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Train2Game News Havok enjoying 2015

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Havok has enjoyed a strong start to 2015 with a variety of Havok-powered titles earning the highest industry accolades, including the BAFTA Best Game Award for Destiny and the Game Developers Choice Awards Game of the Year honor for Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor.

These and other Havok-powered AAA games were acknowledged within critics and peer-voted awards ceremonies during the 2015 awards season and demonstrate a renewed and increasingly acknowledged appreciation for AAA developers in pushing the technological and design boundaries of gaming ever outward.

Havok has long maintained close partnerships with the key AAA developers who have crafted some of the most indelible and critically-acclaimed titles of all time. The recent award winning games are merely a small slice of the outstanding AAA games that chose to adopt Havok technology in the past year, including Sunset Overdrive, Far Cry 4 and Dragon Age: Inquisition, titles that Havok highlight as proof of a resurgent AAA gaming segment.

“At Havok, we’re proud of our AAA roots.  From your first uneasy steps into Rapture, the first time you use the Gravity Gun, and the first time your nemesis in Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor openly mocks you after a bitter defeat, these are the experiences we remember, and these are the games Havok is proud to support via our technology and knowhow,” Says David Coghlan, President and Managing Director of Havok. “There are true visionaries at work at these game studios, and they’re the ones who create these worlds through their passion and talent. At Havok, we are proud to see these incredibly creative teams realize their visions by leveraging Havok Technology and Support. Hearty congratulations to all the teams at this year’s GDCAs and BAFTA Game Awards for their well-earned recognition and their landmark achievements in game development.”

Alongside critical acclaim there is ample evidence of the renewed optimism being felt in the AAA gaming segment. With console hardware sales buoyant and global home console software revenue forecast to top $24bn by 2017, it’s clear that the death of AAA console gaming has been greatly exaggerated. This buoyant market validates Havok’s strategy to be the world’s leading provider of technology to the AAA game development industry.
                                                                                                                                    
For further information, developers can visit www.havok.com

Train2Game News ChilliWorks GameJam

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Dundee based, game technology company, ChilliWorks, is gearing up to give away £1,000 to the best prototype game created with their new open source game engine, ChilliSource.

ChilliWorks is a new suite of game development tools created by Scottish mobile game studio, Tag Games. This week the company announced plans of their first official game jam, inviting teams to take part in the event.

ChilliWorks is offering competitors the chance to win £1,000 to the overall winner of the 48-hour ChilliSource Game Jam, where prototype games will be created with the ChilliSource engine. Submissions will be judged by the ChilliWorks team, based on style, mechanic, creativity and general fun factor.

The jam coincides with this year’s Dare to be Digital competition. A change in the application process that allows competitors to apply for Dare to be Digital with a pre-developed prototype, provides a timely opportunity for anyone taking part in the ChilliSource Game Jam.

Mike Herron, Head of Connected Technology at ChilliWorks says, “The first ChilliSource game jam is another significant milestone in the roadmap of the engine. It’s open-source so it’s out there for anyone to download and contribute to. The jam will give us the opportunity to get a lot of vital feedback from developers. We are big fans of Dare to be Digital so being able to support applicants through our game jam is a real added bonus.”

He goes on to say “We hope the ChilliSource Game Jam will encourage potential Dare to be Digital applicants to create something incredible using our engine and inspire anyone in two minds about taking part to get involved.”

The ChilliSource Game Jam is hosted remotely meaning teams can work from the comfort of their own home. The jam starts at 18:00 UTC on the 17th of April and finishes at 18:00 UTC on the 19th of April.

If you want the chance to take part, you need to email gamejam@chilli-works.com before the 16th of April and register your team.

Train2Game News GameBlast15 break last years record

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GameBlast, the UK’s largest charity video gaming marathon event, has raised over £120,000, smashing the £70k raised by last years’ fundraiser.

Gamers from across the world took on gaming marathons of up to 48 hours over the weekend of 20-22 February to raise money for gamers’ charity SpecialEffect, who help people with physical disabilities to experience the fun and inclusion of video games.

As well as the hundreds of individuals and teams that took part, over 50 games companies backed the event including GAME, Ginx, Twitch, Jagex, SEGA, Bossa, KING, Gamer Network, Frontier, Team17, Radiant Worlds, Fragers and Insert Coin.

Mick Donegan, SpecialEffect CEO, said, “We are genuinely blown away by the huge amount of support that we’ve had from gamers and the gaming industry all over the world. Everyone who contributed will make a massive difference, changing the lives of hundreds of people with disabilities who can only watch everyone else experience the many benefits of video games. A huge, heartfelt thank you from all the SpecialEffect team.”

Jagex, the developers and publishers of RuneScape were the biggest industry fundraiser. Their 24-hour marathon at their Cambridge offices raised £50,000.

The biggest individual total came from BBC Technology Correspondent and SpecialEffect VP Kate Russell, who raised £12,000

The dates for GameBlast16 are 26-28 February 2016

Donations for GameBlast can still be made at http://www.justgiving.com/gameblastlive

Train2Game News Mobile MOBA Beta

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Allstar Games, a leading mobile publisher, has today announced forthcoming mobile MOBA, Allstar Heroes, has now entered closed Beta in the UK.

The Closed Beta, which is currently only available to those with Android devices, will be playable from 26th March to 14th April. To get in on the mobile MOBA madness, head over to the Play Store and download the game now at: http://bit.ly/UKBetaTest

Allstar Heroes brings the complete MOBA experience to mobile devices, smashing together the strategy synonymous with the genre with the fast, fun, pick-up-and-play nature of traditional mobile titles.

“The arrival of the Closed Beta marks an incredibly important and exciting time for everyone here at Allstar Games” said Bea Wang, Vice President at Allstar Games. “We’ve poured our heart into making the game as fun as possible, and I hope everyone enjoys their time with it.”

To celebrate the launch of the Closed Beta, players can now register at the following link to earn in game rewards: http://www.allstarheroes.eu/special/UKBetaTestEvent/

Train2Game News Dragon age Inquisition story DLC announced

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BioWare, an Electronic Arts Inc. studio, announced brand-new downloadable content (DLC) that expands the singleplayer experience for Dragon Age: Inquisition, winner of over 100 Game of the Year awards.

Now available for digital download, the Dragon Age: Inquisition – Jaws of Hakkon DLC adds an exciting new story arc to the campaign and expands on its already vast world with a new region of Thedas to explore. Dragon Age: Inquisition – Jaws of Hakkon is available first on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC via Origin for £11.99.

Dragon Age: Inquisition – Jaws of Hakkon will reveal the fate of the last Inquisitor and the powerful dragon he hunted. The new content expands the land of Thedas with a massive new playable area covered in mountains and lush forests, where danger lurks in the shadowy undergrowth. As players explore the vertical landscape and dense wilderness fighting off vicious enemies, they will collect legendary armour and weapons before unearthing an ancient secret that could destroy the world.

“We are humbled by the game’s reception so far but are not done with the world of Thedas just yet,” said Mike Laidlaw, Creative Director, BioWare. “We hope the new DLC speaks to our dedication of growing Inquisition with meaningful and exciting new content for our fans, new and old.”

Winner of over 160 industry awards, including more than 100 Game of the Year awards globally, Dragon Age: Inquisition is set in an epic, dark fantasy world where players are empowered to shape and drive their experiences. BioWare’s hallmark gameplay narrative will immerse players with engrossing choices that allow them to experience unique moments based on those decisions. Dragon Age: Inquisition is developed on an RPG game engine underpinned by EA’s cutting edge Frostbite 3 technology.

Dragon Age: Inquisition is developed at BioWare Edmonton with support from BioWare Montreal and other locations. Dragon Age: Inquisition – Jaws of Hakkon is available now for digital download first on Xbox One and PC as a timed exclusive.

Train2Game News PlayStation 4 update

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Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC (SCEA) today announced it will release system software update version 2.50, codenamed “Yukimura,” for the PlayStation 4 (PS4) system on March 26, bringing highly-anticipated and requested features to the system.

These forward-looking updates include the Suspend/Resume feature, which enables gamers to jump in and out of their games quickly and pick up where they left off. In addition, the PS4 system will add to its already robust set of social tools by making it easier than ever to connect gamers together, furthering its position as the best place to play with friends.

“With more than 20 million PlayStation 4 systems worldwide, PlayStation gamers are the foundation for our success. We are constantly listening to feedback from our growing community regarding improvements to make their PlayStation experience even better,” said John Koller, vice-president of platforms marketing. “We continue to focus on making PS4 the best place to play with friends. That’s why we’re delivering features like Facebook Friend Finder, Suspend/Resume to get into gaming quicker, a more streamlined Party and friending process, and new ways for users to see what their friends are playing so they can immediately get in and game together.”

Highlights coming to the PS4 system with “Yukimura” include:

Jump Back Into Games Faster with Suspend/Resume Suspend/Resume, which will be supported by nearly all PS4 titles, will allow PS4 owners to spend less time waiting for games to load and more time playing. Gamers will be able to suspend their game by putting their PS4 system into Rest Mode, and then quickly resume the game where they left off by pressing the PlayStation button on the DUALSHOCK 4 wireless controller, which wakes their system.

Back-Up and Restore Hard Disc Drive to External USB Drive “Yukimura” allows PS4 owners to back-up and restore the hard disc to and from an external USB drive. Hard disc drive data includes settings, saved data, screenshots and video clips as well as games, patches and download data.

PS4 owners will now be able to search for Facebook friends with their linked account. Friend requests and Real Name requests can be sent together in one step when adding a friend on the PS4 system. The update will allow users to easily view what their friends are playing by adding a “Friends Who Play This” section on each game detail page, while also highlighting which friends are currently online and playing it. The process to create a Party has also been streamlined with a reduction in the number of steps required. Additionally, the What’s New section will now feature a section where users can see what their friends are currently playing enabling them to join in the game if they own it or find out more on PlayStation Store.

PS4 owners have been sharing their most impressive gaming moments since the launch of the system, and with “Yukimura,” a screenshot will automatically be captured when a Trophy is earned, making it easy for users to share their favorite gaming moments with their friends. The update will also make it easy for players to share Trophy information to Facebook, Twitter or via Message by pressing the SHARE button. Additionally, users will now be able to sort their Trophy list by “Earned Date,” “Not Earned,” and “Grade,” as well as the option to remove games from the Trophy list that have zero percent completion.

Improved and Expanded Accessibility Options “Yukimura” introduces new options to customize the user experience with the PS4 system, making it easier for gamers with impaired vision and limited manual dexterity to play. Customized button assignments for DUALSHOCK 4 and a zoom feature for displayed pictures and inverted colors will be available for all system functions, apps and games. Text-to-speech and enlarged text will be available across the graphical user interface, including Message and Party, and enlarged text will also be enabled for use in the system’s browser. Bolder fonts and higher contrast UI will be available for all system applications but will not apply to games or third-party applications.

Additional features and updates introduced with “Yukimura” include:

*              Remote Play and Share Play: For games that support 60 fps, users will be able to stream those games with 60 fps for both Remote Play and Share Play on supported devices.
*              Automatic Installation for System Software Updates: Users will be able to automatically install future system software updates.
*              Sub-Account Upgrade: Users 18 years of age or older with sub-accounts will be able to upgrade to a master account directly on the PS4 system, removing restrictions on chat and enabling users to add funds to their Wallet, purchase content and more.
*              Verified Accounts: Verified accounts for game industry professionals, including developers, producers, designers and community managers will appear with a badge.
*              Dailymotion.com: Players will have the ability to upload video clips directly to Dailymotion via the SHARE button.

The PlayStation Vita system and PlayStation App for smartphones and tablets will also receive system software updates with the same timing as “Yukimura,” adding complementary features to those added to the PS4 system with the update. PS Vita update version 3.50 and PlayStation App update version 2.50 will add new accessibility options, including enlarge text, increase contrast and more. This update also enables PS Vita systems to support 60 fps streaming for Remote Play.

For more information, including the full list of features added to the PlayStation 4 system, PlayStation Vita system and PlayStation App, please visit: www.us.playstation.com

Train2Game News Meta 3D joins AR Consortium

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Interactive industry veteran Meta 3D Studios, founded in 2005, has expanded their custom application and game development capabilities to include cutting-edge augmented and virtual reality technologies, and is announcing that it has joined the Augmented Reality Consortium (“AR Consortium”).

The AR Consortium is an exclusive group of industry leaders and executives actively involved in commercializing augmented reality technologies, defining best-practices, and continuously pushing the envelope of innovation in what AR can do.

“We are excited to join the Consortium and share over 37 years of experience in the interactive gaming industry with our peers,” Says Billy Joe Cain, Business Development Director for Meta 3D Studios. “We believe that our background in telling engaging interactive stories and crafting amazing experiences will take full advantage of the incredible potential of augmented reality.”

“When we designed and assisted in the development of a custom branded Augmented Reality marketing application for the launch of a SyFy channel program, everyone’s eyes lit up and they had such a good time. That was like watching people become kids again,” says Randy Polk, President of Meta 3D Studios. “Your imagination can truly come to life with AR; this is the technology of the future that we have been waiting for. Joining the Consortium gives us the chance to share ideas and collaborate, as well as bring new capabilities to interactive applications we develop and customize for our clients.”

Meta 3D Studios was welcomed into the AR Consortium by Robert A. Rice, the Founder and Chairman of the industry group. The AR Consortium was founded in 2009 to promote best practices and share information in the burgeoning field.

“The team at Meta 3D Studios has an amazing background in developing interactive media and experiences with legendary companies and games.” said Robert Rice, Chairman of the Consortium. “Augmented Reality is so much more than just overlaying 3D images on the real world through smartphones and other devices. Meta 3D Studios has a wealth of talent and expertise to really push the limit of AR and create experiences that are amazing, meaningful, and engaging to users. I’m looking forward to what they are going to do next.”

Train2Game News From Bedrooms to Billions out now

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“From Bedrooms To Billions” – a movie documenting the history of the UK games industry is OUT NOW exclusively at Europe’s Number One Retro Gaming Destination, Funstock.co.uk

After being successfully funded via Kickstarter the creators went on to develop a fascinating 150 minute in-depth journey told through interviews and archive footage featuring industry legends including Peter Molyneux, Ian Livingstone, David Perry, David Braben, Ben Daglish, Oliver Frey, Miles Jacobson, Jeff Minter and many more.

The movie tells the story of how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in shaping the billion dollar video games industry.

In addition to the original 150min documentary the Special Edition version (available on Blu-Ray and DVD) features over 150min of additional content, numerous game ‘making of’ features, industry stories and ‘making music on the C64’ features with Rob Hubbard and Fred Gray.

General Manager of Funstock.co.uk, Andy Pearson quoted:

“From Bedrooms to Billions is the definitive documentary on the UK video games industry. It features virtually every personality you can imagine from the golden age of gaming, with exclusive interviews shot for this movie. It is expertly crafted by veteran film makers with a strong passion for the games industry – and this passion shines through. It is an absolute MUST see for anyone with even the slightest interest in gaming. It’s a fascinating story, told by fascinating people.” Andy Pearson, General Manager, Funstock.co.uk

Visit here for more information:  http://www.funstock.co.uk/from-bedrooms-to-billions-home

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 23.03.15

battlefield_hardline_3_wmThe charts have had a shake up this week with Battlefield Hardline taking the number one spot and Final Fantasy Type-0 HD hitting second place. Slightly further down the charts Mario Party 10 is at number six with Resident Evil Revelations 2 just behind in number seven. It’s about time we see some new blood in the charts.

All formats

Week ending 21 March 2015

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 BATTLEFIELD HARDLINE EA GAMES -
2 FINAL FANTASY TYPE-0 HD SQUARE ENIX -
3 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 1
4 DYING LIGHT WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 2
5 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 3
6 MARIO PARTY 10 NINTENDO -
7 RESIDENT EVIL: REVELATIONS 2 CAPCOM -
8 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 6
9 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 4
10 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 7
11 DISNEY INFINITY 2.0 DISNEY INFINITY 17
12 - WWE 2K15 2K SPORTS 12
13 HALO: THE MASTER CHIEF COLLECTION MICROSOFT -
14 TERRARIA XBOX 360 CLASSICS 13
15 THE ORDER: 1886 SONY COMPUTER ENT. 7
16 FORZA HORIZON 2 MICROSOFT 14
17 DESTINY ACTIVISION 18
18 FAR CRY 4 UBISOFT 15
19 EVOLVE 2K GAMES 8
20 THE CREW UBISOFT 16
< 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 SpecialEffect raise money at Twickenham

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A fundraising lunch, with rugby legends Paul Wallace, Simon Shaw and Zinzan Brooke, raised £22,484 on the day through donations, raffles and auctions for the gamers’ charity, SpecialEffect.

The three former International players were the guests of honor at the inaugural Legends Lunch in aid of SpecialEffect, held at Twickenham Stadium last month, and they entertained an audience of 120 guests with tales of sporting and not-so-sporting experiences on and off the rugby field.

Paul (former Ireland International and British & Irish Lion), Simon (former England International and British & Irish Lion) and Zinzan (former All Black International) were delighted to be able to assist the charity which provides life changing support through the use of leisure technology, to enhance the quality of life for people with severe physical disabilities. 

“We’re honored that Paul, Simon and Zinzan have made such a difference to our fundraising,” said SpecialEffect Fundraiser Nick Streeter. “The money raised from this superb event will help us meet the growing demand for our specialist services including our video games loan library and our StarGaze project, that provides the loan and support of eye controlled technology to those that really need it “

Matt Hampson, a former England International and Patron of SpecialEffect, suffered a major spinal injury while training with England in 2005 and is the inspiration for the StarGaze project;

“When I regained consciousness I couldn’t move and I couldn’t speak – all I could do was move my eyes. It’s impossible to explain the fear, desperation and helplessness you feel when you are totally unable to communicate.”

“SpecialEffect were there for me with an eye-controlled computer that allowed me to speak using an artificial voice. I know first-hand the difference that SpecialEffect can make”

The event was organised by Limelight Interactive, and it is hoped to be an annual event.