Prey 2017 Part 8: Yesterday’s World of Tomorrow

By Shamus Posted Thursday Aug 26, 2021

Filed under: Retrospectives 177 comments

Morgan is still trying to reach Deep Storage so she can obtain her arming key so she can blow up the station. At some point during this ordeal, Morgan needs to visit the Crew Quarters. This is actually pretty dang far out of her way, and the reasons for it are a little convoluted. I’ll talk about them later, but first let’s talk about the amazing design of Talos-1.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Prey 2017 Part 8: Yesterday’s World of Tomorrow”



Ding 50!

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Aug 24, 2021

Filed under: Landmarks 74 comments

The running joke is that every year I make a birthday post about how I’m getting old and I’m going to be dead any minute now. I try to find some sort of humorous way to joke about death or aging and then maybe follow it up with a sarcastic remark about Half-Life 3. It’s a funny traditionFunny according to the standards set on this site, anyway. YMMV. but I’m just not feeling it this year. So let’s have a serious conversation about my health. 

Now, I generally dislike sharing too much information. I don’t mind telling people I have asthma, but I don’t want to list off my current medications and treatment history. That’s just weird. On the other hand, I’ve been pulling THIS bullshit for the last four months:

Shamus: Owie. I’m too sick to do my job.

The Internet: Oh? What’s wrong?

Shamus: I don’t want to talk about it.

That’s just annoying. If I don’t want to talk about it, then I shouldn’t bring it up. At the same time, I feel the need to explain myself when I fail my commitments. So here’s what’s going on…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Ding 50!”



Diecast #353: Remembering Blizzard

By Shamus Posted Monday Aug 23, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 125 comments

Here is an hour and seven minutes of two guys talking about stuff. You’re welcome.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #353: Remembering Blizzard”



Prey 2017 Part 7: Who Are Yu?

By Shamus Posted Thursday Aug 19, 2021

Filed under: Retrospectives 104 comments

Morgan Yu has a tough job. Her goal is to blow up the Talos-1 space station, and optionally find some way to escape the blast, and even more optionally find some way for everyone else to also escape.

To blow up the station, she needs her arming key. To get her arming key, she needs to reach Deep Storage. To reach Deep Storage, she needs to go on a half dozen detours through the malfunctioning, infested, haunted guts of the station.

While she’s working on that, let’s stop and talk about…

The Face of a First-Person Character

Understanding Comics, Page 31.
Understanding Comics, Page 31.

In his book Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud talks about “amplification through simplification”. The idea is that as you simplify a cartoon character down to the essential details, they become more generalized. As their details become so broad that they could represent anyone, they effectively come to represent everyone. When you strip away age, gender, body type, ethnicity, race, and that stupid haircut you really need to change, all we’re left with is the humanity of the character. And wouldn’t you know it, we have that in common! We’re more able to identify with this kind of simple design. We can see ourselves in them. As a face becomes more stylized, it gradually becomes a mask representing either people in general or ourselves in particular.

But the one thing it doesn’t do – indeed, the one thing comics can’t do – is get you to take the final step and put the mask on. At that point the transition is complete. You can no longer see the mask at all. The character becomes you, specifically. Only videogames can do this.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Prey 2017 Part 7: Who Are Yu?”



Diecast #352: Animation and Joint Pain

By Shamus Posted Monday Aug 16, 2021

Filed under: Diecast 76 comments

Heads up: I spend the first 7 minutes of the show talking about weird non-gaming, non-nerd personal stuff for some reason. This segment was originally longer, but I had Issac chop a bit of it out for fear of over-sharing.

Also, I had a funny story I’d intended to share on the show, but forgot to put in the show notes. Look for it at the end of this post. I’m honestly curious if I’m stupid, crazy, or if I was bamboozled.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #352: Animation and Joint Pain”



Prey 2017 Part 6: Meet the Monsters

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Aug 11, 2021

Filed under: Retrospectives 84 comments

So we’re working our way through Psychotronics. This poorly-lit maze is the oldest part of the station, and it’s also where the classified Typhon research takes place. So while we’re here and reading everyone’s mail, let’s take the time to talk about the various monster types we’ve run into so far…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Prey 2017 Part 6: Meet the Monsters”



Rick and Morty

By Shamus Posted Monday Aug 9, 2021

Filed under: Television 231 comments

Hey, remember a couple of years ago when the TV show Rick and Morty was the topic of the day? No? Weird. I remember half the recommendations on YouTube were thinkpieces talking about how the show was pure awfulness / pure brilliance / at peak cultural relevance / a sign of the fall of civilization / a dumb fad / a show for smart people / a show for assholes. Most of it went over my head because I’d never watched the show.

The show is still going, so I’m not sure why it’s getting so little attention now. (Or perhaps, why it got so much 2 years ago.)

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Rick and Morty”