Diecast #240: AGDQ, Elite Dangerous, Road Redemption, Procgen Cities

By Shamus Posted Monday Jan 14, 2019

Filed under: Diecast 108 comments

In this latest episode of our innovative and groundbreaking podcast, two guys talk about some videogames. But unlike those other podcasts, we don’t waste time talking about popular games that are relevant to your experience. Instead we focus on obscure indies or older titles. You’re welcome.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #240: AGDQ, Elite Dangerous, Road Redemption, Procgen Cities”



The Other Kind of Life – Sunday

By Shamus Posted Friday Jan 11, 2019

Filed under: Projects 50 comments

In an effort to get people interested in my book, I thought I’d post the first section. Technically Amazon does this for you, but Amazon’s system is broken and goofy. It only shows the first seven pages if you’re trying to preview the paperback version. It gives you more if you’re looking at the kindle version, but then it cuts off at a dumb spot.

I know I promised we’d do a spoiler thread on the book, but apparently a lot of people are still working their way through it. So let’s save the spoilers for later. This week I’ll post the opening. Next week I’ll post a section from later in the book. Then we can do spoilers.

Here is the introduction: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “The Other Kind of Life – Sunday”



Dénouement 2018: The Losers

By Shamus Posted Thursday Jan 10, 2019

Filed under: Industry Events 93 comments

I didn’t play a lot of bad games this year, so my “worst of 2018” list wound up being pretty short. I suppose that’s yet another thing that makes this the year of good news. In fact, even this “worst of” list is pretty tame compared to years past.

I guess I should give some sort of honorable mention to Mass Effect: Andromeda. It didn’t come out this year, but I played it this year, and it easily qualifies as the most frustrating waste of potential I’ve seen in ages. Bioware spent five years and a fortune to make this half-baked unfocused mess of jank and cringe.

Here are my big disappointments, in no particular order:

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Dénouement 2018: The Losers”



Experienced Points: Building a Better Esport

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jan 9, 2019

Filed under: Column 163 comments

My column was on hiatus over the holidays, but now it’s back with a discussion of why esports generally make for lousy spectator sports. I say this as someone who has probably watched a hundred games of Starcraft 2 over the last month. I love watching these games, but only because I’ve clocked enough hours with the game to make sense of the gameplay. I don’t watch many other esports, but they all have more or less the same problem. Read the column if you want to hear why I think it doesn’t work and what a more approachable esport might look like.

So let’s talk about watching Starcraft 2 games… Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Experienced Points: Building a Better Esport”



Andromeda Part 12: The Bad Guise

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jan 8, 2019

Filed under: Mass Effect 163 comments

Once the Eos colony is founded, we’re off to the next planet. Along the way we run into the Kett flagship. Figuratively, but also nearly literally. We drop out of warp just a few meters short of them.

Imagine two big game hunters roaming around a vast wilderness, completely unaware of one another. Each of them sees a target, and each of them aims their weapon and fires it. By accident, their bullets collide in mid-air. That sounds unlikely, doesn’t it? And yet that’s orders of magnitude more likely than two interstellar spaceships ending up a hundred meters apart by random chance.

If this is a chance encounter, then that’s ridiculous. But if this isn’t – if the Kett somehow saw where we were going and headed us off – then why don’t they ever pull this trick again?

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Andromeda Part 12: The Bad Guise”


From The Archives:

The Best of 2017

My picks for what was important, awesome, or worth talking about in 2017.


Tenpenny Tower

Bethesda felt the need to jam a morality system into Fallout 3, and they blew it. Good and evil make no sense and the moral compass points sideways.


Bad and Wrong Music Lessons

A music lesson for people who know nothing about music, from someone who barely knows anything about music.


Dear Hollywood: Do a Mash Reboot

Since we're rebooting everything, MASH will probably come up eventually. Here are some casting suggestions.


Deus Ex and The Treachery of Labels

Deus Ex Mankind Divided was a clumsy, tone-deaf allegory that thought it was clever, and it managed to annoy people of all political stripes.


Batman: Arkham City

A look back at one of my favorite games. The gameplay was stellar, but the underlying story was clumsy and oddly constructed.


The Strange Evolution of OpenGL

Sometimes software is engineered. Sometimes it grows organically. And sometimes it's thrown together seemingly at random over two decades.


Quakecon Keynote 2013 Annotated

An interesting but technically dense talk about gaming technology. I translate it for the non-coders.


Object-Oriented Debate

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.