Escapist Podcast: 014: Russ's Departure, Dead Island & Your Questions

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014: Russ's Departure, Dead Island & Your Questions

This week, Russ talks about his announcement of leaving The Escapist. We also discuss the "joke" in Dead Island's code and we answer your submitted questions and comments.

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Wait... He's leaving? ... Well crap.

A site like this losing a team member would be like a body getting its arms ripped off. Kinda...
Right?

Russ is leaving? Well, it was good while it lasted, but we weren't meant t be together, I guess.

Bye bye.

Hrm I hope Russ fills Bill Roper's spot at BPR.

Now we know how Susan plays L4D XD XD

And yeah, I do sometimes wonder what kind of person I am for enjoying slaughtering hundreds of men in different ways each time so much... In a game... :D

Farewell Russ, I'm sure you've heard me say that enough :P

Oh Shadowrun, I cry for thee. Though it's a little out of place to seem to be including it in the list with Crimson Skies and Mechwarrior. I get that they're all FASA properties but the context of the discussion was how they were changed (for the worse or the better depending on perspective) when created for the consoles. Shadowrun didn't exist on the PC at all and it's console appearances were both quite amazing.. until MS screwed it the hell up.

Didn't we lose another guy not to long ago? Man. Who's going to fill those shoes?

Except several shows have come and gone. Anyone remember Extra Credits? It has only been gone a month or so.

StriderShinryu:
Oh Shadowrun, I cry for thee. Though it's a little out of place to seem to be including it in the list with Crimson Skies and Mechwarrior. I get that they're all FASA properties but the context of the discussion was how they were changed (for the worse or the better depending on perspective) when created for the consoles. Shadowrun didn't exist on the PC at all and it's console appearances were both quite amazing.. until MS screwed it the hell up.

I think you missed a step in there, about how the change heavily divorced the games not only from previous titles but also the feel and concepts of their tabletop origins (their real tabletop origins, too, not that Clix bullshit).

For example, take open vehicle design and customisation out of Mechwarrior/Battletech or Crimson Skies and you've taken out a feature of the games people would spend as much time as they would actually playing. Not to mention in the older titles vehicle performance operated on the same gradients/rules as the tabletop games, where everything was a trade off of advantages.

Same sort of thing applies to Shadowrun... the core of the tabletop game is, of course, doing runs/pulling capers/etc, not... whatever the fuck MS were trying to achieve with that abortion they shat out. I mean, hell, Deus Ex (pick any one from the franchise) is way closer to what Shadowrun was about than that shit. Give the player character pointy ears and the ability to shoot lightning out their arse and it'd be perfect.

I mean, how can ANYONE fuck up core concepts of 'I drives the stompy robot', 'I flies the crazy plane' and 'I does the hi-tech capers'? Crimson Skies, especially... how can you fuck up "BE A SKY PIRATE!"?

For everyone confused/surprised about Russ's departure, click here and learn more.


Congrats on tackling the EC thing, Russ. Took some guts to even try field that one.


Married. SO MUCH MAKES SENSE NOW! Pet references! One having met the other's family members! It's like the door to a truth has been opened! WHY DOES THIS KEEP HAPPENING TO ME?


Dead Island... it's sad that as someone who knows several coders, I've seen far worse sins make it to production. Reading the Doom source code was... interesting. Had one incident that was downright scary; I was hired to assist a coder and didn't meet him during the process. My first interaction with him was looking over his code and seeing a psychotic episode contained in a comment block. Conspiracy theory, delusions, word salad... and that's all I'm saying about that bit of freelance work.

My favorite was a second-hand story, though, probably because as a second-hand story I wasn't affected. A tooltip. No one would see it unless they right-clicked on a really obvious button and chose "What's this?" (Think Windows 95 when context-sensitive help was the new thing.) And it said something like "This button does just what it says, you idiot." Guess what happened when the program was out for sale?

There's a reason a LOT of shops have a rule for code, comments, and case notes: If you wouldn't want it on the front page of the Times tomorrow, don't type it.



My, all the praise for the new Deus Ex. I might have to break down and buy a AAA game for once instead of an indie.

I like these podcasts but if I could make a suggestion that would make me a lot more likely to watch them all the way through...

Put little markers in the video description that say like "From 0:00 to 5:36 we talk about X, then from 5:36 to 13:39 we talk about Y, then from 13:39 to 18:01 we talk about Z."

This is what makes ALL podcasts so hit-and-miss for me. There are always a lot of things I have no interest in and then things that I do have interest in, and podcasts always go from topic to topic to topic loosely. Like, I don't care about Dead Island but I see that you guys are going to talk about Assassin's Creed at some point in the podcast, as an example.

Just a suggestion.

Stammer:
I like these podcasts but if I could make a suggestion that would make me a lot more likely to watch them all the way through...

Put little markers in the video description that say like "From 0:00 to 5:36 we talk about X, then from 5:36 to 13:39 we talk about Y, then from 13:39 to 18:01 we talk about Z."

This is what makes ALL podcasts so hit-and-miss for me. There are always a lot of things I have no interest in and then things that I do have interest in, and podcasts always go from topic to topic to topic loosely. Like, I don't care about Dead Island but I see that you guys are going to talk about Assassin's Creed at some point in the podcast, as an example.

Just a suggestion.

That's actually a really simple and great suggestion. Not a lot of work, and helpful!

I swear... that image on the front page looks like Kane from C&C.

Mygaffer:
Except several shows have come and gone. Anyone remember Extra Credits? It has only been gone a month or so.

Its still running, but not on Escapist anymore.

Ack, an hour and a half of podcast. I hope I remember everything I wanted to comment on.

- Russ & Susan are married‽

- Apparently Ridley was written as a male, complete with nude hyper-sleep scenes and homosexual undertones with another crew member (if you believe Cracked)

- I too own P.N.03. Never was much good at it.

Bye Russ, come back once in a while and freak us out with a crazy overgrown beard.

-HOLY HECK!!!- Russ, you're a friggen badass~! Your response to the letter~! That's probably the first time I've cheered a recording on~!!! xD

The podcasts are easily my favourite part of the site. Hearing an open dialogue on games as an important part of life is something I almost exclusively get from you guys. Thank you very much.

You will be missed Russ, thank you for making the site what it is. : ) Congratulations on the promotion Steve~!

Endocrom:
- Russ & Susan are married‽

On my work PC, that interrobang looks normal. At home, it looks like it was italicized and then mated with a spider.

Huh, enjoying gore is only natural. Just.. Play Bulletstorm with a friend.

Interesting to hear your different angles from Deus Ex.
I choose to let the guy go because I thought it might give me a tactical edge.
Send the enemy's own hounds against him.

Also, right before the music comes in the first time, at 37.23... am I getting this right?
Steve: I brought my lube.
Susan: Ooohh, excelent.

Also Susan, short shorts and a tank-top in the jungle, BAD idea. Loads of mosquitos, ticks, huge ants and not to mention sharp vegetation. It's a very bad idea to wear things like that.

My favourite game female character, Jade from Beyond Good and Evil.

HOLY COW! Those two are married? Now that's a surprise twist...it'll be a shame to see him go...

Draconalis:
I swear... that image on the front page looks like Kane from C&C.

It is (hence the track 'hell march' playing during the break)! It's one of Russ's favourite games and he played Kane in an episode of doomsday arcade a while back... ( http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/doomsday-arcade/1364-Episode-23 - around 1:50 mark)

JenSeven:
Also, right before the music comes in the first time, at 37.23... am I getting this right?
Steve: I brought my lube.
Susan: Ooohh, excelent.

Lute.

JenSeven:
Interesting to hear your different angles from Deus Ex.
I choose to let the guy go because I thought it might give me a tactical edge.
Send the enemy's own hounds against him.

Also, right before the music comes in the first time, at 37.23... am I getting this right?
Steve: I brought my lube.
Susan: Ooohh, excelent.

Also Susan, short shorts and a tank-top in the jungle, BAD idea. Loads of mosquitos, ticks, huge ants and not to mention sharp vegetation. It's a very bad idea to wear things like that.

My favourite game female character, Jade from Beyond Good and Evil.

Yes, I know, my point is just that it doesn't have to be about sex appeal. There are plenty of things to admire about Lara; the fact that she's wearing a tank top (or evening gown or scuba gear or anything else the game puts her in) shouldn't stop you.

Susan Arendt:

JenSeven:

Also Susan, short shorts and a tank-top in the jungle, BAD idea. Loads of mosquitos, ticks, huge ants and not to mention sharp vegetation. It's a very bad idea to wear things like that.

Yes, I know, my point is just that it doesn't have to be about sex appeal. There are plenty of things to admire about Lara; the fact that she's wearing a tank top (or evening gown or scuba gear or anything else the game puts her in) shouldn't stop you.

You said that Lara was a smart woman...
Well... I went to Costa Rica 2 years ago, not to enjoy the beaches but to see the jungle there, and if that is anything to go by short and a tank top are seriously the worst clothing anyone could pick, so seriously not smart.

I've seen trees covered in 3 inch spikes, bullet ants (about 2 inches long and being bitten by them feels about the same as continuously being shot. I knew a guy that was bitten in his hand by one and he said he'd rather cut of his hand than continue to feel the pain), huge ticks, plants who's leaves secrete poison and so on and so on.

well... you get my point.

Good podcast. It is a bit sad you're going away Russ, but you will be missed. Farewell Boss.

I will always love lovingly remember when the Escapist got that Webby and when you wrote about it on the Escapist, you misspelled Escapist. Not just because it was funny as all hell, but also I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE spelling. I remember Susan was the one who fixed that too.

At least we still have Susan here. All hail the Nerd Queen! May fatalities come quickly to her enemies.

TwistedEllipses:
he played Kane in an episode of doomsday arcade a while back... ( http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/doomsday-arcade/1364-Episode-23 - around 1:50 mark)

I said it before, I'll say it again. A killer business opportunity:

Kanedygrams.

I'll miss seeing Kane around, I mean Russ, I mean, you all do such a great job!

<.< >.>

Seriously though, seeing that Avatar around made me smile, and Russ did do an excellent job given the quality of all the various articles the Escapist has put up over the years. You'll both be missed.

On 2K Marin... the main studio for 2K Marin is in Marin County. They inheritted 2K Australia's studio when 2K merged the 2 divisions.

... and that made me sound like a roadie. Two... One, Two. Two. Two. Twoooooooo.

On the subject of episodic games, one series that got me through a lull between MMOs was .Hack//. It had all the mechanics of an MMO, without the trolls, and it had an engaging story that lined right up with the movies of the time, I.E. the Matrix. Each release of the series had a game-changing hook at the end that would leave you wanting more. And the best thing? It came with the post-game content, what would be unlockable DLC today, included with the game. That way I could continue to play, interact with the NPCs, and visit new areas while I wait for the next release. I wish more developers took the kind of risk involved in this kind of venture.

First, im sad to see Russ go. Second, on the topic of game immersion, I find that a game is most immersive when my thoughts are altered to think like the character i am playing. The first of two examples of this is, while playing oblivion as a vampire i would every so often think to myself "I need to drink some blood, where is a beggar", the way the vampire feeding mechanic and sun-damage conflicted with having to do things during the day made me say those words to myself. The second example ties in with warhammer 40k which was touched on during the podcast, in dawn of war (dark crusade) I would try all the factions but I always found myself coming back to the Orks, I could not think more differently than the orks but I would start playing and would just want to crush some hummies and build my WAHHHHH, I was so immersed in their way of thinking that I would be thinking in an orky mindset for an hour or so after i finished playing.

Wait Susan and Russ married? AND I WAS NOT INVITED???

No but really your kids will be so awesome at video games, they'll probably kill Martha Stewart in the process :o Belated congrats!

I shall miss you Russ. There have been weird rumors coming out lately concerning the Escapist, but that should not cover up you and your team's achievements over the past years.

Also Susan, no crazy DS games this week? :/

Waitwait wait... wait.

Russ Pitts and Susan Arendt are married?

Well, there's my mind-blowing fact for the week.

de5gravity:
Wait Susan and Russ married? AND I WAS NOT INVITED???

No but really your kids will be so awesome at video games, they'll probably kill Martha Stewart in the process :o Belated congrats!

I shall miss you Russ. There have been weird rumors coming out lately concerning the Escapist, but that should not cover up you and your team's achievements over the past years.

Also Susan, no crazy DS games this week? :/

Well, I played some Radiant Historia recently, and I'm still not entirely sure how I feel about it. Conceptually, I think it's brilliant, but in practice....jury's still out.

Good luck after the Escapist Russ! Your time here has been very much appreciated by the entire community!

JenSeven:
Also, right before the music comes in the first time, at 37.23... am I getting this right?
Steve: I brought my lube.
Susan: Ooohh, excelent.

LUTE!

Seriously, expect a whole lot more Renaissance music on these things once Russ is gone. He's been the only thing holding me back.

Podcast without Russ - It might take some time before I can get over that fact. But life goes on.

Thank you for your hard work, Russ, and good luck in your future adventures.

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