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Ever since it’s release in 2004, World of Warcraft has quickly become one of the most popular online video-games. Peaking at about 12 million monthly subscribers, World of Warcraft or WoW for short, has significantly impacted the video-game industry. Although the game is losing subscribers over time, the title still reigns over the MMORPG industry. So in what ways has WoW affected online gaming? Despite its monthly fee, WoW still retains many players due to its extremely addictive nature, constant in-game content releases and overall polished gameplay. It essentially sets an extremely high bar, making it hard for other MMORPG’s to compete. For example, some new games such as Star Wars: The Old Republic and Tera Online all originally required players to pay a $15 monthly fee just like WoW, but soon had to revert to a completely different monetizing system. Both games now are free to play, but have options where players can pay for increased benefits and content. Each year, many new MMORPG’s are developed and introduced to the market, but very few thrive due to games like World of Warcraft and League of Legends which attract the most players. Many are believed to be the ‘WoW-killer’ before release, but few games have been able to compare. The main difference is that WoW has had over 8 years of development and polishing whereas new MMO’s undergo much less in comparison. Although WoW is steadily losing subscribers, it still constantly releases new expansions roughly every year or two which make existing players more inclined to continue playing. Overall, World of Warcraft has revolutionized the online video-game industry and inspired the idea of creating so much revenue through online gaming.

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So what would it be like to work at a leading, cutting edge video-game development company? This video takes you through a guided tour inside Riot Games’ main office in Santa Monica, California. It overviews some of the different types of positions available in the video-game industry as well as many of the benefits and perks of being employed by Riot Games. Overall, despite the competitiveness and rigor involved in attaining a job at a company such as Riot, being hired or even getting an internship there would be an amazing opportunity and experience nonetheless.

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(Image taken from www.carrollcountytimes.com)

This is Greg Street, the Lead Systems Designer at Blizzard Entertainment, the company known for its award winning MMORPG, World of Warcraft. He is better known by the screen-name, Ghostcrawler, on the World of Warcraft forums. Interestingly enough, Street has no formal degree relating to game design and development. Instead, upon graduating college, he possessed bachelor degrees in biology and philosophy before earning a PhD in marine science. He later became a marine biologist and a research assistant professor at the University of South Carolina for a few years before seeking out a completely different career in the video-game industry. He first worked for Ensemble Studios, the developer behind Age of Empires, a popular real-time strategy game. After designing content for Ensemble Studios, Street left the company and joined Blizzard Entertainment in 2008. He still currently works for Blizzard as a designer and is responsible for relaying and communicating game-changes with the playerbase and community. Overall, I think Greg Street is a great example of a very successful video-game designer/developer. If you take a look at his Twitter account (https://twitter.com/Ghostcrawler), you can see he is always experimenting with changes and improvements to World of Warcraft. To this day, he is still known for announcing upcoming changes and in-game balances in the WoW community.

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Image taken from: www.g4tv.com

The new Assassin’s Creed is predicted to release on October 29th as seen on one of the game’s leaked banners. Ubisoft seems to be rapidly developing and capitalizing on its Assassin’s Creed series with already 5 games available for Xbox 360 and the latest title already set to come out early this summer. The games’ success is definitely, in part, due to the high quality gameplay and unique storyline. The only downside I find to these games is the fact that they are mainly a one time play-through. Afterwards, they tend to lose value and are not as fun once the storyline is completed; however, purchasing the game even just to play through once is well worth it. Each game is essentially a cinematic experience with breathtaking graphics and an amazing soundtrack. Personally, I’m pretty excited for this latest Assassin’s Creed game, although I still have yet to play Assassin’s Creed 3 which was released not too long ago.

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Following up with my previous post, I will be covering some of the best recording/editing programs available for the Mac in this post. Just like with Windows, there are many different recording programs out there for Mac users, but which ones are the best for recording gameplay?

After having tried Copernicus, Jing, CamStudio, SnapzProX, Squidoo, Quicktime and Screenflow, I’ve found that only a couple of the programs are viable for recording gameplay. CamStudio is free and is definitely worth trying out; however, if you’re willing to pay, the best program I have found so far is Screenflow.

http://www.telestream.net/screenflow/overview.htm

 

Screenflow, a program solely for the Mac, allows fast, simple recording AND editing. As soon as you finish recording your footage, you are prompted into the editing interface. With the in-depth features Screenflow’s editing offers, you can manipulate audio, video, text, transitions and much more. Simply put, Screenflow has everything you need to make a good looking, well-made Youtube video in regards to showing off your recorded gameplay. The most important thing about Screenflow which differentiates it from many of the other programs I tried is the fact that you can record with little to no lag while you play. Also, the footage shows little to no traces of lag or low framerate. I have not tested it with extremely graphic-intensive games, but Screenflow is excellent for recording games like League of Legends and World of Warcraft. Below are links to two of my Youtube videos I recorded and edited solely using Screenflow:

As you can see, Screenflow offers fluid footage and great editing tools, both of which are essential for a successful Youtube video!

This post covers some of the best recording/editing software available for the PC. So exactly which programs are optimal for making your own videos using a PC? First off, PC users have a variety of software they can use for recording/editing gameplay; however, some of these programs are either somewhat expensive, hard to use or simply not of very high quality in regards to recording good footage. This leaves PC users with a few options concerning recording programs:

  • Fraps
  • Camtasia
  • Bandicam

Out of these 3 programs, Fraps is reportedly one of the most widely used software for recording online gameplay. Many of the gamers on Youtube use Fraps; however, it costs $37. There is a free Trial, but you can only record about 30 seconds of gameplay, nevertheless, it’s definitely not a bad idea to try out the program before purchasing it in order to see if it meets your needs. Overall, it offers on-screen FPS tracking and seamless recording, not to mention, it is very easy to use.

On the other hand, Camtasia is also a very high quality recording program, albeit expensive, costing about $100. Although this program is more complex and much more expensive than Fraps, it offers built-in video editing so you can essentially create your Youtube videos with this program alone.

Lastly, the best recording program for those who don’t want to pay any money is Bandicam. You can download the trial version which allows up to 10 minutes of recording, after which the user can simply continue recording after a brief footage split. The one other downside to Bandicam is the relatively small watermark that appears at the top of every video. It’s a small trade-off and not much of a deal-breaker for casual gamers recording gameplay. Additionally, this program is very similar to Fraps and also offers live FPS tracking and good quality footage.

Editing Software:

  • Sony Vegas– This is for full fledged, high quality video-editing. The effects and editing is limitless for Sony Vegas; however, the downside is that the program is very hard use without referencing to many online tutorials. The interface is also complex for first time users.
  • Windows Movie Maker– This is a lower quality, free program which offers basic editing, but is still more than passable for creating casual videos. You can still create transitions, trim/split videos, speed up/slow down footage and more.

There are many more editing programs available for the PC, however these two are the most common and widely used for editing gameplay. Most of the other programs also are very expensive whereas WMM is free and Sony Vegas comes free with most Sony PC’s.

In the next post, I will be covering some of the most optimal recording and editing software for Mac Users!

Here’s a brief, 5-minute video which covers all the important information about Sony’s upcoming PS4 console without going too much into the extensive technicalities behind the platform.

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Although there is much negative stigma associated with playing video-games on a Mac, in reality, the latest Macbook Pro computers can handle most of the graphic-intensive games available. As a former PC user, I’ve stuck to playing on Windows for years until recently when I purchased a Macbook Pro with Retina Display. Within the first week of using a Mac, I noticed significant differences between the quality, efficiency overall performance of my Mac computer when compared with my previous Sony Vaio F-series laptop. So what exactly are the pros and cons of using a Macbook for gaming?

Pros:

  • Powerful graphics card allows for medium-high end gaming (varies depending on the model and specifications)
  • Macbook users have access to a more user-friendly, well designed interface as opposed to the standard Windows layout
  • Few viruses/adware affect the Mac OS
  • Access to free programs available exclusively on the Mac such as Garage Band, iMovie, Photobooth and more
  • Features such as the Retina Display offer a much more detailed screen arrayed with the most pixels out of any other laptop on the market
  • Macbooks rarely encounter hardware failures and are known for their long-term reliability

Cons:

  • Expensive cost: Mac computers sometimes cost double the amount of comparable PC’s, but make up for it when considering all the pros
  • Certain games are not available for the Mac; however, users can use software such as Bootcamp to allow Macs to run the Windows OS
  • Macs offer limited customization and alteration of internal configurations

Overall, after using a few high end PC’s as well as my new Macbook Pro, I am very pleased to have switched over from being a former PC gamer to gaming on a Mac. I love everything about my new Mac; the retina display and graphics card offer unrivaled graphics capabilities, not to mention superior performance compared with my old laptop. My advice: If you have the money, it’s definitely worth investing in a Macbook, you won’t be disappointed.

League of Legends, developed by Riot Games, is an online real time strategy game that has somewhat recently surfaced as the world’s most popular online video-game. With over 32 million active players worldwide and over 1 billion hours being played per month by its massive player-base, this game has revolutionized the world of online gaming. It has quickly surpassed World of Warcraft which previously monopolized the online gaming industry peaking at a player-base of about 12 million monthly subscribers. The question is: Why is League of Legends so successful when compared to numerous other online MMORPG’s and even other real time strategy games which offer similar gameplay?

  1. League of Legends is FREE TO PLAY- This is one of the main elements that makes League of Legends stand out when compared to many other online games. Many online games such as World of Warcraft require the player to pay a monthly based subscription which turns away many potential players. League of Legends has an in-game item mall which allows players to purchase cosmetic skins and temporary experience/points boosts; however, a player does not need to pay a single dime on the game if they do not wish to do so. Spending money on the game will not give a player an unfair advantage over another player. This is not the case in many other online games which contain an item mall where players can essentially pay to receive unfair in-game benefits.
  2. League of Legends strives to reach a wider audience- Since League of Legends is free to play, it attracts hardcore and casual gamers alike. The game has a very large social media presence online and it’s cartoonish graphics make it playable on most PC’s. Although there is not an official Mac version available as of yet, many players, including myself, use third party software to play the game on our macs. League of Legends has become so popular because it is so easily accessible and played by anyone who owns a computer that meets the minimum specifications. In this day and age, not everyone has a console gaming system, but most people own computers for personal use at home. Lastly, the game can be enjoyed by a varied audience of players, targeted at those ranging from ages 16 to 30.
  3. Overall, League of Legends is a fun, addictive and well-polished game- Having played League of Legends since it first came out, I can attest to it’s fun and extremely addictive nature. Ever since it’s release, the developers have constantly been making changes to the game; improving upon what has already been implemented and adding new content at the same time. The game itself has its own unique polish, gameplay and feel that other clones simply don’t possess.

Whether or not you play League of Legends, it is important to realize the impact this single game has had on the entire online gaming industry as a whole. It has amassed an incredible community and has united gamers from around the world.

Source for statistics used in this blog post: http://img.gawkerassets.com/post/9/2012/10/lolinfo.jpg
Image source: http://littlemolerat.wordpress.com/2012/04/16/league-of-legends-me/

Hey! My name is Shay and I am currently an Interactive Multimedia student enrolled at The College of New Jersey. Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an intense passion for video-games; they’ve helped influence my life and shape the person I am today. From growing up playing console games on the Super Nintendo, gradually shifting to PC games over the course of my childhood, in my eyes, video-games are so much more than solely a source of leisurely entertainment. Granted, for some people, games can be seen as a simple pastime or hobby. However, for many, including myself, video-games provide a way to escape from everyday life, relieve stress and simply add more overall enjoyment to life. Video-games have certainly helped me tremendously; they’ve helped me build confidence and fight depression throughout my life. Through my passion for video-games, I hope to cultivate the skills necessary to possibly pursue a career in the video-game development industry upon graduating from college. My dream job would be to work at a company like Riot Games or Blizzard which develops many of the games I’ve been playing over the last few years. That being said, I have dedicated this blog towards sharing developments, information, personal knowledge and pretty much anything related to the video-game industry. I hope to offer a variety of content ranging from helpful tutorials and articles to personal feedback and reviews related to video-games.