Train2Game News Train2Game attends TIGA Seminar

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Train2Game attended, 22 April 2014, the first TIGA seminar explaining to senior figures in the gaming industry of the impact the new Games Tax relief law will have the games industry.

Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, started by sharing the news that when the tax breaks start it will generate “4,000 new jobs” in the sector.
The panel, explaining the new law, includes representatives from Rebellion, the BFI, Grant Thornton, Three River Studios, Pinewood, and Eden Films.

The film industry panel members explained to a packed audience, in the Dolby Labs Cinema in central London, how the very similar tax breaks law impacted on the British Film Industry and further how many new opportunities arrived in the UK rather than going to other countries.

Two of the key factors for the Tax breaks are that projects must be for commercial purposes and equally not for games that include gambling. Also advertorial apps generally do not qualify for the tax breaks – avoiding tax breaks being given out to significant high street outlets purely for advertising purposes.

Another key factor is that studios do not need to rush to make applications. There is NO CAP on the amount of qualifying applications. This is a law and not a grant based system.

Applications can be and will be made online and studios can qualify for the tax breaks under several criteria. It could be that a tax break is issued on the basis of Cultural Content or the level of contributors, with many other categories.

Also it should be noted that the tax break applicants could be awarded points towards the tax break as a result of any/ALL EU citizens involved in the UK project.

The HMRC (tax office) still have further clarification interpretations of the new law therefore, there will be further briefing to the games industry in the future.

TIGA, an awarding body of Train2Game, were complimented on their continued efforts to reach this conclusion which started over a decade ago.

Train2Game’s Digital Media Team were complimented by Richard Wilson for the massive contribution they played in publicising the campaign which lead to such a positive outcome.

Train2Game News Unreal 4 Dev Day

Epic GamesEpic has announced a date for new ground floor developers to attend a dev day for Unreal 4 at Staffordshire University

Following the successful release of Unreal Engine 4 to the world, Epic Games has announced a new free-to-attend hands-on dev day for ground floor developers on Thursday 17th April 2014.

Unreal Developer Day, which will take place at the recently opened Epic Games Centre at Staffordshire University in Stafford, is open to anyone with an active UE4 subscription.

Registration is now open at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/unreal-developer-day-thursday-17th-april-tickets-11168446123 and is available on a first come first served basis. Epic’s engineering, design and support team members will provide insight into the latest tools and technologies, as well as a look into the future of the new UE4 ecosystem.

Announced at GDC on March 19th, the new Unreal Engine 4 subscription service gives members access to the full engine, tools and C++ source code. More details can be found at http://epicgames.com/news/epic-games-releases-unreal-engine-4-for-all/

“This is a great opportunity for those just starting out with UE4 to learn more and get invaluable hands-on advice from the UE4 team. It’s going to be a very productive day, and should be a big boost for those who are able to attend,” commented Mike Gamble, European Territory Manager.

If any Train2Game students are eligible to attend it could be an excellent learning possibility for you.

Train2Game News Gamonaut hits big numbers

GamonautOnline gaming website Gamonaut is flying high just a month after the site went live, reaching over half a MILLION plays in March 2014.

The team behind this winning formula are Train2Game student studio Icey Monty. They release at least an exclusive title per week. Popular titles on the site include the park it 3D series: Drunk Parking and Ambulance.

The Gamonaut team is made up of three Directors with Development support. John Esslemont (24) and Nick Walker (20) are based in the UK and Romano Zagoršćak (30) is based in Croatia. The international team have an average age of around just 25. Nick and John are actually still studying with distance learning provider Train2Game which is how they met.

John Esslemont, Director, said: “I thought about creating Gamonaut after working on a client’s game, I was wondering how they’re able to support themselves and started talking with the client. It was Romano who came forward with the idea of a joint venture, Game development + Web portal just made sense.”

Nick Walker, Director, said: “I think the combination of our skillsets has allowed us to drive the site forward. Romano’s expertise in everything related to games portals and publishing, combined with the skills we’ve learned doing client work over the past couple of years allows us to make quality games that brand a genuinely good site. There is fierce competition, but we work extremely hard to get our standard of quality up to the high levels.”

Director Romano Zagoršćak, said:  “We definitely have a bunch of plans for the future. First of all we’ll continue making even better games. We plan to expand to mobile markets and further build up website audience. There’s always room for improvement and we strive towards that in our work – site, strategy, game ideas, development practices and basically everything.”

Play the latest and best free 3D games available at http://www.gamonaut.com/

Train2Game News the BBC reports UK games developers get cash boost

Great news for Train2Game students and studios as the UK’s game industry could get a £188m boost as the European Commission approves tax relief measures for developers.

The price tag was drawn up by games industry body TIGA, one of the awarding bodies of Train2Game, which has helped lobby for the relief scheme.

Under the policy, games makers will be able to claim discounts on up to 25% of a game’s production costs.

The full story as published by the BBC via:

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-26768790

 

Train2Game News Winners of PR Competition Announced

Swan PRIcey Monty and Derp Studios scoop a month’s free PR in Swan PR Competition. Train2Game student studios beat stiff competition to win free PR services from the leading technology and gaming PR firm.

Judges couldn’t separate the two potential winners of The Swan PR competition, deciding the best thing to do was to have two winners. Both studios will now have PR packages designed for them and Swan PR’s support for a month of PR activity. Icey Monty wowed the judges with its online games website Gamonaut, which releases a new title every week. Whereas Derp Studios impressed the judges with its 2 Souls game, which has players controlling two characters in a platform puzzler.

Harry Cole, Operations Director, Swan PR: “When we launched the competition we didn’t know what to expect from the students, but as soon as the entries began to come in, we were delighted at the standard across the board. We selected Derp Studios and Icey Monty as their titles were what we would describe as ‘ready to go to market,’ we played the games and straight away saw their potential. We can’t wait to start working with both teams.”

Christopher Ledger, CEO, Derp Studios: “We are extremely happy to be joint winners with Icey Monty (well done guys!), it has been a challenging few weeks. We would like to say a massive thank you to Nicola and Darroch for their hard work on developing such a great title and seizing the opportunity to use this competition as a boost to our studios success.”

Nick Walker, Director, Icey Monty: “We’re extremely grateful for the fantastic opportunity that Train2Game and SwanPR have generously awarded us. We would also like to congratulate Derp Studios, as they deserve this success. It’s a humbling surprise to all of us at Icey Monty Ltd, including our partner at Gamonaut. We look forward to the coming month!”

The Swan PR team will be taking the studio’s games to UK press for reviews and features, as well as advising on social media. The studio’s creations will feature in blogs and on websites, getting the much needed publicity that will result in titles getting in the hands of gamers. Introductions will also be made to business connections to give the teams further support in releasing their titles.

Watch this space as Swan PR will continue to announce more details of the winning studio’s games.

Train2Game News AppEngage Network

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To prove the value of an engaged user, Midverse Studios is offering developers who implement the AppEngage Network up to 100,000 installs for free.

The offer is available to all Android developers (Google Play and Amazon) who implement the AppEngage SDK within the next 30 days.

With the AppEngage Network, Midverse is pioneering a Cost Per Quality Engagement (CPE+) model, leaving behind the increasingly expensive and decreasingly effective Cost Per Install (CPI) model. The mobile platform provides incremental in-game rewards to users based on players successfully completing tasks across a number of in-network games. Through these cross-game incentives, the AppEngage Network keeps players involved across multiple apps, creating a reason to try new titles and to continue playing them well after the first play session.

“CPI is broken, with developers paying a premium for users who are encouraged to install their apps by other ad networks, but then immediately delete or never even play their games,” said Rizwan Virk, co-founder and CEO of Midverse Studios.  “With the AppEngage Network, we’re delivering users who stick around long enough to get hooked and actually want to play your game.”

Developers currently using AppEngage have increased monetization by at least $.01 in average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU).  That means an app with 100,000 daily active users (DAU) will have a revenue increase of at least $1,000 per day.

Midverse’s 100,000 Free Users promotion will run for a limited time.  The number of free installs is based on the developer’s DAU and how many users their application shares with the Network. Complete terms and conditions for the offer are available at http://www.midversestudios.com/100kpromo_terms.

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio revisits Muir Halleron

Muir HalleronWe spoke to Muir a while ago when he had not long started the Train2Game course and now we have revisited him. Muir told us all about the work he does now with 22Cans forums.

You can listen to the interview here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/1755384-train2game-student-muir-halleron-talks-to-t2g-radio-again

Or read the transcript below:

Hello I’m Muir Halleron, I’m taking the Train2Game developer course and I’m from Widnes.

Hiya Muir, how you doing?

I’m just fine thanks

Excellent! So what have you been up to since we last spoke?

Oh, loads of things! Since we last spoke; I’ve been to Eurogamer, I started making my own game but it’s very slow going. It’s basically an extreme in my spare time thing. I am also the forum moderators for not only Train2Game but also 22Cans on their steam forums.

Excellent. How did that come about?

Oh I backed GODUS on Kickstarter last December, became active in the forums and through that the community manager, Sam Van Tilburgh, approached me to become a moderator.

Excellent. So have you been enjoying it?

Yeah it’s fun! It can be a bit stressful at times and hectic, especially right after an update of the game, but yeah, I’m really enjoying it!

Very nice and do you get to hear some industry secrets that we’re not allowed to or anything?

Oh not really! I do get a bit of background information just pertaining to my moderator duties.

So have you always been a fan of 22Cans and Peter Molyneux?

I like Peter Molyneux’s Fable series. My first game of his that I actually played was Black & White, sadly I didn’t actually finish that game!

The important question is though, were you a good god or were you a bad god?

I was actually middle of the line!

Oh yeah? Tried to please everyone?

Yeah, straddle that fence!

So have you been finding that all this forum moderation will help you in the future with your career?

I’m hoping so yeah. It’s allowed me to see how things in the industry works a little bit and I’ve got a little bit of contact with a few of the devs on different social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Steam. They’ve been really nice and they answer questions that I have pertaining to the industry.

Excellent, that’s nice. Do you think you’ll perhaps get a job with them as well now that you’ve got contact with them?

That would be nice but they’re a little bit too far south for my tastes.

Oh yeah I forgot you live fairly north. So finally, what are you hoping for the future then?

Well in the future, I’m actually looking to relocate to Leeds because right now I live up near Liverpool but I’m wanting to move to Leeds because my boyfriends live there and with my Son being closer to my boyfriends would mean a bit more support with him so that I could actually get a job and not have to worry about being home to meet him after school.

Yeah that certainly would help a lot wouldn’t it.

Yeah. It’s my hope that once I move to Leeds and get settled in I’ll be able to get a job placement in a company over there.

Excellent well I wish you all the luck with that

Thank you

And I will talk to you again soon Muir!

Alright, thanks Mark.

Train2Game News: Train2Game Radio interviews Lauren Black

Lauren BlackI had the pleasure of interviewing Train2Game Development student Lauren Black last week. She told me how she got involved with Train2Game and the comic book she is working on, Sacred Wing.

The comic is an an 8 part story detailing specific points in the history of the universe, each point in time thrusts  a number of separate races into a situation that’s bigger than any of them.

You can find out more and keep up to date at www.SacredWing.com or www.bothersome.co.uk

You can hear the interview with Lauren here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/1675961-train2game-student-lauren-black-talks-to-t2g-radio

Or read the transcript below:

Hello there, my name is Lauren Black, I’m on the developer course and I’m from Middlesbrough.

Hi Lauren, how you doing?

I’m not too bad thanks, how are you?

I’m alright cheers. So tell me a bit about yourself?

Basically, I’ve just been working in the web development industry for quite a while now and a couple of years ago I decided that I’d had enough of that and that the game industry was the way to go for me.

So what did you do in the web industry before?

I did a lot of free lancing. I’d get a contract in now and then, they’d ask me to do a bit of security tightening, you know the odd bits and bobs. Every now and again I’d get a bigger contract to do something, it was just random bits and pieces.

So are you just primarily creating games now instead are you?

Instead yeah. I kind of figured that games would be a lot more interesting. I got this little letter through the door one day saying Train2Game so I thought, hey, i’ll go for that!

Excellent and are you happy with your choice?

Very much so! I’ve only do about half way through part two. I had to take a little break due to illness but I’ve learned a hell of a lot of it and it’s helped with the web side of things as well because it’s a transferable skill. The skills that you learn from the course can be used in other industries as well, so it doesn’t just lock you into games, it can help with a lot of other things as well.

Yeah? Have you been working on anything lately that you’ve been using your Train2Game course for?

Yeah! It’s helped me make a load of contacts in the industry. I worked a while back for a company called Iguana and they seemed to like me. Again that was around the time I got ill so I had to cut that short unfortunately. Like I say though, yeah I’ve made a load of contacts in the industry who have been helping me with this current project I’ve been working on called Sacred Wing. At the minute we are deciding to start from a comic book and we are going to be building a game a bit later on. So it’s a bit backwards from what other people are doing who are on the course who develop a game straight away but at the minute we are creating a comic to generate a bit of a fan base and then eventually we’ll be building a game on top of that.

Brilliant idea I reckon. I reckon it should do quite well!

Well I hope so!

So with the comic are you publishing it yourself or are you putting out on the internet? How do you want it to work?

It’s a bit of both really! We are putting it out on the internet for free first and then if we get a lot of hits and enough donations, because we are on a shoe string budget at the minute, so if we get a lot of interest then we will be doing a hard copy published which I’ll be publishing myself or perhaps even through a professional publisher. We’ll have to see.

What is the comic about?

What is it about? Now that’s a very good question because there’s a lot of things I don’t want to give away this early!

Ah right. I understand it’s a Sci Fi one isn’t it?

It’s a science fiction, it’s got a bit of fantasy in there, it’s got a bit of steam punk, you know all these elements that I’m hoping to bring out later on in the project. It’s very hard to see what’s there at the precise moment ’cause it’s very early on but hopefully there’s a lot of surprises that I can give to people.

Is there somewhere people can keep up to date with the bits that come out and stuff, have you got a website or a Facebook?

Absolutely! We’re available on www.SacredWing.com and also my personal blog www.bothersome.co.uk

Perfect! Well I’ll look forward to everything that’s coming out with that and I’m sure we will talk again soon.

I hope so. Thank you very much!

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: Train2Game Friend Fee Stewart requires more staff at Formerdroid

FormerdroidFormerdroid are hiring!

Train2Game friend Fee Stewart announced: We are currently looking for a Unity programmer (javascript) to work in Huddersfield.

The position would suit a highly motivated person who has extensive knowledge of Unity and wishes to grow with this BAFTA nominated, highly progressive team making original IP.

Knowledge of Windows 8 phone would be advantageous.

Single accommodation can be arranged if necessary for relocation.

Please send your CV to fee@formerdroid[DOT]com

Closing date 27/09/13