Diecast #207: Minecraft Scripting, Aer, Business Rant

By Shamus Posted Monday Apr 23, 2018

Filed under: Diecast 109 comments

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes:
00:00 RSS feeds.

Here is yet another attempt by a member of the community to make an RSS feed that works for longer than ten minutes. If it works for everyone, I’ll make this the official feed.

06:10 There have been NO mailbag questions.

I’m really curious about this. I’ve changed servers so I can’t compare downloads of the old episodes to the new, but if we go by number of comments, the show is maybe half as popular as it used to be. But the number of mailbag questions has gone from dozens to zero. So… that’s a little strange.

07:31 Minecraft Scripting fun.

Here are the Minecraft scripts Paul was talking about.

23:11 La Mesa, Texas

Any other cities that are flagrantly mispronounced?

25:29 Aer. Fun little game. Low poly art-style.

Link (YouTube)

Here are the cool crystal test renders Paul was talking about.

34:22 [Failing at] starting a business.

If you missed it, this is the game I’m trying to release on Steam.


From The Archives:

109 thoughts on “Diecast #207: Minecraft Scripting, Aer, Business Rant

  1. Lanthanide says:

    Your link to ‘this’ is the game you’re trying to release on steam doesn’t go anywhere useful (just back to the main page).

  2. Joe says:

    I’ve never bothered with RSS. I find it easier to just use bookmarks. On Monday afternoons, my time, I load up this site and then reload every half hour until the podcast goes up. Yeah, I have a bit too much free time right now.

    Okay, a question for the podcast. What games do you keep intending to play, but end up putting off? And why? Me, Shadowrun Dragonfall and Dragon Age Origins. Why? I’m just not really in the mood for story-heavy games right now. These games are reputed to have good stories, I’d probably enjoy them. But I still tell myself, another time.

    1. CJK says:

      Right, but you want an RSS feed for podcasts so your podcast app (podcatcher) will automatically grab new episodes.

      Well, maybe you don’t, but people who listen to a lot of podcasts do.

      1. Joe says:

        I do listen to a lot of podcasts, and have all the sites bookmarked nicely. Why would I want to fiddle with another program when I’ve got it all figured out the way I like?

        1. Echo Tango says:

          I also just use bookmarks, instead of trying to deal with yet another piece of software. It only adds a few minutes per day, to activities that use up a few hours. :)

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Practically every browser offers an rss feed thats not intrusive and easy to use.Basically its like a collection of bookmarks that you can set to automatically update every X minutes.And its easy to organize,so that different feeds update at different times.Plus,it offers you a preview so that you know in advance whether the update is worthy of your time.Also,you can easily mix and match rss with bookmarks.

          I get the resistance to the new thing when the old thing works,but if you try it youll see that the new things works better.

          1. Yerushalmi says:

            The “new thing” :) Heh, I’ve been using the Liveclick add-on to Firefox for about a decade. It’s an amazing RSS manager.

            Of course, it doesn’t work in the newest Firefox releases because Mozilla decided to drive away all of its customers. So I’m using Firefox ESR until the owner of LiveClick figures out how to port it.

      2. Heck, some people like me, who maybe hear one or two a week (this number goes up very fast if I’m gaming or driving), still use podcast feeds. I open the (ancient beyond belief) Zune player, it checks the feeds, downloads all the ones I’ve missed, and then I put ’em on the Zune itself for later.

        It means I can save brain space for more important matters. Apparently atm that’s the song “Hey Brother” set on repeat. I blame my slightly insane bell-crazed friend for that one, though it was a nice gesture.

    2. Perhaps a “last 5 diecasts” page similar to this https://shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?cat=287
      Would be better. The full category page is rather heavy to load.
      A minimalistic page listing the last few ones should be quick to load and check. Possibly integrated with a RSS feed too.

  3. Gordon says:

    This podcast was brought to me by “The Old Reader”. But I’m subbed direct to your blog, and listen in my browser cause I’m a heathen.

    p.s. can anyone recommend a good Android pod cast app.

    1. CJK says:

      Free: Podcast Addict
      Paid: Pocket Casts

    2. John says:

      I use Podkicker. It’s pretty adequate. The free version has adds but they’re small and fairly unobtrusive.

    3. CrushU says:

      I use AntennaPod, because it has the ability to alter playback speed, which I listen at 1.25x because that way hour-long podcasts fit into my commute… :)

  4. CJK says:

    It feels a bit awkward to bring up the Spodcast here, but I feel it’s relevant with respect to your question about questions, inasmuch as the other show still receives them. Perhaps the question-askers were particularly likely to re-engage with the first podcast to emerge after the split.

    1. Doctor Ivellius says:

      I suspect it’s also a “diversity of hosts” issue (as Shpelley mentions below) and a less settled “regular” cast. Paul has been pretty frequent but not every week, and Shamus is the only one to be here for every episode (and I personally just like hearing whatever he decides to talk about, for the most part).

  5. Shpelley says:

    I suspect the reason for less mailbag entries is simply that your podcast is more focused now with fewer people hosting. There is significantly more overlap with you and Paul, meaning less diversity in topics to ask questions about. Fewer people also means less “What does X person think about Y?”

    1. Christopher says:

      This is definitely part of it, but speaking as a dude that used to send in one or two questions a week and now don’t, the main issue for me is Paul Spooner. I was pretty stoked about the Diecast being back, then after a while I went “Wait… Haven’t I seen this dude’s name before?”

      And sure enough, he’s the guy that started that long, contentious comment thread when the split with Spoiler Warning happened.

      As long as I’m speculating, I may as well voice my view, that Spoiler Warning fell apart because the hosts of Spoiler Warning were trying to draw Shamus into their world, and it was not a world Shamus wanted to enter. Josh brought cynical, profane, world-weariness. Chris brought erudite, timorous, political correctness. Mumbles brought boisterous, visceral, feminism. This desire to vaunt ones own philosophy is natural, and I credit Mumbles, Josh, and Chris with the merit of sacrificing their comfort, over the period of years, in order to help a friend.

      But Shamus did not choose these philosophies. He did not want them. He rejected the consensus, and chose the community. He chose people.

      He chose us.

      He chose you and me. He chose to be open to our voices, however foolish, misguided, petty, or backward. Though, in truth, often much less these than those who would silence us.

      If I have disappointment, it is in those who value comfort more than communication. If I have sadness, it is for those who have left, who have cut themselves off from the community.

      I’m really looking forward to seeing where the site, the content, and the community goes from here. It’s going to be wonderful.


      I’ve been voicing (quietly I hope) my opinion for years that the Diecast Crew is not a good match for Shamus or the site he’s trying to run. The sad thing is that it’s taken this long for those involved to come to the same realization.

      And personally, I don’t feel like I have any questions to ask the person that wrote this when all the previous Diecast members left, and then got on the Diecast himself when it started up again. Sorry, I don’t expect that’s the answer you were hoping for.

      1. Phill says:

        You’re not the only one who isn’t going to go anywhere near anything that Paul Spooner is involved with…

        Incidentally, you can get one snapshot of previous diecast download figures from the first few minutes of diecast #109 , where Shamus answers a question about ogg vorbis vs mp3 download numbers.

        1. William Beasley says:

          I agree, unfortunately.

          Also, in terms of sending questions in, I believe a large portion of that (besides people not listening as much) is that most viewers know where Shamus stands on most topics. The entire point of sending questions is to hear contrasting opinions between the cast.

          1. Paul Spooner says:

            It’s true. I stand by those statements, and am open to discussing it, though the forums may be a better place for that. I’m Dudecon on the forums, which you can search for even more evidence for wanting to steer clear of content that I’m involved with.

            Oh, and if you’re looking for a topic that Shamus and I disagree about, try asking about intellectual property.

            1. Cerapa says:

              I thought about starting a longer discussion about it here, but then realized that the comments way back then already expressed pretty much everything I felt and thought.

              I suppose the only question is, do you understand why the statement “He rejected the consensus, and chose the community. […] He chose you and me.” seems exclusionary to some?

              1. Paul Spooner says:

                The entire dispute was over which people and behaviors should be excluded. Shamus and the spoiler-warning cast (TSWC) disagreed on what should be excluded. I felt like TSWC wanted to exclude me, and I wanted to exclude TSWC, all based on behaviors, attitudes, and philosophies which we hold firmly but which are inappropriate to discuss in this venue.
                My understanding is my behavior “seems exclusionary” because I am trying to exclude behavior I perceive as harmful and unhealthy. As are we all.

                1. Cubic says:

                  I wasn’t around then, but I find myself agreeing with you.

                2. Cerapa says:

                  Final bit of clarification, and why I asked the question. Am I understanding correctly that you exclude me (or want to exclude me) from the community entirely?

                  1. Paul Spooner says:

                    I do not think I want to exclude you. You clearly want to be here or you wouldn’t go through the trouble of engaging in the comments. You aren’t being harmful, and this conversation seems pretty healthy. But then again, I don’t know anything about you except that you seem to ask leading questions. There’s clearly a lot that you aren’t saying.

                    Is there a reason you feel you should be excluded? Has something I’ve said made you feel excluded and you’re trying to discern my attitude before exposing vulnerability by voicing the injury? Am I overthinking this?

                    1. Cerapa says:

                      Dude. The first question was literally about whether you exclude people from the community, that includes me. When you made that original post, you said that he chose the community, while I would have preferred another option (obviously Shamuses choice though, not up to me, and I respect his reasons), which means you dont consider me a part of the community. You stated that you on purpose excluded people, so was it really your intention to exclude everyone who was sad that spoiler warning left the site? These arent leading questions, I am just genuinely confused whether you really meant to say that, and it seemed to me that you gave others an equally harsh impression of how much you dislike that part of the community.

                    2. Shamus says:

                      (Replying to Cerpa)

                      Sigh. This controversy is the misunderstanding that never ends. For the record, I never want to exclude anyone except people who are nasty / unpleasant to me / others. You’re welcome here.

                      I don’t want to put words in Paul’s mouth, but I read his comment as an expression of solidarity and as exclusionary to the people who had already chosen to leave. Sort of, “Fine! We don’t need them any dang way!” That’s evidently not how you read it, so I just wanted to make it clear that all are welcome here, including people who are fans of TSWC.

                    3. Paul Spooner says:

                      Hey, I’m sad that TSWC left as well! I’d have preferred a more concilliatory answer to a question of reformation the other way around. TSWC asked Shamus to change, to become better as they saw it. He declined. I was kind of hoping that Shamus would ask TSWC to change for the better. Maybe he did, and if so, they must have declined as well. I would have much preferred that they change their tone and then kept producing content with Shamus. But since a change of tone wasn’t on the table for either party, I’m glad of the decision they all arrived at. It’s not the choice I would have made either, but maybe there’s a reason neither you nor I run successful blogs.

                      So, what I’m saying is, if there is a moral high ground here (and I’m not convinced that there is) then I’d wager Shamus is standing on it, and as he’s the host, I’m happy about that. If you feel excluded by that opinion then…
                      well, then, it’s literally “shamusyoung.com” I mean…

                    4. Cerapa says:

                      I do not feel excluded by Shamus’ decision, nor am I declaring moral high ground for anyone.

                      I am stating that you specifically with your post made yourself the arbiter of how the community feels and thus insinuated that anyone who did not agree was not a part of the community. This annoyed me and seemingly others. You seem to simulatenously try to give off a friendly vibe but also unwilling to understand why people might be offended by your writings.

                      If this was not your intention then that’s fine and that’s something I’ve tried to dig out right now, but haven’t really gotten a clear answer to.

                    5. Cerapa says:

                      Bah, edit button disappeared. If Shamus is right then I understand where the misunderstanding came from. Was that what you wanted to express Paul?

                    6. Paul Spooner says:

                      I am stating that you specifically with your post made yourself the arbiter of how the community feels and thus insinuated that anyone who did not agree was not a part of the community. This annoyed me and seemingly others.

                      I assumed the role of spokesman for those in the community who were (relatively) happy with the decision but too cowed by those expressing dismay to speak up. Considering the reaction voiced in the comments, that fear was justified.

                      You seem to simulatenously try to give off a friendly vibe but also unwilling to understand why people might be offended by your writings.

                      I am well aware of a multitude of reasons offense may be given or taken, but I am unwilling to be intimidated by mere stated offense as an argument for conformity and dismay on my part. I am aware that this view is, in itself, offensive to many. The response recurses.

                      For the record, I never want to exclude anyone except people who are nasty / unpleasant to me / others.

                      Indeed. I prefer people learn to be kind and pleasant, but if they can not be convinced to behave, I’d rather them be excluded than everyone else be hurt.

                      I feel that, since my own words are dancing in the air here over the chasm of religion and politics, it is best that this be my last contribution to this particular discussion thread. I’ll continue to read responses, especially any closing thoughts you would like to add Cerapa, but I’m bowing out on this topic for the present.

                    7. Cerapa says:

                      I am having a hard putting together how you simultaneously believe that being kind and pleasant is important, and also believe that reacting to offense is a negative. When I said I was offended, it was a criticism that I found the way you wrote unpleasant and unkind to me and others. That you would as you said “learn to be kind and pleasant” from my feedback. If offense was the wrong word for this, then I apologize as I am not a native speaker. I am also sorry if I was unduly aggressive on our conversation.

                      As far as the original comment and response to it goes, I also believe people believed you were unkind towards the members of the spoiler warning crew and some disliked that. And much like myself, some believed you tried to speak for the whole community, rather than just the ones that would like the change. These are things that could be fixed by little more than rephrasing. In general I would beg you to take negative feedback, even when rather angry, as something to be accounted for, rather than as an attempt at intimidation. If your intention is to truly be pleasant and kind, you do need to consider how you come across to others, and to be at least slightly dismayed when others get the wrong or hurtful message from your writings. I frequently fail at this. This is also only about your online presence from my own perspective, I do not mean to in any way imply you are unkind to the people around you.

                      I guess that’s it for now. I hope our next conversation will be about happier topics.

            2. Echo Tango says:

              Challenge accepted! Question about licenses (for games) emailed! :D

            3. William Beasley says:

              Hostility (perhaps somewhat justified as I replied one lower on the chain than I mean) aside, the thing is, I (and a lot of others) don’t care for a debate either. Arguments between two people have a tendency to turn sour and lose track of the discussion desired. When answering questions it is good to get contrasting opinions and viewpoints that lead to discussion. This is not possible with only two hosts. This is why most podcasts I listen to have 3-4 hosts to liven up discussion.

              1. Paul Spooner says:

                I’ve suggested getting more hosts as well, but Shamus prefers the conversational format. There’s something to be said for not being interrupted all the time.
                The template for the current incarnation of the show is “Hello Internet” which, now that I think about it, doesn’t take questions at all.
                Maybe we should stop taking the questions seriously and answer them a-la the Homestarrunner e-mail show?

                1. Echo Tango says:

                  I would actually prefer listener questions get answered! (Although it occurs to me that you might be making a joke here.) Especially since I myself just emailed one! :)

      2. Doctor Ivellius says:

        Not the person you’re responding to, but I’m grateful for your comment.

      3. John says:

        This is the precise point at which I decided to stop reading comments on that post. I didn’t appreciate the way in which Paul appeared to have elected himself spokesman for both Shamus and the Diecast audience at large–and by extension for me as well. Since then, Paul and I have also had some fairly serious (and possibly fairly heated) disagreements on the forums. But despite all that, I think Paul has been a calm and reasonable addition to the new Diecast. I place a lot of value on calm and reasonable these days.

        Speaking solely for myself, the reason I’m not submitting questions to the Diecast these days is that I can’t think of any. This is not a big change. Thinking of good questions is hard. I submitted two, maybe three questions to the old Diecast. (Only one of which was ever answered. So, uh, you guys should have a thing or two from me in the backlog there. They probably aren’t topical any more and maybe also were not that good to begin with, but if you’re desperate . . . ) I used up my last new good question on the Rock, Paper, Shotgun podcast while the Diecast was on hiatus. (They even answered it. It was awesome.)

        As for other people, your guess is as good as mine. The long hiatus is probably a contributing factor. The changes in cast and content probably also have something to do with it. My guess is that fewer people playing fewer games prompts fewer listener questions.

        1. David says:

          I do agree; that “of course I speak for you, the reader” tone of that quoted comment is quite offputting to me. Though in part I think that’s because I disagree with his characterization of the people involved. If I actually was more in-agreement with him, I probably wouldn’t have noticed.

          1. Guile says:

            … He began that quoted post with “As long as I’m speculating, I may as well voice my view.”

      4. Daimbert says:

        And so, it begins …

        On the topic of not sending in questions, I don’t do that because I’ve never listened to the podcasts, and am not likely to start any time soon …

      5. marty says:

        Yup. I’ve done precisely one speak-for-the-community “I think we’re all disappointed in X” (X being an album by a band) post about twenty years ago when I was a young blow-hard and I’m still slightly embarrassed by it. I certainly wasn’t doing it out of any mature, thoughtful perspective or tolerance for other people’s opinions. So yeah, I can’t say I respect someone’s opinion when they try and manipulate the conversation like that–at best it’s born out of insecurity–but more often used as a way to shut down actual discourse. I don’t respect either.

        1. Ninety-Three says:

          How exactly is “As long as I’m speculating, I may as well voice my view” a case of “I think we’re all disappointed in X”?

          1. marty says:

            He chose us.

            Who exactly is the “us” in Paul’s quote? And why bother speculating speculating about Shamus’s motives at all if it’s not an attempt to steal some modicum of authority when bringing up the right-wing boogymen of political correctness and feminism? Whatever the reasons for Shamus leaving Spoiler Warning were, it’s clearly more complicated than Paul’s simplistic us-vs-them world view acknowledges.

            I mean, Shamus announced that his son came out as trans on Twitter and referred to him as “he.” Maybe Paul and everyone else with his dim view of political correctness can correct Shamus for his mistake–otherwise, it might look like he chose us.

            1. Viktor says:

              I especially love Paul’s characterization of Mumbles bringing “boisterous, visceral feminism”. Boisterous, sure, that’s Mumbles, but her feminism has never been that overt beyond calling for better roles for female chars, and she rarely even brought that up on SW, especially compared to, say, Rutskarn. I’m curious how Mumbles specifically brought an excessive amount of feminism to the show, other than by being a woman who exists.

        2. marty says:

          Hey Shamus, my reply post has been in moderation for the past 24+ hours, can I get some indication for why that is?

          1. Shamus says:

            Right. Forgot about that.

            Yeah. This thread is talking about right-wingers, feminism, political correctness, and a whole bunch of other stuff that’s going to end exactly the way it always does. I know technically Paul brought some of it up, but that was before he was part of the show and was itself part of a discussion that I closed down..

            Anyway. I’ll let the comments stand but please everyone let’s just drop this and move on.

            1. marty says:

              I appreciate that you let my comment stand, Shamus. I knew I was taking n step(s) through a door I most likely wouldn’t open here to make a possibly door-adjacent but not door-related point–so I figured the post was up for moderation because I was through the technically-open door at all or got snagged by the spam filter. I’m fine dropping the topic. I’ll consider the door closed. And I’m now very far away from the door.

      6. Scramble says:

        Well, you’re missing out on a really good podcast due to your political disagreements is all I can tell you.

    2. Echo Tango says:

      For me, I stopped because I tried to ask interesting questions, but the questions that got answered on the Podcast seemed to only be the ones that were fun/wacky. Now that the two main hosts are in serious/tech jobs, that might be different. Might be time to try some more questions… :)

  6. Echo Tango says:

    Speaking of proprietary products, who’s tried to get into geneology? This is a field that’s essentially run on volunteer efforts and good will, but the software side of it is just as bad as Apple or Microsoft. There’s like, five companies that do some desktop software and/or website for keeping family tree records, and they all want to lock you in. There’s only one open-source piece of software I’ve found for this, and its interface / work-flows are terribad. :S

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      All the geneology stuff I’ve done I’ve just used Blender. Use one axis for birth date, the other axis to spread the names out, and the hierarchy to visualize the lines of connection.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        Does it export to GEDCOM?

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          I could write an import-export script for it, yeah. What version? Would be a lot easier for me to use GEDCOM 5.5.1 since Python encodes in UTF-8 by default.

  7. Steve? says:

    In a non-business-crusader way, if something like this happens again, it might be worth sending something to your local state representative about it. They might have some way to help you cut through the state-level red tape. You’d think that a small-town PA rep might reasonably want to trumpet the idea of a video game developer in his/her district. Especially if new business creation is low, I could see the rep loving the idea of a puff-piece press release about how the video game industry is coming to (wherever you live), PA.

    1. Thomas says:

      It’s the kind of thing someone might be quite motivated to get working because it’s relatively unchanged uncontroversial and shows they’re working for their constituents and cutting red type which a lot of local representatives love to be seen doing.

  8. Fizban says:

    I’ve never quite understood what an “RSS reader” was supposed to be. Like, I could download some sort of plugin. . . to view webpages. . . in my web browser. . . but worse than if I just went to the page. Then it turned out firefox (and probably all the other browsers) had that built in, I just had to figure out how to get a page subscribed, which sometimes requires a special RSS feed link and sometimes can just be done.

    I’ve got RSS feeds or live bookmarks or whatever for webcomics and a few other things (such as this blog) that make sense to have instant notification in the morning or as they come out. But everything else that takes some amount of time or will be returned to often, like a youtube or fandom news (Anime News Network or whatever video game news people like), doesn’t make any sense to have in a feed. Those get their bookmarks hit whenever.

    So I have no idea what I’ve got for Twenty Sided- firefox says it’s a live bookmark, but it could be one of the community links, but either way I don’t need it to download, just say “post!”

    1. Viktor says:

      Yeah, I just have all my bookmarks sorted by day of the week I should check for updates. (MWF, TT, Daily, Saturday). Right-click, open all in new tab, there’s my list of sites to read over breakfast.

      1. Nick-B says:

        That is eerily similar to what I do. Webcomics are sorted by day (all 7 of them, because I hate having MWF out of order with TT, so I just dupe the folders), or if their schedule is random or unknown so I just check that entire folder when I run out of content.

        Certain sites that update multiple times a day (techdirt, RPS, various political blogs) I use RSS for. I am not sure I am using it right, but I just open the toolbar link for each site and click on any article I haven’t visited yet (as shown by the lit up icon). I do not let the feed aggregate all new content. Easy way to see if there is a new post I haven’t opened, but they are all still separate.

        1. Droid says:

          If you’re using Chrome, I can recommend Feeder (or feeder.co). While it does bunch up all unread posts into one list, there is another view (which is the standard one afaik) where you still have all unread posts neatly separated into their own categories / feeds.
          What’s the advantage of using it, then? You get a notification icon that displays the number of new entries and which feeds they are in, so you don’t actually have to check feeds individually at all.

    2. Canthros says:

      RSS readers are better understood as RSS aggregators, and are useful for putting updates from all the sites you’d otherwise visit individually in one place.

    3. Cubic says:

      I switched to RSS back when opening a couple of dozen tabs at once brought my machine to its knees. This was a number of years ago.

      My RSS reader (Newsblur, a fine piece of software) currently collects updates from 900+ sites at varying levels of activity. This usually means a few hundred new articles per day. (Don’t worry, I skip maybe 90% of them by headline.)

      The reader handles checking the sites intelligently, handles failures, can save articles, can mark a subset or all of articles as read or unread, and so on. All in all, I’ve found it a lot more convenient than using bookmarks.

  9. MarcoSnow says:

    I’ll be perfectly honest, Shamus: while I love your long-form analyses, I rarely listen to the Diecast (although I make an exception when you have SoldierHawke on as a guest).* Take that with a big grain of salt, however, since I’m not an avid podcast listener.

    *Bob Case’s articles are another big draw for me these days.

    1. etheric42 says:

      Same here. I don’t have anything I do really that would allow me to utilize idle brainspace to listen to something while I’m doing something else, and a podcast is just too slow compared to writing for normal consumption. Video at least has additional bandwidth over audio-only, but I’m not going to watch a video unless it’s doing something useful with that bandwidth. It’s one of the reasons I rarely listen to radio, and at least with radio I can tune in and out mentally without “losing the thread”.

      I do appreciate the timestamps though. It means I’ll check the podcast posts and see if there is any topic I just have to listen to because I’m not going to get that same info anywhere else.

      1. Echo Tango says:

        You could try listening to podcasts while playing games! :)

  10. Syal says:

    Any other cities that are flagrantly mispronounced?


    1. Droid says:

      Uhm, how do you pronounce that differently from how it is written? I know English is very lax when it comes to letter-to-sound correspondence (tbh, I wouldn’t really be surprised if it was pronounced ‘Dave’), but I don’t see more than one way to pronounce this.

      1. Nick-B says:

        Looking at that, I want to call it “Suh-Keem”. It’s probably “Say-Keem”.

        And yes, I may do punctuation and quotes wrong, but it just feels off to me to include punctuation INSIDE the quote if it doesn’t actually belong to the quote. For example:
        Did you really just yell “STOP?”
        seems to suggest the person yelled STOP as a question with an upwards tone at the end to make it a question, when *I* was the one that asked the question.

        1. Droid says:

          That is an entirely sensible way to use quotation marks and I’m surprised to learn that this isn’t the normal way to do it. Are you sure this rule includes single quoted words that are used as a part of another sentence, as opposed to a quotation of an entire sentence that is “free-standing”, if you will?

          1. Nick-B says:

            Well, fiddle-on-a-stick, the way I do it is already (mostly) correct. I just googled it, since I haven’t looked it up since high school english classes, and it appears to be the way I used them. This seems to be a fairly compact chart of when to use punctuation in quotes, depending on whether the punctuation belongs to the quote, the outside sentence, or even if there are two kinds of punctuation.

            I guess I tended to still use periods to end a sentence even if there is punctuation inside the quote, and THAT should over-ride your own, but nowhere else.
            She kept asking, “Why me?”
            Is valid, when
            She kept asking, “Why me?”.

            In your case, it appears you would put the comma in the quotes, despite the comma not having to do with the actual quoted word, as long as it doesn’t have a ? or !

        2. Echo Tango says:

          This isn’t pronounecd “see-kwim”? (Like a sequin dress.)

      2. Syal says:

        The e is silent. It’s pronounced “Squim”, like squid.

    2. etheric42 says:

      The mispronouncing of foreign words is common in Texas. You’ll see some people arguing it is useful because that means you know the difference between the word and the proper noun, but that doesn’t quite work.

      Gruene, Texas (pronounced green, which is amusing becuase gruene is the German word for green)

      Guadalupe (guadalup-eh)
      Manchaca (man-shack)

      1. toadicus says:

        I’ve been told that Texans intentionally began mispronouncing Spanish words as a means of distinguishing themselves as separate from Mexico.

        A few of my favourites:

        San Jacinto as “san ja-SIN-nuh” (should be sahn ha-SEEN-toe)
        La Quinta as “la KWIN-nuh” (should be lah KEEN-tah)

        Then there’s Nacogdoches as “nak-uh-DOE-shuhs” — I don’t know if that’s actually wrong, but I do know that it’s really weird.

      2. Vermander says:

        A lot of the smaller towns and neighborhoods in the San Antonio area have this problem. Almost everything has either a Spanish name (Helotes, Balcones, Culebra ), or a German one (Gruene, Boerne, New Braunfels). Even the name of the county is confusing to many English speakers (Bexar).

        1. Droid says:

          What word does “Boerne” come from? “der Born” aka. “the well”?

          1. Vermander says:

            That particular town is supposedly named after German poet Karl Ludwig Börne.

  11. Paul Spooner says:

    The promised link to the minecraft scripts. Like I said in the episode, these are a semi-old version, but they still all work with the latest version of Minecraft.

    1. Shamus says:

      Whoops. Added to the show notes.

      1. Paul Spooner says:

        While we’re at it, here’s a “floating islands in the sky” thing I made a couple decades ago http://peripheralarbor.com/gallery/v/oldpics/Infinite_FallsC.jpg.html
        Aer does it way better though.

        1. Echo Tango says:

          That reminds me of Netstorm! :)

          1. Paul Spooner says:

            Totally metal. I like it.
            The world of Aer has a lot of mythological elements, though there’s no combat (so far?). I wonder what it is about sky-islands that requires a supernatural setting… besides great big hunks of rock and soil floating in the air I mean.

            1. Echo Tango says:

              I think the “great big hunks of rock and soil floating in the air” thing is the only part that’s really super-natural, or at least required for this particular setting / trope. There was an old real-time, massively-multiplayer, continuous (i.e. stuff happens overnight while you sleep) RTS called Time Of Defiance, which had floating islands in a sci-fi setting. They played the floating-islands thing completely straight, as far as world-building, seriousness, etc.

  12. Droid says:

    I wanna throw out New Orleans while we’re at it, which is just so, so far from the French Orléans.
    Or San Francisco (the ‘a’-s specifically).
    And there’s Houston, TX / Houston Street, NY.

    And that’s not even going into the big split between foreign names’ pronunciation in and their transliteration into English (Mysore, India).

  13. John says:

    On the subject of the, er, ruggedness of Linux, it has been my experience that Linux can go badly wrong but when it does user error is usually to blame. A little Linux knowledge is a dangerous thing. I completely broke my Lubuntu desktop once by trying to edit my start menu to include nested program groups. More recently, I rendered Linux Mint un-login-able by fiddling with graphics drivers. (The sad thing is that it was just a few months ago and I’ve already forgotten what exactly I did and why I was trying to do it.) I’ve had other minor issues with Lubuntu as well, but the really serious Linux problems have always been my fault.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      I, on the other hand, seem to be a magnet for finding bugs, or finding out which hardware doesn’t have Linux drivers, or have buggy drivers. My Linux installs have (except on one previous laptop that broke down after only a couple years) always been kick-it-and-hope-it-keeps-working affairs, just as bad as I remember on Windows. At least I get my software free of monetary cost now! :)

      1. John says:

        Well, there was the time when I installed a new graphics card (as in the card had only recently been introduced to the market) and my distro didn’t have drivers for it in the repository yet. I had to run my computer at some ridiculous desktop resolution until I could find and add a repository with current drivers. That was fun.

        But, yeah, the low, low price of free is the reason I stick with Linux.

    2. Olivier FAURE says:

      For the record, my favorite linux bug was:

      – Try to install Android Studio.

      – Run sudo pacman -Syu (eg update all packages)

      – Turn off the machine.

      – Whoops, now you can’t start your OS anymore.

      The problem was (simplifying) that Android Studio’s linux installer is kinda crappy and fills out your RAM, and the “Linux” package (which is sometimes updated by sudo pacman -Syu) fails to update midway through if it runs out of RAM. It’s not designed to make atomic updates, so it overwrites your “Start Linux” configuration with invalid data and then stops.

      It took me a full day and learning some pointed Linux skills to fix it; and the only thing I did wrong was try to install two things at once.

  14. Asdasd says:

    Is this a good place to ask a question? If so I’ll give it a go. I’ll start with the question and then go on a lengthy post-amble (is that a thing? let’s assume that’s a thing) to add needless context and qualification.

    I’m interested to know if the hosts have played the Max Payne games, and if so, what they think of the series? The first two were well-received by critics and the public alike, although I believe the second sold well below what Remedy had hoped. This probably contributed to the decade-long gap between the release of the second game and the third, as well as the change of developer to Rockstar Studios.

    This unusual gestation makes it really interesting to compare 3 to the preceding games. We can consider all the decisions Rockstar made about what to imitate and where to diverge, not only in terms of gameplay mechanics but also narrative, setting and tone. It’s also interesting to consider what effect the 10 year advance in industrial trends might have had for the project, from both a design and a commercial perspective. It was a divisive game (to put it mildly) and I’d be really interested to hear your thoughts about it, should you have any.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Shamus has a lot of things to say about Max Payne while I have never played it. Go ahead and ask via e-mail (it’s in the header image above, in an attempt to reduce the quantity of bot spam).

      1. Shamus says:

        Fun fact: I have no memory of what I said in that podcast.

        Here’s what I’m going to do:

        I’m NOT going to go back and listen to the old show. I’m going to answer the MP question the next time we record. THEN I’ll go back and see if I agree with me-from-2013.

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    But the number of mailbag questions has gone from dozens to zero. So… that’s a little strange.

    Christopher,what gives?Are you on vacation or something?

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Your tyrannical monopoly on detractors is at and end DL! I have my own detractors now! What do you say to that?

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I accept you as one of us.

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          Great truth… And led captives in His wake.

  16. Dreadjaws says:

    Take this comment with a grain of salt, because I’m not an avid listener to the podcast (I only listen every once in a while and yours is even the only one I listen to), but perhaps the reason for the shows decreased (or perceived decreased, in any case) popularity is that it used to be more focused on current, relatively relevant stuff and now it’s mostly random and repeating subjects (again, in my perception).

    Again, this is from my very small experience listening to the show, but Minecraft? Kerbal Space Program? Factorio? Those are subjects you’ve spent so much on that people might simply not have any more questions about them. City name pronouncing? That’s just an odd subject. Not saying all this stuff isn’t interesting, because it is. Just saying that maybe they run counter to people’s expectations. Again, I might be talking out of my ass, my experience with the show is minimal.

    Also, “Amarillo” is pronounced “Ah-maree-sho” in spanish. Unless you live in Spain, in which case they’re likely to pronounce it the “Camarillo” way. Also, “Amarillo” means “Yellow”, if you’re curious.

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      I did not know that. Interesting. So the west-coast has a more European Spanish influence then?

    2. David says:

      There was also a fairly long break, which is a good way to lose listeners. Particularly since anyone who’s listening with any sort of podcast client isn’t getting the new episodes… and as far as I can tell, that’s very much the popular way to consume podcast content.

    3. gresman says:

      I personally sort of agree with this statement. The podcast is lacking in variety. There is now a lot of talk about programming and some things that were already discussed.
      The new talkshow format is quite interesting.
      I am still listening to every episode but sometimes it feels just like a repeat episode. Once I even listened to an episode twice and did not notice till somewehre in the middle and once I mistook two separate episodes for the same.
      Episodes with Brittany were quite interesting for a change and the one with Andy was cool as well.
      There are just two things I would change to make it more enjoyable for me personally (This does not mean that I do not enjoy listening). Firstly a bit mroe variety in regards to topics and maybe a third host.
      Or you could bring back the gaming news section. This always leads to intriguing discussions and maybe followup questions.
      Also I am fan of intellectual dissection of games in active and passive form. I would even offer my voice and opinions for discussion but I do not think that there are more than maybe 5 people who are willing to listen to me for two hours dissecting some game. That is what friends are for.

      Shamus just keep going and the listeners will come and some commenters will try to help you make the podcast better. The natural twenty will come. :)

  17. David says:

    I twitched a lot through the initial podcast discussion, because it’s in the “amazing, every word of what you just said was wrong” category.

    1. There’s nothing Apple-proprietary involved. Not in getting a basic-functional podcast feed. Pretty much the only thing you need to get podcast clients to treat you as a podcast is to include totally-standard enclosures in the feed. There are some well-documented extensions to tell the iTunes podcast directory metadata about your podcast / episides, but they (a) make sense as useful things to exist, and (b) are not mandatory.)

    2. Apple isn’t the underdog in the podcasting space. For various reasons, mostly involving their complete lack of any attempt to monetize it or stop other people accessing it, the iTunes podcast directory is what almost all podcast clients use as the authoritative source of information about what podcasts are out there. (Thus this is also not a space where “you should buy Apple products” applies at all.)

    The sole reason your podcast feed is broken currently is that your regular site RSS feed doesn’t include enclosures, and your podcast-specific RSS feed has an invalid template and so isn’t being generated. These are both “WordPress isn’t set up correctly” issues. Which, fair enough, I know nothing about setting up WordPress such that enclosures are added, and I can understand not wanting to go spend time debugging whatever extension is supposed to be generating that second feed. You do have an enclosure on one earlier episode, so I assume it’s possible to do that in stock-Wordpress and it’s broken by some aspect of your workflow. (Maybe including both the mp3 and ogg links is confusing it somehow, as to which should be the enclosure? No idea. If so, that seems like something WordPress should be fixing if possible, not you personally.)

    I’m fairly sympathetic to podcast clients not wanting to try to guess from the feed content as to whether there’s something podcast-y or not. I’ve done it, and that’s a whole can of worms which requires you to make a lot of assumptions about what people might mean because of links and various audio players, and it’s fragile.

    …sorry, I don’t mean to rant at you. But it really bugs me when I listen to something and when it hits a topic I have specialty knowledge on there’s wild inaccuracies; it leaves me feeling like I can’t trust any of the content in sections which I’m less familiar with.

  18. Son of Valhalla says:

    Quesion sent! Hopefully next time is as fruitful a discussion, if not moreso than this one.

  19. Retsam says:

    Huh, weird coincidence. I was at a Magic the Gathering event yesterday with the new set, which has a card called “Mesa Unicorn”, which at one point I accidentally mispronounced as “Meesa Unicorn”, which my friend promptly mocked me for. Kinda odd to find a podcast today discussing that exact mispronunciation.

  20. Mark says:

    For my part, I’ve been enjoying the new Diecast way more than the old one. I’ve been coming here for many years for Shamus; the new podcast has more Shamus. Plus as far as co-hosts go Paul fits in great (as have the other guest hosts), there’s less random arguing, trolling, and cross-talk and more conversation, and the topics of discussion are far more focused and relevant to my interests.

    Look… I just didn’t care about wrestling. Not even a tiny, tiny bit. I’m sorry, but there it is.

  21. Guile says:

    I don’t really get into engineering or minecraft conversations. I appreciate you guys bringing up Aer, it looks gorgeous and I’d never heard of it before.

  22. Sleeping Dragon says:

    I’ve played Aer a couple days before the podcast came up. I’m going to call it one of those Journey inspired games (the other one that comes to mind is Abzu) but it didn’t work quite as well for me. Admittedly Journey may have the advantage of just being first.

    Now to give credit where it’s due: the game is pretty, the environments are fun to explore (if somewhat small), I’d also say that they put in just enough lore for the player to sorta piece the backstory of the world together but not be completely 100% sure about some things. Also Paul is absolutely right that flying around feels very dynamic and smooth, maybe even too smooth, I would often go into a flat glide in order to land on an island, shapeshift and watch the character continue to slide through the air off the island, it’s more effective to plummet straight into the ground which lacks the grace that the birdform movement encourages. I’m also tremendously glad that they didn’t work towards the she wakes up from a coma ending, which is what I was afraid of at one point and which is something I’m getting really tired off.

    The game didn’t work for me on two levels though. First off, Journey got away with being vague about its lore largely because the character was alone and it communicated everything non-verbally. Aer still tries to be vague but it has several other talking characters, at least one of which appears to do the needlessly cryptic routine, which would still be fine if the game managed to make me emotionally invested but that’s the second and major issue for me. Journey was implying bits of a story of the world while leading the player through the struggle of the main character, I’m sure it didn’t work for everyone but it had a specific emotional arc, starting with a somewhat careful exploration, developing into joyful fun, plunging into fear, leading through adversity to borderline despair turning into elation and finally contentment. Aer is trying to do a somewhat similar thing but through the environment only, it doesn’t feel like Aun (the main character) is actually affected by the events and so I failed to, through her story, connect emotionally with the overarching narrative making the ending feel flat and lacking resolution.

  23. default_ex says:

    Well Shamus if you want to try a Minecraft mod pack that really changes things. SevTech is a new one that really changes things up. It uses a gated progression system that disables mods until you unlock them. Even when you unlock them they aren’t really what you expect if you have past knowledge of the mods going for you.

    Having a lot of experience playing modded. It’s a pack that really makes you earn all the fancy stuff you normally get out of mods. Even then it’s rarely as overpower as you normally expect and tends to be a lot less automated. Had to give in and finally dive into Integrated Dynamics just to reliably automate things I keep doing.

  24. Collin says:

    I blame the loss of Rutskarn and his puns for the drop in questions.

  25. Jason says:

    There’s a city just east of San Diego, CA called La Mesa as well, and it’s pronounced correctly.

  26. Uristqwerty says:

    Because it’s a topic I care a lot about, I’m going to nitpick the Minecraft mod bits:

    Bukkit is a server plugin abstraction layer, designed so that you don’t even need to touch Minecraft code to make a plugin (in theory, the API can be ported to run on any other game engine, and plugins will adapt without issue). Mojang has seemed fairly supportive of the project, to the point of hiring the main developers, and at some point buying the project or something. That had a downside, however, because Bukkit is GPL, didn’t have a Contributor License Agreement, and one asshole who was a major contributor didn’t like that Mojang got involved. So they DMCA’d CraftBukkit, saying that as soon as the GPL’d bukkit API was combined with proprietary Minecraft code to actually implement the API, the resulting project broke the GPL terms. I guess they hoped to force Mojang into releasing Minecraft as open source, but in the end all it did was kill Bukkit after all of the support the project had received.

    Beyond hiring the Bukkit team, Mojang also hired the MCP team (MCP being the underlying toolset that makes mod creation practical) much more recently.

    Next, IDs. Vanilla switched to string IDs long ago, keeping numeric IDs for compatibility with old command blocks and mods for some versions. By now, the latest version has no concept of user-visible IDs left. After Vanilla added that feature, Forge backported string ID support so that mods could transition, and even preserve worlds (as much as a modded world can transition between versions without major losses). String IDs are in 1.7.10, which is the oldest version still regularly played.

    On C++ Minecraft: “Compiled” Java code is stored in unoptimized and very straightforward bytecode, which makes it possible for mods to easily patch new behaviours and interaction points into existing Minecraft code, and the JVM is expected to perform optimization at runtime. That can’t work in C++, because x86_64 assembly does not logically map back to the source code cleanly, templates have already been specialized into many slightly-altered duplicates, then independently optimized based on those parameters (so entire code branches may have been deleted as unreachable, so if a mod changes a branch condition it will need to manually re-insert the entire branch into every copy. It would be almost impossible for two mods to even touch the same part of the code without clobbering each other and making the game unplayable). In order to support such a wide variety of mod behaviour, they would need to manually insert impossible-to-optimize-away decision points all throughout the codebase, anywhere that a mod might want to interact with the code flow, at which point everything will be running much slower. The JVM is able to speculatively optimize code (no class currently extends that method, the third parameter here is always false), then when more code is loaded deoptimize those assumptions away. From that alone, I doubt C++ Minecraft will ever be able to support in-depth mods performantly. Unless it ends up like Factorio or the Elder Scrolls engine, where there is a very limited set of hard-coded behaviours, and most scripting is figuring out clever ways to patch things together to approximate the desired behaviour without the player noticing.

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