This week has been somewhat productive on the scheduling front. It has been a nightmare working with X (Twitter) the last couple of weeks because they had accidentally disabled webp images, which is what I default my images to for compression. So I would usually have to go back and re-compress them as jpg or png files. I know there’s a lot of hate out there for webp, but most of it stems from before Photoshop or Gimp easily supported it without finding random plugins (kind of like HEIC which requires a $.99 codec from Microsoft). But now, webp is pretty much supported everywhere without messy plugins quite possibly riddled with spyware.
I also finished the main game of Sea of Stars and enjoyed every minute of it. I’m currently going through the post-game content to get the “true ending.”
Below is the November YouTube playlist.
I pull a lot of the items about gaming and movie news here from a number of sources: The Atari Age forums, Retro Indie News, Time Extension, IGN, Retro Hour podcast, Itch.io, Facebook, Twitter, etc. What shows up here will change weekly depending on what I happen to find in the wild. I try to include the original sources in the links.
Amazon lays off 180+ game development employees
Nathan Grayson announced that Amazon has laid off a significant number of employees from its Crown Channel and Game Growth teams.
Sega of America accused of trying to lay off 40% of unionized staff (Game Developer)
In a move that should surprise no one in the game industry, Sega is accused of attempting to lay off a massive chunk of their unionizes staff.
Embracer Group confirms 900 layoffs after net sales upswing (Game Developer)
Continuing the horrible news in the game industry, the Embracer Group is laying off 900 staff members as part of their restructuring plan. Their internal games have done well, but their externally developed games haven’t faired nearly as well in stores.
Humble Games lays off “valued staff” (Game Developer)
An unknown number of people were laid off from Humble Games as restructuring begins.
505 Studios lays off 30 percent of its staff during restructuring (Game Developer)
Yet another studio, 505 Studios, is laying off 30% of their staff during restructing to concentrate on valuable sequels to existing, popular, IP.
Unity tells investors run-time fee will likely have minimal benefit until 2025
After walking back their disasterous run-time fee and next-to-no explanation on how it would be managed or tracked, the investor call noted that the future fee for adoption and implmentation of runtimes will be minimal in 2024, but as more developers choose Unity and create projects in the newer engine versions, it will be more significant.
Persona developer Atlus raising average annual salary by 15% (Game Developer)
After a string of layoff news, this is extremely good news! Atlus is raising the annual salary for its employees to be more competative. While this may mean that employees have been making far less than their counterparts at other companies, at least Atlus isn’t following the trend of cutting massive swaths of employees like the other news stories this week.
Snoop Dogg and son Cordell Broadus create Death Row Games to create Fortnight content (LA Times)
This is cool, too, and one of the first big stories I’ve seen about content creators really hitting the Fortnight island creation scene hard. Plus, they’re focusing on minority developers, which is even cooler!
Daily Drop Roundup
You can get daily drops in your socials wherever you live. First Facebook link is the the Nostalgia Drop page, and the second is to the group. The group is more fun.
November 12th, 2023
Warren G. – “Regulate”
Jolly Rancher Fire Stix
November 13th, 2023
Afroman – “Because I Got High”
The Hollywood Squares
Silly and often irreverant, The Hollywood Squares combined Hollywood actors and comedians in a quiz show format.
Elevator Action (1983)
Secret Admirer (1985)
November 14th, 2023
The Ronettes – “Be My Baby”
Dot Matrix Printer
While not as soothing as popping bubble wrap, pulling the edges off of dot matrix paper was a popular way for office-workers to unwind “on the clock” without crying in the bathrooms at IBM.
Metal Walker (2001)
An RPG for the GameBoy Color, Metal Walker had an innovative combat mechanic based on pool/pinball where the player would attempt to ricochet off of the wall or enemies to get multiple hits.
Teen Force (1981)
November 15th, 2023
The Runaways – “Cherry Bomb”
In 1961, Cricket designed the first disposable lighter. The disposable motif was popularized by Bic in 1973 when they released their own take on the concept. Thus, the “flick your Bic” marketing catch phrase was born.
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest (1987)
With some incomprehensible clues lost in translation, Simon’s Quest was one of the first templates for the sprawling RPG-adjacent games that would follow Symphony of the Night in 1997.
The Incredible Hulk (1977-1982)
Before the Avengers and Ang Lee’s Hulk, there was Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrrigno as the big green guy who you wouldn’t like when he’s angry.
November 16th, 2023
DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – “Summertime”
Inline skates were around for a while, but in 1982, the Rollerblade brand was born. Being the first inline skate company with worldwide distribution, they quickly cornered the market and then committed generecide by becoming the common name for all inline skates.
Star Ocean (1996)
An action-RPG from newly-founded tri-Ace pitted three friends against an intergalactic war encroaching on their world. Through time travel and plot devices the friends try to save their planet. The remake is available as Star Ocean: Frist Departure R.
1950s shenanigans as a Chicago kid moves to a small town in Ohio and befriends the quiet kid. While the name and cast implies more of a sex comedy, Mischief plays out more as a coming-of-age dramedy.
November 17th, 2023
Paula Abdul – “Opposites Attract”
You don’t have to be Janeane Garofalo from Romy and Michelle to know that Spencer Silver invented the low-contact glue for post-its while attempting to create a super-strong adhesive.
Space Channel 5 (1999)
Dance along with Ulala as she reports the news against rival newscasters during an alien attack.
Story of O (1975)
Just Jaekin’s follow-up film to Emmanuelle (1974) takes a woman, known only as O, into the wild world of sadomasochistic sex and controlled bondage in an unconventional story of love and possession.
November 18th, 2023
The Dead Milkmen – “Punk Rock Girl”
Uncarbonated, fruit-flavored soda with small gelatin balls susended in the watery mixture. The Clearly Canadian company discontinued it after a short run, but it lives on in the minds of many mostly for its weird texture.
Whereas Doom cemented the first-person shooter and Doom II provided a solid networked shooter experience, Quake was fast, real 3D action from id Software.
Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club took the personal psychological thriller and turned it on its head. And yet, a whole generation of modern-day self-proclaimed “alpha males” have missed the entire point of the film by idolizing Tyler Durden. Crap. I wasn’t supposed to talk about it.