Free money for CoinStar or TD Bank, though. Just before I moved, I brought a forty pound bag of change to TD bank. $140 in change. Seemed like a much better idea at the time to walk to the bank than take a cab.
The Hobbit may only be split into three films because of conservative editing and an appetite for ticket sales, but they really do bring Tolkien’s world to life every bit as well as the LoTR trilogy. I like them.
Taking a sharp turn away from the lush island jungles of the top-rated Far Cry 3, Far Cry 4 is set in Kyrat, an untamed region currently ruled by a despotic self-appointed king. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the achingly beautiful views; Kyrat is a wild land full of perils. Once again, players will be able to craft their own stories as they travel through this exotic open world teeming with wildlife – using their wits along with an assortment of powerful weapons and diverse vehicles.
YES. Far Cry 3 is one of the best title of the last generation. Stoked for the next.
Levar Burton and team want to bring Reading Rainbow fully digital - from libraries and iPad to the web and classrooms. As of midnight on its first day, the Kickstarter has been funded $1.4M and counting. That comes from 31.5K backers with an average pledge of over $45. It’s brilliant.
See, it is super easy and takes almost no time at all to create something like this, as long as your definitions of “super easy” and “no time” are flexible enough to include difficult and time-consuming.
But the results are breathtaking:
Inspired by John Nelson’s breathing earth and Conveyal’s aggregate-disser post, I wondered if I could make a breathing city. Manhattan looks somewhat lung-like, so it seemed natural. Should be a fun, quick project. How naive I was.
Chris Kohler on the news that Microsoft will soon begin selling a $399 version of the Xbox One without the Kinect:
Price is the problem, as others have learned recently. Getting Xbox One’s price in line with PlayStation 4′s was paramount, and matching Sony in terms of online video streaming features was as well since that is also an extra cost associated with Xbox ownership. Microsoft having to suck it up again and roll back a feature to get the price down illustrates that this was really its only feasible move. (Getting rid of an unpopular peripheral has got to hurt a lot less than Sony having to ditch backward compatibility to get PlayStation 3′s price to a palatable level.)
I’m not sold that price is the only problem here. As I’ve said from the outset, this latest generation of consoles sound like mediocre upgrades at best. They’re not Wii U-level disasters, but they’re just too “meh" to compete in a world that is increasingly mobile.
Further, I think Microsoft just created a quagmire for developers who were told time and time again that all Xbox One’s would ship with the Kinect. With the change, who in their right mind would create a game that takes full advantage of the device? And that, in turn, will ensure the device itself is not a success.
I’m not sold on the eventuality of the mobile gaming market eroding consoles. Consoles and mobile offer radically different experiences. The new consoles are ‘meh’ compared to PCs in terms of specs, making them seem less impressive, but I don’t think that’s the main problem here.
Exclusive titles and franchises are the Achille’s heal of the new consoles. It’s the games that make or break a console so long as the hardwareisn’ta total disaster. Xbox has Halo, Gears of War, Mass Effect, and first-in-class networking. Playstation has God of War, Uncharted, and whatever Naughty Dog is going to follow up The Last Of Us with. Right now, none of those franchises are on the new consoles.
This is a spot-on read of the Kinect developer problem, though. I was excited for the opportunities that should have arisen with all Xbox Ones hooked up with Kinect. First-gen Kinect integrations made for huge value adds on Mass Effect and Skyrim, and that was basically the devs putting their toes in the water. This is an abandonment of the technology in meaningful terms. It’s disappointing to say the least.
Design finally won “a seat at the table.” Is it now set to lose it?
For those of us in the advertising industry, creative has had perhaps the biggest seat since day one. For us, the challenge has been how get technology to the table early enough to keep the project in the realm of reality and using the technology properly.
It’s fascinating to see the tech industry struggling with the same dilemma we’ve been struggling with, where creative solutions without a problem result in dud products.
Four quest designers worked on the original Witcher. Its more refined sequel had six. The conclusion to the trilogy, which promises 100 hours of content and a 50-hour story, has more than doubled that. “We have about 14, I think,” says lead quest designer Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz. Nor have CD Projekt Red simply padded out The Witcher 3’s Skyrim-exceeding open world with unimaginative busywork. They’ve systematically banished fetch quests from the game—or, at least, as much as a team can when making a highfantasy RPG. It’s one of the ways the Polish developers are refining their identity through the creation of The Witcher 3, where quest and narrative design is being meticulously worked and reworked right up until release.
The more I read about this, the more excited I am for it. I got bogged down in grind quests and UX issues in Witcher 2, and abandoned an otherwise beautiful and compelling game. Everything I’ve read makes me think they’ve really come at this from a ‘it’s time to fix the formula’ angle. That’s the kind of mindset that led Respawn to Titanfall, which, despite its lack of accoutrements, has some of the most refined and balanced yet fresh gameplay of any game I’ve played recently.