Train2Game students (and everyone else!) could pay subs for EA Sports games in future

Train2Game students may have to pay subscription fees to play EA Sports titles in future. That’s according to label Vice President Andrew Wilson who believes there will “absolutely” be a time when plays will want to “access” EA Sports games via subscriptions.

It’s a statement that may initially not go down well with Train2Game students, but it could help them make more revenue from games in the future.

“If we look at what consumers have pushed other industries for: if we look at what consumers forced the music industry to provide, if we look at what consumers have driven as a result of television and movie subscription” Wilson told Eurogamer.

“If you look at us – there’s absolutely a time somewhere at some point in the future where the consumers say, ‘Hey, this is how we want to interact with you: we want to give you a monthly or annual subscription and we want access to everything you make,'”

“They get to drive the time and place for it, and a lot of it is technology dependent, but absolutely we can see a future where that might be the way we deliver games.”

Wilson added that it isn’t current gen consoles that are holding this model back, but internet connections.

“It’s less about the generation and more about internet infrastructure,” he said.

“The thing about consoles [is] that’s a lot of content: six, seven gigs of information. Right now there are some places in the world where you can move that size of information around relatively seamlessly; there are a lot of places you can’t.

“Right now the consoles themselves could facilitate it,” he added, “but there are other barriers to entry that make getting it from Game or GameStop a viable proposition, at least today.”

That last part sounds somewhat familiar, with as reported by the Train2Game blog, Sony previously stating that they want to sell PSN content – currently only available digitally – at traditional retail.

Of course, the games industry already has many subscription based services, with World of Warcraft being the most high profile. As previously mentioned by the Train2Game blog, World of Warcraft has over 12 million subscribers, showing that if people like a game, they’re more than happy to pay a subscription fee.

Therefore, in the future, working on a subscription based game could potentially be lucrative for Train2Game students.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts? Are subscription fees for all games inevitable? Would people pay?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Eurogamer]

Train2Game news: Indie devs need XBLA, PSN or Steam to succeed say Hello Games

Train2Game students have already published some of their own games online, but to have real success, they’ll have to publish them via XBLA, PSN or Steam.

That’s according to Hello Games, who published Joe Danger on the PlayStation Network last year. (You can read more about it here on the Train2Game blog)

“I think without the support of at least one of those outlets, the chances of success are reduced from tiny to almost non-existent,” Hello Games CEO Sean Murry said at Develop when asked about XBLA, Steam and PSN.

“I think that if you talked to other indie developers, they might say, ‘we’ve been turned down by Steam, or XBLA or PSN’. It’s a really common thing to hear, but it’s also often a real finishing blow for any studio.

“Often people are 100 per cent relying on it. Not just their approval process, but with someone like Apple you are 100 per cent reliant on them promoting your game. Without that, the service is nothing. It’s the same for Steam, it’s the same for XBLA, PSN – being on their services is only worth the amount of promotion that you’re going to be blessed with.”

Murray’s comments echo those of Frozen Synapse developer Mode 7 Games, who as reported by the Train2Game blog earlier this month, claimed Steam is ‘essential’ for indie developers.

Of course, as the Train2Game blog saw at Develop last week, it’s possible for indie developers to have success without the backing of a major distribution service, with Minecraft perhaps being the best example of this.

So Train2Game, where do you stand on the issue? Is XBLA, PSN or Steam needed for an indie game to be successful? Are you aiming to publish on one of those platforms in future?

As usual, leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.


Train2Game’s Clive Robert to speak at Edinburgh Interactive

Train2Game‘s Clive Robert will be part of a panel discussion  about how to get into the games industry at Edinburgh Interactive next month.

The summary of the talk as stated on the Edinburgh Interactive website states:

“Whilst big UK teams producing huge ‘AAA’ games are most certainly in decline, the future is still incredibly bright;

Micro teams, new business models, new analytics, low barriers to entry and improving games education are all great news for graduates and whomever else that want to be a part of this great industry. Those who are driven and prepared to show a little entrepreneurial flair have many more options than just cutting, pasting, tweaking and mailing their cv’s.”

Clive Robert will be speaking alongside game industry legend Ian Livingstone and Ken Fee, MProf Programme Tutor and Lecturer at The University of Abertay Dundee. The session, Games Industry overview & How to get in to the Games Industry, takes place on Thursday 10th August.

It’s the first in a whole host of talks that could be very useful to any Train2Game students who can confidently get to the free, public event in Edinburgh.

“The Public programme will take place in the Great Scottish Hall at The Radisson Blu Hotel on the 11th & 12th August.  Seats are limited so we recommend getting to the venue early where seating will be on a first come, first served basis.” is the advice on the official website.

For more information visit the Edinburgh Interactive homepage.  More information about Clive is available on the Train2Game official website.

As usual, leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game Radio interview with TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson at the Develop Conference

Train2Game featured prominently at this year’s Develop Conference, with a stand promoting students on the courses. During the show, the Train2Game blog caught up with TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson to discuss Train2Game, TIGA,  Develop and the UK games industry.

The interview is also available to listen to at Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.



Train2Game students are probably sick of hearing this…Zumba Fitness No.1 again


Train2Game students must be waiting for the summer lull to end,  but in the meantime Zumba Fitness continues to the dominate the UK charts with a sixth consecutive No.1. The dance game has spent a total of nine weeks in the top spot.

Call of Juarez: The Cartel enters at No.2, despite a plethora of negative reviews, while poor ratings also have no effect on Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 2 which rises from No.7 to No. 3 in its second week in the charts.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean moves up one to No.4, switching places with Call of Duty: Black Ops which drops to No.5. in its 35th week on sale. The Train2Game blog previously reported that Black Ops was the top selling game of last year, and more than six months on its still going strong.

Price cuts see Dungeon Siege III re-enter the top ten at No.6, while Dirt 3 drops  four spots to No.7. Movie tie-in Cars 2 debuts at No.8, FIFA 11 re-enters the top ten at No.8, while LEGO Star Wars III: The  Clone Wars drops to No.10.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon and former No.1 – as reported by the Train2Game blog – Brink, both leave the top ten.

The UKIE Gfk Chart-Track All Formats Top 10 for the week ending 23rd July 2011 is therefore as follows:

  1. Zumba Fitness (505 Games)
  2. Call of Juarez: The Cartel (Ubisoft)
  3. Harry Potter: The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (EA)
  4. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean (Disney)
  5. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Activision)
  6. Dungeon Siege III (Square Enix)
  7.  Dirt 3 (Codemasters)
  8. Cars 2 (Disney)
  9. FIFA 11 (EA)
  10. LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars (LucasArts)

There are no major releases this week.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on this week’s chart? What does the fact games with low review scores are doing so well?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: UKIE Games Charts©, compiled by GfK Chart-Track]

Train2Game Course Director Tony Bickley speaks to Train2Game Radio at the Develop Conference

Train2Game featured prominently at this year’s Develop Conference, with a stand promoting students on the courses.

Towards the end of the show, the Train2Game blog caught up with Train2Game Course Directly Tony Bickley to find out how successful Train2Game’s time at Develop 2011 had been.

The interview is also available to listen to at


Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game students could see L.A. Noire tech in Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V could feature the extremely impressive facial art & animation techniques originally used in L.A. Noire. (Train2Game students can remind themselves about the motion capture here on the Train2Game blog)

That’s according to  Team Bondi co-founder Brendan McNamara in an interview with PSM3.

“Yeah, I think they’re looking at it for every game. As much as LA Noire is a huge game, Grand Theft Auto is incredibly huge, so you’ve got all the problems of how big the cast would be and how many lines would you have to record and all that kind of stuff.

“Obviously we’d like them to, and they’re more than welcome to use MotionScan, but if they decide it’s not right for that and want to use it for another game, then that’s fine too.

“I think it brings a level of humanity to the experience that means people will – in the first few minutes – start relating to the characters on screen. They don’t have to make that decision about ‘whether I like this guy’ or ‘do I actually believe them? – but they can make all the like or dislike decisions based on the actor’s performance.

“Rockstar will make those decisions. They generally make the right decisions in terms of what they do for their games.”

The prospect of motion capture in Grand Theft Auto V is no doubt an intriguing prospect, both to Train2Game Art & Animation students, and everyone else.

There has been no official announcement regarding Grand Theft Auto V, but increasing rumours suggest that we’ll glimpses of it in the not too distant future.

Indeed, as previously reported by the Train2Game blog, analysts believe Grand Theft Auto V will arrive next year.

So Train2Game, do you think GTA V could benefit from motion capture? Do you believe it’ll be in the game?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source:  Develop Online]

Train2Game examining body TIGA congratulates Develop Award winners


Games industry trade association, and independent awarding and examination body for Train2Game courses, TIGA has congratulated the winners of this week’s Develop Industry Excellence Awards 2011.

Train2Game students will be encouraged that this year’s Develop saw a a large number of indie studios take home awards. These included successful indie studios such as Minecraft, Mind Candy, Rovio and Valve, demonstrating that there’s still a lot of life left in being an indie game developer.

“On behalf of TIGA I’d like to congratulate all of last night’s winners on their superb achievements. TIGA is proud to represent this innovative sector and strives to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business.” said TIGA CEO Dr. Richard Wilson.

The Train2Game blog got the opportunity to interview Dr. Richard Wilson while at the Develop Conference, see it on the Train2Game blog next week!

Below is the complete list of winners:

Category: Creativity

•    NEW IP- Enslaved (Ninja Theory)
•    NEW DOWNLOAD IP – Minecraft (Mojang Specifications)
•    USE OF A LICENCE OR IP – F1 2010 (Codemasters Birmingham)
•    VISUAL ARTS – Limbo (Playdead)
•    AUDIO ACCOMPLISHMENT – Papa Sangre (Somethin’ Else)

Category: Technology and Services

•    TECHNICAL INNOVATION – Kinect (Microsoft Research Cambridge)
•    VISUAL OUTSOURCER – Axis Animation
•    SERVICES – Audiomotion
•    RECRUITMENT – Specialmove
•    TOOLS PROVIDER – Autodesk
•    ENGINE – Unreal Engine 3 (Epic Games)

Category: Studios

•    NEW STUDIO – Mojang Specifications
•    MICRO STUDIO – Mojang Specifications
•    HANDHELD STUDIO – Rovio Mobile
•    IN-HOUSE STUDIO – Media Molecule
•    GRAND PRIX – Rovio Mobile

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the winners of the Develop Awards? What does it say about the nature of the UK games industry?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game Art & Animation student Piers Duplock from Leamington speaks to Train2Game Radio

Piers Duplock is studying to become a Game Artist & Animator with Train2Game. Train2Game Radio caught up with him to find out why he chose to study with Train2Game, how he’s finding the course and how he balances it around a job at Codemasters.

Listen to the interview at

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game students read this! Valve on playtesting during game development

 They're waiting for you Gordon, in the test chamber...

Train2Game students, particularly the QA Testers, will know of the importance of testing during a games development.

Now, in an interview with GameSpot, Valve has revealed that they believe playtesting to be the most important part of game development.

“For us, playtesting is the most important part of the game development process,” experimental psychologist and Valve’s playtesting lead Mike Ambinder told GameSpot.

“It’s not something we save for the end of the development, or use as a quality assessment or balancing tool. It is the dominant factor that shapes our decisions about what to release and when to release it.”

It’s a statement that Train2Game students who haven’t already been testing games throughout their development should really take on board.

Valve uses something called ‘bio-feedback metrics’ as part of the testing process. It features standard observed play sessions and surveys, but also involves tracking eye-movement with monitor-mounted cameras; monitoring heart rates; and even skin conductivity tests.

Valve use all of these to determine the players enjoyment of the game.

“We became interested in the use of biofeedback both as a playtesting methodology and as potential user input to gameplay because the idea of quantifying emotion or player sentiment seems to have utility,” said Ambinder.

“On the playtesting side, recording more objective measurements of player sentiment is always desired. People sometimes have a hard time explaining how they felt about various things, and memories of feelings and events can become conflated.

“Conversely, if you have a more objective measurement of arousal or engagement, you can get a clearer picture for how people are emotionally consuming your game.”

Last week, the Train2Game blog reported that Valve’s Steam service is ‘essential’ for indie developers.

So Train2Game, how important do you believe playtesting is to the game development process? How would you go about it?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: GameSpot]