I Am Not Dead

By Shamus Posted Friday Dec 9, 2011

Filed under: Notices 70 comments

I apologize for the entire week of silence on the blog. Can’t remember the last time I had that much dead time. I have some sort of freaky / agonizing / very gross eye infection that makes it very difficult to operate a computer. Actually, the computer itself is’t the problem: it’s the monitor that’s impossible to use.

Also, if you’ve sent me email in the last week, please be patient. I’m a full seven days behind the curve. I’m not ignoring you. I’m just behind schedule and half-blind.

Modern medicine is on the job now, and I expect a full recovery after I’ve undergone my self-proscribed program of vigorous whining, moaning, and making people bring me stuff. Posting will probably continue to be light for a while, unless Josh steps in and does a post for that Shogum thing he’s always on about. What is that? I see a Samurai guy on the cover, so I figure it’s probably some fighting game or something.

Whatever. Everyone knows you beat those games by just holding block and counterattacking a lot. I don’t know what the big deal is.


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70 thoughts on “I Am Not Dead

  1. Rick says:

    “self-proscribed program of vigorous whining, moaning, and making people bring me stuff.”

    lol That’s very funny, and accurate (I do the same).

    Get well, dude. And since I’ll never have the time or opportunity to say it again, Merry Christmas. =)

  2. Adalore says:

    I saw that there was no comment, so I decided to comment so that I could comment on the self proscribed whining.

    This is a comment about whining, I wish my car didn’t’ break. shame that doesn’t work on mechanical things.

    OHWELL, It’s a fighting game alright, full of army sized rosters that can all be on the same battlefield at once!

  3. Erik says:

    Feel better soon, shamus :)

  4. Museli says:

    I hope you recover swiftly, Shamus, but in the meantime, I suggest we provide some content of our own to keep us amused, so I propose the following question to my fellow commenters – what’s your GotY for 2011?

    For me it has to be Terraria, for many reasons. It has charming graphics and an excellent soundtrack and the main sections of gameplay – combat, exploration and building, are all well fleshed-out and a lot of fun. I love the fact that I can engage in an exhilarating boss battle, then switch gears and relax for an hour by adding another floor to my Castle of Doom. Multiplayer is great fun as well – I think it would make a great game for a four-player Spoiler Warning (hint, hint :P).

    1. krellen says:

      I guess for me it’d be Bastion (that came out this year, right?) New games really haven’t wowed me for a long time, but Bastion did.

      1. GM says:

        well the Goty i got was the Oblivion,am still modding it beside that Bastion and Terraria shame i can´t get multiplayer to work on Terraria.

      2. Zukhramm says:

        I feel the same. VVVVVV, no wait, that was last year. Zelda? I really like it but it doesn’t reach that level I’d like my GotY to have? Skyrim? Meh.

        I think I’ll have to go with Ghost Trick.

        1. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

          Oh, man, Ghost Trick. That was a good game.

      3. Scott (Duneyrr) says:

        After each release of the games I was looking forward to (Portal 2, DE:HR and Skyrim) I said to myself “This is it. This is my ‘Game of the Year'” But now that I look back – I mean really look back I have to say that Bastion is my game of the year. No game surprised me as much and made me feel as good as that game did. Even with my ~140 hours in Skyrim.

        1. Jarenth says:

          I feel more or less exactly this way, too.

          1. Trix2000 says:

            When I first was playing Bastion I could help but think “this is pretty simple and probably won’t engage me too much”. Then I changed my tune when I realized how much time I’d spent on it.

            1. Entropy says:

              I found it pretty simple and it didn’t really engage me too much. what am I doing wrong?

              1. Irridium says:

                Nothing, I’m guessing. Probably just wasn’t meant to be.

                Don’t feel bad, it happens. Not everyone can like everything.

                Hell, I felt Limbo was pretty “meh”. Same with Braid. Ending in Braid was kinda neat, but that’s about all I really liked about it.

              2. rofltehcat says:

                Same here. Was very fun to play but overall very easy. I died maybe 3 times in the whole game because I forgot to press Y when I was actually hit more than once or twice. Even then I could just press continue once per level.

                Also, I powered through it in two (long) gaming sessions but around 20 hours for 4€ is ok and the game overall was very good.

                I thought about playing it again on special mode (unlocked after the first play-though) with completely different weapons and I might somewhen but atm I can’t really bring myself to do that.

                Also, I should have bought the soundtrack with it when it was the decision between 4€ or 6€ with soundtrack… I’d really like to have it but the soundtrack isn’t worth 10€ for me.

                It was good but it certainly isn’t my GOTY11.

                1. krellen says:

                  It’s my game of the year by default, as it’s the only new game I purchased and played this year.

      4. Gabriel Mobius says:

        Agreed, Bastion is easily my Game of the Year. Everything about it combines to make it one of the best experiences I’ve had in a long damn time, hands down.

        I think one of the moments that really got me was if you decided to take Zulf with you. The music, the narration, and specifically how the enemies react to you. When they stopped firing, I was puzzled at first. When one of them took a potshot anyway and was smacked down by a superior, I felt a shiver run down my spine. It’s such a little moment, but one that really manages to convey a lot without the need for speech.

        Whoo, that was a lot of spoiler tag. But I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who hasn’t experienced it yet.

        1. delve says:

          I’m late to the party (just a little), but nothing in Skyrim even comes close to that 2-3 minute sequence.

    2. Jace911 says:

      Skyrim Skyrim. Skyrim Skyrim Skyrim! Skyrim Skyrim, Skyrim?


      Even if it is a one-dimensional PC-reactionless environment, it’s still one of the funnest games I’ve played this year. Although Arkham City comes in at a close second.

      1. CTrees says:

        I used to like Skyrim like you, but then I took an arrow to the knee.

        Seriously though it’s definitely Skyrim, with Portal 2 coming in second. If there were only a mod combining the two…

    3. Irridium says:

      I don’t know. Either Portal 2 or Witcher 2. Was Skyrim, then the game broke on me, so I’m a bit peeved at it.

    4. Paul Spooner says:

      I’ve been playing Aquaria from the latest HIB, and that’s a pretty darn good game. Haven’t played most of the ones that came out this year, but I’d have to give it to Minecraft, just because it was finally released, and also is totally sweet.

    5. Stomponator says:

      My GotY would be Dark Souls. It’s the only game I remember buying AND playing this year.

      Anyway Shamus, I wish you a speedy recovery.

    6. Joe says:

      I’m not entirely sure, to be honest. It comes down to a very close run between Bastion and Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

      I’d love to give it to Skyrim, but it was released as all bethesda engine games apparently are: Not nearly tested rigorously enough. When I started my second playthrough being saved from the chopping block by a giant pink dragon because his texure didn’t load, I stopped being able to appreciate the sweeping vistas, epic storyline, and beautifully crafted world.

      Bastion is definitely up there because of the sheer fact of how tight and well put-together it is. Lots of games came out this year that were fantastic, except for that one problem with the $problem. Bastion was tight all around, with my only complaint being that some of the gameplay changes in the last level (The jump tonic? and the ram) came out of nowhere for no apparent reason. Add that to the fact that the game had one of the most compelling questions I’ve ever been asked, as well as the most touching moment in any game I’ve ever played (you konw the one) and I can’t quite ignore it.

      Deus Ex wasn’t nearly as tight, requiring you to forgive the boss fights and the fact that some of the paths through the levels were cut off by various augments you didn’t have about halfway through. There were several times where I’d think “OK. with my leg augs I can just jump across this gap to the fire escape. Oh, wait, now I need the punch-through-walls aug that I didn’t get…”, on top of the fact that certain augs were just plain better than others. (Taking EMP immunity made a lot of the game piss-easy, not having it made certain sections near-impossible). All that said, though, it still hit most of the proper happy-buttons that a deus ex game should. Stealth was immensely satisfying to pull off, the conspiracy was legitimately interesting to uncover, and there’s something impressive about a game that lets you read a nigerian scam email on some lab tech’s PC, then find a security officer ordering additional safeguards built into the network to stop such things from getting through. It just felt right. Except the boss fights, but I’ll forgive that for the rest of the gameplay.

      Story-wise it hit all the right buttons of a good sci-fi story, using the futuristic augmentation technology to create a bleak future continuing on a present trend, as well as a big topical issue. In HR, the rich literally buy a physical advantage over the poor. What this does to the world, and what everyone wants to do with it, are both fascinating in their own right, and actually say something about the world we live in today. It’s a good story, and fairly well-told. Additionally, the way the gameplay, the juxtaposition of Adam’s superhuman powers with the general downtrodden and poverty-stricken areas he explores and lives in, create a rather visceral reminder of this underlying theme. And now I’ve turned this into an English essay.

      It’s honestly a close race. Both are excellent examples of video game storytelling, but I’m not sure whether to give the final award to Bastion’s polish, or HR’s thematic depth. In a lot of ways, both caught me off-guard. And so… I’m torn.

      Also, apologies for the wall of text.

      1. Rosseloh says:

        If your anecdote about jumping over gaps to fire escapes is the same memory as mine — I didn’t have the punch through walls thing but you can just use a frag grenade to achieve the same effect (albeit with rather more noise). :)

      2. Will It Work says:


        See? Patched.

    7. nerdpride says:

      King Arthur’s Gold is an awesome 2D indie fighting/building/siege game with nifty physics (especially that shield bash) that I’d vote for, but it might not qualify because it’s a beta kind of deal still.

      I don’t have Skyrim or Portal 2 or whatever. Lots of single player games games are stories with railroad tracks and eye candy; I think it was formulaic and boring when I started playing videogames a decade ago. That is particularly why I like KAG–focus on the fighting devs!

  5. Kdansky says:

    There are a lot of great things you can have in your eyes! Bacteria, parasites, STDs (e.g. Chlamidya), virii, fungi, the whole buffet! And sometimes you start out with one and then graduate to the next one, because your immune system was distracted. Awesome!

    I went through that this spring. Took me a solid six months until my right eye stopped misbehaving again, and I am still traumatized because the doc took a sample of the cells that make up my conjunctiva. Which means she literally stuck a q-tip inside my eye and scratched until bleeding. Not exactly very painful, but probably the most uncomfortable feeling I ever experienced.

    My revenge: Making people read this. I hope you cringed.

    1. Groboclown says:

      Revenge taken. You successfully made me cringe, and as a bonus made my right eye water.

    2. Cringing. Cringing. GAH! Still cringing and likely will be for the rest of the day. Thanks.

    3. burningdragoon says:

      “literally stuck a q-tip inside my eye..”


      “..and scratched..”


      “…until bleeding.”


    4. Trix2000 says:

      I think the worst bit is that I couldn’t stop reading until the end…despite my mind telling me “DON’T WANT TO KNOW”.

      1. rofltehcat says:

        Hey, did you know that rubbing your eyes when they are itching is one of the quickest ways to catch a flu? Or maybe the itching eyes were also one of the first signs of a possible infection?

        You’re welcome *trollface*

    5. littlefinger says:

      Meh, considering there are no pain receptors on the surface of your eye, colour me unimpressed. How about this one: I’ve been afflicted with an inflammation of certain glands (forgot the name) that are located on the inside of your eyelids. There is an ointment that can help, but it only has +- 50% chance of success. When it fails, or if you want to skip the ointment, the only effective way to get rid of the inflammation is to sedate the eyelid by sticking a needle in the area, (which is just as fun as when your dentist sticks a needle in your gums), then cut open the inflammation, and finally searing the wound shut (with a laser, I think). Which literally smells like burned flesh.

      Here’s the fun fact: I’ve had this 3 times. Once the ointment worked. Enjoy.

      1. noahpocalypse says:

        Oh, sweet, merciful lord, spare me! Today I read the above post, skimmed FATAL’s manual, and now this? It just gets progressively worse! Gah…

      2. Goatcathead says:

        If any one writes something worse, they will be treated to a swift demise.

  6. Jace911 says:

    “Shogum” sounds like a late-night commercial knockoff Japanese brand of chewing gum.

    Also, +1 ‘get well soon Shamus’.

    1. MintSkittle says:

      You’d not be far off, though it’d actually be mainstream in japan, and probably taste really weird:


      Also, another +1 to get well Shamus.

      1. Jace911 says:

        All right, that’s now a +3 to his saving roll against disease so he should be good as long as he rolls above six.

  7. RTBones says:

    +1 to Shamus getting well soon.

    Also, Minecraft.

    That is all.

  8. GreyDuck says:

    What is it with eye infections this year? The roomie’s going through a relapse on the infection he picked up a few months ago. Blurgh.

  9. Hal says:

    Pfft. Crank the font size up and get back to work.

    Kidding, of course, hope your eye gets better.

  10. Meredith says:

    Feel better soon!

  11. krellen says:

    There’s some really great screen-reading software out there, Shamus, so monitors aren’t necessarily required to use a computer.

    Here’s a free one we’ve actually used here at our Centre (for disability, so it’s not like I don’t know what I’m talking about.)

  12. Some Jackass says:

    Guess I can cancel the funeral then….but what am I gonna go with all these party favors?

  13. Tizzy says:

    Sorry to hear about this. To think I was picturing you taking a week of well-earned rest and more Skyrim after all these milestones, with AssCreed 2 wrapping up, the two books, the Christmas season and all!…

    Oh well, I hope modern medicine works its wonders fast!

  14. SteveDJ says:

    I’m assuming you intentionally added the typo (the double “know” at the end) just because you have a great excuse now … the partial blindness. :) :)

  15. Irridium says:

    Wow, I knew Assassin’s Creed 2 was bad, but not so bad that it can wreck your eyes.

    1. Goatcathead says:

      I “plus one” your comment. (note to self: don’t play AS2)

  16. gragsmash says:

    Not dead yet? See you thursday…

  17. Chard says:

    I wish you a speedy and painless recovery, Shamus.
    Happy holidays and all that stuff to, while I’m at it.

  18. Hitman (scott) says:

    I’ll be honest. I was worried for a moment!

    Hope you feel better soon

  19. Paul Spooner says:

    Yay! The Shamus’ not dead! So glad the Shamus not dead.

    Didn’t you have an eye infection of some kind a year ago? Ahh yes, this one http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=9173 . Same thing, or different brand of misery this time?

    1. Based on what they know almost definitely similar if not the same.

    2. Destrustor says:

      I say his excuses are getting stale. He should try different ones from time to time, it's starting to break the immersion.

      But seriously, I wish him a fast recovery. Is it happenning to both eyes at once?

      1. Peter H. Coffin says:

        “We had a little bit of an incident with a kitchen fire. Just a few flames, but it was a grease fire and apparently we had the wrong kind of fire extinguisher for that. So when the fire department showed up, things were a little out of hand, and they had to run in with hoses full on instead of just bringing the right kind of extinguisher in. Which means everything on the first floor is soaked and there’s three inches of water in the basement. The thing they don’t tell you about fire response is that one of the first things they do is turn off the gas and power lines at the street. Or at least, they didn’t tell us. So we couldn’t get that stuff turned back on until it was a little too late. And it’s been cold here recently, so not only could we not stay in the house, it all froze and there’s some structural damage. We’ll hear back from the building inspector in a couple of days. It’s a good thing I took a backup of all the PCs last month and had Heather put the drives in her desk drawer at work or else things would have been much sadder. Oh by the way, none of this happened and I’ve just had Yet Another Eye Infection.”

        Immersive enough for you? (:

    3. Dasick says:

      Two eye infections in two years? That’s a bit too frequent, don’t you think?

      This isn’t the onset of some terrible disease, is it?

      I hope you get well soon.

  20. Aulayan says:

    “I used to be a blogger like you, until I took an infection in the eye” does not have quite the same ring to it. You need to work on your next Internet Meme.

    Seriously though, get better. Two serious eye infections around a year is definitely worrying.

    1. SolkaTruesilver says:

      Say what you want, I bursted out laughing. +1 for your joke

  21. Mom says:

    *I Am Not Dead

    You’re sure? You haven’t become an abomination have you?

    1. Mari says:

      Bwahahahahaha! Check his eyes for tiny burning flames then remove his head and re-inter it extra deep so we don’t have to hear him scream.

      1. Mom says:

        Some of us are “in the know” :)

  22. Alan says:

    I empathise. I have spent the whole week since Sunday going from headache, diarrhea, and now a chest full of mucous. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

    Oh well, hope we both clear up soon.

  23. Steve C says:

    There are better ways to avoid enduring bad writing in videogames than by injecting bleach directly into your eyeball. Not sure why you did that…

    Get better soon Shamus.

    1. Zukhramm says:

      Drinking it, for example.

  24. evileeyore says:

    Thank God an eye infection!

    I mean, “only” an eye infection, not that it’s good you got an eye infection.

    Next time though can you just tell your intern Rutskarn to post something for you? I know he’s feeling burnout and stuff over his chocolate hammering, but a swift bootlording would probably set him in motion.

  25. Mari says:

    I would put this in the proper thread but I risk accidentally being exposed to the bit that I deliberately scrolled past thanks to prior warning. You, Kdansky, are evil to put that out there on the interwebs where small children and really phobic people could accidentally read it.

  26. Dante says:

    I’m having pun withdrawal!

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      I have pun withdrawing as well! The deposits aren’t quite so much pun though.

  27. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Man,eye infections suck.Hope youll get through it soon.Also,we should acquire you a secretary so you can just dictate new posts.Or maybe try a voice recognition software.

  28. Ziggywolf5 says:

    Get well soon; even though it sounds like your mostly normal by now.

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