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Video Games: A Form of Art

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When games were first created they were as simple as the technology they were created with. Throughout the years things have changed drastically since Pong was played with an analog twisting knob. Now Video games aren’t just a form of entertainment. They have morphed into far more than that. They have become more of an art and an expression than anything else.

The games we have now are far more complex than any before. They have deep storylines, multiplayer maps that are more beautiful than some sights in our world, and the characters that we have come to care deeply for. All of these things and more make up what we know as the modern video game. We have spent thousands of hours and even years playing these works of art. The stories within some games have complex histories more thought out than in many books and tv series.

What really makes video games stand out as an art form is how they make us feel. How they connect us to something more. There are moments from these games that will live with us forever. Moments like when Roach and Ghost are killed in Modern Warfare 2, when Cortana betrays the Master Chief in Halo 5, or perhaps that first glimpse you have when you escape the prison in Skyrim and see the open world for the first time. Sometimes its even in multiplayer when one of your friends just does something absolutely insane.

Each one of those moments made us feel something. Sometimes we feel hurt for the characters, sometimes we feel happy like we share in their accomplishments, and sometimes we are just excited to be looking at a beautiful sight in game. All those feelings come together and force video games to transcend being just simple entertainment and into something much more.

Gaming

Baldur’s Gate 3 had a more manageable development process compared to Larian Studios’ previous RPGs

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According to Swen Vincke, the founder and CEO of Larian Studios, the level of crunch on Baldur’s Gate 3 was lower compared to their previous games like Divinity: Original Sin 2. Crunch, also known as “crunch culture”, refers to the overtime that many developers are often expected to work when production deadlines are approaching.

According to GamesRadar+, Vincke was questioned about the challenges that emerged during the game’s extensive development and whether the studio had to work under intense pressure. Vincke mentioned that they are investing less in BG3 compared to their previous projects. We definitely did. We encountered unforeseen events.

Vincke highlights Larian’s global studio setup as a method through which the developer alleviated the pressure. This structure was established to guarantee round-the-clock coverage, specifically designed to prevent individuals from having to put in additional effort to resolve late-night issues. The Belgian developer has expanded its reach by opening a seventh office in Poland.

According to Vincke, employees who had to work long hours were compensated with overtime pay. He also mentioned that after 8pm, the offices would be nearly empty, and weekend work was a rare occurrence at the studio. Expanding on the topic, he clarifies: “We didn’t excessively push ourselves, but we did have to put in some extra effort.” And I believe, honestly, there will always be a sense of anticipation when you’re working towards completing a project, particularly when there are numerous intricate elements that need to be integrated.

Did you know that the development of Baldur’s Gate 3, with its immense size and scope, involved developers working tirelessly to meet the deadline? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Mad Max developer responds to comments made by Furioso director George Miller about Kojima

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Last Friday, we shared with you the news that George Miller, the director of the Mad Max franchise, mentioned Hideo Kojima as his top choice to develop another video game adaptation during the premiere of his latest film, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. By doing so, it appears that he also criticized the previous game with the same name. The founder of Avalanche Software and creator of the Just Cause series, Christofer Sundberg, the developer behind the last Mad Max game, has responded with strong determination.

On Twitter (thanks, Eurogamer), Sundberg expressed his disagreement with Miller’s comments about Avalanche’s Mad Max game not meeting his expectations. The director stated: “I prefer to only engage in activities if they can be executed at the utmost level of excellence.” Sundberg strongly disagreed with Miller’s statements, describing them as baseless and arrogant. He then proceeded to provide insights into the game’s development, revealing some interesting details.

Sundberg believes that Hideo Kojima has the potential to create an incredible Mad Max game, but emphasizes that it would offer a unique and distinct experience. He adds: “The publisher made extensive efforts to transform this game into a strictly linear experience, despite partnering with a developer known for their open world games.” In a subsequent Tweet, Sundberg elaborated on the situation, revealing that after the initial year of development, the higher-ups came to the realization that they had inadvertently steered them towards creating a linear experience instead of the open world game they had originally proposed. He stated: “We wasted an entire year of effort and were informed that ‘players desire independence in the current era’.” Well, obviously…”

Larian Studios’ director of publishing, Michael Douse, expressed his opinion, stating that Avalanche faced challenges in capturing the spirit of the 2015 film due to limited access and legal restrictions on intellectual property. He suggests that there may be a subtle detail that Miller is unaware of.

Mad Max, developed by Avalanche and published by Warner Bros Games, was released in the same year as Miller’s previous Mad Max film, Fury Road. Drawn from the series, it presented a backstory for Max, where players were assigned the mission of collecting components for his legendary Magnum Opus.

What are your thoughts? Were Miller’s comments inappropriate? What are your thoughts on Avalanche’s Mad Max game? Additionally, would you be curious to see how a Kojima-led adaptation would bring a unique perspective to the game? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Geek Culture

Spotify has announced the discontinuation of Car Thing, which has resulted in users expressing their dissatisfaction and requesting refunds

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Spotify is informing customers about the discontinuation of its Car Thing product, which will cease to function after December 9, 2024. The company decided to discontinue the device in July 2022, but assured customers that it would continue to provide support for the units that had already been sold.

According to an email sent to buyers, Spotify has informed users that the company’s plans for the device have changed. All Car Thing units will cease to operate later this year.

Car Thing, which became available to the public in February 2022, primarily catered to individuals without a pre-installed infotainment system in their cars. The device functioned by seamlessly connecting with the Spotify mobile app on a user’s phone, allowing them to effortlessly stream music through their car’s sound system. Spotify mentioned low product demand and supply chain issues as reasons for discontinuing the devices, but Car Thing was able to find a dedicated community.

Users are understandably frustrated that a device they paid $90 for will now become unusable, despite being previously assured of continued support from Spotify. Some individuals have turned to social media to express their dissatisfaction and request a refund for their purchase.

“Our Car Thing exploration in the U.S. aimed to gain insights into people’s car listening habits,” the company stated in an email . Announcing in July 2022 that we would cease production, it is now time to bid farewell to these devices altogether. Users will need to deactivate all Car Thing devices by December 9, 2024.

The company’s support page advises users to reset their Car Thing to factory settings and responsibly dispose of their device in accordance with local electronic waste guidelines.

The page also mentions that Spotify is making this move to streamline its product offerings. Although it may be disappointing, this change will enable them to concentrate on developing new features and enhancements.

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