Source Code Theft

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Feb 23, 2021

Filed under: Column 75 comments

Heads up: This post is a bit more dashed-off than my usual columns. I actually think this would eventually make a good video for This Dumb Industry, but I need to do a ton of research before I can commit my thoughts to the indelible format of a YouTube video. For right now, this is mostly me thinking out loud.


So the news is that someone hacked into CDPR’s server, downloaded the source code for several games, then locked the files and held them for ransom. When CDPR refused to pay, the hackers “sold it on the Darkweb for 7 million“. The hackers obtained the source for Witcher 3, Gwent, and Cyberpunk 2077. From here on I’m going to talk about the Witcher 3 source, but most of this is applicable to all of the games.

My question is this:
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Diecast Unplugged #4: Bad News and Lost Time

By Shamus Posted Monday Feb 22, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 62 comments

Paul is still on the road. I was going to line up a guest, but then I just… didn’t. So instead we’re getting another one of these things. It’s a random list of short unrelated topics. None of these are long enough to carry a post, but if we shove them all together then maybe that somehow adds up to worthwhile content.

Or maybe not. Look, I don’t know what the rules are here. All I know is that I need #content for the Content Gods. So let’s get to appeasing…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast Unplugged #4: Bad News and Lost Time”



Jedi Fallen Order Part 24: Do The Right Thing

By Shamus Posted Thursday Feb 18, 2021

Filed under: Retrospectives 93 comments

Before I can analyze the ending of this game, I need to step back to the point when Cal exited his vision of the Sith conquering his Jedi school. The holocron then appeared and Trilla entered the sceneIf you don’t remember, I covered this back in Part 19 and 20..

This is a very vulnerable moment. He’s finally fulfilled his quest, but his enemy is here to snatch it away from him.

Even if Cal is 99% sure that he can beat TrillaNot that he has any REASON for such confidence at this point in the story, but let’s humor him., that 1% chance of failure is so bad that he can’t possibly afford to risk it. Having an entire generation of Force users rounded up when they’re young, brainwashed through ghastly and ruthless techniques, and then unleashed on the galaxy as a legion of dangerously powerful agents of evil and oppression is an outcome so dire that nothing is worth the risk. Maybe we have a dozen active Sith nowOkay, actually we have “as many as we need to keep the Expanded Universe properties going”, but I think it’s an unspoken rule among SW writers that you should at least pretend the numbers are low to avoid flagrantly contradicting the movies., but what happens if there are hundreds of them? What happens when we effectively have a government of super-powered beings ruling over a helpless galaxy? What happens when their ruthless ideals permeate the galactic culture?

(I mean, aside from the fact that it might make for some really cool “What If?” style spinoff stories.) 

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Jedi Fallen Order Part 24: Do The Right Thing”



This Week I Played… (February 2021)

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Feb 16, 2021

Filed under: TWIP 225 comments

Like I’ve said in the past, this series is more like “This fiscal quarter I played”, but we have to make due with the branding we have. Also, I use this series to give myself a snapshot of what people are playing. It helps give me a sense of perspective by showing just how diverse everyone’s playlists are.

Without this series, I’d have to do like the big sites and just assume that everyone is playing the most recent two or three AAA games to hit the shelves. But here we can see that indie and retro games are a major part of the hobby, even if they don’t show up in fancy trailers or on the front page of Steam.

With that in mind, here is what I’ve been up to…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “This Week I Played… (February 2021)”



Diecast #333: Ross Returns

By Shamus Posted Monday Feb 15, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 40 comments

Once again I’m talking to Ross Zevenhuizen, a friend, collaborator on Good Robot, and one of many developers for Watch Dogs Legion. He was last on the show in Diecast #322 where we talked about Watch Dogs. This time he’s back to talk about this other projects and game development in general.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #333: Ross Returns”



Cyberpunk 2077: What if the Heist Worked?

By Shamus Posted Thursday Feb 11, 2021

Filed under: Column 117 comments

The first act of Cyberpunk 2077 concerns the story of a heist gone wrong. While that’s bad for the characters, it’s good for us in the audience. The setbacks and twists in the heist are what kick off the rest of this excellent story. But what if everything had gone to plan? What would happen to the characters next?

I originally wanted to make this article about how CR Projekt RED bungled the development and release of Cyberpunk 2077. Like, people criticize the company for releasing the game “too early”, which makes it sound like the leadership just made one mistake. But the reality is far worse than that. I could spend a few thousand words cataloging all of the foolish mistakes that management made long before they decided to release the game.

But the truth is that I’m just not feeling it. Maybe in a future article, but I’ve been raging at corporate foolishness for a long time now and I’m in the mood to do something fun. And by “fun” I mean speculative fan-wank story analysis. 

I guess I should mention that we’re going to spoil the entire first half of the game here. I think that’s pretty obvious from the premise of the video but I just wanted to make that extra clear. 

Anyway. The heist… 

What if it Worked?

Link (YouTube)

Now, in terms of story structure this wouldn’t make sense because the heist is the first act of the story so of course it has to go wrong. But let’s forget about that and just see what would happen.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Cyberpunk 2077: What if the Heist Worked?”



Jedi Fallen Order Part 23: Can Openers

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Feb 9, 2021

Filed under: Retrospectives 150 comments

Cal and Cere flee the underwater Sith base. Darth Vader is hunting them like a psycho killer in an 80s slasher movie, and there’s no way they can hope to defeat him. During the chase, Cere steps in and suddenly taps into some top-tier power that stops Vader in his tracks.

Then Cal realizes that she’s using THE DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE.

“Cere! Listen to me! You still have a choice!”, he pleads.

Yeah Cere. You still have a choice to stop opposing the bad guy. What's your problem?
Yeah Cere. You still have a choice to stop opposing the bad guy. What's your problem?

During this series I’ve noticed that my interpretation of the Dark Side is very different from everyone else’s, for reasons that are deeply personal.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Jedi Fallen Order Part 23: Can Openers”