Diecast #189: Let’s Plays, Skype, Steam Greenlight

By Shamus Posted Monday Feb 27, 2017

Filed under: Diecast 70 comments

Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster. Edited by Baychel.

Show notes:

0:00:41: Chris Franklin wins Video Essayist of the Year.

The video essay is on the cusp of a renaissance at the moment, and in many ways its language is still being worked out by those working furtively at its frontiers. Franklin's Youtube channel Errant Signal is something special. It combines excellence in both form and content, with succinct videos that make clear arguments and are always a joy to watch. Without his contributions, video-format games criticism would look very different today.

You do watch Errant Signal, right?

0:06:46: Lets plays

Rutskarn and Shamus discuss different styles of writing and Ruts talks about his upcoming series.

0:27:52: Skype and Account Security

It’s the perfect storm of incompetence and apathy.

0:38:57: Steam Green Light

Shamus is still trying to get his game approved on Greenlight. You can vote for it here.

1:05:55: Oops.

This was supposed to appear on the anniversary episode, but… it didn’t.


From The Archives:

70 thoughts on “Diecast #189: Let’s Plays, Skype, Steam Greenlight

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Yay Chris!Maybe this will finally boost your confidence and show you that you are way smarter than you think.

    1. Christopher says:

      Congratulations on winning their award, Chris! You’ve come such a long way, I still remember that old post where Shamus critiqued your Half-Life video and mentioned one of your videos only had 2000 views. It’s over a hundred thousand now, I think. Your reach is much bigger, and when I meet other people with some interest in videos about video games, they often watch yours already.

    2. Echo Tango says:

      Huzzah, Chris!

      I look forward to even more great videos! :)

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    What is this?Josh didnt even say “Hey Campster,say ‘ludonarrative dissonance'”.0/10

  3. Daemian Lucifer says:

    “People expect indies to have the same polish as big studio games” is an incorrect and a really annoying argument.No,we expect indies to have the same polish as dust:an elysian tail,a game made by a single guy that was more polished than skyrim.

    1. Sunshine says:

      While you’d expect a game from, say, Valve or Activision to have all the edges sanded off, a certain amount of wonky malfunction seems to be part of the Bethesda house style.

    2. Ilseroth says:

      I know this is a bit of a bait statement but I’ll bite;

      Skyrim is wholly recognized as being an exception in the AAA market as being buggy, but good enough of a game that as a market people are willing to overlook it, and Dust considered exceptional in terms of polish in the indie market.

      It’s easier for you to compare two games of the same genre to see what people are looking for in terms of polish. For instance, you don’t see many realistic FPS games succeeding from indie teams, despite there being a lot of them and the fact that realism is no longer unobtainable (in fact it’s easier then hand painting textures) using fairly moderately priced tools. The issue is the level of polish in the mechanics and graphics that are hard set due to the heavy competition in the AAA scene.

      On the other hand, Metroidvania style games are almost entirely neglected in the AAA scene, but make for some of the more popular, successful indie games (Ori, Salt and Sanctuary, Axiom Verge) and so they set the expectations.

  4. Joe says:

    Yeah, I recommend Bill Bryson. Particularly Down Under and Notes From a Small Island. I didn’t like The Lost Continent, it felt mean-spirited.

    On a different note, I appreciate what GOG does, I’ve just never actually really enjoyed any game I’ve bought from them. Sure I’ve made some unwise Steam purchases too, but neither the nostalgia or the new games have really clicked for me. However, I don’t like monopolies in any field. I’m glad that GOG exists. And I should really check out Itch.io now.

    1. Leocruta says:

      Perhaps you merely bought the wrong games. I’d recommend trying any of these if you haven’t already: Thief, Age of wonders: Shadow Magic, Dungeon Keeper 2, The Legacy of Kain, System Shock 2, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and King of Dragon Pass.

      I would also recommend (but I realize they’re not for everyone), Geneforge, The Age of Decadence, Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magic Obscura, and Underrail.

      1. Syal says:

        Ooh, lists!

        I’m assuming we’re not talking about exclusively non-Steam games here. GOG has Torchlight which is a fun arcadey Diablo-style game. It’s also got top down shooters like Crimzon Clover, and the well-known indie games like Spelunky and Crypt of the Necrodancer and Undertale.

        Also it’s got Trails in the Sky 1 and 2 which are very good Saturday Morning Cartoon JRPGs, Wing Commander Privateer which is a space fighter pseudo-sandbox, and Agarest which is a trashy semi-porn turn-based strategy game with okay fights and terrible story and characters. (…maybe don’t buy Agarest.)

        Also a patched Vampire The Masquerade is on there; very well-written, and it waited all the way until my second playthrough to break horribly!

      2. Zak McKracken says:

        May I add The Swapper and the Shadowrun series to that list?
        I also enjoyed Brà¼tal Legend a lot, but I’ll be quick to acknowledge that this might be mostly down to personal preferences over polished gameplay … I just loved the tone (and many of the notes) of the game.

        1. Leocruta says:

          I really like Brà¼tal Legend, but without the metal theme, it would be a pretty terrible game.

          1. Zak McKracken says:

            Yep. The kind of irony with which the game treats the whole metal theme is also the kind of irony that helps deal with the games’ mechanical quirks.
            A shame, really, because I think many of those could have been improved without a huge amount of extra work.
            The big battles, though … I guess with a lot of training you can actually have some control over what’s going on but as it was I was just frantically racing back and forth, to try and prevent my people from being obliterated. Not sure if they ever achieved anything on their own. A roadie’s life, I guess :)

            1. GloatingSwine says:

              I found full on zerg rush was the optimum strategy for winning the story battles, especially on higher difficulty. Grab the first resource points, charge down the middle, drop your rally point in front of the enemy stage, play Facemelter to drop their units and just spam the first couple of low tier units as soon as you can afford them whilst you deal with the enemy mobs yourself.

              A scurrilous rumour at the time was that Activision wanted the game to be basically Guitar Hero, which was considered heresy at the time but well it wasn’t a great RTS and that soundtrack, in a Guitar Hero? At the height of clicky plastic guitar madness? Would have paid for that.

    2. John says:

      GOG’s selection is certainly interesting. They don’t have a lot of contemporary AAA stuff–in fact they might not have any, depending on your definition of AAA–but other than that I find that if it’s a big-ish game that doesn’t use Steamworks then the odds that it’s on GOG are actually pretty good.

      1. Zak McKracken says:

        Obligatory mention of the Witcher.

        Also, old AAA games, of course…
        I’ve also got Alan Wake from them, arguably a AAA game.

    3. MadHiro says:

      I would advise against The Road To Little Dribbling, Bill Bryson’s latest book. In it, Bryson has completed the gradual metamorphosis into an old crank. Instead of eloquently defending hedgerows, or expressing joy and wonder at say, an old 1950’s film presentation he mostly rants about kids with their cellphones and wishes bodily harm on other drivers.

    4. Sleeping Dragon says:

      I will admit that I was disappointed in some of the games I bought on GOG but those were mostly titles that I grabbed out of nostalgia and had the “this is not quite as good as I remember it being” experience, and I was fully aware of that risk when I took it.

      Frankly since GOG loosened up on the “Old” aspect there is a considerable overlap between their and Steam’s catalogues and I imagine nowadays the tighter curation on GOG can be a deciding factor for some clients.

  5. tmtvl says:

    So I guess you guys didn’t get a review copy of ME:A? #femshrek #omgurface

  6. CoyoteSans says:

    Rutskarn mentioned he couldn’t shake the feeling that people saying “indies can just stick it on itch.io” have an unspoken “where I won’t go and therefore won’t care if it lives or dies” after that statement. I’d go a step further and say we may be seeing the beginning of a backlash against indies. People were sick of the licensed and then AAA year-after-year tripe, so they played Cave Story and Super Meat Boy and were like “hey, let’s just play these little indie titles, they’re fun and different!”

    But of course, indies are different because they have far more limited budgets and dev teams, so they have to craft a certain kind of experience. And when the indie market got flooded with “me-toos”, people started seeing similarities and “same-iness” with them too. Add to that that most indie titles are not polished experiences, and of course letting them in also opened the door for the infamous asset flips, slightly less infamous Cheap RPG Maker and Visual Novel games, and about as infamous “Kickstarter Early Access Game that will never actually get out of Early Access” games, and I think we have a recipe for people to decide they’re as done with this whole “Indie Renaissance” business as they were done with the AAAs a few years ago when this all started. Hence the whole “Yeah, put up a $5000 fee! If they can’t afford that upfront, maybe they’re not financially secure enough in their affairs to be trying to sell their little garage game at all, huh?”

    So, where does the audience move from here? Well, I think people are actually going back to deciding AAAs are okay. “I mean, at least they’re polished and they won’t infect my computer with Russian spyware while displaying arial fonts on the opening menu…” I think the audience really does want Steam to go back to being an exclusive club for the creme-de-la-creme games, and Valve is responding to those desires. The pendulum swings back towards the big publishers…

    1. Christopher says:

      I find it’s kinda easy to be frustrated with indies. They have just as many trends as AAA titles(roguelikes, procedurally generated content, crafting, pixel art of this or that particular style, walking simulator stuff, retro 2d platformers, asset flippers, local co-op party games). They’ll be short on content. The art might be terrible. The gameplay may lack depth, or maybe the writing is full of cringeworthy references and jokes. But you’re not gonna have that many people call them out on it because they are tiny, weak and sympathetic. But people are just people no matter the size of their company, and there’s little topping thousands of people from making their own worthless survival game ripoff or TWINE thing and slapping it onto the internet, flooding the market.

      As primarily a console player, there’s another aspect to this too. Even if an indie game makes its way onto a console store, I’m probably not gonna purchase it unless I’m very interested in it. The PS+ service(that’s necessary for online play) comes with a handful of “free” games each month, and they’re very likely to be indie titles. What’s the point in paying 10-20 bucks for a two hour “experience” kind of indie for instance if you can just wait a month or two and there it is, waiting for you to download it free of charge?

      1. Falterfire says:

        Even being more charitable towards reviewers, indie games tend to get better reviews if they’re not Digital Homicide levels of bad because they have no marketing so if you’re looking at an Indie game it’s more likely to be because it’s your thing.

        I’ve played a lot of bad to mediocre turn-based strategy games which had reviews that seemed positive largely on the basis of “I wanted a turn based strategy game, this is a turn based strategy game, good enough for me”

        1. Sleeping Dragon says:

          Part of the problem is that many indies are created as niche games, a labour of love of fans of certain genres (or sub-genres, or even certain specific games) aimed at other similary invested people who are willing to give leeway if the game otherwise scratches a particular itch. The issue is that since “indie” became a buzzword these titles have been brought into the spotlight without consideration for the divide between titles that are created independently but with mass appeal in mind and those niche games made for specific audiences which often because they have extremely good reputation within their respective communities.

      2. Echo Tango says:

        What's the point in paying 10-20 bucks for a two hour “experience” kind of indie for instance if you can just wait a month or two and there it is, waiting for you to download it free of charge?
        This is a similar situation to Steam, too. There’s a lot of sales, and good games that have simply lowered their non-sale prices. It puts a lot of downward pressure on the price that an average customer is going to pay, for any given (indie) game. Personally, I try to support indies with my wallet, instead of always waiting for sales, like I do with larger companies.

        1. Echo Tango says:

          Dangit; The first half of that is supposed to be a quote. Everything before “This is a similar situation to Steam, too.”

          1. Christopher says:

            My conscience is basically what makes me buy indie games at higher prices too, apart from interest. But it’s lessened when I’m already paying for a service every month and get games with it. Ponying up for a game and then getting it with ps+ essentially feels like paying double.

      3. Aaron says:

        A lot of the trends in indie games can be explained though.

        Pixel art is the only art style with a good trade-off between having a consistent style and not being prohibitive to make.

        (Is it either realistic or fair to demand every indie game to look as good as Dust: An Elysian Tail? Really?)

        Similarly, procedural content like in roguelikes lets the developer produce a lot of content for relatively little effort. Until we’re willing to (myself included) pay $20+ for two hour experiences they’re here to stay.

        (Also, to a programmer procedural levels are cool.)

        Every game has crafting in it these days, both indie and AAA.

        Likewise, the glut of platformers isn’t uniquely an indie thing historically. Have you seen the original NES library?

        We may actually be underestimating the amount of nostalgia developers have for the NES or even Atari era.

        Early access survival sims…OK, I can’t explain that one.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          (Is it either realistic or fair to demand every indie game to look as good as Dust: An Elysian Tail? Really?)

          Yes it is.Keep in mind that one important part of pixel art is art.Just how there are awful paintings and beautiful paintings,theres ugly pixel art and pleasing pixel art.Heck,even in the old days when you had actual pixel art and not something just resembling it like today,you had beautiful games and ugly games.Compare mario to some of its clones.Similarly,compare shovel knight to a bunch of its clones.

          Similarly, procedural content like in roguelikes lets the developer produce a lot of content for relatively little effort.

          Not all content is good content.Thats why isaac is praised,and plenty isaac wannabes are panned.You cant just generate whatever and expect it to be quality.Even with procedural content,some boundaries and manual work is still required to make it good.

          Every game has crafting in it these days, both indie and AAA.

          Thats not a good thing.Shoving in a feature just because “everyone does it” is a detriment to your game.

        2. Christopher says:

          I’m not saying it’s a mystery why those trends exist. Some indie game trends come along because it’s easy or cheap, which is viable for smaller developers. Sometimes it’s because another game influences them greatly, like Minecraft. Some of it comes along because there’s a demand in the market for a type of game that isn’t made very often in the AAA space anymore, like the ton of metroidvanias or the explosion of tiny couch multiplayer games(I wrote co-op above, which was a mistake. I’m talking about games like Sportsfriends, Duck Game, Ultimate Chicken Horse, Towerfall, Nidhogg, and Samurai Gun). 2D retro platformers are presumably a mix of both, and it’s the same reason why most of the games I mentioned use sprites.

          But just because there are reasons why trends happen it doesn’t mean I have to accept them, same as AAA. There are lots of indies that don’t just follow the popular trends, or who are so excellent or unique within them that they stand above every other throwaway survival sim roguelike. I don’t even think Dust looks that good, man. But there are other indie games also that manage to use beautiful drawings and/or simple 3D models instead of sprites, like Jotun, Skullgirls, Bastion/Transistor, Darkest Dungeon, Limbo, Super Meat Boy or The Banner Saga. Or even Vanillaware, for that matter. There are indies that make stuff in 3D, like Superhot, Thumper, every walking sim, Kerbal Space Program or Devil Daggers. There are indies that make wonderful pixel art that doesn’t look like every other modern pixelbased style under the sun, like Owlboy or Undertale.

          And inbetween all of those are thousands of mediocre or bad indies, forgotten within a week. And I forget none of them harder than whatever is just chasing one of the trends with neither excellence nor uniqueness, but out of complete necessity. There are probably easily as many indie roguelikes as there are AAA open world crime games this generation, and frankly I prefer the one that hasn’t got a punishment harsher than Dark Souls for failure.

          1. Christopher says:

            Wow, I was more aggressive than I thought. I was sick yesterday, so I should not have been posting on the internet. While there are awful indie games, there are also a ton of amazing ones. It’s no doubt been a net positive for the industry, no matter how annoyed I am with certain trends or aspects of the indie scene.

            Here, I just saw a trailer for this game, Hollow Knight, today. That’s an indie game I’m looking forward to playing.


            1. Daemian Lucifer says:

              It's no doubt been a net positive for the industry

              Are you referring to the indies themselves,or the fact that they are so easy to get onto steam?The former I can agree with,but the latter Im not so sure about.Can we be sure that good indies wouldnt end up as successful without opening the floodgates?And more importantly,how many good games were drowned out simply because of the plethora of shit that came out daily,and would they have succeeded better if there was a better screening process?

              1. Christopher says:

                I can’t say. I’m not really informed enough to know which lauded games would have been ignored or unfinished without Greenlight, for instance. I meant that indies themselves have been a net positive. They sure were a lifesaver when the new consoles were a barren wasteland with little but HD rereleases, for one thing.

    2. John says:

      I don’t think that there’s a backlash against indie games, but rather that the novelty has worn off. There are so many indie games these days that the mere fact that an indie game exists is no longer impressive. Then there’s the fact that “indie” is not actually a useful descriptor from a consumer perspective; it doesn’t tell you a single useful thing about the game. What’s the game about? What genre is it in? How’s the art? How’s the story? Is it any good? No one knows.

      1. Thomas says:

        It’s interesting, I thought the ‘super-indie’ titles like Limbo and Super Meat Boy had died off because the novelty had worn off and those games were big titles in very small ponds.

        But they do still come around, recently there’s been Inside and Hyper Light Drifter and more. So it’s not completely gone, it’s just changed.


        As much as there is pushback though, I think the market is in a good place (for the market, not the people in it). Not only is “indie” not a helpful descriptor, it might be a _dead_ one. When you have An Asset Flipped Game, Good Robot, Diaries of a Space Janitor, VA-11 Hall-A, Inside, The Witness, No Man’s Sky, Rocket League, Life is Strange, The Walking Dead, Pillars of Eternity, Sniper Elite 4,The Witcher 3, League of Legends…

        Where does “Indie” end? Even A, AA and AAA can’t cover that range.

        And all those games are building niches and communities and churning ideas into the gaming world. It takes in a lot of creative people and then spits them out, but it is creating a lot more space for games to develop and grow. Rocket League wasn’t the first attempt at that title.

        1. Syal says:

          When you have An Asset Flipped Game, Good Robot, Diaries of a Space Janitor, VA-11 Hall-A, Inside, The Witness, No Man's Sky, Rocket League, Life is Strange, The Walking Dead, Pillars of Eternity, Sniper Elite 4,The Witcher 3, League of Legends…

          And of course, Cassie’s Animal Sounds.

      2. Aaron says:

        I do think there’s an implicit backlash specifically against the “lone developer working out of their garage” type. It feels to me like the only socially acceptable indie game is the kind that, essentially, is able to compete with AAA games (Steam sort of sets up this situation). Which leaves only the “big” indie games with teams of developers and professional artists who likely already have industry experience.

        1. Daemian Lucifer says:

          If you were to pit binding of isaac against an aaa title,it would fail on practically every level.From graphics to sales.Yet its undoubtedly a success,well known amongst even people who did not play it.It may not have the graphics engine behind it that a big budgeted game has,but the one it uses is utilized to the fullest,with obvious talent on display.Same can be said for its music and gameplay.And thats what matters ultimately,that the developer has the talent and passion to polish their work until it shines.

          Of course,this does not mean that a developer with talent will definitely succeed,but rather that a talentless developer will not,unless they are able to inject boatloads of cash into the game.

    3. Zak McKracken says:

      What I kinda hope happens (and it kinda does, if you look the right way) is that the lines get blurrier. AAA publishers will dare to make “different” games sometimes, or maybe smaller lower-budget ones (which nonetheless don’t really qualify as “indie”), some of the small indie developers become slightly larger … and after a while you can get the whole gamut from super-polished blockbuster Sameasever to edgy experimental thing, and all kinds of combinations of them, and in between.

      That’s the kind of market which can adapt quickest to changes in demand, new evolutions, and if there’s a continuous spectrum, that’s also a good thing for new developers because that means there’s not really a huge barrier to jump over to get to a point where you’ve established yourself. It’d still be a long way to travel, though.

      Probably not going to happen quite that way but I do see some mid-tier developers making decent games for decent money which aren’t just an application of old recipes, and they seem to get by. That’s a good thing, I’d say.

      1. Ilseroth says:

        The main thing stopping this from happening is that game development companies are always interested in the financial. Small companies have no choice, they are just trying to keep the lights on and survive, while big companies have most of their major decisions decided on by shareholders.

        You might see more indie devs able to transition into middle quality games, as available engines and art tools become more powerful to make up for small team sizes; but transitioning anyone into more bold artistic games is going to be tough. Unless it happens to *also* be crazy mechanically engaging, people tend to go “oh that’s neat” when they see it in a video, then not buy it, which tells the company they shouldn’t make it.

        I guess that’s more due to general consumer policy to look at gaming as a entertaining diversion and not anything more.

        1. Christopher says:

          I’m not sure if I’d call them “Bold and exciting”, but I always appreciate Ubisoft for having room in their development schedule for both an Assassin’s Creed every year AND smaller games. The UbiArt Framework engine was nice, and allowed them to make Rayman Origins and Legends, Valiant Hearts and Child of Light. They also did Grow Home and Grow Up, and I remember hearing they teased a little project(that might have been canceled?) in Watchdogs 2 as well.

          Another thing with indie developers is that several of them used to work for bigger companies in the past. Off the top of my head, the main Skullgirls programmer and producer used to work on Battlefront. The Bastion and Transistor developers used to work on Command & Conquer. Yacht Club Games were formed out of former Wayforward developers and their first game, Shovel Knight, is way more popular and famous than anything they ever made at Wayforward. Experience from the big developers trickle down to the indie market that way, and those guys make indie games that are a step above what someone is gonna make on their own for their first time.

          Unless they work on it alone for five years, Cave Story-style.

    4. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The problem is mostly that of filtration.Before steam greenlight,you couldnt release your college project video game at the same place as big names.You had to go places like newgrounds,and only the most polished games managed to elbow their way on steam.There was a clear divide between the trash and top tier.

      But now,you get digital homicide at the same shelf with Jonathan Blow.Opening the flood gates may be a good thing for many promising publishers who wouldnt have gotten onto steam otherwise,but it pulls the perceived quality of everyone towards the average,which is pretty low due to Sturgeon’s law.

  7. Son of Valhalla says:

    Best LP was Battlespire. It was funny as all hell.

    The Morrowind Let’s Play was the second one I read as far as written LP’s. After reading that one and the WoW one (I think is still ongoing…), I went and attempted my own. After eight parts, nope… I stopped. Mine was boring.

    Also… what do videogame developers eat? Ah yes, this a question that requires further insight now. I think Skeevers. They eat Skeevers.

    1. Syal says:

      Also crow.

    2. Christopher says:

      Battlespire was so good, as was Half Time. Rutskarn’s LPs feel pretty unique, too. I guess there are plenty of places for text-based LPs on the internet, but these are the first ones I’ve ever read.

    3. I’m torn between the Cahmel stuff and Star on Chest for laughs in an LP. There are some really good ones out there, like the Dwarf Fortress, XCom, and Exile ones on the Let’s Play archive. As far as a more serious one goes, this one is incredible, imho but I have no idea how much is the game and how much is the author.

      Oh, and there’s a Crusader Kings one out there where two drunk Scottish princes invade Egypt and it only gets better from there. Don’t have a link, but it’s probably on the Archive too, since that’s where I do my LP reading. Yes, I read a lot of LPs. I read a lot of everything.

      1. Philadelphus says:

        Were you thinking of this one from Medieval II: Total War? I agree, it’s pretty good. Actually all of those you mentioned are good (if you like the Exile ones, you might be interested in the one about the updated re-make, Avernum: Escape from the Pit).

        And yeah, some of my favorite LPs are the ones where I have no idea where the game ends and the author’s imagination begins.

        1. Yes, yes I was. I’ve never played either game, so I’m not surprised I got the game wrong. Should have gone with my first instinct and described it as one of the Middle Ages war/politics games.

          I actually read the Avernum one, discovered that the second game didn’t have an LP up there yet, so read Exile 2 and liked it so much I went back and read the first Exile and then reread the second one. I wouldn’t recommend this order for anyone else, but I just wanted to see what happened in the second game at the time and then fell in love with Art.

          1. Philadelphus says:

            Heh, no worries, I tended to confuse the two games as well prior to actually getting CK II two years ago.

            And I did a very similar thing with those Avernum (which I’ve played) and Exile (which I haven’t) LPs, only I read the Exile one before the Exile 2 one for continuity as I too wanted to find out what happened in the second game. I checked and Avernum 2 is out on Steam, so hopefully there’ll be an LP of it in the future.

    4. Benjamin Hilton says:

      I can’t for the life of me remember where it was, but in the mid 2000’s there was a blogger who did text LP’s of all the Resident Evil games up to 4 (even the first person gun survivor ones) which were frickin hilarious because he constantly lampooned how ridiculous it all was like Ruts’ Battlespire LP.

  8. Matthew Melange says:

    My Skype account was also hacked and I can’t change the password or gain access to the email account because an ex hijacked the email account. The number I called for help was completely automated which means there was absolutely no help. What’s the number you’re calling for help?

    Sidenote, Josh is your password [email protected]#EDC1qaz2wsx3edc ? That’s the password for most people in the military.

  9. John says:

    I just went to check out Pseudoku on Steam. Ow. Who designed this mess? Generally speaking, if I want to find a specific game on Steam I type its name in the search box and pop right to the store page. That won’t work for Pseudoku because–or so I assume–Pseudoku isn’t in the store. It’s in Greenlight, and if you want to find a Greenlight game then you first have to find the Greenlight page. Access to said page is buried in one of the menus at the top of the screen. You’ll find it eventually. I did. But searching Greenlight for Pseudoku won’t work either. I tried several spellings and got zero results each time. Nor does Pseudoku show up in a broader search for puzzle games. In the end, I only found it by telling Greenlight to generate a series of random “queues” of puzzle games.

    Shamus, if I had not known that Greenlight definitely existed and that your game was definitely there I would have thought I was going mad. But for whatever it’s worth, you have my vote now.

    1. Matt Downie says:

      I just googled “Steam greenlight Pseudoku”. It responded, “Showing results for Steam greenlight Sudoku”.

      Apparently giving something a name that is similar enough to an existing word to be taken by a computer for a typo is a risky marketing technique…

      1. Aspeon says:

        I know someone who started a company that was a few letters off from the name of a Pokemon. I unfortunately forgot to screenshot Google autocorrecting the company name to the Pokemon name, but Google figured it out eventually.

    2. Philadelphus says:

      I had a similar experience, I had to resort to making it show all the games on Greenlight and luckily Pseudoku was near the top at the time. What’s weird is that I went to Steam Greenlight just a few days earlier, typed in a name in the search box for a game I’d heard of and wanted to vote for, and was immediately taken directly to it. Then I went looking for Pseudoku, and the search box didn’t work. Why is this so inconsistent?

    3. Dragmire says:

      I had issues with that too. I think the main Greenlight page only shows recent submissions and the search bar will only search from them.

      I had to click on something like all submissions, then filter for puzzle games, then search “Pseudoku”.

  10. gadget593 says:

    The podcast RSS feed is broken.

    1. Cap'n Hector says:

      Yep, I can’t get any episode after 187. Both 188 and 189 do not appear in my podcast app of choice. I re-added the podcast feed just in case my URL was out of date and no dice. I wonder if the feed validation errors are throwing off my client?


    2. Mormegil says:

      Same here.

  11. Thomas says:

    I basically think there’s no point buying something that doesn’t give you service because its creator comes from a different background.

    If you’re going to buy a true indie indie game, then there’s got to be a reason why it has value to you. Maybe seeing experimental expressions of individual authors.

    But that taste is always going to be super niche. No-one reads the hordes of free e-books out there, no-one watches your friends indie film. Whatever the system, that’s always going to be true.

    You want to maximise the ability of people who are interested in something other than a purely entertaining experience, to play those games (and contribute money towards them), but it’s always going to be a small pool. The games that make the most money will be the ones which are mostly widely entertaining to the largest group of people, and they’ll always get the press and the front page.

    Unfortunately there’s way more sunk cost to making an indie game than an indie book or indie film.

  12. Christopher says:

    Concerning the talk about reviewers and personalities as opposed to analysts.. could anyone recommend me some good videogame centered, script based humor? Because I don’t think I see any of it outside of Zero Punctuation, and that’s gone on for a decade soon. The rest of the jokers out there are all improv and let’s plays, which are well and good, but occasionally I could go for something different. There’s a niche besides a funny or personable let’s player, a helpful reviewer and a dry analyst that I could really fill with more than five minutes every week.

    One of the Diecast’s strong points is that you’ve got a good mix, by the way. Spoiler Warning has analysis, funny jokes, picking apart the story, all that good stuff. There aren’t many people that can deliver the same, at least that I’ve found.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Ross Scott is the droid you are looking for.He made the excellent freemans mind,a lets play of the original half life but with a twist.And its fully scripted.Now he is doing game dungeon,a review show of a bunch of old games,mostly good ones.If you are a fan of deus ex,then thats definitely a place to start with his videos.His reviews of the three games are a bit more serious than the rest,but definitely are good.

    2. lucky7 says:

      The YouTube channel Door Monster has some good Civilization based stuff, if that’s up your alley.

      1. Philadelphus says:

        I’ll second that! Their collection of Civilization sketches is up to 10 so far, but they have a bunch of videos on other games as well (the Kerbal Space Program ones are seriously fantastic), plus a bunch of other unrelated humor sketches.

    3. Christopher says:

      Thanks for the tips! Freeman’s mind seems pretty good, and while I’m not familiar with the Civ series I’ll give that a look too.

  13. Daemian Lucifer says:

    I wonder,does concerned:the half life and death of gordon frohman count as a lets play?I mean,it does loosely follow the story of half life 2.

    1. I wouldn’t consider it so, but thanks to your link I reread it last night and still funny as heck. If you’ve never played HL2 you won’t have a good idea of the game’s plot from Concerned and in a game with a plot I expect an LP to give me a decent idea of it. I speak from experience, I’ve never played HL2 and only had a vague sense of the plot reading Concerned the first time.

      1. Philadelphus says:

        I read Concerned (at least twice) both before I played HL2 (in 2015), and again afterwards, and it’s just as funny either way. I get more of the little in-jokes and references now, but it’s still a hilarious comic even if you’ve never played HL2.

        I’m not sure I’d classify it as a Let’s Play either, though it’s difficult to put my finger on exactly why…I guess it’s the very loose following of HL2’s narrative. I’d probably call it a comic based on and inspired by HL2, but I wouldn’t be dogmatic about it. It’s like trying to define “art.”

  14. Big fan of the bloopers at the end there, please do more of those! :D

    Also Chris, Congratulations on the Award!
    I can’t think anyone that deserves it more than you do.

  15. Collin says:

    I’m always a little surprised when you refer to Baychel by her chosen name. My folks would have called it vain nonsense and wouldnt have put up with it for a minute.

    1. Viktor says:

      Well, fortunately Shamus isn’t a dick. If someone wants to be called something, why not do it? It’s basic politeness.

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