TSM Episode 299: On the Edge of History

Lamartine, before the Hotel de Ville, Paris, rejects the Red Flag.

Philppoteaux’s ‘Lamartine’ Cyclorama

Download: Produced 2014.11.23

Lusipurr, Bup, SiliconNooB, and Mel prepare for the advent of the holiday season, and storm the barricades of a revisionist French history. Bup weighs in on the Xbone and PS4 sales war, whilst Lusipurr inveighs against the Warlords of Draenor storyline.

20 comments on “TSM Episode 299: On the Edge of History”

  1. Info Blast Builds a city, then smashes it

    This week’s panel
    Bup
    Silicon Noob
    Mel
    Lusipurr

    Also featuring:
    Bup
    Podcast Feature
    Not this week

    Consumer Advice
    Fall Playthrough
    Ends this week!
    Did anyone finish this game? hmm. So much hype for this playthrough, but no one really seemed to care. I could see myself finishing this game when I have time. I expect I may do so eventually.

    FFV: I don’t expect to participate in this one.
    Something off-the-wall: More likely. SMW would be great, but I think I’d favor LttP.

    Next Reading: Please NO. Not Wheel of Time. I listened to those books across several months while always also doing something more interesting. It took months of slogging.

    NEWS
    AC:Unity bad task scheduling (game engine)
    Regarding the engine component that SN briefly covered: Think of it this way. When the player or game engine causes an action to occur then it is added to the action queue. A queue is FIFO (first in first out), so if they didn’t optimize it to give priority to certain things (player actions over engine actions, on-screen over off-screen) then it could create some pretty terrible slowdown if something big and unimportant got into the queue repeatedly and plugged it up.

    AC:Unity bad task scheduling (company)
    I hear similar stories from around the industry, so this is plausible. That said, the original anonymous author makes some ridiculous claims regarding software design that makes me question his credibility.

    French Politician condemns AC:U
    I love the history lesson in your coverage of this section.

    Jorgenson: XBone going to catch PS4
    Yeah, maybe if Microsoft leaves the price cut in place and stops releasing terribly buggy games in their core franchise (Halo:MCC). Maybe.

    The Firefly Diary
    This looks pretty cool. I like the art style. Too bad I don’t have a Vita. The light/dark thing is kind of a tired concept though.

    Valve Early Access Rules Change
    Progress! Too bad early access is actually a detrimental strategy for the industry.

    Nintendo Casual Gap
    Nintendo hasn’t appealed to ‘hardcore gamers’ since the meaning of that term shifted from meaning 16 bit JRPG players to meaning online FPS players. I don’t think that Nintendo need to try to cater to that crowd though, because they won’t win it. They just need to release compelling games in their core franchises and they will do just fine.

    Durrito Pope awards nominations
    I never watched any of these shows, but I can’t imagine scaling down the spectacle of the vgas will hurt the concept.

    Bup Talk Reads Wikipedia
    XBone catching up to PS4
    Better. I get the impression that none of the other podcast participants ever listen to the final version to hear these. Their reactions were pretty great. I think Bup may be best relegated to these segments though as he didn’t really add much to the general discussions.

    Imitanis Literature Corner
    Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice
    “They would rather see someone die beneath their roof than be rude to the same person” I really enjoy this kind of description. It gives a lot of insight into the society that we’re hearing about.
    Gah! Lestat is despicable.
    The best reading segment so far! I’m captivated!

    Imitanis Gaming Moment
    This week I played 2 board games. One about building up a city from basically nothing, and one about reducing a massive city to almost nothing.

    Machi Koro is a small game (only a few dozen cards, 2 dice and a few tokens) about starting with nothing but a wheat field and bakery and attempting to build a thriving city. Players win by constructing all 4 of the landmarks in front of them. On a turn, players will roll a die, collect income based on that and add cards to their city by buying them from central supply. These cards will create income for you based on certain criteria (for example: a card may give you one coin whenever anyone rolls a 2 or it may give you 3 coins if you roll a 4). The landmarks cost 4, 10, 16, and 22 so you have to be able to get a substantial amount of money to be able to construct them. It may also be to your advantage to construct them out of price order as each of them also has a special power which may help to power your economic engine. The entire game plays in about 30 minutes with 4 players and less with fewer. Player turns don’t take much time at all and you can gain income on other players’ turns so there is little to no down time. This is a really fantastic game, my only complaint really is that the box is unnecessarily large for the contents.

    King of New York is a game about being a giant monster and wrecking a city while fighting other giant monsters. The theme is super rad. Mechanically, you’ll be playing a version of Yahtzee. You’ll roll 6 dice and get 2 re-rolls. The dice have attack, destruction, healing and star symbols on them (and 2 others). Players will attempt to get 20 stars or be the last monster standing. Players can earn stars by rolling enough to claim the superstar card (which thereafter grants stars for rolling stars), destroying buildings, or staying in Manhattan. The neat thing about destroying buildings is that the tiles representing the buildings are double sided and have military units on the other side which may attack you. This is an excellent example of mechanics and theme meshing super well. Of course the military shows up as you start smashing things. I liked this game quite a bit. The art style is great. The monster standees and power-up cards all look fantastic. If you enjoy the giant monster theme or enjoy chucking huge handfuls of dice then this is probably a good choice for you.

    DiceAdmiral Travel Moment
    No travelling this week, but there will be substantial travel to report next week.

    Final Notes
    What’s this Pokemon Orange game that Lusi keeps talking about?
    Big Bang Theory is such an awful show.
    Hurray for the return of bloopers!
    Where is my promised site overhaul for link recognizability? I demand accountability from my dictators!

    Donators
    Cumulative total record holder: Imitanis
    Single Donation record holder: Imitanis

    Donators eligible for end of year drawing:
    Greg H.
    John V.
    Matthew D.
    John M.
    Brett W.
    Aram Z.
    Peter V.
    Billy B.
    Les E.
    Martin B.
    Jeremy V.
    Simon H.

  2. @DiceAdmiral:
    Did anyone finish this game?
    No. :( But, strangely, we spent more time talking about it on the podcast than any of the far more successful games that we have covered. In a way, failures are far more profitable than successes as sources for meaningful discussion.

    FFV: I don’t expect to participate in this one. Something off-the-wall: More likely. SMW would be great, but I think I’d favor LttP.
    Useful feedback. There’s no rule that says it has to be a role-playing game; or, even a 4-week playthrough. Something shorter would be a nice change.

    I love the history lesson in your coverage of this section.
    See, all of these degrees DO have some use!

    The light/dark thing is kind of a tired concept though.
    *cough*EternalSonata*cough*

    Too bad early access is actually a detrimental strategy for the industry.
    Ding! Points awarded!

    I get the impression that none of the other podcast participants ever listen to the final version to hear these.
    They are indifferent in the extreme, and it is infuriating.

    I think Bup may be best relegated to these segments though as he didn’t really add much to the general discussions.
    HOW ABOUT THAT, BUP?

    Gah! Lestat is despicable. The best reading segment so far! I’m captivated!
    The Frenier episode is exceptional, despite (or perhaps because of) the relative brevity of its description–it is a place where speed of action and speed of narrative combine climactically. But let us also remember–and this is important, really–that we are only hearing one side of the story. This is Louis’ tale; what Lestat’s side of the story is… well, that is told in a different book.

    Machi Koro is a . . . wheat field and bakery and attempting to build a thriving city . . . constructing all 4 of the landmarks . . . collect income . . . buying them from central supply . . .create income for you . . . landmarks cost 4, 10, 16, and 22 . . .get a substantial amount of money to be able to construct them . . . out of price order as each of them also has a special power which may help to power your economic engine . . . gain income on other players’ turns.
    Why are so many of these games essentially just RTS financial sims? I bet you probably love Stocks and Bonds, which I owned (and greatly disliked!).

    King of New York is a game about . . .
    . . . playing Rampage.

    What’s this Pokemon Orange game that Lusi keeps talking about?
    Some people are idiotically using the hashtag “#ORAS” to refer to PKMN Omega Ruba and Alpha Sapphire. This is, of course, the move of a fucking imbecile, but it also produces something that looked like the word ‘orange’, and I accidentally read it as such. I was going to put this in the outtakes, but it didn’t make the cut.

    Big Bang Theory is such an awful show.
    Yes. Yes it is. It very much is. It is everything wrong with catchphase laughtrack lowest-common-denominator s[h]itcoms.

    Where is my promised site overhaul for link recognizability? I demand accountability from my dictators!
    I was actually lamenting this last night. I have been *extraordinarily* busy with Other Work and will hopefully get this done before Episode 300.

  3. @Lusi:
    “No. :( But, strangely, we spent more time talking about it on the podcast than any of the far more successful games that we have covered. In a way, failures are far more profitable than successes as sources for meaningful discussion”
    Fair enough.

    “There’s no rule that says it has to be a role-playing game; or, even a 4-week playthrough. Something shorter would be a nice change.”
    The next one isn’t until spring right? I’ll brainstorm.

    “what Lestat’s side of the story is… well, that is told in a different book.”
    I have to really wonder what other motivation he could possibly have had. Personal vendetta maybe?

    “Why are so many of these games essentially just RTS financial sims? I bet you probably love Stocks and Bonds, which I owned (and greatly disliked!).”
    Many board games model economic systems because the idea of getting money and buying things is instantly recognizable to most people. Also, building an economic engine feels very rewarding when it clicks. I’ve never heard of Stocks and Bonds, but the title is not particularly compelling.

    “King of New York is a game about . . .
    . . . playing Rampage.”
    In theme only. If you want to play a board game that is really like Rampage then I suggest Rampage: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/97903/terror-meeple-city
    Which was recently renamed as Terror in Meeple City for the exact reason you would think. This game (which I’ll cover sometime soon) is more like the Rampage video game in that you actually smash physical buildings, eat people, fight other monsters, and use special powers to wreck havoc.

    “Some people are idiotically using the hashtag “#ORAS” to refer to PKMN Omega Ruba and Alpha Sapphire… something that looked like the word ‘orange’”
    Thanks for explaining, that is dumb.

    “I was actually lamenting this last night. I have been *extraordinarily* busy with Other Work and will hopefully get this done before Episode 300.”
    That would be fantastic, but I totally understand if you’re busy. Christmas break would perhaps be a better time for you?

  4. The next one isn’t until spring right? I’ll brainstorm.
    Indeed–probably sometime April to June.

    I have to really wonder what other motivation he could possibly have had. Personal vendetta maybe?
    Many of us are slaves to our passions; but we are all slaves to our experiences. They are what form us.

    An enigmatic reply, but a direct one nevertheless.

    I’ve never heard of Stocks and Bonds, but the title is not particularly compelling.
    You should check it out. In fact, I expect a full report!

    Which was recently renamed as Terror in Meeple City for the exact reason you would think. This game (which I’ll cover sometime soon) is more like the Rampage video game in that you actually smash physical buildings, eat people, fight other monsters, and use special powers to wreck havoc.
    I should not be surprised that this exists, but I am. And disappointed.

    that is dumb.
    Yes. Yes it is.

    That would be fantastic, but I totally understand if you’re busy. Christmas break would perhaps be a better time for you?
    You might think that, but no, as I have to prepare all of the stuff for next semester’s classes over Christmas break. I think I can handle it this weekend if I’m not out of town or bogged down still grading papers. No promises, but the outlook is positive.

  5. “You should check it out. In fact, I expect a full report!”
    You’re going to be disappointed.

    “I am… disappointed.”
    See I was right!

    “I should not be surprised that this exists, but I am. And disappointed.”
    Are you disappointed that you were surprised, disappointed that it exists, or disappointed that it was renamed?

  6. @DiceAdmiral: Are you disappointed that you were surprised, disappointed that it exists, or disappointed that it was renamed?
    Yes.

  7. I think it would be fun to do a 4 week playthrough of one game a week: Super Mario World, Link To The Past, Super Metroid, and Castlevania: Symphony Of The Night (which fits in fairly well with SNES games). Otherwise, FFV is cool.

    “Well you’re just a fuckin’ idiot.” “Get a freakin’ life, you nerd.” Bup is great.

    I’m buying a Wii U tomorrow.

  8. I could probably beat some of those games listed in a week. If I had some time off (hahaha!….HA. HA. HA. HA.) I would love to devote myself to such a playthrough.

    Also I don’t actually own some of those games, much to my embarrassment.

    And finally, everyone get your favorite Dragon Age memories ready and email them to Lusipurr for our Dragon Age 300th Episode Extravaganza!

  9. @Mel: I have beaten all of them in a single sitting–LttP inclusive. So, it certainly can be done.

  10. You are very familiar with all of those games. Also, keep in mind “a single sitting” for me constitutes maybe half an hour at the moment.

  11. Even if you don’t finish them in a week, you can at least tried. Nobody even tried with Vagrant Story (I stopped at the first save point… which I think was in the first room), but those are all fun, open and visually interesting games that can be beaten in a determined day (as I’ve done with Link To The Past and Super Metroid this month) or a relaxed week. Neither are they so abstract and involving that a lack of familiarity is such a hindrance to making significant progress in a relatively short amount of time.

  12. I would predict much greater success for these games, absolutely. And I’m bound to put in more of an effort when I actually want to play these titles. lol

  13. Yeah, there’s a lot to be said about picking up and playing a classic when you feel like it, rather than when you’re scheduled to. The Playthroughs work great with RPGs ’cause you’re in for this long haul anyways; you know you’re making a determined effort moreso than just for the fun of it. It would be interesting to see if people treat that kind of playthrough differently, but it might also be fun to have an extra incentive, like a signed book, for completing all the games.

  14. We mention on the podcast that we should look into more than just JRPGs, and so I’m all the more interested in the list you put forth.

    Also, you said you were getting a weeoo? So you got it already? What games?

  15. Yes! I was halfway through writing my thoughts on it on Ethos’ post when I suddenly have other things to doo. But quickly, I got the Mario 3D World + Nintendo Land box, then just today I went all-out and bought New Super Mario Bro’s U, Super Smash Bro’s, Mario Kart 8, Zelda Wind Waker, and Donkey Kong Freeze. I’ve never done anything like that before. Though I’ll probably spend my time with it playing all the GBA Castlevanias first. All in all, I’m enamored with it.

    In fact, if anybody would let me be on their friends list, my ID is SecretSeashell. I never got the chance to play Wii games online, so it would be nice to try it now.

  16. @DM: I’ll be adding you momentarily; the friendlist is a two-step process, so you’ll have to add me, too. You can find my Nintendo Network ID information on my profile page (the same is true for the other staff members).

  17. I’ll add you too. I’m usually on Smash a couple times a day.

    Speaking of which, I’m encountering more opponents with crappy connections as more people play. But sticking to 1v1 most of the time has proven good way to avoid children with shitty wifi playing in their room a mile away from their routers.

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