Friday, February 02, 2018

Weekly Link Round Up

It's Friday! Which means nothing to me, because I'm still working ALL. WEEKEND. LONG. It was necessary to typed that in caps. While I try to reign in my sanity for a 12-day work stint, let's throw down the Weekly Link Round Up! A gathering of the best, worst, and weirdest gaming news on the internet, this week. Here's what we've got in store:

- Check out Kotaku's podcast for the week, with Jason Schreier and an appearance by Leigh Alexander. They dig into some of the top headlines for the week, but what I was interested in was their segment about writing in video games - the most important part is the tools at your disposal. It's an interesting portion of game development many of us probably never thought about. How do you write a script so that it's playable in 6 months to a year while still feeling fresh? What tools are out there to give a faster turn-around for writers to make tweaks on the fly? This is a podcast you'll want to queue up for today.

- 'Dead Time' is the official term for inactivity in a video game. It's time where the user is doing nothing. No actions. No productivity. This includes loading screens. Can dead time ruin your game? Yes and no. A blog post on Gamasutra helps outline the expectations of dead time, and what you can do to reduce it. But I'd also like to argue that some dead time is good. In MMO's for example, there are a number of players that are actively doing nothing in the game to further the story/content. They are sitting in their digital homes. Chatting with friends. Taking photos of their surroundings. It's dead time, but it's one that these gamers intentionally pursue to become immersed with the game. I.E. some dead time is good. But if you have a 15 second loading screen every 5 minutes, that's bad dead time.

- More video game movie talk, this time with an opinion piece on Shack News about the perils of making these movies a reality. It's been confirmed that there will be another Mario movie in the works, working in conjunction with the studio that developed 'Despicable Me' and Nintendo will be 100% involved in the project. Both production groups will have a lot to overcome to make this a success and not another 'Super Mario Bros.' flop.

- eSports continues to grow! With over $700 million in revenue generated in 2017, experts believe this year that we'll see the $1 billion mark. Watch out traditional sports. We're coming for your views!

- Snackade; a new way to get a snack while you game. In this strange concept, an Australian business wanted to merge gaming and eating in a fun way. Play a retro game and as you earn food-related power-ups, a conveyor belt will cart out the item. Not weird at all.

- If you need a read that hits you in the feels, check out this op-ed on Game Spew about a women and her father. How gaming brought them together, and they became best friends through their digital adventures.

- What Weekly Link Round Up wouldn't be complete without a list from WhatCulture? This time it's 8 heroic characters who didn't affect the plot of the game. At #8 it's Master Chief from Halo...okay so this list already sucks. Master Chief didn't affect the plot of Halo? Really? Even with the 5th installment, his actions may not have affected some of the quests. But his journey through all 5 games have made a huge impact on the plot. To argue otherwise is dumb. Yes, WhatCulture. I'm calling you out. You're dumb. They also list Nathan Drake from Uncharted, and You the gamer for No Man's Sky and Dark Souls. Folks, it looks like we're back to the crappy lists from WhatCulture again. Maybe we should stay away from their website for a bit while they recuperate.

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