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Jack Gardner

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Jack Gardner last won the day on May 10

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About Jack Gardner

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  • Birthday 08/22/1991

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  1. Following the massive success of Threes in 2014, which some argue is one of the finest puzzle games of all-time, designer Asher Vollmer put together Sirvo Studios, a small development studio aiming to make something a bit bigger in scope than the modest Threes. That something turned out to be Guildlings, a game about which there were precious few details. We covered those breadcrumbs last March, but now we have some more substantial information to share. Guildlings will follow the adventures of Coda, a young, homeschooled kid who contracts a powerful curse from a mysterious smartphone. Coda will have to recruit friends gifted with magic, the titular Guildlings, and embark on a road trip to lift the curse and save the realm of Worldaria. Sirvo based the magic in Worldaria on the strength of the emotions felt by the magic wielder. If the one casting magic doesn't feel right, then the magic isn't right. This means that players will need to be attentive to the different emotional states of their allies while trying to solve the problems plaguing the land. Picking the right conflict and dialogue options to keep Coda's friends in the best frame of mind to tackle a given problem certainly sounds interesting. It's a system that encourages empathy and creativity, with multiple solutions to many of the problems Guildlings sets before the player. If the basic story pitch sounds like a setup for an old-school JRPG, well... Sirvo has said that it drew a lot of inspiration from the genre to create Guildlings. Specifically, it's designed to be a cross between that classic gaming genre and the more modern incarnation of adventure games with branching story paths and silly puzzle solutions. The studio is well aware that many people might reflexively recoil from an RPG designed for mobile from the ground up. However, they want to assure players that Guildlings isn't a snoozy grindfest or a facade of charm hiding manipulative design to milk microtransactions. Instead, Sirvo has chosen to release several episodes of Guildlings to help keep the focus of the RPG squarely on its charming world and narrative. While traditional JRPG fighting doesn't seem to be highlighted in the trailer, Sirvo has opted to go non-traditional. Instead of a combat system that has only been built around the idea of fighting until one side or the other has perished, the devs crafted something a bit more flexible. How it works will probably require some hands-on time to fully understand, but essentially each encounter has a set number of turns represented by pages. Those turns can have different actions for your Guildlings to take that include reducing the number of turns for the encounter, protecting characters, or altering the final outcome of the encounter. Sirvo believes that this system can be applied to a wide variety of conflicts that range from a traditional fight to battling a horrendous stench, or staying awake through a boring story told at a fancy dinner. How well it will work in practice remains to be seen, but anything that might be able to freshen up an old-as-dirt genre mechanic is worth paying attention to in my book. So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to this delightful-looking game that mixes the shenanigans of a modern road trip with swords and sorcery. Take a bit of Harry Potter, a smidgen of Earthbound, a pinch of Sorcery!, and a dollop of wonderment taken straight from Hayao Miyazaki. Mix it all up with whatever creative energy and game design chops Sirvo has been cooking with up until this point and you've got Guildlings. No release date has been announced yet, but expect to see the title's initial release by late summer or early fall of this year for iOS and Android devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  2. Following the massive success of Threes in 2014, which some argue is one of the finest puzzle games of all-time, designer Asher Vollmer put together Sirvo Studios, a small development studio aiming to make something a bit bigger in scope than the modest Threes. That something turned out to be Guildlings, a game about which there were precious few details. We covered those breadcrumbs last March, but now we have some more substantial information to share. Guildlings will follow the adventures of Coda, a young, homeschooled kid who contracts a powerful curse from a mysterious smartphone. Coda will have to recruit friends gifted with magic, the titular Guildlings, and embark on a road trip to lift the curse and save the realm of Worldaria. Sirvo based the magic in Worldaria on the strength of the emotions felt by the magic wielder. If the one casting magic doesn't feel right, then the magic isn't right. This means that players will need to be attentive to the different emotional states of their allies while trying to solve the problems plaguing the land. Picking the right conflict and dialogue options to keep Coda's friends in the best frame of mind to tackle a given problem certainly sounds interesting. It's a system that encourages empathy and creativity, with multiple solutions to many of the problems Guildlings sets before the player. If the basic story pitch sounds like a setup for an old-school JRPG, well... Sirvo has said that it drew a lot of inspiration from the genre to create Guildlings. Specifically, it's designed to be a cross between that classic gaming genre and the more modern incarnation of adventure games with branching story paths and silly puzzle solutions. The studio is well aware that many people might reflexively recoil from an RPG designed for mobile from the ground up. However, they want to assure players that Guildlings isn't a snoozy grindfest or a facade of charm hiding manipulative design to milk microtransactions. Instead, Sirvo has chosen to release several episodes of Guildlings to help keep the focus of the RPG squarely on its charming world and narrative. While traditional JRPG fighting doesn't seem to be highlighted in the trailer, Sirvo has opted to go non-traditional. Instead of a combat system that has only been built around the idea of fighting until one side or the other has perished, the devs crafted something a bit more flexible. How it works will probably require some hands-on time to fully understand, but essentially each encounter has a set number of turns represented by pages. Those turns can have different actions for your Guildlings to take that include reducing the number of turns for the encounter, protecting characters, or altering the final outcome of the encounter. Sirvo believes that this system can be applied to a wide variety of conflicts that range from a traditional fight to battling a horrendous stench, or staying awake through a boring story told at a fancy dinner. How well it will work in practice remains to be seen, but anything that might be able to freshen up an old-as-dirt genre mechanic is worth paying attention to in my book. So, yeah, I'm really looking forward to this delightful-looking game that mixes the shenanigans of a modern road trip with swords and sorcery. Take a bit of Harry Potter, a smidgen of Earthbound, a pinch of Sorcery!, and a dollop of wonderment taken straight from Hayao Miyazaki. Mix it all up with whatever creative energy and game design chops Sirvo has been cooking with up until this point and you've got Guildlings. No release date has been announced yet, but expect to see the title's initial release by late summer or early fall of this year for iOS and Android devices. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  3. Take a journey with us back to the ye olden days of 2009 when the war between casual and hardcore gamers raged. While it would take many years for the conflict to settle to a low simmer, one game seemed to unite the two sides in harmony; a tower defense game with retro roots, a sunny disposition, and a quirky sense of humor. Plants vs. Zombies catapulted developer PopCap Games to indie stardom and became their fastest selling game to date, leveraging a position in the then-curated Steam store to appeal to the hardcore crowd and its inherent lightheartedness to bring in the more casually oriented gamers. Almost ten years later, should Plants vs. Zombies be considered one of the best games of all-time? 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: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'Fushigina Forest' by Laura Shigihara (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02329) 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 Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  4. Take a journey with us back to the ye olden days of 2009 when the war between casual and hardcore gamers raged. While it would take many years for the conflict to settle to a low simmer, one game seemed to unite the two sides in harmony; a tower defense game with retro roots, a sunny disposition, and a quirky sense of humor. Plants vs. Zombies catapulted developer PopCap Games to indie stardom and became their fastest selling game to date, leveraging a position in the then-curated Steam store to appeal to the hardcore crowd and its inherent lightheartedness to bring in the more casually oriented gamers. Almost ten years later, should Plants vs. Zombies be considered one of the best games of all-time? 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: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past 'Fushigina Forest' by Laura Shigihara (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR02329) 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 Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  5. It's hard for people to game if they don't have reliable control over two hands. That very simple premise has given rise to various organizations like dedicated to hacking traditional controllers or even fabricating entirely new and specialized controllers on an individual basis for wounded veterans, people born with disabilities, and those who have been through traumatic accidents. These groups, like AbleGamers or Warfighter Engaged, have spent years working to find solutions for people who love gaming, but find it difficult or even impossible to use a traditional controller. Yesterday, Microsoft announced something amazing: The Xbox Adaptive Controller. This device will release later this year and can be customized to a very wide variety of specialized peripherals to create set ups that anyone can play with regardless of physical ability. The back of the controller has clearly labeled plug-ins for a variety of external buttons, switches, and joysticks that can then be physically placed anywhere for the most convenient use by the player. It can be used to play Xbox One and Windows 10 PC titles and supports button remapping. It can even save three different game profiles so that it can switch seamlessly between different game types on the fly. Solomon Romney, a retail learning specialist for Microsoft, has had months to test out the final build of the Adaptive Controller. "I can customize how I interface with the Xbox Adaptive Controller to whatever I want," he said. “If I want to play a game entirely with my feet, I can. I can make the controls fit my body, my desires, and I can change them anytime I want. You plug in whatever you want and go. It takes virtually no time to set it up and use it. It could not be simpler." Romney was born without fingers on his left hand, which makes operating a traditional controller difficult. "I get to redesign my controller every day and get to choose how I want to play. For me, that's the greatest thing ever." For Microsoft and the people who worked on the Adaptive Controller, this is the culmination of years of effort to justify the creation of a niche peripheral designed for an often under-served group of gamers. The journey began back in 2014 when Twitter, through a twist of fate, connected a Microsoft engineer with Warfighter Engaged, a nonprofit that works with wounded veterans to keep them gaming. The organization's founder, Ken Jones, was a mechanical engineer and struggled to create gaming equipment to meet the specific needs of all the veterans who came to Warfighter Engaged seeking help. That connection blossomed into an awareness at Microsoft for this underlying need in the game industry for accessible gaming equipment. The next year, Microsoft held its annual Ability Summit, an event dedicated to getting the company to consider accessibility in its devices and solutions. For a hackathon tournament, the winning entry was a device that was able to work with the Kinect to track movement and read those as button and joystick inputs on a traditional controller. Another team took that idea and refined it into a prototype device that could attach to an Xbox One controller and allow other input devices to be connected. Around the same time, Microsoft launched the Gaming for Everyone initiative with the goal of broadening the community of people who can play and enjoy games. Headed by Kris Hunter, the director of devices user research and hardware accessibility, and Bryce Johnson, a senior Xbox designer, the initiative worked quietly to make the Adaptive Controller a reality. What really solidified the idea of what the Adaptive Controller would eventually be was the launch of the Xbox One's Copilot feature in 2017. Copilot allows players to link two Xbox One controllers as if they were one device. The original idea was that it would allow players to play a single player game together without transferring a controller back and forth. However, they discovered it was also used by those with disabilities to game in creative ways Microsoft hadn't expected, such as using a head or foot to operate the second controller. That realization brought together all of the different ideas that Microsoft had been toying with since that chance 2014 Twitter encounter. Instead of using a device like that from the hackathon or the subsequent controller add-on, Copilot could be used to attach a device that allowed for more flexible gaming inputs that could cater to a wide variety of people. Making a device like that would allow for it to be sleek, elegant, even. It wouldn't be an afterthought, but a fully executed and produced device worthy of the Microsoft brand. Those pushing for the device to make it to retail apparently met with internal opposition to the idea, but advocates like Kris Hunter wouldn't let the idea die. "I had a passion for it and I didn't give up," she said. "I kept saying, 'This product is too important. [...] If we really want to be intentional and we really want to walk the walk versus just talk the talk, this is the product that will do it." Microsoft turned to the nonprofits who had helped bring this niche to light at the very beginning. Warfighter Engaged, AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, Craig Hospital, and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, came together to consult on how to best design a controller that would fit the needs of the people they worked with every day. Ideas like spreading out the 19 input jacks across the back of the device to make them easier to differentiate, a rectangular shape to make it comfortable in a gamer's lap, or threaded inserts to secure the controller to a standard wheelchair, lapboard, or desk all came about from conversations with these nonprofits. The The design process even led to something Microsoft is considering adding to all future products - a groove above each port to provide a tactile reference for where things are supposed to be plugged in. "One message heard clearly from the accessibility community was 'don't infantilize the device' — don't make it look like a Fisher-Price toy," said Bryce Johnson. "People often don't want to use adaptive technology because it looks like a toy." That became a guiding principal behind the design of the Adaptive Controller. First and foremost, Microsoft wanted the Adaptive Controller to be something proudly carrying the brand as a symbol; something that adults wouldn't feel embarrassed to use in front of friends or family. With a price of $100, the Adaptive Controller positions itself as the most affordable option for those looking for accessibility solutions in gaming. The price is an important to keep in mind for all of the hospitals and patients out there who previously needed to find a custom build for their particular needs or forgo gaming completely. If the work we're doing to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals through Extra Life can go toward helping kids rediscover their ability to game with the help of the Xbox Adaptive Controller... well, that's an incredibly exciting thing. The Xbox Adaptive Controller will release later this year and we will likely receive more details when E3 rolls around. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  6. It's hard for people to game if they don't have reliable control over two hands. That very simple premise has given rise to various organizations like dedicated to hacking traditional controllers or even fabricating entirely new and specialized controllers on an individual basis for wounded veterans, people born with disabilities, and those who have been through traumatic accidents. These groups, like AbleGamers or Warfighter Engaged, have spent years working to find solutions for people who love gaming, but find it difficult or even impossible to use a traditional controller. Yesterday, Microsoft announced something amazing: The Xbox Adaptive Controller. This device will release later this year and can be customized to a very wide variety of specialized peripherals to create set ups that anyone can play with regardless of physical ability. The back of the controller has clearly labeled plug-ins for a variety of external buttons, switches, and joysticks that can then be physically placed anywhere for the most convenient use by the player. It can be used to play Xbox One and Windows 10 PC titles and supports button remapping. It can even save three different game profiles so that it can switch seamlessly between different game types on the fly. Solomon Romney, a retail learning specialist for Microsoft, has had months to test out the final build of the Adaptive Controller. "I can customize how I interface with the Xbox Adaptive Controller to whatever I want," he said. “If I want to play a game entirely with my feet, I can. I can make the controls fit my body, my desires, and I can change them anytime I want. You plug in whatever you want and go. It takes virtually no time to set it up and use it. It could not be simpler." Romney was born without fingers on his left hand, which makes operating a traditional controller difficult. "I get to redesign my controller every day and get to choose how I want to play. For me, that's the greatest thing ever." For Microsoft and the people who worked on the Adaptive Controller, this is the culmination of years of effort to justify the creation of a niche peripheral designed for an often under-served group of gamers. The journey began back in 2014 when Twitter, through a twist of fate, connected a Microsoft engineer with Warfighter Engaged, a nonprofit that works with wounded veterans to keep them gaming. The organization's founder, Ken Jones, was a mechanical engineer and struggled to create gaming equipment to meet the specific needs of all the veterans who came to Warfighter Engaged seeking help. That connection blossomed into an awareness at Microsoft for this underlying need in the game industry for accessible gaming equipment. The next year, Microsoft held its annual Ability Summit, an event dedicated to getting the company to consider accessibility in its devices and solutions. For a hackathon tournament, the winning entry was a device that was able to work with the Kinect to track movement and read those as button and joystick inputs on a traditional controller. Another team took that idea and refined it into a prototype device that could attach to an Xbox One controller and allow other input devices to be connected. Around the same time, Microsoft launched the Gaming for Everyone initiative with the goal of broadening the community of people who can play and enjoy games. Headed by Kris Hunter, the director of devices user research and hardware accessibility, and Bryce Johnson, a senior Xbox designer, the initiative worked quietly to make the Adaptive Controller a reality. What really solidified the idea of what the Adaptive Controller would eventually be was the launch of the Xbox One's Copilot feature in 2017. Copilot allows players to link two Xbox One controllers as if they were one device. The original idea was that it would allow players to play a single player game together without transferring a controller back and forth. However, they discovered it was also used by those with disabilities to game in creative ways Microsoft hadn't expected, such as using a head or foot to operate the second controller. That realization brought together all of the different ideas that Microsoft had been toying with since that chance 2014 Twitter encounter. Instead of using a device like that from the hackathon or the subsequent controller add-on, Copilot could be used to attach a device that allowed for more flexible gaming inputs that could cater to a wide variety of people. Making a device like that would allow for it to be sleek, elegant, even. It wouldn't be an afterthought, but a fully executed and produced device worthy of the Microsoft brand. Those pushing for the device to make it to retail apparently met with internal opposition to the idea, but advocates like Kris Hunter wouldn't let the idea die. "I had a passion for it and I didn't give up," she said. "I kept saying, 'This product is too important. [...] If we really want to be intentional and we really want to walk the walk versus just talk the talk, this is the product that will do it." Microsoft turned to the nonprofits who had helped bring this niche to light at the very beginning. Warfighter Engaged, AbleGamers, SpecialEffect, Craig Hospital, and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation, came together to consult on how to best design a controller that would fit the needs of the people they worked with every day. Ideas like spreading out the 19 input jacks across the back of the device to make them easier to differentiate, a rectangular shape to make it comfortable in a gamer's lap, or threaded inserts to secure the controller to a standard wheelchair, lapboard, or desk all came about from conversations with these nonprofits. The The design process even led to something Microsoft is considering adding to all future products - a groove above each port to provide a tactile reference for where things are supposed to be plugged in. "One message heard clearly from the accessibility community was 'don't infantilize the device' — don't make it look like a Fisher-Price toy," said Bryce Johnson. "People often don't want to use adaptive technology because it looks like a toy." That became a guiding principal behind the design of the Adaptive Controller. First and foremost, Microsoft wanted the Adaptive Controller to be something proudly carrying the brand as a symbol; something that adults wouldn't feel embarrassed to use in front of friends or family. With a price of $100, the Adaptive Controller positions itself as the most affordable option for those looking for accessibility solutions in gaming. The price is an important to keep in mind for all of the hospitals and patients out there who previously needed to find a custom build for their particular needs or forgo gaming completely. If the work we're doing to raise money for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals through Extra Life can go toward helping kids rediscover their ability to game with the help of the Xbox Adaptive Controller... well, that's an incredibly exciting thing. The Xbox Adaptive Controller will release later this year and we will likely receive more details when E3 rolls around. Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  7. Take a journey with us all the way back to the turn of the millennium to the game that laid the groundwork for what would become the template for psychological horror in video games. Silent Hill 2 became a textbook example of how to create unnerving and uncomfortable spaces in video games both in-game and the mind of the player. With a number of strange, often confusing decisions, Silent Hill 2 reels players into a game that plays the player rather than the other way around. This week, we are joined by Mega Dads co-creators Adam Leonhardt and John Wahl! You can check out the duo's work and podcast over on MegaDads.org where they write, talk, and create comics about gaming and parenting. Should we consider Silent Hill 2 one of the best games period, disturbing subject matter and all? 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: Silent Hill 2 'There Was a Hole Here' by The Wingless (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR00711) 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 Be sure to follow Mega Dads on Twitter: @megadadsblog AND listen to their podcast: Mega Dads Live New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games! View full article
  8. Take a journey with us all the way back to the turn of the millennium to the game that laid the groundwork for what would become the template for psychological horror in video games. Silent Hill 2 became a textbook example of how to create unnerving and uncomfortable spaces in video games both in-game and the mind of the player. With a number of strange, often confusing decisions, Silent Hill 2 reels players into a game that plays the player rather than the other way around. This week, we are joined by Mega Dads co-creators Adam Leonhardt and John Wahl! You can check out the duo's work and podcast over on MegaDads.org where they write, talk, and create comics about gaming and parenting. Should we consider Silent Hill 2 one of the best games period, disturbing subject matter and all? 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: Silent Hill 2 'There Was a Hole Here' by The Wingless (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR00711) 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 Be sure to follow Mega Dads on Twitter: @megadadsblog AND listen to their podcast: Mega Dads Live New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!
  9. I've been seeing others have similar problems with the game on mobile devices, too. You're not alone. I can tell you that it does work on desktop, so if you get a chance, you should totally give it a whirl on a PC.
  10. This tease seemed to come out of nowhere. Russian developer Mundfish announced a very slick looking game called Atomic Heart earlier this week. Players will explore a research lab/military base (that might also double as a theme park?) during the height of the Soviet Union. Dr. Stockhausen has been conducting unholy experiments in the heart of the facility that have had an effect on both machines and the bodies of the dead that they have left in their wake. What exactly the nature of those experiments might have been remains a mystery for players to uncover as they delve into the secrets of Atomic Heart. The name seems to reference a bit of lore teased by the team back in March - a picture of two human hearts hooked to machines and a cryptic message about the love of two employees in Facility #3826. Players get drawn into this alternate history version of the Soviet Union as investigator P-3 who has been dispatched to investigate 3826. They find the facility in a state of decay and chaos as a wide variety of machines run amok alongside resurrected soldiers, some of whom have been creepily painted as clowns. As players explore, they'll find a variety of insane, mind-bending experiments still in progress, like people made of blood or strange, seemingly sentient pockets of air under water. Beware of making too much of a scene, though. Drawing the attention of the rampaging machines by running afoul of their patrol drones can lead to a quick, messy death. Atomic Heart seems to have an in-depth crafting system for weapons that will allow players to gear up as they progress and make weapons that suit their playstyle. While the trailer doesn't hint at an official release date, Mundfish expects to release Atomic Heart sometime this year for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
  11. This tease seemed to come out of nowhere. Russian developer Mundfish announced a very slick looking game called Atomic Heart earlier this week. Players will explore a research lab/military base (that might also double as a theme park?) during the height of the Soviet Union. Dr. Stockhausen has been conducting unholy experiments in the heart of the facility that have had an effect on both machines and the bodies of the dead that they have left in their wake. What exactly the nature of those experiments might have been remains a mystery for players to uncover as they delve into the secrets of Atomic Heart. The name seems to reference a bit of lore teased by the team back in March - a picture of two human hearts hooked to machines and a cryptic message about the love of two employees in Facility #3826. Players get drawn into this alternate history version of the Soviet Union as investigator P-3 who has been dispatched to investigate 3826. They find the facility in a state of decay and chaos as a wide variety of machines run amok alongside resurrected soldiers, some of whom have been creepily painted as clowns. As players explore, they'll find a variety of insane, mind-bending experiments still in progress, like people made of blood or strange, seemingly sentient pockets of air under water. Beware of making too much of a scene, though. Drawing the attention of the rampaging machines by running afoul of their patrol drones can lead to a quick, messy death. Atomic Heart seems to have an in-depth crafting system for weapons that will allow players to gear up as they progress and make weapons that suit their playstyle. While the trailer doesn't hint at an official release date, Mundfish expects to release Atomic Heart sometime this year for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. View full article
  12. So, I received an email the other day from Crows Crows Crows, the studio founded by William Pugh, one of the devs who worked on The Stanley Parable. In it, they described an update to The Temple of No, a Twine text adventure they released back in 2016. I have to admit that The Temple of No had flown under my radar at the time, so I thought it would be a great time to hop into the thick of it and see what The Temple of No was all about. Now, I gotta level with you - I have no idea if Crows Crows Crows actually updated the game or if- Wait, no, they actually did update the game. I just went back and did some more due diligence, and there's an bit with a lightbulb and some cleverly concealed scrolling. If you can uncover that secret, you do, in fact, unlock a secret ice level. You can understand my initial confusion, though, right? Like, Crows Crows Crows really know how to mess with expectations and people's heads. They'd probably be able to make a great horror game if they weren't so good at comedy. Anyway, the update is simply called Fire! to reflect the fact that fire is now present in the updated version of The Temple of No! Exciting, right? That's probably why they put an exclamation point after fire. The update even comes with an action-packed live-action trailer - that's TWO actions which means double the action! Look, I don't feel like I have to sell you very hard on this concept. It's free, it'll take up maybe 30 minutes of your time, you'll have a solid selection of laughs and goofs. I swear, it's a good time! And it's free! A good, free time. And there's fire in it now with a new climactic moral decision that probably means something, but whatever. You can play The Temple of No on Crows Crows Crows itch.io page.
  13. So, I received an email the other day from Crows Crows Crows, the studio founded by William Pugh, one of the devs who worked on The Stanley Parable. In it, they described an update to The Temple of No, a Twine text adventure they released back in 2016. I have to admit that The Temple of No had flown under my radar at the time, so I thought it would be a great time to hop into the thick of it and see what The Temple of No was all about. Now, I gotta level with you - I have no idea if Crows Crows Crows actually updated the game or if- Wait, no, they actually did update the game. I just went back and did some more due diligence, and there's an bit with a lightbulb and some cleverly concealed scrolling. If you can uncover that secret, you do, in fact, unlock a secret ice level. You can understand my initial confusion, though, right? Like, Crows Crows Crows really know how to mess with expectations and people's heads. They'd probably be able to make a great horror game if they weren't so good at comedy. Anyway, the update is simply called Fire! to reflect the fact that fire is now present in the updated version of The Temple of No! Exciting, right? That's probably why they put an exclamation point after fire. The update even comes with an action-packed live-action trailer - that's TWO actions which means double the action! Look, I don't feel like I have to sell you very hard on this concept. It's free, it'll take up maybe 30 minutes of your time, you'll have a solid selection of laughs and goofs. I swear, it's a good time! And it's free! A good, free time. And there's fire in it now with a new climactic moral decision that probably means something, but whatever. You can play The Temple of No on Crows Crows Crows itch.io page. View full article
  14. Jack Gardner

    Wildbrew Looks Adorable

    If you're looking for a break from more conventional game premises, the adorable Wildbrew might belong on your gaming radar. Players take on the role of a young herbalist who embarks on an adventure to reclaim a family heirloom that was stolen by a gigantic plant with plans of its own. Armed with a smiling, walking cauldron and a bevy of herbal knowledge from grandma, players must collect herbs and combine them to create solutions for the world's problems. Wildbrew is being developed under USC Games, one of the top university game design programs in the United States. This student-made title holds a heap of charm and a very strong core premise that could certainly carry an entire game in interesting ways. I didn't know I wanted a botany-infused adventure until I heard of Wildbrew. The demo will release for Wildbrew tomorrow, and those looking to play it can find the first publicly available version of Wildbrew on the team's website. There's no official release date as of yet.
  15. Jack Gardner

    Gaming News:Wildbrew Looks Adorable

    If you're looking for a break from more conventional game premises, the adorable Wildbrew might belong on your gaming radar. Players take on the role of a young herbalist who embarks on an adventure to reclaim a family heirloom that was stolen by a gigantic plant with plans of its own. Armed with a smiling, walking cauldron and a bevy of herbal knowledge from grandma, players must collect herbs and combine them to create solutions for the world's problems. Wildbrew is being developed under USC Games, one of the top university game design programs in the United States. This student-made title holds a heap of charm and a very strong core premise that could certainly carry an entire game in interesting ways. I didn't know I wanted a botany-infused adventure until I heard of Wildbrew. The demo will release for Wildbrew tomorrow, and those looking to play it can find the first publicly available version of Wildbrew on the team's website. There's no official release date as of yet. View full article
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