It doesn’t sound like it at first, but Mumbles is actually on the show this week. Also, thanks for the mailbag questions. As always, the email is somewhere in the header image.
Direct link to this episode.
Episode edited by Issac.
01:08 Shamus is up for a Hugo Award
Here I talk about the fact that I’ve been nominated for a Hugo, and I briefly mention the controversy the Hugos have been having for the past two years. I don’t want to talk about the controversy here. In fact, the no politics post was written specifically in anticipation of this discussion.
If you’re looking for more information: On WIRED there’s this post entitled Sci-Fi's Hugo Awards and the Battle for Pop Culture's Soul, which seems to be the one everyone links when trying to bring people up to speed on this. However, like a lot of Wired articles this one feels like the author was paid by the word. It’s long on anecdotes, it takes forever to get to the point, it’s broad and hyperbolic, and for all the words it spends it never feels like it gets down to details.
I found this one much more useful: A Detailed Explanation by Matthew David Surridge, explaining why he declined his Hugo nomination last year. It is also long – I’m afraid you can’t really do the topic justice in a couple of paragraphs – but instead of spending its word count on stories, he just takes up one side and argues for it. In the process he kind of maps out a good deal of both sidesCalling it “both sides” is something of a misnomer. There are a lot more than two viewpoints here, and you can’t really fame it as two clear-cut groups without making simplifications and generalizations that will very likely piss some people off..
I’m excited to be nominated for a Hugo. I’m excited that videogames are being recognized and encouraged in their pursuit of sci-fi stories. I’m dreading dealing with people who don’t respect my no politics rule and are just looking for an opportunity to unleash the anger they’re hauling around. I think accepting the nomination is the most diplomatic thing to do, and win or lose I’m grateful for everyone who thinks my work has merit.
11:18 Fallout Mods.
It’s pretty hard to discuss the Fallout modding scene without slipping into yet another enumeration of the shortcomings of Fallout 4. We tried.
29:45 Mailbag: Sc-fi is sometimes hard.
Dear Dice Wizards,
Writers often create characters, species, or races lacking some essential part of what makes us human, ie. no emotions, sense of pain, fear of death, no body in the sense that we think of it, individuality, sexual desire, etc.
Since these characters often still tend to think and act like humans do, do you think writers and actors, as regular lifelong humans, are any good at imagining and portraying beings that lack important parts of what drives our thoughts and actions?
50:31 Mailbag: What would YOU do with an $80 million game budget?
A hypothetical AAA entity who likes The Diecast offers to put you (the collective crew of the Diecast) in charge of a AAA game with a budget of, let’s say, 80 million USD. Let’s pretend you have full creative control and that you accept the offer (though whether you would is also an interesting question). What do you make? To what degree do you play it safe or push the envelope? How do you allocate your resources?
Live long & prosper,
Erich T. Wade
I have to give Erich credit for a well-constructed question. This setup anticipated all the ways in which we would attempt to weasel out of answering it.
1:00:50 Mailbag: EA Convention
A while back, Shamus and Josh were talking about how EA and somebody else weren’t having E3 booths any more because it wasn’t worth the expense for them.
Rather than having a presence at a general game show like E3 or a PAX, do you think it would make sense for somebody like EA to run their own show, Blizzcon-style?
 Calling it “both sides” is something of a misnomer. There are a lot more than two viewpoints here, and you can’t really fame it as two clear-cut groups without making simplifications and generalizations that will very likely piss some people off.
Are Lootboxes Gambling?
Obviously they are. Right? Actually, is this another one of those sneaky hard-to-define things?
Games and the Fear of Death
Why killing you might be the least scary thing a game can do.
Silent Hill Origins
Here is a long look at a game that tries to live up to a big legacy and fails hilariously.
There's a wonderful way to balance difficulty in RPGs, and designers try to prevent it. For some reason.
Bethesda NEVER Understood Fallout
Let's count up the ways in which Bethesda has misunderstood and misused the Fallout property.