Train2Game News BAFTA Young Game Designers competition

BAFTAThe British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced the call for entries for the 2015 BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) competition in association with Nominet Trust, which aims to inspire the UK’s game-makers of the future by giving young people the chance to design and make their own game. The winners will be named at a special awards ceremony in July. Entries are now open at www.bafta.org/ygd until Monday 1 June.

Originally launched in 2010 for 11-16 year-olds, this year the age range for the competition has been expanded to include 10-18 year-olds, divided into age-specific sub-groups. Entrants – who can be individuals or a team of up to three people – can choose to enter two creative categories: The YGD Game Concept Award, to create a concept for a new game; and the YGD Game Making Award, to make a game using freely available software. The winners will receive a host of prizes, including further development of their game with industry professionals.

Two new categories have also been added this year: The YGD Mentor Award, for an inspirational individual involved in the education of young game designers; and the YGD Hero Award, for a games industry professional who supports young game designers. The public can nominate their YGD Mentor, while the YGD Hero will be selected by BAFTA’s Games Committee.

The BAFTA YGD competition is part of a year-round programme of activity which gives young people and educators unique insights into the games industry and access to the creative minds behind some of their favourite games. Support includes: a website (www.bafta.org/ygd) where BAFTA members, award winners and nominees share their insights and advice through interviews and exclusive video content; a web series, that takes a light-hearted look behind the scenes of the games industry; a range of teaching resources that link the BAFTYA YGD competition to the national curriculum; an online ‘feedback hub’ where young people can submit ideas or questions about their entry, with the chance of gaining a personalised response from a games expert; and live workshops around the country.

Nominet Trust – the UK’s only dedicated tech for good funder – is headline partner of the initiative, working with BAFTA to develop additional schools-focussed activity addressing the under-representation of women in the games workforce. Other supporting partners of BAFTA Young Game Designers include: Bethesda Softworks, Criterion Games (an EA Studio), Google, Jagex, King, Pinewood Studios Group, SEGA, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Unity, and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Abertay University supports the development of the games of the winners of the BAFTA YGD competition.

Tim Hunter, Director of Learning and Events at BAFTA, said: “The BAFTA YGD competition is a great opportunity for young people to try their hand at game design and get feedback from the creative people behind their favourite games. The games industry is one of the biggest and most dynamic entertainment industries in the world; we hope this competition inspires entrants to consider a career in games, as well as helping them better appreciate the artistry involved in making games. We can’t wait to share the winners with the industry and public at the YGD Awards ceremony in July.”

Annika Small, CEO of Nominet Trust, said: “If the UK is to retain its world-leading position in the creative industries, we need to develop a highly skilled workforce. The BAFTA Young Game Designers competition equips young people with the creative digital skills, understanding and connections that they need to become the games designers of the future. It’s exciting to see young people move from simply playing games to designing and making their own ones. Nominet Trust is proud to be supporting this vital initiative – I can’t wait to see what ideas and games entrants come up with!”

The winning games from 2014 – Tomatos Role from 16 year-old Rhianna Hawkins, from Taunton, and AlienX from 15 year-old Adam Oliver – will be on show at BAFTA’s Inside Games Arcade in advance of the British Academy Games Awards in March.

For the Terms & Conditions, and to enter the BAFTA YGD competition, go to www.bafta.org/ygd.

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 26.01.15

GTA VAn interesting chart this week. Grand Theft Auto V stays at number one for a third consecutive week which now makes it the first GTA title to reach a total of seven weeks at number one. Saint’s Row IV Re-elected: Gat out of hell debuts at number four. A big retailer promotion on Call of Duty: Ghosts helps boost sales by 401%, propelling it back into the Top ten, up from thirty to number five. Finally Rugby 15 from Big Ben/Koch debuts at number eight.

All formats

Week ending 24 January 2015

POS.  TITLE  PUBLISHER  LAST
WEEK 
1 - GRAND THEFT AUTO V ROCKSTAR 1
2 CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE ACTIVISION 3
3 FIFA 15 EA SPORTS 2
4 SAINTS ROW IV RE-ELECTED/GAT OUT OF HELL DEEP SILVER -
5 CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS ACTIVISION -
6 FAR CRY 4 UBISOFT 4
7 MINECRAFT: XBOX EDITION MICROSOFT 5
8 RUGBY 15 BIG BEN -
9 MINECRAFT: PLAYSTATION EDITION SONY COMPUTER ENT. 7
10 THE CREW UBISOFT 6
11 DESTINY ACTIVISION 9
12 ASSASSIN’S CREED: UNITY UBISOFT 8
13 LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 10
14 - DRAGON AGE: INQUISITION EA GAMES 14
15 WWE 2K15 2K SPORTS 17
16 ASSASSIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG UBISOFT 11
17 JUST DANCE 2015 UBISOFT 13
18 - MIDDLE EARTH: SHADOW OF MORDOR WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE 18
19 WATCH DOGS UBISOFT 12
20 SUPER SMASH BROS. NINTENDO 15
< 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 Agoraphobic works toward dream with Train2Game

Bryan CoadyBryan Coady, 31 years old, from Birmingham, suffers from Agoraphobia and General Anxiety Disorder. This has resulted in a fear of leaving his house. Being diagnosed with a condition can often affect someone’s life plans and career prospects. But Bryan Coady hasn’t let his medical condition stand in the way and is studying with Train2Game to get qualifications to enter the Games Industry.

“My illness started just after I left school. I started working and very soon after it started getting harder and harder to leave the house. I then had a panic attack and could no longer leave the house. I was diagnosed by the doctors a while ago now. They found out about my condition after the panic attack and I got restricted to my house. I need my family to go out to the shops for me while I’m restricted to my home.”

“I discovered Train2Game and now I’m on the Game Developer course version 2, I believe that I will pass with a great grade. I have joined ‘Unique Intelligence Games’ at www.uigames.co.uk, we are all Train2Game students. It’s a great group of people. We help each other and have a great time doing it. We haven’t started on a game yet as we are still getting the team together.”

“As I have been restricted to my home traditional learning wasn’t an option for me. I started Train2Game about a year and a half ago now. It’s really good as you can control how long you study and when you study. I can learn it at home at my own pace and meet good people along the way. It has given me the chance to get a job and qualified in game development.

“I think Train2Game has had a very positive affect on my life from finding new friends to training to get a master’s degree. I have found the projects at the end of section 2 tough but I’m slowly getting there. I hope to be finished in a few months from now. I would recommend this course to anyone who has dreams of making games that lack the knowledge but has the drive.”

“My dream is to be a game developer with a big company with a team that are willing to make our dreams of making games come true. I hope for people to feel the rush I do playing our games for the first time. For anyone thinking of taking the course I would say determination is everything and it can overcome anything.”

Train2Game News Jagex to host SpecialEffect for Gameblast

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Jagex Games Studio, creators and custodians of the fantasy MMORPG, RuneScape and the upcoming online multiplayer action game, Block N Load, is to lead the way in SpecialEffect’s upcoming GameBlast15 games marathon weekend.

The event, which takes place between 20th and 22nd February, launches a 24-hour gamer challenge to raise money and help enable individuals with physical disabilities play games.

During the inaugural GameBlast in 2014, the RuneScape and Ace of Spades: Battle Builder communities raised more than £48,000 for SpecialEffect, and more than 90,000 viewers watched Jagex’s livestream of gameplay, interviews, and real-world challenges. In addition to holding another marathon livestream from Jagex’s Cambridge headquarters, RuneScape players will also benefit from a double XP weekend.

“SpecialEffect is a cause that’s very close to our hearts at Jagex. We had a lot of fun last year with our livestream for GameBlast14, so it’s fantastic to get stuck in once again and get even more involved in GameBlast15,” said Phil Mansell, vice president of RuneScape. “We’re really looking forward to welcoming Mick and the SpecialEffect team to Jagex, as well as holding our own 24-hour marathon and double XP weekend, next month.”

David Solari, vice president of Block N Load, added “The Ace of Spades: Battle Builder community were really supportive during GameBlast14, so we can’t wait to see how the burgeoning Block N Load player base performs this year. We’re currently in the beta phase of development, so the 24-hour GameBlast marathon will really put the game through its paces ahead of its launch!”

“We were simply stunned by the amazing generosity of the Jagex community during last year’s GameBlast, and honoured that they’re gearing up for another 24 hours of activity in February,” said Dr Mick Donegan, founder and director of SpecialEffect. “Having such a major force in the gaming industry backing our work helping people with disabilities is a great boost, and I’m personally really looking forward to being at Jagex HQ during the event to be part of their GameBlast heroics.”

Hosting SpecialEffect and taking part in GameBlast15 is the first of a number of fundraising drives for planned by the Jagex throughout 2015. During 2014, the studio and its passionate RuneScape community raised more than $300,000 for good causes, including Oxfam and SpecialEffect. RuneScape was also the first games partner of United for Wildlife, and helped to raise awareness of the plight facing the world’s rhinos with a series of in-game quizzes and limited edition virtual pets.

Train2Game News MMO Game Engine on Steam

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Neojac Entertainment, a Calgary-based game development company, today launched their Atavism game engine on Steam.

Atavism opens up the development of 3D virtual online worlds and Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs) to everyone regardless of programming knowledge or artistic ability. Integrated with the Unity engine as the client, developers now have direct access to one of the highest anticipated MMORPG engines on the market.

“Atavism allows game designers to focus on making their game and to not worry about programming,” said Neojac CEO Jacques Rossouw. “In fact many of our clients have been able to have a prototype within a matter of weeks. You don’t need to have a million dollar budget any more to develop an MMO game. Our team, along with Unity, has already done most of the heavy lifting with pre-designed plugins for every system. All you need to do is setup what stats you want to use with them.”

The Atavism engine received it’s greenlight from Steam late last year. It is available for $70 and can be accessed via Steam at http://store.steampowered.com/app/335930/. You can get a discount of 15% in the first two weeks on Steam.

Many games are already in development using the engine, including Neojac’s own Neo’s Land, a high fantasy MMORPG that allows players to literally build the game world by creating their own dungeons, houses and other structures via the game’s unique building editor and through round table discussions with the development team. Early access to the game is available at www.neojac.com.

Several other game studios are already using the Atavism engine with successful results. “We’ve used other multiplayer engines made for Unity, but nothing compared to Atavism,” said Terrence Thompson, CEO of Space Dwarves Entertainment and the creators of Bionic Marine Commander Online. “Atavism provides an ease of use and level of support that is excellent. We’ve taken our game much further in the four months using Atavism than we have in years using the other engines.” Early access for the game is available at http://bionicmarinecommand.com.

Atavism also provides support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headsets. You can learn more about Atavism at www.atavismonline.com.

Train2Game News Elder Scrolls Online subscription free

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Bethesda Softworks, a ZeniMax Media company, today announced that its long awaited, award-winning multiplayer roleplaying game, The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, will release worldwide on 9th June, 2015 for the PlayStation 4 system and Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft.

For the first time in history, players will explore the legendary world of Tamriel with their friends on console. In the latest and biggest Elder Scrolls game ever made, players will be able to adventure alone, quest with friends, or join an army of hundreds in epic player vs. player battles as they explore and discover the secrets of a persistent Tamriel.

The studio are also pleased to announce that The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited players will no longer be required to pay a monthly game subscription for extended play. Players will make a one-time purchase of the game and can then enjoy hundreds of hours of content without the requirement of a monthly game subscription fee when The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited becomes available on console in June and beginning 17th March for PC/Mac players.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited includes all the great gameplay from the original PC/Mac game, plus all the updates and content additions, including the exciting new Justice and Champion systems.  All existing PC/Mac game accounts, open or closed, will be updated to the Tamriel Unlimited edition in March and former players will be invited back to the game at that time to experience all that is new in the world. New players will make a one-time purchase of the game and play, without restrictions, for as long as they like – without game subscription fees. Tamriel Unlimited will be supported with special, optional downloadable content available for purchase and an in-game Crown Store for convenience and customization items. Regular updates and new gameplay will be offered to all players to enjoy free of additional charges.

In addition, Bethesda will offer ESO Plus to players who wish to pay a single monthly charge for  a premium membership service, providing exclusive in-game bonuses, a monthly allotment of crowns to use in the store and access to all DLC game packs while a member. PC/Mac players with active subscriptions on 17th March will be automatically enrolled into ESO Plus and begin enjoying its membership privileges.

“Our fans are our biggest inspiration, and we’ve listened to their feedback on the entertainment experience they want,” said Matt Firor, Game Director of The Elder Scrolls Online. “We know that Elder Scrolls fans want choice when it comes to how they play and how they pay, and that is what they will get. We have made numerous changes to the game over the past year, and are confident this is a game that Elder Scrolls fans will love to play. Players can explore Tamriel with friends, battle creatures, craft, fish, steal, or siege. The choice is theirs. The game offers hundreds of hours of gameplay with unlimited adventures with one single game purchase. We can’t wait for everyone, whether they’ve played before or will be experiencing it for the first time, to begin adventuring in The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.” 

For more information on the different ways players will be able to experience The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited, you can watch the livestream on twitch.tv/zenimaxonlinestudios today at 5pm GMT or visit: www.elderscrollsonline.com/faq.

Train2Game News Devils inc studios releases Snowmageddon

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Train2Game Student Studio, Devils inc studios, released a game just before Christmas that relates to how we all feel from time to time around winter.

Snowmageddon has all the fun of a first person shooter with tower defence features to add to your enjoyment. The game sees you defending the mystical Star of Dreams, a magical star that while in play keeps your dream world alive, if it falls you are returned to the humdrum of reality. With your towers and an  exciting, inventive array of weapons, including snow balls and exploding presents, you must protect your fantasy world.

The story begins when you make a wish one snowy night feeling the pressures of an adult life’s day to day struggles and so you wish for a simpler time like when you were a child, inadvertently your wish is made as a shooting star passes overhead. When you wake you are in a village being attacked by a horde of rampaging snowmen and you must protect your land of dreams. You rally up the other citizens of your dream world and prepare to fight back to save your town!

The game has been created in Unity by the talents of Devils inc Studios which consists of Train2Game students and a few others who have been recruited to the team.

Mark Plant, Co founder and Lead Designer, said “It’s been a huge learning curve for us in terms of what you can or can’t achieve early on, only when we scaled back to a small seven day project did we really find our feet, this was awesome for use as we found traction, and in doing so we turned out a great game.

Train2Game really taught me respect for developers and games all round, you moan and complain about so much in games that when you begin to look beneath and actually create them you release even something that appears to be a simple change truly can be a workload all by itself, one small task can quickly spiral into a dozen more. I’m thankful for that respect it was a good lesson to learn.

Of course without Train2Game, Devils Inc Studios, wouldn’t have been formed” on the development of the game and there studio.

The studio are about to release an update that will improve balancing and gameplay. The 1.2 patch adds the last few things that couldn’t be added in the initial stages. The studio are also hoping to implement a story mode in the near future

If you would like to play this enjoyable game for free, with no pay to win aspects, you can do so at http://www.kongregate.com/games/shaun_Devilsinc/snowmageddon

You can visit the studios website  and learn more of this up and coming Student Studio at http://www.devilsincstudios.com

Train2Game News Brighton Game Collective

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Brighton Game Collective, a non-profit company dedicated to the creation of community space for games industry SMEs and freelancers based in Brighton and Hove, is pleased to announce the opening of new premises at The Dock Hub, Wilbury Villas, Hove, BN3 3EL.

The Collective provides an environment for small companies and freelance developers to work side by side, sharing their resources, experience and talent. Its aims are to build strong ties within the Brighton game development community and foster opportunities for collaboration between local developers and the industry at large.

Brighton Game Collective is offering affordable desk space alongside its founding members at the new premises. At the time of writing three desks are available, with the option to expand to neighbouring office suites, depending on availability and demand.

The building is accessible 24/7 and has a dedicated fibre optic connection. It includes a coffee shop, meeting and conference rooms with catering available, showers, bike racks, kitchen facilities and bookable parking.

Roberta Saliani, founder of Brighton Game Collective said: “I’m excited to bring the games industry a little closer by providing a space where we can prosper and meet similar minded people. I’d love to see our initiative grow to include all major cities.”

The premises are located a quarter of a mile away from Hove Station, with great connections to Gatwick Airport, London, Brighton, Portsmouth, and Ashford International.

Train2Game News Club Nintendo to be discontinued

Club NintendoAfter more than six years of delivering fun Nintendo-themed rewards to its members, Club Nintendo is preparing to shut down.

Nintendo’s loyalty-rewards program rewarded members with a variety of items, such as downloadable games, Nintendo posters or character figures in exchange for Coins that members earned by registering products or completing surveys. Club Nintendo members in the United States and Canada can earn additional Coins through the end of March, and can redeem those Coins through the end of June. Nintendo of America will be announcing a new customer loyalty program at a later date.

“We thank all Club Nintendo members for their dedication to Nintendo games and their ongoing love for our systems and characters,” said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America’s executive vice president of Sales & Marketing. “We want to make this time of transition as easy as possible for our loyal Club Nintendo members, so we are going to add dozens of new rewards and downloadable games to help members clear out their Coin balances.”

Nintendo will add a number of physical reward options for members in February. Members will also be able to choose from a lineup of many downloadable games. As a gift to Club Nintendo members, the Flipnote Studio 3D software will be available to download for free in February. This software will allow users to create unique three-dimensional animations and to exchange their creations via local wireless with others who also own Flipnote Studio 3D. Users who uploaded creations to Flipnote Hatena will be able to download their personal animations from the Nintendo DSi Library menu in Flipnote Studio 3D software. Flipnote Studio 3D will be available to Club Nintendo members until June 30. The ability to create a new Club Nintendo account will end on March 31. All users who register to Club Nintendo before registration closes will be eligible to receive Flipnote Studio 3D.
For more information about Club Nintendo, visit https://club.nintendo.com. For more information on Flipnote Studio 3D, visit http://flipnotestudio3d.nintendo.com/.

Train2Game News Talisman character from SpecialEffect

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A new character for Talisman Digital Edition will be immortalised with help from SpecialEffect, the charity that helps people with physical disabilities to enjoy gaming.

The proceeds of this new character will go to SpecialEffect, so more people with disabilities can be supported to reap the rewards of gaming.

A collaboration between Nomad Games and SpecialEffect will bring Talisman to people with disabilities. Not only will the game be provided to people that SpecialEffect supports, Nomad Games are asking those same people to get involved and design a character for the game.

The first step is to come up with some character ideas, and for the last few weeks Talisman Digital Edition fans have been submitting ideas for a new Talisman character. There has been a phenomenal response with over 200 entries, and it’s been a very difficult job to whittle them down to a shortlist of 6!

This shortlist will be going out for a public vote on the Nomad Games web site in January, where people will have a week to vote for their favourite idea.

When the character has been chosen, SpecialEffect gamers will create an artwork design for the new character. This will then be submitted to Nomad Games to convert into a new digital Character Card, which will go on sale over the coming weeks.

“When friends introduced Nomad Games to the work of SpecialEffect we were hugely impressed and realized that, as a games maker and publisher, we should lend our support. In an exceptional way, SpecialEffect put gamers with physical disabilities on a level playing field with every other gamer.”, said Don Whiteford, MD at Nomad Games Limited.