Diecast #215: E3 Aftermath, Oxygen Not Included, and Oops Coconut Oil

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 18, 2018

Filed under: Diecast 91 comments

Like I said on the show, it’s about time to have SoldierHawk back. She’s playing Dark Souls and Spec Ops: The Line right now. I guess she hates smiling? Send in questions for her. Or for Paul and I. Whatever.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes:
00:00 So Paul…

Like I said in the show, I’m planning to have SoldierHawk on the show again. I don’t have the date lined up, but it’ll happen in the next few week I imagine.

02:57 E3 Aftermath

Boo hoo. Poor Shamus had to watch videos about videogames all week.

06:23 Conventions, tradeshows and the quirks of congregating with thousands of other people.

And do we still need them in a world with internet? (Spoiler. It would seem so.)

14:05 Paul needs a new web-host.

So do I.

17:30 Shamus signed up for Origin Access and then…

Link (YouTube)

While I didn’t say so during the show, Oxygen Not Included is in Early Access and is therefore still a bit rough around the edges. It’s stable and smooth and I haven’t found any bugs, but there are balance / pacing issues if you play long enough to reach the late game.

34:53 Space!

In putting together these show notes, I could find no record of this game. No Wikipedia entry, no reviews, nothing on YouTube, no list of it in the common lists of 4X games. On the other hand, searching for a 4X game named “Space!” is like searching for a movie named “Fantasy!” The title is perfect for confusing search engines and no combination of quotes and boolean operators was able to get Google to give up the goods.

Anyone else heard of this?

40:15 Path of Exile


A while ago you wrote about Diablo 3 and about how you didn’t like it. I bounced off of it pretty hard too, but recently I’ve been playing Path of Exile again, and I was wondering if you’ve ever given that game a look.

It’s faster paced that Diablo 3, and the mechanics are more interesting. It’s generally held as a better successor to Diablo 2 than Diablo 3 was The game doesn’t waste your time with cutscenes or ham-fisted melodrama, but there is some interesting lore if you pay attention and listen to the various audio d\tidbits that are laying around.

It’s also free to play without any obtrusive monetization schemes (it’s mostly cosmetics and stash size), and still being updated regularly.

Some of the best,


42:35 Left Handed Gaming

Dear Diecast,

Stuck on a train listening to your comments on keyboards and controllers. Just wondering if either of you are left handed? And if so do you use your mouse with your right hand?

Personally I use mouse left handed and find a number of games extremely hard to play due to their keyboard mappings.

46:04 Tabletop Games

So… the name of the blog is TwentySidedTale, and the name of the podcast is DieCast. When’s the last time either of you played a pen and paper tabletop RPG? What are you’re best/worst experiences with the genre?


For the new-ish readers:

This blog began as a write-up of the D&D Campaign I was running in 2005.


From The Archives:

91 thoughts on “Diecast #215: E3 Aftermath, Oxygen Not Included, and Oops Coconut Oil

  1. Joe says:

    As a proud lefty, I move the mouse back and forth depending on what I’m doing. Normally it’s on the left, but I move it to the right for stuff like FPS’s. I once tried rebinding Quake controls for the left hand. It just felt too weird, so I continue with the mouse on the right. I play ARPGs with mouse on the left. Some games, like Diablo 3, let me bind everything to the numpad.

  2. Gabriel says:

    Could be Stars! ? (Haven’t listened yet but it came to mind reading the notes.)

    1. Erik says:

      I’m pretty sure it was called “Stars!” in the show as well.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Yup,Paul did say stars

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          Yes. should be Stars! the game. Wikipedia:
          and GiantBomb with some screenshots:

          Objections about the title still stand though, it’s not too easy to search for.

          1. Echo Tango says:

            I like how Wikipedia redirects you, unless you override it in the link. :)

          2. CrushU says:

            I played this game *so much*.
            I loved the ramscoop engines because I’d never run out of fuel! Neverrrrrr!

  3. Steve C says:

    ONI tips:
    -Like Paul said, get the minimum number of people rather than the max.

    -Ignore refrigeration as it is not important. (Yes, I know that was an issue for you.) The trick is to use carbon dioxide instead. Nothing rots in CO2. Which is conveniently a really good atmosphere in a farm room.

    -Farm room. Have a large flat floor that leads into the farm room. At the entrance of the farm room, drop it down 1 or 2 squares on the left edge of the room so the entire area is 1-2squares below standard. The lowest point on the right hand side. (Like this:{——————-_______farm______}) CO2 moves down and to the right so the CO2 collects in the low area and preserves your food. You can put a locker in there but it isn’t needed. Food can be left on the floor.

    -Mess hall to the left of the farm on the same level. Dups will naturally create more CO2 that serves the farm to the right. They will also eat food on the floor left to right. Which naturally allows surplus food to accumulate in the far right corner.

    -Mealice is best. Cooking isn’t worth it. Like refrigeration it is something to do only if you want it as a goal in and of itself.

    -Use gravity for water. You can mine pockets of water to dump water below your base. Then pump it up from the one location for use. Just mine below first so you aren’t mining underwater.

    -Don’t use algae for CO2 cleaning. Instead have a dedicated room for CO2. Early game it can just be a pit at the bottom of your base. Later you can pump it into its own room.

    -A central shaft 3 squares wide with a ladder in the center makes for good base airflow. It auto sorts gasses into strata by their relative densities. It also creates a space for a natural up/down space for ducts, wires and pipes.

    -Don’t kill critters. Critters are useful.

    1. Steve C says:

      You mentioned the annoyance of running out of water. You should be aware *that’s* the game loop in ONI. There will always be something like that you are trying to manage and build around. It could be water, or food, or CO2, or hydrogen, or heat (heat is a big one) but it will always be something. Each solved problem leads into new problems. It never ends. If it ever does end you’ll find that there is no reason to play. Kind of like having all your needs met in Don’t Starve, the game doesn’t give a lot of reason to play after that point.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        Speaking of Don’t Starve, yes Shamus, ONI is made by the same company as Don’t Starve (Klei Entertainment). I don’t know how big the company is, or if they have that many teams, but I’m certain they’re still small enough to have a lot of overlap in their artists / art direction. :)

    2. Echo Tango says:

      Cooking is actually a lot better now than it was a couple patches ago. Meal-lice is still fairly easy, but cooked meal-lice is now (I think; I haven’t played in a week or two) the optimal food. You use up a lot less resources per food-unit with cooked foods (in general, I think it’s about 50%-60% of the original) than with un-cooked. Re-fried mush-bars are better than regular ones, but still pretty bad for using up dirt / water. So, they could probably do with another balance pass at all the food recipes. Make it so that you’ve got a more gradual transition from expensive foods, to micro-managy-but-cheap foods in the late game.

      Speaking of things they need to patch – I really wish the devs of this game would take some lessons and/or pair up with some devs from Factorio for a couple weeks. Oxygen Not Included runs like a friggin’ sloth in molasses, and its map is smaller than even the smallest Factorio base.[1] They’ve got great art, but nobody who knows how to make a game engine more efficient. :S

      [1] Both are 2D, simulation-heavy games, but one runs well on older laptops, and the other runs like butts.

      1. Steve C says:

        The problem is the microbe musher is not worth building at all. It uses up way too much power and a ton of water. The electric grill is ok except it doesn’t cook meal lice. Meal lice is so easy to grow and care for because it does not use water. It uses up only a tiny amount of dirt. Dirt which doesn’t have many uses compared to water. Water is a real bottleneck resource and should be conserved in general.

        It makes every other option more trouble than it is worth. The better stat is “resources per calorie” rather than per unit. It all stacks together anyway. A pile of food is just the calories contained within. Dups take what they need. 10 meal lice requires 300 dirt and is 6000 calories Compare that to say 6000 calories of cooked Bristle Berry. Which takes 360 of water and also requires post processing, power and storage. I’m pretty sure my info is current as the wiki hasn’t changed since I worked it all out.

        1. Echo Tango says:

          I meant Calorie when I typed “unit”; I just didn’t remember if they used that in-game or not. Have you played in the latest couple patches? The food guide I see on the wiki looks like it’s from May. They did a balance patch recently-ish that made raw meal-lice less optimal than cooked lice, but it’s still definitely not worth it to make the high-end stuff. Or maybe they balanced it again; They’ve since come out with critter eggs and other recipes, in another patch.

          1. Steve C says:

            The plant wikipage says that it is current for the most recent release. I started playing after mealwood was nerfed. So I’m not comparing it to old info.

            Note that raw meal-lice is NOT worse than cooked lice. Raw is better. Got to put in in the full resource costs of the entire chain when comparing various options. 50 of precious water for only an additional 500 calories? No thanks. I’d rather put in 30 dirt and get 600 calories. That’s before accounting for power use and space use to cook and store. All of which again makes raw even better in comparison.

  4. Daemian Lucifer says:

    How come there are no left handed keyboards? At least for gamers

    1. Joe says:

      What would that look like? Numpad, enter, and arrow keys on the left? And I tried playing a FPS with mouse on the left, for about five minutes. Just doesn’t work, IMO.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        Presumably everything except the button-labels would just be mirrored. If that was the case, playing with the mouse on the left would be trivial for left-handed people.

    2. Echo Tango says:

      Probably because only 5% to 30% of people[1] are left-handed. Companies in general are trying to hit the broadest targets and maximize profits, so generally ignore smaller groups. Given that I have to choose between[2] bluetooth/wireless/corded, size, and shape, without being able to get all of the features in a single keyboard, I’m not surprised that left-handed keyboards don’t exist.

      [1] According to Wikipedia, with no sources. This other web-page says 12%, again without sources.

      [2] Arrrrrg, I hate manufacturers for this. This keyboard is bluetooth, but doesn’t have the numpad and is twice the price because looks like art-deco piece. This keyboard has a numpad and normal AA batteries, but uses a wireless dongle instead of bluetooth. This keyboard has a numpad, but is expensive, wired, and looks like it’s copying a stealth-bomber because it’s trying to look sexy and cool for gamers! ^^;

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Thats why Im surprised that there arent even gaming left handed ones,since there are plethora of rather expensive keyboards and mice.Those 5-10%* would happily make up the difference,and then some.

        *10% is the number I was always hearing,but never found the source either

    3. Dragomok says:

      I think that’s because it’d be a product one would need to adapt to, since if you’re a leftie and using mouse in your left hand(1), then you probably already have a keybinding scheme you’re accustomed to (IJKL, OKL;, PL;’, numpad, arrowkeys). Even if you were already using the closest left handed analogue to WSAD – PL;’ – then even the fully mirrored layout would still be noticeably different because of different offset of the buttons and asymmetries between Tab-CapsLock-LShift and |-Enter-RShift.

      With a left handed mouse, it’s different – you use it the same way you’d use any other mouse. It just has a more ergomonomic shape, a couple of (optional, unintrusive) inputs and – hopefully – enables you to complete The Gargantuan Task of switching two buttons around(1).


      (1) Obligatory “if you’re having problems with DirectX not recognizing that you have Windows’ Swap mouse buttons option enabled, install this” link. I’ve been looking for this for six bloody years, so yes, I’m going to mention it every time I can, because I still can’t get over how Microsoft messed this one up.

    4. Peem says:

      Because only turkeys have left wings.

    5. Nessus says:

      Because it would only be useful for gaming. In every other use case it would have the same disadvantages as non-standard keyboard layouts like Dvorak, Colemak, etc., but with non of the advantages.

      For regular typing, having the keyboard mirrored wouldn’t make much difference other than to train your muscle memory to get tangled whenever you have to use a keyboard other than your own. For most use cases where the mouse is used heavily alongside the keyboard, it wouldn’t matter unless what you were doing relied heavily on a small handful of keys or macros (as is the case in gaming).

      So for a lefty, a better solution than an entirely mirrored keyboard would probably be a separate dedicated keypad. Something like the Logitech G13 or Razor Nostromo, though unfortunately those are not 100% ambidextrous either. A simple separate numpad is the cheap alternative, though having used one myself, they are a bit hand-crampy, and can suffer from a lack of rebinding options in some games (it’s also really easy to run out of keys).

      The best available solution would be DIYing a split mechanical keyboard to spec. That’s actually surprisingly doable (there are even kits for it), and can get you something that’s as nice as you care to make it (it can be crap, or it can look and work better than the commercial stuff), but it still takes some work and skill (mostly soldering).

      If you’re willing to spend ~100$, you can actually build an entirely custom keyboard in whatever shape, layout, and key count you could want. I’ve seen lost of different custom keyboards by people looking to minmax their typing, but I’ve never seen anyone build a left/right swapped “normal” keyboard.

      That’s because the normal keyboard layout has feck all to do with efficiency or ergonomics. It’s just a “tragedy of the commons” holdover from ye olde typewriter days. The way the key rows are staggered is a product of the way the mechanical arms of typewriter keys had to be interleaved in order to fit close together, and is actually bad for your left wrist. The QWERTY layout was simply the first iteration to get market dominance waaaaayyyy back in the early days of typewriters. Neither is scientifically the best for anyone: QUERTY works fine, it just isn’t the most minmaxed option, but the asymmetric row staggering is actually an anti-ergonomic RSI farm that should’ve died with the typewriters that caused it. Only reason they’re still standard is because it’s always way too expensive for any one actor involved to change when EVERYONE is trained and invested in the existing norm.

      Simply flipping a standard keyboard left/right is a “throwing good money after bad” thing to do, lefty or no. If you’re committed to learning a non-standard layout anyway, there’s literally no reason to deliberately replicate any of the other problems with the standard keyboard. Flipping the layout would mean you don’t even get the short term benefit of old muscle memory carrying over for those features.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        Obligatory reference to Engineer Guy’s video on keyboards / dvorak. :)

        1. Nessus says:

          Yeah, I didn’t want to get too deep into it in an already long post, but from everything I’ve read, QUERTY isn’t really bad at all. The difference between QWERTY and other “more efficient” layouts is slight. It only really matters to people who have to do A LOT of typing under “every minute counts” circumstances. So mostly coders obsessively looking to minmax productivity like an MMO endgamer, or people who have to take lots of dictation (mostly going obsolete save for court stenographers, and they have their own unique system).

          For most people, even most office workers or professional writers who spend all day at the keyboard, the difference is negligible enough to be swallowed by one’s skill-based margin of inefficiency.

          My point is just that flipping a QUERTY keyboard would involve the same level of retraining as for any non-QUERTY layout (including the physical stagger), so if you’re willing to do that, you don’t gain anything relative to any custom or alternate layout, and you don’t preserve anything but the disadvantages of the standard layout.

          In other words, a flipped QUERTY charachter layout gets a lefty nothing that they couldn’t get by rebinding a normal keyboard. Flipping the physical staggering of the keys would be an arbitrary difference in typing, but would actually actually make things worse in gaming, because now the ergonomically bad side of the keyboard is the one being used by the hand that’s always on the keyboard.

          So for a lefty, the best option would actually be the same as for a righty: a physically symmetrical keyboard (either ortholinear, or with the stagger of the right side mirrored on the left), in WHATEVER character layout you personally prefer, and programmable layers so you’re not dependent on games allowing you to rebind controls.

          As far as I know, nobody currently makes that as an off-the-shelf unit. But you can get kits for it. And if you have access to a 3D printer and a willingness to hand-wire , you can make pretty much literally ANY keyboard you can imagine for just the cost of switches and a control chip (so around 40-60$).

          1. Zagzag says:

            What’s interesting is that one of QWERTY’s design goals of having the most commonly used pairs of keys be far enough apart to avoid typewriter jams is now coming in extremely useful for typing on touchscreen devices. When you’re typing with one or two fingers it suddenly becomes an optimal layout again.

  5. Ninety-Three says:

    Typo patrol: “pacing issues if to play long enough”

    1. Echo Tango says:

      OK, other pedantry – is it pronounced Samwise Gam (like “jam”) Jee (like the letter), or Samwise Gam Gee (like giraffe)? I may have had this wrong for decades! ^^;

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        I always said it with a hard G and a J sound, but I have to say that Shamus’ pronunciation sounds more authentic to my ear.

      2. I’ve always said it hard G am rhymes with jam, but that might be because I heard the old-time slang for legs (gams) before I ever heard of Samwise Gamgee.

      3. Nessus says:

        Being a linguist, Tolkien did write pronunciation guides for a bunch of his names and words, so there’s a chance there is an actual proper way.

        Damned if I know it though. I grew up thinking the second G was guttural because that’s how my dad said it when he read the books to me and my brother. As an adult I suspect the way they say it in the movies is correct, as from what I’ve seen of Tolkien’s pronunciation notes, the movies really did do their homework on that front.

  6. Echo Tango says:

    Paul, if you’ve just got raw HTML, you could host your site on Github for free. I mean, the tutorials are all for not-raw-HTML, because they use this command-line Linux toolchain called…Jekyl (I think?) to convert Markdown (or YAML? whatever, they’re both a lot less verbose than HTML) into HTML for you.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Interesting. What’s the catch? Are they doing anonymous data harvesting or something?

      1. Echo Tango says:

        I actually don’t know. I’d assumed it was because it was so cheap to host plain text, from all the code-hosting they do. Maybe they secretly want to take over the blogging-market. :P

  7. ccesarano says:

    In regards to E3 and conventions: I’m 33 so I dunno what generation that makes me in comparison to others. Evidently I’m the Venn Diagram that is Gen Y and Millenials (because clearly the best way to define generations is through the people living through it currently rather than a broad, zoomed out perspective that can compare changes throughout several decades of history?).

    Even if I’m streaming from home, I think there’s something to “events” in games marketing and press. As Paul noted, there’s the professional aspect like GDC, and curiously enough you can now watch GDC panels online. So you can still get the education from GDC, but it’s a place where you want to go and network as a developer. Press still show up because a bunch of devs seeking publishers are also able to market their stuff out. E3 is sort of an amalgamation, I think, especially now that it is open to the public.

    But if you look back at this year’s E3, I’m trying to figure out if all the leaks spoiled the fun and surprise or the fact that so many games had already been announced and showcased throughout the year had done so. I mean, this may be the first time we’d seen Last of Us Part 2 gameplay, but maybe it would have been more exciting had the game not been shown AGAIN back in December. If Nintendo had revealed Bayonetta 3 in development at E3 instead of the Video Game Awards, then would Nintendo’s Direct had been viewed more positively despite the huge emphasis on Smash Bros. Ultimate?

    In a lot of ways I feel like E3 is a great chance for people that AREN’T press and can somehow afford a ticket a chance to play a bunch of upcoming releases. It gives a bit of an “insider” feel, allows you to decide for yourself how the game feels, and either become excited or perhaps realize a game isn’t for you. Being able to come together with your friends and talk about what you played or to then Tweet about it to your followers is good and positive buzz.

    But the Press Conferences can’t convey that to people at home. Especially when Bethesda is saying “By the way, actual gameplay for DOOM Eternal is coming two months at Quakecon”. I can imagine in August or September Nintendo will have another Direct detailing their online services, an October or November Direct with more info on Pokemon Let’s Go, a Direct for Smash Bros…

    From a business standpoint, it’s more intelligent to spread your announcements out so that your audience always has your game in the back of their mind. At the same time… I miss E3 feeling like a holiday. I still had a good time following it, but I also kind of feel like I could have spent my time better.

    As for things like PAX and all, I’ve found that the social experience ends up being the key aspect for me. I loved playing different games at PAX East – be it AAA or Indie – and then chilling in board games talking about it or meeting community members at a nearby pub to chill and chat. The problem is, PAX East, as you guys note, is so tough to actually get into and is ridiculously expensive now. So I end up going to MAGFest instead, which also has indies but nothing like PAX East. Fortunately for me, MAGFest has enough to do in regards to music that my friends and I have a blast reuniting for it, but that event itself is getting big enough that most attendees can’t get a hotel in the smallish tourist resort town of National Harbor. My friends and I had no problem with the bus system last year, but it’s still inconvenient in comparison with just being able to walk a block or two (especially in the January cold).

    What I would love for the future is to see more AAA publishers create “Convention Divisions”, who gather builds of games to take to conventions while reducing the ridiculously expensive physical props of E3 and PAX East, so that you can have some of that AAA excitement at more events like PAX East and E3. Sure, it’s “great” if you’re press and have companies to book your plane ticket and hotel for Paris Games Week, Gamescom, Tokyo Games Show, the Video Game Awards, the PlayStation Experience, etc. But if you’re just East Coast Person #eleventy-million, then… well, maybe you’ll be lucky and get a ticket to PAX East?

    Just wishful thinking on my part, though. Streams are cheap and get the hype communicated to the audience in a carefully crafted and edited format. Why would you risk letting players test your incomplete game that could crash at any moment?

    1. Kathryn says:

      You may be Generation Oregon Trail. Younger than Gen X, older than millennials. The perfect illustration of this straddling of the divide popped up a few weeks ago when I was cleaning out my desk – I came across a box of transparencies that were compatible with inkjet printers. So, old enough to have used transparencies in school, but young enough to have printed them on an inkjet – this is like a 5 year age window. (I’m 35.)

      1. ccesarano says:

        I would much rather be Generation Oregon Trail than anything else. Especially as it seems more relevant to my background.

  8. Bloodsquirrel says:

    The reason that Diablo 3 feels like it was made by a different studio is that it was, for all intents and purposes. The original Diablo team, and even the Diablo 2 team, was long since gone.

    Path of Exile just released a new “league”, their way of keeping things fresh. Basically they start a separate “server” and start everybody at zero with some kind of new mechanic to play around with. If it’s popular enough they work it into the standard game when they’re done (and dump the characters everybody made during that league into the standard league). They also released a bunch of new acts recently; instead of playing through Acts 1-5 on three difficulties, you play though Acts 1-10 on a single difficulty.

    I’m playing on steam as Chaossquirrel if you decide to try it again. Me and my friend play it for a few weeks every once in a while.

    The game actually has a pretty interesting story, but you have to work to piece it together. It was a bunch of times playing through the game before I put together that the act 1 boss was the wife of one of the major act 3/4 characters, and there’s a lot that needs to be inferred or interpreted. You basically have to set out to say “okay, this time through I’m going to look out for things to read and pay attention to it all”.

    1. evilmrhenry says:

      If you haven’t played for a while, Path of Exile has improved a lot over the years. In particular, most of the repeated areas have been compressed; there’s no longer 3 sewer levels in a row, for example. That’s quite helpful for avoiding burnout, as does having one 10-act story instead of repeating the same story 3 times.

      The biggest accessibility problem is still bosses acting as gatekeepers; if you don’t know what you’re doing, starting at around act 3 you’ll hit a boss and just bounce off, because your character isn’t good enough. When just starting out, I would highly recommend following someone else’s build. You’ll still have trouble with some of the bosses; some of the attacks can kill most characters in a single hit, and you probably won’t know which way to dodge. Youtube videos can help there, as does inviting other people in to take out the boss.

  9. Hal says:

    In a tremendous throwback to yesteryear, at least for this blog, Rutskarn did a series of posts about tabletop RPGs back in [checks the archives] 2016? Gracious, has it been that long?

    Certainly my preferred content, given how very few video games I play anymore, but I understand that Shamus has long moved on from that sort of work.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      Speaking of tabletop, yesteryear, and throwbacks – I totally agree with Shamus and Paul, that tabletop gaming is time-consuming (most of the time). This is why me and my friends have almost never gamed after college/university, and why we almost exclusively do one-night gaming sessions. As for pets, the one guy Skype-d/Discord-ed/whatever-ed into our session, before his internet died on him from a thunderstorm. :)

  10. TehShrike says:

    Re: Oxygen Not Included causing too many restarts for Shamus, or being too hard to kill everyone with Paul –

    I really like how Banished works, where if you meaningfully screw up, 80% of your population dies over winter and you have no guilt or wondering about whether or not you should restart :-P

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      I’ve been meaning to try Banished. How good is it?

      1. Preciousgollum says:

        I enjoyed Banished. For City Builders, I have so far only really invested time in either the old Impressions games (Walker Model), or the Kalypso Tropico style of building placement towards acieveving goals… so Banished is a bit of both, and it is challenging enough to keep you on your toes.

        Banished really feels like an Ant-Colony manager. I like crop farming… and in the game.

  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    But it would be objectively improved by adding an easy mode.I have no idea why such a thing is contentious anyway.I get why kids would want their e-peens to be bigger by not allowing n00bs near their games,but not adults.

    1. Preciousgollum says:

      The problem with ‘easy modes’ to games is that they’re boring. They don’t allow players to engage with all the mechanics, or learn what they need to do, because it is done for them already.

      Especially if it is a simulationist experience. Perhaps there could be ways of turning in or off some features of a game, but I suspect that most people play anything on ‘Normal’ or default difficulty anyway – Half Life 2 stats show this.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        The problem with ‘easy modes’ to games is that they’re boring.

        For you.Its not like that for everyone.

        They don’t allow players to engage with all the mechanics, or learn what they need to do, because it is done for them already.

        Correction:They dont force you to use all of the mechanics,but nothing prevents you from using them when you dont have to,out of curiosity or because its fun.Also,why the immediate assumption that using all of the games mechanics is automatically a good thing?Crafting,for example,is super boring in majority of games its in,but its also often a necessity in order to survive on higher difficulties.Therefore anything that reduces the need for crafting in those games is a good thing.Heck,check the forums for pillars of eternity,and youll see bunch of people suggesting to play on easy because it removes the tedium of the combat while leaving the immersion with the world intact.

        Half Life 2 stats show this.

        And Im glad you brought that game up,because that game has so many ways to make you not die.Normal is really not that hard,nor does it force you to use all your weapons,nor does it force you to use all of its advanced mechanics,nor does it force you to replay huge swaths of game if you ever die,nor does it take away your bullets if you die,….Its so popular and beloved in part because its very forgiving by default.

        1. Preciousgollum says:

          Banished is about building a sustainable economy over time. There are almost certainly mods available to make it easier if needed.

          On Difficulty:

          Half-Life 1 for example, has good normal mode – but on hard it is capital HARD. Vortegaunts need a Double Shotgun blast directly to the face. More ammo needed to kill things.

          Yes, HL2 is much easier by comparison, hence why I have completed HL2 hard, but gave up in HL1 – it was tedium.

          See, one of the things that I now HATE about Bethesda games is the imbalance. In Fallout 3/Skyrim, there is alost never an occasion where your stats and level scale equal to an NPC – they cheat the stats in your favour. Rarely do you ever want or need to use a potion. I even wrote to Bethesda and asked their Support team ‘what’s the ideal balanced difficulty of your game’ and they come up with the vague ‘it depends – we dunno’.

          For example, I remember reading once that THE ‘canonical’ difficulty for a Halo game is ‘Heroic’ (which is above Normal).
          Legendary is a worthy challenge, but it is Extra Hard – so you gotta min-max your advantage beyond ‘reasonable’.

          I have no idea what the ‘balanced’ difficult is in a Bethesda RPG – I don’t think there is one. Normal feels too easy until you get to higher levels, where there might be some challenge, but then you can easily power through all that.

          Remember how much TOUGHER Deathclaws were in Fallout 1?

          So, when it comes to crafting, games should use it to make the base difficulty easier, or as ‘Theming’. It gives you an incentive to use that part of the game. A reward for preparation.

          Witcher 1 is a fine example of a ‘balanced’ hard mode. It basically enables crits against the player, and the text explains what it expects of you. Potions are recommended/needed. You brew them, then drink them in or around combat. Great theme. You also make the stats go in your favour by leveling up, and there is a ‘Max character’ point that is reachable.

          Witcher 2, on the other hand, was tedious, because potions cannot be used in combat, so you must chug them when you think you will need them, and because it did all that balancing around ‘dodge-roll’ combat – so, as you can probably guess, the enemy HP scaled above reasonable – prepare to dodge & chip away repeatedly. I think it is actually ‘less fair’ than Dark Souls.
          Yea, there are easy modes in The Witcher series, but it means probably not having to use potions – the theme of the game.
          So, not having incentive to use some mechanics means you are missing out on parts of the game play experience.
          – and any boring or completely superfluous crafting system is a failure of the game itself. The other problem is that indication of what a difficulty level represents is usually useless in a lot of games.

          Instead of FIVE difficulty levels (I played on Master – good times) I REALLY wish that Far Cry 3 onwards implemented some sort of continuous need or benefit crafting system (i.e not just herb gathering), to make better use of hunting the animals more than once.

          Holistic Game Design!

          P.S – This is why I actually struggled to get into the STALKER games for a long time. I keep hearing how one difficulty level is ‘The correct one’ (Master) but I cold never confirm with a good anecdote or hard proof.

          Spec Ops: The Line – Played on the Hardest mode before the unlockable one.

          1. Nessus says:

            I’m of the opinion that whatever difficulty level the devs balanced to be the “intended default” SHOULD be marked as the “medium” option no matter how hard or easy it is.

            Most players play on medium because they either assume that’s the intended experience, or because they can’t be faffed to even check the difficulty before starting. If your actual intended experience is anything other than that, you hecked up somewhere, and are shooting your own design in the foot.

            Thankfully I don’t see this that often. “Alien: Isolation” is the only game I can remember where the devs intended experience was explicitly marked as something other than the default “medium”, and I though that was squiffy when I saw it the first time.

            There are lots of other games where I disagree with the difficulty levels for reasons other than or tangential to actual difficulty though.

            The Dead Space games IMO only become survival horror when played at a difficulty one notch above one’s comfort zone. That’s probably a design flaw, as it’s hard to communicate to the player or even balance for. In fact, the Dead Space games do have wonky balance, in that if you ramp up the difficulty to make the normal gameplay survival horror, then the bosses and wave-rooms just become frustrating instead of scary.

            There’s also a number of games where I actually end up turning down the difficulty not because it’s too hard, but because it’s too tedious or anti-immersive. If it’s taking nearly an entire magazine to put down every individual normal human enemy, it becomes very hard for me to stay immersed.

            Then of course there’s the games that block you from raising the difficulty unless you’ve already beat the game on a lower difficulty. NEVER EVER EVER EVER DO THAT. I’ve had games that I actually abandoned prematurely because the hardest difficulty was boringly easy, and there were passive-aggressively greyed out harder options taunting me from the menu. That shit makes the leap from “clueless dev” to “self-sabotaging ASSHOLE dev”.

            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              Then of course there’s the games that block you from raising the difficulty unless you’ve already beat the game on a lower difficulty. NEVER EVER EVER EVER DO THAT.

              Ill second this.Its really infuriating for someone who likes to wring as much as they can from the single playthrough,like me.I usuall have one false start,to get a quick feel of the game,then I set the difficulty to what I think would be best for me,and go with that one until the end.Having grayed out shit until I finish the game at least once rarely makes me want to go through it even that one time,let alone multiple times.

            2. Shoeboxjeddy says:

              I have to disagree with you on blocking off the hardest difficulty. Some games, the hardest difficulty is deliberately unfair. So they block it so that every player attempting it necessarily has foreknowledge of how the game works, which will give them at least a fighting chance. Now, blocking off “Harder” and then requiring a full completion of “Harder” to unlock “Hardest” is excessive.

              I also think including an optional braindead super easy mode is a good thing so long as it doesn’t fundamentally compromise the game design (as in, they never design certain scenarios to make sure the whole game works on super duper easy).

              1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                So they block it so that every player attempting it necessarily has foreknowledge of how the game works, which will give them at least a fighting chance.

                But isnt that on the player to decide if they want a fighting chance or a sisyphean task?If I want to play your game for the first time by wearing a blindfold and with one arm behind my back,are you going to come to my house and stop me because I must have at least a fighting chance?Not to mention that in plethora of games that do this,the cheating difficulty is rather similar to the cheating difficulty in other games,so there will be a few people who can do it on their first try.Why gimping them in order to stop others from attempting something that they most likely wont even attempt?

                This whole notion comes from the false premise that if you lock content like this people will want to unlock it and sink more hours into the game.

              2. Nessus says:

                No, that’s backward.

                If someone’s gonna choose to jump directly to the hardest available difficulty without sampling the default difficulty first, any misery they experience is on them. If someone goes out of their way to pick the hardest difficulty then they don’t get to whine about it being hard. That’s literally what they chose, literally what they asked for.

                If “hard” is too hard, you don’t complain and get everyone else’s options limited, you just turn down the damned difficulty. That’s literally what those settings are for.

                What Damien and I are talking about isn’t wanting to jump blindly right into the hardest difficulty. We’re talking about getting part way into the game, and finding it’s consistently too easy to be engaging, so we exit out and try to turn the difficulty up a notch… only to find it greyed out. The game MUST be played in boring slog mode.

                It’s like that whole “it gets good after the first ten hours” BS thing, except you have to literally finish the entire game before it gets good. That precious first playthrough, when everything is a new adventure and you never know what’s around the next bend… squandered by some dumbass dev’s fiat. This situation isn’t that common, but when it does happen, it’s super frustrating.

                On the second part, I absolutely support super easy modes as well. I think full options for everyone is best, easy and hard alike. Yes, that includes Dark Souls.

                1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

                  As an example of when I think it’s okay to block the hardest mode, Dead Space’s hardest unlockable difficulty involves limited save slots ON TOP of the strongest enemies and weakest player character. Some people might be such ninja experts that that is what they want, but games aren’t only about the player’s wants. They’re to some extent, a guided experience. Otherwise the concept of “fast forwarding to the last level” from the Alone in the Dark reboot would have caught on instead of being such a one-off oddity. You don’t get everything you want, just because you want it. The developer wants players not to have such a bad time railing against an impossible challenge that they won’t quit 3 levels in. Ultimately, in some games I would presume you can mod open the preferred difficulty if it’s that big of a deal.

                  As an example of a bad idea, I would say Mass Effect 1. You have to beat the game to unlock the Harder mode and then beat THAT to get the most challenging mode. In later games, they just let you pick whichever one you want.

                  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                    Dead Space’s hardest unlockable difficulty involves limited save slots ON TOP of the strongest enemies and weakest player character

                    Ok,and whats the problem with someone picking that if they want to and its properly explained that saves would be limited?I mean since iron man mode started becoming common in games,its unlockable from the start in most of them.I dont see people complaining that the optional setting is preventing them from saving whenever they wish*.As long as its just an option,no one cares if its too hard.

                    In later games, they just let you pick whichever one you want.

                    That was patched in later.You couldnt pick higher difficulties in 2 when it came out,unless youve imported a character from 1**,or finished 2 at least once.

                    *Unless that game is a buggy one like one of bethesdas releases.
                    **I dont remember if a normal playthrough was enough,or if you had to have a 60 level character.

              3. default_ex says:

                I kind of liked how Tales of Graces F handled that problem. You can change the difficulty in the options while playing anytime you weren’t doing anything difficulty related. So once you got to the point where you unlocked a harder difficulty, you could go into the options and ramp it up within a minute or two. It really helped that by time you unlock those higher difficulties is when you start to hit the platue of “this game is too easy” your first time through. Successive times I hope you kept your save data around or it gets kind of boring until you unlock the higher difficulties.

      2. Echo Tango says:

        I think you’re assuming that easy modes automate things for the player. There’s a plethora of games with easier difficulties, which still allow the player to use and/or learn all of the other systems. On the other hand, if you meant that non-easy games force players to use / learn mechanics, rather than allow, as Daemian points out above, then I’d argue that those aren’t a good way to do an easy difficulty.

        The best example I can think of for a game that allows (rather than forces) you to use all mechanics on easier difficulties, is Factorio. The reason, is that it’s a crafting/survival game, and its got a lot of difficulty sliders. Even if you play with easier modes, or even cheats, the game is fun enough to encourage the player towards the other mechanics. For example, I’d never touched trains, despite my main problem being long-range throughput in many of my earlier Factorio bases/games. However, after I’d disabled enemies, and got bored with the conveyor-belts, I put in trains, because I felt like it, and the difficult enemies were no longer harassing me. Had I stayed in the more difficult base/game, I would never have discovered trains, and would likely have given up on the game, rather than put up with its frustration[1]. A boring grind is not a good way to get players to explore all of the fun parts of your game.

        [1] This is the same reason, why I no longer play Cryptark, and why I barely play Enter The Gungeon. Luckily, let’s-play videos exist, and there’s a new Advanced Gungeons And Dragons update coming out some time this year. Also, I cheated to unlock the last squad in Into The Breach, and I gave up on Fallout 4 because it was a total slog that I gave an entire afternoon of benefit-of-the-doubt to. :)

        1. Preciousgollum says:

          Those are all good points, and it shows that different people want different things. The problem is that games don’t do a good job of communicating the intent behind the difficulty modes that developers had designed. It means, (as said above) that you can end up spending HOURS trying to find out whether you should get better, or drop it due to some unidentifiable hidden element that might be affecting your playthrough.

          Personally, I’m usually about as good at a game as it needs me to be. I don’t retain ‘mega-skills’ or anything like that. I just become patient enough for when it is needed, and try to adapt to what behaviour the game difficulty is allowing or punishing.

          Now, for Dark Souls, there ARE many different ways you can tailor your difficulty – leveling up is one. Seeking upgrades, items, and exploring the world for them. The incentive is always there. Trying new weapons can help. Failing all this, summon an NPC.
          There are times when I’ve spent a long time being a dumbass and forgetting how to fight a boss, because I’m trying too hard to dodge and rush to hit. Always replenish your Stamina.
          NEVER repeat your mistakes – come back fresh. You can goad & maneuver those tough bosses, and PUNISH them when THEY make a mistake. Look for openings. Use magic etc – make full use. Anything can give you an advantage. Experiment!

          I am of the opinion that, if I’m going to play through a game, I want to play it on what I think will be the best difficulty, and then, when finished, play it AGAIN on that difficulty – or an unlockable/available extra hard one. I don’t want to have had it too easy simply because the game designer was lazy in explaining their intent – it wastes my time, and it is tough to tell if you are good at the game, or if the game is being good to you.

          So, Alien Isolation was a good example (from above) where, yes, it does tell you what difficulty is ‘The recommended one’ – and it is ‘Hard’ diff. Nightmare disables the motion tracker. Original Doom’s ‘Nightmare’ mode made dead enemies respawn ad infinitum – it wasn’t meant to be played that way.

          Again, most PC games can be modded. SOMA had that mod which turned off the enemy damage, and it became an official mode. Then again, SOMA might have been better off if it didn’t have Amnesia-style monster patrols, and opted for something different. Perhaps this is the reason why ‘walking simulators’ became a thing. I’d argue that SOMA, even without the monsters, was valid as a game, because exploration & navigation was a gameplay challenge unto itself.

          Game difficulties focus a lot on enemy stat modifiers, but rarely on player buffs or disadvantages. Those are the same, relative to one another, but wildly varying enemy stats means that the developer perhaps struggled to work out how tough their opponents are actually supposed to be – and it can be a lazy way to hide behind the problem of bad AI.

          If a game is too hard by default, then the likelihood is that it would never have got to market – people would complain or it would be considered ‘broken software’. Q/A people would be there to test it.

          P.S XCOM reboot does some nonsense where ‘Normal’ is easier than it should be (due to hidden player bonus), but then ‘Classic’ is harder than it needed to be.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            It means, (as said above) that you can end up spending HOURS trying to find out whether you should get better, or drop it due to some unidentifiable hidden element that might be affecting your playthrough.

            The solution to this is not forcing everyone to play on just one difficulty,but rather enabling difficulty change at any point during the game.Very few games offer this,but those are the best precisely because of this.

            And no,learning how to play the game and what system does what is not the same as difficulty options.I would really wish if people would stop equating level ups,gear and the rest of stuff you can do in dark souls as difficulty options.Imagine if someone told you “Driving fast while not hitting things,memorizing tracks and using shortcuts reduces the difficulty of need for speed”.Would you accept that as equal to adjusting the ai driving skills?

            1. Preciousgollum says:

              My point was that difficulty levels should explain themselves properly BEFORE you play. All the difficulty options should have a point to them.

              Also, learning how equipment works in Dark Souls is absolutely a difficulty modifier, since it makes the game objectively easier as a result of that preparation. You build your character to make the game easier. Dead Rising is also a good example – it doesn’t have an ‘easy mode’, since the easy mode is having a max-level character. It rewards time put into game. Fore-knowledge of a previous run also helps.
              Grinding is a legitimate option, and can be fairly straightforward in a Dark Souls game, if you are afraid of making progress. There are encounters that are designed like puzzles, but the trick being that having higher stats allows you to ‘brute force’ a solution.

              If we take Titan Souls as a counter-example, in that game there is no difficulty level, or upgrade system, because it is an Action-Puzzle game – same goes with Super Meat Boy. Portal also doesn’t have a difficulty option (not one I remember anyway) because the difficulty is tied to the puzzles. These games don’t make themselves easier over time.

              The ability to manage stats and upgrades is form of dynamic difficulty – you are making the game easier by playing it, in the same way that exercise is easier via body conditioning – in an RPG, your character IS your body.

              Resident Evil 4, as an action game, had dynamic difficulty, and depending on how well you were playing, continues etc, it would subtly increase or decrease the toughness of the next encounter. The main selling point of unlocking ‘professional mode’ is that, where the normal mode had a lower floor and a capped ceiling, Professional Mode kept the floor higher, and maxed out the ceiling.
              Normal would be 5-8 on the range, and Pro would be 7/8-10 or something like that.

              1. Preciousgollum says:

                For people that ask for an ‘Easy Mode’ for Dark Souls, can you please explain what you would envision it looking like?

                Would it be some type of Damage scaling modifier? Additional Estus?

                You can actually grind additional healing items when using ‘Humanity’ – it restores health – and you trade Humanity at bonfires for additional Estus.

                1. Shoeboxjeddy says:

                  Easy mode for Dark Souls would look like this:
                  -You retain some (but not all) of your souls when you die so that the player could immediately invest in a level upon respawn if they want. Doing this will obviously wipe out your soul pile, so players will be trained NOT to as they get better.
                  -Something like double Estus flasks. Maybe even some of the flasks slowly regenerate.
                  -Rings at the earliest levels that allow you to survive a fatal hit once per flask, giving the player a chance to heal if they mess up. If you take a hit and then don’t heal, you die as normal. These provide no stat boosts, so changing them for better rings would be a natural step to take as you get better.
                  -If the player has to walk a narrow platform and there’s a trap meant to throw you to your death, remove some (but not all) of those.
                  -Less boss health.
                  -Additional dialogue from an always around quest giver that gives you a hint as to what area should probably be tackled next.

                  If at any point, you found yourself going “That’s too easy!” … that is the entire point.

              2. Daemian Lucifer says:

                Grinding is not an easy mode.Because it requires you to grind.Just how solving a puzzle by brute forcing a solution is not an easy mode,because it requires you to invest a lot of time.An easy mode for a puzzle is giving hints to the solution.The more hints there are,and the less obtuse they are,the easier the puzzle.Translating that back to dark souls:

                can you please explain what you would envision it looking like?

                Same thing as in other rpgs and actions games:A combination of reduced enemy health,damage and speed,increased players health,damage and speed,increased souls gain,reduced prices,etc,etc…Personally,Id do the difficulty slider by changing how often enemies do certain attacks,and how long it takes them to telegraph it.For example,on lower difficulty,the shield enemies would give you an opening more often,and telegraph their attacks about 50% longer than on normal.On higher difficulty,they would give you an opening less often,and telegraph the attacks about 25% shorter.*But,if you dont want to put the effort in,you can go the boring route and just slash all the prices by half while doubling all the souls gains for easy,and do the opposite for hard.

                There is no universal difficulty slider you could use in every game,but the principle of it is mostly the same.If you can tweak the game mechanics so that it requires the player to devote less attention,reflexes or skill,to be more forgiving to the mistakes they make,then you are reducing the difficulty.If you tweak it to require more attention,reflexes or skill,to be less forgiving to mistakes,you are increasing the difficulty.In an action games,its usually reflexes you have to take into account,in puzzles its observation.

                *This is about the same thing that cuphead does.On easy,the enemies have simpler attack patterns,which are also slower.Its a good system,but requires some thought put into each enemy.

                1. Preciousgollum says:

                  That is a lot of game-redesigning. Let’s see what ‘Shadows Die Twice’, published by Activision, does with the situation.

                  Also, I did not equate grinding to easy mode. ‘Grinding’ in Dark Souls is still playing the game, but in circumstances under your control. You still have to beat the enemies, and you improve both as a character and player for having done so.

                  My ‘brute force’ analogy regarding Dark Souls’ ‘puzzles’ was meant about combat. They are ‘combat-puzzles’, but leveling up can make them less challenging.

                  What is the difference between leveling up ‘normally’ and ‘grinding’? Playing a game ‘normally’ still means you are grinding through mostly the same mini-game combat encounters (The Last of Us, Arkham etc).

                  I think there is an aspect of people believing that they have ‘wasted’ their play time if they don’t make progress, which incentivises frustration, and brings in the lure of in-game purchases as a result.
                  Dark Souls is a big RPG – it took me over 60 hours to beat the original, (2 was probably between 50-60) and took me 30 hours to beat Daemon’s Souls and Dark Souls III – sans DLC.

                  1. Preciousgollum says:

                    If you look at the achievement stats on Steam, it also shows that only a small fraction of the user base ever complete ANY game. Making games easier or harder isn’t going to change that figure by much.

                    This is mostly because they take a lot of time. If played for 2 hours a day, The Last of Us is going to take between 7- 10 days to finish on average first try.

                    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Making games easier or harder isn’t going to change that figure by much.

                      No,but it has a chance to attract more people.I dont know 100% about dark souls,but I know for a fact that I would definitely buy they are billions if they implement a save/load feature,and I will definitely not buy it if it never happens.And scouring those forums,I can see that I am not alone with such an opinion.

                      Its the difference between someone enjoying your game until they decide to stop playing it,giving you positive word of mouth later,as well as a chance to buy your other games,and not enjoying it,giving you negative word of mouth(as Shamus has done),and having less chance to buy other games later.

                    2. Preciousgollum says:

                      I just don’t like it when games have numerous yet poorly thought out difficulty options.

                      Having multiple levels of difficulty can also mean that a developer designs a combat scenario, like an ambush in a game that, while it might seem perfectly forgiving on easier modes, can be punishing and unforgiving precisely because they are relying on scripted nonsense.

                    3. Daemian Lucifer says:

                      No argument there.But doing things sloppily vs doing them right is a different issue entirely.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wow,that pun came right out of the left field.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      You’re welcome. I do try occasionally.

  13. MadTinkerer says:

    YES SOMEONE GO INTERVIEW ONLY INDIE DEVELOPERS AT TRADE SHOWS AND IGNORE THE BIG NAME DEVELOPERS. The big names do not matter in the long run. Their games are all guaranteed to be bad because they literally don’t think of their products as products anymore. Indie is the only space where you even possibly could get good games, because Indies still think of their products as products*, so Indie is the only relevant part of the market. Why is this so hard to understand? WHY!?!?

    If clicks are the problem, consider that there will eventually be another Notch someday and you could be the first person to ever interview the new Notch, but only if you get out there and interview all the currently obscure guys.

    *Well, okay, Bethesda and Nintendo still think of their products as products, but even then you have paid mods and cell phone games infecting the corporate culture. They won’t stay relevant forever, because the executives who know what they’re doing will eventually be replaced by idiots who don’t, just like every other large company, because that’s how publicly owned corporations (fail to) work.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Because the peeps want to hear about the big names,and doing anything with them is guaranteed to get you clicks or views or listens.Its the sad truth.Just check out TBs old videos,and see how much more views he got when covering big names,despite those videos often having negligible impact,while his coverage of indies sometimes literally saved games from obscurity,yet had only a fraction of views.

    2. Steve C says:

      I disagree. The big names do matter. I don’t see how you can claim otherwise. They are popular and people buy them. They have to be bought in vast numbers or they wouldn’t exist. People are buying them. It accounts for the majority of the money in the videogame industry.

      I say that as someone who only plays Indie games or from small developers. I don’t play AAA games at all and haven’t for some time. I personally don’t care about them. I can still see their importance.

    3. Shoeboxjeddy says:

      Saying every game from a big developer is GUARANTEED to be bad is just as dogmatic and foolish as a big developer saying ALL of their games need to be Battle Royale or a service with microtransactions or have a multiplayer component or what have you. Games made under constraints can often become great games.

  14. Paul Spooner says:

    Your complaints about having to watch videos about videogames reminds me of Brian Regan being Too Lazy to Fish.

  15. Soldierhawk says:

    Hey hey hey! I LOVE smiling!

    …Okay Spec Ops is killing my soul. But Dark Souls is AMAZING! It does this incredible thing where it uses despair to–

    …Okay, I’ll save it for the show.

    Anyway, DARK SOULS! *Eyehearts*

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Okay Spec Ops is killing my soul.

      And you havent reached the REALLY soul crushing parts yet.FUN!

  16. Hal says:

    As for questions:

    Shamus, you’ve played a lot of Left 4 Dead over the years. Have you tried Vermintide (or it’s recently released sequel) yet? It’s the same basic format, except set in the Warhammer fantasy universe, and instead of zombies you fight ratmen.

  17. RFS-81 says:

    First of all, thank you Shamus for converting your E3 commentary to blog posts for non-video people like me!

    I’m looking forward to hearing you talk about Spec Ops again. I’ve read your whole series before playing because it just didn’t seem that interesting to me until after I got all the major spoilers. It was free on HumbleBundle a while ago, so I decided to finally play it. It still packed quite a punch, though I do think that being spoiled lessened it a bit.

    Is there some e-mail for mailbag questions, or can we just post them here?

    1. Shamus says:

      Email is in the header image at the top of this post.

      1. RFS-81 says:

        Oh thanks! I feel stupid now :)

  18. adam says:

    Origin Access has FIFA 17. They only lock you out of the newest edition, I believe.

    For $2.50 a month it’s a pretty insane value.

  19. Will says:

    Lefty here. I mouse (and use scissors) fully right-handed. (I write and throw a baseball with my left.) Pretty much anything where you’ll regularly have to use some else’s handed equipment is worth learning to do backwards.

    Did you know there’s such a thing as left-handed can openers? My grandmother (also left-handed) had one. I didn’t even notice it was unusual when I went to use it, but it screwed with my righty relatives pretty impressively. Welcome to my world!

  20. Wiseman says:

    Partly metal, partly real, SoldierHawk!

  21. Jason says:

    I’m half left-handed, half right-handed. I write and eat with my left hand, but do almost everything else with my right. My brother is fully left handed, and when we were kids, he would always move the mouse to the other side, but he eventually just started using it on the right side because he got tired of having to adjust.
    Sometimes I think I was born right-handed but was taught to use my left hand because my parents thought I was left-handed like my brother (he’s older).
    My wife is fully left-handed and prefers the mouse on the left, but she doesn’t play games. If she did, I’m sure she’d keep the mouse on the left. She doesn’t swap the buttons either, thank God, or I’d never be able to use her computer.

    1. default_ex says:

      Sounds like you might actually be ambidextrous and just haven’t practiced it enough to notice. One thing I have noticed being ambidextrous myself. There are some people that try really hard to learn it but never seem to be able to do so. It seems like something that is just hardwired, either your born with that capacity and just need to practice it to learn it or you don’t have that capacity and practice doesn’t make a dent.

  22. GargamelLeNoir says:

    So Paul…
    Last week Shamus started with “You know Paul…”, so you can imagine how confused I was, I had to double check I was listening to the right podcast!
    Teasing aside the “So Paul” is a perfectly fine habit, it’s short, it does establish who’s who, and it does in two seconds what other podcasts use two minutes of bad music and catchphrases for.
    And it’s kind of endearing!

  23. Save editor for Oxygen Not Included:

    Give the dupes 9999 in all stats and affinity for every job >> Less time spent waiting for stuff to be done, more time mopping floors after the n-th lavatory plumbing redesign ^_^

  24. I can recommend domainname.shop.
    They are Norwegian based though, but are serious about security and updates. They have FTP and shell. Supports Let’s Encrypt (it’s just a checkbox in their interface to get free SSL and it’s automatic). But if your audience is mostly international it won’t matter much where a site is hosted. And they have Oneclick WordPress whatever that is. You can probably combine WordPress with a static caching plugin and use that with CloudFlare’s free offering for CDN of static stuff to get global serving of data from Cloudflare’s edge nodes around the world.

    If your audience is mostly US based then at the very least you can use the pricing as a benchmark, if a webhost wants more than this then they are ripping you off.

    There are more expensive offerings but these are usually for VPS and have datacaps, this basically moves you into Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS and Google Sites territory or other big hosting solutions (some which probably use Azure or AWS whitelabels).

  25. Am I the only clean freak who’s wondering what happened with the coconut oil?

    Did it ruin the keyboard? Or the chair? Or you, Shamus?

    Also, I’m completely amazed that you just ignored it and finished the podcast. There’s no way that my OCD-inclined brain would have allowed that!

    1. Shamus says:

      Ha! I’m glad SOMEBODY asked. :)

      It actually cleaned up surprisingly well. I mean, oil is usually really hard to get rid of, but this stuff was easy to mop up. No grease. No residue. All good. Even the keyboard!

      1. That IS surprising!

        Glad that there was no damage to you or anything else.

        But next time, just stop the recording and go clean up. I felt physically uncomfortable FOR you during the entire podcast!

Thanks for joining the discussion. Be nice, don't post angry, and enjoy yourself. This is supposed to be fun. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*

You can enclose spoilers in <strike> tags like so:
<strike>Darth Vader is Luke's father!</strike>

You can make things italics like this:
Can you imagine having Darth Vader as your <i>father</i>?

You can make things bold like this:
I'm <b>very</b> glad Darth Vader isn't my father.

You can make links like this:
I'm reading about <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">Darth Vader</a> on Wikipedia!

You can quote someone like this:
Darth Vader said <blockquote>Luke, I am your father.</blockquote>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *