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It’s tough out there. But some small businesses have prospered – The Guardian

H

ow about a little good news? Countless companies are facing terrible circumstances as a result of the downturn. Many may never return. But, as the saying goes, one persons problem is another persons opportunity. So even though the economy has been devastated, millions have become unemployed and countless small businesses are facing ruin, others have prospered.

Tampa Bays Spaulding Decon, a cleaning company, has been not surprisingly busier than ever. Its been crazy. Weve actually done over $30m in estimates in two weeks, owner Laura Spaulding told the Tampa Bay Times. In that period normally? It might be $100,000.

The company, which has 24 offices across the country, has had its phones ringing off the hook and has been scrambling to hire extra workers to fulfill demand from restaurants, banks, government buildings, gyms and daycare facilities, even flying crews around the country to help in the busiest places.

Everyones been trapped indoors, which has been good news for a St Louis company called Puzzle Warehouse. The company has been breaking records selling puzzles, games and toys, shipping seven times the amount of items normally seen online and logging six times more sales in their store. Were not selling necessities, marketing manager Greg Brown told the Riverfront Times. Were selling something to keep you entertained.

Meanwhile, the online world has been booming. According to one report, e-commerce ad spending alone doubled in March, as consumers were forced to buy more stuff online. Of course, the giants like Amazon have benefited. But so also have the small craft makers on Etsy. They saw demand for masks explode, with the online platform disclosing that more than 12m face masks were sold during April, accounting for about $133m in sales. It was like waking up and discovering it was Cyber Monday, except everyone in the world just wanted one product and that product was in extremely limited supply, Etsys chief executive, Josh Silverman, said in a report by the Verge. It wasnt just masks Etsy reported that sales of other items surged 79% during the period too.

When people are stuck at home, they tend to eat more. Of course, the freelancers who work for delivery services like GrubHub, Caviar and Instacart have all benefited from the increased demand. But these are not the only deliveries that people are demanding. Portland, Oregon-based MilkRun, which connects consumers to farmers in their communities to buy local meat, dairy, produce and more saw its deliveries of these staples shoot up from an average 175 per week to more than 2,000. Its this crazy thing that gave life to MilkRun, the companys owner told the Portland Business Journal.

If you assume that many people have been moving their exercise regimes to their homes and that has created a demand for more exercise equipment, your assumption would be correct. But its not just the makers of the equipment that have benefited. Small companies like Goldens Foundry and Machine in Columbus, Georgia, are also seeing a boom in sales. The company, which has been around since the 1880s, has had orders for its kettle bells and dumbbells pouring in.

We realized we were not going to be a good candidate for face masks and respirators. But iron? We know how to pour, George Boyd, the companys vice-president, told a local news station. So, when we realized there was a shortage of kettle bells and dumbbells, we went in to help fill that void.

And then there are the unforeseen businesses that have benefited from the pandemic. For example, there are people using online neighborhood community site NextDoor to barter goods and services, which has created an unexpected surge in traffic (and ad revenues) for the social service in cities across the country. There are the chiropractors in Pittsburgh who report increased demand from work-from-home employees complaining of back and neck pains. Theres the unprecedented demand for Cobol programmers, because the ancient computer language was used to construct many state unemployment systems that now need adjustments to accommodate more visitors and new rules from the federal government. Theres a reported comeback in drive-in movie theatres, as people want to see a good film while also practicing social distancing.

Finally, its probably not surprising that many small businesses in one industry are seeing spikes in sales because of the pandemic. That, of course, is the cannabis industry, with states like Nevada, Ohio and Oregon reporting record sales.

We get to provide a little relief to a stressed society, Mishka Ashbel, the co-owner of the MMD cannabis dispensary in Hollywood, California told the New Yorker. Its conducive to isolation, and it turns off the sensory overload from the news right now.

Ashbel does warn of one consequence: You might end up eating all of your quarantine food supplies.

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It's tough out there. But some small businesses have prospered - The Guardian

Best Bargains on the eShop Epic Indie Sales – SwitchWatch

Hello, everyone! It is that time of the week again where James Romero and the other guys at SwitchWatchTV compile the best bargains happening on the Nintendo Switch eShop this week and share it with all of us. In the Best Bargains series, it is about choosing the deals that are either unbelievable in price or the game dropping the price is spectacular. Either way, Best Bargains is always a lot of fun to watch and read, so lets just get into it here on SwitchWatch.co.uk, shall we?

Hello how are you doing everyone? Im James Romero, and we are back uncovering the very best bargains on the Switch eShop that are worth picking up across the UK, EU, and US eShops. Be sure to let us know your pick of the week for Best Bargains in the comments below, as each week we pick someone to win a $10 eShop voucher. We will announce last weeks winner later on, but for now, lets jump in and find these best bargains!

James: Kicking things off with my pick of the week, and this week its the anti-gravity racer Redout. With an F-Zero sized hole on the Nintendo platform, games like Fast RMX have swooped in to fill the gap, and Redout does a solid job of doing the same. With a cool futuristic style, a pumping soundtrack, and a healthy campaign mode, there is a lot to like here. What I like is how each ship feels different across teams, and the introduction of controlling the pitch with the right stick. It makes for fast feeling, on the edge of losing control racing. Its not perfectly polished, but at half price its a lot of racer for your money.

17.99 50%$19.99 50%19.99 50%

Juan and Jordan, what are your picks for this weeks Best Bargains?

Juan: My pick of the week has to be Cave Story. Not only is it a great game, but I remember waiting weeks for it when I imported it from our friends in the States. I think Nicalis physicals are some of the best around with all the little goodies you get. Here our hero discovers a hidden land and vows to protect the defenseless creatures who live there. This game is both charming and hard as nails at times, but I absolutely loved this platforming adventure from start to finish. It has great story telling, sweet weapons, and awesome action. If you missed it, then now is the time to download with 50% off.

13.49 50%$14.99 50%14.99 50%

Jordan: Hey, guys! My pick of the week is a game that I reviewed when it released digitally, Aragami! This is a nice indie game that dares take on the stealth genre and does so with aplomb. Jumping between shadows, sneaking behind guards on patrol, and with some interesting platforming segments and upgrades, this is an ambitious title for an indie studio. Its hardly Splinter Cell in its stealth mechanics, but thats why the current sale comes in. Its 50% off until May 31st 14.99 in Euros and US dollars and 12.49 in the UK. Thats a very nice price and can be easily recommended for those looking for an indie game that looks like it has a bit more of a budget to it.

12.49 50%$14.99 50%14.99 50%

Thanks, guys! Those are two great picks. Moving on!

Sparklite is an action-adventure game that takes place in the wonderful world of Geodia. Enjoy the amazing pixel art and a wonderful soundtrack by Dale North. The game contains 5 unique and procedurally generated biomes to explore. It is loads of fun and with the update back in feb to version 1.5 the experience became even better. Version 1.5 provides a load of new content to help you stay busy in Geodia! If you dont own the game, now is the time to dive in. If you do already own it with a healthy 40% Off the largest discount on it to date

11.99 40%$14.99 40% 14.99 40%

Gorogoa is a critically acclaimed puzzle game from developers Buried Signal. Its beautiful, imaginative, and often sited as a work of art. It was originally $15 which was always a bit of a stretch for many due to the 2-hour run time, but now with 50% off at $7.99 in the US that is a very good value for your money. If you were on the fence originally, then now is the time to strike.

$7.99 50%

If you missed it last time, Super Chariot, the platformer puzzler from Microids has a chunky 90% off! Playing as a princess and her fiance you need to drag a chariot with the late kings remains through 25 subterranean levels to his final resting place, along the way you are taunted by the ungrateful kings ghost, face enemies, gather loot and take physics based puzzles. Its a well accomplished game that has replay ability and plenty of fun moments and secrets to find its decent on your own but is a real treat in local coop either in tabletop mode or on a TV. Its a solid package and at this low a cost you really cannot go wrong!

$1.49 90%

Feudal Alloy is a metroidvania that is rough around the edges and odd you play as a goldfish controlling a robotic body in an odd landscape full of robots in a medieval setting, I reviewed this one when it came out and I did enjoy it there are nice RPG elements thrown in and the puzzles are excellent its not perfect but at less that 3 its a bargain worth checking out!

2.69 80%$3.39 80%2.99 80%

Remilore is an action RPG that takes the Diablo formula makes it more chilled out. The adventure has some rogue lite elements which are randomised and the levelling up system is interesting, throw into the mix decent combat and nice Japanese voice work and what you have is a nice dungeon looter that you can pick up and play in short, chilled out bursts.

17.99 50%$19.99 50%19.99 50%

Developer by Edmund McMillen and published by Nicalis, The End is Nigh lives up to the standards Edmund has set in his other titles like super meat boy and the binding of Isaac. A dark sense of humor, lovely visuals And perfectly crafted tracks by Ridiculon. The clue is in the title here you play as ash, a blob and the last one left after an apocalyptic event and you set off in search of a friend what follows is precision platforming on single screen stages at its finest, you will want to throw your switch at every turn but someone will keep going back for more punishment! A fantastic title not to be skipped

6.69 50%$7.49 50%7.49 50%

Crystal Crisis is a lovely little action puzzle game. Featuring a crossover of many niche characters, especially those that publisher Nicalis have worked with over the years. It includes Binding of Isaac, Astro Boy, Cave Story, as well as a few other. Its a color matching game that gives the illusion of a 1 v 1 fighter harking back to a once popular genre. Its chaotic but very fun, with 50% off across all regions its a blast.

8.99 50%$9.99 50%9.99 50%

Based on true stories and historical events, 1979 Revolution: Black Friday is an interactive drama about choice and consequence, chaos and order. The year is 1978, the place is Tehran, Iran. You play a photojournalist who returns home to find his people protesting the ruling King, the Shah. Armed with your camera, youre soon pulled into a dangerous world of revolution and civil unrest. The visuals are not great, the interaction is minimal and its a short game but story wise its fascinating and for the price of a cup of coffee its worth it.

$3.59 70%

In Slayaway Camp, you play as Skullface, a mask wearing, machete wielding serial killer straight out of the 80s!The game is a slide puzzler where you have to perform the right sequence in order to progress in this case its to slash your victims, oh fun! its a good laugh and a fun puzzle game to boot with 80% off you cant go wrong

$2.99 80%

Mars Power Industries is a simple pick up and play puzzle game, there are 80 odd levels and each one is nice and short, the premise is that mars has been terraformed and as buildings pop up they need to get powered up, this is where you come in! Taking place on a simple grid you need to place and connect grids in order to power up buildings, along the way there are obstacles and some tricky spikes to make things that bit tougher but overall this is a chilled, laid back easy to play and good looking game all for under 1

0.87 75%$0.99 75%0.99 75%

Black the Fall is a puzzle platformer that harks back to the Cold War and the rise of communism, its a visual novel in the sense that its focus is its story through sometimes obscure interpretations but its an interesting tale, the switch version does have a few creaky parts to it in the performance side but its a nice, short experience and now its at its lowest ever price point with 70% off

3.59 70%$4.49 70%4.49 70%

15.74 55%17.99 55%

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is a special title. The spiritual successor of the Wonder Boy series, this metroidvania platformer is one of the best there is with excellent controls and wonderful gameplay supported by beautiful graphics and one of the very best soundtracks weve heard on the Switch. This is not one to be missed! Everyone can enjoy this regardless of age or skill level. One of the best bargains for sure.

Block Quest Maker, otherwise known as BQM is an RPG creation tool. Using voxels to create and share your very own quests, this is a bit of a niche one, but great for those who are fans of creating games and RPGs. It makes a nice, quirky alternative to the RPG Maker series and is surprisingly good, especially with 50% off!

5.99 50%6.49 50%

EarthLock is a love letter to JRPGs of the PS1 era with its turn based combat, open world to explore and classic mechanics. The game is well crafted and whilst its fair to say its unlikely to be many peoples absolute favorite it does everything well and clocks up an impressive amount of content making this one an impressive bargain at this price point.

4.49 80%4.89 80%

And there you have a bunch of eShop Best Bargains worth considering! What is your pick of the week for Best Bargains? Let us know down below! Thanks for hanging out with us today, tomorrow we will be back with our physical round up. In the meantime, congratulations to Jcookie, this weeks winner. Please email us, and we will get you that voucher. Stay safe, everyone, and take care.

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Best Bargains on the eShop Epic Indie Sales - SwitchWatch

John Wick’s Writer Has Pitches For TV Shows Based On Two Unusual Games | – Ydraft

Derek Kolstad, best known as the writer of the John Wick film series and the creator of the character and world he occupies, is preparing to pitch TV adaptations of two video games. In an interview with Comicbook.com, Kolstad has revealed that hes working on pitches for shows based on My Friend Pedro and Bendy and the Ink Machine.

Kolstad says that he named these two projects because, literally, I have these Post-It notes on my computer of, This is what Im working on today.' Hes also attached to numerous other film projects, including two remakes with David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, the co-directors of the original John WickA Company Man with Leitch, and A Map From Nowhere with Stahelski.

My Friend Pedro is a 2019 side-scrolling action game celebrated for its stunt-heavy gameplay; it received a 7/10 in GameSpots review. Bendy and the Ink Machine is a 2017 first-person horror puzzle game that sports a vintage cartoon aesthetic. Both are smaller titles with a lot of style, and both are pretty strangewhich makes them interesting choices for adaptation.

Continue Reading at GameSpot

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John Wick's Writer Has Pitches For TV Shows Based On Two Unusual Games | - Ydraft

5 Shooters That Are Really Short (& 5 That Take way Too Long) – TheGamer

Shooters are one of the most popular genres in video game history, ranging from FPS titles such asCall of Duty to third-person shooters likeThe Division. These games typically have campaigns and multiplayer components to keep gamers busy for hundreds of hours.

RELATED: 5 FPS Mechanics That Changed The Genre (& 5 That Are Outdated)

Most campaigns in this genre are either too long or too short, however. Based on the subgenre, these games can last from a couple of hours to hundreds. A game's length doesn't mean it's bad, however. Each game on this list is fantastic and worth experiencing, but it's not because of its length. Here are 5 shooters that are either really short or too long. This list will not include live service games such asDestiny orThe Division, as these games can be played infinitely.

One of the best sequels ever made for a franchise,Halo 2 upped the ante in every conceivable way except the campaign's length.

Halo 2's campaign takes anywhere from 6 to 10 hours based on difficulty and skill, which sounds great compared to other shooters at the time. The issue is that the game abruptly ends on one of the most unsatisfying and controversial cliffhangers of all time, done likely because Bungie ran out of time duringHalo 2's legendarily crunch-heavydevelopment cycle.

Ubisoft games are known for their large open worlds and checklist-style sandbox design. They're fun to play the first few times, but this style of game gets fatiguing fast.

No Ubisoft shooter suffered from this worse thanFar Cry 4. After the well-receivedFar Cry 3 andBlood Dragon standalone expansion,Far Cry 4 made little innovations to the series. Besides co-op and a few new skills, this wasFar Cry 3with a new settingand players felt every second of its recycled gameplay loop.

Tactical shooters andStar Wars should go as well as oil and water, yetStar Wars Republic Commandoproves otherwise.

RELATED: 10 Best Star Wars Games Without Lightsabers

This FPS title puts players in the shoes of Delta-38, otherwise known as Boss. You command a squad of Republic Commandos and complete covert missions for the Republic, ranging from fighting the Separatists on Geonosis to investigating an abandoned Republic Cruiser. Sadly, the game's campaign is around 6 hours long and ends on a cliffhanger. The game is certainly worth experiencing, but don't expectRepublic Commandoto last longer than an afternoon.

Deus Ex is one of the most influential games to ever release. Its open-ended levels and choices made it an instant PC classic. Eidos-Montral rebooted the series withDeus Ex: Human Revolution to capture the spirit of the original.

It did well enough to warrant a sequel, but this sequel is both too short and too long.Deus Ex: Mankind Divided takes place in one hub town instead of the typical two or three of the past. Its main story can be beaten in as short as 12 hours, but completing the game's side content can take upwards of 50 hours. The game builds up to an epic conspiracy in typicalDeus Ex fashion, but the game's reliance on side missions to deliver this compelling narrative makes the game feel much longer than past entriesand not in a good way.

Fans ofTitanfall frequently criticized the first game for its lack of a single-player campaign.Titanfall 2 fixed this by adding a fantastic, albeit short campaign.

Most FPS veterans will complete this campaign in an afternoon, with playthroughs ranging from 4 to 6 hours. Don't let the short length dissuade you from trying it, though.Titanfall 2 delivers one of the best single-player experiences sinceHalf-Life 2. It's just a shame the campaign is so short.

To reiterate, games that are too long are not necessarily bad.Borderlands 2 is one of the best looter shooters ever made, filled with dozens of post-launch content and updates.

That'sBorderlands 2's issue, though. The breadth of content this game provides can feel detrimental at times with how many directions the game is pulling you in. Its main campaign is the perfect length, but playing through this game on various OP levels and going through the DLC on each new game plus difficulty can feel exhausting for all but the most diehard of fans. If you don't mind having this much content to try,Borderlands 2 is one of the best looters on the market.

Jokes about how "SUPERHOT is the most innovative shooter I've played in years!" aside,SUPERHOT is a fantastic single-player FPS that takes a few hours to beat.

SUPERHOT's campaign takes around 2 to 4 hours to beat, potentially under an hour once you master the game's central mechanics. Thankfully, extra modes and challenges exist to keep players engaged past the main campaign. Still, the short length ofSUPERHOT is the game's only issue.

MostFalloutentries take a long time to beat. This is thanks to the excellent use of dialogue, exploration, and gameplay in each of the main entries.

RELATED: Fallout: 10 Facts You Didn't Know About The Franchise

Fallout 4 makes many experimental changes to the franchise that many hardcore fans loathed. Replacing the iconic dialogue system was a 4 choice wheel and an extensive crafting system that players could spend hundreds of hours in. This has resulted inFallout 4 taking anywhere from 25 hours to complete to a few hundred. Bethesda games aren't privy to long playthroughs, butFallout 4's feels much longer than the rest since the crafting components overshadowed the core RPG systems the series was known for.

This is somewhat cheating asPortal is a puzzle game first, butPortal is still an FPS based around completing levels by shooting things. Instead of unloading lead into bad guys, you fire portals to traverse test chambers.

Portal is a masterful game in its mechanics and pacing, starting slow and building up to a climactic finale. With that said, this game is easily beatable after 3 hours. If you know the mechanics ofPortal, that can be reduced to as little as under an hour!Portal 2 would go on to fix this with a much longer campaign and co-op missions, but that doesn't change the factPortal is one of the shortest FPS games ever made. It works to the game's favor, but it wouldn't have hurt ifPortal had a few more test chambers, either.

Compared to the other entries on this list,Serious Sam 2 is much shorter than you'd expect. Taking anywhere from 14 to 20 hours to beat.

Thing is, this game is a linear arena shooter that has 42 levels. Each level is a fully-fledged mission with a new map, objectives, and enemies. These levels take around 15 minutes to beat as well, which makes this game feel closer to an 80-hour adventure when you finish it than 20 hours. It's a fun FPS arena shooter that hardcoreSerious Sam fans will enjoy, but the number of levels inSerious Sam 2 makes it feel longer than games likeThe Witcher 3.

NEXT: 10 Short (But Exciting) Action Games Worth Playing

Next Final Fantasy 7: 10 Secrets That Took Fans Years To Find

Charles Burgar is an expert on all things tech and gaming. Graduating from Pikes Peak Community College in 2018 with an Associate of Science, Charles has spent his time dissecting popular video games, movies, and technology. With an understanding of games for as long as he can remember, Charles has a large interest in understanding what makes things fun. He is currently a Freelance writer for TheGamer and Game Rant.

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‘Mr. Robot Season 5’ Is It Happening? Rami Malek Returning Along With Others? Check All The Updates Here – News Lagoon

Warning: The following contains spoilers for Thursdays Will & Grace. If youd prefer to watch first, read later, make like Grace at a salad bar and turn away.

If nothing else, no one can say that Thursdays conclusion of NBCs Will & Grace revival didnt go out on a cheerier note than the series original finale. Dreams both likely and un- came true, the dirty jokes flew fast and furious, and we got not one but two reunions. Read on, and before you grade the send-off, well discuss the episode from beginning to, once again, end.

COMMENCE OPERATION BABY! | As Its Time got underway, Grace announced that she was in labor, inadvertently revealing to Will the fact that neither she, Jack nor Karen had read his email detailing the birth plan. Which email? asked Grace. Whats email? asked Karen. And they were off briefly; it had been a false alarm, something Jack knew all about thanks to Judith, who freaked anytime her DVR didnt record Chicago Fire. If Grace wanted to induce labor, her doctor had said, all she had to do was go for a walk or get some exercise. Well, cracked Will, then that baby is never getting born. Just then, Estefan burst in with big news: The Broadway sailor for whom Jack was understudying couldnt go on. Did that mean that Jack was taking his place in the chorus line? Er, no. He wasnt the first understudy or the second. Still, he noted optimistically, My dream of taking a bow on a Broadway stage is only a car accident, a death in the family and a respiratory infection away from coming true. (Ah, such simple timesback when a respiratory infection could still be a punchline.)

Soon, Karen received big news, too, and in the strangest way. I just got a letter from Stan, she said. On my phone. Doy, replied Will. Thats email. Anyway, her ex wanted her to meet him at the top of the Statue of Liberty at 5 oclock. And she was going to go, too, but only to inform him that she was moving forward, not looking back. So the whole gang piled into a cab, Will and Grace to offer Karen moral support, Jack to distract himself from the opportunity that was so close at hand. Wait, couldnt he distract himself with the bar that he now owned? Or his rec-center job? He had all but forgotten those pursuits. In fact, he wondered, was he still a nurse? Just then, he received a text: The first two understudies have a bacterial parasite and cant stop throwing up! He was now only a single chorus boy away from having his dream come true! Next, the gang spotted McCoy on Taxi TV: He was returning to New York and his old job. Well, so what? Will said. His former fianc had bailed and hadnt even called to say he was coming back to Manhattan.

THIS IS THE FILTHIEST EPISODE OF DOWNTON ABBEY IVE EVER SEEN | As the ride went on, Karen protested, clearly too much, that she didnt care whom Stan ended up with. Is that so? asked the cabby Lorraine, who quickly explained that being a taxi driver wasnt that different from her old career as a stripper. You take people where they want to go, and sometimes you end up with a big mess on your back seat. But that wasnt why she was in this episode; she was in it to impart a bit of wisdom on Karen. As long as shed known her ex-stepmother, only one thing had been constant about her. Not your boobs or your head or your body Karen had always loved Stan. So was she really going to throw away this chance? Speaking of second chances, when Will and Grace reached the top of Lady Liberty first, he insisted that he didnt want one with McCoy; he was only looking forward. Mm-hmm. Sure, ya are, Will.

When Karen and Jack made it to the top, she was disappointed that Stan wasnt there. Maybe hed meant the Empire State Building, she mused, and was off holding a lady and swatting away planes. Though Jacks legs were jelly after climbing the stairs, he did a costume change worthy of Wonder Woman when he got the call that the last understudy had the measles. Thank you, anti-vaxxers! he cheered before marveling that this turn of events was the first good thing to happen to me on top of a woman. As he, Will and Grace headed to the theatre, Karen stayed behind. Shed be fine waiting for Stan alone. But youd better not make a fool of me, she told her ex, at least in her head. After Jacks show miraculously, hed managed to not only stand but dance his butt off he collapsed, making for a memorable curtain call. That seaman on the floor is my husband! cried Estefan, proud as rum punch. Back at the Statue of Liberty, no sooner had Karen decided, Im putting my torch down, my arms getting tired than Stans chopper arrived and dropped her a marriage proposal. Just like that, she was movin on up the ladder to the helicopter.

HOW IS THAT GUY HOT EVEN THROUGH A FISH-EYE? | Waiting for Jack post-performance, Grace reported to Will that shed seen McCoy in the mens room (as if she was going to wait in the longer line for the ladies!). He was at the urinal when I walked in, and by the way, good for you. Nonetheless, Will said that he wasnt going to chase his ex which he then did, literally, running after his Town Car and yelling McCoy! McCoy! like a sad, gay crow. Of course, by the time Will got home, McCoy was waiting for him in the hallway. Hed just gotten scared, he said. Marriagea babyit was a lot. Will understood; however, hed made a commitment to Grace and wasnt about to shirk it. OK, said McCoy. But Will, the gay guy gets to have his Prince Charming, too. Finally, Will admitted that, OK, happily ever after would be nice. Inside the apartment, Will found that everything was gone but the sofa, which wouldnt fit through the door Grace hated and the portrait that, throughout the episode, everyone had said they thought was of Will (since, among other things, it was of a gaunt, dead-eyed man who never changes and looks down on everyone).

Will and Grace swore that they werent going to do any reminiscing, then couldnt help themselves. How could they not? Everything in their lives was about to change. Weve always just been Will and Grace, she noted. Maybe, he replied, weve been Will and Grace long enough. Sweet writing, that. In the hall, Jack and Karen put their own spin on their circumstances. Its like we wont be the old Jack and Karen anymore, he said, launching them into one less slapfest. Whew, he said afterwards. Were still us. As if it didnt go without saying, Karen added, And we always will be. When the slap-happy duo entered the apartment, Grace announced and she meant it (we think) that its time. Or, as Karen put it, I think our girls getting ready to have her litter. As Will and Grace left, she admitted that she was 100-percent not ready. But it was gonna be all right, he assured her. Better than all right. Youre gonna be great. We are gonna be great.

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'Mr. Robot Season 5' Is It Happening? Rami Malek Returning Along With Others? Check All The Updates Here - News Lagoon

Zynga to launch a new Harry Potter game soon – Times of India

Zynga, the studio behind the popular titles Zynga Poker, Words with Friends 2, and CSR Racing 2, is planning to launch a new mobile game called Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells based on JK Rowlings popular book series Harry Potter. The game will be launched in partnership with Portkey Games from Warner Bros. The studio has launched several successful games in the past couple of years. However, recent years havent been so good for the company, which might change with the launch of the new game. Zynga has not yet confirmed the exact launch date of the game. However, the website for the same is already live and it suggests that the game will launch in Android, iOS and also Amazon Kindle.'; var randomNumber = Math.random(); var isIndia = (window.geoinfo && window.geoinfo.CountryCode === 'IN') && (window.location.href.indexOf('outsideindia') === -1 ); //console.log(isIndia && randomNumber Harry Potter books and movies have its own fan base and Zynga here is planning to cash in on that fan following with its new game. Zyngas approach with the game is unlike any other Harry Potter game we have seen in recent past such as Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, which is an AR game or the Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, an RPG game launched on both iOS and Android. Going by the website listing, Zyngas approach here is a bit more traditional compared to other games. The game is a match-3 puzzle game in which matching three puzzles will recreate some iconic scenes from the movie.

With each puzzle you complete, step further into the wonder and mystery of Harry Potters story. Revel in the sights and sounds of Diagon Alley, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and more of your favourite locations from the Wizarding World! Follow Harry, Ron, Hermione, and the other familiar faces as they brew potions, duel with trolls, and uncover the magic of the Wizarding World! says the website.

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Zynga to launch a new Harry Potter game soon - Times of India

‘We Were Here Together’ Comes to Xbox One Next Month – Trailer – WorthPlaying.com

When you can't fight and you can't run, what options do you have left? It comes down to your wits, a walkie-talkie, and one other player on the same wavelength, caught up in the same troubling situation as you. Communication is everything in this first person cooperative puzzle game. And if being trapped wasn't enough, not everything is as it seems.

This time players will begin the game outside the fearsome Castle Rock, at their base camp. But events will inevitably draw them back to the dark citadel where players will find themselves split up, having to communicate by walkie-talkie. As always, getting inside is easier than getting out - and the jester has no intention of helping!

We Were Here Together will be released for Xbox One on June 5, and is now available to preorder with a 10% discount on the Microsoft Store

Managing Director Lucia de Visser says: This is our favorite game so far, and were thrilled to bring it to Xbox One! By fan request, We Were Here Together has more focus on the story, new environments to explore, and more puzzles for a longer total playtime.

Whether or not youve played a We Were Here game before, you can leap into We Were Here Together and start unraveling the secrets of Castle Rock, the Antarctic fortress at the heart of the series. The game sees players take the role of Antarctic explorers confronted by a mysterious castle in the middle of the frozen wastes. Drawn inside by a distress call, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary ruin and that there is no ordinary way out.

You and a co-op partner will need to be each others eyes and ears as you endeavor to escape. Every puzzle requires communication to solve you can talk to each other, or you can stay trapped forever.

The games of the We Were Here series of co-op puzzle games are connected, but can be played in any order. Following the first visit to Castle Rock in the free prequel We Were Here, Total Mayhem Games have big plans for their world of dark mysteries and complex conundrums. The second episode We Were Here Too was released as a commercial product in early 2018, and the story continues with the new game We Were Here Together. Future episodes will bring more of the exploration and cooperative puzzle solving that gave We Were Here a 92% positive reception on Steam!

Currently available for PC, We Were Here Together will be released for Xbox One on June 5, 2020.

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'We Were Here Together' Comes to Xbox One Next Month - Trailer - WorthPlaying.com

Making Of: How A Fold Apart used Lightning Rod Games co-founder Mark Laframboise’s own long-distance relationship as its basis – Pocket Gamer.Biz

The process in creating a game is a difficult, long and often stressful process, but it's one that can reap many awards alongside actually seeing your ideas come to life.

No matter the size of the game or how long it ultimately took to make, each new title involves a lot of hard work, hard decisions, and a little bit of luck before it even gets out the door and onto devices. And in the current mobile market, that's only the first step in having a successful game.

To highlight all of the hard work that often goes on unseen in the background, PocketGamer.biz is reaching out to developers to learn more about the general rigmarole of releasing a video game, with our 'Making Of' series.

This week we spoke with Lightning Rod Games co-founder Mark Laframboiseabout the making of A Fold Apart.

PocketGamer.biz: Can you start off by telling us about A Fold Apart?

Mark Laframboise: A Fold Apart is a puzzle game that explores the emotional rollercoaster of a long-distance relationship in a world of folding paper.

Where did the initial idea for the game come from?

The initial idea for A Fold Apart was based on my own experience with a long-distance relationship. Prior to founding the studio, I was working at Disney Interactive/Playdom in California while my significant other was still living in Ontario, Canada. We were living three time zones and half a continent apart for almost 1.5 years.

There were a lot of emotional ups and downs that we both went through while living apart from each other and I thought that creating a game that was based on that story would be interesting. However, I wanted to have gameplay that also helped reinforce those emotions and didn't know how to do it at first.

A while later, my co-founder Steven and I were brainstorming cool gameplay mechanics we hadn't seen before and he came up with the great idea of folding papers like the back of a MAD magazine.

That ultimately led to the initial design pitch of A Fold Apart: if you have a character living on one side of a piece of paper and another character on the other side, they're in two entirely different worlds. But, if you fold that paper in half, you can merge their two worlds together and create a way for them to reunite.

Folding paper served as a good metaphor for living apart from someone you love where you just wish you could mash your two worlds together.

How long did development take, and how many people worked on the game?

We have been working on the game for a little over four and a half years (September 2015). Our team has changed a bit over development, up to our current maximum team size of six people: myself (co-founder, game design/project management), Steven (co-founder, technical lead), Stephanie (art director), David (animator), Ryan (programmer) and Kit (game design).

What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome during development?

Creating all of the technology surrounding the paper folding was definitely a challenge. Since so much of what we were doing was novel, we had to write a lot of custom rendering and physics code.

A Fold Apart is available to download on Apple Arcade and Nintendo Switch

Finding all of the edge cases and unexpected behaviours that we've been seeing players run into since launch has proven to be tricky, but we have already been able to find and squash a number of bugs we had never encountered before just based on feedback from our players.

At what stage in development did you feel you had a game that you were happy with?

The first time it really felt like we had figured things out and were on the right track was after we took a demo of our first tutorial level to PAX East 2018. We were able to get it in front of hundreds of players and see their reactions in real-time. There were even a few tears at that show.

Why did you feel this was the right time to launch on Apple Arcade?

The opportunity to release the game on Apple Arcade was something that really excited all of us on the team. The mobile space has a lot of untapped potential for game design, but premium indie games tend to have a hard time exploring and experimenting in that design space in a way that is sustainable.

Apple's concerted effort to support, highlight and nurture these premium mobile experiences on Apple Arcade is something that I think is very important to allowing these experiments and experiences to be shared with the wider gaming community.

The service was a great fit for A Fold Apart specifically because it allows us to get the game in front of a large number of people in our target audience. We also feel that the game design lends itself well to touch controls (we may have missed the mark on our first implementation of the touch controls, but we're currently re-working and tuning them to improve their performance on mobile).

How happy are you with the game's launch so far?

We're incredibly happy! The responses we've had to the game have been amazing, and it's been great to see how much my personal experience also rings true for many other players who have been in long-distance relationships themselves. The constructive criticism we've received has also been really useful in helping us plan where to prioritise our time on fixes too.

How are you approaching live ops? What can you tell us about your plans in terms of updates?

We're currently working on improving some of the stability and unexpected interactions that are affecting all of the platforms and then we're going to take another full pass at some of our paper folding touch controls as well since those seem to be a point of contention for many players. We do have some plans for some additional puzzle content as well, but no timelines to announce on that front yet.

Can you provide any download or financial data? Any DAUs or other stats?

While we unfortunately can't share our exact numbers, we are very pleased with the number of people who have played the game across all platforms.

What can you tell us about your future mobile projects?

We really enjoyed our experience working with the Apple Arcade team so we are definitely considering possible ways to collaborate with them again in the future internally. We don't currently have any new projects to announce at this time.

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Making Of: How A Fold Apart used Lightning Rod Games co-founder Mark Laframboise's own long-distance relationship as its basis - Pocket Gamer.Biz

WATCH THE TRAILERS FOR THE 11 PLAYSTATION TALENTS GAMES LINED UP FOR 2020! – Gamasutra

[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]

Madrid, May 22nd, 2020. Sony Interactive Entertainment Espaa (SIE Espaa) revealed today the first look of the 11 games that form the PlayStationTalents line up for 2020. All these gamesstarted working atthe different PlayStation Games Camp last March. This PlayStationonline event was celebrated alongwith the partners of the Talents program.Lanzadera, Z by HP, Tangram Solutions and Voxel School, with the special intervention ofShahid Ahmad, mentor of the PlayStationTalents program.

Roberto Yeste, head of the PlayStationTalents initiative, wanted to remind that the project has already supportedmore than 100 games since its inception in 2015.According to Javier Jimnez, CEO of Lanzadera, "everystudiohasa really interesting challenge ahead of them -- but I am convinced they are ready for it". Giovanni Vailati, Category Manager of Z by HP remindedthe studios "are all outdoing themselves, which is not an easy task considering the currentsituation". Lastly, Victor Ceruelo, CEO of Tangram Solutions, wanted to show his support: "it is the time for youto show all your talent, now more than ever".

Here are the trailers of the upcoming PlayStationsTalents games:

Clid the Snail (Weird Beluga Studio)

The winners of this years Best Game Of The Year award in the VI Edition of the PlayStationTalents Awards will develop this action-adventure game where the player becomes Clid, a humanoid snail, always with his loyal companion the talkative firefly Belu by his side. This dual stick shooter takes the player through many different scenarios where they will fight their enemies with a wide variety of weapons.

Corbid! A Colorful Adventure (CuCurry)

A 3D shooter- and puzzle-platformer where the player has to help Corbid in becoming the new champion, using his color-related abilities to win the rest of contenders.

Do Not Open (QUASAR DYNAMICS)

Do Not Open is a VR survival horror game, inspired by the mechanics and experience of escape rooms. Its story evolves within the confines of a room that will bring the players mental and physical condition to the limit. The main character wakes up in their own house to the sudden realization that something has changed the house is locked up and it keeps changing as the game progresses, in an analogy of what is happening within the characters own head. Do Not Open is a non-linear game, and players will get different endings depending on their decissions, as well as the results of the tests they overcome through the game.

Inner Ashes (Calathea Game Studio)

Inner Ashes is a story-driven adventure where players become Henry, a forester affected of Alzheimer who has to take a soul-searching journey to his own mind in order to discover the secrets of his past.

Itadaki Smash (Main Loop)

Katsu is the owner of the best restaurant in the city, however the Yakuza is determined to end hisbusiness and for this he throws a curse on all the food transforming it into terrible demons. Only Katsuand his friends can stop them.

Lethal Honor Essence (Viral Studios)

This action-adventure roguelite recently achieved its funding goal in a Kickstarter campaign. Lethal Honor is based on a strategic and precise hand-to-hand combat system against Eldritch creatures, with a wide variety of skills. The player fights as an agent of Lethal Honor, an organization devoted to finding and stopping paranormal events and creatures all across the world.

Operation Highjump (Mansion Games)

Operation Highjump is a 2D run & gun, an action game with some tactical and adventure elements, based in the mysterious legends of World War II a game that will surely appeal to nostalgic players. This game will update the classic gameplay of old-school games to a new generation of players.

Summer in Mara (Chibig Studio)

Summer in Marais a single-player experience in a calm, relaxing environment, with a handmade look and an exciting narrative. You will be Koa, a little adventurer girl who has to explore the world and discover the secrets that the ocean keeps.

The Five Covens (rBorn Games)

This adventure and puzzle game, set in a medieval fantasy world, joins this year the Bilbao PlayStationGames Camp. Paying homage to the classic 3D adventure games of the first generations of consoles, but with an art style and gameplay aligned with current standards, this game (set in the witchcraft folklore) offers an adventure where players will have to escape from a castle by overcoming all of its dungeons.

The Library of Babel (Tanuki Game Studio)

The Library of Babel is a dark adventure of platforms, stealth and investigations, set in a futuristic world. In this adventure, players take control of Ludokiv, a robotic entity sent to gather data about the human race, extinct for centuries. Ludovik will habe to interact with the jungle people and explore its more dangerous places in order to solve the dark mistery of the Library.

Walls of Lies (Snowy Jellyfish)

This 2.5D game brings together such different genres as Metroidvania, Brawlers and some touches of roguelike. From 1 to 4 players have to pick a character, each with its own story, and try to get out of a dungeon alive. Fierce enemies populate every level among them, other players! Once they find the exit, players will fight between themselves in epic arenas full of platforms and traps.

ASSETS

You can download screenshots, logos and presskits at this link.

CONTACT

You can contact us at [emailprotected].

ABOUT PLAYSTATIONTALENTS

Launched in 2015 by Sony Interactive Entertainment Spain, the PlayStationTalentsprogram aims to unify all the initiatives put together by the local Spanish branch in order to develop the Spanish creativity. The goal of the PlayStationTalentsprogram is to support the local industry as well as to create video games fully developed in Spain to be sold around the globe. The PlayStationTalentsprogram is formed by:

More informationathttp://www.playstationtalents.es/

ABOUT SONY INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT

Recognizedas a global leader in interactive and digital entertainment, Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) is responsible for the PlayStation brand and family of products and services. PlayStation has delivered innovation to the market since the launch of the original PlayStation in Japan in 1994. The PlayStation family of products and services include PlayStation4, PlayStationVR, PlayStationVita, PlayStation3, PlayStationStore, PlayStationPlus, PlayStationVideo, PlayStationMusic, PlayStationNow, PlayStationVue, and acclaimed PlayStation software titles from SIE Worldwide Studios. Headquartered in San Mateo, California, SIE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation and has global functions in California, London, andTokyo.

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WATCH THE TRAILERS FOR THE 11 PLAYSTATION TALENTS GAMES LINED UP FOR 2020! - Gamasutra

5 ways to disconnect and unplug – ConsumerAffairs

Photo (c) fotostorm - Getty

Americans have more virtual obligations than ever. After a day of calendar notifications, email alerts and Zoom meetings, its nice to sit back and unplug. Check out our fun ideas for busy professionals who have a hard time disconnecting.

Record players turn listening to your favorite albums into a special ritual. There are a ton of advantages to vinyl, including superior sound and a neat hobby to pursue. Plus, a turntable looks pretty cool in a living room or bedroom.

Buy on Amazon

Mobile puzzle games are fun, but they add hours of extra screen time to your day without giving you much to show for it. Analog puzzles have been increasingly popular since March because they are great for relieving stress during isolation. Also, jigsaw puzzles can improve your visual-spatial reasoning and short-term memory, according to some studies.

Digital clocks and smartphones expose you to blue light, which can damage retina cells and make falling asleep more difficult. Analog clocks are great because they dont put off blue light, and you dont have to worry about losing track of time during a power outage. These retro clocks also add a chic, vintage flair to your home.

Crossing something off a paper to-do list with a pen can be much more satisfying than using an app. If you're obsessed with productivity, give bullet journaling a whirl. Its an efficient way to log your daily activities and keep track of personal or professional goals.

You can also save your memories in something more tactile than another Facebook photo album. Scrapbooking is a fun and crafty way to preserve your favorite recollections. If you have kids, its also something you can do together!

Buy on Amazon

Buy on Amazon

Instead of scrolling endlessly through Instagram, consider investing in a few quality art books for your coffee table.

Continued here:
5 ways to disconnect and unplug - ConsumerAffairs


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