And so we begin the new year with a bit of positivity and a whole lot of mailbag questions. Also, we got at least four different emails asking me to comment on Walmart’s proposed virtual mall. Given my history, do I have anything new to say as this idea re-appears after vanishing for 20 years?
I don’t know. I might make a video about it.
Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
00:00 Phishing attacks getting worse, or better?
06:39 Jimmy Webb’s Deluxe Space Looky-Loo
This is the real time tracker I’ve been following since launch.
14:13 Google has Concerns about BitBurner
So Paul told me about BitBurner, but I forgot to ask what the “Google has concerns” thing was about.
22:57 Mailbag: Watching Instead of Playing
What are your thoughts on watching no commentary playthroughs of a video game to get its story, whether the watcher has played the game entirely, partially, or not at all?
All the best and a Happy New Year,
26:06 Mailbag: Plot Holes
When looking back on the history of this site, one could make the argument that the most prominent content is the analysis of plots, with a strong focus on identifying and questioning the existence of plot holes.
What plot holes do you find to be the most annoying? Those which are easily avoidable? Those which are most obvious? Or those which are less noticeable, but risk the complete breakage of immersion in the story once discovered, the kind that once seen can never be unseen?
32:35 Mailbag: Question for Paul
I hope you’re doing well! As I was watching a stealth section in the latest stream of Batman Arkham Origins with Chris and Shamus, I realized how integral vents are to a lot of action franchises. From the vents of Nakatomi Plaza in Die Hard, through the numerous vents found in Half-Life, all the way to the vents Batman crawls through while sneakily downing mooks. Indeed, the moment I see a vent in real life, the first thing I think about is how I can pry it open and sneak undetected through the whole building!
All that being said, though, I really want to ask Paul’s opinion as an engineer who’s actually worked in HVAC: how realistic are the vents we see in video games and action movies? E.g. what do you think of the ones in the Batman games (if you’ve seen them, that is)? Are vents really the Achilles’ Heel to every single security system in the world, as they seem to be portrayed in media?
Keep Being Awesome,
44:44 Mailbag: Respecs
How do you feel about respeccing, the process where RPGs let you reallocate all your ability points/perk choices/whatever else? It seems like all points on the spectrum of respec availability have drawbacks (respecs too liberal and you lose the satisfaction of making long-term decisions, too conservative and your build ends up unfixably suboptimal) so where do you prefer things fall?
50:07 Mailbag: Mess Effect Audiobook
I’ve been trying to get my friend to read Shamus’s retrospective on the Mass Effect series, but he refuses because he’s one of those audiobook over reading types. Alas, there doesn’t seem to be an audiobook alternative for him. So I was wondering if Shamus had any plans of ever doing one for his Mess Effect book? Or have someone else do it? And if so, if there is any estimation on when it might become available?
All the best,
There are two major schools of thought about how you should write software. Here's what they are and why people argue about it.
id Software Coding Style
When the source code for Doom 3 was released, we got a look at some of the style conventions used by the developers. Here I analyze this style and explain what it all means.
Skylines of the Future
Cities: Skylines is bound to have a sequel sooner or later. Where can this series go next, and what changes would I like to see?
Best. Plot Twist. Ever.
Few people remember BioWare's Jade Empire, but it had a unique setting and a really well-executed plot twist.
Stop Asking Me to Play Dark Souls!
An unhinged rant where I maybe slightly over-reacted to the water torture of Souls evangelism.