TSM Episode 300: The Starlight Megaphones Ahoy Podcast

If they had all had Bup in them, I would have hanged myself long ago.

Congratulations! 300 Episodes!

Download: Produced 2014.11.30

It is all hands on deck when Lusipurr sounds the assembly klaxon. Imitanis makes an appearance for the Chirstmas holiday, whilst Ethos, SiliconNooB, Mel, and Java help Lusipurr restrain Bup using only three rolls of wrapping paper and a chocolate orange.

33 comments on “TSM Episode 300: The Starlight Megaphones Ahoy Podcast”

  1. How long did that intro take you? It was great!

    When the real intro came in, I was like “I don’t remember this music, it’s great!” Then I realized it was new music.

  2. @Ethos: You need a new microphone and a new internet. It was awful. Had this not been Episode 300, I would have suggested you bowing out until you get it fixed. GET ON THAT, STAT.

    Editing the intro sequence didn’t take very long at all (that kind of fading out whilst another thing starts is pretty rudimentary, in fact). What actually took much, much longer was deciding what music to go with for the new sequence. There’s no guarantee I’ll keep it, but I wanted something totally different from all of our other intro sequences whilst, at the same time, fitting both the occasion and the tenor of the site. I hope I chose well.

  3. I remember those cheap tropical and oompah songs from TSM. The most recent 2 intro songs are far and away the best. There was a song at about 1:45 that sounds Castlevania-ish with a descending scale on guitar, do you remember what that is?

    My favorite moment from The Starlight Megaphone and Megaphones Ahoy is from Episode 299, when Bup told Lusipurr “Get a freakin’ life you nerd.” A very close runner-up is from Episode 299, when Bup told Lusipurr “Well you’re just a fuckin’ idiot.” SO GOOD!! I haven’t finished Episode 300 yet, though…

    Can’t wait for Dragon Age Kart!

  4. Echoing congrats on reaching 300 episodes, and raise a toast to those lost via Skype misadventure. Fantastic site and podcast, sublime writers and hosts – past and current.

    TSM has quickly become one of my favorite weekly shows. Certainly the one I look forward to the most, to be fair.

    My favorite Starlight Dragon Ahoy moment, when Lee went to the shops for pie & chips, got into a fight with some rats and came back absolutely head to toe covered in ketchup !!

    ^May not have happened.

  5. @DancingMatt
    There was a song at about 1:45 that sounds Castlevania-ish with a descending scale on guitar, do you remember what that is?

    Yes. You are thinking of Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. The track is called “Invitation of a Crazed Moon”, although the clip on the podcast is a remix used in Castlevania: Harmony of Despair.

  6. While we’re on the subject of music, what was actual intro music for this episode? It does sound familiar…

  7. @Mel: Unless you have been paying very, very close attention whilst watching the original Fullmetal Alchemist, you wouldn’t know the piece.

  8. !!
    That’s it! It was used for dramatic scenes in that show!

    I knew I heard it from somewhere, I just figured it was from a game.

  9. Clearly Bup should be in charge of the skype call. Keep up the antics.

  10. @Ethos: you and me both. The kicker is, I’m a radio guy, and don’t have any proper mics because I deal mostly with data and code. To the Amazons!

  11. I’m getting a new headset as well, so my mic quality might improve soon too. Maybe.

  12. The winds of change are blowing and… no that’s just Nate’s fart app.

  13. I was gonna say–the ‘winds of change’ smell a lot like beerfarts.

  14. Info Blast is Totally not a Cylon. Beep Boop.

    This week’s panel
    Imitanis
    Bup
    ‘Ethous’
    Silicon Noob
    Mel
    Java
    Lusipurr

    Also featuring:
    Bup

    NEWS
    Ubisoft apologizes, sort of, not really
    How awful. Good thing I don’t buy release games any more (not even Smash).

    Ubisoft changes embargo, instead just doesn’t give out review copies
    Not allowing early reviews is more or less admitting that your game is terrible.

    Mega AssCreed Blocks
    I’m not sure how this is any worse than Halo Mega Blocks which are also a thing.

    Double Fine Double Layoffs
    Tim Schafer must be drinking dollars by the gallon for how well this company is handling their money.

    Activision issues takedowns
    Fraudulent DMCA claims really frustrate me. They can basically wreck someone’s legitimate work (even if only temporarily) because they feel like it.

    Ni No Kuni something
    Neat I guess. I still haven’t tackled NNK.

    XBox Chief in Japan resigns over poor sales
    How does Microsoft even have a Japanese division any more if people have to resign over poor sales?

    Sony Electronics Plan
    Meh.

    Sony pays for Vita misinformation
    Good, accountability. There’s too little of it in this industry.

    Xenoblade Chronicles X
    While I applaud any RPG for Nintendo home consoles, I dunno if this will really grab me on release.

    Vampire the Masquerade Fan Game
    While this does suck because the owner isn’t doing anything with it I can see why they might have to do it to protect their IP. When it comes to legal action outright copyright violators can point to unpunished cases like this as a defence.

    Smash F U Sells Fast!
    Good. Maybe higher console adoption will translate to more quality games for the system. I’m not holding my breath though.

    Nintendo Patents something
    I can’t see why Nintendo would do this except maybe to attack people who make emulators under patent law. They should have no interest in releasing their old games for what is essentially a competing system.

    Bup TalkPlays Music
    Favorite thing about Lusipurr.com
    Everybody Wants to Rule the World

    Imitanis Literature Corner
    Interview With A Vampire by Anne Rice
    I was really hoping that Louie would abandon Lestat after their latest ‘adventure’. I’m interested to see how the Frenier family adapts to having vampires in residence.

    Imitanis Gaming Moment
    This week I only managed one game: Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game.

    BSG the board game is based entirely upon the 2003 version of the show. Players will take the roles of characters from the show and attempt to guide the Galactica and her fleet to safety without being run into extinction by the Cylons. The catch is that some of the players are secretly Cylons who desire the downfall of the fleet. Players are dealt loyalty cards at the beginning of the game and again at the halfway mark (creating sleeper agent situations). These cards can have a few things on them, but the most important part is that some say “You Are A Cylon” and some say “You Are Not A Cylon”. Having one of the former puts you immediately into the role of a secret antagonist; hidden amongst the players attempting to sabotage their efforts to stay alive. The trick for Cylons is to harm without being obvious, lest the humans throw you in the brig or toss you out the airlock, either of which reduces your effectiveness against the humans. There are 6 different ways for the Cylons to win (most of which result from attrition) and only one human win condition: survive through 8 distance of space travel. There are so many fun aspects to this game that I can’t explain all of them here without taking pages, but every little rule helps contribute to the sense of paranoia that players feel throughout the game until the Cylons are revealed. The game doesn’t end when the Cylons are discovered though, as it then becomes a heated game with open hostilities and bigger challenges. This is one of my favorite games. Knowledge of the show is not required though it can help with enjoyment (like calling other players “Frakkin’ Toaster!”) Highly recommended.

    BTW, I was a Cylon and my team won by destroying the Galactica with an overwhelming force of raiders (Cylon fighters). Beep Boop By Your Command.

    DiceAdmiral Travel Moment
    Ugh, 10 hours of driving this week. At least it was divided over three different days.
    I did once again see a show. This week it was the local symphony doing classic Disney songs. I really enjoyed it. I actually saw Trans Siberian Orchestra the weekend before and forgot to mention that. Also great.

    Final Notes
    I thought the cast introductions were in order of decreasing seniority. Does Imitanis outrank co-founders Bup and Ethos?

    Pedantry: This 300th episode, while a notable landmark, is not a ‘birthday’ or anniversary episode per se. 312 will be your 6 year anniversary, 3 months from now.
    That said, congrats on the landmark!
    Wow, the FancyCast is at 328 currently. I had no idea now close you really were to passing them. It should happen in the next year and change I would think.

    Why did everyone pick a moment from 299/298? Is there an in-joke that I missed?

    “Useless asshat!” Lusi
    “Haha haha, yes.” Bup

    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.

    I’m considering retiring the donator list feature. Does anyone have input on that? Has it been useful to anyone?

  15. @DiceAdmiral:

    “Not allowing early reviews is more or less admitting that your game is terrible.”
    YUP.

    “I’m not sure how this is any worse than Halo Mega Blocks which are also a thing.”
    Who said it was worse?

    “Tim Schafer must be drinking dollars by the gallon for how well this company is handling their money.”
    And people thought those pictures of him fanning himself with $100 bills were a joke!

    “Fraudulent DMCA claims really frustrate me. They can basically wreck someone’s legitimate work (even if only temporarily) because they feel like it.”
    These companies must be fucking laughing themselves hoarse. A foundational principle in Western society is that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim of misconduct, not on the defendant. Except where businesses and money are concerned, because then FUCK YOU.

    “How does Microsoft even have a Japanese division any more if people have to resign over poor sales?”
    Welcome to Microsoft LAST MAN STANDING. The corporate game that’s fun to play!

    “While this does suck because the owner isn’t doing anything with it I can see why they might have to do it to protect their IP. When it comes to legal action outright copyright violators can point to unpunished cases like this as a defence.”
    No: an IP holder’s failure to defend their IP does not establish legal precedent for violation of copyright, nor can it constitute a valid legal defence of the same.

    “BSG the board game is based entirely upon the 2003 version of the show.”
    I am immediately reminded of Star Trek TNG the VHS game, and should talk about it on the podcast.

    “I thought the cast introductions were in order of decreasing seniority. Does Imitanis outrank co-founders Bup and Ethos?”
    Guests first. It’s polite.

    “This 300th episode, while a notable landmark, is not a ‘birthday’ or anniversary episode per se. 312 will be your 6 year anniversary, 3 months from now.”
    Anniversary/Birthday is 9 February.

    “Why did everyone pick a moment from 299/298? Is there an in-joke that I missed?”
    No in-joke. As I said during the podcast: because we’re getting better all the time, it only stands to reason that everyone’s favourite episode would be our latest episode. Hence, 300 is our favourite, now.

    ““Useless asshat!” Lusi. “Haha haha, yes.” Bup.”
    And this is my new favourite moment ever, from my favourite podcast ever.

    “I’m considering retiring the donator list feature. Does anyone have input on that? Has it been useful to anyone?”
    We have a database, so I personally have no use for it. In addition, our donator records are now on the Patrons page, so we really don’t need that in the info blast either.

  16. @DiceAdmiral: BSG is easily one of my all-time favorite games. I think it is the best example of a game that really captures the sense of urgency so many co-op games demand, but fall short of delivering. The saboteur mechanic probably has a lot to do with that, but the whole design mimics the desperation of the episodes gorgeously. Even in another favorite, Eldritch Horror, I never quite get to that point where I’m just throwing everything I have at whatever is going on, hoping something, ANYTHING, sticks. Close, but not quite.

  17. *From 299*
    Lusi: “@DiceAdmiral: Are you disappointed that you were surprised, disappointed that it exists, or disappointed that it was renamed?
    Yes.”
    Why? I could see being disappointed with the naming and not guessing, but why be disappointed that a board game about monsters trashing a city exits? That doesn’t click with me.

    “These companies must be fucking laughing themselves hoarse. A foundational principle in Western society is that the burden of proof is on the person making the claim of misconduct, not on the defendant. Except where businesses and money are concerned, because then FUCK YOU.”
    Exactly why this shit pisses me off.

    “No: an IP holder’s failure to defend their IP does not establish legal precedent for violation of copyright, nor can it constitute a valid legal defence of the same.”
    I could have sworn that I’d heard exactly the opposite in these situations, but you seem certain. I’ll have to look into this more and see if my opinion is outdated.

    “I am immediately reminded of Star Trek TNG the VHS game, and should talk about it on the podcast.”
    You should talk about that on the podcast. The rest of the crew must EXPERIENCE BIJ!
    That said, the BSG board game is nothing at all like that game. Games with a play along video are pretty much ancient history. These days games that have companion media have a mobile app or an mp3.

    “Guests first. It’s polite.”
    Oh right, Imitanis isn’t staff anymore. I’d forgotten.

    “Anniversary/Birthday is 9 February.”
    You mean the site anniversary? The numbers don’t add up for that to be the podcast anniversary.

    “No in-joke. As I said during the podcast: because we’re getting better all the time, it only stands to reason that everyone’s favourite episode would be our latest episode. Hence, 300 is our favourite, now.”
    That makes sense, I must have missed your line leading into that.

    “We have a database, so I personally have no use for it. In addition, our donator records are now on the Patrons page, so we really don’t need that in the info blast either.”
    I just looked at the patrons page and it only shows the record holders and not a list of who is currently eligible for the end of year game. Do you plan to add that? I see that as the primary reason for the donator list in the first place; so listeners can have some idea what their odds are.

    @Java
    “@DiceAdmiral: BSG is easily one of my all-time favorite games. I think it is the best example of a game that really captures the sense of urgency so many co-op games demand, but fall short of delivering. The saboteur mechanic probably has a lot to do with that, but the whole design mimics the desperation of the episodes gorgeously. Even in another favorite, Eldritch Horror, I never quite get to that point where I’m just throwing everything I have at whatever is going on, hoping something, ANYTHING, sticks. Close, but not quite.”

    FINALLY! Someone around here who will have some clue what I’m talking about when it comes to board games. Yeah, BSG is great. It was my gateway game for the hobby. I grabbed it because I was a big fan of the show and now I’m neck deep in board games. I think that BSG is probably the game that holds its mechanics and theme together best. There are only a few little things that don’t quite click. The whole thing feels like you’re actually aboard the Galactica.

    I play with the Pegasus and Exodus expansions (I own but have not read Daybreak). Did you play with any expansions? I found 2/3 of Exodus to be a really great addition and the Pegasus board is pretty great too.

  18. @DiceAdmiral: I haven’t played any expansions yet, and it’s been awhile since BSG has hit my table. Like you, my gaming group is neck deep in them, and we play a new one almost every week so we don’t often get the chance to revisit the old favorites. It’s a good problem to have, really.

  19. It is a good problem to have. We only played it because it was requested and we had a 5th player stopping by. I’ve found that BSG balances terribly with any other number.

  20. “but why be disappointed that a board game about monsters trashing a city exits? That doesn’t click with me.”
    What, JENGA is not good enough!?

    “I could have sworn that I’d heard exactly the opposite in these situations, but you seem certain. I’ll have to look into this more and see if my opinion is outdated.”
    I’m going by what I know of publishing copyright (which is pretty substantial in some regards). But more importantly, the legal principle of universality doesn’t exist across IPs, which it would have to do for this objection to matter. If Bob doesn’t defend his Bippo trademark, that doesn’t undermine Jim’s right to his Jacko trademark–or even Bob’s right to his Bippo trademark in other circumstances, or his Boffo trademark at all.

    “Oh right, Imitanis isn’t staff anymore. I’d forgotten.”
    Well, you know how we like to rehire people! Who knows what may happen?

    “You mean the site anniversary? The numbers don’t add up for that to be the podcast anniversary.”
    The site anniversary is 9 February, the podcast is 16 February. Remember that a year is not exactly fifty-two weeks (it’s a bit longer, and even more so in leap years), and we have also missed a very few weeks over the past nearly six years.

  21. That’s interesting about the copyright thing, because the games industry has been reciting DA’s answer as an excuse for many things and this is the first time I’ve heard that this excuse isn’t just shortsighted, it’s untenable. I can’t give any direct example at the moment, but I’m pretty sure companies have marched out that line of thinking when taking down a free fan game or a fucking youtube video. Perhaps I’m just thinking of others making a defense for the companies that do this.

  22. @Mel:
    Justifying something with a reason doesn’t make the reason valid.

    Of course it’s untenable: think along the pathways and that should be patently obvious (no pun intended).

    Let us assume their position is valid: say that GameCo refuses to prosecute Mel for making a knock-off title called VidjaBob–a copy of their highly popular VideoRob. Under the premise they advance, they now can no longer defend against Tom, Dick, and Harry all making their own knock-offs: ViddySnob, VidaRoz, and RobVideo.

    Now you should know full well, if only from simple observation, that this is not the case. But more importantly, it’s an impossible standard, because there are plenty of copyright infringements taking place of which a company is unaware, even when they are taking place in the open. No company can spend the logistical resources proactively finding and tracking them all down and prosecuting where possible (and often, it is not possible). So what does that mean? Have they vacated their copyrights? Of course not.

    One might conceiveably argue (but again, extra-legally) that if the company is ‘unaware’ of it, they don’t risk vacating their copyright when infringed–but then, how is a company going to prove in court their ‘unawareness’? Proving a negative of this sort isn’t practical and it isn’t something a court can legally expect.

    The simple reality is that a company may offer this as justification–a kind of slippery slope fallacy (if we let John do it, we have to let everyone), but quite simply that isn’t legally true. If I as a copyright holder fail to prosecute you for infringement, I can still prosecute someone else for the same infringement.

  23. My remark was more along the lines of “it’s surprising I’ve not heard anyone else say it’s BS even on legal grounds” considering how plain the matter seems rather than “it constitutes a valid defense”.

  24. I would say that in most civil conversations, people without legal expertise are probably unwilling to make a legal claim.

    As someone who holds copyrights himself, professionally, as a part of his career, I’ll say it: It’s BS even on legal grounds.

    If someone plagiarises my research and (re)publishes it, and I don’t prosecute, I still have the right to prosecute you when you do it later.

    Similarly, if someone robs my house and I don’t prosecute, I still have the right to prosecute you when you sneak into my house and steal all of my socks.

    You may consider this advance warning about that forthcoming lawsuit. My toes are cold, you fucker.

  25. Yeah, as someone with no actual legal experience this sounds perfectly legit. I have no reason to doubt it, it seems startlingly obvious in hindsight.

    One wonders, then, why companies employ expensive lawyers to troll around for little fanmade projects and videos like these if not on the same dubious grounds of setting a bad precedent or for some other actually valid reason. You’ve mentioned before the desire for control for the sake of control, but it almost sounds like a waste of money in these instances since not prosecuting doesn’t actually cede any control. Perhaps it doesn’t actually cost much to throw out C&Ds for no good reason?

  26. One wonders, then, why companies employ expensive lawyers to troll around for little fanmade projects and videos like these

    They don’t really do that. That’s just the perception of end-users, who remember bans more than they remember things which are not banned. And, when it comes to places where these things do impact revenue streams, they go after things more aggressively. Hence, a youtube copy of a song or video is going to get taken down because that impacts the likelihood that the song will be purchased. Similarly, a copy of a game is going to diminish a company’s options with that IP in future. After all, if Castlevania III is already available for free, that reduces the likelihood that people will buy it when Konami re-releases it. And, what’s more, the more profile something has, the more likely it will be targetted as a deterrant to other would-be infringers–even if the thing targetted wouldn’t necessarily have an impact (because it may deter things that would have an impact).

    Basically, what it comes down to for most companies (although not for all) is whether or not they perceive it as reducing their operability with the IP. If the answer is yes, prosecution is likely. The degree to which they think the answer is ‘yes’ differs by company, with some companies thinking (rightly, I opine) that customer goodwill will translate into increased sales larger than those lost by the ‘infringement’ (such as it is).

    But, you are also correct in your assumption that to send out C&Ds costs very, very little. You or I can write up one in a moment at no cost and it would be legally valid if legally employed. The ones I have seen are formulaic in the extreme for this purpose: one can slap the name of the offending project in, and the name of the ip somewhere else, and that’s all that is necessary. But one could write such a document oneself with very little effort, even without a form, since what is necessary is actually pretty basic and limited.

    Finally, as an addendum, remember that many lawyers justify their continued contract by how many infringements they have prevented (often along with astounding dollar figures in revenue saved, usually connected in no way to reality).

  27. Haven’t had a good chance to listen to this one just yet, but let me congratulate you on 300 shows and thank you for being one of the most consistent shows on the entire internet. Here’s to many, many more!

  28. many lawyers justify their continued contract by how many infringements they have prevented (often along with astounding dollar figures in revenue saved, usually connected in no way to reality).

    I fear this is probably the whole of it, if at least for the reason that it strikes a familiar chord in other conversations of the same topic.

  29. @Wolfe: Thanks! Can’t wait for 301–even better than 300!

    @Mel: The key structure of the service industry is to never, ever stop convincing the employer that they are in desperate need of the service, whether the service has any benefit or not.

Comments are closed.