Eleven Years of Twenty Sided

By Shamus Posted Thursday Sep 1, 2016

Filed under: Landmarks 137 comments

So I’ve been writing on this site for eleven years. If this site was Duke Nukem Forever, it would be 73% of the way to its disastrous completion by this point.Let’s talk about the site and how I’m running it these days.

For the first time, someone else is regularly contributing to the site. Sure, Spoiler Warning and the Diecast have always been collaborations. And occasionally other people have written a few posts of their own, but right now Rutskarn is regularly posting long-form articles twice a week, and we’ve never done anything like that in the history of the site. I was nervous about this at first. This site is heavily associated with my name, and I was always worried that people would just give me credit for his work.

But it’s worked out beautifully. Someday Ruskarn will hit the big time, but until that happens I’m happy to have his quality work inflating my precious pagerank numbers or improving retention with the youth demographic, or whatever it is he does in those posts of his. As a reminder, I’ve got my Patreon and he has his, so make sure you know who you’re backing. If you get us confused, remember that I’m the one who writes long-form image-heavy posts about terrible videogames while in contrast so is he.

The content changes from time to time, but for the last several months this has been the posting schedule:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Sunday is often a dead zone, unless I have something to re-post from the archives. The Diecast. Also general announcements often end up here. The weekly column, or other similar-sized bundle of thoughts. Morning: Rutskarn posts Battlespire. Evening: First episode of Spoiler Warning. Morning: The next chapter of the current ultra long-form game retrospective. Evening: Second episode of Spoiler Warning. Evening: Final episode of Spoiler Warning for the week. Rutskarn’s GMinars.

I’d love to fill in Sunday and Friday morning. I keep hatching plans to make that happen. I’ve been trying to make a new Reset Button video for about four months now, but I can never seem to get enough time together in one block to make it happen.

Allow me to definitively answer a question that pops up every few months:

Hey Shamus, are you ever going to turn The Hobbit into a screencap comic?

No. Firm no. A few months ago someone emailed and asked if I’d have a problem with them doing The Hobbit. Of course, I don’t own the idea of Tolkein-based screencap comics and they didn’t need to ask permission, but what I think they were REALLY asking is, “Are YOU planning to do one?” I told them to go right ahead. I don’t know if the project ever got off the ground, but maybe someone else will take up the torch for us.

I’ve watched bits of the Hobbit Trilogy and I’m completely numb to it. I know I really mocked the movies, but the truth is that my Lord of the Rings series came from a place of genuine affection and admiration. In contrast, I feel nothing for The Hobbit. I can’t even get up the energy to hate the dang thing. It’s the same sensation I get watching the Transformers movies: I sort of zone out for long periods of time and then finally turn it off when all the sound & fury becomes wearying.

For a long time I toyed with the idea of doing something with Star Trek: The Next Generation. In fact, I’ve still got a bunch of jokes I’d like to use. But the made-for-TV nature of the thing made it impossible. The show was shot in standard definition. SD looks terrible on the HD web to begin with, and by the time I started zooming and cropping the screen grabs it would turn into blurry pixel soup.


While most of my writing is driven by my various passions and obsessions, like most creative people I do sometimes crave that sweet, sweet audience approval. And I usually judge “approval” by the metric of “whatever stuff seems to get the most comments / social media shares”. But I’m curious if there’s anything you’re missing these days. Is there any kind of content you’d like to see brought back to the site? Something in the archives you’d like to see more of?

The next entry of Final Fantasy X will go up later today. Thanks for reading.


From The Archives:

137 thoughts on “Eleven Years of Twenty Sided

  1. The Rocketeer says:

    How’s 8 by Zombies coming along?

      1. Ofermod says:

        How’s Shogun II coming along?

        1. Josh (s catchphrase) says:


      2. Dt3r says:

        More Crusader Kings II content!

      3. The Rocketeer says:

        That doesn’t sound like “soon,” so…. Soon-ish?

    1. ulrichomega says:

      That really is my favorite Spoiler Warning episode. The madness. The editing. Josh kiting Rutskarn around. Perfection.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Peepants winning a game about zombies.

      2. swenson says:

        The best part is when he realizes he’s being kited. It’s a truly beautiful moment of enlightenment.

        1. evileeyore says:

          What was this? I skipped whole seasons of Spoiler Warning because they weren’t games I was interested in…

          1. MichaelGC says:

            I think it is this one-off that they’re on about:


          2. Daemian Lucifer says:

            When I dont care for the game,I just play the video in the background and listen to it as a podcast.Try it,its still pretty fun.

  2. The Next Generation has actually been released in HD, with a great film transfer and new CGI scenes. (And it’s on Netflix.) If technical hurdles are the only thing stopping you, maybe give it another shot?

    Either way, I think I’ll still be re-reading DM Of The Rings for years to come. No rush.

    1. Falcon02 says:

      This was my thought as well when I saw the Standard Definition comment. I know when I saw the HD re-release of ST:TOS it looked like a night and day difference. The sets still looked a bit dated… but they they were CRISP like I’d never seen them before.

      I don’t recall the TNG HD version feeling like quite that dramatic a difference for me though.

      Still it’s amazing how the “old” film technology still had so much more detail than people now today seem to give it credit for. Sadly, it’s when TV producers finally switched from Film to Digital cameras (but before HD TVs became a thing) that these HD remastering start becoming impossible. Why film at any higher resolution than 480p if that’s all the resolution we’re going to need and the consumer can receive? Especially when memory storage was still kinda expensive.

      Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Shamus is reluctant to do another long form comic though in general, even if he has a few ideas bouncing around in his head that keeps him from discounting it off hand. But, I’d be happy to see a new one though…

      DM of the Rings was awesome, and I always enjoyed Stolen Pixels and was sad to see it go, and I’d love to see more graphical (comics, videos, etc) content again. At the end of the day, Shamus only has so much time and passion to devote to this site each day, he’s the best judge of how best to distribute those limited resources of his.

  3. Da Mage says:

    Rutskarn is posting about sex with spider daedra, I think that’s how he targets the youth demographic.

    1. Taellosse says:

      *sigh* Yet more proof that, now that I am over 35, I am officially old, because that was definitely not a high point of the Battlespire series for me. ;-)

      1. Droid says:

        It may just be a matter of taste. The more sadistic youngsters love how Rutskarn tortures himself with this game, the technophiles will laugh at the burning pile of dung that this game is, the masochists read all the dialogue and memorize its story. And then maybe there are people who just really love themselves some bag-in-bag action?

        1. Taellosse says:

          For my part, I’m just enjoying Rutskarn’s writing. I guess there’s a touch of schadenfreude in there, enjoying his suffering, but mostly it’s because he makes the tale funny.

  4. Parkhorse says:

    When’s Josh going to finish that Total War: Shogun 2 playthrough?

    1. Kelerak says:

      As soon as slowbeef starts his Policenauts LP.

      1. Harold says:

        He did do that quite a while ago, about 4-5 years: http://lparchive.org/Policenauts/.

  5. Stratoshred says:

    11 years is pretty impressive. Using old columns on the Escapist to triangulate, I think I’ve been hanging around for roughly 6 of those. According to my most visited, I’m here less often than on Youtube, but more often than everywhere else. Keep it up.

  6. MichaelGC says:

    On the content I’m not going to be very helpful: I’d just like from the people that brought us that last stuff, more of the same.

    I have a really boring site question, though. Sometimes when you get a lot of comments on a post, it’ll break across two pages. And sometimes they go on forever and they are purple and red and yellow and on fire and they’re beautiful and it doesn’t break into more than one page.

    Do we know why this is, or is it just a matter of whatever mood WordPress happens to be in that day?

    1. Ninety-Three says:

      I think it works based on how many comment threads there are. So if one person posts a comment, and then fifty-seven thousand people each post a reply, that goes on one page, but if a hundred people each post their own comments instead of replying, it’ll hit a pagebreak.

      1. MichaelGC says:

        This sounds highly plausible – I think the last one to break was the: “do you realise Rutskarn wrote this?” one, so whilst I haven’t counted the individual threads, that’s definitely a good candidate for having many. Thanks! (I’m now wondering to myself – not without a little horror – what kind of post it’d have to be to garner 57,000 replies…)

    2. Sunshine says:

      “sometimes they go on forever and they are purple and red and yellow and on fire…”

      This is a long shot, but is that a reference to “Little Fluffy Clouds” by The Orb?

      1. MichaelGC says:

        Yep, well done! :D

        1. Sunshine says:

          I never expected a reference to ’90s ambient house music that I’d heard of here. This pleases me.

        2. Taellosse says:

          I knew that phrase was familiar from somewhere! I think I missed it because the mental tone of voice I’d assigned to the sentence while reading your comment wasn’t sufficiently dreamy and contemplative. More…hyperactive and borderline psychotic (not saying you are either of those things – just that I had those words playing in my head with that sort of cadence).

          1. MichaelGC says:

            Heh! – it’s also a bit of a mish-mash rather than a direct quote, so it’ll have caused the relevant memory neurons to only weakly fire off, I suspect.

  7. Jarenth says:

    Dang, eleven years. Happy steel anniversary!

    I don’t have any particular issues save that Rutskarn should post about eight times as much content. But as far as I can tell, no reclusive millionaires have found his Patreon campaign yet. So I’m not holding my breath.

    1. Sunshine says:

      You have entered the Anniversary Of Steel. Hail, brother, check out our cool airship. Everyone below us is scum.

      1. Hermocrates says:

        I can’t wait for the Anniversary of Luigi!

  8. Content Consumer says:

    Bring back the Adventures of Elfman the Man-Elf!

    EDIT: Or a Fallout 4 equivalent, if you’re not too fed up when Spoiler Warning comes to a close.

  9. lurkey says:

    Is there any kind of content you'd like to see brought back to the site?

    Lets plays. Those were great, and I still remember “No ordinary storm” despite of never playing that game, never wanting to and hating all superhero fiction.

    The more long ass, image stuffed scathing posts about overrated games, the merrier.

    Goldun Riter Awward absolutely needs to be dragged out and dusted off, there’s plenty of work to do.

    Also, Stolen Pixels.

    1. Kizer says:

      In particular, the “In-character” let’s plays starring Lulzy, Star on Chest, and the others. Those really kept me coming back to the site in the days before Spoiler Warning.

      Also, Seconded on Stolen Pixels. Every now and then I do an archive dive through the Escapist’s website, which inevitably leads to me rereading the Gordon Frohman webcomic . . . .

      1. Andrew Blank says:

        The in characters let’s plays are gold. I still go back and reread The Adventures of Star on Chest occasionally.

        1. evileeyore says:

          Yeah, Star on Chest and Lulzy were Comedy Gold!

    2. Zekiel says:

      Secnded on the Goldun Riter. That award is still needed in this dark world.

    3. WWWebb says:

      Yay on the Let’s Plays. How long can all these MMOs hang on as free-to-play games? They need to be hilariously mocked with screenshots before they disappear forever.

      The Ruts vs Battlespire posts are kinda scratching that itch, but it doesn’t work as well in first-person.

      Also, speech bubbles. You spent far too much time on that speech bubble maker to let it waste away.

    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

      These days you can even do an mmo lets play of single player games.Witcher 3,dragon age inquisition,starbound,…

    5. Nthing the request for more Let’s Plays! Lutzy even inspired me to start one of my own (which I will put up somewhere when it has more than one entry). Ered Luin, so much to mock, so little time :)

    6. ThaneofFife says:

      Shamus, you should definitely bring back Stolen Pixels. The comics with the game company spokespeople were always hilarious. After Curfew with Dr. Breen was pretty good too.

      If you can’t use the Stolen Pixels name (I’m assuming that The Escapist owns the comic’s name), then maybe you could bring it back as A Thing About Stuff, which ran on your site for a while a couple of years ago. Also, 1-2 panel comics are great–you don’t need 10-12 narratively-dense panels if that takes too long.

    7. LCF says:

      I second all of these.
      I have very fond memories of DM of the Rings.
      On a broader note, MOAR COMICS PLZ!

    8. Ramsus says:

      Definitely would like another of the Let’s Plays. It was just a particular bit of humor the way you did it that is otherwise missing in my life.

      My DM of the Rings needs are currently being filled by Darths & Droids, but that’s just basic level needs. I still desire more such things if you ever find yourself with the time to do another.

      I wouldn’t mind another rpg comic like Chainmail Bikini in my life either. For some reason I almost want to see you torment yourself and request it be a Mass Effect or Fallout game. =P

      1. It could always be based on Gamma World. :D

        (That’s actually the second time I’ve referenced that today)

    9. Sunshine says:

      Yes and yes to more “Text Plays”, Stolen Pixels and thorough flayings of terrible plots.

      Also, a proc-gen project like Project Frontier or Pixel City (?), if you’re so inclined.

    10. Galad says:

      Seconded on all of these, especially Stolen Pixels, those were awesomesauce, back in the day when I was new to this site

    11. Taellosse says:

      Agreed – Lulzy and Star on Chest were great, even though I never played either game. Star on Chest actually helped to dissuade me from getting Champions Online. I really, really wanted a more interesting alternative to City of Heroes. Still do, really, though I care a lot less if it’s an MMO than that it have a really robust character creator, and storylines no stupider than half-decent comic books.

      As an aside, it’s really odd to me that video games so rarely do super heroes. By which I mean original ones, not movie tie-ins – or at least games about established heroes that aren’t a cheap cash-grab. Batman and Spider-Man are basically the only ones that ever get such games anymore – and they were never exactly common. And original superhero games are even more rare. Considering how popular comics are in Hollywood right now, you’d think the game industry would be capitalizing on that more. But instead there’s basically 3 broad categories of genre that games spend all their time in – pseudo-medieval fantasy, far-future sci-fi, and pseudo-realistic modern day (maybe with one or two things that are overtly weird) – there’s a smattering of historical fiction (Assassin’s Creed, various strategy games), and post-apocalyptic (Fallout), but those are mostly just tweaks to the above 3 categories. I loved the InFamous games on PS3/4 to death because they were so unusual, despite their flaws – and really wanted to like [Prototype] (but it was just too grim for my taste), but I really can’t think of another example from the last several years.

      Anyway, yes, more Let’s Plays would be cool, though I realize that would require Shamus to spend a great deal of time playing a game he probably does not enjoy. ;-) I also enjoyed Stolen Pixels, and something like it, even if it weren’t on any particular schedule, would be fun. And the Goldun Riter award should happen annually at a minimum – there’s probably enough terrible game writing to do it quarterly.

    12. Maryam says:

      I’ve got to echo the request for more Let’s Plays. Those have been some of my favorite bits of writing from Shamus.

  10. Mephane says:

    What I would love to see is more about the various “other” games. The ones mentioned just in passing, the ones about which Shamus drops a half-sentence in a tweet and that is all we ever hear from him about that.

    Another thing I would like is discussions on a more generic level about science fiction and fantasy. Like, what are Shamus’ thoughts on scifi tech XYZ in general, ridiculous or plausibe?

    Also why not cover more movies, or even books? For example, I am not even really into superhero movies yet I always enjoy it when Shamus writes about them. Or how about a Mass Effect style 50 post series deconstructing Nu Star Trek, for example? :)

    And to make this clear: it wouldn’t even have to be new criticism (or praise) per se. Shamus, you may think to yourself “everyone has had this exact argument already, I’d just repeat it” – it doesn’t matter. It’s not just the content itself, but also your style of thinking and writing that makes it so interesting, to the point where the topic may become secondary to the fact that Shamus Writes About X.

    And finally, now that the rerun of Shamus Plays LOTRO is over, you should really think about a rerun of DMOTR. The entire thing, one episode per week. I think it would be worth it just for the fresh comments alone.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      What I would love to see is more about the various “other” games. The ones mentioned just in passing

      I too would like more stuff like this. Could be short/single written posts, or maybe short videos like Campster and Josh did. Fun stuff! :)

      1. Andy_Panthro says:

        Definitely more “20 minutes 36 minutes with” stuff, like the Death Road to Canada video. Makes a nice break, when Spoiler Warning is on a very long game like Fallout 4.

    2. Fade2Gray says:

      It's not just the content itself, but also your style of thinking and writing that makes it so interesting, to the point where the topic may become secondary to the fact that Shamus Writes About X.

      I completely agree.* I can count the number of hours I’ve spent playing the entire Final Fantasy series on one hand, but I read each of Shamus’s FFX write-ups religiously. I’d love to see Shamus expand out to broader SciFi and Fantasy content regularly.

      *I’m a relatively new transplant ’round these parts, so take anything I have to say with a grain of salt

    3. Sunshine says:

      “It's not just the content itself, but also your style of thinking and writing that makes it so interesting, to the point where the topic may become secondary to the fact that Shamus Writes About X.”

      I third this.

  11. Ilseroth says:

    Grats on the eleven years~ I’ve been around for around 6 of them I suppose and Twenty Sided is the only blog/gaming opinion website that I visit daily.

    The addition of Rutskarn’s content was welcome; the two of you both have quite different writing styles but for both of you there’s rarely an article that I ever skip. Even if it’s a topic that doesn’t chiefly interest me, you make it interesting nonetheless.

    As for something to fill deadzones I can say what I have enjoyed the most on your site; whether or not they are something you’d be willing to get into again.

    1. Game Development: You talked about potentially doing other projects post-Good Robot and it’s understandable if that desire waned after actually *releasing* a game, but by far and away my favorite posts are those talking about game development. Your site is part of my reason for getting back into it, after kinda giving up on the idea of doing game development a while back. Now I routinely do Ludum Dare game jams (including last weekend) , and am trying to actually muster the gumption to start a real project myself.

    2. Game Breakdowns Essentially you are already doing this for a day of the week (with FFX for now), so probably won’t find it’s way to multiple days a week; but they are always a joy to see.

    3. Streams: I absolutely adore the live streams you guys do; they may always have tech issues at the start, and it’s never a full cast, but even if it was just one or two people, a regular stream would be something that can provide substantial content without requiring a lot of editing and even have some interaction. While I recognize that you worry that you’ll be unable to interact, I still really like the streams that do happen, so I definitely think it is worth a shot at least.

    Thanks again for the 11 years, here’s looking to the future!

  12. Jingleman says:

    Congratulations on 11 years!

  13. Chad says:

    I know Rutskarn has been filling in the D&D gap, but I really enjoyed your series on your game settings and I would love to see more content justifying the Twenty Sided name.

    1. Hal says:


      I realize the site has long since deviated from that humble origin, but I’d love to see Shamus get back into table top gaming. His campaign notes got me into the hobby in the first place.

    2. Ramsus says:

      Rutskarn used to do that kind of thing too and I’d love to see more of that from either or both of them. (It’d be pretty interesting to see them work on a setting together or work on separate settings at the same time so we can contrast them.)

    3. Blackbird71 says:

      I will echo this; it’s what brought me to the site to begin with, and what has really been missing for the last several years until Rutskarn recently picked up the torch.

  14. Alex says:

    As a part of the audience, I approve :)

    That out of the way, some suggestions:

    – Have people (patreon supporters?) vote on what game should be the object of the next long form review. I find it hard to imagine that anyone would have chosen Final Fantasy, given the choice. Maybe that is just me.

    – If possible at all, a second Diecast episode per week. I do see that having two full episodes is unrealistic. How about ~60 min regular on one day and ~30 mins mailbag on another?

    – Replace one Spoiler Warning Episode per week with one-shot pieces like the one on Death Road to Canada. Judging from the comments, people loved that one.

    – Write about your experience with what you are playing. This has not to be (should not be?) overly analytic. More like the rant on No Mans Sky, less than the analysis of Deus Ex. [This is assuming, that less analysis is easier to do and we are talking about something you could do in addition to the analytical columns]. How shall I put this? You present “Shamus Young” as an actual person rather than a fictional avatar. Whatever the technical term for that is, but I hope it is clear what I mean. Many let’s players are obviously roles rather than people. Your audience seems to find “Shamus Young” sufficiently interesting, at least I do. So I argue, the blog could use more content centered on that Shamus character’s experiences rather than carefully crafted arguments why writers are idiots.

    – Give Campster a column or somehow force him to update Errant Signal more frequently.

    1. Bloodsquirrel says:

      I imagine that we’d have sharply diminishing returns on multiple Diecasts. Aside from the difficulty in getting everyone together to do them, they’re already telling us the most interesting things they have to say that week during the first hour. We’d get a lot more second-string material for the second hour.

      I do agree on more casual reviews of some games, though. Some of that winds up in the Diecast or Spoiler Warning, but there they’re subject to interruption and the general flow of the program.

      1. Raven_Sloth says:

        I would be up for a second hour of the diecast, although I would want it split into two sections. It gets inconvenient for me when listening to multiple hours of the same thing, unless it is an audio book with a full story. I would actually really like it to be split up so half of it is on Monday and the other half is on Friday or Sunday. Or something like make some audio content that is just Shamus, like if the reset buttons where short blip podcasts rather than short blip videos. Of course with that suggestion I am biased towards audio content, as it gives me something to do over long walks, maybe try more of the create a song to fit with X games soundtrack, if it hasn’t burnt you out.

        Anyway Congrats on the 11th year of your site Shamus! I started on around the end of the Fallout New Vegas Season because my sister watching and reading, and it has become a nice topic of conversation between us. Keep up the good work!

    2. Decus says:

      I don’t think that things like long form reviews would work on a democracy. You don’t write something like that (or shouldn’t write something like that) for a game you have no passion for at all. And if there’s more than one game he has the passion to write long form for I imagine he’d be working on whichever he feels more passionate about at any given time, maybe even writing them in tandem.

      I’ve never seen people turn something like that into a vote and be happy with the results. Usually the readers aren’t happy with the results either, if the vote was anything approaching close.

      1. Syal says:

        Tune in next week for our democratically chosen long-form review of… Contra.

        Followed by Disgaea.

  15. thatSeniorGuy says:

    Congratulations on 11 years Shamus!

  16. Josef says:

    I just hope in nine years you will write an article: “Twenty years of Eleventy Sided”

    1. BenD says:

      I am in favor of this request.

  17. Simplex says:

    Problem: “For a long time I toyed with the idea of doing something with Star Trek: The Next Generation (…) But the made-for-TV nature of the thing made it impossible. The show was shot in standard definition. SD looks terrible on the HD web to begin with, and by the time I started zooming and cropping the screen grabs it would turn into blurry pixel soup.”

    Potential solution: http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Star-Trek-The-Next-Generation-The-Complete-Series-Blu-ray/153852/


    Unless that was just an excuse, then my apologies :)

    1. ThaneofFife says:

      I came here to say this, and typed out an entire comment about it, and was ninja’d by this one. ;-(

      Shamus, I’d only add that the remastered TNG isn’t in widescreen, but the resolution is much higher. They also re-did the special effects, which look great, but I feel kinda bad that they’re not the original any more.

      They also did the same thing with Star Trek TOS. The special effects there still look like they’re from the 60’s, but now it’s higher-res CGI that looks like a 1960’s model. It’s pretty strange, actually. The episode where I noticed the biggest different was The Doomsday Machine. When I saw that episode on late-afternoon, static-ey, SD TV when I was a kid, I kept thinking, “What is that monster? It’s too dark to make it out.” Now, it’s bright and bold, and very clear. I hadn’t even realized that I was looking at re-mastered SFX until that point. It was kinda strange. It’s on Netflix if you want to take a look.

      Anyway, I believe TNG may also be available in HD on Netflix, if you can do screencaps from there and avoid having to buy the complete series on blu-ray for $120.

    2. Blake says:

      Came to the comments to mention this.
      I’m pretty sure I read it was all recorded on film and the originals were kept and used for the Blu-Ray HD-ifying, which means it’s not just a whole heap of post effects trying to upscale the thing. It actually looks good.

  18. Ardis Meade says:

    I’m reluctant to ask for much, as I feel like most of what I’d suggest is obvious enough that you would already be doing it if you didn’t have a good reason not to. That said I will take a moment to request that “Best of Spoiler Warning” and “Right Behind You” get reuploaded if possible.

  19. Lee says:

    I’ll add my voice to the ones looking for development content. I actually first came here for procedural generation posts, way back when.

    1. Jingleman says:

      Consider me another vote for more programming stuff.

      1. Dave Evans says:

        I miss the programming style content as well – either about game development, or developing some random thing (I really loved Pixel City) or just posts explaining programming stuff to non-programmers. Which is odd, because by profession, I am a programmer.

  20. The Mich says:

    Happy anniversary! May this site continue running successfully for many, many more years!

    I have to say that I’m really happy I found this corner of the internet in which to “feel at home” in a way… be it with the podcast, the show or in writing, you guys accompany me throughout the week, and in some occasions helped me to go through some bad times. I’m sure I’m not the only one here :) So, thanks! :D

    Regarding suggestions for content, I think that a Stolen Pixels/DM of the Rings-style comic would complement very well what’s already on the site. Doesn’t necessarily have to be about something specific – I just kind of miss that weekly shot of humour à  la Stolen Pixels.

  21. Bloodsquirrel says:

    I’ve said it before, but the let’s plays were really great.

  22. Syal says:

    If this site was Duke Nukem Forever, it would be 73% of the way to its disastrous completion by this point.

    Obviously this site is only 55% of the way to disastrous completion.

    I’ve mentioned a couple of times I’d like to see some anime impressions again, or maybe just impressions of whatever shows you guys watch, Phineas and Ferb or whatever.

    Also you’ve gotta do DM Of The Animated Version of the Hobbit.

    …and Chainmail Bikini 2.

    1. You could always stream everyone watching the cartoon Return of the King. (Okay, I just want to hear the gang sing “When there’s a whip, there’s a way”. It may be a remarkably bad adaptation, but man, Rankin/Bass music is great!)

  23. Christopher says:

    I like it when Josh streams something on twitch while you comment, which is pretty rare. If anything else, then maybe what Mephane was talking about, “various other games”. Between the retrospective and the let’s plays, the same games stick around for a long time, with only the weekly column or maybe a quick chat on the Diecast being the exceptions. If you’re playing anything else or have something on your mind about another game and are looking to fill in a day, then I’d love to read even a couple of paragraphs about it.

    Congratulations on making it 11 years! I’ve barely been here for half that time, but I’m enjoying myself. It’s nice to read regular articles from Rutskarn, too.

    Edit: Make Josh and Campster play more Death Road to Canada, or similar games!

    Edit edit: STOLEN PIXELS

  24. Phill says:

    The things I’ve enjoyed most that there hasn’t been so much of recently:

    Programming posts. The sort where you are figuring something out or talking about the algorithms involved (The Good Robot stuff didn’t scratch that itch, since once you are working on a publishable game, 90% of the work isn’t ‘interesting’: it’s stuff like writing a save system, writing tools for other people, polishing the interface and so on. Whereas on fun projects, you can just focus on the procedural cave generator and only have the interesting bits to talk about. So lets have a procedural alien generator or whatever else happens to catch your interest.

    Text Let’s Plays. For a very long time I never bothered with Spoiler Warning (until some time after Shamus made that “why do most of the people who visit this site not watch Spoiler Warning”? post) But the various adventures of Star on Chest, Lulzy and Dethbringer (plus the programming stuff) kept me coming back regularly. And the comics, obviously.

    Shamus’s style is usually very story-based, usually creating a narrative-narrative dissonance between the story that protagonsists are playing and the story they are part of (the DMotR players versus the LotR story, Lulz’s motives versus what LOTRO’s NPCs think is going on). And more of that is always fun, but I think there is also room for more gameplay-focussed ones too : e.g. Shamus learning to play Dwarf Fortress (or whatever it might be that he’d find interesting to play).

    1. Ingvar says:

      Shamus writing something like TIS-100, with procedurally-generated problem sets (NB: random-generating (and verifying) problems like that isn’t overly hard, the problem is having a mchine decide what counts for interesting problems or not)?

    2. LCF says:

      Oh, yes, coding and writing too.
      I don’t always watch Spoiler Warning (though when I do, I do it faithfully), I prefer reading most of the time, while listening to my music.

      1. Coding, absolutely coding. It’s some of my favorite material on this site. Of course, it’s also incredibly time-consuming on your end, since one good post often seems to be summarizing quite a few hours of programming time. But still: Coding.

    3. Jingleman says:

      With regard to Text Let’s Plays and retrospectives – mostly I really enjoy them; like everything else around here, the quality of the work is generally excellent. I would only mention that sometimes, the length of a series (in terms of the number of entries) can wear on me, even if I’m really into the subject matter, and I find myself looking forward to the next subject. If I’m not into the subject matter, then I can sometimes find myself just not bothering to check in on whatever day of the week that is for months on end. My favorite (text) content has historically been the one-off columns about interesting topics, especially expanding on Diecast conversations, and short-to-medium length series about concepts related to programming, game design/development, or writing. But really, if the most critical thing that I can say is that I might spend some portion of a year only visiting the site six days a week rather than seven, then I think things are going pretty well.

      Thanks for creating all of this!

    4. RJT says:

      I agree with these points. I am primarily here for the writing and “lite” education. I’d love to see more programming projects or explanations of graphics programming. I also like story analysis and role-playing let’s plays like the Star-on-Chest story.

      Looking at the vast array of comments, here, it is amazing how diverse the audience is. I doubt you have a majority of people who like a particular aspect of this site! For example, a lot of people love Spoiler Warning. Meanwhile, I find it too formless and…full of yelling. It reminds me of MST3K before the cast moved to scripts inside of improv. The funny jokes are funnier because they also amaze the audience with the cast’s ability to come up with them on the spot. But, there was a lot of dead air in those early episodes, and the quality became much more even later. Do I think you should change Spoiler Warning? No, definitely not! People love it, and you guys seem to love doing it. But, for me, I am glad you also have content on here that goes through a few drafts before it shows up, and I would love to see more.

  25. Sam says:

    I personally would love to see more code analysis. When I started reading this site 9 years ago in high school, I was a kid who loved videogames and had no idea how they worked, and no experience whatsoever with programming. I always found your code analysis super fascinating; you’ have a real gift for analyzing not just the construction of a piece of code, but also the thought process that goes into producing it. When I got to college and decided to wing it on a c++ 101 course, your writing was a big part of why I decided it might be something I’d be interested in. And now five years later I’m a professional developer!

    So yeah, that’s a thing that’d be lovely to see = )

    Congrats on the anniversary!

  26. Zekiel says:

    Congratulations Shamus!

  27. Leviathan902 says:


    Also, let’s plays. “A Star Is Born” was friggin’ incredible.

    But mostly stolen pixels. The wit on display in that comic is what made me say “I need to check out this guy’s website”. Been here daily for almost 8 years.

  28. Daemian Lucifer says:

    If this site was Duke Nukem Forever, it would be 73% of the way to its disastrous completion by this point.

    And if this site was half life 3?

    1. MichaelGC says:

      -0/ERR% of the way to the Singularity.

    2. LCF says:

      Who needs HL3 when you have all the hats?

    3. Sunshine says:

      Abandoned in favour of being the place to sell blogs.

  29. Dork Angel says:

    Thanks for everything. Keep up the good work.

    PS. Any plans for another book along the lines of The Witch Watch?

  30. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Hey Shamus, are you ever going to turn The Hobbit into a screencap comic?

    No. Firm no.


    I can't even get up the energy to hate the dang thing.

    You should do the screencaps then and have Mumbles do the text.Im sure she would be thrilled to have to listen to smaug for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours….

  31. Daemian Lucifer says:

    How about instead of a hobbit screencap comic you do shadows of more door screencap comic?That would be a worthy sequel/prequel.

    1. LCF says:

      On the other hand, a Hobbit comic based on the book, and illustrated with pictures from the films might be fun to do and read.
      What do you think, Shamus?

      1. Syal says:

        I’m imagining a Dinosaur Comics style comic; you get one wide shot of Bilbo, Gandalf and all the dwarves, and then you just move the text bubbles to the episode’s relevant characters. It’d be great.

  32. John says:

    Congratulations on eleven years, Shamus.

    Like a lot of people, I ended up on Twenty Sided because of DM of the Rings. (How DM of the Rings first came to my attention, I can no longer recall.) I’ve been reading the site for, oh, about seven years now, but I spent a long time lurking without comment. The thing that I most appreciate about your site, Shamus, is how personal and reasonable it is. When I finally did succumb to the urge to comment, I wrote my actual name in the Name field without even thing about it, despite the fact that I have a perfectly good nom de Internet that I’ve been using since the mid 90s. It just seemed the natural thing to do. I have particularly enjoyed Stolen Pixels, the various text Let’s Plays, and posts about coding, including posts about Good Robot. I don’t watch a lot of Spoiler Warning largely because I haven’t played and probably will never play most of the games involved. For various reasons, including but not limited to personal taste, underpowered computers, and a total lack of consoles, I just don’t play a lot of AAA games of the sort you cover.

  33. D-Frame says:

    Your terrain project was what caught my awareness years ago and your other programming posts kept me coming back. I still stop by almost daily, in desperate hope of more programming.

  34. Supah Ewok says:

    A comic again would be awesome. DM of the Rings is still your funniest stuff.

  35. Bubble181 says:

    Yet Another Congratulatory post!

    As for personal preference for More Stuff: always interested in (semi-)long form written content, with our without screen shots. And please do keep attaching posts to the videos. I, like others, don’t watch the videos (sorry!) but do read the post and comments along them.

    While your long let’s play series are probably the most consistently funny, the longer series about “stuff you’re figuring out” is also always consistently interesting and funny. Whether it’s coding, music, or what-have-you. I’m fairly sure I’d happily read a short series of yours about learning to basket-weave.

    On another topic: I don’t know if number of comments is the most useful metric. All ME posts had 200+ comments, but I think that was mostly the same 20 people having the same argument(s) over and over again ;-)

    Stolen Pixels was also funny and nice and all that jazz.

    Onwards to another 22 years!

  36. Nallenon says:

    I don’t have anything to add here, I just wanted to post to let you know that even though I pretty much never have anything to add to a post and I never share them online, I read everything you post and I love your site. If there was a Like button on each post, I would click that to show you I read it and liked it, but there isn’t, so I don’t.

  37. swenson says:

    Mark me down in the “more programming posts” column. Where game design and programming intersect is always interesting, but as a programmer myself, I love when you just talk code. Obviously I’m biased, but you’re very good at presenting that in a way that’s accessible to people unfamiliar with programming, while still being deeply interesting to those of us who happen to have more experience.

    Especially graphics-related stuff! I know very little about that stuff, so I always enjoy reading about it.

    Aside from that, I also like text-based Let’s Plays. I always try to keep up with Spoiler Warning seasons, but to be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever watched a full season all the way through (the long seasons, that is, not the short ones). I either come in halfway through and never go back to watch earlier episodes, or I start off strong and then lose track of things partway through. Text is easier for me to stay on track with.

  38. Vermander says:

    First of all, congratulations on 11 years of great content. I’ve been coming to your site for the better part of a decade now, but only commenting for part of that.

    My favorite pieces are usually the ones where you talk about storytelling and character development in games. I think it’s a testament to your writing skill that some of the articles I’ve found most insightful were ones that were extremely critical of games I love (Mass Effect 2 for example). I can remember finishing some of your articles and feeling pissed when I realized you were right.

    On the other hand I almost always skip your columns about programming and the technical aspects of game development. I’m not an engineer or a programmer, and I don’t consider myself an especially “tech-savy” person, so those topics usually don’t interest me. I get the sense that I’m in the minority among your readers on that topic though.

    Finally, I really appreciate the way you keep you keep a level head when delving into political, religious, or philosophical topics. I love that you don’t resort to portraying people who disagree with you as idiots and keep the focus on how the issue effect the game or story in question rather than which side is right.

  39. Cozzer says:

    I’m not a very active poster here, but I’ve been following this site for about a year and an half. And as long as it’s written content and not video content, I’m happy with anything. :P

  40. NilkadNaquada says:

    Personally I’d love to see more dissection of broad design concepts, like in the posts “I Know Kung Fu” and “Self-Balancing Gameplay”

    Analysis of individual games is fun and you certainly do it well, but I can just never get enough of that sort of general theory-based content

    1. Jingleman says:

      Second the motion.

  41. Viktor says:

    I’d love to see another comic from you. I still reread Chainmail Bikini on occasion, and Stolen Pixels was always fun. I realize it’s unlikely, but something other than a DMotR sequel could be a lot of fun.

  42. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Here,a present for the site:


    1. Majikkani_Hand says:





    2. LCF says:

      This is less a present than of an act of terror.
      Who needs sleep, anyway?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Well I said the present is for the site,not for the people on the site.

  43. Redingold says:

    Any chance you could get George Weidman back for some more Spoiler Warning one offs, or even as a regular crew member? The Dark Souls episode was great.

  44. Zach Hixson says:

    I was brought to this website by your programming content, and while I enjoy most of your other stuff, It would be nice to see more of that

  45. Nick-B says:

    I’d like to see you do a screencap comic of the new star trek MOVIES…

  46. Jeff says:

    More game development / procedural content posts!

    1. Cuthalion says:

      +1 to what this guy said!

  47. Sunshine says:

    Thank you for this site and the work you and everyone else do on it. I hope you continue for a very long, successful time.

  48. Nick Powell says:

    I’d actually never noticed there was a schedule. I just open the site every day and scroll down to the first post I’ve not seen before.

  49. WILL says:

    I’m up for Spoiler Warning streams or any streams really. Even if it’s just Josh and Rutskarn or Josh and Campster or Mumbles or whatever combination of people.

  50. Rick says:

    I like your technical and programming posts, and I don’t often get the opportunity to digest Spoiler Warning.

    But I’m guessing I’m in the minority in preferring text content.

  51. Tips on two things you can do to “fill” the week:

    You write pretty well, so how about just turning what would be multiple tweets into a post. Just look at what you’ve tweeted or been tweeted at since last Friday morning and make a post about that (each paragraph would be a long-form tweet!?). Maybe pick up on gaming news and make a brief comment about that, maybe certain points proove popular enough to warrant becoming the next weekly column post.

    As for Sundays, why not dive into your old games pile? And write a not exactly a review but a “This is why I like this game!” (remember/is important/or even dislike). You should have played enough games to be able to do a weekly post on this, some games might span two posts (weeks).

  52. Droid says:

    I’d love to see a screencap comic return, DMoTR is just sooo funny to read (went back to it just yesterday just to get another look and somehow ended up on page LXXII, anyway). I can see how the Hobbit is no good for that, though, even in a different setting than a D&D campaign.

    Speaking of which, your D&D campaign was also a nice read and one of the few things I could view offline on my phone without much of a hassle (damn public transportation). I generally like your writing style and loved the Witch Watch, but you seem to be the most entertaining when you take something you enjoyed and are passionate about and give it a good roast.

    EDIT: Oh, and yes, your programming-related content, that’s also great! Not much I dislike about this site, tbh. If anything, it’s the website and not the content.

  53. CliveHowlitzer says:

    I rarely post but always read. I always enjoy reading your stuff here. I admit I don’t watch any of the videos. I’ve never been much of a watcher/listener, but I love that you still write articles. Keep it up.

  54. Harry says:

    Congrats on 11 years! I’ve been lurking around since the Fallout 3 Spoiler Warning season first went up on Vimeo, which I guess was… 2010? So 6 years ago.

    In terms of content, I’d love to see more short one-article reviews on games you’ve been playing. Also more programming stuff would be great!

  55. McGurker says:

    Might be in the minority here but I would LOVE more programming content. Too bad Good Robot went commercial D:

  56. Willroar says:

    Anything about programming! Always more!

    Weekly rambles on programming would be my dream addition to your site.

    You are one of the only people to ever discuss programming in a way that I found engaging and entertaining. All of your pieces together, and re-reading them many times, have been a significant part of my effort to learn. I never had to courage to approach any coding language but now I’m knee deep in Swift and Objective-C* tutorials thanks in part to you.

    *Swift and Objective-C (mostly Swift because MANUAL MEMORY MANAGEMENT UGH) because Macs are about all I use now thanks to my video production career, with the PC only coming out during extended gaps between gigs for gaming

  57. Taellosse says:

    Cripes, that must mean I’ve been reading your blog for 9-10 years now. I started, as so many did, with DM of the Rings, but I don’t know exactly when – I know it had been going for a while when I found my way here, but I went into the archive and started at the beginning. Since that comic ran from 2006-2007 (really? It only took 1 year? I feel like it lasted longer than that, somehow. Maybe that’s thanks to Darths & Droids adopting a much more granular approach to the concept), I’ve been here in the neighborhood of a decade.

    The really weird thing is this isn’t even the longest I’ve closely followed a given website. There are webcomics I started following before the turn of the century that are still going, and I’m still reading. Not many, it’s true, but there are at least one or two (notably Sluggy Freelance).

  58. Ninety-Three says:

    Everyone is weighing in with what kind of new content they’d like you to make Shamus, but is that what the situation is, you intend to make more regular content for the site? Last time you talked about your schedule (a few months ago), you were pulling seventy-hour weeks for the blog, are you in a position where you can author more content? Or is anything new going to come either from someone else, or at the expense of the existing content? Because I’m pretty happy with all the stuff you currently do and I’d hate to see you cut any of it for other projects.

  59. The Seed Bismuth says:

    when you are done with final fantasy X I would really like it if you returned to projects like (but not these ones because there either dead and/or complete) terrain, hex, frontier, octant and defining procedural with Fuel because that’s what got me hooked to your site in the first place. But casual reading of the other comments puts me in the minority because I don’t watch spoiler warning and only sporadically listen to the Diecast.

  60. Blackbird71 says:

    Congrats on 11 years! It’s been a fun ride, thanks for having me along!

    Since you asked, one thing I would like to see more of is the stuff that first brought me to this site and kept me reading in the beginning: stories, experiences, and suggestions for tabletop gaming. I realize that Ruts has recently started to do a little with this, but I’d really like to see more. Particularly as you (Shamus) have such a gift for world-building and storytelling, and I’d love to see more of that. It would be great to see a site called “Twenty-Sided” live up to its namesake again.

    I’d also like to see more anime reviews and recommendations; or if you don’t watch much anime anymore, how about more reviews on TV shows and/or movies that you enjoy? I just remember a time when this site covered several different topics and areas of interest, of which computer/video gaming was only one small part, and frankly I miss the variety.

    The one thing on the site that I don’t really care for are the video posts. This is primarily because I mostly read this site during downtime at work (lunch, breaks, etc.), and while it’s easy to read the written word under these circumstances, watching video is a bit inconvenient. I don’t really have anything against the videos, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t do them. Rather I’m just pointing out that there is at least a portion of your readership that either can’t or won’t view these; do with that information what you will.

    Anyway, that’s my 2% roll on the d100, take it for what it’s worth. Here’s hoping for another 11 years of wit and reason with a good helping of humor!

  61. Dreadjaws says:

    Yet another person in support of bringing back Stolen Pixels. In fact, you should start by importing your original ones (with commentary included, of course) from The Escapist and once you reach the final one it’d be the perfect point to start making new ones (though you can always name them Stolen Pixels 2.0 or something like that, I don’t know).

  62. SDedalus says:

    I want to preface this by saying I love the site and your writing, and that I’ll read/watch pretty much whatever you end up putting out in the future.

    I really loved your Mass Effect series. You used the word “retrospective” but I think “autopsy” is a lot better. /What went wrong? And how?/ You had a question, you answered it thoroughly, and it was a very engaging read.

    Final Fantasy X… I dunno. I love that game, warts and all, while I’ve always been lukewarm on most of the ME franchise. Often your posts feel like a whole lot of plot summary without much content- I know the ME posts had recaps as well, but I hardly noticed them whereas I often find myself thinking “when is the analysis going to start?” in the FFX posts.

    I think there’s just less to say in that format. X has less integral problems than Mass Effect, it’s a better and more confident story and game (taking all three Mass Effects into account, but not Final Fantasy X2 because it barely even exists.) The answer to “what went wrong” is “honestly, nothing really”.

    I think there are games that are better suited to this sort of analysis than Final Fantasy X. Narratives where each entry contributes to an ongoing story: The Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Ace Attorney. part of what made the ME series captivating is that it consistently laid the three games in comparison with one another to illustrate one’s flaws and the other’s strengths. A single game would be fine too, so long as you went into it trying to answer a question about the game. I haven’t really seen that in your X retrospective yet, and since the worst part of the game (the stuff with the Al Bhed in the first half) is done with I don’t really see what you might seize on beyond various nitpicks and inconsistencies.

  63. pranav says:

    i would love to see you do more programming things or series. they are my favourite part about this site and i have read them over four times. EACH ONE OF THEM.

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