Friday, September 30, 2005

The people have spoken


52% of you like the manly sc33n-pwning "horizontal" layout for the strips. 41.7% of you prefer the dainty "vertical" layout. 6.3% of you have the artistic appreciation abilities of a partially-eaten turnip.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Vol. 3 - "Hooked" - Episode 2

Friday, September 23, 2005

Pwn the Vote!

Vote for your favorite comic strip format. I need to know. Nothing less than the fate of the children next episode is at stake! See the sidebar.

Update: Now that there's a new sidebar question, here's the original.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

What's this "One Shots" dealie?

Adventures with Play has become much more plot driven than I originally anticipated, so I thought I'd try making some extra-canonical strips that exist outside the main story arc. I also wanted to experiment with a simpler, vertical layout that isn't quite as scr33n pwning as the horizontal layout I was using before. That's the deal with the comic strip below.

For the record, this is a retelling of the first joke I ever heard in my life. I was five, and it was about Soviet Army generals, but, funnily enough, it still started with, "So a guy walks into a brains store..."

One Shots - 1

Monday, September 19, 2005

Vol. 3 - "Hooked" - Episode 1

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Those awkward teenage years

So I thought I'd try rolling a character on one of those new PVPRP servers that went live last week, just to see what a fresh economy looks like. Instead, I was reminded of what low-level characters look like. Here's my 12th level undead mage decked out in his "campy TV-show Robin got locked in the bat cave for 20 years" finery:



Red blouse, Speedos, knee-high boots and baby blue cape. I even managed to dress better in junior high school in real life. Just barely, but still.

Also, I'm not sure how well I'm going to adjust to having to roleplay on the public channels. Here's an excerpt:

[1. General] [Someguy1]: My fell brothers, where can I learn engineering and skinning?
[1. General] [Someguy2]: UC
[1. General] [Someguy1]: UC?
[1. General] [Me]: University of California
[1. General] [Someguy3]: Hey, that bastard's not roleplaying! Kill him!
[1. General] [Me]: err, um, i mean, braaaaaaains, braaaaaaains

Friday, September 16, 2005

For your reading pleasure

Like nursing a bottle of cheap Tijuana tequila, enjoying Adventures with Play is best done from beginning to end. That's why from now on, you'll be able to read a complete volume of strips in chronological order without any pesky intermediate clicking or commercial interruptions. Reading the strips like this will make you appreciate the nuanced interconnectivity of AwP's storytelling design. It'll also pwn ur scr33n real bad.

Here's the complete Volume 1
Here's the complete Volume 2

For future convenience, these links will also be available from the right hand navbar.

Volume 3, "Hooked" starts filming this weekend.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Vol. 2 - "Matters of the Heart and the Head" - Episode 5

Monday, September 12, 2005

Vol. 2 - "Matters of the Heart and the Head" - Episode 4

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Our Robot Overlords

Even though Adventures with Play the comic strip is set in the swords-and-sandals fantasy genre of World of Warcraft, Adventures with Play the website is all about fighting robots. Miserly ad robots determine how much money I earn from your eyeballs and clicky-fingers. Tireless index bots figure out if my site is worth finding on search engines. Graffiti-spraying spam bots slither through every cranny, seeking any opportunity to inform my readers about weight loss plans and anime porn. It doesn't even matter if AwP readers don't care about dieting, the spam bots are fighting the index bots and this humble site is just a tragic, pock-marked battlefield.

Of course the worst robots of all are the nefarious email harvesters. They skulk through every letter on this site looking to pluck an innocent email address from the text and sell its still-squirming soul to the spammers and the phishers and the IRS.

Some of these robots can be reasoned with, as long as you speak clearly and make no sudden movements. I posted a letter to the Google ad bots which seems to have been fairly effective. To see it, click on any of the comic strips to bring up the full-size version and scroll to the bottom of the page. Use this link if you're too lazy to scroll down to a comic. Cherish that laziness! To paraphrase my uncle, "You'll work when you're a robot!"

The spam bots and mail harvesters, however, must be fought tooth and nail. That's why you need to enter a captcha (or "word verification" as Yahoo calls it) to post a comment here, and why, if you want to email me, you'll have to use your human eyeballs and fingers and send mail to:



And if a robot ever asks to borrow your eyeballs, run.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Vol. 2 - "Matters of the Heart and the Head" - Episode 3

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Stinging Criticism

A fan writes about these strips:
why do so many people like these terrible unfunny pieces of crap? i mean if you actually drew it i could at least respect the effort put into it. but this just sucks

Touché! The reason that I don't actually draw the strips is pretty obvious. I can't actually draw. Here is how a classic Adventures with Play moment would have appeared had I tried to draw it:



I think we all agree that no one needs to see that. That's why I'm forced to use screenshots.

Likewise, I can't actually shoot magical missiles out of my hands, ride a purple-eyed warhorse through a plague-ravaged wilderness or turn angry people into sheep. That's why I'm forced to use a video game. I thought I did all three of those things in college, but I'm probably misremembering.

Thanks to everyone that helped with the shoot last night!

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fame

Hey, Blizzard put me on the front page of www.worldofwarcraft.com, in the Community Spotlight section. Unfortunately, they linked directly to a jpeg, so there's no easy way for clickers to get back here. Still, this started a lively discussion in the official forums, where I am currently being accused of having no talent. That's funny cause it's true!

I'll be shooting the exciting conclusion to volume 2 of the strip tonight, so if you want to be famous and have a character on the Alliance side of Uther, send me a tell at around 7 pm pacific time. You must be tall enough to get to the Eastern Plaguelands. Fame not guaranteed.


In biblical news, my Wacom tablet finally showed up so I'm now half as cool as Moses. What I lack in talent I make up for in unnecessary gadgets.

Vol. 2 - "Matters of the Heart and the Head" - Episode 2

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Attention to details

So I always thought that the quote was, "There but by the grace of god go I", but snooty know-it-all Google claims that it's, "There but for...", which is derived from the full quote, "There but for the grace of God goes John Bradford". Apparently this was uttered by a guy named John Bradford, which makes some sense. It's a good thing that I do such extensive historical research for the comic; misquoting John Bradford just won't do! Anyhoo, not only does "there but by" scan better than "there but for", it neatly sidesteps the klassic komedy pitfall, "What's a Butfor?" I would totally pwn Bradford in any quote-writing slam.

On related news: I've now made $2.18 from the ads on this site while spending $25 on a Flickr Pro subscription and $320 for a professional graphics tablet (that lasso tool doesn't lasso itself, you know!), so as you can see, I'm already ahead. The dotcom economy marches forward.

The next strip will be up tomorrow.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Alright

This photo-shrinking business has got to stop. The latest strip is neigh-unreadable on blogger. I'll have to investigate other options.

Update: The full-rez files are all linked through to Flickr now, which solves the problem for the time-being. Don't forget to view the images in full-rez (you might have to click on it once it loads to "zoom-in"). Remember our motto:

"These comix are large and will pwn your scr33n!"

Vol. 2 - "Matters of the Heart and the Head" - Episode 1

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Hero Class Secrets

The second volume of the comic - "Matters of the Heart and the Head" will start next week. Meanwhile, here's top-secret leaked information about the Hero Class system that Blizzard will be putting into World of Warcraft with the upcoming expansion pack. Many Bothans died to...err, wrong game.

Mage --> Super Water Boy
You can produce highly efficient mana regeneration water, but you have to drink a beer for every stack. Don't ask.

Hunter --> Wall Hugger
You can only travel while maintaining contact with a wall, but nothing will ever aggro on you. You gain a new ability, "Feign Combat" which makes your party members see you as fighting even though you've been sitting and drinking for the past 30 seconds. You can finally use training points to teach your pet bear to dance, which is useful when panhandling in Ironforge.

Rogue --> Ninja Looter
When in a group or raid, you get a five second head start to loot any freshly-killed mob. You are flagged for free-for-all PvP during this time.

Warrior --> Ultimate Tank
You draw all aggro in a fight and have 90% damage mitigation. However, you are unable to cause any damage and cannot move. Warlocks must constantly summon you into place.

Shaman --> Bean Eater
You gain a powerful AoE attack that deals nature damage to all enemy and friendly targets within range, however you have absolutely no control over when it procs.

Paladin --> Army of One
You get every shaman ability, mage teleports, and hunter guns. Now you truly no longer need anyone, which is good because no one wants to group with you either; you lose the ability to join parties. You no longer need an internet connection to play the game.

Druid --> Secret Gardner
You get a brand new zone, called "[Your Name]-glade" created on your server just for your character! You can teleport to this zone by lying down anywhere in the game and staying perfectly still for 20 minutes. While in your special zone, you can cultivate herbs and interact with the many non-aggressive woodland critters. You also gain the ability to transform into a manatee which boosts your faction standing with pirates by 60%.

Warlock --> Best Friend
You can transport players, prevent party wipes, repair equipment, summon pack-mules and hold onto extra quests (for sharing). Other players can equip you as a trinket to increase their mounted movement rate by 3%. Once every 10 minutes, you can be licked for a random beneficial potion effect. You are very useful.

Priest --> Shadow Priest
You can heal the entire party while doing damage at the same time, you have the damage mitigation of a tank, and you gain many powerful offensive capabilities. Oh wait.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Vol. 1 - "Story Thread" - Episode 5

Friday, September 02, 2005

The robe saga will conclude


My friends have very generously fed me enough materials to finally make that robe, just in time to create the fifth, and last, episode on this topic.

Comments are back on but now you'll need to enter one of them captchas to post. Also, Blogger seems to be shrinking my full-rez comics without telling me. If I had any artistic integrity, it would be riled by this.

Vol. 1 - "Story Thread" - Episode 4

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Discuss amongst yourselves

There's a pretty good thread about the first three episodes on the World of Warcraft forums here. With about 1,400 hits in the first two hours of operation, this is going to be bigger then any legitimate thing I've ever done. Oh wait, I've never done anything legitimate.

Holy crap!

The blog had been live for nine minutes before getting the first two pieces of comment spam. So much for unregistered comments.

Needless to say

None of this will be funny to you unless you've wasted much time on World of Warcraft. Consider yourself lucky.

Vol. 1 - "Story Thread" - Episode 3

Vol. 1 - "Story Thread" - Episode 2

Vol. 1 - "Story Thread" - Episode 1

Warning!

These comix are large and will pwn your scr33n! Make sure you view them at full rez.