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# Penny Arcade Releases Episodic PC Game

#### timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the your-large-eyed-tolerance-may-vary dept.

78

CyDharttha writes "Greenhouse Interactive on Wednesday released a RPG titled 'On the Rain-slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode One.' The title is available on Linux, Mac, and Windows platforms, as well as XBox Live Arcade. A quick look at the game shows it promises the same great humor frequently displayed at Penny Arcade, and with the help of Hothead Games, intriguing graphics, sound, dialog and game play. Demo and purchase is available online now."

### Let me be the first to say... (4, Funny)

#### XenoPhage (242134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504434)

I, for one, welcome our new steampunk, FruitFucker overlords

### Re:Let me be the first to say... (-1)

#### kb (43460) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504880)

In Soviet Russia, fruit fucks YOU!

Apart from that I found it hilarious how almost every review I've read tried to circumnavigate having to speak out that name. :)

FP !!!!!

Epic Fail.

### And yes, it runs on Linux... (4, Informative)

#### Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504510)

Despite their past [penny-arcade.com] ambivalence [penny-arcade.com] to the OS and its partisans.

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (2, Interesting)

#### Talonius (97106) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504638)

Not just Linux; it runs on 64 bit Linux. Friend of mine ran it on Ubuntu 64 bit with no issues. (Well, other than he now wants a fruit fucker of his own. Whyfor? Er, I can guess, but I didn't ask..)

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (1, Informative)

#### RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505662)

32 bit Linux apps run on Linux 64 anyway as long as either the dependencies are packaged (what happens with most games) or installed in 32 bit form (that comes down to your package manager, but most modern distros dont have problems with sorting this out)

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (3, Informative)

#### MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504740)

For those that care, it's also on Mac :).

The game had a simultaneous online release for: PC, Mac, Linux, and Xbox 360.

That's some nice cross-platform support.

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (5, Informative)

#### XenoPhage (242134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504900)

The game had a simultaneous online release for: PC, Mac, Linux, and Xbox 360.
Not only that, they also support using the same unlock key on all three platforms, for the same person. THAT is just awesome..

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (1)

#### illumin8 (148082) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505248)

The game had a simultaneous online release for: PC, Mac, Linux, and Xbox 360.

Not only that, they also support using the same unlock key on all three platforms, for the same person. THAT is just awesome..
The game is released on 4 platforms not 3. I suppose your unlock key will work on the 3 PC platforms (Mac, Linux, Windows), but not on Xbox360?

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (2, Interesting)

#### MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23506408)

From what I noticed the XBLA arcade version is unlocked through the XBLA store, not through a key-code, so I think it would be exception where it is activated separately from the computer versions.

I played the demo on the 360 last night, and decided I'd purchase it, but I'm still not sure for which platform. I think I'll probably go with the 360 in the end though.

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (2, Informative)

#### SoulMan007 (1136759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23509412)

Correct. Only the 'PC' versions share an unlock key. The XBox version is separate.

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (1)

#### XenoPhage (242134) | more than 6 years ago | (#23510712)

The game is released on 4 platforms not 3. I suppose your unlock key will work on the 3 PC platforms (Mac, Linux, Windows), but not on Xbox360?
True.. I realized that, but had already submitted my comment. I'll have to contact this guy [slashdot.org] and have him teach me how to edit... :)

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23508416)

THAT is just awesome..

No, no... Stuponfuscious.

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (1, Interesting)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23551237)

Don't thank them, thank GarageGames. They developed the game using Torque, which is set up to be instantly ported to any of those platforms regardless of which one it was developed on.

### Re:And yes, it runs on Linux... (1)

#### The_Noid (28819) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505896)

Even better, the recognise a Linux machine as a Personal Computer!
From the about page:

Anyone with a PC (running LinuxÂ®, WindowsÂ® XP or Windows Vistaâ)
Now people only need to see that a Mac is also a Personal Computer ;)

### And yes, it runs on Linux... and Mac (4, Informative)

#### Kimos (859729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504802)

Despite their past [penny-arcade.com] ambivalence [penny-arcade.com] to the OS and its partisans.
And Mac [penny-arcade.com] , but that's not as much of a surprise.

### Re:It's great, if you enjoy their humor. (4, Informative)

#### Kimos (859729) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504870)

I have fundamental issues with the authorization that's required for the license - see Bioware/Mass Effect - but at least it's only one time, and it doesn't appear to be tied to your hardware. (A post on the official forums said someone could use their license key on their laptop and their desktop, different operating systems, with no problem.)
I emailed tech support about this. My Linux system is (clearly) not spec-ed for games. They let me know that I could use my same license key to activate the Mac version on my laptop. No hardware fingerprinting. No license limits. I can live with a system like that.

### authorization? No thanks. (1)

#### Snaller (147050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515922)

I'll wait for the crack.

### The demo entertained me. (3, Interesting)

#### cowscows (103644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504702)

I played through the demo last night, and was reasonably well entertained. The artwork is very well stylized in a way that reminds you of the comic, and I think it works pretty well. The art style works really well with the type of mood that they're trying to create in the game, and the narration worked well too.

Combat in the game is a strange mix of turn-based and sort of real-time clicking, it was different from anything I've played before but I don't have that much experience with those sorts of games. The demo didn't have enough combat for me to become comfortable with the combat system, so I can't give a complete opinion, but it seems like it works well enough.

If you've read penny arcade over the years, the notion of a character that you created (and which most likely you identify as yourself for the purpose of the game) interacting with characters that you've been watching for years is pretty neat.

I'll probably buy the game after next week when I'm done with a crunch at work. It's certainly worth at least downloading the demo. I don't think it's the type of game that will appeal to everyone just because of the gameplay, but for what it is it appears to be carefully crafted and generally high quality. Certainly not a cheap cash-in of their PA brand or anything like that.

### Re:The demo entertained me. (3, Interesting)

#### Narpak (961733) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505460)

Great fun, if a bit too short. Personally I would have wished for more complex gameplay when it came to clues (like in Discworld Noir if anyone have tried that). Looking for clues and combining them in various ways to advance the case. Of course that's just me. However, if the developers see a steady inflow of cash from this game and upcoming episodes then it stands to reason that the amount of content should increase (one would hope). Especially seeing as they now have an existing engine/platform for witch to great new modules.

That being said I found the game witty and highly entertaining; with very few drawbacks. Though on notable drawback for me was the fact that each time you traveled to Pelican Bay you got to hear the same piece of music; and that got annoying fairly quick.

### Linux + Sound = BAD! (3, Informative)

#### revengebomber (1080189) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504770)

If you're going for the Linux version, be sure to test out the demo. I had to run it through aoss to make it work.

### Re:Linux + Sound = BAD! (4, Informative)

#### Chuckaluphagus (111487) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504982)

The technical support forums for the game clearly show some people having sound issues on Linux, but I managed to get away clean.

For reference, I'm running Ubuntu 8.04 with PulseAudio on an AMD X2 using whatever integrated sound (Realtek, I think) is built into the motherboard. Sound works perfectly well, no stuttering, no lag.

### Re:Linux + Sound = BAD! (1)

#### pfrCalif (819380) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504984)

Surprisingly, I had no problems running it on a AMD64 / Ubuntu Hardy Heron multi-screen setup. (Usually 32-bit apps need some futzing around to make it work)

### Re:Linux + Sound = BAD! (2, Interesting)

#### MarcoG42 (1087205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505144)

Yeah, I had some sound stuttering problems and freezing. I enabled hardware acceleration for sound in the in-game menu and the problems disappeared. Ubuntu 8.04/AMD64, here. Realtek onboard audio, but not sure which drivers it's using.

### Re:Linux + Sound = BAD! (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23505872)

Care to mention what distro? Worked fine for me through Slackware.

### Re:Linux + Sound = BAD! (1)

#### bmorency (1221186) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507656)

I downloaded the linux version also and when I load the game I get an error saying the sound system cannot find an audio driver on my system even though I have sound in other applications. I am running kubuntu 8.04.

### Re:Linux + Sound = BAD! (1)

#### DRobson (835318) | more than 6 years ago | (#23512694)

It's a known problem for some people, experienced it myself. Try closing all other applications that could possibly have the audio device open. Failing that, try logging out then back in again and running it first up (essentially just ensures you dont have audio device tied up). I run into this problem with a few other applications, so it's not unique to the game.

### Re:Linux + Sound = BAD! (1)

#### roystgnr (4015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23513304)

Try closing all other applications that could possibly have the audio device open.

Running "lsof | grep dsp" and "lsof | grep snd" as root is a good way to find out which applications those are.

I'm surprised that a program written in 2008 doesn't support ALSA, but there you go. I had to close up firefox (because of Flash) before the sound device was freed up.

Not to lay blame solely on the game writers. I'm also surprised that a sound driver for modern hardware doesn't support kernel-level mixing. Yes, I know my motherboard sound chipset doesn't support hardware channel mixing; that doesn't mean you can't do a better job of faking it.

### Re:Linux + Sound = BAD! (1)

#### HAKdragon (193605) | more than 5 years ago | (#23536535)

I'm surprised that a program written in 2008 doesn't support ALSA, but there you go.

If I have RhythmBox open (not even playing music), VLC will refuse to play back any sound. (This is using ALSA on Ubuntu 8.04 btw.)

### That's at least fixable (1)

#### roystgnr (4015) | more than 6 years ago | (#23546847)

"Doesn't support ALSA unless you tweak the configuration first" still sucks, don't get me wrong, but it's at least an improvement over "Doesn't support ALSA at all". On Fedora 8, rhythmbox seems to use Alsa by default for me, and VLC tries "Pulse Audio" then falls back automatically to Alsa when it finds I don't have the former configured... but I had to set up Alsa by hand to make it default to software mixing, even though that's supposed to be the default behavior now when hardware mixing isn't available. If it doesn't work automatically for you either, you might Google "alsa dmix ubuntu" and see what you can find. Finding and copying a working asound.conf file is annoying but not very time consuming.

### Well worth it (1)

#### Evangelion (2145) | more than 6 years ago | (#23504834)

Grabbed this last night on my Mac.

Gameplay Notes: I kind of wish there was a way to use keyboard/gamepad controls on the computer versions, as there are no real control options. I can deal with the mouse, but my only real complaint is that it feels laggy during gameplay. I tried going back to a wired mouse and ditching my bluetooth, but the lag was still there. I might try out the wacom tablet to see if playing on that reduces the lag or not.

Aside from the niggling control issues, everything about the game is spot on. Anything I say about it would just sound like I'm sucking their cock, so I'll just not bother. It's *definitely* a game for PA Fans, probably the ultimate in fan service (well, okay, maybe the massive party every summer is the ultimate in fan service, but this is certainly up there).

The score would be 10 - \epsilon / 10, only because of the control issues.

### Played the demo, bought game. (4, Interesting)

#### MarcoG42 (1087205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505028)

I'm a big fan of PA, and aside from the page hits, and occasional ad click, I really haven't had much of a chance to support them. I'm not big enough of a gamer to roll out wearing shirts with D20 or WoW references on them. I probably would have bought this game even if it were merely mediocre, but it's actually very entertaining. I just bought the full version, and won't be able to play it until I get home, but there were several laugh out loud moments in the demo, which is seems very promising to me.

I'm also very, very pleased with their decision to fully support Linux. There were a few hiccups to start off, but after changing some basic settings in the in-game menu the game ran smoothly. Their forums offer support for every OS and the HotHead staff, for the time being, seem to be on the ball with answering support questions. I give PA two thumbs up and three cheers for their efforts. I will definitely be purchasing the next installments, no questions asked.

### Re:Played the demo, bought game. (4, Informative)

#### illegalcortex (1007791) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505152)

You might also consider their books. They have commentary on every strip which is very entertaining and sometimes illuminating. It's also fun to just sit down and read instead of having to start at the old computer.

### Re:Played the demo, bought game. (1)

#### MarcoG42 (1087205) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505224)

Thanks. I had considered buying the books, but then wondered what, other than having a hard copy, would make it worth the buy if I can just look at them online. Bird are Weird!, here I come!

### XBLA edition (2, Interesting)

#### sgt.greywar (1039430) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505124)

I downloaded the game on XBLA and am thoroughly impressed. This is the quality level thaat XBLA needs more of!

### Played about 25 minutes of the demo last night (1)

#### karnal (22275) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505134)

I saw that this was released on their website - and to be honest, didn't know it was out for PC and Xbox360. I knew there was the Xbox version, but anyways... I downloaded the dmo and played it for a little bit.

It seems like there are a lot of inventory items that I picked up that I just don't remember what they all do. My mind kind of gets messy like that in Final Fantasy games too, so I guess I shouldn't let that get me down. However, the game seems pretty solid. Running at 1680x1050 gets a little stuttery on a 8800gt 512mb / core2duo 6600, oddly enough, but it doesn't detract from the game (mostly when cutscenes do full screen motion, like the intro.)

I must say I will probably buy this game, if only because of the humor involved. Normally this isn't my kind of game, but if you appreciate the humor that Penny Arcade puts into their comics, you'll be laughing as you play this game. Especially when you throw an orange to the FFrs. If there's more than one, while the one "hits it" the other one says something like "let me hit that" :)

### I agree with the game (no spoilers) (1)

#### zsouthboy (1136757) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505442)

Wagons really *are* "useful as fuck".

### Torrents Here (4, Informative)

#### corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23505644)

Here are the torrents for the Windows [thepiratebay.org] and Linux [thepiratebay.org] versions of the demo.

### Re:Torrents Here (2, Informative)

#### gknoy (899301) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507362)

I was going to rant about posting a torrent to a crack of the game, and how it was nothing but contemptible to do so.

HOWEVER -- this isn't that. (thank god for checking the torrent link before I posted! :)) It's a torrent of the demo, apparently the same as you can download from their website. Kudos to you for posting that, then. =)

### Re:Torrents Here (1)

#### corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507416)

Yeah, if it was a torrent of a crack, that wouldn't be good.

I am kind of surprised they just posted a link to a 200MB file without having a torrent version be an option.

I didn't see a torrent of the MacOS version of the demo.

### Re:Torrents Here (1)

#### Leto-II (1509) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507946)

I just downloaded the demo at over 4 megabytes/second (yah, MB not Mb) so I don't think they are lacking bandwidth.

### Re:Torrents Here (1)

#### Rallion (711805) | more than 6 years ago | (#23533875)

That may be, but on release day, 6AM, I was pulling about 6KB/s from their servers. I was real glad for the torrent links on the forums that let me download the whole thing in about 8 minutes. An 'official' torrent probably wouldn't have been a terrible idea.

Still, for Greenhouse's very first game, it wasn't bad. Apparently it was only that slow for a very short period of time.

### Re:Torrents Here (1)

#### Kalak (260968) | more than 6 years ago | (#23553639)

I just downloaded the demo at over 4 megabytes/second (yah, MB not Mb) so I don't think they are lacking bandwidth.
That depends on your location and congestion between you and their servers. Work pulled this down at about 1MB/sec, but home was a measly 22kb/sec. This is where a torrent helps, especially for legal files. A peer that is closer to my ISP would add to the speed.

### Re:Torrents Here (1)

#### TheFrunk (1096377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507596)

Really? What happens if a key is suddenly posted in the comments section? I hope someone at Hothead is looking out for warez'd keys.

### Re:Torrents Here (1)

#### zoward (188110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23516878)

Really? What happens if a key is suddenly posted in the comments section? I hope someone at Hothead is looking out for warez'd keys.

According to their website, a key is good for up to three registrations, so a warez'd key is going to become useless very quickly.

### Re:Torrents Here (1)

#### TheFrunk (1096377) | more than 6 years ago | (#23519660)

don't worry, they've already posted a crack, still vindicating my feelings on how posting torrent links to shit that's already available easily is a STUPID IDEA.

### Re:Torrents Here (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23507534)

ekdikeo at 2008-05-22 11:33 CET: anyone run across a key yet?
Oh yeah, linking to that was a GOOD IDEA, champ.

### Re:Torrents Here (1)

#### mqduck (232646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23511326)

udp://tpb.tracker.thepiratebay.org:80/announce
http://tpb.tracker.thepiratebay.org/announce [thepiratebay.org]

http://tracker.ip-cloak.com/announce [ip-cloak.com]

http://track.sextorrent.to:2710/announce [sextorrent.to]

http://tk.comicat.com/announce [comicat.com]

http://tpb.tracker.prq.to/announce [tracker.prq.to]

http://eztv.tracker.thepiratebay.org/announce [thepiratebay.org]

http://tracker.bitnova.info:6969/announce [bitnova.info]

### activation (-1)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23506234)

Too bad it uses an activation-based install which the FAQ already covers as having problems. No thanks.

### Innovative (2, Interesting)

#### Avatar8 (748465) | more than 6 years ago | (#23506284)

I find it fascinating that an online comic can bridge the gap to a game. Keeping the game episodic and using the original artwork keeps the comic feel.

I haven't followed PA consistently, so I don't have much of an opinion on their content. An online comic I think that would translate well to a game is Girl Genius (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/index.php). Heck, I think that whole universe would translate well to a MMO, though the female characters wouldn't be able to see the ground or run without toppling over. :-)

If this process is easily mass produced, I could see past and current comic books becoming games.

### Re:Innovative (1)

#### fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#23510064)

Coincidentally, the noir style and mechanical old-fashioned setting in this PA game reminds me very much of Girl Genius, even though the usual setting of the comics is more real life-ish.

### Re:Innovative (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23514388)

An online comic I think that would translate well to a game is Girl Genius
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girl_Genius:_The_Works

### Blocks/Counterattacks (1)

#### Alari (181784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507594)

I love the concept of a block/counterattack system (a 'perfect' block takes no damage AND performs a counterattack) - it just seems like I've never counterattacked except by accident. When I *try* I usually miss, and mashing the spacebar randomly isn't working as well as it did in the beginning. ^.^; Does anyone have any tips/suggestions on how to block effectively?

### Re:Blocks/Counterattacks (2, Informative)

#### CrashPoint (564165) | more than 6 years ago | (#23510158)

The tutorial help mentions it only fleetingly, but the enemy's lifebar flashes right at the moment you need to block. If you hit the block button quickly enough after that (I'd guess 1/10th of a second leeway), you'll get a counterattack.

I also found it a little easier to start by holding the button partially down, then complete the press on cue. But that was on the 360 using the triggers; it might not work as well on a keyboard.

### No PSN version :( (1)

#### king-manic (409855) | more than 6 years ago | (#23507908)

Ahh well, PC/Linux version here I come...

### Re:No PSN version :( (1)

#### Pazy (1169639) | more than 6 years ago | (#23513218)

They adressed this before, not that I can remember it word for word. They were saying they would bring the game anywhere where there was a full develpment version of the tourque engine but unfortunately PSN dosent have one. Too bad PS owners, maybe it works on PS3Linux install :P

### Fun, Games, Murder (1)

#### ShadowMarth (870657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23515894)

Well, I don't see anyone else here who actually bought the game yet, so I guess I'll comment on that! I've played through just about the full contents of the episode now, on the last boss (quite a difficult one, but I think I've got a handle on it, perhaps I'll beat it next time), and unlocked the highest weapons, killed all the robots, and am about through all the content. Took me about 6 hours, so the reviews were right on that note. The humor is about what you'd expect from PA (a very good thing, if you read the comics). There's an enormous amount of detail in the environments, particularly in the individual descriptions of every single little piece of refuse littering the town of New Arcadia. I recall hearing one of the duo lamenting about coming up with a unique description for each crab on the Boardwalk level, and indeed each one is unique, and quite clever. The combat system is nifty. Not certain I've ever come across anything quite like it. Simple, but very functional, and very fun. Character customization is lacking options, but considering how it integrates your choices into the animated cutscenes, it's still pretty impressive. The cutscenes are phenomenal, by the way. Lots of hidden little jokes in the dialog trees and descriptions. There isn't much voice acting (mostly just the narrator), but what there is is great, and I'm certainly not one to fault a game for making you use your imagination here and there. Overall, enjoyed it quite a lot thus far. There are two primary plots in this episode, one (involving mimes who have formed a cult following a dark god) which is resolved, and one (involving hobos and giant, evil, somewhat disturbing robots that PA fans will recognize as Fruit Fuckers) which carries over to the next episodes, I must assume. Can't wait for the next episode.

### Cartoony art (0)

#### Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23520788)

I can't wait until cartoony graphics become uncool, as they alone are enough to make me not want to buy/play a game. I can take 1980s, 1990s, and 2000 style of game graphics, but not this cartoon junk...

### Re:Cartoony art (1)

#### Ninja_Popsicle (1029246) | more than 6 years ago | (#23522802)

Indeed, how dare they make a game based on a comic actually look like a comic.

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