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Processing The Backlog

Over the years, the number of videos on my YouTube Watch List had grown. If I saw something that looked interesting and didn’t have time to watch it right then, I added it to the list. Also, if I was able to start a video but not finished it, on to the Watch List it went. So so it goes/went.

The past few weeks I have been in the mood to clean out and process my backlogs. This includes more than just my YouTube Watch List. Though, one of the things I’ve always loved about my experiences videos from YouTube creators and curators is that I get exposure to a wide range of interesting new things.

This morning, there were two things that I learned more about that I really enjoyed and which led to new discoveries and experiences — which made me happy, because I love to learn new things.

Interesting Artists

I started my day on the exercise bike and watched The Most Famous Painters Today: A Reasoned Top 20 Using Objective Career Facts via Contemporary Art Issue. I was curious to see what their point of view was on who might be the most famous painters today and on what criteria it was based. I was a little disappointed in the video. It was interesting, but also kind of boring — no Bansky or modern/icon artists known for disruption. Success was mostly based on top sales or their life work (most of the artists selected were born in around 1940-60 — which just doesn’t feel inclusive of artists of “today”). That said, I did get introduced to two artists who I found interesting.

The work of Frank Stella and Alex Katz caught may eye. Stella explores interesting geometric forms and colors. The forms aspect is both within a traditional rectangular canvas, but also in cut out canvas that kind of look like modern graffiti shapes (which is interesting, because he started these sorts of pieces in the 1970s — so not new/modern at all). Katz’s, who some have referred to as a pop artist, produces works that are beautiful in their simplicity and use of color.

A Story About Game Design

In How One Gameplay Decision Changed Diablo Forever via Ars Technica, David Bervik shares what it was like creating the first Diablo game. The video is part of the War Stories series produced by Ars Technica. The series interviews game creators and delves into what went into the development, design, and success of some of the most iconic land loved video games. The stories range from programming challenges that have to be overcome (like how Crash Bandicoot managed to go beyond what the original PlayStation ever should have been able to do in terms of graphics processing) to how stories and gameplay evolved in titles like Prince of Persia, Myst, and more.

It was fascinating to hear what inspired Bervik to create a game dynamic centered around the loop of killing monsters and picking up random loot. He describes many of the approaches he and his small team considered as they developed Diablo, and how being open to trying something new transformed the game into the experience it is now known and loved for. I didn’t know a lot about the back story on Diablo or what happened to the creator after the series became a success.

The added bonus? I learned about It Lurks Below, a game that Bervik developed independently and released in 2018 that focuses on action and survival in a classic 2D-style. Yeah, I know, I already have a backlog of games to explore and enjoy. Now I have another one to look forward to checking out.