Wednesday, February 26, 2020

"Clive Cussler, prolific adventure novelist and creator of Dirk Pitt, is dead at 88"

"Cussler founded a real-life NUMA, an organization dedicated to American maritime and naval history. Its volunteers have discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites"

"My 72 Hours in a Viral Tweet Vortex: A Diary"

Alexis Pereira for Vulture:

Last week, I did something a lot of people do every day: I tweeted out a joke. The joke in this case was a photo of a fake college English class essay I typed up about Tom and Jerry, then marked with frustrated red-pen notes and a D grade before tweeting it as though I were the professor at his wit’s end. To be clear, I’m not a college professor — I actually work in IT and am a comedian who performs in New York, presumably for other people who work in IT. But that didn’t stop thousands of people from seeing my tweet and assuming it was real.


Tuesday, February 11, 10:15 a.m.: My boss is on vacation, and my boss’s boss visits me in my office and asks me if I teach English. I tell him no, and he explains that he had to ask because people are calling him asking him to fire me. I apologize for the disturbance.

"XFL sees further double-digit drops in viewership in Week 3"

"The XFL’s ratings fell again in Week 3. After a 34 percent drop in average audience from Week 1 to Week 2, there was a further 23 percent drop from Week 2 to Week 3."

Kobe Bryant Memorial items being pulled from ebay

"eBay has a policy that prohibits sellers from profiting off of 'human tragedy or suffering.'"

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.

"Tales from the Borderlands: The Oral History"

From 2017 by Duncan Fyfe:

Playing Tales is the most satisfying kind of thrill: that of watching the thing that’s not supposed to work working better than just about anything else. It takes the benefit of the doubt and runs with it like Rocky up the art museum steps.


As we started looking at Borderlands [like] maybe we don’t want to approach this the same way we’ve approached The Walking Dead, it became clear to me that this game shouldn’t be about two terrible choices, it should be about two great choices.


The Walking Dead, while creatively satisfying, was a miserable development experience because you spend all day trying to figure out what the best way to make someone cry is, or the best way to gross someone out, or put them through the emotional wringer.


Episode One had about three tracks that we had actually purchased, and had the rights to. We’d start with one and go “That’s the one,” and we bought the rights, and a week later we’d go “Oh, crap, that’s not right, we need a new track,” buy another one, “Oh, crap, that’s not right.” We made a lot of mistakes on Episode One.

With Jungle, Busy Earnin’, it was an album that had just come out, and we were about a week and a half away from shipping. Pierre heard the album and he sent me the track. I was like, “We’re going to change the track again? I don’t know, man. We’re costing people a lot of money, there’s a lot of emotional stress that people go through every time we make one of these changes.” But he played the track and I was laughing. Laughing, like, this is so crazy, this is so different from anything that we’ve been talking about. I realized how perfect it was.


It also thematically made sense. I think that’s ultimately what my big pitch to people was: “Dude, it’s about getting money. How can you argue with this?” But that’s not really what mattered. That’s the argument you make, the intellectual argument for it, but really, no, it’s the energy. They could have been mumbling and it wouldn’t have mattered. It feels like it hits and when the horns kick in, it feels like: Let’s go.
On voice actor Troy Baker:
He posted a photo of his feet when he was flying somewhere and the only people who do that are girls at the beach and guys who like socks.

He always wears fun socks. It’s an interesting trait.

There’s a scene in Episode Two [where] Rhys flies out [of Fiona’s caravan, losing] a shoe for the majority of the episode. Because we knew Troy was a sock guy, we took extra pains to design a suitably fancy sock.

We were well aware that Troy was a sock nerd, so it made perfect sense that we should not only concept, model, and texture a Hyperion dress sock, but also rig and animate a shoe for one stupid, close up, slow motion shot of it coming off.

That might sound like a normal thing to do, but in game development, you actively go out of your way to avoid doing almost all of those things for something so inconsequential. In hindsight, it might be a microcosm of what it was like developing that whole season.


We made jokes along the way during production that we should get team socks instead of shirts, and he would just stay very quiet.

I found a company that made custom stitched socks and made [Rhys’s Hyperion] socks for the entire studio. Then I made Borderlands holiday cards and sent a pair of socks to the voice actor leads.

Giant NBA Jam arcade console (video game roundup)

Long-necked dog figurine (art roundup)

*Buy Krull posters at Amazon.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

"Kentucky Route Zero Is the Rare Story that Sheds Light on the Experiences of Millennials of Color"

Natalie Flores for Paste:

The “old folks” she’s referring to are her parents, Rosa and Lawrence, who frequent the bar and supply their alcoholism with Pearl’s money. She describes them as deadbeats, though I feel this is a description that applies to Lawrence more. Rosa has worked at a supermarket store for the past 11 years, only just recently having been told she’s “maybe eventually management material. “Keep your chin up,” her boss tells her. I empathize with her. In her I see my mother, who works at a supermarket and suffers screaming customers, supervisors without a shred of empathy, and the physical pain that comes with consistently carrying heavy objects and standing in one place for hours without end; who was told from her first day at work that there was no chance of her moving up in the company (at least she knew from day one! how lucky!). I see the millions of women who work two, three times as hard as the men in their workplaces and are stringed along with promises of promotions and financial security only to never get them.

Baby Yoda made from a paper towel roll

How would Lakitu hold a gun?

Ten funny tweets

*More funny posts.