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Diecast #157: Overwatch, Doom, Vive

By Shamus
on Monday Jul 4, 2016
Filed under:


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Direct link to this episode.

Hosts: Josh, Rutskarn, Shamus, Campster, Mumbles.

Episode edited by Rachel.

Show notes:

01:00: Random digressions as we try to talk about Overwatch.

For example: Donut Shops, Granaries, X-Files, and funny voices.

07:28: Team Fortress 2

11:28: Overwatch

29:45: Doom

We talk about the game, plus the comic and the novel. For real. Also, here is the Mass Effect: Deception MS Paint comic I mentioned.

46:30: Vive

1:05:00: DONGS!

Comments (158)

  1. Joe says:

    I read Karpyshyn’s Mass Effect novel. The story was all right, but the prose was just leaden. I’d been reading a Song of Ice and Fire just before, so I really noticed the drop in quality. I also read Revan, and that was just all around terrible. He comes off as just really stupid. So I’m not going to read any more Karpyshyn books.

    • Jokerman says:

      Yeah…. i read his first 2 Mass Effect novels, first was ok… good enough, back when i really liked the series, it gave some nice background on Saren, and Anderson, the main female shows up in 3.

      second was less good, but it did introduce Cerberus and Tim before the game did, making there appearance a little less jarring in 2.

  2. Ninety-Three says:

    Do people build things in Minecraft that don’t make them happy?

    I mean, every time I attempt to teach myself redstone computing, it makes me pretty unhappy.

  3. SomeGuyInABikini says:

    FYI, a donger is what us Aussies call a relocatable house (aka granny flat) and when miners live on-site it’s usually where they stay, so as part of their employment contract they generally stipulate the need for a large, erect donger :D

  4. Ninety-Three says:

    [Blizzard’s] comics aren’t very good… I’m gonna get fuckin’ hated for this

    I have heard a dozen opinions on their comics, and 100% of them agree with Mumbles. Are there actually fans, or is Mumbles just assuming that?

    • SyrusRayne says:

      Mumbles is a woman on the internet with an opinion. It’s best to be safe.

      • Mokap says:

        Hey, the internet hates anyone with an opinion equally. Especially if that opinion is about shitty comics.

        • Kylroy says:

          Hates everyone, yes. Equally, no.

          • Wide And Nerdyâ„¢ says:

            You’re right but a study of Twitter shows its actually skewed the other way, contrary to media hype.

            • Ninety-Three says:

              Interesting, do you have a link to that study?

              • Wide And Nerdyâ„¢ says:


                May or may not be the one I’m thinking of. Pretty sure there have been a couple.

                • Rutskarn says:

                  The study you’re citing provides a good overview of data, but has several weaknesses that should be accounted for. The biggest one is that it’s analyzing publicly available Tweets. Not tweets fired from burner accounts and deleted–but ESPECIALLY not DMs or e-mails, wherein the creepiest and most actionable shit (photographs, death threats) crops up.

                  [name redacted*] wrote about her experiences with harassment a while ago–about comparing her normal inbox with those of her colleagues, despite not having particularly more aggressive or unpopular stances on issues. This is consistent with the point identified in the article you cited: “Female journalists and male politicians more likely to feel brunt of Twitter attacks.”

                  From the Pew harassment study a while back which broadly concurred with the study you’re citing:

                  “Young women, those 18-24, experience certain severe types of harassment at disproportionately high levels: 26% of these young women have been stalked online, and 25% were the target of online sexual harassment. In addition, they do not escape the heightened rates of physical threats and sustained harassment common to their male peers and young people in general.”

                  That’s one overlooked part of the Pew study. Another is that when respondents were asked to report whether certain spheres were “equally welcoming to both genders,” the starkest difference was the sphere of gaming. 44% of respondents felt the platform was “more welcoming toward men.” The language of the study implies both men and women were surveyed for this question. A more detailed breakdown would be nice, but I haven’t seen the data.

                  The final point is that while harassment is split relatively evenly between men and women, Pew found that sexually explicit harassment and threats of violence are much more commonly directed toward women. I don’t think that can be overlooked.

                  *I was originally going to share her name and link to the post, but I can’t find it now. Either it’s buried somewhere or she’s removed it, and either way, I’m going to play it safe on this one.

                  • Wide And Nerdyâ„¢ says:

                    I can’t respond to most of this. I’d need more context. (EDIT: I guess I did have more to say)

                    All I can say is that I think this chart presents the most meaningful data.

                    At least that chart is about whether or not an experience meets certain definitions or criteria.

                    The rest (that I had time to look at) was stuff like “how upsetting did you find this” or “how welcoming do you think such and such is to either gender.” All subjective interpretation.

                    Especially that last one.* How many people would have a meaningful context to answer that. More likely, the answers are so skewed for gaming because that drama we’ve all agreed to leave behind us was going on at the time and was in the news. I’d like to see the numbers five years out in either direction on that one. See if its still anywhere near as skewed.

                    I can buy that stalking is probably the worst. But as for the other categories, I’ve experienced all of them and my personal experience of which is worst differs from the assumptions Pew made. Again, its subjective.

                    And what do the numbers say? I know a woman who told me that she and pretty much all the girls she knew around her age (early 20’s) really enjoyed making guys obsess over them, even ones they had no real intention of dating them or after they’d dumped them. It made them feel powerful. So how much of the discrepancy in the stats is that behavior leading to unintended consequences?

                    Its anecdotal sure, but so is the story of your journalist friend.

                    Maybe you’re right though. I just couldn’t let it pass without comment. This gets said a lot and statements that get said a lot have a way of becoming truth in everyone’s heads. Any assumption about sex/race/religion etc, needs to be vetted and even after that, every effort must be made to put it in the right contexts. Denying the truth of your statements leads to a problem going untreated, but believing it, if untrue, leads to nasty assumptions about another group. So they’d better be true.

                    *Also a source of pet peeves about news coverage “75% of those polled said that Jane Smith probably cheated on her taxes. None of these people are auditors or accountants, and none of them know Jane personally of course. Nor has she released her financial statements and investigators disagree with the findings of this poll but–”

                    EDIT: I’m not trying to refute what you say or diminish or deny anyone’s experiences. And I know that some of the experiences I’ve had in various categories weren’t as severe as what others have experienced. I don’t want to impugn Rutskarn, thats what his fellow Diecasters are for. I’m expressing some frustration. Stories are anecdotal but data is often overly broad.

                    • Wide And Nerdy says:

                      PPS Even more annoying is the inexplicable rash of “Famous actor/actress says A) government agency will/won’t do X. B) Offers opinion on the Juno probe mission C)Chastizes engineering firm for design— D) Some other thing the actor/actress is no more informed about than the general public” I’ve seen recently.

                    • Mokap says:

                      There’s one thing that makes it very hard to quantify any real harassment study, and that’s when something actually becomes “harassment”. That study includes name-calling, and I, personally, wouldn’t call that harassment (depending on the name and how often it’s done, obviously, if it’s every day by the same person for no reason, then it is). There’ll always be people with thick and thin skins.

                    • Daemian Lucifer says:

                      Theres also the fact that harassment is different.For a guy,its usually “Ill bludgeon you with a bat” while for a girl that would be “Ill rape you with a bat”.So what one sees might not seem that bad to them simply because of wording.

  5. Artur CalDazar says:

    I super adore Overwatch, I can even play competitive with randoms and as long as nobody is intentionally sabotaging the team I don’t mind.
    The backstories/lore of Overwatch are all over the place and utterly overshadowed by the character designs, and frankly given Blizzard’s writing skills in recent decades that’s fine. Especially when considering the backstories are all 3 big overhauls from collage fiction, to project titan, to Overwatch.

    I’ve only heard of the Doom books only though Superbunnyhops video on game books, but it made them sound fantastic.

    • Grimwear says:

      The first book is not bad but as Chris said beyond that it goes…insane. I mean Chris talked about the mormons and the 14 year old hacker but it also turns out that humans are the only species in all of creation who can actually die. All the demons and everyone else “die” but they’re just trapped in their dead bodies so the demons prop their dead brethren in arenas and put on plays forever until like new bodies can be found for them and stuff. Super weird. Also because only humans die it turns out all of humanity became giant cowards too scared to do anything cause the entire race has existential dread over dying so Doom Guy has to yell at everyone and be all man up be mannish brawr we fight. So just…weird.

  6. Ninety-Three says:

    Re: Overwatch feeling calculated, they absolutely are. They’re also trying too hard. Mei and D.Va are the best examples: Mei is so aggressively cute that I find it offputting, she just feels pandering, and I can’t think anything nice about her without immediately feeling bad for falling for the blatant pandering Blizzard served up. D.Va’s backstory is that she’s a pro gamer, and every single line of dialog she does involves some kind of gamer lingo, so the end result of the writer trying too hard is that it feels like the character is trying too hard: D.Va comes across as a person who thinks it’s incredibly important that you know she’s a gamer (which I’m sure is unintentional). Combined with her pinup poses, body-paint catsuit (FABRIC DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY!) and constant winking at the camera, she gives off a bit of a “booth babe” vibe, which… well it’s been demonstrated that you can’t discuss Blizzard’s habitual sexualization of characters without starting a flamewar, so I shouldn’t go any further with this line of thought.

    Overwatch in general: The community is terrible. They’re not toxic like DOTA or anything, instead they’re silent. I can count on one hand the number of people who have bothered to use voice chat. Playing with randos is signing up for certain chaos, an uncoordinated mess of players who don’t seem to realize they’re playing a team shooter. I am not having fun with the game, and I feel like all that needs to change is for me to find people who actually talk to each other.

    Other than the awful community, I have an apparently uncommon problem with the game. Most of the guns don’t feel good. Specifically, almost all of them have some kind of major drawback, and I get that they’re all balanced because of it, but balancing by drawbacks feels bad to me. I don’t like the shotguns because they have so much spread they might as well be melee weapons. I don’t like the flamethrower-esque lasers because their DPS is awful, I don’t like the rifles and SMGs because I’m used to the kind of accuracy most games will give you on an ironsights rifle so these just feel like recoil-laden garbage, I don’t like Symmetra’s orb because a turtle could outrun it… As a result of this, there are only a few characters I can play because for eighteen out of twenty-one characters, the shooting just feels bad.

    My last problem is that the feedback is terrible. In a regular FPS, the answer to “Why did I die?” is usually “Because his reflexes and aim were better than yours, git gud”, but in Overwatch the characters are so diverse that the answer is probably “He was getting the wallhack buff from his teammate and then he activated his E power which it turns out is really really good against the characters you’re currently playing and also you’ve been subtly failing to take advantage of your character’s shift power…” and none of that is explained. The game just gives you a killcam and leaves you to figure out what you’re doing wrong, which means this feels like a low-feedback game like DOTA where you just have to suck for 500 hours until your many experiences begin to accrete into skill.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      D.Va's backstory is that she's a pro gamer, and every single line of dialog she does involves some kind of gamer lingo, so the end result of the writer trying too hard is that it feels like the character is trying too hard: D.Va comes across as a person who thinks it's incredibly important that you know she's a gamer (which I'm sure is unintentional).

      How else would you show that someone is a game in a shooter?If you have them act appropriately for the genre,then you will get just one other soldier.So you are left with either using silly props(a controller in a pocket),silly catchphrases or silly clothing.

      And honestly,are they really any worse than a talking monkey?A talking monkey in a half armor wearing regular glasses?I honestly dont get people talking about artistic choice in such a silly game as being “try hard” or “unrealistic”(avoiding other complaints for flamewar reasons).

      • Ninety-Three says:

        Putting aside the question of whether or not D.Va would still work if they just halved the number of gamer references, I think the problem is that “gamer” is being portrayed wrong. McCree dresses and talks exactly like a movie cowboy, and that’s ridiculous for many reasons, but with him, Blizzard hit their mark. His design document is just “Cowboy” in 72-point font, and they made him look and act exactly like the archetypical cowboy, mission accomplished.

        Meanwhile D.Va is supposed to be a gamer, but no gamer talks like that. Gamers sure as hell don’t pose, smile and wink like that. D.Va doesn’t act like an archetypical gamer unless perhaps you’re an out-of-touch adult whose only contact with gamer culture is failed attempts to understand those video game things your kid plays. I think this is why Gremlin D.Va is more popular than the canonical depiction: Gremlin D.Va is an archetype, she acts exactly the way you’d expect a gamer to act in this superhero-themed, cartoonish world.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          But real cowboys sure did not act or talk like movie cowboys.So why should a gamer character be like a real gamer instead of a gamer as seen in television?

          • Decius says:

            Because we, the audience, know what a real gamer is like but don’t know what a real cowboy is like.

            Blizzard could get away with showing bad lasso technique in a product marketed towards gamers that they couldn’t get away with in a product marketed at cowboys.

            • Daemian Lucifer says:

              No,we the audience dont know what a real gamer is like.Only some of the audience does.But not all gamers are interested in cons,press conferences,forums and comics about video games,….Not all overwatch players are hardcore gamers.Also,there are a bunch of overwatch players who know what real cowboys actually were like,and a bunch who know how real monkeys walk and act.Shouldnt their complaint be listened as well?Or are just the masses with certain numbers allowed to dictate which artistic choices are allowed?

              • Shamus says:

                “No,we the audience dont know what a real gamer is like.”

                If you’re being sarcastic, I can’t see it. Obviously everyone who plays the game is a person who plays games, and I’v NEVER known anyone to go around saying, “I’m not a real gamer.” Even if you want to make the argument that some people playing this game aren’t “real” gamers (have fun arguing for the rest of your life over where that line gets drawn) they probably see themselves as real gamers, and thus will be put off when it seems like the game is saying “This is you. This is how you act.”

                • Daemian Lucifer says:

                  I'v NEVER known anyone to go around saying, “I'm not a real gamer.”

                  I have.Technically,they never said that,but if asked if they identify as gamers,they would say no.My girlfriend played tf2,mk10 and pes with me a bunch of times,yet she is not a gamer.She never plays a game alone,nor very often.She cares nothing about new releases,or going ons in the industry.Heck,she doesnt even own any of those games,since she plays them on other peoples machines.

                  A colleague of mine plays starcraft 2 with me sometimes,and he too is not a gamer.He also doesnt care about new releases,or going ons in the industry,and the meager dozen games he owns(if that)he plays in a year less than you or I have played in a month.

                  I also have a cousin who owns a play station and uses it to play just 1 single game,either with his wife or with some of his friends.He and his wife are not gamers.

                  The mere act of playing a game once in a blue moon does not make you a gamer,just how playing football with your friends once a year does not make you a footballer,unclogging your sink doesnt make you a plumber,or singing under a shower does not make you a singer.Or how riding a bull as a dare that one time does not make you a cowboy.

                • Steve C says:

                  “That’s you. That’s how you talk.”


                • Cybron says:

                  I would argue that there is no overarching difference between a gamer and a ‘regular person’ besides their enjoyment of games. Therefore if you’re asking for a ‘realistic’ portrayal of a gamer you’re just going to get a regular person who maybe says “Man I really like Deus Ex” every once in a while. I submit that this would be a terrible way to design a character, and having a ludicrous stereotype is the only way you’re to get a character who’s design doc is “PRO GAMER” to work.

                  Now, they could have used a different stereotype, like the gremlin d.va that the fandom is fond of. But I’m pretty sure people would have complained about that too.

                  • Wide And Nerdyâ„¢ says:

                    I thought the Escapist had a functional definition a while back when this came up.

                    You wouldn’t call just anybody who eats food a foodie. You wouldn’t call just anyone who drives a car a gearhead.

                    We pretty much all play games of some sort. A gamer takes an unusual level of interest. Whether its in playing a game to the point of mastery or participating in a* gaming community the way we do, or even just having it as a primary hobby.

                    I like it because its a flexible definition and includes pretty much anybody who wants the label while still retaining meaning. If everybody is a gamer then nobody is a gamer.

                    *Note I say “a gaming community” not “the gaming community” you don’t have to identify with mainstream gamer culture to be a gamer.

                • krellen says:

                  I am not a gamer. I don’t identify as a gamer, because the identity that has been defined as “gamer” does not match me. I don’t actually care about most games and don’t feel connected to “gaming culture”.

                • Matt Downie says:

                  Gamer identity is one of those things that has somehow become political – especially for people who went to one of those schools where there was a jock/nerd division and they got bullied for being into video games instead of sports. For them, gamers are effectively a persecuted minority and anyone who criticizes gamers is a threat to their way of life. But most people don’t think of it that way, so you’ll get newspapers printing headlines like ‘Gamers Persecute Women’ without realizing that to some people that reads like hate-speech.

                  I try to avoid using the word ‘gamer’ now.

        • theNater says:

          “Meanwhile D.Va is supposed to be a gamer, but no gamer talks like that. Gamers sure as hell don't pose, smile and wink like that. D.Va doesn't act like an archetypical gamer…”

          You’ve dropped a key word from D. Va’s description; she’s a pro gamer. As in, people watch her play in order to be entertained. She’s as much rock star as video game player; the big clue is that she’s literally named “diva”.

      • JakeyKakey says:

        Actually I would say yeah, they’re worse than a talking monkey – at least Six Million Dollar Harambe actually has character.

        Symmetra, Mercy, Zarya, Pharah and Widow are fine, but Tracer/Mei/DVA lean a bit too hard towards fanservice and, let’s not beat around the bush here, general waifu-ness.

        It probably doesn’t help all three are generally an annoying pain in the ass to play against, but I also feel like they really stand out among what is supposed to be a group of battle hardened killers. At least TF2 never pretends it’s characters aren’t all a different shade of violent psychopath.

        D’VA is apparently this nineteen year old Korean supermodel pro gamer rockstar and the government has decided to build mechs that need pro gamer reflexes to operate and now she’s still treating it as a game and livestreaming her combat operations and has a massive cult following worldwide and all of her lines are ‘I PLAY TO WIN’, ‘NERF THIS’, ‘IT’S GAME OVER FOR YOU’ level crap references and seriously what the hell is all this nerd wish fulfillment bullshit, this is such a smug obnoxious character. Gimme a brilliant inventor/tinkerer Lady Torbjorn kind of person and the character would be so much better for it. Dorito’s Pope DVA works better if only because it implies she has a sense of self awareness.

        Tracer seems to have been designed and voiced by an American person* who’s never been exposed to any part of modern Britain and consequently she sounds like a lovechild of an 1930’s radio newscaster and a Victorian chimneysweep, as raised by a coked up Mary Poppins. Scout’s written to be as annoying as it gets, and Tracer’s more of the same except we’re actually supposed to find it endearing.

        Mei looks and acts like a weird awkward friend you drag away from her Tumblr fanfiction, because some social interaction will do her some good. Except she then just keeps dropping those bullshit walls and turning into an icicle so you can’t effectively 1v1 her without getting very frustrated and her bullshit snowflake blower freezes you in place for a billion years while she takes ten minutes to line up a humiliating icicle headshot that will kill you in one hit. God I despise Mei.

        • Ninety-Three says:

          Regarding the violent psychopath problem, Blizzard are aware of it.

          Okay, well going back to Soldier: 76 ““ in that short there's a lot of violence… He's the most obvious traditional shooter character in there so I wanted to talk about the tension of having a character like that but needing to make the short fit the cartoony, upbeat side of the universe? Are Soldier: 76 or similar characters a difficult thing to work with in that environment?

          I would say in general that our perspective on the violence is that it's not ““ we don't want to really have the story be all about that. We want the story to more be more about the conflict and we don't want to dwell too much on it.

          They’re actively ignoring the problem.

          As for Gremlin D.Va, I prefer it not just because it implies some self awareness, but because it’s less cringe-inducingly fanservicey than putting a supermodel in a vacuum-sealed catsuit (DOES NO ONE AT BLIZZARD UNDERSTAND HOW FABRIC WORKS!?) and insisting she’s a gamer.

          Finally, Tracer is voiced by Cara Theobold, born and raised in England.

          • JakeyKakey says:

            I’m aware the VA is from Yorkshire, but that doesn’t change the fact she talks in an over the top, completely made up accent that doesn’t match anywhere in UK. :P

          • Artur CalDazar says:

            “Finally, Tracer is voiced by Cara Theobold, born and raised in England.”
            Interestingly I have heard from an internet acquaintance that Widowmaker is voice acted by a french person, but their lines are not in correct french, due to strange and ill fitting mixture of formal and informal pronouns.

          • Redingold says:

            Born and raised in Yorkshire. Nowhere near London, and her Cockney accent is terrible.

      • Hermocrates says:

        D.Va didn’t need better dialogue design, she just needs better dialogue, period. I know it’s a Blizzard game so it has to have a slightly PG-esque feel, but surely having lines like, say, “Get rekt, scrub” rather than “Winky-face” would go miles to make her come off as less try-hard. All they had to do was source from real internet trashtalk and, uh, clean it up a bit (a lot).

        Don’t get me wrong, she’s one of my favourites, but if it weren’t for the game actually giving you useful information through character voices, I’d have switched over to Japanese or Korean vocals long ago: they actually sound like real netizens.

        • Mephane says:

          While I can just ignore some of the more obnoxious* lines D.Va says – just imagine if instead she said things like

          git gud

          all the time. Now that would probably get on my nerves really quick.

          *I like the “Nerf this!” of her ult, just from the way she says it sounds much more genuine that most of her dialog (monolog?).

    • Avatar says:

      Isn’t her design just a massive shout-out to the old Shirow stuff? Tight bodysuit, hunched-over mech with exposed arm waldoes…

  7. ehlijen says:

    I gotta ask now, what are Rutskarn’s thoughts on Dune, as a McGaffium based story?

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      I find dune to be a rough reading.The style is kind of dry.

    • Ayegill says:

      He only mentioned minerals – clearly, spices are a-ok.

    • ehlijen says:

      To be more clear, I’m asking out curiosity. I’m a hobby writer and have nothing but respect and unprofessional jealousy for Rutskarn’s writing chops, especially after seeing him smash through Nanowrimo.

      I liked dune, but on the surface it sounds like it would fall into his category not so good stories. If so, where does it fail, if not, how does it avoid that category?

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        Oooh, I’d actually love to hear what Rutskarn has to say about this… maybe even in some kind of longer form?

      • Rutskarn says:

        Honestly, when I say “I don’t care about any story based around a random new magic metal or whatever, ” that’s because it feels cold and distant and inaccessible to me. I’m sick of learning about this new magic metal or rock or whatever that drives all of the action of the story without feeling like it actually AFFECTS it.

        Even when it’s the magic metal that powers the superheroes or mechas or whatever, I still don’t care. I’d buy all of that stuff WITHOUT this new metal being introduced, so what’s the point of it?

        This is all generalizations, and equally personal, but the point is it usually feels like something to satisfy the author more than the reader.

        I liked Dune because it’s about characters, and I will say the spice was more interesting than most unobtanium MacGuffins, but the spice didn’t exactly sell me either.

        • Poncho says:

          I haven’t read Dune in a long time, but I remember Spice being pretty integral to the setting and plot, regardless of character motivations.

          Personally I’d recommend the Mistborn series as a sort of an evolution of that concept done slightly better. Not everyone is a fan of Sanderson but I like him as a mechanics-first storyteller (he focuses on craft and conventions, there aren’t many surprises outside of the plot, but it’s a fun ride conveyed well).

        • Wide And Nerdyâ„¢ says:

          What about a story where the metal is just better than normal metal and as such there’s all kinds of disruption in the economy as people who were invested in models based around old materials suddenly find the bottom dropping out from under them.

          Maybe the scientist who discovered the metal goes through an arc of being excited about their discovery, then enjoying the accolades, then wanting to get back in the trenches but stuck at lectures and parties making connections for their foundation (quid pro quo after all), then experiencing growing dread as it becomes clear that her discovery is bringing about economic upheaval and possible war, even as engineers develop exciting new technologies from the metal. A thousand possibilities good and bad she couldn’t have imagined, all born from her pure desire for discovery. Which leaves her apprehensive about returning to her work.

          Is that more the sort of thing you’d like?

          P.S. The cliche is to have the scientist withdraw from the spotlight and go do some humanitarian work. Personally, I’d have that happen in the middle of the story and then have her come back.

    • Sunshine says:

      Isn’t there a lot more going on in Dune than “We need to secure the stuff!”

      • Sleeping Dragon says:

        That would be my personal answer to ehlijen’s question. While Spice is definitely a substance with both plot driven and plot driving qualities it is also very deeply integrated into the presented world and affects multiple aspects of it while at the same time the passions and motivations driving many of the characters are independent of Spice itself.

      • ehlijen says:

        Yes, though the book itself tries to make itself sound like the spice is everything.

        But I’m not really sure what Rutskarn means in way of stories that are all about a mineral if Dune doesn’t count?

        Avatar (blue people) had unobtainmium drive the plot in theory, but it barely featured. The story was about the characters, such as they were.
        Dragon Age had red lyrium, but it was barely about that. It was just a magical contrivance dispenser serving the story about…something? I’m still not sure what, but red lyrium was at best the b plot.

        Is he talking about stories like Angelmass? That was almost entirely about particles of solidified Pure Good (and as a story didn’t really work).

  8. Tizzy says:

    Surely, Mumbles-Joker’s first move would be to change the bat signal to a dong signal, no?

  9. Tizzy says:

    When a story begins with “my wife walked in on me while I was using VR”, you know it cannot go anywhere nice. Well, at least, I trust no spiders were involved this time…

  10. Joe Informatico says:

    29:52 “Any movie that could waste Dwayne Johnson and Karl Urban and Rosamund Pike in one stroke is in my view, not worth it.”


  11. Daemian Lucifer says:

    – Her hitler?
    – Ja?Was is loss?Ich habe keine zeit hier rum zu stehen.
    – Ja,ich verstehe.
    – Well?Did you find him?
    – Hitler…is out of the vey.
    – Congratulations!With hitler removed…
    – Time vill tell.Sooner or later,time vill tell.

    And thats from memory.It was a great scene.Also,stalin choking his advisor.Man,they shouldve made a movie about those games,not tetris.

  12. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Mumbles,is the boner comic the first batman thing you ever read?

  13. Felblood says:

    Talking about how everyone hates their hometown, reminds me of how Bomb New Jersey always makes me think of my home town, even though it’s in rural Idaho.

  14. Nimas says:

    With regards to everything happening because of a previous war may I please make some counter examples? Start Wars. Lord of the Rings. Mass Effect.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      Lord of the rings technically does happen because of the previous war.Whats described in the book is preventing another such war.

      Mass effect kind of did have the preceding war.And honestly,I think the terran-turian war,or even better the rachni war,wouldve played much better than what we got in me2 and me3.

      But star wars is a great example,because they had the interesting thing after the war,and then when they did the war later it was super awful.

    • Shamus says:

      I wasn’t saying “having a war in the past was bad”. What I was trying to get at (but didn’t because it’s a live conversation and some thoughts take time to distill) was the idea of a setting where everything was played out. The story had already happened. It could be a war, or some cataclysm, a plague, or whatever. “Something big happened and now the world is in a fixed state”.

      Now, that seems appropriate for a game with a fixed conflict. But the thing is, if that’s all you want to do then you don’t need a STORY, you just need a premise. I don’t know if Overwatch does this, but I was thinking of games in the past where we were given multiple paragraphs of setup that made it sound like we werre inhabiting a world where all of the interesting stuff had already happened.

      Or to put it another way: The backstory opens and then closes a bunch of character / story arcs, but doesn’t have any arcs in the present.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        I don’t know if Overwatch does this

        It doesn’t, Overwatch does something worse. As you discussed on the podcast, Overwatch has rich, boring lore. The actual game of Overwatch, the stuff players play, is non-canon. Blizzard has said as much. According to the lore, Widowmaker is one of the villains, but the gameplay has her teaming up with the heroic characters of Overwatch, to fight against other heroes, for no apparent reason. Heck, the game is called Overwatch, but according to the lore, the organization named Overwatch was disbanded in the past, and not all the characters we now play were even in Overwatch.

        So it’s true that we don’t have any arcs in the present, but it’s more accurate to say that we don’t even have a present. Overwatch is weird.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Ahh,blizzard,how much do they love their silly writing.They have been doing such silly shit practically from the start.Starcraft is their most coherent universe,and even that went batshit insane with the sequel.And the lore they wrote for warcraft,dear god was that one full of weird shit even before world of warcraft.It does make me wonder if they hire their staff by first asking them to write a 10 page story.

        • JakeyKakey says:

          I don’t understand why they’re trying so hard, other than out some misplaced sense of saltiness over all the Titan assets going to waste. TF2 characters weren’t and to my knowledge still aren’t as developed as this. And everyone knows 90% of the fun is coming up with stupid nicknames for the characters, anyway.

          • Ninety-Three says:

            It feels very much like the game design part of Blizzard built a MOBA-ish team shooter, then someone from the creative team snuck into the meeting and said “And I’ll write detailed backstories for the characters! I’m helping!”

            That sounds overly snarky, but seriously, look at this interview quote from one of the game’s main writers:

            With the example of some of the ones who are more complicated like Genji, maybe selfishly we just had a lot of story ideas and stuff we wanted people to know about him and so it ended up being a little bit longer than the other ones.

            It sounds like the game has lore not because Blizzard management decided it should, but because the writers self-indulgently enjoy writing Overwatch’s particular flavour of banal, rich, boring lore.

            • Kylroy says:

              Or more likely, all these characters and the entire world of Overwatch were originally designed for an MMO (the now-cancelled Project Titan), and they more or less had it lying around once they salvaged Titan’s assets to create Overwatch.

        • theNater says:

          You haven’t heard? Winston is getting the gang back together.

          There is a story, it’s just fodder for the game rather than the game itself. The shorts at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAYFVhxsaqDuOh4Ic5mRu5CiZVKCMVv66 are all set “now” in the Overwatch universe, not as part of the backstory.

      • ehlijen says:

        For same game, having only a setting might actually be preferable. If the actual gameplay is stuck in the present forever, such as in multiplayer games where the same maps and missions are played over and over, it’s going to be hard to reconcile a story with that repetition.

        As an example, I offer the story of warhammer 40k: almost everything in the setting is defined by the great heresy that occurred 10,000 years ago, and right now the galaxy is permanently stuck 5 minutes to midnight. Any attempt to progress the story would result in players of at least one of the factions being told: ‘you lost, prepare to possibly not be in the next edition of the game’, and the temporal stasis that results in actually fits with the bleak gothic themes the game likes to overuse.
        As a backdrop for a silly wargame, it’s great. As setting for a story, it’s unengaging unless the scope of the story is reduced such that most of the setting is barely even part of it (some of the best novels follow specific soldiers through arcs that don’t touch on most of the setting foundation and are frankly somewhat generic scifi war stories).

        Epic scale, no drastic change of the setting, good story: Pick 2, at most.

      • Bubble181 says:

        Isn’t that also the concept behind, say, Fallout? The war happened, this is what remains :P

  15. Daemian Lucifer says:

    The lawnmower man accurately predicted vr:
    “Falling,floating and flying?So whats next?Fucking?”

    • Echo Tango says:

      By coincidence, a couple of years before the first Oculus Rift prototype, I actually read a design doc (or maybe patent application?) for an electronically-controlled prosthetic replica of human genitals. (The idea being that it would add another layer of media, in addition to the audio/video of any given recording.) It was tech being researched by a pornography company. So, “yes” that’s what’s next… ^^;

      • Merlin says:

        Teledildonics is the google term you want for that, I think. There’s a pretty major patent troll putting that tech on lockdown though; he just put a college buddy of mine out of business earlier this year, and I think there were 5 other startups named in the suit as well that have probably suffered the same fate.

  16. Christopher says:

    Overwatch designs sure hit people differently, huh? They strike me as very japanese designs, or Capcom/Platinum games designs specifically. The whole china/Mad Max/Cyborg-aestethic is identical to the one in Anarchy Reigns, with several characters being very similar. In particular, Reinhardt is Big Bull, Roadhog is Oinkie, Junkrat is Durga and Genji is Zero. The different ethnicities/nations represented(and the amount of ugly men compared to cute girls) remind me of Street Fighter. All of the designs are really appealing, and if there’s any game that’s gonna get me into playing a genre I’ve never tried before, it’s probably gonna be the one that doesn’t go a day without some new fanart from every artist I follow on instagram.

    Having said that, the fan community comments don’t make much sense to me. Maybe TF2 is just this magical thing where canon and fanon aligned, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fan community that’s in tune with the main thing. It’s always headcanons and shipping and memes, and the few times I’ve seen that stuff referenced in-game afterwards it’s annoying. I’m not surprised fandom-overwatch is nothing like overwatch proper, at least in the limited scope of communities on tumblr, reddit or instagram fanart. I’m sure that in the grand scope of all of its players, the people that care about story at all just go along with what Blizzard presents.

    • Ninety-Three says:

      They strike me as very japanese designs, or Capcom/Platinum games designs specifically.

      Their creative team credits superheroes as the main design inspiration/theme, and I think it comes across in the diverse, archetype-driven, bright and colourful character designs.

  17. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Mumbles might appreciate this. What I’ve wanted from an Oculus experience is a Metron style chair. I guess it would play similarly to Chris’s hover junker game.

  18. Dragmire says:

    Isn’t Fallout a setting that is a direct result of a big war in the past?

    I suppose that it doesn’t dwell too much on the war as a thing that the characters remember.

    • Sunshine says:

      The war in Fallout is like the death in a country house murder mystery: a terrible event, but we’re not going to go it too deep – that someone’s life has been snuffed out, the effect of that on their loved ones, etc. – because that’s not the point of the story, which is the detective cleverly unravelling the mystery and outing the murderer.

      So the world being wiped out by nuclear apocalypse and billions of deaths is not the point. The point is a weird world of the setting.

  19. Ninety-Three says:

    While we’re talking about wars that happened in the past, let me take another opportunity to criticize everyone’s beloved Witcher 3. It’s sort of an ongoing war, but the first area in the game is literally an old battlefield, where the local fighting has passed, new rulers have been installed, etc.

    Witcher 3 was particularly bad about its war, because the game makes no attempt to explain anything (I guess it expected you to read the books and/or play Witcher 2), and then it asks you to pick sides in the war, still without explaining anything. The game wanted me to decide whether or not I was helping the Nilfgaardians before I knew so much as whether or not they were the aggressors, let alone what they wanted.

    To be… fair? to The Witcher, it wasn’t so much relying on war tropes as it was just clearly not designed for people who didn’t know whatever backstory they were supposed to. There’s a point early on where you have a conversation where someone asks you a bunch of questions to the effect of “Did you kill Bob? And what did you do at the Battle of Place? And at the end of it all, did the Bleep Blorp Empire fall?” and there is no context given, you’re just expected to recognize all these things and forced to give yes/no answers to questions you don’t understand.

    • Cinebeast says:

      I mean, you kind of answered your own criticism there. It’s the third game in a trilogy.

      And even so, I think many first-time players slipped into the swing of things easily enough. Near the start of the third game there’s a scene in a tavern where some peasants get upset about a Nilfgaardian shield being raised in place of a Temerian one.

      My mom hadn’t played the first two games, but when she saw that scene she said, “Oh, I get it,” and formed an opinion on the conflict based on the information being delivered.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        The problem with that scene is that all it tells you is “The locals aren’t happy about the occupying force”, which is probably true for 90% of wars. I still don’t know what either side is like, what they want, who started the war or why, anything that could usefully inform the decision-making.

        • Poncho says:

          At the very least, it tells you there’s an “occupying force” and the locals are behaving like 90% of peasants do. That’s basically the opening crawl of STAR WARS.

          Geralt also doesn’t get involved in this conflict until later in the story, so it also tells the player that Geralt as at least neutral, or sides with Nilfgaard as he doesn’t want trouble.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      The game wanted me to decide whether or not I was helping the Nilfgaardians before I knew so much as whether or not they were the aggressors, let alone what they wanted.

      Not really.You are told pretty much from the start that nilfgaardians are the aggressors,and you are shown how assholish temerians are.Plus the whole third game thing.

      As for the battlefield,its not that old.There are still corpses laying around.Id call that pretty fresh.Also,a temporary military garrison isnt really an installed ruler.

      • Ninety-Three says:

        Does it tell you the Nilfgaardians are the aggressors? They’re the ones currently occupying foreign territory, but Russia was occupying Germany in 1945 and they weren’t the aggressors.

        • Gremle says:

          Sure they were, they invaded Poland at the same time the Germans did.

          Which is kind of the point of the Witcher, both sides in the war are self-serving jaggoffs. I understand your point about the lack of provided history making it difficult to act in an informed manner with regards to the conflict.
          But your emphasis on knowing who the aggressor/initiator was suggests you were trying to determine who were the good/badguys which isn’t really a paradigm the Witcher stories support, and I think that’s by design.

  20. Rodyle says:

    Hey Shamus and/or others,

    Seeing how Games Done Quick is now doing their thing, I was wondering: how do you guys feel about speedruns, and have you guys ever thought about doing a speedrun of a game? I know it doesn’t necessarily fit too well with your format of analysis, but still.

  21. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Diecast contains talk of Valve product. Valve is known for unconfirmed sequels.


  22. Wide And Nerdy says:

    Disclaimer: This is not me saying that playing a game about fighting through Hell is wrong. This is about personal discomfort, not moral judgment. Please don’t turn this into a moral argument please. Please. Please.

    Actual Post:
    I gave Doom 2016 a try. I have to admit to being torn. The gameplay is excellent. I love the flow of shooting while moving and popping in and out to shift seemlessly between melee and shooting. Love it. Love that part of the game. Absolutely love it.

    Which makes it hard because I’ve always had trouble with demonic imagery. I think it might have to do with my Dad. Not much seems to scare him at all. If the man ever gets scared, he doesn’t show it. But demonic stuff scares him. He watched Exorcism as a teen and ever since then, I’ve noticed when we go to the movies that if there’s ever a trailer about some demonic, or occult/satanic he has to look down and he used to have me look down too.

    I think thats why it bothers me too. I don’t have to avert my eyes right away, but I can’t sit through hours of a game that takes place in hell with demons. Even if I’m killing the demons. I was about to enjoy Doom for maybe 15 to 20 minutes before it started to get to me. I’d love it if there was a game that played exactly like this where you could fight nazis or monsters instead.

    I think its because I’m Christian. I don’t have any idea what Hell is actually like, I know the demonic imagery we associate with hell isn’t really from the Bible, but its still how we think of it and to me its a real place. So whenever an otherwise good game is set in or around there, I find myself wishing theyd come out with a game set elsewhere that plays the same.

    I feel the similarly about Dark Souls and Bloodborne. Though I can tolerate those settings a little longer.

    Curious if anyone feels similar. I know that there’s at least one other Christian that sometimes posts here. And maybe people of other Abrahamic faiths have similar experiences.

    • Daemian Lucifer says:

      You really shouldnt have tried doom in that case.Unless you are attempting the tried and false method of “confronting your fears is the best way to overcome them”.

      As for games similar to doom,there are always serious sams.Its about mowing down waves and waves of aliens.Or you can wait for the new quake,that one should also be about aliens(unless it starts to deviate wildly from the predecessors).

      • Wide And Nerdy says:

        I know there are a lot of old school games that involve shooting while in continuous motion. I know shooters basically started this way.

        What I’m referring to is something a little more specifically Doom style where you’re moving out to sweep and circle strafe and THEN moving in for melee and glory kills. In Mass Effect 3 you could kind of do this with the Vanguard but its more satifying and tuned up here.

        Maybe Bulletstorm?

        Also I know that confronting a fear is not always the best way of dealing with it. I just was wondering if it was really that bad. Like would this really feel like fighting demons in hell or would it feel more like fighting monsters on a base. But they do emphasize the demonic/satanic stuff. So oh well. Not for me. Thats all, just not for me. Glad the rest of you like it. I can see the appeal.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Yeah,bulletstorm is nice.Or,if you arent picky about where the camera is,bloodrayne is good.You shoot enemies,then you jump in to slice them,or jump them to suck their blood.Shame you missed the sale,but its just 10 moneys.

          • 4th Dimension says:

            Are you sure it’s such a good idea to recomend Bloodrayne to someone who has problem with occult and demonic imagery since Bloodrayne is basically a game where you play a Female Vampire killing occult Nazis.

            • Wide And Nerdy says:

              I’d just have to see. Occult Nazis may not be so bad. But I already have Bulletstorm and Serious Sam so I’m set for now.

              Thank you for the morning.

              • Daemian Lucifer says:

                If you played the occult wolfensteins(return to castle wolfenstein and the next one),thats basically what youll see in bloodrayne.It has a lot of mumbo jumbo about vampires and vampire gods.

        • Shamus says:

          I had the same reaction to bits of the original DOOM. I’d been raised in a super-conservative setting: No D&D, no “satanic” heavy metal music (this impacted my brother Patrick, not me) and there were about a dozen good TV shows we weren’t allowed to watch because they were a “bad influence”. So seeing a pentagram was SUPER shocking.

          (Aside: My parents loosened up. I’ve got a brother and sister – Dan and Ruth – who are 15 and 13 years younger, and things were far more liberal for them when they hit their teen years. For those who are curious, read the Autoblography for details. But the short version is that the rigid upbringing was an over-correction to things that had happened earlier.)

          But here in 2016, the “satan” stuff no longer bothers me. I don’t associate it with my religion at all. To me it’s just more made up crap, like Marvel’s Hydra or random vidogame cult #750.

          • Wide And Nerdy says:

            I was hoping specifically that you’d post,* knowing basically what your faith is and knowing that you love these games. Maybe I can learn to see it that way, like they’re just monsters. They do basically act like monsters. Again, I know that this imagery is just made up and mostly has no basis in anything we believe. But its a little hard to shake.

            And if there’s anything you could ever feel 100% not guilty about shooting its this.

            Also, side note, my parents were the same way. Very conservative with me, less so for my younger siblings,** I’m the oldest as well.

            I went trick or treating a couple of times before we just stopped celebrating Halloween. In high school I was prohibited from playing D&D. After high school when I started playing it anyway, I had to keep the books locked in the trunk of my car until I moved out.

            *Not to dismiss you John, thank you also for posting.

            **Not sure if they would have loosened up on D&D, my younger siblings were never interested in it.

            • John says:

              *Not to dismiss you John, thank you also for posting.

              Aww, shucks.

              Also, side note, my parents were the same way. Very conservative with me, less so for my younger siblings,** I'm the oldest as well.

              When I was in elementary school, my mother was gravely concerned that having an Atari 2600 would rot my brain or maybe ruin my moral fiber. I guess Breakout and Pong are just too alarming. Yet when I was in high school, she let my youngest brother buy Mortal Kombat for his Sega Genesis. (The one with the blood-colored blood. Not the sissy SNES version.) Sigh.

              • Smiley_Face says:

                Elder siblings break down most of the barriers that parents put down, so when the younger siblings get there, they don’t have to fight to change their parents’ preconceptions. I’m a good deal younger than having to plead for an Atari, but I had similar experiences with my parents for getting a Gameboy, and then later Halo. My brother is just a few years younger than me, but by the time he was interested in playing something, I had already brought my parents’ attitude around to it being acceptable.

                I don’t really resent it though. It had to be done, and the ability to persuade from a position of weakness is a pretty good skill to have.

                • Wide And Nerdy says:

                  Its just their protective instinct. I’m watching friends and siblings go through it now. They all have to learn how to pull back and let the kid have some freedom.

                  They’re also comparing their kid’s childhood to their own. Most of us had some video games and television so some of that is ok. But we didn’t have smartphones and tablets and if we had the internet (which I didn’t basically till my late teens) it wasn’t anything like the internet we have now. So that becomes the thing we fret about. Sure we know the internet is harmless for us, but we didn’t get it till we were older. We can’t take the chance of letting our kids be ruined by it.

                  And scary news stories are always there to help.

                  I expect the cycle will continue. If you didn’t grow up with it, you’re going to be afraid to let your kids grow up with it. Especially your firstborn.

        • Mephane says:

          Have you looked at Space Marine? It has this element of going from ranged combat to melee and back, it has melee executions that give you health, and it’s also very loud, gritty and visceral.

          • Merlin says:

            Space Marine is similar, but its melee executions (A) are really long, and (B) don’t give you temporary invincibility. So you’re frequently back to low health again by the time you finish them. :P

    • John says:

      Thanks for sharing that. It makes me think of my own reaction to horror films. It’s not that I have religious objections, but rather that I am squeamish and also that I know that I am squeamish. Watching a horror film–or, when I was younger, any film that had a few scary or gory bits–was an exhausting endeavor because I had to be ready to avert my eyes at a moment’s notice. What’s worse is that I always tried to do it without looking like I was averting my eyes so that my peers wouldn’t think I was some kind of chicken. (For the record, I was a chicken. Also for the record, I don’t think my peers would have teased me nearly as much as I feared at the time that they would.)

      With specific reference to Doom, the “demons” in the original game never struck me as particularly Satanic or even demonic. They’re cartoons, really, and less threatening than the late-80s heavy metal T-shirts and album covers that inspired them. If the game hadn’t called them demons I’m not sure I would have used that term to describe them at all. I haven’t played the new Doom at all, but the monsters there really don’t seem all that different to me than the aliens you might find in any number of games.

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Its the environments that are problematic.All the skulls on spikes that protrude from pentagrams and stuff like that.

        • Wide And Nerdy says:

          Yes, Daemian is exactly right.

          I could handle bashing these monsters in a red tinted environment but its clear that the corporation was engaging in some kind of satanic occult ritual stuff to access Hell and harvest the demons. So you see that stuff all over the place.

          In a way, its comically over the top. This has to be easily the most evil corporation in video game history (no small feat) if they’re literally invoking satanic ritual to harvest the resources of hell.

          I’ll bet they based it on Mars for tax purposes and to dodge regulations.

          • John says:

            That’s a fair point. I seldom played Doom past the shareware levels, so I never spent much time in, er, Hell. Well, cartoon Hell. The first third of the game really is just monsters in a moon base–with, yes, maybe a pentagram or two.

      • Mephane says:

        Horror films are “funny”. As in, everyone who has issues with them has different types of issues, and Horror is quite a wide genre. I, for example, hate jump scares and I can’t stand certain types of injuries (or threats thereof). I never watched any of the Saw movies, for example, because I feel deeply uncomfortable just reading about some of the things that are happening in them. Something like Event Horizon, however, is fine (except that one jump scare in the final scene, but I understand why they added that), except for the part where I find the whole premise silly that a spaceship travelling through a black hole enters hell, literally.

    • Humanoid says:

      Never played Doom, but I remember as a kid (well, tween/early teen) the whole pentagram controversy with Ultima 8 completely flew over my head and I didn’t even realise it was supposedly a thing until some years later. (The box art was just a pentagram with a background of flames)

      I suppose I was nominally religious back then in a “parents take you to church every weekend” sort of way, but I only remember watching the intro with my dad who just said that it looks cool (which likely would be because we have just replaced our 286 with a sparkly new 486 and were amazed at how far technology had come).

      I wonder then if it’s as much a cultural thing as much as a religious thing, by which I mean both in concert: is it that American flavours of Christianity are more sensitive to this type of imagery than the global norm.

      The other thing I suppose is that I’m very squeamish in general, in a blood and gore and corpses and gross monsters sort of way. Have been all my life. But “demonic” iconography? Completely meaningless to me.

      • Mephane says:

        is it that American flavours of Christianity are more sensitive to this type of imagery than the global norm.

        I don’t think this is something specific to America. I still remember how some groups in Europe tried to get all the Harry Potter books banned because they were full of witchcraft.

      • John says:

        Also, keep in mind that there are approximately a zillion, million, billion flavors of Christianity in America alone, and that not all of them are particularly concerned about fire, brimstone, or the occult. When I was a kid going to mass the homilies (sermons) were generally about how to be a good person and never ever about “Beware the Dungeons & Dragons! Beware the heavy metal music!” Hell, the devil, demons, witchcraft and the like were way, way down the list of concerns for Catholics in the 80s.

        • Wide And Nerdyâ„¢ says:

          I mean, my church was basically like that too but my parents were still restrictive.

          One of my favorite Christian comedians said “if you spend your time doing the do’s you don’t have time to do the don’ts” not funny but true. Probably applicable to any moral system.

      • Wide And Nerdyâ„¢ says:

        There is a divide between Continental philosophy and what is called “Analytical” philosophy which the UK and US traditionally prefer.

        Grossly overgeneralizing (because its been a long time since I read about this), Continental philosophy is a more concerned with subjective experience and Analytical philosophy is more concerned with objective truth or data. And this does influence our approaches to faith.

    • Mark says:

      Eh, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with those feelings. Everyone has different things they can or cannot tolerate. And like the man says, it’s good that we all like different things because otherwise there wouldn’t be enough haggis to around.

      As has been suggested below, Serious Sam is probably about as close as you’ll get to old-school DOOM without demonic imagery. (Painkiller is often brought up in this context but, you know, demons.)

  23. bad_cluster says:

    When comparing Doom movie to Alien: Resurrection you were worried about comments, so I'll be that guy.

    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Alien franchise and also it happens I'm a fan of H.R. Giger to some extent, imagine if Salvador Dali was painting Death Metal album covers, that's Giger in a nutshell for me.

    I also happen to not hate Alien: Resurrection at all, weirdly enough. It’s a very different movie when compared to the three movies that came before. I really liked what they did with those movies, having different directors for each, even though it really only worked for the first two movies.

    I like Alien: Resurrection because they went all the way with different and impossible for that movie, not only they chose a director (Jean-Pierre Jeunet) who made Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children movies (both of which are awesome, watch them if you haven't), but they also let him bring his whole crew to work on it. To make things even more difficult Joss Whedon's script was thrown in the mix. And then, they (producers) tried to push their vision in that mix, not only they were fighting over creativity and freedom but they also had lots of cultural differences and one big language barrier.

    As if they didn't know that if you mix all those bright and lively primary colors of paint you get a dirt dark brown mix in the end. Just look at what happened with Alien 3, which was mangled by heavy handed creativity control from producers, they haven't learned from that at all, and decided to make things even harder for themselves with the forth movie. It could've been so much much worse though.

    When I hear you casually comparing Alien: Resurrection to a shallow husk that is the Doom movie, that has absolutely nothing going for it in any aspect, I almost feel offended!

    PS: I'm still going to listen to your Podcast though, but be warned this was a strike number one! /shakes fist angrily

    PPS: Please don't take the PS above seriously.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      I’m gonna go ahead here and agree with you on this point.

      While Resurrection is not a great Alien film, it’s surely still a far better film than Doom by almost any metric. I’ll even defend Alien 3 to a certain extent (but perhaps not Prometheus).

      I would certainly second your recommendations of Delicatessen and City of Lost Children too. (and if you are looking for other films featuring Ron Perlman, how about Cronos? Of course if you’re going to watch Cronos, why not also try another GDT early classic: The Devil’s Backbone).

  24. Andy_Panthro says:

    I foolishly tried the Doom demo on my PS4, because I wasn’t sure if my laptop could run it.

    I rolled my eyes when I heard “rip and tear”, and I wasn’t really sure if I liked the goofy way things were presented. My main issue though, was trying to play a shooter with a controller, which is just impossible. Seriously, I could barely aim at the best of times, let alone when there’s demons jumping about the place.

    It did feel very jumpy though, and the couple of areas I tried were very arena-like, enclosed spaces which looked like multiplayer areas.

    I haven’t really been a shooter type of person for many years though, so I’m not a great one to judge. And I couldn’t deal with the controller interface so I didn’t play for long enough really.

    • Wide And Nerdy says:

      I’ve never been able to play a third or first person shooter or even a Twin Stick shooter like Good Robot or Hotline Miami on a controller. I even bought two Steam controllers to see if that would help, it does a little but I find myself wanting to go back to what I’m used to.

      No regrets though, the Steam controller is fine for gameplay types I’m used to using a controller for (like platformers) and they have nice built in conveniences with Steam. I just don’t end up using the touchpad for anything other than desktop navigation (which is still handy at times).

  25. Echo Tango says:

    My recommendation for viewing The X-Files: stop part-way through season 2, when they stop doing monster-of-the-week, and start going onto the Grey Aliens Giant Conspiracy That Dominates Everything Hereafter (TM). :)

    • ehlijen says:

      I disagree. Some of the best monster of the week episodes are way past season 2, but I do agree that those are the ones the show lived on; the myth arc was just bad. If you’re gonna watch the show, consult a guide as to which episodes are standalone and which are arc (skip).

      On that note, the only episodes worth watching in the remake as a whole is the were-creature one (third one?), and maybe the second one. The myth arc bookenders (1 and 6) are just dumb nonsense (should I really have expected anything else?), the garbage monster episode (4?) just stops without any real conclusion and the scully and moulder team up with their younger selves episode (5), while funny, dropped the ball in my opinion by not having a twist where it turned out that the muslim kid was NOT the suicide bomber (without that, the plot was too by the numbers and too islamophobic for me to like).

      • Neil W says:

        That episode five shuffled a wacky Younger selves and Mulder goes on a mushroom bender story into a serious meditation on death, terrorism, suicide bombings, family and love. They could have done the funny episode fine. They might or might not have been able to do justice to the serious one. What they definitely couldn’t do is both at once. They’d set themselves up for failure.

    • Sunshine says:

      Continue, because there are some great non-CONSPIRACY episodes after season two, but the monster-of-the-week episodes are best.

      Make an exception for the episode that focuses on Mysterious Conspiracy Villain the Cigarette Smoking Man, though, that’s a good one. Bail out sometime around season seven, if I remember right.

    • Mephane says:

      It’s been a long time, but I found the monster of the week thing usually rather boring, and was only excited about the “grand conspiracy” story arc. Although I do remember how that got eventually rather silly in hindsight.

      I just want to throw the mini-series Taken into the ring. It plays out the whole “grey aliens who do experiments on humans” topic much, much better. :)

  26. baseless_research says:

    I mean, who even wants HL3 anymore? We’ve got Doom! Meaning it is both a better game than HL2 and it’s actually available.

  27. Kelerak says:

    When I get Overwatch, I’ll be sure to play Reaper and blast Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory album over the mic.

  28. Echo Tango says:

    So, was the motion sickness from non-walking on all games with motion, or just the ones with non-cockpit-style motion? I’m just wondering, because in your SWT video on VR, you lamented the fact that VR is jumping straight into new hardware instead of making games that work with the current (already expensive) hardware. As you point out in this Diecast, it’s expensive, and we’ve got cables all over the place, and we need to clear out our living room, … Is VR ever going to be a viable, cheap-enough thing, like a normal game console? ^^;

    Comment box timed out after hitting submit…fingers crossed, this won’t show up as a dupe…

  29. Sova says:

    45 seconds in, Player controlling the Campster sim ruefully unlocks and lets go the stored aspiration “Invite the Diecast around to play You Don’t Know Jack”.

    Then Player controlling Mumbles smiles at the Platinum moodlet Mumbles is getting for achieving lifetime aspiration “Make videogame podcast turn into a videogame/wrestling podcast”

    Meanwhile, somewhere else, Player controlling Shamus removes action “Get some sleep” that Shamus has decided to do and queues up another 8 tasks of “Go to Computer/Continue writing”.

    • Christopher says:

      “You don’t know Jack” is such a weird thing. When I first heard about it a few years ago, I don’t think any of the games had been released in Europe, I had never even heard about it. I feel for Rutskarn’s comment about feeling the limit of one’s gaming experiences.

      • Rutskarn says:

        To be clear, I know exactly what You Don’t Know Jack is. My parents played it when I was a kid.

        I was doing one of my “skirt around an obvious wordplay until everyone groans” routines. Since the phrase “You Don’t Know Jack” means “You Don’t Know Absolutely Anything,” the obvious (unsaid) joke was that hearing the franchise name made me realize I didn’t know absolutely anything.

        • Christopher says:

          Oh, that’s embarassing. I was too caught up in going “Me too! I also don’t know I don’t Know Jack” to get it, even though I know what the expression means.

  30. rabs says:

    I also got a Vive, here are a few thoughts.

    It seems well suited for point and click, turn based or slow paced games, where teleportation is an option. For adventure/narrative games, it’s wonderful. VR tourism is already great by itself, without much gameplay.

    Restricted movement action games (or sports) are amazing: anything where we hit, shoot, throw and dodge stuff in a limited area, but possibly from many sides. It’s quite physical, but well designed “turret”/”room scale” shooters are a lot more fun than I thought.

    Cockpit games can be more or less problematic. I felt some short hints of motion sickness when my car was drifting, or other unexpected movements without inner ear feedback. Though it doesn’t seem disturbing when the movement is voluntary.

    First person circle-strafing/running/jumping seems impossible without special devices.

    Some games combine teleportation movement and “turret” shooting:
    – in general teleportation is restricted (range and rate), so people cannot abuse it too much
    – in some cases, the player can teleport farther but only between a few pre-defined destructible “cover” bases

    In Vanishing Realms (RPG), “limited” teleportation + open field fighting is working quite well. As the enemies don’t run around, I don’t feel like doing the same.
    – Melee fighting is not about managing movement and reach, but more about static action/reaction. We wait for an opening to hit a sensitive part, and parry/dodge incoming blows (sidestep and back, crouching or leaning).
    – Long range fights are like covered based shooter, where we teleport instead of running.
    We have to keep an eye on the environment and multiple enemies at once, so it adds some salt. Though, it still feels too easy to abuse teleportation in this game (when I played it many weeks ago).

    Another game that seem interesting is Raw Data (early access public in 10 days). There is also shooting and sword fighting, and teleportation is rendered as a cartoony “dash” (it leaves a kind of trail).

    Maybe in some cases, devs could bring back combat resolution arenas, like in the old-shool RPG. Or script triggered waves: we go in a spot to do a task, that triggers a wave of enemies, and we cannot teleport until they are defeated.
    Though I’m not sure if it would be fun, maybe if it’s well done…

    A lot of desktop gameplay is not doable/desirable in VR, but standing / room scale have other strength.
    Anyway, for now it’s still for early adopters that have a lot of money to spend, even if there is more and more content.

  31. Neil W says:

    So in order of best to worst, who should be a porn producer (VR or otherwise):

    Mumbles, (funny)
    Campster, (earnest)
    Josh, (funny)
    Shamus, (boring)*
    Rutskarn, (horrifying)

    * Although “What do they eat?” takes on a whole new meaning.

  32. Jsor says:

    “Are there any Valve fans that think they’ll make another game?”

    Yeah, I’m pretty sure they might. They poured a lot of resources into Vulkan and they’re working on a second Source engine that’s Vulkan-based. I think it’s reasonable, though not definite by any means, to think that they’ll make a notable game as a way to show off the engine and get people excited for using it. It would make the most sense for them to make something with an IP that will really, really turn peoples’ heads like a Portal or Half-Life or whatever, but it could easily be something else.

    • Wide And Nerdyâ„¢ says:

      It will be interesting to see what they come up with. Its getting more and more time consuming and expensive to push the envelope on high fidelity graphics content. And the indie scene has produced a ton of experimentation.

      Really the only way Valve can stay ahead is to be cutting edge in their design and polish.

  33. Retsam says:

    Fictional Minerals are a bit of a trope at this point, but I can see why; they’re a pretty efficient storytelling device for a scenario where you want 1) a story with war as the backdrop but not the main focus of your story, and 2) some form of Sufficiently Advanced Technology without going full-on SciFi.

    Some sort of “Magictanium” mineral is pretty efficient narrative tool for establishing both at once. Why do we have have magic powers? Magictanium! Why are we at war with Eastasia? They’ve got Magictanium and that’s the source of our magic powers.

  34. Austin says:

    So, how is the outback NOT an irradiated wasteland already? That part of the country sucks. Everything trying to kill you.

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