I’m going to be straight with you. The few days following the post announcing Kotaku’s nominees for their Sunday comic feature was a harrowing time. That Kotaku commenters are a tough audience is a gross understatement. They are a crowd of robot rotten vegetable tossers that are stuck in rapid fire mode. Even those with positive remarks in one hand heaped criticism in the other. And even the eventual victor in the contest alluded to the brutality of the comments on his Twitter. We laugh about it. We joke. We die a little inside.
The number one comment we received, by which I mean the one most mentioned as opposed to most insightful, was that we are a lot like Penny Arcade. One person even went so far as to provide a list of “Penny Arcade Clones”, to which several other comics also were ascribed. Quite frankly, I find it flattering that people noticed. Penny Arcade is an extremely successful webcomic, so adopting a number of their basic principles of comic creation was an obvious choice.
The comic today is part of a running gag I have been trying on Ryan, in which I attempt to replace him with various means. When I used Paint to construct a very ugly Pokemon AR Marker, I informed him that I would be creating comics using the black and white symbols for every panel. I made the same comment when, based on his instruction, I drew an extraordinarily mediocre Winnie the Pooh. It’s very easy to draw cartoons when someone tells you exactly where to put every damn line. My freehand work is not nearly as recognizable.
Dan and I are still playing Dark Age of Camelot on Uthgard, but somewhere along the way he convinced me to try out another MMO, in spite of my strict rule against them. In this case I am referring to only the first ten levels of another somewhat old MMO, Warhammer Online. The game is completely open and free up until level 10 forever and ever. Reportedly the level 10 PvP zone (the place in which you kill other player characters) is a lot of fun. And since we are only playing till level 10, we have no need to worry about grinding for levels or money to buy the best armor. They created such a complete and fun demo that they effectively negated the need to pay for the game. It is free to play in a sense which the creators did not originally intend and which benefits the players significantly. Even the single player quest portions are fairly enjoyable, and the game on a whole has more than decent graphics. The general feel is somewhere between the bright fantastical colors of Warcraft and the starker realism of colors in Dark Age.
While at the Javaone conference in San Francisco, I encountered a girl from League of Legends developer Riot Games, who gave me a $5 credit to their game. She was there recruiting Java developers, but that was not my real interest (at least not yet anyway). I have been considering trying that game for a while, having heard its praises sung from a couple of sources. I have been concerned that the purchases would impact game balance, effectively forcing me to spend a ton of money on it. The Riot Games girl assured me that this is not the case, but it wouldn’t be the first time a developer lied to me. A Nexon producer once told me the same thing. Since I am breaking my rule against MMOs all over the place, I may as well get on it before the $5 credit coupon expires.