StarkleSparkle
 

 
Twitch content creators are coming together at TwitchCon 2017 to participate in the Tiltify Charity Decathlon event - raising funds through a series of challenges for Extra Life. 
 
Tune in to watch Team Extra Life as they play to unlock donations for CMN Hospitals.
 
Friday, October 20:
1:25 p.m. - 2:55 p.m. PDT - The Rocket League Rockdown with JoshOG
3:10 p.m. - 4:40 p.m PDT . - The Coloring for Dummies Challenge with CarsonDrewIt and Jazzzy
4:55 p.m. - 6:25 p.m. PDT  - The Long Beach Brawlhalla Beatdown with Lil_Lexi
6:30 p.m.- 7:45 p.m. PDT  - Jingle All the Way Contest with Elaaaaargh, M_tt, and Sienimilli
 
Saturday, October 21: 
12:40 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. PDT - Let the Sparcs Fly Challenge with Sintilla
2:25 p.m. - 3:55 p.m. PDT  - You Don't Know Jack! Challenge with Aureylian
4:10 p.m. - 5:40 p.m PDT. - the Sandwich Smashdown Challenge with The_Cliffy and ElvineMod
5:55 p.m. - 7:25 p.m. PDT - Tastes Like Chicken Challenge: TvKrispy
 
Sunday, October 22: 
11:20 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. - Build me up  Buttercup Challenge with Bluejay
1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. - Battle of the Musicians with Andvarri
 

LeaveIt2Beaver
Hey Extra Life Community -
 
We have some exciting news to share! In an effort to help make fundraising more fun, more accessible and ultimately easier, we’ve added two new applications to the Extra Life experience. Now you can fundraise through Facebook or on the go from your phone!
 

Extra Life Facebook App
Fundraising has never been quicker or easier than with the new Extra Life Facebook App. It installs in just a few seconds and allows you to opt-in to automatic status updates, upload Extra Life profile and cover pictures and ask your entire Facebook network for donations in just a few clicks. To start fundraising through the Extra Life Facebook App, login to to your Extra Life account, and click "Fundraise with Facebook" in the participant dashboard.
 

 
Extra Life Mobile App
Manage and share your Extra Life experience on the go with our new Extra Life mobile app. This free app lets you fundraise and connect with others through SMS, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Email. You can update your Extra Life page and check your fundraising progress all from the palm of your hand.

Download the app here: iPhone | Android
 
We’ve also spent the last couple of months improving the mobile experience on the Extra Life website so give the new apps a try. We want to hear what you think so send any feedback and ideas to community@extra-life.org or comment below and let us know!
For The Kids,

Mike Kinney
Team Extra Life
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals

Jack Gardner

 
Recent years have seen the rise of visual novels in the gaming landscape, interactive stories with light "choose your own adventure" elements. If you've ever dreamed of making your own visual novel, Degica Games is gearing up to release Visual Novel Maker in November.
 
Essentially, Visual Novel Maker follows the RPG Maker conceit of allowing someone to create what they want with little to no programming expertise. The set of tools in Visual Novel Maker includes support for click, drag and drop, or type interfaces for the stories users are itching to tell. Completed games can be played on PC, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.
 
Of course what is a visual novel without the visuals? Visual Novel Maker comes with 11 different characters, each with a variety of outfits and expressions. Those characters don't exist within a black void, either, as the software tool comes with over 150 pre-made backgrounds. Those who prefer to create their own art can import it into the game or even use Live2D to include some animations. Same goes for music; a selection of pre-made tracks, but the option to add more personal music if the user desires. 
 
Experienced developers can create and add extensions to edit the game or even the toolset itself. 
 
Visual Novel Maker releases on November 16 for PC.

Marcus Stewart

 
Monument Valley 2, the sequel to the well-received (and super pretty) MC Escher-esque mobile puzzle game, launched as a surprise iOS exclusive during Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference this past June. Given Monument Valley's availability on both Apple and Android devices, fans of the latter platform worried about how long they'd have to wait to get their crack at the sequel (if at all). 
 
Turns out not for much longer, as the game arrives on Google Play on November 6. Unlike the first game, Monument Valley 2 features two characters, a mother and child, that players must navigate across the mind-bending environments. Just like the previous title, though, the sequel boasts a calming pastel color palette and a serene soundtrack. 
 
If you're an Android user, are you looking forward to Monument Valley 2? How did you feel about the first game? 

Marcus Stewart

 
First-person puzzler/philosophical journey The Talos Principle received acclaim when it first released on PC in late 2014. After being ported to console and mobile, the game makes the next logical leap: virtual reality.
 
The Talos Principle VR is available now on Steam for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. According to developer Croteam, the game has been entirely redesigned for VR and features fully customizable controls. This version runs for $39.99 but owners of the original game receive a 25% discount (knocking it down to around $29.99). Additionally, the four-episode Road to Gehenna expansion is included with The Talos Principle VR.
 
 Any of you Oculus or Vive users plan on to taking a look at The Talos Principle? 

Marcus Stewart

 
Star Ocean faithful and newcomers alike will have the chance to experience the earliest point in the series' timeline. Square Enix announced that Star Ocean: The Last Hope is getting a 4K and HD facelift, launching for PlayStation 4 and Steam on November 28. 
 
The Last Hope is a prequel to the first Star Ocean game, taking place several hundreds years prior and features a heavier sci-fi theme than other entries. It originally released on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2009.  In addition to controller, the PC version of the remaster features full mouse and keyboard support. Naturally, the 4K upgrade applies to PlayStation 4 Pro users as well as PC players with a compatible setup. 
 
The remaster will release digitally for $20.99 (no word on a physical release). Purchasing before December 12 nets players a 10% discount, with Steam users also receiving an exclusive mini-soundtrack. PS4 players can get a special Star Ocean theme and 12 avatars if they pick up The Last Hope before January 12. 
 
If you're a Star Ocean fan, how do you feel about The Last Hope's remaster? What other entries would you like to see get the same treatment? 

Jack Gardner

 
Earlier today, EA sent out an update regarding the development of the unnamed Star Wars title. The title, codenamed Ragtag, has long been rumored to have internal development troubles, and the announcement all but confirms those rumors. Patrick Söderlund, EA Worldwide's executive vice president, penned the public message that attempted to clarify the company's decision to close Visceral Games, one of their most well-known subsidiary studios:  
This move seems to be coming from EA in an attempt to move the game away from being a linear, story-focused experience and toward a more long-term investment. Essentially, this is EA stepping in to make sure that project Ragtag can continue generating money post-launch, probably through microtransactions and/or DLC, both of which have become core parts of their business strategy in recent years. I suspect that it will also be shifting focus of the title from a linear, single-player story toward a multiplayer competitive title that can be milked for money via DLC and microtransactions for years after release.      
 
Kotaku was able to get some further clarification on Visceral's closure. Söderlund responded to their questions by saying that the EA Vancouver team that was already attached to the project would take the lead along with a team taken from across EA Worldwide Studios. EA executive producer Steve Anthony will lead the entire effort and much of the work done by Visceral will be used in the final game such as assets that have already been built.
 
Amy Hennig, known for her work directing Uncharted 1-4, had been helming Visceral's Ragtag project. Her fate seems to be uncertain, although an EA spokesperson stated that, "We are in discussions with Amy about her next move." EA has said that they are trying to move as many devs as possible to other parts of EA, but many will be finding themselves without a job. Other studios across the industry, such as God of War developer Sony Santa Monica and 2K Games, have expressed their sympathy for the people affected and opened their doors to applicants who might not make it through the dissolution of Visceral. 

StarkleSparkle
Article written by Nathan Weyenberg, a third-year participant playing for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin.
 

 
My wife and I have teamed up to raise money for the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for many years. The last two years doing Extra Life and over a decade volunteering at the Joey O'Brien Memorial Golf Outing. We have always recognized raising money for children's hospitals as being vital not only to the children who have maladies, but also for the families.
 
In March my wife and I were ecstatic to find out we were going to have our first child. In July, we found out we would be having a girl! (I was very excited about this!) In August, nearly six months into the pregnancy, we found out our daughter had a rare congenital heart defect. My wife and I decided to move forward with a surgical option, without which our daughter would not live.
 
While our daughter is healthy in utero, as soon as she is born, she will experience circulation problems and will die without surgery. The doctors will have to perform three open heart surgeries on her before four years of age, two of which will be before she turns six months old. Chances are she will survive, and hopefully become everything we want her to be; a happy, wonderful and independent grown woman.
 
There is too large of a chance that she will not have that opportunity. I have no way of knowing what will happen, and I am powerless to help before she is born. What I do know, is we will be spending time in a children's hospital come November/December and hopefully beyond.
 
Right now, the only thing I can do to help my daughter and families like mine is to raise money for children’s hospitals. I will be streaming myself playing video games  now until the gaming marathon on November 4th. On November 4th I will participate by playing games while standing for 24 hours.
 
It was the hope, care, and expertise of a children's hospital that turned one of the worst pieces of news we have ever received into something that our team at the hospital, myself, my wife and our daughter can tackle together. It is that expertise and care we are trying to foster and support.

Jack Gardner

 
Developer Fatshark held a livestream today in which it pulled the covers off of the sequel to Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide. The company's modest attempt at creating a medieval fantasy version of Left 4 Dead has now given way to a much more expanded universe full of all kinds of creatures and dangers beyond the Skaven rat-men who plagued the first game. 
 
The heroes from the previous game have united to take on the remnants of the Skaven army who have allied themselves with the Chaos faction. The five heroes can choose from 15 difference career paths, each with different appearances, abilities, talent trees, and equipment. This team of hardy adventurers are the only thing standing between the oncoming hordes of rat-men, Chaos, and more that seek the destruction of the empire.  
 
As you might deduce from the earlier comparison to Left 4 Dead, Vermintide 2 continues the series penchant for four player co-op. Players will need to work together either with their friends or NPCs to survive each of the 13 deadly levels that take place around the fortress city of Helmgart on the border of the Empire.  
 
 
Vermintide 2 will come with integrated Twitch functionality. More information about just how exactly Twitch will be integrated into Vermintide 2 remains to be seen. More information will be coming during a livestream this December.

“Vermintide 2 is the evolution of the genre. If you liked the first game, you’ll love the second.” says Martin Wahlund, CEO of Fatshark, “We have listened to the community, analyzed hours and hours of online playthroughs, and combined this with our passion for co-op games to bring you the very best experience possible.”  

Warhammer: Vermintide 2 will be available first quarter 2018 for PC and consoles.

Jack Gardner

 
Red Faction released in 2001 for the PlayStation 2, PC, and N-Gage. In this Honorable Mention, Daniel mostly discusses the widely acclaimed PS2 version of the title, which strove to make a name for itself in the shooting genre by implementing environmental manipulation. 
 
With schedules being what they are, sometimes coordinating a full episode of The Best Games Period can be difficult. When we can't have a proper discussion, we will be breaking off to do these shorter mini-casts, Honorable Mentions, to talk about fringe games that we might not otherwise be able to talk about on a full episode.
 

 
Outro music: Phantasy Star II 'The Demon Star' by Sir_NutS and Stephen Kelly (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03625)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is (sometimes) available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it!
 
If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod 
 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday

Naomi N. Lugo

 
First Person Shooters have a certain ability. They can raise our blood pressure, help us invent new ways to flip tables, but most of all they have the ability to bring us together. Aww. 
 
This is a phenomenon that the creators of the new Call of Duty entry WWII seem to be well aware of and made the center of their new trailer "“Reassemble!” which launched on October 15.
 
 
In it, we see a tropey but self-aware story using the plotline of the gang getting back together for one more hit, but this time it's for the return of the game. "Haven't you heard? Call of Duty is going back to World War II baby," the inciting member says to a squad member, "we gotta get the guys back together," he replies. 
 
The ensuing scenes include the gathering of the squad through various settings. It's endearing and seems to be translating well for fans, at least so far. As of publishing this article, the like/dislike ratio sits at 17,000 likes to 1,000 dislikes. Significantly better than Call of Duty trailers have faired in the past. The Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Reveal Trailer currently has a bitter ratio of 581,000 likes to 3 million dislikes. Ouch. The WWII launch trailer is at 1 million likes to 97,000 dislikes, by the way, possibly showing tempered expectations. 
 
Call of Duty: World War II launches November 3 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. 
 
How do you feel about Call of Duty returning to WWII? Are your hopes high for the latest installment? Let us know in the comments below.