Don’t be confused by the title. This is not a post for a “lazy Sunday”, implying this is something to be read sometime in the late afternoon, before you’ve changed out of your pajamasWho wears pajamas these days? When people who wear clothes to bed refer to “wearing pajamas”, they usually mean sweatpants and a t-shirt. As far as I can tell, the days of specialized bedclothes are just about over.. What I’m actually saying is that this is a low-effort post intended to go up on Sunday.
Here are a bunch of random announcements:
Thing one: Family gathering this weekend, which prevented me from recording a Diecast. So no podcast this week.
Thing two: The public-facing contact email on my about page vanished when I changed servers a few weeks ago, and I forgot to re-create it at the new place. The mailbox was still functioning at the old host, but since the shamusyoung.com domain was no longer pointed there, it wasn’t doing anyone any good. Instead, the emails were arriving at the new host and then vanishing into the void. (Or perhaps they bounced? I dunno.) This is the main way for strangers to get in touch with me. Hopefully I didn’t miss anything too important. If you did send something in the last few weeks: I’m not ignoring you, I just never got it. (It should be working now.)
Thing three: Ages ago, I began working on an update to the site theme. But then I got busy and never made the changes live. On one hand, changing the site theme always involves a day or two of shake-out, and I don’t have time for that right now. On the other hand, I put a lot of work into these changes, they’re designed to address some annoyances with the site, and I’m not keen to let it languish forever on my test server. So, consider this fair warning that at any point in the next few weeks I might make changes to the site. I don’t know why I’m bothering to tell you ahead of time. There’s no way to “get ready” for this sort of thing.
One last thing: Quakecon was this weekend, and we got to see the first gameplay reveal of DOOM Eternal. During the introduction, the presenters began talking about how they want you to feel like even more of a badass, and so the new game will have bigger, tougher enemies than ever before. And so I began composing a post in my head:
My problem with this promise of “tougher” enemies that that tougher generally means “more hitpoints”. That certainly makes the game harder, but it doesn’t make the game more gratifying or empowering. In fact, giving us more durable enemies works against this by making your weapons feel ineffectual. If you blast a demon four times at point-blank range without killing them or even triggering a pain animation then you’re not going to feel “empowered”. You’re going to feel like you’re assaulting an oak tree with a Nerf gun. You don’t think, “this guy must be really tough” you think, “This guy is a real chore”. You shoot a demon ten times and nothing happens until the last bullet hits home, at which point it falls over dead.
We don’t need enemies to keel over right away. What we actually need to some sort of system of feedback to show you’re making progress. We’d need a way for the demons to show visible damage so it feels like your bullets are doing something. Maybe some dismemberment tech, or…
I kid you not: Right in the middle of this line of thinking the presenters showed off DOOM’s new demon damage system.
On one hand, it was great to have a company address my concerns while the thoughts were still forming in my head. That’s some really impressive turnaround time. On the other hand, that might have made for a good column.
Dear Ubisoft: If you’d like to head off my next inevitable 2,000 word bitch & moan column about how pointless and annoying Uplay is, then now would be a great time to drag the entire codebase into the recycle bin and patch it out of your existing games. I promise not to complain that you ruined an article.
 Who wears pajamas these days? When people who wear clothes to bed refer to “wearing pajamas”, they usually mean sweatpants and a t-shirt. As far as I can tell, the days of specialized bedclothes are just about over.
The Death of Half-Life
Valve still hasn't admitted it, but the Half-Life franchise is dead. So what made these games so popular anyway?
Artless in Alderaan
People were so worried about the boring gameplay of The Old Republic they overlooked just how boring and amateur the art is.
Games and the Fear of Death
Why killing you might be the least scary thing a game can do.
What is this silly word, why did some people get so irritated by it, and why did it fall out of use?
Why Google sucks, and what made me switch to crowdfunding for this site.