The future of this site and an update:

By Heather Posted Monday Aug 22, 2022

Filed under: Personal 25 comments

For those who don’t realize, Shamus passed on Jun 15, 2022 due to Cardiac arrest. You can read about it here. You can view the showing here (skip to 1:47 for actual content).

I know this site and community are important to many of you and we, his family, hope to honor that. The site is complicated to deal with due to Shamus’ preference for hardcoding and bespoke design over using the built in WordPress features but I am working my way through the backend of the site using my own years of experience hosting and designing WordPress sites. It’s slow going as I am also working full time, taking care of financials and other real life aspects of the death of a spouse, and helping the kids. We are very grateful for your patience as we work through all he left behind and prepare the site for future content uploads.

Our current plan:

I have set up a separate category and tab for posthumous content. All future content will show under Epilogue (in the menu) instead of on the front page. This was the best way we could find to separate the original content from that posted after his death. It does show in the RSS feed but will not show here on the front page. If you visit infrequently I would suggest bookmarking the epilogue tab for future check ins. Epilogue will include uploads of the Deus Ex series (I will check it but know that it will not meet his normal standards as he regularly reread and changed content as well as added appropriate images). At the moment the Epilogue page shows just the titles of posts (or in this instance, a single post). Due to more pressing matters I haven’t had time to fix it. It is in the list, I promise.

Paul plans to post most of Shamus’ code as opensource content. As this is posted, a link will also be added in the Epilogue tab.

Peter plans to upload Shamus music to Youtube as copyright free music for creators. It may also be uploaded elsewhere once we work out what will work best.

The kids are also preparing a separate subdomain for a podcast among other things. Sadly life is currently in the way as you will see in the life update below.

There is a possibility that we will release Pseudoku as a proper game, though that is still up in the air.

We have had several offers of potential projects based on Shamus’ work which we will share as things move forward. One of these is an offer of a forum for readers to use should they be interested. It is, apparently, run in a similar manner to this site and would offer a place for the community to continue. We are looking into this as a possibility.

There are other ideas but as you will see in the update below, it is all slow going due to things going on outside of the internet.

Family update:

We, his family, are very grateful at how patient you all have been as we take time to process and get things in order.  You, his readers, have been incredibly generous. You have paid completely for his funeral expenses and the kids moving expenses. This was an immeasurable blessing and relief. Between that and my nanny family giving me as much paid time off as I needed (or willing to take) we were able to just focus on doing what needed done instead of also worrying about finances.

You also provided for the kids, replacing many things they lost in the tornado prior to the previous move, as well as the items they lost this move due to mold in their air conditioners (so much mold.) The sheer number of packages over the weeks following his death was amazing (I felt bad for the post man). Food products, household items, paper products, cat toys, games and puzzles. Its been such an amazing blessing in the midst of our loss. Bay especially was blessed by it, who, while unable to help with other things, was able to open packages and divvy them out. Having something to do in the midst of things was very helpful.

We also had a semi-local reader come and help us with some yard work. She was such an amazing blessing and we were so grateful to meet her and have had her help. Thank you again.

The kids and I are doing all right. There has been a lot of processing and a lot to get done.  If you are interested here is an overly verbose telling of what has been happening behind the scenes (I apologize in advance, no one has ever accused me of being concise.)

The day before Shamus passed the family I nanny for added another member. The little one was born almost 24 hours before Shamus passed. This meant that there was plenty of family around waiting and allowed me to take the time off I needed to focus on family and getting the kids moved back home. (It also meant I got to go back to work to a new baby, which is wonderful).

I spent the next few days dealing with funeral stuff then driving 6 hours to help the kids pack their place in 2 days instead of the month we had originally planned. We packed as much as possible, they and I drove the 6 hours back with a full load of stuff, the wheelchair, and 3 cats. The cats are not good travelers and were very expressive in their unhappiness over their treatment. The next day Bay (who was the only one who knew what needed packed and where everything needed to go) and I drove back to Indiana with my brother-in-law and a friend who would help us finish packing and bring the rest of their household contents back. We picked up the truck (they gave us the wrong location which took us an extra hour out of our way), and started loading. It took longer than we had planned so Bay and I headed back to PA while Dan and Craig packed the truck and drove back. We got in at 2 am. They got in at 6am the next morning.  My dad and sister-in-law helped unload on our end and we got the kids all settled here in our house.

We dealt with more funeral stuff plus getting move related stuff dealt with.

A week and a half after his passing I went back to work. My nanny family was also in the process of moving and had the big final move planned for the day I returned. I helped them move while helping with the, now 3, boys. They moved from a small 3 bedroom to a place significantly larger (and closer). That was a very interesting (and exhausting) experience.

We dealt with more move related stuff and started dealing with Shamus’ computer and website. We realized that there was a lot more on the computer than we realized as Shamus often didn’t speak about his projects. So we spent a lot of the time figuring out what was what and his organization system. I started tracking down the hardcoded bits that made it so I couldn’t make the needed changes on the site.

A few weeks in and the kids were to move to their new apartment. We went to the walk through. Despite multiple reminders about the wheelchair, the apartment managed to pick the only one of 2 apartments that had steps to the front door. So….no move in. Management quickly jumped through some hoops and found a more suitable apartment that they could move into the next week.

While waiting for the move Bay was having more and more pain. Due to the specific movement needed for transfers there were concerns of an ACL tear in the good knee. We had been trying to get insurance set up but had to wait for the lease to go through for proof of residency. We attempted a trip to a Fastercare. No use. They couldn’t do anything other than tell us there wasn’t a break. A few days before the move but after the first lease went through (so insurance would cover it), they went to the ER due to significant, sudden pain. There they got steroids and a referral to an ortho. The steroids made a world of difference. (Why they were off their Rheumatoid meds and ended up in the wheelchair in the first place is another horribly long story that includes a tornado, a move across the country, and a whole lot more. I’ll let Bay tell that one when and if they are ready.) The ortho then prescribed an anti-inflammatory and scheduled Bay an appointment with an awesome doctor who they see at the end of September.

We moved the kids into their new apartment in a single day. Everything is wheelchair accessible unlike the one they had been supposed to be in, which, even without the stairs was just the best option at the time, but not accessible by any stretch. This apartment could not be more suited to their needs. In the meantime, when I am not at work or giving kids rides (1 car + 4 adults) or working out death related stuff and finances or backend stuff on the site, I have been working on getting the house back in order and rearranging things to suit our current needs, including a new fridge as our 1986 fridge is on deaths door.

In the meantime Peter applied for and got a new job at the post office (after years with Dollar General). This meant him needing rides to work as well as to orientation out of town (though the new job is much closer and more suits his needs.)

And here we are.



From The Archives:

25 thoughts on “The future of this site and an update:

  1. Soldierhawk says:

    Thank you for the update, Heather. I don’t think I’m speaking just for myself when I say the community isn’t going anywhere, and we’re here when and however you need us.

    Thank you for the update. I can’t imagine it’s easy to juggle this site in and among all the other things you’re dealing with, but it truly is appreciated.

    1. BlueHorus says:

      Seconded. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have your spouse die, have so much upheaval happen in your life – and yet still have the time and energy to think about a website.
      Thank you for everything you’ve been doing, and I’ll love reading the work that Shamus left behind, in whatever form it comes out.
      Best wishes to you and all your kids. Hope things settle down.

      (Incidentally, that old fridge is as old as I am! Good on you for keeping it going so long.)

  2. Rob Lundeen says:

    I am so pleased to hear from you and your family. It is amazing that you all are able to accomplish so much during such a stressful and emotional time. As Shamus’ friends we are here for you. Please let us know if you need anything.

  3. RCN says:

    Good to know you were looked after during this tragedy, Heather and kids.

    Tornados, death, mixups. This is a very complicated ordeal and financial troubles had no place adding up to the pile.

    My daughter was born since the update of his passing. I will tell her of Shamus.

    Best regards from Brazil. RCN.

  4. Noah Gibbs says:

    That sounds like an unbelievable amount of work, especially with your recent bereavement. I’m really grateful for what you’re doing, and amazed at your perseverance. It’s hard not to think of my wife if the same happened, and I can barely imagine what it’s like. Take time where you need it, and where you can.

    We’ve read a lot from Shamus over the years. My kids know his name, and my wife remembers a lot of the news I’ve mentioned about him.

  5. RamblePak64 says:

    It’s good to hear from you. I am glad there are still blessings to count among all the hardships being endured in this time. Thank you for the update.

  6. SADD1 says:

    Thank you for the update Heather, I am glad to hear that we, Shamus’ loyal readers, have been able to assist you at least a bit in this difficult time for you and your family.

  7. ColeusRattus says:

    Heather, the whole post is on the front page!

    I jest, I jest! Good to hear (read) from you. Don’t worry a bout being too verbose. Remember we’re gathered here at a place of a young adult novel length critique of a video game series.

    1. Olivier FAURE says:

      I wondered if there’d be one of those “whole article on front page” comments.

  8. Fizban says:

    Thank you for the update. I’m glad that everyone was able to help so much.

  9. Lino says:

    Thank you for the update, Heather! Good to hear that things are starting to look normal again, and sorry for all the things you had to go through – as if the big thing that happened wasn’t enough… Still, good to see that life is back on track, and I’m so happy that our community was able to lend a hand in this crappy time!

  10. parkenf says:

    Thankyou for the update. You’ve all had to get through a lot. I’m glad we were able to help, and second that I’ll stick around.

  11. Vertette says:

    If you need help with the site, I’ll gladly offer my services. I have some free time and years of professional experience working with WordPress.

  12. Brosephus says:

    It’s good to hear that the family is doing well and still working on the site despite everything. Best regards, will be watching for future updates.

  13. Th3Vangu4rd says:

    Thank you for the update, Heather. My sympathies both for your loss and all of the overlapping responsiblites as well. No rush on whatever comes next for the site on my account – I’ll keep checking in no matter what.

  14. Baron Tanks says:

    Good to hear the update and while I’ve never massively interacted with the community, through Shamus’ writing I always felt a kind of kinship. After regulary (every 10 days? Fortnight?) coming back to see if there was anything and seeing the giant post getting bigger with heartfelt outpours, it’s very nice to hear from the family and see a bunch of familiar faces in the comments here. But first, foremost and like before, wish you and the family all the best Heather, well done for being a champ. I’m sure in a way you thrive on being there for those around you, but it’s still an impressive effort

  15. evileeyore says:

    Seeing the Epilogue articles actually brought tears to my eyes. I’ll have to read them at a later date, but I feel joy to see the family continuing Shamus’ work.

  16. Marcus Watkiss Veal says:

    Shamus was a remarkable man, with a remarkable family and he cultivated a remarkable community. I got emotional reading this post, but not nearly as emotional as it was to write, I’m sure. Shamus was, as they say, “a river to his people.”

  17. Dreadjaws says:

    Thanks for the article. I had stopped looking at the website daily and started doing it on a weekly basis, so I’m glad to see an update and finally know you’re all doing relatively well under the circumstances. I’m still having a hard time adjusting, so I can’t even imagine what you all must be going through. Best of wishes.

  18. Madoradus says:

    Hope you know we appreciate, love & support you. Thank you for everything you’re doing for this community even while dealing with real life.

  19. Bubble181 says:

    Thank you for the update, and I’m glad that at least there was a lot of support and some assistance. No form of help will ever be enough to make the grief go away or to make dealing with things easier, but at least it can hopefully prevent other issues from being stacked on top of the already heave burden you are all carrying right now.
    Once again my condolences, my heart goes out to all of you.

  20. Deoxy says:

    I was a devoted reader for several years (starting fairly early in the “DM of the Rings” era), then slowly read less and less…. but always kept the bookmark and visited briefly every now and then. Last time I was hear was probably a year or two ago.

    And today, I notice the link in my bookmark list and decide to just drop by… to this. I never met any of you personally, but I truly enjoyed Shamus’ thoughtful digestion of games and what makes them good or bad, and his humor was a bright part of my life for several years.

    My late but sincere condolences. Not even sure what else to say.

  21. Zach says:

    Im happy Shamus’ community was able to make his passing easier. Im tremendously grateful this site will continue for a little longer

  22. Zeta Kai says:

    I have to say that I was looking forward to playing Pseudoku since Shamus was first working on it, way back in 2017. I was so excited that he’d finished it, that it was ready for launch on Steam… and then nothing. I understand that there was some major issues with getting a business license in the state of Pennsylvania, that they basically make it nigh-impossible for a one-man business to get off the ground in the Keystone State.

    It was very disappointing, though, as I was very interested in the project. I had never played Sudoku before at that point, but I enjoyed puzzle games, & eventually picked up the Sudoku habit because of Pseudoku becoming vaporware. I would still love to see a launch of that game, & I would be more than willing to purchase it, especially as a tribute to its late designer. I always thought that Shamus had the soul of a brilliant game designer, & it was a shame that he only made two finished games in his career, only one of which is accessible to the public. I hope to play his other game one day, even if it’s just a compiled version of his source code.

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