Did Adventure Time Just Land an Open World Video Game?

The answer is simple: mathematical! Adventure Time is one of the hottest entertainment properties in the world, at least if you are a teenager, and the IP has been longing for a high-quality video game adaptation. With nigh infinite imagination, a great Adventure Time game has been a long time coming. Bandai Namco must have heard the collective yearning of fans everywhere, because it was recently announced that the property would be getting an open-world game: Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion. This will be the most ambitious Adventure Time-related property that has ever been released and we are all in on the fun.

In Pirates of the Enchiridion, players will get to control any one of a number of different popular AT-related characters including Finn, BMO, Jake, and Marceline. Players will wander all over the Land of Ooo in order to discover different Kingdoms and recruit new players to their team. Finn and Jake get to traverse the suddenly flooded Land of Ooo in their special boat. While details are scarce at this point in time, we do know that Bandai Namco is trying to do something a little different. The goal in this open-world game will be to use detective skills, such as interrogations and clue finding, as well as ‘tactical combat’. There is also a progression system with light RPG elements.

Pirates of the Enchiridion will be released for all major consoles as well as PC some point in Spring of 2017. The developers of the game, Outright Games, are right now engaging in a naming competition that fans can partake in. The winner of the competition will have selected the name for Jake and Finn’s ship. If you’ve ever wanted to cement your name in Adventure Time history, now is the chance. All you need to do is head to the Facebook page for Outright Games in order to enter the competition. Who knows what the internet will come up with, but we’re excited to see it!

Blizzard Prepares for World of Warcraft’s Christmas Event!

The World of Azeroth is about to get a whole lot cheerier. The team at Blizzard are making preparations to launch the big Christmas event for their flagship MMORPG, World of Warcraft. Every year we see World of Warcraft do something incredibly fun for the season so it’s nice to see Blizzard keep up the tradition. Curious to see what’s in store for your holiday MMO gaming? Keep on reading.

The first update that players will notice when they log in during the new event is the Feast of Winter Veil. This event brings about some much-needed Christmas cheer in the way of decorations everywhere. Going through the major cities will allow you to see that Ole Saint Nicholas has made his way all over Azeroth. You can see massive snow globes in Ironforge, Dalaran, and Ogrimmar in particularly.

Of course, no Holiday event is complete without the Abominable Greench making his return. Players will kit up in order to defeat the big baddy of the Holiday season and they’ll win rewards along the way. Gamers will also be able to get their hands on a special item, the Finely Tailored Holiday Hat. This special hat can only be found during dungeons and raids in Legion.

Updates aren’t just kept for the Christmas season, however. Toward the end of the month, there will be special New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day festivities to be seen all around the map. Players will be able to go to the largest capital cities in order to watch firework shows in the game with other players. There are also a slew of other more technical updates coming to the title that should help keep players satisfied with one of the most successful games of all time.

Ultimately, World of Warcraft is all about immersion so it is nice to see that Blizzard has kept up on their efforts to keep their playerbase entertained, even after all of these years.

Microsoft Leak Suggests Xbox One May Get PC Gaming Controller

While the games often play almost the same, PC gamers and gamers using a console are very separate groups of consumers. A major reason for that the controllers fro the two platforms are very different. But one major difference may be going away, if a report by the PC gaming web site VG24/7 is accurate.

The site noticed a press release put out by Microsoft Poland, which claimed the company was set to release a keyboard and mouse for the Xbox. The press release was quickly deleted, but just the mention of a new Xbox peripheral has been enough to spark the imagination of both PC and console gamers. If it is released, the new keyboard and mouse would blur the lines between the gaming platforms and open up new possibilities for player interaction in the booming eGamer sports leagues.

While some Xbox gamers are excited about the possibility of using a PC gamer control set-up, not everyone is eager to give up the current iconic Xbox controller. In fact, the Xbox controller is beginning to be used in a number of non-gaming situations. For instance, the United States Navy is planning to add Xbox controllers to some controls, because they work much better and are more functional than the ones developed by the military.

Despite the leaked press release, it’s not clear if Microsoft has really decided to release a commercially sold keyboard and mouse for the Xbox. The company has declined to comment on the release and no further information has surfaced publicly about the product. But just the hint of a release has energized the Xbox gaming community and an online petition requesting the release of the product has already gathered 35,000 signatures.

Overwatch Has Christmas Flavored Goodies Available.

Video games and the holidays go together just as well as you would imagine. It’s always nice to see video game companies embrace the holiday spirit and Blizzard’s Overwatch was certainly not going to miss the party. We’ve already seen Blizzard focus on an entertaining Christmas themed release for World of Warcraft, now Overwatch gamers get to get in on the action. Blizzard will be returning last year’s Winter Wonderland event.

Fans worried about a retread of last year’s activities should exhale a sigh of relief. Overwatch’s new holiday event isn’t simply a retread of what happened last year. There are brand new skins available, only for a limited time, that is going to be insanely popular a few months from now — leaving gamers asking, “Hey, how do you get that?” While the new character skins are, of course, welcome there is more to enjoy. We’ve seen already that Blizzard has released a new holiday theme for the Black Forest as well as Hanamura and King’s Row.

Gamers who want to try out a holiday-themed event can take part in Mei’s Snowball Offensive Brawl. there is also a brand new event that hasn’t been seen by anyone, anywhere, ever: Mei’s Yeti Hunt. Blizzard has compared this event favorably with boss fights, saying that you’ll have five Meis taking on a single player. In this event, players will play as Mei as they hunt down a Winston player who is wearing a Yeti-themed skin. This Winston will travel around the map snagging his power-ups before blasting off into ‘Primal Rage Mode’. In this mode, the tables are turned and Winston gets to extract his vengeance by tracking down all of the Meis. Yeti Hunt isn’t a game mode that is meant to be taken seriously and more seen as a distraction from fierce competition. The new update will be available until January 1st.

Nexus Mod Developers to See Compensation

Those in the modding community have likely not forgotten the recent fiasco over paid mods from the Steam Workshop. Met with derision, paid mods were nothing short of a flop. In a similar vein, but likely handled in a much better way, Nexus has a different method in mind for compensating its many mod developers.

Any mod developer can tell you the massive number of hours that go into crafting a great game mod. Combined with all the recurring maintenance and bug fixes to follow the release of most any moderately-sized mod, a mod developer can dump massive amounts of personal time into their creations. When released, a mod developer expects to see no monetary return for their work, as mods online are free.

Nexus Mods is a website that serves as a major platform for users to download the work of these mod developers. An article from Polygon by Owen S. Good (https://www.polygon.com/2017/12/20/16803278/nexus-mods-donations-pay-modders) outlines how, early next year, Nexus plans to compensate their modders with a new donation system.

Nexus, starting with a few thousand from their own coffers, will begin a donation pool that its user can donate to. This donation pool will be used to distribute “points” to the modders of the community based off the number of unique downloads the mod developer receives. Mr. Good explains a unique download, in this case, means the same user can download a dozen of a developer’s mods, but it would still count for only a single unique download. With points, mod developers can use their earnings in the Nexus Mods storefront, convert those points into Amazon gift cards, or transfer compensation to a PayPal account.

While it does not sound like Nexus’ system will cause mod developers to quit their day jobs, it does sound like a realistic way the greater modding community can give back to the folks who have spent so much time creating great content.

Strong Performance For PC Gaming In 2017 Gaming Review For UK

A new report put out by Gamers Industry shows that PC gaming is still extremely strong in the UK. According to this study, PC sales represented 28 percent of the global games market value in 2017.

Gamers Industry analysts say the PC gaming industry took in $32.3 billion in the past year. Even more impressive, PC gaming has grown by 1.4 percent year on year.

Analysts believe the number one reason for this massive increase in PC gaming has to do with online gaming platforms like Steam and GOG. Both of these platforms have made it easier for PC gamers to download high-quality games onto their computers.

Interestingly, it’s become increasingly rare for game developers to release console exclusive titles. Encouraged by the strong performance of PC sales, almost every video game publisher releases titles on both consoles and PCs today.

With this data in mind, it will become increasingly hard for gaming publishers to ignore the PC market in the future. Analysts say PC gamers have a bright future to look forward to.

Number one on Gamers Industry’s 2017 study was mobile gaming with 43 percent of the global games market value. Second place went to console gaming at 29 percent, just one percent higher than PC gaming.

In terms of sales, the number one gaming publisher in 2017 was Electronic Arts with 16.8 percent of all UK boxed sales. Second place went to Activision Blizzard with 15.6 percent of sales and third went to Japanese giant Nintendo with 11.2 percent.

Superhot VR was the top-selling game in the PC/VR gaming category with $2.56 million in revenue. Second place went to Arizona Sunshine ($2.4 million) and third went to Job Simulator ($2.36 million).

This study also analyzed what titles UK gamers were most excited about in the past year. The most widely covered game in the UK gaming news industry was Overwatch with over 56,000 published articles. Second place went to Destiny 2 and third went to Nintendo’s Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Parsec Gaming Wants You Gaming in the Cloud

Playing PC games on your work laptop or mobile phone may not be a thing of the far-flung future. A group called Parsec recently released software aimed at hooking an outside device, such as a Raspberry Pi 3 or Chromebook, to the hardware of your at-home desktop or console. This means playing high-end games on a device not normally capable of playing them.

Those with no dedicated gaming desktop or console to serve as home-streaming hardware aren’t out of luck. Parsec has an offering of cloud gaming servers which one can rent by the hour. The caveat to using these cloud gaming servers is one needs a much more impressive internet connection than if one where to stream from an at-home device.

As an article on the subject from Techcrunch.com by Brian Heater (https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/19/is-the-time-finally-right-for-platform-agnostic-cloud-gaming/) points out, attempting to use hardware via cloud is not a new concept. Mr. Heater notes that in 2010 OnLive was a group that attempted the very same thing. As noted in the article, Parsec believes the difference between OnLive’s attempt and their own is in the timing. With customers getting more bandwidth and the general technological progression of the last few years, Parsec believes the time is ripe for their software.

Another outlier to Parsec that may give it a boost is a unique capability of their program. Through their software, Parsec can make local multiplayer games capable of online multiplayer. Technical jargon aside, Parsec can create an online multiplayer environment between connected devices on their software without forcing game developers to go through and completely rewrite their code.

Herein lies the hidden, and perhaps lasting, value of Parsec. A handful of indie games, such as Scrap Galaxy, have already partnered with Parsec to bring their multiplayer online. This, of course, spells wider use of Parsec outside of mere home-hardware streaming, which may be the edge they need to succeed where OnLive failed.

PC Gaming: Loot Boxes Poised to Change Gaming

Loot boxes are catching on across the gaming industry. These boxes add mystery to gaming. Prizes range from advancing game performance to catering to player preferences. Quick power ups enable players to compete at higher levels. Cosmetic items offer players the ability to customize their experience.

The mysteries loot boxes offer are its strength. In essence, they offer a highly adaptable tool for games to interact with their players. The rise in popularity is not surprising. Players want new experiences. The simplicity of opening a box enables programmers a very easy way to meet this need.

Experienced gamers expect loot boxes to change gaming on a fundamental level. The anticipation of opening a box to find a rare item can overcome a player with excitement. Not all items looted through boxes have real gaming value. For instance, cosmetics add to the experience or appeal. Sometimes cosmetic items add value as status symbols. More often they are meant to satisfy player preferences.

The benefits to operational costs can be seen right away. After all, complaints are not filed over PCs overheating due to opening boxes. The ability to adapt quickly is probably even more important. If a large percentage of players request a specific addition, a programmer can quickly introduce a solution. This even enables games to test market their player base. If players do not like a new item, it can be discontinued before becoming an established part of the game.

Loot boxes are a normal part of the experience for many gamers. At this point, the industry would be hard pressed to deny their customers the added mystery. Add to this an increased ability to adapt in a highly competitive and innovative market. It seems likely that loot boxes will soon become as an established part of gaming as leveling up an avatar.

Dallas Area Names You Should Know: James Dondero

Highland Capital Management has become one of the most well-respected and profitable investment firms in Dallas. They currently have over $13 billion in managed assets and can even boast a $2.3 billion healthcare fund practice. Many of the reasons for Highland’s success can be owed to the innovative investment strategies of its President and CEO, James Dondero.

Dondero got his start in finance at American Express as a corporate bond analyst. There he was given the opportunity to manage a fund, and he quickly grew it to over $1 billion in assets. At the same time, Dondero was accepted into the JP Morgan Guaranty Training program, one of the most prestigious financial programs offered in the 1980s. With his knowledge gained from American Express, as well as his new knowledge from the training program, Dondero was ready to take the investment world by storm. He was made Chief Investment Officer at Protective Life, and then he founded his own company, Highland Capital Management, in 1993. Read this article at barrons.com.

James Dondero started his own business at a relatively young age, only 10 years after leaving college. However, he made up for this young age with a host of business acumen and the resources to make just about anything possible. James Dondero decided to start more funds in emerging markets, something other, more traditional, fund managers were wary of doing. He also started several funds focused on collateralized loan obligations, something that created a very low-cost return for investors. After several years of challenging the investment strategies of old, Dondero broke through and made his company successful. Read more about James at Crunchbase.

Now Highland offers all kinds of mutual funds, ETFs, and CLOs. They have clients that are funds of funds, public and private pensions, governments, financial institutions, corporate investors, and individual investors. Even with all of this new-found success, Dondero and his team still contribute millions of dollars to the local community. Highland donates to the Tower Scholars Program at SMU, Education is Freedom, the Perot Museum of Natural Science, and many more institutions. The company has even donated over $5 million to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Institute since 2012. Overall, Dondero and Highland Capital Management fully intend to continue their success and bring notoriety to the Dallas area.

Read: https://www.nexbank.com/james-dondero.htm

The Convenience of Amazon is Selling Fabletics Now Too

Those ladies that love shopping Amazon are in for a real treat when they find Fabletics brand athletic wear collections for less on this easy shop site. Fabletics has realized that a majority of women clothing shoppers use Amazon as a regular and convenient shopping site. This online site has everything imaginable and now has the revered line of Fabletics too. Kate Hudson is the lovely face that people recognize as the personable co-founder of this amazing athleisure wear styles. Her input on fashion taste has made this company a fashionable choice in all types of active wear for women of all sizes. Recently, this brand released a plus-size collection to rave reviews for those curvy women who often have great difficulty finding clothes that fit comfortably, look stylish and fit like high end fashion lines.

 

Kate Hudson is well known as an endearing actress that is loved by many. Now her unique background in the entertainment arena is making Fabletics a brand that is designer quality with high end materials that stand up to numerous washes and countless wear. Kate understands that women need clothes that work for their very busy lifestyles. Fabletics clothing collections are always affordable for the everyday girl next door, and they look stunning wherever they are worn. Ladies can start their day at the gym, go to the grocery store and pick up their kids for after school events without the moms ever having to worry about changing clothes. Fabletics brand looks great everywhere that casual wear clothing can be worn with ease. These clothes last, are comfy, look terrific and hold their shape to never look saggy at the end of a woman’s busy day. Kate has a hand in every part of Fabletics production process, and her sense of style shows when the the seasonal collections come out.

 

Fabletics really takes their customer’s advice on clothing wishes very seriously, and this is why their unique reverse showroom works as it is solely based on customer wants. The company devised a savvy computer platform that takes in all of their customer data and the revealing information from this brand’s innovative Lifestyle Quiz answers. If a design is not selling, Fabletics can swiftly switch the inventory to one that the customers really desire. These exceptionally fashionable and high quality made clothing are now able to be bought online through Amazon’s easy-shop online marketing store.