TSM Episode 280: Clipcast

When the APPLAUSE sign lights up, please applaud. Do not stop applauding until you hear the bell. Failure to obey these guidelines can result in removal from the audience, serious injury, or death.
The Starlight Megaphone is filmed live in front of a studio audience.

Download: Produced 2014.07.13

When Caspius changes around the audio capabilities of the podcast, he forgets to rebalance the recording. The result is an ear-shattering trip through the news only made bearable after heavy application of Dynamic Range Compression. Technology ahoy!

Note: Our funding follow-up challenge runs to the end of July. If we raise $100 in donations before the end of July, Caspius will also play and review the runner-up game from our Select-a-Misery feature!


  1. I apologise for the terrible audio quality.

    I alone am responsible.

  2. It’s easy enough to fix–I just need to turn my mic down.

    The way it is set up right now, even at full volume I have to have my mouth on the mic to be picked up at all.

    For some reason, with the new system, my mic is pre-amped considerably. I did not know this when we began recording, so I was talking onto the mic as usual. The result is… well, much worse than you hear it here. It was actually not something to which one could listen for more than a few moments Luckily, technology allowed me to salvage it (to some degree).

    It’ll be better next week, but I won’t be doing the intro and outro lines live again. It’s a lot nicer if I take care of that in post production.

  3. Despite the volume issues it was still a fun listen. Nice to hear you guys being silly again. I look forward to what sort of hijinks will ensue with the new sound board on hand.

  4. Lusi’s descriptions of the audio issues did not do it justice. I feel like he’s IN my eardrum!


  5. Liked the laugh track when it was used at the right time. Good podcast.

  6. Caspius is channeling some of the Bup with his new soundboard – to hilarious results! I dig the mild vocal distortion effect, can you alter it intentionally? Also, I’m interested in sampling for music making, so what are you using that has the sounds prequeued?

  7. No Info Blast this week? Pfui!

    @Matt: It’s just VLC, actually. The problem is that I actually need it to wipe its ‘playlist’ after every file is added, so that the playlist only has the current media in it. There’s no way to do this except to close the programme after each play, but this results in all sorts of problems because of the way in which audio is grabbed from the programme. Pfui!

  8. I was out on vacation and am still catching up on back work. It’s coming.

  9. Info Blast working overtime, fighting crime, fighting crime

    This week’s panel
    “Subjected to torments” Blitzmage
    “Knocked out of the G20” Imitanis
    “I’m back in high school” Caspius

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

    Donators eligible for drawing:
    Dancing Matt
    Absurdist Kobold
    Billy B.
    Les E.
    Martin B.

    Feature: Select-A-Misery
    Everyone Vote

    Cricket News

    FF Explorers

    Cliffy B’s new game: Bluestreak
    I thought Gears of War was okay, but CB always comes across as a tremendous douche. Remember when he whined about review scores in the 80s for GoW3?

    The bleep bloops
    I actually don’t know where those come from. Where?

    Mark Cerney working on indie title

    Japan Frozen ps4

    Skullgirls released on ps4

    Halfway there
    Boo, the return of the halfway mark and it’s totally in the wrong spot.

    Mighty number 9
    More stuff I don’t want in a game I probably won’t buy.

    The Grand Budapest Hotel
    I agree that this is a fantastic film.

    Dungeon Keeper: “A Shame”

    Gamestop unique DLC
    While I’m against this entirely and haven’t been in a gamestop in over a year, this is a fairly clever way to try and keep themselves relevant.

    Imitanis literature corner
    Dirge without music

    DiceAdmiral’s Brettsuo Gaming Moment
    This week I played TrollHalla . It’s a game about Viking-esque Trolls raiding islands for plunder. There are bonuses for being the first to collect each type of loot. The main meat of the game is trying to load your Trolls onto boats to collect plunder and sending Trolls out to scout and to dictate which island the boats will sail too. The theme is a bit weak, and it looks like the game will be silly and lightweight but there’s a lot more going on here than there appears. Recomended as a lighter short length game.

  10. The Info Blast is BACK.

    @DiceMidshipman: It’s T20 not G20!

    Re. the Halfway mark, don’t complain! At least we used it!

    Trollhalla sounds like The Lost Vikings, except totally different.

    No votes really coming in for the Select-a-Misery…

  11. Alright, I wanted to ask this last weekend, but figured it’d earn me a scornful response, but what the hell. I don’t mean anything rude by it, so here it is: Why call this latest feature ‘Select a Misery’ when you’ve made it obvious that you’re only interested in giving a meaningful review to something you’ll enjoy?

    I heard the rationale about the ‘legit bad game’, but it’s a bit misleading to present titles that you can simply dismiss as ‘not bad by design’ or some such. And I understand the notion of ‘game made with the intent of cash in, not a failure of a genuine attempt to create a good game’, but really, it is called ‘Select a Misery’, and the first place the reader’s minds go is ‘What’s the most awful thing on this list?’

    I frankly would rather you just put up a select a playthrough and list things you’re actually invested in. Otherwise it’s not going to be much of a showing, as people -are- going to take the ‘misery’ and believe it’s going to result in a Bup-like comedy review.

  12. And for what it’s worth, I touted your site and podcast on the Facebook page for my own website. I have 1,000 followers there, so hopefully a few of them took notice and contribute to your traffic.

  13. @Wolfe: Despite claiming that you understand the finer distinctions of what makes games bad (and consequently, what can be said about their badness), your comment (complaint?) seems to ignore that distinction.

    Clearly if you admit that there are games which are terrible primarily because they aren’t even earnest efforts to BE proper games, then you must also admit that the things that can be said about such failures, within the constraints of a review designed to evaluate games on their game-like qualities, are going to be pretty limited. So, you can’t turn around and wag your finger at me for presenting that fact to the readers in the interest of heading off a disappointment.

    You write, “it’s a bit misleading to present titles that you can simply dismiss as ‘not bad by design’ or some such.”

    That is absolutely untrue. Not one game on the list was invalidated for such a reason. The only reason games were not validated is because of a lack of access to the game, or because the game was not available in an authentic North American release.

    You then write, I frankly would rather you just put up a select a playthrough and list things you’re actually invested in.

    Again, you are conflating things. The fact that I am INVESTED in a game doesn’t make it good instead of bad. In fact, the requirement that I be INVESTED in it (whatever that means) is secondary. But it does need to be something about which reasonable critique can be offered.

    My review of Deadly Towers critiques that game along expectations which we have of games. It was possible to review (and quite fun to read) for precisely that reason. Deadly Towers is a terrible game. But it is terrible PRECISELY because it is a serious effort to be a game. Mary Kate and Ashley Horse Riding is also terrible, but it is terrible in a way that presents little opportunity for commentary–not because it is a game, but because it emphatically is not really an attempt to make a game. I could play it all afternoon and have less than a paragraph worth of comment because although it is released on a game media, it is not trying to be a game in the same sense as an earnest effort.

    I will not prevent–and, despite your claims to the contrary, have not prevented–people from nominating valid games, however disingenuous their game-ness is, nor will I prevent people voting for the same. But as the reviewer, who is also interested in producing something people want to read, I consider it my DUTY to save people from themselves. There are many miseries, but as I understand it the ultimate goal of this misery is that it is followed with a REVIEW that you can read. Therefore, I should encourage you to select-a-misery that will result in a good review, and not the one that will just result in me being bored in front of a TV for a few hours.

    I fail to see how that is somehow ‘wrong’, nor do I understand for a moment your umbrage. Would you rather I say nothing, let you select something totally pointless, and then be disappointed when I can’t produce a review worth reading because the game itself is so speciously thus considered as to be unworthy of comment? I suspect you would complain bitterly then, as well.

    So, what is this, then, but a catch-22? When I warn you, you complain that I am trying to deter you from doing what you want, and if I say nothing and you select a stinker, it’s my fault for letting you blunder in without a warning.

    One more thing,

    OF COURSE I do not WANT to play a miserable game. Were it otherwise, would that not defeat the purpose of this whole endeavour? Be reasonable. I am obviously going to stump for FF7 as much as I can, because I think it is a wonderful game. It’s not MY job to select a misery, it’s yours.

    But don’t keep thinking that ‘if it isn’t something that is hardly a game, it must be enjoyable instead!’. That’s ridiculous, and Deadly Towers is proof. You ABSOLUTELY CAN Select-a-Misery–even one I would deter you from selecting. But there are plenty of miseries that are WORTHY of comment. I think you should select one of those for your own sake.

    Suggesting then that ‘It’s not a misery at all!’ is disingenous. WORTHY OF COMMENT is not the same thing as NOT MISERABLE.

  14. Oi. And this is precisely why I have reserved my comments here. Whatever man, enjoy whatever you get stuck playing. You can spend the next few installments telling everyone what a moron and soft headed lout I am for daring to ask a question with no ill intent.

    Maybe you’d have a few more comments from readers if you didn’t always feel the need to verbally destroy anyone who rubs you the wrong way. Or in this case, asks a question you don’t like. Best of luck in the future. I’ll be removing this site from my bookmark list.

  15. Hey, I call a spade a spade, Wolfe. I always have and I always will.

    When you accuse me, completely falsely, of cheating by removing games from the list, you can expect to be called out on it.

    You asked a question, so should be grateful that I took the time to explain my position in detail. I’m not sure how you justifiably can be offended when the questions you ask are answered carefully and thoroughly.

    But I am most surprised that you think I should silently permit you to make false accusations. If that’s what you want to do here, then it’s absolutely fine with me if you leave. Cheers.

  16. You can only go so far if you’re going to meet someone halfway.

  17. Mmm, interesting.

    I can’t see where this feature would be flawed, seems all pretty clear cut to me – even to the extent of folks (freely) offering up games to be listed – and indeed some were.

    At the risk of spoiling my own nominations – I did opt for a clear round one misery. That said such things are subjective. To be honest, I think this just compliments the voting.

    Perhaps folks sought to vote in favour of unfamiliar titles, wanting to learn more, maybe popular ones… either way, it’s up to us, our choices.

    For this site / podcast staff to freely give up their spare time, contribute and share a beloved pastime with us is very welcome indeed, a pleasure (to read / listen to) in fact.

    Are said staff guilty of douchebaggery? Certainly, are they some the finest writers and contributors to grace integrity? Absolutely – and to great effect.

    Yep, I think Select-a-Misery is great !!

Comments are closed.