Train2Game News EGX 2014 Developer Sessions

EGX 2014Gamer Network has announced the full developer sessions line-up for this year’s EGX event, taking place next Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th September at Earls Court, London.

This year’s line-up is arguably the strongest in the show’s history, featuring future blockbusters like The Witcher 3, The Division, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Dragon Age: Inquisition alongside fantastic-looking indie titles like Never Alone, Heat Signature, Volume and The Magic Circle.

The developer sessions are often a very popular part of the event giving you a look into the developers mind and thinking between some of the most important decisions behind the years blockbusters.

The four-day schedule runs from noon UK time (BST) each day. If you’re heading to the show, look for signs to the developer sessions – and remember to leave a bit of time for queuing as they often prove very popular.

The full schedule is as follows:

TTHURSDAY

12pm – Dead Island 2 (18+)
Yager’s senior gameplay programmer Isaac Durham Ashdown talks about zombies in the Hollywood Hills with Dead Island 2.

1pm – Dragon Age: Inquisition (18+)
Neil Thompson, director of art and animation at BioWare, invites visitors to discover the vast open world of Dragon Age: Inquisition through a gameplay demo and more.

2pm – Death, Stealth, Money & Power in Elite: Dangerous
Combat, piracy, bounty hunting, trading and exploring – David Braben explains how you can do it all in Elite: Dangerous.

3pm – Roll7 Exclusive Announcement
The team behind OlliOlli and Not a Hero take to the stage to announce something brand new.

4pm – The Next Total War
Creative Assembly reveals the next title in the award-winning Total War strategy series.

5pm – Alien: Isolation (18+)
Al Hope, Alien: Isolation creative lead, introduces a behind-the-scenes look into how the team at Creative Assembly created the incredible new Alien world. UI design lead Jon McKellan and audio designer Byron Bullock reveal how they created the immersive world of Alien: Isolation including bringing back the original Alien cast for the first time.

6pm – Never Alone
Gloria O’Neill of the Cook Inlet Tribal Council and Alan Gershenfeld of E-Line Media share their approach to inclusive development for Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) as a model for sharing, celebrating and extending world cultures through compelling, commercial video games.

FRIDAY

12pm – Eurogamer Let’s Play LIVE
Gamer Network video heroes Gav Murphy and Ian Higton present a live Let’s Play of something incredible!

1pm – The Division
Brand art director Cortes Rodrigo Javier presents the realisation of the world of Tom Clancy’s The Division, and how the team at Massive developed some of the key pillars of the ambitious brand new IP from Ubisoft.

2pm – Heat Signature
Gunpoint developer Tom Francis will be flying through an infinite galaxy and hijacking randomly generated spaceships in a live, unscripted playthrough of his new game Heat Signature, explaining things as he goes.

3pm – Until Dawn
Supermassive Games presents a live playthrough, with commentary, of Until Dawn. The session will be followed by an audience Q&A.

4pm – Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault
Company of Heroes 2 director Quinn Duffy will be joined by producer Greg Wilson to give COH2 fans an in-depth look at the all-new standalone content, Company of Heroes 2: Ardennes Assault.

5pm – Nuclear Throne
Nuclear Throne is a game about action and randomness. Vlambeer’s Rami Ismail talks about randomness in games, how Nuclear Throne handles its level generation and how all of that leads to the challenging game that so many people have been playing over the past few months.

6pm – Battlefield Hardline
Steve Papoutsis, general manager of Visceral Games, details the inspiration behind Battlefield Hardline and how his team at Visceral are putting their own, new stamp on the Battlefield franchise.

SATURDAY

12pm – Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – The Art of Inspiration
Glen Schofield of Sledgehammer Games talks Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s creative development.

1pm – McNeil & Pamphilon Go 8-Bit with The Comedian’s Comedian Podcast
A very special edition of The Comedian’s Comedian Podcast with Stuart Goldsmith, interviewing McNeil and Pamphilon about their career, with a focus on their live videogaming/comedy show “Go 8-Bit!”

2pm – Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor (18+)
Bob Roberts, lead designer at Monolith Productions, brings the latest news on this open-world RPG.

3pm – The Magic Circle
Jordan Thomas demonstrates the core gameplay and themes of The Magic Circle – a darkly comic story about the hero of a legendarily unfinished game who attempts to complete it from the inside.

4pm – Volume
Mike Bithell will be showing a few unseen mechanics from Volume, his upcoming PS4 and desktop stealth game, and doing a live Q&A.

5pm – Evolve (18+)
The Turtle Rock team presents a unique multiplayer runthrough of Evolve followed by a Q&A session.

6pm – The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (18+)
Using the latest video and gameplay stills, CD Projekt presents the various mechanics which combine to create the living and breathing world of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

SUNDAY

12pm – Dying Light (18+)
Maciej Binkowski, Dying Light’s lead game designer, unveils some exciting news regarding Techland’s new game.

1pm – Hellblade
Dominic Matthews will discuss Ninja Theory’s new title Hellblade, the studio’s bold independent approach and an update on the game’s development so far.

2pm – LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
Arthur Parsons, game director at Traveller’s Tales, will present the latest on LEGO Batman 3.

3pm – Lords of the Fallen
CI Games’ executive producer Tomasz Gop presents an exclusive look at the upcoming action-RPG Lords of the Fallen, providing an in-depth discussion of the design process behind the game’s challenging yet rewarding combat. Showcased via all-new gameplay, attendees will also get the opportunity to put their questions to the developer.

4pm – Tearaway Unfolded
Rex Crowle and Michelle Ducker present a playthrough of Tearaway Unfolded for PS4, highlighting the exciting new gameplay mechanics in this expanded retelling of the BAFTA award-winning Tearaway.

5pm – Online Worlds with Dean Hall
DayZ creator Dean Hall argues that multiplayer sandbox gaming is the future.

Train2Game News Havok plans for the future

Havok PhysicsThe middleware physics specialist, Havok, plots the future development of its newest physics platform.

Back in 2003, when Havok released its first physics technology to games developers, the impact was considerable.

Crates and barrels in virtual environments the world over enjoyed a new status as strategic playthings of gamers spoilt by a new way to interact. Half-Life 2 set a new standard, and in the following years physics-powered ragdolls and gravity guns became staples of contemporary game design. As the years went on, Havok and the in-game physics it championed never went away. Instead, they became standard.

Then, in 2013, Havok’s reinvented physics tech found its way to studios and now, in the second half of 2014, Havok is building a new template for what physics should offer. Already it is able to have thousands of objects interacting in a realtime, interactive scene.

Havok is pushing further still, ever set on bettering the impact on games. It’s what Havok’s head of product management Andrew Bowell describes as a renaissance not just for physics, but the ideas and potential to impact gameplay, parallel game systems and the creative method of environment artists.

“Describing what we’re doing now as a ‘renaissance of physics’ is not to say physics in games ever went away,” he says. “It’s been our bread and butter for years. But our latest release of Havok Physics isn’t only faster, using less memory and giving higher quality results; we’re also returning to a point where it is pushing gameplay in ways not seen before.

“I mean real cinematic gameplay at a new scale. Instead of 100 objects, we are now pushing it to a thousand, or ten thousand, or one hundred thousand objects in game. When they see that, game designers’ eyes light up.”

As Bowell reminisces about times when stacking ten physically controlled crates used to draw a crowd to a monitor, he and Havok field application engineer Steve Ewart show live, realtime, interactive demos of thousands of boulders tumbling down cliff sides, clattering together and gathering around the structure of a bridge, or soldiers influencing pillars of smoke with a fully automatic gun that unleashes a plume of tinned beans.

The demos may at times be aesthetically absurd, but they prove a point. As Havok continues to push physics, vast interactive game worlds unlike anything seen in consumer products before are increasingly possible. And as Ewart guides a sports car through a demo environment, using its wake to gather a sea of autumn leaves into neat piles, he makes an important point.

“A few crates or ragdolls was one thing, and there were great examples, but if a developer could build dynamic systems through their entire environment that work as a complete, grounded system, there is so much to be done with with gameplay,” he says. “Imagine a world with smoke effects, intricately destructible buildings, swarms of insects and such, that the player can influence directly, all interacting and controlled physically as a single dynamic system, providing information coming out of the physics that informs AI control and various other systems.”

It’s immediately obvious on seeing the demos, that a huge leap forward in the number and complexity of physics controlled objects offers devs a rich toybox of ideas to plunder.

“What we do must give the developer something they can use; something that informs other systems in powerful new ways,” says Bowell.

Source: Develop

Train2Game News Game Insight introducing Intel Context SDK

Intel SoftwareGame Insight, a global game developer, plans to use the new Intel Context Sensing SDK 2014 for Android to roll out context-sensing features across a whole line-up of Android games by the end of the year via integration with Game Insight Center, its player-centric solution that allows players to interact with the brand through in-game forums, help, FAQs, and all the games’ latest news and events.

The Intel Context Sensing Software Development Kit (SDK) enables developers to create or enhance Android applications with context and motion awareness, proximity detection and on-device rules. Sensor solutions can also interact with the Intel Context Sensing Service and Intel Mashery API management to add additional information such as location, events, weather, global time, POIs, traffic and more . Sensor solutions empower mobile developers to create compelling cross-platform, context-aware experiences for apps such as fitness, smarter personal assistants or advanced next generation games.

Intel’s SDK allows Game Insight to tailor and personalize interactions with its games. By sensing the story behind actions that put the device back into the player’s hands, even while playing offline, Game Insight plans to send more relevant and timely push messages, which can otherwise be a distraction while running, sleeping or driving, and deliver the perfect in-game actions at the appropriate time. When players begin using their devices, games can deliver a message where and when it is most convenient, and about what the players care about most in the moment.

“Intel is excited about Game Insight’s adoption of the newly launched Intel Context Sensing SDK,” said Hank Skorny, VP and General Manager for Intel’s Internet Services division. “By using Intel’s new SDK for Android and context sensing cloud service, Game Insight will be able to develop games on Android offering a more personalized experience to users.”

When asked what context-sensing features mean for Game Insight and its games, CEO Anatoly Ropotov explained, “We spend a lot of time focusing on user experience in our products by simplifying UI, improving core game loops and looking for more non-intrusive ways to excite and retain users. Having a way to understand the context of user interactions ultimately lets us bug players less, generate more effective messages and find more appropriate moments to communicate them.”

Looking to the future, context sensing will blend real-life interactions with gaming, allowing players to even interact with friends from inside their games within their local vicinity.

Train2Game News Eleven year old girl releases game

My Selfie SafariAspiring game developer, eleven year old, Maddie Beal is proud to announce the worldwide release and availability of her debut game, My Selfie Safari.

Available today as a FREE download on the iOS and Google Play digital app stores, this brilliantly designed debut title features John Maddie and her BFF on a Safari Adventure, requesting the aid of players to help Jesse The Giraffe keep his neck out of trouble by avoiding the clouds and flapping birds. You goal is to meet up with his Safari Friends, and if you need help, you can try on a pair of goggles, but use them sparingly, as only 10 are available (additional goggles obtainable through in-app upgrades).

Featuring 20 addictive levels, you can even congratulate yourself by posing for a selfie with your friend as levels are successfully completed. Maddie herself is stuck on level 14! Are you adventurous and talented enough to beat her in her own game?

My Selfie Safari began as a bonding opportunity with her dad, Dan Beal. He had just built a Minecraft server for her brother, Ben, and with this task complete, Maddie felt it was the perfect chance to spend some quality time with her dad. Inspired by her fascination and love for giraffes and self-portraits, My Selfie Safari blends gameplay mechanics from popular predecessors such as Flappy Bird and Defender, and adds its own personal touch to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Featuring an exciting Safari Adventure, crisp colorful graphics, intuitive controls, and 20 challenging levels of fun, My Selfie Safari is a great debut title from Maddie Beal, whom at the age of only 11 undoubtedly has a promising career ahead of her.

Train2Game News New RPG Maker allows mobile ports

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Enterbrain and Degica collaborate on new middleware, which enables first official RPG Maker mobile ports.

Enterbrain recently partnered with Degica to distribute RPG Maker VX Ace, the latest version of the software, outside of Japan. Since teaming up, the pair have developed a new piece of middleware that allows developers to efficiently port RPG Maker games to mobile devices.

The RPG Maker software first emerged back in 1988 and, throughout several iterations, has remained the first choice when it comes to creating both traditional and innovative games in 16-bit.

Degica’s global director of sales and promotion, Mitchell Scott, said: “The RPG Maker software has been a great tool for aspiring and established game developers alike over the past two decades and we’re incredibly proud to be part of that legacy.”

While the majority of projects emulate major franchises such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, numerous teams have capitalised on the flexibility of the engine to create unique experiences.

The likes of To The Moon are widely regarded as genuine indie success stories, with the game receiving numerous awards and praise from established publications and organisations including Gamespot, Wired and the Independent Games Festival.

Earlier this week, Undefeated – the popular RPG Maker title – was unveiled for mobile with a brand new trailer and an iOS/Android release date of 3 October, 2014.

Headquartered in Tokyo, Degica connects the dots between developers, distributors and publishers, and between the Eastern and Western markets. Their recent work with Enterbrain and RPG Maker aims to put the popular development toolkit, and the games it has spawned, firmly on the global map.

Train2Game News Hearthstone hits huge milestone

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Free-to-play card-combat phenomenon Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft has been downloaded upwards of 20 million times, Blizzard has announced.

Hearthstone launched on PC and Mac back in March then appeared on iPad in April and Windows 8 Touch devices in August. It’s slated for release later this year on iPhone and Android.

“Thank you all for joining us in Hearthstone! We’re going to need a bigger tavern!” the developer stated on Twitter noting the milestone.

Earlier this month Blizzard released its single-player expansion The Curse of Naxxramas.

Train2Game News GDC Next survey results

GDC NextThe Game Developers Conference (GDC) Next 2014 has released the results of the first annual Game Discovery Survey, which has uncovered emerging trends and attitudes from a pool of game industry professionals on launching and popularizing games.

Among the many trends revealed in the survey is the finding that first party platform holders and YouTube personalities are seen as the most effective forms of publicity among participating developers.

The GDC Next 2014 Game Discovery Survey was created by UBM Tech Game Network, organizers of the Game Developers Conference, to better understand the contemporary game industry before the start of GDC Next 2014.

Platform gatekeepers and popular YouTubers are seen to be the most effective publicity for games. YouTube has long been viewed as a powerful tool in publicizing new releases, and the survey now reveals that developers view YouTube personalities, along with first party platform holders, as the most effective avenues for publicity.

Specifically, being featured on digital storefronts like Steam or PlayStation Network, coupled with extensive video playthroughs on YouTube were seen as most positively affecting product visibility. 36.6% of respondents seeing platform holders as the most effective publicity, with popular YouTube personalities capturing 24.8% of responses. By comparison, community engagement and being featured on a popular video game website received 15.6% and 14.5% of responses, respectively.

Elsewhere, the majority of participating developers (73.4%) agreed with the statement “platform holders aren’t doing enough to improve discoverability on digital storefronts.” These results suggest that platform holders can do more to meet the needs of game makers, potentially finding more personalized recommendation methods for consumers.

Developers are largely split between traditional press and YouTube personalities as most trustworthy however. Despite an increasing priority towards prominent YouTube video features, developers surveyed were found to be largely split when asked whose opinion on games they trusted the most, YouTubers or traditional press/media. YouTube personalities narrowly won out with 55.75% of votes versus the traditional press, which received 44.25% of responses.

Is it the game, the promotion, or both that makes a title shine commercially? 69.3% of developers agreed that good promotion and making a good game were equally important to success, with 23% responding that making a good game was more important to success than promoting it well. Only 7.7% of respondents felt that good promotion is more important than game quality when it comes to achieving commercial success.

The GDC Next 2014 Game Discovery Survey tabulates the responses and observations of more than 300 game industry professionals/

For more information on GDC Next, please visit http://www.gdcnext.com/

Train2Game News Avenged Sevenfolds mobile game release date

Avenged SevenfoldMulti-platinum hard rock superstars Avenged Sevenfold have pegged October 16, 2014 for the unholy release of their action adventure mobile game, Hail to the King: Deathbat.

Hail to the King: Deathbat is a brutal romp through the darkest depths of the underworld with an epic tale of redemption, devastating melee combat, towering boss fights, 7 hellish landscapes and classic Avenged Sevenfold cuts along with a new and original score composed by the band.

To celebrate the game’s impending release, check out this new teaser showcasing a taste of the action to come:

Hail to the King: Deathbat hits iOS and Android October 16, 2014.

Train2Game News Mojang sale to Microsoft Confirmed

MojangThe rumours have been confirmed and Mojang is selling to Microsoft for $2.5 Billion. So what does this mean for Minecraft and the company?

In a blog on www.Mojang.com the deal was confirmed today with a few details about the sale and the reasons why.

The main reason Markus “Notch” Persson, the creator of Minecraft and the majority shareholder of Mojang has decided to sell is that he feels that Minecraft and Mojang have become to big on a global scale. He has attempted to make smaller games again to no avail and he feels that is because he has had to spend to much time and energy focused on the global phenomenon that is Minecraft.

There are only a handful of potential buyers with the resources to grow Minecraft and Mojang have worked closely with Microsoft since 2012. They have been impressed by their continued dedication to the game and its development.

The other versions of Minecraft will still continue to run but as for what happens with future multiplatform projects is yet to be seen. That will be down to Microsoft to decide.

The founders: Notch, Carl, and Jakob are leaving Mojang with nothing confirmed of what they are going on to do.

The main points to take from this sale is that Minecraft will continue to evolve and thrive and that small project you are working on may net you $2.5 Billion.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 15.09.14

DestinyAs was the games destiny, Destiny has soared to the number one spot knocking The Sims 4 in to second. The yearly version of NHL debuted this week at number seven and the new Naruto game, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm Revolution has just creeped in to the top ten at number ten. Lower down the chart at number seventeen is the first week for Infamous: First Light.

All formats

Week ending 13 September 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 DESTINY ACTIVISION -
2 THE SIMS 4 EA GAMES 1
3 WATCH DOGS UBISOFT 2
4 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 6
5 THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED SONY COMPUTER ENT. 4
6 MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 7
7 NHL 15 EA SPORTS -
8 - PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE EA GAMES 8
9 - MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION 3 EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 9
10 NARUTO ULTIMATE NINJA STORM REVOLUTION BANDAI NAMCO GAMES -
11 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 10
12 - THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 12
13 DIABLO III REAPER OF SOULS ULTIMATE EVIL BLIZZARD 5
14 METRO REDUX DEEP SILVER 3
15 TITANFALL EA GAMES 13
16 TOMODACHI LIFE NINTENDO 15
17 INFAMOUS: FIRST LIGHT SONY COMPUTER ENT. -
18 MADDEN NFL 15 EA SPORTS 11
19 TERRARIA XBOX 360 CLASSICS 17
20 SNIPER ELITE 3 505 GAMES 19
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Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 UKIE Ltd

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