Vault Comics delivers with Money Shot's debut issue
As I assumed it would be, the first issue of Money Shot — which arrived on comic shelves this week — was a blast. In particular, I really loved Rebekah Isaacs' art. I found it complimented the humour and absurdity of the story but still worked well during the more personal moments between Christine and Omar.
I'll definitely be keeping this one on my pull list.
Mixer has signed away another big Twitch livestreamer. A couple months after Tyler “Ninja” Blevins committed to the Microsoft streaming platform, Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek announced today that he too has reached a deal to exclusively stream gameplay and video through Mixer.
Wow. I’m legit stunned.
I think I’m more shocked about this news than when Ninja moved over. When he left Twitch, I felt that Shroud was poised to take that proverbial “top spot” on the platform. Now, with him moving over as well, I have no idea.
While it’s definitely a surprise, this is good news for everyone involved — save for maybe Twitch — as it’ll continue to encourage healthy competition between the two platforms and hopefully help streamers grow on both Twitch and Mixer.
You have to wonder who might be next…
The Mirage Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas
Jared Leto apparently tried to kill Todd Phillips' Joker movie
Leto was so pissed about the reveal of Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker movie—which essentially invalidated his own largely abortive run as the character—that he attempted to leverage his status in order to have the movie killed.
While I haven't seen the new Joker movie, I've heard from many that Joaquin's performance is reason enough to see it. By contrast, Leto's Joker – along with the entirety of Suicide Squad – was just bad.
Assuming any of it is true, it's pretty sad that he'd use his power as an actor to do something so selfish.
Gaming at the end of the world
All the craziness of Fortnite’s black hole last weekend got me thinking. Epic took the most popular game in the world offline for roughly 36 hours because they could. But what if they had to?
First, a little background on what exactly happened to Fortnite:
The season  culminated when the Visitor, a mysterious being that arrived with the meteor, launched a rocket that created numerous rifts, from which came smaller rockets which were controlled by “The Seven” that struck all across the island, creating a black hole and consuming the entire game itself. Subsequent to this event, the game was unplayable for about 36 hours with the game’s screens only showing the black hole. [Wikipedia]
To have so much confidence in your game that you can literally take it down for an extended period of time is pretty incredible. It reminds me — for the complete opposite reason — of what happened with SquareEnix and the original Final Fantasy XIV before they released Realm Reborn back in 2013:
The game, known as Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn, is a replacement for the 2010 version of Final Fantasy XIV, which was shut down after negative reception at its launch. Final Fantasy XIV takes place in the fictional land of Eorzea, five years after the events of the original release. At the conclusion of the original game, the primal dragon Bahamut escapes from its lunar prison to initiate the Seventh Umbral Calamity, an apocalyptic event which destroys much of Eorzea. Through the gods’ blessing, the player character escapes the devastation by time traveling five years into the future. [Wikipedia]
On a side note, in some ways, the success Realm Reborn has seen since relaunching mirrors what creator Hironobu Sakaguchi dealt with during the release of the original Final Fantasy. The game was essentially his “hail mary” play during a period of uncertainty around his future. It was literally intended to be his final game until it because wildly successful and evolved over the years into one of the most popular, financially successful series of all-time.
In the case of Realm Reborn, they took a terrible situation and did what few studios would be able to do: shut the failing game down, rebuild it from the ground up, and make that process part of the lore. As a result, the game exploded in popularity and remains a fixture in the MMO space to this day. In a similar way — but under a completely different circumstances — Epic did the same thing during their update from version 10 to 11 not because they felt they had to but because they could.
Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers has a main character, and her name is Kamala Khan. That’s right, Ms. Marvel will take it upon herself to bring the Avengers back together again after Captain America’s death.
This is a solid trailer. We’ve got new story details and a look at Kamala in action, who looks like she’ll be a ton of fun to play as. This should also clear up the misunderstanding MCU fans have that this game has anything to do with the Marvel movies, which has always confused me.
The Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas
Team photo from the last day of TwitchCon 2019
Thoughts on Twitch's new look
The subtle adjustments to the glitch logo is fine and I actually like the updated logomark looks better than the original, which — as someone who really liked the old logo — I never thought I’d say. The larger radius on the button corners and circular pills for tags are a nice touch that I feel modernizes the look. I also really like the new typeface (Roobert) but I think they’ll need to make some adjustments to weights (ie: the sidebar “followed channels” etc) throughout the site.
The new purple is nice, particularly in the dark version of the website, but I’ll miss the previous one. It would be nice to see them use a combination of the two. Speaking of dark mode, while the dark palette of the site looks fine, the light version feels… off. Maybe too much white space? Weird contrast with the shading of the sidebar? I can’t quite put my finger on it but something about it doesn’t gel like the previous version did. That said, I almost exclusively use the dark version so it’s not something I’ll encounter on a daily basis.
I know they’ve already said this is only the beginning of the work they’re doing but I really wish they would have also done some work on the user experience of the Twitch website. The navigation is still cluttered, items are hidden, the dashboard is still all over the place, panels are a nightmare to organize and display effectively, discoverability of channels still isn’t very good, etc.
Overall, I’m into the new look. Next, I’d like to see them tackle the deeper UX issues.
River City Conventions shutting down permanently
River City Conventions after 25 years will be closing its doors permanently. There will be no future events planned for 2020 or the future.
I wasn't the biggest fan of the convention but I'm still sad to see it shut down. I had some great experiences there many years ago. Why they couldn't have simply scaled back the event and put it on in a different place is beyond me.
While the organizers were quick to blame the venue and sponsors for their troubles in their previous update, this now makes me think they're withholding details to avoid damaging their reputation with their biggest supporters.
GalaxyCon Minneapolis is in November and the guest list looks fantastic.