An extended interview with Oddworlds creator, Lorne Lanning

Directed by Sean Dacanay, edited by Jeremy Smolik. Transcript is still in progress and will be ready in the next few hours.

In December, we ran a “War Stories” video on the Oddworld series, an unusual 90s-era adventure/platformer title that sees the player inhabiting the role of escaped factory slave Abe in his quest to avoid being turned into canned food. Filmed with the help of Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning, the video turned out to be very populardoubtless because Lanning makes for a damn compelling interview subject.

We’ve gotten a lot of feedback on the video since it aired, primarily asking for more Lorne, and so we’re going to try a bit of an experiment: rather than try to scrub through the original and pull out some more highlights, we’ve just exported the whole nearly-three-hour shoot for you guys.

Highlights for the full interview here include a fuller origin story for Abe, crazy stories from Lorne’s father about disappearing world leaders and famous people on Arctic submarines, and some discussion about drug-fueled motion graphics design.

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Google Stadias latest free game only has a few thousand total players

Enlarge / Only a few thousand people are seeing free scenes like this streamed via their Stadia Pro subscriptions, according to leaderboard data. (credit: Drool)

The Google Stadia version of Thumper, which is being offered for free to all paid Stadia Pro subscribers, has only seen a few thousand players, based on leaderboard data reviewed by Ars Technica. The numbers suggest significant struggles as the new streaming gaming service from Google, launched in November, tries to attract players away from traditional gaming platforms.

Thumper, along with Rise of the Tomb Raider, was a free Stadia Pro title for the month of January, meaning everyone who paid $129 for the service’s “Founder’s Edition” and “Premiere Edition” bundles has access to it (those bundles, which are the only current way to access Stadia, include three months of Stadia Pro service). As of this morning, though, only 5,515 people have registered a score on the leaderboards for the first stage of the Stadia version of the game, which separates such leaderboards by platform. That number was at 4,563 on January 15, when Ars conducted a spot check.

That doesn’t mean that Stadia Pro only has 5,515 users, of course. For one thing, not everyone who has played the game has finished the first stage (which takes about 10 minutes to complete, depending on personal performance). Trophy data for the Xbox One and PS4 versions of the game, though, suggests that almost 70 percent of all Thumper players do manage to pass this low bar, which would translate to about 8,000 total players so far for the Stadia version.

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WarCraft III Reforged: Not the flavor of chaos we were hoping for

Enlarge / You can practically hear the opening film’s orc screaming, “You should seriously reconsider spending $30, you human sacks of filth!” (credit: Blizzard Entertainment)

The more I look at this week’s launch of WarCraft III: Reforged, the more I shake my head. I’ve grown up playing Blizzard games for a majority of my life, and while I can think of Blizzard game launches with technical issues or critical shoulder-shrugs, I can’t recall a retail launch for a product that, quite simply, wasn’t finished. WC3:R changes that.

What’s more, the uneven and problematic changes to this “reforged” 2002 game come with a bold, new step for Blizzard: the official sunsetting of a classic game’s client. The original code base, which has remained roughly 1.3GB in size after an expansion pack launch and years of patches, has been pushed aside. Anyone who already owned an official WC3 license is prompted by Blizzard’s default game launcher to download the new 26+ GB version to play online, whether or not they pay an additional $30 for its GBs of “reforged” content.

Worse, between a new Terms of Service requirement and a number of features removed from the previous version, it looks like the game’sonline ecosystemthe very thing that kept the game afloat for decades and earned a glowing retrospective from us only days agomay be gone for good. Pardon my English, but, what in the freaking world is going on, Blizzard?

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If This “Sad Cat Diary” About a Kitty Whose Food Bowl Is Half-Full Isn’t on Point, What Is?


How High Can a Hot Air Balloon Go? This is What You Should Expect

Are you wondering how high can a hot air balloon go? If yes, then you should check out our guide here on what to expect when going on a hot air balloon.

Would you like to get a brand-new perspective on the world? You can do it by climbing into a hot air balloon and going for a ride.

It’s been almost 250 yearssince the first untethered hot air balloon flight took place in Paris, France. It’s still every bit as exciting to take a hot air balloon flight now as it was back then.

It can also be a little bit nerve-wracking if you’re afraid of heights. Howhigh can a hot air balloon go?The highest they can go is about 3,000 feet off the ground. Many hot air balloons pilots keep their balloons much lower to the ground than that, so there’s really no need to worry.

To help ease your fears with regards to flying in a hot air balloon, let’s take a look at some other things you should know about doing it. Learn more about hot air balloons below.

Who Is Allowed to Fly a Hot Air Balloon?

Flying a hot air balloon is a lot of fun.Before a person is allowed to do it, they’re required to go through anextensive training program so that they knowexactly what they’re doing.

Hot air balloon pilotshave to pass a test and obtain a license from theFederal Aviation Administration to fly hot air balloons. They also need to spend at least 10 hours up in the air and register one solo flight.

If you’re going to go on a hot air balloon flight, make sure you take one with someone who has gone through this process. Thesehot air balloon ridesare all manned by experienced hot air balloon pilots and are a good example of what you should look for when you want to ride in a hot air balloon.

How Does a Hot Air Balloon Take Off?

If you’ve ever watched a hot air balloon take off, you know that it’s a very slow process. To get a hot air balloon to take off, a pilot will need to:

  • Attach theballoon envelope to a basket
  • Position a burner system on top of the basket
  • Inflate the balloon envelope
  • Turn the burner system on to heat up the air in the balloon envelope

As the air inside the balloon envelope heats up, it’ll begin to lift up into the air and takethe rest of the hot air balloon with it. It takes around 15 minutes for this process to play out.

How Is a Hot Air Balloon Controlled Once It’s in the Air?

After a pilot is able to get a hot air balloon up into the air, it’ll be up to them to control it and keep everyone inside of the basket safe.

At first, they’ll continue to add heat to the balloon envelope so that the hot air balloon keeps on rising. Once the balloon climbs to somewhere in between 1,000 and 3,000 feet, they’ll shut the burner system off for the time being so that the hot air balloon stops rising.

From there, the pilot will turn the burner system off and on several times throughout the course of a flight to keep the hot air balloon up in the sky at a steady altitude.

How Long Can a Hot Air Balloon Fly for?

Since hot air balloons don’t have engines like most other things that take flight, you might be under the impression that they can fly forever. But this isn’t the case.

The burner system on a hot air balloon hasa limited amount of fuel in it. Once that fuel runs out, a pilot won’t be able to continue to heat up the air ina hot air balloon.

It’s important for a hot air balloon pilot to keep a close eye on the amount of fuel that they have left. When the fuel starts to get low, it’ll be time for them to begin to bring a hot air balloon back down to earth.

Most hot air balloon flights last for about an hour or so. It’s just long enough for people to travel a few miles while getting an amazing glimpse of the world beneath them.

How Does a Pilot Land a Hot Air Balloon?

Prior to landing a hot air balloon, a pilot will speak with someone down on the ground about the best place todo it. It’s best to land hot air balloons in large, openspaces free of trees and power lines.

Once a suitable location has been found, a hot air balloon pilot willopen up the parachute valve that’s situated at the top of the balloon envelope. This allows hot air to escape and slowly starts to bring a hot air balloon back down towards the ground.

Landing a hot air balloon can be a challenge for a pilot. A good one knows how to stick a landing without causing too much commotion.

HowHighCan a Hot Air Balloon Go? Now You Know

If you’ve never had the opportunity to take a ride in a hot air balloon, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. It’s one of thebest experiences you’ll ever have in your life.

Instead of asking “Howhigh can a hot air balloon go?” take a trip on one soon and see what it’s like for yourself. You’ll be so glad you did once you see how much fun it is to go on a ride in one.

Learn more about some of the places where you should take hot air balloon rides by browsing through the articles on our blog.

The post How High Can a Hot Air Balloon Go? This is What You Should Expect appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: How High Can a Hot Air Balloon Go? This is What You Should Expect
Sourced From:
Published Date: Thu, 30 Jan 2020 14:21:58 +0000


Nintendo: No new Switch model planned for 2020

Enlarge / These are the only two Switch models that Nintendo plans to sell this year.

Nintendo says it won’t be releasing another new version of the Switch this year. “Regarding Nintendo Switch, we believe that it is important to continue to communicate the appeal of both Nintendo Switch systems and expand the installed base,” CEO ShuntaroFurukawa said in an investor briefing following an earnings report. “Please note that we have no plans to launch a new Nintendo Switch model during 2020.”

The announcement counters multiple reports from the past 12 months that suggested Nintendo was looking into a more powerful Switch model with an improved OS, image rendering, and usability functions. A Nikkei report from April suggested that this “enhanced” version of the system was still in the early planning stages, though, and didn’t even have anyone assigned to head its development at the time.

Will the Switch fall behind?

The hardware inside the Nvidia Tegra-based Switch is distinctly less powerful than the Xbox One or PS4, despite launching years later than Sony’s and Microsoft’s larger TV-based consoles. That power gap is even more pronounced for the PS4 Pro and Xbox One Xand is set to widen even further later this year with the release of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.

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10 Rare Mix-Breed Dogs That Are Absolutely Adorable (and Have Very Fun Names to Say)


3 Tips to Choose the Right Car to Travel

When traveling some of us have made the mistake od simply arriving, going to the nearest car rental place and just asking for an economic one, or one that looks cool for the next couple of days. It sounds like a simple thing to do right? Just get there, pay and drive away.

But that is how you end up in an uncomfortable car, too big or too small for the place you are visiting or just no the best fit for you. Take a look at the list below to find information about three things you need to take into consideration before you get a rental car.

What You Should Know Before Planning a Cross-Country Road Trip

How to Choose the Right Car to Travel

What are your TRAVELING needs?

Your needs while traveling change drastically, you won’t need the same type of car when going to work than you would when you go on a long road trip. The same happens with different terrains. You can’t take a small sedan to an outdoor adventure.

You also need to consider the fact that you are traveling with luggage. So consider that when thinking about the size of car that you want to get.

But not all car rental companies have the same sizes and models so it is a task that you need to do before you decide to travel. Find the right company for you, it should have the car that you need and the right prices.

How Modern is it?

Aside from being the right size, model and with the right internal amenities you need to consider other small things that might be beneficial. technology has made a lot of huge advances that make your life easier like the smart trunk. A technology that will allow you to open the trunk in a much easier way without having to juggle whatever you might be carrying or having to put it on a dirty road.

Get Tavel Insurance

Another important thing that you need to consider before renting a car is the travel insurance policies that the rental company might have. And if they don’t have you need to speak to your insurance company about it.

I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again. Having travel insurance when renting a car is an absolute must! Most aren’t expensive and they will have you and your patrimony covered in case something happens to the car.

Bonus: Don’t forget to ask several times and to different people about requirements, penalties, fees and extra charges that there might be.

The post 3 Tips to Choose the Right Car to Travel appeared first on Travel Experta – Family Travel Blog.

By: Marina Villatoro
Title: 3 Tips to Choose the Right Car to Travel
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2020 15:39:26 +0000


Linux Star Trek fans, rejoice: CBS All Access now works in your OS [Updated]

Enlarge / No CBS All Access on Linux makes elderly Picard cry. (credit: Aurich Lawson / CBS / Getty)

Update, January 31: After this story went live earlier in the week, an Arsreader reached out to speculate that the problem was most likely due to enabling VMP (Verified Media Path) on CBSi’s Widevine server. Verified Media Path, similarly to UEFI Secure Boot, makes certain that content will only be delivered to browsers with sanctioned, verifiable “authentic” framework; this is a configurable behavior, and by default, unverified platforms are allowed to receive licenses.

This morning we asked CBSi executives to check with their engineers and see if this was the problem. While we never received a response, two hours later, CBS All Access was playing successfully on Google Chrome on multiple Linux distributions. (Firefox still crashes.) For now, we have verified that the fixwhich, again, may or may not actually have involved VMPcovers all of CBS’ content and not merely the first episode of Picard, which CBS released yesterday on YouTube for a limited time. If we hear official word from CBS regarding what happened behind the scenes, we’ll update this post accordingly. The original story appears unchanged below.

As of this month, the CBS All Access streaming-video platformhome of popular shows including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and now Star Trek: Picardstopped working on Linux PCs, regardless of the choice of browser. Ten years ago, this would have been just another day in the life of a Linux user, but it’s a little surprising in 2020. We were originally tipped off to the issue by a few irate readers but quickly found it echoed in multiple threads onReddit, Stack Exchange, and anywhere else you’d expect to find Linux users congregating.

I’m both a Linux user and a CBS All Access subscriber myself, but I had been unaware of the problem since I do all my own watching on a Roku. Technically, the Roku is a Linux PC in its own rightbut CBS has its own app in the Roku store, which works perfectly.

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