This Week I Played… (February 2021)

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Feb 16, 2021

Filed under: TWIP 225 comments

Like I’ve said in the past, this series is more like “This fiscal quarter I played”, but we have to make due with the branding we have. Also, I use this series to give myself a snapshot of what people are playing. It helps give me a sense of perspective by showing just how diverse everyone’s playlists are.

Without this series, I’d have to do like the big sites and just assume that everyone is playing the most recent two or three AAA games to hit the shelves. But here we can see that indie and retro games are a major part of the hobby, even if they don’t show up in fancy trailers or on the front page of Steam.

With that in mind, here is what I’ve been up to…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “This Week I Played… (February 2021)”



Diecast #333: Ross Returns

By Shamus Posted Monday Feb 15, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 40 comments

Once again I’m talking to Ross Zevenhuizen, a friend, collaborator on Good Robot, and one of many developers for Watch Dogs Legion. He was last on the show in Diecast #322 where we talked about Watch Dogs. This time he’s back to talk about this other projects and game development in general.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #333: Ross Returns”



Cyberpunk 2077: What if the Heist Worked?

By Shamus Posted Thursday Feb 11, 2021

Filed under: Column 117 comments

The first act of Cyberpunk 2077 concerns the story of a heist gone wrong. While that’s bad for the characters, it’s good for us in the audience. The setbacks and twists in the heist are what kick off the rest of this excellent story. But what if everything had gone to plan? What would happen to the characters next?

I originally wanted to make this article about how CR Projekt RED bungled the development and release of Cyberpunk 2077. Like, people criticize the company for releasing the game “too early”, which makes it sound like the leadership just made one mistake. But the reality is far worse than that. I could spend a few thousand words cataloging all of the foolish mistakes that management made long before they decided to release the game.

But the truth is that I’m just not feeling it. Maybe in a future article, but I’ve been raging at corporate foolishness for a long time now and I’m in the mood to do something fun. And by “fun” I mean speculative fan-wank story analysis. 

I guess I should mention that we’re going to spoil the entire first half of the game here. I think that’s pretty obvious from the premise of the video but I just wanted to make that extra clear. 

Anyway. The heist… 

What if it Worked?

Link (YouTube)

Now, in terms of story structure this wouldn’t make sense because the heist is the first act of the story so of course it has to go wrong. But let’s forget about that and just see what would happen.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Cyberpunk 2077: What if the Heist Worked?”



Jedi Fallen Order Part 23: Can Openers

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Feb 9, 2021

Filed under: Retrospectives 151 comments

Cal and Cere flee the underwater Sith base. Darth Vader is hunting them like a psycho killer in an 80s slasher movie, and there’s no way they can hope to defeat him. During the chase, Cere steps in and suddenly taps into some top-tier power that stops Vader in his tracks.

Then Cal realizes that she’s using THE DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE.

“Cere! Listen to me! You still have a choice!”, he pleads.

Yeah Cere. You still have a choice to stop opposing the bad guy. What's your problem?
Yeah Cere. You still have a choice to stop opposing the bad guy. What's your problem?

During this series I’ve noticed that my interpretation of the Dark Side is very different from everyone else’s, for reasons that are deeply personal.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Jedi Fallen Order Part 23: Can Openers”



Diecast #332: Mailbag Speedrun

By Shamus Posted Monday Feb 8, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 85 comments

We tried to see how many mailbag questions we could do this week. As it turns out, the answer was “all of them”. There’s technically one question left, but it was a “What do you think of this video” type question, and I hadn’t watched the video.

Paul will be away for a few weeks. Maybe I’ll have guest hosts. Maybe I’ll do something else. I dunno. We’ll see.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #332: Mailbag Speedrun”



Reddit vs. Wall Street

By Shamus Posted Thursday Feb 4, 2021

Filed under: Column 134 comments

Someone asked me to explain this nonsense with GameStop and this Reddit vs. Some Hedge Fund stuff. There are a ton of explanations in the form of facecam YouTube videos, but if you’d rather read than watch a person talk for fifteen minutes then answers have been hard to come by.

The media is baffled and can’t seem to break it down for the non-experts. You can jump over to Reddit and try to follow the chaos, but the explanations are lacking in context, dense with technical jargon, and filled with in-jokes. There really isn’t a newbie-friendly way to get a handle on things. 

I absorbed some financial knowledge during my time serving on the front lines of the Dot-Com bubble. I am nowhere near an expert and there are still details of this story that are beyond me, but I have a rough grasp of the basics and I think I can break it down for the uninitiated. So that’s what I’m going to do. Here is a short, jargon-free overview of what this mess is.

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. I am not an expert. I’m a programmer who didn’t get rich in the Dot-com bubble.

I have no personal stake in this. I own no stocks, and if I did I’d have tissue paper hands”Paper hands” means you’re risk averse and will sell shares at the first hint of trouble. This is in contrast to “diamond hands”, which means you’ll hold a stock you believe in and ignore scary fluctuations that might make others sell.. I don’t have the composure or capital to participate in the market, but I really enjoy reading about it. I’m not a speculator, I’m a spectator.

Also, if any experts read this: Feel free to correct me where I’m wrong. I did quite a bit of research and tried my best to simplify things without bruising the truth, but this thing is fractally complex.

First off, we need explain what it means when people talk about “shorting” stock.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Reddit vs. Wall Street”



Dénouement 2020: The Best Stuff

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Feb 2, 2021

Filed under: Industry Events 145 comments

Ugh. I’m already tired of thinking about 2020. I’m trying to enjoy my 2021, so the last thing I want to do is revisit the tribulations of yesteryear. Let’s just get this over with.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Dénouement 2020: The Best Stuff”