Desert Bus Interview

By Shamus Posted Sunday Nov 20, 2011

Filed under: Personal 52 comments

For those of you who missed it, here is the interview:

Link (YouTube)

Yeah, I appeared between Kevin Murphy and John Scalzi. I felt like a poser. Before the interview I had to remind myself, “This isn’t about you. This is about helping sick kids. Go on the show and act like a moron if you must, but stop worrying!”

I didn’t take the advice, of course. But it was nice of me to offer it.

Since you guys were nice enough to pose questions, I’ll answer a few that didn’t make it into the interview:

How was it to transition from righting in computer code to writing in English as a job.
By Havok4 – November 19th, 2011 3:14 pm

Personally liberating, financially debilitating. Protip to other coders who want to write: Be careful what you wish for. We make a lot more than they do.

Can you drop some hints about your upcoming book?
By Mathias – November 19th, 2011 3:15 pm

My big regret in the interview is how poorly I explained the book. Let me try again:

The inspiration for the book came when I was playing World of Warcraft. When you begin as an undead, there’s a guy there in the crypt, welcoming you back to the land of the living. I thought it would be funny if, halfway through his welcome, he realized you weren’t the person they were trying to resurrect. Oh. Sorry, this is really awkward, but we didn’t mean to bring you back. Actually, I have no idea who you are. Would you mind terribly if we just… you know… put you back? Yeah. We need the magic for reviving someone else.

So the protagonist is a WoW-styled sapient corpse.

These are not spoilers. This all happens on page 1. After this, it get complicated.

The book was originally going to be titled “Gilbert is Dead”, but amazingly that title is already taken.

Editing is perhaps a third of the way done. If all goes VERY well, the book will be available before the end of the year.

Are you ever going to change your picture?

What is your current GotY?

What game are you currently playing?

Do you have a backlog, if so, what games are in your backlog?

By Cody Bauman – November 19th, 2011 3:19 pm


I am having a very hard time picking GOTY right now. Should it go to the most polished? (Portal 2.) The most delightful surprise? (Deus Ex: Hoodoo Convolution.) The one with the most hours of entertainment? (Minecraft, for the second year in a row.) Or should I disqualify Minecraft because it won last year, and give the “most hours” honor to Skyrim? Hard to say.


My backlog is: Frayed Knights. Minecraft final. In recent months I’ve also played SPAZ and Terraria.

How did you encounter the other SW members for the first time?
By Woothorn – November 19th, 2011 3:20 pm

I think I met Randy in a game of Left 4 Dead. He introduced me to Josh. I believe those two met in Star Wars: Galaxies. I also met Rutskarn in L4D and we talked shop regarding blogging, creative writing, him not shooting me and me not hogging all the medkits. When Randy left the show, I suggested Rutskarn. I met Mumbles through Randy and Team Fortress 2.

I have never met any of them face-to-face. I MIGHT get to meet some of them at PAX East this year. Fingers crossed.

What formats (paper, different ebook libraries) are you planning on publishing your new book in?
By Peter – November 19th, 2011 3:22 pm

Everywhere I can. At the minimum it will be on the Kindle and available for print-on-demand.

The autoblography is going to be available first. I’m not expecting an autobiography to sell particularly well. People that don’t know me won’t want it, and people who do know me have already read it. The version for sale has a bit of cut material, and has been more meticulously proofed, but is basically the same thing. I’m just putting it up to get a feel for how the publishing process works. I’m sure to make a few mistakes, and I’d just as soon not make them on my massive (to me) 120k word investment.

How did you first end up working with the escapist? What was it like going from providing steady content to occasionally sending in what is essentially a freelance article?

Why did your biography only include the parts of your relationship with your wife where you were crappy to her? Have you been sufficiently hassled for that decision?

By Fishminer – November 19th, 2011 3:25 pm

Susan Arendt approached me to make comics.

In my autobiography, I left out all the bits where she was just as foolish and awkward as I was. It didn’t seem right to air her failures in my story. This had the side effect of making her look like a saint. I can live with that.

1) When will you do that Deus Ex review?
2) When can we expect to read your take on Skyrim?

By Irridium – November 19th, 2011 3:29 pm

1) I’m waiting to see if we do Deus Ex on SW. I’d rather talk about it, THEN write about it, as opposed to the other way around.

2) Not sure. I have a lot to say about it already, both good and bad. But The Book Is The Thing right now.

What languages did you used to write code in?
By The One Who – November 19th, 2011 3:33 pm

I know that hip young rock-star coders are using Java and C# these days, but I’m an old-school C++ guy.

If you could pick the next game over the objections of any cast member, what game would you pick for Spoiler Warning?

Also, what do you believe is a fitting punishment for Rutskarn's punning?

By Emlyn – November 19th, 2011 3:59 pm

Deus Ex: Hubris Revelation

That’s the great thing about punning: The deed is its own punishment. He’s already known as “the guy who makes the puns”. I figure the guy already shovels crap for a living, so his tolerance for pain’s gotta be through the roof.

Have you re-visited Champions Online since it went free-to-play?
By Woothorn – November 19th, 2011 4:08 pm

Briefly. I still think that what I really want is the combat from Champions Online with the everything else from City of Heroes.

Did you recognize Adam Jensen's voice actor as… uh, was that dude's name “Antonio” in AC2?
By tengokujin – November 19th, 2011 4:09 pm



From The Archives:

52 thoughts on “Desert Bus Interview

  1. MichaelG says:

    If you are working on the autobiography for publication, I’d suggest couple of things:

    – write about your personal hobbies and learning programming more. You refer to those things, but we don’t get a sense of what it’s like to be self-taught. I think some of the readers will want that.

    – write more about the process of home schooling your kids and how your experiences with the public school system have guided you. Some of the home schooling blogs I’ve read seem to have no idea where to start or how to make trade-offs.

    1. Tizzy says:

      It might be also interesting to add Heather’s view of their courtship, to balance things out.

    2. Guus says:

      This would indeed be very interesting to read, your coding projects here have been fantastic and reading more about how you learned to code and how you got a job coding things would be great. And your home-schooling experience is also very interesting, and since that would be in a book rather than a blogpost you wouldn’t have to delete silly comments.

  2. Christopher M. says:

    So, your book is basically Mogworld, As Written By Shamus Young Instead Of An Angry Australian?

    Good, good. Hopefully it doesn’t drag quite as much as Mogworld did.

    1. Zeta Kai says:

      Heresy! MogWorld was awesome!! Burn the demon!!!

      Sorry, what I meant to say was that I politely disagree. MogWorld was a hilarious, witty little gem, & the funniest book I’ve read in years.

      Also, the similarities to Shamus’s book are so striking that I think he’s putting us on for a joke.

      1. Shamus says:

        I’ve read the first chapter of Mogworld. The books are very, very different in execution and tone.

        1. psivamp says:

          I think there’s plenty of room in that basic idea for this to be entirely different. And even if it weren’t, I think we’ve all read books that were overtly similar and enjoyed them no less for it.

          1. Zukhramm says:

            Aside from the main characters being resurrected against his will they don’t sound very similar at all.

            1. psivamp says:

              I wrote this comment before listening to the Desert Bus clip. And, was actually just popping in to say that while this summary on the blog makes them sound like they have more in common than the description on the clip.

              So, I still stand by what I said even though it’s mostly not related to Shamus’ book.

      2. Christopher M. says:

        Witty, it was. But about page 150, it starts becoming rather samey, and you start looking at the remaining hundred-or-so pages with an air of trepidation rather than excitement – sort of like the feelings George R R Martin evokes sometimes.

        1. velkito says:

          Heresy! A song of ice and fire never gets stale!

          1. Dovius says:

            Until you hit the halfway point of A Dance With Dragons, also known as A Song Of Ice And Fire: Tyrion Goes Places.

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              Also known as The Wheel of Ice and Fire.

              1. Dovius says:

                Damnit, and I just picked up the first three Wheel of Time books!

    2. Yhatzee’s English by birth…..he just lives here.

  3. tengokujin says:

    1) Yay, my question answered! Also, IMDB tells me he was actually Federico Auditore da Firenze. Mea culpa >.>

    Watching clips of Toufexis in various other media *has* been amusing (Smallville, for example), however.

    2) I kept getting this reaction for DX:HR… “Deus Ex: Human Relations?”

    1. Entropy says:

      Deus Ex: Human Resources

      1. Christopher M. says:

        Deus Ex: Haman Returns! The sequel to the book of Esther, starring an undead advisor and his cronies versus the nation of Israel, led by the brave (and for some reason, ninja-trained) warrior-lady, Esther.

        1. Syal says:

          Deus Ex: Homestar Runner.

    2. anaphysik says:

      Perhaps more plainly, Deus Ex: High-Res?

      1. SolkaTruesilver says:

        Deus Ex : He-Man Resurrection

        1. psivamp says:

          Deus Ex: Hectic Restructuring

  4. Rosseloh says:

    Sweet, so you ARE going to PAX East this year? I’ll be there too, for once. Looking forward to randomly bumping into you while in line.

    (Unless of course the “might” is for going, and not for meeting them)

  5. Hitch says:

    I saw the “interview” live on Desert Bus For Hope. It was (pretty close to) painful to watch. There was obvious lack of preparation. It seemed like you were just waiting for a question so you’d have something to talk about, and Graham was waiting for you to talk about something, so he’d have some questions. I guess if you’re ever in that sort of situation again, just be ready to say whatever you want if the host doesn’t provide any guidance.

    I’m looking forward to hearing or reading whatever you have to say about Skyrim or Deus Ex: Humane Retribution.

    1. rofltehcat says:

      I agree… I didn’t like it either… it drags on and then you finally find a few things to talk about but shortly after that it is “sorry, we’re gonna cut you off we have other stuff to do”. On Shamus’ end it was probably because he seems to be a rather shy guy sometimes but I can’t understand why there wasn’t more preparation from the side of the Desert Bus people. I mean they have like 10 people standing around, couldn’t any of those prepare the questions for a smoother interview, make sure that the video chat is working etc.?

  6. Eärlindor says:

    Yaaay! I missed the live interview, thanks so much!

  7. Veloxyll says:

    The only answer for what is the worst RPG is FATAL. it is ALWAYS FATAL.

    (don’t google it)

    1. Rutskarn says:

      This is funny for reasons you don’t know about yet.

      1. Hitch says:

        Instead of a video game Spoiler Warning the next series will be Rutskarn running a tabletop FATAL RPG with Shamus, Josh and Mumbles?

        1. Skye says:

          That… would actually be interesting. I’ve never seen FATAL played, I just know it by reputation.

      2. Cybron says:

        This makes me curious and afraid. But mostly afraid.

        But yes, FATAL is without doubt the worst RPG every put to paper. You can find the infamous review here (Warning: probably NSFW or for humanity in general)

        1. Nimas says:

          Argh! My brain, it hurts!

        2. Vlad says:

          God, why did you make me read it? WHY?!

    2. That’s what I immediately thought of. There’s just no competition.

    3. swenson says:

      Teeheehee, oh yes, it is.

      I have read FATAL, btw. The whole thing. Pity me, please.

      1. Cybron says:

        Read it? I was once dared to make a character in it.

        I could not finish it, but the experience still scars me to this day.

      2. INgvar says:

        Ugh, I wanted to spork my eyes out just after having read the review.

  8. Hyrum says:

    Haven’t seen sbmail linked to in a while. Very refreshing.

  9. Urthman says:

    Darn, it. Didn’t anyone ask about your plans for Project Frontier?

    (Please tell me you have plans for Project Frontier!)

  10. Rayen says:

    i’m revoking your nerd license until you’ve seen Dress to Kill by Eddie Izzard and can propely answer the question “cake or death?!”

    also i should of thrown this up for that interveiw but i was otherwise occupied last night. Are you guys planning on finishing AC2 or moving to another game when you can finally agree on one?

    1. KremlinLaptop says:

      A link to the relevant bit for the convenience of all. Eddie Izzard is amazing.

    2. Jimmy Bennett says:

      I don’t understand why everyone’s giving Shamus a hard time about not knowing the Eddie Izzard reference. Sure, I expected that some people might be upset but I didn’t expect this kind of Spanish Inquisition.

      1. Indy says:

        You never expect the Spanish Inquisition.

  11. Darthricardo says:

    Just gonna put it out there that I’m going to buy the shit out of that book. Definitely looking forward to it.

    1. ben102 says:

      Yeah, going to definitely buy it, too. If it is only 10% as entertaining as “Free Radical” it’s gonna be awesome. (Free Radical is awesome. Go read it. Even if you already did)

      1. Rosseloh says:

        But, but…I just read it last week! Even good books need to have a little bit of downtime between re-reads. :P

        1. tengokujin says:

          I haven’t read it in a while…

  12. Reet says:

    Props to the guy who asked puns or batman. It was particularly funny because of Graham’s bewildered reaction.

  13. Ingvar says:

    Editing taking a long time. How… surprised I am.

  14. Jimmy Bennett says:

    Apperantly, after your interview they started asking all of the people who call in a specific question. I feel you should have a chance to answer it, so I’ll ask here in the comments.

    What are your thoughts about erotic Star-Trek fan fiction?

    The world must know.

    1. Aufero says:

      The only sane reply to that question is “I try to think about it as little as possible.”

  15. MrPyro says:

    What did you think of SPAZ? I found it curiously addictive.

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="">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 *