Jack Gardner

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Jack Gardner last won the day on August 16

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About Jack Gardner

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  1. Have you ever dreamed about who would win in a no holds barred fight between Guacamelee's Juan and Trace from Axiom Verge? Or pondered the result of a conflict between the fish-man from Nuclear Throne and Captain Flinthook from... well, Flinthook? Bounty Battle aims to satisfy your itch for indie action by throwing 30 characters from various independent franchises together for one of the most unique grudge matches in gaming. Developed by DarkScreen Games, Bounty Battle draws heavily upon fighters like Super Smash Bros. and PlayStation All-Stars to deliver its odd charm. Up to four players can select their characters from a roster of 30 fighters (20 indie guests and 10 original characters - with up to 18 additional contenders coming as free DLC post-launch). Controls are simple and universal across all characters; no unique Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat combos to memorize in Bounty Battle. Players have a limited amount of energy that allows them to use strong attacks, special attacks, ultimate attacks, and dodge. As players rack up combos and kills, they earn Bounty Points. Those Bounty Points can be used to to perform devastating attacks or to summon a minion to aid in combat. Minions exist in the background and survive until your character falls in battle. Each minion has been taken from the game specific to each hero. While the fight rages on, players can pick up both positive and negative status effects known as marks. Colored energy orbs will occasionally fall from the sky, granting temporary boosts to speed, life, or stamina. A number of different arenas will ship with Bounty Battle. These will include one arena for each indie guest on the roster, with possibly more coming for each DLC character. That makes for over 25 arenas at the very least! Players will battle over these locations in local co-op, arcade, challenge, and story modes. Oh, yes. Bounty Battle has a story that explains how all these indie heroes appeared together. At some point, a flash in the sky heralded the arrival of a giant vortex above a multitude of worlds. This vortex introduced a new material to these worlds. Known as Ethereal Mana, people could use this material to communicate and even travel to those distant planets. This substance even granted seemingly magical powers to those who handled it. Eventually, the power of Ethereal Mana created strife and war across the worlds and a tournament was agreed upon that would decide the fate of the universe. Each world anointed a champion, each with a bounty on their head. The greatest bounty hunter in the universe would rule the cosmos. Each character will have their own unique ending, so players will have an incentive to play through the story mode multiple times. The full roster of Bounty Battle's guest fighters can be found below: Juan from Guacamelee! (Drinkbox Studios) The Crusader from Darkest Dungeon (RedHook Studios) Thora from Jotun (Thunder Lotus) Sheriff Lonestar from Awesomenauts (Ronimo Games) Shield maiden from EITR (Eneme Entertainement) Trace from Axiom Verge (Thomas Happ Games llc) Pankapu from Pankapu (Too Kind Studio) Captain Flinthook from Flinthook (Tribute Games) Fish from Nuclear throne (Vlambeer) The Unslain from Doko Roko (Okobu Games) Tetrobot from Blocks that matter (Swing Swing Submarines) Gully from Battle Chasers: Nightwar (Airship Syndicate) Hermetic Champion from Tower of Samsara (Martelo Nero) Harry from The Bug Butcher (Awfully Nice Studio) Rudy fromBlubber Busters (Thar be Monster) Rad Rodgers from Rad Rodgers (Slipgate Studios) Otus from Owlboy (D-Pad Studio) Marduk from Undungeon (Laughing Machines) Eshe from Sundered (Thunder Lotus) Violet from The Metronomicon (Puuba/ Akupara games/Kasedo Games) DarkScreen Games has been working on the title for the past three years. The team consists of François von Orelli and Grégoire Laporte who collaborated with Benjamin Daniel for Bounty Battle's narrator and Jon Lankry's for the illustrated multiple endings. Bounty Battle will be closing its crowdfunding campaign next week, but it has already surpassed its fundraising goal of $30,000. If it makes it to $45,000, DarkScreen will be adding 12 more indie guests to Bounty Battle, each with their own arena and minion. If the project makes it to $60,000 more animated cutscenes will flesh out the story. Bounty Battle is slated for release in late 2018 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac. View full article
  2. Have you ever dreamed about who would win in a no holds barred fight between Guacamelee's Juan and Trace from Axiom Verge? Or pondered the result of a conflict between the fish-man from Nuclear Throne and Captain Flinthook from... well, Flinthook? Bounty Battle aims to satisfy your itch for indie action by throwing 30 characters from various independent franchises together for one of the most unique grudge matches in gaming. Developed by DarkScreen Games, Bounty Battle draws heavily upon fighters like Super Smash Bros. and PlayStation All-Stars to deliver its odd charm. Up to four players can select their characters from a roster of 30 fighters (20 indie guests and 10 original characters - with up to 18 additional contenders coming as free DLC post-launch). Controls are simple and universal across all characters; no unique Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat combos to memorize in Bounty Battle. Players have a limited amount of energy that allows them to use strong attacks, special attacks, ultimate attacks, and dodge. As players rack up combos and kills, they earn Bounty Points. Those Bounty Points can be used to to perform devastating attacks or to summon a minion to aid in combat. Minions exist in the background and survive until your character falls in battle. Each minion has been taken from the game specific to each hero. While the fight rages on, players can pick up both positive and negative status effects known as marks. Colored energy orbs will occasionally fall from the sky, granting temporary boosts to speed, life, or stamina. A number of different arenas will ship with Bounty Battle. These will include one arena for each indie guest on the roster, with possibly more coming for each DLC character. That makes for over 25 arenas at the very least! Players will battle over these locations in local co-op, arcade, challenge, and story modes. Oh, yes. Bounty Battle has a story that explains how all these indie heroes appeared together. At some point, a flash in the sky heralded the arrival of a giant vortex above a multitude of worlds. This vortex introduced a new material to these worlds. Known as Ethereal Mana, people could use this material to communicate and even travel to those distant planets. This substance even granted seemingly magical powers to those who handled it. Eventually, the power of Ethereal Mana created strife and war across the worlds and a tournament was agreed upon that would decide the fate of the universe. Each world anointed a champion, each with a bounty on their head. The greatest bounty hunter in the universe would rule the cosmos. Each character will have their own unique ending, so players will have an incentive to play through the story mode multiple times. The full roster of Bounty Battle's guest fighters can be found below: Juan from Guacamelee! (Drinkbox Studios) The Crusader from Darkest Dungeon (RedHook Studios) Thora from Jotun (Thunder Lotus) Sheriff Lonestar from Awesomenauts (Ronimo Games) Shield maiden from EITR (Eneme Entertainement) Trace from Axiom Verge (Thomas Happ Games llc) Pankapu from Pankapu (Too Kind Studio) Captain Flinthook from Flinthook (Tribute Games) Fish from Nuclear throne (Vlambeer) The Unslain from Doko Roko (Okobu Games) Tetrobot from Blocks that matter (Swing Swing Submarines) Gully from Battle Chasers: Nightwar (Airship Syndicate) Hermetic Champion from Tower of Samsara (Martelo Nero) Harry from The Bug Butcher (Awfully Nice Studio) Rudy fromBlubber Busters (Thar be Monster) Rad Rodgers from Rad Rodgers (Slipgate Studios) Otus from Owlboy (D-Pad Studio) Marduk from Undungeon (Laughing Machines) Eshe from Sundered (Thunder Lotus) Violet from The Metronomicon (Puuba/ Akupara games/Kasedo Games) DarkScreen Games has been working on the title for the past three years. The team consists of François von Orelli and Grégoire Laporte who collaborated with Benjamin Daniel for Bounty Battle's narrator and Jon Lankry's for the illustrated multiple endings. Bounty Battle will be closing its crowdfunding campaign next week, but it has already surpassed its fundraising goal of $30,000. If it makes it to $45,000, DarkScreen will be adding 12 more indie guests to Bounty Battle, each with their own arena and minion. If the project makes it to $60,000 more animated cutscenes will flesh out the story. Bounty Battle is slated for release in late 2018 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac.
  3. If you've been watching the news the last few days, you might be feeling a bit down about the world. However, it's always helpful to remind ourselves that there are good things in out there waiting to be made or discovered. One of those good things is, of course, petting dogs. Well, someone made a game about doing that and it's free! Will Herring, an animator, illustrator, game maker, and do-all-the-things-er, realized that petting dogs is easily one of the best parts about going to any party. Of course, that meant he had to capture that experience in a game. Enter Pet the Pup at the Party. Players take on the role of a socially awkward house guest who has mustered up the courage to arrive at a party. However, there are a LOT of people at this party and all of them seem to be strangers. What's an introvert to do? Why, scour the house for good dogs to pet while avoiding making eye contact with strangers! "Legend tells of a ~very good puppo~ hiding somewhere in this house!" reads Pet the Pup's description, "the clock is ticking and you’re running out of small talk… can you find the pup at the party?" To find each pup, players have to follow the sounds of arfs and borks to their source in the party. 52 good puppos can be pet, each one become a part of an adorable gallery of good dogs. You can download Pet the Pup at the Party for free on its website. Sit back, relax, and pet some good dogs. BORK! View full article
  4. If you've been watching the news the last few days, you might be feeling a bit down about the world. However, it's always helpful to remind ourselves that there are good things in out there waiting to be made or discovered. One of those good things is, of course, petting dogs. Well, someone made a game about doing that and it's free! Will Herring, an animator, illustrator, game maker, and do-all-the-things-er, realized that petting dogs is easily one of the best parts about going to any party. Of course, that meant he had to capture that experience in a game. Enter Pet the Pup at the Party. Players take on the role of a socially awkward house guest who has mustered up the courage to arrive at a party. However, there are a LOT of people at this party and all of them seem to be strangers. What's an introvert to do? Why, scour the house for good dogs to pet while avoiding making eye contact with strangers! "Legend tells of a ~very good puppo~ hiding somewhere in this house!" reads Pet the Pup's description, "the clock is ticking and you’re running out of small talk… can you find the pup at the party?" To find each pup, players have to follow the sounds of arfs and borks to their source in the party. 52 good puppos can be pet, each one become a part of an adorable gallery of good dogs. You can download Pet the Pup at the Party for free on its website. Sit back, relax, and pet some good dogs. BORK!
  5. Podcast:The Best Games Period - Episode 72 - Fable 2

    Yeah and it did a lot of those elements and side stuff really well - I think that, at the time, it was really similar to other 3D RPGs in a similar vein like A Bard's Tale or possibly Gothic II. Maybe a good point of comparison would be Tales of Symphonia, which had a traditional RPG format, but evolved the formula to include action and used similar tropes, but then managed to transcend them in interesting ways.
  6. Podcast:The Best Games Period - Episode 72 - Fable 2

    I can't speak for the other two, but it's just a very stereotypical adventure that had delusions of grandeur. It falls into a lot of the most common RPG tropes that people have seen before in many RPGs that came before. It's not bad, by any means, but it strays into cliche and follows a really predictable route toward its ultimate conclusion.
  7. At the end of July, McDonald's held a Twitter giveaway. It was an innocuous event that took on pop culture significance because what they were giving away, their discontinued Szechuan sauce that had been used to promote the Disney film Mulan, played an integral role in the premier of Rick and Morty Season 3. This made the sauce a particularly prized commodity in the public consciousness - everyone wanted some of that sauce. In early August, McDonald's announced the winners and one of them happened to be Robert Workman, writer at comicbook.com and host of the ARG Podcast. Workman decided that rather than use it on food or drink it straight from the bottle, he would put it up for auction on eBay to help pay off some bills and give the rest to Extra Life, among others. Workman explained his decision in an interview with Inquisitr, “I intend to help out the Extra Life Foundation, which a few friends take part in every year with their once-a-year marathon; and Ablegamers, which my friend Steven Spohn is part of. It depends what the total amount is but I’m going to help these guys out. I may find a third organization depending on the total tally.” That eBay auction has now concluded with the sauce going for a sizable, undisclosed amount. Workman initially committed to donating 10% of the auction to Extra Life, but the auction quickly ballooned to a larger amount than he had initially anticipated. He decided to include more charities and give each charity an equal part of the proceeds. He shifted his giving strategy to benefit Extra Life, AbleGamers, Take This, Gamers Outreach, and Ronald McDonald House Charities, splitting 25% of the auction between the five charities. Workman shed more light on his decision to auction off the sauce rather than keep if for himself in a Twitlonger post: I found a buddy willing to list it on his page and we’re a go to list both the special case and the 64 oz. of Szechuan sauce together. I’ve had suggestions from people that I should open it and sell little tastes to everyone, but a. that would make me like a Scarface for dipping sauce, which I’m not, and b. it’d be nuts trying to measure it all, send it all and make sure everything’s insured. So this will be so much simpler. [...] I know some folks are going to be mad that I’m selling it. “Open it! Enjoy it!” Well, I would, but most of my friends are out of town and trying to fly in and set something up would put me more in debt. This way, someone who wants the sauce can really have it, and I can still enjoy time with my friends. [...] This isn’t going to be an auction where I take the money and run off to Mexico to open video game stores or whatever. Yes, some of it will be used to pay off bills and right the ship for myself, as it’s really been a long time coming. (And a few friends have noted that.) But this is also a prime opportunity to donate some money to charities like Extra Life and Ablegamers, and whoever else I can think of that’s worthy of donations. So depending where the final tally ends up, a small portion of these donations will be going to help out kids, handicapped gamers and others in need. That goes a much longer way than me guzzling 64 ounces worth of sauce – as entertaining as that might be. [...] I hold McDonald’s and Chef Mike in the highest respect. I really do. Mike has done an amazing job bringing this back for some lucky people to enjoy and I will do everything in my power to assure that it’s in the hands of someone that will truly enjoy it with a party of people, instead of just letting it rot away on a shelf for all to see. The point of this sauce is for people to enjoy it – not necessarily me, but whoever ends up with it. According to Workman's Twitter, the winning bid was placed by deadmau5 who should be receiving his sauce shortly. Enjoy it for all of us, deadmau5! [Correction: This article originally stated that the Szechuan sauce sold for $15,350. Mr. Workman reached out to alert us that the coveted McDonald's sauce had been sold for less than the going price and for an undisclosed sum of money.] View full article
  8. At the end of July, McDonald's held a Twitter giveaway. It was an innocuous event that took on pop culture significance because what they were giving away, their discontinued Szechuan sauce that had been used to promote the Disney film Mulan, played an integral role in the premier of Rick and Morty Season 3. This made the sauce a particularly prized commodity in the public consciousness - everyone wanted some of that sauce. In early August, McDonald's announced the winners and one of them happened to be Robert Workman, writer at comicbook.com and host of the ARG Podcast. Workman decided that rather than use it on food or drink it straight from the bottle, he would put it up for auction on eBay to help pay off some bills and give the rest to Extra Life, among others. Workman explained his decision in an interview with Inquisitr, “I intend to help out the Extra Life Foundation, which a few friends take part in every year with their once-a-year marathon; and Ablegamers, which my friend Steven Spohn is part of. It depends what the total amount is but I’m going to help these guys out. I may find a third organization depending on the total tally.” That eBay auction has now concluded with the sauce going for a sizable, undisclosed amount. Workman initially committed to donating 10% of the auction to Extra Life, but the auction quickly ballooned to a larger amount than he had initially anticipated. He decided to include more charities and give each charity an equal part of the proceeds. He shifted his giving strategy to benefit Extra Life, AbleGamers, Take This, Gamers Outreach, and Ronald McDonald House Charities, splitting 25% of the auction between the five charities. Workman shed more light on his decision to auction off the sauce rather than keep if for himself in a Twitlonger post: I found a buddy willing to list it on his page and we’re a go to list both the special case and the 64 oz. of Szechuan sauce together. I’ve had suggestions from people that I should open it and sell little tastes to everyone, but a. that would make me like a Scarface for dipping sauce, which I’m not, and b. it’d be nuts trying to measure it all, send it all and make sure everything’s insured. So this will be so much simpler. [...] I know some folks are going to be mad that I’m selling it. “Open it! Enjoy it!” Well, I would, but most of my friends are out of town and trying to fly in and set something up would put me more in debt. This way, someone who wants the sauce can really have it, and I can still enjoy time with my friends. [...] This isn’t going to be an auction where I take the money and run off to Mexico to open video game stores or whatever. Yes, some of it will be used to pay off bills and right the ship for myself, as it’s really been a long time coming. (And a few friends have noted that.) But this is also a prime opportunity to donate some money to charities like Extra Life and Ablegamers, and whoever else I can think of that’s worthy of donations. So depending where the final tally ends up, a small portion of these donations will be going to help out kids, handicapped gamers and others in need. That goes a much longer way than me guzzling 64 ounces worth of sauce – as entertaining as that might be. [...] I hold McDonald’s and Chef Mike in the highest respect. I really do. Mike has done an amazing job bringing this back for some lucky people to enjoy and I will do everything in my power to assure that it’s in the hands of someone that will truly enjoy it with a party of people, instead of just letting it rot away on a shelf for all to see. The point of this sauce is for people to enjoy it – not necessarily me, but whoever ends up with it. According to Workman's Twitter, the winning bid was placed by deadmau5 who should be receiving his sauce shortly. Enjoy it for all of us, deadmau5! [Correction: This article originally stated that the Szechuan sauce sold for $15,350. Mr. Workman reached out to alert us that the coveted McDonald's sauce had been sold for less than the going price and for an undisclosed sum of money.]
  9. After Bungie concluded their work on Halo: Reach, they turned their eyes toward a game that a small segment of the company had been fleshing out for years. That game would eventually become Destiny after overcoming numerous development challenges. Destiny's devs had to contend with a malicious engine that required obscene amounts of time to load changes, stratospheric expectations, a rough split with its long-time composer, and the decision to scrap the entire story with less than a year left of development time. The stakes were high. But when Destiny released to the public, Bungie thought they had a winner on their hands - Destiny was, after all, the most pre-ordered game in history! Unfortunately, the critical reception was mixed. Despite this, Destiny certainly accrued a huge following over the years, which led to Jason Pfitzer from Northern Heart Games, this week's guest, to nominate Bungie's FPS MMO hybrid. Looking at Destiny several years after its launch and subsequent revisions - is it one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Destiny 'Hope Rising' by Jillian Aversa and zircon (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03002) 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! You can follow Jason on Twitter, @JasonPfitzer, and be sure to check out the game he has been working on at Northern Heart Games! Pinbrawl is a competitive, four-player pinball melee. Having played it at multiple stages in its development, I can confirm that it's very fun. 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 View full article
  10. After Bungie concluded their work on Halo: Reach, they turned their eyes toward a game that a small segment of the company had been fleshing out for years. That game would eventually become Destiny after overcoming numerous development challenges. Destiny's devs had to contend with a malicious engine that required obscene amounts of time to load changes, stratospheric expectations, a rough split with its long-time composer, and the decision to scrap the entire story with less than a year left of development time. The stakes were high. But when Destiny released to the public, Bungie thought they had a winner on their hands - Destiny was, after all, the most pre-ordered game in history! Unfortunately, the critical reception was mixed. Despite this, Destiny certainly accrued a huge following over the years, which led to Jason Pfitzer from Northern Heart Games, this week's guest, to nominate Bungie's FPS MMO hybrid. Looking at Destiny several years after its launch and subsequent revisions - is it one of the best games period? Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative. Outro music: Destiny 'Hope Rising' by Jillian Aversa and zircon (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03002) 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! You can follow Jason on Twitter, @JasonPfitzer, and be sure to check out the game he has been working on at Northern Heart Games! Pinbrawl is a competitive, four-player pinball melee. Having played it at multiple stages in its development, I can confirm that it's very fun. 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
  11. Godzilla has always been a popular character in video games. The giant, rubbery lizard-dragon has stomped his way across more consoles than most franchises can shake a stick at, though not always to the greatest success. Recently a new game was revealed called City Shrouded in Shadow that seems to feature not only Godzilla, but a slew of monsters from Japanese pop culture. So far the confirmed roster includes the following from their respective series: Ultraman Franchise Ultraman Alien Zarab / Imitation Ultraman Ultraman Tiga Kyrieloid Godzilla Franchise Godzilla King Ghidorah Mothra Battra Neon Genesis Evangelion Franchise Evangelion Unit-01 Sachiel Shamshel Gamera Franchise Gamera Legion (Soldiers and Plant) Gyaos Patlabor Mobil Police Franchise AV-98 Ingram Type-5G/1C Grau-Bear CRL-98 Pyro-Buster That's a pretty huge roster and one might be forgiven for thinking that it looks like the roster for a fighting game. In a way, A City Shrouded in Shadow is a fighting game, but players won't be doing the fighting. Instead, players take on the role of one of the civilians trapped in the city as this battle royale of monsters takes place. As either Ken Misaki or Miharu Matsuhara, players must make their way out of the city as it plunges into chaos. A City Shrouded in Shadow is much more interested in the drama caused by the appearance of these monsters rather than the monsters themsleves, which is certainly a different take on giant monsters in video games. That makes A City Shrouded in Shadow stand out from the crowd. Currently, A City Shrouded in Shadow is only set for release in Japan on October 19, but it certainly seems like the kind of game that could gain a substantial cult following in the west if it has the storytelling chops to back up its ambitious premise. View full article
  12. Godzilla has always been a popular character in video games. The giant, rubbery lizard-dragon has stomped his way across more consoles than most franchises can shake a stick at, though not always to the greatest success. Recently a new game was revealed called City Shrouded in Shadow that seems to feature not only Godzilla, but a slew of monsters from Japanese pop culture. So far the confirmed roster includes the following from their respective series: Ultraman Franchise Ultraman Alien Zarab / Imitation Ultraman Ultraman Tiga Kyrieloid Godzilla Franchise Godzilla King Ghidorah Mothra Battra Neon Genesis Evangelion Franchise Evangelion Unit-01 Sachiel Shamshel Gamera Franchise Gamera Legion (Soldiers and Plant) Gyaos Patlabor Mobil Police Franchise AV-98 Ingram Type-5G/1C Grau-Bear CRL-98 Pyro-Buster That's a pretty huge roster and one might be forgiven for thinking that it looks like the roster for a fighting game. In a way, A City Shrouded in Shadow is a fighting game, but players won't be doing the fighting. Instead, players take on the role of one of the civilians trapped in the city as this battle royale of monsters takes place. As either Ken Misaki or Miharu Matsuhara, players must make their way out of the city as it plunges into chaos. A City Shrouded in Shadow is much more interested in the drama caused by the appearance of these monsters rather than the monsters themsleves, which is certainly a different take on giant monsters in video games. That makes A City Shrouded in Shadow stand out from the crowd. Currently, A City Shrouded in Shadow is only set for release in Japan on October 19, but it certainly seems like the kind of game that could gain a substantial cult following in the west if it has the storytelling chops to back up its ambitious premise.
  13. This is Quill. She's the protagonist of an upcoming VR title called Moss and has enraptured thousands of gamers across the United States. How did she achieve that feat? Simple. She introduced herself - in American Sign Language. Last week, Polyarc animator Richard Lico made a routine tweet about his work bringing Quill to life. He'd had a bit of inspiration and decided that the voiceless mouse might be able to use sign language to communicate. "Since she can only squeak, I figured I'd play around with ways she can communicate with the player. Also a great perk for our deaf players," he tweeted. Seeing an endearing mouse using American Sign Language in a video game understandably caught a lot of attention, snagging tens of thousands of likes on social media. "Quill often needs to communicate with her guide, [the player], and I'm exploring ways in which she can do so. I came up with the idea of using ASL in conjunction with her existing pantomime methods, and wanted to test the idea," explained Lico in a short video posted the next day. "I had never animated sign language before, so I did some homework, and created this as a test example of what she could do in game. The response has been positive, and we're super excited about the opportunity to help support those who rely on ASL." In Moss, players take on the role of a spirit guide for Quill as she embarks on a heroic journey. The plan for Quill was always to have her communicate wordlessly with the player. She would use squeaks and broad pantomiming motions to get her points across. However, the strong reaction from the gaming community toward Lico's animation seems to have cemented the use of various ASL signs in Moss. “Sometimes she’ll pantomime if there’s not a good sign for it, and other times she’ll flat-out sign language what she wants you to know. This tweet really confirmed that we should do this,” Lico elaborated to Kotaku. “I’ve been blown away by the responses. Especially the ones where you get actual deaf people saying ‘Thank you.’ I just had no idea, being able to emotionally connect with something like that.” While this might seem like a small thing, sign language has largely been absent from video games. In fact, searching for any other results for sign language in games only turns up results for games that help people learn sign language, a barren Reddit thread from 2016 that mentions how some sign language is used in the background of Fullbright Company's Tacoma, and articles about Quill. There was some buzz way back in 2009 that Half-Life 2: Episode 3 would include a deaf character and sign-language, but... well... it's a Half-Life game and Valve, so we might not be seeing that any time soon. It's pretty incredible that Quill might just be the first video game character to communicate with predominantly via sign language in video game history. Moss is set to release sometime this winter for PlayStation VR.
  14. This is Quill. She's the protagonist of an upcoming VR title called Moss and has enraptured thousands of gamers across the United States. How did she achieve that feat? Simple. She introduced herself - in American Sign Language. Last week, Polyarc animator Richard Lico made a routine tweet about his work bringing Quill to life. He'd had a bit of inspiration and decided that the voiceless mouse might be able to use sign language to communicate. "Since she can only squeak, I figured I'd play around with ways she can communicate with the player. Also a great perk for our deaf players," he tweeted. Seeing an endearing mouse using American Sign Language in a video game understandably caught a lot of attention, snagging tens of thousands of likes on social media. "Quill often needs to communicate with her guide, [the player], and I'm exploring ways in which she can do so. I came up with the idea of using ASL in conjunction with her existing pantomime methods, and wanted to test the idea," explained Lico in a short video posted the next day. "I had never animated sign language before, so I did some homework, and created this as a test example of what she could do in game. The response has been positive, and we're super excited about the opportunity to help support those who rely on ASL." In Moss, players take on the role of a spirit guide for Quill as she embarks on a heroic journey. The plan for Quill was always to have her communicate wordlessly with the player. She would use squeaks and broad pantomiming motions to get her points across. However, the strong reaction from the gaming community toward Lico's animation seems to have cemented the use of various ASL signs in Moss. “Sometimes she’ll pantomime if there’s not a good sign for it, and other times she’ll flat-out sign language what she wants you to know. This tweet really confirmed that we should do this,” Lico elaborated to Kotaku. “I’ve been blown away by the responses. Especially the ones where you get actual deaf people saying ‘Thank you.’ I just had no idea, being able to emotionally connect with something like that.” While this might seem like a small thing, sign language has largely been absent from video games. In fact, searching for any other results for sign language in games only turns up results for games that help people learn sign language, a barren Reddit thread from 2016 that mentions how some sign language is used in the background of Fullbright Company's Tacoma, and articles about Quill. There was some buzz way back in 2009 that Half-Life 2: Episode 3 would include a deaf character and sign-language, but... well... it's a Half-Life game and Valve, so we might not be seeing that any time soon. It's pretty incredible that Quill might just be the first video game character to communicate with predominantly via sign language in video game history. Moss is set to release sometime this winter for PlayStation VR. View full article
  15. Earlier this month, Waypoint ran a month long game jam called New Jam City that attracted a number of interesting entries. One of these entries lovingly resurrected the Noid, an advertising mascot for Domino's Pizza in the mid-80s. Strangely, the Noid managed to become somewhat popular, resulting in several video game adaptations of the character over the years. One of these was Capcom's Yo! Noid! for the NES in 1990. It wasn't a particularly great game, which is why the creation of a direct sequel, even as a game jam entry, is turning some heads. Yo! Noid II: Enter the Void ia a reimagining of the Noid as an early PlayStation One/N64 platformer that plays like a strange cross between Mario 64 and Tomb Raider. The game begins with the titular Noid losing his trusty yo-yo and platforming through New York City to get it back. However, that certainly isn't the end of the adventure. After obtaining the yo-yo, the Noid falls into the Noid Void, an interdimensional wasteland populated by strange mushroom creatures and peppered with various pizza-themed levels and collectibles. This is where Yo! Noid II opens up and allows for exploration and a great deal of puzzle solving. I'm going to level with you, this game is actually fun. Not in an ironic, "haha, isn't it dumb that they made a game starring the Noid?" way (though don't get me wrong, it is absolutely dumb that someone made another game that was in any way affiliated with the Noid, a fact that the developers certainly understood and embraced to great effect)- I genuinely enjoyed playing Yo! Noid II. Wall jumping and running work rather well when paired with a ledge grab mechanic that comes in very handy. The Noid can even use his yo-yo to swing between platforms, pull levers, and open pizza portals to other worlds. Oh, the Noid also dabs now, because of course he does. All of this is done in an endearingly janky style that's meant to be a call back to those early 3D platformers that both enthralled and frustrated a generation. It's unclear if the somewhat wonky and temperamental camera was designed to bring out that style or if it's simply a frustrating camera. However, for a short nostalgia experiment with a sense of humor like Yo! Noid II, I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt. Yo! Noid II: Enter the Void is a far, far better game than the Noid has ever deserved, but it's free at the moment and certainly worth your time. You can download it directly from the developers to see what the Noid is up to in this age of HD gaming. There's also an official soundtrack because why not? The Noid is a thing again, so why not? View full article