We talked a bit about the Bethesda art style, which is kind of like discussing the flavor of a glass of room-temperature water. For comparison, here is the art style of the original supermutants:
This idea of an NPC lollygagging behind the player comes up way too often in games. It basically a kind of escort mission. I have no idea how this keeps happening. Yes, I’m sure once you’ve cleared the area you can use the in-game “wait” feature to get the slowpoke to catch up, but it’s still silly. What playtester looked at this sequence and said, “Yeah. Takes Fawkes about twenty minutes to walk across a couple of rooms. That seems about right. Ship it.”
On the other hand, Rutskarn brought up an interesting question and I don’t think we gave it enough time. What do we think about locking lore behind skill gates? I think we’re mostly talking about character skill here, not player skill. We’re talking about mechanics that require you to have a certain level or distribution of stats and skillpoints to reach audio logs, codex entries, lore books, etc.
I stand by what I said in the episode, that we shouldn’t need to pass a skill check to get critical info that explains core story concepts or covers plot holes. That stuff should be hard to miss. But when we’re talking about flavor text, extra exposition, and backstory, is it okay if not all characters can reach it? Is lore a reward like any other? Or – since lore is for the player and not the character – or should it be treated differently than loot and money? I’m interested to hear what people think of this.
DM of the Rings
Both a celebration and an evisceration of tabletop roleplaying games, by twisting the Lord of the Rings films into a D&D game.
Quakecon 2012 Annotated
An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.
Starcraft 2: Rush Analysis
I write a program to simulate different strategies in Starcraft 2, to see how they compare.
The Gradient of Plot Holes
Most stories have plot holes. The failure isn't that they exist, it's when you notice them while immersed in the story.
A video Let's Play series I collaborated on from 2009 to 2017.