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Extra Life 2016 - I'll draw you if you donate

Hi fellow duders and dudettes! I'm doing Extra Life this weekend after missing out on it entirely last year. My original goal of $400 was already hit, so I've raised it to $800. You can visit my page and help donate by clicking this very sentence.

Here's some of the things I plan to play:

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Lastly, as an incentive to get y'all to donate more #forthekids... if you donate $25 or more, I'll draw colored, cartoon portrait of yourself from the waist up (or, if you aren't a fan of yourself, then it can be whoever/whatever you want, so long as it is tasteful and not something from a Cannibal Corpse music video or something that would make an elderly person blush). Here's what these portraits will probably look like:

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Each drawing will be digitally inked and colored, square, 7 inches by 7 inches, and full sized at 600 DPI in case you want to print it out at home and frame it beside the living room couch. You can also use it on any of them social media sites, like MySpace and Friendster, or even as your professional LinkedIn photo to help with getting a new job. Just remember to thank me later. Speaking of later, please assume that these portraits for will take me some time to do.

Each cartoon portrait will be based on a photo you supply to me. Send the photo to with the subject line "Extra Life Portrait" after you make a donation. I'll take it from there.

Thanks again for reading and any support you can throw my way! I realized I'll be competing with Mr. Gerstmann this weekend for your attention. Anyone else planning to stream too?

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Giant Bomb Comics - Jason's New Dan Baby

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I was deeply inspired to make a comic after watching that last segment on the most recent Unprofessional Fridays (February 12, 2016). I was a big fan of this "New Dan" direction, what with him venturing into the scary worlds of mayo and amiibo figurines, but it was just another long con. Wah wah, indeed.

Best of luck, @unastrike, going forward. I heard the terrible twos are the worst.

- Paul


Unsure of where to call home in Fallout 4

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Fallout 4‘s tagline is “Welcome home,” but I’m not exactly sure where that is. At this stage, I’ve put in about 40 hours or so, and home, for most of that, was in Sanctuary, one of the earliest settlements you can come across and begin filling with people and reconstructing. However, I never felt one hundred percent certain that this is where I’d hang my proverbial hat–in reality, my Silver Shroud hat–and thus never stored anything anywhere there and only did the minimal amount of work to make it appear like I was one of the group. You know, built some turrets and a fancy chair for that drug-loving Mama Murphy.

In previous Bethesda open-world games, having a home was either something to figure out on your own or work towards via downloadable content as some non-essential side activity, though when I did the latter in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim‘s Hearthfire DLC it was after I had finished the main plot missions and completed the majority of things a Dragonborn dreams of doing, thus feeling ultimately unrewarding; plus, it was beyond repetitive. I remember finding “unowned safe spots” in Fallout: New Vegas, like Victor’s shack in Goodsprings, to store some of my heavier gear without fear of losing it permanently. I was, more or less, squatting and creating my own set of secret caches for somebody else to find.

Naturally, most of this searching and scouring for safe containers to hold all your Nuka Quantum and Daedric artifacts would be unnecessary if it wasn’t for…encumbrance. The dictionary defines the term as “a burden or impediment,” but we all know it as that age-old Bethesda staple, an annoyance that caps the amount of crap you can carry while still functioning like a solid warrior in terms of running and fast-traveling. From a logical perspective, sure, it kind of makes sense, though when you begin to scroll through the lists and lists of items in your Pip-Boy in Fallout 4, reality starts to crack in at the edges. There are ways around encumbrance, but the easiest is building a place of residency so you can swing by between missions to dump gear–or, in my case, dozens of coffee mugs–and restock before heading out once more…for more.

As mentioned before, previous games from Bethesda lightly sprinkled in bits of housing, letting those playing on PCs add more options via mods. With Fallout 4, it’s a full downpour of potential abodes from the get-go, some of which are actual entire settlements, sizable areas comprised of multiple homes for refurbishing. This is where deciding becomes important, because all the potential areas require an investment, both in time and resources. I’ve already dumped a decent amount of stuff into Sanctuary, seeing as that’s where this all began, but have now decided that a full-blown settlement is too much for my little heart to nurture. Instead, I’ve taken up base at…Home Base, which is a small, three-floored house for 2,000 caps in Diamond City, where the first floor offers the most room to plop down furniture and get creative.

You can see a glimpse of what my Home Base looks like in the picture at the top of this post. The first thing I built was the Bobblehead stand, which, for me, really cements that this is where I want to put my feet up at and decorate with as many cat paintings as possible. I like the addition of magazine racks, though the ability to spin them in-game would go a long way to making me smile. Other than that, I’ve hung a few flags, created a nicer bed, and placed all my Nuka Cherry on a shelf because that’s what cool people do. Haven’t decided yet what to do with the rest of the living space, but it’ll surely get filled in over time.

Still, there are some problems. I can’t send any of my companions to Home Base to hang out when not traveling with me; they only like settlements, I guess. Second, unlike the early promotional art for Fallout 4, which showed your weapons hanging against the wall on some kind of pin board, that sort of shelf is not available to build. Or I’ve not found it yet. This means that if I want to display any cool weapons I find, like the Fat Man, I have to simply dump them on the ground and then try to maneuver them just so on top of a table or desk. It’d be easier asking a Deathclaw for five bucks. You can switch to “building mode” to pick up and move items around, but that can be just as problematic, with some clipping through walls or vanishing the moment you drop them. Also, I found a really nice vase with a flower in it while exploring the Commonwealth, brought it to Home Base, placed it on the table next to my bed, and discovered it missing the next time I returned. Boo.

This is my first playthrough of Fallout 4, and knowing what I know now, I don’t imagine myself placing a lot of effort on having a place to call home the second time around, when I play as an evil, red-headed woman who likes to punch people and animals into smithereens. Maybe I’ll just abuse my companions to the point of weighing them down entirely with my full stash of weapons, mods, medicine, and coffee mugs. Maybe I’ll never pick up another single thing again and have no need for a place to store stuff. Yeah, right.

Where do you call home, my fellow Vault dwellers?


Participating in Extra Life for the very first time

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Hi, everyone! It's me, Paul Abbamondi, the duder that sometimes draws things and posts them here at Giant Bomb! I made a big decision recently, and that is to participate in Extra Life this upcoming Saturday, October 25. Over the years I’ve watched others put in the time and raise money for children in need, and now, nervous as I am, I’m gonna do it too. First, some important links to click on:

My donations page:

My Twitch page, where hopefully you’ll be able to watch me stream:

Okay, now that that’s out of the way, here’s what I’m thinking. My goal is set at $100 (and we’re already halfway there!), but of course I’d love to raise a whole lot more for PennState Hershey’s Children’s Hospital. I plan to make a big dent in my Steam catalog, though I have to be careful in what I play as my laptop can’t really handle anything too strenuous and stream at the same time, thus the above list of indie/older titles. If I somehow run out of things to play there, I can always hit up the consoles or handhelds (I’ll most likely be getting Fantasy Life the day before), though I can’t really stream from them.

Tentatively, I’ll start streaming at 9:00 AM Saturday and won’t stop playing vidya gamez until 9:00 AM Sunday. I will be maintaining a “live” blog post over at my blog Grinding Down, updating it hopefully once an hour or so, though these’ll be short, quick updates. Truthfully, I’m excited about finally finding the time to eat up some Deus Ex: GOTY more than anything. I am already part of Team Giant Bomb, and I appreciate any support you can offer me–this is my first time doing anything like this, and I’ll be running at it solo (well, my cats will be around), so please, give me strength. And donations, too. FOR THE KIDS.


The Face(s) of Giant Bomb

While I continue to slowly tick off more comics about the videogames I'm beating in 2014 (see my last few blog posts here, duders), I find my mind and drawing arm wandering from time to time, so here's a bunch of faces from Giant Bomb.

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Apologies to newbie Jason as I haven't seen you on much content yet so don't really know what you look like! Also, no offense to the Lang Zone, I find you very amusing! I like writing those last two sentences as if both Jason and Dave are here, reading this.

Non-Giant Bombers not included, but probably should be: Brad Muir, Danny O


Wallace, Isaac, and Solid Snake get into comics

Well, I'm back. With what, you probably don't ask out loud? MORE COMICS. Yes, my "Games I've Completed in 2014" list continues to grow and grow--I'm now sitting at 46 games polished off and knocked aside, and we're just entering the month of July, meaning the year is only halfway done. Who here thinks I can cross the 100 mark before that big, sparkling ball in New York City slowly descends? Thanks, glad to have your support.

Heck, even if I do magically end up beating more than 100 games this year, I'll still be far behind in catching up with these comics I'm doing for each one. You can blame my day job, the stress of life, and the summer heat, which makes my arms stick to my drawing paper in unpleasant ways. But enough about that, let's get to the goods.

First up is a comic for the second episode in Wallace & Gromit's Grand Adventures from Telltale Games, which had Gromit playing detective to solve a shadowy beating and Wallace trying to make all the unhappy guests overjoyed with their time in his refurbished basement-turned resort:

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This next comic will really show you just how far behind I am on this deceptive simple project of mine. I actually ended up beating Mom in The Binding of Isaac on the same day that Patrick ended his daily feature for the game. Sure, sure, he beat Mom a bunch of times and even took down the Devil, but for me, beating Mom was my Big Goal, and so I was happy to see it happen, even if I felt overpowered by getting the laser tears and wings early on. Anyways, comic time:

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For the final comic, I need a bit of setup. So, last year, I purchased that big ol' Konami collection of Metal Gear games for the PlayStation 3. Alas, I never even got to put it in the console's disc tray last year, and so this year, I made the decision to play through all the games in the series in order of release. My previous history with the franchise was just MGS, MGS 2, and MGS 3, so I was very excited to see how that first two NES titles went--you can read my final thoughts on Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake by clicking the links tied to their names. Anyways, at this stage, I'm still working away at VR Missions, trying to at least get about 75% complete before I move on to the PlayStation 2-era titles.

This is not a funny comic, but I liked making the tile patterns nonetheless:

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All right, that's all for now. I'll be back sooner than later as I am working on some Giant Bomb-themed art that I want to share with y'all. Until then, let's keep finishing games in our backlog!


Another three comics, another three videogames beat

I'm taking the sage advice from @zombiepie and lumping more comics into a single post instead of just posting them one at a time. The only disadvantage is that all two of you out there foaming at the mouth for more of my delicious stabs of art must wait a little longer for me to collect enough to post. Right now, that magic number is seemingly three.

Anyways, up first is the second episode "A House Divided" from Telltale Games' follow-up season for The Walking Dead. Unfortunately, I beat the first episode just at the end of 2013, so there's no comic for where it all started. Though I think this comic kind of sums up the entire game series in general:

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Then I also decided to finally pay some attention to that long and growing list known as my Steam library and dove into the Wallace & Gromit adventure games. The first one is about out-of-control bees, but I can't stop doing that Wallace-ism where he shakes his hands and goes, "Cheeeeeese!" It's real cute. I also played the other three episodes so stay tuned for comics on those as well.

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Lastly, because it was quietly nibbling away in the back of my brain, I went back and finished up A World of Keflings. Which basically meant turning the game on, making sure every Kefling had a job and was adding to the resource inventory, putting the controller down, and making/eating dinner. When I came back, I had plenty of stuff to build the rest of the blueprints and help...uh...I don't remember the story. I do remember doing this a lot:

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As always, if you looked at my comics, I appreciate you taking that time! You rock, duder. If you're curious what ones are coming up next, I keep this list updated as much as possible.


Three comics about three completed videogames

So, for those in the know that follow me here, I've been drawing a little comic for every videogame I beat in 2014, and...well, I'm a bit behind. My bad. I'm working on catching up, I swears it, as well as learning how to use a new program to ink and color my comics. Yes, I still pencil them out on paper like an old-schooler, but Manga Studio does make the inking process quite easy. Plus, if you mess up, you can erase or simply click undo. Anyways, instead of making three separate posts, I'll just include the three most recent comics here for y'all to enjoy.

First up is Pokemon Y, which I finished several months ago and haven't really gone back to since seeing what the Safari Friend Forest place was all about. Spoiler: catching more Pokemon. Anyways, it helps if you know that Garbodor is my favorite Pokemon:

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Next we have Beyond Good & Evil HD. I first played and beat the game back on the PlayStation 2--still have my copy, too--and purchased the HD remake as soon as it dropped, but only played for a wee bit, enough to see how everything looked and played versus my memories. I recently went back to it and breezed through the remainder of the game in a single night. It's still great, though its best element is illustrated below:

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Lastly, well for this blog post at least, we have another remake...Tomb Raider! Yup, Lara Croft's quest to be beaten. berated, and battered, as well as murder hundreds of men. I actually had a lot of fun with it so long as I didn't take it too seriously, which is kind of what the developers wanted, but it was hard to care about Lara's tears over gutting a deer for dinner when, a moment later, she'd go on a killing spree and unlock some concept art found via the main menu. Here's what I drew:

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Thanks for taking a look, duders. I'll probably get to drawing some more from my list this weekend. I just have to draw faster and complete fewer games to be totally caught up. Real easy, right?