Any YouTube creator will tell you that choosing the right thumbnail is a big part of what drives views, and therefore success, on their channels. There are dozens of articles examining the psychology behind clickbait thumbnails, but the answer remains the same: they work. That’s why some creators were left frustrated by a statement YouTube’s team made on Twitter last night, which announced an experiment on a very small group of select channels to test automated thumbnails for research purposes. “We are running a small experiment where 0.3% of viewers will see an auto-generated thumbnail, instead of your custom thumbnail,” the tweet reads. “We are not removing the ability to create your custom thumbnail, but we hope to gain insights on auto-generated thumbnails for the future.” Testing a product for research purposes to only 0.3 percent of a total audience may not seem like that big of a deal, but creators see it as yet another example of YouTube not … [Read more...] about YouTube thumbnail experiment may impact millions of users, frustrating creators
Soma video game
Last week, GOG kicked off its Summer Sale in full, offering thousands of discounts with up to 90 per cent off, and even asked us to pick a bunch of our top choices for our very own collection, which was nice - and a lovely excuse to mention Bioforge again. The Summer Sale finishes up this weekend, so GOG's gone and given us a big batch of 350 game keys to give away to you dear readers as a thank you for making the whole thing a bit of a success. All you've got to do is follow the instructions on the widget below and you're good to go. The games themselves will be randomly selected from an assortment that featured in the GOG Summer Sale range. There are ten copies of the truly wonderful Night in the Woods up for grabs amongst the titles on offer, while some of the others featured include To The Moon, System Shock 2, The Witcher series, Into The Breach, Grim Fandango Remastered, Cook, Serve, Delicious 2, Absolver, Hotline Miami 1 and 2, Reigns, Ruiner, Soma, The Witness and a whole bunch … [Read more...] about Fancy winning one of 350 games, including Night in the Woods?
On the last day of the cold January Will from Extra Credits sat down to stream SOMA, and for the first few hours of the game he was joined by his friend and Frictional employee Ian Thomas. Ian worked on scripting, coding, and level design for SOMA, and is now the Story Lead on one of Frictional’s two upcoming projects. During the stream he answered some questions from the viewers, ranging from what type of pizza he thinks Simon had in his fridge, to ways of minimising dissonance between the player and the character in a narrative game. In this blog we’ve compiled the best questions and answers into an easily readable form. So go get a beverage of your choice and dive into the everyday life at Frictional, narrative game design and tips on networking in the industry! Or, if you’re not the reading type, you can also watch the whole video on Twitch. Have some other questions? Hit us up on Twitter and we will try to answer the best we can! (Picture commentary from your … [Read more...] about Q&A with Frictional writer Ian Thomas
Jump scares are often considered cheap scares, and to some extent that reputation is justified. I've played games and seen films where the scares are exhausting rather than exciting, and they're not much more sophisticated than someone jumping out of a cupboard and shouting 'boo'. Context is everything, though—jump scares can be a valid device in horror if it doesn't feel like the only thing the creators are throwing at you. "If you don’t do the suspense correctly," said James Wan, director of movies like The Conjuring and Saw, back in 2016, "then your jump scares are not going to work." The same principle applies to games. Fear tactics "They definitely have a place," says Dion Lay, who was one of the writers on Alien: Isolation at Creative Assembly, when I ask about jump scares. "One of the reasons I love horror is because the genre is wide enough to be so many different things—slasher, ghost story, even comedy—and there are so many tools to use. Jump scares … [Read more...] about What horror game creators think about jump scares
Those with a love of the macabre and a steely constitution are in for a treat; Amnesia: The Dark Descent and its follow-up A Machine for Pigs are currently free on the Humble Store. Developed by Frictional Games (the studio responsible for the terrifying SOMA), Amnesia: The Dark Descent unfurls among the tenebrous stones of a vast and loathsome castle. It's as much a masterclass in psychological manipulation and suffocating atmosphere as it is jump-scares, and is generally considered to be one of the finest horror experiences a person can have in front of their video game machine. I can personally only vouch for the excellent first few hours however, because it all got a bit too much for me after that. A Machine for Pigs, meanwhile, continues on with the series' Lovecraftian stylings, albeit with a touch more political subtext as you battle your way through a terrible, subterranean factory in search of your children, somewhere beneath the deserted streets of Victorian London. It's a … [Read more...] about Amnesia: The Dark Descent and A Machine for Pigs are currently free on PC