Sean

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Everything posted by Sean

  1. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

    We never ended up reading this for The Idle Book Club, so here's the original book club pre-discussion thread moved to a more appropriate home on the books subforum. -Chris
  2. The Idle Thumbs Store

    Hi all! We have OFFICIALLY launched the Idle Thumbs store over at store.idlethumbs.net. It has most of our Kickstarter stuff in it right now (we have very limited quantities of NON-Kickstarter backer vinyls, for instance) but we'll be populating with more stuff as the weeks go on. Right now you can vote on the next color variant of the thumbs shirt, for instance. So, tell us what you desire or any problems you might have. If you have any support issues (shipping, whathaveyou) we've reengineered our support desk to where we can respond pretty quickly so hit us up at support@idlethumbs.net. Sorry this took so long but hopefully we did it right!
  3. It exists. 3PP:Off. Search for Idle Thumbs!
  4. On this episode: Chris, Sean, and Jake start to fill a hole in their reading history as they dive into Pynchon for the first time. Enjoy their inexpert but enthusiastic flailing amidst the baffling waters of postmodernism. Join us next month for a discussion of Ellen Ullman's By Blood. Listen on the Episode Page Listen in iTunes Subscribe to the RSS Feed Buy the book from Amazon.
  5. *DEEP BREATH* Here's the thing with ol' Taylor Swift. Sometime over the past six months being ultra-famous in the pop world also started to mean you were friends with Taylor Swift. It means you popped up on her instagram or she invited you on stage for a song. Whatever, that's fine -- the thing that pisses me off is that all of that feels like a cliquey tool to define what's in and what's out, mostly because it began in earnest with the filming of her Bad Blood music video -- a video about a song that is directed at Katy Perry, a public enemy of Taylor Swift. Swift got all of her friends together -- literally a dozen ultra-famous names (Ellie Goulding, Lena Dunham, Cindy Crawford (!!!)) and made a video about a a bunch of badass ladies gearing up with guns to go some unseen war. The video is basically saying "we have bad blood but I have everyone on my side so fuck you." That is pretty much the worst message to send to your fans, most of whom are schoolchildren and have to deal with that shit every day. Miley Cyrus actually summed it up pretty well: “I don’t get the violence revenge thing,” Miley said of Taylor’s “Bad Blood” music video. “That’s supposed to be a good example? And I’m a bad role model because I’m running around with my titties out? I’m not sure how titties are worse than guns.” I think that's a fair point -- not to clear Miley Cyrus of selling a regressive image of femininity, but I think it's pretty lame for the most famous pop musician on earth to adopt themes of violent revenge with a huge posse because she doesn't like someone. Anyway, 31 yo male here reporting in on pop music feuds which are totally meaningless at best and a poison to society at worst. <3
  6. True Detective Weekly 3: Maybe Tomorrow The plot threads keep piling up–but now we know the characters of True Detective Season 2 well enough to trust them to guide us through. "Maybe Tomorrow," our favorite episode of the season so far opens with an Elvis impersonator and ends with a fistful of teeth. What else do you need? Listen on the Episode Page Listen in iTunes Subscribe to the RSS Feed
  7. Man, I didn't know any of this. Never got to the Cataclysm expansion!
  8. After a bad first episode, I like this episode, now.
  9. Dota Today 17: Aui_2000: Sean and James sit down with Aui_2000 fresh off of his Dota Asia Championship win! Game Discussed: Dota 2 Listen on the Episode Page Subscribe and rate us on iTunes Subscribe to the RSS Feed Subscribe on Soundcloud
  10. As I fall deeper down the DOTA 2 rabbit hole, we thought it would be a good idea to start an Idle Thumbs DOTA 2 Steam Group so we can plan matches, etc etc. You can find it here: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/idlelords
  11. Hi, I guess I know some stuff about these things so I thought I'd start a thread if folks have questions about getting started, weird little problems you might encounter, ideas, the desire for feedback (probably harder for me, to be honest, but I'll try), etc. You can get twine here. If you're making something narrative, it's a great way to start. It's actually how I started Firewatch right after I left Telltale. I don't know much about inkle but it might be worth a look. I know a bit about Unity, but we use a proprietary system so not sure how helpful I can be there.
  12. Hard to top "NOT GREAT, BOB!"
  13. I don't think it's aesthetically out of line for Nintendo, but the hodge-podge of the concept, the looks and the design just didn't feel Nintendo to me; especially since in the past three years we haven't really received anything super duper original from Nintendo -- so hearing that there was a squad-squid-tag-the-power-of-paint type shooter as a first party new Nintendo game was confusing. My bafflement was not put-on; I think at this stage it's pretty obvious that I don't really have the energy for that.
  14. My style is just keep the screens super duper brief. There is nothing stopping you from taking something that is ten sentences and making it five clicks to get through. If you do that you might even find something interesting (ie: some branching or a clever use of click-text) that you didn't expect. A good example of this is a story I wrote about a man and a woman's relationship. You get pick your first words that your'e going to say to this woman at a bar and then once you've chosen the words, it jumps to a single screen with just the clickable words "You are drunk." Your choice is made BEFORE this slide -- so it goes "Pick A or B" then "You are drunk." and then A or B executes. I landed on it as an entertaining bit of design because I was taking a two BIG screens and chopping them up. So yeah, chop chop chop. I also think Twine is not a good place to prove that you're a good fiction writer. It is a place to prove that you are a good game designer. I, personally, don't like twines that are written in the style of a novel -- say, a full adjective laden sentence describing the smell of the air. For instance, lets say I'm writing a Twine game that is set... uh....hmmm.... ok, it's set on a safari in Tanzania. It starts like this: Option A Your boots crush down into the dry grass as you hop from the back of a Land Rover. The heavy smell of diesel rushes into your nose; the grimy byproduct of the hulking engine that now quietly ticks in the scorching, African heat. The fumes and your own exhaustion work together to create a lightheaded dream state, only made worse by the circumstances of this tenuous mission -- you are here to hunt and ultimately destroy the bloodthirsty specter that killed your best friend -- an insatiable Lion named Fartface. [Head out into the bush] [Rest a while with your driver] Option B You step out of your Land Rover into the oppressive heat of the Savannah. It was a long and impossibly bumpy journey, but you're finally here to hunt the lion that killed your best friend. The abominable Fartface. (new page) *** You're lightheaded from the drive; the taste of diesel in the air doesn't help either. [Head out into the bush anyway] [Rest a while with your driver] Ok, so it might just be a matter of personal preference, but I want to play Option B. It gets straight to the point and doesn't seem to want to impress me with the quality of it's writing (although it's certainly not awful; I had to look up how to spell abominable). PLUS! I just proved my point. Writing it the 2nd way I noted that the first page delivered me the info I needed to make future choices (I'm here to kill the Lion -- made even more important by it being the thing I click on) AND it made my lightheadedness the most important thing in page 2. Seeing that happen while I was writing, I added the word "anyway" to the first choice to highlight that heading out into the bush is a risk. Of course, I'd probably make the driver get eaten by Fartface if you stayed, so that's fun. I think keeping each page of a twine as conceptually tight as possible is a good way (but not the only way) to go about trying to design a good game. Remember: be an impressive designer first, a good writer second!
  15. Hmm. I think spending a full college experience getting a BA (I ended up with English/Film but studied a lot of policy, international relations and law) sorta prepped me for that. Having to write in a workshop, hone your chops, and pursue honesty in the writing about all else (above a good plot, a funny moment, whatever) was just something that was beaten into me by the professors at USC. But character voice has also always been something that's sort of natural for me to pick up on. I guess you can't just try so hard -- you need to practice and practice and practice and then once you create "real" characters, writing them feels more like transcription than it does creation. "Oh, Henry would just say X here because that's what Henry, a person, says and I know him pretty good."
  16. Dota Today 17: Aui_2000

    I have talked to Puppey in real life and he is very tall. Dendi is also very tall. I am 5'11 and they are both a good three (Dendi) to five (Puppey) inches taller than me.
  17. Dota Today 17: Aui_2000

    Aui is/was a really tough interview. It seems like your actual argument is "you shouldn't have publishes this because I didn't like it." But assuming we don't have pre-defined topics, haven't done research, etc etc. is wrong. 99% of an interview is not the questions you ask -- making a list of good/hard questions is easy. An interview is about reading the tone of a conversation and getting someone to open up so it flows like a back and forth conversation between two people who trust each other. Our conversation with Blitz is a great example of that. The thing is, for a lot of "newly known people" (ie: Aui is a "name" but hasn't been for more than a few years) you have to straddle this line between knowing tons about them already (to do your job) but communicating that you don't in order to not make him or her feel uncomfortable. Striking that tone is really hard and Aui is a very guarded person. He may not have shared with you some magical insights but you did get an honest glimpse of who he is a person and how he perceives his own career and life. If you didn't like that, that's fine, but it's not quite right to assume our process or preparation because you didn't like the interview.
  18. The Idle Thumbs Store

    Hey guys, we put the ability for you to buy on-air mentions on our non-Idle Thumbs shows (as Thumbs is ad supported already) and would like to hear what you think. http://store.idlethumbs.net/products/mentions
  19. This is obviously the answer and I think I was just trying to make that point -- I don't like pretending that everything is all the same -- and it's also kind of an end-around way of pointing out that the entire idea of "the press" being "in collusion" with "indies" is actually insane.
  20. Dota Today 15: James Lawlor & Synderen: Sean and James sit down with Synderen from Dota Cinema to talk about casting big tournaments, the state of the tournament pro-scene, and the road to TI5. Game Discussed: Dota 2 Listen on the Episode Page Subscribe and rate us on iTunes Subscribe to the RSS Feed Subscribe on Soundcloud
  21. I thought about bringing up the Black Sox but I'm not really informed enough on the history of league POST the Black Sox off of the top of my head. But I also think that was pre-visual media and obviously way pre-twitter era. I think I corrected myself in saying "Pete Rose didn't be on his own team--he didn't bet AGAINST his team" but regardless, either of those scandals would ROCK MLB to the core if they happened now. Can you imagine if it came out that the 2014 Giants rigged the World Series? Holy shit.
  22. I don't think "what we'd like to see Valve do" was the crux of the conversation.
  23. Upton Sinclair's novel is more of an inspiration, I believe.
  24. Yep, this. What is the point? We could've talked about the SC MLG circuit as well, but I don't see the point of talking about how Riot organizes and sponsors all of their tourneys when Valve is never going to do that.
  25. This pure, wild, irresponsible conjecture but it wouldn't surprise me for TI5 to be the last one (or any future tournament) and Valve says "go forth, community, do your thing." That would be the most Valvian thing ever. (Not saying I hope they do, I'm in the camp of wishing they did MORE, to be honest, but it wouldn't surprise me.)