Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
00:00 Shamus is too busy!
Between the music class, some family difficulties, and some health issues, I’m really running out of hours. This is all temporary. I expect this is going to blow over in the next couple of weeks. Hopefully we don’t end up with another blank spot on the blog like last week.
03:44 Games where you can’t pick up enemy weapons / armor
Issac and I are making an article / video. In this video, I want to have an aside about how funny it is when a game won’t let you pick up weapons and armor from defeated foes. I’d like to have a visual to go along with this.
Here is the question I have for you: Can you think of a game where defeated foes are depicted with clearly visible items that you can’t pick up, even though they would be immediately useful to your character? Like, “Look! There’s a sword on the ground! It’s right next to this guy I just killed, but I’m still using this dagger.”
I know I’ve played games with this problem in the past, but I’ve been thinking about it for days and I still can’t recall any concrete examples.
05:27 Manifold Garden
13:27 Why talking about Hong Kong is bad for Shamus
Yeah, that’s ANOTHER reason this blog fell silent last week. After seeing too many pictures of violence and protests, I was kinda having a bit of a freak-out. I think I’m over it now, but we’re probably going to route around this topic for the next couple of weeks. I realize it’s important, but being it’s not worth being anxious, angry, and uncreative for a couple of days. I think the rest of the gaming press can pick up the slack just fine.
23:01 Mailbag: Gaming literacy
Dear Drs. The Diecast,
An interesting youtube video came across my feed recently (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ax7f3JZJHSw) and it reminded me of Shamus’ old video back from 2008 about game literacy and how to introduce people to video games and how to play them, highlighting Prince of Persia as a good example.
Over a decade later how do you (plural) feel about the current state of video games and game literacy, and the barriers to entry? Do you think we’ve gotten any more games that can teach game literacy for people who’ve never played them before?
Here is the video in question:
And here is the super-old, janky, and slightly cringe-worthy video Gabriel was referring to. Also, I’ve never revisited Prince of Persia 2008. It was pretty, but it was also sort of shallow and not terribly interesting.
31:13 Sky Islands Minecraft
This is my first time playing a “floating islands” style modpack. It really is a very different experience. For the record, I’m playing Sky Odyssey.
33:34 Mailbag: Choose-once difficulty
Why do so many games let you choose your difficulty at the start, but not allow you to change it partway through the game? It’s an obviously unfriendly design choice that keeps coming up and seems like it should be easy to fix. It feels like there has to be some technical restriction or UI reason for it, like how we keep getting two-gun-only FPSs so that console players don’t need a clunky weapon wheel to switch guns.
40:07 Mailbag: This Dumb Video Edit
I’m wondering how Shamus makes his “This Dumb Industry” videos. I remember talking about Adobe Premier years ago on Diecast. Is it still the best for the job?
Like I said on the show, Issac and I use CYBERLINK POWER DIRECTOR for editing. That name is a ridiculous mouthfull, so around here it gets shortened to “Cyberdoof”.
44:35 Mailbag: Development platform for small games?
Been an avid reader of the blog since… I don’t know, a few years at least. Love the long-form analysis and all the past articles about programming. Here’s my question that you probably never heard !, and a little background information after, if you think that’s relevant (let’s keep it short…) :
For a guy that has a little bit of time each week (long commute), eager to learn, good at picking up software rapidly, and an interest in light programming currently (lots of VBA, dipped my toes in Python, could see myself trying something more elaborate), what software/language/combination would you recommend to try to developp small-ish games, and eventually the relevant ressources to get started ?
FYI, I tried Unity which ticked a lot of boxes, on paper. I followed a paying online course but gave up after I tried to complete a basic tutorial where I was arranging objects and ran into a weird bug where the « Snap » tool wouldn’t work, tried to find the solution and all I could find after hours was a trail of people having the same problem since 2015 and no solution. Should I persevere ?
I also tried Defold and I’ve been able to complete a few tutorials, it’s pretty good and might be enough in terms of features (3D is cool but not a prerequisite for me).
I even thought about learning VB.Net because there are a few similarities with VBA (the horror ! the heresy !).
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Here is a 13 part series where I talk about programming games, programming languages, and programming problems.