Desert Bus For Hope 5

By Shamus Posted Friday Nov 18, 2011

Filed under: Notices 104 comments

Desert Bus for Hope 5 begins tonight! Once again the extended crew of Loading Ready Run will be playing the most boring unreleased videogame ever devised by performing magicians based in Las Vegas, in order to raise money to buy games for sick kids.

I’ll be appearing on the show tomorrow moring at 2pm eastern time. (That’s 7pm GMT, assuming the accursed idiocy of DST isn’t throwing me off.) I’d be super-grateful if you would stop by the DB5 blog before I go on. They will have a post announcing my appearance, and there you can leave some questions. When I call in, they will ask me the questions. If we are extraordinarily lucky, this will result in something passing for entertainment.

Other announcements and comments:

  1. Yes, my book is done. It’s currently being flensed by a number of editors. It will be released sometime after that, assuming anything is left.
  2. Project Frontier is on hold until I’m done with the book. I don’t dare look at it until then. There’s just way too much going on right now. You have no idea.
  3. Skyrim is really fun. Bethesda made some really interesting design decisions, such as removing all pretense of roleplaying through dialog. They were never very good at it, and now they’ve stopped trying altogether. What’s even more surprising is that I don’t mind. Apparently having stupid, meaningless, logic-deficient choices is worse than no choice at all.
  4. Spoiler Warning: Assassin’s Creed 2 is winding down. I don’t know what game we’re going to cover next. It’s a bit early for Skyrim. I really want to cover Deus Ex: Hunan Beef, but Josh hasn’t played it yet and frankly there’s too much Skyrim going on for that to happen. We’ll see.
  5. If you’re going to leave questions for me at Desert Bus, please keep in mind that I can’t speak for the other Spoiler Warning cast members. So be careful asking questions like, “Why don’t you guys do X?” For a lot of those questions, my answer would be, “I’d have to talk it over with Mumbles, Josh, and Rutskarn,” which isn’t very interesting.
  6. I totally stole the Deus Ex “Hunan Beef” gag from Josh. Don’t tell him.

From The Archives:

104 thoughts on “Desert Bus For Hope 5

  1. Raygereio says:

    Bethesda made some really interesting design decisions, such as removing all pretense of roleplaying through dialog.

    Wait, was there ever any of that in the TESseries? I sure don’t recall any of the sort in Oblivion and Morrowind.

    I don't know what game we're going to cover next.

    For your own and your audience’s sake: take a break of a couple of months.

    1. Joel D says:

      Agreed – you guys have been doing this for quite a while, and I don’t think any of us would begrudge taking a break to keep sharp.

      1. And to allow (read: force) Josh some time alone with Human Revolution.

    2. Shamus says:

      “Wait, was there ever any of that in the TESseries? I sure don't recall any of the sort in Oblivion and Morrowind.”

      There were several long, branching dialogs in Morrowind. Vivic and Dagoth-Ur are the ones I remember. Lots of dialog choices. In Skyrim your dialog could all be replaced with “Tell me more.”

      “For your own and your audience's sake: take a break of a couple of months.”

      I’m not sure if you were trying to be nice, or insult our show, but either way: You don’t speak for the audience. Lots of people really like the show and hate when we take even a single week off.

      1. Raygereio says:

        There were several long, branching dialogs in Morrowind.

        Ah, I never got that far into Morrowind, so I probably missed all that then.

        I'm not sure if you were trying to be nice, or insult our show, but either way: You don't speak for the audience. Lots of people really like the show and hate when we take even a single week off.

        As the SW series have progressed the entertainment value has declined for me. I figure the most probable cause for that is burn out.
        As for people hating it when you take a week off; In a way that's good as that means people like the show after all, but ““ and now I will speak for the audience, even though I wasn't before (no clue where you got that from) ““ we’ll manage without our SW-fix for a while. You don't have an obligation any one of us to continuously put content out there.
        Interpret that as you will: it was meant as nice.

        1. Drexer says:

          My advice? Take a break yourself.

          Not meaning this in any offensive way; because I too suffered from fatigue at the end of the New Vegas series. I stopped, let time pass and grabbed again at the start of AC2.

          I have yet to go back and see the rest of New Vegas, but as I still feel I would be bored with the last episodes, I’m waiting until I have some free time and really do feel like it.

          This kind of series is much easier for Shamus and Co I think if they continuously keep working on it and as we all have it available as backlog, we as viewers can always leave the viewing for later.

          1. Tizzy says:

            Good Advice. I always have declining returns when I watch the show: the first few episodes are fun and then I am less interested; after a break, my interest has usually returned to its original level.

            Since it has consistently happened, whether I start at the beginning or in the middle, whether I wait for a new game or return in the middle of the same game, I have to conclude that it has nothing to do with the quality of the show itself, and everything to do with how hard it is, at least for me, to watch continuously this type of shows.

            I could chalk it up to age or profession, but I think the main reason is that I am not playing these games right now, so after a while it can get frustrating to watch and not participate. I noticed it was a lot easier in some ways to watch the HL2 episodes, because it’s a game that I went through many times over.

        2. Mumbles says:

          Usually, when people insinuate that you should stop doing something you like to do because they sense a burn out, it can be perceived as a slap in the face. But, I know you mean well.

          1. Raygereio says:

            Really? I meant it as show of concern from a viewer, not as an insult.
            And to be honest I don’t recall ever seeing a comment like that being used as an insult. Let’s just chalk that one up to cultural differences.

            1. Shamus says:


              I just realized something really hypocritical. I said the exact same thing to a friend a couple of weeks ago. “You seem burned out, why don’t you take a break for a bit?” They were hurt too, even though I was really trying to be a friend.

              And then you come in, and make a similar suggestion, and I… took it the same way my friend did. Derp.


              1. Raygereio says:

                Well, I’m still perplexed people would take a comment like that as an insult. I’m genuinely curious as to why someone would.

                1. Paul Spooner says:

                  Example A of how that could be taken badly.
                  What you say:
                  “I see that you’ve been working really hard on this and it’s wearing you out. I enjoy the product, but I’m concerned for you. I don’t want you to hurt yourself to please me. Please take some time off with my blessing.”
                  What they hear:
                  “Despite all the hard work you’ve put into this, you’re failing. You are no longer entertaining. You suck so much that I’m embarrassed for you that you’re even trying anymore. No one likes you. Just stop trying.”
                  I know it’s a leap, but when you’re pouring creative effort into something (and probably getting a bit fatigued actually) it’s hard to take anything that even sounds like “You’ve wasted your effort” with a positive response.

                  1. GiantRaven says:

                    Personally I even find difficult to take even genuine positive response positively (in my mind) when showing people my creative endeavors

                2. acronix says:

                  The phrasing might have something to do with it. For example, at first glance, your “For your own and your audience´s sake, stop for a couple of months” could be interpreted as: “Nobody likes how you are doing things: go back and think again”. A couple more lines for clarification would have…well, clarified your non-hostile intentions, I think.

                  1. Raygereio says:

                    Damn you language barrier!

                    1. ben102 says:

                      Funny… I can see you, angrily shaking your fist :D

              2. SolkaTruesilver says:

                I guess it’s a natural response. People don’t like to quit things they put so much energy into they are starting to burn themselves. It invalidates the energy you already invested in the whole process.

                You already have the mindset “If I work harder this will be better”. Someone telling you that you should take a break is a direct attack on your self-evaluating process.. Which is easily perceived as an attack on your work itself, since in your mind, the two are one and the same.

        3. Alex says:

          I'm not sure if you were trying to be nice, or insult our show, but either way: You don't speak for the audience. Lots of people really like the show and hate when we take even a single week off.

          It’s not a sign of weakness to take a well-deserved breather. A worthy audience knows patience. Unless you’re contractually obligated or depend on SW for income, I don’t think you guys OWE anyone a new season so soon. (Unless you do, in which case I’m dumb and haven’t been paying attention.)

          Do folks really get literally, physically upset if you take a week off from giving them free content? I don’t think people that self-entitled get to call themselves “fans”.

      2. Daimbert says:

        Do they even have options for an attitude that you’re expressing? For me, giving me that would be absolutely wonderful as long as they don’t actually put a translation of my dialogue out there, so something like:

        “So, do you want to go to lunch now?


        -> Hesitant

        “So, when then?”

        1. They’re mapped to the d-pad. :P

      3. Entropy says:

        But the Dagoth Ur conversation was great! I seem to remember you posted about how great that was as well. I am kinda sad if there aren’t any of those in Skyrim, like there were in Morrowind.

      4. CTrees says:

        Actually, in Skyrim, there’s a quest for Hircine, wherein you hunt down something (if you’re familiar enough with TES to know who Hircine is, that’s not a spoiler). In that, the dialog options matter, letting you either play along or not, and they change how Hircine reacts. So, there’s actually some dialog based roleplaying!

        -I’m only 33hrs into the game, so I have no idea how many, if any, others like that there are.
        -In 33hrs, that’s the only quest I’ve found where my dialog choices make any difference whatsoever, but still, that’s like playing the first five minutes of a Call of Duty game, so…
        -Point still stands that the action-based roleplaying coupled with dialog wherein you may as well be Chrono where the primary design style chosen for Skyrim.

      5. zootie says:

        If you’re looking for a new game to LP, may I suggest (drum roll please)… Skyrim?
        You’re all playing it right now anyways, why not go with it? Besides, apparently there are some bugs you can have real fun with :)

        1. evileeyore says:

          I agree. The one should be Spoiler Warning: Skyrim Job.

  2. Daimbert says:

    “Bethesda made some really interesting design decisions, such as removing all pretense of roleplaying through dialog.”

    Hmmm. What does this mean? I just recently stopped playing “The Witcher 2” in part because the dialogue choices didn’t reflect what the character said, and moved to Dragon Age: Origins because it did. If Skyrim does an extension of what TW2 did, then I guess I’ll never play it.

    Which would make my Elder Scrolls experiences:

    1) Start, get lost, psychotic rage against a guard, uninstall (Morrowind).

    2) Start, find not unentertaining, and then stop playing for at least six months (Oblivion).

    3) No interest in starting (Skyrim).

    1. Well 99% of dialogue is about 3-6 options (being generous here), each of which have one completely linear conversation, and that’s with the important NPCs.

      Usually you just get a single option of dialogue which is “durr, I wasn’t following the plot, please explain it to me”, then when you get a choice, it’s “yes great and powerful master anything you say master”, “I don’t get it, maybe?” or “yeah, sure, whatever”. Thusfar options like [persuade], [intimidate] and [bribe] appear to have random success rates with no percentage or way of guaranteeing success whatsoever.

      But seriously, it’s a really, really good game and you should definitely play it.

      1. Daimbert says:

        Hmmmm. Hard to say, then. I’d have to see how it works out in practice.

        Although, I guess, I should actually play Oblivion first. By the time I finish that, Skyrim should be cheaper anyway [grin].

        1. delve says:

          Oblivion is optional. If you really care about how things in Oblivion played out and affect the Skyrim story you can read some of the history books the game throws at you like confetti.

      2. Friend of Dragons says:

        I’m pretty sure things like persuade and intimidate are based off your speechcraft skill; and there’s also a couple of speechcraft perks which further improve your chances. I didn’t bother though, as (at least for me) persuade and intimidate checks are few and far between.

    2. Friend of Dragons says:

      I was just recently considering the difference between Bioware RPGs and Bethesda RPGs. With a Bioware game, your character is mostly defined by just selecting which dialog options you want out of a variety of choices. With a Bethesda game, you only get a couple, very neutral dialog choices, but you can then define your character through his actions, which you conversely have much more freedom with.

      1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

        If only there was a way to get the best of both worlds. I know there are some Daedric quests with different (though still binary) choices of dialogue and courses of action such as: “Yes, I will follow you and do what you want me to do because I agree with you.”, “I will do what you say but only because I want your cool artifact and then I will back-stab you as soon as I get it.”, “I’ll do what you want to avoid conflict with you.”, and “Screw it, I’m not doing what you want, end of story.”

        My personal favorite part is that, for most conversations, you can just stop talking and walk away. I’ve found myself on several occasions thinking: “Man, won’t this guy shut up?” and then I realize I don’t have to listen to this prick and can go on with my (virtual) life! Freedom!

      2. GTRichey says:

        I would disagree with your assessment of Bioware. Every dialog choice leads you down the same linear path with the difference general amounting to doormat/jerk/”just move on with the shooty bits already”. This is in my opinion why it’s so infuriating when you’re railroaded into doing things you don’t want *cough*work with cerberus*cough* because while you’re options appear to give you freedom it’s just an illusion (which seems to be worse in their more recent efforts than in the past).

        1. krellen says:

          Well, in the past, BioWare’s railroad has been “you’re going to become a super awesome Jedi now”, and no one would argue with that.

      3. Daimbert says:

        I generally prefer the latter, although I haven’t played many of Bethesda’s games. Giving me the ability to determine my own motivations in my own head without having the game tell me what they are has lead to the best roleplaying moments I’ve ever had.

  3. Dennis says:

    It seems like every time you guys play something on spoiler warning, I watch the first few episodes and then lose interest. I think 10 minute episodes would be nice. Also, I would totally watch DX:HB.

  4. MichaelG says:

    When you say editors for the book, do you mean friends? Or have you actually approached a publisher and sold the idea to them? Congrats if so. Nearly there!

    1. Strangeite says:

      I am also curious if this means you have sold the book. If so, congrats!

    2. Shamus says:


      There’s an author named Joe Konrath. He writes thrillers. On his blog, he makes a very convincing case that traditional publishing no longer makes sense. It goes something like this:

      Yes, it’s really cool to see your work on the shelf at Barnes & Noble, and if that’s why you became a writer then go ahead and take the traditional route. But if you want to earn money, then self-publishing for e-readers is the way to go. You’ll earn as much per unit selling e-books for $5 and keeping 75% royalties as you will selling dead-tree books for $25 and keeping 15% of the royalties. It can also reach a wider audience, since $5 is an easier sale than $25. Your work can start earning right away, instead of waiting six to nine months. Best of all, your work will never go out of print. An e-book is always available for sale.

      That’s the idea, anyway. I don’t know how true it is, but I’ve put all my chips on “self publish for kindle et al” and given the wheel a spin. If it doesn’t work out? I’ve got a McDonald’s placemat here with a job application on it. I might wipe off the ketchup and see if they’re still interested.

      The last major hurdle is getting the book cover. Heather is booked with commission work from now to Christmas, so I’m not sure where the cover will come from. We’ll see.

      1. Raygereio says:

        I've put all my chips on “self publish for kindle et al”

        I’m curious, have you considered such things as print on demand? Some of us are still cavemen and don’t have ereaders.

        1. Robert Maguire says:

          The Kindle program is on pretty much every platform out there, including PC, for free. It’s actually fairly usable on a monitor if you change the background color to something that won’t give you eyestrain.

          Edit: The Kindle service itself is great, except the parts where publisher demands have poisoned it (can’t lend books to friends unless the publisher allows it, which most won’t; e-book prices from several major publishers being equal to hardback prices for several months, after which they drop to slightly higher than paperback; can’t trade in real books for the e-book version). But being able to read, say, the Kingkiller Chronicles or Discworld without lugging around several pounds of books is great.

          1. Mari says:

            The Nook reader program is similarly available for free on multiple platforms including PC. Although I can’t speak to how easy it is to use on a PC since I only use it on my tablet and my phone.

            1. Raygereio says:

              Oh, I did not know those services also provided for the PC.
              Though still, personally I prefer real books. I’ll admit there’s nothing rational about it, I just like holding a book in my hands while I read.

              That and I can’t put a .pdf on my bookshelf. Maybe someone needs to come out with usb stick in the shape of a book; that might fill that particular need.

              1. Mari says:

                I had some of the same reservations at first. I keep my tablet (technically it’s a Nook, but it’s been rooted and is fully functional now ;-) in a book-style cover because I need the balance of the WAY you hold a book if that makes sense. I needed something that folded in the middle so that there was a side for each hand. As far as bookshelves, that was what actually swayed me. Bookshelves have been taking over my house. When there was no more free wall space for another one I started looking for options. But if you’re just married to eating up wall space you could save your books to flash drive or SD card and get a folio with pages that hold your storage. One of these things but for SD cards or memory sticks or whatever.

                1. Jakale says:

                  Yeah, we ran out of bookshelves so ours just get stacked where there’s space. Luckily, since we don’t have any current gen game consoles the new books don’t have to compete with both new games and new movies.
                  If I get a reader I’ll probably try to find a book style cover like you mentioned. Somehow I don’t think e-reader tech will gives us the sort of book-puters on show in the Pale Cocoon anime.

                  1. Mari says:

                    LOL I think that was part of our problem. My bibliomania had to compete with three bookcases of DVDs, a bookcase of video games, and a bookcase of assorted strange media like laser discs and LPs. That and my cookbook collection broke all bounds of sanity. Three generations of women who compulsively buy cookbooks is a scary thing sometimes.

        2. Shamus says:

          Yes. There will be a print version of some sort.

          1. Lord Nyax says:

            Oh thank goodness. I was afraid I wouldn’t get to read your book. I don’t have an ereader and I have no desire to get one. I read enough things on a screen already.

            1. BeardedDork says:

              E-reader screens (except the color or backlit ones) are just like reading paper. Give them a look some time, what the display screen looks like is actually what the screen looks like.

              1. Soylent Dave says:

                They’re just like reading a tiny piece of paper.

                A tiny piece of paper with hardly any words written on it.

                1. BeardedDork says:

                  By that I assume you mean approximately the same page space as that found in a paperback book but with the ability to easily adjust the font size, margins, and line spacing into what is easiest for you to read. If that’s what you meant then yes exactly.

                  1. Soylent Dave says:

                    No, I mean approximately 2/3 the page size of a paperback book (less if you consider that you get to look at two pages simultaneously with a real book), and a minimum text size that is still rather too large.

                    At least on the Kindle I had a play with, I had to press the next page button every second, which is a bit shit.

                    The screen was very good quality, though.

                    1. Sumanai says:

                      Strange. My brother bought one of the 3rd generation Kindles and I recall it going pretty small (I wouldn’t use a smaller font if given the choice). Either that or the Sony e-reader with the touch screen (second generation, if memory serves), which I tried at a local shop.

                    2. Soylent Dave says:

                      re: Sumanai (hit the threading limit, boo!) –

                      The minimum font size I could live with – it was only noticeably too large because I couldn’t fit enough text on the screen. I couldn’t live with the small number of words onscreen at any one time though.

                      Without wanting to sound too much like an enormous wanker, I read really quite fast, so I don’t want to be changing page every 1-2 seconds. Also found it a bit weird that it wasn’t touchscreen-y, although I was very impressed with the ‘looks like paper’-ness of the display.

                      Don’t really know which version of the Kindle I was playing with, it’s relatively new but I don’t know if my friend bought the newest model or not.

                      (I can see why other people like them; I just don’t think they’re for me – not yet, at least)

      2. MichaelG says:

        I think ebooks are the way to go as well, but I thought you were more conservative about this. Reading Charles Stross on what it takes to get a conventional book published makes it sound like an ordeal.

        Good luck with the ebook. I think you should do the same with the autobiography. Include some selected comments and I think you have enough material for a book there. Lots of nerdy kids would read a book they can relate to on being self-educated. And more cynically, home schooling people seem to like stories of how the public schools let someone down… :-)

      3. CTrees says:

        What style are you looking at for the cover art?

      4. Drexer says:

        Well, I have been pilling up reasons to buy a proper physical e-reader, so I guess you might just have given me the one that’ll tip over the pot.


      5. Daimbert says:

        Are you saying that I now have to actually go out and buy an E-book reader?

        My life will change in ways I cannot foresee …

      6. Vincent says:

        I’ve been looking at the publishing business (and I’ve worked in it as well, though not in fiction, so unfortunately I can’t really draw on my experience there) and if you can manage to publicize your book on your own, e-books make much more sense than paper.

        It’s not because publishers are greedy pigs, either. It’s the production costs that are insanely high.

        The real advantages of getting traditional publishing are twofold.

        First, you’ll get an advance on your royalties (so you get some money regardless of sales.)

        Second, you’ll get marketing and exposure (and, among some readers, credibility) which helps with having a writing career as opposed to a single book or two. Plus, you get to have signing tours and such (okay, so that may not be an advantage… :) )

        Anyway… if you’re confident in your book, self-publishing can work. The trick will be to put some time on a marketing campaign (i.e. this blog is a good start, as is your network of collaborators, but a single mention on a half-dozen blogs won’t be sufficient. You need wide reach AND a fairly long duration for a campaign to work. And in an ideal world, having some money to throw at the problem would help.

        1. Kayle says:

          There’s two more advantages of traditional publishers, both of whose value has drastically eroded in recent decades but aren’t quite null yet.

          1. Access to markets. You won’t find (many) self-published books in retail outlets. This is still a very large set of markets (bookstores, non-bookstore outlets like supermarkets & Walmart, some very high sales markets like airport bookstores/newstands).

          2. Signalling. Being published by a traditional publisher signals a minimum quality level, which serves as a filter against the slushpile.

      7. Mrs. Peel says:

        Excellent! I’m so glad you decided to go the self-publishing route. I will definitely buy an epub (or pdf, I’m not picky) for my Nook. Can’t wait!

      8. Paul Spooner says:

        So now the question is, will you use DRM on your book?

        1. Scott Schulz says:

          That’s been the real time sink for Shamus: he’s been creating a version of the Sony rootkit which will force a required always-on simulatanious T3 connection to Steam, Impulse, X-Box Live, Games for Windows – Live, PlayStation Network, Battle.Net, AOL and Prodigy which can be conviently disabled every five minutes by entering a look-up code from the text itself and putting that into the anti-photocopiable codewheel which can be purchased on eBay. The day-one content will be all the vowels in the novel.

          1. DaveMc says:

            Ha! Nice one, well done. I love the notion of the vowels being DLC.

      9. zootie says:

        I’m on board with (and actively working on) the whole “Read on site” model. The only time I’d want to download a print version is if I were going on a trip or something. I would want it then, but if I’m not, then it’s more convenient for me to throw a bookmark to the book’s section on a website and read it a la blog style.

      10. rabs says:

        Don’t know how many foreigners are reading your writings, but it’s also easier for us to get an ebook.
        There are some geo-locking (then it’s worse than paper), but I guess it won’t be the case here.

      11. Wes1180 says:

        I was wondering about this and how it may be a problem for me to get it but if you are going to go with e-books then it shouldn’t be a problem for me :)

        I’ll be getting a copy of it for sure as I enjoy reading your blog, and anything more can only be a good thing. :)

  5. StranaMente says:

    I made something for the desertbus:
    It’s a small statue made of polymeric clay of a Repeater from Plants vs. Zombies.

    1. Do want! It’s a pity that from a UK perspective I can never really tune into desert bus when the auctions are going on – either it’s really late at night or about midday for the LRR gang when I can watch, so understandably there’s not usually much going on.

      Still, love the plant

      1. Jarenth says:

        Seconded. That’s really cool.

        1. StranaMente says:

          My plant (along with its zombie box and miniature brain you can see in the pics) is going to be a giveaway prize for… something I guess?
          So even I have no idea when it’ll be given or for what. Besides, I live in europe too, so there’s a small chance I’ll be up when they will give that.
          Thanks anyway, it’s small but it required way more work than it shows.

    2. Tizzy says:

      A plant with bones??? How nice! No wonder that zombies enjoy chewing on them so much… Really cool, seems to perfectly capture the cuteness of the original.

      1. StranaMente says:

        It’s an genetically engineered version of the original pea plant. No wonder Crazy Dave made ’em!
        I worked with as many references I could get (i.e.: one grainy enhancement of the game screen mostly) to get the right feeling.

    3. swenson says:

      Aww, that’s awesome. There’s so much cool stuff being auctioned off this year! I can’t afford to spend a hundred bucks on anything, so I probably won’t get anything, but I’ll at least be able to donate.

  6. Reet says:

    At first I found the lack of dialogue choices a bit annoying. It felt like I was being corralled into certain courses of action (read: railroaded). Then I remembered that it is possible to leave conversations at any time at which point you can express your displeasure with the NPC using a pickaxe.
    I feel like some fundamental choices were taken from you when regarding dialogue but if you don’t want to do something…well actions do speak louder than words. I guess I just wasn’t expecting it, it really isn’t that bad.

    1. Tizzy says:

      It appears that extensive dialogue and sandbox are fundamentally at odds with each other. I can’t think of any game that I’ve played that did justice to both; I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it’s impossible.

      That’s the thing that turns me off from such games, btw, sprawling worlds with lots of things to do, but fundamental limitations in how you affect it.

      1. Reet says:

        I reckon Fallout new vegas managed a pretty good balance. The world is large and full of stuff to do and there are quite a number of in depth and interesting conversations to be had, with Old World Blues having some of the best and most hilarious writing I’ve seen in a long time.

  7. Hal says:

    Oddly enough, I just started playing Hunan Beef on XBox, and I’m not hating the controls as much as I thought I would.

    My only real problem is that, this being my first play through, I’m taking so long to get through the first level (after you get your augmentations, not before). This might go faster now that I’ve figured out some of the quirks of the enemy AI, how the game will highlight objects you can interact with, and better strategies for stealthy take downs besides:

    -Shoot guy with tranq rifle.
    -Wait for buddy to come over and attempt to revive.
    -Shoot buddy with tranq rifle.
    -Repeat until room is clear.

    1. burningdragoon says:

      -Shoot guy with tranq rifle.
      -Wait for buddy to come over and attempt to revive.
      -Shoot buddy with tranq rifle.
      -Repeat until room is clear

      Hmm… sounds like my strategy about 90% of the time for the Metal Gear Solid games, only sometimes there’s the additional step of ‘stuff body in a locker.’

      1. Jarenth says:

        But in this case, leaving the body lying around is the crucial ‘sucker bait’ step.

    2. Moriarty says:

      Not bothering with takedowns would propably the fastest route. Getting close to them only increases your risk of being detected by other guards.

      1. Hal says:

        I used to worry about that. Then I remembered that I could throw objects and get guards to go check out the noise. It really helped me get through a section unseen once I figured that out.

        -Throw object.
        -Get guard alone.
        -Repeat until room is clear.

    3. Pete says:

      The cloak plus ninetyseven candy bars. Its almost incredible how much easier the game becomes with the addition of crossing small gaps without worrying about getting spotted. Also, punching. Also also, find the weapon dealer that sells the tazer. Its like the tranq rifle, only actually reliable.

  8. Jarenth says:

    I’m fairly certain both our respective continents have switched to Daylight Savings Time now. I managed to catch the Rutstream yesterday at the for-me-usual time, so I’ll take that as vindication.

    I’m trying to think of amusing things to ask you, but I’m pretty much drawing a blank. You told your literal life story on this website the past month or so. I don’t know what more to ask.

    1. silver Harloe says:

      switched OFF of Daylight Saving Time (which is more appropriately called “Summer Time” in England) – we are now on the clock as it “should” be.

  9. Tizzy says:

    Once the book is ready, I really hope we’ll get to read from Shamus something about the editing process.

    Shamus wrote a lot on this blog and elsewhere, so he’s used to a high level of scrutiny and must have a pretty good inner editor already, so I am really curious to know what kind of feedback he is receiving from his multiple editors: Is it contradictory at times? Does it contain anything unexpected? etc.

    [EDIT: my own inner editor reminds me that tenses have to agree. I am glad that editing this post is possible!]

    1. Mari says:

      I can’t speak for Shamus but in my experience yes, multiple editors contradict one another at times which can be a very good thing because various perspectives can open up my brain some. I tend to utilize multiple editors because some people have a great eye for punctuation but overlook verb tense agreements while other editors have a great “ear” for word flow or catch plot holes that I thought I’d closed or what have you.

  10. Vipermagi says:

    So I take it you lied on the Twitters to Irridium? ;)
    (just making sure I don’t get the time wrong)

    1. Shamus says:

      I didn’t lie. I was stupid.

      I was told 11am PST. “Hey, I’m three hours ahead of PST so… 8AM!”

      Shamus, you imbecile… three hours ahead means you ADD not SUBTRACT.

      1. Jakale says:

        I’m still trying to find you on the “Call-ins and visits” schedule. It was this upcoming Saturday yes?

      2. Jimmy Bennett says:

        I am so glad that turned out to be a mistake. I’m on Pacific Time and I wanted to hear you call in to Desert Bus, because Desert Bus is cool and I dig your writing and such, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to wake up at 5am to watch you call in to Desert Bus.

        PS – Congrats on finishing the book, and good luck on the editing and rewriting. As someone who’s tried to write a novel before, I understand how painful that process can be. I just want to let you know that I’m looking forward to buying and reading it, so don’t get discouraged.

        1. It could be worse….with either time I’m screwed (Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time)……and I was looking forward to listening to Shamus…..

  11. BlackFox says:

    Hrm a new Spoiler Warning. I personally would love to see you guys do Mirror’s Edge, if only because it’d be hilarious to see Josh rage RUTSKARN BACK ME UP ON THIS.

    1. Wtrmute says:

      What? And give him even more opportunity to bunny-hop everywhere?

      On the other hand, that’s not actually a bad idea: if Josh has to jump all the time, he might as well play a game where that’s important…

      1. BlackFox says:

        But! If you bunnyhop everywhere in Mirror’s Edge, you’re almost sure to pull some impossible and deathly parkour trick, which is sure to cause rage! Also Rutskarn’s friends think it would be funny, which is totally a reason to do it.

    2. Reet says:

      You know, that doesn’t sound like a half bad idea. It would be interesting to get the casts veiws on the game, it’s not too long so they won’t get bored of it and wathcing josh repeatedly fail the particularly obnoxious jumps would be hilarious.

  12. WWWebb says:

    I don’t know about Spoiler Warning, but I’d would REALLY, REALLY like to see a “Shamus Plays” of Skyrim. It’s like a huge MMO full of silly quests, but without all the random bystanders to get in the way of your screen-caps.

    Who do I pester at the Escapist to make them pay you for it? Unfortunately, they already have my subscription money so I don’t have any leverage other than writing emails.

    1. Robyrt says:

      I dunno, Skyrim (like Oblivion before it) heavily incentivizes the Inventory Minigame, which is one of the most boring things it is possible to watch in Spoiler Warning. At least Assassin’s Creed lets you trivially bypass the system by investing the money once and living off the interest payments forever.

      1. Mincecraft says:

        He isn’t talking about Spoiler Warning, He’s talking about doing a screen shot let’s play of it, like he did with LOTR and Champions online.

  13. hewhosaysfish says:

    I think you guys should do a Spoiler Warning of Desert Bus!
    Think about it: you guys already know the game so you’d all have a lot to say about it; plus all the people who watch also Desert Bus For Hope could get a chance to see how differently the game plays when you approach it with Spoiler Warnings tradition Reginald-Cuftbert-Chaotic-Evil tactics.
    You know it makes sense.

  14. swenson says:

    Ooh, you’re going to be on Desert Bus for Hope? Awesome. I’m going to be watching that obsessively anyway, so that’s a nice little bonus. :D

    The problem with DBfH is that I never have enough money to actually win any auctions… curse you, people with well-paying jobs!

  15. 4th Dimension says:

    How about Assassins Creed Brotherhood: MOAR STABING edition?

  16. Stephen says:

    Why don’t you guys play The Witcher 2?

  17. HiEv says:

    I know you expressed an interest in doing a Spoiler Warning for KotOR before, but you said you couldn’t capture the cutscenes. I don’t know if you missed it, but earlier I posted a possible simple solution to that problem. If that trick works then you can re-add KotOR to your list of options.

  18. Jake says:

    If you do Human Revolution, could you be a little less Reginald Cuthbert mass murderer-y? Plenty of games let you shoot tons of dudes, but not many allow stealth, particularly not as a major progression option. Plus, sneaking around dozens of machine-pistol wielding thugs is so much more satisfying for you and humiliating for them than just gunning them all down.

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