MidBoss names Cade Peterson interim CEOVeteran of Jump, Sony takes over 2064: Read Only Memories studio as founder Matt Conn leaves amid controversyBrendan SinclairManaging EditorFriday 6th April 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareUpdate: Peterson has issued an additional statement clarifying that he is retaining his full-time position at Jump and taking over at MidBoss in an interim CEO capacity only.”I’ve always been a champion of GaymerX and MidBoss, so when they asked if I could step in to help during this critical period of transition for them, I definitely wanted to assist. I will be working with them in this interim capacity until a suitable full-time replacement for MidBoss is found.”The original story follows below.MidBoss has a new boss. The studio today announced Cade Peterson as its new CEO, taking over from Matt Conn after the studio founder was accused of sexual harassment and a variety of exploitive employment practices.Peterson joins the company from streaming service Jump, where he was VP of content and community. Prior to that, Peterson held a variety of roles in the games industry, including developer relations at Leap Motion and community management at Sony Computer Entertainment America. MidBoss released a statement from Peterson addressing the allegations and outlining next steps for the studio.”As is now public knowledge, various allegations have been made against MidBoss over the past few weeks including sexual harassment, underpaying staff, undervaluing women and people of color, threats of legal action against workers and not providing access to a human resources department,” Peterson said. “We have been listening to everything with an open mind, recognize we let our team down, and have apologized to them in private and now do so in public. Our workers are our most valuable asset and management must do better moving forward.”As such we are making changes to company policies and personnel. Effective immediately I will be assuming the role of CEO. Matt Conn, our former CEO, is being fully offboarded. Toni Rocca, who was briefly interim CEO, will be assisting me in the transition period and will no longer be part of the company within the next 30 days.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Peterson said he will be conducting an audit of what MidBoss pays people, bringing in an external human resources company, and instituting mandatory sexual harassment training for all employees.”It would be easy to see all the negative press and problems at MidBoss then walk away, but our amazing employees are staying and I am joining the company now, because we all recognize how important a role we play in the industry,” Peterson said. “We all believe in creating beautiful experiences that bring forth characters and storylines not common in AAA games and increasing visibility to marginalized people in a positive way.”If you have jobs news to share or a new hire you want to shout about, please contact us on [email protected] employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesYoshinori Ono joins DelightWorks as president and representative director | Jobs RoundupFunPlus hires Wei Wang as chief creative officer, Arone Le Bray joins The Chinese Room as principal narrative designerBy Jeffrey Rousseau 4 days agoSix additional staff leave Stadia to join Haven StudiosFormer Stadia Games and Entertainment GM Sebastien Puel is a co-founder of Jade Raymond’s new ventureBy Danielle Partis 6 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
Making narrative choices meaningfulFormer Failbetter writer Cash DeCuir discusses what draws players into an interactive story – and how to avoid throwing them out of itJames BatchelorEditor-in-ChiefWednesday 11th April 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareFrom the earliest text adventures and Fighting Fantasy books to the modern day sprawling RPG, there has always been an appetite among players for the ability to tell their own story.It’s a fantasy BioWare and countless other big studios have built their reputations on, and a concept indies around the world are experimenting with all the time. Yet for every promise of a branching narrative and real consequence, there’s an unspoken shared knowledge between the player and developer. Just as you do not talk about Fight Club, you do not acknowledge that the story is already written.Cash DeCuir, games writer”The great secret is that the player is always going to be on the railroad,” as former Failbetter writer Cash DeCuir phrased it so eloquently when GamesIndustry.biz met him earlier this year.”There’s always going to be only so much freedom that you can offer, but the important thing is that if you do pose a question, give the player room to answer it. Along the way you can give them a number of questions that they can be answering and thinking about.”DeCuir offers two examples: the seminal 80 Days by Inkle Studios and the upcoming Over The Alps, a narrative adventure he is currently working on with Stave Studios. Both games set players the clear objective of travelling from one point to another: in 80 Days, it’s around the world, while in Over The Alps, players journey (you guessed it) over the alps. “Along the way, you can choose your route; in 80 Days, you can go to Paris first or to Cambridge. You have so many choices open to you, but at the end of the day, all roads will lead back to Rome. It’s the choices you make along the way that will create the journey. It’s a matter of creating, as the player travels through the story, enough opportunities for them to feel that they are making choices and are indeed given the freedom to answer those questions you pose in a variety of ways.””The great secret is that the player is always going to be on the railroad.” An abundance of choice does not, of course, make a journey more engaging. Stepping away from these more geographical examples, there are interactive narratives out there that seem to shoehorn extra choices in purely to make the player feel like they’re participating in the story.In one mobile ‘text chat’-style adventure game, for example, the main character says they are injured and in pain. The player is then presented with two potential responses – ‘Are you okay?’ and ‘What happened?’ – but the character’s answer is always the same. Players are already aware that they’re on a railroad, but instances like this make it painfully obvious how linear that journey might be. How can developers ensure that each choice is meaningful? DeCuir says it’s “a matter of finding choices that are worthy of the player’s time.”To accomplish this, the writer explains that any narrative choice can be broken down into four components. First is the question itself, what you are asking the player to make a choice about. Second is informing the player about that choice – “otherwise it’s arbitrary”. Third are the choice options themselves, and fourth is the response. Inkle’s 80 Days may have only one final destination, but it’s the plethora of player-chosen routes that make the game engagingLooking at the injured character example, DeCuir says the third element – the available answers – gives the most room for building on the story and the relationship with the character. Yes, stock answers like ‘are you okay?’ are important to include, but developers shouldn’t limit themselves to this – otherwise it becomes like a tennis match, with a repetitive back and forth.”Are you able to give some spin on your relationship [with the character] or call back to something earlier in the game?” DeCuir suggests. “Anything to make the opportunity to respond something that was not just engaging, but more… flavourful isn’t quite the word… more characterful. Trying to make each beat as impactful as possible.”You can’t accommodate for everything. But if the response feels earned and respects the player, it should be fine” “The feedback is probably going to be the same regardless. Sometimes that’s fine. You think of something like a Telltale game, 80 Days or Over the Alps, where it’s always going to be on that railroad track. You can’t accommodate for everything. But if the response feels earned and if it feels like it has respected the player the whole way through, it should be fine.”It’s also important to avoid forcing an emotion from the player. In the same mobile text adventure, the character asks the player how they want to be introduced to others: as their best friend, or as their cousin. Choosing the latter prompts a hurt response from the main character, believing that the relationship with the player was more intimate. If that player genuinely feels no connection to the character, such a response can grate on their enjoyment of the game.”There are always going to be people who just hate your characters,” DeCuir warns. “You can’t rely on the player really liking them. When you begin to dictate an emotional response, the player is meant to have more control over who their NPC is.”You might have any number of feelings about this individual. It’s not for the writer to ask you to define them and say you love them. They should just ask you to go through this story with them, and if a relationship develops along the way and then they get hurt, then you can express how you feel about that. If you care about them, that’ll show in the game and it’ll reflect that. If you are still frosty towards them, that’s fine, too. It’s just a matter of making sure everything keeps on track while respecting.”He continues: “That’s the trick – breaking down choices well enough, meeting all those stages and criteria to ensure that the player has an engaging, fun experience. If you can give the player that, I don’t think they really care about whether or not they are kept on rails, so long as they feel that it’s engaging and not forced, but respectful.”Another way to make choices meaningful is using them to allow players to forge their own path through the game. Yes, it’s a railroad but if that veers off down different branches and loops, players should be able to access them. “Often times, we have found that players are able to justify a lot more than we’d expect” DeCuir cites Failbetter’s flagship title, Fallen London, as a prime example of this. In the browser-based text adventure, players can duck out of one story and play through another however they see fit, and the DeCuir stresses that the Failbetter team never concerned themselves with how they chose to progress.”The players may need to have enough secrets in their inventory to be able to convince the butler that they should let them into the manor house so they can continue their story,” he says, by way of example. “That means that the player must go off into London to gather secrets that they can pass on to the butler. We don’t care how they get them, we don’t know. We know there are many opportunities but it’s a matter of giving the player room enough to find their own way through a narrative which is on rails. How they get to the end is their own business.”Of course it’s difficult to write stories in a way that fully accounts for players’ past actions. If you’re unable to pass that butler and go off to do other stories, returning to him doesn’t always register that you have previously had the exact same conversation. It would be easy to assume this shatters the immersion, and for some players it might, but it’s not necessarily the end of the world.”Often times, we have found that players are able to justify a lot more than we’d expect,” says DeCuir. “It’s not always the case, and it’s hard to give a read on it. Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and sometimes I have grappled with the question of ‘I really want it to make sense doing it over and over again; sometimes you have to just accept that that’s the nature of the beast.”The mechanics of Papers, Please aren’t particularly compelling but the human element added by each character’s story is what makes them meaningfulFailbetter experimented with various tools to solve this problem, whether it was locking off certain narrative branches or introducing variables into the text that present conversations slightly differently, hinting that they might be taking players’ past actions into account. “You have to make sure that at the end of the day, the story gets out. We can’t accommodate every single instance. But trying to find just the right mix that it feels that the player has enough freedom and that the narrative is coherent enough so that if they do have to return to something a few times before they can finally get it, then everything holds together.””When they have the opportunity to respond to a question and make their choice, I’m not trying to goad them into one” When playing through narrative adventures, particularly those with a morality system or theme, it can feel as though the developer is presenting certain choices as the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ option, or that the choices have been crafted in a way that players can almost predict what will happen next, helping them choose the path they want. But DeCuir warns developers and writers to avoid this situation if they can, ensuring the player still retains as much freedom as the railroad will allow.”When they have the opportunity to respond to a question and make their choice, I’m not trying to goad them into one,” he says. “All I am trying to do is make the player feel, in that moment, that they have the freedom to respond to the question, they have the knowledge to respond, that the moment has been earned, and that they can see why each choice doesn’t feel forced or arbitrary or anything like that. I don’t care how they respond, I just want to make sure the response is something I could foresee them having.”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Ultimately, the purpose of meaningful choices is to help players forget that great secret, forget the railroad they’re on and just pay attention to the journey they’re experiencing. Meaningful choices are the key difference, DeCuir says, in “transforming play into roleplay”, using the acclaimed Papers, Please as a final example.”Games pose problems to players, then give them a toolkit to solve them,” he explains. “You have an objective, then you have the mechanics of the game that allow you to meet those objectives. Mario needs to reach a flag so he can run, jump and get there. In Papers, Please, of course, you have the ability to interrogate whoever is coming into Arstotzka. You check their passports, see if it matches all the credentials. If it does, you stamp it and accept it, they go in. That’s that. “The thing that sets it apart though is when you bring in the story element into it, the human element. There’s a mother who hasn’t seen her son in six years, can she go in and see him? Well, she doesn’t meet the criteria so that creates a question for the player to solve. I think that when you begin to add in these extra questions for the player to answer, which aren’t just ‘I need to meet this objective using these tools’ but rather ‘what objective exactly should I be meeting by using the tools I have at my disposal?’, that creates a much more engaging experience for the player.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesAdopt Me developers unveil new studio, Uplift GamesTeam behind hit Roblox game has grown to over 40 employeesBy Danielle Partis 12 hours agoDeveloper wins against Grand Theft Auto DMCA takedownTake-Two loses claim to reversed-engineered source made by fansBy Danielle Partis 16 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison (92) takes the field before an NFL wildcard playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)PITTSBURGH (AP) – Le’Veon Bell spent four months helping the Pittsburgh Steelers return to the top of the AFC North and four painful quarters watching helplessly as it all came undone.Sure, there were pangs of “what if” for the second-year running back and team MVP as the season came to a decisive end with a 30-17 loss to Baltimore in the wild-card round last Saturday. Yet while Bell believes his hyperextended right knee would have been good enough to go this weekend if the Steelers had advanced, he’ll have to settle for a trip to the Pro Bowl and the growing confidence that deeper playoff runs are coming for a team in the midst of an identity shift.“For the longest, the Steelers have only been known for defense,” Bell said. “This is the first year really the offense has really talked about being a dynamic offense and having playmakers all over the field. We love that. We’re definitely going to get better.”On paper and on the field. Bell set a franchise record for yards from scrimmage, wide receiver Antonio Brown put together the second-highest single-season reception total in NFL history (129) and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tied Drew Brees for the league lead in yards passing. Pittsburgh finished as the NFL’s second-ranked offense and smashed the team mark for points in a season.Yet out of all those gaudy numbers, the most important ones might be their ages.Bell is 22. Brown is 26. Rookie Martavis Bryant – who caught nine touchdown passes in 11 games – is 23. All five starters on the offensive line are in their 20s. And while Roethlisberger turns 33 in March, he shows no signs of slowing down.“The sky’s the limit,” Bryant said when asked about his potential. He might as well have been talking about the other guys in the huddle too.The sometimes gaudy production came after two painful seasons of restructuring as the offense adjusted to Todd Haley’s diverse scheme, Brown developed into one of the NFL’s best players and Bell morphed from raw rookie into one of the most versatile weapons in the league. Finding the right chemistry took time and patience. It’s a process the Steelers now find themselves making on the other side of the ball.The transition will likely finally begin in earnest during the offseason. Defensive end Brett Keisel’s torn triceps likely means his career is over. Cornerback Ike Taylor will be 35 in May and missed most of the year with forearm and shoulder injuries. Safety Troy Polamalu was slowed by knee issues over the second half of the season and is hardly talking like a guy who plans on spending a 13th fall playing his own unique brand of football.“Time will tell,” Polamalu said when asked whether he’s going to return.Oddly, perhaps the most likely candidate to return next season is somebody who began 2014 retired. Linebacker James Harrison needed a solid month to get into shape after re-signing with the Steelers in mid-September but at times looked every bit like the player who was among the NFL’s most feared defenders in his prime. The 36-year-old finished third on the team with 5.5 sacks despite playing in just 10 games.Harrison stressed when he initially came back this would be his last ride. Now he doesn’t sound so sure.“The first few weeks it was a feeling of my body couldn’t take this, it couldn’t handle this,” Harrison said. “Over the course first 3-4 weeks, my body adjusted, started to feel a lot better. … I don’t feel nowhere near (as badly as) I thought I would feel.”Whether Harrison dons his No. 92 jersey again, however, the torch is all but officially passed. For Pittsburgh to return to the league’s elite, the defense doesn’t need to be dominant, though it wouldn’t hurt. Either way, it is time for the likes of linebackers Jarvis Jones, Sean Spence, Ryan Shazier and safety Shamarko Thomas – all 25 or under, all expected to be leaders of the next wave – to begin the process of building a legacy of their own.“I think a lot of younger guys took a lot of big steps this year,” defensive end Cam Heyward said. “We have to continue to make steps if we want to make the ultimate goal.”___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
While the veteran backcourt of Perez and Keisha Lee have been credited with instilling poise in the Lady Demons, it was time for Youngblood, a freshman, to show what she has learned in her first 14 college games. In the final 20 minutes, the Lady Demons upped their shooting to 63.6 percent from the field, including a 3-for-6 performance from the 3-point arc. NSU, which went 2-for-7 from the free-throw line, knocked down 15 of its 17 second-half free throws. Presley Owens chipped in 11 points for the Lady Demons, who also got two key second-half 3-pointers from Chelsea Rogers (9 points) and a momentum-shifting 3 from Keisha Lee with 5:09 to play. Lee’s 3 set in motion a game-ending 17-6 run for NSU. The furious second-half rally allowed the Lady Demons to overcome a combined 30 points from ACU’s Suzzy and Lizzy Dimba and a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds from Sydney Shelstead. NSU limited the visiting Wildcats (7-5, 0-2), who entered the game averaging 75.8 points per game, to 28 points in each half and held ACU to 29.7-percent shooting (19-for-64) for the game. No two free throws were bigger than the ones hit by Janelle Perez (15 points) and Tia Youngblood (career-high 12 points) in the final 1:01 of the game. After Northwestern State forced Alyssa Echols into a traveling violation, Youngblood bullied her way to another three-point play that put the Lady Demons ahead to stay with 25 seconds to play. NATCHITOCHES, La. – Another Southland Conference game, another second-half comeback for the Northwestern State Lady Demons. Perez’ freebie completed a three-point play that tied the game at 56, knocking Abilene Christian from the lead for the first time since the 11:48 mark of the first half. The Lady Demons will remain at home when they host Incarnate Word at 1 p.m. Saturday. It marks the first back-to-back home games for Northwestern State since Nov. 14-18. Northwestern State 61, Abilene Christian 56 It may not be a script that third-year co-head coach Brooke Stoehr prefers, but it is one that continued to produce results, as the Lady Demons rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to remain perfect in conference play with a 61-56 victory against Southland Conference foe Abilene Christian at Prather Coliseum on Wednesday night. Youngblood entered the game as a 33.3-percent free-throw shooter, but she made all six of her attempts, setting career highs in both attempts and makes. After making just 18.8 percent (6 of 32) of its first-half shots, Northwestern State (8-6, 3-0) put together perhaps its most complete half of the season offensively and defensively to extend its winning streak to a season-long three games.
Tamara O’ReillyResearch into Africa’s media landscape has shown that new technology and innovative thinking have allowed the continent’s broadcasters to attract larger and more diverse audiences than ever.Of the 17 different markets surveyed by Balancing Act and Intermedia, key findings were that there has been an explosion in the number of radio stations, the volume of advertising has increased and free-to-air (FTA) TV channels in countries such as Kenya and Tanzania attract the bulk of viewers and advertisers in those countries.The countries surveyed were Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda and Zimbabwe.Indigenous radio flourishingA number of radio stations, specifically those broadcasting in local languages, have mushroomed across Africa.One such example is Uganda, where there are now over 150 radio stations, with 69% of them catering for audiences in 38 different languages. While both television and radio are distributed in developed cities, radio is the dominant medium in rural areas, which suggests that there is a direct correlation between electricity and television ownership.Radio is so popular that it’s listened to in cars, in public transport, shops and homes, and in countries where deregulation of the media has occurred, several radio channels have emerged in a short space of time.According to the report, overall advertising spend on television has increased slightly in some countries and declined in others. It was also found that where the state-owned broadcaster competes in an environment with four to five other FTA TV channels, it becomes the least popular broadcaster or stays just ahead of the last FTA entrant.State interference in the media is still prevalent across the continent, whether it be content dictated by the government, journalists being pressured to censor their work or broadcasters being owned by ruling parties. In cases where content is controlled by government, audiences were found to be less trusting of the news than they would be otherwise.The growth of radio and TV ownership varies for each country, but it was found that in countries where economic growth is above the global average, ownership of radio and televisions sets increases by 17% a year.As more and more Africans move to other countries within the continent, broadcasters are also keen to provide them with content from back home. Although this is usually done via satellite, accessing television via the internet seems to be the preferred method among youngsters not living in their native country.Despite the fact that cellular phones are more accessible than the internet, television using this device has been slow to catch on, as the technology needed for this has not yet been supported by many cellular service providers.Related articlesThe media in South AfricaTelevision in South Africa Radio in South AfricaUseful linksIntermediaMultichoiceDStv
A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#community#web Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… robyn tippins 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Comment provider, Disqus, released a study that asserts pseudonym-sporting accounts leave better comments than those left by commenters using their real names. The study also claims that those who choose to use a pseudonym not only leave better, or more liked, comments, but also leave a larger quantity of them. What do you think?Do commenters using real names or pseudonyms leave better comments?We asked and culled your responses from Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and presented them back to you with Storify. If you have additional responses, please leave them in the comments.