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Train2Game News Steam Game Discoverability

Valve logoValve has made some major changes to the way users discover games on its digital distribution platform Steam.

The new Discovery Update revamps the store’s home page and presents recommendations based on past purchases, recent gameplay and friend recommendations.

Also new is the curators list. Users can create their own list of games, based on a sci-fi theme for example, and recommend games based on their tastes for other players to see and subscribe to.

Steam will still retain some of its more traditional elements however, such as displaying popular new releases, recently updated games and top sellers. Users though will now be able to customise their homepage to display which of these categories they want to see.

Game searching has also been updated, and now allows users to discover titles by entering a tag or a basic description of a game they would be interested in playing.

Through a new traffic data analytics system, developers will be able to see where their game is appearing on the store, how many times it has been shown, and if those impressions have resulted in game page views.

The revamp is Valve’s response to the growing number of games being released on Steam. Since January, 1,300 new titles have been added to the marketplace, a significant increase on previous years and more than a third of the store’s total lifetime releases.. In total there are now more than 3,700 games on Steam.

Source: Develop

Train2Game News Unity working closely with Oculus

unity-logoDuring Oculus Connect, Oculus and Unity Technologies announced that they have expanded their strategic partnership that will strengthen Unity’s engine support for Oculus, providing the 3.3 million strong Unity development community with cutting-edge tools to create incredible virtual reality experiences for the Oculus Rift and Oculus VR Store.

The new partnership will introduce a new dedicated Oculus add-on for both the free and Pro versions of the Unity platform that the Unity community will enjoy at no additional costs. The Oculus add-on will include stereo imaging optimizations, 3D audio support, deeper Unity editor integration, inclusion of the Oculus Rift in the Unity development and debugging workflow, integration of Oculus-specific APIs within Unity, and direct publishing to the Oculus platform.

“There are so many incredible VR projects on Unity, and this partnership will make it even easier to build more great experiences for the Oculus platform,” said Brendan Iribe, Oculus CEO. “We’re thrilled to be working with Unity to put world-class tools in the hands of developers.”

“Oculus and Unity have been working together for a long while now and share a giddy kind of excitement for the future of virtual reality,” said David Helgason, CEO, Unity Technologies.

“Oculus is an innovative technological leader that is ushering in a new era for creating fully immersive interactive experiences, not just of games, but of all kinds. We’re incredibly happy to play a role in this and see that our entire developer community, who are already producing some really incredible stuff, can bring their crazy ideas to life inside the Oculus Rift.”

Oculus and Unity’s work to make Unity a powerful development tool for virtual reality development has resulted in hundreds of Oculus projects created using Unity technology, including Lucky’s Tale, DarkNet, The Gallery: Six Elements, and Titans of Space.

Train2Game News Student offering her artistic skills

LUC52101Train2Game Student and three time game jam winner, Chloe Martin is offering her artistic skills and knowledge to those in need.

Chloe is on the art and animation course and was previously a member of Digital Mage, along with my self, who were featured at The Gadget Show Live in 2012 as part of the Make Something Unreal Live contest sponsored by Epic Games.

After her continued success through previous game jams Train2Game invited her to be a mentor at the last game jam in April which she did an excellent job as. Using her knowledge and talents to help new students.

She is now looking to update and improve her portfolio by offering to help other Train2Game students with their coursework or any projects they may be working on. Chloe is a highly talented artist and will be a huge asset to your work.

Chloe is primarily a 2D artist but also can do 3D work if need be, dependant on what you are looking for in your project or coursework. This will be something she will be doing in her own spare time as she does have a full time job and is continuing to study on her own course.

You can find samples of her work on the forum by following this link: http://www.forum.train2game.com/album.php?albumid=485

This is just a very small fraction of the work she can do and she will provide more examples on request.

If you are interested and want to contact Chloe you can email her at booya127@live.co.uk

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 22.09.14

DestinyDestiny has held off the might of Disney and Link and retained the number one spot in the charts. Disney Infinity 2.0 entered at number two with Hyrule Warriors at number three. Lower down the charts Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call has entered at number seventeen.

All formats

Week ending 20 September 2014

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 - DESTINY ACTIVISION 1
2 DISNEY INFINITY 2.0 DISNEY INFINITY -
3 HYRULE WARRIORS NINTENDO -
4 WATCH DOGS UBISOFT 3
5 THE SIMS 4 EA GAMES 2
6 - MINECRAFT: XBOX 360 EDITION MICROSOFT 6
7 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION 4
8 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION 3 EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 9
9 THE LAST OF US: REMASTERED SONY COMPUTER ENT. 5
10 PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE EA GAMES 8
11 THE LEGO MOVIE VIDEOGAME WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 12
12 GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 11
13 TOMODACHI LIFE NINTENDO 16
14 TITANFALL EA GAMES 15
15 DIABLO III REAPER OF SOULS ULTIMATE EVIL BLIZZARD 13
16 SNIPER ELITE 3 505 GAMES 20
17 THEATRHYTHM FINAL FANTASY: CURTAIN CALL SQUARE ENIX -
18 TERRARIA XBOX 360 CLASSICS 19
19 LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 16
20 METRO REDUX DEEP SILVER 14
< previous week
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (C)2014 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 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

image

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.