Train2Game News Insomnia moving house

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Thanks to the popularity of Insomnia55 multiplay’s next event is being moved to a larger venue.

GAME Digital plc (“GAME Digital”) is delighted to announce that Multiplay, its Esports and Events business and the organiser of Insomnia, the UK’s largest gaming festival, has signed a multi-year deal with the National Exhibition Centre (“NEC”), beginning with Insomnia56, which will take place on 11th – 14th December 2015.

Having reached capacity at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry for Insomnia55, which witnessed record visitor numbers of over 36,000 during the four day event, the 3-year agreement with the NEC will provide Multiplay with a significantly enlarged venue from which to support the event’s future growth. Offering over 180,000 square metres of indoor space, up to 20 interconnecting halls and the 15,643 capacity LG Arena on site, the NEC provides around ten times the space of the Ricoh Arena.

Commenting on the deal, Craig Fletcher, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Multiplay, said:

“The Insomnia Gaming Festival has enjoyed an incredible journey in recent years. Ticket sales have soared in the last three years and we are expecting to welcome a total of over 100,000 visitors through our doors in 2015. The event has continued to broaden its offering and appeal over that time and has experienced a rapidly growing presence from both global YouTube stars and international publishers.”

“The move to the NEC, the UK’s largest exhibition venue, is another exciting step forward for Insomnia, providing us with the room we need to further expand its unique brand. The move opens up a number of opportunities to engage both existing and new fans on an even greater scale – allowing us to continue our growth trajectory and remain an increasingly popular destination for every type of gamer across the UK and beyond.”

Martyn Gibbs, Chief Executive Officer of GAME Digital, added: “For over 16 years the team at Multiplay has overseen the growth of Insomnia from a small, local gaming event into the UK’s largest gaming festival. They have never lost sight of the fact that Insomnia is there to not only entertain gaming fans but to bring together communities of gamers. I am excited by the potential for Insomnia and the move to the NEC marks an important next step in its growth, as we look to expand the brand in the UK and internationally.”

Train2Game News VR Game creating contest

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VRTGO launches competition for new & innovative VR titles, sponsored by nDreams and supported by SCEE & Ukie

The organisers of VRTGO Conference and Expo; Secret Sauce are teaming up with nDreams to create a VR contest for students and start-ups in the VR space.  The competition aims to showcase up and coming VR talent through innovative content and technology for games.

The competition winner will get the chance to exhibit their prototype at VRTGO event on 12th November, as well as receiving mentoring by nDreams and spend time with the Sony Computer Entertainment Europe VR team. The winner will also be named in competition press and they will receive a free affiliation to VRTGO Labs. Runners-up will be able to demo their prototypes at the VRTGO after party. 

nDreams, the UK’s largest videogames developer solely focused on creating virtual reality videogames and experiences, are sponsoring the competition. Patrick O’Luanaigh, CEO of nDreams, said, “We’re thrilled to be sponsoring the VRTGO competition and can’t wait to see what fresh ideas and original concepts the VR enthusiast community put forward. Being able to offer mentoring to those behind the winning entry is an incredibly exciting prospect; we’re eager to share our skills and experience from the forefront of the fast-moving world of VR development.”

Ukie, the trade body for the UK’s games and wider interactive entertainment industry is supporting the competition.  Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie, said, “VR technology has huge potential in both games and wider entertainment, and opportunities like this give students and start-ups a fantastic chance to get their innovative and exciting ideas seen. We’re looking forward to seeing entries from the next generation of VR talent and the new concepts that they’re working on.”

Carri Cunliffe from Secret Sauce said, “We are seeing some interesting VR concepts from small companies and students and we thought VRTGO could give them a platform to showcase some of their work.  We are purposely leaving the contest brief very wide, so as to encourage a diverse range of entertainment and serious entries.”

The contest is also supported by SCEE and nVidia, who will be taking part as judges and offering feedback to contestants.

For details on how to enter the competition, plus further information, please follow this link: https://vrtgovrcontest.eventbrite.co.uk. For any queries about the contest, please e-mail Elspeth@secret-sauce.co.uk .

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 01.09.15

Gears of War Ultimate EditionAfter a bit of a drought of new games finally we have a number of new entries that have taken the top spots. At number one is the Gears of War Ultimate Edition, in second is Sony’s horror Until Dawn, third is the third instalment of Disney Infinity and the final new entry is Madden NFL 16.

All formats

Week ending 29 August 2015

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 GEARS OF WAR: ULTIMATE EDITION MICROSOFT
2 UNTIL DAWN SONY COMPUTER ENT.
3 DISNEY INFINITY 3.0 DISNEY INFINITY
4 MADDEN NFL 16 EA SPORTS
5 LEGO JURASSIC WORLD WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 1
6 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 2
7 DISHONORED: DEFINITIVE EDITION BETHESDA SOFTWORKS
8 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 7
9 BATMAN: ARKHAM KNIGHT WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 3
10 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 5
11 BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE EA GAMES 4
12 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 6
13 DYING LIGHT WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 8
14 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 10
15 DESTINY ACTIVISION 11
16 LITTLEBIGPLANET 3 SONY COMPUTER ENT. 20
17 THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED SONY COMPUTER ENT.
18 FAR CRY 4 UBISOFT 15
19 F1 2015 CODEMASTERS 16
20 RARE REPLAY MICROSOFT 12
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2015 UKIE Ltd

These charts cannot be reproduced either in print or online without obtaining permission from Ukie. If you wish to reproduce the charts in print or online, please contact david.smith@ukie.org.uk for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News Pokémon 2015 World Championships

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The 2015 Pokémon World Championships drew to a close this weekend in Boston.

Players from more than 38 countries competed in Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) matches and video game battles playing Pokémon Omega Ruby or Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. The road to the World Championships was a challenging one, with players qualifying through a yearlong series of regional and national tournaments. After three days of intense battles that saw the world’s best Pokémon TCG and video game players competing at the highest level, six players across two disciplines and three age divisions were crowned Pokémon World Champions.

More than 5,000 players, fans, and supporters attended the event at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston, while more than 1.5 million Pokémon fans tuned in to the action from home via the official live stream at Pokemon.com/Worlds and Twitch.tv/Pokemon.

The 2015 Pokémon TCG and Video Game World Champions are:

·         2015 Pokémon TCG Junior Division World Champion, Rowan Stavenow from Canada.

·         2015 Pokémon Video Game Junior Division World Champion, Kotone Yasue from Japan.

·         2015 Pokémon TCG Senior Division World Champion, Patrick Martinez from the United States.

·         2015 Pokémon Video Game Senior Division World Champion, Mark Mcquillan from Great Britain.

·         2015 Pokémon TCG Masters Division World Champion, Jacob Van Wagner from the United States.

·         2015 Pokémon Video Game Masters Division World Champion, Shoma Honami from Japan.

Scottish golden boy Mark Mcquillan went from finishing in the Top 4 of the Pokémon Video Game UK National Championships earlier this year to seizing the illustrious World Champion title at the event in Boston. Historically, he stands as the first UK player ever to win the Pokémon Video Game World Championship title. Mark has been playing Pokémon video games since 2007, and you can find more information on his team he used to secure victory here.

Winners of this year’s invitation-only tournament earned the title of Pokémon World Champion, collected scholarship money, won an invitation and Travel Award to the 2016 Pokémon World Championships, and received a special Pokémon World Championships trophy featuring Pikachu. The Pokémon Company International has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships since it began running tournaments a decade ago.

“The Pokémon World Championships are an opportunity for the global Pokémon community to come together and celebrate competition, comradery, and mutual respect,” said J.C. Smith, Director of Consumer Marketing at The Pokémon Company International. “We congratulate all of our new Pokémon World Champions. Their drive and dedication is truly inspiring.”

2015 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Finalists—Junior Division (born in 2002 or later)

World Champion: Rowan Stavenow (Canada)

Second Place: Alejandro Ng-Guzman (United States)

2015 Pokémon Video Game World Finalists—Junior Division (born in 2002 or later)

World Champion: Kotone Yasue (Japan)

Second Place: Ryan Jaehyun Park (South Korea)

2015 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Finalists—Senior Division (born in 1998–2001)

World Champion: Patrick Martinez (United States)

Second Place: Jeffrey Cheng (United States)

2015 Pokémon Video Game World Finalists—Senior Division (born in 1998–2001)

World Champion: Mark Mcquillan (Great Britain)

Second Place: Koki Honda (Japan)

2015 Pokémon Trading Card Game World Finalists—Masters Division (born in 1997 or earlier)

World Champion: Jacob Van Wagner (United States)

Second Place: Mees Brenninkmeijer (Netherlands)

2015 Pokémon Video Game World Finalists—Masters Division (born in 1997 or earlier)

World Champion: Shoma Honami (Japan)

Second Place: Hideyuki Taida (Japan)

For more information on how to participate in future Pokémon Championship Series events, please visit www.pokemon.co.uk/play .

Train2Game News Grandia 2 remastered

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Classic Dreamcast game and personal favourite of mine, Grandia 2 is being remastered.

After an overwhelming response to an April survey asking players for future PC releases of Game Arts’ portfolio,  GungHo Online Entertainment America (GOEA) announced today that  Grandia II Anniversary Edition, theremastered version of the classic JRPG originally released for Dreamcast ,  is now availableon  Steam and  GOG.com for Windows PC. As part of this celebration,  Grandia II Anniversary Edition  is available for a limited sale price of $14.99, a 25 percent discount from the SRP of $19.99.

Developed by Game Arts, creators of the  Lunar and  Grandia  series, and published by GOEA,  Grandia  II is considered a high point for the developer with the game’s unique characters, mature storytelling, memorable music and fantastic battle system. In this classic tale of a band of adventurers destined to save the world, players take the role of Ryudo, a hardened mercenary, and go on an epic journey filled with magic, new friendships and surprises as the party seeks a legendary weapon once wielded by a deity.

Grandia II Anniversary Edition  features numerous technical improvements from the original, such as visual upgrades to textures, lightning, and shadows through anti-aliasing, as well as game controller support, Japanese voice acting, and a new difficulty level for a hardcore experience. Other features for the title include:

    Steam Trading Cards
    Steam Achievements
    Steam Cloud Save Support
    Selectable Video Options
    Remapable Keyboard and Gamepad Support
    PC Resolution and Aspect Ratio Support
    UI Updates to Reflect New Control Schemes
    Dreamcast VMS Save File Support

You can enjoy the trailer below

http://youtu.be/6JSxsv6kSV8

Train2Game News VRTGO Laboratories

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Virtual reality (VR) is set to become a mainstream technology next year as Oculus and Sony release their consumer VR headsets in Q1 2016. The North East is well placed to cash in on its strength in this exciting immersive technology.

At the heart of VR innovation is a rapidly expanding cluster of tech companies in the North East, working on everything from virtual showrooms for world renowned car makers to awe inspiring documentary content, immersive games and sub-sea training.

VRTGO Laboratories in Gateshead, is a dedicated virtual reality business cluster, created to bring together a growing number of researchers, entrepreneurs and businesses working in the sector. Backed by Gateshead Council, the VRTGO Laboratories cluster has set itself the goal of ensuring that Gateshead remains at the centre of the VR revolution. Working with leading games and serious VR technologists as well as buyers the centre aims to be a central focal point for VR.

This cluster was born as a result of Britain’s first VR conference and expo, VRTGO, held locally and delivered by specialist digital consultancy Secret Sauce, in September 2014. This international VR event is set to return on 12th November.  (www.vrtgo.co.uk )
VRTGO conference director, Carri Cunliffe, said: “There is no better place to locate if you are a VR company. The region is home to innovators working in both entertainment and serious applications for big brands. VRTGO Laboratories and the VRTGO conference will attract leading buyers to the region and encourage university research. We are also hosting a free VR demo day on 10th September for anyone who is interested in seeing how VR solutions can improve their business – sign up today https://vrtgodemoday.eventbrite.co.uk.”

Global leaders Oculus and digital studios like Atomhawk Design, CCP, ZeroLight, Vector76 and HammerheadVR all delivered presentations at the VRTGO conference and it rapidly became clear that companies in Gateshead and the North East were playing an increasing role in exploring the exciting opportunities of VR.

Cutting edge technology and visualisation firm ZeroLight is among them. Jason Collins from ZeroLight said: “There is a key role for VR to play in creating commercial consumer experiences as well as in fields such as training and design. We’re looking forward to sharing some of our learning about design and building compelling VR experiences with other companies and being part of this growing community.”

Other important sectors in the North East such as the automotive and offshore industries show great potential for commercial VR uses, as well as huge consumer potential, and Gateshead Council is confident that the cluster will lead to extra highly skilled jobs in the region.

The future of everything from video games to sub-sea exploration could be set to change during 2015 as virtual reality technology takes hold. VR is moving ahead at a lightning pace.

Gateshead Council’s technology sector specialist, Marissa Brindley said: “The potential of VR technology is phenomenal. VRTGO Laboratories is ensuring that the North East is in the right place at the right time to take advantage of the revolution that looks set to take place.

“The facilities, expertise and support that are available here are second to none in the sector; businesses are already really feeling the benefit of being a part of VRTGO Laboratories. It’s impossible to predict the future but it’s clear to see just how exciting and important the developments we’re seeing in Gateshead could be.”

Train2Game News VS Social media

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Using only a smartphone and a VR headset, cross-platform network vTime allows users to meet and interact with people around the globe.

Networking with friends or alone, users are able to enjoy music, and share images, videos, and spherical media in rich virtual environments. From the majestic beauty of nature through to futuristic urban landscapes, vTime transforms the smartphone into a passport to the metaverse.

vTimers can personalise their experience by customising their avatar’s appearance, creating friends lists, and hosting virtual meet-ups.  Newcomers can quickly expand their social circle and immerse themselves in engaging conversations through vTime Search, which focuses on matching users based on interests and trending topics.

Friends without a headset can still be a part of the conversation by using mono mode – a 2D window into the vTime metaverse. Using a phone or tablet, spectators are able to view live public exchanges happening within vTime, or request an invite to view private chats.

“vTime takes complex technology and makes it simple, beautiful and accessible,” explains Starship CEO Martin Kenwright. “Connecting with friends, old or new, in a wealth of incredible environments couldn’t be easier – simply download the vTime app, put on the headset, and you’re away.

“VR will be huge, but surely biggest of all on mobile where there’s a massive, pre-installed user base. Unlike console and PC headsets, the barrier to entry for mobile VR is low. People are already carrying the devices that will propel VR forward in their pockets. It’s not just for the early adopters, VR is for everybody, and vTime brings social VR to virtually everyone, from virtually anywhere on virtually any device.”

The free and platform agnostic network will launch its open alpha to Android users in November. Compatible with multiple mobile headsets including Gear VR and Google Cardboard, Starship has opened a mailing list for those interested in being the first to experience the network.

Starship will reveal vTime to the press during Oculus Connect in LA in September.

Train2Game News Insomnia55 line up

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Multiplay, organiser of the UK’s largest and rapidly growing gaming festival Insomnia, is delighted to unveil the final line-up for Insomnia55.

Featuring the UK’s biggest line-up of eSports tournaments, live shows from Youtube’s biggest stars and the most anticipated games of 2015, Insomnia55 will be the biggest and best Insomnia festival to date at the Ricoh Arena from August 28th-31st.

Insomnia55 brings attendees closer to the action than ever before, with Microsoft’s stunning Gears of War: Ultimate Edition introducing the original Gears to a whole new audience, while longstanding fans of the 3rd person shooter will relish this remastered classic. Microsoft’s presence doesn’t end there; with Forza Motorsport 6 showcasing the racing enthusiast’s dream of high-octane thrills in some of the world’s most sought after cars.

Nintendo makes its Insomnia Gaming Festivals debut, where Fans of Splatoon can hone their skills in preparation for tournaments taking place throughout the weekend. Gamers with a creative streak can realise their vision with Super Mario Maker and fans excited to take control of Fox McCloud once again will be delighted with the addition of Star Fox Zero to Insomnia55’s exhibition floor.

Complementing Insomnia’s biggest ever games line-up which includes first plays of FIFA 16, HomeFront: The Revolution, Battleborn and Rock Band 4, Insomia55 also features some of the most loved Youtubers. From Yogscast, Lewis, Sjin, Duncan, Sips, Hannah, Martyn, Hat Films and Turps will be sharing some of their unique insight into gaming culture, while stars such as Syndicate and The Diamond Minecraft return after attending previous Insomnia festivals.

First-person shooter enthusiast Ali-A attends for the first time this year and The Sidemen return, featuring KSI, W2S, Vikkstar123, Behzinga, Zerkaa, Miniminter and TBJZL; bringing their unique sense of gaming-focused humour to the event. With Kwebbelkop, Slogoman, The Gaming Lemon and Jelly also attending, Insomnia55 will be the best place to see your favourite stars.

“We’re delighted to bring an amazing line-up of publishers and incredible games, playable for the first time to Insomnia55,” said Craig Fletcher, Founder and CEO of Multiplay. He continued, “With our already announced special guests, including the biggest stars of YouTube, and the UK’s biggest line-up of eSports tournaments, Insomnia55 has more content than ever before, offers more choice to our community, and invites new fans to experience the Insomnia Gaming Festivals for the first time.”

Insomnia55, powered by GAME, features more live ‘Lets Play’s’, more exhibition booth gaming, and more interactive gaming content than any Insomnia event to-date. Other regular returning features include the 24hr BYOC (Bring Your Own Computer / Console) LAN areas, the Minecraft zone, Panel Talks, the Indie Zone, the Retro Zone, the Tabletop Gaming Zone, and the burgeoning Retail zone.

The impressive growth of the Insomnia series sees Insomnia55 expand with four external Marquees raised to provide an additional 8000sqm space for the UK’s biggest and fastest growing gaming festival.

Insomnia55 takes place at the Ricoh Arena over Summer Bank Holiday weekend, Friday, August 28th to Monday, August 31st 2015. Tickets are currently on-sale and are available via  http://insomniagamingfestival.com/tickets/.

Train2Game News Keynote Speakers announced at EWIG

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Full programme includes new skill and vocational focussed workshops as part of the day at European Women in Games.

Katherine Bidwell, Co-Founder of State of Play Games and Andy Payne Chairman of Ukie are the Keynote Speakers at this year’s European Women in Games Conference which takes place on 2nd September at the University of Westminster.

Katherine Bidwell established the games company State of Play Games in 2008, and specialises in the development of hand-crafted games, often using pencils, papercraft and laser cutting to create game art. State of Play have developed beautiful award-winning creative games including the BAFTA and Develop winning puzzle adventure game Lumino City, which involved the creation of a miniature city out of paper and cardboard, including working lights and electric motors. She will be talking about the making of Lumino City and her career in the games industry.

Andy Payne, Chairman of Ukie, will be speaking to the conference about his views on the industry as a whole, women in games and the need to promote diversity on a wider scale.

For the first time this year’s conference will run a series of workshops giving delegates a choice of specialist subjects where they get to meet some of the acknowledged leaders of the industry to learn more about and debate a specialist subject. The topics range from the technical such as programming or localisation and testing to the more vocational. These vocational workshops will cover issues such as how to attract more girls on to university games courses, how to benefit from becoming a Video Games Ambassador speaking to schools and how to improve CV’s.

Jenny Richards, CEO of Women in Games WIGJ commented: “This year we wanted to give delegates the chance to do more than just listen to speakers. Meeting new people and developing a network is always an important part of the conference but there is the potential to do so much more. Nowadays there is more awareness of the gender imbalance in games and most people want to do more than just talk about the situation. The classrooms at the University of Westminster facilitate study and we expect learning to be part of the positive experience from attending this conference.”

This year’s European Women in Games Conference takes place on September 2nd at the Cavendish Campus of the University of Westminster in Central London, UK. You can see full details of the programme and speakers at http://www.ewigconf.com/ #ewigconf Tickets are still on sale.

Train2Game News A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming

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A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming includes everything you need to gain a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of the modern era of the videogame industry, all in one book.

A year in the making, and benefiting from over 25 years of accumulated knowledge and insight, A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming is out and available now on Amazon, Kindle, and digital distribution service Gumroad.

Written by videogame industry professional Olivers Snyders, A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming includes a treasure trove of information on videogames, the people behind them, the industry surrounding them, the culture that nurtures them, important trends of today, and exciting technologies of the future.

Anyone new to this wonderful, weird, amazing, heart-warming, thought-provoking, awe-inspiring, and at times loathsome world will gain an immense understanding of who makes games, how they’re made, and which six major groups contribute to the growth and evolution of the industry, while learning about the eight major life cycles that a videogame must go through to become a product ready for fans to enjoy.

Even if you’ve been following videogames for years, A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming will help you to expand your appreciation of the industry with detailed, sub-surface answers to questions about what makes a game fun, successful, addictive, and even ‘great’ in the eyes of fans, while spotlighting important trends of today that will dramatically impact future innovations. The book also discusses how the world will react to new technologies, like virtual reality, and how new online services and a few young upstarts are slowly revolutionising how we play, buy, and discuss games in the future, leaving traditional publishers, developers, retailers, and press outlets to struggle to adapt and survive.

And just what are videogames, anyway? What are they today – for better or worse – and what does their potential allow for them to become? And how will the fans themselves radically affect the course of the industry over the next four years?

No matter your familiarity, if you’re curious to learn more about videogames, A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming contains everything you need to begin, continue, and enjoy that journey.

For more information, and to read a lengthy excerpt from the book regarding what makes a game ‘fun,’ visit the official A Gamer’s Guide to Gaming website:

www.AGamersGuideToGaming.com