Buried deep in Harold Goldberg’s wide-ranging feature for Vulture about the making of Red Dead Redemption 2 is a reminder of why one of Rockstar’s founders, Dan Houser, rarely gives interviews: his stunning admission that “we were working 100-hour weeks” at multiple points in 2018. In a report peppered with numerical superlatives (1,200 actors; 300,000 animations; 500,000 lines of dialogue; 2,000 pages of script; a budget in the millions), it’s that hundred-hour statistic that shocks the senses the hardest, and it raises a troubling question: If this is what’s required to make vast open-world games, then are those games worth it? Sixty-hour workweeks are the mainstay of gaming’s crunch culture, which is destructive enough, but the idea of a hundred-hour week causes one’s eyes to water. Spread out over that week, that equates to seven 14-hour days, with no weekend break. There are only 168 hours in a week, after all. It’s not at … [Read more...] about What will be left of the people who make our games?
Elon Musk’s impact on superhero film culture is undeniable, but always changing. The SpaceX and Tesla, Inc. entrepreneur influenced Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark in 2008’s Iron Man, the kick off to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and most recently, seems to have served as an inspiration for Riz Ahmed’s evil visionary in Venom, Carlton Drake. Critics have argued that Musk had an indirect influence on supervillains like Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and even Danny Rand in Marvel and Netflix’s Iron Fist series. There’s a good reason: Musk, who broadcasts his technological ambition through a blustering, Silicon Valley personality, represents a shift in how superhero cinema grapples with science and innovation in 2018. 2008 was an integral moment in genre entertainment. The Dark Knight and Iron Man both premiered, forever changing the projection of superhero movies at Marvel Studios and Warner Bros., where DC … [Read more...] about Elon Musk’s superhero influence chronicled his journey from a hero to villain
A YouTube documentary series, staggered in chapters, can present the creator behind the project with a unique opportunity: editing on the fly to include real-time reactions from others within the community. Shane Dawson’s newest series, The Mind of Jake Paul, is a perfect example. Dawson is expected to release all eight episodes, each about 45 minutes in length, over a three to four week period. There may be anywhere from one to three days between each episode, which gives Dawson, who edits all of his own videos with the help of his colleague, Andrew Siwicki, the ability to add in last minute details. Over the past week, Dawson has used those down days to edit in long-winded apologies, add other creators’ commentaries and address the general reaction to each episode. The Mind of Jake Paul feels like it’s unfolding in real time, and while that’s a beautiful aspect of YouTube creators unique ability to update the story as it progresses, viewers have expressed a … [Read more...] about Shane Dawson’s Jake Paul docuseries is an exhausting reinvention of YouTube norms
Game Freak spends most of its time these days churning out Pokémon RPG after Pokémon RPG, especially now that the series runs on an annual release calendar. Yet when the studio does break away to develop a completely unrelated, original game, it almost makes us wish that Game Freak had the time to be bigger than just “that Pokémon studio.” I’ve done my part in exploring as much of the broader Game Freak catalogue as possible with zero regrets. As we await a new Pokémon adventure, these are four recommendations of games that share both Pokémon’s charm and its developer. Pocket Card Jockey The best Nintendo 3DS game of 2016 was this hidden gem, an eShop exclusive with a bizarre premise. It’s solitaire mixed with horse racing, with a little bit of dating sim in there. (Maybe “horse dating” isn’t the best phrasing here, but it’s not far off.) Pocket Card Jockey is one of those games that seems light, and then … [Read more...] about Four great Game Freak games that aren’t Pokémon
When I met my first-ever Pokémon, Chary, he (or, technically, “it” — no genders in Pokémon Red!) was sort of a tiny, timid thing. He could cough up a little fireball when he needed to, but if faced with a Pokémon not susceptible to his flames, he clammed up. If his tail got wet, he was done for; heat does nothing to rocks, and neither do claws. But Chary was my best friend, and for a time, he was my only friend — in Kanto, at least. He wasn’t just my obligatory starter Pokémon, Charmander; he was my trusted, lifelong companion. When he suffered in-battle blows and setbacks, I felt powerless, pained by his struggle. That’s what you do when my closest friends get hurt: You get hurt with them. We grew together into a confident duo, as we bested impossible enemies and built out a complementary team. Everyone else in my party, it seemed, was there to help out Chary and me; we were the leaders of an unbeatable clique. When Chary … [Read more...] about Charmander is the best Pokémon of all time