Train2Game NEws EGX 2015

egx2015I had the pleasure of attending EGX again this year, my fourth year in a row. This year however I took a slightly different approach.

Every other year I have just played the games at the event to see what the next big games are going to be like but as the event moved to its bigger venue at the NEC in Birmingham many of the games had a 3 hour plus wait.

All though I didn’t experience the games my self I did get to see many of them like Rainbow Six Siege which looked incredibly tactical, Tom Clancy’s: The Division which seemed more casual and accessible to casual players, Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst which seemed to be just a modernised version of the original which in my opinion is no bad thing and finally Star Wars Battlefront which looks as good and exciting as we all hope it will be.

Instead of playing these games this year I took in the atmosphere and watched more of the talks. At the PlayStation stage I listened to Charles Cecil hold a Q and A on the Broken Sword series. It was truly heart warming to hear from a man who has been in the industry since the 80’s still have an incredible passion for the industry. He also dropped a hint that he may be working with comic book artist Dave Gibbons in the future.

Over on the Xbox stage, games personality Julia Hardy hosted a number of indie and triple A games coming to Xbox in the near future. She was also very passionate about the games she was covering with numerous interesting ID@Xbox games arriving soon.

In conclusion this year was again bigger and better than before with the move to Birmingham giving more space for bigger stands and more people.

Train2Game News UKIE Student Conference


Epic Games and Flix Interactive to sponsor Ukie’s second annual Student Conference. Over 20 top UK games businesses confirmed to speak.

Ukie’s free one-day conference will take place on Wed 21st October and will take over the University’s games campus. The conference will bring together over 200 students to hear from leading games industry professionals, to give advice and support to those wanting to enter different professions in the sector.

The conference includes more content this year, with Staffordshire using their Epic Games Centre for one-to-one career and CV advice in addition to two lecture theatre talk spaces.

Ukie has also extended the conference to include more expert talks from industry insiders. Students and speakers will attend a networking drinks reception following the day’s activity.

Talks will cover all areas of the industry, including development, marketing, PR, production, art and design, community management, start-ups, and game audio. Announcements of further content will be made as the conference approaches. 

Games companies confirmed to speak on the day already include:

Altered Gene
Arch Creatives
The Chinese Room
Coatsink Software
Dlala Studios
Flix Interactive
Indigo Pearl
Mobile Mavericks
NextGen Skills Academy
Pixel Blast
Playstation Access
Prospect Games
Purewal & Partners
State of Play
Team Junkfish
Toxic Games
Travellers’ Tales
Virtual Umbrella

The full listing of speakers and registration for free tickets can be found here.

CEO of Ukie, Dr Jo Twist, said, “Last year’s conference was a huge success and it is great to be returning to Staffordshire University with an even bigger line up of experts this year. The UK games industry is a competitive sector to break into and Ukie is committed to helping the next generation of games talent by connecting them with people who can help them understand the opportunities and options they have as they graduate, as well as what they should be doing to stand out from the crowd.”

David Edwards, Senior Lecturer in game design at Staffordshire University, added, “It’s great to be working with Ukie to bring the second Ukie Student Conference to Staffordshire University. Last year’s conference was a great success, with 20 speakers giving first hand advice to games students. The conference we’re planning this year should be even better. Students will get the chance to see some of the UK’s best known developers discuss how they can enhance their prospects for a career in the games industry. The free conference at our Stafford Campus will also allow students to talk with speakers at the evening’s networking drinks.”

European Territory Manager at Epic Games, Mike Gamble, said, “Supporting the Staffordshire University and Ukie Student Conference is one way we’re helping students gain instrumental knowledge and make connections. Raising up the next generation of developers is critical to the long-term health of our industry.”

John Tearle, Founder of Flix Interactive, added, “Supporting educational facilities in producing quality course content ensures a positive future for new talent in the UK industry. The key benefit of the conference is that expertise and advice is on-hand for students, lecturers and graduates to talk directly with the people providing the career opportunities. It is great to be working once again with Ukie and Staffs University to help support the conference and build the talent of the future.”

Train2Game News Student looking to swap the broom for the paintbrush


Michael Bird is a supervisor at an industrial cleaning firm but his dream is to ditch the cleaning and move into creating art in videogames

Since finishing the Art and Animation course with Train2Game Michael – who is 41 and lives in Kettering – has been on the hunt for a job in games but not had any luck so far. He firmly believes that given the first chance at a studio, he could develop into a great asset for any company.

Michael is from a family of artists, his father is a traditional artist and his mother is a colourist. Michael trained in sculpture and art before moving into video games.

He had a really positive experience with Train2Game and now wants to go professional. He’s now contributing to student studios and also created his own website to show off his work.

‘My name is Michael Bird I am an Artist, Animator. I have spent the last five years or so dedicating my creativeness to the gaming world with the dream of one day being able to work within a gaming studio and help make the games that are yet to come.’

‘I finished my Train2Game course in May last year. I would say that the overall experience with Train2Game was good; they always tried their best to help me with any issues or problem that I may have had. They wouldn’t tell me how to do it instead they would guide me in the right direction so you would end up learning what I needed to know myself, in truth I saw this as a better way to find the solution to whatever it was that I needed help with.’

‘I got into gaming art as a sort of natural progression to being a traditional artist as in using pencil, paints and clay. All my life I have been playing video games, from the modern masterpieces of today right the way back to the originals like Pong and Pac-Man, and everything in-between. It has always plagued my mind as to how it was done; those images that you see on the screen that excite the eye and make you want to play more. How do they do it, how I would love to find out and maybe see if I could do the same. It wasn’t until I got the flyer from Train2Game that I saw my chance to follow the dream of learning how to make what I had seen on the screen. So the opportunity that was presented was taken and I ran with it to a new horizon that has beckoned me for so long.’
‘Working with sculpture,  I think that it has helped me immensely as most of the time with gaming art you have to think in three dimensions as you would do when you sculpt. You get to understand movement, structure and how something should look from all sides. It’s like a 360 degree canvas where every point has to look right from every angle. So really what I create within a computer is just a digital version of what I would create in clay.’

‘To create something out of nothing never gets old to me be it stills or animation, they are both as exciting as each other. If a had to choose then it would have to be stills. More to the point of the environment and the props that populate it is it internal or external. . To create a beautiful game you need to create a beautiful environment to play that game in. You could create the best most iconic character in the world with the most stunning and realistic animation ever but if the gaming environment they live in isn’t believable then it will never work.’

‘Both my parents are artists in their own right. My father is a traditional artist where as my mother is more of a colourist. At first they thought I wasn’t serious but as time progressed they began to see that this was something that I craved with every ounce of my being. Sometimes they would say I should get a proper boring job and forget my dream but it never deterred me from this path to my true calling.’
‘I would love to say that my art is my job but unfortunately that is not the case yet. Despite the constant application for art positions within the gaming industry I have so far been unsuccessful in my efforts. All I want and need is that one person to take that chance on me. In the meantime bills have to be paid so I am a supervisor for an industrial cleaning company, but when I’m not working there I’m always creating pieces for my website it’s there to showcase my work for any potential employers.’
‘The last piece that I have only just finished was a Private Detective’s Office set in the style of 30’s America. It was more a case of being able to show that can create an interior set piece and fill it with relevant props and create the right mood with the lighting and textures. Since then I have two projects that will be starting on, one will be a Deep Forest Ruins scene and the other will be a Derelict Lighthouse. I haven’t decided which one I will start first so you will just have to wait and see by checking out the Work in Progress on my website.’
‘I think that Train2Game has taught me apart from the skills that I will need to fulfil my dreams, something that I will never stop learning as you can never know everything. Also I would say that they taught me to never give up no matter how hard and stressful it can get, there’s always a way to figure something out and make it better than you thought which in turn makes you better at what you do.’

‘What can I offer a professional studio? That is a difficult question as I could just put the usual things like my skills, my passion for gaming and so forth. In truth all I can offer is myself and what I have learnt from my life experience. How I see the world around me, how I have played so many games in my lifetime that they have all influenced the way I create my art, I have seen how the industry has grown and developed over the years to give me the foundation that has helped me to the stage that I am now. I have followed the way gaming itself has changed with the technology and it has made me realise that I can create anything and everything that I ever thought possible within a game as well as some that I could never have dreamed of. Just to have that power at my fingertips fills me with excitement and a driven determination to be the best gaming artist I can be. That’s what I can offer a professional studio, sounds a bit cheesy I know but it’s the best way I can describe it.’ 

‘In truth there is no one studio that I would like to work for or with, for me it’s all about creating beautiful game art, be it for a mobile, handheld or a AAA title. When I’m playing a game all I can think about is I really want to be the guy who build that, the guy who will spend hour after hour to get it looking and acting right so it fit the game. I often study the screen to figure out how they did it and see how I would go about creating it.’
‘I would say that my long term aims are to keep creating more and more stunning work, to learn new skills and improve what I already have, To maybe end up being a senior artist within a studio, that would be nice but for a start I just want to get my foot through the door and then see where it takes me. I will never stop doing what I love doing at the end of the day I’m an artist and the desire to create, build, sculpt, paint and draw will only die when I do. Being a videogame artist is where I see myself and I will do everything I possibly can to get there.’

Found out more about Michael’s work at

Train2Game, bringing City & Guilds to the Games Industry
Train2Game is a proud supporter of and

Train2Game News UK Top 20 Games – 05.10.15

FIFA-16LEGO Dimensions can’t move FIFA 16 from the number one spot debuting at number two followed by NBA 2K16 which has entered the chart this week at number three. Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer comes in at number 6 whilst lower down the chart the apparently bug ridden Tony Hawk Pro Skater 5 grinds in to number twelve.

All formats
Week ending 3 October 2015

< 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 for the appropriate license.

Train2Game News Gamers with Aspergers


Gaming offers a unique appeal for people with Aspergers Syndrome.
The Really Awesome Gaming Expo, or rAge, is Africa’s ultimate destination for those who love gaming. Brought to you by NAG, rAge caters to every gaming and tech enthusiast across the board but also takes on a more serious purpose by encouraging development, growth and opportunities within the sector. In line with this approach, rAge will host the Start Up organisation as an exhibitor at this year’s expo. This organisation assists individuals diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) in finding and maintaining high-end employment opportunities as well as educational placement.

Nanette Botha, senior job coach at Start Up, explains AS thusly, “AS is a form of autism characterised by normal to superior IQ, accompanied by social and communication difficulties. These difficulties stem from neurologically based sensory and information-processing differences. Even though individuals diagnosed with AS might look like everybody else, their mind works in a significantly different way, and sometimes their behaviour and reactions will not be typical.”

Children with AS enjoy spending time with people they know well, but avoid crowds and busy, unpredictable places. They tend to be highly intelligent and are prepared to put all their energy into something that interests them, but somehow struggle to convey their thoughts. Noticing the slightest change in detail that others don’t even pay attention to while the “bigger picture” often goes by unnoticed is another marker in diagnosing AS.

Those with AS have unique talents and are being actively sought out by companies both locally and internationally as their “out of the box” thinking styles give undeniable value to their employers. From a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) as well as a business angle, it makes sense to hire these highly intelligent individuals,” adds Nanette.

A career in gaming is highly appealing to those with AS and many of these individuals show remarkable talent in gaming, computers and game development.

For more information on Start Up visit

Train2Game News 18th Century Search Engine


Introducing the number one search engine for your 19th century needs.

With the launch of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate just around the corner, we wanted to help players delve into the Victorian era and uncover the most important information about the period.

To accomplish this, Ubisoft has created The 19th Century Search Engine – a rich historical research tool designed to look just like the search engines our great-great-great-grandparents used in 1868.

The search engine is filled with hundreds of pieces of original content – painstakingly researched and catalogued – which will allow fans to discover the forgotten facts of this celebrated era.

Assassin’s Creed Syndicate will be available worldwide for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One on October 23, and will be available for Windows PC on November 19.

Train2Game News RPG Maker MV Preorder


Degica and Kadokawa Corporation are excited to announce that the latest version of RPG Maker is now available for pre-order on their website and Steam for 10% off.

RPG Maker MV is the successor to RPG Maker VX Ace (one of the highest selling software titles on Steam). It provides many new enhancements and features including:

    -Mac Support: You can now create RPGs on the Macintosh!

    -Multiple Device Deployment: You can now release your RPG Maker Games on the following platforms:
        Windows (EXE)
        MacOSX (APP)
        Android (APK)
        iOS (IPA)
        HTML5 for Web Browsers

    -Battle Modes: You can now choose to use either the classic Front View, or the heavily requested and more modern Side View battle system.

    -Mouse & Touch Input support: Tired of playing your game with a keyboard? You can now play your RPG via touchscreen or mouse.

    -LARGER Database : Support for twice as many items as VX Ace for a grand total of 2,000

    -THREE Layers for drawing complex maps, with an intuitive interface that automatically selects the correct layer for you.

    -Higher Screen Resolution: With all assets being made 1.5 times larger, the default resolution is increased to 816×624, allowing for more detailed games.

    -Complete English Support, community and forums!

The pre-order starts September 30th and will run until the game launches on October 23rd.

In addition to a 10% discount, people who preorder will also receive 2 brand new resource packs free:

The Cover Art Characters Pack
For the first time in RPG Maker history, an official set of resources featuring RPG Maker MV cover art characters is available! Featuring a brand new main party and brimming with bonus material, this pack includes the essentials to build the perfect character party.

The Essentials Add-On
From expertly-composed original music to clever tileset add-ons and emotion-packed character facesets, this pack includes material that enhances the standard RPG Maker MV resources and really lets your projects shine.

RPG Maker MV Preorder Page:

Steam Preorder Page:

Train2Game News Merge VR Headset


Walk with dinosaurs or fly into space all from the comfort of your own living room with the new Merge VR headset available to pre-order now, only at GAME.

Priced at only £49.99, the new portable headset is a great, affordable way for families to step inside a whole new world and experience the virtual reality phenomenon.

Compatible with both iOS and Android phones, the Merge VR headset allows customers to enjoy the extensive immersive content already on Google Play and in Apple’s App Store. Play games, explore an unknown world, or watch a concert in your own home just by downloading an app.

On 30th October, GAME customers can be among the first to take home the new Merge VR headset by pre-ordering online or in-store. From mid-October, customers will be able to get their hands on this innovative technology with demonstrations taking place in all GAME stores across the UK.

Charlotte Knight, UK Retail MD at GAME, comments: “Virtual Reality is the topic on everyone’s lips at the moment. With gamers eager to see what’s coming next, we’re incredibly excited to give our customers exclusive access to this new technology.

“At GAME we’re passionate about making the latest technology accessible for everyone. The Merge VR headset does exactly that, offering the Virtual Reality experience to gamers and families. For those thinking about Christmas gifting, the Merge VR headset is the perfect present for under £50.”

To make the new headset even more affordable, gamers can Trade-in their old software and hardware in exchange for cash or credit. Customers will also earn 2% back in Reward points on every purchase, which can go towards even more great games, tech and accessories from GAME.

To find out more about the Merge VR headset, head into your local GAME store or visit .

Train2Game News ChilliConnect Beta


ChilliWorks have announced today the global beta launch of ChilliConnect, a cloud based backend platform for connected games.

This latest product in their technology suite – which also includes the open source game engine ChilliSource – places them as a fresh contender in the rapidly growing live games tools market.

ChilliConnect offers a powerful combination of both connected and social game features and analytics platform to provide developers with everything they need to successfully run a live game from a single platform.

ChilliConnect has already been deployed in a number of live service games for clients including Mind Candy, 505 Games and more recently on Activision’s recent mobile title, Downton Abbey: Mysteries of the Manor.

Mike Herron, Head of Product Development at ChilliWorks, marked this first release by commenting: “We believe all games can be improved by connecting players. The ChilliConnect beta release marks the first step on an exciting journey that will see us rapidly increase features, usability and support in the coming months”.

We have already seen first-hand how connected and back-end services can enable games developers to create better games, and generate improved commercial performance. Now we look forward to enabling a much larger number of game creators through the power of ChilliConnect”.

ChilliConnect provides developers with a reliable, scalable system, that includes everything they need to build, launch and maintain a game with live elements. The beta release includes features such as user management, analytics, leader boards and custom event tracking. An exciting roadmap will see ChilliConnect extend the offering with features including IAP validation, push notification and asynchronous multiplayer ahead of the full release in Q1 2016.

ChilliConnect beta is available for free download now from

Train2Game News Dark Souls 3 at Play Expo


Today Replay Events are thrilled to announce that Bandai Namco Entertainment UK will be bringing Dark Souls III, the latest game in the critically acclaimed Dark Souls series, to Play Expo this October 10th- 11th.

This will be the first opportunity for the public to play the already lauded action RPG title that sees the return of Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls director Hidetaka Miyazaki.

Dark Souls III brings the new Battle Arts system to combat which Miyazaki calls ‘an evolution’ as it builds on the series’ trademark sword and sorcery combat and adds a new layer to the combat system. The trademark online multiplayer functionality has also evolved to seamlessly integrate online interactions into the single player story.

Dark Souls III is a turning point for the series and will be released in April 2016.

So don’t miss out on the chance to be one of the first people to play Dark Souls III on PlayStation 4 and book your Play Expo tickets today!

Tickets are on sale at the website:
With further information also available: