#23 Barbaric Salesmanship

By Shamus Posted Friday May 17, 2019

Filed under: DM of the Rings 30 comments


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Spider-Man Part 15: It’s Time to Get Negative

By Shamus Posted Thursday May 16, 2019

Filed under: Retrospectives 53 comments

After Peter and MJ have their fight, we pause for a breather and check up on how our various secondary plots are developing.

Octavius

These guys are so smart and they're such good friends. I can't wait to see what kinds of cool stuff they invent. I'll bet it'll have a huge impact on the city.
These guys are so smart and they're such good friends. I can't wait to see what kinds of cool stuff they invent. I'll bet it'll have a huge impact on the city.

We stop by Octavius Industries to see how the Otto plot is coming along. I realize I said this already, but I absolutely love this character. This entire story thread features solid writing, great dialog, and top-notch performances from the cast.  My only gripe is that it gets sidelined by the other, weaker plots.

We discover that Dr. Octavius has built some robot-arms that can be controlled directly through mental input. They’re super strong, they telescope out, and they’re scary as hell. Also, Peter reads an article that says these kinds of neural interfaces are dangerous and experimental. They could even cause… personality changes!

Ah well. I’m sure it’ll be fine. Doc Octavius seems pretty happy and I can’t imagine how any of this could go horribly wrong.

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Experienced Points: No Man’s Sky Was Never a Con

By Shamus Posted Wednesday May 15, 2019

Filed under: Column 52 comments

This week I try to convince people that the No Man’s Sky hype and subsequent backlash was the result of youth and inexperience rather than a calculated campaign of deception.

I actually felt sorry for Sean Murray. If you look at the things Murray claimed were going to be in the game, it seems like he was just doing the usual indie developer thing where you talk candidly about your ideas and your plans. In the small-scale indie space, the line between “it would be cool to add this” and “this is in the spec and we plan to add it” is really blurry. You’re in charge of of the spec, you’re in charge of the schedule, and you’re always free to change your mind and do something different if you get caught up chasing a different (and hopefully better) idea.  There’s an understanding that indies are often following their passions.

After the game came out, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said:

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Game of Thrones Season Eight: “The Bells”

By Bob Case Posted Monday May 13, 2019

Filed under: Game of Thrones 186 comments

This series analyzes the show, but sometimes references the books as well. If you read it, expect spoilers for both.

In the second-to-last episode of the series, we’ve reached what will almost certainly be the show’s final battle. Dany and her forces are preparing to attack King’s Landing, and the Lannister/Ironborn/Golden Company side are set up to defend. Arya and the Hound are on their way to kill Cersei and Gregor, respectively. Tyrion and Varys are worried about Dany’s increasing unhingedness. Cersei is smirking and drinking wine, as usual. Euron’s fleet is out in the bay.

Dany, meanwhile, has lost patience with Tyrion’s reasons not to attack the seat of her only remaining enemy, and wants to assault the city, civilians inside or no. Tyrion persuades her to call off if the city surrenders, which will be signaled by them ringing the sept bells. This was the point at which a feeling of horror started to grow in the pit of my stomach.

You see, I don’t deliberately seek out leaks. However, Game of Thrones isn’t just a show at this point. It’s an entire online ecosystem. Sometimes you pick them up by osmosis. Amongst the leak-adjacent fandom, I had noticed several references to something that had already been nicknamed “bellgate,” and insinuations that Dany hated bells. Because of this, I started bracing myself for something stupid to happen as soon as Tyrion mentioned bells being important. What’s more, he keeps mentioning it – no fewer than four times according to my notes.

The Golden Company, of course, deploys outside the walls. It's clear at this point that Westorosi conventional wisdom holds that you put your soldiers in front of fortifications instead of behind them.
The Golden Company, of course, deploys outside the walls. It's clear at this point that Westorosi conventional wisdom holds that you put your soldiers in front of fortifications instead of behind them.

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