0839: "Explorers"

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Almgren
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Almgren » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:29 pm UTC

The "food" looks suspiciously cubic, I was thinking of a game involving a die. Then for some reason I got a mental image of the food being either a small pile of Yatzee-dice, or a big feedbag of tiny "Pass the Pigs"-pigs. (which, unfortunately, it clearly isn't)

I also like the fact that Knight's callsign is "N" rather than "K" - obviously, "K" would be the King, and you would therefore assign him the next letter.
Randall thinks of (nearly) everything.

lewikee
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby lewikee » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:38 pm UTC

Almgren wrote:I also like the fact that Knight's callsign is "N" rather than "K" - obviously, "K" would be the King, and you would therefore assign him the next letter.
Randall thinks of (nearly) everything.


Are you being sarcastic? It's hard to tell on the Internet. The reason I ask is because I find it hard to believe that someone who typed that would not have googled how chess pieces' positions are actually referred to, before praising someone else for coming up with such a system. I am putting my money on sarcasm!

Edited to add: I don't mean to imply anything by my question, I am genuinely curious if you are being sarcastic.
Last edited by lewikee on Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:27 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

philip1201
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby philip1201 » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:08 pm UTC

My guess is the food is harvested chess board. There's nothing to eat on a chess board except for the board itself, and the other players. A feat of engineering great enough to launch a piece of their world into interludal space is practically impossible if you are constantly harrassed by an equal foe, so on this board at least White and Black have made peace (as evidenced by two colors being on the same mission). So both colors have rejected the cannibalism of the olden days (if you call chess pieces of different color the same species - there has as yet been no reported instance to either support or deny this claim) and turned instead to agriculture. Pawns now harvest the central tiles, rooks have been converted into giant factories where the materials for the new technological revolution is formed. Knights and bishops form the new middle class, their higher movement facilitating trade between the nations of White and Black. For the past hundred turns, the Board has known nothing but prosperity and peace. However, Black Queen Observatory has shown the existence of other game boards, with different rules and different pieces. One of these boards, Catan, showed a far higher diversity of resources than anything known on the Chess Board, and so it was decided that a knight and bishop, as well as two pawns of both colors, would be sent on a mission to this world, to offer an alliance to it's Settlers, and offer trade at 1 white unit ("(?)" on the stock market of Left White Rook) for 3 of any of their resources.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Maurits » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

lewikee wrote:
Almgren wrote:I also like the fact that Knight's callsign is "N" rather than "K" - obviously, "K" would be the King, and you would therefore assign him the next letter.
Randall thinks of (nearly) everything.


Are you being sarcastic? It's hard to tell on the Internet. The reason I ask is because I find it hard to believe that someone who typed that would not have googled how chess pieces' positions are actually referred to, before praising someone else for coming up with such a system. I am putting my money on sarcasm!


The practice of using letters to represent pieces is out of favor, because different languages use different words for the same piece. For example, in Spanish the word for rook ("tower") starts with a T, and in Russian the word for bishop ("elephant") starts with a C (in Cyrillic) which is usually romanized as S.

The "in favor" method is to use the appropriate Unicode character instead: to wit, ♝ and ♘.

lewikee
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby lewikee » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:01 pm UTC

Maurits wrote:
lewikee wrote:
Almgren wrote:I also like the fact that Knight's callsign is "N" rather than "K" - obviously, "K" would be the King, and you would therefore assign him the next letter.
Randall thinks of (nearly) everything.


Are you being sarcastic? It's hard to tell on the Internet. The reason I ask is because I find it hard to believe that someone who typed that would not have googled how chess pieces' positions are actually referred to, before praising someone else for coming up with such a system. I am putting my money on sarcasm!


The practice of using letters to represent pieces is out of favor, because different languages use different words for the same piece. For example, in Spanish the word for rook ("tower") starts with a T, and in Russian the word for bishop ("elephant") starts with a C (in Cyrillic) which is usually romanized as S.

The "in favor" method is to use the appropriate Unicode character instead: to wit, ♝ and ♘.


In English (the language of the comic and of the post I responded to), the system I referred to is overwhelmingly popular. Which is what prompted me to express my perplexity at such a specific reference to this popular system, as if a particular aspect of it (the knight's naming) had just been "thought of" by Randall. The whole nuance about the "N" being used because the "K" would have been the king's letter is so specific to the popular scheme, that I thought it was unlikely for that reference (and the subsequent attribution to Randall) to be wholly coincidental.
Last edited by lewikee on Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:07 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby SecondTalon » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:06 pm UTC

Semicolons wrote:This comic and this forum's response to this comic have pushed me to create an account so i can ask you all WHAT THE FLYING FUCK IS GOING ON. How do you get ANY of what you wrote from the comic? Its as if you wrote out a plot for a comic in your post that retroactively explains the random gibberish that is today's comic.

I get what Catan is. Its a board game that is fun. I get chess, also a fun board game. What i don't get is why two chess pieces are riding on a 3x3 chess grid floating through some magical medium (or possibly rockets on the corners) making calls to a mission control about food and Catan. Is this a 99% Catan reference with chess pieces substituted for something else? If so, then I have clearly not researched Catan enough to see the intricate humor woven into the panel.

I can't even properly explain why I find this comic to be the worst possible example of what a webcomic should be. It hits all the points so hard, its dumbfounding. Pointless, wide sweeping references to nerd culture? Check. Lack of effort put into the art? Check. Extremely convuluted and unclear plot (who is mission control? why are two opposite colors on the team? why is one of them being a dick? why is their chess board 3x3? why are they floating through time and space? why are they going to catan? WHY RANDY WHY)? Check.

Fuck it, i'm done. Maybe one day Randy will pull his head from the sand and read the mountain of scathing reviews, and maybe JUST MAYBE this will motivate him back to excellence (or at least some wit http://xkcd.com/138/).
They're mounting an expedition to another board game. For whatever reason, they sent a black bishop and a white knight. I can only assume the pawns were an even mix as well. The food's just food. Because you need food when you're traveling in space. Fixating on the food is ignoring that there are talking chess pieces with (radio?) contact back to the main chessboard who are nevertheless riding around on part of the chess board itself. Maybe there is a reference I'm not getting, but it's fine with the food just being food. Because they have to eat.

There's not a lot of depth here. It's "What if Board Games were like planets, and Chess mounted an expedition to Settlers of Catan?" That's it. It's whimsy. It's a daydream. It's just some goofy shit. There's no thought-provoking joke, no deep and hidden hilarity. It's board games mounting expeditions to each other. End scene.

lewikee wrote:In English....
American, Canadian, UK, Irish, Kiwi, or Oz?
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby lewikee » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:08 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:
lewikee wrote:In English....
American, Canadian, UK, Irish, Kiwi, or Oz?


I stand by my statement even in regards to those dialects.

harperska
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby harperska » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:28 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:They're mounting an expedition to another board game. For whatever reason, they sent a black bishop and a white knight. I can only assume the pawns were an even mix as well. The food's just food. Because you need food when you're traveling in space. Fixating on the food is ignoring that there are talking chess pieces with (radio?) contact back to the main chessboard who are nevertheless riding around on part of the chess board itself. Maybe there is a reference I'm not getting, but it's fine with the food just being food. Because they have to eat.

There's not a lot of depth here. It's "What if Board Games were like planets, and Chess mounted an expedition to Settlers of Catan?" That's it. It's whimsy. It's a daydream. It's just some goofy shit. There's no thought-provoking joke, no deep and hidden hilarity. It's board games mounting expeditions to each other. End scene.


A thousand times this! Apparently some people have no idea what it is like to have an overactive imagination. This comic reminded me so much of the games I used to play as a kid. Though, in my case, it was usually the chess pieces building fortresses out of dominos and Jenga blocks.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby troyp » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:31 pm UTC

In light of the last few comics, I declare xkcd to be officially back in form!

edit: the point of the comic is obviously to explore the given placement of the knight and bishop on a 3x3 board: the knight can't reach the centre, the bishop can capture the knight in a few moves, etc. This is done in a charmingly whimsical - and typically xkcdian - manner.
It's not exactly "deep", but it's certainly not pointless or random.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Maurits » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:49 pm UTC

lewikee wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:
lewikee wrote:In English....
American, Canadian, UK, Irish, Kiwi, or Oz?


I stand by my statement even in regards to those dialects.


To outline the problem we're dealing with more concretely:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algebraic_chess_notation#Naming_the_pieces_in_various_languages

lewikee
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby lewikee » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:54 pm UTC

Maurits wrote:
lewikee wrote:
SexyTalon wrote:
lewikee wrote:In English....
American, Canadian, UK, Irish, Kiwi, or Oz?


I stand by my statement even in regards to those dialects.


To outline the problem we're dealing with more concretely:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algebraic_ ... _languages


Right. I was, again, referring to English and how this notation is the most popular (by far) in English. I understand that there are many languages in the world and that they each come with their own chess piece naming conventions. I am unsure if you are trying to correct me in some way or if you are merely making a separate (and interesting) point.

JoshuaR
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby JoshuaR » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:35 pm UTC

Semicolons wrote:
shashwat986 wrote:
Pifreak94 wrote:The bishop's close to "completing the misson alone"...?


The bishop and knight are explorers. They're on the same "team", and they're on a 3x3 'capsule' to the Coast of Catan. Knight's teasing bishop about how he can't go to the black squares, so the bishop keeps their food on the center square, so knight can't get to it. I have no idea why Randall's used a black bishop and a white knight, but it's pretty obvious they're from the same "team"...

EDIT: In retrospect, the team(mission control) referred to is Chess.. so it does make sense..

Wonderful comic!!


This comic and this forum's response to this comic have pushed me to create an account so i can ask you all WHAT THE FLYING FUCK IS GOING ON. How do you get ANY of what you wrote from the comic? Its as if you wrote out a plot for a comic in your post that retroactively explains the random gibberish that is today's comic.

I get what Catan is. Its a board game that is fun. I get chess, also a fun board game. What i don't get is why two chess pieces are riding on a 3x3 chess grid floating through some magical medium (or possibly rockets on the corners) making calls to a mission control about food and Catan. Is this a 99% Catan reference with chess pieces substituted for something else? If so, then I have clearly not researched Catan enough to see the intricate humor woven into the panel.

I can't even properly explain why I find this comic to be the worst possible example of what a webcomic should be. It hits all the points so hard, its dumbfounding. Pointless, wide sweeping references to nerd culture? Check. Lack of effort put into the art? Check. Extremely convuluted and unclear plot (who is mission control? why are two opposite colors on the team? why is one of them being a dick? why is their chess board 3x3? why are they floating through time and space? why are they going to catan? WHY RANDY WHY)? Check.

Fuck it, i'm done. Maybe one day Randy will pull his head from the sand and read the mountain of scathing reviews, and maybe JUST MAYBE this will motivate him back to excellence (or at least some wit http://xkcd.com/138/).

The point is that two cute little chess pieces are on an adventure to explore, but as they are not the same color nor have the same move capabilities, they are getting on each others' nerves. It's funny.

Meanwhile I had the hardest time figuring out how the Ba3 was on a3 or going to a3 or what because the colors weren't correct. That and in chess you don't need to announce your piece's current location on the board unless there might be some confusion over which piece was going to move to a certain square. And without a second bishop or second knight in the exploring team, there wasn't a need at all.

Almgren
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Almgren » Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:52 pm UTC

lewikee wrote:Are you being sarcastic? It's hard to tell on the Internet. The reason I ask is because I find it hard to believe that someone who typed that would not have googled how chess pieces' positions are actually referred to, before praising someone else for coming up with such a system. I am putting my money on sarcasm!

Edited to add: I don't mean to imply anything by my question, I am genuinely curious if you are being sarcastic.


Actually, what I meant was exactly that, I just figured Randall had thought about the callsigns for different pieces and realised that Knight could not use K since it would already be occupied by a "superior" piece. I had military/tele-communication callsigns in mind.

Also, I'm from Sweden, so that this would be common practice in "english" chess notation never crossed my mind. I've only ever seen it in the Unicode format. (I'm not a professional chess player myself so I've just read notation in the newspaper chess-column sometimes.)

førtito
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby førtito » Mon Dec 27, 2010 11:58 pm UTC

Don't know if anybody realised it up to now: Which king stands on e5? The black king or the white king? If the Bishop is complaining on the misbehaviour of the white knight, it might be the white king he is talking to. Thus the move ."..Bb2" vitually lockes the knight on it's position (c3) as the white king would be attacked otherwise.
Let's go a bit deeper into theory:
However, if it would be white to move first, white could save the Knight by some move of the Knight which was followed by 'Bb2+'. Well the better move would be Na4! which threatens the Bishop on b2 as well as c5. An attack on the king is not possible like that, as ...Bd6+ was followed by Kxd6. Na4 would also enable the knight to get the food at b2 if the Bishop leaves that diagonal - well he won't do... resulting in some kind of draw...

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby quadmaster » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:17 am UTC

Sirmustapha: when you create a sockpuppet to boslter you arguement, you aren't supposed to copy one of you earlier statements word for word.

I mean, geez, you complain about Randal being lazy.
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Diadem » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:36 am UTC

Maurits wrote:The practice of using letters to represent pieces is out of favor, because different languages use different words for the same piece. For example, in Spanish the word for rook ("tower") starts with a T, and in Russian the word for bishop ("elephant") starts with a C (in Cyrillic) which is usually romanized as S.

The "in favor" method is to use the appropriate Unicode character instead: to wit, ♝ and ♘.

In chess programs and while playing chess online, yes. But while playing chess games in the real world, no. When playing a chess game you write down your moves (this is required by the rules), and you usually do this in your own language. Drawing pictures for every move would take way too much time, and doesn't make things any clearer.

Which letter refers to which piece is language dependent. In English K is king, Q is queen, B is Bishop, N is Knight and R is rook (pawns never get a letter). But in Dutch it is K for Koning (king), D for Dame (queen), L for Loper (Bishop), P for Paard (knight) and T for Toren (rook). Each language has their own names, and thus their own letters. This never gives any problems, because people just write in their own language, and when reading about chess in other language the moves are obviously in the same language as the text.

But letters are most certainly not being replaced by symbols. International chess sites and chess software usually uses symbols. But that's pretty much only where they are used.
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Hoopla » Tue Dec 28, 2010 1:45 am UTC

This comic, for me, provided a great respite from the comics Randall was posting earlier. You know the ones. The ones that almost seemed designed to create bickering. I love it. Its clever and funny, and enjoyable by most people. Keep it up Randall!
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Unparallelogram » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:34 am UTC

I feel like I got a bunch of references but missed the punch line. Was there one?

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:21 am UTC

Unparallelogram wrote:I feel like I got a bunch of references but missed the punch line. Was there one?

Chess pieces from opposite teams stuck together on a tiny chessboard for a long journey, and how ridiculous their problems would be. Humans have specific problems being crammed together in small spaces, especially humans who may not have a history of close cooperation. Chess pieces, "living" in a "world" with very different kinds of rules from ours, have very different problems with small spaces. The analogy between playing chess with one knight and one bishop on a tiny 3x3 board and two very different humans from different nations stuck together in a tiny 3m^3 space module isn't funny enough?

The references to other board games are a natural extension of the obvious question "Why are a Knight and a Bishop stuck together on a 3x3 board? What is that board; some kind of craft? If so, where are they going? Another world? Like, a different chess board, or maybe another game entirely?"
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby SomeFloridaKid » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:23 am UTC

Lo'oris wrote:Are the knight's food and the battleship also references to... something?


Sometimes these forums make me very, very sad.
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby wise_dude321 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:31 am UTC

If black's to move:
1. ... Bc1
2. Nb1 Bb2
3. Na3 Bxa3

If white's to move
1. Nb1 Bb2
2. Nc3 Bxc3

Well, poor Knight. Also, the King's on e5? Isn't that a tad exposed?

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby TheSoberPirate » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:42 am UTC

Lo'oris wrote:Are the knight's food and the battleship also references to... something?

I doubt it is actually being referenced here, but the food reminds me of Gauntlet Legends.

"Red Wizard needs food BADLY..."

ddann7
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby ddann7 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:11 am UTC

I discovered this awsome comic a few months back! and I just registered to say "keep them coming and I don't get this one"

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby KShrike » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:01 am UTC

Catan is a Hex board, and likewise, has much better mobility. He's playing on the fact that not all chess pieces can get anywhere easily (or, in terms of the bishop, can't get on a color they didn't start on)
They have to be opposite color, or they wouldn't be teasing each other (maybe that's a stretch; you don't have to hate someone to tease them). Also, the bishop can't capture a piece of the same color.

What's the king doing in the center of the original board?

Pfhorrest wrote:
Jamesa7171 wrote:I believe Pifreak94 was trying to emphasize the typo in the comic. =P
(amazingly, it appears nobody else noticed, including myself, and obviously not Randall)

No, see, a misson is a kind of subatomic particle characterized by its tendency to change velocity in response to the presence of other particles, thereby always avoiding collision or, if you will, missing. The knight and bishop are on a quest to create one of these particles, so uh.... yeah ok I give up now :P


Wow, you really nerd sniped me there...

Anyway, if this is a reference to space exploration, then maybe it's a play on the fact that Catan is a completely different universe, or something.

[edit]Hold up... if the Knight was bragging about how comfortable the black squares are, at that very moment, he just moved to a black square. So how could the bishop in the next turn steal the knight's food in anger. Or maybe it didn't have to be the first tur.... Oh darn it, Randall. You got another headshot!!![/edit]
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby ellieban » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:05 am UTC

Could the food be food resource cubes from Caylus? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caylus

As I signed up especially to make this awesomely erudite contribution to the conversation, I'm afraid my post count is (currently) 0 and so I am not allowed to post urls. You'll have to do it the hard way, sorry.

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Dec 28, 2010 12:24 pm UTC

quadmaster wrote:Sirmustapha: when you create a sockpuppet to boslter you arguement, you aren't supposed to copy one of you earlier statements word for word.


Excuse me, but when did I do that? I'm afraid I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

Maybe you can ask your sockpuppets, which I can mention in a throwaway fashion without giving any evidences, because this is the Internet and I can be an inconsequential fucker as much as I want and accuse anyone of anything. Ethics? Fuck them, right?

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Internetmeme » Tue Dec 28, 2010 6:29 pm UTC

Semicolons wrote:
shashwat986 wrote:
Pifreak94 wrote:The bishop's close to "completing the misson alone"...?


The bishop and knight are explorers. They're on the same "team", and they're on a 3x3 'capsule' to the Coast of Catan. Knight's teasing bishop about how he can't go to the black squares, so the bishop keeps their food on the center square, so knight can't get to it. I have no idea why Randall's used a black bishop and a white knight, but it's pretty obvious they're from the same "team"...

EDIT: In retrospect, the team(mission control) referred to is Chess.. so it does make sense..

Wonderful comic!!


This comic and this forum's response to this comic have pushed me to create an account so i can ask you all WHAT THE FLYING FUCK IS GOING ON. How do you get ANY of what you wrote from the comic? Its as if you wrote out a plot for a comic in your post that retroactively explains the random gibberish that is today's comic.

I get what Catan is. Its a board game that is fun. I get chess, also a fun board game. What i don't get is why two chess pieces are riding on a 3x3 chess grid floating through some magical medium (or possibly rockets on the corners) making calls to a mission control about food and Catan. Is this a 99% Catan reference with chess pieces substituted for something else? If so, then I have clearly not researched Catan enough to see the intricate humor woven into the panel.

I can't even properly explain why I find this comic to be the worst possible example of what a webcomic should be. It hits all the points so hard, its dumbfounding. Pointless, wide sweeping references to nerd culture? Check. Lack of effort put into the art? Check. Extremely convuluted and unclear plot (who is mission control? why are two opposite colors on the team? why is one of them being a dick? why is their chess board 3x3? why are they floating through time and space? why are they going to catan? WHY RANDY WHY)? Check.

Fuck it, i'm done. Maybe one day Randy will pull his head from the sand and read the mountain of scathing reviews, and maybe JUST MAYBE this will motivate him back to excellence (or at least some wit http://xkcd.com/138/).

Not cool. Not funny. Not a good comic.

Fix'd that for you! :P

Anyways...
Pointless, wide sweeping references to nerd culture? Check.

This is a nerd comic. The jokes are supposed to reference nerd culture. Get over it, or maybe you got lost here?
Lack of effort put into the art? Check.

Yes, because Randall has always drawn such masterpieces that it's amazing that he isn't DaVinci incarnate.
Extremely convuluted and unclear plot (who is mission control? why are two opposite colors on the team? why is one of them being a dick? why is their chess board 3x3? why are they floating through time and space? why are they going to catan? WHY RANDY WHY)? Check.

Actually, I believe Secondtalon already got you on that one.
I believe that you, sir, are either trolling, or are being sarcastic.
Spoiler:

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby duccle » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:43 pm UTC

jqavins wrote:Am I reading too much into this, or is there an Aliens reference in that one of the explorers is named Bishop, and is cabable of completing the miss[i]on alone?



awesome

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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Dec 28, 2010 7:50 pm UTC

Internetmeme wrote:This is a nerd comic. The jokes are supposed to reference nerd culture. Get over it


Ah, so references = jokes? Must be watching too much Family Guy, you.



You do realise that it is possible to put effort into drawing stick figures, right? Especially when it comes to Randall, who has described himself as a "perfecionist" at that in one of his lectures that got posted on YouTube.

flippant
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby flippant » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:16 pm UTC

I thought the board decided on a purely phonetic alphabet during the treaty conference after the Black/White War of CCMXLII?

And their obviously eating what's left of the pawns.

quamaretto
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby quamaretto » Tue Dec 28, 2010 9:31 pm UTC

If you ask me, they're headed to the wrong island. They should be exploring the Antipodes! (Cue laughter... Any... Any second now...)

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Elipongo
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby Elipongo » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:10 am UTC

flippant wrote:I thought the board decided on a purely phonetic alphabet during the treaty conference after the Black/White War of CCMXLII?

And their obviously eating what's left of the pawns.


Are you trying to write 842 (DCCCXLII) or 1942 (MCMXLII)?

n6mod
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Re: 0839: Explorers

Postby n6mod » Wed Dec 29, 2010 5:04 am UTC

OK, so I know they were 2x2, not 3x3, but "the capsule" made perfect sense to me immediately:

http://www.chessvariants.com/3d.dir/startrek.html

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Re: 0839: "Explorers"

Postby Maurits » Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:28 am UTC

Re: "But a3 is a black square"

There are three prevailing rules.

Rule A: a1 should be a black square.

Rule B: the bottom right corner of the square should be white (necessary to orient the board correctly in OTB chess.)

Rule C: an nxn board should be coordinatized as { a, b, c, ... n } x { 1, 2, 3, ... n }

For n odd (as here) the three rules are not mutually satisfiable. Ditching rule A gives you the comic, stet. Ditching rule B reverses the color of the squares. Ditching rule C changes "Ba3" => "Bf3", "Nc3" => "Nh3".

Re: "Why is the King on e5"

When few pieces remain on the board, it is common for the Kings to take a more active role. Perhaps there are other expeditions under way.

sledDog
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Re: 0839: "Explorers"

Postby sledDog » Thu Dec 30, 2010 12:21 am UTC

Funny. Literal LOL instead of the typical LQTM. Super nerdy but doesn't require knowledge of every reference to make it funny. Don't mean to toot my own horn but I got all of them *toot toot*. But I did only get Catan via wikipedia before reading it. Anyways... good one. Keep it up. Series or later reference would be pretty good.

chris857
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Re: 0839: "Explorers"

Postby chris857 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:35 am UTC

Really, I don't mean to toot my own horn, but braaaaaap! http://xkcd.com/757/

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aurumelectrum13
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Re: 0839: "Explorers"

Postby aurumelectrum13 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:29 am UTC

This definitely got a LOL from me, as well as two non-readers I showed it to. I love that there is more than one layer of nerd to this comic: I've never heard of Catan, but the basic chess joke is hilarious.

jamesmurphy32
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Re: 0839: "Explorers"

Postby jamesmurphy32 » Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:12 am UTC

Honestly, this has been the best comic Randall has done for months. Two thumbs up :D

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Re: 0839: "Explorers"

Postby Krawl » Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:40 am UTC

*Too lazy to read the arguing*
Yay chess!
/post
Warning! Sex Facts:
Spoiler:
A single sperm has 37.5MB of DNA information in it. That means that a normal ejaculation represents a date transfer of 1587.5TB.
That's a lot of Fucking Data! Haha! Get it? Fucking.

Image

texasredman
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Re: 0839: "Explorers"

Postby texasredman » Thu Dec 30, 2010 7:01 pm UTC

Excellent!!
I see this as a wonderful analogy of the stress onboard the International Space Station. "Onboard" gives the author a link to board games, which sets us off on this board game theme. Black and white represent various culture clashes, which culminate in the current childish antics of the two members. The capsule is the upper left corner of the chess board. The rest of the chess board was left behind for this mission, just as the control module orbited the moon while the Eagle landed on the surface of the moon.
The bishop could capture the knight, should he care to, but the bishop can easily evade the knight while they are in flight. There is no way that the knight can ever gain the upper hand right now, but soon they will land in a brand new world of hexagonal motion, similar to Chinese Checkers. This new land could spell sudden death for both explorers if they fail to work together.
And there it is - a moral. We each stand in a set of circumstances which give us seemingly limitless power over someone, or some set of people. What will happen when the tables turn? Will we be in solidarity and ready to work in unison to overcome a common obstacle, or will our former rivalries define our eventual ruin? United we stand, divided we fall.
p.s. I think that "misson" is a typo. Meson is a particle, but I don't recall any reference to a "misson" in physics.


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