chanman

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About chanman

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  1. Three Moves Ahead 533: Old World

    Old World definitely sounds interesting, but I continue to dislike Epic Game Store exclusivity - I simply prefer to have fewer services running in the background of my PC (I leave both GOG Galaxy and EGS) off by default and that typically creates a bit of a discoverability/update problem for me (in that the clients get started so infrequently) Anyone know if they have future plans to show up on Steam? I noticed it's self-published unlike Offworld Trading Company which was published by Stardock
  2. My props to Len for getting useful audio out of Sin's track, but what's the root cause of the garbled audio? It almost sounds like a poorly situated laptop's built-in mic. At work, the usual solution for people who have issues with audio is to call in separately using a phone even while screen sharing from their PC. Edit: Also, Rowan's track seems to suddenly come out louder than the other panelists from time to time.
  3. Rob and Brian Reynolds actually discusses that point about how and why Alpha Centauri ended up with its strong narrative hook in Episode 134, which is one of my favourite 3MA episodes of all time (and incidentally now coming up on 10 years old). https://www.idlethumbs.net/3ma/episodes/the-alpha-centauri-show
  4. Just being pedantic, but the copper bottoms are an anti-fouling measure, and it's more precisely, copper sheathing, so it could absolutely be retrofitted to a ship. I imagine it would require drydocking for obvious reasons, of course.
  5. Three Moves Ahead 522: Suzerain

    I think the most hilarious event chain is probably the President of the US analogue relentlessly macking on your character's wife from the moment he steps off his plane. It's too bad the visit comes so late in the game, because Walker seems like he would have hit it off at Petr's "Gentlemen's Club"... and I suspect a not-insubstantial amount of dirty laundry and blowback...
  6. Three Moves Ahead 522: Suzerain

    I just finished my first playthrough - I managed to revitalize the economy, keep the aggressive neighbours in their place, contained a polio outbreak... but drove my VP to suicide, failed to get my reforms through the assembly (by one vote! Is that scripted that any narrow margin becomes a single vote?), was unable to see off a party leadership challenge by 5 votes, and spent the rest of my life in prison after impeachment. The reactionary elements are tough to bring to heel.
  7. One thing mentioned in this podcast,-about how this was a game that could only have been made by a team where life behind the Iron Curtain is still a living memory (if not by the developers, than by their parents' generation) and still living in the aftermath, reminded me of Disco Elysium - in that case, the developers hailed not just a Soviet client state, but from an actual ex-Soviet republic (one of the Baltic states - Estonia, IIRC). It was interesting that a number of reviews of Disco Elysium had comments about its deep ambivalence about socialism and neo-liberalism but didn't seem to connect the ambivalence as a product of being written by people from an area that had spent most of the 20th century as a Soviet Socialist Republic and living through the ups and downs of crash post-Soviet economic development in a tiny state.
  8. Three Moves Ahead 522: Suzerain

    Unfortunately, I'm finding Sin's audio to be quite garbled
  9. Three Moves Ahead 518: PanzerBlitz

    From the podcast, Panzer Blitz sounds like the board game equivalent of a Panzer General
  10. I'm surprised Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri wasn't mentioned - specifically, while the units were generic and no paths to victory were locked off to any faction, the faction agendas (and the associated bonuses/penalties and social engineering choice limitations) made it difficult for some factions to go after certain victory types. Notably, the Civ V civics and World Congress that were added in the later DLC look like clear nods to Alpha Centauri's social engineering and Planetary Council/Planetary Governor mechanics. Regarding Rob's ambivalence towards live games - this is the exact same issue I've had with any kind of MMO (or sports-like activity like competitive gaming or motorsports or professional sports in general). It becomes hard to compare like-to-like for say... hockey player's numbers as the game itself changes over the years (and across different leagues). Mind you, that's not just a gaming issue - any kind of long-lived process (whether you're talking accounting regulations, legal codes, software products, manufacturing processes, etc.) just accumulate more cruft and weird hacks over the course of use and time. I know in software, we use the term technical debt, but it's more like the accumulation and gradual loss of institutional knowledge - for example, with World of Warcraft's re-release, how many designers and developers are still at Activision Blizzard from the initial launch and remember the considerations that went into design choices made with various patches and expansions? One reason why I enjoyed Into The Breach so much was that it didn't assume any prior knowledge - and the boring initial squad paved the way to understanding the mechanics that other more specialized squads exploited in their own ways.
  11. Three Moves Ahead 512: Per Aspera

    I had to check Urban Dictionary for 'Stan' because the only thing that was coming to mind for me were a bunch of republics in Central Asia
  12. Three Moves Ahead 511: Wingspan

    I just want to point out that Wingspan plays even better with a controller than it does a mouse, and that's a much more natural complement to couch/TV play.
  13. Speaking of motivations for whistleblowers, I imagine they have more than a couple things in common with individuals that choose to be suicide bombers or carry out suicide attacks or self-immolation (a suicide attack against reputation) - whatever their particular cause, they are firmly in the camp of fanatics or nihilists in that they neither care about nor for consequences. It's not a question of having a lot (or nothing) to lose - they are clearly driven past the point where that will motivate them to back down. So it's not surprising that the drivers come along powerful emotional vectors - spite, hate, resentment - speaking can be a powerful way of attacking those who have wronged them and also a spectacular act of self-destruction. I'm sure there are idealists who want their actions to drive systemic change, but I suspect at least some public (vs. private/anonymous like Deep Throat) whistleblowers set off on their course of action wanting to be witnessed in their act of defiance against the powers arrayed against them. And we should bear testament to that.
  14. Regarding Rob's story of his lecherous king... "Dirty old man seduces his useless/uninterested son's hot wife" is an extremely common plot in Japanese porn. On the topic of the weird eugenics optimization part of CK3, is it possible to accidentally on-purpose end up with offspring as messed up as the Habsburgs from all the excessive consanguinity?
  15. Three Moves Ahead 500: Origins

    On the other-other hand, the 3MA episodes have been much fewer and farther between for a while now. I blame Rob's responsibilities at Vice