The Late Shamus Young

By Paul Spooner Posted Wednesday Jun 15, 2022

Filed under: Landmarks, Personal 579 comments

It is with shock and dismay that I find it my duty to report to you all the death of our mutual friend Shamus Young, this morning at 3am, of cardiac arrest.

Shamus called an ambulance at 6pm yesterday night for odd chest and stomach pain, and was transported via ambulance to the hospital where his wife Heather met him from work an hour away. They were able to remain together throughout the rest of the ordeal. The doctors ran a suite of tests, which were all negative until a heart enzyme test came back elevated. The decision to admit him was made due to the high heart enzyme levels, but his Blood Pressure and O2 remained normal. He continued to experience unusual cramping and weakness, so the doctors attempted to rule out stroke and anything kidney related with more tests. The doctors at the ER and hospital worked with his nephrologist to check everything. He was in the process of being admitted when suddenly he went into full cardiac arrest. The emergency staff worked on him for 20 minutes, but were never able to establish a heartbeat.

Although this may seem sudden, it is not entirely unexpected. Shamus already hated dialysis and would be miserable with a transplant, so there was not much expectation of ongoing quality of life. He kept making comments about not being around. Not depressed, just not expecting to be with us much longer. The family, while surprised at the suddenness, were not surprised at the outcome. The kids were in the process of moving back to be nearby and help; This process has been sped up and they will be moving back this weekend.

Shamus is survived by his wife Heather, their three children- Bay(24), Peter(22), and Issac(20), his mother, brothers, and sister, nieces and nephew.

Heather’s Notes

About the site: The family intends to keep the site up as long as possible, both as a legacy as well as a secondary subdomain with uploads of other content he never finished or never posted and other possible content. We also intend to make his source code available in the future as open source. While we, the family, all have WordPress/backend/blogging/varying levels of programming experience and can maintain the site ourselves, we also welcome those with experience who would be interested in helping maintain the site. Please direct emails to [email protected], though it will be a while before we get on top of that aspect of our lives. (I would set up a new email for this but honestly, there are too many other things to deal with at the moment and I have access to all Shamus’ internet infrastructure.)

In lieu of food and flowers:

If you would like to offer financial support, Heather’s account is @tinybookdragon on PayPal or son-in-law’s Cashapp account is ElliotRneaJubilee

You can find his books here.

Due to lack of space and health issues (Heather has severe food allergies and is recently diagnosed celiac) we request that no one bring food or flowers. Instead, here are some ways you can help as they deal with their loss.

Amazon list:

Gift cards:

  • Aldi
  • Sheetz
  • Target
  • Whole foods
  • Trader Joes
  • Instacart
  • Amazon
  • Chipotle (the only restaurant around where Heather can safely eat)

For locals:

  • Lawn mowing (Issac and Heather take care of the lawn but will be busy helping the others move back)
  • Paper products
  • Help moving a ridiculous amount of rocks the previous owners chose to pour over the garden area
  • Help removing bushes Heather is very allergic to
  • Help unloading truck on Sunday
  • Help moving the kids into new apartment in July
  • Help pouring cement mold sidewalk for wheelchair accessibility

Memorial Service:

The memorial service for Shamus can be viewed on Youtube here.  His obituary is also hosted on their website:



Deus Ex Pitch Part 4: Morpheus Protocol

By Shamus Posted Friday Jun 24, 2022

Filed under: Projects 57 comments

Note: This is a Shamus-scheduled article that is being published post-mortem.

Back at the white house, Troy meets with Alex face-to-face. This next part is like your visits to Seraph Industries in Deus Ex Human Revolution. The player isn’t allowed to pull out their weaponsOr the game will let them, but discharging a weapon is an instant game over. or do any other shenanigans that would break the story. I know these games pride themselves on player agency and freedom, but I think most players are okay with not being allowed to pointlessly fire their weapons or toss inventory items around for no reason while visiting the White House.

Mission 3: Morpheus Protocol

Alex sums up the plot so far: Life is back to normal for the president. His poll numbers are up even more since the attempt on his life. We ID’d the people that attacked the White HouseLet’s just carefully avoid saying if they’re alive or dead, since the player could have spared or killed any number of them. and they’re a jumbled assortment of misfits and cranks. It isn’t rare that a few loonies would want to try something like this. There are always a few threats, regardless of who’s in office. What is rare is that the group would have the budget, training, and knowledge to get so close. These people were obviously helped by someone a lot richer, smarter, and better-connected. This fits with what Troy learned in Switzerland.

Troy asks how the arrests are going with the State Department. Alex says she hasn’t heard anything yet. The two wonder what “Project Morpheus” might be about. Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Deus Ex Pitch Part 4: Morpheus Protocol”



Diecast #385: The Final Diecast

By Paul Spooner Posted Monday Jun 20, 2022

Filed under: Diecast 71 comments

While there may be a future podcast, this is the final episode of the Diecast. The mailbag is empty for the last time. Thanks for listening in over the years.

Hosts: Paul, Heather. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #385: The Final Diecast”



Deus Ex Pitch Part 3: Housekeeping

By Shamus Posted Friday Jun 17, 2022

Filed under: Projects 56 comments

Note: This is a Shamus-scheduled article that is being published post-mortem.

The helidrone drops off Troy Denton on the Miami coast. We’re at a hotel, looking for the would-be assassin Leo Gold. It’s sundown.

It’s finally time to play a proper Deus Ex level, with an open design, multiple routes, and affordances for combat, stealth, hacking, and social interactions.

Actually, let me back up and take care of something from the previous entry.

I had a bit where the player’s augs would slightly malfunction. I wanted to create a feeling of mild paranoia and make the player wonder if they could trust their augs. That worked, but a few players wouldn’t accept the in-game dismissal of the problem. They wanted to stop the story right there and interrogate the issue.

Some people suggested these large blocks of expository dialog to satisfy all of the player’s various concerns or to explain why we can’t do anything about the problem right now. That’s not strictly wrong, but if I was faced with this situation I’d much rather just cut the earlier scene rather than spend more money on it. I liked the uncertainty it created, but I’m not afraid to kill my darlings.

It’s hard to say. Maybe having Troy’s augs fail is just too much of a problem to dismiss in a couple of lines of dialog, or maybe these objections are a side-effect of reading this in script form. To me, this felt like an overreaction. It’s like reading the script for an 80’s slasher flick, and as soon as the lights start flickering you say, “The characters should drop what they’re doing and barricade all of the doors before constructing improvised weapons!” The reader knows what genre of story they’re reading, and so they want the protagonist to take appropriate measures. I thought Troy could dismiss this glitch as a one-off, even if we in the audience know that it isn’t.

Having said that: You can’t argue with the audience. It doesn’t matter what the author intended. What matters is how the material is received. You can’t tell people “You’re reading my story wrong”. If we were really making a game and a non-trivial number of playtesters gave me the sort of feedback I got last week, the glitch would be cut and I’d handle Gold’s escape some other way.

We’re in the first moments of the story right now, before we’ve earned much trust from the audience. If you alienate them here, it will be very hard to coax them back later.

Okay, NOW let’s play our first real Deus Ex level…

Mission 1: Housekeeping

I'm thinking of something like this.
I'm thinking of something like this.

To the east is a marina. To the west is the hotel. In between these two are various recreational facilities. There’s a pool, equipment rental, a tennis court, and an open-air tiki bar. It’s mostly deserted. A few people are milling around, but they’re bored, restless, and not using the facilities. The bar is actually closed.

The heli just dropped us off in the middle of a parking lot where several large law enforcement vehicles have been hastily parked. These vehicles look like your typical SWAT vans, but they don’t have any sort of agency markings.

Agent Sam Carter explains on the radio: Some SWAT guys have locked down the hotel. We don’t know what they’re doing or why they’ve taken control of the place. We can’t figure out what department these guys work for. CIA? FBI? Homeland Security? Local police? We don’t know. They’re giving us the runaround.

We obviously don’t want some messy inter-department misunderstanding leading to more bloodshed. At the same time… We really need you to find Leo Gold. Look, I’m not saying to shoot these guys, I’m just saying use your head, okay?

The SWAT guys are ignoring the recreational stuff and the marina. They’re just focused on the hotel. They look like normal SWAT, except on the back they have a pair of wings logo where you would normally expect to see “POLICE”. Maybe the logo has the Eye of Providence between the wings? Is that too much? It is? Great! That’s what I was going for.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Deus Ex Pitch Part 3: Housekeeping”



A Travelog of Ivalice, Conclusion: Absolutely Curtains

By The Rocketeer Posted Wednesday Jun 15, 2022

Filed under: FFXII 27 comments

There is one last thing I would like to test your patience with, and it may indeed surprise you: there is so much to love about Final Fantasy XII.

Yes, I’m surprised by it, too! I try to bear it in mind, but I forget sometimes.

I will maintain once more that I could not have gone through all this effort and thought for a game I thoroughly disliked. I have been somewhat unkind to it, but I only care in the first place because there is something in this game that seized my imagination and hasn’t yet let go. There are people who can play a game they hate, that gives them nothing but pain, and remark upon it, and say meaningful things about it and entertain people with their lamentations. I admire these people, but I am not one of them.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “A Travelog of Ivalice, Conclusion: Absolutely Curtains”



Diecast #384: Mythic Tier Cyberpunk Spire

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 13, 2022

Filed under: Diecast 86 comments

The Summer Game Fest happened this weekend. That’s like eight different events: Day of Devs, Devolver Digital Showcase, Future Games Show, Netflix Geeked Week, Epic Store Showcase, Tribeca Games Spotlight, Xbox + Bethesda Showcase, and the PC Gaming Show.

It’s been… a lot. I don’t know if anyone is interested in a wrap-up post, but I might do one of those.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #384: Mythic Tier Cyberpunk Spire”



Deus Ex Pitch Part 2: New Game

By Shamus Posted Friday Jun 10, 2022

Filed under: Projects 157 comments

Before we get started, there’s one last detail I need to cover. I’m going to be re-using names from the previous games. I’m only doing this for the ease of reading. I’m not actually suggesting that every single character in my story would be a repurposed character from the earlier games.

The problem we have is that this series is fairly light on details. We don’t have faces, voices, costumes, musical cues, and character designs to make all of these people memorable. I’m going to be dumping a lot of names on you, and it’s going to be easy to get confused.

I’m hoping that by borrowing existing names, you’ll be able to attach these new characters to equivalents in other games. When I mention a guy named Sam Carter in my story, I’m hoping you’ll remember the retired military hardass with a heart of gold that mentors JC Denton in the original game.

If we were actually going to make this into a game, then we would need to give everyone unique names.Maybe we could keep a couple of recurring names, like how the name “Cid” always shows up in Final Fantasy.

Anyway, let’s hit New Game and play…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Deus Ex Pitch Part 2: New Game”