Diecast #295: Haunted Router, Doom Eternal, Graveyard Keeper

By Shamus Posted Monday Mar 30, 2020

Filed under: Diecast 95 comments

These are strange times indeed. The news changes by the hour, it rarely agrees with itself, and everyone has a different story. We’re either getting to the end, or it’s only just begun.

I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m just keeping my head down and writing. Hope you’re all safe out there.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Link (YouTube)

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #295: Haunted Router, Doom Eternal, Graveyard Keeper”



Achilles and The Grognard: Acting!

By Bob Case Posted Saturday Mar 28, 2020

Filed under: Video Games 60 comments

The Grognard: The time has come to talk about tone.

Achilles: Is this going to be one of those discussions that ends up being about what words mean?

The Grognard: Yes. Tone is the way a game makes you feel. It comes from everything: visuals, gameplay, sound design, writing, and voice acting. It’s crucially important, yet also completely subjective. In short, the perfect topic for an argument.

It also comes from the ability to push goblins off of high ledges.
It also comes from the ability to push goblins off of high ledges.

Achilles: I don’t know about that. I only have one fairly short argument: the tone seems fine, and I don’t see anything obviously wrong with it. How can you tell, anyway, when we’ve still seen so little?

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Achilles and The Grognard: Acting!”



Rage 2 Part 10: Writing Matters

By Shamus Posted Thursday Mar 26, 2020

Filed under: Retrospectives 85 comments

I’ve spent the last nine entries explaining the plot of Rage 2 and how I’d have done it differently. We might not agree on what needs to be fixed, but I think we can at least agree, in a broad sense, that it wasn’t very good. I don’t think this was actually a surprise to anyone. Properties created by id software aren’t known for their stories.  Developer Avalanche has never been known for their storytelling prowess. And over the last decade publisher Bethesda Softworks has become infamous for making story-heavy games with atrocious and cringeworthy stories. When it comes to storytelling and Rage 2, the publisher doesn’t value it, the developer doesn’t know how to do it, and the fans aren’t expecting it. Frankly, it would have been a miracle if this story turned out to be any good.

So why did I write this series? Why did I waste time whining about a story that was never going to be worth experiencing? Why not just skip the cutscenes like everyone else and move on? Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Rage 2 Part 10: Writing Matters”



Bethesda’s Launcher is Everything You Expect

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Mar 24, 2020

Filed under: Rants 171 comments

It’s Wednesday March 18, 2020. Doom Eternal comes out in two days. I’ve watched a couple of reviews like this one, which gives me confidence that this game isn’t going to be another Bethesda-style shitshow. I guess I’ll preorder it.

I see on the Steam page that this game requires a Bethesda account. Ugh. I really hate this. You buy a game through Steam, but then then when Steam launches the game, it actually just turns around and launches another launcher that requires a different login. Microsoft did this with their infamous malware Games for Windows LIVE. Rockstar did it with their stupid Social Club. Ubisoft did it with Uplay.

I’ll say this about the Epic Store: At least they had the decency to make their own platform rather than attaching their system to Steam like a parasite.

I hate double-logins. HATE. Now TWO companies are in a suicide pact with “my” software, each of them eroding my sense of ownership and creating completely needless layers of inconvenience and risk. Now if anything happens to either company, either platform, or either account, I lose access to my very expensive video game. Maybe one of them goes out of business. Maybe, like Microsoft, they fail so hard that they decide to abandon the platform and leave the attached games in limbo. Maybe some future conflict, misunderstanding, controversy, or data breach will end with my account deleted, suspended, or stolen. It’s not likely, but that’s no reason to make it more likely. If I told you your risk of dying of cancer X was only 1 in 100,000, that would sound pretty safe, right? Does that mean that doubling the risk is fine with you?

I realize most people trust Steam these days, but Valve software and Bethesda Softworks are very different companies and there’s no reason to expect that Bethesda is going to behave like Valve just because they’re trying to run a similar service. Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Bethesda’s Launcher is Everything You Expect”



Diecast #294: DOOM Eternal, A Short Hike, Gorogoa, Gamestop

By Shamus Posted Monday Mar 23, 2020

Filed under: Diecast 108 comments

Once again, I tried to make a show that wasn’t going to mention The Plague. But right now all the news is about The Plague, and it’s impacting everything, so leaving it out means talking around it. That’s awkward, so instead we get this.

Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.

Show notes: Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #294: DOOM Eternal, A Short Hike, Gorogoa, Gamestop”