to the back teeth of it.

Screentime is the new Dungeons & Dragons, because every generation has to have one. It's even been screentime before, which allows the agents of our discourse some much needed leisure. There is an Expert in the New York Times who has had a change of heart about their recommendations early in the pandemic. They are pulling a manoeuvre known as the Reverse Drake, where they started out cool with more screentime - don't beat yourself up over it - but now, oh now, they are so contrite. They would have given different advice! They couldn't imagine the deeply, profoundly, inescapably imaginable world we live in now. It's the best reason I can give for not listening to this person. There is a kind of blank psychological posture only the very well educated can aspire to.

Clutching this particular pearl is such an incredible luxury right now. This is the truffle oil of worries. Things aren't like they were before. They'll never be again. And not just because of the virus - our relationship to technology was changing already, and if this is what it took for you to understand that it makes me think parenting should involve a licensing process.

The very best part of the article is the end, where - after the parents establish that their son has discovered a means to socialize in the hell dimension our government has prolonged due to its sloth and disdain for the living, the dying, and the dead - they've decided to make access to their child's peers contingent on performance. I guess coffee really is for closers. In this metaphor, "coffee" is your friends. Cool lesson.

Here's what's up, you dumb fuckers. Unless you want your son to be as fucking useless as you are when it comes to raising his own sons, you have to love them the way they need to be loved. And you don't get to choose how that is. The pandemic is just a confounding variable. These technologies are part of the real world, not some demonic alternate dimension. And that means, like the other parts of the real world, you need to help them understand it. Today's dads don't just get to model dominion and mutter about their wives. They have to rebuild mesh networks. They have to know what the Renegade is. Sorry! You can't just fail your children the way your dad failed you and call it a day. Something you might consider is learning about what makes these things interesting to young people. Or, God forbid, play these games and watch these videos with them. You'll learn a lot, very quickly. One of the things you'll learn is that you don't know your children very well. These are the people who are going to bury you. Make an effort.

I'm speaking as someone whose early parenting years involved a lot of Experts because their child was on something called The Spectrum. Most of what they said didn't work. Eventually, Brenna and I decided that we needed therapy because we didn't know what the fuck we were doing. That was the last one we went to. You're the ones who dragged these kids from non-being into being. The least you could do is make them feel welcome.

(CW)TB out.

Tycho / 5 days ago

He already told you the rest of the story behind the comic, because he actually knows it on account of being there, but I learned a lot from the tale also - and maybe, I learned a little bit about myself, too.

I didn't actually learn anything about myself. I share the frustrations of others regarding my opacity and frustrating mode of speech. But! The main takeaway from all this nonsense, and it makes sense if you really break it down, is that if a console is available for purchase it increases the chances of it being bought. It's not a guarantee, by any means. But there's definitely a correlation here that's worth considering.

It ain't the golden age of much, these are not "the days," unless we narrow the observation band strictly to Psychopathy. Then you'll see some spikes in the data. But it'd be hard to claim that Deckbuilders - electronic games in an exciting new genre called Buy To Own - aren't delivering the fucking hits right now.

They're compatible way, way down with Roguelikes, the other thing that's happening now, and where these two eldritch lines cross the intensity goes up. I don't know enough about For The Warp to help anyone yet, other than to say I saw something looked like a sci-fi deckbuilding game swiped right on Minesweeper and I immediately gave them my money.

I've been playing the early access game Vault of the Void whenever I can sneak in here the last few days, and especially after the last patch which really, really increased the legibility of the game's mechanics I wanted to make sure people knew what was up with this thing. That kind of improvement is sort of in tune with the whole vibe - it tries to give you a lot more information about where you can go and what will happen when you do than is normal. Instead of having a single deck you tune the whole time, you collect cards - just like in real life - and you can modify your 20 card deck whenever you want. You can essentially turn your hand cards into mana at any time, occasionally with extra bonuses for doing so, and mana stays from round to round, which makes the game about planning as opposed to reacting. You know how much damage enemies will do this round if you don't block, but you also know how much they'll do next turn. I don't have a good handle on the third class yet, it's the glass cannon wizard thing but the way it's balanced feels kind of weird to me, but in the other cases you're setting up and being rewarded for these satisfying loops - perimeter oscillations, if you will - and calculating them feels nourishing to the mind. It's just a very generous game that even in Early Access has a lot of great touches. Keep an eye on it.

(CW)TB out.

Console Wars

I really like getting new consoles and that has been the case since this photo was taken. 

I have skipped school, camped out overnight in the freezing cold and driven countless hours over the years to get new consoles when they come out. I couldn’t tell you why I do this but I’ve been in enough of these midnight lines to know that I am not the only one suffering from this affliction. It doesn’t matter what the launch titles are and it doesn’t matter what the reviewers say. I like unboxing it, setting it up and just generally messing with it. I recognize this is not an especially healthy compulsion and acknowledge it is not an example of smart money management. But hey, it could be cocaine. 

I’d been watching eBay like a hawk for weeks with special attention paid to sellers near me. I found a person with no history on the platform who had relisted a PS5 a few times without being able to sell it. I assume like me, no one wanted to buy from someone without a rating and everyone just figured it was a scam. The price kept coming down each time it was relisted and eBay was telling me this seller lived within 15 minutes of me. So I reached out and explained that if they were willing to meet me in a local parking lot at the police station, I’d buy it for a little over retail but not much. They did not respond but after a relisting at $750 failed to get a buyer I received a message back. They took me up on my offer and the next morning at 10:00am we met (with masks on) in front of the police station. I figured if they were intent on murdering me this would at least make it tricky. 

It turns out it was not a murderer. It was just a 20 something kid in a black dodge charger who told me he got it at Gamestop. The PS5 was new in the box and he seemed like a normal dude. He told me he bought it and made an eBay account to resell it but didn’t anticipate people not wanting to buy from a seller without any history. I think he was hoping to more than double his money quick and when that didn’t happen he just wanted to get something for his trouble. At least, that is what I am telling myself while I play my awesome new PS5. 

I’ve been able to play the series X and the PS5 for a while now and both are great systems. Here’s a quick run down of my thoughts so far. 

-I much prefer the PS5 UI, it is sleek, beautiful and snappy. It has a high level demarcation between games and media that is a big improvement over the PS4. Meanwhile I don’t know if Microsoft can ever escape from the grid design invented by Windows 8. 

-After playing on the PS5 for a bit I immediately missed the “instant on” functionality from the Series X. Being able to switch between multiple games without having to reload them feels truly next gen. 

-The PS5 controller and it’s fancy vibration are actually pretty slick depending on what game you play. In Astro’s Playroom it has some neat buzzes and bumps but they mostly just play game audio through it very loud. In Godfall each weapon feels unique thanks to the feedback in the triggers and the vibration. There’s actually a band of game data being communicated via the controller that I wasn’t getting when I played on PC. 

-I suck at Dark Souls games and I should not play them.

-The PS5 is comically large. It is stupidly big and heavy and it does not fit on the shelves below my television. It has to sit on the floor next to my TV stand like another piece of furniture. With that said, it is at least pretty.

-While neither system had any killer launch titles the Series X along with a Gamepass subscription offered a significant library of cool games to play a number of which had been updated for the Series X. On the PS5 I have a solid library of backwards compatible titles I have purchased and can redownload but few if any seem to take advantage of the PS5. 

-Both systems seem to run cross platform titles equally well. Games like AC: Valhalla and Destiny 2 both load fast and look beautiful on the PS5 and the Series X. Dirt 5 looks great on both but the Dualsense feedback on the PS5 makes playing it there more fun in my opinion. I think going forward clever use of that functionality could set PS5 version of cross platform games apart but it’s hard to say right now. 

-My wife is very understanding. 

-The PS5 is still pretty buggy compared to the Series X. I have had issues with Wi-Fi cutting out, games crashing and just general instability that require adjustments to the settings or restarts to fix. 

That’s all I’ve got for now. This is the time of year I tend to go back and play old games again or look for stuff I missed. Today I think I’ll check out the next gen patch that Star Wars: Fallen Order got. I also went back to Days Gone which now runs at 60FPS and looks incredible on the PS5. I’m trying to decide if it’s finally time to play the Last of Us 2. I loved the first one but it left me a sobbing mess at the end. I’ll probably just end up putting another couple hours into Godfall. 

-Gabe out

Tycho / 1 week ago

Gabriel is at The Tooth Store, which I think is also called The Orthodontist, having some serious shit done to his mouth hole. The reason I know it's serious is that he didn't want to do a strip about it here. We did manage to do one for Club PA, if that's of interest, but it's an index of his horror at the affair that the way we typically process fear - by containing it within a creative process - wasn't of interest. The archive is stuffed with examples of us doing precisely that!

I think the scary part is probably over by now, but I'm gonna leave him alone today which means no Management of Motorsports - kind of bummer because of how things got left last time. I'll be playing Minion Masters on the stream with my friend and Acquisitions Intoxicated cohost Eric Benson, who (like Lucifer) you may know by different names. I did just receive a text from Michael while I was writing this paragraph that says "Wow, I hate it" so at least he's able to manage some kind of ironic encapsulation.

No doubt his new PS5 will offer some comfort to him this afternoon - a device of ill provenance, no doubt secured at some midnight goblin market. Maybe telling you about it today in a post will provide him a welcome psychic reprieve. I mean, he did wait two months which for him is a shocking affair and constitutes a level of restraint in the face of desire most couldn't manage. I completely gave up on a 3080 and just started doing coke because it was the more cost effective option. Although, I guess it is more of a service model.

(CW)TB out.

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