Conventional wisdom has long held that when you buy a laptop PC, you're sacrificing power for portability. The idea is that you pay a premium for miniaturization of the key components, like the GPU, CPU, and storage, but that in that process you lose a lot of performance power. This is still largely the case, but the gulf between laptops and desktops is shrinking all the time as manufacturers find ways to incorporate more powerful parts into smaller form factors without generating untenable amounts of heat or noise. In part this is due to shrinking dies in chip manufacturing, which generally increase energy efficiency. Requiring less voltage to power a component means generating less heat, which in turn means you need less noisy fans in a machine to keep it properly cooled and ventilated. That said, we certainly haven't reached parity, either in performance or pricing. But how close are we? Is there still a strong case to be made for a traditional desktop PC in the age of … [Read more...] about Laptops vs. desktops: how much does portability cost, and which manufacturers are providing the best value?
Unique value proposition
Arkane Studios has been one of the industry’s most prominent proponents of single-player experiences that allow the player to test new things out in a given environment. These ideas are at the root of every Arkane game which made it all the more interesting when they revealed that they’d be making releasing Prey: Mooncrash, a new roguelike take set in the world of 2017’s Prey. Despite not being without flaws, Mooncrash excellently combined the roguelike genre with these Arkane values that promote experimentation. At a Bethesda event during PAX West, we spoke to Arkane Studios’ Lead Designer Ricardo Bare about the recently released expansion Prey: Mooncrash and the ideas that came with developing a roguelike title while keeping the core elements of Prey intact. We also spoke about what could be next for Arkane in the future, though Bare was on his game when it came to not giving us too much to work with. Logan: I … [Read more...] about Arkane Studios Interview — The Design Challenges of Prey: Mooncrash and What’s Coming Next
The month before a new expansion is a magical time for World of Warcraft players. Just on the horizon, and fast approaching, is an entirely new world (or, in Battle for Azeroth's case, two new worlds) just waiting to be explored. There's exciting new features, like Island Expeditions, to speculate over, and the always looming question of "do I dare switch to a new class?" For my group of friends, Battle for Azeroth has been a topic we continue to revisit almost daily. And, for my friend Kevin who has never played World of Warcraft in his life, our enthusiasm is infectious. I saw it happening from a mile away: His cool, detached curiosity gradually warming as he asked us more and more involved questions. I jolted upright with excitement when, almost out of the blue, he asked the group chat which class he should play. Good, I thought, join the dark side.MMOs are massive, intimidating games. You would think they want to do everything in their power to hook new players, but as I have … [Read more...] about Getting my friends into World of Warcraft is a nightmare
Since its inception, Street Fighter has been the benchmark that other fighting games live up to. The gold standard that helped crystallize the genre and inspired everything that came after it. Only a few other names in gaming hold this lofty position, and newcomers of the genre are pretty much required to study up on the art of the Hadoken. Thankfully, for its 30th anniversary, Capcom has seen fit to stuff the franchise’s entire arcade into a single product. Twelve different fighting games, each with their own unique balance and historical significance. Add in a detailed batch of historical extras and a jukebox full of OSTs, and you’ve got a museum-quality collection that’s well worth your time. Starting off, you have the original Street Fighter, which is a historical oddity more than anything at this point. The game’s historical documentation does its best to prop this one up, but nobody is going to get much honest enjoyment out of it nowadays. The … [Read more...] about Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection Review – The Legend of Dick Jumpsey
Mike Laidlaw can still remember his first day at BioWare, even though it was over 15 years ago. He even remembers the date he answered the phone and found out he had got the job: 23rd December 2002. Laidlaw was used to answering the phone; at the time he was working at Bell, Canada's largest telecommunications company, in the province of Ontario. When Laidlaw first joined Bell's call centre, he worked the phones. Later, he got promoted to lead a team on the phones, "which was somehow way worse than being on the phones," Laidlaw told me last March, the day after his star turn at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. "I went in and said, I'm sorry, I'm quitting. I'm not coming in tomorrow. They said, 'you can't quit two days before Christmas! If you quit you'll never work here again!' I said, 'that is pretty much the plan, yes.' So I walked out, and a bunch of people high-fived me because - yay! - I got out."We're upstairs at Zero Zero, a pizza and pasta place just a 10-minute … [Read more...] about Being the boss of Dragon Age