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Found 62 results

  1. The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) has announced today that they will be officially resurrecting Habitat, the first graphical massively multiplayer game. Created in 1986 by Lucasfilm Games for the Commodore 64, Habitat proved to be popular, but costly, leading to its discontinuation in 1988. Nearly 30 years later, MADE has overcome the technical challenges and will be reopening Habitat to the public tomorrow. While there had been online games with thriving communities prior to Habitat, they had all been in the world of MUDs, Multi-User Dungeons, games where interaction and visuals were entirely handled by reading and inputting text. Habitat brought games from text into a functional graphics-based format. It also originated the word avatar as used for a digital representation of a player. Players could contract disease, commit murder, rob strangers, and own homes. The game world ran on its own player-driven economy and was also governed by the players. This apparently led to chaos in the early days of Habitat before laws and rules of etiquette were established. Cosmetic items and accessories became an obsession for many in the community - 30 years might be a long time, but gamers still loved looking cool back in the first graphical MMO. “Habitat was so far ahead of its time, it was never able to reach even a tenth of the potential of its capabilities due to the future having not been evenly distributed enough at the time,” said Alex Handy, founder and director of the MADE. “Today, we think of thousands of players being in a single world at once as normal, but Habitat built this type of environment 30 years ago with the digital equivalent of sticks and stones.” As an interesting sidenote: Habitat ran on a Commodore 64 online service named Quantum Link, the predecessor of America Online. This is part of what made making Habitat compatible with modern systems difficult. The architecture of the Commodore 64 and modern computers aren't super compatible, to say nothing of the server-side issues. Restoring Habitat took MADE four years and that was with the help of the original programmers, like Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer, beta testers, and online contributions from retro enthusiasts and leaders in the tech industry. Fujitsu, the company that purchased the rights to Habitat in order to release it in Japan, Dolby, Sony, and Stratus all contributed to the restoration efforts, too. Randy Farmer was the original C64 client programmer and the first Oracle, one of the administrator gods of Habitat. He also took the lead role in restoring the Habitat software and service. Said Farmer, “We couldn’t have pulled off the small miracle of this game, then or now, without a lot of collaborators: some original team members returned to help out, like original lead Chip Morningstar, myself, and a few of the 500 1986 Habitat Beta testers (who built much of the online world you can see today). Also, many fans of the worlds/MMOs descended from Habitat and contributors from the vibrant C64 retro gaming community. Our contributors are around the world – and include various tech CEOs, CTOs and VPs! We’d all like to thank the MADE for making this project possible: to restore the first MMO, Lucasfilm’s Habitat.” The server hosting the restored alpha version of Habitat will go live to the general public on June 2 at 6pm PT. There will be a local kick-off event at the MADE's Oakland, California location. Players around the world who want to check out the revival of Habitat can do so for free. There will be some fiddling with a C64 emulator and connection to the server, but you can find simple instructions on NeoHabitat.org. View full article
  2. The Museum of Art and Digital Entertainment (MADE) has announced today that they will be officially resurrecting Habitat, the first graphical massively multiplayer game. Created in 1986 by Lucasfilm Games for the Commodore 64, Habitat proved to be popular, but costly, leading to its discontinuation in 1988. Nearly 30 years later, MADE has overcome the technical challenges and will be reopening Habitat to the public tomorrow. While there had been online games with thriving communities prior to Habitat, they had all been in the world of MUDs, Multi-User Dungeons, games where interaction and visuals were entirely handled by reading and inputting text. Habitat brought games from text into a functional graphics-based format. It also originated the word avatar as used for a digital representation of a player. Players could contract disease, commit murder, rob strangers, and own homes. The game world ran on its own player-driven economy and was also governed by the players. This apparently led to chaos in the early days of Habitat before laws and rules of etiquette were established. Cosmetic items and accessories became an obsession for many in the community - 30 years might be a long time, but gamers still loved looking cool back in the first graphical MMO. “Habitat was so far ahead of its time, it was never able to reach even a tenth of the potential of its capabilities due to the future having not been evenly distributed enough at the time,” said Alex Handy, founder and director of the MADE. “Today, we think of thousands of players being in a single world at once as normal, but Habitat built this type of environment 30 years ago with the digital equivalent of sticks and stones.” As an interesting sidenote: Habitat ran on a Commodore 64 online service named Quantum Link, the predecessor of America Online. This is part of what made making Habitat compatible with modern systems difficult. The architecture of the Commodore 64 and modern computers aren't super compatible, to say nothing of the server-side issues. Restoring Habitat took MADE four years and that was with the help of the original programmers, like Chip Morningstar and Randy Farmer, beta testers, and online contributions from retro enthusiasts and leaders in the tech industry. Fujitsu, the company that purchased the rights to Habitat in order to release it in Japan, Dolby, Sony, and Stratus all contributed to the restoration efforts, too. Randy Farmer was the original C64 client programmer and the first Oracle, one of the administrator gods of Habitat. He also took the lead role in restoring the Habitat software and service. Said Farmer, “We couldn’t have pulled off the small miracle of this game, then or now, without a lot of collaborators: some original team members returned to help out, like original lead Chip Morningstar, myself, and a few of the 500 1986 Habitat Beta testers (who built much of the online world you can see today). Also, many fans of the worlds/MMOs descended from Habitat and contributors from the vibrant C64 retro gaming community. Our contributors are around the world – and include various tech CEOs, CTOs and VPs! We’d all like to thank the MADE for making this project possible: to restore the first MMO, Lucasfilm’s Habitat.” The server hosting the restored alpha version of Habitat will go live to the general public on June 2 at 6pm PT. There will be a local kick-off event at the MADE's Oakland, California location. Players around the world who want to check out the revival of Habitat can do so for free. There will be some fiddling with a C64 emulator and connection to the server, but you can find simple instructions on NeoHabitat.org.
  3. A couple years back, we told you about how the Internet Archive had added 2,400 MS-DOS games to its collection. That number of MS-DOS titles has since grown to over 4,000, but there are actually almost double that number of gaming titles that archived from other systems and consoles. The current total number of explorable gaming software on the Archive stands at 7,700. That's a lot of games! The console collection of The Internet Archive includes a staggering number of obscure systems. Ever wondered what it was like to play a Fairchild Channel F? They have 45 games anyone can try out. Never heard of the Epoch Game Pocket Computer? You can play five of those titles. In fact, there are 27 collections of uploaded and emulated software available, including over 1,500 Sega games across four of their consoles. Below you can find a comprehensive list of the consoles, the number of games in the collection, and links to their related collections on Internet Archive: Amstrad GX-4000 - 23 APF-MP1000 - 15 Atari 2600 - 519 Atari 5200 - 43 Atari 7800 – 73 Bally Astrocade - 20 Bandai Super Vision 8000 - 7 Coleco Colecovision - 234 Emerson Arcadia – 58 Entex Adventure Vision - 4 Epoch Game Pocket Computer - 5 Epoch Super Cassette Vision - 31 The Fairchild Channel F – 45 Magnavox Odyssey 2 – 122 Mattel Aquarius - 13 Mattel Intelevision - 21 Mega Duck WG-108 - 9 Neo Geo Pocket/Pocket Color – 316 Sega Game Gear - 446 Sega Genesis - 575 Sega Master System - 563 Sega SG-1000 - 74 Socrates - 8 Shoot ‘Em Up Construction Kit games - 323 Super A’Can – 9 VTech Creativision - 17 Watara Supervision - 44 However, are all of those games worth looking into? That answer is definitely a bit hazy. While Internet Archive can successfully emulate all of these titles, the controls and responsiveness of said games leaves a lot to be desired. The ideal way to play these is definitely not on the Archive, but it stands as a useful repository of history and research for those who want to know more about gaming's past. The uploaded titles include unfinished prototypes and builds for various games, too! Just be warned - there are a lot of... eccentric titles on the Internet Archive that have been made by homebrew developers and may contain some explicit material.
  4. A couple years back, we told you about how the Internet Archive had added 2,400 MS-DOS games to its collection. That number of MS-DOS titles has since grown to over 4,000, but there are actually almost double that number of gaming titles that archived from other systems and consoles. The current total number of explorable gaming software on the Archive stands at 7,700. That's a lot of games! The console collection of The Internet Archive includes a staggering number of obscure systems. Ever wondered what it was like to play a Fairchild Channel F? They have 45 games anyone can try out. Never heard of the Epoch Game Pocket Computer? You can play five of those titles. In fact, there are 27 collections of uploaded and emulated software available, including over 1,500 Sega games across four of their consoles. Below you can find a comprehensive list of the consoles, the number of games in the collection, and links to their related collections on Internet Archive: Amstrad GX-4000 - 23 APF-MP1000 - 15 Atari 2600 - 519 Atari 5200 - 43 Atari 7800 – 73 Bally Astrocade - 20 Bandai Super Vision 8000 - 7 Coleco Colecovision - 234 Emerson Arcadia – 58 Entex Adventure Vision - 4 Epoch Game Pocket Computer - 5 Epoch Super Cassette Vision - 31 The Fairchild Channel F – 45 Magnavox Odyssey 2 – 122 Mattel Aquarius - 13 Mattel Intelevision - 21 Mega Duck WG-108 - 9 Neo Geo Pocket/Pocket Color – 316 Sega Game Gear - 446 Sega Genesis - 575 Sega Master System - 563 Sega SG-1000 - 74 Socrates - 8 Shoot ‘Em Up Construction Kit games - 323 Super A’Can – 9 VTech Creativision - 17 Watara Supervision - 44 However, are all of those games worth looking into? That answer is definitely a bit hazy. While Internet Archive can successfully emulate all of these titles, the controls and responsiveness of said games leaves a lot to be desired. The ideal way to play these is definitely not on the Archive, but it stands as a useful repository of history and research for those who want to know more about gaming's past. The uploaded titles include unfinished prototypes and builds for various games, too! Just be warned - there are a lot of... eccentric titles on the Internet Archive that have been made by homebrew developers and may contain some explicit material. View full article
  5. The first trailer for the upcoming Dark Tower film adaptation released today. While many people might ooh and aah over it (seriously, it's a really great trailer), a lot of people remain unaware that Stephen King's Dark Tower universe was translated into a video game years ago - and it is certainly worth a look. Back in the 2000s, Stephen King green lit a project that would spin off his Dark Tower universe into the realm of video games. It would be a trial run toward something bigger, possibly a full-fledged Myst-like expansion to King's universe. The project released in 2009 as a free browser game on Stephen King's official website under the name Discordia. While it is typically talked about as a completed concept, it seems the game was intended as an episodic series. Discordia at present consists of its first chapter titled For Callahan! with a second installment slated for 2015 that never materialized. Discordia was developed by a team of four people: Brian Stark, Judy Hahn, Robin Furth, and Marsha DeFilippo. The project sparked to life in 2002 after Stark and Hahn were contracted to redesign the Stephen King website in an effort to focus the branding of The Dark Tower series and provide clearer messaging regarding what the universe was about and meant. While working on how to accomplish those goals, Stark created some rough designs for the creatures and technology described in the books to use as references for the general look of the new website. Those images were never meant to become a game, but Marsha DeFilippo, one of Stephen King's longtime assistants, saw the pictures and felt inspired. Knowing the sheer amount of fan mail King received clamoring for some kind of interactive game related to The Dark Tower, DeFilippo brought Stark's designs up in a conversation with King while they were on a flight to New York City. King gave his blessing. Stark, Hahn, and DeFilippo began pouring over King's series and the reference compendium The Dark Tower: The Concordance created by King's other assistant, Robin Furth. The team decided to focus the story on the conflict between the Tet and Sombra corporations, centering the action on an original character called Op19. It would begin in New York City and bring players through to Mid World over the course of an investigative mystery to track down the elusive Arina Yokova, a corporate mobster who sells weapons of mass destruction from other worlds to criminal enterprises around the world, as she threatens to bring down the entire multiverse. The process Stark and Hahn went through to finalize their story concept was incredibly rigorous. Stark described it in an interview with Boxx (a company that helped design the workstations Stark and his team used for the game) saying, “We started by hyperanalyzing every word of the sections that we needed to create. We took detailed notes on everything that needed to be considered and in the end, every last detail described by Stephen in the books, was manifested in 3D.” The original promo for Discordia along with the introductory cutscene Though the concept originated in 2002, development on the game didn't begin in earnest until Robin Furth took on the role of director in 2008. Stark and his team handled the 3D modeling and creation of the mechanics, all of which had to run smoothly in Flash, while DeFilippo lent a hand with the world-building. All the while, Stephen King took on an executive producing role, stepping in from time to time to keep development grounded appropriately within his fiction. The actual gameplay of Discordia, which you can play for free on the Stephen King website, is relatively simple. It's essentially a hidden object game mixed with some gunslinging action sequences. Players explore locations from a variety of different angles and positions, looking for magical artifacts or clues. When players enter a new area, a new journal entry is created describing the scene and situation. Each object found provides even more information and can be examined for hi-res images unique to the game. Despite the desire from fans and the oversight of Stephen King himself, the team worried about how the game would be received. Would a browser game be able to stand out as indie games rose in popularity? Would an adventure game set in The Dark Tower universe attract enough attention? Stark even worried about public reaction to what the team had done to expand the lore of the beloved series, stating, “I wanted [fans] to start thinking “what if” again and not show up at my door with torches and pitch forks." Luckily, those fears seemed unfounded. DeFilippo recounted that public reaction seemed to be incredibly positive, "I knew we’d hit the mark when we got feedback that the Dixie Pig was exactly what readers had envisioned and that it was as though we’d reached into their mind and they were now seeing it on their computers, [but] a further litmus test was their question, ‘when can we have more?!’" Indeed, even while researching this piece two years after the promised release of chapter two, I still see recent comments from fans of The Dark Tower and Discordia asking when the second chapter will release. Currently, it doesn't appear that any development on the second chapter has begun, though Stark has expressed interest in revisiting the project at some point in the future. The feature film adaptation of The Dark Tower might put hopes for Discordia Chapter Two on ice for the foreseeable future. Looking back on it from 2017, Discordia's style of gameplay would be ideal for VR. Let me repeat that more emphatically: If Discordia Chapter Two does happen, it definitely needs to be in VR. That would add to the creepiness, the wonderment of the setting while making the shooting segments more interesting. Additionally, it would work while embracing the limited mobility afforded by current VR technology. Heck, you could even tie it all in better with the film franchises - maybe an live-action VR experience? Look, this was really a way for me to talk about the slick, new trailer for The Dark Tower that looks so freaking good (it even uses music from For A Few Dollars More!).
  6. The first trailer for the upcoming Dark Tower film adaptation released today. While many people might ooh and aah over it (seriously, it's a really great trailer), a lot of people remain unaware that Stephen King's Dark Tower universe was translated into a video game years ago - and it is certainly worth a look. Back in the 2000s, Stephen King green lit a project that would spin off his Dark Tower universe into the realm of video games. It would be a trial run toward something bigger, possibly a full-fledged Myst-like expansion to King's universe. The project released in 2009 as a free browser game on Stephen King's official website under the name Discordia. While it is typically talked about as a completed concept, it seems the game was intended as an episodic series. Discordia at present consists of its first chapter titled For Callahan! with a second installment slated for 2015 that never materialized. Discordia was developed by a team of four people: Brian Stark, Judy Hahn, Robin Furth, and Marsha DeFilippo. The project sparked to life in 2002 after Stark and Hahn were contracted to redesign the Stephen King website in an effort to focus the branding of The Dark Tower series and provide clearer messaging regarding what the universe was about and meant. While working on how to accomplish those goals, Stark created some rough designs for the creatures and technology described in the books to use as references for the general look of the new website. Those images were never meant to become a game, but Marsha DeFilippo, one of Stephen King's longtime assistants, saw the pictures and felt inspired. Knowing the sheer amount of fan mail King received clamoring for some kind of interactive game related to The Dark Tower, DeFilippo brought Stark's designs up in a conversation with King while they were on a flight to New York City. King gave his blessing. Stark, Hahn, and DeFilippo began pouring over King's series and the reference compendium The Dark Tower: The Concordance created by King's other assistant, Robin Furth. The team decided to focus the story on the conflict between the Tet and Sombra corporations, centering the action on an original character called Op19. It would begin in New York City and bring players through to Mid World over the course of an investigative mystery to track down the elusive Arina Yokova, a corporate mobster who sells weapons of mass destruction from other worlds to criminal enterprises around the world, as she threatens to bring down the entire multiverse. The process Stark and Hahn went through to finalize their story concept was incredibly rigorous. Stark described it in an interview with Boxx (a company that helped design the workstations Stark and his team used for the game) saying, “We started by hyperanalyzing every word of the sections that we needed to create. We took detailed notes on everything that needed to be considered and in the end, every last detail described by Stephen in the books, was manifested in 3D.” The original promo for Discordia along with the introductory cutscene Though the concept originated in 2002, development on the game didn't begin in earnest until Robin Furth took on the role of director in 2008. Stark and his team handled the 3D modeling and creation of the mechanics, all of which had to run smoothly in Flash, while DeFilippo lent a hand with the world-building. All the while, Stephen King took on an executive producing role, stepping in from time to time to keep development grounded appropriately within his fiction. The actual gameplay of Discordia, which you can play for free on the Stephen King website, is relatively simple. It's essentially a hidden object game mixed with some gunslinging action sequences. Players explore locations from a variety of different angles and positions, looking for magical artifacts or clues. When players enter a new area, a new journal entry is created describing the scene and situation. Each object found provides even more information and can be examined for hi-res images unique to the game. Despite the desire from fans and the oversight of Stephen King himself, the team worried about how the game would be received. Would a browser game be able to stand out as indie games rose in popularity? Would an adventure game set in The Dark Tower universe attract enough attention? Stark even worried about public reaction to what the team had done to expand the lore of the beloved series, stating, “I wanted [fans] to start thinking “what if” again and not show up at my door with torches and pitch forks." Luckily, those fears seemed unfounded. DeFilippo recounted that public reaction seemed to be incredibly positive, "I knew we’d hit the mark when we got feedback that the Dixie Pig was exactly what readers had envisioned and that it was as though we’d reached into their mind and they were now seeing it on their computers, [but] a further litmus test was their question, ‘when can we have more?!’" Indeed, even while researching this piece two years after the promised release of chapter two, I still see recent comments from fans of The Dark Tower and Discordia asking when the second chapter will release. Currently, it doesn't appear that any development on the second chapter has begun, though Stark has expressed interest in revisiting the project at some point in the future. The feature film adaptation of The Dark Tower might put hopes for Discordia Chapter Two on ice for the foreseeable future. Looking back on it from 2017, Discordia's style of gameplay would be ideal for VR. Let me repeat that more emphatically: If Discordia Chapter Two does happen, it definitely needs to be in VR. That would add to the creepiness, the wonderment of the setting while making the shooting segments more interesting. Additionally, it would work while embracing the limited mobility afforded by current VR technology. Heck, you could even tie it all in better with the film franchises - maybe an live-action VR experience? Look, this was really a way for me to talk about the slick, new trailer for The Dark Tower that looks so freaking good (it even uses music from For A Few Dollars More!). View full article
  7. The Internet Archive added a staggering 2,388 pieces of video game history to its collection today. It has also launched the beta for its website that will make its contents more accessible and visually appealing. Jason Scott, one of the leaders of the Archive's push toward a more comprehensible website and a proponent of making these old game playable in-browser, explained in a blog post that not all of the MS-DOS games will be stable, but "on the whole, you will experience some analogue of the MS-DOS program, in your browser, instantly." And it is true! Some of the games on the Internet Archive work splendidly in-browser. There is no fiddling trying to get the programs to run on machine that can barely recognize what they are. True, some of them don't work properly, but all of them work enough to give you an idea of how they played; what they looked and sounded like. It is a really impressive feat. I highly recommend you go over and poke around the titles on stored on the Archive just to see what's out there. If you have trouble with the beta site, just switch over to the old version.
  8. This isn't super complicated - Good Old Games and Steam have been having massive sales on games published by Deep Silver, which includes the Saints Row franchise. While the sales themselves offer some really great prices, the real steal is that one of the core entries in the series can be downloaded for free. Gamers can get their digital hands on a copy of Saints Row 2 for from either service at the low price of $0. Both versions are essentially the same, though the GOG version comes without any restrictive DRM. The offer from Steam lasts until tomorrow at noon while the GOG offer only extends until the early hours of tomorrow morning.
  9. This isn't super complicated - Good Old Games and Steam have been having massive sales on games published by Deep Silver, which includes the Saints Row franchise. While the sales themselves offer some really great prices, the real steal is that one of the core entries in the series can be downloaded for free. Gamers can get their digital hands on a copy of Saints Row 2 for from either service at the low price of $0. Both versions are essentially the same, though the GOG version comes without any restrictive DRM. The offer from Steam lasts until tomorrow at noon while the GOG offer only extends until the early hours of tomorrow morning. View full article
  10. StarCraft received its first update in eight years today. The patch added a number of quality of life upgrades, like windowed fullscreen and windowed modes, improvements to matchmaking, game replay autosaves, new anti-cheating measures, and a number of compatibility fixes for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. Oh, and the entirety of StarCraft and its expansion, Brood War, are now free. This comes on the heels of last month's announcement that StarCraft would be getting a complete remaster. The reborn RTS classic will be getting a full graphical overhaul and offer 4K resolutions to PC fans and newcomers alike. If you've never played or lost your original StarCraft game, now seems like the perfect time to give the game that started eSports and catapulted Blizzard into ubiquity a shot. StarCraft Remastered will release sometime this Summer, but in the meantime you can download and play the StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War for free on PC and Mac. All you have to do is head over to the StarCraft site and scroll down a bit. View full article
  11. StarCraft received its first update in eight years today. The patch added a number of quality of life upgrades, like windowed fullscreen and windowed modes, improvements to matchmaking, game replay autosaves, new anti-cheating measures, and a number of compatibility fixes for Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. Oh, and the entirety of StarCraft and its expansion, Brood War, are now free. This comes on the heels of last month's announcement that StarCraft would be getting a complete remaster. The reborn RTS classic will be getting a full graphical overhaul and offer 4K resolutions to PC fans and newcomers alike. If you've never played or lost your original StarCraft game, now seems like the perfect time to give the game that started eSports and catapulted Blizzard into ubiquity a shot. StarCraft Remastered will release sometime this Summer, but in the meantime you can download and play the StarCraft and StarCraft: Brood War for free on PC and Mac. All you have to do is head over to the StarCraft site and scroll down a bit.
  12. In a free update released today, Ubisoft introduced a new PvP options to their open world hacking game. Additions include a new 2v2 game mode called Showd0wn, online races, loot trucks, a paintball gun, and assorted clothes. Showd0wn mode offers three types of objectives to two teams of two: Steal the HDD, Doom-load (King of the Hill Style), and Erase/Protect the Servers. These objectives play out occur across fifteen distinct locations in-game. The patch release describes Showd0wn as an endgame activity that can be tackled solo through matchmaking or cooperatively with a friend. Additionally, Online drone, motocross and eKart races are launching today. Each race type will come with their own leaderboards. Loot trucks can be found following the patch on the streets of Watch Dogs 2. Players will be able to hack these trucks to get at their valuable cargo, but doing so will summon a swarm of armed police. A paintball gun has been added to provide some levity to the game's arsenal. The paint pellets can stun enemies and also accumulate on the screen of human adversaries in PvP. Finally, thirteen new clothing items. Some tweaks have been made to leaderboards and explosions (the closer you are to an explosion, the more damage you take). The patch should be live sometime today.
  13. In a free update released today, Ubisoft introduced a new PvP options to their open world hacking game. Additions include a new 2v2 game mode called Showd0wn, online races, loot trucks, a paintball gun, and assorted clothes. Showd0wn mode offers three types of objectives to two teams of two: Steal the HDD, Doom-load (King of the Hill Style), and Erase/Protect the Servers. These objectives play out occur across fifteen distinct locations in-game. The patch release describes Showd0wn as an endgame activity that can be tackled solo through matchmaking or cooperatively with a friend. Additionally, Online drone, motocross and eKart races are launching today. Each race type will come with their own leaderboards. Loot trucks can be found following the patch on the streets of Watch Dogs 2. Players will be able to hack these trucks to get at their valuable cargo, but doing so will summon a swarm of armed police. A paintball gun has been added to provide some levity to the game's arsenal. The paint pellets can stun enemies and also accumulate on the screen of human adversaries in PvP. Finally, thirteen new clothing items. Some tweaks have been made to leaderboards and explosions (the closer you are to an explosion, the more damage you take). The patch should be live sometime today. View full article
  14. Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Levelle (also known as Increpare) teamed up back in 2011 to create the video game equivalent of a short story. Oíche Mhaith (which translates to Irish for "good night") is free, takes about 20 minutes to complete, and will leave you a sobbing mess. Fair warning: it features some NSFW language and images if you're interested in giving it a try. It's basically an M-rated, 8-bit Flash game about a broken family as experienced by a kid. If you are looking for a game that will haunt you for days, Oíche Mhaith will give you much to think about. You can find and play Oíche Mhaith on the Increpare website: https://ded.increpare.com/~locus/oiche_mhaith/ 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: VVVVVV 'Clubbed Baby VVVVVVeal' by Danny Baranowsky (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02205) 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, follow the show on Twitter and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
  15. Terry Cavanagh and Stephen Levelle (also known as Increpare) teamed up back in 2011 to create the video game equivalent of a short story. Oíche Mhaith (which translates to Irish for "good night") is free, takes about 20 minutes to complete, and will leave you a sobbing mess. Fair warning: it features some NSFW language and images if you're interested in giving it a try. It's basically an M-rated, 8-bit Flash game about a broken family as experienced by a kid. If you are looking for a game that will haunt you for days, Oíche Mhaith will give you much to think about. You can find and play Oíche Mhaith on the Increpare website: https://ded.increpare.com/~locus/oiche_mhaith/ 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: VVVVVV 'Clubbed Baby VVVVVVeal' by Danny Baranowsky (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02205) 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, 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
  16. We've written a fair amount about No Man's Sky over the past year. From impressions, to podcasts, to in-depth stories on its fascinating community (and how it helped save someone's life), people have had reactions ranging from disgust to enthusiasm. It's fair to say that the title from Hello Games proved to be one of the most divisive games released in recent memory. Despite the controversy surrounding its launch and the perceived gulf between its advertised features and the apparent features in-game, Hello Games has quietly continued working on their universe-sized sandbox. That work resulted in the 1.1 Foundation update, which added base-building, multiple game modes (Normal, Creative, and Survival), mobile saving, expanded inventory space, the ability to leave messages for other players, and gave players the option of hiring aliens to pilot freighters to give a massive boost to material collection capacity. It even gave PS4 players a photo mode that allowed them to take pictures of their adventures. Perhaps it strikes people as somewhat surprising that Hello Games haven't cut their losses and moved on to another game. After all, these updates aren't exactly providing the team with extra income since they release at the low cost of zero dollars. However, the team remains committed to the universe they created and has been steadily tweaking and adding new things to the worlds that have been found and those that remain unexplored. No Man's Sky 1.2, titled The Path Finder Update, expands on Foundation while adding a bevy of features in its own right. Ground vehicles have been added to provide players with ways to quickly and efficiently cover more ground on the planets they discover. They provide greater speed, protection from the elements, and more cargo space. There are currently three types: the agile Nomad hovercraft, the hardy, wheeled Roamer, and the gigantic mining vehicle Colossus. These vehicles can equip mining lasers and weapons to defend themselves from attackers and harvest resources from the safety of the vehicle. Vehicles also boost scanning capabilities. Expanded base-building features have more than doubled the available customization options for No Man's Sky architects. This will help players to set their bases apart from those created by other players since this update also allows players to share their bases online, allowing other No Man's Sky explorers to stumble onto bases created by others from around the world. New weapon types give players additional options on foot and in the sky. In addition to the standard bolt caster, the multi-tool can now be specialized into the short-range scatter blaster, the mid-range pulse spitter, and the long-range blaze javelin. Ships now can be equipped with the cyclotron projector, the cone-like positron projector, and the rapid fire infra-knife accelerator. A permadeath mode has been added with unique achievements for those who can manage to make their way through the cosmos unscathed. The survival mode has also been amended to start players on the nearest planet with a crashed space ship when they die in the cold vacuum of space. The ambient music selection has increased by over 50% with new soundscapes from 65daysofstatic. Players can rename everything they own and they can now own a lot more. Multiple ships can now be kept in storage for use as needed. The camera mode has received adjustments and will now be accessible on PC as well as PS4. The camera now has various filters that can be applied. Time can also be stopped and shifted around to get optimal lighting and sky positioning for the perfect picture. To demonstrate the capabilities of the photo mode Hello Games worked with game photographer DeadEndThrills. New traders have been added that deal with a new currency called nanite clusters. Traders on space stations will accept nanite clusters for rare blueprints. As the player's standing increases with various factions, the rarer the blue prints offered will become. Even the graphics have received an overhaul. The lighting has been made more accurate and revealing. No Man's Sky can now support high and ultra resolution textures. Post-processing has been improved and the game now supports HDR for compatible TVs and monitors. The results are definitely noticeable. A sweeping number of bug fixes for combat, UI, spawning, etc. You can find the full list of changes on the No Man's Sky site. There are more additions, too. For a visual overview of what's in store, check out the Path Finder trailer below. View full article
  17. We've written a fair amount about No Man's Sky over the past year. From impressions, to podcasts, to in-depth stories on its fascinating community (and how it helped save someone's life), people have had reactions ranging from disgust to enthusiasm. It's fair to say that the title from Hello Games proved to be one of the most divisive games released in recent memory. Despite the controversy surrounding its launch and the perceived gulf between its advertised features and the apparent features in-game, Hello Games has quietly continued working on their universe-sized sandbox. That work resulted in the 1.1 Foundation update, which added base-building, multiple game modes (Normal, Creative, and Survival), mobile saving, expanded inventory space, the ability to leave messages for other players, and gave players the option of hiring aliens to pilot freighters to give a massive boost to material collection capacity. It even gave PS4 players a photo mode that allowed them to take pictures of their adventures. Perhaps it strikes people as somewhat surprising that Hello Games haven't cut their losses and moved on to another game. After all, these updates aren't exactly providing the team with extra income since they release at the low cost of zero dollars. However, the team remains committed to the universe they created and has been steadily tweaking and adding new things to the worlds that have been found and those that remain unexplored. No Man's Sky 1.2, titled The Path Finder Update, expands on Foundation while adding a bevy of features in its own right. Ground vehicles have been added to provide players with ways to quickly and efficiently cover more ground on the planets they discover. They provide greater speed, protection from the elements, and more cargo space. There are currently three types: the agile Nomad hovercraft, the hardy, wheeled Roamer, and the gigantic mining vehicle Colossus. These vehicles can equip mining lasers and weapons to defend themselves from attackers and harvest resources from the safety of the vehicle. Vehicles also boost scanning capabilities. Expanded base-building features have more than doubled the available customization options for No Man's Sky architects. This will help players to set their bases apart from those created by other players since this update also allows players to share their bases online, allowing other No Man's Sky explorers to stumble onto bases created by others from around the world. New weapon types give players additional options on foot and in the sky. In addition to the standard bolt caster, the multi-tool can now be specialized into the short-range scatter blaster, the mid-range pulse spitter, and the long-range blaze javelin. Ships now can be equipped with the cyclotron projector, the cone-like positron projector, and the rapid fire infra-knife accelerator. A permadeath mode has been added with unique achievements for those who can manage to make their way through the cosmos unscathed. The survival mode has also been amended to start players on the nearest planet with a crashed space ship when they die in the cold vacuum of space. The ambient music selection has increased by over 50% with new soundscapes from 65daysofstatic. Players can rename everything they own and they can now own a lot more. Multiple ships can now be kept in storage for use as needed. The camera mode has received adjustments and will now be accessible on PC as well as PS4. The camera now has various filters that can be applied. Time can also be stopped and shifted around to get optimal lighting and sky positioning for the perfect picture. To demonstrate the capabilities of the photo mode Hello Games worked with game photographer DeadEndThrills. New traders have been added that deal with a new currency called nanite clusters. Traders on space stations will accept nanite clusters for rare blueprints. As the player's standing increases with various factions, the rarer the blue prints offered will become. Even the graphics have received an overhaul. The lighting has been made more accurate and revealing. No Man's Sky can now support high and ultra resolution textures. Post-processing has been improved and the game now supports HDR for compatible TVs and monitors. The results are definitely noticeable. A sweeping number of bug fixes for combat, UI, spawning, etc. You can find the full list of changes on the No Man's Sky site. There are more additions, too. For a visual overview of what's in store, check out the Path Finder trailer below.
  18. A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV was initially offered as a pre-order exclusive for those who chose to pre-purchase Final Fantasy XV from Gamestop. Since then, players have been unable to obtain and play the retro brawler based on the Final Fantasy XV universe. Square Enix announced that they would be releasing A King's Tale to all players for free on March 1. Like much of the extended universe around Final Fantasy XV, A King's Tale offers an opportunity to deepen the backstory of Square Enix's main title. Players take on the role of Regis, the father of Final Fantasy XV's protagonist Noctis, as he tells his young son a bedtime story about events that took place 30 years before Final Fantasy XV begins. Players must defend the kingdom of Insomnia from attacking monsters alongside long-time allies like Cid, Weskham, and Clarus. Rather than being another RPG, A King's Tale plays more like a brawling Streets of Rage than a typical Final Fantasy game. Players must make good use of combos, blocking, magic, and summons to make progress. It's not a terribly long experience, clocking in at an average of two to three hours, but it's certainly not too shabby for a free game with a charming aesthetic. Players will be able to download A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV on March 1.
  19. A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV was initially offered as a pre-order exclusive for those who chose to pre-purchase Final Fantasy XV from Gamestop. Since then, players have been unable to obtain and play the retro brawler based on the Final Fantasy XV universe. Square Enix announced that they would be releasing A King's Tale to all players for free on March 1. Like much of the extended universe around Final Fantasy XV, A King's Tale offers an opportunity to deepen the backstory of Square Enix's main title. Players take on the role of Regis, the father of Final Fantasy XV's protagonist Noctis, as he tells his young son a bedtime story about events that took place 30 years before Final Fantasy XV begins. Players must defend the kingdom of Insomnia from attacking monsters alongside long-time allies like Cid, Weskham, and Clarus. Rather than being another RPG, A King's Tale plays more like a brawling Streets of Rage than a typical Final Fantasy game. Players must make good use of combos, blocking, magic, and summons to make progress. It's not a terribly long experience, clocking in at an average of two to three hours, but it's certainly not too shabby for a free game with a charming aesthetic. Players will be able to download A King's Tale: Final Fantasy XV on March 1. View full article
  20. We have been invited, along with any guests who might be interested, to the Bellevue Square Microsoft store for a special launch preview event that includes: -Free Food -Developer Q&A -Halo Wars 2 Sneak Peek If you are free tonight, here's the official invite!
  21. After a bit of a tease earlier last week, the video game music remixing hub OverClocked ReMix has released its 61st album based on the soundtrack of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The 1996 collaboration between Nintendo and Square resulted in one of the most unique RPGs in the Super Nintendo's extensive catalog of games. The music was composed by the famed Yoko Shimomura (with inspiration from Nobuo Uematsu and Koji Kondo), whose work many might recognize from the Kingdom Hearts series, the Mana series, Final Fantasy XV, and Xenoblade Chronicles. The OC ReMix community has been bonding over a love of video game music since 1999. In that spirit, they have come together as part of their longstanding tradition of community collaboration to create their string of arrangement albums. Super Mario RPG: Window to the Stars follows in the footsteps of the 60 albums that came before; the 34 tracks by 29 artists interpreting the works of Yoko Shimomura are all available for free! Almost thirty musicians and remixers came together to create the soundscape of the three disc album covering music. All of those people poured their passion and talent for video game music and the somewhat forgotten RPG into the project. Their efforts were corralled and directed by the duo of DaMonz (Emery Monzerol) and Theory of N (Dusting Lagaly). Super Mario RPG: Window to the Stars took four years to put together, so why not download it for free and take a listen? I promise you won't be disappointed.
  22. After a bit of a tease earlier last week, the video game music remixing hub OverClocked ReMix has released its 61st album based on the soundtrack of Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The 1996 collaboration between Nintendo and Square resulted in one of the most unique RPGs in the Super Nintendo's extensive catalog of games. The music was composed by the famed Yoko Shimomura (with inspiration from Nobuo Uematsu and Koji Kondo), whose work many might recognize from the Kingdom Hearts series, the Mana series, Final Fantasy XV, and Xenoblade Chronicles. The OC ReMix community has been bonding over a love of video game music since 1999. In that spirit, they have come together as part of their longstanding tradition of community collaboration to create their string of arrangement albums. Super Mario RPG: Window to the Stars follows in the footsteps of the 60 albums that came before; the 34 tracks by 29 artists interpreting the works of Yoko Shimomura are all available for free! Almost thirty musicians and remixers came together to create the soundscape of the three disc album covering music. All of those people poured their passion and talent for video game music and the somewhat forgotten RPG into the project. Their efforts were corralled and directed by the duo of DaMonz (Emery Monzerol) and Theory of N (Dusting Lagaly). Super Mario RPG: Window to the Stars took four years to put together, so why not download it for free and take a listen? I promise you won't be disappointed. View full article
  23. More free stuff! Microsoft is unlocking Xbox Live Gold's features for everyone with Xbox 360 starting today. From today until the 12th, Xbox 360 owners can enjoy the benefits of a Gold membership for free. The offer does not extend to Xbox One owners. There is, unfortunately, one exception. Players who don't have a full Gold membership won't have access to Games with Gold or Deals with Gold promotions during the free weekend.
  24. Dragon Age: Inquisition comes out next month on November 18, but EA is already prepping by giving out the first Dragon Age RPG for less the staggering price of nothing. People looking to snag a copy of the fantastic Dragon Age: Origins will need an Origin account to download their free copy. While I know that not a ton of people are a fan of Origin, it is pretty hard to turn your nose up at a free copy of one of BioWare's best RPGs. The promotion will only be available for the next six days, so hop to it.
  25. To help Extra life prepare for the upcoming October 25 gaming event, OnLive is holding its own 24-hour fundraising event tomorrow. The cloud gaming company will open up over 250 games for anyone and everyone to play for the low cost of $0. OnLive will open up their PlayPack game collection starting tomorrow at 12:01 AM PST and make them all available until 11:59 PM PST. Additionally, anyone who registers for Extra Life and joins the OnLive team will receive rewards for raising certain amounts of money for the Children's Miracle Network Hospital of their choice. The rewards come come courtesy of OnLive and its partners Nordic Games, Mad Catz, and Wikipad. “We’re excited to team up with Extra Life and gaming enthusiasts everywhere to truly make a difference for these kids and their families,” said Jeff Wood, captain of OnLive’s Extra Life Team. “Our hope is to rally awareness and participation for Extra Life in advance of their Game Day marathon by offering free gaming and multiple tiers of rewards to anyone who joins in and games for the cause. And we’re thrilled that our partners are joining forces with us to help maximize our impact for these kids.” To take advantage of OnLive’s CloudPlay for a Cause day of free gaming tomorrow, users can create an OnLive account at games.onlive.com or onlive.co.uk for free, no credit card required, and jump right in to playing some great games. To join the team, help kids and earn rewards as you play, visit www.extra-life.org/team/OnLive. Remember when I mentioned rewards for meeting fundraising goals? Those rewards include: Raise $5: One free month of the OnLive Service Bundle Raise $25: First 1000 gamers get a free download of MX vs ATV Reflex from Nordic Games Raise $50: A second free month of the OnLive Service Bundle* Raise $100: One free game code (up to $19.99) Raise $200: A second free game code (up to $49.99) Raise $300: Receive a third month of the OnLive Service Bundle + 1 free game code (up to $19.99) Raise $500: Receive a fourth month of the OnLive Service Bundle + 1 free game code (up to $49.99) The top 5 OnLive Team participants with the most donations by 6 AM PST on October 26, 2014, will receive their choice of a Mad Catz M.O.J.O. Micro-console + C.T.R.L.R. or a Wikipad 7” Gaming Tablet. If you've never tried cloud gaming or have been skeptical, tomorrow would be a great time to check it out for yourself and raise some money for the kids. This is a fantastic showing of support from our friends at OnLive, for which we are very thankful.