My plan was to do as many mailbag questions as possible, but then Paul asked about my programmingAnd he only did so because I put it in the topic list. and I spent half of this episode talking about coding, gamedev, and Blender.
Also, I should warn you that I was running on half-brainpower because I am once again giving up caffeine. I was a bit of a stumble-brain during the show. Please pretend you noticed so I don’t have to worry that I’m actually this stupid all the time.
Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
00:29 Paul’s 3D commission woes
08:45 Yes, Shamus is programming.
I’ve been dropping hints in the comments, but most people don’t read the comments so I should probably make this more official: I am programming. It’s a procgen shooter level, although there’s no shooting and nothing to shoot. So I guess it’s a walking simulator with no story?
Okay, it’s a tech demo.
This project requires quite a bit of Blender modeling, and I’m really enjoying my time with Blender. For contrast, check out this old post from the early days of this site. The program has come a long, long way.
I’m going to go back and write about this project pretty soon, and you’ll get to see what I’ve been up to and why it was 10x harder than I predictedWhich is actually really great! Most of my projects end up being 20x harder than estimated..
23:45 Mailbag: Eastshade Postmortem
Eastshade did an update without any details, so in the course of trying to find the release notes I stumbled on this postmortem that the principal developer wrote, it’s quite fascinating and I was delighted to see that they made their investment back and then some. Also they’re working on a new game: http://www.eastshade.com/postmortem-eastshade/
Also interesting is how super-tiny their team is for such a gorgeous game. I think like, 8-10 people were listed there?
28:53 Mailbag: Laptop Repair
I’m currently thinking about disassembling my otherwise functional notebook computer in order to find out why the shift keys have stopped working. Have you ever attempted physical repairs on a PC or other piece of consumer electronics? If so, what made you decide to make the attempt rather than buy a replacement or do without?
40:15 Different approaches to tech support
44:15 Mailbag: Mental Illness in games
On a recent episode, you were discussing the inherent uniqueness of video games, namely interactivity, and what story might benefit most from it.
This was in relation to Paul bringing up how Werner Herzog is only interested in projects that can only be told through the medium of film.
I think one of the best ways to utilize the interactive nature of games is through the portrayal of mental illnesses that often take away a persons agency.
Things such as Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Multiple Personality Disorder all can make doing simple everyday tasks incredibly difficult.
Imagine if at a certain point in a game, the player character became Clinically Depressed and you could no longer have him/her do things reliably such as eating, interacting with other NPC’s
or even repairing their equipement.
A character that became Suicidal would no longer let you use healing items and might attract monsters/enemies willingly, since they no longer care for their own well-being.
Some games played around with similiar concepts
Darkest Dungeon can make your party members become Paranoid/Selfish/Masochistic which inhibit some of their abilities, while Silent Hill 2 actually notices if you’re often low on health, despite having healing items
Have you ever played a game that uses mentall illness in a similar fasion, and if so what were they?
Thanks for reading and
may you always roll with advantage!
57:02 Mailbag: Time and Space in Games
Servus, Würfelwerfer (pronounciation guide: servoos wir-fell ware-fer)
Something I wondered about for a long time, but it resurfaced recently due to Microsoft Flight Simulation 2020: the perception of time is greatly altered in video games, at least for me personally. To elaborate: Playing the Cessna Flight school, you have to navigate two waypoints, the shortest taking about 5 minutes. Now, in real life, five minutes are over very quickly. My commute is 6 minutes by bike and that’s so short I don’t even bother with taking my headpphones out of my pocket, because I have to turn off any aural distraction in such short a time. In game though, those 5 Minutes felt eternal, despite me actually having fun.
Is that the reason many open world games are actually quite condensed in their size, yet still feel big? I had a similar occurance when Playing Skyrim in VR: while playing “pancake” (as in, on an ordinary screen), Skyrim feels like a huge place with impressive mountain ranges throned over by the throat of the world that looms over the land in the distance from Whiterun. In VR however, seeing everything “in scale”, it turns out the TotW is a couple of hundred meters high, strangely steep hill that starts right outside of the town walls of Whiterun.
I think especially the latter might have to do with being watched through a fish eyed field of view through a monitor, but why does time feel so different? Are those phenomena linked, or different?
Kind Regards from Austria (the mountany place in Europe, NOT the upside down place)
 And he only did so because I put it in the topic list.
 Which is actually really great! Most of my projects end up being 20x harder than estimated.
Grand Theft Railroad
Grand Theft Auto is a lousy, cheating jerk of a game.
Even allegedly smart people can make life-changing blunders that seem very, very obvious in retrospect.
Project Button Masher
I teach myself music composition by imitating the style of various videogame soundtracks. How did it turn out? Listen for yourself.
Who Broke the In-Game Economy?
Why are RPG economies so bad? Why are shopkeepers so mercenary, why are the prices so crazy, and why do you always end up a gazillionaire by the end of the game? Can't we just have a sensible balanced economy?
The Mistakes DOOM Didn't Make
How did this game avoid all the usual stupidity that ruins remakes of classic titles?