Preserving Gaming’s Past and Future

Today when we see the words CD Projekt, we think about terrifically Slavic open world role-playing games. Perhaps we think of a card game, or more often than anything today, a first-person Cyberpunk adventure. But these are all the fruits of CD Projekt RED, the development studio founded in 2002. Their parent company, CD Projekt, has been distributing games throughout Poland as far back as 1994. You see, years before CDP started to make games, they sold them. And they sold them in one of the most unforgiving markets on the planet.

For decades, the media market in communist Poland was dominated by piracy. In a country with no copyright law to speak of where people had little money, open air markets were the most common way to get music, movies, or games, where cheap knockoffs were sold alongside official boxed copies for a fraction of the price. So when the Iron Curtain finally came down and Poland emerged into capitalism, the market was full of a generation of people who had been conditioned to think that piracy was the norm and official releases were like special editions.

It’s the knowledge of this consumer behavior that helped CD Projekt beat the pirates. They struck deals with foreign developers to sell games like Ace Ventura and Baldur’s Gate. Then they cracked those games open and localized them into Polish.

They made special Polish box art and packaged the free spins at WMS casinos at with goodies, cloth maps, mouse pads, and much more. They would beat piracy the only way they knew how, not by using DRM, but by making the official boxed copy of the game worth that extra cost. So why am I telling you this?

Well, because the spirit of CD Projekt’s distribution company would go on to create one of the most powerful forces in games preservation today. A team of people who hunt down the code for forgotten games, who broker deals between companies all around the world, and then break those games apart to recode them to work on modern systems. To many people, is just another place to buy games, but today we’re going to uncover the incredible work that these people do behind the scenes, their never-ending mission to bring good old games back from the dead.

– In the early days, like when I joined, let’s say close to 20 years ago, I’d say the biggest competitor for the CD Projekt was the piracy. That was like the biggest thing in Poland. I mean, compared to today, back then it was like really bad.

Like, rarely anyone bought new games. The games were expensive and the typical, folks would just say why would you spend so much money on a game if you can buy it, you can go to the stadium. We called it Stadion Dziesieciolecia, like basically that’s known as a sport’s stadium, but back in the day it was just basically used for selling all kind of illegal goods, with movies, games, music, whatever you would think of, yeah? – Real market, let’s say the legal market, didn’t exist, so everything was pirate software. We didn’t know that actually it’s a pirated thing because we were actually going to the flea markets, buying the CD-ROMs in the jewel cases, thinking that actually we are buying it straight from the developer or publisher. We were happy.

We were getting them sometimes with a very weird localization. But again, we just thought that okay, maybe they didn’t have enough resources or not enough money. So it was interesting to enjoy it. At the same time, from time to time we were getting these big boxes from our parents.

We were thinking these were collector’s editions. But actually, these were the legal, the actual copies. Like proper DVD cases with some manuals, instructions. – At that point, basically guys like, kind of made maybe the obvious discovery from our point of view that there is no way to fight piracy with DRMs. Because I don’t think there is any title which was not pirated.

It’s maybe a matter of time, sometimes hours, sometimes maybe days. There were titles which took longer, but in the end, you know all the stuff is pirated. So there was always this one sentence that actually Marcin used to repeat, which likely strikes a chord in me. If a paying, like legal customer, has to go through some extra hassle because of a DRM, while the customer who, customer, well the guy who just downloaded the game from illegally, doesn’t have to go through, then there is something really wrong at that point, yeah? I mean, why? You’re supposed to, you’re paying for this and you have, like, a worse experience?

How come, yeah? So at that point, I think this kind of anti-DRM, anti-copy protection kind of thing was already part of the DNA of the company and we were trying more to win the hearts of the customers with the content, with the titles, with the prices rather than with any kind of copy protections. So once we moved into like, hey, let’s start digital, let’s try to do our own digital distributions platform, I think it was kind of like very obvious that you would start from that point. – [Danny] DRM, or digital rights management, has been around for decades. In the modern era, it usually involves digital licenses that ensure you are the person who purchased the game, like logging into your iTunes account or Steam. With the rise of digital distribution in the mid-2000s, CD Projekt’s founders Marcin Iwinski and Michal Kicinski, saw an opportunity to bring their learnings from the distribution days into this modern era.

So they founded a new subsidiary, GOG, or Good Old Games. – GOG is the digital heritage of our distribution business. We saw how the digital is developing, and it was only Steam, but we thought it was super cool for the gamers.

And initially we found our niche with the back catalog. So back catalog, the learnings from Baldur’s Gate, so the reverse engineering, making it compatible and whatnot. And most importantly, great selection that we were always good at. And the best service for gamers we can provide. So that intentionally was the fundament of GOG, plus obviously DRM-free and that’s what we believed in.

– Why is the DRM-free so important to you? – Ah. Because it’s freedom. It’s do what you want with your game, we trust you. It comes from the days of piracy here. And it’s like us with Baldur’s Gate competing against the pirates.

And it was always the carrot, never the stick. So because we make such a great thing and it’s fairly priced and there is great service and we guarantee it works and you can be part of the community, we are sure you will buy it. And you will not steal it. And even if we protect it, you still can get a cracked version. So why should we give you an inferior version?

And it proved a point. Why to buy back catalog games? Why would you need that? Some of you probably won’t play them.

But I want to have them in my collection, so you have a beautiful looking digital shelf and digital collection of games. I think that’s fundamentally, they’re all learnings from other solutions combined. – Like, the meeting I recall still in my head was the meeting with the other founder, Michal Kicinski. And like, I think we had just like a one hour meeting, which basically ended with a very little sticky note just saying classic titles, DRM-free, low price point, super easy buying experience.

That’s it, yeah? And it’s like, I mean it’s obvious in a way. Why not?

So what were the games then, back then, that you targeted? What were the companies you tried to get on? – It was super simple. The goal was to bring at least one big publisher on board and to convince somebody that we can go DRM-free.

And I remember meeting absolutely everybody, explaining how cool it is, and I still remember this feeling of us being small super tiny guys nobody knew about. And the only thing that helped was Marcin, whom some of these guys knew from the distribution side. – I remember a lot of frustration of a lot of people who were basically like knocking on all the doors of all the developers and publishers they knew.

And it wasn’t like, in a way, like in the way, it was more like sure guys, that’s a bold idea I guess, but we would like someone to try this first before we’ll sign. – We clearly understood that our main competition is piracy. Because these games were available on so-called abandonware websites or just some weird resources. And we were thinking how we need to convince gamers to buy it from us, because somehow they can get it for free. And many of them would consider that getting this from this abandonware websites would be legal.

So we thought the key, let’s add as much bonus goodies as possible. Let’s make sure it’s compatible with modern operating systems, more or less, as much as we can. – [Danny] The team spent months traveling to companies trying to get the first one to sign. In the end it was the connections from those old days that came through. In fact, it was the same distribution partner that had given CDP their big break back in the ’90s.

The owners of Baldur’s Gate, Interplay. – Actually, we managed to convince Interplay which was actually a very good starting point considering all of the classics they had, especially Fallout 1, Fallout 2. At that time, it was Interplay and co-lease as well. And then that’s how we started.

But it was quite a long process and I think that we secured those titles. We were very close to launching, really, and we were still fighting, still visiting all the studios trying to sign something. But then it somehow magically happened.

Like I remember that I think at some point, it was maybe, I think it was Stakelogic (read their games reviews), I’m not 100% sure, they came to us and said nice, that’s cool stuff, let’s release our titles here. It was like, wow. At that point, we kind of got this feeling. Okay, maybe we’re onto something here, yeah?

– And there were really cool people working at Ubisoft who were also, like, crazy gamers. And they totally supported us and they said okay, let’s try it out. So it was like a snowball effect.

So, the first partner joined us and then it was easier. We were able to come into others saying, hey guys. So Ubisoft is already with us and we want to be between the first ones, we want to be the last one.

Nobody wants to be the last one, nobody wants to be the first one. So it was easier to convince many companies afterwards. – [Danny] If GOG thought that getting permission to do the work was going to be the biggest hurdle, then they were in for a shock.

Getting each game to the platform would be its own unique challenge. Before they had a chance to find the source code, before they tried to recreate the box art, or program the game to work on modern operating systems, they would first have to find out who owned it. This work was done by GOG’s business development team. And more often than not, these puzzles took years to solve.

I think it always starts with the research on our side. So we’re trying to understand who might have the rights for this product nowadays. So it’s simple, it’s just going through different things like movie games, I don’t know, Wikipedias, then talking to some guys from the companies that were developing this game back to the time or to producers of those games, asking do you know who might have the rights for it nowadays? In easy cases, they will just tell us okay, the rights stayed definitely with the publisher. And then we just go to publisher and tell them hey guys, can you please push your legal team or convince your legal team to research on this particular game if you still have the rights for it or not? If we are lucky, the legal team will find some time for us and they will say yes guys, definitely.

Let’s add it to our existing agreement. In other cases, the company might say yes, we probably hold some rights, but not all of them, so we don’t want to bother. And then you need to do their homework for them. So we need to go and check who might have the rights for, for example, for music, who has the rights for the IP, and usually the publisher still holds the rights for the code and I would say, more or less, all these derivative products like box art, et cetera, et cetera. These are the most complicated things. – So when we talk about, for example, big publishers, they always have certain procedures and there is a culture within their organization, which you are not aware of.

So the first thing you need to do is to understand, what is this culture? Are they money driven? Are they a public company? Or do they have any requirements which they have to comply due to whatever reasons? When we tried to sign some older titles and we learned something about like, the company does no longer exist.

And you have to think like, where do you trace? Like, how do you get a game? How do you get the game? Because it’s usually in legal hell. That’s how it’s a starting point.

Somebody used to own a company, there were some partners, the company breaks, something happened with the right, there was a publisher, what do we know? What’s in the agreement between the publisher and the developer? So we have no idea which things were licensed, purchased, transferred, and then it starts.

You go to one meeting, another meeting, learn a little piece of things. Sometimes it’s light, sometimes it’s not. Sometimes people just remember things differently. If there’s two partners, that’s the most interesting case because they usually have different understanding of what was in the agreement.

So until you get your hands on the initial source, which is whether the papers or the people who actually created those documents, you don’t really know what’s the story there. And we end up with completely different stories. Like, people hating each other for some reason because they couldn’t bear to work together and then we have to find, help them to find peace between each other. Or we learn that there is one entity which owns the rights for the IP and then there’s another entity which owns the right for code. And there is writing which belongs to the third party and they don’t even know each other.

And they have no idea that they own the thing. – The team had wandered in to a legal nightmare. The games they were trying to re-release were created in an era where nobody was future proofing these legal agreements, during a time where the games industry was a merry-go-round of acquisitions and mergers. This meant that oftentimes to get a game released on GOG, the team would embark on years of negotiation.

– Lots of gamers were asking for Star Wars games, especially old ones. So this was one of our holy grails. Something that we were fighting for and that when we managed to sign it, we were super happy because we were going through a lot of iterations together with Lucas and then later on with Disney when we were so close to signing it and then management changes.

For about three months there is silence and then we start from scratch. So again, same pitch. And you talk to new people. They are like, what do you want from us? Like, different people from manager position to SVP level at Lucas at that time and then we were lucky enough to find, again, some gamers at Disney that helped us a lot.

– As you know, SWAT 4 is published by Activision. And for a long period of time, it was challenging for us to understand, where is the blockers for us to get certain titles? But everything changed the moment we got a US team on board, because now GOG has a European office and we have a US office, which is dealing with the business. And our US business team managed very quickly to get a proper line of communication with Activision because they are both Americans.

And that’s a culture. So we realized that all, everything we were doing wrong, was basically just not being fully aware of the US culture. Even though everybody knows about US culture, right? But even being international and knowing like, how things are going in different parts of the world, there were still blockers which can break bridges being 10,000 miles away. – Probably the most tough one so far was getting the rights for Gold Box titles and old Warhammer titles. Those ones were with SSI.

And SSI went through quite a few mergers, acquisitions, Mattel was a group then part of their, their rights were bought by Ubisoft with Myst games. So we had to actually talk with lots of people involved in those deals in order to understand who actually holds the rights for the codes of these Gold Box titles like Eye of the Beholder nowadays. And then we found that company and they have nothing to do with the software nowadays, you know? And they were like, telling okay guys, we might have somebody in our archives where we put old things we’ve acquired across the last 20 years, but it’s like a separate company. They’re just archiving all these deals. If you’ve managed to find somebody interested there, maybe we’ll be able to make a deal with you.

Again, they didn’t want to talk to us because like, who are you, GOG, CD Projekt, Polish company? It’s a tough one. So we had to ask our lawyers who we were working with for help. Because when they come in with their big titles, with the huge firms behind them, at least these guys will talk to them. – So I’m coming from Russia. So initially when I came to GOG, it was very important for me that I can bring some historical context from my region where I come from, some games which were developed in Russia but were never released in English territories or outside of Russia.

And it was interesting for me to find out that a lot of the agreements for all the titles which I praised as a kid, nobody actually signed any papers. So there is just a buddy agreement between people, which we had to formalize before we could sign, have legal grounds to release the games on GOG. So you have to find these people and some of them are living in Australia, some of them are living back in Russia, some of them in the States.

It’s a culture. Again, we are going back to the point of the culture where things are done differently in different parts of the world. For example, in Japan there is a, I know cases where publishers are not signing any papers with vendor providers because everything in Japan is based on the trust, that you have to trust someone in order to do something.

And if you fail once, your reputation is destroyed. So because big publishers are in position with the force, they would not sign some papers with vendor providers just saying that we’ll trust you and because of that, you’re going to work with us. And they do. They pay them, they pay money and they proceed to working like this. – [Danny] The team used their own favorite games as a launch point for the service, but they also took inspiration from the wider gaming community, hunting down the rights for dozens of games that were either lost to time or incompatible with modern operating systems. Over the years this community wishlist has expanded, but the games at the top are almost all projects that GOG has been working on getting for years.

Right now there are people in the back trying to get No One Lives Forever and Dune II onto the– – You will be surprised, but we talked about No One Lives Forever just a week ago. It’s ongoing. Like, oh I have this new lead about this thing.

Really, we haven’t talked about it for a year. Great, so what do you know? What do you know? Let’s check what we have in our archives about that. Hmm, that’s a new development. This guy two years ago told us that we don’t have rights for this and this.

Maybe he was not 100% correct. – [Danny] You guys are like detectives. – That’s, yeah. I think if I will get fired one day from GOG, I’m probably gonna go and work as a detective. – [Danny] The one game I remember that kept coming up on over and over again was Homeworld: Cataclysm. And it’s on the system now.

– Yes, it is. – [Danny] And it has this really interesting description that says that it’s, we changed the name, but it’s literally the same game. – [Oleg] It’s exactly the same title.

– [Danny] Right, so I’m guessing Blizzard somehow had– – Because somebody has the rights for Cataclysm trademark, right? And so they are using it actively in World of Warcraft, so. – [Danny] Which is crazy, considering I think Homeworld: Cataclysm came out like a decade before. – [Oleg] Yes.

It’s just the matter that, again, some companies prefer to protect themselves better or protect their IPs. I think they have nothing against generally using Homeworld: Cataclysm, but if you’re going through a legal team, again, they’re not gamers. They just need to make sure they protect their company in the best possible way.

– [Danny] Black & White, that’s locked up by Lionhead or someone else probably has it, or? – [Oleg] We’re still working on it. It’s a very complicated story because nobody can actually explain who has the right for it.

Because when you’re asking Microsoft if they rights for it, they’re telling no. And you’re asking Lionhead, and they’re like, they are part of Microsoft. They’re also telling you no. So maybe there are some individuals that are involved in this whole process, but still.

They don’t have all the rights, they have only part of the rights. Still, maybe one day. – [Danny] What about something a little bit more, I don’t know, I didn’t realize if the Westwood stuff was that hard to come by. Dune II, for instance. – That’s a, well with the rights again, it’s super clear here. So part of it was with Westwood, so that’s an issue with Electronic Arts nowadays.

But another part is with the family, the IP rights. – Right, Frank Herbert? – Yes, yes. And the problem is that I am not sure the relationship between these two companies are good or bad.

I don’t know. But apparently that’s what I’ve heard. It’s really tough to find a compromise between these two parties. In the past, many companies were not thinking about getting perpetual rights, for example. They were getting the rights for one year, two years.

And then they were thinking the game will die. It’s nowadays, when the game has a longer lifecycle. At that time, okay, we are using it for two years, done.

In many cases, there were crazy deals with some actors, for example, when we were paying them a crazy amount of dollars per copy thinking that they would be selling the game only for $60. And once you’re telling that, guys, we want to sell it for $10, nowadays they’re like no, no, no, no, no. The royalties we need to pay per copy for this or that actor, they’re already 20. And like, what?

And then lots of deals were just done for a few particular countries. And this gets so complicated sometimes. It’s just painful.

So some titles will never see the light, unfortunately, because of this theme. – [Danny] I can see a company like Disney, for instance, they would say we’re signing away our games and it’s not that big a market for us. Like, Disney is a multi-billion dollar company, right? – Yes. – So you’re not going to sell it to them based on the dollars, right? – Purely on dollars, no.

But at the same time, they’re super happy when something is happening on the PR side. Like I remember how happy they were when we re-released Aladdin, Lion King. And again, I cannot say that it was like a super top seller for us.

No, it sold quite well. But still, the main thing was PR around these IPs. And I know that’s, lots of people at Disney were super happy. Not even in the gaming department, but general Disney. – [Danny] And you’re also doing a lot of work for them in terms of actually getting this stuff up, right? That’s part of the deal.

– Yes, and then they can reuse it and sell it to another platform, which is another bonus that they’re getting from us. – [Danny] If the biz-dev team managed to solve the legal puzzle and if they managed to get all parties on board and acknowledge and agree to the sale of the game, then they’d pass the project up to the products team. You’d think it would be plain sailing from this point, but sadly, you’d be wrong. Because often the people who own the rights to these games have absolutely no idea where the code is.

(relaxing atmospheric music) – For oldies or for old games like before year 2000, it is extremely rare to get a build from the developer. We are not talking even about the source code here, we are talking about the actual game. So yeah, I have the rights for it, but I have absolutely nothing for that game. – [Danny] That’s crazy.

Like, not even like a copy of it buried somewhere? – [Marcin] Absolutely nothing. So you have to do the research.

You need to find out what this game had, you need to find the build, you need to be sure that you have all the goodies. Because our community was kind of unforgiving for missing something important. So yeah, you need to have that right. If the game had an active community, it was also a good practice to contact that community.

Hey, we are working on releasing this game on GOG. Because a lot of times, there was something they could do to actually help us because they were basically living and breathing this game. Often they have very, very useful information, as sometimes even they’d prepared up an entire build for us. So hey, this is a fixed game. Just feel free to release it on GOG.

– Fixing Carmageddon, for example. I know that community was helping us a lot. Developers were helping us a lot trying to find some pieces, bits and pieces of the source code. And then we all together were working on this product to make it available for gamers. And then another one was not Theme Hospital, unfortunately, but Theme Parks. That one was also broken despite the fact that many people were telling, come on, it will just work on their DOSBox.

Actually, it didn’t. So we had to put, again, lots of efforts, make some reverse engineering. Ask some of our external programmers to help on it. No no no, trust me.

Actually a lot of external guys who work for GOG, and we use their help from time to time, they are just hardcore gamers. – The help from the community in some of the releases was enormous. As an example, I don’t know, Wing Commander games. There was a site, still is, Wing Commander News. So basically just a huge community of Wing Commander fans that was led by Ben Lesnick, who is now working, I think, on Star Citizen, as one of the directors there even. So he helped us a lot because they have gathered all the materials, all the development documents, and we have all of it, all of it, all on GOG.

– [Danny] One piece of technology that helped the product team immensely was DOSBox. DOSBox is a piece of software that emulates DOS running on an IBM PC, which allows modern operating systems to run many older incompatible games. The team uses this emulator as a wrapper on a lot of their older games and often works with the creators of DOSBox to solve particularly puzzling problems. – On GOG, we’ve been dealing with those games since the day one. So we kind of know the drill here.

And DOS issues are usually related to DOSBox configuration and they can be solved by that. There were some cases that were much more complicated. Like for example, Harvester, or it was Theme Park. Other times we had problems like, for example, it was Realms of Arkania 3, in which the last boss couldn’t be beaten.

Like really. The entire game works, then you go to the last boss. And you have the last boss, his posse here, and you are killing everyone. But there is just this one guy at the bottom of the screen that just stands there. You can’t interact with him. He’s just there.

You can’t kill him. And basically the game includes them in the winning condition. So if he is there, you are unable to win the game. And we were like, trying to fix it for so many hours. Yeah, so it turned out that there was a small problem with the memory allocation that we found, that basically our game, when it was checking for the NPCs, it should spawn in that particular scenario, it was adding one more. Also, a lot of times it’s this kind of lights out game.

So for example, you are fixing one issue and two more pop up and so on and so forth. Like for example, which game was it? Carmageddon 1. Yes. But for Carmageddon 1, we had like 60, over 60 builds prepared for that game. Each build fixed something and broke another thing.

And it happened for us 60 times. The games that are really tricky to fix are the games that are DirectX games, but before DirectX 9. Those are very complicated. Shadows of the Empire. When we got the game, we couldn’t even run it. Like really, we tried everything.

It was crushing. It was a disaster. Like even if we got it to run, there was all kind of graphical artifacts there.

It was, it looked like a hopeless case. What we ended up doing is actually we’ve re-written our entire DirectX wrapper. So basically we’ve translated everything the game’s engine is doing through a wrapper to DirectX 9. It was painful, it took a lot of time. But the end effect was awesome. The game works and it works very, very good on all the systems right now.

– [Danny] One key job for the product team is pulling out whatever DRM may have been included in the original game. For more modern games, this is often some sort of online authentication software built into the code of the game. But DRM existed before games were even connected to the internet. This was often in the form of CD keys, code wheels, or even just by asking you to type in a particular word in the user manual. – There are different forms of DRM.

We are dealing with each one differently. When we get the build from the developer that is not DRM-free, it happens from time to time, we usually ask the developer for a DRM-free build. So okay, there is still something left here because our QA found it, could you please? But a lot of times we don’t have time. So we have a team that is able to do it.

So then we are just informing developers that yeah, we got the build, that there was a part of the DRM here. We removed it by doing this and this and that. And yeah, if you are fine with that, just. And a lot of times, this is just yeah, yeah, go ahead, it’s fine. – [Danny] I remember like, there’s a lot of games that came out in the ’90s that used like, physical forms of DRM. – Yeah, the code books are very popular.

So just put a word, the second word from the 28th page there. That was the common DRM thing. But you were removing it from the games in most cases.

Some had more elaborate ones like, for example, there was a spinning wheel in which you have to match specific things in order to get the correct answer to put actually in the game. And it was so cleverly tied to the game that we actually left that in. Because it was not just a question out of nowhere, that was actually the part of the game. Yeah, we are fixing those games. We are making sure that they work and that they are viable for the future generation. We are gathering all the goodies that are associated with those games, counting all the manuals and all the language versions and all the design documents we can find and we’re basically preserving it.

– [Danny] Yeah, do you have someone who just scans manuals into PDFs or? – This is always the task of the new guy. – [Danny] Once the product team had found the codes, torn out all the DRM, fixed the bugs, scanned all the manuals, and collected all the goodies they could find, the game is finally ready to be released. But each of these games is still part of the product team’s responsibility.

This team is responsible for ensuring that all the games work on as many operating systems as possible. And that includes new ones. – When Windows 10 came out, we literally launched all of the games we have on GOG to make sure that they work on the system.

And if they didn’t, we tried to fix them well. It took a lot of time. Yeah, but I’m proud to say that we’ve managed to do it. There is like a small percentage of the game that doesn’t work on Windows 10.

However, we did not forget about those games and eventually I am sure they will be fixed. And if there will be a Windows 11 or whatever, we will do the same thing. (relaxing electronic music) – [Danny] GOG originally stood for Good Old Games, but the initialism has been dropped in recent years as the mission of the service has expanded. In March of 2012, GOG opened their doors to new games, focusing on getting DRM-free versions of AAA and indie titles onto their store.

Right away, the indies were into it. For many of them, getting their game on GOG was seen as a mark of approval because the service was curated. That means that unlike other digital marketplaces, each game released on the platform had to be approved by GOG. But convincing major publishers to put AAA titles on a store DRM-free has continued to be difficult. – Let’s say they always, always release the games with DRMs for example, right?

And suddenly there are some guys coming saying hey guys, don’t worry, just switch to DRM-free, right? I mean, surely in your head like, there is some kind of like a warning sign. And what if they are going to be pirated, yeah?

And it’s very easy to kind of get into this, like, thinking. And if you would make this kind of a change, let’s say suddenly start releasing games DRM-free, you probably would need to now have some kind of approval from this director, that director, then there is a legal team involved, and then the guys will tell you no, hell no, no way. Just don’t do this, guys. You will have a ton of problems. I think even if there is one or two guys there that we talk to who say yes, we totally understand what you guys are doing, but please understand us.

We’re working in a very complex company with a ton of different stakeholders. We have to convince a lot of people. You can throw at me, like, from the side of devil’s advocate perspective, you can say look, those three, five, 10, whatever, super big franchises, they all have DRM. Did they sell well?

Yes, they did. So why should we ditch it? We’re trying to make, like slowly, like water erodes the rock. Just say hey, but look.

Witcher 3 launched without DRMs and it sold a lot of copies, right? So you can do it. And they say hmm, maybe. I guess we need more and more cases like that, yeah? – Is it hard? Yes, it got definitely harder.

That’s why we don’t have so many day one AAA releases. Because as I told you, the publishers and developers are still scared of this. And sometimes it’s just probably a matter of people getting used to certain approaches in business and it takes some time to change your approach, once you see that it’s not that bad. We had a very nice test case with The Witcher 3, that was a recent day one DRM-free on GOG. Nothing happened, the game still sells. I’ve heard it sells quite well and I think outsells many games that were released with DRM even though some of these were bigger at the time.

Still, can we convince everybody with just this example? Unfortunately not. We still have a fight that is happening all the time trying to explain, showcase, bring different numbers, graphs, quotes, studies, but it just takes time. I really believe that one day we’ll manage to break through it, especially with the support of our community, which is very vocal. Very vocal.

And we appreciate their support. – [Danny] As GOG took on more newer release games, the demands of their audience and publishing partners started to have an effect on the product. They realized the developers wanted to be able to add updates themselves. And that, with new games being patched so often nowadays, players wanted to have the ability to auto-update their titles. So they created a new front end, GOG Galaxy, which provides one click installation, access to community features, all with the same control over the DRM-free installations as before.

The work to create this complex networked software accidentally created an opportunity for GOG and CD Projekt Red to collaborate. While these two companies share a building and eat at the same cafeteria, they work independently of each other. That was until the developers across the hall decided to make a competitive card game. – So then you fast forward, Gwent became a big success inside The Witcher.

And the decision was made to, hey, let’s actually make it a game, which is quite more impressive than the Gwent in Witcher 3 ever was. And I guess someone just thought okay, so we have those guys at GOG, they are like having, they run 1000 or so servers, probably do, so they probably know some stuff about networking, right? We know stuff about developing games, so why don’t we really work together, yeah? So it was kind of like an obvious match, perfect match made in heaven. I mean, Gwent is kind of a separate project.

I mean, like we have GOG running as GOG and the team working on Gwent, where secrets have to be separate. I guess if this will work well, and so far it works really great, we are very, like, happy with the feedback we get from Gwent and with the numbers of people playing. So I guess we’ll be trying to reapply this maybe in future games, probably that could be one way to do it. Definitely working on GOG Galaxy, this is another thing that’s very, very important to us.

I know we still have a lot of catching up to do. And of course, the release of games. This is a never-ending chase.

The games which were day ones a couple of years ago will soon be classics. No, no, we’re very passionate in knowing the stuff that we’re doing. We love games and our goal is to release as many DRM-free titles, quality ones, as we can.

And this is what we are going to push forward. – [Danny] Since its founding, GOG has had an immeasurable effect on the gaming world. Not only are they responsible for bringing hundreds of games back from the dead, but their mission to encourage developers to drop DRM in favor of more consumer-friendly practices has been an important counter-argument in an industry that so often tries to take advantage of its consumers. This team has managed to change perception of DRM as the only answer to piracy, all stemming from the lessons they learned growing up in modern Polish society. If they could do that, I had to wonder if it was possible for them to tear down other seemingly insurmountable walls.

From my layman’s perspective, the architecture of consoles has become more and more closer to PC. So it doesn’t seem to be an architecture problem so much as it is a, I don’t know, legal, licensing, whatever problem. Can you imagine a future in which they’d allow, like.

– Those games to be ported? – Yeah, onto that console. – On PC? Oh. I would love to have first PS, PSX games, PS1. Oh yeah.

I think it might be possible at some point. However, from what we have been able to gather because we did the research, it might be very, very complicated. Because how the rights are structured, they’re, I wouldn’t say that this is impossible and I would certainly love to have some of the console games on GOG. Because we would be able to make them work.

– [Danny] And how about– – Maybe we’ve already tried. (relaxing electronic music) – Okay, so I am Piotr, or Peter, and I am the support team leader. I know that your favorite game is SWAT 4, because I asked, I heard from one of the guys.

So the most common problem with SWAT 4, if you can call it a problem, is people not being able to play multiplayer. Multiplayer works fine, but it’s direct IP based. You don’t have your server browser or like matchmaking people, stuff people are used to. So you need to either use some tunneling software to do this the easy way and find your mate or do some like port forwarding, some stuff people are not accustomed to. – [Danny] Like go to like– – If they’re not our age, I suppose. – [Danny] Like opening command prompt and putting in, like, IP config to find out your IP and all that sort of stuff?

– Yeah yeah yeah, and going to your router settings to make sure that the ports used by SWAT 4 is actually mapped to your local IP in your network. Working at GOG in general, helping people, yes. It’s kind of who I am. That’s why I main support classes. – [Danny] Perfect. – It is kind of who I am, I suppose.

– But it still does affect, we have quite a lot of, since the GOG Galaxy launched, I mean I cannot tell you numbers. I would love to, but I cannot. It’s really impressive, like if you see how many people are logged in at any point into GOG Galaxy, it’s like really, really impressive.

– [Danny] Oh yeah, that must be a fun number to see as well. Like, just to be able to like, know that– – I have it here, but I cannot show it still, sorry. – [Danny] We should set up a mirror next time. (keyboard keys clicking)

Top 10 Best Crafting Systems in PC Video Games

Crafting systems in various games can be either a vital gameplay mechanic necessary for success and survival, or a fun mini-game allowing you to turn seemingly useless trash picked from your enemies corpses into valuable items for a much lower cost than what your local merchant asks for.

It’s not all farming in Stardew Valley – soon after your arrival to the village you will find that many items important for your farm can – and should – be crafted. You start off knowing a handful of recipes, but you can increase your crafting library by learning new skills, buying schematics from merchants, or receiving them as a gift from friendly inhabitants of the Valley. You can craft a number of items, starting from simple cobblestone paths, moving up to fertilizers and sprinklers to help you take care of your crops, through artisan tools that allow you to, say, turn eggs into mayonnaise or ferment fruit into a beverage, to even bombs, should you need an explosion to happen. Both Fortnite Battle Royale and the PVE mode of the cartoony shooter game are quite crafting-heavy.

During your games, you will spend a lot of time chopping down wood and mining stone or metal to be used in building structures and traps for your enemies, as well as gathering materials and schematics for weapons and ammo to give you an edge over other players. All that while looking over your shoulder to make sure you won’t be sniped by a inconspicuously looking bush. Dragon Age Inquisition gives you some general schematics for new weapons and armor, but it’s up to you to choose what kind of ore and fabric to use. Each type of metal or cloth can give your crafted items different features, depending on the crafting slot you use it for – for instance, your mage can get a bonus to their willpower stat if you check paysafe casinos in the utility slot of their new robe.

If you choose silk instead, they will receive a bonus to their magic stat. The material used also changes the appearance of the crafted item – this means you can force all of your companions to wear the incredibly stylish yellow plaidweave. Dead Rising 2 allows you to create a bunch of ingenious and hilarious combination weapons to make your zombie-killing more effective – and much more fun. For instance, you know how zombies enjoy eating human flesh? Grab a severed hand and put a dynamite stick in it – your mindless enemies won’t be able to contain their hunger and will swallow the explosive, allowing you to make them go boom from within. Gluing a machete to a toy helicopter will result in the creation of heliblade, a weapon perfect for decapitating zombies.

Combination weapons can be crafted by trial and error, though they will be more powerful if you use a special recipe found in-game. The base game offers 50 different combinations, and the DLCs come with their own recipes, such as a saw launcher made with a bunch of saw blades and a tennis ball launcher. For the most part, crafting is an optional mechanic in Divinity: Original Sin and its sequel. But upgrading your weapons, creating special arrows or spellbooks, mixing ingredients into powerful potions and cooking a warm, home-made stamina-enhancing meal can save you a ton of coin and bother. The crafting system in the first game boils down to combining two elements to get a finished product, or a more advanced crafting ingredient to be further combined.

You can rely on recipes found in books, or let your imagination run free and mix-and-match ingredients to see what happens – though that’s not advisable with potions, which can turn out to have adverse effects if you mix the wrong things. For some enhancements, you might have to find a special location, like a furnace, or a mobile kitchen but the majority of items can be created on the run. Who doesn’t like a good bowl of tomato sauce made with tomatoes and a hammer? Divinity: Original Sin 2 took crafting to a new level. You can now combine up to 5 different ingredients for a variety of results. An especially nifty crafting feature is creating new skills and spells by combining the spare skill- and spellbooks in your inventory.

For example, a pyrokinetic spellbook combined with a scoundrel skillbook allows you to gain the ability to sabotage your enemies by making their grenades explode in their pockets. No game makes grind as fun as Warframe – and since that sweet, sweet grind is centered around crafting, Warframe deserves a spot on this list. Whether it’s a shiny new weapon, a sentinel buddy to follow you around or a whole new Warframe allowing you to change your playstyle, you can craft it using the resources obtained during your gameplay.

Successfully finishing a mission or killing a boss will often be rewarded with a blueprint, which is the base for creating any item. Once you have obtained the desired blueprint, you will have to collect the necessary materials, and then spend some credits (also earned during your gameplay) to commence the crafting process. Of course, you can spend some real-life money to speed up the process or even skip the crafting entirely, but where’s the fun in that? Terraria allows you to roam around a sandboxy, colorful, pixeltastic world slaying various monsters and building your settlement, as well as collecting a huge amount of different materials. Those materials, with the help of a workbench, a furnace, and other types of crafting stations can be turned into a huge variety of weapons to slay enemies on your dungeon crawls, or items for your house which will make the difference between a primitive shack and a sprawling settlement full of colorful inhabitants. The amount of items you can create is staggering and it’s still steadily increasing.

No list about crafting in games would be complete without Minecraft. Seeing how Minecraft is basically a huge box of LEGOs turned into a video game, creating new items out of the blocks in your possession is obviously a vital feature of the gameplay. Not only do you have to use the correct amount and type of materials, you also have to put them in a certain pattern to get the item you want. Some basic items can be crafted straight from your inventory. For more complex items, you will have to use a workbench, which gives you a bigger grid to drag your ingredients onto. As with building blocks, the amount of combinations is huge.

It’s hard to choose just one survival game that does crafting right, because crafting is the meat of virtually all of them. Rust, Ark: Survival Reborn, The Forest, 7 days to die, Life is Feudal – choosing from the wide offer boils down to choosing your favourite setting. Differences aside, they all share the same approach to crafting – unless you enjoy constantly re-spawning naked with a rock as your sole companion, gathering resources and turning them into more and more powerful items is a must. Whether you’re looking to deter hostile players, dinosaurs, medieval knights, zombies or cannibalistic mutants, you will have to put an effort into creating and upgrading your weapons and base.

You will probably start off by creating simple weapons, such as bows, arrows, hatchets – don’t worry though, with enough skill, materials and the proper workstation, you’ll be able to move up explosives, saddles for your pet dinos, rocket launchers and shotgun turrets, in no time. It’s all in the name – Factorio is a game about creating factories. You start off as a survivor of a spaceship crash on a remote planet full of resources. At first you have to harvest them manually, but pretty quickly you will have to automate your mining and crafting process, creating an infrastructure and researching new technologies to power your blooming economy. Automated mining equipment, generators and electric lines to deliver electricity to your production lines, train tracks for logistics – soon enough, you will create an industrial landscape on the rich, hostile world.

Did we mention hostile? Yup, all your ingenious creations and structures have to be protected from the local creatures, which aren’t too thrilled about the changes to their environment caused by the expansion of your new civilization. Good luck! This concludes our list of top ten games with the best crafting systems.

Online Room VS Casino

The world casino is a location connected to the Internet that maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web. In All of these this is a protected or not exposed to danger or risky, any people has yearning desire in secure for gambling. Rather than all of the time the in accordance with fact or reality gamester goes like as a loser for the gamblers. keep away from loses in the used to single out an individual member of a specified group website serves keep safe the players. To get of this offering we don’t have any requirement of proper computer we can use Mobile casino. Through the mobile we can play best online casino sa in just single click. When we play the games beep sound comes out through the mobile. In this special website even perform duties like a user person who advises or shows the way to others for person who having a feeling of interest to get the tips for the gambling. Mobile has a benefit that is who one betting is firstly the players don’t have any Importance to go in browsing centers for search. Father the public don’t want journey from here to there and in mobile betting the icons and displays are figure view in the mini size that why the many person come here to   willing  for this to debar any ahead issues.

The government of U.S. supply of the players, one or two limit to walk connected in the gambling process. That’s why we find the offering on-line play the game with many sanctioned sites in U.S.  The public should be very careful to avoid potential problems it is the major part of importance for the pick a safe custody sites for the don’t deception in the play game it is a great significance function. If you will not be careful so you will be lose everything. Interested persons in play game they don’t know anything they only play the game that time they are gambling they should be sensible for the characteristics and the defense and security in the website and that one must have vibrations and sound intelligence in the term stage & must have a lubricous exceedingly certification for the security .

This time everyone has lots of money they found much more money by working in company. Mostly we go there through the dealer, dealer tell us about mostly thing. But in this case the dealer must have accomplished  perfect and Expert  and well knowledge for the play game and he must be sufficient for the inform of security indications of suspected. Here is a more game that’s name is Bingo and everyone know very well about this and every one like to play this game. In this game when you make the money or amount that might be over in this Bingo game antecedently connect. Hereby Bingo is the on-line dissipated  website. In the antagonism the disperse program folk not be able indicate in the highlights in the choose location connected to the Internet that maintains one or more pages on the World Wide Web , therefore it must be exclude.

How to Win Roulette?

As you know, in my experience with roulette, I’m recognized world wide as a master of any casino let now this is not something which I was wanted to be. This is something which I became fault of gambling adieu, let my passion was to understand this red, and for many years I played like an amateur like you are playing right now. So if you have been in the situation where you have lost money at Roulette, this tutorial, it is for you now.

Many of you doesn’t believe that it’s possible to be direct, and it’s obvious to things like that. Many believe that if somebody has found a secret, why should it giving the way for on an amount of money? Now to all these questions, I will respond you in this tutorial for you to understand why I’m giving away my secrets now. First of all, when you are gambling at let you know that you are gambling with an casino. I am NOT an owner of casinos, so thought of that, if you were gon na, have the secret and play on any casino. You, like you, don’t take from me money, you take from casinos.

So this is why I giving you my secrets. The fact is that my secrets is not something which must be kept secret, because you can have this be secret, all right, it’s possible for you, because all over the world there are hundreds of casinos. There are many casinos in which I am Bennett, but this is not the reason why I give you the secret, because I will not be able to be Bennett on all the casinos in which you can play around the world.

My reason is making you a believer. Now hundreds of people play or thousands of gamblers playing every day of the roulette and they don’t know what they are doing. They don’t know that you can meet from let so. This is something which might waking you up, because casinos doesn’t cheat people now. You believe that casinos cheat people and it’s impossible to beat roulette he’s, not working like that. My friend roulette is not cheating.

Nobody roulette is playing after plan algorithm. If you understand the algorithm, you can beat any roulette, you are playing now. You need to understand that there is orangy roulette immersive, let live roulette with repair, so there are basically four five types of roulette now to beat any roulette. You need to have my DVD 5000 euro, but if you like to start with a low budget and low money amount of money, you can buy one of my mini packs and about mini packs and the DVD. We will discuss later because right now, I would like to focus myself on something which is much important.

Now you need to understand that I am gambling for 16 years now at Roulette. I have more than five years of training. Every day I was going to the roulette in casino, real casino and I was losing to 300 euros per day for five years. Everything I have done. I was recorded because, like that I was seeing where I make mistakes, where I must do stop, where I’m asked to cash out sewing all these five years.

I’Ve learned how? How can I be the better gambler when I talking about red now? You need to understand that there is some difference between a roulette and slot machines or different games.

When we are talking about red. We are talking about an algorithm, so when you are playing the online slot games (here’s a great article of how online slots really work), the slot machines accumulates an amount of money and from that amount of money he gives away and percentage in change like a bonus or like a jackpot or like winning. But roulette is not like that now. If you go around the internet and you search for gamblers, who are talking about roulette, they don’t know what they are talking about. They say it’s impossible to be true.

Left roulette cannot be beaten because casino cheat people now. If some casinos will cheat people, this is not legal, so they has been Bennett a they cheat people now, as in football as in any game, you need to play a fair game now, of course, because you didn’t study like me for 16 years roulette, you don’t Know what I’m talking about you don’t know laws which can helping you to cash out money from any cuz. You know you are gambling, but in my DVD 5,000 euro I will explain you everything and how you can cash cash out money from casinos, casinos who may making you don’t to not cash out the money. There are two types of casinos, and this is something which you need to understand: that there are casinos who paying you money and there are casino who doesn’t like to pay the winnings the winners. But we have all the details on how to avoid these casinos, who doesn’t pay the gamblers and how to play and focus ourselves on accredited casinos. Casinos who pay the winners?

What Are Wagering Requirements at Online Casinos?

Hi, I’m Renny and today we’re talking wagering requirements. It all starts here. Check it out! This casino is giving away 1,200 bucks.

Free. Just like that. All I gotta do is sign up, cash in and walk off into the sunset with my goods!

Technically, casinos do give you the money they promised you, to avoid risk check this free spins no deposit catalog bonus. But it’s a marketing strategy, not a burst of generosity. That’s why casinos have wagering requirements, also known as play-through requirements. So that players won’t just walk off with the free spins no deposit nz bonus money.

They need to stay at the casino and play the money a number of times before they can cash in any winnings. The wagering requirement is set to the advantage of the casino. In other words, you will most likely gamble your free spins no deposit nz bonus money back into the casino’s ‘pocket’ before you even reached your wagering requirement. Most likely. Let’s do the math!

If your casino awards you a $100 free spins no deposit nz bonus, but they require you to wager it 20 times, you must play $2000, win or lose, before you can withdraw any winnings. Try that on for size.

But not every game counts the same toward meeting the wagering requirement. Slots usually count for 100%, meaning every dollar played is a dollar contributed to your wagering requirement. Other games that require skill, like certain variations of roulette and blackjack, contribute exactly ZIP. As a rule, a wagering requirement of 50x or more is high, 30-40x is the industry standard and anything below that is a steal! SO GET ON THAT.

Casinoslots casino doesn’t hide this information. You should find it easily, and most commonly in their terms and conditions. Read them carefully before deciding if a casino – and free spins no deposit nz bonus – are right for you.

Then again, you can always sign up with a casino without taking the bonus, if the wagering requirements are too steep. Consider the types of games you play; there’s little to no reason for a Blackjack player to accept a bonus. But for Slots fans, a bonus makes a lot more sense. Head to our Casino Bonuses page at Online Casinos Canada to find out more about wagering requirements and other bonus conditions.

History of the first online casino

Most casinos today are found either near or as a part of a hotel, restaurant, and a shopping complex or on a cruise ship. Many states are now beginning to legalise casinos that are not even near or in a tourist destination.

Many of the casinos in places such as Las Vegas are renowned for their upmarket hotels, fine dining and live shows. In fact Vegas is now a popular holiday destination, simply due to the renowned casino strip.

This has made the casino world into an environment that is suited to a wide audience as appose to something that is quite simply suited to the professional gambler.

The word casino in fact originates from Italian heritage, ‘Casa’ meaning house. The word then revolved into ‘casino’ meaning a larger house or villa built solely for pleasure and entertainment purposes.

However times have changed dramatically and the casino is no longer only a land based venue. It is instead also an online venue that attracts billions of gaming fans globally.

One such online casino paypal comes in the shape of Gala casino. Gala casino is an online casino paypal that offers the likes of poker, sports betting, bingo gaming, roulette, various card games, slots, video poker and arcade.

The creation of the World Wide Web was quickly followed by the creation of Internet casinos. An online casino paypal allows people to partake in casino games at an online casino as appose to attending a land based casino.

The first Internet based gaming venue had to come up with an online banking system, a sufficient number of gamers and a great deal of Internet casino software. Once all the above was set in stone, the rise of the online casino paypal began!

Microgaming developed the original online gaming software as well as the first web casino. After this, online casinos paypal have continued to grow, allowing gaming fans worldwide to enjoy a variety of games from the comfort of their own abode!

Flare Play Gaming Bundle

That is a great idea that’s coming up in just a few moments. We’ve a few more we’ve minutes of talk about mi the kids! I’m thrilled and excited to give you the first opportunity, the official launch at hsn for what is called flare play. ‘s is a kid friendly gaming console. Gaming console, leo’s going to walk us through, through, lea’s console is usually talk about we talk about playstation, xbox, nintendo wii, but start a $400, $500, zero games included!

This concept is more like con what netflix and rocher was about, you get to stream a Roku online games, casino games, you get the play a new game every single take, their educational games, there are disney titles. There is your opportunity to join the flare play gaming world for your kids, for younger kids of her youn those developing and growing up, you do not have to spend five or $600, you do not have to buy a gift of 4050 $60 apiece, and you get a totally portable system, one that you go to grandma’s house. It can go to a hotel room  40, 40,50 what you get today, is the best deal you’ll find anywhere in the entire industry, $20 off, free shipping, for flex only for the rest f of the show.

When the have a couple thousand of these at this lunch, and with your purchase nine months of free unlimited, as many games as are available, hundreds of thousands of titles and more coming in every single month. Nine months of included gameplay! Passos nine months, if you choose to continue, it is $15 a month. Nobody else month though includes nine months included with mon your purchase or offers a console that says a Kerry a bull, as travel will, and is kid will, a friendly as flare play. This is one you can feel great about shopping with.

Absolutely, you will get the base package with th his 50 games, think his about what you spend for one app on your phone, for one game. 50 games just in the base just in package, and you would get the premium package, an additional 28 games, and that is reagan’s of the Marvel superheroes, marvel legos, you’ll mar love having this! Yet lo the controller, where you have it is simple yo and easy navigation, you go to the menu and going to my stuff right here. We will check out all of the things that you have. There is so much you t can play with, if you want to go on the free w to play, check out this! We are literally talking about so many titles, ab and you know what this a is all about?

This is about education, math tools, being able to too have critical thinking skills.let’s talk about that for a moment, if th you are struggling a little bit because the kids and grandkids say they want a gaming console, first of all your upset about the you fact that that means a lot of violent titles, and your upset about the fact that cost $600 and then you are stacking your kids, your your kid grandkids parents with a bill every signal month for the games. This is better, more wholesome, more versatile experience, and for the next nine months does ne not cost the spindle penny. Today, it is only 20 bucks.

There are are single there are 50 games and hear the games you’re going to have in use, loving take you use into the parental controls. This would be all set up for you, really simple and easy navigation, what happens is that now you can control exactly what con your children are watching. Could set a pin, 8 inch age 86, age 9, or allowed to age 17, 17, 6 to be able to 17, have a simple and easy navigation, what is navi great about what is grea being able to do this, you now have total control! Let me just do a little pain, we will a go over here and you go will choose exactly the numbers that you want to set.

If you want to get rid of that, you could totally get rid of that as well. Check the status, going to my stuff and check out what you now have access to! We just talked a little bit about the free play, you because action and adventure. Here’s the flare play me a package, there are 28 titles. These are streaming titles, 28 of them. Titl there some of the there hottest titles, some of the fun games you will t be able to play.

From super splatters the lord of the rings, two mx gp, the nba. Host of these are legitimate titles!look at the h size of this consul!

Consoles ithas eight diggs of external storage, it ext goes all the way up to g 32 of you have a small 3 xt card, it holds all of your titles when you go to grandma’s,- so you-sd pick up where you left off, all you need is wi-fi to tv and you are good to go! I want to talk about some of the origin, my daughter is six and when she started with you is replaying wi the little rc cables the into the back of the tv, one little teeny giving you that we spent 20 or $40 on. Then we upgraded having all these having consuls, all of these boards and all of these cables. I’ll be honest with you, i don’t even know how to use all of the stuff, cords then t we go to the store, 20, 30, 40, $50 a game.she is not additive $10 of the addi time, that is per disc. It is like the old concept of going to a video rental store or vi the new streaming concept, it is all here at your fingertips.

At y flare play is like flare giving you educational titles, wholesome titles titles, and so some of the larger bigger action titles if and when you want to unlock those for older kids. Today, i’ll use that as $20, spent $20, jim theodore and $2 you have until the end y of january and plug in and see if you want to see if you are comfortable what they’re playing with, if they love what they are playing with. You can take it anywhere you want, a big huge deal special for us at hsn, and so many of you are excited about this concept. If you have con kids and grandkids and you know they want a gaming console but you are not ready to sign up for hundreds, thousands of dollars at you at of game titles in, maybe you’re not exciting about shoot them, drive him up up. Exactly! emthis issomething you get home s at a great price and it only expands how you wanted to.

Test up exactly, what i’ve done is i’ve taken of the big-screen, if you’re bi old school like i have, and you went up lea little pac-man, we have it on here. If you want to do that live streaming, you can get s as competitive as you want, as an educational to want, even something as the bulls learning as how to count, learning math skills or critical thinking skills like matching puzzle visas, i want to see the quality of the graphics that you will have, realize it is simple and easy to navigate, whether you’re putting it on whatever this is, 65 inch television screen or using a portably a grandma’s house, you are never going to have  ne now going to have revolutionary graphics, you will never run out y of entertainment opportunities, you are the premium pack and the some of the classics som that you love the one of play yourself. On top of that, you will have the 50-based titles again keep and take anywhere!let’s talk hos dollar for dollar, 50 games.

That is $80 with the consulate would! The with the controller included, with a base that can go anywhere. If you can buy this and you ship it to your parents house for your kids, to go to grandma’s and grandpa’s and is looking to do to be entertained, maybe you are challenged for something to do in hotel rooms in the morning what you are getting ready, out holiday, was for the vacation time and they want a gaming console to play with, this is portable and it is so incredibly affordable.

I it grows as you wanted to, when you wanted to. We give you nine months of access to everything that is out there in the flare play world. Is growing every single day! That is $15 for that i montague by this montagu anywhere else. You guys for free, you always on, you never understand the $15 until the end of the nine months.

To check out and feel good at the titles that you are getting.and you know these titles, these are some of the ones that so you know, you’ll love this, i love how busy it is around here. If you really want to be able r to have simple and easy navigation, you have it. I’m going to take you to the menu and think about all the fun things that you have access to. You euros my stuff, under my stuff, look at this. In action and adventure, we’ll choose a category, what hello, how many titles that you have under action and adventure?

If you’re saying hey brett, i thought this is never going to have thosegames are mysix shooter my seven-year-old, you can set the parental controls, all printer control so it is useful and young and expanding and exploring that world. You are not spending an arm and a leg to do it, feeling good about doing it. Dickie gradually anywhere, all of it is high-definition content. You know how tvs of all guns mark, take it. Not paying à la carte per game, not paying an arm and a leg for consul in being able to have it anywhere. gone smart an get it today at the best bars we are ever going b to give offered for, get it right now because it is only $20, that is all you pay to rent a movie.

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Everything You Need to Know about 3 Card Poker

Three Card Poker was invented in 1994 by Derek Webb from the UK and has quickly become a successful and popular game among casino players, both online and land-based. An initial trial run in Las Vegas brought mixed results, but Three Card Poker then broke through as a popular favorite in the U.S. state of Mississippi. Today, Three Card Poker is a standard offering in live casinos and online casinos alike.

Here are just some of the reasons why players like this game so much: It is an easy game to play. The game has a moderate house edge that gives players a real shot at winning. The game has two ways to play it, and the player can choose a wager with frequent payoffs, a wager on which the player can win up to 40 times his bet, or make both bets. The player can improve his results through simple, easy to learn basic strategy. The Rules of Three Card Poker Three Card Poker is played with a single deck of cards, shuffled for every hand, no matter if you’re playing Singapore online casino , in live casinos, the shuffling usually is done with an automatic shuffling machine.

In live casinos, standard blackjack-sized, seven-player tables are used for the game. The table layout is: The Three Card Poker logo. Three card-shaped spaces in front of the dealer to place his cards. A circular betting spot marked “Pair Plus.” A diamond-shaped betting spot marked “Ante.” A card-shaped betting spot marked “Play.” Pay tables for the Pair Plus bet and for ante bonus payoffs A brief explanation of Three Card Poker rules. One corner of the table next to the dealer will have a placard that tells you the minimum and maximum bet. If it says “Minimum ante: $5.

Minimum Pair Plus bet: $5. Maximum $100,” for instance, your initial wagers may not be less than $5 or more than $100 on either option. Hand Rankings Three Card Poker is based on stud poker, but odds are different when hands consist of three cards. Because the odds are different, the hand rankings are slightly different. In Three Card Poker, straights are rarer than flushes and outrank them. In five-card games on the other hand, flushes outrank straights.

Here is the hand rankings in Three Card Poker: Straight flush Three of a kind Straight Flush Pair High card In Three Card Poker, there is no such thing as a full house, nor four of a kind, for obvious reasons (playing with only 3 cards). Playing the Game All Three Card Poker tables offer two basic ways to play: Ante-play and Pair Plus, with some tables also offering optional side bets. You may choose whether to play ante-play, Pair Plus or both. To play ante-play, you must start by placing a wager in the triangular ante space.

To play Pair Plus, you must start by placing a wager in the circular Pair Plus space. The dealer then deals each player and himself three cards, face down. After all cards have been dealt, you may look at your cards.

If you are only playing Pair Plus, you need to do nothing else. There is no additional wager or decision to make. If you are playing ante-play, you must decide whether to play or fold.

If you play, you must make a play bet equal to your ante. The bet cannot be either larger or smaller than the ante. They must be equal size. If you make the bet, or if you are playing Pair Plus and have a winner, place the cards face down next to your bet. If you do not make the play bet and you do not have a Pair Plus winner, place the cards in front of your bets to signal the dealer you are folding.

Settling Ante-Play Wagers If you’ve seen your cards and fold, the dealer takes your ante and clears away your cards. Once all players have decided whether to play or fold, the dealer turns his cards face up. If the dealer’s hand is Queen-high or better, the dealer plays. That means ante and play bets all are in action. In order to win, your hand must outrank the dealer’s. If you win, you are paid even money on both ante and play wagers.

If you lose, the dealer takes both bets. If the dealer’s hand is Jack-high or lower, the dealer does not play. In that situation, your hand does not have to beat the dealer. Antes are paid at even money, play bets are not in action, and the players keep them. If the hands are exact ties, the hand is a push. No payoffs are made, but the player keeps ante and play bets.

Here are a few examples of how the hand could play out on ante-play wagers: Dealer: Queen-3-2 of different suits vs Player: King-8-6 of different suits Dealer qualifies, player has higher ranking hand and wins even money on both ante and play bet. Dealer: Jack-10-8 of different suits vs Player: 9-7-3 of different suits Dealer does not qualify, player wins even money on ante and keeps play bet. Dealer: 2-2-3 of different suits vs Player: Ace-King-5 of different suits Dealer qualifies and has higher ranking hand, so takes player’s ante and play bet. Dealer: 2-2-3 of different suits vs Player: Jack, 9 and 5 of hearts Dealer qualifies and the player’s flush outranks the dealer’s pair, so player wins even money on both ante and play bet.

The Ante Bonus Those who make the ante-play combination also have a chance at an ante bonus. You do not have to beat the dealer to win the ante bonus. It is paid anytime your three-card hand is on a pay table. The most common ante bonus payoffs are 5-1 on straight flushes, 4-1 on three of a kind and 1-1 on straights. Settling Pair Plus Wagers You do not have to beat the dealer to win a Pair Plus bet.

Any hand of a pair or better wins. That’s where the Pair Plus name comes from. There are many different Pair Plus pay tables.

Here is the most common: Straight flush – payoff of 40:1 Three of a kind – payoff of 30:1 Straight – payoff of 6:1 Flush – payoff of 3:1 And Pair – payoff of 1:1 In the next video, we will focus on Three Card Poker strategy, that includes how to get the most out of the game, the frequency of winning hands, pay tables and odds for pair plus, and basic strategy for the ante-play combination, so stay tuned. Thank you for watching. Enjoy our channel with more videos, tips and strategies on how to beat the casino both live and online, and don’t forget to like, share and comment on our videos. Also, check our amazing promotions waiting just for you in the description section below, for free cash, no deposit bonuses and other great promotions you can claim right now on the leading casinos rooms online. Have a great day and go start your practicing.

Introducing GeForce RTX R.O.N. – World’s First Holographic Gaming Assistant

NVIDIA GeForce is always introducing new ways to move gaming technology forward. But our latest breakthrough is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Gamers of the world, meet R.O.N. The ultimate, next-generation, A.I.-powered virtual assistant, that delivers the promise of personalized PC gaming.

Hello Julian. Would you like to play a game? Any smart-speaker can answer trivia questions or play music, but R.O.N. uses cutting-edge A.I. to do SO much more – In 18 different languages! Yo soy la cena de pollo.

Je suis le dîner de poulet. 你不知道我講什麼吧。 R.O.N. can optimize your games, keep you up-to-date on everything happening in the gaming world, and coach you through your gameplay. Julian, I have analyzed your last 412 drops. Your best win rate comes from dropping Bunker and, well… hiding.

Thanks R.O.N. Oh this guy again… WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING?! Having trouble holding your temper when dealing with weak teammates online? Don’t get banned, get R.O.N.’s patented Rage Converter technology.

OH MY GOD! I’ve got a question, how did the four biggest *bleep*ing morons on *bleep*… Rage-converter, activated. Great work team, this has been a… stimulating confrontation. Wow, amazing. If you’re like me, you love talking about PC gaming on forums and Twitch and Reddit, but hate dealing with online trolls. Now, you can sit back and let R.O.N.

do the arguing for you. Troll Destroyer, ACTIVATED!! He’ll automatically link all the relevant facts, and he never has to eat, sleep, or bathe, making him an equal match for your average online troll. Mission complete, IcyFire420 has quit the internet and is now laying on his floor. Thanks R.O.N. We’ve all been there.

You’ve settled into an intense gaming session, you’re just getting to the good part, and distractions start flooding in. Well, with R.O.N.’s Talk Block A.I. feature, you can buy yourself the extra time you need to finish the final level.

Julian, I’ve seeded 12 new Pokestops in the neighborhood for your partner to chase, and reminded your parents that your little brother is a degenerate delinquent and shouldn’t play Fortnite until he’s studied for his math test. You should now have an extra 48 minutes and 20 seconds to game peacefully. It just works! Do you want to meet R.O.N. in person and get in on the ground floor of A.I.

assisted PC gaming? Be sure to visit the website down in the description for more news about game-changing features, and to get notified when R.O.N. launches later this year.

Julian, I seem to have reached the end of the internet.

Simple Cold Process Soap Tutorial

Hello and welcome to Dobre Mylo demonstration on cold processed soap. When we start we need to make sure that we have all the ingredients weighed out to start with and we have all of our equipment to hand. everything you’re going to need to make your cold process soap.

Is a large saucepan to make your soap in. A smaller saucepan to melt your coconut oil and your palm oil in, a heatproof jug to make your lye in, a set of accurate kitchen scales to weigh your ingredients, a balloon whisk, a spatula, and a couple of measuring spoons for your essential oil and your grapefruit seed extract. I also like to have a bowl of cold water ready to put the lye solution in to cool it down. we also need a mould which has been lined with silicone paper to put the soap in, and a lid, then when these are put together we then wrap them up in old blankets or towels to keep it warm overnight. The ingredients we are using today are cold water, with caustic soda, to make our lye, olive oil which is a pomace grade, coconut oil, palm oil, adding grapefruit seed extract, and a choice of essential oils if you are using more than one then a little pot to blend them in. Now we must make sure that we are safe, So, I always wear a long pair of gloves to protect my hands and arms from any spillages.

As you can see I am wearing glasses but if you don’t wear glasses you can always wear goggles, and of course, protect your clothes with an apron. Start off by making the lye to go into the soap so we’ve already weighed the water which we have here. And into that we are going to put caustic soda which is also sodium hydroxide, we pour the whole amount straight into the water, now just be careful when you do this because it’s going to set off some fumes and it’s going to get hot. so pouring it in. And then stir it until all the crystals have dissolved. Just going to stand back slightly you might be able to see the fumes coming off, as it heats up.

It now looks like it’s all dissolved, so what I’m going to do is put it into a bowl of cold water to help it cool down, so it will be ready for when I have the oils and the temperatures of the two will be the same. So that can go to one side. And the next step is to do the oils. Now we start off by putting in the olive oil and that’s liquid already so finding a saucepan that’s large enough, and pouring that in. Now the next two oils on the list are coconut and palm.

And when you receive them they will be in the solid state. Now we are lucky here that we have a melter which heats everything up so our oils are liquid, but you will pop yours into a saucepan and melt it down ready. So the coconut oil, going in, and the palm oil, going in. Getting my whisk and just mixing the oils so they’re mixed together.

The next thing to add is the grapefruit seed extract. Now this is an antioxidant and it’s also quite good at getting the trace to come a little bit quicker then without it. Which reduces the whisking time, which is always very good.

Again, just making sure it’s completely dispersed into the oils. Lovely. We now get the lye, which has cooled down in the water and we are going to add this to our oils. Adding it all at once, and starting to whisk.

Already the solution has started to go okay. And we continue whisking until we get to what’s known as a light trace. I have been whisking for quite a while now, it takes time to make soap, but it’s worth it.

We are continuing whisking until we get that light trace and I do the test by just flicking some across the surface to see if there is a faint line on the surface of the soap so and I think we are there. Okay, so we are ready to add the essential oils in this case we are using frankincense and myrrh. You need to make sure that we have the trace before we put the essential oils in because that means that the lye and the oils have all worked together to produce a soap before we actually scent it with our essential oils. So that’s 40 mls of myrrh and 40 mls of frankincense which I mixed before we added it to the soap mixture. You need to whisk in so it’s evenly dispersed throughout not leaving any areas that have not been fragranced.

That looks good! So now we need ot put it into the mould, now if you want to see a video of how to make the liner for the mould we have it on our YouTube channel, we also have it on our blog. I put clips on each side just to make sure that I don’t drip any of the soap the wrong side of the liner. But, it’s up to you, how you do it yourself.

So removing the whisk we just pour the soap straight into the mould, and then any bits that are left over, stuck to the sides of the pan, you can just scrape out so we don’t lose any. There. Lovely.

So, we are now going to cover it, and insulate it, and that will be left wrapped up for about 24 hours, just to cook and set in it’s mould. We use just old blankets, anything that you have useful around the house to wrap it up with. So it’s completely all tucked in, and that’sready to be left, and we will have a look at it, in about a days time!

Welcome back, we have just had a lovely sunny weekend, where we have been enjoying ourselves and the soap has been sitting here going through it’s gel phase. Now the gel phase is where the lye and the oils are working together to produce the soap and if you put your hand in you’ve probably felt it felt a little bit warm against the side. And this helps the gel to form from the centre out to the edges of the mould and right into the corners. So the exciting time is now to open it up and have a look. Feels nice and cold so that’s a good sign. Taking the lid off.

And we have a lovely soap sitting there. So now we need to take the soap out and put it on to a base. Where we can then chop it up.

We can remove the soap from the mould and the best way with these big moulds is to tip it up on to the board and push out. And we can see the soap we’ve made, and it looks like it’s worked very well. A lovely bar of soap. Now the next stage is to cut it up, this is a five kilo batch and we generally get 55 bars from here but it depends how you cut it. You can cut it with a knife, you can cut it with a cheese wire, or a dedicated soap cutter, whichever way is easiest for you!

We’ve now cut up the soap and it’s time for it to go onto a tray with absorbent paper, because it’s still a little oily and we just need for it to dry out. So leaving a gap between the soap so the air can circulate. I also make sure that I leave a little note with it so I know the date of when it was made. And we are lucky here to have this lovely cabinet where it’s dry and warm, where the soap can cure.

So it just slides in with the other soaps. And that will stay in there for about four to six weeks until it has hardened so we can take it out and wrap it ready to sell.

Apple MacBook with eGPU vs Gaming PC?

I highlighted the fact that gaming on a Mac through an external GPU in 2018 is actually a really good option for a lot of people. A common question I got as follow-up was this: Quinn, I already own a MacBook Pro and I want to get into PC gaming but I don’t want to spend a ton of money. Should I just buy an eGPU for my MacBook or should I build a dedicated budget gaming PC instead? Today, we’re going to find out.

In one corner, I have my $1,300 2017 base-model 13” MacBook Pro. Really, nothing special. It has an Intel Kaby Lake dual-core i5-7360U processor with a TDP of just 15W and the machine packs 8GB of low-power DDR3 RAM.

I’m also using an Akitio Node eGPU enclosure which runs for about $260 online. It has an internal power supply with power headers for the graphics card itself, and it connects to the MacBook via an included (but very short) Thunderbolt 3 cable. On the PC side, I’m using the same build I used in my budget hackintosh from a few months back. It has a cheap, barebones Gigabyte H110M motherboard, an Intel Kaby Lake i3-7100 dual-core CPU with a 51W TDP, we’ve got 8GB of DDR4 RAM, a cheap 450W modular power supply, and a junky 120GB SATA SSD.

The total PC build cost without the GPU or case with fans is about $70 more than the MacBook’s eGPU solution. But, it’s also an entire computer—not just an extension of your laptop. I jammed all of the hardware into a sexy modified Apple PowerMac G4 case (which I’ll be using again in an upcoming hackintosh build), so definitely get subscribed and enable notifications for that one. The GPU we’ll be using for testing is an NVIDIA GTX 1080 Ti Founder’s Edition.

This GPU is incredibly overkill for budget-style gaming rigs at a whopping $699—and that’s MSRP. The cryptocurrency apocalypse drove the price of this GPU to well over $1,000 new; however, it looks like the dust is finally starting to settle and hopefully prices will come back down soon. So yeah, this GPU is excessive for both of these systems; however, I wanted to ensure that the GPU itself was never a bottleneck in my testing.

On the PC side, all I have to do is insert the GPU into the PCIe slot on the motherboard, install the Windows drivers, and I’m done. Easy peasy with guaranteed compatibility. The MacBook Pro is also relatively easy, but not bulletproof. You see, Apple doesn’t officially support eGPUs in Boot Camp yet like they do in macOS. Now, my MacBook actually does boot into Windows just fine with the eGPU connected; however, the internal display on the laptop itself doesn’t work.

The fix is super easy and I explained more in depth of what the trick actually does in my previous video; regardless, 5 minutes and an old flash drive will make everything work perfectly. Okay, so we’ve now got the two systems running. The question is, which one provides the better gaming experience? The results surprised me.

I was nearly certain that the PC was going to crush my puny MacBook. After all, it’s running a weak low-power netbook CPU and is connected to the GPU over an external dock. Regardless, the results are neck-and-neck on nearly every game I played.

In the new Far Cry 5, the MacBook actually edges out the PC at 1440p with a higher FPS average, and the same holds true in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The PC finally gets the upper hand in an older game, GTA V; however, the crown gets taken back by the MacBook in Wolfenstein II. So yeah, surprisingly, the MacBook eGPU combo reigns supreme. Now obviously, if you spent another $300 or so on your PC towards a more respectable CPU and more RAM, you’d blow both of these machines out of the water. But that’s not the point. If you already own a MacBook Pro, or you’re looking to get one as your primary computer but you also want the opportunity to play new AAA PC titles at home, you’ll get better performance dollar-for-dollar buying an eGPU rather than building an entirely new computer.

That is, assuming you don’t want or need a second computer. If you enjoyed this video, please give it a thumbs up, if you didn’t, that other button works okay too. Check out some of my other crazy videos here and get subscribed for exciting new content I have coming soon; however, most importantly, and as always, stay snazzy.

Are “Gaming” Parts ACTUALLY Faster?

Is it just me or does it feel like gaming has been slapped on pretty much everything at this point I mean we’re talking from stuff that makes sense like mice and video cards all the way to glasses or chairs But does using “gaming” components actually make your PC better for gaming? Well, We built these two PC’s and tested them head-to-head To find out and we’re going to tell you after these messages from TunnelBear TunnelBear thinks the Internet is better when everyone can openly access the same content. Try TunnelBear for free at [Intro music: Laszlo Supernova] So our methodology was pretty simple we started with a well balanced machine core i5-8400 16GB of RAM GTX 1070 M.2 NVME SSD Etc then we replicated the exact same config as closely as possible Except that to the best of our ability we replaced every single component with a ‘gaming’ version of the same thing so if it didn’t have something about “Powering up your squad” or just “gaming” right in the product name it was out It actually ended up being a lot easier than we thought so We have not only easy ones like gaming graphics card and gaming motherboard, but also a gaming SSD gaming power supply Gaming a AIO cooler Even our case fans are all gaming-ed out. I mean look at this look at this packaging According to these blurbs from the manufacturers their hardware will “deliver upon us a new era of gaming” “It will bring a real body blow to your opponents” “Attack its weak point for massive damage” and even enable one to “Master the decisive moments and succeed in all attacks” Wow, that sounds great. Let’s fire up some synthetic tests to [*Massive Gasp*] No well This can’t be right. What what all these numbers are within 3% of one another whatever in the world could be happening I was promised a new era of body blows and decisive moment mastery success Maybe to have the amazing gaming experience advertised on the box.

I have to play real games No. ‘No’ again This is consistent with what we got earlier on Just what in the hell is going on here?! okay in all seriousness though Let’s talk about what happened here many of you probably saw this coming, but it turns out that Slapping a gaming monicker on a product and adding some RGB and fancy styling does not make it Magically perform noticeably better. The only things that affect the performance of a PC are its actual specs the clock speeds of the given products inside it and potentially cooling for example when we clocked our reference non-gaming gtx 1070 graphics card to match the speeds of the gaming version the results equalized so why is everyone putting ‘Gaming’ in their product names?

Well our first guess was that they wanted to charge suckers more for it But while your mileage may vary depending on the particular models you choose and how much you’re willing to drop on additional ‘enhancement elements’ like RGB lighting and custom power supply cables our gaming machine ended up costing about the same as our vanilla one and actually included some tangible benefits. First up, our GPU came with a higher boost clock out of the box, which it was easily able to maintain thanks to its enhanced cooling. Gaming class cards also tend to come with extras like multiple temperature sensors or OC switches that make kicking them into a higher gear a one-click affair Second yeah, we have to bring it up Style. Our gaming machines looks immediately tell us what she was built for some manufacturers like ASUS even enable you to sync your system and Graphics card lighting via their software. With that said more and more these days even vanilla parts, like the ASUS PRIME Z370‑A in our non-gaming machine, come with RGB capabilities so some people like a Nondescript box tucked under their desk turning out “them” frames while others prefer the other this one is clearly subjective But we had to mention it.

Bringing us to number 3 gaming parts often come bundled with game codes or Paraphernalia like do not enter. I’m gaming door hangers and gaming related stickers and That’s it. That’s about all we came up with our 2 systems cost about the same Perform about the same and their quality is about the same So then why dump so much money into the development and marketing of these products if they Perform the same – Like why does ROG even exist well? Because even though the base level of these gaming branded products do actually cost about the same What these brands do are a couple of things.

Number one is they allow companies to create Halo models that do sell for a lot more for the people out there who value bragging rights above performance per dollar and then number two is that even for that regular stuff that doesn’t make more money as marketing strategies go it seems to be working really well When we did our last audit of orders through our Amazon affiliate code We actually found that even for a category like video cards Which never used to have gaming in the name since I think the manufacturers figured it was implied Gaming models were out selling their non gaming counterparts significantly So there you have it Gaming Doesn’t make it faster, but it also doesn’t necessarily make it slower, so I think the real takeaway here is um.. Come to think of it What did we learn today? That this video was brought to you by Dollar Shave Club If you haven’t already now’s the time to try out Dollar Shave Club. It is more than just razors. Dollar Shave Club makes it easy for you to upgrade your shave and your bathroom And you don’t even have to step foot in a store to get high-quality shaving and grooming products.

they deliver them right to your door. For a limited time Dollar Shave Club is basically giving away their ‘$h!t, Shower, Shave’ starter set to new members for five bucks. It includes their executive razor and three trial size versions of their most popular products to help you stay fresh and clean, so you get the shave butter, the body wash, the one wipe Charlies butt wipes and the executive razor which includes the premium weighty handle and a full cassette of cartridges After the first box replacement cartridges are just a few bucks a month so check it out at We’re gonna have that linked below. So thanks for watching guys did this video sucked You know what to do, if it was awesome get subscribed hit the like button or check out the link to where to buy the stuff We featured in the video description We’ll have both versions down there for the more gaming aesthetic inclined and the less so Also linked in the description is our merch store, which has cool shirts like this one and our community forum, which you should totally join

The Chris Moneymaker Story: a Breakthrough for Poker Popularity

Over the past 5-7 years, several factors have contributed to the rise in success and popularity of poker. Television and the emergence of the hole camera, celebrity involvement, the release of several poker films, and the increased number of online casinos and increased accessibility, have all had their part in this. But, one could make the argument that the real breakthrough perhaps came in 2003. It was at the World Series of Poker that year that a confluence of several of the previously mentioned factors combined with a Cinderella story to vault pokers popularity to the next level and ignite a surge in public attention and participation.

By now, most likely all professional and amateur poker players (and even many people completely detached from the game) know the story of Chris Moneymaker and his exploits at the 2003 WSOP. For those of you who dont, however, the following account serves to offer hope to every aspiring amateur online player and illustrates how Moneymakers success and resulting mainstream media attention are yet another reason for the sports rise in prominence.

Inspired like so many others by the 1998 film Rounders starring Matt Damon, Chris Moneymaker (yes, it is his real name) began playing Texas Holdem only 3 years before the 2003 WSOP. Initially Moneymaker played with friends. When it was time to look for more opportunities to enhance his skills however, he couldnt be bothered making the 4-hour trip to the nearest casino and so, he began playing online in virtual poker rooms.

Online poker provided Chris, like it has so many other amateur players, the ability to play multiple tables and quicker hands and hone his skills while in the comfort of his own home and according to his own schedule. Acknowledging himself that he practiced almost entirely through online games with small bets, Moneymaker, 27 years old at the time, had developed the skills and knowledge that would soon allow him to shock the whole poker world.

After initially putting in $40 to play in an online satellite tournament, Chris won that tournament, then another, and ultimately, entry and a $10,000 buy-in, to the 2003 WSOP in Vegas. Not being able to cover the travel expenses for the week in Sin City, Moneymakers father and a friend took care of the his flight and travel costs in exchange for a portion of his winnings. On the final day, Moneymaker, through a combination of good fortune and an aggressive style of play, found himself at the final table holding two pair – 4s and 5s. His opponent, Ihsan “Sam” Farha, went holding a pair of Jacks. When the dealer laid down the two remaining shared cards, an 8 and a 5, Moneymaker held a full house of 3 fives and 2 fours and had beaten his opponent to become the first player to win the tournament by qualifying on the internet. And oh yeah, he also had just won $2.5 million and beaten several former WSOP champs in the process.

An amateur with only 3 years of Holdem experience built exclusively on participation in online poker rooms had now become the poster-boy for aspiring champs everywhere. If someone like Moneymaker could turn a $40 investment into $2.5 million, why couldnt anyone else? Although many people have said that Moneymaker owed his win to an incredible amount of luck, he has continued to be successful since 2003 and now lectures and plays extensively. His victory not only propelled him to the upper-levels of the poker world, but it and his Cinderella story also propelled poker and its online variety to the upper-levels of popularity across the United States and elsewhere. The moneymaking experience certainly represents something to which any aspiring amateur can relate and everyday, more and more people are signing up to play the game online with the hope of one day duplicating Chris Moneymakers success.

Types of Roulette

There are a number of different types of roulette games, with different odds and advantages. So here are a quick run down of the different versions of roulette that can be played both online and offline.

European roulette

European roulette is the most common of the roulette wheels and probably the one you are most familiar with. It has the numbers 1-36 in red and black alternating segments with a single green 0.

European roulette has the best odds out of the roulette tables, which is why it is the most popular.

American roulette

American roulette is very similar to European roulette except for the fact it has a second green segment numbered 00. This gives the house a slim extra edge. Although the house edge is less favourable, you could argue that the addition of the green 00 makes it more exciting when placing your bets.

French roulette

As roulette originated from France (roulette meaning ‘little wheel’), it is only fair to include French roulette here.

French roulette is very similar to European roulette and has the same odds. The only real difference is the location of the numbers and odds on the betting table.

Racetrack roulette

Depending on which casino you are playing at, when you are playing American or European roulette you may find an extra grid above the normal betting area. In there are popular combinations of numbers making it easier for you to place bets.

Mini roulette

Mini roulette is not very common compared to other versions of roulette.

Some casinos offer a scaled down version of roulette and as I am sure you can guess, there are fewer numbers and betting options to choose from.

Unfortunately the house has a bigger edge when it comes to mini roulette so it’s not recommended that you play it too often.

Celebrities and Poker`s Rise in Popularity

What do Ben Affleck, Nicole Kidman, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matt Damon, Tobey Maguire, Norm McDonald, Teddy Sheringham, Don Cheadle, Sir Clive Sinclair, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Coolio, Robbie Williams, Ricky Gervais, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Paul Ince, Harrison Ford, Johnny Vegas, Mena Suvari, Stephen Fry, David Schwimmer, Charles Saatchi, Jennifer Aniston, Carrie Fisher, James Woods, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Jones, and Matthew Perry all have in common?

Well, theyre all celebrities who are either poker fans or players (or both, more often than not). Furthermore, this sample of famous faces represents only a small portion of the television and film actors, pro athletes, and other recognizable stars that are gravitating towards the game and perpetuating its popularity through their participation.

The game of poker and especially its online variety have become immensely popular in the United States and the craze is spreading to Europe as well. The image of the activity has evolved from a macho, back-room, saloon practice into a game which nearly everyone can play, watch, and appreciate. The increase in popularity is illustrated by the increasing numbers of celebrities who are participating and doing so publicly. This star participation, in turn, is also contributing to pokers rising appeal and public attachment.

Indeed, one only needs to turn on ESPN, the Travel Channel, or the Bravo network to see and hear celebrities contemplating the same moves, hands, and bets that professionals and amateurs encounter online or in live casinos. Shows like Celebrity Poker Showdown, Celebrity Poker Club, Ultimate Poker Showdown, and World Poker Tour are bringing the game into the home through television and increasing its awareness overall. Celebrities are not only seen on such shows, but are also made in the sense that professionals are now being watched and cheered for by people tuning in all over the country.

Celebrity participation in the sport though is not only limited to television and the recent rise in popularity of shows specifically designed for stars. Outside of his role in Oceans 11 & 12, which also dealt with the Vegas scene, George Clooney is said to host regular poker nights at his home in Los Angeles. And Clooney is not alone. Friends stars David Schwimmer and Jennifer Aniston also hold similar events in their homes much like thousands of Americans across the country. Ben Affleck is a regular participant in tournaments and actually won the California State Poker Championship in 2004 taking home $356,400 (although some people believe it was this attraction and love of the game that ultimately doomed his relationship with Jennifer Lopez! Who knows?).

As Poker increases in popularity and becomes more and more accepted and played by all types of people, celebrity participation, as well as the accessibility provided by online casinos, will increase and attract even more new players. The merging of these two relatively new aspects of the game is already seen in the rise of internet sites offering players the ability to play No Limit Holdem with celebrities online! Indeed, with greater celebrity participation raising the games profile and online pokers attractiveness as a non-threatening way of introducing oneself to the sport, poker will only continue its recent rise in popularity and acceptance and create greater interest and curiosity among the public.

Harrah’s to Team With AEG to Build New Vegas Arena

Casino giant Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. announced Wednesday that it will partner with AEG, the company that brought David Beckham to the Los Angeles Galaxy, to build a 20,000-seat arena in Las Vegas capable of housing an NBA or NHL team.

The $500 million arena, behind the Bally’s and Paris hotel-casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, is projected to open in 2010. It’s a step toward attracting a pro sports franchise to a city that has tried to persuade reluctant league officials to look past its legalized sports betting.

The deal puts a dent in Mayor Oscar Goodman’s plans to have an arena built downtown with the help of tax breaks, but he said such plans would go forward. The site for the Harrah’s-AEG arena, a block east of the Strip, is in unincorporated Clark County, outside city limits.

Gary Loveman, the chief executive of Harrah’s, which is being bought by two private equity firms in a $17.1 billion deal, said the development was “very much a part of our master plan for Las Vegas.”

Harrah’s has yet to fully detail its long-awaited vision to link or redevelop its nine hotel-casino properties in Las Vegas, including Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s and Bally’s, which are near the same intersection.

“It’s our ambition to create a place that transcends a series of hotels,” Loveman said. “The presence of a state-of-the-art events center of this size provides a reason for people all around us on the Strip to come into our neighborhood.”

AEG, a subsidiary of Denver billionaire and Qwest Communications founder Philip Anschutz’s Anschutz Co., owns the Galaxy and the Staples Center in Los Angeles and has booked such acts as Celine Dion and Bette Midler at Caesars Palace, said it was in talks with both professional leagues and potential team owners about bringing hockey or basketball to the city.

“It just so happens 2010 is an opportune time for an expansion team in Vegas for either or both (leagues),” said Timothy Leiweke, president and chief executive of AEG.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said the arena announcement “positively impacts the prospects of Las Vegas attracting a major-league franchise” but said there was “nothing new to report” regarding league expansion or the NHL’s intentions about a team in Las Vegas.

“That is a matter our Board of Governors would have to consider at an appropriate time,” he said in a statement.

The NBA, which has appointed a committee to study a proposal by Goodman to locate a franchise in Las Vegas, postponed meetings after the league was rocked by a betting scandal involving one of its referees. The city hosted the NBA All-Star Game in February, but commissioner David Stern said the league was not likely to return without a modern arena. A key factor in the decision for AEG to build on the Harrah’s site was the “200,000 hotel rooms within walking distance,” Leiweke said. “I don’t know any place else like it on the face of the Earth.”

An annual preseason game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche in Las Vegas usually sells out, and there was good support for the Las Vegas Wranglers minor league hockey team, he said.

Even without a sports franchise, the arena will be financially viable by hosting concerts, boxing matches and other events, and the likely sale of naming rights, he said. In a recent deal, AEG sold such rights to what is now the O2 Arena in London to the U.K. cellular phone company for $12 million a year, he said.

Until now, events such as big boxing matches, mixed martial arts fights and concerts have largely been held at the aging Thomas & Mack Center on the UNLV campus or at Strip properties owned by MGM Mirage Inc., at the MGM Grand Garden Arena or Mandalay Bay Events Center. MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said the company welcomed the competition.

“The people that come for concerts and conventions, we’re confident they’ll visit more than one place on the Strip and we’re confident they’ll visit at least one of ours,” he said. “Anytime anyone adds value to the Strip, that’s a good thing.”

Goodman said the deal does not slow down city plans for a proposed $9.5 billion sports arena with casino, retail and residential uses on 85 acres downtown, put forth by Michigan-based REI Group LLC. Any team that wants to locate in Las Vegas could now shop between two large venues for a home, he said.

“With the competition, they’re going to be able to get a better deal,” Goodman said. “So it’s a win-win.” Jon Weaver, the president of REI, criticized the Harrah’s-AEG plan because it would rely on Strip tourists for its fan base. He said the downtown site was geared more to residents.

“I think it would be very discouraging have an arena to be filled by folks from out of town wanting to see their home team play in Las Vegas,” he said. “I don’t think that would be a very successful model.”

PS3 – What more can I say?

Not much new to report from Planet Playstation at present. Over the weekend I downloaded yet another operating system update. That is now the fourth update since the console launched. There is definitely plenty left to fix/improve though so Sony will likely be busy for quite some time yet! The download took around 15 minutes (no idea on it’s size but that is on a 1mb connection) then a further 10 minutes to install and update the console. Each time you update the console like this you have to hunt around for your USB lead as the system demands you connect your controller for re-synching, a minor niggle I guess but strange considering the Xbox 360 has no trouble chatting with it’s controller?

Over in the USA people are still struggling to get hold of a Playstation 3 and recent sales figures show a marked drop in numbers for Sony’s baby. This is of course pretty much down to the lack of supply but it’s not good to have quite this much of a scarcity at launch for your product, particularly when your competition is so strong. Originally Sony predicted a 400,000 shipment of units in the USA at launch but this figure is now conservatively estimated at being only 200,000.

What does this mean for us? Well the rumour mill is in full swing once more and the doubters are predicting the ‘March’ launch could get put back once again as Sony builds units to satisfy the US & Japanese markets as promised. With some analysts estimating a $300 loss on the sale of each Playstation 3 it’s going to be a tough time for a few Sony executives in the coming months.

On the games front more disappointment came with the news that Motor Storm would now not feature any online play upon release! Online play will be included later for the European launch, scant consolation to anyone who already has a Playstation 3 and was looking forward to this particular title! They will now have to pick up a Japanese version and enjoy the more singular delights instead.

Gran Turismo HD was another casualty this week. This flagship title has seen much screenshot and video cock-waving and forum-post fanboy appraisal but it too has now faltered. The content is being ‘held over’ for the GT5 game due in 2008 and it will now appear as a limited 10 car 1 track download ‘concept’ demo which can be downloaded on December 24th by Japanese PS3 gamers only!

None too happy times to be a Playstation 3 gamer then as the lacklustre games roll on and the disappointing online experience continues. Sony will need to work hard to turn this into a positive success but then again no one can deny that the PS3 will sell. 102 million PS2 units is not something to be sniffed at and the high street recognition for the ‘Playstation’ brand is sure to bolster them for quite some time. Will gamers sit waiting for the much needed improvements though? Certainly this Christmas many will be taking home an Xbox 360 or a Nintendo Wii as the interminable wait for Sony will seem just too much hassle.

Stop waffling and tell us about the chuffing games!

Right then, on with the show! I’ve waffled about the machine for a while now let’s start to have a quick run down on a the games I’ve played!

First up, Ridge Racer 7 which is better known to us as Ridge Racer 6. They are basically the same game, it’s just the PS3 version trying to say it’s more current and therefore that equals better.

Now I’m not the world’s biggest console racer fan, not by a long chalk – just check my gamer card or games played list for confirmation there – so I only whacked this in for a quick 5 minutes (I will come back to it later) but on the whole from what I recall of playing the Xbox RR6 (briefly) it doesn’t look like some great techinical and graphical advance that everybody was proclaiming.

In fact if anything it seems to just look ‘brighter’. This is manifested by a lack of shadow and shading/lighting effects on the surroundings as you whizz past at silly speeds. Now don’t get me wrong here, in terms of speed, frame rate and graphical finesse it is up there with the best but it seems to be lacking something and I wasn’t surprised to find I am not the only one who has noticed the shortcomings of the PS3 version!

The level of texture quality just isn’t up to that of the Xbox 360 incarnation along with a lack of lighting/shading effects which is what I had seemingly noticed when I played!

Ridge Racer 7 then is not enough reason to rush out and buy your PS3 console just yet, will the other titles fair any better? 

Right we’ve ploughed through a few episodes now and you will hopefully be getting a fuller picture about the trials and tribulations of Playstation life! How are your opinions forming? Do you plan on getting a Playstation 3 the minute it comes out? Have you re-considered based on anything I’ve discussed? Is there a burning question that I haven’t answered yet but might be able to?

It’s a two way thing this review so if you are reading it (You know who you are!) then let me have your opinions and comments please!

Ok a change of tack now as I’m going to give you a run-down on the Motor Storm demo. Motor Storm by Evolution Studios was one of the few Playstation 3 games to be shown to the masses at this years E3 event. Now when I say ‘shown’ what I actually mean is that a lot of people saw a video CGI render sequence which was just a concept and wasn’t running on a Playstation 3. It was Sony’s usual CGI marketing trick which quite frankly fooled no-one as the quality of graphics was going to be near impossible to replicate on the actual console! Please note though; the following images are actually screenshots in-game these are not CGI renders.

So here we are months later at the launch of the Playstation 3 and Motor Storm is due out in early December. In the meantime Playstation 3 owners can hook up to the online store and grab a free demo download which weighs in at 456mb. This was an offer too good to resist as the underground hype for Motor Storm is approaching that of Gears of War on the Xbox 360.