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Found 725 results

  1. Lucas Pope, the dev behind the highly acclaimed indie title Papers, Please, brings us Return of the Obra Dinn. Enter a high seas murder mystery set in the 1807 when everything was black and white and made of pixels. As an insurance inspector armed with a mystical assessment tool, players are dispatched to investigate the Obra Dinn, a ship believed to have been lost at sea for five years. What has the ship been doing in its years at sea? What happened to the ship's company? Why has the vessel just sailed back into the port at Falmouth, seemingly under its own power without any crew? To answer all of these questions and solve the mysteries of the Obra Dinn, players have a watch-like device that has the ability to replay the scenarios surrounding an individual's death. Players will have to make clever use of the device's abilities to access new areas of the ship and, as befits an insurance investigator, identify the remains of each member of the crew, how they died, and who, if anyone, killed them. Almost four years ago, I gave my thoughts on a preview build of Return of the Obra Dinn. It wasn't a long build, but it left a lasting impression. The haunting visuals and beckoning mystery don't leave you easily. And now, Return of the Obra Dinn has silently sailed into the harbor of digital PC storefronts - check it out if you're looking for a gameplay experience like you've never had before. 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!
  2. Lucas Pope, the dev behind the highly acclaimed indie title Papers, Please, brings us Return of the Obra Dinn. Enter a high seas murder mystery set in the 1807 when everything was black and white and made of pixels. As an insurance inspector armed with a mystical assessment tool, players are dispatched to investigate the Obra Dinn, a ship believed to have been lost at sea for five years. What has the ship been doing in its years at sea? What happened to the ship's company? Why has the vessel just sailed back into the port at Falmouth, seemingly under its own power without any crew? To answer all of these questions and solve the mysteries of the Obra Dinn, players have a watch-like device that has the ability to replay the scenarios surrounding an individual's death. Players will have to make clever use of the device's abilities to access new areas of the ship and, as befits an insurance investigator, identify the remains of each member of the crew, how they died, and who, if anyone, killed them. Almost four years ago, I gave my thoughts on a preview build of Return of the Obra Dinn. It wasn't a long build, but it left a lasting impression. The haunting visuals and beckoning mystery don't leave you easily. And now, Return of the Obra Dinn has silently sailed into the harbor of digital PC storefronts - check it out if you're looking for a gameplay experience like you've never had before. 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
  3. A PC adaptation of a Wii on-rails shooter that shifted the shooting mechanic into a typing mechanic in homage to a surreal 90s Dreamcast title doesn't sound like something that would turn out well. However, Typing of the Dead: Overkill inexplicably works. The quirky game asks players to improve their typing skills while also playing through a grindhouse schlock-fest of gore and f-bombs. Despite the educational nature of its mechanics, kids should definitely not play Typing of the Dead: Overkill. We can't stress that enough. But adults? You make your own choices and decide whether this C-tier romp through zombies and low-budget film cliches might just secretly be 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: Undertale 'Gaster's Legacy' by DS (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03761) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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. A PC adaptation of a Wii on-rails shooter that shifted the shooting mechanic into a typing mechanic in homage to a surreal 90s Dreamcast title doesn't sound like something that would turn out well. However, Typing of the Dead: Overkill inexplicably works. The quirky game asks players to improve their typing skills while also playing through a grindhouse schlock-fest of gore and f-bombs. Despite the educational nature of its mechanics, kids should definitely not play Typing of the Dead: Overkill. We can't stress that enough. But adults? You make your own choices and decide whether this C-tier romp through zombies and low-budget film cliches might just secretly be 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: Undertale 'Gaster's Legacy' by DS (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03761) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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. Frictional Games, the developers behind Penumbra and Soma, have released a free update for their most famous title to date. Amnesia: The Dark Descent revolutionized horror with its physics-based gameplay and use of tension to make it feel like an ominous presence constantly pursues the player as they progress through a haunted castle. It was so successful that the classic first-person horror game changed the way games handled horror for years. The update adds a hard mode to the game for veterans looking for a new experience while replaying their dark descent. The hard mode disables autosaves, but don't worry! Players can still save - in exchange for four tinderboxes, the items that allow players to light the very important torches that illuminate the environment and restore sanity. In hard mode, dropping to zero sanity will kill the player. There will also be fewer tinderboxes and oil refills. Monsters will be faster, more alert, stronger, and more persistent when it comes time for them to hunt. And those hunts? They'll be more dangerous than ever with the removal of music cues announcing their presence.... If you're planning on conquering that hard mode, good luck. Since its initial announcement last week for traditional PCs and Xbox One, the update has been slowly extended across other platforms like Mac and Linux. Currently, Frictional has partnered with Blit Works to bring the mode to PlayStation 4 in the near future. 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!
  6. Frictional Games, the developers behind Penumbra and Soma, have released a free update for their most famous title to date. Amnesia: The Dark Descent revolutionized horror with its physics-based gameplay and use of tension to make it feel like an ominous presence constantly pursues the player as they progress through a haunted castle. It was so successful that the classic first-person horror game changed the way games handled horror for years. The update adds a hard mode to the game for veterans looking for a new experience while replaying their dark descent. The hard mode disables autosaves, but don't worry! Players can still save - in exchange for four tinderboxes, the items that allow players to light the very important torches that illuminate the environment and restore sanity. In hard mode, dropping to zero sanity will kill the player. There will also be fewer tinderboxes and oil refills. Monsters will be faster, more alert, stronger, and more persistent when it comes time for them to hunt. And those hunts? They'll be more dangerous than ever with the removal of music cues announcing their presence.... If you're planning on conquering that hard mode, good luck. Since its initial announcement last week for traditional PCs and Xbox One, the update has been slowly extended across other platforms like Mac and Linux. Currently, Frictional has partnered with Blit Works to bring the mode to PlayStation 4 in the near future. 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
  7. For those of you with long memories, Save Me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San last graced this site back in 2016 as an interesting indie game dev project struggling to be finished. Almost two years later, developer Christophe Galati (ChrisDeneos on Twitter) has entered the final stretch of game development and shared the expected release date for Save Me Mr. Tako: October 30. With the help of the Nicalis gaming company, the game will also be released that day on Nintendo Switch. Save Me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San stars the titular Mr. Tako, a mild-mannered octopus who gets wrapped up in the bitter war between octopi and humans. However, when push comes to shove, the brave ocean creature saves a drowning human. A fairy witnesses the act of heroism and grants him the ability to survive on land. With this newfound power, Mr. Tako takes it upon himself to scour the world for a way for both sides to put aside their grievances and live in peace. Designed as a loving tribute to the glory days of the Nintendo Game Boy, Save Me Mr. Tako transports players into a 2D world constructed out of four colors and big ambition. It consists of six different worlds that hide sixteen dungeons for Mr. Tako to explore and conquer on his quest for harmony. Expect to find plenty of side quests and puzzles sprinkled throughout the game, too. Players will also be able to swap game filters for different visual flair and colors as they progress. In addition to being able to survive on land, Mr. Tako can wear up different hats to take on different powers like the ability to shoot arrows. There are fifty such outfits throughout the game, each with an adorable costume change in store for Mr. Tako. Those are on top of Mr. Tako's ability to turn enemies into platforms with his ranged ink attacks. Save Me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San releases on October 30 for Nintendo Switch and PC. 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!
  8. For those of you with long memories, Save Me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San last graced this site back in 2016 as an interesting indie game dev project struggling to be finished. Almost two years later, developer Christophe Galati (ChrisDeneos on Twitter) has entered the final stretch of game development and shared the expected release date for Save Me Mr. Tako: October 30. With the help of the Nicalis gaming company, the game will also be released that day on Nintendo Switch. Save Me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San stars the titular Mr. Tako, a mild-mannered octopus who gets wrapped up in the bitter war between octopi and humans. However, when push comes to shove, the brave ocean creature saves a drowning human. A fairy witnesses the act of heroism and grants him the ability to survive on land. With this newfound power, Mr. Tako takes it upon himself to scour the world for a way for both sides to put aside their grievances and live in peace. Designed as a loving tribute to the glory days of the Nintendo Game Boy, Save Me Mr. Tako transports players into a 2D world constructed out of four colors and big ambition. It consists of six different worlds that hide sixteen dungeons for Mr. Tako to explore and conquer on his quest for harmony. Expect to find plenty of side quests and puzzles sprinkled throughout the game, too. Players will also be able to swap game filters for different visual flair and colors as they progress. In addition to being able to survive on land, Mr. Tako can wear up different hats to take on different powers like the ability to shoot arrows. There are fifty such outfits throughout the game, each with an adorable costume change in store for Mr. Tako. Those are on top of Mr. Tako's ability to turn enemies into platforms with his ranged ink attacks. Save Me Mr. Tako: Tasukete Tako-San releases on October 30 for Nintendo Switch and PC. 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
  9. Jack Gardner

    Review: Life Is Strange 2 Episode 1: Roads

    If you go into Life Is Strange 2 thinking it will be a similar journey to its predecessor you are going to be in for a shock. Life Is Strange 2 retains the same humanizing sensibilities and just slightly surreal world-building that made the town of Arcadia Bay come to life, but what it does with those strengths in the first episode looks very different. This change up will leave some people reeling and others deeply invested in where this story will be going as more episodes hit digital storefronts around the world. Roads plays very much like the previous Life Is Strange episodes before it. Players can walk around gorgeous environments that manage to find the beauty often hidden within the mundane and interact with objects or people, complete with a running internal monologue. When interacting with some items or character, players will have the opportunity to make choices that could affect what happens later on in ways ranging from whether a small token appears on a backpack to whether an entire town exists or not. That framework still functions as well as it ever did, though I particularly enjoyed its incarnation in Roads. Early in the episode, players have the opportunity to gather a collection of supplies, including money. That money is then used later on to buy food and other essentials from a gas station. Based on how much money you were able to scrounge in the beginning, players will face different pressures and choices about what to buy and what decisions seem to make the most sense. The way the team at Dontnod designed the scene leaves a lot of room for players to fill in the blanks for themselves and presents a great moral dilemma, the bread and butter of any narrative-heavy adventure game, in an original way. I will also say off the bat that The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit does not have a ton of overlap with the first episode of Life Is Strange 2, though it did tease some of its inciting incident. From what Dontnod has revealed so far, we can probably expect more Captain Spirit-related events in future episodes. Whereas the original Life Is Strange focused on the struggles of a young white girl in the early 2000s and her life in an aging coastal town on the decline, the sequel takes a look at the life of a young Hispanic boy named Sean Diaz living in the Seattle, Washington of 2016. At first, things seem like they will follow the same sleepy, nostalgic setup seen in Life Is Strange. It's near Halloween and the kids at the local high school are throwing a party, complete with all the pressures and concerns that go with that scene. However, a small disagreement with a neighbor kid escalates when punches are thrown and a police officer arrives, drawing his gun. When Sean's dad comes running out to see what's going on, the officer panics and shoots, killing Sean's father in front of both Sean and his 9-year-old brother Daniel. The trauma of the event causes Daniel to lash out with some unexplained power, sending a massive shockwave through the area that destroys parts of the surrounding homes, flips cars, and kills the officer and possibly the neighbor. Upon regaining consciousness, Sean takes in the situation and realizes that there's no explaining any of this away; running becomes the only thing that makes sense. So it is that Life Is Strange 2 becomes about hitting the road in the modern United States. As they travel, they encounter a small slice of people from across the socio-political spectrum. The first game painted a clear picture of Arcadia Bay, Oregon, but Life Is Strange 2, at least from the first episode, holds the larger ambition of reflecting the entire country. And that reflection doesn't pull punches. Perhaps most unexpectedly, the fluff of nostalgia that permeated the first Life Is Strange (and perhaps made some of its more disturbing moments palatable) has been replaced by a more immediate and applicable sense of time and place that, frankly, we aren't used to seeing in video games. It's surreal to hear characters throw slurs mixed with rhetoric about building a wall between the United States and Mexico or demonstrate a nonchalant attitude toward marijuana that reflects its legalization in Washington state. The veracity of these attitudes hits home as I have seen people act the same way in the real world. Especially when it comes to the uglier topics Roads touches on, the experience does not feel comfortable, but that's precisely the point. In some ways, it feels as though Life Is Strange 2 Episode 1 is having a conversation with the player. The developers must have been aware that some people would fall into the category that firmly believes games should be meaningless fun and wanted to subtly make the case that maybe some games should have more substance than just fun. Roads hits several extremely polarizing issues right off the bat, from police violence to racial prejudice, in such a way that it might shock people who aren't used to games that have pointed things to say about those subjects. Then, near the end of the episode, a character comments that, "Everything is political," both to the characters in their scene and also as if to directly address the player. And what are we supposed to do with that information? One of the closing conversations of the episode asks just that question. And the answer seems to be to continue pushing forward, whether that's for truth or for some kind of safe haven. Because that's all anyone can ever do. Conclusion: Life Is Strange 2's first episode blew me away. It manages to both be a heartfelt examination of the relationship between two brothers while unflinchingly engaging with incredibly weighty and difficult topics. It also doesn't leave the player with any easy answers or ways to address those issues in the real world. I suppose those might be coming in future episodes, but if I had to guess from how Roads played out we won't be presented with feel-good solutions. The story of the Diaz family left me constantly wondering what would happen next. While the episode ends with a somewhat concrete plan, I wouldn't be shocked if it veers off in completely unexpected directions. This episode manages to be equal parts gorgeous, funny, and searing all at the same time; gripping in such a way that you'll finish it in one sitting. It's going to be a long wait for Episode 2. Life Is Strange 2 Episode 1: Roads was reviewed on PC and is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. 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!
  10. If you go into Life Is Strange 2 thinking it will be a similar journey to its predecessor you are going to be in for a shock. Life Is Strange 2 retains the same humanizing sensibilities and just slightly surreal world-building that made the town of Arcadia Bay come to life, but what it does with those strengths in the first episode looks very different. This change up will leave some people reeling and others deeply invested in where this story will be going as more episodes hit digital storefronts around the world. Roads plays very much like the previous Life Is Strange episodes before it. Players can walk around gorgeous environments that manage to find the beauty often hidden within the mundane and interact with objects or people, complete with a running internal monologue. When interacting with some items or character, players will have the opportunity to make choices that could affect what happens later on in ways ranging from whether a small token appears on a backpack to whether an entire town exists or not. That framework still functions as well as it ever did, though I particularly enjoyed its incarnation in Roads. Early in the episode, players have the opportunity to gather a collection of supplies, including money. That money is then used later on to buy food and other essentials from a gas station. Based on how much money you were able to scrounge in the beginning, players will face different pressures and choices about what to buy and what decisions seem to make the most sense. The way the team at Dontnod designed the scene leaves a lot of room for players to fill in the blanks for themselves and presents a great moral dilemma, the bread and butter of any narrative-heavy adventure game, in an original way. I will also say off the bat that The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit does not have a ton of overlap with the first episode of Life Is Strange 2, though it did tease some of its inciting incident. From what Dontnod has revealed so far, we can probably expect more Captain Spirit-related events in future episodes. Whereas the original Life Is Strange focused on the struggles of a young white girl in the early 2000s and her life in an aging coastal town on the decline, the sequel takes a look at the life of a young Hispanic boy named Sean Diaz living in the Seattle, Washington of 2016. At first, things seem like they will follow the same sleepy, nostalgic setup seen in Life Is Strange. It's near Halloween and the kids at the local high school are throwing a party, complete with all the pressures and concerns that go with that scene. However, a small disagreement with a neighbor kid escalates when punches are thrown and a police officer arrives, drawing his gun. When Sean's dad comes running out to see what's going on, the officer panics and shoots, killing Sean's father in front of both Sean and his 9-year-old brother Daniel. The trauma of the event causes Daniel to lash out with some unexplained power, sending a massive shockwave through the area that destroys parts of the surrounding homes, flips cars, and kills the officer and possibly the neighbor. Upon regaining consciousness, Sean takes in the situation and realizes that there's no explaining any of this away; running becomes the only thing that makes sense. So it is that Life Is Strange 2 becomes about hitting the road in the modern United States. As they travel, they encounter a small slice of people from across the socio-political spectrum. The first game painted a clear picture of Arcadia Bay, Oregon, but Life Is Strange 2, at least from the first episode, holds the larger ambition of reflecting the entire country. And that reflection doesn't pull punches. Perhaps most unexpectedly, the fluff of nostalgia that permeated the first Life Is Strange (and perhaps made some of its more disturbing moments palatable) has been replaced by a more immediate and applicable sense of time and place that, frankly, we aren't used to seeing in video games. It's surreal to hear characters throw slurs mixed with rhetoric about building a wall between the United States and Mexico or demonstrate a nonchalant attitude toward marijuana that reflects its legalization in Washington state. The veracity of these attitudes hits home as I have seen people act the same way in the real world. Especially when it comes to the uglier topics Roads touches on, the experience does not feel comfortable, but that's precisely the point. In some ways, it feels as though Life Is Strange 2 Episode 1 is having a conversation with the player. The developers must have been aware that some people would fall into the category that firmly believes games should be meaningless fun and wanted to subtly make the case that maybe some games should have more substance than just fun. Roads hits several extremely polarizing issues right off the bat, from police violence to racial prejudice, in such a way that it might shock people who aren't used to games that have pointed things to say about those subjects. Then, near the end of the episode, a character comments that, "Everything is political," both to the characters in their scene and also as if to directly address the player. And what are we supposed to do with that information? One of the closing conversations of the episode asks just that question. And the answer seems to be to continue pushing forward, whether that's for truth or for some kind of safe haven. Because that's all anyone can ever do. Conclusion: Life Is Strange 2's first episode blew me away. It manages to both be a heartfelt examination of the relationship between two brothers while unflinchingly engaging with incredibly weighty and difficult topics. It also doesn't leave the player with any easy answers or ways to address those issues in the real world. I suppose those might be coming in future episodes, but if I had to guess from how Roads played out we won't be presented with feel-good solutions. The story of the Diaz family left me constantly wondering what would happen next. While the episode ends with a somewhat concrete plan, I wouldn't be shocked if it veers off in completely unexpected directions. This episode manages to be equal parts gorgeous, funny, and searing all at the same time; gripping in such a way that you'll finish it in one sitting. It's going to be a long wait for Episode 2. Life Is Strange 2 Episode 1: Roads was reviewed on PC and is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. 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
  11. Namco Bandai has announced that they will be offering Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War in its entirety as a pre-order incentive for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. It will be available for both digital and physical editions of Ace Combat 7, though those who opt for the physical copy could miss out on a dynamic theme. Here's what's included in the pre-order bundle: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown dynamic theme - only available for digital pre-orders A McDonnell Douglas F-4E plane and three aircraft skins Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War Ace Combat 7 will be a full $60 at launch with a season pass available for $25 that includes three extra planes, three new stages, and an in-game music player. A deluxe edition will be sold digitally that packages the game with the season pass and will include the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter plane. Presumably, this means that Namco Bandai has updated Ace Combat 5 for modern systems, which might be worth the price of admission on its own. The hightlight of the PlayStation 2 run of the Ace Combat series, 5 puts players in the middle of a fictionalized version of our world, dubbed affectionately Strangereal, that has its two major superpowers on the brink of turning its Cold War into a hot one. The characters, flight controls, and scenarios are all excellent as each mission escalates in intensity. It's one of the best arcade flight sims out there, so seeing it in the air once again will be a real treat. We got some time to play with Ace Combat 7's VR features hands-on last year and it was a really amazing experience. Despite being the seventh numbered title in the Ace Combat series, 7 will be a direct sequel to 5. Sunau Katabuchi, the writer of Ace Combat 5, will return to write for Skies Unknown and has left open the possibility that characters from The Unsung War will return to fly again. The story will focus on the political conflict over the construction of a massive space elevator that spans multiple nations. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will release on January 18, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The VR version will be exclusive to the PS4 version. 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!
  12. Namco Bandai has announced that they will be offering Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War in its entirety as a pre-order incentive for Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. It will be available for both digital and physical editions of Ace Combat 7, though those who opt for the physical copy could miss out on a dynamic theme. Here's what's included in the pre-order bundle: Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown dynamic theme - only available for digital pre-orders A McDonnell Douglas F-4E plane and three aircraft skins Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War Ace Combat 7 will be a full $60 at launch with a season pass available for $25 that includes three extra planes, three new stages, and an in-game music player. A deluxe edition will be sold digitally that packages the game with the season pass and will include the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter plane. Presumably, this means that Namco Bandai has updated Ace Combat 5 for modern systems, which might be worth the price of admission on its own. The hightlight of the PlayStation 2 run of the Ace Combat series, 5 puts players in the middle of a fictionalized version of our world, dubbed affectionately Strangereal, that has its two major superpowers on the brink of turning its Cold War into a hot one. The characters, flight controls, and scenarios are all excellent as each mission escalates in intensity. It's one of the best arcade flight sims out there, so seeing it in the air once again will be a real treat. We got some time to play with Ace Combat 7's VR features hands-on last year and it was a really amazing experience. Despite being the seventh numbered title in the Ace Combat series, 7 will be a direct sequel to 5. Sunau Katabuchi, the writer of Ace Combat 5, will return to write for Skies Unknown and has left open the possibility that characters from The Unsung War will return to fly again. The story will focus on the political conflict over the construction of a massive space elevator that spans multiple nations. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will release on January 18, 2018 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The VR version will be exclusive to the PS4 version. 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
  13. Being a buster of ghosts without a proton pack takes a lot of work. HellSign tosses players into a dark and spooky world filled with hauntings and supernatural beings out to make the world a living nightmare. Each new case will have players tackling a new kind of monster; it'll take some sleuthing and preparation to correctly identify the spirit take it down successfully. As a paranormal investigator, players will create their own characters from scratch. Initially armed with nothing but some rust-covered hunting gear, players will work their way up the ranks of ghastly entities. Each case will help further open up the non-linear narrative, making each journey through HellSign unique to that investigator. HellSign takes place in Australia where players earn a living by fighting ghosts n' ghoulies. The game was created with the intention of mimicking monster-of-the-week television shows like Supernatural or The X-Files. Not gonna lie, the idea of becoming an Australian ghost hunter with an RPG framework and intriguing mysteries to solve is an easy sell for me. Players will explore locations like abandoned houses, barns, warehouses, etc. as they try to figure out what happened to draw a supernatural creature to that area. While exploring these spooky locales, various clues can be discovered, like blood spatters, tracks, or mysterious relics, that will help point toward what kind of apparition might be present. Everything a player discovers and identifies will be recorded in the Cryptonomicon for future reference. Once players have figured out, or believe they have figured out what sort of being haunts the area, it's time to gear up for battle. Players can only hold so many items at a time, so there's an element of inventory management and survival gameplay going on. Do you take the silver bullets or do you need a specialized scanner to see the creature? How you answer questions like that will mean the difference between victory and defeat. HellSign manifests on November 7 via Steam Early Access. 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!
  14. Being a buster of ghosts without a proton pack takes a lot of work. HellSign tosses players into a dark and spooky world filled with hauntings and supernatural beings out to make the world a living nightmare. Each new case will have players tackling a new kind of monster; it'll take some sleuthing and preparation to correctly identify the spirit take it down successfully. As a paranormal investigator, players will create their own characters from scratch. Initially armed with nothing but some rust-covered hunting gear, players will work their way up the ranks of ghastly entities. Each case will help further open up the non-linear narrative, making each journey through HellSign unique to that investigator. HellSign takes place in Australia where players earn a living by fighting ghosts n' ghoulies. The game was created with the intention of mimicking monster-of-the-week television shows like Supernatural or The X-Files. Not gonna lie, the idea of becoming an Australian ghost hunter with an RPG framework and intriguing mysteries to solve is an easy sell for me. Players will explore locations like abandoned houses, barns, warehouses, etc. as they try to figure out what happened to draw a supernatural creature to that area. While exploring these spooky locales, various clues can be discovered, like blood spatters, tracks, or mysterious relics, that will help point toward what kind of apparition might be present. Everything a player discovers and identifies will be recorded in the Cryptonomicon for future reference. Once players have figured out, or believe they have figured out what sort of being haunts the area, it's time to gear up for battle. Players can only hold so many items at a time, so there's an element of inventory management and survival gameplay going on. Do you take the silver bullets or do you need a specialized scanner to see the creature? How you answer questions like that will mean the difference between victory and defeat. HellSign manifests on November 7 via Steam Early Access. 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
  15. BioShock Infinite, the swan song of Ken Levine's now defunct Irrational Games studio, released in 2013 to critical and commercial success. Over the years it has been subject to countless think pieces and theory articles diving into its esoteric world and thick layers of semiotics. It also found itself in something like a controversy surrounding criticism of its use of graphic violence. Despite it all, many point to it as a milestone in game design and praise the depth of its narrative. Now that it has been half a decade since its release, does BioShock Infinite stand as one of the best games of all-time? Is it the best BioShock of the series? Listen in to find out! 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: Dragon Warrior VII 'Deeper in the Heart' by Bluelighter, Arvangath, Chris ~ Amaterasu, and Katamari (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03762) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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!
  16. BioShock Infinite, the swan song of Ken Levine's now defunct Irrational Games studio, released in 2013 to critical and commercial success. Over the years it has been subject to countless think pieces and theory articles diving into its esoteric world and thick layers of semiotics. It also found itself in something like a controversy surrounding criticism of its use of graphic violence. Despite it all, many point to it as a milestone in game design and praise the depth of its narrative. Now that it has been half a decade since its release, does BioShock Infinite stand as one of the best games of all-time? Is it the best BioShock of the series? Listen in to find out! 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: Dragon Warrior VII 'Deeper in the Heart' by Bluelighter, Arvangath, Chris ~ Amaterasu, and Katamari (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03762) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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
  17. In the surreal, darkly magical world of We Know the Devil, troublesome teenagers are sent to a summer camp that aims to straighten them out - by pitting them against the devil armed only with one another and some crappy (seemingly magic?) radios. This is the story of Venus, Jupiter, and Neptune as they go into the woods on one of their last days at camp.... Written by Aevee Bee with creative direction from Mia Schwartz and produced with help from the team at Pillow Fight Games, could We Know the Devil be 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: Final Fantasy X-2 'So It Goes' by Kabukibear (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03779) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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!
  18. In the surreal, darkly magical world of We Know the Devil, troublesome teenagers are sent to a summer camp that aims to straighten them out - by pitting them against the devil armed only with one another and some crappy (seemingly magic?) radios. This is the story of Venus, Jupiter, and Neptune as they go into the woods on one of their last days at camp.... Written by Aevee Bee with creative direction from Mia Schwartz and produced with help from the team at Pillow Fight Games, could We Know the Devil be 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: Final Fantasy X-2 'So It Goes' by Kabukibear (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03779) You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available, as well! 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
  19. Gnomedic

    World of Warcraft - EL Raiders

    Hey folks! I was wondering if anyone that plays WoW would be interested in forming an Extra Life guild with me for the purpose of running raids or PVP on twitch/youtube/etc? I've lots of experience with PVE, but... not so much with PVP. I've recently found the game to be pretty boring without a guild, so I figured why not make something with other awesome ELers? If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, toss me a message on bnet: Gnomedic#1291. This would be for the Alliance side, someone else can form a Horde guild, but all my toons are Ally This would be casual, maybe one or two nights a week, non-mandatory, and we can pick a server, or just have an unofficial guild. Faction: Alliance Server: Zangarmarsh or Darkspear (or TBD!) Type: PVE/PVP
  20. There's a new Super Mario game coming out in the future, though it isn't exactly sanctioned by Nintendo. Super Mario Flashback has been designed in the mold of a classic 2D Mario title, but done up in the most elaborately animated and colorful ways possible. The first thing to know about Super Mario Flashback is that, while it certainly plays like its classic counterparts, it takes many mechanics and ideas from more modern incarnations of Mario. Mario can duck and slide, wall jump, and ground pound right from the start. The Flashback team has also opted for the life meter from newer Mario games instead of having Mario switch between small and big forms based on power-ups. Each level also possesses an optional green star for players to collect. The visuals in Super Mario Flashback stand out as some of the best looking sprite work and pixel art design in recent memory. Each of Mario's movements take on a fluid energy as multiple movements play out through every animation. Even common enemies have the same attention to detail, like the lowly goombas whose aggressive waddling shifts their orientation with each step in a visually pleasing way. People who have been dying for a new 2D Mario in a style that brings Super Mario World into 2018 should find Super Mario Flashback exactly what they have been hoping for. Though the full game has yet to be released, Team Flashback released a demo over the weekend to show off their vision of what the final product will be like. The demo consists of three levels, each with their own collectible star. With Mario as the only playable character, players are given infinite lives to make their way to the end of the demo. Players can map controls to any keys they wish, though full Xbox 360 controller support is offered, too. The final game will offer so much more, however. Nine worlds consisting of multiple levels will be available at launch, each based on a classic Mario title. Super Mario Flashback will also have a wholly original soundtrack, a bit of which plays throughout the demo (it's quite good). The devs have promised over 75 power stars, which might correspond to a rough count of how many stages will be in the final game. 36 optional bonus stars will be available to discover, too. The team has also promised "tons of power-ups," which is good as the demo only includes the classic mushroom and flower power-ups. While Mario holds the honor of starring in the demo, players will actually be able to choose their character in Super Mario Flashback. Players will be able to choose between Mario, Luigi, and Toad, each with different costumes that players can unlock in-game. Of course, it wouldn't be true to classic Mario if each player didn't play a little differently. Luigi retains his high jumping and slippery walk, and Toad walks pretty fast, but takes the longest to reach sprinting speeds. Oh, and the whole thing aims to have 1080p resolution at 60FPS. Before anyone goes off on how Nintendo will shut down the project, the leader of Team Flashback, Mons, released a statement via Twitter (condensed and edited for clarity below): My mentions are literally full of people either telling me that the game is going to get taken down by Nintendo (yes, I had no idea) or getting worried about that. I think I need to clear this whole thing up. First of all no, I'm not worried about Nintendo taking down the game. That's mainly because I've noticed some trends in fangames that got taken down by Nintendo. 1) Remakes: Most of the fangames Nintendo took down are remakes or games that are close to being remakes. Super Mario 64 HD, Full Screen Mario, Super Mario ReMaker, Zelda 30 Tribute, AM2R and many others are all remakes. It makes sense for them to shut down these fangames as the original games are still being sold on the Eshop. 2) Fangames that make money: Well, it makes sense that Nintendo doesn't want others to make money with their IP. The biggest example of this I can think of is Nintendo taking down tons of fangames on Game Jolt. This was because you can actually make money there with ads. Though you really really don't earn much. I uploaded an indie game I made for a game jam there with ads and uhh... yeah.... 3) Pokemon fangames: I mean, it's a well known fact that The Pokemon Company is really protective of their IP. IIRC this was the reason why the Pokemon costumes in Mario Maker didn't have custom sounds too. So this is also kind of reasonable. Ok, well, not "reasonable" but it kind of makes sense. Anyways, there's only 1 fangame that didn't fit any of these categories and that's No Mario's Sky but... I think it also kiiiiind of makes sense when you think about it? I mean No Man's Sky was a controversial subject at the time so I'd assume that they didn't want Mario to be attached to that? I think that's really dumb but again, it kind of makes sense. And well, Flashback doesn't really fit any of these categories. It's not a remake, it doesn't make money, it has nothing to do with Pokemon and it doesn't do anything controversial with the IP. Does this mean that Flashback is 100% safe? I wish, it's impossible to know what Nintendo is going to do next. But it gives me enough confidence to share my progress with the game to the public. Oh and no, we won't turn this game into an indie game if Nintendo sends us The Letter. I'd rather make something original than a ripoff of Mario if I'm making an indie game. We might move onto a different indie game with a similar team using a similar art style, but it would most definitely be a different game. Those interested in checking out Super Mario Flashback can download the demo on the Team Flashback website.
  21. There's a new Super Mario game coming out in the future, though it isn't exactly sanctioned by Nintendo. Super Mario Flashback has been designed in the mold of a classic 2D Mario title, but done up in the most elaborately animated and colorful ways possible. The first thing to know about Super Mario Flashback is that, while it certainly plays like its classic counterparts, it takes many mechanics and ideas from more modern incarnations of Mario. Mario can duck and slide, wall jump, and ground pound right from the start. The Flashback team has also opted for the life meter from newer Mario games instead of having Mario switch between small and big forms based on power-ups. Each level also possesses an optional green star for players to collect. The visuals in Super Mario Flashback stand out as some of the best looking sprite work and pixel art design in recent memory. Each of Mario's movements take on a fluid energy as multiple movements play out through every animation. Even common enemies have the same attention to detail, like the lowly goombas whose aggressive waddling shifts their orientation with each step in a visually pleasing way. People who have been dying for a new 2D Mario in a style that brings Super Mario World into 2018 should find Super Mario Flashback exactly what they have been hoping for. Though the full game has yet to be released, Team Flashback released a demo over the weekend to show off their vision of what the final product will be like. The demo consists of three levels, each with their own collectible star. With Mario as the only playable character, players are given infinite lives to make their way to the end of the demo. Players can map controls to any keys they wish, though full Xbox 360 controller support is offered, too. The final game will offer so much more, however. Nine worlds consisting of multiple levels will be available at launch, each based on a classic Mario title. Super Mario Flashback will also have a wholly original soundtrack, a bit of which plays throughout the demo (it's quite good). The devs have promised over 75 power stars, which might correspond to a rough count of how many stages will be in the final game. 36 optional bonus stars will be available to discover, too. The team has also promised "tons of power-ups," which is good as the demo only includes the classic mushroom and flower power-ups. While Mario holds the honor of starring in the demo, players will actually be able to choose their character in Super Mario Flashback. Players will be able to choose between Mario, Luigi, and Toad, each with different costumes that players can unlock in-game. Of course, it wouldn't be true to classic Mario if each player didn't play a little differently. Luigi retains his high jumping and slippery walk, and Toad walks pretty fast, but takes the longest to reach sprinting speeds. Oh, and the whole thing aims to have 1080p resolution at 60FPS. Before anyone goes off on how Nintendo will shut down the project, the leader of Team Flashback, Mons, released a statement via Twitter (condensed and edited for clarity below): My mentions are literally full of people either telling me that the game is going to get taken down by Nintendo (yes, I had no idea) or getting worried about that. I think I need to clear this whole thing up. First of all no, I'm not worried about Nintendo taking down the game. That's mainly because I've noticed some trends in fangames that got taken down by Nintendo. 1) Remakes: Most of the fangames Nintendo took down are remakes or games that are close to being remakes. Super Mario 64 HD, Full Screen Mario, Super Mario ReMaker, Zelda 30 Tribute, AM2R and many others are all remakes. It makes sense for them to shut down these fangames as the original games are still being sold on the Eshop. 2) Fangames that make money: Well, it makes sense that Nintendo doesn't want others to make money with their IP. The biggest example of this I can think of is Nintendo taking down tons of fangames on Game Jolt. This was because you can actually make money there with ads. Though you really really don't earn much. I uploaded an indie game I made for a game jam there with ads and uhh... yeah.... 3) Pokemon fangames: I mean, it's a well known fact that The Pokemon Company is really protective of their IP. IIRC this was the reason why the Pokemon costumes in Mario Maker didn't have custom sounds too. So this is also kind of reasonable. Ok, well, not "reasonable" but it kind of makes sense. Anyways, there's only 1 fangame that didn't fit any of these categories and that's No Mario's Sky but... I think it also kiiiiind of makes sense when you think about it? I mean No Man's Sky was a controversial subject at the time so I'd assume that they didn't want Mario to be attached to that? I think that's really dumb but again, it kind of makes sense. And well, Flashback doesn't really fit any of these categories. It's not a remake, it doesn't make money, it has nothing to do with Pokemon and it doesn't do anything controversial with the IP. Does this mean that Flashback is 100% safe? I wish, it's impossible to know what Nintendo is going to do next. But it gives me enough confidence to share my progress with the game to the public. Oh and no, we won't turn this game into an indie game if Nintendo sends us The Letter. I'd rather make something original than a ripoff of Mario if I'm making an indie game. We might move onto a different indie game with a similar team using a similar art style, but it would most definitely be a different game. Those interested in checking out Super Mario Flashback can download the demo on the Team Flashback website. View full article
  22. The sequel to the Russian cult classic has donned its plague mask and begun its final march toward release. Pathologic 2 gives players twelve days to explore its mysterious and creepy open world, a land stricken with a deadly disease. While the people who reside there have become ever more paranoid and prone to extreme reactions to newcomers, something about the outbreak seems to have attracted the attention of otherworldly entities. The society presented in-game will almost certainly collapse, leaving players to navigate its ruins. Do you look out for everyone you meet or blaze your own violent trail? Either way, one of the core tenants of Pathologic 2 is a simple phrase: You can't save everyone. There will be unwinnable challenges to face where every choice brings with it a bitter downside. A variety of mysteries invite players to investigate. Uncover why your father, the town's chief doctor, was murdered and who killed him. There's also someone who might possibly be your twin who seems to be mixed up in the outbreak somehow. And as the adults join gangs and begin spreading death in their own ways, the town's children seem to be acting strangely.... Developer Ice-Pick Lodge will be showing the alpha version of Pathologic 2 at PAX West at the end of the month to those who attend the show. If you're interested in trying the game for yourself, you can sign up for alpha participation on the game's website. 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!
  23. The sequel to the Russian cult classic has donned its plague mask and begun its final march toward release. Pathologic 2 gives players twelve days to explore its mysterious and creepy open world, a land stricken with a deadly disease. While the people who reside there have become ever more paranoid and prone to extreme reactions to newcomers, something about the outbreak seems to have attracted the attention of otherworldly entities. The society presented in-game will almost certainly collapse, leaving players to navigate its ruins. Do you look out for everyone you meet or blaze your own violent trail? Either way, one of the core tenants of Pathologic 2 is a simple phrase: You can't save everyone. There will be unwinnable challenges to face where every choice brings with it a bitter downside. A variety of mysteries invite players to investigate. Uncover why your father, the town's chief doctor, was murdered and who killed him. There's also someone who might possibly be your twin who seems to be mixed up in the outbreak somehow. And as the adults join gangs and begin spreading death in their own ways, the town's children seem to be acting strangely.... Developer Ice-Pick Lodge will be showing the alpha version of Pathologic 2 at PAX West at the end of the month to those who attend the show. If you're interested in trying the game for yourself, you can sign up for alpha participation on the game's website. 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
  24. E-Line Media's upcoming title, The Endless Mission, can leave a lot of people scratching their heads at first glance. It is a game about making games that includes games within itself while also being a strong single-player experience that prepares players to make games. Make sense? It was a lot for me to digest from just a press release, so I took some time to sit down with Brenden Sewell, the creative director of The Endless Mission, to talk about his conceptually dense project. The Endless Mission's prioritizes giving players the power to create games of their own. It eases players into the process with a story and mechanics that gradually teach players how to use its tools. It begins with a handful of game modes that players can play on their own or mix together to create different game types to play. The game creation process evolves over time as players discover their own unique combinations of settings and find a need for greater complexity. Not only that, but players can then share their creations with other players, leading to what will hopefully be an ever expanding pool of stories and mechanics from which other players can draw inspiration for their own games. The Endless Mission grew out of a desire to connect young people with an accessible, fun game that could double as a tool set serving as a bridge between the introductory world of coding and full-blown game development. Sewell says that he and his team were inspired by seeing kids engaging with Minecraft in ways that became more and more elaborate over time. First, they would figure out how to start up a server, going through painstaking tutorials and executing commands. Some would start crafting mods for the game, again working through ridiculous amounts of tutorials, essentially teaching themselves how to code. However, after that, many never seemed to make the leap to game development, despite having good ideas, because the leap itself seemed so daunting. Once Minecraft was taken out of the picture all of that technical knowledge faded into the background. So, The Endless Mission aimed to give players the means, tools, and drive to help them cross over into game development and fill the perceived voids separating playing, modding, and developing. To help players cross the divide, The Endless Mission goes through an evolution that follows the player's increasing skill level. Players begin the game with access to a handful of pre-made games; initially a kart racer, an RTS, and a platformer, along with whatever games other players have shared online. That might not sound like much, but when you jump into one of those games, The Endless Mission gives players the ability to peek behind the curtain. You can bring up a menu to alter the fundamental rules of the game. Of course, this immediately leads to ridiculousness, like your avatar jumping for colossal heights or dashing impossible distances while 100x its normal size, but that's all part of the learning process. Emergent game design, discovering ideas for games you hadn't even considered before, is part of the fun! However, the game doesn't sit on its laurels and call it a day after giving the player access to the behind-the-scenes sliders. You see, once players have mastered the menus and feel the need for even more refinement, they can access a visual programming language built to represent C#. This allows players to make changes to the game in real-time. While the visual language possesses much more power and versatility than the basic menus, it might be found lacking for players who really want to get into the nitty gritty details, which is why the game allows players to open it up and directly program in C# to create the game in their head. Players will be moved through this journey by the single-player aspect. To call The Endless Mission a set of tools for making a game on your own would be an understatement. Though it certainly gives players the capacity to craft entire games, it's as much a rumination on the act of creation itself, with a script penned by Christian Cantamessa, the lead writer of Red Dead Redemption, and Richard Elliott, known for his work on the animated series Fangbone!. The premise revolves around the modern tension of shaping our environment with technology while in turn finding ourselves shaped by that technology. Though not necessarily the main goal of The Endless Mission, E-Line Media wants to enable players to make a full, functional game in Unity that can stand on its with the tools provided. If you're not a fan of the assets used in The Endless Mission, Sewell says you can import your own. Games can be shared online within the game, though it's not exactly clear how curation will work. Eventually, if someone puts in enough time and effort, their Endless Mission creation could even be exported as an independent game. The Endless Mission undoubtedly takes a big risk. However, the potential ability to inspire and enable a generation of young gamers to make their own art and tell their own stories could be more than worth the difficulty. The project won't be getting a full release for a while yet, but players can get in on the Early Access version for PC on August 31. 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!
  25. E-Line Media's upcoming title, The Endless Mission, can leave a lot of people scratching their heads at first glance. It is a game about making games that includes games within itself while also being a strong single-player experience that prepares players to make games. Make sense? It was a lot for me to digest from just a press release, so I took some time to sit down with Brenden Sewell, the creative director of The Endless Mission, to talk about his conceptually dense project. The Endless Mission's prioritizes giving players the power to create games of their own. It eases players into the process with a story and mechanics that gradually teach players how to use its tools. It begins with a handful of game modes that players can play on their own or mix together to create different game types to play. The game creation process evolves over time as players discover their own unique combinations of settings and find a need for greater complexity. Not only that, but players can then share their creations with other players, leading to what will hopefully be an ever expanding pool of stories and mechanics from which other players can draw inspiration for their own games. The Endless Mission grew out of a desire to connect young people with an accessible, fun game that could double as a tool set serving as a bridge between the introductory world of coding and full-blown game development. Sewell says that he and his team were inspired by seeing kids engaging with Minecraft in ways that became more and more elaborate over time. First, they would figure out how to start up a server, going through painstaking tutorials and executing commands. Some would start crafting mods for the game, again working through ridiculous amounts of tutorials, essentially teaching themselves how to code. However, after that, many never seemed to make the leap to game development, despite having good ideas, because the leap itself seemed so daunting. Once Minecraft was taken out of the picture all of that technical knowledge faded into the background. So, The Endless Mission aimed to give players the means, tools, and drive to help them cross over into game development and fill the perceived voids separating playing, modding, and developing. To help players cross the divide, The Endless Mission goes through an evolution that follows the player's increasing skill level. Players begin the game with access to a handful of pre-made games; initially a kart racer, an RTS, and a platformer, along with whatever games other players have shared online. That might not sound like much, but when you jump into one of those games, The Endless Mission gives players the ability to peek behind the curtain. You can bring up a menu to alter the fundamental rules of the game. Of course, this immediately leads to ridiculousness, like your avatar jumping for colossal heights or dashing impossible distances while 100x its normal size, but that's all part of the learning process. Emergent game design, discovering ideas for games you hadn't even considered before, is part of the fun! However, the game doesn't sit on its laurels and call it a day after giving the player access to the behind-the-scenes sliders. You see, once players have mastered the menus and feel the need for even more refinement, they can access a visual programming language built to represent C#. This allows players to make changes to the game in real-time. While the visual language possesses much more power and versatility than the basic menus, it might be found lacking for players who really want to get into the nitty gritty details, which is why the game allows players to open it up and directly program in C# to create the game in their head. Players will be moved through this journey by the single-player aspect. To call The Endless Mission a set of tools for making a game on your own would be an understatement. Though it certainly gives players the capacity to craft entire games, it's as much a rumination on the act of creation itself, with a script penned by Christian Cantamessa, the lead writer of Red Dead Redemption, and Richard Elliott, known for his work on the animated series Fangbone!. The premise revolves around the modern tension of shaping our environment with technology while in turn finding ourselves shaped by that technology. Though not necessarily the main goal of The Endless Mission, E-Line Media wants to enable players to make a full, functional game in Unity that can stand on its with the tools provided. If you're not a fan of the assets used in The Endless Mission, Sewell says you can import your own. Games can be shared online within the game, though it's not exactly clear how curation will work. Eventually, if someone puts in enough time and effort, their Endless Mission creation could even be exported as an independent game. The Endless Mission undoubtedly takes a big risk. However, the potential ability to inspire and enable a generation of young gamers to make their own art and tell their own stories could be more than worth the difficulty. The project won't be getting a full release for a while yet, but players can get in on the Early Access version for PC on August 31. 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
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