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Jack Gardner
Last week, E-Line Media and Endless Interactive announced The Endless Mission, a sandbox game with the goal of being both fun and an educational experience that teaches people how to make games. It serves as an enjoyable set of game creation tools and a game in its own right. All of that can be hard to visualize. Luckily, there is now a trailer to show off what's possible in The Endless Mission.
 
 
While we don't have a hard release date, we do know that The Endless Mission will launch this summer in Early Access on Steam. 

Jack Gardner
3Mind Games might not be a developer many have heard of before now, but that could change in the near future. The studio has just announced their first game titled The Protagonist, a narrative-oriented RPG that offers turn-based tactics and divergent story paths in an original sci-fi universe. The team at 3Mind describes the gameplay as a mix between XCOM and Divinity: Original Sin. If that's not enough to get your attention, I don't know what will.
 
The Protagonist stars a galactic special agent who operates under the codename ANGEL. The military force of Terra has come into conflict with the KL-T, a mysterious fleet of robotic ships and soldiers. On a mission to infiltrate and destroy a major space station claimed by the invading KL-T, ANGEL finds herself knocked unconscious and awakens in the space station's infirmary at the heart of the space station with no memory of what has happened. With the station in full lockdown and hostiles around every corner, players have to decide how to escape from the heart of this imposing enemy stronghold while piecing together what happened. 
 
Along the way, players can recruit allies who may or may not be loyal to ANGEL's mission. How you treat party members and other NPCs can either benefit you in the long run or hinder your progress or unlock new routes and opportunities. Those who aren't attentive during conversations could be in for some nasty surprises. 
 
The Protagonist uses a combat system called Martial Arts Combat System (MACS). This system allows players to customize their hand-to-hand combat abilities. The customization is intended to be so deep that players will be able to create new combos and then share them online with other players. 
 
3Mind Games formed out of development veterans from major studios in the industry like EA and Ubisoft. They're hoping to capture the spirit of Mass Effect inside an indie game package that could roll over into a long-running series. The first trailer for The Protagonist shows ANGEL in action alongside her companion RADICAL, an explosives specialist. 
 
 
The Protagonist will release for PC sometime in 2019.

Jack Gardner
11 bit studios, the developer behind the upcoming Frostpunk, has decided to give away their previous indie hit This War of Mine for free in the lead up to Frostpunk's release later this month. 
 
This War of Mine tells the story of civilians trapped in a besieged city as they struggle to survive under the harsh conditions of war. Players must craft upgrades and supplies out of what they can scavenge from the surrounding areas at night. During scavenging runs, players can run across NPCs that they can either help or hurt depending on what players believe might be in their best interest. It's a deliberately murky game that focuses on the often untold stories of wartime. The goal is to survive until a ceasefire ends the fighting, but since the game randomizes a lot of the events and resources with each playthrough, the player never knows how long they might have to hold out or how far they might have to go to survive. 
 
This War of Mine has sold over 2.5 million copies and has reeled in numerous awards from organizations like SXSW and IGF. Sales of  the DLC content related to This War of Mine support the War Child charity that provides assistance to children who are currently living under conflict conditions of the aftermath of war. 
 
The studio will be giving away This War of Mine: Anniversary Edition that includes new characters, locations, and a completely new ending. You have until this Sunday, April 8, to download the game from Steam. 

Jack Gardner
Frog Fractions will not teach you how to fraction. Developed in 2012 by Jim Crawford, Frog Fractions began its life as an in-joke between himself and his friends. That joke evolved into an indie release that has been hailed as a mix between the best and worst game ever made. It's highly recommended that you play the game before you listen. It should only take about an hour to complete depending on how quick you are at discovering its tricks. You can play it for free on Twinbeard's website.
 
Can a free indie comedy game stand as one of the best games period based on its originality alone? 
 
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: Dance Dance Revolution Extreme 'Epic Steps' by Tonalysis (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03699)
 
You can follow Marcus on Twitter @MarcusStewart7 where you can find his thoughts on Dragon Ball Super, wrestling, and video games! He also writes at Marcus Writes About Games, Extra Life (hey, that's here!), and hosts Carving Gaming Rushmores.
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is 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

Jack Gardner
In 1994, the now defunct LJN made a major play to break away from its well-known industry niche of adapting popular movie franchises into video games. The result of their labor was Revengent Star, an ambitious and strange RPG that hoped to compete with the likes of Final Fantasy and Breath of Fire. While unconfirmed, the effort put into the creation of Revengent Star was widely suspected to have led to the eventual downfall of LJN. The technology used to create the unique cartridges the game required proved to be costly leading to precious few copies released. Most copies were only sold to rental stores (remember those??) as part of an agreement that forbid resale.
 
With all of that being said, what has the small group of people who have played the game so enamored with it? Join us this week for a trip down memory lane to answer the question: Is Revengent Star 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: Zelda: The Wand of Gamelon 'Only Link Can Do the Duck Walk' by Hylian Lemon (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03695)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is 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

Jack Gardner
THQ Nordic announced today that Red Faction Guerrilla would be getting the remaster treatment for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The official title of the game will be Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered. That punny title is 100% real. 
 
Red Faction Guerrilla takes place about 50 years after the events of the original Red Faction. Players take on the role of a freedom fighter seeking to toss off the oppressive yoke of the Earth Defense Force (unrelated to the Earth Defense Force series). The game made a name for itself in 2009 with the unprecedented level of environment and structure destruction afforded to players who set foot in its open world.
 
Re-Mars-tered will feature fully overhauled graphics that rework and freshen up the textures, modify the lighting and shadows, and shift how shader and post processing work. The new Red Faction Guerrilla will also support 4k resolution.
 

 
Though we don't know exactly when Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered will release, we know that it will hit stores sometime during Q2 of 2018, sometime between the beginning April and the end of June.

Jack Gardner
Harebrained Schemes, the studio behind the digital revival of Shadowrun as a turn-based strategy RPG, has returned, and this time they aim to revitalize mechanized turn-based strategy with Battletech. The company touts the project as "the first turn-based tactical mech combat PC game in over 20 years" which seems like a bit of a stretch, but Harebrained Schemes' track record with turn-based strategy is reason alone to get excited.
 
Battletech casts players as the leader of a mercenary company that uses mechs to wage battles for whoever has money. Out on the edges of civilization, players will have to negotiate contracts for their crew, keep everyone alive, and also put a dethroned monarch back onto her galactic throne.   
 
Harebrained Schemes began working on Battletech after a successful Kickstarter raised well over its $250,000 goal to raise almost $2.8 million. The studio has a history of vastly successful crowdfunding campaigns, with each of the last four games finding additional funding on Kickstarter. The fact that backers have continued to support them over several releases indicates that they're incredibly good at pitching interesting game concepts and ultimately delivering satisfying experiences. 
 
 
Battletech will release on April 24 for PC. 

Jack Gardner
The publisher behind the 2014 indie darling Never Alone, E-Line Media, announced its next project today. The Endless Mission presents players with a set of tools to create games in Unity alongside a journey through a sandbox world with its own storyline. As players progress through the story, they'll learn more about making games and how to use those tools. The Endless Mission's goal is to have everyone making games by the time the credits roll. 
 
The Endless Mission is being developed as a collaborative effort between E-Line Media and Endless Interactive alongside the writing team at Sleep Deprivation Lab, an outfit that has worked on titles like Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and The Crew. The narrative will have parallels with the game's structure, exploring how we are all shaped by technology and in turn shape that technology. 
 

 
Players who run through The Endless Mission will be able to mix and mash a wide variety of genres using the tool set built into the game. The basic examples show off racing titles, survival games, real-time strategy, and platformers, though all indications are that players will have an unprecedented amount of control over what kinds of games they could make. The announcement promises that players will be able to manipulate "the essence of the game down to the very code itself." 
 
The Endless Mission will launch this summer in Early Access on Steam and the first playable demo of the game will be at PAX East. 
 
As game creation becomes more complex and more tools release to the public, a game that teaches people how to make games might make for the most intuitive way to teach people how to make games. Does this kind of thing seem interesting or is it a very niche project? Let us know in the comments! 

Jack Gardner
At GDC, Epic Games revealed an unprecedented demonstration alongside NVIDIA and ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm's division in charge of experimenting with experimenting with techniques for advancing digital trickery. The three companies worked together on a technique called real-time ray tracing and seem to have achieved it, demonstrating the technique on stage during Epic's "State of Unreal" session at the Game Developer's Conference. This represents the first time real-time ray tracing has been publicly displayed live. 
 
So what is real-time ray tracing? Ray tracing is basically the technology that allows digital graphics to simulate light and shadow. Real-time ray tracing represents the next step beyond the tech we have now, allowing for multiple light sources to reflect and create shadows in real-time as either they move or the objects around them move. It essentially closes the gap between the tech between what digital animators can achieve in film and what game developers can create in video games. 
 
Epic's demonstration ran on NVIDIA's tech housed in Volta GPUs while an iPad running ARKit used a virtual camera to get a close-up view of the smallest details. The assets themselves were created by Lucasfilm for use in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The demo showcased advances in textured area lights, ray-traced ambient occlusion, reflections, and shadows, and cinematic depth-of-field. Take a look at what that all looks like in action:
 
 
If that doesn't get you excited and you need something a little more gaming related, NVIDIA also worked with Remedy Entertainment, the developers behind Alan Wake, Quantum Break, and Max Payne, to create a tech demo showing what real-time ray tracing can do inside a video game environment. Remedy's demo could also be a small tease for their mysterious project that's currently only known by the codename "P7."
 
 
This technology is just on the horizon. It's hard not to get excited over what that could mean for games coming out in the next few years that take advantage of the ability to utilize real-time ray tracing. The one hitch might be that bitcoin mining has caused a huge uptick in GPU prices, so the cost of upgrading a PC graphics card could be prohibitive for those looking to upgrade to a device capable of handling this kind of graphical horsepower. 
 
What do you think? Are you excited by these teasers? 

Jack Gardner
The Stanley Parable originated as a mod for Half-Life 2 made by Davey Wreden. The mod proved to be relatively popular for its unique sense of humor and the way it played with gaming interactivity in novel ways. As a result, it became a fully fledged title that released at the tail end of 2013 with revamped graphics and additional content. Falling into that adventure game sub-genre of games that are sometimes derisively called "walking simulators," The Stanley Parable focuses on exploring interactivity in a digital medium by posing an iconic choice to the player:
 
If you enter a room with two doors and someone tells you to go through the door on the left, but you are fully capable of going through the door on the right, which do you choose?
 
With humor, minimalist design, and some brilliant voice work by Kevan Brighting, is The Stanley Parable one of the best games period?
 

 
Outro music: Lunar Pool 'Looser Tool' by Harmsing (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03704)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is 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

Jack Gardner
Sometimes it can be hard to be on top of things when you're running the social media account of a huge commercial chain. Certain facts slip through the cracks. Those facts might happen to pertain to a silly dragon game that someone on said social media has asked about and you just happen to have some of the details at your finger tips. Trying to be as helpful as possible, you reply to that customer in good faith; not noticing or knowing that the information hasn't even been confirmed to the public quite yet.
 
So it is that we now know of the Spyro Treasure Trilogy, the first three games in the Spyro the Dragon trilogy remastered in the same way that Crash Bandicoot was last year. A fan of the Crash Bandicoot remaster, after hearing rumors of the Spyro receiving a similar treatment, asked Target's @AskTarget Twitter account when the pre-orders for Spyro would be going live. The manager of @AskTarget responded with the following tweet (that has since been taken down): 
 
 
Of course, the fan hadn't asked about the Spyro Treasure Trilogy, and it seems very unlikely that the name would have been pulled out of nowhere. This both confirms that Spyro will in fact be getting a remaster and that the collection seems to be coming relatively soon. That last point was further bolstered by a second tweet in response to someone incredulously following up on the revelation of the Spyro Treasure Trilogy, to which @AskTarget responded:
 
 
To summarize, Spyro Treasure Trilogy will be releasing later this year, it will include the first three games in the franchise, and that Target employee is probably in some pretty hot water. This all seems to line up with the rumor that the Spyro remaster would be coming in September. With an announcement almost certainly coming in the near future, all we can do is wait and see. 

Jack Gardner
You might want to visit the Humble Store sometime today if you like free racing games. As part of the weekend sale on Bethesda and Codemasters titles, Humble Bundle's digital storefront is giving away F1 2015 for free.
 
While F1 2015 received middling reviews at release, Codemasters has released numerous patches and additions to their racing title since then. If you've never played one of the F1 games or wanted to try them but didn't want to spend too much money... well, you can't beat free!  
 
The sale runs until March 26 and covers games like Overlord, Doom, and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus. If you want to get your mitts on a free F1 racing game, you'll have to be a bit faster as that deal ends on March 24 at 10am PT/1pm ET. 
 
 
Remember that this month Extra Life is working with Humble Bundle as their featured charity for their bundles! So take some time to look through the bundles on offer for the next week or so and get some cool stuff while also supporting Extra Life! 

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