Jack Gardner

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Jack Gardner last won the day on September 1

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About Jack Gardner

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 08/22/1991

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    Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare

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  1. 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. View full article
  2. 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.
  3. 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: Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design. We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore. This move leads to a few other changes: A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA. Lastly, while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we’re now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future. 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. View full article
  4. EA Shuts Down Creators of Dead Space

    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: Our Visceral studio has been developing an action-adventure title set in the Star Wars universe. In its current form, it was shaping up to be a story-based, linear adventure game. Throughout the development process, we have been testing the game concept with players, listening to the feedback about what and how they want to play, and closely tracking fundamental shifts in the marketplace. It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design. We will maintain the stunning visuals, authenticity in the Star Wars universe, and focus on bringing a Star Wars story to life. Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency, leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and reimagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore. This move leads to a few other changes: A development team from across EA Worldwide Studios will take over development of this game, led by a team from EA Vancouver that has already been working on the project. Our Visceral studio will be ramping down and closing, and we’re in the midst of shifting as many of the team as possible to other projects and teams at EA. Lastly, while we had originally expected this game to launch late in our fiscal year 2019, we’re now looking at a new timeframe that we will announce in the future. 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.
  5. 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. View full article
  6. Warhammer: Vermintide 2 Revealed

    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.
  7. 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 View full article
  8. 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
  9. Atari has been known for decades as the company that popularized home video games. The company even made headlines recently when it teased that it would be releasing a new console with the possibility of exclusive titles coming to the system. While no new announcements have been released regarding the Ataribox, the company has somewhat unexpectedly unveiled a line of high-tech hats. Dubbed "speakerhats," Atari has begun pushing their branded hats as the next evolution of headwear headphones. Atari touts the speakerhats as "a unique new listening experience." The central hook is that the hats look exactly like normal baseball caps, but they have bluetooth-enabled stereo speakers and a microphone seamlessly embedded in the hat's structure. The speakerhats can be used for listening to music, mobile gaming, streaming video, and phone calls. Basically, anything that an obtrusive speaker system can do, Atari's hats can do - without being overly distracting to the people around you. Atari hopes to use the hat's bluetooth capabilities to one day be able to coordinate multiple speakerhat-wearers to listen to the same device's sounds without any lag. For those interested in the specs, The Atari speakerhat holds some interesting tech. Each speakerhat holds the following: Proprietary high-fidelity stereo speakers and microphone, V 4.1 CSR/Qualcomm cVc audio technology, 5-band EQ, a rechargeable lithium Ion battery, a universal control button, and an LED indicator light. The line currently has a limited edition Bladerunner 2049 tie-in hat available, too. Each hat retails for about $130. View full article
  10. Atari Launches a Line of "Speakerhats"

    Atari has been known for decades as the company that popularized home video games. The company even made headlines recently when it teased that it would be releasing a new console with the possibility of exclusive titles coming to the system. While no new announcements have been released regarding the Ataribox, the company has somewhat unexpectedly unveiled a line of high-tech hats. Dubbed "speakerhats," Atari has begun pushing their branded hats as the next evolution of headwear headphones. Atari touts the speakerhats as "a unique new listening experience." The central hook is that the hats look exactly like normal baseball caps, but they have bluetooth-enabled stereo speakers and a microphone seamlessly embedded in the hat's structure. The speakerhats can be used for listening to music, mobile gaming, streaming video, and phone calls. Basically, anything that an obtrusive speaker system can do, Atari's hats can do - without being overly distracting to the people around you. Atari hopes to use the hat's bluetooth capabilities to one day be able to coordinate multiple speakerhat-wearers to listen to the same device's sounds without any lag. For those interested in the specs, The Atari speakerhat holds some interesting tech. Each speakerhat holds the following: Proprietary high-fidelity stereo speakers and microphone, V 4.1 CSR/Qualcomm cVc audio technology, 5-band EQ, a rechargeable lithium Ion battery, a universal control button, and an LED indicator light. The line currently has a limited edition Bladerunner 2049 tie-in hat available, too. Each hat retails for about $130.
  11. The Dreamcast was home to some of the strangest games of the early 2000s. In 2001, Crazy Games released Illbleed, a title that truly helped the studio lived up to its name. Illbleed follows a young girl named Eriko Christy who, having been traumatized by her father growing up, no longer feels fear. Eriko's condition comes in handy when she must travel to an insane horror theme park riddled with devious traps to rescue her missing friends. Illbleed may have failed to find a significant following its release to lukewarm reviews, but it has slowly gained a cult following over the years that admires its off-kilter scenarios, hilarious, B-movie writing, and strange mechanics. Can a game that seems laughably bad be so good that it could be considered one of the best games period? This week we are joined by Matt Conn, founder of GaymerX and MidBoss, and John "JJSignal" James, the director of 2064: Read Only Memories, both of whom jointly nominated Illbleed. Outro music: Chip's Challenge 'Da Funk You Know 'Bout Chip?' by That Andy Guy (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03620) 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 View full article
  12. The Dreamcast was home to some of the strangest games of the early 2000s. In 2001, Crazy Games released Illbleed, a title that truly helped the studio lived up to its name. Illbleed follows a young girl named Eriko Christy who, having been traumatized by her father growing up, no longer feels fear. Eriko's condition comes in handy when she must travel to an insane horror theme park riddled with devious traps to rescue her missing friends. Illbleed may have failed to find a significant following its release to lukewarm reviews, but it has slowly gained a cult following over the years that admires its off-kilter scenarios, hilarious, B-movie writing, and strange mechanics. Can a game that seems laughably bad be so good that it could be considered one of the best games period? This week we are joined by Matt Conn, founder of GaymerX and MidBoss, and John "JJSignal" James, the director of 2064: Read Only Memories, both of whom jointly nominated Illbleed. Outro music: Chip's Challenge 'Da Funk You Know 'Bout Chip?' by That Andy Guy (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03620) 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
  13. Indie developer The Molasses Flood is bringing the charming, country rogue-like the Flame in the Flood to the Switch's eShop later this month. The bleak, beautiful game has players scrambling to survive in a hostile wilderness as they traverse the currents of a procedurally generated river. Camping spots to scavenge for supplies and contend with beasts of all kinds offer both safe havens and danger. Accompanied by your dog, Aesop, players must try to make their way down the river to find peace. The Flame in the Flood released last year to generally positive reviews that praised the challenge of its survival elements, while also acknowledging flaws like a less than compelling narrative and a clunky menu system. The gameplay seems to have been what captured the attention of many, which isn't surprising since The Molasses Flood's ranks are composed of developers who worked on titles like BioShock and Halo 2. Perhaps one of the biggest hooks for The Flame in the Flood remains it soundtrack. Composed and performed by Chuck Ragan, it perfectly captures the rambling, serene, and intense feeling The Flame and the Flood provokes in players. Give it a listen if you're the kind of person who enjoys good music. “The natural rhythm of The Flame In The Flood—sailing from island to island, gathering resources and hunting wild animals—is a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch,” said Forrest Dowling, lead designer of The Flame in the Flood. “Like Scout’s journey of survival, players will be able to shape their story wherever they see fit, be it on the couch, the bus, or even on a boat gently meandering down the Mississippi river.” The Flame in the Flood will release on the Nintendo Switch eShop October 12. View full article
  14. Indie developer The Molasses Flood is bringing the charming, country rogue-like the Flame in the Flood to the Switch's eShop later this month. The bleak, beautiful game has players scrambling to survive in a hostile wilderness as they traverse the currents of a procedurally generated river. Camping spots to scavenge for supplies and contend with beasts of all kinds offer both safe havens and danger. Accompanied by your dog, Aesop, players must try to make their way down the river to find peace. The Flame in the Flood released last year to generally positive reviews that praised the challenge of its survival elements, while also acknowledging flaws like a less than compelling narrative and a clunky menu system. The gameplay seems to have been what captured the attention of many, which isn't surprising since The Molasses Flood's ranks are composed of developers who worked on titles like BioShock and Halo 2. Perhaps one of the biggest hooks for The Flame in the Flood remains it soundtrack. Composed and performed by Chuck Ragan, it perfectly captures the rambling, serene, and intense feeling The Flame and the Flood provokes in players. Give it a listen if you're the kind of person who enjoys good music. “The natural rhythm of The Flame In The Flood—sailing from island to island, gathering resources and hunting wild animals—is a perfect fit for the Nintendo Switch,” said Forrest Dowling, lead designer of The Flame in the Flood. “Like Scout’s journey of survival, players will be able to shape their story wherever they see fit, be it on the couch, the bus, or even on a boat gently meandering down the Mississippi river.” The Flame in the Flood will release on the Nintendo Switch eShop October 12.
  15. The stealth, action RPG Seven: The Days Long Gone has come a long way since it was announced last year. Its developer, Fool's Theory, has revealed the upcoming release date along side the various versions of the game headed to digital storefronts and a new trailer. Seven: The Days Long Gone adapts the 3D isometric perspective popular in games like Divinity Original Sin to fit stealth-action RPG gameplay. Players take on the role of Teriel, a master thief bent on making his way in a "beyond post-apocalyptic" world ruled by the Vetrall Empire. His life becomes complicated when he finds himself possessed by an ancient daemon and sent off on a mission to the prison isle of Peh. Teriel is able to use his thieving skills to climb objects and buildings in an environment littered with mysterious technology, ancient legends, and more. Each mission offers multiple paths to completion in this adventure made by a team of ex-CD Projekt Red developers. Seven: The Days Long Gone launches for PC on December 1. Customers who pre-order the game can get the exclusive Shadowhand armor set. There's also a collector's edition that comes with the Shadowhand armor, a digital artbook that contains every sketch and piece of artwork from the development process, the soundtrack by The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt composer Marcin Przybyłowicz, a map of the island of Peh, and a guidebook for the world of Seven. View full article