Diecast #345: Everything is Out!

By Shamus Posted Monday May 31, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 77 comments

Check it out! Dynamo Dream is out! Mess Effect is out! Issac’s old computer is out. BioMutant is out! It’s Memorial Day in the US, which means school is out. Elliot Page is out. Gas prices are out[rageous]. This episode of the Diecast is out! My patience with hand-holdy games is out.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

Show notes:

00:00 Issac has a new PC

Here is his new processor:

  • CPU speed is “1600 GHz”. Is that a typo? Shouldn’t that be 1.6GHz?
  • Processor count is 2? So this is two processors in one? How does that work? Below it says “6 cores”. Does that mean each processor gets 3 cores, or what?
  • It says Frequency: 3.66Hz precision boost. WTF is a precision boost, and why is it measured in hertz?
  • The processor speed – 3.2GHz – is the last item listed. In the old days that was the first and only thing anyone cared about. Now it’s sort of a footnote to the thermal solution.

I’m not suggesting that this listing is wrong or bad. I’m just saying that I’m so far out of the loop that it’s all nonsense to me. This is why I’ve always hated shopping for hardware. It takes a long time to educate yourself on what the numbers mean and which ones are important. And even once you’ve done the homework, there’s always the anxiety that you’re making some newbie-level mistake and getting ripped off. This stuff ain’t cheap!

And then three years later when I need to upgrade again, I’ll find out all the numbers and specs have changed and I have to start over. The numbers don’t just go up over time. They get redefined, moved to a new scale, combined with other numbers, or are deprecated in favor of other numbers.

08:01 Dynamo Dream is out!

Link (YouTube)

14:26 Mess Effect is out!


25:20 BioMutant is Weird

Here is the Day[9] stream of BioMutant I discussed on the show.

42:48 Mailbag: No Singleplayer WoW

Dear 13Window and Paul,

“Game at the bottom” design where most of the real gameplay happens in your cooldown-based ability bar has been extremely popular since at least World of Warcraft, but it seems to be almost exclusive to the realm of MMOs. No one making a singleplayer RPG says to themselves “People really like World of Warcraft, so let’s use that as the basis for our combat engine.” Is there a whole cottage industry of singleplayer WoW clones that I haven’t found, or is that genre really nonexistent and if so, what does it tell us about game design that only MMOs use that style?


46:33 Mailbag: KOTOR Remake

Dear Diecast,

So apparently Aspyr is now remaking KotOR? Could be cool. I wish there were some screenshots or something to show the proposed style of the remake.

I realize this is about a month old at this point, but I didn’t see it until now.

Jennifer Snow

50:43 Mailbag: Favorite Adventure Game Moments

Dear Diecast,

Could you share some of your favorite adventure game moments?
Mine is the showdown with Death in King’s Quest VI. Please take the time to watch it online if you are unfamiliar. It is only a minute or two long It combines good writing, good voice-work, and beautiful art.

Wishing you all the best,

Here is an example of Gary Owens and his golden voice, which made Space Quest IV and Space Quest VI such a treat.

But the real magic was Secret of Monkey Island. Like I said on the show, that game was packed with brilliant ideas. If I had to list my Top 5 Adventure Game Moments, 4 of them would probably be from that one game.


From The Archives:

77 thoughts on “Diecast #345: Everything is Out!

  1. Moridin says:

    Don’t worry, I can assure you that the CPU listing you posted is indeed nonsensical. Look at https://www.amd.com/en/products/cpu/amd-ryzen-5-1600 for what the specs actually are.

    1. Philadelphus says:

      It says Frequency: 3.66Hz precision boost.

      There’s actually a G there: 3.6GHz (great example for why the SI standard officially has a space between value and unit!). Which makes slightly more sense, the base clock is 3.2 GHz but it can boost up to 3.6 GHz like a lot of CPUs (most? all?) can do. Though yes, presenting it this way is backwards, but maybe they’re counting on people seeing 3.6 and assuming that’s the base clock.

    2. Echo Tango says:

      It’s not total nonsense – it just appears to be poorly machine-translated with maybe some bad page-scraping or OCR thrown in. More than half of the numbers are within a character or two of the right answer. Unfortunately, clock speed, cache size, etc have a combined effect on computer speed, in ways that would be difficult to compare when shopping. More is usually better, but good luck knowing precisely how much…

      1. Moridin says:

        They’re only comparable when you’re looking at the same architecture, beyond that you need to look at benchmarks anyway (unless you have VERY in-depth knowledge of the different architectures).

  2. Lanthanide says:

    And then three years later when I need to upgrade again, I’ll find out all the numbers and specs have changed and I have to start over. The numbers don’t just go up over time. They get redefined, moved to a new scale, combined with other numbers, or are deprecated in favor of other numbers.

    Just use https://www.logicalincrements.com/ and decide how much you want to pay for your components.

    From there you can do further research on specific things if you want.

  3. Duoae says:

    Great news that Mess Effect is ready. I’ve ordered and now to wait :)

    Congrats on getting another publication under your belt!

  4. bobbert says:

    “Mortal, you fool! You have been banished to the footnote dimension.”

    Technology is weird…

  5. Joe says:

    The urge to show off some spiffy graphic or what have you is the game equivalent of worldbuilder’s disease in books. “Damnit, I spent years poring over this universe and figuring out the details, now you have to bloody read it!” Not that I’d ever fall prey to that, of course. Not me, never!

    As for Amazon’s reader being a dud, I just don’t understand. If you’re going to make something, why not make it good? Why not do what it should, instead of being tedious and frustrating? I feel the same way about software and website updates. “Now you’ve made it uglier and less functional than before. The complete opposite of how an update should work.” I don’t get it.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, plus there’s a lot of designers who value shiny effects over a clean, readable, usable UI.

      1. bobbert says:

        Yeah, you really put your finger on it. Them that judge the designs aren’t those that have to use them.

      2. Joe says:

        I never considered that. Now that I do, damn it’s annoying.

  6. Alarion says:

    Are there any news about the epub version of Mess Effect? I really want it for my eReader, but really don’t want to convert it. Image-heavy books always come out looking wonky.

  7. tmtvl says:

    Shamus, I’ve tried sending you an e-mail (not for the Diecast), but my e-mail client was repeatedly having issues getting it delivered, so I may have sent it like 10 times. Or I may have not sent it at all, in which case:

    There was a thread on Y Combinator about audio programming.

  8. Dreadjaws says:

    Yeah. As much as I like to ocassionally upgrade my PC, picking the parts is still entirely alien to me. I tend to just pick what I can afford and has bigger numbers than what I already have (except for graphics cards, because I know guiding yourself by numbers with them is a lost cause) using a website to check for compatibility, of course, because I sure as hell can’t on my own. In my experience, it’s very rare that I get to upgrade just one part without having to upgrade something else. The whole thing is quite maddening.

    Funnily enough, despite all this so far I haven’t had any accident of the “thing that won’t fit”, “thing that plainly won’t work” or “thing that starts smoking” variety. Well, I did purchase the wrong kind of RAM once, but that’s because I accidentally clicked the wrong link, as the one I actually intended to buy would have worked.

    Watching Caddicarus video on building this PC a few months ago I have to think either I’ve been incredibly lucky or he’s been the unluckiest person on Earth, because he experienced a plethora of problems that I never had to deal with. Granted, I never try to purchase anything close to the latest stuff (can’t possibly afford that), but still.

  9. Chris says:

    I noticed on the amazon page that shepard still has N7 on his armor, I thought you would switch it to (TM)? Not that I am complaining, but I thought maybe amazon didn’t update it.

    1. Rho says:

      My print copy has tm. I assume that Amazon page came from the original file.

  10. Chris says:

    What Paul described of having a queue of abilities did exist in some form. You could make macros that would just do abilities in order. For example have your guy immolate someone, unless they already are on fire, then use poison, but if they are poisoned dont do that either but shoot a shadowball. So you can just hammer 1 button and it will automatically cast the correct spell. Or you can program a bot and hope you dont get banned. I believe lineage 2 nowadays actually has some built in features similar to botting. Black desert has an autopathing script that can lead you to any point of the map you click. Black desert also lets botting happen as the game is very grindy and the economy breaks down if there arent bots around.

    1. Joe says:

      Oh, that reminded me of my other comment. Dungeon Siege 1 has the party members pretty much attack automatically, though you had to pull them back if they got into trouble. Pretty simplistic, but I enjoyed it. It got dragged a bit in reviews for that. They changed it in 2 so you had to manually attack with whichever one you were actually controlling. No idea what they did in 3. I didn’t play long enough to get a party member.

    2. tmtvl says:

      Speaking of macros, this reminds me of Mordor: The Depths of Dejenol. An RPG dungeon delver where you just set predefined commands for your characters to follow and outside of that you have no direct hand in combat. A bit like Wizardry (or Might & Magic? I haven’t played a lot of MM, so I can’t say for sure) meets Dominions.

      Mordor got a spiritual sequel in Demise: Rise of the Ku’tan, which works much the same way in case anyone wants to check it out.

      1. Veylon says:

        I can’t believe someone else still remembers this game! It seems like all the Windows 3.1 titles fell down the memory hole.

  11. Nixorbo says:

    Does the physical or digital version put more money in the Shamus family pocket?

    1. BlueHorus says:

      There was talk of a DRM-free vestion that you could buy direct from here…
      (also, that was going to happen with The Other Kind of Life?)

  12. Rariow says:

    There are actually a few singleplayer games that do “game at the bottom” hotbar-based combat. The most popular is probably the Dragon Age series, though they only play like that on low difficulty settings – once you crank it above Easy it’s more like a pause-centric RTS with ability cooldowns. There’s also the Xenoblade Chronicles series (or subseries as part of the greater Xeno series), especially the first game, which goes as far as having MMO-based mechanics like auto-attacking and putting heavy emphasis on aggro managment (despite every party member but you being AI controlled!). It really feels like a single-player MMO, but it makes combat engaging by having a very heavy focus on positioning and a “vision” system where monsters are allowed to do outrageously powerful attacks, but you get warned in advance with visions of the future so you have to scramble to prepare for it (whether by healing, buffing, debuffing, stunning, or finishing off the enemy). It’s not a system I super love, but it does manage to adapt MMO combat into something that works pretty well for a 100 hour single-player JRPG, which I find really interesting. As a sidenote, I do absolutely love the combat system in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, which does still fundamentally work on that same cooldown-centric MMO framework at its core, but it’s got so many layers upon layers of other systems plastered on top of it that it doesn’t feel like MMO combat in the slightest.

    1. Echo Tango says:

      Didn’t Mass Effect have a tonne of abilities all coming off of cooldown, or was that only if you played the psi-ops wizard?

      1. Rariow says:

        It does, but I’d hesitate to call it MMO-like. The main way you engage with combat in the Mass Effect games is by pointing your gun at stuff and clicking on it in standard cover-based-shooter ways. The cooldown-based stuff is something to layer on top of the combat to break up the monotony of it, not the main focus of it.

        1. Taellosse says:

          Well, that depends somewhat on which game in he series you’re playing, what class you are, and how you’ve chosen to level your abilities. Even in the 1st game, once you’ve earned a few levels and upgraded powers in the right way, it wasn’t hard to have a Shepard that could focus mostly on space-magic and keep the gunplay to a minimum.

    2. Syal says:

      Cosmic Star Heroine and Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass are both indie turn-based JRPGs with emphasis on ability cooldowns. Nice way to get you to not just spam your strongest attack every round.

    3. John says:

      Rising Thunder was an early access fighting game whose special moves had cooldown timers rather than complicated motion inputs. I’m not sure quite how they compared to MMO-style cooldown timers. I never got the chance to play Rising Thunder because by the time I got a computer capable of playing it the developers had been acquired by Riot, the League of Legends people. Also, I’ve never played an MMO, with or without cooldown timers.

  13. Lino says:

    I’ve been following BioMutant ever since its very first trailer. Since the game’s come out, I’ve intentionally avoided all of the coverage for it. I’m kind of disappointed, based on your impressions – I really expected more from the story.

    But in any case, I need to upgrade my PC first. Which is always an extremely infuriating task. I’ve been out of the loop for a very long time, and I get extremely annoyed whenever I attempt to research my purchase. Sometimes, I get the feeling that both AMD and Nvidia are deliberately naming and describing their products in a such way so it’s difficult to compare them to each other. After an afternoon of fruitless research, I just feel like yelling: “FUCK! GUYS!! I JUST WANT TO BUY A COMPUTER!!! I DON’T WANT TO START A NEW HOBBY!!!!!!!!”. Because seriously, that’s what you need to do in order to make even a semblance of an informed decision with this sort of stuff!

    I usually get a pre-built PC (I’m not a bad enough dude to build one on my own), and I just want to know: what’s the low-end, what’s the high-end, what’s the mid-range. Is the high mid-range (which I usually get) overpriced for what it gives you? And if so, is the middle mid-range good enough to last me for a few years?

    Are these questions too broad? Maybe. But I have absolutely no problem getting a straight answer for other types of goods. But for some reason, gaming PCs are in a league of their own…

    1. Moridin says:

      AMD and Nvidia have actually arrived to a very similar naming scheme (after several generations of doing stupid things on the side like Vega 56 and the GTX 1600-series). The first number denotes generation, the numbers after that denote the placement within the generation (9 being the flagship, 8 and 7* being high-end, 7* and 6 being mid-range and 5 and below being low-end) with a couple zeroes thrown in, and if there’s a suffix that means it’s a step up from the base model(well, assuming that there is a base model, at any rate). So 6900 is competing with the 3090, 6800 with the 3080, and so on (6000-series being the latest from AMD and 3000-series the latest from Nvidia). Beyond that… maybe just look at a few reviews? You don’t even have to read (or watch) them in their entirety, there’s usually a summary at the end.

      *whether 7 is mid-range or high-end depends on who you ask

      1. Lanthanide says:

        The other consideration is what resolution you’re playing at. If you’re just doing 1080P / 24″ then pretty much any mid-range card will let you play recent games at high or very high specs with good framerates.

        If you’re doing VR you’ll need to do more research and likely want a higher spec card, but my 1660 Super let me play Alyx on my Quest 2 at Medium quality with no performance issues, except for 1 single foggy corridor right towards the end of the game (before the last level) which had frame rate drops. And Medium quality on Alyx looks perfectly fine – I didn’t try High but it likely would have also performed well but not looked much different.

      2. Lino says:

        Thank you for the tips! That’s always been something I’ve been struggling to contextualize with the newer generations of video cards.

    2. John says:

      I’m afraid that Shamus’ reaction to Biomutant is fairly consistent with the reviews I’ve read.

  14. Echo Tango says:

    Re: formatting e-books

    My 8-year old Kobo reader has the ability to use custom fonts, margins, line-spacing, and still has page-numbers that are consistent if I flip back and forth in the book. Now, the whole book is loaded into memory at once, but that’s kind of the point – books are a small enough file, that they can be loaded all at once, even on the also-ran brand reader. The fact that the Kindle is struggling to read a book further cements in my mind that Amazon has a couple popular products, and a lot of stuff that’s been designed and engineered poorly. :|

    1. Kyle Haight says:

      As someone who had a hand in designing and engineering the Kindle software stack (although not the reader part, and not since 2014), I now feel bad.

      1. RFS-81 says:

        If it makes you feel better, I really like my 3rd gen Kindle Keyboard, and it’s still the reader I use most of the time.

        Not all the time since I’ve started to avoid Amazon and DRM, and sometimes I can only get an epub. (Shoutout to Baen Books for always giving you all the formats!)

        1. Kyle Haight says:

          That one was before my time. I worked on the Touch, multiple Paperwhite models, and the first Voyage.

          1. RFS-81 says:

            Well, it was worth a shot ;)

  15. Mako says:

    You know what? Shamus sounds 10 years younger in this recording. It’s like listening to him talk in a 2016 Diecast all of a sudden. And that makes me really happy. Take care, Shamus, hope you’re doing well!

  16. Frank says:

    When choosing a CPU, or GPU, etc. I usually look up the spec mark/pass mark scores of all the available choices and compare to price to try and find the best value. What really matters is performance on things like games, etc., which is what those scores reflect. The manufacturers can put whatever BS they want on their product specs and websites, but that won’t affect the spec scores.

  17. Milo says:

    I hope you didn’t pay much for that CPU. It is a first gen Ryzen, and is four generations old. IIRC, that was the first set of DDR4 AMD processors. Besides its age, first gen ryzen wasn’t geeat. It was markedly better than the FX CPUs, but not nearly as good as second and especially third and fourth gen ryzen.

    In short, it is next to worthless. There is a solid chance the seller is dumping old stock in the hopes of catching unaware people just looking for a “ryzen” processor.

    1. Moridin says:

      Actually the 1600AF (which is what Shamus appears to have gotten, given that it has Wraith Stealth and not Wraith Spire) is essentially a rebranded R5 2600 with slightly lower clocks. Not that there’s much difference between the two; Zen+ (the 2000-series) is the same as Zen, only on 12nm process and with minor tweaks to the cache. It’s still a fairly solid CPU if you want the multicore performance, just not for the $160 Amazon appears to be asking for it. Then again, other low-end AMD CPUs seem to be overpriced as well for the moment.

    2. pseudonym says:

      While a Ryzen 5 3600 is better, it will set you back more than 200$ for a 20% performance uplift. A ryzen 5 5600 is another 20% better, for 300 dollars or more. So if you got the ryzen 5 1600 for something at or under 160$ it is still decent value.

      Worthless? Like Moridin says, it is a new part. And it has 6 cores with simultaneous multithreading. That is quite an upgrade when doing video editing from any 2012 PC. I think the ryzen 5 1600 might be the cheapest CPU that enables decent multicore performance at a decent price.

  18. John says:

    My favorite adventure game moment is one from early in LucasArts’ Full Throttle, in which the solution to the puzzle “get the bartender to tell you what’s going on” is to grab the bartender by his big, tacky nose ring and smash his face in to the bar. Full Throttle is by no means innocent of the common adventure-game sin of “combine all the things with all the other things until something finally works” but it has some truly delightful moments in which the game remembers that the main character is a big, burly biker with a rather direct approach to problem-solving.

    Once upon a time, tolerance for pointless adventure game deaths was a signifier of True Gamer Virtue. People who wanted to play games that didn’t subject them to frequent random and unpredictable deaths and didn’t require them to keep twenty seven distinct save files (on floppy disk, no less) were obviously babies who wanted to play dumb baby games like Mavis Bacon Teaches Typing. I’m not saying that old-school adventure games were the Dark Souls of their day. For one thing, I don’t think that they were as polished as Dark Souls. But I do think that old school adventure gamers may have been the Dark Souls players of their day.

    1. Algeh says:

      As someone who was raised on King’s Quest by a mainframe engineer dad who played pretty much all all of the Sierra whatever-Quest games, it’s beyond just “rotating saves on the floppy” if you’re truly Doing Sierra Games the Grognard Way in the early to mid 80s. In addition to rotating saves where you used abbreviations of what you just did in the save name so you could tell them apart (we had a system of various one and two character abbreviations we used for assorted things), we also kept a physical screen-by-screen bubble map of the entire game, noting what items and events happened on each screen and the connections to each neighboring screen. That way, if you needed to replay the game from a point you didn’t have a conveinent save for, you could use your physical notes to get there more quickly. Assuming these still exist in a drawer at my dad’s house somewhere, I could probably quickly beat pretty much any text-parser-era Sierra game just using our paper notes. (This used to be our father and kid bonding activity when I was in early elementary school. As I developed basic literacy skills, I’d end up in charge of consulting the map.)

      This was a completely different attitude to how games should work than any modern non-indie game could have. I’m pretty sure high prices, lack of the ability to return games, the relative difficulty of actually getting to a store that even sold games, and a very different population of “who owned personal computers and could afford to buy games for them” created a gaming culture that we’ll never see again. These were people who spent their day jobs fixing bugs in mainframe systems, so their patience for creating documentation and their own backups in their “fun” activities was just going to be higher. (This is like how I found Lord of the Rings to be an exciting adventure story full of action at every turn when I read it when I was nine, because I’d just finished reading Little Women, which was just as slow-paced compared to most modern books but didn’t have a single orc battle.)

      1. Lino says:

        Yet another case of how the Internet ruined everything :D By the way, if you ever find those notes of yours, would you consider uploading them to an image hosting site (e.g. Imgur)? I really like this sort of stuff, and it’d be really cool to see the transition between your father making the bubble maps and you taking over…

        1. Shamus says:

          Agreed. Ancient notes like this would be amazing.

          I used to have a full map of the original Eye of the Beholder on graph paper. I know you can find that map online now, but I’d LOVE to see my 1989 version with erase marks and frustrated margin notes.

  19. Lasius says:

    Actually there is one way to die in the original Monkey Island. If you fail to get out of the water for 10 minutes (as long as Guybrush can hold his breath) you drown for real. Your command verbs are replaced by “Float”, “Bloat”, “Decompose”, “Bob”, “Stare” and “Order hint book” (none of which do anything) and you have to reload a previous save.

    1. Rene Jimenez says:

      came here to see if someone else had pointed it out. Man, Secret of Monkey Island is indeed so chock full of little jokes and easter eggs… wait, isn’t the “say goobye, Paul!” bit at the end of every episode actually from Monkey Island? ( did a bit of research… it is! )

      1. bobbert says:

        I am pretty sure the joke is originally from Laugh-In.
        “Say, Goodnight, Dick”
        “Goodnight, Dick”

        1. John says:

          It is in fact older than that. The originators, as far as I know, are George Burns and Gracie Allen, who had a radio show (and then a television show) that predated Laugh-In by decades. The radio show–at least the version I’m familiar with–was fairly standard sitcom stuff, but the television show was sort of brilliantly meta, especially considering that it aired in the 50s.

          1. Syal says:

            I bet we could trace that joke back to the origins of English if we wanted.

            1. John says:

              Possibly. Given the relative simplicity of the joke, I suspect that it is also periodically independently re-invented by people who have somehow managed not to hear it before. It’s important to remember, however, that Burns & Allen were on the air for literally decades. An entire generation grew up listening to them ending each show with “Say good night, Gracie.” Anyone doing the joke now is either referencing Burns & Allen or referencing someone else who was referencing Burns & Allen.

              1. Philadelphus says:

                I first heard it referenced in Veggie Tales (literally word-for-word), then Portal 2. Nice to know where it was probably coming from.

  20. Grimwear says:

    I’m over here running on a 10 year old laptop back from when I was moving across the country multiple times a year. Fear my GeForce 770… I really need to get a new comp, a desktop now but I really don’t want to go through the hassle of looking for parts. Honestly I’ll probably break down, go to my local memory express and just have them guide me through the process of what I need.

    But then I know I’m running an old unsupported version of Firefox so will probably lose all my bookmarks, will need to transfer over a bunch of my files and it’s such an ordeal I just keep putting it off. I really don’t want to deal with it…

    1. Fizban says:

      Transferring bookmarks is no problem, you just google “how to move bookmarks in firefox” for the appropriate files and folders to move over. Though since I expect you’re on the old firefox to keep your old plugins, I’m sure you’re aware that updating past the big break will get rid of all your plugins and most of the customization options. It also force fills all the little pictures next to your bookmarks, so if you relied on the fact that they remained “greyed out” until a re-visit for organization at a glance, well screw you. It’ll also lurch like a beached whale as it presumably contacts every single website you have bookmarked to pull all those little images, so if you don’t like the idea of everything you’ve ever bookmarked being pinged again, well screw you again.

      Transferring other files is more of a problem, particularly if you want all the original metadata like “date created” to stay the same. Windows’s file transfer program I used to get my stuff from vista to 7 kept all that, but they dropped support for that because I guess people just stopped needing to buy new computers eh? I suspect there might be other file browser programs that can do that if desired, but that’s waaaaaay more effort.

      1. bobbert says:

        Just be glad you don’t use IE:Edge. Sorting its bookmarks is a special kind of suffering.

  21. kikito says:

    What we need now is a Diecast where Shamus talks exclusively in Squirrell Nonsense Languaje and Paul talks back in English and maintains a coherent conversation without ever mentioning it.

  22. Grimwear says:

    Wait wait wait. Humans are DUMB and pollution is BAD?!?! Why has no one told me! We gotta do something about this. Also man that gives me a great idea about an apocalyptic movie involving monsters where humans are dying left and right but get this: the twist is that humans were the real monsters all along! It’s never been done and no one will expect it! Genius.

    1. Fizban says:

      The thing that amused/annoyed me watching that intro, is that it’s all pinned on nuclear waste and *physical garbage*, going into the ocean in particular. Boogeymen essentially, from decades ago. Some places probably have overflowing landfill problems, but that’s not the primary reason for illegal dumping. No mention of fossil fuels *whatsoever*, despite those being the literal immediate right the fuck now problem, screwing up oceans on a wider scale than the giant garbage “patch.”

      Did they deliberately ignore fossil fuels because they know some people get whiny if you threaten their precious coal and gas? Did these devs grow up under some weird rock where environmental awareness was frozen in like the 80s or earlier? Or are they that old and that’s why their furry kung-fu game is so bland, but also stuffed with a billion scaling numbers ’cause that’s what the “kids” like?

      1. bobbert says:

        I want to play the game with the 70s environmentalism. “Global Cooling is an established scientific fact, and we must take bold action to prevent the coming ice-age.”

        1. Paul Spooner says:

          We really need a Captain Planet videogame. No not that one! One that’s good. Like, a connect-three one or something. With waifus.

          1. bobbert says:

            The only thing I remember about Captain Planet was that the boy from the USA and the girl from the USSR were always flirting with each other.

            1. Taellosse says:

              Well, the boy from the US was always flirting with the girl from the USSR. She didn’t overtly reciprocate much, as I recall – she tended to find him annoying and douse him with water a lot.

  23. RFS-81 says:

    My favorite adventure game moment? Hmm, all the dialog in Discworld Noir. But if I have to narrow it down:

    “How did you get in?”
    “Through the door. It was only locked. I know all about doors.”
    “Good. Use this one to get out.”

    “What do you want from me, Remora?”
    “A swift death and a cheap funeral.”

    And the thing where you become a werewolf in the second part of the game. You can then see smells as colorful clouds and use them for your detective work.

    1. Gautsu says:

      I never even knew this was a thing. I enjoyed the first 2 games very much. Here’s hoping there’s a Let’s Play somewhere, since I doubt EU only disks from 1999 cheap

      1. RFS-81 says:

        I looked up a video to find out what the English dialogue was because I played it in German. I didn’t even know it was EU only. Anyway, don’t bother with the discs, they didn’t work as of Windows XP. Something about the copy protection software they used. Pirated versions work.

        It’s a big reason why I don’t like DRM. This game is very nostalgic for me, it actually was my introduction to Discworld.

  24. OldOak says:

    Whoa, Paul part of Ian Hubert’s “team”!

    I really enjoyed Ian’s previous Dynamo cinematography (although not the subject, to be honest — I’m way too far from what you’d call a cyberpunk dude). He’d really pushed the Blender’s pipeline to another level, and he also gave to the community so much, it’s really difficult to not see him as one of the greatest educators out there, besides being also a great creator.

    Double thumbs up!

    1. Paul Spooner says:

      Yeah, he’s quite a prolific agent in the Blender community. I initially got in touch with him back in the Project London days and ended up making a bunch of assets for the film.
      We’ve drifted apart over the years, and the last time I worked with him was on the Prospect short where I did a little modeling and he did the animation and compositing. He ended up being the lead CG guy on the feature length version, and it’s been great seeing his success since then.
      I’d like to help with his projects going forward, but he doesn’t really need me for anything these days. He can do it all himself!

  25. Dreadjaws says:

    By the way, Amazon has your book listed in the “Computer & Internet Game Strategy Guides” category. I hope people don’t buy it expecting a strategy guide for the trilogy and end up giving it a bad review upon finding it’s something different, because people do that crap all the time on Amazon: they buy the wrong product and then they leave a 1-star review because it’s not what they expected, and that’s when Amazon isn’t deliberately listing the product in the wrong category.

    1. Grimwear says:

      What I hate is that their search function “conveniently” fixes the search for you. Search Mess Effect and only Mass Effect stuff shows up. Searching Mess Effect Shamus Young works and of course “Mess Effect” works but I don’t think the majority of people use ” ” in their searching.

      1. Dreadjaws says:

        Google does that as well, but Amazon is really annoying about that. If I want to, say, look for Resident Evil action figures and I put “Resident Evil” in the search bar while picking the “Toys and Collectibles” option at the side it on its own decides to change it to “Videogames”, because Resident Evil is a videogame and what a fool I am for thinking it was a toy. Silly me, what would I do without the actual intelligence of Amazon’s search engine?

        So now because the website decided that I’m an idiot I have to go around and manually pick the “Toys” choice from the drop down menu and pray this time it doesn’t decide to change it back. Amazon’s search engine seriously pisses me off in a regular basis.

  26. trevalyan says:

    Congrats on releasing Mess Perfect!

    Now that you’ve done so, compare and contrast Kai Leng with Sandayu Oda from Cyberpunk 2077. Both have similar abilities, but Oda’s presence in Cyberpunk is not only completely appropriate, he can shishkebab unprepared PCs in a duel. Personality wise they couldn’t be more different, to the point you will almost certainly be tempted to spare Oda if you can.

  27. Lino says:

    I just watched Dynamo Dream. Wow! It strongly reminded me of reading Chung Kuo, but it was definitely a thing of its own. Even the cliffhanger didn’t bother me too much (and I’m someone who despises cliffhangers). I guess I’m just a sucker for a calm-paced, slow-burn sci-fi setting. It was a very nice contrast to all of today’s games and movies which are all full-throttle all the time. Somehow, this 20-minute piece was more immersive than all the high budget schlock I’ve watched of recent years.

    Thank you for sharing, Paul!

  28. RamblePak64 says:

    Way late to the party here so points have probably already been made, but I’ve heard a lot of people remark – sometimes in defense – that Biomutant’s team was small. I think the number I saw was 15 people? So it’s being marketed like a AAA despite not being AAA (odd… I feel like I’m experiencing deja vu…).

    In some cases, I get that defense, but it’s also what makes some of the decisions in the game absolutely bonkers to me. For example, “we can’t afford a massive voice cast for this game’s cut-scenes”. Okay, cool, I get ya. I don’t mind gibberish with subtitles as a way to work around it. Nintendo’s actually done pretty swell with that in a bunch of their games, as have EA with the Sims and all.

    “No, you don’t understand, we don’t have the money for a whole cast, so instead we’re going to pay just one guy to narrate everything!”

    It feels like this sort of problem-solving was taken to everything with this game, and it just… drives me bonkers. THQ Nordic is one of those publishers that I like in theory because they seem to be focused on putting out interesting “core gamer” ideas that other publishers aren’t interested in, but at the same time they’ve put out some serious jank (and, despite absolutely loving the Darksiders franchise, Darksiders: Warmastered Edition crashes constantly during the Panzer Dragoon homage/rip-off on Nintendo Switch, and Darksiders 3 still experiences bugs and crashes on… well, everything, despite being in far better state than when it shipped).

    So I was always cautious about Biomutant… though admittedly, anything that emphasizes a massive open world gets my caution these days. Long live the 6-12 hour game that can be replayed over and over!

  29. Asdasd says:

    As PC gamers, we like our options and we like our option choices to be respected. We tend to write angry sarcastic rants if they aren’t, or at least seek out other people on the internet who have so we can upvote their videos/blogposts/reddit threads. This creates a design problem: subtitles over the alien jibberish might be the most elegant solution, but what if the player has turned subtitles off?

    1. Chad+Miller says:

      It’s not unheard-of for “subtitles off” to really mean “subtitles off except in cases where literally everyone needs them.”

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