Diecast #197: BATTLEGROUNDS, Westerado, Call of Duty

By Shamus Posted Monday Apr 24, 2017

Filed under: Diecast 72 comments

Hosts: Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster and Baychel.

01:35: Bay Eats Candy

Bay tries famous candies for the first time. You can read the results on her blog.


Why does this game rise above the rest of the indie titles jumping on the Day Z bandwagon?

19:50: Westerado

Link (YouTube)

34:03: Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch

About five months ago Planet Coaster kicked the crap out of RollerCoaster Tycoon. But how does the RCT mobile game play?

I can’t find a link to the original Mr. Bones Wild Ride. If someone can find it, I’ll add it to the show notes.

46:53: Flinthook

Link (YouTube)

51:55: Call of Duty: World War II

We talk about the WWII craze of 15 years ago and what it means that Call of Duty is coming back to it.


From The Archives:

72 thoughts on “Diecast #197: BATTLEGROUNDS, Westerado, Call of Duty

  1. Daemian Lucifer says:

    But how does the RCT mobile game play?

    Does this mean that Shamus has finally bought a touchscreen phone so he could fling people around with his tiny roller coaster?

    1. Andy Wilkinson says:

      I like the idea that this is specifically the reason Shamus may or may not have got himself a smartphone.

  2. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Watermelons are weird.I love them!Whenever summer comes,I figuratively inhale watermelons.And yet,any watermelon flavored candy Ive tried tastes horrible to me.Even when I was the one making it from fresh watermelons.Its weird.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      After eating about a half a watermelon the sweet fades and all that is left is a kind of vegetable flavor. Is that what you’re talking about? Also, seems like a lot of the enjoyment of watermelon is… the water part. Have you tried dissolving watermelon candies in a glass of water?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        No,but I did try to make a watermelon icecream,which in itself has a bunch of water(milk actually).Did not work,and I was sad.

        1. Abnaxis says:

          Maybe sherbet or popsicles, then?

        2. Agammamon says:

          There’s this company, Helados Mexico, which sells a watermelon (sandia) icecream (or really, icepop . . . whatever – there’s no milk in it) that I’ve found tastes *exactly* like someone took a piece of watermelon and froze it on a stick. Its kind of amazing how well they did it – most of this sort of stuff normally just tastes like sugar.

  3. Phill says:

    The WWII story you mention about soldiers being sent until battle without guns was a real thing that happened in history on the eastern front, and on more than one occasion.

    In ’41 and ’42 the Soviet army had various problems (to put it mildly), some of which were manufacturing and logistics. But not so much manpower. So there were occasions where they didn’t have enough rifles to go around.

    In pretty sure that Svetlana Gerasimova’s “The Rzhev Slaughterhouse” (detailing the Soviet attempts to eliminate the Rzhev salient in 1942) mentions several instances of this happening on the Soviet side during planned attacks.

    The are almost certainly impromptu examples on all sides of encircled forces doing this sorry if thing trying to break out of a pocket, but that’s more of a desperation “everyone do whatever you can to get out of here and back to our front line” rather than an actually planned thing.

  4. Joe Informatico says:

    I love Enemy at the Gates, but historically accurate it is not. The Soviets did not have some kind of major rifle shortage. And as for “barrier troops”, i.e. the guys who allegedly shot Red Army deserters, they might have existed on paper, but very early into Operation Barbarossa Stalin declared they weren’t necessary. An extremely tiny percentage of Red Army deserters were executed during the war–the majority were sent to the gulag, or penal battalions (which were considered a practical death sentence, but not an automatic one).

    Cold War politics meant that most Western historians, especially English-speaking ones, were part of a culture that was prone to downplay Soviet contributions to the war effort and criticize the manufacturing ability of the communist system. (Of course similar things were happening on the other side of the Iron Curtain.) This was compounded by a lack of access to Soviet and Eastern Bloc records. WWII historiography between 1946 and 1991 is hampered by these factors. The “one man shoots, the other holds the ammo” myth is either taking the sorry state of the Imperial Russian Army on the eve of World War One and applying it to the Red Army ca. 1941, or taking a handful of accounts of Soviet battalions cut off from their resupply in the early stages of Barbarossa and extrapolating those to the entire Red Army.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The Soviets did not have some kind of major rifle shortage

      No,but they did have major soldier overabundance.

      Joking aside,I think this was just a misinterpretation of real events by the filmmakers.Because during the world war there actually were soldiers who carried just ammo(and a sidearm).But this came not from shortage of weapons,but from how the armies were structured.Certain teams of soldiers that were carrying a heavy machine gun would usually have just one person carrying the weapon,while the rest would carry extra ammo and spare barrels for it.It was simply more efficient for them to carry extra ammo for their main high rate of fire gun than to burden every member of the team with a rifle of their own.But this was done by all the sides,not just the soviets.

      1. Son of Valhalla says:

        I remember reading that the Soviet Union had an abundance of soldiers, so much so that even the Germans had a difficult time breaking through to Stalingrad.

        1. 4th Dimension says:

          Ehhh, the Germans didn’t really have as much trouble in summer of ’42. Mostly I think because the Soviet leadership kept expecting them to make another go at Moscow, since that would in their mind be a logical choice given how close they came during 41. And if they could take Moscow they would take the Soviet Rome towards where all railroads intersect seriously hampering Soviet ability to move supplies via rail.

          (here I initially had a log diatrabe on Stalingrad being a secondary focus, (the primary being the cutting of Volga and taking of the Caucasus and eventually oil fileds and preventing Lend Lease aid via Persia from reaching Soviets) before Hitler intervening ang giving Soviets the kind of fight they preferred the operation was going fine. But that doesn’t completely stand to scrutiny once I consulted resources. What is true is that the grounds over which Germans advanced in summer of 42 heavily favored them and Soviets were unprepared since they expected another push on Moscow)

          What this looong diatrabe was supposed to say is that while the Soviets did have an edge in manpower in the south during 42, that was not that great. In fact in Stalingrad itself the defenses were kind of made of the scrap units that were already greatly reduced during the original german push and numerically at the start of the battle the numbers were roughly even. What made Stalingrad into what it was, was terrain, Soviet zeal and Chukov (the Soviet commander) teaching his troops how to fight in a way to prevent the ability of Germans to use their massive superiority in air from being effective by practically hugging enemy positions.

  5. Cybron says:

    The original Mr Bones Wild Ride was on 4chan. Even if you wanted to link to it, you couldn’t because threads on 4chan 404 over time. You could link to an archive of the original thread, but that would not preserve the images since it is so old. Your best bet is probably to link to a screencap of the original thread (which how 4chan users preserve things outside of archives), like this one:

  6. galacticplumber says:

    Just gonna point out that horizontal scrolling is finally working as intended bothin comments and the main articles. I mean pictures still get cropped, but messing with zoom all of three times a visit tops in all likelihood is no biggie. From where I sit we’ve reached equivalent or better than previous editions and with a current state that’s an undeniable net positive.

    1. galacticplumber says:

      Dammit. Missed a typo.

  7. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Zombies are their own bag of worms?Shame on you Chris,that pun stinks like a corpse!

  8. Ivan says:

    Soo, I am personally surprised COD didn’t go for WW1 actually. COD4 and MW2 made a name for COD going for the real, brutal reality of war (kinda anyway, in a cartooney way). In the wake of BF1 wimping out from really exploring the brutal reality of WW1, COD could swoop in and do it well, and regain that series some credibility for trying to be ahead of the pack. Emphasis on ‘could’, there, not suggesting that any such attempt would be guaranteed quality or anything like that.

  9. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Actually,call of duty single player did change since the original.Mechanically at least.The original did not have BLOODY SCREEN SO REAL,but rather used medkits.Which changes the dynamic slightly.But what changes it significantly is that on the highest difficulty there were no medkits.So 2,3 hits during the entire level,and youre dead.That made the original so unique.You had all the other soldiers killing each other,and you were just scrambling to survive,to not get hit in all the chaos,and to manage to reach the objective.It was the most immersive of all the duty calls.

    1. Christopher says:

      These games aren’t my thing, but as far as I’m aware they did a lot of near-future stuff in the latest campaigns? Drones, exoskeletons with jet boosters, war in actual space in a full-on sci fi setting. So I’d hope there were some major differences from the world war 2 games to this.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Thematically,maybe.But mechanically,whether the warfare is modern or IIINNN SPAAAAACEEEEEE,they were all basically the same(though the jumps were an improvement).Which is a shame.So I dont expect much to be different with this new revisit to the past.

    2. 4th Dimension says:

      To be fair to them I think COD2 was if not first one of the first adopters of the regenerating health in cover. It’s certainly the game where I first ran into the concept.

      And the concept is not a bad idea. It’s similar to that constantly proposed solution of making health be luck, so you are not getting hit but being miraculously Hollywood shooting missed until your luck runs out and you die. Like in action movies. And of course it regenerates when you aren’t being shot at when you take a breather.

      Of course while this is great for making action movie like scenes where legions of mooks are shooting at you uselessly, it destroys the game play and tactical part since you don’t ned to ration the medkits. But it makes things massively easier for the level devs.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I mentioned this somewhere,but the shift from “No health regen,infinite weapon inventory” to “Health regen,two slots for weapons” is a shift in resource priority.

        The first one means that your health is precious,but youll rarely run out of bullets for at least one of the weapons.So health is the resource you always scrounge around for,while you can use your weapons liberally,making it so that you dont care how precise you are,but how evasive you are.

        The second one means that your ammo is at a premium,but youll rarely have to worry about your health.This means that youll never care if you are getting hit,just that your own shots are precise.

        Both of those have their advantages and disadvantages,but I personally prefer the first system to the second one.

  10. Paul Spooner says:

    I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Then I had two rounds of braces when I was 9-12 and I couldn’t have any soda or gummies for a year at a time. May have had some impact on my later love for candy.
    Anyway, I, too, enjoy both black and red licorice.

  11. Christopher says:

    I’m not sure I’m that big a fan of Westerado’s kind of pixel art. Don’t get me wrong, I love sprites, but there’s definitely a trend for some modern indie games to go for this almost abstract stick figure thing that feels like it’s out of an atari and then throw gradients and bright colors on top of it. It doesn’t look bad exactly, but it really feels like a budget-saving exercise in the way that old Street Fighter 3 or Metal Slug sprites never did. I think I remember you retweeting a sort of “these two characters in various pixel art styles”, Shamus, and that was like 90% old games’ styles rather than new, not without reason.

    Animations helps sell it. Crawl has some awesome ones, especially on the really big boss I’ve seen. But the actual stick figures in there do nothing for me.

    Owlboy is a treasure when it comes to modern pixel art, but I think the only reason it looks as good as it does is that those two(?) guys worked on it for almost a decade. I appreciate that there are now simple styles out there that look decent enough that anyone can make a pretty pixel art game, though.

    On another note, I’m personally stoked that there’s been a tiny rise of games with traditional animation, like Skullgirls, Jotun or Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap, along with the nice-looking flash animation games Vanillaware makes like Odin Sphere and Dragon’s Crown. That’s not an easy thing to do, but if you’ve got the animators it’s not an impossible task either.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      I personally don’t mind the budget-saving graphics I’ve seen in Westerado, plus Teleglitch, and Luckslinger, to name some similarly budget-saving games. The reason being, that all three of these games have good gameplay, stories, and worlds, which trumps the low-fidelity graphics. :)

  12. Wide And Nerdy ♤ says:

    This is like those videos of people with the color vision glasses experiencing color for the first time.

    1. Christopher says:

      I didn’t know candy could be as fun as it looks like in that blog post. You’d have done a good job of selling a twizzler, but that’s an American thing I think. They don’t have them here.

  13. Spirit Bear says:

    Recent WWII movies you missed: Allied, Anthropoid, Red Tails, Monument Men, Flowers of War, the King’s Speech, and Imitation Game. All of which have some interesting ideas for CoD to do but aren’t going to happen.

    Of course the wild card would be for them to do Captain America: The First Avenger.

    1. Syal says:

      Imitation Game

      Hah, Call Of Duty: Cryptonomicon would be awesome.

      1. Shamus says:

        “Call Of Duty: Cryptonomicon”

        You play as Bobby Shaftoe. None of the missions make sense. The current mission goal is a secret known only to the captain, who usually dies right away and leaves you to improvise and guess at what you’re supposed to be doing. You never have the right gear and you’re usually assigned disguises or weapons that actively make the job harder. Nobody explains what your goals are. You spend a lot of the game AWOL, shagging girls and drinking moonshine in Sweden. You have to scrounge for morphine pickups or you’ll randomly see giant lizards all over the place.

        1. silver Harloe says:

          Some editions of which are actually CoD: Necronomicon, which plays exactly the same but periodically things appear on the corner of the screen. If you turn to look at them you go insane.

          1. Tizzy says:

            What does it say about me that I read Syal Crypto- version, but my brain automatically translated it to Necro- instead?…

        2. Kerethos says:

          I approve of this idea. Though it’s going to be tricky to find that morphine, considering how strict we are with prescription medicine in Sweden. I mean, I could be screaming in pain until I lost my voice and I still didn’t get morphine for the pain. (I got physical therapy, which eventually alleviated and ended the pain, but only after days of screaming until I had no voice and still had to scream).

          Basically, the “break-in at a chemist’s” minigame needs to be good or my immersion will be totally ruined. :P

  14. Daniel England says:

    I played Sim Theme Park as a kid. It was awesome. There was a feature to see what a ride looked like from the riders’ perspective, loved that. I always hated building Roller Coasters in that game, so I didn’t. I suspect that the game doesn’t hold up particularly well…

  15. Paul Spooner says:

    Hang on… using a flare, to prevent a fighter, from dropping bombs… I.

    1. Benjamin Hilton says:

      It’s even worse when you realize it’s directly ripped off from The Rock

      In fact, allot of Modern Warfare II is: Shower Scene

    2. Echo Tango says:

      This could actually work, though. Modern militaries use different colored flares to mean different things. e.g. “Bomb enemies here”, or “Friendlies here, hold fire.” To keep the enemy from confusing their soldiers, those militaries need to use specific colors, and change them regularly so the enemy doesn’t know what colors to use. Also, you can use stuff like IR flares, if you think the enemy won’t have access to IR cameras / goggles.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        Ok, ok… now we just need to figure out why a fighter is doing ground strikes, and why it is carrying bombs.

        1. ehlijen says:

          A lot of fighters are multi-role craft. The F/A-18 and F16 are by design, others (like the F15E and the Bombcat F14s) are adaptions because either there wasn’t enough for a pure fighter to do or there was a pressing need for more fast bombers.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            Pure bombers were designed to level whole factory complexes and devastate cities,both of which are required only if you are fighting another country.For precision strikes,like against just one faction of a country or a terrorist cell,a fighter/bomber is much more effective.Not to mention that for dealing large scale damage when required we now also have cruise missiles which can be launched from a ship,or a submarine,so there really is no need to employ dedicated bomber planes.

            1. 4th Dimension says:

              Those are tactical and strategic bombers.
              Apart from that and fighters you also have dedicated Close Air Support platforms such as A-10s and Su-25s or their granddaddies IL-2 and Stukas (although IL-2 is a more direct ancestor to the modern CAS in the idea department, making something strong enough and with enough ordinance so it can stick around the battlefield).

              But today I think militaries are moving away from the concept since it’s kind of hard to justify financing these different airframes that can only do ground pounding when helicopters are there and fighters can carry bombs and missiles. They aren’t as effective as pure CAS, but it’s cheaper to offload this capability on other airframes.

          2. SharpeRifle says:

            Fighters are also better in many ways for close air support since they can provide that support faster and can defend themselves if trouble arises in the air. F-4U Corsairs and P-47 Thunderbolts served in those roles during WWII. For those playing along at home the F in the Corsairs designation stands for Fighter(duh) but the P in the Thunderbolts stand for Fighter(Pursuit). Because Lord help us all if the Army and the Navy named things the same…8-P.

  16. silver Harloe says:

    Is this how the site looks for anyone besides me? Is this how it’s supposed to look?

    1. Steve C says:

      That’s how it looks for me.

    2. Mousazz says:

      Same here.

    3. Shamus says:

      “Viewing this content requires Adobe flash player.”

  17. “There are things that I don’t like…like anything flavored grape!”

    audible gasp

    “I have found the most mind boggling love of anything flavored lime!”

    …carry on.

  18. Son of Valhalla says:

    Here’s a candy suggestion. Try Warheads ;). Good luck Bay!

  19. Pinkhair says:

    Grape Mike & Ikes(“Jolly Joes”) are actually good, but they’re damn hard to find.

  20. Echo Tango says:

    Flinthook looks great! I really like that it’s basically a game that answers the question, “What if we removed pretty much everything from Super Metroid except the grappling hook?” It looks like it would be really kinaesthetically pleasing, and has a great space-pirate theme, and good-looking/-sounding art.

    I came across it when NorthernLion started playing it this week. I’m already busy playing with the new beta version of Factorio (0.15), and finishing off Hollow Knight. But this weekend maybe… :)

  21. Phantos says:

    “nobody feels bad about shooting nazis”

    You’d think that would be a safe, non-radical position to take in 2017. But a frightening number of people think they’re the Good Guys. And they’ll be more than happy to tell us all about it on social media, whether we asked for their input or not. That’s how stupid things have become.

    Which begs the question: what would a “safe” target in an FPS game be now? Demons? Robots? Clowns?

    …Yeah, it’s clowns.

    Clown of Duty.

    1. Daemian Lucifer says:

      Judging by spunkgargleweewees,its everyone with a slightly darker skin(but not black,those are the good guys),or russians.

      1. 4th Dimension says:

        And practically all other media.
        But yup.

    2. Syal says:

      An army of Internet People. Might be hard to work it into the plot, but that’s a target everyone can get behind.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        Diehard 4 did it.

        1. Syal says:

          Everyone’s favorite Diehard.

    3. Echo Tango says:

      The best option is to use whatever antagonist is needed in the game, that works with the story, worldbuilding, and characterization. :)

      1. Phantos says:

        You would get shoo’d out of a video game dev meeting with a broom if you said that.

        “Now then, back to the microtransactions! Can we make so you have to buy DLC to let the player character move left or right?”

  22. Aitch says:

    Crying over corn might sound silly, but there’s often a paradoxical craving for foods that a person is allergic to, or at least in my experience. And for a kid, it can be surprisingly saddening to be denied something you crave in the core of your instincts, even when you know it’s going to leave you looking like you just spent 3 days awake after getting socked in the face. That sorta feeling can stick with you well into later years too.

    But man, going through American life not able to eat any kind of corn product? In this country that’s more restrictive than some vegan diets.

    Hearing about all of this brings back some memories too. For instance, I still vividly remember the first time I got to try chocolate milk around the age of 3 or 4 over at my aunt’s house. Just for context, I had similar food allergies, and was raised on fairly bland health food. No sugar, no junk food, none of that. Up to that point I had no idea anything like that even existed. I was at least four tall glasses of Quik deep before they had to cut me off. Good times.

  23. Ardis Meade says:

    The commentary on artificial flavors not tasting like the real thing reminds me of a random bit of related trivia that I may be misremembering. If I’m remembering correctly though, a lot of times the reason artificial flavors don’t taste like the real thing is that they weren’t trying to make it taste that way. The flavorings sometimes come first and after trying it the makers will decide it kind of tastes like something and market it as that flavoring.

    Also artificial grape flavoring is commonly used as a bird repellant. Much like birds are immune to capsaicin which hurts mammals, mammals have no problem with Methyl Anthranilate, but birds find it painful.

  24. AndrewCC says:

    Soo…. is Diecast R.I.P. too, or what?

    1. LapnLook says:

      It seems like almost the entire crew is leaving, which makes me incredibly sad. This had been my favorite podcast for the past year, and I’ve also been binge-watching Spoiler Warning.

      I’ll be sure to stick around both on the SW channel, and here on Twenty Sided and I hope both will continue forward with great quality and lots of fun, just as until now.

      And all of this because of a stupid comment section. It’s better for you guys like this, but from an outside perspective this breakup is worse than if there was a personal conflict between the crew :(

    2. Daemian Lucifer says:

      The Diecast will continue on this site, although it looks like I'm going to need to replenish the ranks.

      1. LapnLook says:

        While I’m certainly going to keep listening to the Diecast (at least for the foreseeable future), I really do hope that Josh, Chris, and Ruts keep doing some kind of podcast themselves. Spoiler Warning is a great show for analysis, but I’m going to miss the casual stories and/or recent gaming news side of the discussion :/

        1. LapnLook says:

          I’m still holding out hope for guest appearances in the future. Like Chris hopping on board the Diecast once a year for some indie game analysis, or Shamus being on an enventual Mass Effect Andromeda spoiler warning season, even if just for a week.

        2. tzeneth says:

          Welcome to the plumbercast, where we talk about plumbing sinks, all year round! Have you heard Rutskarn’s Paranoia plumbing story? Neither have I, but it would be hilarious if it actually exists.

      2. Son of Valhalla says:

        I volunteer as tribute.

        Just kidding. I am hoping that Chris stays, though. If we still have Ruts, Chris, and Shamus, it still holds some semblance of what it has been.

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          The End of an Era post implied that this isn’t yet written in stone, but both Chris and Rutskarn are leaving too.

          Unless they change their minds, it seems like it’ll be Shamus starting with a whole new crew (and possibly the recently-introduced Bay).

          1. Son of Valhalla says:

            I don’t remember hearing about Ruts leaving.

            1. LapnLook says:

              Ruts said that he will be on Spoiler Warning but not on the Diecast

  25. Pat Francis says:

    Welp, here’s what could possibly be the very last Diecast. I haven’t listened to it it yet, and doing so will be a very weird feeling.

    This has been one of two podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. Even though I rarely commented, listening made me feel like part of a conversation. I’ll miss that. (Well, if you are indeed looking to replenish the ranks… I kid.)

  26. Raunomies says:

    I just read the End of an Era post but could not comment in there anymore.

    Damn I did not see this one coming.

    I’ve been here since Mass Effect 2 and since watched all of the Spoler Warning seasons multiple times, great banter on the fore- or background while doing other stuff. Also, Diecast is my primary podcast, I maybe listen to 1-2 others but not as regularly.

    We’ll see how things go forward but thanks for all the o.g. Reginald Cuftbert, Dolphin Lover, Cannibal Queen, Peepants and Mooseman adventures in all these years. And also those Randy and other guys but who remembers them lul.

    This must be how the Colon of Sadness from Tomb Raider season feels like, I hope this does not ruin friendships.

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