Penny Arcade on Xfire was an event prepared by the hosts of Xfire and both Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins. It was an interview conducted by fans of the comic series, and gave insight into certain aspects. It occured on August 9, 2006.

Transcript Edit

[Xfire] matteox: Hello and welcome the first ever Xfire chat with Penny Arcade! I must say we are really excited to have with us both Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade to answer all (well, most of) your questions. Remember to have a good time during the chat, but don't spam the question room unless you want to be banned from the chat. The unofficial chatter room is where you can go to speak your mind, but please don't obnoxiously spam there either... So without further ado... Here are Gabe and Tycho!
Gabe: Hey kids.
Question: RoBbY: Why has there been no Fruit Fucker recently?
Gabe: Well he was just in the beach poster I drew. He has not been in the comics recently but that's because we don't want to over use him.
Question: PAX kid: What do you do outside of Penny Arcade?
Tycho: Penny Arcade has been a full time job since 2000 or so. Unless you mean what are my hobbies, in which case, I play the occasional videogame.
[Xfire]TwiceUzi: Ok, calm down the questions a bit; they have a lot to answer already!
Question: taynt: What do you think about Horde Paladins and Alliance Shamans: Stupid, smart, or meh?
Gabe: I think it's a cop out. The sort of thing you might see in "how to balance an MMO for dummies".
Question: fully54: Do you guys still play the occassional retro game?
Gabe: Well I guess it depends what you mean by retro. I still pull out REZ every now and then. As far as really old games we have a neo geo machine in the office that gets a lot of play.
Question: fully54: What are your thoughts on the game retail industry? I've worked for three separate companies and I've come to realize that they all have their flaws.
Tycho: We're really lucky to be near a store that hires real gamers who actually know what is going on. I always cringe when I see the "district manager" come in and try to lay down the law in the shops - I think the biggest problem is that the higher up you get in those companies, the less you know about games and the industry at large.
Question: [-F69-]bl00k: In my all time favorite PA strip, Gabe is illustrating to his captive audience how Counter-Strike players can be fucktards, but not cheaters, but all cheaters are fucktards. The duck raises and excellent point. What point is that exactly?
Gabe: Exactly, now you see my point!
Question: Irob: Tycho - where and how did you amass your gigantic vocabulary?
Tycho: I collect words in the way that Ash collects Pokemon, and then I level them up until they have special attacks (Confuse, etc.).
Question: Everyone (almost): What happened to the Podcast?
Tycho: The podcast went on a vacation. I am happy to say that it has returned, fully rested, and after PAX it'll be back as a regular feature. Sorry about the hiatus!
Gabe: They are hard to do. It's the added pressure of trying to make a funny podcast and a funny strip. I know people want more and we'll try and do it. We just need to try and forget the mics are on and that can be difficult.
Question: Geek: Some online strips prefer to update more infrequently so as to not be overwhelmed by the constant pressure of updates. Have you ever considered doing this in order to potentially improve the quality of the strip?
Gabe: What the fuck are you trying to say there man? Honestly I feel like three times a week is perfect. It gives us time to work on other projects like the PA presents comic books and planning huge conventions. I honestly don't think more time between comics would make them better.
Question: sorahiko: (For Tycho) I've noticed that your "blog" posts are often as amusing as the comic itself. With such a natural skill and unique wit for comedic writing, have you ever considered working on other writing projects, such as books or a screenwriting?
Tycho: Thank you for saying so. More than consider it, I have actively begun working on extra projects. Expect one to be announced at PAX, and another shortly thereafter.
Question: NiceGuy: how did you come to rest on the name Penny Arcade?
Tycho: Actually, we were sending the first comic over to the site they used to run on, Gabe said he needed a name, and I came up with it on the spot. It basically means "cheap thrills," which sort of our thing.
Question: Do you make a LOT of money from PA? or just enough to get by?
Gabe: My Wacom Tablet is made of pure gold.
Question: Geek: It seems that the focus of the strip has shifted away from gaming commentary and satirization. Why is this?
Gabe: We never sat down and thought about what the "focus" of PA should be. We just make comics. The only constant over the seven years is that we are the ones making them. Beyond that I can't promise anything.
Question: sthart14: Do you guys think there is such a thing as gaming addiction or not?
Tycho: I think that certain people have addictive personalities.
Question: DarkSide17: When is the next book coming out? I loved Attack...
Gabe: The second book will be out at PAX in a couple weeks. It should be in stores next month.
Question: Dynaes: I know you roll 20's, and I'm curious if you ever cracked open the Serenity tabletop game. I've personally found it to be a very well-made, story- and character-based setting and was wondering if you'd had a chance to try it out.
Tycho: I love the setting, and I'm nuts about tabletop, so I'd love to get my hands on it. Hopefully somebody will crack it out at PAX, but I haven't had the pleasure yet.
Question: vintoncerf: Are your jokes about "premium content" backhanded jabs at Tim Buckley of CAD?
Gabe: No they are not backhanded.
Question: RoBbY: In a world where new webcomic are coming out every day, how long do you see yourselves ruling the roost?
Tycho: I don't know that we rule the roost, even now.
Gabe: We will rule it forever.
Question: HazukiSan: Do you have any gaming shames? Games that you really shouldn't like but love all the same.
Gabe: I consider Wetrix to be the greatest puzzle game ever.
Question: iRod: Is Frank at the gamestore inspired by a real person? (the really mean guy who stole Gabe's pants)?
Tycho: Yes, actually - as I mentioned before, we spend a lot of time in gaming stores (shocking, I know) so we have a chance to see it when these brutal, psychotic managers come in and walk over the employees. There was one we saw over in Spokane that we decided to immortalize.
Question: Quest: Is Annarchy based on a real person, if not where did the inspiration for her character come from?
Gabe: She is a combination of people we know. A lot of her character comes from my own nieces though.
Question: rawpower95: Have you ever decided to just do a really random strip that has nothing to do with anything (like most Monty Python stuff)?
Gabe: Are you kidding? We did a strip where Gabe is rescued from a rapist hobo by a flying Kenny Rodgers.
Question: nmaster64: What is your guys take on the next-gen systems? Is $600 too much for the PS3? Is the 360 at a good middle ground? What do you think of the Wii?
Tycho: PS3: Savage Joke At Consumer Expense, Wii: Beautiful But Challenging Media Experiment, 360: Hey Guys, Wait Up, I Can Play Games Too.
Question: LeonTheAsshat: I'd like to know PA stands as far gaming and publication is concerned and with the huge popularity that has come from such a great series. The rumors of PA The Series has been floating around a lil more actively since E3, but also popularity doesn't place food on teh table to a degree. My question to both is how you guys deal with events like as well and the rumor of you moving your offices is a false one?
Gabe: We will not be doing an animated series. We've been approached multiple times and it never works at least not any time soon.
Question: mittens: In the course of 15 years, the industry has switched from a "Garage Games" type development. Do you guys think this is an evolution of the industry or a step back in terms of innovation/quality?
Tycho: Actually, we're seeing a move back in this direction - the entire "casual games" market is made by small teams, and those guys are turning over unbelievable profits through online and channels like Live marketplace. Look at a company like Introversion.
Question: thegreat2nd: Hey Tycho, could you draw a comic strip and have Gabe do the writing for ONE WEEK?
Tycho: Yes, absolutely. We'll figure out when is the best time to do it.
Question: packrat90: Can you do Twisp and Catsby more than once a year?
Gabe: We could but I'm not sure how people would respond. They are pretty weird and not everyone likes them. I think if we tried to do them more often they might get old. As it is now I think of each one as a real treat.
Question: [?GR] Lt.™: How long do you expect the company last before consumers loose interest, or will that never happen?
Gabe: Hopefully not before we are able to sell out and live like kings.
Tycho: I'm sure it will happen eventually, but whether that would happen before we get tired of it ourselves is (I think) an open question. I guess it's a race.
Question: lucaspine: Do you use Linux?
Tycho: I had a Debian partition I really enjoyed before the HD failed on my last machine. I'm considering installing it here on the iMac, just so I can say I have all three OSs on a single box.
Question: d3m0n3y3ky0: What is your favorite type of game?
Tycho: I still prefer turn based tactical games - really looking forward to Disgaea 2.
Question: What happened to GabeArt?
Gabe: I am working on that but it will not be a separate site. We are making a huge announcement at our first Q&A panel of PAX. Once the word is out I will try and do more sketch dumps on the site. I should have plenty of material.
Question: lobstermagnet181: What do you guys think of the Xbox 360. Is it just me or does it feel not so much like a next generation device but rather a realization of all the broken promises that Microsoft made for the first xbox?
Tycho: I was actually kidding before about the Xbox. I think it's an extremely capable machine, but more than that, it's a platform developers are already familiar with, and it's coming in at two hundred bucks under their prime competitor. I love what Arcade has done for indies.
Question: Artaxs: Is the rivalry with Scott Kurtz feigned or real?
Tycho: Scott is actually one of our best friends.
Question: Abuzz: Are either of you vegetarian?
Tycho: I was, for many years. And then I was like, "Wait. Meat is delicious."
Question: lobstermagnet181: Would either of you be interested in helping a nobody out in launching a new web based series?
Tycho: What's the URL?
Question: notbowen: Pocky actually isn't all that good, rebuttal?
Tycho: Some flavors aren't good, no. Giant pocky is like chewing on a branch or something.
Question: Megatron: Do you guys play any instruments?
Tycho: I play guitar. I also sing, if that counts. I don't know if one "plays" the vocal chords.
Question: |AFF|NeTWeRx: What are your future plans for Child's Play? Are you planning on doing benefits though online game mediums like Second Life or WoW like recent concerts and other events in these "Virtual Worlds"?
Gabe: We want to grow the number of hospitals that participate but we also have bigger plans. We have teamed up with a doctor from Johns Hopkins to fund a project of his called "hope" He is determined to prove that video games can actually help kids in hospitals. We can help him do that.
Question: LiamM: How far do your interest wander into tech itself aside from videogames?
Tycho: Until recently, I'd say not very far - I've been pretty resistant to gadgets. But I just ended up with a Cingular 8125, and I look upon it with more love and affection than I do my own son.
Question: lightcrafter12: Do you guys speak any foreign languages?
Tycho: I used to speak some French. I’ve lost almost every noun but "hair, "horse," and "Cheese."
Question: Zephyer: We've seen a couple of anime banner ads on your site. Do you have any favorite anime at the moment?
Tycho: I have a lot of friends that keep me in the know on this score, and attending Sakuracon usually keeps me pretty current - they keep pushing the Full Metal Alchemist on me, and I recently gave in. Delicious!
Question: Hero: Gabe & Tycho: How much time is spent on each strip from start to finish?
Gabe: It depends on the strip. A comic like the one for today took me about five hours. A regular three panel strip might only take 2. We never know how long the writing will take. If you have listened to the podcasts you know that is a strange process.
Question: [-F69-]bl00k: I read somewhere online an article about the humor in your comics and how they are written so we are getting the middle of the story, missing the beginning and ending of conversations and how well it works for your humor. Is this something the two of you worked out consciously or is it something you stumbled upon by accident?
Tycho: When we limit ourselves to three panels, we have to really choosy about what we show. That limitation keeps us in check.
Question: iRod: Why does Tycho look so much different in the comic?
Gabe: They are not supposed to look like us. We created the characters before we realized they were us.
Question: AhrimaaN: What was the first gaming system you owned that started the craze? A commodore? A 2600? A gameboy?
Gabe: Pong machine from Sears.
Tycho: My first system was an Odyssey2, by Magnavox. Look it up, it's old.
Gabe: Gameboy? Jesus.
Question: apolloiv: Are you embarrassed about any of the older comics you did?
Gabe: I am embarrassed by the art of the earlier strips but I still think they are funny for the most part.
Tycho: I wouldn't say embarrassed exactly. We were doing the best we could at the time! I do laugh at them sometimes, and not always because of the content of the comic.
Question: [M2x]{MH}Hunter: What are you thoughts on Halo3? Will it have as much an impact on the FPS world as its ancestors?
Tycho: I think it will have a profound effect on Microsoft's coffers.
Question: savagenapkin: Where, besides RTC, do you like to hang out in the Seattle area?
Tycho: I like Cap Hill for fun hang-out times.
Question: cyphr555: I'm wearing my "Jesus is F'ing Metal" t-shirt right now. How does that make you feel?
Question: sthart14: Do you have any regrets at all concerning PA?
Gabe: I regret some of the stupid mistakes we made early on like selling the website to eFront and giving away our book rites. Obviously all that stuff has been worked out and who knows if PA would be what it is today if we had not made those mistakes.
Question: «þí???????»™: Who was your favorite character to develop?
Gabe: I really like writing and developing Annarchy. She's really different from the rest of the people in the PA world. She almost doesn't fit.
Question: Quest: How has the popularity of the comic affected you personally? Do you get approached by strangers on the street, threatening emails, that sorta thing?
Gabe: A girl at a safeway in bothell got on the ground and bowed to me. That was strange. There is really no way to explain that to the people around you.
Tycho: Everyone, here is Lobster Magnet's project. Enjoy! [1].
Question: apolloiv: Are you regretting this?
Gabe: Not even a little.
Question: iRod: are you upset that you must have the "-" in penny"-"
Tycho: No. In the future, dashes will be a form of currency. That single dash is with over a billion Galactic Credits.
Question: rawpower95: How much hatemail do you get from weird people?
Gabe: I get more positive mail than hate mail. Honestly it doesn't bother me. They are still reading the site so does it really matter if they love it or hate it? Something about what we are doing has at least made them open the page and look at it.
Question: Johrune: Why did you guys use different names in the comic if the characters are based off yourselves?
Tycho: Originally, the characters had no names. I would have been fine to leave it that way. Eventually we gave them names because people wanted them to have names, and shortly thereafter we began to realize that the "dialogue" we were writing was just our conversations, and that we had just made cartoon versions of ourselves. The way they came to have our handles was almost a kind of accident.
Question: lucaspine: Do you get ANY hatemail?
Tycho: Constantly.
Question: Keres: What do your wives think of your art? Do they game at all?
Gabe: Kara does game quite a bit. She plays a lot of WOW and always has her DS with her. She likes the comic but doesn't think we use the wives enough. Go figure.
Question: Mayor Poopenmeyer: Are you heavily into the mod scene or do you prefer to steer towards more professionally made games?
Tycho: I'm into gameplay systems, in general. I don't really care who made it, if it's on a computer or a console, a tabletop, live action, whatever.
Question: fully54: What is your favorite game on XBLA right now?
Gabe: I like Uno and SF right now but I am excited for castle crashers.
Tycho: I'm still playing a lot of (um) Uno. Until Alien Hominid, at least!
Question: darkaster: What's the weirdest thing you guys had to sign at a public appearance?
Tycho: A woman.
Question: tikithehutt: Do you listen to much video game music? If so what are some of your favorite tracks?
Tycho: I just grabbed a bunch of old c64 stuff, actually - seek out Rob Hubbards "Commando."
Gabe: I like the Kingdom Hearts II soundtrack as well as REZ, Warcraft and Final Fantasy.
Question: RoBbY: Do you attribute any of your success to the charm of Tycho's cynicism and Gabe's naivite?
Gabe: Well I think we lucked out and managed to create two characters that work very well together. I think it's fair to say that PA is successful because of that core relationship. If Gabe and Tycho were not funny I don't think people would care about the rest of the shit we do like the CTS or Twisp and Catsby.
Question: lucaspine: Do you play D&D?
Tycho: I keep up with the supplements, and I pine to play, but I haven't been able to get a real campaign going in a long time. I prefer campaigns to one-offs.
Question: cyphr555: AMD purchasing ATi (and dropping the ATi name): any opinions?
Tycho: I heard they weren't doing that after all. My information may be old! In any event, I buy that stuff based almost entirely on benchmarks, which the name shouldn't alter.
Question: craziivan: Gabe you said animating the PA strip wouldn't work, have ever done any animating otherwise?
Gabe: I don't have the patience to animate. And really I am not saying it would not work, just that none of the people who have approached us yet have made us believe they can make it work. I'm not saying PA will never be animated. It just needs to be the right people doing it and we have not seen that deal yet. Like Tycho said all these hollywood types think they are doing you a favor.
Question: Squiggs: What do you think about the Pure Pwnage comic specifically?
Tycho: That's Hot Soup's new gig, as I understand it. What do you want to know?
Question: Dan Mattia: Are you ever stopped on the street and recognized for being the masterminds behind Penny Arcade?
Tycho: Occasionally. In the *seedier* parts of town.
Question: RoBbY: How has having kids affected your view on the comic, or what you think while you're making them?
Gabe: If having Gabe has effected the way I look at PA it is to focus me on doing whatever it takes to make sure it is and remains successful. It's one thing to be a couple kids living on ramen in an apartment making goofy comics. I am a dad now with a mortgage and that's the most important thing. I have to make sure I can take care of my family now and ten years from now.
Question: sthart14: Do authors of other webcomics ask you two for advice or vice versa?
Tycho: Absolutely. We're fans of a number of online comics, and we give and receive feedback.
Question: taynt: What old school game(s) would you like to see redone with new technology (a la Prince of Persia)?
Tycho: Mars Saga. It's a weird one, but turn based combat hasn't really been improved since then.
Question: Why do you hate IGN?
Tycho: This is mostly a joke as well. Every time I meet a person who works there they've been extremely cool.
Question: Irob: What is your favorite webcomic that isn't Penny Arcade?
Tycho: I'd have to say Achewood, Scary Go Round, or Dinosaur Comics.
Question: AhrimaaN: So now that E3 has changed for the better, will PAX become a focus for developers or are you going to stay away from that influence as much as possible?
Gabe: Well we will certainly accept as many developers as we can. But the focus is not the same as E3. At PAX the developers are there for the fans.
Question: savagenapkin: While Alanis has misled many, but did you guys realize that rain on your wedding day is not, in fact, 'ironic'?
Tycho: I was being double, super ironic.
Question: Irob: What is your favorite webcomic that isn't Penny Arcade?
Gabe: Probably PvP or Copper. I really don't read very many web comics.
Question: lucaspine: What is your opinion of MySpace?
Tycho: Without MySpace, I would never have been introduced to the smooth rhymes of The Wordburglar.
Question: Johrune: What do you guys think of the name "Wii"?
Tycho: It's terrible. Luckily, the promise of the hardware was apparent when I played it.
Question: lightcrafter12: Are there any webcomics and/or webcomic creators that you dislike or have strained relationships with?
Gabe: No I love them all except for the ones I hate.
Question: rawpower95: Who do you think will win the console wars?
Tycho: Wii60.
Question: mittens: Do you (or, even, would you) ever help developers with storylines/art for commercial games?
Tycho: You are describing my most secret fantasy.
Gabe: Of course that would be a lot of fun I think.
Question: lucaspine: Do you watch Adult Swim?
Tycho: No cable.
Question: rawpower95: Are you really two people, or one person acting like two?
Tycho: We're three people acting like one.
Gabe: Do you really think one person could pull this chat shit off?
Question: sthart14: Whatever happened to the zombie character you wrote for Gabe and Tycho as a roommate?
Tycho: Keep an eye on this storyline.
Question: Could I use PA's characters to animate a short sample? The characters vector-ness works good with flash.
Tycho: Of course.
Question: savagenapkin: How do you pronounce "Uwe"?
Tycho: I just learned this: it's "Yoo-Vuh".
Question: shadowmarth: I heard that Nintendo is attending PAX. Can you give us any information on what they'll bring to the show, or your own opinion on it?
Gabe: It will be a bunch of new DS stuff from what I am told. Beyond that I am not sure. Last year they had a pretty amazing booth.
Question: shadowmarth: I heard that Nintendo is attending PAX. Can you give us any information on what they'll bring to the show, or your own opinion on it?
Tycho: All we know is that they have a bunch of space. I can only hope.
Question: packrat90: Do you plan on doing more, smaller, chats?
Gabe: This has been awesome. If Xfire invites us back I'd be happy to do it again.
Question: killo: Are you guys Scientologists?... Mainly pointed at Tycho.
Gabe: OT Level 4 baby!
Tycho: No, But I really want to go down to the center and mess with those guys.
Question: sirmichael7: What are you guys playing currently? What next-gen games are you most looking forward to?
Tycho: Grabbed Chromehounds yesterday, Dead Rising today. Gonna finally try some Outfit co-op tonight. Looking forward to Dark Messiah and Gears right now.
Question: Quest: does Tycho use his rather elaborate rhetoric in casual conversation?
Gabe: GOD YES!
Question: savagenapkin: what are your thetan levels?
Tycho: I am currently OTVII.
Question: tikithehutt: Any chance of ever producing a graphic novel? If so what would the setting be?
Gabe: I would love to do a CTS one some day.
Question: d3m0n3y3ky0: are you guys having trouble choosing what questions to answer?
Gabe: Yes. I almost did not answer this one.
Question: Andorien: Would you recommend Seattle as a nice place to live?
Tycho: I really like it. Lots of tech going on, good sushi... Torrential downpours....
Question: Xuir: To Tycho, what is your favourite word, at least today?
Tycho: Areola.
Question: -F69-]bl00k: In what ways do you feel you've abused your powers over the years? Fat lewts in WoW? Free Games from devs? What is the worst example of abuse of your power?
Gabe: I destroyed a man completely with no repercussions.
Question: Pandaface: Did you guys go to college? Where?
Tycho: Neither of us attended college, I'm afraid.
Gabe: No way man I leaned everything I know from the streets!
Question: {many} East Coast PAX?
Tycho: This was always the plan. Give us time to bury E3, and we'll come see you.
Question: icepicksomething: Are you guys ever planning on coming to the UK for any events?
Tycho: God, I wish. Believe me, I'm doing everything in my power.
Question: freak: have you ever been arrested?
Gabe: No but Jack Thompson tried.
Question: tikithehutt: What are your prime inspirations for CTS?
Gabe: Usagi Yojimbo.
Question: savagenapkin: Did you ever play the masterpiece of Super Mario RPG?
Tycho: I did. There are quite a few takes on that concept to try now, and they're all at least "great."
[Xfire] matteox: Ok this will about do it! Thank you so much to both Gabe and Tycho for being here!
Gabe: Thanks for the great questions guys this was fun.
Tycho: (Know this: You are loved.)
[Xfire] matteox: And thank you to the Xfire user participants! You guys did a great job of asking questions without too much spam!
Gabe: Oh and thanks Xfire.
[Xfire] matteox: Thanks again Penny Arcade! So now, I guess you deserve some prizes... There will be 15 winners: Winners PM Matteox. Losers, no crying! You are all winners for being here. (list below) Please don't forget to vote for the VMA awards: MTV want's Xfire Users to help: [2]. Also please enter the WoW Summer Movie Contest: [3]. Thanks everyone, this was an awesome chat! Because Zippyy was not online after the chat, the prize goes to his good friend: Squiggs! Yeah! And that concludes the chat!

Prizes Edit


  1. FortranDragon
  2. Chobes
  3. Abuzz
  4. nomadHAR
  5. InfectedWeeWee

Fruit Fucker Cel Edit

  1. Megatron
  2. Weaz
  3. Zippyy
  4. n080dy4
  5. lightcrafter12

Gabe and Tycho Cel Edit

  1. savagenapkin
  2. gambit40
  3. fully54
  4. The-Stoned-Priest
  5. PAX Kid

External Links Edit

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