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Found 416 results

  1. No Man's Sky was one of the most hyped games of this generation. Many people who got their hands on it felt profoundly disappointed when it didn't fully live up to their expectations (though I was not one of those people). Despite a massive backlash that included attempts to sue Hello Games for false advertising, the studio continued their work on the title with the help of its small, but strong community. Updates since its launch have added base-building, ground vehicles, more music, additional weapons, a camera mode, new world types, over 30 hours of story content, increased resolution support, and more. The Next Update will be the most game changing alteration to Hello Game's infinite universe yet as it will bring true multiplayer to the previously mostly single-player game. Friends will be able to travel the galaxy together, building and surviving as a group rather than as a solo player. This opens up all kinds of possibilities like space piracy and player-made galactic hubs for communal living and trade. The No Man's Sky Next update will also herald the release of the title on Xbox One. So, when does all of this hit players? Those who own the title will be able to download the free update next week on July 24! 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. No Man's Sky was one of the most hyped games of this generation. Many people who got their hands on it felt profoundly disappointed when it didn't fully live up to their expectations (though I was not one of those people). Despite a massive backlash that included attempts to sue Hello Games for false advertising, the studio continued their work on the title with the help of its small, but strong community. Updates since its launch have added base-building, ground vehicles, more music, additional weapons, a camera mode, new world types, over 30 hours of story content, increased resolution support, and more. The Next Update will be the most game changing alteration to Hello Game's infinite universe yet as it will bring true multiplayer to the previously mostly single-player game. Friends will be able to travel the galaxy together, building and surviving as a group rather than as a solo player. This opens up all kinds of possibilities like space piracy and player-made galactic hubs for communal living and trade. The No Man's Sky Next update will also herald the release of the title on Xbox One. So, when does all of this hit players? Those who own the title will be able to download the free update next week on July 24! 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. Survival? In my zombie game? Wha- wha- whaaaaaaat? That's right, this week we are tackling State of Decay! Released in 2013 for the Xbox 360 and since released on PC and Xbox One, State of Decay garnered a cult following over the years. Developer Undead Labs' created its first game with the goal of carving out a niche in the saturated zombie game market by adding permadeath, individual survival elements, and larger, group-oriented goals. How well did they succeed at doing this? And does the game as a whole stand as one of the best games of all-time? Take a listen and share your thoughts! 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: Undeadline 'Marching Towards Roshufa's Spirit' by Jorito (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03475) 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. Survival? In my zombie game? Wha- wha- whaaaaaaat? That's right, this week we are tackling State of Decay! Released in 2013 for the Xbox 360 and since released on PC and Xbox One, State of Decay garnered a cult following over the years. Developer Undead Labs' created its first game with the goal of carving out a niche in the saturated zombie game market by adding permadeath, individual survival elements, and larger, group-oriented goals. How well did they succeed at doing this? And does the game as a whole stand as one of the best games of all-time? Take a listen and share your thoughts! 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: Undeadline 'Marching Towards Roshufa's Spirit' by Jorito (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03475) 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. Dontnod, the developers of Vampyr and Life Is Strange, released The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit for free just a few days ago. The narrative adventure follows Chris, a young boy who lives with his dad, throughout an afternoon of his life. It has a lot of heart, occasionally channeling the spirit of Calvin & Hobbes, and also quite a bit of darkness. It walks a thin line between the joyful attitudes of youth and the stark realities of adulthood, with all of the trauma and pain that entails. Sit down, kick back, and listen as we parse out the details of this interesting lead up to Life Is Strange 2. A correction: At the end of the episode, there's some mention of this free piece of content being the first episode of Life Is Strange 2 - that is not the case. It's a free prequel to the events of the five episodes that comprise the full game. The first episode of Life Is Strange 2 will release on September 27. Outro music: Kirby's Epic Yarn 'Blue Lava, Grass Landing' by The Hit Points (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03754) 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!
  6. Dontnod, the developers of Vampyr and Life Is Strange, released The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit for free just a few days ago. The narrative adventure follows Chris, a young boy who lives with his dad, throughout an afternoon of his life. It has a lot of heart, occasionally channeling the spirit of Calvin & Hobbes, and also quite a bit of darkness. It walks a thin line between the joyful attitudes of youth and the stark realities of adulthood, with all of the trauma and pain that entails. Sit down, kick back, and listen as we parse out the details of this interesting lead up to Life Is Strange 2. A correction: At the end of the episode, there's some mention of this free piece of content being the first episode of Life Is Strange 2 - that is not the case. It's a free prequel to the events of the five episodes that comprise the full game. The first episode of Life Is Strange 2 will release on September 27. Outro music: Kirby's Epic Yarn 'Blue Lava, Grass Landing' by The Hit Points (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03754) 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
  7. Nier: Automata was an unexpected hit when it arrived on PlayStation 4 and PC last spring. The off-the-wall yet poignant story combined with its unique structure and stylish action took players by surprise, with many lauding it as one of the most memorable titles of the generation. Now Xbox owners can discover what the fuss is about when Platinum's breakout title arrives to Xbox One The Xbox version, subtitled Become as Gods Edition, includes all previously released DLC. It also boasts Xbox One X enhancements, likely meaning either a graphical or framerate boost. If you've yet to play Nier, take a look at what you're getting into in the trailer below. Nier: Automata - Become as Gods Edition releases June 26. View full article
  8. Marcus Stewart

    Nier: Automata Heading to Xbox One

    Nier: Automata was an unexpected hit when it arrived on PlayStation 4 and PC last spring. The off-the-wall yet poignant story combined with its unique structure and stylish action took players by surprise, with many lauding it as one of the most memorable titles of the generation. Now Xbox owners can discover what the fuss is about when Platinum's breakout title arrives to Xbox One The Xbox version, subtitled Become as Gods Edition, includes all previously released DLC. It also boasts Xbox One X enhancements, likely meaning either a graphical or framerate boost. If you've yet to play Nier, take a look at what you're getting into in the trailer below. Nier: Automata - Become as Gods Edition releases June 26.
  9. Microsoft addressed one of Xbox's largest criticisms, the lack of exclusive AAA games, by announcing the creation/acquisition of several development studios. When speaking about the importance of making Xbox One the best places to play game, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced the formation of The Initiative. This new Microsoft studio, led by veteran storyteller Darrell Gallagher (formally of Crystal Dynamics), is currently building a team of "world-class talent" in Santa Monica, California. Their goal, as Spencer put it, is to "create groundbreaking new game experiences". Spencer followed that news by revealing that four third-party studios have been brought under Microsoft's umbrella: Undead Labs (State of Decay series) Playground Games (Forza Horizon series, Unannounced new IP) Ninja Theory (Hellblade, DmC Devil May Cry, Enslaved) Compulsion Games (We Happy Few, Contrast) Spencer states these five teams will have "the resources, the platform, and the creative independence to take bigger risks, [and] create even bolder worlds for you". In a bit of writing on the wall, State of Decay and Forza Horizon have long been Microsoft-exclusive titles. The formally PlayStation-exclusive Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice arrived on Xbox in April. We Happy Few, however, is still scheduled to release on PlayStation 4 as well as Xbox One. View full article
  10. Microsoft addressed one of Xbox's largest criticisms, the lack of exclusive AAA games, by announcing the creation/acquisition of several development studios. When speaking about the importance of making Xbox One the best places to play game, Xbox head Phil Spencer announced the formation of The Initiative. This new Microsoft studio, led by veteran storyteller Darrell Gallagher (formally of Crystal Dynamics), is currently building a team of "world-class talent" in Santa Monica, California. Their goal, as Spencer put it, is to "create groundbreaking new game experiences". Spencer followed that news by revealing that four third-party studios have been brought under Microsoft's umbrella: Undead Labs (State of Decay series) Playground Games (Forza Horizon series, Unannounced new IP) Ninja Theory (Hellblade, DmC Devil May Cry, Enslaved) Compulsion Games (We Happy Few, Contrast) Spencer states these five teams will have "the resources, the platform, and the creative independence to take bigger risks, [and] create even bolder worlds for you". In a bit of writing on the wall, State of Decay and Forza Horizon have long been Microsoft-exclusive titles. The formally PlayStation-exclusive Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice arrived on Xbox in April. We Happy Few, however, is still scheduled to release on PlayStation 4 as well as Xbox One.
  11. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is Dontnod's heartwarming new story set in the Life is Strange universe. Instead of focusing on teenage drama, the game centers on a child with an imagination vivid enough to, seemingly, come to life. Though it occupies the same world as Max and Chloe's, Captain Spirit is a standalone story. A lonely boy named Chris lives as an only-child to a father who neglects him. In order to entertain himself, he turns to the world of make-believe. However, his fantasies seem to manifest beyond his thoughts, suggesting Chris may have posses supernatural abilities–a trademark element of Life is Strange. Dontnod states that the game acts a precursor to Life is Strange 2, a project that still has not been formally unveiled. Also, Captain Spirit appears to be a one-off installment as opposed to being a season of episodes. You won't have to wait long to play along with Chris. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit launches June 26 and will be completely free to download. The game is slated to release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. View full article
  12. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit is Dontnod's heartwarming new story set in the Life is Strange universe. Instead of focusing on teenage drama, the game centers on a child with an imagination vivid enough to, seemingly, come to life. Though it occupies the same world as Max and Chloe's, Captain Spirit is a standalone story. A lonely boy named Chris lives as an only-child to a father who neglects him. In order to entertain himself, he turns to the world of make-believe. However, his fantasies seem to manifest beyond his thoughts, suggesting Chris may have posses supernatural abilities–a trademark element of Life is Strange. Dontnod states that the game acts a precursor to Life is Strange 2, a project that still has not been formally unveiled. Also, Captain Spirit appears to be a one-off installment as opposed to being a season of episodes. You won't have to wait long to play along with Chris. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit launches June 26 and will be completely free to download. The game is slated to release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.
  13. During last year's Game Awards, Dark Souls/Bloodborne developer FromSoftware gave us a tantalizing glimpse at the next project. They pulled back that curtain entirely to reveal their next action title, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The game takes place in Japan and swaps medieval knights and Lovecraftian horrors for ninjas. Don't be fooled; there's still plenty of supernatural threats, including a massive serpent. The mysterious bone tool from the teaser is actually an artificial arm for the protagonist. This multipurpose limb can fire a grappling hook used quickly zip around or turn into an umbrella-like shield. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launches in 2019. It will arrive on 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!
  14. Ori and the Will of the Wisps made a somber debut during last year's Xbox briefing, but the game hasn't made a peep since. That changed during today's conference with debut of the game's first gameplay trailer. The video shows off some beautiful action-platforming that looks as tough as nails as the first game. But don't take my word for it. Take a look for yourself below. We also found out that Ori and the Will of the Wisps will launch in 2019 for Xbox One and Windows 10. View full article
  15. Ori and the Will of the Wisps made a somber debut during last year's Xbox briefing, but the game hasn't made a peep since. That changed during today's conference with debut of the game's first gameplay trailer. The video shows off some beautiful action-platforming that looks as tough as nails as the first game. But don't take my word for it. Take a look for yourself below. We also found out that Ori and the Will of the Wisps will launch in 2019 for Xbox One and Windows 10. View full article
  16. Ori and the Will of the Wisps made a somber debut during last year's Xbox briefing, but the game hasn't made a peep since. That changed during today's conference with debut of the game's first gameplay trailer. The video shows off some beautiful action-platforming that looks as tough as nails as the first game. But don't take my word for it. Take a look for yourself below. We also found out that Ori and the Will of the Wisps will launch in 2019 for Xbox One and Windows 10.
  17. During last year's Game Awards, Dark Souls/Bloodborne developer FromSoftware gave us a tantalizing glimpse at the next project. They pulled back that curtain entirely to reveal their next action title, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The game takes place in Japan and swaps medieval knights and Lovecraftian horrors for ninjas. Don't be fooled; there's still plenty of supernatural threats, including a massive serpent. The mysterious bone tool from the teaser is actually an artificial arm for the protagonist. This multipurpose limb can fire a grappling hook used quickly zip around or turn into an umbrella-like shield. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launches in 2019. It will arrive on 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
  18. Jack Gardner

    Unravel Two Announced and Released Today

    EA both announced and released Unravel Two today in a fun twist on how long it usually takes E3 games to reach the consoles and PCs of the general gaming community. The sequel to the well-received indie platformer aims to foster a spirit of friendship and adventure with its new focus on co-op/dual character mechanics. Coming to us courtesy of Coldwood Interactive, Unravel Two takes the physics platforming from the first game and adds in an interesting wrinkle with co-op. Having lost everything in a terrible storm, Yarny manages to connect with another creature like itself and the duo set out for adventure. This connection allows the two Yarnys to fuse together or split apart to accomplish tasks independently. If you're not a fan of co-op, don't worry - it's not mandatory to play the game with someone else. EA assured everyone that solo players will be able to enjoy the game, too. The stage demo showed the two yarn creatures helping one another to traverse a wilderness setting while pursued by a wild pheasant (it might not be a pheasant, but I'm not on an expert on those fowl creatures). The co-op feature was used to distract the pheasant while one or the other Yarny navigated a puzzle or escaped to safety. The game will support both online and local co-op play. And, again, this is one E3 announcement that's available right now for about $20 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
  19. EA both announced and released Unravel Two today in a fun twist on how long it usually takes E3 games to reach the consoles and PCs of the general gaming community. The sequel to the well-received indie platformer aims to foster a spirit of friendship and adventure with its new focus on co-op/dual character mechanics. Coming to us courtesy of Coldwood Interactive, Unravel Two takes the physics platforming from the first game and adds in an interesting wrinkle with co-op. Having lost everything in a terrible storm, Yarny manages to connect with another creature like itself and the duo set out for adventure. This connection allows the two Yarnys to fuse together or split apart to accomplish tasks independently. If you're not a fan of co-op, don't worry - it's not mandatory to play the game with someone else. EA assured everyone that solo players will be able to enjoy the game, too. The stage demo showed the two yarn creatures helping one another to traverse a wilderness setting while pursued by a wild pheasant (it might not be a pheasant, but I'm not on an expert on those fowl creatures). The co-op feature was used to distract the pheasant while one or the other Yarny navigated a puzzle or escaped to safety. The game will support both online and local co-op play. And, again, this is one E3 announcement that's available right now for about $20 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. View full article
  20. Let's go back to the game that kickstarted the trend of weighty indie games relying on small kids in big, scary worlds. Limbo thrilled, chilled, and grilled players around the world when it launched. As a nameless young boy in a world weaved together of monochrome shadows and a vintage filter, players embark on a journey filled with death and symbolism. Playdead's indie darling received massive praise when it released in 2010, but has that charm remained intact over 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: Link's Awakening 'Mysterious Gold Edition' by Rukunetsu, Anton Corazza, and Yusef Kelliebrew (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03738) 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
  21. Jack Gardner

    The Best Games Period - Episode 101 - Limbo

    Let's go back to the game that kickstarted the trend of weighty indie games relying on small kids in big, scary worlds. Limbo thrilled, chilled, and grilled players around the world when it launched. As a nameless young boy in a world weaved together of monochrome shadows and a vintage filter, players embark on a journey filled with death and symbolism. Playdead's indie darling received massive praise when it released in 2010, but has that charm remained intact over 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: Link's Awakening 'Mysterious Gold Edition' by Rukunetsu, Anton Corazza, and Yusef Kelliebrew (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03738) 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!
  22. 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!
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. 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
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