Diecast #342.5: Shamusless Videogames

By Paul Spooner Posted Monday May 10, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 42 comments

Hosts: Paul, Anna. Episode edited by Paul.

Link (YouTube)

Anna and Paul are doing this episode because…
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Factorio Part 3: Biters and Solar Power

By Shamus Posted Thursday May 6, 2021

Filed under: Retrospectives 73 comments

I originally planned to give a tour of my base here, but in the last few weeks I’ve had half a dozen bases. I’ve been hopping from one game to another, trying different things and exploring bits of the game that I normally overlook. So I don’t have a single game to show off. So instead let’s talk about the level generation system and the biter aliens.

The Level Generator

The Factorio level generator offers a ridiculous number of options. This isn’t like Minecraft where you just pick a seed and take whatever the algorithm gives you. The game gives you a lot of sliders for determining how the world is generated.

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Diecast #342: Blender, Portal 2, Mailbag

By Shamus Posted Monday May 3, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 43 comments

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

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Factorio Part 2: Optimize!

By Shamus Posted Thursday Apr 29, 2021

Filed under: Retrospectives 72 comments

So let’s talk about some Factorio theory. I should note that I’m not an expert. This post isn’t a super-definitive analysis on how to optimize your base. I’ve logged over 2,000 hours with this game, but frankly that’s chump change compared to what the seriously high-level players can claim. And despite all my time with the game, I still need to look things up on the wiki from time to time.

But I’ve never let a lack of expertise stop me from playing the game, so I’m not going to let it stop me from talking about it.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Factorio Part 2: Optimize!”



Myers-Briggs Personalities

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Apr 28, 2021

Filed under: Random 119 comments

I got a question for the Diecast this week, and I really felt like I couldn’t do it justice in the context of a podcast due to the inherent complexity. Also, Paul didn’t have much to say on the issue. So here it is:

Hi Diecasters!

Thanks as always for your hard work.  Random question for you — have either of you ever taken a Meyers-Briggs (aka MBTI) personality type test, such as the kind found here?

It’s possible to put too much stock in them; I think they’re a good starting point for understanding people rather than an ending point.  Nonetheless, it’s nice to have a good starting point, and I’ve found that trying to understand people as (for instance) intuitive vs not, or extroverted vs introverted can really be beneficial.  Talking through personality type differences has been something really fruitful for my wife and I lately, as we approach our tenth anniversary and still find there are things worth discovering about one another :)

So, the follow-up question is (assuming you’ve taken the test) what personality types you are, and whether this kind of categorization ever proves useful in understanding yourselves or other people in your lives.

Keep well!

~David F. Ellrod, Sr.

I find this topic to be really interesting, but every time I bring it up there’s always a bunch of eye-rolling and general hostility from a handful of people. The Meyers-Briggs is not much respected these days. In fact, the Wikipedia entry on it spends more time discussing the criticism of the Meyers-Briggs than actually explaining the Meyers-Briggs itself!

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I Need Blurbs!

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Apr 27, 2021

Filed under: Notices 159 comments

I’m almost done with the print version of Mess Effect. The images are converted to black and white,They don’t look bad! Although I had to remove about 30 images because they were too dark / unreadable for print. Mostly these removals were from the last three games. Mass Effect 1 was lit properly all the way through. the layout is finished,I needed to move images around to avoid wasting large blocks of space at the end of a page. Wasting a couple of inches of page space is harmless in ebook format, but it literally makes the book more expensive in print. We managed to lower the page count from 877 to 809. and the front cover has been adjusted. I’m not sure why it didn’t fit. The commissioned art was 2:3 aspect ratio and the book is going to be 6×9 inches, but for whatever reason the two didn’t line up and we had to pad the image vertically to make it fit. I’m too lazy to do the measurements and figure out where the problem was. The only thing I need now is a handful of quotes for the back cover.

If You’re Curious…

  • 193,487 words, which is 6k words longer than Fellowship of the Ring, which is the longest of Tolkien’s books.
  •  809 pages. That’s a doorstopper of a book.
  • 425 color images for the ebook version. 396 for the print version.
  • Kai Leng is mentioned 51 times.
  • New material: A Preface that explains some important concepts (like trusting the storyteller) for people who haven’t read the blog. Also, there are many short passages added in here and there.
  • Mass Effect Retrospective 44: Boss Fight was edited to fix the incorrect calculations I did for orbital bombardment.
  • Mass Effect Retrospective 45: The Temple of Duh is almost totally re-written to correct the way I bungled the description of Asari religion.
  • The final entry, Andromeda Part 25: BioWare is Dead has been expanded to make the ending less abrupt. Abrupt is fine on a blog, but at the end of a long book it feels like you need a little something extra.

Also, I have no idea what the price will be. The forms on the webpage must be completed in a specific order, so we can’t find out until we finalize the cover.

Anyway, getting back to the topic of back-cover blurbs…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “I Need Blurbs!”



Diecast #341: THEY ARE BILLIONS, Valheim

By Shamus Posted Monday Apr 26, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 71 comments

Heads up: As of publishing, the YouTube version of the podcast is set to private. Paul’s in charge of that, so I can’t do anything about it on my end. I’m just bringing this up so I don’t get fifty comments telling me about a problem I can’t fix. I’m sure Paul mis-clicked and he’ll fix it when he’s available.

EDIT: It’s fixed now. Paul published the video after midnight, and thus made the classic off-by-one blunder with the publishing date. As the guy who regularly publishes the entire article to the front page and fails to learn from his mistake, I find myself with very little room to criticize.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #341: THEY ARE BILLIONS, Valheim”