Archive for May, 2008

MGS4 Cutscenes, grab some popcorn [Update]

There are cutscenes in Metal Gear Solid 4 that are 90 minutes long. Not total, that’s just one cut scene! So be prepared with some munchies. But you can skip the cutscenes or pause them. Konami is really going all out for MGS4, no wonder they ran out of room on the 50GB Blu-ray disc. It will also require a 4.6GB install, which I’m okay with. Give me MGS4 already!

MGS4 features 90-minute cutscenes, 4.6GB installation


Seems the rumor is false:

“I’ve beat the game twice, and am the author of the forthcoming [GamePro] review,” Shuman said. “Ninety-minute-long cinemas in MGS4 sounds like an exaggeration. Like the other MGS games, MGS4 definitely has a cinematic quality. And yes, some of the cut-scenes in the game are elaborate and occasionally lengthy. But not a one, to my recollection, even approaches 90 minutes.”


Alone in the Dark Interview – Oh, PS3 later this year.

The lighting in the game looks great, it will be fun to play with fire in so many different ways. It has a unique feature of being able to jump ahead in the game if you wish, kind of like a dvd menu. But you still need finish a certain percentage of the game before you can see the ending. To bad the PS3 version got pushed back. I hope this trend stops soon, it’s annoying.


Bioshock is headed to PS3!

For those who haven’t played it, this is a really high quality, atmosphere heavy FPS. It is highly regarded for providing an original and immersive atmosphere, novel twists on FPS gameplay, extremely creative characters and environments, and excellent graphics.


I’ve been playing this on the PC, and it is easily one of the top FPS games out there. There are also entertaining adventure/exploration elements beyond simply shooting.

This is the second most highly rated game on 360 (behind GTA 4) and those PS3 owners who haven’t had a chance to try this on 360 or PC are in for a treat.


Source: 1UP + Others


Are Video Game Actors Undercompensated?

In this NYT piece, the lead voice acting and motion capture star behind GTA 4 is a little upset that he doesn’t receive royalties or residuals like movie stars do.

“Obviously I’m incredibly thankful to Rockstar for the opportunity to be in this game when I was just a nobody, an unknown quantity,” Mr. Hollick, 35, said last week over dinner in Willamsburg, Brooklyn, shortly after performing in the aerial theater show “Fuerzabruta” in Union Square. “But it’s tough, when you see Grand Theft Auto IV out there as the biggest thing going right now, when they’re making hundreds of millions of dollars, and we don’t see any of it. I don’t blame Rockstar. I blame our union for not having the agreements in place to protect the creative people who drive the sales of these games. Yes, the technology is important, but it’s the human performances within them that people really connect to, and I hope actors will get more respect for the work they do within those technologies.”

That’s because Mr. Hollick was paid only about $100,000 over roughly 15 months between late 2006 and early this year for all of his voice acting and motion-capture work on the game, with zero royalties or residuals in sight, he said.

Welcome to the real world, voice actors.

Salaries, royalties, and residuals, and other compensation arrangements are negotiated between two parties. Workers negotiate for high comensation and are free to work for whomever will give them the best deals. Employers are free to hire whomever they want and search for the best workers for the least compensation. That’s how supply/demand and capitalism works in all industry that isn’t heavily unionized or government regulated.

Many of the workers behind GTA 3 were able to negotiate much better compensation after the huge success of the series. Hopefully now that Mr. Hollick has helped deliver a successful product like GTA 4, he has more bargaining power in negotiating future employment contracts.

So, do voice actors deserve more favorable terms? How about game artists, programmers, middle managers, and other studio roles? Should the industry unionize to get labor more bargaining leverage?


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