Saturday, September 30, 2017

End of Year Two

It's that time again.

We've reached the end of another year of the blog. In this past year I've seen my audience this grow significantly, with the take-off point being when Jeffro Johnson started including me in the Sensor Sweeps. From there I'd get links, mentioned, and plenty of Retweets (etc.) on the various social networks from other writers and bloggers that are now part of the audience. Over half of the top posts are from this past year--six are since January--and that is fantastic. I am grateful to each and every one of you, and I hope that you stick around for more.

Because of the growth in the audience--because of you folks--I now write weekly for the SuperversiveSF group blog and the PulpRev group blog, in addition to my own pair of weekly blogs. Because of that growth, I got invited to contribute to one short story anthology and got accepted into a second. The second one is likely to get published first, as of this post, and when I have release dates (etc.) for them you can be certain to see a post here with the details (and a link to order).

And I want to build on this momentum going into Year Three.

In addition to writing and publishing more work, it's time to expand the skillset and that means upgrading and expanding the toolkit. I'll get into the specifics tomorrow, but for now I'll just say this: my birthday's a week from today, so if you're feeling like you can spare it (or you can find a way to write it off), come back tomorrow.

Friday, September 29, 2017

How To RPG: The Revealed Preference is Class & Level

I've posted more than once about the weird gamer psychology behind the presence of levels in a RPG contrasted to an endgame where character improvement came incrementally with better gear/attributes/etc. and increased player skill. It's pervasive through all of the videogame RPGs, maintaining dominance even in genres where it should not be a thing logically. (e.g. Borderlands)

There's a root to this. Back in the early days we not only had Dungeons & Dragons, but also Traveller and Gamma World. Over at the Castalia House blog, Jeffro goes over the difference in approach between the two TSR games.

And unlike D&D characters that start with a single hit die and then play very, very carefully until they can (maybe) graduate to a new level where they might get a precious few additional hit points, Gamma World characters are much, much heartier. They start with a number of d6 hit dice equal to their already larger than average Constitution scores!

The class and level system that is the touchstone of every D&D and D&D-like games is simply obliterated. Your to-hit targets are a function of weapon class versus armor class with levels not really coming into things at all, really. Your saving throws against things like poison and radiation don’t go up according to a schedule based on your level. Your Constitution score determines that– just like your Mental Strength determines how well you’ll fare resisting mental attacks. Finally, there is no outline of what sort of followers and strongholds you’ll establish once you reach “name level” and so forth. You’re going to have to be content with whatever amount of followers your Charisma can pull down for you!

I think I know what the issue is: most players want clear, consistent, constant, and substantial character progression. Levels do that very well. Incremental changes do not, not in tabletop RPGs during play at the table. You have to break out calculators and do theorycrafting to see if it's an upgrade or not. As most players aren't theorycrafters, they have--over time--revealed their preference for levels over not.

This explains why later editions of GW shifted towards that D&D paradigm, and why retroclones (e.g.Mutant Future) usually have that sort of thing as an option. You will have far more success if you use some sort of class-and-level scheme

Gamer psychology gets weird, but it is not impossible to understand. They want clear, objective measurements because that's info they need to inform their decision-making. Be that gamer one who prefers to work on the Strategic or Tactical level, good info is vital towards success. Class & Level contributes significantly to that clarity. Sorted. So that's your default unless you have a damn good reason to do otherwise.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Midnight's Edge on Fake Trek: "Discovery" is a Dumpster Fire

To no one's surprise, Star Trek: Discovery is a dumpster fire of suck, blow, and fail. The folks at Midnight's Edge held a roundtable discussion on this matter, and you can feel the pain of the stupidity throughout the podcast. Listen to this instead of watching the NFL tonight.

The divide between the audience opinion on STD and the "critics" is also not a surprise. Critics in the Fake Media are Fake Journalists that produce Fake (Entertainment) News to serve the Narrative over the people. The anticipated reactions by CBS, Paramount, and other stakeholders are also not surprises. At this point, it's down to when this crash hits- not if it does. I join the chorus on how to handle this in the moment: shit-can this Fake Trek in favor of The Orville. Seth's take isn't perfect, but it is faithful, and that's why his show is Real Trek.

We lost Axanar for STD. Never forget. Here, watch "Prelude" again and compare to what STD delivered. RIP Richard Hatch.

Nevermind the legal issues. We can see clearly why CBS/Paramount went after Axanar: it makes STD look like the clown collage crapfest that it is- on a fraction of the budget!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Narrative Warfare: #AltHero Triggers the SJWs Good and HARD

In case you haven't heard, the Supreme Dark Lord is out to Make Comics Great Again. The project is "Alt-Hero", and it will launch this week at Freestartr. Of course, the SJWs are already freaking out, but you'd think they'd read the full announcement first. Nope. It was this picture that started the rumblings, and it's rather tame quite frankly.

But no, the jimmies got rustled. And, sure as the sun rising in the East, the freakouts began. I'll refer you to Vox Day's own blog posts on the matter here and (especially) here, as he's far superior to me in both explaining what's going on and making it fun to see how this process works itself out. Go on, read those, then come back. I can wait.

In his Darkstream tonight, Vox goes into some detail on how the SJW Freakout Process (the Three Degrees of REEEEEEE!) play out.

  • They "laugh".
  • They "give no fucks".
  • They drop the mask and just REEEE openly.

Which parallels the Three Laws:

  • SJWs Always Lie
  • SJWs Always Double-Down
  • SJWs Always Project

The takeaway? They're already at the Third Degree of REEEEE and the #AltHero crowdfunding campaign hasn't even started yet, which means that I share Vox's confidence that #AltHero will do gangbusters for its funding round, and that will result in a very successful launch when the project is ready to go live. All this at a time when the SJWs steering DC and Marvel into the shitter are very determined to go all Aloha Snackbar on Diversity & Comics and the rest of his pals such as Capt. Cummings and the other online critics of converged comics and the rest of the Fake Geeks ruining everything.

Truly the Supreme Dark Lord shall Make Comics Great Again. His opponents tell him that he has already won.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Narrative Warfare: Jon del Arroz & Bre Faucheux Talk "The Mean Girls of Sci-Fi"

Jon del Arroz went on 27 Crows Radio to talk with Bre Faucheux about his recent problems with the SJW Death Cult in SF/F, in particular with the President of the cult front known as "The Science Fiction Writers of America". Bre's post at her blog not only has the audio and video links, but also time stamps and key quotes. That woman is thourough.

So go there, listen over your lunch hour, and come back. I can wait.

Folks, this podcast delivers. You want to listen to it. Jon and Bre pull no punches in their conversation regarding the current converged state of traditional publishing and legacy business in science fiction and fantasy, and have no qualms laying out who's doing what to whom in this corrupt cavalcade of crap that is Traditional Publishing.

And from there, they go into how this Mean Girls Mindset is prevalent throughout every single sector wherein the SJW Death Cult gets control. This has been a half-hour well-spent, and you will find yourself nodding in agreement as you listen to these two get deep into the matter of SJW convergence and how it ruins everything it touches. While you're at it, if you're not following Jon or Bre, do that.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Narrative Warfare: Fork, Replace, Win

I'm going to follow on a post I read at Vox Populi today, which in turn followed a statement by Davis Aurini. I'm going on these two points. Respectively, from Aurini and from Vox Day:

Rather than trying to distribute the ideas – and handing them over to the Obsessives and Extremists who turn them into a farce – we need to own them. We need to implement them.

We must go out there and create.


The truth is that the SJWs are creating more opportunities for us than we can reasonably pursue. The trick is to identify the institutional weakness and hit it hard. For example, one thing I've learned about the comic industry is that the artists are often not paid royalties, just a flat per-page rate. So, one thing we are going to do to ensure that we eventually secure the best talent over time is, in addition to the flat fee, pay royalties for an extended period of time on our comic book sales, just as we do on our regular book sales.

You can't start at the top, but you can come up with a plan to get there eventually. The Castalia House team goes over every print book carefully; if you compare our earliest print editions to the latest ones, you can see that we're continually trying to improve the product. Creation is a dynamic process, and so the more you focus on improvement, the more you will gradually improve, until one day people suddenly blink and say, "Hey, you know, that's actually rather good."

It's no longer enough to just complain. To make this useful, to actually win, you have to Fork And Replace.

This is why there's been such a push to form new ventures in SF/F publishing such as Castalia House, Superversive prcess, and Silver Empire. That's why Alt-Hero is going to become huge presently (watch out for the Freestartr campaign). That's why the Old-School Renaissance arose in tabletop RPGs. Indie videogame developers are legion.

Take a look at the enemies of Civilization. They achieved their power in this manner; they forked their target, establishing a parallel structure that they deliberately intended to develop into an outright replacement for the institution that they targeted. Then they did just that; it's why governments resist things like organized crime syndicates- they're forked shadow governments intended to parallel them and (in time) replace them.

We've got to be like the Internet: interpret SocJus bullshit as damage, route around it, and choke it off from the network for our own good. Which means that, while all of the new publishers, developers, artists, even capital-raisers (Freestartr), are nice we have to go for the big load-bearing pillars: banking and Internet access

We need our own banks, payment processors, domain registrars, and other parallel institutions that the enemy currently controls and has no shame in making into chokeholds intended to compel compliance to those outside the cult. We need to be no less shameless in the employment and promotion of our own side, in preferring our own first and foremost over others, especially when it comes to the vitals of economics. They've done just that to us, at our catastrophic cost, and will continue to club us to death with our own altruism and idealism until we are extinct or we drink the demon's blood and become one of them.

Because that's the cost of "peace" with them. Total submission to them and the Narrative. In other words:

Not. Acceptable.

We fork what they corrupted. We build in parallel to it. We replace what their cancer killed. Then we win once they collapse.

Fork. Replace. Win.

And stop whining about doing it dirty. Victory needs no justification. Defeat allows none. Conquest justifies.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Narrative Warfare In Action: "Muh Toxic Culture" Edition

While everyone else is all about the NFL drama, here some suck game developer whining about how gamers ain't taking his shit.

Fuck you, Chucky-boy. You're lying, and you know it.

What's really going on is that the people working as videogame (and tabletop, but this is a videogame thread) developers who can not handle the reality of the business are whining like the little bitches that they are about the fact that the gamer audience will not just sit down and mindlessly accept the excuses proffered for sub-par products--and that's what games are, products for commercial sale to end-users--using "Muh Toxic Culture" as ass-covering.

Bullshit. A Starkiller Based-sized pile of bullshit.

"But they just get mean about how we do things!" he says. Well, no shit Sherlock. You routinely fail to properly assess what you can actually do, so you sell the Moon and deliver Detroit, and then get mad when you find that the audience wanted the Moon you sold and not the ruined shell of a city you actually delivered.

You are not cut out for business if you can't handle this fundamental facet. You deliver what the market wants, not what you think they ought to have. Success in business is about dealing with reality AS IT IS, never as you want it to be. That includes all forms of game development; you make the games that gamers want, not what you want them to have.

To do that, you hire talent strictly and solely according to their merit. Everyone that cannot cooperate towards the sole lawful objective of satisfying market demand are to be discarded. Chucky-boy here can't hack that, and as such he and his ilk are banned from any project I organize henceforth (barring repentance, of course). So he's resorted to the SocJus Death Cult to cover up for his clear inadequacies- personally and professionally.

This culture of fraud--and pushing SocJus is pushing a fraud--cannot and will not be tolerated any longer. Call it is what it is: an excuse to not Git Gud, proffered by Fake Gamedevs, seeking to destroy gaming and reanimate its corpse to be a poz vector into as-yet-unaffected elements of the culture.

That's right, Chucky-boy. You are a FAKE GAMEDEV! Real gamedevs are real gamers, and real gamers Git Fucking Gud or Die Trying. You won't, because you can't. Get out before you're thrown out, you bullshit artist. You are not welcome here.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Geek Gab Talks Kingsman: The Golden Circle (And More)

The Geek Gab gang got together again today for another episode. Today they talked about the new Kingsman movie, Logan Lucky, and Warpig Rants About Stuff. You know you're in for a good time.

In the live chat we picked up the idea of playing in the setting of the Kingsman films as a RPG. Since no videogames are coming, that means tabletop play, and fortunately there are a couple of easy options to take up. Well, if you can find them. Do note that you're playing a Tactical game regardless of your choice here; your PC is That Guy, not his boss.

  • Spycraft: This is one of the breakout games of the d20 System explosion. I prefer the first edition, but the second is better for all you all-in-one sorts. Minimal house-ruling is needed; just make certain that ONLY the PCs (being the very Kingsmen or Statesmen or whatever) and NPCs of their caliber or better get the use of certain mechanics (e.g. Vitality Points). Play up the gadgets. Restrict the character options. Done.
  • Ninjas & Superspies: It's a Palladium game, so you WILL need to house-rule it, but coming up with a fast-playing game isn't as hard as it seems; the real bitch of it is speeding up character generations. That means slimming down the options, and speeding up the process. Do that, and you're good. Only the GM needs to mess with the Organization rules, and quite frankly that's not even necessary.
  • Feng Shui: Go figure that a game made for Hong Kong action cinema gaming would work well here. What you will need to do is (again) trim character options and adjust setting-specific stuff to suit, but that's all on the GM; for players, it's literally "Show up, pick template, tweak, GO!" and sharing a pair of standard dice is all you need.

Sure, someone's going to come along and say that HERO or GURPS or Special Snowflake System Supreme will be best. Nope. Gotta go fast, and gotta be a real game. HERO/GURPS aren't fast, and snowflakes aren't real games. So fuck all of them. Those are your three best options for playing a tabletop RPG in the aforementioned setting. Have it at.

Aside: Tabletop RPGs that work are ones that you can do cold (no preparation) and stupid (no prior/outside knowledge) that start fast and play fast. That this is still a chronic fucking problem 40+ years on is why tabletop RPGs remain a fucking ghetto.. This is not hard; it's a solved problem, which makes its persistence even more infuriating to me to see people who ought to know better go on about their cargo cult bullshit instead of applying the known solution. And no, you can't shirk this on to the SJWs; you "pros" have been this willfully stupid well before the death cult came knocking.

Friday, September 22, 2017

SJWs, Diversity & Comics Read Your Book!

Yesterday, I wrote about Diversity & Comics and how the SJWs at Marvel (and elsewhere in comics) freaked out over this one YouTube channel accurately documenting the detrimental effect that Muh Social Justice has had on the business. It's gotten to Instapundit as of this post, so to say that word has gone far and wide is not an exaggeration. Also getting around is the story that Mark Waid wants to chat with D&C. Those of us that know SJWs see this for the trap it is.

One. Of. Us.

As Razorfist would say, Godspeed D&C. God-fucking-speed.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

#ComicsGate Has Arrived

That grand-master of science fiction, John C. Wright, had a very eloquent post today in defense of the Diversity & Comics channel at YouTube. The reason for the defense? The SJWs that bore the brunt of the channel's criticism have taken notice, and They Are Not Amused. So, learning nothing from their fellow travelers in Fake Games Journalism, they got into a group chat and conspired to put out hit pieces and otherwise defame and destroy him.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Rant About the Waste of Michelle Yeoh in "Discovery"

While others lodge commentary and complaints about the dumpster fire that is Star Trek: Discovery, I have a specific complaint to lodge.

How in the hell do you cast Michelle Yeoh and NOT make her the lead?!

I don't want to hear "But her English is accented?" She's fine, perfectly understandable by anyone who isn't a fucking moron. Nor do I want to hear "But she's not well-known." because (a) she does have a following and (b) she's been a leading lady in feature films for decades as well as a supporting player. She's long ago proven that she has the chops to lead a Trek show; hell, she's overqualified.

She's got the talent to become, by merit alone, one of the most beloved players in the history of the franchise. Write her the sort of captain that Starfleet would want to have in its corps of captains, the sort we see implied well in the now-ruined Axanar, and you'd have another generation-defining hit on your hands.

Instead, you waste her on a minor supporting role to set up a protagonist who isn't even captain of the ship she's on, before handing her off to another captain on another ship to do the same thing. This is a show that doesn't get Trek dramatics, and that's before the SJW bullshit that we knew would be part-and-parcel of this cynical production of anti-fun.

If this is how CBS & Paramount treat someone like Yeoh, I can imagine Issacs not being happy either. Christ. Fuck all this for a game of soldiers. Just stick with The Orville, and pray McFarlane doesn't let it suck and waste his opportunity to out-Trek Trek and not get sued into oblvion (as Axanar did).

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Practical Worldbuilding: Why Blasters in "Star Wars" is Brilliant

Blasters. They're a regular feature of science fiction small arms. George Lucas didn't invent them; E.E. Smith did, a generation before. However, with Star Wars we have an accident of history turn into a brilliant bit of practical worldbuilding. By filming at Pinewood Studios in the United Kingdom, Lucas had access to a lot of weapon props made from de-militarized fireams from World War 2. These props added a lot to the "lived-in" feel of the Original Trilogy, that sense of verisimilitude that every other entry into the franchise lacks.

It's not gone unnoticed. One of the reasons Cameron's Terminator and Aliens have that feel (regarding the Future War scenes for the former film) is because the same spirit is present; the prop weapons are unreal, but you can see clearly the parallels with real-world equivalents, so the effect is maintained.

Across the Pacific, it's no surprise that creators of various science fiction series in Japan do the same sort of thing. Some are far more blatant than others, and some use more obscure referents than others, but the practice endures. It endures because this sort of short-hand is simple, easy, and effective. (e.g. Space Battleship Yamato uses the historic Borchardt C-93 as the basis for the Cosmo Navy's sidearm.)

So, why not do it myself?

For this Space Opera thing I've got going on, I've taken notice of my enjoyment of dedicated rimfire-caliber firearms such as the Ruger Mk.IV, the Smith & Wesson Victory, and the Browning Buckmark (for handguns) as well as the Marlin 795, the Ruger 10/22, and the CZ 512 (for longarms). I'm basing small arms-scale blasters on them, down to how the tech works. (Still mulling over squad-level stuff.)

The reason for this is to make it easier for the reader/viewer/player to grok what the thing is and how it works by using existing familiarity and just adding what is needed to make it relevant to the story or game's setting. This isn't a bad thing; great poets steal, and this is why. It's the iterative improvement process applied to creative works. Using real substance for unreal narratives is not a bad thing at all.

Think about this for a moment. You're quite able to grasp how Han Solo's pistol works, in practical terms, without ever getting into the hows and whys because it looks like a real pistol. Stormtrooper carbines, Rebel carbines, and so on all look like a real firearm in the Original Trilogy. The Prequels' better props are also based on real firearms, even if one step removed. Now, take a look at what Rey used; I have not see a single thing in the real world that looks like that- it looks like a Star Trek reject, and it shows. Don't be that guy; use visual shorthand to help your readers accept your fictional worlds. It works, it's efficient, and it's easier than it seems.

Monday, September 18, 2017

How To RPG: On The Mech Pilot Audience

If proper tabletop RPGs are really about strategic thinking played out at the warband scale, then what are the Mech Pilots looking for- and why do they, inevitably, abandon tabletop RPGs once given something that scratches that itch?

There are two things driving (heh) Mech Pilots. They want viscerality of experience, and they want as fast a pace of decision as they can handle, both of which conflict with strategic-level thinking and leadership skill exercises. If we shift over to movies, these folks are all about action films. They'll eat up John Woo, Tony Jaa, Bruce Lee, and even slower-paced films like the mid-'70s adaptation of The Three Musketeers. Their fantasy is to be That Guy, and they have a competitive streak about it; this is why Fighting Games (e.g. Street Fighter, Guilty Gear, Samurai Showdown) are favorites as are combat vehicle sims.

It also explains two other things: an obsession with Theorycrafting and Rules. The rules set the context within which competition takes place, and Theorycrafting uses those rules to figure out how to maximize performance while minimizing weaknesses. Since being the best means nothing without a scene to dominate, the draw towards large-scale and centralized play experiences is no accident either, which we see in every medium where Mech Pilots have a significant (if not dominant) presence.

This is why you have Mech Pilots dominating Fighting Games, MOBAs, CCGs, any form of PVP in RPGs and pushing for competitive PVE (such as the Mythic Dungeon Invitational for World of Warcraft, and the oft-done note-comparisons for Organized Play in tabletop games). Individual character builds, group compositions, complaints about nerfs and buffs; it's not that different from the guys going on about their fantasy football teams.

Quite frankly, it is long past time for the tabletop RPG scene to shit or get off the pot about this. Since there is no way that any tabletop game can provide the satisfaction for this audience segment that videogames can, they should be shown the door instead.

IP holders, such as Wizards of the Coast, are better served making videogame counterparts to their tabletop RPGs with Mech Pilots and their psychology in mind because they are a separate and distinct audience with its own psychology. Refocus tabletop RPGs away from Mech Pilots, and towards the original--and still faithful--strategic thinker audience, and thereafter maintain product distinction so this confusion never comes up again.

Yes, this means that companies like Paizo will have to wholly reinvent themselves. Good. They should, if they want to survive what is otherwise an inevitable, and permanent, collapse of the category that's on the horizon.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

How to RPG: It's Macro, Not Micro

The other night I'm playing World of Warcraft, doing my thing, thinking of what to post down the road when I recalled two things: (a) that the post over at the Alt-Right GM's blog regarding his D&D game are a fantastic example of how you actually play proper D&D (and, by extension, proper tabletop RPGs), and (b) the reasons for why tabletop RPGs have issues with Mech Piloting has to do with a difference between Tactical and Strategic thinking.

You want to know why classic tabletop RPGs don't do that blow-by-blow, second-to-second pace of combat? It's because--even at the scope of a warband--you're still looking more strategic than tactical. For you younger folks, think "more macro than micro", and yes that allusion to real-time strategy games is no accident.

In traditional tabletop RPGs, you're expected to work as the head of a team mostly filled out by NPCs. In Dungeons & Dragons, that means Henchmen and Hirelings. For Traveller, it's employees and other subordinates. That maps well to small-scale warband wargaming, and if you ever played a hero-focused wargame you'll see the parallels quickly. It doesn't matter that your combat engagements are not fast-paced like Guilty Gear, MechAssault, or similar one-man hero played at arcade speeds; that's not the sort of play a tabletop RPG does.

As befits a derivation of tabletop wargaming, proper RPGs are strategic in their nature and best approached that way. Your man is not on his own for long, especially if you're not a pleb and actually get a decent Charisma score (which is the real power stat in old-school RPGs; you want to be a Leader of Men above all else). Even outside of D&D, you're a fool to not get yourself some NPCs as soon as you can. Yes, even if you're playing Robotech; bring your wingmen, because you're the Flight or Element lead (and you are working up to Squadron leader) so you have at least one subordinate with you.

It's a very different--and superior--experience to what the SJWs and the other fucktards pushing their crap want you to believe. To succeed you need persistence, charisma, and discernment. You don't make it being Wolverine; you make it being Cyclops. Send the Mech Pilots back to the arcades and the sim pods, where they belong.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Iron and Clay Don't Mix: On Media Audiences

Once upon a time, there was a dream. A dream that one could tell a story across multiple media, shifting things to take advantage of each medium's strengths in order to maximize the narrative impact, and thereby create world-dominating generation-defining properties that become cultural icons- and evergreen revenue with perennial profits.

That dream was transmedia.

"Transmedia storytelling is the technique of telling a single story or story experience across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies, not to be confused with traditional cross-platform media franchises, sequels, or adaptations."

And, like many dreams, it did not work.

Look at that definition again. When did you follow a single story across multiple platforms? You didn't. No one did. No one wants to either, so no one will. That means that pursuing it, and not being a double-talking con-man, requires a shift in the definition, from "story" to "meta-story".

The idea is that you have a big arc that plays out over multiple installments, such as the Infinity Gauntlet arc of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and across multiple media outlets. The result, as we know now, is that the audience does not cross those lines. Hell, there are people who don't watch most other MCU films; they just do Iron Man, or Thor, etc. and skip the rest because they don't care so when they plop down for an Avengers film they get confused- and quickly become angry.

Most people who saw Age of Ultron had no idea that SHIELD provided the Helicarrier seen in the film, or the other resources the team required, because the vast majority of film-goers do not (and refuse to) watch Agents of SHIELD. On a similar note, the Chitauri artifacts that the aforementioned show focused on early in its run were callbacks to and follow-ons from a Marvel movie short: Item 47. (Same with the other One-Shots; few watched, or care to watch, so they don't have the impact intended.)

"But Walker!" you say, "What about the comics?"

Utterly fucking irrelevant. MCU fans don't read comics, and they certainly don't read the SJW-riddled crap that Marvel is now. If not for the films--and just the films--Marvel would be dead and gone by now, and the Marvel leadership knows it. So does Disney, and the Mouse is NOT happy about it; they recognize the comics side as being the IP Hothouse for future films, and thus notice that this well is dry as a bone.

And no, DC is no better. They're arguably worse off. Lucasfilm is no better. (The amount of people who gave no fucks about the Clone Wars and Rebels connections in Rogue One, or the people who will not touch tie-in books, is the overwhelming majority of the audience. Furthermore, given the SJW bullshit afflicting Lucasfilm, it's no surprise that current tie-in books and comics are routinely trash suitable only for use as emergency toilet paper.

"But Halo!"

The crossover between the books/comics and the games, in terms of audience, is appalling. There are big fans who have never even heard of the tie-in books and comics, and would not give a shit if they did. That is not what they are playing the game for!

That's what this transmedia thing revealed: the preference for the audience is to stay with the medium where the thing is, and eschew everything else. The reason is because the audience in one medium wants what that specific medium does best; they don't want what other media do, and if there is information that otherwise cannot be had without doing so they quickly come to resent what they feel (not wrong here) as an imposition upon them- and now that Wikis exist that is not an issue anymore.

Filmgoers want film. TV watchers want TV. Comics fans want comics. Videogamers want videogames. They do not cross the streams, and there isn't a way to make them do so that doesn't do more harm than good to the business that attempts it. That is why transmedia failed, and there is nothing that can be done to fix it.

Which is why the smart people moved on. The successful element of this dream was the explicit recognition of storytelling as the foundation for successful marketing, advertising, and public relations: folks who told (aspirational, often) stories to push their things succeeded wildly compared to those that did not. This is nothing new, as Edward Bernays (one of the founders of Public Relations) did just that in 1925, but it was held (more or less) secret until recent decades when this tranmedia dream put it in the open for all to see.

Thus the Revealation of the Method that is today's Narrative Warfare. Expect future refinements to take advantage of this revealed segmentation in audience preferences, for reasons both fair and foul, and a decline in tie-in merchandising as the fuckups running those campaigns get turfed out and blacklisted for being terminal tossers. (It won't go away entirely, but instead revert to very targeted campaigns focusing on what that specific medium offers: don't sell clothes to a toy audience.)

And remember that not all dreams have happy endings. Most of us end up like Porkins, not Skywalker.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Why I Stopped Caring About GenCon: It Does Not Matter Anymore (For RPGs)

I still follow a number of tabletop gaming communities, pages, what-have-you. I've seen the post-GenCon outpouring of hype about all the new tabletop RPG stuff coming.

I can sum it up thusly: Cotton Candy.

It looks appealing. It may have that momentary thrill, like the sugar rush when your tongue touches that fibrous delight, but I put dollars to donuts that--like the vast majority of tabletop RPG stuff ever published--it will soon be revealed to lack the substance that a real breakthrough product possesses. Nothingburgers don't satisfy, and so back to the solid standards gamers go.

That's why I said a few years ago that the cognitive space for tabletop RPGs isn't as big as folks want to believe, and every year that goes by reinforces my belief in that position as last year's New Hotness becomes Old & Busted and gets dropped like a totaled car once the insurance check clears.

Which is why you can, safely, be involved in tabletop RPGs for the rest of your life so long as you've got these three games on hand:

  • Dungeons & Dragons. Pick any edition that has a significant following and you're fine. Yes, even 5th and Pathfinder. (No, 4th, you get to sit at the kid's table with the Diablo 2 and Starcraft adapatations.)
  • Traveller. Classic will always be best, but Mega has a big following. We don't talk about New Era.
  • Call of Cthulhu. Any edition before 7th will be fine, as they're all compatible; if you get a choice, v5.5 is your huckleberry.

Notice the lack of GURPS or HERO. That's because, believe it or not, you can go most of your life without ever finding enough folks to give either a fair shake- and that's if you focus on what that system does best with its written ruleset. (Superheroes for the latter, and historical gaming for the former.) Palladium's fanboys are loud and proud, but also few and far between offline- and that's if you're going for RIFTS. Odds drop like the Hindenberg otherwise.

Those are the popular also-rans. Storygame bullshit? Outside of SJW-infested shitholes, widely regarded as dogshit and avoided like the plague. Good luck. BRP? Outside of enduring favorites like Runequest, Stormbringer/Elric, and King Arthur Pendragon, no one cares- and of those three, very few give a shit.

And yes, I am not holding out much hope for Starfinder. That sort of thing got attempted before, and soundly rejected every time; I doubt things will turn out differently this time. Gamers, for some odd reason, like to segregate Fantasy and Science Fiction good and hard. (Hence why D&D lost its Weird Fiction roots in the 1980s.)

The tabletop RPG business is notoriously bad because it's a hobby category that is extraordinarily friendly to homebrewing and no less hostile to officialdom-as-business-model. For all that gets talked about Organized Play and convention focused products, most folks still play at home or in (psuedo-)club environments where the traditional way of play remains dominant. We don't need More Stuff, believe it or not, and more gamers are finally admitting it- as shown by the shifts in the bigger tabletop retail world.

(Yep, the biggest news for me was Fantasy Flight's new mini wargame for Star Wars. Hope it plays well.)

If the tabletop RPG publishers want to get out of the malaise, they need to retool their businesses to sell stuff that users at home cannot do for themselves so easily. I said that before. It's bearing out now. Adapt or die; I care not which, since I need you not.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

On the Matter of Dealing With Fake Journalism

This is Razorfist, talking about Cuphead and the corrupt cunts crapping their pants over being called out as incompetent fuckwits for either (a) being so sucktastic that they couldn't do the tutorial and thus shitcanned the game out of spite or (b) the cascade or craptitude that followed in defending this fucktarded attitude, which inevitably invoked #Gamergate as a boogeyman.

I am all out of fucks. Fake News must be destroyed.

The lack of practical accountability--the lack of "And what are you gonna do about it?"--for these paid propagandists fronting for frauds is a big part of the present problem. Given what they care about, the sanctions easily imposed by us won't hit them because they place no value over what we can readily influence. For all that destroying Gawker did, no one actually suffered harm to anything these whores care about. They are insulated well from the lawful consequences of their actions.

In practical terms, we have to consider what measures we can employ to hit them where they will actually feel pain. There are short-term answers and long-term answers. Both are necessary, as neither is sufficient alone.

The long-term is repeating the Gawker op, and that's why it's the long-term answer; accomplishing this task will take years, even with men like Hogan stepping forward to sue and men like Thiel bankrolling the suit. The pain takes a long time to be felt because this approach is like playing Go; you're slowly constricting their space of operations until they're boxed in and collapse. It's the Fabian Strategy (the one that broke Hannibal Barca), and its discipline is best done when supplemented.

The short-term answers are that supplement, and they need to be switched out regularly as circumstances shift. Right now, the short-term answer is to assess what this crowd actually values, see which people are most vulnerable to their validation being disrupted, and then go Full Alinsky on them. (e.g. the recent shut down of Devin Faraci returning to the Alamo Drafthouse) The objective is to make each target akin to Typhoid Mary; so untouchable that mere association is putting one's life into the hands of a drunken meth addict needing a fix.

You can see why this is short-term; once a critical mass of such individuals suffer such destruction, the circumstances regarding the bigger picture will shift and thus necessitate shifting approaches. This is the tactical level; going Fabian on the press is Strategic. Both, in differing ways, hit their logistics and thus advance towards the goal: Death of Fake News. It's Rabbit Season, and we're not dealing with Bugs Bunny. Time to go hunting.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Geonosian Queen of Star Wars: Kathleen Kennedy

World Class Bullshitters released a video that is an open letter to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, and calls her out as the common source for all of the franchise's problems since George Lucas sold the company to Disney. This is short; you can listen to it--it's really an audio track--over your coffee break at the office, so take a moment and listen.

That was kind. That was reserved. As they show in their excerpt from the drunk commentary for Force Awakens, they can and do get mean. They live up to their self-proclaimed title.

And they're right.

Kennedy's entire career is being a moneyman's busybody. That's what Executive Producers do: stick their noses into the business of the people actually doing the real work of filmmaking to ensure that the moneymen are satisfied. They're Political Officers, Commissars without the Commie part, and otherwise just useless stand-ins for their masters. You get no simpler an example of the Agent-Principle concept in action than with an Executive Producer who is NOT also one of the moneymen. She has never had actual skin the game, and now that she's been de facto unleashed she's pushing her own goals over that of her now-detached Principle (Disney).

She is, in the jargon of certain subsets, a "bugman": an individual who sacrificed whatever unique cultural and religious identity that was her posterity in favor of the false promises offered by being a bland, soulless global non-culture drone that is our current mega-corporate economy. At best, she aspires to be the Queen Bee of her own hive within the swarm, and Muh Feminisms is the path to that goal.

One of the tells of these "bugmen" is a lack of creativity, which includes a lack of discernment where people are concerned. She sees each film as a product, and each product as a component in a revenue-generating machine, and her demonstrated contempt for the population echoes down through the organization. It's astounding that men like Dave Filoni endure in such an environment; the drop in quality before and after the Lucasfilm sale of all things Star Wars makes that crystal clear, and it is in who runs the show. George cared. Kathy doesn't.

Fortunately, this is a situation that has a remedy. The problem is in using it; you need enough pressure put on Disney to compel a regime change, which is difficult because Disney is also run by bugmen. (It hasn't been Walt's company for a very long time and it shows.) You need to suborn or replace the gatekeepers in order to use the remedy, so either pressure them where they're weak or just plain replace them with someone willing to act.

For we on the outside, the best way to apply pressure is to Fork & Replace. Make our own Star Wars, and use the inevitable success of our superior visions to replace the official brand over time; either they adapt and conform in order to compete or they collapse and get forgotten. Nick Cole (w/ Jason Anspach) has a series of books in this vein, "Galaxy's Edge", starting with Legionnaire, and he's not the only one. My own "The Ghost Fist Gambit" will be out with the PulpRev Sampler Anthology, at a time and price To Be Determined.

So no, don't take this crap lying down. At the very least, deny the Mouse your dollars; many of you already refuse to buy the real revenue stream (the merchandise) so why not go a little further and refuse to see it in theaters or buy it on home video (of any kind)? Find the alternatives, or make up your own, and scratch that itch in a far more satisfying manner instead. All bugs must be squished.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Relics of a Past Lost: Old Films on YouTube

Last night, while writing my post for PulpRev for this week, I came across a gold mine of classic cinema: entire YouTube channels and playlists dedicated to putting up in their entirety classic films from the 30s and 40s. Many of these were Mr. Moto (also deserved classics), and (of course) the classic Sherlock Holmes films of Rathbone & Bruce.

Much like the playlists for Legend of the Galactic Heroes and other anime not licensed for commercial release in North America, these too tend to get banhammered from time to time; due to enduring popularity, they will inevitably return, so I'm not at all concerned about posting this one here.

So, why am I posting about this?

Folks, it's not just the glories of the Pulps we lost since World War II. Even if you're not a fan of the Hays Code, you can't help but to see that the movies of the past reflected an era of civilized behavior far superior to our own degraded culture today- and because these films still exist, we can compare ourselves to that past and see how much we've lost. Yes, even after accounting for the Funhouse Mirror Effect that popular media imposes upon us, this remains true.

As my professors would often say, "The past in a foreign country." and this is one of the reasons why. I won't get into the hows and whys behind the change--that's for Empires--but the fact remains that it is gone, willfully destroyed, and replaced with the venal mess of a non-culture we have today.

Look at what we've lost. We've got a long way to go to get it back.

Monday, September 11, 2017

It Won't Go On Forever

I had my say on today's anniversary yesterday at Empire Must Fall, so I will not repeat myself here. Similarly, the many tributes to the late Dr. Jerry Pournelle have been quite moving. If you haven't seen any, start with Superversive's and branch out from there.

Together, what I'm getting at here today is that everything about Man and Civilization is not to be taken lightly- or for granted. It can all be gone in an instant, and that is because Civilization--being the result of Man's use and cultivation of tools and the knowledge thereof--is a machine. Like all machines, all tools, it must be maintained if it is to performance as desired. That means that the knowledge behind the tools has to be passed on properly.

We are not doing that now. Too few comprehend properly what is necessary for Civilization to exist and function as intended, and too few possess this knowledge and wisdom because our predecessors have not seen fit to maintain the most fundamental function of the very machine that is Civilization: the deliberate yoking of Adversity to harden the succeeding generations and prepare them to receive this very wisdom necessary to sustain Civilization.

In short, every generation has to ensure that their successors have skin in the game. We are NOT doing that, have not since at least the second World War, and we are now suffering the consequences of those derelictions of duty. All of the dys-civic problems we face not only in the West proper, but in globally-extended Western Civilization, stems from this abandonment of ensuring that those who come after us have a stake in maintaining this Civilization as we received it from our predecessors.

It is NOT theirs, so they don't care about it. Until they do, the problem will persist. It's that simple.

Which is why fixing it will be a pain in the ass. The government mechanisms put in place to protect people from their own stupidity, or that of their parents--while well-intentioned--has had nothing but deleterious effects and need to be demolished if Civilization is to endure. Why? Because those same mechanisms impose a mentality of a child, and children have no stake in the matter so they cannot even begin to think in the long terms necessary for Civilization to function as intended.

In short: Progressivism Was a Mistake.

And yes, what we're getting now--the SJWs, the terrorism, the Muslim invasions, the perpetual wars perpetually pissed up, the cultural degradation, the hatred of Christianity--all stems from that rotten root. It's the results of Rabbit-think, and it will stop one way or the other. Either it ends with the barbarians ransacking a ruined Civilization, or it ends with hard--but civilized--men doing what is required to burn out the rot and restore the engine of Civilization to proper function.

For my part, I'm ready for the helicopter rides.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Cuphead Incident: A Narrative Warfare Slipup

As I write this post, I'm listening to the latest episode of the Metro City Boys podcast. Right now, Oliver Campbell leads the boys on the topic of failure and building your way iteratively to success via mastery. This, for those not following the stupidity of the Fake Journalists lying about videogames, is about Dean Takahasi's shameful display of gross incompetence when he utterly failed to pass the tutorial of a fantastic independent game called "Cuphead"

The immediate Narrative shift was to harp on "skill shaming" (That is not a thing!) instead of putting on one's man-pants, admitting that you suck, and Git Fucking Good. Not that many of us didn't see that shift coming, as this is the second high-profile display of Fake Journo failure at the most fundamental skill of the job: not being ass at videogames. Remember that ridiculous video of the Fake Journalist failing to play 2016's DOOM? This is the same basic thing, only more shameful.

We're not asking for EVO-level skills. We're asking for sufficient familiarity that the reviewer can actually play the game as intended. That is what is lacking here. Yet the reaction is to lie, double-down, and project like a whiny bitch caught being bad at what he's said he's good at doing. Why?

Because this is a threat to the Narrative. Specifically, what Frame Game Radio points out as a critical component: the frame that journalists are the arbiters of truth. If people come to challenge that frame, they will begin to reject it more and more; rejecting that frame rejects the authority created by that frame, and therefore the power that authority confers. By means of fraud, the Fakes make war upon the population with the aim to rule over them.

And that's why you got to hammer these fakes. They're lying to maintain a frame of perspective that isn't any good for you, and nothing but a racket for them. The sooner these crooks get wrecked and replaced by truth-tellers, the better we'll all be.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

My Life in Fandom: Gundam Wing in HD, Now Online Free & Legal

Fellow Gundam fans, are you aware that the Gundam Official channel on YouTube started uploading the HD remaster of Gundam Wing? Do you miss your Boy Band Badasses and their Gaudy Gundam Goodiness? Do you miss one of the most Bright-Slap faces outside of the Universal Century timeline? (Relina, that means you.) Do you miss the brilliant magnificence that is Trieze Khrusrenada? Well wait no more! Here, for your convenience, is the lesser of the two Gundam shows released in 1995, now in glorious High Definition:

As of this post, there are only six episodes in the Playlist and they're adding three more a week. Once you're finished with the Universal Century shows and Iron-Blooded Orphans, come see what actually got briefly popular in North America due to airing on Toonami about 10 years ago- just before the anime crash. Yes, Endless Waltz is in there somewhere. Yes, this can be blamed (fairly or not) for the pretty boys of SEED/Age/00. Yes, this series would be improved with liberal employment of Bright Slaps.

But it had some good mecha designs, so I don't mind watching it again. Also, Treize's ranting against Mobile Dolls was prescient about today's talk about automating warfare and its ability to enable the feckless and cowardly to establish and sustain tyranny and despotism. That means that, for all its faults, this truly was a Gundam series that had something to think about for its audience- and done better than a lot of others approaching the subject.

Oh, and the OPs by TWO-MIX remain catchy fun songs- something else most Gundam shows lack.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Ahoy Presents: POLYBIUS - The Video Game That Doesn't Exist

My man Ahoy finally has a new video. It's long, but you know he's worth the time. Set your DVR and watch this first.

This is the Ahoy you've come to expect and love. Videos with fantastic voiceover, well-researched, well-presented, and full of fantastic video editing that makes all of it come together as if done by Kurosawa or Miyazaki. If you are not subscribed to him on YouTube, you are wrong and you need to fix that mistake right now.

And this video delivers. Welcome back Ahoy! We missed you.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Reflecting on Year Two of the Blog: Part One

With the passing of Labor Day in the United States, the Summer season has ended in all but name. (That comes in a few weeks, when the weatherman on the TV proclaims that Fall arrives.) Public and private schools at all levels are back in session, Summer seasonal business are either shutting down or changing over to Fall business activities, and the major Summer events are all over now. (Well, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival is still ongoing until the end of the month, but I haven't been out there in 15 years. Not that I expect much other than the site itself to be different.)

All of the major gaming conventions are over. All of the major fan conventions are over, with Dragon Con being the bookend. What we have now is the lull before the brief blip of Halloween and the launch of Holiday Oscar Bait Season (and the family-friendly holiday blockbusters). The next Thor movie and the next Star Wars film come out in November and December (respectively). There's nothing but fail on television anymore, so that's not even a concern.

In short, for a lot of us it's the Dull Time. This is the time to clear out the backlog of books to read, games to play, stuff to watch, etc. that we didn't get to previously. It's also time to review what's gone by, see what worked, see what didn't, and make changes accordingly to improve performance going forward. The transition in preparation for Winter is a perfect opportunity to wind down major operations, assess results, and prepare for the next big launch (traditionally in the Spring).

In short, take this time to breathe.

This month is the end of the blogging year for me. I launched this blog--and my daily blogging habit--on October 1st of 2015, days before my birthday--and this natural turn of seasons ties well into my own annual end-of-year wind-down. I'll take my own advice, look back on the year's performance, and see where I can make improvements going into Year Three.

I know that, soon, I'm going to need to ask for help. Some of the things privately inquired about can't be done with the seven-year-old laptop I currently use for all my computing needs. I don't need a $5K beast like Totalbiscuit does, but for some of the things I'm looking at doing (e.g. livestreaming at Twitch) I will need more than this potato; something like this is what I think I need (I could be wrong.) and will last for five or six years. (Side note: Anyone wanting me to play PS4 or Switch stuff with them, go here or here and call it a birthday gift.)

I'll follow this up next week with more concrete details. Throw any suggestions in the Comments below.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Transmedia Fail: The Phasma Tie-In Targets the Wrong Audience

This bullshit comes over my Twitter feed today:

Some dumb motherfucker at Lucasfilm got the bright idea that they can use tie-in products to shore up bad characters in the feature films, and the current buzzword to justify this is "transmedia". Since the man who founded the company that pioneered the practice was a mentor to me when he was a young man at Palladium Books and I was a punk kid in high school, I have good reason to trust his judgement on what works here:

"Transmedia storytelling, according to Gomez, is the process of conveying messages, themes or story lines to a mass audience through the artful and well-planned use of multiple media platforms. It is both a technique and philosophy of communications and brand extension that enriches and broadens the lifecycle of creative content."

That Phasma tie-in? That's ass-covering using transmedia as a cover. Much like a lot of stuff about Rey never got into the film, and therefore does not count, so it does not matter the Lucasfilm crew are doing the same thing here- and for the same reason. It got out that Phasma, like Rey, is an unlikeable cypher--a nothinburger on shit shingles--so this is narrative damage control. It won't work for the same reason most incompetent goes at transmedia don't work.

Normies don't go outside the films.

"But in the novels-"

Not in the films. DOES. NOT. EXIST. The Wachowski Brothers found this out the hardway when the videogame tie-in to the first sequel got completely ignored (mainly for being sucktastic) and therefore no one knew or cared why Morphius ex-GF and her crew were there to save his ass during the highway chase. Normies don't do tie-ins. They don't do transmedia..

So who in the hell is Lucasfilm fooling here? The audience seeing the next film will not read this book. The attempt to fix Phasma as a character is wasted here because the people Lucasfilm wants to see it won't, so any knock-on effects on her screentime in The Last Jedi risk being completely dissonant and thus risk damaging the sequel trilogy further than has already occurred.

The target for Star Wars is the massive normie feature film audience. They're there for what that medium offers, and that's it; the merch you sell is the wearables--clothes, etc.--and toys to their kids. Not books. Not comics. Not even games, really; gamers (video and tabletop) are distinct subset of the real audience and always have been. You got a problem with a character in the films? You fix it in the films! Not in tie-ins of any kind, because your audience does not go there.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Narrative Warfare In Action: How SJWs Keep Normies on the Reservation

Over at the Goolag Plus, I caught a post by a normie who saw this video on YouTube:

The normie, being a tabletop RPG gamer, posts honestly about his concerns. The SJWs in tabletop RPGs immediately fall on the post and try to keep him on the reservation by pushing The Narrative good and hard.

This was no subtle use of Rhetoric. No sly implications. Nothing slick at all. It's brute-force blame-and-shame Narrative Warfare, right up to one of the worst of the lot--Cam Banks--flat out saying "Everything is Political" in utter sincerity. These are the grunts of the SJW Death Cult doing their club-over-the-head technique of Narrative enforcement on normies.

Note the normie's wish to just leave him and his hobby alone, to play his elf games in peace and leave politics out of it- something that the SJWs immediately attack and shame him for. They saw a Narrative threat, and they swarmed to crush it good and hard.

Note the flat-out lying going on in that thread, and the utter cluelessness of the SJWs doing the grunt-level bitchwork here. This is why they fear normies getting red-pilled; they know they can't keep people on the reservation once they see the Narrative for the fraud that it is.

And that is what SJWs push: a fraud. SJWs always lie. They lie to push an agenda, which is the definition of fraud. Fraud is a criminal offense, and we all know what to do with criminals now, don't we? Pay attention, people, because that's how everyday Narrative enforcement occurs.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Razorfist on Harmony Gold Going After Harebrained Schemes

If you're a BattleTech or a Macross fan, then you are well acquainted with Harmony Gold (of Robotech infamy) and how they single-handedly keep all things Macross out of North America (with a few exceptions such as Macross Plus). Guess who's back to fuck with another offering yet again?

Fuck Harmony Gold, sideways, with a Zentran-sized shovel covered in giant-sized shit and burrs. It's because of them that we never got commercial releases for a lot of merchandise related to the three series comprising Robotech or BattleTech. Forcing a lot of fans, like Legend of the Galactic Heroes fans, to go to grey sites or not-so-hidden playlists at Dailymotion or YouTube to watch them by doing so soured a lot of North American fans on the company.

And no, the legal justifications are Patent Troll levels of fucking retarded, as the video gets into. I concur with the man: fuck them, lawyer up, and ream Harmony Gold a new asshole in court. No retreat, no surrender, no mercy.

If any other firm with reason to fuck over Harmony Gold can aide Harebrained Schemes, get on the hotline right now and make it so.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Gaming History: Jon Peterson's "A History of D&D In 12 Treasures"

This video needs to get passed around Gamerland more. Also, Jon Peterson needs to talk more about what he did with Playing at the World. Folks ought to know how this gaming thing started, no matter if you're a tabletop titan or videogame virtuoso.

It's a shame that the man doesn't do more videos. There's only three on his YouTube channel; I wouldn't mind seeing a few more.

I won't recommend the aforementioned book to everyone. It's an academic work, thick like HERO 5th Edition, and not light reading. I'm also a historian, so I can dig this, but most gamers aren't; this is by far a better way to get this sort of information across, and man does it show just how different RPGs really are than most people today think that they are.

Side Note: Did you catch the bit about how player and character weren't separate and distinct for quite some time? We've long since gone full circle, once the fork in RPGs that lead to their videogame counterparts gets accounted for, especially in MMORPGs where Mech Piloting (as I call it) has long since been the norm (and thus easily facilitates such lack of distinction).

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Razorfist Pitches a Daredevil Game (Or "How To Give Value")

Never let it said that Razorfist didn't try to do something useful to improve the things he loves. Below, we see him try to find a way to get Daredevil and videogames together to make some sweet, sweet ludological lovechild. This is the archive of his livestream from the night before, so don't sit through it unless you've got nothing else to do, but it was worth attending live- try to do so.

That was over two hours of brilliance that anyone can do. While he entertains an audience by playing a game, he takes questions from said audience (who are live in the adjacent chatroom that the video does not show you), he brings in some revenue by taking donations from said audience, and he lays out his take on how a Daredevil game ought to go.

It's the first and the last part that's most useful, and because of that he is able to make taking questions something other than a shitshow dominated by trolls and garner the respect sufficient to make it cool to give him money. Folks do like to watch others play games, and folks like to talk about trying to make games, so when you seem to know what you're doing/talking about that gives others the impression that you're someone to listen to- even heed. That's because they see value in what you're giving to them.

Keep at that long enough, consistently enough, and you get a regular audience willing and able to earnestly and honestly ask you questions while you're live. Keep at it longer, and they'll give you money to help you keep the value coming. This is all about that "building an audience" thing that entertainers--and that is what you're doing here--talk about now and again. Your brand depends upon your authenticity (which is why "selling out" is a crime), and your value is what builds your authenticity.

And that, folks, is why chicks who trade on their tits to make it as a livestreamer rarely make it to the top. Fake Gamers.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Razorfist Concludes Mad Max Month: Fury Road Follies

Razorfist finished Mad Max Month with the last one, Fury Road. It get complicated.

I said that it gets complicated, but I mean that it gets more plotholes than a block of Swiss cheese. Razorfist loves the film, despite its deep and abiding flaws. I do not. However, it's clear the George Millar lost his mojo by this time and it shows on the screen. There's a reason for that: Mad Max is an extraneous character in his own film. There is nothing about this story, this plot, or any other part of this narrative that requires Max to be there to make it work. Furiosa could've--and should have--done it all herself. The film would have been a better, stronger, story had Millar had the balls to cut Max out entirely.

Which leads me to my chief objection: George Millar lied to me. He sold me a Mad Max film, and did not deliver. Bad as Thunderdome is, at least Max is a critical part of that trainwreck. The first is all about Max, and the second has Max as the catalyst that sets off the narrative and drives it forward. Even the game is all about Max. This film? He's a cypher, a nobody, without whom not one part of the actual story, beat for beat, changes. That's why it feels like sanctioned fan-fic (which is the most damning thing I can say, given that the creator helmed this film).

"Sanctioned fan-fic" cannot be tolerated as commercial products from IP holders. Like SJW Convergence, it does nothing but weaken the value of the IP and the reputation of the brand associated with it, and continued for too long it will lead to its collapse and fall into oblivion as the audience--repelled by the drop in quality--return the betrayal of expectations with mockery and abandonment. It has to be punished early, punished often, and punished severely if those who value the property wish it to endure, thrive, and continue to hold its value generations after its creation. The sake of our culture demands that this duty be done.