Diecast #108: Jurassic World, Town of Salem, Steam Summer Sale

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 15, 2015

Filed under: Diecast 101 comments

Thanks to Josh for editing this episode while I was recovering from injury and trying to catch up with my work.

Direct link to this episode.

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

Show notes:
1:00 Mumbles talks about Jurassic World.


10:00 Town of Salem

“It’s like the game Mafia, but it’s not [as much] horseshit.”

29:00 Steam Summer sale!

I actually dig the music. If it had been an album and not two short looping songs, I would’ve bought it.

Last year they took me for a few hundred dollars, but this year I didn’t see much I wanted or needed. On the other hand, I’ve found a bunch of stuff that I wanted my kids to have. So instead of filling my library I’m filling theirs.

37:00 MAILTIME : Old versions of D&D.

Dear Diecast,

Recently, my players asked me if I’d be up for GM-ing an old version
of D&D. I half-jokingly told them “Yes, on the condition that we play
Tomb of Horrors.”
To my surprise, despite them not really knowing this adventure, they agreed.

Which means I now have to learn how to GM AD&D 1st Edition (we
selected this because it would allow us to run Temple of Elemental
Evil for levels 1-8) in two weeks.
My experience lies almost exclusively with modern non-D&D D20 games
like 13th Age and a couple of D6 games like Little Fears.

Do you have any tips / know of common pitfalls for novice GMs running
this edition and these modules? And perhaps some advice for my equally
inexperienced players?

Loa Vecre

40:00 Mailbag: “indi” development.

Dear Diecast

Hearing you guys talk about indi game development and costs got me thinking about the amount of money it takes to make a specific genre of games. As an amateur trying to get a summer project together, I have been really limited in the type of game that I have the ability to make. Most indi games are far different games than AAA, and a big factor is budget. Would you say there are genres of games that are only available to big budgets or small budgets? What does that mean in a greater context of art that that specific genres are labeled “cheap” or “expensive”?, and does this association take away value from certain genres?


47:00 Mailbag: “Battle for the Cowl”.

Dear Diecast,

Question for Mumbles (sorry, nothing to do with computer games):

Have you read Battle for the Cowl by Tony Daniels and, if you have, can you recommend it?

I’m reading through Morrison’s Batman run (currently on Batman RIP) and everything I’ve read about Battle for the Cowl says it’s not the best edition to the Morrison arc so any help is appreciated, thanks!


51:00 Mumbles talks about .Hack.

57:00 Aside: Why do we PC Game?


From The Archives:

101 thoughts on “Diecast #108: Jurassic World, Town of Salem, Steam Summer Sale

  1. Benjamin Hilton says:

    Mumbles says apropos of nothing and completely sincerely: “So I’ve been befriending crows the last couple weeks…”

    My first thought “That’s it. She went off the deep end and is officially trying to become a super villain.”

      1. Benjamin Hilton says:

        I don’t know why you’re laughing. When Rutskarn turns up pecked to death we’ll know who did it.

        1. Ayegill says:

          But will the police force be able to fight through her murder and detain her?

        2. NotSteve says:

          We should have known she’d never be able to stop at one murder.

    1. Phill says:

      After she said that line, I was kind of hoping someone would interrupt her, go off on a tangent, and we’d never come back to it, leaving the listeners with that one incomprehensible statement and no context of explanation.

    2. Zak McKracken says:

      So I’ve been having this thought for years how cool it would be to “befriend” a crow or a raven, after having heard stories of people who did that more or less by accident — and thinking that this is a pretty far-out, kind of silly thing that I’ll never do. And then Mumbles goes and does it.

      I’d be very interested to hear/read (see?) how that turns out!

  2. Benjamin Hilton says:

    Also for reference as to how crazy Jurassic world is, the T-rex that Mumbles talks about is canonically the same one from the original Jurassic Park.

    1. Mumbles says:

      *the sound of mumbles screaming in the distance*

    2. Merkel says:

      That makes the “T-Rex Feeding” attraction a lot more messed up. Yeah kiddies, we mostly feed this little lady goats, but once she got lucky, and had a whole lawyer all to herself.

      1. Benjamin Hilton says:

        It also makes 2 out of 4 movies where she has saved the humans at the end. She’s like a…Saurus Rex Machina.

        1. Merkel says:

          That’s true, and the other one (the one on Isla Sorna) saves people from a spinosaur in 3, though loses her life in the process. And now I’m wondering whether that one is the mother or the child from JP 2.

          1. Volfram says:

            The one from JP3 was a young male, but I doubt it was related to the family in 2.

            Interesting that the T-rex has been heroic in every movie so far. Possibly barring parts of Lost World that I’m not remembering(because Lost World was by far the worst of the series and I probably blocked it out), I don’t think the Rexes have eaten anybody who didn’t deserve it.

            1. Zeta Kai says:

              What did the lawyer do to deserve being chomped on the toilet? I know that it’s been like 15 years at least since I saw that film, but I don’t remember Donald Gennaro (yeah, I looked up his name, what of it?) being anything other than a generic lawyer. For some people, that might be enough, but not for me, I guess.

              1. MichaelG says:

                He leaves the kids alone in the car. Instant dino bait!

            2. Merkel says:

              A dog gets eaten in Lost World, its only crime: barking at the T-Rex.

              And of course the one from JP3 is a male, I feel like an idiot for forgetting the whole T-Rex urine thing.

              1. Volfram says:

                In your defense, I really only knew because I’d spent that morning reading the entire Jurassic World IMDB page.

              2. Benjamin Hilton says:

                Also before the dog, some guy is just like wandering down the street with a grocery bag and he gets chased down and eaten.

                1. Benjamin Hilton says:

                  According to the Jurassic Park Wiki, that guy is literally known as “unlucky bastard”.

                  1. skellie10 says:

                    And he was played by the screenwriter!

    3. Tizzy says:

      Well, looks like I owe Mumbles thanks for talking me out of that movie. I seriously considered going; you could tell from the trailers that the movie would be dumb, but I was hoping for dumb in a nice, entertaining way. Seems like it’s worse.

      From what she described of the end, it sounds like t hey thought: “Oh, the ending of the original was really popular, let’s do that again, but bigger.” Hmpf! Things never work quite as well the second time around, but also, the ending to the original was a very brief confrontation, barely more than a single shot. I can’t imagine that a dragged out fight would ever have the same awed reception, even without the final dino nod.

      1. Volfram says:

        I disagree with Mumbles in pretty much every way with this movie. Sure it’s not scary, but Jurassic Park was never scary unless you were 10 years old or less. Even the nicest characters have flaws, even the worst characters have likeable aspects(yes, even General Stupid), the park actually feels like an active theme park unlike the chintzy little flea circuis Hammond built back in the first movie, and they actually made some motions towards patching a few of the errors that were even present in the first two movies, such as the velociraptors being 5-foot scaly killing machines instead of 2-foot chickens with teeth.

        It also took a major step forward in the field of gender equality by being the first movie in the Jurassic Park series to have female characters killed onscreen. Two of them.

        1. RCN says:

          Wait, two? I only remember the severely fucked up death scene of the British nanny, whose only crime is losing track of a couple of really stupid and death-prone kids (seriously, if it wasn’t for their plot armor they should have been killed several times over even without the fuckoffassaurus-rex in the picture).

          Unless one of the commandos was a woman, then I missed it completely.

          1. skellie10 says:

            One of the commandos was a woman, but she actually survives.

      2. Merkel says:

        I enjoyed it, but it was big and dumb. I actually liked the kids in this one better than in the first; Mumbles is right Chris Pratt’s character would have been better as a woman (actually swapping him and Bryce Dallas Howard would have been interesting); some of the side characters are fun, if a bit thin in characterization, Vincent D’onofrio is especially fun hamming it up as the “military guy”; it has a sense of humor, but is missing the sense of wonder from the original. All in all I would recommend it, maybe catch a matinee if you can.

        1. Merkel says:

          Oh yeah, it has some issues with sexism (there is one particularly cringe-worthy phone conversation). It’s not openly misogynistic, but it relies heavily on stock characters, most of them feel 2-d, and that is most apparent in its handling of women.

          1. Volfram says:

            At least they didn’t make any rape jokes or have any characters who exist solely for cheesecake value. Whedon.

            (Age of Ultron was good anyway, though.)

        2. Tizzy says:

          “Mumbles is right Chris Pratt's character would have been better as a woman.”

          I missed the word “character” the first time I read this sentence. Now I want to see Chris Pratt act in drag. It doesn’t have to be a whole movie, a single scene would do me. I think he could pull it off well, too.

          1. Merkel says:

            “…There’s one other name you may know me by: Star-Lady.”

    4. Volfram says:

      Yes, and she still carries the scars from the fight with the raptors in the final scene of the first movie.

      I thought it was interesting that one of the ways they reference this is by tossing a lit flare in with the food.

  3. Viktor says:

    Shamus, you tweeted about having trouble with a cane. Have you tried a walking stick instead? It was far easier for my dad to use one of those than a cane, and it’s a different aesthetic.

    1. Bloodsquirrel says:

      On the plus side, Shamus has something to shake at the kids when he yells at them to get off his lawn now.

    2. AileTheAlien says:

      Even an old hockey stick would be better than a cane. In my experience, canes are too short, so they force poor posture. i.e. Hunched over, instead of standing upright.

      1. Most modern medical ones are adjustable like crutches. Some independent pharmacies around here will even help adjust ’em to the right height for you (as well as replace the rubber bottom thingy).

        1. AileTheAlien says:

          Yeah, I forgot to explicitly mention the adjustment. The thing is, even with the adjustment at maximum length, all the canes I’ve seen* are all still too short. Like, your hand is at the height, which would normally be the lowest position when you’re walking around. So when you want to move your arms for a walking motion, you’re already out of length.

          * (great) uncles, aunts, grandma, etc

          1. Benjamin Hilton says:

            I think that’s actually the position it’s supposed to be at so your arm is straight when it takes your weight. If it was higher your elbow would be bent and it would be less effective.

            1. MichaelG says:

              This is Shamus we’re talking about — he should use a wizard’s staff.

    3. But walking sticks require difficult choices. I mean, do you favor the stick of Gandalf the Gray or Gandalf the White? It could be very important to one’s recovery, after all.

      1. Daimbert says:

        Gimli’s. He likes them heavy … and sharp.

  4. Benjamin Hilton says:

    I’m not sure if Rutskarn’s story about getting lynched for using math sounds more like a Monty Python skit, or like what actually happened in Salam.

    “Your using intelligence beyond the common man. It must be magic!”

    1. Tizzy says:

      “The good Christian should beware of mathematicians. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.” — St Augustine

  5. Wide And Nerdy says:

    “Someone remember and fill in Jurassic World for Mumbles for game of the year.”

    Damien, this is the most important assignment you’ll ever be entrusted with. I think your time has come.

  6. AileTheAlien says:

    So, Steam summer sale…

    I clicked two things in that game before quitting. First, the audio is super obnoxious if you’re not in the mood for chiptunes. Second, this isn’t even the type of game I’d want to play. So for me, I don’t really get to participate in the summer sale this year.

    Previous years, you would get rewards directly in TF2, or coupons and stuff for playing other games which you could use in the store itself. Everyone could participate, and you participated by playing the games you’re already having fun playing. All it really required, was maybe putting in an extra half hour or hour, into your gaming schedule, and you got a lot of cool rewards.

    This year just feels like a shoddy cash-grab. I’d expect this from some other publisher, but not Valve. I’m worried that they’re succumbing to the same BS decision-making which infects other large companies. :C

    1. shiroax says:

      Why would you ever not be in the mood for chiptunes?

  7. Wide And Nerdy says:

    I’ll go beyond what the Diecast said.

    Extra Credits recommended that your first game programming project should be no bigger in size and complexity than the first level of Super Mario Bros for NES. Even that much is daunting for a first timer and a lot more work than you’d expect. Haven’t tried it but it rings true.

  8. AileTheAlien says:

    Consoles vs PC

    I feel that I shouldn’t have to make a choice between console(s) and my computer. In theory, since the latest gen consoles are basically using regular computer parts inside, it should be feasible to make all the games cross-platform. All the peripherals should be compatible with all the systems, either by plugging in with USB, or Bluetooth, or whatever. In an ideal fantasy future, I’d just play games on whatever lump of plastic I currently own, and the game has clear, unambiguous notes, on what type of peripherals I’d need. “This game needs a dual-stick controller, a 7″-10″ tablet device, and an input to detect human gestures. (e.g. Wii Motion Plus mk. 7, or Kinect 4.)”

    1. Nicholas Hayes says:

      See, from my perspective that future would be a living hell. It’s already ambiguous on steam whether a game that has the ‘controller enabled’ or whatever it is flagged on the game page means that we’ve programmed a good set of controls for both or whether they made the game with controller all the way through development and slapped a keyboard-mouse (or just keyboard) control scheme together at the end making it horrible to play.

      I’ve always been a PC gamer and whilst I own a PS3 it’s to play Rock Band and watch DVDs on. I’m neither familiar with nor want to be familiar with a control scheme that doesn’t use keyboard and mouse. I get that other people prefer controllers and feel like that’s the best way to do things, but it sucks when you can spot the really obvious bad ports to keyboard-mouse (Arkham games and your tuning puzzles, I’ll looking at you)

      1. AileTheAlien says:

        In my fantasy future utopia, game devs are burned at the stake and shot, if they make crappy control schemes that don’t translate well across all the input devices. :P

    2. Benjamin Hilton says:

      For me It’s not about what furniture set up is comfortable, It’s what is best for each game.

      Sometimes it’s mechanical: I feel weird playing brawling or platforming on the PC, and I feel weird shooting on the console.

      Other times it’s about distance: If I’m playing an RTS I want to be close to the screen to take in every small detail. Same if the game has a lot of text. But playing a game like the Arkham series feels better from farther away, taking in the whole fight/city in a wide perspective.

      And then there are random incentives: I missed the whole Mass Effect DRM craze because I always got those on the consoles. And Bethesda always gets a PC vote because of mods.

    3. Phill says:

      Consoles vs PC is easy for me – the list of games I’ve played in the last few years is stuff like:

      Dwarf Fortress
      Guild Wars 2
      Kerbal Space Program
      World of Warcraft
      War Thunder

      Well, one of those is available on a console, but the rest, not so much.

      And I don’t think it is likely we are going to see cross-platform consoles any time soon. They may have be using the same sort of CPU / GPU chips as PCs, but I don’t see the various manufacturers agreeing on a standard Operating System or peripheral interface, and the whole strategy of console manufacturers is to try and create unique selling points for their console that the others don’t have (wii contoller, wiiU pad, kinect, PS4’s social features) – with varying degrees of success.

      I can’t see any real upside to the manufacturers in aiming for cross platform play compatibility, and without them, it’s just not going to be possible.

      1. Ringwraith says:

        Cross-platform play is something that does rarely happen, but it does. Although probably the biggest news is that Street Fighter V will have cross platform play between the PS4 and PC.

        Though really, I play games on a PC because I can’t aim on controllers anyway for anything with precision first-person aiming, and that there’s simply a lot of games on there I want to play, and I own consoles for the exact same reason of having the games I want. Which is why I got a PS3 over a Xbox 360 because there was far less crossover between a PS3 and the PC on games I wanted to play than the 360 and a PC.

  9. 13:40 Adding to the list of words Rutskarn pronounces in a strange way: “Serenade.”

    It’s pronounced with a long “a” sound, like “lemonade.”

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Arrayed in suede & gold brocade I once tried to serenade Scheherazade from the shade of her colonnade above the promenade, but was betrayed & unmade by a mislaid grenade I was unable to evade.

      1. modus0 says:

        Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Nasty buffaloes. I guess at least they’re picking on someone their own size.

  10. Paul Spooner says:

    Last Christmas I was playing “STAY AWAY!” (a Mafia-like card game) with my brothers and some friends. The same kind of thing as Mafia, where people have roles and you have to figure out who is what. The difference is that there’s only one “mafia” at the beginning, and that player can bring more onto their team.

    We had played a few rounds, and all kind of knew the ropes and the mechanics were basically solved. We’re all pretty competitive, so it was getting boring, as we were just trying that hard to win.

    That is until I became The Thing.

    My strategy in this kind of game is to try as hard as possible to forget that I am in the dangerous sub-group, so as to be better able to pretend that I’m not. But this time it worked too well. I infected several people and then immediately forgot that I had done so. I also thought I had infected some people which I had not.

    But, since we’re all fairly good actors, everyone who was infected was pretending to not be infected, and everyone not infected was pretending to be infected. And then things went crazy. No one knew who was what. Allegiances became confused. Multiple people started claiming that they were The Thing. I had no idea what was going on. I can’t even remember which team won the game that round. All I know is we spent about a half hour afterword trying to figure out “What just happened?”

    I don’t know if it was because we were all trying way too hard, but it wrapped around to fun again, and that was pretty neat.

    1. Joe Informatico says:

      My first exposure to Mafia was a card-game variant, The Werewolves of Millers Hollow. And I think it has more of the consistent narrative theme that Rutskarn was hoping for from Town of Salem. It’s more of a blatant witch-hunt (only with werewolves instead of witches), and the roles seem better more appropriate to the premise.

      1. Tizzy says:

        Actually, “Werewolf” is an alternative game I’ve heard for the game Mafia. (The version where people don’t buy anything and make up the rules as they go along.) I have to wonder who inspired whom between the commercial game and the folk version. Either way, I thought at the time that werewolves make a lot more sense: the day/night cycle, the senseless slaughter…

        By the way, for people who like to play this kind of games in person, I’d recommend The Resistance which is similar in spirit but does not take out participants. To me, it’s always been a weakness of Mafia/Werewolf that more and more players sit by twiddling their thumbs as the game goes on.

        1. Supahewok says:

          Town of Salem helps with that actually, at least one of the townies will be a “Medium” who gets to talk to the dead players anonymously during the night. One of the most underrated roles in the game, as the dead are able to collaborate and pool knowledge safely, so they usually have a lot of insight into who’s who. But a lot of players, when I played, would commit suicide (logout) on the first turn if they were the medium, because they thought it was useless or boring.

  11. Supahewok says:

    I can’t listen to the podcast now, but in case it wasn’t mentioned: THAC0 is actually really simple, but does a horrible job explaining itself and follows some weird logic.

    Just use this formula: PC THAC0 – Enemy AC = Roll needed to hit. So, a fifth level fighter (THAC0 15) fighting an orc in scale mail (AC 6) will be 15 – 6 = 9 in order to hit. The same fighter against a demon with -2 AC will be 15 – – 2 = 17. Generally, balance wise a range of 8 to 12 to hit for the fighters is about right for any level, with bosses in the 12 – 15 range. Of course, if you’re running a module, that shouldn’t be an issue.

    Start at level 3. Level 1 old school DnD is nothing but tedious. Too easy for a single bad roll to kill a character. Realistic, but tedious.

    Don’t do Tomb of Horrors first. Save it for when yall start to get tired and wanting to move on to another game for a grand finale.

    Wizards should have Sleep or Charm Person as their first level 1 spells. Magic missile will replace them as they gain levels, but in the beginning when monsters have terrible saves, those 2 spells are king.

    Ignore racial limitations on leveling. Its dumb and a holdover from original D&D where elves and dwarves were classes, not races. Ignoring them makes humans kind of useless, but thems the breaks.

    Most important of all:

    Play 2nd Ed D&D instead. Its just a refined and expanded 1stEd anyway, with some of the baggage removed and some added on. You can still run most 1e modules in 2e.

    1. krellen says:

      Humans are still useful for dual-classing, especially the one super-broken dual-class combo: level up to 10th level Ranger, then become a Magic-User. Throw Fireballs while wearing plate.

      1. Supahewok says:

        True, but I didn’t want to go into Dual-Classing and Multi-Classing, in my experience it just confuses the shit oughtta newcomers.

        Besides, the confines of the question sounded as if they’re looking for a level 1 to 10 range campaign. Only effective Dual-Class combo I see in that range (in 1e) is maybe a fighter/thief of some sort. Which has limited use in 1e because backstabbing sucked without Improved Invisibility, which took an Illusionist to cast.

        I think my dad told me that my uncle would do what you said with all of his characters in some of the Gold Box games. The man has a genius level IQ, and min-maxed to the extreme. Would chop the dragon into mincemeat.

        1. krellen says:

          I would take a bunch of Rangers through Curse of the Azure Bonds just so I could later dual-class them in Secrets of the Silver Blades.

      2. Galad says:

        Is there such a thing as ‘Arcane spell failure’ in DnD? If yes, is it negated by the levels in ranger somehow?

        1. Supahewok says:

          In AD&D (which is 1e), wizards simply were not allowed to use armor. If they did, they couldn’t cast spells. At all. Ever.

          BUT. Rangers, at high levels, get to cast druid and mage spells. (8th for druid, 9th for ranger) The rules say nothing about them not being able to wear armor while casting these spells.

          Now, a dual classed character, once their second class’ level matched the first class’, could use the abilities of either class interchangeably. Which left this loophole of a ranger who was high enough level to cast mage spells could dual class to a mage and eventually be able to cast spells in armor. That’s still really hard to do, as you revert to being completely useless in combat at a time that your party is having level 10 adventures. But its completely broken if you manage to pull it off.

    2. Phill says:

      Also, if you are starting out at level 1 in 1st ed AD&D, consider giving magic users either a) bonus spells based in intelligence similarly to clerics (with wisdom) or b) allow the a stash of scrolls for some one use spells for extra firepower. 1st level MUs, with 1 spell per day, terrible hp, no armour and minimal ability to do damage (and the most XP to level up) are pretty much useless.

      As Supahewok says, they should stick to sleep or charm person for the most part, because those are pretty much the only first level spells that can have a significant impact on a fight or adventuring session. Most of the other spells are either minor combat assists (which work okay as scrolls to give a boost in tougher fights) or very situationally useful. Yay if you take feather fall for your one spell and never need to fall off a cliff. (The good thing about giving low level MUs scrolls to play with is that they can have stuff like a scroll of feather fall which does absolutely nothing to help their overall combat power or make them overpowered, but gives them a function which no-one else can duplicate as a one off – bonus points if you give them something that you know will be useful after reading through the module in advance…)

      I actually prefer 1st ed to 2nd ed, but that’s because I grew up playing 1st ed, so its many, many quirks are nostalgic and endearing to me. 2nd ed however streamlined and standardised things more, and had more of an eye on concepts such as game balance. And I agree with Supahewok that you can run a 1st edition module in 2nd ed with no changes (or only trivial ones).

      1. Supahewok says:

        I played 1st ed as a child, with my dad as DM. It was what he’d played at college, and his DM had given him her books when their group split. Around the time I became a teen, he got his hands on a PDF that had many, many of the 2e books, so we converted over to that.

        Answering that question about mages in armor required me to pull the ol’ PH off the shelf. I hadn’t remembered that monks were, in fact, one of the original AD&D classes. Nor did I remember how ludicrous their damage progression was.

        Here is how a monk’s damage changes by level:

        1-6 (All well and good so far)
        2-7 (okay, uh.. 1d6+1?)
        2-8 (uh, uh, 1d8…+1? Wait, no… 2d4?)
        3-9 (2d4+1)
        2-12 (2d6)
        3-12 (3d4)
        3-13 (2d6+1)
        4-13 (3d4+1)
        4-16 (4d4)
        5-17 (4d4+1)
        5-20 (5d4)
        6-24 (6d4)
        5-30 (5d6)
        8-32 (8d4)

        Oh AD&D. Note that those die rolls aren’t part of the table, I had to figure them out. Its ridiculous.

        And now I’m nostalgic…

  12. Grimwear says:

    My favorite part of jurassic world (don’t worry these are like the most inconsequential spoilers ever that have no bearing on the plot aside from a girl running around all movie in high heels) is when Chris Pratt looks at Claire (love interest) and is all, “You can’t come with me for god sake you’re in high heels” and she replies by ripping her shirt open and tying it, then pushes up her arm sleeves and he just looks at her and she replies, “I’m now ready to go” and he just accepts it. That has literally nothing to do with addressing the problem of wearing HIGH HEELS in a jungle! They have him address a relevant problem then in the next second blatantly ignore it! So silly and hilarious.

    1. Volfram says:

      He doesn’t just accept it. He rolls his eyes and decides it’s not worth arguing with her. If you’ve ever had to deal with someone like that, you’d rather face a genetically enhanced super-dino than argue with her anyway. You’ll live longer.

      She is shown wearing reasonable footwear later on.

  13. Doomcat says:

    Wow Mumbles, you bringing up the Dot.hack video game just sent me on the biggest nostalgia trip, that game was one of my favorites as a 6 year old.

    I must ask though, what do you think about the fact the game is on 4 separate episodes? I -STILL- have not played the fourth one, due to the rarity of it at this point (Last I checked it was selling for $90+ on eBay)

    Either way, glad to here people are still enjoying these games! And I’m not the only one who remembers dot.hack and thinks SAO is…uh, yeah.

    1. BenD says:

      I LOVED .hack. The original series was one of (four of) MY favorite games as a 30-year-old.

      *waves cane*

  14. WaytoomanyUIDs says:

    Advice for running 1st Edition AD&D. Don’t even try to understand the psionics rules. It will just give you a headache. If you need psionics, make up your own rules.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Psionics give you a headache? I hope you wrote this on purpose!

      Gotta love Ruts description of old school D&D (applies to many other games of that era as well). A truly bewildering array of extremely discrete systems. That’s why we used to have these massive 4-panel GM screens: we weren’t that shy or in need to hide much, those were simply loaded with tables. Just knowing where to find what was already a challenge.

      And then commercial adventures often had an extra quick-reference screen of their own. Scary…

  15. Alex says:

    Re: Jurassic World sucks
    I could have told you that. I do agree with Mumbles’ statement that there have to be characters for us to like. Even if they’re evil, they can at least be awesome evil, like Darth Vader or the Boss from Saints Row 2.

    Re: Town of Salem
    It’s a pretty good game. I have one small complaint about it*, but it’s good fun. I’ve won a few games as Jester by just telling everyone I’m the Jester and letting everyone draw their own conclusions that I’m clearly someone else pretending to be a Jester.

    * It’s a game about an informed minority against an uninformed majority, and it doesn’t work very well if you get 6 Mafia in All Any.

    Re: Steam sale
    I feel like the metagames have been going downhill with every Steam sale. Having a real game to play to unlock sales would be fine if it wasn’t a godforsaken Cookie Clicker “game”. My strategy is pretty much “buy free money and free health perks with my points from the previous day, spend all the free money upgrading the auto-click damage, leave for 24 hours.” At least make it a bullet hell shooter or something that would be fun to play for its own sake.

  16. The mention of games that are cheaper/easier to create put me in mind of one that I recall from the Commodore/Apple era that drove us nuts but we kept coming back for more: The Fool’s Errand. It was this game that had a Tarot theme to each puzzle, you could go to just about any puzzle you wanted to try, and they were varied in form (word, math, riddle, etc.). They somehow tied a narrative together, but we never solved it because we were young and stupid and there wasn’t an internet to consult for help.

    1. Tizzy says:

      Ah, good times!

      A few years ago, I came across a website by the game’s author. He was promising a sequel. I wonder what happened to that.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        It was released in 2012, it transpires: The Fool and His Money. You can buy it from the developer’s site (albeit I guess with at least some small risk of bitter irony):


  17. John says:

    I think that Shamus is on to something here. I’m a PC gamer almost entirely by default: I like to play games, I hate spending money, and I already have a PC. So why buy a console? Heck, why upgrade my PC? There are a lot of classic games that I haven’t played yet. (I think my games library increased by something like 50% thanks to the GOG summer sale.) The thing is, I know for a fact that I would game just as much–if not more–if I had a console. I more or less played my poor DS to death a few years ago, an d I logged plenty of hours on the family NES as a kid.

    In other words my current choice of gaming platform is the result of my history and personality and has almost nothing to do with the usual console/platform war shouting one sees on the Internet. I suspect that’s true for a lot of people, if only they’d admit it.

    1. Christopher says:

      The setup is part of it for me. Like, I’ve never had a real big computer. It’s always been laptops, that I use slouched on a couch or in bed. I don’t even use a mouse, and I haven’t since school. If I’ve got a desk, that’s something to eat at or place things on and avoiding sitting at.

      But the second part is almost certainly just that I grew up with consoles. The games I liked were those that worked well on consoles, like fighting games and platformers, and it’s taken a while for those to thrive on the PC. Some never will, because they’re made by first parties. Nintendo is never gonna put out their games on PC. I’m sure a lot of that could be emulated, but I might feel bad about it.

      What would be useful to use the PC for would be first person shooters and the like, genres that came from that ecosystem. But to be honest, I probably wouldn’t like it. I bought Bioshock Infinite for the PC because it was cheaper than console, and ended up playing it in big picture mode on my TV with a 360 controller anyway.

      1. John says:

        There’s always the question of the killer app, the game that you really want to play but that just isn’t available (or maybe just isn’t quite as good) on the platform(s) you already have. Fighting games are a bit like that for me. Unfortunately, I’ve never quite been able to justify the purchase of a console just for, say, Street Fighter.

        1. Christopher says:

          I find it’s usually a good idea to wait until more than one game looks attractive. I was a bit disappointed by the Wii but only bought a 360 four years ago, and at that point there were tons of good games out for cheap. This spring, I bought a PS3 to play the exclusives it had that I wanted. The problem is having room for all of those consoles. And, in the context of blogs and video game websites, being willing to accept that games media people aren’t going to be talking about the same games that you play years after the fact. Also that these days, if I had bought a PS4 instead, everyone would be more than willing to sell me last generation’s games again in HD packs.

  18. Volfram says:

    Wow, this was the “Everybody Hates Everything” episode of the podcast.

    Mumbles hates Jurassic World, Rutskarn hates everyone else in Town of Salem, Shamus hates the Steam Monsters game, and none of them really gets the systems at work in any of the above.

    OK, so Rutskarn actually understood what was going on with Town of Salem pretty well(though wow, the community’s apparently changed since I last played), but Shamus made up for it by not understanding Town of Salem in his place.

    1. MichaelGC says:

      Dunno about “Everyone Hates Everything.” Seems like the most one could say with that is “75% of People Hate Three Things.”

      Shamus might have criticised the utility & implementation of the Steam game, but he also played it for two days. Rutskarn used negative terminology to describe other players’ ToS actions, but it seemed pretty clear those are central to his enjoyment of the game: providing some of the raw material for and interesting limitations on his own actions.

      Mumbles admittedly opened up a can o’ whup-ass on Jurassic Whatevs, but there was no evidence of anger nor suffering, so that either wasn’t hate, or everything Master Yoda taught me is wrong.

      Now Josh clearly hates the other three hosts, and really who could blame him? And even there some good will come of it: I for one am looking forward to next week’s competing BroomCast.

      1. Volfram says:

        Yeah, Rutskarn actually had a pretty good feel for Town of Salem and his explanation gave me a deeper understanding of the game. I’m one of those people who tries to play it seriously. I’ve actually won a few rounds as a Townie.(including one where I died, solved everything, was brought back, and told the town all the answers and was killed again that night.)

        I still don’t understand why Owen would have been better as a woman. The character’s gender is frankly irrelevant to the character, so changing it wouldn’t necessarily make it better. It took Shamus halfway through his rant about the Steam game to even mention that you don’t even have to be loaded up to play. In fact it’s often more effective to load up to where you’re in-game at the beginning of the day and then leave. It’s not exactly a Game of the Year, but I don’t think it’s as harmful as he seems to think. I actually fired it up after reading his tweets about it.

        1. MichaelGC says:

          Aye, I think my main problem with the Steam game is that it’s a way to get you invested in the process – I know full well that I’d be more likely to buy something if it only became available after I’d achieved something-or-other, even if the something-or-other was not even slightly directly relevant!

          Which is why I haven’t touched the game this year – can’t trust myself not to get sucked in. And Valve knows how this works too, of course! Not saying that’s evil – it’s all entirely optional, and there’s zero requirement to buy even if one did indulge – but it is a tiny bit insidious. Actually, even that’s a bit strong: I guess it’s up to us to govern ourselves! :D

          Anyhoo – I’ve not seen the film, played the game, or played the other game, so I can’t really comment systems-wise! It was the hate aspect which made me raise an eyebrow, but it sounds as though I may have massively exaggerated the importance of that to what you were saying. (Certainly the levels of hate on display will be as nothing compared to next week when Broomey the Broom forgets to introduce Josh…)

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    If anyone hasnt watched jurassic world,and is ambiguous about whether they should do it,heres the quality of the film summed up in one sentence:

    In this movie,people are bored with dinosaurs.

    1. Alex says:

      It’s like the obviously terrible action movies this year are movies about themselves. Jurassic World is about terrible filmmakers who think nobody likes the good movies of yesteryear any more, so they need to one-up themselves and Terminator: Genisys is about terrible filmmakers who see something good in their own history and feel a pressing need to go back and retcon it out of existence with a reboot.

      1. RCN says:

        Considering the amount of snark contained in every single one of the movies expository science lines, I would guess the filmmakers (or at least the scriptwriters) were very angry at test audiences. There’s practically a line where Dr. Wu say “We couldn’t have raptors with feathers because people think it’d look stupid and you asked for us to make them scalier and scarier.”

  20. Redingold says:

    Rutskarn, have you played Space Station 13? The antagonist roles in that seem like they’d be your sort of thing.

  21. OboboboTheNerd says:

    The “have higher prices but put it permanently on sale” strategy is actually absurdly common in physical stores. A little different in that they raised it just prior to the sale, rather than having it permanently raised and having it always on sale, but it probably worked regardless.

    (Also different in that this is the developer changing the price, rather than the store itself.)

  22. Joseph P. Tallylicker says:

    I’d participate in the steam sale but GOG stole all of my budget! Hmm, sexy sexy gog games :)

    1. shiroax says:

      Humble took all of mine. I think 90% of my Steam purchases in the last year were on Humble. I wonder how they split that.

  23. Ledel says:

    A question for Mumbles: The Wiki page for Josh states “Damian Wayne is a fictional character IN the DC Comics universe.” and not that he is a character of the DC universe. Does that mean he is just a product of a mass delusion and doesn’t really exist?

  24. Steve C says:

    Regarding raising prices before a sale then claiming the price is discounted– that is straight up illegal. It is a violation of consumer protection laws as it counts as Deceptive Pricing. In Canada it is both a criminal and civil offense. The penalties are a fine of up to $15 million and up to 14yrs in jail. (Though realistically it will never be close to that much.) The USA, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and pretty much everywhere else have similar laws. There is a reddit thread about Steam raising prices deceptively that deals with more jurisdictions.

    Can you imagine if Valve got hammered by all the 50+ countries of the ICPEN? Even if it was a relatively small fine, if the fine was both per country and per game it easily add up to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.

  25. shiroax says:

    I posted about the “raise price before sale” in these very comments last summer sale. Nobody commented. I am sad now.

    I love that music too.

  26. Bloodsquirrel says:

    On raising the prices of games before they go on sale:

    That’s how department stores have worked for years. Stuff is “on sale” 90% of the time. It works extraordinarily well because people are really, really bad at figuring out the value of things without a point of comparison. It’s hard for them to tell if a game is worth $60. But if the game is normally $60 and is now on sale for $30, that’s obviously a good deal. Getting a good deal on something also feels good, regardless of what you’re actually buying. The easiest way to get someone to buy something they don’t want or need is to make them think they’re getting a $100 product for $10. See also: infomercials that tell you that their product (not sold in stores!) is a $100 value that they’re selling for $29.99. That $100 value is pulled completely out of their asses. It’s just there to make people think they’re getting a good deal.

    Not only does it work, but people have come to expect it in department stores. When one of the (JCPenny maybe?) decided to stop it, and made a big campaign about being honest about their prices, they almost went out of business. The Steam sales are already working on a lot of these impulses (it’s why people are always talking about all of the Steam games they have that they’ve never played).

    1. shiroax says:

      JCPenny is correct, Extra Credits had an episode on it and how it relates to drops in MMOs.

      Do those infomercials work? Maybe it’s the culture here, but I always thought those were silly. I just saw one today that both made more sense and was more obnoxious than the ones I usually see, something like “You’d pay 300 to a professional to do this (an anchor for the number they pulled out of their butts, most don’t bother with that), so you’d think this costs 400, but it’s not 400, not even 300, not even 200, but 17X12” like they expect you to be on the edge of your seat.

      Posting this made me want to go buy pants.

      1. Bloodsquirrel says:

        They obviously do work, as they keep running them.

    2. Steve C says:

      It’s actually not how dept stores do it. Stuff can be on sale 90% of the time. That’s fine. The problem is when prices are raised on goods and services and they are never sold at that higher price.

      “The ordinary selling price is determined by using one of two tests: either a substantial volume of the product was sold at that price or a higher price, within a reasonable period of time (volume test); or the product was offered for sale, in good faith, for a substantial period of time at that price or a higher price (time test).”

      That is how dept stores do it legally- they pass one of those tests. What happened with the steam sale would not pass either of those tests. So it ends up being illegal.

  27. Timelady says:

    Can…can we get Rutskarn to create a roleplaying module based around burnt-out adventurers trying to pick up cheap dates at a Taco Bell on 2-for-1 burrito night at 3am? Possibly involving eldritch horrors? I don’t know when the hell I would ever run this, but I feel very strongly that I need this to exist somewhere in my life. And would definitely pay money for it.

  28. Vorpal Kitten says:

    Somebody tell Shamus Steam has a family sharing mechanic…

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="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darth_Vader">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.