Train2Game News: Merkury Games looking for Artist

merkurygames - CopyTrain2Game Student studio Merkury games is looking for new and experienced artists to join their studio.

Merkury games is built of several students of differing experience working as one to forward their respective careers. The studio specialises in retro style games with a twist which can be seen in their two previously released PC games.

The studio is looking for a voluntary artist to join the team who preferably has previous experience based on the retro games in the 8/16 bit drawing. The main requirements for the work will be around sprites, backdrops and concept art. They are looking for an individual who would be willing to take on this challenge. All serious applicants will be considered.

Lewis Gordon said about working at the studio “It’s an open, happy environment where any idea is welcomed and put to use. We are all about helping each other to learn and expand to get the most out of our career”

To be considered for the position please email your CV and an example of your work to recruitment@merkurygames.co.uk

To find out more about Merkury Games visit www.MerkuryGames.co.uk

Train2Game News: Train2Game Winners

Train2GameThe Train2Game team are creating a new web page highlighting the positive achievements of the students.

We think it’s important that we show what can be achieved by taking a Train2Game course and also heap some praise on the deserving students that have made those brave steps to become professionals.

The site will be used as inspiration for all students to see what they are working towards and what they can achieve with a lot of hard work. This is a great chance to put something back into the Train2Game community, show off your work, gain interest in products you’re working on for your employer show your achievements to potential future employers.

It would be great to hear from all the students who have made that step to become professionals; be it in a company, in an independent studio or another area of employment in or outside the games industry that your Train2Game course has helped you to obtain.

This is a great opportunity for students to start shouting about the courses and their success stories. Please do get in touch by emailing Harry Cole at harry@swanpr.co.uk

Train2Game News: Autodesk release Maya LT for Indie developers

AutodeskAutodesk has unveiled a new tool specifically targeted at indie developers. The 3D modelling and animation toolset is designed for developers working on mobile, PC and web, and can be integrated with game engines such as Unity and Unreal Engine.

Maya LT includes a number of features such as enabling the creation of 3D assets of any size, with the ability to export FBX files containing up to 25,000 polygons per object.

The tech’s animation tools include a skeleton generation and inverse kinematics with Autodesk HumanIK, as well as viewport previews so developers can view assets as they would appear in-game. Other features also include lighting and texture baking, with developers able to use global illumination tool to create “realistic” lighting effects.

Autodesk’s latest tool will cost $795 per perpetual licence as oppose to the license for Maya which is almost $4,000. Short-term licenses are also available on a monthly, quarterly or annual basis.

“We see indie game developers as a key part of the industry, driving innovative new production techniques and gameplay,” said Autodesk Media & Entertainment VP Chris Bradshaw.

“The market is fiercely competitive, and Maya LT can provide indie developers and small studios with a powerful, yet simplified workflow for designing and animating remarkable 3D characters, environments and props – at a price that fits within even the most modest budget. It’s a practical solution that closely matches the needs of the mobile game development production cycle and helps developers rise above the noise and really shine.”

Train2Game News: Mad Munchkin Reviews

Mad Munchkin ReviewsTrain2Game student, Amy Methven from Elgin Scotland, has created her own YouTube channel talking about all sorts of different art and animation.

Amy’s Mad Munchkin Reviews have covered media such as games, movies and TV Shows. She has spoken about the Batman Arkham games, My Little Pony and she has discussed subjects such as CGI compared to 2D animation.

It’s a fascinating view on all the different aspects of animation.

I asked Amy why she decided to create her YouTube channel and she said “I started the Mad Munchkin reviews for lots of different reasons really. The first one being that I love Art and love talking about it, like most people on the Art and Animation Course with Train2Game.

The second reason is that I wanted to find other creative ways to expose my Art work outside of the video game industry. In a practical sense, it allowed me to develop my video editing skills as well as analytical skills when it comes to my writing. I wanted to teach myself how to construct my critiques so I can successfully back up my opinions on what I review.

The show primarily focuses on Animated Movies, tv shows and video games, looking at the creative process behind creating these pieces of Art from the perspective of theory rather than the practical technicalities of the process. As much as I love the practical side of creativity, it is the theory and reason behind it that I like talking about more. Asking why something looks a certain why is more interesting to me than finding out how it was constructed.”

If you would like to check out Amy’s YouTube channel you can here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Amymethven/videos?shelf_index=0&view=0&sort=dd

Or you can view her Deviant art page at: http://amymethvenart.deviantart.com/

The Train2Game London Connection 2013 at AppsWorld

Train2Game exhibiting where the global Apps market meets

 logo

This year Train2Game will hold its London Connection at AppsWorld,  22-23 October 2013, in Earls Court 2 along side 250 exhibitors and over 8000+ attendees including developers, mobile marketers, mobile operators, device manufacturers, platform owners and industry professionals registered for two days of high level insight and discussion.

Jan Telensky, Train2game, said, “For the first time we have moved our annual London Connection to AppsWorld where we hope to meet up with as many students as possible.

“Our move to AppsWorld reflects our strong relationship with Microsoft launching Apps on the Windows 8 platform, including Windows8 phones, both for games and non-games.

“We look forward to a great event, our students gaining even more knowledge, and some fun networking”.

Being showcased at AppsWorld will be both gaming and none gaming Apps showing the wide range of skill sets Train2Game students achieve. Members of Train2Game Student Studios will also attend.

 

For more information about all Train2Game courses including the new Apps courses please visit www.train2game.com

Train2Game News: Early Mass Effect concept art

Mass Effect Concept ArtVeteran BioWare designer Matt Rhodes has posted an array of Mass Effect concept art from throughout the sci-fi trilogy. This of course includes spoilers!

It is a fascinating look at the early days of the series and some of the initial concepts.

The art, posted on Rhodes’ blog, includes designs dating back to the series’ origins. It covers concepts about Tali and what her face looked like under the mask, an interesting story twist involving Shepard and a creepy looking creation of the Mass Effect 2 boss.

Matt Rhodes said about his role as a concept artist “The role of a Concept Artist is the role of an explorer, tasked with charting a world without sunlight. You start off with your reference and research. These are well established base camps.

“They’re well lit, highly populated and safe. The better your reference the better your bearings will be. The artist’s job is to start at base camp with a bag of torches and run furiously out into the darkness. Every doodle, sketch, painting and storyboard is a torch lit somewhere out in the black. You mostly find weeds and rocks out there. But if you keep pushing you sometimes find a rich landscape that can hopefully become a new basecamp.”

You can enjoy his concept art in the link below including some concept art for Dragon Age as well. It is an interesting look through his process.

http://mattrhodesart.blogspot.ca/2013/07/concept-art-behind-scenes.html

Train2Game News: SpecialEffect needs the help of Train2Game students with Steam initiative

Team Fortress 2 SpecialEffectSpecialEffect is asking for the help of Train2Game students who use Valve’s Steam system! The charity who provide video gaming equipment to people with disabilities need your votes.

A few select artists from the Steam community have created SpecialEffect themed items for the game Team Fortress 2 and with your votes they can be in game this summer! The items that have been designer are: a viewfinder, cabinet and belt pack. 99% of the profits from these items will go to help disabled players enjoy games to the best of their abilities thanks to the work done by SpecialEffect.

This idea is the brainchild of James Schall, SEGA’s Director of Digital Distribution.

“Demand for SpecialEffect‘s help is rocketing,” said James. “And I’m excited about the potential of these generous artwork donations to kickstart a big-hearted response from the TF2 community to help meet that demand.”

“It’s a fantastic gesture,” said charity CEO Mick Donegan. “Gamers get what we’re trying to do, and to get that support from artists within the community is a real endorsement of our work.”

“We need £750k this year to give people a fighting chance through specialised games control equipment. We’re bringing this technology directly into the homes and hospitals of the people who need it most, and transforming the lives of people with the most severe disabilities through cutting-edge equipment like eye control and brain control.”

You can vote for the items to be in Team Fortress 2 by going to the link below:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=156361911

You can also find the items from within Steam itself by selecting Workshops from the Community menu. Hit the link in the grey text below the main ‘Create, Discover…’ heading, and on the next page type ‘special effect’ in the search box (note the space between the two words!). Then hit the Rate button.

If you would like to check out the pages of the artists who created the items for SpecialEffect you can view them in the links below:

Psyke

Svdl

*゚✲*。✧*☆Twilight Sparkle☆*✧*✲*

void~

Train2Game News: Cat Forsyth makes her mark on Big Brother

Cat ForsythOn Big Brother tonight you will get to see the artistic skills of Train2Game student, Cat Forsyth, who has helped turned people into Zombies for the show.

This series of Big Brother started almost two weeks ago and this week has seen the house mates in quarantine for the weekly shopping task.

If the house-mates thought the morning wake up alarm they normally get was bad, they sure were in for a shock as this morning they had zombies banging on the bedroom windows.

They were hastily gathered in the living room and played an emergency news bulletin showing  the virus wreaking havoc on the Big Brother studios, before green smoke poured from the ceiling indicating the virus had hit the House.

With only six gas masks between them they had to decide who would get one and they chose Hazel, Charlie, Wolfy, Joe, Daley and Callum. The rest became infected and were sent to quarantine (the large task room).

In order to return to the House those in quarantine must be cured through ‘treatments’ or remain until the end of the task. Those who are virus free need to cure them so they can help in the task and earn luxury shopping items.

The quarantined house-mates will only be fed liquid food, be sprayed down by the other house-mates from time to time and have to crawl through a tunnel if they want a cigarette break.

The “Zombies” make up was applied by Train2Game Art & Animation student, Cat Forsyth and the company she works for, Silent Studios. She has been using her Art skills to make these people very “Un-life” like and utterly terrifying, you can enjoy Cat’s handy work below.

Cat Zombie BBBe sure to tune in to Big Brother tonight on Channel 5 at 10pm to see the horrific action unfold!

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio talks to Lee Pearson

Lee PearsonI got the pleasure of speaking to a very ambitious guy who has been working incredibly hard to get noticed. Train2Game student, Lee Pearson, has worked through many obstacles to get his character designs noticed.

You can listen to part one of the interview here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1471396-train2game-student-radio-speaks-to-lee-pearson-part-1

Part two is here: http://audioboo.fm/boos/1471393-train2game-student-radio-speaks-to-lee-pearson-part-2

Or you can read the transcript below:

Hello my names Lee Pearson, I’m on the Train2Game Radio forum, talking about my work I’m doing for the indie game scene, in the USA.

Alright Lee, how you doing mate?

Yeah not too bad mate

Excellent. So, tell me a bit about you then buddy?

My name’s Lee Pearson, I come from Ashford originally, I was born and raised in Ashford, Kent. I spent the last thirty years in education full time and all that. I’ve been drawing since I was born. My obsession with monsters began when I was watching Ray Harryhausen films and I started drawing loads and loads of monsters, loads of gory stuff. My Father used to bring home loads of the old VHS Videos and I got inspired by drawing that and that’s how it all started.

Yeah, the good old video nasties?

Yeah the good old eighties, I was probably only about five but that’s what inspired me to draw really and I just used to do it for my own enjoyment and just kept doing it and doing it. It was extremely violent, it worried my dad a little bit, and I just kept drawing and drawing them because I loved doing it. It’s what I have gone back to doing today now.

I’ve always had an interest in working on Movies and Video Games but I haven’t found the exact thing to get there at the moment. I’m still needing a little bit more experience yet. I did courses after I left school. I spent from 1994 to 2008 doing all these art courses and all that but I just felt this isn’t exactly what I want to do. I want to do something in Video Games and Movies because I’ve got such an imagination designing creatures.

I’ve had it hard with my courses because I’ve had special needs, I had to deal with a lot of family problems helping friends out, mental health problems and a lot of other things I’ve had to cope with.

I finally graduated in 2008, with an HND in fine arts with nine distinctions, including photoshop, and I was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome in 2008.

I left college from 1998 to 2008 just doing stuff for DJ scenes, just to calm myself down a bit. I always wanted to do Video Games though and my mate called James Sacker had this little card for Train2Game calling out all the Games Designers, I thought this looks interesting. I looked into it and my Dad said, “don’t do the course Son because it’s going to cost you a lot of money”. So I had some guys come around to my new flat that I am living at at the moment and we spoke about it and watched the Video and I thought to myself, it’s something I really want to do because I love Monsters and I love Gore and I love all that stuff. Without telling my Mum and Dad, I signed on to Train2Game.

I assume they now though, do they, you parents?

Not yet at the moment, just keeping it a secret

OK Lee, that’s all good that you did all that before so it’s 2013 now. What are you up to now?

At the moment I’m just working in some indie game companies in America, just doing it online. I decided to grab a copy of Photoshop CS 5, I’ve spent an awful lot of my money on computer equipment out of my benefit money, I had to sacrifice food for it. I bought Graphics Tablets, Scanners, Printers and all sorts of stuff. I’ve been practising and practising with the Graphics Tablet and over time I’ve mastered it in about ten months really, my graphics tablet.

I’m doing mostly Horror games. I did one last year before I started learning the Graphics Tablet. I went on the concept art OEG and I was flicking through all the games adverts and there was one that caught my eye, called Richard Lee, he was a guy looking for a guy to do his art work for a cult Horror game in America based before Jesus Christ. I applied for it and he liked my work so much that he said, yeah I’ll give you the shot.

It wasn’t done by a graphics tablet, it was done with A4 paper and pens and I started drawing all these really gory demonic characters. We worked on it together for a couple of months and then sadly he gave me an email saying he had to stop to go back to Trucking because of money. It’s a shame because I thought it would be a fantastic project to work on.

You’re getting some good work experience out of this projects now then?

It’s mostly just one on one really. It’s mostly just Indie stuff really and I just got my work out there by Facebook. I was just getting all my art work and spamming it and spamming it. I was then talking to someone on the Train2Game course and they said, why don’t you try deviant art?, so I got all the recent work I’ve done and spammed it and got it out there and it caught the eye of another guy in America called Mark Wemm, which I am working on at the moment. He told me to create my own character, so I created a Teddy Bear that got possessed by an Alien, Demonic Spirit that turns it into a hideous monster and it’s really really gory. I’m working on that at the moment and I don’t know how long it will take but I’ve been asked to do all of it by Photoshop and I’ve been doing all the landscapes and all the concept art and all the weaponry, it’s just great fun, it really is.

Yeah. It sounds like your enjoying yourself.

Oh I love it! Loving it to bits, it’s really, really good fun

Excellent, so you mentioned before that you had Aspergers so how is it studying and working with that, do you find you get prejudice against it or what?

No, I’ve got to the stage now where I don’t really care about my disability. I just have a laugh like my dad does, just enjoy it. I don’t really care about money I just love and enjoy doing it, it’s great fun.

So what are you wanting to do in the future then Lee?

Well before I go to America, I’m going to America just to have a holiday with my Step Mum, Dad and my family. I want to come back home, get a bundle of computers and PC’s, get a load of Photoshop, all the packages, Zbrush, 3D Max and I just want to go completely character mad. Create characters in Photoshop, to 3D Max and draw them, hand paint them, everything. Bring it all together and that’s the sort of thing I want to do with the rest of my life really. I can’t think of anything else.

I’m going to have obstacles that I am going to have to over come, like the Train2Game course, I realised because I was pushed behind a year, I am going to have to do this course. I am going to have no choice but I definitely want to do more, more, more character designs. I really enjoy doing it, that’s the future for me. I want to try and expand all over the globe. Doing the stuff in America and I sent some stuff off to Japan. I did a picture of Cammie on wall paper and sent it off to Japan, but I definitely want to start doing lots of characters, monsters, vehicles just for games really.

That’s beautiful. You sound like you are incredibly ambitious and just want your art work to be seen absolutely everywhere.

Yeah, definitely. It’s just good fun, just enjoy the ride! I just love doing characters, back in the day it was all done by hand and I was just fascinated by characters. I had them in my head everyday, sometimes even talk to them! I think the future for me now is definitely the Video Game industry.

Well, I think that is all we’ve got time for today Lee, it’s been a pleasure talking to you!

Yeah, it’s great, it’s fantastic!

And I will talk to you soon mate, alright?

Yeah will do mate

Cheers mate, Bye!

Thank you, bye

Train2Game News: OpenWheel Kickstarter

OpenWheelA Train2Game Student; Laurence Gee, has begun working full time with games developer Brain in a Jar who have started an initiative to receive funding through Kickstarter for their latest game; OpenWheel.

Laurence joins the company as a full time employee to help develop OpenWheel and the company are requesting further support from the Train2Game community to make the game a reality. Laurence joined Brain in a Jar in February of 2011 on a Train2Game work placement scheme and he is now happily in full time employment as a 3D artist in the studio.

Brain in a Jar, has been developing racing games since 1998 and are based right next to Oulton Park race track in Cheshire. Racing is built in to the very foundation of the company. The company has worked on big games like Indycar and NASCAR, independent games of its own and has worked with some great developers on AAA games like: Driver: San Francisco and Need For Speed.

OpenWheel is an online multiplayer racing game which is fully customisable. There are no static 2D lobby screens to sit in waiting for a race to start. Once you have chosen your chassis and the track you want to race on you are taken straight into the action, you can even join mid-race. You can define, create and run your own global championships, or join existing ones. Become your own FIA and create a world championship for your friends and the best racers to come and compete in.

This is truly an immersive, passion filled racing game created by fans of high speed racing. The game is a fantastic concept with hours of playability and Brain in a Jar deserve all the pledges they can get on Kickstarter.

If you would like to pledge and view there great video, you can do so by going to www.kickstarter.com/projects/braininajar/openwheel

If you want to found out more about the studio go to www.braininajar.co.uk