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PA Comic: Wednesday, February 8 - Mum’s The Word

Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo Nice day for aWaa WeddingRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
edited February 2012 in The Penny Arcade Hub
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It has become obvious by now that Moms crave games, they crave them; theirs is the hunger absolute. One of the games these ravenous moms crave is Words With Friends.

I once played Scrabble with a mother not my own and also with Brenna’s Grandmother, which is a kind of meta-mom, and these two beat the shit out of me. People assume that I would be good at Scrabble because I collect words, but Scrabble isn’t a game where you just recite all the words you know really fast. I would be a bull-headed death god at that game, which doesn’t exist, unless you count Taboo.

No, these women took turns thrashing me with my own language until the bag ran mercifully out of tiles. I saw this mom again at Christmas - “Nancy” - and somewhere in her fully eight pages of iPhone apps I saw Words With Friends poking out, and thought I might have an opportunity for Redemption capital r. No, actually. I never even finished that game. I could see the ravine, and I jerked the wheel hard right.

Gabriel recently had an experience in this vein that was transformed into a comic, somehow. It has been more than thirteen years of constant production, and I’m not certain I’ll ever fully recognize the process.

I’m obsessed with a game called Flash Duel, by Sirlin Games; I carry the deck around in my pocket just to think about it any spare moment, or to harangue others into playing a match.

David Sirlin is obsessed with something too, that being asymmetry in competitive games, to the extent that it might considered his “thing.” I own every game he’s ever produced for the table, and we have complimentary fetishes: he wants to codify personalities as game mechanics, and I think social interaction is itself a game.

If I explained how to play Flash Duel, it would sound like something you couldn’t be obsessed with. It would seem reductive and dumb. So I can bring this all around with a food metaphor later, let’s describe the basic engine, or “broth”:

Players draw a hand of five cards from a twenty five card deck, which made up of cards numbered one through five. Two players start at opposite ends of an eighteen space track. Taking turns, they play the cards in their hand to

1. Move that number of spaces forward or backward
2. If Adjacent, Push the Opponent the number of spaces shown
3. Attack by playing a card equal to the number of spaces your opponent is away
4. Perform a Dashing Attack by playing a move card, then an attack card.

You can make an attack more powerful by playing multiples of the same card, and you can block by playing as many cards as you were attacked with. There are a couple nuances - for example, Dashing Attacks can be retreated from with a Move card instead of blocking. There are only five cards of each number, and you can look through the discard, so the probabilities become more confined. If I hit you, I get a point, and we play to five points. It’s fine. It’s alright. Whatever.

Now let’s add noodles. In the box, the game comes with twenty “characters” represented by three cards each, each of which put a certain spin on the game with their unique abrogations of the rules. I’m looking at a minotaur whose entire purpose is to back you up against your end of the track and deliver custom unblockable strikes. Let’s call him “hoisin.” Here’s someone who can play fours as threes, and vice versa. Let’s call her “thai basil.” Here’s a flame archer that can strike at extreme range; she’ll be our Sriracha. It goes on like this. And on, and on. You can put into it what you like.

There are seven game modes: a handful of 1v1s, tag teams, and even co-op modes in the vein of the World of Warcraft TCG’s Raid Decks. It’s these individually simple mechanisms squaring off against one another in a legible, friendly system of quick resolution that keeps it at the front of my thoughts. I like to play games, certainly, but I like learning them better, and a game I will be able learn over and over again is the best kind.

(CW)TB out.

on a cold, cold morn

Bobkins Flymo on
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Posts

  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I can't follow the dialog in this one at all...

    Edit: Ah, I parsed it out. I get it now.

    Delzhand on
    jk0Btsj.png
  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo Nice day for a Waa WeddingRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    I hope they realize that they can't just tease Twisp & Catsby plushes like that and not follow through.

    0SZEg7b.png
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I hope they realize that they can't just tease Twisp & Catsby plushes like that and not follow through.
    :^:

    Considering the skill on these boards, I'm surprised someone hasn't crafted one themselves.

    RoyceSraphim on
  • jackaljackal Registered User regular
    I had to read it through twice to correctly parse it as well.
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I hope they realize that they can't just tease Twisp & Catsby plushes like that and not follow through.

    Quiet. Khoo can hear you.

  • SejarkiSejarki Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    jackal wrote:
    I had to read it through twice to correctly parse it as well.

    Same. Didn't catch that he was talking to his own mother initially. Odd.

    The line "What is your username? Yes, the space matters!" seemed to throw me off.

    Sejarki on
  • FTVFTV Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Gabe boobs (goobs).

    FTV on
  • Bobkins FlymoBobkins Flymo Nice day for a Waa WeddingRegistered User, Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    Khoo is at least ten steps ahead. He has products lined up based on strips that even Mike and Jerry haven't thought up of yet.

    0SZEg7b.png
  • ThreeCubedThreeCubed Registered User
    Took me minute to get the dialog, but I just needed a careful rereading.

    Love it.

    Love everything.

    I want that pillowcase.

    And plushies.

    EyQGd.jpg
  • LuptoniumLuptonium Registered User
    Was giving Gabe boobs intentional? I can't un-see that.

  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah Registered User regular
    So confused but found it amusing.

  • HenroidHenroid Nobody Nowhere fastRegistered User regular
    Luptonium wrote:
    Was giving Gabe boobs intentional? I can't un-see that.

    It's supposed to be a loose shirt hanging down. But yeah. That's what I thought too.

    "Ultima Online Pre-Trammel is the perfect example of why libertarians are full of shit."
    - @Ludious
    PA Lets Play Archive - Twitter - Blog (6/15/14)
  • IoloIolo i not L Registered User regular
    I adore the art in this one. Gabe's room as teenage girl room conceit is perfect.

    Also I'm glad Gabe has his regular nose.

    steam_sig.png
    Not buying or backing any games for myself in 2014.
  • Warlock82Warlock82 Never pet a burning dog Registered User regular
    I enjoyed the photo of Spider-man (as if Spider-man was his girlfriend) and the Unicorn pillow :)

    Also the typo in panel 2 is bugging me :P

    Nintendo Network ID: Warlock
    3DS Friend Code: 4983-4927-6699
    Steam ID: warlock82

    WarlockSoL.jpg
  • balerbowerbalerbower Registered User regular
    AAA rated comic right here. love the colors and the composition and the dialogue.

  • facetiousfacetious a wit so dry it shits sandRegistered User regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I hope they realize that they can't just tease Twisp & Catsby plushes like that and not follow through.

    My immediate reaction as well.

    "I am not young enough to know everything." - Oscar Wilde
    Real strong, facetious.

    Steam: Chagrin LoL: Bonhomie
  • TIFunkaliciousTIFunkalicious Kicking back in NebraskaRegistered User regular
    Never thought I'd hear about Sirlin again

    steam_sig.png
  • Sweeney TomSweeney Tom Registered User regular
    This comic makes me want Twisp & Catsby plushes available to the public

    I don't care about price, I just want one of each now

  • TravanTravan ANOTHER one? Seriously?! Registered User regular
    Gabe's newspost is adorable.

    Gamertag- Travan7838
  • SaintElmosWireSaintElmosWire Registered User
    I think a plushe with a monocle would leave the world forever changed

    MvViV.jpg
  • TarranonTarranon Registered User regular
    haha is that xoxo on the spiderman picture?

  • SlothboySlothboy Registered User regular
    Wow, what is this additional dimension that has been uncovered. I now count... 3!

  • sepoysepoy Registered User
    For those at all interested in word games, there's a fantastic take on scrabble that my wife and I play. We call it 'speed scrabble' though that may or may not be it's "true" name. Anyway, here's how you play (as best I can describe in text, anyway):

    All of the tiles are flipped upside down, placed between the players, and shuffled around. Each player "draws" seven tiles, keeping them face down until the game begins. As is the case with any draw, the players can choose any tile from the pile. In reality people usually just end up picking the ones closest to them. Once everyone has their seven tiles, somebody says "go" and everyone flips their tiles over.

    Each player has their own imaginary "board", basically an infinite grid in all directions, where they can place their tiles forming words just as in standard scrabble. A player can re-work his board at any time, in any way. Once one person has used all of their tiles (formed words with them on their imaginary board), they say "go" and everyone draws another tile. If everyone gets stuck they can agree to draw another tile. The game gets pretty heated about 5-6 draws in where you'll have strings of people just saying "go" almost before you can think. And every time they do, the game changes for you a little bit because now you've got yet one more little bugger to place. But it's not about being the first or the fastest along the way. The winner is the first person, after every tile has been drawn from the initial pile, to use all of their tiles. They then read all of their words while everyone checks to make sure they haven't messed up (cheated - don't let her fool you with that cute face!).

  • AurichAurich Registered User regular
    You can tell that he used a reference for the pose, and that the model was female. A very tasteful choice, I think.

    Also, and maybe this is just me, I think Gabe should get in on some proper MLP:FiM. Specificity is grand with that kind of gag.

  • zalmatrazalmatra Registered User
    very nice perspective..:3

  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah Registered User regular
    His cover for the new Adventure Time comic is great.

  • OptyOpty Registered User regular
    sepoy wrote:
    For those at all interested in word games, there's a fantastic take on scrabble that my wife and I play. We call it 'speed scrabble' though that may or may not be it's "true" name. Anyway, here's how you play (as best I can describe in text, anyway):

    All of the tiles are flipped upside down, placed between the players, and shuffled around. Each player "draws" seven tiles, keeping them face down until the game begins. As is the case with any draw, the players can choose any tile from the pile. In reality people usually just end up picking the ones closest to them. Once everyone has their seven tiles, somebody says "go" and everyone flips their tiles over.

    Each player has their own imaginary "board", basically an infinite grid in all directions, where they can place their tiles forming words just as in standard scrabble. A player can re-work his board at any time, in any way. Once one person has used all of their tiles (formed words with them on their imaginary board), they say "go" and everyone draws another tile. If everyone gets stuck they can agree to draw another tile. The game gets pretty heated about 5-6 draws in where you'll have strings of people just saying "go" almost before you can think. And every time they do, the game changes for you a little bit because now you've got yet one more little bugger to place. But it's not about being the first or the fastest along the way. The winner is the first person, after every tile has been drawn from the initial pile, to use all of their tiles. They then read all of their words while everyone checks to make sure they haven't messed up (cheated - don't let her fool you with that cute face!).

    This is called Bananagrams

  • spacemanseanspacemansean Registered User
    I’m obsessed with a game called Flash Duel, by Sirlin Games; I carry the deck around in my pocket just to think about it any spare moment, or to harangue others into playing a match.

    Be still, my beating heart

  • SabreMauSabreMau Still featuring glasses. Registered User regular
    Aurich wrote:
    You can tell that he used a reference for the pose, and that the model was female. A very tasteful choice, I think.

    GIS "teen phone":

    Xmtj2.jpg

    1yrxP.jpgmXcqC.jpgtYRm1.jpg
  • QuidQuid The Fifth Horseman Registered User regular
    That is a pretty sick burn at the end.

    PSN: allenquid
  • ToldoToldo But actually, WeegianRegistered User regular
    edited February 2012
    His shirt even kinda looks like boobs.

    EDIT: I'm like the 19th person to point this out.

    Toldo on
  • Robert KhooRobert Khoo Registered User, Administrator, ClubPA, Penny Arcade Staff, PAX Staff staff
    jackal wrote:
    I had to read it through twice to correctly parse it as well.
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I hope they realize that they can't just tease Twisp & Catsby plushes like that and not follow through.

    Quiet. Khoo can hear you.

    Hmm.

    Some guy.
  • KalTorakKalTorak Registered User regular
    I wish I had goings on.

  • ThreeCubedThreeCubed Registered User
    SabreMau wrote: »
    Aurich wrote:
    You can tell that he used a reference for the pose, and that the model was female. A very tasteful choice, I think.

    GIS "teen phone":

    Xmtj2.jpg

    That's some pretty amazing Googlefu you have displayed.

    EyQGd.jpg
  • Emperor KermitEmperor Kermit Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    I hereby declare "boobsgate".

    Emperor Kermit on
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    Opty wrote:
    sepoy wrote:
    For those at all interested in word games, there's a fantastic take on scrabble that my wife and I play. We call it 'speed scrabble' though that may or may not be it's "true" name. Anyway, here's how you play (as best I can describe in text, anyway):

    All of the tiles are flipped upside down, placed between the players, and shuffled around. Each player "draws" seven tiles, keeping them face down until the game begins. As is the case with any draw, the players can choose any tile from the pile. In reality people usually just end up picking the ones closest to them. Once everyone has their seven tiles, somebody says "go" and everyone flips their tiles over.

    Each player has their own imaginary "board", basically an infinite grid in all directions, where they can place their tiles forming words just as in standard scrabble. A player can re-work his board at any time, in any way. Once one person has used all of their tiles (formed words with them on their imaginary board), they say "go" and everyone draws another tile. If everyone gets stuck they can agree to draw another tile. The game gets pretty heated about 5-6 draws in where you'll have strings of people just saying "go" almost before you can think. And every time they do, the game changes for you a little bit because now you've got yet one more little bugger to place. But it's not about being the first or the fastest along the way. The winner is the first person, after every tile has been drawn from the initial pile, to use all of their tiles. They then read all of their words while everyone checks to make sure they haven't messed up (cheated - don't let her fool you with that cute face!).

    This is called Bananagrams
    It was Speed Scrabble or Take Two before it was Bananagrams.
    Also it is tons of fun.

    steam_sig.png
  • AshokaAshoka A Hub subforum that works? Registered User
    edited February 2012
    jackal wrote:
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I hope they realize that they can't just tease Twisp & Catsby plushes like that and not follow through.

    Quiet. Khoo can hear you.

    Hmm.

    Don't pretend like you didn't already have those ready on the backburner waiting to be actioned given the right comic Robert.

    I hereby declare "boobsgate".

    Seconded, to be carried.

    Ashoka on
    WNskB.jpg
  • BrymBrym Registered User regular
    Opty wrote:
    sepoy wrote:
    For those at all interested in word games, there's a fantastic take on scrabble that my wife and I play. We call it 'speed scrabble' though that may or may not be it's "true" name. Anyway, here's how you play (as best I can describe in text, anyway):

    All of the tiles are flipped upside down, placed between the players, and shuffled around. Each player "draws" seven tiles, keeping them face down until the game begins. As is the case with any draw, the players can choose any tile from the pile. In reality people usually just end up picking the ones closest to them. Once everyone has their seven tiles, somebody says "go" and everyone flips their tiles over.

    Each player has their own imaginary "board", basically an infinite grid in all directions, where they can place their tiles forming words just as in standard scrabble. A player can re-work his board at any time, in any way. Once one person has used all of their tiles (formed words with them on their imaginary board), they say "go" and everyone draws another tile. If everyone gets stuck they can agree to draw another tile. The game gets pretty heated about 5-6 draws in where you'll have strings of people just saying "go" almost before you can think. And every time they do, the game changes for you a little bit because now you've got yet one more little bugger to place. But it's not about being the first or the fastest along the way. The winner is the first person, after every tile has been drawn from the initial pile, to use all of their tiles. They then read all of their words while everyone checks to make sure they haven't messed up (cheated - don't let her fool you with that cute face!).

    This is called Bananagrams

    It also plays better with an actual Bananagrams set rather than a Scrabble set because the letter distribution is different.

  • Munkus BeaverMunkus Beaver Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Rorus Raz wrote:
    I hope they realize that they can't just tease Twisp & Catsby plushes like that and not follow through.
    :^:

    Considering the skill on these boards, I'm surprised someone hasn't crafted one themselves.

    They have. A forumer gave Gabe and Tycho twisp and catsby plushes years ago at PAX. She also has given them plush Broodax and plush DiV.

    @Arithena

    Steam name: munkus_beaver
    Blizzard thing: munkus#1952
    Nintendo ID (3DS thinger): munkusbeaver
    Please give to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America: http://www.ccfa.org/
    Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but it dies in the process.
  • dmautzdmautz Registered User regular
    Screw the plushes, I demand unicorn pillows immediately.

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