Penny Arcade founders Mike Krahulik (Gabe) and Jerry Holkins (Tycho) held a Q and A session right after Wil Wheaton’s keynote address at PAX East 2010. You can listen to the entire audio file here, or check out some select questions and answers below. The text of each answer has been summarized somewhat, but the complete audio snippet of each question and answer is included if you want to listen to it. Enjoy.
Question: What was the story with the ball from PAX ‘06?
Tycho: “We had thousands more people than the venue could hold and a riot took place on the basement floor. And in order to calm them down, we gave them a ball.”
Gabe: “So they wouldn’t kill each other.”
Tycho: “But then they began to worship the ball and form tribes around the ball. So you’re talking to the wrong people.”
Full audio: ball.mp3
Question: I see these “Enforcer” shirts everywhere [PAX staffers wore shirts that said “Enforcer” on the back] and I was wondering if it was just one giant Snow Crash joke.
Tycho: “It is not. The Enforcers are no joke, sir. Enforcers are what allow the show to run at all. They are the spine of this show.”
Full audio: enforcers.mp3
Question: My first PAX was 2008 and I bought a box copy of the collectors edition of the Precipice game and in it was this little d20 with a Startling Development symbol for the 20 that doesn’t roll higher than a nine. Who do I blame?
Gabe: “I think we all know how he rolls.”
Gabe then tells a story of when Tycho sat in on one of Gabe’s weekly Dungeons and Dragons games and picked up a strange box right away.
Full audio: box.mp3
Question: I really enjoyed your poster of when you and Tycho went to Ponyland and I was wondering if you could tell us the story of that delightful journey to Ponyland.
Tycho: “Is this a real poster?” [Audience yells out that it’s the cover of one of their new books]
Gabe: “We’ve never gone to a place called Ponyland together. I don’t know what you’ve heard. If anyone has pictures of that, they’re Photoshops.”
Tycho: “I think she’s invented the Ponyland mythos. I think you have things to teach us.”
Full audio: ponyland.mp3
Question: I have a friend who’s name is Andy Lowe. Most people here might know him from the forum as QS23. More people, I’m sure, know him as the guy who comes dressed as Waldo every year to PAX. Due to Michigan being a financial hellhole, he was unable to come to PAX East. I have my phone. Would you guys do me the honor of calling him?
Gabe: “Sure. Dial him up, put him on speaker, and we’ll all say hi.”
Full audio: waldo.mp3
Question: I’m trying to decide whether or not to leave my job… How do you go about making decisions? Are you coin-flipping men, do you read chicken bones, is it a tea leaf thing? What’s your chosen method?
Tycho: “You’re wondering what our favorite form of divination is?”
Gabe: “I guess dice, right? We let it all fall on the dice.”
Tycho: “Yeah but if I made every decision based on the dice, I’d never get anything done.”
Gabe: “What do you need to decide?”
[Whether or not to leave his job]
Gabe: “You should leave it.”
Tycho: “Take that job and shove it.”
Full audio: divination.mp3
Question: [Before guy even asks question…]
Tycho: “Oh! Hey! Listen! This is a huge treat for everybody. He’s from Scotland! What a delightful treat! It’s like hearing ice cream!”
Gabe: “Hold on. Does someone here have his Lucky Charms?”
Full audio: scotland.mp3
Question: Who are some of your favorite comedic writers?
Gabe: “I’m a big Scalzi fan. Agent to the Stars…”
Tycho: “I like Noam Chomsky. Oh man. Just so dry, you know? Just really amazing stuff. I think Neal Stephenson is actually really funny. He’s not really considered a humorous writer but his perspective just has a lot of nourishment for the humorist, I think.”
Full audio: writers.mp3
Question: I don’t have a question. We’re going to play a game. All you have to know is that you have to take turns. Ready? Welcome to Aaaaction Caaaastle! You are in a small cottage. There is a fishing pole here. Exits are: OUT.
Gabe: “Is it our turn to say something?”
Questioner: “I don’t understand ‘Is it our turn to say something?’.”
Tycho: “Go OUT.”
Questioner: “You go OUT. You’re in the garden path. There is a rose bush here…”
Gabe: “What’s happening?”
Questioner: “…there is a cottage here. Exits are NORTH, SOUTH, and IN.”
Gabe: “I’m scared.”
Questioner: “I don’t understand ‘I’m scared.’”
[Game goes on for a while. It’s actually pretty funny.]
Full audio: actioncastle.mp3
Question: When will we see another appearance by Acquisitions Incorporated?
Gabe: “Acquisitions Incorporated is coming back very soon, actually. We’ll be recording a new Acquisitions Inc.”
Tycho: “I’ll be running a DarkSun game that we’ll be recording for our podcast as well.”
[Gabe and Tycho then discuss the possibility of making the podcast a video podcast.]
Full audio: acquisitions.mp3
Question: When will we see Episode Three of Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness?
Tycho: “There’s a reason that we gathered you here today. There will not be an Episode Three. But we will finish the story for you so that you are not left hanging. I apologize. It couldn’t be as good as we wanted it to be. We decided to try and tell the story in a different way, and I really apologize for that… Hothead’s working really hard on DeathSpank with Ron Gilbert. It’s going to be incredible. And at the end of the day we wanted them to be able to make the best game they could and we wanted to be able to tell the story the best we could.”
Gabe: “I think they could have made both games but our game would have suffered. So I would rather not do it than do a half-assed version of it.”
Tycho: “You can always count on us to have that opinion. I apologize again.”
Full audio: episodethree.mp3
Question: Your writing style is very unusual compared to what we see in mainstream media. Do you have any particular authors that inspired you to actually use 25-cent words and spend more than ten minutes thinking about what you were going to say?
Tycho: “It’s definitely between Neal Stephenson and Mark Twain. That’s the point I try to chart. It’s like ‘the literate smartass’ is the target.”
Full audio: smartass.mp3
Question: In your office, Soul Caliber or BlazBlue?
Gabe: “It depends on who’s playing. Soul Caliber is the one that lasted the longest but BlazBlue definitely had about a month run where it was all that was played.”
Tycho: “We spend more time with BlazBlue, I think.”
Full audio: blazblue.mp3
Question: Do [the ladies] really love Sanskrit?
Tycho: “That’s not really my area of expertise.”
Gabe: “It never fails.”
Full audio: sanskrit.mp3
Question: Is the podcast ever going to come back?
Gabe: “We’re trying to make the Fourth Panel more of what you miss about the podcast. We get the request [to make the Fourth Panel an audio product] a lot, so it’s something we should consider.”
Full audio: fourthpanel.mp3
Question: What are your mornings like when you get into the office?
Gabe: “We try to get in around 9:00 or 9:30 and if it’s a day that we have to write a strip, the two of us really don’t talk to each other until 10:30.”
Tycho: “We have a very strange relationship.”
Gabe: “Yeah. We’re sort of each at our own machine either scouring game news or playing a game on the couch or just doing whatever we need to do to get ready to write a strip.”
Tycho: “We’re really just trying to absorb whatever information is necessary.”
Gabe: “Come 10:30 we sort of meet up and say ‘What did you see?’ or ‘What’s going on? Let’s talk.’”
Tycho: “There’s a lot of staring. 9:00 to 10:30 is largely our staring time.”
Full audio: staring.mp3
Question: Is there any chance we’ll see a PAX South?
Gabe: “You’re really are trying to kill us. Let’s try to survive PAX East and then we can think about where we go next. My personal vote is Euro PAX.”
Full audio: europax.mp3
There’s plenty more from the entire session which, again, can be downloaded here or use the embedded audio player below: