Diecast #28: Papers Please, Saints Row, Sim City on Mac, Focus Testing

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Sep 3, 2013

Filed under: Diecast 94 comments

Here is an hour and a half of five people talking about videogames. We got together and realized that one of the big problems in the world is that people don’t spend enough time talking about videogames. So we went beyond the call of duty and gave you an extra half an hour.

You’re welcome.

Direct download (MP3)
Direct download (ogg Vorbis)
Podcast RSS feed.

Hosts: Rutskarn, Josh, Chris, Mumbles, and Shamus.

Show notes:

02:00 What’s the Happy-haps?

Josh is playing Papers, Please. And as a reminder, later today he’ll be playing Rome II, Complete and Absolute War.

Mumbles left Guild Wars 2 for the Old Republic. She’s also playing Quest for Epic Loot, but it’s in closed beta and she can’t talk about it.

Chris is playing Saint’s Row IV and Disney Infinity.

Shamus has been playing Papers, Please and Saints Row IV. During this segment Chris mentioned I get this call Every Day.

Rutskarn is playing Gone Home.

00:37:00 A talk about game duration vs. the pricetag of the game.

Shamus tells a long rambling story about how game prices relate to the airplane ride he took as a kid.

41:00 Rustkarn talks about Crusader Kings II

45:00 Sim City Online has troubled launch on Macs.

It really is amazing how this game can continue to find new ways to fail.

51:00 Mumbles talks about Dragon Age 3.

1:00:00 Somewhere around this point we segue into talking about focus testing and the way it (should) shape games.

We compare the changes made to Overstrike to the changes made in Portal 2.


From The Archives:

94 thoughts on “Diecast #28: Papers Please, Saints Row, Sim City on Mac, Focus Testing

  1. rofltehcat says:

    Jay, this means I can probably watch Josh play Rome 2 even though I can’t play it (yet?) myself.

    What resolutions are you guys going to stream on?
    I normally watch a lot of streams but since I moved I have the choice of either hitting my traffic cap and then being reduced to f’ing ISDN speed or to surf with lackluster (but better than ISDN) bandwidth.
    Both don’t work at all with high resolution streams :'(

    (and twitch doesn’t allow most people to stream in several resolutions, so most are just streaming at 720 or 1080+…)

  2. Dave B. says:

    If I could make a request, could you guys tag the mp3 download file please? It usually goes into the “unknown” heading of my mp3 player, but today it was listed under “SoundJay.com sound effects”. Just some kind of consistent Artist & Album tags would be great.

    1. somebodys_kid says:

      Second this.

  3. Volfram says:

    My reaction to Mumbles getting bleeped:

    “Oh wow, they censored her? What kind of swearing could Mumbles pull out that would seem censor-worthy? Oh, I see. Wow, thanks guys.”

    I plan on getting Gone Home eventually. I’ll probably be putting it off as long as I can for financial reasons.

    1. Merkel says:

      The best part of that is when she ended the bleep filled rant by audibly saying fuckin’.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I had about the same reaction.”Wait,why are they bleeping her swears?Oh,its gone home spoilers.”

      1. This is a milestone.

        On American TV, they bleep profanity.
        On British TV, they bleep actionable slander.
        On gaming media, they bleep major spoilers.

        I think gaming journalism/commentary has begun laying the groundwork for a rather unique style guide.

  4. Thomas says:

    TOR still disappoints me so much. It would take 10 seconds to design a better game. After Mumbles went on her rampage she’s still not a Sith and not on the Sith storyline right? Stop doing that. Sith/Non-sith should be decided by your lightside/darkside points. Choosing the sith starters gives you 50 DS points and choosing the republic 50 LS. Quests have a band of acceptable LS/DS range. So if you’re a Jedi and you start doing evil things in your quests, the next ones immediately open to you are more morally grey and it’s a little harder to stay light/easier to go dark until eventually you find you’re doing quests for the sith.

    Designing a game where you have lightside Sith and darkside Jedi is just stamping on the whole point of Star Wars

    1. Taellosse says:

      Well, I don’t know that falling to the Dark Side should automatically make you a Sith (or achieving redemption make you a Jedi if you started a Sith) – there is such a thing as a Dark Jedi, after all, and they actually happen a lot in the books and comics. I think if you go too far down the “opposing” path, and you encounter superiors in your Order, they should start to pick up on it, and warn you to toe the line or there will be consequences. And if you keep going, you get kicked out of your Order and are shunted onto a different quest path instead, which maybe provides the OPPORTUNITY to join the other Order (but you can also just stay a rogue Dark Jedi, or runaway redeemed Sith). On the runaway path, I’d imagine a key feature would be avoiding arrest or assassination (depending on where you came from) by your former Order, while adopting a new Order provides protection from that, and places you somewhere in the standard quest line for your adopted Order.

      It’d stand to reason, too, that if you’re going to allow switching factions for Jedi, that the other classes should have a similar opportunity. A Republic Commando can go rogue and become a Bounty Hunter, a Sith Operative can become a Smuggler, and vice versa. Though honestly I think they were overly rigid in the way they structured characters anyway – I think they should’ve been more open-ended and let the Force Users pick and choose from the full range of abilities (restricted only by faction) and the same for the gun wielders. But then, I’m not much of a fan of rigid classes in general anyway.

      It’d be a bit more complicated to pull off, in terms of execution, especially in the super-linear design of TOR (which was a dumb design anyway), but infinitely more satisfying – you’d get to feel like your choices in the game actually meant something.

  5. Dave B. says:

    After the last Diecast, I bought Gone Home (for $18 US on Steam), and I don’t regret a cent of that. Now, I already had a good idea of what I was getting, so I wasn’t expecting Amnesia or Slender.

    That said, the game was quite short and has very little re-playability for me, and I wouldn’t want every game to be like it. But…I loved it. It was (to me) a quintessentially human story about such human characters that I couldn’t help but be absolutely charmed by it.

    1. DrMcCoy says:

      Ditto. :)

      Well, except that I bought the game right when it was released, because I’ve been following its development for a while.
      I’m a bit dismayed by all the hate it gets, but I guess that did done learn me having any hope for humanity as a whole.

  6. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Note to bioware:I never asked for this!

  7. kdansky says:

    Question: Why does the “we tried to make something adult and probably missed by a bit” sexual content of The Witcher 2 bother you (and some other people) so much that you hate the game, but the openly misogynistic “pimp the whores / kill the bitches” sexual content of Saints Row isn’t an issue at all?

    I mean, Saints Row 3 was one of the few games ever I found offending at times, apart from the glorified violence. Break into someone’s house, torture them to find out where they keep their whores, then drive to that container ship, murder one hundred dudes, ‘free’ the whores from their prisons and do some human trafficking by forcing them into prostitution to make money for yourself? That’s so much more reprehensible than a naked butt.

    “It’s humorous!” is quite a sorry excuse. I can make all kinds of racist and sexist jokes, and that doesn’t mean they are suddenly not racist any more. At that point “the witches in TW2 wear skimpy clothes because that’s the dress code” is a much more compelling argument. While not much more than a thinly veiled excuse, it’s at least coherent with reality.

    1. Shamus says:

      I totally agree on the whole Zimos thing. (He’s the auto-tuned pimp.) I hated him and I always got the uneasy feeling the game expected me to find rape and ambiguous sexual slavery funny. Every quest in the Zimos questline had elements of this in it, where victims were treated like comical props.

      While the fact that it’s comedy doesn’t excuse the tasteless writing, it does explain why people didn’t make more of a fuss. I mean, the game seems to be TRYING to offend people, so to a certain degree it feels like a child screaming for attention.

      1. Entropy says:

        I don’t hate that Zimos makes absolutely no appearance in SR4.

        1. Jokerman says:

          I was surprised that he never even got a mention, or i just missed it.

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      There is a big difference “between over the top on purpose for lulz,but seriously no one should identify with these guys”,and “look how immersive this is,you should totally identify with some of these misogynistic people”.

      But I dont hate witcher because of the juvenile sex thing.In fact,I dont hate witcher at all.I just dont find the gameplay appealing at all.

    3. LassLisa says:

      I get in to arguments with my male gamer friends about this kind of thing pretty often, hated watching parts of Saints Row 3 and never played it for that reason (really? hookers? Who the hell has the idea this improves the game in any way?) and DAMN, do I love Saints Row IV. It’s in many ways more of a space-adventure and super-hero game. Haven’t encountered a single hooker to date, and your enemies are pretty straightforwardly evil plus those pedestrians you keep running over or accidentally shooting are all just ‘part of the simulation’.

      And surprisingly, so far, almost nowhere in the game do I have the ‘yeah, it never occurred to you that I might be playing a female character, did it’ feeling that I was expecting to come across All The Time.

  8. Weimer says:

    Bleh. I dislike fanservice. And this kind of focus on appeasement on Bioware’s part reeks of a company desperately trying to stay afloat on the promises of fanservice.

    (Of course this has been their main strategy since ME2, so yeah.)

    Listing famous games as “inspirations” won’t automatically translate to a decent game, y’know?

    1. DrMcCoy says:

      I was actually vaguely offended when they said one inspiration would be Planescape: Torment. Didn’t help that the BioWare person in question apparently totally misunderstood what PS:T was about. Hint: It’s not just characters being whacky for the sake of being whacky.

    2. Sabredance (MatthewH) says:

      With the one-two punch of ME3 and DA2, BioWare is basically dead to me. Unicorns and Rainbows could come out of DA3, I’ve no interest in playing it. DA:O already had the problem that the story I wanted to tell always seemed more compelling than the story the game told. A woman Warden in love with Alistair agrees to let Alistair impregnate Morrigan in order to save both their lives. This ought to be a horrific, terrible event. Game treats it like a regular love scene. Logaine’s monomaniacal desire to keep Orlais out of Fereldan, even as Fereldan burns, should have made him a tragic character. I kept pushing him, agreeing that what he had done made sense from a certain point of view, but he kept wallowing in senseless self-pity rather than developing his character.

      DA2 was just stupid. And the ending was railroady. And excessively hard. I turned the difficulty down all the way, and still couldn’t do it because apparently I hadn’t min-maxed my character properly. Also, I had just lost my white Mage (twice -in the unlikely event I ever play it again, obviously I should spec Merril to be the healer). And… the ending came out of nowhere and made no sense.

      And we’ve gone over ME3’s failings in detail. Multiple times.

      And I liked KOTOR II better than KOTOR.

      Bury them and leave a marker.

      1. Long Range Boredom says:

        I think it’d be harder to argue that Bioware ISN’T dead, what with the shameless use of their brand by EA for other studios (which seemed to stop once Bioware started getting its ME3 bad press) and the original two doctors leaving to pursue other stuff. Any attempts to revive it now are more necrophilia than mouth-to-mouth.

        It’s actually kind of amazing when you think about it. Remember back in the ol’ days of 2007 when Bioware was largely uncriticized and were being held up by some people as the saviors of the Western RPG? Look at comments on news stories of them now, or the insanity that is the Bioware forums. Very few people trust their products anymore and it’s definitely going to reflect in their sales. Bioware/probably EA managed to destroy all that positive media and euthusiasm with a few horribly mangled press responses (plus penny-pinching DLC, etc.).

  9. JRT says:

    I’m glad you mentioned MetaCritic, because I think there needs to be a more nuanced version of MC.

    The biggest problem right now is “activism” on Metacritic, where people decide to downvote or skew the voting on MC because they have an axe to grind–voting 0 because it has a DRM method they don’t like–I’ve seen that on Amazon as well. Some people review-bomb because they want to counteract what they considered “paid off pro reviewers”, but that’s only exacerbating the problem.

    I wish gamers would understand that doing this only makes MC useless as a tool. If you start putting in false data because of your own agenda, you just encourage the people to move to a better tool.

    What I think Metacritic needs to do is have a level of meta-voting, similar to what Slashdot used to do with their comments. You have a select number of people designated to review all the reviews and vote which ones give the best information–they would up-vote people who went into a lot of detail and explained their positions, they would downvote 1-sentence items, or anything that looked to be off-topic (0 vote because of DRM issues only). We need an extra filter layer to help with this.

    1. krellen says:

      For many people, the goal is to make Metacritic useless as a tool, because they believe it shouldn’t be used as a tool at all.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        So they are going meta on the metacritic?

        1. Lisa says:

          No, but they are going metaeval on it.

    2. Henson says:

      Interesting, but who would review the review reviewers? Would they be metacritic employees, or moderators? Or something else?

      1. Zukhramm says:

        Well, right now I assume it’s done by Metacritic employees. I had an account with a couple of reviews, but I recently found (wanting to write one for Gone Home) that I’m no longer allowed to write reviews, and that the ones I had written have been removed. Presumable this was for not giving Mass Effect 3 a high enough score.

    3. bloodsquirrel says:

      On the other hand, giving visibility to that kind of activism is more useful than trying to beat every source of reviews into giving the same numerical rating.

      Gone Home having an 89 among critics and a 4.8 among users is useful information. There are things being said in those 0/10 reviews that aren’t being said in professional reviews, which is why we have user reviews in the first place. I’d rather see raw information like that than have it filtered down into redundancy to help further entrench a critical echo chamber.

  10. shoobadoo says:

    Do a Gone Home Diecast!

    Show the world that it’s not just big, AAA titles like Bioshock Infinite that’ll get all the coverage and talking-about!

    It’s what the Spoiler Warning team was born to do! (Well, maybe.)

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      I agree.Come on guys,do a spoiler die cast about it.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        If they don’t at some point, then entitling a Dc “Not Gone Home” will justifiably be viewed as a small cruelty.

        1. Sabredance (MatthewH) says:

          Some of us are incredibly unlikely to play it just do to time and budget constraints (at the current rate, this game would rise to the top of the by Christmas 2015) -but I’d still be interested in hearing your thoughts. I may, at some point, watch an LP, though. So there’s that.

    2. thesomethingcool says:

      I second this!

  11. Thomas says:

    I think Chris would just find all the Bioware games to be too long (particular DA:O) you need a lot of free time to invest into those games

    1. Corpital says:

      Yeah, the isn’t a single one that does not take a while. But I actually liked DA:O. To more specific, I liked the Deep Roads and the Fade.

      There. I said it. I liked the Deep Roads. First playthrough, I went strait for the dwarfs and it felt like trying to smash down a wall by running and punching against it without any tools. And at the boss, I had to run all the way back through all of the Deep Roads to buy some healing items. Then run again through the empty DRs to the boss and then beat her.

      1. DrMcCoy says:

        I didn’t hate the Deep Roads. They were too long, though, and I was glad when that was done.

        The Fade, however, I hate with a passion. Not only is it too long, you’re also alone, without any companions. And it’s a freaking confusing maze to boot. Bah.

        1. Corpital says:

          Can’t deny a single thing you said.
          But since my love is as caustic as my hate, I would add “So freakishly long you won’t remember anything about everything once you come back. In that respect it is at least an accurate simulation of your life being drained by a demon.”

          1. Sabredance (MatthewH) says:

            I hated both of them the 1st time.

            Well, and I hated Broodmother always. What was the final boss? Oh, right, the golem guys. That wasn’t terribly fun either.

            But on subsequent playthroughs, I rather enjoyed both. Once you know what you’re doing, they aren’t so bad. There’s plenty of interesting stuff to find in the Taigs, and the Dwarf lore is interesting.

            So I didn’t hate it. But it still could have used an editor.

            Anyone else think the best DA game was Awakenings?

            1. Galad says:

              For me, the Deep Roads were an overly long, but not bad section of the game. Too much combat, but the athmosphere felt right.

              I loved the Fade though, it was so much more interesting than the actual game.

  12. Akri says:

    Because you mentioned 50 Shades of Gray, I have to link Jenny Trout’s hilarious chapter-by-chapter recaps of the books. Go read them. You can thank me later. (Note: probably best to consider them NSFW, just because of the subject matter.)

    1. Dave B. says:

      Thanks for the link!

      In unrelated news, my Lovecraftian apocalypse cult is now recruiting.

    2. StashAugustine says:

      I got to the part where the dude’s mom walks in on them having sex and just could not stop thinking of Archer.

  13. Leviathan902 says:

    I hate to ruin Shamus’ amazement with Saints Row 4’s quality in spite of the closure of THQ, but it wasn’t handed off to another team or anything like that.

    Saints Row 4, like all of the SR games, was developed by Volition. Deep Silver bought the IP and the studio and I’m assuming volition just kept plugging away on SR 4 while THQ auction was going on. It’s sort of like what Deep Silver did with Metro and 4a Games. Bought the IP and the studio responsible for it and kept them together (makes sense).

    1. Mintskittle says:

      To add to this, Saints Row IV is based heavily on DLC that was cut from The Third: Enter the Dominatrix.


      So, yes, it really is leftovers folded into a new game.

  14. TJ says:

    Good anecdote/game value story there, ShamWow.

  15. shoobadoo says:

    The truly important parts of this podcast:


    -Bogo reading Fifty Shades of Gray as next Spoiler Warning season

    -Rutksarn in his dolphin-lover (ew) voice reading it as the next season

    1. Corpital says:

      Picture a little monkey with a bonnet/top hat, a stealth suit and an incinerator on his back.

      He could be accompanied by a majestic moose and two little children. And every day when he comes home and wants to hang his incinerator on the hat stand, he is interrupted by something and has to read an interesting story for the children so they may understand what happened. Education! Entertainment! An important lesson learned after every story!

      “And therefore you should only take mind altering drugs, when you are not in a half-flooded underwater city.”
      “And that’s why you are, what you eat, little humans.”
      “Take drugs! Kill bear!”
      “So if you don’t know what to tell the reporter, just punch her.”

      Someone should make a TV show out of this.

  16. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Guys,why not read 50 shades of green?I mean,awoken.Its twilight with cthulhu,so its perfect for Rutskarn.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      For many of us, “perfect for Rutskarn” = “run away at maximum velocity, screaming & arms flailing.”

  17. Cybron says:

    The initial coverage of Gone Home made me think it was some kind of horror game. Had I bought it then, I imagine I would be very unhappy.

  18. Disc says:

    Going with Bioware’s track record, it really gives me some mixed feelings when reading stuff like this:


    I’d like to be hopeful, but Casey Hudson also namedropped the same game in an interview a while back, and it’s all just made me wonder even more that how the Bioware collective writing mind functions. Now there’s a game with some brilliant writing and game writers citing it as an influence should only seem like a good thing. While they’d seem to have their hearts in the right place, they’ve so far only managed to grow worse over time and that’s what’s troubling.

    1. Klay F. says:

      When Bioware namedrops PS:T, thats all it is: They are saying a name they know is popular without even the slightest spark of understanding of what made the game great. All I hear in that article is “lawl xtreme characters!”

      1. MichaelGC says:

        If they _guaranteed_ that the ME3 “writing” team had been separated from DA:I by an electrified fence then I might think about acquiring DA:I several months or years from now when it’s on 75% sale. Possibly.

        1. Artur CalDazar says:

          They are not.

          One of the writers from the ME team moved over to work on Dragon Age. However, thats the only movement of talent I’m aware of and more importantly its Patrick Weekes. The guy who spoke out against the ending to ME3, wrote Mordin and the Tuchanka questline.

          Those are good things.

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Good point – those are indeed good things. He did the PTSD asari in the hospital too, if I remember rightly. My buying of DA:I at 75% off one day grows ever-so-slightly more likely!

      2. Disc says:

        Well, I thought the guy sounds somewhat sincere. Judging from his comments he’s at least played (or studied) the game a good bit. The “Wisdom 25” factor regarding the ending is something only a very few will discover on their first playthrough. And the bit about at least him personally wanting to generally add more choice in to the game is good to hear. Whether that really amounts to anything at Bioware is a whole another matter.

        I’d like to believe, but can’t. So I’ll let time tell.

        1. sheer_falacy says:

          The wisdom 25 thing isn’t something you’d just know (unless you looked it up). On the other hand, claiming it lets you shortcut the entire ending is absurd. It lets you shortcut the ending fight (but there are a TON of things that let you do that), and possibly skip quite a bit of the ending conversation (but I’m pretty sure you get an option “start hitting” in the initial conversation), but seeing it as shortcutting the ending demonstrates just how little he understands PS:T.

          As does talking about how “extreme” the characters are. Yeah, Morte is a sarcastic floating skull. He’s also a lot more than that, and either way there’s a whole lot of ways to mess up “sarcastic floating skull” (make him a romance option!). And I’m not sure he ever even talked to Ignus, since once you can actually have a conversation with him he isn’t screaming a whole lot, even if you wish he would.

          1. Disc says:

            On the other hand, it’s a pretty shallow interview and the guy making it wasn’t asking him to go in-depth on the characters or specific plot points. It could be just a poor choice of words on his part or he was trying to say more than what he got out of his mouth. Whatever the case may be, it’s not really that important in bigger scheme of things and it’s silly to get upset about. I never was 100% behind the guy, but like I said, I’m just trying to be hopeful. If you wanted him to explain everything in detail, then the interview would span several pages. Which is probably not what they wanted at RPS.

        2. sheer_falacy says:

          The wisdom 25 thing isn’t something you’d just know (unless you looked it up). On the other hand, claiming it lets you shortcut the entire ending is absurd. It lets you shortcut the ending fight (but there are a TON of things that let you do that), and possibly skip quite a bit of the ending conversation (but I’m pretty sure you get an option “start hitting” in the initial conversation), but seeing it as shortcutting the ending demonstrates just how little he understands PS:T.

          As does talking about how “extreme” the characters are. Yeah, Morte is a sarcastic floating skull. He’s also a lot more than that, and either way there’s a whole lot of ways to mess up “sarcastic floating skull” (make him a romance option!). And I’m not sure he ever even talked to Ignus, since once you can actually have a conversation with him he isn’t screaming a whole lot, even if you wish he would.

      3. Corpital says:

        Reminds me of every new hack’n’slash with looting being titled Diablo-Killer to elevate them. But at least that stopped after D3 came along and killed Diablo itself.

        That interview really is quite cute. More “extreme” characters? Morrigan already was extreme. Extremely stupid evil, that is. How about eccentric instead? Many characters in PS:T were such, because it was the norm in Sigil and therefore they fit. In a grimdark fantasy setting? I don’t know. But Bioware’s usually decent at writing comedy, so I wouldn’t mind a Jan Jansen or a Grobnar Gnomehand and all their crazy banter.

        More non-combat solutions and attribute based dialog options. Nice. Wait…”I have a wisdom stat of 25, so let's shortcut the entire ending.' I really like that kind of stuff.” 25 wisdom was the absolute maximum possible. So…are we talking about grinding stats beyond all reason to be able to skip all the boring dialogue and directly into combat? Or additional lore, more satisfying solutions throughout the whole game and a better ending that gives you answers?

        TUN probably said it best in the A Tale of Two Companies video. Bioware: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

        1. Disc says:

          The wisdom thing is a check in the conversation with the Big Bad of the game where you need at least 24 Wis (if I recall) to be able to will yourself out of existence. It’s the only thing that makes sense in the context.

        2. Thomas says:

          I think you’re being a bit hard on him, it sounds like someone genuinely geeking out in an interview about a cool game. And he knows what he’s talking about he says ‘And of course, it's a setting that allows for that kind of rampant extremism.’ So he fully agrees with you there

        3. False Prophet says:

          I know BioWare–or especially EA’s marketing department–likes to call Dragon Age “dark fantasy”, but it’s really not. Some of the mage stuff gets a bit dark, and there’s a bit of body horror going on, but otherwise it doesn’t actually get that much darker than Tolkien, who had plenty of despair, body horror, and “End of an Age” sentiment as well. DA:O’s plot isn’t structurally different than Lord of the Rings, just with more “romance”. If anything, DA2 is more grimdark than DA:O, because at the end of the former game the world is engulfed in war regardless of your actions or inactions. But even that smacks more of “setting up the final installment of the trilogy” than real grimdark.

  19. MichaelGC says:

    “Josh” is both a cool name & a cool nickname.

  20. anaphysik says:

    “41:00 Rustkarn”

    Well, NOW who feels silly for standing out in the rain all night?

  21. ACman says:

    Yay, That felt less constricted. I think 80 90 minutes is probably perfect podcast length.

    Every previous podcast if feels like theres way more of a conversation left and Shamus or Ruts calls time right when somebody is about to add to a thought.

  22. Paul Spooner says:

    I love how there’s a huge kerfuffle over the pronunciation of GlaDOS, but nothing about Josh’s pronunciation of sphere. The closest I can get is “schpfeer”. It sounds fun anyway!

    1. Otters34 says:

      Seriously, it’s like the word is trying to get back into his mouth. “I’m not affiliated with you!”

    2. Each SW cast member seems to have a selection of words they don’t do well with. “Compass,” “Nevada,” “niche,” “sub-machine jun,” and so on. It could almost be incorporated into the drinking game.

      Also, if someone really wants to do some counting and has a lot of free time on their hands, they could go through each episode of the Die Cast and Spoiler Warning to tally how many times the word “interesting” is uttered.

      1. anaphysik says:


    3. anaphysik says:

      Wikipedia references a dev commentary (for what those are worth) that uses /ˈɡlà¦dɪs/ (which would be like the old-timey ladies’ name). I’d argue that it’s clearly punning off of both.

  23. Henson says:

    Just finished listening to the podcast in its entirety. Just wanted to let you know how thoroughly, thoroughly entertained I was. I kinda feel bad for Mumbles, though – her sunny optimism just can’t catch a break.

    Actually, let me expound on that: I also was a little optimistic about DA:I after seeing the PAX footage. The environments are nicely detailed with some neat lighting effects, character models seem to move based on terrain (slower going uphill or stuck in mud), the featured choice wasn’t as single-minded as what I thought it would be (prior previews made it sound like ‘save the village or let it burn’ rather than ‘save the village or save the fortress’), there was talk of multiple methods of taking down / weakening the desert keep, and some combat options look truly tactical and position-based. And enemies did NOT COME IN WAVES.

    Yes, the mage’s costume looks ridiculous, the combat still has that feeling of ‘awesome button’ with melee characters doing overpowering stunts, the open world is clearly chasing Skyrim’s success (something that bothered me when Witcher 3 went open world, too), and we really haven’t seen anything substantive regarding the writing, but there are some really nice elements here and I think that Bioware are going into this with a more critical lens over their own work. Of course, we won’t know until we play it, but I’m not going to discount it outright.

  24. Nano Proksee says:

    You guys should do a Spoilercast on Gone Home, just sayin’. I’m really interested in your opinions and stuff.

    And Shamus, the Titanic didn’t sank twice, but that company did had a lousy luck with that class of ship Link.

  25. TraderRager says:

    I find it disappointing that they didn’t call the game Saint’s Ro’ Fo’.

    1. Viktor says:

      No no no. Saint’s Row 4 President.

  26. Artur CalDazar says:

    I had almost the exact same experience as you Rutskarn, it was very unsettling. But thats kinda the point, they are Drow, they are messed up and you’re not supposed to enjoy being among them. I don’t know if that excuses it though.

    I say almost because I figured there was some way out of this other than murder, so I had my older brother help me since he understood the concepts at play a lot better and reloaded and escaped having sex.

    Man I am glad you guys don’t talk about Bioware so much these days.

  27. MrRud says:

    Can I make a request ? the diecast is not listed as a podcast in my android app, Can you please look into this ? I’d like to listen to it with my app(beyond podcast manager), if it is not too much trouble.

    Great job anyway, keep going with this awesome show

    1. WordPress’s automagical podcasting doesn’t seem to work on this site. This Yahoo Pipe is what I’ve been using in BeyondPod for Android since Diecast #22.

      1. MrRud says:

        Thx a lot

  28. Shinan says:

    So I just watched that Overstrike trailer and that looks like it could have been a sweet game… (I’ve not listened to the podcast yet. But I hope the discussion is good)

  29. Nick Pitino says:

    The comment regarding Papers Please that getting paid for how many people you processed and paying for rent & medicine doesn’t seem terribly communistic got me to thinking:

    Here in the West we generally have a pretty decent notion of what the basics of communism are, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” and all of that jazz.

    But on further reflection I realize that I have absolutely no idea how people in some place like the USSR function(ed) economically on a day-to-day basis.

    The USSR still had money and presumably people were paid in some fashion, but were things like housing directly provided by the state or did you actually have to pay rent, with the rent going back to the state and being set by it?

    I find myself in the odd situation of perusing Amazon right now to see if I can find a translated copy of the equivalent of a Soviet microeconomics textbook.

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. ? says:

      Basically “Communism” was a goal to be achieved, not everyday reality. Until then central planned economy was used. The Party would create a plan how to reach communism in 5 years, and after five years they will come up with an excuse why it failed (usually imperialist sabotage) and a new plan. Government controlled all (or nearly all, not all Warsaw Pact countries were identical) means of production, prices were set arbitrarily by the state, and supply had nothing to do with demand. But money was still a thing. Plus some goods(meat,chocolate,cigarettes,alcohol,toilet paper) were rare and sometimes there were limits how much you were allowed to buy in a month (or were simply unavailable, so which newspaper has the softest paper?). Black market and speculation were thriving.

      How did Soviet economy function? Short answer: It didn’t, welcome capitalism!

  30. abs1nth says:

    The comments on Papers Please! make me once again realize how weird I am because when I finished the beta all I could think of was “Wow, that was a really fun game!”. I liked the visuals, the moral theme but I didn’t really feel bad at any moment while playing it. The game just does such a good job of teaching you new things while increasing complexity. I just loved maximizing my efficiency, arranging all my stuff in the most optimal way, memorizing state names, figuring out the best routine, measuring accuracy vs speed etc. It’s just really compelling gameplay and that’s what the game left me with and what I felt throughout.

    I had a similar experience with Braid when I finished it I felt: Very awesome ending to a fun puzzle-platformer with a cool mechanic and an abstract story that I couldn’t really care for.

    1. aldowyn says:

      I definitely felt a little uncomfortable about some of the stuff in the Papers, Please demo, enough that I haven’t bought it yet because I feel like I mostly ‘got’ the point of it with the demo.

      As far as Braid..ugh. The puzzles were cool, but for me that story is the quintessential ‘pretentious indie game’ story, and not in the endearing way that some flash games and the occasional not-free one (Thomas Was Alone?) have managed to pull off.

  31. Sleeping Dragon says:

    “Who buys a game without knowing what it is?”

    Apparently people who post in Steam forums do. I’ve made a mistake of subscribing to Steam forum for Gratuitous Space Battles, a game that I love and have clocked over 350 hours into (though usually having it run while I was doing something else at the same time) but I will be the first to admit it will not appeal to everyone. Every time a big sale on GSB hits there’s a lot of “this is not an RTS! I want my money back” topics, similarly for the original Fallout (drink), which people expect to be “diablo like” for some reason, a bit for A Valley Without Wind and, recently, Divinity: Dragon Commander, I could keep going and going.

    And if you include people who do not check that they’re buying an “in development” game when it’s in “early access” this also definitely counts for Gnomoria and War for the Overworld, I imagine for other titles as well but these two I have personal experience with.

  32. Romance in games (and Mass Effect trilogy in particular).

    I think they could have gotten away with just a kiss pose and then “fade to black”, and instead spent the animation budget on more character development.
    I understand the wish to add new characters in ME2 and ME3, but romancing characters from ME1 is the only thing that makes sense.

    With Tali or Garrus you build a friendship in ME1, in ME2 it goes from friendship to “wow, we’re a couple?” and from ME2 to ME3 it’s basically “yep, we’re a couple!
    It feels like those two romance paths have a very natural arch this way.

    If Dragon Age 3 has something halfway as good as that I think I’ll enjoy it (as far as character development and relationships go)

    And yes, Saints Row IV romantic relationship was amusing, but it was just that, amusing, just like the ton of other amusing things in Saints Row IV.
    Saints Row IV (or Saints Row Quadrilogy?) is not something people will remember that well.

    Mass Effect trilogy however will be remembered for a long time (and not just due to the ending).
    One might say that for better or worse, with that trilogy BioWare had a Mass Effect on people.


  33. From 51:00 on (or maybe from the hour mark on?)

    Mumbles does a very good job providing a counterpoint to Chris’s opinions. I love y’all, but it does seem a little one-sided at times. It was interesting how she contrasted BioWare to Valve and their development processes (with regards to Portal 2). I myself I’m not so convinced that… an older or original draft–I guess you want to call it–constitutes as the original or “true” vision of its creators.

    That was fun. Well done!

    1. Mumbles says:

      <3 i like debating shit with chris cause we're both pretty chill about it or if i start yelling he's pretty chill about it lol :P

  34. broken says:

    Hey, I don’t know how well you moderate this, but if you need food for discussion on next week’s podcast, there is a (very) lengthy interview with Tim Shafer and his producer Greg Rice on Kotaku:


    about Broken Age’s state and double fine’s position. Interesting read.

    The recent documentary episode’s also interesting, but only accessible if you are a backer.

  35. StashAugustine says:

    This is a week late, but I have to interject that I came into TOR after it went FTP, and I immediately picked Jennifer Hale’s Republic Commando. :)

  36. anaphysik says:

    I know “what are the haps my friends” from Dinosaur Comics.

    And it’s “happenings,” Ruts.

  37. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I’m just now listening and I can say I played Dragon Age and Mass Effect over the last year or two, then I went back to KOTOR and KOTOR 2 each for the first time and had fun with them.

    They’re clearly less polished implementations of their later work, you’ll even recognize some names between KOTOR and Mass Effect.

    What I really appreciated is, unlike with Mass Effect1-3 and DA2, you can be a jerk in some really funny ways and/or you can be just cartoonishly evil, sometimes kicking puppies and sometimes being a little more thorough and clever (I won’t spoil the big one).

    Playing through as a good guy you can take mostly seriously. Playing through as a bad guy you’re basically channeling emperor palpatine (and thankfully not channeling Anakin Skywalker). They make a lot of the dark side options amusing I think in order to tempt your character by way of you as a player.

    One thing I greatly appreciated about the first game is just how different the good and evil endings are. I’ve never been in the camp that thought the Mass Effect 3 ending was worth all the rage it got but I can understand the expectations a little more after seeing the KOTOR 1 ending.

    Both games require a little love to work properly. KOTOR 1 is better and only requires a widescreen fix if you want to play on a modern monitor. KOTOR 2 needs the widescreen fix and The Sith Lords Restored Content Mod, and even then its still a bit glitchy but I think its worth it. There’s a lot I like about the first game but I agree with the other poster that the second game had a better story. It has the best examination and criticism of the themes of star wars I’ve seen. It comes across as tough love from Star Wars fans.

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