One in four U.S. hotels is at risk of foreclosure. Many hospitality companies have laid off staff and some have gone bankrupt.“With record low travel demand, thousands of hotels can’t afford to pay their commercial mortgages and are facing foreclosure, with the harsh reality of having to close their doors permanently,” said Chip Rogers, president of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. The association is asking Washington for an industry bailout.After months of sitting empty, hotels have only recently returned to some sense of normalcy. With overall occupancy rising for 17 of the last 18 weeks, the rate has finally hit the 50 percent mark for the first time since mid-March.Still, in New York City, occupancy stands at 41 percent, a 54 percent decline from the same time last year. That could be in part a result of the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement for travelers from states where Covid-19 infections exceed 10 percent.[Crain’s] — Sasha Jones Share via Shortlink Foreclosures may be on the horizon for New York City’s hotel market, where there’s nearly $1.5 billion in unpaid CMBS debt. (iStock) New York’s hotel industry has a whole lot of debt and none of it is getting paid.There are $1.47 billion worth of commercial mortgage-backed securities loans on hotels that have gone unpaid, Crain’s reported. That’s the largest wave of hotel delinquencies in the country. It’s pushed the greater New York market’s delinquency rate to nearly 39 percent, compared to the usual 1 percent rate nationally.Read moreUS hotel occupancy hits highest point since mid-MarchNearly 1 in 6 FHA mortgages are delinquentNYC restaurants: Give us indoor dining or we’ll sue Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink TagsbankruptcyHotel MarketMortgages
The former Witcher developers making a mobile game about travel and humanityDifferent Tales explains how its debut title Wanderlust: Travel Stories falls “halfway between literature and gaming”James BatchelorEditor-in-ChiefThursday 26th September 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareLast year, Artur Ganszyniec and Jacek Brzeziński met between projects and discussed working on something together. The first project they had collaborated on was The Witcher (as lead story designer and head of production respectively). A lot had changed in the intervening years.For one thing, their career paths had diverged. While Brzeziński continued to work on major titles like Hitman and Dying Light, Ganszyniec had moved into mobile. Their own tastes in games had shifted too, which drove much of the conversation.”We started talking about games that are slower and more grounded in reality and common human experiences,” Ganszyniec tells us. “We are sure the big entertainment games will be okay, but from time to time we need something more connected to the deep experiences we have.”It’s very risky, because you never know how many people are interested in games that are slower, but I think it will be okay.”Artur Ganszyniec, Different TalesTwo things resulted from that discussion: the formation of a new studio, Different Tales, and its debut title, Wanderlust: Travel Stories. Ganszyniec describes the latter as “halfway between literature and gaming.” It’s a narrative adventure presented with text and pictures (think 80 Days without steampunk) about people who have travelled the world. Five travellers gather in a bar on Easter Island and share their stories, with the player directing how they are told. It’s about 12 hours long — “depending on how fast you read,” says Ganszyniec — and contains around 300,000 words — “like the first and second Witcher combined.” Most of the photos are from the developers’ own travels, or those of their friends, plus others sourced from journalists and stock photography. One story has even been written around the experiences of a team member who sailed to Antartica last year.Wanderlust was originally envisaged as “something like a simulator” but the team was keen not to bog players down with “the boring stuff you have to do when you travel.” The focus was each traveller’s feelings and experiences, efficiently conveyed via text and photos. “It soon became apparent that we were making a book,” laughs Ganszyniec. “But this is the way we want to go because it’s the earliest narrative in the world: someone goes out there, comes back, and tells people what they saw, what happened to them, this is how the world looks.”The prospect of a 12-hour narrative game seems risky — most titles in this vein are much shorter. Equally, the notion of reading a 300,000-word novel is something even the most avid readers might balk at. But Ganszyniec assures the pacing will be engaging, in part because the game is split into different stories.”If we played by the rules and sold it for $6, it would be treated as just another visual novel. But the content, language, themes, the journalistic approach — it’s something different” The longest is set in Thailand and takes about five hours, but Ganszyniec says this is “sort of open world” as it has a lot more choices and different ways players can direct the story. The shortest — a tale of a man travelling from Poland to Barcelona by train for a date — is about an hour. The themes range from the discovery of new places, to accepting age and the passing of time. Different Tales hopes that by tapping into these common human experiences, it can reach a broader audience than the founders’ previous projects. The fact that it’s on mobile as well as PC and uses an intuitive book-like structure will certainly work in its favour — although the price may be a barrier.When we spoke at Gamescom, Ganszyniec said the studio was considering a $20 price point, but as it releases today, this has been revised to $9.99. This is still a little higher than many mobile games — is the studio increasing the risk, given the historical difficulties of selling premium titles? Ganszyniec doesn’t think so.”The biggest business risk we are taking is that we are trying to reach outside the gaming market,” he says. “[But] we’ve had a very good response from people who do not identify themselves as gamers. Like people who go to the theatre, go to opera, spend time on Netflix, and who like to read.”This market is so crowded that if we played it by the rules and said, ‘Okay, it’s a text-based game so let’s sell it for $6,’ it would be treated as just another visual novel. But the content, the language, the themes, the journalistic approach — it’s something different. So we are trying to use every tool we have to communicate that this is something different.”Another major challenge Ganszyniec identifies is reaching out to non-gaming press. While Different Tales reports an enthusiastic response from its local Polish outlets, including the regional version of Vogue, pitching Wanderlust as “culture product” rather than a game to lifestyle journalists has been difficult. Fortunately, the text and pictures presentation means the game won’t age, Ganszyniec says, so this is an effort the studio can continue long after launch.One story is set in Antarctica, and modelled around photos from a member of the development team who travelled thereWanderlust is very different to the AAA titles the team has previously worked on, but Ganszyniec believes their experience in this area has been invaluable. The project has also helped address some of the shortcomings in bigger titles he has noted over the years, such as the extremes between binary choices. “Some role-playing games are like you pet a cat or kick a cat,” he says. “But it’s not always about that. So something happens [in Wanderlust], and the choice the player has is sometimes ‘I felt sad’ or ‘I felt motivated’. You start thinking as a player, ‘How do I feel in such a situation? What is my reaction?'”The mood players choose changes the way the story is told and the language used to describe their experiences. It means Wanderlust’s five adventures can vary greatly, not only in event but in emotion, depending on how you direct the narration. They live up to the studio’s name, telling tales that are different to most narratives found in video games.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “Most titles are based on frustration over common obstacles, triumph and maybe fear,” Ganszyniec observes. “They are stories about someone physically overcoming obstacles and mastering skills. Those are the stories that most games tell. They are important stories, but I think that games can tell other stories about other feelings. “To tell a story about longing, or sadness… you have to slow down. That is why we sort of made a book. There is no game over. You just shape the story. It’s not for everyone because you have to like reading. But we are already thinking about what else can we do. “We are watching the market because there are some stories and games that also have the slow element, like Heaven’s Vault, Firewatch, Journey. I think Telling Lies or Her Story might be something like this. So there are some really good games that play the same notes, but I just want more.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Mobile newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEpic vs Apple – Week One Review: Epic still faces an “uphill battle”Legal experts share their thoughts on the proceedings so far, and what to expect from the coming weekBy James Batchelor 9 hours agoEpic Games claims Fortnite is at “full penetration” on consoleAsserts that mobile with the biggest growth potential as it fights for restoration to iOS App StoreBy James Batchelor 13 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.
AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA Generation UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development With several projects waiting in the wings, the AfDB and IsDB are ready to boost agriculture, water and sanitation development in three African countries. A joint initiative between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will support the agriculture value chains and enhance drought resilience in Nigeria, Somalia and Uganda.In these three countries, the combined active portfolio of both institutions in agriculture, water and sanitation is worth $1 billion, with several projects in the pipeline to expand their support.For example, in Nigeria the Plateau State Potato Value Chain Support Project of the AfDB and the planned IsDB’s Agro Pastoral Development Project in Kano State will promote higher household incomes through productive agro-pastoral activities.In Somalia, AfDB’s Say No to Famine project approved earlier this year is providing emergency assistance support and facilitating drought resilience building through the restoration of community assets, which is complemented by IsDB’s on-going Drylands Development Project.Discussions are also on-going to scale up several projects, among them, the Strategic Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project in Uganda, which will be appraised later this year and presented to the AfDB Board of Directors for approval in early 2018. Read more on Uganda’s hydropower project…Why invest in agriculture?Stronger ties between AfDB and IsDB will help ramp up agricultural production along important crop and livestock value chains while preventing and mitigating climate change induced droughts will help achieve the objectives of Say No to Famine/Alliance to End Famine in Africa.The investments are complemented with institutional capacity building to develop enabling environments for sustainable, green and inclusive growth.There is broad stakeholder agreement that collaborative and coordinated efforts are needed to swiftly deal with weather shocks that often have devastating consequences for the most vulnerable population.“It is good to see this strong partnership between the African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank further evolving, in terms of depth, breath, resource commitments, leverage and speed of delivery“ says AfDB Vice-President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery, Khaled Sherif.AfDB and IsDB vow to collaborate“While the MOU is continent-wide and cross-sectorial, we jointly identified immediate synergies in the broader FEED Africa and Say No To Famine domain, which cover varying levels of short-term, medium-term and long-term interventions, to deliver even more efficiently and effectively to the benefit of communities in the three countries,” Sherif stated. BRICS #DidYouKnow Africa has 65% of the world’s uncultivated land. More than enough to feed 9 billion people in 2050! #WFD2017 #FoodPrize17 pic.twitter.com/Tz5e9BQlsH— AfDB_Group (@AfDB_Group) October 16, 2017IsDB Vice President, Mansur Muhtar added: “Indeed, there is much to gain from the collaboration between our organisations. It is here that we can utilise our respective competitive advantages best and maximise the utilisation of available resources.”According to Muhtar it is best to achieve this outcome by “avoiding duplication and concentrating the stipulated initiatives in support of our member countries in the identified sectors and areas that promise to be most impactful for local populations”.“We will also expand this partnership throughout the operationalisation of upcoming initiatives by bringing in additional partners, especially the private sector,” Muhtar added.Featured image: Stock Previous articleNERC extends Afam VI Power Plant generation licenceNext articleNecsa halts pharmaceutical production after reported deviations ESI Africa RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Finance and Policy
This article was originally published on Green Building Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes. Finance and Policy UNDP China, CCIEE launch report to facilitate low-carbon development The increases mean that domestic consumersusing up to 300 kilowatts per month will now pay 6.63 meticais per kilowatthour, 1.17 meticais more than previously. This translates to a 17.6%increase. TAGSEDMelectricity tariffsMozambique Previous articleExciting potential of 3-in-1 waste-to-power technologyNext article11 mini-grids under construction in Tanzania Guest ContributorThe views expressed in this article by the author are not necessarily those of the publishers and/or association partners. While every effort is made to ensure accuracy, the publisher and editors cannot be held responsible for any inaccurate information supplied and/or published. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR BRICS AFD and Eskom commit to a competitive electricity sector Author: Bryan Groenendaal EDM cites the same justifications as in theprevious three tariff increases: “To allow the company to continue to invest inthe expansion of the network, with a view to meeting the growth in demand andincreasing access to electricity, and to ensure a financial balance which willprovide for the continuity of quality and secure energy supply.” The latest announcement brings a total offour tariff increase implementations in the last five years. Low carbon, solar future could increase jobs in the future – SAPVIA Rates for the “social category” – thoseMozambicans regarded as poor – remain unchanged. For prepaid customers, the Credelecincrease is 1.49 meticais kilowatt hour, which now costs 8.44 meticais also translatingto a 17.6% increase The agricultural tariff has almost doubled to 4.08 meticais per kilowatt hour. That is nearly a 100% increase. Read more: Coal suppliers and IPPs influence Eskom’s request for tariff increase Generation Electricity of Mozambique (EDM) has announced a sharp tariff increase in four categories of low-voltage customers namely; those on the social tariff, domestic tariff, agricultural tariff and general tariff.
Job Summary/Basic Function:Reports to the Director, Marketing and Communications and hasthe following duties and responsibilities;Design and create publications, advertisements, marketingmaterials, and multi-media presentations to effectively brand andmarket the college;Collaborate with Marketing and Communications staff fortargeting, evaluating and implementing advertising themes,campaigns and events for all college departments through the use ofa variety of mediums;Designs and assists in the development and maintenance of thecollege website and social media accounts;Assists with printing and pre-press delivery of printedmaterials;Photographs subjects for a variety of publications;Assists with videography as needed;Performs other duties as assigned.Minimum Qualifications:Associate degree from a regionally accredited college;Two or more years of experience in graphic design andproduction;Experience in marketing and communications;One to two years using Macintosh computers and relatedperipherals, Macintosh graphic software and commercial graphicdesign;Experience in page layout, photography, photo enhancement,marketing and communications, all forms of social media, graphic,presentation software including Adobe Creative Suite;Ability to work with culturally diverse populations;Effective verbal/written communication skills outstandingorganizational skills;Ability to work in a team environment;Other qualities, experiences, and skills that enhance one’svalue to the institution;Exceptional employment or educational qualifications may begiven special consideration.
IndianaLocalNews Pinterest Google+ WhatsApp Facebook Pinterest Metro Homicide asking for public’s help regarding Kelly’s Pub shooting (Photo supplied/ABC 57) The St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office has issued a plea for anybody who was at Kelly’s Pub during the shooting that took place around 2 a.m. on Sunday, June 23, to contact the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit to pass on any information.The prosecutor’s office issued the following statement on Friday, June 28:The County Metro Homicide Unit has received several inquiries wondering why more information has not been released in connection with the St. Joseph County Metro Homicide Unit’s investigation into the June 23, 2019, shooting outside of Kelly’s Pub that resulted in the death of Brandon Williams and injuries to 10 other individuals (1150 Mishawaka Ave, South Bend). Among other evidence recovered, CMHU was able to obtain some limited video from that parking lot. While that video depicts roughly 75-100 individuals in the vicinity of the building, before and during the shooting, it does not depict the shooting itself. CMHU has been attempting to identify individuals who were there. However, of the few witnesses that have been identified (including those who were injured) fewer have been willing to help solve this crime or give information concerning who else was there and may know the perpetrators.The community needs your help. Anyone who was at the scene and has not come forward,or anyone who has any information at all regarding the investigation or who else was atthat scene, please call CMHU at 574-235-5009 or Crime Stoppers at 288-STOP. Twitter Facebook Twitter WhatsApp Google+ By Jon Zimney – June 29, 2019 0 391 Previous articleDowagiac woman arrested on drug charges after traffic stopNext articleCrash causes gas leak in South Bend Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.
FranceLe Figaro reported on the Macron government’s plans to reform how merits are granted for civilian and military distinctions. Libération reported on Tuesday’s terror attack in New York. It featured a photograph of the attacker with the headline: “Attack in New York: ISIS after ISIS.” SpainCatalan leaders will appear in court in Spain on Thursday facing rebellion and sedition charges filed by the Spanish attorney general. El País wrote: “The independence must respond to justice today.” ABC reported on an order to detain former Catalan regional President Carles Puigdemont, currently in Belgium, if he fails to return to Spain to face the charges. “Puigdemont forces his arrest and abandons the government before the judge,” El Mundo reported. ItalyLa Repubblica featured an investigation on the role played by the University of Cambridge in the murder of student Giulio Regeni in 2016 in Cairo, claiming the university misled Regeni about the risks of traveling to the city and conducting research there. Corriere della Sera focused on the terror attack in New York City, as did Libero, a right wing publication, which led with: “Out of the way with the Islamists.” Giulia Paravicini contributed to this report. UKBritish Defense Secretary Michael Fallon resigned Wednesday after earlier this week admitting to making unwanted advances toward a journalist in 2002. The British press foreshadowed more resignations to come as sexual harassment allegations continue to rock Westminster, with both the Telegraph and the Mail referring to Fallon’s resignation as the “first scalp.” The Times reported No. 10 “fears more ministers maybe be forced out by growing scandal.” The Sun went with a pun: “Fallon his sword.” BelgiumLe Soir reported on Ryanair’s plan to raise salaries “to calm pilots” at the low-cost airline. De Morgen reported on a plan by Flemish universities to introduce placement tests for all incoming students to ensure they enrol “in the right class,” according to the universities of Leuven and Gent. De Standaard noted that fewer babies with Down syndrome are being born in Flanders. Last year 31 babies were born with the condition, 30 percent fewer than the year before. GermanyMuch of the German press reported on President Donald Trump’s move to get rid of the U.S. diversity visa lottery in the aftermath of Tuesday’s terror attack in New York City, in which a migrant from Uzbekistan who arrived in the U.S. under the scheme killed eight people. The Süddeutsche Zeitung led with: “Trump demands more control.” Welt and Tagesspiegel deployed similar headlines. Frankfurter Allgemeine reported the attacker had been planning the assault for an extended period of time.
Back on December 8th 2004, the music world was rocked with the news of a mass shooting at the Alrosa Villa music venue in Columbus, OH, during a Damageplan concert. Darrell Lance Abbott (aka Dimebag Darrell), founding guitarist of groove metal band Pantera, was shot to death within minutes of taking the stage by former Marine Nathan Gale. Before Gale was taken out by police responding to the situation, he was able to fire off round after round, killing head of security Jeff “Mayhem” Thomspon as he tried to stop the shooter as well as two other people in attendance. Seven more people were injured in the shooting.Dimebag Darrell founded Pantera back in 1981 with brother and drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott (better known as Vinnie Paul). The band didn’t start out as “Pantera,” however, initially going by Gemini, and later by Eternity, before the members settled on Pantera (he also went by Diamond Darrell at the time). The group started out as a glam rock act, as Dimebag was a huge fan of Ace Frehley from KISS, even going so far as to tattoo the guitarist’s likeness on his chest. It wasn’t until the addition of singer Phil Anselmo in 1986 that Pantera began to form what would be their signature groove metal sound, led by Abbott’s now recognizable tone, which came to fruition with the recording and release of Cowboys From Hell (1990). That album took Pantera to an entirely different level.“Psycho Holiday” (from 1990’s Cowboys from Hell):With the success of Cowboys, followed by the release of 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power and major hit that was 1994’s Far Beyond Driven, Dimebag became a rising star amongst guitarists in the rock and heavy metal worlds. He went on to record and perform with countless bands such as King Diamond and Anthrax, the latter of which considered him their “sixth member.” He garnered respect and friendships from other stars such as Rob Halford (Judas Priest), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), and Eddie Van Halen—whose original Charvel “Bumblebee” guitar is buried with Abbott.A serious Anselmo heroin overdose in 1996—requiring a shot of adrenaline to get his heart beating again—and the overall toll of his lengthy battle with drugs set the wheels in motion for Pantera’s eventual demise. The group would release 2000’s Reinventing the Steel, its final album, and tour on and off through 2001. Their last performance would be at Japan’s Beast Festival on August 28th, 2001. For the next two years, Anselmo played in several side projects (Down and Superjoint Ritual), but with both Abbott brothers feeling that the singer abandoned the group, they made the decision to break up Pantera for good in 2003.“This Love” (from 1992’s Vulgar Display of Power)It was a bad break-up, to say the least, with plenty of choice words thrown around, both in public and in private. With Dimebag and Vinnie Paul’s decision to move forward and tour as Damageplan, the future of a potential Pantera reunion was put in question. That question was never given the answer it deserved, as the nightmare that was Alrosa Villa occurred in 2004. Dimebag was buried in the KISS Kasket that he requested in his will, staying true to his roots until the very end.RIP Dimebag Darrell (August 20, 1966 – December 8, 2004)“Fractured Mirror” (Ace Frehley cover)[Originally published 12/8/17]