Pipwick Papers: Pip’s last Supporter Post

The Pipwick Papers

As a final supporter post for RPS before I depart, I found myself going back through the archive of stuff I’ve written for this site. At first I was seeking inspiration, going back through old posts in case there was something I wanted to follow up on. But then I started finding things I’d forgotten writing – the conversations with interesting people who make games, the minutes dedicated to atrocious Photoshopping for news articles, the games I’d said I was looking forward to when I started and which still haven’t come out three years later so they’ve become comfy, mythical future companions… and the many conversations with ALL of my talented colleagues, but PARTICULARLY the partnership with Alice.

I’ve collated some of my favourites – favourite people, favourite stories, favourite memories – below the jump – it’s a lovely feeling that there are so many :)

Collections

The Flame In The Flood

First up, I’m genuinely proud of Dote Night, The Great Outdoors and of the State of the Art series of features. Dote Night was my attempt to open up the world of Dota 2 (and sometimes other MOBAs) to other people by picking at multiple facets. The full collection of Dote Nights is listed in this article with a brief description for each if you’re interested. The Great Outdoors was to explore how the idea of being outdoors works in videogames. State of the Art is about the work of artists in videogames, persuading them to open up their sketchbooks and talk me through concepts and colour palettes – anything from Thumper’s bio-metal insects to the flora of Subnautica.

Interviews

The Stanley Parable

Talking to people about why they make games of what they’re excited to work on is probably my favourite part of this job. It’s why I ended up chatting to CCP’s Andie Nordgren about communication and EVE Online, it’s why I spent so long on Skype with Davey Wreden and William Pugh digging into the impossible architecture of The Stanley Parable, it’s the reason I had to edit out a long chat about whether pie or cake is better from a piece with Sean Murray at E3 about No Man’s Sky and hype, why I ended up putting $5 into Jason Rohrer’s occult magic square gambling game, and it’s how Justin Friedland taught me more than I ever thought I would know about serious flight sim players.

Esports

Mechs vs Minions

Part of my time here, as evidenced by Dote Night, has been trying to explain to people why I find esports so fascinating. I’m not sure whether that’s been successful – probably more than I think but less than I hoped, as is usually the way with these things! If nothing else it meant I got to write about Warriors by Imagine Dragons far more often than I should have AND, thanks to getting deeper and deeper into League of Legends, I managed to get some boardgaming back onto the site with Mechs vs Minions!

Catastrophes, nonsense and idiocy

Terrence the Unicorn

These always started out with the best of intentions. They really did. It was always a case of booting up a game for a vaguely sensible feature or just wanting to see what it was and then suddenly I was knee-deep in an absolutely ridiculous anecdote. There was the one where I hurt my shoulder running into the fridge while trying to put myself in the mind of a unicorn called Terrence. There was the time I accidentally killed a mountain. There was the time I tried to stab a camel through the foot in Sandstorm to try and get it to stay in one place. There was the chair which became my eternal nemesis in Höme Improvisåtion. There was the Sega Bass Fishing Incident. There was the time Sir Alex Ferguson ruined Leicester City’s chances in Football Manager. Oh, and after the hill-start crash and the sausage theft I can never return to Jalopy.

Serious news coverage

Assassin's Creed

I take videogame news very seriously. It’s a very serious business. Sometimes the readers need to know about the incredible workmanship they can expect from the Assassin’s Creed partwork magazine. Other times we need to investigate deities as they descend upon MOBAs. Very occasionally the world of Harry Potter/GTA crossover fanfiction needs to be brought to the masses. Certainly, you wouldn’t want the weird world of ASA rulings for and against videogames to be neglected. Or free Frozen pregnancy games.

Alice

Alice and Pip in the Sims 4

Finally, one of the best things about working at RPS has been working on features with my regular partner-in-crime, Alice. Or making versions of Alice in The Sims 4 and then trying to befriend them. Together we have tackled walking simulators (are they or aren’t they?), what is an XCOM, cleaning satisfaction in Viscera Cleanup Detail, the best bits of Off-Peak, what one needs to know about Deus Ex, how supercool SUPERHOT is, the now-dead looter Smash+Grab, the bestest best things about Life Is Strange season 1, and an entirely sensible Cookie Clicker rivalry. Alice is also why I thought I was going to get arrested one E3.

I am glad I got to do these things.

From dust.

29 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    james.hancox says:

    Nooo, don’t leave! :( I hope you’ll keep doing Crate & Crowbar!

  2. Premium User Badge

    lazy8 says:

    Good luck and thanks for all the great articles.

  3. Targaff says:

    Pip news day was always best news day.

  4. Synesthesia says:

    I do hope you’ll come back solely to give your Subnautica WIT. We need closure!

  5. Flarn says:

    Sad to see you go, Pip. Love your writing and videos.

  6. Scrote says:

    No! So sorry to see you go Pip, I loved your writing and all of your articles. Best of luck!

  7. jgf1123 says:

    Your unique voice, perspective, and sense of humor will be missed, Pip. Good luck at your new job. Hope to see you at SHUX.

  8. Premium User Badge

    quasiotter says:

    This is lovely—it’ll keep me going for a bit. Thanks for everything xx

  9. particlese says:

    Scrolling down the RPS front page, I briefly got a sickly feeling as “Goodbye and thanks to Philippa Warr” made me think you’d died, which was quickly corrected to me going “ahh, noooo” upon reading the intro text and busting it open in a new tab. A second later, I’d scrolled down to a classicly Pipshopped “Pip, NO!” and promptly burst out laughing.

    Thanks for all you’ve done here, on the youtubes, and on the Rock Paper Pipcast. It’s been a real delight, and I look forward to reading all your fanzine articles* via links in the Sunday Papers. :) Best wishes to ya!

    *Edit: And obviously as editor, all the articles will be yours…

  10. The Dark One says:

    Thanks, Pip!

  11. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    So long Pip!

    Play Okami!

  12. mac4 says:

    Thanks for the write-ups, Pip, and good luck with your new endeavor.

    As something of an old-time casual gamer (having played Pac-Man when it came out as a kid, I do mean the arcade machine ;) Pong + pinball before it), after many years of fiddling about with 2nd-hand equipment, early this year I got it in me to buy me a decent gaming rig. RPS soon proved a valuable asset in weeding out the wheat from the chaff in today’s offerings.

    Your, and Alice’s, contributions have been a valued part of that. Keep up the good work.

  13. Plundermot says:

    Noooooooo! Thanks for everything, and I guess it’s time to re-subscribe to PC Gamer. And buy a 3.5 inch disk drive so I can check out the free demos? It’s been a while, but I assume that’s how it still works.

    Have fun, and please come back for a guest post-mortem of Before the Storm with Alice once it’s done…

  14. mariandavid says:

    The very best for your future and many thanks for all you did here.

  15. Premium User Badge

    john_silence says:

    Just what a great presence, you and Alice. Guess I’ll be checking out PC Gamer more often :)

  16. Darth Gangrel says:

    It figures that Pip is leaving. Her ability to make magic through words has landed her a position at HogWarrt’s.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Benratha says:

    What’s going on at RPS towers? Seems like a lot of good (actually excellent is a better word) feature writers have been departing since the takeover.
    I’d hate to think these things are in some way connected…
    I liked Pip’s lightness of touch in her writing style, and probably listened to all of her videos, because she managed to keep a childlike innocence in her voice.
    She will be sorely missed

    Horace will be sad

    • Premium User Badge

      MajorLag says:

      I too have noticed the trend, along with the sudden and inexplicable replacement of Freeloaders with Unknown Pleasures (which isn’t a bad feature, don’t get me wrong). I’ve got six months left on my supporter subscription and renewal is looking increasingly doubtful.

      • Premium User Badge

        alison says:

        I hadn’t really noticed, though now that you mention it, i am a bit unhappy that the I-F column disappeared. It’s tempting to blame it on the sale, but it could just be regular churn ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Onward and upward…

    • April March says:

      Who else departed since the takeover? Lots of people come and leave, and that’s sad because you grow to love everyone who writes for RPS (EXCEPT FOR JOHN. YOU ARE FIRED, JOHN) but it’s not unusual for them to leave. It seems like yesterday that Graham left but it was years ago!

      I also wouldn’t say that Unknown Pleasures replaced Freeloaders. Unknwown Pleasures replaced the Steam Best Sellers list, which is confuses because it continued with a new writer. I was under the impression that Freeloader had stopped long before the takeover (but would welcome a new similar thing) and it’s like the third regular free games column on RPS (that I know of!).

      • keithzg says:

        Wait, Graham left? But isn’t he here these days? He left on paternity leave and then came back, right? Or am I going insane?

  18. Premium User Badge

    alison says:

    Thanks for your work here. I must admit i rarely clicked on any of the news or e-sports stuff, but i loved all your articles on color and movement. I will really miss your boosting of all those obscure (in-development) games that are just really nice to look at. Like the poster above, i also enjoyed your videos. Best wishes at your new gig!

  19. Premium User Badge

    jssebastian says:

    Sorry to see Pip go… Alice will be very sad, though I guess she’ll keep cheerful by naming imaginary people in games after Pip!

    I did read most of the Dote night columns with some interest, though mostly as dispatches from another planet with incomprehensible customs scratched out in alien pictograms…

  20. Mi-24 says:

    Bye Pip, sad to see you leave but I’m sure you’ll have a great time.

    Thanks for all the interesting and fun reads, and best of luck in the future!

  21. cpt_freakout says:

    You were one of my favorite writers here. I’m going to miss State of the Art very much, but I hope you come back every now and then to do one!

    Good luck and thank you for everything!

  22. April March says:

    You are an excellent writer, Pip. You were, to me, the heart of modern RPS. Alice can keep carrying the torch, but stuff like the article on BBC’s Gamechangers turning into a list of GTA/Harry Potter fanfics is the kind of stuff I love and it has your name all over it. (In fact, I’d say one of the greatest praises I could lay on Brendan Caldwell is that if I read his articles without looking at the byline I’d sometimes think it was by you or Alice.)

  23. WaitWhatHow says:

    It sure is going to be alot lonelier without you Pip! And possibly less on fire.

  24. Premium User Badge

    tigerfort says:

    [sniff] Farewell, Pip. Like many others, I shall especially miss your chats with Alice. And I suppose I could try reading stuff at your new digs, too…

  25. Josh W says:

    Ah that sucks, I don’t really have enough time to find all the articles I want to read in this website (and so my only finding this out today) let alone another games one, so I suppose I’ll mainly hear about what you write when very occasionally when googling things, (or perhaps when the sunday papers picks it up.. a strange perk for leaving rps, sort of like how the royal family doesn’t get to vote).

    But good luck!